Bible Ministries International

Bible Studies

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

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

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Judges 8 - Part 32

June 3, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 32 and today’s date is June 3, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:28-35,


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


We have taken a detour in our study of verse 31 to examine the word Shechem, which was the location of Gideon’s concubine, who bore him a son, whom he named Abimelech. In our previous study we began examining two identical verses that might provide some clues as to the spiritual meaning behind Shechem. These are: Psalm 60:6 and Psalm 107:8 both of which declare,


God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.


We left off at the term I will rejoice in our last study, which I would now like to address:


I Will Rejoice [`alaz:H5937]


This expression is only found 11 other times. 


Verse 5 of Psalm 149:5-9 speaks of one of the roles that God has assigned to His saints during our present day of judgment; this term is rendered be joyful: Let the saints be joyful [`alaz:H5937] in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. {6} [Let] the high [praises] of God [be] in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand; {7} To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments upon the people; {8} To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; {9} To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD. 


Verse 7 of Psalm 28:6-9 translates this term as greatly rejoiceth:  Blessed [be] the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. {7} The LORD [is] my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth [`alaz:H5937]; and with my song will I praise him. {8} The LORD [is] their strength, and he [is] the saving strength of his anointed. {9} Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.


Verse 20 of  2 Samuel 1:17-27 renders this expression as triumph: And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: {18} (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah [the use of] the bow: behold, [it is] written in the book of Jasher.) {19} The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! {20} Tell [it] not in Gath, publish [it] not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. [`alaz:H5937] {21} 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, the shield of Saul, [as though he had] not [been] anointed with oil. {22} From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. {23} Saul and Jonathan [were] lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. {24} Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with [other] delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. {25} How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, [thou wast] slain in thine high places. {26} I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. {27} How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!



Verse 12 of Psalm 96:10-13 similarly affirms: Say among the heathen [that] the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. {11} Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. {12} Let the field be joyful, [`alaz:H5937] and all that [is] therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice {13} Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.


Verse 18 of Habakkuk 3:11-19 is set in the context of our current day of judgment, reminding us of Matthew 24:29, The sun [and] moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, [and] at the shining of thy glittering spear. {12} Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh 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 [`alaz:H5937] in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.


Verse 14 of Zephaniah 3:8-15 refers to our present day as well:  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 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 [`alaz:H5937] with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.


I Will Divide [chalaq:H2505] 


I will divide (referring to Shechem) is the next word that we want to turn our attention to. This particular term is primarily translated as divide, as the subsequent passages highlight. We also want to keep in mind that God is judging this world and all its unsaved inhabitants at this time. Part of the judgment process involves the dividing of Satan’s kingdom as we read in Mark 3:22-26,


And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. {23} And he called them [unto him], and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? {24} And if a kingdom be divided [merizo:G3313] against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. {25} And if a house be divided [merizo:G3313]  against itself, that house cannot stand. {26} And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided [merizo:G3313], he cannot stand, but hath an end.


Actually we encountered this expression in Judges 5:30 with regard to Sisera (a portrait of Satan) as seen from the vantage point of his mother (who typifies Satan’s kingdom)


Have they not sped? have they [not] divided [chalaq:H2505] the prey; to every man a damsel [or] two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours of needlework on both sides, [meet] for the necks of [them that take] the spoil?


Exodus 15:9 records the thoughts and intents of Pharaoh Thutmosis III (who is another type of Satan) and the Egyptian army as they pursued the Israelites to their own death: The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide [chalaq:H2505] the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.


This word is used a number of times in connection with the land of Israel being allotted to the 12 tribes according to Joshua 18:10 for instance: And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided [chalaq:H2505] the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.


