Battle Over the Bibles

•June 25, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Since time memorial there has been numerous attempts to change the Word of God, sometimes covertly, sometimes overtly.

In Genesis, by believing the serpent, there was a corresponding disbelief and rejection as true what God had told them. This same process is still extant today. What God declares to be true, man ends up altering through addition, deletion or outright rejection and substitution.

Battle Over the Bibles by Walter Veith

Below are scattered excerpts from Walter Veith’s lectures

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. — this is very true, seeing first their own nakedness before anything else

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Deuteronomy 12:32 NKJV Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.

Proverbs 30:6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Revelation 22:18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

A. The Samaritan Pentateuch is Corrupt

The Samaritan Pentateuch varies in the Ten Commandments passages, in that Samaritans count as nine commandments what others count as ten. The Samaritan tenth commandment includes the sanctity of Mount Gerizim for worship. Additions after Exodus 20:1–17 (The Ten Commandments) 

And when it so happens that LORD God brings you to the land of Caanan, which you are coming to posses, you shall set-up there for you great stones and plaster them with plaster and you write on the stones all words of this law. And it becomes for you that across the Jordan you shall raise these stones, which I command you today, in mountain Grizim. And you build there the altar to the LORD God of you. Altar of stones. Not you shall wave on them iron. With whole stones you shall build the altar to LORD God of you. And you bring on it ascend offerings to LORD God of you, and you sacrifice peace offerings, and you eat there and you rejoice before the face of the LORD God of you. The mountain this is across the Jordan behind the way of the rising of the sun, in the land of Caanan who is dwelling in the desert before the Galgal, beside Alvin-Mara, before Sechem. — 169 additional words.

Also in Deuteronomy 5:21

And when it so happens that Yahuah God brings you to the land of Caanan, which you are coming to posses, you shall set-up there for you great stones and plaster them with plaster and you write on the stones all words of this law. And it becomes for you that across the Jordan you shall raise these stones, which I command you today, in mountain Grizim. And you build there the altar to the Yahuah God of you. Altar of stones. Not you shall wave on them iron. With whole stones you shall build the altar to Yahuah God of you. And you bring on it ascend offerings to Yahuah God of you, and you sacrifice peace offerings, and you eat there and you rejoice before the face of the Yahuah God of you. The mountain this is across the Jordan behind the way of the rising of the sun, in the land of Caanan who is dwelling in the desert before the Galgal, beside Alvin-Mara, before Sechem.

Q If Moses had been so sure he shouldn’t be so vague about where the LORD shall choose in Deut 16:15,16 (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: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty). Also, which mountain is Mt Grizim exactly, since they were so far off?

Q2 Is it a coincidence, the mentioning of the rising of the SUN? Why not just west of the Jordan, before Sechem? Today, they, together with most of the CoGs, keep their Feast of Weeks on Sundays. Always a Sunday!

Exodus 20:21And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God [was].And the Yahuah said to Moses to say: I heard what people have said. All that they have spoken to you, they have spoken wisely. All that they have spoken let them put in their hearts so that they can keep my commandments in all their days, so that it would be good to them and to sons of them forever. Prophet I shall raise up to them from the midsts of their brothers, and I will place words of me into his mouth to speak to them all that I’m commanding them. And it becomes that the man who will not listen to his words that are spoken in my name, I shall require from him. But the prophet who will speak insolently in my name that which I have not instructed him to speak, or if he speaks in the name of other Gods, such prophet shall die. And if you will ask yourself in your heart how you shall know which word God has spoken and which he has not, see if the word spoken comes to pass. And if it shall not come to pass then this is not the word of the Yahuah, in insolence spoken the prophet. Not you shall listen to him. Go now back to your tent and I will speak to you regarding all commandments and ordinances and verdicts that you shall teach them, and what to do in the land that I give them for possession. (It incorporates Exodus 18:18 and others: I will raise up to them a prophet of their brethren, like thee; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them as I shall command him. Samaritans believes this Prophet was to be from the line of the tribe of Levi, like Moses, not from the line of Judah, which the Jews believes.)

B. New Testament

ADDITIONS: Even in the King James Version

The Great Commission of baptizing in Jesus’ name

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: — not in the original Hebrew

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. — only need to baptize in the name of Jesus Christ

Acts 8:16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 11:16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ — but in Jesus’ name

Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. — only need to baptize in the name of Jesus Christ

John 4:1(NKJV) Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. — this illustrates what it means when the disciples baptized in Jesus’ name. Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. This should be the model for today.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. — so there is no need for additional authority, the Father nor the holy spirit.

John 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. — Jesus always emphasizes the Father and Son relationship.

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. — not in the original Greek

CHANGING THE WORD

Genesis 3:15 KJV And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Douay-Rheims (DRA), a Jesuit Bible: I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she [mother Mary? instead of her seed] shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

Jesus says he is the Gate to Life, but the Catholics say the Blessed Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, is the gate to life, so they pray to Mary; “Hail Mary, full of Grace! . . .”

Hosea 11:12 KJV Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints.

NIV Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God, even against the faithful Holy One. — totally anti-Jewish and opposite in meaning

AMP Ephraim surrounds Me with lies And the house of Israel with deceit; Judah is also unruly against God, Even against the faithful Holy One. — same here

CEV Israel is deceitful to me, their loyal and holy God; they surround me with lies, and Judah worships other gods. — same here

Matt 5:44 KJV But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

ESV But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Matt 18:11 KJV For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. — many versions whole verse taken out

Matt 20:16 KJV So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

ESV So the last will be first, and the first last.

Matt 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

NIV 22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” — NIV baptism deleted

Matt 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

ESV Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. — deleting until it doesn’t make sense

Matt 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

ESV “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. — I and my Father are One, hence Jesus should know His own coming, but in ESV, He doesn’t. It also implies that the Son and Father doesn’t work together.

If the Son doesn’t know that it contradicts John 1:1-3 where they plan everything together:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. John 1:1-3

Mark 2:17 KJV When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

ESV And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” — implies as if there is no need for repentance

Mark 6:11 KJV  And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

ESV And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them. — the world doesn’t like to hear of the day of judgement, like the Sadducees

Mark 10:21  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

ESV And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” — no need to take up the cross 

Mark 10:24  And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

ESV And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God!

NIV The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! — Abraham, Job and many others were rich, yet they are destined for the Kingdom of God.

Mark 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

ESV “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. — no reference to Daniel’s prophecy

Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

ESV “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

ESV And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” — there is no need to live by every word of God. Modern Christians want just to feel what is right or wrong, rather than by every word of God

Luke 9:55-56 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

ESV 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 And they went on to another village. — the world doesn’t like correction, doesn’t like to be rebuked

1 Cor 10:28 But if any man say unto you, this is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:

ESV But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience — no reference that the earth is of the Lord’s 

Revelation 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

ESV and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless. — no accountability before the throne of God

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

ESV Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. — no reference to obeying His commandments

Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

ESV And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” — no reference that Satan is always around us

Acts 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.

ESV As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. — eliminate the Jew’s sabbath by deleting the Jew’s

1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

ESV Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. — “for us” is eliminated

Hebrews 7:21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord swear and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek:)

ESV but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.’” — that Jesus has a higher level of priesthood after the order of Melchizedek” is eliminated

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

ESV You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, — wishy washy translation

Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

ESV and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. — no need to be converted

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

ESV and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

ESV in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. “through his blood” eliminated

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

AMP Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes (nations) of the earth will mourn over Him [realizing their sin and guilt, and anticipating the coming wrath]. So it is to be. Amen.

ASV Behold, he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him. Even so, Amen. — the change from judgement to that of being sorrowful for Christ

Mark 7:19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

ESV since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)

ERV Food does not go into a person’s mind. It goes into the stomach. Then it goes out of the body.” (When Jesus said this, he meant there is no food that is wrong for people to eat.)

NIV For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

ESV Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. — “fasting” taken out

John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

ESV We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.— diminished the fact that Jesus has intimate relationship with the Father, also the work of salvation can only be done by Christ

1 Corinthians 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

ESV For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

ESV And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, — the article “the” is eliminated, so the judgement isn’t a specific one, so purgatory could be established

Luke 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;

NIV to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, — a total change of meaning, so now you can pray to our ancestors who are already dead. Again establishing the concept of purgatory

1 Peter 4:6 For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

RSV For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the spirit like God.

NIV For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. 

Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

ESV having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. — ‘of the dead‘ deleted

Purgatory Incorporated

Job 26:5 Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.

ESV The dead tremble under the waters and their inhabitants.

NIV “The dead are in deep anguish, those beneath the waters and all that live in them. — establishing the concept of purgatory

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

NIV if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. — In our hard copy version, the last phase, “while continuing their punishment” was in but the online version taken out! This means the concept of purgatory could be taken in or out!

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

ESV and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

1 Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: — active voice

ESV that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, — passive voice

1 Corinthians 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

ESV and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” — eliminate Christ’s body being broken for us, especially on the night of the thirteenth where He was severely beaten and wounded for our sin, and healing.

John 7:8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come.

ESV You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” — ESV version shows He has no intent to go to the Feast, which isn’t right

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

RSV Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. — this nonsense follows the Masoretic Text

Proverbs 8:22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

RSV The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. 

NIV “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; — Strong’s H7069 — could be both possessed or created! 

Daniel 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

ESV He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” — maybe the son of a pagan god

Matthew 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

ESV but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. — neglect to indicate that Jesus had brothers

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

RSV 16 And behold, one came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” — change of emphasis

Matthew 27:35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

ESV And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. — eliminate the fact that Jesus fulfilled prophecy

Mark 15:3 And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.

RSV And the chief priests accused him of many things. — eliminate the fact that Jesus fulfilled the Isaiah 53:7 prophecy

1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

ESV and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

NIV but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. — “that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” is the central theme in this verse, so these new versions were written or translated with the spirit of antichrist? or no?

Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

ESV Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, — reduces the “Christ” impact, also the antichrist criteria pointed out above, that He came in the flesh

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

ESV And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

ESV And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. — “which art in heaven” and “Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth” taken out, so that you can now pray to the Pope as father, one on earth.

Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

ESV and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation. — ‘but deliver us from evil’ taken out

Luke 24:40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. — in the RSV whole verse taken out

John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

ESV No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. — eliminate the fact that Christ is now in heaven

VOICE No one has ever journeyed to heaven above except the One who has come down from heaven—the Son of Man, who is of heaven. — best translation

John 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

RSV For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” — reduces Christ emphasize to just bread

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

ESV Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. — believes what? The Pope?

John 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

ESV “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” — because I go to the Father’ taken out

John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

RSV In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name. — change of meaning altogether. NRSV and NIV okay!

Acts 9:29 And he (Paul) spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

ESV And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists. But they were seeking to kill him. — “in the name of the Lord Jesus” taken out

Romans 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

ESV concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh — “Jesus Christ our Lord” taken out

Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

ESV Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; — impact of Jesus Christ as our God reduce by such change

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

ESV Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

Revelation 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

ESV saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” — “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last” deleted

Revelation 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

ESV And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. — “him that liveth for ever and ever” taken out

DEDUCTIONS: What are those missing verses in your RSV and NIV Bible?

The NIV has removed at least 64,000 words from the Bible …

The NIV and RSV and other versions have also now removed 45 complete verses. Most of us have the Bible on our devices and phones. Changing the Word slowing and consistently, and but the end of a hundred years or so, a new “religion” could be found.

The King James Version is still the most reliable, and for modern versions either the New King James or the KJ21.

Matthew 17:21 “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” — ESV whole verse taken out

Matthew 23:14 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” — ESV whole verse taken out, reducing the impact of judgement

Mark 7:16 “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” — ESV whole verse taken out

Mark 9:44 “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” — ESV whole verse taken out

Mark 9:46 “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” — ESV whole verse taken out

Mark 11:26 “But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” — ESV whole verse taken out

Mark 15:28 “And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.” — ESV whole verse taken out, they don’t like the idea that Jesus fulfilled prophecy

Mark 16:9-20 (all 12 verses) — in ESV but not in NIV

9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.

11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (KJV) — why the NIV took this out? They don’t believe that Jesus was resurrected (raised from the dead).

Luke 17:36 “Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” — not in NIV; (ESV?)

Luke 22:43-44 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. — ESV whole verses taken out; not wanting to hear that Jesus was human or that He atoned for our sins by shedding His blood

Luke 23:17 “(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)” — ESV whole verse taken out, not wanting to show that Jesus fulfilled prophecy

John 5:4 “For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.” — ESV whole verse taken out

John 7:53-8:11

KJV &:53 And every man went unto his own house.

KJV 8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. — ESV whole section taken out, not wanting to hear about repentance

Acts 8:37 KJV And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. — ESV and many other versions where whole verse taken out. Its deletion makes one think that people can be baptized and saved without believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God. They dislike the fact that Jesus is the only way to be saved.

Acts 15:34 KJV “Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.” — ESV whole verse taken out.

Acts 24:7 KJV “But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,” — ESV whole verse taken out.

Acts 28:29 KJV “And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.” — ESV whole verse taken out.

Romans 16:24 KJV “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” — ESV whole verse taken out

I John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” — not in the early Greek manuscript

Gal 3:17 KJV And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

ESV This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. — “in Christ” is taken out

Gal 4:7 (KJV) Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

ESV So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. — so there is no need to go through Christ

Gal 6:17 (KJV) From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

ESV From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. — Jesus is no longer consider Lord

Eph 3:14 KJV For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

ESV For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, — Jesus is no longer needed nor considered Lord to be bowed

Col 1:2 KJV To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

ESV To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. — Jesus is no longer consider Lord

Col 1:14 KJV In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

ESV in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. — Jesus’ blood is no longer needed

1 Tim 2:7 KJV Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

ESV For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth — “in Christ” is not needed

2 Tim 4:22 KJV The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

ESV The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. — the Lord is not identified

1 Tim 3:16 KJV And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

(ESV) Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:

He was manifested in the flesh, — diminishing the fact that Christ was once God

vindicated by the Spirit,

seen by angels,

proclaimed among the nations,

believed on in the world,

taken up in glory.

For more, see 01 Battle Over the Bibles Walter Veith

“I AM THAT I AM”

•June 23, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The “I AM has been used to prove that the Divine Being of the Old Testament is the same as Christ of the New Testament.

Is this correct? Or is this misguided?

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.

Additional view from the OT perspective by Rabbi Tovia Singer. Highly recommended.

“I am that I am” is this the name of God?

First, it’s confusing to prove anything by mixing Greek with Hebrew. Jesus was merely stating that He was present during Abraham’s time rather that His name is “I am.” The phrase “I am” in Greek is “ego eimi.” In fact, when Yeshua spoke to the Jews, he used the phrase “ego eimi” at least twenty times and yet, in only one instance did the Jews seek to stone him (John 8:58).

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” to a large crowd in John 6:35,48, yet no one opposed him. In verse 41, the Jews murmured because he said, “I am (ego eimi) the bread which came down from heaven.” But in verse 42, the Jews questioned only the phrase, “I came down from heaven” and ignored “ego eimi.” The same is true of verses 51 and 52. Their complaints being that He claims He came down from heaven, not because of the “I am”. Yet they didn’t attempt to stone him.

In John 8:12,18,24, and 28, Jesus used “ego eimi” with the Pharisees present (vs.13) and yet, no attempt at stoning. He again used it four times in John 10:7,9,11 and 14 with no stoning. Jesus said to his disciples,“… that…ye may believe that I am (ego eimi)” in John 13:19 without them batting an eye.

A slight of hand! A pigeon!

In fact, several other individuals beside Jesus used “ego eimi” as well. In Luke 1:19, the angel Gabriel said, “Ego eimi Gabriel.” In John 9:9, the blind man whose sight was restored by Yeshua said, “Ego eimi.” In Acts 10:21, Peter said, “Behold, ego eimi (I am) he whom ye seek.” Obviously, the mere use of “ego eimi” does not equate one to the “I Am” of Exodus 3:14.

Only the claim of being present before Abraham caused the Jews to stone Him. 

Later in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was answering the question “Whom seek ye?” They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said unto them, “I am He.” John 18:4-5. Jesus didn’t say he was the God of the Old Testament, the God who said he was the Ehyeh that appeared to Moses before the burning bush (Exodus 3:14).

WE (Worldwide English) translation of John 8:58: Jesus answered, `I tell you the truth. I already was before Abraham was born.’ TLB Jesus: “The absolute truth is that I was in existence before Abraham was ever born!” Same with Luke 22:70 where “I am” is just an affirmation of what His accusers were charging Him of in the WE version.

Those who insist that Jesus was the I AM of the Old Testament is just simply MAGIC! A touch of Simon Magus.

Exodus 3:14 The fact that the “I AM THAT I AM” couldn’t be certain of God’s name is that it hasn’t been translated (or untranslated) the same in other primary sources. This means that the “I AM” as translated in the Masoretic Text is of great suspect.

1. Septuagint translated it as “And God spoke to Moses, saying, I am THE BEING; and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of Israel, THE BEING has sent me to you. — note that the “I am” above wasn’t emphasized, but THE BEING is;

2. Targum: a. Onkelos: And the Lord said unto Mosheh, He who spake, and the world was; who spake, and all things were. And He said, This thou shalt say to the sons of Israel, I AM HE WHO IS, AND WHO WILL BE, hath sent me unto you.

Jerusalem: And the Word of the Lord said to Mosheh, He who spake to the world, Be, and it was; and who will speak to it, Be, and it will be. And he said, Thus shalt thou speak to the sons of Israel, EHEYEH hath sent me unto you

3. Pershitta (Lamsa’s translation): And God said to Moses, I am AHIAH ASHAR HIGH (that is, THE LIVING GOD); and he said, Thus you say to the children of Israel, AHIAH has sent me to you.

4. TANAKH (JPS 1985): And God said to Moses, “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh.”a He continued, “Thus shall you said to the Israelites, ‘Ehyeh sent me to you.’” fn a Meaning of Hebrew uncertain.

5. Vulgate: God said to Moses: I AM WHO AM. He said: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: HE WHO IS, hath sent me to you.

The hard copy of TANAKH (JPS 1985) differs from the JPS 1917 online. JPS seems to change back and forth what Ehyeh meant, indicating indeed they are uncertain of its meaning.

YHVH told Moses He haven’t revealed His name to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Exodus 6:2-3 And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but My name Lord I was not known to them.

Further commentary from Adam Clarke on Exodus 3:14

Adam Clarke: I am that I am – אהיה אשר אהיה Eheyeh asher Eheyeh . These words have been variously understood. The Vulgate translates Ego Sum Qui Sum, I am who am. The Septuagint, Εγω ειμι ὁ Ων, I am he who exists. The Syriac, the Persic, and the Chaldee preserve the original words without any gloss. The Arabic paraphrases them, The Eternal, who passes not away; which is the same interpretation given by Abul Farajius, who also preserves the original words, and gives the above as their interpretation. The Targum of Jonathan, and the Jerusalem Targum paraphrase the words thus: “He who spake, and the world was; who spake, and all things existed.” As the original words literally signify, I will be what I will be, some have supposed that God simply designed to inform Moses, that what he had been to his fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he would be to him and the Israelites; and that he would perform the promises he had made to his fathers, by giving their descendants the promised land. It is difficult to put a meaning on the words; they seem intended to point out the eternity and self-existence of God. Plato, in his Parmenides, where he treats sublimely of the nature of God, says, Ουδ ‘ αρα ονομα εστιν αυτῳ, nothing can express his nature; therefore no name can be attributed to him. See the conclusion of this chapter, Exodus 3:22; (note) and on the word Jehovah, Exodus 34:6; (note), Exodus 34:7; (note).

The Significance of Yom Kippur

•June 21, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. It is the most sacred and solemn day in the Jewish calendar. Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, the day is spent in the synagogue, where attendees hold prayer services.

On Yom Kippur the High Priest would perform a specially prescribed service, which includes offering incense in the Holy of Holies (where the ark was housed) and the casting of the two goats—one of which was brought as a sacrifice, the blood to be offered on the Mercy Seat; the other being sent out to the wilderness (Azazel) and cast down a terrain.

While the High Priest generally wore ornate golden clothing, on Yom Kippur, he would immerse in a mikvah and don plain white garments to perform this service.

Neither the Jews for Judiasm nor Rabbi Tovia Singer has any writup on what the Significance of Yom Kippur is.

Leviticus 23

26 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, — On the tenth day of the seventh month the day of atonement was to be observed by a holy meeting, by fasting from the evening of the ninth till the evening of the tenth, by resting from all work on pain of death, and with sacrifices; 

27 “Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. — there shall be a day of atonement … and ye shall afflict your souls; an unusual festival, at which the sins of the whole year were expiated. It is here only stated that the severest penalty was incurred by the violation of this day.

28 And ye shall do no work in that same day, for it is a Day of Atonement to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God. — Yom Kippur is a complete Sabbath; no work can be performed on that day. It is well-known that you are supposed to refrain from eating and drinking (even water) on Yom Kippur. 

29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. — any member of the community who does not fast on this day God himself will punish with death, except those who through old age or sickness are unable to endure it; or a child under nine years of age, were not obliged to fast on this day.

30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. — that doeth any work; that is, engages in any kind of work whatsoever, since this is the most solemn festival which is to be kept like the sabbath.

31 Ye shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. — ye shall do no manner of work; which is repeated and to show how strictly God required this day should be kept, and how careful men should be of breaking the command in this respect, and how much he should resent it if they did:

— it shall be a statute for ever, throughout your generations, in all your dwellings; unto the coming of the Messiah, who, by the atoning sacrifice of himself, would foreshadow Christ’s death; and after his death, an memorial of his sacrifice as would be other sacrifices, Ezekiel 40-48.

32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening unto evening, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.” — from even to even; the day of atonement began at the evening of the ninth day and continued till the evening of the tenth day;

— ye shall celebrate your sabbath; this particular sabbath is called your sabbath, possibly to denote the difference between this and other sabbaths; for the weekly sabbath is often called the sabbath of the Lord. 

Leviticus 16

And the Lord spoke unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the Lord, and died;

and the Lord said unto Moses, “Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the Holy Place within the veil before the mercy seat which is upon the ark, that he die not; for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. — that he come not at all times; Moses is therefore to warn his brother Aaron, the high priest, that if he wishes to escape a similar fate, he is not to presume to enter the Holy of Holies except on one day of the year, the Day of Atonement.

Thus shall Aaron come into the Holy Place: with a young bullock for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.

He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen miter shall he be attired. These are holy garments. Therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on. — the white clothing was both intended to symbolize humility and penitence, for white is the colour in which penitents are naturally dressed;

— also it was symbolical of the purity and holiness which the ceremonies of the day symbolically affected, and which was specially needed to be exhibited in the person of the high priest.

And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. — and he shall take of the congregation; on this occasion the high priest himself had to officiate, by virtue of his being the chief mediator between God and His people.

And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself and for his house.

And he shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. — both two goats were presented before the Lord; 

And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats — one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat (5799 לַעֲזָאזֵֽל la·‘ă·zā·zêl). — One lot for the Lord; to be sacrificed to him upon his altar. Both this and the other goat ă·zā·zêl typified Christ; that is, these two goats signified the two aspect of Christ our Messiah; One as the Son of God, the other as the Suffering Servant of Man;

— Rashi: And Aaron shall place lots upon the two he-goats: He would place one [he-goat] on his right and one on his left. Then, he would insert both his hands into an urn [which contained two lots, one bearing the inscription “to the Lord” and the other “to Azazel.” These lots were mixed up, and Aaron, with both hands inside the urn] took one lot in his right hand and the other in his left hand, and he would place them upon them [the he-goats]: [The one] upon which [he placed the lot] with the inscription “to the Lord,” would be for God, while the one upon which [he placed the lot] with the inscription “to Azazel,” would be sent off to Azazel. — [Yoma 39a]

Azazel: This is a strong and hard mountain, [with] a high cliff, as the Scripture says [in describing Azazel] (verse 22 below),“a precipitous land (אֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה),” meaning a cut-off land [i.e., a sheer drop]. — [Torath Kohanim 16:28; Yoma 67b]

And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. — the one which was “for the Lord had a red woollen thread tied around its neck, whilst the one “for Azazel” had the scarlet thread tied on the head or on the horns;

— this seems a probability, that the goat upon which the Lord’S lot fell represents the Son of God;

10 But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him and to let him go as a scapegoat into the wilderness. — and the one “for Azazel” represents the Son of Man; he was sent into the wilderness where he would be pushed over a cliff and to die there; he represents the Suffering Servant of Man as in Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12.

11 “And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself.

12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it inside the veil. — and his hands full of sweet incense; having provided himself with two handfuls of the finest incense, and holding the censer with the fire in his right hand, and the cup with the incense in his left, he now entered for the first time through the second vail into the Holy of Holies, advanced to the ark of the covenant, and deposited the censer between its two staves;

— during the second Temple he stepped forward to the stone which was the substitute of the Ark, and placed the censer upon it.

13 And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not. — standing before the Ark, he deposited the censer of coals on the floor, emptied the plate of incense into his hand, poured it on the burning coals; and the atmosphere was filled with fragrant smoke, which was the Lord’s throne.

14 And he shall take of the blood of the bullock and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. — the high priest having done this, perfumed the sanctuary, returned to the door, took the blood of the slain bullock, and, carrying it into the holy of holies, sprinkled it with his finger once upon the mercy seat “eastward”—that is, on the side next to himself; and seven times “before the mercy seat” that is, on the front of the Ark.

The same use is made of the blood, which is once sprinkled by Aaron on the mercy-seat and seven times on the ground before it, as in the former case. 

15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. — leaving the coals and the incense burning, he went out a second time, to sacrifice at the altar of burnt offering the goat which had been assigned as a sin offering for the people; and carrying its blood into the holy of holies, he made similar sprinklings as he had done before with the blood of the bullock.

16 And he shall make an atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel and because of their transgressions in all their sins; and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. — for the second times, he went out of the Holy of Holies and killed it outside the Sanctuary on its north side, and then returned to the Holy Place and the altar of burnt offering; and in like manner sprinkled seven times with the blood of the bullock and the goat.

— Rashi: He shall do likewise to the Tent of Meeting: i.e., just as he had sprinkled from [the blood of] both [the bull and the he-goat] inside [the Holy of Holies, with] one sprinkling above and seven below, so shall he sprinkle from [the blood of] both [the bull and the he-goat] on the dividing curtain from the outside once above and seven times below. — [Torath Kohanim 16:43; Yoma 56b]

17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the Holy Place until he come out, and has made an atonement for himself and for his household and for all the congregation of Israel. — while the high priest was thus engaged in the most holy place, none of the ordinary priests were allowed to remain within the precincts of the tabernacle.

18 And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the Lord and make an atonement for it, and shall take of the blood of the bullock and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. — and he shall go out unto the altar; the authorities during the second Temple took this to denote the golden altar, or the altar of incense which stood in the Holy place over against the Holy of Holies, as this was the altar for which expiation was made once a year on this day; hence it was cleansed next.

19 And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. — and for the third times he shall sprinkle; he then sprinkled with his right finger, seven times, the middle or top of the altar, the coals and ashes having been previously removed so effectually, that the gold appeared. 

20 “And when he hath made an end of reconciling the Holy Place and the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. — and when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place; that is, the holy of holies, by carrying in the blood of the bullock, and of the goat there, and sprinkling them as before:

21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. — and Aaron shall lay both his hands; with the imposition of “both his hands,” a phrase which only occurs in this ceremony, the high priest indicated in the most solemn manner possible that the animal was intended both for the priesthood and for the laity.

— both goat were sacrificed as a sin offering, and this other led away into a solitary land. Putting them upon the head of the goat; by this imposition of hands and the confession, the high priest transferred the sins of the nation to the goat. He then turned to the people, and declared, “Ye shall be clean.”

— Matthew Poole: the Jews write that this goat was carried to the mountain called Azazel, whence the goat is so called, Leviticus  Leviticus 16:10; and that there he was cast down headlong; and that the red string by which he was led turned white when God was pleased with the Israelites, otherwise it remained red; and then they mourned all that year. And the ancient Hebrews write, that forty years before the destruction of the temple, which was about the time of Christ’s death, this red string turned no more white.

22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited; and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

— According to Ellicott’s commentary:

During the second Temple, however, the authorities decreed that the animal must be destroyed. Accordingly one of the priests who was appointed to execute this mission led the goat to a rock called Zuck, in the wilderness, situate about twelve miles, or ninety furlongs, from Jerusalem.

Between the holy city and this steep rock, ten booths were erected at intervals of one mile, and persons were located in every booth to accompany the messenger to the next tent, which was distant a Sabbath day’s journey. From the last booth to the rock, which was double this distance, the messenger had no companion, but he was carefully watched by the occupants of the last booth to see that he performed the ritual according to the prescribed order.

On his arrival at the mountain he divided the crimson thread, which was the badge of the goat, into two; one half he fastened to the rock, and the other he tied between the two horns of the victim, and then pushed the animal down the projecting ledge of the rock, when it was dashed to pieces before it reached the bottom. Hereupon the persons stationed at the last booth to watch the proceedings waved linen cloths or white flags, thus signalling from station to station to the priests in the court of the Temple the arrival of the goat at its proper destination.

23 “And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the Holy Place and shall leave them there; — shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation; better, shall come into the tent of meeting;

— this was the fourth time that the high priest entered into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. The object of his going into the most Holy was to fetch the censer and the incense cup which he had left between the two staves, Leviticus 16:12. To do this he had again to bathe which always accompanied the change of garments and to put on his white robes.

24 and he shall wash his flesh with water in the Holy Place and put on his garments, and come forth and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself and for the people. — bathing in the holy place, that is, in that part of the sanctuary set apart for that purpose; and put on his garments and come forth; put on his golden garments, and come out of the place where he had washed himself, to the court, where was the altar of burnt offering: 

25 And the fat of the sin offering shall he burn upon the altar. — and the fat of the sin offering; that is, the fat of the inwards of both the bullock and the goat.

26 And he that let go the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp. — both he who led away the goat, and he who burned the parts of the sin-offerings had to purify themselves. They who went out of the camp during a religious solemnity incurred uncleanness; hence, the need of purification.

27 And the bullock for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, shall one carry forth outside the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins and their flesh and their dung. — as the blood of the bullock and the goat which had been offered in the special sacrifices of the day had been carried within the sanctuary (verses 14, 15), their bodies had to be burnt outside the camp;

— the fact of Christ’s having “suffered outside the camp” serves as an indication that his blood had in its atoning effects been carried into the holy of holies, to be presented before the Mercy Seat, before the Father.

28 And he that burneth them shall wash his clothes and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp. — the man who took the goat into the desert and those who burned the two sin-offerings outside the camp, had also to wash their clothes and bathe their bodies before they returned to the camp, because they had been defiled by the animals laden with sin.

29 “And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country or a stranger who sojourneth among you; — was to be observed as a solemn fast, in which “they were to afflict their souls” it was reckoned a sabbath, kept as a season of “holy convocation,” or assembling for religious purposes;

— any person who performed any labor on Yom Kippur were subject to the death penalty.

30 for on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. — for on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you to cleanse you; by offering the sin offering for them; typical of the sacrifice of Christ, whose soul was made an offering for sin whereby atonement is made for it, and whose blood cleanses from all sin;

— that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord; which is a general phrase; as Christ by his blood and sacrifice has cleansed all his people from all their sins of every sort, so that they stand pure and clean, unblamable and unreproveable, before the throne of God, and in his sight.

31 It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. — directions for the yearly celebration of the day of atonement; it was to be kept on the tenth day of the seventh month, as an “everlasting statute”

32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments; — and the priest, whom he shall anoint; better, and the priest who shall be anointed. Not only is Aaron to make atonement on this occasion but in future the priest who shall be consecrated by the proper authorities as his successor to the pontificate shall perform this act of expiation on the Day of Atonement.

33 and he shall make an atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests and for all the people of the congregation.

34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you: to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year.” And he did as the Lord commanded Moses. — this shall be an everlasting statute unto you. It lasted as long as the earthly Jerusalem lasted, and until the heavenly Jerusalem was instituted, when it had a spiritual fulfillment once for all.

A Study of Zechariah 12:10

•June 19, 2022 • Leave a Comment

As prophecised by Joel, “I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh” the veil of blindness will be removed and the Jews shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son; they’ll grieve and lament the crucifying of their Lord Jesus Christ, not only as the sinful, cruel act of their fathers, but that they had a great share of guilt by denying Hin when every eye shall see Him.

Zechariah 12:10 predicts the piercing of the Son of God, the Messiah, fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus Christ when He died on the cross and was pierced by a spear in His side (John 19:36–37). The complete fulfillment of this verse awaits the last days when the Jewish people will plead for mercy from the One whom they have pierced.

The presentation here is the correct view. Alternate views presented by Rabbi Tovia Singer; and Jews for Judiasm or here are linked for your study.

Zechariah 12

The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord who stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him:

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All who burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

In that day,” saith the Lord, “I will smite every horse with astonishment and his rider with madness. And I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness;

and the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts, their God.’

“In that day will I make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf, and they shall devour all the people round about on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.

“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David, and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.

And it shall come to pass in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10 And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one who is in bitterness for his firstborn. — this verse indicates a future time when the Jewish people will plead for the mercy of God, which will happen when they see “the one they have pierced.”

— this verse was mentioned in John 19:36-37 when Jesus, hanging on the cross, was pierced with a spear: “For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled . . . They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” And Revelation 1:7 adds, “Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.”

— these prophecies are a fulfilment to Zechariah 12:10Isaiah 53:5 also predicts that the Messiah would be pierced: “But he was pierced for our transgressions.”

— and the Jews shall look upon Me whom they have pierced (H1856 – dāqar דָּקַר to pierce, piercing through), as they nailed their Messiah to the cross, John 19:34Revelation 1:7, or by piercing His side with a spear; and they shall mourn for Him as one mourn for his only son, acknowledging their transgression in killing the Prince of Life, Acts 3:15, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn, almost the greatest grief and sorrow known to the Jews;

— the Speaker is the Son of God, the Messiah. The Jews had pierced Him metaphorically by their accusation before the Roman governor during His trial in Jerusalem. They pierced Him, literally and as the crowning act of their blindness, in crusifying the Being of God’s Son upon the Cross,

  they shall mourn for him; they shall heartily lament the crucifying of the Lord Jesus, not only as the sinful, cruel act of their fathers, as one mourneth for his only son; with an unfeigned and real, a great and long-continued, a deep and lasting sorrow, such as is the sorrow of a father on the death of an only son:

— Rashi: as one mourns over an only son: As a man mourns over his only son. And our Sages expounded this in tractate Sukkah (52a) as referring to the Messiah, son of Joseph, who was slain;

— Rashi rightly quoted the Targum Sukkah (52a) about the Messiah to come from one Yeshua, a son of Joseph, of the house of David, yet they are blindsided to Him as the Son of God and as the fulfilment of the Messiah’s first coming; (reference to this “piercing” disappeared in the Masoretic Text, an example of the lying pen of the scribes: Jeremiah 8:8; or perhaps the lying tongues of their Sages).

11 “In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the Valley of Megiddo. — on that day, in the future when the realization of the greatness of their crime in putting their own Messiah to death, shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem as is ever the case when men realize that their sins were the cause of Christ’s death;

— as the mourning of Hadadrimmon, when the men of Judah mourned so bitterly over the death of their King Josiah, who was mortally wounded near that place in the Plain of Esdraelon, II Chronicles 35:22 ff. in the Valley of Megiddon.

And from Wikipedia (Zechariah): Zechariah’s prophecies took place during the reign of Darius the Great and were contemporary with Haggai in a post-exilic world after the fall of Jerusalem in 587/586 BC. Ezekiel and Jeremiah wrote before the fall of Jerusalem while continuing to prophesy in the early exile period. Scholars believe Ezekiel, with his blending of ceremony and vision, heavily influenced the visionary works of Zechariah 1–8. Zechariah is specific about dating his writing (520–518 BC). — it just doesn’t make sense that a prophecy of a future “shall” (more at the end) to refer to a past to king Josiah (reign 640–609 BC), who lived and died well over a hundred years earier! More appropriately, the mourning for Josiah was a foreshadowing of a greater one to be fulfilled.

12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart: the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; — and the land shall mourn, each family by itself: the family of David by itself, and the wives by themselves; the family of Nathan by itself, and the wives by themselves;

13 the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; — the family of Levi by itself, and the wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and the wives by themselves;

14 all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. — all the families that remain, that is, the whole nation shall be born; every family apart and their wives separately. Nor would this sorrow of true repentance be in vain. Zechariah 13:1

— on that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to the entire nation, as representative of the Kingdom of God in the Millenium, in whose members the blood of the Messiah, shed for the sins of the whole world, has prepared a water which thoroughly cleanses sinners from their uncleanness.

~~~~

Zechariah 12:10

From the Chabad Bible

And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplications. And they shall look to me because of those who have been thrust through [with swords], and they shall mourn over it as one mourns over an only son and shall be in bitterness, therefore, as one is embittered over a firstborn son.

From OJB (Orthodox Jewish Bible)

And I will pour upon the Bais Dovid, and upon the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, the Ruach (Spirit) of Chen (grace) and of Tachanunim (supplications for favor); and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced [dakar, “pierce through” cf. Yeshayah 53:5; Targum HaShivim Tehillim 22:17], and they shall mourn for Him (Moshiach) as one mourneth for his yachid (only son), and shall grieve in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his bechor (firstborn).

Both sources are prophecies, to be fulfilled in the future; it just doesn’t make sense to prophecise a past! More appropriately, the mourning for Josiah was a foreshadowing of a greater mourning to be fulfilled.

“Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see” Isaiah 42:18

“His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark, sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” Isaiah 56:10

Israel today, as in the past, has many blind shepherd.

A Study of Genesis 18 & 19 

•June 17, 2022 • Leave a Comment

While Abraham was thus sitting about noon, he saw three men coming. These three heavenly beings were in human bodies. Some think they were all created angels; others, that one of them was the Son of God, the Messiah.

During the encounter, Abraham managed to perceive that one of them was the LORD (יְהוָ֗ה). Bear in mind that 5 of the 134 changes from LORD (יְהוָ֗ה) to Adonai (אֲדֹנָ֗י) as listed by E.W. Bullinger in Appendix 32 of The Companion Bible occured in these two chapters: namely Genesis 18:3,27,30,32; and Genesis19:18.

By such tampering, the Sopherim corrupted the Sacred Text; hence, sadly, the Jews couldn’t figure out the second Being in the Godhead and remain blinded to this day. A result of “the lying pen of the scribes has turned my words into a lie,” says Jeremiah 8:8!

Alternate view by Jews for Judiasm for your study.

Genesis 18

1 And the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. — right at the start, the LORD יְהוָ֗ה Yehovah was introduced;

And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him. And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground — and lo, three men; these three were three heavenly beings assuming human shapes, that they might be visible to Abraham, and conversable with him; although we couldn’t be sure if all three were יְהוָ֗ה, but at least we could be sure there one יְהוָ֗ה in an human form is.

and said, “My Lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י ’ă·ḏō·nāy), if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. — “My Lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י)” should be changed back to “My LORD (יְהוָ֗ה),” one of the 134 changes to the Sacred Text made by the Sopherim;

— the Sopherim (ancient scribes, as well as many of today’s translators), upon reading this, couldn’t believe the Deity יְהוָ֗ה came down from heaven to mix with men, for there was a belief that God could not be seen and if anyone who had seen God would die; so the scribes took upon themself and changed it to “My Lord(אֲדֹנָ֗י).” They left the Changed Text on the side of the page and E.W. Bullinger came alone and collade all the 134 changes (more at the end).

— but Abraham realised straight away that the Guest is the Lord Yehovah (יְהוָ֗ה). Abraham must be moved by God’s spirits instantly, whereas the Sopherim were found to be sleeping!

Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree;

and I will fetch a morsel of bread and comfort ye your hearts. After that ye shall pass on, for therefor are ye come to your servant.” And they said, “So do, as thou hast said.”

And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.”

And Abraham ran unto the herd and fetched a calf, tender and good, and gave it unto a young man, and he hastened to dress it. — animal food is never provided, except for visitors of a superior rank when a kid or lamb is killed. A calf is still a higher stretch of hospitality, and it would probably be cooked as is usually done when haste is required—either by roasting it whole or by cutting it up into small pieces and broiling them on skewers over the fire.

And he took butter and milk and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they ate. — and the calf which he, the young man, had dressed and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, – a custom still observed among the Arabs, who honor their guests by not sitting to eat with, but by standing to wait upon, them – and they did eat.

And they said unto him, “Where is Sarah thy wife?” And he said, “Behold, in the tent.”

10 And he said, “I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son.” And Sarah heard it from the tent door, which was behind him. — at this time, when it lives again; that is, at this time next year;

11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age, and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. — now Abraham and Sarah were old, and well stricken in age; the one being ninety nine years of age and the other eighty nine; 

12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י ’ă·ḏō·nāy) being old also?” — Sarah addressed her husband as lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י) but then she haven’t known her Guest was the the Lord יְהוָ֗ה.

13 And the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) said unto Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I of a surety bear a child, who am old?’ — the narrator knows that it was the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) speaking; his question must have convinced Abraham of the Guest’s omniscience; as Sarah laughed within herself.

14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה)? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” — that is, the Guest was revealing himself to both Abraham and Sarah, voicing his own name as Yehovah!- “the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה)?” – it seems that the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) was slowly but explicitly revealing himself; if I were Sarah with such experience, I would have felt several chills running down my spine!

15 Then Sarah denied, saying, “I laughed not,” for she was afraid. And He said, “Nay, but thou didst laugh.” — Sarah became afraid, of course she would, finally realising their Guest was no ordinary being, but Yehovah (יְהוָ֗ה) speaking to her; would she die, she must be wondering!

16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom; and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. — One remained with Abraham and is addressed ‘Lord (יְהוָ֗ה)’ but could all three are similarly addressed in Genesis 18:3? The inference is that יְהוָ֗ה Yehovah appeared, not only in the one ‘man’ who spake with Abraham, but also in the two who went to Sodom; but this thought could be debatable.

17 And the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) said, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do,

18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) to do justice and judgement, that the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.”

20 And the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous,

21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which has come unto Me; and if not, I will know.”

22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham stood yet before the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה). — this Lord (יְהוָ֗ה), who would be identified as the Son, stayed back with Abraham;

23 And Abraham drew near and said, “Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

24 Perhaps there be fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?

25 That be far from Thee to do in this manner — to slay the righteous with the wicked; and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from Thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 And the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”

27 And Abraham answered and said, “Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י), I, who am but dust and ashes. — “the Lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י ’ă·ḏō·nāy),” should be changed back to “the LORD (יְהוָ֗ה),” one of the 134 changes;

— in its original form, it shows that Abraham had (verse 3) right from the beginning realised that his Guest was the Lord Yehovah (יְהוָ֗ה).

28 Perhaps there shall lack five of the fifty righteous; wilt Thou destroy all the city for lack of five?” And He said, “If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.”

29 And he spoke unto Him yet again and said, “Perhaps there shall be forty found there?” And He said, “I will not do it for forty’s sake.”

30 And he said unto Him, “Oh let not the Lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י) be angry, and I will speak: Perhaps there shall thirty be found there.” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” — “the Lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י ’ă·ḏō·nāy),” should be “the LORD (יְהוָ֗ה),” one of the 134 changes;

31 And he said, “Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י ’ă·ḏō·nāy): Perhaps there shall be twenty found there.” And He said, “I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.” — was this “the Lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י ’ă·ḏō·nāy)” tampered also, but left unrecorded? Indications are strong that this is the case!

JPS 1917 says: And he said: ‘Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord. Peradventure there shall be twenty found there.’ And He said: ‘I will not destroy it for the twenty’s sake.’

32 And he said, “Oh let not the Lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י) be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Perhaps ten shall be found there.” And He said, “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.” — “the Lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י ’ă·ḏō·nāy)” should be “the LORD (יְהוָ֗ה),” one of the 134 changes;

33 And the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) went His way, as soon as He had finished communing with Abraham; and Abraham returned unto his place.

~~~

Actually, there is only One יְהוָ֨ה Yehovah (and also one God; yet God is in the plural, Elohim) and many Scriptures testify to this, and this One יְהוָ֨ה or One God principle is found in Exodus 23:

20 Behold, I send an Angel (or messenger) before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. Exodus 23:20-21

The phase “for my name is in him” sends a powerdul message, that His name is with His messangers, hence the LORDs mentioned in Genesis 18-19 (and Psalm 110:5) were derivative. They were all carrying the message of the original יְהוָ֨ה Yehovah.

Where a special envoy of יְהוָ֨ה Yehovah carries his official title יְהוָ֨ה, often the Son, he has the “full powers” of his Father יְהוָ֨ה Yehovah. In particular, he is one acting like a Plenipotentiary Ambassador; the term commonly refers to a diplomat fully authorized to represent a government as an ambassador; that is, he is one acting like a Plenipotentiary Ambassador.

The word plenipotentiary comes from the Latin, plenus + potens, full + powerful. Thus a plenipotentiary is a diplomat who has full powers or authorization to sign a treaty or convention on behalf of his or her sovereign.

Jesus or Yeshua, the Son, testifies He came in His Father’s name: John 5:43: I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not; and Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, “All power is given unto Me in Heaven and on earth,” Matthew 28:18.

Same thing with the one God concept. God the Father, God the Son, yet there is only one Elohim. Jesus addresses the Father as “the only true God” (John 17:3); that is, the Father is the only true Creator God.

Genesis 19

1 And there came two angels to Sodom at evening, and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom. And Lot, seeing them, rose up to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; it started with three men in Genesis 18:2, and now two of them were revealed as angels;

— these two angels came to engage themselves with Lot, Abraham’s nephew; although Lot was righteous, all the people of Sodom were very wicked and vile;

— the two angels who left Abraham had now arrived Sodom in the evening (or afternoon, pressing toward sunset) to perform a delegated duty, when Lot, who was sitting at the gate, insisted them to pass the night in his house. 

and he said, “Behold now, my lords (אֲדֹנָ֗י ’ă·ḏō·nāy), turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early and go on your ways.” And they said, “Nay, but we will remain in the street all night.”

And he pressed upon them greatly, and they turned in unto him and entered into his house; and he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. — and did bake unleavened bread; probably it was the time of the Passover.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom — both young and old, all the people from every quarter —compassed the house around. — the wicked violence of the citizens displays itself. They checked the house, and demand the men for the vilest ends. How familiar Lot had become with vice, when any necessity whatever could induce him to offer his daughters to the lust of these Sodomites! 

And they called unto Lot and said unto him, “Where are the men who came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” — bring them out unto us, that we may know them; not who they were, and from whence they came, and what their business was; nor did they pretend anything of this kind to hide and cover their design from Lot, but they were open and impudent, and declared their sin without shame and blushing;

And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him — and shut the door after him; the door of the passage to his house, the courtyard, and the other a hatch: however, this precaution of shutting it was used to prevent the men of Sodom rushing in and taking away the men by violence;

and said, “I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.

Behold now, I have two daughters who have not known a man. Let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes. Only unto these men do nothing, for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.” — only unto these men do nothing; for as yet he knew them not to be angels; had he, it would not have given him the concern it did, since he must have known that they were able to defend themselves:

And they said, “Stand back.” And they said again, “This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will become a judge! Now will we deal worse with thee than with them.” And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. — this one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge; this one man; and he a stranger and sojourner, the man, who came as a foreigner, wanting to play the judge?

— no freeman or citizen of this city, sets himself against the whole body of the inhabitants, and takes upon him to judge what is right and wrong to be done; and if he is let alone in “judging he will judge” as it may be rendered; he will take upon him this office, and continue to exercise it, and determine and decide all matters among us at his pleasure. This confutes the above notion of the Jews, that Lot was appointed a judge by the men of Sodom, yea, the president of the court for that day;

— Rashi: The Sodomites were saying as follows: “You intercede for the wayfarers? How dare you?!” — the Targum says: “And they said, Did not this come alone to sojourn among us? and, behold, he is making himself a judge, and judging the whole of us?” 

10 But the men put forth their hands, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. — but the angels put forth their hands and pulled Lot into the house to them and shut the door.

11 And they smote the men who were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves to find the door. — and the angels smote the men who were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great,

12 And the men said unto Lot, “Hast thou here any besides? Son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whomsoever thou hast in the city — bring them out of this place. — and the angels said unto Lot, “Hast thou here any besides? Son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, trying to acquaint him with the business they came to do:

13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them has waxed great before the face of the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה), and the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) hath sent us to destroy it.”

14 And Lot went out and spoke unto his sons-in-law, who married his daughters, and said, “Up, get ye out of this place; for the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) will destroy this city!” But he seemed as one who mocked unto his sons-in-law. — and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it; by which they discovered themselves to be angels, and what their business was, to destroy Sodom; 

— Lot spake to his sons-in-law; it is likely these sons-in-law had married other daughters of Lot, who refused to obey and who afterward would perish in the destruction of the city. 

15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, “Arise, take thy wife and thy two daughters who are here, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.” — and spake unto his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters: according to some experts, Lot had two other daughters that perished in Sodom, which are indicative from this phase “who are here” as though he had some elsewhere;

16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife and upon the hand of his two daughters, the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) being merciful unto him; and they brought him forth and set him outside the city. — and while he lingered; Heb, and he lingered. Lot still clung to his wealth and could not make up his mind to leave it and so at length the angels took him by the hand and compelled him to quit the doomed city.

17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth outside, that he said, “Escape for thy life! Look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain. Escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed!” — look not behind thee; this was not merely to prevent delay but also showed that God demanded of them a total abandonment in heart and will of the condemned cities and hence the severity with which the violation of the command was visited.

18 And Lot said unto them, “Oh, not so, my lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י). — “my lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י ’ă·ḏō·nāy)” should be changed back to “my LORD (יְהוָ֗ה),” one of the 134 changes (see more at the end below);

— the Sopherim (scribes) couldn’t believe that Lot was addressing the Deity יְהוָ֗ה, for there was a fear that anyone who had seen God would die; so the scribes changed it to “my lord (אֲדֹנָ֗י).”

— this verse shows that even angels could also carry the name of God, Yehovah, “for my name is in him,” Exodus 23:20-21, or in this case “for my name is in them.” The logical supposition remains, therefore, is that Lot recognised that the two angels as manifestation of God, and so addressed them as יְהוָ֗ה; but their Sopherim then, and their shepherd today, are fast asleep after stumbling around with too much wine!

19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shown unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die. — Lot seems bewildered by the contemptuous refusal of his connections to leave the place. His early choice and his growing habits have attached him to the place, notwithstanding its temptations;

— his married daughters, or at least the intended husbands of the two who were at home (“who are here”), are to be left behind. But though these thoughts make him linger, the mercy of the Lord prevails. The angels use a little violence to hasten their escape. 

20 Behold now, this city is near enough to flee unto, and it is a little one. Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.” — Lot’s meaning was that since Zoar was the smallest of the cities of the Pentapolis, it would not be a great demand on God’s mercy to spare it, and it would save him from further exertions for his safety. 

21 And he said unto him, “See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city for which thou hast spoken. — this city is Zoar, hence it was saved because of Lot;

22 Hasten thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou hast come thither.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. — therefore the name of the city was called Zoar; in later times, and probably first by Lot, from his use of the word “little”, which was his request, which Zoar signifies; before it was called Bela, see Genesis 14:2.

23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

24 Then the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire, from the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) out of heaven; — the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה, Yehovah) rained . . . from the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה, Yehovah); in this repetition of the name of Yehovah an indication of duality of the Godhead, as though God the Son (יְהוָ֗ה,) on earth rained down fire from God the Father (יְהוָ֗ה,) in heaven;

— both the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem call the Son, the Word of the Lord, which manifests in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the plain and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. — all but Zoar; and he overthrew those cities; namely Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim: very probably at the same time that this fiery tempest was in the heavens, there was an earthquake which overthrew the cities; “and all the plain ” and so Strabo makes the lake (the Dead Sea), which is now the place where they stood; 

— “rain of fire and brimstone” these words are to be understood quite literally, as meaning that brimstone and fire, i.e., burning brimstone, fell from the sky, even though the examples of burning bituminous matter falling upon the earth. By this rain of fire and brimstone not only were the cities and their inhabitants consumed, but even the soil which abounded in asphalt was set on fire, so that the entire valley was burned out and sank, or was overthrown (הפך) that is, utterly destroyed and the Dead Sea took its place.

