Bible Ministries International

Bible Studies

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

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

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Judges 8 - Part 17

April 8, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 17 and today’s date is April 8, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:17-21,


And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city. {18} Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men [were they] whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou [art], so [were] they; each one resembled the children of a king. {19} And he said, They [were] my brethren, [even] the sons of my mother: [as] the LORD liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you. {20} And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, [and] slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he [was] yet a youth. {21} Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man [is, so is] his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that [were] on their camels' necks.


We are down to verse 17 in our examination of Judges 8, however we have already investigated all the words in this verse, so let’s proceed to verse 18. Here again there are only a handful of words that we have not considered in some of our earlier studies. Gideon’s questioning of  Zebah and Zalmunna (before killing them) is curious because we did not read of them killing any of the inhabitants of Tabor, much less Gideon’s “brethren”. So let’s take a closer look at Tabor in order to see if we might have missed something.


At Tabor [Tabor:H8396]


Tabor surfaces in 9 other citations, three of which we have already encountered in Judges 4 in verses 6, 12 and 14:


And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, [saying], Go and draw toward mount Tabor, [Tabor:HH8396] and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? ... {12} And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor. [Tabor:HH8396] ... {14} And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this [is] the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, [Tabor:HH8396] and ten thousand men after him.


The subsequent five references include this term, Tabor as well:


Joshua 19:17-23 has to do with the cities that formed the boundaries of the inheritance given to the tribe of Issachar, in which Tabor is named in verse 19:  [And] the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families. {18} And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem, {19} And Hapharaim, and Shion, and Anaharath, {20} And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez, {21} And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez; {22} And the coast reacheth to Tabor, [Tabor:H8396] and Shahazimah, and Bethshemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages. {23} This [is] the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.


1 Samuel 10:1-9 records the anointing of Saul by Samuel, how God used him for God’s own purposes, and the instructions that Samuel gave him, which he failed to obey; Tabor appears in verse 3: Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured [it] upon his head, and kissed him, and said, [Is it] not because the LORD hath anointed thee [to be] captain over his inheritance? {2} When thou art departed from me to day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel's sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and sorroweth for you, saying, What shall I do for my son?{3} Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, [Tabor:H8396] and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine: {4} And they will salute thee, and give thee two [loaves] of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands. {5} After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where [is] the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: {6} And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. {7} And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, [that] thou do as occasion serve thee; for God [is] with thee. {8} And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, [and] to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do. {9} And it was [so], that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.


Tabor also crops up in 1 Chronicles 6:77, Unto the rest of the children of Merari [were given] out of the tribe of Zebulun, Rimmon with her suburbs, Tabor [Tabor:H8396] with her suburbs:


Psalm 89 is a psalm that extols the Lord Jesus Christ and His elect people, represented by David, and in verse 12, we find a reference to two mountains: Tabor and Hermon; Tabor stems from a word that signifies “breaking;” and Hermon is indicative of “destruction”: The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor [Tabor:H8396] and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.


Verse 18 of Jeremiah 46:10-18 includes this word as well: 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 [Tabor H8396] [is] among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, [so] shall he come.


Lastly, verse 1 of Hosea 5:1-15 mentions this location too: Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment [is] toward you, because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor. [Tabor H8396] {2} And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I [have been] a rebuker of them all. {3} I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, [and] Israel is defiled. {4} They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms [is] in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD. {5} And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.  {6} They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find [him]; he hath withdrawn himself from them. {7} They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions. {8} Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, [and] the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud [at] Bethaven, after thee, O Benjamin. {9} Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. {10} The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: [therefore] I will pour out my wrath upon them like water. {11} Ephraim [is] oppressed [and] broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment. {12} Therefore [will] I [be] unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. {13} When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah [saw] his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound. {14} For I [will be] unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, [even] I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue [him]. {15} I will go [and] return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.


From the foregoing passages there is no mention of Zebah and Zalmunna specifically murdering Gideon’s “brethren,” however we know it was the case, as verse 18 testifies. So, the next term that we want to look at it is “as thou art,” which is used as an adverb or conjunction and is utilized to form a comparison at times. In this case the comparison or “resemblance” would be between Gideon and his siblings as we shall see. 


As Thou Art [kemow:H3644]


The following verses illustrate how God employs this expression:


Exodus 15:5 declares: The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as [kemow:H3644] a stone.


Isaiah 46:9 also maintains: Remember the former things of old: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else; [I am] God, and [there is] none like [kemow:H3644] me,


Isaiah 51:6 acknowledges: Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like [kemow:H3644] manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.


And Haggai 2:3 poses this question: Who [is] left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? [is it] not in your eyes in comparison [kemow:H3644] of it as nothing?


Resembled [to’ar:H8389]


Zebah and Zalmunna stated that each one of Gideon’s siblings resembled “the children of a king,” and since Gideon spiritually is a type of the Lord Jesus, and we know that He is “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords;” thus Christ’s “children” would be His beloved elect. These next references contain this Hebrew expression, “resembled,” which is also rendered as goodly, beautiful, comely and form:


In Genesis 29:17 this word is used to describe Rachel: Leah [was] tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful [to’ar:H8389] and well favoured.


Genesis 39:6 we read: And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was [a] goodly [to’ar:H8389] [person], and well favoured.


1 Samuel 16:18 depicts David’s countenance; Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, [that is] cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely [to’ar:H8389] person, and the LORD [is] with him.


Isaiah 53:2 reveals this about the Savior: For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form [to’ar:H8389] nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.

And Lamentations 4:8 depicts: Their visage [to’ar:H8389] is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.


Let’s stop here. Lord willing, in our next study we will move on to verse 19, as we have already discussed the phrase, “the children of a king” in some of our earlier studies.

Judges 8 - Part 18

April 10, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 18 and today’s date is April 10, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:17-21,


And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city. {18} Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men [were they] whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou [art], so [were] they; each one resembled the children of a king. {19} And he said, They [were] my brethren, [even] the sons of my mother: [as] the LORD liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you. {20} And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, [and] slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he [was] yet a youth. {21} Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man [is, so is] his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that [were] on their camels' necks.


We have arrived at verse 19 in our investigation of Judges 8, and the first phrase that we have not considered previously is: [even] the sons of my mother, which Gideon describes as his brethren or siblings. We also recall from Judges 6:15 and 27 that Gideon was the least  in his family; moreover he feared his father’s household, which is why he threw down the altar of Baal by night which apparently those in his own family worshipped, along with their fellow Abiezerites in Ophrah: 


And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family [is] poor in Manasseh, and I [am] the least in my father's house. ... {27} Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and [so] it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do [it] by day, that he did [it] by night.


Quite often in Scripture we note that God chooses or favors the “least” or the “younger” in the case of brothers. This is evident with Jacob and Esau or in the New Testament in the parable of the prodigal son and his elder brother. 


[Even] The Sons [ben:H1121] Of My Mother [’em:H517]


The two expressions,  [even] the sons and of my mother crop up together in 70 verses, and we will consider a few of them, as these terms can sp picture “the sons of God,” referring to the elect in this context; and “my mother” can typify the Kingdom of God, which is also represented by various women such as Sarah, as well as Rachel and Leah. We saw an example of Rachel and Leah (as well as Ruth) in Part 16 when we were discussing the phrase, the elders of the city, in Ruth 4:11-12,


And all the people that [were] in the gate, and the elders, said, [We are] witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: {12} And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.  


This is also the case with regards to Sarah in Galatians 4:22-31 who exemplifies Jerusalem above as God contrasts Sarah the freewoman and Hagar, the bondmaid, who is represented by mount Sinai, and Jerusalem which now is in this historical parable: For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. {23} But he [Ishmael] [who was] of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he [Isaac] of the freewoman [was] by promise. {24} Which things are an allegory [“parable”]: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. {25} For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth [“corresponds”] to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. {26} But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. {27} For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. {28} Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. {29} But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him [that was born] after the Spirit, even so [it is] now. {30} Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. {31} So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.


The following four passages illustrate God usage of these two terms in Judges 8:19, [even] the sons and of my mother:



Genesis 27:27-29 constitutes the blessing that Abraham conferred upon Jacob, thinking he was Esau, his firstborn, and these two words surface in verse 29, And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son [is] as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed: {28} Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: {29} Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's [’em:H517] sons [ben:H1121] bow down to thee: cursed [be] every one that curseth thee, and blessed [be] he that blesseth thee.


Psalm 69 is a Messianic psalm of Christ under the judgment of God and these two terms appear in verse 8 as unto my mother’s and children; I’ll read verses 1-9, [To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, [A Psalm] of David.] Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul. {2} I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. {3} I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. {4} They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, [being] mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored [that] which I took not away. {5} O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. {6} Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. {7} Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. {8} I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's [’em:H517] children. [ben:H1121]  {9} For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.


Galatians 4:27 picks up and elaborates on the theme of verse 9 in Psalm 113:1-9,  Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. {2} Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. {3} From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name [is] to be praised. {4} The LORD [is] high above all nations, [and] his glory above the heavens. {5} Who [is] like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, {6} Who humbleth [himself] to behold [the things that are] in heaven, and in the earth! {7} He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, [and] lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; {8} That he may set [him] with princes, [even] with the princes of his people. {9} He maketh the barren woman to keep house, [and to be] a joyful mother [’em:H517] of children. [ben:H1121] Praise ye the LORD.


A similar reference to the “barren woman” is found in verse 5 of Hannah’s magnificent prayer under divine inspiration in 1 Samuel 2:1-10,


And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. {2} [There is] none holy as the LORD: for [there is] none beside thee: neither [is there] any rock like our God. {3} Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let [not] arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD [is] a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. {4} The bows of the mighty men [are] broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. {5} [They that were] full have hired out themselves for bread; and [they that were] hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. {6} The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. {7} The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. {8} He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, [and] lifteth up 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. {9} He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. {10} The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. 


Lastly, verse 20 of Proverbs 6:20-23 contains these two expressions, and presents this critical admonition: My son [ben:H1121], keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother [’em:H517]:  {21} Bind them continually upon thine heart, [and] tie them about thy neck. {22} When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and [when] thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. {23} For the commandment [is] a lamp; and the law [is] light; and reproofs of instruction [are] the way of life: 


This brings us to the next two Hebrew words in the exclamation, [As] the LORD liveth, which Gideon utters to the two Midianite princes, Zebah and Zalmunna.


[As] The LORD [Yehovah:H3068] Liveth [chay:H2416]


This expression occurs in 38 other citations, and we will take a look at a few of them. It is actually a powerful affirmation of the Godhead’s eternal existence, and reminds one of what we read in verses 26 and 27 of  Mark 12:24-27 which records the Lord’s reply to the Sadducees’ hypothetical question regarding seven brothers who (who died and each in turn) married the same woman regarding whose wife she would belong to in the resurrection which they repudiated: 


And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? {25} For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. {26} And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I [am] the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? {27} He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err. 


Here are some of the ways in which God employs this expression:


It shows up in verse 13 of  Ruth 3:1-13 as Boaz counsels Ruth, as she obeyed the godly advice of her mother-in-law Naomi:  Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? {2} And now [is] not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor. {3} Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: [but] make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. {4} And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. {5} And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do. {6} And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her. {7} And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. {8} And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. {9} And he said, Who [art] thou? And she answered, I [am] Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou [art] a near kinsman. {10} And he said, Blessed [be] thou of the LORD, my daughter: [for] thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. {11} And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou [art] a virtuous woman. {12} And now it is true that I [am thy] near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I. {13}Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, [that] if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, [as] the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]  liveth [chay:H2416]: lie down until the morning.


In 2 Kings 2, it surfaces in verse 2, 4 and 6: And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said [unto him, As] the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]  liveth [chay:H2416], and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. ... {4} And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, [As] the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]  liveth [chay:H2416], and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. ... {6} And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, [As] the LORD [Yehovah:H3068]  liveth [chay:H2416], and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.


Ye Had Saved Them Alive [chayah:H2421] I Would Not Slay [harag:H2026] You


The last two terms in verse 19 are: ye had saved them alive along with I would not slay you. They appear together in three other noteworthy passages:


In verse 12 of Genesis 12:10-13 we learn of Abraham’s counsel to his wife Sarah: And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine [was] grievous in the land. {11} And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou [art] a fair woman to look upon:{12} Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This [is] his wife: and they will kill me [harag:H2026], but they will save thee alive. [chayah:H2421] {13} Say, I pray thee, thou [art] my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.


