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 6 - Part 25

September 4, 2019


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 25 and today’s date is September 4, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31}And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


We ended our previous study by looking at the two words in verse 25, “young bullock.” 


Young [par:H6499] Bullock [showr:H7794]


I had mentioned that these two terms, “young” and “bullock” are only found again in verse 31 of Psalm 69:29-36, reinforcing the truth that God is not looking for physical sacrifices, even though He commanded Israel to offer them because they illustrate the one, final sacrifice that Christ made outside of time, for the Bride or Body of Christ, “...at the foundation of the world”:


“But I [am] poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high. {30} I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. {31} [This] also shall please the LORD better than an ox [showr:H7794] [or] bullock [par:H6499] that hath horns and hoofs. {32} The humble shall see [this, and] be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God. {33} For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners. {34} Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein. {35} For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. {36} The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.”


Verse 31 reminds us of numerous verses in both the Old and New Testaments that underscore this monumental concept that the work and faith of the Savior alone was responsible for the salvation of each of the elect, as Hebrews 10:1-14 acknowledges:


“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. {2} For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. {3} But in those [sacrifices there is] a remembrance again [made] of sins every year. {4} For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. {5} Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: {6} In burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin thou hast had no pleasure. {7} Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. {8} Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and [offering] for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure [therein]; which are offered by the law; {9} Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. {10} By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all]. {11} And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: {12} But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; {13} From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. {14} For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” 


Let’s now proceed to the next phrase in verse 25, 


Even The Second [sheniy:H8145] Bullock [par:H6499]


This phrase consists of two words, “even the second” and “bullock;” the same word rendered “bullock” is identical to “young,” in the previous phrase, “...take thy father’s young bullock…” God is emphasizing this second bullock,  which was seven years old, and we wonder what He intends by this spiritually. Both of these terms, “even the second” and “bullock” appear in verses 26 and 28 of Judges 6 as well, and along with verse 25, total three times in these three verses. We also know that whenever God repeats something it is to highlight a particular spiritual truth, and the number “3” signifies the purpose of God, which we want to always bear in mind:


“And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second [sheniy:H8145] bullock [par:H6499], and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. ... {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that [was] by it, and the second [sheniy:H8145] bullock [par:H6499] was offered upon the altar [that was] built.”


Another helpful verse is found in Numbers 8:8, in which these two words emerge; and the context here is very important, as it has to do with two “young bullocks” -  one that is being sacrificed for a “meat offering” -  and the other for a “sin offering”:


“Then let them take a young bullock [par:H6499] with his meat offering, [even] fine flour mingled with oil, and another [sheniy:H8145] young bullock [par:H6499]  shalt thou take for a sin offering.”


It’s worth noting that in Judges 6:26, a different sacrifice was called for by God, namely, “a burnt sacrifice” or as it is more commonly rendered, a “burnt offering.” 


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


The next phrase in verse 25 consists of two words which describe the age of the “bullock” that Gideon was to offer as a “burnt sacrifice”: “of seven” and “years old.”  The number “7” has great spiritual significance, which the Bible alludes to in many places, as the subsequent verses reveal:


In Genesis  41:26-27, 29-30, 34, 36, 47-48, and 53-54, there is an abundance of references that include these two terms, which in this context, relate to the first “Great Tribulation” (or “Affliction”) of Joseph's day, which is the same spiritual “time and season” that is evident here in Judges 6: 


The seven [sheba`:H7651] good kine [are] seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651]; and the seven [sheba`:H7651] good ears [are] seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651]: the dream [is] one. {27} And the seven [sheba`:H7651] thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them [are] seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651]; and the seven [sheba`:H7651] empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651] of famine. ... {29} Behold, there come seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651] of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: {30} And there shall arise after them seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651] of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; ... {34} Let Pharaoh do [this], and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven [sheba`:H7651] plenteous years [sheba`:H7651]. ... {36} And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651] of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not 

through the famine. ... {47} And in the seven [sheba`:H7651] plenteous years [sheba`:H7651] the earth brought forth by handfuls. {48} And he gathered up all the food of the seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651], which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which [was] round about every city, laid he up in the same. ... {53} And the seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651] of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. {54} And the seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651] of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.”


Leviticus 25:8 likewise uses these two expressions to calculate the 49 year interval from one jubilee year to the next; the jubilee year is also synonymous with the Gospel, when God applied His salvation - that He had procured for the elect “...at the foundation of the world” -  to the souls of the elect during the day of salvation: 


“And thou shalt number seven [sheba`:H7651] sabbaths of years [sheba`:H7651] unto thee, seven [sheba`:H7651] times seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651]; and the space of the seven [sheba`:H7651] sabbaths of years [sheba`:H7651] shall be unto thee forty and nine years.”


This is why Deuteronomy 15 speaks of a “release,” concerning various debts or obligations that were to be forgiven amongst Hebrews exclusively (and, if they wished, even foreigners, however this was not obligatory). Throughout this chapter, God laid down various laws with respect to this 7-year injunction, according to verses 1-2,


“At the end of [every] seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651] thou shalt make a release. {2} And this [is] the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth [ought] unto his neighbour shall release [it]; he shall not exact [it] of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD'S release.”


Verse 10 of Deuteronomy 31:9-13 also called for a special rehearsal of the law of during during the “Feast of Tabernacles” (or “Feast of the Bible”) - and once again this took place “at the end of every seven years”: 


“And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel. {10} And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of [every] seven [sheba`:H7651] years [sheba`:H7651], in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, {11} When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. {12} Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that [is] within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: {13} And [that] their children, which have not known [any thing], may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.”


Judges 6:1 establishes the fact that as a result of Israel’s rebellion, God allowed the Midianites to rule over them, which is part of this recurring cycle of “rebellion>oppression>deliverance>rest” that we have witnessed so often in the book of Judges: 


“And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven [sheba`:H7651] years.” [sheba`:H7651]


One last reference is in 1 Kings 6:38 which affirms that Solomon’s Temple - which is representative of the Body of Christ - was 7 years in the making; this serves to underscore the perfection of the spiritual Temple of God that the Lord completed on May 21, 2011, 


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


Summary: 


Today we considered the four Hebrew words in verse 25, “...even the second bullock of seven years old…” that Gideon was commanded by God to offer on the altar - as a “burnt sacrifice” -  which he made to the LORD, after having thrown down the altar of Baal, and cut down the grove next to it. The offering of the “burnt sacrifice” typifies the Atonement “...at the foundation of the world” when the Lord Jesus was “offered” or “poured out” or “melted” or “molten” - which are expressions that denote annihilation. We discovered this when we were examining, Proverbs 8:23, in which the word, “I was set up,” is almost always rendered in the ways I just mentioned:


I was set up [nacak:H5258] from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.”


The reference to “seven years”  is spiritually significant because it is the same length of time as the duration of the Midianite oppression, and is also found in connection with the first “Great Tribulation” of Joseph’s day, which in turn mirrors the “Great Tribulation” of our day, and spiritually is the “time and season” that is taking place in Judges 6, when Satan ruled in the churches and denominations, and as the Gospel went forth to reach the nations of the elect during the “latter part” of the Great Tribulation. This is also typified by the “seven years” that it took for  Solomon’s Temple to be built, and for the “year of release” that occurred every “seven years” picturing the Gospel of Christ, based on His faith and work alone.


Lord willing, in our next study we will consider the rest of verse 25. 

Judges 6 - Part 26

September 6, 2019


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 26 and today’s date is September 6, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31}And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


In our last study, we left off at the latter part of verse 25, of God’s specific command to Gideon: “...and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:”


And Throw Down [harac:H2040] The Altar [ mizbeach:H4196] Of Baal [Ba`al:H1168]


The first phrase consists of three terms that only appear in this verse, however we do find 12 other passages that contain the two words, “the altar” and “of Baal.” But before we consider some of those references, let’s first take a look at the expression, “and throw down” to see some of the ways that God employs this word.


And Throw Down [harac:H2040]


It is found for instance in the victory song of Exodus 15, in verse 7, as “thou hast overthrown” which chronicles God’s defeat of Pharaoh Thutmosis III and the entire Egyptian army, who drowned in the Red Sea, thereby delivering the Israelites: “And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown [harac:H2040] them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, [which] consumed them as stubble.”


This word is also used in Exodus 23:24, in which God gives the following directive to the Israelites as they prepare to enter into the land of Canaan, and the seven heathen nations that inhabited that land; in this verse our word is actually doubled “but thou shalt utterly” along with “overthrow” as God emphasizes the importance of this command: “Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly [harac:H2040]  overthrow [harac:H2040]  them, and quite break down their images.”


On the other hand, in 1 Kings 18:30, in the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal once again, this term is rendered as “[that was] broken down”: “And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD [that was] broken down.” [harac:H2040] 


In spite of the tremendous victory on Mt. Carmel, we find Elijah fleeing for his life, because Jezebel was determined to kill him; in 1 Kings 19:10 and 14, he cries out to the LORD in his predicament, in which this world is translated as “thrown down” twice: 


“And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down [harac:H2040] thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, [even] I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. ... {14} And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, [even] I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”


In the heat of the moment, Elijah felt very alone - as God’s people sometimes feel - yet God’s answer to him in 1 Kings 19:15-18 is something that the child of God most always be reminded of, as God still had some tasks for Elijah to accomplish, before God would take him to Heaven without dying - a picture of the elect - who will be living at the very last day of this prolonged “day” of judgment:


“And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael [to be] king over Syria: {16} And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint [to be] king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint [to be] prophet in thy room. {17] And it shall come to pass, [that] him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. {18} Yet I have left [me] seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.


The Altar [mizbeach:H4196] Of Baal [Ba`al:H1168]

With that in mind, let’s now turn our attention to the two words, “the altar” and “of Baal,” which, as I mentioned earlier, is found in 12 other citations. Here is a sampling of some of them, besides Judges 6:25, 28, and 30-32,


One of the most wicked kings of Israel was Ahab, husband to Jezebel, one of the most wicked women in the entire Bible, as verse 32 of 1 Kings 16:29-32 testifies, in which these two expressions appear: “And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. {30} And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that [were] before him. {31} And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. {32} And he reared up an altar [mizbeach:H4196] for Baal [Ba`al:H1168] in the house of Baal [Ba`al:H1168], which he had built in Samaria. {33} And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.”