26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. — but his wife looked back from behind him; that is, the wife of Lot, whose name some Jewish writers say was Adith, or as others Irith; and, according to the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, she was a native of Sodom: now, as they were going from Sodom to Zoar, she was behind Lot, his back was to her, so that he could not see her; this was a temptation to her to look back, since her husband could not see her;

— the Dead Sea lake lies in the lowest part of the valley of the Jordan, and its surface is about thirteen hundred feet below the level of the sea. In such a hollow, exposed to the burning rays of an unclouded sun, its waters evaporate as much as it receives by the influx of the Jordan. Its present area is about forty-five miles by eight miles.

27 And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה); — and Abraham gat up early; to see what was become of his prayers, he went to the very place where he had stood before the Lord יְהוָ֗ה.

28 and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld. And lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when He overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt. — that God remembered Abraham; his promise to him, that he would bless them that blessed him, Genesis 12:3; and his prayer to him for Lot in Genesis 18:23;

— for though Abraham does not mention him by name, he bore him on his heart, and he was always in the number of the righteous ones, on whose account he interceded for the sparing of the cities; and, though God did not hear and answer him with regard to the cities, yet he did with respect to the righteous men in them:

30 And Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt on the mountain, and his two daughters with him, for he feared to dwell in Zoar; and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. — from Zoar Lot removed with his two daughters to the (Moabitish) mountains, for fear that Zoar might after all be destroyed and dwelt in one of the caves (מערה with the generic article) in which the limestone rocks abound and so became a cave dweller. 

31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. — a mark of Jewish hatred towards the Moabites and Ammonites and an attempt to brand their origin with shame;

— really we find in Deuteronomy 2:9-19, no trace of the existence of this hostility, but on the contrary the relationship of these two nations to Israel is used as a ground for kindly feelings; and in the story of Ruth the Moabitess, and the friendship which existed between the king of Moab and David, we have proof that such feelings existed.

32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.”

33 And they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

34 And it came to pass on the morrow that the firstborn said unto the younger, “Behold, I lay yesternight with my father. Let us make him drink wine this night also, and go thou in and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.”

35 And they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. — thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. We learn from hence what the best of men are when left to themselves; a good man, a righteous Lot, is guilty of crimes the most shocking;

— he exposed the chastity of his daughters to the men of Sodom and now his daughters attacked him, and succeeded, being both with child by him; and this brought about by excessive drinking, a sin which often leads on to the foulest crimes, and therefore to be carefully avoided; these sins Lot fell into when as it were alone, on a mountain, in a cave, none but his family with him, and these only his two daughters;

36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. — Lot is never mentioned again. Separated both outwardly and inwardly from Abraham, he was of no further importance in relation to the history of salvation, so that even his death is not referred to. His descendants, however, frequently came into contact with the Israelites; and the history of their descent is given here to facilitate a correct appreciation of their conduct towards Israel.

37 And the firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.

38 And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Benammi; the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day. — Moab afterward occupied the district south of the Arnon, and east of the Salt Sea. Ammon dwelt to the northeast of Moab, where they had a capital called Rabbah. They both ultimately merged into the more general class of the Arabs.

~~~~

The official list given in the Massorah (§§ 107-15, Ginsburg’s edition) contains the 134.

Genesis 18:3,27,30,32; 19:18; 20:4 (Genesis 18:31? The context dictates that it should be included). Exodus 4:10,13; 5:22; 15:17; 34:9,9. Numbers 14:17.

Joshua 7:8. Judges 6:15; 13:8. 1Kings 3:10,15; 22:6. 2Kings 7:6; 19:23. Isaiah 3:17,18; 4:4; 6:1,8,11; 7:14,20; 8:7; 9:8,17; 10:12; 11:11; 21:6,8,16; 28:2; 29:13; 30:20; 37:24; 38:14,16; 49:14. Ezekiel 18:25,29; 21:13; 33:17,29. Amos 5:16; 7:7,8; 9:1. Zechariah 9:4. Micah 1:2. Malachi 1:12,14.

Psalm 2:4; 16:2; 22:19,30; 30:8; 35:3? (none),17,22; 37:12; 38:9,15,22; 39:7; 40:17; 44:23; 51:15; 54:4; 55:9; 57:9; 59:11; 62:12; 66:18; 68:11,17,19,22,26,32; 73:20; 77:2,7; 78:65; 79:12; 86:3,4,5,8,9,12,15; 89:49,50; 90:1,17; 110:5; 130:2,3,6. Daniel 1:2; 9:3,4,7,9,15,16,17,19,19,19. Lamentations 1:14,15,15; 2:1,2,5,7,18,19,20; 3:31,36,37,58. Ezra 10:3. Nehemiah 1:11; 4:14. Job 28:28.

[There seems to be a small error: that there is none in Psalm 35:3 but another change should be added to Genesis 18:31; the total changes remains at 134]

This article disproves the Trinity: for more see, What is the Holy Spirit?

A Study of Daniel 7 

•June 15, 2022 • Leave a Comment

This Study is on Daniel 7: Zooming in on Who is the Son of Man on Clouds of Heaven?

Although Jewish authority acknowledges that the book Daniel is a Sacred Text, they relegated it to “Writings” that this book is among the holy writings but not among the Prophets; it isn’t a prophecy, they claim; the reasons they give are based on sands as the Prophet Isaiah speaks of his own people, Israel, their shepherd sre blind, “Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see,” Isaiah 42:18.

Bear in mind that the Book of Daniel is divided between the Hebrew of chapters 1 and 8–12 and the Aramaic of chapters 2–7 (Book of Daniel Wikipedia); so Daniel 7 was originally written in Aramaic, although the two languages are closely related.

The presentation here is the correct view. Alternate views, which offer plenty of commentaries but no substance, could be found in Rabbi Tovia Singer

Daniel 7

1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions in his head upon his bed. Then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

2 Daniel spoke and said, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

5 And behold, another beast, a second, like unto a bear. And it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it; and they said thus unto it, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’

6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl. The beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth. It devoured, and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.

8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

9 “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days sat down, whose garment was white as snow and the hair of His head like the pure wool. His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.

10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. Thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgement was set, and the books were opened.

11 “I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke; I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame.

12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

13 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. — like Ezekiel in vision (Ezekiel 1:1) when he saw a likeness of four living creatures, Daniel saw in the night visions and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, riding upon them as on a celestial chariot and came to the Ancient of Days and they brought Him near before Him;

parallel Scripture when Nebuchadnezzar cast Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the midst of the burning fiery furnace, the king was astonished and said unto his counselors, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” Nebuchadnezzar answered his own question and said, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God,” Daniel 3:23-25.

Israel today, as in the past, has many blind shepherd:

“Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see” Isaiah 42:18

“His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark, sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” Isaiah 56:10

Daniel 7:13 is testifying that it is the Son of God coming with the clouds of heaven towards the Ancient of Days, the blinded shepherd couldn’t figure out the second Being in the Godhead; he’s actually the Son in Psalm 2:7 and Proverbs 30:4.

“I will declare the decree: The LORD (יְהוָ֨ה) hath said unto Me, ‘Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee” Psalm 2:7

“Who hath ascended up into heaven or hath descended? Who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Proverbs 30:4

It is on the basis of this passage, which describes the formal inauguration of the Messiah as King of His eternal kingdom, that Yeshua frequently applied the name “Son of Man” to Himself in the gospels;

and in numerous places in the NT, the Son of Man is also the Son of God, (Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:10, Luke 9:22, John 3:13; Matthew 27:54, Mark 15:39, Luke 1:32. John 1:34)

The Son of Man

For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.” Matthew 12:8

But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins—” He said to the one sick with the palsy, Mark 2:10

saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and scribes, and be slain and be raised the third day.” Luke 9:22

And no man hath ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of Man who is in Heaven. John 3:13

The Son of God

Now when the centurion, and those who were with him watching Jesus, saw the earthquake and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:54

And when the centurion who stood opposite Him saw that He so cried out and gave up the ghost, he said, “Truly, this Man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39

He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, Luke 1:32

And I saw and bore record that this is the Son of God.” John 1:34

14 And there was given Him dominion and glory and a Kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. — and there was given unto the Messiah dominion and glory and a kingdom, divine authority over the domain of the earth during the Millenium, that all people, nations and languages should serve Him;

— His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. The description clearly shows that the Son of Man is a person distinct from the Father, and that the fact of His eternal dominion and power is a direct argument for His deity. Cf Revelation 11:15Revelation 19:16.

And these Scriptures tie in with Psalm 110:1-5The LORD (יְהוָ֨ה YHVH, Yehovah) said unto my lord (לַֽאדֹנִ֗י ladoni)”

What Is the Holy Spirit?

•June 13, 2022 • 2 Comments

In the Scriptures, the word “spirit” is translated from the Hebrew word ר֣וּחַ ruʹach and the Greek word pneuʹma. Most often, those words refer to God’s active force, or holy spirit (Genesis 1:2). However, the Bible also uses those words in other senses:

And You renew the face of the earth (Genesis 1:2). And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit (h7307 ר֣וּחַ rū·aḥ) of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The Answer from the Scriptures

The holy spirit is God’s power in action, his active force (Micah 3:8; Luke 1:35). God sends out his spirit by projecting his energy to any place to accomplish his will — Psalm 104:30; 139:7

Micah 3:8 “But truly I am full of power by the spirit (h7307 ר֣וּחַ rū·aḥ) of the Lord, and of judgement and of might to declare unto Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.”

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

Psalm 104:30 (Speaking of Genesis 1:1-3) You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;

  • Breath — Habakkuk 2:19; Revelation 13:15

Habakkuk 2:19 Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Awake!’ To the dumb stone, ‘Arise! It shall teach!’ Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver; Yet in it there is no breath (h7307 רוּחַ rū·aḥ) at all.

Revelation 13:15 “He was granted power to give breath (h7307) to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”

  • Wind — Genesis 8:1; John 3:8

Genesis 8:1 “Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind (h7307 rū·aḥ) to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.”

John 3:8  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

  • The vital, or animating, force in living creatures — Job 34:14,15

Job 34:14 If He should set His heart on it, If He should gather to Himself His Spirit (h7307 rū·aḥ) and His breath (H5397 neshamah), 15 All flesh would perish together, And man would return to dust.

  • A person’s disposition or attitude — Numbers 14:24
  • Spirit persons, including God and the angels — 1 Kings 22:21; John 4:24

I Kings 22:21 “Then a spirit (h7307 rū·aḥ) came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ A spirit can appear as a being or an angel, but nothing to suggest he’s a God, or a member of the Godhead.”

John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

These meanings all share the sense of something invisible to humans that produces visible effects. Similarly, the spirit of God, “like the wind, is invisible, immaterial and powerful” — An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, by W. E. Vine.

The Bible also refers to God’s holy spirit as his “hands” or “fingers.” (Psalm 8:3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork; Luke 11:20; compare Matthew 12:28.) Just as a craftsman uses his hands and fingers to do his work, God has used his spirit to produce such results as the following:

  • The universe — Psalm 33:6 “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath (h7307 rū·aḥ) of His mouth;” Isaiah 66:1,2 Thus saith the Lord, “The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where is the house that ye build unto Me? And where is the place of My rest? 2For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been,” saith the Lord. “But to this man will I look: even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit (rū·aḥ), and trembleth at My word.
  • The Bible — II Peter 1:20,21
  • The miracles performed by his ancient servants and their zealous preaching — Luke 4:18; Acts 1:8,1 Corinthians 12:4-11
  • The fine qualities displayed by people who obey him — Galatians 5:22,23

The holy spirit is not a person

By referring to God’s spirit as his “hands,” “fingers,” or “breath,” the Bible shows that the holy spirit is not a person (Exodus 15:8,10) 

Exodus 15:8 And with the blast of Your nostrils, the waters were gathered together; the floods stood upright like a heap; the depths congealed in the heart of the sea.

10 You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

A craftsman’s hands cannot function independent of his mind and body; likewise, the holy spirit operates only as God directs it. 

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the holy spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13

The Bible also compares God’s spirit to water and associates it with such things as faith and knowledge. These comparisons all point to the impersonal nature of the holy spirit — Isaiah 44:3; Acts 6:5; II Corinthians 6:6

The Bible gives the names of Yehovah the Father and of his Son, Jesus Christ; yet, nowhere does it name the holy spirit (Isaiah 42:8; Luke 1:31). When the Christian martyr Stephen was given a miraculous heavenly vision, he saw only two persons, not three. The Bible says: 

“He, being full of holy spirit, gazed into heaven and caught sight of God’s glory and of Jesus standing at God’s right hand” (Acts 7:55).

The holy spirit was God’s power in action, enabling Stephen to see the vision.

Misconceptions about the holy spirit

Misconception: The “Holy Ghost,” or holy spirit, is a person and is part of the Trinity, as stated at 1 John 5:7,8 in the King James version of the Bible.

Fact: The King James version of the Bible includes at 1 John 5:7,8 the words “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth.” 

However, researchers have found that those words were not written by the apostle John and so do not belong in the Bible. They were inserted by some copyist trying to promote the Trinity. Professor Bruce M. Metzger wrote: “That these words are spurious and have no right to stand in the New Testament is certain” — A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament.

Misconception: The Bible personifies the holy spirit, and this proves that it is a person.

Fact: The Scriptures do at times personify the holy spirit, but this does not prove that the holy spirit is a person. The Bible also personifies wisdom, death, and sin. (Proverbs 1:20; Romans 5:17, 21) For example, wisdom is said to have “works” and “children,” and sin is depicted as seducing, killing, and working out covetousness — Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:35; Romans 7:8,11

Similarly, when the apostle John quoted Jesus, he personified the holy spirit as a “helper” (paraclete) that would give evidence, guide, speak, hear, declare, glorify, and receive. He used masculine personal pronouns such as “he” or “him” when referring to that “helper” (John 16:7-15). However, he did so because the Greek word for “helper” (pa·raʹkle·tos) is a masculine noun and requires a masculine pronoun according to the rules of Greek grammar. When John referred to the holy spirit using the neuter noun pneuʹma, he used the genderless pronoun “it” — John 14:16,17.

Misconception: Baptism in the name of the holy spirit proves that it is a person.

Fact: The Bible sometimes uses “name” to stand for power or authority (Deuteronomy 18:5, 19-22; Esther 8:10).

This is similar to its use in the English expression “in the name of the law,” which does not mean that the law is a person. A person who is baptized “in the name of ” the holy spirit recognizes the power and role of the holy spirit in accomplishing God’s will.

Misconception: Jesus’ apostles and other early disciples believed that the holy spirit was a person.

Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” — Interesting enough, this verse sounds far too trinitarian to have been included in Matthew’s original words but was inserted in the 3rd or 4th Centuries by some copyist trying to promote the Trinitarian formula for baptism.

Fact: The Bible does not say that, nor does history. The Encyclopædia Britannica states: “The definition that the holy spirit was a distinct divine Person . . . came at the Council of Constantinople in AD 381.” This was over 250 years after the last of the apostles had died. The Hastings Dictionary of the Bible also provides proof that scholars generally regard the tripartite phrase of Matthew 28:19 to be a late Catholic addition.

A Study of Isaiah 9 

•June 11, 2022 • Leave a Comment

A Study of Isaiah 9; but a more indepth Study of verses 6 to 7 in particular. Rabbinic Jews say this Child is Hezekiah “a wonderful counselor” but Christians say he is the Son of God, the Messiah. For the record, King Hezekiah foolishly show Merodach-baladan, the Babylonian king’s envoys to Hezekiah, of all his treasures and his armory, and Isaiah rebuked him for such foolishness, II Kings 20, Isaiah 39.

The presentation here is the most accurate view. Alternate views, which offer little sense, mixed with some blasphemous views, could be found in Jews for Judiasm.

Isaiah 9

1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first He lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward more grievously afflicted her by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.

2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

3 Thou hast multiplied the nation and not increased the joy; they joy before Thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

4 For Thou hast broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise and garments rolled in blood, but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. — for unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, the eternal Word being made flesh for us, not only in our stead, but for our benefit, for the eternal salvation of all believers; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, the absolute and unlimited power, the divine authority in its fullest sense, rests upon Him, He is, from His birth, in complete possession of the eternal power and Godhead;

— a Question for Rabbinic Judiasm: if a Rod shall spring forth out of the stem of Jesse (Isaiah 11), and a Branch shall grow out of his roots; why would he not start with a Child?

— and His name shall be called Wonderful, not only His birth, but His entire essence being a miracle, Counselor, for He not only knows the right and proper counsel in every difficulty of body and soul, He also carries out His plans for the benefit of men, the Mighty God, for the Messiah, true man as He is, is at the same time above all, God blessed forever, altogether identical with Yehovah;

the Everlasting Father, this description isn’t in the Septuagint nor in the Targum; so what could we make of this? He who is called the Son of God (John 1:18, 3:16) cannot himself be called everlasting Father. The Son of God has never been described as the Father anywhere else in the Scriptures. Is this not the lying pen of the scribes as described in Jeremiah 8:8? Is this another one of the self-deceptions of rabbinical Judaism to keep themselves blinded (who claim that King Hezekiah fulfilled this prophecy)?

— the Prince of Peace, the true Shiloh, Genesis 49:10, who has restored the right relation between God and man, making peace by abolishing in His flesh the enmity which existed since the fall of man, Ephesians 2:14-15.

— He is also the LORD יְהוָ֑ה” as proven in A Study of Psalm 110 and A Study of Isaiah 11; hence He is the Mighty God as well; it would be blasphemous to attribute such title to Hezekiah;

— the full verse in Targum says, “The prophet said to the house of David, For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and He has taken the law upon Himself to keep it. His name is called from eternity, Wonderful, the Mighty God, who liveth to eternity, the Messiah, whose peace shall be great upon us in His days” — yes, this verse confirms the Messiah had been prophesised but nothing about ‘the Everlasting Father’ and he was to be born, the Son and He was from eternity to eternity;

— the Targum is an indispensable source of understanding the Bible. Started by Ezra for those returning Jews from Babylon and for these returnees they could only understand the Sacred Text in Aramaic; hence the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to them in ancient times and to us today from the verses quoted.

— in the Septuagint “For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called the Messenger of great counsel: for I will bring peace upon the princes, and health to him. His government shall be great, and of his peace there is no end: it shall be upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to support it with judgment and with righteousness, from henceforth and for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform this.”

— Christians identifies the Father speaking of his Son, who was and also is the Messiah, identified as the Word in the Targum; and confirms by John as he wrote of him in his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1:1 (more at the end).

7 Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon His Kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. — of the increase of His government, in extending the boundaries of His spiritual kingdom, and peace there shall be no end, that is, He brings about a condition of eternal peace between God and man,

— upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, for the kingdom of David continued and established in order to establish the foundation for the Kingdom of God with judgement and with justice from henceforth even forever;

— the zeal of the Lord of hosts, the eagerness of His love in seeking the salvation of mankind, will perform this. All this was fulfilled in the Son of God, of whom the angel says: “He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His Father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.

— and finally, to ascibe such titles and attributes to King Hezekiah are flirting with blasphemy!

~~~

More than One יְהוָ֨ה Yehovah?

Actually, there is only One יְהוָ֨ה Yehovah (and also one God; yet God is in a plural form, Elohim) and many Scriptures testify to this, and this One יְהוָ֨ה or One God principle is found in Exodus 23:

20 Behold, I send an Angel (or messenger) before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. Exodus 23:20-21

Hence the God (Elohim) in Isaiah 9:6 (or the LORDs mentioned in Psalm 110:5 and Genesis 18-19) were derivative. They were all carrying the message of the original God or יְהוָ֨ה Yehovah, “for my name is in him.”

Yeshua, the Son, testifies He came in His Father’s name: John 5:43: I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not.

Migrant Caravan heads to the US

•June 10, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Migrant caravan heads to the US border as key summit begins

BBC News 8 June 2022 / TRT World June 8, 2022

Thousands of migrants are headed to the US-Mexican border in a caravan timed to coincide with a meeting of Western Hemisphere leaders in Los Angeles.

Some 6,000 (or another 6,000,000?) people, including many from Venezuela and Central America, have begun walking from the southern tip of Mexico north as part of a caravan.

Some 6,000 people from the Mexican city of Tapachula, marching to the US border

Migration is among the top issues on the agenda at the Summit of the Americas.

The caravan may be one of the largest in recent years.

On Monday, the group began its 1,270 mile (2,000 km) journey to the US from the Mexican city of Tapachula, near the country’s border with Guatemala. It is unclear when they will arrive at the northern frontier.

The group’s organisers say it is made up of people who are fleeing instability, violence and poverty in their home countries.

As many as 15,000 migrants leave Tapachula, Chiapas, on long march north

Robinson Reyes, 35, a Colombian migrant, said he was traveling north after waiting in vain in Mexico for a month for a humanitarian visa.

“We want a future for our family,” he told Reuters. “We are not violent. We just want a better future.”

Many believe Russia was and some still believe it is the main threat of the United States. Others, like John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, give incredible speeches around the world saying China is the main enemy. And Mearsheimer emphasizes the United States are protected by fish to the left and fish to the right, but he foolishly negate to address America’s broken border in the South; and that the Scriptures say that America’s main “enemy” comes from the unprotected South:

Ezekiel 20:45 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
46 “Son of man, set thy face toward the South, and drop thy word toward the South, and prophesy against the forest of the Southland.
47 And say to the forest of the South: ‘Hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee and every dry tree. The flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the South to the North shall be burned therein.
48 And all flesh shall see that I, the Lord, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.’”
49 Then said I, “Ah, Lord God! They say of me, ‘Doth he not speak parables?’”
Ezekiel 21:1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2 “Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel;
3 and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth My Sword out of his sheath and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.
4 Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall My Sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the South to the North,
5 that all flesh may know that I, the Lord, have drawn forth My Sword out of his sheath. It shall not return any more.’

Ezekiel 20:45 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

46 “Son of man, set thy face toward the South, and drop thy word toward the South, and prophesy against the forest of the Southland.

47 And say to the forest of the South: ‘Hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee and every dry tree. The flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the South to the North shall be burned therein.

48 And all flesh shall see that I, the Lord, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.’”

49 Then said I, “Ah, Lord God! They say of me, ‘Doth he not speak parables?’”

Ezekiel 21:1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

2 “Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel;

3 and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth My Sword out of his sheath and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.

4 Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall My Sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the South to the North,

5 that all flesh may know that I, the Lord, have drawn forth My Sword out of his sheath. It shall not return any more.’

The Scriptures above are shrouded in cryptic languages and so the Qs are: how would such scenarios be played out? The current Russia/Ukraine and China/Taiwan arises are just two major distractions, but more importantly, who are these enemies the Prophet Ezekiel identifies coming from the SOUTH, and how would God says He will kindle a fire and “all the remnant of the people shall despoil thee?”

Daily Mail 7 June 2022

One Report by McKinsey says of the 60 millions Latinos in the US that had migrated from the South; they often live in ‘deserts’ where adequate housing, groceries are hard to find. “Nearly 9 in 10 of the Latino residents in such communities lived in five states: California, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Texas.”

McKinsey: Latinos are projected to make up 22.4 percent of the US labor force by 2030 and more than 30 percent by 2060 (Latinos population to 111.2 million by ’60); is this analysis on the right track? Is there anything else missing? Do feel free to present your opinion; thanks.

A Study of Isaiah 11 

•June 9, 2022 • 1 Comment

Not as prominent a Chapter as Daniel 9, Isaiah 11 is a Chapter on Who the Messiah finally Is; and what He will do. To Christians the Messiah is Yeshua, or popularly known as Jesus, first Coming as a lamb, a son of man, presenting Himself as the Suffering Servant, Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12; the second Coming as a King of kings, a Son of God. But for milleniums, in the Jewish mind, the ‘anointed one’ the Mashiach will only come as a King of Kings; He is ‘the Anointed One, King Messiah.”

The presentation here is the correct view. Alternate views, which offer little sense, could be found in Jews for Judiasm.

Isaiah 11

1 And there shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. — the Coming of the Messiah; the idea correspond to those of Isaiah 6:13 as a new Israel will spring up from the “stump” a Rod of the old, so the Messianic King will arise from the decayed family of David; the Targum agrees, paraphrasing the words thus, “and a King shall come forth from the sons of Jesse.”

— the Messiah is called a Branch and a Rod; the words signify a small, tender product; a shoot, such as is easily broken off; which is his first Coming;

— second, he is called a “Rod” a symbol of power, his second Coming as King of kings because he is an instrument of executing judgement from the hand of the Father to horsewhip his children, Jews and Gentiles, into shape;

2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him—the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” — and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him; the Rod and Branch, the King of kings, so qualifying him for his office and the discharge of his duty with the fullness of His divine power;

— the spirit of wisdom, which searches all things, even the secrets of God, and understanding, able to make the proper distinction concerning all things, the spirit of counsel by whom the Messiah is endowed to be the Counselor and might, the spirit of knowledge, by means of which He is familiar with all the mysteries of God;

— and of the fear of the Lord, yea “of the fear of the Lord” a fear of reverence, a fear to please him, and aversion to offend him; even the Son has to pay homage to God the Father, praying to His heavenly Father and seeking His leadership, and He was and is to fear the Lord, his Father, the “only true God” according to His divine nature united with Him in an everlasting union as One;

— that night, the night the Son was betrayed, he had two desires but his requests were denied (1) his desire to eat the Passover with his disciples; (2) his desire for the “cup” to be removed from him (for more see THAT NIGHT COULDN’T BE THE FOURTEENTH!)

3 and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord; and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears. — ‘and the spirit of the fear of God shall fill him,’ or “the breath of his nostrils shall be the fear of the Lord,” or “a sweet savor shall he find in the fear of the Lord.” That is, even the Son is motivated by the fear of his Father, Yehovah; for the fear of God is a sacrifice of adoration continually ascending to God, the Father, who is the “only true God” John 17:3.

— He is highly pleased when men bring to Him the sacrifice of their fear of God; and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears, rendering judgement not according to external appearances, rather according to His understanding of the heart and soul;

— Q, how did the Son (the only begotten Son) came into being? Could the creation of Adam and Eve have given us a hint? Also, could there be another ‘son’ that went bad?

4 But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. — but with justice and impartiality, He shall He judge the poor; it would be characteristic of the Messiah’s rule that the poor should have their complaints heard, that oppression should cease and judgement be no more perverted in favor of the rich. His interest turning especially to the meek, the lowly, and the humble, to those who bear the enmity of the world with the proper meekness, taking the part of those who are persecuted for their confession’s sake;

— and He, the Son, shall smite the earth with the Rod of His mouth; rebuking and horsewhipping in a most emphatic manner the hostility of the disobedient world and with the breath of His lips, His Word, which bears almighty power, shall He slay the wicked, overthrowing the power of Satan and revealing the true character of the Kingdom of God.

5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins. — and righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness; righteousness shall be ever with him, ever ready for active use, upon which His believers may rely with full confidence, the girdle of His reins; he was faithful to God, that appointed him as King and Head of the Kingdom; faithful as a Prophet, in declaring his mind and will and is a faithful High Priest, holding up His clothes at His hips.

6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. — just as Yeshua performed numerous miracles during his first Coming, now as the Messiah King, more powerful miracles will occur when the wolf shall also dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them, a figurative representation of ideal spiritual conditions; the Targum introduces in this manner, “in the days of the Messiah of Israel, peace shall be multiplied in the earth.”

— parallel Scripture of the changing nature of the wild beasts as in Isaiah 65:25, “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” saith the Lord.

7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. — during the Millenium the cow and the bear shall feed, all the bloodthirstiness of the latter forgotten; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, his nature so completely changed that he is no longer a carnivorous, but a herbivorous animal.

8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. — and without fear or danger, the sucking child, the unweaned infant, shall play on the hole of the asp, on the entrance of the adder’s cave, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den, or stretch out his arm to touch the sparkling eye of the basilisk, the poisonous serpents having lost all their vicious habits. All His Messiahic miracles are now expounded further.

9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. — they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, all the members of God’s kingdom, whose former state was characterized by the comparison with the various animals named above, would lose and lay aside their hostilities toward one another;

— for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Knowledge of Yehovah, love and fear of God, is the motive in all acts of all believers; because they fear the Lord, because they know Him the one true God, and the Messiah, Yeshua or Jesus Christ, whom He has sent as the Savior of the world, therefore they, the inhabitants of His holy mountain, the members of His Kingdom, who previously live in the midst of a hateful and hostile world, now live together in peace and harmony.

10 “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand for an ensign of the people; to It shall the Gentiles seek, and His rest shall be glorious.” — and in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, that same wonderful Scion, the Son of David spoken also as whom “the Gentiles seek” to be consulted on all occasions, he being the wonderful Counsellor, Isaiah 9:6.

— “It shall the Gentiles seek” the Messiah will also bring in the fullness of the Gentiles; how many we do not know, do we? 

— but of course all the skeptic Jews will become believers that the Messiah had his first Coming, whom they were blinded to see, and deaf of hearing to hear: “Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see” Isaiah 42:18; and “His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark, sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” Isaiah 56:10

and those who persist in their blindness may be more than horsewhipped! They would suffer Judgement by the sword, by famine, by pestilence and spending years in captivity to reflect and repent there (for more see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years and A Sword from the South!)

11 And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה before the change) shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. — and it shall come to pass in that day, just before or the beginning of the Millenium, that the Lord shall set His hand again the Second time, stretching it out as once before when He led His chosen people out of Assyria, and Egypt, to recover the remnant of His people which shall be left, not, only the believers of Israel and Judah, but those from all the nations of the world;

— holdon; from Assyria, the mighty nation in the, valley of the Euphrates, and from Egypt, the empire toward the southwest, and from Pathros, Upper Egypt, and from Cush, or Ethiopia, and from Elam, Southern Media, and from Shinar, Southern Mesopotamia, and from Hamath, the country or province on the Orontes, north of Palestine;

— except for Egypt, these names couldn’t be speaking of Moses’ Exodus! Because that first deliverance, like the second, is supposed to be a deliverance of the remnant from several countries into which they were dispersed: whereas the deliverance out of Egypt was a deliverance, not of a remnant but of the whole nation, and out of Egypt only:

— and from the islands of the sea, an expression which refers to the entire coast of the Mediterranean and the adjacent countries; these could not be speaking of coming out of Egypt during Moses’ time, but could only be possible only during Yeshua’s time where after his death, his disciples went all over the world, especially around coast of the Mediterranean to make disciples, so that was an implied First Coming to recover his remnants, now it is the Second Coming to redeem his remnants that are scattered thoughout the four corners of the earth;

— further, because this second deliverance was universal, extending to the generality of the outcasts and dispersed ones, both of Israel, or the ten tribes and of Judah or the two tribes, as is evident from these verses, 

— see also Isaiah 49:22 where will lift up his hand to the Gentiles; to lift up the hand is a sign of beckoning to, or inviting; that God would call the Gentiles to partake of the blessings of the true religion and to embrace the Messiah; could this period also coincide with Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years?

— the Messiah is also the LORD; here the LORD (יְהוָ֨ה) should be in the original; one of the 134 changes to Adonai listed by EW Bullinger in Appendix 32 of The Companion Bible; it should be “The LORD (יְהוָ֨ה YHVH Yehovah)” as in the original Text; this is a prime example of “the lying pen of the scribes” found in Jeremiah 8:8 (more at the end)

12 And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. — and the Messiah shall set up an ensign for the nations, that is, all nations, both Jews and Gentiles, around which all believers might rally;

— and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, those of remnant of the house of Israel, his people among the ten tribes; and gather together the dispersed from the house of Judah, the Jews, from the four corners or wings of the earth so that they will march under His banner, united in spirit, though outwardly separated by race and language and customs.

13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. — another Messianic miracle relating to human nature occurs when the envy also of Epraim shall depart, this hostility having been the chief factor in keeping up the division of the nation during the time of the kings in the Old Testament; and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off:

— Epraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim, that is, not only all outward hostilities shall cease, but also their inward animosities; the children of Israel would then be a perfect and harmonious union, its various parts living together in perfect harmony.

14 But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall despoil them of the east together. They shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab, and the children of Ammon shall obey them. — but they, the house of Israel and the house of Judah, shall cheerfully join together against the common enemy, the Phillstines toward the west, this nation being the embodiment of the fiercest hostility since the early history of Israel; they, the house of Israel and the house of Judah, shall spoil them together; so the Targum says, “and they shall be joined together in one shoulder, to smite the Philistines;”

— they, the house of Jacob, shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab, which is today’s Jordan, conquering the country of these ancient enemies; and the children of Ammon shall obey them, literally, “their obedience.” These scenarios show the manner in which the Lord, through His Kingdom will judge and destroy His enemies. The Last Day will spell their doom, and the children of Jacob, the remnants left of the Day of the Lord, will be present to celebrate their victory.

15 And the Lord (יְהוָ֗ה) shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian Sea; and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams and make men go over dryshod. — and the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; a bay of the Egyptian sea, so called because in the form of a tongue; or the fork of the Arabian Gulf known as the Red Sea as at the time when the children of Israel left the house of their bondage;

— and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, over the Euphrates, and shall smite it in the seven streams, separating it into seven shallow brooks, and make men go over dry-shod, walking through its bed on sandals; in references the Lord here promises to the spiritual people of God a wonderful salvation, like that out of Egypt or out of the captivity of Assyria;

— and so the Targum says, “and the Lord shall dry up the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and shall lift up the stroke of his strength upon Euphrates, by the word of his prophets” and this designs the destruction of the land of the Muslims which is signified by the drying up of the river Euphrates; that is, from the Nile to the Euphrates would the house of Israel and the house of Judah return to.

16 And there shall be a highway for the remnant of His people who shall be left from Assyria, as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt. — and during the Millenium there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, cast up or purposely built for the believers in the Lord’s Kingdom, which shall be left, from Assyria, permitting the captives to return to their inheritance;

— far more than it was to Israel in the day that the house of Jacob came up out of the land of Egypt. This redemption of His people out of the hand of all enemies and oppressors is the last great deed of the Messiah, and its completion will usher in the peace and glory of eternity. In this way the despised Branch out of the house of David established His kingdom, which, although jeered at on all sides, will still conquer in the end.

~~~

Listed by EW Bullinger in Appendix 32 of The Companion Bible are 134 changes from יְהוָ֨ה to Adonai; they should be “The LORD (יְהוָ֨ה YHVH Yehovah)” as in the original Text; this is a prime example of “the lying pen of the scribes” found in Jeremiah 8:8:

The official list in the Massorah (§§ 107-15, Ginsburg’s edition) contains the 134 changes.

Genesis 18:3,27,30,32; 19:18; 20:4. Exodus 4:10,13; 5:22; 15:17; 34:9,9. Numbers 14:17. Joshua 7:8. Judges 6:15; 13:8. 1Kings 3:10,15; 22:6. 2Kings 7:6; 19:23. Isaiah 3:17,18; 4:4; 6:1,8,11; 7:14,20; 8:7; 9:8,17; 10:12; 11:11; 21:6,8,16; 28:2; 29:13; 30:20; 37:24; 38:14,16; 49:14. Ezekiel 18:25,29; 21:13; 33:17,29. Amos 5:16; 7:7,8; 9:1. Zechariah 9:4. Micah 1:2. Malachi 1:12,14. Psalm 2:4; 16:2; 22:19,30; 30:8; 35:3,17,22; 37:12; 38:9,15,22; 39:7; 40:17; 44:23; 51:15; 54:4; 55:9; 57:9; 59:11; 62:12; 66:18; 68:11,17,19,22,26,32; 73:20; 77:2,7; 78:65; 79:12; 86:3,4,5,8,9,12,15; 89:49,50; 90:1,17; 110:5; 130:2,3,6. Daniel 1:2; 9:3,4,7,9,15,16,17,19,19,19. Lamentations 1:14,15,15; 2:1,2,5,7,18,19,20; 3:31,36,37,58. Ezra 10:3. Nehemiah 1:11; 4:14. Job 28:28.

A Study of Psalm 110 

•June 7, 2022 • 1 Comment

Who was the LORD speaking to in Psalms 110:1 when the LORD says “Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” Rabbinic Jews see this as a scribe was recording as God was speaking to David and not the Messiah.

The Rabbinic view stipulates that the Messiah, when He comes, will be a Man, a human born to ordinary human beings. His existence is derived from Deuteronomy 18:18 and as a man will rule on this earth, but never die.

But Christian view is that He is the Son of God who pre-existed even before being born into this world. ‘The LORD said to my Lord…’ Christians say that this is God the Father speaking from His throne to His Son.

The presentation here is the correct view. Alternate views, which make little sense, could be found in Jews for Judaism and Rabbi Toviah Singer.

Psalm 110

A Psalm of David: The LORD said unto my Lord, “Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” — David was speaking, a Psalm he wrote; and in the original Hebrew it is: The LORD (יְהוָ֨ה YHVH, Yehovah) said unto my lord (לַֽאדֹנִ֗י ladoni; that is, David’s lord), “Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.”

— Christians identifies the Father speaking to his Son, who was also the Messiah, identified as the Word in the Targum, whom John wrote of him in his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1:1

— under the inspiration of God, or in the spirit of God, David alleged that there was a time when the Son’s enemies were not under his footstool. He has many enemies, but Satan, his archrival, being chief of them.

— The Targum is, “the Lord (יְהוָ֨ה) said in his Word.”

The LORD shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion. Rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies!

Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power; in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, Thou hast the dew of Thy youth.

The LORD hath sworn and will not repent: “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek. — this “order of Melchizedek” is Yeshua, our High Priest. Hebrews 7:3 describes Melchizedek as being “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, [and one who] remains a priest continually.

— whoever Melchizedek is, he couldn’t have been the Father because he is the “priest of the Most High God.”

The LORD (יְהוָ֨ה) at Thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath. — the LORD; one of the 134 changes to Adonai listed by EW Bullinger in Appendix 32 of The Companion Bible; it should be “The LORD (יְהוָ֨ה YHVH, Yehovah” as in the original Text;

— this is a prime example of “the lying pen of the scribes” found in Jeremiah 8:8

— notice that the second Lord sitting on the right hand of the Father in verse 2 has become LORD (יְהוָ֨ה) in verse 5. By doing so, the Soferim blurred the evidence of another YHVH; he, being the Son of the Most High;

— by such tampering, the Sopherim corrupted the Sacred Text; hence the blinded Jews couldn’t figure out the second Being in the Godhead; he’s actually the Son in Psalm 2:7 and Proverbs 30:4.

“I will declare the decree: The LORD (יְהוָ֨ה) hath said unto Me, ‘Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee” Psalm 2:7

“Who hath ascended up into heaven or hath descended? Who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Proverbs 30:4

From the above, it is obvious that the LORD (יְהוָ֨ה) has a Son; and, teasing the sceptics. asks what is His name and what is His Son’s name.

He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall wound the heads over many countries.

He shall drink of the brook on the way; therefore shall He lift up the head.

~~~

Actually, there is only One יְהוָ֨ה Yehovah (and also one God; yet God is in the plural, Elohim) and many Scriptures testify to this, and this One יְהוָ֨ה or One God principle is found in Exodus 23:

20 Behold, I send an Angel (or messenger) before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. Exodus 23:20-21

Hence the LORDs mentioned in Psalm 110:5 (and Genesis 18-19) were derivative. They were all carrying the message of the original יְהוָ֨ה Yehovah.

Yeshua, the Son, testifies He came in His Father’s name: John 5:43: I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not:

Same thing with the one God concept. God the Father, God the Son, yet there is only one Elohim. Jesus addresses the Father as “the only true God” (John 17:3).

Israel, today as in the past, has many blind shepherd:

“Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see” Isaiah 42:18

“His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark, sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” Isaiah 56:10

Daniel 9 Proves Who the Messiah Is

•June 5, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Many theologians noted that Chapter 9 of Daniel identify the coming of the Messiah, the one specially annointed; but Rabbinic Jews and Rabbi Tovia Singer identify this “annointed” as Cyrus, Isaiah 45:1. Cyrus maybe God’s annointed and God’s servant but certainly he just couldn’t be the “Most Holy,” Daniel 9:24. To honour Cyrus as the “Most Holy” would be blemphemous. Further, Daniel 9 is a prophecy for a future “in the last days” which Daniel couldn’t figure out as he was dazzed and puzzled!

In Daniel 12:4 “but thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days,” – this phrase “in the last days” shows this prophecy isn’t meant for Daniel’s time but its timing is for the far future; and only during the latter days could we fully understand this prophetic significance.

Alternate views by Rabbi Tovia Singer, here; and Jews for Judiasm or here for your study.

Daniel 9

1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans” — in the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, known in secular history of the empire after the fall of Babylon, of the seed of the Medes, who were with the Persians in the conquest of Babylon, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, not by accession, but through the agency of the victorious army and by the hand of Cyrus,

— there were three Darius in biblical times and the most sensible one while Daniel was still alive must be Darius I, whose reign was from 522 to 486 BC; whereas Cyrus “the Great” reign was from 550 to 529 BC; hence the Rabbinic deflection that Gabriel’s prophecy was “to anoint the Most Holy” applies to King Cyrus just doesn’t make sense: (1) Cyrus had already came and gone, dead; and (2) Cyrus maybe “his annointed” prophecised in Isaiah 45:1, but he certainly just couldn’t be qualified to be considered “the Most Holy” Daniel 9:24. By denying this Special Annointed One as the Most Holy that would be close to blasphemy!

20 And while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God— — and while Daniel was praying and confessing his sin and the sin of his people Israel and presenting his supplication before the Lord, piling up petitions in seeking the mercy of God in the interest of the His country and people and true worship;

21 yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. — while Daniel was praying, making the concluding remarks, even Gabriel, one of the chief angel-princes, whom Daniel had seen earlier in the vision at the beginning (Daniel 8:15-16), being caused to fly swiftly, touched him about the time of the evening sacrifice, about three o’clock in the afternoon.

22 And he informed me, and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. — and he informed Daniel and talked with him and said, O Daniel, I am now come to give thee skill and understanding, a correct insight into the problem perplexing him and an assurance for the future.

23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth; and I have come to show thee, for thou art greatly beloved. Therefore understand the matter, and heed the vision: — at the beginning of Daniel’s supplications the commandment came forth, namely, the decree or oracle, which is presently stated, and Gabriel was to show him to make it known;

— for thou art greatly loved, this being the reason why the Lord was so ready to make known to Daniel the solution of the problem of the seventy weeks; therefore understand the matter and consider the vision, observing the oracle as to be set forth and explained.

24 “Seventy weeks are determined concerning thy people and concerning thy holy city to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint (4886 וְלִמְשֹׁ֖חַ wə·lim·šō·aḥ) the Most Holy. — seventy weeks are determined upon thy people to build the Holy City, the capital which was so dear to the heart of Daniel, the determination of the time being purposely indefinite, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, to restrain the rebellion and to seal up the sins so that they would no longer find expression;

— and to make reconciliation for iniquity, to effect an expiation for guilt and to bring in everlasting righteousness, the result of the expiation of sin and to seal up the vision and prophecy, rather “and the prophet,” for these would be the chief and greatest prophecies ever written and be fulfilled;

— and to anoint the Most Holy: if this is meant to be Cyrus, it is blemphemous, he might be God’s anointed, but surely he wasn’t anything holy; if this is meant for the Holy of Holies in the Temple, then what is this anointing for? And why the split into TWO anointings? What is its significance? C’mon, Rabbi Singer? No possible explanation were even attempted. It only has meaning if it is something special: to anoint the Special One; to anoint the Messiah; this has far more merit than for any other purpose;

— how could Cyrus be the Most Holy? Cyrus maybe God’s anointed to be his servant to perform certain jobs, but how could Cyrus be annointed as the Most Holy? – such thoughts are convulsing and contemptuous;

— second, if the Temple had been desecrated (as was the case by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 BC), and if the cleansing of the Most Holy has any remote chance of something to do with the Temple or the Holy of Holies, the ashes from an unblemished red heifer would be used for its cleansing; so what would this anointing of “the Most Holy” for?

— and even if some merit points may be offered they would pale in comparison when compared to the anointing reserved for a Special One; One that would eventually emerge as the Messiah, the Prince; One that will make all His enemies becoming His footstool! Psalm 110:1; and thus it is unsurprising that these unbeliving Rabbinic Jews and Rabbi Tovia Singer are denounced by the prophet Isaiah as being deaf and blind to the will of God (Isaiah 42:19-20, 56:10, 59:10);

— using the day-for-a-year principle of Bible prophecy is understood in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:3-6, the seventy weeks in Daniel 9 represent 70 times 7 or 490 days — that is, since days stand for prophetic years, this comes to a total of 490 years. What was to happen at the end of these years?

25 Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until the Messiah (4899 מָשִׁ֣יחַ mā·šî·aḥ) the Prince (nā·śî”), shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. — the Messiah the Prince (nā·śî); literally, an Anointed one, a Prince; the two nouns being placed in apposition, and the article omitted before each; the Annointed and the Prince (nā·śî mentioned 18 times referring to the Messiahic reign in Ezekiel 40-48 during the Millenium period starting with “It is for the prince nā·śî; the prince nā·śî shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD יְהוָ֑ה”) to possess both attributes which in other passages are ascribed to only one;

— of great significance is ths title “Messiah the Prince” as nowhere is this composite title used elsewhere in the Scriptures. Yes, this “annointed Prince nā·śî” is special, real special, hence translators into the English language rightly capitalise the M for Messiah and added the particle “the” before the title, that is “the Messiah” – simply because such anointing for Him is extremely Special!

— know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, from the time that the decree to restore and to build Jerusalem until the Messiah the Prince,

— shall be seven weeks, that is, until the coming of the Messiah, the Prince, and threescore and two weeks, during which the great city of the Lord would be constructed; the street shall be built again and the wall, even in troublous times; young and adolescents, until the spiritual Church established, under the turbulent Roman rule, would be like kids playing in the streets of Jerusalem in troublous times;

— this means the Messiah would appear after “seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks” or 69 weeks, after the decree was given; it is known that the seventh year of Artaxerxes when he issued the decree was from September 458 to September 457 BC (Jewish reckoning fall to fall; Artaxerxes came to the throne in December 465 BC and reigned until 424 BC; Encyclopedia of World History; Wikipedia);

— it took seven prophetic weeks, or 49 years (a year for a day) to complete this rebuilding of the city. The troublous times are described in Nehemiah 4. This carries us from 457 to 408 BC;

— after 62 more weeks, or 434 years (from 408 BC), the Messiah would be on the scene (verse 26).

— in other words, from 457 BC in the fall, till Christ appeared on the scene, there would be sixty-nine weeks (7 + 62) — a total of 69 times 7 or 483 years! Just 483 years after 457 BC brings us to exactly AD 27!

483 years were to pass, beginning from
457 BC when the decree went forth, bringing us to
26 AD — however, one year must be added
1 in crossing from BC to AD, bringing us to
27 AD — since there is no year zero

The Messiah would appear on the scene in 27 AD!

— Note that earlier, the decree of Cyrus concerning the first rebuilding was of the house of God, the Temple, not the city of Jerusalem, Ezra 1:2 (The Lord God of heaven hath given me (Cyrus) all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah); but this verse specify it is the rebuilding of Jerusalem unto the time of Messiah, the Anointed One, the Prince; shall be 62 weeks;

— also in II Chronicles 36:

22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and put it also in writing, saying, 23 “Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and He hath charged me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all His people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.”

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. And the end thereof shall be with a flood, and until the end of the war desolations are determined. — and after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, namely, at the time of One’s death, a death not for Himself, but for the whole humanity;

— and the people of the prince that shall come, a mighty opponent, an anti-Messianic movement, Rome, shall destroy the city Jerusalem and the Temple, so that everything, apparently, would be lost after an overwhelming attack as in AD 66 to 70;

— and the end thereof shall be with a flood, so that the attacking prince himself would perish in the end, by a divine judgement, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined, or “until the end there will be warfare,” until the end of this world; these sound like a preamble, introduction or summary to the book of Revelation.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. And for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” — and he, the prince shall confirm the covenant with many for one week;

— and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, so that there would be a transfer of the worship of God from the physical to the spiritual, and for the over-spreading of abominations he shall make it desolate; the daily sacrifice of the Temple and all their other sacrifices; when the city of Jerusalem, being besieged by Titus, and their fall in AD 70; the daily sacrifice ceased to the great grief of the people;

When? When did the Messiah accomplish this? “In the MIDST of the week”! That is dual — 1) after fulfilling one half of the seventieth week — after preaching the Kingdom of God for three and a half year, Christ died for the sins of the world, after doing the Work of God for three and a half years, from autumn 27 AD until spring 31 AD.

And 2) it also indicates that Christ died for our sins in the middle of a literal week — on a Wednesday! And He was resurrected three days and three nights later — near sunset on the weekly Sabbath (Matthew 12:40), so that He had risen already by sunrise Sunday morning (Matthew 28:6Mark 16:6Luke 24:6).

Since Yeshua died for the sins of man kind in the midst of the week, the prophecy, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week,” has not yet been been completely fulfilled. For three and a half years, during His ministry, He confirmed the covenant with His disciples. By His death, He put the final stamp on the covenant; through Him all people can now enter into the covenant which God made with Abraham and become heirs “according to the promise.”

But as Daniel 9:26-27 reveals, there yet remains three and a half years of Christ’s ministry to be fulfilled! When will Christ fulfill it? When will He once again confirm the covenant? It is a Mystery!

Thus in Summary on why only Yeshua as the Son of God fulfills this prophecy:

(1) Daniel 9 is prophecy is for the endtime; Cyrus does’t qualify for this; he was already dead;

(2) no annointed could be considered as the “Most Holy” unless he is very special; if this is meant to be Cyrus, it is blemphemous;

(3) the composite title “Messiah the Prince” is of great significance; this “annointed prince” is real special, so special that when translated into English, “the Messiah” is rightly designated.

Israel, today as in the past, has many blind shepherd:

“Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see” Isaiah 42:18

“His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark, sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” Isaiah 56:10

Nehemiah (Ch 11-13)

•June 4, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Here is what Wikipedia says about the Samaritans: “There has been a history of genetic disorders within the group due to the small gene pool,” such as high incidence of austisics and cripples within their community but of course they manage to deflect from mentioning the truth of God’s curses upon those who show hostilities to the rebuilding of the house of God in Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 11

1 And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem; the rest of the people also cast lots to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem, the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities. — the rest of the people; the rulers being already in the capital, Nehemiah ordered that one man in ten should be chosen by lot to transfer his family;

— Jerusalem the holy city; the “separation that had taken place (Nehemiah 9), and the recent covenant (Nehemiah 10), we see the solemnity of this epithet, now first used, and repeated in Nehemiah 11:18. “Then shall Jerusalem be holy, and no strangers shall pass through her any more (Joel 3:17).

And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem. — the people blessed all the men that willingly offered themselves; besides those who were chosen by lot, it seems there were some that voluntarily chose to go and live there, whom the people highly commended, beseeching God to bless and prosper them.

Now these are the chief of the province who dwelt in Jerusalem; but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, to wit: Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon’s servants. — Israel rather than Judah, partly because there were some of the other tribes now joined and incorporated with them; and partly because none of the tribes of Israel, except Judah and Benjamin, dwelt in Jerusalem, as appears from the sequel.

And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah,the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez; — the heads in Jerusalem: as compared with 1 Chronicles 9, by no means complete. Judah and Benjamin are represented, with priests and Levites and porters.

and Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni.

All the sons of Perez who dwelt at Jerusalem were four hundred threescore and eight valiant men.

And these are the sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah.

And after him Gabbai and Sallai, nine hundred twenty and eight.

And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer; and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.

10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin.

11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, was the ruler of the house of God. — Seraiah; the high-priestly family name. Eliashib was the present occupant, who allowed Tobiah, an Ammonite and an ally of Sanballet, a Samaritan, to pollute the Sanctuary;

— Seraiah, or ‘Azariah the son of Meshullam.’ 1 Chronicles 9:11 – the same person may be intended? – the priesthood names corrupted or polluted? Nehemiah 7:64

— “And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah,” Nehemiah 13:4. Q. Could such groundwork and corrupt alliance give rise to the Sadducees a few hundred years later?

12 And their brethren who did the work of the house were eight hundred twenty and two; and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah,

13 and his brethren, chief of the fathers, were two hundred forty and two; and Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,

14 and their brethren, mighty men of valor, were a hundred twenty and eight; and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of one of the great men.

15 Also of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;

16 and Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites, had the oversight of the outside business of the house of God.

17 And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.

18 All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred fourscore and four.

19 Moreover the gatekeepers, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren who kept the gates, were a hundred seventy and two.

