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 26

October 7, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 26 and today’s date is October 7, 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 24, in which God explains the reason for His retribution upon the men of Shechem and Abimelech for having murdered in cold blood the 70 sons of Jerubbaal (Gideon), except for the youngest, Jotham. His judgment upon them took the form of division (as we see from time to time in the Bible) and the recent antagonism between Abimelech and the men of Shechem. As I have mentioned previously this was also seen in the battle between Gideon’s 300 men and the united forces of the Amalekites, Midianites, and children of the east in Judges 7:22, who began to fight amongst themselves, which God orchestrated, even as we read in Judges 9:23 that ...God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; 


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


This is also seen in the battle at the valley of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:22-24, 

And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. {23} For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy [them]: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. {24} And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they [were] dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. 


That The Cruelty [chamac:H2555/TWOT: 678a] * 


The first term that we want to examine in verse 23 is that the cruelty which is a word that is predominantly rendered as violence or violent, which in this case refers to the death of Jerubbaal’s 70 seventy sons (with theexception of Jotham). Furthermore, it’s curious that God does not use the number 69, but He continues to use the number 70 which is a highly significant numeral; it is made up of 10 (symbolizing “completeness”) X 7 (indicating “perfection”), or the “complete perfection” of whatever is in view, namely the deaths of Gideon’s children. Let’s take a look at some of the citations that contain this expression:


Early on in the book of  Genesis, in Chapter 6:11 and 13 the usage of this word displays the heart attitude of all the world leading up to the Flood, with the exception of Noah and his family, who ...found grace in the eyes of the LORD (Genesis 6:8),


The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. [chamac:H2555]... {13} And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence [chamac:H2555] through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.





*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

Verse 8 of Jonah 3:6-10 renders this term as the violence: For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered [him] with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. {7} And he caused [it] to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: {8} But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence [chamac:H2555] that [is] in their hands. {9} Who can tell [if] God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? {10} And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did [it] not.


Micah 6:12 links violence to lies and deceitfulness:  For the rich men thereof are full of violence, [chamac:H2555] and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue [is] deceitful in their mouth.


But in Exodus 23:1 this term is expressed as an unrighteous: Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous [chamac:H2555] witness.


Psalm 11:5 makes an interesting distinction between the righteous and the wicked: The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence [chamac:H2555] his soul hateth.


Proverbs 10:6 presents another contrast between the just and the wicked: Blessings [are] upon the head of the just: but violence [chamac:H2555] covereth the mouth of the wicked.


This is also the case in Proverbs 10:11, The mouth of a righteous [man is] a well of life: but violence [chamac:H2555] covereth the mouth of the wicked.




Psalm 73:6 also speaks of the wicked who are spiritually foolish in these terms: Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence [chamac:H2555] covereth them [as] a garment.


Psalm 74:20 renders this word as of cruelty:  Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. [chamac:H2555]


Likewise Proverbs 4:17 affirms this about the non-elect: For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. [chamac:H2555]


Isaiah 53:9 speaks of the Savior and His atonement at...the foundation of the world: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, [chamac:H2555] neither [was any] deceit in his mouth.


Isaiah 59:6 speaks of the unsaved and their futile efforts to achieve salvation by their own works: Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works [are] works of iniquity, and the act of violence [chamac:H2555] [is] in their hands.


We next read in Judges 9:24 … 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. 


We have already considered this term, might come (bow’:H935) in verses 5 and 15 so we won’t go over that material again; we will also encounter this very common word 7 more times in this chapter. So let’s proceed to the next phrase, and their blood be laid on Abimelech, referring of course to the killing of Gideon’s 70 sons (minus Jotham the youngest) by Abimelech along with some of the men of Shechem.


And Their Blood [dam:H1818/TWOT:436[  Be Laid [suwm:H7760/TWOT:2243] 



These two terms, and their blood or dam and be laid or suwm emerge in the following five citations:


Verse 6 of Exodus 24:1-8 translates these words as of the blood along with and put:  And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. {2} And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him. {3} And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. {4} And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. {5} And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. {6} And Moses took half of the blood [dam:H1818], and put [suwm:H7760]  [it] in basons; and half of the blood [dam:H1818] he sprinkled on the altar. {7} And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. {8} And Moses took the blood [dam:H1818], and sprinkled [it] on the people, and said, Behold the blood [dam:H1818] of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.


I would like to make a few observation concerning this important passage:


  1. Half of the blood was put in basons, and the other half was used to sprinkle the altar; Christ is also typified by the altar, even as we read in Isaiah 63:2-3, even though the words for sprinkled and blood are different Hebrew words:


Wherefore [art thou] red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? {3} I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people [there was] none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.


2. Notice the affirmation that corporate Israel makes in verses 3 and 7, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.  However 7 chapters later we find them worshipping the golden calf, after Moses did not come down from the mount for 40 days and 40 nights - a number that indicates testing - and they failed that test and were not obedient as they had previously promised. And of course we have seen this same type of behavior all throughout the Book of Judges in the cycle of rebellion>oppression>deliverance>rest.


3.  After their bold affirmation we understand that Moses sprinkled the people with blood and declared to them: Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. This meant that they were accountable to God’s Word as they were married to Him and and as a result were to be obedient to His laws, statutes, ordinances, judgments, and commands.  Just like the corporate churches that followed the era of national Israel, their relationship was conditional (even as it was with Adam and Eve in the Garden), based on their obedience to the Law of God, unlike the “grace only” relationship that God has bequeathed to His elect. This same marriage relationship is expressed in Romans 7:1-3 having to do with all human beings who are by nature married to the Law of God, and unless they are redeemed, are in the same binding legal relationship:


Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? {2} For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to [her] husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband. {3} So then if, while [her] husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.


Moreover, when we examine the Matthew account preceding the Crucifixion, we also find blood mentioned with regard to the people in Chapter 27:22-25, which can refer to those who have a Savior, as well as those who do not:


 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? [They] all say unto him, Let him be crucified. {23} And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. {24} When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but [that] rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed [his] hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood [haima:G129] of this just person: see ye [to it]. {25} Then answered all the people, and said, His blood [haima:G129] [be] on us, and on our children.  


4. Another aspect of this Hebrew word for blood or dam (H1818) is the fact that it belongs to a family of Hebrew roots, one of which is demuwth (H1823) which is the word likeness that is found in Genesis 1:26 and translated as after our likeness:


And God said, Let us make man in our image [tselem:H6754/TWOT:1923a], after our likeness [demuwth:H1823/TWOT:437a] and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.


The two terms, in our image or tselem (H6754)  and after our likeness, or demuwth (H1823) are apparently interchangeable and are only found here and in Genesis 5:3 which states:


And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness [demuwth:H1823/TWOT:437a], after his image [tselem:H6754/TWOT:1923a]; and called his name Seth:


The close connection with man being made in the likeness of God and blood is striking in its implications. From a creation standpoint we recognize that the life of the flesh is in the blood, acording to Leviticus 17:11 and God of course has always existed as the ever living I AM THAT I AM.  But for the child of God it is even more profound as we realize that Christ gave up His life or shed His blood at... the foundation of the world, in order to redeem a people for Himself as we read in Revelation 1:5,

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


And Their Blood [dam:H1818/TWOT:436] Be Laid [suwm:H7760/TWOT:2243]  (Cont.)


Let’s consider the remaining four passages that contains these two terms, and their blood or dam, along with be laid or soom:


Deuteronomy 22 gives a number of various laws that the Israelites were to adhere to, and among them we find this stipulation, in which these two terms are rendered that thou bring and blood: When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring [suwm:H7760/TWOT:2243] not blood [dam:H1818/TWOT:436] upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.


In verse 5 of 1 Samuel 19:4-6 we find Jonathan imploring his father, King Saul, to not harm David, the king’s son-in-law; these terms are rendered For he did put and blood: And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works [have been] to thee-ward very good: {5} For he did put [suwm:H7760/TWOT:2243] his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest [it], and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood [dam:H1818/TWOT:436], to slay David without a cause? {6} And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, [As] the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.


Verse 5 of 1 Kings 2:1-7 expresses these as and shed and the blood as David gives Solomon these instructions prior to his death: Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, {2} I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; {3} And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: {4} That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel. {5} Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, [and] what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed [suwm:H7760/TWOT:2243] the blood [dam:H1818/TWOT:436] of war in peace, and put the blood [dam:H1818/TWOT:436] of war upon his girdle that [was] about his loins, and in his shoes that [were] on his feet. {6} Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace. {7} But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother.


We have to stop here, as we have run out of time. Because we have already examined the rest of the words in verse 24 in some of our previous studies, in our next study we will begin with verse 25, Lord willing.

Judges 9 - Part 27

October 9, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 27 and today’s date is October 9, 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 down to verse 25 in our examination of Judges 9, and the strategy of the men of Shechem who are now opposed to Abimelech their king. In our previous study we learned that God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem. We also want to keep in mind that the Hebrew term for the men in this phrase the men of Shechem is not one of the more common forms of the word for men such as ’iysh or enowsh  but is the expression ba`al (H1167) denoting a lord or master and is the identical word for the false Canaanite deity Baal or its plural form Baalim or Baalberith (or lord of the covenant) which Israel sinfully worshipped instead of the True Covenant God of the Bible as we read in Judges 8:33,


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


This word, ba`al  or men is a Hebrew noun and is found 16 times in Judges 9 alone. Like so many other nouns in Hebrew (because Hebrew is a verbal language) it stems from an identically spelled verb, ba`al (H1166) which is predominantly translated as marry, but also as husband, dominion, wife, married wife, along with the expression Beulah, as found in the hymn, Beulah Land, Sweet Beulah Land. This verb ba`al (H1166) really underscores God’s unique marriage to the nation, which He had to divorce because of her spiritual infidelity, as we see over and over again as many Old Testament passages reveal.


We read in Judges 9:25 what the men of Shechem did with respect to Abimelech: ...set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains


Liers In Wait [’arab:H693/TWOT:156]


The Hebrew verb, liers in wait is primarily rendered as lay in wait or ambush, as the subsequent citations show. This term is used 40 times in the Old Testament, and 14 times in the Book of Judges alone; in fact we will see this word again in verses 32, 34, and 43 of this chapter. The next references illustrate how God employs this term:


Both Joshua 8 along with Judges 20 are notable examples of this kind of ambush used in warfare; the former against the city of Ai, and the latter against the Benjamites, which I will wait to discuss until we get there, Lord willing. This is also in evidence in Judges 16 when the Philistines try to ambush Samson. The verses that contain this word ambush or lie in wait in Joshua 8 are: 2, 4, 7, 12, 14, 19, and 21; I’ll read verses 1-21, 


And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land: {2} And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush  [’arab:H693/TWOT:156]  for the city behind it. 



