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.

Text Studies

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Judges 12 - Part 1

 February 7, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 1 and today’s date is February 7, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:1-7,


And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. {2} And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? {4} Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites [are] fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, [and] among the Manassites. {5} And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was [so], that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, [Art] thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; {6} Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. {7} And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.


These first seven verses  provide the concluding information regarding the ministry of Jephthah and his six year rule as Judge. The only reference to him in the New Testament appears in Hebrews 11:32 and the only other passage outside of the book of Judges is in verse 12 of 1 Samuel 12:6-15 respectively; in the latter account, Samuel (the last Judge) rehearses God’s kindness to corporate Israel in spite of the fact that they wanted an earthly king to rule over them and not the King of Kings! 


And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and [of] Barak, and [of] Samson, and [of] Jephthae [Iephthae:G2422]; [of] David also, and Samuel, and [of] the prophets:


And Samuel said unto the people, [It is] the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. {7} Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers. {8} When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place. {9} And when they forgat the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. {10} And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee. {11} And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah [Yiphtach:H3316], and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe. {12} And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God [was] your king. {13} Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, [and] whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. {14} If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: {15} But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as [it was] against your fathers.


Let’s consider the first three words in verse 1:


And The Men [’iysh:H376] Of Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669] Gathered Themselves Together [tsa`aq:H6817]


Curiously, these three terms only surface together again in Judges 7:24, which states the following concerning Judge Gideon:


And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men [’iysh:H376] of Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669] gathered themselves together [tsa`aq:H6817], and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.


And Went [`abar:H5674] Northward [tsaphown:H6828] 


The next two words in Judges 12:1 are and went or `abar and northward or tsaphown. These two terms are found together again in 9 other citations. Seven of these passages are related to the borders of the inheritance of the land that was allotted to Judah, Ephraim, and Benjamin respectively. Keep in mind that Ephraim is located south of Gilead, hence the reference to going northward. The north can also symbolize the kingdom of Satan, and Ephraim, can at times picture the churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God, and sometimes characterizes the 10 tribes of the northern kingdom, who along with the two tribes of the southern kingdom (Judah and Benjamin) were both destroyed. The former by the Assyrians in 709 BC; the latter by the Babyloninas in 609 BC.  


Here are the remaining two references that contain these two words, and went and northward:


In verse 27 of Deuteronomy 3:23-28 we find these two terms, northward and go over in which Moses, under divine inspiration is recounting this conversation he had with Jehovah. Moses wanted to go to the Promised Land, but God only allowed him to see it from atop Mt. Pisgah. The reason for this was because Moses is a great type of the Law, and one cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven - typified by the land of Canaan or the land of milk and honey - by keeping the Law; it is only by God’s grace through the Faith and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ at …the foundation of the world:


And I besought the LORD at that time, saying, {24} O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God [is there] in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? {25} I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that [is] beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. {26} But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. {27} Get thee up  into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward [tsaphown:H6828], and southward, and eastward, and behold [it] with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over [`abar:H5674] this Jordan. {28} But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.


The other Scripture is which these two expressions - of the north along with and pass over - are included is in verse 40 of Daniel 11:29-45 which speaks of God’s judgment beginning at His own house first, as He used Satan to infiltrate and rule the churches and denominations worldwide, and without exception during the Great Tribulation (May 21, 1988 - May 21, 2011):


At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. {30} For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. {31} And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily [sacrifice], and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. [See Matthew 24:15] {32} And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do [exploits]. {33} And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, [many] days. {34} Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. {35} And [some] of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make [them] white, [even] to the time of the end: because [it is] yet for a time appointed. {36} And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. {37} Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. {38} But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. {39} Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge [and] increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. {40} And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north [tsaphown:H6828] shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. [`abar:H5674] {41} He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many [countries] shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, [even] Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. {42} He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. {43} But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians [shall be] at his steps. {44} But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. {45} And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.


Continuing in verse 1 we learn that Ephraim poses both a question as well as a threat to Jephthah. The next phrase, …Wherefore passest thou over to fight against the children of Ammon… 


Passest Thou Over [`abar:H5674] To Fight [lacham:H3898] Against The Children [ben:H1121] Of Ammon [’Ammown:H5983]


These four terms only surface together again in the following notices:


We have already discussed Judges 11:32 in the previous chapter: So Jephthah passed over [`abar:H5674]  unto the children [ben:H1121] of Ammon [’Ammown:H5983] to fight [lacham:H3898] against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.


Judges 10:9 is helpful as it informs us that the Ammonites also came against Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim: Moreover the children  [ben:H1121]  of Ammon [’Ammown:H5983]  passed over [`abar:H5674] Jordan to fight [lacham:H3898] also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed.


This fact helps to understand Jephthah’s dual rebuttal to the men of Ephraim in Judges 12:2-3, … and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands…{3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not… Verse 3 is also the last passage in which all four of these words are utilized:


And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? 


Let’s stop here. Lord willing, in our next study, we will continue our examination of verse 1 and proceed to verse 2. 

Judges 12 - Part 2

 February 9, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 2 and today’s date is February 9, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:1-7,


And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. {2} And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? {4} Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites [are] fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, [and] among the Manassites. {5} And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was [so], that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, [Art] thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; {6} Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. {7} And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.


The question that the men of Ephraim are asking of Jephthah in verse 1 is: Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee?


As I mentioned in Part 1, the men of Ephraim can spiritually represent the churches and denominations under the wrath of God. This also reminds us of the account that takes place during the rebuilding of the Temple in Ezra 4:1-5, in which the adversaries of the Jews wanted to assist them in the rebuilding of the Temple, that pictures the Gospel going out into the world to fulfill the Great Commission. However this is not seen so readily in Judges 12 since they are of the tribe of Ephraim, and identify with national Israel:


Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; {2} Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye [do]; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. {3} But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. {4} Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, {5} And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.


Let’s take a closer look at these two words, call, and us to go:


Call [qara`:H7121] & Us To Go [yalak:H3212]


These two expressions, call or qara` and us to go or yalak emerge in over 30 references, and we will consider some of them. We actually ran across these words in Judges 4:6 regarding the coalition of Judge Deborah and Barak (typifying the Word of God and Christ respectively) to defeat the forces of the King of Canaan, Jabin, and the commander of his army, Sisera: 


And she sent and called  [qara`:H7121]  Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, [saying], Go [yalak:H3212] and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? 


Here we see that Barak (whose name signifies “lightning”) represents the Lord Jesus Christ, and the ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun typify God’s elect who in tandem with Barak are spiritually fighting against Satan at the time of the end (exemplified by the battle of Jehoshaphat and Gideon’s battle against the combined forces of the Midianites, Amalekites, and the children of the east).


In 1 Samuel 3:5-6 and 8-9 these expressions are used as God calls Samuel, and tells him of His impending judgment against the house of Eli (which is another historical parable describing judgment beginning at God’s own house first): 


And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here [am] I; for thou calledst [qara`:H7121]  me. And he said, I called [qara`:H7121] not; lie down again. And he went [yalak:H3212]  and lay down. {6} And the LORD called [qara`:H7121] yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went [yalak:H3212] to Eli, and said, Here [am] I; for thou didst call [qara`:H7121]  me. And he answered, I called [qara`:H7121]  not, my son; lie down again. ... {8} And the LORD called [qara`:H7121]  Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went [yalak:H3212]  to Eli, and said, Here [am] I; for thou didst call [qara`:H7121] me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called [qara`:H7121] the child. {9} Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go [yalak:H3212], lie down: and it shall be, if he call [qara`:H7121] thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went [yalak:H3212]  and lay down in his place.


These expressions also crop up in Jonah 1:2 as go, along with, and cry,


Arise, go [yalak:H3212] to Nineveh, that great city, and cry [qara`:H7121] against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.


We have understood that Jonah exemplifies the Savior in Chapter 1 as Christ was born into the world in 7 BC, which was a jubilee year, (that began on the 10th day of the 7th month or the Day of Atonement), as Leviticus 25:8-9 maintains:


Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth [day] of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. {10} And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.


The proclamation of liberty is the essence of the Gospel message as we read in Isaiah 61:1-3 -  that glorious declaration that Christ read in the Temple in Nazareth - when He informed the congregation that that prophecy was fulfilled that very day in Luke 4:16-21,


The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; {2} To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; {3} To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.


Our two words also appear again  in Jonah 3:2 as go along with and preach when Jonah is sent the second time to Nineveh which relates to the second outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which occurred during the Latter Rain (from September 7, 1994 - May 21, 2011) and served to gather God’s remaining sheep from the nations of the elect with the Gospel before the Great Commission ended on May 21, 2011, 


Arise, go [yalak:H3212]  unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach [qara`:H7121] unto it the preaching that I bid thee.







Thee? We Will Burn [saraph:H8131] Thine House [bayith:H1004] & Thee With Fire [’esh:H784] 


In light of all this how are we to understand the threat that the men of Ephraim issued to Jephthah in the phrase …we will burn thine house upon thee with fire, which consists of three terms.  These terms are found together in 15 other citations and we will look at a few examples of how God employs these three words:


Joshua 6:24 records part of the destruction of the city of Jericho, keeping in mind that this relates to the time of the end as the 13 times that the Israel encircled Jericho ponts to the 13,000 year anniversary of the earth’s existence which was the year 1988, and the beginning of the Great Tribulation: 


And they burnt [saraph:H8131] the city with fire [’esh:H784], and all that [was] therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house [bayith:H1004]  of the LORD.


Similarly, in verse 19 of  2 Chronicles 36:15-21 these terms emerge again as seen in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, which spiritually signifies God’s judgment upon the New Testament churches and denominations, worldwide and without exception: 


And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: {16} But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till [there was] no remedy. {17} Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave [them] all into his hand. {18} And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all [these] he brought to Babylon. {19} And they burnt [saraph:H8131] the house [bayith:H1004] of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt [saraph:H8131] all the palaces thereof with fire [’esh:H784], and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. {20} And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: {21} To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: [for] as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.


Likewise, in verse 4 of Ezekiel 5:1-17, God includes these three expressions: And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause [it] to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the [hair]. {2} Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, [and] smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. {3} Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. 

