Bible Ministries International

Bible Studies

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

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

Text Studies

Select which series you would like to hear

Judges 9 - Part 48

February 17, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 48 and today’s date is February 17, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:40-49,


And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. {42} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. {43} And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. {44} And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them. {45} And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. {46} And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith. {47} And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. {48} And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done]. {49} And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.


In our examination of Judges 9 we are down to the last few words in verse 40, ...[even] unto the entering of the gate. However we have already discussed these two terms in verse 35 of this chapter, so let’s proceed to verse 41 which states:


And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.


We have also considered the term, dwelt or yasab (H3427/TWOT:922) in verse 21, when Jotham fled from Abimelech, and dwelt in Beer. In light of that let’s take a look at this location, Arumah (H725) which is apparently in the vicinity of Shechem. This term stems from another location, Rumah (H7316), which in turn is derived from the word, rum (H7311/TWOT:2133), which is primarily rendered as lift up or hold up as well as exalt. As such, and like more Hebrew expressions, it can be used in a positive way (particularly in relationship to God), or in a negative manner, exemplifying pride and haughtiness. Abimelech’s track record of deceit, murder, and pride would certainly coincide with this secondary meaning, and highlight the fact that he dwelt at  Arumah, as we shall presently see. 


Lift Up [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133]


The following references underscore the the negative implications inherent in this term:


We are not surprised to find a direct link to Satan in verse 13 of Isaiah 14:4-20, in which this word rum is rendered, I will exalt: That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! {5} The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, [and] the sceptre of the rulers. {6} He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, [and] none hindereth. {7} The whole earth is at rest, [and] is quiet: they break forth into singing. {8] Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, [and] the cedars of Lebanon, [saying], Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. {9} Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet [thee] at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, [even] all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. {10} All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? {11} Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, [and] the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. {12} How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! {13} For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133] my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: {14} I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. {15} Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. {16} They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; {17} [That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners? {18} All the kings of the nations, [even] all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. {19} But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, [and as] the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. {20} Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, [and] slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.


Daniel 11:36 affirms the same: And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133] himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.


Isaiah 2:12-14 makes this pronouncement with regard to our present day of judgment, and translates this word as either lofty or high:  For the day of the LORD of hosts [shall be] upon every [one that is] proud and lofty [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133], and upon every [one that is] lifted up; and he shall be brought low: {13} And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, [that are] high [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133]  and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, {14} And upon all the high [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133]  mountains, and upon all the hills [that are] lifted up,


Psalm 12:8 also expresses this word as are exalted: The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted. [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133] 


In like manner Psalm 46:10 utilizes this word twice:  Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133] 

 among the heathen, I will be exalted [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133]  in the earth.


Verse 14 of Deuteronomy 8:11-16 was a vivid admonition for Israel to not forget where they came from; this word is translated as be lifted up: Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: {12} Lest [when] thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt [therein]; {13} And [when] thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; {14} Then thine heart be lifted up [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133], and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; {15} Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, [wherein were] fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where [there was] no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; {16} Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;


From the foregoing Scriptures Abimelech appears to exemplify - not merely a faction in Satan’s kingdom -  but Satan himself.


By contrast, these next citations reveal the positive aspect of this expression, rum:


Genesis 7:17 also renders this term as and it was lift up referring to Noah’s ark: And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133] above the earth.


Exodus 15 is the Israelites’ victory song of praise to God for His deliverance through the Red Sea and in verse 2 this word is translated as  The LORD [is] my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he [is] my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133] him.


Numbers 20:11 utilizes this verb as lifted up in this account that spiritually portrays the Lord Jesus being smitten by the Law of God twice - once for sin at the foundation of the world; and secondly in the demonstration in 33 AD (without paying for sin): And Moses lifted up [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133]   his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts [also].


This word crops up three times in Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1 and 7-8 as exalted or lifteth up:  And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133] in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. ... {7} The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133] {8} He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, [and] lifteth up [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133]  the beggar from the dunghill, to set [them] among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth [are] the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them.


Lastly let’s turn to Isaiah 30:18, which is a wonderful promise for God’s elect people: And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted [rum:H7311/TWOT:2133], that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD [is] a God of judgment: blessed [are] all they that wait for him.


The only other word that we have not examined in this passage is the Hebrew verb, thrust out or garash.


Thrust Out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388]


This expression is predominantly rendered as drive out, cast out, and thrust out and constitutes a forcible action against the one being acted upon, as the subsequent examples illustrate:

We actually encountered this term in some of the earlier chapters in the book of Judges, in Judges 2:3 and 6:9 respectively, in which they are rendered as drive them out and drave them out: 


Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] 

 from before you; but they shall be [as thorns] in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you….{6:9} And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388]  from before you, and gave you their land;


There are three very prominent illustrations of the usage of this expression garash, in Genesis with respect to Adam and Eve, Cain, and Hagar:


Verse 24 of Genesis 3:22-24 records: And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: {23} Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. {24} So he drove out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.


Genesis 4:14 recounts Cain’s reply to God’s punishment for killing his brother Abel, Behold, thou hast driven me out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, [that] every one that findeth me shall slay me.


In verse 10 of Genesis 21:8-13 we read of Sara’s declaration to Abraham, under divine inspiration: And the child [Isaac] grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the [same] day that Isaac was weaned. {9} And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. {10} Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, [even] with Isaac. {11} And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. {12} And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. {13} And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he [is] thy seed.


In Exodus 11:1 this word is doubled as he shall surely and thrust you out: And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague [more] upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let [you] go, he shall surely [garash:H1644/TWOT:388]  thrust you out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] hence altogether.


Psalm 80:8 further affirms: Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] the heathen, and planted it.


In Exodus 33:2, God promises to drive out the inhabitants of Canaan in order for the Israelites to possess the Promised Land: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:


In Numbers 22:6 and 11 Balak solicits (in vain) the help of Balaam to drive out the Hebrews:  Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they [are] too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, [that] we may smite them, and [that] I may drive them out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] of the land: for I wot [i.e., know] that he whom thou blessest [is] blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed. ... {11} Behold, [there is] a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out. [garash:H1644/TWOT:388]


1 Chronicles 17:21 acknowledges God’s protection and provision for His elect, typified by Israel: And what one nation in the earth [is] like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem [to be] his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt?


Psalm 78:55 reiterates this same theme: He cast out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.


Deuteronomy  33:27 extols the One Who is not only responsible for driving out the enemies of God, but whose very Presence and Word are the consolation and hope of every generation of genuine Christians: 


The eternal God [is thy] refuge, and underneath [are] the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy [them].


Isaiah 57:20 adopts this expression to describe the ultimate fate of God’s enemies in which this word is translated as both troubled and cast up:  But the wicked [are] like the troubled [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] mire and dirt.


Jonah 2:4 spiritually points to the Savior under the wrath of God at the foundation of the world, represented by the belly (or womb) of hell, from which these words are uttered: Then I said, I am cast out [garash:H1644/TWOT:388] of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.


Well, on that most solemn note, we will have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next lesson we will investigate verses 41-42.

Judges 9 - Part 49

February 19, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 49 and today’s date is February 19, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:40-49,


And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. {42} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. {43} And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. {44} And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them. {45} And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. {46} And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith. {47} And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. {48} And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done]. {49} And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.


In our last study we concluded that Abimelech was a type of Satan, and Gaal and his brethren were also representative of the kingdom of Satan. Their mutual antagonism underscores what is taking place today as Satan is actually destroying his own kingdom. We also want to bear in mind that this is not unusual when we consider that Satan has never had any love or compassion or commitment towards those under his dominion. His sole objective is to blindly exalt himself at all costs, even if that means destroying his own kingdom! This is seen very clearly in John 8:44,  


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


This aspect of Satan’s character is also displayed in even greater detail especially in verse 20 of Isaiah 14:4, 6, 12, 16-17, and 20-21, 


That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! ... {6} He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, [and] none hindereth. ... {12} How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! ... {16} They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; {17} [That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners? ... {20} Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, BECAUSE THOU HAST DESTROYED THY LAND, [AND] SLAIN THY PEOPLE:  [Caps mine for emphasis] the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. {21} Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.


One sees this same selfish attitude in the hireling as John 10:12-13 asserts:


But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. {13} The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 


Both Ezekiel 34 and Jeremiah 23 denounce the unsaved pastors who manifested this same wicked attitude in their rebellion against the Word of God and total negligence in caring for their flocks, for which cause God brought His righteous judgment to bear down on His own house (the churches and denominations) first as 1 Peter 4:17 and Jeremiah 25:29 respectively affirm:


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?


For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.


Ezekiel 34:1-10, and 18-21 maintain: 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. ... {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 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. {20} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, [even] I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. {21} Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;


Jeremiah 23:1-2, 9-17, 19-22, 25-27, and 30-40 likewise declare: Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. {2} Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. ... {9} Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness. {10} For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force [is] not right. {11} For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. {12} Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery [ways] in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, [even] the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. {13} And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. {14} I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. {15} Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. {16} Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, [and] not out of the mouth of the LORD. {17} They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. ... {19} Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. {20} The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. {21} I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. {22} But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. ... {25} I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. {26} How long shall [this] be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, [they are] prophets of the deceit of their own heart; {27} Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. ... {30} Therefore, behold, I [am] against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. {31} Behold, I [am] against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. {32} Behold, I [am] against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. {33} And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What [is] the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. {34} And [as for] the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house. {35} Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken? {36} And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God. {37} Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken? {38} But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD; {39} Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, [and cast you] out of my presence: {40} And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.


The foregoing attitude, words and actions of Satan, who is an angel of light, as well as his minions, who in turn present themselves as ministers of righteousness, are highlighted in  2 Corinthians 11:13-15,


For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. {14}And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. {15} Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works


The direct opposite of the kingdom of Satan is the glorious Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ in which His servants exemplify their Master’s perfect, holy, and righteous nature, as He works in them ...to will and to do of His good pleasure as Philippians 2:13 underscores: 


John 10:1-11, 14-18, and 27-30 reveal: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. {2} But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. {3} To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. {4} And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. {5} And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. {6} This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. {7} Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. {8} All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. {9} I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. {10} The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. {11} I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. ... {14} I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine. {15} As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. {16} And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd. {17} Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. {18} No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. ... {27} My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: {28} And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. {29} My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand. {30} I and [my] Father are one.