In verse 33 of Numbers 22:31-35, God pronounces these words to Balaam: Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. {32} And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because [thy] way is perverse before me:{33} And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee [harag:H2026], and saved her alive. [chayah:H2421] {34} And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. {35} And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.


Verse 9 of Ezekiel 37:1-14 contains these two expressions: The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which [was] full of bones, {2} And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, [there were] very many in the open valley; and, lo, [they were] very dry. {3} And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. {4} Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. {5} Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: {6} And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD. {7} So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. {8} And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but [there was] no breath in them. {9} Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain [harag:H2026], that they may live. [chayah:H2421]  {10} So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. {11} Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. {12} Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. {13} And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, {14} And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken [it], and performed [it], saith the LORD.


We have to bring today’s study to a close as we have run out of time. Lord willing, in our next study we will take a look at verse 20.

Judges 8 - Part 19

April 13, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 19 and today’s date is April 13, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:17-21,


And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city. {18} Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men [were they] whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou [art], so [were] they; each one resembled the children of a king. {20} And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, [and] slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he [was] yet a youth. {21} Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man [is, so is] his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that [were] on their camels' necks.


We are down to verse 20, and this curious account regarding Gideon’s firstborn son, Jether, who was commanded by his father to kill the two Midianite princes, Zebah and Zalmunna, but was afraid to do so.


Jether [Yether:H3500] [yeh-therr]


This is the only time in the book of Judges that this name Jether appears. It is also translated as Jethro, one of three names for Moses’ father-in-law, which is Yithrow (H3503) Both  Jether (H3500) or Jethro (H3503) share a common  root word (that is identically spelled to Jether, and is primarily rendered as rest (yether:H3499). I was looking to see if Jether (H3500) and firstborn (bekowr:H1060), were found together elsewhere in the same verse, but this search proved fruitless. However, what I did find was one passage in which firstborn (bekowr:H1060) and rest (yether:H3499) surface together and that is in Genesis 49:3, 


Reuben, thou [art] my firstborn [bekowr:H1060], my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency [yether:H3499] of dignity, and the excellency [yether:H3499] of power: 


Rest [yether:3499] 


The following Scriptures illustrate some of the ways that God employs this term, rest, which is also expressed as remnant or residue: 


We actually encountered this word in Judges 7:6, in which it is rendered as but all the rest, which God used to whittle down Gideon’s army to the final 300 men, representative of the elect: And the number of them that lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest [yether:H3499] of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.


We will also run across this word when we get to Judges 16:7-9 Lord willing; in these verses it is expressed as withs: And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs [yether:H3499] that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. {8 }Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs [yether:H3499] which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. {9} Now [there were] men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines [be] upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, [yether:H3499] as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.


Verse 14 of Psalm 17:8-14 speak of the wicked: Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, {9} From the wicked that oppress me, [from] my deadly enemies, [who] compass me about. {10} They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly. {11} They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth; {12} Like as a lion [that] is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places. {13} Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, [which is] thy sword: {14} From men [which are] thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, [which have] their portion in [this] life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid [treasure]: they are full of children, and leave the rest [yether:H3499] of their [substance] to their babes.


Isaiah 38 is a chapter that records the sickness that King Hezekiah had which God informed him, would lead to his death; however upon hearing his prayer God then added 15 years to his life; this term is translated as of the residue in verse 10: In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. {2} Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, {3} And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done [that which is] good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. {4} Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, {5} Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. {6} And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city. {7} And this [shall be] a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; {8} Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down. {9} The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness: {10} I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue [yether:H3499] of my years.


His Firstborn [bekowr:G1060]


The expression, firstborn is only found in this verse in the book of Judges, but as we have come to understand is highly significant because it relates to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the firstborn or first begotten from the dead, as we read in Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 1:5 respectively: 


And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn [prototokos:G4416], from [ek:G1537] the dead [nekros:G3498]; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.


And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead [prototokos:G4416], and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 


The subsequent citations contains this Hebrew term, bekowr (H1060), which is predominantly translated as firstborn, and to a much lesser degree as firstling, eldest, and eldest son: 


As was just mentioned in Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 1:5, Psalm 89:27 is just one of the Old Testament verses that speak of the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s firstborn which we understand to be from the dead: Also I will make him [my] firstborn, [bekowr:H1060] higher than the kings of the earth.


Psalm 135:8 also affirms God’s many judgments upon the land of Egypt: Who smote the firstborn [bekowr:H1060] of Egypt, both of man and beast.


In verse 20 of Exodus 34:19-20 this word is rendered as all the firstborn: All that openeth the matrix [is] mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, [whether] ox or sheep, [that is male]. {20} But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem [him] not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn [bekowr:H1060] of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.


We have already considered the rest of the terms in verse 20 in some of our earlier lessons, so let’s proceed to verse 21,


Verse 21: Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man [is, so is] his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that [were] on their camels' necks.


We have already considered the words up to, and fall, which we now want to turn our attention to:


And Fall [paga`:H6293]


These next references help us to see how God employs this expression, as Zebah (whose name indicates “sacrifice”) and Zalmunna (whose name means to “withhold shade”) ask for Gideon to kill them.


Exodus 5:1-3 records one of Moses and Aaron’s encounters with Pharaoh: And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. {2} And Pharaoh said, Who [is] the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go. {3} And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall [paga`:H6293] upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.


Joshua 2:12-21, Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token: {13} And [that] ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. {14} And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee. {15} Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house [was] upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. {16} And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet [paga`:H6293] you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way. {17} And the men said unto her, We [will be] blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. {18} Behold, [when] we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee. {19} And it shall be, [that] whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood [shall be] upon his head, and we [will be] guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood [shall be] on our head, if [any] hand be upon him. {20} And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear. {21} And she said, According unto your words, so [be] it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.


Ruth 1:15-17 are some of the most beautiful words recorded in Scripture that Ruth utters to her mother-in-law Naomi:  And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.{16} And Ruth said, Intreat [paga`:H6293] me not to leave thee, [or] to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people [shall be] my people, and thy God my God: {17} Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, [if ought] but death part thee and me.


By contrast, King Saul’s (symbolizing the end-time institutional churches and denominations) order to his own army to kill the priests at Nob was so reprehensible that only Doeg the Edomite carried then out single-handedly in 1 Samuel 22:17-18; this term surfaces three times as either fall or fell: 


And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also [is] with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall [paga`:H6293] upon the priests of the LORD. {18} And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall [paga`:H6293] upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell [paga`:H6293] upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod.


Isaiah 53:6 and 12 renders this term as hath laid along with and made intercession in this chapter which underscores the atonement ...at the foundation of the world: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid [paga`:H6293] on him the iniquity of us all. ... {12} Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession [paga`:H6293] for the transgressors.


Verse 16 Isaiah 59:15-18 translates this as that [there was] no intercessor: Yea, truth faileth; and he [that] departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw [it], and it displeased him that [there was] no judgment.{16} And he saw that [there was] no man, and wondered that [there was] no intercessor: [paga`:H6293] therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. {17} For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance [for] clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. {18} According to [their] deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.


Lastly Jeremiah 7:11-20 underscores God’s judgment against His own house first, in which this word is rendered neither make intercession: Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen [it], saith the LORD. {12} But go ye now unto my place which [was] in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. {13} And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; {14} Therefore will I do unto [this] house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. {15} And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, [even] the whole seed of Ephraim. {16} Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession [paga`:H6293] to me: for I will not hear thee. {17} Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? {18} The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead [their] dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. {19} Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: [do they] not [provoke] themselves to the confusion of their own faces? {20} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.


Let’s stop here, Lord willing we will continue our study in verse 21 next time.

Judges 8 - Part 20

April 17, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 20 and today’s date is April 17, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:17-21,


And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city. {18} Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men [were they] whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou [art], so [were] they; each one resembled the children of a king. {20} And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, [and] slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he [was] yet a youth. {21} Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man [is, so is] his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that [were] on their camels' necks.


What Is The Spiritual Significance Of Jether’s Fear To Draw Out His Sword


Before proceeding to verse 21, I would like to revisit verse 20, to try to determine the spiritual significance for why Gideon’s firstborn, Jether, feared to draw out his sword, and kill Zebah and Zalmunna, as his father had instructed him. In the historical context we learned that it was because of his age. However, we read of David who was also a youth, as King Saul observed in 1 Samuel 17:33, in which the same word for youth (na`ar:H5288) is employed as in Judges 8:20,


And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou [art but] a youth [na`ar:H5288], and he a man of war from his youth. [na`uwr:H5271 - stems from H5288]


As it turns out, David protests that he cannot wear the armor and sword that Saul gave him because he had not proved them, as 1 Samuel 17:38-40 maintain:


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.


Additionally, the New Testament records Paul’s exhortation to his young protege` Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12,


Let no man despise thy youth [neonetes:G3503]; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.


So we are left scratching our heads to grasp what God intends spiritually by this language in Judges 8:20 of Jether fearing to draw out his sword. Spiritually, it appears that it is not because of his age, as we saw from the examples of both David and Timothy. So there must be another way to understand  fear or youth. Youth can also be indicative of being a babe when it comes to feeding on the milk of the Word, as opposed to the strong meat of the Bible, according to Hebrews 5:12-14, in which we find this admonition, as well as 1 Peter 2:2-3 res 


For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. {13} For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. {14} But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.


As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: {3} If so be ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious.

Youth can also exemplify the time and season prior to the day of judgment, which would be the era of the New Testament churches and the Great Tribulation, as we glean from these next Scriptures:


Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 utilize three different words than the one we find in Judges 8:20, but the idea is the same; they are translated in thy youth, of thy youth, for childhood, along with and youth: Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth [yalduth:H3208]; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, [bechurowth:H979] and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these [things] God will bring thee into judgment. {10} Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood [yalduth:H3208] and youth [shacharuwth:H7839] [are] vanity.


This is also the case in Ecclesiastes 12:1, in which one of the words is also rendered of thy youth: Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, [bechurowth:H979] while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;


The Sword Of The Spirit


It is also helpful to keep in mind that the sword in view typifies the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit, according to Ephesians 6:17,


And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword [machaira:G3162] of the Spirit [pneuma:H4154], which is the word of God:


Hebrews 4:12 further elaborates on the nature and purpose of  the sword of the spirit:  For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword [machaira:G3162], piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit [pneuma:H4154], and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


However, I’m still not sure of the spiritual import regarding Jether’s fearfulness in the matter of killing Zebah and Zalmunna, so for the time being let’s move on to verse 21, and Lord willing, perhaps God will open my eyes to this in this verse, or at a later time, as He wills.


Verse 21:  Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man [is, so is] his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that [were] on their camels' necks.


As The Man [’iysh:H376] [Is So Is] His Strength [g@buwrah:H1369]


We have already considered the terms in verse 21 up to as the man [is so is] his strength, which consists of two expressions which only appear together again in verse 10 of Psalm 147:1-20 as in the strength and of a man. This psalm extols God’s power and care on behalf of His chosen people and the ruin of the wicked: 


Praise ye the LORD: for [it is] good to sing praises unto our God; for [it is] pleasant; [and] praise is comely. {2} The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. {3} He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. {4} He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by [their] names. {5} Great [is] our Lord, and of great power: his understanding [is] infinite. {6} The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground. {7} Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: {8} Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. {9} He giveth to the beast his food, [and] to the young ravens which cry. {10} He delighteth not in the strength [g@buwrah:H1369] of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. [’iysh:H376]  {11} The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. {12} Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. {13} For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee. {14} He maketh peace [in] thy borders, [and] filleth thee with the finest of the wheat. {15} He sendeth forth his commandment [upon] earth: his word runneth very swiftly. {16} He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. {17} He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? {18} He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, [and] the waters flow. {19} He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. {20} He hath not dealt so with any nation: and [as for his] judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.