{4} Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire [’esh:H784], and burn them [saraph:H8131] in the fire [’esh:H784]; [for] thereof shall a fire [’esh:H784] come forth into all the house [bayith:H1004]  of Israel. {5} Thus saith the Lord GOD; This [is] Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries [that are] round about her. {6} And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that [are] round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them. {7} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that [are] round about you, [and] have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that [are] round about you; {8} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, [am] against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. {9} And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations. {10} Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds. {11} Wherefore, [as] I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish [thee]; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity. {12} A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. {13} Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken [it] in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them. {14} Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that [are] round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. {15} So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that [are] round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken [it]. {16} When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for [their] destruction, [and] which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread: {17} So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken [it].


Lord willing, in our next study we will proceed on to verse 2.

Judges 12 - Part 3

 February 11, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 3 and today’s date is February 11, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:1-7,


And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. {2} And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? {4} Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites [are] fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, [and] among the Manassites. {5} And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was [so], that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, [Art] thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; {6} Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. {7} And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.


Recap of Verse 1


The focus of our last few studies was on verse 1. We noted the very strange connection between Jephthah and the Gileadites that followed him and the men of Ephraim. For one thing we saw that the men of Ephraim went northward (which is the direction of judgment)

I do need to make a correction here: I had mentioned that Ephraim was south of Gilead (in the territory of Gad) according to a map that I was looking at in my Bible. However that is not quite accurate as it is only slightly to the north since Ephraim is almost parallel to Gilead, being west of a portion of Manasseh and of the Jordan River. Gilead and Gad would have been east of the Jordan River.


 Secondly, both the men of Ephraim and Jephthah were Jews and yet the attitude of the men of Ephraim towards Jephthah was to …burn thine house upon thee with fire. This does not make any sense in the historical context. Why would there be this kind of antagonism between them?  I was helped by listening to some of Mr. Camping’s studies on Jephthah in which he made some very interesting observations which I want to pass along to you with regard to each of the protagonists that surface in  this account. 


Before discussing those, it might be helpful to back up and review the spiritual significance of the Ammonites, the spiritual significance of the men of Ephraim, and the spiritual significance of the Gileadites in that order.  


The Spiritual Role Of The Ammonites 


When we think of the Ammonites we have to backtrack to the time of Abraham and his nephew Lot and specifically the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was at that time that we read the following in Genesis 19:36-38, 


Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. {37} And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same [is] the father of the Moabites unto this day. {38} And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same [is] the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.


The sinful actions on the part of Lot’s daughters show they they were not living by faith, but rather by sight, in violation of 2 Corinthians 5:7,


(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)


The Moabites as well as the Ammonites (and we could include the Edomites or the descendants of Esau in this category) were all related to Abraham genealogically, but not spiritually, as they represent salvation by the works of the law in contrast to genuine Biblical salvation which is based on the Faith of Christ, since Faith is a work which the Lord Jesus Christ performed at …the foundation of the world, as 2 Thessalonians 1:11 testifies:


Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power: 


This is why we read of Esau or Edom [which incidentally is identically spelled to Adam (with the exception of the vowel pointing)  - because he pictures unsaved man]. In the same manner that Adam and Eve tried to cover their spiritual nakedness in the Garden of Eden with fig leaves, so Esau despised his birthright (Who is Christ) as Hebrews 12:15-17 teaches, 


Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled; {16} Lest there [be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. {17} For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.


Esau like Judas was filled with remorse, but was not repentant, because repentance is equivalent to salvation which neither man possessed.


Do you remember the dialogue that Jephthah had with the king of the children of Ammon who were of the opinion that the land (typifying the Kingdom of God) belonged to them in Judges 11? Jephthah retorted that God had not given the land of Moab, or Ammon, or Edom to the Israelites, according to these next citations:  


Deuteronomy 2:9 and 19 reveal: And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land [for] a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot [for] a possession. ... {19} And [when] thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon [any] possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot [for] a possession.


Similarly, Deuteronomy 2:4-5 acknowledges the same with Edom: And command thou the people, saying, Ye [are] to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore: {5} Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau [for] a possession.


The Works Of The Law Lead To Spiritual Death And Annihilation 


The following Scriptures illustrate the principle that the works of the law lead to spiritual death and annihilation:


Romans 9:31-33 records: But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. {32} Wherefore? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; {33} As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


Galatains 2:16 stipulates: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.


Likewise Gal 3:2, 5, 10 reveal: This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? ... {5} He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, [doeth he it] by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? ... {10} For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.


The Spiritual of Role Of The Men Of Ephraim


Mr. Camping underscored the fact that the men of Ephraim are a portrait of those who are trying to keep the law for salvation, and this was the case with most of national Israel throughout their history; a good illustration of this would have been the matter of physical circumcision, as Romans 2:28-29 states in no uncertain terms:


For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: {29} But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.


The innate problem with mankind - who the men of Ephraim and the tares in the churches typify - is the undeniable reality that they are married to the Law of God; whether they believe it or not, whether they understand it or not is irrelevant. Romans 7:1, 5, and 7-11 drives home this truth:


Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? ... {5} For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. ... {7} What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. {8} But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin [was] dead. {9} For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. {10} And the commandment, which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] unto death. {11} For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew [me].


You might remember that the spiritual reason Moses could not enter into the Promised Land (a portrait of Heaven) is because he was a great type of the Law, and one cannot enter into the Kingdom of God by keeping the Law.


The Spiritual Significance Of Jephthah And The Gileadites


Jephthah himself as a Judge or Deliverer is a great type of Christ. Another point that Mr. Camping capitalized on was the fact that it is very curious that in Chapters 11-12 Jephthah speaks of Himself in the first person. Moreover the Gileadites themselves are a picture of the elect, who were in the world, but then as a result of salvation, were brought into the Kingdom of God. This is emphasized in Judges 11:3-11, in which the Gileadites agree to follow Jephthah unreservedly, and make Him their Head and Captain:


Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him. {4} And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel. {5} And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: {6} And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon. {7} And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress? {8} And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.  {9} And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head? {10} And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. {11} Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh. 


As Mr. Camping stressed, the Gileadites are a supreme example of the elect and this background is key to understanding the remaining verses (2-7) that deal with Jephthah, which Lord willingly, we will pick up in our next lesson.  

Judges 12 - Part 4

 February 14, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 4 and today’s date is February 14, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:1-7,


And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. {2} And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? {4} Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites [are] fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, [and] among the Manassites. {5} And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was [so], that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, [Art] thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; {6} Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. {7} And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.


In our previous lesson we spent some time taking a closer look at the spiritual significance of the men of Ephraim, the Ammonites, as well as Jephthah and the Gileadites.  I had mentioned some of the observations that Mr. Camping had offered in this regard, which I will briefly summarize:


  • The men of Ephraim  are a picture of those who are involved with the works of the law. This is seen for example in Judges 12:2, in which they want to assist Jephthah (who typifies Christ) in fighting the Ammonites.


  • The Ammonites symbolize those who are married to the Law of God (which is every human being, prior to salvation).


  • Jephthah represents the Messiah, and the men of Gilead exemplify God’s elect for whom the Savior made atonement for at … the foundation of the world, and who were previously unsaved and in the world, as Ephesians 2:1-9 declares:


And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; {2} Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: {3} Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. {4} But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, {5} Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) {6} And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: {7} That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. {8} For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast. 


Before proceeding to verse 2, I would like to review the vain men who followed Jephthah along with the spiritual significance of the location where all of this is taking place, namely Gilead and Mizpeh. At the time we were examining Judges 11:3, I was not sure who these vain men that followed Jephthah exemplified.






Vain [reyq:H7386]


We read in Judges 11:3, Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain [reyq:H7386]  men to Jephthah, and went out with him.


This expression is generally translated as empty or vain and we have run across this term before in Judges 7:16 and Judges 9:4 respectively: 


In Judges 7:16 it is translated as with empty  referring to the empty pitchers that Gideon and each of his 300 men possessed: And he divided the three hundred men [into] three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty [reyq:H7386]  pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.


Judges 9:4 includes this word in describing the men that Abimelech (who exemplifies Satan) hired to kill all of his 70 half-brothers with the exception of Jotham, Gideon’s youngest son: And they gave him threescore and ten [pieces] of silver out of the house of Baalberith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain [reyq:H7386] and light persons, which followed him.


This word is also used to convey something that is “worthless” as in the case of the seven empty ears [of corn] according to Genesis 41:27,


And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them [are] seven years; and the seven empty [reyq:H7386] ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.


By contrast, this expression can denote something extremely positive when prefaced by the negation not as verse 47 of Deuteronomy 32:46-47 acknowledges with respect to the Word of God; additionally please note the word thing or dabar after the term vain, that also serves to highlight the Bible:


And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. {47} For it [is] not a vain [reyq:H7386] thing [dabar:H1697]  for you; because it [is] your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong [your] days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. 


The Significance of Gilead And Mizpeh


In Genesis 31:43-49 we are introduced to Gilead (or Galeed) and Mizpeh, which was the location where Jacob and his father-in-law Laban made a covenant:


 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, [These] daughters [are] my daughters, and [these] children [are] my children, and [these] cattle [are] my cattle, and all that thou seest [is] mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?{44} Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee. {45} And Jacob took a stone, and set it up [for] a pillar. {46} And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap. {47} And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed. {48} And Laban said, This heap [is] a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; {49} And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.


The idea in view is that the heap of stones was a witness - a testimony if you will - of this covenant or vow between them. This becomes very important in light of the events that transpired in Judges 10:17,


Then the children of Ammon were gathered together, and encamped in Gilead. And the children of Israel assembled themselves together, and encamped in Mizpeh.


No wonder that they besought Jephthah for his help because the enemy was at their front door, so to speak. So in Judges 11:10-11, the elders of Gilead invoke God as Witness regarding making Jephthah (symbolizing Christ) their Head and Captain 


And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. {11} Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh.


The word Gilead [Gil`ad:H1568] stems from Galeed [Gal`ed:H1567] which is a compound word made up of heap and witness [`ed:H5707]. The Bible has much to say about true witnesses and false witnesses, and at various times God Himself calls upon the heavens and the earth to be His witnesses. In other places inanimate objects like these stones in the account of Laban and Jacob, or a tree, or an altar are called upon to witness certain events.  In sum we want to bear in mind that Gilead and Mizpeh have to do with making vows or taking an oath in the presence of God. And this becomes especially meaningful with respect to Jephthah’s vow in Judges 11:30-31,


And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, {31} Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.


