Bible Ministries International

Bible Studies

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

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

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JUDGES 3 - PART 1:

Aired 8/17/2016


Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 1 of chapter 3 of the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 1-4,


“Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; {2} Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; {3} [Namely], five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. {4} And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


Chronology Of The Book Of Judges


I mentioned at the onset of this series that the period of Judges lasted for 360 years (1407 BC - 1047 BC, from the entrance into Canaan until Saul was crowned as king), as Mr. Camping noted in his books Adam When and Time Has An End.  However the book of Judges itself covers 299 years of those 360 years - from 1407 BC - 1108 BC, ending with the death of Samson. During the initial 40-year period from 1407 BC - 1367 BC the conquest of Canaan under Joshua took place and the first judge, Othniel ruled; his rule is also mentioned in this chapter, which highlights one interesting aspect of these first three chapters is that, at times, they refer to events that happened in the past - such as Othniel - who is mentioned in conjunction with Joshua in Jos 15, but we do not read about him as judge until Jud 3:9  The next period stretches for 80 years ( 1367 BC - 1247 BC) during which Ehud and Shamgar judged Israel, and the rest of Chapter 3 concerns Ehud primarily, and verse 31 regarding Shamgar, even though he is mentioned briefly in Chapter 5:6 as well. 


Reiterating The Test


At the close of our last study in Chapter 2, God made three important points that I would like to bring to your attention, and which fit into the cycle of rebellion>oppression>deliverance>rest that characterizes the Book of Judges; this same pattern is also seen in the New Testament institutional churches and denominations, as Rev 2 and 3 depict, in which both “wheat” (symbolizing true believers) as well as “tares” (typifying the unsaved) were allowed to flourish together throughout the 1955 years of their existence as the external representation of the Kingdom of God on earth.


1.) The first is Israel’s continual rebellion - and the consequences of their sin - as God had warned Israel repeatedly, as we read, for instance, in Jud 2:2-3,


“And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? {3} Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be [as thorns] in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.


2.) Secondly, the younger generation that were born in the wilderness (those 19 years old and younger) that entered into the Promised Land with Joshua, died, and a new generation came onto the scene, according to Jud 2:10-13,

      “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. {11} And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: {12} And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that [were] round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. {13} And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.”


3.) Thirdly, God used the very nations that Israel did not completely destroy, to unleash His judgment against His corporate people, according to Num 33:55-56,


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


Living Amongst Their Enemies


Another spiritual perspective to consider is the fact that God allowed the Israelites (as a result of their disobedience) to live amongst their enemies, which is a principle that surfaces during the church age (as I mentioned previously with regard to the “wheat and tares” existing side by side). Moreover, we also see this today spiritually - in this prolonged “day of judgment” - in which the true believers are now living in a world filled with non-elect who are under the wrath of God. 


In the historical context, it would not be very long before the Israelites would be subjected to the “pricks,” “thorns,” and “vexations” that would assault them for their lack of obedience, and especially as it pertained to their relationship to God (their Husband) as indicated by their sinful marriages with the heathen, as Judges 3:5-7 acknowledges,


“And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: {6} And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. {7} And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves.”


This sin of going after heathen wives is a pattern that has its roots in Peor [Num 25], Midian [Num 31], Solomon [1 Kin 11], up to our present day - in which the marriage institution - the “building block of society” - has been essentially shattered, and replaced with every imaginable perversion that flows from the wickedness of man’s unregenerate heart, underscoring that mankind has absolutely no desire whatsoever to be in a spiritual marriage with their Maker, God Almighty. This mindset is similar to Israel who, tragically and foolishly, did not want God to rule over them in a benevolent theocracy during the days of Samuel, but instead lusted after an earthly king so they could be just like all the other heathen nations of the world! Mankind does not understand - that like it or not - they are, in a spiritual marriage - to the Law of God - Who is their Husband, and they have committed spiritual adultery, for which the payment is death or annihilation (i.e., “hell,” or the “grave”), as the following passages explain, 


Jer 3:20 acknowledges, “Surely [as] a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.”


Jer 31:32 likewise adds:  “Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:”


And Lev 20:10 discloses the punishment for adultery, which is death:  “And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man's wife, [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”


If God were to have followed this law precisely, He would have had to kill the entire nation of Israel for their sin of spiritual adultery. That, however, would have posed a series of seemingly impossible dilemmas: First, the Savior could not have taken on a human nature (through Mary); secondly, most of the elect from national Israel would never have lived, much less be saved; thirdly, God usage of Israel as the external representation of the kingdom of God on earth would have been thwarted; fourthly, the promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would not have been fulfilled. Because of these and other factors, God established a temporary law in Deu 24:1, which allowed Him to divorce Himself from Israel, without implementing the drastic measures I just listed:


“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness [“fornication”/”adultery”] in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give [it] in her hand, and send her out of his house.”


God also alludes to this spiritual divorce in Isa 50:1, “Thus saith the LORD, Where [is] the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors [is it] to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.


To Teach Them War


Getting back to Jud 3:1b-2, we read the phrase, “to teach them war”: 


“ ...[even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; {2}Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;” 


This statement would apply to the “new” generation of Israelites spoken of in Jud 2:10b-13, which I quoted earlier:


“...and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. {11} And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: {12} And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that [were] round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. {13} And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.


We learn that this “new” generation did not “know the LORD,” - in other words, they were not “born from above” - as evidenced by their total lack of obedience in verses 11-13. As a result, they were not equipped to do combat with their enemies - which underscores their inability to engage in spiritual warfare, according to Eph 6:10-18,


“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. {11} Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. {12} For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. {13} Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. {14} Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; {15} And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; {16} Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. {17} And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: {18} Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”


When people read the Old Testament, they often make the comment - “there is so much war and so much bloodshed as compared to the ‘love of Jesus’ in  the New Testament.” What they fail to realize is that the same God Who wrote the Old Testament also penned the New Testament. The same God in the Old Testament, Who is described in Exo 15:3, as 


“The LORD [is] a man of war: the LORD [is] his name” 


is the identical God Who characterized Himself in Mat 11:28-30 in this way:


“Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. {30} For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.”


Both judgment and mercy are two attributes of God’s infinitely perfect and holy Being. One has to understand that the historical battles which are recorded in the Old Testament are highlighting a far greater spiritual battle that was being waged over the course of 13,000 years - during the “day of salvation” - for the souls of men. This is the reason that Jesus spoke about plundering Satan’s kingdom on behalf of His elect (who were redeemed by Him prior to Creation) as we read in Mark 3:27, in which the Master refers to Satan and his kingdom, in which the “strong man” is a representation of Satan:


“No man can enter into a strong man's [i.e., Satan’s] house [i.e., “kingdom”], and spoil [“rob” or “plunder”] his goods [“chosen vessel” or “vessels of mercy” - picturing “the elect”], except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.”


Satan was “bound” spiritually at the Cross, which is why we see very few people saved (relatively speaking) throughout the Old Testament, and many more saved during the church age, which was ushered in by the “early rain,” on the Day of Pentecost, (May 22, 33 AD - May 21, 1988) and which increased exponentially during the “latter rain” (September 7, 1994 - May 21, 2011), as Mr. Camping discovered by the Biblical Calendar of history.


Well, it looks like I will have to stop here, as we have run out of time today. Lord willing, we will continue our examination of the parabolic nature of “warfare” in Jud 3:2 in our next study.

JUDGES 3 - PART 2: Air date: 8/24/2016


Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 2 of chapter 3 of the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 1-4,


“Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; {2} Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; {3} [Namely], five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. {4} And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


To Teach Them War (Cont.)


I would like to take a closer look at the phrase, “to teach them war” in Jud 3:2. I made the comment in our last study which bears repeating:  we learn that this “new” generation did not “know the LORD,” - in other words, they were not “born from above” - as evidenced by their total lack of obedience in verses 11-13. As a result, they were not equipped to do combat with their enemies - which underscores their inability to engage in spiritual warfare. One must keep in mind that the historical battles which are recorded in the Old Testament are highlighting a far greater spiritual battle that was being waged over the course of 13,023 years - during the “day of salvation” - for the “souls of men.” This is the reason that Jesus spoke about figuratively “binding” Satan (at the Cross), in order to plunder his kingdom to extract His elect (who were redeemed by Him prior to Creation) as we read in Mark 3:27, in which the Master refers to Satan and his kingdom, as the “strong man,” and his “house,” and interestingly enough, the word, “goods” (skeuos:G4632) is rendered predominantly as “vessels” - pointing to both the elect as well as the non-elect - which are featured, for instance, in a passage like Rom 9:11-18, and 21-23, which highlights the doctrine of divine election:


“(For [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) {12}  It was said unto her [Rebecca - Isaac’s wife], The elder shall serve the younger. {13} As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. {14} What shall we say then? [Is there] unrighteousness with God? God forbid. {15} For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. {16} So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. {17} For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. {18} Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth… {21} Hath not the potter [i.e., God] power over the clay [mankind - which God created from the “ground”], of the same lump to make one vessel [skeuos:G4632] unto honour, and another unto dishonour? {22} [What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels [skeuos:G4632] of wrath fitted to destruction: {23} And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels [skeuos:G4632] of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,” 


Thus we find the statement in Mark 3:27, “No man can enter into a strong man's [i.e., Satan’s] house [i.e., “kingdom”], and spoil [“rob” or “plunder”] his goods [skeuos:G4632] [“chosen vessels” or “vessels of mercy” or “vessels unto honor” - picturing “the elect;”], except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.”


God’s Usage Of These Two Terms - “To Teach [lamad:H3925] Them War [milchamah:H4421]


The following illustrations reveal how God uses these two Hebrew words, “to teach [lamad:H3925] them war [milchamah:H4421];” incidentally, these two terms appear in 7 other citations, besides Jud 3:2. Please note that “hands” and “fingers” in the following illustrations spiritually refer to one’s will:


For example, they are found in verse 35 of 2 Sam 22:33-36 (and its counterpart in Psa 18:34) which is a Messianic psalm - alluding parabolically to the Lord Jesus Christ, whom David typifies): “God [is] my strength [and] power: and he maketh my way perfect. {34} He maketh my feet like hinds' [feet]: and setteth me upon my high places. {35} He teacheth [lamad:H3925] my hands to war [milchamah:H4421]; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. {36} Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.”


In verse 1 of Psa 144:1-2, it is translated as “which teacheth” and “to fight”: “[A Psalm] of David.] Blessed [be] the LORD my strength, which teacheth [lamad:H3925] my hands to war, [and] my fingers to fight [milchamah:H4421]: {2} My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and [he] in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.”


