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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JUDGES - PART 1 

December 7, 2015



Welcome to Searching the Scriptures. This is Part 1 of a new video series on the Book of Judges. (Audio files and written transcripts will also be made available as well.) The Book of Judges contains some of the best known Bible characters and accounts - such as Samson, Gideon, Barak and Deborah, and Jephthah, as we read in Hebrews 11, concerning the “heroes of faith.” The period of Judges lasted for 360 years (1407 BC - 1047 BC, from the entrance into Canaan until Saul was crowned as king), as Mr. Camping noted in the books Adam When and Time Has An End.  However the book of Judges itself covers 299 years of those 360 years - from 1407 BC - 1108 BC, ending with the death of Samson. There is a distinct cycle of rebellion, oppression, deliverance, and rest throughout the entire book. Lord willing, we will learn firsthand that this book helps us to understand more fully the judgment of God, among other truths that spiritually relate to the Gospel. 


After The Death Of Joshua


The opening of the book of Judges takes place after the death of Joshua, as we read in Judges  1:1, 


“Now after the death of Joshua  it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?


Skipping ahead for just a moment to Judges 2:8-19 we find more information regarding the death of Joshua, as well as the attitude of this new generation of Israelites, as the above cycle was set in motion:


“And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, [being] an hundred and ten years old. {9} And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. {10} And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. {11} And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: {12} And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that [were] round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. {13} And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. {14} And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. {15} Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. {16} Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. {17} And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; [but] they did not so. {18} And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. {19} And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, [that] they returned, and corrupted [themselves] more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.”


Some More Background About Joshua


In Numbers 13, God lists the heads of the 12 tribes who were sent to spy out the land at Moses’ command, and we discover something unusual about Oshea (his name means “salvation,”  and can also be spelled as Hoshea, or Hosea) and he represented the tribe of Ephraim in Numbers 13:8, 


“Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun.”


We further learn in Numbers 13:16:


“These [are] the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea [Howshea`:H1954] the son of Nun Jehoshua [Yehowshua`:H3091].”


We have seen this occurrence elsewhere in the Bible, as God changed Abram’s [’Abram:H87; i.e., “exalted father”] name to Abraham [’Abraham:H85; i.e., “father of a multitude”], or Jacob’s [‘Ya`aqob:H3290; i.e.,  “supplanter”] name to Israel [Yisra`el:H3478; i.e., “God prevails”]. God’s elect, according to Revelation 3:12 will also have (figuratively) written on them three names: “God’s name,” “New Jerusalem,” and Christ’s “new name.” In Numbers 13:16, Moses, under divine inspiration, changes his (Joshua’s) name from Oshea to Jehoshua, or “Jehovah is Salvation” - and as such he is a great type or representation of the Lord Jesus Christ; please note that the name “Jesus” (Iesous:G2424) in Greek is a transliteration of the Hebrew name “Joshua” or “Jehoshuwa.” Upon the death of Moses, Joshua was instructed by God to carry out the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob concerning the land of Canaan (which is a picture of the Kingdom of God). These were also set forth in Deuteronomy 9:1-5,


“Hear, O Israel: Thou [art] to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, {2} A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and [of whom] thou hast heard [say], Who can stand before the children of Anak! {3} Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God [is] he which goeth over before thee; [as] a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee. {4} Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. {5} Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”  


A Number Of Important Principles


What God is stating in the foregoing verses I just read is very significant, and contains a number of truths that are applicable to our present situation:


1. He is underscoring the fact that He is using the Israelites to bring judgment upon these heathen nations who were living in the land of Canaan, which He had promised to the patriarchs.  


2. He is also highlighting the reality that He is doing so - not because of their righteousness (illustrating that one cannot enter into Heaven by one’s own righteousness)  - but because of the wickedness of these nations.


3. This same pattern in which the Israelites were to bring judgment upon these heathen nations as God’s “battle axe”  is evident in our day as God utilizes His elect people to declare the fact that God’s judgment fell on the entire world on May 21, 2011 - as Psalm 149:6-9 affirm,


“[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 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.”


4. We also have to keep in mind that Israel is referred to as “the church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38) throughout their 40 year sojourn in the desert, and this representation continues in the book of Joshua, and into the book of Judges, and throughout the Old Testament - as both Israel and the New Testament churches and denominations typify the external representation of the Kingdom of God on earth.


5. Another principle to consider is that the conquest of the land of Canaan - though accomplished with a literal “twoedged” sword (involving much physical  killing), also spiritually portrayed the advancement of the Gospel (since it was the day of salvation) during the 1955 years of the church age (from 33 to 1988), as Deuteronomy 20:10-18 depict: 


“When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. {11} And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, [that] all the people [that is] found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. {12} And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: {13} And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: {14} But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, [even] all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. {15} Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities [which are] very far off from thee, which [are] not of the cities of these nations. {16} But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee [for] an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: {17} But thou shalt utterly destroy them; [namely], the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee: {18} That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God.”


A good example of a people that took advantage of this offer of peace were the inhabitants of Gibeon  (representing the elect by the language “hewers of wood” and “drawers of water” (Joshua 9:21) for the congregation), in spite of the fact that they were not from a city (or cities) “...far off …,” (rachowq:H7350) as God had carefully stipulated. So they deceived the Israelites in this matter, and because the Israelites had sworn to not harm them, their lives were spared. The expression “far off” is a reference to the nations, as God foreshadowed in the Old Testament, as they too would be included amongst the elect who were saved from the foundation of the world, as Isaiah 66:19 reveals, 


“And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, [to] Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, [to] Tubal, and Javan, [to] the isles [or nations, i.e., Gentiles] afar off, [rachowq:H7350] that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.” 


Luke 18:13-14, is a record of the publican, whom Jesus saved, who was “afar off” spiritually during the day of salvation: “And the publican, standing afar off [makrothen:G3113], would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. {14} I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”


And Luke 16:23 explains that to be “afar” is a parabolic reference to “hell” (or the “grave”), which is the final destination of all who remain in Satan’s kingdom: “And in hell [hades:G86] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar[makrothen:G3113] off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”


So we see that the conquest of the land of Canaan included both judgment and mercy which underscores the dual nature of the Word of God (which is the “Sword of the Spirit”) during the day of salvation as 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 proclaims, 


“Now thanks [be] unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. {15} For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: {16} To the one [we are] the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who [is] sufficient for these things? {17} For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”


Lord willing, we will continue our examination of the Book of Judges. May God bless you richly!




JUDGES - PART 2 

December 9, 2015



Good evening and welcome to Searching the Scriptures. This is Part 2 of a new video series on the Book of Judges. In our last study I attempted to lay some groundwork with regard to Joshua, and the charge God had given him to conquer the land of Canaan, as God had promised to the patriarchs. Today, I would like us to investigate another account in Numbers 33:51-56.  In this portion of Scripture, we find a severe warning that God gave the children of Israel by Moses, and it pinpoints the preeminent sin of both Israel as well as the corporate churches and denominations:


“And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan [near] Jericho, saying, {51} Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; {52} Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: {53} And ye shall dispossess [yarash:H3423] [the inhabitants] of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess [yarash:H3423]  it. {54} And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: [and] to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man's [inheritance] shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit. {55} But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them [shall be] pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. {56} Moreover it shall come to pass, [that] I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.


A number of commands are included in this passage: first, God is directing the Israelites to root out the inhabitants of the land, and any vestige of their false gods, maintaining that He had given the land to the Israelites; secondly, they were to divide the land by lot according to their inheritance; thirdly, He tells them in no uncertain terms that if they do not dispel all the inhabitants of Canaan, whoever remains of these nations, as verse 55b warns, “... [shall be] pricks [sek:H7899] in your eyes, [`ayin:H5869] and thorns [tsaniyn:H6796] in your sides, [tsad:H6654] and shall vex[tsarar:H6887] you in the land [’erets:H776] wherein ye dwell.[yashab:H3427].” Furthermore, God pronounces in verse 56, that if they do not obey these divine directives that the punishment He had allotted for these heathen nations, would fall upon Israel instead. And sure enough, Israel failed this test, as God explains in Judges 2:20-23 and 3:1-4, and note how God repeats the phrase, “to prove Israel by them…”:


“And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; {21} I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: {22} That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep [it], or not. {23} Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua… {3:1} Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; {2} Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; {3} [Namely], five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. {4} And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


It’s worth noting that Joshua in Joshua 23:13b pronounced a very similar warning to that of Moses. I’ll read verses 1-13 for the sake of the context: 


“And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old [and] stricken in age. {2} And Joshua called for all Israel, [and] for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old [and] stricken in age: {3} And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God [is] he that hath fought for you. {4} Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward. {5} And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you. {6} Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom [to] the right hand or [to] the left; {7} That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear [by them], neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: {8} But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day. {9} For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but [as for] you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day. {10} One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he [it is] that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you. {11} Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God. {12} Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, [even] these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: {13} Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out [any of] these nations from before you; but they shall be snares [pach:H6341] and traps [mowqesh:H4170] unto you, and scourges [shotet:H7850] in your sides, [tsad:H6654] and thorns [tsaniyn:H6796] in your eyes, [`ayin:H5869] until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.


Bear in mind that these 5 punishments - “pricks,” “thorns,” “snares,” “traps,” and “scourges,” would serve to vex the Israelites (and they spiritually typify the churches and denominations) - as God had spoken -  if they failed to drive out the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. 


