Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 13

Jer 13.1-27 tells us about two metaphors using a linen girdle and jugs of wine to illustrate the coming destruction of Judah.

v 1…Thus the Lord (Yehovah) said to me, “Go and buy yourself a linen waistband (girdle), and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water (wash it, make it clean).”

v 2…SO I bought the waistband in accordance with the word of the Lord and put it around my waist.

v 3…Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying,

v 4…”Take the waistband that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to Perat (“to break forth” and a name for the Euphrates River) and hide it there in a crevice of a rock (symbolic of a prison they will be confined in.”

v 5…So I went and hid it by Perat (the Euphrates) as the Lord commanded me.

v 6…And it came about after many days (symbolic of the seventy year captivity) that the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to Peratah and take from there the waistband which I commanded you to hide there.”

v 7…Then I went to Perat and dug, and I took the waistband from the place where I had hidden it, and lo, the waistband was ruined, and it was totally worthless (corrupted).

v 8…Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

v 9…”Thus says the Lord, ‘Just so I will destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem (by destroying the Temple and the city transporting the nobility and the people beyond the Euphrates River and hiding them in Babylon).

v 10…This wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words (God’s view), who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts (and intentions) and have gone after other gods to serve them and bow down to them, let them be just like this waistband, which is totally worthless.

v 11…For as this waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to me’, declares the Lord, ‘that they might be for me a people, for renown (a mane), for praise, and for glory; but they did not listen.’

v 12…Therefore (as a result), you are to speak this word to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Every jug a vessel) is to be filled with wine (God’s judgments often symbolized by a cup of wine-Jer 25.25).” And when they say to you, ‘Do we not very well know that every jug is to be filled with wine (tell us something we don’t already know)?”

v 13…Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land-the kings that sit for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets (false ones) and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with drunkenness (foolishness, stupidity, unable to stand)!

v 14…And I will dash them against each other, both the fathers and sons together (collide like drunken men fight and quarrel breaking into pieces),” declares the Lord, “I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion that I should not destroy them (Judah).”

v 15…Listen and give heed, do not be haughty (listen to Yehovah not the false prophets), for the Lord has spoken.

v 16…Give glory to the Lord your God, before he brings darkness (affliction by the Babylonians) and before your feet stumble on the dusky mountains (mountains of twilight which cast a gloomy shadow over any traveler), and while you are hoping for light he makes it into gloom.

v 17…But if you will not listen to it, my soul (Jeremiah’s) will sob in secret for such pride (He loved his people, but he would weep in private); and my eyes will weep bitterly and flow down with tears, because the flock of the Lord has been taken captive.

v 18…Say to the king (Yehoiachin) and the queen mother (Neshusta who was the Givorah or “great lady.” In Judah the mother of the king was the queen, not a wife. In the northern kingdom they followed the ways of the nations-see the book “Ancient Israel” by Roland Devaux, p. 117-119), take a lowly seat (humble yourself), for your beautiful crown has come down from your head (stripped of power).

v 19…The cities of the Negev (south) have been locked up (captured), and there is no one to open them (no inhabitants left); all Judah has been carried into exile, wholly carried into exile (completely).

v 20…”Lift up your eyes (the king and rulers) and see those coming from the north (what’s coming from Babylon). Where is the flock that was given you (the people), your beautiful sheep?

v 21…What will you say when he appoints over you (visits the king)-and you yourself had taught them (invited them to come and plunder them like Ahaz and Hezekiah did)-former companions (allies like Babylon) to be head (rosh) over you? Will not the pangs take hold of you, like a woman in childbirth (sudden calamity and pain-Yehovah is giving them into the hands of Babylon)?

v 22…And if you say in your heart (intentions, desires), ‘Why have these things happened to me?’ Because of the magnitude of your iniquity and your skirts have been removed, and your heels (feet) have been exposed (taken captive).

v 23…Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots (no, it is impossible, it is their nature)? Then you can do good who are accustomed to do evil (no, they were naturally sinners, obstinate and there was no hope for them)?

v 24…Therefore I will scatter them like drifting straw (stubble which is blown away) to the desert wind.

v 25…This is your lot, the portion measured to you from me,” declares the Lord, “because you have forgotten me and trusted in falsehood (idols, false alliances, false prophets, etc).

v 26…So I myself have also stripped your skirts off over your face (sin exposed), that your shame may be seen.

v 27…As for your adulteries and your lustful neighings, the lewdness of your prostitution on the hills in the field, I have seen your abominations (their idolatries of various kinds, done everywhere and in various ways, along with perverse sexual sins). Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will you remain unclean (this shows us that though it was difficult, it was not impossible for these leopards to change their spots. It would be seventy years but Judah will be cleansed and in repentance. They would never go back into idolatry like this again)?”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 12

Jer 12.1-17 contains a prayer of Jeremiah with God’s answer, and it also has a word for the nations about their future if they turn to Yehovah after Babylon took them into captivity.

v 1…Righteous art thou, O Lord, that I would plead my case with thee; indeed I would discuss matters of justice with thee (as to why the wicked prosper; at times we may ask Yehovah about why this seems so, too): Why has the way of the wicked prospered (while the righteous suffer)? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease (seem happy)?

v 2…Thou hast planted them, they have also taken root; they grow (progress), they have have even produces fruit (to themselves, not to God). Thou art near to their lips (often talked about God) but far from their mind (Hebrew “kidneys” which is synonymous for the heart, soul, mind, bowels, etc. They say one thing and do another).

v 3…But thou knowest me, O Lord (the secrets of his heart); thou seest me; and thou dost examine my hearts attitude toward thee (his affections and thoughts). Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter and set them apart for a day of carnage (the prosperous are like fattened sheep ripened for destruction. This tells us what would be their judgment in the destruction to come)!

v 4…How long is the land to mourn and the vegetation of the countryside to wither (even the land is cursed because of these people)? For the wickedness of those who dwell in it, animals and birds have been snatched away (no grass or seeds to eat because the land was barren), because men have said, “He (Jeremiah) will not see our latter end (He won’t be around long).”

v 5…If you have run with the footmen (Yehovah answers him) and they have tired you out (disgusted with his family and townsfolk and the pressure they put on him), then how can you compete with horses (kings, the priests, the powerful in strength at Jerusalem. If he can’t keep up now, what about later when it will really get tough-Psa 18.29; Jer 1.18-19)? If you fall down in a land of peace (his hometown and relatives), how will you do in the thicket (flooding) of the Jordan (when your enemies confront you and are full of pride, like the kings and princes of Judah)?

v 6…For even your brothers and the household of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you, even they have cried aloud after you. Do not believe them, even though they say nice things to you (Prov 26.25-put no confidence in them, it was not safe to be with them).”

v 7…I (Yehovah) have forsaken my house (the Temple), I have abandoned my inheritance (the people-Deut 37.9); I have given the beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies (this level of judgment shows the finality of it).

v 8…My inheritance (Israel) has become to me like a lion in the forest; she has roared against me (snarling against Yehovah); therefore (as a result) I have come to hate her (I will treat her as if I do).

v 9…Is my inheritance like a speckled bird to me (blended together paganism and the Torah)? Are the birds of prey against her on every side (Babylon and the neighboring nations)? Go, gather all the beasts of the field; bring them to devour ( an idiom for an impending disaster and slaughter)!

v 10…Many shepherds (kings, leaders) have ruined my vineyard (Israel), they have trampled down my field; they have made my pleasant field a desolate wilderness.

v 11…It (the land) has been made a desolation, desolate, it mourns before me; the whole land has been made desolate, because no man lays it to heart (they didn’t believe the prophets, intercede, or took notice of what they were predicting).

v 12…On all the bare heights in the wilderness destroyers have come (Babylon), for a sword of the Lord is devouring from one end of the land even to the other (very extensive); there is no peace for anyone.

v 13…They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns (hard work wasted). But be ashamed of your harvest because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”

v 14…Thus says the Lord concerning all my wicked neighbors who strike at the inheritance with which I have endowed my people Israel, “Behold I am about to uproot them from their land and will uproot the house of Judah from among them (the spoilers such as the Philistines, Syrians, Edomites, Ammonites and the Moabites, etc).

v 15…And it will come about that after I have uprooted them, I will again have compassion on them; and I will bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land (showing mercy on them as evidence that he is the one true God of all flesh; this will also happen at the end of the birth-pains).

v 16…Then it will come about that if they (the nations) will really learn the ways of my people (the Torah), to swear by my name (Yehovah), ‘As the Lord (Yehovah) lives,’ even as they (non-Jews) taught my people to swear by Baal, then they will be built up in the midst of my people (being grafted in-Eph 2.11-22).

v 17…But if they (non-Jews) will not listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord (sin is a reproach to any people-Prov 14.34).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 11

Jer 11.1-23 talks about how the covenant was broken and how Jeremiah was to proclaim this fact. The people conspired to serve other gods and now a curse was coming upon the offenders. God is disappointed in their rejection of him, and Jeremiah learns of the many threats against him, and he returns to Yehovah for help. He promises to punish those who htreaten him.

v 1…The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying,

v 2…”Hear the words of this covenant and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

v 3…and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, cursed is the man who does not heed the words of this covenant (the Torah-Deut 27.26)

v 4…which I commanded your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace (Egypt is a type of Europe in prophecy where the iron furnaces of the Holocaust were-Deut 4.20), saying, ‘Listen to my voice, and do according to all which I commanded you; so you shall be my people, and I will be your God,’

v 5…in order to confirm the oath which I swore to your forefathers with milk and honey (an idiom meaning “uncultivated” or “devastated by war”-Isa 7.21-25), as it is this day.” Then I answered and said, “Amen, O Lord.”

v 6…And the Lord said to me, “Proclaim (publish) all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear the words of this covenant (Torah) and do them.

v 7…For I solemnly warned your fathers in the day that I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, warning persistently, saying, “Listen to my voice.”

v 8…Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked, each one, in the stubbornness of his evil heart; therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant which I commanded them to do, but they did not (the curses beginning in Deut 28.15).'”

v 9…Then the Lord (Yehovah) said to me, “A conspiracy (a defection from the Torah, not a hasty impulse) has been found among the men of JUdah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

v 10…They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors (their sin was not confined to just that generation) who refused to hear my words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah (completely as a nation-Jer 30.10) have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers (at Sinai).”

v 11…Therefore thus says the Lord (Yehovah), “Behold I am bringing disaster (Babylon) on them which they will not be able to escape; though they will cry to me, yet I will not listen to them (Prov 28.9).

v 12…Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they surely will not save them in the time of their disaster (when Babylon comes and an allusion to the birth-pains in the future).

v 13…For your gods are as many as your cities, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to the shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal (who was also called “Boshet” or shame-Hos 9.10; 2 Sam 11.21).

v 14…Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry of prayer for them (no more intercession); for I will not listen when they call to me because of their disaster (1 John 5.16;Jer 14.11).

v 15…what right has my beloved (Israel is still his beloved) in my house (the land, Temple) when she has done many vile deeds (what caused this to begin with)? Can the sacrificial flesh (korbanot) take away from you your disaster (which is coming), so that you can rejoice (the answer is “No”)?

v 16…The Lord (Yehovah) called your name, a green olive tree (Psa 52.8; Rom 11.17; Hos 14.6), beautiful in fruit and form”; with the noise of a great tumult (great wind of the Babylonians) he has kindled fire (judgment) on it, and its branches are worthless (broken off).

v 17…And the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot), who planted you (Isa 5.2) has pronounced evil against you because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done to provoke me by offering sacrifices to Baal (this sin really moved Yehovah to act).

v 18…Moreover, the Lord made it known to me and I knew it; then thou didst show me their deeds (to kill him by showing him their plot (Jer 11.19-21).

v 19…But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter (he never suspected that there would be a time for him to be killed); and I did not know that they had devised a plot against me (to shut him up), “Let us destroy the tree (Jeremiah) with its fruit (his prophecies that offended them-Matt 7.7), and let us cut him off from the land of the living (Israel), that his name be remembered no more (blot out his memory, but it didn’t happen because we are studying his book).”

v 20…But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tries the feelings (kidneys, the seat of emotion) and the heart (the seat of understanding, a Hebrew parallelism), let me see thy vengeance on them (left it in God’s hands).

v 21…Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth (the home of Jeremiah meaning affliction. His own family and priests there wanted to kill him-John 4.44; Psa 41.9) who seek your life, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord (Yehovah), that you might not die at our hand”;

v 22…therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, I am about to punish them (for tryin to touch God’s anointed)! The young men will die by the sword, the sons and daughters will die by famine;

v 23…and a remnant will not be left to them (that plotted against him), for I will bring disaster on the men of Anathoth-the year of their punishment (or visitation, the predestined time).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 10

Jer 10.1-25 is a chapter that contrasts the greatness of God over idolatry, much like Isaiah does in Isa 40 through 46. He talks about not learning the ways of the non-Jews and Yehovah’s greatness over idols. He tells the to prepare for the Babylonian exile and it includes a prayer by Jeremiah. He ends with a warning about false shepherds who have scattered Judah and a humble prayer to Yehovah to show mercy to Judah even though he is the one who sent Babylon to correct them.

v 1…Hear the word of which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel (all twelve tribes),

v 2…Thus says the Lord (Yehovah), “Do not learn the ways of the nations (don’t worship God in the ways of idolatry-Deut 12.1-4, 29-32; Exo 34.11-16; Lev 20.23; Deut 4.15-19, 7.26; Lev 18.3; Isa 2.6, 30.22, 40.18; Exo 9.6, 23.1; Psa 106.35-36, Col 2.8; Gen 35.2; Judges 9.27; Deut 18.9; Josh 23.6-7; Lev 19.26. If we are not to learn the ways of the nations, what “way” are we to learn? The way of Yehovah in the Torah given to Israel. We can’t tell you what was or was allowed by God in total, but what we can tell you is that which was given to the nations is not allowed. is the deciding factor), and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens (sun, moon, stars and constellations-Gen 1.14), although the nations are terrified by them (like astrology predictions, etc);

v 3…For the customs of the people are vain (empty, no purpose) because it is wood cut from the forest, the work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool (this idol, from a tree, will be a counterfeit of God’s Tree of Life. The biggest problem in the faith today is we have learned the ways of the nations, and merged the worship of the Baalim and the Asherim, gave them names and called it “Christianity.” Yehovah would rather have us total pagans than to flitter between two opinions-Rev 3.16; Zeph 1.12; Luke 18.21; Matt 6.24. Here are some thoughts of this from Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on this, “We may imitate the nations among whom you live in everything which they have adopted on rational grounds and not on grounds which belong to their religion or are immoral. But we must not imitate anything that is irrational or immoral or derived from their religion. We may not, therefore, join in celebrating their holy days or observe customs which have their basis on their religious views. You must not, however, do anything that would disturb their holy days or mar their festive spirit; and you must not parade your non-participation in their holy days in a manner that might arouse animosity.”

v 4…They decorate it (the idol) with silver and gold (plated); they fasten it with nails and with hammers so that it will not totter (this is not talking about a christmas tree here, it is a tree cut down down to make an idol. The Asherim were groves of trees. There were no christmas trees in America till the Hessians brought them here during the Revolutionary War. By the time of the Civil War they were scarce, mostly in European or German communities. Back then, you were looked at as “weird” if you had one. The “church” christianized it, but you can’t do that-Job 14.4. An Asherah is an image made for that goddess. We are commanded not to use them-Zeph 1.4-5; Isa 57.5; Jer 2.20, 3.6, 17.2; Exo 6.13; Deut 12.12; Isa 65.11; Judges 6.25-30. In the Mishnah there were three types of Asherah. There was a tree-Deut 16.21; a tree trimmed and chopped for idols-2 Kings 23.7; and an image or idol-Exo 20.14. This type of idolatry started in Phoenicia, then to Malta, Sicily, Italy, then through the Roman Empire to Europe and then to the USA. It also spread through Cypress, Corinth and Greece).

v 5…Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, and they cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, nor can they do any good.

v 6…There is none like thee, O Lord (Yehovah) (they cannot compare to him); thou art great, and great is thy name (Yehovah) in might.

v 7…Who would not fear thee, O king of the nations (Melek Gotim)? Indeed it is thy due (most people believed that an idol only had power over certain geographical areas. Yehovah has power anywhere)! For among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like thee (so all the world should fear him).

v 8…But they (the people) are all together stupid and foolish. In their discipline (doctrine) of delusion (vanity, no purpose)-their idol is wood!

v 9…Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish (some think that this is Tartessus in Spain; others think it is Tarsus or India), and gold from Uphaz (Ophir-Dan 10.5), the work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; violet (techelet) and purple (argamon) are their clothing (dyed to perfection and seen as luxurious); they are all the work of skilled men (cunning, choicest in their chosen art and picked for this work).

v 10…But the Lord (Yehovah) is the true God (not a lifeless idol; Yehovah’s seal is truth or “emet” which is the first, close to the middle, and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The mem is seen as the letter of transition or the present, aleph (the past) and tav the future); he is the living God (Elohim Chaim) and the everlasting king (v’melek olam). At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation (a term for the birth-pains too).

v 11…Thus you shall say to them (the Babylonians), “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens (this verse is in Aramaic so the Jews could reply to the Babylonians with it. It is the only verse that way in Jeremiah).”

