Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 8-13

Psa 8.1-9 tells us that David refers to the glory of God in creation and things that display his glory and alludes to the Messianic Kingdom. The headings says, “For the Conductor (of the Levitical orchestra/choir) on the Gittit. A Psalm (song) of David.” Now, the “Gittit” is a special musical instrument designed by experts in Gath according to some scholars. This is the Psalm of the Day for Simchat Torah at the end of Sukkot.

Yehovah is master over all the creation and he displays his glory through weak things like infants and babes. His manifestations in creation are designed to siloence those who are hostile to God (v 1-2). David considers the heavens as the “work of your fingers” and the moon and the stars as “ordained” be Yehovah. he knows that only God could have created these. Perhaps this was written at night when you could see these clear.

In contrast, what is frail man in comparison to these, that Yehovah would even care what happens to him. The word “man” (enosh) denoted mortality, not something eternal (Dan 7.13, Matt 16.13, Psa 80.17). Yet God has made him “a little lower than the angels” despite being frail. Man surpasses all living creatures in intelligent speech and rationale, and has crowned him with a soul and majesty (splendor).

He has also given man sovereignty over the earth, over all sheep and oxen, the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea. Examples of this is King Solomon and how he lectured people about all these areas (1 Kings 4.33-34), Daniel had dominion over the lions, Samson over the foxes, Elijah over the ravens and Jonah over the great fish. Men were given special dominion over wildlife. No living creature is beyond the grasp of man, not the birds of heaven or the fish of the sea. After David relates God’s kindness and gifts to man, he is in awe of his might and just how insignificant man really is (v 3-9).

Psa 9.1-20 tells us how David responds to his enemies, and Israel’s adversaries, like Goliath, Absalom, Nabal, Laben, Esau and Amalek. The heading reads, “For the Conductor (of the Levitical orchestra/choir), on Muth-labben. A Psalm of David.” The phrase “Muth-laben” is challenging but it basically means “death (Muth) of the son (L’ben).” This alludes to the death of the “son of perdition” after Messiah arrives and we enter into the future messianic redemption. The False Messiah is typified by Goliath, Absalom, Nabal, Laben, Esau and Amalek. The psalm alludes to the destruction of the False Messiah and how his name (reputation and glory) will be blotted out, just as the previous psalm discussed the Messianic Kingdom. The psalm concerns the Yomot Mashiach (Days of the Messiah) and the future Messianic Redemption.

David’s victories over his enemies are pictures of this redemption. That event is superior to all the wonders God has performed (v 1-2). When David’s enemies retreated like the Philistines did after Goliath was killed, they stumbled and fell. God executed justice when David defended the name of God (Yehovah). God “rebuked the nations” like Amalek when they came against Israel and destroyed them (Num 24.20), and he blotted out their name forever (Exo 17.13-14). The enemy has come to ruin, and uprooted their cities and blotted out their memory because of the “eternal sword” in the Hebrew. This sword is the Messiah and his Torah (v 1-6).

But God is enthroned forever and he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness (Isa 11.1-5) and execute judgment for the nations with fairness. The Lord will be a city of refuge for those oppressed, and those who “know” (Yada=Jer 9.23; Isa 33.6; Matt 7.21-23; 1 John 2.1-4) the name will trust Yehovah (v 7-10).

In Psa 9.11-12 David then wants the people to praise God who will be the blood avenger (goel/kinsman redeemer) and remembers them (Num 35.33-34; Gen 4.10). Psa 9.13-14 says, “Be gracious to me O Lord; behold my affliction from those who hate me, you who does lift me from the gates of death.” The word “gracious” is “channayni” in Hebrew and it has three Hebrew letter “nuns” consecutively in it. The Hebrew letter “nun” speaks of “life” and David requests extra mercy so he can live and tell all of God’s praises so all can rejoice in God’s “salvation” (“yeshua” is the root in Hebrew).

The nations have been caught in their own net and he has executed judgment (mishpat). In the “work of his own hands the wicked is snared.” Then we have the words “Higgaion (meditation)” and “Selah (pause and think, prostrate)” on these concepts at the end of v 16 (v 15-16).

Psa 9.17-20 says that the wicked will return (shall be turned) to Sheol (the Second Death-Ezek 32.17-32; Rev 20.14) even “all the nations who forget God.” The needy will not always be forgotten nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever (Isa 11.4). David wants Yehovah to “arise” (answer) and let not man prevail. He wants the nations judged before him and “put them in fear” (Num 10.35; Psa 9.5, 14.5, 62.9).

Psa 10.1-18 tells us that it has no title or author named like some of the previous psalms did, and the author wants the Lord to overthrow the wicked, and it is considered a psalm of lamentation. The writer mourns God’s seemingly indifference to his troubles and this psalm is read during Yamin Noraim, or the ten days of awe between Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur. This time period is a picture of the Birth-pains. The writer questions the inactivity of God against the wicked, but God is not really inactive as we all know (Deut 4.7).

There are allusions to the False Messiah in this psalm. The wicked (False Messiah and Ha Satan) are full of pride and they persecute the righteous. The Rashim (wicked) praise themselves for desiring this, and what God wants never enters their mind (v 1-4).

God’s ways are painful to the wicked, and the Torah is “out of his sight.” The wicked always think that they will never fall or have anything “evil” (Ra in Hebrew) happen to them. Their speech is evil and full of wickedness, deceit and oppression. He ambushes the innocent and watches like an owl for the poor. Like a lion he lurks to catch them unaware.

The False Messiah will come and be very humble at first, catching the weak and the spiritually unenlightened with his (Satan’s) mighty ones or “angels” (Rev 12.7-9). He admits that there is a God but thinks “God has forgotten” (he doesn’t care). He has hidden his face and he will never see it (v 10-11).

But the believer responds to this evil by asking God to “arise (answer)” and “lift up thy hand (take action).” Do not forget the afflicted he says. The wicked say that what they do doesn’t matter and God “will not require it” (v 12-13). But the Lord does see what they do and will “take it into” his hand. We see this concept in the Birth-pains (tribulation period) for sure, and he will “break the arm” (strength) of the wicked and remove wickedness from the earth (v 14-15).

Yehovah is king “forever and forever” (“L’Olam Vaed” in Hebrew) and the false nations and unbelievers will not be around in the Olam Haba, or the “world to come” (Heb 6.5; Rev 19.11-16; 1 Cor 15.24-28). God was paying attention all along. Even though the wicked seemed to prosper, in the end they will be cut off. He will remove the preoccupation we have with the problems of this world and cause us to be able to hear the truth of the Torah, vindicating the oppressed and do justice. The “man of the earth” (the False Messiah/unbelievers) will cause “terror no more” (v 16-18).

Psa 11.1-7 starts out with the heading, “For the Conductor; of David.” This psalm chronicles a history of treachery and slander by those who wished to see David dead. However, David trusts in the Lord as a refuge (1 Sam 26.19; Psa 118.6). David fled like a bird to the mountains and caves in Saul’s territory. Whoever sympathized with Saul told him where David was. They “bend the bow” (their tongues) and “make ready their arrows” (tail-bearing, gossip) to secretly get David. If God’s ways (Torah) are destroyed, what can David do, or any righteous person (v 1-3).

But Yehovah is ruling in heaven and he is aware of what is going on. He examines the righteous and the wicked, and he hates those who love “violence” (Hamas in Hebrew). God will test a righteous person to bring out his potential in faith (emunah/confidence/action) and let the righteous one know what he is capable of. But on the wicked, even prosperity is a trap (Psa 69.22). In the Birth-pains, God will rain snares; fire and brimstone and burning wind down on the heads of the wicked (Rev 9.18; 14.10, 20.10). But the righteous will see the face of God (v 4-7).

Psa 12.1-8 is prophetic and foretells a time when the wicked will succeed over the poor and righteous, but it ends by saying God will protect them. This is typified in the story of Saul and David.

The heading reads, “For the Conductor; upon the Shemonit. A Psalm of David.” Now, a “Shemonit” is an eight-stringed instrument. So, right off, we have an allusion to a “new beginning” (the meaning of number eight in Hebrew) and the Olam Haba (the eighth day after the seven thousand years). The Festival of Sukkot teaches the Messianic Kingdom. Korbanot (70 bulls total) were brought for seven days symbolizing the 70 nations who surround Israel. As each day progressed, the number of bulls offered diminished, meaning the influence of the nations in the Kingdom will diminish. But on the Eighth Day of the festival, called “Shemini Atzeret” the korbanot picture only Israel who will remain alone above the nations in the eighth day, or the Olam Haba.

David wants help from God because the devout man has disappeared, meaning that nobody can help him against Saul, a picture of the False Messiah. Nobody is telling Saul the truth about David (“they speak falsehood”) and they are telling Saul where David is hiding. David wants the Lord to shut them up and be quiet. They didn’t think anyone could stop their destructive tongues as they came against David. But the Lord will arise and bring David to safety (v 1-5).

In comparison to the word of the tail-bearers, God’s word (Torah) is pure (tahor) as if they were silver, refined “seven times” meaning completely pure. God will preserve his own words and he will preserve his people, like David. But the wicked will still exist, lurking and waiting to devour the righteous. Unbelievers prefer vileness over the pure goodness of the God’s word in the Torah and all the Scriptures (v 6-7).

Psa 13.1-6 is also prophetic. It starts out, “For the Conductor. A Psalm of David.” This psalm is about exile and this is typified by David’s escape from Absalom and being “exiled” from Jerusalem. The words, “How long” is mentioned four times and this alludes to four exiles (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome). This also alludes to the four thousand years from the sin of Adam to the coming of Yeshua. He came on the “fourth day” eschatologically, and Messiah is seen as the “sun” in Psa 19.4-5, 84.11 and Mal 4.2, which was created on the fourth day in Gen 1.14-19. The fourth word in Gen 1.1 in Hebrew is “et” which is written with the Aleph and the Tav, the first and the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. This word symbolizes the Messiah in Zech 12.10 where it says, “And they shall look upon me (“et” is there in Hebrew as if referring to Yeshua) whom they have pierced.” Yeshua is called the “first and the last” in Rev 22.13, and he was also from Judah, the fourth son of Leah in Gen 29.31-35 (v 1-2).

David wants the Lord to enlighten his eyes and answer him, lest he sleeps the “sleep of death” and be in darkness. He does not want his enemy to say “I have overcome him” and his enemies rejoice when he is shaken (v 3-4). But David trusts in the Lord and all their boasting or the dangers he is facing will shake the confidence he has in Yehovah. His heart will rejoice in “thy salvation” (“Yeshua” is the root in Hebrew). He will sing to Yehovah because he has dealt bountifully with him, meaning he has rewarded him greatly, compensating him for his troubles (v 5-6).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak foundations-Concepts in Psalms 3-7

Psa 3.1-8 is a “Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.” Now, right off we have a concept that we need to bring out. The heading in non-Jewish Bibles that introduce this psalm just quoted here is the first verse in Jewish published Bibles. To understand the psalm the reader must understand the historical background concerning Absalom’s revolt (2 Sam 13 through 18). For more information on this, go to “Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel” part 11 through 16.

In Psalm 2 we learned that the nations rebel against Yehovah and his Messiah. A picture of this can be found in the story of David, who is a type of the Messiah, and Absalom being a type of the False Messiah (2 Sam 13 through 18). These chapters describe a seven year drama that is a picture of the seven thousand year plan of God, from the sin of Amnon (the first Adam) and the death of Absalom (the False Messiah) and David restoring his kingdom.

David laments about his adversaries and how they have increased, showing the extent of the rebellion. The word for “many” in verse 2 is “rabim” meaning the great men of the time. Keep in mind that this psalm in the Peshat level (literal/historical) is about David and Absalom, but it is also a picture of the Messiah and the False Messiah in the birth-pains (what Christianity calls the Tribulation) in the Sowd level (deeper meaning). They say there is no deliverance for David.

Then we have the word “Selah” and this word is only found in Psalms, and three times in Habakkuk. It is a musical notation that basically means to “watch what is next” after a pause or a prostration. But David knows God is a “shield” (magen) to him (Prov 30.4-6) in verse 3. He cried to Yehovah and he answered from his “holy mountain” (Zion where the Ark was).

David could sleep because he had confidence in Yehovah and was not afraid of the masses who followed Absalom (False Messiah) and who have set themselves against him by making war and trying to trap him (v 5). David says, “Arise, O Lord; save me, Omy God.” Yehovah is figuratively represented as “asleep” here to denote his apparent indifference, but David also knows God has helped him in the past. He has “shortened the teeth of the wicked” in the past. His enemies were like beasts of prey who had powerful teeth (v 6-7).

He knows “salvation (Hebrew “Yeshua”) belongs to Yehovah” and God’s responsibility is to save his people, and the people’s responsibility is to bless God for it. That is why David says in v 8, “They blessing be upon they people.” Selah (pause, prostrate) is used at the end of this psalm telling us to stop and reflect for a moment because Psalm 4 continues with the same concepts.

Psalm 4.1-8 was also written by David as he fled from Absalom, so this will also have prophetic themes. He addresses his enemies who follow Absalom, so this is a message to those who follow after false messiahs. Again, verse one in Jewish published Bibles is, “For the Conductor; with instrumental music. A Psalm of David.” Now, the “conductor” is the Levite who was designated to direct the Temple musicians. The “instrumental music” is “N’ginot” in Hebrew meaning the instruments used in the Temple.

God has always answered David in the past so he wants Yehovah to be gracious (unmerited favor) to him now. David followed the Torah and knows God hears him (Prov 28.9). The followers of Absalom are called “sons of men” and asks, “How long will my honor (his enemies did not call David by name when angry, only “son of Jesse”) be a reproach.” He asks how long will they love worthless things and seek deception (false reports about David)?” Again, we have the word “Selah.” He says, “Know (yada) that Yehovah has set apart the devout one (a “chassid” or one who follows the Torah) for himself” and they will not succeed against him (v 1-3).

If they have no sense of “awe” for David, at least fear God. Then we have “selah” again telling us to “stop and think” (v 4). He wants them to “turn” (repent) and offer the sacrifices of righteousness and be sincere. He knows that those who follow Absalom are only concerned about themselves. He wants them to abandon their evil and have genuine repentance (teshuvah). Only God can satisfy them, not killing David for their own gain (v 5).

They wanted David dead so their “dreams would come true” but they should not look around at others who seem to be prospering for now (v 6). David says that even though it looks like the followers of Absalom prosper, God’s truth means more to him than their prosperity (v 7). David can sleep knowing that God hears him, so he can get some rest (Matt 11.27-30) in safety. This is the ideal state of a believer (v 8).

Psa 5.1-12 describes those in the revolt who take concepts of Torah and distort them for their own benefit and needs, and only in appearance, wanting power and honor (like Absalom and the False Messiah). The first verse in a Jewish published Bible reads, “For the Conductor (of the Levitical orchestra); for the flute (“nechilot”). A Psalm of David.” Each psalm was to have a certain sound made by certain instruments. We know that the one who played the flute was called the “pierced one” and this clearly alludes to Yeshua.

David wants Yehovah to give ear to his words and “consider my groaning (perceive my thoughts/meditation).” he says he will pray “in the morning” and eagerly watch for the answer (v 1-3). Because God does not take pleasure in wickedness (“rasha”) and no evil dwells (remains under protection) with him, it is inevitable that evildoers will be punished, like Ahitophel and Absalom (v 4-6). But David will enter “thy house” and worship toward your holy “heichal” and bow before the Lord (where the Shekinah and the Ark was in David’s time) in reverence (v 7).

He wants Yehovah to lead him in “they righteousness” which means the Torah because my “watchful enemies” will try to exploit any weakness or errors (v 8). They are not sincere in what they say and their heart is treacherous. Their throat is a dwelling place for corruption (like a grave). Their words “flatter” but that covers only from their mouths outward (v 9). David may have Doeg the Edomite and Ahitophel in mind here.

He wants the Lord to convict them of their guilt and cast them down from their lofty offices. They are rebellious against God because they reject his king. When he topples the wicked, the righteous will “be glad.” God will shelter (sukkah) them and those who love “your name” (Yehovah), and they will be liberated from their bonds, resulting in exultation and a feeling of overcoming the resistance. This is proof that their joy is in God and not because of material things. God will surround the righteous with favor like a shield. The word in Hebrew here for shield in not “magen” but “zinah.” a zinah shield is one which protects the person from almost four sides and it is a full body shield, much larger than a “magen.” It is also called a “buckler” in Psa 35.2 (v 10-12).

Psa 6.1-10 was written when David was sick and bed-ridden, and is a prayer for mercy in a time of trouble. The first verse says, “For the Conductor (of the Levitical orchestra); with instrumental music; upon an eight-stringed lyre (called a “shemonit”). A Psalm of David.”

So, right off we have an allusion to the eighth day of Sukkot called “Shemini Atzeret.” It is a picture of the eighth day in biblical eschatology which is called the Olam Haba, or the “world to come. The number eight in Jewish thought is the number of a “new beginning” and the Olam Haba is a time when the Messianic Redemption has been completed (1 Cor 15. 20-28; Rev 21 and 22). It is the number of “release” from this world and when all things “become new.” David may be using an eight string instrument here because he is alluding to being free from the lusts that drew him, and to the time when the righteous will be free from the lusts that drew them as well.

So, on top of all that, there is another message here. A six-stringed instrument alludes to the physical, or the Olam Ha Zeh, which is a sis thousand year period from creation to the beginning of the Day of the Lord. A seven-stringed instrument speaks of the spiritual, perfection, completion and alludes to the Day of the Lord, also called the Messianic Kingdom and the Atid Lavo. An eight-stringed instrument alludes to a release from this world (the seven thousand years) and the entering into the Olam Haba (world to come). A ten-stringed instrument alludes to being one, a harmonious “Kahal” which is the eschatological congregation or assembly of true believers in Yeshua who keep the Torah.

David’s choice of the eight-stringed “Shemonit” to play with this psalm shows his anguish over breaking the Torah because of sin. He did not write this psalm only for himself, but for every person in distress with a sickness. It is a plea for forgiveness and mercy. David asks God to lighten his hand upon him. Chastening is a sign we belong to him (Heb 12.7). Whatever his sin was he deserved what was happening to him (v 1).

In Psa 6.2-3 it tells us he had physical weakness and pain. He also had a spiritual weakness and pain. He asks, “How long” till he is healed. He wants the Lord to return (desist) from his anger and rescue him from his sickness. He says he cannot praise the Lord in Sheol (death). He is tired from sighing and has shed so many tears he “swims” in his bed, and his eyes are sore and red (v 4-7). Psa 6.8-10 shows that David is confident that the Lord has heard his prayers and he will be delivered, and that is not good news to his enemies and they will be “greatly dismayed.”

Psa 7.1-17 tells us that David is justified in his dealings with Saul. Again, the heading says, “A Shigayon of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush a Benjaminite.” This is verse one in a Jewish published Bible, and refers to Saul (1 Sam 9.1). A “shigayon” is a musical instrument (Hab 3.1). But the word can mean “error” or “mistaken choice.” What this is exactly we don’t know, but it could be referring to when David cut off Saul’s tzitzit in 1 Sam 24.1-22.

In Psa 7.1-2 David says that he trusts Yehovah and wants to be saved from those who pursue him. He says he does not deserve this abuse and wants Yehovah to evaluate him. He often had the advantage over Saul but did not take advantage of it. If he did, then let his enemies overtake him (v 3-5). But, since he did not do this, he wants Yehovah to defend him and let the evil of the wicked come to an end, for Yehovah tests (examines) the hearts (lev) and minds (literally “kilyaot” or kidneys). This is a Hebrew parallelism meaning the “heart” is the same as the “kidney” as far as a center for the thoughts and desires of the person. God is his shield (magen) and he saves the righteous in heart because he knows who they are (v 6-11).

If (because) the evildoer does not turn, he (God) will sharpen his sword and bends his bow to cause affliction and trouble. The person who caused this to others and did not repent will have these things come upon him for an example. He (wicked) labors (like in childbirth) in wickedness and is pregnant with mischief and lies. He digs a pit for others but will fall into it himself. His mischief will return upon his own head. David will give thanks to the Lord because everything God does is just. We must come to the understanding that either God controls all things or he doesn’t. As for David, he believes that God’s ways are right because they are his ways, not because he fully sees them as so (v 12-17).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 1-2

We are going to begin a conceptual study in the Book of Psalms, called “Tehillim” in Hebrew. These are also called “hymns” and “praises” (Matt 26.30). This collection of songs was inspired by the Ruach Ha Kodesh, with several authors that we will point out along the way. David wrote the greater number and the rest were written by the name it bears in the heading. There are several psalms where the author is unknown.

Another word for “song” is “Zemer” and it is related to the word “Zomer” meaning “to prune.” The teaching is, bad habits must be pruned away, and music, song and singing helps do that.

One should also read the Psalms as a book about spiritual warfare because this is when you learn to fight like many of the authors did, so we must understand the context and setting. The Psalms will teach about the Messiah and the Redemption, so they are very eschatological (Luke 24.44). We will point out those eschatological verses when we come to them and you will be amazed at just how prophetic they are.

There are 150 psalms divided up into five books. Book 1 goes from Psalm 1 to Psalm 41; Book 2 goes from Psalm 42 to Psalm 72; Book 3 covers Psalm 73 to Psa 89; Book 4 goes from Psalm 90 to Psalm 106 and Book 5 covers Psalm 107 to Psalm 150.

These five books of the Psalms also correspond to the five books of the Torah. Book 1 alludes to Bereshit (Genesis); Book 2 alludes to Shemot (Exodus); Book 3 is the chiastic center of the Torah and alludes to Vayikra (Leviticus); Book 4 alludes to B’Midbar (Numbers) and Book 5 alludes to Devarim (Deuteronomy).

We will find out that certain psalms were used for certain times. For instance, the Hallel (Psa 113-118) was read five times a year and sung in the Temple. There were certain psalms that were read on certain days of the week and also sung in the Temple by the Levites. Psalm 24 was read on the first day of the week (Sunday); Psalm 48 was read on the second day (Monday); Psalm 82 was read on the third day (Tuesday); Psalm 94 was read for the fourth day (Wednesday); Psalm 81 was read on the fifth day (Thursday); Psalm 83 was read on the sixth day of the week (Friday) and Psalm 92 was read on the seventh day Sabbath. The Levites stood on a platform called the Duchan which had several steps. You never turned your back to the Holy of Holies because it was seen a disrespect to the King of Kings, but the Levites sang with their backs to it. This is because they were not singing to God, but God was singing through the Levites to the people. He was speaking to the people through the particular psalm being read. We will show you an incident where this played a role in history, two thousand years apart.

We also have what is called the “Psalms of Ascent” and they are comprised of Psalms 120 to 134. They are also called the “Pilgrim Songs” because they were sung as the worshipers went up to Jerusalem, especially for the “Shelosh Regalim” or the “Three Foot Festivals” mentioned in Exo 23.14-17. Again, we will not be going verse by verse at first through the Psalms but we will be bringing out certain concepts that will add to our understanding. Eventually (about Psa 116) we will take a Psalm and go verse by verse because we will want to get into more detail. Another concept to bring out here is when Elohim (God) is used in the text, it will relate to judgment. When Yehovah (the Lord) is used in the text, it alludes to mercy. So, with that said, let’s get into the text.

Psa 1.1-6 tells us about the walk of the Tzadik (Righteous) and the walk of the Rashim (Wicked). This psalm is without a title and many scholars believe it was written by David. The Tzadik does not walk (halak), stand or sit in the counsel, way, or seat of the scoffers. If they did, they would reduce themselves to their level. But the Tzadik delights in the Torah of Yehovah and meditates (chews the cud, speaks out loud) in it day and night.

The Tzadik/righteous will be like a tree planted by the streams of water (irrigation canals). Certain trees in the Scriptures will symbolize believers (Isa 61.3; Jer 17.8; Psa 92.12). It will yield its fruit in due season (mature-2 Tim 4.2; Isa 4.2; Mark 7.1-2; Jer 17.8). Its leaf (ordinary conversation has value that protects the fruit-Ezek 47.12) does not wither and he prospers.