There are two other citations that I would like us to consider which are quite similar, and which contain these same two Hebrew terms. They are found in Isa 2:4 amd Mic 4:3 respectively, and these chapters are concerned with either “the end of the church age,” and/or “the latter rain,” and/or additionally, with our current “day of Judgment.” Lord willing, these passages will help to shed further light on this topic of spiritual warfare; I’ll read some of the surrounding verses in order to establish the context for each of these references:


Isa 2:1-9 discusses both “the latter rain” - that 17 year period, which comprised the second part of the Great Tribulation of our day (from September 7, 1994 - May 21, 2011) - as well as the “end of the New Testament church era,” (which took place on May 21, 1988 - and initiated the first part of the Great Tribulation, which lasted 2300 “evening-mornings,” in which virtually nobody was saved), during which the Holy Spirit abandoned all the churches and denominations worldwide and without exception, as they came under God’s wrath, in fulfillment of 1 Pet 4:17 and Jer 25:29 (and many other citations); during that time, God installed Satan who worked through his “ministers of righteousness” [(2 Cor 11:13-15) the pastors, elders, and deacons] to rule there: 


“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem [spiritually symbolizing the churches and denominations]. {2} And it shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain [i.e., “kingdom”] [har:H2022] of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains [i.e., “kingdom”] [har:H2022], and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. {3} And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain [i.e., “kingdom”] [har:H2022] of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. {4} And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn [lamad:H3925] war [milchamah:H4421] any more. {5} O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. {6} Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and [are] soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. {7} Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither [is there any] end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither [is there any] end of their chariots: {8} Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: {9} And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.


Likewise Mic 4:1-10 reveals, “But in the last days it shall come to pass, [that] the mountain [i.e., “kingdom”] [har:H2022] of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains [i.e., “kingdom”] [har:H2022], and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. {2} And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain [i.e., “kingdom”] [har:H2022] of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. {3} And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn [lamad:H3925] war [milchamah:H4421] any more. {4} But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make [them] afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken [it]. {5} For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. {6} In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; {7} And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. {8} And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. {9} Now why dost thou cry out aloud? [is there] no king [Christ] in thee? is thy counsellor [Holy Spirit] perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. {10} Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, [“world”] and thou shalt go [even] to Babylon; [“the world” - Satan’s kingdom] there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.


In The Last Days


Verses 2-3 in both Isa 2 and Mic 4 pinpoint the timing of the events which they speak about - “in the last days,” or “in the latter days,” which is comprised of two Hebrew words:  “in the last/latter” (’achariyth:H319) and “days” (yowm:H3117), and both are found together in 17 citations; let’s consider a number of them to see how God utilizes these two words in a few places:


Reminding one of a similar statement that Paul made in Acts 20:29-30, Moses, under divine inspiration affirms in Deu 31:29, “For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt [yourselves], and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter [’achariyth:H319] days [yowm:H3117]; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.”


In a chapter that denounces the pastors of the institutional churches, Jer 23:20 further adds, “The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter [’achariyth:H319] days [yowm:H3117] ye shall consider it perfectly.”


Likewise in Dan 10:14, Daniel receives instruction about the Great Tribulation and after: “Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter [’achariyth:H319] days [yowm:H3117]: for yet the vision [is] for [many] days.”


The Mountain [har:H2022] Of The House Of The LORD Shall Be Established [kuwn:H3559] In The Top Of The Mountains [har:H2022] 


The next phrase we want to investigate is: “...the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains…”  Please note that “mountains” in the Bible refer to spiritual kingdoms, and both in Isa 2:2 and Mic 4:2, we see that the kingdom f God is in view. Incidentally, this is also the case in Mat 24:15-16, which is depicting the end of the church age (hence the term, “the abomination of desolation”) and the necessity to flee to the “mountains” - or the kingdom of God - which, as a consequence, could only be found in the Word of God:


“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) {16} Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:” [oros:G3735]


Even though believers were to flee their local churches, as God stipulated, He would be saving an unprecedented number of people during the “latter rain” that would be flowing into the “... mountain of the house of the LORD…,” as these next verses testify, where the term, “shall be established” (kuwn:H3559) is utilized:


Hos 6:3, “Then shall we know, [if] we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared [kuwn:H3559] as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter [and] former rain unto the earth.”


Exo 15:17 beautifully acknowledges God’s sovereignty in drawing His elect to salvation; notice too, the emphasis that God does all the work, as His “hands” typify His will: “Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain [har:H2022] of thine inheritance, [in] the place, O LORD, [which] thou hast made for thee to dwell in, [in] the Sanctuary, O Lord, [which] thy hands have established. [kuwn:H3559]”


In Exo 23:20, we learn that Christ - Who is the “Angel” or “Messenger” of the Covenant (or “Gospel” - Mal 3:1)  “Behold, I send an Angel [Christ] before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. [kuwn:H3559]”


2 Chr 3:1 reveals the start of the Temple project, under King Solomon (Who typifies Christ spiritually): “Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where [the LORD] appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared [kuwn:H3559] in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.”


And in 2 Chr 8:16, “Now all the work of Solomon was prepared [H3559] unto the day of the foundation of the house of the LORD, and until it was finished. [So] the house of the LORD was perfected.”


Lord willing, we will have to continue our examination of Isa 2 and Mic 4 in our next study.





JUDGES 3 - PART 3: Air date: 8/27/2016



Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 3 of chapter 3 of the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 1-4,


“Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; {2} Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach [lamad:H3925] them war [milchamah:H4421], at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; {3} [Namely], five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. {4} And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


Isaiah 2:4-5 And Micah 4:3-5


In our last few studies, we have taken a detour to look more closely at two words - to teach [lamad:H3925] them war [milchamah:H4421] - found in Jud 3:2. There are two practically identical passages that contain these two terms which we have been considering in our last few studies, and will be our focus in this study as well:


Isa 2:4-5 maintains, And he shall judge [shaphat:H8199] among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn [lamad:H3925] war [milchamah:H4421] any more. {5} O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.”


And Mic 3:4-5 states, “And he shall judge [shaphat:H8199] among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn [lamad:H3925] war [milchamah:H4421] any more. {4} But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make [them] afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken [it].” 


And He Shall Judge [shaphat:H8199]


Let’s consider the first term, “And he shall judge” (shaphat:H8199) found in both of these citations. We have encountered this term already in the Book of Judges, both as a noun as well as a verb, and we will continue to see it throughout this series. However, we’re interested in discovering the spiritual meaning that God has hidden in these two passages, in relationship to the phrase that warfare will cease: “...nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn [lamad:H3925] war [milchamah:H4421] any more.” In our previous studies, we noted that the warfare in view is spiritual in character between two “nations” - the Kingdom of God and the dominion of Satan, as God plundered Satan’s prison house to set God’s elect free, whom He had redeemed from the foundation of the world. Besides the time prior to man’s fall into sin, and the “New Heaven and New Earth,” there appears to be only one other time when this spiritual warfare would have stopped - and that is today - during this prolonged “day of Judgment,” since all the elect to be saved have been saved, and consequently, there is no need to plunder the “strong man’s (Satan’s) house (kingdom)” any longer. Of course this does not mean that there is no opposition from the enemy, and everything is a proverbial “bed of roses” - far from it as the believers’ souls are vexed daily (as was Lot) as we read in 2 Pet 2:8,


“(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;)”


Additionally, God is severely testing everybody: non-believers, those who claim to be His people, as well as the genuine saints who are addressed in 1 Pet 4:12-13,


Beloved [those upon whom God has bestowed His salvation love], think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: {13} But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings [pathema:G3804]; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”


Php 3:10 is an an outstanding passage that touches upon suffering, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings [pathema:G3804], being made conformable unto his death;” In spite of using a different word for “suffer,” Php 1:29 emphasizes the intimate bond between faith and suffering, which the Savior perfectly demonstrated, and which His people are called to emulate: “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer [pascho:G3958] for his sake;”


I was also reminded of the fact that believers have always suffered at varous times throughout history, but I was struck afresh with the truth that in doing so they are following the same “pattern” that Christ was subjected to during His life here on earth - a “pattern” of suffering - and as 1 Pet 4:12 explains, this is normative, since believers constitute the “body” of Christ, which is what Col 1:24 maintains,


“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:”

Back to the word “judge” (shaphat:H8199)...and here are a few illustrations, of how God utlizes this term:


In a chapter that speaks of God’s “times and seasons” which He has ordained for mankind, verse 17 of  Ecc 3:16-17 pinpoints our present day. Along with Ecc 3:6, it depicts the “season of judgment” that fell upon the chuches as of May 21, 1988, and then transitioned to the world at large as of May 21, 2011,


Ecc 3:6a encapsulates the distinction between “the day of salvation” and “the day of judgment”: “A time to get [most often translated as “seek” - baqash:H1345], and a time to lose [most often rendered as “perish” - ’abad:H6];...”


Ecc 3:16-17 acknowledges, “And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, [that] wickedness [was] there; and the place of righteousness, [that] iniquity [was] there. {17} I said in mine heart, God shall judge [shaphat:H8199] the righteous and the wicked: for [there is] a time there for every purpose and for every work.”


Similarly, Isa 11:3-4, repeats this same theme, while presenting the Lord Jesus Christ, as “the Judge of all the earth” (Gen 18:25):  “And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge [shaphat:H8199] after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: {4} But with righteousness shall he judge [shaphat:H8199] the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.


Notice the last phrase in Isa 11:4, in which God likens His judgment to that which comes out of “His mouth” and out of “His lips.” And what does come out of God’s mouth and lips, but His Divine Word, as we read, for example, in Rev 1:16,


“And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged [distomos:G1366] sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.”


Heb 4:12 clarifies Who (Christ) or what that “twoedged sword” is, in reality: “For the word of God [is] quick [i.e., “alive”], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged [distomos:G1366] sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”



This double-sided sword is fashioned in this manner, as each edge performs a different task: one edge “cuts” to eternal life those whom God had predestined to salvation during the day of salvation; the other edge “cuts” the non-elect to the grave and annihilation - which is the Biblical definition for “hell.”


 One verse that depicts our current “day of judgment,” and the responsibility that believers share in declaring this judgment (besides “feeding God’s elect spiritually with the Word of God) is found in Psa 149:6-9, 


“[Let] the high [praises] of God [be] in their mouth, and a twoedged [piyphiyah:H6374] sword in their hand; {7} To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments upon the people; {8} To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; {9} To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.”


And Shall Rebuke Many People/And Rebuke Strong Nations Afar Off


Let’s now consider the word “rebuke” (yakach:H3198) which is found in both Isa 2:4 and Mic 4:3 respectively in the phrases, “And shall rebuke many people…” and “And rebuke strong nations afar off…” As with the word “judge,” this term can be applied to believer and non-believer alike, and is especially pertinent for our present day, when all are being tested by the Word of God:


We considered Isa 11:3-4, a few minutes ago, since it contained the word “judge,”(shaphat:H8199)  but also includes this term, “reprove” (yakach:H3198), and both appear twice. As I mentioned previously, the Lord Jesus Christ is most certianly in view in His role as “Judge,” and by inserting both of these words together in the same context, God is effectively linking them together so that their signification is equivalent; I’ll read verse 1-4, 


“ And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: {2} And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; {3} And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge  [shaphat:H8199]  after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove [yakach:H3198] after the hearing of his ears: {4} But with righteousness shall he judge  [shaphat:H8199]  the poor, and reprove [yakach:H3198] with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”


Besides, Isa 11:3-4, only our main verses - Isa 2:4 and Mic 4:3, and two other passages in Proverbs, reflect this dualism:

In Pro 9:8, both the “scorner” (or non-believer) as well as the “wise man” (or believer) are on display: Reprove [yakach:H3198] not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke [yakach:H3198] a wise man, and he will love thee.”