Well, I was not planning on taking that detour, so let’s get back to Judges 9:42 and the two terms, And is came to pass on the morrow along with that the people, which appear together again in the next 7 verses:

*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)

And It Came To Pass On The Morrow [mahorat:H4283/TWOT*:1185b] & That The People [‘am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, e]

The only other time that these two words are found together in the book of Judges is in Judges 21:4, in which they are translated in exactly the same manner: And it came to pass on the morrow [mahorat:H4283/TWOT:1185b], that the people [‘am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, e] rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.

In Exodus 18:13 these two terms are rendered as on the morrow along with and the people: And it came to pass on the morrow [mahorat:H4283/TWOT:1185b], that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people [‘am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, e] stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.

Exodus 32:6 and 30 expresses these words in the same manner in this passage which depicts the fact that although the Israelites had left Egypt, Egypt was still in their hearts; this is not unlike Lot’s wife who physically left Sodom and Gomorrah, yet her heart was still there, and as a result she perished, as did the majority of the Israelites (as the end of Hebrews 3 and the beginning of Hebrews 4 outlines):  

And they rose up early on the morrow [mahorat:H4283/TWOT*:1185b], and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people [‘am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, e] sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. ... {30} And it came to pass on the morrow [mahorat:H4283/TWOT:1185b], that Moses said unto the people [‘am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, e], Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.

Numbers 16:41 describes the wicked sentiment of the congregation against Moses and Aaron historically (but in reality against God) for having slain those who rebelled against Him: But on the morrow [mahorat:H4283/TWOT:1185b] all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people [‘am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, e] of the LORD.

In Numbers 11:32 these words are translated as and the people and the next, in this passage which records the collection of the quails in the wilderness:  And the people stood up all that day, and all [that] night, and all the next [mahorat:H4283/TWOT*:1185b] day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread [them] all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

Lastly, 1 Samuel 11:11 utilizes these same terms in describing the battle between King Saul and Israel against the Ammonites:  And it was [so] on the morrow [mahorat:H4283/TWOT:1185b], that Saul put the people [‘am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, e] in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.

Let’s stop here. Lord willing, in our next study we will continue to investigate verses 42 and 43.

Judges 9 - Part 50

February 24, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 50 and today’s date is February 24, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:40-49,


And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. {42} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. {43} And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. {44} And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them. {45} And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. {46} And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith. {47} And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. {48} And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done]. {49} And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.


We have arrived at verse 42 in our ongoing examination of Judges 9, however we have already considered the rest of the terms in this verse in some of our earlier studies so let’s proceed to verse 43, and the phrase, and divided them into three companies, since we concluded our last study by looking at the phrase, and he took the people.


Verse 43: And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. 


And Divided [hasa:H2673/TWOT:719]  Them Into Three [salos:H7269/TWOT:2403a] Companies [ro’sh:H7218/TWOT:2097] 


The phrase, and divided them into three companies, is made up of three terms. If this phrase sounds familiar it is because we ran into these three identical words in Judges 7:16 with respect to Gideon’s 300 man army:


And he divided [hasa:H2673/TWOT:719]  the three [salos:H7269/TWOT:2403a]  hundred men [into] three [salos:H7269/TWOT:2403a]  companies [ro’sh:H7218/TWOT:2097], and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. 


And He Rose Up Against Them [quwm:H6965/TWOT:1999] & And Smote [naka:H5221/TWOT:1364] 


The only other words that we have not considered in the rest of this verse are the last two expressions, and he rose up against them along with and smote, which appear together in 15 other citations, and we will consider some of them. 


Verse 35 of 1 Samuel 17:32-40 records David’s words to King Saul concerning Goliath the giant: And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. {33} And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou [art but] a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. {34} And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: {35} And I went out after him, and smote [naka:H5221/TWOT:1364] him, and delivered [it] out of his mouth: and when he arose [quwm:H6965/TWOT:1999]  against me, I caught [him] by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. {36} Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. {37} David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. {38} And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. {39} And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved [it]. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved [them]. And David put them off him. {40} And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling [was] in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.


Verse 14 of 2 Samuel 15:1-14 chronicle the events that precipitated Absalom’s coup against his father David, as Nathan the prophet explained in 2 Samuel 12:8-12 to King David following his dual sin of adultery and murder:


And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if [that had been] too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. {9} Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife [to be] thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. {10} Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. {11} Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give [them] unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. {12} For thou didst [it] secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.


2 Samuel 15:1-14 states: And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. {2} And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was [so], that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city [art] thou? And he said, Thy servant [is] of one of the tribes of Israel. {3} And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters [are] good and right; but [there is] no man [deputed] of the king to hear thee. {4} Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! {5} And it was [so], that when any man came nigh [to him] to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. {6} And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. {7} And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron. {8} For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD. {9} And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron. {10} But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron. {11} And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, [that were] called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing. {12} And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, [even] from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom. {13} 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 [quwm:H6965/TWOT:1999], 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 [naka:H5221/TWOT:1364] the city with the edge of the sword.


Verse 7 of Psalm 3:1-8 also relates to David fleeing from Absalom, but in spite of these trials, David proclaims his trust in God for His deliverance and for His blessing toward him: 


[A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.] LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many [are] they that rise up against me. {2} Many [there be] which say of my soul, [There is] no help for him in God. Selah. {3} But thou, O LORD, [art] a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. {4} I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. {5} I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. {6} I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set [themselves] against me round about. {7} Arise [quwm:H6965/TWOT:1999], O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten [naka:H5221/TWOT:1364]  all mine enemies [upon] the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. {8} Salvation [belongeth] unto the LORD: thy blessing [is] upon thy people. Selah.



Verse 10 of 2 Samuel 23:8-12 depict the prowess of David’s three mighty men: These [be] the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same [was] Adino the Eznite: [he lift up his spear] against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. {9} And after him [was] Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, [one] of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines [that] were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: {10} He arose [quwm:H6965/TWOT:1999], and smote [naka:H5221/TWOT:1364] the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil. {11} And after him [was] Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines. {12} But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory. 


Verse 10 of Jeremiah  37:1-10 contains, among other truths, a spiritual portrait of God’s judgment starting at His own house first (1 Peter 4:17; Jeremiah 25:29) in this historical parable in which the Babylonians under Nebuchadrezzar (a type of Satan) eventually destroyed Jerusalem in 587 BC: 


And king Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. {2} But neither he, nor his servants, nor the people of the land, did hearken unto the words of the LORD, which he spake by the prophet Jeremiah. {3} And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Pray now unto the LORD our God for us. {4} Now Jeremiah came in and went out among the people: for they had not put him into prison. {5} Then Pharaoh's army was come forth out of Egypt: and when the Chaldeans that besieged Jerusalem heard tidings of them, they departed from Jerusalem. {6} Then came the word of the LORD unto the prophet Jeremiah, saying,  {7} Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to enquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh's army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. {8} And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire. {9} Thus saith the LORD; Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart. {10} For though ye had smitten [naka:H5221/TWOT:1364]  the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained [but] wounded men among them, [yet] should they rise up [quwm:H6965/TWOT:1999] every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.


Now we want to turn our attention to…


Verse 44: And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them. 


As it turns out we have already examined all the words in this Scripture so let's proceed to verse 45:

Verse 45: And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.


Fought Against [laham:H3898/TWOT:1104, 1105] The City [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615] & Day [yowm:H3117/TWOT:852]


The three words in the phrase  fought against the city along with day are only found together again in verse 19 of Deuteronomy 20:10-20, and rendered as a city, time and in making war. This chapter includes various instructions that God gave with respect to subduing the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, as well as other nations that were outside of the land of Canaan:


When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. {11} And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, [that] all the people [that is] found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. {12} And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: {13} And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: {14} But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, [even] all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. {15} Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities [which are] very far off from thee, which [are] not of the cities of these nations. {16} But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee [for] an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: {17} But thou shalt utterly destroy them; [namely], the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee: {18} That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God. {19} When thou shalt besiege a city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615]  a long time [yowm:H3117/TWOT:852], in making war [laham:H3898/TWOT:1104, 1105] against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field [is] man's [life]) to employ [them] in the siege: {20} Only the trees which thou knowest that they [be] not trees for meat, thou shalt destroy and cut them down; and thou shalt build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it be subdued.


And Slew [harag:H2026/TWOT:514] The People [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, e]


The next two words that we want to investigate  are and slew and the people. Both of these expressions emerge in 11 other citations, as the following verses maintain:


I have mentioned on a few occasions that Abimelech typifies Satan as he is described in great detail in Isaiah 14, and once again these two terms bring us back to verse 20 of Isaiah 14:15-20, in which they are translated as [and] slain along with thy people: 


Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. {16} They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; {17} [That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners? {18} All the kings of the nations, [even] all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. {19} But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, [and as] the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. {20} Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, [and] slain [harag:H2026/TWOT:514] thy people: [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, e] the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. 


Another interesting portrayal of Satan is found in verse 4 of Esther 7:1-10, in which Queen Esther discloses Haman’s (or Satan’s) plot to destroy the people of God:


So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. {2} And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What [is] thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what [is] thy request? and it shall be performed, [even] to the half of the kingdom. {3} Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: {4} For we are sold, I and my people [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, e], to be destroyed, to be slain [harag:H2026/TWOT:514], and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage. {5} Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? {6} And Esther said, The adversary and enemy [is] this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. {7} And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath [went] into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king. {8} Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther [was]. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face. {9} And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. {10} So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.


Let’s consider yet another example in which Satan is is view, as represented by Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon as he comes against Tyrus (which signifies a “rock”), and exemplifies both national Israel as well as the churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God at the beginning of the Great Tribulation in verse 11 of Ezekiel 26:1-11,


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: 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 thy towers. {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 [harag:H2026/TWOT:514] thy people [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, e]  by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground.