On the other hand, the Rasha (wicked) are just the opposite. They are like chaff (useless and don’t produce fruit-Jer 17.6). They will not stand (survive) in the judgment, nor sinners (Chataim, average people) in the assembly (Adat=congregation as in Matt 16.13-26; Ezek 13.8-9) of the tzaddikim. Yehovah knows (approves, nurtures) the way (derech,) of the tzaddikim (righteous), but the way (derech) of the wicked (rashim) will perish because of the seeds of their own erosion and destruction come about without any help from God (Ezek 6.11-14).

Psa 2.1-12 is called an “Enthronement Psalm” and it goes with Psa 24, 45, 47, 48 and 110, 1 Kings 1.30-39,, 2 Kings 11 and Rev 4-5 which either talk about or allude to the coronation of the Messiah (Yeshua). In this psalm, the nations rebel against Yehovah, his Messiah and the Torah. Now, there are five aspects to the coronation of a Jewish king. They are the Investiture with insignia, the Anointing, The Acclamation, the Enthronement and the Homage.

The king will come before the people and oil was poured over his head, symbolizing the anointing of the Ruach Ha Kodesh and he has been empowered to rule as king. That is why a king is referred to as the “anointed of Yehovah.” The word “Mashiach” or Messiah means “anointed one.” However, each king was not “the” Messiah and was seen as paving the way for “”the” Messiah in the future

Psa 2.1-3 tells us that the nations (goyim) rebel against Yehovah and the leaders meditate (hagah) in vain, sitting together against Yehovah and against his “anointed” (Mashiach or Messiah). They want to “tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us.” This is referring to the Torah commands, and like Nimrod, they are “against” the Lord and his Torah. The mitzvot (commandments) and the teachings (fetters and cords) are torn off because they do not want to be bound to the Torah. They believe they are “free from the Law (Torah)” and have become lawless (“anomos” in Greek meaning “without Torah, Torah-less”).

But Psa 2.4-6 says the Lord laughs at them from heaven (he is enthroned there). God is not trying to conquer the nations, he already owns the earth. It is the nations who are in conflict with him. He will hold them in derision and confuse, frustrate and agitate them. He may “laugh” in heaven but that doesn’t mean he isn’t doing anything. He will speak to those in conflict with him, warning them. He wants man to know that he has installed a king in Israel, upon “Zion, my holy mountain” and that is why this is an Enthronement psalm.

In Psalm 2.7 the Messiah speaks and he will teach the Torah (“Hoq” in Hebrew meaning the decrees). Yeshua says, “He (the Father) said to me, ‘Thou art my son, today, I have begotten you.'” Jewish kings were seen as adopted sons of God (1 Chr 28.5-7; John 1.49; Matt 16.16) so there must be a king when the Kingdom of God returns (Matt 3.1; 16.18; Luke 2.1, 3.22, 3.38). The word “begotten” means that Yeshua was not created, he was the creator (Col 1.16-17). This word relates to two beings of the same nature. We “create” a picture but we “beget” children.

Psa 2.8-9 says Yehovah has given his Messiah “the nations as an inheritance” (Dan 7.13-14; Rev 5.1-14). He will rule over them and break them with a “rod of iron” which is a name for the Torah. It is either a blessing to the believer or a curse to the unbeliever, and is seen as a “sword” (Rev 2.27; Isa 2.2-4; Heb 4.12). He will shatter their plans and utterly break them like an earthenware vessel. So, let’s look at what an earthenware vessel means.

Jer 19.1-15 gives us some concepts on this phrase and there is an allusion to what Yeshua did in his ministry. This chapter is also related to Jer 7.31-34, so we will pick up concepts from both Jer 19 and Jer 7.

Jer 19 tells us about how Yehovah tells Jeremiah to take an earthenware vessel, and take some elders and senior priests with him, and go to the Valley of Ben-hinnom. This is where the Potsherd Gate was at the southern end of the city, overlooking the Valley of Hinnom and where it connects to the Kidron Valley. This area is also called the Tophet (place of fire). Potters had their houses outside the city due to the fires and smoke. Winds would blow the smoke east, away from the city and this area is where innocent blood was shed because the people burned their children in fire to Baal and Moloch. That is why this area will not be known as “Tophet” or the “Valley of Ben-hinnom” but the Valley of Slaughter (Jer 19.6). God was going to make the city of Jerusalem a desolation and terrible things were going to happen (v 7-9).

Then Jeremiah was to break the earthenware jar in the sight of all the men who came with him. Jeremiah went to the Azarah (court) of the Temple after he prophesied and prophesied that Yehovah was going to bring on the city “the entire calamity” that he has declared. Jer 7.31-34 basically says the same thing.

Now, these verses are very prophetic. Jeremiah prophesied near Tophet and this is the area where the Royal Stoa would be eventually in Herod’s Temple at the time of Yeshua. This is where he overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple complex. Jeremiah also prophesied about a coming siege to Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Yeshua also prophesied about a coming siege by the Romans on Jerusalem. In addition, this will also happen again during the Birth-pains.

The Feast of Leviathan is also alluded to in Jer 19.7 where Yehovah will “give their carcasses as food for the bird of the sky and the beast of the earth.” This will happen in the Roman siege and will also happen in the Birth-pains. Zech 12 through 14 describes a siege of Jerusalem in the latter days (“in that day”-Zech 12.3). The False Messiah will be driven back to Jerusalem and then he will be captured and killed by Yeshua after he returns to the city (Matt 24.29-31; Rev 19.20-21).

Then we will have what is called the “Warrior Judgment” described in Matt 25.31-46. Unbelievers who have survived the birth-pains will be gathered to Jerusalem first for this judgment and Yeshua judges them and they are killed. Then the righteous who have survived the birth-pains will be gathered and judged, and they enter the kingdom alive (Matt 13.24-30). The dead bodies of the Rashim (wicked) and the Chata’im (sinners) will be taken to the Tophet (the Valley of Slaughter-Jer 19.6) just south of Jerusalem where their will become food for the birds and the beasts (Jer 19.7; Luke 17.33; Matt 13.40-41, 24.28; Rev 19.17-18, 21; Ezek 29.2-7, 32.2-8). All of this is alluded to in the Remez level of interpretation in Psa 2.9.

Psa 2.9-12 tells the kings of the earth to show discernment (think about it) and “Do homage to the Son” or King Messiah (1 Chr 28.5-7). This is the fifth step in the coronation of a Jewish king previously mentioned. God’s wrath could be kindled and how blessed is the person who takes refuge in Yehovah and his Messiah.

In the book “Rosh Ha Shanah and the Mesianic Kingdom to Come” by Joseph Good, p. 134-135, Good says that Psa 2.12 is a controversial verse. It can be translated several ways, and a Jewish published Bible and a non-Jewish published Bible will differ. For instance, in the Mesorah Publications commentary called “Tehillim” (Psalms), p. 71, it says about Psa 2.12, “Yearn for purity lest he grow wrathful and your way be doomed, for a brief moment his anger will blaze.” In a KJV Bible it says, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry” and it goes on. In the NASB it says, “Do homage to the Son, lest he become angry” and it goes on.

In the Jewish Midrashim (interpretations), the way it is written in most non-Jewish Bibles does not damage or “destroy” the ancient meaning of the verse. Good then quotes a midrash from “The Midrash on Psalms” that says, “In another comment the verse is read, ‘Do homage to the Son’ (Psa 2.12). What parable fits here? That of a king who became angry at the inhabitants of a certain city, and the inhabitants of the city went and pleaded with the king’s son to mollify the king. So he went and mollified his father. After the king was mollified by his son, the inhabitants of the city were about to sing a song of homage to the king. But the king said to them: ‘Is it to me that ye would sing a song of homage? Go and sing a song of homage to my son. Had it not been for him, I would long ago have destroyed the inhabitants of this city.’ Likewise, when the people of the earth will be told, ‘O clap your hands, all you peoples; shout unto God with the voice of triumph (Psa 47.2)’ and it will be about to sing a song of homage to the Holy One, blessed be he, he will say: ‘Is it to me that you would sing a song of homage? Go and sing it to Israel. Had it not been for them, the earth would not have endured for a single hour, for it is said, if I whet my glittering sword, and my hand take hold on judgment…I will make my arrows drunk with blood…sing aloud, O ye nations to his people (Deut 32.41-43).'” So, to “kiss” or “do homage” to the Son in verse 12 is consistent with the ancient writings.

We will pick up here with Psalm 3 next time.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Conclusion

In Job 39.1-30 Yehovah speaks of the animals cut off from the care of man, but are cared for by Yehovah, like mountain goats, wild donkeys and the wild ox. Does Job know when they give birth? No, but it happens, and they grow in the open field and provide for themselves. They avoid the cities and choose to live alone. Not being tamed, they are not used for wagons or ridden (v 1-12).

In Job 39.13-18 God asks if he understands the ostrich. Can Job explain why a bird with wings can’t fly? The ostrich forgets where she laid her eggs and is unconcerned because God has made her forget wisdom. But she can lift herself eight feet or higher and laughs at the horse and the rider because they can’t catch her very easy. God is showing Job strange examples and what he has created that Job can’t explain.

In Job 39.19-25 he asks Job if he understands the horse. Where does it get its strength and can Job create one and give the horse its mane and make it snort? The horse pans in the valley where the battle is and laughs at fear. He is not afraid of all the weapons around him and races over the ground to confront the enemy. He is pleased when he hears the trumpet. Can Job give an explanation for this attitude in war? But even a well-trained horse can throw off the restraints, so it is never totally under man’s control.

Then in Job 39.26-30 Yehovah brings up the hawk. can Job explain how it soars? Can Job command and eagle? It lives on high, in an inaccessible place. Its young sucks up the blood of the slain (like at the Feast of Leviathan-Luke 17.37, Matt 24.28, Rev 19.21). Since Job is so ignorant of the natures of these creatures, how can he dispute with God about his dealings?

Job 40.1-2 begins by saying, “Will the faultfinder contend with the almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.” What can Job say at this point? He says he is insignificant and says he will lay his hand on his mouth (or stop talking). Job thought God was absent in all his afflictions but now knows that is untrue after all the examples just given in Job 39 of God’s activity with nature. This leaves Job without words (v 3-5).

Job 40.6-7 it says that he answers Job out of the storm that is upon him. He tells Job to “gird up his loins” and prepare to answer him. He says, “Will you really annul my judgments” (by making your judgments? Will Job condemn God? There is no way of vindicating his innocence and integrity without charging the Lord with unrighteousness. Or does Job think he was an “arm” (power) like God (v 8-9). If he has that power, then Job is to do the things only God can do. Well, Job knows he has no power to do what God does and he knows where his place really is. Since he can’t, he can’t save himself by his own right hand either (v 10-14).

Job 40.15-24 now describes a creature called the Behemoth, which God has made. Behemoth means “great beasts” and most scholars believe this refers to the hippopotamus, but this description does not fit any known animal. This could be a dinosaur that he is describing (along with Leviathan in Job 41) hundreds of years after the flood of Noah. The word “dinosaur” was not used till about 1841, and the Bible calls them “dragons” or “great beasts” (Behemoth) in Gen 1. For more information on this subject go to the website “Creation Worldview” by Dr. Grady McMurtry and look for the video called “Dinomania.” You can also view it on YouTube.

We are going to look at the text in Job first, then we will look at the eschatological meanings of the Behemoth. We will also do this with the Leviathan (twisted serpent) on Job 41.1-34. The Behemoth (“Behemot” in Hebrew) is another example of God’s greatness and to show how weak Job really is. If he can’t bring the Behemoth under control, the lowest animals of which he only selects one from the land and one from the sea, how can Job govern the world and question the Lord on how he does it?

The Behemoth eats grass like an ox and his strength is in his loins and muscles. He bends his tail like a cedar, meaning it is smooth, thick and round. But he is not saying it is as long as a cedar. He is put together in strength and his bones are “like tubes of bronze” and limbs are “like bars of iron” (strong). He is the first of God’s way and God has given him a “sword” (teeth). The narrative goes on to describe its food (grass), and he lies down in the reeds and marches (covertly) and is not afraid of a fast moving river. He is confident, though the Jordan River rushes into his mouth. He can “throw it out” with great force. Can anyone capture him by open force? The answer is no!

Now, the Behomoth is also an eschatological picture of the False Prophet, just as Leviathan is an eschatological picture of the False Messiah. So, we are going to look at these two creatures as a study of two eschatological “beasts” coming from the land (the Behemoth/False Prophet-Rev 13.11) and the sea (Leviathan/False Messiah-Rev 13.1-2 ). These “beasts” are also a picture of of Assyria (Gog and Magog/Russia) and Egypt (Europe) in prophecy. So, let’s take an eschatological look at the Behomoth and then Leviathan.

We will notice in Job 40.15-24 and Job 41.1-33 that two “beasts” are presented. We have briefly gone over the Behemoth, so let’s briefly talk about Leviathan in the text, and then look at them prophetically.

Leviathan is a sea creature who is presented as a creature that is very powerful . Humans are powerless against him. He is first mentioned in Job 3.8 and how sailors were fearful of him. The name “Leviathan” means “twisted serpent” (Lev’yitan) and is mentioned in Psa 74.12-14; Psa 104.26; Isa 27.1; Isa 51.9 and Job 26.12-13 to name a few places. Job was powerless against Leviathan just like he is powerless against Satan. Only Yehovah can defeat both of them (Job 41.1-9)

The point Yehovah makes in Job 41.10 is, “Who then is he that can stand before me.” If Job can’t control Leviathan, who is Job to contend with God who has the power to defeat Leviathan. Only God can make war with him (Psa 74.13-14).

Leviathan is described in Job 41.12-17 to make the point that Job has no chance against him. He sneezes flash forth light (expelling his breath, having held it under water. Rays of sun light hit the water and it looks like fire. In Job 41.22-34 it talks about the power of Leviathan. Who is able to stand against him, and the last verse says, “He is king over all the sons of pride” (Hebrew “Rahab”).

Eschatologically, the behemoth and Leviathan are two beasts. The Behemoth is on land and Leviathan is from the sea. They will represent the False Prophet who comes from the land (Rev 13.11), and Leviathan comes from the sea (Rev 13.1; Ezek 29.3, 32.2; Psa 74.13). God says, “Will he make supplications to you, or will he speak to you with soft words (Job 41.3)?” Dan 7.8, 7.20 and 11.21 says the False Messiah will flatter with his words.

Job 41.6 says, “Will the companions mas a banquet of him” celebrating his capture and defeat? Yes, at the Feast of Leviathan after Yeshua returns. Job 41.8 says that once you battle him you won’t want to do it again, meaning “who can make war with him.” This alludes to the False Messiah in Rev 13.4 where it says, “who is like the beast, and who is able to make war with him?”

Job 41.34 talks about pride, and that is a characteristic of the False Messiah and those who follow him (Dan 11.36). The word “pride” is “Rahab” in Hebrew and that word has several meanings. It means “Egypt, broad, prostitute and pride” (Job 9.13, 26.12, Isa 30.6-7, Ezek 32.2). Rahab is another name for the False Messiah and Leviathan (Isa 51.9, 27.1; Job 9.13; Psa 74.13-14). Leviathan is “king over all the sons of Rahab” (John 8.44). We have more information on the False Messiah, Leviathan and Rahab in our prophecy teachings and in our study of the False Messiah called “Torah and New Testament Foundations-The False Messiah” on this site.

So, these beasts in Job 40 and 41 correspond to the two beasts in Rev 13. However, there is another application to this. The Behemoth alludes to Assyria/Gog and Magog/Russia, and Leviathan alludes to Egypt/Europe. We know from prophecy that Behemoth (Assyria/Gog and Magog/Russia will be at war with Egypt/Europe. Isa 20.1-6 describes a three year war between Assyria and Egypt. Eschatologically, we know that things that happened before will happen again and this war between Assyria and Egypt is a picture of a three year war between Russia and Europe and the False Messiah during the first three years of the birth-pains (tribulation). Russia will be winning this conventional war, and feeling confident, Russia (Gog and Magog) will invade Israel on Rosh Ha Shanah at the beginning of the fourth year of the birth-pains, and be destroyed by Yehovah on Yom Kippur.

In the Scriptures, Pharaoh is king over Egypt and he is a picture of the False Messiah who will rule over Europe after the Natzal (rapture) and the destruction of Babylon (USA), as seen in Jer 50-51; Isa 13, Isa 14; Isa 18; Isa 21; Isa 24; Isa 25; Isa 47; Isa 48; Rev 14.8; Rev 17 and Rev 18. For a detailed study of this subject see our teaching called “Is America Babylon?” on this site.

In Jewish Eschatology, this battle between Behemoth and Leviathan can be seen in a prayer called “Akdamut” (introductions) recited on Shavuot. In the “Complete Artscroll Siddur” by Mesorah Publications, p. 719, a portion of this prayer says, “Our predetermined portions having been set aside with elevation, they sport with Leviathan and the ox of lofty mountains-when they interlock with one another and engage in combat, with his horns the Behemoth will gore with strength, the fish will leap to meet him with his fins, with power. Their creator will approach them with his mighty sword (Messiah and the Torah to defeat them). A banquet for the righteous will he prepare and feast. They will sit around tables of precious stones and gems, before them will be flowing rivers of balsam. They will delight and drink their fill from overflowing goblets of sweet wine that since creation was prepared in pressing tanks.”

The Feast of Leviathan is reserved for the unrighteous when Messiah comes (Ezek 29.1-7, 32.1-8; Isa 66.23-24; Matt 24.27-28; Luke 17.37; Rev 19.21. In the sowd (hidden, deeper level) Job 40-41 is a character study of the False Messiah and the False Prophet. In the Peshat (literal) level, God is using two of his creatures to show Job that if he can’t bring under control these two lower animals (compared to man), how can he possibly govern the world and question the Lord on how he does things.

In Job 42.1-17 we have the final chapter of Job, and Job finally gets to answer the Lord, with repentance for his lack of knowledge. He says that he knows that God can do all things after Yehovah has shown him his power over creation. Job has presumed many things because of his lack of knowledge and understanding of God’s ways. He says, “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?” Job admits it is him (v 3). Job also says he has said things without understanding, things that are hidden from him.

With humility, and without complaining, he says, “Hear now, and I will speak, I will ask you, and do instruct me. I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. Therefore, I retract (my words) and repent in dust and ashes (v 4-5).” Job accused God of doing all these things to him and demanded an answer, and Job now realizes he went too far, and God has finally revealed himself to him. Now Job understands what God has been showing him.

Up to now, Job has only “heard” about God, but now he “sees” him for himself, without the theology of others. Job in some ways was a “religious” man but did not have much of a personal experience to this level yet. He knew about God, but he didn’t “know” him. We are to believe that God controls all things because he just showed Job he did, and God’s ways are right because they are his ways, not because we finally “see” they are his ways. James 5.11 gives the purpose for these things, and God kept Job from evil during his afflictions (Jude 24; Col 1.17; Phil 2.13).

Job 42.7-9 tells us that God was displeased with Job’s three friends. It is not that what they knew about the Lord was wrong, they said God was just, reproves sin, delivers from trouble etc (Job 5.17-27). Its just that they were ignorant of God’s hidden purposes. Job’s suffering was great, but their words only made things worse. Yehovah tells them to take seven bulls and seven rams and go to Job and offer up a Korban Olah for themselves and Job, and Job would pray for them (forgive them). For then the Lord will accept him and Yehovah will not do with them according to their foolishness. This is because they have not spoken of the Lord what is right, as Job has done.

So, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar went and did what the Lord had commanded, and the the Lord accepted Job’s prayer for them. God does not mention Elihu and dismisses him entirely, which is interesting. They all presented Yehovah as angry and performing judgment of Job, which he wasn’t, and this is what kindled God’s anger against them.

In Job 42.10-17 it says that God restored Job and freed him from his distress after he prayed for his three friends. Job was an outcast, even among his own family (Job 19.13-14), but now he has been restored to them as well. They comforted him and gave him gifts to help make up for his losses.

And so Yehovah blessed the latter years of Job more than what he had at the beginning. He doubled his possessions and he had seven more sons and three more daughters. And on top of that, he lived 140 more years and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations, and died an old man and full of days.

Finally, in an interesting note to remember, Job never does find out what we all knew from the beginning. He never finds out that all of his troubles are the result of the dispute between God and Satan as to whether Job would curse God and remain faithful. God knew he would because God “kept him.” And this is a fitting ending for us, too. We may never know why God has allowed certain trials into our life, and we should especially be careful when judging what’s happening to others. God does not need anyone’s permission to do what he does. Job trusted God in his trials, and we should, too. This book shows us that in the final analysis, the “whys” don’t really matter.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 9

Job 34.1-37 tells us that after a pause to see if Job would make a reply, Elihu continued by saying, “Hear my words, you wise men.” He is either talking to some bystanders because he has already voiced his displeasure with Job’s three friends, or he is being ironic. He says the “ear tests words” to distinguish between good and bad, and in this case the words of Job.

It is true that Job said he was a righteous man and God is to blame for his problems, but Job has been associating with bad people (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar) according to Elihu. He is basically saying the same things they were, nothing new hear. But remember, Satan is totally left out of the equation concerning what is happening to Job.

Elihu says a lot of true things through these verses, But the Lord is also using him to lead Job to the conclusion that man is to believe God’s ways are right because they are “his” ways, not because we fully see they are his ways. He either controls all things or he doesn’t. Most believers think that we or some other entity has a say in what happens, but that is not true (v 1-10).

But Elihu is wrong about what is behind Job’s afflictions. He tells Job that God does not do these things unless you are a sinner, but Elihu does not see the hand of Satan in this (Job 1.6-12, 2.6-10). But, he is correct in saying that God does not need permission to do what he does (v 11-15).

He then tells Job to listen to him because Job thought that justice was not done in his case. He tells him that Job is not in a position to judge whether what is to be condemned or not. One would not go to an earthly king and tell him what was right or wrong, so how can Job tell God what is just. The king will die like everyone else and be in the hands of God (v 16-20).

God knows what the steps of man are and sees everything. Job is not going to get over on the Lord. He does not need to consider man as to when he will judge him, he will do it when he pleases. God has not set a time for Job yet. God always does the right thing according to Elihu, but he misses the mark overall as it applies to Job. If everything that happens is right, and if God is in control and does everything that happens, then the category of “evil” disappears. This is where Elihu goes wrong (v 21-20). He then tells Job what he should have said in repentance. Job’s trials will not be removed until they produce the desired effect, and Job is in rebellion for arraigning his justice (v 31-37).

Job 35.1-16 Elihu goes on to challenge other speeches by Job. He will appeal to Job’s conscience and reason, and says Job is being self-righteous in thinking he has a cause to question the cause of his afflictions. He rebukes Job for saying in Job 21.15 that living right had no benefit to him. Job wants to be vindicated because he did believe God was just, he just didn’t understand. Elihu accuses Job of saying something something he didn’t say because Job is saying the wicked said this in 21.15.

But Elihu isn’t saying anything different than Job’s three friends have said, but he thinks he is. He says God is so far above man that there is nothing that man can do to the advantage of God (v 1-8). Job doesn’t get an answer because he is proud and insincere. In Job 35.10 it says, “But no one says, ‘Where is God my maker.'” The word “maker” here is in the plural “makers” in Hebrew alludes to the triune Godhead (Psa 149.2; Ecc 12.1). He thinks Job is crying “against” God and not “to” him (v 12). Job had expressed despair of ever seeing and enjoying the favor of God, and tells Job God will not listen to Job’s empty mouth, who “multiplies words without knowledge” and that Job is lying (v 9-16).

Job 36.1-33 tells us that after pausing, Elihu continues with new information and now claims to speak for the Lord (v 1-2). He says his words are not false like Job’s other friends and that “one who is perfect in knowledge is among you.” Only he can search out the most minute details of God (37.16) and Elihu is saying that only he can reveal God’s ways. This sin is also attributed to Satan in Ezek 28.11-19, the power behind the king of Tyre (v 1-4).