20 And the residue of Israel, of the priests, and the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance.

21 But the Nethinim dwelt in Ophel; and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim.

22 The overseer 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.

23 For it was the king’s commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.

24 And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabeel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king’s hand in all matters concerning the people.

25 And for the villages with their fields, some of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjatharba and in the villages thereof, and at Dibon and in the villages thereof, and at Jekabzeel and in the villages thereof,

26 and at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Bethphelet,

27 and at Hazarshual and at Beersheba and in the villages thereof,

28 and at Ziklag and at Meconah and in the villages thereof;

29 and at Enrimmon and at Zorah and at Jarmuth,

30 Zanoah, Adullam, and in their villages; at Lachish and the fields thereof, at Azekah and in the villages thereof. And they dwelt from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom.

31 The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelt at Michmash, and Aija and Bethel and in their villages,

32 and at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,

33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim,

34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat,

35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.

36 And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin.

Nehemiah 12

1 Now these are the priests and the Levites who went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, — Priests and Levites who came up with Zerubbabel;

— Seraiah; the high-priestly family name again? see Nehemiah 11:11.

Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,

Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,

Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah,

Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,

Shemaiah and Joiarib, Jedaiah,

Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua.

Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who was over the psalms of thanksgiving, he and his brethren.

Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, were opposite them in the watches.

10 And Jeshua begot Joiakim, Joiakim also begot Eliashib, and Eliashib begot Joiada, — Eliashib??

11 and Joiada begot Jonathan, and Jonathan begot Jaddua.

12 And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; — Seraiah??

13 of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan;

14 of Melicu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph;

15 of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai;

16 of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;

17 of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai;

18 of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan;

19 and of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi;

20 of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber;

21 of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethaneel.

22 The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers; also the priests, until the reign of Darius the Persian. — Eliashib??

23 The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written in the book of the Chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. — Eliashib??

24 And the chief of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren opposite them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, watch opposite watch.

25 Mattaniah and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the watch at the thresholds of the gates.

26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.

27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. — they sought the Levites; the dedication was to be processional and musical, as well as sacrificial: after the pattern of Solomon’s dedication of the Temple.

28 And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites,

29 also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth; for the singers had built themselves villages round about Jerusalem.

30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people and the gates and the wall. 31 Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of those who gave thanks, whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall toward the Dung Gate;

32 and after them went Hoshaiah and half of the princes of Judah,

33 and Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam, — ‘Azariah the son of Meshullam’ or Seraiah??

34 Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah,

35 and certain of the priests’ sons with trumpets, namely, Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph;

36 and his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them.

37 And at the Fountain Gate, which was opposite them, they went up by the stairs of the City of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the Water Gate eastward.

38 And the other company of those who gave thanks went opposite them, and I after them with half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the Tower of the Furnaces even unto the Broad Wall,

39 and from above the Gate of Ephraim and above the Old Gate, and above the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hananeel and the Tower of Meah, even unto the Sheep Gate; and they stood still at the Prison Gate.

40 So stood the two companies of those who gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and half of the rulers with me;

41 and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets;

42 and Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer.

43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the wives also and the children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.

44 And at that time some were appointed over the chambers of the treasuries for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions appointed by the law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites who waited.

45 And both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the watch of their God and the watch of the purification, according to the commandment of David and of Solomon his son.

46 For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chiefs of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.

47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah gave the portions for the singers and the gatekeepers, every day his portion; and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites, and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.

Nehemiah 13

On that day they read in the Book of Moses in the audience of the people, and therein was found written that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God, ever, — the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever; that is, not be incorporated into the Israelitish kingdom, nor united in marriage relations with that people, Deuteronomy 23:3 No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even to the tenth generation.”

— but the Temple was corrupted as “And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah,” Nehemiah 13:4. Tobiah was a Ammonite; influenced by Sanballat, a Samaritan;

— not only the Temple was corrupted, but their teachings, too (for more, see the Samaritans at the end).

because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them. However that be, our God turned the curse into a blessing.

Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.

And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah. — and before this; that is, before this separation was made; Eliashib the priest; “Eliashib the high priest” (Nehemiah 3:1,)

— having the oversight of the chamber; of the chambers, (Nehemiah 13:9,) the high priest having the chief power over the house of God, and all the chambers belonging to it; was allied unto Tobiah, the Ammonite, and a violent enemy to God’s people;

— Tobiah had suffered his grandson to marry Sanballat’s daughter who was the fast friend of Tobiah and the great enemy of the Jews. This is mentioned as a great blot on Eliashib’s character and the cause of his other miscarriages, noticed Nehemiah 13:5. We read also in Ezra 10:18 that several of the priests had married strange wives; and among the rest some of the sons of the high priest; 

— moreover, the fact that Eliashib’s leanings were towards the enemies of Nehemiah accounts for his disappearance from the history from Nehemiah 3:1 to Nehemiah 13:4. For such a hedious crime to take place right in the Temple, the name ‘Eliashib’ was probably wiped out from Jewish history?

— not only the Temple’s chambers were polutted but their heretic teachings, too (for more, see the Samaritan’s teachings at the end).

And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where previously they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense and the vessels and the tithes of the corn, the new wine and the oil, which were commanded to be given to the Levites and the singers and the gatekeepers, and the offerings of the priests. — “A great chamber,” perhaps made so by throwing several chambers into one, as older expositors have inferred from Nehemiah 13:9,

— according to which Nehemiah, after casting out the goods and belongs of Tobiah, had the chambers (plural) cleansed. The statement also in Nehemiah 13:5, that there (in this great chamber) were aforetime laid up not only the meat-offerings (i.e., oil and flour, the materials for them), the incense and the sacred vessels, but also the tithe of the corn, the new wine, and the oil and the heave-offerings of the priests, seems to confirm this view;

— this tenth or tithes is designated as הלויּם מצות, the command of the Levites, that is, what was apportioned to the Levites according to the law, the legal dues for which משׁפּט is elsewhere usual; comp. Deuteronomy 18:31 Samuel 2:13. The heave-offering of the priest is the tenth of their tenth which the Levites had to contribute, Nehemiah 10:39.

— the frankincense; for frankincense was a necessary ingredient in the incense which was offered twice a day on the “altar of incense” in the holy place (Exodus 30:34). As a rare foreign product, it had necessarily to be kept in store;

— the vessels; sacred vessels, basins and the like, not needed except on occasion of great festival gatherings; the offerings of the priests. The portion of the offerings which belonged to the priests – “the tithe of the tithes.”

But in all this time I was not at Jerusalem; for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I came unto the king, and after certain days I obtained leave from the king. — but in all this time when Nehemiah was not at Jerusalem, this gave Eliashib and Tobiah the opportunity of scheming such abominations; for unless Nehemiah had been absent, Eliashib and Tobiah would not have dared to do them.

— and after certain days Nehemiah obtained leave of the king to return to Jerusalem. 

And I came to Jerusalem and learned of the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. — the evil Eliashib did in preparing him a chamber; “Tobiah had insinuated himself into the good opinion of many of the people, and especially those of note, by his making two alliances with families of this sort:

— for (a) Johanan his son had married the daughter of Meshullam, the son of Berechiah, (Nehemiah 6:18Nehemiah 3:4,) who was one of the chief managers of the building of the wall of Jerusalem, and (b) Tobiah himself had married the daughter of Shechaniah, another great man among the Jews. By these means he had formed an alliance and was looked upon as a worthy man, though, being an Ammonite, he could not but bear a national hatred to all that were of the race of Israel; 

— thus says Nehemiah 7:64 “These sought their register among those who were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found; therefore they were as polluted, put from the priesthood.” — thus their register were polluted, put from the priesthood R.V. were they deemed polluted.

And it grieved me sore; therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber. — it grieved me sore; the second time we read of Nehemiah’s deep emotion:

— first, because of the utter dissoluteness of which this was a token; and secondly, because it was a priestly desecration, having a stranger, an idolatrous Ammonite, and one of the worst of that people and that all this should be done by the permission and order of the high priest.

Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers; and thither I brought back the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense. — then Nehemiah commanded; and they cleansed the chambers which had been thus profaned and restored them to their former sanctity by the water of purification and such other means and rites as were then usual in such cases;

— and thither Nehemiah brought again the vessels of the house of God which had been cast out to make room for Tobiah; and commanded the chamber to be purified and the vessels of the house of God, the meat-offering and the frankincense and probably the tenths and heave-offerings also.

10 And I perceived that the portions for the Levites had not been given them; for the Levites and the singers who did the work had fled every one to his field. — Nehemiah perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites … were fled; what he saw was that the Levites were absent and “the house of God forsaken” (verse 11). On inquiry, he found that the reason of their absence was the non-payment of the tithes. 

11 Then I contended with the rulers and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. — then Nehemiah contended with the rulers; he sharply reproved those priests to whom the management of those things was committed, for the neglect of their duty and breach of their late solemn promise;

— why is the house of God forsaken? – so that there are few or no Levites or priests to attend there. They have not only injured men, in withholding their dues but you have occasioned the neglect of God’s house and service, insomuch that little or no public worship is maintained;

— and Nehemiah gathered them together; to Jerusalem from their several country possessions. And set them in their place; restored them to the exercise of their office. “A Levite in his field is out of his station: God’s house is his place, and there let him be found. 

12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the storehouses. — the Levites had their portions not been given; they were gone to get livelihoods for themselves and their families for their profession would not maintain them; the temple services had ceased; all religious duties had fallen into neglect;

— the people, disgusted with the malversations of Eliashib, or the lax and irregular performance of the sacred rites, withheld the tithes, so that they were compelled for their livelihood to withdraw to their patrimonial possessions in the country. The money put into the sacred treasury had been squandered in the entertainment of an Ammonite heathen, an open and contemptuous enemy of God and His people. The return of Nehemiah as governor put an end to these disgraceful and profane proceedings. 

13 And I made treasurers over the storehouses: Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah; and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren. — and Nehemiah made treasurers over the treasuries; new ones, since the others appointed were either dead or unfaithful to their trust, Nehemiah 12:44,

— Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, who also was a priest, perhap the ‘judicial’ priest as contrast to Temple priest, as Ezra was both scribe and priest; one that besides his office as a priest was expert in the law, and capable of instructing others: this implies that Ezra was dead and that Zadok had succeeded to his office;

— and that of Eliashib the chief priest and Tobiah the Ammonite were tossed out; never to be heard again; nar, they were still around and eventually gave rise to a sect known as the Sadducees;

— so in the NT times, these Sadducees emerged with their heretic teachings who claimed they were carrying the mantle of the Zadok the priest and that their name “Sadducees” was derived from Zadok the priest (although there was another Zadok the priest during the reign of King David who moved the ark to Jerusalem), and were allied with the Herodians and the Boethusaians.

14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for the offices thereof. — Remember me, O my God, Or “Think upon me, my God,” as the same words are translated in Nehemiah 5:19. Wipe not out my good deeds.

15 In those days I saw in Judah some treading of wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves and loading them on 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 as to the day wherein they sold victuals. — the desecration of the Sabbath is first brought into prominence among the sins of the Jewish people by Jeremiah, Jeremiah 17:21-27;

— it could have been hard to practise Sabbath keeping during the captivity when foreign masters were unlikely to have allowed the cessation of labor for one day in seven. On the return from the captivity, the sabbatical rest appears to have been one of the institutions most difficult to reestablish.

16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, who brought fish and all manner of wares, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah and in Jerusalem. — merchants of Tyre; they brought timber for the building of the Temple and received food in payment Ezra 3:7;

— now they seem to have established themselves as a colony, and supplied fish; these would be the salted and dried fish from the Mediterranean. But their offence was trading this “on the sabbath unto the children of Judah and in Jerusalem.”

17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah and said unto them, “What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath day? — then Nehemiah contended with the nobles, in the desecration of the sabbath and in the non-payment of tithes;  remarking in addition, “and ye are bringing more wrath upon Israel, profaning the Sabbath,”

— the nobles were the chief offenders, being at once luxurious and latitudinarian. They desired the freshest food for their feasts, and encouraged both foreigners and natives to break the law for the gratification of their carnal appetites.

18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” — did not your fathers thus; profane the sabbath in like manner?

— and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon our city? suffered them to be carried captive into a strange land, and their city destroyed for their sins, and for this of sabbath breaking among the rest, see Jeremiah 17:21,

— yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath; additional judgements to those that had been already upon them for the same evil with others.

19 And it came to pass, when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded that the gates should be shut,and charged that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath; and some of my servants I set at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the Sabbath day. — Nehemiah commanded that the gates should be shut. The gates would as a matter of course have been shut at sunset;

— Nehemiah required that the closing should take place some half-hour earlier, when the shadows were lengthening, and the day was drawing towards a close. He regarded it as a sort of desecration of the sabbath to carry on secular work to the last allowable moment. 

20 So the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. — the merchants lodged outside; the merchants could not leave their wares unguarded; and the wares not being admitted into the town, they were obliged to camp out.

21 Then I testified against them and said unto them, “Why lodge ye about the wall? If ye do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time forth they came no more on the Sabbath. — Why lodge ye about the wall? Nehemiah, in his capacity of governor, was able to put his foot down upon this evasion of his law. He threatened the traders that, if they hung about on the outskirts of the walls on the Sabbath, he would treat them as public enemies.

22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Thy mercy. — and Nehemiah commanded the Levites; that they should come and keep the gates;

— assigning the duty to his servants was probably a temporary arrangement. The permanent charge was committed to the Levites, who had been intrusted with the duty when the gates were first set up (Nehemiah 7:1). They were to “cleanse,” or purify, themselves, because the charge was considered a sacred one.

23 In those days also I saw Jews who had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab; — of Ashdodite, Ammon and of Moab; they had married strangers, though not long before they had most solemnly promised not to do so, Nehemiah 10:30. So hard a thing it is perfectly to root out tares, which will be continually springing up again.

24 and their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people. — the speech of Ashdod is that of the Philistines which according to some experts belonged to the Indo-Germanic group. The languages, however, of the Moabites and Ammonites were undoubtedly Shemitic, but so dialectically different from the Hebrew that they might be regarded as foreign tongues.

25 And I contended with them and cursed them, and smote certain of them and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, “Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons or for yourselves. — and cursed them; assuring them to be excommunicated and cast out of the society and privileges of God’s people;

— this and the following punishments were justly inflicted upon them, because this transgression was contrary both to a very plain and express law of God and also to their own late solemn covenants and promises would come upon them, unless they repent;

— smote certain of them; caused to be beaten with stripes, according to the law, Deuteroomy 25:2, those whose faults were most aggravated by their quality or other circumstances; to whom he added this punishment over and besides the former.

— plucked off their hair, or shaved them. The hair was an ornament and ensign of liberty among the eastern nations; and baldness was a disgrace and token of slavery and sorrow. See Isaiah 3:24 Isaiah 15:2 Jeremiah 48:37 Ezekiel 29:18.

26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did women from other lands cause to sin. — Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? – by marrying strange wives, by whom he was drawn into idolatry, 1 Kings 11:3,

— yet among many nations was there no king like him; as not for grandeur and riches, so not for wisdom and yet was ensnared by his idolatrous wives.

27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying foreign wives?” — Shall we then hearken unto you? Shall we give way to you and adopt the practice which you recommend, thus transgressing against God and provoking him to destroy us? Surely not. Solomon’s example is enough to deter us.

High Priest on Duty

28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite; therefore I chased him from me. — and one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest; a grandson of the highpriest; for the high priest was Eliashib;

— son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite; married a daughter of his, who was the avowed enemy of the Jewish nation; and earlier for whom, Sanballat obtained leave to build a temple on Mount Gerizim; but Eliashib seemed to have been tossed of as high priest, and now even his son Joiada, and much less Jaddua, a grandson of Joiada, still hang around trying other troubles:

— therefore Nehemiah chased him from him; drove him from his court, suffered him not to come near at the altar nor the Temple; banished him from the city and even from the land of Judea. But nar, Tobiah and his family and their agents, through marriage and other alliances, were always around and penetrated the upper echelon of the Jewish judicial chambers, and years later, even the very high priesthood, namely Annas and his son-in-law, Caiaphas, clinging there like a leech!

29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites. — they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites;

— we look in vain for any distinct “covenant” which the priestly order broke by allying itself with the heathen, or indeed for any special law forbidding the priests to take foreign wives; and Nehemiah feels that this sin is worse in a priest than in one who is not a priest; that a priest who contracts a pollution “pollutes the priesthood;” and that there is a tacit covenant by which priests and Levites bind themselves to holiness of life more absolutely and definitely than others.

30 So I purified them from everything foreign and assigned specific duties to each of the priests and Levites. — thus Nehemiah cleansed them. Rather, “And I cleansed them.” The process of cleansing probably resembled the process adopted by Ezra (Ezra 10:5-17). And appointed the wards. that is “assigned their offices to the various priests and Levites” (see Nehemiah 11:11-24Nehemiah 12:44Nehemiah 13:13).

31 and for the wood offering at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good. — and for the wood offering, at times appointed; of which see Nehemiah 10:34. Levites were appointed to receive the wood that was brought at the times and by the persons fixed, and lay it up in its proper place, and carry it to the altar when wanted.

~~~

The Samaritans, whose heretic teachings were later adopted by the Sadducees and the Boethusians in the NT time. And today, such teaching are clinging to the Church of God like shit stuck to a shovel.

The Samaritans are adversaries to the returning Jews because of (a) difference in defining what time at ben ha’arbayim when the Pascha lamb should be killed: the Jewish definition of ben ha’arbayim “between the two evenings” is “after noon and until nightfall,” whereas the Samaritans is sunset or dusk; (b) when is omer, which translated to English is rendered “wave sheaf” offering to be made: the Jews definition has it on the annual Sabbath after Pascha, whereas the Samaritans has it the day after the weekly Sabbath during the days of unleavened bread;

— (c) after counting seven weeks after the omer, on what day Shavuot is to be kept: the Jews have it on Sivan 6th, whereas the Samaritans always have it on a weekly Sabbath; (d) the three annual feasts are to be kept in Jerusalem, whereas the Samaritans have their feasts on Mount Gerizim, which they consider a sacred mountain; and (e) once in roughly three years, the Samaritan calendar starts one month later than the Jewish calendar.

Here is what Wikipedia says about the Samaritans: “There has been a history of genetic disorders within the group due to the small gene pool,” such as high incidence of austisics and cripples within their community but of course they manage to deflect from mentioning the truth of God’s curses upon those who show hostilities to the rebuilding of the house of God in Jerusalem.

Isaiah 7 Identifies a Sign

•June 2, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The Prophet Isaiah identifies a sign of the Messiah, but Rabbinic Jews dispute this!

Isaiah 7

14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin (5959 הָעַלְמָ֗ה hā·‘al·māh) shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. — in a significant revelation of His almighty power, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign, cause a miracle to happen which would have abiding significance. Behold, an exclamation calling attention to the extraordinary prophecy now following, a virgin, literally, “the virgin,” that certain virgin whom the Lord had even now selected for this purpose, not merely an unwed woman of marriageable age as the Masoretic text says, but an undefiled maiden, Psalms 68:25; Matthew 1:25,

— Rabbinic Jews and Rabbi Tovia Singer say this “virgin” is a young maiden as the above verse show;

— the Septuagint says,

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin (παρθένος parthenos) shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel.”

— although the Greek word παρθένος (parthenos) could be translated as a “virgin” or simply a young woman, the Targum confirms the Septuagint:

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and she shall call His name Immanuel.”

— the Targum is an indispensable source of understanding the Bible. Started by Ezra for those returning Jews from Babylon and for these returnees they could only understand the Sacred Text in Aramaic; hence the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to them in ancient times and to us from the Sacred Text.

— shall conceive, without the carnal knowledge of man, and bear a son, the event being represented as happening now, in the everlasting present of the eternal God, and shall call His name Immanuel, which is correctly interpreted by Matthew as meaning, “God with us.” This name characterizes the person, the essence, and the work of the Messiah. The son of the virgin, conceived and born a true human being, yet without sin, is at the same time true, almighty, eternal God. It is the great mystery of godliness: God manifest in the flesh, the Messiah, the true Savior, Creator, Protector and Redeemer of all men;

— a young woman giving birth to a child has barren meaning, only if she is a virgin would it has any significance; this is an example of the lying pen of the scribes in Jeremiah 8:8, “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.’”

together with Isaiah 9:6 (Everlastying Father) this could be another one of the 134 changes from “LORD (יְהוָ֨ה)” to Adonai listed by EW Bullinger in Appendix 32 of The Companion Bible; it should be “Virgin” as the Targum and the Septuagint say, (more at the end);

— to Rabbanic Jews and Rabbi Tovia Singer, this represent

“the two warring kings, Pekah and Rezin, will have been removed. In II Kings 15-16, it becomes clear that this prophecy was fulfilled contemporaneously, when both kings, Pekah and Retsin, were assassinated. It is clear from the context of Isaiah’s seventh chapter that the child born in Isaiah 7:14 is not Jesus or any future virgin birth. Rather, it is referring to the divine protection that King Ahaz and his people would enjoy during the Syro-Ephraimite War.”

— But the problem remains with Rabbi Tovia Singer as he nowhere identifies who the child in the days of Ahaz was. What is so great about this child? To define the child born as “the divine protection” would be too much of a stretch.

~~~~

The official list given in the Massorah (§§ 107-15, Ginsburg’s edition) contains the 134.

Genesis 18:3,27,30,32; 19:18; 20:4. Exodus 4:10,13; 5:22; 15:17; 34:9,9. Numbers 14:17.

Joshua 7:8. Judges 6:15; 13:8. 1Kings 3:10,15; 22:6. 2Kings 7:6; 19:23. Isaiah 3:17,18; 4:4; 6:1,8,11; 7:14,20; 8:7; 9:8,17; 10:12; 11:11; 21:6,8,16; 28:2; 29:13; 30:20; 37:24; 38:14,16; 49:14. Ezekiel 18:25,29; 21:13; 33:17,29. Amos 5:16; 7:7,8; 9:1. Zechariah 9:4. Micah 1:2. Malachi 1:12,14.

Psalm 2:4; 16:2; 22:19,30; 30:8; 35:3,17,22; 37:12; 38:9,15,22; 39:7; 40:17; 44:23; 51:15; 54:4; 55:9; 57:9; 59:11; 62:12; 66:18; 68:11,17,19,22,26,32; 73:20; 77:2,7; 78:65; 79:12; 86:3,4,5,8,9,12,15; 89:49,50; 90:1,17; 110:5; 130:2,3,6. Daniel 1:2; 9:3,4,7,9,15,16,17,19,19,19. Lamentations 1:14,15,15; 2:1,2,5,7,18,19,20; 3:31,36,37,58. Ezra 10:3. Nehemiah 1:11; 4:14. Job 28:28.

Nehemiah (Ch 9-10)

•June 1, 2022 • Leave a Comment

A summary of their prayers of returning Jews led by the Levites (Nehemiah 9:4-38). When confessing their sins, they spoke as they were very moved by repentence, that they may be the more humbled and ashamed, and it is good to notice the mercies of God.

Let all remember that pride and obstinacy are sins which ruin the soul. Behold this sweet promise: a God ready to pardon! Instead of keeping away from God under a sense of unworthiness, let all come boldly to the throne of God, that all may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. He is a God ready to pardon.

Nehemiah 9

1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting and with sackcloth and earth upon them. — now in the twenty and fourth day; the feast of tabernacles began on the fourteenth day, and ended on the twenty-second, all which time mourning had been forbidden, as contrary to the nature of the feast, which was to be kept with joy.

— but now, on the twenty-fourth, the next day but one after the feast, their consciences having been fully awakened and their hearts filled with grief for their sins, which they were not allowed to express in that time of public joy, they resume their former thoughts and, recalling their sins to mind, set apart a day for solemn fasting and humiliation.

And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. — the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers; it appears that the “strangers” are “the people of the lands,” or neighbouring heathen of whom there were at all times considerable numbers in Jerusalem; it was not fitting that these aliens should take part in a ceremony of which the main object was that the special people of God should renew their covenant with him;

— and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers: particularly their taking of strange wives, which their fathers had also done and set them a bad example which they had followed.

And they stood up in their place and read in the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God. — one fourth part, namely, from midday to the time of the evening sacrifice;

— both day and night were divided into four parts; the reading occupied the morning and the worship the afternoon. It is the latter which is now made prominent, as the former had been prominent in the preceding chapter.

Then stood up upon the stairs of the Levites, Jeshua and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the Lord their God. — upon the stairs, of the Levites; or upon the platform or pulpits as the Levites used to stand upon when they taught the people;

— and cried with a loud voice unto the Lord their God; praying with great fervency, and making bitter lamentation for the sins of the people and their own.

Then the Levites, Jeshua and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said: “Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever! And blessed be Thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise! — then the Levites said, Stand up and bless the Lord your God; if this prayer was uttered by all these Levites in common, it must have been prepared and adopted beforehand, perhaps, by Ezra; but it may only embody the substance of the confession and thanksgiving.

Thou, even Thou, art Lord alone; Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all things that are therein, the seas and all that is therein; and Thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshipeth Thee. — the host of heaven who worshipped God are the angels, as in Psalm 148:2Psalm 103:21

Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; — thou art the Lord who didst choose Abraham; here follows a compendious history of the affairs of the Hebrew nation, which, it is likely was composed by Ezra or Nehemiah in the form of a prayer, and delivered to the Levites, that they might pronounce it distinctly before the whole congregation;

and foundest his heart faithful before Thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites and the Girgashites—to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed Thy words, for Thou art righteous” — Canaanites, etc; the nations driven out were actually seven (Deuteronomy 7:1), but it is a common figure of speech to put the part for the whole;

and didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red Sea; — and heardest their cry by the Red sea; which was before them, and the rocks on both sides of them, and the host of Pharaoh behind, pressing upon them, when he heard them, and wrought salvation for them, Exodus 14:10,

10 and showedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh and on all his servants and on all the people of his land. For Thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst Thou get Thee a name, as it is this day. — this epitome of the history of the Plagues shows acquaintance with Deuteronomy 6:22, ‘And the Lord shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his house.’

11 And Thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors Thou threwest into the deep, as a stone into the mighty waters. — the fulfilment of this word by the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and their guidance through the wilderness to Canaan.

12 Moreover Thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar, and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go. — moreover, thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; the Israelites, to shelter them from the heat of the sun in a dry and barren wilderness:

— and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go; through a trackless desert, see Exodus 13:21.

13 Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai and spokest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgements and true laws, good statutes and commandments; — and gavest them right judgements and true laws, good statutes and commandments; which were of excellent use to them in their civil and ecclesiastical polity; these were not spoken to Israel, but given to Moses on the mount, to be delivered to them.

14 and madest known unto them Thy holy Sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws by the hand of Moses Thy servant; — and madest known … sabbath Cf. Ezekiel 20:12. Apparently referring to the fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:8-11. Cf. Exodus 31:16);

— but it is to be noticed that the observance of the Sabbath is prescribed if not presupposed at the giving of the Manna (Exodus 16:23-30) before the arrival at Sinai. The stricter observance of the Sabbath of Yehovah (thy sabbath) was a special feature of religious purity, reaffirmed by the teaching of Ezra and the Scribes, cf. Nehemiah 13:15 (Isaiah 56:2Isaiah 58:13).

15 and gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which Thou hadst sworn to give them. — water for them out of the rock; Cf. Exodus 17:6. But a closer resemblance is afforded by Numbers 20:8, ‘And thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock.’ See Psalm 105:41, ‘He opened the rock, and waters gushed out.’

16 “But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks and hearkened not to Thy commandments. — dealt proudly; Cf. Nehemiah 9:10. In this verse and in Nehemiah 9:29 the word is used with reference to the children of Israel, as in Deuteronomy 1:43, ‘ye rebelled … and were presumptuous.’ Deuteronomy 17:13, ‘all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.’

— hardened their necks R.V. neck. Cf. Nehemiah 9:17Nehemiah 9:29. For the phrase ‘a stiff-necked people’ cf. Exodus 32:9Exodus 33:3Exodus 34:9Deuteronomy 9:6Deuteronomy 9:13. ‘To stiffen’ or ‘harden the neck’ is found in Deuteronomy 10:16, ‘Be no more stiff-necked,’ II Kings 17:14, ‘they would not hear, but hardened their neck, like to the neck of their fathers.’ Cf. Job 9:4.

17 And they refused to obey, neither were mindful of Thy wonders that Thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage. But Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. — in their rebellion appointed a captain; based on Numbers 14:4, and perhaps representing a tradition that the words ‘And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt’ were partially carried into effect.

18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf and said, ‘This is thy God who brought thee up out of Egypt,’ and had wrought great provocations, — molten calf … Egypt; the language is based on Exodus 32:4, ‘… made it a molten calf, and they said, These be thy gods (marg. This is thy god), O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.’

19 yet Thou in Thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light and the way wherein they should go.

20 Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not Thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.

21 Yea, forty years didst Thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old and their feet swelled not.

22 Moreover Thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners; so they possessed the land of Sihon and the land of the king of Heshbon and the land of Og, king of Bashan.

23 Their children also did Thou multiply as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land which Thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.

24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and Thou did subdue before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. — so the children went in and possessed the land; not the fathers of the Israelites that came out of Egypt, they died in the wilderness, all excepting two, but their children.

25 And they took strong cities and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells dug out, vineyards and olive yards, and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate, 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 who testified against them to turn them to Thee; and they wrought great provocations. — nevertheless they cast thy law behind their backs; they neglected and despised thy laws, would not regard nor observe them;

— whereas they ought to have had them continually before their eyes, to direct and govern them in all their ways. The good things they enjoyed in the land which God had given them, made them wanton and forgetful of God and his commandments.

— slew thy prophets: ‘Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord,’ 1 Kings 18:4. Not many instances are recorded. But cf. Zechariah (II Chronicles 24; II Chronicles 20-22), Uriah the son of Shemaiah (Jeremiah 26:20-23). The martyrdoms of Isaiah and Jeremiah belong to Jewish tradition.

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 saviors 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,

— MSG But then they mutinied, rebelled against you, threw out your laws and killed your prophets, The very prophets who tried to get them back on your side— and then things went from bad to worse. You turned them over to their enemies, who made life rough for them.

But when they called out for help in their troubles you listened from heaven; And in keeping with your bottomless compassion you gave them saviors: Saviors who saved them from the cruel abuse of their enemies. But as soon as they had it easy again they were right back at it—more evil. So you turned away and left them again to their fate, to the enemies who came right back.

They cried out to you again; in your great compassion you heard and helped them again. This went on over and over and over. You warned them to return to your Revelation, they responded with haughty arrogance: They brushed off your commands, spurned your rules —the very words by which men and women live!

They set their jaws in defiance, they turned their backs on you and didn’t listen. You put up with them year after year and warned them by your spirit through your prophets; But when they refused to listen you abandoned them to foreigners. Still, because of your great compassion, you didn’t make a total end to them. You didn’t walk out and leave them for good; yes, you are a God of grace and compassion.

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 judgements (which if a man do, he shall live in them), and withdrew the shoulder and hardened their neck and would not hear. — which if a man do, he shall live in them; Quoted from Leviticus 18:5, as also in Ezekiel 20:11. Cf. Luke 10:28, ‘This do and thou shalt live.’

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. — there was a continual succession of prophets from the time of Solomon to, and through the captivity. Q. but why were there no known prophets warning them of their impending Jerusalem inferno from AD 66 to 70?

31 Nevertheless for Thy great mercies’ sake Thou did not utterly consume them nor forsake them, for Thou art a gracious and merciful God. — gracious and merciful; the same words in Heb. as Nehemiah 9:17 ‘gracious and full of compassion.’

32 “Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the fearsome God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before Thee that hath come upon us—on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all Thy people since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. — our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God Cf. note on Nehemiah 1:5. See Deuteronomy 10:17, ‘the great God, the mighty and the terrible.’ Daniel 9:4.

33 Nevertheless, Thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for Thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly. — done right; R.V. dealt truly. Literally ‘truth’ that is, Thou hast fulfilled thy word both in blessing and punishment: but we have been unfaithful to the covenant;

— Cf. Daniel 9:14, ‘For the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth, and we have not obeyed his voice.’ The pronoun ‘we’ is emphatic; the speakers pass from reference to their forefathers, in order to accept for themselves the responsibility of association with the nation’s guilt.

34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers kept Thy law, nor hearkened unto Thy commandments and Thy testimonies, wherewith Thou didst testify against them. — Thou didst testify against them; concerning all that has befallen us; because their sins deserved punishment and God is only fulfilling His word upon the sinners. Here, it serves to emphasize the subject;

— in the enumeration of the different classes of the people, the prophets are here omitted, because, as God’s witnesses, they are not reckoned among these who had transgressed, though involved (Nehemiah 9:32) in the sufferings that have fallen on the nation.

35 For they have not served Thee in their kingdom, and in Thy great goodness that Thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which Thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works. — they have not served thee in their kingdom; “In their kingdom” means “while they had a kingdom of their own and were not subjects as now to a foreign power.” 

— thy great goodness; the large and fat land. Compare Exodus 3:8. Although the limits of Palestine are narrow, yet the land which God flare to his people, extending as it did from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt (Genesis 15:18), might well he termed a “large” or “broad” land.

36 Behold, we are servants this day; and for the land that Thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it. — we are servants this day; that is, we have now no kingdom, we are slaves – the Persian is our master;

— as we would not be God’s servants, we are handed over to him (comp. II Chronicles 12:8, where “the service of God” and “the service of the kingdoms of the countries” are contrasted).

37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom Thou hast set over us because of our sins; also they have dominion over our bodies and over our cattle at their pleasure, and we are in great distress. — we are in great distress; we must remember that this language of complaint at the severity of the foreign rule and exactions showed that the effects of the foreign taxation upon the condition of the middle and lower classes were felt very acutely.

38 “And because of all this, we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests set their seal unto it.” — and our princes, Levites and priests, seal unto it; thus they either appended signatures as witnesses, or made marks to endorse the document and to testify to their approval, thus they would become witnesses against themselves if they dealt deceitfully;

— but prophets were not mentioned above; they often were used to warn of their sins and God’s impending judgements.

Nehemiah 10

Now those who sealed were: Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hachaliah, and Zedekiah (Zidkijah), — Nehemiah the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah; the governor of the Jews:

— and Zidkijah; who seems also to have been a prince, since, without, it could not be said it was sealed by their princes, Nehemiah 9:38 though some think both these were priests, and then the princes must be supposed to be among the chief of the people, Nehemiah 10:14, from hence to the end of the twenty seventh their names follow;

— the names of the priests, Nehemiah 10:2, who were in all twenty one; no mention is made either of Eliashib the high priest, where some think he had not behaved well in his office; nor of Ezra the priest and scribe, who could have been either sick or returned to Babylon, 

Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, — Seraiah; the family name of the high-priestly house to which Ezra and Eliashib belonged, one of whom—probably Ezra—affixed its seal.

Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah,

Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,

Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,

Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,

Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,

Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah; these were the priests.

And the Levites: both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel.

10 And their brethren: Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,

11 Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah,

12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,

13 Hodijah, Bani, Beninu.

14 The chief of the people: Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,

15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,

16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,

17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,

18 Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai,

19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,

20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,

21 Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua,

22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,

23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,

24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,

25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,

26 and Ahijah, Hanan, Anan,

27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.

28 And the rest of the people —the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons and their daughters, every one having knowledge and having understanding — and the rest of the people;

— this may be understood in two different ways: (a) according to some it denotes the mass of the laity, as distinguished from their princes and elders, like ‘the people’ (Nehemiah 10:35), ‘the residue of Israel’ (Nehemiah 11:20), and ‘Israel’ (1 Chronicles 9:2);

29 they cleaved to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and into an oath to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and His judgements and His statutes; — and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God; they bound themselves with an oath that they would keep the law of God, and added a curse or imprecation on themselves to it should they break it;

— and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our God, and his judgments and his statutes; all the laws, moral, ceremonial, and judicial; this they engaged to do in general; some particulars follow.

30 and that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons; — this prohibition of intermarriage with the people of the land had been strenuously upheld by Ezra 9:2; the difficulty of enforcing it appears from Nehemiah 13:23-28. The words of the prohibition seem to be based on Deuteronomy 7:3 ‘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.’ 

31 and if the people of the land bring wares or any victuals on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath or on the holy day; and that we would leave the seventh year and the exaction of every debt. — that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day; any festival, as the feasts of the Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles:

— and that we would leave the seventh year: the ground untilled in that year, the vines unpruned, and the fruits of the earth, which sprung of themselves, for the poor to gather, Leviticus 25:4,

32 Also we made ordinances for us to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God: — to charge ourselves; the origin of that annual rate for the general service of the Temple was lowered from half shekel, Exodus 30:13); due to the general poverty of the people, occasioned by war or captivity, this tribute was reduced to a third part of a shekel;

33 for the showbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering of the Sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. — to provide the showbread for the table; the shewbread consisted of 12 unleavened cakes of fine meal, which were laid fresh every Sabbath in two rows of six upon the table in the Holy Place;

— two lambs for the daily offerings, four for the sabbaths and more costly sacrifices for other festivals, occasional sin-offerings, and meat offerings and drink-offerings for them all, the charge of which was great and constant.

34 And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God according to the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year to burn upon the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the law; — we cast the lots, to determine the time and order among the priests and the Levites in which each of them should take the care of the business;

— for the wood offering; Nehemiah 13:31. The supply of wood for the enormous number of sacrifices offered at the Temple of Jerusalem must have represented a large annual sum. The difficulty of procuring wood must have been very great: (1) the area of territory occupied by the Jewish community was small, (2) the trees in the neighbourhood must have suffered during the Chaldean invasion and siege.

35 and to bring the firstfruits of our ground and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the Lord; — and to bring the firstfruits of our ground; not that they cast lots to do this, but they bound themselves with an oath to do it; this is the first of all the fruits of the earth, Exodus 23:19,

36 also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle (as it is written in the law) and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests who minister in the house of our God; — the firstborn of our sons; the firstborn of the children of Israel ‘from a month old’ were redeemed ‘for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary.’ Numbers 18:16; cf. Exodus 13:13Exodus 34:20;

— of our cattle, as it is written in the law; the firstlings of oxen, sheep and goats were not redeemed; they were holy; their fat was offered as a burnt offering; the flesh was the portion of the priests. See Numbers 18:17-19.

37 and that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests to the chambers of the house of our God, and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. — that the Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage; that is, the tithes of all the fruits of the ground belonging to our several cities;

38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites when the Levites take tithes; and the Levites shall bring up a tenth of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. — and the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites; as the people gave the tithe of their land to the Levites, so the Levites gave a tithe of their tithes to the priests;

— and it is here ordered that when the people brought them to the Levites, one of the priests should be present to inspect them, and to see that they tithed the tithes, that is, set apart the tenth of the tithes they had received for the priests, which were brought to the chambers of the house of God, wherein they were deposited for their use.

39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers where are the vessels of the sanctuary and the priests who minister and the gatekeepers and the singers. And we will not forsake the house of our God. — the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering;

— the priests were not to be troubled with the conveyance of any of the offerings; the firstfruits and other oblations of the people were to be brought to the temple by the people themselves; and the “tithe of the tithe,’ which was the priests’ due, by the Levites. Thus the priests would not be drawn away from their duty of ministering in the temple by secular employments and matters of mere worldly business;

— we will not forsake, or neglect, the house of our God. We will not suffer, that is, any interruption of the continual service of the temple, we will not be parties to any neglect or slovenliness in the conduct of it. So far as we are concerned, everything shall be done to enable the priests and Levites to remain constantly at Jerusalem in full numbers, and to devote themselves wholly to their sacred duties in God’s house. With this emphatic declaration of their intentions the people concluded the engagements by which they voluntarily bound themselves.

Is Taj Mahal Sitting on a Hindu Temple?

•May 30, 2022 • Leave a Comment

South China Morning Post by Nilosree Biswas; 29 May, 2022 / India.com August 11, 2017

Is India’s Taj Mahal sitting on a Hindu temple?

Is Taj Mahal previously been a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva?

Historical documents and farman (official decrees) from the 17th century show that the land the Taj Mahal was built upon previously housed a riverfront estate belonging to Jai Singh, a senior general and minor royal of the Mughal empire.

Oak, however, claimed the mausoleum was built atop an earlier temple to the Hindu goddess Durga called “Tejo Mahalaya”. His book The Taj Mahal is a Temple Palace was out of print for years, but found a new audience among Hindutva ideologues after being republished in 2003.

Earlier this month, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party even petitioned Allahabad High Court, in Uttar Pradesh state, to throw open 22 locked doors at the Taj Mahal to find out its “real history”.

The BJP is petitioning the Allahabad High Court to open the 22 locked doors at the basement of the Taj Mahal to find out its “real history”

The court dismissed the petition, with judges calling the issue “non-justiciable” and warning petitioners not to make a mockery of India’s public litigation system that allows unaffected third parties to file cases on others’ behalf. But it and similar pending court cases show just how much traction the theories of P.N. Oak – who also claimed that the Vatican, Kaaba and Westminster Abbey were originally Hindu temples – have gained in the age of WhatsApp and reactionary Hindu-nationalist discourse.

Nevermind that the Archaeological Survey of India has published photos showing that the Taj Mahal’s 22 doors lead nowhere except a long, continuous arched corridor.

Oak, however, claimed the mausoleum was built atop an earlier temple to the Hindu goddess Durga called “Tejo Mahalaya”. His book The Taj Mahal is a Temple Palace was out of print for years, but found a new audience among Hindutva ideologues after being republished in 2003.

The debunked temple theory picked up steam after Modi’s BJP took power in 2014, ushering in a wider campaign aimed at “reclaiming” India’s Mughal-era and Muslim architectural heritage from what right-wing activists label a foreign invader’s attempt to usurp and supplant Hindu civilisation.

22 Mysterious Locked Rooms Inside the TAJ MAHAL that Aren’t Accessible to the Public

One of the most high-profile cases involved a 16th century mosque in the northern Indian city of Ayodhya, which is now being replaced with a temple to the Hindu god-king Ram after being torn down by a mob in 1992. The site was left in legal limbo for years before the BJP took power. In 2019, India’s Supreme Court ordered the land be handed over for temple construction and Modi himself helped bless the site at a groundbreaking ceremony a year later.

Nehemiah (Ch 7-8)

•May 28, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The Targum is an indispensable source of understanding the Bible. Started by Ezra for those returning Jews from Babylon and for these returnees they could only understand the Sacred Text in Aramaic; hence the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to them in ancient times from the Sacred Text.

“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgements,” Ezra 7:10. This process gave birth to the Targum; hence it is as if Ezra is speaking to them in ancient times and to us today from the Sacred Text.

Nehemiah 7

1 Now it came to pass, when the wall was built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed, — now it came to pass when the wall was built and I had set up the doors; which was not done when Sanballat sent his first letter, but now was, Nehemiah 6:1,

— and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed; not to attend the doors of the gates of the wall but to return to their service in the temple who had been employed in one thing or another, while the wall and gates were building and repairing; see Nehemiah 3:17.

that I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem, for he was a faithful man and feared God above many. — that I gave my brother Hanani; who first brought him the melancholy account of the state of Jerusalem, Nehemiah 1:2,

— and Hananiah the ruler of the palace; the king’s palace, in which the viceroy of the king of Persia dwelt, and now Nehemiah; to these two men he gave charge over Jerusalem; committed it to their care during his absence, who may be supposed now to return to Persia, as he had promised, Nehemiah 2:6,

And I said unto them, “Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors and bar them. And appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be opposite his house.” — and I said unto them, let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; or until the heat of the day, or near noon; and shone out clearly that if any enemies were near or lying in wait they might be discovered and the inhabitants also up and ready to defend themselves:

Now the city was large and great, but the people were few therein, and the houses were not built. — now the city was large and great; the circumference of it, all within the wall; for that was built on its old foundation, and enclosed as much ground as ever it did: 

— but the people were few therein; in comparison of the largeness of the place; for though there were 42,360 that came up at first with Zerubbabel and many more with Ezra yet a great number chose to settle in the towns and cities in the country; Jerusalem being in such a desolate condition: and the houses were not builded; some were but they were but few, many of them still lay in ruins.

And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles and the rulers and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and found written therein: — and God put into Nehemiah’s heart; every good motion in him and whatever he thought of that was conducive to the good and welfare of Jerusalem, he always ascribed it to God;

— to gather together the nobles and the rulers and the people that they might be reckoned by genealogy; that their number might be known and of what families they were and in what cities they formerly dwelt; and this was not only of use for the present purpose of Nehemiah, but was of service hereafter to show the pedigree of families and that it might be clearly known from whence the Messiah sprung:

these are the children of the province who went up out of the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city, — these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity; who were of the province of Judea as it was now reduced and came up out of the captivity of Babylon through the edict of Cyrus; see Ezra 2:1, where the same preface is given to the list of names as here; 

who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this: — Jeshua, Nehemiah, etc; to the eleven names given by Ezra, Nehemiah adds one, “Nahamani,” the sixth. He gives the others in the same order as Ezra, but spells some of the names differently – e.g. “Azariah” for “Seraiah,” “Raamiah” for “Reelaiah,” “Mispereth” for “Mizpar,” and “Nehum” for “Rehum.”

the children of Parosh, two thousand a hundred seventy and two;

the children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two;

10 the children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two;

11 the children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen;

12 the children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four;

13 the children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five;

14 the children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore;

15 the children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight;

16 the children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight;

17 the children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two;

18 the children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven;

19 the children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven;

20 the children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five;

21 the children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight;

22 the children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight;

23 the children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four;

24 the children of Hariph, a hundred and twelve;

25 the children of Gibeon, ninety and five;

26 the men of Bethlehem and Netophah, a hundred fourscore and eight;

27 the men of Anathoth, a hundred twenty and eight;

28 the men of Bethazmaveth, forty and two;

29 the men of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three;

30 the men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one;

31 the men of Michmas, a hundred and twenty and two;

32 the men of Bethel and Ai, a hundred twenty and three;

33 the men of the other Nebo, fifty and two;

34 the children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four;

35 the children of Harim, three hundred and twenty;

36 the children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five;

37 the children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one;

38 the children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.

39 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three; — the priests; it appears that only four of the courses of the priests returned from the captivity; and that the course of Abia (Lu 1:5) is not in the list. But it must be noticed that these four courses were afterwards divided into twenty-four, which retained the names of the original courses which David appointed.

40 the children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two;

41 the children of Pashhur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven;

42 the children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.

43 The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel and of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four.

44 The singers: the children of Asaph, a hundred forty and eight.

45 The gatekeepers: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, a hundred thirty and eight.

46 The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,

47 the children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon,

48 the children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai,

49 the children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar,

50 the children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,

51 the children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Paseah,

52 the children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim,

53 the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,

54 the children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,

55 the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah,

56 the children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.

57 The children of Solomon’s servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida, — the children of Solomon’s servants; this section and the section which follows (verses 63-65) are nearly identical in Ezra and Nehemiah. A few names only are slightly different.

58 the children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,

59 the children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon.

60 All the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon’s servants were three hundred ninety and two.

61 And these were the ones who went up also from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they could not show their father’s house nor their seed, whether they were of Israel.

62 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two. — Q. is this Tobiah different from one of the enemies of the Jews together with Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant the Ammonite Nehemiah 2:10?

63 And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, who took one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite for a wife, and was called after their name.

64 These sought their register among those who were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found; therefore they were as polluted, put from the priesthood. — were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood R.V. were they deemed polluted and put, Heb. they were polluted from;

ERV These people searched for their family histories, but they could not find them. They could not prove that their ancestors were priests, so they could not serve as priests. Their names were not included in the list of priests.

— Q1. Is the list polluated from the Samaritans? Were these names polluted or edited by Tobiah who had penatrated the Temple and altered the register? (for more see Tobiah in the Temple at the end)

— Q2. Did Tobiah entered his own posterity in verse 62 above as “the children of Tobiah?”

65 And the governor said unto them that they should not eat of the most holy things until there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.

66 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, — the whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore. It makes against the view that Ezra’s list was made in Babylon, some time before the final departure, and Nehemiah’s as made at Jerusalem, after the arrival of the exiles, that the sum total is in each case the same (see Ezra 2:64). 

67 besides their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven; and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women.

68 Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;

69 their camels, four hundred thirty and five; six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.

70 And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The governor gave to the treasury a thousand drams of gold, fifty basins, five hundred and thirty priests’ garments.

71 And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasury of the work twenty thousand drams of gold and two thousand and two hundred pounds of silver.

72 And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pounds of silver, and threescore and seven priests’ garments.

73 So the priests, and the Levites, and the gatekeepers, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinim, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.

Nehemiah 8

1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the Water Gate; and they spoke unto Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. — and they spoke unto Ezra the scribe; the same who is called Ezra the priest, and scribe of the law of God, and said to be a ready one, Ezra 7:6, who came to Jerusalem thirteen years before this time; but very probably returned to Babylon again, and was lately come from thence:

— to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel; to observe what was commanded in it, and which he had ordered to be read, particularly every seventh year, at the feast of tabernacles, Deuteronomy 31:10 which was now drawing near, though this was not the precise time of reading it; hence some have thought this year was the sabbatical year; see Nehemiah 5:11.

And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all who could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. — and Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation; having a perfect copy of it, which the people knew, and therefore desired him to bring it; he brought it either out of his own case or chest, or out of the temple where it was laid up;

— upon the first day of the seventh month; as the seventh was the most important month in a religious sense, so the first day, the Feast of Trumpets, was the most important new moon (Leviticus 23:24).

And he read therein before the street that was before the Water Gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the Book of the Law. — and he read therein; some passages in it, here and there, from early morning) till mid-day; therefore for about six hours daily;

— from Hebrew to Aramaic; which it was necessary the people should have understanding and knowledge of; for it can hardly be thought be began and read on just in the order in which it was: this he did, “And the ears of all the people were directed to the law,” that is, the people listened attentively;

— Ezra had others standing by to relieve him: the reading was also interrupted by exposition (verses 7 to 8). Hence this progress gave rise to the Targum translation.

And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah and Shema and Anaiah, and Urijah and Hilkiah and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah and Mishael and Malchijah, and Hashum and Hashbadana, Zechariah and Meshullam. — Pulpit of wood; literally, a tower of wood; to raise him higher than the people; that he might be better seen and heard by them all. Thirteen persons (perhaps representing thirteen tribes), however, were on what is afterwards called a platform, or stair, by his side.

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people (for he was above all the people), and when he opened it all the people stood up. — and Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people (for he was above all the people); so plainly seen by them and what he did and the more easily heard for which purpose the pulpit was made for him to stand in:

— and, when he opened it, all the people stood up; that they might the better hear the law read as well as in honour and reverence of it; the Jews say (T. Bab. Megillah, fol. 21.1) that from the times of Moses to Rabban Gamaliel, they learned the law only standing; but after his death a disease came into the world, and they learned it sitting; and now it is a canon with them, that it is not necessary to stand at the reading of the law.

And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” while lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads, and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. — it is the custom with the Jews in their synagogues for the reader after he has opened the book and looked out the place he reads, to say this blessing, “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hath chosen us out of all people, and hath given us his law; blessed art thou, O Lord, who hast given us the law; and all the people answer, Amen;”

— and all the people answered, Amen, Amen: repeating the word, to declare their hearty assent to what Ezra had expressed; the Jews have many rules concerning pronouncing the “Amen”, that it must not be too quick, curt, and short, nor with too high a voice:

— with lifting up their hands; a prayer gesture; and they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground; expressing hereby the awful sense they had of the Divine Being, and their profound adoration of him.

Also Jeshua and Bani and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law; and the people stood in their place. — the Levites caused the people to understand the law;

— as well the words, which, being Hebrew, needed to be translated into the Chaldee or Aramic language, now the common language of the returnees; who, together with their religion had also in a great part lost their Hebrews; as also the meaning of them: they expounded the mind and will of God in what they read, and applied it to the people’s present condition.

— some think that Ezra read the law in pure Hebrew, while the Levites who assisted him translated it sentence by sentence into Chaldee, the vernacular dialect which the exiles spoke in Babylon. Others maintain that the duty of these Levites consisted in explaining to the people, many of whom had become very ignorant, what Ezra had read.

