Bible Ministries International

Bible Ministries International

Bible Studies

A series of verse by verse studies by Gunther von Harringa Sr

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

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“Sticks” - Part 11

    October 23, 2022

Good afternoon and welcome to BMI’s Sunday Online Fellowship. Thank you for joining us, and shall we ask God’s blessing upon our time together… This will be “Sticks” - Part 11, and today’s date is October  23, 2022. We are continuing our examination of the subject of sticks, which is TWOT 1670a, and corresponds to H6086. Let’s read Ezekiel 37:15-20, in which this word sticks appears eight times in these five verses:

The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, {16} Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick [TWOT 1670a/`ets:H6086], and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick [TWOT 1670a/`ets:H6086], and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick [TWOT 1670a/`ets:H6086] of Ephraim, and [for] all the house of Israel his companions: {17} And join them one to another into one stick [TWOT 1670a/`ets:H6086]; and they shall become one in thine hand. {18} And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou [meanest] by these? {19} Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick [TWOT 1670a/`ets:H6086] of Joseph, which [is] in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, [even] with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick [TWOT 1670a/`ets:H6086],  and they shall be one in mine hand. {20} And the sticks [TWOT 1670a/`ets:H6086] whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

We have been investigating Genesis 49:8-12, in which Jacob, under divine inspiration, speaks of the blessings of Judah, which I will now read again:

Judah, thou [art he] whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand [shall be] in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. {9} Judah [is] a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? {10} The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be]. {11} Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: {12} His eyes [shall be] red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

We are down to verse 11 in this rich spiritual portrait of the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The three terms in the first phrase, Binding his foal unto the vine…are only used together in this verse, so we will have to examine them separately. 

Binding [’acar:H631/TWOT *141]

The expression, binding, is primarily rendered as such, even though the derivatives in this “word-family” are translated as prison, prisoner, tie, and in a number of other miscellaneous ways, as the following Scriptures reveal:

The Bible teaches that to be imprisoned spiritually is to be in Satan’s prison house or kingdom, under his tyrannical rule. The essence of salvation is to be rescued from that terrible situation, which inescapably only leads to death and annihilation, because we have transgressed God’s Holy Lawbook - the Bible - and that is the just penalty that we deserve. These next references speaks about deliverance from that oppressive regime by the Work and Faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, which he accomplished  at…the foundation of the world:

Isaiah 61:1 gloriously announces this “Good News,” in which this expression is translated to [them that are] bound:  The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; [’acar:H631/TWOT 141]

You might recall that this was the passage that the Savior quoted in Luke 4:17-21, as He read this passage while in the synagogue of Nazareth, after which this gentle 

*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)

group of worshippers wanted to throw Him off a cliff because He insisted that God had an election program that included the Gentiles:

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, {18} The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, {19} To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. {20} And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. {21} And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

This is also the case in Genesis 39:20 with respect to what happened to Joseph (another great type of the Messiah in His sufferings) as he was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and Potiphar, who incidentally was a eunuch and chief of the executioners (according to Genesis 39:1). This word is translated in verse 20 as 

And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners [were] bound [’acar:H631/TWOT 141]: and he was there in the prison.

This expression crops up in Judges 16 no less than 10 times with regard to Samson (another tremendous portrayal of the Redeemer in his sufferings and death). I’ll just read Judges 16:21 and 25 for the sake of time, in which these two terms emerge as in the prison and out of the prison respectively: 

But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison [’acar:H631/TWOT 141] house. ... 

{25} And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison [’acar:H631/TWOT 141] house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.

