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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 7 - Part 1

October 25, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! At the close of our last study, I mentioned that the last phrase we would be examining in Judges 6:40 was: “And God did so by night…” However when I went back and looked over my notes, I realized that we had already covered those terms, so this will be Judges 7 - Part 1 and today’s date is October 25, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 7:1-8,


“Then Jerubbaal, who [is] Gideon, and all the people that [were] with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. {2} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. {3} Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. {4} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, [that] of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. {5} So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. {6} And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. {7} And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the [other] people go every man unto his place. {8} So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all [the rest of] Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.” 


Then Jerubbabel [Yerubba`al:3378] Who Is Gideon [Git`own:H1439]


God starts off this chapter by reminding us that Gideon’s father, Joash, had changed his name from “Gideon” (“hewer”) to “Jerubbabel,” (“let Baal plead against him”) as we noted in both Judges 6:32 and 8:35 respectively:


“Therefore on that day he [Joash] called him [Gideon] Jerubbaal [Yerubba`al:3378], saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar. ...{8:35} Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal [Yerubba`al:3378], [namely], Gideon [Git`own:H1439], according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.” 


The incident of “throwing down” the altar of Baal, and “cutting down” the grove that was next to it in Judges 6 foreshadows Gideon’s victory over the combined forces of the “Midianites, the “Amalekites,” and the “the children of the east,” as we will be learning more about in our upcoming studies in this chapter and in chapter 8. The very reason that God had brought these nations to chastise Israel was because the Israelites had foolishly followed after these Canaanite gods, instead of being faithful to the LORD and His Word, as God had warned them multiple times; one such passage highlights the recurring cycle of “rebellion>oppression>deliverance>rest” that characterizes the book of Judges, as Judges 2:10-23 maintains:


“And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. {11} And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: {12} And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that [were] round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. {13} And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. {14} And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. {15} Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. {16} Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. {17} And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; [but] they did not so. {18} And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. {19} And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, [that] they returned, and corrupted [themselves] more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way. {20} And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; {21} I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: {22} That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep [it], or not. {23} Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.”






And All The People [`am:H5971] That [Were] With Him Rose Up Early [shakam:H7925]


The phrase, “and all the people that [were] with him, rose up early” pertains to Israel situating themselves for the battle. The two words that make up this phrase appear together in eight other citations, and we will consider some of them:


In Exodus 8:20 these two terms are rendered, “rise up early” and “Let my people go” in this notable account when Moses confronts Pharaoh: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early [shakam:H7925] in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people [`am:H5971] go, that they may serve me.”


Joshua 8:10 and 14 records another battle strategy between the Israelites and the city of Ai, as God decreed: “And Joshua rose up early [shakam:H7925]  in the morning, and numbered the people [`am:H5971], and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people [`am:H5971] to Ai. ... {14} And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw [it], that they hasted and rose up early [shakam:H7925], and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people [`am:H5971], at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that [there were] liers in ambush against him behind the city.”


We will also see these two expressions again, Lord willing, when we get to Judges 9:33 and 21:4 respectively: “And it shall be, [that] in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early [shakam:H7925], and set upon the city: and, behold, [when] he and the people [`am:H5971] that [is] with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion… {21:4} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people rose early [shakam:H7925], and built there an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.”


Verse 15 of 2 Chronicles 36:1-21 includes these two terms, while recording the spiritual portrait of God’s judgment beginning at His own “house” first, as typified by the second “Great Tribulation,” period known as the 70-year Babylon captivity that ensued after the death of the last good king of Judah, Josiah: “Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father's stead in Jerusalem. {2} Jehoahaz [was] twenty and three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. {3} And the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem, and condemned the land in an hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. {4} And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and turned his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt. {5} Jehoiakim [was] twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD his God. {6} Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon. {7} Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the LORD to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. {8} Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that which was found in him, behold, they [are] written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead. {9} Jehoiachin [was] eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD. {10} And when the year was expired, king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the LORD, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem. {11} Zedekiah [was] one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. {12} And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD his God, [and] humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet [speaking] from the mouth of the LORD. {13} And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel. {14} Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. {15} And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes [shakam:H7925], and sending; because he had compassion on his people [`am:H5971], and on his dwelling place: {16} But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till [there was] no remedy. {17} Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave [them] all into his hand. {18} And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all [these] he brought to Babylon. {19} And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. {20} And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: {21} To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: [for] as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.”


And Pitched [chanah:H2583] Beside The Well Of Harod [`Eyn Charod:H5878] 


The next two words in Judges 7:1 are, “...and pitched beside the well of Harod…,” however we have already discussed the term, “pitched,” or “encamped” in some of our previous studies, so let’s see what this expression, “beside the well of Harod” signifies spiritually, besides pointing to the physical location of where the Israelites were led to set up camp. The “well of Harod” is a compound word, made up of “well,” “spring,” or “fountain,” (`ayin:H5869) as it is sometimes translated, but is is predominantly as “eye” or “sight.”  This Hebrew word, “well,” in turn, is comprised of three letter (read left to right): `Ayin - Yod - Nun. `Ayin” is also the 16th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so we can classify it as a “letter word,” and it resembles a lowercase “y.” The first time that we find this word, “`ayin” (H5869) is in verse 5 of Genesis 3:4-5, in which it is rendered as, “then your eyes,” as Satan lied to Eve;


“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: {5} For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes [`ayin:H5869] shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”


The name, “H-a-r-o-d” is identically spelled as (charad:H2729), which is primarily rendered as “afraid” or “trembled,” as these next citations indicate; so this location could be translated as the “well of trembling”:


Verse 33 of Genesis 27:30-33 states: “And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. {31} And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me. {32} And Isaac his father said unto him, Who [art] thou? And he said, I [am] thy son, thy firstborn Esau. {33} And Isaac trembled [charad:H2729] very exceedingly, and said, Who? where [is] he that hath taken venison, and brought [it] me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, [and] he shall be blessed.”  


Verses 16 and 18 of Exodus 19:16-18 reveal: “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that [was] in the camp trembled. [charad:H2729]  {17} And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.{18} And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked [charad:H2729]  greatly.”


And verse 1 of Job 37:1-5 maintains: “At this also my heart trembleth [charad:H2729], and is moved out of his place. {2}Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound [that] goeth out of his mouth. {3} He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. {4} After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard. {5} God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.”


So That The Host [machneh:H4264] Of The Midianites [Midyan:H4080]


The next phrase we encounter in verse 1 is: “...so that the host of the Midianites…” which is made up of two terms that we have already discussed separately in some of our previous studies, and only appear in this chapter in verse 1, 8, and 13-15, along with Judges 8:12. So let’s move on to the next term, “...were on the north side” which is one Hebrew word.


Were On The North Side [tsaphown:H6828]


Spiritually, this expression can refer to “the kingdom of God” corporately, as we see from a passage like Psalm 48:2,


 “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, [is] mount Zion, [on] the sides of the north [tsaphown:H6828], the city of the great King.”


This also comes into view very forcefully in Isaiah 14:13-17 regarding Satan’s desire to rule in the end-time institutional churches and denominations, which was God’s plan all along: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north [tsaphown:H6828]: {14} I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. {15} Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. {16} They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; {17} [That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners?”


When one compares these verses in Isaiah 14 with 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 and Matthew 24:15-16 respectively the spiritual portrait increases in clarity, and is the same spiritual time frame that is in view here in Judges, namely the Great Tribulation:


2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 proclaims: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; {4} Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”


Likewise Matthew 24:15-16 announces: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) {16} Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”


In the same manner, the term, “out of the north” surfaces in Jeremiah 1:14-15, with respect to the Babylonians (typifying the kingdom of Satan) coming against Judah and Jerusalem, who represent the churches and denominations that came under God’s wrath first: “Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north [tsaphown:H6828] an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. {15} For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.”


On that somber note, we will have to bring this study to a close, Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of the rest of verse 1.


Judges 7 - Part 2

October 28, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 2 and today’s date is October 28, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 7:1-8,


“Then Jerubbaal, who [is] Gideon, and all the people that [were] with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. {2} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. {3} Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. {4} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, [that] of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. {5} So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. {6} And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. {7} And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the [other] people go every man unto his place. {8} So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all [the rest of] Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.” 


We left off at the last part of verse 1, “by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.” This phrase consists of three terms that are only found together in this verse, so we will have to consider them separately.


By The Hill [gib`ah:H1389] 


This word, “by the hill” (gib`ah:H1389) is the first occurence of this term in the book of Judges. By the way, this word is equivalent to “Gibeah.” (H1387), except it has one additional letter, “hey,” - the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.) Gibeah will become very prominent once we arrive at Judges 19, Lord willing,  which is another historical parable typifying that God’s judgment begins at His own “house” first. Spiritually, “hills” are also similar to “mountains,” in that they can refer to “kingdoms”: in a positive way to the Kingdom of God; or in a negative way to refer to the kingdom of Satan and rebellion against the LORD, as both national Israel was well as the end-time institutional churches and denominations committed, as these next passages illustrate:


Verse 2 of Deuteronomy 12:1-4 renders this expression as, “and upon the high hills”: “These [are] the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. {2} Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills [gib`ah:H1389], and under every green tree: {3} And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. {4} Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.”


Verse 7 of Isaiah 65:1-7 likewise records God’s assessment of national Israel’s spiritual condition: “I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name. {2} I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way [that was] not good, after their own thoughts; {3} A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; {4} Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable [things is in] their vessels; {5} Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These [are] a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day. {6} Behold, [it is] written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, {7}Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills [gib`ah:H1389]: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.”


Verse 20 of Jeremiah 2:19-37 includes this term“hill,” in this chapter which is another denunciation that God levels against national Israel (typifying the end-time institutional churches and denominations): “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that [it is] an evil [thing] and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear [is] not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts. {20} For of old time I have broken thy yoke, [and] burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill [gib`ah:H1389] and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot. {21} Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? {22} For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, [yet] thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD. {23} How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: [thou art] a swift dromedary traversing her ways; {24} A wild ass used to the wilderness, [that] snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her. {25} Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go. {26} As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets, {27} Saying to a stock, Thou [art] my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned [their] back unto me, and not [their] face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. {28} But where [are] thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for [according to] the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah. {29} Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD. {30} In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. {31} O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee? {32} Can a maid forget her ornaments, [or] a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number. {33} Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways. {34} Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these. {35} Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned. {36} Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria. {37} Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.”