Verse 8 of Joshua 22:1-9 records the inheritance of the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh: Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, {2} And said unto them, Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you: {3} Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God. {4} And now the LORD your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, [and] unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side Jordan. {5} But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. {6} So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away: and they went unto their tents. {7} Now to the [one] half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given [possession] in Bashan: but unto the [other] half thereof gave Joshua among their brethren on this side Jordan westward. And when Joshua sent them away also unto their tents, then he blessed them, {8} And he spake unto them, saying, Return with much riches unto your tents, and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with brass, and with iron, and with very much raiment: divide [chalaq:H2505] the spoil of your enemies with your brethren. {9} And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which [is] in the land of Canaan, to go unto the country of Gilead, to the land of their possession, whereof they were possessed, according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.



1 Samuel 30:21-25 recounts part of the historical parable regarding David’s attempt to rescue his two wives and children as well as those of his men and all their goods which had been stolen from the city of Ziklag where their families were stationed by the Amalekites. His men were divided into two groups: the one group who were exhausted stayed behind to watch their gear and belongings, while the other group pursued after the Amaekites, and eventually recovered all the women and children, and all the goods as well: 


And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abide at the brook Besor: and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that [were] with him: and when David came near to the people, he saluted them. {22} Then answered all the wicked men and [men] of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them [ought] of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead [them] away, and depart. {23} Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. {24} For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part [cheleq:H2506]  [is] that goeth down to the battle, so [shall] his part [cheleq:H2506] [be] that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part [chalaq:H2505] alike. {25} And it was [so] from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day. 


In speaking of the wicked and their fate, Job 21:17 states: How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and [how oft] cometh their destruction upon them! [God] distributeth [chalaq:H2505] sorrows in his anger.


Similarly verse 17 of Job 27 contains this word, shall divide, reminding one of when the Israelites spoiled the Egyptians prior to the Exodus as we read in Exodus 12:35-36, And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: {36} And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them [such things as they required]. And they spoiled the Egyptians.

 

Job 27:13-17 instructs: This [is] the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, [which] they shall receive of the Almighty. {14} If his children be multiplied, [it is] for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. {15} Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep. {16} Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; {17} He may prepare [it], but the just shall put [it] on, and the innocent shall divide [chalaq:H2505] the silver.


Psalm 22:18 is part of a Messianic psalm, in which this word is expressed as they part: They part [chalaq:H2505] my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 


Isaiah 53:12 utilizes this word twice: Therefore will I divide [chalaq:H2505] him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide [chalaq:H2505] the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


I think we’ll have to stop here today. Lord willing, in our next study we will consider the phrase ...mete out the valley of Succoth.

 Judges 8 - Part 33

June 8, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 33 and today’s date is June 8, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:28-35,


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


We have spent the last few studies attempting to uncover the spiritual meaning of the term Shechem. To do this we have been examining two identical verses in Psalm 60:6 and Psalm 107:8 in the hope of discovering some clues to help us. Both of  these verses declare:


God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.


Today we want to consider the phrase, ...mete out the valley of Succoth and see how that compares with I will divide Shechem. We looked at what Succoth symbolizes in Part 4, but it might be helpful to review that information in light of our present objective, and we will see that it does tie in with Shechem as Psalm 60:6 and Psalm 107:8 illustrate. 


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


As I mentioned we encountered the two terms, “the men of Succoth” in Judges 8:4. They only surface together four other times, and only in this chapter. Who do they represent spiritually?  “Succoth” (H5523) is the plural form of  “cukkah”  (H5521), which is primarily translated as “booth” or “tabernacle,” as we see from the following passages:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The Hivites were one of the nations that inhabited the land of Canaan that God had bequeathed to His corporate people as we learn from both verse 1 of Deuteronomy 7:1-8 and also in Acts 13:19,


When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; {2} And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, [and] utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: {3} Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. {4} For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. {5} But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. {6} For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth. {7} The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye [were] the fewest of all people: {8} But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  


Acts 13:19 records: And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.


These seven nations represent the world which is why God gave the directives that He did in Deuteronomy 7 to Israel before they entered the Promised Land. Notice too, that the men of Shechem were deceived (albeit by Jacob’s sons in the historical context) and that falsehood led to their deaths. We also read the the following principle in Proverbs 11:7, which is also corroborated by James 1:14-15 and 1 John 2:15-17 respectively: 


When a wicked man dieth, [his] expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust [men] perisheth. 