We will have to stop here today as we have run out of time. Lord willing in our next study we will finish up with the last phrase in verse 45, and sowed it with salt.

Judges 9 - Part 51

 February 26, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 51 and today’s date is February 26, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:40-49,


And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. {42} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. {43} And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. {44} And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them. {45} And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. {46} And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith. {47} And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. {48} And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done]. {49} And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.


At the close of our last study we left off at the last two words in verse 46:



And Sowed [zara‘:H2232/TWOT*:582] It With Salt [melach:H4417/TWOT*:1197a]


These two expressions, and sowed or zara` and it with salt or melach only occur together in verse 23 of Deuteronomy 20:1-29, as salt along with and sown:


These [are] the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb. {2} And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; {3} The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: {4} Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. {5} And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. {6} Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I [am] the LORD your God. {7} And when ye came unto this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, came out against us unto battle, and we smote them: {8} And we took their land, and gave it for an inheritance unto the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half tribe of Manasseh. {9} Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do. {10} Ye stand this day all of you before the LORD your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, [with] all the men of Israel, {11} Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that [is] in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water: {12} That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day: {13} That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and [that] he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)



{14} Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; {15} But with [him] that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with [him] that [is] not here with us this day: {16} (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by; {17} And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which [were] among them:) {18} Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go [and] serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; {19} And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: {20} The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven. {21} And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law: {22} So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it; {23} [And that] the whole land thereof [is] brimstone, and salt [melach:H4417/TWOT:1197a], [and] burning, [that] it is not sown [zara`:H2232/TWOT*:582], nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath: {24} Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what [meaneth] the heat of this great anger? {25} Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt: {26} For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and [whom] he had not given unto them: {27} And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book: {28} And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as [it is] this day. {29} The secret [things belong] unto the LORD our God: but those [things which are] revealed [belong] unto us and to our children for ever, that [we] may do all the words of this law.


Because these two words are only found together in Deuteronomy 29:23, it might be beneficial to take a closer look at them individually as they contain important spiritual connotations. We also want to bear in mind that when this happened as it did to the land in and around Shechem, (which if you recall can picture the world during our present day of judgment) it would render it unfruitful so nothing could grow there.


Let’s start with the expression and sowed or zara.`

 

And Sowed [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582]


From time to time you have heard me mention the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (or TWOT) which is a two-volume series. It is a helpful Bible study aid because it lists root words or shoresh and their derivatives in one location. Additionally, if one knows the Strong’s number one can find the corresponding TWOT number in the back of Volume 2. Take for instance this term, and sowed, or zara‘ . The TWOT lists 6 derivatives under this word that are translated as follows:


  1. Sowing, seed, offspring
  2. Sowing, things sown
  3. Vegetable (pulse)
  4. Vegetable (pulse) plural
  5. Jezreel (“God sows”)
  6. A place which is sown (field)


Let’s now take a closer look at some of the ways that God utilizes this word, and sowed or zara‘ :


We have actually encountered this word previously in Judges 6:3, in which it is expressed as had sown: And [so] it was, when Israel had sown [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582], that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;

 

This word appears very early in the Bible in Genesis 1:11-12, in which the same word is translated as both yielding (the verb form) and seed (the noun form)


And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582] seed [zera‘:H2233/TWOT:582a], [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. {12} And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582] seed [zera‘:H2233/TWOT:582a] after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.


Genesis 26:12 renders this word  sowed: Then Isaac sowed [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582] in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.


However in Leviticus 12:2 it appears as have conceived seed: Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582],  and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.


This term is also linked with various virtues or vices in a parabolic way as these next citations reveal: 


Job 4:8 maintains: Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow  [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582]wickedness, reap the same.


This correlates with the New Testament admonition in Galatians 6:7, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.


Psalm 97:11 offers this instruction for the elect, in which this term is rendered is sown:  Light is sown [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582] for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.


Psalm 126:5 renders this expression, They that sow, characterizing the Great Commission during the day of salvation:  They that sow [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582] in tears shall reap in joy.


Similarly, verse 10 of Isaiah 55:6-11 contains this word to the sower (which is the verb form) as well as the noun form, seed in this passage which emphasizes the command to seek the LORD when that was still possible during the extended day of salvation:  Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: {7} Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. {8} For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. {9} For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. {10} For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed [zera‘:H2233/TWOT:582a] to the sower [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582], and bread to the eater: {11} So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.  


Hosea 2:23 likewise expresses this as And I will sow: And I will sow [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582] her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to [them which were] not my people, Thou [art] my people; and they shall say, [Thou art] my God.


By contrast, verse 7 of Hosea 8:1-7 expresses this word again as they have sown in this denunciation against national Israel (who exemplifies judgment beginning at the house of God first): [Set] the trumpet to thy mouth. [He shall come] as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law. {2} Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee. {3} Israel hath cast off [the thing that is] good: the enemy shall pursue him. {4} They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew [it] not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. {5} Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast [thee] off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long [will it be] ere they attain to innocency? {6} For from Israel [was] it also: the workman made it; therefore it [is] not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. {7} For they have sown [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582]  the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.


Verse 24 of Isaiah 40:22-24 is translated as be sown: [It is] he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof [are] as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: {23} That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. {24} Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582]: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.


In spite of Israel’s sin and God’s judgment upon her, verse 12 of Hosea 10:12-15 reiterates this same theme of sowing and reaping in which this word is translated as sow: 


Sow [zara‘:H2232/TWOT:582] to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.


It With Salt [melach:H4417/TWOT:1197a]


We now want to turn our attention to the expression it with salt or melach. The following Scriptures reveal some of the ways that God employs this term:


Our theme verse for today in which these two words and sowed, along with it with salt surface in Deuteronomy 29:23, which depicts salt in conjunction with one of God’s major examples of judgment against the cities of the plain: 


[And that] the whole land thereof [is] brimstone, and salt, [melach:H4417/TWOT:1197a] [and] burning, [that] it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:

 

Genesis 19:26 illustrates God’s usage of this word in connection with judgment as Lot’s wife (who looked back) was turned into a pillar of salt: But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. [melach:H4417/TWOT:1197a]


This serves to remind the child of God that the spiritual posture of God’s elect is always to face forward (to the future) by God’s grace and faith, by continuing in His Word as Jesus warned in John 8:31,


Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;


This is also the case in Proverbs 4:18, But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


Leviticus 2:13 describes the importance of salt (three times - pertaining to the purpose of God spiritually) in relationship to all sacrificial offerings: And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; [melach:H4417/TWOT:1197a] neither shalt thou suffer the salt [melach:H4417/TWOT:1197a] of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt. [melach:H4417/TWOT:1197a]


Lastly, verses 21 and 22 of 2 Kings 2:19-22 present a different portrait with regards to the cleansing or purifying nature of salt in this miracle which Elisha performed: 


And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city [is] pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water [is] naught, and the ground barren.{20} And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt [melach:H4417/TWOT:1197a] therein. And they brought [it] to him. {21} And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt [melach:H4417/TWOT:1197a] in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren [land]. {22} So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.

We will have to stop here, as we have run out of time. Lord willing in our next lesson, we will commence with verse 46.

Judges 9 - Part 52

 March 3, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 52 and today’s date is March 3, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:40-49,


And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. {42} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. {43} And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. {44} And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them. {45} And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. {46} And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith. {47} And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. {48} And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done]. {49} And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.


Today we are ready to begin investigating verse 46, starting with the two terms, the men and of the tower, since we have already considered the phrase, And it was told Abimelech in some of our earlier studies.


The Men [ba’al:G1167/TWOT*:262a] & Of The Tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT*:315f, g]


These two expressions, the men and of the tower are only found together again in Judges 9:47 and 51, which state: 


And it was told Abimelech, that all the men [ba’al:G1167/TWOT:262a] of the tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g] of Shechem were gathered together. ... {51} But there was a strong tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g] within the city, and thither fled all the men [ba’al:G1167/TWOT:262a] and women, and all they of the city, and shut [it] to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower. [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g]


A Closer Look At The Word Tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g]


Let’s take a closer look at this word, tower, and how God employs it throughout the Old Testament to get a better understanding of its spiritual significance. This term is a derivative of gadal (G1431), which has to do with growing (in stature), being or becoming great, including being magnified. The following represent some of the ways that God utilizes this term, tower, or migdal, which is predominantly how this word is translated:


As it turns out we have encountered this word before when we were examining Judges 8 as it appears in verses 9 and 17, where we read what Gideon did when the men of Penuel (like the men of Succoth) did not come to his aid when he asked them to:  


And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower. [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g]

  ... {17} And he beat down the tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g]

 of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.



*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)


Verses 4-5 of Genesis 11:1-9 record the motivation of the men who began the construction of  the tower of Babel, and how God dealt with all those who took part in it: 


And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. {2} And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. {3} And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. {4} And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g], whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. {5} And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g], which the children of men builded. {6} And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. {7} Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. {8} So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. {9} Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.



In Nehemiah 8:4 this word is rendered as a pulpit, which according to verse 5 was situated above the people: And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g] of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, [and] Meshullam. {5} And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:


Psalm 48:12 includes this expression to speak about Jerusalem historically, as well as spiritually when one considers the very next passage as well: Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g] thereof.


Proverbs 18:10 provides this important reminder: The name of the LORD [is] a strong tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g]: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.


Verse 4 of Song of Solomon 4:1-7 contain this word in this description of the holiness of the Bride of Christ: Behold, thou [art] fair, my love; behold, thou [art] fair; thou [hast] doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair [is] as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead. {2} Thy teeth [are] like a flock [of sheep that are even] shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none [is] barren among them. {3} Thy lips [are] like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech [is] comely: thy temples [are] like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks. {4} Thy neck [is] like the tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g] of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men. {5} Thy two breasts [are] like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. {6} Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. {7} Thou [art] all fair, my love; [there is] no spot in thee.