Let’s now consider some of the references that denote a positive connotation of this word:

 

In verse 3 of Psalm 72:1-7, this word is translated, “and the little hills;” please note the word, “the mountains” (har:H2022) which is also found in verse 3: [[A Psalm] for Solomon.]] Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son. {2} He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. {3} The mountains [har:H2022] shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills [gib`ah:H1389], by righteousness. {4} He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. {5} They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. {6} He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers [that] water the earth. {7} In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. 


Verse 2 of Isaiah 2:1-4 contains both words for “mountains” and “hills” again: “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. {2} And it shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. {3} And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. {4} And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”


Likewise verse 12 of Isaiah 55:6-16 includes these two words as well, in this description of the day of salvation, in which mankind was admonished to “seek the LORD” while that precious opportunity was still available: “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: {7} Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. {8} For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. {9} For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. {10} For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: {11} So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. {12} For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands. {13} Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.”


Of Moreh [Mowreh:H4176] 


The name of the “hill” is Moreh (H4176), and it only surfaces again in the following two passages: 


In Genesis 12:6 we learn: “And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. [Mowreh:H4176] And the Canaanite [was] then in the land.”


“Moreh” also crops up in verse 30 of Deuteronomy 11:13-17 and 26-32, in this critical admonition: “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, {14} That I will give [you] the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. {15} And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. {16} Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; {17} And [then] the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and [lest] ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.... {26} Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; {27} A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: {28} And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. {29} And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal. {30} [Are] they not on the other side Jordan, by the way where the sun goeth down, in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the champaign over against Gilgal, beside the plains of Moreh? [Mowreh:H4176] {31} For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein. {32} And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day.” 


“Mowreh” [H4175] 


 I would also like to point out that “Moreh” stems from an identically spelled root word, and is translated as “the rain” and “the former rain,” which is the essence of God’s redemption plan for planet earth.


Verse 6 of Psalm 84:1-6 states: “[[To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.]] How amiable [are] thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! {2} My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. {3} Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, [even] thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. {4} Blessed [are] they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. {5} Blessed [is] the man whose strength [is] in thee; in whose heart [are] the ways [of them].{6} [Who] passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain [mowreh:H4175] also filleth the pools.”


Joel 2:23 is the second citation, and is an exceedingly important verse because it speaks of three “periods of rain,” in which this term is rendered as “the former rain” twice. We have learned a long time ago when we were first introduced to the “end of the church age” by Mr. Camping that these three “periods of rain” had to do with God’s salvation program for this world, and they resulted in three distinct harvests. I’ll read verses 23-26: 


“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given [should be translated “gives”] you the former rain [mowreh:H4175] moderately, [more accurately: “righteously”] and he will cause to come down for you the rain, [geshem:H1653] the former rain [mowreh:H4175], and the latter rain [malqowsh:H4456] in [“after”] the first [month]. {24} And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. {25} And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. {26} And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.”


Joel 2:23


  • The “former (or early) righteous rain” had to do with the nation of Israel, starting with Abraham, and the “harvest” which it produced was the Lord Jesus Christ.


  • The next reference to “rain” is the Hebrew term, “geshem” (H1653), and it is divided into two other periods of rain - “the former rain” (mowreh:H4175) and “the latter rain.” (malqowsh:H4456)


  • The “former rain” was the Pentecostal rain at the start of the church age when about “three thousand” souls were saved, and continued for 1955 years, until May 21, 1988. The “harvest” of those who were saved are referred to as the figurative “144,000” in Revelation 7.


  • The “latter rain” produced a “harvest” of those who were saved outside of the churches from September 7,1994 - May 21, 2011, when God’s salvation plan came to a close, and the spiritual Temple that God had been building as a result of these three “harvests” was finally completed.


Let’s stop here, and Lord willing, we will continue our examination of Judges 7:2. 

Judges 7 - Part 3

October 30, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 3 and today’s date is October 30, 2019. I will be reading from Judges 7:1-8,


“Then Jerubbaal, who [is] Gideon, and all the people that [were] with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. {2} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. {3} Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. {4} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, [that] of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. {5} So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. {6} And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. {7} And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the [other] people go every man unto his place. {8} So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all [the rest of] Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.” 


We left off at the last part of verse 1, “...in the valley,” which we have already addressed in some of our earlier studies, so let’s proceed to verse 2, which states:


Verse 2:  “And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.”


This is an interesting verse, which as we shall see, is focused altogether on God’s glory, reminding us of both Zechariah 4:6, as well as 1 Samuel 14:6, respectively:


“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”


“And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for [there is] no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.


We have considered all the words up to the phrase, “...lest Israel vaunt themselves against me…” which consists of two terms:


Lest Israel [Yisra’el:H3478] Vaunt Themselves Against Me [pa’ar:H6286]


These two words surface in the subsequent four passages:


In Isaiah 44:23, these two words are rendered, “and glorified himself” and “in Israel”:  “Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done [it]: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself [pa’ar:H6286] in Israel.” [Yisra’el:H3478] 


Isaiah 49:3 likewise affirms: “And said unto me, Thou [art] my servant, O Israel [Yisra’el:H3478], in whom I will be glorified.” [pa’ar:H6286]


Isaiah 55:5 “Behold, thou shalt call a nation [that] thou knowest not, and nations [that] knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel [Yisra’el:H3478]; for he hath glorified [pa’ar:H6286] thee.”


Similarly, Isaiah 60:9 adds: “Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel [Yisra’el:H3478], because he hath glorified [pa’ar:H6286]

 thee.”


The truth that shines forth is these Scriptures is encapsulated in Isaiah 42:8,


Isaiah 42:8, “ I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”


Paul, under divine inspiration, develops this same truth in 2 Corinthians 12:9


“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.


It is when God has “emptied” us of “ourselves,” that God can do His greatest work in a person’s life, even as John the Baptist succinctly acknowledged in John 3:30.


“He must increase, but I [must] decrease.” 


In this manner, all the glory reverts back to God, as it should, as David points out so profoundly in his prayer in verses 14 and 16 of 1 Chronicles 29:10-16,


“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.”


As a side note, in the New Testament the word, “vaunt” only shows up in 1 Corinthians 13:4, as “vaunteth [not] itself,” 


“Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth [perpereuomai:G4068] not itself [perpereuomai:G4068], is not puffed up,”


We have already encountered the remaining two words in verse 2, “...mine own hand hath saved me,” so we will move on to verse 3, which begins to explain how God chose to diminish Gideon’s ranks from 32,000 to 10,000, as God does the math for us:  


Verse 3: “Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.”


Proclaim [qara’:H7121] In The Ears [’ozen:H241]


The two expressions “proclaim” and “in the ears” are found together in 27 other passages, and we will consider a few of them. Although in the historical context, God was whittling down Gideon’s troops in “stages,” yet when one examines these citations, we discover that they constitute what the elect have always done, by God’s enabling which is to declare the Word of God - whether by the Old Testament patriarchs or Moses and the prophets, or the New Testament churches and denominations, or God’s elect who are not affiliated with the end-time institutional churches and denominations - the message is always the same, namely the truth of God’s Word, from God’s mouth, the Bible. Here are some illustrations in which these two words appear together:


At the opening of Deuteronomy 5:1, Moses rehearses what God had done for Israel, and repeats the “ten commandments”: “And Moses called [qara’:H7121] all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears [’ozen:H241] this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.”


In verse 30 of 2 Chronicles 34:19-33 King Josiah, the last good king of Judah had this response to a copy of the Word of God that was found in the Temple by Hilkiah the priest; this is an important time marker in the Biblical calendar, and occurred in 622 BC, which was the 18th year of King Josiah’s reign:  


“And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes. {20} And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king's, saying, {21} Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great [is] the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book. {22} And Hilkiah, and [they] that the king [had appointed], went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that [effect]. {23} And she answered them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me, {24} Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, [even] all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah: {25} Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched. {26} And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to enquire of the LORD, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel [concerning] the words which thou hast heard; {27} Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard [thee] also, saith the LORD. {28} Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again. {29} Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.{30} And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read [qara’:H7121] in their ears [’ozen:H241] all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD. {31} And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. {32} And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand [to it]. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. {33} And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that [pertained] to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, [even] to serve the LORD their God. [And] all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.”


Verse 3 of Nehemiah 8:1-3 includes these two expressions, which are translated as “And he read” along with “and the ears;” I will also read verse 8 as it is the Old Testament equivalent of 1 Corinthians 2:13, 


“And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that [was] before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel. {2} And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.  {3} And he read [qara’:H7121]  therein before the street that [was] before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears [’ozen:H241] of all the people [were attentive] unto the book of the law…. {8} So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.”


Jeremiah 36 is a magnificent chapter that pinpoints how God dictated His Word to “holy men of God,” according to 2 Peter 1:21, 


“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.”


We will also read about wicked king Jehoiakim - the son of Josiah - who dared to cut up the scroll of God’s Word, as he was listening to it being read, and throw it into the fire. These two words surface in verse 6, 10, 13-15, and 21; I’ll read verses 1-32,


Jeremiah 36:1-32, “And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, [that] this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, {2} Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. {3} It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. {4} Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book. {5} And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I [am] shut up; I cannot go into the house of the LORD: {6} Therefore go thou, and read [qara’:H7121]   in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears [’ozen:H241]  of the people in the LORD'S house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them [qara’:H7121]   in the ears [’ozen:H241] of all Judah that come out of their cities. {7} It may be they will present their supplication before the LORD, and will return every one from his evil way: for great [is] the anger and the fury that the LORD hath pronounced against this people. {8} And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of the LORD in the LORD'S house. {9} And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, [that] they proclaimed a fast before the LORD to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem. {10} Then read [qara’:H7121] Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the LORD'S house, in the ears [’ozen:H241] of all the people. {11} When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard out of the book all the words of the LORD, {12} Then he went down into the king's house, into the scribe's chamber: and, lo, all the princes sat there, [even] Elishama the scribe, and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, and Elnathan the son of Achbor, and Gemariah the son of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes. {13} Then Michaiah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read [qara’:H7121]  the book in the ears [’ozen:H241] of the people. {14} Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read [qara’:H7121]  in the ears [’ozen:H241] of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them. {15} And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it [qara’:H7121] in our ears. [’ozen:H241] So Baruch read [it] [qara’:H7121]  in their ears. [’ozen:H241] {16} Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words. {17} And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth? {18} Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote [them] with ink in the book. {19} Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; and let no man know where ye be. {20} And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king. {21} So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king. {22} Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and [there was a fire] on the hearth burning before him. {23} And it came to pass, [that] when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast [it] into the fire that [was] on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that [was] on the hearth. {24} Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, [neither] the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words. {25 Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll: but he would not hear them. {26} But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the LORD hid them. {27} Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, {28} Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned. {29} And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast? {30} Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. {31} And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not. {32} Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.