v 12…It is he who made the earth by his power (their gods were made from the material God had made), who established the world by his wisdom; and by his understanding he has stretched out the heavens.

v 13…When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens (as in thunder and lightning and rain follows), and he causes the clouds (vapors) to ascend (to make clouds) from the end of the earth; he makes lightning for the rain (water is two gases, hydrogen and oxygen. The electric spark decomposes them, and they become air, when recomposed they form water), and brings out the wind from his storehouses (treasuries, stores-Psa 135.7).

v 14…Every man is stupid (senseless if he makes idols), devoid of knowledge (of the true God); every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols (graven image); for his molten images are deceitful (a lie); and there is no breath in them (no life-it once was a living tree but not now).

v 15…They are worthless, a work of mockery (empty of life so they won’t save the Babylonians); in the time of their punishment they will perish (when Cyrus comes-Isa 46.1).

v 16…The portion of Jacob (Yehovah the true God belonged to Israel) is not like these; for the maker of all is he and Israel is the tribe (rod) of his inheritance (one tree with grafted in branches-Eph 2.11-22); the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot)-when this is used Yehovah is coming from a military position of power) is his name.

v 17…Pick up your bundle (gather your belongings, your bags) from the ground, you who dwell under siege (in Jerusalem)!

v 18…For thus says the Lord (Yehovah), “Behold (see), I am slinging out the inhabitants of this land at this time (a violent ejection), and will cause them distress that they may find me.”

v 19…Woe is me, because of my injury (breaking)! My wound is incurable (Judah realizes it is too late and so does Jeremiah). But I said, “Truly, this is a sickness, and I must bear it (Jeremiah is lamenting the fate of his people).”

v 20…My tent (Jerusalem) is destroyed, and all my ropes are broken (other cities), my sons have gone from me and are no more (gone into exile and not in the land). There is no one to stretch out my tent again or set up my curtains (total destruction, none to rebuild Jerusalem and the cities).

v 21…For the shepherds (the rulers) have become stupid (with no understanding) and have not sought the Lord (Yehovah for counsel and teaching); therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered (these rulers will not rule anymore and the people have been taken into captivity as a result).

v 22…The sound of the report! Behold, it comes (Babylon is approaching)-a great commotion out of the north-to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a haunt of jackals (desolate).

v 23…I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps (man cannot map out his life, he is directed by God; it is the same with Nebuchadnezzar, it is God who is directing him-Psa 37.23).

v 24…Correct me, O Lord, but with justice (Jeremiah prays for justice in the coming captivity); not with thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing (he could not stand before God and live).

v 25…Pour out thy wrath on the nations that do not know thee, and on the families that do not call thy name (let your justice come upon Babylon also-Psa 79.6-7); for they have devoured Jacob (Israel); they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his dwelling place (the land and cities).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 9

Jer 9.1-26 tells us that Jeremiah weeps over the coming judgment to his people and how Judah has been given over to deception and idolatry. He tells them how to prepare for what is coming and why it is coming. As he ponders what is coming he summons the mourning women to get ready to do their job. The people were not to glory or boast in their wisdom or money, but in God only.

v 1…O that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people (even though the people turned from the Torah, Jeremiah still mourns for his people and what he foresees devastating. He had inexhaustible grief)!

v 2…O that I had in the desert a wayfarer’s lodging place; that I might leave my people and go from them (he was disgusted with their behavior and just wanted to get away from them)! For all of them are adulterous (infidelity literally and spiritually), an assembly of treacherous men (full of falsehoods and deceit).

v 3…”And they bend their tongues like a bow (to shoot lies); lies and not truth prevail in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me,” declares the Lord.

v 4…Let every one be on guard against his neighbor (even those whom profess to be friends), and do not trust any brother (treachery was even in blood relatives); because every brother deals craftily (Hebrew “yakov” or “surplant or trip up by the heel” and a wordplay on Gen 27.26), and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer (tale bearer, and the word “rakil” here has the same root as “rakal” or merchant).

v 5…”And every one deceives his neighbor, and does not speak the truth (in conversation, trade and business), they have taught their tongue to speak lies (they are so accustomed to lying it comes naturally); they weary themselves committing iniquity (spare no effort).

v 6…Your dwelling (Jeremiah’s) is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me,” declares the Lord.

v 7…Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, I will refine them and assay them (affliction for their own good); for what else can I do ( it was a proper thing to do), because of the daughter of my people?

v 8…Their tongue is a deadly arrow (v 3); it speaks deceit; with his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor, but inwardly he sets an ambush for him (to trap him or defraud him).

v 9…Shall I not punish them for these things?” declares the Lord. “On a nation such as this shall I not avenge myself?

v 10…For the mountains I will take up a weeping and a wailing (because of all the desolation there), and for the pastures of the wilderness a dirge because they are laid waste (by Babylon), so that no one passes through, and the lowing of the cattle is not heard (they have been carried off); both the birds of the sky and the beasts have fled; they are gone no seed or fruit for them to eat)

v 11…And I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.”

v 12…Who is the wise man that may understand this (very few)? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it (what the causes of the calamity were)? Why is the land ruined, laid waste like a desert, so that no one passes through?

v 13…And the Lord said (the answer), “Because they have forsaken my law (the Torah) which I set before them (to be understood; it was not in heaven or beyond the sea-Deut 30.11), and have not obeyed my voice nor walked according to it (they did not listen to the Torah or walk according to it),

v 14…But have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them (continuously from one generation to another; our enemy does not mind if we pray, fast, or weep all day as long as we do not study the Scriptures and understand them),”

v 15…Therefore (because of the above reasons) thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “behold, I will feed them, this people, wormwood (bitterness) and give them poisoned water to drink (very severe judgment).

v 16…And I will scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known (carried out of the land into foreign lands-Deut 28.64); and I will send the sword after them until I have annihilated them (in escaping they will not be safe, only a remnant will survive).”

v 17…Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider and call for the mourning women (who lost loved ones), that they may come; and send for the wailing women (skilled in mourning-Ecc 12.5; Amos 5.16- they were experts in this business. Since the people themselves were not moved enough themselves to mourn over what was coming, send for the experts to mourn because they needed to be ready).

v 18…And let them make haste (hurry because judgment is imminent), and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may shed tears, and our eyelids flow with water.

v 19…For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion (out of the fortress of Jerusalem), how we are ruined (they thought the city could never be taken)! We are put to shame (confounded over what is happening, they thought Jerusalem was safe because the Temple and the Ark was there), for we have left the land (forsaken it), because they have cast down our dwellings (fulfilling Lev 18.28).”

v 20…Now hear the word of the Lord, O you women (professional mourners), and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; teach your daughters wailing, and every one her daughter a dirge (they will not mourn in a contrived manner but there will be real mourning by everyone).

v 21…For death (Babylon) has come up through our windows (scaling their walls); it has entered our palaces (rich housing of the nobles that were like fortresses) to cut off the children from (playing) in the streets, the young men from the town squares (doing business).

v 22…Speak, “Thus declares the Lord (Yehovah), ‘The corpses of men will fall like dung in the open field (wholesale slaughter), and like the sheaf after the reaper (left upon the ground), but no one will gather them (for burial).'”

v 23…Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom (worldly, natural wisdom won’t help), and let not the mighty man (in a natural sense) boast of his might (that strength won’t help), let not a rich man boast of his riches (earthly riches won’t help),

v 24…But let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands (comprehends) and knows (“yada” or discerning the truth and gaining the capacity to know the Lord in an intimate way) me, that I am the Lord (Yehovah) who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness (as defined by the Torah) on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord (Yehovah gives them the medicine for their healing. To know Yehovah in an intimate way is what was needed-2 Chr 17.6; Jam 1.9; Prov 16.1; Isa 33.6. The Hebrew “yada” means to be “familiar with in an intimate way”-Gen 4.1; Jer 31.34; Hos 2.18-20, 4.6; Matt 7.21-23; 1 John 2.3-4; Dan 11.32. The heart of Yehovah towards us is to know him. How? With our reason, logic and intellect. Feelings can deceive us, we need to listen and stay focused on him, calm and not defensive. Seek friends who challenge us. Better the criticism of friends than the kiss of an enemy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions).

v 25…”Behold (take note of), the days are coming (with Babylon)” declares the Lord, “that I will punish all who are circumcised (in the flesh) and yet uncircumcised (unfruitful in their heart; don’t think that being Abraham’s natural seed will save you);

v 26…Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the sons of Ammon, and Moab, and all those inhabiting the desert (dwell alone, like the Arabians) who clip the hair on their temples (a pagan mourning ritual-Lev 19.27-28; Deut 14.1-2; Lev 21.5); for all the nations are uncircumcised (in the flesh and are unfruitful in Torah righteousness), and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised of heart (unfruitful, disobedient and don’t follow the Torah just like the pagan nations; notice Judah is listed with these other nations).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 8

Jer 8.1-22 tells us that these calamities are coming because they have rejected Yehovah. It will be better to choose death than live under the extremes they are suffering. Judah is stubborn and foolish and what is happening is coming on them for rejecting the Torah. Many will try and flee but it will be in vain, and exile was their future now, not living in the land.

v 1…”At that time (when severe judgment comes) declares Yehovah, they (Babylon) will bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves (the worst dishonor).

v 2…And they will spread them out (exposed under the open sky) to the sun, the moon, and to all the host of heaven (and their influence) which they have loved (in life; they worshiped them, now in death their bones will lie before them), and which they served, and which they have gone after, and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered or buried (their bodies and graves will be looted by the Babylonians); they will be as dung on the face of the ground (their hate and disgust of Judah is manifested in this way).

v 3…And death will be chosen rather than life (their lives are intolerable, even if they survived the siege, or made captive or fled to other countries) by all the remnant that remains in all the places to which I have driven them,” declares the Lord of hosts (Yehgovah Tzavaot-when this term is used Yehovah is coming from a military position of power).

v 4…”And you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Do men fall and not get up again? Does one turn (wander off) and not repent (return to the right path-it is natural for a person to fall and get up, searching for the right path if he is lost his way)?

v 5…Why then has this people, Jerusalem, turned away in continual apostasy (why don’t they ever try to repent)? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return.

v 6…I have listened and heard, they have spoken what is not right; (no sorrow for what they have done); no man repent4ed of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done (no longer aware of their sin)?’ Every one turned to his course (did what was right in their own eyes), like a horse charging into battle (swift, unaware of danger).

v 7…Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons (of going and returning in migration); and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush (birds who instictively return in obedience to God’s order, but not Judah) observe the time of their coming (migration); but my people do not know the ordinance of the Lord (Torah).

v 8…How can you say, ‘We are wise (sages), and the law (Torah) is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes (lawyers of Torah-Mark 7.70-their traditions were added as if they were from God, called the “Oral Torah” today) has made it (Torah) into a lie (this why we don’t get yoked with Rabbinic Judaism or Replacement Theology today-2 Cor 6.14-18; Isa 52.11).

v 9…The wise men (chachamim) are put to shame, they are dismayed and caught (their wisdom has not helped them avoid the coming ruin); Behold (take not of), they have rejected the law (Torah) of the Lord (personified in Yeshua-John 1.1, 14; Rev 19.13); and what kind of wisdom do they have (nothing of any value).

v 10…Therefore I will give their wives to others, their fields to new owners (the Babylonians-Jer 6.12-15); because from the least to the greatest every one is greedy for gain (covetous and false deals); from the prophet even to the priest (people who were to have good character) every one practices deceit.

v 11…And they heal the brokenness of the daughter of my people superficially (slightly) by saying, ‘Peace l(shalom), peace (shalom)’; but there is no peace (their deadly wound was being treated as a minor injury).

v 12…Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done (this alludes to the ‘Abomination of Desolation” in the future, or in other words, idols)? They certainly were not ashamed , and they did not know how to blush; therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time of their punishment they will be brought down (the false teachers),” declares the Lord.

v 13…”I will surely snatch them away” declares the Lord (Matt 24.40-41; Jer 6.11); “there will be no grapes on the vine (Israel-Isa 5.2), and no figs on the fig tree (Mark 11.11-13; Luke 21.29-meaning Israel was unfruitful and were going into exile-Micah 7.1-2. Jer 8.13 to 9.22 is the reading for the ninth of Av), and the leaf shall wither; and what I have given them shall pass away (literally “I shall appoint them to those who will overrun them”).”

v 14…Why are we still sitting still? Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities, and let us perish there (which is what was going to happen a result. However, Jeremiah will give the nation hope for their future in Jer 31.15-17), because the Lord our God has doomed us and given us poisoned water to drink (this alludes to the ceremony of the Sotah, the woman suspected of adultery in Num 5.11-31. That is how they have acted, as a spiritual adulterer).

v 15…We waited for peace, but no good came, for a time of healing, but behold, terror (they did not believe the signs)!

v 16…From Dan (in the north) is heard the snorting of his horses (Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon would come from the north); at the sound of the neighing of his stallions (strong ones) the whole land quakes (in fear at their approach); for they come (Babylon, and later Rome, and the False Messiah, the kings of the east, etc) and devour the land and its fulness, the city (Jerusalem was their main target) and its inhabitants).

v 17…For behold, (take note of, see), I am sending serpents against you (an idiom for enemies and Ha Satan-Gen 49.16-18; Isa 14.29, 30.6), adders for which there is no charm (to render them harmless) and they will bite you” declares the Lord.

v 18…My sorrow is beyond healing, my heart is faint within me (Jeremiah’s)!

v 19…Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land (they were carried captive): “Is the Lord not in Zion (to protect it)? Is her king (Yehovah) not within her (to deliver the people?” “Why have they provoked me with their graven images, with foreign idols (this is why they suffer).”

v 20…Harvest is past, summer is ended, and we are not saved (grace and mercy is gone, time is up).”

v 21…For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken (in grief); I mourn (as if dying); dismay has taken hold of me (astonishment and don’t know what to do).

v 22…Is there no balm (medicinal oil-Jam 5.19) in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored (spiritually this means, “God did have healing available and sent spiritual medicine and spiritual physicians, the prophets, who tried to heal them but it was rejected, so healing could not proceed)?

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 7

Jer 7.1-34 is a call to repentance by Yehovah through Jeremiah. He rebukes them for their confidence in the Temple and tells them they will be destroyed. However, if they repent God will allow them to stay in the land. False Prophets have been telling them the opposite of what Jeremiah and others were saying. They said God would never destroy Judah because his Temple was there. Jeremiah is told to refute these false prophecies.

v 1…The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying (he would be threatened for this prophecy-Jer 26.2),

v 2…Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house (probably the southern gate of the Temple as the people came up to worship-Jer 19.1-15. Eli’s sons sinned in the gate to the Mishkan, and God destroyed Shiloh. Now Jeremiah stands in the gate communicating this message. This prophecy will also allude to Yeshua’s generation also) and proclaim (publish) there this word and say, “Hear the word of the Lord (Yehovah) all you Judah who enter by these gates to worship the Lord!”

v 3…Thus says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot-usually when this is used Yehovah is talking from a military position of power), the God of Israel, “Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place (the land, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount).

v 4…Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord (said three times to show extra emphasis on the fact that they believed Jerusalem won’t be destroyed because the sanctuary is there, God’s throne).’

v 5…For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor (live according to the Torah-Luke 6.31),

v 6…If you do not oppress the alien, the orphan or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place (Judah and Jerusalem), nor walk (follow) after other gods to your own ruin (provoking Yehovah to anger),

v 7…Then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.

v 8…Behold (take note),you are trusting in deceptive words to no avail (the words of the false prophets and teachers which brought only problems).

v 9…Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and sear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal, and walk (follow) after other gods that you have not known (and never proved themselves as real),

v 10…Then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’-that you may do all these abominations (they thought Jeremiah was being extreme and their actions would have no consequences)?

v 11….Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight (was it built to be a meeting place of thieves; later in Herod’s Temple, Yeshua would drive out the moneychangers in the Royal Stoa right above where Jeremiah is standing in these passages)? Behold, I, even I, have seen it (that the Temple is a den of robbers).

v 12…But go now to my place which was in Shilah (the Mishkan was there-Deut 12.11; Josh 18.1), where I made my name dwell at the first (Yehovah calls them to remember Eli’s sons; they got out of hand and were immoral. They ate meat meant for the people and God, did whatever they wanted to do, just like the people of Judah. The people think they can’t be defeated in battle either. The Mishkan was at Shiloh and the ark was brought to a battle, but the ark was taken by the Philistines and Shiloh was destroyed), and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel (1 Sam 4.1-6).

v 13…And now, because you have done all these things” declare the Lord, “and I spoke to you, rising up early (diligent) and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer (stubborn),

v 14…Therefore, I will do to the house (Temple) which is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers as I did to Shiloh.

v 15…And I cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim (Israel or the ten tribes).

v 16…As for you (Jeremiah), do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me; for I do not hear you.

v 17…Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem (this would convince Jeremiah because he saw it too).

