Bible Ministries International

Bible Studies

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

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

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Judges 8 - Part 1

February 19, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 1 and today’s date is February 19, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:1-3,


And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply. {2} And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? [Is] not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? {3} God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that.


In these first three verses we discover that the men of Ephraim are upset at Gideon and accuse him of not calling them to fight against the Midianites. In light of this charge,  we want to keep in mind that it was God - not Gideon - that streamlined Gideon’s army from 32,000 down to 300, who spiritually represent God’s elect. Do you remember why? God gives us the answer in Judges 7:2,


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.


By severely reducing the number of his fighting force, Gideon and his 300 men were forced to trust God implicitly, as they were greatly outranked by the enemy army. Even more compelling is the fact that God mysteriously intervened, causing contention within these three opposing forces (the Midianites, the Amalekites, and “the children of the east”) so they ended up killing each other instead, according to Judges 7:22,


And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, [and] to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath. 


It was only after this took place that we read the following in Judges 7:23, regarding what the tribes of Naphtali, Asher, and Manasseh did:


And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites. {24} And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.  


It’s helpful to remember where this battle took place as Judges 6:33-35 and 7:1 maintain:


Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. {34} But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him. {35} And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them… {7:1} 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.


It’s worth noting that the location of the “valley” is the Jezreel Valley, that is also near the Kishon River, where Sisera was defeated, and close to the tribes of Manasseh (as Gideon, you might recall from Judges 6:15 was from the tribe of Manasseh)  Asher, Zebulun, and  Naphtali, which is why they responded in the way they did in Judges 7:23. It is also in proximity to Mount Carmel, where Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal.


Then we learn what Gideon did next in verse 24, by specifically asking for help “...throughout all mount Ephraim…”


And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.


In the historical context, those in Mount Ephraim would have come from a farther distance since the other tribes were closer to the location of the battlefield.  


The Question Of The Men Of Ephraim


In Judges 8:1 “the men of Ephraim” pose this question to Gideon: 


And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply.


By the way, an almost identical question by the “men of Ephraim” is asked of Jephthah in Judges 12:1, so this is not an isolated case:


And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire.


Why Hast Thou [mah:H4100] Served [`asah:H6213] Us Thus [dabar:H1697]…?


The phrase, “Why hast thou served us thus…” is comprised of three Hebrew terms that only surface together again in Genesis 20:10, in which Abimelech similarly queries Abraham (which will be discussed when we arrive there, Lord willing).


And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What [mah:H4100] sawest thou, that thou hast done [`asah:H6213] this thing? [dabar:H1697]


The main words in the phrase, “...that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight…” only appear together in this verse, and we have already considered them in our earlier lessons. 


Why Were The Men Of Ephraim So Upset?


I’m not entirely sure, but one possibility was because Ephraim and Manasseh were the two sons of Joseph, and thus very closely related. We also understand that Ephraim can typify the end-time institutional churches and denominations that came under God’s wrath, and can be representative of national Israel as a whole as one discovers in Psalm 78:8-72, (as verse 9 and verse 67 maintain).  Psalm 78:2 introduces this psalm as a “parable” - even though it is recounting the history of Israel - it is a wonderful example of how God penned the entire Bible. Back in Judges 5:14 Ephraim was also singled out as having a “...root [“in” not “against”] Amalek”:


And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation [that] set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. {9} The children of Ephraim, [being] armed, [and] carrying bows, turned back [haphak:H2015] in the day of battle. {10} They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; {11} And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them. {12} Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, [in] the field of Zoan. {13} He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap. {14} In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire. {15} He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave [them] drink as [out of] the great depths. {16} He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers. {17} And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness. {18} And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. {19} Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? {20} Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people? {21} Therefore the LORD heard [this], and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; {22} Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: {23} Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, {24} And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. {25} Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full. {26} He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. {27} He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea: {28} And he let [it] fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations. {29} So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire; {30} They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat [was] yet in their mouths, {31} The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen [men] of Israel. {32} For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. {33} Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble. {34} When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God. {35} And they remembered that God [was] their rock, and the high God their redeemer. {36} Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. {37} For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. {38} But he, [being] full of compassion, forgave [their] iniquity, and destroyed [them] not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. {39} For he remembered that they [were but] flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. {40} How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, [and] grieve him in the desert! {41} Yea, they turned back [nacah:H5254] and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. {42} They remembered not his hand, [nor] the day when he delivered them from the enemy. {43} How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan: {44} And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink. {45} He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them. {46} He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller, and their labour unto the locust. {47} He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore trees with frost. {48} He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts. {49} He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels [among them]. {50} He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; {51} And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of [their] strength in the tabernacles of Ham: {52} But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. {53} And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. {54} And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, [even to] this mountain, [which] his right hand had purchased. {55} He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents. {56} Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies: {57} But turned back, [cuwg:H5472] and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside [haphak:H2015] like a deceitful bow. {58} For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. {59} When God heard [this], he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: {60} So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent [which] he placed among men; {61} And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand. {62} He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance. {63} The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage. {64} Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation. {65} Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, [and] like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. {66} And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach. {67} Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim: {68} But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved. {69} And he built his sanctuary like high [palaces], like the earth which he hath established for ever. {70} He chose David [i.e., “Christ”] also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: {71} From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. {72} So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.


One other significant aspect in this Psalm occurs in verses 9 and 57, in which two Hebrew words are utilized three times in English as “turned back” and “turned aside.” These terms are “haphak” (H2015) and “cuwg” (H5472) Both of these expressions can denote a negative connotation of “turning back” which is never a posture that a genuine child of God wants to be in, and is antithetical to the Biblical admonition, for instance, in verse 25 of Proverbs 4:18-27, 


But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. {19} The way of the wicked [is] as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. {20} My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. {21} Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. {22} For they [are] life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. {23} Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life. {24} Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. {25} Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. {26} Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. {27} Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.


And They Did Chide [riyb:H7378] With [’eth:H874] Him Sharply [chozqah:H2384]


The last two expressions in verse 1, “and they did chide”  and “with him sharply” we have already encountered previously. In fact, the term, “chide” was translated as “plead” in Judges 6:31-32 when Gideon’s father, Joash, was mocking the men of his town because they were “pleading” for Baal. The extent of the animosity between Gideon and the “men of Ephraim” is highlighted by the word, “sharply,” which is rendered “he mightily” speaking of Jabin, king of Canaan’s domination over Israel by God’s allowance for Israel’s sinfulness:


And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily [chozqah:H2384]  oppressed the children of Israel.


We will have to stop here today, and Lord willing, in our next study continue our exploration of Judges 8.

Judges 8 - Part 2

February 21, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 2 and today’s date is February 21, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:1-3,


And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply. {2} And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? [Is] not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? {3} God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that.


Today we want to examine Gideon’s reply to the “men of Ephraim” who were upset at him because he did not call them to fight against the Midianites. And once again we want to keep in mind that God sent the “...Midianites, Amalekites, and the children of the east” as a judgment for Israel’s rebellion, according to Judges 6:1-6 and 14 and 16,


And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. {2} And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: [and] because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which [are] in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds. {3} And [so] it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; {4} And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. {5} For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; [for] both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. {6} And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. ... {14} And the LORD looked upon him [Gideon], and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? ... {16} And the LORD said unto him [Gideon], Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.


When the Bible refers to “one man” it frequently is a reference to the Lord Jesus, as Gideon represents Christ. You might recall that this battle is a portrait of the spiritual warfare that took place between Christ and His army (consisting of all the elect and typified by Gideon and his 300 men) and Satan and his forces (typified by the two Midianite princes, “Oreb” (“raven” - an unclean animal) and “Zeeb” (“wolf” - picturing Satan as well), who exemplify the defeat of Satan on May 21, 2011, when our current day of judgment began. So what we are reading about here in Judges 8 identifies with our present “day of judgment.”  We have already discussed the two terms, “...And he said unto them, What have I done…” so let’s take a look at the terms, “the gleaning [of Ephraim]” and “than the vintage [of Abiezer]”  which are the only words that appear together in verse 2:


The Gleaning [`olelah:H5955] & Than The Vintage [batsiyr:H1210] 


These two expressions are found in the following two passages:


These two words surface in verse 13 of Isaiah 24:1-23, which is a chapter that records what is taking place in our present day of judgment with regard to both “the inhabitants of the earth” (the non-elect) and “few men left” (the elect): Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. {2} And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. {3} The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. {4} The earth mourneth [and] fadeth away, the world languisheth [and] fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. {5} The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. {6} Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. {7} The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh. {8} The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. {9} They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. {10} The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. {11} [There is] a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. {12} In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction. {13}When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, [there shall be] as the shaking of an olive tree, [and] as the gleaning grapes [`olelah:H5955] when the vintage [batsiyr:H1210] is done. {14} They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall cry aloud from the sea. {15} Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, [even] the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea. {16} From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, [even] glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously. {17} Fear, and the pit, and the snare, [are] upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. {18} And it shall come to pass, [that] he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. {19} The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. {20} The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. {21} And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones [that are] on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. {22} And they shall be gathered together, [as] prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. {23} Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.


These two words also crop up in verse 1 of  Micah 7:1-20,  Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings [`olelah:H5955] of the vintage [batsiyr:H1210]: [there is] no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit. [Christ is the “first” of the firstfruits and is associated with Pentecost]{2} The good [man] is perished out of the earth: and [there is] none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. {3} That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge [asketh] for a reward; and the great [man], he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up. {4} The best of them [is] as a brier: the most upright [is sharper] than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen [and] thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity. {5} Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. {6} For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies [are] the men of his own house. {7} Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. {8} Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD [shall be] a light unto me. {9} I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, [and] I shall behold his righteousness. {10} Then [she that is] mine enemy shall see [it], and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets. {11} [In] the day that thy walls are to be built, [in] that day shall the decree be far removed. {12} [In] that day [also] he shall come even to thee from Assyria, and [from] the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and [from] mountain to mountain. {13} Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings. {14} Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily [in] the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed [in] Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. {15} According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous [things]. {16} The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay [their] hand upon [their] mouth, their ears shall be deaf. {17} They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee. {18} Who [is] a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth [in] mercy. {19} He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. {20} Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, [and] the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.


Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669] Versus Abiezer [’Abiy`ezer:H44]


Ephraim can typify God’s elect, or the end-time institutional churches and denominations as Deuteronomy 33:17 and Hosea 5 teach:  


Verse 17 of Deuteronomy 33:13-17 declares: And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD [be] his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, {14} And for the precious fruits [brought forth] by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, {15} And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, {16} And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and [for] the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let [the blessing] come upon the head of Joseph, [typifying Christ] and upon the top of the head of him [that was] separated from his brethren. {17} His glory [is like] the firstling of his bullock, and his horns [are like] the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they [are] the ten thousands of Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669], and they [are] the thousands of Manasseh.


By contrast, please note how Ephraim (as well as Judah, since Ephraim can also represent the northern kingdom) is depicted in Hosea 5:3, 5, 9, and 11-14, I know Ephraim, [’Ephrayim:H669] and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, [’Ephrayim:H669] thou committest whoredom, [and] Israel is defiled. ... {5} And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669] fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them. ... {9} Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669] shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. ... {11} Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669] [is] oppressed [and] broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment. {12} Therefore [will] I [be] unto Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669] as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. {13} When Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669] saw his sickness, and Judah [saw] his wound, then went Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669] to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound. {14} For I [will be] unto Ephraim [’Ephrayim:H669] as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, [even] I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue [him].


You might recall from Judges 6 that Gideon was associated with the Abiezerites, as was his father, Joash,  and what were they involved with spiritually?  The answer is in Judges 6:25-30,


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


So how do we understand the spiritual implications between Ephraim and Abiezer in the phrase, “...[Is] not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? We recognize that both of them have to do with two kinds of  “harvests.” Ephraim (means “double fruitfulness,” and is related to Ephratah, which is another name for Bethlehem ) and in this context, has to do with all the elect that God saved during the “day of salvation,” and the other with a “harvest” of judgment that is taking place today, as these next Scriptures testify respectively:


Revelation 14:14-16  describes the “harvest” of the elect: And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. {15} And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. {16} And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. 


On the contrary, Revelation 14:17-20 depicts the “harvest” of the non-elect: And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. {18} And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. {19} And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God. {20} And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.


Lord willing, in our next study we will examine verse 3.

Judges 8 - Part 3

February 24, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 3 and today’s date is February 24, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:1-5,


And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply. {2} And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? [Is] not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? {3} God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that. {4} And Gideon came to Jordan, [and] passed over, he, and the three hundred men that [were] with him, faint, yet pursuing [them]. {5} And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they [be] faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.