With that background in mind, let’s move ahead to verse 2, 


And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. 


Once again we see the battle lines drawn  between Jephthah (picturing Christ) and His forces against the Ammonites, or those married to the law of God who want to inherit the land of Canaan. This is that great strife that is in view. We also want to remember that the Ammonites (along with Moabites and Edomites) are the ones involved in the battle (of Armageddon) in which they come against King Jehoshaphat and Judah historically in 2 Chronicles 20, and they end up killing each other.

Spiritually, we see that the men of Ephraim could not provide deliverance as they are a portrait of those who follow a Gospel of works. We have encountered this word delivered  along with out of the hand repeatedly in the book of Judges as it is predominantly rendered as save, as these next  references indicate:


You, Ye Delivered [yasha`:H3467] & Out Of Their Hands [yad:H3027]


Judges 2:16 reveals: Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered  [yasha`:H3467]  them out of the hand [yad:H3027]

 of those that spoiled them.


David (another great type of Christ) under divine inspiration,  utters these words to Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:45-47,  Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. {46} This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. {47} And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth [yasha`:H3467] not with sword and spear: for the battle [is] the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands. [yad:H3027]


Here are two other illustrations to consider:


Exodus 14:30 records God’s triumph over the greatest army in the world at that time: Thus the LORD saved [yasha`:H3467] Israel that day out of the hand [yad:H3027] of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.


Psalm 138:7 likewise affirms:  Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.


Well on that glorious note, we will have to conclude today’s lesson. Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of Chapter 12.

Judges 12 - Part 5

 February 16, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 5 and today’s date is February 16, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:1-7,


And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. {2} And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? {4} Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites [are] fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, [and] among the Manassites. {5} And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was [so], that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, [Art] thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; {6} Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. {7} And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.


In our previous lesson we left off at the last two words in verse 2, ye delivered and out of their hands  in which Jephthah (representing Christ) is telling the men of Ephraim (typifying a gospel of works) that they did not deliver him and the Gileadites (picturing God’s elect). The reason for this is that absolutely no gospel of works has the power to save or deliver anybody from the penalty of their sin nature, which is expressed in Romans 6:23,


For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Salvation is entirely a gift from God, not based on man’s efforts, but based altogether on the Faith and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, as we have previously discussed in a number of verses. One such passage is Romans 11:5-8,


Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. {6} And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. {7} What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded {8} (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 


This is why Jephthah responds in the way He did in verse 3, in which the same two terms as in verse 2 appear as ye delivered and them into my hand:  


And when I saw that ye delivered [yasha`:H3467] [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand [yad:H3027]: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? 


I Put [suwm:H7760] My Life [nephesh:H5315] In My Hands [kaph:H3709]


Next we read what Jephthah says to the men of Ephraim: …I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon… The three words I put my life in my hands surface in the following three citations:


Verse 5 of 1 Samuel 19:1-7 includes these three expressions in this account of Jonathan (possibly representing the elect?) making a defense for David (portraying Christ) to his father, King Saul (a type of Satan); these words are rendered by the phrase, For he did put his life in his handin this epic battle between David (the Savior) and Goliath (Satan):  


And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David. {2} But Jonathan Saul's son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret [place], and hide thyself: {3} And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou [art], and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee. {4} And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works [have been] to thee-ward very good: {5} For he did put [suwm:H7760] his life [nephesh:H5315] in his hand [kaph:H3709], and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest [it], and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause? {6} And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, [As] the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain. {7} And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past.  


The context of 1 Samuel 28:15-25 is Saul’s clandestine meeting with the woman with a familiar spirit  (or witch) at Endor, in order to presumably speak with the prophet Samuel who had died. Samuel did not actually appear, nor did he speak, but God was orchestrating these events behind the scenes to give the appearance of Samuel talking, and of course what was spoken to Samuel was indeed (like all Scripture) the Word of God. In this account it was this witch who utilizes these same words to address King Saul in verse 21: …and I have put my life in my hand   


And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. {16} Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? {17} And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, [even] to David: {18} Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day. {19} Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow [shalt] thou and thy sons [be] with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines. {20} Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night. {21} And the woman came unto Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said unto him, Behold, thine handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put [suwm:H7760] my life [nephesh:H5315] in my hand [kaph:H3709], and have hearkened unto thy words which thou spakest unto me. {22} Now therefore, I pray thee, hearken thou also unto the voice of thine handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before thee; and eat, that thou mayest have strength, when thou goest on thy way. {23} But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he hearkened unto their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed. {24} And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hasted, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded [it], and did bake unleavened bread thereof: {25} And she brought [it] before Saul, and before his servants; and they did eat. Then they rose up, and went away that night.


The book of Job is a spiritual portrait of the Messiah under the wrath of God at… the foundation of the world. These three expressions emerge in verse 14 of  Job 13:13-16, as He addresses his three “friends”: 


Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what [will]. {14} Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put [suwm:H7760]  my life [nephesh:H5315] in mine hand? [kaph:H3709]  {15} Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. {16} He also [shall be] my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.


The Ammonites Fight Against Jephthah 


In Judges 11 we noted that the Ammonites were intent on “picking a fight” with Jephthah, keeping in mind that they represent those that are related to the Kingdom of God genealogically (being related to Abraham) even though they are unsaved because they typify unsaved man who is still married to the Law of God, as Romans 7:1 explains; verse 5 adds that the penalty for breaking the Law of God is certain death and annihilation.


Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? ... {5} For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.


To further drive home this point, James 2:10 acknowledges: For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all.


The Men Of Ephraim Fight Against Jepthtah


In similar fashion in Judges 12, the men of Ephraim are wanting to fight against Jephthah as well, as they exemplify those who are part of a works gospel that has no power to save, but only power to deceive, as Romans 16:17-18 maintain:


Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. {18} For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.


The hatred that was in their hearts of the men of Ephraim was evidenced by their words in Judges 12:1…we will burn thine house upon thee with fire.  This of course is right in keeping with the Lord’s assessment in Luke 6:45,


A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

This same attitude reared its ugly head in the synagogue in Nazareth in Luke 4:16-30, when the Lord stood up to read Isaiah 61:1-3 and introduced the doctrine of election and the salvation of the Gentiles, which was met with such fierce opposition from those in the synagogue (of all places!) that they wanted to kill Him. In so doing they demonstrated that they were fully aligned spiritually with the men of Ephraim, with the scribes and Pharisees, and with all who belong to their same spiritual father according to John 8:44, 


Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.


Luke 4:16-30 records: And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. {17} And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, {18} The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, {19} To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. {20} And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. {21} And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. {22} And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? {23} And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. {24} And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. {25} But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; {26} But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, [a city] of Sidon, unto a woman [that was] a widow. {27} And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. {28} And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, {29} And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. {30} But he passing through the midst of them went his way,


Let’s stop here. Lord willing, in our next study we will move on to verse 4 and learn more about the battle between the men of Ephraim and Jephthah.

Judges 12 - Part 6

 February 18, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 6 and today’s date is February 18, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:1-7,


And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. {2} And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? {4} Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites [are] fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, [and] among the Manassites. {5} And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was [so], that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, [Art] thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; {6} Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. {7} And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.


As I mentioned in our previous study, today we want to examine verse 4 and the battle between Jephthah (who represents Christ) and the men of Ephraim (who typify those who adhere to a works gospel). These two ideologies are completely opposite as we have discussed in some of our earlier lessons in this chapter, and effectively are describing the path that each human is on, whether they have died or whether they are alive presently as Matthew 7:13-14 illustrate:


Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: {14} Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.


Incidentally, those on the broad way include all sorts of other religions, various codes of ethics, philosophical persuasions, atheists, agnostics, and every brand of so-called “Christian” gospels. Essentially, all are welcome as the Master Deceiver is very inclusive, as we read in John 8:44…so any lie will do as far as the “father of lies” is concerned, and the more truth the lie contains, the more compelling is its attraction:


Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.


By contrast, the True, Living God of the Bible is very exclusive when it comes to His salvation program, and the relatively few individuals whom He has placed on the narrow way…which leadeth unto life.


Gathered Together [qabats:H6908] & And Fought [lacham:H3898]


In verse 4 where we see that Jephthah (i.e. Christ) gathered together the Gileadites (representing the elect) to fight against the men of Ephraim (those who picture a works gospel). The two terms, gathered together along with and fought, emerge in four other passages, and we’ll consider one of them in verse 2 of Joshua 9:1-6, having to do with the Gibeonites. You might recall that the Gibeonites (who also portray God’s elect) were Hivites that lived in the land of Canaan, and they decided to implement the following strategy; these words are expressed in verse 2 as That they gathered themselves and to fight:


And it came to pass, when all the kings which [were] on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard [thereof]; {2} That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord. {3} And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, {4} They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; {5} And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry [and] mouldy. {6} And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.


Somehow the Gibeonites must have heard  that God would destroy all the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, but if a people from a far country sued for peace, they would make peace with them. God had stipulated this arrangement in Deuteronomy 20:10-18, and this is precisely what the Gibeonites did, albeit in a deceitful manner:


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 [caps mine for emphasis], 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.


Smote [nakah:H5221] Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669]


Next we learn that the men of Gilead smote Ephraim. These two words, smote and Ephraim only appear together again in verse 16 of Hosea 9:1-17 as Ephraim and is smitten. In this context, Ephraim pictures the 10 tribes to the north, or Samaria, but both Samaria as well as Judah and Benjamin (aka, the southern kingdom) symbolize the churches and denominations that God judged and abandoned at the start of the Great Tribulation (May 21, 1988 - May 21, 2011) and for the next 23 years thereafter:


Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as [other] people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor. {2} The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her. {3} They shall not dwell in the LORD'S land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt [represents slavery to sin and Satan], and they shall eat unclean [things] in Assyria. [God used the Assyrians to bring judgment against the northern kingdom in 709 BC] {4} They shall not offer wine [offerings] to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices [shall be] unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the LORD. {5} What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the LORD? {6} For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant [places] for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns [shall be] in their tabernacles. {7} The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know [it]: the prophet [is] a fool, the spiritual man [is] mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred. {8} The watchman of Ephraim [was] with my God: [but] the prophet [is] a snare of a fowler in all his ways, [and] hatred in the house of his God. {9} They have deeply corrupted [themselves], as in the days of Gibeah: [therefore] he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins. {10} I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: [but] they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto [that] shame; and [their] abominations were according as they loved. {11} [As for] Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception. {12} Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, [that there shall] not [be] a man [left]: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them! {13} Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, [is] planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer. {14} Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. [no more salvation and no more milk of the Word] {15} All their wickedness [is] in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes [are] revolters. {16} Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669] is smitten [nakah:H5221], their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay [even] the beloved [fruit] of their womb. {17} My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.