v 18…The children gather wood and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes (a round disk like the moon; the whole family was involved in idol worship-Jer 44.17-19) for the queen of heaven (corresponds to the Babylonian and Assyrian false gods of the moon. Nimrod dies and his wife was Semiramis, the prototype of all female deities in the Babylonian Mystery religions. They have a son named Tammuz-Ezek 8.14. In other cultures the “queen of heaven” was seen as Asherah, Diana, Minerva, Athena, Artemis, Venus, Aphrodite and Juno for instance. The “mother” or “mother and child” motif was seen everywhere and this theme carries over into Catholicism where Mary is called the “queen of heaven” and is often pictured as holding her son “Jesus.” We believe that a statue of “Mary” will be alongside of the Abomination of Desolation in the Temple, which we believe is a crucifix. The so-called “apparitions of Mary” are setting this scenario up. When people read about idols in the Catholic Church they get upset at the Catholics and things get out of perspective. Paganism is present everywhere in the world, it is across the board. The idea is to identify it, deal with it and get it out of our lives) and they pour out libations to other gods (not just to the queen of heaven) in order to spite me.

v 19…Do they spite me?” declares the Lord, “Is it not themselves they spite, to their own shame (because the consequences are going to fall on their head).”

v 20…Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, my anger (Hebrew here is “aphi” meaning “my nose” because when one gets angry their nostrils flare) and my wrath will be poured out on this place (Judah, Jerusalem, Temple), on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.”

v 21…Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh (normally you did not eat the Korban Olah but he disregarded their offerings anyway so, go ahead and eat them, too, it doesn’t matter now. It will be the only advantage they when they make their offerings).

v 22…For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices (not in the Ten Commandments of Sinai).

v 23…But this is what I commanded them saying, ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God; and you will be my people; and you will walk (follow) in all the way which I commanded you, that it may be well with you.’

v 24…”Yet they did not obey (the Torah) or incline their ear (hear and obey), but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward (in a spiritual sense-Ezek 1.14; Heb 10.38. Spiritual movement in spiritual space was not related to measurable distances as in physical movement. “Near” means “similar to” and “far” means “different of opposite”).

v 25…Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day (the First Temple period), I have sent you all my servants the prophets, daily rising early and sending them (meaning he had a diligent and watchful care over them-Luke 11.49; Matt 20.1; Luke 13.6-9; Matt 21.35; Jer 25.4, 44.4).

v 26…Yet they they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their necks, they did evil more than their fathers (each generation got worse than the previous one).

v 27…And you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you (Jeremiah won’t be listened to either); and you shall call to them, but they will not answer you.

v 28…And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God or accept correction; truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth (mouth is used and not “heart” because they make a profession with their mouth to be devoted to God, but they were lying).

v 29…Cut off your hair and cast it away (hair was seen as a crown in the Nazarite Vow in Num 6.5. It is also called the “consecration” in Num 6.7. The long hair of the daughter of Jerusalem was seen as a virgin consecrated to Yehovah. Cutting her hair off is alluding to the loss of her consecration to the Lord as in the Nazarite who cuts off their hair), take up a lamentation on the bare heights (where their idolatry would often take place); for the Lord (Yehovah) has rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath (that sinful generation that provoked him; they will be given up into the hands of their enemies).

v 30…For the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in my sight,” declares the Lord, “they have set their detestable things (idols) in the house (Temple which is called by my name to defile it (like the Asherah by Manasseh and the altars he had set up in the Temple-2 Kings 21.5-7).

v 31…And (in addition to the desecration of the Temple) they have built the high places in Tophet (to Moloch and Baal), which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom (where the word “Gehenna” comes from), to burn their sons and daughters in the fire (this is the place of future judgment0Joel 3.12, Isa 66.24; Matt 25.31-46; Luke 17.34-36; Rev 14.14-20; Ezek 34.17; Jer 19.1-15. The name “Tophet” means a ‘spitting out” and an object of disgust. The word is used because of the worship there), which I did not command them and it did not come into my mind.

v 32…Therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no more be called Tophet (in the time of Jeremiah and in the First Century, and later at the end of the birth-pains) or the valley of the son of Himmon (Ben Hinnom or “Gei Hinnom” where we get Gehenna) but the valley of the Slaughter (and a picture of “hell”-Jer 19.6), for they will bury in Tophet (Isa 66.24; Joel 3.12-14; Isa 30.33; Matt 25.31-46 on future Yom Ha Din Yom Kippur) because there is no other place (to put them because there will be so many slain).

v 33…And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky, and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away (this is an idiom for a “great slaughter” and the name of an eschatological meal called the “feast of Leviathan” where the unrighteous are killed and their dead bodies will be for food for the animals and birds-Ezek 29.1-7, 32.1-8; Luke 17.37; Matt 24.28; Rev 19.17; Job 41.4; Rev 14.14-20; Isa 66.24).

v 34…Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin (devastation will be all over Judah, not just Jerusalem. No expressions of joy will be seen and the land will be desolate with no people in it).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 6

Jer 6.1-30 continues on the same theme of the previous chapters. The destruction of Jerusalem because of the wrath of God is discussed, along with the sins of the priests and prophets that were the cause of it.

v 1…”Flee for safety, O sons of Benjamin, is from the midst of Jerusalem (and go south, the enemy is coming from the north; this also alludes to Yeshua’s instructions in Matt 24.16 before the second destruction of the city)! Blow a trumpet in Tekoa (twelve miles south of Jerusalem) and raise a signal over Beth-haccerem (also south of Jerusalem, meaning “house of the vineyard”-Isa 5.1-6); for evil looks down from the north (the direction that Babylon will come), a great destruction.

v 2…The comely and dainty one, the daughter of Zion, I will cut off (God sees his bride this way).

v 3…Shepherds (Babylonian kings and rulers) and their flocks (their armies) will come to her. They will pitch their tents around her (a siege wall), they will pasture each in his place (Nebuchadnezzar will tell each soldier where to be).

v 4…Prepare war against her (get ready for a siege); arise, and let us attack at noon (not the best time to do it but they were eager, confident and bold). Woe to us, for the day declines, for the shadows of the evening lengthen (night keeps them from their preparations; they were eager to get to work)!

v 5…Arise and let us attack by night (in spite of the darkness) and destroy her palaces (fortified towers).

v 6…For thus says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah is over all the armies there), “Cut down her trees (for siege works) and cast up a siege (mound or ramp) against Jerusalem; this is the city to be punished, in whose midst there is only oppression (violence).

v 7…As a well keeps its waters fresh (water gushes out continually) so she keeps fresh her wickedness (evil gushes out continually). Violence and destruction are heard in her (she is given over to these and the oppressed raise their voices); sickness and wounds are ever before me (Yehovah witnesses their acts of violence).

v 8…Be warned, O Jerusalem (be corrected), lest I be alienated from you, lest I make you a desolation, a land not inhabited (my word cast you off and the Shekinah departs).”

v 9…Thus says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot), “They will thoroughly glean as the vine the remnant of Israel (Babylon will carry away the tribes of Judah and Benjamin); pass your hand again like a grape gatherer over the branches (go back over and over again to get all the people, no one is to be missed).”

v 10…To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are closed (uncircumcised, unfruitful-Jer 4.4; Hos 10.12; Lev 2.7, 19.23) and they cannot listen. Behold the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them; they have no delight in it (they mocked it and said it did not apply to them).

v 11…But I (Jeremiah) am full of the wrath of of the Lord; I am weary with holding it in (he tried to keep it in and was unwilling to declare to the people the justice that was coming but he couldn’t do it. “Pour it out on the children in the street, and on the gathering of young men together (for conversation; interrupt them), for both husband and wife shall be taken (captive), the aged (those getting older) and the very old (full of days).

v 12…”And their houses shall be turned over to others (as spoils of war), and their fields and their wives together (don’t put your affection on things that will eventually be turned over-Deut 28.30); for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land,” says the Lord.

v 13…For from the least of them even to the greatest of them (all classes of people), everyone is greedy (covetous) of gain, and from the prophet even to the priest (the leaders and teachers) everyone deals falsely (in false doctrines and lies) .

v 14…And they have healed the wound of my people slightly (in a superficial way( saying, “Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace (Yehovah’s leaders were not watchmen and ignored this trust for personal gain. They did not expose evil, wickedness and idolatry and let those things become lethal).

v 15…Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done (No)? They were not even ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall (have their portion among them); at the time I punish them. They shall be cast down,’ says the Lord (Yehovah).

v 16…Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths (Torah foundations); where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls (Yeshua said the same thing about the Torah-Matt 11.28-29). But they said, ‘We will not walk in it (as seen by their actions; this is what Judaism, Christianity and Messianic Judaism have said).’

v 17…And I set watchmen (the prophets-Ezek 33.1-6) over you saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet (that destruction is coming)!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’

v 18…Therefore hear, O nations (as a witness) and know, O congregation (of the righteous) what is among them.

v 19…Hear, O earth (as a witness); behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their plans (their thoughts were evil-Prov 23.7) because they have not listened to my words, and as for my law (Torah), they have rejected it also.

v 20…For what purpose does frankincense come to me from Sheba (the ingredients came from there; it symbolizes hypocritical outward religious ritual and they also bowed to Baal and Asherah), and the sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, and your sacrifices are not pleasing to me (their hearts were wrong and in the wrong place. Going through ceremonies does not matter, its what you put into them that counts-Matt 23.23; Isa 1.13; Amos 5.21).”

v 21…Therefore, thus says the Lord, “Behold I am laying stumbling blocks before this people (devises of the enemy). And they will stumble against them (because they have no light of the word of God-Psa 119.105), fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend will perish (because all the people are guilty).”

v 22…Thus says the Lord, “Behold (see for yourself, take note of), a people is coming land (Babylon, the stumbling block of v 22), and a great nation will be aroused from the remote parts of the earth.

v 23…They seize the bow and spear (offensive weapons); they are cruel and have no mercy (no pity); their voice roars like the sea (there are so many you can hear them coming), and the ride on horses (not common in Judah), arrayed as a man for battle against you, O daughter of Zion!”

v 24…We have heard the report of it (the rumor of it); our hands are limp (with no strength because they are determined to destroy Judah). Anguish has seized us (on hearing the news that Babylonn was on the way), pain as a woman in childbirth (fear).

v 25…Do not go out into the field, and do not walk on the road (to go out of the city to the north because the enemy is everywhere and they might be killed), for the enemy has a sword, terror is on every side.

v 26…O daughter of my people (in Jerusalem), put on sackcloth and roll in ashes; mourn as for an only son, a lamentation most bitter (express grief). For suddenly the destroyer (Babylon) will come upon us).

v 27…I have made you an assayer (an evaluator) and tester among my people (Jeremiah is a trier of metals as he evaluates the people), that you may know and assay their way.”

v 28…All of them are stubbornly rebellious (Yehovah knew it, now the nations and the earth will know it), going about as a talebearer (against you and what you have said). They are bronze and iron (not gold and silver, they have degenerated); they, all of them, are corrupt (as a base metal that is used to corrupt gold and silver).

v 29…The bellows blow fiercely (to purify them by the Ruach), the lead is consumed by the fire (severe chastisement); in vain (to no purpose) the refining goes on, but the wicked are not separated (the dross of their iniquity is not purged; all effort was ineffectual)/

v 30…They call them rejected silver (silver is the metal of redemption, and they professed to be believers and be redeemed), because the Lord has rejected them (but they were not believers or redeemed-Matt 7.21-23).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 5

Jer 5.1-31 continues with the theme of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Babylonians and what caused it. The sins and corruption of the people were so common that a search for a just and faithful man was unfruitful, leading to destruction.

v 1…”Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and look now, and take note. And seek in her open squares, if you can find a man (4.25), if there is one who does justice, who seeks truth, then I will pardon her (Jerusalem).

v 2…And although they say, ‘As the Lord lives’ (common form of an oath), surely (nevertheless) they swear falsely (not sincere).

v 3…O Lord (Yehovah), do not thine eyes look for truth (Hebrew “emunah” and the word for faith-Luke 18.8)? Thou hast smitten them (with one calamity after another), but they did not weaken (remained stiff-necked); thou hast consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refued to repent (to do teshuvah or turn).

v 4…Then I said, “They are only poor, they are foolish (uneducated in Torah); for they do not know the way of the Lord (in the Torah because they were too busy trying to make a living) or the ordinance (“mishpat” or judgments) of their God.”

v 5…”I will go to the great (leaders) and will speak to them (the educated in the Torah) for they know the way of the Lord (the Torah), and the ordinance (mishpat) of God.” But they too, with one accord, have broken the yoke and burst the bonds (of the commandments).”

v 6…Therefore a lion from the forest shall slay them, a wolf of the deserts shall destroy them, a leopard is watching their cities (the lion, wolf and leopard shows the characteristics of the Babylonians). Every one who goes out of them shall be torn to pieces, because their transgressions are many, their apostasies are numerous (the root cause).

v 7…”Why should I pardon you(it would be inconsistent with me)? Your sons have forsaken me and sworn by those who are not gods (trusted in idols). When I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery (spiritual) and trooped (root is “gad” in Hebrew meaning a throng) to the harlot’s house (false temples).

v 8…They are well-fed lusty horses, each one neighing after his neighbor’s wife (a chronic behavior).

v 9…Shall I not punish these things,” declares the Lord, “and on a nation such as this shall I not avenge myself (how could Yehovah not withhold his anger)?”

v 10…”Go up (he says to the Babylonians) through her vine rows and destroy, but not execute a complete destruction (this attack will cause some to repent); strip away her branches (unbelieving branches to burn), for they are not the Lord’s (pruning the unhealthy growth-Rom 11.17).

v 11…For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt treacherously with me,” declares the Lord (the reason for the attack-some of the ten tribes were in Judah).

v 12…”They have lied about the Lord (denied him, thinking what was happening was just chance and were just the natural order of things) and said, “Not he (who has spoken); misfortune will not come upon us (his hand was not in the events); and we will not see sword or famine (war and its consequences).

v 13…And the prophets (of Yehovah) are as wind (no purpose, all their threats were meaningless) and the word (true prophecy from God) is not in them. Thus it (the evil) will be done to them (they thought the evil that the true prophets were prophesying about would come on their own heads, but they are wrong)!”

v 14…Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts (armies including the Babylonians), “Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth (Jeremiah) fire (judgment) and this people wood, and it will consume them (as fire does to dry wood).

v 15…”Behold (see for yourself, take note), I am bringing a nation against you from afar (historically Babylon, but eschatologically the kings of the east), O house of Israel,” declares the Lord. “It is an enduring nation (lasting), it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say (1 Cor 14.22 says that tongues are a sign to those who do not believe, but what does that mean? It is clear that Yehovah has spoken plainly through the prophets to Israel, Judah and to us. even a child could understand what the prophets like Jeremiah said. Yet, they were obstinate and stupid and didn’t listen. So, God used another method. He would speak to the people through the Babylonians (later the Persians, Greeks, Romans, etc. The foreign tongues of the Babylonians would finally get the attention of the people and that they were being punished for their sins. This would be the one sign they would finally believe, and would know that what Jeremiah and the prophets were saying was the truth all along, but it was too late).

v 16…Their quiver (of the Babylonians) is like an open grave (very accurate and will deal mortal blows), all of them are mighty men (strong warriors).

v 17…And they will devour your harvest and your food (a great army needs food); they will devour your sons and your daughters (eat the food meant for them); they will devour your flocks and your herds; they will devour your vines and your fig trees; they will demolish with the sword your fortified cities in which you trust (for their protection; in a spiritual sense, “Babylon” and its false teachings will rob us of our spiritual food also).

v 18…Yet even in those days (“B’yamim” and an eschatological term for when the Messiah comes. This has a historical application here, but these verses can be applied to the birth-pains. Yehovah will not destroy Israel),” declares the Lord, “I will not make you a complete destruction.

v 19…And it shall come about when they shall say, ‘Why has the Lord (Yehovah) our God (notice he is their God) done all these things to us?’ Then you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours (this is an example of “midah kneged midah” or “measure for measure.” The penalty corresponds to the sin. They wanted the idols of Babylon, to Babylon they would go).’

v 20…”Declare this in the house of Jacob (here is a concept, when “Jacob” is used it alludes to the flesh; when “Israel” is used it alludes to the spiritual) and proclaim (publish) it in Judah, saying (for the benefit of the whole nation),

v 21…’Hear this, O foolish and senseless (without the heart of understanding) people, who have eyes, but see not (spiritually); who have ears, but hear not (spiritually).

v 22…Do you not fear me?’ declares the Lord, ‘Do you not tremble in my presence (be in awe)? For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea (his power keeps the sea within its barriers; in the same way, restless humanity can only go where God says to go), and eternal decree, so it can not cross over it. Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.

v 23…But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart, they have turned aside and departed (revolted).

v 24…They do not say in their heart, “Let us now fear the Lord our God (Yehovah Eloheynu), who gives rain in its season (a blessing because you don’t want rain out of season), both the autumn (former) rain and the spring (latter) rain, who keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest (the seven weeks between Bikurim and Shavuot-Exo 23.16, 34.22; Deut 16.9-very little rain fell so they could harvest).”

v 25…Your iniquities have turned these away (the rains) and your sins have withheld good from you.

v 26…For wicked men (rashim) are found among my people (so many it was difficult to find a righteous man-Jer 5.1, they watch like fowlers lying in wait (looking for victims); they set a trap, they catch men (to rob them, like Jezebel did to Naboth in 1 Kings 21.9-10).