Well on that very solemn note, we will have to end today’s study, but Lord willing, we will continue our investigation of verse three in our next study. 

Judges 7 - Part 4

November 1, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 4 and today’s date is November 1, 2019. I’ll read from Judges 7:1-8,


“Then Jerubbaal, who [is] Gideon, and all the people that [were] with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. {2} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. {3} Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. {4} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, [that] of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. {5} So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. {6} And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. {7} And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the [other] people go every man unto his place. {8} So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all [the rest of] Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.” 


We are in the middle of verse 3, as we witness how God is decreasing Gideon’s army from 32,000 to 300 by two distinct “tests.” We also want to bear in mind that God orchestrated this for His own glory, so Israel would not be prideful about conquering the enemy that God promised they would be victorious over.  In the first one Gideon commands that anyone who is “fearful” and “afraid” is to “return and depart early from mount Gilead.” These terms are only found together in this passage, so we will have to consider them separately:


Whosoever [Is] Fearful [yare’:H3373] 


Let’s start with the term, “...whosoever [is] fearful...” This same word is rendered, “But if thou fear” in verse 10 of this chapter as God tells Gideon to pay a visit to the enemy army was encamped in the valley below:


“But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host:”


Verse 3 is also similar to verse 8 of Deuteronomy 20:1-8, which is one of a number of commands that God issued with regard to Israel’s fighting force; “yare’ ” is translated as, “fearful”:


“When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, [and] a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. {2} And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, {3} And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; {4} For the LORD your God [is] he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. {5} And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man [is there] that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. {6} And what man [is he] that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not [yet] eaten of it? let him [also] go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. {7} And what man [is there] that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her. {8} And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man [is there that is] fearful [yare’:H3373] and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart.”


Quite often this word, “yare’ ” (H3373) is utilized to express the genuine “fear” that the elect have for both God and His Holy Word, as Malachi 3:16 maintains, as this word appears twice as, “then they that feared” and “for them that feared”:


Then they that feared [yare’:H3373] the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard [it], and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared [yare’:H3373] the LORD, and that thought upon his name.”


Ecclesiastes 8:12-13 contrasts the fate of both the elect as well as the non-elect: “Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his [days] be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear [yare’:H3373] God, which fear before him: But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong [his] days, [which are] as a shadow; because he feareth [yare’:H3373]  not before God.”


And Afraid [chared:H2730] 


God includes another word for fear in verse 3, which is “afraid;” it only surfaces in five other citations, four of which are “positive” in nature, and one is “negative,” since it relates to Eli whose “heart trembled” in verse 13 because the Ark of the Covenant was taken into battle against the Philistines, by his two wicked sons, Hophni and Phineas, which he knew should never have been done; I’ll read verses 10-18,


 


“And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. {11} And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain. {12} And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head. {13} And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled [chared:H2730] for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told [it], all the city cried out. {14} And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What [meaneth] the noise of this tumult? And the man came in hastily, and told Eli. {15} Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. {16} And the man said unto Eli, I [am] he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son? {17} And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. {18} And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years”


Two of the remaining four references appear in verse 2 and 5 of Isaiah 66:1-13, as “trembleth” and “ye that tremble”:


“Thus saith the LORD, The heaven [is] my throne, and the earth [is] my footstool: where [is] the house that ye build unto me? and where [is] the place of my rest? {2} For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth [chared:H2730] at my word. {3} He that killeth an ox [is as if] he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, [as if] he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, [as if he offered] swine's blood; he that burneth incense, [as if] he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. {4} I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose [that] in which I delighted not. {5} Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble [chared:H2730] at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. {6} A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies. {7} Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. {8} Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? [or] shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. {9} Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut [the womb]? saith thy God. {10} Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: {11} That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. {12} For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon [her] sides, and be dandled upon [her] knees. {13} As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. {14} And when ye see [this], your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and [his] indignation toward his enemies. {15} For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. {16} For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.”


The next word in verse 3 is “let him return” (shuwb:H7725), which we have already encountered in some of our earlier lessons. So we can move on to “depart early,” (tsaphar:H6852), which is only found in this verse, without any apparent root word. However, I did notice that there is an identically spelled word in Aramaic (and Aramaic is very similar to Hebrew) which is translated as either “fowl” or “bird” in Daniel 4:12, 14, 21, and 33, having to do with Nebuchadrezzar’s dream that Daniel interpreted for him, in which this word is rendered as, “fowls” or “birds”: 


Daniel 4:12, 14, 21, and 33: “The leaves thereof [were] fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it [was] meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls [tsaphar:H6852] of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. ... {14} He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls [tsaphar:H6852]  from his branches: ... {21} Whose leaves [were] fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it [was] meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls [tsaphar:H6852]  of the heaven had their habitation: ... {33} The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' [feathers], and his nails like birds' [tsaphar:H6852]  [claws].”


We do know that “fowls” or “birds” are associated with with the kingdom of Satan (as in Daniel 4), or the kingdom of God, as we see from a passage like Matthew 13:31-32,


“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: {32} Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds [peteinon:G4071] of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.”


The next three words (since we have already looked at the expression, “of the people”) that we want to examine is the number “22,000” - or “twenty” “and two” and “thousand,” which appear together only in the following verses, as this preise number:


Twenty [`esriym:H6242] And Two [shenayim:H8147]Thousand [’eleph:H505] 


In Numbers 3:39, these three words identify with the Levites which the LORD chose instead of the firstborn of all the males: “All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the LORD, throughout their families, all the males from a month old and upward, [were] twenty [`esriym:H6242] and two [shenayim:H8147] thousand.” [’eleph:H505] 


However, in Judges 20:21, this number pertains to the slain of Israel that died in the battle between Benjamin and the 11 other tribes: “And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty [`esriym:H6242] and two [shenayim:H8147] thousand [’eleph:H505]  men.”


Then in 1 Kings 8:63 we learn of the offering of oxen that Solomon made at the dedication of the newly constructed Temple: “And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the LORD, two [shenayim:H8147] and twenty [`esriym:H6242] thousand [’eleph:H505]  oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD.”


Lastly 1 Chronicles 18:5 records this number which reflected the Syrians that David killed in this battle, as He pictures Christ who vanquishes His enemies: “And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadarezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two [shenayim:H8147] and twenty  [`esriym:H6242] thousand [’eleph:H505] men.”


I think we will have to stop here for today, and Lord willing, pick this up in our next study.

Judges 7 - Part 5

November 4, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 5 and today’s date is November 4, 2019. I’ll read from Judges 7:1-8,


“Then Jerubbaal, who [is] Gideon, and all the people that [were] with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. {2} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. {3} Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. {4} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, [that] of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. {5} So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. {6} And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. {7} And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the [other] people go every man unto his place. {8} So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all [the rest of] Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.” 


We have arrived at the last phrase in verse 3, “...and there remained ten thousand.” In our last study we discussed the first “test” that God presented to Gideon’s 32,000 man army, concerning any of the men who might be “fearful,” and “afraid;” as a result 22,000 (or roughly ⅔ ) left, leaving 10,000 (or roughly ⅓) remaining. And now we will witness this second test, in which the vast majority (97%) will also depart, leaving only 3% or 300 men left. And the number 3 points to “the purpose of God,” even as God stated earlier in verse 2, 


“...The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.”


Since we have already investigated the terms, “..and there remained ten thousand,” we can proceed to verse 4, 


Verse 4: “And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, [that] of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.”


Once again, we have researched all the words that precede the phrase, “...bring them down unto the water…” which we now want to turn our attention to; this is where God will set in motion the second “test” with regards to the remaining 10,000 men.


Bring Them Down [yarad:H3381]Unto The Water [mayim:H4325]


These two terms also surface in verse 5 and also in verse 24, 


So he brought down [yarad:H3381] the people unto the water [mayim:H4325]: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water [mayim:H4325]  with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. ... {24} And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down [yarad:H3381] against the Midianites, and take before them the waters [mayim:H4325] unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters [mayim:H4325]  unto Bethbarah and Jordan.”


These two expressions are found in thirteen other passages, and we will look at a few of them. One thing to keep in mind is that “water” can signify “salvation” or “judgment,” and as such typify the two opposing “sides” of the “sword of the Spirit,” or the Word of God, Who is the Lord Jesus Christ, as the following illustrations will reveal:


Proverbs 30:4 is an excellent example which points to the Savior as both Redeemer as well as Creator: Who hath ascended up [`alah:H5927] into heaven, or descended? [yarad:H3381] who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters [mayim:H4325] in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what [is] his name, and what [is] his son's name, if thou canst tell?” 


Proverbs 30:4 reminds us of Jacob’s dream, in verse 12 of Genesis 28:10-17, in which the identical words for “ascended up” and “descended” are employed, and the “Ladder” and “Gate of Heaven” point to the Lord Jesus Christ:


“And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. {11} And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put [them for] his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. {12} And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending [`alah:H5927] and descending [yarad:H3381]  on it. {13} And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I [am] the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; {14} And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. {15} And, behold, I [am] with thee, and will keep thee in all [places] whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done [that] which I have spoken to thee of. {16} And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew [it] not. {17} And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful [is] this place! this [is] none other but the house of God, and this [is] the gate of heaven.


Christ as the “Ladder” is also picked up in the New Testament in John 1:51, in the dialogue between the Lord and Nathanael:


“And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”


Here are some additional verses that contain these terms, “bring them down” (yarad:H3381) and “unto the waters” (mayim:H4325):


Psalm 78:16 records: “He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters [mayim:H4325]  to run down [yarad:H3381]  like rivers.”


By contrast Psalm 119:136 maintains: Rivers of waters [mayim:H4325]  run down [yarad:H3381] mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.”


Psalm 119:136 as a theme is also found in verse 18 of Jeremiah 9:1-18, which laments the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem (who represent the end-time institutional churches and denominations that came under God’s wrath), beginning with verse 1 which sets the poignant tone for this whole chapter:


Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! {2} Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they [be] all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. {3} And they bend their tongues [like] their bow [for] lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD. {4} Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders. {5} And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, [and] weary themselves to commit iniquity. {6} Thine habitation [is] in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD. {7} Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them [tsaraph:H6844], and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people? {8} Their tongue [is as] an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: [one] speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait. {9} Shall I not visit them for these [things]? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? {10} For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through [them]; neither can [men] hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they are gone. {11} And I will make Jerusalem heaps, [and] a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant. {12} Who [is] the wise man, that may understand this? and [who is he] to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth [and] is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through? {13} And the LORD saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; {14] But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them: {15} Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, [even] this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. {16} I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them. {17} Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning [women], that they may come: {18} And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down [yarad:H3381] with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.” [mayim:H4325]  


The reason that God told Gideon to instruct his remaining 10,000 man army was to “...try them for thee there…”


And I Will Try [tsaraph:H6844] 


We have correctly understood that God is always testing, even as He did at the very beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. This expression, “...and I will try” is used in 32 other citations, and predominantly as “try,” “founder,” “goldsmith,” and “refine(r)” as the following Scriptures testify, in which God is actually performing a “separation” or a “division”:


Actually this word, “and I will try” I just read in Jeremiah 9:7, in which is is rendered as, “Behold I will melt them”:


“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them [tsaraph:H6844], and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?”


