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?” — 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 • Leave a Comment

The broad consensus among Rabbinic Jews and Rabbi Tovia Singer 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

Daniel 9 Proves Yeshua is the Messiah

•May 15, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Many theologians noted that Chapter 9 of Daniel identifies the coming of the Messiah, the one annointed; Rabbinic Jews and Rabbi Tovia Singer, denounced by the prophet Isaiah as being deaf and blind to the will of God (42:19-20, 56:10, 59:10), identify this “annointed” as Cyrus. But Daniel 9 is a prophecy for a future “in the last days” which he 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 during Daniel’s time but this prophecy is for the far future; and only during the latter days could we fully understand this prophetic significance.

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 Lord’s Sanctuary 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 the Most Holy. — seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy 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 the Holy of Holies in the Temple, as Jewish authority and a few others believe, then what is this anointing for? What’s the big deal; what is its significance? No possible explanation were ever given. 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;

— 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 the Prince, shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. — of great significance is the title “Messiah the Prince” as nowhere is this composite title used elsewhere in the Scriptures. Yes, this “annointed” is special, real special, hence translators rightly capitalise the M for Messiah and added the particle “the” before the title, that is “the Messiah”

— know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, from the time that the decree of Cyrus concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem went forth, Ezra 1:1; Isaiah 44:28, unto the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Prince;

— shall be seven weeks, that is, until the coming of the Messiah, the Savior, and threescore and two weeks, during which the great spiritual Temple of the Lord would be constructed; the street shall be built again and the wall, even in troublous times; young and adolescents, 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 Temple. 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!

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 Christ’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 the attack;

— 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 true 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 (Galations 3:29), 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?

Thus in Summary on why only 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;

(3) the title “Messiah the Prince” is of great significance; this “annointed” is real special, hence “the Messiah” is rightly designated.

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!

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.

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).

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 policy.

19 We are Thine; Thou didst never bear rule over them; they were not called by Thy name. — We are thine; we continue so; we are in covenant which they never were; and thus it is an argument they use with God to look upon them;

— Thou never barest rule over them; not in that manner, or in that relation to them, that thou didst over us. They were not called by thy name; neither owned thee, nor owned by thee: this phrase implies a near relation in some circumstance or other as wife or servant or child.

Isaiah 64

1 Oh, that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that Thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at Thy presence— O that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldst come down; this is really a continuation of the prayer of Isaiah 63:15-19.

as when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil— to make Thy name known to Thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Thy presence! — the Targum says, “as when thou sendedst thine anger as fire in the days of Elijah, the sea was melted, the fire licked up the water to make Thy name known to the enemies of Thy people.”

When Thou didst fearsome things which we looked not for, Thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at Thy presence. — when thou didst terrible things, which we looked not for, thou camest down; referring to the wonderful things God did in Egypt, at the Red sea, and in the wilderness;

— and particularly at Mount Sinai, things that were unexpected, and not looked for; then the Lord came down, and made visible displays of his power and presence, especially on Mount Sinai; see Exodus 19:18.

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, besides thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him. — neither hath the eye seen a God beside Thee, who will work for him that waits for Him. The sense is not that God alone knows what He hath prepared but that no man knows (sight and hearing being used as including all forms of spiritual apprehension) any god who does such great things as He does.

Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember Thee in Thy ways. Behold, Thou art wroth, for we have sinned; in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. — Thou meet him that rejoices and works righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art angry; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved.

MSG Oh, that you would rip open the heavens and descend, make the mountains shudder at your presence— As when a forest catches fire, as when fire makes a pot to boil— To shock your enemies into facing you, make the nations shake in their boots! You did terrible things we never expected, descended and made the mountains shudder at your presence.

Since before time began no one has ever imagined, No ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who happily do what is right, who keep a good memory of the way you work. But how angry you’ve been with us!

We’ve sinned and kept at it so long! Is there any hope for us? Can we be saved? We’re all sin-infected, sin-contaminated. Our best efforts are grease-stained rags. We dry up like autumn leaves— sin-dried, we’re blown off by the wind. No one prays to you or makes the effort to reach out to you Because you’ve turned away from us, left us to stew in our sins.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. — and all our righteousness or justification are as filthy rags; as rags, they cannot cover us; as filthy rags, they would only defile us.

And there is none that calleth upon Thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee; for Thou hast hid Thy face from us, and hast consumed us because of our iniquities. — and hast consumed us because of our iniquities; by the sword, famine, pestilence, and captivity.

But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand. — but now, O Lord, thou art our Father; notwithstanding all this, thou art our Father, having both created and adopted us; therefore pity us thy children; we are the clay, and thou our potter;

— we are in thy hands as clay in the hands of the potter: thou canst form us, and dispose of us as thou pleases. And we will not quarrel with thee, however thou art pleased to deal with us.

Be not sorely wroth, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever; behold, see, we beseech Thee, we are all Thy people. — CEV Don’t be so furious or keep our sins in your thoughts forever! Remember that all of us are your people.

10 Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. — thy holy cities; Zion and Jerusalem mentioned immediately after; called holy because they were built upon God’s inheritance and because his Shekinah were there.

11 Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised Thee, is burned up with fire; and all our pleasant things are laid waste. — is burnt up with fire; this is true, both of the first and second temple; the first was burnt with fire by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Jeremiah 52:13, and the second by the Romans under Titus in AD 70.

12 Wilt Thou refrain Thyself for these things, O Lord? Wilt Thou hold Thy peace and afflict us very sore? —wilt thou refrain thyself; wilt thou refuse to come to our aid? Wilt thou decline to visit us and save us from our calamities?

— wilt thou hold thy peace; wilt thou not speak for our rescue and command us to be delivered?

Solomon’s Prayer (II)

•April 23, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication. When the Temple was built and finished, then Solomon said before the altar of the Lord, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; I have built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”

So while the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them. Then Solomon prepared to offer a Prayer of Dedication of the Temple.

1 Kings 8

22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel and spread forth his hands toward heaven;

23 and he said, “Lord God of Israel, there is no God like Thee in heaven above or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with Thy servants who walk before Thee with all their heart,

24 who hast kept with Thy servant David my father what Thou promised him. Thou speakest also with Thy mouth and hast fulfilled it with Thine hand, as it is this day.

25 Therefore now, Lord God of Israel, keep with Thy servant David my father what Thou promised him, saying, ‘There shall not fail thee a man in My sight to sit on the throne of Israel, only if thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before Me as thou hast walked before Me.’

26 And now, O God of Israel, let Thy word, I pray Thee, be verified, which Thou speakest unto Thy servant David my father.

27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have built?

28 Yet have Thou respect unto the prayer of Thy servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer which Thy servant prayeth before Thee today,

29 that Thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which Thou hast said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that Thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which Thy servant shall make toward this place.

30 And hearken Thou to the supplication of Thy servant and of Thy people Israel when they shall pray toward this place, and hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place; and when Thou hearest, forgive.

31 “If any man trespass against his neighbor, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before Thine altar in this house,

32 then hear Thou in heaven, and do and judge Thy servants, condemning the wicked to bring his way upon his head, and justifying the righteous to give him according to his righteousness.

33 “When Thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy because they have sinned against Thee, and shall turn again to Thee and confess Thy name, and pray and make supplication unto Thee in this house,

34 then hear Thou in heaven and forgive the sin of Thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which Thou gavest unto their fathers.

35 “When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against Thee, if they pray toward this place and confess Thy name, and turn from their sin when Thou afflictest them,

36 then hear Thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of Thy servants and of Thy people Israel, that Thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon Thy land which Thou hast given to Thy people for an inheritance.

37 “If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blight, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpillar, if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities, whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be,

38 what prayer and supplication soever be made by any man or by all Thy people Israel, who shall know every man the plague of his own heart and spread forth his hands toward this house—

39 then hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart Thou knowest (for Thou, even Thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men),

40 that they may fear Thee all the days that they live in the land which Thou gavest unto our fathers.

41 “Moreover concerning a stranger who is not of Thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for Thy name’s sake

42 (for they shall hear of Thy great name and of Thy strong hand and of Thy stretched out arm), when he shall come and pray toward this house,

43 hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place and do according to all that the stranger calleth to Thee for, that all people of the earth may know Thy name to fear Thee, as do Thy people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Thy name.

44 “If Thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever Thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the Lord toward the city which Thou hast chosen and toward the house that I have built for Thy name,

45 then hear Thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.

46 “If they sin against Thee (for there is no man that sinneth not), and Thou be angry with them and deliver them to the enemy so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;

47 yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent and make supplication unto Thee in the land of those who carried them captives, saying, ‘We have sinned and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness’;

48 and so return unto Thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who led them away captive, and pray unto Thee toward their land which Thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which Thou hast chosen and the house which I have built for Thy name—

49 then hear Thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven Thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause;

50 and forgive Thy people who have sinned against Thee and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against Thee, and give them compassion before those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them

51 (for they are Thy people and Thine inheritance, whom Thou broughtest forth out of Egypt from the midst of the furnace of iron),

52 that Thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of Thy servant and unto the supplication of Thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto Thee.

53 For Thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth to be Thine inheritance, as Thou spoke by the hand of Moses Thy servant when Thou brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”

54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

Russia’s New Missile!

•April 22, 2022 • Leave a Comment

As China and the Solomon Islands signed off a Security Deal, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was accused of a ‘massive foreign policy failure’ in her backyard. That being so because Australia was deeply involved in helping Ukraine in sanctioning Russia in Europe, while also planning more navel exercises with other Quad members to fence off China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Russia successfully test fires ‘unique’ missile – Putin

RT April 20, 2022

Since RT.com is blocked and censored in many Western locations such as the EU, UK, US and Canada, here is a chance to share it with some excerpts:

Russia’s New ICBM launched in final tests before adoption by military

Russia’s new RS-28 Sarmat Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile was launched successfully from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the north of the country, the military reported on Wednesday. The test launch was the first in a series of trials required for the adoption of the new weapon by Russia’s strategic forces.

The missile flew across the whole country, touching down at a test site in Russia’s Far East. “Inert warheads touched down in a designated area at the Kura training ground on the Kamchatka Peninsula,” the military said.

The new silo-based strategic missile is set to replace the R-36M/R-36M2 Voevoda ICBMs. Compared to its predecessor, the Sarmat can carry more weapons, as well as be fitted with new types of warheads, including “hypersonic glider units”, the military noted.

President Vladimir Putin called the launch an “event of great significance” for Russia, congratulating the military on the successful test launch.

“The new system has top tactical and technical characteristics and is able to penetrate all modern anti-missile defenses. It has no analogues in the world and will not have any for a long time,” Putin said.

SPUTNIK International reports, “The president stressed that the missile is built using elements and components manufactured in Russia, which will speed up its mass production. Today’s launch is the first in a series of test trials. After they are complete, the Sarmat will enter production.”

“O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away” Hosea 6:4

Clarke: O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? – This is the answer of the Lord to the above pious resolutions; sincere while they lasted, but frequently forgotten, because the people were fickle. Their goodness was like the morning cloud that fadeth away before the rising sun, or like the early dew which is speedily evaporated by heat. Ephraim and Judah had too much goodness in them to admit of their total rejection, and too much evil to admit of their being placed among the children. Speaking of the justice and mercy of God seem puzzled how to act toward them. These things induce God to exclaim, “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee?” The only thing that could be done in such a case was that which God did.

Isaiah (Ch 61-62)

•April 21, 2022 • 1 Comment

The Scriptures are often shrouded in cryptic languages and most Jews could not see the working of God’s providence in the revelation of the Messiah in the chapters here, or in the revelation to which he came to restore all the nations back to God. Our challenge is to decrypt them, especially as it relates to the latter days, our days.

Isaiah 61

1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek. He hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound, — we ask, “Who is the speaker?” – this refers to the Messiah is abundantly proved by the fact that the Lord Yeshua expressly applied it to himself (see Luke 4:16-21, also at the end);

— if Isaiah is the speaker, he was just a forerunner because his role in proclaiming the good tidings, etc, was limited;

— he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted; whose hearts are smitten and made contrite by the Word of God, and are truly humbled under a sense of sin; who are cut to the heart, have wounded spirits; these Christ binds up, by speaking comfortably to them; by applying his blood; by discovering the free and full pardon of their sins; and for this, as Mediator, he had a mission and commission from his Father; he came not of himself, but he sent him:

— to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to such who were captives to sins and as it were prisoners to them, shut up by them, and in them, and held fast there; but Christ, as he is the author of liberty; obtains it for his people and makes them free with it a liberty from sin, or as of prisoners from the prison house.

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn, — to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord; the allusion is to the proclamation of liberty, in the year of jubilee when the trumpet was blown, and liberty was proclaimed throughout all the land (see Leviticus 25:9-10);

— Yeshua stopped before mentioning the days of vengeance, Luke 21:22, which calls for the destruction of Jerusalem the very expression made use of here. Perhaps there was a delay of 40 years when the Romans came and surrounded Jerusalem, then its capture and destruction in AD 70;

— but which sects escaped destruction and death? History recorded only two sects that escaped the inferno of AD 70:

(1) The Christians, known as Nazarenes in Acts 24:5. They escaped to a northern town called Pella, west of the Jordan River.
(2) Some Pharisees, those of the House of Hillel. They were headed by a Pharisaic rabbi, Johanan ben Zakkai, the head of the Sanhedrin, who was smuggled out of besieged Jerusalem in a coffin. They escaped to Yavne and, later, his followers re-emerged as Rabbinic Jews, who established the Hillel Calendar, which was revealed by Hillel II in about AD 359 concerning the rules of the calendar.

— all other sects of the Jews faced their days of vengeance and disappeared in the AD 70 inferno: All Sadducees, Herodians, Boethusians, Essenes, together with the House of Shammai Pharisees and those of its military arm, the Zealots. They all face their days of vengeance and disappeared from history. Were they receiving their “fire”? Were these sects facing their familiar Sodom and Gomorrah?

— were these not their days of vengeance or be “baptised in FIRE” as warned by John the Baptist? We need to note a very important point in this judgement. God included His holy city of Jerusalem in this judgement. God did not exclude them from judgement during their days of vengeance in the AD 70 inferno.

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” — to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion; or “to the mourners of Zion” such who are of Zion and mourn for the corruptions in Zion’s false doctrines, their perversion, abuse, and neglect of God’s statutes and ordinances; for the disorders and divisions they cause; and the power of godliness;

— trees of righteousness; in Hebrew, ‘Oaks,’ by their being oaks of righteousness is a metaphor meant a people distinguished for righteousness or justice; instead of being subjected to money, wealth and bowing down as a reed to corruption, sin and wickedness.

And they shall build the wastes of old, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. — the waste places of olden time: that is, not merely the cities that had fallen into ruins during the exile, but those that had been lying waste for generations; and of modern wars.

And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. — strangers shall stand; like servants waiting for their master’s orders; that Israel is raised to the dignity of a priestly caste, leaving the rough work of the world to be done by foreigners, who stood on a lower level;

— 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).

But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord; men shall call you the Ministers of our God. Ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. — but ye; as contrasted with the “strangers.” Ye shall have no need to attend to your flocks and lands: strangers will do that for you; your exclusive business will be the service of Yehovah as His “priests” – Exodus 19:6 remains yet to be realized.

For your shame ye shall have double, and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess the double; everlasting joy shall be unto them. — for your shame ye shall have double: though you have been little accounted of among your enemies, yet now you shall be greatly in their esteem, Zechariah 9:12.

“For I, the Lord, love judgement; I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. — I hate robbery for burnt- offerings; I hate all things gotten by injustice, though they be for sacrifice. As God will not accept of that which cost nothing, so much less of that which is the effect of rapine and oppression.

And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles and their offspring among the people; all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.” — all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed; that they are the spiritual seed of Abraham as well as his carnal seed and are blessed with him.

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God. For He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. — I will greatly rejoice; the speaker is again as in Isaiah 61:1 the ideal Servant of Yehovah, Isaiah as well as the Messiah, who identifies himself with the people and slaves;

— the Targum, it may be noted, makes Jerusalem the speaker: “Jerusalem said, rejoicing I will rejoice in the Word of the Lord.”