*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament



{3} So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour, and sent them away by night. {4} And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in wait  [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] against the city, [even] behind the city: go not very far from the city, but be ye all ready: {5} And I, and all the people that [are] with me, will approach unto the city: and it shall come to pass, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them, {6} (For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them. {7} Then ye shall rise up from the ambush  [’arab:H693/TWOT:156], and seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. {8} And it shall be, when ye have taken the city, [that] ye shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of the LORD shall ye do. See, I have commanded you. {9} Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie in ambush, and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among the people. {10} And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and numbered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. {11} And all the people, [even the people] of war that [were] with him, went up, and drew nigh, and came before the city, and pitched on the north side of Ai: now [there was] a valley between them and Ai. {12} And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush [’arab:H693/TWOT:156]  between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. {13} And when they had set the people, [even] all the host that [was] on the north of the city, and their liers in wait on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley. {14} And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw [it], that they hasted and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that [there were] liers in ambush [’arab:H693/TWOT:156]  against him behind the city. {15} And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. {16} And all the people that [were] in Ai were called together to pursue after them: and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city. {17} And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel. {18} And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that [is] in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that [he had] in his hand toward the city. {19} And the ambush [’arab:H693/TWOT:156]  arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire. {20} And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. {21} And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai.


This word is also rendered in 2 Chronicles 20:22 as ambushments, which if you recall is also highlighting the division that God is orchestrating between the men of Shechem and Abimelech, and is comparable to the what the LORD orchestrated between the Amalekites, the Midianites, and the children of the east in Judges 7:22. It also parallels the division that is taking place in our current day of judgment, as Satan’s kingdom is being systematically divided: 


And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.


Proverbs 12:6 offers this admonition, and notice how the words of the wicked or unsaved are designed for the taking away of life, symbolized by blood:  The words of the wicked [are] to lie in wait [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.


In Proverbs 1:11 and 18 this word is repeated in this vivid description of unsaved man’s motivations and actions as they are oblivious to the spiritual damage they are inflicting upon themselves, and once again we see the reference to blood or life: 


If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait [’arab:H693/TWOT:156]  for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: ... {18} And they lay wait [’arab:H693/TWOT:156]  for their [own] blood; they lurk privily for their [own] lives.


Verse 2 of Micah 7:1-6 renders this word again as lie in wait, and please note the addition of the term blood or life here as well:  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 [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. {3} That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge [asketh] for a reward; and the great [man], he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up. {4} The best of them [is] as a brier: the most upright [is sharper] than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen [and] thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity. {5} Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. {6} For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies [are] the men of his own house.


Verse 12 of Proverbs 7:1-23 identifies the harlot who typifies the end-time institutional churches and denominations as they present their false gospels in order to entice the non-elect to swallow their spiritual poison:


Say unto wisdom, Thou [art] my sister; and call understanding [thy] kinswoman: {5} That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger [which] flattereth with her words. {6} For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, {7} And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, {8} Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, {9} In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: {10} And, behold, there met him a woman [with] the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. {11} (She [is] loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: {12} Now [is she] without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] at every corner.) {13} So she caught him, and kissed him, [and] with an impudent face said unto him, {14} [I have] peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. {15} Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. {16} I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved [works], with fine linen of Egypt. {17} I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. {18} Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. {19} For the goodman [is] not at home, he is gone a long journey: {20} He hath taken a bag of money with him, [and] will come home at the day appointed. {21} With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. {22} He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; {23} Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it [is] for his life. 


This same idea is expressed in verse 28 of  Proverbs 23:26-35, and leads into a discussion of drunkenness, which spiritually is referring to being intoxicated with the wine of false gospels. Notice the appeal in verse 26 give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways which is similar to Proverbs 7:4-5, Say unto wisdom, Thou [art] my sister; and call understanding [thy] kinswoman: {5} That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger [which] flattereth with her words


 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. {27} For a whore [is] a deep ditch; and a strange woman [is] a narrow pit. {28} She also lieth in wait [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] as [for] a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men. {29} Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? {30} They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. {31} Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, [when] it moveth itself aright. {32} At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. {33} Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. {34} Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. {35} They have stricken me, [shalt thou say, and] I was not sick; they have beaten me, [and] I felt [it] not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.


Verse 12 of Jeremiah 51:1-13 renders this term the ambushes and brings us right to our present day of judgment, in which God is judging the world or Babylon that has come under His wrath as He is ruling this world with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15). He is meting out His judgment against her, even as He used Babylon (or the kingdom of Satan) to come against His own house (i.e., the end-time institutional churches and denomination) first, and now He judges her for the fact that she came against His (formerly) divine organism. Please note the reference to spiritual drunkenness again in verse 7 that has engulfed the entire world, so that the world has now gone spiritually mad, which has to do with sinful glorying or boasting:


Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind; {2} And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about. {3} Against [him that] bendeth let the archer bend his bow, and against [him that] lifteth himself up in his brigandine: and spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host. {4} Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and [they that are] thrust through in her streets. {5} For Israel [hath] not [been] forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel. {6} Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this [is] the time of the LORD'S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence. {7} Babylon [hath been] a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.  {8} Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. {9} We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up [even] to the skies. {10} The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God. {11} Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device [is] against Babylon, to destroy it; because it [is] the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple. {12} Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes [’arab:H693/TWOT:156]: for the LORD hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon. {13} O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, [and] the measure of thy covetousness.


Verse 10 of Lamentations 3:1-10 is portraying the Lord Jesus under the wrath of God, Who is typified as a bear and a lion lying in wait or getting ready to ambush  His own dear Son Who had become sin (on behalf of all the elect) and therefore must die and be annihilated at... the foundation of the world: 


I [am] the man [that] hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. {2} He hath led me, and brought [me into] darkness, but not [into] light. {3} Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand [against me] all the day. {4} My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones. {5} He hath builded against me, and compassed [me] with gall and travail. {6} He hath set me in dark places, as [they that be] dead of old. {7} He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy. {8} Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer. {9} He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked. {10} He [was] unto me [as] a bear lying in wait [’arab:H693/TWOT:156], [and as] a lion in secret places.


On that very solemn note, we will have to conclude today’s study. Lord willing, in our next study, we will consider the rest of verse 25.

Judges 9 - Part 28

October 12, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 28 and today’s date is October 12, 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 continuing our examination of verse 25 today. We left off at the phrase … for him in the top of the mountains… since these two Hebrew words we have already discussed earlier as Jotham stood at the top of Mount Gerizim to deliver his message to the men of Shechem. So let’s considser the expression ...and they robbed…referring to what the men of Shechem did as liers in wait for unsuspecting passersby:


And They Robbed [gazal:H1497/TWOT:337*] 


This word, and they robbed or gazal (H1497).  This expression occurs 29 other times, as the following Scriptures reveal, primarily as spoil, take away, and rob, and to a lesser degree as pluck (-off ), caught, consumed, exercise, force, torn, and violence. So for a word that is only used 30 times, it is quite pregnant with meaning, and goes beyond robbery to include various forms of violence.



*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament


Verse 16 of Proverbs 4:14-17 and 19 translate this rendered as is taken away, and is an apt description of the mindset of the non-elect: Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil [men]. {15} Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. {16} For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, [gazal:H1497] unless they cause [some] to fall. {17} For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. ... {19} The way of the wicked [is] as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.



Verse 4 of Leviticus 6:1-5 renders this word as  he took violently away: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, {2} If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour; {3} Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: {4} Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, [gazal:H1497] or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, {5} Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, [and] give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.


By  contrast, verse 3 of  Jeremiah 22:1-5 expresses this word as the spoiled:  Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, {2} And say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: {3} Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled [gazal:H1497] out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. {4} For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. {5} But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.


Deuteronomy 28 is a chapter in which God presents the blessings of obedience to His Word (verses 1-14) and the curses for disobedience to His Law (verses 15-68). In verses 29 and 31 this word is translated as and spoiled along with [shall be] violently taken away respectively: And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled [gazal:H1497] evermore, and no man shall save [thee]. ... {31} Thine ox [shall be] slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass [shall be] violently taken away [gazal:H1497] from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep [shall be] given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue [them].


Verse 2 of Micah 3:1-7 is an indictment against the the religious leaders of Israel and Judah (and by extension to the New Testament end-time institutional churches and denominations); this term is rendered who pluck off: And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; [Is it] not for you to know judgment?  {2} Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off [gazal:H1497] their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; {3} Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. {4} Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. {5} Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. {6} Therefore night [shall be] unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. {7} Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for [there is] no answer of God.


Verse 13 of Malachi 1:1-14 presents this word as [that which was] torn: The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. {2} I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? [Was] not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, {3} And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. {4} Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. {5} And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel. {6} A son honoureth [his] father, and a servant his master: if then I [be] a father, where [is] mine honour? and if I [be] a master, where [is] my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? {7} Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD [is] contemptible. {8} And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, [is it] not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, [is it] not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. {9} And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts. {10} Who [is there] even among you that would shut the doors [for nought]? neither do ye kindle [fire] on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. {11} For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name [shall be] great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense [shall be] offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name [shall be] great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. {12} But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD [is] polluted; and the fruit thereof, [even] his meat, [is] contemptible. {13}Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness [is it]! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought [that which was] torn, [gazal:H1497] and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. {14} But cursed [be] the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I [am] a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name [is] dreadful among the heathen.


Lastly, verse 10 of Psalm 35:1-10 expresses this as from him that spoileth:  [A Psalm] of David.] Plead [my cause], O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. {2} Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. {3} Draw out also the spear, and stop [the way] against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I [am] thy salvation. {4} Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. {5} Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase [them]. {6} Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them. {7} For without cause have they hid for me their net [in] a pit, [which] without cause they have digged for my soul. {8} Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. {9} And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. {10} All my bones shall say, LORD, who [is] like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth [gazal:H1497] him?


Next we learn the identity of those who were robbed, namely ...all that came along that way… which is comprised of the two main words, came and that way, which we have investigated in some of our earlier studies along with the expression,  ...them and it was told Abimelech, so let’s proceed to verse 26, as we are introduced to another individual that comes on the scene -  Gaal, the son of Ebed. 