Verse 15 of Isaiah 2:6-22 presents an altogether different portrait - one of God’s judgment - that  began at His own house first: Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and [are] soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. {7} Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither [is there any] end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither [is there any] end of their chariots: {8} Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: {9} And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. {10} Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. {11} The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. {12} For the day of the LORD of hosts [shall be] upon every [one that is] proud and lofty, and upon every [one that is] lifted up; and he shall be brought low: {13} And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, [that are] high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, {14} And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills [that are] lifted up, {15} And upon every high tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g], and upon every fenced wall, {16} And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. {17} And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. {18} And the idols he shall utterly abolish. {19} And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. {20} In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made [each one] for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; {21} To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. {22} Cease ye from man, whose breath [is] in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?


Verse 2 of Isaiah 5:1-7 is another description of God’s judgment against His own house, typified as a vineyard:  Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: {2} And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315f, g] in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. {3} And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. {4} What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? {5} And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: {6} And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. {7} For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.


An Hold [seriah:H6877/TWOT:1969] 


We learn that the men of Shechem upon hearing that their fields had been sowed with salt went into this hold or seriah, which amounts to a cellar or underground room within the tower; this “room” must have been enormous to be able to contain a thousand men and women. This word is only found again in Judges 9:49 and 1 Samuel 13:6 respectively:


And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold [seriah:H6877/TWOT:1969], and set the hold [seriah:H6877/TWOT:1969] on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.


Verse 6 of 1 Samuel 13:1-14 recounts what the Israelites did as they battled against the Philistines under the leadership of King Saul; this was another episode in which King Saul blatantly disobeyed God’s Word through the prophet Samuel and as a result, eventually lost the kingdom: 


Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, {2} Saul chose him three thousand [men] of Israel; [whereof] two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent. {3} And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that [was] in Geba, and the Philistines heard [of it]. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear. {4} And all Israel heard say [that] Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines, and [that] Israel also was had in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal. {5} And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which [is] on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Bethaven. {6} When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places [seriah:H6877/TWOT:1969], and in pits. {7} And [some of] the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he [was] yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. {8} And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel [had appointed]: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. {9} And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. {10} And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. {11} And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and [that] thou camest not within the days appointed, and [that] the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; {12} Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. {13} And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. {14} But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him [to be] captain over his people, because thou hast not kept [that] which the LORD commanded thee.


It looks like we have  Lord willing, in out next study, we will finish with verse 46, and proceed to verse 47.

Judges 9 - Part 53

 March 5, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 53 and today’s date is March 5, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:40-49,


And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. {42} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. {43} And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. {44} And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them. {45} And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. {46} And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith. {47} And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. {48} And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done]. {49} And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.


A Correction


Before we begin I would like to correct something I said in our last study. I had said that the word hold which is a cellar or underground room was within the tower. In actuality it was within the house of the god, Berith, so please take note of that. 


We also learned that the term hold or seriah  stems from sarah [G6873/TWOT:1968] which only surfaces in the following two accounts as roar and shall cry; moreover both of these chapters deal with God’s retribution as well as the latter rain (from 1994-2011) when the Gospel penetrated the world as never before to reach the nations of the elect: 


In Isaiah 42 there is an emphasis on both salvation as well as on judgment. Verses 1-13 proclaim: Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. {2} He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. {3} A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. {4} He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. {5} Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: {6} I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; {7} To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. {8} I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. {9} Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. {10} Sing unto the LORD a new song, [and] his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. {11} Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up [their voice], the villages [that] Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. {12} Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands. {13} The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar  [sarah:G6873/TWOT:1968]; he shall prevail against his enemies.


Zephaniah 1:1-18 is a chapter that is focused on God’s judgment against His own house first and on our present prolonged day of  judgment that is occurring in the world today, as Satan’s kingdom is being divided:


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, 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. {9} In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence and deceit. {10} And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, [that there shall be] the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills. {11} Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off. {12} And it shall come to pass at that time, [that] I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil. {13} Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof. {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 [sarah:G6873/TWOT:1968] 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. 


The next two expressions that we want to examine are:


Of The House [bayit:H1004/TWOT*:241] Of The God [’el:H410/TWOT*:93a]  


These two words, of the house or bayit and of the God or ’el surface together again in the following four citations:


Verse 5 of 2 Samuel 23:1-5 renders these as my house and God: 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 [bayit:H1004/TWOT:241] [be] not so with God [’el:H410/TWOT:93a]; 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.


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)


Verse 1 of Psalm 52:1-9 translates these as the house and of God in this chapter that spiritually contrasts David (typifying Christ) and Doeg the Edomite (representing Satan), and their respective futures:  


[[To the chief Musician, Maschil, [A Psalm] of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house [bayit:H1004/TWOT:241] of Ahimelech.]] Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God [’el:H410/TWOT:93a] [endureth] continually. {2} Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. {3} Thou lovest evil more than good; [and] lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. {4} Thou lovest all devouring words, O [thou] deceitful tongue. {5} God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of [thy] dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah. {6} The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him: {7} Lo, [this is] the man [that] made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, [and] strengthened himself in his wickedness. {8} But I [am] like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. {9} I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done [it]: and I will wait on thy name; for [it is] good before thy saints.


Hosea 11:1-12 records God’s dealings with national Israel including His judgment upon her; she is represented by both Ephraim and Israel, whereas Christ (aka, the Lion of the tribe of Judah) and His elect saints are exemplified by Judah in this context: 


When Israel [was] a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. {2} [As] they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. {3} I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. {4} I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them. {5} He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return. {6} And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour [them], because of their own counsels. {7} And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt [him]. {8} How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? [how] shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? [how] shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. {9} I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I [am] God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city. {10} They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. {11} They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD. {12} Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house [bayit:H1004/TWOT:241] of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God [’el:H410/TWOT:93a], and is faithful with the saints.


Verse 2 of Zechariah 7:1-14 is another denunciation of God’s corporate people that came under His wrath first: And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, [that] the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth [day] of the ninth month, [even] in Chisleu;{2} When they had sent unto the house [bayit:H1004/TWOT:241] of God [’el:H410/TWOT:93a] Sherezer and Regemmelech, and their men, to pray before the LORD, {3} [And] to speak unto the priests which [were] in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years? {4} Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying, {5} Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh [month], even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, [even] to me? {6} And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat [for yourselves], and drink [for yourselves]? {7} [Should ye] not [hear] the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when [men] inhabited the south and the plain? {8} And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying, {9} Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: {10} And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. {11} But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. {12} Yea, they made their hearts [as] an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts. {13} Therefore it is come to pass, [that] as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts: {14} But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.


Berith [bᵊrîṯ:H1286] 


The last term that we want to investigate in verse 46 is the expression Berith, which is only found in this verse. However it is identically spelled to H1285 which is commonly translated as covenant, and is linked to Baalberith as we discovered in Judges 8:33 and 9:4 respectively in which the latter reveals that the men of Shechem gave 70 pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith to Abimelech in order that he could hire vain and light persons who would assist him in murdering his half-brothers, Gideon’s 70 sons, with the exception of the youngest, Jotham:


And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim [baʿal:H1168], and made Baalberith [baʿal bᵊrîṯ:H1170] their god.


And they gave him threescore and ten [pieces] of silver out of the house [bayit:H1004/TWOT:241] of Baalberith [baʿal bᵊrîṯ:H1170], wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him.


Baalberith is comprised of the two words, Baal (the false god or “lord”) and the term, covenant, or berith: 



Covenant [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a] 


The following notices illustrate some of the ways that God employs this term, which is primarily rendered as covenant, and to a much lesser degree as league and confederacy (-ate):


Leviticus 26:42 records God’s promise to His elect three times (pointing to the purpose of God spiritually): Then will I remember my covenant [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a] with Jacob, and also my covenant [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a] with Isaac, and also my covenant [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a] with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.


And Malachi 3:1 announces: Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a], whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.


Verses 1-2 and 20 of Judges 2 render this term as both my covenant and league in this chapter which serves to highlight the main theme that runs throughout this book: And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a] with you. {2} And ye shall make no league [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a] with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? …{20} And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a] which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; 


Jeremiah 31:31-33 speaks of a new (or third) covenant having to do with the fulfillment of the Great Commission and the completion of the Body of Christ which has occurred in our day:  


Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a] with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: {32} Not according to the covenant [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a] 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 [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a] they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: {33} But this [shall be] the covenant [bᵊrîṯ:H1285/TWOT:282a] 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 it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

We will have to stop here, as we have run out of time. Lord willing, in our next lesson we will investigate verse 47.

Judges 9 - Part 54

 March 10, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 54 and today’s date is March 10, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:40-49,


And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. {42} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. {43} And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. {44} And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them. {45} And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. {46} And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith. {47} And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. {48} And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done]. {49} And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.


We have arrived at verse 47, however we have already examined all the words in this passage in our earlier studies, with the exception of the last phrase, were gathered together, which is the Hebrew word, qabats. (H6908) 


Were Gathered Together [qabats:H6908/TWOT*:1983]


So as usual, we are interested in seeing how God employs this word in the Old Testament; additionally, we also want to discover if there is a “bridge” to the New Testament as well. We want to keep in mind this important Biblical principle that by comparing both the Hebrew and Aramaic with the Greek, one can arrive at a greater understanding of the awesome truths that God has deliberately hidden in His blessed Word, which always serves to magnify God the Son, Who is the Word of God. 


This term were gathered together or qabats  in this context has to do with judgment, as Abimelech (a type of Satan) comes against his own people in Shechem (representing the world in this context) to destroy them.  However, this expression is also used in connection with salvation like so many of the words in the Bible that we have discovered.


Verse 12 of Isaiah 11:1-12 translates this word as and gather together in this passage which is highlighting the work and mission of the Messiah, including both the “latter rain” in verse 11 as well as our present “day of judgment” in verse 4.: [The “latter rain” was that period of time in which the Gospel penetrated the world in unrivalled fashion to reach the nations of the elect during the last 17 years of the Great Tribulation (from 1994-2011), and concluded the Great Commission.] 


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


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)


{5} And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. {6} The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. {7} And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. {8} And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. {9} They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. {10} And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.  {11} And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. {12} And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together  [qabats:H6908/TWOT:1983] the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.