[Shall Be] Pricks / Thorns In Your Eyes 


The term for “pricks” (sek:H7899) is only used in Numbers 33:55, making it difficult to understand; this is also the case with the word, “thorns” (tsaniyn:H6796). The root word for “pricks” is (cakak:H5526), and  denotes a “covering” predominantly. We can understand these “pricks” or “thorns” to “cover” or  impair one’s (spiritual) eyesight. The word, “thorns” only appears in Numbers 33:55, and Joshua 23:13b, however its root word (tsen:H6791) helps to shed some light on its meaning.  (tsen:H6791) is found in two citations: one of which is Proverbs 22:5, which speaks of the “froward,” (`iqquesh:H6141) or the wicked; it is also translated as “perverse” and “crooked.” 


Proverbs 22:5 affirms, Thorns [tsen:H6791] [and] snares [pach:H6341] [are] in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.”


Proverbs 22:5 also contains the same word for “snares” (pach:H6341) that is found in Joshua 23:13b, and because God utilizes both of these words together in Proverbs 22:5 - “thorns” and “snares” - it helps to broaden our understanding of what God intends in both Joshua 23:13b and Numbers 33:55 - namely,  spiritual blindness and deception. On the other hand, the “way” or “path” of the righteous is “Truth” - who is the Lord Jesus Christ (and His Word, the Bible) - “...the way, the truth, and the life…” as the 4th Gospel (Lazarus) 14:6 proclaims.


Snares


Contrary to popular opinion, the nature of the Bible is that of a hidden “trap” -  designed to snare the unsaved - and serves as a reminder of our present “day of Judgment” (as of May 21, 2011) according to Luke 21:34-36,


“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. {35} For as a snare [aiphnidios:G160] shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. {36} Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” 


In Luke 21:35 we read about “the day of judgment” overtaking one “unawares” (pagis:G3803) and as a  “snare” upon the whole earth. The term “unawares” is only found in one other passage - verse 3 of  1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, where it is rendered as “sudden”:


“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden [pagis:G3803] destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”


Snares/Traps/Scourges  


Beginning in the Garden of Eden, and throughout history, sin has blinded and deceived man’s mind, and this is especially evident today as God’s judgment fell on the churches and denominations on May 21, 1988, and, as of May 21, 2011 transitioned to the entire world. Let’s take a closer look at three words - “snares,” “traps,” and “scourges” found in Joshua 23:13b which is a parallel passage to Numbers 33:55, and gives us additional information regarding God’s retribution on Israel when they failed to obey His commands to drive out all the heathen nations in the land of Canaan. 


Snares


The word, “snares” (pach:H6341) is rendered 27 times as either “snare (s),” “gin,” and “plates.” The following are examples of how God uses this term, which is taking place today since God began to pour out His judgment on the majority of unsuspecting inhabitants in the world: 


Psalm 11:6 affirms,  “Upon the wicked he shall rain snares,[pach:H6341] fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: [this shall be] the portion of their cup.”


Reminding one of 1 Thessalonians 5:3, Ecclesiastes 9:12 declares, “For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; [pach:H6341] so [are] the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.”


Speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, and directed to the churches and denominations [who spiritually typify Israel and Jerusalem (Judah) in this context] Isaiah 8:14 testifies, “And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin [pach:H6341] and for a snare [mowqesh:H4170] to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”


This word is mentioned twice in Isaiah 24:17-18 - a chapter dealing exclusively with our current “day of Judgment”:  “Fear, and the pit, and the snare,[pach:H6341] [are] upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. {18} And it shall come to pass, [that] he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare:[pach:H6341] for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.”


Traps


The word, “and traps” (mowqesh:H4170) conveys the similar idea of the word “snare” that we just looked at. It appears 27 times in the Old Testament, where it is rendered mostly as “snare(-es),” “ensnared,” as well as “gins” and “trap.” As a matter of fact, it is translated “and for a snare” in Isaiah 8:14, which I quoted a few minutes ago. Here are some other passages, in which this term is found:


In verse 36 of Psalm 106:34-45, this word is rendered “which were a snare,” and this passage describes the extent of Israel’s spiritual blindness which resulted from not obeying God’s command to dispossess the heathen inhabitants of the land; notice too, in verse 43, “many times did he deliver them” - referring in part to the Judges God mercifully sent to Israel in order to “deliver” them, as we shall see throughout this book:


They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: {35} But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. {36} And they served their idols: which were a snare [mowqesh:H4170]  unto them. {37} Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, {38} And shed innocent blood, [even] the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. {39} Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. {40} Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. {41} And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. {42} Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand. {43} Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked [him] with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity. {44} Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry: {45} And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.”


Ultimately, the final “snare” or “trap” has to do with “hell” - which simply involves death and annihilation, as these next citations illustrate; moreover, this is what the Lord Jesus succumbed to from the foundation of the world, when He atoned for each of His elect people:


Proverbs 13:14 acknowledges, “The law of the wise [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares [mowqesh:H4170] of death.”


And Proverbs 14:27 similarly reveals: “The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares [mowqesh:H4170] of death.”


Lord willing, in our next study, we will continue examining the Book of Judges. May God richly bless you!







JUDGES - PART 3

December 11, 2015



 Welcome to Searching the Scriptures. This is the Book of Judges - Part 3.  In our previous study we looked at four words - “pricks,” “thorns,” “snares,” and” traps” - as they are found in Numbers 33:55 and in Joshua 23:13.


Scourges


Today, we want to consider the last term, “scourges”  in Joshua 23:13b,


“Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out [any of] these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges [shotet:H7850] in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.”


The word, “unto you and scourges,” only appears here, but apparently is related to another term (showt:H7752), which is translated “whip,” and “scourge.”  However, in verse 3 of Judges 2:1-3, we find a similar passage which helps us to see what God is emphasizing:


“And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim [i.e., “weeping”], and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. {2} And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be [as thorns] in your sides [tsad:H6654], and their gods shall be a snare [mowqesh:H4170] unto you.”


Please note the last phrase - ...their gods shall be a snare unto you.- which conveys the same truth we considered in Psalm 106:35-36, in Part 2: 


“But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. {36} And they served their idols: which were a snare [mowqesh:H4170]  unto them.” 


Additionally, this is also reinforced in Deuteronomy 20:16-18,


“But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee [for] an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: {17} But thou shalt utterly destroy them; [namely], the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee: {18} That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God.”


In these verses we discover the real crux of the matter, and the first of four major cyclical themes in the book of Judges: rebellion >oppression > deliverance > and rest. By not rooting out all the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, the Israelites left themselves wide open to violating the first commandment over and over again, as we read in Exodus 20:1-6,


“And God spake all these words, saying, {2} I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. {3} Thou shalt have no other gods before me. {4} Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: {5} Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; {6} And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.


Moreover, in Matthew 22:34-40 the Lord Jesus explains that this first commandment, along with the second, are the two greatest commandments in the entire Old Testament, highlighting its monumental importance.


“But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. {35} Then one of them, [which was] a lawyer, asked [him a question], tempting him, and saying, {36} Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law? {37}  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love [read: “obey”] the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. {38} This is the first and great commandment. {39} And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. {40} On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”


So far in our study of Judges we’ve spent some time in order to lay the groundwork of this first phase in the cycle of “rebellion, oppression, deliverance, and rest,” which will characterize the book of Judges, and we need to keep in mind that this occurred, according to Judges 1:1a, “Now after the death of Joshua…” Spiritually “the death of Joshua” typifies the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, which we have learned is a demonstration or tableau of the actual Atonement which took place from the foundation of the world.  You will recall that Jesus’ name in Hebrew is Joshua, or Jehoshua). Joshua led the Israelites to the Promised Land -  a picture of the Kingdom of God.


What Does The Conquest of Canaan Represent Spiritually


And what followed the death and resurrection of the Savior in 33 AD? The beginning of the church age which lasted 1955 years (from Pentecost, May 22, 33 AD to May 21, 1988, the day before Pentecost). So we can understand the conquest of the land of Canaan - 7 (highlighting “perfection”)  nations (reminding one of the 7 churches in Revelation 2 and 3) - to typify the spread of the Gospel throughout the world, as the succeeding passages affirm:


Deuteronomy 7:1 declares: “When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;”


Likewise, Acts 13:19 maintains: “And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.


It might be helpful to read the rest of Deuteronomy 7:2-26 as Moses - under divine inspiration -  lays out precisely what God had in mind for the Israelites to accomplish under His guidance, and by His power:


{2} And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, [and] utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: {3} Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. {4} For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. {5} But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. {6} For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth. {7} The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye [were] the fewest of all people: {8} But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. {9} Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; {10} And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. {11} Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. {12} Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: {13} And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. {14} Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. {15} And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all [them] that hate thee. {16} And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that [will be] a snare unto thee. {17} If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations [are] more than I; how can I dispossess them? {18} Thou shalt not be afraid of them: [but] shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt; {19} The great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid. {20} Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed. {21} Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God [is] among you, a mighty God and terrible. {22} And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. {23} But the LORD thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. {24} And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them. {25} The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold [that is] on them, nor take [it] unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it [is] an abomination to the LORD thy God. {26} Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: [but] thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it [is] a cursed thing.”


The Principle Of “ By Little And Little”


Let’s take a closer look at Deuteronomy 7:22 - a very unusual verse - to attempt to discover its spiritual significance:


“And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.” 


Verses 29-30 of Exodus 23:27-33 is a parallel passage, and helps to clarify what God intends spiritually by this additional information: 


“I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. {28} And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. {29} I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. {30} By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. {31} And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. {32} Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. {33} They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”


Lord willing, in our next study we will examine Deuteronomy 7:22 and Exodus 23:29-30 more closely.

JUDGES - PART 4 

December 14, 2015



Good evening and welcome to “Searching The Scriptures.” This is Part 4 in our ongoing study of the Book of Judges.