The Ornaments [saharon:H7720] & Necks [tsavva’r:H6677]


The only other words that we have not previously considered in this verse are these two: the ornaments along with necks. These two expressions (along with camels’) only surface together again in verse 26 of this same chapter, so we will have to examine them individually:


And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold; beside ornaments [saharon:H7720], and collars, and purple raiment that [was] on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that [were] about their camels' [gamal:H1581] necks. [tsavva’r:H6677]


The Ornaments [saharon:H7720]


The word, the ornaments, only crops up (besides Judges 8:21 and 26) in one other significant passage that concerns judgment beginning at God’s own house first in verse 18 of Isaiah 3:1-22, even as God brought judgment against Zebah and Zalmunna (who exemplify the non-elect) who were killed by Gideon (who represents the Lord Jesus Christ ruling with a rod of iron in the day of judgment):


For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, {2} The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, {3} The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. {4} And I will give children [to be] their princes, and babes shall rule over them. {5} And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable. {6} When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, [saying], Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and [let] this ruin [be] under thy hand: {7} In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house [is] neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people. {8} For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings [are] against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory. {9} The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide [it] not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. {10} Say ye to the righteous, that [it shall be] well [with him]: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. {11} Woe unto the wicked! [it shall be] ill [with him]: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. {12} [As for] my people, children [are] their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause [thee] to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. {13} The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people. {14} The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor [is] in your houses. {15} What mean ye [that] ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts. {16} Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing [as] they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: {17} Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. {18} In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of [their] tinkling ornaments [about their feet], and [their] cauls, and [their] round tires [saharon:H7720] like the moon, {19} The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, {20} The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, {21} The rings, and nose jewels, {22} The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, {23} The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. {24} And it shall come to pass, [that] instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; [and] burning instead of beauty.


Necks [tsavva’r:H6677]


We have actually encountered the term necks in some of our earlier studies but it might be helpful to review this word, as it can relate to either blessing (for the elect) or judgment (for the non-elect) as in Judges 8:21. You might recall that we ran across this word in Judges 5:30 rendered as [meet] for the necks:


Have they not sped? have they [not] divided the prey; to every man a damsel [or] two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours of needlework on both sides, [meet] for the necks [tsavva’r:H6677] of [them that take] the spoil?


This word surfaces twice as the necks in the account of the five Amorite kings that Joshua captured and killed in verse 24 of  Joshua 10:24-25 And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks [tsavva’r:H6677] of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks [tsavva’r:H6677] of them. {25} And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.


Jeremiah 27:11-12 highlights God’s judgment against His own house first, represented by Nebuchadrezzar (the king of Babylon - typifying Satan) whom God allowed to rule in the end-time institutional churches and denominations: But the nations that bring their neck [tsavva’r:H6677] under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein. {12} I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks [tsavva’r:H6677] under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.


Lastly in Habakkuk 3:13, Satan is defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ commencing on May 21, 2011, the beginning of this prolonged day of judgment: Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, [even] for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. [H6677] Selah.


I think we’ll stop here today. Lord willing, in our next study we will move on to verse 22.

Judges 8 - Part 21

April 20, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 21 and today’s date is April 20, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:22-27,


Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. {23} And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you. {24} And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they [were] Ishmaelites.) {25} And they answered, We will willingly give [them]. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. {26} And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that [was] on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that [were] about their camels' necks. {27} And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, [even] in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. {28} Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.


Today I would like to begin by considering the word, rule which appears four times in Judges 8:22-23, in which the Israelites want Gideon to rule over them because of his victory over the Midianites. You might recall what we learned concerning ...the Midianites, the Amalekites, and the children of the east... from Judges 6:1-6, which was God’s response to Israel’s lack of obedience:


And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. {2} And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: [and] because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which [are] in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds. {3} And [so] it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; {4} And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. {5} For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; [for] both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. {6} And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.


Once again we see this ongoing cycle of rebellion>oppression>deliverance>rest that is so prevalent throughout the book of Judges.


As we contemplate the Israelites’ request and Gideon’s reply I was reminded of a similar request that the Israelites asked of Samuel, and God’s assessment of their motivation for doing so in 1 Samuel 8:1-22,


And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. {2} Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: [they were] judges in Beersheba. {3} And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. {4} Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, {5} And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. {6} But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. {7} And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. {8} According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. {9} Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. {10} And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. {11} And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint [them] for himself, for his chariots, and [to be] his horsemen; and [some] shall run before his chariots. {12} And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and [will set them] to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. {13} And he will take your daughters [to be] confectionaries, and [to be] cooks, and [to be] bakers. {14} And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, [even] the best [of them], and give [them] to his servants. {15} And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. {16} And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put [them] to his work. {17} He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. {18} And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. {19} Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; {20} That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. {21} And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. {22} And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city. 


Rule [mashal:G4910]


The following are some of the ways that God utilizes this expression, rule. We will also encounter it in three other places in the book of Judges:


In Judges 9:2 it is rendered as reign twice: Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether [is] better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, [which are] threescore and ten persons, reign [mashal:H4910] over you, or that one reign [mashal:H4910] over you? remember also that I [am] your bone and your flesh.


And in Judges 14:4 it is translated as had dominion: But his father and his mother knew not that it [was] of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion [mashal:H4910] over Israel.


In Judges 15:11 it is expressed as [are] rulers: Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines [are] rulers [mashal:H4910] over us? what [is] this [that] thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.


It’s interesting that God makes a promise to Israel in verse 6 of Deuteronomy 15:1-6, in which they would reign over many nations but the other nations would not reign over them, provided they obeyed His commands: At the end of [every] seven years thou shalt make a release. {2} And this [is] the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth [ought] unto his neighbour shall release [it]; he shall not exact [it] of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD'S release. {3} Of a foreigner thou mayest exact [it again]: but [that] which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release; {4} Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance to possess it: {5} Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day. {6} For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign [mashal:H4910] over many nations, but they shall not reign [mashal:H4910] over thee.



Verse 3 of 2 Samuel 23:1-3 outlines God’s parameters for one who rules over men: 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 [mashal:H4910] over men [must be] just, ruling [mashal:H4910] in the fear of God.


These next Scriptures point to God’s rule - whether it involves blessing on the one hand, or judgment on the other hand as we see today: 


Verse 12 of 1 Chronicles 29:10-12 is a magnificent affirmation of God’s Holy Character, in which this word is rendered as reignest: Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. {11} Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. {12} Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest [mashal:H4910] over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all.


Psalm 8:6 likewise testifies, in which this term is translated as Thou madest him to have dominion: [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. {2} Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. {3} When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; {4} What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? {5} For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. {6} Thou madest him to have dominion [mashal:H4910] over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all [things] under his feet: {7} All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; {8} The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, [and whatsoever] passeth through the paths of the seas. {9} O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth!


Psalm 22:28 adds: For the kingdom [is] the LORD'S: and he [is] the governor [mashal:H4910] among the nations.


Psalm 59:13 reflects God’s condemnation of the wicked expressed as ruleth:  Consume [them] in wrath, consume [them], that they [may] not [be]: and let them know that God ruleth [mashal:H4910] in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.


We have already considered all the terms in verses 22 and 23, so let’s proceed to verse 24:


Verse 24: And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they [were] Ishmaelites.)


Why don’t we start by taking a closer look at these men of Israel, who we learn were Ishmaelites. 


Who Were The Ishmaelites? [Yishma`e’liy:H3459]


The Ishmaelites were the descendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Sarah’s handmaid Hagar, according to these next Scriptures:


Genesis 16:15-16 record: And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. [Yishma`e’l:H3458] {16} And Abram [was] fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael [Yishma`e’l:H3458] to Abram.


Genesis 17:18-22  further add: And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! {19} And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, [and] with his seed after him. {20} And as for Ishmael, [Yishma`e’l:H3458] I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. {21} But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.


Galatians 4:21-31 explains that Sarah and Isaac and Hagar and Ishmael are part of  a historical parable that explains the two “covenants”:


Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? {22} For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. {23} But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman [was] by promise. {24} Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. {25} For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. {26} But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. {27} For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. {28} Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. {29} But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him [that was born] after the Spirit, even so [it is] now. {30} Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. {31} So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.  


A misunderstanding of this parable (and verse 30 in particular) has led to some unfortunate and erroneous conclusions in the past with respect to whether Arab nations (who descend from Ishmael) could be saved during the day of salvation. In fact there is Biblical evidence that suggests that during the period of the “latter rain” many individuals from the Arab nations would be saved in accordance with Genesis 17:20, Genesis 25:12-16,  and Isaiah 60:1-7 res


And as for Ishmael, [Yishma`e’l:H3458] I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.


Genesis 25:12-16 lists the 12 princes that were Ishmael’s sons (even as Jacob had 12 sons): Now these [are] the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham: {13} And these [are] the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, {14} And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, {15} Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: {16} These [are] the sons of Ishmael, and these [are] their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. 

 

Please note in Isaiah 60:1-7 the inclusion of both Kedar and Nebaioth, Ishmael’s firstborn sons: 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 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. 


Let’s stop here, and Lord willing, in our next study we will ponder Gideon’s request for the Ishmaelites’ golden earrings as we continue our excursion in verse 24.

Judges 8 - Part 22

April 29, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 22 and today’s date is April 29, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:22-27,


Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. {23} And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you. {24} And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they [were] Ishmaelites.) {25} And they answered, We will willingly give [them]. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. {26} And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that [was] on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that [were] about their camels' necks. {27} And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, [even] in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. {28} Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.


We have arrived at verse 24 in our examination of Judges 8 and in which Gideon requests from the Ishmaelites the earrings of [their] prey. And of course we wonder what the spiritual significance of this request might be as we consider what Gideon did with the gold. We learn that he used it to make an ephod; in turn, this golden ephod became a snare to Gideon, as all Israel went thither a whoring after it. So let’s begin by looking at the two Hebrew terms, them I would desire and a request: 




Them I Would Desire [sha’al:H7592] A Request [she’elah:H7596]


These two words only emerge together in two other accounts, with two different outcomes. The first one has to do with Hannah’s petition to the LORD for a son in 1 Samuel 1 and 2. I’ll read 1 Samuel 1:1-28, in which these two expressions are found in verse 17 and 27 as petition and asked. Then I’ll read 1 Samuel 2:18-21, in which these two terms appear in verse 20 as the loan and is lent:  


Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name [was] Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: {2} And he had two wives; the name of the one [was] Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. {3} And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, [were] there. {4} And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: {5} But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb. {6} And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb. {7} And [as] he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat. {8} Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? [am] not I better to thee than ten sons? {9} So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD. {10} And she [was] in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. {11} And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. {12} And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. {13} Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. {14} And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. {15} And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I [am] a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. {16} Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. {17} Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant [thee] thy petition [she’elah:H7596] that thou hast asked [sha’al:H7592] of him. {18} And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more [sad]. {19} And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. {20} Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, [saying], Because I have asked him of the LORD. {21} And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. {22} But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, [I will not go up] until the child be weaned, and [then] I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever. {23} And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him. {24} And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child [was] young. {25} And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. {26} And she said, Oh my lord, [as] thy soul liveth, my lord, I [am] the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. {27} For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition [she’elah:H7596] which I asked [sha’al:H7592] of him: {28} Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.{2:18} But Samuel ministered before the LORD, [being] a child, girded with a linen ephod. {19} Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought [it] to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. {20} And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan [she’elah:H7596] which is lent [sha’al:H7592] to the LORD. And they went unto their own home. {21} And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.


This next passage is found in verses 16 and 20 of 1 Kings 2:12-25 as ask and petition and desire and petition, but notice the negative impact of Adonijah’s request as opposed to the positive one in Hannah’s case: 


Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly. {13} And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably. {14} He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on. {15} And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and [that] all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's: for it was his from the LORD. {16} And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on. {17} And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife. {18} And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king. {19} Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand. {20} Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; [I pray thee], say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay. {21} And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife. {22} And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he [is] mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah. {23} Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life. {24} Now therefore, [as] the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day. {25} And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.


Let’s keep these two accounts and their respective outcomes in mind as we continue to investigate the rest of verses 24-28. Now let’s turn our attention to the next two words that we have not considered thus far which would be: they [the Ishmaelites] had golden and earrings since we have already considered the term of his prey (or spoil) when we were investigating the last few verses in Judges 5. 


They Had Golden [zahab:H2091] Earrings [nexem:H5141]


There is one very notable account of golden earrings in particular which should pique our curiosity. Do you recall where that might be? 


