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 9 - Part 14

August 5, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 14 and today’s date is August 5, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:7-21,


And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. {8} The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. {9} But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {10} And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {11} But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? {12} Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {13} And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {14} Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {15} And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. {16} Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; {17} (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: {18} And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) {19} If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: {20} But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. {21} And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


Today we want to investigate verse 9 and the reply of the olive tree in Jotham’s parable that he presents to the men of Shechem.


Unto Them Should I Leave [chadal:H2308] My Fatness [deshen:H1880]


The first two Hebrew terms in verse 9 is part of the olive tree’s response to the trees of the forest who had asked the olive tree to reign over them. These expressions are only found together in this verse, so we will have to examine them individually. We will also see the essence of what the olive tree is known for, although we touched upon this in our previous lesson.


Unto Them Should I Leave [chadal:H2308]


The first word, chadal, signifies the idea of leaving, ceasing, or forbearing, as the following citations illustrate:


This word will also crop up in verses 11 and 13 with regard to both the fig tree as well as the vine 


But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake [chadal:H2308] my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?... {13} And the vine said unto them, Should I leave [chadal:H2308] my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? 


Incidentally, we saw this term chadal,  when we were considering Judges 5, as it appears in Judges 5:6-7; it is rendered in verse 6 as were unoccupied and in verse 7 as ceased twice:  


In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways [’orach:H734] were unoccupied, [chadal:H2308] and the travellers walked through byways. {7} [The inhabitants of] the villages ceased, [chadal:H2308] they ceased [chadal:H2308] in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.


When we were discussing this in Judges 5 - Part 8 we discovered the following truths: The two terms, “the highways (’orach:H734) were unoccupied (chadal:H2308), only appear together in Genesis 18:11 - an exceptionally significant verse:


“Now Abraham and Sarah [were] old [and] well stricken in age; [and] it ceased [chadal:H2308] to be with Sarah after the manner [’orach:H734] of women.”


The word, “highway” is primarily translated as “way” or “path” as we see for example in Psalm 16:11,


“Thou wilt shew me the path [’orach:H734] of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.” 


The “way” of course refers to the “way of salvation,” during the day of salvation, as we read regarding the Work and Faith of the Lord Jesus Christ in verse 6 of  John 14:4-6, in which the Greek word, “the way” (hodos:G3598) appears three times:


“And whither I go ye know, and the way [hodos:G3598] ye know. {5} Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way [hodos:G3598] ? {6} Jesus saith unto him, I am the way [hodos:G3598], the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”


So when we discover that the “highway” “ceased” (“were unoccupied”), what is God telling us? Spiritually he is making the point that salvation has ended - in the same way that Sarah “ceased” having babies due to her advanced age. The other fact to remember is that this took place in the days of Judge Shamgar (who followed Judge Ehud who killed Eglon - typifying Satan), and “in the days of Jael” (who killed Sisera - another representation of Satan). This also correlates to our present day, when Satan was defeated on May 21, 2011, by the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Great Tribulation of our day ended, and the day of judgment commenced, in which God would be ruling our present world with a “rod of iron.” Furthermore, this parallels the 70-year Great Tribulation of Judah that ended very abruptly when Cyrus/Darius the Medo-Persian ruler overthrew Babylon in one night (as a “thief in the night”), according to Daniel 5:30-31,


In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. {31} And Darius the Median took the kingdom, [being] about threescore and two years old.” 


Furthermore, this same word, “ceased” or “were unoccupied”  (chadal:H2308) appears two more times in verse 7, emphasizing the tremendous importance that this term conveys spiritually with respect to the end of salvation:


“[The inhabitants of] the villages ceased, [chadal:H2308]  they ceased [chadal:H2308] in Israel, until that I Deborah [Debowrah:H1683] arose [quwm:H6965], that I arose [quwm:H6965], a mother [’em:H517] in Israel”


We were looking at Judges 5 back in 2017, and at that time I made the following comments regarding the three terms in verse 7,


That I Arose [quwm:H6965] A Mother [’em:H517] In Israel [Yisra’el:H3478]


The phrase, ...I Deborah [Debowrah:H1683] arose [quwm:H6965]…, in verse 7, which as I mentioned, is only found in 5 references, and all are in the book of Judges: 4:9, 4:14, twice in 5:7, and in 5:12. These two terms are highly significant spiritually, as Deborah typifies the Word of God. You might recall from Judges 4, that her name is identical to the word for bee (debowrah:H1682), and bee, in turn, stems from the root word,  speak (dabar:H1696), which is identically spelled as Word (dabar:H1697). Just as God repeated the term, ceased (chadal:H2308) in verse 7, He likewise did the same with the word, arose (quwm:H6965). The doubling of this term, “arose” - which has to do with resurrection - is said in connection to Deborah, who represents the Word of God. And Who is the Word of God? The Lord Jesus Christ. And did the Word of God resurrect twice? Yes, He did - once at the foundation of our universe in the Atonement -  and secondly in 33 AD when He was not bearing sin, but demonstrating or manifesting what had already taken place prior to Creation. Additionally, Deborah (i.e., the Word of God) is also referred to as ...a mother in Israel. And you will recall that Sarah is also typified as a “mother” spoken of as “Jerusalem above” - which is “the mother of us all,” as we learn from Galatians 4:22-28,


“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 [“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 [meter:G3384] 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.”


In re-reading what I had said and written in this study I think that we can also make another application regarding the terms in verse 7, I Deborah (D@bowrah:H1683) and arose (quwm:H6965). The spiritual time and season in which this is taking place is the Great Tribulation, which is divided up into two parts. The first 2300 evening/mornings (starting on May 21, 1988) when virtually nobody was saved, and the last 17 years, which ushered in the Latter Rain, in which God saved ...a great multitude that no man could number...  The former would identify with  [the inhabitants] of the villages ceased (chadal:H2308), which is mentioned twice, and previously emphasized (in verse 6) by the highways were unoccupied. (chadal:H2308). The latter rain would relate to Deborah (or the Word of God) arising twice, which reminds us of the two witness that stand upon their feet again in Revelation 11:3-12, as the latter rain commenced on September 7, 1994 (and ended on  May 21, 2011); please note that they are also referred to as the two olive trees: 


And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. {4} These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. {5} And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. {6}  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. {7} And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. {8} And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. {9} And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. {10} And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. {11} And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. {12} And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 


My Fatness [deshen:H1880]


Let’s now consider the next word in Judges 9:9, my fatness, in which the olive tree is posing the question, ...should I leave my fatness...?  This expression is translated as fatness or ashes; the latter resulting from a burnt sacrifice, and the former signifying God’s abundance or blessing - as typified by the fruit of the olive tree, namely olive oil, which represents the Holy Spirit as well, as the subsequent passages illustrate:


Verse 10 and 11 of Leviticus 6:8-11 contain the term the ashes twice:  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, {9} Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This [is] the law of the burnt offering: It [is] the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it. {10} And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes [deshen:H1880] which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. {11} And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes [deshen:H1880] without the camp unto a clean place.


By contrast these next citations are translated as fatness: 


Verse 8 of Psalm 36:7-8 records this beautiful promise for each of God’s elect, and is rendered with the fatness: How excellent [is] thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. {8} They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness [deshen:H1880] of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.


Psalm 63:5 likewise extols: My soul shall be satisfied as [with] marrow and fatness; [deshen:H1880] and my mouth shall praise [thee] with joyful lips:


And Psalm 65:11 adds:  Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. [deshen:H1880]


Similarly Isaiah 55:1-3 portrays the proclamation of the Gospel during the day of salvation as the cry of the Merchantman who typifies the Lord Jesus: Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. {2} Wherefore do ye spend money for [that which is] not bread? and your labour for [that which] satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye [that which is] good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. [deshen:H1880] {3} Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, [even] the sure mercies of David.


Lastly, Jeremiah 31:14 picks up this same refrain: And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, [deshen:H1880] and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.


By Me They Honour [kabad:H3513] God [Elohiym:H430]


The next words that we find in verse 9 reflect one of the purposes for the olive tree which is to honour God: 


Deuteronomy 28:58 maintains: If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious [kabad:H3513] and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; [’Elohiym:H430]


1 Samuel 2:30 is God’s declaration to Eli the High Priest, under divine inspiration by a man of God:  Wherefore the LORD God [’Elohiym:H430] of Israel saith, I said indeed [that] thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour [kabad:H3513]  me I will honour [kabad:H3513], and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.


Psalm 50:23 notes: Whoso offereth praise glorifieth [kabad:H3513] me: and to him that ordereth [his] conversation [aright] will I shew the salvation of God. [’Elohiym:H430]


Isaiah 24 is a chapter that deals with our present day of judgment, and in verse 15 we read: Wherefore glorify [kabad:H3513] ye the LORD in the fires, [even] the name of the LORD God [’Elohiym:H430] of Israel in the isles of the sea.


With that important reminder we will have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our investigation of verse 9.

Judges 9 - Part 15

August 7, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 15 and today’s date is August 7, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:7-21,


And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. {8} The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. {9} But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {10} And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {11} But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? {12} Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {13} And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {14} Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {15} And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. {16} Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; {17} (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: {18} And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) {19} If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: {20} But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. {21} And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


We have arrived at the latter part of verse 9 which states: ...and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? The word for man is the Hebrew term ’enowsh, which is used over 500 times in the Old Testament and predominantly translated as man, which we have considered in some of our earlier studies; so let’s proceed to the last three words in this verse in the phrase ...and go to be promoted over the trees. These four Hebrew words only appear together in verses 9, 11, and 13, and since we have already previously the words for and go (halak:H1980) and the trees (`ets:H6086) let’s examine the expression,


To Be Promoted [nuwa`:H5128]


This word is primarily rendered as shake, wander, and move, as the following citations illustrate. The three times that this expression is rendered as to be promoted is only found in Judges 9:9, 11, and 13; in fact this is the only occurrence of this word in the entire book of Judges. This word is generally found in a negative context, emphasizing God’s judgment, but there are a few references in which it surfaces in a positive light:


We read in 1 Samuel 1:13 regarding Hannah’s heartfelt prayer to the LORD for a son, in which this expression is designated as moved:  Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, [nuwa`:H5128] but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.