Background On The Book Of Judges (Continued)


One of the truths that we have learned thus far about the book of Judges is that as a result of not rooting out the inhabitants of the land quickly as God had commanded them there would be dire consequences. God had declared through Moses in Deuteronomy 9:1-3,


“Hear, O Israel: Thou [art] to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, {2} A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and [of whom] thou hast heard [say], Who can stand before the children of Anak! {3} Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God [is] he which goeth over before thee; [as] a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.”


Furthermore, as Joshua was approaching the end of his ministry, he reminded the Israelites of this admonition and the outcome of their disobedience if they failed to comply, according to Joshua 23:3-9 and 11-13,


And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God [is] he that hath fought for you. {4} Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward. {5} And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you. {6} Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom [to] the right hand or [to] the left; {7} That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear [by them], neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: {8} But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day. {9} For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but [as for] you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day. {10} One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he [it is] that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you. {11} Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God. {12} Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, [even] these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: {13} Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out [any of] these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes,  until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.


In spite of these warnings, Israel chose to disobey, as Psalm 106:34-40 explains, 


They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: {35} But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. {36} And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. {37} Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, {38} And shed innocent blood, [even] the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. {39} Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. {40} Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.


A case in point is Joshua 17:13, 


“Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute; but did not utterly drive them out.”

 

We then learn that God set up a “testing program” for Israel  in Judges 2:20-23, and 3:1-4, in which God mentions three times that he would “prove” or “test” Israel - as He did throughout the 40-year wilderness sojourn, according to Deuteronomy 8:2,


“And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.


Judges 2:20-23 and 3:1-4, “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; {21} I also will NOT henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: {22} That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep [it], or not. {23} Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua…. {3:1} Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; {2} Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; {3} [Namely], five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. {4} And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


This was also the case with the institutional churches and denominations - and, in fact, we could go all the way back to the Garden of Eden - because God is constantly testing - right up to this present time of our current “day of Judgment” to identify those who are “...wood, hay and stubble...” from those who are “...gold, silver, and precious stones...” as we read in 1 Corinthians 3:12. 


So when we examine Deuteronomy 9:3 and Judges 2:23 side by side, we discover that the Hebrew words rendered “quickly” and “hastily” respectively are the same term namely, (maher:H4118):


Deuteronomy 9:3, “Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God [is] he which goeth over before thee; [as] a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly [maher:H4118], as the LORD hath said unto thee.”


Judges 2:23, Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily [maher:H4118]; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.”


A Closer Look At Deuteronomy 7:22


This same word (maher:H4118) rendered as “them at once” also appears in Deuteronomy 7:22. I mentioned at the close of our last study that we would examine Deuteronomy 7:22 more closely since it is not only an intriguing verse, but also underscores another significant axiom, by which God qualified His timing for dispossessing these seven heathen nations: “...by little and little.” 


And the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] thy God [elohiym:H430] will put out [nashal:H5394] those [’el:411] nations [gowy:H1471] before [paniym:H6440] thee by little [m@`at:H4592] and little [m@`at:H4592]: thou mayest [yakol:H3201] not consume [kalah:H3615] them at once [maher:H4118], lest the beasts [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704] increase [rabah:H7235] upon thee.” 


By the way, verses 29-31 of Exodus 23:27-33 is a parallel verse to Deuteronomy 7:22, which we must take into account, since it gives us additional information to investigate: 


  1. “at once” as opposed to “in one year.”
  2. “the land becomes desolate”
  3. “until thou be increased”
  4. “and inherit the land”


“I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. {28} And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. {29} I will not drive them out [garash:H1644] from before [paniym:H6440] thee in one [’echad:H259] year [shaneh:H8141]; lest the land [’erets:H776] become desolate [shemamah:H8077], and the beast [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704] multiply [rab:H7227] against thee.  {30} By little [m@`at:H4592]  and little [m@`at:H4592] I will drive them out [garash:H1644] from before [paniym:H6440] thee, until thou be increased [parah:H6509], and inherit [nachal:H5157] the land [’erets:H776]. {31} And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver [nathan:H5414] the inhabitants [nashab:H3427] of the land [’erets:H776] into your hand [yad:H3027]; and thou shalt drive them out [garash:H1644] before [paniym:H6440] thee. {32} Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. {33} They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”


Exodus 23:29


Let’s first consider Exodus 23:29, 


I will not drive them out [garash:H1644] from before [paniym:H6440] thee in one [’echad:H259] year [shaneh:H8141]; lest the land [’erets:H776] become desolate [shemamah:H8077], and the beast [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704] multiply [rab:H7227] against thee. 


God gives two reasons for not driving out the inhabitants of the land in “one year”: the land “become [s] desolate” and the “beast of the field” would multiply. 


Become Desolate


How does God uses this word “become desolate” (shemamah:H8077) elsewhere? It is used 58 times in the Old Testament, and always in the context of judgment; it is rendered predominantly as “desolate,”  and “desolation(s).” Here are a few examples:


Leviticus 25 and 26 contain various instructions and subsequent blessings and curses related to keeping or disobeying God’s commands after the Israelites had entered into the Promised Land; regarding disobedience, Leviticus 26:33 states: “And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, [shemamah:H8077] and your cities waste.” 


Joshua 8:28 affirms, “And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, [even] a desolation [shamamah:H8077] unto this day.”


With regard to the end of the church age, Jeremiah 9:11 declares, “And I will make Jerusalem heaps, [and] a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate,

[shamamah:H8077] without an inhabitant.”


Speaking of the spiritual defeat of Satan, and God shutting the door to salvation at the end of the Great Tribulation on May 21, 2011, Jeremiah 25:12 asserts: “And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, [that] I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.”[shemamah:H8077]


In verse 15 of  Ezekiel 14:15-16 we find two words - “beasts” and “desolate” - both of which appear in Exodus 23:29, but only “beasts” surfaces in Deuteronomy 7:22, “If I cause noisome [ra`:H7451] beasts [chay:H2416] to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, [shemamah:H8077] that no man may pass through because of the beasts [chay:H2416] : {16} [Though] these three men [were] in it, [as] I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate.[shemamah:H8077]”


As I mentioned, and it bears repeating, this word, “become desolate” has everything to do with judgment. The next word we want to investigate is “the beast(s)” “of the field,” but I’m afraid that we have run out of time today, so we will have to discuss this in our next lesson, Lord willing. May the Lord bless you richly!






JUDGES - PART 5 

 December 16, 2015



Good evening and welcome to “Searching The Scriptures.” This is Part 5 in our ongoing study of the Book of Judges. In Part 4 we began comparing two similar citations - Deuteronomy 7:22 and Exodus 23:29-30 in an attempt to understand the spiritual meaning embedded in these two interesting passages, regarding the principle of “by little and little.” 


Deuteronomy 7:22 states,  “And the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] thy God [elohiym:H430] will put out [nashal:H5394] those [’el:411] nations [gowy:H1471] before [paniym:H6440] thee by little [m@`at:H4592] and little [m@`at:H4592]: thou mayest [yakol:H3201] not consume [kalah:H3615] them at once [maher:H4118], lest the beasts [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704] increase [rabah:H7235] upon thee.” 


And Exodus 23:29-30 declares: “I will not drive them out [garash:H1644] from before [paniym:H6440] thee in one [’echad:H259] year [shaneh:H8141]; lest the land [’erets:H776] become desolate [shemamah:H8077], and the beast [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704] multiply [rab:H7227] against thee. {30} By little [m@`at:H4592]  and little [m@`at:H4592] I will drive them out [garash:H1644] from before [paniym:H6440] thee, until thou be increased [parah:H6509], and inherit [nachal:H5157] the land [’erets:H776].


In Part 4 we also focused our attention on the term “become desolate” (shemamah:H8077) in Exodus 23:29 (since it contains additional information that is not found in Deuteronomy 7:22) and discovered that it is always used in connection with judgment. Today we want to begin by considering the phrase “and the beast [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704]” 


Beast(s) Of The Field


The expression, “beast(s)” (chay:H2416) “of the field” (sadeh:H7704) is the second reason God gives for not driving out the inhabitants of the land in “one year,” according to Exodus 23:29. One verse that I would like to develop was mentioned in our previous lesson - Ezekiel 14:15-16, 


In verse 15 of Ezekiel 14:15-16 the same words for “beasts” and “desolate,” found in both Deuteronomy 7:22 and Exodus 23:29, appear twice: “If I cause noisome [ra`:H7451] beasts [chay:H2416] to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, [shemamah:H8077] that no man may pass through because of the beasts [chay:H2416]: {16} [Though] these three men [were] in it, [as] I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate.” [shemamah:H8077]” A little further down in verse 22 we also learn that the “noisome beast” was one of four (signifying universality) judgments that God sends : “For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome [ra`:H7451] beast [chay:H2416], and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?”


Correction


I also need to make a correction regarding something I said in Part 4. I stated that the first phrase in Ezekiel 14:15, “I cause noisome” [(ra`:H7451) - a word denoting “evil”] was the same word for “field” (sadeh:H7704) in both Exodus 23:29 and Deuteronomy 7:22, when it is not - please make note of that. 


The two term “beast(s)” and “of the field” appear together in 40 verses. The following illustrate some of the ways in which God uses them:


In Genesis 2:19, it describes all the land animals which were fashioned (like man) “out of the ground”: “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704], and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.” 


In Genesis 3:1 it refers to Satan - who was “...more subtil than any beast of the field…”: “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704] which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”


On the other hand, in Exodus 1:14, speaking of the Israelites under their Egyptian taskmasters, the word “beast” is rendered “their lives”“And they made their lives [chay:H2416] bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field [sadeh:H7704]: all their service, wherein they made them serve, [was] with rigour.”