Verse 8 of Isaiah 56:1-12 uses this word three times and includes the gathering of the Gentiles (without mentioning them by name): Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation [is] near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. {2} Blessed [is] the man [that] doeth this, and the son of man [that] layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. {3} Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I [am] a dry tree. {4} For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose [the things] that please me, and take hold of my covenant; {5} Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. {6} Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; {7} Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices [shall be] accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.{8} The Lord GOD which gathereth [qabats:H6908/TWOT:1983] the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather [qabats:H6908/TWOT:1983] [others] to him, beside those that are gathered [qabats:H6908/TWOT:1983] unto him. {9} All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, [yea], all ye beasts in the forest. {10} His watchmen [are] blind: they are all ignorant, they [are] all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. {11} Yea, [they are] greedy dogs [which] can never have enough, and they [are] shepherds [that] cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. {12} Come ye, [say they], I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, [and] much more abundant.


Verses 9-12 are a denunciation against God’s corporate people - (Israel in the first instance - and secondly the New Testament congregations that were impacted by God’s judgment first) before it transitioned to the world at large as the day of judgment commenced on May 21, 2011. God’s judgment is also seen in verse 20 of Ezekiel 22, and notice the various indictments that God levels against her: 


Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations. {3} Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself. {4} Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come [even] unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries. {5} [Those that be] near, and [those that be] far from thee, shall mock thee, [which art] infamous [and] much vexed. {6} Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood. {7} In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow. {8} Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths. {9} In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness. {10} In thee have they discovered their fathers' nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution. {11] And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter. {12} In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD. {13} Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee. {14} Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken [it], and will do [it]. {15} And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee. {16} And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD. {17} And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {18} Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they [are] brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are [even] the dross of silver. {19} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. {20} [As] they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt [it]; so will I gather [qabats:H6908/TWOT:1983] [you] in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave [you there], and melt you. {21} Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. {22} As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.


There is also another “gathering” which we have not actually witnessed, but which God promised to Abraham with regard to the descendants of Ishmael - or the Arab nations - referred to as Kedar and Nebaioth in verse 7 of Isaiah 60:1-22 which would have also taken place during the “latter rain”:


Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. {2} For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. {3} And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. {4} Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at [thy] side. {5} Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. {6} The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. {7} All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together [qabats:H6908/TWOT:1983]  unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. {8} Who [are] these [that] fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? {9} Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. {10} And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. {11} Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that [men] may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and [that] their kings [may be] brought. {12} For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, [those] nations shall be utterly wasted. {13} The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. {14} The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. {15} Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through [thee], I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. {16} Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD [am] thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.  {17} For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. {18} Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. {19} The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. {20} Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. {21} Thy people also [shall be] all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. {22} A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.


The importance of “feeding sheep” in this regard cannot be stressed enough as the next references illustrate:


Verse 11 of Isaiah 40:9-11 maintains:  O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift [it] up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! {10} Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong [hand], and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before him. {11} He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather [qabats:H6908/TWOT:1983]  the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young.


And verse 3 of Jeremiah 23:1-6 likewise affirms: Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. {2} Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. {3} And I will gather [qabats:H6908/TWOT:1983]  the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.  {4} And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. {5} Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. {6} In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.


And verse 10 of Jeremiah 31:1-14 adds:  At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. {2} Thus saith the LORD, The people [which were] left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; [even] Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. {3} The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, [saying], Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. {4} Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry. {5} Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat [them] as common things. {6} For there shall be a day, [that] the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God. {7} For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. {8} Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, [and] with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. {9} They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim [is] my firstborn. {10} Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare [it] in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather [qabats:H6908/TWOT:1983]  him, and keep him, as a shepherd [doth] his flock. {11} For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of [him that was] stronger than he. {12} Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. {13} Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. {14} And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.


Well on that blessed note, we will have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next lesson, we will examine verse 48.

Judges 9 - Part 55

 March 12, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 55 and today’s date is March 12, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:40-49,


And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. {42} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. {43} And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. {44} And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them. {45} And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. {46} And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith. {47} And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. {48} And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done]. {49} And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.


Today we want to take a look at verse 48, beginning with the two terms, gat him up and to mount.



Gat Him Up [‘ala:H5927/TWOT*:1624] & To Mount [har:H2022/TWOT*:517a]


We have run across these terms already in some of our earlier Judges studies in Judges 4:5 and 12, but that was quite a while ago, so it might be helpful to review that material again: 


And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up [‘ala:H5927/TWOT:1624] to her for judgment. ... {12} And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up [‘ala:H5927/TWOT:1624] to mount [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] Tabor.


We will also discover that these two expressions can spiritually denote either judgment or salvation, depending on the context; I’ll start with the former first as Abimelech is a type of Satan, as we have learned since he is no stranger to murder and deceit (as verses 48-49 will show) not unlike his spiritual father, Satan, as we read in John 8:44, this seven-fold indictment:


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


Verse 13 of Isaiah 14:4-20 renders these two words as I will ascend and also upon the mount, the depicts Satan’s (aka, the king of Babylon) desire to rule in the congregations (which God allowed for His own purposes so that judgment would begin at the house of God first, in accordance with 1 Peter 4:17 and Jeremiah 25:29, and many historical parables interspersed throughout the Bible):


That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! {5} The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, [and] the sceptre of the rulers. 


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)


{6} He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, [and] none hindereth. {7} The whole earth is at rest, [and] is quiet: they break forth into singing. {8} Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, [and] the cedars of Lebanon, [saying], Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. {9} Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet [thee] at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, [even] all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. {10} All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? {11} Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, [and] the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. {12} How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! {13} For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend [‘ala:H5927/TWOT:1624] into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] of the congregation, in the sides of the north: {14} I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. {15} Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. {16} They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; {17} [That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners? {18} All the kings of the nations, [even] all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. {19} But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, [and as] the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. {20} Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, [and] slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.


This is also the case in verse 44 of Numbers 14:26-45 in which these two words are expressed as to go up and the hill: 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, I will surely do it 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]. {39} And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly. {40} And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we [be here], and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned. {41} And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper. {42} Go not up, for the LORD [is] not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. {43} For the Amalekites and the Canaanites [are] there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you. {44} But they presumed to go up [‘ala:H5927/TWOT:1624]  unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. {45} Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, [even] unto Hormah.


There also two other accounts that deal with death - those Aaron and Moses  - since Moses is a great type of the Law of God (which is designed to condemn mankind), and Aaron was the first High Priest, and neither the Law nor the Levitical priesthood could achieve salvation, which is why both Aaron and Moses could not enter the Promised Land (which typifies Heaven), as Numbers 33:38 and Deuteronomy 32:49-50 record respectively:


And Aaron the priest went up [‘ala:H5927/TWOT:1624] into mount [har:H2022/TWOT:517a]  Hor at the commandment of the LORD, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the first [day] of the fifth month.


Get thee up [‘ala:H5927/TWOT:1624]  into this mountain [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] Abarim, [unto] mount Nebo, which [is] in the land of Moab, that [is] over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession: {50} And die in the mount [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] whither thou goest up [‘ala:H5927/TWOT:1624], and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] Hor, and was gathered unto his people:


On the other hand these next citations concern salvation as indicated by the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham (exemplifying Christ and God the Father), God’s elect, in addition to the Kingdom of God respectively: 

     

Genesis 22:2 translate these terms as and offer him and of the mountains: And he [God] said, Take now thy [Abraham] son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him [‘ala:H5927/TWOT:1624] there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] which I will tell thee of.


Verse 3 of Psalm 24:3-6 poses this questions and then proceeds to answer it by explaining that only in salvation does one receive clean hands and a pure heart; once again these words are expressed as shall ascend and into the hill:  Who shall ascend [‘ala:H5927/TWOT:1624] into the hill [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? {4} He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. {5} He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. {6} This [is] the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.


Verse 3 of  Isaiah 2:1-4 acknowledges: The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. {2} And it shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. {3} And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up [‘ala:H5927/TWOT:1624] to the mountain [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. {4} And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.


Now let’s turn our attention to this mountain called Zalmon. 


Zalmon [Tsalmown:H6756] 


This word is only found in the following two passages:


2 Samuel 23:38 lists this name in connection with one of David’s 30 mighty men: Zalmon [Tsalmown:H6756] the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite,


Verse 14 of Psalm 68:14-16 contains this word, and please note the six times that the term hill or mountain - symbolizing the Kingdom of God in this context - that was just discussed few minutes ago: When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was [white] as snow in Salmon. [Tsalmown:H6756] {15} The hill [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] of God [is as] the hill [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] of Bashan; an high hill [har:H2022/TWOT:517a]  [as] the hill [har:H2022/TWOT:517a]  of Bashan. {16} Why leap ye, ye high hills? [har:H2022/TWOT:517a] [this is] the hill [har:H2022/TWOT:517a]  [which] God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell [in it] for ever.


This name Zalmon stems from the word that is always rendered as image and once as a vain shew. This expression can refer either to man being made in the image of God, or after the fall in the image of man, or images of false gods, as the subsequent Scriptures affirm: 


Image [tselem:H6754/TWOT:1923a]  


Genesis 1:26-27 chronicles the glorious creation of man after the image of God, prior to the advent of sin into the world: And God said, Let us make man in our image [tselem:H6754/TWOT:1923a], after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. {27} So God created man in his [own] image [tselem:H6754/TWOT:1923a], in the image [tselem:H6754/TWOT:1923a] of God created he him; male and female created he them.


However after Adam and Eve fell into sin, Seth was not born in the image of God, but rather in the image of man according to Genesis 5:3, And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image [tselem:H6754/TWOT:1923a]; and called his name Seth:


Verse 52 of Numbers 33:50-56 is one of many similar verses in which God commanded the following actions to be carried out when the Israelites entered the land of Canaan, along with the warning that failure to do so on the part of the Israelites would incur God’s wrath as we have seen so often throughout the book of Judges:  


And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan [near] Jericho, saying, {51} Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; {52} Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images [tselem:H6754/TWOT:1923a], and quite pluck down all their high places: {53} And ye shall dispossess [the inhabitants] of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. {54} And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: [and] to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man's [inheritance] shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit. {55} But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them [shall be] pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. {56} Moreover it shall come to pass, [that] I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.