In verse 3 we read of Gideon’s reply to the “men of Ephraim.” 


God [’elohiym:H430] Hath Delivered [nathan:G5414] Into Your Hands [yad:H3027] 


The phrase, “God hath delivered into your hands…” is one that we already considered in Judges 7:14 with regard to the conversation that Gideon overheard in one of the tents of the Midianites, when God told him to go down to their encampment in the valley:


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 [yad:H3027] 

hath God [’elohiym:H430] delivered [nathan:G5414] Midian, and all the host.


This same three words are also found in connection with the defeat of Sihon, king of Heshbon and Og, king of Bashan in Deuteronomy 2:30 and 3:3 respectively: 


Deuteronomy 2:30 reveals: But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God [’elohiym:H430]  hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver [nathan:G5414] him into thy hand [yad:H3027], as [appeareth] this day.


And Deuteronomy 3:3 records: So the LORD our God [’elohiym:H430]  delivered [nathan:G5414] into our hands [yad:H3027] Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining.  


One other passage that we can look at where these three words surface is in verse 13 of Deuteronomy 20:10-20 concerning the nations that were “very far off” and those that were in the land of Canaan, which God had given to Israel for an inheritance:


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 [’elohiym:H430] hath delivered [nathan:G5414] it into thine hands [yad:H3027], 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.


You might recall the deceitful maneuverings of the Gibeonites (who picture the elect) who pretended to come from a far country to sue for peace, even though they were from the land of Canaan.


We have already discussed the two princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, so let’s proceed with the rest of verse 3, as Gideon reminds the “men of Ephraim” that the LORD had delivered Oreb and Zeeb to them, and they beheaded them, and brought the heads to Gideon, as recorded in Judges 7:24-25, 


And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. {25} And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.


Then Their Anger [ruwach:H7307] Was Abated [raphah:H7503]


When the “men of Ephraim” had heard Gideon’s response we read that “...their anger was abated.” These two terms only surface again in verse 7 of Ezekiel 21:1-7 which has to do with God’s judgment against “Jerusalem” and “Israel,” who typify the end-time institutional churches and denominations, even as the “men of Ephraim” do as was noted in our earlier study:


And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop [thy word] toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel, {3} And say to the land of Israel, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I [am] against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked. {4} Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: {5} That all flesh may know that I the LORD have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more. {6} Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of [thy] loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes. {7} And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble [raphah:H7503], and every spirit  [ruwach:H7307] shall faint, and all knees shall be weak [as] water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord GOD. 


This brings us to verses 4-5 as Gideon and his 300 men (representing the elect) continue to pursue, no longer the princes of Midian (Oreb and Zeeb are now dead), but rather, “...Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.:


And Gideon came to Jordan, [and] passed over, he, and the three hundred men that [were] with him, faint, yet pursuing [them]. {5} And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they [be] faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.


Came [bow’:H935] To Jordan [Yarden:H3383] [And] Passed Over [`abar:H5674]


The three expressions, “...came to Jordan [and] passed over” appear together in a number of citations involving the crossing over Jordan (a portrait of “hell” or the “grave”), and the entrance into the Promised Land (which typifies the kingdom of God, or Heaven - “the land flowing with milk and honey”). And notice that it is Gideon (who represents Christ) and the 300 men (who typify the elect) that cross over, by virtue of what Christ had accomplished in the Atonement, “...at the foundation of the world.” The following references include these three words as well:


Verse 1 of Deuteronomy 9:1-6 provides this narrative: Hear, O Israel: Thou [art] to pass over [`abar:H5674] Jordan [Yarden:H3383]  this day, to go in [bow’:H935] to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, {2} A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and [of whom] thou hast heard [say], Who can stand before the children of Anak! {3} Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God [is] he which goeth over before thee; [as] a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee. {4} Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. {5} Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. {6} Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou [art] a stiffnecked people.


Please note what God says about the Israelites in verse 5-6 in the historical context. 


We also read about what Moses said under divine inspiration in verse 2 of Deuteronomy 31:1-6 as to why God would not allow him enter the Promised Land. This is because he is a great type of the Law, and one cannot enter Heaven (typified by the Promised Land) by keeping the Law:


And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel. {2} And he said unto them, I [am] an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: [bow’:H935] also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over [`abar:H5674] this Jordan. [Yarden:H3383]  {3} The LORD thy God, he will go over before thee, [and] he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: [and] Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the LORD hath said. {4} And the LORD shall do unto them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and unto the land of them, whom he destroyed. {5} And the LORD shall give them up before your face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you. {6} Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.


These three words appear again in verse 11 of Joshua 24:1-28, in which Joshua is rehearsing God’s gracious dealings with Israel prior to his death:


And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. {2} And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, [even] Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. {3} And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. {4} And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. {5} I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. {6} And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea. {7} And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season. {8} And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. {9} Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: {10} But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand. {11} And ye went over [`abar:H5674] Jordan [Yarden:H3383], and came [bow’:H935] unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand. {12} And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, [even] the two kings of the Amorites; [but] not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. {13} And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat. {14} Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. {15} And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. {16} And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; {17} For the LORD our God, he [it is] that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: {18} And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: [therefore] will we also serve the LORD; for he [is] our God. {19} And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he [is] an holy God; he [is] a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. {20} If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. {21} And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD. {22} And Joshua said unto the people, Ye [are] witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, [We are] witnesses. {23} Now therefore put away, [said he], the strange gods which [are] among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel. {24} And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. {25} So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. {26} And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that [was] by the sanctuary of the LORD. {27} And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. {28} So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance. 


Him Faint [`ayeph:H5889] Yet Pursuing [radaph:H7291]


We learn that Gideon and the three hundred men were faint, as they crossed over Jordan in pursuit of the two Midianite kings. These two words, “faint” and “pursuing” only appear together here in Judges 8:4-5, so we will have to consider them individually in our next study, Lord willing.  

Judges 8 - Part 4

February 28, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 4 and today’s date is February 28, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:1-5,


And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply. {2} And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? [Is] not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? {3} God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that. {4} And Gideon came to Jordan, [and] passed over, he, and the three hundred men that [were] with him, faint, yet pursuing [them]. {5} And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they [be] faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. {6} And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?


At the close of our last study I mentioned that we would take a closer look at the words, “faint” and “pursuing,” which described the physical condition of Gideon's 300 men (representing the elect) at the end of verse 4.


Faint [`ayeph:H5889]


This expression is primarily rendered as “weary,” “faint,” and “thirsty,” in the 15 other passages (besides Judges 8:4-5) in which this word appears, and we can understand this given the nature and accompanying conditions of warfare. But as always, we are interested in the spiritual meaning of these terms and how they might relate to us today, as we have gone through the era of the church age, the Great Tribulation, and now this prolonged day of judgment, in which God continues to divulge much end-time information. 


This word can refer to both the elect and non-elect alike, as we  see from verses 29-30 of Genesis 25:29-34 with regard to Esau (typifying the latter), who was more interested in satisfying his physical desires than holding on to his “birthright,” which typifies the Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation program:


And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he [was] faint:[`ayeph:H5889] {30} And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red [pottage]; for I [am] faint: [`ayeph:H5889] therefore was his name called Edom. {31} And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. {32} And Esau said, Behold, I [am] at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? {33} And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. {34} Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised [his] birthright.


A similar situation with respect to the physical condition of the Israelites in Judges 8:4 crops up in verse 18 of Deuteronomy 25:17-19, when the most feeble of the Israelites were attacked by the Amalekites, following their exodus from Egypt: 


Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; {18} How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, [even] all [that were] feeble behind thee, when thou [wast] faint [`ayeph:H5889] and weary; and he feared not God. {19} Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance to possess it, [that] thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget [it].


In verse 1 of Psalm 63:1-11, this word is rendered as “and thirsty”: [A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.] O God, thou [art] my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty [`ayeph:H5889]  land, where no water is; {2} To see thy power and thy glory, so [as] I have seen thee in the sanctuary. {3} Because thy lovingkindness [is] better than life, my lips shall praise thee. {4} Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. {5} My soul shall be satisfied as [with] marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise [thee] with joyful lips: {6} When I remember thee upon my bed, [and] meditate on thee in the [night] watches. {7} Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. {8} My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. {9} But those [that] seek my soul, to destroy [it], shall go into the lower parts of the earth. {10} They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. {11} But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.


Verse 1 says that there is “no water”  in this “dry and thirsty land,”  situated in the “wilderness,” which is a reference to the marked absence of the “water of life,”  in the day of judgment.


When David had to leave the palace in Jerusalem in a hurry because of Absalom’s coup, he and his entourage temporarily escaped from the city as we learn from these next references:


Verse 14 of 2 Samuel 16:1-2 and 14 translates this word as “weary,” and please note that this is also taking place in the “wilderness”: And when David was a little past the top [of the hill], behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred [loaves] of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine. {2} And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses [be] for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink. ... {14} And the king, and all the people that [were] with him, came weary [`ayeph:H5889], and refreshed themselves there. 


Similarly, as the narrative continues in 2 Samuel 17:27-29 this term is also rendered as “and weary” in verse 29: And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, {28} Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched [corn], and beans, and lentiles, and parched [pulse], {29} And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that [were] with him, to eat: for they said, The people [is] hungry, and weary [`ayeph:H5889], and thirsty, in the wilderness. 


Since we have already examined the term, “pursuing” in  Judges 7, in addition to some of the earlier chapters, let’s move on to verse 5, which declares: 


Verse 5: And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they [be] faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. 


The Men [’enowsh:H582] Of Succoth [Cukkowth:H5523]


The two terms, “the men of Succoth” only surface together four other times, and only in this chapter. Who do they represent spiritually?  “Succoth” (H5523) is the plural form of  “cukkah”  (H5521), which is primarily translated as “booth” or “tabernacle,” as we see from the following passages:


“Booth” Or “Tabernacle” [cukkah:H5521]


We first read of this term in Genesis 33:17, after Jacob’s encounter with Esau, in which both “Succoth” as well as its root word “booths,” are found: And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths [cukkah:H5521] for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. [Cukkowth:H5523]



In Deuteronomy 16:16-17, God stipulated that the “Feast of Tabernacles” was to be one of three feasts that the Israelites were to observe yearly:


Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: [cukkah:H5521] and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: {17} Every man [shall give] as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.


Additionally we learn from verse 17 of Nehemiah 8:14-17 that the Feast of Tabernacles was not always observed: And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths [cukkah:H5521] in the feast of the seventh month: {15} And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, [cukkah:H5521] as [it is] written. {16} So the people went forth, and brought [them], and made themselves booths, [cukkah:gH5521] every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. {17} And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, [cukkah:H5521] and sat under the booths: [cukkah:H5521] for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.


Verse 8 of Isaiah 1:1-10 translates this word, “booth” as “as a cottage,” in which God is vehemently denouncing His corporate Bride that He was married to: The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah. {2} Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. {3} The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: [but] Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. {4} Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. {5} Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. {6} From the sole of the foot even unto the head [there is] no soundness in it; [but] wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. {7} Your country [is] desolate, your cities [are] burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and [it is] desolate, as overthrown by strangers. {8} And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage [cukkah:H5521] in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. {9} Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, [and] we should have been like unto Gomorrah.


So we see that the term “men of Succoth” or “men of the ‘booth’ or “men of the ‘tabernacle’ ” are identified with corporate Israel. And in verse 10, those in corporate Israel - except for “a very small remnant” -  are likened to Sodom and Gomorrah! What an indictment that God is charging His corporate people with - both with regards to national Israel that God divorced as well as the end-time institutional churches and denominations that came under His wrath. This also brings to mind what we read in Romans 2:28-29 concerning the definition of a “true” Jew: 


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


Both national Israel as well as the end-time institutional churches and denominations fell into the same “trap” or “snare,” namely putting their confidence in  a “sign” or “shadow” that has no substance, instead of trusting the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Work and Saving Faith exclusively.


A good illustration of the futility of physical circumcision is found in the account of the men of Shechem in Genesis 34 who were deceived by the sons of Jacob who were  incensed that Shechem, the son of Hamor, prince of the Hivites, had defiled their sister Dinah. This is just one aspect of this historical parable, which undoubtedly has many other spiritual nuances. The sons of Jacob hatched this plot and told Shechem and his father that they would agree to the marriage of Dinah to Shechem on the condition that all the men of the town be circumcised, which they agreed to. However, on the third day, when they were “sore,” Simeon and Levi went into the town and killed all the males, and “spoiled” it as we read in Genesis 34:25-29,


And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. {26} And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out. {27} The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. {28} They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which [was] in the city, and that which [was] in the field, {29} And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that [was] in the house.        