In verse 22 of Leviticus 26:13-33, these two words surface in a series of judgments that God pronounced against the Israelites if they failed to obey His commandments. Spiritually what is in view is the “end of the church age”: “I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright. {14} But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; {15} And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, [but] that ye break my covenant: {16} I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. {17} And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. {18} And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. {19} And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: {20} And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. {21} And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. {22} I will also send wild [sadeh:H7704] beasts [chay:H2416] among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your [high] ways shall be desolate. {23} And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; {24} Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. {25} And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of [my] covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. {26} [And] when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver [you] your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied. {27} And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; {28} Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. {29} And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. {31} And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. {32} And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. {33} And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.”


In Jeremiah 27:6 and Jeremiah 28:14, the “beast of the field” are given by God to Nebuchadnezzar (a portrait of Satan) to bring judgment upon God’s corporate people:  “And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704]  have I given him also to serve him… {28:14} For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704] also.”


Ezekiel 34 is another chapter in which God discusses the “end of the church age” as well, and His reasons for opposing the (unsaved) pastors who abdicated their responsibilities to be faithful to the Word of God. In verses 5 and 8 God explains that as a result, His corporate people were subjected to the “beasts of the field” - who typify the unsaved - citizens of the kingdom of Satan: “And they were scattered, because [there is] no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704], when they were scattered. ... {8} [As] I live [chay:H2416], saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704], because [there was] no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;” 


In Hosea 13:4-8 we discover that God Himself (Who is using Satan) to destroy the churches and denominations spiritually is fighting against His own “house,” and bringing them into judgment: “Yet I [am] the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for [there is] no saviour beside me. {5} I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. {6} According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. {7} Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe [them]: {8} I will meet them as a bear [that is] bereaved [of her whelps], and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild [sadeh:H7704] beast [chay:H2416] shall tear them.”


Lastly, we want to look at Ezekiel 39:4 and 17, in which God appears to be referencing the “end of the church” as well as our current “day of Judgment” - in any case, judgment is most certainly in view, as this “sacrifice” takes place: “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that [is] with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and [to] the beasts [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704] to be devoured. ... {17} And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704], Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, [even] a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.” 


So, once again we see that this phrase “beast(s) of the field” involves judgment - even as we saw with the word “desolate” in Exodus 23:29. Lord willing, we will continue our study in the Book of Judges in our next lesson. May the Lord richly bless you!





JUDGES - PART 6 

December 18, 2015


Good evening and welcome to “Searching The Scriptures.” This is Part 6 in the Book of Judges. In Part 4 we began comparing two similar citations - Deuteronomy 7:22 and Exodus 23:29-30 in an attempt to understand the spiritual meaning embedded in these two interesting passages, regarding the principle of “by little and little.”  


Deuteronomy 7:22 states,  “And the LORD thy God will put out  those  nations  before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume  them at once, lest the beasts  of the field increase upon thee.” 


And Exodus 23:29-30 declares: “I will not drive them out from before  thee in one year; lest the land  become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. {30} By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.”



Deuteronomy 7:22 And Exodus 23:29 


We are continuing to investigate these two verses, in the hope that God will reveal the spiritual import of driving out the remaining inhabitants of the land “by little and little.” So far we have discovered the following:


1.  God set up these remaining nations as a “test” for Israel, according to Judges 2:21-22, 3:1 and 4:


I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: {22} That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep [it], or not...{3:1} Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan;....{4} And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


2. Both Numbers 33:55-56 and Joshua 23:13 clearly stipulate that Israel’s disobedience to God’s express command to root out those heathen nations would incur God’s severe judgment:


Numbers 33:55-56 warns, “But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them [shall be] pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. {56} Moreover it shall come to pass, [that] I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.”


Likewise, Joshua 23:13 reveals, “Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out [any of] these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.”


3. Furthermore, we learned that the words “become desolate” and “the beasts of the field” in Exodus 23:29 are references that relate to God’s judgment altogether.


Not Consume [kalah:H3615] Them at Once [maher:H4118]


Today I thought we would look at the latter part of Deuteronomy 7:22 - specifically the phrase - “not consume them at once” -  as we have been focusing on Exodus 23:29 in our last few studies. This phrase is actually comprised of two Hebrew words,not consume” and  “them at once” and these two expressions appear together in only one other passage - verse 7 of Psalm 143, which is a “Messianic” psalm - which means that it relates to some aspect of the Atonement - which occurred in actuality before the foundation of the world, and then was demonstrated in 33 AD, as a living tableau, when Christ hung on the Cross. Thus verse 7 is really pinpointing  the fact that Christ died and was annihilated for the sins of His people (prior to Creation), which is why the word “consume” is here translated “faileth,” and why He begs God to hear his prayer “speedily” or “at once.” He then rose from the dead, triumphing over death and annihilation (and eventually all His enemies in the kingdom of Satan) since He is the essence of Eternal Life; also the word “me is desolate” (shamem:H8047) in verse 4, is the root word for “become desolate” (shemamah:H8077) in Exodus 23:29, 


“[A Psalm of David.] Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, [and] in thy righteousness. {2} And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. {3} For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. {4} Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. [shamem:H8047] {5} I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. {6} I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul [thirsteth] after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. {7} Hear me speedily [maher:H4118], O LORD: my spirit faileth [kalah:H3615]: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. {8} Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. {9} Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. {10} Teach me to do thy will; for thou [art] my God: thy spirit [is] good; lead me into the land of uprightness. {11} Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble. {12} And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I [am] thy servant.”


 A Closer Look At  “Them At Once” [maher:H4118]


The Hebrew word “them at once” in Deuteronomy 7:22  is also found in the subsequent citations, and underscores the immediacy of whatever is in view:


In Exodus 32:8, it is rendered “aside quickly”: “They have turned aside quickly [maher:H4118] out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”


And in Deuteronomy 7:4 it is translated as “thee suddenly”: “For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.” [maher:H4118]


In Deuteronomy 28:20 it is the word “quickly”:  “The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly [maher:H4118]; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.”


Lastly, in Zephaniah 1:14, it appears as “and hasteth” - speaking of our current “day of judgment”: “The great day of the LORD [is] near, [it is] near, and hasteth [maher:H4118] greatly, [even] the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.”


Nathan [nathan:H5414] 


So we see that in chastising Israel God stopped enabling the Israelites (under God’s sovereignty) to root out the inhabitants quickly, as He had previously done, as we read in Deuteronomy 7:23-24, and please note the dual usage of the word, “deliver,” (which is  “nathan” spelled the same as Nathan the prophet during the reign of King David):


“But the LORD thy God shall deliver [nathan:H5414] them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. {24} And he shall deliver [nathan:H5414] their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them.”


Leviticus 26:4, and 6 beautifully illustrate a seven-fold blessing which God had promised to the Israelites in the Promised Land if they obeyed (i.e., “loved) Him and His laws, which sadly they did not perform; please note that God uses this word “nathan” or “deliver” 4 times in these two passages as “I will give” or “shall yield”: Then I will give [nathan:H5414] you rain in due season, and the land shall yield [nathan:H5414] her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield [nathan:H5414]  their fruit. {6} And I will give [nathan:H5414] peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make [you] afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.”



Another amazing aspect of this word, “nathan” (H5414) is the sheer number of times that God employs it (almost 100 times!) with regard to the promises given to the Patriarchs concerning the Promised Land from Genesis to the beginning of the Book of Judges. I was quite surprised to see how God emphasized these solemn promises over, and over again - reinforcing and reminding the Israelites (and most certainly all believers throughout history) of His perfect, righteous, and utter faithfulness. I won’t repeat all of these here, but I would like you to catch the the sense that God is driving the truth of His divine inheritance home to each of His elect by going to the trouble of repeating this theme scores of times, as if to say, “you can trust Me...you can depend on Me...I give you “My Word.” Now certainly God is not obligated to do this at all! All He needs to do, is say it once, and that should suffice. After all it is His Holy and Divine Word. But the fact that God goes above and beyond the call of duty, so to speak in this one area, is so awesome that I am having difficulty putting it into words. We need to hear this today - especially as many of us have gone through the period of the church age, the Great Tribulation, and now living in the day of Judgment, we can become weary and disheartened. But God reminds us in Luke 18:1, and 21:28 respectively to both “pray” and to keep our focus on “things above”:


Luke 18:1,  “And he spake a parable unto them [to this end], that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;


Luke 21:28, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”  


Here then are a few of the (close to 100) promises related to the land of Canaan (a picture of the believers’ inheritance) in Genesis - Judges:


In Genesis 17:5-6 and 8 it appears three times as “I will make/I have made thee,” and “I will give”; “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. [nathan:H5414] {6} And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make [nathan:H5414] nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. ... {8} And I will give [nathan:H5414] unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”


Similarly, in Exodus 6:4 and 8 it is also used three times: “And I have also established my covenant with them, to give [nathan:H5414] them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. ... {8} And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give [nathan:H5414] it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give [nathan:H5414] it you for an heritage: I [am] the LORD.”


Leviticus 25:2 and 38 additionally affirm:  “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give [nathan:H5414] you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. ... {38} I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give [nathan:H5414] you the land of Canaan, [and] to be your God.”


Deuteronomy 26:1-2, 9-10, and 15 state: “And it shall be, when thou [art] come in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth [nathan:H5414] thee [for] an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein; {2} That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth [nathan:H5414] thee, and shalt put [it] in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there. ... {9} And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given [nathan:H5414] us this land, [even] a land that floweth with milk and honey. {10} And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given [nathan:H5414] me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God: ... {15} Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given [nathan:H5414] us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.”