The act of Abimelech going up to Mount Zalmon spiritually typifies Satan who is himself a false god, as we read earlier in Isaiah 14:13, by the initial terms we considered at the beginning of today’s program: I will ascend and also upon the mount. And even though he continues on this path of deceit and destruction, his end is drawing near as we shall see at the end of this chapter. 


Verse 6 of Psalm 39:4-7 speaks of how fleeting man’s life is, and the only hope that one has is the hope of eternal life in salvation that God secured for His elect people at the foundation of the world; this is the only reference in which this word is translated as in a vain shew:  


LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it [is; that] I may know how frail I [am]. {5} Behold, thou hast made my days [as] an handbreadth; and mine age [is] as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state [is] altogether vanity. Selah. {6} Surely every man walketh in a vain shew:[tselem:H6754/TWOT:1923a] surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up [riches], and knoweth not who shall gather them. {7} And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope [is] in thee.


On that very solemn note, we have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next study we will continue examining this verse.

Judges 9 - Part 56

 March 17, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 56 and today’s date is March 17, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:40-49,


And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. {42} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. {43} And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. {44} And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them. {45} And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. {46} And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith. {47} And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. {48} And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done]. {49} And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.


We have begun to look at verse 48, and we got so far as the term, as the phrase took an axe in his hand, as we have already considered the other words in this verse in previous studies. This phrase, took an axe in his hand is only found in this verse, so we will have to examine these words individually:

Axe [qardom:H7134/TWOT*:2067]


Let’s begin by looking at the word, axe, or qardom, which only surfaces in these next citations. Keep in mind that spiritually Abimelech is a type of Satan whose actions showcase that he has no love even for those in his kingdom that he is determined to destroy: 


Psalm 74:5 records: [A man] was famous according as he had lifted up axes [qardom:H7134/TWOT:2067] upon the thick trees.


Verse 22 of Jeremiah 46:10-26 translates this word as against her with axes in this passage which speaks of God’s judgment beginning at His own house first: For this [is] the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates. {11} Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; [for] thou shalt not be cured. {12} The nations have heard of thy shame, and thy cry hath filled the land: for the mighty man hath stumbled against the mighty, [and] they are fallen both together. {13} The word that the LORD spake to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon should come [and] smite the land of Egypt. {14} Declare ye in Egypt, and publish in Migdol, and publish in Noph and in Tahpanhes: say ye, Stand fast, and prepare thee; for the sword shall devour round about thee. {15} Why are thy valiant [men] swept away? they stood not, because the LORD did drive them. {16} He made many to fall, yea, one fell upon another: and they said, Arise, and let us go again to our own people, and to the land of our nativity, from the oppressing sword. {17} They did cry there, Pharaoh king of Egypt [is but] a noise; he hath passed the time appointed. {18} [As] I live, saith the King, whose name [is] the LORD of hosts, Surely as Tabor [is] among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, [so] shall he come. {19} O thou daughter dwelling in Egypt, furnish thyself to go into captivity: for Noph shall be waste and desolate without an inhabitant. 


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)



{20} Egypt [is like] a very fair heifer, [but] destruction cometh; it cometh out of the north. {21} Also her hired men [are] in the midst of her like fatted bullocks; for they also are turned back, [and] are fled away together: they did not stand, because the day of their calamity was come upon them, [and] the time of their visitation. {22} The voice thereof shall go like a serpent; for they shall march with an army, and come against her with axes [qardom:H7134/TWOT:2067], as hewers of wood. {23} They shall cut down her forest, saith the LORD, though it cannot be searched; because they are more than the grasshoppers, and [are] innumerable. {24} The daughter of Egypt shall be confounded; she shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north. {25} The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith; Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and [all] them that trust in him: {26} And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants: and afterward it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, saith the LORD.


In verses 20-21 of 1 Samuel 13:19-22 this term is utilized twice in this passage as and his axe  along with and for the axes: Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make [them] swords or spears: {20} But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe [qardom:H7134/TWOT:2067],  and his mattock. {21} Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes [qardom:H7134/TWOT:2067], and to sharpen the goads. {22} So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that [were] with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found.


In the New Testament we only find one word that is rendered as axe or axine (similar to our English word) (G513) and it appears in verse 10 of Matthew 3:4-12 (and the parallel passage in Luke 3:9), in the context of judgment:


And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. {5} Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, {6} And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. {7} But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? {8} Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: {9} And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. {10} And now also the axe [axine:G513] is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. {11} I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and [with] fire: {12} Whose fan [is] in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. 


Took [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124] & In His Hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844]


Let’s now consider the two expressions took and in his hand. You might recall that the hand is indicative of one’s will, and also denotes power; it can be used in either a positive sense or in a negative manner. As a matter of fact, we have encountered these two terms previously in some of our earlier studies in Judges:


Judges 3:21 records: And Ehud put forth his left hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844], and took [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124]  the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:


And Judges 4:21 adds: Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124]  an hammer in her hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844], and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.


Judges 7:8 also declares:  So the people took [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124]  victuals in their hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844], and their trumpets: and he sent all [the rest of] Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.


The following Scriptures further illustrate how God employs these two words:


Genesis 3:22 reveals: And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844], and take [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124]  also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:


Genesis 4:11 is God’s pronouncement against Cain: And now [art] thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124] thy brother's blood from thy hand; [yad:H3027/TWOT:844]


Genesis 22:6 and 10 concern the sacrifice of Isaac that God commanded of Abraham: And Abraham took [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124] the wood of the burnt offering, and laid [it] upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844], and a knife; and they went both of them together. ... {10} And Abraham stretched forth his hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844], and took [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124]  the knife to slay his son.


Exodus 29:19-20 include part of God’s instructions to Moses with regard to Aaron the high priest and his sons: And thou shalt take [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124] the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands [yad:H3027/TWOT:844] upon the head of the ram. {20} Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124] of his blood, and put [it] upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844], and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.


1 Samuel 16:23 recounts what David did when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul: And it came to pass, when the [evil] spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124] an harp [kinnowr:H3658/TWOT:1004a], and played with his hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844]: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.


By the way, it should be noted that the word an harp in this verse is the Hebrew expression kinnowr (H3658/TWOT:1004a), which is representative of the Word of God. In fact, it is quite significant that the Sea of Galilee or Tiberias was initially called Gennesaret, as we read in verse 3 of Luke 5:1-3 (and the parallel accounts in Matthew 14:34 and Mark 6:53); this lake or sea was given this name as its shape is similar to that of a harp or lyre:


And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, {2} And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing [their] nets. {3} And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship


Much of Jesus' ministry was concentrated in and around this lake as we just learned that He taught the people and performed many of His miracles in the vicinity of the lake. Moreover it was in this historical setting that He gave the command to a number of His disciples (who were fishermen by trade) that they would be “catching men” in verse 10 of Luke 5:4-11, which was the basis for the Great Commission that was fulfilled on May 21, 2011:


Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. {5} And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. {6} And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. {7} And they beckoned unto [their] partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. {8} When Simon Peter saw [it], he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. {9} For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: {10} And so [was] also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. {11} And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.


Jeremiah 25:15, 17, and 28 is a further confirmation that God’s judgment began at His own house first, and then it would transition to the world at large on May 21, 2011: 


For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124] the wine cup of this fury at my hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844], and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. ... {17} Then took [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124] I the cup at the LORD'S hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844], and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me: ... {28} And it shall be, if they refuse to take [laqach:H3947/TWOT:1124] the cup at thine hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844] to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.


And Cut Down [karath:H3772/TWOT:1048] A Bough [sowk:H7754/TWOT:2242 a, b]


The next two words, and cut down and a bough are only found together in Judges 9:48-49, in which Abimelech commands his men to follow his example, which will lead to the death of a thousand men and women of Shechem, pointing to the “completion” (which the word one thousand signifies) of whatever is in view, which would be the inhabitants of the kingdom of Satan, or this world. As I mentioned earlier this highlights Satan’s S.O.P., or standard operating procedure:


And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down [karath:H3772/TWOT:1048] a bough [sowk:H7754/TWOT:2242 a, b]

 from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done]. {49} And all the people likewise cut down [karath:H3772/TWOT:1048] every man his bough [sowk:H7754/TWOT:2242 a, b], and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.


We have run out of time, so Lord willing, in our next study we will consider the rest of verse 48 and proceed to verse 49. 

Judges 9 - Part 57

 March 19, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 57 and today’s date is March 19, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:40-49,


And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. {42} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. {43} And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. {44} And Abimelech, and the company that [was] with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and the two [other] companies ran upon all [the people] that [were] in the fields, and slew them. {45} And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that [was] therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. {46} And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard [that], they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith. {47} And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. {48} And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that [were] with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid [it] on his shoulder, and said unto the people that [were] with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, [and] do as I [have done]. {49} And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.



Since we have already considered the expression, trees in verse 48 earlier in this chapter, along with the word shoulder (which is the meaning of Shechem), and took it and laid, along with the phrase, him, What ye have seen me do, [and] do as I [have done], I won’t go over that material again. So let’s proceed with the expression, make haste which we have not investigated. But before doing that I would like to make an observation with respect to the two terms, ye have seen and me do/ [and] do. Curiously and by contrast, these same words are found in Judges 7:17, concerning what Gideon (representing Christ) did, and the command that he gave his three hundred men (who typify the elect) to follow his example in Judges 7:17,


And he said unto them, Look [ra’ah:H7200/TWOT:2095] on me, and do [`asah:H6213/TWOT:1708, 1709] likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be [that], as I do [`asah:H6213/TWOT:1708, 1709], so shall ye do. [`asah:H6213/TWOT:1708, 1709]


Make Haste [mahar:H4116/TWOT*:1152]


The last word that we want to investigate in verse 48, is make haste, and the following Scriptures illustrate how God employs this word: 


Isaiah 59:7 says this of the wicked:  Their feet run to evil, and they make haste [mahar:H4116/TWOT:1152] to shed innocent blood: their thoughts [are] thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction [are] in their paths.