Give [nathan:5414] I Pray You Loaves [kikkar:H3603] Of Bread [lechem:H3899]


Gideon’s plea for “bread” for his men as we shall see was met with a great deal of resistance from the “men of Succoth” who exemplify the unsaved within national Israel or the end-time institutional  churches and denominations. This account is similar to the one found in 1 Samuel 25:1-11, in which David’s men were rebuffed by Nabal who disdained David’s kindness and his request for “food” for his soldiers. Fortunately, God used Nabal’s wife to prevent David from taking vengeance on Nabal’s house and all his servants, and eventually ended up marrying Abigail, after Nabal died: 


And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran. {2} And [there was] a man in Maon, whose possessions [were] in Carmel; and the man [was] very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. {3} Now the name of the man [was] Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and [she was] a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man [was] churlish and evil in his doings; and he [was] of the house of Caleb. {4} And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep. {5} And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: {6} And thus shall ye say to him that liveth [in prosperity], Peace [be] both to thee, and peace [be] to thine house, and peace [be] unto all that thou hast. {7} And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel. {8} Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. {9} And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased. {10} And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who [is] David? and who [is] the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master. {11} Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give [it] unto men, whom I know not whence they [be]? 


The “men of Succoth” refused to give “bread” to Gideon and his men, even as Nabal did, and as we shall learn once we get to verse 7. Spiritually, they could not give “the bread of life,” as they lacked it themselves. This also underscores the importance of the role of God’s elect today to “feed” God’s sheep, as we find in Luke 11:5-8, as we can go to God for His “bread,” which in turn we can share with others - which constitutes what our prayer and purpose needs to be at this time: 


And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; {6} For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? {7] And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. {8} I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 


Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of Judges 8.

Judges 8 - Part 5

March 4, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 5 and today’s date is March 4, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:1-6,


And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply. {2} And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? [Is] not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? {3} God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that. {4} And Gideon came to Jordan, [and] passed over, he, and the three hundred men that [were] with him, faint, yet pursuing [them]. {5} And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they [be] faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. {6} And the princes of Succoth said, [Are] the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?


Unto The People [`am:H4971] That Follow Me [regel:H7272]


In our previous study we left off at the phrase in verse 5, “...unto the people that follow me…” which is comprised of two Hebrew words, in which Gideon (a portrait of Christ)  asks for “loaves of bread”  from the “men of Succoth” (who represent the end-time institutional churches and denominations) for his 300 men (who typify the elect) who are “faint,” and as we shall discover in verse 6, they refuse to give him. Both of these terms, “unto the people” and “that follow me” are found together in 11 other citations; here are some of them that spiritually point to Christ and His elect people:


Genesis 49:10 and 33 record: The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet [regel:H7272], until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [`am:H4971]  [be]. ... {33} And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet [regel:H7272] into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people. [`am:H4971] 


Verse 3 of Deuteronomy 33:1-3 includes these two expressions:  And this [is] the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. {2} And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand [went] a fiery law for them. {3} Yea, he loved the people [`am:H4971]; all his saints [are] in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet [regel:H7272]; [every one] shall receive of thy words.


Verse 17 of 2 Samuel 15:13-17 contains these two words, as this passage chronicles David’s departure from Jerusalem, in order to escape Absalom’s coup: And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. {14} And David said unto all his servants that [were] with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not [else] escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. {15} And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants [are ready to do] whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint. {16} And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, [which were] concubines, to keep the house. {17} And the king went forth, and all the people [`am:H4971] after [regel:H7272] him, and tarried in a place that was far off.


Verse 3 of Psalm 47:1-9 is set against the backdrop of our current day of judgment: [To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.] O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. {2} For the LORD most high [is] terrible; [he is] a great King over all the earth.{3} He shall subdue the people [`am:H4971]  under us, and the nations under our feet. [regel:H7272] {4} He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah. {5} God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. {6} Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. {7} For God [is] the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. {8} God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. {9} The princes of the people are gathered together, [even] the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth [belong] unto God: he is greatly exalted.


Zebah [Zebach:H2078] And Zalmunnah [Tsalmunna`:H6758]


The two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunnah only surface together in Judges 8, and in verse 11 of Psalm 83:1-18, which has to do with God’s retribution over his enemies; notice also the reference to Sisera and Jabin in verse 8 as well:


[A Song [or] Psalm of Asaph.] Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. {2} For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. {3} They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. {4} They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from [being] a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. {5} For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: {6} The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; {7} Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; {8} Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah. {9} Do unto them as [unto] the Midianites; as [to] Sisera, as [to] Jabin, at the brook of Kison: {10} [Which] perished at Endor: they became [as] dung for the earth. {11} Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah [Zebach:H2078], and as Zalmunna [Tsalmunna`:H6758]: {12} Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. {13} O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. {14} As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; {15} So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. {16} Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. {17} Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be  put to shame, and perish: {18} That [men] may know that thou, whose name alone [is] JEHOVAH, [art] the most high over all the earth.


As Zebah [Zebach:H2078]


Zebah is of interest because it is identically spelled to its parent word, “zebach” (H2077) and is predominantly rendered as “sacrifice,” according to Zephaniah 1:1-8, which is alluding to “the marriage supper of the Lamb,” - which is not what it sounds like as it is a “supper of judgment” as recorded in Revelation 17:7-9 and 17-21,


Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. {8} And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. {9} And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. ... {17} And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; {18} That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all [men, both] free and bond, both small and great. {19} And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. {20} And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. {21} And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. 



Zephaniah 1:1-8 likewise paints the same spiritual picture, in which the term “a sacrifice” in verse 7 and “sacrifice” in verse 8 appear:  The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. {2} I will utterly consume all [things] from off the land, saith the LORD. {3} I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD. {4} I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, [and] the name of the Chemarims with the priests; {5} And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship [and] that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham; {6} And them that are turned back from the LORD; and [those] that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him. {7} Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD [is] at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice [zebach:H2077], he hath bid his guests. {8} And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice [zebach:H2077], that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. [malbuwsh:H4403]


Notice the reference to “...such as are clothed with strange apparel,” which is a description of the non-elect, who lack the “robe of Christ’s righteousness” which each of God’s elect possess, as we learn from Isaiah 63:1-3, which speaks of Christ’s sacrifice for each of His elect, “...at the foundation of the world,” in which the identical term for “apparel” in Zephaniah 1:8 is translated, “all my raiment”  in Isaiah 63:3,


Who [is] this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this [that is] glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. {2} Wherefore [art thou] red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? {3} I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people [there was] none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. [malbuwsh:H4403]


And Zalmunnah [Tsalmunna`:H6758]


Zalmunnah is another compound word, which signifies “withholding” and “shadow.” A good example of this is found in Jonah 4 with regard to the “gourd,” in verses 5-11, under which Jonah received shade from the searing heat. Even though the word, “withheld” is not found in this portion of Scripture, this is what took place:


Shadow [tsel:H6738]


So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow [tsel:H6738], till he might see what would become of the city. {6} And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made [it] to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow [tsel:H6738], over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. {7} But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. {8} And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, [It is] better for me to die than to live. {9} And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, [even] unto death. {10} Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: {11} And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and [also] much cattle?   


Withhold [mana`:H4513]


Nehemiah 9:20 provides this insight:  Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest [mana`:H4513] not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.


Job 38:15 pinpoints what the “wicked” can expect:  And from the wicked their light is withholden, [mana`:H4513] and the high arm shall be broken.


By contrast, Psalm 84:11 speaks of God’s tender care for His beloved sheep:  For the LORD God [is] a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good [thing] will he withhold [mana`:H4513] from them that walk uprightly.


Verse 6:  And the princes of Succoth said, [Are] the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?


The hard-hearted response of “the men of Succoth” is telling,  and spiritually we understand that since they exemplify the end-time institutional churches and denominations, that lack the “Bread of Life’’ with which to share in the first place, as God abandoned them even as His divorce from national Israel went into effect when Christ hung on the Cross, and the veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom, exposing the Holy of Holies. This signified that the Temple was no longer “holy”...that Jerusalem was no longer the “holy city”...and that the Jewish people were no longer “God’s chosen,” except for a remnant saved by grace.


Let’s stop here, and Lord willing in our next study we will move on to verse 7, as we have already discussed all the terms in verse 6, in some of our earlier studies.












Judges 8 - Part 6

March 6, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 6 and today’s date is March 6, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:4-9,


And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them. {5} And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. {6} And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army? {7} And Gideon said, Therefore when the LORD hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers. {8} And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him. {9} And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.


Today we want to take a look at verse 7, beginning with the phrase,   “...then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers,” which was Gideon's response to “the men of Succoth” for their refusal to supply his 300 men with “loaves of bread.” The five Hebrew words that make up this phrase are only found in this verse and in verse 17, so we will have to consider them individually, as they relate to Gideon (or Christ) judging the “men of Succoth” (i.e., the end-time institutional churches and denominations). Let’s begin with the first word, “Then will I tear”:


Then Will I Tear [duwsh:H1758]


In verse 20 of 1 Chronicles 21:14-28 we read about Ornan the Jebusite who was threshing wheat when the following incident took place, which was a result of David’s disobedience in numbering the people of Israel; however God used this opportunity to judge Israel for their unfaithfulness to Him, as we learn from 2 Samuel 24:1 which is the parallel chapter), after which I will read 1 Chronicles 21:14-28, 


And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.  


So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. {15} And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor [goren:H1637] of Ornan the Jebusite. {16} And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders [of Israel, who were] clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. {17} And David said unto God, [Is it] not I [that] commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but [as for] these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued. {18} Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor [goren:H1637] of Ornan the Jebusite. {19} And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD. {20} And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing [duwsh:H1758] wheat. [chittah:H2406] {21} And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor [goren:H1637], and bowed himself to David with [his] face to the ground. {22} Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of [this] threshingfloor [goren:H1637], that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. {23} And Ornan said unto David, Take [it] to thee, and let my lord the king do [that which is] good in his eyes: lo, I give [thee] the oxen [also] for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. {24} And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take [that] which [is] thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. {25} So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. {26} And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. {27} And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. {28} At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor [goren:H1637] of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.


Please note that in this account we find 6 references to the “threshingfloor,” (goren:H1637), where we find Ornan as well as David whom God commanded to build an altar in the very same location where previously Ornan was threshing wheat, where King David found him. The altar that David built marked the place where the plague was stopped, and the altar, in turn, is a picture of Christ, Who is the only One Who can stop the judgment of God. This same altar and threshingfloor was also the identical spot in which the foundation of the Temple was laid in 967 BC according to 2 Chronicles 3:1, 


Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where [the LORD] appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. 


In the same place Abraham sacrificed Isaac over a thousand years earlier, and almost 1000 years later, Christ would hang on the Cross nearby, outside of the city gates of Jerusalem.  


We want to keep in mind what takes place in a threshing floor. Do you recall what that is?  It is very important, as the wheat is separated or “torn” from the chaff, as the testimony of John the Baptist concerning the Messiah in Luke 3:15-17 alludes to this separation which has already taken place in this present “day of judgment”: 


And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; {16} John answered, saying unto [them] all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: {17} Whose fan [is] in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.


By the way, do you remember where the “angel of the LORD” found Gideon and what he was doing when He found him?


Let’s turn back to Judges 6:11,


And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which [was] in Ophrah, that [pertained] unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat [chittah:H2406]by the winepress, to hide [it] from the Midianites.


Even though a different word for “threshed” is employed in Judges 6:11 than what God utilized in the case of Ornan, the idea is the same, and the identical word for wheat surfaces in both accounts.  


The same context of judgment is also found in Habakkuk 3:1-19, in which this same expression, “thou shalt thresh” appears in verse 12,  


A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth. {2} O LORD, I have heard thy speech, [and] was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. {3} God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. {4} And [his] brightness was as the light; he had horns [coming] out of his hand: and there [was] the hiding of his power. {5} Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. {6} He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways [are] everlasting. {7} I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: [and] the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. {8} Was the LORD displeased against the rivers? [was] thine anger against the rivers? [was] thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses [and] thy chariots of salvation? {9} Thy bow was made quite naked, [according] to the oaths of the tribes, [even thy] word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. {10} The mountains saw thee, [and] they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, [and] lifted up his hands on high. {11} The sun [and] moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, [and] at the shining of thy glittering spear. {12} Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh [duwsh:H1758] the heathen in anger. {13} Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, [even] for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. {14} Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing [was] as to devour the poor secretly. {15} Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, [through] the heap of great waters. {16} When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops. {17} Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit [be] in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls: {18} Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. {19} The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.