So they read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly, and gave the sense and caused them to understand the reading. — distinctly; ‘or with an interpretation’. On the word see note on Ezra 4:18. The rendering sometimes based on the supposition that the Jews had returned from Babylon speaking Chaldee or Aramaic and that in consequence the Hebrew of ‘the Law’ had to be ‘interpreted’ in the sense of ‘translated.’ This would have been necessary in Ezra’s time.

And Nehemiah, who is the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people, said unto all the people, “This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. — said unto all the people, this day is holy unto the Lord your God; being both the new moon and the feast of blowing of trumpets:

— mourn not, nor weep; which was unsuitable to a festival, and especially such an one as this, in which trumpets were to be blown, and gladness to be shown, Numbers 10:10

— for all the people wept when they heard the words of the law; perceiving they had not kept it, but had broke it in many instances, and so liable to the wrath and judgment of God in case of disobedience.

10 Then he said unto them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet, and send portions unto those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy unto our Lord; neither be ye sorry, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” — notwithstanding the painful remembrances of their national sins which the reading of the law awakened, the people were exhorted to cherish the feelings of joy and thankfulness associated with a sacred festival;

— by sending portions of it to their poorer brethren (Deu 16:11, 14; Es 9:19), they would also enable them to participate in the public rejoicings.

11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, “Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.” — so the Levites stilled all the people, made them quiet and easy, being backed by the governor: saying, hold your peace; refrain from weeping and mourning:

— for the day is holy; a festival, set apart for joy and gladness: neither be ye grieved; inwardly; as they were not to show any signs of sorrow outwardly, so they were not to cherish grief inwardly.

12 And all the people went their way to eat and to drink and to send portions and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

13 And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law. — and on the second day were gathered together; the second day of the month and of the new year, the day after the feast of blowing of trumpets, and after the law had been read and explained:

— unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law; some things in it, which, upon reading the day before, they observed had some difficulty in them, and which they did not clearly understand before; and therefore Ezra, a scribe in the law, for better information might be deemed better able to teach the people; which was highly commendable in them.

14 And they found written in the law, which the Lord had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month; — that the children of Israel should dwell in booths, in the feast of the seventh month: and this already past the second day of the same month; therefore the time was drawing near for keeping it; for it was to begin the fifteenth.

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, as it is written.” — and they found written in the law that the Lord had commanded Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month;

— and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying: “Go forth to the mount, and fetch olive branches, etc. to make booths, as it is written.”

16 So the people went forth, and brought them and made themselves booths, 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. — so the people went forth, and brought them; went out of Jerusalem to the mountains adjacent, and fetched in branches of the said trees, one or another:

— and made themselves booths, everyone upon the roof of his house; which were flat, Deuteronomy 22:8, and they might be made anywhere, so be it they were open to the air: and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God; the common people in the courtyards belonging to their houses, and the priests and Levites in the courts of the temple, the yards or open places adjoining to them:

— and in the street of the watergate; which led to that, and seems to have been a very large street, in which many booths might be built, Nehemiah 3:26; and in the street of the gate of Ephraim; which led to the gate through which the road lay to the tribe of Ephraim, see II Kings 14:13, none were erected without the walls of the city, for fear of the enemy.

17 And all the congregation of those who had come again out of the captivity made booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness. — and all the congregation of them that were come again out of captivity made booths; these came to Jerusalem, and made them booths there;

— and sat under the booths; there they dwelt during the seven days of it, in commemoration of their ancestors dwelling in booths in the wilderness, see Leviticus 23:42

— for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so; Joshua observed it, when be had brought and settled the people of Israel in the land of Canaan; and it had been observed since, before this time, as appears from 1 Kings 8:2 Ezra 3:4; but not so, with such exactness,

— with such zeal and affection, with such a regard to the law of God, as to read it every day of the feast, as in the next verse, and with such joy and gladness; wherefore there is no reason to suspect a corruption in the text, as some learned men may say, who supposes that Joshua is put for Josiah:

— and there was very great gladness; that they were restored unto and settled in their land, had the book of the law and the knowledge of it and were directed and enabled to observe it.

18 Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner. — also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God; that is, Ezra; this was done by him every day during the feast, whereas only the first and last days were the holy convocations on which it seems to have been read:

— and they kept the feast seven days, and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according to the manner; prescribed in Leviticus 23:39.

~~~

Tobiah in the Temple – Nehemiah 13:4-9

4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah. 

5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where previously they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense and the vessels and the tithes of the corn, the new wine and the oil, which were commanded to be given to the Levites and the singers and the gatekeepers, and the offerings of the priests. 

6 But in all this time I was not at Jerusalem; for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I came unto the king, and after certain days I obtained leave from the king. 

7 And I came to Jerusalem and learned of the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 

8 And it grieved me sore; therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.

9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers; and thither I brought back the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.

There are four things mentioned in particular that show the backsliding of the people: the presence Tobiah in the courts of the Temple; the failure to provide adequately for the Levites; the desecration of the Sabbath; and the return to mixed marriages.

When Nehemiah came back to Jerusalem he saw something that must have both grieved and angered him. He found that the priest Eliashib had entered into an agreement with one of the men who had been at the forefront of the opposition to the wall rebuilding.

Not only was Tobiah personally a proven enemy of the people of God, he was an Ammonite, a part of the ‘mixed multitude’ put out of the temple years before. In chapter 6 Tobiah was exerting his influence from without, and maintaining contact with some of the nobles within by letter. But now he was right inside! It is not at all surprising that Nehemiah was upset!

(a) The temple rooms that Tobiah was occupying were supposed to be used for the storage of tithes and offerings for the priests and for the service of God’s sanctuary. It was unthinkable that rooms set apart for a holy purpose should be used by a pagan opponent of the work of God.

(b) Eliashib had failed as the spiritual leader of the people and had neglected to maintain the purity of the house of God. He had not recognised the danger of having an alliance with such a man. Possibly Eliashib thought the regulations for ‘separation’ and ‘no mixing’ were far too strict and uncharitable, but we ignore God’s commands at our peril!

Nehemiah was not just grieved but determined to take radical measures to solve the problem: He threw Tobiah and all his possessions out of the temple; He restored the temple rooms to their proper function. No doubt some would see his action as being harsh but like the Lord Jesus when he cleansed the temple Nehemiah had the wisdom not to confuse ‘love’ with ‘being nice’!

Nehemiah (Ch 5-6)

•May 26, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The Jewish community were surrounded on all sides: Sanballat and the Samaritans on the north, the Ammonites on the east, the Arabians on the south, and the Philistines (Ashdodites) on the west.

Our God shall fight for us; the Jews reminded themselves, against foes superior in numbers and strength. Their God shall fight for them. See also Exodus 15:3-6, ‘The Lord is a man of war … Thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy;’ Exodus 14:14, ‘The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace …’

Nehemiah 5

1 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. — there was a great cry of the people; of the poor against their rich brethren, who had oppressed them;

— for though the people in general were cured of their idolatry by their captivity, yet they were not cured of their other sins, but loved strange women, and were so covetous that they oppressed the poor and needy; and this at a time when their enemies threatened the destruction of them all.

For there were those who said, “We, our sons and our daughters are many; therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat and live.” — for there were that said, we, our sons, and our daughters, are many; not that they complained of the number of their children, for a numerous offspring was always reckoned a blessing with the Jews; but this they observed to show that their families, being large, required a considerable quantity of food to support them:

— therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat and live; that is, they were obliged to take it at an exorbitant price, which is the thing complained of; or otherwise they must starve, the rich taking the advantage of their poverty and present dearth.

There were some also who said, “We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn because of the dearth.” — because of the dearth; not long before this, there had been a great scarcity of corn through want of rain, which God had withheld as a punishment for the people’s taking more care to build their own houses than his temple, as in Haggai 1:9-11

— and in this time of scarcity the rich had no compassion on their poor brethren, who were forced to part with all they had for bread. And this dearth was now increased, from the multitude of the people in and near Jerusalem; from their work, which wholly took them up, and kept them from taking care of their families; and from the expectation of their enemies’ invasion.

There were also those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards. — we have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards; for though the priests, Levites, and Nethinims (temple assistants in ancient Jerusalem), were exempted from it, yet not the people in common; and some of these were so poor, that they could not pay it without borrowing upon their estates, and paying large usury for it.

Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already; neither is it in our power to redeem them, for other men have our lands and vineyards.” — yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren; we are of the same nature, nation and religion: our children as their children; are circumcised as they, and have a right to the same privileges in church and state:

— and some of our daughters are brought into bondage already; sold to be servants as they might in case of the poverty of parents, Exodus 21:7, and some were sometimes taken to be bond in payment of their parents’ debts, 2 Kings 4:1

And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. — Nehemiah was very angry; his indignation was excited at the excessive usury, which his own brethren and servants required.

Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles and the rulers and said unto them, “Ye exact usury, every one from his brother.” And I set a great assembly against them. — and Nehemiah seek his own counsel; and rebuked the nobles, and the rulers: you exact usury, every one of his brothers where the Deuteronomic law forbids interest upon loans advanced to fellow Israelites, but permits them only with foreigners, Deuteronomy 23:19-20.

— this law treats only of dealing with Israelites and prohibits all idea of making gain out of assistance rendered to brethren in distress. Leviticus 25:35-37.

And I said unto them, “We, according to our ability, have redeemed our brethren the Jews who were sold unto the heathen. And will ye even sell your brethren? Or shall they be sold unto us?” Then they held their peace, and found nothing to answer. — in this assembly Nehemiah reproached them with the injustice of their behaviour.

— “We” (said he) “have, after our ability, redeemed our brethren the Jews which were sold unto the heathen; yet ye would sell your brethren.” We (that is, Nehemiah and the Jews living in exile, who were like-minded with him) have bought, in contrast to ye sell. God had redeemed their Jewish brethren from the Persians yet they were later sold to the heathen.

Also I said, “It is not good what ye do. Ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen, our enemies? — It is not good that ye do; though you get money by it, you contract guilt, and expose yourselves to the displeasure of God; ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God?

— Certainly you ought, for you profess religion and relation to him; and if you do walk in his fear, you will neither be covetous of worldly gain, nor cruel toward your brethren. They that live in the fear of God will not dare to do an ill thing, because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies;

— who are round about you and are enemies to us, our God and our religion. They observe all your actions and will reproach both you for such barbarous usage of your brethren and religion for your sakes.

10 I likewise, and my brethren and my servants, might exact from them money and corn; I pray you, let us leave off this usury. — let us leave off this usury; Nehemiah invites his hearers to join with him in abandoning a custom which had been productive of such evil results. ‘This usury,’ that is, requiring of interest or of pledges.

11 Restore, I pray you, to them even this day their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money and of the corn, the wine, and the oil that ye exact from them.” — Restore, I pray you; Nehemiah demands immediate redress for the wrongs done to fellow-countrymen. He demands restoration of property and remission of interest on loans.

12 Then said they, “We will restore them, and will require nothing of them. So will we do as thou sayest.” Then I called the priests and took an oath from them, that they should do according to this promise. — so will we do as thou sayest; they approved of his proposal, and readily agreed to it:

— then Nehemiah called the priests, and took an oath of them that they should do according to this promise; both in that the priests were delinquents, they were charged with issues of this kind; and second, that the priests were called to administer the oath to the nobles and rulers and rich men to oblige them the more to keep their word; an oath being sacred, priests in an holy office were made to give solemn pledge to keep them.

13 Also I shook my lap, and said, “So God shake out every man from his house and from his labor who performeth not this promise; even thus be he shaken out and emptied.” And all the congregation said, “Amen,” and praised the Lord. And the people did according to this promise. — shook my lap; this symbolical act imprecated on every man who broke this covenant an appropriate penalty: that he be emptied of all his possessions, even as the fold of Nehemiah’s garment was emptied;

— shook it in the sight of all the people, so that anything which it might have before concealed would have been jerked violently from him. Even so, he says, may God cast forth from His protection and love, in home and work, the man who fails to abide by this oath.

14 Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king (that is, twelve years), I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor. — have not eaten the bread of the governor; have not taken that allowance which, by the laws of God and nations, and of the king of Persia, the governors might require; that is, noy living at the expense of the people under him.

15 But the former governors who had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yea, even their servants ruled over the people, but so did I not, because of the fear of God. — the former governors that had been before me. Of these, two only are known to us, Zerubbabel and Ezra; were chargeable unto the people; the words should be rendered “had oppressed the people (ἐβάρυναν, LXX.), “had been heavy upon them;

— had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels. Rather, “had taken from them, for bread and wine, above forty shekels.” It could be forty shekels a day from the whole people, or forty shekels a year from each person as some explain;

— even their servants bare rule; the oppression exercised by the domestics and other servants of rulers is often worse than their own. This is especially the case in ancient times where eunuchs and other domestics have been the most fearful tyrants. Haman under Xerxes, Sejanus under Tiberius, Narcissus under Nero, are examples;

— so did not Nehemiah; he neither exacted money, nor allowed his servants to bear rule. Because of the fear of God. Because Nehemiah felt that it would be wrong, either absolutely or under the circumstances.

16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land; and all my servants were gathered thither for the work. — yea, also Nehemiah continued in the work: overseeing, directing, and encouraging the workmen, which was his whole business; and this at his own cost;

— neither bought we any land; of his poor brethren, whose necessities gave abundant opportunities of enriching himself by good bargains. And all his servants were gathered unto the work and received no pay for their labour.

17 Moreover there were at my table a hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, besides those who came unto us from among the heathen who are about us. — a hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers; the “hundred and fifty” were all “rulers.” Nehemiah means to say that he entertained continually at his table 150 of the Jewish chief men or “rulers” and also an indefinite number of foreign Jews, who came on short visits to Jerusalem.

18 Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days, a store of all sorts of wine; yet for all this I required not the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people. — once in ten clays store of all sorts of wine. Literally “all sorts of wine in abundance.” Wine was probably drunk every day, but laid in every ten days.

— yet for all this. Or “with all this”- notwithstanding this great expenditure, Nehemiah took no allowance as governor. Because the bondage was heavy upon this people. The bondage intended must be that under the Persian crown, since neither the labour at the wall nor the oppression of the creditors lasted during the twelve years that Nehemiah was governor.

19 Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people. — think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that Nehemiah had done for this people. He expected not any recompence from the people, but from the Lord; and from him not in a way of merit, but of grace and good will, who forgets not what is done for his name’s sake.

Nehemiah 6

1 Now it came to pass, when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arabian and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left therein (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates), — as established in Nehemiah 2-4,” for their adversaries were surrounding the Jewish community on all sides: Sanballat and the Samaritans on the north, Tobiah and the Ammonites on the east, Geshem the chief among the Arabians on the south, and the Philistines (Ashdodites) on the west;”

— though at that time Nehemiah had not set up the doors upon the gates; not upon all of them, though some might by the particular builders of them; and they all of them might be ready made, though not as yet put upon the hinges.

that Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they thought to do me mischief. — the wall-building was quite finished, but doors to the gates were as yet wanting to the complete fortification of the city. The enemies sent to Nehemiah, saying, Come, let us meet together (for a discussion) in the villages in the valley of Ono.

— in the plain of Ono; which was in the same tribe, see 1 Chronicles 8:12, they might pretend a friendly meeting, to accommodate differences between them, or to converse together about the general interest of the king of Persia in those parts: but they thought to do me mischief; to kill him, or at least to confine him; this he either conjectured from their general character and behaviour, or he had intelligence of their design.

And I sent messengers unto them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease, whilst I leave it and come down to you?” — I am doing a great work: he tells them one, but not the only, nor the principal, reason of his refusal, because his coming might cause the work to cease, not only by the neglect of it during his absence, but by his death, which they by this means might compass, though he thought it not fit to express so much to them.

Yet they sent unto me four times in this manner, and I answered them in the same manner. — and Nehemiah answered them after the same manner; every time as before, he being as much bent on finishing the work as they were to divert him from it.

Then Sanballat sent his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand, — an open letter in his hand, ‘open,’ not sealed. The object of this was intended that the contents of the letter should become public property. The servant himself and the adherents of Sanballat within the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 6:17) would possess themselves of its contents long before it reached the hands of Nehemiah.

wherein was written: “It is reported among the heathen, and Geshem saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel; for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king according to these words. — that thou and the Jews think to rebel; that they had formed a scheme and were taking measures to raise a rebellion against the king of Persia and revolt from him:

— for which cause thou buildest the wall; the wall of Jerusalem for their security against any force that might be sent to quell them: that thou mayest be their king, according to these words; written in this epistle and reported among the heathens.

And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ And now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.” — and thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem; this he said to cover what he and Tobiah had been doing, tampering with, corrupting, and hiring the prophets to discourage him, and put him upon methods, whereby the work would cease:

— come now, therefore, and let us take counsel together; contrive the best method to put a stop to this report, if a false one, and to wipe off the reproach that is upon thee and may affect us; and thus partly terrifying him and partly pretending friendship to him, hoped to get him into his hands.

Then I sent unto him, saying, “There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.” — Nehemiah, however, saw through his stratagem and sent word to him by a messenger: “There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart,” – to invent, to feign, especially evil things.

For they all made us afraid, saying, “Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done.” Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. — now, therefore, O God, strengthen my hands; and let them not have what they will, and hope for;

— these words are directed to Sanballat, that if he was a friend, as he pretended, that instead of weakening, he would strengthen his hands by a sincere reconciliation.

10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple; for they will come to slay thee, yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.” — afterward Nehemiah came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up;

— either in his own house, or in a chamber in the temple, as if he had given himself up to meditation, fasting and prayer; or, as he might suggest to Nehemiah, for his safety; however he was a person Nehemiah had a good opinion of and came to him on the letters sent to him by his enemies to consult with him and the rest since they had suggested that he had appointed prophets to speak of him as a king;

— for they will come to slay thee; meaning his enemies, Sanballat and his companions: yea, in the night they will come to slay thee; that very night and therefore no time should be lost in providing for his safety.

11 And I said, “Should such a man as I flee? And who is there that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.” — Nehemiah was not to be alarmed, but exclaimed: Should such a man as I flee? and what man like me could go into the holy place and live?

— I will not go in. This word is ambiguous; it may mean to save his life, or and save his life; probably Nehemiah used it in the latter sense, having in mind the command, Numbers 18:7, that the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

12 And lo, I perceived that God had not sent him, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me; for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. — the existence of a party among the Jews, a betrayal, who sided with Sanballat and lent themselves to his schemes, is here for the first time indicated;

— the house of Shemaiah; this man was the son of a priest (Shemaiah, the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, Neh 3:29), who was an intimate and confidential friend of Nehemiah. The young man claimed to be endowed with the gift of prophecy. Having been secretly bribed by Sanballat, he, in his pretended capacity of prophet, told Nehemiah that his enemies were that night to make an attempt upon his life.

13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have cause for an evil report, that they might reproach me. — an evil report; Nehemiah perceived that not God, but Shemaiah himself, had uttered the prophecy “against me,” and that he was hired to bring the governor into discredit as a violator of law.

14 My God, think Thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who would have put me in fear. — my God, think thou on Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works; their wicked counsels and schemes, and not only confound and disappoint them, but reward them as they deserve:

— the prophetess Noadiah; one that falsely pretended to have the Spirit of prophecy, to deceive and destroy Nehemiah. She has been supposed to have succumbed to a bribe, like Shemaiah; we only know that together with other prophets, she endeavoured to “put Nehemiah in fear.” It is clear that she was unsuccessful.

15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month of Elul, in fifty and two days. —Nehemiah built the wall, but earlier, Zerubbabel built the house of the Lord, the temple (Ezra 3:8, 5:2).

16 And it came to pass that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen who were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was wrought by our God. — our enemies; the Samaritans, the Ammonites, the Ashdodites and the Arabians under Geshem are the special “enemies” here spoken of.

— the Phoenicians, Syrians, Moabites, etc are the other “heathen round about” the Jews. Even these last were unfriendly and disliked any increase of Jewish power and prosperity; they perceived that this work was wrought of our God. They could not but recognise a special Providence as befriending and protecting the Jews, who, after having been utterly crushed and rooted out by Nebuchadnezzar, were now reestablished in a commanding position in Palestine, and allowed to make their city once more an almost impregnable fortress.

17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them. — the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah; corresponding with him against Nehemiah, and against their own city and nation. So that, added to all the other wickedness of this people, there were false brethren among their great men, who favoured, aided, and abetted the designs of their enemies.

18 For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son-in-law of Shechaniah the son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah. — for there were many in Judah sworn unto him; to Tobiah, who not only in a private manner corresponded with him by letters, but bound themselves by an oath to him to be true to his interest, and do as he should advise them:

— because he was the son in law of Shechaniah, the son of Arah; of a family that came up with Zerubbabel from the captivity, Ezra 2:5 and very probably of considerable note:

19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear. — also they reported his good deeds before me; recommended him as a very worthy man, deserving of respect and notice by Nehemiah, and to be taken into his friendship, and admitted to conversation with him, whose counsel and advice might be of service:

— and uttered my words to him; reported both what he said and did; for the word used signifies both words and actions: and Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear; perceiving, by the intelligence of his friends, that Nehemiah would have nothing to say to him, nor to do with him, he threatened him.

60,000 Migrants Waiting In Mexico

•May 25, 2022 • Leave a Comment

60,000 Migrants Waiting In Mexico Across Border From El Paso, Texas

ZeroHedge by Tyler Durden May 25, 2022 / The Epoch Times May 24 2022

In the past two weeks, more than 60,000 migrants have amassed in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, directly across the border from El Paso, Texas, in anticipation of Title 42 being lifted from the border.

60,000 migrants amassed in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

“And we can only imagine it growing even further,” Mario D’Agostino, El Paso deputy city manager, told the El Paso City Council on May 23.

About a month ago, the number of migrants in Ciudad Juárez was about 15,000, D’Agostino said. He said state and federal officials keep him updated on the numbers.

Title 42 is an emergency public health order that allows for quick expulsion of nonessential travel across U.S. borders to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden administration had planned to lift it on May 23, but a federal judge blocked that move, keeping it in place for now.

The El Paso City Council met on May 23 to discuss invoking local emergency measures—including increasing capacity for shelter, food, and transport—to deal with an anticipated influx of illegal immigrants into the city.

The call came after Border Patrol apprehended more than 1,200 illegal immigrants on May 14 and subsequently released 119 at a charter bus station because of space constraints.

They would suffer Judgement by the sword, by famine, by pestilence and spending years in captivity to reflect and repent there. For a more sober reflection, see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years and A Sword from the South!

Nehemiah’s Prayer, a Critique

•May 24, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Nehemiah’s Prayer is yet another example for us to study and emulate, especially for forgiveness against the Law of Moses (Leviticus 26Deuteronomy 28); Nehemiah was not merely praying for his comfort and protection. His concern was to pray for God’s people, the acknowledgement of their sins and asking for forgiveness and great mercies.

What Nehemiah admitted is unlike what Rabbi Tovia Singer and other rabbinic interpretation have in their teachings by shifting blames by assigning the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel “who silently endured unimaginable suffering at the hands of its gentile oppressors.” That is, to  Rabbi Singer, Israel’s suffering is attributable to their wicked neighbours and not to themselves!

Or, from another shifting of blames from Jews for Judiasm: “when the nations, astonished and in terror, will feel ashamed for their oppression of the Jewish people.” Again, they have no faults of their own but shift their suffering to their wicked neighbours and not attribute to themselves!

Making no excuses, Nehemiah confessed his people’s sin: “We have dealt very corruptly against Thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments which Thou commanded Thy servant Mose”) and acknowledged the justice of God’s judgement, severe though it had been. Nehemiah honestly admitted and confessing, “the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against Thee. Both I and my father’s house have sinned.” Nehemiah admitted Israel suffers because of her own sins, rather than blaming them on the Gentiles; Period!

Nehemiah is a man of God, his example of a Prayer should be emulated and studied today. Now for the details:

1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in the palace at Shushan, — the words of Nehemiah; or the word used often signifies; that is, the things which Nehemiah did;

— Shushan the palace, or Susa, was the ordinary residence of the Persian kings. “The palace” or acropolis was a distinct quarter of the city, occupying an artificial eminence.

— according to Nehemiah 1:11, Nehemiah was cup-bearer to the Persian king, and was, at his own request, appointed for some time Pecha, that is, governor of Judah.

that Hanani one of my brethren came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left behind from the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

And they said unto me, “The remnant who are left behind from the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.” — and they said unto me, the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province; in Judea, now reduced to a province of the Persian empire: are in great affliction and reproach; harassed and distressed, calumniated and vilified by their enemies, the Samaritans:

— the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burnt with fire; that is, its wall and gates were in the same condition in which Nebuchadnezzar had left them, for since his times as yet they had never been set up; for this is not to be understood of what was lately done by their adversaries, which is not at all probable.

And it came to pass when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven — that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; sat down upon the ground in dust and ashes, after the manner of mourners, and wept bitterly, and mourned in a most sorrowful manner; and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven; that made it, and dwells in it.

and said: “I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and fearsome God, who keepeth covenant and mercy for those who love Him and observe His commandments, — and said, I beseech thee. The opening of Nehemiah’s prayer follows so closely the thoughts and words of Daniel’s (Daniel 9:4), that it is almost impossible to suppose that one of the two writers had not the words of the other before him.

let Thine ear now be attentive and Thine eyes open, that Thou mayest hear the prayer of Thy servant, which I pray before Thee now day and night for the children of Israel Thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against Thee. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. — I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants; this he had continued to do ever since he heard of their trouble and calamity:

— and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned; he considered sin as the cause of all this evil that had befallen his people, and confesses it with sorrow and humiliation, and not their sins only, but his own personal and family sins.

We have dealt very corruptly against Thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments which Thou commanded Thy servant Moses. — we have dealt very corruptly against thee,…. Corrupted his covenant, laws, and precepts, as well as themselves, ways, and works; all which were against the Lord, contrary to his nature, mind, and will:

— and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses; the laws, moral, ceremonial, and judicial.

— what Daniel admitted is unlike what rabbinic interpretation and Rabbi Tovia Singer have in their teachings by assigning the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel “who silently endured unimaginable suffering at the hands of its gentile oppressors.” What nonsense, “we have sinned, we have done wickedly” Israel suffers because of her own sins; Period!

— but trying to divert sin is a great sin by itself. King Saul justified himself by saying “for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God.” King Saul blamed his disobedience on “the people.” It wasn’t a small matter and for this, Saul lost his mind, consulted a witch and finally his kingdom was removed.

Remember, I beseech Thee, the word that Thou commanded Thy servant Moses, saying, ‘If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations; — remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses; to declare to the children of Israel, Deuteronomy 28:64, saying, if ye transgress; the law of God:

— I will scatter you abroad among the nations; as now they had been among the Assyrians, Chaldeans, Medes, and Persians.

— and those at the endtime, to suffer Judgement by the sword, by famine, by pestilence and spending years in captivity to reflect and repent there (for more see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years and A Sword from the South!).

but if ye turn unto Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though there were some of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set My name there.’ — though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven; that is, the most distant regions; so called, because at the extreme parts of the horizon, the heavens and earth touch each other;

— yet will I gather them from thence and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there; that is to Jerusalem where the temple was built, and his name was called upon.

10 Now these are Thy servants and Thy people, whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy great power and by Thy strong hand. — whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand; touching and moving the heart of Cyrus to proclaim liberty to them.

11 O Lord, I beseech Thee, let now Thine ear be attentive to the prayer of Thy servant, and to the prayer of Thy servants who desire to fear Thy name; and prosper, I pray Thee, Thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” For I was the king’s cupbearer. — and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day; meaning himself, who was to wait on the king of Persia that day, and, if he had opportunity, intended to lay the case of the Jews before him, and therefore entreats he might meet with success:

— for I was the king’s cupbearer; in the execution of which office he was often in the king’s presence, and hoped to have an opportunity of speaking to him in the behalf of the Jews; this with the Persians was reckoned a very honourable office.

Nehemiah (Ch 3-4)

•May 23, 2022 • 1 Comment

The Jewish community were surrounded on all sides: Sanballat and the Samaritans on the north, the Ammonites on the east, the Arabians on the south, and the Philistines (Ashdodites) on the west.

Our God shall fight for us; the Jews reminded themselves, against foes superior in numbers and strength. Their God shall fight for them. See also Exodus 15:3-6, ‘The Lord is a man of war … Thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy;’ Exodus 14:14, ‘The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace …’

Nehemiah 3

1 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They sanctified it and set up the doors of it; even unto the Tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the Tower of Hananeel. — Eliashib was the grandson of Joshua, the high priest contemporary with Zerubbabe;

— though he co-operated in the work of rebuilding the walls, his close connexion with Tobiah, as described in Nehemiah 13:4, shows that he compromised and did not fully sympathize with the policy of Ezra and Nehemiah in separating the Jews from any alliance or combination with other nations.

And next to him built the men of Jericho. And next to them built Zaccur the son of Imri. — and next to Eliashib built the men of Jericho; that is, the posterity of the ancient inhabitants of Jericho (see Ezra 2:34);

— builded Zaccur the son of Imri; who probably was the chief of the men of Jericho; again, compromising and going against the policy of Ezra and Nehemiah in separating the Jews from any alliance or with other nations;

But the Fish Gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof and the bars thereof. — the fish-gate did the sons of Senaah (or Hassenaah) build (see Ezra 2:35); these are of the house of Judah that returned from Babylon; they laid its beams, and set up its doors, bolts, and bars. 

And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana. — Meremoth the son of Uriah, the son of Koz or Hakkoz; the children of Hakkoz are mentioned in Ezra 2:61; that is, these are of the house of Judah that returned from Babylon;

— Meshullam … Meshezabeel, or Meshezabel; Meshullam the son of Berechiah appears from Nehemiah 6:18 to have been one of the leading nobles and like Eliashib the high-priest; he compromised in the restoration of the walls, to have been also a close ally of Tobiah, whose son, Jehohanan, married Meshullam’s daughter. He was therefore probably opposed to Nehemiah in general policy.

And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord. — Tekoites; the men of Tekoa, who do not occur among those who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2), who furnish the solitary instance of internal opposition to the building; and as terming the common work “the work of the Lord,”

— the expression “to bring the neck to service” is, they refused to give any assistance to it with their purses or presence, but withdrew from it, as refractory oxen withdraw their necks from the yoke. This is observed to their disgrace, when the common people of their city were ready to work, and did, but they would not submit to it, either through pride or sloth or covetousness or secret compliance with the enemies of the Jews.

Moreover Jehoiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof and the locks thereof and the bars thereof. — the individuals specified as the builders of this gate are not further known; that is, their names are not listed among the house of Judah that returned from Babylon.

And next unto them Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, repaired unto the throne of the governor on this side of the river. — again, these names are not listed among the house of Judah that returned from Babylon.

Next unto him Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths, repaired. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries; and they fortified Jerusalem unto the Broad Wall. — same

And next unto them Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, repaired. — same

10 And next unto them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph repaired, even opposite his house. And next unto him Hattush the son of Hashabniah repaired. — same

11 Malchijah the son of Harim and Hashub the son of Pahathmoab repaired the other piece, and the Tower of the Furnaces. — same

12 And next unto him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, repaired — he and his daughters. — same

13 The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the Dung Gate. — same

14 But Malchijah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem repaired the Dung Gate; he built it and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof and the bars thereof. — same

15 But the Gate of the Fountain Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah, repaired; he built it and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof and the bars thereof, and the wall of the Pool of Shelah by the king’s garden and unto the stairs that go down from the City of David. — same

16 After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Bethzur, repaired unto the place opposite the sepulchers of David, and to the pool that was made and unto the House of the Mighty. — this Nehemiah is not Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah (Nehemiah 1:1), the author of this book.

17 After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part. — the constant mention of “priests,” “Levites,” and Nethinims” sufficiently indicates that the writer is concerned with the sacerdotal quarter, that immediately about the temple.

18 After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah.

19 And next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, repaired another piece opposite the ascent to the armory at the turning of the wall.

20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. — the wall from the angle to the place of the court of the prison by the king’s upper house; after him Baruch the son of Zabbai emulously repaired a second length of wall, from the angle to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.

21 After him Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz repaired another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.

22 And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain.

23 After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub opposite their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, by his house.

24 After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner.

25 Palal the son of Uzai made repairs opposite the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king’s high house that was by the court of the prison; after him Pedaiah the son of Parosh.

26 Moreover the Nethinim dwelt in Ophel unto the place opposite the Water Gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.

27 After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, opposite the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel. — as in verse 5, the Tekoites; who do not occur among those who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2), who furnish the solitary instance of internal opposition to the building; and as terming the common work “the work of the Lord.”

28 From above the Horse Gate repaired the priests, every one opposite his house.

29 After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired opposite his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the East Gate. — Zadok the son of Immer; the head of the priestly family of Immer. See those returning from Babylon: Ezra 2:37.

— Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah is very possibly the descendant of David mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:22. He must have been an old man, as his son, Hattush, had returned to Jerusalem with Ezra (Ezra 8:2, 3); but still he may have taken part in the work. 

30 After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph repaired another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah opposite his chamber. — the name of Meshullam the son of Berechiah occurs previously in Nehemiah 3:4; but the same individual can hardly be intended in the two verses.

31 After him Malchijah the goldsmith’s son repaired unto the place of the Nethinim and of the merchants, opposite the Gate Miphkad and to the ascent of the corner chamber. — the proximity of their work of restoration suggests that both goldsmiths and merchants represented communities largely and closely interested in the transactions connected with Temple offerings;

— for apart from the supply and repair of vessels, furniture, and dress, required for the daily ministration, the dedication of precious things would create a constant traffic close to the Temple. The merchants would establish themselves at the main approaches to the Temple and expose their wares to the throngs of worshippers and sacrificers who collected about this spot.

32 And between the ascent of the corner unto the Sheep Gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants. — the goldsmiths and the merchants were required to repair the piece of wall immediately to the south of the sheep gate, for which no individual had volunteered. Probably they had houses in the neighbourhood. They consented; and thus the entire wall was taken in hand, and the great work, which Nehemiah had conceived in his heart while still in Susa, was inaugurated.

Nehemiah 4

1 But it came to pass that when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was wroth and felt great indignation and mocked the Jews. — and mocked the Jews; pretending contempt in his words, when he had grief, anger, and vexation in his heart as the Samaritan faction was confined at first to scoffs and insults, showing their bitter animosity to the Jews on discovering the systematic design of refortifying Jerusalem;

— Sanballat vented his anger by ridiculing the Jews, saying before his brethren, that is, the rulers of his people, and the army of Samaria;

And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they make sacrifice? Will they finish it in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?” — and he spake before his brethren; before Tobiah, Geshem, and others, whom Nehemiah calls his brethren, because of their conjunction with him in office and interest;

— the rulers of his people, and the army of Samaria; in other words, saying publicly before his associates and subordinates, – “What do these feeble Jews? will they leave it to themselves? will they sacrifice? will they finish it to-day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps that are burned?”

— here is what Wikipedia says about the Samaritans: “There has been a history of genetic disorders within the group due to the small gene pool,” such as high incidence of austisics and cripples within their community for generations because of God’s curses upon those who show hostilities to the rebuilding of the house of God in Jerusalem.

Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, “Indeed that which they build, if a fox go up, even he shall break down their stone wall.” — and standing near Sanballat, Tobiah the Ammonite said; in the like a contemptuous, mocking and scoffing manner:

— even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stone wall; signifying not only that it was so low that a fox could easily get up to it, or leap over it; but that the materials were so bad, and the work so poorly done, that the weight of a fox would break it down; of which creatures many were thereabout since Jerusalem was desolate, see Lamentations 5:18.

Hear, O our God, for we are despised; and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them as a prey in the land of captivity. — hear, O our God, for we are despised; here begins the prayer of Nehemiah, who had been informed of what these men said in contempt of him, and his builders, and to whom he sent no answer, but applied to God:

— and turn their reproach upon their own head; as they have despised and reproached us, let them be despised and reproached by their neighbours:

— give them for a prey in the land of captivity; let them be carried captive, as we have been, and become a prey and booty to their enemies.

Here is what Wikipedia says about the Samaritans: “There has been a history of genetic disorders within the group due to the small gene pool,” such as high incidence of austisics and cripples within their community but of course they manage to deflect from mentioning the truth of God’s curses upon those who show hostilities to the rebuilding of the house of God in Jerusalem.

And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before Thee; for they have provoked Thee to anger before the builders. — and cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee; let it not go unpunished, and even let it not be pardoned; and as a result, God had threatened the Moabites and Ammonites with utter destruction:

— for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders; by despising his people, and mocking at the work the Lord had called them to; and this they did publicly, and on purpose to discourage the workmen.

So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto half its height, for the people had a mind to work. — so built we the wall; they went on in building it, notwithstanding their scoffs and threats:

— and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof; it was carried all round the city to half the height of it: for the people had a mind to work; their heart was in it, they had a good will to it, and they made haste to finish it.

But it came to pass that when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabians and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being rebuilt, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very angry.

— Sanballat … Ashdodites; here we have a complete list of the foes of Jerusalem. See notes on Nehemiah 2:10Nehemiah 2:19. The Ammonites were the fellow-countrymen of Tobiah, the Arabians of Geshem (Nehemiah 2:19).  With them are classed the dwellers by the coast (the Shephêlah) represented by the, Ashdodites or inhabitants of Ashdod. Ashdod was one of the principal Philistine cities (1 Samuel 5). It occupied a strong position near the sea;

— when these enemies heard that the walls of Jerusalem were bandaged, that is, that the breaches and damages in the wall were repaired, they were filled with wrath.

and conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem and to hinder it. — and conspired all of them together; all the above men and people entered into a confederacy and combination:

— to come and to fight against Jerusalem; to bring an army with them, and by force cause the Jews to desist; and to hinder it; the building of the walls of it; or “to make a wandering for him” to cause them to stray from their work, to frighten them from it.

Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. — nevertheless, we made our prayer unto our God; spread their case before him in prayer, entreating direction and help from him:

— and set a watch against them day and night because of them; to give notice of their approach that they might prepare to defend themselves; though they prayed to God and trusted in him for deliverance, they did not neglect the use of means.

10 And Judah said, “The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish, so that we are not able to build the wall.” — the placing of the watch day and night and the continuous labour must have pressed heavily upon the people;

— also being terrified by their enemies and wearied with continual labour, Judah said: “The strength of the bearers of burdens fails, and there is much rubbish; we are not able to build the wall.” That is to say, the labour is beyond our power, we cannot continue it.

11 And our adversaries said, “They shall not know, neither see, until we come in the midst among them and slay them and cause the work to cease.” — they shall not know; as to the adversaries, their plan was evidently to watch and surprise, instead of making the threatened attack.

— or, their enemies resolved not to appear with an army before Jerusalem, but to march so secretly that the Jews should have no notice of their approach till they saw them in the city, armed and prepared to attack them suddenly, and put them to the sword.

12 And it came to pass that when the Jews who dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, “From all places whence ye shall return unto us, they will be upon you.” — when therefore the Jews who dwelt near them, that is, in the neighbourhood of the adversaries and heard their words came to Jerusalem, “and said to us ten times (that is, again and again), that from all places ye must return to us;

— for their adversaries were surrounding the Jewish community on all sides: Sanballat and the Samaritans on the north, the Ammonites on the east, the Arabians on the south, and the Philistines (Ashdodites) on the west; 

— MSG And all this time our enemies were saying, “They won’t know what hit them. Before they know it we’ll be at their throats, killing them right and left. That will put a stop to the work!” The Jews who were their neighbors kept reporting, “They have us surrounded; they’re going to attack!” If we heard it once, we heard it ten times.

13 Therefore set I men in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places; I even set the people by families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. — in the lower places behind the wall; to stand by and within the walls where they were lowest, and therefore most liable to the enemy’s assault; perhaps should render, ‘And I set the engines (or catapults) in the space behind the wall in well-protected positions.’

— on the higher places; upon the tops of the walls where they were finished, and the towers which were built here and there upon the wall; whence they might shoot arrows or throw stones against their enemies, when they made their approaches.

14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles and to the rulers and to the rest of the people, “Be not ye afraid of them; remember the Lord, who is great and fearsome, and fight for your brethren, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your houses.” — “And I looked, and rose up, and said.” These words can only mean: When I saw the people thus placed with their weapons, I went to them, and said to the nobles, “Be not afraid of them (the enemies); remember the Lord, the great and the terrible,” who will fight for you against your enemies;

— their foes are banded together to compass the extermination of their race and name; their brotherhood, the blessings of family and home (sons and daughters), the ties of personal affection (wives) or cherished ancestral inheritance (house) were at stake. The enemy against whom they fought knew no pity.

15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work. — thus was the design of the enemy circumvented; the enemy, on hearing that Nehemiah was prepared to meet their attack, seem to have abandoned their intention of an immediate assault;

— and the Jews returned to their work on the wall, which they had forsaken to betake themselves to their weapons.

16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields and the bows and the jackets of mail; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. — the manner in which they resumed their building work was, that one half held weapons, and the other half laboured with weapons in hand.

17 Those who built on the wall and those who bore burdens with those who loaded — every one with one of his hands wrought in the work and with the other hand held a weapon. — just a reminder that the Jewish community were surrounded on all sides: Sanballat and the Samaritans on the north, the Ammonites on the east, the Arabians on the south, and the Philistines (Ashdodites) on the west; 

— they were to face God’s judgement in due time with utter destruction! For Nehemiah had prayed earlier: “Hear, O our God, for we are despised; and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them as a prey in the land of captivity.”

18 For the builders, every one, had his sword girded by his side, and so built. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. — and he that sounded the trumpet was by me; these words imply that Nehemiah was the life and soul of the defence, and that he was untiring in moving from point to point in the wall, superintending the work and directing the disposition for their welbeings.

19 And I said unto the nobles and to the rulers and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. — the work is great and large; the building of the wall all around the city of Jerusalem:

— and we are separated upon the wall one far from another; some at work on one part of it, and some at another, so that the distance between one another, at least in the further part, was very considerable.

20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us. Our God shall fight for us.” — our God shall fight for us; the Jews shall fight, and even against foes superior in numbers and strength shall prevail. Their God shall fight for them. See also Exodus 15:3-6, ‘The Lord is a man of war … Thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy;’ Exodus 14:14, ‘The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace …’ Cf. Deuteronomy 1:30Deuteronomy 3:22Deuteronomy 20:4Deuteronomy 28:7.

21 So we labored in the work; and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning until the stars appeared. — So we laboured, or So we wrought. The word in the original being the same as that rendered ‘wrought’ in Nehemiah 4:16-17, it is best to adhere to the same English equivalent. ‘We:’ the pronoun is emphatic, that is, I and my servants.

— “So we continued to work; and one-half of my personal followers continued to keep watch, and to hold the spears.”

22 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, “Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labor in the day.” — lodge within Jerusalem. i.e. “sleep” or “pass the night” there, instead of returning to their several villages or towns;

— that in the night they may be a guard to us. The very fact that they were in Jerusalem and known to be there would tend to prevent an attack; and if the enemy assaulted by night, they would be at hand and able to take their part in guarding the work. Nehemiah 4:22.

23 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us, put off our clothes, except that every one put them off for washing. — saving that everyone put them off for washing; not for common washing, because dirty, but for washing on account of ceremonial uncleanness, which required washing both of bodies and garments.

China calls for BRICS expansion

•May 22, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The five-nation bloc should add more member states, Beijing says

Reports from Sputnik 20 May 2022 / RT 19 May 2022

China wants to expand the group of emerging economies known as BRICS, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday. The economic bloc currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

“China proposes to start the BRICS expansion process, explore the criteria and procedures for the expansion, and gradually form a consensus,” Wang Yi, China’s state councilor and foreign minister, told an online meeting of BRICS foreign ministers, as quoted by Reuters.

BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

In an address ahead of the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged to strengthen cooperation. Xi had previously invited the Argentinian government to participate in the BRICS summit. Argentina has been striving to join the group for more than a decade. In February, during an official visit to China, Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez reiterated the request.

Monday’s virtual meeting between foreign ministers of the usual BRICS nations was reportedly followed by a broader “BRICS Plus” discussion which included representatives of Argentina, Kazakhstan, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Thailand.

The group includes a number of countries that have expressed interest in joining the bloc’s New Development Bank, which was established in 2014 as a kind of counterweight to the IMF and the World Bank. The bank has already brought Bangladesh and the UAE on board, and Egypt and Uruguay are set to join the financial institution soon.

But Argentina is the only nation with a clear path to joining the bloc. A series of high-level visits and discussions between Argentinian and Chinese officials in recent months culminated in an official invitation for Argentinian Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero to join in on the meeting Thursday, reportedly at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Thursday morning, after ceremonies opened with an address by President Xi, Argentine ambassador to China Sabino Vaca Narvaja read aloud a letter penned by Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez, in which the South American head of state described BRICS as an “an excellent alternative for cooperation in the face of a world order that has been working for the benefit of a few.”

Ezra’s Prayer, a Critique

•May 21, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Ezra’s Prayer is another example for us to study and emulate, especially for forgiveness against the Law of Moses (Leviticus 26Deuteronomy 28); Ezra was not merely praying for his comfort and protection in the darkness. His concern was to pray for God’s people, the acknowledgement of their sins and asking for forgiveness and great mercies.

What Ezra admitted is unlike what Rabbi Tovia Singer and other rabbinic interpretation have in their teachings by shifting blames by assigning the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel “who silently endured unimaginable suffering at the hands of its gentile oppressors.” That is, to  Rabbi Singer, Israel’s suffering is attributable to their wicked neighbours and not to themselves!

Or, from another shifting of blames from Jews for Judiasm: “when the nations, astonished and in terror, will feel ashamed for their oppression of the Jewish people.” Again, they have no faults of their own but shift their suffering to their wicked neighbours and not attribute to themselves!

Making no excuses, Ezra confessed his people’s sin, (especially concerning marrying with the heatherns, thus corrupting themselves “with the filthiness of the people of the lands”) and acknowledged the justice of God’s judgement, severe though it had been. Ezra honestly admitted, “for we have forsaken Thy commandments.” Ezra admitted Israel suffers because of her own sins, rather than blaming them on the Gentiles; Period!

Ezra is known as the second Moses, his example of a Prayer should be emulated and studied today. Now for the details:

Ezra 9:

And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God, — here is where to get from the Orthodoxy the meaning of evening, from Exodus 29:41 (ben ha’arbayim): “And the other lamb thou shalt offer at evening, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the Lord,” Exodus 29:41

— in Exodus 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening (ben ha’arbayim).

Rashi comments concerning even/evening in most English Bibles but is “afternoon”

— here is his (by Rashi) explanation quoted besides the Chabad Bible Exodus 12:6 And you shall keep it for inspection until the fourteenth day of this month, and the entire congregation of the community of Israel shall slaughter it in the afternoon:

in the afternoon: Heb. בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם From six hours [after sunrise] and onward is called בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם, literally, between the two evenings, for the sun is inclined toward the place where it sets to become darkened. It seems to me that the expression בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם denotes those hours between the darkening of the day and the darkening of the night. The darkening of the day is at the beginning of the seventh hour, when the shadows of evening decline, and the darkening of the night at the beginning of the night. עֶרֶב is an expression of evening and darkness. — [from Mechilta]

and said: “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to Thee, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. — and said, O my God; here begins the prayer of Ezra, and that with faith in God as covenant God, even when he was about to make confession of sin, and repentance for it; that prayer is right which is put up in faith, and that repentance genuine which is accompanied with faith, and flows from it:

— Ezra’s prayer, as a confession of national sin, should be compared with the prayer of the Levites (Nehemiah 9:6-38), but more especially with the prayer of Daniel (Daniel 9:4-19). As in the confession of Daniel, the personality of the speaker is merged in that of the nation, The sin of the race no less than its shame and its punishment is acknowledged in the ‘we’, ‘our’, and ‘us’. The self-abnegation and love of Ezra as of Moses (Exodus 32:32), accept the obligations of nationality as the source of guilt as well as on privilege to the individual.

— the general plan of the confession resembles that of Daniel. It consists of (1) general confession, Ezra 9:6 (cf. Daniel 9:4-6), (2) the sins of former time, Ezra 9:7 (Daniel 9:7-8); (3) God’s mercy and goodness, Ezra 9:7-8 (Daniel 9:9); (4) Israel’s sin in the face of the Divine warning, Ezra 9:10-12 (Daniel 9:10-14); (5) the fresh guilt and final appeal, Ezra 9:13-15 (Daniel 9:15-19).

Since the days of our fathers we have been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day. — since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; the sins they were guilty of had been long continued in, which was an aggravation of them:

— and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands; the ten tribes and their king into the hand of the king of Assyria, the kings of Judah, Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah, into the hands of the king of Babylon, with the priests and people:

— to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil; some were slain with the sword, others carried captive, and the houses of them all plundered and spoiled:

— and to confusion of face, as it is this day; being filled with shame when they reflected on their sins, the cause of those evils; and besides, the captivity of the ten tribes continued, and of many others, which exposed them to shame among their neighbours.

And now for a little space grace hath been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a constant and sure abode in His holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. — the “little space” was above 60 years, counting from the second year of Darius Ezra 4:24, or about 80 years, counting from the first year of Cyrus Ezra 1:1. This does not seem to Ezra much in the “lifetime” of a nation;

— a remnant to escape; rather “a remnant that has escaped.” The “remnant” is the new community that has returned from the captivity.

For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving to set up the house of our God and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem. — for we were bondmen; for we are bondmen. Ezra explains his words ‘in our bondage’. The bondage hadn’t gone past. The Jews were still bondmen then, in servitude to the king of Persia.

10 “And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Thy commandments, — for we have forsaken thy commandments: particularly those which related to marriages with people of other nations. Q. Were the Jewish males to be circumcised too?

11 which Thou hast commanded by Thy servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness. — the land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land; these unclean and corrupt character of the surrounding nations were not given the Law of God, and those given, like the Samaritans, had perverted the Law with different interpretations; hence they were designate with special character of their “filthiness” and “abominations.”

12 Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever, that ye may be strong and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.’ — now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons; that is, in marriage, see Deuteronomy 7:3, where the prohibition is expressed in the same language;

— that ye may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever; that they might be strengthened and established in the land into which they were brought and enjoy all the good things it produced and leave their children in the possession of it.

13 And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great trespass, seeing that Thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this, — and after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass; as famine, sword, pestilence and captivity, for their idolatries and other heinous sins:

— seeing that our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve; for they deserved eternal punishment, whereas it was temporal punishment that was inflicted, and this moderate, and now stopped; or thou hast refrained thyself from exacting of us all our sins, and hast exacted of us beneath our sins (or less than they deserve), and hast not taken vengeance on us according to all our sins.

— by not admitting but trying to divert sin is a great sin. King Saul justified himself by saying “for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God.” King Saul blamed his disobedience on “the people.” It wasn’t a small matter and for this, Saul lost his mind, consulted a witch and finally his kingdom was removed.

14 should we again break Thy commandments and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? Wouldest not Thou be angry with us until Thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping? — should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? – that are guilty of abominable idolatries and all uncleanness:

— wouldest thou not be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us; it might be justly expected: so that there should be no remnant nor escaping? any left or suffered to escape the wrath of but all consumed by it.

15 O Lord God of Israel, Thou art righteous, for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day. Behold, we are before Thee in our trespasses, for we cannot stand before Thee because of this.” — O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous; and would appear to be so, should Israel be entirely cut off, and utterly consumed for their iniquities:

— for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day; that they remained yet escaped out of captivity and escaped the wrath and vengeance of God, was not owing to any deserts of theirs but to the grace and mercy of God, who had not stirred up all his wrath, as their sins deserved:

— behold, we are before thee in our trespasses; to do with us as seems good in thy sight; we have nothing to plead on our behalf, but cast ourselves at thy feet, if so be unmerited favour may be shown us:

— for we cannot stand before thee because of this; this evil of contracting affinity with the nations; we cannot defend ourselves; we cannot plead ignorance of the divine commands; we have nothing to say for ourselves why judgement should not be passed upon us; we leave ourselves in thine hands, and at thy mercy.

Nehemiah (Ch 1-2)

•May 20, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Many of the prophecies in the Old Testament were meant for the endtime. “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,” Daniel 12:4. Hence we, at the endtimes, should have better understanding of what and how those prophecies are meant to be fulfilled.

Nehemiah 1

1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in the palace at Shushan, — the words of Nehemiah; or the word used often signifies; that is, the things which Nehemiah did;

— Shushan the palace, or Susa, was the ordinary residence of the Persian kings. “The palace” or acropolis was a distinct quarter of the city, occupying an artificial eminence.

— according to Nehemiah 1:11, Nehemiah was cup-bearer to the Persian king, and was, at his own request, appointed for some time Pecha, that is, governor of Judah.

that Hanani one of my brethren came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left behind from the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

And they said unto me, “The remnant who are left behind from the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.” — and they said unto me, the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province; in Judea, now reduced to a province of the Persian empire: are in great affliction and reproach; harassed and distressed, calumniated and vilified by their enemies, the Samaritans:

— the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burnt with fire; that is, its wall and gates were in the same condition in which Nebuchadnezzar had left them, for since his times as yet they had never been set up; for this is not to be understood of what was lately done by their adversaries, which is not at all probable.

And it came to pass when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven — that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; sat down upon the ground in dust and ashes, after the manner of mourners, and wept bitterly, and mourned in a most sorrowful manner; and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven; that made it, and dwells in it.

and said: “I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and fearsome God, who keepeth covenant and mercy for those who love Him and observe His commandments, — and said, I beseech thee. The opening of Nehemiah’s prayer follows so closely the thoughts and words of Daniel’s (Daniel 9:4), that it is almost impossible to suppose that one of the two writers had not the words of the other before him.

let Thine ear now be attentive and Thine eyes open, that Thou mayest hear the prayer of Thy servant, which I pray before Thee now day and night for the children of Israel Thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against Thee. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. — I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants; this he had continued to do ever since he heard of their trouble and calamity:

— and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned; he considered sin as the cause of all this evil that had befallen his people, and confesses it with sorrow and humiliation, and not their sins only, but his own personal and family sins.

We have dealt very corruptly against Thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments which Thou commanded Thy servant Moses. — we have dealt very corruptly against thee,…. Corrupted his covenant, laws, and precepts, as well as themselves, ways, and works; all which were against the Lord, contrary to his nature, mind, and will:

— and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses; the laws, moral, ceremonial, and judicial.

Remember, I beseech Thee, the word that Thou commanded Thy servant Moses, saying, ‘If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations; — remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses; to declare to the children of Israel, Deuteronomy 28:64, saying, if ye transgress; the law of God:

— I will scatter you abroad among the nations; as now they had been among the Assyrians, Chaldeans, Medes, and Persians.

— and those at the endtime, to suffer Judgement by the sword, by famine, by pestilence and spending years in captivity to reflect and repent there (for more see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years and A Sword from the South!).

but if ye turn unto Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though there were some of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set My name there.’ — though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven; that is, the most distant regions; so called, because at the extreme parts of the horizon, the heavens and earth touch each other;

— yet will I gather them from thence and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there; that is to Jerusalem where the temple was built, and his name was called upon.

10 Now these are Thy servants and Thy people, whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy great power and by Thy strong hand. — whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand; touching and moving the heart of Cyrus to proclaim liberty to them.

11 O Lord, I beseech Thee, let now Thine ear be attentive to the prayer of Thy servant, and to the prayer of Thy servants who desire to fear Thy name; and prosper, I pray Thee, Thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” For I was the king’s cupbearer. — and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day; meaning himself, who was to wait on the king of Persia that day, and, if he had opportunity, intended to lay the case of the Jews before him, and therefore entreats he might meet with success:

— for I was the king’s cupbearer; in the execution of which office he was often in the king’s presence, and hoped to have an opportunity of speaking to him in the behalf of the Jews; this with the Persians was reckoned a very honourable office.

Nehemiah 2

1 And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him; and I took up the wine and gave it unto the king. Now I had not before been sad in his presence. — that wine was before the king; it was brought and set in a proper place, from whence it might be taken for his use:

— and Nehemiah took up the wine, and gave it to the king; the cupbearer with the Persians and Medes used to take the wine out of the vessels into the cup, and pour some of it into their left hand, and sup it up, that, if there was any poison in it, the king might not be harmed, and then he delivered it to him upon three fingers;

— now Nehemiah had not been before time sad in his presence; but always pleasant and cheerful, so that the sadness of his countenance was the more taken notice of.

Therefore the king said unto me, “Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart.” Then I was very sore afraid, — the king said, Why is thy countenance sad? – his fasting, joined with inward grief, had made a sensible change in his countenance.

— then Nehemiah was sore afraid; it was an unusual and ungracious thing to come into the king of Persia’s presence with any token of sorrow. And he feared a disappointment, because his request was great and invidious, and odious to most of the Persian courtiers.

and said unto the king, “Let the king live for ever. Why should not my countenance be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchers, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?” — and Nehemiah said unto the king, let the king live for ever; which some think he said to take off the king’s suspicion of his having a design upon his life, though it seems to be a common salutation of the kings in those times, see Daniel 6:6,

— why should not my countenance be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? a man’s native place, and where his ancestors lie interred, being always reckoned near and dear, the king and his nobles could not object to his being concerned for the desolations thereof.

Then the king said unto me, “For what dost thou make request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. —the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad? It was deemed highly unbecoming to appear in the royal presence with any weeds or signs of sorrow (Es 4:2);

— and hence it was no wonder that the king was struck with the dejected air of his cupbearer, while that attendant, on his part, felt his agitation increased by his deep anxiety about the issue of the conversation so abruptly begun;

— but the piety and intense earnestness of the man immediately restored Nehemiah to calm self-possession and enabled him to communicate, first, the cause of his sadness (Neh 2:3), and next, the patriotic wish of his heart to be the honored instrument of reviving the ancient glory of the city of his fathers.

And I said unto the king, “If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favor in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah,unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchers, that I may build it.” — and Nehemiah said unto the king; if it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight; Nehemiah submits what he had to say wholly to the pleasure of the king, and puts it upon his unmerited favour, and not on any desert of his own:

— that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it; the wall of it, and the houses in it; the favour was, that he might have leave to go thither, and set about such a work, for which he was so much concerned.

And the king said unto me (the queen also sitting by him), “For how long shall thy journey be? And when wilt thou return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a time. — and the king said unto me, the queen also sitting by him; which it seems was not very common for the queens of Persia to dine with the kings their husbands; as for the providence of God in it, that she having a good respect for Nehemiah and the Jewish nation and forwarded the king in his grant to him:

— so it pleased the king to send me when he promised to return unto him, not in twelve years, which was the time of his government in Judea but in a lesser space, perhaps a year at most, since in less than two months the wall of Jerusalem was finished; and it may be that he then returned to the king of Persia, who sent him again under the character of a governor, finding it was for his interest to have such a man in those parts.

Moreover I said unto the king, “If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over until I come into Judah, — letters be given me to the governors beyond the river; the Persian empire at this time was of vast extent, reaching from the Indus to the Mediterranean. The Euphrates was considered as naturally dividing it into two parts, eastern and western.

also a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city and for the house that I shall enter into.” And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me. — the house that I shall enter into; the governor’s residence;

— Nehemiah assumes that the powers for which he asks involve his being appointed governor of Judaea. The king granted Nehemiah, according to the good hand of God upon him. Through God’s special favour towards him, the king was induced to grant his request.

Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. — on his way to Jerusalem, Nehemiah would pass through the provinces of various Persian satraps and governors;

— to those beyond the Euphrates he carried letters, which he took care to deliver, though by doing so he aroused the hostility of Sanballat. Being accompanied by an escort of Persian soldiers, he experienced neither difficulty nor danger by the way, but effected his journey in about three months, Nehemiah 2:8.

10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant the Ammonite heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there had come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. — Sanballat was evidently one of the leaders of the Samaritan community (see on Nehemiah 4:2)

— although Sanballat was the Horonite; so called, either from his family, or from the place of his birth or rule, which is supposed to be Horonaim, an eminent city of Moab, Isaiah 15:5 Jeremiah 48:3. This Sanballat was the person who afterward instigated Alexander the Great to build the temple of Gerizim in order to sow discord among the Jews and their neighbours.

— and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite; who was formerly a slave but now raised from a low mean estate to be governor in the land of Ammon, though still a vassal of the king of Persia:

— heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there came a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel; to which the Moabites and Ammonites were always averse, and ever bore an hatred to Israel, and envied everything that tended to their happiness.

— Sanballat. According to Josephus, Sanballat was “satrap of Samaria” under the Persians, and by descent a Cuthaean, a Samaritan (‘Ant. Jud.,’ 11:7, § 2); whose aim was to corrupt the Jewish high priest by marriage: “so that he willingly gave his daughter, whose name was Nicaso, in marriage to Manasseh, as thinking this alliance by marriage would be a pledge and security that the nation of the Jews should continue their good-will to him.” (more at the end)

11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. — after his arrival at Jerusalem, Nehemiah waited three days before taking any steps. Ezra had done the same (Ezra 8:32). It was necessary to rest after the journey, and to interchange the formalities of Eastern courtesy with the principal people of the city.

12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me. Neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem; neither was there any beast with me, except the beast that I rode upon. — Nehemiah went out ‘by night’ with only a few attendants. He did not wish to excite the curiosity of the people or to arouse the suspicion of his foes with respect to his intended project.

13 And I went out by night by the Gate of the Valley, even before the Dragon Well and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire. — and viewed the walls of Jerusalem: in what condition they were, what was necessary to be wholly taken down, and where to begin to build: it must have been a moonlight night or he could not have taken a view; for to have carried torches or lamps with them would have discovered them:

— and the gates thereof were consumed with fire; nothing of them remained.

14 Then I went on to the Gate of the Fountain and to the King’s Pool, but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass. — but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass; because of the heaps of rubbish that lay there; blocking the way. The animal could not proceed. Nehemiah therefore dismounted, and “in the night, dark as it was, pursued his way on foot.”

15 Then went I up in the night by the brook and viewed the wall, and turned back and entered by the Gate of the Valley, and so returned. — by the brook; “The brook Kidron” which skirted the city on the east.

— from this he would be able to “look up at the eastern wall” along its whole length, and see its condition. Following the brook, he was brought to the north-eastern angle of the city; on reaching which he seems to have “turned back” towards the point from which he had started, and skirting the northern wall, to have re-entered by the gate of the valley.

16 And the rulers knew not whither I went or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest who did the work. — and the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; the rulers of the city of Jerusalem, who seem to be officers of the king of Persia, since they are distinguished from Jewish rulers;

— neither had I as yet told it to the Jews; what he came about and designed to do: nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers; the principal men among the Jews, both ecclesiastical and civil: nor to the rest that did the work; of building and repairing; neither those that were employed in it, nor those that overlooked it.

17 Then said I unto them, “Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. Come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.” — come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem that we be no more a reproach; to their neighbours about them, who scoffed at them as a defenceless people and frequently came in upon them, and spoiled and plundered them of their goods and substance.

18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me, as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for this good work. — then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; of the kind providence of God in exalting him in the court of the king of Persia, in giving him an opportunity of laying the sad case of Jerusalem before him, and in inclining his heart to show favour to him, and grant his request:

— as also the king’s words that he had spoken to me; what passed between them on this subject, the commission he gave him, and the letters he sent by him to his governors on this side the river: and they said, let us rise up and build; encouraged by this account of things, they proposed to set about the work immediately:

— so they strengthened their hands for this good work; animated and encouraged one another to proceed to it at once with cheerfulness, and to go on in it with spirit and resolution.

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian heard it, they laughed us to scorn and despised us, and said, “What is this thing that ye do? Will ye rebel against the king?” — as established in Nehemiah 2-4,” for their adversaries were surrounding the Jewish community on all sides: Sanballat and the Samaritans on the north, Tobiah and the Ammonites on the east, Geshem the chief among the Arabians on the south, and the Philistines (Ashdodites) on the west;”

the enmity and hatred of serpent’s seed against the cause of God is confined to no age or nation; the application from then to the latter days are plain.

20 Then answered I them and said unto them, “The God of heaven, He will prosper us. Therefore we His servants will arise and build; but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial in Jerusalem.” — you have no portion nor right; do not trouble yourselves about this matter, who have no possession among us, no authority over us, nor interest in our affairs or state; nor memorial in Jerusalem;

— no testimony or monument either of your relation to us by birth or religion, or of your kindness to us or to this place, but you are aliens from the children of Israel: therefore mind your own business and do not meddle with ours.