Verse 26: And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him.


Gaal [Ga`al:H1603]  


Who is this character Gaal? He surfaces 9 times and only here in Judges 9. We can learn quite a bit from people’s names in the Bible, and Gaal is no exception. His name is identically spelled to the verb abhor or loathe which is ga`al (H1602).  Here are some illustrations of how God employs this word:


Leviticus 26 is similar in scope to Deuteronomy 28, having to do with both obedience and disobedience to God’s Word, and the consequences of each. This term, ga`al (H1602) surfaces in verses 11 15, 30, 43 and 44 as some form of the verb abhor: 


And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor [ga`al:H1602] you. ... {15} And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor [ga`al:H1602] my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, [but] that ye break my covenant: ... {30} And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor [ga`al:H1602] you. ... {43} The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred [ga`al:H1602] my statutes. {44} And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor [ga`al:H1602] them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I [am] the LORD their God.


2 Samuel 1:21 is part of David’s lament over the death of King Saul and his three sons who were killed in battle while fighting the Philistines, in which this word is expressed as is vilely cast away:  Ye mountains of Gilboa, [let there be] no dew, neither [let there be] rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, [ga`al:H1602] the shield of Saul, [as though he had] not [been] anointed with oil.


Verse 19 of Jeremiah 14:19-22 renders this word as lothed in this dialogue between Jeremiah the prophet and the LORD, concerning His judgment against His own house first: Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul lothed [ga`al:H1602]  Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and [there is] no healing for us? we looked for peace, and [there is] no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble! {20} We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, [and] the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee. {21} Do not abhor [us], for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us. {22} Are there [any] among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? [art] not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these [things].


Ezekiel 16 is a historical parable in which God is recounting all of His blessings and care for national Israel by using the simile of a discarded baby that God rescued and nurtured until she became an adult, after which she committed spiritual adultery against God; the term lothed is found twice in verse 45: 


Thou [art] thy mother's daughter, that lotheth [ga`al:H1602] her husband and her children; and thou [art] the sister of thy sisters, which lothed [ga`al:H1602] their husbands and their children: your mother [was] an Hittite, and your father an Amorite.


We wonder who Gaal could portray spiritually, but certainly the significance of his name does not portend well?


The Son [ben:H1121] Of Ebed [`Ebed:H5651]  


We leran that Gaal  is the son of `Ebed. The father of Gaal, `Ebed is found only in this chapter, in which he is cited five times. His name is identically spelled to the word, servant (H5650) or again `ebed. This expression, servant has emerged a handful of times already in the book of Judges, so I won’t go over those passages again. It is curious, however that Gaal is the “son of a servant” even as Abimelech was the son of a maidservant, according to Jotham’s testimony in Judges 9:18, and we can anticipate that there will be antagonism between Abimelech and Gaal:


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;)


We have already considered the rest of the words in verse 26, except the expression ...put their confidence in him, referring to Gaal, however this term is very important, and so I think I will wait until our next study, Lord willing, to develop it as we won’t have enough time today to do it justice. 

Judges 9 - Part 29

October 14, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 29 and today’s date is October 14, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:26-29,


And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him. {27} And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode [the grapes], and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. {28} And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we should serve him? [is] not [he] the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him? {29} And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.


We have arrived at verse 26, and the last word in that verse...put their confidence in him, referring to Gaal. This term is a very significant one as I mentioned at the close of our last study. The reason for this is that man was designed to worship and to trust God prior to the Fall. In spite of man’s sinfulness this desire to trust is still part of his personality as a human being, however it can become perverted as men put their confidence in themselves, in other men (as we see here with regard to Abimelech and Gaal), or in various idols. These idols are really idols of the [wicked] heart of man and can include deities that are made of wood, iron, and stone or a lust for power, money and fame to name just a few, as 1 John 2:16-17 spells out (reminding us of the corresponding temptation in Genesis 3:6, which Eve and succumbed to):


For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. {17} And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.




Put Their Confidence [batach:H982/TWOT:233*] In Him


The following Scriptures illustrate some of the ways that God utilizes this word, which is primarily rendered as trust or batach:


Deuteronomy 28:52 declares: And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, [batach:H982] throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.


On two accounts the men of Shechem erred by putting their confidence first in Abimelech and now in Gaal, and in so doing forgot the admonition of  Psalm 118:8-9, in which this term is rendered as than to put confidence: 


[It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence [batach:H982] in man. {9} [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence [batach:H982] in princes.


This is also corroborated by the stinging assessment found in Jeremiah 17:5, in which this word is again expressed as trusteth: Thus saith the LORD; Cursed [be] the man that trusteth [batach:H982] in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.  


These next passages underscore this same theme as well as it relates to national Israel (and by extension to the end-time institutional churches and denominations), which God divorced and abandoned respectively:



*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament







Jeremiah 7:4, 8, and 14 include this word, trust three times: Trust [batach:H982] ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, [are] these. ... {8} Behold, ye trust [batach:H982] in lying words, that cannot profit. ... {14} Therefore will I do unto [this] house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, [batach:H982] and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.


Did you happen to notice the objects of their misplaced trust?


  1. The Temple of the LORD. (3 times!)
  2. Lying words that cannot profit.
  3. [This] house which is called by my name.


Verse 2 of Zephaniah 3:1-4 translates this word as she trusted, speaking of God’s corporate organisms: Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! {2} She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted [batach:H982] not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God. {3} Her princes within her [are] roaring lions; her judges [are] evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. {4} Her prophets [are] light [and] treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.


The following citations reflect the heart attitude of the natural (or unsaved) man:


Verse 8 of Psalm 115:4-8 includes this expression trusteth in verse 8: Their idols [are] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. {5} They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: {6} They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: {7} They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. {8} They that make them are like unto them; [so is] every one that trusteth [batach:H982] in them.


Psalm 52:7 renders this as but trusted:  Lo, [this is] the man [that] made not God his strength; but trusted [batach:H982] in the abundance of his riches, [and] strengthened himself in his wickedness.


By contrast these next references acknowledge the mindset of God’s elect, which God has established in their lives:


Jeremiah 17:7 acknowledges: Blessed [is] the man that trusteth [batach:H982] in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.


Psalm 44:6 similarly affirms: For I will not trust [batach:H982] in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.


By contrast, Psalm 4:5 admonishes: Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust [batach:H982] in the LORD.


In Psalm 22:9, which is a Messianic psalm, this word is translated as thou didst make me hope: But thou [art] he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope [batach:H982] [when I was] upon my mother's breasts.


Psalm 27:3 expresses this term as [be] confident: Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this [will] I [be] confident.[batach:H982]


Psalm 125:1 beautifully acknowledges: [A Song of degrees.] They that trust [batach:H982] in the LORD [shall be] as mount Zion, [which] cannot be removed, [but] abideth for ever.


Lastly, Proverbs 3:5-6 is a wonderful reminder for the child of God to meditate upon daily: Trust [batach:H982] 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.


Let’s proceed to verse 27, as we learn what the men of Shechem and Gaal and his brethren did next: 


Verse 27: And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode [the grapes], and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. 


Immediately what is in view is the time of harvest. We know from Matthew 13:36-42 that the harvest has to do with the end of the world, reaping, and God’s judgment, as the Master explained to the disciples regarding the meaning of the parable of the wheat and tares:


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


This of course illustrates our current day of judgment, in which among other things Satan’s kingdom is being divided, just as we have witnessed the turn of events between the men of Shechem (who represent the world in this context) and Abimelech. Additionally we are beginning to see another division taking place between Gaal and his brethren along with the men of Shechem against Abimelech and those who side with him, and the ensuing death and destruction that will follow for both factions as a result.


And They Went Out [yatsa:H3318/TWOT:893] Into The Fields [sadeh:H7704/TWOT:2236a, b] 


The two expressions, And they went out or yatsa and into the fields or sadeh appear in 31 other passages, and we will just consider some of them:


Actually when we were researching Judges 5:4, we ran across these two words in the context of judgment; they are rendered as when thou wentest out and of the field:  LORD, when thou wentest out [yatsa:H3318/TWOT:893] of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field [sadeh:H7704/TWOT:2236a, b] of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.


Additionally we will encounter these same words again in this chapter in verses 42-43, as the antagonism between these two groups erupts into warfare:


And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out [yatsa:H3318/TWOT:893] into the field [sadeh:H7704/TWOT:2236a, b]; and they told Abimelech. {43} And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field [sadeh:H7704/TWOT:2236a, b], and looked, and, behold, the people [were] come forth [yatsa:H3318/TWOT:893] out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them.


The theme of harvest also echoes on a more positive note in verse 16 of Exodus 23:14-16 as God stipulated; these terms are translated as field and [which is] in the end:

Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. {15} Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) {16} And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field [sadeh:H7704/TWOT:2236a, b]: and the feast of ingathering, [which is] in the end [yatsa:H3318/TWOT:893] of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. [sadeh:H7704/TWOT:2236a, b]



Verse 29 of 1 Kings 11:29-38 records another important division - when God separated the tribes of Israel into two parts as a judgment; once again these are expressed as went out and in the field: And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out [yatsa:H3318/TWOT:893] of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two [were] alone in the field [sadeh:H7704/TWOT:2236a, b]: {30} And Ahijah caught the new garment that [was] on him, and rent it [in] twelve pieces: {31} And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: {32} (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:) {33} Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do [that which is] right in mine eyes, and [to keep] my statutes and my judgments, as [did] David his father. {34} Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes: {35} But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, [even] ten tribes. {36} And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there. {37} And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. {38} And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do [that is] right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.


Verse 10 of Micah 4:10-13 references another dividing point which took place during the Great Tribulation and leading into the day of judgment, when God’s people were to flee the end-time institutional churches and denominations and flee to the Word of God solely. They were to live out in the world (without partaking of the world’s sins), as God was working with them to gather His elect from the four corners of the earth until Judgment Day commenced on May 21, 2011:  Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth [yatsa:H3318/TWOT:893]  out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field [sadeh:H7704/TWOT:2236a, b], and thou shalt go [even] to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies. {11} Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. {12} But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. {13} Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.