Verses 2 and 3 of Exodus 32:1-14 contains these two words, which are translated as the golden and earrings: And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for [as for] this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. {2} And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which [are] in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring [them] unto me. {3} And all the people brake off the golden earrings which [were] in their ears, and brought [them] unto Aaron. {4} And he received [them] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. {5} And when Aaron saw [it], he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow [is] a feast to the LORD. {6} And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. {7} And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted [themselves]: {8} They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. {9} And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it [is] a stiffnecked people: {10} Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. {11} And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? {12} Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. {13} Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit [it] for ever. {14} And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.


So we see that the golden earrings were used to fashion one of the idolatrous Egyptian gods - the golden calf - and this parallels what Israel does as we shall discover when they began to go a-whoring after the ephod that Gideon had made.


In verse 4 of Genesis 35:1-4 Jacob heeds God’s instructions, even though the earrings in this account are not specified to be made of gold, but notice how they are associated with the strange gods, as they make their way to Bethel, or “the house of God”: And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. {2} Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that [were] with him, Put away the strange gods that [are] among you, and be clean, and change your garments: {3} And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. {4} And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which [were] in their hand, and [all their] earrings [nexem:H5141] which [were] in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which [was] by Shechem. 


Although there are passages in which golden earrings are used in a positive light such as Proverbs 25:12 which states, 


[As] an earring [nexem:H5141] of gold [zahab:H2091], and an ornament of fine gold, [so is] a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.


There are other Scriptures in which earrings evokes a negative connotation associated with idolatry, as we noted in Genesis 35; one of these citations is in verse 13 of Hosea 2:1-13,


Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. {2} Plead with your mother, plead: for she [is] not my wife, neither [am] I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; {3} Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst. {4} And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they [be] the children of whoredoms. {5} For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give [me] my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink. {6} Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. {7} And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find [them]: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then [was it] better with me than now. {8} For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, [which] they prepared for Baal. {9} Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax [given] to cover her nakedness. {10} And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand. {11} I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. {12} And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These [are] my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them. {13} And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings [nexem:H5141]   and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD. 


Let’s stop here. Lord willing, we will pick this up in verse 25 in our next study.

Judges 8 - Part 23

May 1, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 23 and today’s date is May 1, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:22-27,


Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. {23} And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you. {24} And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they [were] Ishmaelites.) {25} And they answered, We will willingly give [them]. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. {26} And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that [was] on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that [were] about their camels' necks. {27} And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, [even] in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. {28} Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.


And They Spread [paras:H6566] A Garment [simlah:H8071]


We have arrived at verse 25, and the two expressions, and they spread  along with a garment referring to what the Ishmaelites did in order for their golden earrings to be collected. These two terms are only found together one other time in verse 17 of Deuteronomy 22:13-21, 


If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, {14} And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: {15} Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: {16} And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her;{17} And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread [paras:H6566] the cloth [simlah:H8071] before the elders of the city. {18} And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; {19} And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. {20} But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: {21} Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.


How are we to understand the spiritual implications of these two accounts, and in which ways might they be related ? This second reference has to with clearing the name of a wife who was indeed a virgin, contrary to what her husband affirmed regarding her virginity because he hated her. In this case the “proof” was the stained sheet or cloth of the marriage bed. We also want to bear in mind that virgins typify God's elect, as the following passages underscore:


In Matthew 25:1 we read: Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.


Similarly, verse 4 of Revelation 14:1-5 alludes to those who were saved during the era of the church age as virgins, who are also represented by the spiritual number 144,000 [pointing parabolically to the “fulness” (12 X 12) (X 1000) of “perfection”): And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. {2} And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: {3} And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. {4} These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. {5} And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.


However in Judges 8:24 the garment in view is used to collect a substantial amount (1700 shekels worth we are told) of golden earrings. And how are we to understand the quantity as well as the nature of these golden earrings, especially when we consider what Gideon did with them by making an ephod, which later became a snare to him (and his house), as all Israel went a whoring after it.  In a few of our earlier lessons we discussed how the earrings (which is also translated as  jewels) were used for idolatrous practices (remember the golden calf incident) or they are a portrait of the spiritual beauty and blessing that God bestowed upon the two outward expressions of the Kingdom of God on earth: first, national Israel, and secondly, the New Testament churches and denominations. Keep this in mind as we will be returning to this idea when we examine the word, ephod.  


And Did Cast [shalak:H7993] Therein Every Man ['iysh:H376]


The next two terms that we encounter in verse 25 are: and did cast and therein every man. Ezekiel 20:1-49 constitutes a historical parable in which God highlights His favor to and love for national Israel, which they rejected time and again, resulting in God’s fierce wrath upon them. These two terms emerge in verses 7 and 8 as cast away and every man: 


And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire of the LORD, and sat before me. {2} Then came the word of the LORD unto me, saying, {3} Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye come to enquire of me? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you. {4} Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers: {5} And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God; {6} In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: {7} Then said I unto them, Cast ye away [shalak:H7993] every man ['iysh:H376] the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. {8} But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man  ['iysh:H376] cast away [shalak:H7993] the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. {9} But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt. {10} Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.{11} And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. {12} Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. {13} But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.{14} But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. {15} Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; {16} Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. {17} Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness. {18} But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: {19} I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; {20} And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God {21} Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. {22} Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.

{23} I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; {24} Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols. {25} Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; {26} And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD. {27} Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me. {28} For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings. {29} Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day. {30} Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations? {31} For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you. {32} And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone. {33} As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: {34} And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. {35} And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. {36} Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. {37} And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:{38} And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. {39} As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols. {40} For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. {41} I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. {42} And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers. {43} And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. {44} And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD. {45} Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {46} Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; {47} And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.{48} And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched. {49} Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?


Did you notice the statement in verse 49? Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables? This reminds of Mark 4:34, that very succinct but powerful affirmation regarding how God wrote the Bible:


But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.


Let’s move on to verse 26,


Verse 26: And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that [was] on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that [were] about their camels' necks. 


And The Weight [mishqal:H4948]


The term, and the weight,  is a Hebrew noun and is used from time to time in the Bible with a variety of applications. Here are just a few to consider:


Verse 35 of Leviticus 19:35-37 lays down this Biblical injunction, reflecting the very character of God Himself Who is perfectly Just and Righteous in all that He does; this word is rendered in weight: Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, [mishqal:H4948] or in measure. {36} Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. {37} Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I [am] the LORD.


1 Chronicles 22:14 records this statement of David to his son, Solomon: Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; [mishqal:H4948] for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.


Verse 25 of Job 28:23-28 renders this term as the weight and makes this awesome declaration of God’s creative powers: God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. {24} For he looketh to the ends of the earth, [and] seeth under the whole heaven;{25} To make the weight [mishqal:H4948] for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure. {26} When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: {27} Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. {28} And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding. 


Ezekiel 4:16-17 is set against the backdrop of God’s judgment against His own house first: Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, [mishqal:H4948] and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment. {17} That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity.


Let’s stop here. Today I think I raised more questions that I answered, so Lord willing, in our upcoming studies,  could it be that God may open our eyes to see His truth, as He wills.

Judges 8 - Part 24

May 4, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 24 and today’s date is May 4, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:22-27,


Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. {23} And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you. {24} And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they [were] Ishmaelites.) {25} And they answered, We will willingly give [them]. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. {26} And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that [was] on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that [were] about their camels' necks. {27} And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, [even] in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. {28} Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.


Today we want to consider the rest of verse 26, as we left off at the weight of the golden earrings that the Ishmaelites gave to Gideon, which was 1700 shekels.  


A Thousand [’eleph:H505] And Seven [sheba`:H7651] Hundred [me’ah:H3967]


We recognize that the number “1700” has spiritual meaning as the number 17 points to heaven and the number 100 indicates completeness. So we could say the “complete number of those going to heaven” (as opposed to the actual number). There is only one other account in which the three Hebrew terms (totalling 1700) for a thousand, and seven, and hundred  appear together, and this is in 1 Chronicles 26:30, concerning these officers, who were involved in the business of the LORD, and in the service of the king:

  

[And] of the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his brethren, men of valour, a thousand and seven hundred, [were] officers among them of Israel on this side Jordan westward in all the business of the LORD, and in the service of the king.


So it would appear that these 1700 officers are a picture of God’s elect. Let’s consider the rest of the words (that we have not already examined) in verse 26, beginning with the collars and purple raiment that pertained to the kings of Midian (since we have already discussed the ornaments in a previous study):


And Collars [netiyphah:H5188]


This expression collars, is similar to ornaments in that it is only used again in the same context having to do with God’s judgment beginning at His own house first in verse 19 of Isaiah 3:16-26, in which it is translated as the chains; you might recall that the ornaments in Judges 8:21 was rendered in Isaiah 3:18 as [their] round tires:  


Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing [as] they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: {17} Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. {18} In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of [their] tinkling ornaments [about their feet], and [their] cauls, and [their] round tires like the moon, {19} The chains [netiyphah:H5188], and the bracelets, and the mufflers, {20} The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, {21} The rings, and nose jewels, {22} The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, {23} The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. {24} And it shall come to pass, [that] instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; [and] burning instead of beauty. {25} Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. {26} And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she [being] desolate shall sit upon the ground. 


And Purple [argaman:H713] Raiment [beged:H899]


Frequently purple clothing was worn by royalty in Biblical times as we see in verses 2 and 5 of the 4th Gospel, chapter 19:1-5,


Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged [him]. {2} And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put [it] on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, {3} And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. {4} Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. {5} Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And [Pilate] saith unto them, Behold the man!


The only other places where these two Hebrew words,  purple and raiment are found together are in the following citations that relate to the Tabernacle and the priests’ garments:


Exodus 39:1 reveals: And of the blue, and purple [argaman:H713], and scarlet, they made cloths [beged:H899] of service, to do service in the holy [place], and made the holy garments for Aaron; as the LORD commanded Moses.


Similarly, Numbers 4:13 adds: And they shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple  [argaman:H713] cloth [beged:H899] thereon:


The Chains [`anaq:H6060]

The next expression in Judges 8:26 is the chains that were on the camels’ necks. This word only crops up in these next Scriptures, which are positive in character:


Verse 9 of Proverbs 1:8-9 translates it and chains: My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: {9} For they [shall be] an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains [`anaq:H6060] about thy neck.


Verse 9 of Song of Solomon 4:1-12 render this word as chain, in this spiritual description 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 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. {8} Come with me from Lebanon, [my] spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards. {9} Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, [my] spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain [`anaq:H6060] of thy neck. {10} How fair is thy love, my sister, [my] spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! {11} Thy lips, O [my] spouse, drop [as] the honeycomb: honey and milk [are] under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments [is] like the smell of Lebanon. {12} A garden inclosed [is] my sister, [my] spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.


However we understand that these kings of Midian were unsaved and picture those within the kingdom of Satan; their camels were also unclean animals. So we wonder how we can reconcile the foregoing passages that speak of the elect and the Kingdom of God with these wicked kings of Midian and their chains about the camels’ necks? However, we do find help in that this word for the chains (`anaq:H6060) is a noun, and stems from an identically spelled verb (`anaq:H6059), which is only found in two other citations - the first one is positive in character and emerges in verse 14 of Deuteronomy 15:12-18 as thou shalt furnish him liberally. However it is the second passage that will help us solve the dilemma, which is in verse 6 of Psalm 73:1-20, that highlights the difference between the destiny of the righteous and that of the wicked, in which this word is rendered compasseth them about as a chain:    


Deuteronomy 15:12-18 maintains: [And] if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. {13} And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: {14} Thou shalt furnish him liberally [`anaq:H6059] out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: [of that] wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. {15} And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day. {16} And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee; {17} Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust [it] through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise. {18} It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant [to thee], in serving thee six years: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.


Psalm 73:1-20 declares: [A Psalm of Asaph.] Truly God [is] good to Israel, [even] to such as are of a clean heart. {2} But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. {3} For I was envious at the foolish, [when] I saw the prosperity of the wicked. {4} For [there are] no bands in their death: but their strength [is] firm. {5} They [are] not in trouble [as other] men; neither are they plagued like [other] men. {6} Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain [`anaq:H6059]; violence covereth them [as] a garment. {7} Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. {8} They are corrupt, and speak wickedly [concerning] oppression: they speak loftily. {9} They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. {10} Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full [cup] are wrung out to them. {11} And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? {12} Behold, these [are] the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase [in] riches. {13} Verily I have cleansed my heart [in] vain, and washed my hands in innocency. {14} For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. {15} If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend [against] the generation of thy children. {16} When I thought to know this, it [was] too painful for me; {17} Until I went into the sanctuary of God; [then] understood I their end. {18} Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. {19} How are they [brought] into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. {20} As a dream when [one] awaketh; [so], O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. 