These two words also emerge in verse 26 of 1 Kings 18:26-29 which depicts what the prophets of Baal did on Mt. Carmel, as Elijah mocked their futile efforts:  “And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed [it], and called on the name of Baal [Ba`al:H1168]  from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal [Ba`al:H1168], hear us. But [there was] no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar [mizbeach:H4196]  which was made. {27} And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he [is] a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, [or] peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. {28} And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. {29} And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the [time] of the offering of the [evening] sacrifice, that [there was] neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.”


These two terms also crop up in verse 18 of 2 Kings 11:17-21, in which we find this account that took place in the days of Athaliah - the second most wicked woman in the Bible, next to Jezebel -  and who like Jezebel was an ardent Baal worshipper: 


“And Jehoiada [the priest] made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they should be the LORD'S people; between the king also and the people.{18} And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal [Ba`al:H1168], and brake it down; his altars [mizbeach:H4196] and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal [Ba`al:H1168]  before the altars. [mizbeach:H4196] And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD. {19} And he took the rulers over hundreds, and the captains, and the guard, and all the people of the land; and they brought down the king from the house of the LORD, and came by the way of the gate of the guard to the king's house. And he sat on the throne of the kings. {20} And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: and they slew Athaliah with the sword [beside] the king's house. {21} Seven years old [was] Jehoash when he began to reign.”


By contrast in verse 3 of 2 Kings 21:1-6, one learns what wicked king Manasseh was engaged in “Manasseh [was] twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Hephzibah. {2} And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.{3} For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars [mizbeach:H4196]  for Baal [Ba`al:H1168], and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. {4} And he built altars [mizbeach:H4196]   in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name. {5} And he built altars [mizbeach:H4196]   for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. {6} And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke [him] to anger.”


Lastly, verse 13 of Jeremiah 11:1-14 discusses the reasons why God began His judgment on Judah and Jerusalem, who spiritually typify the end-time institutional churches and denominations of our day:


“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, {2} Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; {3} And say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Cursed [be] the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, {4} Which I commanded your fathers in the day [that] I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God: {5} That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as [it is] this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD. {6} Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them. {7} For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day [that] I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, [even] unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. {8} Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded [them] to do; but they did [them] not. {9} And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. {10} They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. {11} Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. {12} Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. {13} For [according to] the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and [according to] the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to [that] shameful thing, [even] altars to burn incense unto Baal. {14} Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear [them] in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.”


Summary:


Our study today concentrated on the three words in Judges 6:25, “...and throw down the altar of Baal…” which was part of the command that God gave to Gideon. Many of the heathen nations in the land of Canaan worshipped Baal (as well as other false deities). Sadly, even within the nation of Israel, we see this sinful propensity to worship Baal (or other false gods) - an indicator of their spiritual bankruptcy, as the sinful actions of Ahab and Manasseh and other wicked kings illustrate  - although they might have paid “lip service” to the God of the Bible from time to time. We also noted that God is the One that ultimately will overthrow all the wicked who are scheduled to be annihilated, even as a number of the good kings destroyed the altars to Baal, even as God instructed Gideon to do.


Lord willing, in our next study we will focus on the remainder of Judges 6:25, “...that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:”    

Judges 6 - Part 27

September 9, 2019


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 27 and today’s date is September 9, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31}And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


We are down to the last part of verse 25 which states: “...that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:”


We note that the altar of Baal and the grove next to it belonged to Gideon’s father, “Joash” (Yow’ash:H3101), which is a form of its compound root word, “Jehoash” (Yehow’ash:H3060).  “Jehoash” is a compound word, made up of two terms: “Jehovah” (Yehovah:H3068) and “ ’esh” (H784), which is the word “fire,” in other words, “fire of Jehovah.” At this point, I’m not sure who Gideon’s father represents. Perhaps the LORD will open my eyes to that, as we continue working through chapters 6-8, as he is only mentioned in these accounts.


Let’s now consider the next two expressions in verse 25, “...and cut down the grove that is by it.”  


And Cut Down [karath:H3772] The Grove [’asherah:H842] That Is By It 


The two terms, “and cut down” along with, “the grove” surface in eight other citations (besides Judges 6:25), and three out of the eight are found in Judges 6:26, 28, and 30:


“And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove [’asherah:H842] which thou shalt cut down. [karath:H3772]  ... {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove [’asherah:H842] was cut down [karath:H3772]  that [was] by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar [that was] built. ... {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down [karath:H3772]  the grove [’asherah:H842]  that [was] by it.”


Here are some other illustrations of their usage:


Verse of Exodus 34:13-17 is a reference that we ran into when discussing the word, “altar,” but it also contains these two terms as well; God is reiterating His jealousy that He alone be worshipped as “King of Kings,” and “Lord of Lords” exclusively: “But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down [karath:H3772] their groves: [’asherah:H842] {14} For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God: {15} Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and [one] call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; {16} And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods. {17} Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.”


In 2 Kings 18:4-6 we also learn of what good King Hezekiah (715 - 686 BC) did: “He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down [karath:H3772] the groves [’asherah:H842], and brake in pieces 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. {5} He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor [any] that were before him. {6} For he clave to the LORD, [and] departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.”


A similar situation occurred during the reign of the last good king of Judah - Josiah (640 - 609 BC) - in verse 14 of 2 Kings 23:10-15, “And he defiled Topheth, which [is] in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. {11} And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which [was] in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire. {12} And the altars that [were] on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake [them] down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. {13} And the high places that [were] before Jerusalem, which [were] on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. {14} And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down [karath:H3772] the groves [’asherah:H842], and filled their places with the bones of men. {15} Moreover the altar that [was] at Bethel, [and] the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, [and] stamped [it] small to powder, and burned the grove.” [’asherah:H842]


The last account involves Asa (911 - 870 BC) - another good king of Judah in 2 Chronicles 15:16, “And also [concerning] Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from [being] queen, because she had made an idol in a grove [’asherah:H842]: and Asa cut down [karath:H3772] her idol, and stamped [it], and burnt [it] at the brook Kidron.”


Even as God is Jealous for His truth, it is refreshing to see how these good kings followed the Lord by being obedient to His commands, even as we will witness Judge Gideon do the same, and liberate the Israelites from their Midianite oppressors. With that in mind, let’s investigate Judges 6:26, as Gideon continues to be obedient to God’s directive:


Verse 26: “And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.”


We have already examined the terms, “build” and “altar,” in verse 24, so I won’t repeat that information again. The next phrase is comprised of two terms,


Upon The Top [ro’sh:H7218] Of This Rock [ma`owz:H4581]


These two expressions only appear in the following two citations, which curiously, are practically identical in the majority of their content; “upon the top” is translated “of mine head” and “of this rock” is rendered  “also is the strength”


Verse 7 of Psalm 60:5-12 maintains: “That thy beloved may be delivered; save [with] thy right hand, and hear me. {6} God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. {7} Gilead [is] mine, and Manasseh [is] mine; Ephraim also [is] the strength [ma`owz:H4581] of mine head [ro’sh:H7218]; Judah [is] my lawgiver; {8} Moab [is] my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me. {9} Who will bring me [into] the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? {10} [Wilt] not thou, O God, [which] hadst cast us off? and [thou], O God, [which] didst not go out with our armies? {11} Give us help from trouble: for vain [is] the help of man. {12} Through God we shall do valiantly: for he [it is that] shall tread down our enemies.” 


And verse 8 of Psalm 108:6-13 likewise affirms: “That thy beloved may be delivered: save [with] thy right hand, and answer me. {7} God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. {8} Gilead [is] mine; Manasseh [is] mine; Ephraim also [is] the strength [ma`owz:H4581] of mine head [ro’sh:H7218]; Judah [is] my lawgiver; {9} Moab [is] my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph. {10} Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? {11} [Wilt] not [thou], O God, [who] hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts? {12} Give us help from trouble: for vain [is] the help of man. {13} Through God we shall do valiantly: for he [it is that] shall tread down our enemies.”


In both of these accounts “Ephraim” is in view, and we wonder why that is?


The Significance Of “Ephraim”


Let’s take a detour in order to understand the spiritual importance of “Ephraim,” and how these two words, “strength” and “head” relate to either the tribe of “Ephraim,” or to “Ephraim” himself - as he was the younger of Joseph’s firstborn, Manasseh; notwithstanding it was Ephraim who obtained the blessing of Jacob, as we read in Genesis 46:20 and in Genesis 48:1-20


“And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him… {48:1-20} And it came to pass after these things, that [one] told Joseph, Behold, thy father [is] sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. {2} And [one] told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. {3} And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, {4} And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee [for] an everlasting possession. {5} And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, [are] mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. {6} And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, [and] shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance. {7} And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet [there was] but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same [is] Bethlehem. {8} And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who [are] these? {9} And Joseph said unto his father, They [are] my sons, whom God hath given me in this [place]. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them. {10} Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, [so that] he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. {11} And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed. {12} And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. {13} And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought [them] near unto him. {14} And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid [it] upon Ephraim's head, who [was] the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh [was] the firstborn. {15} And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, {16} The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. {17} And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head. {18} And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this [is] the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. {19} And his father refused, and said, I know [it], my son, I know [it]: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. {20} And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.” 


Summary


Today we began our study by looking at the words, “cut down,” and “the grove,” which were part of the command that God had given to Gideon to perform. Just as God is Jealous for His holiness, we saw that He commanded the Israelites to do exactly as Gideon was told to do - “throw down” the heathen altars, which we saw some of the good kings accomplish. The second part of our lesson revolved around the terms, “upon the top” and “of this rock,” which was the location where God wanted an altar built to Him - ultimately pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ, and His sacrifice “at...the foundation of the world.”  We noted that these two terms are only found in  Psalm 60 as well as in Psalm 108, and relate curiously to Ephraim, the younger son of Joseph, which we will be discussing further in our next study to learn more about the spiritual significance of  Ephraim.