According to the second half of verse 4, the charge that the Ephaimites and Manassites laid against the Gileadites (God’s elect) was that they were fugitives from the Ephraimites and the Manassites:


…and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites [are] fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, [and] among the Manassites.


The term, fugitives is an important one. For one thing, it stems from the verb form deliver, which spiritually denotes salvation by the grace of God, as opposed to the men of Ephraim (who exemplify a works gospel). Here are some of the ways that God employs this expression:


[Are] Fugitives [paliyt:H6412]




Verse 19 of Isaiah 66:10-19 makes this declaration regarding the fulfillment of the Great Commission, in which fugitives is rendered as those that escape:


Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: {11} That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. {12} For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon [her] sides, and be dandled upon [her] knees. {13} As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. {14} And when ye see [this], your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and [his] indignation toward his enemies. {15} For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. {16} For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. {17} They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one [tree] in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. {18} For I [know] their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. {19} And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape  [paliyt:H6412] of them unto the nations, [to] Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, [to] Tubal, and Javan, [to] the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.


Verse 28 of Jeremiah 50:23-28 records God’s judgment against Babylon (which is the world or the kingdom of Satan) which began at the onset of the “Day” of Judgment on May 21, 2011 and will continue for a prolonged period of time. Even though God used Nebuchadrezzar (a type of Satan) and the Babylonians to come  against Judah and Jerusalem (symbolizing the churches and denominations), He then turns around and judges Babylon for what they did against His corporate people. This word is translated and escape:


How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations! {24} I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD. {25} The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this [is] the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans. {26} Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left. {27} Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation. {28} The voice of them that flee and escape  [paliyt:H6412] out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple.


We will have to stop here, as we have run out of time. Lord willing, in our next study, we will turn our attention to verse 5.

Judges 12 - Part 7

 February 21, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 7 and today’s date is February 21, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:1-7,


And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. {2} And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? {4} Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites [are] fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, [and] among the Manassites. {5} And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was [so], that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, [Art] thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; {6} Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. {7} And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.


We have arrived at verse 5 in our examination of Chapter 12, in this battle between the Gileadites (God’s elect) and the men of Ephraim (who typify a works gospel). We learn that the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan, which is key since the Jordan River is the dividing point between Ephraim (and part of Manasses, according to some maps) and Gilead in the territory of Gad.



The Spiritual Significance Of The Jordan River


Before delving into verse 5, it might be helpful to review the parabolic meaning of the Jordan River which plays such an important role in both the Old as well as the New Testaments. The Jordan River is a picture of “hell” or the grave, because it is the penalty that God prescribes for sin. In other words, if one does not have a Savior (Who paid the penalty for sin on their behalf), they must, by necessity. shed their own blood by dying, and eventually being annihilated. In sum, they are their own sacrifice, as Zephaniah 1:2-8 describes in vivid detail: 


I will utterly consume all [things] from off the land, saith the LORD. {3} I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD. {4} I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, [and] the name of the Chemarims with the priests; {5} And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship [and] that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham; {6} And them that are turned back from the LORD; and [those] that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him. {7} Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD [is] at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. {8} And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.


The strange apparel  is man’s futile attempt to cover his spiritual nakedness (like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden). Unless one is clothed with the robe of Christ’s righteousness they will perish. Isaiah 61:1-3 and 10 speaks of Christ’s mission to redeem His elect (at… the foundation of the world), and to bestow upon each of them the robe of Christ’s righteousness which all of God’s elect children received in salvation, when that was still possible:


The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; {2} To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; {3} To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. ... {10} I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels.


In The Old Testament - Jordan [Yarden:H3383]


Joshua 4:23 depicts the parting of the Jordan River in the same manner that God divided the Red Sea (aka The Sea of the End), which serve to save the Israelites but condemned the Egyptian army to a watery grave: 


For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:


2 Kings 2:7-14 record the parting of Elijah and Elisha at the Jordan River, as well as the parting of the Jordan River by lone Elisha, after Elisha witnesses His spiritual mentor being carried to Heaven, reminiscent of the rapture of the Body of Christ as a whole on the last day of this prolonged “day” of judgment: 


And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. {8} And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped [it] together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. {9} And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. {10} And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: [nevertheless], if thou see me [when I am] taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be [so]. {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 by a whirlwind into heaven. {12} And Elisha saw [it], and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. {13} He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; {14} And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where [is] the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.


2 Kings 5:10 and 14 was also the location in which Naaman the Syrian was cured of his leprosy which is a spiritual portrait of sin: And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. ... {14} Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.


In The New Testament - Jordan [Iordanes:G2446]


The Jordan River only emerges in 15 New Testament Scriptures, the most famous being the location where Jesus was baptized by John in preparation for His earthly ministry, as we read in verse 13 of  Matthew 3:13-17,


Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan [Iordanes:G2446]

 unto John, to be baptized of him. {14} But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? {15} And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [or Allow] [it to be so] now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered [allowed] him. {16} And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: {17} And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 

Since Christ hailed from the tribe of Judah - and not the tribe of Levi -  He would not have been allowed to do so. The way God circumvented this was by having John baptize the Messiah.  John’s parents (Zacharias and Elizabeth) were both from the tribe of Levi which qualified John to be a priest, and the ceremonial washing in the Jordan River indicated that Christ at… the foundation of the world was the both the Lamb Slain, as well as the High Priest, albeit, …after the order of Melchisedec, as we learn from Hebrews 7:14-17,


For [it is] evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. {15} And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, {16} Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. {17} For he testifieth, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 


When Christ …went up straightway out of the water…of the Jordan River (signifying the grave) it indicated that He was demonstrating His victory over sin, the grave, and annihilation. Furthermore all three Persons of the Godhead - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were present  to confirm and bless Him as Prophet, Priest, and King. 


Took [lakad:H3920] The Passages [ma`abar:H4569] Of Jordan [Yarden:H3383]


Let’s return to Judges 12:5. The phrase, took the passages of Jordan, consists of three terms that only surface together again in one citation that we have already considered, namely Judges 3:28-30, in which Judge Ehud [and Judge Shamgar (1367 BC - 1247 BC)] ruled. At that time Israel was under the domination of Eglon, king of the Moabites for 18 years, as God was chastising His corporate people for their spiritual idolatry, in the all too familiar cycle of rebellion>oppression> deliverance>rest. After Ehud presented a gift to Eglon, he surreptitiously kills the king and flees. This is where these verses pick up the action that ensues, and in verse 28, these words are expressed as him, and took the fords of Jordan: 


And he [Ehud] said unto them [the children of Israel], Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took [lakad:H3920] the fords [ma`abar:H4569] of Jordan [Yarden:H3383] toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over. {29} And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man. {30} So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.


As you undoubtedly noted this account is very similar to that of Judges 12, and the ten thousand men is a reference to the “complete fullness” of God’s judgment upon the non-elect.


Let Me Go Over [`abar:H5674]


We then learn that the Ephraimites who tried to escape by passing over the Jordan encountered a test that was designed by the Gileadites to determine if they were indeed Gileadites or if they were simply feigning to be one. Keep in mind that the Ephraimites in this context exemplify those who adhere to a works gospel, while the Gileadites portray God’s true elect. Here are some of the ways that God  employs this term, let me go over:


Exodus 12:12 includes this term in the account of the “Angel of Death” in Egypt, in which this expression appears as For I will pass through: For I will pass through [`abar:H5674] the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the LORD.


In Jonah 2:3 it is rendered as passed over in this historical parable depicting God the Son under God’s wrath:  For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over [`abar:H5674] me.


Verse 4 and 5 of Ezekiel 9:1-7 is another historical parable that emphasizes God’s retribution beginning at His own house first: 


He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man [with] his destroying weapon in his hand. {2} And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them [was] clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. {3} And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which [had] the writer's inkhorn by his side; {4} And the LORD said unto him, Go through [`abar:H5674]  the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. {5} And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go [`abar:H5674]  ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: {6} Slay utterly old [and] young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom [is] the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which [were] before the house. {7} And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.


These accounts and others highlight God’s judgment that is associated with this term pass over or go through, along with the Jordan River itself, which also pictures God’s wrath. Lord willing, in our next study we will focus on the test that the Gileadites designed for the Ephraimites.

Judges 12 - Part 8

 February 23, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 8 and today’s date is February 23, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:1-7,


And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. {2} And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? {4} Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites [are] fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, [and] among the Manassites. {5} And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was [so], that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, [Art] thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; {6} Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. {7} And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.


In our last study we spent some time looking at the spiritual meaning of the Jordan River in both the Old and New Testaments. We did this after learning that the Gileadites (who represent God’s elect) had taken control of the passages at Jordan River which was a strategic move against the Ephraimites (who typify those who adhere to a works gospel). The latter part of verse 5 and 6 describe the test that the Gileadites set up to verify if one of the men that wanted to cross over Jordan (which again is a portrait of death and annihilation) was an Ephraimite or a Gileadite.  The test centered around the ability to pronounce the word Shibboleth correctly, and not Sibboleth which apparently the Ephraimites were unable to do. Failure to pass this spiritual test involved much more than good enunciation skills - it was a veritable death sentence.  


If He Said [’amar:H559] Nay [’lo:H3808]


The expressions if he said and nay are found together in 20 other Scriptures, and will examine two significant ones:


This first one is found in the account of the Godhead appearing in the form of three men to Abraham and Sarah prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is here that God reveals to them that they would have a son the following year, even as God had promised many years earlier. Verse 15 of Genesis 18:9-15 translates these two terms twice as saying along with And he said; and then not along with  nay:  


And they said unto him, Where [is] Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. {10} And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard [it] in the tent door, which [was] behind him. {11} Now Abraham and Sarah [were] old [and] well stricken in age; [and] it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. {12} Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? {13} And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? {14} Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. {15} Then Sarah denied, saying [’amar:H559], I laughed not [’lo:H3808]; for she was afraid. And he said [’amar:H559], Nay [’lo:H3808]; but thou didst laugh.