v 27…Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit (full of their ill-gotten gains and fraud); therefore they have become great and rich.

v 28…They are fat, they are sleek (lazy), they also excel in deeds of wickedness (over and above the normal levels of greed), they do not plead the cause (of right and justice), the cause of the orphan, that they may prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the poor.

v 29…Shall I not punish these?’ declares the Lord, ‘On a nation such as this shall I not avenge myself?’

v 30…”An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land;

v 31…The prophets prophesy falsely (lies), and the priests rule on their authority (willingly follow the false prophets-it’s the same today); and my people love it so (willingly follow them)! But what will you do at the end of it (when they are taken into captivity; how are they going to like that)?”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 4

Jer 4.1-31 begins with several pleas for Israel and Judah to return to Yehovah and put away their idolatry as promised in the last few verses in Chapter 3. They were to break up their hard hearts, but judgment was coming, and it would affect everyone, and Jeremiah is anguished over the thought of it. He knows God’s power and it will be a sure thing, with no escape.

v 1…”If you will return (by teshuvah or repentance), O Israel (he had both kingdoms in mind),” declares the Lord (Hos 6.1-3, 14.1), “then you shall return to me. And if you will put away your detestable things from my presence (the idols, etc), and will not waver,

v 2…and you will swear, “As the Lord lives,’ in truth (sincere), in justice (judgment), and in righteousness (as defined by the Torah); then the nations will bless themselves in him, and in him will glory (when they see the spiritual blessings available in the one, true God they will convert to Yehovah-Psa 102.13-15; Rom 11.12-15).”

v 3…For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah (and Benjamin) and to Jerusalem (the inhabitants), “Break up your fallow ground (unfruitful hearts), and do not sow among the thorns.

v 4…Circumcise (listen-Jer 6.10) yourselves to the Lord and remove the foreskins of your heart (another way of saying this is “He who has an ear, let him hear”), men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest my wrath go forth as fire and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds (reform your life and be fruitful through repentance, or judgment is waiting to burn up the chaff).”

v 5…Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say (Jeremiah sees an army coming), “Blow a trumpet (shofar) in the land; cry loud and say, ‘Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities (fortresses that were strong).’

v 6…”Lift up a standard (“nissi” and a type of the Messiah) toward Zion! Seek refuge, do not stand still (look to Yehovah/Messiah, do not delay), for I am bringing evil from the north (the direction of judgment in Hebrew thought, and in this case, Babylon), and a great destruction (remember, Jeremiah is a seventh century prophet and it teaches about the last three and a half years of the birth-pains. The armies of Babylon allude to the kings of the east, but they also allude to the Lord because they must surrender to Babylon in order to live, and people will need to surrender to Yehovah to live in the birth-pains, too).

v 7…A lion (Nebuchadnezzar) has gone from his thicket (Babylon-Dan 7.4), and a destroyer of nations has set out (he conquered everyone, a picture of the kings of the east-Rev 16.12); he has gone out from his place to make your land a waste. Your cities will be ruins without inhabitant (destroyed by war).

v 8…For this (calamity), put on sackcloth (in mourning), lament and wail; for the fierce anger of the Lord has not turned back from us (even in repentance it was too late to prevent judgment).

v 9…And it shall come about in that day (this is the first reference to the Day of the Lord), declares the Lord, that the heart of the king and the heart of the princes will fail (when they try to devise a way to stop Babylon); and the priests will be appalled (amazed at what has happened), and the prophets will be astounded (these same people sat in haughty judgment of Jeremiah and said his prophecies of judgment were false, but now they are finding out different).”

v 10…Then I said, “Aha, Lord (Adonai) God (Yehovah), surely (truly) thou hast utterly deceived (allowed them to follow false prophets and their own ways of self-deceit) this people and Jerusalem saying, ‘You will have peace (the common prophecy of the false prophets), whereas a sword touches the throat (at the door to take away life).”

v 11…In that time (when Babylon comes) it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A scorching wind (in this case Babylon-Hos 13.15 speaks of Assyria) from the bare heights in the wilderness in the direction of the daughter of my people-not to winnow, and not to cleanse,

v 12…a wind too strong for this (too violent for winnowing) will come at my command; now I will also pronounce judgments against them .

v 13…Behold (take note of, see for yourself), he (Nebuchadnezzar, the kings of the east) goes up like clouds (sand and dust storm clouds), and his chariots like the whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles (in bringing destruction). Woe to us, for we are ruined (devastated, too late)!”

v 14…Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem (inhabitants need a deeper cleaning, not just outward), that you may be saved (not from Babylon, but from eternal destruction). How long will your wicked thoughts lodge with you (with hopes of safety through foreign alliances)?

v 15…For a voice declares from Dan, and proclaims wickedness from Mount Ephraim (from the north reports of Babylon’s movements and approach come).

v 16…Report it to the nations (foreigners are called as witnesses), now! Proclaim (publish) over Jerusalem, besiegers come from a far country (Babylonian army), and lift their voices against the cities of Judah (about what is coming).

v 17…’Like watchmen of a field (shepherds) they are against her round about (observing Judah and Jerusalem like shepherds in a field), because she has rebelled against me,’ declares the Lord (Yehovah).

v 18…”Your ways and your deeds have brought these things to you. This is your evil (your fault). How bitter! How it has touched your heart (inflicting pain)!”

v 19…My soul (bowels and the seat of deep feelings; Jeremiah takes on the language of Judah about to be seized), my soul! I am in anguish! Oh my heart (here you see that soul, bowels and heart are synonymous terms. Jeremiah is expressing his misery over the approaching siege of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah) is pounding in me; I cannot be silent (he knows what’s coming and he is agitated), because you (his soul) have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet (a ram’s horn shofar), the alarm (teruah) of war.

v 20…Disaster on disaster is proclaimed (published), for the whole land is devastated; suddenly my tents (Israel was meant to be a nation “passing through” this world) are devastated, my curtains in an instant.

v 21…How long must I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet (of war)?

v 22…For my people are foolish, they know me not; they are stupid children, and they have no understanding. They are shrewd and do evil, but to do good they do not know (they didn’t know the Scriptures; they couldn’t tell when a man comes forth and says, “Thus says the Lord” that it didn’t come from the Lord. They didn’t know what God said or meant in the Torah).

v 23…I looked on the earth (land of Judah) and behold, it was formless and void (this is ater the destruction and very similar to the book of Lamentations. This will also be the nature of the birth-pains. The land was emptied of the population); and to the heavens, and they had no light (the sun, moon and stars were darkened by the smoke of the massive destruction; dismal and gloomy).

v 24…I looked on the mountains and behold, they were quaking (at Yehovah’s presence and displeasure), and the hills moved to and fro).

v 25…I looked and beheld there was no man (Hebrew “adam” or human being-they had fled or were hiding), and all the birds of the heavens had fled (in terror).

v 26…I looked and behold, the fruitful land (Carmel) was a wilderness (Carmel was usually fruitful and located in the north near Megiddo) and all its cities (a place guarded by a watch) were pulled down (by Babylon) before the Lord, before his fierce anger (who appointed that this be done to them).

v 27…For thus says the Lord, “The whole land shall be a desolation, yet I will not execute a complete destruction (there was “chessed” or grace in the midst of this judgment because he will preserve a remnant).

v 28…”For this land will mourn, and the heavens above be dark, because I have spoken, I have purposed (it to be so), and I will not change my mind, nor will I turn from it.”

v 29…At the sound of the horseman and bowman every city flees (to escape the Babylonians); they go into the thickets and climb among the rocks (to hide as the army approached), every city is forsaken, and no man dwells in them.

v 30…And you, O desolate one, what will you do (when destruction comes)? Although you dress in scarlet (like a harlot to captivate her lovers), although you decorate yourself with ornaments of gold, although you enlarge your eyes with paint (like Jezebel-2 Kings 9.30), in vain (no purpose) you make yourself beautiful (in order to be loved and admired); your lovers despise you; they seek your life.

v 31…For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor (first reference to the birth-pains and these verses will allude to them), the anguish as of one giving birth to her first child (when her pains and fears are at the greatest level), the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath (because of her condition), stretching out her hands (in distress), saying, “Ah, woe is me, for I (“my soul”) faint before murderers (helpless before her killers).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 3

Jer 3.1-25 discusses why the land is polluted and that Israel and Judah have been faithless.

v 1…God say, “If a husband divorces his wife, and goes from him, and belongs to another man, will he still return to her (the halakah is Deut 24.1-4 and the answer is “No.”)? Will not that land be completely polluted (by playing fast and loose with these rules)? But you are a harlot with many lovers (not just one); yet you turn to me,” declares the Lord (forsaking the other lovers. He divorces Judah in Jer 3.8 and Isa 50.1. If God did not divorce Israel and Judah why would he need to make a “reneewed” (new) covenant with them-Jer 31.31-33; Heb 8.7-13).

v 2…Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see (where their idolatry was committed); where have you not been violated (in spiritual adultery by joining yourself to idols)? By the roads you have sat for them (like a harlot who goes there to meet lovers) like an Arab in the desert (who waits to attack and rob travelers), and you have polluted a land with your harlotry and with your wickedness.

v 3…Therefore the showers have been withheld (with a fall drought), and there has been no spring rain (their sins were why there was no spiritual blessings-Deut 11.17; Mal 3.10; Amos 4.7; 1 Kings 8.35). Yet you had a harlot’s forehead (obstinate and bold); you refused to be ashamed.

v 4…Have you not just now called to me, “My father, thou art the friend of my youth (trying to win him back)?

v 5…Will he be angry forever? Will he be indignant to the end? Behold, you have spoken and have done evil things, and you have had your way (instead of repentance, they continued in sin and evil, trying to get away with what they could).

v 6…The the Lord (Yehovah) said to me (this begins a new section of prophecy) in the day of Josiah the king (eschatologically, this alludes to the sixth year of the birth-pains and in his time Jeremiah began to prophesy), “Have you seen what faithless Israel did (the northern tribes)? She went up on every high hill (Bamot) and under every green tree (an Asherah), and she was a harlot there (evidently Josiah’s reforms didn’t last. The Bamot and Asherim were everywhere. Judah should have learned from Israel’s mistakes).

v 7…And I thought, ‘After she has done all these things, she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it (the spiritual adultery, breaking the wedding covenant).

v 8…And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away (divorced and carried away by Assyria) and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went as was a harlot also (remember, deut 24.1-4 is the halakah for these verses. In the betrothal stage one is considered married and the relationship can only be dissolved by a divorce. Israel and Judah have not reached the full marriage stage yet. As a result, he can “remarry” Israel and Judah again and that is why there is a renewed or restored covenant-Jer 31.31-34; Ezek 36.24-27).

v 9…And it came about because of the lightness of her harlotry (a light thing, it spread fast), that she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones (mazavot or sacred pillars) and trees (the Asherah and Asherim).

v 10…And yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but rather in deception (the revivals in Josiah’s day only had an outward reform, but not of the heart for the most part. Josiah turned to God but many of the people did not, it was a “show.” As soon as he died they will go right back into idolatry-2 Kings 22 and 23).

v 11…And the Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous that treacherous Judah (because Judah had more light to learn from. They were closer to the Temple and had more righteous kings).

v 12…Go and proclaim these words toward the north (to Assyria where the ten tribes were taken) and say, ‘Return faithless Israel (this was to cause Judah to be jealous),’ declares the Lord (Yehovah); I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,’ declares the Lord; I will not be angry forever.

v 13…Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God and have scattered your favors to the strangers (other gods) under every green tree (the groves where the Asherah was), and you have not obeyed my voice,’ declares the Lord (Yehovah).

v 14…Return (repent), O faithless sons,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I am a master (“baalti”, husband in the covenant with you) to you, and I will take one from a city and two from a family (the few that would be delivered) and bring you to Zion.’

v 15…Then I will give you shepherds (kings, princes, governors-Ezek 37.24) after my own heart (because they knew the Torah and the Scriptures) who will feed you in knowledge and understanding (of the word of God-Heb 4.12, 5.11-14; Ezek 37.24).

v 16…And it shall be in those days (a term for when the Messiah comes in the Messianic Kingdom) when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the Lord , “they shall say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ And it shall not come to mind (to inquire of it-Exo 25.22), nor shall it be made again (can mean “to use” because Yeshua’s presence will overshadow the ark when it is there. It is possible, therefore, people will come to the Temple to see the king not the ark because the real throne of God will be there now).

v 17…At that time (when Messiah comes) they shall call Jerusalem ‘The throne of the Lord (Yehovah)’ and all nations will be gathered to it, for the name of the Lord (Yehovah) in Jerusalem; nor shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart (Jeremiah spoke specifically about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in his prophecies and this was “treason” to the people. They thought God would never destroy Jerusalem. They were smug and complacent. Jeremiah had to combat this illusion in Jer 7.4-15. Shiloh and the ark wasn’t protected because of their sin, and God abandoned Jerusalem and the Temple as well in Jer 12.7, and the city was not infallible or invincible. As a result, Jeremiah is clearly talking about the Messianic Kingdom when Messiah comes in v 17-18).

v 18…In those days (when Messiah comes) the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel (united in Torah observance to Yehovah-Ezek 37.15-28, and they will (future) come together from the land of the north (out of exile) to the land that I gave ytour fathers as an inheritance.

v 19…Then I said, ‘How I would (gladly) set you among my sons (adopting those who rebelled) and give you a pleasant land (Judah-Dan 8.9, 11.16, 11.45; Ezek 20.6), the most beautiful inheritance of the nations (Dan 11.37)!” And I said, “You shall call me, My father, and not turn away from following me (in the Torah).’

v 20…Surely, as a woman treacherously departs from her friend (husband), so you have dealt treacherously with me (spiritually), O house of Israel,” declares the Lord (Yehovah reminds them of what they had been).

v 21…A voice is heard (of repentance) on the bare heights (the scene of their idolatry), the weeping and the supplications of the sons of Israel; because they have perverted their way; they have forgotten the Lord their God (the old paths is what they were lamenting and now they were humbling themselves-Jer 6.16).

v 22…”Return (“shuv” or repent), O faithless (apostate) sons, I will heal your faithlessness (apostasies).” “Behold (see for yourself), we come to thee (obeying your call and invitation); for thou art the Lord (Yehovah) our God (Eloheynu).

v 23…Surely (truly), the hills (the idols there) are a deception (a lie), a tumult (“hamon” or the wild orgies that accompanied idol worship like in Exo 32.18 and Num 25.1-9) on the mountains. Surely (truly), in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel (idolatry was a lie and Yehovah is the true source of salvation).

v 24…But the shameful thing (the idols, Baals and Asherim) has consumed the labor of our fathers (they have not reaped the benefits of all their labors because sin has brought calamity) since our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.

v 25…Let us lie down in our shame and let our humiliation cover us (they are overwhelmed with their iniquities); for we have sinned against the Lord (Yehovah) our God (Eloheynu), we and our fathers (because we have not kept the Torah), since our youth even to this day (many years). And we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God (confession is the first step of teshuvah, or repentance, but this will be shown to be hypocritical).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 2

Jer 2.1-37 tells us that Yehovah reminds Israel of the past and the picture is of a bride who can’t see anything else but love for her husband and would follow him. That’s the way Israel was at first, but now there is a problem and general reproofs and admonitions are given.

v 1…Now the word of the Lord (Yehovah) came to me saying (here is the first sermon of Jeremiah),

v 2…”Go and proclaim in the ears of Yehoichim (and all Israel) saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, I remember concerning you the devotion (kindness) of your youth, the love of your betrothals (“wedded”-The Torah was given at Sinai and it was seen as a betrothal covenant. Betrothal is a marriage and to separate a divorce was required. This day would become the festival of Shavuot and this event was seen as the “first trump” in Jewish eschatology, and Sinai is seen as a “chupah” or wedding canopy over their heads. Rosh Ha Shanah is seen as the full wedding and it is seen as the “last trump.” If they were faithful to the covenant, they lived. If not, Sinai/Torah would crush them. Horeb is another name for Sinai and it means “destruction”-Matt 21.42-44; Mark 11.22-23; Dan 2.34-35. Who is the bride? It is believing Israel. Rom 11 tells us there is one bride, one olive tree and one assembly and the non-Jews are grafted in-Eph 2.11-22), your following after me in the wilderness (they trusted him) through a land not sown (an arid desert).

v 3…Israel was holy (it had a kedusha-Exo 19.6) to Yehovah (set apart, betrothed, married) the first fruits of his harvest (at Shavuot-Lev 23.17). All who ate of it (preyed upon Israel) became guilty; evil came upon them,” declares the Lord.

v 4…Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel (all twelve tribes in a parallelism),

v 5…Thus says the Lord, “What injustice did your fathers find in me; that they went far from me and walked after emptiness (idols) and became empty (as worthless and empty as their idols. Idolatry is the main theme in this book-Jer 2.8-33; Jer 3.2-23 for example)?

v 6…And they did not say, “Where is the Lord who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, who led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought and of deep darkness (“shadow of death”), through a land that no one crossed and where no man dwelt (they made no inquiry about Yehovah after awhile and forgot what he did, living in the land of promise so long)?