Verse 20 of 2 Samuel 15:14-23  records David’s words to Ittai the Gittite, when David and his servants and army were forced to leave Jerusalem temporarily as a result of Absalom’s coup, in which this word is expressed as and down in this magnificent historical parable: And David said unto all his servants that [were] with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not [else] escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. {15} And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants [are ready to do] whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint. {16} And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, [which were] concubines, to keep the house. {17} And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off. {18} And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king. {19} Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou [art] a stranger, and also an exile. {20} Whereas thou camest [but] yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down [nuwa`:H5128] with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth [be] with thee. {21} And Ittai answered the king, and said, [As] the LORD liveth, and [as] my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be. {22} And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that [were] with him. {23} And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness. 


Verse 10 of Daniel 10:8-12 renders this word as me which set: Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. {9} Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. {10} And, behold, an hand touched me, which set [nuwa`:H5128]  me upon my knees and [upon] the palms of my hands. {11} And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. {12} Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.


By contrast, these next verses contain this same word, albeit in the context of judgment:


Genesis 4:12 and 14 offers this description of Cain, in which this term is employed as a fugitive:  When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive [nuwa`:H5128] and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth... {14} Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive [nuwa`:H5128] and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, [that] every one that findeth me shall slay me.


Jeremiah 14:10 translates it as to wander: Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, [nuwa`:H5128] they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.


Lamentations 2:15 expresses this as and wag as this chapter which chronicles God’s judgment beginning at His own (corporate) house first: All that pass by clap [their] hands at thee; they hiss and wag [nuwa`:H5128] their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, [saying, Is] this the city that [men] call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?


Similarly, Amos 8:11-12 makes this statement regarding the spiritual climate within the churches and denominations at the time of the end; once again this word is translated And they shall wander:  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: {12} And they shall wander [nuwa`:H5128] from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find [it].


Isaiah 24 is another chapter that depicts our current day of judgment, and in verse 20 this word appears as shall reel along with to and fro: The earth shall reel [nuwa`:H5128] to and fro [nuwa`:H5128] like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.


Psalm 22:7 expresses this as they shake in this Messianic psalm: All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake [nuwa`:H5128] the head, [saying],


Let’s move on to the second tree which is the fig tree in verse 10, which can picture national Israel:


Verse 10: And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us.


To The Fig Tree [ t@’en:H8384]


The fig tree is used 38 other times in the Bible as fig tree or fig, as these next references demonstrate:


The earliest occurrence of this word is found in verse 7 of Genesis 3:6-7, immediately following Adam and Eve’s fall into sin; it is also the first reference to mankind’s attempt to find a covering for their sin through their own sinful actions: And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. {7} And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig 

[ t@’en:H8384] leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

This term also emerges in the notable account of Jeremiah 24:1-3, as well as verses 5 and 8 in which God portrays the good figs as those that went into captivity to Babylon (symbolizing God’s command for His elect to leave the churches and denominations that had been infiltrated by Satan at the beginning of  the Great Tribulation) and the bad figs which exemplifies those who did not obey: 


The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs [t@’en:H8384] [were] set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. {2} One basket [had] very good figs, [t@’en:H8384] [even] like the figs [t@’en:H8384] [that are] first ripe: and the other basket [had] very naughty figs, [t@’en:H8384] which could not be eaten, they were so bad. {3} Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; [t@’en:H8384] the good figs, [t@’en:H8384] very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil…. {5} Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, [t@’en:H8384] so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for [their] good…. {8} And as the evil figs, [t@’en:H8384] which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:


Likewise Hosea 9:10 discloses: I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree [t@’en:H8384] at her first time: [but] they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto [that] shame; and [their] abominations were according as they loved.


God also declares His judgment upon His corporate people in Hosea 2:12, And I will destroy her vines [gephen:H1612]  and her fig trees, [t@’en:H8384] 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.

Just as when God cursed the fig tree as one reads in Matthew 21:19... 


And when he saw a fig tree [suke:G4808] in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree [suke:G4808]  withered away.


...these next Scriptures also speak of withered fruit or no fruit because salvation ended once the day of judgment began on May 21, 2011,


Joel 1:12 and 19 acknowledges: The vine [gephen:H1612] is dried up, and the fig tree [t@’en:H8384] languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, [even] all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men… {19} O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.


Habakkuk 3:17 corroborates this as well, and includes all three trees that we find in Judges 9 - the fig tree, the olive tree, and the vine - Although the fig tree [t@’en:H8384] shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit [be] in the vines; [gephen:H1612] the labour of the olive [zayith:H2132] shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls:


Isaiah 34:4 also lays out information concerning the day of judgment, in which the terms for vine and fig tree are used spiritually in connection with our present day, which is to be understood as spiritual judgment:  And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine [gephen:H1612], and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree. [t@’en:H8384]


Well on that somber note, we will have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our investigation of verse 10.

Judges 9 - Part 16

August 10, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 16 and today’s date is August 12, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:7-21,


And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. {8} The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. {9} But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {10} And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {11} But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? {12} Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {13} And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {14} Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {15} And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. {16} Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; {17} (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: {18} And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) {19} If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: {20} But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. {21} And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


In our examination of Judges 9 we are down to the latter part of verse 11, and the phrase, ... my sweetness, and my good fruit... In case you are wondering, the remaining terms in verses 10 and 11 have already been discussed previously. 


My Sweetness [motheq:H4987]


The Hebrew noun, my sweetness, is only found in here in Judges 9:11. It does however stem from a root word that is identically spelled with the same Hebrew letters. This root word, mathaq (which is a Hebrew verb) is found in the following five citations:


Verse 25 of Exodus 15:23-26 contains this word were made sweet: And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they [were] bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. {24} And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? {25} And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, [which] when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet [mathaq:H4985]: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, {26} And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I [am] the LORD that healeth thee.


The next reference is in Job 20:12, which is a chapter that is summed up by what one reads in verse 29, This [is] the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God. 

Job 20:12-14 state: Though wickedness be sweet [mathaq:H4985] in his mouth, [though] he hide it under his tongue; {13} [Though] he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth: {14} [Yet] his meat in his bowels is turned, [it is] the gall of asps within him.


Job 21 continues to develop this theme of the wicked and in verse 33 this word is rendered shall be sweet: Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb.{33} The clods of the valley shall be sweet [mathaq:H4985] unto him, and every man shall draw after him, as [there are] innumerable before him.


Verse 14 of Psalm 55:12-15 renders this as We took sweet: For [it was] not an enemy [that] reproached me; then I could have borne [it]: neither [was it] he that hated me [that] did magnify [himself] against me; then I would have hid myself from him: {13} But [it was] thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. {14} We took sweet [mathaq:H4985] counsel together, [and] walked unto the house of God in company. {15} Let death seize upon them, [and] let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness [is] in their dwellings, [and] among them. 


Lastly, Proverbs 9:17 declares: Stolen waters are sweet, [mathaq:H4985] and bread [eaten] in secret is pleasant. 


It’s curious that the fig tree’s sweetness in Judges 9:11 is contrasted with these five other passages in which this same Hebrew word is cast in a negative light. We also recognize that the fig tree represents corporate Israel that God was married to but because of her spiritual infedelity, God was obligated to divorce her. This was also noted in Hosea 9:10 in our previous study:


I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree [t@’en:H8384] at her first time: [but] they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto [that] shame; and [their] abominations were according as they loved.

And My Good [towb:H2896] Fruit [tenuwbah:H8570]


The two expressions, and my good  along with fruit are only found together again in verse 9 of Lamentations 4:1-9 as better and for [want of] the fruits, in this chapter that chronicles God’s judgment that began at His own house first: 


How is the gold become dim! [how] is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street. {2} The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter! {3} Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people [is become] cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness. {4} The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, [and] no man breaketh [it] unto them.

{5} They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills. {6} For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her. {7} Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing [was] of sapphire:

{8} Their visage 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. {9} [They that be] slain with the sword are better [towb:H2896] than [they that be] slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for [want of] the fruits [tenuwbah:H8570] of the field.


Fruit [tenuwbah:H8570]


This particular word for fruit only surfaces by itself in the following three citations:

Verse 13 of Deuteronomy 32:8-15 renders this as the increase: When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. {9} For the LORD'S portion [is] his people; Jacob [is] the lot of his inheritance. {10} He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. {11} As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: {12} [So] the LORD alone did lead him, and [there was] no strange god with him. {13}  He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase [tenuwbah:H8570] of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; {14} Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape. {15} But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered [with fatness]; then he forsook God [which] made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.


Isaiah 27:6 reveals: He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. [tenuwbah:H8570]

Verse 30 of Ezekiel 36:24-30 also affirms: For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. {25} Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. {26} A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. {27} And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. {28} And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. {29} I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. {30} And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase [tenuwbah:H8570] of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.


Let’s continue to verse 12, and the term, unto the vine:


Verse 12: Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us. 


Unto The Vine [gephen:H1612]


The term, unto the vine is another reference to national Israel and is also found in verse 13,
 

And the vine  [gephen:H1612] said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?


We can also turn to verse 8 of Psalm 80:8-16, in which this word is rendered the vine, that speaks of God planting the nation in the land of Canaan, but also refers to God’s judgment upon her: 


Thou hast brought a vine [gephen:H1612] out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. {9} Thou preparedst [room] before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land. {10} The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof [were like] the goodly cedars. {11} She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river. {12} Why hast thou [then] broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? {13} The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it. {14} Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; {15} And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch [that] thou madest strong for thyself. {16} [It is] burned with fire, [it is] cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.


The same theme of judgment also surfaces in the latter part of Deuteronomy 32:32, after rehearsing God’s favor which he had bestowed upon the nation:


For their vine [gephen:H1612] [is] of the vine [gephen:H1612] of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes [are] grapes of gall, their clusters [are] bitter:


God’s judgment extends to the New Testament churches and denominations (that mirror national Israel) in Revelation 11:8, in which Jerusalem is linked to both Sodom (highlighting the sin of the corporate church) along with Egypt (that exemplifies slavery to sin and to Satan since he  - as the man of sin - infiltrated the churches and denominations at the start of the Great Tribulation, by God’s allowance) according to 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4,


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


Revelation 11:8 acknowledges: And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.


God’s judgment is also reinforced in Jeremiah 2:21, Yet I had planted thee a noble vine [soreq:H8321], wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine [gephen:H1612] unto me?