In this chapter we also recognize God’s mercy toward His elect, and the chapter ends by expressing tremendous “joy” because God has fulfilled the Great Commission, in spite of the grievous nature of the day of judgment.


We have already considered the term, “flesh” (basar:H1320) in Judges 6:19-21, so let’s proceed to the next word in Judges 8:7, which is... 


With The Thorns [qowts:H6975]


God first introduces the word, “thorns” in verse 18 of Genesis 3:17-19, as a result of man’s fall into sin: And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; {18} Thorns also [qowts:H6975] and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 


Then in verse 6 of 2 Samuel 23:1-7 which constitutes David’s “last words” this expression is used to identify the non-elect, or “the sons of Belial”: Now these [be] the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man [who was] raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, {2} The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word [was] in my tongue. {3} The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men [must be] just, ruling in the fear of God. {4} And [he shall be] as the light of the morning, [when] the sun riseth, [even] a morning without clouds; [as] the tender grass [springing] out of the earth by clear shining after rain. {5} Although my house [be] not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all [things], and sure: for [this is] all my salvation, and all [my] desire, although he make [it] not to grow. {6} But [the sons] of Belial [shall be] all of them as thorns [qowts:H6975] thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands: {7} But the man [that] shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the [same] place.


Verse 13 of Jeremiah 12:7-17 includes this words as well, as God lays out what obedience to his Law and disobedience to His Law will reap for His corporate people; I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. {8} Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it. {9} Mine heritage [is] unto me [as] a speckled bird, the birds round about [are] against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour. {10} Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. {11} They have made it desolate, [and being] desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth [it] to heart. {12} The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the [one] end of the land even to the [other] end of the land: no flesh shall have peace. {13} They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: [qowts:H6975] they have put themselves to pain, [but] shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD. {14} Thus saith the LORD against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. {15} And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land. {16} And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people. {17} But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD.


Of The Wilderness [midbar:H4057]

We have already discussed the term “of the wilderness” in some of our earlier studies, and the term “briers” only appears again in verse 16,


And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers [barqan:H1303], and with them he taught the men of Succoth.


Lord willing, we will examine verse 8 in our next study.

Judges 8 - Part 7

March 11, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 7 and today’s date is March 11, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:4-9,


And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them. {5} And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. {6} And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army? {7} And Gideon said, Therefore when the LORD hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers. {8} And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him. {9} And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.


Penuel Or Peniel [Penuw`el:H6439]


We have arrived at verse 8 in our examination of Judges 8, in which we learn that Gideon and his 300 men went to Penuel. Penuel is a compound word that is made up of the term “el” (H410) or God and the word, “panah” (H6437), which is predominantly rendered as “to look” or “to turn.” The name of this location was given by Jacob, when He wrestled with God, according to Genesis 32:24-30,


And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. {25} And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. {26} And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. {27} And he said unto him, What [is] thy name? And he said, Jacob. {28} And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. {29} And Jacob asked [him], and said, Tell [me], I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore [is] it [that] thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. {30} And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.


In this account we learn among other things that God changed Jacob’s name (“supplanter”) to Israel, “prince of God.” It is really a historical parable of “wrestling” with God for salvation when that was still available. 


But how do we reconcile this noteworthy incident relating to salvation and spiritual blessing which is associated with “Penuel” with the negative treatment that Gideon received from the “men of Penuel” even as he did from the “the men of Succoth” ? 


One clue is to look at another account in which Penuel is cast in a different light - a negative one. We discover that there is a connection between Penuel and Jeroboam, son of Nebat. Bear with me as this will require a bit of background information concerning Jeroboam that we find in 1 Kings 11:26-40,


And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, whose mother's name [was] Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up [his] hand against the king. {27} And this [was] the cause that he lifted up [his] hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, [and] repaired the breaches of the city of David his father. {28} And the man Jeroboam [was] a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph. {29} And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two [were] alone in the field: {30} And Ahijah caught the new garment that [was] on him, and rent it [in] twelve pieces: {31} And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: {32} (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:) {33} Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do [that which is] right in mine eyes, and [to keep] my statutes and my judgments, as [did] David his father. {34} Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes: {35} But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, [even] ten tribes. {36} And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there. {37} And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. {38} And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do [that is] right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee. {39} And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever. {40} Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.


From that point we pick up the story by turning to 1 Kings 12:25-33, in which we discover that Jeroboam “build Penuel”: 


Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. {26} And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: {27} If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, [even] unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. {28} Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves [of] gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. {29} And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. {30} And this thing became a sin: for the people went [to worship] before the one, [even] unto Dan. {31} And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. 32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that [is] in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, [even] in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense. 


We then learn of God’s critical assessment of Jeroboam in 1 Kings 14:7-11, 


Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel, {8} And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and [yet] thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do [that] only [which was] right in mine eyes; {9} But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back: {10} Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, [and] him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. {11} Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken [it].

So we understand that spiritually Penuel can also be associated with the worship of false gods, and a renunciation of the God of the Bible. This helps us to see why the “men of Penuel” mistreated Gideon (a picture of Christ) and his 300 men (representing the elect).


And Spake [dabar:H1696] Unto Them Likewise [zo’th:H2063]


The next two terms in verse 8 are: “and spake” along with “unto them likewise.”  These two expressions only surface in three other accounts, and they too are focused on “division” and “judgment” and thus go hand in hand with what we gleaned regarding “the men of Penuel”:


Leviticus 11 is a chapter in which God is laying down various laws concerning ceremonial cleanliness or uncleanliness, including the eating of clean and unclean animals. I’ll read verse 2, in which these two words are expressed as “speak” and “these,” and also verses 45-47. God is emphasizing spiritual separation, even though these commandments are ceremonial in nature:


Speak [dabar:H1696] unto the children of Israel, saying, These [zo’th:H2063] [are] the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that [are] on the earth... {45} For I [am] the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I [am] holy. {46} This [is] the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: {47} To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.


In verse 35 of Numbers 14:26-38, these words are rendered as “have said” and “it,”and please note the context of judgment and separation:  And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, {27} How long [shall I bear with] this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. {28} Say unto them, [As truly as] I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: {29} Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, {30} Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, [concerning] which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. {31} But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. {32} But [as for] you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. {33} And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. {34} After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. {35} I the LORD have said [dabar:H1696], I will surely do it [zo’th:H2063] unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. {36} And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, {37} Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD. {38} But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, [which were] of the men that went to search the land, lived [still].


Verse 30 of Judges 19:27-30 includes these two words that are translated as “there was no such deed” along with “and speak,” in this gruesome historical parable that underscores God’s judgment upon His own corporate “house”: 


And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down [at] the door of the house, and her hands [were] upon the threshold. {28} And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her [up] upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place. {29} And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, [together] with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.{30} And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed [zo’th:H2063] done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak [dabar:H1696] [your minds].


And The Men [enowsh:H582] Answered [`anah:H6030]


The two terms “and the men” and “answered” are utilized in connection with “the men of Succoth” as well as with “the men of Penuel.” They crop up in six other citations, that also reflect in varying degrees a similar context of rebellion and/or judgment; here are three of them:


1 Samuel 14:12 is a passage that we have visited before in which Jonathan and his armor bearer are victorious over a Philistine garrison: And the men [enowsh:H582] of the garrison answered [`anah:H6030] Jonathan and his armourbearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, Come up after me: for the LORD hath delivered them into the hand of Israel.


1 Samuel 30:22-25 also records the sentiment of some of the wicked men that accompanied David into battle: Then answered [`anah:H6030]

 all the wicked men and [men] of Belial, of those [enowsh:H582] that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them [ought] of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead [them] away, and depart. {23} Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. {24} For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part [is] that goeth down to the battle, so [shall] his part [be] that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. {25} And it was [so] from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.


Lastly verse 15 of Jeremiah 44:15-23 is another illustration of unsaved  man’s rebellion against the Word of God: Then all the men [enowsh:H582] which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered [`anah:H6030] Jeremiah, saying, {16} [As for] the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. {17} But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for [then] had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. {18} But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all [things], and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. {19} And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men? {20} Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him [that] answer, saying, {21} The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and came it [not] into his mind? {22} So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, [and] because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day. {23} Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.


So in the words and phrases in verse 8 we see repeatedly the attitude and actions of wicked men against the dictates of the Bible.


Lord willing, in our next lesson, we will consider verse 9.

Judges 8 - Part 8

March 16, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 8 and today’s date is March 16, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:4-9,


And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them. {5} And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. {6} And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army? {7} And Gideon said, Therefore when the LORD hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers. {8} And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him. {9} And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.


We have arrived at verse 9, beginning with the phrase, which is comprised of two words:


When I Come Again [shuwb:H7725] In Peace [shalowm:H7965]


These two terms emerge together in 22 other verses, and we’ll consider just a few of them so you can see how God utilizes them. Gideon is essentially saying that after he is victorious over the Midianite kings he and his men will return to the “men of Penuel” (who typify the end-time institutional churches and denominations) and “break down [their] tower,” because they refused to give “bread” (representing nourishment from the Word of God) to him and his men. This exemplifies the judgment that already took place against God’s house first (1 Peter 3:17), and has now transitioned to the world at large as of May 21, 2011.


In Judges 11:13 and 31 these two terms surface as “ therefore restore those [lands] again” and “when I return” along with “peaceably” and “in peace”: And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those [lands] again [shuwb:H7725] peaceably. [shalowm:H7965] ... {31} Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return [shuwb:H7725] in peace [shalowm:H7965] from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.


By contrast, verses 16 and 26-27 of 2 Chronicles 18:1-34 render these words as “return” and “in peace” in which the good prophet Micaiah reveals by the Word of God what will happen to Ahab, the king of Israel in the face of the “good news” (which amount to lies) which 400 false prophets announce to the king in “one voice.” I’m going to quote this chapter in its entirety as it is such an excellent example of how God does not use consensus to present His Word, but instead the “...still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12) of His true prophets who make up the “...a remnant according to the election of grace.” (Romans 11:5): 


Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab. {2} And after [certain] years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that [he had] with him, and persuaded him to go up [with him] to Ramothgilead. {3} And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramothgilead? And he answered him, I [am] as thou [art], and my people as thy people; and [we will be] with thee in the war. {4} And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day. {5} Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver [it] into the king's hand. {6} But Jehoshaphat said, [Is there] not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him? {7} And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, [There is] yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same [is] Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. {8} And the king of Israel called for one [of his] officers, and said, Fetch quickly Micaiah the son of Imla. {9} And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in [their] robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. {10} And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the LORD, With these thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed. {11} And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver [it] into the hand of the king. {12} And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets [declare] good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good. {13} And Micaiah said, [As] the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak. {14} And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And he said, Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand. {15} And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD?{16} Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return [shuwb:H7725]  [therefore] every man to his house in peace. [shalowm:H7965] {17} And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee [that] he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil? {18} Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and [on] his left. {19} And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. {20} Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? {21} And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And [the LORD] said, Thou shalt entice [him], and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do [even] so. {22} Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee. {23} Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? {24} And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself. {25} Then the king of Israel said, Take ye Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son; {26} And say, Thus saith the king, Put this [fellow] in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return [shuwb:H7725]  in peace. [shalowm:H7965] {27} And Micaiah said, If thou certainly return [shuwb:H7725] in peace [shalowm:H7965], [then] hath not the LORD spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, all ye people. {28} So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead. {29} And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle. {30} Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that [were] with him, saying, Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel. {31} And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It [is] the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them [to depart] from him. {32} For it came to pass, that, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from pursuing him. {33} And a [certain] man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. {34} And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed [himself] up in [his] chariot against the Syrians until the even: and about the time of the sun going down he died.


Verse 8 of Psalm 85:1-8 render these expressions as “peace” and “turn again”: [To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.] LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. {2} Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. {3} Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned [thyself] from the fierceness of thine anger. {4} Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. {5} Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? {6} Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? {7} Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. {8} I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace [shalowm:H7965] unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again [shuwb:H7725] to folly.


I Will Break Down [nathats:G5422] & Tower [migdal:H4026]


The last phrase in verse 9 is also made up of two words, “I will break down” and “tower,” which only are found together again in two other citations. The first one is in verse 17, in which Gideon’s promise to the “men of Penuel” comes to fruition, in which these two words are translated as “And he beat down” and “the tower”:


And he beat down [nathats:G5422] the tower [migdal:H4026]

 of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.


The second illustration is found in verse 9 of  Ezekiel 26:1-14, as “he shall break down” and “thy towers”: 


And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first [day] of the month, [that] the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken [that was] the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, [now] she is laid waste: {3} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. {4} And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers [migdal:H4026]: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. {5} It shall be [a place for] the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken [it], saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. {6} And her daughters which [are] in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD. {7} For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. {8} He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee. {9} And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down [nathats:G5422]  thy towers. [migdal:H4026] {10} By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach. {11} With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground. {12} And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water. {13} And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard. {14} And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be [a place] to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken [it], saith the Lord GOD.