We find another similar image in the New Testament regarding chains with respect to the historical parable of the two Gadarene demoniacs whom the Lord saved in Mark 5:1-15 (and the parallel account in Luke 8): 


And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. {2} And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, {3} Who had [his] dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: {4} Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any [man] tame him. {5} And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. {6} But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, {7} And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, [thou] Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. {8} For he said unto him, Come out of the man, [thou] unclean spirit. {9} And he asked him, What [is] thy name? And he answered, saying, My name [is] Legion: for we are many. {10} And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. {11} Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. {12} And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. {13} And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. {14} And they that fed the swine fled, and told [it] in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. {15} And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.


This passage dramatically underscores the power of God to save through the Word of God during the day of salvation. As such it highlights the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ as Isaiah 61:1-3 puts it so succinctly: 


The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; {2} To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; {3} To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.


Let’s stop here. Lord willing in our next study, we will investigate verse 27.

Judges 8 - Part 25

May 6, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 25 and today’s date is May 6, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:22-27,


Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. {23} And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you. {24} And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they [were] Ishmaelites.) {25} And they answered, We will willingly give [them]. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. {26} And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that [was] on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that [were] about their camels' necks. {27} And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, [even] in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. {28} Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.


We are down to verse 27 in our examination of Judges 8, and this curious verse whereby Gideon makes an ephod from the spoils of war that was discussed in verse 26, and puts it in Ophrah. Then we learn that all Israel went a whoring after it, so that it became  a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. What could God possibly have in mind spiritually in this historical parable? Let’s begin by first of all understanding what an ephod is, and hopefully this will provide some clues to answer those questions.


 Make [`asah:H6213] An Ephod [’ephowd:H646]


The two terms, make and an ephod are found chiefly in Exodus 28 and Exodus 39; however we will encounter them again once we get to both Judges 17 and 18, Lord permitting.


In Exodus 28:1-31 they appear together 6 times (in verses 4, 6, 15, 26-27, and 31; additionally these words also surface individually in this chapter as well): And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, [even] Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons. {2} And thou shalt make [`asah:H6213]  holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty. {3} And thou shalt speak unto all [that are] wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make [`asah:H6213]  Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. {4} And these [are] the garments which they shall make [`asah:H6213]; a breastplate, and an ephod [’ephowd:H646], and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. {5} And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. {6} And they shall make [`asah:H6213] the ephod [’ephowd:H646] [of] gold, [of] blue, and [of] purple, [of] scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work. {7} It shall have the two shoulderpieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and [so] it shall be joined together. {8} And the curious girdle of the ephod [’ephowd:H646], which [is] upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; [even of] gold, [of] blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. {9} And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel: {10} Six of their names on one stone, and [the other] six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth. {11} With the work of an engraver in stone, [like] the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. {12} And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod [’ephowd:H646] [for] stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial. {13} And thou shalt make ouches [of] gold; {14} And two chains [of] pure gold at the ends; [of] wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches. {15} And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod [’ephowd:H646] thou shalt make it [`asah:H6213]; [of] gold, [of] blue, and [of] purple, and [of] scarlet, and [of] fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. {16} Foursquare it shall be [being] doubled; a span [shall be] the length thereof, and a span [shall be] the breadth thereof. {17} And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, [even] four rows of stones: [the first] row [shall be] a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: [this shall be] the first row. {18} And the second row [shall be] an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. {19} And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. {20} And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. {21} And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, [like] the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes. {22} And thou shalt make upon the breastplate chains at the ends [of] wreathen work [of] pure gold. {23} And thou shalt make upon the breastplate two rings of gold, and shalt put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate. {24} And thou shalt put the two wreathen [chains] of gold in the two rings [which are] on the ends of the breastplate. {25} And [the other] two ends of the two wreathen [chains] thou shalt fasten in the two ouches, and put [them] on the shoulderpieces of the ephod [’ephowd:H646]  before it. {26} And thou shalt make [`asah:H6213]  two rings of gold, and thou shalt put them upon the two ends of the breastplate in the border thereof, which [is] in the side of the ephod [’ephowd:H646] inward. {27} And two [other] rings of gold thou shalt make [`asah:H6213], and shalt put them on the two sides of the ephod [’ephowd:H646]  underneath, toward the forepart thereof, over against the [other] coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod. [’ephowd:H646] {28} And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod [’ephowd:H646] with a lace of blue, that [it] may be above the curious girdle of the ephod [’ephowd:H646], and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod [’ephowd:H646]. {29} And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy [place], for a memorial before the LORD continually. {30} And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually. {31} And thou shalt make [`asah:H6213] the robe of the ephod [’ephowd:H646] all [of] blue.


Exodus 39:1-22 reveals a similar description along with some added details: And of the blue, and purple, and scarlet, they made cloths of service, to do service in the holy [place], and made the holy garments for Aaron; as the LORD commanded Moses. {2} And he made [`asah:H6213]  the ephod [’ephowd:H646] [of] gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. {3} And they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut [it into] wires, to work [it] in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, [with] cunning work. {4} They made shoulderpieces for it, to couple [it] together: by the two edges was it coupled together. {5} And the curious girdle of his ephod, that [was] upon it, [was] of the same, according to the work thereof; [of] gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen; as the LORD commanded Moses. {6} And they wrought onyx stones inclosed in ouches of gold, graven, as signets are graven, with the names of the children of Israel. {7} And he put them on the shoulders of the ephod, [that they should be] stones for a memorial to the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses. {8} And he made [`asah:H6213] the breastplate [of] cunning work, like the work of the ephod [’ephowd:H646]; [of] gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. {9} It was foursquare; they made the breastplate double: a span [was] the length thereof, and a span the breadth thereof, [being] doubled. {10} And they set in it four rows of stones: [the first] row [was] a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this [was] the first row. {11} And the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. {12} And the third row, a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. {13} And the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper: [they were] inclosed in ouches of gold in their inclosings. {14} And the stones [were] according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, [like] the engravings of a signet, every one with his name, according to the twelve tribes. {15} And they made upon the breastplate chains at the ends, [of] wreathen work [of] pure gold. {16} And they made two ouches [of] gold, and two gold rings; and put the two rings in the two ends of the breastplate. {17} And they put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings on the ends of the breastplate. {18} And the two ends of the two wreathen chains they fastened in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod, before it. {19} And they made [`asah:H6213]  two rings of gold, and put [them] on the two ends of the breastplate, upon the border of it, which [was] on the side of the ephod [’ephowd:H646] inward. {20} And they made [`asah:H6213]  two [other] golden rings, and put them on the two sides of the ephod [’ephowd:H646]  underneath, toward the forepart of it, over against the [other] coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod. [’ephowd:H646]  {21} And they did bind the breastplate by his rings unto the rings of the ephod [’ephowd:H646] with a lace of blue, that it might be above the curious girdle of the ephod [’ephowd:H646], and that the breastplate might not be loosed from the ephod [’ephowd:H646]; as the LORD commanded Moses. {22} And he made [`asah:H6213]  the robe of the ephod [’ephowd:H646]  [of] woven work, all [of] blue.


What strikes us immediately are the statements in Exodus 28:3-4 regarding the purpose of these holy garments which God commissioned Moses to be made: And thou shalt speak unto all [that are] wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. {4} And these [are] the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod  [’ephowd:H646], and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. 


These 6 parts of the priest’s attire were designed by God so that the priests could minister before God, and they each undoubtedly have great spiritual significance, which is beyond the scope of today’s lesson. The important thing to bear in mind is that this was exclusively for the priests. And because of this fact, we wonder why Gideon the Judge (in spite of being a great type of Christ) would do such a thing, as he was not a priest? Moreover we learn that he placed it in Ophrah, the city he was from. And what do we know about Ophrah? What was the spiritual status of the men of the city that we discovered back in Judges 6:25-32 when we first encounter Gideon:


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


Not only was Baal worship alive and well amongst the inhabitants of Ophrah, it was even in Gideon’s own family. So again we wonder given the propensity of the townsfolk for idol worship, why do something against Scripture in the first place? Perhaps, God was testing Gideon after his decisive victory by God’s enabling, over the Midianites, maybe in a similar fashion to good king Hezekiah, when God took away His hand of restraint temporarily?


Went Thither A Whoring [zanah:H2181] After [’achar:H310]


We are very familiar with the sin that these two expressions, went thither a whoring and after embody as we have seen it all throughout the book of Judges, starting with Judges 2:17,


And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring [zanah:H2181] after [’achar:H310] other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; [but] they did not so.


God of course intimately knew the hearts of His corporate people, and all people for that matter since The heart [is] desperately wicked and deceitful above all [things]... as we learn from Jeremiah 17:9a (unless God by His mercy creates a new heart during the day of salvation). This is why He gave the following commandment in verse 39 of Numbers 15:38-41, 


And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, {38} Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: {39} And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after  [’achar:H310] which ye use to go a whoring: [zanah:H2181] {40} That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. {41} I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I [am] the LORD your God.


This is also highlighted in verse 9 of Ezekiel 6:1-14,


And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, {3} And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, [even] I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. {4} And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain [men] before your idols. {5} And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars. {6} In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. {7} And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD. {8} Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have [some] that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries. {9} And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish [zanah:H2181]  heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring [zanah:H2181]  after [’achar:H310] their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations. {10} And they shall know that I [am] the LORD, [and that] I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them. {11} Thus saith the Lord GOD; Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. {12} He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them. {13} Then shall ye know that I [am] the LORD, when their slain [men] shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they did offer sweet savour to all their idols. {14} So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Judges 8 - Part 26

May 8, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 26 and today’s date is May 8, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:22-27,


Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. {23} And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you. {24} And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they [were] Ishmaelites.) {25} And they answered, We will willingly give [them]. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. {26} And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that [was] on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that [were] about their camels' necks. {27} And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, [even] in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. {28} Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.


We are down to the last few words in verse 27, namely it which thing became  and a snare - referring to the making of the ephod, which we will now consider respectively.


It Which Thing Became [hayah:H1961]


The term, it which thing became is a Hebrew verb which is predominantly translated as a form of the verb, to be, become, came, or came to pass, etc. The following illustrate some of the ways that God has chosen to render this word:


Verse 16 of Numbers 31:14-16 translates this word as caused: And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, [with] the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. {15} And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?  {16} Behold, these caused [hayah:H1961] the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.


Similarly, Joshua 22:20 records, Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell [hayah:H1961] on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.


We will also run across this expression again once we arrive at the subsequent chapters in Judges, Lord willing: 


Verse 2 of Judges 12:1-3 translates this term as were: And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. {2} And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were [hayah:H1961] at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. {3} And when I saw that ye delivered [me] not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me?


Verse 17 of Judges 14:15-17,  And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? [is it] not [so]? {16} And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told [it] me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told [it] my father nor my mother, and shall I tell [it] thee? {17} And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: [hayah:H1961] and it came to pass [hayah:H1961] on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.


Judges 18 includes a similar account to what we find here in Judges 8, with the exception that it does include a priest, and a man by the name of Micah; the verb to be is found three times in verse 19, and I’ll read verses 17-20, And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, [and] came in thither, [and] took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men [that were] appointed with weapons of war. {18} And these went into Micah's house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye? {19} And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be [hayah:H1961] to us a father and a priest: [is it] better for thee to be [hayah:H1961] a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be [hayah:H1961] a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel? {20} And the priest's heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people. 


As I have mentioned from time to time Judges 19 is a gruesome historical parable highlighting God’s judgment that began at His own house first; in verse 30 this word occurs twice as and it was and done: And it was [hayah:H1961] so that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done [hayah:H1961] nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak [your minds].


Judges 20 continues to recount the aftermath of what happened in the previous chapter and this term surfaces in verses 3 and 12 as was and is done: (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh.) Then said the children of Israel, Tell [us], how was [hayah:H1961] this wickedness? ... {12} And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness [is] this that is done [hayah:H1961] among you?