But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. {15} Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 


Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} 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.


We want to keep in mind that Succoth typifies corporate Israel and by extension the end-time institutional churches and denominations and that Shechem is a portrait of the world. Let’s turn our attention to the phrase, and mete out in both Psalm 60:6 and Psalm 107:8.



And Mete Out [madad:H4058] 


This term is predominantly rendered as measure, as these next citations testify:


Verse 7 of Isaiah 65:1-7 is another denunciation of corporate Israel’s rebellion against God, and His judgment upon them:  I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name. {2} I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way [that was] not good, after their own thoughts; {3} A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; {4} Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable [things is in] their vessels; {5} Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These [are] a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day. {6} Behold, [it is] written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, {7} Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure [madad:H4058] their former work into their bosom.


We also see this measurement to death in 2 Samuel 8:1-2 with respect to the Moabites, which David commanded the captives to be divided into three lines; two lines would be killed, while the third line would be kept alive, highlighting yet another Biblical principle involving a “⅔ - ⅓” ratio: 


And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Methegammah out of the hand of the Philistines. {2} And he smote Moab, and measured [madad:H4058] them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured [madad:H4058] he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And [so] the Moabites became David's servants, [and] brought gifts.

A Closer Look At Shechem


I think we’ll stop here today, as I would like to take a closer look at Shechem in our next study in order to try to understand why it appears to represent something positive such as the burial place for the bones of Joseph or one of the cities of refuge for example, as opposed to something negative as we saw with the death of the Hivites by Jacob’s two sons, picturing the world.  

Judges 8 - Part 34

June 10, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 34 and today’s date is June 10, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:28-35,


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


Some Concluding Observations Regarding Shechem


As  I mentioned at the close of our last study today I would like to wrap up our discussion of Shechem, in order to try to understand why it appears to represent something positive such as the burial place for the bones of Joseph or one of the cities of refuge for example, as opposed to something negative as we saw with the death of the Hivites by Jacob’s two sons, picturing the world, as was concluded by our examination of the two identical passages, Psalm 60:6 and Psalm 107:8. 


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


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


  • In verse 9 of Hosea 6:4-11 Shechem is rendered as by consent, as God indicts both Israel and Judah with the sin of spiritual adultery or idolatry: {4} O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness [is] as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. {5} Therefore have I hewed [them] by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments [are as] the light [that] goeth forth. {6} For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. {7} But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. {8} Gilead [is] a city of them that work iniquity, [and is] polluted with blood. {9} And as troops of robbers wait for a man, [so] the company of priests murder in the way by consent [(Shekem:7927) (shekem:H7926)]: for they commit lewdness. {10} I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there [is] the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled. {11} Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.


  • The identically spelled root word for Shechem is the term for back or shoulder (shechem:H7926) and it is used negatively with respect to the fate of the wicked in verse 9 of Psalm 21:8-12 as them turn their back: Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. {9} Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them. {10} Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men. {11} For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, [which] they are not able [to perform]. {12} Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back [shechem:H7926], [when] thou shalt make ready [thine arrows] upon thy strings against the face of them.


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


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


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


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


We have correctly understood that God’s judgment began at His own house on May 21, 1988 at the start of the Great Tribulation, when the Holy Spirit left, thereby excluding any possibility of salvation or any other spiritual blessing upon the members of that formerly divine institution. God’s judgment against every church and denomination worldwide and without exception culminated on May 21, 2011 at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation, as God’s judgment then transitioned from the New Testament churches to the world at large, catapulting the entire unsaved population of the world into a state of spiritual death and annihilation (i.e., “hell”), and removing from them any possibility of salvation as well, as 1 Peter 4:17-18 and its Old Testament counterpart Jeremiah 25:29 both of which chronicle this transition of judgment from the churches to the world:


Jeremiah 25:29 proclaims: For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name [Jerusalem], and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.  