Judges 6 - Part 28

September 11, 2019


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 28 and today’s date is September 11, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31} And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


In our study we are down to verse 26, and we left off at the end of our last study at the two terms, “upon the top” and “of this rock.” 


Upon The Top [ro’sh:H7218] Of This Rock [ma`owz:H4581]


These two expressions only appear in verse 7 of Psalm 60:5-12, and verse 8 of Psalm 108:6-13. Curiously, these two passages are practically identical in the majority of their content; “upon the top” is translated “of mine head” and “of this rock” is rendered  “also is the strength”


Verse 7 of Psalm 60:5-12 maintains: “That thy beloved may be delivered; save [with] thy right hand, and hear me. {6} God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. {7} Gilead [is] mine, and Manasseh [is] mine; Ephraim also [is] the strength [ma`owz:H4581] of mine head [ro’sh:H7218]; Judah [is] my lawgiver; {8} Moab [is] my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me. {9} Who will bring me [into] the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? {10} [Wilt] not thou, O God, [which] hadst cast us off? and [thou], O God, [which] didst not go out with our armies? {11} Give us help from trouble: for vain [is] the help of man. {12} Through God we shall do valiantly: for he [it is that] shall tread down our enemies.” 


And verse 8 of Psalm 108:6-13 likewise affirms: “That thy beloved may be delivered: save [with] thy right hand, and answer me. {7} God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. {8} Gilead [is] mine; Manasseh [is] mine; Ephraim also [is] the strength [ma`owz:H4581] of mine head [ro’sh:H7218]; Judah [is] my lawgiver; {9} Moab [is] my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph. {10} Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? {11} [Wilt] not [thou], O God, [who] hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts? {12} Give us help from trouble: for vain [is] the help of man. {13} Through God we shall do valiantly: for he [it is that] shall tread down our enemies.”


We wonder why God is associating these two terms with Ephraim, the younger of Joseph’s two sons, who received the blessing from Jacob. So in our time together today, we want to learn what we can about the spiritual significance of Ephraim, and see how that might relate to these two expressions, “upon the top”  and “of this rock,” or “the strength” and “of mine head” as it appears in these two Psalms.


The Name “Ephraim” [’Ephrayim:H669 - dual of H672]


For starters, one thing to be aware of is the significance of the name, “Ephraim,” which means “dual fruitfulness,” as it is a doubling of its root word, “ ’Ephraath” or “ ’Ephratah,” which we will look at more closely in just a bit.


For example, we read in Genesis 41:50-52, “And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. {51} And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, [said he], hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. {52} And the name of the second called he Ephraim: [’Ephrayim:H669] For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”


This illustrates one of the principles for studying the Bible, which is that God defines His own terms. This is why we refer to the Bible as God’s dictionary. By extension, it is also God’s grammar book and divine commentary, as God also explains the spiritual or parabolic meaning of words and phrases, and even going down to the spiritual meaning of the various letters (and I might add the shapes of those letters, and even the sounds) which God crafted when He created the Hebrew and Greek alphabets. We recognize the infinite power behind the sound of His words right at Creation when God made the solemn announcement in Genesis 1:3,  “Let there be light, and there was light”  which physically resulted in the spectrum of light, invisible as well as visible, and even more importantly pointed to “The Light” - the Lord Jesus Christ, and His perfect sacrifice for the sins of all the elect “...at the foundation of the world.”


We also learn more about Joseph, as well as his two sons, in Deuteronomy 33:13-17, which focuses on the blessings that God bestowed on each of the 12 tribes as they represent the elect of God - in contrast to Genesis 49 - in which the 12 tribes reflect corporate Israel and their disobedience to God’s Word: 


“And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD [be] his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, {14} And for the precious fruits [brought forth] by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, {15} And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, {16} And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and [for] the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let [the blessing] come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him [that was] separated from his brethren. {17} His glory [is like] the firstling of his bullock, and his horns [are like] the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they [are] the ten thousands of Ephraim [‘Ephrayim:H669], and they [are] the thousands of Manasseh.”


When we were investigating Judges 5, we also ran across this term, “Ephraim,” but used in a derogatory way, since God is highlighting their disobedience; and in the context of Judges 5:14, we have to understand that Ephraim is a synonym for the 10 northern tribes, with their capital in Samaria, just like the two southern tribes, Benjamin and Judah, had their capital in Jerusalem:


“Out of Ephraim [was there] a root of them against [should be “in”] Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer.” 


Out Of Ephraim [‘Ephrayim:H669] [Was There] A Root [sheresh:H8328] Of Them Against Amalek [`Amaleq:H6002]


We discovered that these first three words in Judges 5:14 don’t appear together, except in this verse; however the first two words, “out of Ephraim” and “a root” do surface together in one other citation - Hosea 9:16. I’ll pick up the context starting with Hosea 8:14 and Hosea 9:1-17. God punished both of them for their rebellion against Him. Notice God’s indictment of them both in Hosea 8:14. First, Ephraim was destroyed by the Assyrians in 709 BC; and later Judah, by the Babylonians in 609 BC at the start of the second Great Tribulation period which lasted 70 years (609 BC - 539 BC), during which Jerusalem was overthrown in 587 BC. I bring this up as you will notice that Assyria, along with Egypt (a spiritual reference indicating slavery to sin and to Satan) is mentioned: 


“For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof. {9:1} Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as [other] people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor. {2} The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her. {3} They shall not dwell in the LORD'S land; but Ephraim [‘Ephrayim:H669]  shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean [things] in Assyria. {4} They shall not offer wine [offerings] to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices [shall be] unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the LORD. {5} What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the LORD? {6} For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant [places] for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns [shall be] in their tabernacles. {7} The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know [it]: the prophet [is] a fool, the spiritual man [is] mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred. {8} The watchman of Ephraim [‘Ephrayim:H669]  [was] with my God: [but] the prophet [is] a snare of a fowler in all his ways, [and] hatred in the house of his God. {9} They have deeply corrupted [themselves], as in the days of Gibeah: [therefore] he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins. {10} I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: [but] they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto [that] shame; and [their] abominations were according as they loved. {11} [As for] Ephraim [‘Ephrayim:H669], their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception. {12} Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, [that there shall] not [be] a man [left]: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them! {13} Ephraim [‘Ephrayim:H669], as I saw Tyrus, [is] planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim [‘Ephrayim:H669] shall bring forth his children to the murderer. {14} Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. {15} All their wickedness [is] in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes [are] revolters. {16} Ephraim [‘Ephrayim:H669] is smitten, their root [sheresh:H8328] is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay [even] the beloved [fruit] of their womb. {17} My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.”


In Jay P. Green’s Interlinear Bible Judges 5:14a is rendered this way: “Out of Ephraim [came they] whose root [was] in Amalek,” as opposed to against Amalek.” There are many verses that speak of Ephraim’s (or Israel’s) sin and, like Judah, they both spiritually typify the churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God, as of May 21, 1988.


Let’s now consider the root word for Ephraim, which is a doubling of the expression, “Ephraath” or “Ephratah.” However, here, we see this word cast in a positive light, and associated with Bethlehem (“the house of bread”), as well as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself:  


’Ephrath Or ’Ephratah  (H672) Signifies Bethlehem (“The House Of Bread”)


Genesis 35:19 maintains: “And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath [‘Ephraath:H672], which [is] Bethlehem.”


Genesis 48:7 confirms this as well: “And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet [there was] but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath [‘Ephraath:H672]; the same [is] Bethlehem.”


This is further corroborated in Ruth 4:11, “And all the people that [were] in the gate, and the elders, said, [We are] witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah [‘Ephraath:H672], and be famous in Bethlehem:”


Likewise 1 Chronicles  4:4 affirms: “And Penuel the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah. These [are] the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah [‘Ephraath:H672], the father of Bethlehem.”


Lastly, Micah 5:2 links “Bethlehem Ephtatah” with the Lord Jesus: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting.


Parah (H6509)


The grandparent word for Ephraim is “parah” (H6509), and it signifies, “to be fruitful,” like Ephrraim, or “double fruitfulness.” Here are some of the ways that God utilizes this word:


Earlier we referenced Genesis 41:52, which contains the two expressions, “Ephraim” as well as, “hath caused me to be fruitful”: “And the name of the second called he Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669]: For God hath caused me to be fruitful [parah:H6509] in the land of my affliction.”


This same word emerges in the command to both Adam and Eve, as well as to Noah and his family “to be fruitful and multiply” which we can understand on a physical level, but also spiritually, as would would apply the work of salvation “at the foundation” to the lives of each of His elect throughout the day of salvation: 


Genesis 1:22 declares: “And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”


Likewise, Genesis 9:1 maintains: “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”


Isaiah 11:1 is underscoring the Lord Jesus, and this same word is rendered, “shall grow”: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:”


On that blessed note, we will have to bring today’s study to a close. Lord willing, we will continue our examination of verse 26 in our next Bible study.









Judges 6 - Part 29

September 13, 2019


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 29 and today’s date is September 13, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31} And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called 

him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


Summary Of Our Last Study


In our previous study we took a detour to research “Ephraim,” which God directed us to, because in the two parallel psalms, Psalm 60:7 and Psalm 108:8, God links Ephraim with two terms - “the strength” (ma`owz:H4581) and “of my head” (ro’sh:H7218). These two words only emerge again in Judges 5:26, and are translated as, “upon the top” (ro’sh:H7218) and “of this rock” (ma`owz:H4581) in which “the angel of the LORD” is instructing where Gideon was to build the altar. We also noted that Ephraim (‘Ephrayim:H669) means “dual or double fruitfulness,” and is the plural form of its root word, “ ’Ephraath” or  

“ ‘Ephratah” (H672), which signifies “fruitfulness,” (and frequently, is associated with “Bethlehem,” or “the house of bread”); H672, in turn, is derived from its root word, “parah” (H6509), which also means “fruitfulness.” The question we still need to answer is: 


How does “Ephraim” (or “double fruitfulness”) relate to these two expressions, “upon the top” (ro’sh:H7218) and “of this rock” (ma`owz:H4581) in Judges 5:26?