So we see how God utilizes this word in a “cause and effect” manner which expresses itself in Gideon’s case as a snare, which we now want to turn our attention to:


A Snare [mowqesh:H4170]


Contrary to popular belief in denominational circles, God is the One Who is very adept at laying snares, so that His corporate people Who despise His Word will be snared according to verse 14 of Isaiah 8:12-22, in which this term is rendered as and for a snare:


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 [mowqesh:H4170] 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.


This is why God was so insistent in warning the Israelites prior to their arrival in the land of Canaan as these next citations underscore. As a matter of fact we are going to find in these next three passages the verb became or be that we were just looking at, in connection with the term for snare:


Verse 33 of Exodus 23:20-33 declares: Behold, I send an Angel [i.e., Christ] before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. {21} Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name [is] in him. {22} But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. {23} For mine Angel [i.e., Christ]  shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. {24} Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. {25} And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. {26} There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. {27} I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. {28} And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. {29} I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. {30} By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. {31} And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. {32} Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. {33} They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be [hayah:H1961] a snare [mowqesh:H4170] unto thee.


Verse 12 of Exodus 34:10-17 includes this expression as for a snare: And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou [art] shall see the work of the LORD: for it [is] a terrible thing that I will do with thee. {11} Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. {12} Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be [hayah:H1961]

 for a snare [mowqesh:H4170] in the midst of thee: {13} But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: {14} For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God: {15} Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and [one] call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; {16} And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods. {17} Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.


God reiterated His warning in verse 3 of Judges 2:1-3, which we have referred to numerous times before, but certainly bears repeating: And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. {2} And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? {3} Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be [as thorns] in your sides, and their gods shall be [hayah:H1961] a snare [mowqesh:H4170] unto you.


Verse 36 of Psalm 106:34-36 reinforces this as well: They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: {35} But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. {36} And they served their idols: which were a snare [mowqesh:H4170] unto them.


Proverbs 29:25 presents this admonition: The fear of man bringeth a snare:[mowqesh:H4170] but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.


Death is also considered the ultimate snare that all other snares inevitably lead to, unless one has been redeemed by God’s mercy when that was still viable, according to  Proverbs 14:27, in which this word is translated as from the snares: The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares [mowqesh:H4170] of death.


Lastly, verse 22 of Psalm 69:20-22 is part of this Messianic psalm, in which this word is rendered as a trap: Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked [for some] to take pity, but [there was] none; and for comforters, but I found none. {21} They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. {22} Let their table become a snare before them: and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a trap. [mowqesh:H4170]


Snare [pagis:G3803]


Psalm 69:22 is also quoted in Romans 11:9, thus offering a word bridge that one could investigate further, by looking at each of the Hebrew and corresponding Greek words to amplify one’s understanding of this verse, according to the spiritual richness that God has hidden within His God-breathed words in each of these languages. I’ll read Romans 11:7-10, in which this expression is translated as a snare in verse 9:  


What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded {8} (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. {9} And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, [pagis:G3803] and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: {10} Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 


Again in verse 35 of Luke 21:25-36 this term is rendered a snare: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; {26} Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. {27} And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. {28} And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. {29} And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; {30} When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer [i.e.,

“ harvest”] is now nigh at hand. {31} So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. {32} Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. {33} Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. {34} And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. {35} For as a snare [pagis:G3803] shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. {36} Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.


I think we’ll stop here today. Lord willing, in our next study we will examine verse 28.

Judges 8 - Part 27

May 13, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 27 and today’s date is May 13, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:28-35,


Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon. {29} And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house. {30} And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives. {31} And his concubine that [was] in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech. {32} And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. {33} And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god. {34} And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side: {35} Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, [namely], Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.


In a previous study I posed the question, “Why did God allow Gideon to fall into the sin of making a golden ephod, which became a snare to him and to his house?” I offered the example of Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 32:31, although we don’t know for sure why God allowed this in the case of Gideon, and as far as I know, God does not disclose this information to us: 


Howbeit in [the business of] the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was [done] in the land, God left him, to try him [nacah:H5254], that he might know all [that was] in his heart.


IAsimilar statement is found regarding David in 1 Kings 15:5, 

Because David did [that which was] right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any [thing] that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.


Here again, God for His own purposes allowed David to fall into these two sins. So like David, God allowed this to take place in Gideon’s life, but like all sin, it takes its toll, as we read in James 1:13-15,


Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: {14} But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. {15} Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.


All of God’s elect - although redeemed by the grace of God - are still prone to weakness and temptations of the flesh, as was David when he committed the two-fold sins of adultery and murder, as we read in 2 Samuel 12:9-10,


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.


 The same word for him, to try him in 2 Chronicles 32:31 was also employed with respect to Gideon in Judges 6:39, but in this instance Gideon was proving God; this term is translated, let me prove:


And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove,[nacah:H5254] I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.

Is There Another Way To Understand This “Snare” Spiritually?


We have learned that the defeat of the Amalekites, children of the east, and Midianites took place in stages, part of which involved each of these factions turning upon themselves initially, underscoring the division of Satan’s kingdom, according to Matthew 12:25-26,


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


This points to our current day of judgment, as we are witnessing this on a first hand basis. So we wonder if this is also the case with the ephod that Gideon made which became a snare to him and to his house. We have learned that spiritually Gideon and his 300 men point to Christ and the elect during the day of judgment. Does this relate to the snare that God has foisted upon the world at large at this time as verse 35 of Luke 21:25-36 declares, in which this term is rendered a snare: 

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; {26} Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. {27} And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. {28} And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. {29} And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; {30} When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer [i.e., “ harvest”] is now nigh at hand. {31} So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. {32} Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. {33} Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. {34} And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. {35} For as a snare [pagis:G3803] shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. {36} Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.


The Root Word For A Snare [mowquesh:H4170] In Judges 8:27 Is Also Translated As Snare [yaqosh:H3369] Too


The root word for a snare in Judges 8:27 is also translated as a snare  primarily, and would also typify our present day of judgment, as the following references highlight:


Verse 7 of Psalm 124:1-8 renders this word as of the fowlers, emphasizing the deliverance that God’s elect received during the day of salvation: [A Song of degrees of David.] If [it had not been] the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say; {2} If [it had not been] the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: {3} Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: {4} Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: {5} Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. {6} Blessed [be] the LORD, who hath not given us [as] a prey to their teeth. {7} Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers [yaqosh:H3369]: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. {8} Our help [is] in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.


Verse 9 of Psalm 141:4-10 renders this term as [which] they have laid: Incline not my heart to [any] evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties. {5} Let the righteous smite me; [it shall be] a kindness: and let him reprove me; [it shall be] an excellent oil, [which] shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also [shall be] in their calamities. {6} When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet. {7} Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth [wood] upon the earth. {8} But mine eyes [are] unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. {9} Keep me from the snares [which] they have laid [yaqosh:H3369] for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. {10} Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape. 


Ecclesiastes 9:12 refers to the day of judgment as an evil time, in which this expression is employed as snared: For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so [are] the sons of men snared [yaqosh:H3369] in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.


Verse 24 of Jeremiah 50:1-46 renders this word as I have laid a snare in this chapter that recounts God’s judgment against His own house first, exemplified by His judgment on Samaria in 709 BC by the Assyrians, and then 100 years later by Nebuchadrezzar and the Babylonians as they attacked Judah and Jerusalem in 609 BC. Then God turns around and punishes each of these two heathen nations for daring to do so:


The word that the LORD spake against Babylon [and] against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet. {2} Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, [and] conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces. {3} For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast. {4} In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. {5} They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, [saying], Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant [that] shall not be forgotten. {6] My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away [on] the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace. {7} All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers. {8} Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks. {9} For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows [shall be] as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain. {10} And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD. {11} Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls; {12} Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations [shall be] a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. {13} Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues. {14} Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD. {15} Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it [is] the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her. {16} Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land. {17} Israel [is] a scattered sheep; the lions have driven [him] away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones. {18} Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria. {19} And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead. {20} In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and [there shall be] none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve. {21} Go up against the land of Merathaim, [even] against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the LORD, and do according to all that I have commanded thee. {22} A sound of battle [is] in the land, and of great destruction. {23} How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations! {24} I have laid a snare [yaqosh:H3369] for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD. {25} The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this [is] the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans. {26} Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left. {27} Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation. {28} The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple. {29} Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel. {30} Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD. {31} Behold, I [am] against thee, [O thou] most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts:{32} And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him. {33} Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah [were] oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go. {34} Their Redeemer [is] strong; the LORD of hosts [is] his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon. {35} A sword [is] upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise [men]. {36} A sword [is] upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword [is] upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed. {37} A sword [is] upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that [are] in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword [is] upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed. {38} A drought [is] upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it [is] the land of graven images, and they are mad upon [their] idols. {39} Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell [there], and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. {40} As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour [cities] thereof, saith the LORD; [so] shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein. {41} Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. {42} They shall hold the bow and the lance: they [are] cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, [every one] put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon. {43} The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, [and] pangs as of a woman in travail. {44} Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who [is] a chosen [man, that] I may appoint over her? for who [is] like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who [is] that shepherd that will stand before me? {45} Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make [their] habitation desolate with them. {46} At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.


Let's stop here. Lord willing, in our next study we will consider the second half of verse 28.


Judges 8 - Part 28

May 15, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 28 and today’s date is May 15, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:28-35,


Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon. {29} And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house. {30} And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives. {31} And his concubine that [was] in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech. {32} And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. {33} And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god. {34} And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side: {35} Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, [namely], Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.


We have arrived at the latter part of verse 28, as we have already considered the words in the first part of verse 28 in some of our earlier lessons. Let’s begin with the two expressions, and the country and was in quietness:


And The Country [’erets:H776] Was In Quietness [shaqat:H8252]


Once again we see another turn of the wheel in the cycle of rebellion>oppression>deliverance>rest, in which a period of rest ensues for 40 years. We have seen this before as these next citations illustrate, in which these two words are rendered and the land along with had rest: 


Judges 3:11 and 30 record: And the land [’erets:H776] had rest [shaqat:H8252]  forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died. ... {30} So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land [’erets:H776] had rest [shaqat:H8252] fourscore years.


Judges 5:31 also acknowledges: So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but [let] them that love him [be] as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land [’erets:H776] had rest [shaqat:H8252] forty years.


This brings us to verse 29, And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house, and we will examine the three Hebrew terms, went, and dwelt,  along with in his own house:


Went [yalak:H3212] And Dwelt [yashab:H3427] In His Own House [bayith:H1004]


Here are some illustrations of how God employs these three terms elsewhere in Scripture. These three words are used together either in a positive connotation or in a negative manner, and  you will note that two distinct houses are also in view: one pertaining to Christ and all the elect, and the other to the non-elect who are affiliated with corporate Israel or the end-time institutional churches which corporate Israel typifies: 


Verse 11 of Genesis 38:1-30 contain these three expressions: went, and dwelt, along with house: And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name [was] Hirah. {2} And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name [was] Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. {3} And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. {4} And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. {5} And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him. {6} And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name [was] Tamar. {7} And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. {8} And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. {9} And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled [it] on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. {10} And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also. {11} Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren [did]. And Tamar went [yalak:H3212] and dwelt [yashab:H3427] in her father's house. [bayith:H1004] {12} And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. {13} And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep. {14} And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which [is] by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife. {15} When Judah saw her, he thought her [to be] an harlot; because she had covered her face. {16} And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she [was] his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? {17} And he said, I will send [thee] a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give [me] a pledge, till thou send [it]? {18} And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that [is] in thine hand. And he gave [it] her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him. {19} And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. {20} And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive [his] pledge from the woman's hand: but he found her not. {21} Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where [is] the harlot, that [was] openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this [place].{22} And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, [that] there was no harlot in this [place]. {23} And Judah said, Let her take [it] to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her. {24} And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she [is] with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. {25} When she [was] brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these [are, am] I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose [are] these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff. {26} And Judah acknowledged [them], and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more. {27} And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins [were] in her womb. {28}| And it came to pass, when she travailed, that [the one] put out [his] hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first. {29} And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? [parats:H6555] [this] breach [perets:H6556] [be] upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez. [Perets:H6557] {30} And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.