Lastly, we read in Joshua 1:2-3, 6, 13, and 15: “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give [nathan:H5414] to them, [even] to the children of Israel. {3} Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given [nathan:H5414] unto you, as I said unto Moses. ... {6} Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give [nathan:H5414] them. ... {13} Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given [nathan:H5414] you this land. ... {15} Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as [he hath given] you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth [nathan:H5414] them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD'S servant gave [nathan:H5414] you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.


Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of Judges 1.






JUDGES - PART 7 

December 21, 2015



Good evening and welcome to “Searching The Scriptures.” This is Part 7 in the Book of Judges. In Part 4 we began comparing two similar citations - Deuteronomy 7:22 and Exodus 23:29-30 in an attempt to understand the spiritual meaning embedded in these two interesting passages, regarding the principle of “by little and little.”  


Deuteronomy 7:22 states,  “And the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] thy God [elohiym:H430] will put out [nashal:H5394] those [’el:411] nations [gowy:H1471] before [paniym:H6440] thee by little [m@`at:H4592] and little [m@`at:H4592]: thou mayest [yakol:H3201] not consume [kalah:H3615] them at once [maher:H4118], lest the beasts [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704] increase [rabah:H7235] upon thee.” 


And Exodus 23:29-30 declares: “I will not drive them out [garash:H1644]from before [paniym:H6440] thee in one [’echad:H259] year [shaneh:H8141]; lest the land [’erets:H776] become desolate [shemamah:H8077], and the beast [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704] multiply [rab:H7227] against thee. {30} By little [m@`at:H4592]  and little [m@`at:H4592] I will drive them out [garash:H1644] from before [paniym:H6440] thee, until thou be increased [parah:H6509], and inherit [nachal:H5157] the land [’erets:H776].


The Context Of Exodus 23:29-30


Today I would like for us to look at the context surrounding Exodus 23:29-30, which includes verses 20-23 and 27-28. We will be focusing on three elements that God said He would send into these heathen nations, which Lord willing, will serve to clarify the spiritual import of the principle of  “by little and little,” which God, in His divine wisdom, chose to adopt:


  • His Angel
  • His fear
  • The hornets


Exodus 23: 20-23, and 27-30 declares: “Behold, I send [shalach:H7971] an Angel [malak:H4397] before [paniym:H6440] thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. {21} Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name [is] in him. {22} But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. {23} For mine Angel [malak:H4397] shall go [yalak:H3212] before [paniym:H6440] thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. [kachad:H3582]...  {27} I will send [shalach:H7971] my fear [’eymah:H367]  before [paniym:H6440] thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. {28} And I will send [shalach:H7971] hornets [tsir`ah:H6880] before [paniym:H6440] thee, which shall drive out [garash:H1644] the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. {29} I will not drive them out [garash:H1644]from before [paniym:H6440] thee in one [’echad:H259] year [shaneh:H8141]; lest the land [’erets:H776] become desolate [shemamah:H8077], and the beast [chay:H2416] of the field [sadeh:H7704] multiply [rab:H7227] against thee. {30} By little [m@`at:H4592]  and little [m@`at:H4592] I will drive them out [garash:H1644] from before [paniym:H6440] thee, until thou be increased [parah:H6509], and inherit [nachal:H5157] the land [’erets:H776].


1.  First and foremost, God speaks of sending His “Angel” or “Messenger” (malak:H4397) in verses 20 and 23 - Who is without a doubt, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the masculine pronouns (him, he and his) attest in verses 21-22. This is also verified by the language of Malachi 3:1-3, in which this same word “messenger” is employed twice:


“Behold, I will send my messenger [malak:H4397], and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger  [malak:H4397] of the covenant [or “Gospel”], whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. {2} But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he [is] like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: {3} And he shall sit [as] a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”


This is also substantiated in Acts 7:35, and 38-39 by Stephen, who under divine inspiration, refers to the Lord Jesus as the “Angel” as well as the “Prophet”: “This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send [to be] a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel [aggelos:G32] which appeared to him in the bush. ... {37} This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet [prophetes:G4396] shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. {38} This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel [aggelos:G32] which spake to him in the mount Sina, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:”


In Acts 3:20-23 we find additional corroboration by Peter, under divine inspiration:  “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: {21} Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. {22} For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet [prophetes:G4396] shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. {23} And it shall come to pass, [that] every soul, which will not hear that prophet [prophetes:G4396], shall be destroyed from among the people.”


2. The next word that God “sends” is “my fear” [’eymah:H367] in Exodus 23:27,


“I will send my fear [’eymah:H367] before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.” 


This same word is used in Joshua 2:9, where it is rendered as “...and that your terror...” This chapter deals with the two spies that went into Jericho and their conversation with Rahab; notice the other terms of apprehension that Rahab mentions in this passage - “faint,” “melt,” and “neither did there remain any more courage”: “And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; {9} And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror [’eymah:H367] is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. {10} For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that [were] on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. {11} And as soon as we had heard [these things], our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he [is] God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. ... {24} And they [the two spies] said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.” 


This same fearfulness was prophesied in the song that is recorded in Exodus 15:14-17, where the word, “fear” appears in verse 16; notice, too, the other words that describe the terror of the inhabitants of Canaan - “afraid,” “sorrow,” “amazed,” “trembling,” “melt away,” and  “dread”: “The people shall hear, [and] be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. {15} Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. {16} Fear [’eymah:H367] and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be [as] still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, [which] thou hast purchased. {17} Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, [in] the place, O LORD, [which] thou hast made for thee to dwell in, [in] the Sanctuary, O Lord, [which] thy hands have established.”


3. The next “plague” that God sent in is that of the “hornets,” which we find in Exodus 23:23,


“And I will send hornets [tsir`ah:H6880] before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.”


This word is only found in the following citations:


Exodus 23:28 teaches, “And I will send hornets [tsir`ah:H6880] before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.”


Deuteronomy 7:20 states, “Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet [tsir`ah:H6880] among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed.”


In Joshua 24:12 we learn that it was under God’s guidance and oversight that victory over the two Amorite kings was attained: “And I sent the hornet [tsir`ah:H6880] before you, which drave them out from before you, [even] the two kings of the Amorites; [but] not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.”


God provides further details with respect to the historical defeat of the two Amorite kings - Og and Bashan - in Numbers 21:21-35 - which God highlights in verses 34-35 was a result of His power and providence:


“And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, {22} Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink [of] the waters of the well: [but] we will go along by the king's [high]way, until we be past thy borders. {23} And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness: and he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel. {24} And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon [was] strong. {25} And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof. {26} For Heshbon [was] the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon. {27} Wherefore they that speak in proverbs say, Come into Heshbon, let the city of Sihon be built and prepared: {28} For there is a fire gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon: it hath consumed Ar of Moab, [and] the lords of the high places of Arnon. {29} Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites. {30} We have shot at them; Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid them waste even unto Nophah, which [reacheth] unto Medeba. {31} Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites. {32} And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof, and drove out the Amorites that [were] there. {33} And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at Edrei. {34} And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. {35} So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land.”


The critical role that God played in such victories is also underscored in Nehemiah 9:22-25,


“Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. {23} Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess [it]. {24} So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. {25} And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.” 


Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of the Book of Judges.




JUDGES - PART 8 

December 23, 2015


Good evening and welcome to “Searching The Scriptures.” This is Part 8 in the Book of Judges.


Review Of The Principle Of “By Little And Little”


I would like to recap what we have learned thus far in our study of the Book of Judges as it relates to the principle of “by little and little” that God would employ in dispossessing the remaining heathen nations in the land of Canaan.


1. First and foremost we understand that in the book of Judges there is a distinct pattern of rebellion >oppression>deliverance> and rest that God lays out in Judges 2:8-19,


“And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, [being] an hundred and ten years old. {9} And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. {10} And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. {11} And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: {12} And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that [were] round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. {13} And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. {14} And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. {15} Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. {16} Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. {17} And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; [but] they did not so. {18} And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. {19} And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, [that] they returned, and corrupted [themselves] more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.


2. Secondly, because they did not completely destroy these nations - as God had commanded - God afflicted them, according to Numbers 33:55-56 and Joshua 23:13, respectively:


God solemnly warned in Numbers 33:55-56, “But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them [shall be] pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. {56} Moreover it shall come to pass, [that] I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.”


Joshua 23:13 affirmed the same: “Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out [any of] these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.”


3. Thirdly, since Israel  failed to drive out all these nations, God brought upon them these 5 judgments - “pricks,” “thorns,” “snares,” “traps,” and “scourges - and furthermore He decided to not cast out these nations that remained in the Promised Land as an additional “test” to prove whether His corporate people would obey or not, as Judges 2:20-23, and Judges 3:1-4 delineate; please note that this word, “prove” is mentioned three times in this passage, denoting the “purpose of God”:


 “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; {21} I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: {22} That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep [it], or not. {23} Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua…. {3:1} Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; {2} Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; {3} [Namely], five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. {4} And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


4. Fourthly, because of Israel’s continual transgressions, God arranged that He would drive out the inhabitants of the land over a prolonged period of time - “little by little - as we read in Deuteronomy 7:22 and Exodus 23:29-30, respectively:


Deuteronomy 7:22 explains, “And the LORD thy God will put out [nashal:H5394] those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts [chay:H2516] of the field [sadeh:H7704] increase upon thee.”