Elihu teaches that God is perfect in his justice and he rewards the righteous and and punishes the wicked. If God shows them their sins and they repent, then they will prosper. If not, they will “perish by the sword.” Elihu believes Job is denying this fact and that is why he is suffering setback after setback. If Job would have repented, God would have removed him from his distress (v 5-16). But because Job didn’t repent, the judgment of the wicked has fallen upon him, and his riches won’t save him. He says Job has chosen this instead of prosperity.

This is what frustrated Job. This type of “counsel” was of no use to him because he knew he has no need to repent, he was right with God. Job never said he never sinned, but he was not going to give a show of repentance just to please his friends. He will repent of certain sins that occurred during his discussions with his friends in Job 42.1-6, but he wasn’t going to give a show of repentance for his friends. Job just couldn’t put his finger on why all this has been happening to him. Elihu thinks that Job had a low opinion of God so he tries to build the Lord up in Job’s eyes (v 17-23).

Instead of arraigning the Lord, Job should exalt his work. His works are visible to all, but we only see in part (v 26). This will be shown later in Job 42 and just how wrong these friends were about God and Job. Just how unsearchable God is can be seen in a storm, so Job is wasting his time demanding answers. God is beyond having to explain anything to Job. This is all very true, but again Elihu misapplies this to Job’s situation (v 24-33).

In Job 37.1-24 Elihu shows God’s greatness in other works of nature. Again, he has an inaccurate and low vision of God because by showing God’s greatness he is trying to coerce Job into repentance. He is misapplying these statements to Job’s situation (v 1-13).

Elihu tells Job that he does not have the knowledge that he thinks he has, and Elihu is approaching Job with some correct concepts but his premise is wrong. He thinks Job’s problems are a result of his sins. Elihu’s point is Job cant’s explain God’s wonders so stop contending with him. He says that Job should fear God because he does not regard those who are “wise in heart ” in their own conceits (v 14-24).

Starting in Job 38.1-41 we begin to deal with God’s response to all this. He has been silent for the past 35 chapters and Job has said he has not heard from Yehovah, but now he will. There are several concepts to consider here. First, God will never explain to Job why he has been suffering and Satan’s role in it all, but he will provide Job with the answer that restores his faith and God is the one in control.

Everything in creation knows its place and follows the course chosen for it. Creation is not in the hands of fate, but are in the hands of God. Secondly, man is to believe God’s ways are right because they are his ways, not because we fully see they are so (Job 42.1-6). Yehovah answers Job out of the whirlwind already gathering in Job 37. Elihu sees an approaching storm and uses it as an example of the power of God.

God begins by asking, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” He is referring to Job and his friends where their words obscure rather than threw light on God’s ways (v 1-2). He tells Job to “gird your loins like a man” and get ready for battle. He wants Job to answer him and instruct the Lord (v 3).

He asks Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth! Tell me if you have understanding.” Job wasn’t there when God did it, and yet Job takes it upon himself to dive into the secret works and ways of God. He wanted Job to tell him if he had understanding, which he didn’t. So Job had no right to question God or his ways (v 4).

When he laid the foundations of the earth the “morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” This refers to the angels who saw God lay the foundation of the earth. This also alludes to Eph 1.4 and the elect who were chosen in him “before the foundation of the earth” (v 5-7). God also set the boundaries for the sea when the water was shut up in the bowels of the earth when it was first created, like an infant in the womb of the mother. It was these waters that came up and “knifed” through the earth at the time of flood. He also made the cloud as a garment, like a garment for a newborn (v 8-9).

He placed boundaries on the sea like a cradle to hold the sea (v 10-11). God tells Job “Have you ever in your life commanded the morning and caused the dawn to know it’s place?” This applies to any morning, but especially alludes to the first morning in Gen 1.3. At night the earth is “tohu” (unformed) and “bohu” (unfilled). But when the light of the sun comes in day 4, God’s imprint of beauty comes to light or “it is changed like clay under the seal.” The wicked have no light because they are the “night” and their arm is broken, which means they have weakened power (v 14-15).

The Lord then talks about the subterranean passages and depths and says, “Have walked in the recesses of the deep (“tehom” or abyss). Has Sheol (the abode/place of the dead) been revealed to Job (v 16-17)? Can he see into that dimension? The answer is “No.”

In Job 38 19-24 some very interesting things are said by the Lord to Job. He says, “Where is the way to the dwelling of light” meaning light has mass. How did this concept get into the Bible unless God revealed it? He then asks if Job can take hold of that light and lead it to where it came from. What about the darkness (v 20)? The answer is, “No.” What God is doing and will continue to do here is to show us just how little we know concerning these matters. Job should know because he was born then, right? His days reached back to the beginning of time, right (v 21).

God then states that God produces the snow and “the storehouses of the hail” which is reserved for the “time of distress, for the day of war and battle” (v 22-23)? This alludes to the Day of the Lord, but also it refers to the fact that God uses hail as judgment (Exo 9.24; Josh 10.11; Isa 28.2,17). He will use it against Gog and Magog (Russia) in Ezek 38.22 and during the birth-pains against (Rev 16.20-21).

Job 38. 25-30 tells us that God directs the rain and steers its course to cover more than one spot, and countless canals are marked out for them, and a way for the thunderbolt. He brings rain on a land “without people” so it can’t be man who guides its course. And the “parent” of rain (“has the rain a father?”) is also the parent of ice and frost (v 28-30).

He then explains the constellations and exposes Job to the fact that he can’t manage any change in the heavens, but God can (v 31-33). Can Job manage the clouds and call forth rain. Can he send forth lightnings so that man can see them? Can he give the mind the ability to interpret the signs of the weather? No, but God can (v 34-38). Can Job give the animals the instincts they need to hunt their prey and satisfy their appetites? Man doesn’t care for the raven, but God does (v 39-41).

We will pick up in Job 39.1-30 in the conclusion.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 8

Job 30.1-31 begins by telling us that Job believes he has lost all of the respect he had just talked about in Chapter 29, and he also discusses his overall unhappy situation that he finds himself in.

He says these people were young and lazy and they are gaunt from not working. He didn’t even want to put their fathers to work with the dogs to watch his flock because they weren’t even at the level of the dogs! They were like locusts that live off the land and took whatever they wanted. They were useless and driven from the community because they were no good, and went to live in caves and rocks. They gathered together for protection and hid themselves wherever they felt safe. They were fools without a good name (v 1-8).

Now these people who Job would not have let run with his dogs taunt him and stay away from him like they were too good for him. He sits as a defenseless man (“loosed his bowstring”) and Job thinks God is doing it to him, but we know he wasn’t. They had no bridle to restrain them and they hindered Job. They have stolen from him and nobody has stopped them. Job sees himself as a city (believers were seen that way-Jer 1.18; Ecc 9.14) with a huge breach and the enemy has plundered him (v 9-15).

Job has physical and spiritual pain and he is exhausted. The “days of affliction” have taken its toll and pain penetrates him at night and he thinks God is distorting his garments meaning God is grabbing him with a disease and binds him about the collar (it surrounds him) and throwing him down. He cries out to God but gets no answer. That was hard for Job to take and he felt that God wanted to bring him to his death, to the “house of meeting for all the living” (his body to the grave and his soul to be with God-2 Cor 5.1). He knows that God is merciful so why is he afflicting “a heap of ruins” (v 16-24).

Job has wept for others in need so why doesn’t Yehovah treat him the same way? He is “seething within” (a fever) and he can’t rest. He didn’t expect the “days of affliction” to come so soon. He is like the jackels who cry and howl and nobody cares. His “harp” and “flute” once used in joy are now used in mourning (v 25-31).

In Job 31.1-40 Job continues to maintain his innocence and this will be some of his last words, and he refutes the words of his three friends. He maintains that he is a righteous man man and he feels he has been mistreated due to his suffering and afflictions. He did not look on young women in lustful ways, so that isn’t the cause of his problems. he made a covenant with his eyes no to do this. This type of thing was not from God (Lev 18.1-18) and it leads to destruction. He knows that Yehovah sees him all the time (v 1-4) and then Job says he is not guilty of falsehood or has done anything to create a fraud to others. He wants the Lord to “weigh me with accurate scales” or to judge him. He says if all of this is untrue, “let me sow and another eat, and let my crops be uprooted” (v 5-8).

He also says he is not an adulterer nor has his heart been enticed by a woman. He says if he has been unfaithful to his wife, let her be taken and given to another. The effects of adultery destroys everything and this includes having to “uproot all my increase” or finances (v 9-12). He also maintains that he has not treated his servants unfairly. He knew he would have to answer to God if he did (Eph 6.9). He was a human being and so were his servants and were equal to him in God’s eyes (v 13-15).

Job did not keep the poor from their desire to be treated with kindness, nor has he caused the “eyes of the widow to fail” waiting for help. He shares his meals with orphans. If he saw an orphan or a widow in need he did something. He knew that chastisement and the correction of Yehovah would have fallen on him if he did nothing (v 16-23). He also says he was not greedy for gold or looked at the sun and moon as objects of worship. This was a sin and it called for judgment if he did any of these things, so he didn’t (v 24-28).

Job claims that he did not rejoice at the destruction of his enemies. This is also evidence of a man who is after God’s own heart (Ezek 33.11). No person had to sleep in the street because Job was hospitable. He has not “covered my transgression like Adam” contrary to what his friends have been saying about him. Adam blamed Chava and tried to cover up his sin. He also did not cover up his sin because he was afraid of the multitude. So, God is not holding him guilty of hiding any sin.

Job then makes a final plea to the Lord to hear his case. Then he says something very interesting. In Job 31.35 he says, “Here is my signature (or mark). In Hebrew it is “tavi” meaning “my mark.” In Hebrew, the last letter in the alphabet was “tav” and in ancient Hebrew it was shaped like an “X” with crossed sticks. The letter carried the meaning of “covenant, cross, seal, sign and finished.” In a way he is saying, “This is my cross.” When Yeshua said, “It is finished” he is alluding to the meaning of the letter tav while he was on the “cross” (the tav) and sealing the New “Covenant” of Jer 31 with his own blood. Job is ending his speech here and he wants an answer for what God had done to him. He will later repent of this sin of accusing God in Job 42.5-6.

He feels that God was his “adversary” or “prosecutor” and wants his indictments written out by God so he can challenge them in defense. He was confident in what he has been saying so he could approach God “like a prince” (v 28-37).

Job calls one last witness, his land and property. These were not obtained by fraud, covetousness or deceit, or has he eaten its fruits without paying the laborer. If he has, let the curses that came upon Adam (Gen 3.17) and Cain (Gen 4.11) come upon his land (v 38-40). Then the chapter ends with “the words of Job are ended.” This does not mean Job does not say anything else in later chapters, but he is done arguing his case.

Job 32.1-22 tells us that Job’s three friends had nothing more to say. They thought Job was beyond help because “he was righteous in his own eyes’ (v 1). Now another character enters into the discussion by the name of Elihu (my God is he) the son of Barachel (blessing of God) the Buzite (Buz is the son of Nahor and a brother of Uz-Gen 22.21; Job 4.1) of the family of Ram (or Aram, the son of Kemuel and a brother of Buz-Gen 22.21). He has been a bystander and had been listening to the previous discussions. So we see by these names that Job and these people lived after the time of Abraham. Like we said before, we believe Job was a grandson of Jacob, the son of Issachar (Gen 46.13).

He was not only angry with Job, but also his three friends because they were not very convincing and condemned Job anyway. Elihu was younger so he waited out of respect to the others before he spoke. He thought that “age” (experience) should speak because there was no wisdom. But there is a wisdom that does not come from age, but it is a gift from God. So he is presenting himself as a man with spiritual discernment like a “sage” (v 1-10).

He listened to everyone and he heard none of them refute Job. He said whatever happens to Job it is God who is bringing it. He tells the three others that it doesn’t matter what they have said, he says don’t let your past arguments with Job come upon him and he will not use their arguments with Job because he has some new thoughts about it all, so don’t think I am taking sides against you (v 11.14).

The three others were amazed and dismayed, and they didn’t say a word. Elihu paused, then decided to share his opinion. He said he is just a simple man without titles and rank but he is fermenting “like wine inside of him and he must speak.” He will “stick to the facts” with a simple presentation (v 15-22). What Elihu doesn’t know is a lot, and he will claim to speak for God and also makes the mistake that he thinks God is causing Job’s afflictions.

Job 33.1-33 begins with Elihu challenging Job’s case. But we see right away that Elihu talks too much. The first seven verses are long-winded. He wants to show Job and his three friends that he is just as spiritual as they are. He demonstrates a pride and a wordiness and has taken over a chapter to just introduce himself (Chapter 32 and v 1-7).

He begins to say that he has listened to Job’s words and that Job claims to be innocent of any transgressions or sins, which is true, but also not true. Job never claimed to be without sin, but God had mercy on him and he has been forgiven. So we know that Elihu talks too much and he doesn’t listen very well. So he is going to tell Job he is “not right in this.” He is correct in saying God did not owe Job an explanation for his actions. God speaks in many ways and maybe Job has not perceived it. So, let’s look at Job 33.14-17 to look at how God speaks for our own knowledge and information.

Elihu says God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices, so Job may have missed it. He speaks in a dream or a vision of the night, when men sleep. He opens up the ears of men and “seals their instruction.” We can see ins Scripture how God speaks in dreams, often several times to confirm a matter (Gen 41.32; Job 33.29). God does speak in dreams, visions, a trance, mind flashes and directly (Bat Kol). He can also speak through circumstances, dark speech, parables, puns, a still, small voice, prophecy, the Scriptures and messengers. Elihu is saying that God is speaking to Job through the circumstances and his afflictions to save his soul (v 13-18).

He says, “Man (Job) is also chastened on his bed, and with increasing complaint in his bones.” He then goes on to describe what is happening with Job (v 19-22). God did send “an angel as mediator” but he is not listening. Perhaps Elihu had himself in mind here (v 23) and as his messenger, Job needs to receive his words and take action. Job needs to turn to God, and then he will be in his favor.

Then in Job 33.29 he says, “Behold, God does all these (admonishments) often times with men (when one admonishment doesn’t work, he sends another). Literally, “often times” means “two times, or with three.” This can also apply to dreams or any other mode of communication that the Lord would choose to speak with us. Why does God do it? To turn back “his soul from the pit.”

But Elihu’s argument is basically the same thing that Job’s three friends have been saying. He is rehashing what they already said, which was, “Job, you are a sinner and you are blaming God. If you repent and turn from your sin, things will go better for you.” In his pride, Elihu thought he could say all this better than the others, but there is nothing new here (v 24-30).

Maybe Job wanted to speak, but Elihu told him, “Listen to me, keep silent and let me speak.” He said if Job did this, then Elihu “will teach you wisdom.” Evidently, he didn’t think Job was wise enough to judge for himself as to whether what Elihu said was wise (v 31-33).

We will pick up in Job 34.1-37 in Part 9.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 7

Job 24.1-25 tells us that Job continues his answer to Eliphaz. He points out that the wicked prosper and judgment does not seem to come upon them. Job is going to give examples of evil that seem to go unpunished, rejecting what Eliphaz has said. Some move landmarks that distinguished one property from another, and they steal flocks by force. They drive away the donkeys of those who are in need. He goes on to describe the actions of the wicked (v 1-8).

Some oppress the weak, the orphans and the helpless and leave them with no shelter or clothing (v 9-11). It seems that those who are guilty go unpunished (v 12). He then goes on to describe the deeds of the wicked that are done in darkness (stealing, murder, adultery). They “shut themselves up by the day” meaning they do not appear during the day. The morning is like “the shadows of death” to them (v 13-17).

The sinner is “insignificant” and they swiftly pass away. Job wasn’t against the wicked being punished in the afterlife, he just didn’t think that punishment should begin there. He thought that they should be punished in some way in this life, too (v 18-21). To Job, it seems that the wicked get ahead and the rich gain more and more. It also seems to Job that Yehovah is letting the wicked off easy, and die in exalted positions (Job 21.13) and not in a painful and lingering death as we might expect.

In Job 25.1-6 Bildad speaks for the last time and sums up what he has to say to job about his afflictions. Job’s friends have accused him of being a thief, a robber, and everything else in between, except for being a murderer. They said he oppressed widows, orphans, the poor and helpless, and said God was punishing Job for all of this. They never considered the fact that it might be Satan afflicting a righteous man. Job blamed Yehovah, too, and he didn’t understand why all of this was happening.

Bildad is frustrated with Job and can only repeat what has already been agreed upon by everyone, that God is great and to oppose him was futile (no purpose to it), and God has a great army (“stars/angels”) at his disposal. Bildad is stating the obvious here. Man is nothing but a sinner compared to the Lord, so Job needs to repent. Man cannot be compared to Yehovah. Bildad is presenting the total depravity of man and he ends his speech with a hopeless view of man as a “maggot” and a “worm” (“tola”). Man is also weak and despised. But if man was a “maggot” and a “worm” who were they to pass judgment on Job? This truth did not stop Job’s friends from judging him, however.

This will be the last statement from Job’s three friends, but another individual named Elihu (my God is he) the son of Barachel (God has blessed) the Buzite (contempt) will speak up starting in Job 32, so we will touch on him later.

Job 26.1-14 tells us that Job rebukes Bildad and says he has been no help to him at all. But, he is also talking to the other two as well. Job could find no help in what they have told him and wondered if they ever helped anyone. Job knew the Lord better than they did (v 1-3). He then begins to describe the power of God and says his knowledge of God is not inferior to theirs, and he shows this be describing the greatness of God in Sheol, the earth, sky, sea and the universe (v 4).

Then Job describes the same imagery he gave in Job 10.21-22. There is not place that is hidden from Yehovah. He uses a name for Satan in v 6 that we will see in Rev 9.11. Abaddon means “destruction” and is a term for Satan, but it also alludes to the place of destruction because all the wicked are sent there. Then Job says in v 7, “He stretches out the north (“tziphon”) over an empty space, and hangs the earth on nothing.” He is talking about the atmosphere (Psa 33.6-9). This is a unique statement from over 3500 years ago, and unique in all the ancient civilizations. Only Job makes this statement about the suspension of the earth on “nothing.” There is a picture of the earth sent by Apollo 17 on December 7, 1972 with the earth hanging on nothing in outer space. There is another photo of our solar system taken by Voyager 1 from 4 billion miles away which shows the earth as a “Pale Blue Dot” as it was called. Job knew that 3500 years ago.

In our galaxy (where the earth is located), in order to travel north you would travel out of our solar system. If you could look down on our solar system, the earth is on the north. To travel south, it would send you into the equatorial axis of the galaxy. To go east or west, it would send us along the plane of the galaxy where 100 billion stars are located that make up our galactic system. There are few stars north of us, but beyond Polaris and a few others, there are literally billions of light years of empty space (no planets, stars and galaxies).

He says God “obscures the face of the full moon” but it means “hidden moon” there (“kiseh”-Psa 81.3). This alludes to Rosh Ha Shanah, but it can also refer to being hidden by the clouds. Job goes on to describe the horizon as being a “circle” on the surface of the waters (Psa 104.9). Even the “pillars of heaven” (mountains) tremble and are amazed at his rebuke (v 8-11).

Then in Job 26.12-13 we have a prophetic statement concerning the False Messiah. He says, “He quieted the sea with his power.” The sea was seen as unconverted humanity (Isa 57.20) and the domain of Satan. Yeshua did this in Matt 8.26; Mark 4.35-39 and Luke 8.22-25 showing he has dominion over the domain of Satan. The sea was also seen as the abode of Leviathan, a seven-headed sea creature that is used as a picture of the False Messiah (Rev 13.1). This creature is well developed within Jewish eschatology. Yeshua quieted the sea and is taking dominion over the domain of Satan and the False Messiah (Gen 1.1-2; Exo 14.1-25; Isa 57.20). The verse continues by saying, “and by his understanding he shattered Rahab.” Rahab has a meaning in Scripture as a prostitute/harlot, a broad wall, pride and Egypt (Psa 51.9; Job 9.13; Psa 89.10; Psa 74.13; Psa 87.4; Job 41.33; Isa 30.6-7).

In Job 26.13 it says, “By his breath the heavens are cleared; his hand has pierced the fleeing serpent.” The serpent is Satan here and it also alludes to Pharaoh, who had a serpent on his crown. Pharaoh is also a picture of the False Messiah and he ruled Egypt (Rahab). Egypt is a picture of Europe in prophecy where the False Messiah will come from (Dan 9.26). Leviathan is a fleeing serpent in Isa 27.1 and another name for the False Messiah. You can see where all these terms “overlap” in the study of biblical eschatology, and yet Job knew Jewish eschatology even then.

Job knows that his description of God and his power are only the “fringes of his ways” and only touched the surface. Job says that very little is spoken ( a faint word or whisper) about the Lord in his day, however, and that applies today (v 14). There are few who understand the power of God (1 Cor 2.9). So little is heard about God that we only know “in part.” But there is such an abundence of his power that it remains incomprehensible and never to be thoroughly understood until he chooses to exercise that power (v 14).

In Job 27.1-23 Job pauses while he waits for Zophar to take his turn and respond, but he doesn’t say anything, so Job continues. As in an oath, Job says the Lord has taken away his wealth and prosperity, and has dealt with him harshly. But as long as he has life, he will not speak unjustly (Gen 2.7; Acts 17.25). He will not say that his three friends are right concerning him, either. He was not going to let anyone take his integrity. He will hold fast to his cause because his heart does not condemn him. His enemy is anyone who opposes his cause and it is they who would be found in error of God and him. Because of their false accusations, Job thinks his friends deserve the punishment they think he is getting (v 1-7).

They think he is a hypocrite. He says that the Lord does not hear their cries. Job is not a hypocrite and now he is going to teach them a few things. He knows they do not understand many things and are fools (v 8-12). Job says that the wicked will be judged and in the end he will not be blessed. In doing this he actually describes some of the things that are happening to him. Hut even though it looks like judgment of God, it really isn’t (v 13-23).

Job 28.1-28 continues with Job’s instruction and he describes man’s search for money in the form of gold and silver. The earth brings forth food (wheat, barley, vegetables) and coal (“fire”). Man is willing to work very hard for what is hidden in the earth, which is seen as a treasure house (v 1-11). Man knows where to find these things but where can the wisdom of God and his dealings with man be found? Where can man find his plans and government?

Man has no concept of the value of God’s wisdom. The depths of the earth say wisdom is not there, and the sea says “it is not in me.” You can’t buy the wisdom of God with gold and silver and it is worth more than any valuable stone (onyx, sapphire, glass, coral, crystal, topaz, etc). Job asks, “Where then does wisdom come?” It is hidden from all men and concealed from the birds of the sky. In other words, no matter how close to heaven they fly or how good they can see on the ground (like an eagle), they cannot find it. Even Abaddon (Satan) and death (the land of the dead) have heard about it, but cannot find it (v 12-22).

Job 28.23-28 says only God understands its way and knows its place because he is wisdom. He is the source and the sum total of all wisdom. He sees everything and he is in control of the natural world. He controls unstable things like the wind and the rain. He regulates the times for it and measures out the amount, even the direction of the lightning. And to man he says, “Behold, in the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Our wisdom is in fearing the Lord and keeping the commandments (Ecc 12.11-14).

In Job 29.1-25 Job longs for the days before he suffered the loss of his children, health and possessions and when God “watched over me” to keep him from calamity. His favor and light (“lamp”) shone over him and he had a zeal for life. He had the counsel of God (counsel is “sowd” in Hebrew meaning a deeper level) and the hidden things of God did not escape him.

At this time, Job thinks he is out of the presence of God. He was wealthy and prosperous and “the rock poured out for me streams of oil” (olives in the rocks on the mountains, like the Mount of Olives). He had influence in the “gate of the city” where business was done. The young men stepped back in respect when they saw him, and the old men arose and stood (an oriental custom). Even the princes and the nobles listened to him (v 1-10).