And Gathered [batsar:H1219/TWOT:270]  Their Vineyards [kerem:H3754/TWOT:1040a] 


The next phrase ...and gathered their vineyards...consists of two Hebrew words, and gathered or batsar and their vineyards, or kerem. They only surface together again in the subsequent two citations:


Verse 21 of Deuteronomy 24:17-22 renders these as thou gatherest and of thy vineyard: Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, [nor] of the fatherless; nor take a widow's raiment to pledge: {18} But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing. {19} When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. {20} When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. {21} When thou gatherest [batsar:H1219/TWOT:270] the grapes of thy vineyard [kerem:H3754/TWOT:1040a], thou shalt not glean [it] afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.  {22} And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.


Nehemiah 9:25 translates them as strong and vineyards: And they took strong [batsar:H1219/TWOT:270] cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards [kerem:H3754/TWOT:1040a], and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness. {26} Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. {27} Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest [them] from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. {28} But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest [them] from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies; {29} And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear. {30} Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands. {31} Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou [art] a gracious and merciful God.


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

Judges 9 - Part 30

October 16, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 30 and today’s date is October 16, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:26-29,


And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him. {27} And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode [the grapes], and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. {28} And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we should serve him? [is] not [he] the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him? {29} And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.


We are continuing our investigation of verse 27, which is in the context of harvest time, which spiritually had to do with the end of the world. We left off at the term, and trode, referring to the crushing of the grapes.


And Trode [darak:H1869/TWOT:453]

  

We have run into this expression  and  trode previously in Judges 5:21, in which it is rendered as thou hast trodden down:

  

The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down [darak:H1869/TWOT:453] strength.


This passage illustrates one of the ways that God uses this word to signify victory over an enemy, and it is primarily rendered as tread. However with regard to treading grapes which is part of the context in verse 27, it is found 8 times only, and it has to do with rejoicing, as we shall presently see with respect to the next phrase, and made merry, which consists of two terms, but before we go there, let's first consider the seven other places where treading of grapes are in view:


Nehemiah 13:15 renders this word as some treading: In those days saw I in Judah some treading [darak:H1869/TWOT:453] wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.


Job 24:11 translates this as and tread: Which make oil within their walls, and tread  [darak:H1869/TWOT:453] their winepresses, and suffer thirst.


In Isaiah 16:10 this term appears twice as the treaders and shall tread: And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field; and in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither shall there be shouting: the treaders [darak:H1869/TWOT:453] shall tread  [darak:H1869/TWOT:453] out no wine in their presses; I have made their vintage shouting to cease.


This is a good example of God's judgment as indicated by the lack of rejoicing, and reminds us of the absence of rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repents  because that incredibly long day of salvation has ended, according to Luke 15:10, 


Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. 


Verse 8 of Isaiah 24:1-11, makes the point by using two different expressions - endeth and ceaseth in this chapter which is altogether focused on the 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 mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh. {8} The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. {9} They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. {10} The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. {11} [There is] a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.


Isaiah 63:2-3 includes these terms three times in this passage that speaks of Christ bearing the sins of the elect at the foundation of the world:  Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth [darak:H1869/TWOT:453]  in the winefat? {3} I have trodden [darak:H1869/TWOT:453] the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread [darak:H1869/TWOT:453]  them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.


Merry [hilluwl:H1974/TWOT:500a]


The term merry or hilluwl in the phrase, and made merry is only found one other time in connection with a similar harvest celebration in verse 24 of Leviticus 19:23-25 as God stipulated; it is expressed as to praise: 


And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of. {24} But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise  [hilluwl:H1974/TWOT:500a]

 the LORD [withal]. {25} And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I [am] the LORD your God.


Merry or hilluwl is a noun and stems from the verb, halal (H1984) as so many words do in Hebrew, as Hebrew is very much a verbal language.  


Praise [halal:H1984/TWOT:499, 500]


Halal is predominantly rendered as praise, and to a lesser degree as glory and boast, and in a number of other ways. For instance, in verse 10 of  Isaiah 13:1-13 it is expressed as shall not give, modifying the role of the celestial light bearers who are no longer shining spiritually as they had previously during the day of salvation: 


The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. {2} Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. {3} I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, [even] them that rejoice in my highness. {4} The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. {5} They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, [even] the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. {6} Howl ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. {7} Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: {8} And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces [shall be as] flames. {9} Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. {10} For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give [halal:H1984/TWOT:499, 500] their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. {11} And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. {12} I will make a man [Christ] more precious than fine gold; even a man [Christ] than the golden wedge of Ophir. {13} Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. 


This is one out of a dozen or so citations (like Matthew 24:29) that reflect this same theme of spiritual nighttime that man (read: Son of Man) can no longer work since the day of salvation has ended, as John 9:4 affirms:


I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.


And Went [bow’:H935/TWOT:212] Into The House [bayith:H1004/TWOT:241] Of Their God [’elohiym:H430/TWOT:93c]


The next phrase, and went into the house of their God, is made up of three Hebrew words that surface together in 41 verses. However we are just going to look at three of them that have to do with the non-elect and their false houses of worship. You might also recall who the Israelites were worshipping at this time in their history, according to Judges 8:33,


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


I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. The term for men in the phrase, the men of Shechem is this word ba`al, which can signify lord or master, and is also the name of this false heathen god Baal or the plural form Baalim, or Baalberith, or “lord of the covenant”; however this is not the LORD God of the Bible, but a false god. 


Verse 2 of 1 Samuel 5:1- 5 translates these three terms as of God, they brought it, and  into the house: And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. {2} When the Philistines took the ark of God [’elohiym:H430/TWOT:93c], they brought it [bow’:H935/TWOT:212] into the house [bayith:H1004/TWOT:241] of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. {3} And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon [was] fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. {4} And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon [was] fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands [were] cut off upon the threshold; only [the stump of] Dagon was left to him. {5} Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.


Verse 21 of 2 Chronicles 32:9-22 acknowledges  the victory God gave to Hezekiah, King of Judah over Sennacherib, king of Assyria: 


After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (but he [himself laid siege] against Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that [were] at Jerusalem, saying, {10} Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem? {11} Doth not Hezekiah persuade you to give over yourselves to die by famine and by thirst, saying, The LORD our God shall deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria? {12} Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and burn incense upon it? {13} Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of [other] lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand? {14} Who [was there] among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand? {15} Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand? {16} And his servants spake yet [more] against the LORD God, and against his servant Hezekiah. {17} He wrote also letters to rail on the LORD God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of [other] lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand. {18} Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews' speech unto the people of Jerusalem that [were] on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. {19} And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, [which were] the work of the hands of man. {20} And for this [cause] Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven. {21} And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come [bow’:H935/TWOT:212] into the house [bayith:H1004/TWOT:241] of his god [’elohiym:H430/TWOT:93c], they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword. {22} Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all [other], and guided them on every side. 


Lastly we read what Nebuchadrezzar did to the vessels of the house of God in Jerusalem in which these three words are repeated in verse 2 of Daniel 1:1-2, In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. {2} And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house [bayith:H1004/TWOT:241] of God [’elohiym:H430/TWOT:93c]: which he carried [bow’:H935/TWOT:212]  into the land of Shinar to the house [bayith:H1004/TWOT:241] of his god [’elohiym:H430/TWOT:93c]; and he brought [bow’:H935/TWOT:212]  the vessels into the treasure house of his god.


I think I will stop here. Lord willing, in our next study we will consider the remaining terms in verse 27, eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech, as these are important words and I want to make sure that I have enough time to evaluate their spiritual significance properly.

Judges 9 - Part 31

October 19, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 31 and today’s date is October 19, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:26-29,


And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him. {27} And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode [the grapes], and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. {28} And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we should serve him? [is] not [he] the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him? {29} And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.


In our previous study we left off at the last few words in verse 27: eat and drink, along with the term, cursed.


Eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] And Drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477] 


The terms eat and drink appear together in a variety of different contexts as you can imagine both on a physical level as well as spiritually. Here are some examples:


In Genesis 24:54 Abraham’s trusted servant asked to be sent away having obtained Rebekah as a wife for Isaac: And they did eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] and drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477], he and the men that [were] with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master.


Verse 11 of Exodus 24:9-11 records the encounter of Moses and Aaron (and his two sons) along with the 70 elders of Israel with God: Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: {10} And they saw the God of Israel: and [there was] under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in [his] clearness. {11} And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] and drink. [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477]


Exodus 32:6 was the occasion in which God commanded Moses to leave the Mount and to go back down to the camp because of the incident involving the golden calf: 


And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] and to drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477], and rose up to play.


Lord willing, we will run across these two terms again once we get to Judges 13:4, 7, and 14 with regard to Samson, who was under a Nazarite vow: Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477], and eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] not any unclean [thing]: ... {7} But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477], neither eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] any unclean [thing]: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death. ... {14} She may not eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] of any [thing] that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477] wine or strong drink, nor eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] any unclean [thing]: all that I commanded her let her observe.


Additionally these two words will also crop up in Judges 19, as they surface in verses 4, 6, and 21: And his father in law, the damsel's father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they did eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] and drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477], and lodged there. ... {6} And they sat down, and did eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] and drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477] both of them together: for the damsel's father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry. ... {21} So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] and drink. [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477] 


These two expressions also show up in Ruth 3:3 and 7 as Ruth follows Naomi's advice: Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: [but] make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating [’akal:H398/TWOT:85]  and drinking. [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477]  ... {7} And when Boaz had eaten [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] and drunk [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477], and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.


1 Samuel 30:16 is a description of the camp of the Amalekites who had captured David’s two wives and the wives and children of his men which they later recovered and routed the majority of the Amalekites: And when he had brought him down, behold, [they were] spread abroad upon all the earth, eating [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] and drinking [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477], and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah.


1 Kings 4:20 sums up the peaceful reign of King Solomon for 40 years:  Judah and Israel [were] many, as the sand which [is] by the sea in multitude, eating [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] and drinking [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477], and making merry.


Verse 13 of Isaiah 65:13-19 pinpoints the distinction between God’s elect and anyone else who might claim to be a child of God:


Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85], but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477], but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: {14} Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. {15} And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name: {16} That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes. {17} For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. {18} But be ye glad and rejoice for ever [in that] which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. {19} And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.


Verses 17-19 of Ezekiel 39:17-24 speaks of the defeat of Satan and God’s judgment upon the inhabitants of earth during this day of judgment: 


And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, [even] a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] flesh, and drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477] blood. {18} Ye shall eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] the flesh of the mighty, and drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477] the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. {19} And ye shall eat [’akal:H398/TWOT:85] fat till ye be full, and drink [shathah:H8354/TWOT:2477] blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. {20} Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD. {21} And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. {22} So the house of Israel shall know that I [am] the LORD their God from that day and forward. {23} And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. {24} According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.