~~~

THE SAMARITANS

— the Samaritans are adversaries to the returning Jews because of (a) difference in defining what time at ben ha’arbayim when the Pascha lamb should be killed: the Jewish definition of ben ha’arbayim “between the two evenings” is “after noon and until nightfall,” whereas the Samaritans is sunset or dusk; (b) when is omer, which translated to English is rendered “wave sheaf” offering to be made: the Jews definition has it on the annual Sabbath after Pascha, whereas the Samaritans has it the day after the weekly Sabbath during the days of unleavened bread;

— (c) after counting seven weeks after the omer, on what day Shavuot is to be kept: the Jews have it on Sivan 6th, whereas the Samaritans always have it on a weekly Sabbath; (d) the three annual feasts are to be kept in Jerusalem, whereas the Samaritans have their feasts on Mount Gerizim, which they consider a sacred mountain; and (e) once in roughly three years, the Samaritan calendar starts one month later than the Jewish calendar.

Here is what Wikipedia says about the Samaritans: “There has been a history of genetic disorders within the group due to the small gene pool,” such as high incidence of austisics and cripples within their community but of course they manage to deflect from mentioning the truth of God’s curses upon those who show hostilities to the rebuilding of the house of God in Jerusalem.

Ezra (Ch 9-10)

•May 19, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Ezra started the translation process, from the Sacred Text to Aramaic, “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgements,” Ezra 7:10. This process gave birth to the Targum.

As a result, the Targum is an indispensable source of understanding the Bible. Started by Ezra for those returning Jews from Babylon and for these returnees they could only understand the Sacred Text in Aramaic; hence the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to them in ancient times and to us today from the Sacred Text.

The Targum is an Aramaic interpretation or paraphrased explanation of the Hebrew Scriptural text. These paraphrases or explanations were not meant to carry equal weight with the Word of God and initially it was forbidden to record them in writing, just to ensure that no one would equate them with the written Hebrew text.

But as time progressed, this rule was broken and the targumim were written down. In some instances where the wording in the Hebrew text are vague, the Targum offers an authoritative explanation. Today many rabbis and their followers have considered the targumim as authoritative and in some cases they put them as the Word of God.

Ezra 9

1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. — one chief disorder is mentioned, that of the mixed marriages (Ezra 9:2), which the new lawgiver evidently regarded as fatal to the purity of the Divine service, and to the design of God in separating for a season this peculiar people;

— doing according to their abominations; marrying promiscuously whomsoever they liked and imitating them in some of their wicked practices, into which they have been drawn by their heathen practices. To do abominations is an expression which generally means worshipping of idols; but here it seems only to signify imitating the heathen in promiscuous marriages with any nation whatsoever, a practice which, however, would soon have led them to commit idolatry.

For they have taken their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands; yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.” — for they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sorts; some that were widowers not only took wives to themselves of the above nations, either when they were of Babylon, where many of these nations also were, or rather since their return; but they took for their sons also; yea, some that had wives took heathen ones to them, see Malachi 2:13,

— so that the holy seed; such as the Lord had separated from other nations, chosen them to be an holy people above all others, and devoted them to his service and worship: have mingled themselves with the people of those lands; before mentioned by marrying with them:

— yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass; they were the first that went into it, were ringleaders of it, who should by their authority and example have restrained others; or they were in this first trespass; which was the first gross and capital one the people fell into after their return from the captivity.

And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down stunned. — when Ezra heard this thing, he rent his garment and mantle; both his inner and upper garment. This was a token, not only of his very great grief and sorrow, but of his sense of God’s displeasure at their conduct. For the Jews were wont to rend their clothes, when they apprehended God to be highly offended;

— and plucked off the hair of his head and of his beard; this was still a higher sign of exceeding great grief. For, in ordinary sorrow, they only neglected their hair, and let it hang down scattered in a careless manner; but this was used in bitter lamentations;

— and sat down astonied; through grief and shame at their sin, that they should be so ungrateful to God, who had so lately delivered them from captivity; and through an apprehension of some great and dreadful judgement befalling them, because of so open a violation of the divine law, the transgression of which had formerly proved their ruin.

Then were assembled unto me every one who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those who had been carried away; and I sat dismayed until the evening sacrifice. — everyone that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, that is, those who stood in awe of God and of his word and feared to violate his commands; and trembled for fear of God’s judgments upon them, and upon the whole land for their sakes, as the following words imply. Compare Isaiah 66:2,

— because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; into Babylon, and were now returned, and which was an aggravation of their transgression:

— and Ezra sat astonished until the evening sacrifice: or until the ninth hour which was about oround three o’clock in the afternoon, at which time the evening sacrifice was offered; perhaps it was in the morning when Ezra first received his information from the princes.

And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God, — here is where to get from the Orthodoxy the meaning of evening, from Exodus 29:41 (ben ha’arbayim): “And the other lamb thou shalt offer at evening, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the Lord,” Exodus 29:41

— in Exodus 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening (ben ha’arbayim).

Rashi comments concerning even/evening in most English Bibles but is “afternoon”

— here is his (by Rashi) explanation quoted besides the Chabad Bible Exodus 12:6 And you shall keep it for inspection until the fourteenth day of this month, and the entire congregation of the community of Israel shall slaughter it in the afternoon:

in the afternoon: Heb. בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם From six hours [after sunrise] and onward is called בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם, literally, between the two evenings, for the sun is inclined toward the place where it sets to become darkened. It seems to me that the expression בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם denotes those hours between the darkening of the day and the darkening of the night. The darkening of the day is at the beginning of the seventh hour, when the shadows of evening decline, and the darkening of the night at the beginning of the night. עֶרֶב is an expression of evening and darkness. — [from Mechilta]

and said: “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to Thee, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. — and said, O my God; here begins the prayer of Ezra, and that with faith in God as covenant God, even when he was about to make confession of sin, and repentance for it; that prayer is right which is put up in faith, and that repentance genuine which is accompanied with faith, and flows from it:

— Ezra’s prayer, as a confession of national sin, should be compared with the prayer of the Levites (Nehemiah 9:6-38), but more especially with the prayer of Daniel (Daniel 9:4-19). As in the confession of Daniel, the personality of the speaker is merged in that of the nation, The sin of the race no less than its shame and its punishment is acknowledged in the ‘we’, ‘our’, and ‘us’. The self-abnegation and love of Ezra as of Moses (Exodus 32:32), accept the obligations of nationality as the source of guilt as well as on privilege to the individual.

— the general plan of the confession resembles that of Daniel. It consists of (1) general confession, Ezra 9:6 (cf. Daniel 9:4-6), (2) the sins of former time, Ezra 9:7 (Daniel 9:7-8); (3) God’s mercy and goodness, Ezra 9:7-8 (Daniel 9:9); (4) Israel’s sin in the face of the Divine warning, Ezra 9:10-12 (Daniel 9:10-14); (5) the fresh guilt and final appeal, Ezra 9:13-15 (Daniel 9:15-19).

Since the days of our fathers we have been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day. — since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; the sins they were guilty of had been long continued in, which was an aggravation of them:

— and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands; the ten tribes and their king into the hand of the king of Assyria, the kings of Judah, Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah, into the hands of the king of Babylon, with the priests and people:

— to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil; some were slain with the sword, others carried captive, and the houses of them all plundered and spoiled:

— and to confusion of face, as it is this day; being filled with shame when they reflected on their sins, the cause of those evils; and besides, the captivity of the ten tribes continued, and of many others, which exposed them to shame among their neighbours.

And now for a little space grace hath been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a constant and sure abode in His holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. — the “little space” was above 60 years, counting from the second year of Darius Ezra 4:24, or about 80 years, counting from the first year of Cyrus Ezra 1:1. This does not seem to Ezra much in the “lifetime” of a nation;

— a remnant to escape; rather “a remnant that has escaped.” The “remnant” is the new community that has returned from the captivity.

For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving to set up the house of our God and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem. — for we were bondmen; for we are bondmen. Ezra explains his words ‘in our bondage’. The bondage hadn’t gone past. The Jews were still bondmen then, in servitude to the king of Persia.

10 “And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Thy commandments, — for we have forsaken thy commandments: particularly those which related to marriages with people of other nations. Q. Were the Jewish males to be circumcised too?

11 which Thou hast commanded by Thy servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness. — the land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land; these unclean and corrupt character of the surrounding nations were not given the Law of God, and those given, like the Samaritans, had perverted the Law with different interpretations; hence they were designate with special character of their “filthiness” and “abominations.”

12 Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever, that ye may be strong and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.’ — now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons; that is, in marriage, see Deuteronomy 7:3, where the prohibition is expressed in the same language;

— that ye may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever; that they might be strengthened and established in the land into which they were brought and enjoy all the good things it produced and leave their children in the possession of it.

13 And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great trespass, seeing that Thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this, — and after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass; as famine, sword, pestilence and captivity, for their idolatries and other heinous sins:

— seeing that our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve; for they deserved eternal punishment, whereas it was temporal punishment that was inflicted, and this moderate, and now stopped; or thou hast refrained thyself from exacting of us all our sins, and hast exacted of us beneath our sins (or less than they deserve), and hast not taken vengeance on us according to all our sins.

14 should we again break Thy commandments and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? Wouldest not Thou be angry with us until Thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping? — should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? – that are guilty of abominable idolatries and all uncleanness:

— wouldest thou not be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us; it might be justly expected: so that there should be no remnant nor escaping? any left or suffered to escape the wrath of but all consumed by it.

15 O Lord God of Israel, Thou art righteous, for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day. Behold, we are before Thee in our trespasses, for we cannot stand before Thee because of this.” — O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous; and would appear to be so, should Israel be entirely cut off, and utterly consumed for their iniquities:

— for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day; that they remained yet escaped out of captivity and escaped the wrath and vengeance of God, was not owing to any deserts of theirs but to the grace and mercy of God, who had not stirred up all his wrath, as their sins deserved:

— behold, we are before thee in our trespasses; to do with us as seems good in thy sight; we have nothing to plead on our behalf, but cast ourselves at thy feet, if so be unmerited favour may be shown us:

— for we cannot stand before thee because of this; this evil of contracting affinity with the nations; we cannot defend ourselves; we cannot plead ignorance of the divine commands; we have nothing to say for ourselves why judgement should not be passed upon us; we leave ourselves in thine hands, and at thy mercy.

Ezra 10

1 Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children; for the people wept very sorely. — now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping; had confessed the sins of the people in prayer and supplication, with many tears: and casting himself down before the house of God; in the outward court before the temple, his face turned towards it, where he lay prostrate:

— there assembled to him out of Israel a very great congregation of men, and women and children; it was quickly spread abroad, both in Jerusalem and places adjacent, that such a great man, a commissioner from the king of Persia, and a priest of the Jews, was in the utmost distress, rending his garments, and plucking off his hair, and was crying and praying in a vehement manner; which brought a great concourse of people, who concluded some great sins were committed, and sore judgments were coming upon them:

— for the people wept very sore; being affected with his confessions, cries, and tears, and fearing wrath would come upon them for their sins.

And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, “We have trespassed against our God, and have taken foreign wives of the people of the land. Yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.

Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law. — according to the counsel of my Lord; either of Ezra, whom he honours with this title, being a ruler under the king of Persia; or of the Lord God, according to his will declared in his words, which is his counsel:

— and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; feared to break it and dreaded the effect of such a breach; and who no doubt would follow the counsel of the Lord and join in their advice to act according to the proposal made:

Arise, for this matter belongeth unto thee; we also will be with thee. Be of good courage, and do it.” — arise, for this matter belongeth unto thee; who hast perfect knowledge of the law and full power from the king of Persia to see every thing done according to it; and who hast most skill to manage this matter. We also will be with thee: be of good courage.

Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel to swear that they should do according to this word. And they swore. — then arose Ezra and made the chief priests, to swear; he admonished them of their duty in the name of God and then persuaded them to take a solemn oath, which they did, to put away their strange wives.

Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib. And when he came thither, he ate no bread nor drank water, for he mourned because of the transgression of those who had been carried away. — at a private council of the princes and elders held there, under the presidency of Ezra, it was resolved to enter into a general covenant to put away their foreign wives and children; that a proclamation should be made for all who had returned from Babylon to repair within three days to Jerusalem, under pain of excommunication and confiscation of their property.

And they made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem, — throughout Judah and Jerusalem, unto all the children of the captivity; who were returned from it: that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem; within a time after mentioned.

and that whosoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of those who had been carried away. — and that whosoever would not come within three days; this was the space of time allowed, and which was decided upon for the quick dispatch of this affair to prevent any schemes that might be formed to obstruct it and lest those who had agreed to it and promised to assist in it should repent and go from their word:

— according to the counsel of the princes and of the elders; for though Ezra had a commission at large from the king of Persia to inquire into and reform all abuses, he chose not to act of himself, but to have the opinion and consent of the senate of the nation; this he prudently did to avoid their envy and that he might have less opposition and better success.

Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the great rain. — in the street of the house of God; in that street of the city which was next to the temple, and within the view of it;

— so that they might be as in God’s presence, whereby they might be awed to a more faithful and vigorous prosecution of their work. And this place they might choose rather than the court of the people, because they thought it might be polluted by the delinquents, who were all to come thither;

— and for the great rain; which now fell and which they interpreted as a token of the divine displeasure: for though it was in winter time, yet not with them a time of rain, for the former rain had fallen a month before; so that this being unusual and unexpected, they understood it as betokening evil to them.

10 And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, “Ye have transgressed and have taken foreign wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.

11 Now therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers, and do His pleasure, and separate yourselves from the people of the land and from the foreign wives.” — and separate yourselves from your strange wives; there being no mention made here of putting away their children but only their wives, it has been thought by some that they kept their children and by circumcision dedicated them to God.

12 Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, “As thou hast said, so must we do. — as thou hast said, so must we do; being convinced of their sin, they saw it was a duty incumbent on them to put away their strange wives and that there was a necessity of it to avert the wrath of God for them.

13 But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand outside, neither is this a work of one day or two; for we are many who have transgressed in this thing. — such an enquiry must be of a lengthy nature as the matter cannot be summarily disposed of; the people who have come in from a distance cannot in the rainy weather protract their stay in the city by living and sleeping in the open air, as they would have done had it been summer.

14 Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all those who have taken foreign wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us.” — let now our rulers of all the congregations stand; let the great sanhedrim, or court of judicature at Jerusalem, be fixed and continued, and others:

— and let all them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times; to the court at Jerusalem, at certain and fixed known times of their sittings there for this purpose:

— and with the elders of every city and the judges thereof; the principal magistrates of it, who were to testify that upon search and inquiry those were the men and all the men in their city, that had taken strange wives, and that they had put them away according to the order of the princes and elders; and this they proposed to be done in every city, and the account to be brought to the sanhedrim at Jerusalem, who were to sit at certain times till this affair was finished:

— until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us: which it seems had broke out in some instances, and they feared would do yet more unless this step was taken whereby they hoped it would be averted.

15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah stood against this matter, and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them. — there are two views as to the correct rendering of the verse; the point of difference lies in the Hebrew words variously rendered ‘were appointed over’ and ‘stood up against’.

— (1) The rendering of the AV ‘were employed about’, though less accurate, agrees with that of the RV margin ‘were appointed over’. The Hebrew literally translated is ‘stood over’; (a) it is noticeable that this verb to ‘stand’ is the same as that used in the previous Ezra 10:12 ‘Let now our rulers be appointed (Heb. stand)’.

— (2) The rendering of the RV ‘stood up against’ has greater probability. (a) It accounts for the use of the adversative ‘only’. (b) The use of the words to ‘stand over or against’ in a hostile sense is supported by 1 Chronicles 21:1II Chronicles 20:23Daniel 8:25Daniel 11:14.

— except for this verse we have no record of any of the opposition which considering the extreme severity of the measures would be almost inevitable. It is indeed a reasonable objection that the mention of the opposition is very awkwardly inserted between the people’s declaration and the statement (in Ezra 10:16) of their action.

16 And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain chief of the fathers, were separated according to the house of their fathers, and all of them by their names. And they sat down on the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter,

17 and they made an end with all the men who had taken foreign wives by the first day of the first month. — they made an end with all the men. They ran through the whole list of those who were accused of having taken strange wives, and adjudicated on every case, by the first day of the first month, Nisan.

18 And among the sons of the priests who had taken foreign wives (namely, of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brethren), there were found: Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.

19 And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass. — they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass; to make atonement for it, and thereby set an example to others to do the same.

20 And of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah;

21 and of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah and Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah;

22 and of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethaneel, Jozabad, and Elasah;

23 also of the Levites: Jozabad, and Shimei, and Kelaiah (the same is Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer;

24 of the singers also: Eliashib; and of the gatekeepers: Shallum and Telem, and Uri;

25 moreover of Israel: of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah and Jeziah, and Malchiah, and Mijamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah, and Benaiah;

26 and of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Eliah;

27 and of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad, and Aziza;

28 of the sons also of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai;

29 and of the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal, and Ramoth;

30 and of the sons of Pahathmoab: Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezaleel, and Binnui, and Manasseh;

31 and of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Ishijah, Malchiah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,

32 Benjamin, Malluch and Shemariah;

33 of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei;

34 of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, and Uel,

35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Chelluh,

36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,

37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasau,

38 and Bani, and Binnui, Shimei,

39 and Shelemiah, and Nathan, and Adaiah,

40 Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,

41 Azareel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah,

42 Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph;

43 of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, and Joel and Benaiah.

44 All these had taken foreign wives; and some of them had wives by whom they had children. — the guilty persons, it would seem, were 113 in number. They comprised 4 members of the high priest’s family, 13 other priests, 10 Levites, and 86 lay Israelites belonging to at least 10 distinct families;

— and some of them had wives by whom they had children; no mention being made of the children being put away; it may be concluded they were not, but were taken care of, to be educated in the true religion and entered proselytes at a proper time; and the rather as Ezra gave no orders about their putting away, Ezra 10:11.

Ezra (Ch 7-8)

•May 18, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Earlier, the Samaritans (Ezra 4:20-22) had succeeded in alarming the Persian court by their representations of a danger to the empire of fortifying a city, Jerusalem, notorious for the turbulent character of its inhabitants and the prowess of its kings.

Their punishment now requires them to be subjected to “a decree to all the treasurers who are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily.”

Ezra 7

1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, — now after these things; the finishing of the temple and the dedication of it and keeping the passover: in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia; in the seventh year of his reign, Ezra 7:7, who is the same with Darius in the preceding chapter;

— Ezra the son of Seraiah; that is, grandson or great-grandson. Seraiah was the high priest put to death by Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah (II King 25:18,21).

the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,

the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,

the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,

the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest”

this Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the Law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given. And the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him.

And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests and the Levites, and the singers and the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim, unto Jerusalem in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. — as Artaxerxes began to reign in BC 464, his seventh year would be BC 458.

And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.

For upon the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. — according to the good hand of his God upon him; there was great reason to acknowledge the favour and protection of God, in conducting them safe to Jerusalem;

— for the journey was long and difficult, and they had many impediments, (going with wives and children, flocks and herds,) and were not without enemies, by whom they were in danger of being waylaid. These, however, Ezra did not fear, but relied on the divine protection, as he told the king, Ezra 8:2, being inspired with supernatural courage and fortitude;

10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgements.

— Ezra was a man of God; to “seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgements,” yet he has formidable enemies today; namely, Fred F. Coulter, Frank W. Nelte and John W. Ritenbaugh:

— these modern pretenders accuse Ezra of corrupting God’s Word (of forging Deuteronomy 16 in particular) and thus deemed for condemnation: “Whatever I command you, observe to do it. Thou shalt not add thereto nor diminish from it (Deuteronomy 12:32). Forging the Bible is a serious charge, risking eternal life (Revelation 22:18-19);

— but if Ezra is indeed a man of God, who taught the statutes correctly, then these three men are identified to be condemned; for it says in Zechariah 11:8 “Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them and their soul also abhorred me.”

11 Now this is the copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the Lord and of His statutes to Israel: — this is the copy of the letter that the King Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra; it can hardly be supposed, but that some more than ordinary means were used to obtain so great a favour from Artaxerxes, as this commission was upon which Ezra went.

12 “Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven. Perfect peace, and at such a time. — Artaxerxes, king of kings; the Persian monarchs inherited this proud and haughty  title from the Babylonians (Daniel 2:37). 

— Imperial Majesty Reza Pahlavi Aryamehr ascended the throne on September 1941, known by his people as Shahanshah; translated as King of Kings; fled to Egypt when a revolution in January 1979 overthrew his reign. He died in Cairo on July 27, 1980 due to “advanced cancer” at the age of only 60.

13 I make a decree that all those of the people of Israel and of his priests and Levites in my realm, who are minded of their own free will to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee. — I make a decree, which, according to the laws of the Medes and Persians, when signed, could not be changed, Daniel 6:8,

14 Inasmuch as thou art sent by the king and by his seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand, — to inquire concerning Judah according to the law of thy God; to make inquiry into all abuses and deviations from your law, and to redress them;

— which is in thy hand; a copy which is now and always in thy hand, being the matter of thy daily study and exercise; which thou now carriest along with thee, the interpretation whereof belongeth unto thee.

15 and to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, — and to carry the silver and gold for the temple built there; for the service of which, either for purchasing and procuring vessels that were wanting in it, or for sacrifices to be offered in it, the king and his nobles had made a voluntary contribution, and intrusted and sent Ezra with it.

16 and all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem” — that thou can find; or that thou shalt find. Permission is granted to Ezra to ask for contributions from the people of other province of Babylon.

17 thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. — with their meat offerings, and their drink offerings; which always went along with the burnt offerings, according to the law of Moses; and which the king seemed to have a knowledge in any way that Ezra, acting under Divine guidance, might direct correctly in his court.

18 And whatsoever shall seem good to thee and to thy brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.

19 The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.

20 And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king’s treasure house. — bestow it out of the king’s treasure house; where the money collected by tribute, tax, and custom, was deposited; his exchequer, as it may be called.

21 “And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers who are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily, — and I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river; the receivers of his tribute, tax, and custom, beyond the river Euphrates, on the side towards the land of Israel, which includes the Samariatns; that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven;

— shall require of you, it be done speedily; which seems at first a grant at large for whatsoever he should want or demand, but is limited and restrained by what follows.

22 up to a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred measures of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.

23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven. For why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? — the phrase “the God of heaven” occurs twice, and the Persian king tries to avoid the risks of His wrath;

— for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? – for the omission of any part of his worship, occasioned by the king’s neglect.

24 Also we inform you, that concerning any of the priests and Levites, singers, gatekeepers, Nethinim, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom upon them. — “We certify you,” perhaps he speaks in the name of himself and his successors; or possibly he means to say that in this matter he has asked and obtained the assent and consent of his council (compare verse 28).

25 “And thou, Ezra, according to the wisdom of thy God that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges who may judge all the people who are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye those who know them not. — after the wisdom of thy God in thy hand; that is, which God hath put into thy heart, and which appears in the works of thy hand. Wisdom is sometimes ascribed to the hand, as Psalm 78:72. Or, by the wisdom of God, he means the law of God, which was said to be in his hand, Ezra 7:14.

— set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people; all the Jews on that side of the river; all such as know the laws of thy God; all that professed the Jewish religion were to be under the jurisdiction of these judges; which intimates that they were exempt from the jurisdiction of heathen magistrates;

— it was a great favour to the Jews to have such magistrates of themselves, and especially of Ezra’s nomination. And teach ye them that know them not; they were to instruct in the laws of God those that were ignorant of them, whether Jews or others, which implies that he had no objection to their making proselytes to the Jewish religion.

26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God and the law of the king, let judgement be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods or to imprisonment.” — this passage is very prophetic, that is, it would be the situation that those who disobey would be horsewhipped at the start of the Millenium;

— and whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king; either the judge who delays judgement, or does not execute it according to the law of God, and of the king or the people, that do not obey the law of God in matters of religion, and the law of the king in civil things, Judea being now a province of the Persian empire; though some think the law of the king only refers to this law or decree of the king, which gave the Jews power to execute their own laws:

— let judgement be executed speedily upon him; horsewhipped immediately, without delay, according to the nature of his crime: whether it be unto death; if guilty of a capital crime, deserving death, let him be put to death: or to banishment; from his native country to a foreign distant land.

27 Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, who hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, — Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers; this is Ezra’s thanksgiving to God for the above decree: which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart; which he rightly took to be of God, who wrought in him to will and to do:

— to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem; to provide for the ornamenting of it, for vessels in it, as well as for sacrifices; for as for the building of it, that was finished. People who could identify the Unspoken Word of God are blessed if they do them (for more, see The Unspoken Will of God or the end).

28 and hath extended mercy unto me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me. — and hath extended mercy unto me, before the king and his counsellors, and before all the king’s mighty princes; before Artaxerxes, his seven counsellors, Ezra 7:14 and the nobles of his realm, in being appointed by them to carry their freewill offerings to Jerusalem, and the king’s commands to his treasurers, with leave to take as many of the Jews with him as were willing to go:

— and I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; animated to undertake this work and execute this commission, being under the influence of divine favour and protection:

— and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me; he went about in the several parts where Israelites dwelt, and persuaded some of the principal men among them to go along with him to Jerusalem, showing them the king’s decree, which gave them leave; and their names and numbers are described in the next chapter.

Ezra 8

1 Now these are the chiefs of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon in the reign of Artaxerxes the king. — a list of the chief names, given by families, of those who accompanied Ezra; this is the genealogy; the names of the heads of houses is followed generally by that of the wider families they belonged to. With this list is to be compared the register of those who went up with Zerubbabel.

Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom; of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel; of the sons of David, Hattush;

of the sons of Shecaniah, of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah; and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males, a hundred and fifty. — by genealogy of the males; though the males only be expressed, yet doubtless they carried the women along with them as they did the little ones, Ezra 8:21.

Of the sons of Pahathmoab, Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males.

Of the sons of Shecaniah, the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males;

of the sons also of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males;

and of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males;

and of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males;

of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males;

10 and of the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah, and with him a hundred and threescore males;

11 and of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males;

12 and of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him a hundred and ten males;

13 and of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these — Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah — and with them threescore males;

14 of the sons also of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.

15 And I gathered them together at the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days. And I viewed the people and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.

16 Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib and for Elnathan, men of understanding.

17 And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo and to his brethren the Nethinim at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto u ministers for the house of our God.

18 And by the good hand of our God upon us, they brought us a man of understanding of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel, and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen;

19 and Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty;

20 also of the Nethinim, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinim; all of them were expressed by name.

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of Him a right way for us and for our little ones, and for all our substance. — the little ones went along, though they may not be counted in the official total.

22 For I was ashamed to request of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the way, because we had spoken unto the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath is against all those who forsake Him.” — saying, the hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; that pray unto him, serve and worship him; his hand is open to them to bestow all needful good upon them, temporal and spiritual, and his power and providence are over them, to protect and defend them from all evil:

— but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him; his word, his ways and worship; his powerful wrath, or the strength and force of it, is exerted against them and they are sure to feel the weight and dreadful effects of it: and now all this being said to the king, after this, to desire a guard to protect them, it would look as if they had not that favour in the sight of God; therefore, rather than reflect any dishonour on God, they chose to expose themselves to danger, seeking his face and favour, and relying on his goodness and power.

23 So we fasted and besought our God for this; and He was entreated by us. — so we fasted, and besought our God for this; sought the Lord by fasting and prayer for a good journey, and preservation in it: and he was entreated of us; accepted their prayer so that they came safe to Jerusalem.

24 Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests —Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them — of the Levites, the two names Sherebiah and Hashabiah are given as those of heads of houses, with whom ten other Levites were associated.

25 and weighed unto them the silver and the gold and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king and his counselors and his lords and all Israel there present had offered. — then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests … and weighed unto them the silver; the custody of the contributions and of the sacred vessels was, during the journey, committed to twelve of the chief priests, who, with the assistance of ten of their brethren, were to watch closely over them by the way, and deliver them into the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.

26 I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels a hundred talents, and of gold a hundred talents;

27 also twenty basins of gold of a thousand drams, and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.

28 And I said unto them, “Ye are holy unto the Lord; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the Lord God of your fathers. — God said, Ye are holy unto the Lord; the vessels are holy also; men being consecrated to God’s service, they are bound, above all others, to be faithful in the discharge of their duty;

— especially being intrusted with holy things, which must be carefully delivered at Jerusalem, just as they were committed to their trust. Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them; that they be not lost or embezzled, or mingled with other things, keep them together; keep them by themselves; keep them safe, till you weigh them in the temple, before the great men there.

29 Watch ye, and keep them until ye weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the Lord.” — until ye weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the Lord: that is, until they had delivered them in full weight, as they had received them, in the presence of those persons as witnesses, and into their hands, in order to be laid up in the chambers and treasuries of the temple.

30 So the priests and the Levites took the weight of the silver and the gold and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God. — so the twelve priests and twelve Levites weight the silver and the gold, and the vessels to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God; this they undertook to do, and did.

31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month to go unto Jerusalem; and the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from such as lay in wait by the way. — and the hand of our God was upon them; guiding, directing and protecting them by his providence:

— and he delivered them from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way; either by intimidating them, that their enemies like the Samaritans (who were to endure much curses later in their posterity) dared not attack them, or by directing them to take a different road, whereby they escaped them.

32 And we came to Jerusalem, and stayed there three days.

33 Now on the fourth day the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest, and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas, and with them were the Levites, Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui. — this was done by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest, and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; these were priests:

— and with them was Jozabad and Noadia; two priests and two Levites; for since there were of both that were charged with the above things, it was proper there should be some of both, when weighed, that they might be witnesses of their fidelity.

34 By number and by weight of every one, the weight of all was written down at that time. — by number and by weight of everyone; they were delivered in by tale and weight, which exactly agreed to the number and weight in which they received them:

— and all the weight was written at that time; an account was taken in writing, and laid up, that it might not only be known hereafter what freewill offerings had been made in Babylon, but that it might be a voucher for the fidelity and integrity of those that brought them, should it ever be called in question.

35 Also the children of those who had been carried away, who had come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel: twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve hegoats for a sin offering; all this was a burnt offering unto the Lord. — those that now came along with Ezra: they offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel; by way of thankfulness for their deliverance from captivity, and for their safe journey:

— twelve bullocks for all Israel: according to the number of the tribes; and there might be some of every tribe that now came up: ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs; these and the bullocks were burnt offerings:

— twelve he goats for a sin offering; according to the number of the twelve tribes, also to make atonement for sins they had been guilty of: all this was a burnt offering unto the Lord; excepting the twelve he goats, which were a sin offering.

36 And they delivered the king’s commissions unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors on this side of the river; and they furthered the people and the house of God. — and they delivered the king’s commissions unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river; the governors of the provinces of Syria, Palestine, and Judea, which were on that side of Euphrates the land of Israel was:
and they furthered the people, and the house of God;