11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. — The Targum says, “so the Lord God will reveal the righteousness and praise of Jerusalem before all the people.”

~~~

Luke 4

16 And He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read.
17 And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
20 And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister and sat down. And the eyes of all those who were in the synagogue were fastened on Him.
21 And He began to say unto them, “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

Isaiah 62

1 For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. — for Zion’s sake; opinions differ as to the speaker. Is he the prophet, or the Servant of Yehovah, or Yehovah Himself? On the whole, the second view seems to be most in harmony with what follows. The true Servant will carry on what in the language of later theology may be called his mediatorial intercessory work, that there may be no delay in the fulfilment of the glorious promises that have just been uttered.

And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. — and thou shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name; this name is a new name; a renewed one, a name which shall be of significance.

Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. — and a royal diadem; in Hebrew, ‘A diadem of a kingdom.’ The diadem is the wreath or chaplet, usually set with diamonds, which is “encircled” (צניף tsânı̂yph from צנף tsânaph) to roll or wind around to encircle) around the head. It here means such as was usually worn by monarchs; and the sense is, that Jerusalem would become exceedingly beautiful in the sight of God.

Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken, neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzibah and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. — thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; as a woman forsaken by her husband. Neither shall thy land be termed Desolate; neither shall thy places of worship be empty, and thine ordinances of service be unfrequented. He alludes to the desolation of Judah during the Babylonish captivity.

For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. — for as a young man marries a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee; as a young man, having married a virgin, possesses and enjoys her, and lives and dwells with her in great harmony and love, having a delight and complacency in her, there being a suitableness in her person and age.

“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, who shall never hold their peace day nor night.” Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, — I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem; as the prophets of the Old Testament are called watchmen (Ezekiel 3:17; 33:2,7); pastors and ministers in the New Testament often come with false doctrines;

— parallel Scriptures in Ezekiel 34: And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds: Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

and give Him no rest till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. — till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth; that it may be the subject of universal commendation and rejoicing, instead of being an object of reproach and scorn. 

8 The Lord hath sworn by His right hand and by the arm of His strength: “Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies, and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine for which thou hast labored; — surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the strangers shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: this was threatened to the people of Israel, in case of sinning against God, and revolting from him; and was accomplished in the times of their captivity in Babylon, Deuteronomy 28:33.

but they that have gathered it shall eat it and praise the Lord; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.” — but they that have gathered it shall eat it; there shall be a state of security, so that every man may enjoy the avails of his own labor. Nothing is a more certain indication of liberty and prosperity than this – that every man may securely enjoy the avails of his own labor.

10 Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people. Cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. — Go through, go through the gates; it is doubled by way of emphasis: make haste to your own land; as if Cyrus should say, Get you out of captivity as soon as you will, Isaiah 48:20.

— the Targum: “the prophet said, pass by, and return through the gates; turn the heart of the people to the right way; publish good things and comforts to the righteous, who remove the thought of the evil imagination, which was as a stone of stumbling; lift up a sign to the people.”

11 Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world: “Say ye to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with Him, and His work before Him.’” — Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world; so it will be in the latter day when the truth shall be preached to all nations, from one end of the world to the other, Revelation 14:6;

— the word behold is three times used in this verse, to raise attention to what is said, and as pointing out something wonderful, and to express the certainty of it.

12 And they shall call them the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and thou shalt be called Sought Out, a City Not Forsaken. — thus does the prophecy close by returning to a direct address to Zion-Jerusalem – “thee will men call derūshâh,” sought assiduously, i.e., one whose welfare men, and still more Yehovah, are zealously concerned to promote (compare the opposite in Jeremiah 30:17) – “a city that will not be forsaken,” that is, a city men will gladly settle, and which will never be without inhabitants again.

Solomon’s Prayer (I)

•April 20, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Solomon’s Prayer For Wisdom

Solomon’s Prayer is another example for us to study and emulate, especially what we should ask for if we are asking for something. His concern was to pray for God’s people, and he asked for wisdom to judge his people, which requires discernment.

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this; and God replied not just a wise and discerning mind, but also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with him in all his days. And if he will walk in his ways, keeping his statutes and my commandments, as his father David walked, then God will also lengthen his days.

1 Kings 3:

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I shall give thee.”

And Solomon said, “Thou hast shown unto Thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before Thee in truth and in righteousness and in uprightness of heart with Thee; and Thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

And now, O Lord my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king instead of David my father. And I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in.

And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people whom Thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.

Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people?”

10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

11 And God said unto him, “Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment,

12 behold, I have done according to thy words. Lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart, so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.

14 And if thou wilt walk in My ways to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.”

15 And Solomon awoke; and behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

The Feast of Tabernacles

•April 19, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The Feast of Tabernacles during the Millenium will be kept by people all over the world, regardless of localities or nationalities! The Q is, why are people not keeping it now?

Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass that every one who is left of all the nations which came 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.

17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

18 And if the family of Egypt go not up and come not, upon whom there is no rain, there shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen who come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses: “Holiness Unto The Lord.” And the pots in the Lord’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar;

21 yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts, and all those who sacrifice shall come and take of them and boil therein. And in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 14:16-21

Isaiah (Ch 59-60)

•April 18, 2022 • 1 Comment

Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass that every one who is left of all the nations which came 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.

17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. Zechariah 14:16-17

Isaiah 59

1 Behold, the Lord’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. — behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened; he is not grown weaker than informer times, but is as omnipotent as ever he was; neither his ear heavy; or dull of hearing: he is not like your idol gods that have hands and cannot help, and ears and cannot hear.

But your iniquities have separated you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear. — but your iniquities have separated; have been as a thick wall between you and your God; and have set him at a distance from you.

For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. — your hands are defiled with blood: here the prophet comes from a more general to a more particular charge against them; by blood we are to understand either murders and bloodshed properly so called; or ways of injustice, extortion, oppression and cruelties, whereby men are deprived of a livelihood;

— your lips have spoken lies: or “falsehood” that is, false doctrines so called because contrary to the word of truth and which deceive men: like misplacing the Messiah in Isaiah 52:13 as Jacob in place of the Moshiach or Saviour, our Redeemer; willfully misidentifying the Suffering Servant by having their tongue muttering perverseness so as to make God’s revelation of no effect;

— that the lamb for Pascha was/is an act of defiance to the Egyptians who regarded lamb as the Egyptians’ deity, rather than a symbol of the death of the Messiah, our Moshiach or Saviour, our Redeemer, but the Orthodox still regard it only as an act of defiance to the Egyptians god, the Ram-god Khnum; the Scriptures nowhere say this, but is only a baloney figment of Jewish imagination, another muttered perverseness.

None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth; they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity. — none calleth for justice; none seek to redress these wrongs and violences; they commit all rapines and frauds with impunity; they trust in vanity; in vain and empty words, void of all consistency; or in vain things such as their idols were often called vanity and nothing;

— and speak lies; this may refer to the judges, lawyers and false prophets, who told them they should not go into captivity; or teach false doctrines:

— the house of Israel is still indulging in lies, they conceive mischief; 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;

— and worshipping Mithra or Mitra (the Sun-God whose birthday many drunks honor and celebrate on December 25th but repackaged and christianised such idolatry as Christian in their mischief), 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.

They hatch adders’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. — they hatch cockatrice’ eggs; or a poisonous serpent’s; they contrive and execute wicked purposes and practices whereby sure and sudden destruction is brought upon themselves and others. Of the cockatrice or basilisk, one kind is put for any venomous creature. The speech is proverbial, signifying by these eggs mischievous designs like Pascha for the Egyptian’s Ram-god Khnum discussed above.

Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works; their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. — their webs shall not become garments; the spider’s web is unfit for clothing; that their works are as unfit to secure salvation as the attenuated web of a spider is for raiment;

— their works are works of iniquity: both of preacher and hearer; even their best works are sinful; not only as being imperfect and having a mixture of sin in them and so filthy rags, insufficient to justify them before God; and the act of violence is in their hands; they persecuting such that preach and profess the contrary.

Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. — their feet run to evil; make haste to commit all manner of sin, and particularly that which follows, with great eagerness and swiftness, taking delight and pleasure therein and continuing in it; it is their course of life;

— and they make haste to shed innocent blood: in wars abroad or at home, in quarrels and riots, or through the heat of persecution; which if it does not directly touch men’s lives, yet issues in the death of many that fall under the power of it; as in Iraq (under the pretext of getting rid of WMD); and Afghanistan (to bring peace and democracy there), killing millions along the way.

The way of peace they know not, and there is no judgment in their goings; they have made them crooked paths; whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. — there is no judgement in their deeds: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace; they are of such turbulent spirits, living in such continual contentions and discords.

Therefore is judgement far from us, neither doth justice overtake us; we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. — therefore is judgement far from us; because we have no regard for justice or honesty, God will not plead our cause against our oppressors; neither doth justice overtake us; He does not defend our rights, nor avenge our wrongs; as if he had said, If we had executed judgement and equity among one another, they would not now have been far from us;

— we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness; or “for brightnesses” for much clear light; the Targum says, for brightness, but behold, we are walking in obscurity.

10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. — we grope for the wall like the blind; a blind man, not being able to see his way, feels along by a wall, a fence or any other object that will guide him. They were like the blind; they had no distinct views of truth and they were endeavoring to feel their way along as well as they could;

— probably the prophet here alludes to the threatening made by Moses in Deuteronomy 28:28-29, ‘And the Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart; and thou shalt grope at noon-day as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways.’

— we are in desolate places as dead men; or in fat places, dead in trespasses and sin and at most have only a name to live but are dead. Some render it, “in the graves” and the Targum thus, “it is shut before us, as the graves are shut before the dead.”

11 We all roar like bears, and mourn sore like doves; we look for judgement, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. — we roar all like bears; a heavy judgements awaits which could come upon them for their sins. The word rendered here ‘roar’ – to hum, spoken of bees, is applied to any murmuring or confused noise or sound. It sometimes means to snarl as a dog;

— mourns like doves in solitude: this expresses the secret groanings under a sense of sin, and the forlorn state of religion. The Targum paraphrases it thus, “we roar because of our enemies, who are gathered against us as bears; all of us indeed mourn sore as doves.”

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before Thee, and our sins testify against us. For our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know them: — for our transgressions; the word פשׁעונו here signifies sins of a high nature, namely, such as were wilfully committed against light and knowledge; rebellious sins;

— are multiplied before thee; they admit of no excuse; for they are committed before thee, and multiplied against thee, whereby thou art justly provoked to deny us all help; as for our iniquities, we know them; we are convinced of them; our guilty consciences must own and acknowledge them.

13 in transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. — in transgressing; that is, we have been guilty of this as a continuous act;

— and lying against the Lord; we have proved false to God; though we have been professedly his people, yet we have been secretly attached to idols, and have in our hearts been devoted to the service of false gods. And departing away from our God; by the worship of idols, and by the violation of his law.

14 And judgement is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. — and judgement is turned away backward; the word ‘judgement’ is used in the sense of justice, or lust decisions between man and man. The verse contains a further confession of the evil of their course of life; and, among other things, they acknowledged that they had been influenced by partiality and by bribes; they had condemned the innocent, they had acquitted the guilty.

15 Yea, truth faileth, and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. And the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgement. — yea, truth fails; that is, it is not to be found, it is missing; it means that truth had no existence there;

— and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey; he that does not give in to the prevailing vices of the age in which he lives, now become fashionable, but abstains from them, and departs from doctrinal as well as practical evils; from all false doctrines, and from all superstitious modes of worship; becomes a prey to others; a reproach and a laughing stock to them; they scoff at him, and deride him for his preciseness in religion;

— and the Lord saw it and it displeased him that there was no judgement; he took notice of all this and resented it that there was no judgement; no order or discipline observed; that are simple and innocent are outwitted by the crafty and fraudulent; that they are not willing, or rather daring, to oppose fraud with justice and to do all things in sincerity; that no justice done to evil teachings or punishments from the civil courts.

16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore his arm brought salvation unto Him, and his righteousness, it sustained Him. — and he saw that there was no man; that is, no wise and prudent man qualified to govern the affairs of the people. Or, that there was no man qualified to interpose and put an end to these evils; no one qualified to save the nation from the calamities which their sins deserved. 

17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon His head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. — for he put on righteousness as a breastplate; here the Lord is represented as a warrior clothed with armour, and as he will appear in the latter day on the behalf of his people, and against their enemies, who is called faithful and true and in righteousness will make war;

— and was clad with zeal as a cloak; with zeal for his own glory, and the interest of his people and against all enemies against all pagan worship and false doctrines; and therefore his eyes are said to be as a flame of fire and vengeance against the foes of God at His second coming.

18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the islands He will repay recompense. — according to their deeds, accordingly he will repay; as the enemies of his people have treated them, so will the Lord deal with them; as they have shed their blood, he will, according to the laws of retribution and retaliation, give them blood to drink, as they deserve.

19 So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. — fear the name of the Lord; as hath been often showed, the fear to make his name renowned.

— from the west, viz. the western part of the world; His glory, or the glorious God; from the rising of the sun, viz. the eastern parts of the world. The whole world, the one half will be east and the other west; it shall fear and worship God, and make his name renowned, laying aside their idolatries; whether they refer it to the deliverance of his people out of Babylon, when they shall hear how God hath executed vengeance on his enemies; or to the redemption by Christ, and the calling of the Gentiles.

20 “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob,” saith the Lord. — the Targum says, “and the Redeemer shall come to Zion and to turn the transgressors of the house of Jacob to the law.”

21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” saith the Lord; “My spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed,” saith the Lord, “from henceforth and for ever.” — the Targum interprets this of the words of prophecy; and of the law not departing from the disciples of wise men; but it is best to understand it of the truth not departing from all the elects and the seed of the elect.

Isaiah 60

1 Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. — Arise, shine; the Targum and the Septuagint add, “O Jerusalem” and no doubt but the kingdom of God is addressed, composed of first the Jews and also incorporating the Gentiles later.

For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. — for, behold, darkness shall cover the earth; ignorance, idolatry and all kinds of errors and vices; and gross darkness the people; like that of Egypt; the most palpable blindness and infatuation as to divine things.

And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. — the Gentiles shall come to thy light; or shall be allured by thy light to come to thee, as travellers in a dark night and out of their way when a light discovers itself make to it; and wish them much joy but shall rejoice to participate with them in their happiness.

“Lift up thine eyes round about and see; all they gather themselves together, they come to thee; thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. — the Targum says, “lift up thine eyes O Jerusalem, round about, and see all the children of the people of thy captivity”

— all they gather themselves and come to thee: this seems to have respect not just the Gentiles, but to the Jews themselves who are scattered up and down in the world; but now shall gather together in a body and go up to Jerusalem, where they will go to keep the feast of tabernacles, Zechariah 14:16-21.

Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass that every one who is left of all the nations which came 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.

17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

18 And if the family of Egypt go not up and come not, upon whom there is no rain, there shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen who come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses: “Holiness Unto The Lord.” And the pots in the Lord’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar;

21 yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts, and all those who sacrifice shall come and take of them and boil therein. And in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 14:16-21

Then thou shalt see and flow together, and thine heart shall fear and be enlarged, because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. — the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee; not only common people but even their armies; the soldiery will be converted as well as the seafaring men who are for the most part also exceeding wicked; not only kings will become real converts but their armies will be so too, their generals, officers and common soldiers.

The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord.

All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee; they shall come up with acceptance on Mine altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory.

“Who are these that fly as a cloud and as the doves to their windows? — who are these that fly as a cloud? – in multitudes so numerous, that they appear as a dense cloud; so numerous as to excite surprise, and to lead to the question, Who can they be? It is not uncommon to compare a multitude of persons to a cloud.

Surely the isles shall wait for Me—and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath glorified thee. — surely the isles shall wait for me; the Targum says, “for my Word.”

— the Messiah and his coming; the isles of Great Britain may be intended, who, as they waited for his Kingdom and readily received it as soon as it was brought to them which was very early; so there are many here now waiting for the spiritual coming of the Messiah and his glory in the latter day and perhaps in other part of the world.

10 “And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee; for in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favor have I had mercy on thee. — for in my wrath I smote thee for the Jews’ rejection of the prophets and the Messiah; wrath came upon them to the uttermost, upon their city, temple, nation and to each of their destructions.

11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night, that men may bring unto thee the wealth of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. — thy gates shall be open continually; it implies (1) a state of peace in which there would be no danger of attack; and (2) the constant stream of caravans of pilgrims, with their offerings, entering by night as well as day.

12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. — the Targum says: for the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee, O Jerusalem, shall perish; yea, those nations shall utterly be destroyed.

13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet glorious. — the glory of Lebanon; the prophet sees in the new Jerusalem a revival of the glories of the days of Solomon. The cedars of Lebanon, and other trees of the forest, are to furnish timber for its buildings or even to be planted in the courts of the Temple or in its open places and streets;

— the place of my feet is clearly parallel with the “sanctuary” of the previous clause; so the word “footstool” is used of the Temple in Psalm 99:5; Psalm 132:7.

14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee, and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. — the sons of them that afflicted thee; that is, even the descendants of those who had oppressed them would become tributary to them and acknowledge them as favored by the Almighty; shall come bending unto thee; shall come to time in a posture of humiliation and respect.

15 “Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. — whereas thou hast been forsaken; thy being forsaken, that is, thy subsequent prosperity shall come in the place of thy being forsaken. The forsaking here refers to the various calamities, persecutions and trials, which she had been called to endure;

— so that no man went through thee; when the country was desolate and abandoned that no caravan passed from one part of it to another or made it a thoroughfare in going to other lands.

16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings; and thou shalt know that I the Lord, am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. — the mighty one of Jacob; styled so either with reference to Jacob’s person, he being the first that gave God this title, Genesis 49:24;

— or with reference to Jacob’s posterity, viz. the Jews. These things will certainly be accomplished; for he is the mighty God, and so able; and the God of Jacob, so obliged by covenant and relation.

17 “For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood, brass, and for stones, iron. I will also make thy officers peace and thine exactors righteousness. — for brass I will bring gold: here is the effect of the former promise: thy poverty shall be turned to riches, all things shall be altered for the best; an allusion to the days of Solomon, when gold was as brass: thus, on the contrary, when they change for the worse in the state, it uses to be expressed by the like metaphors, Isaiah 21 Isa 22 Isa 23.

18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation and thy gates Praise. — violence shall no more be heard; neither the threats and triumphs of those that do violence, nor the outcries and complaints of those that suffer it, shall be heard again, but every man shall peaceably enjoy his own.

19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. — the sun shall be no more thy light; the light of the sun and moon shall not be at all esteemed in comparison of the light of the Kingdom, which shall be so glorious as to eclipse all the light formerly enjoyed by her, the divine glory and majesty.

20 Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. — the Targum says, “thy kingdom shall cease no more and thy glory shall not be removed.”

21 Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. — that I may be glorified; God would be glorified in having made so ample provision for our welfare, and in their being made glorious by him. He is always glorified when others enjoy the fruits of his benevolence and when they are made pure and happy as the result of his purposes and plans.

22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation; I, the Lord, will hasten it in his time.” — a little one shall become a thousand; there shall be a great increase, as if one and that the smallest should be multiplied to a thousand;

— his time; not our time; we might wish to hasten it but it will come in due time as in the case of Yeshua’s first and second comings; so in that of the restoration of Israel and the conversion of the world in his time.

Daniel’s Prayer

•April 17, 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 mercies.

Making no excuses, Daniel confessed his people’s sin and acknowledged the justice of God’s judgement, severe though it had been. 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 beloved.”

Daniel is greatly loved, his example of a Prayer should be emulated and studied today. For example (1), he does not say “they” but instead, “we” incorporating the reality that all have sinned and all need forgiveness, (2) instead of justifying, Daniel freely knowledges his and his nation’s iniquities, wickedness and rebellion against the Most High and (3) asks for forgiveness and mercies on behalf of his people.

Daniel’s Prayer is found in Daniel 9

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.

And I (Daniel) set my face unto the Lord God, seeking by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.

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,

we have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgements.

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.

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.

O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against Thee.

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.

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 her own sins; Period!

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 wicked 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. 

Isaiah (Ch 57-58)

•April 16, 2022 • 1 Comment

“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, then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it,” Isaiah 58:13-14

Isaiah 57

1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. — the righteous are delivered from the sting of death; the careless world disregards this. Few lament it as a public loss and very few notice it as a public warning; they are taken away in compassion and that they may not see the evil, nor share in it, nor be tempted by it. The righteous man, when he dies, enters into peace and rest.

He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. — he shall enter into peace, or ‘he shall go in peace.’ So the Septuagint, ‘his sepulchre shall be in peace.’ The idea is, that by his death the righteous man shall enter into rest; he shall get away from conflict, strife, agitation and distress.

“But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. — draw near to face God’s tribunal, to receive your sentence; though Hezekiah and Josiah had made a great change when each ascended the throne and had done their best to put down idolatry, yet it was still dear among the people, and was easily revived each of their sons; thus the Jews were guilty of idolatry before the captivity; but not after that affliction.

Against whom do ye sport yourselves? Against whom make ye a wide mouth and draw out the tongue? Are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood, CSB Who are you mocking? Who are you opening your mouth and sticking out your tongue at? Isn’t it you, you rebellious children, you offspring of liars,

inflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clefts of the rocks? — inflaming yourselves with idols; being inflamed or growing hot after idols; that is, lusting after them and mad upon them;

— under the clefts of the rocks; dark and shady groves; deep and sombre caverns were the places where the abominable rites of the pagan superstitions were practiced.

Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot. Even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these? — among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; or thy god; but the portion of Jacob is not like them, stocks and stones, Jeremiah 10:16;

— whenever they could pick up smooth stones and such as were fit for their purpose, whether in the stream of a brook or in a valley as the word also signifies, they polished and formed them into an image and made gods of them; and these were their portion and inheritance and which they left to their children.

Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed; even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice. —upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed; temples and altars which are usually built on high places where they commit spiritual adultery; that is, idolatry in imitation of the heathens who had their temples and altars on high places;

— the Targum says, “on a high and lofty mountain thou hast the place of the house of thy dwelling” which agrees very well with the great city the seat of the beast; like the temple at Mount Gerizim and later the church of Rome.

Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance; for thou hast uncovered thyself to another than Me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it. — behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance of thy idols, as the Targum says.

And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell. — thou went to the king, that is, the king of Assyria or Egypt to whom the Israelites were very prone to seek, and trust and send presents.

10 Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, ‘There is no hope.’ Thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved. — thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; thou hast not eased or relieved but only tired thyself with all thy tedious journeys and laborious endeavours.

11 “And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered Me, nor laid it to thy heart? Have not I held My peace even of old, and thou fearest Me not? — and of whom hast thou been afraid or feared? and what or who are they the fear of whom drives thee to these wicked and desperate courses? Are they not men, weak and mortal creatures such as wholly depend upon me and can do nothing to thee either against me or without me?

— and hast not remembered me; or “for thou hast not remembered me nor laid it to thy heart?” or “put me upon thy heart” – the Targum says, “and hast not remembered my worship, nor put my fear upon thy heart.”

12 I will declare thy righteousness and thy works, for they shall not profit thee.

13 When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away, vanity shall take them. But he that putteth his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My holy mountain, — when thou criest; in the time of thy trouble;

— let thy companies deliver thee; properly, “a gathering; a throng; a collection.” Here it refers either to the throngs of the idols which they had collected, and on which they relied; or to the collection of foreigners which they had summoned to their assistance; if people trust to other objects for aid than the arm of God, they will be left in the day of trial to such assistance as they can render them.

14 And shall say, ‘Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way; take up the stumbling block out of the way of My people.’” — the Targum says, “and he shall say, teach and admonish, prepare (or direct) the heart of the people to the right way, remove the stumblingblock of the wicked out of the way of my people.”

15 For thus saith the high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. — for thus saith the high and lofty; the central truth for the comfort of God’s people is that the infinitely Great One cares even for the infinitely little;

— whose name is Holy; who is omnipotent, everlasting, and unchangeable, holy in all his words and ways, and therefore both can and will deliver his people, as he hath promised to do.

16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before Me, and the souls which I have made. — for I will not contend for ever; I will not be angry with my people forever, nor always refuse to pardon and comfort them;

— the Targum says, for I will not take vengeance of judgement forever, neither shall my wrath be eternal.

17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth and smote him; I hid Me and was wroth, and he went on waywardly in the way of his heart. — the Targum says, “my wrath is upon them on account of their robbed riches, and I smote them; I removed my Shekinah from them, and cast them out.”

MSG: A Message from the high and towering God, who lives in Eternity, whose name is Holy: “I live in the high and holy places, but also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed, And what I do is put new spirit in them, get them up and on their feet again.

For I’m not going to haul people into court endlessly, I’m not going to be angry forever. Otherwise, people would lose heart. These souls I created would tire out and give up. I was angry, good and angry, because of Israel’s sins. I struck him hard and turned away in anger, while he kept at his stubborn, willful ways.

When I looked again and saw what he was doing, I decided to heal him, lead him, and comfort him, creating a new language of praise for the mourners. Peace to the far-off, peace to the near-at-hand,” says God— “and yes, I will heal them.

But the wicked are storm-battered seas that can’t quiet down. The waves stir up garbage and mud. There’s no peace,” God says, “for the wicked.”

18 I have seen his ways and will heal him; I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.

19 I create the fruit of the lips; peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near,” saith the Lord; “and I will heal him.

20 “But the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. — but the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest; disturbed by winds, storms and hurricanes, when its waves rise, rage and tumble about, and beat against the shore and sand, threatening to pass the bounds fixed for it;

— the Septuagint renders it, ‘But the wicked are tossed like waves and are not able to be at rest.’ 

21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” — but the wicked, who persist in the alienation from God are incapable of the peace which God brings to His people: they are like the sea in its tossed and stormy state; as this cannot rest and as its waters cast out slime and mud, so has their natural state become one of perpetual disturbance, leading to the uninterrupted production of unclean and ungodly thoughts, words and works.

Isaiah 58

1 “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet! And show My people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sins. — Cry aloud; literally, with the throat, i.e., with no faint whisper as from stammering lips, but with full strength of voice; and so the Targum expresses it, “O prophet, cry with thy throat;”

— Lift up thy voice like a trumpet; Speak loud and distinct, so that the language of reproof may be heard; and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins:

Hosea 1:11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. — her feast days; which “Christians” understand and practice are:

(a) Christmas, which honor the Mithraism – a form of nature worship based on the Sun-Goddess Mithra who on the darkest night of the year (December 20/21), gives birth to “Light” causing each day thereafter to grow longer until the Summer solstice; and

(b) Easters, a celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex. Her symbols (like the egg and bunny) were and still are fertility and sex symbols; and to those who actually think eggs and bunnies have something to do with the resurrection; and

(c) her sabbaths which is Sundays, where the original keepers were the Samaritans, brought from Assyria: And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria and dwelt in the cities thereof, II Kings 17:24.

Yet they seek Me daily and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. — yet they seek me daily; they cover all their wickedness with a profession of religion, from time to time resorting to my house, pretending to ask counsel of me and to desire and seek my favour and blessing. And delight to know my ways;

— that is, either, (a) they seem to delight to know them, men being often said in Scripture to be or do that which they seem or profess to be or do: or (b) they really delight; for there are many men who take some pleasure in knowing God’s will and word, and yet do not conform their lives to them.

‘Why have we fasted,’ say they, ‘and Thou seest not? Why have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no note?’ Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. — in those solemn days of fasting which I have appointed; or in those times when I have called you by the course of my providence and counsels of my prophets, unto fasting, weeping and mourning, yet ye find pleasure, indulging in pride, covetousness and malignant passions.

— in the day of your fast ye find pleasure; better, ye carry on your business. Fasts were not governed like the Sabbath by a fixed law and the people consequently lost sight of the true end of fasting—prayer, meditation, penitence.

Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness; ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. — ye fast for strife and contention; it produced a quarrelsome temper which even led to open violence,—“smiting with godless fist;”

— to make your voice to be heard on high; that is in strife and contention that your voice can be heard on the mountain top that their prayers would ascend to heaven and be heard by God.

Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? — a fast is a day to afflict the soul; if it does not express true sorrow for sin it is not a fast. These pretenders had shown sorrow on stated or occasioned fasts, but they indulged in pride, covetousness and malignant passions.

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? — is not this the fast that I have chosen? – or approve, fasting is right and proper; but that which God approves and follows by deeds of humility, justice and kindness.

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?—when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? — — to share your bread with the hungry and to offer shelter to the homeless poor, to clothe the naked when you behold them and not turn your back on your own kin;

MSG: “This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.

I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. — then shall thy light; cause of rejoicing, break forth as the morning; arise as certainly and speedily as in the morning the light arises out of darkness.

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, ‘Here I am.’ If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger and speaking vanity, — “the putting forth of the finger” – pointing at those that could not comply with them, by way of scorn and derision and persecuting them for it; and so is the same with smiting with the fist of wickedness.

10 and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity and thy darkness be as the noonday. — then shall thy light rise in obscurity; that is, it will be as if the cheerful light of the sun should rise amidst the shades of midnight; their calamities and trials would be suddenly succeeded by the bright and cheerful light of prosperity.

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. — like a watered garden; like a garden for the pleasure and beauty of it, a paradise; like a garden watered for the continual flourishing of thy estate; there shall be no withering or decay upon thy prosperous condition.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shalt be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Paths to dwell in. — thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; either such foundations as have been razed up and lay so for ages past; or raise up such as shall continue for generations to come;

— and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach and the restorer of paths to dwell in; the Targum says, “they shall call thee one that confirms the right way, and converts, the ungodly to the law.”

13 “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, — the sabbath is a sign between God and his people; his appointing it is a sign of his favour to them; and their observing it is a sign of their obedience to him;

— and call the Sabbath a delight; this appropriately expresses the feelings of all who have any just views of the Sabbath. To them it is not wearisome, nor are its hours heavy. They love the day of sweet and holy rest; they esteem it a privilege, not a task, to be permitted once a week to disburden their minds of the cares, and toils, and anxieties of life. It is a ‘delight’ to them to recall the memory of the institution of the Sabbath, when God rested from his labours.

14 then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” — then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord: that is, if thou wilt delight thyself in the sabbath, then thou shalt delight in the God of the sabbath; or thou shalt have cause to delight in the Lord, in his goodness and faithfulness to thee and so shalt live by faith in him as the Fountain of all good.

Doing Without the Dollar

•April 15, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Pessimism used to be for monetary cranks; now even Goldman Sachs warns the dollar will go the way of the pound

ASIATIMES by David Goldman / April 13, 2022

NEW YORK – The staggering sum of US$18 trillion – nearly equal to a year’s gross domestic product (GDP) – is the amount that the United States has taken in from foreigners since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008.

A $34 (plus $30 more?) trillion Bubble about to Burst?

The notion that the dollar’s dominance in world finance might come to an end was a fringe view only five years ago when America’s net foreign investment position was a mere negative $8 trillion. Now one reads forecasts of the end of the dollar era in research reports by Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.

Washington’s seizure of Russian foreign exchange reserves seems like a self-defeating measure given America’s enormous and accelerating dependence on foreign borrowing. Paradoxically, America’s strength lies in its weakness: A sudden end to the dollar’s leading role in world finance would have devastating consequences for the US economy, as well as the economies of its trading partners.

In addition to the $18 trillion of net foreign investment in the US, foreigners keep about US $16 trillion in overseas bank deposits to finance international transactions. That’s $34 trillion of foreign financing against a US GDP of not quite $23 trillion. Foreigners also have enormous exposure to the US stock and real estate markets.

And David Goldman didn’t include the $30 trillion national debt to this $34 trillion Bubble!

No one – least of all China with its $3 trillion in reserves– wants a run against the dollar and dollar assets. But the world’s central banks are reducing dollar exposure, cautiously but steadily.

The trickle of diversification out of dollars could turn into a flood. What the International Monetary Fund on March 22 called “the stealth erosion of dollar dominance” prefigures a not-so-stealthy exit from the dollar. Unlike Nebuchadnezzars’ handwriting on the wall, the king’s soothsayers can read the message as plain as day.

“Be afraid,” warns David Goldman, “Be very afraid!”

Notably, Russia’s central bank cut the share of the US dollar in its reserves from 21% a year ago to just 11% in January, while increasing the share of RMB to 17% from 13% a year ago. Russia’s central bank has also bought more gold than any other institution in recent years.

With just 8% of world export volume versus China’s 15%, the reserve role of the US dollar no longer reflects American economic strength. It derives, perversely, from the rest of the world’s desire to save.

The populations of the world’s high-income countries are aging rapidly. In 2001, 28% of their people were aged 50 years or older; by 2040 the proportion will reach 45%. Aging populations save for retirement. The Germans and Japanese save nearly 30% of GDP, and the Chinese save 44%; Americans save just 18% of GDP.

For the past 15 years, American consumers have spent on goods each year roughly a trillion dollars more than were brought in by American exports.

The import-led consumption boom and the availability of cheap electronics from China and other Asian exporters fed a digital entertainment boom that inflated the stock prices of Apple, Microsoft, Google, Meta and other US software companies.

“Be afraid,” David Goldman warns of the biggest bubble of a $34 (plus $30 more?) trillions about to burst, “Be very afraid!”

Foreigners then invested their earnings from exports in US tech stocks, as well as government bonds, real estate and so forth. The tech boom harmed the US economy far more than it helped it, reducing American teenagers to risk-averse recluses addicted to smartphones and social media while generating stock market valuations never before imagined.

The result is the biggest bubble in world financial history. When the Covid-19 pandemic threatened to collapse the bubble, the US government added $6 trillion in stimulus to the economy. That restarted the tech bubble, which explains why the US net foreign investment position fell by another $6 trillion between 2019 and 2022, to today’s negative $18 trillion level.

Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD saith thus: “Wailing shall be in all streets, and they shall say in all the highways, ‘Alas! Alas!’ And they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skillful in lamentation to wailing.

And in all vineyards shall be wailing, for I will pass through thee,” saith the LORD.
Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! To what end is it for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, and not light:

as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.

Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it? Amos 5:16-20

The Sabbaths

•April 14, 2022 • Leave a Comment

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.

Both the Weekly and Annual Sabbaths; blessed are those who keep them!

Leviticus 23

1 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,

2 “Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them: ‘Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts.

3 “‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, a holy convocation. Ye shall do no work therein; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.

4 “‘These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is the Lord’S Passover.

6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread unto the Lord; seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

7 On the first day ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work therein.

8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work therein.’”

9 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,

10 “Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them: ‘When ye come into the land which I give unto you and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest.

11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf a helamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord.

13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two-tenths part of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet savor; and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, a fourth part of a hin.

14 And ye shall eat neither bread nor parched corn nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

15 “‘And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete.

16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days, and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.

17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two-tenths part. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.

18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock and two rams; they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offering and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savor unto the Lord.

19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.

20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord with the two lambs; they shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.

21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day that it may be a holy convocation unto you. Ye shall do no servile work therein; it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

22 “‘And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not rid cleanly the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleanings of thy harvest. Thou shalt leave them unto the poor and to the stranger: I am the Lord your God.’”

23 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,

24 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.

25 Ye shall do no servile work therein, but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.’”

26 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,

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.

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.

29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

31 Ye shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

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.”

33 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,

34 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord.

35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work therein.

36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. On the eighth day shall be a holy convocation unto you, and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. It is a solemn assembly, and ye shall do no servile work therein.

37 “‘These are the feasts of the Lord which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering and a meat offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, every thing upon his day”

38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which ye give unto the Lord.

39 “‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days; on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.

40 And ye shall take for yourselves on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.

41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations; ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths,

43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’”

44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

Isaiah (Ch 55-56)

•April 13, 2022 • 1 Comment

“God’s favor rests on those who attend to justice, who devote themselves to doing what is right, Who keep the Sabbath and don’t disregard or belittle it, who keep from doing what is wrong: destructive, deceitful, or violent” Isaiah 56:2 VOICE

Isaiah 55

1 “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. — Ho – (הוי hôy). This word here is designed to call attention to the subject as one of importance;

— every one that thirsts; the word ‘thirst’ often indicates intense desire and is thus applied to the sense of want which sinners often have and to their anxious wishes for salvation.

Why do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. — wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? Lavish away time, opportunities, and strength, in reading and hearing false doctrine, which is not bread, but chaff; and the errors and heresies of false teachers:

— and let your soul delight itself in fatness; in the goodness and fatness of the Lord’s house, attending on the word and ordinances with spiritual pleasure and delight; and which is the way to become fat and flourishing in spiritual things.

Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. — Hear; hearken attentively and obediently to my counsel; hearing being oft put for obeying, as Deuteronomy 18:15; or as the Targum says, “Incline your ear and receive instruction of my law.”

Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. — behold, I have given him; this is evidently the language of God respecting the Messiah, or of David as representing the Messiah;

— a leader and commander to the people; he is a “leader” as David the type of him did; as a general leads out and on his armies to battle; as a shepherd leads his flock to good pastures; He is a “commander” in a military way, a wise, powerful and courageous, and always victorious as a King commands his subjects; the Targum says, “behold, I have appointed him a Prince to the people, a King, and a ruler over all kingdoms.”

Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee.” — and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee; knew not even God himself as the Gentiles did not, much less the Messiah;

— they knew neither his person nor his offices, nor the way of peace, and were in a state of gross darkness; and to whom the Gospel was not known, which is a revelation of Christ, and of good things by him. The Targum adds, “to bring tribute unto thee.”

Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near. — Seek ye the Lord; the commencement of religion in the heart is often represented as a desire to seek God; and inquiring for his ways Deuteronomy 4:29;

— so the Targum says, “seek the fear of the Lord, while ye are alive.” Or as one in the Jerusalem Talmud interprets these words, “whilst the Shechinah is found in the sanctuary; before he hides his face, and causes his Shechinah to remove from you.”

Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. — let the wicked forsake his way; his evil way, as the Targum paraphrases it, his wicked course of life; and which is his own way, of his own choosing, and in which he delights;

— and let him return unto the Lord; from whom he has departed, against whom he has sinned; and acknowledges his sin before the Lord, attends his word and worship; the Targum says, “and let him turn to the worship of the Lord.”

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” saith the Lord. — notice the remarkable order and alternation of pronouns in the first verse. ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts,’ saith the Lord; the things that God thinks and purposes are not the things that man thinks and purposes and therefore because the thoughts are different the outcomes of them in deeds are divergent.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. — the Almighty God’s thoughts transcend those of man as much as the heaven is higher than the earth.

10 For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, — for as the rain come down and the snow from heaven return not; rain and snow come down from the clouds in the heavens and do not return again until they have done what they are sent to do, or have produced the following effects; otherwise they may be exhaled into vapours as they often are and drawn up again by the sun.

11 so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: It shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. — this is set forth under a figure drawn from the rain and the snow. “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and return not till it has moistened the earth and fertilized it and made it green and offered seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

— so will my word be which go forth out of my mouth: it will not return to me fruitless, till it has accomplished that which I willed, and prosperously carried out that for which I sent it.”

12 “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. — for ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; though these words may literally respect the Israelites’ return from captivity to their own land, attended with joy and peace; as the preceding verse may respect the word of promise concerning it;

— as it is interpreted by the Targum, “for with joy shall ye go out from among the nations, and with peace shall ye be brought to your own land.”

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” — instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; whereas your land was filled with thorns and briers, as was foretold, Isaiah 7:24, they shall be rooted out, and it shall be planted with fir trees and myrtle trees, and such other trees which are useful either for fruit or for delight.

Isaiah 56

1 Thus saith the Lord, “Keep ye judgement, and do justice; for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. — keep ye judgement and do justice: this phrase elsewhere signifies the duties which one man owe to another but here it seems to signify the duties which men owe to God, to be held fast and abode by; which are his statutes and judgments; and so likewise all the ordinances of the Lord, all these should be kept.

Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; who keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.” — that keep the Sabbath from polluting it; here lies in the nature of the case that a devout king like David, Hezekiah and Josiah would be observers of the Sabbath;

— instead of observing the Sabbath, today, more than 98.5 percent of Christians are keeping Sunday, in fact they’re honouring the Sun by observing Sunday worship. 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 – ’till they die.

— also, following the SUN-worshipping Samaritans, most Church of God Communities are showing their contempt for God by having their “wavesheaf offering” and Pentecost on a Sunday; always on a Sunday. And these are supposedly in God’s Sanctuary, but God says He is a jealous God, so these pretentious Christians could be spewed out of His mouth! A death penalty Deuteronomy 17:3-5 – ’till they die!

Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, “The Lord hath utterly separated me from His people”; neither let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” — the son of the stranger; the stranger who keep the Sabbath is as the blessed son of Israel, the same with the blessed man in Isaiah 56:2; the Gentile, who by birth is a stranger to God, and also of the commonwealth of Israel;

— neither would such a stranger who keeps the Sabbath says, Behold, I am a dry tree – A dry tree is an emblem of that which is barren, useless, unfruitful.

For thus saith the Lord: “Unto the eunuchs that keep My Sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant, — for thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs; even the eunuchs, who have hitherto been excluded from the privileges of the people of God and who have been regarded as a separated and degraded people shall be admitted to the same privileges as others;

— that keep my sabbaths – the word is used here in the plural, both the weekly and the annual Sabbath (at the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, Trumpets, day of Atonement and Tabernacles); the term could be used to represent other observances as well (more at the end).

even unto them will I give in Mine house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. — even to them will I give in mine house and within my walls; the Targum says, “in the house of my sanctuary, and in the land of the house of my Shechinah” meaning the temple at Jerusalem;

— a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters; a far greater blessing and honour than that of having posterity which is but only temporal and so as to have a good name; and it is he that gives them the name, privilege, power, and relation of children, which shall never be cut off by any act of their own.

Also the sons of the stranger that join themselves to the Lord to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant, — also the sons of the stranger; to be His servants, whoever keep the Sabbaths from desecrating it and those who hold fast to my covenant, the conditions on which they should be admitted to the same privileges and of course the same reward.

even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar, for Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” — Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people; Jews and Gentiles shall have equal freedom of access to my house, and shall there call upon my name, Yehovah;

— a house of prayer for all people; Gentiles, the proselytes, the sons of the strangers as others, are all welcome to the church of God to come and worship and pray to the Lord there and that is in any place where the saints meet together; for holy hands may be lifted up everywhere, without doubt.

The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, “Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.” — Yehovah the Almighty God will not only restore the scattered outcasts of Israel (Isa 11:12; Ps 147:2) to their own land, but “will gather others (‘strangers’) to him (Israel), besides those gathered” to his gathered; that is, in addition to the outcast Israelites collected from their dispersion, John 10:16.

All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. — all ye beasts of the field – this evidently commences a new subject and refers to some invasion of the land of Judea; signifying a great slaughter that should be made, like that in Revelation 19:17 to which the fowls of the heaven are invited, as to a supper;

— the Targum of the whole says, “all the kings of the people that shall be gathered to oppress thee, O Jerusalem, shall be cast in the midst of thee; they shall be for food to the beast of the field, the beast of the forest shall be satisfied with them.”

10 His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark, sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. — the Targum indicates plural ‘their’ for ‘his,’ their watchmen are blind; their priests, prophets and teachers; the teachers would be most shameful of them, because they are supposed to be knowledgeable and teaching others; but they are all ignorant;

— they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; and so useless; as a house dog, or one that is set to keep the sheep, if it barks not at the noise of a thief, or the approach of a wolf, to give notice to the family, or the shepherd, it is of no service. Some may design such who call themselves pastors or evangelists of the Word, and yet neither have knowledge nor how to preach, all all like dumb dogs; couldn’t reprove the errors and vices of men, nor warn them of their danger.

11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand; they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. — yea, they are greedy dogs; insatiably covetous shepherds that have no truths nor understanding — Hebrew, that know not any understanding; that do not care, or love or desire either to understand the word of God themselves or to make the people understand it;

— they all look to their own way; that is, they are all selfish; they regard neither God’s glory nor the people’s good, but only the satisfaction of their own base desires. Every one for his gain from his quarter, in their places and stations.

12 “Come ye,” say they, “I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.” — I will fetch wine out of his cellar, having good store of it, and that of the best and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; fill their bellies and skins full of it till drunken with it;

— the Targum confirms in this way, “saying, come, let us take wine, and be inebriated with old wine; and our dinner tomorrow shall be better than today, large, very large.”