This parallels what we read in Revelation 19:9 and 17-21 regarding the marriage supper of the Lamb:  


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


Cursed [qalal:H7043/TWOT:2028] 


The last word that we want to turn our attention to in verse 27 is the expression, cursed, in which Gaal and the men of Shechem cursed Abimelech. This word only appears once in the book of Judges in this verse, but it is found 81 other times primarily as curse, but also in over 20 other ways, so it encompasses a great many shades of meaning, as the following Scriptures illustrate:


In Genesis 8:8 we read concerning Noah, in which this word is expressed as were abated: Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated [qalal:H7043/TWOT:2028]  from off the face of the ground;


However in Genesis 16:4 Sarah was despised in the eyes of her maid Hagar because she was not able to conceive, whereas Hagar was: And he [Abraham] went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised [qalal:H7043/TWOT:2028] in her eyes.


Exodus 18:22 records Jethro’s advice to his son-in-law, Moses, which is translated here as be easier: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, [that] every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier [qalal:H7043/TWOT:2028]  for thyself, and they shall bear [the burden] with thee.


Exodus 22:28 is the Old Testament reference that Paul quoted in Acts 23:5, Thou shalt not revile [qalal:H7043/TWOT:2028] the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.


In verse 13 of  1 Samuel 3:11-14 God explains to young Samuel what He intends to do with Eli’s house, which is a spiritual portrait that God’s judgment must first begin at His own house first, in which this term appears as vile: And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. {12} In that day I will perform against Eli all [things] which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. {13} For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile [qalal:H7043/TWOT:2028], and he restrained them not. {14} And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.  


Upon hearing that Saul desires David to be his son-in-law David retorts with a question to Saul’s servants, in which this word is expressed as light  in 1 Samuel 18:23, 


And Saul's servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you [a] light [qalal:H7043/TWOT:2028] [thing] to be a king's son in law, seeing that I [am] a poor man, and lightly esteemed?


We have run out of time today, so in our next study we will proceed to examine verse 28, Lord willing. 

Judges 9 - Part 32

October 28, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 32 and today’s date is October 28, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:26-29,


And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him. {27} And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode [the grapes], and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. {28} And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we should serve him? [is] not [he] the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him? {29} And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.


We arrived at verse 28 in our examination of Judges 9, and the first phrase that we have not already examined is ...Zebul his officer?

 

Zebul [Zebul:H2083] 


We learn that his man, Zebul was a chief officer in the city of Shechem. His name is derived from a word that signifies habitation or dwelling: [zebuwl:H2073/TWOT:526a]. This expression is found in these next five  references: 


Habitation [zebuwl:H2073/TWOT:526a*]


Verse 13 of 1 Kings 8:1-13 renders this to dwell in: Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which [is] Zion. 


*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament




{2} And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which [is] the seventh month. {3} And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. {4} And they brought up the ark of the LORD, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that [were] in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up. {5} And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, [were] with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude. {6} And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy [place, even] under the wings of the cherubims. {7} For the cherubims spread forth [their] two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. {8} And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy [place] before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day. {9} [There was] nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made [a covenant] with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. {10} And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy [place], that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, {11} So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD. {12} Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. {13} I have surely built thee an house to dwell in [zebuwl:H2073/TWOT:526a], a settled place for thee to abide in for ever.


Incidentally, in Jay P. Green’s Interlinear Bible, this is translated as of loftiness - in other words, ...an house of loftiness...


2 Chronicles 6:2 is the parallel verse, and this word is rendered of habitation, although Jay P. Green translates it as an exalted: But I have built an house of habitation  [zebuwl:H2073/TWOT:526a]  for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.


Verse 14 of Psalm 49:5-14 describes the condition and fate of the wicked, in which this term is translated from their dwelling: Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, [when] the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about? {6} They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; {7} None [of them] can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: {8} (For the redemption of their soul [is] precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) {9} That he should still live for ever, [and] not see corruption. {10} For he seeth [that] wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. {11} Their inward thought [is, that] their houses [shall continue] for ever, [and] their dwelling places to all generations; they call [their] lands after their own names. {12} Nevertheless man [being] in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts [that] perish. {13} This their way [is] their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah. {14} Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. [zebuwl:H2073/TWOT:526a] 


Verse 15 of Isaiah 63:7-19 includes this term as from the habitation in this portion of Scripture that recounts God’s dealings with national Israel, from God’s abode in Heaven: 


I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, [and] the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. {8} For he said, Surely they [are] my people, children [that] will not lie: so he was their Saviour. {9} In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. {10} But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, [and] he fought against them. {11} Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, [and] his people, [saying], Where [is] he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where [is] he that put his holy Spirit within him? {12} That led [them] by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? {13} That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, [that] they should not stumble? {14} As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name. {15} Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation [zebuwl:H2073/TWOT:526a] of thy holiness and of thy glory: where [is] thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?


Lastly verse 11 of Habakkuk 3:1-19 expresses this word as in their habitation in this chapter that speaks about the latter rain, our current day of judgment, and the defeat of Satan among other truths:  


A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth. {2} O LORD, I have heard thy speech, [and] was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. {3} God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. {4} And [his] brightness was as the light; he had horns [coming] out of his hand: and there [was] the hiding of his power. {5} Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. {6} He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways [are] everlasting. {7} I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: [and] the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. {8} Was the LORD displeased against the rivers? [was] thine anger against the rivers? [was] thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses [and] thy chariots of salvation? {9} Thy bow was made quite naked, [according] to the oaths of the tribes, [even thy] word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. {10} The mountains saw thee, [and] they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, [and] lifted up his hands on high. {11} The sun [and] moon stood still in their habitation [zebuwl:H2073/TWOT:526a] at the light of thine arrows they went, [and] at the shining of thy glittering spear. {12} Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger. {13} Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, [even] for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. {14} Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing [was] as to devour the poor secretly. {15} Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, [through] the heap of great waters. {16} When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops. {17} Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit [be] in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls: {18} Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. {19} The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer [Christ] on my stringed instruments.


From the foregoing citations we learn first and foremost that was is in view is Solomon’s Temple, which spiritually points to the Lord Jesus Christ and all His elect who are seated in heavenly [places] according to Ephesians 2:4-7, which is also where God Himself dwells:


But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, {5} Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) {6} And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: {7} That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.


Psalm 49 speaks of the end of the wicked, and so both of these groups - the righteous and the wicked - show up in Habakkuk 3 which has to do with our present time in which God’s sheep are being fed, and are rejoicing that God has redeemed all of His elect, but at the same time the unsaved are under God’s wrath worldwide. It is important to keep these two distinct groups in mind as they are co-existing on planet earth simultaneously.  I will be referring to this scenario a little later when we discuss Gaal’s statement about serving Hamor, the father of Shechem, instead of serving Abimelech and Zebul his officer. So with that understanding, let’s take a closer look at Zebul, Abimelech’s officer in Shechem. 


His Officer [paqiyd:H6496/TWOT:1802c] 


Zebul was Abimelech’s officer or overseer, which is the Hebrew noun,  paqiyd (H6496). Here are some of the ways that God utilizes this term which appears in 12 other citations, and we will consider a few of them: 


Verse 34 of Genesis 41:28-41 renders this as officers: This [is] the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God [is] about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. {29} Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: {30} And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; {31} And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it [shall be] very grievous. {32} And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; [it is] because the thing [is] established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. {33} Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. {34} Let Pharaoh do [this], and let him appoint officers [paqiyd:H6496/TWOT:1802c] over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. {35} And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. {36} And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine. {37} And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. {38} And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find [such a one] as this [is], a man in whom the Spirit of God [is]? {39} And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, [there is] none so discreet and wise as thou [art]: {40} Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. {41} And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.


Nehemiah 11:22 translates this as the overseer: The overseer [paqiyd:H6496/TWOT:1802c] also of the Levites at Jerusalem [was] Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers [were] over the business of the house of God.


Verse 3 of Esther 2:1-9 also expresses this word as officers:   After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. {2} Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king: {3} And let the king appoint officers [paqiyd:H6496/TWOT:1802c] in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given [them]: {4} And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so. {5} [Now] in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name [was] Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; {6} Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. {7} And he brought up Hadassah, that [is], Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid [was] fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter. {8} So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. {9} And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, [which were] meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best [place] of the house of the women.


I would like to draw your attention to Gaal’s six questions in succession:  ...Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we should serve [`abad:H5647/TWOT:1553] him? [is] not [he] the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? Serve [`abad:H5647/TWOT:1553] the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve [`abad:H5647/TWOT:1553] him?


Serve [`abad:H5647/TWOT:1553]


The  fact that the term serve surfaces three times in verse 28 is significant because it modifies Abimelech, Zebul, and Hamor, the father of Shechem. The object of such service can vary greatly depending on the context, which can range from a slave-master relationship, or one who has been captured by an enemy army, to the Levitical priesthood and the joy that God’s elect experience when they serve their Heavenly Father. I was reminded of the “before” and “after” salvation reality that occurs in the lives of God’s elect as Paul under divine inspiration acknowledges in Romans 6:16-19,


Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? {17} But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. {18} Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. {19} I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.


Gaal’s statement in Judges 9:28 is a bit confusing because Hamor as well as his son Shechem are both dead, which is why the expression serve the men of Hamor needs to be be clarified. We learn about the deaths of these individuals back in Genesis 34 when Jacob bought a parcel of land from Hamor for 100 pieces of silver, which eventually became the final resting place of Joseph’s bones, as he commanded, which took place during the exodus from Egypt, as the following Scriptures testify, which we have visited before, and are helpful to review as they will help in understanding the parabolic meaning of Gaal’s words:


Genesis 33:19 records: And he [Jacob] bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.


Then in Genesis 34:25-27 we learn: And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. {26} And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out. {27} The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.


In Genesis 37:12-14 we find that Shechem is also associated with feeding sheep: And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. {13} And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed [the flock] in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here [am I]. {14} And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.


In our next study we will conclude verse 28 and the spiritual portrait that God has hidden in this verse that relates to our day.

Judges 9 - Part 33

October 30, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 33 and today’s date is October 30, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:26-29,


And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him. {27} And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode [the grapes], and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. {28} And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we should serve him? [is] not [he] the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him? {29} And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.