As you can see the association with Tyrus is the same connection with “the men of Succoth;” both typify national Israel as well as the end-time institutional churches and denominations. Tyrus or Tyre was situated on the seacoast and is linked with the churches and denominations as they sent out ships (a picture of “fishing for men” during the day of salvation) even as Solomon did, as we read in 1 Kings 10:22,


For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.


Notice if you will what they brought back? “...Gold, and silver, ivory” as compared to the “...apes and peacocks.” The former would represent the elect, and the latter the non-elect that made up the congregations, as the Lord explained when He interpreted the Parable of the Wheat and Tares to His disciples in Matthew 13:36-43,


Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. {37} He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; {38}  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one]; {39}  The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. {40} As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. {41} The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; {42} And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. {43} Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 


Tyrus or Tyre is showcased in Ezekiel 26, 27 and part of 28, and at the end of each these chapters (with the exception of chapter 28 where it crops up in verse 19) we read a verse that includes the word “terror” and “disappearance” in each of these chapters, as God is highlighting that His judgment begins at His own “house” first, and then later transitions to the world at large, as it has in our present day:


Ezekiel 26:21 reveals: I will make thee a terror, and thou [shalt be] no [more]: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD.


Ezekiel 27:36 likewise states: The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt be] any more.


Ezekiel 28:19 further adds: All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt] thou [be] any more.


I think we’ll stop here today. Lord willing, in our next study we will move on to verse 10 which says: 


Now Zebah and Zalmunna [were] in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand [men], all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword.

Judges 8 - Part 9

March 18, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 9 and today’s date is March 18, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:10-17,


Now Zebah and Zalmunna [were] in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand [men], all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. {11} And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure. {12} And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host. {13} And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun [was up], {14} And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, [even] threescore and seventeen men. {15} And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, [Are] the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men [that are] weary? {16} And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. {17} And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.


We left off at verse 10 in our last study, in which we learn the location of where Zebah and Zalmunna were. You might recall that we discovered in Part 5 that Zebah signifies “sacrifice,” and in the day of judgment the non-elect are their own sacrifice, as they do not have the Lord Jesus Christ who was sacrificed  on behalf of the elect exclusively “...at the foundation of the world.” Zalmunna, on the other hand, means “withholding shadow or shade.” The “shadow” would represent God’s mercy, so to “withhold shadow” would indicate that one is devoid of God’s mercy in this context, since these two kings typify the non-elect, as we will continue to see in today’s study.


Were In Karkor [Qarqor:H7174]

The term “Karkor” is only used in this verse, but it stems from the root word, “quwr” (H6979) God employs this expression in five citations, and they are all used in a negative connotation, as either “dig,” “destroy,” “cast out,” and “break down”:


It surfaces as “destroy” in verse 17 of Numbers 24:1-9 and 15-24, which is Balaam’s parable, that infuriated Balak king of the Moabites to no end : And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. {2} And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding [in his tents] according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. {3} And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: {4} He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling [into a trance], but having his eyes open: {5} How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, [and] thy tabernacles, O Israel! {6} As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, [and] as cedar trees beside the waters. {7} He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed [shall be] in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. {8} God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce [them] through with his arrows. {9} He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed [is] he that blesseth thee, and cursed [is] he that curseth thee. ... {14} And now, behold, I go unto my people: come [therefore, and] I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days. {15} And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: {16} He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, [which] saw the vision of the Almighty, falling [into a trance], but having his eyes open: {17} I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy [quwr:H6979] all the children of Sheth. {18} And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. {19} Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city. {20} And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek [was] the first of the nations; but his latter end [shall be] that he perish for ever. {21} And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock. {22} Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive. {23} And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this! {24} And ships [shall come] from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.


The next reference is in verse 24 of 2 Kings 19:1-37 (along with the parallel verse in Isaiah 37:25) which includes God’s response to Sennacherib, king of Assyria (a picture of Satan) which is another prime example of God conquering His enemies, in which His elect did not even have to fight, reminding us of Moses’ words at the brink of the Red Sea under divine inspiration in Exodus 14:13, 


And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.


This was also the case with good king Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:17,


 Ye shall not [need] to fight in this [battle]: set yourselves, stand ye [still], and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD [will be] with you. 


We also encountered this same expression of God’s power in Judges 7:22, in which the children of the east along with the Amalekites and Midianites began destroying each other: 


And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, [and] to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.


Not only do these accounts highlight God’s judgment of the non-elect, they also emphasize that Satan’s kingdom is being divided, and this division ultimately culminates in the non-elect killing each other, as we are reminded of in Matthew 12:25-26,


And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: {26} And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 


2 Kings 19:1-37 maintains:


And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard [it], that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. {2} And he sent Eliakim, which [was] over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. {3} And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day [is] a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and [there is] not strength to bring forth. {4} It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up [thy] prayer for the remnant that are left. {5} So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. {6} And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. {7} Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. {8} So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. {9} And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against thee: he sent messengers again unto Hezekiah, saying, {10} Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. {11} Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered? {12} Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; [as] Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which [were] in Thelasar? {13} Where [is] the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah? {14} And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. {15} And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest [between] the cherubims, thou art the God, [even] thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. {16} LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. {17} Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, {18} And have cast their gods into the fire: for they [were] no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. {19} Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou [art] the LORD God, [even] thou only. {20} Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, [That] which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. {21} This [is] the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. {22} Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted [thy] voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? [even] against the Holy [One] of Israel. {23} By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedar trees thereof, [and] the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, [and into] the forest of his Carmel. {24} I have digged [quwr:H6979] and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places. {25} Hast thou not heard long ago [how] I have done it, [and] of ancient times that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities [into] ruinous heaps. {26} Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were [as] the grass of the field, and [as] the green herb, [as] the grass on the housetops, and [as corn] blasted before it be grown up. {27} But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me. {28} Because thy rage against me and thy tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest. {29} And this [shall be] a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof. {30} And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. {31} For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD [of hosts] shall do this. {32} Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. {33} By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. {34} For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake. {35} And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they [were] all dead corpses. {36} So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. {37}  And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.


Verse 5 of Isaiah 22:1-5 records another account of God’s judgment which began at His own “house” first - typified by national Israel in the first instance, and secondly, the end-time institutional churches and denominations: 


The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops? {2} Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city: thy slain [men are] not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle. {3} All thy rulers are fled together, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, [which] have fled from far. {4} Therefore said I, Look away from me; I will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people.{5} For [it is] a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking [quwr:H6979 - a verb] down the walls [qiyr:H7023 - a noun - stems from H6979], and of crying to the mountains.


It’s interesting the noun, “down the walls” stems from the verb “breaking.”  Spiritually “walls” have to do with salvation as we read in these next passages:


Isaiah 60:18 records,  Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls [chowmah:H2346] Salvation, and thy gates Praise.


Likewise Isaiah 26:1 states: In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will [God] appoint [for] walls [chowmah:H2346] and bulwarks. 



The last Scripture that contains this word is found in verse 7 of Jeremiah  6:1-8, O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction. {2} I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate [woman]. {3} The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch [their] tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place. {4} Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. {5} Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces. {6} For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this [is] the city to be visited; she [is] wholly oppression in the midst of her. {7} As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out [quwr:H6979] her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually [is] grief and wounds.


As you can see from the above mentioned verses which all relate to judgment with the root word for “Karkor,” which is “quwr” (H6979), and Karkor is where Zebah and Zalmunna found themselves.


Lord willing, in our next study, we will investigate the rest of verse 10.

Judges 8 - Part 10

March 20, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 10 and today’s date is March 20, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:10-17,


Now Zebah and Zalmunna [were] in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand [men], all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. {11} And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure. {12} And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host. {13} And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun [was up], {14} And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, [even] threescore and seventeen men. {15} And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, [Are] the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men [that are] weary? {16} And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. {17} And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.


In our last study we began looking at verse 10, and we left off at the phrase, “...them, about fifteen thousand [men]...” since we have already discussed the term “and their hosts” in some of our earlier studies. 


Them About Fifteen [chamesh:H2568] [`asar:H6240] Thousand [’eleph:H505] [Men]




This phrase, “...them, about fifteen thousand [men]...” consists of three words which only appear together in this passage. The verse mentions  that 120,000 were already killed from the combined forces of the Midianites, Amalekites, and the children of the east, leaving 15,000. The number 1000 (like the integers 10 or 100)  points to the “completion” of whatever is in view spiritually; and the number  15 is made of  3 (which points to God’s “purpose”) X 5 (which can relate to either salvation or judgment, and in this case it is judgment). So once again we see that Gideon’s “300 men” (who typify the elect) were outnumbered by an army of 135,000 initially, and now that figure has been reduced to 15,000. This is why the next expression, “...all that were left” emphasizes this tremendous reduction “...of all the hosts of the children of the east:..” 


All That Were Left [yathar:H3498]


The term, “all that were left” is primarily rendered as “leave,” “remain,” “rest,” “remainder,” “residue,”  and “remnant,” etc., as these next references reveal:


Genesis 32:24 describes the account of Jacob wrestling with God, which spiritually has to do with “wrestling with God” for salvation, when it was still available: And Jacob was left [yathar:H3498] alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.


Verse 15 of Exodus 10:12-20 reveals the plague of locusts which invaded the land of Egypt as never before in history; this term surfaces twice back-to-back as “had left” and “there remained”: {12} And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, [even] all that the hail hath left. {13} And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all [that] night; [and] when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. {14} And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous [were they]; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. {15} For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: [yathar:H3498] and there remained [yathar:H3498] not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt. {16} Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. {17} Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only. {18} And he went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the LORD. {19} And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt. {20} But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.


In 1 Samuel 15:15 one learns of Saul’s rebellion against the Word of God; this word is rendered as “and the rest”: And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest [yathar:H3498] we have utterly destroyed. 


Proverbs 2:21 acknowledges that the only inhabitants of the “promised land” (or “the New Heavens and New Earth”) will be God’s elect Bride, in which this expression appears as “shall remain”: For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain [yathar:H3498] in it.


Verse 18 of Ezekiel 34:1-19 is one of the most compelling chapters in the Bible that deals with God’s judgment beginning at His own “house” first; this term in translated as “the residue”: 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, 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 that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. {17} And [as for] you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. {18} [Seemeth it] a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue [yathar:H3498] with your feet? {19} And [as for] my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.


For There Fell [naphal:H5307]


The next expression in verse 10 is, “for there fell,” denoting the 120,000 men that had already been killed thus far. We ran across this word in some of our previous studies, regarding the deaths of both Eglon and Sisera (each of whom typify Satan), according to Judges 3:25, 5:27, and 7:12-13 respectively: 


Judges 3:25 includes this expression as “[was] fallen down”: And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened [them]: and, behold, their lord [was] fallen down [naphal:H5307] dead on the earth.


And Judges 5:27 likewise affirms this as well, in which this term is repeated three times as “ he fell” or “he fell down”: At her [Jael] feet he [Sisera] bowed, he [Sisera]  fell, [naphal:H5307] he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell:[naphal:H5307] where he bowed, there he fell down [naphal:H5307] dead.


We also saw this word in Judges 7:12-13, in which it crops up in this description of the Midianites, Amalekites, and the children of the east, as these 135,000 troops were assembled in the valley; and is rendered as “lay,” “it that it fell,” and “lay along”: And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay [naphal:H5307] 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, [naphal:H5307] and overturned it, that the tent lay along. [naphal:H5307]


And Hundred [me’ah:H3967] And Twenty [`esriym:H6242] Thousand [’eleph:H505]


The number 120,000 comprised of three Hebrew words are the number of men that perished; these terms are also found in a few other accounts, and we will consider two of them:


At the dedication of the newly built Temple in 1 Kings 8:63 one learns of the offerings that Solomon made, among which were 120,000 sheep: And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the LORD, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred [me’ah:H3967]  and twenty [`esriym:H6242] thousand [’eleph:H505] sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD.


This is also the case in 2 Chronicles 28:6, For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred [me’ah:H3967] and twenty [`esriym:H6242]  thousand [’eleph:H505] in one day, [which were] all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.


One thing to keep in mind is that this number is made up of  12 (pointing to the “fulness” of whatever is in view) X 10 (“completion”) X 1000 (“completion”), which underscores the “complete fulness” of the deaths of these enemy forces.  