Likewise 1 Peter 4:17-18 reiterates: For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? {18} And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?


So we recognize that in this current day of judgment that we find ourselves the churches and the world are indistinguishable since they are both under God’s wrath.


Bare [yalad:H3205] Him A Son [ben:H1121]


We now want to turn to the next two words in Judges 8:31, bare and him a son, referring to the son, Abimelech, that was born to Gideon and his concubine in Shechem. We find these two terms used extensively in the genealogies of Genesis and throughout the Bible as well, as the following citations indicate: 


Job 5:7 is a unique verse, as the word son is actually two Hebrew words literally signifying “son of sparks,” but rendered as the sparks:  Yet man is born [yalad:H3205] unto trouble, as the sparks [ben:H1121] [resheph:H7565] fly upward.


Psalm 2:7 speaks of the resurrection of Christ at... the foundation of the world: I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son [ben:H1121]; this day have I begotten [yalad:H3205] thee.


Isaiah 7:14 is a prophecy concerning the Word became flesh: Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear [yalad:H3205] a son [ben:H1121], and shall call his name Immanuel.


Isaiah 9:6 likewise acknowledges:  For unto us a child is born [yalad:H3205], unto us a son [ben:H1121] is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.


Isaiah 54:1 alludes to the historical parable of Sarah and Isaac and Hagar and Ishmael that Galatians 4 further develops: Sing, O barren, thou [that] didst not bear [yalad:H3205]; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou [that] didst not travail with child: for more [are] the children [ben:H1121] of the desolate than the children [ben:H1121] of the married wife, saith the LORD.


Whose Name [shem:H8034] He Called [suwm:H7760]


The next phrase in Judges 8:31 is: whose name and he called, referring to Gideon who named his son, Abimelech. These two terms crop up in 33 other references and we will consider a few of them:


In 2 Samuel 7:23 these words are translated as: to himself and to make and him a name: And what one nation in the earth [is] like thy people, [even] like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make [suwm:H7760] him a name [shem:H8034], and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, [from] the nations and their gods?

1 Kings 18:25 renders these same terms as on the name and but put: And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress [it] first; for ye [are] many; and call on the name [shem:H8034] of your gods, but put [suwm:H7760] no fire [under].


Nehemiah 9:7 speaks of Abram’s name change to Abraham that God gave him: Thou [art] the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him [suwm:H7760] the name [shem:H8034] of Abraham;


Verse 2 of Psalm 66:1-12 includes these two expressions as of his name and make: [To the chief Musician, A Song [or] Psalm.] Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: {2} Sing forth the honour of his name [shem:H8034]: make [suwm:H7760] his praise glorious. {3} Say unto God, How terrible [art thou in] thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. {4} All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing [to] thy name. Selah. {5} Come and see the works of God: [he is] terrible [in his] doing toward the children of men. {6} He turned the sea into dry [land]: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him. {7} He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah. {8} O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: {9} Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved. {10} For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. {11} Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. {12} Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy [place].



Verse 30 of Jeremiah 7:30-34 translates these terms as they have set and my name in this chapter which highlights the sin of Judah, and by extension that of the end-time institutional churches and denominations: For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set [suwm:H7760] their abominations in the house which is called by my name [shem:H8034], to pollute it. {31} And they have built the high places of Tophet, which [is] in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded [them] not, neither came it into my heart. {32} Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place. {33} And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray [them] away. {34} Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.


Abimelech [’Abiymelek:H40]


This brings us to the man Abimelech, whose name is made of two Hebrews words, Ab (H1), or father which is comprised of the first two letters in the Hebrew alphabet - the aleph and the bet (corresponding to the Greek alpha and beta, and our English “a” and “b,” from which our English word, alphabet is derived. The second Hebrew expression is  melek (H4428), or king, or “father of the king.” Abimelech is only mentioned here in Judges 8:31 and in Judges 9, where he is prominently featured 33 other times, or for a total of  34 times. In light of that, I think I’ll wait until we get to Judges 9, Lord willing, to discuss him in greater detail. So let’s move on to verse 32:


Verse 32: And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 


Since we have already considered the names Gideon and his father Joash, I’ll start with the phrase, died in a good old age, which consists of three Hebrew words.