We concluded our previous study by considering some examples of the word, serve, which I stated was significant because it is used three times in verse 28. In doing so we reviewed some of the verses that include the word Shechem, and we noted again that it is a word that can exemplify both the world as well as the idea of feeding sheep. So I would like to start by finishing the references that mention Shechem, which was also the final resting place of Joseph's bones:


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


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


Joshua 24:32 presents this confirmation as well: And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.


Hebrews 11:22 attests to this fact as well: By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.


We recognize that Joseph’s bones represent those who have died in Christ and along with all who left Egypt alive picture the salvation of the entire body of Christ who were redeemed from slavery to sin, which Egypt exemplifies.


I also stated that Gaal’s remark in Judges 9:28 is a bit confusing because Hamor as well as his son Shechem are both dead, which is why the expression serve the men of Hamor needs to be be clarified, as this would have to relate to the descendants of both Hamor and Shechem as Genesis 34:25-29 maintain, in which the only survivors were women and children, and the latter would grow up, marry, and start families of their own and this would continue so that in time, these would be the progeny of both Hamor and Shechem:


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


However, Gaal makes a distinction between the men of Hamor and Shechem even though initially they are father and son. I’m not sure as to why this differentiation is being made other than the fact that Abimelech and his officer, Zebul  are closely connected with Shechem, and Gaal is garnering support and troops to come against Abimelech and Zebul, as this third faction enters into the fray, which underscores our current situation worldwide in which Satan’s kingdom is being systematically dismantled.


The name Hamor (Chamowr:H2544) is identically spelled to the word for ass  (specifically a male donkey) as the subsequent passages show: 


Ass [chamowr:H2543/TWOT:685a]


Exodus 23:4-5 includes this term twice: If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass [chamowr:H2543/TWOT:685a] going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. {5} If thou see the ass [chamowr:H2543/TWOT:685a] of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.


Verse 20 of Exodus 34:19-20 adds: All that openeth the matrix [is] mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, [whether] ox or sheep, [that is male]. {20} But the firstling of an ass [chamowr:H2543/TWOT:685a] thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem [him] not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.


Zechariah 9:9 is a prophetic reference to the Lord Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem in His triumphal entry upon a male donkey and foal the of a female donkey:  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, [chamowr:H2543/TWOT:685a] and upon a colt the foal of an ass. [’athown:H860 - a female donkey]


Verse 5 of Matthew 21:1-16 is the “word bridge” to the New Testament in which Zechariah 9:9 is quoted:


And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, {2} Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose [them], and bring [them] unto me. {3} And if any [man] say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. {4} All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, {5} Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass [onos:G3688], and a colt the foal of an ass. [hypozygion:G5268] {6} And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, {7} And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set [him] thereon. {8} And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed [them] in the way. {9} And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. {10} And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? {11} And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. {12} And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, {13} And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. {14} And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. {15} And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, {16} And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?


In this context these two donkeys picture those who have become saved - by virtue of Christ sitting on them -  and to sit is symbolic language signifying rulership. By nature mankind is like a wild ass, which is a different term but nonetheless accurately portrays man’s rebellious nature, and unless redeemed - by A Lamb (Christ) - would forfeit its life by having its neck broken as Exodus 34:19-20 explains; this also matches what Romans 6:23a stipulates: For the wages of sin is death…


The expression wild ass is found among other places in these next citations:


Wild Ass [pere’:H6501/TWOT:1805a]


Job 11:12 is an important declaration concerning mankind: For vain man would be wise, though man be born [like] a wild ass's [pere’:H6501/TWOT:1805a] colt.


Genesis 16:12 adopts this word in reference to Ishmael (who was not saved) and translates it as a wild: And he will be a wild [pere’:H6501/TWOT:1805a] 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.


Job 39:5 further states the God is the One responsible for losing the bands or cords of sin that held unsaved man in spiritual captivity during the day of salvation; please note that the English word at the end of the verse is a different word altogether: Who hath sent out the wild ass [pere’:H6501/TWOT:1805a] free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass? [`arowd:H6171]


Verse 9 of Hosea 8:1-14 is a chapter in which God denounces Israel for their spiritual adultery, calling them a wild ass, and pronounces His judgment upon them:


[Set] the trumpet to thy mouth. [He shall come] as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law. {2} Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee. {3} Israel hath cast off [the thing that is] good: the enemy shall pursue him. {4} They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew [it] not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. {5} Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast [thee] off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long [will it be] ere they attain to innocency? {6} For from Israel [was] it also: the workman made it; therefore it [is] not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. {7} For they have sown 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 [pere’:H6501/TWOT:1805a] 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. {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.


In light of the preceding passages concerning these words for ass and wild ass we can safely conclude that Gaal’s statement with regard to serving the men of Hamor  - and his opposition against Abimelech and Zebul, and their forces are representative of the non-elect who are at odds with each other, and ultimately each will be destroyed by God Almighty.


Lord willing, in our next study we will consider Gaal’s taunt in verse 29: 


And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.

Judges 9 - Part 34

November 6, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 34 and today’s date is November 6, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:26-30,


And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him. {27} And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode [the grapes], and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. {28} And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we should serve him? [is] not [he] the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him? {29} And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out. {30} And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. 


We have arrived at verse 29 and the challenge to engage in battle that Gaal presents to Abimelech.


And Would To God This People [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640 a,e*] Were Under [nathan:H5414/TWOT:1443*]  My Hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844*]


The first phrase, And would to God this people were under my hand! is made up of three main words which we have run across before in Judges 7:2 and 7, denoting being under the authority or power of another:





*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament






And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640 a,e]  that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give [nathan:H5414/TWOT:1443] the Midianites into their hands [yad:H3027/TWOT:844], lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me...{7} And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver [nathan:H5414/TWOT:1443] the Midianites into thine hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844]: and let all the [other] people [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640 a,e] go every man unto his place.


We will also see these terms again as we make our way through the book of Judges in the following Scriptures:


Judges 11:21 records: And the LORD God of Israel delivered [nathan:H5414/TWOT:1443] Sihon and all his people  [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640 a,e] into the hand [yad:H3027/TWOT:844]  of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.


Judges 16:24 expresses the joy of the Philistines over their capture of Samson:  And when the people [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640 a,e] saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered [nathan:H5414/TWOT:1443] into our hands [yad:H3027/TWOT:844]  our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.


Lastly Judges 18:10 acknowledges:  When ye go, ye shall come unto a people  [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640 a,e] secure, and to a large land: for God hath given [nathan:H5414/TWOT:1443] it into your hands [yad:H3027/TWOT:844]; a place where [there is] no want of any thing that [is] in the earth.


Then Would I Remove [cuwr:H5493/TWOT:1480] Abimelech


This expression, then would I remove - speaking of Abimelech - or cuwr is used in a variety of different ways, but chiefly as put or take away, depart, remove, or turn (aside). We have also seen this word before in some of our earlier studies as the following citations record:


Verse 17 of Judges 2:13-19 highlights the rebellion aspect which is “the first turn of the wheel” in the cycle of rebellion>oppression>deliverance > rest that we have witnessed so often in this book; this term is translated as: unto them they turned: 


And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. {14} And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. {15} Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. {16} Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. {17} And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned [cuwr:H5493/TWOT:1480] quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; [but] they did not so. {18} And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. {19} And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, [that] they returned, and corrupted [themselves] more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.


Likewise in Judges 4:18 is utilized three times as a form of turn in: [pointing to the purpose of God as Jael (who represents the elect) kills Sisera (a type of Satan)]: 


And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in [cuwr:H5493/TWOT:1480], my lord, turn in [cuwr:H5493/TWOT:1480]  to me; fear not. And when he had turned in [cuwr:H5493/TWOT:1480] unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle.


Quite often this word is related to not turning aside to the right hand or the left hand as one finds in Joshua 23:6, in which this is rendered as that ye turn aside: Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn [cuwr:H5493/TWOT:1480]  not aside [cuwr:H5493/TWOT:1480]  therefrom [to] the right hand or [to] the left;


In Joshua 24:14 this appears as and put away: Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away [cuwr:H5493/TWOT:1480] the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.


So we can understand that Gaal wants Abimelech “put away” for good, so he can rule in his stead, which leads right into the next phrase which is his challenge to Abimelech:


Increase [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104] Thine Army [tsaba’:H6635/TWOT:1865 a, b] And Come Out [yatsa:H3318/TWOT:893]


The expressions thine army along with and come out are terms that we have seen before in a number of our previous studies, so let’s focus on the word, increase or raba, which is part of Gaal’s taunt to Abimelech to increase thine army so they can fight each other:


 Increase [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104] 


This word is predominantly translated as multiply or increase, but also in numerous other ways as well, so it is quite pregnant with meaning. Here are some illustrations:


We will encounter this word two more times in the book of Judges in 16:24 and 20:38 respectively:


Earlier we looked at Judges 16:24 when we were examining the three words in the phrase Would to God this people were under my hand. This term, increase or rava is translated many in this passage: 


And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104] of us.


But in Judges 20:38 it appears as that they should make a great: Now there was an appointed sign between the men of Israel and the liers in wait, that they should make a great [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104] flame with smoke rise up out of the city.


Hosea 12:10 points out one of the ways that God revealed truth to His people through His prophets before the Bible was completed (around 90 AD): I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104] visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.


Amos 4:4 uses this expression in a negative fashion, as God spiritually denounces Israel (and by extension the end-time institutional churches and denominations): Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104]  transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, [and] your tithes after three years:


On the other hand Ezekiel 36:10-11, 29-30, and 37 presents this word numerous times in a positive manner: 


And I will multiply [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104]  men upon you, all the house of Israel, [even] all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: {11} And I will multiply [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104]  upon you man and beast; and they shall increase [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104] and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better [unto you] than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD. ... {29} I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104]  it, and lay no famine upon you. {30} And I will multiply [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104]  the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. ... {37} Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet [for] this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do [it] for them; I will increase [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104]  them with men like a flock.


Daniel 12:4 relates to our current day of judgment in which God is pouring out truth from His Word that had been previously sealed up; this word is translated as shall be increased: But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104]  


In Psalm 18:35 this word surfaces as hath made me great: Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104]  


In Psalm 51:2 David acknowledges his sin and prays for cleansing, in which this term appears as me throughly: Wash me throughly [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104]  from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.