In order to determine that, I think we need to take a closer look at each of these terms respectively, and then we will be in a better position to see their relationship to Ephraim, or “double fruitfulness,” if God permits us to see the spiritual reality that He has hidden, by which these three expressions are interconnected. 


Upon The Top [ro’sh:H7218]


H7218 is a very significant because it relates to the Lord Jesus in the many ways that it is rendered; it is found primarily as “head,” “chief,” “top,” “beginning,” “sum,” “first,” etc. and these various shades of meaning are all encapsulated in just this one Hebrew word that is so “pregnant” with spiritual richness. I would like to spend a little extra time on this word, as we have only run across it before in Judges 5:26 (and 30), which is a spiritual portrait of the defeat of Satan on May 21, 2011, 


“She [Jael - picturing the elect] put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head [ro’sh:H7218], when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.”


The defeat of Satan is also exemplified in Habakkuk 3:13-14, in which “head” is featured twice in each verse: “Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, [even] for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head [ro’sh:H7218] out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. {14} Thou didst strike through with his staves the head [ro’sh:H7218] of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing [was] as to devour the poor secretly.”


This is also the case in Esther 5:2, as Esther dares to walk into the king’s presence unannounced, and by God’s grace finds favor in his eyes, which ultimately leads to the death of Haman (typifying Satan who was hanged on the gallows on the 17th day of the second month, corresponding to the underlying Hebrew calendar date of May 21, 2011; this term is translated as “the top”: 


“And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, [that] she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that [was] in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.”


The various shades of meaning in “ro’sh” actually remind us of what we read in Colossians 1:15-17, which is a comprehensive description of some of the major roles that the Lord Jesus embodies with regard to His deity, as Creator and Sustainer of all things, His atonement at the foundation of the world, the eternal nature of His Divine Being, His preeminence in all things, and the fact that all things were created for His honor and glory: 


“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.”


“Ro’sh” (H7218) is also found in Deuteronomy 33:13-17, which is very relevant to our discussion because it concerns Joseph - a great type of the Lord Jesus - as well as the father of Manasseh and Ephraim; this word is rendered, “and for the chief things” in verse 15 and in verse 16, as “upon the head”:  


And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD [be] his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, {14} And for the precious fruits [brought forth] by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, {15} And for the chief things [ro’sh:H7218]

 of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, {16} And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and [for] the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let [the blessing] come upon the head [ro’sh:H7218] of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him [that was] separated from his brethren. {17} His glory [is like] the firstling of his bullock, and his horns [are like] the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they [are] the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they [are] the thousands of Manasseh.”


Accordingly, “ro’sh” also crops up twice as, “head” in Genesis 48:14, in which Jacob (or Israel) is blessing Ephraim and Manasseh: “And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid [it] upon Ephraim's head [ro’sh:H7218], who [was] the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head [ro’sh:H7218], guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh [was] the firstborn.”


The following citation provide more illustrations of how God employs this expression:


Psalm 119:160 affirms: “Thy word [is] true [from] the beginning [ro’sh:H7218]: and every one of thy righteous judgments [endureth] for ever.”


Proverbs 8:23 which is one of the proof texts for Christ making atonement for His elect at the foundation of the world, as the term, “I was set up” is almost always rendered as “poured out,” “offered,” “melted,” “molten,” etc.: “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning [ro’sh:H7218], or ever the earth was.”


In Isaiah 41:4, “Who hath wrought and done [it], calling the generations from the beginning [ro’sh:H7218]? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I [am] he.”


 1 Chronicles 29:9-20 contains David’s prayer to the Lord, on the occasion of crowning Solomon king the second time, in which this word is rendered as, “as head” in verse 11:  “Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. {10} Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. {11} Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. {12} Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all. {13} Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. {14} But who [am] I, and what [is] my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things [come] of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. {15} For we [are] strangers before thee, and sojourners, as [were] all our fathers: our days on the earth [are] as a shadow, and [there is] none abiding. {16} O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name [cometh] of thine hand, and [is] all thine own. {17} I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee. {18} O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: {19} And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to [keep] thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all [these things], and to build the palace, [for] the which I have made provision. {20} And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king.


Psalm 118:22 contains this word as well, which is translated as, “is become the head ” in this quotation which is repeated in the New Testament as well:  “The stone [which] the builders refused is become the head [stone] of the corner.”


Lastly, Psalm 139:17, renders this expression as “the sum” - a beautiful word picture of the Word of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as He is the “sum total” of the Scriptures and incomprehensibly “...The Word ...made flesh...”: “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!”


In the brief time we have left, I would like to at least mention some of the verses that contain the term, “of this rock” in Judges 6:26, which is predominantly rendered as, “strength,” or “strong,” as we discovered in Psalm 60 and Psalm 108, in which the “of this rock” is translated as, “the strength.”


Of This Rock [ma`owz:H4581]


In the interest of time we will just consider the subsequent three citations:


2 Samuel 22:33 offers this affirmation: “God [is] my strength [ma`owz:H4581] [and] power: and he maketh my way perfect.”


Nehemiah 8:10 reveals the source of God’s strength: “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for [this] day [is] holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. [ma`owz:H4581]


Psalm 37:39 points to our day: “But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: [he is] their strength [ma`owz:H4581] in the time of trouble.”


One thing that we want to keep in mind, and I think I want to address this in our next Bible study is that, in Judges 6 we find three different words for “rock.” And I think we need to consider each of these first, before drawing any conclusions as far as the relationship between “Ephraim,” “upon the top” and “of this rock.” And it’s curious that God - for His own purposes - has inserted three different Hebrew words for “rock.” We’ve touched upon the first two of them in some of our previous studies, but I would like to be able to go a little deeper to see if there is something else that God is trying to show us with these three different Hebrew words for “rock.” After that we will continue looking at the rest of verse 26, which says: “...in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.  But I’m interested in finding out precisely what He means by this term, “rock,” and why three different Hebrew words for that same English word. So I’ll leave that with you to ponder and pray about, and possibly to spend some time on your own looking at that in Judges 6. And until our next time, may the Lord bless you.











Judges 6 - Part 30

September 16, 2019


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 30 and today’s date is September 16, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31} And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called 

him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


Why Are There Three Different Words Translated “Rock” In Judges 6?


At the close of our last study, I asked the question, “why does God utilize three different words for ‘rock’ in Judges 6,” which I want to first address in today’s study. Each of these different terms rendered “rock” surface in verses 20-21 and 26 respectively, and we are curious as to the significance of their locations with regard to the sacrifice that Gideon presented to the “angel of the LORD,” but also in relationship to the “altar” that God commanded Gideon to erect, after he had “thrown down” the altar to Baal, and “cut down” the grove that was next to it:


“And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay [them] upon this rock [cela`:H5553], and pour out the broth. And he did so. {21} Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that [was] in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock [tsuwr:H6697], and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. ... {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock [ma`owz:H4581], in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.”


Let’s begin by reviewing this first expression rendered “rock” in verse 20, which was discussed briefly in Part 18. In that lesson, we considered the following passages that contain this word: 


 Rock [cela`:H5553]


In Numbers 20:8-11 this expressions surfaces three times in verses 8, and 10-11, highlighting the actual Atonement that took place “...at the foundation of the world,” as well as the subsequent “demonstration” of that event in 33 AD: “Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock [cela`:H5553] before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. {9} And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. {10} And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock [cela`:H5553], and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? {11} And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock [cela`:H5553] twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts [also].


Nehemiah 9:15 alludes to this event as well: “And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock [cela`:H5553] for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.”


We learn from Psalm 18:2 that the Lord Jesus Christ - Jehovah - is, among other glorious titles, the elect’s rock: “The LORD [is] my rock [cela`:H5553], and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, [and] my high tower.”


Psalm 40:2 beautifully acknowledges God’s gracious salvation program when that was still viable, during the 13,023 years of the day of salvation:  “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock [cela`:H5553], [and] established my goings.”


Out Of The Rock [tsuwr:H6697]


The next word in verse 21 is a noun, and is rendered “out of the rock,” and the way in which God employs this word is similar to “cela`” (H5553), however, as near as I could tell, “cela`” is not derived from a root word, whereas “tsuwr” (H6697 - a noun) stems from an identically spelled word “tsuwr” (H6696), which is a verb, that is primarily translated as “besiege.” Here are some examples of the noun form:


Lord willing, when we get to Judges 13, we will encounter this word in verse 13 in this account that is quite similar to that of Gideon, with respect to the offering given to the “angel of the LORD”: “ So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered [it] upon a rock [tsuwr:H6697] unto the LORD: and [the angel] did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.


Deuteronomy 32:4, 15, 15 18, 30- 31, and 37 include this expression likewise reveals the nature of the God of the Bible as the “Rock,” which corporate Israel was disobedient to so often as we witness this in the book of Judges:[He is] the Rock [tsuwr:H6697] , his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he. …{13} He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock [tsuwr:H6697] ;...{15} But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered [with fatness]; then he forsook God [which] made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock [tsuwr:H6697]  of his salvation. ... {18} Of the Rock [tsuwr:H6697]  [that] begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. ... {30} How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock [tsuwr:H6697]  had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? {31} For their rock [tsuwr:H6697]  [is] not as our Rock, [tsuwr:H6697]  even our enemies themselves [being] judges. … {37} And he shall say, Where [are] their gods, [their] rock [tsuwr:H6697]  in whom they trusted,”


As part of Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2:2 likewise affirms: “[There is] none holy as the LORD: for [there is] none beside thee: neither [is there] any rock [tsuwr:H6697] like our God.”


Psalm 81:16, “He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.”

  

Of This Rock [ma`owz:H4581]


The third term translated “out of this rock,” we have already considered in Part 28 in Psalm 60:7, and Psalm 108:8. This word is rendered much more frequently as “strength,” according to the subsequent citations:


In 2 Samuel 22:33 one learns: “God [is] my strength [ma`owz:H4581] [and] power: and he maketh my way perfect.”


Proverbs 10:29 asserts: “The way of the LORD [is] strength [ma`owz:H4581]  to the upright: but destruction [shall be] to the workers of iniquity.”