Announcing God’s retribution,  Malachi 3:5 translates this word as a swift:  And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift [mahar:H4116/TWOT:1152] witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in [his] wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger [from his right], and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.


Job 5:13 renders this term as is carried headlong:  He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the forward is carried headlong. [mahar:H4116/TWOT:1152] 


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)


Psalm 16:4 expresses this as [that] hasten: Their sorrows shall be multiplied [that] hasten [mahar:H4116/TWOT:1152] [after] another [god]: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.


Ecclesiastes 5:2 includes this term as be hasty:  Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty [mahar:H4116/TWOT:1152]  to utter [any] thing before God: for God [is] in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.


Esther 5:5 and 6:10 both translate it as make haste: Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste [mahar:H4116/TWOT:1152], that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared… {6:10} Then the king said to Haman, Make haste [mahar:H4116/TWOT:1152], [and] take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.


Genesis 41:32 renders this as will shortly: And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; [it is] because the thing [is] established by God, and God will shortly [mahar:H4116/TWOT:1152] bring it to pass.


This word is also used in a unique way in verses 1 and 3 of Isaiah 8:1-22 having to do with the name of Isaiah’s son, that God instructed Isaiah to name him, Mahershalalhashbaz (H4122), which is a compound word made up of four terms, including Maher (identically spelled to our word, make haste) (H4116), and signifies (in Jay P. Green’s Literal Version): Make haste [maher:H4116] [to] the plunder [shawlal:H7997], Hurry [koosh:H2363] to the spoil” [baz:H957] underscoring the swiftness of God’s judgment (once it begins) in this chapter which stresses that God’s judgment begins at His own house first (exemplified by Judah and Jerusalem):


Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz. (H4122) {2} And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. {3} And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. (H4122) {4} For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria. {5} The LORD spake also unto me again, saying, {6} Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son; {7} Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, [even] the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks: {8} And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach [even] to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel. {9} Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. {10} Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God [is] with us.{11} For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, {12} Say ye not, A confederacy, to all [them to] whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. {13} Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and [let] him [be] your fear, and [let] him [be] your dread. {14} And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. {15} And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. {16} Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. {17} And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. {18} Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me [are] for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. {19} And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? {20} To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them. {21} And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. {22} And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and [they shall be] driven to darkness. 


Now let’s move on to verse 49, starting with the three terms that we have not already addressed, namely about a thousand men and women: 


About A Thousand [’eleph:H505/TWOT:109a] Men [’iysh:H376/TWOT:83a] And Women [’ishshah:H582/TWOT:137a]


These three words are only found together in the following three passages:


Verse 25 of Joshua 8:1-26 contains these three terms in this account which shows us God’s strategy that He gave to Joshua (representing Christ) to overthrow the city of Ai (a picture of the world):


And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land: {2} And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] for the city behind it. {3} So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour, and sent them away by night. {4} And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in wait [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] against the city, [even] behind the city: go not very far from the city, but be ye all ready: {5} And I, and all the people that [are] with me, will approach unto the city: and it shall come to pass, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them, {6} (For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them. {7} Then ye shall rise up from the ambush [’arab:H693/TWOT:156], and seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. {8} And it shall be, when ye have taken the city, [that] ye shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of the LORD shall ye do. See, I have commanded you. {9} Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie in ambush [ma’arab:H3993/TWOT:156e], and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among the people. {10} And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and numbered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. {11} And all the people, [even the people] of war that [were] with him, went up, and drew nigh, and came before the city, and pitched on the north side of Ai: now [there was] a valley between them and Ai. {12} And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. {13} And when they had set the people, [even] all the host that [was] on the north of the city, and their liers in wait [`aqeb:H6119/TWOT:1676a] on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley. {14} And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw [it], that they hasted and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that [there were] liers in ambush [’arab:H693/TWOT:156]  against him behind the city. {15} And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. {16} And all the people that [were] in Ai were called together to pursue after them: and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city. {17} And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel. {18} And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that [is] in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that [he had] in his hand toward the city. {19} And the ambush [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire. {20} And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. {21} And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai. {22} And the other issued out of the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side: and they smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape. {23} And the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua. {24} And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness wherein they chased them, and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword. {25} And [so] it was, [that] all that fell that day, both of men [’iysh:H376/TWOT:83a] and women [’ishshah:H582/TWOT:137a], [were] twelve thousand [’eleph:H505/TWOT:109a], [even] all the men of Ai. {26} For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 


I would like to draw your attention to the fact that in these verses the term ambush or one of its derivatives, along with the expression, liers in wait surface no less than nine times! Among other things, this serves to highlight the principle that God has purposefully crafted the Bible to conceal truth (which is the definition of a parable) as one read for instance in Proverbs 25:2, 


[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing [dabar:H1697] [“a word”]: but the honour of kings [God’s elect] [is] to search out a matter. [dabar:H1697] [“a word”]


This verse also informs us that one of the main tasks of God’s people is encapsulated in Acts 17:11,


Acts 17:11 states: 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.


There are two other Scriptures that contain these three words that we have been examining:


Verse 27 of Judges 16:18-31 reveal Samson’s final victory over the Philistines

And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. {19} And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. {20} And she said, The Philistines [be] upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. {21} But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. {22} Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. {23} Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. {24} And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us. {25} And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars. {26} And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. {27} Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines [were] there; and [there were] upon the roof about three thousand [’eleph:H505/TWOT:109a] men [’iysh:H376/TWOT:83a] and women [’ishshah:H582/TWOT:137a], that beheld while Samson made sport. {28} And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. {29} And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. {30} And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with [all his] might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that [were] therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than [they] which he slew in his life. {31} Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought [him] up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.


Lastly, Judges 21:10 includes these three expressions, although we won’t have time to discuss this as we have run out of time:  And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand [’eleph:H505/TWOT:109a] men [’iysh:H376/TWOT:83a]  of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead with the edge of the sword, with the women [’ishshah:H582/TWOT:137a] and the children.


Lord willing, in our next study we will move on to verse 50.

Judges 9 - Part 58

 March 24, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 58 and today’s date is March 24, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:50-57,


Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. {51} But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut [it] to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower. {52} And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire. {53} And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to brake his skull. {54} Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died. {55} And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place. {56} Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: {57} And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.


We have arrived at the last eight verses in this chapter, in which we also learn of Abimelech’s demise at the hands of a woman, which reminds us of the similar fate of Sisera (another type of Satan) at the hands of another woman (Jael), who pictures the elect as Judges 4:9 and 21-22 record, as Judge Deborah (exemplifying the Word of God) converses with Barak (who represents the Lord Jesus Christ):


And she [Deborah] said, I will surely go with thee [Barak]: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. ... {21} Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his [Sisera’s] temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. {22} And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her [tent], behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail [was] in his temples.


Thebez [Tebets:H8405] 


Let’s consider the location of this town near Shechem, called Thebez, and the spiritual nuances that God has hidden in this term. It is only found again in 2 Samuel 11:21, in connection with David’s plot to have Uriah killed in battle according to verse 21 of 2 Samuel 11:14-25,


And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent [it] by the hand of Uriah. {15} And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. {16} And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men [were]. {17} And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell [some] of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also. {18} Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; {19} And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king, {20} And if so be that the king's wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall? {21} Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? [Tebets:H8405] why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. {22} So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for. {23} And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate. {24} And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and [some] of the king's servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. {25} Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him. 


Thebez [Tebets:H8405] is derived from buwts [H948/TWOT:219], which is primarily translated as fine linen, and appears in the following eight citations:


Fine Linen [buwts:H948/TWOT*:219] 


In 1 Chronicles 4:21 we read of this family who worked with fine linen: The sons of Shelah the son of Judah [were], Er the father of Lecah, and Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the families of the house of them that wrought fine linen, [buwts:H948] of the house of Ashbea,


In fact, in 1 Chronicles 15:27 King David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, that was reserved for royalty or the very wealthy; spiritually we are reminded of the robe of Christ’s righteousness which all the elect have been clothed with spiritually: 


And David [was] clothed with a robe of fine linen, [buwts:H948/TWOT:219] and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also [had] upon him an ephod of linen.


Verse 14 of 2 Chronicles 2:11-14 records Solomon’s request of Huram king of Tyre to assist him in the building of the Temple; this term is rendered and in fine linen: Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the LORD hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them. {12} Huram said moreover, Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom. {13} And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's, 


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)

{14} The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father [was] a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, [buwts:H948TWOT:219] and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.


2 Chronicles 3:14 reveals that this fine linen was used in the fabrication of the vail of the Temple that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple: And he made the vail [of] blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, [buwts:H948TWOT:219] and wrought cherubims thereon.


2 Chronicles 5:12-14 states that all the singers were clothed in white linen as well at the dedication of the Temple, when the Ark of the Covenant was brought in:  Also the Levites [which were] the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, [being] arrayed in white linen, [buwts:H948TWOT:219] having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:) {13} It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers [were] as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up [their] voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, [saying], For [he is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever: that [then] the house was filled with a cloud, [even] the house of the LORD; {14} So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.


Verse 6 Esther 1:3-6 includes this word in this description of the feast which King Ahashuerus made for all his princes and servants: In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, [being] before him: {4} When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, [even] an hundred and fourscore days. {5} And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace; {6} [Where were] white, green, and blue, [hangings], fastened with cords of fine linen [buwts:H948TWOT:219] and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds [were of] gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.


Esther 8:15 informs us that Mordecai was also clothed in fine linen too (as he pictures the exaltation of the Lord Jesus after the demise of Haman (who typifies Satan), which spiritually portrays our current day: And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen [buwts:H948TWOT:219] and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.


Ezekiel 27:16 similarly adopts this expression in this chapter which speaks of God’s judgment beginning at His own house first:  Syria [was] thy merchant by reason of the multitude of the wares of thy making: they occupied in thy fairs with emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, [buwts:H948TWOT:219] and coral, and agate.