— or “lifted them up” – eased them of all burdens, and freed them from all impediments, and assisted them and furnished them with everything, as the decree of Artaxerxes enjoined them; and provided everything as they required for ornamenting the temple, and for the sacrifices of it; all which is to be understood of the king’s lieutenants and governors, who obeyed his commands.

~~~

The Scriptures do not give any details about the Unspoken Will of God, but they are in the Oral Law:

The answer lies in the Four fasts of Zechariah:

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. Therefore love the truth and peace.’ Zechariah 8:19

Seventeenth of Tammuz (Shiva Asar B’Tammuz, minor fast) — the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. – July 16,17, 2022

Ninth of Av (Tisha B’Av, full fast) — fall of Jerusalem on the same dates in 587 BC and 70 AD. – August 6,7, 2022

Third of Tishrei: Fast of Gedalia (Tzom Gedalia, minor fast) — assassination of Gedaliah, the righteous governor of Judah (II Kings 25:22–26). – September 28, 2022

Tenth of Tevet (Asara B’Tevet, minor fast) — the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. –January 3, 2023

Note that today these fasts are mainly observe by the Jews only — the “house of Judah” — which will turn to be a joy and into “gladness and cheerful feasts.” How so, we may ask? God must have accepted their fasts and prayers and those who participate in them would be duly rewarded, their fasts will turn into joy! Extra blessings await those who touches the heart of God; extar blessings! These four fasts are all related to Jerusalem, God’s beloved city with its Temple where God initially told Moses to build a sanctuary for Him to dwell.

Ezra (Ch 5-6)

•May 17, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The Samaritans are adversaries to the returning Jews because of (a) difference in defining what time at ben ha’arbayim when the Pascha lamb should be killed: the Jewish definition of ben ha’arbayim “between the two evenings” is “after noon and until nightfall,” whereas the Samaritans is sunset or dusk; (b) when is omer, which translated to English is rendered “wave sheaf” offering to be made: the Jews definition has it on the annual Sabbath after Pascha, whereas the Samaritans has it the day after the weekly Sabbath during the days of unleavened bread;

— (c) after counting seven weeks after the omer, on what day Shavuot is to be kept: the Jews have it on Sivan 6th, whereas the Samaritans always have it on a weekly Sabbath; (d) the three annual feasts are to be kept in Jerusalem, whereas the Samaritans have their feasts on Mount Gerizim, which they consider a sacred mountain; and (e) once in roughly three years, the Samaritan calendar starts one month later than the Jewish calendar.

Wikipedia says “There has been a history of genetic disorders within the group due to the small gene pool,” such as high incidence of austisics and cripples within their community but of course they manage to deflect from mentioning the truth of God’s curses upon those who show hostilities to the rebuilding of the house of God in Jerusalem.

Ezra 5

1 Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. — prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem; this they both did in the second year of Darius; even “unto them” or “against them” reproving them for their sloth and neglect of building the temple;

— when they were careful enough to raise up goodly houses for themselves to dwell in; and for being intimidated by the command of the king of Persia, which only forbid the building of the city, that is, the walls of it, but not the temple any more than their own houses; and besides there was now a new king, from whom they had not so much to fear.

Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem; and with them were the prophets of God helping them. — and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem; to go on with the building of it; for they had laid the foundation before, and perhaps had carried it up to some little height, at least, before they ceased from it, Ezra 3:10;

— and with them were the prophets of God helping them; with words of counsel, comfort and exhortation, directing and encouraging them and promising them protection and success: these are the prophets before named.

Zerubbabel displays a plan of Jerusalem to Cyrus

At the same time came to them Tattenai, governor on this side of the river, and Shetharboznai and their companions, and said thus unto them: “Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall?” — Governor on this side the river; Compare Ezra 4:10 – Tatnai was apparently satrap of Syria, which included the whole tract west of the Euphrates from Cilicia to the borders of Egypt. Zerubbabel must have been, to some extent, under his authority.

— Who hath commanded you to build? – there was no doubt a perceived illegality in the conduct of Zerubbabel and Jeshua: since all edicts of Persian kings continued in force unless revoked by their successors. But they felt justified in disobeying the decree of the Pseudo-Smerdis (see the Ezra 4:7), because the opposition between his religious views and those of his successor was matter of notoriety.

Then said we unto them in this manner: “What are the names of the men who make this building?” — then said we unto them after this manner; in answer to their questions; namely, Ezra and other Jews replied; for though Ezra is said after this to come from Babylon in the seventh year of Artaxerxes, he might go thither on some business, and then return again at that time;

— what were the names of the men that did make this building; or employed them in it, namely, Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the chief men of the Jews; they made no scruple of telling them who they were; neither ashamed of their masters nor of their work, nor afraid of any ill consequences following hereafter.

But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease until the matter came to Darius, and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter. — the eye of their God was over the elders of the Jews, that they should not restrain them (from building) till the matter came to Darius; and they should then receive a letter concerning this matter;

— that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius; they were not intimidated by what the governor and those with him said to them, but went on in their work; nor did the governor attempt to interrupt them, they having referred him and their cause to Darius for the truth of what they had said, and for further information from him.

The copy of the letter that Tattenai, governor on this side of the river, and Shetharboznai, and his companions the Apharsachites, who were on this side of the river, sent unto Darius the king — the copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai, and his companions the Apharsachites, which were on this side the river; which is thought by some to be one of the nations mentioned, Ezra 4:9 the name being pretty near alike to two of them; but perhaps might be a distinct colony in those parts Tatnai was governor of;

they sent a letter unto him, wherein was written thus: “Unto Darius the king, all peace.

Be it known unto the king that we went into the province of Judea to the house of the great God, which is built with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on and prospereth in their hands. — which is built with great stones; marble stones; stones of rolling as it may be rendered; which were so large and heavy that they could not be carried, but were obliged to roll them:

— and timber is laid in the walls, cedar wood, for the beams, flooring and raftering; or rather is put upon the walls, for the lining and wainscoting of them, which was done with cedar wood:

Then asked we those elders, and said unto them thus: ‘Who commanded you to build this house, and to make up these walls?’ — hereupon the royal officials asked the elders of the Jews who had commanded them to build, and inquired concerning their names, that they might write to the king the names of the leading men, who act in the capacity of heads.

10 We asked their names also, to inform thee, that we might write the names of the men who were the chief of them. — to certify that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them; take the names of them in writing, that they might with certainty acquaint the king who they were, and that if it was necessary they might be called to an account for what they were doing.

11 And thus they returned us answer, saying, ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was built these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and set up. — which a great king of Israel built and set up; King Solomon who was a great king for wisdom, honour, riches, peace, prosperity and extent of his kingdom.

12 But after our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried the people away into Babylon.

— parallel Scriptures in Daniel 9:11 “Yea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey Thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the Law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him.”

13 But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon, the same King Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God. — but in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon; that is, the first year he was king of Babylon, having taken it, otherwise he was king of Persia many years before.

14 And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered unto one whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor. — they were given to one Sheshbazzar, is his name, i.e., to one of the name of Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor. Zerubbabel is also called פּחה, Haggai 1:1Haggai 1:14, and elsewhere.

15 And he said unto him, “Take these vessels; go, carry them into the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be built in his place.” — of which and of what is said concerning them and particularly of the delivery of them to Sheshbazzar, whom Cyrus made governor of Judah and ordered him to carry them to Jerusalem, and build the temple there, and put them in it.

16 Then came the same Sheshbazzar, and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem. And since that time even until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not finished.’ — then came the same Sheshbazzar, and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem; which makes it clear, that by Sheshbazzar is meant Zerubbabel; for he it was that laid the foundation of the temple, or at least by whose order it was laid, see Zechariah 4:9;

— “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it. And thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you,” Zechariah 4:9.

17 Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king’s treasure house which is there at Babylon, whether it be so that a decree was made by Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem; and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.” — let there be search made at Babylon; they perhaps doubted whether proof of the decree of Cyrus remained in the archives. The decree was not found at Babylon, the most natural place for it, but in the provincial capital of Ecbatana, which Tatnai and his friends had not asked Darius to have searched (see Ezra 6:2).

Ezra 6

1 Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. — then Darius the king made a decree; to search the rolls in Babylon, where search was fairly made; but not finding the edict there, they searched in Achmetha, or Ecbatana, the royal city of the Medes and Persians and found it there;

— as Darius, the better to fortify his title to the crown, had married two of the daughters of Cyrus, he thought himself concerned to do every thing which might tend to the honour of that great prince, and therefore more readily confirmed the decree which he had granted to the Jews.

And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a scroll, and therein was a record thus written: — at Achmetha; that is, Ecbatana, the Median capital of Cyrus. It is probable that the original roll of parchment had been destroyed at Babylon but a copy of it was found here, probably in a Chaldean transcript.

“In the first year of Cyrus the king, the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem: Let the house be built, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid — the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits, — the height thereof sixty cubits; which were thirty more than the height of Solomon’s temple, 1 Kings 6:2 though sixty less than the height of the porch, which was one hundred and twenty, II Chronicles 3:4 and which some take to be the height of the whole house; and hence it may be observed what Herod said (y), that the temple then in being wanted sixty cubits in height of that of Solomon’s:

— and the breadth thereof sixty cubits; whereas the breadth of Solomon’s temple was but twenty, 1 Kings 6:2, but since it cannot reasonably be thought that the breadth should be equal to the height, and so very disproportionate to Solomon’s temple; many learned men understand this of the extension of it as to length, which exactly agrees with the length of the former temple, 1 Kings 6:2.

with three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber — and let the expenses be given out of the king’s house. — let the expenses be given out of the king’s house; that is, “out of the Persian revenue,” a portion of the decree which was probably not observed during the later years of Cyrus and during the reign of Cambyses, and hence the burthen fell upon the Jews themselves Ezra 2:68-69.

And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem and brought unto Babylon, be restored and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God. — and also let the golden and silver vessels . . . be restored; the desecration of these vessels by Belshazzar (Daniel 5:2-3) was thus to be expiated and redressed. Every word, including the triple twice repeats of “house of God” “Jerusalem” and “temple” are most emphatic;

— emphatic? yea, because the Lord is concern about his abode with humanity: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. Therefore love the truth and peace.’ Zechariah 8:19 (extra blessings await those who touches the heart of God; for more, see “The Unspoken Will of God.”)

“Now therefore, Tattenai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, who are beyond the river, be ye far from thence. — who are beyond the river, be ye far from thence; keep at a distance from the Jews and give them no disturbance, nor interrupt them in their work of building of the temple, but mind your own business and government.

Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place. — let the work of this house of God alone; suffer them to go on with it, and do not hinder them; it looks, by these expressions, as if he had some suspicion or hint given him that they were inclined to molest or persecute them with troubles;

— let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews, build this house of God in his place; where it formerly stood; that is, go on with the building of it.

Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do for the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered. — moreover, I make a decree, what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews, for the building of this house of God; this must be considered as an additional decree of Darius, which was peculiarly made by him, in which more was granted in favour of the Jews and as an encouragement to them to go on with the building of the temple;

And that which they have need of — both young bullocks and rams and lambs for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests who are at Jerusalem — let it be given them day by day without fail, — and that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven; all which were used for burnt offerings, see Leviticus 1:2

— wheat, salt, wine, and oil; “wheat”, or “fine flour”, for the “minchah” or meat offering; “salt”, for every offering; “wine”, for the drink offerings; and “oil”, to be put upon the meat offerings, see Leviticus 2:1; according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail; for the daily sacrifice, and the meat and drink offerings which attended it, Exodus 29:38.

10 that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savors unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and of his sons. — that they may offer sacrifices . . . and pray for the life of the king; two ends are to be answered: the God of heaven is to be honoured, and the dynasty of Darius interceded for by the Jews.

11 Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this. — whosoever shall alter this word; the warning was specially directed against the turbulent and fanatical Samaritans;

— the extremely favorable purport of this edict was no doubt owing in some measure to the influence of Cyrus, of whom Darius entertained a high admiration, and whose two daughters he had married. But it proceeded still more from the deep impressions made even on the idolatrous people of that country and that age, as to the being and providence of the God of Israel.

12 And the God who hath caused His name to dwell there, destroy all kings and people who shall put forth their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree. Let it be done with speed.” — the God that hath caused his name to dwell there;

— who hath willed that a temple should be built there, called the temple or house of God. Destroy all kings and people that shall put to their hand to alter; Darius was touched with such a sense of the greatness of the God of the Jews, that he prays, that He who had all power in heaven and earth and was King of kings, would not only punish all those kings who went about to obstruct this work, but destroy both them and their people;

— though this temple was at length most justly destroyed by the righteous hand of God, yet perhaps the Romans, who were the instruments of that destruction, felt the effects of this curse. For that empire sensibly declined ever after, till it was wholly destroyed.

13 Then Tattenai, governor on this side of the river, Shetharboznai and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily. — so they did speedily. Tatnai and Shethar-boznai showed no reluctance; they had lost their case against the Jews. Once clearly made known of the king’s wishes, they carried them out with apparent zeal. The rapid completion of the temple must be in part attributed to some good-will.

14 And the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Idd. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia. — they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai; this is a seasonable blessing that this great and unexpected success was not to be ascribed to chance, or to the kindness or good-humour of Darius, but unto God only, who, by his prophets had required and encouraged them to proceed in the work and by his mighty power disposed Darius’s heart to such kind and noble purposes.

15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. — the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year; the event around which this part of the history revolves is dated with due care; it was on the third day of the last month of the ecclesiastical year, 516-515 BC;

— Haggai (Haggai 1:15) gives the exact date of the re-commencement: the time therefore was four years five months and ten days. But, dating from the first foundation (Ezra 3:10), no less than twenty-one years had elapsed.

16 And the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy, — kept the feast of dedication; called in the Greek Encænia (ἐγκαίνια, LXX.), and in Hebrew ‘Khanukah’

— the same word which gives its name to the Feast of the Dedication, founded to commemorate the purification of the Temple after the pollution of Antiochus Epiphanes, cf. John 10:22. That festival was kept for eight days and began on 25th of Chislev (the 9th month).

17 and offered at the dedication of this house of God a hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve hegoats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. — twelve he goats; the people are not “Judah” or “Judah and Benjamin,” but “all Israel.” On the Day of Atonement, on the new moons, and on all the great feasts the kid was the sin-offering for the people. But only here is one offered for each tribe.

18 And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses. — they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses. The completion of the new temple was naturally followed by an arrangement of the these courses corresponding to that which had been originally made by David, and afterwards adopted by Solomon, for the service of the old temple (see 1 Chronicles 23:6-231 Chronicles 24:1-19);

— this arrangement was based upon the ordinances of the law with respect to the respective offices of the two orders, as given in the Book of Numbers (Numbers 3:6-10Numbers 8:6-26), and, so far, was according to the writing of the book of Moses. But the “courses” themselves were not established till David’s time.

19 And the children of the captivity kept the Passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month. — specially solemn Passovers were celebrated on specially solemn occasions; and these received special record at the hands of the sacred writers;

— of this kind are the Passover celebrated by Hezekiah in the year BC 726, recorded in II Chronicles 30, and that celebrated by Josiah in BC 624, recorded in II Chronicles 35. Both of these followed upon a cleansing of the temple, and restoration of the temple worship after a period of suspension. 

20 For the priests and the Levites were purified together; all of them were pure, and killed the Passover lamb for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. — and killed the Passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests and for themselves; which seems to have been done by the Levites, for themselves and for the priests, and for all the people, who were not so pure as the priests and Levites; or otherwise they might have killed it themselves, Exodus 12:6.

21 And the children of Israel, who had come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land to seek the Lord God of Israel, ate, —all such as had separated themselves; from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, that is, whose had given satisfactory evidence of being true proselytes by not only renouncing the impure worship of idolatry, but by undergoing the rite of circumcision, a condition indispensable to a participation of the Passover.

22 and kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy; for the Lord had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel. — and kept the feast with joy: for the Lord had made them joyful; had given them both cause to rejoice, and hearts to rejoice;

— turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them; that is, king of the Persian empire, which now included the possessions and had surpassed the glory, of Assyria. The favorable disposition which Darius had evinced towards the Jews secured them peace and prosperity and the privileges of their own religion during the rest of his reign.

Who is God’s Suffering Servant?

•May 16, 2022 • 2 Comments

The broad consensus among Rabbinic Jews and Rabbi Tovia Singer / Jews for Judiasm are that the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 refers to the nation of Israel (or the house of Jacob) has certain merits, but become peripheral in the face of overwhelming evidence in refering to an individual who later was identified as the Son of God, the Messiah.

Although Isaiah 53 is generally ascribes as the “suffering servant” it really started in the previous chapter, Isaiah 52, starting verse 13. So lets begin here:

Isaiah 52

13 “Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. — the Targum straightaway identifies and interprets the servant as the Messiah; He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high;

— the Targum verse in full: “Behold, my servant the Messiah shall prosper, He shall be exalted and extolled, and He shall be very strong,” Targum Isaiah 52:13. The Prophet Isaiah speaks of his own people, Israel, which include their own blind shepherd, “Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see,” Isaiah 42:18.

— the Targum is an indispensable source of understanding the Bible. Started by Ezra for those returning Jews from Babylon and for these returnees they could only understand the Sacred Text in Aramaic; hence the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to us from the verses quoted. So why do the Rabbinic Jews today choose to ignore Ezra’s understanding and interpretation?

14 As many as were astonished at thee—His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men” — before Yeshua the Messiah was sentensed to death, he was plaited with a crown of thorns and put on his head, led away to be crucified, but first to be flogged by the Roman soldiers, including more scourging in the praetorium, revealed as stated in the previous verse, the whole world will be astonished to see he would be so marred – (משׁחת mishechath); so defaced, destroyed, disfigured; this was a disfiguration or defacement of his aspect, more than that of any man.

The Targum verse in full: “As the house of Israel anxiously hoped for Him many days, (which was poor among the nations; their appearance and their brightness being worse than that of the sons of men.)” — this phrase “the house of Israel anxiously hoped for Him” shows that the house of Israel and the Suffering Servant are two separate entities, hence the Suffering Servant could not be the house of Israel. This is another checkmate! Period!

Verse 15, which contains Messianic significance is not in the King James versions but appears in the followings:

15 The Targum translated by Etheridge: Thus shall He scatter many nations; before Him kings shall keep silence: they shall put their hands upon their mouths, for that which had not been told them shall they see: and that which they had not heard shall they consider. — since King David, Israel (or any ordinary man) had never “scatter many nations.”

Or as in Chabad Bible: So shall he cast down many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for, what had not been told them they saw, and [at] what they had not heard they gazed.

The Septuagint (Brenton): Thus shall many nations wonder at him; and kings shall keep their mouths shut: for they to whom no report was brought concerning him, shall see; and they who have not heard, shall consider.

 — Young: So doth he sprinkle many nations. Concerning him kings shut their mouth, For that which was not recounted to them they have seen, And that which they had not heard they have understood! — the sprinkling of the blood of a sacrifice, which could mean the shedding of blood for our (Jews and Gentiles) sins; (He will cleanse many nations with his blood, GW).

The JPS 1917:

So shall he startle many nations,
Kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
For that which had not been told them shall they see,
And that which they had not heard shall they perceive.

Isaiah 53

Most theologians noted that the subject of the Suffering Servant, which the Targum (Isaiah 52:13) identifies as the Messiah, should start from Chapter 52:13 and onto the end of Chapter 53. More commentaries of this Suffering Servant, its prophecies and fulfillments are at the end.

1 Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? — Our report; literally, that which has been heard by us, or reported to us. But the word is used technically for a prophetic revelation (see Isaiah 28:9,19; Jeremiah 49:14);

— here the word would seem to refer especially to the Messianic prophecies delivered by Isaiah. To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? The “arm of the Lord,” which has been “made bare in the eyes of all the nations” (Isaiah 52:10); the word of God is expressly called the power of God, 1 Corinthians 1:18.

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground. He hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. — for he shall grow up as a tender plant and as a root out of a dry ground; and the reason or occasion why the Jews generally rejected Yeshua as their Messiah is because he didn’t come into the world with secular pomp and power, like an earthly monarch, as they carnally and groundlessly imagined; but

— he shall grow up (or, spring up, Heb. ascend, to wit, out of the ground, as it follows, brought forth, and brought up); before him (before the unbelieving Jews, of whom “my servant the Messiah” spoken of in Isaiah 52:13 (Targum) and which the Jews are blinded to, as springing up of a low and insignificant plant or shrub out of the earth; has no strength nor straightness, of body; without verdure, leaves, blossom, and therefore despised;

— he hath no form nor comeliness; when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him; when we shall look upon him, expecting to find incomparable beauty and majesty in his countenance, and carriage and condition, we shall be altogether disappointed and shall meet with nothing amiable or desirable in him.

He is despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. And we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. — nowhere in all the Old Testament is it so plainly and fully prophesied that the Messiah ought to suffer and the Jews esteemed him not; which is repeated to show the great contempt cast upon him, to be despised and rejected of men before he is destined to enter into his glory.

Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. — the Septuagint renders the words, “he bears our sins” and the Targum, where the ancient Jews understood this prophecy of the Messiah, is “wherefore he will entreat for our sins.”

no human, from Abraham to Jacob, nor from King David to Zerubbabel could have such intrinsic qualities; and of course, Israel or Jacob (whom the Jews thought was the suffering servant) doesn’t suffer for the sins of the nations. They suffer for their own sins, Stupid! The house of Israel is being descibed by God in Isaiah 48:4 as “that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew and thy brow brass!”

But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. — but he was wounded for our transgressions; not for any sins of his own, but for humans, for our transgressions of his law, in order to make atonement and satisfaction for them;

— he was bruised for our iniquities; as bread corn is bruised by threshing it; he being broken and crushed to pieces under the weight of sin, and the punishment of it. The ancient Jews understood this of the Messiah; for in one place they say of King Messiah, “he was wounded for our transgressions; and bruised for our iniquities.” – Mechilta apud Yalkut, par. 2. fol 90.

— and with his stripes we are healed; or “by his stripe” so called from the gathering and settling of the blood where the blow is given. As a physician, the wonderful Messiah heals by taking the sicknesses of his people upon himself, by bearing their sins, and being wounded and bruised for them and by his enduring blows and suffering death itself for them;

— the Targum says, “when we obey his words, our sins will be forgiven us” but forgiveness is not through our obedience, but the blood of Christ.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. — all we like sheep have gone astray; all the children of God, whether Jews or Gentiles; whom he compares to “sheep” not for any good qualities, but for our own foolishness and stupidity;

— and particularly for their being subject to go astray from the shepherd and from their good pastures, and who never return of themselves until they are brought back by the shepherd; so the people of God, in a state of nature are like the silly sheep who go astray from God;

— and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all; that is, God the Father against whom we have sinned, from whom we have turned and whose justice must be satisfied; he has laid on his own Son, the sins of all his elect.

He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. — he was oppressed and was afflicted; he was injuriously treated by both the Jews and Romans; they handled him roughly; he was oppressed and afflicted, both in body and mind, with their blows and with their reproaches;

— and he being the surety of his people was responsible for them and did answer, the debt they owed was required, the payment of it was called for and he accordingly answered; the punishment of the sins of his people was exacted of him and he bore it in his own body on the tree;

— so he opened not his mouth: not against his enemies, by way of threats or complaint; nor even in his own defence; nor against the justice of God as bearing hard upon him, not sparing him but demanding and having full satisfaction; nor against his people and their sins.

He was taken from prison and from judgement; and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people was He stricken. — he was taken away from due justice and judgement; that is, his life was taken away in a violent manner, under a pretence of justice; whereas the utmost injustice was done him; a wrong charge was brought against him, false witnesses were suborned, and his life was taken away with wicked hands.

And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. — and he made his grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death; these words are generally supposed to refer to a fact that Yeshua would die with two wicked men besides him as if he himself had been one, was buried in a rich man’s grave;

— neither was any deceit in his mouth: no false accusation was delivered by him; he was no deceiver of the people as he was charged; he did not attempt to seduce them from the true worship of God or persuade them to believe anything contrary to the law of Moses and the prophets; he was no enemy to the state, nor indeed guilty of any manner of sin, nor given to any arts of trick and dissimulation.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief. When thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. — yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; the sufferings of Yeshua, the Son of God are signified by his being “bruised” as it was foretold he should have his heel bruised by the serpent, Genesis 3:15;

— but here it is ascribed to the Lord: he was bruised in body when scourged and nailed to the cross; and was bruised and broken in spirit when the sins of his people were laid on him, (for more, see The Missing Hours of Christ).

11 He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. — the travail of his soul is the toil and labour he endured in working out the salvation of his people; his obedience and death, his sorrows and sufferings;

— particularly those birth throes of his soul under a sense of divine wrath for the allusion is to women in travail; and all the agonies and pains of death which he went through. Now the fruit of all this he sees with inexpressible pleasure and which gives him an infinite satisfaction; namely, the complete redemption of all the chosen ones and the glory of the divine perfections as well as his own glory which follows.

12 Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He hath poured out His soul unto death. And He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. — therefore will God divide him a portion with the great; the great ones of the earth: these are the words of God the Father, promising his Son that he shall have as great a part or portion assigned him as any of the mighty monarchs of the world, nay, one much more large and ample; that he would make him higher than the kings of the earth, and give him a name above every name in this world; and all this in consequence of his sufferings and as a reward of them.

~~~

More on the Suffering Servant and its Fulfilments

He will be exalted (52:13) Philippians 2:9
He will be disfigured (52:14; 53:2) Mark 15:17,19
He will make a blood atonement (52:15) 1 Peter 1:2
He will be widely rejected (53:1,3) John 12:37,38
He will bear our sins and sorrows (53:4,5) Romans 4:25; 1 Peter 2:24,25
He will be our substitute (53:6,8) II Corinthians 5:21
He will voluntarily accept our guilt and punishment (53:7-8) John 10:11; 19:30
He will be buried in a rich man’s tomb (53:9) John 19:38-42
He will save those who believe in Him (53:10-11) John 3:16; Acts 16:31
He will die on behalf of transgressors (53:12) Mark 15:27,28; Luke 22:37

Famine Soon?

•May 14, 2022 • Leave a Comment

How war is hitting Ukraine’s farmers and threatening world food supplies. And global wheat prices have increased by more than 40% since the beginning of the year.

Euronews by Stefan Weichert • 06/05/2022

Ukraine, dubbed Europe’s breadbasket, is one of the largest exporters of corn, wheat and oats to the European Union.

Over 5.7 million Ukrainians on the Way to Western Europe

But the war is having a huge impact on the country’s farmers.

Beyond the destruction of agricultural land, Russia’s blocking of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports means grains can only be shipped out of the country by rail or road.

Prior to Russia’s invasion, Ukraine exported up to 6 million tonnes of grains a month. But, according to analysts APK-Inform, 300,000 tonnes were shipped out in March and 923,000 in April.

Roughly only about ten percent of the previous total!

A UN food official said on Friday that nearly 25 million tonnes of grains are stuck in Ukraine and unable to leave the country.

If a solution isn’t found soon, the consequences will be apocalyptic, warns Andrii Baran, who is CEO of the Ukrainian agricultural company Agroprodservice, which has more than 40,000 hectares of land.

“I think that this must be solved, and the European countries also have an interest in this,” says Baran, who warns of higher food prices and hunger.

“Otherwise, if we don’t provide all that food, they (the EU) will have a few more million refugees from Northern Africa.”

Famines, a Pale Horse as one of the Four Horsemen

New article from Sputnik 14/5/2022 Indian Govt Bans Wheat Export With ‘Immediate Effect’ as Production Falls

Or Alarabiya News 14 May, 2022 India bans wheat exports as heatwave curbs output, prices soar

Why is India’s Stock Running Out?

The demand for wheat or wheat-based products from India has increased since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine account for over 28 percent of global wheat exports.

Against the backdrop of the Moscow’s special operation to “demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine”, wheat supplies in nearly 55 nations have reportedly been been hit, due to high wheat prices and a shortage of supplies in particular, leading governments to look for alternative exporters.

The projected combined global shortfall in wheat supply due to the Ukraine crisis is reportedly around 60 million tonnes.

Apart from that, in India, wheat production was adversely affected due to a sudden spike in temperatures in the second half of March in the country. Due to this, farmers have reported a 15-20 percent decline in their production yield.

In 2021-22, the country’s opening stocks were 27.3 million tonnes (mt), with the government having procured 43.3 mt from farmers.

To be followed by Millions of Refugees from the South!

This year, the opening stocks were 19 mt, and so far, the government has procured 18.5 mt of wheat, the lowest amount since 2007-08, when 11.1 mt were bought. The government has extended the procurement deadline till June.

Earlier in May, India’s Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), said that the government had been able to procure 16 million tonnes of wheat by 2 May, nearly 30 percent less than what it had been able to buy from farmers during the same period last year.

The world would suffer by the sword, by famine, by pestilence and by captivity. Could this trigger a mass migration leading to the start of the Sword from the Global South? For more see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years and A Sword from the South!

“And I will bring a sword upon you that shall avenge the quarrel of My covenant; and when ye are gathered together within your cities I will send the pestilence among you, and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy,” Leviticus 26:25

“A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them,” Ezekiel 5:11-12

Daniel’s Prayer, a Critique

•May 13, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Daniel’s Prayer is an example for us to study and emulate, especially for forgiveness against the Law of Moses (Leviticus 26Deuteronomy 28); Daniel was not merely praying for his comfort and protection in the darkness. His concern was to pray for God’s people, the acknowledgement of their sins and asking for forgiveness and great mercies.

What Daniel admitted is unlike what Rabbi Tovia Singer and other rabbinic interpretation have in their teachings by shifting blames by assigning the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel “who silently endured unimaginable suffering at the hands of its gentile oppressors.” That is, to Rabbi Singer, Israel’s suffering is attributable to their wicked neighbours and not to themselves!

Or, from another shifting of blames from Jews for Judiasm: “when the nations, astonished and in terror, will feel ashamed for their oppression of the Jewish people.” Again, they have no faults of their own but shift their suffering to their wicked neighbours and not attribute to themselves!

Making no excuses, Daniel confessed his people’s sin and acknowledged the justice of God’s judgement, severe though it had been. “We have sinned, we have done wickedly” Israel suffers because of her own sins; Period! In response from God, Daniel was greatly praised by the angel Gabriel, who was sent with further revelation or prophecy and said to Daniel, “I have come to show thee, for thou art greatly loved.”

Daniel is greatly loved, his example of a Prayer should be emulated and studied today. For example:

(1) Daniel does not say “they” but instead he says “we” incorporating the reality that all have sinned and all need forgiveness;

(2) instead of justifying like King Saul did, Daniel freely knowledges his and his nation’s iniquities, wickedness and rebellion against the Most High;

(3) nowhere in Daniel’s prayer did he put the blame on the wicked Chaldeans nor on Nebuchadnezzar, but squarely on themselves; and

(4) asks, “Open Thine ear and hear,” asks “O Lord, forgive! O Lord,” for forgiveness and for His great mercies on behalf of his people.

Daniel’s Prayer is found in Daniel 9

2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, came to understand by books the number of the years, according to the word of the Lord as it came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would spend seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

— seventy years of captivity in Babylon, for the house of Judah had forgotten God’s warning: “And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you; and your land shall be desolate and your cities waste,” Leviticus 26:33.

3 And I (Daniel) set my face unto the Lord God, seeking by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.

4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession and said, “O Lord, the great and fearsome God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him and to them that keep His commandments,

5 we have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgements.

— instead of justifying like King Saul did, Daniel freely knowledges his nation’s iniquities, wickedness and rebellion against the Most High, departing from His precepts and from His judgements.

6 Neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets, who spoke in Thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day: to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel who are near and who are far off, through all the countries whither Thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against Thee.

8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against Thee.

9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against Him;

10 neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.

11 “Yea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey Thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the Law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him.

— for not obeying God’s voice and transgressing upon His laws, Daniel freely admits “the curse is poured upon us” and Daniel offers no stupid excuses, unlike his latter-days pretenders and other stout-hearted;

— three times Nebuchadnezzar was described as “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant,” (Jeremiah 25:9, 27:6, 43:10); a savaging Nebuchadnezzar was just an instrument being used by God to horse-whipped Israel into shape;

— Ezra also freely admitted it was their sin or their fathers’ sin, “But after our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried the people away into Babylon,” Ezra 5:12

— by trying to divert sins is very much like what God’s anointed King Saul did. When asked why he disobeyed God by not destroying Amalek and all that they have, his defence was “but the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen,” and as a result he lost God’s favor: he lost a sound mind, consulted a witch and his kingdom was taken away from him.

12 And He hath confirmed His words which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil; for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.

13 “As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us. Yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Thy truth.

14 Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all His works which He doeth, for we obeyed not His voice.

15 “And now, O Lord our God, who hast brought Thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast made Thee a name, as at this day — we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

— what Daniel admitted is unlike what Rabbi Tovia Singer and other rabbinic interpretation have in their teachings by assigning the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel “who silently endured unimaginable suffering at the hands of its gentile oppressors.” What nonsense, “we have sinned, we have done wickedly” Israel suffers because of her own sins; Period!

— but trying to divert sin is a great sin by itself. King Saul justified himself by saying “for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God.” King Saul blamed his disobedience on “the people.” It wasn’t a small matter and for this, Saul’s kingdom was removed;

— by contrast, when David sinned, he sinned with no pretence that he was keeping God’s laws. He clearly did not believe that he needed to pay the penalty for each. When the seer Nathan rebuked David concerning his sin involving Bathsheba and Uriah, he made no excuses, but instead immediately agreed with God about his sin (i.e. confessed it), repented and returned wholeheartedly to God. 

16 O Lord, according to all Thy righteousness, I beseech Thee, let Thine anger and Thy fury be turned away from Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain; because for our sins and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Thy people have become a reproach to all who are about us.

17 “Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of Thy servant and his supplications, and cause Thy face to shine upon Thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.

18 O my God, incline Thine ear and hear. Open Thine eyes and behold our desolations and the city which is called by Thy name; for we do not present our supplications before Thee because of our righteousnesses, but because of Thy great mercies.

19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hearken and do! Defer not, for Thine own sake, O my God; for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name.”

— nowhere in Daniel’s prayer did he put the blame on the wicked Chaldeans nor on Nebuchadnezzar, but squarely on themselves; the vicious and ravaging Chaldeans were just mere instruments used by God as three time Nebuchadnezzar was described as “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant,” (Jeremiah 25:9, 27:6, 43:10) to carry out His will;

— at no instance did Daniel called upon God to take revenge. Gentiles are not lilywhites, but God’s will for the Gentiles is His business alone, and He will carry out His judgement and revenge in His own space and time.

— Would the house of Judah need to go into captivity again, this time for forty years to be more like Daniel? See more in Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years.

Hezekiah’s Prayer

•May 11, 2022 • Leave a Comment

II Kings 19

1 And it came to pass, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord.

And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.

And they said unto him, “Thus saith Hezekiah: ‘This day is a day of trouble and of rebuke and blasphemy; for the children have come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

It may be the Lord thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard. Therefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant who are left.’”

So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah.

And Isaiah said unto them, “Thus shall ye say to your master, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.

Behold, I will send a blight upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’”

So Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he had heard that he had departed from Lachish.

And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “Behold, he has come out to fight against thee,” he sent messengers again unto Hezekiah, saying,

10 “Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, ‘Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, “Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.”

11 Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly. And shalt thou be delivered?

12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them whom my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the children of Eden who were in Thelasar?

13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah?’”

14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord.

15 And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said:

“O Lord God of Israel, who dwellest between the cherubims, Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. Thou hast made heaven and earth.

16 Lord, bow down Thine ear, and hear; open, Lord, Thine eyes, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, who hath sent him to reproach the living God.

17 Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands,

18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they have destroyed them.

19 Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech Thee, save Thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the Lord God, even Thou only.”

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: ‘That which thou hast prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.’

21 This is the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning him: “‘The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

22 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? And against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? Even against the Holy One of Israel.

23 By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, “With the multitude of my chariots I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedar trees thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof; and I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, and into the forest of his Carmel.

24 I have dug and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places.”

25 “‘Hast thou not heard long ago how I have done it, and of ancient times that I have formed it? Now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps.

26 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power; they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field and as the green herb, as the grass on the house tops and as corn blighted before it be grown up.

27 “‘But I know thy abode, and thy going out and thy coming in, and thy rage against Me.

28 Because thy rage against Me and thy tumult is come up into Mine ears, therefore I will put My hook in thy nose, and My bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.

29 “‘And this shall be a sign unto thee: Ye shall eat this year such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye and reap, and plant vineyards and eat the fruits thereof.

30 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.

31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this.’

32 “Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: ‘He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a mound against it.

33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city,’ saith the Lord.

34 ‘For I will defend this city to save it for Mine own sake, and for My servant David’s sake.’”

35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred fourscore and five thousand; and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. — 185,000 soldiers dead overnight!

36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

37 And it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.

Ezra (Ch 3-4)

•May 9, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The Samaritans are adversaries to the returning Jews because of (a) difference in defining what time at ben ha’arbayim when the Pascha lamb should be killed: the Jewish definition of ben ha’arbayim “between the two evenings” is “after noon and until nightfall,” whereas the Samaritans is sunset or dusk; (b) when is omer, which translated to English is rendered “wave sheaf” offering to be made: the Jews definition has it on the annual Sabbath after Pascha, whereas the Samaritans has it the day after the weekly Sabbath during the days of unleavened bread;

— (c) after counting seven weeks after the omer, on what day Shavuot is to be kept: the Jews have it on Sivan 6th, whereas the Samaritans always have it on a weekly Sabbath; (d) the three annual feasts are to be kept in Jerusalem, whereas the Samaritans have their feasts on Mount Gerizim, which they consider a sacred mountain; and (e) once in roughly three years, the Samaritan calendar starts one month later than the Jewish calendar.

Ezra 3

1 And when the seventh month had come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. — and when the seventh month was come; the month Tisri, when the Feast of Tabernacles was; or when it “was approaching” for before it was actually come some following things were done, the people met and an altar was built; for on the first day of it sacrifices were offered, Ezra 3:6,

— and the children of Israel were in the cities; their respective cities, settling their domestic affairs; the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem; the thing was universal and done with as much dispatch as if only one man was concerned; and it seems to denote as if they were under a divine impulse and came together without any consultation and without summons.

Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brethren, and built the altar of the God of Israel to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses, the man of God. — the name Jeshua is a mere variant of Joshua; his brethren the priests, as being all of them equally descended from Aaron, the priests were “brethren.”

— Zerubbabel; he was the chief or governor of the first band of returning exiles; accompanied by Joshua, the high priest and Nehemiah;

— and built the altar of the God of Israel; and to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses.

And they set the altar upon his bases, for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries; and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt offerings morning and evening. — they set the altar upon his bases; they built the new altar upon the foundations of the old one, making it exactly conform to them. This was done, no doubt, to indicate that the religion which the exiles brought back from Babylon was in every respect identical with that which they had possessed before they were carried thither;

— for fear was upon them. Or, “though fear was upon them.” Notwithstanding their fear of the surrounding nations, they set up the altar; their neighbours were not Persians, but descendants of various idolatrous nations: Hamathites, Babylonians, Susianians, Elamites, Cuthaeans, who bitterly opposed to anything like a pure spiritual religion;

— they offered burnt offerings; morning and evening; it was their duty and they did not wait till the temple should be rebuilt and dedicated; but at the outset they resumed the daily service prescribed by the law (Exodus 29:38,39, Leviticus 6:9,11), as well as observed the annual seasons of solemn observance.

They kept also the Feast of Tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the custom, as the duty of every day required; — it was the autumn or vintage feast, the most joyous of all the annual festivals, the feast of tabernacles as it is written; according to the rules prescribed for the observation of it in Leviticus 23:34 this began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month:

— and they offered burnt offerings unto the Lord, even burnt offerings, morning (at 9 AM) and evening (at 3 PM); the daily sacrifice, as directed in Exodus 29:38. The heretic Sun-worshipping Samaritans interpret evening (ben ha arbayim) as sunset or dusk, at 6 PM as the Sun began to set.

5 and afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons and of all the set feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and of every one who willingly offered a freewill offering unto the Lord. — the new moons, the three feasts and the freewill offerings, added to the daily sacrifice, made up the essentials of the sacrifices; all being, like the arrangements in the Book of Leviticus, observed even before the Temple was built and afterwards continually.

— Q, was the new moons observed by the priests only or by all the people, and if observed by all the people, how?

From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. — the altar service, with the daily morning and evening sacrifice, began on the first day of the seventh month; this daily sacrifice was regularly offered, according to the law.

They gave money also unto the masons and to the carpenters, and meat and drink and oil unto those of Sidon and to those of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea at Joppa, according to the grant that they had from Cyrus king of Persia. — they gave money also to the masons, and to the carpenters; to buy stone and timber with for the building of the temple:

— and meat and drink and oil unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre; which were more agreeable to them than money because there was not plenty of such things in their country as in the land of Israel:

— to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa; as they did at the first building of the temple by Solomon; they cut down cedars at Lebanon, which belonged to them and sent them by sea to Joppa, the nearest seaport to Jerusalem, about forty miles from it: see II Chronicles 2:16;

— according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia; for Tyre and Zidon being under his dominion as well as Judea, he not only gave leave to the Jews to get cedar wood from Lebanon, but gave orders to the Zidonians and Tyrians to furnish them with it, paying a valuable consideration for it; and so some render the word, “according to the commandment of Cyrus.”

Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren, the priests and the Levites, and all those who had come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and they appointed the Levites from twenty years old and upward, to press forward the work of the house of the Lord. — the building of the temple was begun as soon as ever the season of the year would permit, and as soon as they had ended the solemnities of the Passover. They took little more than half a year for preparing the ground and materials; so much were their hearts upon the work; 

— and appointed the Levites from twenty years old and upwards to set forward the work of the house of the Lord; to put men to work upon it, and direct them what to do, and urge them to attend closely to it; ever since David’s time the Levites were employed at twenty years of age, when before not till thirty, or twenty five; see 1 Chronicles 23:24.

Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah together, to supervise the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad with their sons and their brethren the Levites.

10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals to praise the Lord, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. — after the ordinance of David, king of Israel; all goes back to earlier times. As the first offerings on the altar were according to what was “written in the law of Moses, the man of God,” so the musical ceremonial of this foundation is according to the precedent of David (see 1 Chronicles 6, 1Chronicles 16:25).

11 And they sang together by course, praising and giving thanks unto the Lord: “Because He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever toward Israel.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.

12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers who were elderly men who had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy, — but many of the priests and Levites, and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men; seventy or eighty years of age:

— that had seen the first house; the temple built by Solomon, as they very well might, since then it had been destroyed but fifty two years; for the seventy years captivity are to be reckoned from the fourth of Jehoiakim, when it began, and which was eighteen years before the destruction of the temple;

— that had seen the first house; not when first founded, for that was five hundred years ago, but in “its foundation” – they saw it standing upon its foundation, in all its glory, as the Septuagint version says;

— this house was before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; seeing what it was like to be by the foundation now laid, and was in their sight as nothing in comparison of the former; see Haggai 2:3

13 so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people; for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off. — there was a remarkable mixture of emotions upon laying the foundation of the temple. Those that only knew the misery of having no temple at all, praised the Lord with shouts of joy;

— to them, even this foundation seemed great. We ought to be thankful for the beginnings of reinstatement, though it be not yet perfect. But those who remembered the glory of the first temple and considered how far inferior this was likely to be, wept with a loud voice;

— for the people shouted with a loud shout and the noise was heard afar off; the shouting being of young people, whose voice was strongest, and their shouting prevailed over the noise of weeping; and it was heard further, and at a distance appeared more distinctly to be the noise of shouting, that of weeping not reaching so far; but Rashi is of opinion that the noise of weeping was heard further than the noise of shouting, which seems unlikely.

Ezra 4

1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building the temple unto the Lord God of Israel, — the adversaries; the Samaritans, so identified by Nehemiah (Ezra 4:10). These were a mixed race, the original Israelite element of which was nearly lost in the tribes imported into the northern part of the land by Sargon, Sennacherib, and Esar-haddon;

— the Samaritans are adversaries to the returning Jews because of (a) difference in defining what time at ben ha’arbayim when the Pascha lamb should be killed: the Jewish definition of ben ha’arbayim “between the two evenings” is “after noon and until nightfall,” whereas the Samaritans is sunset or dusk; (b) when is omer, which translated to English is rendered “wave sheaf” offering to be made: the Jews definition has it on the annual Sabbath after Pascha, whereas the Samaritans has it the day after the weekly Sabbath during the days of unleavened bread;

— (c) after counting seven weeks after the omer, on what day Shavuot is to be kept: the Jews have it on Sivan 6th, whereas the Samaritans always have it on a weekly Sabbath; (d) the three annual feasts are to be kept in Jerusalem, whereas the Samaritans have their feasts on Mount Gerizim, which they consider a sacred mountain; and (e) once in roughly three years, the Samaritan calendar starts one month later than the Jewish calendar.

— these adversaries, being not accepted in the building of the temple with the Jews, endeavour to hinder it; their false and malicious letter to Artaxerxes, Ezra 4:7-16. Artexerxes’ decree: the building is hindered, Ezra 4:17-24.

then they came to Zerubbabel and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, “Let us build with you, for we seek your God as ye do; and we have done sacrifice unto Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us up hither.” — as ye do; indeed, “They feared the Lord, but worshipped their own gods” (2Kings 17:33): thus they came either in the spirit of hypocrites or with an intention to unite their own idolatries with the pure worship of Yehovah. In any case, they are counted enemies of the God of Israel.

But Zerubbabel and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel said unto them, “Ye have nothing to do with us in building a house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.” — you have nothing to do with us to build an house to our God; being neither of the same nation, nor of the same religion:

— but we ourselves together will build to the Lord God of Israel; we and we only, who are together as one man, united in one body of people, and in the same religious sentiments, being Israelites; we separately, without admitting strangers among us, will build a temple to the God of Israel.

4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, — every attempt to revive true religion will stir up the opposition by Satan; the adversaries were the Samaritans, who had been planted in the land of Israel, II King 17. It was plain that they did not mean to unite in the worship of the Lord, according to his word. Let those who discourage a good work, and weaken them that are employed in it, see whose pattern they follow.

and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. — the Samaritans endeavored by every means to molest the workmen as well as obstruct the progress of the building; and, though they could not alter the decree which Cyrus had issued regarding it, yet by bribes and clandestine arts indefatigably plied at court, they labored to frustrate the effects of the edict.

— their success in those underhand dealings was great; for Cyrus, being frequently absent and much absorbed in his warlike expeditions, left the government in the hands of his son Cambyses, a wicked prince, and extremely hostile to the Jews and their religion. In consequence of the difficulties and obstacles thus interposed, for a period of twenty years, the progress of the work was very slow.

And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. — and wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem; full of hatred and enmity, spite and malice, charging them as a turbulent, disobedient, and rebellious people.

And in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of their companions wrote unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue. — and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue; or Chaldee, of which Ezra gives a copy in the Chaldee language; the meaning either is, that it was written both in Syriac letters, and in the Syriac language; for sometimes words are written in one language and in the character of another.

Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king of this sort:

Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions, the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites, — Rehum the chancellor; the lord of judgement, the counsellor of the Persian king, a conventional title of the civil governor.

10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnapper brought over and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest who are on this side of the river and at such a time: — and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that are on this side the river, and at such a time;

— On this side the river – literally, “beyond the river,” a phrase used of Palestine by Ezra, Nehemiah, and in the Book of Kings, as designating the region west of the Euphrates.

11 (This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king.) “Thy servants, the men on this side of the river, and at such a time. — this is the copy of the letter they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king, which Ezra brought with him from Babylon, and is contained in the five following verses: thy servants the men on this side the river, and at such a time; this was the inscription of the letter, or the beginning of it.

12 Be it known unto the king that the Jews who came up from thee to us have come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations. — be it known unto the king; the intent of this letter was, that it might be known to the king what follows:
that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem;

— this they observe partly out of contempt of the Jews, having been lately captive in Babylon and partly to insinuate what ingratitude they were guilty of; that having got their liberty and come to Jerusalem, they made use of it to the king’s detriment;

— building the rebellious and the bad city; as they suggest it had been to kings, even his predecessors, in former times, Ezra 4:15; and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations, which was a falsehood; for the most they had done was setting up the walls of their houses in Jerusalem and laying the foundation of the temple; as for the walls of the city, they had not as yet done anything unto them.

13 Be it known now unto the king that, if this city be built and the walls set up again, then they will not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt bring damage to the revenue of the kings. — toll, tribute, and custom; the first was a poll tax, the second was a property tax, the third the excise dues on articles of trade and merchandise;

— their letter and the edict that followed, commanding an immediate cessation of the work at the city walls, form the exclusive subject of narrative at Ezra 4:7-23.

14 Now because we have maintenance from the king’s palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king’s dishonor, therefore have we sent and certified this to the king, — now because we have maintenance from the king’s palace; in the Hebrew it is, we are salted with the salt of the palace; that is, are sustained by the king’s munificence, or have a stipend from the king’s exchequer. In ancient times it appears usual to allow those who had deserved well and on that account were honourably provided for at the king’s charge, among other things, a daily quantity of salt; it being a thing very necessary in human life;

— and it was not meet for us to see the king’s dishonour; to see any thing done injurious to his crown and dignity, to his honour and revenues, when we are supported by him; this would be ungrateful as well as unjust;

— therefore have we sent and certified the king; of the truth of what is before related; and, for the further confirmation of it, refer him to the ancient records of the kingdom. What a hypocrite!

15 that search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers. So shalt thou find in the book of the records and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same in old times, for which cause this city was destroyed. — the book of the records of thy fathers; “the book of the records of the Chronicles” which in Esther 6:1 is “read before the king.” This extended beyond his own fathers back to the times of the predecessors of the Medes and Persians empire;

— so shalt thou find in the book of the records and know that this city is a rebellious city and hurtful unto kings and provinces and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time; against the king of Babylon, particularly in the times of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah: for which cause was this city destroyed; as it was by Nebuchadnezzar; see II Kings 24:1.

16 We certify to the king that if this city be built again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side of the river.” — We certify the king, that if this city be rebuilt and the walls thereof set up; as it formerly was, and now attempted, as they suggest:

— by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river; the river Euphrates; intimating that the Jews would not only shake off his yoke, and refuse to pay tribute themselves, but would seize on all his dominions on that side the river, and annex them to their own.

17 Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river: “Peace, and at such a time. — then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe; this affair, upon examination, being found to be of importance, the king of Persia thought fit to send an answer to the above letter, which was doing them an honour, and gave them the power and authority they wished to have:

— and to the rest of their companions that dwelt in Samaria; in the kingdom, province, and cities of Samaria: and unto the rest beyond the river; the river Euphrates, the rest of the nations before mentioned,  Ezra 4:9.

18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me. — hath been plainly before the king by such that understood both the Syrian and Persian languages; the letter was written in the Syrian language, and the king being a Persian, it was necessary it should be interpreted and explained to him.

19 And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city in old times hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. — the archives of the Babylonian kingdom would contain accounts of the insurrections raised, or threatened, by Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah II Kings 24:1II Kings 24:10II Kings 24:20. It does not appear that there had ever been any rebellion against Persia.

20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom were paid unto them. — there have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; as David and Solomon, and the account of these they had in their records, see II Samuel 8:1,

— and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them; as appears from the places referred to; and this served to strengthen the insinuation made to the king, that if these people were suffered to go on building, he would lose his tribute and taxes in those parts.

21 Give ye now command to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not built until another command shall be given from me. — Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease; thus he suffered himself to be imposed upon by their fraud and falsehood, and took no care to examine the allegations of their petition concerning what the Jews were now doing;

— but took all they had asserted for matter of fact and therefore was very ready to gratify them with an order of council to stay proceedings. Until another commandment shall be given; so that perhaps he kept his ears open to further information; which if he should receive, different from theirs, he might give other orders.

22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this. Why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?” — take heed now that ye fail not to do this; to put his orders into execution and at once, without any loss of time, oblige the Jews to desist from rebuilding the walls of their city, which he was told they were doing, though a great falsehood:

— why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings? of him and his successors to be deprived of their toll, tribute, and customs, and to have insurrections, mutinies and rebellions in the dominions belonging to them.

23 Now when the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them cease by force and power. — and made them to cease by force and power; as they abused the king by their misinformations in the obtaining of this order so they abused him in the execution of it;

— instigated by the Samaritans, for the order was only to prevent the building of the city and its walls, but, having power in their hands, they on this pretence stopped the building of the temple.

24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia. — then ceased the work of the house of God, which is at Jerusalem; how far they had proceeded is not said, whether any further than laying the foundation of it; though probably, by this time, it might be carried to some little height;

— however, upon this it was discontinued: so it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia; the suspension of the general enterprise—called “the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem”—lasted nearly two years; but it must be remembered that the altar was still the centre of a certain amount of worship; which would carry the age of Zerubbabel, who both laid the foundation of the temple and finished it, Zechariah 4:9

Is a Nuclear War a Possibility?

•May 8, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Russia Ambassador to US Says NATO Not Taking Nuclear War Threat Seriously

Newsweek by Tom O’Connor – May 5, 2022

Russia’s ambassador to the United States has told Newsweek that leaders of the US-led NATO military alliance do not grasp the true gravity of a potential nuclear conflict erupting, as a tense war of words among powers looms over the ongoing fighting in Ukraine.

Russia: NATO Not Taking Nuclear Threat Seriously

“The current generation of NATO politicians clearly does not take the nuclear threat seriously,” ambassador Anatoly Antonov told Newsweek.

While it’s widely believed that a direct war between NATO and Russia would quickly turn nuclear, the danger doesn’t appear to be factored into the Western approach to the war in Ukraine.

As officials and other influential figures of the US and allied nations accuse the Kremlin of summoning the specter of nuclear war over NATO’s support for Ukraine against Russia’s devastating invasion, Moscow’s ambassador Anatoly Antonov, disparaged what he called “a flurry of blatant misrepresentation of Russian officials’ statements on our country’s nuclear policy.”

Antonov reiterated Russia’s stance on the potential scenarios where it would use nuclear weapons. He said they “can be used in response to the use of WMD against Russia and its allies, or in the event of aggression against our country when the very existence of the state is jeopardized.”

The US and Russia possess about 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons, but today, there is only one major arms control treaty between the two nations, the New START, which limits the number of missiles, bombers, and nuclear warheads each power can have deployed. Early on in Biden’s presidency, he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to extend New START for five years, but progress on arms control has stalled since.

At a summit in Geneva last June, Biden and Putin agreed that the US and Russia would hold arms control talks, but Antonov said the dialogue has been “frozen” by Washington. “Regrettably, Washington has unilaterally ‘frozen’ the bilateral strategic stability dialogue that was launched at the Geneva summit, thus jeopardizing the prospects of keeping the foundation of arms control in place,” he said. “Russia is ready to resume the consultations as soon as the United States is ready.”

“And I will bring a sword upon you that shall avenge the quarrel of My covenant; and when ye are gathered together within your cities I will send the pestilence among you, and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy,” Leviticus 26:25

“A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them,” Ezekiel 5:11-12

Ezra (Ch 1-2)

•May 7, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The decree of Cyrus: marking an epoch of very great importance and therefore repeated almost word for word from the end of Chronicles:

“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and put it also in writing, saying,

“Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and He hath charged me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all His people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.” II Chronicles 36:22-23

Ezra 1

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and put it also in writing, saying, — by the first year of Cyrus is to be understood the first year of his sovereignty over the Jews, or 538 BC when he took Babylon from Belshazzar; because he was known to have became king of Persia twenty years earlier in BC 559;

“Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia: ‘The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. — the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus and charged him to build him an house at Jerusalem;

— that is, to give leave for the rebuilding of it and to encourage to it and assist in it; and to secure the favour of those who presided over different territories. 

Who is there among you of all His people? His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is the God), which is in Jerusalem. — in conformity with the command of God, Cyrus not only invites the Jews to return to Jerusalem, and to rebuild the temple, but also requires all his subjects to assist the returning Jews, and to give free-will offerings for the temple.

And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver and with gold, and with goods and with beasts, besides the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.’” — and whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth; is left behind and cannot go up through poverty, not having a sufficiency to bear his charges in his journey to Jerusalem:

— let the men of his place keep him with silver, gold, goods and with beasts; with money to bear the expenses of his journey, with goods to furnish his house, or trade with, when he came to Judea and with cattle to carry him and his goods, and to till the ground with, when he came thither;

— and the men exhorted to this are either the Gentiles that dwelt in the cities where these poor Jews were or the richer Jews who chose as yet not to go up until they saw how things would succeed; and are therefore called upon to assist their brethren who had a will, but no ability;

— besides the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem: which they freely gave and sent by them for the rebuilding of the temple.

Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all those whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. — only a portion of the Israelites took advantage of the permission of Cyrus. Many remained in Babylon, since they were disinclined to relinquish their property. They who returned were people whom God had especially stirred up to make sacrifices for His glory.

And all those who were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered. — strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, gold, goods and beasts and with precious things; which they either did of themselves at their own motion or by the direction and example of Cyrus, Ezra 1:4.

Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem and had put them in the house of his gods; — Cyrus brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord; though it is said (II King 24:13) that these were cut in pieces, that would not be done to the large and magnificent vases; and if they had been divided the parts could be reunited. But it may be doubted whether the pieces is of further use in the temple.

even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them over to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. — Mithredath, or “Mithridates” the treasurer – this name which means “given by Mithra” or “dedicated to Mithra” whose birthday was on December 25, is an indication that the Sun-worship of the Persians was at least as old as the time of Cyrus.

And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, — large knives used in the killing of the sacrifices, which are here mentioned, because the hafts of them were made of or covered with gold or silver;

— nine and twenty knives; which, because the handles of them were of gold or silver, were valuable, and might be very large knives, and what the priests used in slaying and cutting up the sacrifices.

10 thirty basins of gold, four hundred and ten silver basins of a second sort, and other vessels a thousand. — thirty basins of gold; cups or dishes with covers; but they could be vessels in which the blood of sacrifices was received and out of which it was sprinkled on the altar;

— silver basins of a second sort four hundred and ten; perhaps lesser than the other, however not so valuable, being of silver. 

11 All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with those of the captivity, who were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem. — all these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity, that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem: of whom there is a large and particular account in the following chapter;

— Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah; that is, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel (compare Ezra 3:8; 5:16). He was born in Babylon, and called by his family Zerubbabel, that is, stranger or exile in Babylon. Sheshbazzar, signifying “fire-worshipper,” was the name given him at court as other names were given to Daniel and his friends. He was recognized among the exiles as hereditary prince of Judah.

Ezra 2

1 Now these are the children of the province who came up out of the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city, — children of the province; that is, Judea (Ezra 5:8), so called as being now reduced from an independent and powerful kingdom to an obscure, servile, tributary province of the Persian empire; now they are “the children of the province” as distinct from those who remained in Babylonia and Persia;

— that went out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon; who either in person or in their parents were carried captive by him and who were the tribes of Judah and Benjamin; and they are only mentioned because they were the principal that returned;

— came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city—either the city that had been occupied by his ancestors, or, as most parts of Judea were then either desolate or possessed by others, the city that was rebuilt and allotted to him now.

who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: — which came with Zerubbabel; he was the chief or leader of the first band of returning exiles; conspicuous in the number are Jeshua, the high priest and Nehemiah.

the children of Parosh, two thousand a hundred seventy and two;

the children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two;

the children of Arah, seven hundred seventy and five;

the children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve;

the children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four;

the children of Zattu, nine hundred forty and five;

the children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore;

10 the children of Bani, six hundred forty and two;

11 the children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and three;

12 the children of Azgad, a thousand two hundred twenty and two;

13 the children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six;

14 the children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty and six;

15 the children of Adin, four hundred fifty and four;

16 the children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight;

17 the children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and three;

18 the children of Jorah, a hundred and twelve;

19 the children of Hashum, two hundred twenty and three;

20 the children of Gibbar, ninety and five;

21 the children of Bethlehem, a hundred twenty and three;

22 the men of Netophah, fifty and six;

23 the men of Anathoth, a hundred twenty and eight;

24 the children of Azmaveth, forty and two;

25 the children of Kirjatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty and three;

26 the children of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one;

27 the men of Michmas, a hundred twenty and two;

28 the men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty and three;

29 the children of Nebo, fifty and two;

30 the children of Magbish, a hundred fifty and six;

31 the children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four;

32 the children of Harim, three hundred and twenty;

33 the children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and five;

34 the children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five;

35 the children of Senaah, three thousand six hundred and thirty.

36 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three;

37 the children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two;

38 the children of Pashhur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven;

39 the children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.

40 The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy and four.

41 The singers: the children of Asaph, a hundred twenty and eight.

42 The children of the gatekeepers: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all a hundred thirty and nine.

43 The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,

44 the children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon,

45 the children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub,

46 the children of Hagab, the children of Shalmai, the children of Hanan,

47 the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah,

48 the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam,

49 the children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai,

50 the children of Asnah, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephusim,

51 the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,

52 the children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,

53 the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Thamah,

54 the children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.

55 The children of Solomon’s servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda,

56 the children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,

57 the children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami.

58 All the Nethinim and the children of Solomon’s servants were three hundred ninety and two.

59 And these were they who went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer; but they could not show their father’s house and their seed, whether they were of Israel:

60 the children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two.

61 And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name.

62 These sought their register among those who were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found; therefore were they as polluted, put from the priesthood. — were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood R.V. were they deemed polluted and put, Heb. they were polluted from;

— Q1. Is the list polluated from the Samaritans? Were these names polluted or edited by Tobiah who had penatrated the Temple and altered the register? (for more see Tobiah in the Temple at the end)

— Q2. Did Tobiah entered his own posterity in verse 60 above as “the children of Tobiah?”

63 And the Tirshatha said unto them that they should not eat of the most holy things until there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim. — with Urim and with Thummim; without ark or temple, the people had not as yet that special presence of Yehovah before which the high priest could “inquire of the Lord by Urim and Thummim.”