Verse 19 of Psalm 105:17-22 recounts the trials of Joseph, who pictures the Lord Jesus Christ: “He sent a man before them, [even] Joseph, [who] was sold for a servant: {18} Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: {19} Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried [tsaraph:H6844] him. {20} The king sent and loosed him; [even] the ruler of the people, and let him go free. {21} He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: {22} To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.” 


Psalm 18:30 also makes this declaration concerning the Lord: “[As for] God, his way [is] perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: [tsaraph:H6844]  he [is] a buckler to all those that trust in him.”


Psalm 17:3 likewise affirms: “Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited [me] in the night; thou hast tried [tsaraph:H6844] me, [and] shalt find nothing; I am purposed [that] my mouth shall not transgress.”


As one thinks about these verses in conjunction with the Lord Jesus Christ, other New Testament citations come to mind as well such as 1 Peter 1:21-23,


“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: {22} Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: {23} Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:”


Hebrews 4:15 further adds: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.”


So God’s elect can expect to be “tried” in our current day of judgment, as Psalm 66:10 and Proverbs 25:4 remind us respectively:


Psalm 66:10, “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried [tsaraph:H6844]  us, as silver is tried.”


Proverbs 25:4, “Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.” [tsaraph:H6844] 


1 Peter 4:12-14 offers this encouragement to God’s saints, when they encounter persecution: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: {13} But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. {14} If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.”


Even as the Lord Jesus was tried and His people are tried, so is His written Word as Psalm 12:6-7 extols: “The words of the LORD [are] pure words: [as] silver tried [tsaraph:H6844] in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. {7} Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”


We have already discussed the remaining words in verse 4, so in our next study, Lord willing, we will begin with verse 5 and this second “test” that God presented to Gideon’s army in order to decrease their ranks.

Judges 7 - Part 6

November 6, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 6 and today’s date is November 6, 2019. I’ll read from Judges 7:1-8,


“Then Jerubbaal, who [is] Gideon, and all the people that [were] with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. {2} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. {3} Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. {4} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, [that] of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. {5} So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. {6} And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. {7} And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the [other] people go every man unto his place. {8} So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all [the rest of] Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.” 


Today we want to begin out investigation of verse 5, and this second test that God designed to further winnow Gideon’s army:


“So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.”


We have already considered the terms preceding the phrase, “Every one that lappeth” (laqaq:H3952) of the water,” (mayim:H4325) and these two words are only found in this verse and also in verse 6, as “of them that lapped” and “water.” So, let’s look at the next expression, “with his tongue”:


With His Tongue [lashown:H3956]


The word, “tongue,” like so many terms in the Bible can be used either positively (with regards to God’s elect and the Bible) or negatively (with regards to the non-elect, in which their “tongues” are used for evil, reminding us of the admonition in James 3:5-11,


“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! {6} And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. {7} For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: {8} But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. {9} Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. {10} Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. {11} Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet [water] and bitter?” 


In 2 Samuel 23:2 we read David’s words (picturing the Savior) under divine inspiration:  “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word [was] in my tongue.”  [lashown:H3956]


Likewise Psalm 45:1 extols: “ [To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.] My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue [lashown:H3956] [is] the pen of a ready writer.”


And Isaiah 41:17 adds:  “[When] the poor and needy seek water, and [there is] none, [and] their tongue [lashown:H3956] faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”


Psalm 5:9 reveals the essence of the wicked: “For [there is] no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part [is] very wickedness; their throat [is] an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.” [lashown:H3956]


Isaiah 30:27 is a vivid description of God’s just anger against all the non-elect: “Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning [with] his anger, and the burden [thereof is] heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue [lashown:H3956] as a devouring fire:”


As A Dog [keleb:H3611]


We are curious regarding the term, “dog” which is an unclean animal. Why would God associate this word with these 300 men that God is going to use, under Gideon’s command to defeat the armies of the Amalekites, Midianites, and “children of the east.” as they typify God’s elect?


You might recall from Judges chapter 1, that this word “dog” (keleb:H3611) is identically spelled to Caleb (Kaleb:H3612), who along with Joshua were the only ones who were not 20 years of age and younger to actually make it to the “Promised Land” (a spiritual portrait of Heaven). We read of him, for instance, in the following citations in Numbers 14:24 and 32:10-13 respectively:


“But my servant Caleb [Kaleb:H3612], because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it… {32:10-13} And the LORD'S anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying, {11} Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:{12} Save Caleb [Kaleb:H3612] the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD. {13} And the LORD'S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.”


These next passages illustrate God’s usage of this expression, “dog”:


In 1 Samuel 24:14 David refers to himself as a “dead dog” in his defense to king Saul who was very intent on killing him: “After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog [keleb:H3611], after a flea.”


We note this as well is the declaration of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9:8, one of Jonathan’s sons who was crippled as a baby due to a fall, and he represents the elect of God who fully recognize that they do not merit God’s salvation, nor any of His other benefits that He so graciously pours down upon them, moment by moment, every day; I’ll read verses 6-11 of 2 Samuel 9: 


“Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! {7} And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. {8} And he bowed himself, and said, What [is] thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog [keleb:H3611] as I [am]? {9} Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house. {10} Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in [the fruits], that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. {11} Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, [said the king], he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons.”


In the New Testament we also find a unique reference to “dogs” as well, in Mark 7:24-30, regarding the account of the healing of the daughter of the Syrophenician woman, who incidentally was a Gentile:


“And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know [it]: but he could not be hid. {25} For a [certain] woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: {26}  The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. {27} But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast [it] unto the dogs. {28} And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. {29} And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. {30} And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.”


Isaiah 56:10-11 presents a different sort of spiritual picture, as it exemplifies the leadership in the churches and denominations who were not saved, and thus did not faithfully execute God’s mandate to care for their flocks by carefully nourishing them with the Word of God; and as a result they came under the fierce wrath of God, and the Holy Spirit abandoned them altogether, worldwide and without exception on May 21, 1988: 


“His watchmen [are] blind: they are all ignorant, they [are] all dumb dogs [keleb:H3611], they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. {11} Yea, [they are] greedy dogs [which] can never have enough, and they [are] shepherds [that] cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. {12} Come ye, [say they], I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, [and] much more abundant.”


In verse 3 of Jeremiah 15:1-3 we find another example of God’s judgment against His corporate people, which transitioned to the world at large as of May 21, 2011: “Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, [yet] my mind [could] not [be] toward this people: cast [them] out of my sight, and let them go forth. {2} And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the LORD; Such as [are] for death, to death; and such as [are] for the sword, to the sword; and such as [are] for the famine, to the famine; and such as [are] for the captivity, to the captivity. {3} And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the LORD: the sword to slay, and the dogs [keleb:H3611]  to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy.”


Please note how God employs this word, “dogs to tear” as one of four judgments (representing the four points of the compass, or “universality”). Are God’s elect involved in the judgment process? Yes they are, as we learn from 1 Corinthians 6:2,


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


We also want to bear in mind that just as God worked in conjunction with His people during the day of salvation to reach “the nations of the elect,” He is working in tandem with them during our present, prolonged, “day of judgment,” as Psalm 149:5-9 so powerfully affirms:


“Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. {6} [Let] the high [praises] of God [be] in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; {7} To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments upon the people; {8} To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; {9} To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.”


This is also why we read in verse 23 of Psalm 68:21-23,


“But God shall wound the head of his enemies, [and] the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses. {22} The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring [my people] again from the depths of the sea: {23} That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of [thine] enemies, [and] the tongue [lashown:H3956] of thy dogs [keleb:H3611] in the same.”


As A Dog [keleb:H3611] Lappeth [laqaq:H3952]


The two terms, “as a dog” along with  “lappeth” only surface in the following two passages, one having to do with the Elijahs’ prophecy concerning the death of wicked king Ahab, who was influenced by his diabolical wife, Jezebel, who had craftily engineered the death of Naboth:


1 Kings 21:19 reveals God’s instructions to Elijah: “And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs [keleb:H3611] licked [laqaq:H3952] the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.”


The second passage records the fulfillment of that prophecy in 1 Kings 22:38, because Ahab did not heed the warning of the prophet Micaiah to not engage in the battle: “And [one] washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs [keleb:H3611] licked up [laqaq:H3952] his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.”


Let’s stop here, and Lord willing, in our next study we will pick up with the rest of verse 5.

Judges 7 - Part 7

November 8, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 7 and today’s date is November 8, 2019. I’ll read from Judges 7:1-8,


“Then Jerubbaal, who [is] Gideon, and all the people that [were] with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. {2} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. {3} Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. {4} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, [that] of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. {5} So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. {6} And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. {7} And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the [other] people go every man unto his place. {8} So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all [the rest of] Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.” 


We have arrived at the last part of verse 5, and the phrase, “...him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.” We have already considered the term, “him shalt thou set” in Judges 6, in which it was found in verse 37, as “Behold I will put” referring to the fleece of wool. So let’s look at the next two expressions, “likewise everyone that boweth down” and “upon his knees,” to see how God employs them together:


Everyone That Boweth Down [kara`:H3766] Upon His Knees [berek:H1290] 


These two words are only used in six other passages, besides here in Judges 7:5-6, which is the first time that they appear together in the entire Old Testament:


In 1 Kings 8:54-61, they are translated as, “from kneeeling” and “on his knees”: “And it was [so], that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling [kara`:H3766] on his knees [berek:H1290] with his hands spread up to heaven. {55} And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, {56} Blessed [be] the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. {57} The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us: {58} That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers. {59} And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: {60} That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD [is] God, [and that there is] none else. {61} Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.”