Joel 3:16 maintains: “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 [ma`owz:H4581] of the children of Israel.”


Nahum 1:7 acknowledges, “The LORD [is] good, a strong hold [ma`owz:H4581] in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”


“Ma`owz” [H4581] & “Tsuwr” [H6697]


Incidentally these three terms do not appear together in any verses, however, two of them “ma`owz” (H4581) and “tsuwr” (H6697) are found together in Psalm 31:2 and Isaiah 17:10, resepctively:  


Psalm 31:2 declares: “Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong [ma`owz:H4581] rock [tsuwr:H6697], for an house of defence to save me.”


And likewise, Isaiah 17:10 affirms: “Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock [tsuwr:H6697] of thy strength [ma`owz:H4581] , therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:”


At this point I’m not sure what the Lord might be teaching with regard to these three different words for “rock,” so I will need to more research, and pray that if God wills, He will open my eyes to it. So, for the time being, let’s proceed to the latter part of Judges 6:26, in which we read: 


“...in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.”


In The Ordered Place [ma`arakah:H4634]


We have learned that the “angel of the LORD” had commanded Gideon to “...build an altar...on the top of this rock in the ordered place…”  This term, “in the ordered place,” is an interesting one and sufaces in 17 other passages, predominantly as “armies.” The one chapter that contains the most references to “armies” (and once as “to the fight” in verse 20) is the very familiar account of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:8, 10, 20-23, 26, 36, 45, and 48: 


“And he stood and cried unto the armies [ma`arakah:H4634]

 of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set [your] battle in array? [am] not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. ... {10} And the Philistine said, I defy the armies [ma`arakah:H4634] of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. ... {20} And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight [ma`arakah:H4634], and shouted for the battle. {21} For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army [ma`arakah:H4634]

 against army. [ma`arakah:H4634] {22} And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army [ma`arakah:H4634], and came and saluted his brethren. {23} And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies [ma`arakah:H4634] of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard [them]. ... {26} And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who [is] this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies [ma`arakah:H4634] of the living God? ... {36} Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies [ma`arakah:H4634] of the living God. ... {45} Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies [ma`arakah:H4634] of Israel, whom thou hast defied. ... {48} And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army [ma`arakah:H4634]

 to meet the Philistine.” 


This term is also used in connection with the “lamps” of the “candlestick” as well as with the 12 loaves of “shewbread” that priests were commanded to bake every day, as these next citations illustrate:


In Exodus 39:37 this word is rendered, “to be set in order”: “The pure candlestick, [with] the lamps thereof, [even with] the lamps to be set in order [ma`arakah:H4634], and all the vessels thereof, and the oil for light,”


 Leviticus 24:6 translates it as “rows”: “And thou shalt set them in two rows [ma`arakah:H4634], six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD.”


Summary:


In conclusion today we looked at the three Hebrew words rendered as “rock” to see if God might provide additional insight as to why He did this spiritually; however, as I mentioned, I don’t know why at this point and time, so I need to study this further.  We also considered the word, “in the ordered place” in Judges 6:26, which is uniquely rendered as “armies” predominantly, but it also crops up in the Temple with regard to the “ordering” of the lamps of the candlestick, along with the two “rows” of shewbread (6 each), or 12 total - one for each tribe. Naturally the lamp of the candlestick - fed by olive oil, wee always to be kept burning in the Temple pointing to Christ as the “Light;” He is also the “bread of Life,” typifies by the shewbread that had to baked daily and set before the Lord in the Temple as well.


Lord willing, in our next study we will resume our investigation of the rest of verse 26, “...and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.”

 





Judges 6 - Part 31

September 19, 2019


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 31 and today’s date is September 19, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31} And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called 

him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


In our previous lesson, we left off at the last part of verse 26, 


“...and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.”

When we were discussing verse 25, we worked on the two terms, “the second” (sheniy:H8145) and “bullock,” (par:H6499) so I won't go over that information again. Instead, I would like to take a look at the next two words, “and offer” (`alah:H5927) and “a burnt sacrifice.” (`olah:H5930)


“And Offer” [`alah:H5927] & “A Burnt Sacrifice” [`olah:H5930]


These two terms are intimately related, as the Hebrew noun “ `olah” (H5930) is identically spelled and is derived from the verb, “ `alah” (H5927), which we have run across before numerous times already in the book of Judges, and has to do with “ascension” or “resurrection” or “exaltation” - and very often related to God Himself -  and is indeed super pregnant with  myriad shades of meaning. Together, these two words appear in 64 citations; here are some examples of their usage:


In verse 5 of 1 Kings 10:1-10, we find a notable account of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, who typifies the Lord Jesus Christ: “And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions. {2} And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. {3} And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not [any] thing hid from the king, which he told her not. {4} And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, {5} And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent [`olah:H5930] by which he went up [`alah:H5927] unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. {6} And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. {7} Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen [it]: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. {8} Happy [are] thy men, happy [are] these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, [and] that hear thy wisdom. {9} Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice. {10} And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.”


Verse 20 of Genesis 8:15-22  reveals the first thing that Noah did when he exited the Ark with his family and all the animals:  “And God spake unto Noah, saying, {16} Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. {17} Bring forth with thee every living thing that [is] with thee, of all flesh, [both] of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. {18} And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him: {19} Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, [and] whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. {20} And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered [`alah:H5927] burnt offerings [`olah:H5930]  on the altar. {21} And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. {22} While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”


Both Genesis 22:2 and 13 include these two expressions in this highly significant chapter regarding the sacrifice of Isaac that God had commanded Abraham to perform, and unbeknownst to him, that he would not have to actually carry out in the end: “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him [`alah:H5927] there for a burnt offering [`olah:H5930]

 upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. ... {13} And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind [him] a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him [`alah:H5927] up for a burnt offering [`olah:H5930] in the stead of his son.


After the defeat of the city of Ai, we read what Joshua did in Joshua 8:30-35, “Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal, {31} As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up [any] iron: and they offered [`alah:H5927]  thereon burnt offerings [`olah:H5930] unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. {32} And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. {33} And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel. {34} And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. {35} There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.” 


2 Samuel 24:22, and 24-25 recount what God commanded David to do to in the location of Araunah’s threshing floor to stop a plague that killed 70,000 Israelites: “And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up [`alah:H5927] what [seemeth] good unto him: behold, [here be] oxen for burnt sacrifice [`olah:H5930], and threshing instruments and [other] instruments of the oxen for wood. ... {24} And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy [it] of thee at a price: neither will I offer [`alah:H5927]  burnt offerings [`olah:H5930] unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. {25} And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered [`alah:H5927]  burnt offerings [`olah:H5930] and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.”


Lord willing, as we continue our journey in the book of Judges we will encounter these two expressions again in the following chapters: 11, 13, 20 and 21.


With The Wood [`ets:H6086] Of The Grove [’asherah:H842]


The next two terms in verse 26 are : “with the wood” (`ets:H6086) and “of the grove” (’asherah:H842). Both of these words crop up together again in the following four passages:


Deuteronomy 16 is a chapter in which God is laying down various admonitions for the Israelites to obey, and the last two verses in this chapter focus on “groves” and false “image[s]” in which these two expressions are translated as “thee a grove” and “of any trees” in verse 21: “Thou shalt not plant thee a grove [’asherah:H842] of any trees [`ets:H6086]  near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee. {22} Neither shalt thou set thee up [any] image; which the LORD thy God hateth.”


 Verse 23 of 1 Kings 14:21-24, includes these two terms, while pinpointing the spiritual climate when (wicked) king Rehoboam was ruling in Judah: “And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam [was] forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name [was] Naamah an Ammonitess. {22} And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. {23} For they also built them high places, and images, and groves [’asherah:H842], on every high hill, and under every green tree. [`ets:H6086]  {24}And there were also sodomites in the land: [and] they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. 


A similar account appears in verse 10 of 2 Kings 17:7-15, “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 [’asherah:H842] in every high hill, and under every green tree [`ets:H6086]: {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.”


Likewise verse 2 of Jeremiah 17:1-8 continues this same refrain of rebellion: “The sin of Judah [is] written with a pen of iron, [and] with the point of a diamond: [it is] graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars; {2} Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves [’asherah:H842] by the green trees [`ets:H6086]  upon the high hills. {3} O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance [and] all thy treasures to the spoil, [and] thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders. {4} And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, [which] shall burn for ever. {5} Thus saith the LORD; Cursed [be] the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. {6} For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, [in] a salt land and not inhabited. {7} Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. {8} For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”


Summary:


Today our focus was on two sets of words in verse 26. The first one was: “and offer” [`alah:H5927]  and “a burnt sacrifice.” [`olah:H5930]; we noted that both are identically spelled, and that “a burnt sacrifice” (a noun) stems from the verb, “and offer” - both of which spiritually highlight the atonement of the Lord Jesus at “...the foundation of the world,” in which Christ was “offered up” as that “burnt offering” - that “one final” sacrifice for the sins of each of the elect.  The second set of words was:  “with the wood” [`ets:H6086] and “of the grove” [’asherah:H842]. God had commanded Gideon to cut down this grove of trees that was next to the altar of Baal, which Gideon “threw down” as God had stipulated, and then he was to use “the wood of the grove”  in order to burn the bullock. God, Who is Jealous for His honor and glory, had strictly forbidden the worship of false gods, along with any groves.


Lord willing, in our next study we will begin to examine verse 27, as we have already studied the last word in verse 26, “...which thou shalt cut down,” which we previously covered in verse 25.







Judges 6 - Part 32

September 21, 2019


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 32 and today’s date is September 21, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31} And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called 

him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


We have arrived at verse 27 in our study of Judges 6, so let’s begin with the phrase, “took ten men,” which consists of three words:


Took [laqach:H3947] Ten [`eser:H6235] Men [’enowsh:H582]

In the historical setting, these were ten of Gideon’s servants that helped to obey the “angel of the LORD’s” injunction. But as always we are interested in uncovering the spiritual dimension that lies hidden in these words, as we see from the following three passages, which contain these three terms:


Deuteronomy 1:15 records,So I took  [laqach:H3947] the chief of your tribes, wise men [’enowsh:H582], and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens [`eser:H6235], and officers among your tribes.”