v 7…And I brought them into the fruitful land, to eat its fruit and its good things. But you came and defiled my land (by idolatry), and my inheritance you made an abomination (by devoting it to idols).

v 8…The priests did not say, “Where is the Lord?” and those that handle (teach) the law (Torah) did not know me; the rulers (civil rulers) also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that do not profit (these three groups failed to lead properly and it is the same with the leaders of today-2 Pet 2.1. Hezekiah made some reforms as a civil ruler but reaped what his fathers had done, and so did Josiah, until Yehovah said “enough”).

v 9…”Therefore I will yet contend (bring charges) with you,” declares the Lord, “and with your sons’ sons I will contend.

v 10…For cross the coastlands of Kittim (Cyprus, but it is also a name for Rome and Europe in prophecy eventually) and see, and send to Kedar (Arab black tents in Arabia) and observe closely (in other words, go to the farthest borders), and see if there has been such a thing as this (such foolish behavior as they have been showing in their apostasy)!

v 11…Has a nation changed gods (which were worshiped by their enemies), when they were not gods (but imaginary)? But my people have changed their glory (Yehovah) for that which does not profit (empty, worthless idols).

v 12…Be appaled, O heavens (the occupants there) at this, and shudder (be afraid), be very desolate,” declares the Lord (deprived of life-marrow).

v 13… For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters (truth in the Torah-Psa 19.7-11; John 8.6; Jer 17.12; Isa 12.3; John 4.13-14) to hewn for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water (idols have no life; false teaching).

v 14…Is Israel a slave? Or is he a homeborn servant (to be abused like a slave, was that the destiny)? Why has he become a prey (if Israel was not a slave. The answer is in v 15-16 and this has already happened and will continue).

v 15…The young lions (the character of Babylon) have roared at him, they have roared loudly (in triumph). And they have made his land a waste; his cities have been destroyed, without inhabitant (desolate).

v 16…Also the men of Memphis (Noph) and Tahpanhes (two former capitals of Egypt) have shaved the crown of your head (when Pharaoh Necho came against Assyria and Josiah was killed by the Egyptians and Yehoahaz was put in bonds and taken to Egypt-2 Kings 23.29).

v 17…Have you not done this to yourself (by forsaking the Lord and turning to idols), by forsaking the Lord your God, when he led you in the way (the Torah)?

v 18…But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt (which was against the word of Jeremiah in 42.19), to drink the waters of the Nile (by going after their idols)? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates (going after their idols. The sense is, they preferred the waters or gods of the Egyptians and the Assyrians rather than Yehovah’s fountains of living water).

v 19…”Your own wickedness will correct you, and your apostasies will reprove you (it won’t work and it may force them to act wisely). Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God, and the dread of me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts (Adonai Yehovah Tzavaot; they were going to learn the hard way).

v 20…For long ago you broke your yoke, and tore off your bonds (the Torah); but you said, ‘I will not serve!’ For on every green hill and under every green tree you laid down as a harlot (spiritual adultery with idols in various places, like harlots going from one place to another).

v 21…Yet I planted you a choice vine (Isa 5.2-7); a completely faithful seed (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, his sons, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, etc). How then have you turned yourself before me into degenerate shoots of a foreign vine (declined to follow the Torah to outright paganism)?

v 22…Although you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your iniquity id before me” declares the Lord God.

v 23…How can you say, ‘I am not defiled (professing innocence like people today), I have not gone after the Baals (plural meaning the many forms this idolatrous worship took).’ Look at your way in the valley (the Valley of Hinnom or “Tophet” where they sacrificed their children)! Know what you have done (in the valley)! You are a swift young camel (she-camel) entangling (braiding, twisting) her ways (turning back and forth in lust),

v 24…A wild donkey (untamed) accustomed to the wilderness, that sniffs the wind in her passion (to direct her way to her next mate). In the time her heat who can turn her away (out of control)? All who seek her will not become weary (won’t be hard to find), she will find you)’ in her month they will find her (when in the last month of her young she can be easlily found, meaning Israel is so full of idolatry if you want to join in you can be sure to find them doing it).

v 25…Keep your feet from being unshod and your throat from thirst (don’t wear out your sandals and thirsty walking after other gods); but you said, “It is hopeless (desperate)! No! For I have loved strangers (strange gods), and after them I will walk (they won’t relinquish them, they were resigned to their fate, caught in its grips).”

v 26… As the thief is shamed when he is discovered (for getting caught), so the house of Israel is shamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their prists, and their prophets,

v 27…who say to a tree (an Asherah), “You are my father,’ and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ For they have turned their backs to me (in contempt), and not their face (in prayer and worship); but in the time of their trouble they will say, ‘Arise and save us.’

v 28…But where are your gods which you made for yourself? Let him arise, if they can save you in the time of your trouble; for according to the number of your cities are your gods, O Judah (this idolatry was massive and everywhere; Judah is addressed so that they won’t think it is meant only for the northern tribes).

v 29…Why do you contend (argue) with me? You have all transgressed against me,” declares the Lord.

v 30…In vain (no results) I have struck your sons (by various judgments); they accepted no chastening. Your sword has devoured (killed) your prophets (Neh 9.26), like a chastening lion (savage hatred of the idolatrous against the prophets of Yehovah).

v 31…O generation, heed the word of the Lord. Have I been a wilderness to Israel (unable to supply and support you), or a land of thick darkness (misery, poverty)? Why do my people say, “We are free to roam (no yoke of the Torah; lawless, like people say today, “We are free from the Law!”); we will come no more to thee (to worship in Jerusalem and the Temple)’?

v 32…Can a virgin forget her ornaments (not likely), or a bride her attire (no)? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

v 33…How well you prepare your way to seek love (to gain the attention of idolatrous nations and their assistance). Therefore, even the wicked women you have taught your ways (your evil was so bad, you taught the idolaters new tricks).

v 34…Also (not just idolatry) on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor (the people they murdered and sacrificed to Baal and Moloch, like abortion today); you did not find them breaking in (they were not thieves). But in spite of all these things (the idolatry and murder),

v 35…yet you said, “I am innocent (in defiance); surely his anger is turned away from me (shall not come upon me, which parallels v 23).” Behold, I will enter into judgment with you (proceed against you) because you say, “I have not sinned (continued to justify themselves).

v 36…Why do you go around so much changing your way (like a harlot who goes from one lover to the next; seeking the aid of others)? Also, you shall be put to shame by Egypt (they will fail you and be of no help in their alliance. Eschatologically, this alludes to Europe and the False Messiah. Their military treaty of Dan 9 will be of no value when Russia attacks) as you were put to shame by Assyria (2 Chr 28.16-21 with Ahaz).

v 37…From this place also you shall go out (into captivity) with your hands on your heads (in shame); for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust (like Egypt), and you shall not prosper with them (because of them).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 1

Jer 1.1-19 will tell us about the life and times of Jeremiah, his call to be a prophet, and his reluctance to answer that call. Yehovah will not take no for an answer, and we learn of his first lessons in his training.

v 1…The words of Jeremiah (Hebrew “Yiramayahu” meaning Yehovah loosens), the son of Hilkiah of the priests who were in Anathoth (not Hilkiah the high priest in 2 Kings 22.8, but of the priests in Anathoth, of the family of Ithamar. Abiathar was a high priest and had fields in Anathoth in 1 Kings 2.26. Jeremiah was a common priest) in the land of Benjamin.

v 2…to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah (he began then so he prophesied well after Isaiah, Amos and Micah), the son of Amon, the king of Judah in the thirteenth year of his reign (when Josiah was 21; five years later they would find the book the Torah in 2 Kings 22.3).

v 3…It came (the word of Yehovah) also in the days of Yehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the exile of Jerusalem in the fifth month (no mention is made of Yehoahaz because his reign was three months. So Jeremiah prophesied about forty years, until the month of Av when Jerusalem fell).

v 4…Now the word of the Lord (Yehovah) came to me saying (in the thriteenth year of Josiah),

v 5…”Before I formed you (Psa 139.13-16) in the womb I knew you (not just by omniscience, but a special care and affection for him), and before you were born I consecrated you (set you apart): I have appointed you a prophet to the nations (by Yehovah’s decree, before he was even conceived, he had this calling, so it didn’t start in v 2; and this applies to all believers who are called of God-Eph 1.4).”

v 6…Then I said, “Alas, Lord God (Adonai Yehovah)! Behold (see), I do not know how to speak (this throws Jeremiah into a panic, like Moses in Exo 4.10-17 and Isaiah 6.5. Jeremiah thought he was too young), because I am a youth (“inexpererienced”-1Kings 3.7).”

v 7…But the Lord (Yehovah) said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth (inexperienced)’ because everywhere I send you (as a “shaliach” or agent God will tell him what to say, so his “youth” is just an excuse) you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak.”

v 8…”Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the Lord (Yehovah will rescue him from every troublesome encounter).”

v 9…Then the Lord (Yehovah) stretched out his hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me (to consecate him, similar to Isaiah in Isa 6.7, and then he explains what he did), “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth (according to the law of agency-Deut 18.18).

v 10…See, I have appointed you this day (as a prophet and a shaliach, or sent one) over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant (notice that four words are used to describe the “destroying’ and only two words are used to describe the “building.” This is to indicate that his primary role is going to be pronouncing judgment on the nations).

Now we are going to deal with what is called “Midrashic Name Derivations” in Hebrew poetry. This is the use of the same word in a different sense, or words if similar root or sound to produce a similar effect, or in other words “puns” as in Mic 1.10-16 for example, but there are many, many other examples in Scripture.

v 11…And the word of the Lord came to me saying (to confirm his calling), “what do you see Jeremiah?” And I said, “I see a rod of an almond tree (Hebrew “shaked” and the almond tree is called the “hastening/awakening tree” because it is the first fruits of spring. This also alludes to Yeshua’s resurrection as the first fruits of spring and his first coming. Aarons rod was almond and it budded in Num 17.8, also alluding to the resurrection).”

v 12…Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching (Hebrew “shoked”) over my word to perform it (Yehovah is about to hasten or awaken his word of judgment against Judah and the nations. There will be no delay-Psa 147.15).”

v 13…And the word of the Lord came to me a second time saying (in the same vision), “What do you see?” and I said, “I see a boiling pot (with fire under it) and its face is from the face of the north (facing from the north (judgment is brewing from the north).”

v 14…Then the Lord said to me, “Out of the north (Babylon will attack from the north) the evil will break forth on all the inhabitants of the land (even the innocent are going to suffer-Ezek 20.47).”

v 15…”For behold, I am calling all the families of the north (under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar),” declares the Lord; “And each one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its walls round about and against all the cities of Judah (they will pitch their military tents and camp around Jerusalem in safety);

v 16…And I will pronounce my judgments on them concerning all their wickedness (of Israel), whereby they have forsaken me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands (idols made of gold, silver, wood, etc).

v 17…Now, gird your loins (get ready), and arise, and speak to them all which I command you (go from Anathoth to Jerusalem). Do not be dismayed before them (don’t shrink back in fear), lest I dismay you before them (shame him before them).

v 18…Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city (which cannot be taken; believers are seen as a city-Ecc 9.14; Job 30.14; Isa 60.14) and as a pillar of iron and as a wall of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah (several kings), to its princes (chief people and rulers), to its priests (the religious leaders) and to the people of the land (common people; God will protect him against all levels of society who is is sent to confront).

v 19…And they will fight against you (because of what you are going to tell them) but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the Lord (assuring him that he will be Jeremiah’s strength; the lesson for us is this, if you think God called you, make sure it is God and not yourself wanting to be called. That is because when it gets tough, the word God has put in you will keep you on track and the mission will be accomplished).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Introduction

The book of Jeremiah is a very difficult book to interpret so we are going to spend some time doing a proper back-ground on it that gives us some needed information on the type of idolatry Jeremiah was dealing with and bring out many concepts that we need to know when studying the prophets, like the history of the Babylonian period and their conquest and destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. These concepts will also apply to Biblical Eschatology.

In Jewish tradition, the “Former Prophets” include Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. The “Latter Prophets” include Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Then we have the twelve “Minor Prophets” of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

Jeremiah was born around 650 B.C. in Anatoth, and his father was Hilkiah, a priest. He is commissioned to prophesy around 625 B.C. by Yehovah to proclaim that Jerusalem was going to be destroyed by people from the north, although he was called even before he was born. His ministry would last 40 years. Israel and Judah have forsaken Yehovah and the Torah and were worshiping Baal and Moloch, just to name a few of the false gods. They had gone so far away from God that he withdrew his blessings. The nation would suffer famine, foreign invaders, be plundered and taken into captivity to a foreign land.

The prophetess Huldah (2 Kings 22.13-20; 2 Chr 34.22-28) was a relative and lived at the same time as Jeremiah, and he was possibly mentored by Zephaniah the prophe. He was reluctant at first be a prophet, but Yehovah gave Jeremiah the words to say (Jer 1.6-9). He spoke against idolatry, the false priests and prophets and was severely persecuted. Jeremiah was taken to Egypt by Johanan, the successor of the governor Gedaliah (Jer 43.1-13) and he refused to listen to Jeremiah. There Jeremiah probably spent the rest of his life, still trying to turn the people back to Yehovah. There is no biblical account of his death so anything else is just speculation.

The message of Jeremiah is against idolatry and the most powerful nation at that time (Babylon) was coming to destroy the nation. The word of Yehovah was “surrender and live.” If not, and you try to hide behind your defenses and your weapons, you might hold on for awhile, but in the end you will perish.

To understand Jeremiah, we need to know several things. Assyria was declining and Babylon was on the rise. Egypt sides with Assyria against Babylon because Babylon was more powerful and feared the most. Jeremiah will use the term “day of the Lord” over and over again (Jer 30.4-8 for example). This has an eschatological meaning and it will apply to all the Scriptures.

We also will be translating the ancient into the modern as far as prophecy is concerned. Jeremiah has much to say about the birth-pains of the Messiah, the United States, the Kings of the East, the False Messiah and the coming of Yeshua, just to name a few of the concepts we will be looking at.

Since this is the second book of the latter prophets we will be bringing out a massive amount of background information that will help us understand the type of idolatry Jeremiah was dealing with, but other concepts that will help us interpret prophecy in line with Jewish eschatological concepts. We will look at the historical record and then tie that into how it relates to prophecy and eschatology in the birth-pains, or “tribulation.” So, with that said, we will begin our background study of Jeremiah which will also apply to other prophetical books.

Jeremiah is a seventh century prophet who was active under the kings from Josiah to Zedekiah, so he is dealing with the Babylonian period under Nebuchadnezzar, and this teaches the last three and a half years of the birth-pains. Babylon will be a picture of the “Kings of the East. We cannot look at Scripture on just one level, but four. We must see the literal meaning (Peshat), the allegorical level (Remez), the parabolic level (Drash) and the secret and hidden level (Sowd). The eighth century prophets will teach us about the first three and a half years of the birth-pains, where the primary enemy is the Assyrians under Tiglat-pilesar, Sargon II and Sennacherib.

Jeremiah begins to prophesy in 625 B.C. Nabopolasser of Babylon defeats the Assyrians at Ninevah in 612 B.C. Pharaoh Necho of Egypt moved to their aid and Josiah tried to stop him and is killed at Megiddo. The retreating Egyptians took his son Yehoahaz captive and put Josiah’s second son Yehoikim on the throne. He was an evil king and persecuted Jeremiah. He is succeeded by his brother Yehoichin. Nebuchadnezar begins to reign about 605 B.C. and captured Yehoichin at the same time Ezekiel and thousands of others are taken into captivity. He will be declared by Jeremiah as “the servant of Yehovah” just as Cyrus was in Isaiah.

Zedekiah is placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar but he will also rebel against Babylon by siding with Egypt, who was stirring the pot in the Middle East. They felt that they could revolt and throw off the Babylonian “yoke” due to the prophecies of the false prophets who assured them in the name of Yehovah that victory was assured. Jeremiah appears in the streets with a wooden yoke around his neck telling the people that captivity was coming and Babylon would continue to dominate.

There is a particular false prophet called Hananiah who breaks the yoke off of Jeremiah and says this is what the Lord will do to the Babylonians. Jeremiah counters with an iron yoke, an iron yoke that can’t be broken. He sends a letter to the exiles in Babylon telling them to settle in the land of exile, and pray for the cities in which they live. His counsel to Judea and for the most part in Babylon was rejected.

Zedekiah was not only fighting Babylon, but he joins with the Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, Tyre and Sidon against them. An anti-Babylonian coalition was considered “pro-Egyptian” by Babylon. So, Nebuchadnezzar had no choice but to put down this coalition. A letter was found in the Judean stronghold of Lachish about an officer who was following the words of the prophet to “surrender” to the King of Babylon. He is being tried for treason and for weakening the hands of the men on the wall. Although the prophet is not mentioned, many believe it was Jeremiah.

Now we are going to move into a study of the idolatry present that Jeremiah and the other prophets were having to deal with with the people. This will involve the Baalim, the Asherim and the Asherot. After Hezekiah dies, the nation plunges into idolatry, which was worse than the surrounding nations. The Temple was converted into a shrine for pagan rituals, with Asherim (a picture of the coming Abomination of Desolation) being placed in the Temple by Manasseh. He will later repent of his idolatry, but the nation does not and he started something that he could not stop.