— Zerubbabel might hope that this privilege would return and thought the official purity of the priestly line of sufficient importance for such an inquiry; but the holy of holies in the new temple never had in it the ancient “tokens “ and by Urim and Thummim Yehovah was never again inquired of.

64 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, — the particular sums recited above come to only 29,818; unto whom are added in this total sum, 12,542; which either were not counted; perhaps they were children, representatives of all the other tribes or for some other unknown reasons.

65 besides their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven; and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.

66 Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six, their mules two hundred forty and five,

67 their camels four hundred thirty and five, their asses six thousand seven hundred and twenty.

68 And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place.

69 They gave according to their ability to the treasury of the work, threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pounds of silver, and one hundred priests’ garments.

70 So the priests and the Levites and some of the people, and the singers and the gatekeepers and the Nethinim, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities. — in their cities; not in Jerusalem only but in the neighboring towns also, such as Bethlehem, Anathoth, Ramah, Gaba, Michmash, Bethel, Ai, Nebo and Jericho;

— all Israel; Ezra very determinately puts forward this aspect of the return, that it was participated in by representatives of all the other tribes (see 2:2; 3:1; 6:16, 17; 7:13; 8:29, 35, etc.). He does not, however, exclude the other aspect, that it was especially a return of Judah, or “Judah and Benjamin” (see Ezra 5:1; Ezra 10:9).

~~~

Tobiah in the Temple – Nehemiah 13:4-9

4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah. 5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where previously they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense and the vessels and the tithes of the corn, the new wine and the oil, which were commanded to be given to the Levites and the singers and the gatekeepers, and the offerings of the priests. 6 But in all this time I (Nehemiah) was not at Jerusalem; for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I came unto the king, and after certain days I obtained leave from the king. 7 And I came to Jerusalem and learned of the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8 And it grieved me sore; therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers; and thither I brought back the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.

There are four things mentioned in particular that show the backsliding of the people: the presence of Tobiah in the courts of the Temple; the failure to provide adequately for the Levites; the desecration of the Sabbath; and the return to mixed marriages.

When Nehemiah came back to Jerusalem he saw something that must have both grieved and angered him. He found that the priest Eliashib had entered into an agreement with one of the men who had been at the forefront of the opposition to the wall rebuilding.

Not only was Tobiah personally a proven enemy of the people of God, he was an Ammonite, a part of the ‘mixed multitude’ put out of the temple years before. In Nehemiah chapter 6, Tobiah was exerting his influence from outside and maintaining contact with some of the nobles within by letter. But now he was right inside! It is not at all surprising that Nehemiah was upset!

(a) The temple rooms that Tobiah was occupying were supposed to be used for the storage of tithes and offerings for the priests and for the service of God’s sanctuary. It was unthinkable that rooms set apart for a holy purpose should be used by a pagan opponent of the work of God.

(b) Eliashib had failed as the spiritual leader of the people and had neglected to maintain the purity of the house of God. He had not recognised the danger of having an alliance with such a man. Possibly Eliashib thought the regulations for ‘separation’ and ‘no mixing’ were far too strict and uncharitable, but we ignore God’s commands at our peril!

Nehemiah was not just grieved but determined to take radical measures to solve the problem: He threw Tobiah and all his possessions out of the temple; He restored the temple rooms to their proper function. No doubt some would see his action as being harsh but like the Lord Jesus when he cleansed the temple Nehemiah had the wisdom not to confuse ‘love’ with ‘being nice’!

Saudi Crown Prince shouted at Biden’s Envoy 

•May 6, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Daily Mail By Emily GOODIN, 21 April 2022

The world has changed: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman shouted at Biden’s NSA Jake Sullivan when he started threatening about Jamal Khashoggi when they met in September (2021). It arose in response when Mohammed bin Salman was not obliging the US’s national security adviser pressing the Saudi by pumping more oil to help the US out with rising prices.

Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud at Odd with the United States

The staggering decline of US-Saudi relations under the Biden administration was outlined in a Wall Street Journal report that details actions the president’s fury with the de facto ruler of the kingdom and the prince’s infuriated response.

Sullivan brought up Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was murdered in 2018 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

MSB shouted at Sullivan in return and told him that he never wanted to speak of the matter again.

The White House is denying the story. The quick decline of American soft power is embarrassing. “Most of this story is categorically false, including both the basic facts and the overall premise,’ said Adrienne Watson, National Security Council spokesperson.

Relations have worsened since Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. The US has repeatedly pushed the Saudis to pump more oil to help bring down gas prices but Saudi has refused, which is more in line with Moscow’s interests.

Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud has spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin twice since Putin invaded Moscow but had refused to take Biden’s call in March but held one with Putin.

“But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel,” saith the LORD the God of hosts; “and they shall afflict you from the entrance of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness.” Amos 6:14

Lamentations (Ch 3-5)

•May 4, 2022 • Leave a Comment

In chapter 3 of 66 verses, Jeremiah proposes his own experience under afflictions, as an example as to how the Jews should behave under theirs, so as to have hope of a restoration; hence the change from singular to plural (Lamentations 3:22, 40-47). The stanzas consist of three lines, each of which begins with the same Hebrew letter א Aleph.

Lamentations 3

1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.

He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.

Surely against me is He turned; He turneth His hand against me all the day.

The Targum: א

1 I am that man who has seen affliction by the rod that chastises in his anger.
2 He has led and brought me to darkness, and not to light.
3 Indeed, against me he will turn, heaping upon me his blows all day.

My flesh and my skin hath He made old; He hath broken my bones.

He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.

He hath set me in dark places, as they that are dead of old.

The Targum: ב

4 My flesh is worn out from beatings, my skin from the blow. He has shattered my bones.
5 He has built siege works and surrounded the city. He has uprooted the heads of the people and wearied them.
6 He has caused me to dwell in a dark prison like the dead who have gone to the other world.

He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out; He hath made my chain heavy.

Also when I cry and shout, He shutteth out my prayer.

He hath enclosed my ways with hewn stone; He hath made my paths crooked.

The Targum: ג

7 He has locked me in so that I cannot go out from the prison. He has put heavy brass fetters on my feet.
8 Even when I cry out and pray the house of my prayer is blocked.
9 He has closed my paths with hewn marble stones. He has confounded my paths.

10 He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places.

11 He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; He hath made me desolate.

12 He hath bent His bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.

The Targum: ד

10 He is a bear lying in wait for me, a lion hiding in a hallow.
11 He has confounded my path and rent me. He has made me desolate.
12 He draws his bow and has set me as a target for the arrow.

13 He hath caused the arrows of His quiver to enter into my reins.

14 I was a derision to all my people, and their song all the day.

15 He hath filled me with bitterness; He hath made me drunken with wormwood.

The Targum: ה

13 He made the arrows of his quiver enter my vitals.
14 I have become a laughing stock to all the degenerate of my people; they mock me in song all day.
15 He has sated me with gall of snakes and made me drunk with wormwood.

16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones; He hath covered me with ashes.

17 And Thou hast removed my soul far off from peace; I forgot prosperity.

18 And I said, “My strength and my hope are perished from the Lord,”

The Targum: ו

16 And he crushed my teeth with gravel; he has pressed me into ashes.
17 And my soul shrinks from asking for peace; I have forgotten goodness.
18 And I said, “My strength is destroyed and the goodness which I had longed for from before the Lord.

19 remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.

21 This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope:

The Targum: ז

19 “Remember the affliction of my soul and how my foes embittered me and caused me to drink wormwood and the poison of snakes.”
20 My soul surely will remember and bow down within me due to affliction.
21 This consolation I call to mind, therefore I have hope:

22 It is through the Lord’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.

24 “The Lord is my portion,” saith my soul, “Therefore will I hope in Him.”

The Targum: ח

22 The goodness of the Lord, for his mercies do not end nor have they ceased.
23 He brings forth new wonders in the mornings; great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul; therefore I will hope in him.

25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.

26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

The Targum: ט

25 The Lord is good to those who hope for his salvation; to the soul who seeks his instruction.
26 It is good to wait and be silent until the salvation of the Lord comes.
27 It is good for a man to train his soul to bear the yoke of the commandments in his youth.

28 He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.

29 He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so it be, there may be hope.

30 He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him; he is filled full with reproach.

The Targum: י

28 Let him sit alone and be silent, bearing the corrections which have come upon him, for the sake of the unity of the name of the Lord, which have been sent to punish him for the minor sins which he has committed in this world, until he have mercy upon him and lift them from him so that he may receive him perfected in the world to come.
29 Let him put his mouth to the dust and prostrate himself before his master perhaps there is hope.
30 Let him turn his cheek to the one that smites, for the sake of the fear of the Lord, let him be filled with insult.

31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever.

32 But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.

33 For He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.

The Targum: כ

31 For the Lord will not neglect his servants forever, giving them over into the hand of their enemy.
32 But first he breaks and afterwards he repents and has mercy on the righteous in the abundance of his goodness.
33 For since man did not afflict his soul nor removed arrogance from his heart, therefore he caused destruction to come upon the sons of men.

34 To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the earth,

35 to turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High,

36 to subvert a man in his cause—the Lord approveth not.

The Targum: ל

34 Humbling and subduing all the prisoners of the earth under his feet,
35 And perverting the justice of a poor man in the presence of the Most High,
36 Confounding a poor man in his quarrels; is it possible that this will not be revealed before the Lord?

37 Who is he that saith and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?

38 Out of the mouth of the Most High proceedeth not evil and good?

39 Why then doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

The Targum: מ

37 Who is the man who has spoken and an evil thing had been done in the world, unless because they did that which they were not commanded by the mouth of the Lord?
38 From the mouth of God Most High there does not issue evil, rather by the hint of a whisper, because of the violence with which the land is filled. But when he desires to decree good in the world it issues from the holy mouth.
39 What profit shall a man find who sins all the days of his life; a wicked man for his sins?

40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.

41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

42 We have transgressed and have rebelled; Thou hast not pardoned.

The Targum: נ

40 Let us search and examine our ways; and turn in repentance before the Lord.
41 Let us lift our cleansed hearts and cast away theft and robbery from our hands. And let us repent before God the dwelling of whose Shekinah is in heaven above.
42 We have rebelled and been disobedient and since we did not return to you, you have not forgiven.

43 Thou hast covered Thyself with anger and persecuted us; Thou hast slain, Thou hast not pitied.

44 Thou hast covered Thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.

45 Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people.

The Targum: ס

43 You have covered us in anger and pursued us in exile. You have killed and have not pitied.
44 You have covered the heavens with your clouds of glory so that our prayers cannot cross to you.
45 You have made us like wanderers and vagabonds among the nations.

46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.

47 Fear and a snare have come upon us, desolation and destruction.

48 Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.

The Targum: ע

46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us, to announce evil decrees against us.
47 Panic and fear have come upon us because of them, trembling and destruction have seized us.
48 Like streams of water my eyes flowed with tears because of the destruction of the Congregation of my people.

49 Mine eye trickleth down and ceaseth not, without any intermission,

50 till the Lord look down and behold from heaven.

51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.

The Targum: פ

49 My eye weeps tears and does not cease from crying. There is no respite from my anguish or anyone to comfort me;
50 Until the Lord looks out and sees my humiliation from heaven.
51 The weeping of my eyes is the cause of the affliction of my soul over the destruction of the districts of my people and the humiliation of the daughters of Jerusalem, my city.

52 Mine enemies chased me sorely like a bird, without cause.

53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.

54 Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, “I am cut off!”

The Targum: צ

52 My enemies, without cause, laid a trap for me like a bird.
53 They caused my life to pass in the pit and cast stones at me.
54 Waters flowed over my head. I said in my word, “I am cut off from the world.”

55 I called upon Thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon.

56 Thou hast heard my voice: “Hide not Thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.”

57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon Thee; Thou saidst, “Fear not.”

The Targum: ק

55 I prayed to your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit.
56 You received my prayer at that time, and now do not cover your ears from receiving my prayer to give me relief because of my plea.
57 You brought the angel near to save me, in the day that I prayed to you. You said by your Memra, “Do not fear.”

58 O Lord, Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; Thou hast redeemed my life.

59 O Lord, Thou hast seen my wrong; judge Thou my cause.

60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their imaginings against me.

The Targum: ר

58 You have fought, O Lord, against those who made a quarrel with my soul. You delivered my life from their hands.
59 You have seen, O Lord, the wrong by which they wronged me. Judge my case.
60 All their vengeance has been revealed before you, all their evil plans against me.

61 Thou hast heard their reproach, O Lord, and all their imaginings against me,

62 the lips of those that rose up against me, and their devices against me all the day.

63 Behold their sitting down and their rising up; I am their — music.

The Targum: ש

61 Their taunts were heard before you, O Lord, all their evil plans against me.
62 The lips of the enemies are against me and their mutterings are against me all day.
63 Look at their sitting and rising! I am [the object of] their taunt-songs.

64 Render unto them a recompense, O Lord, according to the work of their hands.

65 Give them sorrow of heart, Thy curse unto them.

66 Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the Lord.

The Targum: ת

64 May you return to them evil recompense, O Lord, according to the works of their hands.
65 May you give them brokenness of heart and may your weariness wear them out.
66 Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the high heaven of the Lord.

Lamentations 4

Lamentations 4:1-22. The sad capture of Jerusalem, the hope of Restoration, and the retribution awaiting Edom and Idumea for joining Babylon against Judea.

1 How the gold hath become dim! How the most fine gold hath changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.

The Targum: א

1 How the gold of the Temple has dimmed, the choice gold leaf has changed! The sacred jewels are scattered at the head of every street.

The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how they are esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!

The Targum: ב

2 The precious sons of Zion which were comparable in their appearance to that of fine gold, how the unclean people brought them down near to their beds and stare at them, so that their wives might bear sons as beautiful as they and they are considered as [clay] vessels the work of the hands of the potter.

Even the seamonsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones; but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

The Targum: ג

3 Even the pampered daughters of Israel untie their breasts to the nations who are like the basilisk. And the young men of the Congregation of my people are handed over to cruel men and their mothers mourn over them like ostriches in the desert.

The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst; the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them.

The Targum: ד

4 The tongue of the youth clings to his palate from thirst. Children ask for bread, but there is no one who offers it to them.

They that fed on delicacies are desolate in the streets; they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.

The Targum: ה

5 Those who used to eat delicacies were desolate in the markets. Those who were reared in the color crimson embrace dunghills.

For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.

The Targum: ו

6 The sin of the Congregation of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom that was overthrown in a moment. And no prophets were left in her to prophesy, to turn her back in repentance.

Her Nazirites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk; they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire.

The Targum: ז

7 Her Nazarites were purer than snow, smoother than milk. Their appearance was ruddier than crimson and their faces like sapphires.

Now their visage is blacker than coal; they are not known in the streets; their skin cleaveth to their bones, it is withered, it has become like a stick.

The Targum: ח

8 Their appearance was darker than the blackness of the exile; they were not recognized in the markets. Their skin clung to their bones; brittle as a twig.

They that are slain with the sword are better than they that are slain with hunger; for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.

The Targum: ט

9 Better were those who were slain by the sword than those who were slain by hunger, for those slain by the sword perished when pierced in their bellies because they ate of the gleanings of the field; and those who were bloated from hunger; their bellies burst from food.

10 The hands of the pitying women have sodden their own children; they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

The Targum: י

10 The hands of women who were merciful towards the poor boiled their young, they became sustenance for them when the day of famine broke, when the Congregation of my people was destroyed.

11 The Lord hath accomplished His fury; He hath poured out His fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.

The Targum: כ

11 The Lord has finished his anger; he has poured out his fierce wrath upon Jerusalem and he has brought up a raging fire in Zion, and it consumed her foundations.

12 The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.

The Targum: ל

12 The kingdoms of the earth did not believe, nor did those who dwell in the world, that the wicked Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuzaradan the enemy would enter to slaughter the people of the House of Israel in the gates of Jerusalem.

13 For the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her,

The Targum: מ

13 The Attribute of Justice spoke up and said, “All this would not have happened but for the sins of her prophets who prophesied to her false prophesies and the iniquity of her priests who offered up burning incense to idols. They themselves caused the blood of the innocent to be shed in her midst.”

14 they have wandered as blind men in the streets; they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments.

The Targum: נ

14 The blind wandered about in the markets, defiled with the blood of those slain by the sword and since they could not see they touched their clothes.

15 They cried unto them, “Depart ye; it is unclean! Depart, depart, touch not!” When they fled away and wandered, it was said among the heathen, “They shall no more sojourn there.”

The Targum: ס

15 “Turn away from the unclean!” cried the nations, “Turn away, turn away! Do not touch them!” For they quarreled, indeed they wandered. They said, when they were peacefully established among the nations, “They shall not continue to dwell [here].”

16 The anger of the Lord hath divided them; He will no more regard them; they respected not the persons of the priests, they favored not the elders.

The Targum: ע

16 They were dispersed from before the face of the Lord, he no longer regarded them. Therefore the wicked peoples did not respect the priests nor did they spare the elders.

17 As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us.

The Targum: פ

17 Our eyes still fail to see our help which we expected to come from the Romans, but which turned to naught for us. In hope we watched for the Edomites who were a nation that could not save.

18 They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets; our end is near, our days are fulfilled, for our end has come.

The Targum: צ

18 They prowled our paths so that we could not walk safely in our open places. We said, “Our end is near; our days are fulfilled,” for our end had come.

19 Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heavens; they pursued us upon the mountains, they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

The Targum: ק

19 Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the heavens; unto the mountains they chased us, in the desert they lay in wait for us.

20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, “Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.”

The Targum: ר

20 King Josiah, who was as dear to us as the breath of the spirit of life in our nostrils and was anointed with the anointing oil of the Lord, was entrapped in Egypt’s snare of corruption. It was he of whom we said, “In the shadow of his merit we will live among the nations.”

21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz. The cup also shall pass through unto thee; thou shalt be drunken and shalt make thyself naked.

The Targum: ש

21 Rejoice and be of good cheer Constantinople, city of wicked Edom, which is built in the land of Armenia with crowds from the people of Edom. Retribution is about to come upon even you, and the Parkevi will destroy you and the accursed cup shall pass to you and you shall become drunk and exposed.

22 The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; He will no more carry thee away into captivity. He will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; He will uncover thy sins.

The Targum: ת

22 And after this your iniquity will be finished, O Congregation of Zion and you will be freed by the hands of the King Messiah and Elijah the High Priest and the Lord will no longer exile you. And at that time I will punish your iniquities, wicked Rome, built in Italy and filled with crowds of Edomites. And the Persians will come and oppress you and destroy you because your sins have been made known before the Lord.

The end of chapter 4 seems like a supplement to A Sword from the South in Ezekiel 20:45 to 21:5! It seems to offer the connection and reasons why events are to go off the way they would. Here again it is the children of Edom that shall be upon the neck of the children of Israel, “He will uncover thy sins.” If so, could this also tie in with Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years?

Lamentations 5

The coloured is from the Targum:

1 Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us; consider, and behold our reproach.

א Remember, [O Lord], what was decreed to befall us; look from heaven and see our disgrace.

Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens.

ב Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers; our house to foreign peoples.

We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.

ג We have become like orphans who have no father, our mothers like widows whose husbands have gone into the cities of the sea and it is uncertain if they are alive.

We have paid money for water we drink; our wood is sold unto us.

ד We drink our water for money and our wood comes at a price.

Our necks are under persecution; we labor and have no rest.

ה Upon the bone of our necks we were laden when we went into exile. The wicked Nebuchadnezzar saw that the commanders of the Israelites were going without any load [and] he ordered that they sew Torah scrolls and make sacks out of them. And they filled them with pebbles from the edge of the Euphrates and they loaded them upon their necks. At that time we were tired and there was no rest for us.

We have given the hand to the Egyptians and to the Assyrians to be provided with bread.

ו We gave support to Egypt so that we might be sustained there and to Assyria so that we might have enough bread.

Our fathers have sinned, and are no more; and we have borne their iniquities.

ז Our fathers sinned and are no longer in the world, but we have borne their iniquities after them.

Servants have ruled over us; there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand.

ח The sons of Ham, who were given as slaves to the sons of Shem, ruled over us and there was no one to deliver us from their hands.

We got our bread with the peril of our lives, because of the sword of the wilderness.

ט At the risk of our lives we gather bread to sustain us from before the slaying sword that comes from across the wilderness.

10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine.

י Our skin has become black like an oven, because of the exhaustion of starvation.

11 They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah.

כ Women who were married to men in Zion were raped by Romans and virgins in the cities of Judah by Chaldeans.

12 Princes are hanged up by their hand; the faces of elders were not honored.

ל Princes were impaled by their hands and the faces of the elders they did not respect.

13 They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood.

מ The young men carried millstones; and the boys staggered under the beam of wood.

14 The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music.

נ The elders ceased from the gates of the Sanhedrin; and the young men from their houses of music.

15 The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.

ס The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has turned into mourning.

16 The crown is fallen from our head. Woe unto us that we have sinned!

ע The crown of our head has fallen; Woe to us! for we have sinned.

17 For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim.

פ Because of our Temple, which is desolate, our heart was weak. And because of these people of the House of Israel who went into exile from there our eyes have become dim.

18 Because of the mountain of Zion which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it.

צ Because of Mount Zion which is desolate; foxes prowled on it.

19 Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever, Thy throne from generation to generation.

ק You are the Lord. Forever your dwelling place is in the heavenly heights. Your glorious throne is from generation to generation.

20 Why dost Thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long a time?

ר Will you forget us forever and forsake us for a long time?

21 Turn Thou us unto Thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned! Renew our days as of old!

ש Restore us, O Lord, to yourself and we will return in complete repentance. May you renew our days for good as the festival days of old.

22 But Thou hast utterly rejected us; Thou art very wroth against us.

ת For you have utterly loathed us; you have been extremely angry with us.

Lamentations (Ch 1-2)

•May 1, 2022 • Leave a Comment

In the Hebrew Bible these elegies (a poem of serious reflection) of Jeremiah, five in number, are placed among the Chetuvim, or “Holy Writings” between Ruth and Ecclesiastes. But though in classification of compositions it belongs to the Chetuvim, it probably followed the prophecies of Jeremiah originally. For this reason alone we can account this book inclusive of the minor prophetical books as enumerated by Josephus [Against Apion, 1.1.8] as thirteen.

The Jews read it in their synagogues on the ninth of the month Ab, which is a fast for the destruction of their holy city. As in II Ch 35:25, “lamentations” are said to have been “written” by Jeremiah on the death of Josiah, besides it having been made “an ordinance in Israel” that “singing women” should “speak” of that king in lamentations.

Lamentations 1

1 How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people! How she has become as a widow! She that was great among the nations and princess among the provinces, how she has become tributary! — these are the words of Jeremiah; so the Targum introduces them, “Jeremiah the prophet and high priest said,” How doth the city sit solitary;

— Jerusalem is here represented as a weeping female, sitting solitary on the ground without any attendant or comforter, the multitude of her inhabitants being dispersed or destroyed;

— the description shows the miseries of the Jewish nation. Jerusalem became a captive and a slave, by reason of the greatness of her sins; and had no rest from suffering.

The Targum, as translated by CMM Brady:

Jeremiah the Prophet and High Priest said, “How was it decreed that Jerusalem and her people should be punished with banishment and that they should be mourned with ´ekah (lamentations).

Just as when Adam and Eve were punished and expelled from the Garden of Eden and the Master of the Universe mourned them with ´ekah?” The Attribute of Justice replied and said, “Because of the greatness of her rebellious sin that was within her, thus she will dwell alone as a man plagued with leprosy upon his skin who sits alone.

And the city that was full of crowds and many peoples has been emptied of them and she has become like a widow. She who was great among the nations and a ruler over provinces that had brought her tribute has become lowly again and gives head tax to them from thereafter.”

— the Targum is an indispensable source of understanding the Bible. Started by Ezra for those returning Jews from Babylon and for these returnees they could only understand the Sacred Text in Aramaic; hence the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to them in ancient times and to us today from the Sacred Text.

2 She weepeth sorely in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her. All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they have become her enemies. — the prophet Jeremiah sometimes speaks in his own; at other times Jerusalem as a distressed female, is the speaker, or some of the Jews. The description shows the miseries of the Jewish nation. Jerusalem became a captive and a slave, by reason of the greatness of her sins; and had no rest from suffering;

— all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies; those who pretended great friendship to her, and were in strict alliance with her, acted the treacherous part, and withdrew from her, leaving her to the common enemy; and not only so, but behaved towards her in a hostile manner themselves. 

Targum:

When Moses the Prophet sent messengers to spy out the land, the messengers returned and gave forth a bad report concerning the land of Israel. This was the night of the ninth of Ab. When the people of the House of Israel heard this bad report which they had received concerning the land of Israel, the people lifted up their voice and the people of the House of Israel wept that night.

Immediately the anger of the LORD was kindled against them and he decreed that it should be so in that night throughout their generations over the destruction of the Temple.

When it was told through prophecy to Jeremiah the High Priest that Jerusalem would be destroyed at the hand of the wicked Nebuchadnezzar unless they repented, he immediately entered and rebuked the people of the House of Israel, but they refused to accept it. Therefore the wicked Nebuchadnezzar came and razed Jerusalem and set fire to the Temple on the ninth day in the month of Ab.

On that night, the Congregation of Israel wept bitterly and her tears flowed down her cheeks. There was no one to speak comfortingly to her heart from among all her idols after whom she loved to follow. As a result, all her friends were wicked to her; they turned against her and became her enemies.

Judah has gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude. She dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest; all her persecutors overtook her in her straits. — Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction; her miseries have received their finishing stroke in a total captivity among, and bondage to, heathen and infidels, because of the oppression exercised by her rulers and others, and the servitude to which they obliged their subjects and inferiors;

— and retaining them in a state of bondage after their seven years’ servitude, contrary to the law of God; for which they were threatened with captivity, Jeremiah 34:13; including keeping their servants beyond the year of jubilee, when they ought to have set them at liberty;

Targum:

The House of Judah went into exile because they were oppressing the orphans and the widows and because of the great servitude to which they were subjecting their brothers, the sons of Israel, who had been sold to them. And they did not declare freedom to their servants and handmaids who were of the seed of Israel.

As a result they themselves were delivered into the hand of the nations. And the Congregation of the House of Judah dwells among the nations and finds no rest from the hard labor to which they subject her. [All who pursued her overtook her] as she was hiding in the border regions and they persecuted her.

The highways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts; all her gates are desolate. Her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness. — because none come to the solemn feasts; this of the sanctuary itself, because all Israel were supposed to convene there; and the Targum interprets it of the feasts, the three solemn feasts of the Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles at which all the males in Israel were obliged to appear;

— all her gates are desolate; the gates of the temple; none passing through them into it to worship God, pray unto him, praise him or offer sacrifice; or the gates of the city, none going to and fro in them; nor the elders sitting there in council as in courts of judicature to try causes and do justice and judgement;

Targum:

All the while that Jerusalem was built, the sons of Israel refused to go up to be seen before the LORD three times a year. Because of Israel’s sins Jerusalem was destroyed and the roads to Zion are made mournful, for there is no one entering her at the time of the festivals.

All the gates are desolate and her priests groan because the sacrifices have ceased. Her virgins mourn because they have stopped going out on the fifteenth of Ab and on the Day of Atonement (which is on the tenth day of Tishri) to dance the dances. Therefore she too is very bitter in her heart.

Her adversaries are the master, her enemies prosper; for the Lord hath afflicted her. For the multitude of her transgressions, her children have gone into captivity before the enemy. — her adversaries are their chief; or “for the head” or are the head as was threatened, Deuteronomy 28:44; and now fulfilled; the Chaldeans having got the dominion over the Jews, and obliged them to be subject to them:

— for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy; that is, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judea were carried captive by the enemy, and drove before them as a flock of sheep, and that for the sins of the nation; and these not a few, but were very numerous, as Mordecai and Ezekiel, and others, who were carried captive young with Jeconiah, as well as many now;

The Targum:

Those who oppress her were appointed over her as leaders and her enemies were dwelling at ease since the LORD had broken her due to her great rebelliousness. Her children go before the oppressor into captivity.

And from the daughter of Zion, all her beauty is departed; her princes have become like harts that find no pasture, and they have gone without strength before the pursuer. — and from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed; the kingdom removed; the priesthood ceased; the temple, their beautiful house, burnt; the palaces of their king and nobles demolished; and everything in church and state that was glorious were now no more:

— her princes are become like harts that find no pasture; that are heartless and without courage, fearful and timorous, as harts are, especially when destitute of food. The Targum says, “her princes run about for food, as harts run about in the wilderness, and find no place fit for pasture:”

— and they are gone without strength before the pursuer; having no spirit nor courage to oppose the enemy, nor strength to flee from him, they fell into his hands, and so were carried captive; see Jeremiah 52:8

The Targum:

All the glory of the Congregation of Zion has gone out from her. Her nobles were wandering for food, like stags who wander in the desert and find no suitable place for their pasture. They went out in great weakness and they had no strength to flee to safety (from) before the pursuer.

Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old. When her people fell into the hand of the enemy and none did help her, the adversaries saw her, and mocked at her Sabbaths. — remembered, or rather “remembers” now in her afflicted state. In the days of her prosperity she did not appreciate, as she ought the favors of God to her. Now, awakening out of her past lethargy, she feels from what high privileges she has fallen;

— they have mocked at her sabbath-keepings; or sabbath-keepings, the cessation from labor every seventh day struck foreigners as something strange, mocked and provoked their ridicule by way of derision; Sabbaths, plural, including the three solemn feasts of the Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles at which all the males in Israel were obliged to appear.

The Targum:

Jerusalem remembered the days of old, when she was surrounded by walled cities and strong open towns, rebelling and reigning over all the earth, and all her lovely things which she had in earlier times. But because of her sins, her people fell into the hands of the wicked Nebuchadnezzar and he oppressed them and there was no one to save her. The persecutors watched her go into captivity and they laughed because her good fortune had ceased from her.

Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she has become a wanderer. All that honored her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness; yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward. — Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; in sinning hath sinned or hath sinned sin: that is, sinned wilfully and deliberately; hath sinned that sin which of all others is the abominable thing which the Lord hates, the sin of idolatry.

— because they have seen her nakedness; being stripped of all her good things she before enjoyed; and both her weakness and her wickedness being exposed to public view. The allusion is either to harlots, or to modest women when taken captive whose nakedness is uncovered by the brutish and inhuman soldiers: yea, she sighs and turns backward; being covered with shame because of the ill usage of her, as modest women would.

The Targum:

Jerusalem sinned a great sin, therefore she has become a wanderer. All the nations that had honored her in earlier times treat her with contempt for they have seen her nakedness. But she groans and shrinks back.

Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end. Therefore she came down wondrously; she had no comforter. “O Lord, behold my affliction, for the enemy hath magnified himself!” — her filthiness is in her skirts; her sin is manifest to all, being to be seen in her punishment. The allusion is to a menstruous woman, to whom she is compared, both before and after; whose blood flows down to the skirts of her garments, and there seen; by which it is known that she is in her separation;

— she remembers not her last end; she did not consider in the time of her prosperity what her sins would bring her to; what would be the issue of them; nay, though she was warned by the prophets and was told what things would come to at last, yet she laid it not to heart, nor did she lay it up in her mind or reflect upon it, but went on in her sinful courses;

The Targum:

The impurity of the menstrual blood in her skirts has not been cleansed from her. And she did not regret her sins, nor did she think of what would befall her in the end of days. And she went down and fell and was set aside. And there was no one to speak comfortingly to her. Look, O Lord and see for my enemies have exalted themselves over me.

10 The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things; for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom Thou didst command that they should not enter into Thy congregation. — the enemy hath spread out his hands on all her pleasant things; not the wealth and riches or the rich furniture in their own houses,

— but the precious things in the house of God: the ark, the table, the altar, the priests garments and vessels of the sanctuary, and the gifts of the temple and everything valuable in it; these the enemy stretched out his hands and seized upon, and claimed them as his own; took them as a booty, prey, and plunder;

— for she hath seen that the heathens entered into her sanctuary; not into the land of Israel only, the holy land, but into the temple, the sanctuary of the Lord; but called hers, because it was built for her use, that the congregation of Israel might worship the Lord in it; into this with her own eyes, though forced to it, and sore against her will, and to her great grief and trouble, she saw the Chaldeans enter, and ravage and spoil it:

The Targum:

The wicked Nebuchadnezzar stretched out his hand and drew forth his sword and cut off all her lovely things. Indeed, the Congregation of Israel began to howl for she saw foreign nations go into her Temple; those about whom you commanded by Moses the prophet concerning Ammon and Moab, that they were not worthy to enter your assembly. [Deuteronomy 23:3

11 All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul. “See, O Lord, and consider, for I have become vile.” — all her people sigh, not her priests only, Lamentations 1:4; but all the common people, because of their affliction, particularly for want of bread. So the Targum says, “all the people of Jerusalem sigh because of the famine;”

— they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: or, “to cause the soul to return” to fetch it back when fainting and swooning away through famine; and therefore would give anything for food; part with their rich clothes, jewels and precious stones; with whatsoever they had that was valuable in their cabinets or coffers that they might have meat to keep from fainting and dying;

The Targum:

All the people of Jerusalem groan from hunger and search for bread to eat. They gave their precious things for the sustenance of bread in order to stay alive. Look O Lord and see for I have become voracious.

12 “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger. — Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? O ye strangers and travellers that pass by and see my distress, does it not at all concern you? does it not in the least affect you? can you look upon it, and have no commiseration?

— or is there nothing to be learned from hence by you, that may be instructive and useful to you? Some consider the words as deprecating; may the like things never befall you that have befallen me, O ye passengers; be ye who ye will; I can never wish the greatest stranger, much less a friend to suffer what I do; nay, I pray God they never may: others, as adjuring.

The Targum:

I adjure you, all who pass by on the road, turn around here. Look and see. Is there any pain like my pain, that which has been visited upon me because the Lord shattered me in the day of his great anger?

13 From above hath He sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them. He hath spread a net for my feet, He hath turned me back; He hath made me desolate and faint all the day. — from above; these words are probably figurative: the judgements that had fallen on Jerusalem were as a fire from heaven, piercing even to “the joints and marrow,” the innermost recesses of life;

— He hath spread a net for my feet; that is, God had brought me into a condition wherein I am entangled, and could not get out; to be the first cause of all the evil we suffered, and entitles God to our various kinds of afflictions, for the benefits of repentance;

The Targum:

From heaven he sent fire into my strong cities and conquered them. He spread a net for my feet. He caused me to shrink back before my enemies. He caused me to be desolate all day, unclean and weak.

14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound up by His hand; they are wreathed, and come up upon my neck. He hath made my strength to fall; the Lord hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up. — bound by his hand; as the plowman binds the yoke upon the neck of oxen so God compels Judah to bear the punishment of her sins;

— he hath made my strength to fall; by the weight of punishment laid upon her, which she could not stand up under, but sunk and fell: this may be understood of her strong and mighty men; her men of valour and courage, who yet stumbled and fell:

— the Lord hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up; meaning the Chaldeans; nor were the Jews at last delivered from them by their own strength, but by the means of Cyrus the Persian conquering Babylon.

The Targum:

The yoke of my rebellion was heavy in his hand. Intertwined like the tendrils of a vine, they climbed upon my neck. My strength is weakened. The Lord has given me into the hands of one whom I cannot withstand.

15 The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me; He hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men; the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a wine press. — the Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me; as a causeway is trodden; or as mire is trodden under foot in the streets; so were the mighty and valiant men, the soldiers and men of war, trodden under foot and destroyed by the Chaldeans in the streets of Jerusalem, and in the midst of Judea; the Lord so permitting it:

— he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men; the army of the Chaldeans, which were brought against Jerusalem by a divine appointment and call; against whom the choicest and stoutest of them, even their young men, could not stand; but were crushed and broken to pieces by them. The word for “assembly” sometimes signifies an appointed time; a time fixed for solemn festivals, and for calling the people to them; 

The Targum:

The Lord has crushed all my mighty ones within me; he has established a time against me to shatter the strength of my young men. The nations entered by the decree of the Memra of the Lord and defiled the virgins of the House of Judah until their blood of their virginity was caused to flow like wine from a wine press when a man is treading grapes and the wine of his grapes flows.

16 For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the Comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me. My children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.” — for these things I weep; the congregation of Judah, the godly among them, particularly Jeremiah, who represented them wept for the sins the people had been guilty of and for the punishment inflicted on them, or the sore calamities that were brought upon them;

— my children are desolate: those which should help and relieve her and be a comfort to her were destitute themselves: or were “destroyed” and were not and which was the cause of her disconsolate state, as was Rachel’s, Jeremiah 31:15;

The Targum:

Because of the infants who were smashed and the pregnant mothers whose bellies were ripped open, the Congregation of Israel said, “I weep and my eyes flow with tears, a spring of water, for far from me is any comforter to revive me and speak words of comfort for my soul. My sons are desolate for the enemy has become master over them.”

17 Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her. The Lord hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him; Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them. — Zion spreads forth her hands, either as submitting to the conqueror and imploring mercy; or rather as calling to her friends to help and relieve her. The Targum is, “Zion spreadeth out her hands through distress, as a woman spreads out her hands upon the seat to bring forth;”

— like a woman in labor-throes; menstruous woman, held unclean and shunned by all; separated from her husband and from the temple.

The Targum:

Zion spreads out her hands from anguish like a woman spread upon the birth stool. She screams but there is no one to speak comfortingly to her heart. The Lord commanded the House of Jacob to keep the commandments and Torah, but they transgressed the decree of his Memra. Therefore his oppressors completely encircle Jacob. Jerusalem is like an unclean woman amongst them.

18 “The Lord is righteous, for I have rebelled against His commandment. Hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow; my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity. — for I have rebelled against his commandment; or “his mouth” – the word of his mouth which he delivered by word of mouth at Mount Sinai or by his prophets since; and therefore was righteously dealt with and justly chastised;

— my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity; in Babylon; being taken and carried thither by the Chaldeans; had it been only her ancient men and women, persons worn out with age that could have been of little use, and at most but of a short continuance, the affliction had not been so great; but her virgins and young men, the flower of the nation and by whom it might have been supported and increased; for these to be carried away into a strange land must be matter of grief and sorrow;

The Targum:

The Lord told the people of the House of Israel that they should not allow those who kill by the sword to pass through their land. Josiah the king went forth and drew his sword against Pharaoh the Lame on the plain of Megiddo, which he had not been commanded [to do] and he had not sought instruction from before the Lord.

Therefore archers shot arrows at King Josiah and he died there. Before his spirit left him he moved his lips and said, “The Lord is blameless for I have transgressed against his Memra.” Hear now all peoples, the lamentations that Jeremiah made over Josiah and see my affliction that has come upon me after his death. My virgins and young men have gone into exile.

19 I called for my lovers, but they deceived me; my priests and mine elders gave up the ghost in the city, while they sought their meat to relieve their souls. — I called for my lovers, but they deceived me, either her idols with whom she had committed spiritual adultery, that is, idolatry; but these could not answer her expectations and help her: or the Egyptians that courted her friendship and with whom she was in alliance and in whom she trusted; and these in the times of her distress she called upon to make good their engagements, but they disappointed her and stood not to their covenant and promises, but left her to stand and fall by herself;

— my priests and mine elders gave up the ghost in the city; or died in the city of Jerusalem; not by the sword of the enemy but through famine; and so in the Arabic language, the word signifies to labour under famine and want of food and perish through it; and if this was the case of their priests that officiated in holy things and of their elders or civil magistrates, what must be the case of the common people?

The Targum:

Jerusalem said, when she was delivered into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, “I called to my friends, the sons of the nations, with whom I had made treaties to come to my aid. But they deceived me and turned to destroy me. (These are the Romans who entered with Titus and the wicked Vespasian and they built siege works against Jerusalem.)

My priests and my elders within the city perish from hunger, because they searched for the sustenance of bread for themselves to eat, in order to preserve their souls.

20 “Behold, O Lord, for I am in distress; my bowels are troubled. Mine heart is turned within me, for I have grievously rebelled. Abroad the sword bereaveth; at home there is as death. — behold, O Lord, for I am in distress, thus she turns from one to another; sometimes she addresses strangers, people that pass by; sometimes she calls to her lovers; and at other times to God which is best of all to have pity and compassion on her in her distress; and from whom it may be most expected, who is a God of grace and mercy:

— my bowels are troubled; as the sea agitated by winds which casts up mire and dirt; or as any waters moved by anything whatsoever, become thick and muddy; or like wine in fermentation; it signifies expressive of great disturbance, confusion and uneasiness:

The Targum:

“Look, O Lord, for I am in anguish. Therefore my bowels are piled up and my heart turns within me, for I have surely transgressed the decree of the Memra of the Lord. Consequently, outside the sword bereaves and inside the agony of starvation, like the Destroying Angel who is appointed over death.

21 They have heard that I sigh; there is none to comfort me. All mine enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that Thou hast done it! Thou wilt bring the day that Thou hast proclaimed, and they shall then be like unto me. — they have heard that I sigh; the nations contiguous to me, Egypt and others that before pretended to be my friends and allies have been no strangers to my bitter afflictions which have forced sighs from me;

— but there is none to comfort me, none of them can or will relieve my distress, but abandon me as in a desperate situation. They are glad that thou hast done it; they have even expressed gladness at the calamities that have befallen me; and they please themselves with the thought that thou our God, of whose favour and protection we used to boast, should forsake us and give us up as a prey to our enemies.

The Targum:

“The nations heard that I am groaning and there is no one to comfort me. All my enemies heard of the evil that overcame me and were glad. For you Lord are the one who has done it. You have caused them to bring upon me a day of retribution. You have summoned against me a coalition to destroy me. May you summon against them that they may be made desolate like me.

22 Let all their wickedness come before Thee, and do unto them as Thou hast done unto me for all my transgressions; for my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.” — let all their wickedness come before thee; the Targum adds, “in the day of the great judgement;”

— for my sighs are many, and my heart is faint; her sighs were many because of her afflictions, and her heart faint because of her sighing.

The Targum:

“May there enter before you on the great judgement day all their evil deeds which they have done to me. May you turn against them as you have turned against me because of my many rebellions, for my groans are many and my heart is weak.”

Lamentations 2

1 How the Lord hath covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in His anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not His footstool in the day of His anger! — how hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, by a pillar of cloud by day and a column of fire by night, as he did the Israelites at the Red sea, and in the wilderness, which he blots out as a thick cloud;

— and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel; all its glory, both in sanctuary and state; this was brought down from the highest pitch of its excellency and dignity to the lowest degree of infamy and reproach; particularly this was true of the temple which was the beauty and glory of the nation, but now utterly demolished: and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger; again referring to the house of the sanctuary or the temple itself;

The Targum:

How the Lord has detested the Congregation of Zion in his fierce anger. He threw down from the heavens to the earth the glory of Israel and he did not remember the Temple that was his footstool nor did he spare it in the day of his fierce anger.

The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied; He hath thrown down in His wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah. He hath brought them down to the ground; He hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof. — the Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied; as he regarded not his own habitation the temple nor the ark his footstool;

— it is no wonder he should be unconcerned about the habitations of the land of Judea and of Jerusalem, particularly of the king, his nobles and the great men; these the Lord swallowed up in an earthquake, or by invasion so as to be seen no more;

The Targum:

The Lord destroyed and did not spare any of the choice dwellings of the House of Jacob. In his anger he destroyed the Congregation of the House of Judah and brought them to the ground. He broke the kingdom, crushed her leaders.

He hath cut off in His fierce anger all the horn of Israel. He hath drawn back His right hand from before the enemy, and He burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about. — all the horn of Israel; the horn here as in elsewhere is the symbol of strength, aggressive or defensive and may therefore stand here for every element of strength, warriors, rulers, fortresses; the cutting off of every horn means the depriving Israel of all power of defence or warfare; 

— he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy; either his own right hand, with which he had used to fight for his people, and protect them, but now withdrawing it, left them to the mercy of their enemies; or Israel’s right hand, which he so weakened, that they had no power to resist the enemy, and defend themselves:

The Targum:

In his fierce anger he cut off all the glory of Israel. He drew back his right [hand]3 and did not help his people from before the enemy and he burned in the House of Jacob like a searing fire which consumes on all sides.

— Note: if these lamentations were restricted to Jeremiah’s warnings against the house of Judah, then this verse shouldn’t have reference to JACOB; thus the reference to Jacob means it is a prophetic message to both the house of Israel and the house of Judah in the latter days, our days!

— Parallel Scriptures in

Isaiah 28:1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which is on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! — that is, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, the proud state and kingdom of the ten tribes. This pride is about Ephraim, the United States: “But if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us,” Madeleine Albright; and the many and excellent vines among them, showing that the prophet’s work was not limited to Judah and Jerusalem, but extended to the northern kingdom, Israel;

— parallel Scriptures in Ezekiel 36, “the mountain of Israel” this prophecy is concerning the desolations of the United States, UK and France; “and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys” these are the hills: Ireland, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries: Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, Finland and Iceland; and the valleys, the low countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg;

— shoot forth your branches; that is, the trees that grew upon them should; the vines, and the olive trees, planted on hills and mountains; these are their colonies: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa; American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands (US); Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Virgin Islands (UK); Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Mayotte, Réunion (France).

— is a fading flower; beauty (Isaiah 28:1) “whose glorious beauty or ornament is a fading flower” – the image of “drunkards” it was the custom at feasts to wreathe with flowers; so this indispensable Ephraim stood upon the head of the fertile valley,” that is, situated on a hill surrounded with the rich valleys as the best of a garland; but that garland is “fading,” and this intoxicated Ephraim is now close to ruin, not to be depended upon, soon to be destroyed and discarded away quickly.

— this maybe where Judah shall bear his iniquity for forty days: I have appointed thee a day for a year. Ezekiel 4:4-6 Septuagint. — after the start of the 10 tribes house of Israel and last for 150 years, the house of Judah shall join in for 40 years. (for more, see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years)

He hath bent His bow like an enemy; He stood with His right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion; He poured out His fury like fire. — He hath bent his bow like an enemy; God sometimes appears as if he was an enemy to his people, when he is not, by his conduct and behaviour; by his providence they take him to be so; he bends his bow, or treads it, for the bending or stretching the bow was done by the foot;

— he stood with his right hand as an adversary; with arrows in it, to put into his bow or with his sword drawn, as an adversary does. The Targum says, “he stood at the right hand of Nebuchadnezzar and helped him, when he distressed his people Israel:”

— and slew all that were pleasant to the eye; princes and priests, husbands and wives, parents and children, young men and maids; desirable to their friends and relations, both the house of Israel and the house of Judah, and even of the daughter of Zion;

The Targum:

He drew his bow and shot arrows at me like an enemy. He stood ready at the right of Nebuchadnezzar and aided him as if he were oppressing his people, the House of Israel. And he killed every young man and everything that was beautiful to see. In the tent of the Congregation of Zion he poured out his anger like a burning fire.

The Lord was as an enemy; He hath swallowed up Israel, He hath swallowed up all her palaces. He hath destroyed his strongholds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation. — the Lord was as an enemy; who formerly was on their side, their God and guardian, their protector and deliverer, but now against them; and a terrible thing it is to have God for an enemy, or even to be as one; this is repeated, as being exceeding distressing, and even intolerable;

— God had use Nebuchadnezzar to do his will as he was described as “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant,” Jeremiah 25:9, 27:6, 43:10; and so was Cyrus, His anointed Isaiah 45:1; ‘He is My shepherd and shall perform all My pleasure,’ Isaiah 44:28.

The Targum:

The Lord has become like an enemy. He destroyed Israel. He destroyed all her forts and razed all her open cities. He has increased in the Congregation of the House of Judah mourning and grief.

And He hath violently taken away His tabernacle, as if it were of a garden; He hath destroyed His places of the assembly. The Lord hath caused the solemn feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of His anger the king and the priest. — and he hath violently taken away his tabernacle as if it were of a garden; the house of the sanctuary or the temple, which was demolished at once with great force and violence and no more account made of it than of a cottage or lodge in a vineyard or garden, set up while the fruit was, either to shelter from the heat of the sun in the day, or to lodge in at night;

— the Lord hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion; there being neither places to keep them in, nor people to observe them: the weekly and annual Sabbaths: “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable, and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words,” Isaiah 58:13.

The Targum:

He uprooted his Temple like a garden. He razed the place appointed for the atonement of his people. The Lord has caused the joy of the festival and the Sabbath to be forgotten and in his fierce anger he hates the king and high priest.

He (God) hates their kings and high priests:

— a) and the house of Israel is still indulging in idolatry; worshipping Easter, which is another form of worshipping Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven, the ancient Mesopotamian goddess of war, fertility and sex. She is featured in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the “Ishtar Gate” was part of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon;

— b) and Mithra or Mitra (the Sun-God whose birthday many drunks honor and celebrate on December 25th which they christianised as Christmas), Zeus and others; called “gods of the earth” in distinction from the god of heaven; and men shall worship these earthly gods, acknowledging their supremacy, everyone from his place today, Protestants or Catholics alike;

— and those who persist in their blindness will be more than horsewhipped! They would suffer Judgement by the sword, by famine, by pestilence and spending years in captivity to reflect and repent there (for more see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years and A Sword from the South!)

The Lord hath cast off His altar; He hath abhorred His sanctuary. He hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the Lord, as in the day of a solemn feast. — the Lord hath cast off his altar; whether of incense or of burnt offerings, the sacrifices of which used to be acceptable to him, but now the altar being cast down and demolished, there were no more offerings; nor did he show any desire of them, but the reverse:

— he hath abhorred his sanctuary; the temple, by suffering it to be profaned, pulled down and burnt, it looked as if he had an abhorrence of it, and the service in it;

The Targum:

The Lord has abandoned the house of his altar. He has trampled his Temple. He has handed over the walls of the forts to the enemy. They raised a shout in the Temple of the Lord like the shout of the people of the House of Israel praying in it on the day of Passover.

The Lord hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He hath stretched out a line, He hath not withdrawn His hand from destroying. Therefore He made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together. — He hath stretched out a line; the phrase implies the systematic thoroughness of the work of destruction;

— He made the rampart; even the very stones of the walls of Zion are thought of as “crying out” and wailing over their own downfall;

The Targum:

The Lord resolved to destroy the wall of the Congregation of Zion. He swung the plummet and did not turn back his hand from destroying it. He caused the rampart and the wall to mourn; they were destroyed together.

Her gates are sunk into the ground; He hath destroyed and broken her bars. Her king and her princes are among the Gentiles; the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the Lord. — her gates are sunk into the ground; so completely destroyed that one might suppose they had been swallowed up in an abyss;

— her king and her princes are among the Gentiles; Zedekiah, and the princes that were not slain by the king of Babylon, were carried captive thither; and there they lived, even among the heathens that knew not God, and despised his worship:

The Targum:

Her gates have sunk into the earth because they slaughtered a pig and brought its blood over them. He has destroyed and shattered her doorposts. Her king and rulers were exiled among the nations because they did not keep the decrees of Torah, as if they had not received it on Mount Sinai. Even her prophets had the holy spirit of prophecy withheld from them and they were not told a word of prophecy from before the Lord.

10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground and keep silence; they have cast up dust upon their heads. They have girded themselves with sackcloth; the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. — the elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground, and keep silence; who used to sit in the gate on thrones of judgement, and passed sentence in causes tried before them; or were to give advice and counsel, and were regarded as oracles, now sit on the ground, and dumb, as mourners; see Job 2:13;

— they have cast up dust upon their heads; on their white hairs and gray locks, which bespoke wisdom, and made them grave and venerable: they have girded themselves with sackcloth: after the manner of mourners; who used to be clothed in scarlet and rich apparel, in robes suitable to their office as civil magistrates:

— the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground: through shame and sorrow; who used to look brisk and gay, and walk with outstretched necks, and carried their heads high, but now low enough.

The Targum:

The Elders of the Congregation of Zion sit on the ground in silence. They throw wood ashes upon their heads. They gird sackcloth upon their bodies. The virgins of Jerusalem bow their heads to the dust of the earth.