They not only did they give their ears to hear him, they liked him (“blessed”-v 11). They felt this way because he delivered the poor and the orphan. He gave good counsel to the unlearned (“eyes to the blind”) and feet to the lame (helped them walk in the ways of the Lord, and helped get their claims heard by his friendship). He fought oppressors (“broke their jaws”) and broke their power (“snatched the prey from his teeth”). He thought that he would “die in my nest” (at home with his family) and live a long life. His “root” spread out to the waters (he was “planted by a stream of waters”-Psa 1.3) and he was well-watered by the teachings of God. He could protect himself from those who might harm him (v 11-20).

People would listen and wait for his counsel, and agreed with what he said. His words “dropped on them” (like the dew in Deut 32.2) and they entered them (soaked into them). They waited (longed for) his words like rain. They opened their mouth as for the spring rain to take in his counsel. They did not provoke him or disturb his peace. He advised them on what steps to take and “dwelt as a king (had authority) among the troops, and comforted those who were discouraged (v 21-25).

We will pick up in Job 30.1-21 in Part 8.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 6

Job 20.1-29 tells us that Zophar answers Job and says Job’s words “disquieted” him and he is inwardly agitated (v 2). This has caused Zophar to speak up because he felt like Job reproached him, so his rational mind (“spirit of my understanding”) has prompted him to answer (v 3).

He again claims some sort of authority by saying in v 4, “Do you not know” meaning “everybody knows this” so what he is going to say proves his claim that Job was a hypocrite. Any good a wicked person (like Job) has experienced will quickly pass (v 5-11). He goes on to describe the life of a wicked person in v 12-19. Job may have enjoyed some good things in life, but God will be against him eventually and then everything goes bad. Zophar is implying that Job is this wicked person.

In Job 20.20-29 he says that Job has no satisfaction within him because he is wicked, and there is no escape. God is angry with him and nobody can put out the “unfanned fire” against him because it was started by God. The arrows of God, even if he escapes the iron weapon, will find him. In other words, if he escapes one judgment, another will find him. What has happened so far is Job’s friends came to him and they didn’t seem to regard him as wicked (Job 2.11-13). However, when they tried to make Job understand he was a sinner, Job didn’t agree with them. So they began to think he was being stubborn. Once they reasoned that he was a wicked man, they became convinced he was being a hypocrite and anything he says is just a cover and lies.

Zophar is convinced that Job deserves what is happening to him. The mistake they are making is they are focusing on his material losses, and not seeing the spiritual aspects to all this. Zophar’s conclusion (he speaks no more in this book) is that the wrath of God is upon Job and his “heritage” now. Now, Zophar is not totally wrong in this chapter. There is judgment on the wicked by God and some of the things that are happening to Job is done to them (the wicked). But in Job’s case, he is not a wicked person and these calamities do not come from God, but Satan. He is trying to get Job to curse God (Job 2.1-6).

In Job 21.1-34 Job answers and says that he is not going to listen to man’s wisdom, just like they are not listening to him. But he says, “Listen” and after you can mock him (v 1-3). He asks them why they are so upset with him. He isn’t against them. He also says that his complaint is with Yehovah, and why shouldn’t he be impatient, he is getting no answer. He tells them to “put your hand over your mouth” and be silent. When he thinks of the providences of God, he is disturbed. He see’s the different treatment of the good and bad.

According to the wisdom of his friends, since Job is suffering all these things, he must be wicked, but that is how man thinks. Job says, “I hate to tell you this but the wicked prosper and have long lives (v 7).” Their descendants carry on after them. Their houses are safe from fear and God’s chastisement (rod) is not on them. Their livestock prospers, they sing and rejoice and live in prosperity and with ease go down to Sheol (abode of the dead). In life they say to God, “Depart from us! We don not even desire the knowledge of thy ways. Who is the Almighty that we should serve him (like Pharaoh said) and what would we gain if we entreat him (v 14-15)?” Obviously they have no concept of the rewards to be given in the Olam Haba. Their prosperity will not stay with them to keep and Job shunned their impious thoughts, words and deeds (v 4-16).

In Job 21.17-26 Job asks how often “is the lamp (life) of the wicked put out” or does “their calamity fall on them?” Job implies not very often. Job says when they live in their wickedness they are not killed, and blessed in what they do. Job is saying that they are presenting a case to him that is just as reverse as what they are saying to him. Are their bodies like stubble in the wind, carried off by a storm (v 18)? The answer is “No.”

Job tells them, “Are you saying that the sins of the father will be taken out on the children if punishment is delayed (v 19)? God is not going to do that. Each person will answer for his own sin. If the children continue their sinful ways of the fathers, then that child will be punished for what he has done, not for his father.

God is wise, but the wicked seem to prosper and the righteous suffer. Job is questioning God’s ways. But he knows he was wrong so he says, “Can anyone teach God knowledge?” The answer is “No!” God does things that seem to contradict in man’s eyes, but we don’t know the whole story. Job thinks that it is somewhat unfair that the righteous and the wicked lie in the grave and nobody can tell who is who.

In Job 21.27-34 Job says he knows what his friends are thinking after all this. They were shocked that he questioned God. He knew they were thinking he was a hypocrite and he thinks different than they do. He is telling them that we can’t develop a law of retribution based on what we observe in this life. But who ever confronts an evil person and tells him to his face that he is in danger and reserved for the day of calamity and the day of fury (Day of the Lord-v 30)? Who will confront him with his actions? The answer is “nobody.” The wicked will die and have great funerals and pompous ceremonies.

Then he asks his friends, “How then will you vainly comfort me?” He says he has shown them that good men suffer and the wicked prosper, so their “comfort” in telling him that he suffers because he is wicked is not correct. Telling him to repent is no comfort at all. Job has won a victory over their false doctrines. He knows that just because he is afflicted does not mean he is wicked. God’s plan plays a role but Job cannot see what it is a this point.

In Job 22.1-30 Eliphaz is going to get angry with Job and this is his last reply. He asks Job if he thinks he can change God by what he is saying? He tells Job that his point is, God does not send prosperity to some and calamities to others. It is because of what they do, so Job’s problems prove he is guilty. He then begins to list some of Job’s alleged crimes. He doesn’t believe Job was a man who feared God and that God was dealing with him. He accuses Job falsely of stealing from the poor, neglecting the starving and of oppression. That is how Job got rich according to Eliphaz (v 6-11). Now Job has been ensnared by dread and fear and calamity (darkness) has come to Job so he can’t understand (“so that you cannot see”). The “abundant waters” that cover him is affliction (Psa 69, Psa 88).

In Job 22.12-16 Eliphaz will attack Job’s theology and concept of God, and he makes a contrast between the righteous and the wicked. He thinks Job has not admitted his wrong doing because Job doesn’t understand God. He warns Job about following the ancient path of those who were “snatched away before their time” and washed away by a flood. This will be an allusion to the state of the people before the flood of Noah.

In Job 22.17-21 it says they rejected God and said, “Depart from us” and “What can the Almighty do to them?” But he filled their houses with good things like Job, and they were ungrateful. But the righteous are glad that God is vindicated by his judgments. They are happy that their adversaries are no more and their possessions are consumed by fire.

In Job 22.22-26 Eliphaz tells Job he needs to get right with the Lord and be at peace. He wants Job to receive instruction and treasure his words in his heart. This is good counsel if Job was the problem, but he isn’t the root of what is going on (Job 1.6-22, 2.1-6). Job was agonizing because he did not take “delight” in the Lord.

In Job 22.27-30 he tells Job that he needs to “decree (lift up your voice in prayer and repentance) a thing and it will be established for you (by faith, and God will answer.” When Job is cast down he shall still prosper, and God will save the humble (Eliphaz is suggesting that Job is not). He says even the wicked will be delivered because of Job’s prayers, and ironically, that is exactly what Job will do for his friends in Job 42.7-8. All Job needs to do is get right with God and listen to what Eliphaz is telling him.

Job 23.1-17 tells us that Job has not been helped by the speech of Eliphaz, and he still feels desperate and he still can’t hear from God for himself. He would “present” his case as in court before Yehovah, especially after hearing the false accusations of his friends. Job knows he has a clear conscience and would find favor with God, and that God was not against him like his friends say (v 1-7).

Job has looked everywhere for Yehovah but cannot perceive him. He has gone forward, backward, to the left and to the right but can’t see him (v 8-9). But the Lord knows where he is and Job shows his great faith here when he says that even though he cannot connect with the Lord, he has confidence (emunah/faith) that God will bring him through this life like gold (v 10). In Job 22.11-12 it says he has walked in God’s ways and he has “treasured the words of his mouth.” But how did God speak?God spoke to Job through what Jacob and the family taught (remember he is Jacob’s grandson) through the oral commands that were passed down before there was the Torah or written word. For an example of this concept, Moses taught the people “the statutes of God and the laws (Torah)” before the written law was given on Mount Sinai (Exo 18.13-16).

But it says in Job 22.13-17 that Job cannot make God do anything even though he trusted him. God was going to do with Job “what is appointed for me” and many such “decrees are with him (v 14).” This makes Job “dismayed” at the presence of the Lord (his hand of affliction) and when he thinks about all this, he is terrified. But he has not been silenced (by death) by these afflictions just yet (v 15-17).

We will pick up in Job 24.1-25 in Part 7.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 5

Having answered his three friends, Eliphaz now speaks again in Job 15.1-35. He begins to dispute what Job has said and basically says Job has “filled himself with the east wind” and was full of unprofitable talk (v 1-3). Eliphaz says Job has done away with the fear of God and any true meditation and prayer to God. He says when Job talks he is uttering iniquity in his heart, and he is lying (v 4-6). Basically, he is saying that if Job was so wise he wouldn’t be so proud and full of loud boasting.

He says to Job, “Were you the first man to be born, or were you brought forth before the hills” (so old he thinks he is smarter than everyone else, including God…v 7-11)? He also says Job is prideful and full of conceit of others, and the Lord is angry with him about this (v 12-13).

Eliphaz does not understand how Job can be as innocent before God as he says he is? If God puts no trust in his holy ones (angels), and the heavens (the inhabitants thereof) are not pure, how much less is Job who is detestable and a sinner, who sins like he is drinking water (v 14-16). Eliphaz then tells him about what he has seen, and “everybody knows this.” Only the wicked suffer like Job does, and t he sooner he admits that he is a sinner the better it will be. He accuses Job of being defiant in this and being stubborn (v 17-26).

He then tells Job that even the wicked succeed for awhile (like Job did), but that is just a show. Job was actually poor and has a gross misunderstanding about God. This is a true statement about the wicked, but it was not true about Job. But Eliphaz keeps accusing Job of all sorts of sins and of “bringing forth iniquity” through deceit, corruption and foolishness (v 27-35). Job is being attacked in his body by Satan and his friends are accusing him falsely. What Job didn’t know is God is only going to let them go so far.

In Job 16.1-22 Job answers Eliphaz and we learn that Job thinks his friends are “sorry comforters.” Job tells them that what they are saying is “old news” and he has heard that before. Like his friends have said, “everyone knows these things” (Job 15.14-15). Job is giving it right back to them here (see Job 6.15). He said that what his friends have been saying is a bag of windy speeches. He could act like they do, unsympathetic and concerning (v 1-5).

Talking to them does nothing to ease his suffering and is a waste of time. If he doesn’t talk, he looks guilty. He is tired and God has “exhausted him.” His family is gone and his friends are useless. His body is wasting away and he is skin and bones, so even that testifies against him. He says that Go9d has torn him, and hunted him down. He says, “My enemy glares (sharpens his eyes) at me” thinking it is God who is his adversary, but we know he is totally mistaken here. He believes God is using his three friends as instruments to lay charges upon him and reproach him (v 6-11).

He remembers he was at ease with good things in life, but then he was shattered. He calls his diseases and his friends “his arrows” that surrounded him without mercy (v 12-14). He recounts how he demonstrated his grief with sackcloth and dust on his head. He was not a violent man and he just doesn’t understand how this is happening to him. His prayers are pure and he will not give up his conviction that his conscience is clear. He was not God’s enemy and is not the man his friends say he is (v 15-17).

Job then appeals to creation saying, , “O earth, do not cover up my blood.” In other words, let it cry out about the injustice done to him if he dies (v 18). We see Job’s struggle in v 19 when he says, “Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven and my advocate is on high.” A few verses earlier he thought God was fighting against him. But in truth, he believed that there was a witness in heaven that knew the truth about him, but he is still in agony.

In this verse we see the role of Yeshua and Job’s foresight about the coming Messiah (1 Tim 2.5; 1 John 2.1) Job knew he needed a “lawyer” (advocate) and someone who knew the truth and would stand in the gap between heaven and earth for him and prove his case. In this we see that Job showed a confidence in Yeshua even before he ever came. This is called faith and this was according to the promise of God going all the way back to Eden (Gen 3.15). Although Job did not live to see Yeshua, he had confidence (faith) in that promise (v 19-22).

Job 17.1-16 continues with Job’s dialogue and it tells us that Job’s spirit is broken because of his pain, and he is surrounded by mockers. His friends had sympathy at the beginning, but now they mock him. He asks God to set things right because he does not know what to do (v 1-3). He tells his friends that deceitful tongues will be punished and for some reason God has kept them from understanding and they will be held accountable. Their lack of understanding was proof that God was displeased with them (v 4-5).

Job has been humiliated and people find it hard to believe that this has happened to a good man. They saw God behind it all put it was hard to see God’s plan. His weeping has made his eyes dim and his flesh was consumed. But, the righteous will vindicate him in the future. Job knows he is right and he will hold fast to his integrity and grow stronger (v 6-9).

Job cannot find one person who has judged him correctly and he has accepted that his good days are past and may be looking at a slow decline instead of a quick end to his misery (v 10-11). His griefs disturb him so much that he can no more sleep at night than in the day. The “light is short” means that daytime can give comfort to people in distress, but not to him because he is “in the presence of darkness” (his pains follow him during the day and the night-v 12). The grave will soon be his bed and Sheol will be like a family member who is close. It was vain and empty to feed him with hope of outward happiness (v 13-16).

In Job 18.1-27 Bildad objects to what Job has said. He basically tells Job to stop babbling and to start listening. He was getting tired of listening to Job talk. He tells Job that his condition speaks for itself, Job is in sin. Are you so important that the world will stop when you die (v 1-4)? Bildad says, “The light (reason) of the wicked goes out” because he wants Job to see that he is among the wicked. He wants Job to see that the wicked gets what is coming to them. Job’s dark outlook on life means he is wicked. Bildad believes the wicked man’s steps are shortened and his wicked days will bring him down. He walks into his own snare (v 5-10).

Bildad uses as evidence that Job is wicked all the afflictions he has suffered. He says the wicked are “full of terror” and his strength is diminished, and his skin is devoured (Job 2.7-8, 7.5, 30.30). His soul is taken (Psa 52.5) and he is taken before the king of terrors (horrors/death). He is judged and utterly consumed and there is nothing left. Nobody will remember him and this was a very evil statement because Job has lost all his children and has no heir. He says, “Those in the west (those who come after him) are appalled at his fate, and those in the east (alive now by comparison) are seized with horror. Bildad says that Job is in “the dwellings of the wicked” and this is the place for those who don’t know God (v 11-21).

In Job 19.1-29 Job feels insulted and that his friends don’t understand. They crush him with their words and insulted him “ten times” which is an idiom meaning “many.” Job says, “even if I have truly erred, my error lodges with me” meaning his sin is nothing to them, why are they so troubled about it? If they insist on this kind of proof they need to listen. He is not a guilty man and if God has sent this upon him, then God has wronged him and will not give him a fair hearing. But we can understand Job’s frustrations here, and good people have thought and said similar things under oppression. He tells Bildad that these afflictions are by God’s hand so be careful as to “why” you think they are happening and be cautious of what you say concerning his dealings (v 1-6).

Job says he prays “violence” to God because of what his friends have been saying as if he is in a courtroom, but gets no answer or help. His “troops” (afflictions) have marched against him and have camped around his tent like in a siege. Job feels like one of God’s enemies, but Job still doesn’t know that God favored him and expected him to weather these afflictions by faith, even when he is being besieged by afflictions and negative feelings (v 7-12).

He even says that God has removed his brothers from him, meaning, he expected to find comfort with family but they are so shocked that they fled from him (v 13-14). Those that dwell in his house have failed him and even seen as a foreigner in their sight, and even his servants don’t answer him when he calls. Everyone has failed him (v 15-16). His “breath is offensive to my wife” and this means his words are alien to her and she won’t answer him, just like the servant in v 16. In verse 18 it says, “young children despise me” but it is the Hebrew word “evelim” here and it means “fools, or the wicked.” His associates (Hebrew “sowdi” meaning inner council of intimate friends) abhor him, even those he loved. All he had left was the “skin of his teeth” (that which covers the teeth) or the ability to talk (v 16-20). Satan left those intact so he could talk and curse God in front of everyone.

He wants his friends to have sympathy for him instead of persecuting him as if they were in God’s place (v 21-22). Jon 19.23-27 is showing us how sure Job was in his faith, and this is how sure we should be when we hear from God. He wished his words were written and in a book “with an iron stylus and lead and engraved in the rock forever” (and they were).

Job 19.25 is an eschatological verse where he says, “I know that my redeemer lives” which is an amazing statement. He knows he has a goel (kinsman redeemer) or an “avenger of blood.” He is saying that the wrong done to him will find their avenger of blood (goel). He knows his goel lives and will avenge him. He then goes on to say that “at the last (in the latter days, the Day of the Lord) he will take his stand on the earth (Job 14.10-15; Isa11.10, 13.2, 18.3, 26.19; 1 Cor 15.50-58; 1 Thes 4.13-18; 2 Thes 2.3). Even “after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God” meaning he will be raised and his body will be incorruptible (1 Cor 15.53-55). He will behold Yehovah and his heart yearns for this resurrection.

But if everyone wants to continue this and ask themselves, “How shall we persecute him” and “What pretext for a case against him can we find” then they are to be very afraid of the sword of divine judgment and justice for themselves, for “wrath brings the punishment of the sword (to avenge the wrongs to the innocent), so that you may know there is judgment (justice by the hand of the Lord).” He tells them this because Job believes he will be vindicated so he will wait on Yehovah (v 26-29).

In Part 6, we will pick up in Job 20.1-29.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 4

In Job 10.1-22 Job still blames God for all his troubles, and his friends say it is because of Job’s sins that God is judging him. He wants Yehovah to show him what he can do to please him and stop his afflictions. Job complains that God oppresses the innocent, despises the work of his own hands and that God blesses the wicked. He is going too far here (v 1-3).

He wants to know if God is like man now, who is unfair. But God knows he is innocent, so why all the trouble? He is not wicked like his friends say he is, and God can stop this any time he wants. Job is sure that he is innocent, and God is fair, but he hasn’t found out that it is Satan causing all this yet, and as far as we know, he never will. He is close, and he is questioning God, but he has not cursed him (v 4-7).

Job was formed “round about” by God like a potter works clay, is he going to turn him into dust again (v 8-11)? God has always blessed Job and all he has known is success. Now, he has trouble and he doesn’t know why. But Yehovah knows why and is he trying to keep him off guard (v12-13)? Job is confused about this whole affair (v 14-15).

If Job holds his head up, God comes along and puts him down he thinks. God renews witnesses (afflictions) against him. Job 10.17 carries the idea of warfare. One “hardship” (Hebrew “tzava”=war) after “hardship” (war). Believers can take authority over Satan and his army and order him out of our lives like Yeshua did. We can get the things that make us unhappy out of our lives and set our hearts on God (Luke 10.18-19). But Job is sick of life and wishes he was never born. He is feeling sorry for himself, as we would be, too, over a lot less. Job has a dark view of death here (v 16-22). This can happen to us as well. If we don’t keep our minds on Yehovah, we will listen to evil spirits and be consumed with a dark view of life also.

In Job 11.1-20 we now have Zophar (sparrow) giving his opinions. He will be like a sparrow who goes about his business, and everybody else’s business too. Then when trouble comes, they disappear. He will attack Job very severely and says Job deserves worse. He stood by and listened to his two other friends, and to what Job said in reply. He says right off that a multitude of words should be answered, but many words does not make him (Job) right (v 1-2).

Zophar says shall a person talk nonsense and nobody confront you about how you talk to the Lord? Well, Zophar is now coming forward to set Job straight. He says Job has claimed to be innocent before God, but he tells Job that he better hope that God doesn’t “open his lips” and speak against Job about what he has said up to now, and convince Job of his sins. He will show Job “the secrets of wisdom” and Job will know why all this is happening (v 3-6).\

Can Job understand God or stop him when he comes to bring him to judgment? Can anyone hinder him (v 7-12)? He tells Job to repent and turn to God. He wants Job to root out all wickedness, but Zophar does not know that God is not doing this, either. Job was blameless in God’s eyes, and Job knows that he has not sinned. He wants Job to confess his sins and repent because he could then “lift up his face” without moral defect and he would be steadfast and not fear (v 15). But, in truth, it would not matter how many times Job repented because he hasn’t done anything. Also, Satan is the one causing Jobs afflictions and he won’t listen to what Job says, he wants Job to curse God. Satan knows what Job is going through and knows that he is in distress about the cause, and probably thinks it is funny. Zophar says that because Job wants to die, it proves that he is wicked (v 13-20).

In Job 12.1-25 Job finally responds to his three friends, and he is going to get sarcastic in saying that his friends act as if they have all the wisdom, and when they die, wisdom dies with them (v 1-2). But Job understood more that his friends give him credit for. They mock him and don’t understand. Job knows what his life was like and he could call on God and get an answer. Job wasn’t a “lamp” ready to slip because things were going well. The tents of the destroyers prosper and those who provoke the Lord are safe, so now he thinks his former understandings of God might be wrong (v 3-6), but the solution to this is Psa 73.

Job says that all creation knows the power of God and Job says if you want to know the Lord, look at how God governs the world (v 7-12). Then in Job 12.13-25 Job describes the power of God and rebukes Zophar’s speech. Zophar does not know God and Job is not stupid, so don’t bring that up again (as in 11.12). He then describes the power and wisdom of God. Whatever God wants to do with a person, he does it. He can tear down a person and build him back up again. He can cause a drought that causes a famine, or cause it to rain and bring a flood. The misled and the misleader was created by God. Eschatologically, even Satan will go to destruction, along with the False Messiah, the False Prophet and those who follow them.

We can take counselors and mix up their thoughts to where their words are foolish (v 17). He can make a king’s edict disappear, and “binds their loins with a girdle” (can make those kings a servant). Priests can be demoted and can bring down the mighty in the land. He will make those who are trusted and in positions of leadership and cause them to say dumb things (v 18-20). He controls those in charge and causes their decisions to be weak (v 21).

There are many “mysteries” (Hebrew “sowd” meaning “hidden, secret) in God’s plan and he can reveal them to whoever he wants, or hide them from whoever he wants. He also can make a nation great, then destroys them. Everything that happens in a nation comes from Yehovah. He can cause nations to have treaties one minute, and then have them go to war with each other the next minute. He can cause presidents, kings and rulers of all nations (“chiefs of the earth”) to become confused and not be able to tell good from evil. They will make good decisions, then have them make bad decisions. God can cause them to be blinded about important things and focus on foolish things. When we see all the confusion in a nation, they are likened to drunks who stagger around in the darkness. News today is nothing but a bunch of fools speaking their minds, so keep this in mind when we see the politics in the land.

Job 13.1-28 continues with Job’s speech to Zophar. Job has extensive knowledge and is not “less knowing” than his friends. He has seen everything that he is speaking about and understands it. Job doesn’t want to argue with his friends, he wants answers from God himself (v 1-2). His friends tell him to repent, but put no true knowledge into Job’s mind (v 3-4). They are like bible teachers today. They tell you what you are doing wrong, but don’t know the plan of God, or refer you to the Torah because they don’t believe it applies because they are not under the Torah. They would be much wiser if they would just be quiet and stop talking (v 5). He wants them to listen to him and he can plead his own case.

Are they going to be like God and Judge him? If they do, God is going to put them in their place. Their words are like ashes, easily blown away, and their defenses are like clay, easily broken (v 3-12). He wants them to be quiet so he can speak. When he is speaking truth, he has no fear of reproach. Why should he “take my flesh in my lip” (meaning “bit my lip” or “be quiet”).