Similarly, Exodus 23:29-30 states, I will not drive them out [garash:H1644] from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate [shemamah:H8077], and the beast [chay:H2516] of the field [sadeh:H7704] multiply [rab:H7227] against thee. {30} By little and little I will drive them out [garash:H1644] from before thee, until thou be increased, [parah:H6509]and inherit [nachal:H5157] the land.


In these two citations, God makes it quite clear that as a result of Israel’s disobedience, He would not allow them to destroy their enemies “at once,” neither would God drive them out in “one year,” which would somehow subject the Israelites to even greater judgment - which is what the terms “...the land becomes desolate…” as we see, for example, from Jeremiah 12:10-11 and 25:12 (both of which relate spiritually to God’s judgment upon the churches and denominations on the one hand, and then on the other hand, upon the rest of the world as 1 Peter 4:17 and Jeremiah 25:29 respectively teach): 


In Jeremiah 12:10-11 there is an interesting occurrence in which God employs four  related words for “desolation” (pointing to the universal scope of this destruction which began on May 21, 1988): “Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate [shemamah:H8077] wilderness. {11} They have made it desolate [shamem:H8076], [and being] desolate [shemamah:H8077] it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate [shamem:H8074], because no man layeth [it] to heart [i.e., “no man regards it or considers it”].”


Jeremiah 25:12 reveals God’s judgment which transitioned from the institutional churches to the world at large (and the subsequent defeat of Satan) on May 21, 2011: “And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, [that] I will punish the king of Babylon [who typifies Satan], and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans [or Babylonians], and will make it perpetual desolations.”[shemamah:H8077]


In similar fashion, the terminology of “...the beast(s) [chay:H2516] of the field [sadeh:H7704]  multiply…” underscores the spiritual reality that “the beasts  of the field” are given to Satan to bring destruction (see Jeremiah 27:6 and 28:14) as well as unto to God, Who also destroys as both a “leopard” and  “bear,” according to Hosea 13:4-8, (reminding one of God taking  personal responsibility for bringing “strong delusion” in 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12) Furthermore, God stipulated that by His modus operandi, namely, “little by little,” He would drive them out, and the Israelites would increase, and eventually inherit the land:


Jeremiah 27:6 records how God is using Satan (represented by Nebuchadnezzar) as “his servant” to judge the New Testament churches and denominations: “And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts [chay:H2516]  of the field [sadeh:H7704] have I given him also to serve him.”


And Jeremiah 28:14 likewise affirms: “For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts [chay:H2516] of the field [sadeh:H7704] also.”


Hosea 13:4-8 sadly recounts, “Yet I [am] the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for [there is] no saviour beside me. {5} I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. {6} According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. {7} Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe [them]: {8} I will meet them as a bear [that is] bereaved [of her whelps], and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild [sadeh:H7704]  beast [chay:H2516]  shall tear them.”


Finally, how can one understand the spiritual implications of the principle of “by little and little”? Unfortunately, we will have to wait until our next lesson for that, and then we will be moving on to verse two of Judges 1, Lord willing 






JUDGES - PART 9 

December 28, 2015



Good evening and welcome to “Searching The Scriptures.” This study is Part 9 in the Book of Judges. As I mentioned in our previous study, today we will wrap up our discussion of the spiritual principle, “by little and little” which God employed to drive out the remaining inhabitants on the land of Canaan, which Israel had not accomplished. In considering both Exodus 23:30 as well as Deuteronomy 7:22, we find that God highlights a three-fold approach, whereby the heathen nations in the Promised Land of Canaan (symbolizing the Kingdom of God) would eventually be subdued by God’s people:


Deuteronomy 7:22 states, “And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little [m@`at:H4592] thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.”


Similarly, Exodus 23:30 declares, By little and little [m@`at:H4592] I will drive them out  from before thee, until thou be increased, [parah:H6509] and inherit [nachal:H5157] the land.”


These three factors are:


1. The principle of “by little  (m@`at:H4592) and little (m@`at:H4592).”

2. “Until thou be increased (parah:H6509).”

3. “Inherit” (nachal:H5157) the land.


Let’s see if we can discover the spiritual meaning of these elements which are introduced to us in the form of progressive stages by looking elsewhere in Scripture: 


The Principle Of “By Little And Little”


Let’s start with the first component, “by little (m@`at:H4592) and little” (m@`at:H4592). It occurs 102 times in the Old Testament, and is translated predominantly as: “little,” “few,” “while,” “almost,” and “small thing.” Its root word (ma`at:H4591) is spelled exactly the same, and is utilized 22 times, and is rendered in the majority of cases as: “diminish,” “few,” “less,” and “little.” As you consider each of these passages, please keep in mind the principle of “by little and little,” as well as the notion of a subsequent “increase” [although this word might not be the same word as we find in Exodus 23:30 (parah:H6509) nonetheless, the identical truth is being presented]:


In Genesis 30:30 we read about the state of Laban’s flocks, according to Jacob, over the span of 40 years, during which Jacob was in charge of them:For [it was] little [m@àt:H4592] which thou hadst before I [came], and it is [now] increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?”


God also makes a point regarding the principle of “few in number” in Deuteronomy 7:7, The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye [were] the fewest [m@àt:H4592] of all people:”


We also see a similar analogy regarding the size of Jacob’s family that were re-located to Egypt, as God had commanded him, and the subsequent growth of his family over the course of 430 years into the nation of some 2 million people approximately by the time of the Exodus, as Deuteronomy 26:5 reveals: “And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish [was] my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, [m@àt:H4592] and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:” 


Likewise in 1 Samuel 14:6 we learn about Jonathan’s plan (under divine authority) to engage the Philistines in a particular battle: “And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for [there is] no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few. [m@àt:H4592]”


Similarly, we discover this same theme in 1 Kings 17:10-12 concerning what God had instructed Elijah to perform with regard to a widow woman and her son in the city of Zarephath: “ So he [Elijah] arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman [was] there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little [m@àt:H4592] water in a vessel, that I may drink. {11} And as she was going to fetch [it], he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. {12} And she said, [As] the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little [m@àt:H4592] oil in a cruse: and, behold, I [am] gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. {13} And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go [and] do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring [it] unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. {14} For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day [that] the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. {15} And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat [many] days. {16} [And] the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.


In Psalm 8:4-8 we find a reference in verse 5 to mankind at Creation which is quite helpful:  “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? {5} For thou hast made him a little [m@`at:H4592] lower than the angels [’elohiym:H430 - this is not the word for angels as in Hebrews 2:7 - rather, it is the plural name for God, as in Genesis 1:1!], and hast crowned him with glory and honour. {6} Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all [things] under his feet: {7} All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; {8} The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, [and whatsoever] passeth through the paths of the seas.


Please note what God had put Adam in charge of in verses 6-7 before he lost dominion as a result of original sin, as Psalm 144:3-4 emphasizes,


 “LORD, what [is] man, that thou takest knowledge of him! [or] the son of man, that thou makest account of him! {4} Man is like to vanity: his days [are] as a shadow that passeth away.”


Let’s go back to Psalm 8:5. When this is quoted in verse 7 of Hebrews 2:6-10, the One in view, is not Adam (before the Fall) but the Lord Jesus Christ or the “second” Adam, and then transitions to Christ’s relationship with each of the elect which is the main theme which will dominate the rest of chapter 2 in the Book of Hebrews: 


“But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? {7} Thou madest him a little lower than the angels [aggelos:G32 - should be translated “messengers”]; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: {8} Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing [that is] not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. {9} But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. {10} For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”


In Haggai 2:6, this term, “by little and little” is rendered as “it [is] a little while” - which speaks of a “time” reference - and specifically our time, as the phrase -  “...I will shake the heavens...” -  relates to verses 26-27 of Hebrews 12 as well as to Matthew 24:29, included amongst a dozen or so Old and New Testament citations as well: “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it [is] a little while,[m@`at:H4592] and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry [land];”


Hebrews 12:26-27 describes the judgment of God, comparing it to what transpired previously on Mount Sinai in Exodus 19:16-25: “Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. {27} And this [word], Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”


“Until Thou Be Increased”


Alright, let’s go to our next point, namely, “until thou be increased” (parah:H6509), which is the second stage in this threefold advance, by which God enabled the Israelites to subdue their enemies in the land of Canaan. This term is used 29 times in the Old Testament, and is rendered for the most part as: “fruitful,” “increased,” “grow,” and “beareth.” Here are a few noteworthy examples that illustrate this initiative, which spiritually represents the advancement of the Kingdom of God in the world during “the day of salvation”:


Exodus 1:7 describes the blessed proliferation of the children of Israel while in Egypt: “And the children of Israel were fruitful, [parah:H6509] and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.”


This same blessing of God finds its ultimate fulfillment in the Messiah - the “firstborn from the dead” - as verse 1 of Isaiah 11:1-5 promises: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow [parah:H6509] out of his roots: {2} And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; {3} And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: {4} But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. {5} And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”


God’s salvation program is also in view in Isaiah 45:8, (reminding one of James 1:17): (“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights…”): 


“Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth [parah:H6509] salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.”


Inherit The Land


The third and final stage in this three-fold effort to subdue the remaining heathen nations in the land of Canaan was never completely fulfilled. Perhaps the closest was the peaceful reign of Solomon, however that too was short-lived, as the kingdom  was eventually divided as a result of Solomon’s sin. In other words, the idea of “inheriting the land” can only be fulfilled spiritually (as we shall see) when God’s elect inherit the “New Heaven” and “New Earth” on the very “last day” of our present prolonged “day of judgment.” This word (nachal:H5157) is used 61 times, and generally rendered as: “inherit,” “inheritance,” “possess,”  and “have.”