Incidentally, Solomon is a picture of one who was mightily used by God, and yet did not “endure to the end,” as David his father did, as we read in Matthew 24:13,


“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”


1 Kings 19:18 is God's response to Elijah’s statement in verse 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 which these terms are rendered as, “all the knees which have not bowed”: 


“Yet I have left [me] seven thousand in Israel, all the knees [kara`:H3766]  which have not bowed [berek:H1290] unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”


2 Kings 1:13 records the reaction of the third “captain of fifties” who approached Elijah with great humility and trepidation, because he knew that the previous two “captains of fifties” and their men perished in trying to implement the king’s order; once again we see a ⅓ - ⅔  ratio here, in which the “⅓”  typifies God’s elect and the “⅔,” the non-elect: 


“And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell [berek:H1290] on his knees [kara`:H3766]  before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight.”


Ezra 9:5, like 1 Kings 8:54 is set in the context of prayer, as Ezra was stunned to hear that the princes and chief leaders in Israel had sinned by either marrying into the families of the heathen nations that surrounded them, or by giving their sons and daughters in marriage to them: “And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied. {4} Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice. {5} And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell [berek:H1290]  upon my knees [kara`:H3766], and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God, {6} And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over [our] head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. {7} Since the days of our fathers [have] we [been] in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, [and] our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as [it is] this day. {8} And now for a little space grace hath been [shewed] from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. {9} For we [were] bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem. {10} And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments, {11} Which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness. {12} Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave [it] for an inheritance to your children for ever. {13} And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities [deserve], and hast given us [such] deliverance as this; {14} Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed [us], so that [there should be] no remnant nor escaping? {15} O LORD God of Israel, thou [art] righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as [it is] this day: behold, we [are] before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.”


Verse 4 of Job 4:1-7 makes this declaration by Eliphaz the Temanite to Job, who typifies the Lord Jesus Christ, Who, though absolutely Pure and Holy in Himself,  had become guilty with the sins of each of the elect in the atonement “...at the foundation of the world,” as 2 Corinthians 5:21 maintains:  


“Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, {2} [If] we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking? {3} Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.{4} Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble [berek:H1290] knees [kara`:H3766]  {5} But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled. {6} [Is] not [this] thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways? {7} Remember, I pray thee, who [ever] perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?”


2 Corinthians 5:21 affirms: “For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”


Let’s proceed to verse 6:


Verse 6: “And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.”


And The Number [micpar:H4557] Of Them That Lapped [laqaq:H3952] 


The first two expressions in verse 6 are:  “and the number” and “of them that lapped” only surface together in this verse, and we have already discussed the word, “lapped.”  This expression, “and the number” refers in the historical context to the “three hundred men” who exemplify the elect.


And The Number [micpar:H4557]


We will encounter the term, “number” again in this chapter in verses 12 and 15, and also in Judges 21:23, Lord permitting; in verses 12 and 15 this word is expressed as “without number” and “the telling” respectively:


“And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels [were] without number [micpar:H4557], as the sand by the sea side for multitude. ... {15} And it was [so], when Gideon heard the telling [micpar:H4557]

 of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.”


Job 5:9-10 also is rendered, “without number” with respect to God’s marvellous works: “Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number: [micpar:H4557] {10} Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.” [micpar:H4557]


By contrast, verse 5 of  Job 14:1-5 describes the brevity and uncertainty of sinful man’s brief existence: “Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble. {2} He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. {3} And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? {4} Who can bring a clean [thing] out of an unclean? not one. {5} Seeing his days [are] determined, the number [micpar:H4557] of his months [are] with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;”


In Psalm 147:4, we learn that God knows both the number as well as the names of the stars, and spiritually we have to bear in mind that “stars” refer to God’s elect; this word appears as “the number”: “He telleth the number [micpar:H4557] of the stars; he calleth them all by [their] names.”


This term also crops up in verse 28 and 32 of Jeremiah 2:28-32, as “for [according to] the number” and “without number” respectively: “But where [are] thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for [according to] the number[micpar:H4557]  of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah. {29} Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD. {30} In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. {31} O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee? {32] Can a maid forget her ornaments, [or] a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.” [micpar:H4557] 


[Putting] Their Hand [yad:H3027] To Their Mouth [peh:H6310]


The next phrase that we want to turn our attention to in verse 6 is: “...[putting] their hand to their mouth,” which consists of two words. The following illustrations reveal how God utilizes these two expressions: 


Verse 9 of Exodus 13:3-10 commemorates the departure from Egypt by the institution of the “the Feast of Unleavened Bread”: “And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this [place]: there shall no leavened bread be eaten. {4} This day came ye out in the month Abib. {5} And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month. {6} Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day [shall be] a feast to the LORD. {7} Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. {8} And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, [This is done] because of that [which] the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. {9} And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in thy mouth [peh:H6310]: for with a strong hand [yad:H3027] hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. {10} Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.


1 Samuel 14:26-27 involves the account of Jonathan, Saul’s son, who did not hear and subsequently heed his father’s warning to abstain from food, until the Israelites had vanquished their enemy; in the Bible, “honey” frequently refers to the Word of God, which indeed “enlightens” the eyes of God’s elect people: “And when the people were come into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; but no man put his hand [yad:H3027] to his mouth [peh:H6310]: for the people feared the oath. {27} But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that [was] in his hand [yad:H3027], and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand [yad:H3027] to his mouth [peh:H6310]; and his eyes were enlightened.”


With that beautiful picture in mind, we will have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, we will continue our investigation of verse 6 in our next study. 

Judges 7 - Part 8

November 13, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 8 and today’s date is November 13, 2019. I’ll read from Judges 7:1-8,


“Then Jerubbaal, who [is] Gideon, and all the people that [were] with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. {2} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. {3} Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. {4} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, [that] of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. {5} So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. {6} And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. {7} And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the [other] people go every man unto his place. {8} So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all [the rest of] Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.” 


We have arrived at the last half of verse 6: “...were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.” However, we have already considered all the words in this verse as well as in verse 7, except for the last two, “every man” and “unto his place.” In the historical context that the rest of the men, which would have amounted to 9700 men, returned home, while the “300 men” (who typify the elect) are the ones that God used to defeat the Midianites. In this sense they are similar in their role as Jael in Judges 4, when she killed Sisera (who represents Satan). The “place” in view can also indicate one’s spiritual status, as the following passages that contain these last three terms (with the exception of the term, “every man”) maintain, since the last four words, “...let all the [other] people go every man unto his place,” are only found in verse 7.


Let All The Other People [am:H4971] Go [yalak:H3212] ...Unto His Place [maqowm:H4725]


But the three terms, ...let all the [other] people go...unto his place,” only surface in one other exceedingly important chapter in verse 12 of Jeremiah 7:1-14, in which two historical parables are linked that relate to God’s judgment beginning at his own “house” first. The first one has to do with the Babylonian assault on Jerusalem and Judah, and the ensuing 70-year Babylonian captivity; the second one has to do with Shiloh, and God’s judgment against it because of the sins of Eli and his two wicked sons. I’ll quote Jeremiah 7:1-14 first,


“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, {2} Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all [ye of] Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. {3} Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. {4} Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, [are] these. {5} For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; {6} [If] ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: {7} Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. {8} Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. {9} Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; {10} And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? {11} Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen [it], saith the LORD. {12} But go [yalak:H3212] ye now unto my place [maqowm:H4725] which [was] in Shiloh [Shiyloh:H7887], where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people [am:H4971] Israel. {13} And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; {14} Therefore will I do unto [this] house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.” [Shiyloh:H7887]


Perhaps you heard the reference to “Shiloh” in verse 12 and also in verse 14, as I mentioned? This correlates to 1 Samuel 2:22-36, 1 Samuel 3:1-14, and 1 Samuel 4:1-22. I know this is a lot of reading, but these references are part of one of the most insightful historical parables in understanding why and how God divorced national Israel, whom He was married to, and later abandoned the institutional churches and denominations that He used for 1955 years (from Pentecost, May 22, 33 AD - May 21, 1988). We must remember that both of these were divine organisms - not man-made institutions, even though they represent two sides of the same coin. God used Israel to produce the “ former righteous rain,” (according to Joel 2:23), Who is the Lord Jesus Christ. On the other hand, the churches and denominations were the outward representation of the Kingdom of God on earth, corresponding to the  “former” rain (again in  Joel 2:23) which produced the elect who were saved during the “time and season” known as the era of the  “church age,” and typified by the “144,000” (in Revelation 14:1 and 4). Please keep in mind that the time frame of these historical parables - Judah  as well as Shiloh - are identical to what we find in Judges 6-8, which exemplifies the 23-year Great Tribulation of of our day:


1 Samuel 2:22-36 states (and please note the words of the unnamed prophet in verses 27-36):


“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 ye such things? 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. {26} And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men. {27} And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house? {28} And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel [to be] my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? {29} Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded [in my] habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? {30} Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed [that] thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. {31} Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house. {32} And thou shalt see an enemy [in my] habitation, in all [the wealth] which [God] shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever. {33} And the man of thine, [whom] I shall not cut off from mine altar, [shall be] to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. {34} And this [shall be] a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. {35} And I will raise me up a faithful priest, [that] shall do according to [that] which [is] in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever. {36} And it shall come to pass, [that] every one that is left in thine house shall come [and] crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.”


I Samuel 3:1-14 goes on to add: “And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; [there was] no open vision. {2} And it came to pass at that time, when Eli [was] laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, [that] he could not see; {3} And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God [was], and Samuel was laid down [to sleep]; {4} That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here [am] I. {5} And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here [am] I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. {6} And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here [am] I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. {7} Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. {8} And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here [am] I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. {9} Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. {10} And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. {11} And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. {12} In that day I will perform against Eli all [things] which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. {13} For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. {14} And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.”


1 Samuel 4:1-22 is a continuation of this historical parable: “And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek. {2} And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men. {3} And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies. {4} So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth [between] the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, [were] there with the ark of the covenant of God. {5} And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again. {6} And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What [meaneth] the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the LORD was come into the camp. {7} And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore. {8} Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these [are] the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. {9} Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight. {10} And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.  {11} And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain. {12} And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head. {13} And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told [it], all the city cried out. {14} And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What [meaneth] the noise of this tumult? And the man came in hastily, and told Eli. {15} Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. {16} And the man said unto Eli, I [am] he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son? {17} And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. {18} And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years. {19} And his daughter in law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, [near] to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her. {20} And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard [it]. {21} And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. {22} And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.”


On that most solemn note, we need to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next study, we will begin examining verse 8.

Judges 7 - Part 9

November 15, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 9 and today’s date is November 15, 2019. I’ll read from Judges 7:1-8,


“Then Jerubbaal, who [is] Gideon, and all the people that [were] with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. {2} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. {3} Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. {4} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, [that] of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. {5} So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. {6} And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. {7} And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the [other] people go every man unto his place. {8} So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all [the rest of] Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.” 