Just as in Genesis 1:22 and 28, Genesis 9:1 renders this word as and multiply as Noah received this similar command from God concerning  the “second” earth: And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104], and replenish the earth.


Lastly, Genesis 35:11 underscores the spiritual progeny that God would produce through Abraham and the patriarchs, by virtue of the Seed (with a capital S), Who is the Lord Jesus Christ: And God said unto him, I [am] God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply [raba:H7235/TWOT:2103, 2104]; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;


I think we’ll stop here today. Lord willing, in our next study we will proceed to verse 30. 

Judges 9 - Part 35

November 9, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 35 and today’s date is November 9, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:26-31,


And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him. {27} And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode [the grapes], and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. {28} And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who [is] Abimelech, and who [is] Shechem, that we should serve him? [is] not [he] the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him? {29} And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out. {30} And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. {31} And he sent messengers unto Abimelech privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee.


The Ruler [sar:H8269/TWOT:2295a*] Of The City [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1615*]


Since we have already discussed Zebul, (whose name is derived from the word habitation), let’s examine the two words that apply to him as far as his position is concerned, namely as  the ruler and of the city; these two terms appear together in 31 other passages, and we will examine some of them:


Exodus 1:11 renders these two terms as taskmasters and cities: Therefore they did set over them taskmasters [sar:H8269/TWOT:2295a] to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1615], Pithom and Raamses.



*Theological Wordbook Of The Old Testament




Verse 26 of 1 Kings 22:26-28 records Ahab’s command concerning the faithful prophet Micaiah, in which these words are expressed as the governor and of the city: And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor [sar:H8269/TWOT:2295a] of the city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1615], and to Joash the king's son; {27} And say, Thus saith the king, Put this [fellow] in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace. {28} And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the LORD hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you.


Verse 9 of Esther 6:6-10 involves the king’s decree that Haman thinks pertains to him, when in reality Mordecai is the one that this honor is reserved for; these words are translated princes and of the city: So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? {7} And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, {8} Let the royal apparel be brought which the king [useth] to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: {9} And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes [sar:H8269/TWOT:2295a], that they may array the man [withal] whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1615], and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour. {10} Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, [and] take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken. {11} Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.


Jeremiah 38:17-18 recounts Jeremiah’a godly counsel to king Zedekiah, in which these words appear as princes and city:  Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon's princes [sar:H8269/TWOT:2295a], then thy soul shall live, and this city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1615] shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thine house: {18} But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes [sar:H8269/TWOT:2295a], then shall this city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1615] be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand.


Verse 10 of Hosea 13:1-11 renders these words again as thy cities and princes in this account which is highlighting God’s judgment which first began at the house of God: When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died. {2} And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, [and] idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves. {3} Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff [that] is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney. {4} Yet I [am] the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for [there is] no saviour beside me. {5} I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. {6} According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. {7} Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe [them]: {8} I will meet them as a bear [that is] bereaved [of her whelps], and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them. {9} O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me [is] thine help. {10} I will be thy king: where [is any other] that may save thee in all thy cities [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1615] ? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes [sar:H8269/TWOT:2295a]? {11} I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took [him] away in my wrath.


Heard [`shama:H8085/TWOT:2412, 2412a] These Words [dabar:H1697/TWOT:399a] His Anger [’aph:H639/TWOT:736] Was Kindled [charah:H2734/TWOT:736]


The four expressions in Judges 9:30 - heard and these words along with his anger and was kindled surface in two other accounts:

 


The first one is in verse 19 of Genesis 39:1-20, in which Potiphar’s anger is likewise kindled as he heard the words of his wife as she lied about Joseph’s advances toward her: 


And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. {2} And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. {3} And his master saw that the LORD [was] with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. {4} And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all [that] he had he put into his hand. {5} And it came to pass from the time [that] he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. {6} And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was [a] goodly [person], and well favoured. {7} And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. {8} But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what [is] with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; {9} [There is] none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou [art] his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? {10} And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, [or] to be with her. {11} And it came to pass about this time, that [Joseph] went into the house to do his business; and [there was] none of the men of the house there within. {12} And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. {13} And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, {14} That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: {15} And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out. {16} And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. {17} And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: {18} And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out. {19} And it came to pass, when his master heard [`shama:H8085/TWOT:2412, 2412a] the words [dabar:H1697/TWOT:399a] of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath [’aph:H639/TWOT:736] was kindled. [charah:H2734/TWOT:736] {20}| And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners [were] bound: and he was there in the prison.


The second usage of these four words surfaces in verse 6 of 1 Samuel 11:1-15 as when he heard tidings his anger was kindled:  Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. {2} And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this [condition] will I make [a covenant] with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it [for] a reproach upon all Israel. {3} And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days' respite, that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if [there be] no man to save us, we will come out to thee. {4} Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept. {5} And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What [aileth] the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh. {6} And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard [`shama:H8085/TWOT:2412, 2412a]  those tidings [dabar:H1697/TWOT:399a] and his anger [’aph:H639/TWOT:736] was kindled [charah:H2734/TWOT:736] greatly.  {7} And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent [them] throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent. {8} And when he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. {9} And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabeshgilead, To morrow, by [that time] the sun be hot, ye shall have help. And the messengers came and shewed [it] to the men of Jabesh; and they were glad. {10} Therefore the men of Jabesh said, To morrow we will come out unto you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you. {11} And it was [so] on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together. {12} And the people said unto Samuel, Who [is] he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death. {13} And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel. {14} Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there. {15} And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace offerings before the LORD; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly. 


This brings us to…


Verse 31: And he sent messengers unto Abimelech privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee.


And He Sent [shalach:H7971/TWOT:2394] Messengers [mal’ak:H4397/TWOT:1068a]


The phrase, And he sent messengers is made up of two words that we have already researched in some of our earlier studies in Judges according to these next Scriptures:


Judges 6:21 and 35 record these terms as Then the angel and put forth: Then the angel [mal’ak:H4397/TWOT:1068a] of the LORD put forth [shalach:H7971/TWOT:2394]  the end of the staff that [was] in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel [mal’ak:H4397/TWOT:1068a] of the LORD departed out of his sight. ... {35} And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.


Likewise Judges 7:24 maintains: And Gideon sent [shalach:H7971/TWOT:2394]  messengers [mal’ak:H4397/TWOT:1068a]   throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.


We will also encounter these two expressions sent and messengers again once we arrive at Judges 11:12, 14, 17, and 19, Lord willing: And Jephthah sent [shalach:H7971/TWOT:2394]  messengers [mal’ak:H4397/TWOT:1068a] unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land? ... {14} And Jephthah sent [shalach:H7971/TWOT:2394]  messengers [mal’ak:H4397/TWOT:1068a] again unto the king of the children of Ammon: ... {17} Then Israel sent [shalach:H7971/TWOT:2394]  messengers [mal’ak:H4397/TWOT:1068a] unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken [thereto]. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not [consent]: and Israel abode in Kadesh. ... {19} And Israel sent [shalach:H7971/TWOT:2394]  messengers [mal’ak:H4397/TWOT:1068a]    unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place.


Privily [tormah:H8649/TWOT:2169c]


We understand that in the historical context Zebul sent messengers privily, that is privately or in secret in order to inform Abimelech of what Gaal was intending to do. However we will have to stop here, and pick this up in our next study, Lord willing.

Judges 9 - Part 36

November 11, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 36 and today’s date is November 11, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:30-41,


And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. {31} And he sent messengers unto Abimelech privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee. {32} Now therefore up by night, thou and the people that [is] with thee, and lie in wait in the field: {33} And it shall be, [that] in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, [when] he and the people that [is] with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion. {34} And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that [were] with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies. {35} And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that [were] with him, from lying in wait. {36} And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as [if they were] men. {37} And Gaal spake again and said, See there come people down by the middle of the land, and another company come along by the plain of Meonenim. {38} Then said Zebul unto him, Where [is] now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, Who [is] Abimelech, that we should serve him? [is] not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them. {39} And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. {40} And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.


In our previous study we left off at the expression, privily, in verse 31, and as I mentioned in our last study this word has to do with privacy or secrecy, which we can understand in the historical context why Zebul would have given this vital intelligence to his commander-in-chief, King Abimelech.


Privily [tormah:H8649/TWOT:2169c*]


Curiously, this word, privily, is only found translated as such in this verse. In the five other references in which it is found it is always rendered as deceit or deceitful, which was the hallmark of the Great Tribulation when God’s judgment against His own house commenced. God’s retribution continues into our present day of judgment as the entire world has been spiritually snared as God is ruling this world with a rod of iron as one reads in Revelation 19:15.  


In verse 118 of Psalm 119:13-20 this term is expressed as their deceit, under the heading of the letter-word, SAMECH. Incidentally, each of the first words in these eight verses begin with the Hebrew letter, SAMECH, and I will point out the English word that they correspond to: 


SAMECH. I hate [vain] thoughts: but thy law do I love. {114} Thou [art] my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. {115} Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. {116} Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. {117} Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. {118} Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit [tormah:H8649/TWOT:2169c] [is] falsehood. {119} Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth [like] dross: therefore I love thy testimonies. {120} My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.


Verse 5 of Jeremiah 8:5-15 is another denunciation of national Israel (and the end-time institutional churches and denominations that they typify) for their rebellion against God’s Word: 



*Theological Wordbook Of The Old Testament


Why [then] is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit [tormah:H8649/TWOT:2169c],  they refuse to return. {6} I hearkened and heard, [but] they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one 

turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. {7} Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. {8} How do ye say, We [are] wise, and the law of the LORD [is] with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he [it]; the pen of the scribes [is] in vain. {9} The wise [men] are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom [is] in them? {10} Therefore will I give their wives unto others, [and] their fields to them that shall inherit [them]: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. {11} For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when [there is] no peace. {12} Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. {13} I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: [there shall be] no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and [the things that] I have given them shall pass away from them. {14} Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD. {15} We looked for peace, but no good [came; and] for a time of health, and behold trouble!


Verse 14 of Jeremiah 14:7-16 continues this same theme of judgment that began at God’s house first:  O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou [it] for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee. {8} O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man [that] turneth aside to tarry for a night? {9} Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man [that] cannot save? yet thou, O LORD, [art] in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not. {10} Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins. {11} Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for [their] good. {12} When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence. {13} Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. {14} Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit [tormah:H8649/TWOT:2169c] of their heart. {15} Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. {16} And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.