Curiously there are two expressions in Greek which are derived from this Hebrew word, buwts (H948) or fine linen: bussinos (G1039) which stems from bussos (G1040), which we will now examine respectively:


Fine Linen [bussinos:G1039] 


Bussninos is only found in the following citations in the book of Revelation:


Revelation 18:16 depicts the final end of Babylon which refers to God’s judgment that commenced on May 21, 2011: 


And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, [bussinos:G1039] and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!


The next entry is in verses 8 and 14 of  Revelation 19:7-16,  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, [bussinos:G1039] clean and white: for the fine linen [bussinos:G1039] 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. {10} And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. {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, [bussinos:G1039] 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.


Fine Linen [bussos:G1040]


Bussos or fine linen only surfaces in these next two references:


Luke 16:19-20 introduces the reader to the parable of the Rich Man and the Beggar, Lazarus:  There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, [bussos:G1040] and fared sumptuously every day: {20} And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 


And Revelation 18:12 maintains:  The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, [bussos:G1040] and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,


So, given the foregoing information we can see that this town of Thebez [Tebets:H8405] (which is in proximity to Shechem, and Shechem can typify either the world or the elect) is very much associated with fine linen, or the elect who have indeed been clothed with fine linen, exemplifying the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Likewise fine linen was used in the construction of the Temple and in particular the vail of the Temple.  This would also extend to the singers in the Temple during its dedication, who were also wearing fine linen. Moreover, the furnishings in King Ahasuerus’ palace include this as well, and please remember  that King Ahashuerus is a spiritual portrait of Christ as Esther becomes His Queen (and His Bride), symbolizing the Bride of Christ. As I mentioned at the beginning of today’s lesson, Abimelech’s death at the hand of a woman is similar to Sisera’s death at the hand of Jael as we saw in Judges 4. And so there is a similar tie in with Abimelech’s death by a woman who is associated with the elect or fine linen, that is found in connection with the name Thebez.


And Encamped [hana:H2583/TWOT:690] & And Took [lakad:H3920/TWOT1115] 


The next two terms that we want to investigate are and encamped or hana  along with and took, or lakad which are only found together in one other reference, which by contrast, is in verse 28 of 2 Samuel 12:26-31, concerning David who pictures Christ:


And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city. {27} And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters. {28} Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp [hana:H2583/TWOT:690] against the city, and take [lakad:H3920/TWOT1115]  it: lest I take [lakad:H3920/TWOT1115]  the city, and it be called after my name. {29} And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it. {30} And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof [was] a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was [set] on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance. {31} And he brought forth the people that [were] therein, and put [them] under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.


I think we’ll stop here for today. Lord willing, in our next study we will proceed to verse 51.

Judges 9 - Part 59

 March 26, 2021


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 59 and today’s date is March 26, 2021. I’ll read from Judges 9:50-57,


Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. {51} But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut [it] to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower. {52} And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire. {53} And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to brake his skull. {54} Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died. {55} And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place. {56} Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: {57} And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.


Today we will concentrate on verse 51, and the first two terms that make up the phrase a strong tower, referring to this structure in the city of Thebez, which as we learned in Part 58, is identified with God’s chosen saints.


A Strong [`oz:H5797/TWOT*:1596b] Tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315, f, g]


The two expressions, a strong or `oz and tower or migdal only emerge again in the following citations, both of which spiritually underscore the strategy that the inhabitants of Thebez  implemented,  showing that their confidence was rooted in the Word of God.


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)


Verse 3 of Psalm 61:1-8 contains these two words in this most comforting psalm: [[To the chief Musician upon Neginah, [A Psalm] of David.]] Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. {2} From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock [that] is higher than I. {3} For thou hast been a shelter for me, [and] a strong [`oz:H5797/TWOT:1596b] tower  [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315, f, g] from the enemy. {4} I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. {5} For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given [me] the heritage of those that fear thy name. {6} Thou wilt prolong the king's life: [and] his years as many generations. {7} He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, [which] may preserve him. {8} So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.


Proverbs 18:10 is another wonderful illustration that relates to the righteous, and please note the contrast with the wicked in verse 11: The name of the LORD [is] a strong [`oz:H5797/TWOT:1596b] tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315, f, g]: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. {11} The rich man's wealth [is] his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.


Another unique verse that speaks of  this same expression, tower, is found in verse 4 of Song of Solomon 4:1-7 as it compares the neck as well as other physical attributes which point to the matchless beauty of the Bride of Christ because she has been clothed with the spotless righteousness of God the Son:


Behold, thou [art] fair, my love; behold, thou [art] fair; thou [hast] doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair [is] as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead. {2} Thy teeth [are] like a flock [of sheep that are even] shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none [is] barren among them. {3} Thy lips [are] like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech [is] comely: thy temples [are] like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks. {4} Thy neck [is] like the tower [migdal:H4026/TWOT:315, f, g] of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men. {5} Thy two breasts [are] like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. {6} Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. {7} Thou [art] all fair, my love; [there is] no spot in thee.


We learn that this strong tower was within the city, which are the next two terms that we want to consider, and it was to this strong tower that the residents of Thebez fled to.


Within [tavek:H8432/TWOT:2498] The City [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615]


These two words, within or tavek and the city or `iyr are found together in 40 citations. Here are some examples of their usage:

 

In Genesis 18:16-33 we read of this conversation between Abraham and God concerning the destruction of the cities of the plain, and these two expressions surface in verses 24 and 26:


And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. {17} And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; {18} Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? {19} For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. {20} And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; {21} I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. {22} And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. {23} And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? {24} Peradventure there be fifty righteous within [tavek:H8432/TWOT:2498] the city: [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615] wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that [are] therein? {25} That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? {26} And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within [tavek:H8432/TWOT:2498] the city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615], then I will spare all the place for their sakes. {27} And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which [am but] dust and ashes: {28} Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for [lack of] five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy [it]. {29} And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do [it] for forty's sake. {30} And he said [unto him], Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do [it], if I find thirty there. {31} And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy [it] for twenty's sake. {32} And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy [it] for ten's sake. {33} And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.


Verse 48 of Genesis 41:46-49 includes these two words in connection with Joseph who is a great representation of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who provides spiritual Bread (as He is the Bread of Life) for His people; these terms are rendered in the cities and in the same: 


And Joseph [was] thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. {47} And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.{48} And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615]: the food of the field, which [was] round about every city, laid he up in the same. [tavek:H8432/TWOT:2498] {49} And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for [it was] without number.


Numbers 35:15 adopts these two words regarding the cities of refuge, which symbolize salvation when that was still possible: These six cities [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615] shall be a refuge, [both] for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among [tavek:H8432/TWOT:2498] them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither.


These two expressions are rendered the midst and of the city in verse 23 of Ezekiel 11:14-25, Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {15} Son of man, thy brethren, [even] thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, [are] they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the LORD: unto us is this land given in possession. {16} Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. {17} Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. {18} And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. {19} And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: {20} That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. {21} But [as for them] whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD. {22} Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel [was] over them above. {23} And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst [tavek:H8432/TWOT:2498] of the city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615] , and stood upon the mountain which [is] on the east side of the city. [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615] {24} Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me. {25} Then I spake unto them of the captivity all the things that the LORD had shewed me.


Verse 3 of Zechariah 8:1-6 translates these two expressions  in the midst and a city: Again the word of the LORD of hosts came [to me], saying, {2} Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. {3} Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst [tavek:H8432/TWOT:2498]  of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615] of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain. {4} Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. {5} And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. {6} Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts. {7} Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; {8} And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.

 

Since we have already considered the terms fled along with the men and women in some of our earlier lessons in this chapter, let’s discuss the next two words, and shut [it] and them, and gat them up:


And Shut [It] [sagar:H5462/TWOT:1462] & Them And Gat Them Up [`alah:H5927/TWOT:1624] 


Both of these expressions, and shut [it] or sagar and them, and gat them up or `alah only emerge in the subsequent references:


Verse 21 of 2 Kings 4:18-37 includes these two words,  And she went up and shut [the door] in this historical parable of the son of the Shunammite, whom God allowed Elisha to raise from the dead: 


And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. {19} And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. {20} And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and [then] died. {21} And she went up [`alah:H5927/TWOT:1624], and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut [sagar:H5462/TWOT:1462]  [the door] upon him, and went out. {22} And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. {23} And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? [it is] neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, [It shall be] well. {24} Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not [thy] riding for me, except I bid thee. {25} So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, [yonder is] that Shunammite: {26} Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, [Is it] well with thee? [is it] well with thy husband? [is it] well with the child? And she answered, [It is] well. {27} And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul [is] vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid [it] from me, and hath not told me. {28} Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me? {29} Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child. {30} And the mother of the child said, [As] the LORD liveth, and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her. {31} And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but [there was] neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked. {32} And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, [and] laid upon his bed. {33} He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD. {34} And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. {35} Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. {36} And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son. {37} Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.


Verse 7 of 2 Chronicles 29:1-11 contains these two expressions and is a chapter that records what good Hezekiah did to follow the LORD obediently:


Hezekiah began to reign [when he was] five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. {2} And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. {3} He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them. {4} And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, {5} And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy [place]. {6} For our fathers have trespassed, and done [that which was] evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned [their] backs. {7} Also they have shut up [sagar:H5462/TWOT:1462] the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered [`alah:H5927/TWOT:1624] burnt offerings in the holy [place] unto the God of Israel. {8} Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes. {9} For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives [are] in captivity for this. {10} Now [it is] in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us. {11} My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.


The last word that we want to examine in verse 51 is the top - in the phrase the top of the tower.


The Top [gag:H1406/TWOT:312]


This word emerges in 30 passages, and we will take a look at a few for them in the interest of time:


Exodus 30:3 is a description of the altar of incense: And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top [gag:H1406/TWOT:312] thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about.


Joshua 2:6 and 8 include this word as roof: But she had brought them up to the roof [gag:H1406/TWOT:312] of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof [gag:H1406/TWOT:312]... {8} And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; [gag:H1406/TWOT:312]   


Nehemiah 8:16 renders this as the roof of his house as they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles,  So the people went forth, and brought [them], and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house [gag:H1406/TWOT:312], 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, and sat under the booths: 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. {18} Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day [was] a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.


Lord willing, in our next lesson, we will consider verse 52.