We find this same dualism in Pro 19:25 between the “scorner” (or non-elect) and “one that hath understanding” (or the elect) : “Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove [yakach:H3198] one that hath understanding, [and] he will understand knowledge.”


This is also the case in Psa 50, in which the term “reprove,” appears in verses 8 and 21, and both the “saints” as well as the “wicked,” are in view - who in this context, are also referred to as “Israel” or “my people” (typifying the churches and denominations): “[A Psalm of Asaph.] The mighty God, [even] the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. {2} Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. {3} Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. {4} He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. {5} Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. {6} And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God [is] judge himself. Selah. {7} Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I [am] God, [even] thy God. {8} I will not reprove thee [yakach:H3198]  for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, [to have been] continually before me. {9} I will take no bullock out of thy house, [nor] he goats out of thy folds. {10} For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills. {11} I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field [are] mine. {12} If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world [is] mine, and the fulness thereof. {13} Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? {14} Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: {15} And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. {16} But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or [that] thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? {17} Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. {18} When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. {19} Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. {20} Thou sittest [and] speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. {21} These [things] hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether [such an one] as thyself: [but] I will reprove [yakach:H3198]  thee, and set [them] in order before thine eyes. {22} Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear [you] in pieces, and [there be] none to deliver. {23} Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth [his] conversation [aright] will I shew the salvation of God.”

We’re going to have to stop here today. Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of both Isa 2:4-5, and Mic 4:3-4.










JUDGES 3 - PART 4: Air date: 9/01/2016


Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 4 of chapter 3 of the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 1-4,


“Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; {2} Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach [lamad:H3925] them war [milchamah:H4421], at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; {3} [Namely], five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. {4} And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


Isaiah 2:4 And Micah 4:3


In our last few studies, we have taken a detour to look more closely at two words - to teach [lamad:H3925] them war [milchamah:H4421] - found in Jud 3:2. There are two practically identical passages that contain these two terms which we have been considering in our last studies, and we will continue to do as well today:


Isa 2:4 declares, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears [chaniyth:H2595] into pruninghooks [mazmerah:H4211]: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn [lamad:H3925] war [milchamah:H4421] any more. 


Likewise Mic 4:3 affirms, “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat [kathath:H3807] their swords [chereb:H2719] into plowshares [’eth:H855], and their spears [chaniyth:H2595] into pruninghooks [mazmerah:H4211]: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn [lamad:H3925] war [milchamah:H4421] any more. 


And They Shall Beat [kathath:H3807] Their Swords [chereb:H2719] Into Plowshares [’eth:H855]


We have arrived at the phrase “and they shall beat [kathath:H3807]  their swords [chereb:H2719]  into plowshares [’eth:H855],” found in both Isa 2:4 and Mic 4:3, and composed of three terms. These three words only appear together in one other passage - Joel 3:10 - which I will discuss at a later time, so for right now let’s consider these terms individually to see how God employs each of them in the Old Testament, starting with the first one - “and they shall beat”:


And They Shall Beat [kathath:H3807] 


We discover this word - with regard to swords - in 17 verses, in which it is translated in the following ways:  “beat (4x), destroyed(3x), beat down (2x), break in pieces(2x), smite (2x), beat in pieces(1x), discomfited(1x), crushed(1x),  and stamped(1x); this is yet another example of a Hebrew word that is “pregnant” with meaning. Let’s consider some of its usages:


Lev 22 is a chapter in which God lays down many commands regarding “clean” and “unclean” ceremonial laws, among which is verse 24, in which this word, “and they shall beat” is rendered “or crushed”: “Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, [kathath:H3807] or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make [any offering thereof] in your land.”


By this injuction concerning “burnt offerings,” God was both stipulating and highlighting a very important principle - namely, that the animal to be sacrificed had to be physically “perfect;” in other words, it had to have no external blemishes or marks, as the verse indicates - “bruised,”  “crushed,” “broken,”  or “cut.” Perfection was required, since all these burnt offerings pointed to the Messiah’s sinless perfection, prior to becoming spirtually defiled with the sins of His elect people “as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” (Rev 13:8), as 1 Pet 1:18-21 testify:


“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; {19} But with the precious blood [i.e., “life”- Lev 17:11] of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: {20} Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times [this happened at the Cross] for you, {21} Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”


Another illustration of this word, “and they shall beat,”  is in Deu 9:21,  where it is rendered as “and stamped”: “And I took your sin, the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped [kathath:H3807] it, [and] ground [it] very small, [even] until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount.”


Please note the allusion to “sin” on the part of the Israelites (who spiritually represent God’s elect), as in Lev 22:24, as well as “destruction,” as this word, “and stamped” it to dust insinuates. This idea of destruction also appears in the following references as well:


 This term is rendered “and brake in pieces” in verse 4 of 2 Kin 18:1-4, regarding the faithfulness of good King Hezekiah, as God worked in him to accomplish God’s will: “Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, [that] Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. {2} Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also [was] Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. {3} And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. {4} He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces [kathath:H3807] the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.”


Similarly, we read in verse 7 of Mic 1, which is a chapter that typifies the destruction of the New Testament churches and denominations [for their worship of  “high places” (or false doctrines), instead of literal “brass serpents”] that came under the wrath of God on May 21, 1988: “And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, [kathath:H3807] and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered [it] of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot.”

 

Their Swords [chereb:H2719] Into Plowshares [’eth:H855] 


In our previous  studies, I made the point that warfare - typified by the “sword” - is spiritual in character between two “nations” - the Kingdom of God and the dominion of Satan -  as God plundered Satan’s prison house during the “day of salvation” to set God’s elect free, whom He had redeemed from the foundation of the world. However, since all the elect to be saved have been saved, there is no need to plunder the “strong man’s (Satan’s) house (kingdom)” any longer, which is why the Great Commission was fulfilled on May 21, 2011, as we read in Mat 24:14,


“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.


So how then do we understand the parabolic meaning of “plowshares” (’eth:H855) taking over the role of “swords” (i.e., the “sword of the Spirit,” or the Bible - by which to plunder Satan’s kingdom)? By the way, please do not think that I am suggesting that we don’t need the Bible any more! Nothing could be farther from the truth. I’m simply making the point that we have entered into a new “time and season” - “the day of judgment” - and during this period, we are to focus not on reaching the “lost,” but rather on “feeding God’s sheep,” and to do that we most certainly need the Bible as much as we ever did. In light of that, let’s look at some ways that God employs this word for “plowshares,” besides, Isa 2:4, Mic 4:3, and Joel 3:10. 


1 Sam 13:20-21 is the only other passage that remains, which uses the word, “plowshare” and renders it as “coulter(s),” and apparently, its root word is unknown: “But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share [macharesheth:H4282], and his coulter[’eth:H855], and his axe, and his mattock. {21} Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters [’eth:H855], and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads.”


However, there is another word that is rendered “plow” or “plowman” that is actually the root word for “ his share” (macharesheth:H4282) [which apparently is some other kind of hoe], found in 1 Sam 13:20, and it is charash (H2790); here are a few illustrations:


In Psa 129:3, this term is used twice as “the plowers” and “plowed;” additionally, the word “furrows” is doubled in the original (even though this is not apparent in the KJV... reminding us of Moses striking the rock twice), and is pointing to the humiliation and affliction that Christ underwent in paying for the sins of the elect prior to Creation, and then manifesting that on the Cross in 33 AD: “The plowers [charash:H2790] plowed [charash:H2790] upon my back: they made long their furrows. [ma`anah:H4618] [ma`anah:H4618]. Another very compelling point is that the word, “upon my back” (gab:H1354) can refer to the Godhead (see the “backs” of the “living creature” in Eze 10). Additionally, the root word for the compound word,“furrows” in Psa 129:3 is `anah (H6031), and it appears in Isa 53:4 and 7, with regard to Christ’s sufferings, and is rendered, “and afflicted,” along with “and he was afflicted” respectively, dramatically accentuating the intensity of Christ’s spiritual agony in the Atonement: 


“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. [`anah:H6031] ... {7} He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, [`anah:H6031] yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”


Please note the word, “they made long” (’arak:H748) with regards to the “furrows” on His back in Psa 129:3; this word is found, interestingly enough, in 1 King 8:8 (which ties into our workshop on the word “rib” - which can refer to the “side” of the Ark of the Covenant and its “staves”), where it is rendered as “And they drew out” along with Isa 53:10, in which it is translated as “he shall prolong” (’arak:H748)  in the phrase, “...he shall prolong his days…”


“And they drew out [’arak:H748] the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy [place] before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day.”


“ Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [’arak:H748] [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.”


As I mentioned in our last study (and it bears repeating), the sufferings of Christ are a pattern, which true believers - who comprise His Body on earth - are to partake of, even as He did, according to 2 Cor 4:8-11, 

“[We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; {9} Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; {10} Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. {11} For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”


Another passage to consider is Jer 26:18 (quoting Mic 3:12)  in which the end of the church age is clearly in view: “Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed [charash:H2790] [like] a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.


Getting back to the question at hand -  if swords are beaten into plowshares, since the Great Commission has been accomplished, what purpose does the “plowshare” serve during the “day of judgment”? 


Let’s consider what the New Testament says about plowing, as it relates to the sending forth of the Gospel during the “day of salvation.” We read in Luke 17:7-10, in which God joins together two different aspects of ministry: “plowing” - or preparing the ground to receive seed, as well as “feeding cattle” - nourishing God’s elect with spiritual food; this latter objective also transitions into our present “day of judgment.”


“But which of you, having a servant plowing [arotriao:G722] or feeding cattle [pomaino:G4165], will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? {8} And will not rather say unto him, Make ready [hetoimazo:G2090] wherewith [tis:G5101] I may sup [deipno:G1172], and [kai:G2532] gird thyself [perizzonnymi:G4024], and serve [diakoneo:G1247] me [moi:G3427], till [heos:G2193] I have eaten [phago:G5315] and [kai:G2532] drunken [pino:G4095]; and [kai:G2532] afterward [meta:G3326] [tauta:G5023] thou shalt eat [phago:G5315] and [kai:G2532] drink [pino:G4095]? {9}  Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow [“think”] not. {10} So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”


Unfortunately because of time I won’t be able to elaborate on this and how it fits into our current day, so we’ll have to pick this up in our next study, Lord willing. 

 





JUDGES 3 - PART 5: Air date: 9/02/2016



Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 5 of chapter 3 in the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 1-4,


“Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; {2} Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach [lamad:H3925] them war [milchamah:H4421], at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; {3} [Namely], five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. {4} And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


Isaiah 2:4 And Micah 4:3 (Cont.)


We have taken a detour to look more closely at two words - to teach [lamad:H3925] them war [milchamah:H4421] - found in Jud 3:2. We have been examining two passages that are almost verbatim, which contain these two terms: 


Isa 2:4 declares, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears [chaniyth:H2595] into pruninghooks [mazmerah:H4211]: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn [lamad:H3925] war [milchamah:H4421] any more. 