~~~

Both the Weekly and Annual Sabbaths; blessed are those who keep them!

Leviticus 23

1 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,

“Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them: ‘Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts.

“‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, a holy convocation. Ye shall do no work therein; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.

“‘These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

On the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is the Lord’S Passover.

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread unto the Lord; seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

On the first day ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work therein.

But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work therein.’”

And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,

10 “Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them: ‘When ye come into the land which I give unto you and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest.

11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf a helamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord.

13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two-tenths part of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet savor; and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, a fourth part of a hin.

14 And ye shall eat neither bread nor parched corn nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

15 “‘And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete.

16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days, and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.

17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two-tenths part. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.

18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock and two rams; they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offering and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savor unto the Lord.

19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.

20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord with the two lambs; they shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.

21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day that it may be a holy convocation unto you. Ye shall do no servile work therein; it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

22 “‘And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not rid cleanly the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleanings of thy harvest. Thou shalt leave them unto the poor and to the stranger: I am the Lord your God.’”

23 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,

24 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.

25 Ye shall do no servile work therein, but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.’”

26 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,

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.

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.

29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

31 Ye shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

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.”

33 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,

34 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord.

35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work therein.

36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. On the eighth day shall be a holy convocation unto you, and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. It is a solemn assembly, and ye shall do no servile work therein.

37 “‘These are the feasts of the Lord which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering and a meat offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, every thing upon his day”

38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which ye give unto the Lord.

39 “‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days; on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.

40 And ye shall take for yourselves on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.

41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations; ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths,

43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’”

44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

A Passover Lie

•April 12, 2022 • 1 Comment

As Pascha (Passover) is approaching, the Jews are still blind as to what the Lamb symbolises. The lamb for Pascha was/is symbol of the death of the Messiah, our Moshiach or Saviour, and our Redeemer, but the Jewish Orthodoxy still regard the killing and eating of the lamb as an act of defiance to the Egyptians who regarded the ram as their deity—the Ram-god Khnum—the Lord of the First Cataract in Upper Egypt, believed to preside over the annual rise of the Nile.

The Egyptian Ram-god Khnum of the First Cataract

Second, the ancient Egyptians had more prominent gods and goddesses like Osiris, Isis and Horus but no defiance were ruled against them? Why? Why only a little known deity of Upper Egypt (near the city of Aswan) which the children of Israel would have little contact with since they lived in Goshen of lower Egypt? Also, the Pharaohs and their princes lived in Zoan, known as “the royal city of the Pharaohs” – a city of Lower Egypt.

The Scriptures nowhere say that the sacrifice of the lamb was a defiance of this pagan god, but to reject the Moshiach, they planted “a seed of falsehood (Isaiah 57:4)” and they developed further as a figment of Jewish imagination over time.

In fact, the blood of the Paschal lamb was to foreshadow the atonement of the blood of Yeshua at Calvary, but first, the blood of the lamb which was placed on the doorposts was to save the children of Israel in Egypt from death. And later apostle John identified Yeshua as the lamb when he came for baptism, for John exclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36) And under inspiration Nathanael identified him further and said, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel,” (verse 49)

In the Targum version of Isaiah 52:13 it identifies “my Servant the Messiah” whom rabbinical Judaism says is Jacob or Israel. In Isaiah 53:7 it says, “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.” Of course, this clearly point to Yeshua, “my Servant the Messiah” that is, the slaughtered lamb was the Son of God, the Christ, the rejected Moshiach by the Orthodoxy.

Isaiah further says they lie, “O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel . . who swear by the name of the Lord and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth!” Isaiah 48:1. “Not in truth” means falsehood or a lie.

Further, the Orthodoxy are not just denying who the suffering servant the Scripture is writing about, but purposely choose to be blind, groping around as if they have no eyes: “We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes,” Isaiah 59:10.

The Targum was started by Ezra for those returning from the Babylonian exile, and for these returnees, they could only understand the Scriptures in Aramaic. Hence the Targum is as if the second Moses, Ezra, is speaking to them in ancient times and to us from the Hebrew Sacred Text.

They have to be thrown into captivity to get rid of idolatries, falsehood and other wickedness; do they have to go into captivity again to know this vital truth? For more, see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years and the Sword from the South in Ezekiel 20:45 to 21:5?

Isaiah (Ch 53-54)

•April 11, 2022 • 1 Comment

The Scriptures are often shrouded in cryptic languages and most Jews could not see the working of God’s providence in the revelation of the Messiah in the chapters here, or in the revelation to which he came to restore all the nations back to God. Our challenge is to decrypt them, especially as it relates to the latter days, our days.

Isaiah 53

Many 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 and its prophecy 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 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 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.

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 ours, 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.”

— 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 their 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 did bear 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 Christ who died 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 Christ 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.

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 Fulfilment

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

Isaiah 54

1 “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear! Break forth into singing and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife,” saith the Lord. — Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; the Targum interprets this of Jerusalem, paraphrasing the words thus, “Sing, O Jerusalem, which was as a barren woman that bears not; rejoice with praise and be glad, who was like a woman that conceives not.”

Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes. — enlarge the place of thy tent; to which the church is compared because of its uncertain and movable condition, being sometimes in one place and sometimes in another;

— and before the day of Pentecost, Jerusalem was like a barren woman; the number of converts were very small; few believed in the Messiah; the names of the disciples were but a hundred and twenty; but after Pentecost great multitudes were converted to the living God; which is a great rejoicing to the church; the bounds of the church were extended to other parts of Judea, Galilee, Samaria and beyond.

For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. — for thou shall break forth on the right hand and on the left; to the south and to the north as the Targum says, like an inundation of water that breaks through and overflows the banks of the river and spreads itself in the adjacent countries.

“Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. — fear not; the fulfilment of these things, however unlikely they might seem yet God is able to perform them; and therefore way should not be given to a fearful, distrustful, and unbelieving heart:

— for thou shall not be ashamed; as men are when disappointed of what they have been hoping for and expecting; but so should not be ashamed of her hope, faith and confidence; for there would be a performance of all that the Lord had spoken: nor should she be ashamed of her barrenness which should cease; and of the fewness of her children or converts which would be many; and would now be enlarged.

For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is His name and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called. — for thy Maker is thine Husband, that is the Husband of the church, and of every true believer; who secretly betrothed them to himself in eternity;

— God’s name is the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah (not Jehovah since the letter J wasn’t around but only after the sixteenth century; (more on this at the end)

For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused,” saith thy God.

“For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.

In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. — in a little wrath; or in a moment of indignation; the Syriac renders this, ‘In great wrath.’ The Septuagint, ‘In a little wrath.’

— In a little wrath might be 40 years for Judah and 190 years for Israel; see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years;

— I hid My face from thee; the Targum says, “I removed my Shekinah for a short time from thee,” indicating here that the husband is the Father rather than the Son.

“For this is as the waters of Noah unto Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee nor rebuke thee. — for this is as the waters of Noah; for this is as the days of Noah, as the Targum and Syriac versions say;

— for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; and confirmed it by a rainbow, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee; and not in wrath but in love; and of this he has given the strongest assurances; he has not only said it, but swore to it like unto Noah and the rainbow.

10 For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed,” saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. — though the mountains should remove and the hills be shaken yet My loving-kindness shall not depart, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed.

11 “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors and lay thy foundations with sapphires. — O thou afflicted, tossed with tempests, and not comforted; Or “O thou poor” – for the first Christian churches chiefly consisted of poor persons not many mighty and noble being called; and which were greatly “afflicted” with false teachers who broached errors and heresies and made schisms among them; and “tossed with tempests” like a ship at sea;

— behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours; or “with paint” such as women used to paint their faces or eyes with; the Targum is, “behold, I will lay with paint the stones of thy pavement.”

12 And I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates of rubies, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. — the Septuagint and Syriac versions render it, “of jasper” a stone more fit for that purpose; and it is interpreted of the jasper in the Talmud so “the light” of the New Jerusalem is said to be like unto the “jasper stone” Revelation 21:11.

13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children. — the Targum says, “all thy children shall know the law of the Lord.” Of course, the law is the statutes and all the ordinances as in the Old Testament, except with some modifications, but the trunk is from there.

14 In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near thee. — thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shall not fear; so far from it that thou shalt not be in the least afraid of it, neither from within nor from outside your borders; not from any false teachers; nor from persecutors that oppress the people.

15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by Me; whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. — Or as the Targum says, “at the end, the kings of the nations, which are gathered together to afflict thee, O Jerusalem, shall fall in the midst of thee.”

16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. — both the smith that makes all warlike instruments and the soldier that uses them are my creatures; and totally at my command and therefore they cannot hurt you without my leave. To destroy; to destroy only whom and when I please.