Idolatry continues till Josiah, who turns the people back to Yehovah, but Yehovah has already decreed their fall, but not during the life of Josiah. Once he dies at Megiddo, it is downhill from there. In the prophecies of Jeremiah it is a constant battle with idolatry, but it is also a picture of the conditions in the Day of the Lord when pagan idols and idolatry will be everywhere.

So, in the book Jeremiah, what idols are we going to be dealing with? The word “Baal” is singular and “Baalim” is plural. The word “Asherah” is feminine singular and it is used forty times. This would be a statue of the goddess. Manasseh put one in the Temple (2 Kings 21; 2 Chr 33). The word “Asherim” is masculine plural and it is used sixteen times. This would be a tree that had masculine and feminine qualities. A crucifix would be a modern example of this. The word “Asherot” is feminine plural and it is used three times, and this would be feminine statues, etc. Prophetically, this is significant because an Asherim and Asherot could be placed in the holy place by the False Prophet (a crucifix and a statue of “Mary”). There a three good sources for idols that you can study. They are the Encyclopedia Judaica, The Jewish Encyclopedia and Tyndales Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible.

The word “Baal” means owner, master, husband and possessor. This became the name of the great “weather god” of the western Semites which included Israel, the Canaanites, Aram, Ammon, Edom, Moab and the Arabs. The “Baalim” refers to local gods (Judges 2.11, 3.7, 8.33). Baal-berit, Baal-Hermon, Baal-Hazor or in feminine form “Baalot” refers to the great weather god rather than a local deity, as in wind, storms and whirlwinds. A Ugaritic text has much information on this and gives some background for the Scriptures, using terms like “mighty Baal”, “prince”, “lord of the earth” and used in 2 KIngs 1.2 as “Baal-zebub.” Baal-zebub or Baal-zebul is used in Matt 10.25, 12.24; Mark 3.22 and Luke 11.5-8. This god is also called the “cloud rider” and is close to a messianic term “bar nephale” or “son of the clouds” in rabbinical literature and in Dan 7.13; Rev 1.7; Jude 14; 1 Thes 4.13-17; Heb 12.1. Psa 68.4 and Ezek 1.26 describes Yehovah in this way, so what is being applied to Yehovah is also being applied to Baal. We will see a constant battle between Yehovah and the counterfeits in the Scriptures, and Yehovah is presented as the God of nature, but Baal will be presented that way, too.

Baal is also presented as the “son of Dagon” which was the god of the Philistines, and is also considered the “son of El” which was the original god of the pagans. The Greeks called him “Kronos” or “Bul” who fathered him. Now, Zeus equals Baal, Hadad equals Baal, as in “Ben-Hadad” of Syria. Baal lived at Mount Sapan (Hebrew “tzaphon”) in Lebanon. Baal-sapan is the storm god of the Akkadians, and “lord of Mount Hazi” which is Hurrian (northern Mesopotamia) for Mount Sapan. Tzaphon is referred to in Isa 14.13 and it literally means “the height of the fatness of Tzaphon” or “north” where Yehovah’s throne is. The word “tzaphon” in Hebrew should not translate as “north” literally. It is an idiom due to the fact Mount Tzaphon lies to the north of Israel. In paganism, the abode of Baal is Mount Sapan, and in the Bible the abode of Yehovah is in the north (tzaphon). Baal is a counterfeit for what the Scriptures tell us about the true God Yehovah.

The biblical allusions to the Lord’s exploits over the sea reflect older exploits of Baal. Isa 26.1 through 27.13 takes us through the birth-pains. Isa 27.1 deals with Leviathan who is killed in the “sea”, and Leviathan is Baal, and Leviathan is the False Messiah, so the False Messiah is Baal (Encyclopedia Judaica). In Isa 30.7, Egypt is seen in Jewish Eschatology as the domain of the False Messiah, and Rahab equals Europe. The False Messiah is called “Mashiach Shekar” or the lying Messiah, and “Mashiach Nagid” or the anti-Messiah. Yehovah is in battle with the elements, which in paganism Baal represents (Isa 51.9-11; Job 9.13, 26.2, 41.1,34; Psa 89.9-10; Ezek 32,12; Psa 74.13. In Ezek 29.3 the monster or serpent is “tannin” meaning a dragon. In Ezek 32.1-6 Pharaoh is the False Messiah. In Job 38.8-11 Yehovah sets the confines of the sea and Ha Satan.

Mowt is the god of the sea, defeated by Baal and now “Mowt” is under him. In Hebrew, Mowt means “death.” God’s victory over the sea is connected with the Exodus and it is eschatological. The Canaanites and their myths were “borrowed” from these eschatological truths. The triumph of Baal reassured the people through ritual drama of help in the present and the future. The following sentence is the “crux” of the battle between God and Baal, so it is the crux of the battle between God and Satan, “The prize of the victory was kingship over the gods, and the enthronement ritual guaranteed the natural order of life and the welfare of the society, and these motifs are found in Jewish and Christian eschatology.”

The worship of Baal in Israel and Syria is linked to the economy of the land which depends of regular rains and its adequacy. Egypt and Mesopotamia depended on irrigation. The “promised land” drinks rain from heaven. We are instructed to pray for rain “in its due season.” Droughts were a catastrophe so the people who did not believe in Yehovah turned to Baal for rain. Its the same today. People who do not believe in Yehovah turn to other gods.

The basis for the Baal cult was the dependence on rain for life, which were regarded as “Baal’s bounty.” The allure of Baal worship seduced the Israelites even before they reached the promised land. In Num 25.1-3 and Psa 106.28 they made sacrifices to the dead and had sexual orgies. Settlements depended on rain and enhanced this cult and its persuasive influence persisted for centuries as the unrelenting voice of the prophets attest, and their sporadic efforts to reform. That is why this information is needed as we move into Jeremiah and the other prophets.

There was a repulsive aspect to this type of worship. Sexual excesses and perversions are seen in Isa 57.3-10, with references to sexual worship. Hos 13.2 is based on this aspect of Baal worship where it refers to copulation with animals. Nearly all references to Baal’s consort refer to a “violent virgin” Anath with whom Baal copulates, but Scripture does not mention her. However, it does mention Astarte in Judges 2.13, Asherah in Judges 6.25-30, and “under” denotes intercourse. The “mazavot” are sacred pillars or obelisks and a phallic symbol, and related to church steeples as time would go by.

The conflict between Yehovah and Baal reached a climax with Elijah to settle the question of who really supplied rain in 1 Kings 18.1-46. Jehu’s eradication of Baal worshipers did not wipe out bull worship (2 Kings 10.18-31). In Judah, the death of Athaliah and Joash’s coronation did not wipe out the cult. Ahaz fostered it in 2 Chr 28.2 and his son Hezekiah attempted to eliminate it, only to come up short again with his son Manasseh (2 Kings 21.1-3). Then Josiah tried again to eliminate it in 2 Kings 23.4. The people are very much immersed in idolatry even before Jeremiah comes along. If the rains failed it was not because “Mowt” had defeated Baal, it was because Yehovah has given out a punishment because of a faithless and sinful people.

Syncronism is the merging of Baal worship with the true worship of Yehovah. This is what Jeremiah and the prophets spoke about. The “Baalim” were made the symbol of the reproductive power of nature. This worship involved sexual activity. Placed next to the Baalim were corresponding female sexual symbols called Asherah. Their relationship was unbridled sexual sensuality. Eventually, Yehovah was regarded as a Baalim and the chief of them (Hos 2.16-17). In the north this worship was more prevalent due to its agricultural basis, it was green and needed more rain. The south had more wilderness, so Baal worship was more intense in the north. The south had the influence of the Temple, the king and the priests.

Eventually worship was given to Yehovah with rites of the Baalim. They said it was to Yehovah, but they really worshiped the pagan gods (Zeph 1.5). A “high place” was called a “bamah” and next to it was a tree, a pole or an image (or all three) of Asherah (Jer 17.2). Sacred pillars were often nearby and this is where tombstones come from, called a “mazavot.” When we study the Asherah, just how silly, ludicrous and evil all this is will be brought out.

As we move into the Asherah, we must warn you that this material is highly explicit, sensitive and presented to give us an idea of what this worship was like. It is highly sexual in nature. This will help us identify this type of worship today. We are not meaning to be offensive here, but it will give us a better understanding of the book of Jeremiah and the other prophets who dealt with this.

What is an Asherah? She was called Ashtoreth and was a Semitic mother goddess . In Phoenicia she was called Astarte, in Babylon Ishtar, in Arabia Athter, in Rome Venus, the Greeks called her Diana and in Egypt Qudshu or Hathor. She was the consort to Baal. Jeremiah describes a 40 day “weeping for Tammuz” and the modern day “Lent” is tied in with this (Ezek 8.4). She is also called the “Queen of Heaven” in Jer 44, which is a term for the Catholic “Mary” by the way. A ritual associated with her required women to give their hair or chastity in a temple with an Asherah at least one time in their life (Herodotus). It all depended on how “blessed” you wanted to be. In our modern culture there is an annual “day of love” that is connected to “Cupid” the god of lust, or as the Greeks called him, Eros.

Babylon conquered Israel and they were made to participate in this (if they were a province). Judah was a vassal state. From there it went to Cyprus and then found its way to Greece, which corrupted the simple purity of “old” Greek family life. From Sicily it moved into Italy and the Roman Empire, then eventually France, Spain, Europe and Scandinavia. As Rome eventually gave way to Christianity, these customs found their way into the worship of the people, and called it “Christian” (this is what Israel did and was judged for it).

In Babylonia and Assyria there were several shrines to her, and in Iraq there was a shrine to her (called “Nana”). At Ninevah, she was the spouse of Asshur and differed slightly in each culture. Her “birthday” was December 24th and Baal’s was December 25th. Eventually Rome with Mithraism, and Christianity, adopted these same concepts.

The Asherah were wooden poles or an image, sometimes translated as “groves.” An Asherah was any kind of wood or tree, and set up under a living tree sometimes. They were large and could be used for fuel and they were near altars to Baal and Yehovah because they mixed pagan concepts into the worship of God. We will not get into all the sexual connotations to all of this, but a good study of the Asherah and Baal cult will get into some graphic detail.

Qudshu and Hathor are equivalent to Asherah and were also sexual and there are hundreds of examples of all of these. Today, there is nothing new under the sun. People have taken aspects of Baal and Asherah worship into their lives. December 24th and 25th are linked to them, sacred trees are linked to them and many other practices. There are three types of Asherah. First you will have a tree (Deut 16.21), or a tree chopped and trimmed with decorations for idolatry (2 Kings 23.7), or an idol or graven image (Exo 20.4). We are not to have a tree connected to any worship of Yehovah, or even plant them, get one or make one, etc. We are also not to derive any benefit from them (Deut 7.5, 7.26, 12.2). The goddess Artemis is derived from the Asherah and Astarte, the goddess of fertility. Diana combined the breasts with multiple male organs. Jer 10.1-5 describes an Asherah and its decorations.

The “Hathor” wig was omega shaped with a curl on a headset or headrest (seventh century B.C.) It gave the appearance of horns as the head was laid into it. She is called the “cow goddess” like a water buffalo that lived near the Nile River. The tombs found were probably for kings. But, they were found among Judean kings! Why? Because sexuality and fertility were associated with creation and rebirth in the next life. The shape was related to the calf that was made in Exo 32.1-8, and they called it Yehovah (1 Kings 12.25-33). The bull was also the symbol of Pharaoh and Baal. The Egyptians did not like shepherds, they worshiped the bull kings and bulls and cows did not mix with sheep. Yehovah does not mix with Baal either.

Israelite bull worship related to power and fertility. At other times it appears as an attribute of the storm god Baal or as the storm god himself. Israel mixed the pagan worship of Baal and Yehovah which is forbidden (Exo 32.1-5; Zeph 1.12; Rev 3.15-16; 1 Kings 18.1; Josh 24.14-15). Idolatry will be the main problem form the start with Israel (Mic 1.13), and it will be the main message of Jeremiah. Ancient paganism was grotesque, lewd and centered on agriculture, war and life and death.

The belief was that deity was present in the image, so they did not worship the image that represented the god or goddess. Many people say the same thing today, “We don’t worship the image, but the God it represents.” The “spirit” of the god dwelt in the image and transubstantiated into the god it represented.

The “Mazavot” were sacred pillars (mazavah is singular). It means “to stand or setup” and used to describe upright stones to commemorate events or covenants. Yehovah forbids mazavot in idolatry or paganism. The Canaanites revered standing stones The Israelites were commanded to tear them down (Exo 23.24, 34.13).

Getting back to the “bamah” (singular) or “bamot” (plural), they were a site for worship either to Yehovah or Baal, and translated “high place.” Israel worshiped Yehovah at these places and they were allowed to for awhile, but there were also pagan bamot. They could be in an open field, in forests, on mountain tops, a man-made platform or an altar. Beside them there would be an Asherah and a mazavot (obelisk). For example, the Washington Monument is a mazavot. As pagan cities converted to Christianity they turned their temples into churches and they would keep the idols and mazavot, rename them after saints, and “christianize” them. The architecture was copied and this is where a church steeple comes from, which is a mazavah (if singular).

In Jer 44.1-30 we have the “queen of heaven” which is related to Asherah, Astarte, Ishtar, Venus, Diana, Artemis and Europa. The first one was the wife of Nimrod, Semerimus. Tammuz was their son who was killed in winter by a boar (pig). There was a 40 day fast to “weep for him” (Ezek 8.14) to the spring equinox. At the end you would have the “feast of Semerimus” called “Ishtar”. Tammuz is “resurrected” as evidenced by the spring growth. Once the captives returned from Babylon and taught by Ezra, this type of idolatry was never a problem again. Today, these same concepts can be seen in Christianity, with the queen of heaven as Mary. Besides the crucifix, her statue is the second most common one seen.

The Tophet (meaning fireplace or burning) was a high place in the Valley of Hinnom. Child sacrifices were done there and were offered to Baal or Moloch. These were destroyed by Josiah and Jeremiah will say this place will be a place of slaughter. We know exactly where this place is. The Tophet was south of Jerusalem in the Hinnom Valley and it stood for Sheol, the place for the dead. It is mentioned in Isa 66.24; Jer 7.22-34, 19.6-14; Matt 25.31-46; Isa 30.33 and 2 Kings 23.10. Children were made to “pass through the fire” in Jer 7.31-34.

We have not even scratched the surface on the idolatry Jeremiah and the other prophets were dealing with in actuality, but hopefully this will give you an idea of just how evil all of this was and why Yehovah finally put an end to it all with the coming of the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple, and sending the people into captivity. He was saying, “You want idols, well then alright, I am going to send you to a land that is covered with idols.” This was the message of Jeremiah.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Isaiah-Chapter 66

Isa 66.1-24 is a continuation of the previous chapter and the context is the coming of the Messiah and the Kingdom, and it is the Haftorah for Rosh Chodesh. It speaks about a Temple, the return of the exiles, alludes to the Birth-pains of the Messiah, the conversion of the non-Jews to a Torah-based faith in Yeshua, the 144,000 and true worship. It also refers to the fate of those who rebel against Yehovah, Messiah and the Torah.

v 1…Thus says the Lord (Yehovah), “Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool (the Temple-it was built as a house of rest for the Ark, which was moved from place to place until the Temple was built). Where then is a house you could build for me? And where is a place I may rest (the Temple was still standing when this was written, so this was future. Could this be showing God’s displeasure over a rebuilt Temple by man in the last days? Who gave them permission to do it? Where in the Scriptures is this given for anyone to do like in the previous Temples, and the one in Ezekiel? Does Israel “merit” this privilege given its current state of unbelief? That is why the Temple was destroyed to begin with)?

v 2…For my hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. But to this one I look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at my word (exactly what Heb 3-4 says-so far as the unbelieving Jews in the exile was concerned, who had not been humbled by their affliction or the teaching of the prophets, Yehovah did not want a Temple of korbanot from them as we shall soon see).

v 3…But he who kills an ox (a korban) is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb (a korban) is like one who breaks a dog’s neck; he who offers a grain offering (Korban Mincha) is like one who offers swine blood; he who offers incense (at the Altar of Incense) is like one who blesses an idol. As they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations,

v 4…So I will choose their adversity (bring terrors upon them), and I will bring upon them what they dread, because I called (through Isaiah, the prophets, the 144,000, etc), but no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen, and they did evil in my sight, and chose that in which I did not delight.

v 5…Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at his word (to comfort the believing Jews); your brothers (unbelieving Jews) who hate you (this will also apply to the Messiah and his followers also), who exclude you for my name’s sake (because they confess Yehovah), have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy (mocking their faith in Yehovah and the words of the prophets)’ but they will be put to shame (and not partake in the coming redemption).

v 6…A voice of uproar from the city, a voice from the Temple (the throne of Yehovah), the voice of the Lord who is rendering recompense to his enemies (vengeance and a time of deliverance).