In our examination of Judges 7 we have arrived at verse 8; let’s begin by considering the phrase, “...took victuals in their hand…,” which consists of three words, since we have already investigated the term, “So the people…” in a previous study:


Took [laqach:H3947] Victuals [tseydah:H6720] In Their Hands [yad:H3027] 


What is so very interesting about these three words is that they surface together in one other highly significant passage - Joshua 9:11 - which further confirms that the “three hundred men” represent God’s elect. However before I read that chapter, I would like to point out the very specific command that God decreed regarding how the Israelites were to treat the inhabitants of the “Promised Land” once they arrived there. This is found in Deuteronomy 20:10-18, and it ties directly into Joshua 9, which the inhabitants of Gibeon must have heard about, which was the reason for their ploy in Judges 9:


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


Keep that in mind, but there is something else in Deuteronomy 20:8 that links it with Judges 7, and it has to do with the first test that God told Joshua to use in order to diminish his army from 32,000 to 22,000, concerning those who were “...fearful and afraid…” as we learned from Judges 7:3,


“Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.”


Deuteronomy 20:8 similarly declares: “And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man [is there that is] fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart.


Please pay careful attention to the language in verse 11 as well as in verses 15-16 in Deuteronomy 20, which the Gibeonites heard and used to their advantage, under God’s allowance:  


 “And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, [that] all the people [that is] found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. ... {15} Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities [which are] very far off from thee, which [are] not of the cities of these nations. {16} But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee [for] an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth;” 


We find that the Gibeonites acted upon a principle which is enunciated in Proverbs 22:3 (and the parallel passage in Proverbs 27:12),


A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” 


What they did is spelled out in Joshua 9:1-27, and again we want to remember that God is His mercy - which is why they picture the elect - did not move the leaders of Israel nor Joshua to go to the LORD to confirm the trustworthiness of the Gibeonites’ “story,” even though they express a degree of doubt, expecially in verses 7-9:


“And it came to pass, when all the kings which [were] on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard [thereof]; {2} That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord. {3} And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, {4} They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; {5} And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry [and] mouldy. {6} And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us. {7} And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you? {8} And they said unto Joshua, We [are] thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who [are] ye? and from whence come ye? {9} And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, {10} And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that [were] beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which [was] at Ashtaroth. {11} Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We [are] your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us. {12} This our bread we took hot [for] our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy: {13} And these bottles of wine, which we filled, [were] new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. {14} And the men took of their victuals, and asked not [counsel] at the mouth of the LORD. {15} And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them. {16} And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they [were] their neighbours, and [that] they dwelt among them. {17} And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities [were] Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim. {18} And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. {19} But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. {20} This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them. {21} And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them. {22} And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We [are] very far from you; when ye dwell among us? {23} Now therefore ye [are] cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God. {24} And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the LORD thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing. {25} And now, behold, we [are] in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do. {26} And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not. {27} And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose.”


Hewers [chatab:H2404] Of Wood [`ets:H6086] & Drawers [sha`ab:H7579] Of Water [mayim:H4325] 


Before we move on, I do want to mention another “tie-in” between Judges 7 and Joshua 9 with respect to the Gibeonites (who typify the elect), and in the historical context were relegated the task of being “hewers of wood,” and “drawers of water.” 


In what way are God’s elect exemplified by these two apparently menial tasks?


Once again, we have to be aware that spiritually these terms have great relevance, especially given the fact that these two epithets are found three times (verses 21, 23, and 27) in Joshua 9 (pointing to the “purpose of God”), and always in connection with  “all the congregation,” “for the house of my God,” and “for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD,” respectively.


Thus these two sets of terms are found in connection with the “house of God” which spiritually highlights the Body or Bride of Christ, which God was building - hence the usage of “wood” - during the 13,023 years of the day of salvation. We see this clearly as Solomon went about constructing the Temple, and in the process solicited the help of Huram, king of Tyre (a friend of his father, King David) in 2 Chronicles 2:8-10, as an illustration, in which the two words, “hewers of wood” appear in verse 10, as “the hewers” and “timber”: 


Hewers [chatab:H2404]  Of Wood [`ets:H6086]  


“Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants [shall be] with thy servants, {9} Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build [shall be] wonderful great. {10} And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers [chatab:H2404] that cut timber [`ets:H6086], twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.”

 

The other interesting thing about “hewer” (chatab:H2404) is that this is also the significance of Gideon’s name (“hewer”), which is derived from its root or “parent” word, “gada`” (H1438) even though the words and letters are different in each.


Drawers [sha`ab:H7579]   Of Water [mayim:H4325]  


The expression “drawers of water” emerges for instance in Isaiah 12:3, which is a beautiful passage that underscores the task of God’s people during the day of salvation. It also relates to the Lord Jesus as He spoke to “the woman at the well” in John 4, having “sat” (which spiritually means to “rule”) on the well, as He is the one responsible for bestowing the “water of life” upon the elect during their physical lifetime, since He had already secured their redemption, “...at the foundation of the world.” I’ll read Isaiah 12:2-3, in which these two words are translated as “shall ye draw,” and “water”:


“Behold, God [is] my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my salvation. {3} Therefore with joy shall ye draw [sha`ab:H7579] water[mayim:H4325] out of the wells of salvation.” 


On that glorious note we will have conclude today’s study, and Lord willing discuss the rest of verse 8 in our upcoming study.

Judges 7 - Part 10

November 18, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 10 and today’s date is November 18, 2019. I’ll read from Judges 7:1-8,


“Then Jerubbaal, who [is] Gideon, and all the people that [were] with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. {2} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. {3} Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever [is] fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. {4} And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, [that] of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. {5} So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. {6} And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. {7} And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the [other] people go every man unto his place. {8} So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all [the rest of] Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.” 


We have begun working on verse 8, and we left off at the English phrase “...and their trumpets...” In our previous study we learned that the three Hebrew terms, “took victuals in their hands” was only found in Joshua 9:11 concerning the Gibeonites who sued for peace with the Israelites, and further confirming that the “three hundred men” in Joshua 7 typify God’s elect. The “three hundred men” “took victuals in their hands” along with, “...and their trumpets…” 


We can understand them taking “victuals” or food, but why trumpets?


And Their Trumpets [showphar:H7782]


This is the same word, “showphar” (H7782) that Gideon blew in Judges 6:34 to gather the men of Abiezer to fight against the Midianites (and incidentally, Ehud did the same thing in Judges 3:27):


“But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew [taqa`:H8628] a trumpet [showphar:H7782]; and Abiezer was gathered after him.”


Both of these terms, “blew” and “trumpet” we will encounter again once we get down to verses 18-20, and 22 of this chapter, Lord willing. The time frame for this event is the “Great Tribulation,” and especially during the final ⅔  of that period, known as the “latter rain,”  God’s people were warning the world of God’s impending judgment, by “sounding the showfar” (or ram’s horn) of God’s Word, as we read for example in Ezekiel 33:1-9,


“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: {3} If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow [taqa`:H8628]  the trumpet [showphar:H7782], and warn the people; {4} Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet [showphar:H7782], and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. {5} He heard the sound of the trumpet [showphar:H7782], and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. {6} But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow [taqa`:H8628] not the trumpet [showphar:H7782], and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. {7} So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. {8} When I say unto the wicked, O wicked [man], thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. {9} Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.


Simultaneously, the “blowing of the showfar” can also relate to judgment, as we have discussed in other studies with regard to the fall of Jericho (which pictures the 13,000th anniversary of Creation in 1988) as we read in Joshua 6:4, 8-9, 13, 16, and 20; curiously in verse 9, the word for “that blew” is doubled:


“And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets [showfar:H7782] of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow [taqa`:H8628] with the trumpets. [showfar:H7782] ... {8} And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets [showfar:H7782] of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew [taqa`:H8628] with the trumpets [showfar:H7782]: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them. {9} And the armed men went before the priests that blew [taqa`:H8628] [taqa`:H8628] with the trumpets [showfar:H7782], and the rereward came after the ark, [the priests] going on, and blowing [taqa`:H8628] with the trumpets. [showfar:H7782] ... {13} And seven priests bearing seven trumpets [showfar:H7782] of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew [taqa`:H8628] with the trumpets [showfar:H7782]: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, [the priests] going on, and blowing [taqa`:H8628] with the trumpets. [showfar:H7782]  ... {16} And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew [taqa`:H8628]  with the trumpets, [showfar:H7782] Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. ... {20} So the people shouted when [the priests] blew [taqa`:H8628] with the trumpets [showfar:H7782]:and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet [showfar:H7782], and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.”


In 1 Corinthians 14:7-8, one discovers the importance of “sounding” a clear message, as declared concerning “Judgment Day On May 21, 2011”: “And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? {8} For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”


And He Sent [shalach:H7971] All  [’iysh:H376] The Rest Of Israel [Yisra’el:H3478] Every Man [’iysh:H376]  Unto His Tent [’ohel:H168]

The next phrase in verse 8 is, “...and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent…” which consists of four terms that we have considered previously in some of our earlier studies in Judges. So, let’s move on to the term, “and retained,” referring to the “three hundred men” that typify God’s elect:


And Retained [chazak:H2388]


This expression is very pregnant indeed with many spiritual nuances, as we shall discover, and is translated in many different ways, as these next citations show:

Verse 16 of Genesis 19:12-16 contains this word, rendered as “laid hold,” and this account is germane to our study as spiritually, the same time frame is in view - namely the Great Tribulation - leading up to Judgment Day (represented by the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah): 


“And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring [them] out of this place: {13} For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. {14} And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. {15} And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. {16} And while he lingered, the men laid hold [chazak:H2388]  upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.”


Luke 17:28-32 likewise reveals: “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; {29} But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all. {30} Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. {31} In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. {32} Remember Lot's wife.”


Here are some more illustrations of how God has chosen to render this word:


Actually, we will run across this word again in verse 11 and 20 of this same chapter, in which is is translated as, “be strengthened” along with “and held”: “And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened [chazak:H2388]  to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that [were] in the host. ... {20} And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held [chazak:H2388] the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow [withal]: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.”


Genesis 41:56-57 renders this word as, “waxed sore,” and “so sore” during this time of “famine”: “And the famine was over all the face of the earth: “And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore [chazak:H2388]  in the land of Egypt. {57} And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy [corn]; because that the famine was [so] sore [chazak:H2388] in all lands.”