Died [muwth:H4191] In A Good [towb:H2896] Old Age [seybah:H7872]


These three terms are only found together in two other citations with regard to Abraham and David: 


Genesis 25:8 reveals: Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died [muwth:H4191] in a good [towb:H2896] old age [seybah:H7872], an old man, and full [of years]; and was gathered to his people.


Likewise we read about David in 1 Chronicles 29:28, And he died [muwth:H4191]  in a good [towb:H2896] old age [seybah:H7872], full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.


As we think about these statements they are very fitting to a life that has been blessed by one who has, by God’s mercy, been walking with the LORD. As such they have witnessed time and timeagain God’s gracious provision, care, and discipline that He showers down upon each of His elect as He had guided them on their pilgrimage while on earth. Certainly that journey is not without sorrow and tears, and pain, yet through all that God’s amazing and constant faithfulness as a loving Heavenly Father shines through as Psalm 90:1-17 so beautifully asserts:


[A Prayer of Moses the man of God.] Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. {2} Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God. {3} Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. {4} For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night. {5} Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are [as] a sleep: in the morning [they are] like grass [which] groweth up. {6} In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. {7} For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. {8} Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret [sins] in the light of thy countenance. {9} For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale [that is told]. {10} The days of our years [are] threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength [they be] fourscore years, yet [is] their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. {11} Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, [so is] thy wrath. {12} So teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom. {13} Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. {14} O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. {15} Make us glad according to the days [wherein] thou hast afflicted us, [and] the years [wherein] we have seen evil. {16} Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. {17} And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.


On that wonderful note we must bring today’s study to a close. Lord willing, in our next study we will resume our investigation of Judges 8:32.

Judges 8 - Part 35

June 12, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 35 and today’s date is June 12, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:28-35,


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


We are researching the last part of verse 32 which states the following concerning Gideon:  ...and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. The only remaining terms in this verse that we have not previously considered are: and was buried in the sepulchre, which consists of two identically spelled Hebrew terms; in fact in the sepulchre is a Hebrew noun, which stems from the Hebrew verb, and was buried. They appear together in 20 other references, and we will take a look at some of them, reminding us of what Ecclesiastes 9:2-3 discuss:


All [things come] alike to all: [there is] one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as [is] the good, so [is] the sinner; [and] he that sweareth, as [he] that feareth an oath. {3} This [is] an evil among all [things] that are done under the sun, that [there is] one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness [is] in their heart while they live, and after that [they go] to the dead.


And Was Buried [qabar:H6912] In The Sepulchre [qeber:H6913]


These two expressions are first found together in verses 4 and 6 of Genesis 23:1-20; you might recall this chapter as it gives the only death age of a woman in the Bible, which happens to be Abraham’s wife, Sarah:


And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: [these were] the years of the life of Sarah. {2} And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same [is] Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. {3} And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, {4} I [am] a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace [qeber:H6913] with you, that I may bury [qabar:H6912] my dead out of my sight. {5} And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him, {6} Hear us, my lord: thou [art] a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres [qeber:H6913]

 bury [qabar:H6912] thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead. {7} And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, [even] to the children of Heth. {8} And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar, {9} That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which [is] in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you. {10} And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, [even] of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying, {11} Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that [is] therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead. {12} And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land. {13} And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou [wilt give it], I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take [it] of me, and I will bury my dead there. {14} And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him, {15} My lord, hearken unto me: the land [is worth] four hundred shekels of silver; what [is] that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead. {16} And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current [money] with the merchant. {17} And the field of Ephron, which [was] in Machpelah, which [was] before Mamre, the field, and the cave which [was] therein, and all the trees that [were] in the field, that [were] in all the borders round about, were made sure {18} Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city. {19} And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same [is] Hebron in the land of Canaan. {20} And the field, and the cave that [is] therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth. 