Likewise Mic 4:3 affirms, “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat [kathath:H3807] their swords [chereb:H2719] into plowshares [’eth:H855], and their spears [chaniyth:H2595] into pruninghooks [mazmerah:H4211]: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn [lamad:H3925] war [milchamah:H4421] any more. 


The question that we have been seeking an answer to is: if swords are beaten into plowshares, since the Great Commission has been accomplished, what purpose does the “plowshare” serve during the “day of judgment”? We began by looking at what the New Testament says about “plowing” during the “day of salvation,” and we looked briefly at Luke 17:7-10 at the close of our last study,


“But which of you, having a servant plowing [arotriao:G722] or feeding cattle [pomaino:G4165], will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? {8} And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and  drunken and afterward thou shalt eat and drink {9}  Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow [“think”] not. {10} So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”


We have understood this passage to identify the transition that took place between “the day of salvation,” and the “day of judgment.” During the “day of salvation” true believers were actively engaged in sharing the Gospel all around the world leading up to May 21, 2011, which marked both the end of the 23-year Great Tribulation, as well as the “day of salvation.” It was at this point that the servant comes in from the field (i.e. “the world” - having labored tofulfill the Great Commission during the “day of salvation”), looking forward to his eternal rest, and the resurrection of his body - as many of God’s elect were anticipating. Instead, the weary servant is issued a new directive in Luke 17:8,


“Make ready wherewith I may sup and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten [phago:G5315] and  drunken [pino:G4095]and afterward thou shalt eat [phago:G5315] and drink.” [pino:G4095]


Mat 25:34-36 and 40 helps us to better grasp the intent of this command: 


“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: {35} For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat [phago:G5315]: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink [potizo:G4222]: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: {36} Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me… {40} And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.


By the way the Strong’s # for “meat” in Mat 25:35 is the same as “shalt eat” in Luke 17:8, however with regard to “drink,” they are two different words.


In Luke 17:7, the root word for “plowing” (arotriao:G722) is arotron (G723), and it only appears in one other verse - in Luke 9:62 - but I’ll read verses 57-62 for the sake of the context:


“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain [man] said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. {58} And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air [have] nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay [his] head. {59} And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. {60} Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. {61} And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. {62} And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough [arotron:G723], and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”


Luke 9:62 is underscoring a vital Biblical principle in connection with “plowing” - which is not “looking” (blepo:G991)  “back” (opiso:G3694). The only other occurrence where these two terms appear together is in Luke 21:8, 


“And he said, Take heed [blepo:G991] that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ]; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after [opiso:G3694] them.”


It’s important to remember that the chief characteristic of the 23-year Great Tribulation (which lasted from May 21,1988 - May 21, 2011) is unparalleled deception, as Jesus also noted in Mat 24:4-5, 11, and 24,


“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive [planao:G4105] you. {5} For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive [planao:G4105] many. ... {11} And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive [planao:G4105] many. ... {24} For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive [planao:G4105] the very elect.”


Without question, the greatest “test” is found in verse 15, regarding the end of God’s usage of His divine organism - the institutional churches and denominations all over the world. The command to leave the churches was the means that God employed to separate the “wheat” (the elect) from the “tares” (the non-elect):


“ When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) …”


2 Thes 2:3-4, and 8-12 provide this insight regarding the “man of sin” (or Satan), God allowing him to rule in all the churches, and God Himself “...send[ing] them strong delusion…”


“Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away [apostasia:G646] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; {4} Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth [to “sit” means “to rule”] in the temple of God, [the churches and denominations] shewing himself that he is God. ... {8} And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: {9} [Even him], whose coming is after [should be “against”] the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, {10} And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. {11} And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: {12} That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”


There is also a notable example of one “looking back” in the Old Testament - the sad account of Lot’s wife in Gen 19:17 and 26 - in which God expresses this same command to not “ look back” in verse 17:


“And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. ... {26} But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”[salt is indicative of God’s judgment]


The New Testament commentary on this is found in Luke 17:28-32 - a chapter that deals with end-time events, including the end of the church age, even though a different Strong’s # is utilized for the verb “return” in verse 31, but its significance remains the same:


“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; {29} But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all. {30} Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. {31} In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return [epistrepho:G1994] back [opiso:G3694]. {32} Remember Lot's wife.


One last verse before proceeding is Pro 4:25 and 27, which  provide these instructions: 


“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. ... {27} Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”


And Their Spears [chaniyth:H2595] Into Pruning Hooks [mazmerah:H4211]


Before coming to any conclusions with respect to “swords” being beaten into “plowshares,” I would like to first investigate the phrase “...and their spears [chaniyth:H2595] into pruning hooks [mazmerah:H4211] ...” These two words only appear together in Isa 2:4 and Mic 4:3, so we will have to consider them separately.


And Their Spears [chaniyth:H2595]


Verse 9 of Psa 46:8-10 helps to clarify the fact that the spiritual warfare that was raging during the “day of salvation” ceased on May 21, 2011. Notice the same word for “war” in Isa 2:4 and Mic 4:3 is utilized in Psa 46:9, along with the word, “desolations” that is indicative of “the day of judgment;” additionally,  the weapons - the bow, the spear, and the chariot - are ruined: “Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. {9} He maketh wars [milchamah:H4421] to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear [chaniyth:H2595] in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. {10} Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”


Well, I think we’ll have to stop here and continue our examination of Isa 2:4 and Mic 4:3 in our next study.
















JUDGES 3 - PART 6: Air date: 9/12/2016



Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 6 of Chapter 3 in the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 1-4,


“Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; {2} Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach [lamad:H3925] them war [milchamah:H4421], at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; {3} [Namely], five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. {4} And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


Isaiah 2:4 And Micah 4:3 (Cont.)


We have taken a detour to look more closely at two words - to teach [lamad:H3925] them war [milchamah:H4421] - found in Jud 3:2. We have been examining two passages that are almost verbatim, which contain these two terms: 


Isa 2:4 declares, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat [kathath:H3807] their swords [chereb:H2719] into plowshares [’eth:H855], and their spears [chaniyth:H2595] into pruninghooks [mazmerah:H4211]: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn [lamad:H3925] war [milchamah:H4421] any more. 


Likewise Mic 4:3 affirms, “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat [kathath:H3807] their swords [chereb:H2719] into plowshares [’eth:H855], and their spears [chaniyth:H2595] into pruninghooks [mazmerah:H4211]: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn [lamad:H3925] war [milchamah:H4421] any more. 


As I mentioned in an earlier lesson, we need to keep in mind that both of these chapters are speaking about events in our day - the Great Tribulation, the “latter rain,” and the “day of judgment.” And we are considering the spiritual import of “plowshares” and “pruninghooks” during our present “day of judgment,” since May 21, 2011, which is when the plundering of Satan’s kingdom would have ceased, as a result of all of God’s elect having become saved.


And Their Spears [chaniyth:H2595] Into Pruning Hooks [mazmerah:H4211] (Cont.)


At the close of our last study we began to look at the word, “spears” individually, (since “spears” and “pruninghooks” are only found together in Isa 2:4, Mic 4:3, and Joel 3:10), and we discovered a very significant passage in verse 9 of Psa 46:8-10, which contains the words, “spear” (chaniyth:H2595) as well as “he maketh wars,” (milchamah:H4421) indicating that the spiritual warfare that was raging during the “day of salvation” ceased on May 21, 2011. Notice the same word for “war” in Isa 2:4 and Mic 4:3 is utilized here in Psa 46:9, along with the word, “what desolations”(shammah:H8047) which also typifies “the day of judgment;” additionally, please note that the weapons of war in view - the “bow,” [qesheth:H7198] the “spear,”[chaniyth:H2595] and the “chariot” [`agalah:H5699] - are ruined, and God is being exalted “among the heathen,” and “in the earth.”


“Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations [shammah:H8047] he hath made in the earth. {9} He maketh wars [milchamah:H4421] to cease [shabath:H7673] unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow [qesheth:H7198], and cutteth the spear [chaniyth:H2595] in sunder; he burneth the chariot [`agalah:H5699] in the fire. {10} Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”


Into Pruning Hooks [mazmerah:H4211]


Along with Isa 2:4 and Mic 4:3 there is another reference which I have alluded to, that includes the same terms, “plowshares” and “swords,” along with “pruninghooks,” with the exception of “spears,” (which is a different Strong’s #); you will notice, however, that the order is reversed from what one finds in the other two citations - in that the “plowshares” and “pruninghooks”are being “beaten” into “swords,” and “spears,” since God is calling for both “war”  and “judgment;” I’ll read verses 9-16, for the sake of the context:


Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: {10} Beat [kathath:H3807]  your plowshares [’eth:H855] into swords [chereb:H2719], and your pruninghooks [mazmerah:H4211] into spears [romach:H7420]: let the weak say, I [am] strong. {11} Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. {12} Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. {13} Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe [or “withered]: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness [is] great. {14} Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision [“slaughter”]: for the day of the LORD [is] near in the valley of decision. [or “slaughter”] {15} The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. {16} The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD [will be] the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”


Here we see a portrait of our present situation - during this prolonged day of judgment - in which Christ working in conjunction with His Body on earth are bringing judgment against the unsaved inhabitants of the earth, who are under God’s wrath (which is what the “sword” and “spear” symbolize) as we read in 1 Cor 6:2,


Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?”


In Rev 14: 14-20, we see two “reapings” taking place with regard to the condemnation of the non-elect - the first pertains to the reaping of the unsaved within the congregations (verses 15-16), while the second (verses 18-19) typifies the reaping of the non-elect in the world during our present “day of judgment”:


“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. {15} And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in [pempo:G3992] thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe [or “withered”]. {16} And he that sat on the cloud thrust in [ballo:G906] his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. {17} And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. {18} And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in [pempo:G3992] thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. {19} And the angel thrust in [ballo:G906] his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God. {20} And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.”


The Spiritual Significance Of “Ploughshares” [’eth:H855] And “Pruninghooks” [mazmerah:H4211]


So, if the “plowshares” and “pruninghooks” are beaten into “swords” and “spears” (typifying judgment against all the non-elect of the world) as Joel 3:10 affirms during our current “day of judgment,” what are Isa 2:4 and Mic 4:3 referring to, with respect to the opposite situation, in which “swords” and “spears” are being beaten into “plowshares” and “pruninghooks,” which is simltaneously occurring during this “day of judgment” as well? I think the answer lies in a passage that we looked at in Judges 3 - Part 3. In that study, we were looking at the term “plowshares” in 1 Sam 13:20-21 (one of only 5 places), in which this word is rendered as either “plowshares” or “coulters”:


“But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share [macharesheth:H4282], and his coulter [’eth:H855], and his axe, and his mattock. {21} Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters [’eth:H855], and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads.”