Even if God takes his life, he will trust in the Lord and will present his case, and in the end he will be vindicated (and he was). He asks who is going to dispute with him, and if proven wrong he will be silent and die (v 13-19).

He tells the Lord to reveal to him of sin is really the problem. What has he been charges with, arraigned, condemned and punished for? Job likens himself to a leaf that is blown away by the wind. They are falling and trodden under foot. They are worthless, weak and nobody cares. Job knew he was a sinner and was afraid God was holding these things against him now. He feels he has no escape, like his feet are in stocks. He is decaying like a “rotten thing” and a garment that is “moth-eaten” (v 20-28).

Job 14.1-22 tells us about the finality of death. He talks about man who is “born of woman” meaning frail, weak and subject to temptation. LIke a flower that comes from the ground (like a womb) that flourishes then withers (v 1-3). He then says, “Who can make the clean out of the unclean?” IN other words, there is none born righteous and pure. The only one who can make a person clean is the Lord (v 4).

Job is telling his friends he is not clean like they were accusing him of being. Spiritually, we can’t call a thing clean if it is unclean by the Lord’s standard and word, the Torah. We can’t call animals that God has declared forbidden to eat acceptable to eat now. But many religions do just that, but this verse negates that view. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

Man’s days are determined by God and the number of his months are also with God (Psa 139.16). God has limited each person to a life. It would be better if God would just “look away” so an afflicted one (Job) could rest (v 5-6).

In Job 14.7-12 is a passage that deals with the resurrection. Job says there is hope for a tree when it is cut down that it will sprout again because the roots will not fail. At the scent of water it will flourish, even if the stump is old in the ground. This is an allusion to Israel, a “cursed tree.” Een that tree has hope (Mic 7.1-2; Mark 11.12-14; Jer 31.15-31; Hos 6.1-3, 14.1-9; Song 2.13; Job 19.25-26). Israel as a nation will rise (Joel 2.28; Ezek 39.22; Rom 11.26; Isa 66.7-9; Amos 9.15).

But Job is also talking about two aspects of man, flesh and spirit. He is talking about the mortal body in v 10-12. It dies and lies prostrate. Man is cut down and will not rise (Ecc 12.7). The body stays in the ground and the body will not “wake up” or be aroused out of his sleep by others.

Job 14.13-17 then tells us that Job wants God to tell him how long his life will be, don’t keep me in the dark. He asks the question, “If a man dies will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait, until my change comes” (v 15). Job is looking for that change when he dies and it will at least give him a rest from all his afflictions. God will call, and Job will answer because then God will receive the work of his hands (his body-v 15).

Yehovah has numbered Job’s steps and Job’s sins, transgressions and iniquities are “sealed in a bag” (v 17). Sin is an unintentional violation, a transgression is rebellion and iniquities are intentional due to a weakness. Job doesn’t even know what these are in his case. He is puzzled as to why all of this is happening to him. He doesn’t know it is Satan doing this, not Yehovah punishing him for any sins, transgressions or iniquities.

We know that when a believer dies his mortal body returns to the dust and his spirit lives and goes to the Lord (Ecc 12.7). God will call and we will answer (Isa 13.2, 18.3, 26.19; Eph 5.14; 1 Cor 15.50-53; 1 John 3.2; Phil 3.21; Psa 17.15; Rev 4.1).

Job 14. 18-22 tells us that Job returns to similes about the fallen state of man. Job hoped for a restoration of his relationship with God after he died. He erroneously thinks that relationship has been broken, but it wasn’t. God’s power is limitless and if he sets himself against a man, group or nation, God will take away any hope that he will live again in the world after he dies, and he will prevail. There is nothing he can do. He doesn’t know what happens to his family after he is gone, or what happens in the world for that matter. His body will corrupt in the grave, and his soul regrets that he was ever born.

We will pick up in Job 15.1-35 in Part 5.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 3

In Job 6.1-30 Job begins to defend himself and says Eliphaz has not proved a thing. His suffering was great and Eliphaz only made it worse, and God confirms it at the end of the book (Job 42.7). Job admits that his words in Chapter 3 were hasty, but he did not curse Yehovah. He was under a lot of pressure and pain. He is mistaken in verse 4 when he says, “The arrows of the almighty are within me” because it was Satan who was doing it (Job 2.6).

Even the animals don’t complain without a reason (v 5) and in this Job is saying he has a reason because he has not sinned like Eliphaz was saying. Their words were useless and tasteless like unsalted food or the white of an egg. In the same way Job refuses to “eat” the words of Eliphaz (v 6-7).

Job just wants his misery to end (v 8-9) and his one consolation is he haas not denied (hidden) the words of Yehovah, he is faithful. But the load is too great for him to carry and prolonging his life won’t do him any good. His strength is not like a cornerstone or foundation that can support a building, or like brass that can hold a load. He is flesh and blood, weak, and death would be better (v 12).

He thinks he should be pitied, not insulted. Job should be shown kindness from his friends (v 14), but they do not fear the Lord because they do not show Job kindness. Jam 1.26 says, “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart ,this man’s religion is worthless.” His friends have acted deceitfully “like a wadi” and this means that they are like a wadi that is fed by rain and snow. At first, it looks like a big river, but then it fades to a dry creek bed and fades. When Job was prosperous they looked like friends, but now they look like unfaithful and deceitful people who offer no comfort to him (Job 16.1). When you really need the water of comfort it isn’t there (v 15-17). The caravans look for water and they are disappointed. They trusted that there was water, and were ashamed (v 20).

Job says his friends have become like that. They see what happened to him, and they think it would happen to them if they comfort him because they think this is a righteous judgment of God (v 21). Did Job invite them? Did he even ask for their help (v 22-23)? He wants them to show him where he is wrong, he is open to it (v 24).

But their arguments had no truth in them and they didn’t prove a thing. Were they going to just use words with no reasoning behind them? Job’s words were as the “wind” and empty to them and they weren’t even going to listen (v 25-26). He compares himself to an “orphan” who has nothing, and they come to overwhelm him even more and entangle him in a pit of words (v 27).

Job asks them to look upon him favorably and think of him with better thoughts. He tells them to look at him and see if they can detect and falsehood in what he is saying (v 28). He wants them to stop looking at him with criticism before they go too far and sin. He wants them to hear what he is trying to tell them. If they do, they will see that he has not done evil and that his senses can tell the difference between good and evil (v 29-30, 12.11).

In Job 7.1-21 Job begins to defend himself before Yehovah. There is a set time for a person to be born and to die. He is like a man who is hired for a set time, it is fixed before God. He works and his days are full of trouble (v 1). Man is like a servant who “pants” for the shade after his work is done. He looks forward to the time he can rest, and get his reward (v 2). In the same way, Job are allotted a certain time to work, but it is empty of joy. He gets no rest because of his afflictions and he can’t sleep, and that just leads to more weariness (v 3-4).

His flesh is clothed with worms and crusty dirt, with boils and ulcers and he wants it all to end (v 5-6). He says his days in general , especially his prosperous days, went quickly and he wished for them again (Job 29.1-25). His life is like the wind, poor and weak like an air bubble. He did not think he would ever see good in this world again (v 7). After he has died, no eye will behold him in the “land of the living” anymore and he will vanish and not return, so he is going to speak what is on his mind now (v 8-11).

Is he like the raging, tossing sea that stirs up trouble and dirt? This is compared to the wicked in Isa 57.20. Then he says in v 12, “or the sea monster?” This is “tannin” in Hebrew and he is saying, “Am I as evil as Leviathan that you had to restrain me?” In Scripture, Leviathan is a seven-headed sea monster who lives in the sea and is picture of the False Messiah, or “the beast” (Isa 27.1; Rev 13.1; Psa 74.13-14). As we have said before, Job is very eschatological and this is one of many verses that allude to individuals that will be in the Acharit Yamim (the Last Days or Day of the Lord).

When he lies down to rest, God awakens him with dreams and visions. This only makes things worse (v 13-14). He says his breathing stops due to his diseases, and death would be better (v 15). He is wasting away and he isn’t going to live forever. He wants Yehovah to heal him or just let him die (v 16). What is man in the long run that God would set him over the earth, or that God should be concerned with him (v 17). God examines or tests man everyday about his faithfulness. Will the Lord ever stop wrestling and contending with him (v 18-19).

Job asks whether he has sinned like his friends say, but then he remembers that he has been forgiven, so why is he afflicted? Why is he a target for God’s arrows? Job does not understand that this is not coming from God. God has allowed Satan to touch him because he is a righteous man, not a sinner, and Yehovah will keep him all through this process. Again, there is no evidence from Scripture that Job ever does learn about the true source and cause of his troubles. He even asks, “When then dost thou not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity?” He thinks that by forgiving him, the afflictions would be taken away. He just wants to lie down in the dust (die), and God will seek him on the earth, but can’t find him (v 20-21).

In Job 8.1-22, Bildad (beloved Lord) the Shuhite (wealth) now enters the discussion and asserts the justice of God in these events. He takes the side of Eliphaz and says since Job’s sins have been found out, God has delivered him over to judgment. He thinks that Job has charged God with injustice. If Job was innocent, then God would deliver him from these afflictions (v 1-7). But Bildad does not see the heavenly scene that is behind Job’s troubles either, and interprets Job’s troubles to a cause and effect situation.

He then uses similes to illustrate his assertion that Job’s situation is an example of cause and effect. Even as papyrus and rushes fade quickly and dies, so will all those who turn their backs on God (v 11-13). But Bildad is misapplying these pictures from the natural world to Job as if he is sinning. If Job turns back to God he would be blessed again. Eliphaz and Bildad have concluded that God does not afflict the righteous in such a severe manner. He does not keep or prosper the wicked for long, so Job must be wicked because that is what is happening to him (v 14-22).

In Job 9.1-35 Job answers and agrees that God is just, and God’s ways are beyond his ability to know. How can a man be righteous before God or demand answers as if he was in a law suit. Job will admit to doing this in Job 42.1-6 and he repents of it (v 1-8). He praises God for his mighty works in the heavens, but these do not comfort him. The Lord is too great to even notice a mere man. So he is not going to even try to contend with God in a judicial way (v 13-24).

In Job 9.13 we have another eschatological reference to the False Messiah where it says, “God will not turn back his anger, beneath him crouch the helpers of Rahab.” In the Peshat (literal) level, this means that God shows his anger and answers to no one. Even the helpers of the False Messiah will answer to him. The word “Rahab” is a term for the False Messiah in the Scriptures. It means “pride, Egypt, prostitute and broad wall.”

Job 41.34 talks about Leviathan, another name for the False Messiah (Isa 27.1; Rev 13.1), “He (Leviathan) looks on everything that is high, he is king over all the sons of pride.” The word “pride” is Rahab. Job 26.12 says that God “quieted the sea with his power (Isa 57.20), and by his understanding he shattered Rahab. By his breath the heavens are cleared, his hand has pierced the fleeing serpent” (Isa 27.1). Isa 30.7 says, “Even Egypt, whose help is vain and empty, therefore, I have called her Rahab who has been exterminated.”

Now, Egypt is a type of Europe, and Pharaoh a type of the False Messiah in biblical eschatology. Just as Egypt had Pharaoh, Europe will have the False Messiah rule over it. Pharaoh is a type of the False Messiah who will be destroyed (Ezek 29.1-7, 32.1-8 for instance). Isa 51.9 says, “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord (a term for Messiah). Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon (Leviathan, Pharaoh, False Messiah).” The context here is the Second Redemption. Just as Moses defeated Pharaoh and Egypt, so will Messiah defeat the False Messiah. In Psa 87.4 Rahab is used for Egypt. All of these are under God’s power.

Job wonders how he can discuss anything with God since he is infinite. Even if he was righteous, he would still not contend with the Lord, but beg for mercy. If he called to God, and he answered, he would still not believe God even listened to a mere man. Job says God is “bruising me with a tempest” but in actuality he wasn’t, it was Satan, and he wasn’t even letting him rest long enough to “get my breath” (v 17-18).

He wants to find someone who can set him up with God to plead his case. If he tries to justify himself, he is lying because nobody is righteous (v 19-20). God afflicts the righteous and the wicked. If these things happen to the innocent, then who is doing it? God chooses how to use his elect, and the giving of “things” is no proof of Job’s goodness, nor the taking away of those “things” proof of his wickedness (v 21-24). His days are going faster than a runner, like they never were (v 25-26).

Job knows he has sinned, and God will not hold him innocent. Snow water is pure and if he cleansed himself with that, God would still find him unclean, as if he was thrown into a mud pit (v 27-31). God is not like a man that Job may answer him in a court. There is no “umpire” (lawyer) between them, who may mediate between God and Job? Job has nobody to present his case to God, and he has nobody to turn to (v 32-33).

Job wants God to remove his “rod” (affliction) from him. But again, God is not doing it and we know this from Job 1.12, 2.6. He tells Bildad that he is not what Bildad and Eliphaz are making of him. Job isn’t perfect, but he is not the evil person they say he is. Job has not figured out why all this is happening, but he does know that God is fair in all his dealings (v 34-35).

We will pick up in Job 10.1-22 in Part 4.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 2

In Job 2.1-10 we learn about a second trial. Again, it happened on “a day” when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before Yehovah, and Satan came again to present himself to the Lord. This is a Yom Ha Din (Day of Judgment) and not long after the first Yom Ha Din of Rosh Ha Shanah because his friends haven’t even visited him yet. So, this Yom Ha Din is Yom Kippur, ten days after the Yom Ha Din of Rosh Ha Shanah in v 6.

Dan 7.9-10 tells us that God keeps “books” recording what is taking place on earth, as well as the “Sefer Ha Chaim” or the “Book of Life.” The context for these verses is a Yom Ha Din of Rosh Ha Shanah.

Satan again comes before Yehovah and the same question is asked of him as in Job 1.7. He again intended Satan to express what the Lord wanted expressed by him because the Lord knew where he had come from. Satan boasts that he was “roaming about on the earth and walking around on it” seeking who he can devour (Matt 12.43; 1 Pet 5.8).

Yehovah said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil. And he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited me against him, to ruin him without cause.” Job did not sin against the Lord in the first trial. He succeeded because it was God’s will for him to do so (Jude 24; Col 1.17). Yehovah kept him from sinning (and us), and when that stops there is evil (Ezek 28.15). That is an important concept to remember. Job didn’t fail because God kept him from failing, and this is something that Satan does not understand here.

In this scene, Stan goes further and says, “Skin for skin. Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.” He thinks Job will not only part with all the “skins” he had (family, animals, wealth) but he would part with Yehovah, his religion and his faith to save his life. Satan says touch his body, and he will curse you. He will call your wisdom, justice and truth into question (like in Rev 16.11). So the Lord said, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life” (v 1-6).

So Satan goes out and smote Job with boils all over his body (v 7). He would cleanse his wounds with a potsherd to relieve himself from itching, dead skin and infection because nobody wanted to get close to him, and there was no remedy to help. His wife says, “Bless God and die!” Now, the word “barak” (bless) is used in v 9. She is saying to bless the Lord and then die because there was no hope in this life for what he had. She did not like seeing him suffer. She is saying “Bless God for all the blessings you had and look for the hope of the resurrection.”

But Job tells her she is speaking as a “foolish woman” which she wasn’t (v 10). Sould he accept the good things from the Lord and not the bad? In this Job did not sin (Lam 3.37-39; Deut 32.39). Remember, Job and his wife have no idea (and never will as far as we know from the book) about the heavenly scene between Yehovah and Satan. Of course this was revealed to the author of the book but during the story they have no idea.

There is no God besides Yehovah; and he is the one who puts to death and gives life. He wounds and he heals, and there is none who can deliver from his hand. Here are some other Scriptures that should drive this concept home (Ezek 24.16-18; Gen 38.7-10; 1 Chr 10.14; 2 Chr 18.18-22, 21.18; Ezek 3.20; Isa 53.10; Ecc 7.14; Isa 45.7; Job 5.18; 2 Kings 13.14; Amos 4.6-13; Psa 139.16; Jer 43.11, 44.27; Exo 4.23, 21.24; Ezek 9.6; Deut 7.15; 2 Chr 22.7). Job’s wife is a good woman but she is speaking in a carnal way here.

In Job 2.11-13 Job has three friends who come to visit him and they are Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite. They heard about Job’s losses and health and wanted to show him kindness. Eliphaz is a descendant of Esau and his grandson (Gen 36.11) and Bildad the Shuhite was a descendant of Shuah, a son of Abraham by Keturah (Gen 25.2) and Zophar’s origins are unknown, but he probably lived in the area also.

When they got there they did not even recognize him (v 12) and their heart broke for him. Each of them tore his robe and threw dust over their heads in mourning. They sat with him for seven days and did not know what to say to him. Was this because Job did some evil? What could they even say to him, seeing he was in such a condition. They couldn’t even bring themselves to ask what happened. But Job will also have to endure their false accusations as we shall see. In this he is like Yeshua (Matt 27.36-44). everyone was verbally abusing him, even the robber who will eventually believe in him.

Job 3.1-26 tells us that finally Job speaks. Perhaps his affliction subsided long enough for him to want to engage in a conversation and to communicate. He cursed the day of his birth, but he did not curse Yehovah like Satan said he would. He said his birth was nothing to celebrate and that there should be no rejoicing during the year and his birthday should not be numbered in the days of the months (v 2-7).

Then in Job 3.8 he says something very interesting. He says, “Let those curse it who curse “the day” (the day of the Lord and its evil), who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.” The climate for the False Messiah will be ready in the people to accept him, like it was among the German people tom accept Adolf Hitler.

Now, Leviathan is a picture of the False Messiah in Jewish eschatology and the Scriptures (Isa 27.1; Psa 104.26; Psa 74.13-14; Job 26.12-13; Job 41.1, 34; Isa 51.9; Rev 12.1-3, 13.1, 17.1-3).

He then says the stars should be darkened because they did not hinder his conception, and then he wonders why he did not die in the womb. This shows that Job was alive at his conception and in the womb, contrary to what those who support abortion and infanticide believe He also wonders why he didn’t die at birth (v 9-11).

He then asks why his knees kept him from falling or why there was milk in the breasts that fed him. If he had died, he would have been at rest, in the grave, equal to the great kings, princes and counselors who have died. Or better yet, like a miscarriage which never saw the light of day. There the wicked cease from raging (doing evil), and there the weary are at rest (from such acts). Prisoners don’t hear the voices of their guards, and the small and great are there (v 12-19).

Then he wonders why life is given to those who suffer (v 20-22 They are happy to die, and why is life given to a man who is hidden, who the Lord has neglected and not cared for. God has hedged him in with thorns and afflictions (v 23). He groans at the sight of food because he has no appetite even for a simple meal (v 24). He even fears wht could happen next, and thinks that if he thinks it, it will happen because there has been no intermission between afflictions, they are coming in waves and he can’t rest (v 25).

In Job 4.1-21 we learn that Job’s afflictions and his behavior has laid the foundation for the coming dispute between him and his three friends. Eliphaz the Temanite, Esau’s grandson (Gen 36.11, 40-42) now begins to speak and he says that if they speak with him be would be impatient with them. He taught many in the knowledge of God but he is acting contrary to his own advice. Maybe he isn’t so virtuous in his heart after all (Job 29.1-25). Where is his confidence now, or did he even have it (v 1-6).

Then he insinuates that Job isn’t so innocent (v7) and those who sow trouble will harvest it (v 8). By the breath of God the lawless perish and are broken. The lion (Job) perishes for lack of prey (nobody to oppress), and his whelps (his children) of the lioness (his wife) are scattered. Eliphaz is saying that God is taking what Job has gotten by oppression (v 9-11). Then in v 12 he says that he has heard from God by a quiet word, or a whisper, even dreams (Dan 2.29; Job 33.14-14, 29). Eliphaz says he saw a “spirit” (angel) and he heard a voice saying, “can mankind be just before God?” If the angels are not pure compared to God, how can man who is created from the dust. They are exposed to death and their “tent cords” holding the tents to the earth are plucked up (v 12-21). Eliphaz is saying God is pure and holy, and man is weak and sinful. Man cannot be just in the sight of God, so Job is wrong to say that he is innocent in all this and had integrity.

Job 5.1-27 tells us that Eliphaz goes on to say only the wicked are afflicted by God, and all the “holy ones” (tzadikim) will say the same thing. He insinuates in v 2 that Job is foolish and angry, and that’s why it kills the simple. In his experience, Eliphaz then says that the foolish are blessed for awhile and then he saw the curse of God in their house (v 1-3). He says he has seen the sons of the foolish oppressed in the courts with nobody to help them (v 4).

Eliphaz says that trouble does not come from the “dust” (nowhere) or just “springs up from the ground” (v 6). He is telling Job that judgment comes from God because he sows trouble. When trouble happens, he (Eliphaz) goes to God (v 8) because God is great, and Job should too. He believes that Job’s problems are because God is dealing with Job’s sins, and he is correcting him. He believes that the humble will patiently bear it and causes grief in many ways, but he will repair it. Evil will come six ways (it comes in many ways), and even in seven (all possible troubles) it will not touch him (v 17-19). God will protect him from evil tongues and violence, and Job will have nothing to fear.

Job 5.20-26 tells us that such things as famine he will redeem Job from, and in war the sword will not touch him. He will laugh at violence and will not be afraid of wild beasts. His house will be secure and he will manage his home without fear of loss. His descendants will be many and he will come to the grave with full vigor (ready). Eliphaz is sure of his observations and he uses “we” in v 27 to show he was not alone in understanding this. However, his words cannot explain what he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know the hidden purposes of God that we have seen in Job 1 and 2. What Eliphaz is saying to Job is useless because it doesn’t apply, and Job knew it.

It will be interesting to see that in Job 42.7-9 Yehovah will single out Eliphaz for a special rebuke. He says he is angry with Eliphaz because he did not speak about the Lord correctly “as my servant Job has.” Eliphaz meant well but he missed the boat here. Eliphaz says Job’s reaction to what God was obviously doing with Job proves that Job was in sin.

It’s not that Eliphaz was wrong about what he knew about God (he is just, reproves sin, delivers, etc), but he was ignorant of God’s hidden purposes. Nobody knows that Satan appeared in heaven in Job 1.6-12 and Job 2.1-6, and that Job was the subject of a dispute with Satan over whether Job would be faithful or not. Everything Eliphaz says is correct but it is useless in the case of Job because it doesn’t apply. The Book of Job teaches us that we must respect what we don’t understand and we will not always have an answer for. There are things that words cannot explain, and we must wait for God to do what he wills to do.

We will pick up in Job 6.1-30 in Part 3.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 1

We are going to begin a study of the Book of Job (“Iyov”= “persecuted”). The central character was possibly Jewish and a son of Issachar named Iyov (or Job) (Gen 46.13). He came into Egypt with his grandfather Jacob, and he left Egypt to be an administrator in Edom/Moab area for Pharaoh (Gen 47.6). The names of Job’s friends and the events of the book indicate that this was after the time of Abraham and the entrance of Jacob into Egypt and before the Exodus. No author is named in the book, but Jewish tradition teaches that Moses wrote the book, and others believe it was written around the sixth century B.C.

The tribe of Issachar were people who understood the times, with knowledge of what to do (1 Chr 12.32). They were very eschatological and so is the Book of Job as we will see. This book will tell us about the redemption of man, the coming of the Messiah, the resurrection of the dead, the Natzal (Rapture), the False Messiah, the False Prophet, the war of Gog and Magog and spiritual warfare.

Wisdom literature in the Bible is an interesting blend of books. Proverbs gives a clear sense of cause and effect in the universe. Bad choices will end in bad consequences, and good choices will end with good consequences. In Ecclesiastes, we learn it not so clear and simple. The good suffer and die like the wicked, and seasons come and go without regard to choices. But the Book of Job turns the “Law of Harvest” upside down. Good and righteous people experience horrible problems with no visible cause Job will be able to point to. The lesson of Job? We may never know.