Verse 7 of Psalm 146:5-10 also exalts God for His mercy, in which this word is expressed as the prisoners:  

Happy [is he] that [hath] the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope [is] in the LORD his God: 6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein [is]: which keepeth truth for ever:{7} Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners [’acar:H631/TWOT 141]: {8} The LORD openeth [the eyes of] the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous: {9} The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. {10} The LORD shall reign for ever, [even] thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 149:1-9 is especially applicable to our current “day” of judgment and in verse 8 this word is translated as to bind, during which God’s elect are carrying out the “new” Commission that God has entrusted His people with to declare His Judgment upon the world, and to feed His sheep (those that God saved) with Truth:

Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, [and] his praise in the congregation of saints. {2} Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. {3} Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. {4} For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. {5} Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. {6} [Let] the high [praises] of God [be] in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; {7} To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments upon the people; {8} To bind [’acar:H631/TWOT 141] their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; {9} To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

By the way, please note the emphasis in verses 1-3 and 5 having to do with singing, praising, rejoicing, dancing with human voices as well as with musical instruments, such as the harp and timbrel; the harp also symbolizes the Word of God. In fact, the Lord spent a great deal of time around the Sea of Galilee, where He taught extensively. The Sea of Galilee is also called the Sea of Tiberias and the Sea of Gennesaret; this last appellation, Genessaret or Kinneroth stems from the Hebrew word for harp or kinnowr [H3658/TWOT 1004 a].

The focus on singing and praising in Psalm 149 also links to 2 Chronicles 20, which is intimately connected to our present day, in which God’s redeemed are not to fight in the battle, as God does the fighting on their behalf, but are simply to praise and sing, and worship God for His victory over the enemy, according to verses 19, and 21-22 of 2 Chronicles 20:17-24,

Ye shall not [need] to fight in this [battle]: set yourselves, stand ye [still], and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD [will be] with you. {18} And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with [his] face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. {19} And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high. {20} And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. {21} And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy [endureth] for ever. {22} And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. {23} For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy [them]: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. {24} And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they [were] dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.

Let’s proceed to the next word in Genesis 49:11, which is the term, his foal, referring to the colt of an ass, as verse 11 mentions…and his ass's colt…  

His Foal [`ayir:H5895/TWOT 1616a]

Let’s consider the following citations that include this expression:

Job 11:12 compares mankind’s sin to that of a wild ass’s colt; colt is how this word is rendered here: For vain man would be wise, though man be born [like] a wild ass's colt. [`ayir:H5895/TWOT 1616a]

However in verse 15 of  Genesis 32:13-20 this word is included as foals as Jacob prepares a most extravagant gift for his brother Esau (who in this context spiritually and most curiously refers to God the Father as Brother Mc Cann has pointed out in his Genesis studies) part of which consists of ten foals:  

And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother; {14} Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams, {15} Thirty milch camels with their colts [ben:H1121/TWOT 254], forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses [’athown:H860/TWOT 190a], and ten foals. [`ayir:H5895/TWOT 1616a] {16} And he delivered [them] into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove. {17} And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose [art] thou? and whither goest thou? and whose [are] these before thee? {18} Then thou shalt say, [They be] thy servant Jacob's; it [is] a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he [is] behind us. {19} And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him. {20} And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob [is] behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.

Let’s turn to Zechariah 9:9 in which we discover this beautiful passage which found fulfillment as the Lord Jesus rode into Jerusalem on “Palm Sunday, ”: 

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass [chamowr:H2543/TWOT 685a], and upon a colt [`ayir:H5895/TWOT 1616a] the foal [ben:H1121/TWOT 254] of an ass. [’athown:H860/TWOT 190a]

Verse 5 of Matthew 21:1-16 quotes Zechariah 9:9 and chronicles the events of that auspicious day, which includes the triumphal entry, the cleansing of the Temple (exemplifying that judgment must first begin at the house of God) the healing of the blind and lame (underscoring salvation), the displeasure of the scribes and Pharisees as they heard little children praising the Messiah, which the Lord Jesus acknowledged to be perfected praise as written in the Word of God: 

And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, {2} Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose [them], and bring [them] unto me. {3} And if any [man] say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. {4} All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, {5} Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass [onos:G3688], and a colt [polos:G4454] the foal [huios:G5207] of an ass. [hupozugion:G5268] {6} And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, {7} And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set [him] thereon. {8} And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed [them] in the way. {9} And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. {10} And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? {11} And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. {12} And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, {13} And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. {14} And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. {15} And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, {16} And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

Unto The Vine [gephen:H1612/TWOT 372a]