The root word for “plowshares” and “coulters” is unknown, and thus one is left with only the 5 references I just mentioned. However, there is another word in 1 Sam 13:20 - translated “his share” (macharesheth:H4282); it appears to be a type of a plow or hoe, and is only used in this one verse. Nonetheless, its root word is charash (H2790), and it is found 73 times in the Old Testament, predominantly as “peace,” “plow/plowman,”  “devise,” “keep silence,” and “hold your tongue,” etc. It is also spelled identically to the term, “smith” ( in “blacksmith”) - but with a different Strong’s # (charash:H2796)  -  in 1 Sam 13:19, in which it is rendered “Now there was no smith…” I’ll read verses 19-20,


“Now there was no smith [charash:H2796] found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make [them] swords or spears: “But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share [macharesheth:H4282], and his coulter [’eth:H855], and his axe, and his mattock.


A very interesting verse, in which charash (H2790) appears is in Psa 129:3, where this term is used twice as “the plowers” and “plowed;” additionally, the word “furrows” is doubled in the original (even though this is not apparent in the KJV), and parabolically points to the humiliation and affliction that Christ underwent in paying for the sins of the elect prior to Creation, and then manifesting that on the Cross in 33 AD: 


“The plowers [charash:H2790] plowed [charash:H2790] upon my back: they made long their furrows. [ma`anah:H4618] [ma`anah:H4618]. Additionally, the root word of the compound Hebrew word,“furrows” in Psa 129:3 is `anah (H6031), and it appears in Isa 53:4 and 7, with regard to Christ’s sufferings, and is rendered, “and afflicted,” along with “and he was afflicted” respectively, dramatically accentuating the intensity of Christ’s spiritual agony in the Atonement: 


“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. [`anah:H6031] ... {7} He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, [`anah:H6031] yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”


Please note the word, “they made long” (’arak:H748) with regards to the “furrows” on His back in Psa 129:3; this word, interestingly enough, appears in Isa 53:10, in which it is translated as “he shall prolong” (’arak:H748)  in the phrase, “...he shall prolong [his] days…”


“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [’arak:H748] [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.”


This same word, “afflicted” (`anah:H6031) is found in Deu 8:2, where it is rendered “to humble thee,”

“And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee [`anah:H6031], [and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”


Deu 8:2 is similar with regard to “proving” or “testing” Israel as we read in Jud 3:1 and 4,


“Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan;... {4} And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


The idea of Israel being “tested,” and the “affliction” of Christ typified by his “back” being plowed by “long furrows,” serve to highlight what God’s elect on earth are presently undergoing in this prolonged “day of judgment,” as believers (who make up His Body) are called to a “pattern” of suffering - even as their Master was stricken - according to 2 Cor 4:8-11, 


“[We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; {9} Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; {10} Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. {11} For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”


On that note, we will have to end today’s study. Lord willing, we will examine Jud 3:5 in our next study.









JUDGES 3 - PART 7: Air date: 9/14/2016



Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 7 of Chapter 3 in the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 5-11,


“And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: {6} And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. {7} And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. {8} Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years. {9} And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer [yasha`:H3467] to the children of Israel, who delivered [yasha`:H3467] them, [even] Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. {10} And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. {11} And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.”


The “Test” Continues


Once again we see the continued“testing” that God exposed His corporate people (national Israel) to, by not allowing them to root out the inhabitants of the land completely, as we read in Jud 2:20-23,


“And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; {21} I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: {22} That through them I may prove [nacah:H5254] Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep [it], or not. {23} Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.” 


This is also reiterated here in Jud 3:1 and 4, in which the same term “prove” (nacah:H5254) as in Jud 2:22 is found: “Now these [are] the nations which the LORD left, to prove [nacah:H5254]  Israel by them, [even] as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; ... {4} And they were to prove Israel [nacah:H5254] by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”


As I mentioned in Judges 3 - Part 1, the initial 40-year period from 1407 BC - 1367 BC included the conquest of Canaan under Joshua, in addition to the rule of the first judge, Othniel. We learned about Othniel in Jos 15, and Jud 1, but it is only when we get to Jud 3:9, that he is introduced to us as the “deliverer,” (yasha`:H3467) or the first judge. The rest of Chapter 3 concerns the rule of Ehud primarily, and Shamgar, which initiates the next period of the Judges, which lasted 80 years (1367 BC - 1247 BC). 


In Jud 2:16-19, God outlines His purpose for providing these judges within the cycle of rebellion>oppression>deliverance>rest, which characterizes the Book of Judges: 


“Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges [shaphat:H8199], which delivered [yasha`:H3467] them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. {17} And yet they would not hearken unto their judges [shaphat:H8199], but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; [but] they did not so. {18} And when the LORD raised them up judges [shaphat:H8199], then the LORD was with the judge [shaphat:H8199], and delivered [yasha`:H3467] them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge [shaphat:H8199]: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. {19} And it came to pass, when the judge [shaphat:H8199] was dead, [that] they returned, and corrupted [themselves] more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.”


A Pattern Of Disobedience


Jud 3:6-8 pinpoint Israel’s disobedience to God’s clear commands to not marry the men and women of these heathen nations, to not worship their false gods, and to not forget LORD - the One, True, Living God - provoking God’s wrath against them; this was the reason He allowed them to be conquered and ruled by the king of Mesopotamia, Chushanrishathaim, for eight years:


And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. {7} And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. {8} Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.


And Forgat [shakach:H7911]


We have already considered some of the key words in this passage like - “served,” “evil,” and “anger,” but I don’t believe we have investigated the word, “and forgat.” It appears 102 times as is only rendered as “ forget,” “forgotten,” and “at all.” It’s difficult to imagine how a nation - or an individual for that matter - who had experienced so many blessings from God could actually forget the Author of such mercies, yet this type of ingratitude and “hardness of heart” is typical of unsaved man’s sinful nature, as the following passage in Deu 8 so clearly reveals, in which this word appears in verses 11, 14, and 19 [incidentally, it is doubled in this verse for emphasis - “And it shall be, if thou do at all” (the only place where this is rendered as such) and “forget”]: 


“All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers. {2} And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee [nacah:H5254], to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. {3} And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every [word] that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. {4} Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. {5} Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, [so] the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. {6} Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. {7} For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; {8} A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; {9} A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any [thing] in it; a land whose stones [are] iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. {10} When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. {11} Beware that thou forget [shakach:H7911] not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: {12} Lest [when] thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt [therein]; {13} And [when] thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; {14} Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget [shakach:H7911] the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; {15} Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, [wherein were] fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where [there was] no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; {16} Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee [nacah:H5254], to do thee good at thy latter end; {17} And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of [mine] hand hath gotten me this wealth. {18} But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for [it is] he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as [it is] this day. {19} And it shall be, if thou do at all [shakach:H7911] forget [shakach:H7911] the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. {20} As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.


And He Sold [makar:H4376] Them Into The Hand [yad:H3027] Of Chushanrishathaim [Kuwshan Rish`athayim:H3573]


The next phrase that we want to investigate is comprised of three terms: “And he sold [makar:H4376] them into the hand [yad:H3027] Of Chushanrishathaim [Kuwshan Rish`athayim:H3573]


We have already seen the word “hand” (yad:H3027) repeatedly in this series so far, and you will recall that the “hand” (like the “foot”)  spiritually represents the “will” of whoever is in view - in this case - the king of Mesopotamia, Chushanrishathaim, and always under God’s divine decree. Including Jud 3:10, the term “hand” has appeared 10 times so far in our study, and we will see it again 70 more times before finishing the book of Judges, if God permits. In light of that, let’s take a look at the word, “And he sold” (makar:H4376); this term is found 80 times, and is rendered by three English words: sell(75x),seller(4x), and  at all(1x), as these next citations illustrate:


Isa 50:1 is a similar statement to what we find here in Jud 3:8, as it is aimed squarely at national Israel, and why God had to divorce Himself from her, since she committed spiritual idolatry (i.e., “adultery”), otherwise the penalty would have been death for every single Israelite: “Thus saith the LORD, Where [is] the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors [is it] to whom I have sold [makar:H4376] you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold [makar:H4376] yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.”


Liewise, verse 17 of 2 Kin 17:7-20 chronicles Israel’s incessant rebellion from the time of the Exodus forward: “For [so] it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, {8} And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. {9} And the children of Israel did secretly [those] things that [were] not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. {10} And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: {11} And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as [did] the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: {12} For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. {13} Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, [and by] all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments [and] my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. {14} Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. {15} And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that [were] round about them, [concerning] whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. {16} And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, [even] two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. {17} And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold [makar:H4376] themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. {18} Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. {19} Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. {20} And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.”


Chushanrishathaim [Kuwshan Rish`athayim:H3573]


Chushanrishathaim [Kuwshan Rish`athayim:H3573], is a compound word, and apparently signifies “twice-wicked Chushan,” since its main root word is “rish`ah” (H7564), and when it is doubled becomes, “Rish`athayim.” H7564 is found 15 times and translated in the following ways: wickedness(13x), wickedly (1x), and fault(1x). Here are a few examples:


Deu 25:1-3 underscores the limitation that God has placed on punishing makind for their sins - which is death and annihilation: “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that [the judges] may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked [rasha`:H7563]. {2} And it shall be, if the wicked man [rasha`:H7563] [be] worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault [rish`ah:H7564], by a certain number. {3} Forty stripes he may give him, [and] not exceed: lest, [if] he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.”

Referring to Jerusalem (typifying national Israel as well as the churches and denominations) Eze 5:6 provides this accusation: “And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness [rish`ah:H7564] 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.”


Lastly, Eze 18:20 underscores the penalty for sin: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness [rish`ah:H7564] of the wicked [rasha`:H7563] shall be upon him.”


Lord willing, we will continue our investigation of Chapter 3 in our next study.




 





JUDGES 3 - PART 8: Air date: 9/17/2016



Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 8 of Chapter 3 in the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 8-11,


“Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years. {9} And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer [yasha`:H3467] to the children of Israel, who delivered [yasha`:H3467] them, [even] Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. {10} And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. {11} And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.”


And When The Children [ben:H1121] Of Israel [Yisra`el:H3478] Cried [za`aq:H2199] Unto The LORD [Yehovah:H3068]


The term, “cried” (za`aq:H2199) in the first phrase of verse 9, “And when the children of Israel cried [za`aq:H2199] unto the LORD,” is found 73 times in the Old Testament, and 13 times in the Book of Judges alone. It is translated predominantly as: cry (50x), and cry out(11x); it is also rendered much less frequently as: assemble(3x), called(3x),gathered together(2x), gathered(2x), company (1x), and proclaimed(1x), as the following citations reveal, in which four of these terms appear in the Book of Judges alone:


Verses 10 and 13 of Jud 4:10-13 render this term as “called” and “gathered together” respectively: “And Barak called [za`aq:H2199] Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him. {11} Now Heber the Kenite, [which was] of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which [is] by Kedesh. {12} And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor. {13} And Sisera gathered together [za`aq:H2199] all his chariots, [even] nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that [were] with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon.”


This same word is also rendered “cried” and “and cry” in verses 10 and 14 of Jud 10:6-16, and notice God’s merciful kindness, in spite of their constant rebelliousness: “And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him. {7} And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon. {8} And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that [were] on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which [is] in Gilead. {9} Moreover the children of Ammon passed over Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed. {10} And the children of Israel cried [za`aq:H2199] unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim. {11} And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, [Did] not [I deliver you] from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? {12} The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. {13} Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. {14} Go and cry [za`aq:H2199] unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. {15} And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. {16} And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.”