Job will be a picture of the Messiah’s love for us, even when suffering loss and even to the point of death (Phil 2.7-11). In the end, God will finally reveal himself to Job and Job will understand everything God has been saying to him. But he will never know what we will find out in Chapter 1, that all of his troubles are the result of the dispute between God and Satan as to whether would remain faithful or not. Up until the last chapter, Job only “heard” about Yehovah. In the end, he will see Yehovah for himself. Job is a “religious” man at first because he did not have a deep experience. He knew about the Lord, but didn’t “know” him. This book is about his journey from religion to revelation (Jam 5.11), and this is one of the most misunderstood books in the Scriptures.

This book will deal with the classic problem of the “tzadik ve-ra lo” or “evil coming upon the righteous.” Through out the book, Job and his companions are involved in raising questions about this problem. Nobody tries to do anything to change the situation, they just talk about it. Even the solution in the end is philosophical. Job never does find out what we know from Chapter 1, as we have said. God never does reveal the solution to Job concerning his suffering, but deals with the question about man coming before God with complaints.

Job is just one example of suffering which comes upon man without his understanding why, and Yehovah wants to make it clear that even when man does not understand, he does not have the right to complain before God. After all, who is man in the first place? He is just dust and he is going to return to dust. How can he stand before Yehovah? God will make this point clear beginning in Chapter 38. Only when Job admits that God is God and can do whatever he wants, and said things he did not understand or knew, does everything come full circle ((Job 42.2-3, 10).

This book will give us a view of human suffering from God’s point of view. He is faithful and never unfair, and he is righteous in all that he does. We have a very limited perspective and a short life span and we cannot judge the Lord. Man’s actions do not always determine his destiny. Even when we don’t understand, we must recognize that Yehovah is God, and we are not (Psa 8.5-10).

This will not be a verse by verse study, but we will again bring out many concepts that point to the Messiah and the Redemption. We will do this without neglecting the historical and literal story as well.

Job 1.1-5 tells us right at the beginning who the central character is. Iyov (Job) means “persecuted” and he lived in the land of Uz, which most believe is Edom, or in that area. One of the first clues has to do with the raiders who come to destroy Job’s livestock and herds (1.15). The Sabeans come from Sabra in southern Arabia. The second clue is a raiding party of Chaldeans from southern Mesopotamia. So, the land of Uz is somewhere in between the Sabeans (Arabia) and the Chaldeans (Mesopotamia).

Lam 4.21 places Edom in the land of Uz. One of Job’s friends is a man named Eliphaz the Temanite. Teman is a city in Edom near Petra. Another friend is named Zophar, a Naamite and this was in northwest Arabia. A third friend was Bildad, who is a descendant of Shuah, a son of Abraham. Job’s wisest friend is Elihu the Buzite, a descendant of Buz, who was the brother of Uz, sons of Abraham’s brother Nahor (Gen 22.21). All of this points to Uz being south and somewhat east of Israel. In Job’s lifetime, Uz was probably in the northwest part of Arabia, near the Gulf of Aqaba. As we can see, it was founded after Esau (Edom-Gen 36.8-11, 40-42).

Job was “perfect” in the same way Noah, Abraham and others were. He had a righteousness that came by faith. He was also “blameless” and that had to do with his fellow man. Nobody could charge Job with moral failures. He was not sinless because he will say as much in the book, and he offers korbanot (offerings) for sin.

He had a large family and was prosperous in business. He had 3000 camels that were used in trade, and it also says that he was “the greatest of all men of the east.” In this he is a type of the Messiah (Matt 3.17). His sons would hold a feast in the house of each one “on his day” (birthday) and they would invite their sisters over to eat and drink with them. Job would also serve as a priest to his family, rising early in the morning to intercede for his family with korbanot (offerings).

As we read these verses one begins to see that this book is about spiritual warfare. No city or nation is attacked, no battles are won or lost, but Job will be fighting a spiritual battle in his life, and the life of his family and village.

Job 1.6-12 begins to show us a scene in heaven that is unknown to Job or others on earth, and will remain unknown to them after everything is all over. This book can only be understood by knowing and understanding these verses. There is no evidence from Scripture that Job ever knew about this scene in heaven. He never does find out what we know. All his troubles are the result of a dispute between God and Satan as to whether Job will remain faithful to Yehovah.

In Job 1.6 it says that there “was a day” (possibly Rosh Ha Shanah, a Yom Ha Din or “Day of judgment”) when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before Yehovah, and an “adversary” (Satan in Hebrew) also came among them (the angels-1 Chr 21.1; 2 Chr 18.18-22). On Rosh Ha Shanah (Tishri 1), the court is seated and the books are opened (Dan 7.9-10). Being a Yom Ha Din (Day of Judgment), Satan would have been there accusing the righteous as the prosecutor in a court scene.

Yehovah says to Satan, “From where do you come from?” Now, God already knows, but he allows Satan to come into his presence, but as he wills. He wanted to bring out of him what he intended to have expressed. Satan boasts that he has come from the earth (1 Pet 5.8). Yehovah asks if Satan has “considered” or “put your heart on ” his servant Job. There is none like him and he really was blameless and a righteous (tzadik) man no matter what Job or any other person says about him in the coming chapters. No matter what Job has done, Yehovah saw him as blameless because he had “faith.”

Now Satan demonstrates why he is called “the accuse of the brethren” (Rev 12.10). He basically says Job only served God to see what he could get from him. Satan is an absolute cynic because he thinks nobody or anything can be good and it is all based on dishonesty. Satan says that God has protected him and blessed him. Yeshua said that Satan wanted to do things to Peter also, but God would not let him (Luke 22.31-32).

But Job was a son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who followed God and Deut 28.1-14 says that God will protect and bless those who follow him. Est 6.13 says that Haman will not overcome Mordechai because he is “of the seed of the Jews” and would certainly fall.

Satan tells Yehovah that if God put forth his hand and touched all that Job had, he would curse God to his face. Satan can do nothing without having permission from God, that is one thing we can learn from these verses (Psa 135.5-6). God even gives Satan permission to touch all that Job has, but he cannot touch Job himself. Again, God is in control and limits Satan’s power. Job will have no idea that this was the cause of all his troubles. He will never know that the origin of his battle started here. So Satan departs from the presence of the Lord. What the enemy intended for harm against Job will be have a very different ending.

Job 1.13-19 says that on the same day the scene in heaven took place, the sons and daughters were eating and drinking. A messenger came to Job saying the Sabeans (descended from Abraham through Keturah-Gen 25.3) attacked and took oxen and donkeys that were in the field. Then another messenger came and said that the fire of God (lightning) fell and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them. Only the messenger escaped to tell the story.

Then another messenger came and said the Chaldeans (from Nahor the brother of Abraham-Gen 22.22) came and raided the camels and killed the servants, and only the messenger survived. Then another messenger came and told Job that his sons and daughters were feasting at the older brother’s house and a great wind came from the wilderness and struck the house on all sides, showing how unnatural this was, and the house fell on his children, killing all of them. Only the messenger survived.

This tells us something very important about our enemy. On the same day his children were feasting (v 6), Satan attacked within a few hours of appearing before God. He wasted no time in bringing these horrific events to pass. Satan is cruel and any advantage we give him will be exploited to its fullest extent.

Job arose, either from a table or a task he was performing, and tore his robe on account of his dead family, and shaved his head. This was a sign of mourning in the east (Isa 15.2). and not forbidden in the Torah (that one was between the eyes-Deut 14.1). He fell down on the ground in worship and prayer. Then he says one of the most famous prayers in Scripture, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb (1 Tim 6.7), and naked I shall return to there (to the earth). Yehovah gave and Yehovah has taken away (everything comes from God according to Job). Blessed be the name of Yehovah (for all his blessings and gifts whihi he received).”

Through all of this (the rending of his garments, shaving the head, lying prostrate, etc) Job did not sin (like the accuser said he would, curse God to his face), nor did he blame God. He did not question God’s wisdom or charge him with doing wrong to him. He knew Yehovah was wise and did all things according to the counsel of his own will. He did not curse Yehovah (like Satan would) in his hearts, thoughts, words or deeds. This is exactly what the testimony of the Lord was about Job in Job 1.8.

We will pick up in Job 2.1-13 in Part 2.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Esther-Conclusion

When the events of Esther were going on in Persia, there were other events in the world going on that will relate to eschatology. There was a group of ten men who had a major role in the history of a nation called Rome, and they were called the “Decem Viri” meaning “ten men.” This concept of “ten men” is alluded to in the Scriptures from the murder of Gedaliah by Ishmael in 2 Kings 25.22-30 and Jer 40-41, to the False Messiah and the ten kings with him. We have already seen how the ten sons of Haman are related to eschatology, but there is more. So, let’s look at the Decem Viri of Rome and how they relate to prophecy.

Rome was founded in 753 B.C, but the people grew tired of corrupt rulers, so they founded a republic. But, two classes emerged called the Patricians (the ruling class, wealthy) and the Plebians (the poorer classes). Many disputes followed and the Plebians wanted a law passed that granted equality to everyone. So, the Plebians created the Decem Viri to write a code of laws that would protect the rights of all citizens of Rome. The group was formed around 450 B.C. and just around the the time of the events of Esther, and they remained for two years. They created what was called “The Twelve Tablets” that were written on clay tablets.

Following the fall of the Roman Empire, these laws were lost. In the eleventh century A.D. they were rediscovered and United States law in many cases was influenced by it, including the “veto” (I forbid) where an action can be terminated. The Decem Viri did some good work but these people were forced from their position after a few years due to corruption.

Now, the Decem Viri concept relates directly to the False Messiah who has ten kings who are involved in his empire (Dan 7.7-8, 20, 24; Rev 13.1). The ten sons of Haman allude to the Decem Viri, the ten men with Ishmael and the ten kings of the False Messiah. Rev 17.12 tells us that these ten kings were not royalty, just like Haman’s sons. So, let'[s take this concept to modern times.

There are unusual prophecies found in the list of the ten sons of Haman. They were slain on Adar 13 (Est 9.11-12). Esther requested that the war to protect the Jews continue into Adar 14, and “let Haman’s ten sons be hanged upon the gallows” (Est 9.13). The question is this, why impale them a day after they were killed? For over two thousand years this act puzzled scholars and rabbis, until World War II.

We are all familiar with Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. He followed the same ideology as Haman, which was to exterminate the Jews. When the war was over, Nazi war criminals were tried in Nuremburg, Germany. eleven men were sentenced to death by hanging on October 16,1946. Two hours before the execution was to be carried out, Hermann Goering committed suicide, leaving ten men to be hanged.

One of the ten men named Julius Streicher shouted “Purim Fest 1946” as he was on the gallows. He published an antisemitic newspaper call “Der Sturmer” which became a central element of the Nazi propaganda mechanism. He wrote an article called “Das Purimfest” (“Festival of Purim”) so we know he was quite familiar with Purim, Haman and his ten sons and what happened, but why did he say “the festival of Purim 1946” before he was hung?

There is a Scriptural answer to this question that is quite amazing. In the list of Haman’s sons there are several Hebrew letters that are written smaller than normal, and you can see them quite clearly when you see the Hebrew. We have already pointed out the enlarged Vav in the last name of the Vaizatha (v 9), but what do these other letters mean?

The name of the first son is Parshandatha, and when you read it in Hebrew you will notice that a small Tav (T sound) is written as the second to the last letter of his name. Now, remember, every jot, tittle and letter in the Scriptures is written by the inspiration of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit-2 Tim 3.16) and these letters and their meanings will not pass away until they are all fulfilled, but we need to know their meanings (Matt 5.18). A second diminished letter can be found in the name Parmashta. His name is spelled with a small Shin (sh sound) in the third to the last letter of his name. A third diminished letter can be found in the last son Vaizatha. In addition to the enlarged Vav in his name, there is also a small Zayin (z sound).

We have already seen that the Hebrew alphabet also represents numbers. When we put all three of these diminished letters together they represent the number 1946, the year the ten Nazis were hung. In addition, if this weren’t enough, the execution of these Nazis took place on on October 16, 1946. Now, October 16 that year fell on Tishri 21 on the Hebrew calendar, which is also called Hoshana Rabbah meaning “the Great Salvation.”

In this same passage, following each son’s name, you will find the Hebrew word “V’et” and this is grammatically untranslated, but it carries the meaning of “ten more” or “and again.” There are the ten sons of Haman and then there will be ten more. The ten Nazis hung at Nuremburg were the sons of Haman in spirit, or “cut out of the same cloth.”

Here is another aspect to this story in Esther and it ties into the Nazis, but it also involves the Russian leader Josef Stalin. Stalin was working on a plot to kill the Jews of Russia in what was called “The Doctor’s Plot.” Nine doctors, of which six were Jewish, were going to go to trial for trying to poison Stalin, which was completely false. Then Stalin would use that as a pretext to deport two to four million Jews to Siberian concentration camps to be annihilated.

But on Purim, March 1, 1953, a few days before the Jewish doctors were going to go on trial and as the trains were being requisitioned to carry the Jews into exile and death, Stalin collapsed in a fit of rage during a meeting in which his supporters expressed opposition to his plans. Jews were freed on that Purim and Stalin died on March 5, 1953. This is not a coincidence and God saved the Jewish people again on Purim. All of these events in Persia, Nuremburg and Russia are precursors to the final end of the False Messiah and his ten kings.

Esther 10.1-3 tells us that the deliverance of the Jewish people and the state of affairs in Persia returned to normal. The king began to levy taxes and the empire grew stronger under Mordechai because we know that he was promoted to a position second only to the king, like Joseph was in Egypt. All of his accomplishments, strengths and “the full account of the greatness of Mordechai” was written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia. This book, however, is now lost.

Mordechai grew great among the Jews and in favor with the multitude of his kinsmen, one who sought the good of his people and the one who spoke for the welfare of his people. These closing verses give us a very good picture of Yeshua as the Messiah and what he will do in the Messianic Kingdom (1 Cor 15.20-25).

The Book of Esther spans the period of nine years (years 3 through 12 of the reign Ahasuerus). It teaches how God can move behind the scenes to accomplish his will not only in the time of Esther, but even later with the ten Nazis and the death of Stalin. Let’s go over some of the things he did to accomplish what happened in this story in Esther for instance, but keep in mind, this is what the Lord does in the lives of all men.

Yehovah arranged to have Vashti removed and arranged to have a beauty pageant to replace her. He then made it possible to have Hadassah (Esther) enter the competition and gave her special favor over 400 other women. He placed Mordechai in a position to have access to both Esther and the affairs of state. He arranged the lot of Haman to fall in such a way to give the Jews nearly a year’s worth of warning before the evil decree took effect.

Yehovah also made sure that the decree said the Jews were to be killed by the citizens and not the army of Persia. He restrained Haman’s anger and did not allow him to kill Mordechai immediately. He made sure there were two banquets, with the second one on Nisan 17, a significant day in the Scriptures. He made sure the king and Hamn could not sleep on the same night, at the same time, and that the king heard from a certain book of the chronicles that Mordechai saved his life. He also arranged to have Haman come to the court at that exact moment. He then arranges to have Haman think the king is going to honor him and comes up with an elaborate ceremony, only to find out the ceremony is for Mordechai.

He then makes sure Haman has no time to think about all this when he gets home because he is hastily brought to the second banquet of Esther. He arranges to have his evil decree exposed at the banquet, and the king’s anger elevated to the point that he had to leave Esther alone with the man who was going to kill her and her people. Haman pleads for his life and God arranges to have Haman fall on the couch where Esther was sitting just as the king walks in, causing the king to think that Haman is assaulting his wife!

He then arranges to have Haman hung on the very gallows he made for Mordechai. Then the Jews have enough time to defend themselves a year later when the evil decree took force. Then on Adar 13 a year later the ten sons of Haman are killed and God arranges to have them impaled, which is a picture of the ten Nazis that will be hung at Nuremburg in 1946, and the ten kings that will fall with the False Messiah.

The miracle of Purim came through feasts, starting in Est 1, then in Est 5 and Est 7. These feasts involved the drinking of wine, and wine is a picture in the Scriptures of covenant, marriage, Messiah, teaching, blood, joy and life.

This book teaches us about God’s plan for our lives, too. God has a plan and there will be moments in our lives when God will alter circumstances to accomplish that plan, and we must have courage. Fasting and prayer will help us understand and we must obey the Lord. Yehovah will use everything to accomplish his purpose in out lives. But he also does this in every life and every circumstance of all people on earth. The real miracle of Esther is how the Lord can take all these lives and have them doing exactly what he wants, by the specific people he wants to do them.

The overall context of Esther can be seen in relation to the exile and return. The Jews of Shushan remained in Exile while other Jews were returning to the land to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. The accusations against the Jews in Ezra 4.4-13 can also be seen in Haman’s charges in Est 3.8. The returnees were harassed in the land and now in Persia. Haman’s charges were heard by people who were already prejudiced against the Jews.

Another thing to know is Shushan is referred to in Est 2.1 as the capital (palace) or “Ha Birah” in Hebrew meaning “fortress.” This word is only used in the context of the Temple (1 Chr 29.19). Much of the book takes place in the king’s palace. It had techelet blue wool, argamon purple wool, gold and silver (Est 1.6-7). These materials were in the Mishkan and the Temple (Exo 25.3-4). This palace had an inner court (Est 4.11) and an outer court (Est 6.4), and so did the Temple.

Anyone who entered the king’s chamber without being summoned would be put to death (Est 4.11). This is similar to the law about the High Priest could only go into the inner court of the Holy of Holies under certain circumstances. If he violated the Torah (law-Est 4.11) concerning this he would die. So, the question is, why do we have all this Temple imagery in Esther?

The Jewish people were called to serve God, the true king. But when in exile they must come to a palace, a substitute Temple, to a king who is just a man. They must do homage and seek his favor. The name of Yehovah cannot be found in Esther, but the word “king” is found almost 200 times. God is “hidden” to those who were called to serve him, even though he is guiding things “behind the scenes” as we have just gone over. Serving an earthly king took precedence over serving Yehovah it seems.

This book is a story about life in exile at a time when they should have been going back to Jerusalem to build the Temple. By staying behind, they were subject to the king’s taxes, edicts and rule. They were dependent on a man who was a king when they should have been dependent on Yehovah only. The Jews in this story should have been building Jerusalem and the true Temple, serving the true king who lives forever, instead of remaining in exile to serve a false king in a false temple who only rules a few years. But we also learn that even then, Yehovah saved them and delivered them and caused these circumstances to be used to teach his eschatological plan for his glory.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Esther-Part 5

Est 8.1-17 tells us that on the day that Haman was hanged, the king gave the house of Haman to Esther, and Mordechai came before the king. Esther has told the king what he was related to her, and the king took off his signet ring which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordechai. Now, the term “on that day” in Est 8.1 is an eschatological term relating to the coming of the Messiah and the Messianic Kingdom The king gives all that belonged to Haman to Esther, and she gives it to Mordechai. In the same way, “on that day” when Yeshua returns, all that belonged to the False Messiah will be given to Yeshua. Any decree which was written in the name of the king and sealed with the signet ring may not be revoked.

However, Haman’s evil decree that called for the destruction of the Jewish people was still in force. Esther comes before the king and asks him to revoke the letters of Haman that exposed her people to danger. He tells her to “write to the Jews” (v 8) with his name affixed to it, telling the Jews to defend themselves against anyone who comes against them on the 13th of Adar.

Which side was the king on? There are two conflicting letters now, and the local rulers couldn’t help but wonder what the king was doing. First, we can kill the Jews, now we let them defend themselves. They had to make the right decision. That means Mordechai had a job to do. He had to win over the governors and rulers to enforce the second letter and ignore the first letter, and that was not going to be easy. So, he went out in royal robes of blue and white, with a large crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple, and the city of Shushan rejoiced.

This was psychological warfare now. He did this to show everyone that the second decree was where the heart of the king was, even if he was indifferent about it. In each city where the king’s new decree was heard, there was gladness and joy for the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many among the peoples of the land became Jews, for “the dread of the Jews had fallen on them.” But many were not true converts but were motivated by fear. Est 8.17 says they “feigned Jewishness” when they had no intention of really converting (Vilna Gaon).

Est 9.1-32 is a picture of the Second Redemption. There is a period of time from the death of Haman, the second decree and the thirteenth of Adar, which is nearly a year. In the same manner, there is a period of time between Yeshua’s victory over Satan at the cross and resurrection until the final redemption. As a side note, when the Temple was standing and there was a functioning priesthood in the first century, the month of Adar is a time when people prepare for Passover by cleansing themselves and their house. But this will have a new application in Persia, and the Jews will be cleansing the land of their enemies. Mordechai’s fame spread throughout the provinces in the same way Yeshua’s fame has spread throughout the provinces of the world (v 1-4).

The twelfth month of Adar (on the religious calendar) arrived and on the thirteenth day the Jews were ready to defend themselves. Things were different now. The Jews had the help of the king and on a day the enemies of the Jews thought they were going to overpower them, the opposite occurred. The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword and they did whatever they wanted to those who hated them. In Shushan alone they killed 500 men (v 11-12).

Now Haman had ten sons and these sons were killed, and their names are listed in Est 9.7-9. These sons are a picture of the ten kings that are associated with the False Messiah and fall with him (Dan 7.7, 20, 24; Rev 13.1, 17.12). Although Haman was hung on Nisan 17, these sons were killed much later, on Adar 13 (Est 9.6-10). But, as we are going to see, this event is very eschatological.

We are going to spend some time in this chapter in order to glean many of the prophetic implications found in these verses, but it won’t be all of them we can assure you. We will go over the literal, historical events first, then go over the eschatological meanings.

On Adar 13, all the people who were killed in Shushan the capital was reported to the king, and the ten sons of Haman. In addition, Shushan was divided and in two parts. Esther requested that the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows. In other words, they were killed first and then impaled. They were put on display to show that the people’s justice was done, and that the king was in solidarity with the Jews. It also showed that the king commanded it and it was done (v 12).

On Adar 14, an additional 300 were killed in the other part of Shushan. Some saw what happened and hid so there wasn’t as many. The rest of the Jews who were in the provinces were assembled to defend themselves, and they killed 75,000 of those who hated them. In each case, the Jews did not plunder the belongings of those killed. This was to show they had no financial reason to slay them, it was only in self defense (v 15).

So, their defense took place on Adar 13 in the provinces and they rested on Adar 14, and they made it a holiday of feasting and joy. However, the Jews is Shushan assembled on Adar 13 and 14, and they rested on Adar 15, and that was a day of feasting. As a result, the Jews in the rural areas made Adar 14 a holiday. There is an old saying that sums up many of the biblical festivals, “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat” (v 17-19).

Then Mordechai wrote down all these events and sent letters to all the Jews in the provinces, obliging them to celebrate Adar 14 and Adar 15 annually (v 21). They would feast, rejoice and send portions of food to the poor, with gifts. Remember, Haman had planned to destroy the Jews, and had cast “lots” (purim) to find the right date to do it. Therefore, they called those days “Purim” meaning “lots.”

These days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation, family, province and city. So letters were sent to all the Jews in all 127 provinces to be celebrated at the appointed time. These customs were established by Esther and written in the book which bears her name. Jewish tradition says that she wanted to include this book among the other sacred writings in the Tanak.

So, now we are going look at how this chapter relates to prophecy and the redemption and see what the Lord was trying to communicate to us through what happened. So, we are going to go back and look at the tens sons of Haman first. As we have said before, Haman is a picture of the False Messiah and his sons are a picture of the ten kings who will rise with him and eventually fall (Dan 7.7, 20, 24; Rev 13.1, 17.12).

Ten is the number of judgment and in Est 9.7-10 we have the names of the ten sons listed. Usually, names are written in block form in Hebrew, showing strength like a wall. But in Esther they are written in a vertical column, showing weakness. You can go to any interlinear Hebrew Bible and see this configuration. We know that this book was written in Hebrew and so many of the things we will be discussing will not be seen in our English bibles, so we suggest you get a copy of the Book of Esther in Hebrew so that you can follow along.