That Drew [shalaph:H8025] Sword [chereb:H2719]


The last two expressions in verse 10 are “that drew” and “sword,” with respect to the 120,000 enemy soldiers that perished. These two terms also surface together in 20 other passages; here are a few illustrations:


In Judges 3 we discovered the death of Eglon by judge Ehud in verse 22, in which these two expressions are found together: And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw [shalaph:H8025]  the dagger  [chereb:H2719] out of his belly; and the dirt came out.


And in verse 13 of  Joshua 5:13-15, Joshua is confronted with none other than the Lord Jesus Christ as “The Captain of the LORD’S host”: And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword  [chereb:H2719] drawn [shalaph:H8025]  in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, [Art] thou for us, or for our adversaries? {14} And he said, Nay; but [as] captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? {15} And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy. And Joshua did so. 


This account is similar to that of Moses at the “burning bush” when God told him to take off his shoes as he was standing on “holy ground,” as He was in the very presence of Almighty God, Who spoke to him, from out of the burning bush, that “burnt,” but was never consumed - a picture of God as a “consuming fire,” (Hebrews 12:29), as well as God’s Word.


The account of Balaam and his donkey include these two words as well in Numbers 22:23 and 31, And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword  [chereb:H2719] drawn [shalaph:H8025]  in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. ... {31} Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword  [chereb:H2719] drawn [shalaph:H8025] in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.


The difference between Balaam and Joshua “falling on their faces” is that Balaam was one of the non-elect, while Joshua was a true child of God, and a great type of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus’s name is Joshua in Hebrew.


Lastly, 1 Chronicles 21:16 records the judgment of “the angel of the LORD” against Israel: And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn [shalaph:H8025] sword  [chereb:H2719] in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders [of Israel, who were] clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.


Let’s stop here today, and Lord willing, in our next study we will proceed to verse 11.

Judges 8 - Part 11

March 23, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 11 and today’s date is March 23, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:10-17,


Now Zebah and Zalmunna [were] in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand [men], all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. {11} And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure. {12} And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host. {13} And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun [was up], {14} And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, [even] threescore and seventeen men. {15} And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, [Are] the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men [that are] weary? {16} And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. {17} And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.


Who Are Those “That Dwelt [shakan:H7931] In Tents” [’ohel:H168]?


Let’s first ask the question: “who are those that dwelt in tents”? These two terms appear together in 11 other citations, and we will consider some of them:


Verse 17 of Numbers 9:15-23 renders these terms as “abode” and “from the tabernacle” in this chapter which records the times when the Israelites were commanded to travel, and when they were instructed to rest, according to God’s perfect timetable for them:

And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, [namely], the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. {16} So it was alway: the cloud covered it [by day], and the appearance of fire by night. {17} And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle  [’ohel:H168], then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode [shakan:H7931], there the children of Israel pitched their tents. {18} At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents. {19} And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and journeyed not. {20} And [so] it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they abode in their tents, and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed. {21} And [so] it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and [that] the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether [it was] by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed. {22} Or [whether it were] two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed. {23} At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.


In Job 11:11-20, these words surface in verse 14 as “dwell” and “in thy tabernacles”:  For vain man would be wise, though man be born [like] a wild ass's colt. {13} If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him; {14} If iniquity [be] in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell [shakan:H7931] in thy tabernacles [’ohel:H168]. {15} For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear: {16} Because thou shalt forget [thy] misery, [and] remember [it] as waters [that] pass away: {17} And [thine] age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning. {18} And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig [about thee, and] thou shalt take thy rest in safety. {19} Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make [thee] afraid; yea, many shall make suit unto thee. {20} But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope [shall be as] the giving up of the ghost.


Job 18:5-21 speaks at length regarding the fate of the non-elect, and in verse 15 these expressions are translated as “it shall dwell” and “in his tabernacle”: Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. {6} The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him. {7} The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down. {8} For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare. {9} The gin shall take [him] by the heel, [and] the robber shall prevail against him. {10} The snare [is] laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way. {11} Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet. {12} His strength shall be hungerbitten, and destruction [shall be] ready at his side. {13} It shall devour the strength of his skin: [even] the firstborn of death shall devour his strength. {14} His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, and it shall bring him to the king of terrors. {15} It shall dwell [shakan:H7931] in his tabernacle [’ohel:H168], because [it is] none of his: brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation. {16} His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off. {17} His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street. {18} He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world. {19} He shall neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any remaining in his dwellings. {20} They that come after [him] shall be astonied at his day, as they that went before were affrighted. {21} Surely such [are] the dwellings of the wicked, and this [is] the place [of him that] knoweth not God.


Similarly, verse 1 of Psalm 15:1-5 offers this instruction regarding the inhabitants of the Kingdom of God:  [A Psalm of David.] LORD, who shall abide [shakan:H7931] in thy tabernacle [’ohel:H168] ? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? {2} He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. {3} [He that] backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. {4} In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. [He that] sweareth to [his own] hurt, and changeth not. {5} [He that] putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these [things] shall never be moved. 


Verses 55 and 60 of Psalm 78:51-also acknowledge:  And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of [their] strength in the tabernacles of Ham: {52} But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. {53} And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. {54} And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, [even to] this mountain, [which] his right hand had purchased.{55} He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell [shakan:H7931] in their tents. [’ohel:H168] {56} Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies: {57} But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. {58} For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. {59} When God heard [this], he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: {60} So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent [’ohel:H168] [which] he placed [shakan:H7931] among men; {61} And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand. {62} He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance. {63} The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage. {64} Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation. {65} Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, [and] like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. {66} And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach. {67} Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim: {68} But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved. {69} And he built his sanctuary like high [palaces], like the earth which he hath established for ever. {70} He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: {71} From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. {72} So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.


From the examples just mentioned we can see that the “tabernacle” or “tent” can refer to that which God instructed Moses to build as a forerunner of the Temple - a magnificent structure that was replete with spiritual significance pertaining to the Lord Jesus Christ and His elect Bride. We also noted that one’s “tent” or “tabernacle” can refer to one’s spiritual status as an elect child of God or one who is non-elect, and is outside of the Kingdom of God, along with each of their respective destinies. To this we can also add a few New Testament verses as well that speak to this issue:


Hebrews 11 is that exemplary chapter on the “heroes of faith,” and in verse 9  of verses 8-16 the Greek word for “tabernacles” crops up: By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. {9} By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles [skene:G4633] with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: {10} For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God. {11} Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. {12} Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, [so many] as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. {13} These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. {14} For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. {15} And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. {16} But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.


Although the patriarchs were extremely wealthy, yet they lived in “tents” which are temporary structures used for brief stays, as one would use when going camping for instance. They also represent the transitoriness of our earthly lives, which is why the patriarchs and all of God’s saints for that matter look forward to our “permanent” home in Heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ.


2 Corinthians 5:1-8 also includes a related term, “tabernacle” in verse 1 and 4: For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle [skenos:G4636] were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. {2} For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: {3} If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. {4} For we that are in [this] tabernacle [skenos:G4636] do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. {5} Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing [is] God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. {6} Therefore [we are] always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: {7} (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) {8} We are confident, [I say], and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.


The “groaning” in view also reminds me of the exhortation in Romans 8:18-25,


For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. {19} For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. {20} For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, {21} Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. {22} For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].


So in light of the fact that those that “dwell in tents” can refer to either the elect or the non-elect, how are we to understand what is meant by the two Hebrew words, in which Gideon, “went up” and “by the way”? But before we do that, let’s first investigate what we can learn about the location... 


On The East [qedem:H6924] Of Nobah [Nobach:H5025] And Jogbehah [Yogbehah:H3011]


Normally, the east is associated with the rising of the sun, and God’s elect, but we will have to see if that is the case here as well. However, we have run out of time, so we will discuss that and the rest of verse 11 in our next study.

Judges 8 - Part 12

March 25, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 12 and today’s date is March 25, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:10-17,


Now Zebah and Zalmunna [were] in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand [men], all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. {11} And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure. {12} And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host. {13} And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun [was up], {14} And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, [even] threescore and seventeen men. {15} And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, [Are] the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men [that are] weary? {16} And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. {17} And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.


In our examination of Judges 8 we are down to the latter half of verse 11, and the phrase, “... on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah…” We have already considered the term, “on the east,” (qedem:H6924) in Judges 6,7, and 8, which as I have mentioned before can identify with God and His people, but that is not always the case, as we see from the expression, “the children of the east” who along with Amalekites and Midianites, opposed Gideon and his 300 man army. So let’s proceed to the two locations, Nobah and Jogbehah, where the remainder of the enemy forces (15,000 men) were situated, and see what we can discover about these two places:

Of Nobah [Nobach:H5025]


Nobah only surfaces again in Numbers 32:42, in the context of the lands that Moses gave to the descendants of Manasseh: 


And Nobah [Nobach:H5025] went and took Kenath, and the villages thereof, and called it Nobah, after his own name. 


Nobah is derived from its root word, “nabach,” (H5024), which only appears in verse 10 of Isaiah 56:10-12, as “bark” (as when a dog barks)  which depicts God’s judgment beginning at His own “house” first as 1 Peter 4:17 so emphatically teaches:


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


Isaiah 56:10-12 likewise announces: His watchmen [are] blind: they are all ignorant, they [are] all dumb dogs [keleb:H3611], they cannot bark [nabach:H5025]; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. {11} Yea, [they are] greedy dogs [keleb:H3611] [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.  


The charges that God levels against His corporate people are numerous and justified, as they are in rebellion to God and His Word, and are snared by the “wine” and “strong drink” which are characteristic of false gospels. 


You might recall from our earlier studies in Judges when we were discussing the meaning of Caleb’s (Kaleb:H3612) name which is “dog,” and we were surprised since a dog is an unclean animal and Caleb was a child of God? Do you recall how we were able to reconcile these two contrasting ideas? God uses “dogs” at times to typify His judgment, as we see repeatedly from a passage such as verse 3 of Jeremiah 15:1-7, which also describes God’s judgment against His corporate people:


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. {4} And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for [that] which he did in Jerusalem. {5} For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest? {6} Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. {7} And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave [them] of children, I will destroy my people, [since] they return not from their ways. 


So we note that spiritually Nobah is associated with “barking,” and is connected with dogs, who are unclean animals, and those who are under God’s wrath.


And Jogbehah [Yogb@hah:H3011]


Let’s now turn our attention to Jogbehah. We find it mentioned again in verse 35 of Numbers 32:34-36, as one of the cities which the children of Gad built:


And the children of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer, {35} And Atroth, Shophan, and Jaazer, and Jogbehah [Yogb@hah:H3011], {36} And Bethnimrah, and Bethharan, fenced cities: and folds for sheep.


It stems from the root word, “gabahh” (H1361), which is predominantly rendered as “exalt” or “lift up” as these next citations underscore. Please note how this expression can be used in either a positive sense with respect to God and His redeemed people, or of the unsaved either in the world or who identify with the  unsaved in the end-time institutional churches and denominations:


Psalm 113:5 proclaims: Who [is] like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, [gabahh:H1361]


Psalm 131:1 also maintains: [A Song of degrees of David.] LORD, my heart is not haughty, [gabahh:H1361] nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.


Proverbs 17:19 reveals: He loveth transgression that loveth strife: [and] he that exalteth [gabahh:H1361] his gate seeketh destruction.


Proverbs 18:12 contrasts the saved with the unsaved: Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, [gabahh:H1361] and before honour [is] humility.


Isaiah 3:16 provides this commentary on God’s corporate people: Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, [gabahh:H1361] and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing [as] they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:


Isaiah 5:16 highlights the glory that God alone deserves and is worthy of:  But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted [gabahh:H1361] in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.


Similarly, Isaiah 55:9 adds:  For [as] the heavens are higher [gabahh:H1361] than the earth, so are my ways higher [gabahh:H1361] than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.


And Jeremiah 49:16 highlights God’s condemnation of those who are lifted up in pride: Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, [and] the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high [gabahh:H1361] as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.


Obadiah 1:4 likewise affirms: Though thou exalt [gabahh:H1361] [thyself] as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.


Just as  Nobah pictures the “bark” of a dog (which is an unclean animal) that is under God’s wrath, so too Jogbehah typifies the pride and haughtiness of the wicked, which will not go unpunished, as we see Gideon (Who exemplifies the Lord Jesus) and his 300 men (who symbolize the elect) make their way to these two cities to carry out God’s wrath.


We have already examined the next two terms, “and smote” and “the host” in some of our earlier studies, so I won’t repeat that information. 


The last term that we find in verse 11 is the expression, “was secure” which depicts the spiritual condition of the remaining 15,000 enemy forces who were situated in Nobah and Jogbehah. 