Likewise, in Jud 12:2 we learn: “And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called [za`aq:H2199] you, ye delivered me not out of their hands.”


Lastly, Jud 18:23 affirms, “And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company?”  [za`aq:H2199]


The LORD [Yehovah:H3068] Raised Up [Quwm:H6965] A Deliverer [yasha`:H3467] ...Who Delivered [yasha`:H3467] Them


The next phrase that we want to consider in Jud 3:9 is “...the LORD raised up [quwm:H6965] a deliverer [yasha`:H3467] to the children of Israel, who delivered [yasha`:H3467] them…” Two of these terms - “raised up” (quwm:H6965) and “deliverer” or (the same word) “who delivered” (yasha`:H3467), appear together in 12 passages, some of which we have encountered before in Judges 2:16 and 18. Verses 27-28 of Jer 2:20-30 are particularly insightful as God remembers Israel’s history of disobedience (as she typifies the New Testament churches and denominations). Notice how He highlights their sin, by using these two terms - “raised up” and “delivered” - which are synonymous with salvation - to derisively suggest that Israel ask their false gods and worthless idols to deliver them:  


“For of old time I have broken thy yoke, [and] burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot. {21} Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? {22} For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, [yet] thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD. {23} How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: [thou art] a swift dromedary traversing her ways; {24} A wild ass used to the wilderness, [that] snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her. {25} Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go. {26} As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets, {27} Saying to a stock, Thou [art] my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned [their] back unto me, and not [their] face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise [quwm:H6965], and save [yasha`:H3467]  us. {28} But where [are] thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise [quwm:H6965], if they can save [yasha`:H3467]  thee in the time of thy trouble: for [according to] the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah. {29} Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD. {30} In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.”


Verse 30 states:  “In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction…” which reminded me of the admonitions found in both Gal 6:8 and Heb 12:5-11 respectively, 


“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.


“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: {6} For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. {7} If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? {8} But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. {9} Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected [us], and we gave [them] reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? {10} For they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might be partakers of his holiness. {11} Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”


And The Spirit [ruwach:H7307] Of The LORD [Yehovah:H3068] Came Upon Him, And He Judged [shaphat:H8199] Israel [Yisra’el:H3478


Throughout Scripture, one finds the expression “the Spirit of the LORD” coming upon a person. We see this with regard to Othniel, as well as some of the other judges, in addition to other individuals, prophets, and kings. One illustration of this is in found in Num 11:14, 16-17 and 25-29, in which Moses is feeling the overwhelming weight of the responsibility that God had called him to, and God’s constant faithfulness to provide all that Moses (or any of God’s children require in their time of need): 


“I [Moses] am not able to bear all this people alone, because [it is] too heavy for me. ... {16} And the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. {17} And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit [ruwach:H7307] which [is] upon thee, and will put [it] upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear [it] not thyself alone… {25} And the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit [ruwach:H7307] that [was] upon him [Moses], and gave [it] unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, [that], when the spirit [ruwach:H7307] rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. {26} But there remained two [of the] men in the camp, the name of the one [was] Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they [were] of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. {27} And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. {28} And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, [one] of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. {29} And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S [Yehovah:H3068] people were prophets, [and] that the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] would put his spirit [ruwach:H7307] upon them!”


We also read the same with respect to Moses’ successor, Joshua, in Deu 34:9, “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit [ruwach:H7307] of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] commanded Moses.”


I also want to point out that this privilege of being used by God - by having His Spirit rest upon a person - does not necessarily guarantee that the individual has actually been regenerated by God’s Word. A good example of this is king Saul, as we learn from 1 Sam 10:6 and later in 1 Sam 16:14,


1 Sam 10:6, And the Spirit [ruwach:H7307] of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man… {16:14} But the Spirit [ruwach:H7307] of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]  departed from Saul, and an evil spirit [ruwach:H7307] from the LORD troubled him.”


And His Hand Prevailed Against Chushanrishathayim


The next phrase in verse 10 states: “...and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathayim…”  Here we see the victory that God allowed the first judge, Othniel ( or “Lion of God”) to win over Chushanrishathayim (or “twice-wicked Chushan” - a spiritual representation of Satan), as their names signify. We noted in some of our earlier studies in Chapter 1, that Othniel is a portrait of the Word of God as are all the judges, since thay are referred to as “deliverers,” (yasha`:H3467), and this word denotes “salvation,” as the subsequent verses maintain:


2 Sam 22:3-4, “The God of my rock; in him will I trust: [he is] my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; [yasha`:H3467] thou savest [yasha`:H3467] me from violence. {4} I will call on the LORD, [who is] worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved [yasha`:H3467] from mine enemies.”


Isa 33:22 beautifully proclaims: “For the LORD [is] our judge, the LORD [is] our lawgiver, the LORD [is] our king; he will save [yasha`:H3467] us.”


We read that Othniel’s “hand” (or “will - symbolizing the Word of God) prevailed against the king of Mesopotamia. The term “prevailed” (`azaz:H5810) appears 12 times in the following ways: strengthen(6x),prevail(3x),strong(1x),impudent(1x), and hardeneth(1x); here are a few illustrations of how God utilizes this expression:


Psa 9:19 declares: “Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: [`azaz:H5810] let the heathen be judged in thy sight.”


Psa 68:28, “Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, [`azaz:H5810] O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.”


Summary

Before we conclude today’s lesson I would like to summarize the main points that we need to remember in Judges 3:8-11


  • Because of Israel’s rebellion, God allowed them to be ruled by Chushanrishathayim (“twice-wicked Chushan”) - a picture of Satan - for 8 years of oppression; this should cause one to reflect on the fact that what we sow, we end up reaping.


  • Israel then cries to the LORD for deliverance, and God raises up Othniel (typifying Christ), and puts His Spirit upon him to fulfill God’s will; this beautifully demonstrates God’s faithful care and concern for each of His elect children.  


  • Othniel (typifying the Christ/Word of God) prevails against the king of Mesopotamia (or “Satan”) and the land rests,” as the first 40-year period of the Judges comes to a close with the death of Othniel, and this spiritual cycle starts all over again.









JUDGES 3 - PART 9: Air date: 9/19/2016



Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 9 of Chapter 3 in the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 12-15,


“And the children of Israel did evil [ra`:H7451] again in the sight [`ayin:H5869]  of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. {13} And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees [Jericho]. {14} So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. {15} But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.” 


A Pattern Of Disobedience


Once again we see this pattern of disobedience - “And the children of Israel did evil [ra`:H7451] again in the sight of the LORD…” - in the first phase of the cycle of rebellion>oppression>deliverance>rest, which dominates the Book of Judges. We encountered this same refrain in Jud 2:11, and 3:7, respectively:


“And the children of Israel did evil [ra`:H7451] in the sight [`ayin:H5869] of the LORD, and served Baalim:”


“And the children of Israel did evil [ra`:H7451] in the sight [`ayin:H5869] of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves.”


Sadly, we will witness this again in the following chapters as well (if God permits), and notice how God associates their “evil” (ra`:H7451) with “in the sight (`ayin:H5869) of the LORD” (Yehovah:H3068), as nothing that mankind does is hid from Him, as Heb 4:13 reminds us: “Neither is there any creature [“creation”] that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” 


Jud 4:1 asserts,“And the children of Israel again [yacaph:H3254] did evil [ra`:H7451] in the sight [`ayin:H5869] of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068], when Ehud was dead.”


Jud 6:1makes this affirmation, “And the children of Israel did evil [ra`:H7451] in the sight [`ayin:H5869] of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.”


Jud 10:6 chronicles the extent of Israel’s spiritual idolatry/adultery: “And the children of Israel did evil [ra`:H7451] again [yacaph:H3254]  in the sight [`ayin:H5869] of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068], and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.”


Lastly, Jud 13:1 declares,  “And the children of Israel did evil [ra`:H7451] again [yacaph:H3254]  in the sight [`ayin:H5869] of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.”


Please note how God inserted the word, “again” (yacaph:H3254) in Jud 4:1, 10:6, and 13:1, which I just quoted, in order to highlight Israel’s incessant iniquity, which brings to mind the commentary God develops in Jer 2:11-13, which forms the basis for why God divorced His wife (national Israel) when Christ hung on the Cross in 33 AD, [“And the veil of the Temple was rent from the top to the bottom.” (Mark 15:38)] and why He abandoned His divine organism - the churches and denominations worldwide, and without exception - on May 21, 1988, precisely 1955 years after the church age begun on May 22, 33 AD, on the Day of Pentecost:


Jer 2:11-13 asks this rhetorical question: “Hath a nation [i.e., Israel - God’s wife and corporate people] changed [their] gods, which [are] yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for [that which] doth not profit. {12} Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. {13} For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, [and] hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”


Well, on that exceedingly frightening note, let’s move on to the last phrase in Jud 3: 12, in which these three terms that we have encountered in the citations above  - “evil,” “in the sight,” and “of the LORD,” - are repeated afresh:


And The LORD Strengthened [chazaq:H2388] Eglon The King Of Moab Against Israel, Because They Had Done Evil [ra`:H7451]  In The Sight [`ayin:H5869] Of The LORD [Yehovah:H3068] 


So we see again the consequences of Israel’s rebellion, as the “RODR” (Rebellion>Oppression>Deliverance>Rest) cycle shifts once again into the “O” (“Oppression”) gear. The term, “strengthened” (chazaq:H2388) is found 290 times, and is translated in a variety of ways. Notice that it was God, Who “strengthened” this heathen king against Israel, because of their flagrant disobedience. Here are some of the ways that God employs this word:


Jos 23:6 translates this word as “courageous” in the context of wholehearted obedience (which is a result of God’s doing altogether): “Be ye therefore very courageous [chazaq:H2388] to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom [to] the right hand or [to] the left;” 


The following are other examples of how this term is used:


In Exo 9:12, “strengthened” is rendered “hardened,” in which we understand God’s prerogative to empower a heathen king like the king of Moab, or to cause Pharoah in this instance, to persist down a certain path that will, in time, lead to his destruction:  “And the LORD hardened [chazaq:H2388] the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.”


In Jud 19:29, this term is expressed by the phrase, “and laid hold,” referring to the man’s concubine, who spiritually represents the “New Testament churches and denominations” in this historical parable: “And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold [chazaq:H2388] on his concubine, and divided her, [together] with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.”


Similarly, verse 9 of 1 Kin 9:6-9 presents God’s directive to national Israel (his wife), and by extension, the churches and denominations of our day - as they symbolized the outward representation of the Kingdom of God on earth : “[But] if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments [and] my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: {7} Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: {8} And at this house, [which] is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house? {9} And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold [chazaq:H2388] upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil.