We have already discussed how the book was written in block form (like a wall) until we get to the ten sons of Haman who are killed in Est 9.1-10. Then you will see how they are written in a column form (like a gallows). There will be several letters written differently from the rest of the letters in Hebrew, that you will not see in English. This is what Yeshua was referring to in Matt 5.18. So, let’s go to the last of Haman’s sons listed in v 9 named Vaizatha. In the Hebrew, the first letter of his name is enlarged from the other letters in his name, and it is the letter ‘Vav” which has a “v” sound. The letter “Vav” is the number six in Hebrew and is the number of man and it means, “nail or peg, to secure.” The rabbis teach that the vav was enlarged to show how the ten sons would be impaled, and that is true. This letter in Hebrew looks like a stake or a Persian gallows. We know that the one Haman made for Mordechai was over 80 feet high and there would have been enough room to impale one son on top of another.

Remember, these sons were not hung by a “noose” around the neck. The word “gallows” in English conveys a wrong idea. In Persia, criminals or those sentenced to capital punishment, were impaled on stakes, then they were left there for public view.

As we have said, the vav represents the number six in Hebrew, and this alludes to the number of man, who was created on the sixth day. We see this concept in Rev 13.18 where we see that the number of the False Messiah is the number of a man (six, six, six). Adam was created to be immortal but he sinned and became mortal, and everyone who descended from him was mortal. All the generations of man have now been diminished.

In Gen 2.4 it says, “These are the generations” and the word for generations is “toledot” in Hebrew (tav, vav ,lamed, dalet, vav, tav). After Adam sinned, the word “toledot” (generations) always has a vav (the number of man) missing from the spelling, it is either the first one or the second one. What this is saying is “man’s generations (toledot) is diminished.”

But, when we get to Ruth 4.18 we find something very interesting. The word “toledot” is written out fully once again where it says, “These are the generations of Perez: Perez begot Hezron.” Because of Adam’s sin, man is diminished from the original creation. Messiah will restore man’s generations and the passage of Ruth 4 gives us the genealogy of David, which is the genealogy of Yeshua the Messiah. Through Yeshua, the son of David, man’s generations will be restored. So, the Lord is communicating this fact so “toledot” is written out fully, with both vavs present.

In the Mishkan, when you approached the sanctuary there were five poles. The middle pole was called the “yotaid.” The yotaid was a tent peg, one of the meanings of vav. A vav looked like a nail or peg. The vessels used in the Mishkan services were hung on this pole by these pegs. Scholars have always taught that this pole is a picture of the Messiah.

In Isa 22.15-19 the man named Shebna holds a very important position. He is like the prime minister to the king, but he is thrown out of that position by God violently. In Isa 22.20-23 we learn about Shebna’s replacement named Eliakim. Yeshua can be seen in these passages, and you can see him where Yehovah says in Isa 22.24, “So they hang on him (Messiah-Matt 22.40) all the glory of his father’s house (household of God), offspring and issue, all the least of the vessels, from the bowls to all the jars.” The true Messiah will defeat the False Messiah (the false yotaid) and rule in the Kingdom of God with those who placed their fatih in him. Then in Isa 22.25, it refers back to Shebna, the one removed, and it says that “the peg driven in a firm place will give way, it will even break off and fall, and the load hanging on it (those who depended on him) will be cut off.” He will represent the False Messiah who will fall, taking everyone with him all those who depended or had faith in him.

We will pick up here in our conclusion with more letters in the names of the ten sons of Haman and what they mean in history. We will see that this is an allusion to the ten kings of the False Messiah, but also to the ten Nazis who where hung after the Nuremburg trials.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Esther-Part 4

In Est 6.1-14 we learn that the king could not sleep on the night of Nisan 16 (literally “the sleep of the king was shaken”) and it may be that his jealousy may been working on him, and “not knowing” for sure about his wife and Haman is the worst. Why was she inviting Haman to the banquet? But we know whatever it was, it was the hand of Yehovah who was disturbing his sleep and this caused the king to send out an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, to have read before him (v 1).

It was found written in these chronicles what Mordechai did in exposing the plot to kill the king. The king also learned that nothing was done to reward Mordechai. This is the only place in the Bible where the phrase “Sefer Zikranot” which means literally “the Book of Remembrance” is used in conjunction with “Divrei Ha Yamim” or annals/chronicles. This alludes to the Scripture in Mal 3.16 where it says, “Then those who feared Yehovah spoke to one another, and Yehovah gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for those who fear Yehovah and who esteem his name.” Rosh Ha Shanah (Yom Teruah) is called “Yom Ha Zikaron” which means “Day of Remembrance.”

Why didn’t the king reward Mordechai at the time? Because it was not in the plan of God to reward Mordechai just yet. This is all part of the trap that Yehovah is laying down for Haman and the deliverance of his people. This concept should also encourage us. The Lord operates in our lives but sometimes we don’t see the fruits and rewards right away. But we must realize that everything works for the good to those who love the Lord and to those who are called (elected) according to his purpose (Rom 8.28).

Then the king said as all this was going on, “Who is in the court?” Well, according to the plan of God, Haman just happens to come to speak to the king about hanging Mordechai on the gallows had just prepared. God had ordered the steps of Haman to appear before the king at a time when the king could not sleep. The Ruach Ha Kodesh had caused both men to remain awake that night, and Haman arrives at the exact moment the king realizes that Mordechai has not been rewarded yet for saving his life.

The king is told, “Behold, Haman is standing in the court.” So the king tells his servants to let him in. So, Haman comes in and the king said to him, “What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?” Haman said to himself because of his pride, “Whom would the king desire to honor more than me?”

The timing here could only be orchestrated by the hand of Yehovah. Both men can’t sleep, and the king wants to honor Mordechai at the same time Haman is coming to ask the king for the death of Mordechai, and Haman thinks the king wants to honor him! So Haman tells the king the things he would like to be done to him, but then he finds out that the honor is going to Mordechai, and Haman must carry it out for Mordechai. So, instead of killing Mordechai, he must honor him! Surely Haman is beginning to see his downfall coming, right? Let’s see!

Haman must put the royal robe on Mordechai and lead him through the city square on one of the king’s horses. This is a picture of the coronation of the Messiah, and Haman’s humiliation is a picture of the degradation of Satan and the False Messiah. Then Mordechai returned to his position at the king’s gate, and Haman hurried home, mourning with his head covered in utter humiliation. All of this had to be done before Esther’s banquet later that day (Nisan 17). And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that took place. Haman believed that all of this was just a coincidence and he still intended on going to the king for permission to hang Mordechai.

On the other hand, Zeresh and his friends did not share Haman’s view on these events, and they tell him, “If Mordechai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the seed of the Jews, you will not overcome him, but will surely fall before him.” They saw it coming and must have had some knowledge of Jewish history and what God had done in the past. They knew of God’s promises. While they were speaking, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hastily brought Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared. It’s too late for Haman because all the pieces are coming together too fast and they will lead to Haman’s demise.

Eschatologically, it will also be the same for the unbelievers who follow the False Messiah when Yeshua comes at the end of the birth-pains (tribulation). Esther’s banquet alludes to the Feast of Leviathan after the judgment between the sheep and the goats (Matt 25.31-46). When Yeshua returns on Yom Kippur to Jerusalem (Matt 24.29-31) there will be a judgment, and the unrighteous will be gathered first (Matt 13.24-30) to Jerusalem as Yeshua sits on the Mount of Olives. These are judged and killed. Their bodies are taken to the Valley of Hinnom, also called the Tophet (Jer 7.32-34, 19.1-5) and the Valley of Decision (Joel 3.9-17). This valley in Hebrew is called “gei Hinnom” or “Gehenna.”

The bodies of these unbelievers will be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field (Ezek 29.2-7, 32.1-8; Matt 24.27-28; Luke 17.37; Rev 19.21), and this event is called the Feast of Leviathan in Jewish eschatology, and Leviathan is another word for the False Messiah and these are his followers who are alive on the earth when Yeshua returned (Isa 27.1; Psa 74.13-14; Psa 104.26; Job 26.12-13; Rev 13.1, 19.11-21).

Est 7.1-10 tells us that the king and Haman came to the Banquet. This is now Nosan 17 and the king asks Esther for the third time what her petition is. Esther asks, “Let my life be given me as my petition, and my people as my request” (referring to the 13th of Adar when Haman’s plot is to be carried out against the Jews). She then says, “we” have been sold to be killed, not just sold as slaves. If it was only to be sold as slaves, Esther said she would not have even brought it up because the matter was not worth the attention of the king (v 4). The plan to exterminate the Jews is seen all through history, and is going on right now. It will also be attempted by the False Messiah in the birth-pains.

The king immediately asks, “Who is he, and where is he, who would presume to do this?” The queen of the king was threatened, and her family. Ahasuerus, or Xerxes, is famous for his temper. Haman does not know that Esther is a Jew and a target of his plot, and that she is related to Mordechai. All the king knows is that his wife is threatened, but he does not know she is Jewish at this point.

Then Esther, says, “A foe and an enemy is this wicked Haman.” Haman hears this and is terrified and all his best laid plans against the Jews and Mordechai won’t save him now. Haman was an enemy, not only to the Jews, but to the king. His kingdom could be destabilized due to the loss of so many productive citizens, and the loss of revenue and productivity.

The king arose and went into the palace garden to “cool off” and to think. He knows he has a temper, but in his drunken state he leaves Esther alone with Haman. In one example of his temper, Xerxes is going to invade Greece and he has to cross the Hellespont (Dardanelles today) with his huge army. They needed a bridge to across over, so they built it beforehand. When it was set up a storm came and destroyed the bridge, and Xerxes went out to the sea and whipped it 300 times while his men watched and cursed the sea. They rebuilt the bridge and eventually crossed over to Greece, where they were eventually expelled out of Europe by the Greeks back to Persia. This is the person Haman had to deal with now.

Knowing that harm had been determined against him, Haman begins to beg for his life to Esther. When the king returns, he sees Haman falling on the couch where Esther was. His suspicions of Est 5.4-8 and his jealousy is being confirmed in his mind. He even accuses Haman of assaulting the queen “with me in the house?” As he said this, they covered Haman’s face so the king doesn’t have to see him anymore. The fear of Haman alludes to the fear that will come upon Satan and the False Messiah as they experience the wrath of the King of Kings.

Harbonah (donkey driver) was the one who went to get Haman and bring him to the banquet. He told the king that there was a gallows at Haman’s house that was made for Mordechai. Evidently, while Harbonah was waiting for Haman at his house he saw the gallows and overheard the plot to hang Mordechai on it.

This gallows was a stake on which they would impale a person, and this was 80 feet high. This is not like a gallows you would see in a cowboy movie when they would hang a criminal, this was much worse. So the king said, “Hang him on it” and they took Haman and hanged him (impaled him) on it. After this, Est 7.10 says that the king’s anger “subsided.” The word “subsided” in Hebrew is “shakah” (shin, kof, hay) but in this verse the word is written with an extra kof or “shakakah” (shin, kof, kof, hay). This shows that the king was really, really angry at Haman. Haman’s plot nearly killed his wife and he still thought Haman was assaulting his wife when he fell on her couch, making him think Haman was plotting to kill him and take the throne, along with Esther.

Now, remember, this was Nisan 17 and this date is very significant eschatologically. Here are just a few examples from Jewish history. Noah’s Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat in Gen 8.4 (on the civil calendar); Moses crosses the Red Sea and Pharaoh dies on Nisan 17; Hezekiah cleanses the Temple by Nisan 17 (2 Chr 29.3-28). Most importantly, Yeshua was resurrected from the dead on Nisan 17. Haman’s death on Nisan 17 was no coincidence. His defeat is a picture of God’s judgement and justice.

We will pick in Est 8.1-17 in Part 5.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak foundations-Concepts in Esther-Part 3

In Est 3.1-15, after Mordechai’s reputation has been established in Est 2.22, the king elevates Haman to power to make his fall even greater. Haman is the son of Hammedatha the Agagite. He would have never been born had Saul been successful in wiping out the Amalekites. But there is a spiritual lesson here to be learned.

Mordechai and Esther are descendants of Saul and this will be important. The fact that a descendant of Agag the Amalekite, who Saul allowed to live (1 Sam 15.9), and a descendant of Saul will have a confrontation in the Book of Esther shows that the Lord is behind these events to give us a picture of what would happen at the coming of the Messiah (Rom 15.4). Saul is a picture of Adam who fell as the first king over the Kingdom of God, and Mordechai is a picture of the Messiah who will be successful in overcoming the evil of the False Messiah, pictured by Haman.

Mordechai would not bow to Haman at the king’s gate, and this homage was idolatrous in the mind of Mordechai. This filled Haman with anger, so he persuaded the king to pass a law requiring everyone to bow to him, but Mordechai still wouldn’t do it (3.2). Besides, he was an Amalekite and he wasn’t going to submit to that. The rabbis have a tradition that says Haman had an image of a false god around his neck. It has always been permissible for a Jew to bow in respect to an official, but not when there was an idol involved. This alludes to the False Messiah who will have an image of himself made and requiring all people to worship it. This is referred to in Scripture as the Abomination of Desolation.

As a result, Haman begins to plot against Mordechai and all the Jews to have them destroyed, just like Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler and the False Messiah will do. Four years after the king’s marriage to Esther, a lot (pur) was cast before Haman day to day and month to month to find his course of action, and it was decided that they should destroy the Jews on the 13th of Adar, nearly a year away. God overruled the lot giving time for the plan of God to be played out for their redemption (Prov 16.33). Now he must get permission.

Haman complains to the king that there is a “certain people” in his kingdom who are different. He says their laws are different (Torah) and they do not keep the king’s laws, so it would be in the king’s interest that they should be exterminated. The background for this attitude and charges can be seen in Ezra 4.4-7,12-13 with the early returnees. This is also like Antiochus Epiphanes, Hitler, Stalin and others who persecuted the Jews because they follow Yehovah and the Torah. Stalin’s death will be associated with Purim as we shall see later in this teaching.

Haman said he would pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry out this business, and to put into the king’s treasuries because of the loss of the taxes and tribute that the king would lose once the Jews were killed. He would also repay this loss with the spoil that would be taken from the Jews after they have been destroyed (v 9).

So, the king took his signet ring and gave it to Haman as a token of his power to carry out his plan, saying he could do whatever he wanted to do. The king seems very cold here and he doesn’t even care that he just agreed to exterminate a whole people living under his protection, or he thought it was just a few rebellious individuals. Then the king summoned his scribes on the 13th day of the first month (Nisan) and an order was written out, just as Haman had determined. This law could not be revoked now and now the drama begins. Letters were sent out by messengers to destroy, kill and to annihilate all the Jews in one day, the 13th day of Adar, the twelfth month.

The king and Haman sat down to drink and the city of Shushan was in confusion. They were shocked at such a bloody scheme against a people they knew to be law-abiding citizens. With such a bloody mob unleashed nobody knew where it would end.

Now, as we can see, this event happened during the season of Passover, and in one year the Jews were to be exterminated. So we are getting a hint that this story has eschatological implications. Little did Haman know that his moves against the Jews was a move against Yehovah himself.

Est 4.1-17 begins to tell us that on the same day (Nisan 13) Mordechai hears of the plot he goes to Esther through an intermediary named Hatach. He tells him what is going on and wants him to tell her to use her position to help stop Haman. The messenger goes to Esther and gives her the message. But Esther can only see the king if he calls for her, and if he holds out his golden scepter. She also says she hasn’t seen him for 30 days, implying that he may not be as fond of her as at the first, and the messenger returns to Mordechai with the news.

Then Mordechai tells him to tell Esther that she will not escape these evil plans just because she is in the palace. He says in Est 4.14, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish.”

Now, the word for “silent” in v 14 is used in Num 30.4 when talking about hearing a vow and remaining silent. If done, the vow will stand. Then in Num 30.13 it says a husband can “annul” the vow. The word there is “peram” and it has the same root as “purim” (Est 9.24-26). Mordechai goes on to say in v 14, “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this.” In other words, God’s providence may have placed her there as his instrument to “annul” the vow of Haman to exterminate the Jews. If she doesn’t, the vow will stand.

Esther tells the messenger to tell Mordechai to have the Jews assemble in Shushan. They are to fast for three days, night and day. She will do the same thing, then go into the king without being summoned. And she says, “If I perish, I perish” and literally it says, ” What I have lost, I have lost.” Esther will be committing a crime by doing this, and the penalty is death unless he extends to her his golden scepter.

Spiritually, the scepter is a picture of Messiah (Gen 49.10; Num 24.27). We have said before that the king is a picture of Yehovah whose laws cannot be broken or rescinded (the Torah cannot be “done away with”). The scepter is a picture of Messiah and unless God extends the Messiah to us, we are under the death penalty for our crimes. She must humble herself and hope that he will offer her “life” as she comes before him as a living sacrifice. We must do the same thing before Yehovah.

Now, remember, this was Nisan 13 and they will fast till Nisan 16. There is no indication that the Jews in captivity kept Passover or any festival because they were not in Jerusalem and there was no Temple or priesthood. We know they did not keep Passover here because they were fasting and praying on Nisan 14, the day of Passover. Esther was placed in the palace for such a time as this, and there will be eschatological pictures emerging as we move forward.

Esther 5.1-14 tells us that on “the third day” (Nisan 16) the praying and fasting has been accomplished and now Esther appears in the inner court of the king’s palace, and the king was sitting on his royal throne. Esther already has seen what happens when a queen disobeys the king’s command, and to approach the king without being summoned was as dangerous as not coming when you are summoned.

Yehovah has already given Esther grace in his eyes, and Esther goes in, and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter. By doing this he is taking her under his protection. He asks her, “What is troubling you, Queen Esther?” Perhaps the three days of fasting was showing on her face. He said he would grant to her “even to the half of the kingdom” which was courtly hyperbole.

She had something very important to ask him, but not yet. She requested that the king and Haman come to a banquet. She knew he would be more relaxed when she gave him her request. She may have been showing an interest in Haman to get his jealousy working in her favor against Haman. She was setting a trap for Haman so he would not have anytime to form a conspiracy. The king was fickle and didn’t want him to change his mind about having Haman there.

The name of God (YHVH or Yehovah) is encoded in the phrase, “yavo ha melek v’ Haman ha yom” and it is one of several places where the name can be found (1.20, 5.13,7.7). This is Nisan 16 and the banquet was for later that day. At the banquet the king asks her what he petition is. So she says, “My petition is: if I have found favor in the sight of the king, and it please the king to grant my petition and do what I request, may the king and Haman come to the banquet which I shall prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king says.”

She is planting the seeds of jealousy here by placing Haman in the same place as the king when she said, “for them” in v 8. The king knows something is on her mind because she will not have risked her life just to ask him to come to a banquet. So he again asks her about her request (v 6). He knows this is personal to her and says he will grant it “even to the half of the kingdom.”

Well, needless to say, Haman is really pleased with himself about such an honor. His pride is evident in v 9, but as he goes home he sees Mordechai, and he does not stand before Haman, and Haman is again filled with rage. Haman disquised his anger and controlled himself, but he wanted to kill Mordechai even before the date of the evil decree. The False Messiah will also be blinded by his hatred for the Jews in the Birth-pains, and will make war on the Jewish people (Rev 12.1-17).

When Haman got to his house, he sent for his wife Zeresh and his friends, and he recounted to them the “glory of his riches and the number of his sons (ten), and every instance where the king had magnified him, and how he had promoted him above the princes and servants of the king.” His pride is evident as he says, “Even Queen Esther let no one but me come with the king to the banquet which she had prepared; and tomorrow also I am invited by her with the king. Yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordechai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”

Then Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him, “Have a gallows 50 cubits high (80 feet high so all could see) made and in the morning ask the king to have Mordechai hanged on it, then go joyfully with the king to the banquet.” The advice pleased Haman, so he had the gallows made. All of this was without the king’s permission.

In a Bible Code, starting with the resh (r) in “Mordechai” in v 14 and counting in sequential digression (11, 10,9,8,7,6 etc) it spells “ra’ah satan olah” meaning “evil Satan of the Holocaust.” Haman could not wait eleven more months to kill Mordechai, now he only had to wait 24 more hours. But Haman did not realize that all these things coming to a head spelled his own doom. This will also be the case with the False Messiah. Everything he will do will come upon his own head when Yeshua returns.

We will pick up in Est 6.1-14 in Part 4.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Esther-Part 2

In Est 1.1-22 we learn that the king is going to hold a huge banquet. This is about 483.B.C. and about three years before his invasion of Greece and the Battle of Thermopylae. Ezra has returned to Jerusalem and the Temple has been built. Nehemiah would return to Jerusalem about 40 years later under Artaxerxes I, Ahasuerus’ son and successor.

The king is actually going to have three feasts, and the first one was for all the government officials where he shows the glory of his kingdom. The second feast was for the citizens of the capital city, Shushan. The third feast was for the women in the palace conducted by Vashti the queen (v 9).

Ahasuerus has defeated Egypt and was planning a war with Greece, so he calls all the chief men of the kingdom together to discuss it ( Est 1.1, Dan 11.2). He calls his wife Vashti to come forward to display her beauty, and his heart was “merry with wine.” The king was the embodiment of Persia, and so was the queen. She was seen as “mother Persia” but she refused to come, and the king was furious.

In Est 1.16 a man named Memucan (dignified) says that Vashti should be banished, and her position given to another. Now, Memucan is spelled in Hebrew with a mem, mem, vav, kof and nun. But in the verse it is spelled with a mem, vav, mem, kof and nun. It is a combination of two words, “mum” and “can” meaning “a blemish here.” The blemish was because he spoke out of turn. He is mentioned last, but was the first to speak (“The Megillah”, Mesorah Pub., p.48-49). This book is a Jewish Orthodox commentary on Esther and has some very valuable information in it. In some Jewish traditions, Memucan is seen as another name for Haman.

If the word got out that Vashti refused to come, other wives would show disrespect to their husbands as well and there would be some real problems (v 17-18). Once the king made a decree, it could not be repealed. So he sent out a decree that “every man should be the master in his own house.” God had ordained that this new law giving the king absolute powers be written in their laws so that it could be later used against Haman (Est 7.9). In other words, God’s plan for the demise of Haman was already set in motion before Haman had done a thing against the Jews yet. Spiritually, that is an important concept to remember. When our enemies come against us, God has already provided the vehicle for their defeat, too.

The fallen relationship between Ahasuerus and Vashti had to be replaced by a renewed spirit, and this alludes to being born again (John 3.5-8). Through out the first chapter of Esther, Vashti is referred to as “Queen Vashti” until she provokes the king. From Est 1.19 onward she is simply referred to as Vashti. Eschatologically, she represents the unbeliever caught within paganism who will be replaced by the rightful bride of Messiah.

Esther 2.1-23 tells us about the plan to replace Vashti with a new queen. They propose that all the young, beautiful virgins in the kingdom be gathered to Shushan. Then the king can choose a new queen from among them (2.4).

At this time, there was a Jew in Shushan named Mordechai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin. In other words, he is a relative of King Saul (1 Sam 9.1, 2 Sam 16.5). That will be an important point to remember at a later time. The term Jew (v 5) meant “Judeans” who were taken to Babylon. So, before we go any further, let’s look at the definition of “Jew” and “Hebrew” and “Israelite.” These definitions are from the Easton’s Bible Dictionary at “Biblestudytools.com.” The reason we are presenting this is because there are people who vehemently argue that the term “Jew” is not a term for any Israelite or Hebrew and they have constructed a whole false theology around this point, but we shall see that these terms became synonymous.

It begins, “Hebrew-a name applied to the Israelites in Scripture only by one who is a foreigner (Gen 19.14, 17; 41.12, etc), or by the Israelites when they speak of themselves to foreigners (Gen 40.15; Exo 1.19), or when spoken of and contrasted with other peoples (Gen 43.32; Exo 1.3, 7, 15; Deut 15.12. In the New Testament there is the same contrast between Hebrews and foreigners (Acts 6.1; Phil 3.5).”