17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me,” saith the Lord. — no weapon that is formed; no instrument of war, no sword, or spear; no instrument of persecution or torture that is made by the smith, Isaiah 54:16; Shall prosper, that it shall not have final and ultimate prosperity. It might be permitted for a time to appear to prosper – as persecutors and oppressors have done; but there would not be final and complete success.

~~~

More on God’s name, Yehovah.

God’s name is the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah, which are embedded in the Masoretic text over 6000 times, yet when translated into our English language most had been translated as Lord, or LORD, which are titles, but not his name. His name is יהוה‎ Yehovah, or YEHOVAH (but there are no capital letters in Hebrew).

It wasn’t until 1524 that Gian Giorgio Trissino, an Italian Renaissance grammarian, invented the letter J that this new letter started to take a hold in the writings of western Europe. Even in 1611 when the English Bible the King James has our subject of study by the prophet Jeremiah, he was known as Ieremiah. So Jehovah is a very late comer.

The following verses with the LORD erred in translation. His name Yehovah should be used:

I am the LORD; that is My name. And My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. Joel 2:32

“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. Isaiah 65:1

When we call our God, the LORD, we err, because his name is not the LORD, which is a title. His name is YEHOVAH! May We all ask for his forgiveness, and may Our merciful God forgive us all.

Staged Massacre in Bucha

•April 10, 2022 • 1 Comment

Global Research, by Misión Verdad / April 07, 2022

After the Kiev regime of Volodymyr Zelensky published images depicting corpses in Bucha, supposedly killed by the Russian military, in the middle of the street and in mass graves, calls have been issued for Russia to be tried internationally for war crimes.

Reuters correspondents confirmed that they had seen bodies strewn in the streets, with their hands and feet tied, as if they had been arrested.

Russia claims Civilians Massacre in Bucha is Staged Three Days after they left

The Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Relations Dmytro Kuleba posted a series of tweets in English with the images, and requests for the G7 countries to roll out even more “sanctions” against the Russian Federation. He called the scene a premeditated “massacre” carried out by the Kremlin and pleaded for more international military aid. “Tanks, combat aircraft, heavy air defense systems. Provide them now,” wrote Kuleba.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s minister of foreign affairs, has responded that “another attack of false claims was made in the city of Bucha, in the Kiev region, after the Russian military had already left the area, as was planned and agreed upon. A few days later, they organized a staged event there which the Ukrainian spokespeople and their western sponsors have been disseminating throughout TV channels and social media.”

Additionally the minister of defense released a statement in which he rejected Kiev’s accusations:

All of the photos and videos published by the Kiev regime which supposedly show the “crimes” committed by the Russian military in the city of Bucha, in the Kiev region, are a novel provocation…

While this city was under the control of the Russian Armed Forces, not a single local resident was subject to violent actions. The Russian military delivered 452 tons of humanitarian aid to civilians in the Kiev region…

During the entire period that the city was controlled by the Russian Armed Forces and even after, the local residents could freely move through the city of Bucha and use their cell phones…

The exits from Bucha were not blocked off. All of the local residents had the opportunity to freely leave the city to the north, even towards Bielorrusia. At the same time, the south of the city, even the residential areas in the outskirts of the city, were bombarded for 24 hours by the Ukrainian troops with heavy artillery, tanks and various missiles…

We want to stress that the Russian military left Bucha on the 30th of March, a day after the peace negotiations which took place between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey…

Furthermore, on the 31 of March, the Mayor himself [of Bucha], Anatoli Fedoruk, confirmed in a video that the Russian military was no longer there and did not mention that any local residents had been arrested and shot in the street…

Thus, it is no surprise that all of this so-called “evidence of crimes” in Bucha has appeared four days later, when the Ukrainian Security Service and the Ukranian TV representatives had arrived to the city… The fact that none of the bodies in the images published by Kiev were suffering from rigor mortis is especially worrisome, they lacked the pale complexion characteristic of a corpse and were not covered in coagulated blood… All of this is irrefutable proof that the photos and videos published from Bucha were produced by the Kiev regime for the western media, just like the maternity hospital from Mariupol.

In this regard, the Russian version starkly contrasts with the Ukronazi version of events, which has so aptly been spread by the western media in a new chapter of the information war against Russia. Russia’s government not only rejected the claims of the Ukrainian president, but also affirms that the massacre was “staged” and is a “provocation.”

As the Zelensky government requests that the Kremlin be judged by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, the United Kingdom has contested Russia’s calls for a new session to be held at the United Nations Security Council in order to discuss the subject, which is surprising since this would be the ideal place to put forward the demands of Ukraine’s Foreign Minister.

When the events are carefully analyzed, it becomes apparent that the Russians are much closer to the truth that the Ukrainian regime.

Proof that the Ukronazi’s staged the events

The Russian military was present in Bucha, which is almost 40 kilometers outside of the capital, for approximately five weeks while it was positioned around Kiev.

The website War On Fakes, which has taken up the task of deconstructing the biggest lies, fake news, and psychological operations which have been promoted in relation to the Ukrainian battleground, has posted a chronology from March 30 to the present in order to determine if the Kiev regime’s accusations have any substance:

  • Russian troops leave Bucha on March 30. Here is the official declaration.
  • On March 31, the mayor of Bucha, Anatoly Fedoruk, posted a video declaring with a happy smile on his face that “March 31 will go down in the history of our settlement and the entire territorial community as the day of liberation from Russian orcs, Russian occupiers of our settlements, by our Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
  • War On Fakes put forth the following questions: “Would Fedoruk be so happy if dozens of his people were lying dead on the street? Why didn’t he say anything about the ‘atrocities of the Russian executioners’? About the torture, rape and murder?”
  • The media campaign, initiated this Sunday, April 3, was launched four days after the Russian Military had left Bucha. During this period, there was not a single report bearing similarity to Ukraine’s accusations.
  • The New York Times reported that between April 1 and 2, remnants of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, which forms part of the Ukrainian military, entered the city of Bucha.
  • On April 2, the Ukrainian police published a news report on Bucha. There were no claims of a massacre or of corpses. There were no bodies in the recording and photos.
  • “Moreover, the first unit of the Ukrainian armed forces to enter Bucha was the special forces of the National Guard of Ukraine,” added War On Fakes. “The official telegram channel of the National Guard posted a video, filmed by the fighters of this detachment themselves. We can see on this video that the Ukrainian military calmly pass through the streets of the city—and no ‘mountains of corpses’ are visible on these streets.”
  • After seeing the videos one would have to ask themselves: “So where did the corpses on the streets of Bucha come from. And who are these people?”
  • To which War On Fakes responds: “The answer may lie in the video of the territorial defense of Ukraine, which clearly states the question ‘Can I shoot at them if there are no blue armbands?’ To which a positive response follows. The video was originally posted by the leader of the territorial defense Sergey ‘Botsman’ Korotkikh.”
  • The video can be found here, due to the fact that Botsman deleted it from his account.
  • The Telegram Channel Intel Slava Z, which has been following the Russian military operation with great detail from the beginning, has shown that in the cities in which there was a Russian military presence, civilians wore a white arm band as a sign of their non-military status, indicating that they were not directly involved in the conflict. In videos, civilians in Mariupol can be seen with the white arm band, as the city was recently freed from the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.
  • “By the way, on the videos distributed by the Ukrainian side, almost all the corpses have white bandages,” wrote War On Fakes. “This is a distinctive sign of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the civilian population.”
  • Intel Slava Z has also pointed out how the corpses lying on Bucha’s streets are next to supply rations which the Russians were providing to the Ukrainian population as humanitarian aid. The channel went on to comment that “the Armed Forced of Ukraine shot people regardless of whether they were armed or not. The main thing is that they were wearing white arm bands, which means they were not enemy soldiers. International journalists, open your eyes. It wasn’t the Russian troops who crushed the civilians in Bucha, it was the neo-Nazi regime that you have been supporting.”
  • War On Fakes concluded by saying that “Katerina Ukraintseva, a member of the Bucha City Council and a volunteer for the defense, admitted in an interview with Meduza that Russian troops did not shoot people in her presence. In the same interview, she confirms that the Ukrainian military is to blame for the main destruction: ‘If the Armed Forces of Ukraine had responded to the Russian army with all firepower, the city would have been completely destroyed.’”

As Misión Verdad has frequently reported, it has been the Ukrainian troops and the neo-Nazi paramilitaries who have taken up arms against the civilian population, using them as a human shield against the Russian military offensive.

Reports that the Ukrainian forces have assassinated civilians who have received Russian humanitarian aid, or who have been accused of treason, are not being shared by the western media (except on rare occasions, as can be seen in the following video). Western media is wholeheartedly attempting to whitewash the crimes repeatedly committed by the Ukrainian neo-Nazi regime.

A few conclusions can be drawn from these events, conclusions which go beyond the specifics of these particular events:

  • The reports from Bucha are an attempt to derail the peace negotiations taking place between Russia and Ukraine. According to The Times, the United Kingdom seeks to delay the signing of an agreement between the two nations. Again, Boris Johnson’s government refuses to convene at the United Nations Security Council on the question of Bucha.
  • With the staging of a “new Sbrebrenica,” as it was referred to by the Ukrainian Minister of Defense, the media and the spokespeople who corroborate his version of events are whitewashing the Nazi regime in Kiev, following the path of US psychological operations, which are an attempt to augment support for NATO protection.
  • Rolling out even more sanctions against Russia is another objective with geopolitical implications. After hearing about Ukraine’s version of the Bucha events, French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that he is in favor a new round of offensive economic steps against Russia, especially against the coal and oil sectors.

Bucha: Lavrov Says False-Flag Op Was Conducted in Town Outside Kiev After Russian Troop Withdrawal

“We requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council on this specific issue because we see such provocations as a direct threat to international peace and security”, Lavrov said during a meeting with Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths.

According to the top Russian diplomat, the horrifying scenes in Bucha were staged after Russian troops left the city, with the Ukrainian authorities, induced by their “Western patrons”, promoting “fake videos” from Bucha via social media.

“Russian servicemen left this city on 30 March, on 31 March the mayor of the city solemnly said that everything was in order, and two days later we saw how that very performance was organised on the streets, which they are now trying to use for anti-Russian purposes”, Lavrov explained.

Lavrov’s remarks come after the Ukrainian and Western media fuelled accusations that Russia was behind the mass killing of civilians in the city of Bucha, spreading footage that showed dead bodies strewn across the streets of the town in the Kiev region. Moscow has categorically denied that Russia was behind the killings, calling the footage from Bucha “another provocation” produced by Kiev specially for the Western media.

NYT Confirms Ukrainian Atrocities: Russians Killed in Same Manner as Recent “Massacre”
Misled by the United States over reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine, Vote results at the UN General Assembly on a motion to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council

“Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be” Hosea 5:9

I, the Lord, will punish and wipe out Israel. This is my solemn promise to every tribe of Israel. CEV Translation Hosea 5:9

John Gill: The country of the ten tribes shall be laid desolate, the inhabitants of them destroyed either by the sword, or famine, or pestilence, and the rest carried captive, as they were by Shalmaneser.

Bretton Woods III

•April 9, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Bretton Woods III? China Begins Buying Russian Coal And Oil In Yuan 

ZeroHedge By Tyler Durden April 8, 2022 

Credit Suisse strategist Zoltan Pozsar’s stunning note last week that said the consequences of the Ukraine war are ushering in “the birth of the Bretton Woods III – a new world (monetary) order centered around commodity-based currencies in the East that will likely weaken the Eurodollar system and also contribute to inflationary forces in the west.”

The Dollar is on Shaky Ground

Fast forwarding to the punchline, Poszar wrote that if the framework he has laid out previously (and again, in his latest note) is the right framework to think about how to trade interest rates in coming years, inflation will be higher; the level of rates will be higher too; demand for commodity reserves will be higher, which will naturally replace demand for FX reserves (Treasuries and other G7 claims); Meanwhile, demand for dollars will be lower too as more trade will be done in other currencies; and as a result of this, the perennially negative cross-currency basis (the dollar premium) will naturally fade away and potentially become a positive cross-currency basis.

Translation: the dollar is on its way out as the world’s undisputed reserve currency, a consequences of events that put in motion when Putin invaded Ukraine (with the implicit blessing of China and India) and when the West decided to expel Russia from the entire western financial system.

Pozsar spoke with Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway this week and recited his Bretton Woods III thesis, suggesting: 

“Instead of a Volcker moment, we got a Putin moment and we basically have war and out of this war, something will also emerge.

“Out of this, I think this ‘Bretton Woods III’ that I started to kind of develop and run with, is a world where we are, again, going to go back to commodity-backed money — where gold, once again, is going to play a big role. And not just gold, but I think all forms of commodities,” Pozsar said.

Moscow is also considering a rupee-ruble payment system for Indian oil traders, while Saudi Arabia could start pricing some of its brent in yuan for Chinese traders.

“The oil market, and by extension the entire global commodities market, is the insurance policy of the status of the dollar as reserve currency,” said economist Gal Luft, co-director of the Washington-based Institute for the Analysis of Global Security who co-wrote a book about de-dollarization.

“If that block is taken out of the wall, the wall will begin to collapse.”

China ranks as the biggest foreign holder of US debt. If it continues to divest itself of dollars, who will pick up the slack? The Federal Reserve has been buying Treasuries hand over fist for the last two years, keeping its big fat thumb on the bond market. But it’s tapering purchases and supposedly planning on shrinking its balance sheet. If global demand for Treasuries drop precipitously — and it would in a world without the petrodollar — the US government would either have to drastically cut spending or the Fed would have to continue printing money to monetize the debt.

The US Dollar Hegemony to End Soon

Even if this is nothing but talk, it underscores the fact that the dollar is on shaky ground.

A background to Bretton Woods I & II by Forbes / Dan Runkevicius / Mar 10, 2022

Pozsar argues Bretton Woods II crumbled when the G7 countries seized Russia’s foreign exchange reserves. Keeping money inside financial institutions like the IMF was considered risk free. That is clearly no longer the case.

Similarly, Bretton Woods I collapsed when Nixon took the US of the gold standard back in 1971 when dollars were convertible to gold at a fixed exchange rate of $35 an ounce. This led to Bretton Woods II, backed by “inside money” or the dollar, which itself is not linked to gold or any other commodity.

Amos 5:16 Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD saith thus: “Wailing shall be in all streets, and they shall say in all the highways, ‘Alas! Alas!’ And they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skillful in lamentation to wailing.

17 And in all vineyards shall be wailing, for I will pass through thee,” saith the LORD.

18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! To what end is it for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, and not light:

19 as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.

20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it? Amos 5:16-20

Isaiah (Ch 51-52)

•April 8, 2022 • 1 Comment

As Pascha (Passover) is coming soon, the Jews are still blind as to what the Lamb symbolised. The lamb for Pascha was/is symbol of the death of the Messiah, our Moshiach or Saviour, our Redeemer, but the Orthodox still regard it only as an act of defiance to the Egyptians who regarded lamb as the Egyptians’ deity, the Ram-god Khnum, the Lord of the First Cataract, who presided over the annual rise of the Nile.

The Scriptures nowhere say that the sacrifice of the lamb was a defiance of this pagan god, but to reject the Moshiach over time it developed further only as a figment of Jewish imagination.

The Egyptian Ram-god Khnum

In the Targum version of Isaiah 52:13 it identifies “My Servant” as the Messiah. Hence the Jews are not just blind but choose to be blind! “O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel . . who swear by the name of the Lord and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth!” Isaiah 48:1. Not in truth means a lie.

The Targum was started by Ezra for those returning from the Babylon exile and for these returnees they could only understand the Scriptures in Aramaic. Hence the Targum is as if the second Moses, Ezra, is speaking to us from the Hebrew Sacred Text.

Isaiah 51

1 “Hearken to Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: Look unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence ye are dug. — hearken unto me; that is to the God of their fathers, who now addresses them. They are regarded as in exile and bondage and as desponding in regard to their prospects. In this situation, God, or perhaps more properly the Messiah is introduced as addressing them with the assurances of deliverance.

Look unto Abraham your father and unto Sarah that bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him. — for I called him alone and blessed him and increased him; he was without issue when he was “called” out of Chaldea into another country and also the only one of the family;

— and the Lord “blessed” him not only with flocks and herds, and gold and silver, but with a son in his old age; and so “increased” him that there sprung from him as many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand by the sea shore innumerable, Hebrews 11:12;

— the Septuagint version, between “blessed” and “increased” insert these words, “and I loved him” which are not in the Hebrew text. The Targum says, “and one was Abraham, alone in the world, and I brought him to my service, and I blessed him and multiplied him.”

For the Lord shall comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places, and He will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.

“Hearken unto Me, My people, and give ear unto Me, O My nation; for a law shall proceed from Me, and I will make My judgement to rest as a light of the people. — and give ear unto me, O my nation; not the nation of the Jews only but the Gentiles; a nation taken out of a nation even out of all nations; a chosen and a holy nation. The Septuagint version renders it “kings” such are made kings and priests unto God:

— and I will make my judgement to rest for a light; the word ‘judgement’ here is equivalent to law, or statute, or to the institutions of the true religion.

My righteousness is near; My salvation is gone forth, and Mine arms shall judge the people. The isles shall wait upon Me, and on Mine arm shall they trust. — My righteousness is near; these righteousness are either the words of God the Father, or his Son, which he calls his own because he approves and accepts of it and with it justifies them. The words may be rendered, “my righteous One” – God’s righteous One who was near to come in the flesh in order to work righteousness;

— Or these are the words of Christ, speaking of his own righteousness which was near being wrought out by him as it was when he became the Chief Justice of the law by obeying its precept and setting an example as revealed in his commandment in the Gospel;

— many pretenders err in understanding here; if there is no law and statute how could anyone judge? His arms shall judge the people; to whom the arm of the Lord is revealed, both the arms of Christ are ready to execute the laws and statutes and to protect and defend them; and judge, condemn and destroy those that despise them.

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner. But My salvation shall be for ever, and My righteousness shall not be abolished. — for the heavens shall vanish away; the heavens shall glide away to disappear as smoke is dissipated and disappears in the air;

— the earth shall wax old; shall wax old like a garment; and be folded up and laid aside and shall decay and be destroyed. 

“Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. — Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; that is, the law to keep his Sabbath, weekly and annual, not idolatry like worshipping heavenly bodies;

— today, more than 98.5 percent of Christians are honouring the Sun by observing Sunday worship. 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 – ’till they die.

— also, following the SUN-worshipping Samaritans, most Church of God Communities are showing their contempt for God by having their “wavesheaf offering” and Pentecost on a Sunday; always on a Sunday. And these are supposedly in God’s Sanctuary, but God says He is a jealous God, so these pretentious Christians could be spewed out of His mouth! A death penalty in Deuteronomy 17:3-5 says ’till they die!

For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool; but My righteousness shall be for ever, and My salvation from generation to generation.” — and my salvation from generation to generation; it will abide through the endless ages of eternity.

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art Thou not It that hath cut Rahab and wounded the dragon? — the Targum interprets the dragon as Pharaoh and his army who were strong as a dragon;

— and that same mighty arm that destroyed Egypt and its tyrannical king can and will destroy that great city, spiritually called Sodom and Egypt and the beast that has two horns like a lamb, but speaks like a dragon and to whom the dragon has given his seat, power and authority; or rather this may be believed, the great red dragon has been cast out, or Rome Pagan has been destroyed by him.

10 Art Thou not It which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep, that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? — art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that is the Red sea and the deep waters of it; by causing a strong east wind to blow which drove the sea back and made it a dry land and the same arm and mighty power can and will dry up the waters of the river Euphrates to prepare the way of the kings of the east, Revelation 16:12.

11 Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their head. They shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

12 “I, even I, am He that comforteth you. Who art thou that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man who shall be made as grass, — I even I am he that comfort you; the word ‘I’ is repeated here to give emphasis to the passage and to impress deeply upon them the fact that their consolation came alone from God and God alone; and that since God was their protector and friend they had no occasion to fear anything that man could do.

13 and forgettest the Lord thy Maker, who hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth, and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor? — and where or “but where” is the fury of the oppressor? where’s the fury of Pharaoh, that great oppressor of God’s Israel formerly?

— it is gone and vanished like smoke: where’s the fury of Sennacherib king of Assyria and his army that threatened Jerusalem with ruin? it was over in a short time in one night the whole host, or the greater part of it were destroyed by an angel: and where is, or will be, the fury of the king of Babylon? it will not last always; nor the fury of the an oppressor at endtime.

14 The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. — speedily shall the crouching captives be set free that he shall not die (and go down) to the pit nor shall his bread fail.

15 But I am the Lord thy God, who divided the sea whose waves roared; The Lord of hosts is His name.

16 And I have put My words in thy mouth and I have covered thee in the shadow of Mine hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, ‘Thou art My people.’”

17 Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem, who hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of His fury; thou hast drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling and wrung them out. — which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; the effect of divine wrath and this signifies that judgement would begin at the house and church of God.

18 There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up. — following up the image in Isa 51:17, intoxicated and confused by the cup of God’s anger, she has none to guide her in her helpless state; she has not yet awakened out of the sleep caused by that draught;

— this cannot apply to the Babylonish captivity; for in it they had Ezekiel and Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah, as “guides” and soon awoke out of that sleep; but it applies to the house of Jacob now, as all his posterity are infested by false shepherds everywhere; for examples:

— 1a) the house of Judah hasn’t come to term with what the Godhead is; it is composed of God the Father and God the Son, hence in Genesis, Elohim (God in the plural) created the heavens and the earth; but the Jews couldn’t identify the Son which is all over in the Scriptures, especially the Torah and later, the Prophets;

— 1b) the lamb for Pascha was/is symbol of the death of the Messiah, our Moshiach or Saviour, our Redeemer, but the Orthodox still regard it only as an act of defiance to the Egyptians who regarded lamb as the Egyptians’ deity. The Scriptures nowhere say this, but is only a figment of Jewish imagination;

— 2a) 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;

— 2b) 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 horsewhipped! Nar, those who resist would suffer Judgement by drinking at “the hand of the Lord the cup of His fury” Isaiah 51:17 – 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!)

19 These two things are come unto thee—who shall be sorry for thee?” desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword” by whom shall I comfort thee? — see, those facing judgement by drinking at “the hand of the Lord the cup of His fury” shall suffer “desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword.”

— “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

20 Thy sons have fainted; they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net; they are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God. — they lie at the head of all the streets; the head or top of the streets denotes the beginning and most important part of a street; the nation’s leaders, elders and princes, those who are in control or have influence where the nation is heading;

— and this “full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God” is reaffirmed in Hosea 11:12 Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit. “I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel,” Hosea 6:10; “And I will cast you [Judah] out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim” Jeremiah 7:15; examples of “they lie at the head of all the streets”

Here’s The Full List Of Every Lie Joe Biden Has Told As President: 146 And Counting

The 15 most notable lies of Donald Trump’s presidency by CNN Politics

21 Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine. — but not with wine; with the cup of God’s fury; the Targum expresses it, with tribulation; with afflictions at the hand of God and persecutions from men.

22 Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of His people: “Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of My fury; thou shalt no more drink it again. — thou shalt no more drink it again; or “any longer” – thou shalt no more be subject to similar trials and calamities.

23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee, who have said to thy soul, ‘Bow down, that we may go over.’ And thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street to them that went over.” — but God will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; the nations that have made war upon thee and that have reduced thee to bondage; the calamities which the elect had suffered, God would transfer to their foes.

Isaiah 52

1 Awake, awake! Put on thy strength, O Zion! Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. — awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; this prophecy is sure to be fulfilled: by Zion is meant the church before the Millenium in the latter days, our days which is described as “wretched and miserable, and poor and blind and naked,” Revelation 3:17;

— which is called upon to awake out of sleep; and this is repeated to show what a deep sleep had fallen on her, the danger she was in through it, and the forcefulness of the speaker, “Awake, awake!” or the great concern the Lord had for her; and this is the very state of the church now.

Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem. Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. — shake thyself from the dust; or “the dust from thee” in which she had sat, or rolled herself as a mourner; or where she had been trampled upon; but now being delivered from them as well as from all carnal shepherds and false teachers, of false doctrine, superstition and false worship;

— loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion; or loose thou “the bands off thy neck from thee” which seems to denote the people of God in mystical Babylon, a little before its destruction who will be called out of it; and to throw off the Romish yoke, or her daughter’s protesting yoke and release themselves from that captivity and bondage who should free themselves.

For thus saith the Lord: “Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.” — ‘Ye have sold yourselves,’ and become authors of your own bondage; as they who had made them prisoners had done so without paying any price for them, it was equitable that they should be released in the same manner.

For thus saith the Lord God: “My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. — the Septuagint renders it, ‘And to the Assyrians they were carried by force.’ Some have supposed that this refers to the oppressions that they experienced in Egypt, and that the name ‘Assyrian’ – so called because of his power and cruelty – is here given to Pharaoh.

Now therefore, what have I here,” saith the Lord, “that My people are taken away for nought? They that rule over them make them to howl,” saith the Lord, “and My name continually every day is blasphemed. — and everyday my name is blasphemed continually; by ascribing their extent of power and authority, their dominions and conquests, not to the Lord but to their idols; opening their mouths in blasphemy against God, his name and tabernacle and his people, Revelation 13:5.

— the Targum says, “and always, all the day, because of the worship of my name, they provoke.” The Septuagint is, “for you always blasphemed my name among the Gentiles.”

Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore they shall know in that day that I am He that doth speak. Behold, it is I.” — My people shall know My name; God’s name is the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah (not Jehovah since the letter J wasn’t around but only after the sixteenth century; (more on this at the end)

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, “Thy God reigneth!” — “Thy God reigneth! – the Targum is, “the kingdom of thy God is revealed.”

Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. — for they shall see eye to eye; the sense may be either that they shall see face to face, that is, distinctly, clearly as when one is near another; or it may mean that they shall be united – they shall contemplate the same object, or look steadily at the same thing.

Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem. — the Lord shall return with his Shekinah and redeem Jerusalem.

10 The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. — all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God; all nations of the world shall with astonishment behold the wonderful work of God, first in bringing his people into captivity, then out of it in their redemption by the Messiah.

11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. — the sacrificial offerings with return in Jerusalem as prophesised in Ezekiel 40-48; the Levites and the priests would cleanse themselves before taking up the holy vessels as the Targum says. And for the populace, presenting themselves three times a year before the holy city are essential; else there wouldn’t be any rain. 

12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward. — for ye shall not go out with haste; as if driven out or compelled to flee. You shall not go from captivity as your fathers went from Egypt in a rapid flight and in a confused and tumultuous manner.

Many theologians noted that the subject of the Suffering Servant starts here and onto the end of Chapter 53

13 “Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. — the Targum interprets it of the Messiah; He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high;

— “Behold, my servant the Messiah shall prosper, He shall be exalted and extolled, and He shall be very strong,” Targum Isaiah 52:13.

— 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. But the Jews today choose to be blind!

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” — when the Messiah is revealed as stated in the previous verse, the whole world will be astonished to see He had been 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; Period!

Verse 15, which contains Messianic significance, is not in KJ21, but appear 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 (nor any ordinary man) had ever “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.

~~~

More on God’s name, Yehovah.

God’s name is the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah, which are embedded in the Masoretic text over 6000 times, yet when translated into our English language most had been translated as Lord, or LORD, which are titles, but not his name. His name is יהוה‎ Yehovah, or YEHOVAH (but there are no capital letters in Hebrew).

It wasn’t until 1524 that Gian Giorgio Trissino, an Italian Renaissance grammarian, invented the letter J that this new letter started to take a hold in the writings of western Europe. Even in 1611 when the English Bible the King James has our subject of study by the prophet Jeremiah, he was known as Ieremiah. So Jehovah is a very late comer.