Eglon, The King Of Moab


Let’s take a closer look at Eglon, the king of Moab, as he “gathered” the Ammonites and Amalekites to assist him in battling against Israel, which resulted in the capture of “the city of palm trees” (or Jericho). First and foremost, let’s recall the origins of the Moabites (and Ammonites), according to Gen 19:30-38, 


“And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. {31} And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father [is] old, and [there is] not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: {32} Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. {33} And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. {34} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, [and] lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. {35} And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. {36} Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. {37} And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab [Mow’ab:H4124]: the same [is] the father of the Moabites [Mow’ab:H4124]: 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 [`Ammown:H5983] unto this day.”


So, genealogically speaking, Lot’s grandchildren would have been Abraham’s great grandnephews - or for the sake of simplicity -  they were relatives, which is important to keep in mind, as Abraham was the progenitor of the nation of Israel (physically speaking), but he also represents the elect of God, spiritually speaking. This distinction was unclear to the Jews in Jesus’ day, as John 8:37-44 underscores: 


John 8:37-44, “I know that ye are Abraham's seed [or physical descendants of Abraham]; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. {38} I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. [i.e., Satan] {39} They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. {40} But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. {41} Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, [even] God. {42} Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. {43} Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word. {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.”


Today, the differenece between the “local churches” and the “Body of Christ” is misunderstood by those within the  institutional churches and denominations of our day, as they wrongly interpret these next citations to refer to the “local churches”:


Mat 16:18 declares, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; [ekklesia:G1577] and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”


Similarly, 1 Tim 3:15 is written in such a way (by God’s design, as a “trap”) that the statement,“the pillar and ground of the truth,” can legitimately refer to either “the church,” or “the living God” - and they choose the former (incorrect) interpretation to sanction their own (misplaced) authority: “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church [ekklesia:G1577] of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”


Getting back to our passage in Judges 3:12-13...the Moabites and Ammonites (as we will discover) are a spiritual portrait of the New Testament churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God on May 21, 1988. We also want to consider the Amalekites, who are mentioned in Jud 3:13, and who are given the title, “first of the nations” in Num 24:20, which is part of Balaam’s parable, but we will have to do this in our next study, Lord willing, as we have run out of time today.










JUDGES 3 - PART 10:

Air date: 9/23/2016



Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 10 of Chapter 3 in the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 12-15,


“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. {13} And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees [Jericho]. {14} So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. {15} But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.” 


The Children Of Amalek


In our previous study, we considered the origins of the Moabites as well as the Ammonites, but we ran out of time so we could not address the origins of the Amalekites, as these latter groups joined the Moabites to fight against Israel; God, of course, allowed these circumstances to take place because of Israel’s ongoing disobedience to Him. The word, Amalek is `Amaleq (H6002), and it appears first in verse 12 of Gen 36:1-12, and please note the relationship of Amalek (in verse 12) to his grandfather Esau, or Edom:


Gen 36:1-12, “Now these [are] the generations of Esau, who [is] Edom. {2} Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; {3} And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth. {4} And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel; {5} And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these [are] the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan. {6} And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob. {7} For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle. {8} Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau [is] Edom. {9} And these [are] the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir: {10} These [are] the names of Esau's sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau. {11} And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz. {12} And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau's son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002]: these [were] the sons of Adah Esau's wife.”


Amalek Confronts Israel


We also read the following account in Num 20:14-21, which occurs after their miraculous deliverance from Egypt by God, in which Edom refuses to give Israel passage through their land: 


“And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us: {15} How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers: {16} And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we [are] in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border: {17} Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink [of] the water of the wells: we will go by the king's [high] way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders. {18} And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword. {19} And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without [doing] any thing [else], go through on my feet. {20} And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand. {21} Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.”


More Background On Amalek


Edom’s unwillingness to allow Israel to journey through their territory evoked a series of very harsh responses by God as these next passages illustrate:


Num 24:20 reveals, “And when he looked on Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002], he took up his parable, and said, Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] [was] the first of the nations; but his latter end [shall be] that he perish for ever.”


I want to point out one important facet, since this magnificent historical parable, is beyond the scope of our study in Judges - namely the phrase - “...the first of the nations...” What could God have in view here? Think back to the birth of Jacob and Esau (or Edom), for a minute, when Rebekah was pregnant with these twin boys. Do you recall the conversation she had with the LORD at that time? It is recorded in Gen 25:22-23, but I’ll read the context from verse 21-26:


“And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she [was] barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. {22} And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If [it be] so, why [am] I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. {23} And the LORD said unto her, Two nations [gowy:H1471] [are] in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and [the one] people shall be stronger than [the other] people; and the elder shall serve the younger. {24} And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, [there were] twins in her womb. {25} And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. {26} And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac [was] threescore years old when she bare them.” 


The statements in verses 22-23 that I want to emphasize are: “...the children struggled together…”; “...two nations are in thy womb…”; “...two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels;” along with, “...the one] people shall be stronger than [the other] people; and the elder [Esau] shall serve the younger. [Jacob]These phrases underscore a “division” or “stuggle” that is taking place between these two babies in the womb, since they actually represent two distinct kingdoms - the kingdom of God vs. the kingdom of Satan.


We glean additional information regarding Amalek’s behavior toward Israel in 1 Sam 15:2-3, as God gives specific instructions to king Saul regarding the Amalekites: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember [that] which Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] did to Israel, how he laid [wait] for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. {3} Now go and smite Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002], and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”


In verse 2 of 1 Sam 15 we discover a statement that provides another clue, and in so doing piques our curiosity to know what exactly happened on that occasion: “...I remember [that] which Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] did to Israel, how he laid [wait] for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.


A Deadly Encounter


However, in Deu 25:17-19, God graciously sheds more light on the situation, by some very specific words and phrases: “Remember what Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; {18} How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, [even] all [that were] feeble behind thee, when thou [wast] faint and weary; and he feared not God. {19} Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance to possess it, [that] thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] from under heaven; thou shalt not forget [it].”


I would like to take some extra time to investigate some of these terms and phrases in Deu 25:17-19, as I believe they will help to clarify why God expressed the degree of vengeance that He did with respect to the confrontation between Israel and Amalek, after the great deliverance from Egypt.


And Smote The Hindmost


The first phrase in English is actually one Hebrew word: “And smote the hindmost…” (zanab:H2179), and it is only found in one other citation - in Jos 10:19, in which God commands Joshua to conquer 5 Amorite kings and their armies that were attempting to overthrow the Gibeonites (picturing the elect, who had sued for peace with Israel):


“And stay ye not, [but] pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost [zanab:H2179] of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the LORD your God hath delivered them into your hand.”


Of Thee, Even All That Were Feeble


The next term, “...of thee, even all that were feeble…” (chashal:H2826),  is only used in Deu 25:18, however there is another words that is similar (two out of three letters are the same), which expresses the same idea, since (chashal:H2826) has no root word; here are some illustrations of how God uses this term - which Amalek evidently did not heed:


In Job 4:4 this word is rendered as “him that was falling”: “Thy words have upholden him that was falling [kashal:H3782], and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.”


Also, Pro 24:17 translates this as “when he stumbleth”: “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:” [kashal:H3782]


Similarly, Isa 35:3 expresses this term as “the feeble”: “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble [kashal:H3782] knees.”


One can get a better understanding of the condition of those who were “feeble,” (which is why they were trailing behind), by the next two words that we find in Deu 25:18, 


Thee, When Thou [Wast] Faint [`ayeph:H5889] And Weary [yagea`:H3023]


The term, “thee, when thou [wast] faint” (`ayeph:H5889) appears 17 times in the Old Testament, in which it is rendered as either “faint,”“weary,” or “thirsty,” as the following passages record,


Gen 25:29-30 translated this term as “faint” in both verses - referring to Esau as verse 30 states - who is Edom, and closely related to Amalek: “And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he [was] faint: [`ayeph:H5889] {30} And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red [pottage]; for I [am] faint: [`ayeph:H5889] therefore was his name called Edom.”


We also have to keep in mind that this word denotes the spiritual condition of the unsaved (such as Esau) and during the day of salvation, “the unsaved elect,” as these next citations underscore:


Reminiscent of the “goats” who did not meet the spiritual needs of  “one of the least of these” in Mat 25:45, Job 22:7 affirms, “Thou hast not given water to the weary [`ayeph:H5889] to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.”


Likewise, Psa 63:1 - a Messianic Psalm - acknowledges, “[A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.]] O God, thou [art] my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty  [`ayeph:H5889] land, where no water is;”


The term, “weary,” (yagea`:H3023) in Deu 25:18, is only found in two other citations, 2 Sam 17:2 and Ecc 1:8 respectively, and again we note that term has a dual meaning (like so many words in the Bible) - physical as well as spiritual: 


In 2 Sam 17:2 we read the words of Ahithophel to Absalom, as he proposed a plan to kill King David, his father: “And I will come upon him while he [is] weary [yagea`:H3023] and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that [are] with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only:”


Ecc 1:8 reveals, “All things [are] full of labour; [yagea`:H3023] man cannot utter [it]: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.”


From a spiritual perspective, I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Mat 11:27-30, which brought so much comfort to those who were being drawn to salvation during the “day of salvation,” as well as for God’s elect all over the world today, who -  though they are being severely tried and tested, during our present “day of judgment” - are under the “yoke” of the Word of God, and can look forward to that day of eternal “rest”:


“All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and [he] to whomsoever the Son will reveal [him]. {28} Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. {30} For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.” 


Lord willing, we will finish up Deu 25:18-19 in our next lesson, and them move on to Jud 3:14-15.

  







JUDGES 3 - PART 11:

Air date: 9/26/2016



Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 11 of Chapter 3 in the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 12-15,


“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. {13} And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees [Jericho]. {14} So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. {15} But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.” 


A Deadly Encounter (Cont.)


In our last study we began researching what the Bible had to say about Amalek, and who he represents spiritually, and we discovered that he is the grandson of Esau (or Edom), and thus spiritually typifies the New Testament churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God on May 21, 1988 at the start of the Great Tribulation period of our day.  We looked at a number of passages which served to give us various bits of information, however, we really began to see things coalesce in Deu 25:17-19, which I will read again, to refresh our memories: 


“Remember what Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; {18} How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, [even] all [that were] feeble behind thee, when thou [wast] faint and weary; and he feared not God. {19} Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance to possess it, [that] thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] from under heaven; thou shalt not forget [it].”


We began looking at this intriguing passage, word-by-word, to see what God might reveal to us, as He wills, and we left off at the phrase, “ ...And he feared [yare’:H3373] not God.” [’elohiym:H430] with respect to Amalek.


And He Feared [yare’:H3373] Not God [’elohiym:H430]


In Ecc 8:12-13 we note the dintinction between one that fears God (the true believer) and one that does not (the non-elect): 


“Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his [days] be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear [yare`:H3373] God, which fear [yare’:H3372 - root word of H3373, and spelled indentically] before him: {13} But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong [his] days, [which are] as a shadow; because he feareth [yare`:H3373] not before God.” [elohiym:H430]


We also read in 2 Kin 17:24-25 regarding the king of Assyria who conquered the 10 tribes of Israel in 709 BC - according to the Biblical Calendar -  and then brought in other heathen nations to inhabit the cities of the Northern Kingdom (aka, Samaria): “And the king of Assyria brought [men] from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed [them] in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof. {25} And [so] it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, [that] they feared [yare’:H3372] not the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]: therefore the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] sent lions among them, which slew [some] of them.”