This is a significant account as it includes the field and the cave which Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hittite for 400 (4 = “universality” X 100 “completeness”) shekels of silver in order to bury Sarah. All of the patriarchs were also buried here as we read in Genesis 49:29-33, as recorded after Jacob blesses the 12 tribes: 


And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that [is] in the field of Ephron the Hittite, {30} In the cave that [is] in the field of Machpelah, which [is] before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace. {31} There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. {32} The purchase of the field and of the cave that [is] therein [was] from the children of Heth. {33} And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people. 


The field is also defined as the world, according to verse 38 of Matthew 13:34-44, and in verse 44 the “treasure,” points to the elect:


All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: {35} That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. {36} Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. {37} He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; {38}  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one]; {39} The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. {40} As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. {41} The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; {42} And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. {43} Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. {44} Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 


The word, treasure, (thesauros:G2344) in Matthew 13:44 is a Greek expression from which we get our English word, “thesaurus.” We find it employed, for example, in the following Scriptures:


Luke 6:45 acknowledges: A good man out of the good treasure [thesauros:G2344] of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure [thesauros:G2344] of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.


Verse 34 of Luke 12:31-53 highlights this vital Biblical axiom: But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. {32} Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. {33} Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure [thesauros:G2344] in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. {34} For where your treasure [thesauros:G2344] is, there will your heart be also. {35} Let your loins be girded about, and [your] lights burning; {36} And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. {37} Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. {38} And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find [them] so, blessed are those servants. {39} And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. {40} Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. {41} Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? {42} And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom [his] lord shall make ruler over his household, to give [them their] portion of meat in due season? {43} Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. {44} Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. {45} But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; {46} The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. {47} And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not [himself], neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many [stripes]. {48} But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes]. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. {49} I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? {50} But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! {51} Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: {52} For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. {53} The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.


Verse 7 of 2 Corinthians 4:6-11 likewise affirms in this context that the treasure is the Word of God that believers possess in their souls, and by which they have been begotten or born again during the day of salvation: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. {7} But we have this treasure [thesauros:G2344] in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. {8} [We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; {9} Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; {10} Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. {11} For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.


Verse 3 of Colossians 2 includes this word to describe the perfect Wisdom and Knowledge that the Godhead shares, and is also contained within the pages of the Bible for the edification of God’s elect:  That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; {3} In whom are hid all the treasures [thesauros:G2344] of wisdom and knowledge.


Well, I seem to have gotten off course from Sarah’s burial place, so let’s consider verse 33.


Verse 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. 


With this verse we witness another “turn of the wheel”  as the cycle of  rebellion>oppression>deliverance>rest  starts all over again, even as we saw back in Judges 2:11-19 that depicts this familiar pattern:


And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: {12} And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that [were] round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. {13} 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 [zanah:H2181] other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; [but] they did not so. {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.


After [’achar:H310] Baalim [Ba`al:H1168]


We have already looked at a number of the words in this verse, so let’s begin with the two terms, after and Baalim, which is the plural form for Baal. These two expressions are found in seven other citations, as the subsequent references indicate:


In verses 18 and 21 of 1 Kings 18:17-21 we learn of Elijah’s dialogue with king Ahab and his proclamation to both the Israelites as well as to the 450 prophets of Baal atop of Mount Carmel: And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, [Art] thou he that troubleth Israel? {18} And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed [’achar:H310]  Baalim. {19} Now therefore send, [and] gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table. {20} So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. {21} And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow [halak:H1980] [’achar:H310]  him: but if Baal, [then] follow [’achar:H310]  him. And the people answered him not a word.