The following verses with the LORD erred in translation. His name Yehovah should be used:
I am the LORD; that is My name. And My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. Joel 2:32

“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. Isaiah 65:1

When we call our God, the LORD, we err, because his name is not the LORD, which is a title. His name is YEHOVAH! May We all ask for his forgiveness, and may Our merciful God forgive us all.

Isaiah (Ch 49-50)

•April 6, 2022 • 1 Comment

This chapter deals with the second Being in the Godhead, which the house of Judah hasn’t come to term with; it is composed of God the Father and God the Son, but the Jews couldn’t see nor could identify the Son which is all over in the Scriptures, especially the Torah and the Prophets; and here in Isaiah 49 and 50.

Isaiah 49

1 “Listen, O isles, unto Me, and hearken, ye people from afar! The Lord hath called Me from the womb; from the bowels of My mother hath He made mention of My name. — Listen, O isles, unto me; these are not the words of Cyrus, nor of the Prophet Isaiah, but of the Son, the Messiah or Christ, calling upon the inhabitants of the isles to hearken to him; by whom are meant the inhabitants of islands properly so called, probably of the house of Israel;

— “Isles” as before stand vaguely for “far off countries.” The invitation is addressed to the nations far and wide.

And He hath made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand hath He hid Me, and made Me a polished shaft. In His quiver hath He hid Me, — and he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; or “he hath put his words in my mouth as a sharp sword,” as the Targum says; namely, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, the Logos, and is sharper than a two-edged sword and is said to come out of the mouth of the Son of God; Prophet Isaiah couldn’t have fulfilled this.

and said unto Me, ‘Thou art My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’

Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain; I have spent My strength for nought and in vain; yet surely My judgement is with the Lord, and My work with My God.’” — yet surely my judgement is with the Lord; this indicates that below the Lord, the Highest, which could only being the Father, someone else is making judgement and who else except the Son?

— or is manifest before the Lord, as the Targum says; the Lord knew that he had called him to his office; how prudently, diligently and faithfully he had executed it; and what was his right and due and which would be given him; and with this he corrects his former complaint and makes himself easy and quiets and satisfies his mind.

“And now saith the Lord that formed Me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob again to Him, though Israel be not gathered—yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and My God shall be My strength” — who could “bring Jacob again to Him” that is, to confirm them in the worship of the true God; except someone of a high level in rank; not Cyrus, not prophet Isaiah, not any human; it’s an enormous task pointing that this Being is no one else except the Son.

and He said: ‘It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel. I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth.’” — “a light to the Gentiles” and not an enforcer of Israel’s systems and values upon the Gentiles however how good they think they are, such as democracy, human rights and others but only as a light to the Gentiles.

Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to Him whom man despiseth, to Him whom the nation abhorreth, to a Servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord who is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel; and He shall choose Thee.” — to him whom man despises; to Yeshua, the Son of God, to whom in the days of his flesh; this description most truly and fully agreed with that Isaiah 53:3, for men, both Jews and Gentiles, among whom he lived, did despise him from their hearts.

Thus saith the Lord: “In an acceptable time have I heard Thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped Thee; and I will preserve Thee and give Thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages, — thus saith the Lord; these are the words of God the Father to his Son continued;

that Thou mayest say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’ to them that are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ “They shall feed on the paths, and their pastures shall be in all high places. — show yourselves; among the people of God in his house of his laws, statutes and ordinances when called, converted and enlightened by his spirits;

— or “be revealed” or manifested when they are known to be, what they have not known before the people and children of God. The Targum says, “be revealed to the light.”

10 They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor sun smite them; for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them. — they shall not hunger nor thirst; all their needs shall be abundantly provided for as a Shepherd will provide for his flock. 

11 And I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways shall be exalted. — mountains a way; God will remove all obstructions out of the way.

12 Behold, these shall come from far—and lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim.” — the western countries known to the Hebrews were some of the islands of that sea and a few of the maritime regions; probably referring to where the house of Israel had been taken to; they shall return;

— from the land of Sinim; there have been many different opinions in regard to the ‘land of Sinim’ – the Targum version renders it as land of the south in general; Isti de terra Australi; others, like Ptolemy and Gesenius say the country here referred to is Sina or China; both qualify as “these shall come from far.”

— Sinim; the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says “the Arabians and other Asians called China Sin, or Tchin; the Chinese had no special name for themselves, but either adopted that of the reigning dynasty or some high-sounding titles. This view of “Sinim” suits the context which requires a people to be meant “from far,” and distinct from those “from the north and from the west” [Gesenius].

13 Sing, O heavens, and be joyful, O earth! And break forth into singing, O mountains! For the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted. — Sing, O heavens; as in Isaiah 44:23, all nature is invited to join in the chorus of praise for the (1) deliverance of Israel; and (2) of the nations.

14 But Zion said, “The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.”

15 “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. — “Does a woman forget her sucking child, so as not to have compassion upon the child of her womb? –

16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me. — even though mothers should forget, I will not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls stand continually before me.”

17 Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth from thee. — MSG “Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you—never. Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands. The walls you’re rebuilding are never out of my sight. Your builders are faster than your wreckers. The demolition crews are gone for good. Look up, look around, look well! See them all gathering, coming to you? As sure as I am the living God”—God’s Decree— “you’re going to put them on like so much jewellery, you’re going to use them to dress up like a bride.

18 Lift up thine eyes round about and behold; all these gather themselves together and come to thee. As I live,” saith the Lord, “thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all as with an ornament, and bind them on thee as a bride doeth. — all these, to wit, the Gentiles as sufficiently appear from what hath been already said and from that which follow. The sense is, thy kingdom shall not only be restored and established in Jerusalem but it shall be vastly enlarged and adorned by the accession of the Gentiles to it.

19 For thy waste and thy desolate places and the land of thy destruction shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. — and they that swallowed thee up; the enemies that laid waste thy land and that “absorbed,” as it were thy inhabitants and removed them to a distant land; they shall be all gone and the land shall smile again in prosperity and in loveliness.

20 The children whom thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, ‘The place is too narrow for me; give place to me that I may dwell.’ — the place is too strait for me; there is not room for us all; this is indicative of such an increase as took place when the return of the exiles and shall yet more abundantly than any time before that they will call for more land to dwell in.

21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart, ‘Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children and am desolate, a captive and removing to and fro? And who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?’” — NOG Then you will ask yourself, “Who has fathered these children for me? I was childless and unable to have children. I was exiled and rejected. Who raised these children for me? I was left alone. Where have they come from?”

— MSG “And your ruined land? Your devastated, decimated land? Filled with more people than you know what to do with! And your barbarian enemies, a fading memory. The children born in your exile will be saying, ‘It’s getting too crowded here. I need more room.’ And you’ll say to yourself, ‘Where on earth did these children come from? I lost everything, had nothing, was exiled and penniless. So who reared these children? How did these children get here?’”

22 Thus saith the Lord God: “Behold, I will lift up Mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up My standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. — bring … sons in … arms; the Gentiles shall aid in restoring Israel to its own land (Isa 60:4; 66:20). Children able to support themselves are carried on the shoulders from the East; but infants in the arms or astride on one haunch (Isa 60:12). “Thy sons” must be distinct from “the Gentiles,” who carry them; and therefore cannot primarily refer to converts among the Gentiles;

— another interpretation: behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles; to lift up the hand is a sign of beckoning to, or inviting; and the idea here is that God would call the Gentiles to partake of the blessings of the true religion and to embrace the Messiah (see also Isaiah 11:11; could this time period coincide with Ezekiel 390/40 years?)

23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: They shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet. And thou shalt know that I am the Lord, for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.” — and kings shall be thy nursing fathers and their queens thy nursing mothers; who shall show favour and respect to the elect of God, grant them liberty and protect and defend them in their religious privileges:

— and since the Messiah is the King of kings, and Lord of lords; so this is to be understood not figuratively of apostles and other shepherds who are kings and priests unto God and who feed the church with the milk of the word and the breasts of ordinances; but literally also as kings and queens of the earth;

— and is thought to have had its fulfilment, at least in part in Cyrus, Ahasuerus, Esther and others; but more so as priestly kings and queens as Ezra and Nehemiah, Zerubbabel and others; and will have a far greater accomplishment in the latter day glory;

24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?

25 But thus saith the Lord: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. — We were lawful captives to the justice of God, yet delivered by a price of unspeakable value. Here is an express promise: Even the prey of the terrible shall be delivered;

— we may view God’s enemies deprived of his prey, bound and cast into the pit; and all the powers that have combined to enslave, persecute or corrupt the church are destroyed; that all the earth may know that our Saviour and Redeemer is Yehovah, the Mighty One of Jacob. And every effort we make to rescue our fellow-sinners from the bondage of God’s enemies is, in some degree, helping forward that great change.

26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh, and they shall be drunken with their own blood as with sweet wine. And all flesh shall know that I, the Lord, am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” — MSG Can plunder be retrieved from a giant, prisoners of war gotten back from a tyrant? But God says, “Even if a giant grips the plunder and a tyrant holds my people prisoner, I’m the one who’s on your side, defending your cause, rescuing your children. And your enemies, crazed and desperate, will turn on themselves, killing each other in a frenzy of self-destruction. Then everyone will know that I, God, have saved you—I, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Isaiah 50

1 Thus saith the Lord: “Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. — where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? – God speaks of himself as the husband of his people, as having married his chosen to himself, denoting the tender affection which he had for his people;

— ye have sold yourselves; that is, you have gone into captivity on account of your sins. It has been your own act and you have thus become bondmen to a foreign power only by your own choice; is your mother put away; retaining the figure respecting divorce; the nation has been rejected and suffered to go into exile on account of its transgressions.

2 Why, when I came, was there no man? When I called, was there none to answer? Is My hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. — wherefore, when I came, was there no man? – that is, when I came to call you to repentance, why was there no man of the nation to yield obedience? the Targum says, “why have I sent my prophets, and they are not converted?”

— when I called, was there none to answer? – none obeyed or regarded my voice. It was not, therefore, by his fault that they had been punished but it was because they did not listen to the messengers which God had sent unto them;

— is my hand shortened at all? – it was not because God was unable to save that they had been thus punished. The hand is an emblem of strength as it is the instrument by which we accomplish our purposes. To shorten the hand, that is, to cut it off, is an emblem of diminishing or destroying our ability to execute any purpose (see Isaiah 59:1). So in Numbers 11:23 : ‘Is the Lord’s hand waxed short?’

— behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea; he was able to do it and did do it for the children of Israel and made a passage through the Red Sea for them as on dry land; which was done by a strong east wind he caused to blow, here called his “rebuke” Exodus 14:20.

3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering. — God clothe the heavens with blackness; with gross and thick darkness; perhaps referring to the three days’ darkness the Egyptians were in, Exodus 10:12, or with thick and black clouds, as in tempestuous weather frequently; or by eclipses of the sun; there was an extraordinary instance of great darkness at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, Matthew 27:45.

4 “The Lord God hath given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary. He wakeneth morning by morning; He wakeneth Mine ear to hear as the learned. — the tongue of the learned; the tongue of those who are instructed;’ that is of the eloquent; or the tongue of instruction (παιδείας paideias, Septuagint); that is, he has qualified me to instruct others; it means that on the subject of religion he was eminently endowed with intelligence and with eloquence;

— He waken me morning by morning; that is, he wakens me every morning early; from an instructor who awakens his pupils early in order that they may receive instruction. The idea is that the Redeemer would be eminently endowed under the divine instruction and guidance for his work; he would be one who was, so to speak, in the school of God; and who would be qualified to impart instruction to others.

5 The Lord God hath opened Mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. — hath opened mine ear; hath revealed unto me; or rathe, hath given me a power and will to hear and receive his commands as this phrase is used, Psalm 40:6 Isaiah 35:5.

6 I gave My back to the smiters and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not My face from shame and spitting. — I gave my back to the smiters; I submitted willingly to be scourged or whipped; this is one prophecy which can be applied to no other one but the Messiah; it was literally fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:26; compare Luke 18:33).

7 For the Lord God will help Me, therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set My face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. — For, or rather, but as this is better rendered; the Lord God will help me; though as a man I am weak and inconsiderable yet God will strengthen me to go through my great and hard suffering.

8 He is near that justifieth Me. Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who is Mine adversary? Let him come near to Me. — He is near that justifies me; His Father was “near” him in his whole state of humiliation; he left him not alone; he was at his right hand and therefore he was not moved;

— and “justified” him from all the false charges they brought against him and from all the sins of his people that were upon him; these he took upon him and bore them, upon which he was acquitted; and which is evident by his resurrection from the dead, by his ascension to heaven and session at the right hand of God.

9 Behold, the Lord God will help Me. Who is he that shall condemn Me? Lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. — they all shall wax old; all my enemies shall pass away as a garment is worn out and cast aside; the idea is that the Messiah would survive all their attacks; his cause, his truth and his reputation would live while all the power, the influence, the reputation of his adversaries, would vanish as a garment that is worn out and then thrown away.

10 “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His Servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. — the persons addressed in this call to faith are ‘those who fear the Lord,’ and ‘obey the voice of His Servant.’ It is implied that these two things are necessarily connected so that obedience to Son, the Messiah is the test of true religion for the fear of the Lord does not exist where the word of the Son is neglected or rejected; but those that truly fear God, obey the voice of his Son.

11 Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks! Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have from Mine hand: ye shall lie down in sorrow. — behold, all ye that kindle a fire; this refers to the wicked; in times of darkness and calamity, instead of trusting in God they would confide in their own resources and endeavor to kindle a light for themselves in which they might walk; but the result would be that they would find no comfort and would ultimately under his hand lie down in sorrow;

— the phrase, ‘that kindle a fire,’ refers to all the plans which people form with reference to their own salvation; all which they rely upon to guide them through the darkness of this world; it may include all the schemes of human philosophy, of false religion, of paganism, of infidelity, deism and self-righteousness; all dependence on their own good works or charities ties. All these are false lights which people enkindle, in order to guide themselves when they resolve to cast off God and to resist his spirit.

Isaiah (Ch 47-48)

•April 4, 2022 • 1 Comment

Although this chapter is expressively addressed to Babylon, many of the characteristics and challenges are relevant to to both the house of Israel and the house of Judah; for who else could have ever been described as virgin, tender and delicate? Perhaps the reference to Babylon is mystical Babylon and is thus relevant to the decaying state of the house of Jacob at the endtime, our time.

Isaiah 47

1 “Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground. There is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. — Babylon is represented under the emblem of a woman deeply in distress. She was to be degraded and endure sufferings; and is represented sitting on the ground, grinding at the handmill, the lowest and most laborious service.

Take the millstones and grind meal; uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. — uncover thy locks; the picture of suffering is heightened by the fact that the female slave has to wade unveiled, and bare-legged, all sense of shame outraged; the Targum says, “uncover the glory of thy kingdom.”

Thy nakedness shall be uncovered; yea, thy shame shall be seen; I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.” — thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen; not only stripped of their garments and have nothing to cover their naked bodies, being spoiled of all by the soldiers; but should have nothing to cover those parts which women are most ashamed to view.

As for our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel. — the prophet exults in the Lord of hosts as the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel. God often permits wicked men to prevail against his people; but those who cruelly oppress them will be punished.

“Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt no more be called the Lady of Kingdoms. — for thou shalt no more be called the lady of kingdoms; the magnificence, splendor, beauty and power, which have given occasion to this appellation and which have led the nations by common consent to give it to thee shall be entirely and forever removed.

I was wroth with My people, I have polluted Mine inheritance and given them into thine hand. Thou didst show them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke. — God was wroth with his people; the sin of Babylon was that she had gone beyond her commission as the chastiser of Israel, casting off all reverence for age and making even the old men do the hard tasks of bond-slaves (Lamentations 4:16, 5:12; Zechariah 1:15).

And thou saidst, ‘I shall be a lady for ever,’ so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it. — and thou said, I shall be a lady forever; this passage describes the pride and self-confidence of Babylon; she was confident in her wealth and splendour, the strength of her gates and walls; and in her abundant resources to resist an enemy or to sustain a siege.

“Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, who dwellest carelessly, who sayest in thine heart, ‘I am, and none else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children.’ — that dwell carelessly in vain security, without any consciousness of danger and without alarm.

But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day: the loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments. — but these two things shall come to thee in a moment on one day; suddenly, at once, at one and the same time;

— the destruction of Babylon was very sudden; the city taken by surprise before the inhabitants were aware of it while the king and his nobles were regaling themselves at a feast; that very night Belshazzar was slain and Darius the Mede took the kingdom.

10 For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness; thou hast said, ‘None seeth me.’ Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, ‘I am, and none else besides me.’ — for thou has trusted in thy wickedness; the word ‘wickedness’ here refers doubtless to the pride, arrogance, ambition and oppressions of Babylon.

11 Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth. And mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. — and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know; that is, before hand, neither the persons nor the time when it shall come;

— notwithstanding their astrologers, diviners and soothsayer, pretending to tell what would come to pass; but not being able by their art to give the least hint of Babylon’s destruction as to either time or means, the Chaldeans were in great security, ignorant of their ruin at hand as will the destruction of mystical Babylon.

12 “Stand now with thine enchantments and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast labored from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. — stand now with thine enchantments; a scornful challenge to Babylon’s magicians to show whether they can defend their city.

13 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators stand up and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. — thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels; speaking of astrologers, diviners and soothsayers; who were never able to give any satisfactory answers to questions put to them, as appears from Nebuchadnezzar’s consultation with them about his dream; and Belshazzar’s about the handwriting upon the wall.

14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. — they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; from those dreadful calamities that shall come upon them like flames of fire; and if they cannot deliver themselves by their art and skill, how should they deliver others?

15 Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast labored, even thy merchants, from thy youth; they shall wander every one to his quarter. None shall save thee. — thy merchants or they with whom thou has traded from thy youth shall wander everyone to his own quarter. None shall save thee; they shall all leave thee and flee away with all possible speed to their several countries and habitations.

Isaiah 48

1 “Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel and have come forth out of the waters of Judah, who swear by the name of the Lord and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth nor in righteousness; — Hear ye this, O house of Jacob; who were of the house and family of Jacob, his descendants and posterity; and are come forth out of the waters of Judah; that is, were of the seed of Judah;

But not in truth, nor in righteousness; not according to the complete will and truth of God; so what are their problems?

— 1a) the house of Judah hasn’t come to term with what the Godhead is; it is composed of God the Father and God the Son, hence in Genesis, Elohim (God in the plural) created the heavens and the earth; but the Jews couldn’t identify the Son which is all over in the Scriptures, especially the Torah and later, the Prophets;

— 1b) the lamb for Pascha was/is symbol of the death of the Messiah, our Moshiach or Saviour, our Redeemer, but the Orthodox still regard it only as an act of defiance to the Egyptians who regarded lamb as the Egyptians’ deity. The Scriptures nowhere say this, but is only a baloney figment of Jewish imagination;

— 2a) 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;

— 2b) 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 horsewhipped! Nar, those who resist 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!)

for they call themselves of the holy city and stand themselves upon the God of Israel—the Lord of Hosts is His name: — although they call themselves of the holy city, they do not worship God in sincerity and truth;

— Jerusalem was called ‘the holy city,’ because the temple, the ark and the divine presence were there, and it was the place where God was worshipped. It was deemed sacred by the Jews, and they regarded it as sufficient proof of goodness it would seem as they are dwelling there.

I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of My mouth, and I showed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. — God have declared the former things; that is, in former times I have predicted future events by the prophets which have come to pass as they were foretold. Though the fulfillment might have appeared to be long delayed, yet it came to pass at the very time.

Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew and thy brow brass, — that thou art obstinate; the sense is that they were obstinate and intractable, an expression probably taken from a bullock which refuses to bow down to receive the yoke.

I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I showed it thee, lest thou shouldest say, ‘Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image hath commanded them.’ — my idol hath done them; the idols and molten images had not foretold these events and when they came to pass, it could not, therefore, be pretended that they had been produced by idols;

— by predicting them, Yehovah kept up the proof that he was the true God and demonstrated that he alone was worthy of their worship.

Thou hast heard; see all this, and will not ye declare it? I have shown thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. — even hidden things; events which are so concealed that they could not be conjectured by any human understanding or by any contemplation of natural causes. They are, as it were, laid up in dark treasure houses and they can be known only by him to whom ‘the darkness shineth as the day;

— compare to Isaiah 45:3; the “treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places” – for two examples, see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years and A Sword from the South!)

They are created now and not from the beginning, even before the day when thou heardest them not, lest thou shouldest say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’ — even before the day when thou heard them they were in the heart of God, kept and reserved in his mind and therefore they are God’s hidden things before the Israelites heard anything of them.

Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not, yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened; for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously and wast called a transgressor from the womb. — yea, thou hear not; not only that these events could not have been foreseen by them but that when they were actually made known to them they were still stupid, dull and sceptical.

“For My name’s sake will I defer Mine anger, and for My praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. — for my name’s sake will I defer mine anger; and although thou dost justly deserve my hottest anger and most dreadful judgments, which if thou repent not, I will in time inflict thee into captivity; yet at present I will spare thee, not for thy sake, but for the vindication of my name and glory.

10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. — in the furnace of affliction; referring particularly to their trials in Babylon and perhaps one in the future. Afflictions are often likened to fire; from the fact that fire is used to purify or try metals and afflictions have the same object in reference to the people of God.

11 For Mine own sake, even for Mine own sake, will I do it; for how should My name be polluted? And I will not give My glory unto another. — for how should my name be polluted? blasphemed and evil spoken of among the house of Jacob; who would be ready to say that either the Lord did not love his people and was not mercifully disposed towards them; or that he could not save them and that their hands or their gods were mightier than he.

12 “Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called: I am He; I am the First, I also am the Last. — hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel; called out of Egypt, out of Babylon, and out of the world who had the name of God called upon them; so such who are called with a holy calling according to the purpose of God.

13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spanned the heavens; when I call unto them, they stand up together. — mine hand also hath laid; I am the Creator of all things, and I have all power and am abundantly able to deliver you from all your foes.

14 “All ye, assemble yourselves and hear. Who among them hath declared these things? The Lord hath loved him; He will do His pleasure on Babylon, and His arm shall be on the Chaldeans. — which among them hath declared these things? that are future, that concern the redemption and salvation of Israel? which of all the idols among the nations whom the Jews were prone to listen to that could foretell things to come?

— the Lord hath loved him; that is, Israel, as the Targum says, whom the Lord loved but would raise Cyrus to do his pleasure in Babylon as he does; and whom he distinguished from others by bestowing excellent qualifications on him; and whom he raised to great dignity by using him as an instrument in his hand for the deliverance of his people; and who was a type of the Messiah, the Son of God, in whom he is always well pleased.

— He will do his pleasure on Babylon through Cyrus, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans; he shall do as he pleases with Babylon and with his army destroy the Chaldeans; this is also true of Christ, who will do his pleasure on mystical Babylon, destroy any antichrist activities with his mighty arm and power with the breath of his mouth and with the brightness of his coming.

15 I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him; I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. — I, even I, have spoken; the word ‘I’ is repeated to give emphasis; to furnish the utmost security that it should be certainly accomplished. It means, that Yehovah and he alone had declared this and that it was entirely by his power that Cyrus or the Messiah had been raised up and had been made prosperous.

16 “Come ye near unto Me; hear ye this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I; and now the Lord God and His Spirit hath sent Me.” — I have not spoken in secret; the idea here is that he had foretold the raising up of both Cyrus and the Messiah in delivering his people in terms so plain that it could not be pretended that it was conjectured, and so clear that there was no ambiguity.

17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord thy God who teacheth thee to profit, who leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

18 O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea. — as a river; ‘that is, in abundance like a full flowing river that fills the banks and that conveys fertility and blessedness through a land;

— as the waves of the sea; large, abundant, infinite, persistent and continual.

19 Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy loins like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before Me.” — as the sand; this is often used to denote a great and indefinite number, for multitude according to his promise made to Abraham.