In this chapter God reveals a number of important truths, not the least of which is the fact that God sees what is in the heart that nobody else can see. He knew exactly what Sarah was thinking about, even though she denied it.  And what He had spoken to Abraham and Sarah concerning a son also underscores the awesome power of God to create life out of that which is dead, or in this case, “as good as dead” as we read the commentary that Romans 4:13-20 sets forth, which reinforces the dichotomy of grace versus works which the Gileadites and the Ephraimites respectively illustrate:


For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. [Christ]{14} For if they which are of the law [be] heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: {15} Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, [there is] no transgression. {16} Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, {17} (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. {18} Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. {19} And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: {20} He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;


Verse 1 of Isaiah 65:1-16 similarly renders these words as not and I said.  This opening verse also highlights God’s sovereign grace in salvation, and is in stark contrast to what is being stated in verses 2-7 and 11-12; additionally verses 13-16 serves to contrast the final end of both the righteous and the wicked:  


 I am sought of [them that] asked not [’lo:H3808] [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not [’lo:H3808]: I said [’amar:H559], Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not [’lo:H3808] called by my name. 


{2} I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way [that was] not good, after their own thoughts; {3} A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; {4} Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable [things is in] their vessels; {5} Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These [are] a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day. {6} Behold, [it is] written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, {7} Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom. 


{8} Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and [one] saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing [is] in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all. {9} And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. {10} And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me. 


{11} But ye [are] they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number. {12} Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose [that] wherein I delighted not. 


{13} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: {14} Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. {15} And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen:  for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name: {16} That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.


The way this test played out was like this: if one of the men asked to cross over Jordan, and they denied being an Ephraimite, they were then told to pronounce the word Shibboleth; if they were unable to say the “shuh” sound, but only the “si” sound, as in Sibboleth they would be caught in a lie and immediately executed. What is the significance of these two expressions, and what can we glean from them spiritually?


Shibboleth [shibbol:H7641] Versus Sibboleth [cibboleth:H5451]


Sibboleth is identical to Shibboleth, except for the pronunciation of the samech (the 15th letter of the Hebrew alphabet) as opposed to the shin (the 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet).  Since the former is only found in Judges 12:6, I will be focusing on the latter. Its meaning is that of a ear of grain or ear as well as a flowing stream, as the following citations reveal:


In Genesis 41 this expression emerges 10 times (underscoring the completeness of whatever is in view) which concerns this first Great Tribulation period of seven years (or 84 months) of famine and is tied to the second Great Tribulation period which lasted 70 years (or 840 months), known as the Babylonian captivity. This was followed by the third Great Tribulation of our day which lasted 8400 days (23 years). Notice how each of these periods have the number “84” in common. I will only read verses 14-32 for the sake of time: 


Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved [himself], and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. {15} And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and [there is] none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, [that] thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. {16} And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, [It is] not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. {17} And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river: {18} And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow: {19} And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: {20} And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: {21} And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they [were] still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. {22} And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears [shibbol:H7641] came up in one stalk, full and good: {23} And, behold, seven ears [shibbol:H7641], withered, thin, [and] blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: {24} And the thin ears [shibbol:H7641] devoured the seven good ears [shibbol:H7641]: and I told [this] unto the magicians; but [there was] none that could declare [it] to me. {25} And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh [is] one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he [is] about to do. {26} The seven good kine [are] seven years; and the seven good ears [shibbol:H7641] [are] seven years: the dream [is] one. {27} And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them [are] seven years; and the seven empty ears [shibbol:H7641] blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. {28} This [is] the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God [is] about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. {29} Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: {30} And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; {31} And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it [shall be] very grievous. {32} And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; [it is] because the thing [is] established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.


The ear of grain (or corn) reminds us of the parable found in Mark 4:26-29, regarding the planting of seed or the Gospel during the very long “day” of salvation:  


And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; {27} And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. {28} For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. {29} But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest [end of the world] is come.


Next we want to consider Psalm 69:1-15 which features the Messiah under the wrath of God at …the foundation of the world. In this passage this word is translated as where the floods or the waterflood surface in verse 2 and 15 respectively:


[To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, [A Psalm] of David.] Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul. {2} I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods [shibbol:H7641] overflow me. {3} I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. {4} They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, [being] mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored [that] which I took not away. {5} O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. {6} Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. {7} Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. {8} I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. {9} For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. {10} When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. {11} I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them. {12} They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I [was] the song of the drunkards. {13} But as for me, my prayer [is] unto thee, O LORD, [in] an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. {14} Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. {15} Let not the waterflood [shibbol:H7641] overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.  


We have to stop here, as we have run out of time. Lord willing, we will continue our examination of Judges 12:6 in our next lesson. 

Judges 12 - Part 9

 February 25, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 9 and today’s date is February 25, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:1-7,


And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. {2} And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? {4} Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites [are] fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, [and] among the Manassites. {5} And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was [so], that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, [Art] thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; {6} Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. {7} And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.


We are down to the last phrase in verse 6…and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. Once again we see that the Ephraimites (who typify those who adhere to a works gospel) failed the test, and forfeited their lives as a result. The two expressions, And there fell and time surface in six other citations, and we will consider a few of them.


And There Fell [naphal:H5307] & Time [`eth:H6256]



Verse 12 of Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 translates these terms as time and when it falleth; incidentally, the same word for time also appears in verse 11:   I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time [`eth:H6256]

 and chance happeneth to them all. {12} For man also knoweth not his time [`eth:H6256]: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net [matsowd:H4685], and as the birds that are caught in the snare [pach:H6341]; so [are] the sons of men snared in an evil time [`eth:H6256], when it falleth [naphal:H5307] suddenly upon them.


This passage aptly describes the evil net or snare that the 42,000 Ephraimites encountered at the passages of Jordan, which is the fate of all the unsaved, as the Jordan River identifies with death and annihilation. I’m also reminded of the serious warning in Luke 21:34-36 that includes the Greek word for a snare in verse 35, and points to our present “day” of judgment as well: 


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 [pagis:G3803] 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. 


The next entry is in verse 12 of Jeremiah 8:1-15, which speaks of God’s judgment on the two external representations of the Kingdom of God on earth, namely national Israel and the New Testament churches and denominations: 


At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: {2} And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth. {3} And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts. {4} Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return? {5} Why [then] is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. {6} I hearkened and heard, [but] they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. {7} Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. {8} How do ye say, We [are] wise, and the law of the LORD [is] with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he [it]; the pen of the scribes [is] in vain. {9} The wise [men] are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom [is] in them? {10} Therefore will I give their wives unto others, [and] their fields to them that shall inherit [them]: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. {11} For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when [there is] no peace. {12} Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall [naphal:H5307] among them that fall [naphal:H5307]: in the time [`eth:H6256] of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. {13} I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: [there shall be] no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and [the things that] I have given them shall pass away from them. {14} Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD. {15} We looked for peace, but no good [came; and] for a time of health, and behold trouble!

Similarly, Daniel 8 is a description of what took place spiritually during the Great Tribulation of our day (May 21, 1988 - May 21, 2011). It was at this time that God commenced His judgment beginning with His own house first, as 1 Peter 4:17 so clearly states:


For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?


I’ll read Daniel 8:15-26, in which these two words emerge in verse 17 as and fell and at the time, which among other truths is referencing the rule of Satan in all the churches and denominations, worldwide and without exception, since the Holy Spirit departed from that formerly Divine Institution, never to return again:  


And it came to pass, when I, [even] I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. {16} And I heard a man's voice between [the banks of] Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this [man] to understand the vision. {17} So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell [naphal:H5307] upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time [`eth:H6256] of the end [shall be] the vision. {18} Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. {19} And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end [shall be]. {20} The ram which thou sawest having [two] horns [are] the kings of Media and Persia. {21} And the rough goat [is] the king of Grecia: and the great horn that [is] between his eyes [is] the first king. {22} Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. {23} And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. {24} And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. {25} And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify [himself] in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. {26} And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told [is] true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it [shall be] for many days.


Forty [’arba`yim:H707] And Two [sh@nayim:H8147] Thousand [’eleph:H505]


One learns from Judges 12:6 that the number of Ephraimites that were killed was forty and two thousand. This is a significant number for at least a few reasons. According to Numbers 1:33 the tribe of Ephraim numbered (at that time) forty thousand five hundred,


Those that were numbered of them, [even] of the tribe of Ephraim, [were] forty thousand and five hundred.


We can see that with the passage of time, the ranks of Ephraim would have increased, but be that as it may, for 42,000 men of war to have died, would have practically eradicated their entire army. But there is another spiritual dimension that is in view with regards to the number 42. You might recall that in Part 8,  I mentioned that each of the three Great Tribulation periods in the Bible all had the number “84” in common: The first Great Tribulation period consisted of  seven years (or 84 months) of famine. Even though there was a historical famine at that time in the land of Egypt it points to a spiritual famine as Amos 8:11-12 specifies:


Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: {12} And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find [it].


The second Great Tribulation period lasted 70 years (or 840 months), known as the Babylonian captivity. This was followed by the third Great Tribulation of our day which lasted 8400 days (23 years). Notice how each of these periods have the number “84” in common. Some of you might be wondering, “What about the number 42 or 42,000?” Keep in mind that 42 is half of 84, and we can look at these two entities as 42 months (based on 30-day months) or 1260 days, both of which would equal 84 months (the duration of the first Great Tribulation period of Joseph’s day).


Forty [tessarakonta:G5062] [And] Two [duo:G1417] Months [men:G3376] Is Spiritual Language That Identifies With The Great Tribulation


The expression,  forty [and] two months relates figuratively to the 23 years (or 8400 days) of the third Great Tribulation (of our day) as the next Scriptures reveal:   


Revelation 11:2  states: But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city [Jerusalem - representing God’s house] shall they tread under foot forty [tessarakonta:G5062] [and] two [duo:G1417] months. [men:H3376]


Revelation 13:5 concerns Satan’s rule in the churches during the Great Tribulation: And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months.


We have to stop here as we have run out of time. Lord willing, in our next study we will move on to verses 7 and 8.

Judges 12 - Part 10

 February 28, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 10 and today’s date is February 28, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:1-7,


And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. {2} And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? {4} Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites [are] fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, [and] among the Manassites. {5} And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was [so], that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, [Art] thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; {6} Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. {7} And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.