For the third time this word surfaces in another chapter in Jeremiah - Chapter 23 - which is one long indictment (like Matthew 23 or Ezekiel 34) against those in authority over the congregations which God would abandon - namely the pastors and shepherds; this term is found in verse 26 as of the deceit: 


Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. {2} Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. {3} And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. {4} And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. {5} Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. {6} In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. {7} Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; {8} But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. {9} Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness. {10} For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force [is] not right. {11} For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. {12} Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery [ways] in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, [even] the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. {13} And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. {14} I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. {15} Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. {16} Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, [and] not out of the mouth of the LORD. {17} They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. {18} For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard [it]? {19} Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. {20} The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. {21} I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. {22} But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. {23} [Am] I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? {24} Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. {25} I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. {26} How long shall [this] be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, [they are] prophets of the deceit [tormah:H8649/TWOT:2169c] of their own heart;  {27} Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. {28} The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What [is] the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. {29} [Is] not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces? {30} Therefore, behold, I [am] against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. {31} Behold, I [am] against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. {32} Behold, I [am] against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. {33} And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What [is] the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. {34} And [as for] the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house. {35} Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken? {36} And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God. {37} Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken? {38} But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD; {39} Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, [and cast you] out of my presence: {40} And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.


By contrast verse 13 of Zephaniah 3 includes this word as shall a deceitful, modifying the word tongue: This chapter is divided up into two sections: verses 1-8 speak of God’s judgment that started at His own house first, and then transitioned to the world at large. However in verses 9-20 God speaks about His elect and His blessings upon them.  


Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! {2} She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God. {3} Her princes within her [are] roaring lions; her judges [are] evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. {4} Her prophets [are] light [and] treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. {5} The just LORD [is] in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame. {6} I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant. {7} I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, [and] corrupted all their doings. {8} Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination [is] to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, [even] all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. {9} For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. {10} From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, [even] the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. {11} In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. {12} I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. {13} The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful [tormah:H8649/TWOT:2169c] tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make [them] afraid. {14} Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. {15} The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, [even] the LORD, [is] in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. {16} In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: [and to] Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. {17} The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. {18} I will gather [them that are] sorrowful for the solemn assembly, [who] are of thee, [to whom] the reproach of it [was] a burden. {19} Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. {20} At that time will I bring you [again], even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.


On that very encouraging note we will have to conclude today’s study, Lord willing, in our next study we will continue our examination of verse 31. 

Judges 9 - Part 37

November 20, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 9 - Part 37 and today’s date is November 20, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 9:30-41,


And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. {31} And he sent messengers unto Abimelech privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee. {32} Now therefore up by night, thou and the people that [is] with thee, and lie in wait in the field: {33} And it shall be, [that] in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, [when] he and the people that [is] with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion. {34} And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that [were] with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies. {35} And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that [were] with him, from lying in wait. {36} And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as [if they were] men. {37} And Gaal spake again and said, See there come people down by the middle of the land, and another company come along by the plain of Meonenim. {38} Then said Zebul unto him, Where [is] now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, Who [is] Abimelech, that we should serve him? [is] not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them. {39} And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. {40} And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown [and] wounded, [even] unto the entering of the gate. {41} And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell  in Shechem.


We are continuing our examination of verse 31, and we want to investigate the two remaining terms that we have not considered already, namely they fortify and the city, which is the gist of the warning that Zebul provides to Abimelech. These two expressions crop up in the following 7 citations:


They Fortify [tsuwr:H6696/TWOT:1898, 1899, 190] The City [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615] *


In Deuteronomy 20:19 God gives this commandment to Israel in time of battle: When thou shalt besiege [tsuwr:H6696/TWOT:1898, 1899, 190] a city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615] a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man's life) to employ them in the siege:


In 2 Samuel 20:15 these words are rendered as and besieged along with against the city: And they came and besieged [tsuwr:H6696/TWOT:1898, 1899, 190]  him in Abel of Bethmaachah, and they cast up a bank against the city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615], and it stood in the trench: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.


2 Kings 24:11 likewise affirms: And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615],  and his servants did besiege [tsuwr:H6696/TWOT:1898, 1899, 190] it.


Esther 8:11 expresses these words as which were in every city and that would assault them: Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615] to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them [tsuwr:H6696/TWOT:1898, 1899, 190], both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,


Jeremiah 21:4 and 9 also state: Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege [tsuwr:H6696/TWOT:1898, 1899, 190] you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city. [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615] ... {9} He that abideth in this city  shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you [tsuwr:H6696/TWOT:1898, 1899, 190], he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.


Ezekiel 4:3 explains: Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city [`iyr:H5892/TWOT:1587a, 1615]: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege [tsuwr:H6696/TWOT:1898, 1899, 190] against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.

*Theological Wordbook Of The Old Testament

Let’s now turn our attention to verse 32 and the advice that Zebul gives to Abimelech the king: 

Verse 32: Now therefore up by night, thou and the people that is with thee, and lie in wait in the field:




Therefore Up [quwm:H1999/TWOT:1999] By Night [layil:H3915/TWOT:1111]


We have encountered these two terms previously in Judges 7:9 for instance, in which these words are rendered night and him Arise in which God enables Gideon and his servant Phurah to overhear a conversation in which he will understand that God had already given him and his 300 men the victory over the Amalekites, the Midianites, and the children of the east: 


And it came to pass the same night [layil:H3915/TWOT:1111], that the LORD said unto him, Arise, [quwm:H1999/TWOT:1999] get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.


Similarly, Joshua 8:3 records: So Joshua arose [quwm:H1999/TWOT:1999], and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour, and sent them away by night. [layil:H3915/TWOT:1111]


We will also see these two expressions again in verse 34 of this chapter which states: And Abimelech rose up [quwm:H1999/TWOT:1999], and all the people that [were] with him, by night [layil:H3915/TWOT:1111], and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.


Additionally we will encounter these terms again in the book of Judges in  Judges 16:6 with regard to Samson,


And Samson lay till midnight, and arose [quwm:H1999/TWOT:1999] at midnight [layil:H3915/TWOT:1111], and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put [them] upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that [is] before Hebron.


Speaking of midnight, verse 62 of Psalm 119:57-64 maintains: CHETH. [Thou art] my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words. {58} I intreated thy favour with [my] whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word. {59} I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. {60} I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. {61} The bands of the wicked have robbed me: [but] I have not forgotten thy law. {62} At midnight [layil:H3915/TWOT:1111] I will rise [quwm:H1999/TWOT:1999]  to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. {63} I [am] a companion of all [them] that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. {64} The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.


Judges 20:5 also contains these two expressions in connection with the Levite’s concubine:  


And the men of Gibeah rose [quwm:H1999/TWOT:1999] against me, and beset the house round about upon me by night [layil:H3915/TWOT:1111], [and] thought to have slain me: and my concubine have they forced, that she is dead.


1 Kings 19:8 includes these two words in reference to Elijah: And he arose [quwm:H1999/TWOT:1999], and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights [layil:H3915/TWOT:1111] unto Horeb the mount of God.


2 Chronicles 21:9 records wicked king Jehoram’s victory: Then Jehoram went forth with his princes, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up [quwm:H1999/TWOT:1999] by night [layil:H3915/TWOT:1111], and smote the Edomites which compassed him in, and the captains of the chariots.


Verse 14 of Job 24:1-20 render these as rising and in the night in this chapter that provide various descriptions of unsaved man’s sinful actions against His Creator in the first instance, and secondly against his fellow man, in direct violation of the First and Second greatest commandments: 


Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days? {2} [Some] remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed [thereof]. {3} They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow's ox for a pledge. {4} They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together. {5} Behold, [as] wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness [yieldeth] food for them [and] for [their] children. {6} They reap [every one] his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked. {7} They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that [they have] no covering in the cold. {8} They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter. {9} They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor. {10} They cause [him] to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf [from] the hungry; {11} [Which] make oil within their walls, [and] tread [their] winepresses, and suffer thirst. {12} Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly [to them]. {13} They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.  {14} The murderer rising [quwm:H1999/TWOT:1999] with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night [layil:H3915/TWOT:1111] is as a thief. {15} The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth [his] face. {16} In the dark they dig through houses, [which] they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light. {17} For the morning [is] to them even as the shadow of death: if [one] know [them, they are in] the terrors of the shadow of death. {18} He [is] swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards. {19} Drought and heat consume the snow waters: [so doth] the grave [those which] have sinned. {20} The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.


However in verse 5 of Jeremiah 6:1-30 God recounts His judgment that began at His own house first, typified by Jerusalem and Judah: 


O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction. {2} I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate [woman]. {3} The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch [their] tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place. {4} Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. {5} Arise [quwm:H1999/TWOT:1999], and let us go by night [layil:H3915/TWOT:1111], and let us destroy her palaces. {6} For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this [is] the city to be visited; she [is] wholly oppression in the midst of her. {7} As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually [is] grief and wounds. {8} Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited. {9} Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets. {10} To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear [is] uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. {11} Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with [him that is] full of days. {12} And their houses shall be turned unto others, [with their] fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD. {13} For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one [is] given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. {14} They have healed also the hurt [of the daughter] of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when [there is] no peace. {15} Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time [that] I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. {16} Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein]. {17} Also I set watchmen over you, [saying], Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. {18} Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what [is] among them. {19} Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, [even] the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. {20} To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings [are] not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. {21} Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. {22} Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. {23} They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they [are] cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion. {24} We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, [and] pain, as of a woman in travail. {25} Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy [and] fear [is] on every side. {26} O daughter of my people, gird [thee] with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, [as for] an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us. {27} I have set thee [for] a tower [and] a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. {28} They [are] all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: [they are] brass and iron; they [are] all corrupters. {29} The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. {30} Reprobate silver shall [men] call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.


 And The People [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, 1640e]...And Lie In Wait  [’arab:H693/TWOT:156] In The Field [sadeh:H7704/TWOT:2236a, 2236b]


The remaining three words in verse 32, ...thou and the people...and lie in wait, and in the field are only found together again in this same chapter in verse 43:


And he took the people [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, 1640e], and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field [sadeh:H7704/TWOT:2236a, 2236b], and looked, and, behold, the people [`am:H5971/TWOT:1640a, 1640e]  [were] come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. 


Let’s stop here. Lord willing, in our next study we will proceed to verse 33.