This reference to Pharez is significant because it ties into the line of David which then goes directly from David to the Lord Jesus Christ. We see this in greater detail if we go back to Ruth 4, and the marriage of Ruth (who exemplifies the elect) to Boaz (who pictures the Lord Jesus Christ) and their son whose name is Obed, the grandfather of David in verses 11-22, in which the two houses of Rachel and Leah (the wives of Jacob and the progenitors of the 12/13 tribes) from which the nation emerged, along with the house of Pharez are highlighted: 


And all the people that [were] in the gate, and the elders, said, [We are] witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem [the house of Bread]: {12} And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman. {13} So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. {14} And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed [be] the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. {15} And he shall be unto thee a restorer of [thy] life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. {16} And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. {17} And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he [is] the father of Jesse, the father of David. {18} Now these [are] the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, {19} And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, {20} And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, {21} And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, {22} And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.


I would also like to go back to Genesis 38:29 to mention something else which is important, namely that both the parent and well as the grandparent word for Pharez (including Pharez) are all found together in this one verse:


And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? [parats:H6555] [this] breach [perets:H6556] [be] upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez. [Perets:H6557] 


Pharez [H6557] means [this] breach [H6556], which in turn is derived from hast thou broken forth. [H6555]


Verse 7 of Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (and the parallel verse in 11:19) was a vital command for each Israelite to follow; keeping in mind that only the elect have been qualified by virtue of the sacrifice of Christ at... the foundation of the world: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD: {5} And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. {6} And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: {7} And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest [yashab:H3427] in thine house [bayith:H1004], and when thou walkest [yalak:H3212] by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.


Verse 5 of 2 Samuel 7:1-7 and 12-13 also speaks of David’s desire to build a house for the LORD (which God had put in his heart), even though the actual construction of that magnificent Temple would be given to David’s son, Solomon, which typifies both the Lord Jesus as well as the Bride of Christ: 


And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; {2} That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. {3} And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that [is] in thine heart; for the LORD [is] with thee. {4} And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, {5} Go [yalak:H3212] and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house [bayith:H1004] for me to dwell [yashab:H3427] in? {6} Whereas I have not dwelt in [any] house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. {7} In all [the places] wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar? ... {12} And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. {13} He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.  


These next three citations emphasize the negative connotation that these three terms emphasize together:


Verse 13 of 2 Chronicles 21:12-19 record God’s judgment against wicked king Jehoram: And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, {13} But hast walked [yalak:H3212] in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants [yashab:H3427] of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house [bayith:H1004] of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father's house [bayith:H1004], [which were] better than thyself: {14} Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: {15} And thou [shalt have] great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day. {16} Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that [were] near the Ethiopians: {17} And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. {18} And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. {19} And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.


Likewise we find in verse 6 of Jeremiah 20:1-6 a similar pronouncement of God through the prophet Jeremiah to this man Pashur who refused to hear God’s command for Israel to capitulate to the Babylonians, and in so doing incurred the wrath of God:  


Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who [was] also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. {2} Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that [were] in the high gate of Benjamin, which [was] by the house of the LORD. {3} And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magormissabib. {4} For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold [it]: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword. {5} Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon. {6} And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell [yashab:H3427] in thine house [bayith:H1004] shall go [yalak:H3212] into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies. 


One last reference we can look at today is in verse 16 of Micah 6:1-16, in which God once again levels this sentence against Israel for their disobedience to His law: 


Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice. {2} Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD'S controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel. {3} O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me. {4} For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. {5} O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD. {6} Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, [and] bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? {7} Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, [or] with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn [for] my transgression, the fruit of my body [for] the sin of my soul? {8} He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? {9} The LORD'S voice crieth unto the city, and [the man of] wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it. {10} Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure [that is] abominable? {11} Shall I count [them] pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights? {12} For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue [is] deceitful in their mouth. {13} Therefore also will I make [thee] sick in smiting thee, in making [thee] desolate because of thy sins. {14} Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down [shall be] in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and [that] which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword. {15} Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine. {16} For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house [bayith:H1004] of Ahab, and ye walk [yalak:H3212] in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants [yashab:H3427]  thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.


Lord willing, in our next study we will examine verse 30.


Judges 8 - Part 29

May 25, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 29 and today’s date is May 25, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:28-35,


Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon. {29} And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house. {30} And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives. {31} And his concubine that [was] in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech. {32} And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. {33} And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god. {34} And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side: {35} Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, [namely], Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.


We are down to verse 30 in our examination of Judges 8, in which we learn that Gideon had many wives and had 70 children. And these 70 children will appear again and again in the remaining verses of this chapter, along with one son, whose name was Abimelech, that was the offspring of Gideon’s concubine.


Threescore And Ten [shib`iym:H7657]


The number threescore and ten (70) is featured prominently in the Bible as we shall see. It is made up of the factors 7 (pointing to perfection) X 10 (highlighting the completeness of whatever is in view). 


In Exodus 1:5 we read this statement concerning the beginning of the nation of Israel: And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy [shib`iym:H7657] souls: for Joseph was in Egypt [already].


After the 430 years in Egypt they grew into a nation that perhaps numbered a million and a half up to 2 million strong as Deuteronomy 10:22 affirms: Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten [shib`iym:H7657] persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.


When Moses told God of his inability to lead such a large number of people in the wilderness, God provided 70 elders to share the burden of leadership with him, as Numbers 11:16, and 24-25 reveal: And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy [shib`iym:H7657] men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. ... {24} And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy [shib`iym:H7657] men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. {25} And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that [was] upon him, and gave [it] unto the seventy [shib`iym:H7657] elders: and it came to pass, [that], when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.


Exodus 15:27 includes this number as well along with the number 12 (typifying each of the 12 tribes); palm trees are also used to represent God’s elect too: And they came to Elim, where [were] twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten [shib`iym:H7657] palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.


We will see this number again in Judges 9:4-5, 18, and 24: And they gave him threescore and ten [shib`iym:H7657] [pieces] of silver out of the house of Baalberith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him. {5} And he went unto his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, [being] threescore and ten [shib`iym:H7657] persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself. ... {18} And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten [shib`iym:H7657] persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) ... {24} That the cruelty [done] to the threescore and ten [shib`iym:H7657] sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.


Another unique account which is the only other one that includes 70 sons is found in 2 Kings 10:1-31 with regard to the progeny of Ahab, in which this same word, seventy surfaces in verses 1, 6 and 7:


And Ahab had seventy [shib`iym:H7657] sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's [children], saying, {2} Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master's sons [are] with you, and [there are] with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour; {3} Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set [him] on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house. {4} But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand? {5} And he that [was] over the house, and he that [was] over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up [of the children], sent to Jehu, saying, We [are] thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou [that which is] good in thine eyes. {6} Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye [be] mine, and [if] ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, [being] seventy [shib`iym:H7657] persons, [were] with the great men of the city, which brought them up. {7} And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew seventy [shib`iym:H7657]  persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him [them] to Jezreel. {8} And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning. {9} And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye [be] righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these? {10} Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath done [that] which he spake by his servant Elijah. {11} So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining. {12} And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. [And] as he [was] at the shearing house in the way, {13} Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who [are] ye? And they answered, We [are] the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen. {14} And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, [even] two and forty men; neither left he any of them. {15} And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab [coming] to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart [is] with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give [me] thine hand. And he gave [him] his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot. {16} And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot. {17} And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD, which he spake to Elijah. {18} And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; [but] Jehu shall serve him much. {19} Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice [to do] to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did [it] in subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal. {20} And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed [it]. {21} And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another. {22} And he said unto him that [was] over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments. {23} And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only. {24} And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, [If] any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, [he that letteth him go], his life [shall be] for the life of him. {25} And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, [and] slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast [them] out, and went to the city of the house of Baal. {26} And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them. {27} And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day. {28} Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. {29} Howbeit [from] the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, [to wit], the golden calves that [were] in Bethel, and that [were] in Dan. {30} And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing [that which is] right in mine eyes, [and] hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that [was] in mine heart, thy children of the fourth [generation] shall sit on the throne of Israel. {31} But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.


This account, among other truths, shows that no matter how faithful a man might be in certain areas of his life, yet if he disregards other Biblical directives that God has commanded, it does not bode well, as we read in Luke 16:10-13,


He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. {11} If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true [riches]? {12} And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? {13} No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.


“Seventy” [hebdomekonta:G1440] In The New Testament


The number seventy crops up in verses 1 and 17 in Luke 10:1-2, and 17-20:


After these things the Lord appointed other seventy [hebdomekonta:G1440]  also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. {2} Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly [is] great, but the labourers [are] few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. ... {17} And the seventy [hebdomekonta:G1440]  returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. {18} And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. {19} Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. {20} Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.


Of His Body [yarek:H3409] Begotten [yatsa:H3318]


The next phrase that we want to consider in Judges 8:30 consists of two terms, of his body and begotten. Curiously these two expressions are only found again in connection with Jacob’s 12 sons and their families, who went down into Egypt at God’s behest:


Genesis 46:26 states: All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out [yatsa:H3318] of his loins [yarek:H3409], besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls [were] threescore and six;


Similarly, Exodus 1:5 maintains: And all the souls that came out [yatsa:H3318] of the loins [yarek:H3409] of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt [already].


Many [rab:H7227] Wives [’ishshah:H802]


The last two expressions in Judges 8:30 are many and wives, which Gideon had. We find these two terms in the following accounts, none of which are positive in nature as we shall see:


1 Kings 11:1 reveals: But king Solomon loved many [rab:H7227] strange women [’ishshah:H802], together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, [and] Hittites;


Esther 2:8 maintains: So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many [rab:H7227] maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. [’ishshah:H802]


Jeremiah 3:1-25 records God’s longsuffering with regard to corporate Israel that He was married to, and whom He had to eventually divorce (although He hates divorce), which was the only viable alternative, since the penalty for adultery is death by stoning: 


They say, If a man put away his wife [’ishshah:H802], and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many [rab:H7227]  lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. {2} Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. {3} Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. {4} Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou [art] the guide of my youth? {5} Will he reserve [his anger] for ever? will he keep [it] to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldst. {6} The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen [that] which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. {7} And I said after she had done all these [things], Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw [it]. {8} And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. {9} And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. {10} And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD. {11} And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. {12} Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; [and] I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I [am] merciful, saith the LORD, [and] I will not keep [anger] for ever. {13} Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. {14} Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: {15} And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. {16} And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit [it]; neither shall [that] be done any more. {17} At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. {18} In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. {19} But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me. {20} Surely [as] a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. {21} A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping [and] supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, [and] they have forgotten the LORD their God. {22} Return, ye backsliding children, [and] I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou [art] the LORD our God. {23} Truly in vain [is salvation hoped for] from the hills, [and from] the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God [is] the salvation of Israel. {24} For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. {25} We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.


I think we’ll have to stop here as we have run out of time. Lord willing, in our next study we will consider verse 31.

Judges 8 - Part 30

May 27, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 30 and today’s date is May 27, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:28-35,


Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon. {29} And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house. {30} And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives. {31} And his concubine that [was] in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech. {32} And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. {33} And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god. {34} And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side: {35} Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, [namely], Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.


We have arrived at verse 31 in our investigation of Judges 8 as we are introduced to Gideon’s son, Abimelech, that he had with a concubine who was from Shechem.


What Does The Bible Say About Shechem? [Shekem:H7927]


Let’s consider for a moment this town of Shechem, and what information the Bible tells us about it. This is the first time that this place appears in the book of Judges, and as I have mentioned previously it will come into view quite often once we get to Judges 9, Lord willing. The following illustrate some key events that took place in Shechem, which is a name that signifies “back” or “shoulder,” which will be more evident once we look at its identically spelled root word:



Genesis 33:18-19 reveals what Jacob did when he arrived in Shechem: And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, [Shekem:H7927] which [is] in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city. {19} And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's [Shekem:H7927] father, for an hundred pieces of money.


Verse 4 of Genesis 35:1-4 contains this term as well: And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. {2} Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that [were] with him, Put away the strange gods that [are] among you, and be clean, and change your garments: {3} And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. {4} And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which [were] in their hand, and [all their] earrings which [were] in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which [was] by Shechem. [Shekem:H7927]


Genesis 37:12-14 records when Jacob send Joseph from Hebron to check on his half brothers in Shechem (and later upon hearing of Joseph’s supposed death, he must have reminisced often that it was the last time (as far as he knew) that he saw him alive: And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. [Shekem:H7927] {13} And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed [the flock] in Shechem? [Shekem:H7927] come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here [am I]. {14} And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. [Shekem:H7927]


Curiously Shechem was the very location that the Israelites buried Joseph’s bones when they departed from Egypt as Joshua 24:32 maintains (reiterating Genesis 33:19): And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, [Shekem:H7927] in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem [Shekem:H7927] for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.