You might recall that Moses did this as a result of obeying the counsel of Moses’ father-in-law, as God permitted, in Exodus 18:13-26, 


“And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. {14} And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What [is] this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? {15} And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: {16} When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make [them] know the statutes of God, and his laws. {17} And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest [is] not good. {18} Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that [is] with thee: for this thing [is] too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. {19} Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: {20} And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. {21} Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place [such] over them, [to be] rulers of thousands, [and] rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens [`eser:H6235]: {22} And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, [that] every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear [the burden] with thee. {23} If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee [so], then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. {24} So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. {25} And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. [`eser:H6235] {26} And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.” 


Deuteronomy 1:15 classifies these men as “wise,” which frequently in Scripture is used to typify the elect. Remember that “numbers” in Hebrew are not numerals, but rather “words;” additionally, the number 10 is a word that signifies “completion.”


These three expressions also surface in Judges 20:10, which is part of the historical parable that began back in chapter 19 (and continues through chapter 21, ending the book of Judges) with regard to the abuse and death of the Levite’s concubine whose body he cut up into twelve pieces and sent them to all the tribes of Israel; this is a gruesome historical parable regarding God’s judgment that began “...at the house of God...” (1 Peter 4:17). What ensued was no less than a civil war between the tribe of Benjamin (in whose territory this atrocity had been committed) and the other eleven tribes, as they sought to rally their forces against the tribe of  Benjamin, as “one man”:   


And we will take [laqach:H3947] ten [`eser:H6235] men [’enowsh:H582] of an hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch victual for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have wrought in Israel.”


Verse 2 of Ruth 4:1-12 is the last reference in which these three words appear together, in which ten “men of the elders of Bethlehem (“the House of Bread”) were called upon to witness the transaction between Boaz (a type of Christ) and the “near kinsman” (who exemplifies mankind), which is a dramatic spiritual portrait of the necessity for Christ’s redemption, as mankind is utterly incapable of providing a solution to man’s innate sinfulness, and its penalty, which is death and annihilation:  


“Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. {2} And he took [laqach:H3947] ten [`eser:H6235] men [’enowsh:H582] of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. {3} And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which [was] our brother Elimelech's: {4} And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy [it] before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem [it], redeem [it]: but if thou wilt not redeem [it, then] tell me, that I may know: for [there is] none to redeem [it] beside thee; and I [am] after thee. And he said, I will redeem [it]. {5} Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy [it] also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. {6} And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem [it] for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem [it]. {7} Now this [was the manner] in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave [it] to his neighbour: and this [was] a testimony in Israel. {8} Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy [it] for thee. So he drew off his shoe. {9} And Boaz said unto the elders, and [unto] all the people, Ye [are] witnesses this day, that I have bought all that [was] Elimelech's, and all that [was] Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. {10} Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye [are] witnesses this day. {11} And all the people that [were] in the gate, and the elders, said, [We are] witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: {12} And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.”


Of His Servants [`ebed:H5650]


We can understand Gideon - as the “judge” or “deliverer” - to spiritually represent the Lord Jesus Christ - Who is not only “...the Judge of all the earth...” (as we read in Genesis 18:25), but is the only Deliverer or Savior of His people, as Isaiah 43:11 proclaims in no uncertain terms:


“I, [even] I, [am] the LORD; and beside me [there is] no saviour.” 


This is also seen in the New Testament, in Titus 3:4-6,


“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour [soter:G4990]

 toward man appeared, {5} Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; {6} Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;” [soter:G4990]


If Gideon spiritually embodies the Lord Jesus, these 10 “servants” of his would epitomize the elect. I won’t elaborate any further on this word, as we have already discussed it in verse 8 of this same chapter, so let’s turn our attention to the next phrase, which is also comprised of three terms:


And Did [`asah:H6213] As The LORD [Yehovah:H3068] Had Said [dabar:H1696]


The following passages illustrate some of the ways in which God employs these three words together, which reflect either the behavior of the elect, or the “lip service” of corporate Israel, who represents the end-time institutional churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God for their disobedience:


In Genesis 18:19, we learn of God’s assessment of Abraham: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068], to do  [`asah:H6213] justice and judgment; that the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]  may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken [dabar:H1696]

 of him.”


Exodus 4:30 paints this portrait of Aaron: “And Aaron spake [dabar:H1696]

 all the words which the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] had spoken [dabar:H1696] unto Moses, and did  [`asah:H6213] the signs in the sight of the people.”


In Exodus 24:3 and 7 depict the response of the Israelites to God’s command at least initially: “And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068], and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]  hath said [dabar:H1696] will we do. [`asah:H6213] ... {7} And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]  hath said [dabar:H1696] will we do  [`asah:H6213], and be obedient.”


However, when Moses did not return  from the mount after 40 days, they quickly changed their tune, as Exodus 32:1-4 poignantly describes: “And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for [as for] this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. {2} And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which [are] in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring [them] unto me. {3} And all the people brake off the golden earrings which [were] in their ears, and brought [them] unto Aaron. {4} And he received [them] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.


Summary:


In today’s study we looked at some of the phrases in verse 27. The first phrase, “took ten men” had to do with those men whom Gideon (as a “judge” or “deliverer” - pointing to Christ) commanded to help him tear down the altar of Baal, and to cut down the grove next to it. These 10 men represent God’s elect who are His servants, and do His bidding. “And did as the LORD had said” was the second phrase , which can either point to the obedience (read “love”) of God’s elect, or to the mere “lip service” which so many of corporate Israel offered to God with a “double heart,” or “forked tongue” and by extension would include the end-time institutional churches and denominations.


Lord willing in our next study, we will examine the rest of verse 27.


Judges 6 - Part 33

September 23, 2019


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 33 and today’s date is September 23, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31} And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called 

him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


We are down to the latter half of verse 27 which states: “...and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.”  We have already considered the term for “and so it was, because he feared” in verse 10 and also in verse 23 of this chapter, as well as the phrase, “his father’s household,”  so let’s move on to the next phrase, “and the men of the city,”  which consists of two words:


And The Men [’enowsh:H582] Of The City [`iyr:H5892]


These two terms surface in verses 28 and 30 as well for a total of three times: 


“And when the men [’enowsh:H582] of the city [`iyr:H5892]

 arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that [was] by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar [that was] built. ... {30} Then the men [’enowsh:H582] of the city [`iyr:H5892] said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that [was] by it.”


In this account the “men of the city” did not take kindly to what Gideon and his servants did to the altar of Baal and to the grove which they cut down, as evidenced by their reaction to Joash, in wanting to put Gideon to death. First of all we note that they were very obviously worshippers of Baal, and not the God of the Bible, even though they were Israelites, which should not surprise us as we learn from Romans 9:6-8,


“Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they [are] not all Israel, which are of Israel: {7} Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, [are they] all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. {8} That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” 


We can also go to Romans 2:28-29, which gives the definition of a “true Jew”:


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


Like so many words and phrases in the Bible that we have run across, these two expressions, “men of the city” can denote either wickedness or faithfulness to the Bible, depending on their context as these next passages show:


In verse of  Ezekiel 9:4-7 certain “men of the city” who were “marked” in their foreheads escaped the judgment of God that began first at “...the house of God”: “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city [`iyr:H5892], through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men [’enowsh:H582] that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.  {5} And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: {6} Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. {7} And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.


This passage reminds us of what we read in Revelation 9:4, pertaining to our current “day of judgment”:


“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.


On the other hand in 2 Kings 2:19-22 we read of a miracle that Elijah performed with regard to the “healing of the waters,” in the city of Jericho which would point spiritually to the “waters” of salvation:


And the men [’enowsh:H582]  of the city [`iyr:H5892] said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city [is] pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water [is] naught, and the ground barren. {20} And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought [it] to him. {21} And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren [land]. {22} So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.”


That last two phrases in verse 27 are also comprised of two words each: “...that he could not do it by day...” and  “...that he did it by night.” 


That He Could Not Do [`asah:H6213] It By Day [yowmam:H3119]


In the historical context, we see that Gideon feared his father’s household, as well as the men of the city, so he “threw down” the altar of Baal, and “cut down” the grove that was by it “by night,” and not “by day.” 


The first phrase emerges in the following four citations:


In verse 8 of Joshua 1:5-9, it is rendered as “day” along with “and night” because it is laying out the only formula for “true success,” according to the Bible, which has to do with meditating on God’s Word, and obeying it, in this wonderful admonition that God gives to Moses’ successor, Joshua - a great type of the Lord Jesus Christ:


 “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. {6} Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. {7} Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. {8} This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day [yowmam:H3119]

 and night [layil:H3915], that thou mayest observe to do [`asah:H6213] according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. {9} Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.”


1 Kings 8:59 translates these words as, “day” (along with “night” again) and “that he maintain” in Solomon’s lengthy prayer at the dedication of the Temple: “And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day [yowmam:H3119]

and night [layil:H3915], that he maintain [`asah:H6213] the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require:”


In Ezekiel 12:3 and 7, these words are rendered, “by day,” along with “prepare” and “And I did” in this historical parable that is foreshadow their captivity to the Babylonians: “Therefore, thou son of man, prepare [`asah:H6213]  thee stuff for removing, and remove by day [yowmam:H3119] in their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight: it may be they will consider, though they [be] a rebellious house. ... {7} And I did [`asah:H6213] so as I was commanded: I brought forth my stuff by day [yowmam:H3119], as stuff for captivity, and in the even I digged through the wall with mine hand; I brought [it] forth in the twilight, [and] I bare [it] upon [my] shoulder in their sight.”


That He Did [`asah:H6213] It By Night [layil:H3915]


The next phrase “that he did it” and “by night” emerges in 16 other references, and we will consider some of these. One way that we can understand “night” on a spiritual level is that it portends judgment. Even in our present “day of judgment,” we recall John 9:4,


“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man [Christ is the “man”] can work.”


We see this, for example, in Exodus 12:12, having to do with departure from Egypt which took place at night: “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night [layil:H3915], and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute [`asah:H6213]  judgment: I [am] the LORD.”