The physical famine that took place during Joseph’s day is the first “Great Tribulation” or “Affliction”) period in the Bible, which lasted 7 years (or 84 months) and as such, is intimately related to both the second (the 70-years, or 840-months of the Babylonian captivity)  and third one of our day, which lasted 23 years or 8400 days. Please note how the recurring number “84” is connected to each of these three periods of either physical or spiritual famine, as Amos 8:11-12 emphasizes:


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


By contrast this same word is found twice in Ezekiel 34 in verse 4 and verse 16, in which God denounces the “shepherds” for not properly “feeding their flocks” with the Word of God. As a result, God promises that He will accomplish that task perfectly; I’ll read verses 1-16, 


“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe [be] to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? {3} Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: [but] ye feed not the flock.{4} The diseased have ye not strengthened [chazak:H2388], neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up [that which was] broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. {5} And they were scattered, because [there is] no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. {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 or seek [after them]. {7} Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; {8} [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because [there was] no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; {9} Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; {10} Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. {11} For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, [even] I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. {12} As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep [that are] scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. {13} And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. {14} I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and [in] a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. {15} I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. {16} I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up [that which was] broken, and will strengthen [chazak:H2388]  that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.”


One last passage before we close today, in which this expression is found three times is in Daniel 10:19, as a form of the word, “strong” or “strengthen”: “And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace [be] unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. [chazak:H2388] And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened [chazak:H2388], and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened [chazak:H2388] me.”


We will have to stop here for now. Lord willing, in our next study we will start with verse 9.

Judges 7 - Part 11

November 22, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 11 and today’s date is November 22, 2019. I’ll read from Judges 7:9-15,


“And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. {10} But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: {11} And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that [were] in the host. {12} And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels [were] without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. {13} And when Gideon was come, behold, [there was] a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. {14} And his fellow answered and said, This [is] nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: [for] into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. {15} And it was [so], when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.”


We are down to verses 9 and 10 of this chapter, but we have already discussed all of these terms previously, except for “thou with Phurah” and “thy servant,” which we now want to address:


Thou With Phurah [Purah:H6518] Thy Servant [na`ar:H5288] 


God tells Gideon to go down to the camp of the Midianites, and if he is afraid to go alone, to take his servant Phurah with him. God also assures him that He will deliver the Midianites into Israel’s hand, and then in verse 11 God tells him that what he hears will strengthen him for the battle.  


Thou With Phurah [Purah:H6513] 


“Phurah” (H6513) is the name of Gideon’s servant, and his name is derived from the root word, “pe'orah” (H6288), which is commonly rendered as “bough” or “branch.” [Incidentally, the “grandparent” word for “Phurah” is the term, “vaunt themselves against me” (pa’ar:H6286), which surfaced earlier in Judges 7:2; it is primarily rendered as “glorify” or “beautify,” and is used in connection with salvation at times] “Phurah” only surfaces in this verse and in verse 11. Let's consider Isaiah 10:1-34, in which this expression is found in verse 33 as, “the bough”: 


“Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; {2} To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! {3} And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory? {4} Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. {5} O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. {6} I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. {7} Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. {8} For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings? {9} Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? {10} As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; {11} Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? {12} Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. {13} For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: {14} And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. {15} Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. {16} Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. {17} And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;{18} And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. {19} And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. {20} And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. {21} The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. {22} For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. {23} For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land. {24} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. {25} For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction. {26} And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. {27} And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. {28} He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages: {29} They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled. {30} Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth. {31} Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee. {32} As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. {33} Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough [pe'orah:H6288, with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. {34} And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.”


In this passage "the bough" that is being cut off is the nation of Assryia who conquered Samaria in 609 BC, and then hoped to do the same thing to Judah, but that was not God's intention, as He had reserved that privilege to the Babylonians instead. The thing to keep in mind is this spiritual pattern of God using a heathen nation to judge Israel for their spiritual infidelity, but then later turn around and judge that heathen nation for doing so, because they are under God’s wrath in the first place. It really underscores the notion that God can use any unsaved person (we can think of Balaam, for instance), a heathen nation as was just mentioned, a divine organism like the churches and denominations, or even a 50-year old faithful ministry, and then allow it to fall into grievous doctrinal error. I’m reminded of the account of King Jehoash and Jehoiada the priest, which is another historical parable related to judgment beginning at God’s “house” first, as Jehoiada the priest died when he was 130 years old. [13 (spiritually the end of the world) X 10 (“completion” or “perfection”), according to 2 Kings 12:2 (and the parallel verse in 2 Chronicles 24:2); I’ll also read some of the ensuing context in 2 Chronicles 24:15-20,


2 Kings 12:2 states: “And Jehoash did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him.


Similarly 2 Chronicles 24:2, and 15-21 add: “And Joash [“Jehoash”] did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest… {15} But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old [was he] when he died. {16} And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house. {17} Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them. {18} And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass. {19} Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear. {20} And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you. {21} And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.”


The next account that this word is featured in, is Ezekiel 17:1-24, in which it is translated as “sprigs” in verse 6. This account also speaks about judgment beginning at God’s “house” first, even though there are a couple of references to a “remnant saved by grace”:


“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; {3} And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: {4} He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants. {5} He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed [it] by great waters, [and] set it [as] a willow tree. {6} And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs [pe'orah:H6288]. {7} There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. {8} It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. {9} Say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof. {10} Yea, behold, [being] planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew. {11} Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {12} Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these [things mean]? tell [them], Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon; {13} And hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land: {14} That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, [but] that by keeping of his covenant it might stand. {15} But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such [things]? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered? {16} [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place [where] the king [dwelleth] that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, [even] with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. {17} Neither shall Pharaoh with [his] mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons: {18} Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these [things], he shall not escape. {19} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; [As] I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head. {20} And I will spread my net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me. {21} And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and ye shall know that I the LORD have spoken [it]. {22} Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set [it]; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant [it] upon an high mountain and eminent: {23} In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. {24} And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done [it].”


Thy Servant [na`ar:H5288]


The term, “thy servant” is translated primarily as, “young man,” “servant,” or “child.” It is identically spelled to two other root words: (na`ar:H5287) which is predominantly rendered as, “shake,” “shake out,” and “overthrow;” the other one is only found once in Jeremiah 51:38, as “they shall yell”: 


They Shall Yell [na`ar:H5286]


“They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell [na`ar:H5286] as lions' whelps.”


This chapter is concerned with the day of judgment which began immediately as the Great Tribulation ended, and the Great Commission was fulfilled. As a result it chronicles the “fall of Babylon,” as I stated earlier, which came under God’s wrath, after God finished using them (historically) to judge Judah and Jerusalem. However when one compares this word, “they shall yell” with the statement in Judges 7:18 given the explosive nature of what was about to take place, it’s hard to imagine that this army of 300 valiant men, who were blowing their trumpets and breaking the earthen pitchers which contained the lamps in unison would casually and nonchalantly  “say” (as the King James Version renders this term) in verse 18: “[The Sword] of Jehovah and of Gideon.”  No... they would have shouted with all their might: “[THE SWORD] OF JEHOVAH AND OF GIDEON.” As a matter of fact, Jay P. Green in his Literal Version (LITV) expresses Judges 7:18 this way:


“And I shall blow with a rams’ horn, I and all who are with me. And you shall blow with the rams’ horns, you also all around the camp, and shall shout, For Je-hovah and for Gideon!”


“Na`ar” [H5287] 


The other word that I stated which was spelled identically to “thy servant” (H5288) is “na`ar” (H5287), which is translated as “shake,” “shake out,” and “overthrow.”  Here are some illustrations to ponder: the first one has to do with judgment, while the second one with salvation, as both are in view in the “time and season” of the Great Tribulation, which is in view in this chapter, and as we have found repeatedly throughout the book of Judges: 


In Exodus 14:27, it appears as “overthrew”: “And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew [na`ar:H5287] the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.”


And in Isaiah 52:2, it is found as “shake”: “Shake [na`ar:H5287]  thyself from the dust; arise, [and] sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.”


Isaiah 52:2 brings to mind the beautiful passage that is a quotation taken from Isaiah 61:1-3 found in Luke 4:16-21,


“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. {17} And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, {18} The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, {19} To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. {20} And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. {21} And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. 


On that glorious note we will have to conclude today’s study, and Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of verse 11.

Judges 7 - Part 12

November 25, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 12 and today’s date is November 25, 2019. I’ll read from Judges 7:9-15,


“And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. {10} But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: {11} And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that [were] in the host. {12} And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels [were] without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. {13} And when Gideon was come, behold, [there was] a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. {14} And his fellow answered and said, This [is] nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: [for] into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. {15} And it was [so], when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.”


We are starting on verse 11 today, and the phrase, “And thou shalt hear what they say,” which consists of two Hebrew words, in which God encourages Gideon to go down to the enemy camp to hear, as we shall see, a particular conversation, specifically intended for Gideon (and his servant Phurah); God also assures him that what he will hear will serve to strengthen him for the upcoming battle. What’s interesting about this detail is that it was not Gideon who was asking for further confirmation from the LORD, as He had done previously with the “fleece” two times before. But God for His own purposes set this up for Gideon, in the historical context, but we also want to try to understand the spiritual application that He has hidden within this incident.


And Thou Shalt Hear [shama`:H8085] What They Say [dabar:H1696]


In Genesis 27:5-14 we are introduced to another conversation which Rebekah “overheard” between her husband Isaac, and their eldest son, Esau; and these words surface twice in verses 5 and 6, as “heard” and “spake/speak”: 


“And Rebekah heard [shama`:H8085] when Isaac spake [dabar:H1696] to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt [for] venison, [and] to bring [it]. {6} And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard [shama`:H8085] thy father speak [dabar:H1696] unto Esau thy brother, saying, {7} Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. {8} Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. {9} Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: {10} And thou shalt bring [it] to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death. {11} And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother [is] a hairy man, and I [am] a smooth man: {12} My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing. {13} And his mother said unto him, Upon me [be] thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me [them]. {14} And he went, and fetched, and brought [them] to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.