We believe that Isa 66.7-9 is a prophecy concerning the birth-pains and the Messiah.

v 7…Before she (Israel) travailed (in birth-pains in 70 A.D.) she brought forth; before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy (Yeshua was born before the birth-pains in 66-73 A.D. and the first Roman war-Rev 12.1-5).

v 8…Who has heard of such a thing (a boy being born before birth-pains)? Who has seen such (amazing) things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once (a whole population brought to the new birth; there is a commentary that says, “There was once a woman who was delivered of 600,000 children in one day” which was Yochaved who gave birth to Moses, and he brought 600,000 out of Egypt in Exo 12.37). As soon as Zion travailed (now it skips to Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001 from creation and the beginning of the birth-pains, or tribulation period, right at the beginning of the Day of the Lord), she also brought forth her sons (the believers in the birth-pains, beginning with the 144,000, the first fruits of the believing remnant as soon as the birth-pains begin-Rev 14.4; 7.3; Mic 5.3).

v 9…”Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord (No). “Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb” says the Lord (No-there will be a new birth, but only by Yehovah-John 1.13)?

v 10…”Be joyful with Jerusalem and rejoice for her, all you who love her; be exceedingly glad with her, all you who mourn over her (who were formerly in distress),

v 11….That you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts (spiritual food), that you may suck (drain) and be delighted with her bountiful bosom (alludes to the milk of the word-1 Pet 2.2; Heb 5.11-14).

v 12…For thus says the Lord, “Behold (see for yourself), I extend peace to her like a river, and the glory (kivod) of the nations like an overflowing stream (the greatest of inward blessings will come along with the greatest of blessings from the outside); and you shall be nursed, you shall be carried over the hip and fondled on the knees (showing tenderness, being supported).

v 13…As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem (now Israel is seen by Isaiah as a man who has escaped captivity and has come home with sad memories).

v 14…Then you shall see and your heart shall be glad (revived), and your bones shall flourish like new grass (bones are like tree branches extending with new life), and the hand of the Lord shall be made known to his servants (be acquainted with), but he shall be indignant toward his enemies (on the contrary).

v 15…For behold, Yehovah will come in fire (purging), and his chariots like the whirlwind (storm wind), to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire (this alludes to the second coming of Yeshua-Zech 14.1-3; Matt 24.27-31; Rev 19.19; Deut 33.2; Hab 3.3-6).

v 16…For Yehovah will execute judgment by fire and by his sword (the word of God-Rev 19.11-15 on all flesh), and those slain by Yehovah will be many

v 17…Those who sanctify (subject themselves) and purify themselves to go to the gardens (65.3), following one (an idol) in the center (in the midst of the garden where the idol was), who eat swine’s flesh (contrary to the Torah), detestable things (Hebrew “sheketz” or abomination) and mice (Lev 11.29z), shall come to an end altogether (cut off)” declares the Lord.

v 18…”For I know their works and their thoughts (unbelievers); the time is coming to gather all nations and all tongues. And they (the non-Jews) shall come and see my glory (kivod-a term for the Messianic Kingdom-Isa 4.5).

v 19…And I will set a sign (Hebrew “owt” written with an aleph, vav and tav. The aleph and the tav is the first and last Hebrew letter in the alphabet, and it means the beginning and the end, and “head of the covenant.” It is a term for Yehovah and the Messiah also. The vav is the number six in Hebrew and stands for man. This word together alludes to Yehovah, the aleph and tav, and the vav (man) together and will be sign for the people as in Isa 7.14, meaning the Messiah is both God and man) among them (the non-Jews), and I will send survivors (of the birth-pains) from them to the nations (Isa 4.1-6, 27.12-13): Tarshish, Put, Lud, Meshech, Rosh, Tubal and Javan, to the ancient coastlands (various parts of the world) that have neither heard my fame nor seen my glory (in the Kingdom), and they will declare my glory among the nations (that Messiah has come).

v 20…And they (the non-Jews) shall bring all your brethren (the believing Jews exiled among the nations-Isa 49.22) from all the nations (and called the “fullness of the nations” or “M’loh Ha Goyim”-Gen 48.19; Rom 25.26) as a grain offering (Zeph 3.10) to the Lord, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules and on camels, to my holy holy mountain Jerusalem” (Temple Mount) says the the Lord, “just as the sons of Israel bring their grain offering (Korban Mincha) in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord (the mincha is the house of Israel, and the vessels are the non-Jews).

v 21…I will also take some of them (the returning Jews from the nations) for priests and Levites (of that descent-Neh 7.64-65; Ezek 44.15-23) says the Lord.

v 22…”For just as the new heavens and the new earth (the final one in Rev 21.1; 2 Pet 3.10-13) which I will make will endure before me” declares the Lord (not like the one in Isa 65.17 which is the one for the Messianic Kingdom and temporary), so your offsrping and your name (Israel) will endure.

v 23…And it shall be from new moon (Rosh Chodesh) to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath (this is future and notice these will be kept, that have not been done away with-Nahum 1.15;Ezek 40 through 48; Zech 14.18; Isa 56.1-8), all mankind Jew and non-Jew-Ezek 46.1-2; Isa 11.10-12; Isa 2.1-4; Mic 4.1-5) will come and bow down before me” says the Lord.

v 24…They they shall go forth and look on the corpses of the men (the goats of Matt 25.31-46, unbelievers) who transgressed against me (by doing away with the Torah, becoming “lawless”), for their worm (an idiom for their conscience because it will gnaw away at them and torment them for all eternity) shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched; and they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind (the place where the corpses will be answers to “Gei Hinnom” or the Valley of Hinnom, where we get the word “Gehenna” from. This place was south of the city where the Hinnom valley swung east from the west side of Jerusalem and meeting the Kidron Valley. It was a picture of “hell” or the Lake of Fire which is the place of future punishment in the eternal state-Jer 19.11-15. It was also called Tophet because a “tophet” was a burial place for the children murdered in Moloch and Baal worship. Idolatry will be judged there-2 Kings 23.10; 2 Chr 28.3, 33.6; Jer 7.31, 19.1-15. Unbelieving Jews were not buried as believing Jews were anciently. The unbelievers were thrown on this pile and burned. This is also called the Valley of Jehoshaphat or “Yehovah judges.” Judgment will fall on those who do not have a Torah-based faith in Yeshua and their bodies will be for the birds and beasts to consume. This is called the “Feast of Leviathan” in Jewish eschatology-Rev 19.21; Ezek 29.1-7, 32.1-8; Isa 14.9-21. This place is associated with Baal in Jer 32.35 and considered ritually unclean by pious Jews. In the first century it was a garbage dump. The place called “Akeldama” in Acts 1.19 is in this valley and it means “field of blood.” The family of Chanan (Annas) and Chaiaphas had a family tomb there. This area was the setting for the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16.19-31).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Isaiah-Chapter 65

Isa 65.1-25 tells us that Israel is seen as if they are a heathen nation, but God will not abandon them. The prophetic context is the second coming of Yeshua and God is going to bring charges against his people because when Yeshua comes it will be during the high holy days of Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur, both considered to be a Yom Ha Din or “Day of Judgment.”

v 1…”I permitted myself to be sought by those who did not ask for me (answers the prayer in 63.15), I permitted myself to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, Here I am, here I am” to a nation (Israel is called “Goy” in Hebrew here, not “Am” because they were acting like the heathen) which did not call on my name (did not invoke his name like a heathen who did not know it).

v 2…I have spread out my hands all day long (to embrace them; he did not leave them alone) to a rebellious people (Israel, he is inviting them), who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts (and ways contrary to the Torah-Judges 21.25).

v 3…A people who continually provoke me to my face (with pagan practices by the exiles and are now brought out, which are different from their fathers), offering sacrifices in gardens (Isa 1.29, 66.7, 57.5) and burning incense on bricks (God’s altars were to be of unhewn stone-Exo 20.25);

v 4…who sit among graves (sacrificing to the dead); and spend the night in secret places (not accessible to everyone); who eat swine’s flesh (a man sacrifice of the pagans-2 Macc 6.2; Prov 14.4; Acts 10.1-28; Isa 65.11, 66.7), and the broth of unclean meat is in their pots (contrary to Lev 11.1-12);

v 5…Who say, “Keep to yourself; do not come near me, for I am holier than you (respect what I am doing or God will be displeased. People who do this think they are actually doing what God sad and are “holy”)!” These are smoke in my nostrils (irritating and in God’s wrath), a fire that burns all the day (not going to be extinguished).

v 6…Behold (see for yourself), it is written before me (their idolatry), I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will even repay into their bossom (he will keep silent when he has repaid them),

v 7…Both their own iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers together (because theirs were a continuation of their father’s sins),” says the Lord (Yehovah). “Because they have burned incense on the mountains, and scorned me on the hills, therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom.”

v 8…Thus says the Lord, “As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is benefit in it (the juice)’, so I will act on behalf of my servants in order not to destroy all of them (in other words, just like a small cluster of grapes is plucked from an otherwise unfruitful tree, a remnant will be preserved in Israel).

v 9…And I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and an heir of my mountains from Judah (the two exiles will have survivors who will take possession of the holy mountains of Israel); even my chosen ones (the elect) will inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

v 10…And Sharon (to the west) shall be a pasture land for flocks, and the valley of Achor (in the east) a resting place for herds (the whole extent of the land will be peaceful and prosperous), for my people who seek me.

v 11…But you who forsake the Lord (for other gods; Ha Satan has tried to mix or sow his word into God’s word, the Torah. But God’s word is the only good seed-Matt 13.1-30; Luke 8.4-15), who forget my holy mountain (Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount; it is called the “mount of assembly” in Isa 14.13 or “Har ha Moghed” where we get “Har Moghedon” or “Armageddon” from in Rev 16.16), who set a table (keep a festival or celebration) for Fortune (Hebrew “Gad”, a semitic deity of fortune. This god is usually mentioned with “Meni” meaning “destiny” or “numberer.” This verse alludes to a “meal of the gods-Jer 7.18; 51.44- held in their honor. The exiles were worshiping these false gods after the customs of the Babylonians) and fill cups with mixed wine for Destiny (“Meni” in Hebrew and just mentioned. Rome moved away from the worship of Jupiter, Juno and Mars to their own version of what is called “Mithraism.” This was a Persian system that was westernized by Rome and became the premier religion by 325 A.D. and Constantine. Mithraism “disappeared” about that time according to some scholars, but it really didn’t disappear. It was absorbed into Replacement Theology Christianity. These deities and their associated names through the years in the pantheon of false gods were worshiped on December 24th and December 25th in paganism. Meni means “numberer” as seen in Dan 5.25 and is associated with “Fate.” Some believe it was a moon deity that went by “Luna”, “Fortuna” and “Tyche” in paganism.

v 12…I will destine you (a play on words in Hebrew) for the sword and all of you shall bow down (submit) to the slaughter because I called you, but you did not answer’ I spoke but you did not hear. And you did evil in my sight, and chose that in which I did not delight (Isa 56.4-8 tells us what he delights in-Torah observance).

v 13…Therefore (as a result), thus says the Lord God (Adonai Yehovah), “Behold (see for yourself), my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry (back in captivity). Behold, my servants shall drink (Isa 62.8), but you shall be thirsty. Behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame (there will be blessings on those who obey the Torah, and curses to those who don’t).

v 14…Behold, my servants shall shout joyfully with a glad heart, but you shall cry out with a heavy heart, and you shall wail with a broken spirit (this caries the same thought as v 13).

v 15…And you will leave your name for a curse to my chosen ones (forsaken, desolate in captivity-Isa 62.4), and the Lord will slay you (by his judgments). But my servants will be called by another name (Isa 62.1-4- “Hephri-bah” or “my delight is in her” and “Beulah” meaning “married.” A marriage has taken place and it uses imagery of the Olam Haba-Rev 20-21).

v 16…Because he who is blessed in the earth shall be blessed by the God of truth (empowered to succeed); and he who swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hidden from my sight!

v 17…For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth (the fact that they have passed as before; the heavens and the earth have changed before-2 Pet 3.10-13; Isa 11.6-10, 54.4; Rev 22.1-3-look for Sukkot themes now); and nthe former things shall not be remembered or come to mind (this is talking about the Atid Lavo, or “coming age” and also the Messianic Kingdom).

v 18…But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing, and her people for gladness.

v 19…I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; and there will no longer be be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying.

v 20…No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days (premature death), or an old man who does not live out his days (not attained his days; died in his youth); for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not (who misses the mark; a sinner) will reach the age of one hundred shall be thought accursed (because he is lost for eternity-there is death in the kingdom).

v 21…And they shall build houses and inhabit them (construction in the kingdom, and they will live peaceably); they shall also plant vineyards (farming in the kingdom) and eat their fruit (not their enemies).

v 22…They shall not build, and another inhabit (dispossessed by an enemy), they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the lifetime of a tree, so shall the days of my people (long lasting, not like the leaf), and my chosen ones (the elect) shall wear out (long enjoy) the work of their hands.

v 23…And they shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity (children will be born in the kingdom from those who survived the birth-pains in their physical bodies); for they are the offspring of those blessed by the Lord, and their descendants with them.

v 24…And it shall also come to pass that before they call (in prayer), I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear (this has not happened yet, this will be like in Gan Eden-John 16.23; 1 Cor 13.9-13; Isa 30.19-21; Num 12.1-9).

v 25…The wolf and the lamb shall graze together (nature will be redeemed also), and the lion will eat straw like the ox (not ferocious anymore), dust shall be the serpent’s food (that has not changed from Gen 3; it will still slither in the dust but will not injure man). They shall do no evil or harm in all my holy mountain,” says the Lord (the “holy mountain” is a term for the Atid Lavod, or Messianic Kingdom, and the Olam Haba, or “world to come”-Dan 2.35).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Isaiah-Chapter 64

Isa 64.1-12 is a continuation of the theme of Isa 63 and Isaiah pleads with Yehovah to intercede against the nations, but he also knows everyone is unclean and sinful. He wants the Lord to show his power like in the days of old. He believes that God’s name will receive glory through the redemption of Israel, but he will also receive glory because of his judgment against Israel’s enemies. In context, this chapter alludes to the second coming of Yeshua in the Messianic redemption so it will contain Yom Kippur terms and concepts.

v 1…O that thou wouldst rend the heavens (there was an outer veil of the Temple that had a panorama of the heavens on it and it was called “The Heavens.” Josephus describes it in Antiquities of the Jews, Book 9, Chapter 10.4. It was the veil that was seen in the courts and the one that was torn in the time of Yeshua in Matt 27.51 and Mark 15.38. The “heavens” were opened at the beginning of his ministry in Mark 1.10 and also at the end of his ministry when he died. It may happen again when Yeshua returns on Yom Kippur. The veil was also torn at the time of Uzziah. The “opening of the heavens” is an idiom meaning that a deeper revelation of Yehovah is coming) and come down (on our enemies), that the mountains might quake at thy presence (Exo 19.18; Deut 33.2).

v 2…As fire kindles the brushwood and fire causes water to boil (an automatic thing)- to make they name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence (it is also automatic for the nations to fear Yehovah when he moves, like with Moses)!

v 3…When thou didst awesome things which we did not expect (at Sinai; the Red Sea; the wilderness, etc), thou didst come down (and rend the heavens), the mountains quaked at thy presence (visibly-Deut 10.21).

v 4…For from old they have not heard nor perceived by ear, neither has the eye seen a God besides thee, who acts in behalf of the one who waits on him (God still does awesome things from generation to generation0Exo 34.10; 1 Cor 2.9).

v 5…Thou dost meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness (as defined in the covenant and Torah), who remembers thee in thy ways (his will). Behold (see for yourself), thou wast angry, for we sinned; we continued in them a long time; and shall we be saved (our hearts were hardened and deliverance seems impossible now)?

v 6…For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds (the good things we do in the flesh) are like a filthy garment ( or menstrual cloth; in entering a covenant garments are exchanged. We need a redeemer with clean garments. Death is associated with menstrual blood and that physical process alludes to man’s expulsion from the womb of creation in Eden); and all of us wither like the leaf (heaped up for destruction), and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away (to death).

v 7…And there is no one who calls on thy name (because we are sinners), who arouses himself to take hold of thee (by faith); for thou hast hidden thy face from us (apart from the power of the Rucah Ha Kodesh; the potter controls the clay), and hast delivered us into the power of our iniquities (into exile).

v 8…But now (things must change), O Lord, thou art our father (even after all we have done-the whole nation can participate in the coming deliverance, like in Egypt in the First redemption), we are the clay, and thou our potter (Rom 9.20- he is not just the sculptor, but a father); all of us are the work of thy hand (he has guided the history of Israel in every detail).

v 9…Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord (the weight becomes unbearable), neither remember iniquity forever (inflict punishment); behold (take note of), look now, all of us are thy people.

v 10…Thy holy cities (Canaan as a whole had a kedusha-Psa 78.54) have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation (the same fate as the rest of the land).

v 11…Our holy and beautiful house (the Temple had a kedusha) where our fathers praised thee, has been burned with fire (this was a prophecy because it had not been burned yet, it was done in the time of Zedekiah and Nebuchadnezzar; but this will apply when Yeshua comes). and all our precious things have become a ruin.

v 12…Wilt thou restrain thyself at thee things, O Lord (hold back from delivering us)? Wilt thou keep silent and afflict us beyond measure (continue to the limit)?