Similarly, Deuteronomy 16:1 declares: “Observe the month of Abib, and keep [`asah:H6213] the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.” [layil:H3915]


Amos 5:8 states this with regard to God’s judgment on His own “house” again:[Seek him] that maketh [`asah:H6213] the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: [layil:H3915] that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD [is] his name:”


I think we’ll stop here today, and Lord willing in our next study, we will coninue our journey in Judges 6, starting with verse 28.





Judges 6 - Part 34

September 25, 2019


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 34 and today’s date is September 25, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31} And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called 

him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


Today we want to start our investigation of verse 28. We already considered the first two Hebrew words in this sentence “And when the men” and “of the city” in our previous study, so let’s take a look at the next two terms:

Arose Early [shakam:H7925] In The Morning [boqer:H1242]


This is the first time that these particular words appear together in the book of Judges, and we will see them again when we get to Judges 9 and 19. They do crop up in 34 other passages in a variety of different contexts - mostly positive - and in connection with Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Job, and Jehoshaphat,  just to name a few. In the New Testament there are two Greek words, in six citations, that convey this same idea in English. They reference either the Lord or the apostles teaching in the Temple, the women who had brought spices to anoint His body on that Resurrection morning, and the parable of the hiring of laborers to work in the vineyard, which spans both the era of the church age (or the “early rain”) and the last 17 years of the Great Tribulation, known as the “latter rain.”  In the Old Testament there are also some accounts that relate to judgment occurring “early in the morning,” just as we witness here in Judges 6:28; they are as follows:


A similar incident to the one that we find here in Judges 6 emerges in verse 4 of 1 Samuel 5:1-7, and these terms are rendered as: “And when they arose early” and “morning;” on this occasion, however,  a different false god - Dagon - is in view instead of Baal:


“And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. {2} When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. {3} And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon [was] fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. {4} And when they arose early [shakam:H7925] on the morrow morning [boqer:H1242], behold, Dagon [was] fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands [were] cut off upon the threshold; only [the stump of] Dagon was left to him. {5} Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day. {6} But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, [even] Ashdod and the coasts thereof. {7} And when the men of Ashdod saw that [it was] so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.”


In verse 36 of Isaiah 37:33-38 we learn how God thwarted the king of Assyria’s desire to come against Jerusalem and Judah; these two words are translated as “and when they arose early,” and “in the morning”:  


“Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. {34} By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. {35} For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake. {36} Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early [shakam:H7925] in the morning [boqer:H1242], behold, they [were] all dead corpses. {37} So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. {38} And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia: and Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.”


This next passage does not highlight a false deity or a heathen nation that came under God’s wrath (as the two preceding ones), but rather the sin of an Israelite whose disobedience to God’s command, resulted in the deaths “...of about thirty and six men…” from Joshua’s army. Our two words emerge in verse 16 of Joshua 7:10-26 regarding the sin of Achan, in which these terms are rendered once again as “rose up early” and “in the morning”: 


“And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? {11} Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put [it] even among their own stuff. {12} Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, [but] turned [their] backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. {13} Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, [There is] an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you. {14} In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, [that] the tribe which the LORD taketh shall come according to the families [thereof]; and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by households; and the household which the LORD shall take shall come man by man. {15} And it shall be, [that] he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel. {16} So Joshua rose up early [shakam:H7925]  in the morning [boqer:H1242], and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken: {17} And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken: {18} And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. {19} And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide [it] not from me. {20} And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: {21} When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they [are] hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. {22} So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, [it was] hid in his tent, and the silver under it. {23} And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. {24} And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. {25} And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. {26} And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.”


There is also another passage in 2 Kings 3, in which the wicked king of Samaria (son of Ahab) had joined forces with Jehoshaphat, king of Judah and the king of Edom to battle against the king of Moab, who had rebelled against Jehoram in not fulfilling an agreement he had made with his father Ahab. However, the land was in a drought, and they feared for their armies and animals. In the midst of all this, they sought counsel from God’s prophet, Elisha, who called for a minstrel, whom God used to reassure them that they would be victorious; additionally, God promised the kings water for them, their armies, and the beasts, according to 2 Kings 3:20-27, 


“And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water. {21} And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come up to fight against them, they gathered all that were able to put on armour, and upward, and stood in the border. {22} And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side [as] red as blood: {23} And they said, This [is] blood: the kings are surely slain, and they have smitten one another: now therefore, Moab, to the spoil. {24} And when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fled before them: but they went forward smiting the Moabites, even in [their] country. {25} And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land cast every man his stone, and filled it; and they stopped all the wells of water, and felled all the good trees: only in Kirharaseth left they the stones thereof; howbeit the slingers went about [it], and smote it. {26} And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too sore for him, he took with him seven hundred men that drew swords, to break through [even] unto the king of Edom: but they could not. {27} Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him [for] a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to [their own] land.”


We have previously considered each of the remaining words in verse 28, so let’s consider the next verse, which states:


Verse 29: “And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing.”


And They Said [’amar:H559] One [’ iysh:H376] To Another [rea`:H7453]


The first phrase in verse 29 consists of three words, “And they said one to another.” These three terms are found in 22 other citations, and we will consider some of these, (including Judges 7 and 10, Lord willing), which specifically highlight the judgment of God that is about to fall, or has already taken place. 


These identical words surface in verse 3 of Genesis 11:1-9 with regard to the building of the Tower of Babel: 


“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. {2} And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. {3} And they said [’amar:H559] one 

[’ iysh:H376]  to another [rea`:H7453], Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. {4} And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. {5} And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. {6} And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. {7} Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. {8} So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. {9} Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”


Another example is in verse 8 of Jeremiah 22:1-9, which underscores God’s judgment against Jerusalem and Judah, which exemplifies God judgment that began against His own “house” first; these words are rendered as, “and they shall say every man to his neighbor”: 


“Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, {2} And say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: {3} Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. {4} For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. {5} But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation. {6} For thus saith the LORD unto the king's house of Judah; Thou [art] Gilead unto me, [and] the head of Lebanon: [yet] surely I will make thee a wilderness, [and] cities [which] are not inhabited. {7} And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast [them] into the fire. {8} And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say [’amar:H559] every man [’ iysh:H376]  to his neighbour [rea`:H7453], Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this great city? {9} Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.”


One final passage before we close is in verse 7 of Jonah 1:7-12, which translates this expression as, “And they said everyone to his fellow,” which in the historical context concerns the raging storm these sailors were facing, but spiritually portrays the fiery blast of God’s wrath that was directed toward God’s Own beloved Son “...at the foundation of the world” - typified by the whale’s “belly” -  or “womb” of death and destruction: “And they said [’amar:H559] every one [’ iysh:H376] to his fellow [rea`:H7453], Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil [is] upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. {8} Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil [is] upon us; What [is] thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what [is] thy country? and of what people [art] thou? {9} And he said unto them, I [am] an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry [land]. {10} Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. {11} Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. {12} And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest [is] upon you.”


We’ve come to the end of today’s program, but Lord willing, in our next study we will consider the rest of verse 29.

Judges 6 - Part 35

September 27, 2019


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 35 and today’s date is September 27, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31} And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called 

him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


Summary


Our last study was focused on the two words in verse 28 that we had not previously researched, namely, “arose,” and “early in the morning.”  We looked at some examples in which these two terms surface in the context of judgment, just as they do in Judges 6:28. Next we considered the first phrase in verse 29, “and they said one to another,”  which can  also be used positively or negatively, and we discussed some illustrations of the latter. The way that God uses both of these expressions highlight two parallel themes all throughout Scripture. These two themes identify with the only two “groups” of people that God is concerned with - the elect as well as the non-elect - and by which He divides the entire human race, typified for instance, by “Jacob and Esau.”


Today we want to proceed to verse 29, and the phrase, “who hath done this thing,” which is comprised of two words:


Who Hath Done [`asah:H6213] This Thing? [dabar:H1697]


Please note that the expression, “this thing,” or “dabar” (H1697), is primarily translated as, “word.” Here are some of the ways that God utilizes these two terms together:


In verse 18 of Exodus 1:15-22 Pharaoh questions the faithful Hebrew midwives who were not about to obey his sinful command to kill all the male babies when they were delivered; these words are expressed as, “have ye done,” and “this thing”: “And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one [was] Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: {16} And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see [them] upon the stools; if it [be] a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it [be] a daughter, then she shall live. {17} But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. {18} And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done [`asah:H6213] this thing [dabar:H1697], and have saved the men children alive? {19} And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women [are] not as the Egyptian women; for they [are] lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. {20} Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. {21} And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. {22} And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.”


In some of our previous studies we have visited Exodus 18, in which Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, offers him counsel in verses 14, 17-18, and 23, in which we find these two words employed together: “And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did [`asah:H6213] to the people, he said, What [is] this thing [dabar:H1697] that thou doest [`asah:H6213] to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? ... {17} And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing [dabar:H1697] that thou doest [`asah:H6213]  [is] not good. {18} Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that [is] with thee: for this thing [dabar:H1697]  [is] too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform [`asah:H6213]it thyself alone....{23} If thou shalt do [`asah:H6213] this thing [dabar:H1697], and God command thee [so], then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.”


It’s significant that Jethro predicated his wise counsel in verse 23, upon the will of God“If...and God command thee so…”


These two terms also surface in verse 23 of 1 Samuel 2:22-25, regarding Eli and his two wicked sons, and as I have mentioned a number of times already, is a magnificent historical parable regarding God’s judgment that began at His own “house” first: 


“Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. {23} And he said unto them, Why do [`asah:H6213] ye such things? [dabar:H1697]  for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. {24} Nay, my sons; for [it is] no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD'S people to transgress. {25} If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.”


In verse 29 of 1 Samuel 17:26-30  a youthful David poses the question to his older brother Eliab, and others who stood by concerning the challenge by Goliath: “And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who [is] this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? {27} And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him. {28} And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.{29} And David said, What have I now done? [`asah:H6213] [Is there] not a cause? [dabar:H1697]  {30} And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.”