Exodus 32:13 declares,  “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit [nachal:H5157] [it] for ever.”


Historically referring to the Aaronic priesthood, Numbers 18:20 points to all believers (as “prophets,” “priests,” and “kings”) whose ultimate inheritance is God Himself: “And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance [nachal:H5157] in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I [am] thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.”


Lord willing, in our next lesson, we will continue on to verse 2 of Judges, chapter 1.



 

JUDGES - PART 10 

December 30, 2015



Good evening and welcome to “Searching The Scriptures.” This study is Part 10 in the Book of Judges.


Review of Part 9


In our last study we concluded our examination of Exodus 23:30 (as well as Deuteronomy 7:22) by considering three words in this relevant citation which states:  


By little [m@`at:H4592] and little [m@`at:H4592] I will drive them out  from before thee, until thou be increased, [parah:H6509]and inherit [nachal:H5157] the land.” 


We noted the fact that it was God Himself Who would enable the Israelites by this principle “by little [m@`at:H4592] and little [m@`at:H4592]” - pointing to Christ -  to subdue their enemies, as we saw from numerous citations that speak of God fighting on behalf of the Israelites, in addition to Christ, Who was “made a little lower than the angels (i.e., “messengers)” in Hebrews 2:7 and 9 that has to do with Him emptying Himself of His glory, and is taken from Psalm 8:5, in which this word, (ma`@t:H4592) is quoted: “thou hast made him a little lower than ‘elohim’ - in the historical context, in which Adam is in view.  I should also mention that this Hebrew word is doubled in this phrase “by little” [H4592] “and little,” [H4592] and thus is significant because of what we have learned with regard to Christ being slain prior to Creation for the sins of His elect, and then manifested or demonstrated with the events leading up to and including  the Cross and His resurrection in 33 AD. The  “double portion” given to the firstborn son,  (Deuteronomy 21:17) further underscores that  Christ is indeed the “firstborn from the dead” according to Colossians 1:18. Similarly in Deuteronomy 26:5, the term “by little and little” is rendered “a few,” and accounts for the extraordinary growth of Israel in Egypt for 430 years:


Deuteronomy 26:5 reveals: “And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish [was] my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, [m@àt:H4592] and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:” 


The next term in Exodus 23:29, “thee until thou be increased” (parah:H6509) also refers to the Lord Jesus Christ where it is rendered in Isaiah 11:1 as “shall grow”: 


 “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow [parah:H6509] out of his roots: 


Thirly, the term “inherit” (nachal:H5157) in Exodus 23:30 really prefigures the eternal inheritance that all the elect will receive upon entering “the New Heavens and New Earth” that awaits them as God fulfills His promise to them by changing or resurrecting their mortal bodies, fitting them for a brand new existence which will last forever, as Numbers 18:20 infers with regard to the Aaronic priesthood (picturing the priesthood of all believers):


“And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance [nachal:H5157] in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I [am] thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.”


Judges 1:1-8


Continuing in Judges 1:1b-8 we read the following: “...it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up [`alah:H5927] for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them? {2} And the LORD said, Judah [Yehuwdah:H3063] shall go up: [`alah:H5927] f behold, I have delivered the land into his hand. {3} And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him. {4} And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men. {5} And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites. {6} But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. {7} And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered [their meat] under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.”


Who Shall Go Up?


Let’s first consider the word, “who shall go up” (`alah:H5927) first to fight against the Canaanites in the historical context of Judges 1:1, “Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up [`alah:H5927] for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?”


 God employs this very significant term (`alah:H5927) 889 times in the Old Testament, and it is an excellent example of what I refer to as a word being “pregnant” with many shades of meaning, since it is translated in a variety of different ways, such as: come, bring, offer, ascend etc. up,” “offer,” “come,” “bring,” “ascend,” “go,” “chew,” “offering,” “light,” “increase,” “burn,” “depart,” “put,” “spring,” “raised,” “arose,” “break,” “exalted,” and in 33 other miscellaneous renderings.


Offer Sacrifices


Let’s consider some examples of this word, which can be rendered as “offer” or “fell”:


Genesis 8:20 records one of the first things Noah did upon exiting the Ark: “And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered [`alah:H5927] burnt offerings on the altar.”


Genesis 22:2 and 13 presents this incredible historical parable concerning the sacrifice of Christ - typified by Isaac: “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him [`alah:H5927] there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. ... {13} And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind [him] a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up [`alah:H5927] for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” 


Fast forwarding some 1000 years after the sacrifice of Isaac - in the very same location -  we find David making a sacrifice on an altar (which would become the foundation of the Temple that Solomon constructed, and over 1000 years later upon which Christ hung on the Cross) in 2 Samuel 24:18-19, 22, and 24-25:  


“And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, [`alah:H5927] rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite. {19} And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up [`alah:H5927] as the LORD commanded. ... {22} And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up [`alah:H5927] what [seemeth] good unto him: behold, [here be] oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and [other] instruments of the oxen for wood. ... {24} And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy [it] of thee at a price: neither will I offer [`alah:H5927] burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. {25} And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered [`alah:H5927] burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.”


In Leviticus 16:9-10, the two scapegoats symbolize those who have been redeemed by Christ (in which the one goat was slain, and his blood shed); the other goat (who was set free into the wilderness to die) represents all who do not have a Savior: “And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, [`alah:H5927] and offer him [for] a sin offering. {10} But the goat, on which the lot fell [`alah:H5927] to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, [and] to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.”


This term is also in view when Elijah was facing the prophets of Baal as we read in 1 Kings 18:36, “And it came to pass at [the time of] the offering [`alah:H5927] of the [evening] sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou [art] God in Israel, and [that] I [am] thy servant, and [that] I have done all these things at thy word.”


Daybreak/ Smoke/Flame


`Alah:(H5927) is also utilized in conjunction with the words “daybreak,” “smoke,” and “flame,” as these next citations illustrate:


In Genesis 19:15 and 28, both words relate to both morning and smoke with regard to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah:  “And when the morning arose, [`alah:H5927] then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. ... {28} And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up [`alah:H5927] as the smoke of a furnace.”


Joshua 6:15 similarly anticipates the forthcoming destruction of Jericho - a picture of the world - that comes under God’s judgment after 13,000 years of history: “And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning [`alah:H5927] of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.”


Judges 13:20 records the visit of the Angel (Christ) to Manoah and his wife: “For it came to pass, when the flame went up [`alah:H5927] toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended [`alah:H5927] in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on [it], and fell on their faces to the ground.”




As Prayer


Our word (`alah:H5927) is also found in connection with crying out to God in prayer, according to Exodus 2:23, “And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up [`alah:H5927] unto God by reason of the bondage.”


Worshipping False Gods


Exodus 32:7-8 depicts Israel’s chief sin of attributing their miraculous deliverance from their bondage in Egypt for 400 years to two false, worthless, pagan, Egyptian deities - the golden calves - instead of their Creator and Savior, Jehovah: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest [`alah:H5927] out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted [themselves]: {8} They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up [`alah:H5927] out of the land of Egypt.” 


Lord willing, in our next lesson we will continue our investigation of this key word (`alah:H5927), or “who shall go up” in Judges 1:1.






JUDGES - PART 11

January 1, 2016



Good evening and welcome to Searching the Scriptures. This will be Part 11. In our previous lesson we began looking at the word `alah:(H5927) which is translated as “who shall go up” in Judges 1:1. As I mentioned before, this word is very expressive with many nuances; in fact, in  Part 10 of this series we noted a few ways that God uses this word in connection with offering sacrifices, daybreak, smoke and flame, prayer, and worshipping false gods. Today, we want to continue looking at some other illustrations of how God uses this term,  `alah:(H5927) throughout the Bible.


With Regard To Obedience


In Numbers 13:30 we also learn of Caleb (tribe of Judah) and Joshua’s (tribe of Ephraim) trust in God and how they exhorted their fellow heads of the other 10 tribes to heed God’s promises: “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up [`alah:H5927] at once, [`alah:H5927] and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”


Regarding Disobedience


Numbers 13:31 sadly recounts the abject failure of the representatives of the other tribes to trust and obey God implicitly:  “But the men that went up [`alah:H5927] with him said, We be not able to go up [`alah:H5927] against the people; for they [are] stronger than we.”

 

Punishment For Disobedience


As a result of the other ten tribes’ disobedience to God’s commands, God solemnly proclaimed in Numbers 32:11, “Surely none of the men that came up [`alah:H5927] out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:”


Hebrews 3:18-19 is both a sad commentary as well as a grave reminder to all believers, throughout history, that obedience to God’s Word is always the safest and wisest course of action: “And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? {19} So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief… {4:1} Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. {2} For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it]. {3} For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.


God’s Anger


In spite of God’s supreme patience and longsuffering 2 Chronicles 36:16 highlights the fact that God’s holy and righteous anger has limits: “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose [`alah:H5927] against his people, till [there was] no remedy.”


And 2 Samuel 22:9 which parallels Psalm 18 declares: There went up [`alah:H5927] a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.”


A Picture Of Spiritual Deliverance


One of the main themes in Scripture is God’s deliverance. One of the greatest examples of this is the crossing of the Red Sea, as the Israelites were delivered from Egypt. Spiritually, this points to the miracle of salvation - during the day of salvation - in which God delivered His elect from spiritual captivity and slavery to Satan, as the subsequent passages testify:


Genesis 50:24-25, “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out [`alah:H5927] of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. {25} And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up [`alah:H5927] my bones from hence.”


Exodus 3:8 “And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring [`alah:H5927] them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.”