Unto the vine is the next term that we want to explore. The term, unto the vine is a reference to both national Israel as well as to the New Testament churches and denominations, both of which were the external representations of the Kingdom of God on earth. So we can understand the close affiliation of these two formerly divine institutions with the Savior, by this phrase, Binding his foal unto the vine… Both of them also were subjected to the wrath of God for their spiritual adultery or idolatry. The subsequent citations reveals some of the ways that God employs this expression, unto the vine:

In verse 8 of Psalm 80:8-16, this word is rendered the vine, that speaks of God planting the nation in the land of Canaan, but also refers to God’s judgment upon her:  

Thou hast brought a vine [gephen:H1612/TWOT 372a] out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. {9} Thou preparedst [room] before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land. {10} The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof [were like] the goodly cedars. {11} She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river. {12} Why hast thou [then] broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? {13} The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it. {14} Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; {15} And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch [that] thou madest strong for thyself. {16} [It is] burned with fire, [it is] cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.

The same theme of judgment also surfaces in the latter part of Deuteronomy 32:32, after rehearsing God’s favor which he had bestowed upon the nation:

For their vine [gephen:H1612/TWOT 372a] [is] of the vine [gephen:H1612/TWOT 372a] of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes [are] grapes of gall, their clusters [are] bitter:

God’s judgment extends to the New Testament churches and denominations (that mirror national Israel) in Revelation 11:8, in which Jerusalem is linked to both Sodom (highlighting the sin of the corporate church) along with Egypt (that exemplifies slavery to sin and to Satan) since Satan  - as the man of sin - infiltrated the churches and denominations at the start of the Great Tribulation, by God’s allowance) according to 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4,

Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; {4} Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Revelation 11:8 also acknowledges: And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

God’s judgment is also reinforced in Jeremiah 2:21 in which our word vine in Genesis 49:11 is the second occurrence; the first one is a different Hebrew term:


Yet I had planted thee a noble vine [soreq:H8321], wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine [gephen:H1612] unto me?

Occasionally, both the vine as well as the fig tree are used together to imply God’s blessings as we read in 1 Kings 4:25, 

And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine [gephen:H1612/TWOT 372a] and under his fig tree [t@’en:H8384/TWOT 2490], from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.


Isaiah 34:4 includes both words - vine and fig tree - in describing the cessation of the spiritual timekeepers to send out the Light of the Gospel: 

And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, [gephen:H1612/TWOT 372a] and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree. [t@’en:H8384]

And His Ass’s [’athown:H860/TWOT 190a] Colt [ben:H1121/TWOT 254]

We have already encountered the next two terms, and his ass’s colt, which also surfaced in both Genesis 32:15 and Zechariah 9:9 earlier in today’s lesson, so I won’t go over that again, so let’s proceed to the next word, …unto the choice vine:   

Unto The Choice Vine [soreq:H8321/TWOT 2294c]

This word is part of a “word-family” that includes four derivatives, and two of them which are related is even the name of a particular vowel pointing, [(Sureq - long “u” sound - it’s the 6th Hebrew letter Waw/Vav with a dot in the middle) and signifies hissing or whistling] of which there are 13 in Hebrew. Some other derivatives include the term speckled in Zechariah 8:1, and this word at hand, unto the choice vine. Earlier is today’s lesson I read Jeremiah 2:21, and it so happens that this verse also includes this word that is rendered as thee a noble vine:

Yet I had planted thee a noble vine [soreq:H8321/TWOT 2294c], wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine [gephen:H1612/TWOT 372a] unto me?

The third and final notice in which we discover this term is in verse 2 of Isaiah 5:1-6, which spiritually is pointing to the churches and denominations that God abandoned at the start of the Great Tribulation; it is expressed as it with the choicest vine:

Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: {2} And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine [soreq:H8321/TWOT 2294c], and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. {3} And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. {4} What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? {5} And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: {6} And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. {7} For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

Let’s stop here, and Lord willing, we will pick this up, when we resume this series in December. Please stay tuned for the remainder of our Hymn Sing next.