 Occasionally, both the vine and the fig tree are used together to imply God’s blessings as we read in 1 Kings 4:25, 


And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine [gephen:H1612] and under his fig tree [t@’en:H8384], from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

 

In verse 11 of Genesis 49:8-12 Christ is is view since He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and this is the blessing that Jacob conferred upon Judah; incidentally the name Judah is derived from the term shall praise in verse 8, which is yadah:  Judah [Yehuwdah:H3063], thou [art he] whom thy brethren shall praise [yadah:H3034]: thy hand [shall be] in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. {9} Judah [Yehuwdah:H3063] [is] a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? {10} The sceptre shall not depart from Judah [Yehuwdah:H3063], nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be]. {11} Binding his foal unto the vine, [gephen:H1612] and his ass's colt unto the choice vine [soreq:H8321]; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: {12} His eyes [shall be] red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.


Isaiah 34:4 includes both words - vine and fig tree - in describing the cessation of the spiritual time keepers to send out the Light of the Gospel: And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, [gephen:H1612] and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree. [t@’en:H8384]


I think we’ll stop here today. Lord willing, in our next study we will begin our investigation of verse 13, and the reply of the vine to the trees. 

Judges 9 - Part 17

August 24, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 17 and today’s date is August 24, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:7-21,


And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. {8} The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. {9} But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {10} And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {11} But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? {12} Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {13} And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {14} Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {15} And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. {16} Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; {17} (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: {18} And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) {19} If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: {20} But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. {21} And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


We have arrived at verse 13, and the term, my wine, as the vine replies to the trees:


My Wine [tiyrowsh:H8492]


Here are some of the ways that God utilizes this term which is speaking about new wine or unfermented grape juice, keeping in mind that wine is emblematic of the blood or life of Christ, even as the Lord described in Matthew 26:29 and John 15:1-10 respectively: 


But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, [ampelos:G288] until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. 


I am the true vine [ampelos:G288], and my Father is the husbandman. {2} Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. {3} Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. {4} Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. {5} I am the vine [ampelos:G288], ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. {6} If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned. {7} If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. {8} Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. {9} As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. {10} If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.


Verse 13 of Deuteronomy 7:12-13 renders this as and thy wine, as God spells out His blessings upon those who follow His Law - the Bible: Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: {13} And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine [tiyrowsh:H8492], and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.


Verse 28 of Deuteronomy 33:27-29 similarly maintains:  The eternal God [is thy] refuge, and underneath [are] the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy [them]. {28} Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob [shall be] upon a land of corn and wine; [tiyrowsh:H8492] also his heavens shall drop down dew. {29} Happy [art] thou, O Israel: who [is] like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who [is] the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.


Frequently the word corn - typifying the Gospel - is found in conjunction with wine and other indicators of God’s blessings.


Verse 10 of Proverbs 3:1-10 translates this as with new wine: My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: {2} For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. {3} Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: {4} So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. {5} Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. {6} In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. {7} Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. {8} It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. {9} Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: {10} So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. [tiyrowsh:H8492]


By contrast, verse 7 of  Isaiah 24:1-9 is translated as the new wine in this chapter which deals with our present day of judgment:  Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. {2} And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. {3} The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. { 4} The earth mourneth [and] fadeth away, the world languisheth [and] fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. {5} The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. {6} Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. {7} The new wine [tiyrowsh:H8492] mourneth, the vine [gephen:H1612] languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh. {8} The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. {9} They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.


In Hosea 7:14 God makes this declaration with respect to His corporate people: And they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, [tiyrowsh:H8492] [and] they rebel against me. {15} Though I have bound [and] strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me. {16} They return, [but] not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this [shall be] their derision in the land of Egypt.


Zechariah 9:17 proclaims: For how great [is] his goodness, and how great [is] his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine [tiyrowsh:H8492] the maids.


The next phrase, ...which cheereth God [Elohiym] and man...is comprised of three words that only appear together in this verse, so let’s consider this term, which cheereth, as we have already discussed the plural expression for God, or ’Elohiym, as well as the term for man, or ’enowsh in some of our earlier studies in this chapter.


Which Cheereth [samach:H8055] 


The term which cheereth is a Hebrew verb that is predominantly translated as rejoice or be glad, as the following references illustrate:


This same word shows up in verse 19 twice as rejoice: If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice [samach:H8055] ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice [H8055] in you:


In Psalm 104:15 this expression is rendered that maketh glad: And wine [that] maketh glad [samach:H8055] the heart of man, [and] oil to make [his] face to shine, and bread [which] strengtheneth man's heart.


Likewise, Ecclesiastes 10:19 translates this as maketh merry:  A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: [samach:H8055] but money answereth all [things].


Song of Solomon 1:4 renders it as and rejoice: Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice [samach:H8055] in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.


We wonder in which way wine cheers ’Elohiym, or the Godhead? There are at least two ways that we can understand this. One is from a spiritual standpoint having to do with the blood of Christ - typified by the fruit of the vine. Additionally, Leviticus 17:11 explains that our human blood constitutes life:


For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul.


Thus the atonement ...at the foundation of the world required that the Lord Jesus Christ forfeit His life on behalf of each of the elect. And this sacrifice would be most precious in God’s sight as we learn from Isaiah 34:4,


Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 


The second manner in which wine would cheer the Godhead would be from a creation standpoint, as Psalm 104 magnificently affirms God’s infinite wisdom and power in creating all that He did as verse 31 of Psalm 104:1-31 beautifully states in which God rejoices in the work of His hands, reminding us of the awesome account of Creation and the cycle of life, death, and renewal that is woven into the fabric of this world:


Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. {2} Who coverest [thyself] with light as [with] a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: {3} Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: {4} Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: {5} [Who] laid the foundations of the earth, [that] it should not be removed for ever. {6} Thou coveredst it with the deep as [with] a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. {7} At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. {8} They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. {9} Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. {10} He sendeth the springs into the valleys, [which] run among the hills. {11} They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. {12} By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, [which] sing among the branches. {13} He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. {14} He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; {15} And wine [that] maketh glad the heart of man, [and] oil to make [his] face to shine, and bread [which] strengtheneth man's heart. {16} The trees of the LORD are full [of sap]; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; {17} Where the birds make their nests: [as for] the stork, the fir trees [are] her house.{18} The high hills [are] a refuge for the wild goats; [and] the rocks for the conies. {19} He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. {20} Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep [forth]. {21} The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. {22} The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. {23} Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening. {24} O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. {25} [So is] this great and wide sea, wherein [are] things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. {26} There go the ships: [there is] that leviathan, [whom] thou hast made to play therein. {27} These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give [them] their meat in due season. {28}[That] thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. {29} Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. {30} Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. {31} The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.

On that wonderful note we will have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next lesson we will proceed to investigate verse 14, as we are introduced to the bramble. 

Judges 9 - Part 18

August 26, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 18 and today’s date is August 26, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:7-21,


And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. {8} The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. {9} But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {10} And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {11} But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? {12} Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {13} And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {14} Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {15} And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. {16} Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; {17} (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: {18} And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) {19} If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: {20} But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. {21} And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


We are down to verse 14 and the term, the bramble, as we have already considered the rest of the words in this verse, which are identical to those found in conjunction with the olive tree, the fig tree, and the vine.


The Bramble [’atad:H329]


This term, the bramble is only found in two other references in the Old Testament:


The first one is in verses 10-11 of Genesis 50:9-13 which describe the events that took place after Jacob died: And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, {5}My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again. {6} And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear. {7} And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, {8} And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. {9} And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company. {10} And they came to the threshingfloor [goren:H1637] of Atad [’atad:H329], which [is] beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days. {11} And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor [goren:H1637] of Atad  [’atad:H329], they said, This [is] a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which [is] beyond Jordan. {12} And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: {13} For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.


The mourning for Jacob in the threshingfloor of Atad lasted seven days, and followed the mourning in Egypt which continued for 70 days, according to Genesis 50:3,


And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.


Verse 9 of Psalm 58:1-11 translates this expression as the thorns: [To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.] Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? {2} Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. {3} The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. {4} Their poison [is] like the poison of a serpent: [they are] like the deaf adder [that] stoppeth her ear; {5} Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely. {6} Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD. {7} Let them melt away as waters [which] run continually: [when] he bendeth [his bow to shoot] his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces. {8} As a snail [which] melteth, let [every one of them] pass away: [like] the untimely birth of a woman, [that] they may not see the sun. {9} Before your pots can feel the thorns [’atad:H329], he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in [his] wrath. {10} The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. {11} So that a man shall say, Verily [there is] a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. 


It is quite significant that the mourning that takes place for Jacob is in a threshingfloor which is mentioned in both Genesis 50:10 and 11. Spiritually the threshing floor is the place where the wheat (picturing the elect) was separated from the chaff (or the tares - typifying the non-elect.) So it would be a place that would represent both joy as well as intense mourning, as noted by the Canaanites response in verse 11.  Additionally,  ’atad  or thorns apparently stems from an unused verb that signifies to pierce, although I cannot verify this at the moment. 


Thorns Are Related To Sin 


We do find other Hebrew and Greek words that are rendered thorns, that exemplify God’s judgment for sin as these next citations underscore:


Verse 18 of Genesis 3:17-19 renders this word as thorns: And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; {18} Thorns [qowts:H6975] also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; {19} In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.


Perhaps you recall that in Judges 8:16 Gideon taught... the men of Succoth with thorns of the wilderness and briers: And he took the elders of the city, and thorns [qowts:H6975] of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth.


Proverbs 22:5 declares: Thorns [tsen:H6791] [and] snares [are] in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.


Isaiah 5:6 uses this expression to picture His judgment against national Israel - His vineyard:  I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns [shayith:H7898]: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.


Isaiah 10:17 also discloses: And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns [shayith:H7898] and his briers in one day;


Lastly, Isaiah 33:12 acknowledges: And the people shall be [as] the burnings of lime: [as] thorns [qowts:H6975] cut up shall they be burned in the fire.


Thorns In The New Testament


We find similar verses in the New Testament with respect to thorns as well:


Matthew 13:7 highlights one of the three unfruitful soils: And some fell among thorns [akantha:G173]; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:


Mark 15:17 includes this word as part of the crown of thorns that was placed upon the Savior’s head: And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns [akanthinos:G1574], and put it about his [head],


Luke 6:44 also stipulates this important principle: For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns [akantha:G173] men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush [batos:G942] gather they grapes.