Incidentally, the command that Joseph gave concerning his bones spiritually pictures all the Body of Christ who were saved and exemplified by all who left Egypt in the Exodus, including Joseph’s bones (picturing those who had died in Christ) as we are “bone of [His] bones and flesh of [His] flesh” as we read in Genesis 2:23 with regard to Adam’s (typifying the Lord Jesus Christ) statement concerning Eve (representing the Bride of Christ); I’ll read Genesis 50:25 and Exodus 13:19 respectively:


Genesis 50:25 says: And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.


And Exodus 13:19 adds:  And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. 


In verse 9 of Hosea 6:1-11 we discover a different term that God utilizes for Shechem, which is by consent, which includes this word as well as its identically spelled root word (shekem:H7926):  Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. {2} After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. {3} Then shall we know, [if] we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter [and] former rain unto the earth. {4} O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness [is] as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. {5} Therefore have I hewed [them] by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments [are as] the light [that] goeth forth. {6} For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. {7} But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. {8} Gilead [is] a city of them that work iniquity, [and is] polluted with blood. {9} And as troops of robbers wait for a man, [so] the company of priests murder in the way by consent [(Shekem:7927) (shekem:H7926)]: for they commit lewdness. {10} I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there [is] the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled. {11} Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.


The first three verses relate to God’s elect, but the rest of the verses (4-11) in this chapter identify with both Israel and Judah which exemplify the end-time institutional churches and denominations that came under the wrath of God at the beginning of the Great Tribulation.


Shoulder [shekem:H7926]


As I mentioned earlier the identically spelled root word for Shekem is predominantly translated as “shoulder” or “back” as these next citations reveal: 


In Genesis 9:23 this term is rendered their shoulders: And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid [it] upon both their shoulders, [shekem:H7926] and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father [Noah]; and their faces [were] backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.


Similarly, Genesis 21:14 records: And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave [it] unto Hagar, putting [it] on her shoulder,[shekem:H7926] and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.


This word, shoulder takes on added spiritual meaning in Isaiah 9:6 as it applies to the Person and Work of God the Son, Who is identified with the Father as well in this singular passage: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: [shekem:H7926] and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.


This is also the case in Isaiah 22:22 which is a stunning declaration of God’s sovereignty in both opening the door of salvation during the day of salvation, or closing that door, during the day of judgment: And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder;[shekem:H7926] so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.


Lastly verse 9 of Zephaniah 3:9-20 proclaims, in which this expression is also translated as consent:  For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. [shekem:H7926] {10} From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, [even] the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. {11} In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. {12} I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. {13} The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make [them] afraid. {14} Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. {15} The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, [even] the LORD, [is] in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. {16} In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: [and to] Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. {17} The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. {18} I will gather [them that are] sorrowful for the solemn assembly, [who] are of thee, [to whom] the reproach of it [was] a burden. {19} Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. {20} At that time will I bring you [again], even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.


Rising Up Early [shakam:H7925]


Shechem also has a “grandparent” word that is also identically spelled, and is commonly rendered as rise up early. It is found a number of times in the book of Jeremiah with regards to God’s judgment on corporate Israel who pictures the end-time institutional churches and denominations that God judged. Here are just a few examples from the book of Jeremiah, which is a book that contains the greatest number of references of this term:


Jeremiah 7:25 announces: Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early [shakam:H7925] and sending [them]:


In similar fashion, Jeremiah 11:7 teaches: For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day [that] I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, [even] unto this day, rising early [shakam:H7925] and protesting, saying, Obey my voice.


And Jeremiah  25:3-4 follows suit: From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that [is] the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early [shakam:H7925] and speaking; but ye have not hearkened. {4} And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early [shakam:H7925] and sending [them]; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.


With that overview in mind, I would like to return to the place Shechem to try to comprehend the spiritual significance that God has attached to this word in view of two sets of parallel passages in Psalm 60:6 and Psalm 108:7. I’ll read both of these psalms respectively: 


Psalm 60:1-12 acknowledges: [To the chief Musician upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.] O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again. {2} Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh. {3} Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment. {4} Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah. {5} That thy beloved may be delivered; save [with] thy right hand, and hear me. {6} God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. {7} Gilead [is] mine, and Manasseh [is] mine; Ephraim also [is] the strength of mine head; Judah [is] my lawgiver; {8} Moab [is] my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me. {9} Who will bring me [into] the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? {10} [Wilt] not thou, O God, [which] hadst cast us off? and [thou], O God, [which] didst not go out with our armies? {11} Give us help from trouble: for vain [is] the help of man. {12} Through God we shall do valiantly: for he [it is that] shall tread down our enemies.


Psalm 108:1-13  [A Song [or] Psalm of David.] O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. {2} Awake, psaltery and harp: I [myself] will awake early. {3} I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. {4} For thy mercy [is] great above the heavens: and thy truth [reacheth] unto the clouds. {5} Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth; {6} That thy beloved may be delivered: save [with] thy right hand, and answer me. {7} God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. {8} Gilead [is] mine; Manasseh [is] mine; Ephraim also [is] the strength of mine head; Judah [is] my lawgiver; {9} Moab [is] my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph. {10} Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? {11} [Wilt] not [thou], O God, [who] hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts? {12} Give us help from trouble: for vain [is] the help of man. {13} Through God we shall do valiantly: for he [it is that] shall tread down our enemies.


What I would like to do in our next study is to take a closer look at each of these two verses in order to uncover any clues as to the spiritual significance that God intends for Shechem, if God should open our eyes to it.

Judges 8 - Part 31

May 29, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 31 and today’s date is May 29, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:28-35,


Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon. {29} And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house. {30} And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives. {31} And his concubine that [was] in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech. {32} And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. {33} And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god. {34} And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side: {35} Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, [namely], Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.


We have stopped for awhile on verse 31 in order to take a closer look at the word Shechem in the hope of understanding its spiritual significance, and at the conclusion of our last study we noted that Psalm 60:6-12 is almost identical to Psalm 108:7-13, both of which I will read again to refresh our memories:


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


Likewise Psalm 108:7-13 teaches: God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. {8} Gilead [is] mine; Manasseh [is] mine; Ephraim also [is] the strength of mine head; Judah [is] my lawgiver; {9} Moab [is] my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph. {10} Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? {11} [Wilt] not [thou], O God, [who] hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts? {12} Give us help from trouble: for vain [is] the help of man. {13} Through God we shall do valiantly: for he [it is that] shall tread down our enemies.


It’s interesting how God has chosen three of the 12 tribes to focus on in each of these two respective chapters: Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah; Philistia refers to Palestine or all of Israel as a whole. Additionally, Edom and Moab are mentioned. The former relate to the descendants of Esau, while the latter the descendants of one of Lot’s daughters (by her father), and they typify the end-time institutional churches and denominations in whom God’s judgment first began at His own house. However, before we consider God’s reasons for including all of this let’s examine the two parallel verses in question: Psalm 60:6 and Psalm 108:7, which are totally identical.


God [Elohiym:H430] Hath Spoken [dabar:G1696]


The term God (which is the plural form for God, or elohiym) and hath spoken appear together in a number of passages, since God has spoken to mankind by means of His Holy Word, the Bible. We have actually encountered these terms before in Judges 6:36, regarding Gideon’s conversation with the angel of Jehovah, but because this theme is the very basis for God’s communication with mankind it would behoove us to visit some of these Scriptures again, as they express the incomprehensible wonder and awe that God would humble Himself to commune with such an infinitesimally small creature as man, and as incredulous as it might seem, was made in the very image and likeness of this Triune God. Moreover, the Lord Jesus stooped even lower - in fact all the way to the lowest hell (which is the grave and annihilation) to redeem a people for Himself at...the foundation of the world, who would be His Bride throughout eternity. 


Judges 6:36 maintains: And Gideon said unto God [Elohiym:H430], If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, [dabar:G1696]


These two expressions also crop up in Deuteronomy 5:24, and 26-27, And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God [Elohiym:H430] hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God [Elohiym:H430] doth talk [dabar:G1696] with man, and he liveth. ... {26} For who [is there of] all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking [dabar:G1696] out of the midst of the fire, as we [have], and lived? {27} Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God [Elohiym:H430] shall say: and speak [dabar:G1696] thou unto us all that the LORD our God [Elohiym:H430] shall speak [dabar:G1696] unto thee; and we will hear [it], and do [it].


Deuteronomy 9:10 declares: And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God [Elohiym:H430]; and on them [was written] according to all the words, which the LORD spake [dabar:G1696]  with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.


And Joshua 23:14-15 adds: And, behold, this day I [am] going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God [Elohiym:H430] spake [dabar:G1696] concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, [and] not one thing hath failed thereof. {15} Therefore it shall come to pass, [that] as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.


Psalm 50:1 and 7 also reveal: [A Psalm of Asaph.] The mighty God [Elohiym:H430], [even] the LORD, hath spoken [dabar:G1696], and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. ... {7} Hear, O my people, and I will speak [dabar:G1696]; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I [am] God, [Elohiym:H430]  [even] thy God. [Elohiym:H430] 


Jeremiah 19:15 is a declaration of God’s judgment against His own house first (according to 1 Peter 4:17): Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God [Elohiym:H430] of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced [dabar:G1696] against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.


In similar fashion, Jeremiah 26:13 acknowledges: Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God [Elohiym:H430]; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced [dabar:G1696] against you.


Jeremiah 30:2 records: Thus speaketh the LORD God [Elohiym:H430] of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken [dabar:G1696] unto thee in a book.


In His Holiness [qodesh:H6944]


The next word that we want to turn our attention to is in his holiness, which is modifying God has spoken. Holiness is one of God’s infinite characteristics that sets Him apart from fallen mankind, as Hebrews 7:26 insists:


For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 


This kind of spiritual separation was especially evident in the Holy of Holies that only the High Priest could enter in once a year, with plain linen garments. This was done so as not to sweat, since perspiration would imply human work or effort - of which there was none in salvation as it all was dependent on the Work and Faith of Christ at the foundation of the world.  Additionally with incense which would have obfuscated his view and animal blood, that was sprinkled upon the mercy seat seven times, as we read in Leviticus 16:2-17,


And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy [place] within the vail before the mercy seat, which [is] upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. {3} Thus shall Aaron come into the holy [place]: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. {4} He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these [are] holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and [so] put them on. {5} And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. {6} And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which [is] for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. {7} And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. {8} And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. {9} And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him [for] a sin offering. {10} But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, [and] to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. {11} And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which [is] for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which [is] for himself: {12} And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring [it] within the vail: {13} And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that [is] upon the testimony, that he die not: {14} And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle [it] with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. {15} Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that [is] for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: {16} And he shall make an atonement for the holy [place], because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. {17} And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy [place], until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.


1 Timothy 6:15-16 describes the dichotomy which exists between unsaved man and this Holy, Righteous God who holds man completely accountable for his sin in thought, word, and deed: Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; {16} Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour and power everlasting. Amen.


The following passages reflect some of the ways that God utilizes this Hebrew expression, in his holiness (qodesh:H6944):


Exodus 3:5 records God’s directive to Moses from out of the burning bush: And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy [qodesh:H6944] ground.


Exodus 15:11 and 13 make up part of the Song of Moses: Who [is] like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who [is] like thee, glorious in holiness, [qodesh:H6944] fearful [in] praises, doing wonders? ... {13} Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people [which] thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided [them] in thy strength unto thy holy [qodesh:H6944] habitation.


Psalm 47:8 boldly affirms: God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. [qodesh:H6944]


And Psalm 77:13 acknowledges: Thy way, O God, [is] in the sanctuary: [qodesh:H6944] who [is so] great a God as [our] God?


Psalm 96:9 reveals that God’s holiness is an integral part of worship: O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness:[qodesh:H6944] fear before him, all the earth.


In Psalm 97:12 one is reminded that God’s holiness causes joy and thanksgiving on the part of God’s elect: Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.[qodesh:H6944]


Psalm 98:1 also extols God’s holiness: [A Psalm.] O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy [qodesh:H6944] arm, hath gotten him the victory.


On that glorious note we have to end today’s study as we have run out of time. Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of these two verses.