11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled; my liver is poured upon the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city. — my bowels are troubled; all his inward parts were distressed: my liver is poured upon the earth; his gall bladder, which lay at the bottom of his liver, broke, and he cast it up, and poured it on the earth;

— because the children and sucklings swoon in the streets of the city; through famine, for want of bread, with those that could eat it; and for want of the milk of their mothers and nurses, who being starved themselves could not give it; and hence the poor infants fainted and swooned away; which was a dismal sight, and heart melting to the prophet.

The Targum:

My eyes are spent with tears, my bowels are piled up, my liver is spilt onto the ground because of the destruction of the Congregation of my people as youths and infants cried out in the open places of the cities.

12 They say to their mothers, “Where is corn and wine?” when they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into their mothers’ bosom. — they say to their mothers, where is corn and wine? Not the sucklings who could not speak, nor were used to corn and wine, but the children more grown;

— both are before spoken of, but these are meant, even the young men of Israel, as the Targum says; and such as had been brought up in the best manner, had been used to wine, and not water, and therefore ask for that as well as corn; both take in all the necessaries of life; and which they ask of their mothers, who had been used to feed them, and not knowing what was the reason of it, inquire after them, being pressed with hunger:

The Targum:

The young men of Israel ask their mother, “Where is the bread and wine?” as they thirst in the same way as one wounded by the sword [suffers] from thirst in the open places of the cities, as their life is poured out from hunger into their mother’s bosom.

13 What thing shall I take to witness for thee? What thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? For thy breach is great like the sea. Who can heal thee? — what thing shall I take to witness for thee? what can I bring forward as a witness to prove that others have sustained as grievous ills as thou? what can be called to convince thee, and make it a clear case to time that ever any people or nation was in such distress and calamity, what with sword, famine, pestilence, and captivity, as thou art?

— what thing shall I liken thee to, O daughter of Jerusalem? what kingdom or nation ever suffered the like? no example can be given, no instance that comes up to it; not the Egyptians, when the ten plagues were inflicted on them; not the Canaanites, when conquered and drove out by Joshua; not the Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, and Syrians, when subdued by David; or any other people;

— for thy breach is great like the sea; as large and as wide as that: Zion’s troubles were a sea of trouble; her afflictions as numerous and as boisterous as the waves of the sea; and as salt, as disagreeable, and as intolerable, as the waters of it: or her breach was great, like the breach of the sea; when it overflows its banks, or breaks through its bounds, there is no stopping it, but it grows wider and wider:

The Targum:

What can I bring to bear witness to you? Or to what can I compare you, O Congregation of Jerusalem? How shall I befriend you that I may console you, O Virgin of the Congregation of Zion? For great is your breaking, as great as the breaking of the waves of the Great Sea during the season of their gales. And who is the doctor who can heal you of your affliction?

14 Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee; and they have not exposed thine iniquity, to return you from captivity, but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment. — thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things; the words are eminently characteristic of Jeremiah, whose whole life had been spent in conflict with the false prophets (Jeremiah 2:8Jeremiah 5:13Jeremiah 6:13Jeremiah 8:10Jeremiah 14:14Jeremiah 28:9, and elsewhere), who spoke smooth things, and prophesied deceit. They did not call men to repent of their iniquity;

— and they have not exposed thine iniquities: they did not tell them of their sins; they took no pains to convince them of them, but connived at them; instead of reproving them for them, they soothed them in them; they did not “remove” the covering that was “over their iniquity” as it might be rendered;

Example of not exposing their iniquities are:

— a) indulging in idolatry; worshipping Easter, which is worshipping Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven, the ancient Mesopotamian goddess of war, fertility and sex;

— b) worshipping Mithra or Mitra (the Sun-God whose birthday many drunks honor and celebrate on December 25th which they christianised as Christmas), everyone from his place today, Protestants or Catholics alike;

— c) more than 98.5 percent of Christians are worshipping the Sun by observing Sunday, worshipping on a pagan sabbath. They have “their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the SUN toward the east; whose Godly judgement is to be stoned to death (Deuteronomy 17:3-5) – ’till they die.

— and those who persist against the Law of Moses (Leviticus 26Deuteronomy 28), they would suffer Judgement by the sword, by famine, by pestilence and spending years in captivity to reflect and repent there (for more see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years and A Sword from the South!)

The Targum:

The false prophets within you, they have seen falsehood for you and there is no substance to their prophecies. Nor did they make known the punishment that would overtake you as a result of your sin, in order to make you turn back in repentance. Rather, they prophesied to you vain prophecies and erring words.

15 All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, “Is this the city that men call ‘The perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth’?” — all that pass by clap their hands at thee; strangers and travellers (Gypsies included) that passed by, and saw Jerusalem in ruins, clapped their hands at it by way of rejoicing as well pleased at the sight;

— they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem; by way of scorn and derision; hereby expressing their contempt of her, and the pleasure and satisfaction they took in seeing her in this condition;

The Targum:

All those who passed by the way clapped their hands at you. They hissed with their lips and wagged their heads at the Congregation of Jerusalem. They said with their mouths, “Is this the city which our fathers and elders of old called the perfection of beauty and loveliness; the joy of all the earth’s inhabitants?”

16 All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee; they hiss and gnash their teeth. They say, “We have swallowed her up. Certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.” — all thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee; or “widened” them; stretched them out as far as they could, to reproach, blaspheme and insult; or like gaping beasts, to swallow up and devour:

— they hiss and gnash their teeth; hiss like serpents, and gnash their teeth in wrath and fury; all expressing their extreme hatred and abhorrence of the Jews, and the delight they took in their ruin and destruction;

— they say, we have swallowed her up; all her wealth and riches were corns into their hands, and were all their own; as well as they thought these were all their own doings, owing to their wisdom and skill, courage and strength; not seeing and knowing the hand of God in all this. These words seem to be the words of the Chaldeans particularly;

— certainly this is the day that we have looked for; we have found, we have seen it: this day of Jerusalem’s destruction, which they had long looked for, and earnestly desired; and now it was come; and they had what they so much wished for; and express it with the utmost pleasure.

The Targum:

All your enemies open their mouths at you. They hissed with their lips and gnashed their teeth and say, “We have destroyed! Surely this is the day we have waited for. We have found it; we have seen it.”

17 The Lord hath done that which He had devised; He hath fulfilled His word that He had commanded in the days of old. He hath thrown down, and hath not pitied; and He hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee; He hath set up the horn of thine adversaries. — the Lord hath done that which he had devised; it was not so much the Chaldeans that did it, though they ascribed it to themselves; but it was the Lord’s doing, and what he had deliberately thought of, purposed and designed within himself; all whose purposes and devices certainly come to pass;

— God’s will was to use Nebuchadnezzar to do his will and three times he was described as “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant,” Jeremiah 25:9, 27:6, 43:10; and so was Cyrus, His anointed Isaiah 45:1; ‘He is My shepherd and shall perform all My pleasure,’ Isaiah 44:28.

The Targum:

The Lord has done what he planned. He completed the Memra of his mouth that he commanded to Moses the prophet long ago: that if the children of Israel did not keep the commandments of the Lord he was going to punish them. He destroyed and had no mercy. He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you for he has exalted your oppressors.

18 Their heart cried unto the Lord. O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night. Give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease. — their heart cried unto the Lord; the heart of the Jews in their distress, when they saw the walls of the city breaking down, they cried unto the Lord for help and protection;

— O wall of the daughter of Zion! this is an address of the prophet to the people of Jerusalem carried captive, which was now without houses and inhabitants, only a broken wall standing, some remains and ruins of that; which is mentioned to excite their sorrow and lamentation: let tears run down like a river, day and night; incessantly, for the destruction and desolation made;

The Targum:

The heart of Israel cried out before the Lord, to have mercy on them. O wall of the city of Zion, weep tears like a torrent day and night. Give no comfort to your sorrows, to slacken in the prayer that is yours. May your eyes not cease from weeping.

19 Arise, cry out in the night; in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift up thy hands toward Him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger on top of every street. — arise, cry out in the night; that is, O daughter of Zion, or congregation of Israel, as the Targum; who are addressed and called upon by the prophet to arise from their beds, and shake off their sleep, and sloth, and stupidity, and cry to God in the night season; and be earnest and importunate with him for help and assistance;

— pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord; use the utmost freedom with him; tell him, in the fullest manner thy whole case, fit thy complaints; unbosom thyself to him; keep nothing from him; speak out freely all lily soul needs; do all this publicly and in the most affectionate way and manner, thy soul melted in floods of tears, under a sense of sin, and pressing evils for it.

The Targum:

Arise, O Congregation of Israel dwelling in exile. Busy yourself with Mishnah in the night, for the Shekinah of the Lord is dwelling before you, and with the words of Torah at the beginning of the morning watch. Pour out like water the crookedness of your heart and turn in repentance. And pray in the synagogue before the face of the Lord. Raise your hands to him in prayer for the life of your children who thirst with hunger at the head of every open market.

20 Behold, O Lord, and consider to whom Thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, their children of a span long? Shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord? — behold, O Lord, and consider to whom thou hast done this; on whom thou hast brought these calamities of famine and sword; not upon thine enemies but upon thine own people, that are called by thy name and upon theirs, their young ones who had not sinned as their fathers had;

— shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord? as very probably some were, who fled for safety when the city was broken up; but were not spared by the merciless Chaldeans who had no regard to their office and character; nor is it any wonder they should not, when the Jews themselves slew Zechariah, a priest and prophet, between the porch and the altar;

The Targum:

See, O Lord, and observe from heaven against whom you have turned. Thus is it right for the daughters of Israel to eat the fruit of their wombs due to starvation, the lovely boys wrapped in fine linen? The Attribute of Justice replied, and said, “Is it right to kill priest and prophet in the Temple of the LORD, as when you killed Zechariah son of Iddo, the High Priest and faithful prophet in the Temple of the Lord on the Day of Atonement because he admonished you not to do evil before the Lord?”

21 The young and the old lie on the ground in the streets; my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword. Thou hast slain them in the day of Thine anger; Thou hast killed and not pitied. — the young and the old lie on the ground in the streets; young men and old men, virgins and aged women; these promiscuously lay on the ground in the public streets, fainting and dying for want of food; or lay killed there by the sword of the enemy; the Chaldeans sparing neither age nor sex;

— my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword; by the sword of the Chaldeans, when they entered the city: thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger: thou hast killed, and not pitied; the Chaldeans were only instruments; it was the Lord’s doing; it was according to his will; it was what he had purposed and decreed; 

The Targum:

The young and the old who were accustomed to recline on pillows of fine wool and upon ivory couches were prostrate on the earth of the open markets. My virgins and youths have fallen, killed by the sword. You have killed in the day of your anger; you have slaughtered and shown no pity.

22 Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the Lord’S anger none escaped nor remained; those that I have swaddled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed. — thou hast called, as in a solemn day, my terrors round about; terrible enemies, as the Chaldeans were; these came at the call of God, as soldiers at the command of their general; and in as great numbers as men from all parts of Judea flocked to Jerusalem on the solemn feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles;

— so that in the day of the Lord’s anger none escaped or remained in the city of Jerusalem and in the land of Judea; either they were put to death, or were carried captive; so that there was scarce an inhabitant to be found, especially after Gedaliah was slain, and the Jews left in the land were carried into Egypt:

The Targum:

You will declare freedom to your people, the House of Israel, by the hand of King Messiah just as you did by the hand of Moses and Aaron on the day when you brought Israel up from Egypt. My children will gather all around, from every place to which they had been scattered in the day of your fierce anger, O Lord, and there was no escape for them nor any survivors of those whom I had wrapped in fine linen. And my enemies destroyed those whom I had raised in royal comfort.

A Study Index of Isaiah

•April 29, 2022 • Leave a Comment

In the Study, we’ll find Isaiah’s prophecies were not solely meant for the house of Judah; although some of them were, but the majority of their warnings were for the house of Israel and is relevant a latter time, our time.

A Study Index of Isaiah

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

— Hear, O heavens, and give ear
— the ox knows his owner but Israel doth not know
— Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire
— strangers devour it in your land
— Your new moons your appointed feasts My soul hates

~ Chapter 2

— “Come ye, and let us go up to the God of Jacob
— And He shall judge among the nations
— swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks
— men shall go into the holes and caves of the earth
— when the Lord arises to shake the earth terribly”

A Study of Chapters 1 and 2 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 3

— children to be their princes and babes rule over them
— for Jerusalem is ruined and Judah is fallen
— “Woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him
— the Lord shall uncover their secret parts
— thy men shall fall by the sword, thy mighty in war”

~ Chapter 4

— in that day seven women shall take hold of a man
 in that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful
— a remnant that remains in Jerusalem shall be called holy
— the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion

A Study of Chapters 3 and 4 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 5

— Isaiah sing to his Well-beloved a song 
— Woe unto them that join house to house
— Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning
— they may pursue strong drink; till wine inflame them!
— Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil

~ Chapter 6

— “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts
— the whole earth is full of His glory”
— “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
— Then said I, “Here am I. Send me!”
— Go tell this people: Hear ye but understand not
— and see ye indeed but perceive not

A Study of Chapters 5 and 6 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 7

— “Syria is confederate with Ephraim” 
— “Let us go up against Judah and vex it
— and the head of Ephraim is Samaria
— within sixty-five years Ephraim shall be broken
— behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son”

~ Chapter 8

— behold, the Lord bringeth up the king of Assyria 
— many among them shall stumble, fall and be broken
— and be snared and be taken
— to the law and to the testimony
— if they speak not according to this word
— it is because there is no light in them

A Study of Chapters 7 and 8 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 9

— in Galilee of the nations
— people that walk in darkness have seen a great light
— the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace
— bricks are fallen but we will build with hewn stones
— the prophets that teach lies
— Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh

~ Chapter 10

— “Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees
— “Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of Mine anger
— a consuming, even determined, in the midst of Israel
— yet a remnant of them shall return
— the Assyrian army shall cut down thickets of the forest” 

A Study of Chapters 9 and 10 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 11

— a Rod out of the stem of Jesse
— the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord
— He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth
— the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb
— and He shall assemble the outcasts of Israel
— and Judah from the four corners of the earth

~ Chapter 12

— behold, my God Is my Salvation
— for the Lord Yehovah is my Strength
— “Praise the Lord! Call upon His name!”
— God’s name in Hebrew is יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah 

A Study of Chapters 11 and 12 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 13

— the burden of Babylon
— Howl ye, for the day of the Lord is at hand!
— it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty
— behold, the day of the Lord cometh
— therefore I will shake the heavens
— and the earth shall remove out of her place

~ Chapter 14

— for the Lord will have mercy on Jacob
— “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer”
— “I will ascend into heaven
— I will be like the Most High”
— His hand shall stretch out upon all the nations

A Study of Chapters 13 and 14 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 15

— the burden of Moab
— they shall gird themselves with sackcloth
— everyone shall howl, weeping abundantly
— rejoice thou not, Palestina
— because the rod that smote thee is not broken

~ Chapter 16

— the burden from Sela to the wilderness
— Let Mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab
— Moab shall howl for Moab, everyone shall howl
— the remnant of Moab shall remain small and feeble

A Study of Chapters 15 and 16 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 17

— the burden of Damascus, Syria
— the glory of Jacob shall be made thin
— yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it
— the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief

~ Chapter 18

— Woe to the land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
— the Lord said unto me: “I will take My rest”
— “they shall be left together for the fowls of the mountains
— the beasts of the earth; the fowls shall summer upon them
— and the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them”

A Study of Chapters 17 and 18 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 19

— the burden of Egypt
— the princes of Zoan “we are the sons of wise men”
— Gypsies in Hebrew, their name from the city of Zoan
— the princes of Zoan are become fools
— the Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit
— in the midst of the princes of Zoan

~ Chapter 20

— the burden of Egypt and Ethiopia
— Isaiah called to walk naked and barefooted
— “if the mighty could not delivered their souls
— how shall we, the weak, be delivered?”

A Study of Chapters 19 and 20 HERE~ —— ~

Chapter 21

— the burden of Babylon, Edom and Arabia
— the pain as the pangs of a woman that travails
— watch in the watchtower, eat, drink; arise
— a chariot of asses and a chariot of camels
— the whole army of the Medes and Persians

~ Chapter 22

— the burden of the Valley of Vision
— Elam, the Persians; and Kir, the Medes
— Medes and Persians; a composite army
— and He will uncover the covering of Judah
— “Surely this iniquity shall not
— be purged from you till ye die”
— Shebna, the fallen one; Eliakim, My servant

A Study of Chapters 21 and 22 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 23

— the burden of Tyre and Sidon
— a report concerning Egypt and the Nile
— ye ships of Tarshish is laid waste!
— “after the end of seventy years
— that the Lord will visit Tyre”

~ Chapter 24

— “the Lord makes the earth empty
— and turns it upside down”
— and few men are left
— “Woe unto me!”
— the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard

A Study of Chapters 23 and 24 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 25

— I will praise Thy name
— God’s name is יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah
— Thou hast made of a fortified city a ruin
— Thou hast been a strength to the needy in distress
— and He will cast away the veil over all nations

~ Chapter 26

— a song be sung in the land of Judah
— a righteous nation that keeps the truth
— Thy name to the remembrance of Thee
— they are dead, they shall not live
— awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust

A Study of Chapters 25 and 26 HERE~ —— ~

Chapter 27

— the Leviathan that is in the sea
— “A vineyard of red wine!”
— Fury is not in Me
— He smote those that smote him
— the great trumpet shall be blown

~ Chapter 28

— “Woe to the crown of pride
— to the drunkards of Ephraim
— whose glorious beauty is a fading flower”
— “Whom shall he teach knowledge?
— And whom shall he make to understand doctrine?”
— for precept must be upon precept
— We have made a covenant with death and hell

A Study of Chapters 27 and 28 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 29

— Woe to Ariel, to Ariel: “the lion of God”
— a multitude of nations will fight against Ariel
— Cry ye out, they are drunken, but not with wine
— they stagger, but not with strong drink
— the words of a book that is sealed

~ Chapter 30

— Woe to the rebellious children that add sin to sin
— the strength of Pharaoh and princes be your shame
— for they were at Zoan, “the royal city of the Pharaohs”
— a remnant as a beacon and an ensign on a hill
— the moon shall be as the light of the sun
— the light of the sun shall as the light of seven suns

A Study of Chapters 29 and 30 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 31

— Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help
— yet God also is wise, and will bring evil
— everyman shall cast off his idols of silver and gold
— then shall the Assyrian fall by the sword,
— but not of a mighty man; nor of a lowly man

~ Chapter 32

— a King shall reign in righteousness
— and princes shall rule in judgement
— the rash shall understand knowledge
— and the stammerers shall speak plainly
— rise up, ye women that are at ease

A Study of Chapters 31 and 32 HERE~ —— ~

Chapter 33

— Woe to those that spoils 
— your spoil shall be the gathering of caterpillar
— the earth mourns and languishes
— thine heart shall meditate terror
— the Lord is our judge, our lawgiver, our king

~ Chapter 34

— Come near, ye nations, to hear and hearken
— the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations
— and His fury upon all their armies
— for My sword shall be bathed in heaven
— the unicorns shall come down with the bulls

A Study of Chapters 33 and 34 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 35

— the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad
— the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose
— Say to them that are of a fearful heart
— “Be strong, fear not”

~ Chapter 36

— king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh to Jerusalem
— then came Eliakim, who was over the house
— and Shebna the scribe
— they exhort and insinuate each other

A Study of Chapters 35 and 36 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 37

— King Hezekiah covered himself with sackcloth
— and went into the house of the Lord
— but Rabshakeh continues insinuating Hezekiah
— but his commandment was, “Answer him not”

~ Chapter 38

— Hezekiah was sick unto death
— “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech Thee”
— the sun returned ten degrees backward
— a writing of king Hezekiah’s confession
— the Lord was ready to save me

A Study of Chapters 37 and 38 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 39

— Hezekiah to show them his precious things
— the silver and the gold, the spices and ointment
— and all the house of his armor and all his treasures
— thy sons thou shalt beget shall be taken away
— and they shall be eunuchs for the king of Babylon

~ Chapter 40

— “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people”
— a voice of him that cries in the wilderness
— every valley shall be exalted
— and every mountain shall be made low
— He that sits upon the circle of the earth
— and the inhabitants as grasshoppers

A Study of Chapters 39 and 40 HERE~ —— ~

Chapter 41

— “Keep silence before Me, O islands
— “But thou, Israel, art My servant
— “Fear not; I will help thee
— “I, the God of Israel, will not forsake thee”

~ Chapter 42

— “Behold My Servant, whom I uphold
— Mine Elect, in whom My soul delight
— He shall not fail nor be discouraged
— till He hath set judgement in the earth
— and the isles shall wait for His law”

A Study of Chapters 41 and 42 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 43

— “Fear not, for I have redeemed thee
— “For I have created him for My glory
— “Let all the nations be gathered together
— and let the people be assembled
— “Ye are My witnesses”

~ Chapter 44

— “Yet now hear, O Jacob My servant
— Is there a God besides Me?
— the Lord, thy Redeemer, that makes all things
— that stretches forth the heavens alone
— Cyrus, he is My shepherd and My pleasure

A Study of Chapters 43 and 44 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 45

— the Lord saith to His anointed, to Cyrus
— and make the crooked places straight
— I have called thee by thy name and surnamed thee
— though thou hast not known Me
— Woe unto him that strive with his Maker!

~ Chapter 46

— “Hearken unto Me, O house of Jacob
— and all the remnant of the house of Israel
— Remember the former things of old; for I am God
— and there is none other
— I am God, and there is none like Me”

A Study of Chapters 45 and 46 HERE~ —— ~

Chapter 47

— O virgin daughter of Babylon
— O daughter of the Chaldeans
— Thy nakedness shall be uncovered
— yea, thy shame shall be seen
— sorceries, astrologers and soothsayers

~ Chapter 48

— Hear ye, O house of Jacob
— not in truth nor in righteousness
— Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel
— I am the First, I am also the Last
— All ye, assemble yourselves and hear

A Study of Chapters 47 and 48 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 49

— Listen, O isles, unto Me, and hearken
— ye people from afar; the land of Sinim
— Sing, O heavens, and be joyful
— “Can a woman forget her sucking child
— “Behold, I will lift up Mine hand to the Gentiles”

~ Chapter 50

— “Where is the bill of your mother’s divorce
— I clothe the heavens with blackness
— and I make sackcloth their covering
— “Who among you fear the Lord
— that obey the voice of His Servant?”

A Study of Chapters 49 and 50 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 51

— “Hearken to Me, ye that seek the Lord
— Lift up your eyes to the heavens
— ye that know righteousness, whose heart is My law
— Awake, awake, O arm of the Lord
— “Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem
— who hast drunk the cup of His fury”

~ Chapter 52

— Awake, awake! Put on thy strength
— My people shall know My name
— the Lord hath hath redeemed Jerusalem
— “Behold, my servant the Messiah shall prosper”

A Study of Chapters 51 and 52 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 53

— He is despised and rejected of men
— He borne our griefs and carried our sorrows
— He was wounded for our transgressions
— by His stripes we are healed
— He was bruised for our iniquities
— He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter

~ Chapter 54

— “Sing, O Jerusalem, that didst not bear!
— Enlarge the place of thy tent
— the Lord of hosts is thy Redeemer
— In a little wrath I hid My face from thee
— Behold, they shall gather against thee”

A Study of Chapters 53 and 54 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 55

— “Ho, every one that thirst
— Hearken diligently unto Me
— Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear
— Seek ye the Lord while He may be found
— “For My thoughts are not your thoughts
— neither are your ways My ways”

~ Chapter 56

— Blessed is the man who keeps the Sabbath
— the sons of strangers that join to serve the Lord
— my house a house of prayer for all people
— their watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant
— they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark

A Study of Chapters 55 and 56 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 57

— The righteous perish, rest into peace
— ye sons of the sorceress
— Are ye not a seed of falsehood
— inflaming yourselves with idols
— behind the doors also and the posts
— the wicked are like the troubled sea that cannot rest

~ Chapter 58

— “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet!
— and show My people their transgression
— and the house of Jacob their sins”
— ‘Why have we fasted and Thou seest not?
— why have we afflict our soul and thou take no note?’

A Study of Chapters 57 and 58 HERE~ —— ~

Chapter 59

— Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened
— For your hands are defiled with blood
— and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies
— your tongue hath muttered perverseness
— We grope for the wall like the blind
— and we grope as if we had no eyes

~ Chapter 60

— Arise, shine, for thy light is come
— and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee
— And the Gentiles shall come to thy light
— for in My wrath I smote thee
— I the Lord, am thy Savior and thy Redeemer

A Study of Chapters 59 and 60 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 61

— “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me
— because He hath anointed Me to preach the good tidings
— To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord
— and the day of vengeance of our God
— “For I, the Lord, love judgement
— I hate robbery for burnt offering”

~ Chapter 62

— the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness
— and all kings thy glory
— “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem
— who shall never hold their peace day nor night”
— the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world

A Study of Chapters 61 and 62 HERE ~ —— ~

Chapter 63

— Who is this that cometh from Edom
— with dyed garments from Bozrah
— Why art thou red in Thine apparel
— And I will tread down the people in Mine anger
— and make them drunk in My fury

~ Chapter 64

— But we are all as an unclean thing
— and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags
— Thou art our Father; we are the clay
— and Thou our potter
— and we all are the work of Thy hand 

A Study of Chapters 63 and 64 HERE~ —— ~

Chapter 65

— I spread out my hands unto a rebellious people
— Behold, it is written: I will not keep silence
— Therefore will I number you to the sword
— and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter
— because when I called, ye did not answer
— when I spoke, ye did not hear, but did evils

~ Chapter 66

— “The heaven is My throne
— and the earth is My footstool
— Hear the word of the Lord, and tremble at His word 
— For behold, the Lord will come with fire
— and with His chariots like a whirlwind
— “And from one new moon and one Sabbath to another
— shall all flesh come to worship before Me”

A Study of Chapters 65 and 66 HERE ~ —— ~

The Lord’s Prayer

•April 28, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Matthew 6

9 Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

10 Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory for ever. Amen.

Isaiah (Ch 65-66)

•April 27, 2022 • 1 Comment

The last two chapters of Isaiah seem like a supplement to Sword from the South in Ezekiel 20:45 to 21:5! They seem to offer the reasons why events are to go off the way being prophesised. Remember, the Scriptures are often shrouded in cryptic languages and our challenge is to decrypt them, especially as it relates to the latter days, our days. Here a reason is given, “I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them, because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spoke, ye did not hear.” If so, could this also tie in with Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years?

Isaiah 65

1 “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. — God isn’t sought of them that asked not for him; that this is a prophecy of the calling and conversion of the Gentiles is not to be doubted;

— God said, behold me, behold unto a nation that was not called by my name; which describes the Gentiles, who formerly were not called the people of God, even those who now are, Hosea 2:23.

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; — God has spread out his hands all the day unto a rebellious people; meaning both the house of Israel and the house of Judah;

— which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; in their own way, of their own devising, choosing and approving and which was only but wickedness; and after their own imaginations and inventions; after their own doctrines and their own dogmas.

A people that provoketh Me to anger continually to My face, that sacrificeth in gardens and burneth incense upon altars of brick; — that sacrifice in gardens; to idols placed there as the Targum says as they were under every green tree; or in groves, where idols were worshipped; sometimes this refers to their having their sepulchres in their gardens, where they consulted their deadly spirits.

who remain among the graves and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; — they remained among the graves, either there expecting revelations by dreams or there consulting with devils, who were thought to delight in such places; or to practise necromancy, all which were forbidden, Deuteronomy 18:11Isaiah 8:19.

— and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; or “pots” – broth made of swine’s flesh and of other sorts of flesh which were unclean by the law. The Targum paraphrases both clauses thus, “who dwell in houses built of the dust of graves and lodge with the corpse of the children of men.”

who 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. — these are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burn all day: very offensive to the Divine Being, as smoke is to the eyes and nostrils; very abominable to him; and whose proud and vain conduct raised indignation in him, and kindled the fire of his anger, which was continually exercised on them; see Luke 16:15. The Targum says, “their vengeance is in hell, where the fire burns all the day.”

Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense—even recompense into their bosom” — behold, it is written; this account of their sins; it was in his sight and constant remembrance and punishment for them was determined by him, written in the book of his decrees:

— God will not keep silence; but threaten with destruction and not only threaten but execute; plead against them really, as well as verbally, with sore judgements: but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom; full and just recompence of punishment for all their transgressions;

— the Targum says, “I will recompense to them the vengeance of their sins, and deliver their bodies to the second death.” So the Targum recognises the concept of “the second death.”

your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers together,” saith the Lord, “who have burned incense upon the mountains and blasphemed Me upon the hills; therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.” — your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord; that is, the punishment both of the one and of the other; these being alike and continued from father to son and approved of and committed by one generation after another till the measure was filled up;

— and then the recompence of reward is given for all of them together at once: which have burnt incense upon the mountains and blasphemed me upon the hills; where they offered incense and other sacrifices to idols which was interpreted by the Lord as a blaspheming and reproaching of him; see Isaiah 57:7,

— therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom; punish them for their former sins as well as their latter ones and both together.

Thus saith the Lord, “As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, ‘Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it,’ so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all. — will I do for my servants’ sake, that I may not destroy them all; namely, for the sake of my servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I will bring a seed out of Jacob; a small number which shall be as a seed from whence others shall spring and out of Judah.

And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountains; and Mine elect shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there. — God will bring forth a seed out of Jacob; no seed bears a proportion to the tree or plant that it produces but in comparison with that is very little; yet it is enough, through the virtue which the God of nature hath put into it, to preserve and uphold the species to which it doth relate.

10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for My people that have sought Me. — Sharon was a place of great fruitfulness for pastures. David’s herds were kept there, 1 Chronicles 27:29. It was become like a wilderness, Isaiah 33:9.

11 “But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget My holy mountain, that prepare a table for that Gad, and that furnish the drink offering unto that Meni. — ye are they that forsake the Lord, that is the way of the Lord; it is a phrase opposed to a walking with God. Our walking with God is in the way of his statutes, forsaking him signifies a declining or turning aside from that way.

12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter; because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spoke, ye did not hear, but did evil before Mine eyes and did choose that wherein I delighted not.” — therefore will I number you to the sword; there is an elegancy in the expression, alluding to Meni, that number, they furnished a drink offering for or trusted in; and since they did, God would number them or appoint a number of them to the sword;

— and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter; or suffer them to be slain in great numbers, even from one end of their land to another, Jeremiah 12:12, they should be numbered and hold out, or care taken that none of them should escape the sword of the Romans, or not be taken by them: and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter; be obliged to submit to the conqueror and lay down their necks to be sacrificed by him;

— these passages seem like another version of A Sword from the South! Here a reason is given, “because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spoke, ye did not hear.”

— if so, could this also tie in with Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years?

13 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, “Behold, My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, My servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed. — but ye shall be ashamed; of their vain confidence; of their trust in their own righteousness;

— indulging in idolatry; worshipping Astarte call Easter, and Mithra or Mitra which we Christianise as Christmas where the drunks celebrate on December 25th; which are all our own righteousness.

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. — but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit; under the sore judgements of God upon them, the sword and famine;

— and more especially during the siege of Jerusalem, and when wrath came upon them at a latter time, in the destruction of our cities and nations, and they fell into the hands of terrorists, who carried them captive by the Sword and dispersed them in various places; and as the wicked will in hell for a time where is nothing but weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

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, — for the Lord God shall slay them; by the Sword of Edom and Idumea, and by his judgements, which continue upon them; the Targum says, with the second death:

— again, these passages seem like an addition to our understanding of A Sword from the South!

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. — God of truth, or in the God of truth; not indulging in the fictitious deities of the Gentiles, such as worshipping Astarte call Easter, and Mithra or Mitra which we call Christmas;

— worshipping God the Father, or God the Son, the only God as the Source of blessing; or swearing by that God who hath approved his truth and faithfulness by saving and delivering his people.

17 “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. — the entire existing state of things is to pass away. God will create a new heaven and a new earth and place his people therein; and the old conditions will be all changed, and the old grounds of complaint disappear.

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. — God create Jerusalem; from the prophet’s viewpoint, as elsewhere, the earthly city, transformed and transfigured, occupies the central place in the new creation. In the Millenium the transfer of the promise to the unseen eternal city, the Jerusalem which is above.

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. — in the “new Jerusalem” there will be no sorrow, neither “weeping” nor “crying”

20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed. — life will be greatly prolonged to a hundred years for everyone;

21 And they shall build houses and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. — and they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them; they shall both live to dwell in their houses when built, and till their vineyards bring forth fruit and then eat of them; and they shall be preserved from enemies breaking in upon them and wasting their plantations; men will always enjoy the fruit of their labours and see their children grow up.

22 They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. — and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands; what they have built and planted; they shall live long in their houses and for many years partake of the fruit of their vineyards. The blessing of long life is carried on with the promises of all other instances of outward happiness.

23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. — nor bring forth for trouble; for death, as the Targum says; or for a curse, as in the Septuagint: the tense is they shall not beget and bring forth children that shall immediately die by some distemper or another or be taken off by famine, sword or pestilence, to the great grief and trouble of their parents; but these shall live, and outlive their parents, so that their death will never be a trouble to them.

24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. — and while they are yet speaking, I will hear; while they are praying to him, he hears and answers, and grants their requests, and more, as he did Daniel. This shows the readiness of the Lord to help and assist his people in any time of trouble, or when they may fear an enemy; and is a great encouragement to attend the throne of grace constantly.

25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” saith the Lord.” — and all around will peace and harmony prevail, even in the animal world itself. “Wolf and lamb then feed together, and the lion eats chopped straw like the ox, and the serpent-dust is its bread.

Isaiah 66

1 Thus saith the Lord, “The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where is the house that ye build unto Me? And where is the place of My rest? — the heaven is my throne; heaven is where God is having his seat or throne there; he speaks as a king; heaven is the place where he holds his court, from where he dispenses his commands, and from where he surveys all his works;

— but where is the house that ye build unto me? can there be a house built that will house me, who can encompass the heavens and the earth with a house? Where is the place of my rest? or where is the place wherein I can be said to rest in a proper sense? 

For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been,” saith the Lord. “But to this man will I look: even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word. — for all those things hath mine hand made; the heavens and the earth which are his throne and footstool; and since he is the Creator of all things he must be immense, omnipresent, omnipotent and cannot be included in any space or place:

— and such tremble at the Word of God; both at the wrath of disobedience of it and have a holy reverence for the Word of God and receive it, not as the word of man, but as the Word of God: and to such the Lord looks; he looks on these poor ones, and feeds them; on these afflicted ones, and sympathizes with them; on these contrite ones and delights in their sacrifices and dwells with and among them.

“He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol— yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. — he that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; or ‘He that slayeth an ox, killeth a man.’

— or ‘He who sacrifices an ox is as if he slew a man.’ The Septuagint, in a very free translation, renders it, ‘The wicked man who sacrifices a calf, is as he who kills a dog; and he who offers to me fine flour, it is as the blood of swine.’

I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them, because when I called, none did answer, when I spoke, they did not hear; but they did evil before Mine eyes and chose that in which I delighted not.” — God also will choose their delusions; God will punish them in their own way and set those over them as teachers who shall govern them by their traditions instead of my word;

— Or in the NT era, false Christs and false prophets to deceive them, Matthew 24:24John 5:43

— and will bring their fears upon them; the things they feared; such as the sword, famine and pestilence; and into the latter days into another captivity, an enemy who, they will feared, would come and take away their place and nation;

— this “will bring their fears upon them” appears like a parallel text where the ‘Sword of the Lord’ is mentioned. Could this be a clear connection to the Sword from the South in Ezekiel 20:45 to 21:5?

Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His word: “Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, when He shall appear to your joy’; and they shall be ashamed.” — your brethren that hated you; men of the same stock with yourselves. The term could also be applied to the known leaders of the Samaritan community, like Sanballat and Tobiah (Nehemiah 2:10), but might be largely mean men of Israelitish descent, the Sadducees and in part, probably other Jews who had been spared in the general deportation of the people.

A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompense to His enemies. — a voice of noise from the city; from the city of Jerusalem, as the Targum says; so that in the days of the Messiah shall go out of Jerusalem the voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord. 

“Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. — she was delivered of a man child; this is speaking of the Messiah; the Targum says, “before distress comes to her, she shall be redeemed; and before trembling comes upon her, her King shall be revealed.”

Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. — or shall a nation be born at once? – Such an event never has occurred. A nation is brought into existence by degrees. Its institutions are matured gradually, and usually by the long process of years.

Shall I bring to birth and not cease to bring forth?” saith the Lord. “Shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb?” saith thy God. — Shall I bring to the birth? – the sense of this verse is plain. It is that God would certainly accomplish what he had here predicted and for which he had made ample arrangements and preparations. He would not commence the work and then abandon it.

10 “Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her; — Rejoice ye with Jerusalem; the holy city is still thought of as a mother rejoicing in her new-born child; friends and neighbours, the nations friendly to Israel who had shown pity for her sufferings are now invited to participate in her joy.

11 that ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.” — Jerusalem is here set out as the mother of us all, as indeed she was; for out of Zion went forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, Isaiah 2:3

12 For thus saith the Lord, “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream; then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. —for thus saith the Lord, behold, I will extend peace to her like a river; as the river Euphrates so the Targum says;

— or as the Nile, which overflowed Egypt, and made it fruitful; or as any flowing river, large and spreading, continuing to flow and brings blessings with it where it comes; and so denotes the abundance of this peace, the perpetuity of it and its blessed effects.

13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. — the Targum says, “my Word shall comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb; and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward His servants, and His indignation toward His enemies. — your heart shall rejoice; for nothing can be matter of greater joy than these; these cause an inward, hearty and sincere joy and not mere outward expressions of it:

— and your bones shall flourish like an herb; in a well watered garden, or on which the dew lies; which revives, lifts up its head, and is green and flourishing: so the hearts of God’s people are comforted and filled with joy, it renews their spiritual strength; the bones that were dried up with sorrow become fat and flourishing and like a garden of herbs, whose springs fail not.

15 For behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury and His rebuke with flames of fire. — for, behold, the Lord will come with fire, either with material fire, with which mystical Babylon or Rome shall be burnt, Revelation 18:8, or with indignation and wrath, which shall be poured out like fire and be as intolerable and consuming as that:

— and with his chariots like a whirlwind; making a great noise and striking great terror; alluding to chariots in which men used formerly to fight:

— to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire; a heap of words to show the fierceness of his wrath and how severe his rebuke of enemies will be; which will be not a rebuke in love as of his own people but in a way of vindictive wrath;

— these passages seem like another version of A Sword from the South! Here it is described as “the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind.”

— and if so, could this also tie in with Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years?

16 For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many. — for by fire and by his sword; the sword is an instrument by which punishment is executed; and the slain of the Lord shall be many; that is, those that will be slain by the Lord the number shall be immense.

17 “They that sanctify themselves and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse, shall be consumed together,” saith the Lord. — eating swine’s flesh and the abomination, and the mouse; the eating of swine’s flesh and the mouse, were forbidden by the law of Moses, Leviticus 11:7.

18 “For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall come that I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall come and see My glory. — for God know their works, and their thoughts, that is, their evil works and thoughts, which are known to God the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, whose eyes are as a flame of fire to pierce and penetrate into them.

19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those of them who escape unto the nations: to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud who draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off who have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. — Tarshish, Pul, Lud, Tubal and Javan are all sons of Japheth and perhaps, Ham; they are non-Israelites;

— this verse regarding a sign seems a bit odd coming toward the end of Isaiah; could it be that it is a sign that God will send the house of Jacob to the countries mentioned above? Especially after he had send a Sword from the South into Israel? It seems possible, perhaps Jacob or his posterity, could be a suffering servant (Isaiah 52:13) as the Orthodoxy believes; we’ll have to wait and see.

20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations, upon horses and in chariots and in litters, and upon mules and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” saith the Lord, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. — they; that is, the Gentiles, out of all nations; the truth shall be proclaimed in all lands, and a vast accession shall be made from all parts of the world to the true teachings of God. 

21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites,” saith the Lord. — God will also take of them for priests; that is, even Gentile converts could be enrolled among the priests and Levites in the Temple of the new Jerusalem;

— non-Levites have been proven to be inducted into the priesthood as shown by the example of Samuel by adoption, who was most probably an Ephraimite, but certainly not from the Aaron priesthood where high priests were supposed to be drawn from.

22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me,” saith the Lord, “so shall your seed and your name remain. — for as the new heavens and the new earth; that is, during the Millenium; although a great mass of the world of nations may perish; but the seed and name of Israel, shall continues for ever.

23 And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me,” saith the Lord. — that keep one Sacred Sabbath to another; that means, from week to week, every Sabbath.

— a parallel prophecy of other Sabbaths occurs in Zechariah 14:16 : ‘And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.’ 

— these assemblies “from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another” are the holy convocations on the seventh day Sabbath, at the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, at the blowing of the Trumpets, on the day of Atonement and Tabernacles: Leviticus 23. 

24 “And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against Me; “for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” — and they shall go forth; this verse evidently is that the pious and converted worshippers of God shall see the punishment which he will execute on his and their foes, or shall see them finally destroyed;

— this refers to the time when the kingdom of God shall be finally established and when all the mighty enemies of that kingdom shall be subdued and punished. The image is probably taken from a scene where a people whose lands have been desolated by mighty armies are permitted to go forth after a decisive battle to walk over the fields of the slain, and to see the dead and the bodies of their once formidable enemies.

What time is ben ha arbayim?

•April 26, 2022 • Leave a Comment

What time is ben (h996) ha arbayim (h6153)?

Understanding this term is important because it is the time to kill the Pascha lamb when in Exodus 12:6 the children of Israel were commanded at even (ben ha arbayim) to kill a Pasha lamb and eat the Passover meal that follows. The Jews say the killing of the lamb was the late hours of the Fourteenth, whereas others (adopted first by the the Samaritans, then followed by the Sadducees and Boethusians) say it is the early hours of the Fourteenth. So who are correct?

In all eleven passages where ben ha arbayim is used in the Scriptures, Strong’s concordance numbers and defines it as #6153, including it with ereb.

This phrase ben (h996) ha arbayim (h6153) occur 11 times, so let’s study them in details:

(1) And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening, Exodus 12:6.
(2) “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak unto them, saying, ‘At evening ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God,’” Exodus 16:12.
(3) The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning, and the other lamb thou shalt offer at evening, Exodus 29:39.
(4) And the other lamb thou shalt offer at evening, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the Lord, Exodus 29:41.
(5) And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at evening, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations, Exodus 30:8.
(6) On the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is the Lord’S Passover, Leviticus 23:5.
(7) In the fourteenth day of this month at evening ye shall keep it in his appointed season. According to all the rites of it and according to all the ceremonies thereof shall ye keep it, Numbers 9:3.
(8) And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at evening in the Wilderness of Sinai. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel, Numbers 9:5.
(9) The fourteenth day of the second month at evening they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, Numbers 9:11.
(10) The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at evening, Numbers 28:4.
(11) And the other lamb shalt thou offer at evening; as the meat offering of the morning and as the drink offering thereof thou shalt offer it, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord, Numbers 28:8.

In Exodus 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening (ben ha’arbayim). Most English Bibles translate this term ben ha’arbayim as “even, evening, sunset, twilight or dusk” taking the Samaritans view.

But Rashi (Shlomo Yitzchaki; 1040-1105, France), who could be one representing the Jews, comments the phase ben ha’arbayim as “afternoon.”

Here is the explanation by Rashi quoted besides the Chabad Bible Exodus 12:6 And you shall keep it for inspection until the fourteenth day of this month, and the entire congregation of the community of Israel shall slaughter it in the afternoon:

in the afternoon: Heb. בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם From six hours [after sunrise] and onward is called בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם, literally, between the two evenings, for the sun is inclined toward the place where it sets to become darkened. It seems to me that the expression בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם denotes those hours between the darkening of the day and the darkening of the night. The darkening of the day is at the beginning of the seventh hour, when the shadows of evening decline, and the darkening of the night at the beginning of the night.

When the Orthodox definition of ben ha’arbayim “between the two evenings” is interpreted as “after noon and until nightfall,” all the pieces from the Passover puzzles fall into place. From the study of eleven cases above, there are five observations:

(1) The commandment to sacrifice a lamb daily in the morning and one in the evening: normally one at 9 AM and another at 3 PM, where ben ha’arbayim is defined as “after noon and until nightfall” (3,4,10,11).
(2) The Passover lamb to be killed on the fourteenth at around 3 PM: (1,6,7,8,9).
(3) Lighting of the Sanctuary before nightfall, not after nightfall (5).
(4) Quails arriving as food for the Israelites in the “after noon” when there was light to do the catching, cleaning and cooking and not after nightfall (2).
(5) And most importantly, note that NONE of the above ben ha’arbayim were to start a Sabbath, or to start a new day, which would be after 6 PM (sunset, dusk, twilight) or after nightfall.

When ben ha’arbayim is interpreted as “after noon and until nightfall,” there are ample time for killing, cleaning and roasting of the daily sacrifice and Passover lamb while there is still light. Both were killed at around 3 PM Roman times in the afternoon so that Aaron and other priests wouldn’t stumble in the Sanctuary after darkness had fallen.

Revelation 3:14 “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: ‘These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God:
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, “I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing,” and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable, and poor and blind and naked, Revelation 3:14-17.

False shepherds and false teachings abound everywhere so much so that, if possible, even the elect are deceived! In fact, they have already been well deceived; but be warned, God is ready to spew these pretenders out of His mouth!

Usually when it is spewed out of God’s mouth, it is into the FIRE! Selah!

For more, see THAT NIGHT WHEN CHRIST ATE HIS LAST SUPPER WAS ON THE THIRTEENTH!

Aaron Prayer or the Aaronic Blessing

•April 25, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The LORD bless you and keep you;

the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

Rabbi Johnathan Cahn Proclaims The Aaronic Blessings

Isaiah (Ch 63-64)

•April 24, 2022 • 1 Comment

Edom and Bozrah, the capital city of Idumea; these two bits of information provide further hints as to whom the characters are in Ezekiel 20:45 to 21:5 where the ‘Sword of the Lord’ are associated with the South. Note: the Scriptures don’t say it is the ‘Sword of Edom or Bozrah’ but the ‘Sword of the Lord.’ Could this be a clear connection associating Edom and Idumea to the Sword in Ezekiel 20:45 to 21:5?

Isaiah 63

1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this that is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? “I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” — that cometh from Edom; that is, Idumea, the country where Esau, sometimes called Edomdwelt; Edom had been guilty of ruthless atrocities (Amos 1:9-11); they had carried off Jewish prisoners as slaves (Obadiah 1:10-11); they had been allies of the Assyrian invaders (Psalm 83:6), and had smitten Judah in the days of Ahaz (II Chronicles 28:17);

— the Targum indicates using the Edom and Bozrah “to execute vengeance of judgement of His people” – his people, of course, is the house of Jacob;

— the words Edom and Bozrah may be taken in the appellative sense, to denote in general, a field of blood, or a place of slaughter; the word Edom signifying red, and Bozrah a vintage; with dyed garments – that is, with garments dyed in blood, which in the prophetical idiom, imports God’s vengeance upon the wicked, His people;

— Bozrah, the capital city of Idumea; see further Isaiah 34:6, a parallel text where the ‘Sword of the Lord’ associated with both Edom and Bozrah are mentioned. Note: the Scriptures don’t say it is the ‘Sword of Edom or Bozrah’ but ‘Sword of the Lord.’ Could this be a clear connection to the Sword from the South in Ezekiel 20:45 to 21:5?

Why art thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine vat? — and thy garments like him that tread in the winefat? or winepress, into which clusters of grapes are cast, and these are trodden by men, the juice of which sparkles on their garments, and stains them, so that they become of a red colour.

“I have trodden the wine press 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. — God have trodden the wine-press alone; He has put on trial his people the house of Jacob; He has crushed them as grapes are crushed; Could this be a usual metaphor of Sword and Blood for both the house of Israel for 190 years and the house of Judah for 40 years in Ezekiel 4?

— perhaps the Orthodoxy (like Rashid) would have some merits if the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 relates to a suffering Jacob, incorporating wine pressing on them both; (190 years) for the house of Israel; and (40 years) for the house of Judah? (for more, see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years)

For the day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come. — the year of my redeemed; another rendering, is the year of my redemption:

— the red upon the clothes was the life-blood of the house of Jacob, which had spirted upon them and with which, as He, the Almighty God Yehovah, tread this wine-press, He had soiled all His garments.

And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold. Therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me, and My fury, it upheld Me. — And I looked, and there was none to help (comp. Isaiah 5:2, “He looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes:” also Isaiah 41:28, “I beheld, and there was no man”). God is represented as looking for and expecting what might reasonably have been expected, and even as surprised when he does not find it (comp. Isaiah 59:16).

And I will tread down the people in Mine anger, and make them drunk in My fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.” — make them drunk: the Hebrew often expresses calamities by a cup of wine, or strong drink, by which the distressed persons are made drunk, Psalm 75:8 Isaiah 51:21,22; they go as it were to and fro, not knowing what to do with themselves; and in special drunk with their own blood, Isaiah 49:26 Revelation 16:6.

— I will bring down their strength to the earth; whatever it is wherein their strength lies, their strong ones, or their strong places, or deep counsels; he will bring to the very dust, to nothing; like drunken men, they shall fall to the ground, not being able to stand; the most miserable condition that men can fall into, Psalm 36:12.

I will mention the loving kindnesses 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 loving kindnesses. — I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord; these are the words of the prophet Isaiah, great goodness towards the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies and kindnesses.

For He said, “Surely they are My people, children that will not lie”; so He was their Savior. — He said, Surely they are my people. Israel was first recognized as “a people” in Egypt, when the creel Pharaoh said, “The people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we “(Exodus 1:9). Soon afterwards God acknowledged them as “his people” (Exodus 3:7); 

— children that will not lie; or deal falsely as the same word is translated in Psalm 44:17. The meaning is, that surely they will be faithful to God and not fall away from him into idolatry or irreligion. Isaiah 63:8.

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 bore them, and carried them all the days of old. — in all their affliction he was afflicted; because of all the afflictions they endured in Egypt: this notes the sympathy that is in Christ, he having the same spirit that the Father hath.

10 But they rebelled and vexed His holy Spirit; therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them. — but they rebelled against God; this charge is often made against the children of Israel; and indeed their history is little more than a record of a series of rebellions against God.

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, — the Targum paraphrases it, “he had mercy for the glory of his name, and because of the remembrance of his goodness of old, the mighty things he did by the hands of Moses to his people.”

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, — that led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm; that is, through the Red sea: this was done by the right hand of Moses and the rod in it.

13 that led them through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble?” — that led them through the deep; the depths, the bottom of the sea; not through the shallow but where the waters had been deepest, the descent greatest; and at the bottom of which might have been expected much filth and dirt to hinder them in their passage, yet through this he led them.

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. — the spirit of the Lord caused him to rest; or gently led him, that is, Israel, through the sea, with little danger as a beast walks on in a valley; this of leading Israel through the wilderness where often resting places were found for them and they were brought to the land of rest, Canaan, and settled there.

15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of Thy holiness and of Thy glory. Where is Thy zeal and Thy strength, the sounding of Thy heart and of Thy mercies toward me? Are they restrained? — look down from heaven, and behold; attributes the prevalence of evil on earth to a suspension of Yehovah’s watchfulness; hence He is said to come down from heaven to enquire (Genesis 18:21), or here, to look down.

16 Doubtless Thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us and Israel acknowledge us not. Thou, O Lord, art our father, our Redeemer; Thy name is from everlasting. — doubtless thou art our Father: thus they urge God with that relation he stands in unto them, Malachi 2:10; therefore we as thy children expect the bowels and compassions of a father.

17 O Lord, why hast Thou made us to err from Thy ways, and hardened our heart from Thy fear? Return for Thy servants’ sake, the tribes of Thine inheritance. — O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? These are the words not of the wicked among the Jews but of the godly, lamenting and confessing their wandering from God’s ways, commands and ordinances, the hardness of their hearts.

18 The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while; our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary. — the people of thy holiness; or thy holy people as being set apart for his servants; holiness being to be understood for a covenant separation from other people;

— have trodden down thy sanctuary; the temple, called the sanctuary from the holiness of it; this our adversaries the Babylonians by Nebuchadnezzar, and later the Greeks by Antiochus, and the Romans by Titus have trodden down, II Chronicles 36:19; and this also implies their ruining of their whole ecclesiastical poli