20 Go ye forth from Babylon! Flee ye from the Chaldeans! With a voice of singing declare ye; tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, “The Lord hath redeemed His servant Jacob.” — say ye, the Lord hath deemed his servant Jacob; referring both the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

21 And they thirsted not when He led them through the deserts; He caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; He cleaved the rock also, and the waters gushed out. — He caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; the allusions are that before this happen, they;

— (1) let them hear and say, “It is truth” (Isaiah 43:9) indicating there is no truth before that; and (2) “thou hast not known Me” (Isaiah 45:4,5) indicating that both the house of Israel and the house of Judah today have not known God;

— second, this also promised that much more truth would be revealed.

22 “There is no peace,” saith the Lord, “unto the wicked.” — there is no peace to the wicked beyond the grave. “A sinner can have no peace at the judgement bar of God; he can have no peace in hell.” In all the future world there is no place where he can find repose; and whatever this life may be, even if it be a life of prosperity and external comfort, yet to him there will be no prosperity in the future world and no external or internal peace there.

Evidence of Ukraine’s Bio-Weapon Labs

•April 2, 2022 • 1 Comment

RT Mar 31, 2022

Since RT.com is blocked and censored in many Western locations such as the EU, UK, US and Canada, here is a chance to share it with some excerpts:

Russia presents new evidence of biolabs in Ukraine, comments on links to Biden and US
Documents detail fate of US-funded deadly pathogens that may have been tested on Ukrainians

The Russian military has presented documents showing Ukraine’s interest in using drones to deliver weaponized pathogens developed in US-funded biolabs. Names of US officials involved in the biolabs projects, and the role the current US president’s son played in the program, were also made public during the special briefing on Thursday.

US patent (No. 8,967,029) is a mechanism to deploy aerosolized pathogens from a drone

One of the key pieces of evidence was a letter from the Ukrainian company Motor Sich to the  Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar Makina – makers of the Bayraktar TB2 and Akinci UAVs – dated December 15, 2021. The Ukrainians specifically asked if the drones could carry 20 liters of aerosolized payload to a range of 300 kilometers – putting them in range of a dozen major Russian cities and almost all of Belarus.

“We are talking about the development by the Kiev regime of technical means of delivery and use of biological weapons with the possibility of their use against the Russian Federation,” said Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, commander of the Russian Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Forces.

Kirillov also referenced a US patent (No. 8,967,029) for a mechanism to deploy aerosolized pathogens from a drone. The US response to a 2018 Russian inquiry about this patent did not deny its existence, but claimed that it technically did not violate Washington’s obligations under the treaties banning chemical and biological weapons, he pointed out.

Kirillov showed signed contracts between US government agencies – Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Pentagon, the Department of State – and the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, as well as the specific facilities inside Ukraine. The Pentagon spent more than $30 million for biological research at just one Ukrainian facility, the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health, according to the Russian military.

Hunter Biden – son of the current US President Joe Biden – played “an important role in creating a financial opportunity to work with pathogens on the territory of Ukraine.”

DTRA official Robert Pope was “one of the key figures” in the program, and “the author of the idea of creating a central depository of especially dangerous microorganisms in Kiev,” Kirillov said. The Pentagon’s biological projects in Ukraine were coordinated by Joanna Wintrol, head of the DTRA office in Kiev, until she left in August 2020. She directly supervised projects UP-4, UP-6, and UP-8 to study deadly pathogens, including anthrax, the Congo-Crimean fever, and leptospirosis, according to Kirillov.

The US agency’s point of contact was Ukraine’s Health Minister (2016-2019) Ulyana Suprun, herself a US citizen, Kirillov noted, while a major go-between was the private contractor Black and Veatch, whose Kiev office was headed by Lance Lippencott. Another Pentagon contractor, Metabiota, also had a role in the project.

Kirillov said that Hunter Biden – son of the current US President Joe Biden – played “an important role in creating a financial opportunity to work with pathogens on the territory of Ukraine,” pointing to several emails between him and executives of Metabiota and Black and Veatch. In particular, he described the Metabiota VP as “a confidant of Hunter Biden,” based on their correspondence. According to the general, the “Western media” has confirmed the authenticity of these emails – presumably a reference to materials published last week by the British newspaper the Daily Mail.

According to Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, commander of the Russian Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Forces, all pathogenic biomaterials stored in Ukraine were “transported by military transport aircraft to the United States via Odessa,” in early February 2022, is this stored now at Fort Detrick? Anybody knows? On February 24, as Russian troops entered Ukraine, the ministry of health in Kiev ordered the remaining strains to be destroyed, the general said.

Kirillov said that the Russian intervention halted activities at five Ukrainian biolabs that had been working with anthrax, tularemia, brucellosis, cholera, leptospirosis, and African swine fever.

Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

And earlier this was confirmed by Victoria Nuland, “Ukraine has biological research facilities, which in fact we are now quite concerned Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of, so we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach,” said Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, during a Senate hearing on Ukraine; Mar 9, 2022

Who Are the Americans Coordinating Bioweapons Research in Ukraine Labs? Spuntnik April 1, 2022

FORT DETRICK – SOURCE of COVID-19?

Isaiah (Ch 45-46)

•April 1, 2022 • 1 Comment

Many believe Russia was and still is the main threat to the United States. Others, like warmonger John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, give incredible speeches around the world saying China is the main enemy.

And Mearsheimer brilliantly emphasizes the United States are protected by fish to the left and fish to the right, but foolishly negates to address America’s broken border in the South; and that the Scriptures say that America’s main “enemy” comes from the porous South! (for more, click here)

Isaiah 45

1 “Thus saith the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut: — thus saith the Lord to his anointed; that is, Cyrus, who is called the Lord’s anointed because he was raised up and ordained by divine counsel to perform God’s good pleasure.

I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron. — I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight; or “level the hilly places” as pioneers do. The sense is that he would remove all impediments and obstructions out of his way and cause him to surmount all difficulties.

And I will give thee the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, who call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. — and I will give thee the treasures of darkness; the treasures which kings have amassed and which they have laid up in dark and secure places. The word ‘darkness,’ here, means that which was hidden, unknown, secret.

For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel Mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known Me. — UNBELIEVABLE! Even God says both “Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel Mine elect” have not known him! This is a serious charge coming from God Almighty himself, so how?

— the house of Judah hasn’t come to term with what the Godhead is; it is composed of God the Father and God the Son, hence in Genesis, Elohim (God in the plural) created the heavens and the earth; but the Jews couldn’t identify the Son which is all over in the Scriptures, especially the Torah and later, the Prophets;

— and the lamb for Pascha was/is symbol of the death of the Messiah, our Moshiach or Saviour, our Redeemer, but the Orthodox still regard it only as an act of defiance to the Egyptians who regarded lamb as the Egyptians’ deity. The Scriptures nowhere say this, but is only a baloney figment of Jewish imagination;

— 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;

— 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 horsewhipped! Nar, those who resist 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!)

I am the Lord, and there is none else; there is no God besides Me. I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me, — “though thou hast not known Me” is repeated to give double assurance, or the sake of emphasis or strong confirmation;

— they have not known nor understood Me; reaffirming emphatically that they are stupid, ignorant and blind.

that they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. — I, Yehovah, beside me there’s no God: I equipped thee when you knew me not; that they may know from the rising of the sun, and its going down, that there is none without me.

I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things. — I Yehovah, and there is none else, former of light and creator of the darkness; founder of peace, and creator of evil.

“Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together. I, the Lord, have created it. — the Targum interprets this of the resurrection of the dead, paraphrasing as, “let the heavens from above minister, and the clouds flow with good; let the earth open, and the dead revive; and let righteousness be revealed together; I the Lord have created them.”

“Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, ‘What makest thou?’ or thy work, ‘He hath no hands’? — woe unto him that strives with his Maker; that contends with him, enters into a controversy and disputes with him;

— or litigates or quarrels with his purposes and decrees; murmurs and repines at his providences and finds fault with his judgements: this seems to have respect to the murmurs, quarrels and contests of the Jews about the Son of God as the Messiah, the author of righteousness and the redeemer when he appears later.

10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, ‘What begettest thou?’ or to the woman, ‘What hast thou brought forth?’ — Woe unto him; this implied wickedness and foolishness for a son to complain of his father or mother in regard to his birth or of his rank and condition of life. 

11 “Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands command ye Me. — instead of striving with Me in regard to My purposes, your wisdom is in prayer to ask and even command Me, in so far as it is for My glory and for your real good; ask me of things to come; that is, I alone can direct and order future events; and it is your privilege to make inquiry respecting those events.

12 I have made the earth and created man upon it; I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. — God have made the earth and created man upon it: I, even my hands have stretched out the heavens and all their host, that is, the stars, have I commanded.

13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways; he shall build My city, and he shall let go My captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts.” — I have raised him up in righteousness; though this may be said with some respect to Cyrus, yet chiefly to the Messiah of whom Cyrus was a type; him the Lord appointed and determined to be the Saviour and Redeemer of his people; him he sent forth in time for that purpose.

14 Thus saith the Lord: “The labor of Egypt and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine. They shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee; they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, ‘Surely God is in thee, and there is none else; there is no god.’” — Surely God is in thee; in thee only is God. These of course are words of all the Gentiles to Israel, expressing their acceptance of the true religion. Israel’s God has proved Himself to be the God of history, the only true God.

15 Verily Thou art a God who hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Savior. — the Septuagint renders this, ‘For thou art God, though we did not know it, O God of Israel the Saviour.’ We may be in the dark now, but in due time we shall be permitted to see his design and to witness results so glorious as shall satisfy us that his ways are all just and his dealings right.

16 They shall be ashamed and also confounded, all of them; they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. — they shall be ashamed and confounded; that is, they shall find all their hopes fail and shall be suffused with shame that they were ever so senseless as to trust in blocks of wood and stone.

17 But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation; ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. — or as the Targum says, “They are saved by the Word of the Lord.”

18 For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens, God Himself that formed the earth and made it—He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is none else. — not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited; Judah, lying waste during the Babylonish captivity, shall be peopled again by the exiles. The Jews, from this passage, infer that the earth shall be inhabited, for there can be no reason why the earth should then exist in vain any more than now.

19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I said not unto the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek ye Me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak righteousness; I declare things that are right. — God have not spoken in secret; the word rendered ‘secret’ (סתר sı̂ther) denotes a hiding or covering; and the phrase means secretly, privately. He did not imitate the pagan oracles by uttering his predictions from dark and deep caverns, and encompassed with the circumstances of awful mystery and with designed obscurity.

20 “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations. They have no knowledge, who set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. — and pray to a god that cannot save; itself, nor them; cannot hear their prayers, nor return an answer; cannot help and assist them in distress, nor deliver them out of their troubles; and therefore it must be the height of madness and folly to pray unto it.

21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together. Who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I, the Lord? And there is no God else besides Me, a just God and a Savior. There is none besides Me. — Tell ye, and bring them near and let them take counsel together; and gather their gods, their makers and their worshippers and let them lay their heads together and consult what proof they are able to give of their divinities, particularly by foretelling things to come.

22 “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.

23 I have sworn by Myself; the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. — that unto me every knee shall bow; not only the Jews, but all nations shall worship him and submit to his laws, statutes and ordinances: which is signified by the bowing of the knee, a posture of reverence and subjection, and by one eminent part of God’s worship, swearing by his name.

24 Surely, shall one say, ‘In the Lord have I righteousness and strength. Even to Him shall men come, and all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed. — shall be ashamed; the enemies of God shall see their own feebleness and folly; and they shall be ashamed that they have endeavored to oppose one so mighty and glorious as the Almighty God.

25 In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.’” — all the seed of Israel; all the spiritual seed or descendants of Jacob; all who have a character resembling that of Israel or Jacob; all who are the true children and friends of God.

Isaiah 46

1 Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth; their idols were upon the beasts and upon the cattle. Your carriages were heavy laden; they are a burden to the weary beast. — Bel boweth down; Bel or Belus (בל bēl, from בעל be‛ēl, the same as בעל ba‛al was the chief god of the Babylonians and was worshipped in the celebrated tower of Babylon.

They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity. — the Targum understands this and the preceding clause; “they are cut off, and cut to pieces together, they could not deliver those that carried them.”

“Hearken unto Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, who are borne by Me from the belly, who are carried from the womb: — hearken unto me; the prophet’s choice of words is emphatic: the false gods are borne away as a burden; the true God bears, that issupports His people; he is able to bear their burden. 

And even to your old age I am He, and even to hoary hairs will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. — Even to your old age; the care of a mother ceases in the natural course of things before a man grows old but the fatherly, we might almost say the mother-like, maternal care of Yehovah for His chosen ones endures even to the end of life.

“To whom will ye liken Me and make Me equal, and compare Me, that we may be like?

They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith, and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship. — they who pour gold out of the bag and weigh silver with the balance, hire a goldsmith to make it into a god that they may fall down, yea, throw themselves down;

They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him and set him in his place, and he standeth. From his place shall he not remove; yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer nor save him out of his trouble. — they lift it up, carry it away upon their shoulder and set it down in its place: there it stands; from its place it does not move: men also cry to it, but it does not answer; it saves no one out of distress.

“Remember this, and show yourselves men; bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. — O ye transgressors; ye who have violated the laws of God by the worship of idols. During the time of Manasseh, the Israelites were much addicted to idolatry, and probably this is to be regarded as addressed to them.

Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none other; I am God, and there is none like Me,

10 declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,’ — declaring the end from the beginning; foretelling accurately the course of future events; this is an argument to which God often appeals in proof that he is the only true God.

11 calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth My counsel from a far country. Yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. — calling a ravenous bird; Cyrus is thus described as ravenous as Nebuchadnezzar is in Jeremiah 49:22Ezekiel 17:3

12 “Hearken unto Me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: — ye stouthearted; the word like analogous terms in Ezekiel 2:4Ezekiel 3:7, implies at once obduracy and ignorance.

13 I bring near My righteousness; it shall not be far off, and My salvation shall not tarry; and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel My glory. — or Israel may be called his glory because he gives glory to them; not only grace here but glory hereafter when their salvation wilt be complete, that is, completely enjoyed.

Isaiah (Ch 43-44)

•March 30, 2022 • 1 Comment

The Scriptures are often shrouded in cryptic languages; as usual a prophecy of Isaiah will start with the house of Judah and Jerusalem then spread to the house of Israel and soon it includes many prophecies concerning other nations surrounding the region. Our challenge is to decrypt them, especially as it relates to the latter days, our days.

Isaiah 43

1 But now thus saith the Lord who created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. — the Lord that created thee; the title implies something more than “the Maker of heaven and earth.” The Almighty God, Yehovah has created Israel as specially answering for His own purpose. To “call by name” is a mark of individualising tenderness.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee. When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. — through troubles of any kind, that tenderness continues.

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior; I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. — God gave Egypt for its ransom: this was fulfilled when he smote the Egyptians, both first-born and others in Egypt and drowned Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for the safety and benefit of his people.

Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee; therefore will I give men for thee and people for thy life. — the sense is, from that time that God had chosen them for his precious and peculiar treasure and people, he has had a great esteem and affection for them.

Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east and gather thee from the west; — fear not; I will bring thy seed, thy children; thy descendants; the sense is God will re-collect his scattered people from all parts of the world. The passage appears to have been taken from Deuteronomy 30:3, where God promises to gather his people together again if they should be scattered among the nations, and should then repent.

I will say to the north,‘ Give up,’ and to the south, ‘Keep not back.’ Bring My sons from far and My daughters from the ends of the earth, — God will say to the north, Give up; Give up my people, or restore them to their own land.

— Bring my sons; bring all my people from the distant lands where they have been driven in their dispersion. This is a commanding passage because all lands are under the control of God and he could at once command and they would obey. He issues a command which is heard in all quarters of the globe and the scattered people of God come flocking again to their own land.

even every one that is called by My name: For I have created him for My glory; I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” — everyone that is called by my name; to be called by the name of anyone is being regarded as his son since a son bears the name of his father (see Isaiah 44:5Isaiah 48:1). The expression, therefore means all are to be regarded as the children of God.

Bring forth the blind people that have eyes and the deaf that have ears. — to bring out a blind people: Heb. הוֹצִיא, like לְהוֹצִיא to bring out those currently in exile (verses 5-6 above), those minds are exiled because they became like blind; although they had eyes they did not see.

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear and say, “It is truth.” — all the nations; rather all ye nations. Israel is a witness on the one hand a multitude of nations the other to assemble before him in Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. and there to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles;

— and not 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;

— nor 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;

— those who rebel and continue to resist will be horsewhipped! Nar, those who resist would suffer judgement by the sword, by famine, by pestilence and spending years in captivity to repent there (for more see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years and A Sword from the South!).

10 “Ye are My witnesses,” saith the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. — you are my witnesses, saith the Lord; the people of Israel, who could testify that the Lord had foretold their affliction in Egypt, their coming from thence and settling in the land of Canaan, many hundreds of years before they came to pass and which were exactly fulfilled.

11 I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior. — I, even I, am the Lord; the repetition of the pronoun ‘I’ makes it emphatic. The design is to affirm that there was no other being to whom the name ‘Yehovah’ pertained.

12 I have declared and have saved, and I have shown, when there was no strange god among you; therefore ye are My witnesses,” saith the Lord, “that I am God. — God have declared; I have announced or predicted future events; I have warned of danger; I have marked out the path of safety. He had thus shown that he was the true God.

13 Yea, before the day was, I am He, and there is none that can deliver out of My hand; I will work, and who shall turn it back?” — yea, before the day was I am he; before there was a day, before the first day of the creation; that is before time was or from all eternity, I am he that have spoken of it by all the prophets from the beginning of the world and now it is accomplished.

14 Thus saith the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I have sent to Babylon and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. — the Targum paraphrases it to make the sense clearer, “because of your sins have I carried you captive unto Babylon”

— as Daniel had prayed for his people: 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, we have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgements, Dan 9:4-5.

15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” — I am the Lord, your Holy One; and therefore need not doubt of the performance of those promises: the Creator of Israel, your King; and therefore both able and willing to protect you.

16 Thus saith the Lord, who maketh a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters,

17 Who bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power (they shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched as tow): — they shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they lay down in the Red sea where they sunk to the bottom and perished and never rose more at least to life, nor never will till the general resurrection:

— they are extinct, they are quenched as tow; or flax as the wick of a candle when put into water is quenched at once; so the Egyptian became extinct in the Red Sea. 

18 “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. — so great and wonderful shall be God’s future interpositions in your behalf that what he has done great as that was shall be comparatively forgotten.

19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. — God will do a new thing; something that has not hitherto occurred, some unheard of and wonderful event that shall far surpass all that he had formerly done.

20 The beast of the field shall honor Me, the dragons and the owls, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. — even the beast of the field shall honor Me, the dragons and the owls, for I give waters and rivers in the wilderness and the desert, how much more would give drink to My people, My chosen.

21 This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise. — this people have I formed for myself, that is, the elect who may include the Gentiles, compared to a desert and wilderness, distinguished from Jacob and Israel in the next verse, and the same with the chosen people before mentioned; who being chosen of God.

22 “But thou hast not called upon Me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of Me, O Israel. — thou hast been weary, as a people, you have been weary of me; they had accounted his laws grievous and oppressive; and they had groaned under what they regarded as burdensome rites and ceremonies;

— and so the Targum says, “and ye come not to my worship, O ye of the house of Jacob.”

23 Thou hast not brought Me the lambs or kids of thy burnt offerings, neither hast thou honored Me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. — thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; the kids and the lambs which according to the law should have been brought for burnt offerings daily, morning and evening;

— and much less did they bring the larger cattle of burnt offerings as oxen and bullocks. The Targum renders it “the rams of thy burnt offerings”- the Septuagint version, “the sheep” – and these were not brought to him but to their idols; or however were not brought in a right way and manner or having the right principles or with the right attitudes.

24 Thou hast bought Me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled Me with the fat of thy sacrifices. But thou hast made Me to serve with thy sins; thou hast wearied Me with thine iniquities. — thou hast made me to serve with thy sins; thou hast made me to bear the load and burden of thy sins, which are very grievous and oppressive to me, Amos 2:13.

25 “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. — and will not remember thy sins; God forgives and forgets.

26 Put Me in remembrance; let us plead together; declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. — put me in remembrance, that is, remind Me of every plea which thou hast to urge before Me in thy plea.

27 Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against Me. — thy first father hath sinned, these words have been interpreted: (1) of Adam; (2) of Abraham; (3) of Jacob; (4) of the ancestors of Israel collectively; (5) of this or that high priest individually.

28 Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse and Israel to reproaches. — and have given Jacob to the curse; the Septuagint renders it, ‘I have given Jacob to be destroyed.’

Isaiah 44

1 “Yet now hear, O Jacob My servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen. — yet now hear, O Jacob; although I have chastised thee for thy sins and had just cause utterly to destroy thee, yet in judgement I will remember mercy and will still own thee for my servant and chosen people.

Thus saith the Lord that made thee and formed thee from the womb, who will help thee: Fear not, O Jacob, My servant, and thou, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. — thou, Jesurun; the ideal name of Israel as “the upright one;” so the Book of Jasher is the book of the “upright” of the heroes of Israel.

For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring. — for God will pour water upon him that is thirsty; including upon the thirsty land, as the Targum and the Syriac versions say, “in a thirsty place” as a dry land is a thirsty land; it thirsts for water, large quantities of rain to moisten it, and make it fruitful.

And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the watercourses. — they shall spring up as among the grass; they shall increase and flourish like grass and those herbs and plants which grow up in the midst of it.

One shall say, ‘I am the Lord’s’; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand, ‘Unto the Lord,’ and surname himself by the name of Israel. — one shall say, I am the Lord’s, etc; there shall be an influx of proselytes;

— instead of the heathen nations looking scornfully on and uttering gibes and jeers at Israel’s fall, on seeing Israel’s rise they shall be anxious to have a part in it and shall hasten to enrol themselves among the worshippers of Yehovah;

— “One shall say, I am Yehovah’s” – while “another shall proclaim the name of Jacob,” as that in which he glories; and a third shall write on his hand, “I am Jehovah’s” and take as a surname the name of Israel.

“Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First, and I am the Last, and besides Me there is no God. — here God renews his contest with idols which he insists upon so oft and so much because his own people were exceeding prone to idolatry.

And who, as I, shall call and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people? And the things that are coming and shall come, let them show unto them. — since … ancient people; have given the house of Jacob predictions of the future ever since I appointed them as My people in ancient times; therefore they were qualified to be His witnesses.

Fear ye not, neither be afraid. Have not I told thee from that time and have declared it? Ye are even My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Yea, there is no God. I know not any.” — is there a God besides me? that is a true God; for there were many fictitious and false deities but none omniscient and omnipotent that could foretell future events and accomplish them as he did; there is no god but the one God: the Father and Son.

They that make a graven image are all of them vanity, and their delectable things shall not profit. And they are their own witnesses; they see not nor know, that they may be ashamed.

10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed; and the workmen, they are of men. Let them all be gathered together; let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. — the uniqueness of God having been set forth, the prophet now turns to the images and the image-makers, overwhelming them with his scorn and ridicule.

12 The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms. Yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth; he drinketh no water and is faint.

13 The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line. He fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.

14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest. He planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. — he hews down cedars and taketh the cypress and the oak; to make gods of trees both pleasant and durable, but all useless.

15 Then shall it be for a man to burn, for he will take thereof and warm himself. Yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshipeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. — when shall it be for a man to burn, it will afford materials for a nice fire.

16 He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast and is satisfied. Yea, he warmeth himself and saith, “Aha, I am warm; I have seen the fire.” — image-making is described, to expose more folly of idolaters.

17 And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image. He falleth down unto it and worshipeth it, and prayeth unto it and saith, “Deliver me, for thou art my god.”

18 They have not known nor understood; for He hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see, and their hearts, that they cannot understand. — they have not known nor understood; they are stupid, ignorant and blind. Nothing could more strikingly show their ignorance and stupidity than this idol worship.

19 And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, “I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh and eaten it. And shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?” — shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? or “the bud of a tree?” or that which is made out of a tree of my own planting, cutting down and hewing, part of which has been used to the above purposes; and the remaining lifeless log shall I worship it as a god?

20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” — more pouring of scorn on idolaters; they make the gods they worship;

— they take a tree and saw it up: one log serves for a fire to cook their food, and with compass and pencil and plane they carve the figure of a man and then they bow down to it and say, ‘Deliver me, for thou art my god!’