Was Secure [betach:H983]


This word is primarily translated as “safely” or “safety,” and to a lesser degree, as “careless” or “carelessly,” which is the thrust of how this term is being used here. It stems from an identically spelled root word which is commonly translated as “trust.” These next illustrations reveal some of the ways that God utilizes this expression:


In Leviticus 25:18-19, God explains to national Israel what was required of them in order for them to dwell under God’s care and protection: Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. [betach:H983] {19} And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. [betach:H983]


In verse 11 of 1 Samuel 12:6-15  mentions some of the Judges that we have been studying about, as Samuel rehearses some of God’s dealings with Israel up to this point when they desired an earthly king (as all the other nations), and were not content to have God rule over them in a theocracy. 


And Samuel said unto the people, [It is] the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. {7} Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers. {8} When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place. {9} And when they forgat the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. {10} And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee. {11} And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe. [betach:H983] {12} And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God [was] your king. {13} Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, [and] whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. {14} If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: {15} But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as [it was] against your fathers.


In verse 8 of  Isaiah 47:5-11 this word crops up as “carelessly;” we also find that its identically spelled root word surfaces in verse 10 as, “For thou hast trusted”: Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms. {6} I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst shew them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke. {7} And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: [so] that thou didst not lay these [things] to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it. {8} Therefore hear now this, [thou that art] given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, [betach:H983] that sayest in thine heart, I [am], and none else beside me; I shall not sit [as] a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: {9} But these two [things] shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, [and] for the great abundance of thine enchantments. {10} For thou hast trusted [betach:H982] in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I [am], and none else beside me. {11} Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, [which] thou shalt not know.


I think we’ll have to stop here for today. Lord willing, in our next study we will look at verse 12.

Judges 8 - Part 13

March 27, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 13 and today’s date is March 27, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:10-17,


Now Zebah and Zalmunna [were] in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand [men], all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. {11} And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure. {12} And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host. {13} And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun [was up], {14} And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, [even] threescore and seventeen men. {15} And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, [Are] the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men [that are] weary? {16} And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. {17} And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.


We have arrived at verse 12 in our ongoing study of the book of Judges, however we have already considered all the terms in this verse, except for the word, “discomfited” along with “all the host” (which we have looked at previously). 


And Discomfited [charad:H2729] [har-raid] All The Host [machaneh:H4264] [maw-ha-nay]


Both of these expressions only surface together in the following three accounts:


Verse 16 of Exodus 19:1-25 renders these two words as, “that was in the camp” and “trembled;” this chapter precedes the giving of the Law to Moses, accompanied by Aaron in Exodus 20 as God stipulated in verse 24: 


In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they [into] the wilderness of Sinai. {2} For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come [to] the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. {3} And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; {4} Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and [how] I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. {5} Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine: {6} And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. {7} And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. {8} And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. {9} And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD. {10} And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, {11} And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. {12} And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, [that ye] go [not] up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: {13} There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether [it be] beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. {14} And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. {15} And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at [your] wives. {16} 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  [machaneh:H4264] 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 greatly. {19} And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. {20} And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses [up] to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. {21} And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. {22} And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them. {23} And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. {24} And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them. {25} So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.


This chapter parallels Hebrews 12:15-29 which links to our day, and includes the warning regarding those who like Esau, succumb to the “root of bitterness”:


Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled; {16} Lest there [be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. {17} For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. {18} For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, {19} And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which [voice] they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: {20} (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: {21} And so terrible was the sight, [that] Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) {22} But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, {23} To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, {24} And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel. {25} See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven: {26} Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. {27} And this [word], Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. {28} Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: {29} For our God [is] a consuming fire.


The next entry is found in verse 15 of 1 Samuel 14:15-20, in which these two terms are translated as “in the host” and “they also trembled;” we have visited this chapter previously on a number of occasions, as it illustrates, among other truths, the enemy forces killing each other off: And there was trembling in the host [machaneh:H4264], in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled [charad:H2729], and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling. {16} And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down [one another]. {17} Then said Saul unto the people that [were] with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armourbearer [were] not [there]. {18} And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel. {19} And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the noise that [was] in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw thine hand. {20} And Saul and all the people that [were] with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, [and there was] a very great discomfiture.


The last chapter in which these two expressions emerge is in verse 5 of 1 Samuel 28:1-7, in which we find Saul  consulting a medium, and receiving the news (that God orchestrated for him to hear) that he and his sons would die in battle the next day, and the Philistines would be victorious over Israel, as they represent Satan infiltrating the New Testament churches at the “time of the end,” as the “abomination of desolation” per Matthew 24:15):  


And when Saul saw the host [machaneh:H4264] of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. [charad:H2729]  {2} And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head for ever. {3} Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land. {4} And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa. {5} And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. {6} And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. {7} Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, [there is] a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.


Let’s proceed to verse 13:  And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun [was up],


We have already run across the terms, “And Gideon the son of Joash…,” which leaves the last two sets of words for us to consider:


Returned [shuwb:H7725] [shoevuv] From Battle [milchamah:H4421] [mill-hamah]


The words, “returned” and “from battle” appear in 17 other citations; here are a few examples:


These two terms are found three times in Deuteronomy 20:5-7, 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 [shuwb:H7725] to his house, lest he die in the battle [milchamah:H4421] , 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 [shuwb:H7725] unto his house, lest he die in the battle [milchamah:H4421], 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 [shuwb:H7725] unto his house, lest he die in the battle [milchamah:H4421], and another man take her.


Verse 4 of  1 Samuel 29:1-7 includes these two words: Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which [is] in Jezreel. {2} And the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: but David and his men passed on in the rereward with Achish. {3} Then said the princes of the Philistines, What [do] these Hebrews [here]? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, [Is] not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, which hath been with me these days, or these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell [unto me] unto this day? {4} And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make [shuwb:H7725] this fellow return [shuwb:H7725], that he may go again [shuwb:H7725] to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle [milchamah:H4421], lest in the battle [milchamah:H4421]  he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? [should it] not [be] with the heads of these men? {5} [Is] not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands? {6} Then Achish called David, and said unto him, Surely, [as] the LORD liveth, thou hast been upright, and thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host [is] good in my sight: for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the lords favour thee not. {7} Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords of the Philistines.


These two expressions also surface in 2 Samuel 11:15 as “and retire” and “battle”: with regard to David’s plot to have Uriah purposely killed by the Ammonites: And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle [milchamah:H4421], and retire [shuwb:H7725] ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.


Ecclesiastes 9:11 contains these two terms as well: I returned [shuwb:H7725], and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle [milchamah:H4421] to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.


Before [ma`aleh:H4608] The Sun [cherec:H2775][Was Up]


The last two words in this verse only appear together here, so we will have to examine them individually:


Before [ma`aleh:H4608] 


The word, “before” is only translated as such in this verse. It is primarily rendered as “up” or “ascent” as these next Scriptures illustrate:


2 Samuel 15:30 chronicles David’s escape from Jerusalem as he and his entourage fled in order to flee  Absalom and the coup that he had initiated against his father; this term is expressed as “by the ascent” in this compelling historical parable:  And David went up by the ascent [ma`aleh:H4608] of [mount] Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that [was] with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.


In verse 4 of Nehemiah  9:1-5 renders this word as “upon the stairs”: Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. {2} And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. {3} And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God [one] fourth part of the day; and [another] fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God. {4} Then stood up upon the stairs, [ma`aleh:H4608] of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, [and] Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the LORD their God. {5} Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, [and] Pethahiah, said, Stand up [and] bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.


The Sun Was Up [cherec:H2775] [heres(y)]


This particular word for “the sun” (herec:H2775) [heres (y)] is unique, in that it is not the common word that is normally rendered as “sun” (shemesh:H8121) which appears numerous times in the Old Testament. It is only found in the following three references:


In Deuteronomy 28:27 it is curiously translated as “and with the itch,” with regard to the consequences of not obeying God’s laws: The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, [herec:H2775] whereof thou canst not be healed.


Judges 14:18 expresses this term as “before the sun”:  And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun [herec:H2775] went down, What [is] sweeter than honey? and what [is] stronger than a lion? And he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.


Lastly, verse 7 of Job 9:5-10 extolls God’s mighty power in which this word is rendered as “the sun”: Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger. {6} Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble. {7} Which commandeth the sun  [herec:H2775], and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. {8} Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. {9} Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. {10} Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number. 


Let’s stop here, as we have run out of time. Lord willing, in our next study we will investigate verse 14.

Judges 8 - Part 14

April 1, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 14 and today’s date is April 1, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:10-17,


Now Zebah and Zalmunna [were] in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand [men], all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. {11} And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure. {12} And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host. {13} And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun [was up], {14} And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, [even] threescore and seventeen men. {15} And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, [Are] the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men [that are] weary? {16} And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. {17} And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.


Today we want to turn our attention to verse 14, and the term, of him and he described, referring to the young man of Succoth, as we have already considered the other words that precede it. We also want to keep in mind that the men of Succoth represent those within the end-time institutional churches and denominations, and particularly those in leadership, as typified by these 77 elders as we shall discover.


Of Him And He Described [kathab:H3789]


This expression is predominantly rendered as “write,” and to a much lesser degree, “describe,” “subscribe,” and “recorded.” In the historical context we understand that Gideon wanted to know who these 77 elders were, so that he could teach them with ...the thorns of the wilderness and briers,” which we will be learning more about when we get down to Judges 8:16. Even though this expression is utilized frequently as write what really stands out are all the varied contexts in which this word appears, which by and large refers to the Scriptures themselves, and so I would like to spend some extra time today investigating how God employs this term:


In Daniel’s prayer of confession this word is translated as written twice in Daniel 9:11 and 13 : Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that [is] written [kathab:H3789] in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. ... {13} As [it is] written [kathab:H3789] in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.


Daniel’s prayer also harkens back to Deuteronomy 6:1-15, in which this expression, and thou shalt write appears in verse 9: Now these [are] the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do [them] in the land whither ye go to possess it: {2} That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. {3} Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do [it]; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. {4} Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD: {5} And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. {6} And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: {7} And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. {8} And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. {9} And thou shalt write [kathab:H3789] them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.{10} And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, {11} And houses full of all good [things], which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; {12} [Then] beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. {13} Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. {14} Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which [are] round about you; {15} (For the LORD thy God [is] a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. 


Verse 8 of Joshua 1:5-9 expresses this term as “according to all that is written” as God encourages Joshua - a type of Christ, and Moses’ successor - and Israel’s new leader:  There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. {6} Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. {7} Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. {8} This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written [kathab:H3789] therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. {9} Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.


In Joshua 18:4, 6, 8-9 this word is rendered as described five times as Joshua sends out three men from each tribe to record what they find in the land of Canaan, in a book in order to cast lots for each of the tribes’ inheritance: Give out from among you three men for [each] tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe [kathab:H3789] it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come [again] to me. ... {6} Ye shall therefore describe [kathab:H3789] the land [into] seven parts, and bring [the description] hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God. ... {8} And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe [kathab:H3789] the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe [kathab:H3789] it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh. {9} And the men went and passed through the land, and described [kathab:H3789] it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came [again] to Joshua to the host at Shiloh.


This term also figures prominently in Jeremiah 36 as a form of the word, write in verses 4, 6, 17-18, 27-29, and 32 in this chapter that depicts how God “dictated” His Word to “holy men of old...who were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21): Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote [kathab:H3789] from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book. ... {6} Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written [kathab:H3789] from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears of the people in the LORD'S house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities. ... {17} And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write [kathab:H3789] all these words at his mouth? {18} Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote [kathab:H3789] [them] with ink in the book. ... {27} Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote [kathab:H3789] at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, {28} Take thee again another roll, and write [kathab:H3789] 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 [kathab:H3789] therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast? ... {32} Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote [kathab:H3789] 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.


In 1 Kings 21:8-11 we read the account of what wicked Jezebel did, which is an exception to how God normally treats this word:  So she wrote [kathab:H3789] letters in Ahab's name, and sealed [them] with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the  nobles that [were] in his city, dwelling with Naboth. {9} And she wrote [kathab:H3789] in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: {10} And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And [then] carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. {11} And the men of his city, [even] the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, [and] as it [was] written [kathab:H3789] in the letters which she had sent unto them.


Another nuance of this expression is found in Daniel 12:1, which relates to the Great Tribulation and the last of the elect that God saved during the “latter rain”: And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written [kathab:H3789] in the book.


Verse 7 of Psalm 40:7-10 speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the grand theme of all Scripture:  Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book [it is] written [kathab:H3789] of me, {8} I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart. {9} I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. {10} I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.