“Israel- the name conferred on Jacob after the great prayer-struggle at Peniel (Gen 32.28), because ‘as a prince he had power with God and prevailed.’ (See Jacob). This is the common name given to Jacob’s descendants. The whole people of the twelve tribes are called “Israelites,” “the children of Israel” (Josh 3.17, 7.25; Judges 8.27; Jer 3.21), and the “house of Israel” (Exo 16.31; 40.38). This name Israel is sometimes used emphatically for the true Israel (Psa 73.1; Isa 45.17, 49.3; John 1.47; Rom 9.6, 11.26).”

“After the death of Saul the ten tribes arrogated to themselves this name, as if they were the whole nation (2 Sam 2.9, 10, 17, 28; 3.10, 17; 19.40-43), and the kings of the ten tribes were called “kings of Israel,” while the kings of the two tribes were called “kings of Judah.” After the exile the name Israel was assumed as designating the entire nation.”

“Jew-the name derived from the patriarch Judah, at first given to one belonging to the tribe of Judah or to a separate kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 16.6; 25.25; Jer 32.12; 33.19; 40.11; 41.3), in contradistinction from those belonging to the kingdom of the ten tribes, who were called Israelites. During the captivity, and after the restoration, the name, however, was extended to all the Hebrew nations without distinction (est 3.6, 10; Dan 3.8, 12; Ezra 4.12; 5.1, 5). Originally this people were called Hebrews (Gen 39.14; 40.15; Exo 2.7; 3.8; 5.3; 1 Sam 4.6, 9), but after the exile this name fell into disuse. But Paul was styled a Hebrew (2 Cor 11.22; Phil 3.5).”

“There are three names used in the New Testament to designate this people, Jews as regards their nationality, to distinguish from the Gentiles. Hebrews with regard to their language and education to distinguish them from Hellenists, Jews who spoke the Greek language. Israelites as respects their sacred privileges as the chosen people of God. According to the above definitions, the people of the 12 tribes (i.e. the descendants of Jacob) are referred to in the New Testament as “Jews,” “Hebrews,” and “Israelites.” The term “Jew” distinguishes them from Gentiles (i.e. everyone who is not a Jew).”

Now, Mordechai was bringing up a young girl named Hadassah (myrtle) and that is the Hebrew name of Esther. She was Mordechai’s cousin (his uncle had a daughter), and he adopted her as his own daughter. When it came about that the command and decree of the king was heard, many young ladies were gathered to Shushan. Now, why would a nice Jewish girl want to marry a pagan king? The answer can be found in Est 2.8.

It says that Esther was “taken” against her will (v 8) and taken to the harem of the king. Josephus says there were 400 young women gathered there. She was put into the custody of Hegai (meditation, word), and Hadassah pleased him. So he gave her cosmetics, food and seven choice maids. He also transferred her to the best place in the harem. Already, as we can see, God’s hand is on her. He is providing the cure (Esther) before the sickness (Haman), and Mordechai has instructed her to not tell anyone that she is Jewish. This will play a role in the fall of Haman.

Mordechai would walk about in front of the court of the harem to learn about how Esther was doing. The word for “walk” in v 11 is not “holech” but “mithhalech” meaning “strolled.” He did not want to be obvious to the guards that he was checking on her. Evidently, Mordechai had a high position in order to do that (2.19).

Ahasuerus wanted to make sure that none of the girls were sick, so he waits twelve months. During that time the women were preapred in ways that enhanced their beauty. Each woman would come before the king for one night. After that, they were taken to a second harem. She would not go again to the king unless he delighted in her and she was called again.

Esther could not have felt good about this whole process. She lost any possibility of marriage and a family among her people now that she was a part of this, but God had a plan to use her to save the whole nation. This book is also a book about the sovereignty of God. Events and the people involved are placed in their roles by the Lord without the participants even knowing what was being played out, but Yehovah did.

So we know she was taken against her will to the king in the tenth month (Tevet) in the seventh month year of his reign and this is eschatological. Messiah will take his bride and marry her in the seventh year also (Messianic Kingdom). He loved Esther more than all the others because she had found favor in the eyes of all who saw her (v 15) and he marries her.

The king gave another banquet and made a holiday for the provinces. This is a picture of the Wedding Supper of the Lamb at Sukkot. Mordechai was sitting at the “king’s gate” and this is an idiom meaning he had a position of trust in the government. He may have been a bodyguard of some sort to the king. Many Jews have served as advisors to the kings they were under. Daniel sat in the king’s gate and had ruled over certain areas, and Nehemiah was a cup-bearer and governor of Judea, and we all know the story of Joseph, although this was in a different type of captivity.

Esther has not told anyone about her heritage as Mordechai commanded her (2.10). Now, as we have said, Mordechai was involved with security of the king. Foreigners were often used in this way because they were not involved in nor interested in all the tribal and family politics of the nation. David had Philistines as bodyguards, for instance.

In those days Mordechai was at the king’s gate and two of the king’s officials who “guarded the door” (v 21) became angry with the king. Their names were Bigthan (gift of God) and Teresh (feared) and they wanted to lay hands on the king. They certainly had the opportunity because they guarded the door, possibly to his bedroom. But their plot became known to Mordechai and he told Queen Esther, and she informed the king in Mordechai’s name.

They were arrested and after an investigation, Bigthan and Teresh were found guilty and hanged on a gallows. This was recorded in the Book of the Chronicles in the king’s presence. Later, the king will be unable to sleep and he will read about what Mordechai did, and will reward him using Mordechai’s enemy Haman. Again, God is weaving into the story the destruction of Haman by establishing the reputation of Mordechai before the king.

In Part 3 we will pick up in Est 3.1-15.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Esther-Part 1

We are going to look at some concepts in the Book of Esther which will help us understand this book in a deeper way. As usual in our “concepts” series, we will not be doing a verse by verse study but we will go over concepts, idioms, phrases and the eschatology that is presented.

Like many books in the Tanak, the author of Esther is not known, but Jewish tradition says it was Esther and Mordechai, and later redacted by the Men of the Great Assembly. It takes place after the Babylonian Exile when Persia was reigning. The story is set in Susa (Shushan) and it was the royal city of the Persians, not the Medes. The modern day city of Shush in Iran is the site of ancient Susa and there are several archaeological sites there today.

The reigning king is Ahasuerus, also known as Xerxes, and he is the king who invaded Greece and fought the Spartan King Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae. He reigned between 486 and 465 B.C. Some Jews had returned to Jerusalem already and had control over their own lives, as we have seen in our study of Ezra and Nehemiah. But others, like Mordechai and Esther, remained behind for reasons only known to themselves. However, the majority of the people remained behind so that was not unusual, but the Jews were a minority group and this was a very dangerous position to be in. As we shall see, they will face a life threatening series of events.

The Book of Esther tells us about how a Jewish girl became queen of Persia and how she thwarted a plot to exterminate her people. She will be assisted in this by her guardian named Mordechai. But, besides the historical events presented in this book, we will look at how this story will play out again eschatologicall in the coming of the Messiah.

As part of the introduction to this book, we would like to quote from the book, “Prophecies in the Book of Esther” by Joseph Good of Hatikvah Ministries, p. 2-6, “The Book of Esther is unique in that it is the only book in the Bible that never mentions the Name of God directly in the text. However, the Name is found several times encoded into the text. The name of the book is derived from the Babylonian name Ishtar which means ‘as beautiful as the moon.’ It’s Hebrew derivative, vocalized Ha Ester, means ‘covering or the covering of God’s face,’ “And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they turned unto other gods” (Deut 31.18).”

“This is, perhaps, one reason why the name of God is not spelled out in the text of the book. Rashi, a Talmudic scholar of the eleventh century, stated that there was a concealment of the divine countenance during the days of Esther. Why would God conceal his face from those he loved? The rabbis teach that the Jews assimilated and began to forget and neglect their total dependence upon God. This caused the conditions that clouded the Divine Image and allowed an obstacle to conceal his countenance. However, though concealed, God never departed from his children, but went with them into captivity. The virtue of Mordechai and Esther showed and caused a return to God (repentance) among the Jews during which time God’s presence was again revealed.”

“Although his countenance was covered, it was later revealed. There are at least four times when the ineffable Name of God appears in acrostic form embedded in the text of Esther. This ineffable name, known as the tetragrammaton, was pronounced only by the High Priest of Israel, only on the Day of Atonement. The Hebrew letters Yod, Hay, Vav, Hay are vocalized YHVH. In Hebrew texts, whenever YHVH appears, it is pronounced Adonai (Lord) in order to keep from using the Name in vain. The YHVH appears in Esther 1.20 as the first letters of four consecutive words when read backward: Hi v’chol h’nashim yitnu, ‘It, and all women will give.’ In Esther 5.4 these letters appear again by initial letters of four consecutive words when read forward, Yavo hamelech v’haman hayom, ‘and let the king and Haman come today.’ Again, in Esther 5.13 the YHVH is formed by final letters of four consecutive words when read backward, zah ainenu shoveh li, ‘This gives no satisfaction to me.’ Once more the tetragrammaton is seen in Esther 7.7 by the final letter of four consecutive words read forward, ki chaltah ailav hara’ah, ‘that his fate had been determined.’ “

“Without a doubt, the book of Esther gives a vivid description of the triumph of the true Messiah and glimpses into the Kingdom of God on earth. The book of Esther is unique in being the story of ancient accounts, yet it provides a profound vision of the future. More than any other book of the Scriptures, Esther deals with the nature of the False Messiah and his demonic hatred for the Jews.”

“Many years before the events of this story came to pass, the earthly stage was set and the characters were created. The Babylonian Empire had succumbed to the power of the mighty Persian Empire. Nebuchadnezzar had taken the Jews into Babylon in three stages. Among those taken were Daniel, who later served the Babylonian king and sat at his gate, Ezekiel, and many more who would later return to Jerusalem. Jeremiah prophesied that after seventy years of captivity the Jews would return to rebuild the Temple and Jerusalem. No one knows exactly when the seventy years begins or ends. A prince of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, provoked God by using the sacred vessels from the Temple for lustful purposes. He died within hours as Cyrus the Mede conquered Babylon, and thus began the Median-Persian empire.”

“Cyrus is regarded in Scripture as a just ruler who beheld the awesome power of God and vowed that the Temple in Jerusalem would be restored. His reign was short’ however, and his empire passed into the hands of his son, Cambyses and Smerdis. Smerdis probably tried to usurp the throne and was later assassinated by the cohorts of Darius I. Cambyses presumably died in battle with Egypt. By this time the foundation for the Temple had been laid, but work stopped and would not commence for another twenty years.”

“Cyrus began restoring the old Elamite city if Susa. Darius continued the restoration and conducted many affairs of state there. Susa is known in the Bible as Shushan. He enlarged the empire and began a large building campaign. Darius is regarded historically as a great ruler, and according to tradition, this is the same Darius is Scripture who allowed many Jews, such as Ezra, Zerubbabel, and Yeshua the son of Yosadak the High Priest, to return to Jerusalem and undertake the task of rebuilding. At any rate, the Persian Empire flourished under Darius’ regime. He was succeeded by his son, Xerxes, who reigned for twenty years and was succeeded by his son, Artaxerxes, who commissioned Nehemiah to return for the rebuilding of the walls of Jeruslaem.”

“Tradition holds that the Jews were allowed to return during the reign of Darius, but were called back to Persia during the reign of Ahasuerus. The rabbis teach that Ahasuerus disliked the Jews and was afraid of their efforts to rebuild the Temple. There is no factual evidence to support this tradition, but timing would allow for such an event to occur. This would also lend itself well to reasons for the story of Esther to transpire, to further allow for the Jews to finish rebuilding the Temple as Cyrus had long ago promised.”

“It is not known for certain exactly which king Ahasuerus represents, but most theologians support that he must have been Xerxes. This concluded by the similarity in descriptions of their reigns. each had a large banquet with many nobles during their third year as monarch. Each is described as being a ruler of numerous provinces. Although nothing exists in Persian history to substantiate the story of Esther, nothing exists to disprove the story. Also, the timing of events in the book of Esther coincides with the timing of recorded history concerning Xerxes. In the third year of his reign, Xerxes began his campaigns with the Greeks which lasted until his seventh year, at which time he returned to Persia in order to develop his kingdom. It is during this same seventh year that Ahasuerus takes Esther as queen. Most of the historical accounts on Xerxes are in Greek literature, therefor, they may be tainted as Xerxes led several campaigns against the Greeks and lost. His Persian name was Khshayarsha which the Greeks translated as Xerxes. There are several similarities between Ahasuerus and Khshayarsha. The Hebrew pronunciation of Ahasuerus is Achashveyrosh.”

“Whatever the plight of the Jews during the reign of Ahasuerus, there were many Jews still captive in Persia. Those taken into captivity from the old Babylonian Empire learned to live new lives a foreigners in yet another country. everything that develops in the story had already been seen by a Higher Authority. The redemptive work had already been provided many years before. The stage had been set, and so the story begins.”

What is interesting about this book is God is never named. Going back to Deut 31.18 again, which we have quoted above, the word “hide” is spelled Esther. God’s name is hidden in Est 1.20, 5.4, 5.13 and 7.7 and that’s why this book was never found at Qumran and part of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), or a genizah, which is a depository for old writings with the name of God (YHVH or Yehovah) in them. Because Esther did not have the name of God in it, they did not need to put it into the caves at Qumran, so it was never found there.

The cast of characters in the book will play major roles in the court, but they will also be a picture of several eschatological characters. First, we have Ahasuerus (ruler among kings, or king of kings), also known by his Greek name Xerxes. He will be a picture of God who is the ruler among kings, and whose laws cannot be broken or changed. Then we have a man named Haman (noisy, illustrious), who is a descendant of Agag, an Amalekite. He will be a picture of the False Messiah. He will have ten sons who will be hanged when Haman falls, and they are a picture of the ten kings who fall with the False Messiah. They will also be a picture of the ten Nazis that were hung after the Nuremburg trials. In an encoded message in Hebrew where the sons are listed in Esther, the date for their hanging is given. Mordechai (of Marduk, bitter oppression) is a descendant of Shimei, who is a descendant of King Saul, who cursed David in 2 Sam 16.5-14 and was allowed to live by King David. He will be a picture of the Messiah. We will have more on the relationship between King Saul and Agag, David and Shimei, and Mordechai and Haman later on in this teaching. King Saul is picture of the first Adam who sinned, and Mordechai will be a picture of the Second Adam (Yeshua). Esther (star), who had the Hebrew name Hadassah (myrtle), will be a picture of the believer. Queen Vashti (beautiful one) will be a picture of the unbeliever, who was called before the throne of the king but refused to come. So, as we move along in the book keep these concepts in mind because they will be playing out an eschatological scenario.

The festival of Purim will be inaugurated in this book to celebrate the deliverance God provided, and it occurs on Adar 14 every year. Although it is not one of the festivals listed in Lev 23, it is a biblical festival and it will play a role in biblical prophecy because in the birth-pains, the Abomination of Desolation will be set up around that date by the False Prophet, pointing the way to the False Messiah, who will declare himself to be God about one month later, on Nisan 10 (2 Thes 2).

So, as we can see, this book is full of historical facts, but it is full of eschatological pictures, and we will point these out as we move along in our study. We will pick up in Est 1.1-22 in Part 2.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, The Temple, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Nehemiah and the Temple-Conclusion

Many people have put out videos that say the Temple was not on the Temple Mount. What we want you to do is go to a map of the City of David and the Temple Mount on the Internet. We want you to look at the map you want to use as we continue, and as we name a location, you can find where we are talking about. You will soon see that the Temple could not have been in the City of David. The City of David is the oldest part of Jerusalem and there are fortifications in these areas that are being discovered, and they go back to before Israel arrived.

So, for some reference points, look at the southern end of the city and you will see the Siloam Pool. Going up the eastern side of the city you will see the Kidron Valley and the Gihon Spring. Then David’s Palace is just north and then we come to the Ophel. North of that we have the Temple Mount. On other maps you can see more detail, the southern steps of the Temple and other sites.

Some of Israel’s best archaeologists are working in the area of the old City of David, like Eilat Mazar and Ronny Reich. Dr. Mazar published an article on where David’s Palace would be located without digging. How did she figure that out? She read the Scriptures and surmised that it would be at the northern end of the City of David. She found a large structure dating back to the time of David with many artifacts inside. Most scholars agree that it was David’s Palace. Some try to discount it, but most of the big archaeologists agree with Mazar. There is a stepped stone structure that was built going down into the Kidron Valley because they needed to increase the size of the foundation of this huge building. That is important and you can go to the Internet and look at the pictures there on this discovery.

Solomon would build his palace on the Temple Mount and David’s Palace became an administration center. They found a toilet there and were able to examine some of the stone and found that people using this toilet had tape worms because they were eating raw meat during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem. All the wood had been used up to make defenses and the cooking of food, and eventually they ran out of wood. They also found a seal that was baked due to the burning of Jerusalem and it was baked also. They found a whole area full of seals and some of them had the names of some of the people we see in the Scriptures.

The Gihon Spring has some massive excavations going on, too. It is south of David’s Palace. There is a parking lot called the Givati parking lot and they are finding ruins from the Hasmonean (Maccabees) to the Roman period. That’s because David’s Palace was at the northern end of the City of David and the Givati parking lot is west of the palace. They have also found the street that went from the Siloam Pool to the Temple Mount. They found the sewer that was below the street and found many artifacts in there. So, we have gone over the Temple Mount, the Ophel, the City of David, David’s Palace, the Gihon Spring, the Siloam Pool (Shiloach) and the Givati parking lot.

Now let’s talk about the Siloam (Shiloach) Pool for a moment. When people came up to the festivals they would congregate there, clean up and prepare their gifts to God before they went up to the Temple. A delegation was sent to the Temple notifying the priests that such and such group from such and such were there. Was the Siloam Pool a mikvah (immersion bath)? Some debate this even now. The rules for a Temple era mikvah by the first century were very strict and so you can make a good argument that it wasn’t a mikvah. It was just an open area with a pool. There are other mikvaot all over the place.

In the City of David they have not found very many mikvaot. There are some but not many. On the other hand, just south of the Temple Mount they have discovered mikvaot, and some on the southwest side. For more information on this subject we refer you to our teaching called, “Tevilah (immersion) and Rachatz (washing)” on this website.

At any rate, having the steps leading up to the Temple Mount as it is today and having mikvaot there is important evidence because you had to immerse before going up to the Temple. There were other mikvaot south of the inner courtyard and in the outer courtyard of the Temple.

There was another mikvah which was discovered under the Lishkat Ha Metzorim (Chamber of the Lepers). This chamber was in the northwest part of the Court of the Women. A cistern was found under what would have been the Leper’s Chamber by Conraad Shick in 1870. The locations of these mikvaot are not only verified by the leading mikvaot archaeologists, like Ronny Reich, but they are also backed up by the Jewish writings like the Mishnah, Josephus and others that tell us a mikvah should be located there.

Dr. Ernest Martin wrote a book called, “The Temples That Jerusalem Forgot” and Bob Cornuke wrote one called, “Temple:Amazing New Discoveries That Changed Everything About the Location of Solomon’s Temple.” These books say that the Temple was just north of David’s Palace, in the Ophel. 2 Chr 3.1 says that Solomon began building the Temple on Mount Moriah, the same mountain that Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac in Gen 22. It is also the same mountain that Jacob had his dream about the ladder in Gen 28. Yeshua will also be crucified on that mountain. David numbered the people in 1 Chr 21.1-30 and sins, so a plague breaks out and David buys the threshing floor of Ornan, and builds an altar. So, 2 Chr 3.1 says that Solomon began to build the Temple there. The Altar of the Temple will be in the same spot as David’s altar (1 Chr 21.18), and the altar that David built is on the same location that Abraham built his altar with Isaac. We have a continuing of locations.

Dr. Martin has the Temple Mount as the Roman fortress Antonia and the Temple is south of the Ophel, and just north of David’s Palace. His book has a picture of this layout but you can look it up on the Internet now. The size of his Temple is much smaller than it actually was. He says that the Fortress Antonia that most have pictured in the northwest corner of the Temple complex could not hold 600 Roman soldiers and all that went with them, so they had to have the whole Temple Mount. However, the size of his Temple is smaller than his reconfigured Fortress Antonia, but the Temple would hold hundreds of thousands on a festival everyday. His logic does not add up numerically.

His layout of the whole Temple-Antonia area does not match the descriptions. He has porticos running north and south but nobody ever saw those. He has the Gihon Spring right below his Temple complex, but in reality, it would have been further south of the Temple. Martin and Cornuke say the Temple got its water from the Gihon Spring, but according to historical texts it came from the Etam Spring near Bethlehem, reaching the Temple by means of a lower aquaduct (Jerusalem Talmud, Yoma 3.41; “Etam Spring-Temple Mount Water,” TempleMountLocation.com). The Gihon Spring was not a factor in the Temple.

The Sanhedrin met in three places. The “Sanhedrin Gedolah” or Great Sanhedrin had 71 judges and it met in Beit Avtinas, and they had to meet there to render a death sentence according to the Torah. They eventually moved to the eastern end of the Royal Stoa in protest about Pontius Pilate in 30 A.D. This was right before Yeshua was brought before them and why they could not pronounce a death sentence on him.

A second court called the “Sanhedrin Katanah” or Smaller Sanhedrin of 23 judges met in a building to the right side of the gate leading into the Court of the Women called the Eastern Gate. A third court called the “Beit Zekanim” or House of Elders, made up of 3 judges that met at the southern steps leading up to the Temple Mount, and this building has been found because they found a portion of a plaque that had two connecting fragments, and it had the word “Zekanim” (elders) written on it, referring to the elders of the Sanhedrin. They found that nowhere near where Ernest Martin and Bob Cornuke have their temples. These southern steps lead up to the Temple Mount today and people can walk on them.

These areas we have been talking about have been thoroughly documented. Dr. Mazar has documented, drawn and measured every stone in the northern wall. What we want to illustrate here is that everything has been documented and done by trained archaeologists at the top of their professions.

The Soreg was a small wall around the Temple courts about two cubits high with signs on them warning the non-Jews to stay out of the courts or they would be responsible for their own death. Josephus records the wording and they have found two of those signs. One is completely intact and in Istanbul, and it was found at the northeast end of the Temple Mount, a long way from the City of David. The second one is a partial sign in the Israel Museum and it was found on the northwest side of the Temple Mount, also a long way from the City of David.

In 2 Sam 24.10-14 we learn that David has sinned by numbering the people. He is given three things to choose from as punishment. He can choose seven years of famine, fleeing for three months before his enemies while they pursue him, or three days of pestilence. David chooses the third option because the other two would have put the whole nation at risk by other nations. He does not want to fall into the hands of men, so he wants to be in the hands of God because he is a merciful God and he would be just as exposed to the pestilence as everyone else.

2 Sam 24.15-17 talks about the plague and an angel is stopped from destroying the people at the threshing floor of Araunah (Ornan) the Jebusite (the name for anyone dwelling in Jerusalem). David sees the angel who was striking down the people and he tells the Lord that he was the one who sinned, not “these sheep, what have they done?”

So, 2 Sam 24.18 says that the prophet Gad came to David and said, “Go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” This is where the Temple altar will be. Gibeon is where the Mishkan was at the time was too far to go to an altar and the angel was standing in between Gibeon and David. David is in his palace (v 18) and we are going to have Araunah’s floor, the Ophel, David’s Palace, the Gihon Spring and the Siloam Pool in that order as you moved south.

Notice David is told to “Go up” to the threshing floor of Araunah, which would be north. He is not going to go “down” to the south to the Gihon Spring to the threshing floor of Araunah. He is told to build an altar there, to the north of his palace (“go up”). In 2 Chr 5.1-7 it says that the Ark was brought “up” from the City of David by the priests (v 5) to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the Temple (v 7).

We are making all these points to show that the Temple was on the temple Mount where the Dome of the Rock is because many people are looking at certain videos and buying books that say the Temple was in the City of David. The Jews did not “forget” where the Temple was like Martin asserts. Believing this theory makes it sound like the Jews don’t know what they are talking about. We can assure you they did not forget where the Temple was, and the best archaeologists in the world have verified it over and over again. There is a “mountain” of evidence out there, and we have only presented a minuscule amount to prove it.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, The Temple, Understanding the New Testament