Israel rebellion is further delineated in verses 8 and 23 of Jeremiah 2:8-14, and 19-29, The priests said not, Where [is] the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal [Ba`al:H1168], and walked after [’achar:H310]  [things that] do not profit. {9} Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead. {10} For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. {11} Hath a nation changed [their] gods, which [are] yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for [that which] doth not profit. {12} Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. {13} For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, [and] hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. {14} [Is] Israel a servant? [is] he a homeborn [slave]? why is he spoiled? ... {19} Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that [it is] an evil [thing] and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear [is] not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts. {20} For of old time I have broken thy yoke, [and] burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot. {21} Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? {22} For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, [yet] thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD. {23} How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after [’achar:H310] Baalim? [Ba`al:H1168] see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: [thou art] a swift dromedary traversing her ways; {24} A wild ass used to the wilderness, [that] snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her. {25} Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go. {26} As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets, {27} Saying to a stock, Thou [art] my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned [their] back unto me, and not [their] face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. {28} But where [are] thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for [according to] the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah. {29} Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD.


We will have to stop here as we have run out of time. Lord willing, in our next study we will finish verse 33 and move on to verse 34.

 Judges 8 - Part 36

June 17, 2020


Good evening, and welcome to Searching The Scriptures! This will be Judges 8 - Part 36 and today’s date is June 17, 2020. I’ll read from Judges 8:28-35,


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


And Made [suwm:H7760] Their Gods [elohiym:H430]


In our last study we left off at the phrase in verse 33 ...and made Baalberith their god, which should be translated gods, since it is the plural form, elohiym. We have already considered the term, Baal, in some of our earlier studies, so let’s see how God utilizes the two terms and made and their gods:


Verse 13 of Jeremiah 11:1-13 renders these two terms, thy gods and have ye set up in connection with Baal as well: The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, {2} Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; {3} And say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Cursed [be] the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, {4} Which I commanded your fathers in the day [that] I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God: {5} That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as [it is] this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD. {6} Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them. {7} For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day [that] I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, [even] unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. {8} Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded [them] to do; but they did [them] not. {9} And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. {10} They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. {11} Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. {12} Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. {13} For [according to] the number of thy cities were thy gods [elohiym:H430], O Judah; and [according to] the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up [suwm:H7760] altars to [that] shameful thing, [even] altars to burn incense unto Baal.


Verse 19 of 1 Samuel 10:17-19 records Israel’s rebellion against God for desiring an earthly king to rule over them instead of God as their Husband and King; these words are rendered your God and set: And Samuel called the people together unto the LORD to Mizpeh; {18} And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, [and] of them that oppressed you:{19} And ye have this day rejected your God [elohiym:H430], who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, [Nay], but set [suwm:H7760] a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.


1 Kings 18:25 expresses these as your gods and but put in the contest that took place on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the prophets of Baal: And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress [it] first; for ye [are] many; and call on the name of your gods [elohiym:H430], but put [suwm:H7760] no fire [under].


We also learn of the wickedness that king Manasseh did in 2 Chronicles 33:7, in which these words appear as And he set and God (twice):  And he set [suwm:H7760] a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God [elohiym:H430], of which God [elohiym:H430] had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:


The context of Psalm 52:1-7 is based on the historical parable of the killing of 85 priests in the city of Nob by Doeg the Edomite at the command of King Saul; both Saul as well as Edom (or Esau) picture the end-time institutional churches and denominations; these two terms are found in verse 7 as [that] made and God:  [To the chief Musician, Maschil, [A Psalm] of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.] Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God [endureth] continually. {2} Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. {3} Thou lovest evil more than good; [and] lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. {4} Thou lovest all devouring words, O [thou] deceitful tongue. {5} God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of [thy] dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah. {6} The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him: {7} Lo, [this is] the man [that] made [suwm:H7760] not God [elohiym:H430] his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, [and] strengthened himself in his wickedness.


The fact that God’s judgment began at His own house first is also evident in the prophecy of Psalm 79:1-7, in which these terms are expressed as O God and they have laid:  [A Psalm of Asaph.] O God [elohiym:H430], the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid [suwm:H7760] Jerusalem on heaps. {2} The dead bodies of thy servants have they given [to be] meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. {3} Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and [there was] none to bury [them]. {4} We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us. {5} How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire? {6} Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name. {7} For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.