While re-building the wall, Nehemiah received criticism from those who attempted to impede God’s work in verse 19 of  Nehemiah 2:11-20, “So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days. {12} And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I [any] man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither [was there any] beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon. {13} And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire. {14} Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but [there was] no place for the beast [that was] under me to pass. {15} Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and [so] returned. {16} And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told [it] to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work. {17} Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we [are] in, how Jerusalem [lieth] waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. {18} Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for [this] good [work]. {19} But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard [it], they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What [is] this thing [dabar:H1697] that ye do? [`asah:H6213] will ye rebel against the king? {20} Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.” 


Further on in verse 17 of  Nehemiah 13:15-21, Nehemiah addresses the issue of the sanctity of the sabbath with the elders of Jesusalem, and those who were seeking to profane it; if this was a problem that existed back then, how much more in our day? 


 “In those days saw I in Judah [some] treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all [manner of] burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified [against them] in the day wherein they sold victuals. {16} There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. {17} Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing [dabar:H1697]  [is] this that ye do  [`asah:H6213], and profane the sabbath day? {18} Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. {19} And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and [some] of my servants set I at the gates, [that] there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. {20} So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. {21} Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do [so] again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no [more] on the sabbath.” 


2 Samuel 12:9 and 21 recount David’s sins, and one of their consequences: “Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment [dabar:H1697] of the LORD, to do [`asah:H6213] evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife [to be] thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. ... {21} Then said his servants unto him, What thing [dabar:H1697]  [is] this that thou hast done? [`asah:H6213] thou didst fast and weep for the child, [while it was] alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.”


Lastly the account of healing of Naaman the leper includes these two words, as spoken by his servants out of concern for this Syrian general in 2 Kings 5:13, 


“And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, [if] the prophet had bid thee [do some] great thing [dabar:H1697], wouldest thou not have done [`asah:H6213] [it]? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?”


The next phrase that we want to turn our attention to is, “and when they enquired and asked,” which is comprised of two words that appear in thirteen other passages. Even though they are two different Hebrew words, they are similar in meaning, and are both predominantly translated as “seek.” In the historical context these Israelite Baal worshippers are seeking revenge against Gideon, who was commanded by God to “thrown down” the altar of Baal, and to “cut down” the grove that was by it. Once again we witness the deplorable state of affairs spiritually that Israel had succumbed to, which is why God chastised them in the first place, by bringing the Midianites to rule over them. Remember what we read in verses 6-10, as God reminds them of their unfaithfulness, as He states in the latter part of verse 10, “...fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell…”  Yet, in spite of all this, God very graciously had already made provision for a “deliverer,” who was Gideon:


“And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. {7} And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites, {8} That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; {9} And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land; {10} And I said unto you, I [am] the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.”


And When They Enquired [darash:H1875] And Asked [baqash:H1245]


I’m afraid we won’t have enough time in today’s study to begin looking at these two terms, so we will pick this up, Lord willing, in our next study.






Judges 6 - Part 36


Good Evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This is Judges 6 - Part 36 and today’s date is September 30, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 6:25-31,


And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: {26} And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. {28} And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. {29} And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. {30} Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. {31} And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. {32} Therefore on that day he called 

him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.”


Summary


Our last study was devoted to the phrase, “...Who hath done [`asah:H6213] this thing [dabar:H1697]?” which is comprised of  two Hebrew words. The term, “this thing” is notable, as it is rendered predominantly as “word;” which we can understand spiritually as “Who hath done this word?”  We then looked at eight passages that contain these two expressions and discovered that they are either in the context of judgment having occurred already or about to take place, or with respect to obedience to God’s Word, which can only be performed from the heart by God’s elect, as God works in them, “...to will and to do of his good pleasure,” according to Philippians 2:13.


At the close of our last study, I mentioned that today we would consider the next phrase in verse 29, “and when they enquired [darash:H1875] and asked [baqash:H1245],” which is comprised of two words that appear in thirteen other passages. Even though these are two different Hebrew words, they are similar in meaning, and are both predominantly translated as “seek.” In the historical context these Israelite Baal worshippers are seeking revenge against Gideon, who was commanded by God to “thrown down” the altar of Baal, and to “cut down” the grove that was by it. However, once again we witness the deplorable spiritual state that Israel had fallen into, which is why God chastised them in the first place, by bringing the Midianites to rule over them. Remember what we read in Judges 6: 6-10, as God reminds them of their unfaithfulness, as He states in the latter part of verse 10, “...fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell…”  Yet, in spite of all this, God very graciously had already made provision for a “deliverer,” who was Gideon:


“And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. {7} And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites, {8} That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; {9} And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land; {10} And I said unto you, I [am] the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.”


And When They Enquired [darash:H1875] And Asked [baqash:H1245]


In the historical context, these Israelite Baal worshippers are seeking revenge against Gideon, and what he did to the altar of Baal, and the grove that was next to it. We also want to keep in mind that Gideon is a “judge” as well as a “deliverer,” and as such he spiritually exemplifies the Lord Jesus Christ. These two expressions, “and when they enquired” along with “and asked” arise in 14 citations. Let’s first consider some that are similar to Judges 6:29, and the theme of persecution or related to sin:


We read, for instance, in Psalm 38:12 about the wicked that persecute both the righteous, as well as the Lord Jesus Christ: They also that seek [baqash:H1245] after my life lay snares [for me]: and they that seek [darash:H1875] my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.”


In 1 Samuel 28:7 a different picture is being presented, although it does involve sin, as king Saul typifies the end-time institutional churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God; this is also seen in how Saul persecuted David (a type of Christ) continually and wanted to kill him, even as the churches and denominations frequently cast God’s elect out of them, or the elect left in obedience to the command in Matthew 24:16, for those in “Judaea” (i.e., “the churches”) to “...flee to the mountains…” (i.e., the Word of God)  In this account, Saul who had outlawed those with “familiar spirits,” ends up consulting one. Yet God orchestrated this event for His own purposes and revealed to Saul that he and his sons would die in battle the next day: 


“Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek [baqash:H1245] me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire [darash:H1875] of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, [there is] a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.”


Verse 6 of Job 10:5-10  is part of a conversation between Job (who spiritually represents Christ) and God, in which Christ is under the wrath of God, and though sinless in Himself, is laden with the sins of all the elect, “...at the foundation of the world”:  “[Are] thy days as the days of man? [are] thy years as man's days,  {6} That thou enquirest [baqash:H1245] after mine iniquity, and searchest [darash:H1875] after my sin? {7} Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and [there is] none that can deliver out of thine hand. {8} Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me. {9} Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again? {10} Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?”


Ezekiel 34 is a chapter that deals with God’s judgment that began first at His own “house” - the churches and denominations - and is a denunciation of the pastors or “shepherds” who failed God’s directive to “feed His sheep;” these two words surface in verse 6: “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search [darash:H1875] or seek [baqash:H1245]  [after them].”


Verse 6 of Zephaniah 1:1-8 contains these two terms, and is similarly focused on judgment beginning at God’s house first; however, in verses 7-8 and 14-18 there is a transition to judgment that envelops the entire world, (as of May 21, 2011): 


The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. [the last “good” king of Judah] {2} I will utterly consume all [things] from off the land, saith the LORD. {3} I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD. {4} I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, [and] the name of the Chemarims with the priests; {5} And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship [and] that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham; {6} And them that are turned back from the LORD; and [those] that have not sought [baqash:H1245] the LORD, nor enquired [darash:H1875] for him. {7} Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD [is] at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. {8} And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. ... {14} The great day of the LORD [is] near, [it is] near, and hasteth greatly, [even] the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. {15} That day [is] a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, {16} A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. {17} And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. {18} Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.


These next passages are positive in nature, as they speak about “seeking” and “searching” for the Lord during the day of salvation, which was the enormous privilege that God had bestowed upon the elect to cry out for His mercy.


Isaiah 65:1 includes these two words in this passage which underscores God’s prerogative in choosing His elect “before the world began”: “I am sought [darash:H1875] of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought [baqash:H1245] me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name.”


Deuteronomy 4:29 similarly affirms: “But if from thence thou shalt seek [baqash:H1245] the LORD thy God, thou shalt find [him], if thou seek [darash:H1875]  him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”


We have already examined the rest of the words in verse 29, so let's proceed to verse 30.


Verse 30: “Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it.”


Here again, we have discussed the terms, “the men of the city” and “Joash,” which brings us to the phrase,


Bring Out [yatsa:H3318] Thy Son [ben:H1121] That He May Die [muwth:H4191]


This phrase is comprised of three words. Let’s begin by looking at the terms, “thy son” and “that he may die,” keeping in mind that Gideon represents Christ, and Gideon’s father’s name, “Joash,” [(Yow’ash:H3101) or (Yehow’ash:H3060)] signifies “given by God” - typifying God the Father.


Thy Son [ben:H1121] That He May Die [muwth:H4191]


These two expressions surface in 1 Samuel 14:39, in which Saul is about ready to put his own son Jonathan to death for violating his command to not eat any honey, which Jonathan did not hear: “For, as the LORD liveth, which saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son [ben:H1121] he shall surely [muwth:H4191] die [muwth:H4191]. But there was not a man among all the people that answered him.”


The Hebrew word “die” is repeated in this verse, just as in Genesis 2:17, and literally is rendered as, “dying thou shalt die,” indicating that Adam and Eve died spiritually that day as God indicated. 


“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely [muwth:H4191] die.” [muwth:H4191]


Hundred of years later they would also die physically, as is the lot of practically every human being, with the exception of Enoch and Elijah who were translated, and did not experience death. They, in turn,  represent the elect, who are “alive and remain,” (as we read in 1 Thessalonians 4:17) until that very last day of this prolonged day of judgment, when they will receive their glorified spiritual bodies.  


This is also highlighted in Ezekiel 18:4, “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son [ben:H1121] is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” [muwth:H4191]


In the same way that these Israelite Baal worshippers wanted Gideon killed, the  Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day wanted to put him to death as well, as verse 7 of John 19:7-11 affirms,


“The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die [apothnesko:G599], because he made himself the Son [huios:G5207] of God. {8} When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; {9} And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. {10} Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? {11} Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power [at all] against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.


Well, we’ve come to the end of our program, so Lord willing, we will continue our examination of verse 30 in our next study.