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Isaiah-Chapter 63

Isa 63.1-19 is a prophecy about the coming of the Messiah where he is dressed as a High Priest anointed for war. He has two purposes here, one for atonement for righteous Israel, and for for judgment against adulteress Israel and the nations. The context, then, is a Yom Ha Din Yom Kippur at the second coming of Yeshua.

v 1…Who is this who comes from Edom (“east”-we believe that Yeshua will be coming from Mount Sinai when he returns, then moves north till he arrives in Jerusalem on Yom Kippur-Hos 2.14-23; Hab 3.3-4 in Teman; Hab 3.7-19 in Midian. He comes to Mount Sinai on Rosh Ha Shanah, then Sela or Petra: Isa 42.10-13; Deut 33.2; Judges 5.4-5; Zech 9.14; Hab 3.3-16; Jer 48.40-47, 49.19-22; Zeph 1.7-9, 2.8-11; Hos 13.15; Ezek 25.1-14; Mic 2.12-13; Zech 14.3-5. On Yom Kippur he arrives in Jerusalem: Matt 24.29-31; Isa 27.112-13; Mic 5.4; Joel 2.15-16; Song 8.5. What happens is described in Rev 19.19 and Jer 19.1-5. He arrives in Jerusalem, at the Mount of Olives. The Great Shofar, Shofar Ha Gadol, blows and angels are dispatched to gather the unrighteous in the world who have survived the birth-pains first. Then believers are gathered to a judgment described in Matt 25.31-46 and Luke 17.33. This judgment takes place between Tishri 10 and Tishri 15. There is also an earthquake from the Mount of Olives to Azal, which is about 12 miles away, and people flee from Jerusalem through the valley created. The False Messiah is captured as he flees near Jericho and he is killed, and the bodies of the slain in Jerusalem after the judgment is called the “Feast of Leviathan” due to the birds and beasts feasting on their dead bodies. These are the people who followed the False Messiah or just didn’t believe in the Lord. The righteous rejoice and prepare for the Wedding Supper at Sukkot, beginning Tishri 15), with garments of glowing colors (red clothes) from Bozrah (Isa 34.6-8 meaning “the fold” as in Mic 2.12-13; Song 8.5 calls it the “wilderness.” Bozrah was wine country)? This one who is majestic in his apparel (the High Priest anointed for war), marching (Hab 3.3-16 as he advances on Jerusalem-Rev 14.14-20; Deut 16.13; Joel 3.13; Zech 14.4) in the greatness of his strength? “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save” (the Messiah).

v 2…”Why is your apparel red and your garments like the one who treads in the winepress (red, not the original color-Joel 3.9-21; Rev 14.14-20, 19.16)?”

v 3…”I have trodden the wine press alone (he answers), and from the peoples there was no man with me (the nations are cut off like grapes and put into the wine press of his wrath). I will tread (future tense) them in my wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled on my garments (the phrase here is of a priest who worked among the korbanot in the Temple for seven days) and I will stain all my garments.

v 4…For the day of vengeance (a Yom Kippur and Yovel term-Messiah has come as the avenger of blood, the Goel-Num 35.6-33; Heb 6.18-20) was in my heart (for those who were unbelievers; and my year of redemption (another Yom Kippur and Yovel term for those who believe) has come.

v 5…And I looked, and there was no one to help (salvation and redemption is through Yehovah alone); so my own arm (power, and a term for Messiah; God provides redemption on Yom Kippur) brought salvation to me (to himself, which only he could accomplish); and my wrath upheld me (carried me through on their behalf).

v 6…And I will trod down the peoples in my anger, and make them drunk in my wrath (God’s wrath is like a cup-Rev 14.10), and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth (their strength was drained and destroyed).”

v 7…I (Isaiah speaking as Israel) shall make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, the praises of the Lord (Yehovah-having heard what the Lord is going to do for Israel), according to all that the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he has granted them according to his compassion, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses (and not by works of men, but by his mercy).

v 8…For he (Yehovah) said, “Surely they are my people, sons who will not deal falsely.” So he became their savior.

v 9…In all their affliction he was afflicted (he had compassion for them; he wasn’t their enemy adversary-Hos 5.15), and the angel of his presence (the agent of God, the Messiah, his office being a “Shaliach” or “sent one”) saved them (Exo 23.20); in his love and in his mercy he redeemed them (out of Egypt); and he lifted them and carried them all the days of old (on eagles wings to Canaan-Exo 19.4).

v 10…But they rebelled (Zeph 3.7; Deut 9.7) and grieved the Holy Spirit (Eph 4.30; Acts 7.51); therefore he turned himself to become their enemy (or it looked that way- he fought against them-Lev 26.23-26).

v 11…Then his people remembered the days of mold, of Moses (and asked), ‘Where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock (brought Moses and the people out of the Red Sea)? Where is he who put his Holy Spirit in the midst of him (the Holy Spirit is the Shekinah among Israel-Num 11.17-25, 14.24, 27.18; Deut 34.9)?

v 12…Who caused his glorious arm (power) to go at the right hand of Moses (God’s power with Moses), who divided the waters before them to make for himself an everlasting name (among the nations, they still talk about the crossing of the Red Sea-Josh 2.8-10).

v 13…Who led them through the depths (Hebrew “tehomot” or the very deep, subterranean deep)? Like the horse in the wilderness, they did not stumble (it was very flat and easy).

v 14…As the cattle which go down into the valley (gently and in no hurry), the Spirit of the Lord (Yehovah) gave him (Israel) rest (gently led him to Canaan). So didst thou lead they people (through the sea and the wilderness), to make for thyself a glorious name (among the nations-Deut 4.6-8; Josh 2.8-10).

v 15…Look down from heaven, and see from thy holy (has a kedusha) and glorious habitation (it seems he has withdrawn there because he was once very active in manifesting himself to Israel); where are thy zeal and thy mighty deeds? The stirrings of thy heart and thy compassion are restrained towards me (where is the love and the power for your people that once protected us?).

v 16…For thou art our father (so why are you restrained in your compassion) though Abraham does not know us, and Israel (Jacob) does not recognize us (they were dead and could not help anymore), thou, O Lord (Yehovah), art our father (and therefore could look with fatherly care upon them and help), our redeemer from of old is thy name (Hebrew “goelaynu” and his acts in the past is why they can call on him as father)..

v 17…Why (or “I wonder why”), O Lord, dost thou cause us to stray from thy ways (or let us go our own way), and harden our heart from fearing thee (Israel was obstinate and rejected the grace of God, so God withdraws his presence and mercy and judicially gives them over to their afflictions)? Return for the sake of thy servants (there are still servants to be found), the tribes of thy inheritance (Israel’s divine election by grace cannot perish).

v 18…Thy holy people (has a kedusha) possessed it (the land) for a little while (especially in the time of David and Solomon), our adversaries have trodden down your sanctuary (the lad was his dwelling place and had a kedusha).

v 19…We have become like those over whom thou hast never ruled (the nations who never knew Yehovah), like those who were not called by thy name (or married by covenant to him).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Isaiah-Chapter 62

Isa 62.1-12 is a continuation of the previous chapter and a prophecy of the return of the Shekinah and Israel’s glorious future. There will also be Rosh Ha Shanah concepts.

v 1…For Zion’s sake I (Yehovah through Isaiah) will not keep silent (Heb 112.22), and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet (he is not satisfied yet-Jerusalem is also called “Yerushalayim Shell Zahav” or Jerusalem of Gold, based on the golden crowns brides wore and the color of the walls), until righteousness goes forth like brightness (through the darkness), and her salvation like a torch (Hebrew “lapid” and a term for the Messiah) that is burning (Yeshua will be like a lamp that burns to destroy all evil and darkness-2 Thes 2.8).

v 2…And all the nations will see your righteousness (as defined by the Torah; innocence and justice of the false charges against Israel), and all kings your glory (admiration), and you will be called by a new name (signifying a marriage-Jer 23.5-6, 33.15-16; Isa 4.1; a change of status), which the mouth of the Lord will designate.

v 3…You will also be a crown (a bride wore a crown) of beauty in the land of the Lord (because of what Yehovah has done in regards of her election, redemption and salvation), and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

v 4…It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken” (by your husband), nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”; but you will be called, “My delight is in her” (“hephzibah”-King Hezekiah’s wife’s name-2 Kings 21.1. Hezekiah was seen as a type of the Messiah and this alludes to the bride of Messiah), and your land, “Married” (“Beulah”). For the Lord delights in you (Jerusalem) and to him your land will be married (“tibael”).

v 5…For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you (be in the possession of Israel); and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you (is intimate again with her).

v 6…On your walls, O Jerusalem) I have appointed watchman (prophets and teachers who look out for danger); all day and all night they will never keep silent (in prayer, teaching the Torah, etc). You who remind the Lord (to finish his work) take no rest for yourselves (cease speaking).

v 7…And give him no rest (wrestle like Jacob dis) until he establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (a blssing for all mankind).

v 8…The Lord has sworn by his right hand (lifting it up to take an oath-Deut 32.40; Ezek 20.5, 15) and by his strong arm (his own power and might), “I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies; nor will foreigners drink your new wine, for which you have labored” (Israel will no longer be overrun by enemies again).”

v 9…But those who garner it (gather it) will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary (Hebrew “kadshi” and related to “kedusha” meaning the Temple, which was called the Beit Mikdash or “House of Kedusha”).

v 10…Go through, go through the gates (referring to the exodus of people coming out of the gates of the cities of their captivity, meaning come out of Babylon; part of the Rosh Ha Shanah liturgy meaning “repent”); clear the way for the peoples (as the first to come out, clearing the way for the others as they come out of captivity; like Elijah and Yochanon Ha Matvil did. Think of the “Elijah” to come who is the “voice” we have mentioned in Isa 40. Another name for this eschatological character is the “Poretz” or “breachmaker”-Gen 38.30-37; Mal 3.1-5; Matt 11.10; John 10.3; Psa 24); build up, build up the highway; remove the stones (obstacles to repentance), lift up a standard (Messiah-Isa 11.10, 131.2) over the peoples (so they can know where to go. Elijah and Yochanon were kindred spirits, cut out of the same cloth. They were the breachmakers who removed the stones that blocked the sheep from entering into the pasture, or the Kingdom of Yehovah, with the Lord at their head-Mic 2.12-13. Lifting up a standard is an allusion to the crucifixion of Yeshua in John 3.14-15. These verses allude to teshuvah, or repentance, removing the stones that make our walk harder so that we can ready for the Lord to lead us into the kingdom).

v 11…Behold (see, take note of), the Lord (Yehovah) has proclaimed (the Basar) to the end of the earth (Matt 28.18-20; Rom 10.18), say to the daughter of Zion (the little towns around Jerusalem, like Bethlehem), “Lo, your salvation comes (Hebrew “yeshuacha”-salvation is personified in Yeshua the Messiah); behold his reward is with him, and his recompense before him (Rev 22.12; Isa 40.10, 49.4).”

v 12…And they will call them (or they shall be called), “The holy people (those with a kedusha), the redeemed of the Lord”; and you (Israel, the Kahal) will be called , “Sought out (or sought for as being valuable), a city not forsaken (in good condition and taken care of. Here we see “city” is seen as the people, like in Jer 1.18 and Rev 21.2-19. The people, bride and city are synonymous terms and seen in conjunction with the Shekinah with the redeemed).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Isaiah-Chapter 61

Isa 61.1-11 is in the context of what was just read in Isa 60. Messiah is being revealed and it will be full of Yom Kippur terminology and concepts, especially on the Yovel year (“Jubilee”-Lev 25.10). Isa 61.10 through 63.9 is the Haftorah reading for Nitzavim (Deut 29.9 through 30.20). Yeshua will read Isa 61-2a at the beginning of his ministry in Luke 4.14-21 but stops at “and the day of vengeance of our God.” That part of the verse will be fulfilled in his second coming on Yom Kippur (Rev 19.11-21; Matt 24.29-31).

v 1…The Spirit (purpose) of the Lord (Adonai) God (Yehovah) is upon me (the servant of the the Lord-Isa 42.1, 7; 48.16, 49.9, 50.4, 59.20-21; Luke 4.18, 24.49) because the Lord (Yehovah) has anointed me (as the servant of Yehovah) to bring good news (the Basar meaning “flesh or meat”-Heb 5.12-14; Isa 40.9, 52.7; Heb 4.1-8; Gal 3.8) to the afflicted. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted (Psa 147.3; Ezek 34.4), to proclaim liberty to the captives (John 8.36; Luke 1.38) and freedom to the prisoners (in the Babylonian exile, but, we need to go into some detail on what the “good news” really is. The Hebrew word is “Basar” and it is has the meaning “gospel.” So what is the “gospel” or “good news?” There are many concepts related to this word and it is greatly misunderstood by many. Biblically, “basar” means the golden age of Israel; David’s throne is restored; the Messiah has come; God reigns through him in the restored kingdom of God/kingdom of Yehovah in 2 Chr 13.8; peace has come; man and nature have been restored; the resurrection has occurred, righteousness as defined by the Torah is in the earth; the day of the Lord has come; Torah goes forth into all the earth; idolatry is gone; the exiles have returned from the Diaspora; true worship is restored; the non-Jews believe in Yeshua as Messiah. Yeshua is not the “good news” or basar, but he is the agent or “shaliach” of God empowered to bring it about. His task is to redeem man and nature, which is called the “restoration.” We enter into this redemption by emunah (faith). The message of the Basar (gospel) is Yeshua has come to initiate this redemption. Anything short of this is not the Basar or gospel).

v 2…To proclaim the favorable (acceptable) year of the Lord (also called the “day of salvation” and “my year of redemption in Isa 49.8 and 63.4. This is where Yeshua stops reading in Luke 4.20) and the day of vengeance of our God (as the high priest anointed for war at his coming. In Yeshua’s first coming, Isa 61.1-2a is fulfilled. But in his second coming in Matt 24.29-31 and Rev 19.11-21, Israel is saved and and it will be a Yovel year on Yom Kippur. This is called a “complete rest” and we have the land at rest, a yovel and release of the captives and all debtors. The land is returned to its original owners and liberty is proclaimed), to comfort all who mourn (Yom Kippur terms).

v 3…To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning (Yom Kippur terms again), the mantle of praise instead of fainting (depression). So they will will be called oaks of righteousness (the believers are called “Tzadik Tamar” or “trees of righteousness which is the palm tree. Why palms? They grow straight, no knots or flaws, the leaves are high off the ground meaning our rewards are not immediate but reserved for later-Deut 20.19; Psalm 92.12; Jer 17.8; Isa 55.12-13; Psalm 1.3; 1 Chr 16.33; Isa 4.2; Matt 15.13; Psalm 52.8; Isa 14.8, 44.4), the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified (by their good works in the Torah-John 15.8; Isa 4.2, 60.21; Heb 6.7).

v 4…Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations, they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations (these verses also apply spiritually-Jer 31.4; Isa 62.10-12).

v 5…And strangers will stand and pasture your flocks (to serve Israel because they are no longer captives but land owners), and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers (providing food for the needs of Israel).

v 6…But you (Israel) will be called the priests of the Lord (Exo 19.6; what the people of Israel did for the priests formerly, the converted non-Jews will do for Israel. Israel is set apart from the other nations. Within the nation, Levi has a higher kedusha. Within Levi, the sons of Aaron have a higher kedusha. Within the sons of Aaron, the Koehn Ha Gadol has a higher kedusha-Exo 19.6; 1 Pet 2.5-10); you will be spoken of as ministers to our God. You will eat the wealth of the nations (to support Israel, partake of their blessing, be objects of their admiration), and in their riches you will boast (be proud of the great things they have given).

v 7…Instead of shame (of banishment and exile) you will have a double (portion; honor), and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion (of spiritual blessings). Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs (Zeph 3.19; Isa 42.5; Jer 31.1-32).

v 8…For I, the Lord (Yehovah), love justice (judgment), I hate robbery in the burnt offerings (things offered that were stolen); and I will direct their work in truth (secure the fruit of their work), and I will make an everlasting covenant with them (renew the covenant with them, called the “brit chadasha” or new covenant-Deut 29.1; Jer 31.31-34).

v 9…Then their seed (offspring-Gal 3.29) will be known among the nations (the Kahal will be highly regarded) and their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them will recognize them because they are the offspring whom the Lord has blessed.

v 10…I will rejoice greatly in the Lord (the next two verses are alluding to a wedding and coronation so they are associated with Rosh Ha Shanah-Psa 45; Rev 2.12, 21.1-5; Isa 62.1-5-when Messiah comes), my soul will exult in my God; for he has clothed (covered) me with the garments of salvation, he has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness (Eph 6.14; Isa 11.5, 59.12; Rev 7.9-14), as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland (clothed in God’s righteousness as prince or a priest would), as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (makes herself ready-Rev 19.7; Isa 54.1-17; 1 Cor 3.12-15).

v 11…For as the earth brings forth its sprouts (Hebrew “tzemach”-Isa 4.1-6; Matt 22.11-12), and as a garden causes the things sown to spring up, so the Lord God (Adonai Yehovah) will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations (the same God who causes the natural world to function will also cause righteousness and praise to spring up in his mercy, causing salvation to flourish).

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