Verse 12 of Habakkuk 1:1-12 translates these two expressions as my God and thou hast ordained picks up this same theme as well: The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. {2} O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! [even] cry out unto thee [of] violence, and thou wilt not save! {3} Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause [me] to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence [are] before me: and there are [that] raise up strife and contention. {4} Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. {5} Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for [I] will work a work in your days, [which] ye will not believe, though it be told [you]. {6} For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, [that] bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces [that are] not theirs. {7} They [are] terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. {8} Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle [that] hasteth to eat. {9} They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up [as] the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand. {10} And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it. {11} Then shall [his] mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, [imputing] this his power unto his god. {12} [Art] thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God [elohiym:H430], mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained [suwm:H7760] them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.


This brings us to verse 34, and the first phrase that we have not researched previously: ...remembered not the LORD their God...


Verse 34: And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:


Remembered [zakar:H2142] Not The LORD [Yehovah:H3068] Their God [elohiym:H430]


These three words surface in 21 other passages, and here are just a few examples:


Three of these citations denote a negative connotation like Judges 8:34, and these are Deuteronomy 9:7, Jeremiah 23:36, and Isaiah 48:1 respectively:


Remember [zakar:H2142], [and] forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] thy God [elohiym:H430] to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD. [Yehovah:H3068] 


And the burden of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] shall ye mention [zakar:H2142] no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God [elohiym:H430], of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] of hosts our God. [elohiym:H430] 


Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068], and make mention of the God [elohiym:H430] of Israel, [but] not in truth, nor in righteousness.


All the other Scriptures which contain these three terms present a positive nuance as these next references maintain:


Deuteronomy 8:2 states: And thou shalt remember [zakar:H2142] all the way which the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] thy God [elohiym:H430] led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.


Joshua 1:13 likewise declares: Remember [zakar:H2142] the word which Moses the servant of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] commanded you, saying, The LORD [Yehovah:H3068] your God [elohiym:H430] hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.


And Psalm 20:7 testifies: Some [trust] in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember [zakar:H2142] the name of the LORD [Yehovah:H3068] our God. [elohiym:H430] 


Who Had Delivered [natsal:H5337] On Every Side [cabiyb:H5439]


The only other terms that we have not investigated in verse 34 are: who had delivered and on every side, and they only surface again together in 1 Samuel 12:11, which is a verse in which Gideon or Jerubbaal happens to be mentioned:


And the LORD sent Jerubbaal [Gideon], and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered [natsal:H5337]  you out of the hand of your enemies on every side [cabiyb:H5439], and ye dwelled safe. 



This brings us to the last verse in Chapter 8:


Verse 35: Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, [namely], Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.


Neither Shewed [`asah:H6213] They Kindness [checed:H2617] 


The two expressions, neither shewed and they kindness crop us in numerous verses that are positive in nature. One of them verse 16 of Psalm 109:1-20 is just the opposite and speaks of the fate of the wicked, and is an imprecatory psalm, in which David (“Christ”) is invoking God to punish the wicked; these terms are translated to shew and mercy. 


[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.] Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; {2} For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. {3} They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. {4} For my love they are my adversaries: but I [give myself unto] prayer. {5} And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. {6} Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. {7} When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. {8} Let his days be few; [and] let another take his office. {9} Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. {10} Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek [their bread] also out of their desolate places. {11} Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour. {12} Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children. {13} Let his posterity be cut off; [and] in the generation following let their name be blotted out. {14} Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. {15} Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. {16} Because that he remembered not to shew [`asah:H6213] mercy [checed:H2617], but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart. {17} As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. {18} As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones. {19} Let it be unto him as the garment [which] covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually. {20} [Let] this [be] the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul.


Well on that solemn note we will have to bring today’s study and chapter 8 to a close. Lord willing, in our next study we will embark on Judges 9, and learn quite a bit more about Gideon’s son, Abimelech.