In our last study we began examining the number of Ephraimites (who portray a works gospel) who had died in the battle with the Gileadites (representing God’s elect). We learned that that number was curiously 42,000.  Keep in mind that 42 is half of 84, and 84 is a number that all three Great Tribulations mentioned in the Bible have in common.  For example, based on a 30-day month, the duration of the first Great Tribulation of Joseph’s day lasted 7 years or 84 months. Spiritually, 84 months can be expressed as either 42 months or 1260 days. We will see that each of  these identical periods of time typify a particular time and season of the Calendar of History, as Mr. Camping discovered and spoke about in a number of his books. 


Forty [tessarakonta:G5062] [And] Two [duo:G1417] Months [men:G3376] Is Spiritual Language That Identifies With The Great Tribulation


The expression,  forty [and] two months relates figuratively to the 23 years (or 8400 days) of the third Great Tribulation (of our day) as the next Scriptures reveal:   


Revelation 11:2  states: But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city [Jerusalem - representing God’s house] shall they tread under foot forty [tessarakonta:G5062] [and] two [duo:G1417] months. [men:H3376]


Revelation 13:5 concerns Satan’s rule in the churches during the Great Tribulation: And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months.


A Thousand Two Hundred [And] Threescore Days Symbolize The Entire Church Age


As I mentioned earlier, Forty two months is also equivalent to a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days (1260) which is parabolic language to indicate the entire duration of the New Testament church age which was 1955 years in length, as the subsequent Scriptures testify: 


Revelation 11:3, 6, 9, and 11 include this expression as both a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, along with three days and an half (mentioned two times). Incidentally, Three days and an half  is also equivalent to 84 hours.     


And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. ... {6} These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. ... {9} And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. ... {11} And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.


Revelation 12:6 also includes this phrase,  a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days: And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.


Both of these citations reveal that during the time and season of the church era, God was using His Word (typified by the two witnesses). The Word of God is classified as the Law and the Prophets, as we read , for instance, in Matthew 5:17,


Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets [i.e., the Old Testament]: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  


Furthermore, the Law and the Prophets identify with two significant characters in the Bible, Moses and Elijah. Moses is a great type and figure of the Law, and Elijah of the Prophets. This is the reason that Revelation 11:6 makes the following distinction regarding how God used Elijah and Moses respectively: 


These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.


The first part of Revelation 11:6 is speaking of Elijah, who was given… power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy… This notice can be found in Luke 4:25 and James 5:17 in that order: 

But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, [42 months] when great famine [Great Tribulation] was throughout all the land;


Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. [42 months] 


The second half of Revelation 11:6 refers to Moses whom God had given power to turn waters into blood, along with the other 9 plagues that afflicted Egypt as never before in its history. Exodus 7:19 records:


And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and [that] there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in [vessels of] wood, and in [vessels of] stone.


Exodus 11:1 states: And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague [more] upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let [you] go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.


Rain Exemplifies Salvation In The Bible


In the Bible God uses water or rain to typify salvation. Christ for example is the Water of Life. Do you remember the account of the woman at the well in John 4?

In John 4:13-14,


Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: {14} But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 


James 5:7 also teaches the following with respect to the early and latter rain, which represent the two outpourings of the Holy Spirit. The early rain has to do with the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out and about three thousand were saved as the church age began on May 22, 33 AD.  


Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman [God Himself] waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.


Joel 2:23 is particularly helpful as it mentions these seasons as well, and adds one more, namely the former rain moderately. The expression moderately  is only found here, and is never expressed this way; it is always translated as either righteousness or justice. The former rain righteously is an allusion to the Lord Jesus Christ and one of His Names is Righteous (according to 1 John 2:1, My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous):


Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately [ts@daqah:H666] [righteously], and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month].


Let’s now consider verse 7 that recounts the death of Jephthah, whose name signifies, “He opens”:


And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in [one of] the cities of Gilead.


Judged [shaphat:H8199] Israel [Yisra’el:H3478] & Then Died [muwth:H4191] & Was Buried [qabar:H6912] 


Throughout the book of Judges we have encountered these two terms, judged and Israel, frequently with respect to the various judges that God raised up. In the final analysis, God Himself is the Supreme Judge, as Jephthah, under divine inspiration acknowledged to the king of the Ammonites in Judges 11:27, in which the same word for judge is repeated:


Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge [shaphat:H8199] be judge [shaphat:H8199] this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.


In Jephthah’s case, his rule lasted six years. The number six is also significant because it points to work. For instance in the Genesis account God worked six days to create our world and universe, and then He rested as Exodus 20:11 declares:


For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.  


The four expressions, in Judges 12:7 -   judged Israel along with died and was buried  only emerge together again in one noteworthy Scripture regarding Judge Tola (as well as Judge Jair) in Judges 10:1-3 which I alluded to in that chapter, but certainly bears repeating as it has come to the surface again here in Chapter 12, as it ties into the number 42 (in the 42,000 Ephraimites who died) which represents the 42 months that pictures the Great Tribulation of our day that spanned 23 years, even as Tola ruled for 23 years:


And after Abimelech [a type of Satan] there arose to defend Israel Tola [“a worm” - a reference to Christ in the Atonement] the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim. {2} And he judged [shaphat:H8199]  Israel [Yisra’el:H3478]  twenty and three years, and died [muwth:H4191], and was buried [qabar:H6912] in Shamir. {3} And after him arose Jair, a Gileadite, and judged Israel twenty and two years. 


Additionally we have the next Judge, Jair, whose rule lasted 22 years and that points to the 22-year second tribulation period that began on May 21, 2011 and according to much Biblical evidence as Chris Mc Cann has set forth, will likely end in the year 2033.


Lord willing, in our next study, we will commence with Judges 12:8.

Judges 12 - Part 11

 March 2, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 11 and today’s date is March 2, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:8-15,


And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. {9} And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, [whom] he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. {10} Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem. {11} And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years. {12} And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun. {13} And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel. {14} And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years. {15} And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites.


We have arrived at verse 8 and a new Judge comes on the scene, whose name is Ibzan of Bethlehem. He ruled from 1153-1146 BC. We wonder what God will reveal about him spiritually, as he is from Bethlehem, which is the House of Bread. 


Ibzan [’Ibtsan:H78]


His name only appears here in verse 8 and then in verse 10, regarding his death, after having judged Israel for seven years. The Bible does not give much information about him, and even his name is dubious; apparently his name means 

“splendid,” but I do not know how they arrive at that conclusion.  However, we do read in verse 9 that …he had thirty sons and thirty daughters; additionally he procured from abroad thirty daughters for his sons. Curiously, his wife (or wives) are not mentioned, leading us to think that God is hiding spiritual truth in this account that He wants us to ferret out, by His enabling.


In Judges 10 - Part 7 we discovered Judge Jair who also had 30 sons as we learn from Judges 10:3-4. I mentioned Judge Jair in our last study as his rule lasted 22 years, and Judge Tola before him 23 years, which corresponds to the 23-year Great Tribulation of our day as well as the present 22-year tribulation that we are presently in, and according to much Biblical information would end in the year 2033:


And after him arose Jair, a Gileadite, and judged Israel twenty and two years. {4} And he had thirty sons that rode on thirty ass colts, and they had thirty cities, which are called Havothjair unto this day, which [are] in the land of Gilead. 


In Judges 10 - Part 5 we learned that  Jair’s (H2971) name is derived from a word, [’owr:H215/TWOT*52] which is primarily translated as light, shine, or enlighten, and surfaces 43 times in the Old Testament. Spiritually Jair represents the Savior, Who is indeed the Light as we read in John 1:9,


[That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.


And He Had [hayah:H1961/TWOT*:491] 


What is most interesting about the verb, And he had  in the phrase And he had thirty sons…in Judges 10:4 or as we read in Judges 12:9 concerning Judge Ibzan …he had thirty sons… is the fact that it is not merely the verb to be, but also one of the names of God Himself - I AM  as He declared to Moses three times in verse 14 of Exodus 3:10-15,


Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. {11} And Moses said unto God, Who [am] I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? {12} And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this [shall be] a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. 


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)


{13} And Moses said unto God, Behold, [when] I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me,  What [is] his name? what shall I say unto them? {14} And God said unto Moses, I AM [hayah:H1961/TWOT:491] THAT I AM [hayah:H1961/TWOT:491]: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM [hayah:H1961/TWOT:491] hath sent me unto you. {15} And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations.


Thirty [sh@loshiym:H7970] Sons [ben:H1121]


The number thirty (10 X 3) is indicative of the purpose of God  spiritually, and thirty sons would typify the elect of God who He atoned for, at the foundation of the world.  This word for sons (as well as for daughters) is used extensively throughout the Old Testament, but the specific number of 30 sons is only found in connection with both Judge Jair and Judge Ibzan.  Here are some of the ways that God utilizes the word sons to describe His elect (male or female):


Verse 17 of Malachi 3:16-17 renders this word as his own son:  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard [it], and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. {17} And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son [ben:H1121] that serveth him.


Isaiah 45:11 makes this declaration, in which this term is translated as my sons:  Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons [ben:H1121], and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.


Verse 7 of Deuteronomy 6:4-7 includes this expression as unto thy children: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD: {5} And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. {6} And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: {7} And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children [ben:H1121], and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 


Thirty [sh@loshiym:H7970] Daughters [bath:H1323]


The precise number, thirty daughters, is only found in Judges 12:9 twice, and we can understand its spiritual significance to be identical to that of the sons - pointing to God’s redeemed children. The subsequent citations are a sampling of how God uses this word:


Psalm 45:9 expresses this word as daughters:  Kings' daughters  [bath:H1323] [were] among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.


Psalm 144:12 presents this beautiful spiritual portrait, in which both expressions, sons and daughters, surface:  That our sons [ben:H1121] [may be] as plants grown up in their youth; [that] our daughters [bath:H1323] [may be] as corner stones, polished [after] the similitude of a palace:


This is also the case in Isaiah 43:6, I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons [ben:H1121] from far, and my daughters [bath:H1323]  from the ends of the earth;


He Sent [shalach:H7971] Abroad [chuwts:H2351]


Let’s consider the two terms, he sent and abroad. They appear together in 10 other citations, and they can denote something positive or negative like most Hebrew words. For example if we turn to verse 10 of Job 5:8-10 we discover a positive illustration of these two expressions, and they are translated as and sendeth along with the fields:


I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: {9} Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number: {10} Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth [shalach:H7971]  waters upon the fields [chuwts:H2351]:


Verse 10 actually ties in to what we were discussing in our last study about how God is concerned with three types of rain. We learned about this in Joel 2:23,


Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately [ts@daqah:H666] [righteously], and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month].