21 “Remember these, O Jacob and Israel, for thou art My servant. I have formed thee; thou art My servant. O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten by Me. — remember these things which are now said about the folly of idolatry and the vanity of worshipping idols; the argument is to turn their attention to God and to lead them to put their trust in him.

22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins; return unto Me, for I have redeemed thee.” — God have blotted out as a thick cloud; as the sun commonly dissolves or the wind scatters the thickest and blackest cloud so as there is no remnant nor appearance of it left. Return from thine idolatry and other wicked practices.

23 Sing, O ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it! Shout, ye lower parts of the earth! Break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest and every tree therein; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel. — Sing, O ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it; done what he promised, the forgiveness of the sins of his people and the redemption of them. So the Targum says, “because the Lord hath wrought redemption for his people.”

— because the heavens are called upon to sing on this occasion as the angels of heaven did when the Redeemer was born, and who rejoice at the salvation of God’s elect, Luke 2:13, shout, ye lower parts of the earth; the earth, which is low in comparison of the heavens; the inhabitants of it especially the Gentiles, which dwelt in the lower parts of the world in comparison of Judea which lay high.

24 “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb: I am the Lord that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself; — that stretches forth the heavens alone, that spreads abroad the earth by myself; of himself and by his own strength and power;

— and he stretched out the vast space of the heavens as a curtain and spread out the earth in its length and breadth and the large surface of it to that great circumference which it has; a full proof of his proper deity! A man cannot stretch out a curtain or piece of tapestry of any size without the help of another; and much less can a creature stretch out the heavens and the earth.

25 that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad, that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; — and makes their knowledge foolish; he makes them appear to be fools.

26 that confirmeth the word of His servant, and performeth the counsel of His messengers, that saith to Jerusalem, ‘Thou shalt be inhabited,’ and to the cities of Judah, ‘Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof’; — all suppose that Jerusalem which in the prophet’s time was full of inhabitants, should be emptied of them, by the sword, famine, pestilence and captivity; yet nevertheless, there should be a return of the Jews from captivity;

— and this city should be peopled and inhabited again; and also that the cities of Judah should be laid waste, and all should be rebuilt and restored to a flourishing state again. The Lord had said it and it should be done.

27 that saith to the deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers’; — that saith to the deep, be dry; the Targum says, “that saith to Babylon, be desolate.”

28 that saith of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd and shall perform all My pleasure,’ even saying to Jerusalem, ‘Thou shalt be built,’ and to the temple, ‘Thy foundation shall be laid.’ — that saith of Cyrus; this is the first time in which Cyrus is expressly named by Isaiah, though he is often referred to. Here is mentioned expressly by name and it was fulfilled about two hundred years later.

Who Are the Gypsies?

•March 28, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Who are the Gypsies? Who are the Romani people?

In the English language, the Romani people are widely known as Gypsies which is considered pejorative by many Romani people due to its connotations of illegality and irregularity as well as its historical use as a racial slur. But not so in Britain where many Romani proudly identify themselves as “Gypsies.” There the the English term Gypsy, or Gipsy, are known to have originated from the Middle English gypcian, which is short for Egipcien.

In Europe, Romani people are associated with poverty and blamed for high crime rates. Often thy make their living as wandering musicians and singers and are also accused of behaving in ways that are perceived as being antisocial or misappropriate by the rest of the population. Many saw them and continue to do so in many cases as dirty, thieving and undesirable, others as artistic, romantic and carefree, and they gained an often justified reputation as pickpockets, thieves and works of sorceries, astrologers, stargazers and soothsayers.

Wiki: Distribution of (about 10 million) Egipciens in Europe

In France, they are referred to as gitanes, in Spain they are called gitanos, and in Germany, zigeuner. Partly for this reason, discrimination against the Romani people has continued to be practiced to the present day.

Spain became the first country to issue an edict against the Gypsies in 1490, prohibiting their dress, language and customs in an effort to forcibly assimilate them, but it only made them keep a lower profile. France and England enacted expulsion orders in the 1530s, and many countries in central Europe forced the Gypsies into slavery, leaving them no choice but to continue their nomadic existence.

In the 20th century, the Gypsies faced a much more sinister foe than medieval villagers in the form of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, who decided that all Gypsies must be exterminated. They were accused of many crimes that the Jews were also blamed for, including such things as child abduction and cannibalism. During the war, besides being occasionally rounded up, they were also often simply killed on sight. When World War II was over, a million were estimated had perished at the hands of the Nazis.

So who are these vagrant Gypsies? Could their fates have been found in the Scriptures?

Yes, they could be found in the Scriptures. They were they descendants of the Pharaoh and their princes of the royal city of Zoan. The majority traveled as free nomads with their wagons as alluded to in the spoked wheel symbol in the Romani flag, and they pride themselves having remained a tight knit community of families and as wise vagrants but were often considered as experts in wizardry and witchcrafts by their hosts.

Below are the Scriptures that are written of them:

Where are thy wise men? Where are the Egipciens? Scattered around the world now

Ezekiel 29, concerning ALL Egypt:

2 “Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him and against all Egypt.

3 Speak, and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: “‘Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, “My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.”

4 But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales; and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.

5 And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers; thou shalt fall upon the open fields. Thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered. I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven.

6 And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the Lord, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel.

But it would be after after facing God’s judgement for a period of forty years!

12 And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years; and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and will disperse them through the countries.

13 “‘Yet thus saith the Lord God: At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered.

14 And I will bring back the captives of Egypt and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation, and they shall be there a base kingdom.

15 It shall be the least of the kingdoms, neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations; for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.

In Isaiah 19:1,11, concerning the Princes of Egypt who were wise in their own eyes:

1 The burden of Egypt: Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt; and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at His presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.

11 Surely the princes of Zoan are fools; the counsel of the wise counselors of Pharaoh has become brutish. How say ye unto Pharaoh, “I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings”?

From “Gypsy” entertainers to “Romani” musicians

— surely the princes of Zoan (or Tanis as the Targum says), a city of Lower Egypt, known as “the royal city of the Pharaohs, “it was then the royal city and at one time the capital of the country, who claimed “we are the sons of wise men” are fools, the counsel of the wise counselors of Pharaoh is become brutish, the priestly counselors of the Egyptian king had lost all their wisdom;

— how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings? In spite of the fact that they boasted their descent from wise and ancient counselors, even of royalty, they were unable to offer advice in their crisis to their Pharaoh;

12 Where are they? Where are thy wise men? And let them tell thee now, and let them know what the Lord of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt.

— and God challenge them; where are they? where are their wise men? And, let them tell thee now, in a certain prophecy, and let them know what the Lord of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt, and it has deep consequences;

Isaiah 30:

4 For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.

— for Pharaoh’s princes were at Zoan, known as “the royal city of the Pharaohs” which is the same as Tanis, the metropolis of one of the provinces of Egypt; and so the Targum renders it, “Tanes” and the Septuagint version, “Tanis.” The Jews say there is not a more excellent place in all Egypt than Zoan, because kings were brought up in it, as it is said here, “his princes were at Zoan.”

— and more on Zoan: today, Gypsies are known as Roma, but in Hebrew, their name is derived from the Egyptian city of Zoan, or Tanis, at one time the royal and capital of the country; and this is from Wikipedia (Romani people);

Hebrew: צוענים‎, romanized: Tzoanim. Derives either from the biblical Egyptian city of Zoan, or from the linguistic root צ־ע־נ‎, meaning “wander.”

— the other called “Hanes” is the same with Tahapanes in Jeremiah 2:16 and Tahpanhes, Jeremiah 43:7 and so the Targum here calls it; it is thought to be the same with Daphnae Pelusiae; here Pharaoh had a house or palace; see Jeremiah 43:9 and this is the reason of the ambassadors (the Jeremiah’s entourage and the king’s daughters, after escaping from Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, who smote Gedaliah the governor and who might also kill them) from the “children of God” had gone there.

Gypsy women were adored for their beauty and seductive charms:
“And they shall know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 32:

18 “Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt and cast them down, even her and the daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth with them that go down into the pit.

— “wail for the multitude of Egypt and cast them down. . . unto the nether parts of the earth” — the Gypsies, an ethnic group and were considered ‘wanderers’ or vagrants, an traditionally itinerant people now living in various parts of central Europe and the Balkans (Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, the Czech and Slovak republics, and Hungary) and Southern France, as well as Turkey;

— but the Gypsies, in one opinion, were alleged to have originated from northern India. Proofs are scanty, and are subjected to dispute; but if so, they were captured by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and perhaps some were brought to Persia and around the lower Euphrates region, where they could have migrated further eastward to the Indian subcontinent. Having arrived in the Punjab region their ancestors followed Hinduism; that they were identified as worshippers of the Hindu Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva.

— according to their proponents, the Romani people occupied the lowest rung on the Indian caste system of early medieval India, where they were classified as the untouchables and were subjected to discrimination and were also assigned society’s dirtiest jobs. Hence it could be for this reason that they continued to migrate westward first to the Balkans in Eastern Europe and then beyond, but nothing is proven, as Wiki also tells us, “There is also no known record of a migration from India to Europe from medieval times that can be connected indisputably to Roma.”

Still, if such legend is true, evidence point to the fact that perhaps at least a thousand years earlier, they had been dispersed during the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar (reign 605–562 BC) and were scattered around various countries. That’s right, into many countries. That vast majority might not had been brought to Persia but scattered elsewhere, perhaps straight to Syria, Anatolia and into the Balkans and beyond. And back to some Scriptures from Ezekiel that say about the Egyptians being scattered, dispersed and dispossessed:

Ezekiel 29:

12 “and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and will disperse them through the countries.”

19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army.

— today, Gypsies are also known as Roma, but in Hebrew, their name is derived from the Egyptian city of Zoan, known as “the royal city of the Pharaohs” or Tanis (as the Targum says), at one time the royal and capital of the country; and in the English literature, described as “outlandish people calling themselves Egyptians.” And this is from Wikipedia (Romani people):

The English term Gypsy (or Gipsy) originates from the Middle English gypcian, short for Egipcien; the medieval French referred the Romanies as Egyptiens.

Hebrew: צוענים‎, romanized: Tzoanim. Derives either from the biblical Egyptian city of Zoan, or from the linguistic root צ־ע־נ‎, meaning “wander”

— and from the French entry:

French: gitan/tsigane, English gypsy, gipsy / dʒɪpsiː/, Irish: giofóg, Spanish/Catalan/Italian gitano, Basque: ijito, Turkish: çingene, all from Greek: Αἰγύπτιος, romanized: Aigýptios “Egyptian” (corrupted form: Γύφτος, Gýftos), and Hungarian: fáraónépe from Greek: φαραώ, romanized: pharaó “pharaoh” – referring to their allegedly Egyptian provenance.

Of significance is that the Gypsies were known as Gypcians or Egipciens in Middle English; the medieval French referred the Romanies as Egyptiens; in Hebrew as Tzoanim and Pharaó in Greek.

And finally in Ezekiel 30:

26 “And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the Lord.” — ‘scatter and disperse’ repeated in Ezekiel 29:12 and 30:23

In Europe, Gypsies were expelled from the Meissen region of Germany in 1416, Lucerne in 1471, Milan in 1493, France in 1504, Catalonia in 1512, Sweden in 1525, England in 1530, and Denmark in 1536. From 1510 onwards, any Romani found in Switzerland were to be executed, while in England (beginning in 1554) and Denmark (beginning of 1589) any Romani which did not leave within a month were to be executed. Portugal began deportations of Romanis to its colonies in 1538.

in France, they were branded, and their heads were shaved; in Moravia and Bohemia, the women were marked by their ears being severed. As a result, large groups of the Romani moved to the East, toward Poland, which was more tolerant, and Russia, where the Romani were treated more fairly as long as they paid the annual taxes.

The Egyptians Act 1530 was an English Act passed to expel the “outlandish people calling themselves Egyptians” meaning the Gypsies. The Act accused Gypsies of using crafty and subtle devices to deceive people, palmistry, tell fortunes whilst committing felonies such as robbery; and goods which Gypsies had stolen were to be restored to their owners. The statute forbade any more Gypsies from entering the realm and those already in England sixteen days’ notice to depart from the realm.

Not able to cover Gypsies who were born in England or those who came by way of Scotland another Egyptians Act 1554 was passed during the reign of Queen Mary I to reinforce their complaint that “Egyptians” were plying their “devilish and naughty practices and devices.” The new Act allowed Gypsies to escape prosecution so long as they abandoned their nomadic lifestyle described as “naughty, idle and ungodly.” Gypsies were either forced to settle down, exit the realm or face potential death at the will of the Crown.

Queen Mary I of England, Reign: July 1553 – November 1558

The Egyptians were scattered (Ezekiel 29:12,19) by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (reign 605–562 BC) and after forty years (Ezekiel 29:13) some were brought back to their own land but only as a base nation. Others, especially who were of the Pharaohs and their princes, remain scattered throughout the world today these vagrants are known as the Romani people.

— after being scattered and dispersed among the nation “they shall know that I am the Lord,” reaffirms their survival at the end, coming into repentance by then knowing that the God of Israel is both omniscient and omnipotent. In fact, this phase “and they shall know that I am the Lord,” is repeated four times (verses 8, 19, 25, 26) in this chapter alone, reaffirming emphatically they’ll survive through the Lord’s redemption at the end.

For some Gypsies stories experienced in Europe, see A Brief Introduction to Gypsies UNZ Review by Larry Romanoff / April 22, 2022

Isaiah (Ch 41-42)

•March 26, 2022 • 2 Comments

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. And in Isaiah 42:1 the Targum identifies “my servant” as “the Messiah.”

Isaiah 41

1 “Keep silence before Me, O islands, and let the people renew their strength; let them come near, then let them speak; let us come near together to judgement. — O islands; this word properly means islands and is so translated here by the Septuagint and the Syriac. But the word also is used to denote maritime countries; Countries that were situated on seacoasts or the regions beyond sea.

2 “Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to His foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? He gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.— who raised up the righteous man from the east; the Targum interprets this of Abraham, and so the Talmud; he was a righteous man, was raised up out of an idolatrous family from Ur of the Chaldees, on the other side the river Euphrates, which lay east of Judea.

3 He pursued them, and passed safely, even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.

4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am He.” — Can any heathen god raise up one in righteousness, make what use of him he pleases and make him victorious over the nations? The Lord did so with Abraham; and more so he would do so with Cyrus, anointing him as king even before he was born.

5 The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came. — the isles saw it; the distant nations saw what was done in the conquests of the man whom God in this remarkable manner had raised up; and they had had demonstration, therefore, of the mighty power of God above the power of idols;

— and feared; were alarmed, and trembled. All were apprehensive that they would be subdued, and driven away as with the tempest.

6 They helped every one his neighbor, and every one said to his brother, “Be of good courage.” — they helped everyone his neighbor; the idea is that these idolatrous nations formed confederations to strengthen each other, and to oppose him whom God had raised up to subdue them;

— the prophet Isaiah describes a state of general consternation existing among them when they supposed that all was in danger and that their security consisted only in confederation; in increased attention to their religion; in repairing their idols and making new ones and in conciliating the favor and securing the aid of their gods.

7 So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer, him that smote the anvil, saying, “It is ready for the soldering”; and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved. — the carpenter, who brought wood to compose the body of the idol;

— the goldsmith who was to prepare golden plates for covering and adorning of the image which some of them beat out upon the anvil and others smoothed or polished as it is ready for the soldering; that we may put the several parts together and set it up to be worshipped. He fastened it to the wall or pillar, lest it should fall down, or be carried away from them.

8 “But thou, Israel, art My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend. — but thou Israel art my servant; thus the Gentiles show themselves to be the servants of their idols and own them for their gods: but Jacob art my people and I am and will be thy God.

9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, ‘Thou art My servant; I have chosen thee and not cast thee away’— Abraham, the father of the Jews, taken from the remote Ur of the Chaldees. Others take it of Israel, called out of Egypt.

10 fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness. — fear thou not; this promise is plain in its meaning and is full of consolation;

— it is to be regarded as addressed primarily to the exiled Jews during their long and painful captivity in Babylon; and the idea is that they who had been selected by God to be his special people had nothing to fear.

11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing, and they that strive with thee shall perish. — all they that were incensed against thee; they who were enraged against thee, that is, the Chaldeans or other enemies who made war upon you and reduced you to bondage, shall be ashamed and confounded.

12 Thou shalt seek them and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee. They that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. — thou shalt seek them; this denotes that it would be impossible to find them for they should cease to exist. The whole verse is emphatic, repeating in varied terms what was said before and meaning that their foes should be entirely destroyed.

13 For I, the Lord thy God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, ‘Fear not; I will help thee.’

14 “Fear not, thou worm Jacob and ye men of Israel; I will help thee,” saith the Lord and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. — fear not, thou worm Jacob; the servant of the Almighty is reminded that he has no strength of his own but is “as a worm, and no man” (Psalm 22:6);

— Jacob had not been chosen because he was a great and mighty nation for Israel was “the fewest of all people” (Deuteronomy 7:7). As if to emphasise this the prophet speaks of God-given strength.

15 “Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth; thou shalt thresh the mountains and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. — behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument, having teeth;

— the Septuagint renders it “as the new threshing wheels of a cart in the manner of saws” for corn was threshed out by drawing a cart with wheels over it, which wheels were stuck with teeth or spikes of iron; or by a cart or sledge filled with stones to press it down, and at the bottom with iron teeth, which being drawn to and fro by oxen over the sheaves, separated the grain from the husk.

16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. — to fan means to winnow, an operation which was performed by throwing the threshed grain up with a shovel into the air so that the wind drove the chaff away. So all their enemies, and all the obstacles which were in their way should be scattered.

17 “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none and their tongue faileth for thirst, I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. — the poor and needy; the promise may perhaps take as its starting-point the succour given to the return of the exiles, but it rises rapidly into the region of a higher poetry, in which earthly things are the parables of heavenly and does not call for a literal fulfilment any more than “wines of the lees.”

18 I will open rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land springs of water. — I will open rivers; the words have all the emphasis of varied iteration. Every shape of the physical contour of the country, bare hills, arid steppes and the like, is to be transformed into a new beauty by water in the form adapted to each: streamlets, rivers, lakes and springs.

19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia tree, and the myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine and the box tree together, — I will plant in the wilderness; a picture as of the Paradise of God (Isaiah 51:3), with its groves of stately trees, completes the vision of the future.

20 that they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

21 “Produce your cause,” saith the Lord; “bring forth your strong reasons,” saith the King of Jacob. — bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob; the true Israel of God, who acknowledge the Lord as their King and their God and whom he rules over, protects and defends;

— and this title is assumed for the comfort of them, that though he is King over all the nations of the world, yet in an eminent and peculiar sense their King; and he does not style himself the God of Jacob.

22 “Let them bring them forth and show us what shall happen; let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them and know the latter end of them; or declare us things to come. — God claims that the power of predicting the future is his own inalienable prerogative; let them show us what will happen;

— He defies the idol-gods and their votaries to give any clear prediction of future events; no doubt the claim to possess the power was made very generally among the idolatrous nations who almost universally practised based upon frauds and cunning deceits.

23 Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed and behold it together. — that we may know that ye are gods; the prediction of future events is the highest evidence of omniscience and divinity; and it would prove that they were worthy of adoration; and it is demanded, that if they were gods they should be able to make such a prediction as would demonstrate that they were invested with a divine nature.

24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought; an abomination is he that chooseth you. — behold, ye are of nothing, or ‘Worse than nothing.’ This refers to idols; and the idea is that they were utterly vain and powerless, unable to render aid to their worshippers as absolute nothingness would be and all their confidence in them was vain and foolish.

25 “I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come; from the rising of the sun shall he call upon My name. And he shall come upon princes as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay. — I have raised up one, that is, Cyrus; in the previous verses God had shown that the idols had no power of predicting future events;

— He stakes, so to speak, the question of his divinity on that point and the whole controversy between him and them is to be decided by the inquiry whether they had the power of foretelling what would come to pass, power to foretell future events. In this he appeals to the fact that he had raised up Cyrus in accordance with his predictions and in such a way that it would be distinctly seen that he had this power of foretelling future events.

26 Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? And beforetime, that we may say, ‘He is righteous’? Yea, there is none that showeth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words. — who hath declared from the beginning; the meaning of this passage is ‘there is no one among the soothsayers and the worshippers of idols who has predicted the birth, the character and the conquests of Cyrus.

27 The first shall say to Zion, ‘Behold, behold them!’ And I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings. — the first; I who am the first as I said before, Isaiah 41:4, and therefore capable of declaring or foretelling things to come from the beginning which your idols cannot do, Isaiah 41:26.

28 For I beheld, and there was no man, even among them; and there was no counselor that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.

29 Behold, they are all vanity! Their works are nothing; their molten images are wind and confusion. — for I beheld and there was no man; that is, no one who had foretold the future. Yehovah, speaking through the prophet, looks round in vain for that.

Isaiah 42

1 “Behold My Servant, whom I uphold, Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth: I have put My Spirit upon Him; He shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles. — Behold my servant whom I uphold; the word ‘servant’ may be applied either to Isaiah, Cyrus, or the Messiah; and the question to whom it refers here is to be decided in the Targum, which says, “behold, my servant, the Messiah;”

— this is the King Messiah; nor of Cyrus, nor of the people of Israel but of Christ as it is applied, Matthew 12:17 who is spoken of under the character of a “servant” as he is; not as a divine Being for as such he is the Son of God; but as man and in his office as Mediator; a servant of the Lord but of his divine Father; who chose him, called and sent him and assigned him his work;

— which was principally the redemption of his people and which he diligently, faithfully and fully performed; in which he was “upheld” as man and Mediator by his Father, not only in his being as man but was strengthened and helped in his mediatorial service so that he did not sink under the mighty weight of the sins of his people or of the wrath of God:

— this prophecy is ushered in with a “behold” exciting attention to what is said concerning Christ as of the greatest importance; directing the eye of faith to him for righteousness and salvation; and as expressive of admiration at him that he who was the Son of God should become a servant and undertake the salvation of men;

— he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles; the Gospel, the Kingdom of God, whose judgement is according to truth; the rule of human judgement in things spiritual and saving and by which the Son of God judges and rules in the hearts of his people; this he brought forth out of his Father’s bosom, out of his own heart and published it in person to the Jews and by his apostles to the converted by it, became subject to his rule and government. Gentiles, who being converted by it, became subject to his rule and government.

— the Targum, which identifies “my servant” as “the Messiah” 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 Hebrew Text in Aramaic; hence the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to us from the verses quoted.

He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. — He shall not cry; either in a way of contention as anger is oft accompanied with clamour or in a way of ostentation. It seems to be meant both ways;

— He shall neither erect nor manage his kingdom with violence and outward pomp and state as Worldly princes do, but with meekness and humility; nor lift up his voice which is easily understood out of the following clause and from many other scriptures where that word is added to this verb to complete the phrase;

— nor cause his voice to be heard in the street; as contentious or in a menacing manner or like vain-glorious preachers frequently do.

A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench; He shall bring forth judgement unto truth. — bruised: “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him” (Isa 53:5,10); so He can feel for the bruised; reed—fragile: easily “shaken with the wind”

— and although he favours the weak yet will he not spare the wicked but will judge them according to truth and equity.

He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He hath set judgement in the earth; and the isles shall wait for His law.” — fail; faint; man in religion may become as the almost expiring flax-wick but not so He in His purposes of grace; discouraged; literally, “broken,” that is, checked in zeal by discouragements;

— isles … wait; the distant lands beyond sea shall put their trust in His gospel way of salvation; may refer to the fact that the populations of which the Church was primarily formed were Gentiles of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean.

Thus saith God the Lord—He that created the heavens and stretched them out, He that spread forth the earth and that which cometh out of it, He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: — thus saith God the Lord; the God of the world, as the Targum says;

— this, with what follows is a preface to the call of the Messiah to the great work of redemption; setting forth the greatness of God as a Creator, that calls him to it and thereby encouraging him as man and Mediator in it as well as their Saviour and Redeemer.