Verse 8 of Hebrews 6:4-20 renders this word as thorns again in this chapter which underscores the distinction between the elect and the institution of the corporate church (as verses 4-6 explain):


For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, {5} And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, {6} If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame. {7} For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: {8} But that which beareth thorns [akantha:G173] and briers [is] rejected, and [is] nigh unto cursing; whose end [is] to be burned. {9} But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. {10} For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. {11} And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: {12} That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. {13} For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, {14} Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. {15} And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. {16} For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation [is] to them an end of all strife. {17} Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath: {18} That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: {19} Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; {20} Whither the forerunner is for us entered, [even] Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.


Now that we have learned a little bit more about the bramble or thorns, let’s move on to verse 15, and the reply of the bramble to the other trees, beginning with the phrase, ...if in truth ye anoint me king…:


Verse 15: And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. 

The words in this phrase ...if in truth ye anoint me king… are only found together in this verse, so we will have to consider them separately:


In Truth [’emeth:H571]


The first word is in truth, and it is primarily translated as truth, true, and truly, and to a much lesser degree in about eight other ways. These next passages illustrate how God has chosen to employ this term:


We will encounter this expression again in Judges 9:16 and 19 as truly: Now therefore, if ye have done truly [’emeth:H571] and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands;... {19} If ye then have dealt truly [’emeth:H571] and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:


Jeremiah 10:10 boldly reveals: But the LORD [is] the true [’emeth:H571] God [’Elohiym:H430], he [is] the living God [’Elohiym:H430], and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.


Jeremiah 23:28 spells out what God requires of those who declare His Word, in which this word is rendered faithfully:  The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. [’emeth:H571] What [is] the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.


And Hosea 4:1 expresses this a truth,  in this chapter which deals with God’s corporate people, but also reminds us of what is taking place in our current day of judgment: Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because [there is] no truth, [’emeth:H571] nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. {2} By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. {3} Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. {4} Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people [are] as they that strive with the priest. {5} Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother. {6} My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 


Anoint [mashach:H4886] Me King [melek:H4428]


The two expressions, anoint and king are used from time to time as one sees with regard to various kings that the Bible speaks about such as Saul, David,  Jehu, etc. as the subsequent references indicate:


1 Samuel 15:1 declares: Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint [mashach:H4886] thee [to be] king [melek:H4428] over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD.


And is 2 Samuel 5:3 we read: So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed [mashach:H4886] David king [melek:H4428] over Israel.


Lastly, 2 Kings 9:6 maintains: And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed [mashach:H4886] thee king [melek:H4428]  over the people of the LORD, [even] over Israel.


Let’s stop here. Lord willing, in our next study, we will continue our research in verse 15.

Judges 9 - Part 19

August 28, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 19 and today’s date is August 28, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:7-21,


And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. {8} The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. {9} But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {10} And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {11} But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? {12} Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {13} And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {14} Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {15} And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. {16} Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; {17} (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: {18} And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) {19} If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: {20} But if not, let fire come out from  Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. {21} And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


We are in the middle of verse 15, which states: ... you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.  


Perhaps you noticed that the response of the bramble is much different than the replies of the olive tree, the fig tree, and the vine, as they specify in which ways they are a blessing to mankind. This is not the case with the bramble, keeping in mind that it is associated with the mourning of death - as in the case of Jacob’s children - as well as with thorns - which also typify sin and the wages of sin which is death. The bramble has nothing positive to say of its characteristics, but is blatantly ominous: ...you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.  


You Then Come [bow’:H935] And Put Your Trust [chacha:H2620]


The disturbing directive ...you then come and put your trust… consists of two words that only surface together again in verse 12 of  Ruth 2:8-12, which takes place in an entirely different context. We are indeed privileged to overhear (as it were) this tender exchange between Boaz and his wife to be Ruth, both of whom spiritually represent the Lord Jesus Christ and His elect Bride respectively. These two expressions are translated thou art come along with to trust: 


Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:

{9} [Let] thine eyes [be] on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of [that] which the young men have drawn. {10} Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I [am] a stranger? {11} And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and [how] thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. {12} The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come [bow’:H935] to trust. [chacha:H2620]


This is also an outstanding example to remind the elect child of God in whom to put their trust in, which is the Word of God. This is also seen in the next word in Judges 9:15, ...in my shadow…, or tsel [say-ul]; it is also found in conjunction with and put your trust, or chacah, as the following citations reveal:   


And Put Your Trust [chacah:H2620] In My Shadow [tsel:H6738]


Verse 7 of Psalm 36:5-10 declares: Thy mercy, O LORD, [is] in the heavens; [and] thy faithfulness [reacheth] unto the clouds. {6} Thy righteousness [is] like the great mountains; thy judgments [are] a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. {7} How excellent [is] thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust [chacah:H2620] under the shadow [tsel:H6738] of thy wings. {8} They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. {9} For with thee [is] the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. {10} O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.


Verse 1 of Psalm 57:1-11 renders these terms as trusteth and in thee: yea, in the shadow in this psalm in which David glorifies God for delivering him from Saul:  [To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.] Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth [chacah:H2620] in thee: yea, in the shadow [tsel:H6738] of thy wings will I make my refuge, until [these] calamities be overpast. {2} I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth [all things] for me. {3} He shall send from heaven, and save me [from] the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. {4} My soul [is] among lions: [and] I lie [even among] them that are set on fire, [even] the sons of men, whose teeth [are] spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. {5} Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; [let] thy glory [be] above all the earth. {6} They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen [themselves]. Selah. {7} My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. {8} Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I [myself] will awake early. {9} I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. {10} For thy mercy [is] great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. {11} Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: [let] thy glory [be] above all the earth.


Verse 2 of Isaiah 30:1-10 includes these two expressions in verse 2: Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: {2} That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust [chacah:H2620] in the shadow [tsel:H6738] of Egypt! {3} Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow [tsel:H6738] of Egypt [your] confusion. {4} For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. {5} They were all ashamed of a people [that] could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach. {6} The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence [come] the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people [that] shall not profit [them]. {7} For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength [is] to sit still. {8} Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: {9} That this [is] a rebellious people, lying children, children [that] will not hear the law of the LORD: {10} Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:


In the above passage the shadow of Egypt is in view, and Egypt typifies slavery to sin and to Satan.


Let Fire [’esh:H784] Come Out [yatsa’:H3318]


The next two terms are: let fire and come out; they appear together in about 30 citations, as these next verses illustrate:


We will encounter these two words again in verse 20 of this chapter as let fire and come out, in which they are repeated: But if not, let fire [’esh:H784] come out [yatsa’:H3318] from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire [’esh:H784] come out [yatsa’:H3318] from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech.


This verse is unique in that we see a division taking place between the men of Shechem and Abimelech, which parallels what is taking place in our present day of judgment throughout the entire world. We will examine this more closely once we get to verse 20, Lord willing.


Here are some other references that contain these two terms:



Verse 2 of Leviticus 10:1-2 records God’s wrath against two of Aaron’s sons (Nadab and Abihu) for daring to offer an unholy offering, which God had not prescribed; these are rendered as And there came out and  fire: And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. {2} And there went out [yatsa’:H3318]  fire [’esh:H784] from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.


Likewise verse 35 of Numbers 16:1-35 reveals what happens to those who rebel against the Word of God, which is a critical reminder for all those who claim to be God’s elect. Also please note the first accusation against God’s representatives - Moses and Aaron - as well as the second (false)  assertion in verse 3, ...[Ye take] too much upon you, seeing all the congregation [are] holy, every one of them, and the LORD [is] among them…:    


Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took [men]: {2} And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: {3} And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, [Ye take] too much upon you, seeing all the congregation [are] holy, every one of them, and the LORD [is] among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? {4} And when Moses heard [it], he fell upon his face: {5} And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who [are] his, and [who is] holy; and will cause [him] to come near unto him: even [him] whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. {6} This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; {7} And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be [that] the man whom the LORD doth choose, he [shall be] holy: [ye take] too much upon you, ye sons of Levi. {8} And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: {9} [Seemeth it but] a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? {10} And he hath brought thee near [to him], and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also? {11} For which cause [both] thou and all thy company [are] gathered together against the LORD: and what [is] Aaron, that ye murmur against him? {12} And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up: {13} [Is it] a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us? {14} Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up. {15} And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the LORD, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them. {16} And Moses said unto Korah, Be thou and all thy company before the LORD, thou, and they, and Aaron, to morrow: {17} And take every man his censer, and put incense in them, and bring ye before the LORD every man his censer, two hundred and fifty censers; thou also, and Aaron, each [of you] his censer. {18} And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron. {19} And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation. {20} And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, {21} Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. {22} And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? {23} And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, {24} Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. {25} And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. {26} And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. {27} So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. {28} And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for [I have] not  [done them] of mine own mind. {29 If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; [then] the LORD hath not sent me. {30} But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. {31} And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that [was] under them: {32} And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that [appertained] unto Korah, and all [their] goods. {33} They, and all that [appertained] to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. {34} And all Israel that [were] round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up [also].{35} And there came out  [yatsa’:H3318] a fire [’esh:H784] from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.


Well on that very solemn note we will have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of verse 15.

Judges 9 - Part 20

September 7, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 20 and today’s date is September 7, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:7-21,


And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. {8} The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. {9} But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {10} And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {11} But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? {12} Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {13} And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {14} Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {15} And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. {16} Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; {17} (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: {18} And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) {19} If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: {20} But if not, let fire come out from  Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. {21} And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


In our examination of Judges 9, we have arrived at the last few words in verse 15, ... and devour the cedars of Lebanon.