Do you remember what the first one was? It was the former rain righteously, exemplifying the birth of the Messiah. What about the second and third periods of rain? The first one has to do with the Pentecostal rain associated with the beginning of the church age, when almost three thousand people were saved on that day, as we read in Acts 2:41,


Then they that gladly received his word were baptized [spiritually cleansed of their sins]: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.


The third period of rain, or second outpouring of the Holy Spirit, known as the Latter Rain  took place on September 7, 1994, when God sent out out the Gospel into the world as never before in human history, primarily  through the ministry of Family Radio to reach the remaining “nations” of the elect as never before in human history to fulfill the Great Commission, as we read in Matthew 28:18-20 which was fulfilled on May 21, 2011,


And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. {19} Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: {20} Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.


Verse 6 of Isaiah 10:5-6 highlight how the two terms he sent and abroad can be employed in a negative fashion, in which these words are expressed as I will send and of the streets:


O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. {6} I will send [shalach:H7971]  him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. [chuwts:H2351]


We recognize that God began His judgment at His own house first according to 1 Peter 4:17,


For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? 


The way God underscored this reality in the historical setting was by two very important events that impacted the nation of Israel which after Solomon’s death was divided into two entities. The northern kingdom consisting of 10 tribes (also known as Samaria), and the southern kingdom, comprised of the remaining two tribes. In 709 BC God used the Assyrians to bring judgment against the northern kingdom. Then exactly 100 years later God utilized the Babylonians to do the same to the southern kingdom.


We are just about out of time, so we will have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of verse 9.

Judges 12 - Part 12

 March 4, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 12 and today’s date is March 4, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:8-15,


And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. {9} And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, [whom] he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. {10} Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem. {11} And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years. {12} And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun. {13} And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel. {14} And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years. {15} And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites.


In our last study we left off at the last half of verse 9…and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. 


We discovered that these thirty sons and thirty daughters exemplify God’s elect. Moreover the thirty daughters from abroad for his sons in the historical context also represent God’s elect. These could also be a spiritual reference to the Bride of Christ who hails from …every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation… as one reads in both Revelation 5:9 and 14:6 respectively: 


And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;


And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,


Let’s take a closer look at the following terms - took in, abroad, and for his sons -  and how God employs them to try to verify this conclusion: 


Took In [bow’:H935] & Abroad [chuwts:H23451] & For His Sons [ben:H1121]


These three expressions are only found together again in the following two accounts:


Verse 5 of Deuteronomy 25:5-10 includes these terms in this chapter that deals with a variety of Biblical injunctions:  If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child [ben:H1121], the wife of the dead shall not marry without [chuwts:H23451] unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in [bow’:H935] unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. {6} And it shall be, [that] the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother [which is] dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. {7} And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother. {8} Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and [if] he stand [to it], and say, I like not to take her; {9} Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. {10} And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.


A wonderful illustration of the great importance that God places upon this command and its spiritual fulfillment in Christ is found in the historical parable of Ruth the Moabitess and Boaz of Bethlehem that runs all the way through the little book of Ruth. The background of this account takesd place during the time of the Judges that we are studying about in this series.  Elimelech and his wife Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion go to Moab to escape the famine in Judah. While in Moab Mahlon and Chilion marry two women from Moab, Ruth and Orpah respectively. However, tragedy strikes, and all three men die. Under the circumstances, Naomi decides to go back to Bethlehem and encourages her daughters-in-law to go back to their families, which is what Orpah did, but Ruth utters these touching words to her mother-in-law, under divine inspiration, in Ruth 1:16-17, indicating that God had done a work of grace in the life of this Moabitish woman:


And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, [or] to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people [shall be] my people, and thy God my God: {17} Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, [if ought] but death part thee and me.


It turns out that Boaz is a mighty man of wealth in Bethlehem and that he is related to Naomi’s deceased husband, Elimelech. Through a series of events that God orchestrated. Boaz (who typifies Christ spiritually) agrees to obey the injunction of Deuteronomy 25:5. However there is a somebody else (the kinsman) that is an unnamed closer relative (who spiritually exemplifies mankind) than Boaz who would be able to marry Ruth, and raise up seed for the dead. Ruth 4:1-12 describe the proceedings that took place that day:


Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. {2} And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. {3} And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which [was] our brother Elimelech's: {4} And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy [it] before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem [it], redeem [it]: but if thou wilt not redeem [it, then] tell me, that I may know: for [there is] none to redeem [it] beside thee; and I [am] after thee. And he said, I will redeem [it]. {5} Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy [it] also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. {6} And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem [it] for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem [it]. {7} Now this [was the manner] in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave [it] to his neighbour: and this [was] a testimony in Israel. {8} Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy [it] for thee. So he drew off his shoe. {9} And Boaz said unto the elders, and [unto] all the people, Ye [are] witnesses this day, that I have bought all that [was] Elimelech's, and all that [was] Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. {10} Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye [are] witnesses this day. {11} And all the people that [were] in the gate, and the elders, said, [We are] witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: {12} And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.


The closer relative or kinsman was unable to perform his responsibility indicating that spiritually mankind lacks the ability to redeem anybody because of his sin nature, as Psalm 49:7 underscores:


None [of them] can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:


This is why Boaz (a portrait of Christ) took upon Himself this obligation to be the Magnificent Redeemer of the Bride of Christ, which took place as we have learned at …the foundation of the world.


In stark contrast to what we just read, the second account in verse 13 of 1 Kings 21:1-15 highlights the sinfulness of unsaved mankind, who by nature is a false witness, as portrayed by the two children (sons) of Belial in this narrative; these terms are rendered, And there camechildrenand out of:   


And it came to pass after these things, [that] Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which [was] in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. {2} And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it [is] near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; [or], if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. {3} And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. {4} And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. {5} But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? {6} And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee [another] vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. {7} And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, [and] eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. {8} So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed [them] with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that [were] in his city, dwelling with Naboth. {9} And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: {10} And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And [then] carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. {11} And the men of his city, [even] the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, [and] as it [was] written in the letters which she had sent unto them. {12} They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. {13} And there came [bow’:H935] in two men, children [ben:H1121] of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, [even] against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of [chuwts:H23451]  the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. {14} Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. {15} And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.


What we have just discussed in the foregoing accounts serves to underscore the fact that we must let the Bible guide us into truth, which is the essence of comparing …spiritual things with spiritual according to 1 Corinthians 2:11-13; this is, after all,  how the Holy Spirit teaches:


For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. {12} Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. {13} Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.


Could you or I have imagined that these three expressions in Judges 12:9 would lead us to Deuteronomy 25 and 1 Kings 13? No, not at all. But when we allow God to teach us, utilizing the very methodology that He prescribes, we follow the example of those in the synagogue of  Berea, who were commended by God in Acts 17:10-12, and please note the outcome …many of them believed because we recognize that …faith (or “belief”) [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,  (Romans 10:17) during the day of salvation:


Acts 17:10-12 records:  And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. {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. {12} Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.


We have to conclude today’s study, as we have run out of time. Lord willing, in our next study we will commence with the last two words in verse 12, seven years.

Judges 12 - Part 13

 March 7, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 13 and today’s date is March 7, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:8-15,


And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. {9} And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, [whom] he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. {10} Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem. {11} And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years. {12} And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun. {13} And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel. {14} And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years. {15} And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites.


We have arrived at the last two terms in verse 12, seven years, as I mentioned at the close of our last study. The number seven is a very important number in the Bible which is associated with perfection, and God Himself, as we read in Revelation 5:6,


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 [denoting power] and seven eyes [divine omniscience] which are the seven Spirits of God [the perfection of the Triune God] sent forth into all the earth.


Seven [sheba`:H7651] Years [shaneh:H8141]


These next citations illustrate some of the ways that God uses the expression, seven years. One thing to keep in mind is that in Hebrew the number seven,  can also be expressed as seventeen (in combination with the number ten), seven (sevens), or the ordinal number, seventh. Seven [sheba`:H7651] is a noun that stems from the identically spelled verb form, sware or oath. [shaba`:H7650] It parallels the idea of vowing a vow as Jephthah did in Judges 11:30, in which both the noun form and verb form appear together in the same verse, even though these are different Hebrew words than the expression sware and oath.


And Jephthah vowed [nadar:H5087 - verb] a vow [neder:H5088 - noun] unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,


A good example of the verb forms vowed [nadar:H5087]  as well as sware [shaba`:H7650]   is found in verses 2 and 11 of Psalm 132:1-12,


[A Song of degrees.] LORD, remember David, [and] all his afflictions: {2} How he sware [shaba`:H7650] unto the LORD, [and] vowed [nadar:H5087]  unto the mighty [God] of Jacob; {3} Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; {4} I will not give sleep to mine eyes, [or] slumber to mine eyelids, {5} Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty [God] of Jacob. {6} Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood. {7} We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool. {8} Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. {9} Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. {10} For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed. {11} The LORD hath sworn [shaba`:H7650] [in] truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.


With that in mind, let’s explore some of the passages that contain the two words, seven [sheba`:H7651]  and years [shaneh:H8141]: 


In Genesis 29:18, 20, 27, 30 these two expressions crop up multiple times chronicling the seven year periods in which Jacob labored under Laban in order to marry Rachel:  


And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven [sheba`:H7651]  years [shaneh:H8141] for Rachel thy younger daughter. ... {20} And Jacob served seven [sheba`:H7651] years [shaneh:H8141] for Rachel; and they seemed unto him [but] a few days, for the love he had to her. ... {27} Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven [sheba`:H7651]  other years [shaneh:H8141]. ... {30} And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven [sheba`:H7651] other years. [shaneh:H8141]


In Genesis 37:2 these two terms are rendered as seventeen and years: These [are] the generations of Jacob. Joseph, [being] seventeen [`asar:H6240]  [sheba`:H7651] years [shaneh:H8141] old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad [was] with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.