Verse 16 Psalm 139:13-16 highlights Christ’s “re-birth” or resurrection at the foundation of the world, and at the same time the formation of the Body of Christ as a result of His sacrifice on their behalf, even though they had not even been created yet:  For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. {14} I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well. {15} My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, [and] curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. {16}Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book were all [my members] were written, [kathab:H3789] [which] in continuance were fashioned, when [as yet there was] none of them.


On a different note, and underscoring the day of judgment, verse 9 of Psalm 149:4-9 translates this word as written: For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. {5} 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 [kathab:H3789]: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD. 

Lastly, verse 33 of Jeremiah 31:31-34 contains this word and write, as it describes the completion of God’s salvation program: Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: {32} Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: {33} But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write [kathab:H3789] it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. {34} And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. {35} Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, [and] the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts [is] his name:


Even Three Score And Seventeen [shib`iym:H7657] [sheba`:H7651]


We only find the exact number 77 - with respect to the elders of Succoth - in only a few places, but this will have to wait until our next study Lord willing, as we have run out of time.

Judges 8 - Part 15

April 3, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 15 and today’s date is April 3, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:10-17,


Now Zebah and Zalmunna [were] in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand [men], all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. {11} And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure. {12} And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host. {13} And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun [was up], {14} And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, [even] threescore and seventeen men. {15} And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, [Are] the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men [that are] weary? {16} And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. {17} And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.


Thereof Even Three Score And Seventeen [shib`iym:H7657] [sheba`:H7651] Men [‘iysh:H376]


We have arrived at the last three Hebrew words in verse 14 which are only found in this verse, so we will have to consider them individually; we have already looked at the term, men, so let’s focus on three score and seventeen, or 77, referring to the number of the elders of Succoth:


Thereof Even Three Score And Seventeen [shib`iym:H7657] [sheba`:H7651]

The number 77 is an interesting one because 7 spiritually is indicative of “perfection” and the number 10 relates to “completion ” of whatever is in view. And considering what is about to happen to the elders of Succoth as they are going to be taught by Gideon (who typifies Christ) with ...the thorns of the wilderness and briers… which is language of judgment.  Do you remember who the elders of Succoth represent? The end-time institutional churches and denominations.) So Christ is about to bring judgment upon His own corporate house. This number, 77, is only used by itself in the following two passages: 


It appears in verse 24 of Genesis 4:23-25 with respect to Lamech the “calendar reference patriarch” before Noah, who succeeded him as the next “calendar reference patriarch”: And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.{24} If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy  [shib`iym:H7657] and sevenfold.  [sheba`:H7651] {25} And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, [said she], hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.


The other account is in verse 35 of Ezra 8:1 and 15-35: These [are] now the chief of their fathers, and [this is] the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king. ... {15} And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi. {16} Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding. {17} And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, [and] to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God. {18} And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen; {19} And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty; {20} Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name. {21} Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. {22} For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God [is] upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath [is] against all them that forsake him. {23} So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us. {24} Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them, {25} And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, [even] the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellors, and his lords, and all Israel [there] present, had offered: {26} I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, [and] of gold an hundred talents; {27} Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold. {28} And I said unto them, Ye [are] holy unto the LORD; the vessels [are] holy also; and the silver and the gold [are] a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers. {29} Watch ye, and keep [them], until ye weigh [them] before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the LORD. {30} So took the priests and the Levites the weight of the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring [them] to Jerusalem unto the house of our God. {31} Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth [day] of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way. {32} And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days. {33} Now on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him [was] Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them [was] Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites; {34} By number [and] by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time. {35} [Also] the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats [for] a sin offering: all [this was] a burnt offering unto the LORD.


Please note how the 77 lambs along with the other animal sacrifices were a sin offering. As God first brought His judgment on the end-time institutional churches and denominations, and then on the world at large on May 21, 2011, all the non-elect became their own sacrifices, and are identified with the marriage supper of the Lamb, as we read in Revelation 19:9 and 11-21,


And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. ... {11} And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. {12}  His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. {13} And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. {14} And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. {15} And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. {16} And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. {17} And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; {18} That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all [men, both] free and bond, both small and great. {19} And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. {20} And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. {21} And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.


The language of sacrifice is also picked up in Zephaniah 1:7-8, and 14-18,  Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD [is] at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. {8} And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. ... {14} The great day of the LORD [is] near, [it is] near, and hasteth greatly, [even] the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. {15} That day [is] a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, {16} A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. {17} And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. {18} Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. 


Let’s move on to verse 15: And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, [Are] the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men [that are] weary?

This verse is almost identical to verse 5, except for the terms, ye did upbraid and [that are] weary. Let’s consider the former first.


Ye Did Upbraid [charaph:H2778]


This expression is normally rendered as “reproach” and we did encounter it once in Judges 5:18,


Zebulun and Naphtali [were] a people [that] jeoparded [charaph:H2778]

 their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.


These are the only two occurrences of this word in the book of Judges. One of the chapters in which it is found most often is is Isaiah 37:1-24, in which it surfaces in verses 4, 17, 23, and 24,


And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard [it], that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. {2} And he sent Eliakim, who [was] over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. {3} And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day [is] a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and [there is] not strength to bring forth. {4} It may be the LORD thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach  [charaph:H2778]

 the living God, and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up [thy] prayer for the remnant that is left. {5} So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. {6} And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. {7} Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. {8} So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. {9} And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come forth to make war with thee. And when he heard [it], he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, {10} Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. {11} Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered? {12} Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, [as] Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which [were] in Telassar? {13} Where [is] the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? {14} And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. {15} And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying, {16} O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest [between] the cherubims, thou [art] the God, [even] thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. {17} Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach [charaph:H2778] the living God. {18} Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries, {19} And have cast their gods into the fire: for they [were] no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. {20} Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou [art] the LORD, [even] thou only. {21} Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria: {22} This [is] the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. {23} Whom hast thou reproached  [charaph:H2778]

 and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted [thy] voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? [even] against the Holy One of Israel. {24} By thy servants hast thou reproached  [charaph:H2778] the Lord, and hast said, By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, [and] the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, [and] the forest of his Carmel.


[That Are] Weary [ya`eph:H3287]


The expression, [that are] weary, only crops us in the following three verses are translated as either  faint or weary:


2 Samuel 16:2 states: And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses [be] for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint [ya`eph:H3287] in the wilderness may drink.


Isaiah 40:29 also declares: He giveth power to the faint; [ya`eph:H3287] and to [those that have] no might he increaseth strength.


And Isaiah 50:4 records, The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to [him that is] weary: [ya`eph:H3287] he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. 


Let’s stop here, and Lord willing, in our next study we will focus on verse 16.

Judges 8 - Part 16

April 6, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 16 and today’s date is April 6, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:10-17,


Now Zebah and Zalmunna [were] in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand [men], all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. {11} And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure. {12} And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host. {13} And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun [was up], {14} And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, [even] threescore and seventeen men. {15} And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, [Are] the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men [that are] weary? {16} And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. {17} And he beat 

down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.


Our objective today is to examine verse 16, beginning with: And he took the elders of the city…


And He Took [laqach:H3947] The Elders [zaqen:H2205] Of The City [`iyr:H5892]


This first phrase is made up of three terms, which show up together in six other places. 


Verse 12 of Deuteronomy 19:11-13 outlines the specific justice that the elders were to carry out in the case of one who had committed murder:  But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities: {12} Then the elders [zaqen:H2205] of his city [`iyr:H5892] shall send and fetch [laqach:H3947] him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. {13} Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away [the guilt of] innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.


Verse 3 of Deuteronomy 21:1-9 pinpoints another judicial procedure with regard to the discovery of a dead person:  If [one] be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, [and] it be not known who hath slain him: {2} Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which [are] round about him that is slain: {3} And it shall be, [that] the city [which is] next unto the slain man, even the elders [zaqen:H2205] of that city [`iyr:H5892] shall take [laqach:H3947] an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, [and] which hath not drawn in the yoke; {4} And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's neck there in the valley: {5} And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be [tried]: {6} And all the elders of that city, [that are] next unto the slain [man], shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley: {7} And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen [it]. {8} Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel's charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. {9} So shalt thou put away the [guilt of] innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do [that which is] right in the sight of the LORD.


Verses 15 and 18 of Deuteronomy 22:13-21 contain these three words as well in the case of a husband and wife: If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, {14} And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: {15} Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take [laqach:H3947] and bring forth [the tokens of] the damsel's virginity unto the elders [zaqen:H2205] of the city [`iyr:H5892]  in the gate: {16} And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; {17} And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech [against her], saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these [are the tokens of] my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. {18} And the elders [zaqen:H2205] of that city [`iyr:H5892] shall take [laqach:H3947] that man and chastise him; {19} And they shall amerce him in an hundred [shekels] of silver, and give [them] unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. {20} But if this thing be true, [and the tokens of] virginity be not found for the damsel: {21} Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.


Verse 8 of Deuteronomy 25:5-10 includes these terms in the matter of a blood brother “raising up seed” for his brother who had died: If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. {6} And it shall be, [that] the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother [which is] dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. {7} And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.  {8} Then the elders [zaqen:H2205] of his city [`iyr:H5892] shall call him, and speak unto him: and [if] he stand [to it], and say, I like not to take [laqach:H3947] her; {9} Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. {10} And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.


Verse 2 of Ruth 4:1- 22 is a magnificent case in point regarding this matter of “raising up seed” for a brother (or close relative), and spiritually points to what the Messiah (typified by Boaz) did for Ruth (the Moabitess - one who was typified as being outside of the Kingdom of God - and who pictures God’s elect Bride). The child that God blessed Boaz and Ruth with was Obed, the grandfather of David - another great type of the Lord Jesus:


Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. {2} And he took [laqach:H3947] ten men of the elders [zaqen:H2205] of the city [`iyr:H5892], and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. {3} And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which [was] our brother Elimelech's: {4} And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy [it] before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem [it], redeem [it]: but if thou wilt not redeem [it, then] tell me, that I may know: for [there is] none to redeem [it] beside thee; and I [am] after thee. And he said, I will redeem [it]. {5} Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy [it] also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. {6} And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem [it] for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem [it]. {7} Now this [was the manner] in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave [it] to his neighbour: and this [was] a testimony in Israel. {8} Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy [it] for thee. So he drew off his shoe. {9} And Boaz said unto the elders, and [unto] all the people, Ye [are] witnesses this day, that I have bought all that [was] Elimelech's, and all that [was] Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. {10} Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye [are] witnesses this day. {11} And all the people that [were] in the gate, and the elders, said, [We are] witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: {12} And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman. {13} So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. {14} And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed [be] the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. {15} And he shall be unto thee a restorer of [thy] life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. {16} And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. {17} And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he [is] the father of Jesse, the father of David. {18} Now these [are] the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, {19} And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, {20} And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, {21} And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, {22} And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.


The Elders Of The City (Of Succoth) - A Negative Account


The preceding accounts regarding the elders of the city were positive in character when compared to the elders of the city of Succoth, that Gideon is about to chastise. We also want to keep in mind that these elders represent the end-time institutional churches and denominations, as we have learned in some of  our previous studies. We have also covered the terms, ...and thorns of the wilderness and briers… so let’s proceed to the last word, ...and with them he taught... along with ...the men…:


And With Them He Taught [yada`:H3045] The Men [’enowsh:H582]


These two terms are found in a number of interesting references, since the expression ...and with them he taught… is predominantly rendered as know:


1 Samuel 25:11 reminds us of the response of the princes of Succoth in verse 6 of Judges 8: Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give [it] unto men [’enowsh:H582], whom I know [yada`:H3045]  not whence they [be]?


Genesis 19:5 and 8 takes place in Sodom, and Sodom (along with Egypt) also exemplifies the end-time institutional churches and denominations, as one learns from Genesis 13:10 and Revelation 11:8 respectively: 


And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it [was] well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, [even] as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.


And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. [Jerusalem]


Genesis 19:5 and 8 record: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men [’enowsh:H582] which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know [yada`:H3045] them. ... {8} Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known [yada`:H3045] man [’enowsh:H582]; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as [is] good in your eyes: only unto these men [’enowsh:H582]

 do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.


These two words also appear in the account of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, who also represent the corporate church that came under God’s wrath in Numbers 16:30; these words are expressed as then ye shall understand and that these men:  But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand [yada`:H3045] that these men [’enowsh:H582] have provoked the LORD.


Likewise in Judges 19 which is a historical parable concerning judgment beginning at God’s house first, these expressions surface in verse 22 and 25: [Now] as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men [’enowsh:H582]  of the city, certain [’enowsh:H582]  sons of Belial, beset the house round about, [and] beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him. ... {25} But the men [’enowsh:H582]  would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew [yada`:H3045] her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.


I think we’ll stop here, and Lord willing, in our next study we will look at verse 17.