And Devour [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] The Cedars [’erez:H730/TWOT: 160a] Of Lebanon [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e] 


The three terms, ...and devour the cedars of Lebanon only appear together in one other significant passage which is in verse 1 of Zechariah 11:1-17,


Open thy doors, O Lebanon [L@banown:H3844/TWOT: 1074e], that the fire may devour  [’akal:H398/ TWOT:85] thy cedars. [’erez:H730/ TWOT: 160a]  {2} Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down. {3} [There is] a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled. {4} Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter; {5} Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed [be] the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not. {6} For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver [them]. {7} And I will feed the flock of slaughter, [even] you,




* Harris, Archer, Waltke, Moody Press (1980), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament,  Volumes 1& 2  

O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. {8} Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me. {9} Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another. {10} And I took my staff, [even] Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. {11} And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it [was] the word of the LORD. {12} And I said unto them, If ye think good, give [me] my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver. {13} And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty [pieces] of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. {14} Then I cut asunder mine other staff, [even] Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. {15} And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. {16} For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, [which] shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. {17} Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword [shall be] upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.


And Devour [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] 


The term, devour, which here in Judges 9:15 is used in connection with the fire devouring the cedars of Lebanon is a good example of one of the ways that God employs this word in which inanimate objects cause destruction, such as plagues and pestilences, which can also be attributed to insects such as locusts, lice etc., as one is reminded of the horrific plagues that God brought upon Egypt. More commonly, the word is mentioned with respect to “eating” food, or the lack thereof. Two chapters in the Bible that contain the greatest number of times this term is found are: Genesis 3 and Deuteronomy 12. In Genesis 3 this word surfaces 17 times.


Genesis 3:1-3, 5-6, 11-14, 17-19, 22 reveal: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat [’akal:H398/ TWOT: 1074e] of every tree of the garden? {2} And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat [’akal:H398/ TWOT: 1074e] of the fruit of the trees of the garden: {3} But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat [’akal:H398/ TWOT: 1074e] ] of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. ... {5} For God doth know that in the day ye eat [’akal:H398/ TWOT: 1074e] thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. {6} And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, [’akal:H398/ TWOT: 1074e]] and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. [’akal:H398/ TWOT: 1074e] ... {11} And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten [’akal:H398/ TWOT: 1074e]  of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? [’akal:H398/ TWOT: 1074e]  {12} And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.[’akal:H398/TWOT: 1074e] {13} And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.[’akal:H398/TWOT: 1074e] {14} And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat [’akal:H398/TWOT: 1074e] all the days of thy life: ... {17} And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten [’akal:H398/TWOT: 1074e] of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat [’akal:H398] of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [’akal:H398] [of] it all the days of thy life; {18} Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat [’akal:H398/TWOT: 1074e] the herb of the field; {19} In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat [’akal:H398/TWOT: 1074e] bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return. ... {22} And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, [’akal:H398/TWOT: 1074e] and live for ever:  


Of Lebanon [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e*]


Historically, Lebanon is a reference to the Kingdom of God and part of  the Promised Land according to the following citations. The cedars of Lebanon can also refer to Christ and God’s elect,  as well as to national Israel (whom God divorced) and the New Testament churches and denominations that came under His wrath, which also transitioned to the world as it has in our day:


Moses’ petition to God to see the Promised Land before his death in Deuteronomy 3:25 includes Lebanon: I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that [is] beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e]


Verse 4 of Joshua 1:1-4 records God’s directive to Joshua, in which this term is mentioned in verse 4: Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, {2} Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, [even] to the children of Israel. {3} Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. {4} From the wilderness and this Lebanon [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e]

 even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land  of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.


Lebanon And The Cedars Of Lebanon As A Portrait Of Christ And His Elect


A number of beautiful Scriptures utilize this word to describe the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ and His elect Bride, as the subsequent references show:


Psalm 92:12 makes this declaration: The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar [’erez:H730/ TWOT: 160a] in Lebanon. [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e]


Psalm 104:16 likewise affirms: The trees of the LORD are full [of sap]; the cedars [’erez:H730/ TWOT: 160a] of Lebanon [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e], which he hath planted;


Song of Solomon 4:11 also speaks of God’s elect: 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. [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e]


Song of Solomon 5:15 is another reference to the Savior:  His legs [are as] pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance [is] as Lebanon [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e], excellent as the cedars. [’erez:H730/ TWOT: 160a


Song of Solomon 7:4 is a depiction of the imputed righteousness and holiness of God that the elect have been clothed with: Thy neck [is] as a tower of ivory; thine eyes [like] the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose [is] as the tower of Lebanon [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e] which looketh toward Damascus.


Hosea 14:5-7 acknowledges God’s favor to His people in this passage in which Lebanon is employed three times: I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e] {6} His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e] {7} They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive [as] the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof [shall be] as the wine of Lebanon. [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e]


God’s Judgment Against The Cedars Of Lebanon


God’s judgment is expressed against the cedars of Lebanon which is symbolized by the usage of words like lofty, lifted up, pride and haughtiness, as God’s retribution began at His own house first and then spread to the world at large at the beginning of our current day of judgment on May 21, 2011: 


Psalm 29:5 pictures God’s judgment against the children of pride (or the non-elect) who are represented by the tall and mighty cedars, which are mentioned twice: The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars [’erez:H730/ TWOT: 160a]; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars [’erez:H730/ TWOT: 160a] of Lebanon. [L@banown:H3844/ TWOT: 1074e]


Verse 13 of Isaiah 2:11-21 continues in the same vein:  The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. {12} For the day of the LORD of hosts [shall be] upon every [one that is] proud and lofty, and upon every [one that is] lifted up; and he shall be brought low: {13} And upon all the cedars [’erez:H730/ TWOT: 160a] of Lebanon, [that are] high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, {14} And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills [that are] lifted up, {15} And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, {16} And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. {17} And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. {18} And the idols he shall utterly abolish. {19} And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. {20} In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made [each one] for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; {21} To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.


On that very solemn note that describes our present  day of judgment we need to conclude this study. Lord willing, in our next lesson we will move on to verse 16.

Judges 9 - Part 21

September 14, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 21 and today’s date is September 14, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:7-21,


And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. {8} The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. {9} But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {10} And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {11} But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? {12} Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {13} And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {14} Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {15} And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. {16} Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; {17} (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: {18} And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) {19} If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: {20} But if not, let fire come out from  Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. {21} And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


We are down to verse 16 in our examination of Judges 9 and the phrase ye have done truly, which is comprised of two Hebrew words:


Ye Have Done [`asah:H6213/ TWOT*:1708, 1709] Truly [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k]


The following verses are some examples in which the terms, ye have done and truly appear together:


Judges 9:19 is very similar to verse 16: If ye then have dealt [`asah:H6213/ TWOT:1708, 1709]  truly [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k] and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:


Genesis 24:49 declares part of the conversation with Abraham's trusted servant and Laban and Bethuel, concerning the arranged marriage between Isaac and Rebecca: And now if ye will deal [`asah:H6213/ TWOT:1708, 1709] kindly and truly [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k] with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.


Genesis 32:10 is an amazing declaration by Jacob under divine inspiration, of God's goodness toward each of His elect people: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k] which thou hast shewed [`asah:H6213/ TWOT:1708, 1709] unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am  become two bands.


* Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament


Genesis  47:29 also renders these terms as and deal along with and truly:  And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal [`asah:H6213/TWOT:1708, 1709] kindly and truly [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k] with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt:


Joshua 2:12 and 14 recount the dialogue between the two spies and Rahab the harlot with respect to their mutual agreement: Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed [`asah:H6213/TWOT:1708, 1709] you kindness, that ye will also shew [`asah:H6213/TWOT:1708, 1709] kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k] token: ... {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 [`asah:H6213/TWOT:1708, 1709]  kindly and truly [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k] with thee.


1 Kings 3:6 acknowledges: And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed [`asah:H6213/TWOT:1708, 1709] unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k], and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as [it is] this day.


Nehemiah 9:33 is a portion of Nehemiah’s prayer and confession to the LORD:  Howbeit thou [art] just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done [`asah:H6213/TWOT:1708, 1709] right [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k], but we have done wickedly:


Verse 8 of Psalm 111:7-8 reveals: The works of his hands [are] verity and judgment; all his commandments [are] sure. {8} They stand fast for ever and ever, [and are] done [`asah:H6213/TWOT:1708, 1709] in truth [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k] and uprightness.


Verse 6 of Psalm 146:5-6 also affirms: Happy [is he] that [hath] the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope [is] in the LORD his God: {6} Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein [is]: which keepeth truth for ever:


Ye Have Done [`asah:H6213/ TWOT:1708, 1709] And Sincerely [tamiym:H8549/TWOT: 2522d]


It’s curious that when one combines the terms ye have done along with and sincerely, a different spiritual picture emerges, which is found in eight other passages (besides Judges 9:16 and 19) and which involve animal sacrifices that spiritually point to the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ at...the foundation of the world. All of the animals mentioned in this verse are representative of the Lord Jesus: the bullock [Ezekiel 1:10; Revelation 4:7], the ram [Genesis 22:13], and the seven lambs (the number seven indicates perfection) [Exodus 12:5 rendered as “the sheep” referring to the Passover lamb]


Seven out of these eight passages reflect the same theme as Numbers 29:2, in which these words are translated as and ye shall offer and without blemish: And ye shall offer [`asah:H6213/ TWOT:1708, 1709] a burnt offering for a sweet savour unto the LORD; one young bullock, one ram, [and] seven lambs of the first year without blemish: [tamiym:H8549/TWOT: 2522d]


Only verse 5 of Ezekiel 15:1-8 presents an altogether different portrait which is one of God’s judgment that began at His own house first, and is typified by the vine, which can symbolizes both national Israel as well as the end-time institutional churches and denominations, and is the identical word that we find in Judges 9:12-13, which is gephen. (G1612/TWOT:372A)   


And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {2} Son of man, What is the vine [gephen:G1612/TWOT:372A] tree more than any tree, [or than] a branch which is among the trees of the forest? {3} Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will [men] take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon? {4} Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire devoureth both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned. Is it meet for [any] work? {5} Behold, when it was whole [tamiym:H8549/TWOT: 2522d], it was meet [`asah:H6213/ TWOT:1708, 1709]  for no work: how much less shall it be meet [`asah:H6213/ TWOT:1708, 1709]  yet for [any] work, when the fire hath devoured it, and it is burned? {6} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As the vine [gephen:G1612/TWOT:372A] tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. {7} And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from [one] fire, and [another] fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I set my face against them. {8} And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord GOD.