Another very significant account in which these two words are found is in the first Great Tribulation (Affliction) of Joseph’s day in which he interprets Pharaoh’s dream, by God’s enabling. I’ll read Genesis 41:26, 29-30, 34, 36, 47-48, 53-54, 


The seven good kine [cattle] [are] seven [sheba`:H7651]years [shaneh:H8141]; and the seven [sheba`:H7651] good ears [are] seven [sheba`:H7651] years [shaneh:H8141]: the dream [is] one. ... {29} Behold, there come seven[sheba`:H7651] years [shaneh:H8141]  of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: {30} And there shall arise after them seven [sheba`:H7651] years [shaneh:H8141]  of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; ... {34} Let Pharaoh do [this], and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven [sheba`:H7651] plenteous years. [shaneh:H8141]  ... {36} And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven [sheba`:H7651] years [shaneh:H8141]  of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine. ... {47} And in the seven [sheba`:H7651] plenteous years [shaneh:H8141]  the earth brought forth by handfuls. {48} And he gathered up all the food of the seven[sheba`:H7651] [sheba`:H7651]

years [shaneh:H8141], which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which [was] round about every city, laid he up in the same. ... {53} And the seven [sheba`:H7651]  years  [shaneh:H8141] of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. {54} And the seven [sheba`:H7651] years [shaneh:H8141] of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.


Historically this account had to do with the famine in the land of Canaan (in this context, typifying judgment beginning at God’s own house first, as Canaan is a figure of the Kingdom of God on earth, which both national Israel and the churches were its outward expression), which is why Jacob sent his sons into Egypt as he had heard that there was plenty of food in Egypt. We can understand this to portray the famine of the Word of God in the churches and  denominations during that Great Tribulation of our day (that began of May 21, 1988), in which there was no spiritual food in the churches and denominations as the Holy Spirit had left; yet in the world (typified by Egypt) there was plenty of spiritual food, because God was still saving and nourishing His elect in the world at large. Do you remember the statement found in Amos 8:11-12?


Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: {12} And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find [it].


Here are a few more examples of these two terms, seven years:


 In verse 8 of Leviticus 25:1-10 we discover these two terms mentioned four times (indicating universality or the four points of the compass): And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, {2} Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. {3} Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; {4} But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. {5} That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: [for] it is a year of rest unto the land. {6} And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee, {7} And for thy cattle, and for the beast that [are] in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat. {8} And thou shalt number seven [sheba`:H7651]  sabbaths of years [shaneh:H8141] unto thee, seven [sheba`:H7651] times seven [sheba`:H7651] years [shaneh:H8141]; and the space of the seven [sheba`:H7651] sabbaths of years [shaneh:H8141]  shall be unto thee forty and nine years. [shaneh:H8141]  {9} Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth [day] of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. {10} And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.


The year of jubilee which took place every 50 years signified the proclamation of liberty throughout the land, highlighting the essence of the Gospel and the mission of the Lord Jesus at … the foundation of the world.  This served to release the captives to sin and to Satan from their spiritual bondage into the glorious liberty of the Kingdom of God, as Isaiah 61:1-3 affirms of the Work and Faith of the Messiah:


The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; {2} To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; {3} To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

All those within the Body of Bride of Christ are typified as a spiritual Temple, Who is Christ Himself. He is represented by the physical Temple which Solomon built in seven years according to 1 Kings 6:38. God’s had given precise instructions or “blueprints” to both David and to Solomon, even as the “blueprints” of the Tabernacle that preceded had been given to Moses:


And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which [is] the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven [sheba`:H7651] years [shaneh:H8141] in building it.


We also want to bear in mind that Christ is that Divine Temple, as John 2:21 reveals: 


But he spake of the temple of his body.


Likewise Revelation 22:21-27 asserts what is to be found in the New Heavens and New Earth:


And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. {23} And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof. {24} And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. {25} And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. {26} And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. {27} And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.


This theme is also reiterated in the New Testament in 1 Peter 2:5, in which God’s elect were lovingly places as “bricks” or stones that made up this Holy Temple throughout the very long “day” of salvation:  


Ye also, as lively [living] stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.


On that most wonderful note we have to bring today’s study to a close. Lord willing, in our next lesson, we will begin by addressing verse 10. 

Judges 12 - Part 14

 March 9, 2022


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 12 - Part 14 and today’s date is March 9, 2022. I’ll read from Judges 12:8-15,


And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. {9} And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, [whom] he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. {10} Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem. {11} And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years. {12} And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun. {13} And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel. {14} And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years. {15} And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites.


In our examination of Judges 12 we have arrived at verse 10, and the record of the death of Judge Ibzan in Bethlehem, which is the House of Bread. 


Then Died [muwth:H4191] And Was Buried [qabar:H4912]


Let’s consider the two expressions, Then died along with and was buried. These two words appear in 37 other verses, and we will consider some of them. For example they are connected with 6 other Judges - Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Elon and Abdon, and if you include Ibzan that equals 7, and in our last study we spent some time looking at the spiritual significance of that number which represents God’s perfection, plus in this study we will also see some other related spiritual truths.


One of the passages in which these two words emerge the greatest number of times is in verse 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, and 15 of  Genesis 23:1-18,


And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: [these were] the years of the life of Sarah. {2} And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same [is] Hebron in the land of Canaan [representing the Kingdom of God]: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. {3} And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, {4} I [am] a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury [qabar:H4912] my dead [muwth:H4191]  out of my sight. {5} And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him, {6} Hear us, my lord: thou [art] a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury [qabar:H4912] thy dead [muwth:H4191]; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury [qabar:H4912] thy dead. [muwth:H4191]  {7} And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, [even] to the children of Heth. {8} And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury [qabar:H4912] my dead [muwth:H4191] out of my sight; hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar, {9} That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which [is] in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you. {10} And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, [even] of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying, {11} Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that [is] therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury [qabar:H4912]  thy dead. [muwth:H4191]  {12} And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land. {13} And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou [wilt give it], I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take [it] of me, and I will bury my dead there. {14} And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him, {15} My lord, hearken unto me: the land [is worth] four hundred shekels of silver; what [is] that betwixt me and thee? Bury [qabar:H4912] therefore thy dead. [muwth:H4191]  {16} And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current [money] with the merchant. {17} And the field of Ephron, which [was] in Machpelah, which [was] before Mamre, the field, and the cave which [was] therein, and all the trees that [were] in the field, that [were] in all the borders round about, were made sure {18} Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city. {19} And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same [is] Hebron in the land of Canaan.


As King David stated to his son Solomon in 1 Kings 2:2 regarding his death, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man. We recognize that as soon as life begins (at conception) man begins to die because we have transgressed God’s Holy Law that declares in Romans 6:23a,


The wages of sin [is] death…


However in Genesis 23 there is much, much more than meets the eye, than Abraham’s desire to place his beloved wife Sarah in her final resting place on earth. Sarah is the only woman in the Bible whose death age (127 years) is mentioned in verse 1. She is also a beautiful picture of the Kingdom of God as we learn, for instance, in Galatians 4:21-27 which explains the spiritual distinction between the Law and Grace, as exemplified by Abraham’s wives - Sarah and Hagar, and their respective children - Isaac and Ishamel:


Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? {22} For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. {23} But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman [was] by promise. {24} Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. [Hagar] {25} For this Agar [Hagar] is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth [corresponds] to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. [the unsaved married to the Law of God] {26} But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. [Sarah] {27} For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.  


So if Sarah is a portrait of the Kingdom of God, comprised of all the elect, who does Abraham typify? He represents the Triune God, Who is the spiritual Husband of all the elect. Romans 7:1-4 outlines the difference between the only two classes of people that God is concerned with: the elect and the non-elect, and notice how verse 1 echoes what we just read in Galatians 4:1,


Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? {2} For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to [her] husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband. {3} So then if, while [her] husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. {4} Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.


The elect are those that God saved at… the foundation of the world, and the ones to whom He is married to. The non-elect remain married to the Law which they have broken time and time again (starting with the Fall in the Garden of Eden), and are subject to its penalty - which is death and annihilation: again, The wages of sin is death… The second part of Romans 6:23 is reserved for God’s elect exclusively, who, I might add, deserve absolutely nothing of God’s mercy and grace:


… but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


I’m just going to highlight a few truths about Genesis 23 in broad brushstrokes, because this chapter (like all chapters in the Bible is replete with much spiritual content). 


Abraham buys the field along with the cave in the same field. Sarah would be buried in this cave, and in time so would Abraham, and Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah, and Jacob. All the patriarchs were exceedingly wealthy and could have afforded to build entire cities with walls, and yet we do not read of them doing anything like that at all. What we do learn, for example, in Hebrews 11: 8-16 is the focus of their spiritual priorities:


By faith [Christ] Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. {9} By faith  [Christ] he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: {10} For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God. {11} Through faith  [Christ] also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful  [Christ] who had promised. {12} Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, [so many] as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. {13} These all died in faith [Christ], not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. {14} For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. {15} And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. {16} But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.


As a representation of God Himself, Abraham buys a field. Does that remind you of anything? Indeed we learn in Matthew 13:38, the spiritual significance of the field:


The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];


Please note the two categories of individuals that God is focused upon in this verse.


The field is also in view in another parable a little further down in Matthew 13:44 that ties in to Genesis 23 as well,


Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.  

In sum, Christ purchased the field or the world, because the treasure hid in a field typifies the Kingdom of God, which includes all the elect, who have lived and died in Christ, or are still living. This is what is being stated in 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23 respectively:


For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's…{7:23} Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.


The price that Abraham paid for the field in which to bury Sarah (picturing all the elect in the Kingdom of God) was 400 shekels of silver, and the number 4 X 100 indicates the complete fulfillment and farthest extent for those who have died in Christ, according to 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, and 42-57, 


But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept. {21} For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead. {22} For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. {23} But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits [at the foundation of the world]; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. {24} Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. {25} For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. {26} The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death. ... {42} So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: {43} It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: {44} It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. {45} And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit. {46} Howbeit that [was] not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. {47} The first man [is] of the earth, earthy: the second man [is] the Lord from heaven. {48} As [is] the earthy, such [are] they also that are earthy: and as [is] the heavenly, such [are] they also that are heavenly. {49} And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. {50} Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. {51} Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, {52} In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. {53} For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. {54} So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. {55} O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? {56}  The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. {57} But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


On that most comforting note, we have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next lesson, we will proceed to verse 11.