We see then that in the historical context, Amalek’s (i.e., Edom’s) attack from the rear, in killing those Israelites who were “faint,” “feeble” and “weary,”  and not fearing God in the process, incurred the fierce wrath of God, as oulined in Deu 25:19, 


“Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance to possess it, [that] thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] from under heaven; thou shalt not forget [it].”


A Closer Look At The Terms “Faint” And “Weary”


In our last study I made the comment that the terms “faint” (`ayeph:H5889]) and “weary” (yagea`:H3023) can be applicable to the non-elect (such as Esau himself, when he craved the bowl of lentils), or the unsaved elect, who were being drawn to salvation, during the “day of salvation;” however, in considering this more closely, there is a third category having to do with Christ and the elect, as these next citations reveal:


In Jud 8:4-5, Gideon symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ, and the three hundred men are representative of all the elect: “And Gideon came to Jordan, [and] passed over, he, and the three hundred men that [were] with him, faint [`ayeph:H5889], yet pursuing [them]. {5} And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they [be] faint, [`ayeph:H5889] and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.”


We also see this with regard to the term, “weary” in 2 Sam 17:1-2, in which David (a great type of Christ) is in view with his army (picturing the elect again): “Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: {2} And I will come upon him while he [is] weary [yagea`:H3023] and weak handed, and will make him afraid [charad:H2729]: and all the people that [are] with him shall flee; and I will smite [nakah:H5221] the king only:


2 Sam 17:2 would also appear to possibly foreshadow (I’m not saying this dogmatically.) the prohecy in Zec 13:7, in which the same word, “smite” (nakah:H5221) is employed; incidentally, this prophecy is quoted in Mat 26:31,


Zec 13:7 states, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man [that is] my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite [nakah:H5221] the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.”


Mat 26:31 says, “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.”


And I Will Make Him Afraid


In Ruth 3:8, God utilizes the same word, “and I will make him afraid” in 2 Sam 17:2 and renders it as “was afraid”:  “And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, [charad:H2729] and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.”


In this historical parable, the “man” in view in the historical context is Boaz (who represents the Lord Jesus Christ as the “kinsman redeemer”), and the woman is Ruth (the Moabitess), who typifies all the elect. The time clue, “midnight” is also indicative of judgment, which is why Boaz (or Christ) is afraid. This same word, “midnight” is rendered “And it came to pass, that at midnight” in Exo 12:29, recounting the death of the “firstborn” - the last of 10 plagues - that God brought upon Egypt, pointing to the fact that Christ is the “firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18), since He is “...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev 13:8)


And it came to pass, that at midnight [chetsiy:H2677] the LORD smote [nakah:H5221] all the firstborn [bekowr:H1060] in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn [bekowr:H1060] of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn [bekowr:H1060] of the captive that [was] in the dungeon; and all the firstborn [bekowr:H1060] of cattle.”


Please note how God underscores the term, “firstborn” 4 times in this passage, highlighting the furthest extent (as the 4 points of the compass) as well as the universal nature of what is in view.


I would like to quote Col 1:13-24 since I mentioned it, 


“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son: {14} In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins: {15} Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: {16} For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: {17} And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. {18} And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence. {19} For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell; {20} And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven. {21} And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled {22} In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: {23} If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; {24} Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:”


Reading this passage superficially, one might come to the wrong conclusion that it is speaking about 33 AD, given the implications that such statements evoke at face value, without bothering to check out their parabolic significance; if one were to do so, they would categorically prove that these events occured prior to Creation (even though such a study is beyond the scope of our current lesson):


  • Verse 14: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins.” 
  • Verse 20: “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself…” 
  • Verses 21-22: “...yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death…” 


What is also noteworthy within the context of this citation, is the way in which God connects these three truths with verse 24, pertaining to the “sufferings” that the elect are presently manifesting in this current “day of judgment,” even as the Savior exemplified when He was on earth. In turn, Paul’s life is as an excellent “type” or “figure” of Christ, through what he suffered - even as God foretold to Ananias in verse 16 of Acts 9:10-18, which I will read, for the sake of the context:


“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord. {11} And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, {12} And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight. {13} Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: {14} And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. {15} But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: {16} For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. {17} And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. {18} And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.”


It [That] Thou Shalt Blot Out [machah:H4229] The Remembrance [zeker:H2143] Of Amalek


The last section that we want to investigate in Deu 25:19 is: it, [that] thou shalt blot out [machah:H4229] the remembrance [zeker:H2143] of Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] from under heaven [shamayim:H8064]; thou shalt not forget [shakach:H7911] [it].”


However, it looks like we have run out of time today, so we will pick this up in our next study, LORD willing.





 

JUDGES 3 - PART 12:

Air date: 10/3/2016



Good evening and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Part 12 of Chapter 3 in the Book of Judges. I’ll read verses 12-15,


“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. {13} And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees [Jericho]. {14} So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. {15} But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.” 


Over the course of our last few studies, we have been investigating the origins of Moab, Ammon, and Amalek, and we’re curious to understand the pronouncement of judgment in particular against Amalek, and so we have spent some time looking at Deu 25:17-19, which I’ll read again:


“Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; {18} How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, [even] all [that were] feeble behind thee, when thou [wast] faint and weary; and he feared not God. {19} Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance to possess it, [that] thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget [it].”


This passage, in particular, gives us some very important details regarding Amalek, and helps to answer the question of why God made such an ominous judgment against him. I will try to recap what we have leaned so far about Amalek:


  • Amalek was the grandson of Esau through a concubine, and Esau (or Edom) typifies the institutional churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God on May 21, 1988.


  • In Deu 25:18 we read that Amalek “smote” (or “killed”) the “feeble behind thee” of Israel (who typify the elect), as the nation escaped the bondage of Egypt by God’s miraculous deliverance, and during their wilderness sojourn were both “faint” and “weary;” we also discovered that these same terms can identify with Christ and His sufferings, along with individual members of His Body on earth, who throughout history suffered intensely for the sake of the Gospel. What appears to be different in our day, is that the entire Body of Christ on earth (since all to be saved, have been saved) are - as a  collective group - manifesting or demonstrating what we read in Col 1:24, concerning Paul (who represents Christ): “...and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:”


The last phrases that we want to consider are found in Deu 25:19b, which states: it, [that] thou shalt blot out [machah:H4229] the remembrance [zeker:H2143] of Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] from under heaven [shamayim:H8064]; thou shalt not forget [shakach:H7911] [it].”


It, [That] Thou Shalt Blot Out [machah:H4229] The Remembrance [zeker:H2143] Of Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] 


Let’s take the first three words -  it, [that] thou shalt blot out [machah:H4229] the remembrance [zeker:H2143] of Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002] - which are only found together in one other passage - in Exo 17:14; I’ll read from verse 8-16, for the sake of the context: 


“Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. {9} And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. {10} So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. {11} And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. {12} But Moses' hands [were] heavy; and they took a stone, and put [it] under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. {13}And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. {14} And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this [for] a memorial in a book, and rehearse [it] in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly [machah:H4229]  put out [machah:H4229] the remembrance [zeker:H2143] of Amalek  [`Amaleq:H6002] from under heaven. {15} And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi [“Jehovah is my banner”]: {16} For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn [that] the LORD [will have] war with Amalek from generation to generation.”


Please note that in verse 14, the word, “blot” (machah:H4229) is rendered “put out” twice (side by side); this is the identical grammatical structure (Qal/infinitive and Qal/imperfect) that one finds in Gen 2:17, “dying [Qal/infinitive] thou shalt die [Qal/imperfect] - “putting out, I will put out.” The only difference is that in Gen 2:17, Adam is the object or recipient of the punishment for his sin, whereas in Exo 7:14, God is the One who is causing the “remembrance” of Amalek to be forgotten eternally. The idea in both cases underscores the doctrine that the essence of “Hell” for the non-elect is the grave and annihilation, and that there will be no recollection of them ever again, as if they never existed.  


Let’s look at two other citations, in which we find Amalek mentioned, and they we will move on in our examination of Judges 3. The first one is in Psa 83:7, but I’ll read the entire Psalm as it highlights the end of the unsaved, and specifically mentions 19 references (although some of these are related, so in actuality there are 7 groupings (which is why I color-coded them) reminding us of the “seven nations” that Stephen mentioned in Acts 13:19, when he was rehearsing the history of the nation, and by extension, the “seven churches” in Rev 2 and 3) having to do with either nations, kings, generals, or places that identify with the non-elect, and particularly those that typify the churches and denominations, since God’s judgment fell first upon Israel (33 AD) who spiritually represents the churches and denominations (who were destroyed on May 21, 1988), and then finally, on May 21, 2011, spread to the entire world:


[A Song [or] Psalm of Asaph.] Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. {2} For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. {3} They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. {4} They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from [being] a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. {5} For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: {6} The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; {7} Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; {8} Assur [Assyria] also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. [Ammonites and Moabites] Selah. {9} Do unto them as [unto] the Midianites; as [to] Sisera, as [to] Jabin, at the brook of Kison: {10} [Which] perished at Endor: they became [as] dung for the earth. {11} Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: {12} Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. {13} O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. {14} As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; {15} So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. {16} Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. {17} Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: {18} That [men] may know that thou, whose name alone [is] JEHOVAH, [art] the most high over all the earth.


The other passage that I mentioned briefly in a previous lesson, has to do with the command that God gave to king Saul with respect to the Amalekites in 1 Sam 15:2-3, which was so grievous, that it cost him the crown; I’ll read the entire chapter:


“Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee [to be] king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. {2} Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember [that] which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid [wait] for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. {3} Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. {4} And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. {5} And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. {6} And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. {7} And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah [until] thou comest to Shur, that [is] over against Egypt. {8} And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. {9} But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all [that was] good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing [that was] vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. {10} Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, {11} It repenteth me that I have set up Saul [to be] king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. {12} And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. {13} And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed [be] thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. {14} And Samuel said, What [meaneth] then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? {15} And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. {16} Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. {17} And Samuel said, When thou [wast] little in thine own sight, [wast] thou not [made] the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? {18} And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. {19} Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? {20} And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. {21} But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. {22} And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams. {23} For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king. {24} And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. {25} Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD. {26} And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. {27} And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. {28} And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, [that is] better than thou. {29} And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent. {30} Then he said, I have sinned: [yet] honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God. {31} So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD. {32} Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. {33} And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal. {34} Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul. {35} And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.”


What God accused King Saul of in verses 17-20 parallels the rhetorical question that God posed to Israel in verse 2 of Jud 2:1-3, and once again, echoes the initial stages in the all too familiar cycle of rebellion and oppression...


“And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. {2} And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? {3} Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be [as thorns] in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.


It looks like I won’t have time to consider the last part of Deu 25:19b - “...from under heaven [shamayim:H8064]; thou shalt not forget [shakach:H7911] [it]” so Lord willing, we will begin there in our next study.