Truly [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k] And Sincerely [tamiym:H8549/TWOT: 2522d]


Additionally, the expressions, truly along with and sincerely only emerge in these next two citations (excluding Judges 9:16 and 19): 



Verse 14 of Joshua 24:14-15 records Joshua’s famous directive to the children of Israel: Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity [tamiym:H8549/TWOT: 2522d] and in truth [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k]: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. {15} And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. 


Verse 2 of Psalm 15:1-2 renders this word as uprightly and the truth: [A Psalm of David.] LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? {2} He that walketh uprightly [tamiym:H8549/TWOT: 2522d], and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth [’emeth:H571/ TWOT: 116k] in his heart.


Well [towb:H2896] & And His House [bayith:H1004]


The next two words that we want to investigate in verse 16 are: well along with and his house (referring to Jerubbaal or Gideon), as the subsequent passages illustrate:


In Genesis 44:4 these words are expressed as unto his steward and good: [And] when they were gone out of the city, [and] not [yet] far off, Joseph said unto his steward [bayith:H1004], Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? [towb:H2896] 


Esther 7:9 reveals: And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good [towb:H2896] for the king, standeth in the house [bayith:H1004] of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon.


Job 22:18 testifies: Yet he [speaking of God]  filled their houses [bayith:H1004] with good [towb:H2896] [things]: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.


Proverbs 17:13 further warns: Whoso rewardeth evil for good [towb:H2896], evil shall not depart from his house. [bayith:H1004]


Verse 6 of Jeremiah 12:1-6 underscores God’s retribution against His own house first, in which these expressions are translated as and the house and fair words: Righteous [art] thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of [thy] judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? [wherefore] are all they happy that deal very treacherously? {2} Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou [art] near in their mouth, and far from their reins. {3} But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter. {4} How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end. {5} If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and [if] in the land of peace, [wherein] thou trustedst, [they wearied thee], then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?{6} For even thy brethren, and the house [bayith:H1004] of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words [towb:H2896] unto thee.


Unto Him According To The Deserving [g@muwl:H1576] Of His Hands [yad:H3027]


The last two terms in verse 16 are: ...unto him according to the deserving of his hands, which is made up of two Hebrew expressions that are only found together in the following four references:


Psalm 28:4 states: Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands [yad:H3027]; render to them their desert. [g@muwl:H1576] 


By contrast, Proverbs 12:14 announces what God’s elect can expect: A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of [his] mouth: and the recompence [g@muwl:H1576] of a man's hands [yad:H3027] shall be rendered unto him.


Isaiah 3:11 further adds this warning regarding the non-elect: Woe unto the wicked! [it shall be] ill [with him]: for the reward [g@muwl:H1576] of his hands [yad:H3027] shall be given him.


Lamentations 3:64 likewise maintains: Render unto them a recompence [g@muwl:H1576], O LORD, according to the work of their hands. [yad:H3027]


It looks like we have to bring today’s study to a close. Lord willing, in our next study we will begin to examine verse 17.

Judges 9 - Part 22

September 18, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 22 and today’s date is September 18, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:7-21,


And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. {8} The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. {9} But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {10} And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {11} But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? {12} Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {13} And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {14} Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {15} And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. {16} Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; {17} (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: {18} And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) {19} If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: {20} But if not, let fire come out from  Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. {21} And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


We have arrived at verse 17 in our on-going examination of Judges 9: (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: 


The first two words in verse 17 are: my father and fought, and they appear together in three other citations. Jotham is rehearsing for the men of Shechem what his father Gideon did for them, by delivering them from the Midianites. As I have mentioned on more than one occasion, we want to keep Gideon’s admonition in  Judges 8:22-23 because it is such a powerful reminder of what the men of Shechem failed to do:


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.


In spite of Gideon’s insistence, the men of Shechem were persuaded by Abimelech to let him be their king, instead of the 70 sons of Gideon or Jerubbaal, who he killed, with the exception of Jotham, who was the youngest.


My Father [’ab:H1/TWOT:4a] Fought [lacham:H3898/TWOT:1104, 1105] 

 

Joshua 19:47 renders these words as to fight and their father: And the coast of the children of Dan went out [too little] for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight  [lacham:H3898/TWOT:1104, 1105] against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father. [’ab:H1/TWOT:4a] 


Verse 3 of 2 Kings 10:1-11 is a passage we have considered before as it is the only other account (I believe) in which seventy sons are mentioned again:


And Ahab had seventy 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 [’ab:H1/TWOT:4a] throne, and fight  [lacham:H3898/TWOT:1104, 1105]  for your master's house. {4} But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him [Jehu]: 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 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 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.


2 Chronicles 13:12 records King Abijah’s (of Judah) speech to King Jeroboam (of Israel) of and his troops as he was atop Mount Zemaraim (even as Jotham was atop Mt. Gerizim)) prior to the battle that would ensue thereafter: And, behold, God himself [is] with us for [our] captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight  [lacham:H3898/TWOT:1104, 1105]

 ye not against the LORD God of your fathers [’ab:H1/TWOT:4a]; for ye shall not prosper.


You And Adventured [shalak:H7993/ TWOT:2398] His Life [nephesh:H5315/TWOT:1395a] 


The next two expressions in Judges 9:17 are you and adventured  along with his life, and they too also surface in the following three accounts:


Isaiah 38:17 renders these terms as to my soul and thou hast cast:  Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul [nephesh:H5315/TWOT:1395a] [delivered it] from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast [shalak:H7993/ TWOT:2398] all my sins behind thy back.


Similarly, verse 19 of Ezekiel 7:1-19 lays out God’s judgment which began at His own house first: Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying {2} Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. {3} Now [is] the end [come] upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations. {4} And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD. {5} Thus saith the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come. {6} An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come. {7} The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble [is] near, and not the sounding again of the mountains. {8} Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations. {9} And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations [that] are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD that smiteth. {10} Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded. {11} Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them [shall remain], nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs: neither [shall there be] wailing for them. {12} The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath [is] upon all the multitude thereof. {13} For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision [is] touching the whole multitude thereof, [which] shall not return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life. {14} They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath [is] upon all the multitude thereof. {15} The sword [is] without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that [is] in the field shall die with the sword; and he that [is] in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him. {16} But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity. {17} All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak [as] water. {18} They shall also gird [themselves] with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame [shall be] upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads. {19} They shall cast  [shalak:H7993/ TWOT:2398]  their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their soul [nephesh:H5315/TWOT:1395a], neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.


Ezekiel 16:5 translates these as thee; but thou wast cast out and of the person in this parabolic chapter which chronicles God’s care for national Israel typified as a woman from infancy to maturity, in spite of her rebellion: None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out [shalak:H7993/ TWOT:2398] in the open field, to the lothing of thy person [nephesh:H5315/TWOT:1395a], in the day that thou wast born.


Far [neged:H5048/ TWOT:H1289a] 


The last word that we want to consider in Judges 9:17 is the expression far, which modifies the phrase, you and adventured his life (speaking of Gideon or Jerubbaal), as we have already discussed the remaining words in this verse in some of our earlier lessons, namely, ...and delivered you out of the hand of Midian. This word, far is used as a Hebrew adjective or adverb 22 other times. These next references illustrate some of the ways that God employs this term:


Numbers 2:2 translates this as far off:  Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off [neged:H5048/ TWOT:H1289a] about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch.


2 Kings 2:7 renders this as to view (afar off is a different word): And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view [neged:H5048/ TWOT:H1289a]  afar off: and they [Elijah and Elisha] two stood by Jordan.


2 Kings 1:13 renders it as before: And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before [neged:H5048/ TWOT:H1289a] Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight.


And Psalm 31:22 expresses this as from before:  For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before [neged:H5048/ TWOT:H1289a] thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.


Psalm 38:11 renders this word as from: My lovers and my friends stand aloof from [neged:H5048/ TWOT:H1289a] my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.


Psalm 78:12 expresses this word as he [referring to God] in the sight:  Marvellous things did he in the sight [neged:H5048/ TWOT:H1289a] of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, [in] the field of Zoan.


Lastly, Isaiah 1:16 acknowledges: Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before [neged:H5048/ TWOT:H1289a]  mine eyes; cease to do evil;


Once again this word is translated as from before. 


This brings us to...  verse 18 which states:


Verse 18:  And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) 


Most of the words in this verse we have already considered when we were investigating verse 5, so let’s begin with the phrase ...are risen up  and my father’s  house, which is made up of three Hebrew words:


Are Risen Up [quwm:H6965/TWOT:1999]  & My Father’s [’av:H1/TWOT:4a] House [bayith:H1004/TWOT:241] 


These three expressions crop up together in eight other references. One of them very definitely ties into our study and is found in verse 6 of Micah 7:1-10. The same antagonism between those within one’s household correlates with Abimelech’s murder of all of his half-brothers with the exception of Jotham, who hid himself, and managed to escape from the fate that all his brothers or half-brothers experienced:


Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: [there is] no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit. {2} The good [man] is perished out of the earth: and [there is] none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. {3}That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge [asketh] for a reward; and the great [man], he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up. {4} The best of them [is] as a brier: the most upright [is sharper] than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen [and] thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity. {5} Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. {6} For the son dishonoureth the father [’av:H1/TWOT:4a], the daughter riseth up [quwm:H6965/TWOT:1999]  against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies [are] the men of his own house. [bayith:H1004/TWOT:241] {7} Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. {8} Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD [shall be] a light unto me. {9} I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, [and] I shall behold his righteousness. {10} Then [she that is] mine enemy shall see [it], and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.


We’ll have to stop here, as we have run out of time. Lord willing, in our next study we will proceed to verse 19.

Judges 9 - Part 23

September 23, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 23 and today’s date is September 23, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:7-21,


And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. {8} The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. {9} But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {10} And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {11} But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? {12} Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {13} And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? {14} Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us. {15} And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. {16} Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; {17} (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: {18} And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;) {19} If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: {20} But if not, let fire come out from  Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. {21} And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


Our last study concluded with verse 18 so today we want to examine verse 19 and possibly part of verse 20, since verse 19 has a number of the same words as verse 16. Taking that into consideration let’s examine the term rejoice which crops up twice in verse 19 along with verse 20 since both are part of the point that Jotham is driving home to the men of Shechem. We have noted previously that Israel did not follow his father’s advice in Judges 8:22-23,


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.


Moreover the spiritual condition of Isarel is highlighted as Judges 8:33-35 maintains:


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.  