“I, the Lord, have called Thee in righteousness, and will hold Thine hand, and will keep Thee, and give Thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; — for a light of the Gentiles; ‘light’ is the emblem of knowledge, instruction and of the true religion. The Messiah is often called ‘light,’ and the ‘light of the world.’

to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. — to open the blind eyes; this is equivalent to saying that he would impart instruction to those who were ignorant; it relates to the Jews as well as to the Gentiles; of the world which is often represented as one of darkness and blindness; He would acquaint them with God and with the way of salvation.

I am the Lord; that is My name. And My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images. — I am the Lord; Hebrew, Yehovah; who have all being in and of myself and give being to all my creatures. The everlasting, unchangeable and omnipotent God, who therefore both can and will fulfil all my promises;

— that is my name which I must own and justify to the world; will I not give; I will not allow it to ascribed to another; and my glory will I not give to another; that is to another god, to a strange god, to an idol; I will not allow another to assume or receive the honor which is due to me;

— God’s name is the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah (not Jehovah since the letter J wasn’t around but only after the sixteenth century; (more on this at the end)

“Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” — behold, the former things are come to pass; that is the former things which he had foretold. He had by his prophets foretold events which had now been fulfilled and this should lead them to confide in him alone as the true God;

— and new things do I declare; things pertaining to future events relating to the stewardship of the Messiah and to the universal prevalence of his religious truth in the world.

10 Sing unto the Lord a new song and His praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea and all that is therein, the isles and the inhabitants thereof. — new song; such as has never before been sung, called for by a new manifestation of God’s omnipotence;

— to express which no hymn for former mercies would be appropriate. The new song shall be sung when the Lord shall reign in Jerusalem and all “nations shall flow unto it” (Isa 2:2; 26:1; Re 5:9; 14:3).

11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit. Let the inhabitants of the rock sing; let them shout from the top of the mountains. — let the inhabitants of the rock sing; it is uncertain whether the word ‘rock’ here (Hebrew, סלע sela‛, Greek Πέτραν Petran, ‘Petra’ or ‘rock’) is to be regarded as a proper name or to denote in a general sense those who dwell in the rocky part of Arabia;

— Kedar was a son of Ishmael, the father of the Kedarenians or Cedrei; they often changed their place in the neighborhood of Petra, or Sela, as they were the names of the celebrated city that was the capital of Idumea; also the capital of the Nabatheans, and the connection here would rather lead us to suppose that this city was intended here, and that the inhabitants of the capital were called upon to join with the dwellers in the surrounding cities and villages in celebrating the omnipotence of God.

12 Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare His praise in the islands. — and declare his praise in the islands; as on the western continent and the isles of it; so on the eastern continent and the islands of it, the islands of Greece, the islands in the Aegean sea.

13 The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man; He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war. He shall cry, yea, roar; He shall prevail against His enemies. — our Lord the Almighty, Yehovah will no longer restrain His wrath: He will go forth as a mighty warrior (Ex 15:3) to destroy His people’s and His enemies and to deliver Israel and His elects.

14 “I have long time held My peace; I have been still and refrained Myself. Now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. — cry like a travailing woman who after having restrained her breathing for a time at last overcome with labor pain lets out her voice with a panting sigh; so Yehovah will give full vent to His long pent-up wrath; I will at once breathe hard and pant, namely, giving loose to My wrath.

15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. — I will make waste mountains and hills; not dry and barren ones for these were waste already but such as are clothed with grass and herbs as the following words imply; which is to be understood metaphorically of God’s destroying his most lofty and flourishing enemies who are oft compared in Scripture unto mountains and hills.

16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. — and I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; the Targum interprets this of the people of Israel, thus “I will lead the house of Israel which are like to the blind in a way which they knew not.”

17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, ‘Ye are our gods.’ — they shall be turned back; from their former course, from their idolatry and their idols and be converted and turn to the living God; and should fly to the rocks and mountains to hide and cover them from the wrath of God; for this phrase is used of the overthrow of enemies of their being obliged to turn their backs and flee.

18 “Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. — as in verse 16, the Targum interprets this of the people of Israel, who are blind; and deaf here.

19 Who is blind, but My servant? Or deaf, as My messenger that I sent? Who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant?” — Who is blind, but my servant? – these words continues to be spoken to both the house of Israel and the house of Judah; who are so blind and deaf as Israel is, the servant of the Lord, his messenger and an imperfect one as he is called.

20 seeing many things, but thou observest not, opening the ears, but he heareth not.”

21 The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law and make it honorable. — He will magnify and elaborate what the law means; how to keep them: the law, the statutes and all the ordinances, including all his promises and pledges, in spirit and in truth.

22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses. They are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, “Restore.” — for a spoil, and none saith, restore; there is none to be an advocate for them; no one that asks for their restoration;

— for almost almost two thousand years they have been in this condition and yet none of the kings and princes of the earth have issued a proclamation for their return to their own land as Cyrus did; and no one moves for it, either from among themselves or others.

23 Who among you will give ear to this? Who will hearken and hear for the time to come? — who among you will give ear to this? – who is there in the nation that will be so warned by the judgements of God, that he will attend to the lessons which he designs to teach, and repents his life and return to him?

24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil and Israel to the robbers? Did not the Lord, He against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in His ways, neither were they obedient unto His law. — it was Yehovah, the God of their fathers and of their nation who had brought this calamity upon them. It was not the work of chance but it was the immediate and direct act of God on account of their sins.

25 Therefore He hath poured upon him the fury of His anger and the strength of battle; and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart. — yet he knew not; they refused to attend to it nor lay it to heart. They pursued their ways of wickedness, regardless of the threatening judgements and the impending wrath of God given by his prophets. They did not consider that these evils were inflicted for their crimes nor did they turn from their wicked ways when they were thus threatened with the wrath of God.

~~~

More on God’s name, Yehovah.

God’s name is the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah, which are embedded in the Masoretic text over 6000 times, yet when translated into our English language most had been translated as Lord, or LORD, which are titles, but not his name. His name is יהוה‎ Yehovah, or YEHOVAH (but there are no capital letters in Hebrew).

It wasn’t until 1524 that Gian Giorgio Trissino, an Italian Renaissance grammarian, invented the letter J that this new letter started to take a hold in the writings of western Europe. Even in 1611 when the English Bible the King James has our subject of study by the prophet Jeremiah, he was known as Ieremiah. So Jehovah is a very late comer.

The following verses with the LORD erred in translation. His name Yehovah should be used:

I am the LORD; that is My name. And My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. Joel 2:32

“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. Isaiah 65:1

When we call our God, the LORD, we err, because his name is not the LORD, which is a title. His name is YEHOVAH! May We all ask for his forgiveness, and may Our merciful God forgive us all.

BREAKING — a Ukraine / Russia Deal?

•March 26, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Twitter BREAKING — Erdogan says Ukraine and Russia reached an understanding on four of the six topics of disagreement

Somewhat agreed on:
• NATO
• Partial disarmament
• Collective security
• Russian language

Remaining topics:
• Crimea
• Donbas

Isaiah (Ch 39-40)

•March 24, 2022 • 1 Comment

Many believe Russia was and still is the main threat to the United States. Others, like warmonger John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, give incredible speeches around the world saying China is the main enemy.

And Mearsheimer brilliantly emphasizes the United States are protected by fish to the left and fish to the right, but foolishly negates to address America’s broken border in the South; and that the Scriptures say that America’s main “enemy” comes from the porous South! (for more, click here)

Isaiah 39

1 At that time Merodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; for he had heard that he had been sick and had recovered. — he sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; by his ambassadors, the purport of which their spies and secret agents were to congratulate him upon his recovery, and to inquire concerning the miracle that was wrought in his land; either the destruction of the Assyrian army in one night by an angel;

— or rather the sun’s going back ten degrees; as Josephus says, to enter into an alliance with him; and this seems to be the true reason of sending these ambassadors; desirous of entering into a league with Hezekiah.

And Hezekiah was glad with them, and showed them the house of his precious things — the silver and the gold, and the spices and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures. There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah showed them not. — shewed them the house of his precious things; this fixes the date of the embassy at a time prior to the payment to Sennacherib (II Kings 18:15-16), unless we were to assume that the treasury had been replenished by the gifts that followed on the destruction of Sennacherib’s army;

— but this, as we have seen is at variance with both the received and the rectified chronology. The display was obviously something more than the ostentation showing of his treasures. It was practically a display of the resources of the kingdom, intended to impress the Babylonian ambassadors, spies and secret agents, with a sense of his importance as an ally;

— the silver and the gold; large quantities of not only which he and his predecessors had laid up, which had been very lately greatly exhausted by the demand of three hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold by the king of Assyria; to answer which Hezekiah had given all the silver in the temple and in the treasures of the king’s house, and was so drove by necessity, that he cut off the gold from the doors and pillars of the temple, II Kings 18:14,

— so that it might be reasonable to ask, how came he so soon by all this treasure? it is possible that some part of the royal treasure might be unalienable, and he might have since received presents from his own nobles and from foreign princes; but this was chiefly from the spoils found in the Assyrian camp after the angel had made such a slaughter of them, II Kings 19:35.

Then came Isaiah the prophet unto King Hezekiah and said unto him, “What said these men? And from whence came they unto thee?” And Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country unto me, even from Babylon.” — the prophet Isaiah did not come of himself, but was sent by the Lord, not by the king; in the time of his distress and illness he could send for him but now being well and in prosperity he forgot the prophet to send for him and have his advice, how he should behave towards these men as not to offend the Lord:

— what said these men? – What proposition have they made? What is the design of their coming? It is implied in the question that there had been some improper communication from them. To this question Hezekiah makes no answer to this first question;

— but he replies at once to the second and said they are come from a far country even from Babylon; as being what his heart was lifted up with, that ambassadors should come to him from a very distant country and from so famous and renowned a place as Babylon; which showed that his name was great in foreign regions and was in high esteem in distant countries and even so great a prince as the king of Babylon courted his friendship.

Then said he, “What have they seen in thine house?” And Hezekiah answered, “All that is in mine house have they seen. There is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.” — coming nearer to the point he had in view, then said he, what have they seen in thine house? that he had shown them what he ought not to have done, and especially from such a principle of pride and vanity as he did:

— and Hezekiah answered without any reserve, not suspecting that the prophet had come with a reproof to him, or to blame him or would blame him for what he had done: all that is in my house have they seen; the several royal apartments and the furniture of them:

— there is nothing among my treasures that I have not showed them: which were more secret, laid up in cabinets, under lock and key; his gold, silver, jewels and precious stones, spices and ointments. Most probably the furniture and vessels of the temple, though he does not mention them.

Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: — Hear the word of the Lord of hosts; hear what the mighty God that rules in heaven says of this. This is an instance of great fidelity on the part of the prophet; who felt himself sent from God in a solemn manner to rebuke sin in a monarch, and a pious monarch. It is an instance that resembles the boldness and faithfulness of Nathan when he went to David, and said, ‘Thou art the man.’

‘Behold, the days come that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left,’ saith the Lord. — behold, the days come; the captivity of the Jews in Babylon commenced about one hundred and twenty years after this prediction;

— nothing shall be left, saith the Lord; this was measure for measure as there was nothing that was not shown to the ambassadors, spies and secret agents, so nothing should be left untaken away by the Babylonians;

— Moses had declared repeatedly, that, if they were a rebellious people, they should be removed from their own to a foreign land; but he had not designated the country Leviticus 26:33-34Deuteronomy 28:64-67Deuteronomy 30:3

‘And of thy sons who shall issue from thee, whom thou shalt beget, they shall be taken away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” — and of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, they shall be taken away; Manasseh his immediate son was taken and carried to Babylon, though afterwards released; nor does it appear that he was made a eunuch or an officer there;

— this had its fulfilment in Jeconiah and his children and in others that were of the seed royal, as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; this is expressed in different words, signifying much the same, to affect the mind of Hezekiah the more:

— and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon; or “chamberlains” and who very often were castrated for that purpose. The Targum renders it “princes” and such an one was Daniel in the court of the king of Babylon; and his three companions were also promoted, Daniel 2:48.

Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, “Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken.” He said moreover, “For there shall be peace and truth in my days.” — then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken; Hezekiah was at once convinced of his sin, acknowledged it and owned that the sentence pronounced was but just and right; and that there was a mixture of mercy and goodness in it, in that time was given and it was not immediately executed:

— he said moreover, for there shall be peace and truth in his days; or a confirmed peace, lasting prosperity, peace in the state of temporal mercies, for which he was thankful; but that he was unconcerned about posterity, but inasmuch as it must be, what was foretold and which he could not object to as unjust, he looked upon it as a mercy to him that there was a delay of it to future times; or it may be considered as a wish, “O that there were peace” in his days.

Isaiah 40

1 “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people,” saith your God. — Comfort ye, comfort ye; twice repeated to give double assurance. Having announced the coming captivity of the Jews in Babylon, God now desires His servants, the prophets (Isa 52:7), to comfort them. The scene is laid in Babylon; the time near the close of the captivity; the ground of comfort is the speedy ending of the captivity, the Lord Himself being their leader.

“Speak ye comfortingly to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received from the Lord’S hand double for all her sins.” — speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her; or “speak to or according to the heart of Jerusalem” to her very heart, what will be a cordial to her, very acceptable, grateful and comfortable; and let it be proclaimed aloud, that she may hear and understand it. By “Jerusalem” is meant the inhabitants of Zion and the true elects living there.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. — the voice of him that cries in the wilderness; that is, the voice of one called John the Baptist, who fulfilled this prophecy;

— prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God: by whom is meant the Messiah to whom a deity a noble testimony is bore here, being called “the Word” and “our God” whose way John prepared himself, by preaching the doctrine of repentance, administering the ordinance of baptism, pointing at the Messiah.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. — every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill shall be made low; the meaning is that in consequence of John’s ministry and our Lord’s coming, such who were depressed and were low and humble in their own eyes, should be raised up and comforted; and that such who were elated with themselves and their own righteousness should be humbled; their pride and haughtiness should be brought down.

— and the crooked shall be straight and the rough places plain; what before was dark and intricate in prophecy should now become clear; and such doctrines as were not so well understood should now become plain and easy.

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” — and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed; the Son himself who is also the Messiah reflects the brightness of his Father’s glory and his own glory.

The voice said, “Cry!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. — the voice said, cry; not the voice of an angel but a voice from the Lord; it is the Lord’s voice to the prophet, giving them an order to prophesy;

— all flesh is grass; declare the frailty and mortality of men; all princes, nobles and monarchs; all armies and magistrates are like grass and will soon fade away;

— and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field; all the goodliness and glory of man; all that is excellent and valuable in him; his riches, honours, strength and knowledge; yea all his seeming holiness and righteousness; which are all fading and perishing like a gay flower, which appears lovely for a while, and on a sudden falls off or is cropped or trampled upon; to which a flower of the field is more liable than that of the garden.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass. — the grass withers, the flower fades; and so does man and all his glory and goodliness: because the spirit of the Lord blows upon it: alluding to some impetuous and blasting wind blowing upon herbs and flowers to the withering and fading of them.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” — the grass withers; this is repeated from the former verse for the sake of emphasis or strong confirmation.

O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength. Lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” — O Zion, that brings good tidings; or rather “Oh, thou that brings good things to Zion; thou that brings good tidings to Jerusalem;”

— behold your God! that divine Being is here that was promised, prophesied of and expected; even Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature, God manifest in the flesh, God our Saviour;

— your Lord and your God; the Targum says, “the kingdom of your God is revealed.” 

10 Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. — behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand; this is of the second coming of the Son of God, his coming is certain, such assurances being given of it by promise and prophecy; and will be attended with power, summon all nations before him, and pass and execute the proper sentence on them; when his arm shall openly bear rule, he will take to himself his great power and reign.

11 He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with His arm and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. — He shall gather the lambs with his arm; denoting the care of God the Saviour for the feeblest and weakest of his people, and for the young and feeble in years and piety; the tender lamb, unable to keep up with the flock, becomes weary and exhausted; and the shepherd naturally takes it in his arms and carries it.

12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? — and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance; as easily as a man can throw in his goods into a pair of scales and take the true weight of them with equal ease did the Lord raise the mountains and the hills in a proper proportion;

— the answer to the above question is that it was the same divine Being of whom it is said, “behold your God, and who should come with a strong hand, and feed his flock.”

13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counselor hath taught Him? — who did God either need or take to advise him in any of his works, either of creation or the government of the world? were they not all the effects of his own sole wisdom?

— therefore though all the nations of the world contrive and conspire against him and against this work of his as indeed they will do, yet his own counsel shall confound all their devices and carry on his work in spite of them.

14 With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and showed to Him the way of understanding? — with whom he took counsel and who instructed him; this is the same as before only repeated in other words, the more strongly to deny that any mere creature counselled, taught and instructing and managing the works of creation.

15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance; behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing. — Behold, the nations, all the nations of the earth. This is designed to show the greatness of God, in comparison with that which strikes man as great – a mighty nation;

— and the main object seems to be to show that God could accomplish his purposes without their aid and that they could not resist him in the execution of his plans. If they were as nothing in comparison with him, how easily could he execute his purposes! If they were as nothing, how little could they resist the execution of his plans!

16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. — and Lebanon is not sufficient to burn the trees of it, as the Targum says; these are not sufficient to burn a sacrifice with, suitable to the dignity and majesty of God.

17 All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity. — all nations before him are as nothing as if they were non-entities and were not real beings in comparison of him, who is the Being of beings, the author of all beings which exist in all nations; who are all in his sight and are not only as grasshoppers as is after mentioned but even as nothing.

18 To whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto Him? — to whom then will ye liken God? there is nothing in the whole creation that can bear any resemblance to him or he to them; since all nations are as a drop of the bucket as the small dust of the balance as nothing, yea, less than nothing and is only vanity: “or what likeness will ye compare unto him” ordain and appoint for him?

19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold and casteth silver chains. — the workman melts a graven image; or “the founder” melts some sort of metal as iron, brass, copper or lead, which he casts into a mould for an image and afterwards graves or gets it graved.

— and the goldsmith spreads it over with gold; or “the finer” he stretches out plates of gold and covers it with them so that it looks as if it was made of solid gold and deceives the eyes of men; such stupidity and vanity are there in mortals to believe that there can be deity in such a piece of workmanship!

20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a skillful workman to prepare a graven image that shall not be moved. — he that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation; who is so poor that he cannot bring an offering to his God, yet he will have one; and though he cannot purchase a golden or silver one, or one that is gilt and adorned with either; yet he will have a wooden one.

21 Have ye not known? Have ye not heard? Hath it not been told you from the beginning? Have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? — Have ye not known, God to be the only true God, the Maker and Governor of the world and all its inhabitants? how can you be ignorant of so evident a truth? He addresses his speech to the idolatrous Jews themselves in the times of Manasseh, when idolatry abounded, or to all idolaters.

22 It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers, who stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in, — that sits as a judge or governor upon his throne;

— upon the circle of the earth; or, above the circle; far above this round earth, even in the highest heavens; from whence he looks down upon the earth, where men appear to him like grasshoppers.

23 who bringeth the princes to nothing; He maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. — that brings the princes to nothing; that is, all princes and kings, no matter how great their power, their wealth and their dignity, they are by his hand reduced to nothing before him.

24 Yea, they shall not be planted, yea, they shall not be sown; yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth. And He shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. — yea, they shall not be planted; the kings and rulers, especially they who oppose God in the execution of his purposes. The idea in this verse is that their name and family should become extinct in the same way as a tree does from which no shoot starts up.

25 “To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal?” saith the Holy One. — to whom then will ye liken me? – the prophet Isaiah having thus set forth the majesty and glory of God, asks now with great emphasis what could be an adequate and proper representation of such a God. And if God was such a Being, how great was the folly of idolatry and how vain all their confidence in the gods which their own hands had made.

26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, who bringeth out their host by number. He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for He is strong in power; not one faileth. — lift up your eyes on high; direct your eyes toward heaven and in the contemplation of the wonders of the starry world, and of God’s power there, learn the evidence of his ability to destroy his foes and to save his friends.

27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel: “My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God”? — my way is hidden from the Lord; meaning not their course of life or their religious actions, their attendance on public worship, their prayers and other duties of religion; but their sufferings for his name’s sake, the tribulations they endured which they imagined God took no notice of;

— and my judgement is passed over from my God; my cause and case are neglected by him; he does not undertake my cause or right my wrongs, and avenge the injuries done me, or deliver me out of the hands of those that contend with me.

28 Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. — there is no searching of his understanding; it is infinite, it reaches to all persons and things and therefore he cannot be at a loss to provide for his people or plead their cause; nor can their case be unknown to him, or he want either power or skill to help them.

29 He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. — He gives power to the faint; who are ready to faint under afflictions because they have not immediate deliverance, or their prayers are not answered at once, or promises not fulfilled as they expected;

— to such he gives fresh supplies of spiritual strength; he strengthens their faith and enlarges their views, to behold the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and confirms his blessings and promises of grace unto them.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; — even the youths shall faint; the most vigorous young men, those in whom we expect manly strength and who are best suited to endure hardy toil. They become weary by labor; their powers are soon exhausted;

— the design here is to contrast the most vigorous of the human race with God and to show that while all their powers fail, the power of God is unexhausted and inexhaustible.

31 but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint. — they shall mount up with wings as eagles; which fly most strongly and swiftly, and high out of the reach of all danger; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint; they shall be enabled to run or walk in their way as they please without any weariness.

Mariupol, Ukraine’s Far-Right

•March 23, 2022 • Leave a Comment

“Ukraine has biological research facilities, which in fact we are now quite concerned Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of, so we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach,” said Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, during a Senate hearing on Ukraine; Mar 9, 2022

Is Fort Detrick the Source of Covid-19?

TIME January 7, 2021 Ukraine’s far-right Azov movement centres at one of Azov’s bases near the frontline city of Mariupol

BBC 28/2/2014 by BBC Newsnight Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine

The sea-port city of Mariupol

Marches of the military wing of Ukraine’s far-right Azov movement, the Patriot of Ukraine, from a pristine city to one of oblivion!

“It might seem ironic for this hub of white nationalists to be situated in Ukraine. At one point in 2019, it was the only nation in the world, apart from Israel, to have a Jewish President and a Jewish Prime Minister. Far-right politicians failed to win a single seat in parliament in the most recent elections. But in the context of the white-supremacist movement globally, Azov has no rivals on two important fronts: its access to weapons and its recruiting power.

Patriot of Ukraine, its banner an emblem derived from a Nazi symbol, the Wolfsangel

“The movement arose as a product of the revolution that swept Ukraine in 2014. In one of their first official acts, the revolution leaders granted amnesty to 23 prisoners, including several prominent far-right agitators. They included Andriy Biletsky, who had spent the previous two years in jail on charges of attempted murder. He maintained that the case against him was politically motivated, part of an unfair crackdown on local nationalists.

“Ukrainian police had long treated his organization, Patriot of Ukraine, as a neo-Nazi terrorist group. Biletsky’s nickname within the group was Bely Vozhd, or White Ruler, and his manifesto seemed to pluck its narrative straight from Nazi ideology. Ukrainian nationalists, it said, must “lead the white nations of the world in a final crusade for their survival, a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen,” a German term for “subhumans” with roots in Nazi propaganda.

“Within days of his release, Biletsky set out to assemble a far-right militia. “That was our rise to the surface after a long period underground,” Biletsky told TIME in an interview that winter in Ukraine. The insignia he chose for the militia combined two symbols—the “black sun” and the “wolf’s hook”—both of which were used by the German Nazis during World War II.”

Mariupol today!
Mariupol today! “Not a city anymore”
Mariupol today! “Like Armageddon”

“I beheld, and lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD and by His fierce anger” Jeremiah 4:26.

“And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up; and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him” Jeremiah 50:32.

Isaiah (Ch 37-38)

•March 22, 2022 • 1 Comment

The Russian bear seems to have bitten a porcupine which has now got stuck to its mouth, unable to swallow it nor to dislodge it, creating lots of anxieties.

“Ukraine has biological research facilities, which in fact we are now quite concerned Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of, so we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach,” said Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, during a Senate hearing on Ukraine; Mar 9, 2022

Is Fort Detrick the Source of Covid-19?

Isaiah 37

This chapter is the same as II King 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 went into the house of the Lord; to the temple to pray there: he could have prayed in his own house (as Daniel did), but he chose rather to go to t