In the same way that what Gideon is about to overhear will serve to encourage him, what Rebekah hears prompted her to take an aggressive course of action (though this was done deceitfully) to avoid the possibility that the “blessing” (or “double inheritance” which points to the Lord Jesus Christ and salvation) would go to Esau instead of Jacob. Rebekah was probably the only mother in history who knew directly from God that one of her children would not be saved, while the other would, as we read in Genesis 25:20-23, 


“And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. {21} And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she [was] barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. {22} And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If [it be] so, why [am] I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. {23} And the LORD said unto her, Two nations [are] in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and [the one] people shall be stronger than [the other] people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”


Then in Romans 9:11-13 we find the New Testament commentary regarding this event, which solemnly characterizes the entire human race into two distinct groups of people, who in turn, typify two different kingdoms: the elect versus the non-elect:


“(For [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) {12}  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. {13} As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”


Another passage is which these two terms crop up, is in verses 2 and 6 of Numbers 12:1-15, in which God rebukes Aaron and Miriam for “speaking evil” of their younger brother, Moses: 


“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. {2} And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken [dabar:H1696] only by Moses? hath he not spoken [dabar:H1696] also by us? And the LORD heard [shama`:H8085]  [it]. {3} (Now the man Moses [was] very meek, above all the men which [were] upon the face of the earth.) {4} And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. {5} And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood [in] the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. {6} And he said, Hear [shama`:H8085] now my words: If there be a prophet among you, [I] the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, [and] will speak [dabar:H1696] unto him in a dream. {7} My servant Moses [is] not so, who [is] faithful in all mine house. {8} With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? {9} And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. {10} And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam [became] leprous, [white] as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, [she was] leprous. {11} And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. {12} Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb. {13} And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. {14] And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in [again]. {15} And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in [again].”


Aaron and Miriam’s sin was especially glaring in God’s sight because Moses typifies Christ (“...a Prophet... like unto me...” as we read in Deuteronomy 18:15), as God spoke “face-to-face” with Moses even as He does with God the Son. There is, however, an infinitely more serious account in which the same spiritual lesson that is being taught in this incident takes a fatal turn, regarding the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram in Numbers 16 - a mere four chapters away. These men erroneously presumed that all in the congregation were “...holy… every one of them…” and that their “words” were just as valid as Moses’ which ended up in destruction for them and their families, and 14,700 others who grumbled against God for killing them.


And Afterward [’achar:H310] Shall Thine Hands [yad:H3027] Be Strengthened [chazak:H2388]


The next three terms only surface again together in two other places: 


Exodus 14:8, “And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.”


Nehemiah 3:17, “After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part.”


To Go Down [yarad:H3381] Unto The Host [machaneh:H4264]


Continuing on in verse 11, the next two Hebrew words show up in the phrase, “...to go down unto the host…,” which we have encountered previously in Judges 4:15, as “and all his host” and “lighted down”: 


“And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all [his] chariots, and all [his] host  [yarad:H3381], with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down [yarad:H3381]  off [his] chariot, and fled away on his feet.”


So let’s move on to the next phrase: 


Unto The Outside [qatseh:H7097] Of The Armed Men [chamush:H2571]


These last two terms, “Unto the outside,” and “of the armed men” only appear together in this verse, so we will have to look at them individually:


Unto The Outside [qatseh:H7097]


We have already run across the expression “unto the outside” earlier in Judges 6:21, in which it was rendered as, “ the end,” which is how it is most commonly translated:


“Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end [qatseh:H7097]

 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, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.”


We will also be revisiting this same term again when we get down to verses 17 and 19 of this chapter, in which it is rendered as “to the outside,” and “unto the outside,” as God wills:


“And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside [qatseh:H7097] of the camp, it shall be [that], as I do, so shall ye do. ... {19} So Gideon, and the hundred men that [were] with him, came unto the outside [qatseh:H7097] of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that [were] in their hands.”


However,  H7097 is identically spelled to H7096, which is only found in the following citations that reveal what is taking place spiritually, as these passages all speak of judgment and destruction, and not just the fact that Gideon placed his “three hundred men” by dividing them into three companies on the outskirts of the enemy camp:


“Qatsah” [H7096] [kut-saw]


In Leviticus 14:41 and 43, we learn in part about the procedure for cleansing a house that had been contaminated with the plague of leprosy (typifying sin):  “And he shall cause the house to be scraped within round about, and they shall pour out the dust that they scrape [qatsah:H7096] off without the city into an unclean place: ... {43} And if the plague come again, and break out in the house, after that he hath taken away the stones, and after he hath scraped [qatsah:H7096] the house, and after it is plaistered;


2 Kings 10:32 records the sin of Jehu as he reigned over Samaria, and the consequence of his lack of total faithfulness to God’s Word: “In those days the LORD began to cut [qatsah:H7096]  Israel short [qatsah:H7096]: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;”


Proverbs 26:6 also warns: “He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off [qatsah:H7096] the feet, [and] drinketh damage.”


And verse 10 of Habakkuk 2:10-20 includes this term and makes this declaration: “Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off [qatsah:H7096]  many people, and hast sinned [against] thy soul. {11} For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. {12} Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity! {13} Behold, [is it] not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? {14} For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. {15} Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to [him], and makest [him] drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! {16} Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing [shall be] on thy glory. {17} For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, [which] made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. {18} What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? {19} Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it [is] laid over with gold and silver, and [there is] no breath at all in the midst of it. {20} But the LORD [is] in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.”


Let’s stop here, and Lord willing, in our next study we will pick up with verse 12.

Judges 7 - Part 13

November 27, 2019


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 7 - Part 13 and today’s date is November 27, 2019. I’ll read from Judges 7:9-15,


“And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. {10} But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: {11} And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that [were] in the host. {12} And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels [were] without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. {13} And when Gideon was come, behold, [there was] a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. {14} And his fellow answered and said, This [is] nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: [for] into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. {15} And it was [so], when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.”


As I mentioned in Part 12, the last Hebrew word that we have not discussed in Judges 7:11 is rendered as, “of the armed men.” 


Of The Armed Men [chamush:H2571]  


These next Scriptures are the only other ones that include this word:


In verse 18 of  Exodus 13:18-22, this term is rendered as, “harnessed”: “But God led the people about, [through] the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed [chamush:H2571] out of the land of Egypt. {19} And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. {20} And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. {21} And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: {22} He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, [from] before the people.”


Then in verse 14 of Joshua 1:12-16, it is translated again as, “armed,” as the Israelites prepare to enter into the Promised Land, under the new leadership of Joshua, Moses’ chosen successor:  “And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying, {13} Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.{14} Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed [chamush:H2571], all the mighty men of valour, and help them; {15} Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as [he hath given] you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD'S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising. {16} And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.”


In verse 12 of Joshua 4:12-14  And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed [chamush:H2571] before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them: {13} About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho. {14} On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.”


Incidentally, there is another word that is identically spelled to “of the armed men” (chamush:H2571) , which is  (H2571) or “chamosh” and it only appears in the following passages as “fifth,” and in each case it had to do with someone who was killed by being stabbed “under the fifth rib.” These four incidents are a series of reprisals that stem from what occurred in the first one, and take place between “the house of Saul” and “the house of David.”


“Chamosh” [H2570] 


Verse 23 of 2 Samuel 2:17-23 records:  “And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. {13} And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. {14} And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise. {15} Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which [pertained] to Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. {16} And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and [thrust] his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkathhazzurim, which [is] in Gibeon. {17} And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David. {18} And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel [was as] light of foot as a wild roe. {19} And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. {20} Then Abner looked behind him, and said, [Art] thou Asahel? And he answered, I [am]. {21} And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him. {22} And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother?{23} Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth [chamosh:H2570] [rib], that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, [that] as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.”


The ongoing nature of revenge continues to multiply in 2 Samuel 3:27, in which one learns: “And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth [chamosh:H2570] [rib], that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.”


Then in verse 6 of 2 Samuel 4:5-12 record what takes place next: “And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. {6} And they came thither into the midst of the house, [as though] they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth [chamosh:H2570] [rib]: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. {7} For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night. {8} And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed. {9} And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, [As] the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, {10} When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who [thought] that I would have given him a reward for his tidings: {11} How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? {12} And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged [them] up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried [it] in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron. ”


After Joab disobeyed David’s command to not kill Absalom (even though he tried to overthrow his father),  David elected to put Amasa (the captain of Absalom’s army) as captain of his army instead of Joab.  While trying to apprehend Sheba, the son of Bichri, for instigating a coup against David, verse 10 of 2 Samuel 20:8-13 includes this word as well: 


“When they [were] at the great stone which [is] in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle [with] a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out. {9} And Joab said to Amasa, [Art] thou in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him.{10} But Amasa took no heed to the sword that [was] in Joab's hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth [chamosh:H2570] [rib], and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. {11} And one of Joab's men stood by him, and said, He that favoureth Joab, and he that [is] for David, [let him go] after Joab. {12} And Amasa wallowed in blood in the midst of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a cloth upon him, when he saw that every one that came by him stood still. {13} When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.” 


Spiritually we can understand the antagonism that existed between “the house of Saul” and “the house of David” since Saul is a portrait of the end-time institutional churches and denominations that came under God’s wrath, as I have pointed out before; for this reason Saul was obsessed with trying to kill David, who, in turn, is a great representative of the Lord Jesus Christ and His elect people. This is why we read in 2 Samuel 3:1, 


“Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.” 


Now we want to turn our attention to... 


Verse 12: “And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels [were] without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.”


We have already considered “...the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east…” so the next phrase that we want to investigate is: “lay along in the valley,” which is comprised of two Hebrew terms:


Lay Along [naphal:H5307] In The Valley [`emeq:H6010]


The two words only show up together again in verse 10 of Genesis 14:1-20, which is a chapter in which another battle is being recorded; in verse 10 these terms are rendered as, “and the vale” along with “and fell there”: 


“And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; {2} [That these] made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. {3} All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. {4} Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. {5} And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that [were] with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, {6} And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which [is] by the wilderness. {7} And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which [is] Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar. {8} And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same [is] Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; {9} With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five. {10} And the vale [`emeq:H6010] of Siddim [was full of] slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there [naphal:H5307]; and they that remained fled to the mountain. {11} And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. {12} And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. {13} And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these [were] confederate with Abram.  {14} And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained [servants], born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued [them] unto Dan. {15} And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which [is] on the left hand of Damascus. {16} And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. {17} And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that [were] with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which [is] the king's dale. {18} And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he [was] the priest of the most high God. {19} And he blessed him, and said, Blessed [be] Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: {20} And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” 


This chapter (and we do not have time to develop this at all) actually features two other conflicts: the first one typifies Satan’s attack against the churches and denominations at the beginning of the Great Tribulation on May 21, 1988; and the second has to do with Abraham (exemplifying God) recovering Lot and his family, along with their goods, and those belonging to Sodom and Gomorrah, which takes place during the day of judgment, and after the “latter rain.” Then we have the appearance of Melchizedec, and his conversation with Abraham.


Well, Lord willing, in our next study, we want to take a closer look at verse 10.