However in this context, the men of Shechem refer spiritually to the world and verse 20 underscores the division that is taking place in our present day of judgment as Satan’s kingdom is being divided as we learn from 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?



Rejoice [samach:H8055/TWOT:2268]*


The following passages contain this term rejoice, as Jotham repeats what he stated in verse 16 and again in verse 19. Jotham is making the point in verse 16 and 19 that if the men of Shechem  have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and his house (which they had not!) they are to rejoice in Abimelech and vice-versa, and if not, verse 20 then goes on to foreshadow their future antagonism which would erode any previous friendship they might have had:


If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, [then] rejoice [samach:H8055] ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice [samach:H8055] in you: {20} But if not, let fire come out from  Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech.


Actually we ran across this word, rejoice when we were working on verse 13, in which it is rendered as which cheereth:


And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth [samech:H8055] God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?


The term which cheereth is a Hebrew verb that is predominantly translated as rejoice or be glad, as the following references show. It is a word that can be applied in a variety of different cicumstances, and should indeed reflect the tremendous joy that a genuine child of God has for His Savior and for the Bible, and all of God’s manifold blessings that He showers down upon them moment by moment. With this in mind I would like us to focus on this one word in particular in this study, which is not something I would normally do, but that God has laid on my own heart the necessity of emphasizing this specific fruit of the Spirit.


Proverbs 24:17 states when not to rejoice, reminding us of one of the admonitions in Jesus’ sermon on the Mount: Rejoice [samech:H8055] not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:


Proverbs 27:9 refer to both the Savior as well as the faith of Christ spiritually which is pictured by the alabaster box of  spikenard that Mary broke in the New Testament in order to anoint the Lord in preparation for His upcoming death and burial: 


Ointment and perfume rejoice [samech:H8055] the heart:so [doth] the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.


Isaiah 25:9 extols the patience and faith of God’s saints as they wait for their Master: And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice [samech:H8055] in his salvation.


The context of Joel 2:23 includes a reference to Christ Who is the Righteous rain, and then both seasons of the former (relating to the beginning of the church age on the Day of Pentecost) as well as the latter rain (which was the greatest penetration of the Gospel to reach the nations of the elect during the last 17 years of the Great Tribulation: 


Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice [samech:H8055] in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month].


Psalm 58:10 uniquely describes God’s righteous judgment over Satan and the non-elect in our current day of judgment:  The righteous shall rejoice [samech:H8055] when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.


Psalm 67:4 picks up the same theme concerning the nations of the elect today, in which this term is translated be glad: O let the nations be glad [samech:H8055] and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.


Psalm 90:14 is a petition for God’s mercy, and the cause for the elect to and be glad, which is how this word is once again rendered: O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad [samech:H8055] all our days.


Psalm 90:15 continues this refrain and translates this word as make us glad, in spite of any former trials and tribulations: Make us glad [samech:H8055] according to the days [wherein] thou hast afflicted us, [and] the years [wherein] we have seen evil.


Psalm 96:11 calls the entire universe to rejoice: Let the heavens rejoice, [samech:H8055] and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.


1 Chronicles 16:31 likewise proclaims, in which this word is expressed again as be glad: Let the heavens be glad, [samech:H8055] and let the earth rejoice: and let [men] say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.


1 Samuel 2:1 records part of Hannah’s prayer of rejoicing over God’s salvation, and the defeat of His enemies: 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 [samech:H8055] in thy salvation.


1 Samuel 6:13 the inhabitants of Bethshemesh rejoiced to see the Ark of the Covenant again in Israel: And [they of] Bethshemesh [were] reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced [samech:H8055] to see [it].


2 Samuel 1:20 provides this declaration concerning the death of king Saul and his sons, which would give cause for the Philistines to rejoice: Tell [it] not in Gath, publish [it] not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, [samech:H8055] lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.


Verse 9 of 1 Chronicles 29:9-17 marks the grand occasion when David blessed God for His provision through His people to give of their resources to furnish the house of God (pointing to the task of reaching the nations of the elect who make up the spiritual Temple of God) as God worked through David ( a type of Christ) and His people (a figure of the elect) to both ...will and to do of His good pleasure, in which this term rejoiced is repeated:  


Then the people rejoiced, [samech:H8055] for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced [samech:H8055] with great joy. {10} Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. {11} Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. {12}  Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all. {13} Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. {14} But who [am] I, and what [is] my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things [come] of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. {15} For we [are] strangers before thee, and sojourners, as [were] all our fathers: our days on the earth [are] as a shadow, and [there is] none abiding. {16} O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name [cometh] of thine hand, and [is] all thine own. {17} I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.





*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

2 Chronicles 6:41 likewise affirms God’s overwhelming mercy and goodness on behalf of His elect people: Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice [samech:H8055] in goodness.


Nehemiah 12:43 recounts the tremendous rejoicing that took place when the walls were dedicated: Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced:[samech:H8055] for God had made them rejoice [samech:H8055] with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced:[samech:H8055] so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.


Lastly Psalm 19:8 magnifies the Holy Word of God: The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing [H8055] the heart: the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes. 


We have already considered all of the words in verse 20, as a number of them were addressed in verse 15 with the response of the bramble, so let’s proceed to verse 21:


Verse 21: And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.


The two terms ran away along with and fled only surface together in this verse, so we will have to examine them individually in the time we have left.


Ran Away [barach:H1272/ TWOT:284] 


Ran away is primarily rendered as flee as these next citations illustrate:


We will only find it one other time in the book of Judges in Judges 11:3 in connection with Jephthah: Then Jephthah fled [barach:H1272] from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.


Psalm 139:7 declares: Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee [barach:H1272] from thy presence? 


Job 9:25 maintains: Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away,

[barach:H1272] they see no good.


And Job 14:2 asserts: He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth [barach:H1272] also as a shadow, and continueth not.


Lastly Psalm 3:1 describes when David had to flee from his son Absalom: [A Psalm of David, when he fled [barach:H1272] from Absalom his son.] LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many [are] they that rise up against me.


Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our investigation of verse 21. 

Judges 9 - Part 24

September 25, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 24 and today’s date is September 25, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:21-25,


And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother. {22} When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel, {23} Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: {24} That the cruelty [done] to the threescore and ten 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. {25} And the men of Shechem set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.


We are currently working on verse 21, and we left off at the word, and fled.


And Fled [nuwc:H5127/TWOT:1327]


And fled is a synonym for ran away, or barach as was noted in our last study. It is overwhelmingly translated as either flee or flee away with only a handful of exceptions. We have actually encountered this word in some of our earlier studies in the book of Judges according to the following verses:


Judges 1:6 records: But Adonibezek fled; [nuwc:H5127] and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.


Judges 4:15 and 17 similarly states: And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all [his] chariots, and all [his] host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off [his] chariot, and fled away [nuwc:H5127] on his feet. …{17} Howbeit Sisera fled away [nuwc:H5127] on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for [there was] peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.


And Judges 6:11 this word is rendered to hide: And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which [was] in Ophrah, that [pertained] unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide [nuwc:H5127] [it] from the Midianites.


Judges 7:21-22 add: And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. [nuwc:H5127] {22} And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled [nuwc:H5127] to Bethshittah in Zererath, [and] to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.


Lastly, Judges 8:12 teaches: And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, [nuwc:H5127] he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host.


We will also run across this word in verse 40 and 51 in this chapter as well as in  chapter 20.


The next word that we wan to examine is the location that Jothan fled to, which was Beer.


Beer [Be’er:H876] 


Apparently this was one of two places: the first is a city west of Hebron. The second is a place in the desert, which is mentioned in verse 16 of Numbers 21:16-18 along with its root word that is identically spelled (H875) and rendered that [is] the well. The word well (H875) also appears in verse 17 and 18 and was the subject of the song that the Israelites sang to commemorate that God would provide water for them as He promised - a glorious representation of the Water of Life -  Who is the Lord Jesus Christ: 


And from thence [they went] to Beer:[Be’er:H876] that [is] the well [be’er:H875] whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water. {17} Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well [be’er:H875]; sing ye unto it: {18} The princes digged the well [be’er:H875], the nobles of the people digged it, by [the direction of] the lawgiver, with their staves. And from the wilderness [they went] to Mattanah:


Well [be’er:H875/TWOT:194a] *


Here are some other examples of how God employs this term, which is also found as part of the compound names, Beersheba, or “well of the seven-fold oath” as we find in Genesis 21:25-32, in which Abraham disputed with Abimelech, King of Gerar over a well of Abraham’s that Abimelech’s servants had stolen; we have to keep in mind that historically speaking water was a very scarce commodity in the dry arrid land of the Middle East, and highly prized:


And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well [be’er:H875] of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away. {26} And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I [of it], but to day. {27} And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. {28} And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. {29} And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What [mean] these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? {30} And he said, For [these] seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. [be’er:H875]  {31} Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them. {32} Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.


Another place is Beerlaharoi, (Be’er la-Chay-Ro’iy:H833) or “well of the Living One, seeing me,” according to verse 14 of Genesis 16:7-14 concerning Hagar and her son, Ishmael:


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. {8} And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. {9} And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. {10} And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. {11} And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou [art] with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. {12} And he will be a wild man; his hand [will be] against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. {13} And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? {14} Wherefore the well [be’er:H875] was called Beerlahairoi [Be’er la-Chay-Ro’iy:H833]; behold, [it is] between Kadesh and Bered. 


By contrast, these next references contain this word well, which is translated pit, and as you can imagine denotes judgment:


Psalm 55:23 announces the fate of the non-elect: But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit [be’er:H875] of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.


Psalm 69 is a Messianic psalm and reminds us of Jonah 2, in which Jonah (typifying the Savior) was in the belly (or “womb”) of hell. I’ll read verses 1-15, in which this word the pit surfaces in verse 15:  


[[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 children.  {9} For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. {10} When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. {11} I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them. {12} They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I [was] the song of the drunkards. {13} But as for me, my prayer [is] unto thee, O LORD, [in] an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. {14} Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. {15} Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit [be’er:H875] shut her mouth upon me.