Prior to entering the Promised Land, the Israelites had to cross the Jordan River - which as the Red Sea, represents escape from death and annihilation (Hell) as Joshua 4:16-19 asserts, “Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up [`alah:H5927] out of Jordan. {17} Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up [`alah:H5927] out of Jordan. {18} And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up [`alah:H5927] out of the midst of Jordan, [and] the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as [they did] before. {19} And the people came up [`alah:H5927] out of Jordan on the tenth [day] of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.”


Psalm 30:3 states, “O LORD, thou hast brought up [`alah:H5927] my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.”


A Portrait Of Christ


This word `alah (H5927) also appears in the following passages concerning the Person and Work of the Savior: 


Exodus 16:14 refers to the “manna” - or Bread of Life - which is Christ: “And when the dew that lay was gone up, [`alah:H5927] behold, upon the face of the wilderness [there lay] a small round thing, [as] small as the hoar frost on the ground.”


Isaiah 53:2 makes this declaration concerning the Lord Jesus Christ: For he shall grow up [`alah:H5927] before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.”


Jonah 2:6 is a spiritual picture of Christ in the “grave” (or Hell) - typified by Jonah in the whale’s belly: “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars [was] about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up [`alah:H5927] my life from corruption, O LORD my God.”


Types And Figures Of Christ


The Bible is filled with many examples of parabolic “types and figures” of Christ; here are just a few examples used in connection with `alah (H5927):


Exodus 32:30 “And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up [`alah:H5927] unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.”


2 Samuel 15:30 “And David went up [`alah:H5927] by the ascent of [mount] Olivet, and wept as he went up, [`alah:H5927] and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that [was] with him covered every man his head, and they went up, [`alah:H5927] weeping as they went up.”[`alah:H5927]


Judges 16:3 is a historical parable that teaches how Christ plundered Satan’s kingdom 

(“Hell,” i.e., the grave) - typified by Gaza, by taking away the gate of the city and its door posts some 30 miles away uphill to Hebron: “And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put [them] upon his shoulders, and carried them up [`alah:H5927] to the top of an hill that [is] before Hebron.”


The Rapture


The resurrection of Christ as “the firstborn from the dead,” (Colossians 1:18) or the “first of the firstfruits,” (Exodus 23:19) relate to two resurrections pertaining to the elect: the resurrection of one’s soul (James 1:18 - “a kind of firstfruits”), followed thereafter, by the resurrection/glorification of one’s body on the “last day”: 


2 Kings 2:1 and 11 records: “And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up [`alah:H5927] Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. ... {11} And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, [there appeared] a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up [`alah:H5927] by a whirlwind into heaven.”


Psalm 47:5 gloriously acknowledges, “God is gone up [`alah:H5927] with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.” 


Similarly, one is reminded of the astounding promise found in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. {16} For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: {17} Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. {18} Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”


That is indeed a wonderful note on which to end today’s lesson. Lord willing, we will continue our investigation of Judges 1:1 in our next study.







JUDGES - PART 12

January 4, 2016


Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures. This will be Part 12 in the Book of Judges. In our last two studies we began looking at the word `alah:(H5927) which is translated as “who shall go up” in Judges 1:1. Today, we want to continue looking at some other illustrations of how God uses this term,  `alah:(H5927) throughout the Bible, and then we’ll move onto the rest of verse 1.


God Is Exalted


Psalm 97:9 proclaims, “For thou, LORD, [art] high above all the earth: thou art exalted [`alah:H5927] far above all gods.”


Annihilation Of The Wicked


The final destruction of the wicked, or non-elect, is another theme that this word `alah (H5927) is joined to:


Job 6:18 maintains, “The paths of their way are turned aside; they go [`alah:H5927] to nothing, and perish.”


Job 7:9 likewise states, “[As] the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up [`alah:H5927] no [more].”


Humility


Recognizing that nobody deserves salvation but only annihilation, the true child of God is convicted to walk very humbly; we discover that God also utilizes `alah (H5927) in Proverbs 25:6-7 in connection with humility: 


“Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great [men]:For better [it is] that it be said unto thee, Come up [`alah:H5927] hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.”





Promises To God’s Elect


In Romans 15:4 we learn this truth: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Along these same lines, the true Christian is eternally grateful for all of God’s wonderful promises contained in His Word, as these next citations affirm:


Psalm 81:10 asserts, “I [am] the LORD thy God, which brought [`alah:H5927] thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”


Isaiah 40:31 proclaims, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up [`alah:H5927] with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.”


Isaiah 65:17 gives this wonderful assurance: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come[`alah:H5927] into mind.”


Let’s now move on to the second half of Judges 1:1,


 “Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?


To Fight


The Israelites were asking God which of the tribes would be the first to fight against the Canaanites. The term “fight” (lacham:H3898) appears 177 times, and in the following ways, in order of their frequency in the Bible:   “fight,” “to war,” “ make war,” “eat,” “overcome,” “devoured,” “ever,” and prevail.” Here are some examples:


Many times in the Book of Judges (and elsewhere in the Bible) we run across illustrations of God’s faithfulness in fighting on behalf of Israel (who represent the true believers spiritually). One such passage is Deuteronomy 20:4, which promises:  “For the LORD your God [is] he that goeth with you, to fight [lacham:H3898] for you against your enemies, to save you.”

 

In Numbers 22:11 we read of Balaam’s reply to God concerning the intent of the messengers who were sent by Balak (the king of Moab) to disclose his wicked proposition to Balaam: “Behold, [there is] a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome [lacham:H3898] them, and drive them out.”


1 Kings 14:19 refers to one of the wicked kings of Judah: “And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred [lacham:H3898], and how he reigned, behold, they [are] written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.”


In verse 10 of Isaiah 63:7-10, God actually fights against His own people which we will see throughout the Book of Judges as I have mentioned previously because of their rebellion; ultimately this leads to God divorcing national Israel when Christ hung on the Cross in 33 AD, as well as the end of the New Testament church age, which occurred on May 21, 1988: 


“I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, [and] the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. {8} For he said, Surely they [are] my 

people, children [that] will not lie: so he was their Saviour. {9} In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. {10} But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, [and] he fought [lacham:H3898]against them.”


In verse 17 of Proverbs 4:14-18, this word “fight” is rendered “for they eat,” referring to the non-elect: “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil [men]. {15} Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. {16} For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause [some] to fall. {17} For they eat [lacham:H3898] the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. {18} But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”


On the other hand verse 5 of Proverbs 9:1-6 concerns the Gospel call during the day of salvation, as typified by Wisdom (or Christ - Who is called both the “Wisdom” and “Power” of God in 1 Corinthians 1:24), in which “fight” is translated as “eat”:  “Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: {2} She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. {3} She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, {4} Whoso [is] simple, let him turn in hither: [as for] him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, {5} Come, eat [lacham:H3898] of my bread, [lechem:H3899 ]and drink of the wine [which] I have mingled. {6} Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.”


Please note the very next word, “of my bread,” (lechem:H3899) which is identically spelled as “eat,” and appears in many places in Scripture as “bread,” including Deuteronomy 8:3, where it is rendered “by bread”:


“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread [lechem:H3899] only, but by every [word] that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”


Judges 1:2


We read God’s reply to the Israelites’ question  in Judges 1:2, “And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand,” and we’re curious to know why Judah was selected thus, although we suspect it might have to do with the fact that Christ hailed from the tribe of Judah, as we read in Revelation 5:5-6,


“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda [Ioudas:G2455], the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. {6} And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”


The term Judah (Yehuwdah:H3063) appears in the Old Testament 818 times, and in the New Testament (Ioudas:G2455) 42 times, where it is transliterated as “Juda(h),” “Judas,” and “Jude.” Like the term “ Israel,” it is used in multiple ways such as: pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ (as just noted); as Jacob’s fourth born son (of Leah); making up the “southern kingdom” with Benjamin; as a picture of the church age; and as a representation of all the elect, etc. according to the subsequent citations:


Pointing To The Lord Jesus Christ


Similarly, Micah 5:1-5 testify: “Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. {2} But thou, Bethlehem [“house of bread”] Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah [Yehuwdah:H3063], [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting. {3} Therefore will he give them up, until the time [that] she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. {4} And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. {5} And this [man] shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.”


Genesis 49:8-10 reveal: “Judah, [Yehuwdah:H3063] 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 [Yehuwdah:H3063] [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, [Yehuwdah:H3063] nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh [Christ] come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].”


As Jacob’s Fourth Born Son


Genesis 29:35 and 35:23 record, “And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; [Yehuwdah:H3063] and left bearing… {35:23} The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, [Yehuwdah:H3063] and Issachar, and Zebulun:”


Making Up The “Southern Kingdom” (With Benjamin)


1 Kings 11:30-32 declare: “And Ahijah caught the new garment that [was] on him, and rent it [in] twelve pieces: {31} And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: {32} (But he  [Solomon]shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:)”


As A Picture Of The “Church Age”


Jeremiah 7:30 and 34 assert: “For the children of Judah [Yehuwdah:H3063] have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it. ... {34} Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah,[Yehuwdah:H3063] and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.”


As A Representation Of All The Elect


Isaiah 65:9 beautifully promises: “And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah [Yehuwdah:H3063] an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.”


Likewise Psalm 78:68-69 maintains, “But chose the tribe of Judah [Yehuwdah:H3063], the mount Zion [i.e., “the kingdom of God”] which he loved. {69} And he built his sanctuary like high [palaces], like the earth which he hath established for ever. 


Lord willing, in our next lesson we’ll take a look at the last phrase in Judges 1:2, “...behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.”