Lastly, Proverbs 23:27 likens the end-time institutional churches and congregations to a whore and a strange woman: For a whore [is] a deep ditch; and a strange woman [is] a narrow pit. [be’er:H875]


Before we proceed with the rest of the words in verse 21, I do want to point out that Beer also has a grandparent word that is spelled alike (though pronounced a little differently) which is ba’ar (H874) and it crops up in the following three citations. 


Plain/Plainly [ba’ar:H874 TWOT:194]


What is very curious about this expression is the fact that is is rendered as either declare or plain/plainly which is highly significant as it has to do with the Law or Word of God: 


Deuteronomy 1:5 proclaims: On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare [ba’ar:H874] this law, saying,


Deuteronomy 27:8 acknowledges: And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly. [ba’ar:H874]


Verse 2 of Habakkuk 2:1-3 makes this declaration with respect to God unsealing His Word at the time of the end: I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. {2} And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make [it] plain [ba’ar:H874] upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. {3} For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 


It’s also very curious that after Jotham (Yowtham:H3147) flees to Beer, we do not hear of him any more, except that what he forewarned came to fruition, as we shall see. And do you recall what his name signifies? It is a compound word that contains the terms Jehovah and perfect, or Jehovah is perfect! And where did he run away and fled...and went to? To that which has been declared and that which has been plainly revealed - namely the Word of God -Who is the Lord Jesus Christ and the very essence of the Kingdom of God. It also parallels God’s command to His elect people to flee the institutional churches and denominations at the beginning of the Great Tribulation and head for the mountains, which is the Bible and in this instance symbolizes the Kingdom of God and the Word of God as we read in Matthew 24:15-16, 


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


We also learn from the next expression in Judges 9:21 that Jotham dwelt in Beer. And since we have already researched this term, I won’t go over that material again, except to make the point that Jotham dwelt there, and this term is also translated as inhabit, remain, tarry, and continue. This of course ties in to what the Lord stated in verse 31 of John 8:30-32,


As he spake these words, many believed on him. {31} Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; {32} And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.


For Fear [paniym:H6440/TWOT:1782a] & His Brother [’ach:H251/TWOT:62a] 


The last two expressions that we find in Judges 9:21 are for fear along with his brother (Abimelech). In the historical context we can see why Jotham fled to Beer to escape the murderous intention of his half-brother Abimelech, who in all likelihood would have had no problem killing him, as he did his 69 other half-brothers. Here are some examples of their usage:


Judges 11:3 states: Then Jephthah fled from his brethren [’ach:H251], and dwelt [paniym:H6440] in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.


We read Genesis 16:12 earlier with regard to Ishmael: And he will be a wild man; his hand [will be] against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence [paniym:H6440] of all his brethren. [’ach:H251]


Genesis 35:1 also declares,  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 [paniym:H6440] of Esau thy brother. [’ach:H251]


We’ll have to stop here. Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our investigation of Judges 9.

Judges 9 - Part 25

October 5, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 25 and today’s date is October 5, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:21-25,


And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother. {22} When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel, {23} Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: {24} That the cruelty [done] to the threescore and ten 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. {25} And the men of Shechem set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech. 


We have arrived at verse 22, as we are about to learn what transpired after Abimelech had reigned over Israel for three years. Israel has not been mentioned since Judges 8 as the focus has been on the men of Shechem, which in this context, refer spiritually to the world that has come under the wrath of God during our present day of judgment. In fact, Israel has not been mentioned since Judges 8:33-35 which reveals:


‭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.‭


The number three is also significant because it underscores the “purpose of God.” Let's take a closer look at the term had reigned, or soor (H4776).



Had Reigned [soor:H7786/TWOT:2287]* 


This expression is noteworthy because it is different from other Hebrew words that are used to indicate the rule of a king, such as malak (H4427) for instance, which is used hundreds of times in the Old Testament. Curiously, this word only surfaces in two other citations:


The first one is in verse 4 of Hosea 8:1-14 which is certainly in keeping with what we just read in Judges 8:33-34. In verse 4 this expression is rendered ...me they have made princes…:


[Set] the trumpet to thy mouth. [He shall come] as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law. {2} Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee. {3} Israel hath cast off [the thing that is] good: the enemy shall pursue him. {4} They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes [soor:H7786], and I knew [it] not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. {5} Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast [thee] off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long [will it be] ere they attain to innocency? {6} For from Israel [was] it also: the workman made it; therefore it [is] not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. {7} For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. {8} Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein [is] no pleasure. {9} For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers. {10} Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes. {11} Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin. {12} I have written to him the great things of my law, [but] they were counted as a strange thing. 


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament


{13} They sacrifice flesh [for] the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat [it; but] the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt. {14} For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof. 


The second occurrence in which we find this term is in Hosea 12:4,  which refers back to the account in Genesis 32 when Jacob was wrestling with God, symbolizing someone who was “struggling” with God for salvation, when that was still possible. 


Hosea 12 is another chapter in which God expresses His displeasure and judgment again over Israel’s rebellion against His Law, in which God speaks of the divided kingdom in terms of Ephraim or Samaria and Judah  This chapter is quite complex as it switches without notice from speaking about Jacob the man (whom God later named Israel) to referring to the sin of Ephraim/Samaria as well as to the sin of Judah. To make things even more complicated there is a reference to Jacob (typifying Israel) who is a merchant and holding ...the balances of deceits in his hand... (verse 7) and yet (in verse 9) God alludes to His elect. Additionally there are other passages (in verses 10 and 13) in which God speaks of saving Israel from Egypt (the nation as well as the elect) by a prophet and preserving them also by a prophet (in which we see both Moses and the Lord Jesus in view, historically as well as spiritually). In verse 4 soor is translated, Yea, he had power:


Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt. {2} The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him. {3} He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: {4} Yea, he had power [soor:H7786] over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him [in] Bethel, and there he spake with us; {5} Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD [is] his memorial. {6} Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually. 




{7} [He is] a merchant, the balances of deceit [are] in his hand: he loveth to oppress. {8} And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: [in] all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that [were] sin. {9} And I [that am] the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast. {10} I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets. {11} [Is there] iniquity [in] Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars [are] as heaps in the furrows of the fields. {12} And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept [sheep]. {13} And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved. {14} Ephraim provoked [him] to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.


Well, what does all of this have to do with Abimelech?   


I think the way that we can understand this is by remembering the strategy that Abimelech and certain of the men of Shechem employed in order for him to be crowned king (unlawfully), namely murdering the 70 sons of Gideon (or Jerubbaal), with the exception of Jotham. This amounts to a coup, in the same way that Absalom wanted to be king instead of his father David, although God prevented that from taking place. So it is true that Abimelech had power in order to gain the crown, but it was by sinful means, and as Jotham forewarned it would eventually lead to the antagonism that would emerge between the men of Shechem and Abimelech, which as I have mentioned a few times now has to do with the intense worldwide division that is rampant in our world today, as Satan’s kingdom is “unravelling at the seams,” as it were. This why we read the following in…





Verse 23: Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:


An Evil [ra`:H7451/TWOT:2191a, 2191c]  Spirit [ruwach:H7307/TWOT:2131a]* 


Here we read that God or elohiym ( the plural form of God, i.e.,the Triune God) sent an evil spirit  or ra` ruwach between Abimelech and the men of Shechem. These two terms appear together in 11 other citations, and we'll examine a few of these accounts. One notable illustration of God sending an evil spirit has to do with  King Saul, who typifies the end-time institutional churches and denominations. This is found in 1 Samuel 16:14-16 and 23; 1 Samuel 18:10-12; and 1 Samuel 19:9-11 respectively:


But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil [ra`:H7451] spirit [ruwach:H7307] from the LORD troubled him. {15} And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil [ra`:H7451]  spirit [ruwach:H7307]  from God troubleth thee. {16} Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil [ra`:H7451]  spirit [ruwach:H7307]  from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well…{23} And it came to pass, when the [evil] spirit [ruwach:H7307]  from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil [ra`:H7451] spirit [ruwach:H7307]  departed from him…{18:10} And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil [ra`:H7451] spirit [ruwach:H7307]  from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand. {11} And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. {12} And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul… {19:9} And the evil [ra`:H7451] spirit [ruwach:H7307] from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house



with his javelin in his hand: and David played with [his] hand. {19:10} And Saul sought to smite David  even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.


Verse 23 of 1 Kings 22:13-23 translates these two terms as (a lying) spirit and evil, in this account in which King Ahab of Israel joins forces with King Jehoshaphat of Judah to go against the king of Syria who had appropriated Ramoth Gilead: 


And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets [declare] good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak [that which is] good. {14} And Micaiah said, [As] the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak. {15} So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver [it] into the hand of the king. {16} And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but [that which is] true in the name of the LORD? {17} And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace. {18} And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil? {19} And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. {20} And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. {21} And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. {22} And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade [him], and prevail also: go forth, and do so. {23} Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit [ruwach:H7307] in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil [ra`:H7451] concerning thee.

The next word that we have not investigated in verse 23 is the term, dealt treacherously, or bagad , which shows the change of attitude that has taken place in the minds of the men of Shechem towards Abimelech - a direct result of God sending an evil spirit between them. 


Dealt Treacherously [bagad:H898/TWOT:198]


This expression is primarily rendered as treacherously, transgressor, transgress, and deceitfully, as the following passages show.


Proverbs 2:22 renders this word as and the transgressors: But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors [bagad:H898] shall be rooted out of it.


However in Proverbs 25:19 it is translated in an unfaithful man: Confidence in an unfaithful man [bagad:H898] in time of trouble [is like] a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.


In Isaiah 48:8 it surfaces twice for emphasis: Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time [that] thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very [bagad:H898] treacherously, [bagad:H898] and wast called a transgressor from the womb.


And in Jeremiah 3:20, it occurs again as treacherously: Surely [as] a wife treacherously [bagad:H898] departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously [bagad:H898] with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.


Jeremiah 5:11 makes this proclamation with respect to the breaking of “the first and greatest commandment”: For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very [bagad:H898] treacherously [bagad:H898] against me, saith the LORD.


Habakkuk 1:13 acknowledges: [Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, [bagad:H898] [and] holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth [the man that is] more righteous than he?


Lastly Malachi 2:10 poses this question in light of the “second greatest commandement”: Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously [bagad:H898] every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?


I think we’ll stop here for today as we have run out of time, Lord willing, in our next study, we will proceed to verse 24.