Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Kings-Part 12

1 Kings 11.29-40 tells us about a very interesting prophecy. The prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found Jereboam (“he increases the people”) as he was leaving Jerusalem and was dressed (Ahijah) in a new cloak. When they were alone, Ahijah took his new garment and tore it up into 12 pieces. He told Jereboam to take pieces and said Yehovah is going to tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon (out of his family) and give ten tribes to Jereboam to rule over. He then goes on to give the reasons for this. They have forsaken the Lord and the Torah, but he will not do this during the days of Solomon because of David.

However, he will take it from his son’s hand and leave him with Judah and Benjamin so that David would have a “lamp” (heirs) always before the Lord in Jerusalem. Jereboam would reign over the ten northern tribes of Israel. Yehovah was going to afflict the descendants of David because of Solomon’s idolatry, but not forever. Judah will flourish under Hezekiah and Josiah, and ultimately Yeshua (Luke 1.32). So Solomon sought to kill Jereboam when he found out. This is another piece of evidence documenting the decline of Solomon. He thought he could thwart God’s plan about Jereboam, but he couldn’t do it.

1 Kings 11.41-43 will tell us about the death of Solomon. He reigned 40 years and it seems he died at about the age of 60 years old. God’s promise to him in 1 Kings 3.14 was not fulfilled because he disobeyed the Lord. He was buried with his fathers and some say there is no indication that he ever repented of his sins. However, some believe he wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes at the end of his life, renouncing all as “vanity.” So, that book is a full accounting of his “teshuvah” (repentance). The Golden Age of Israel ends with the death of Solomon.

1 Kings 12.1-33 now begins to tell us about Rehoboam (“the people are enlarged”), Solomon’s son, and the division of Israel. He was made king in Shechem and the conditions in which the kings were subject were renewed (1 Sam 8.10-17, 10.25). The people and the elders requested that their taxes be lighter. What they should have complained about they never mention, and that is the idolatry Solomon had set before them.

Shechem had a long history as we have seen so far in our Tanak Foundations study. Abraham worshiped there (Gen 12.6) and Jacob built an altar there and bought land (Gen 33.18-20). Joseph was buried there (Josh 24.32) and it was the center of the northern tribes. This showed that Rehoboam was in a position of weakness here, having to meet the ten tribes on their territory instead of representatives going to Jerusalem.

Jereboam heard about this in Egypt and came to confront Rehoboam. He was told earlier that he would rule over a portion of a divided Israel (1 Kings 11.26-40). The people wanted lighter taxes and God warned Israel about this in 1 Sam 8.10-19. Rehoboam talked with the elder counselors and they advised him to show kindness and be a servant, but he would not listen to them. Then he consulted his young friends, the ones he grew up with. He rejected the counsel of the older elders before he even talked with his friends. Rehoboam already knew what he wanted to do and what fit into his plans. He was looking for someone that would tell him what he wanted to hear. The younger group was more likely to tell Rehoboam what he wanted to hear.

Rehoboam was unwise here. Sometimes we need to seek advice from those outside our situation because they can see things more clearly. The young friends of Rehoboam advised the opposite of the elders. They wanted Rehoboam to be confrontational and more feared than Solomon. Solomon and the people had a shared purpose and believed in what he was doing (Temple, palace, fortresses, building the nation, etc). Rehoboam did not have a shared purpose with the people. He just wanted the people to follow what he said because they feared a tyrant. He was a dictator with no vision or talent and this will open the door to hundreds of years of distress, trouble and eventual destruction.

So he answered the people and Jereboam harshly (v 14-15) but this was a turn of events from Yehovah. The coming defection was God’s will which Ahijah the prophet had predicted (1 Kings 11.29-35). Rehoboam is rejected as king over the 10 northern tribes, but they not only rejected the foolish Rehoboam, the whole Davidic dynasty (v 16). So Israel “departed to their tents” which is an idiom meaning “went over” and it is a carryover expression from the time in the wilderness.

So Rehoboam sent Adoram to punish those who opposed him, making good on his promise. He was the wrong person to send. He was a harsh man (1 Kings 4.6, 5.14) and all Israel stoned him. Now Rehoboam knew the 10 tribes were serious. From this point on, the name of Israel will refer to the 10 northern tribes, and the name Judah will refer to the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Jereboam is made king and is known as King Jereboam I because a later king would come along known as Jereboam II (2 Chr 14.23-29).

Rehoboam wanted to go to war with Israel but Yehovah sent Shemaiah (“heard by Yehovah”) to Rehoboam to tell him not to go to war. Yehovah said, “This thing has come from me” (v 24). Shemaiah stopped 180,000 men from going to war, and then disappears from history. The question is, “Why don’t we have such prophets today?” So let’s look into that briefly.

There are four things to remember when judging a so-called “prophet.” First, does what they say come true? Second, does it line up with Scripture, including the Torah? Signs and wonders can be a sign, but not necessarily proving that that person was sent from God. The False Prophet will show “miracles” but he does not teach the truth. The purpose of a miracle is to draw attention to what the person who “did the miracle” is saying and teaching.

The third thing to know is when judging a prophet is that everyone knew who the prophets were in the Bible because Yehovah made sure the people knew who they were. These prophets were certified with signs from the Lord, and that’s why there were consequences for not listening to them. Elijah, Moses and every other true prophet was known by the people, and if the people didn’t know they were from God, they could prove it (1 Sam 3.20).

The last thing to remember is the prophet had a very specific word for the people from Yehovah before an event happened. He told them exactly what to do to avoid judgment. So-called “prophets” today are ambiguous about what they mean by “repentance.” They don’t tell people what to do like, “turn to the Torah and stop desecrating the Sabbath.” They say what will sell books and not offend anyone. But what they tell people to do better line up with the Scriptures, not Replacement Theology.

False prophets are all over an event after it happens. They will say, “I saw this in a dream” after the event happened. Or they will take some ambiguous statement they said years before and make it say that they predicted what happened in reality. The Lord does not do things that way. He will have a true, certified and recognized prophet (everyone knew who they were) come and predict an event, like Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh. The Lord will be very specific through the prophet and the prophet will say exactly what the Lord wants said so it cannot be confused with the natural order of things. Then he will tell the people what to do before an event happens. For a deeper look into the subject, see our teaching called “Are There True Prophets of God Today” on this website. There are no true prophets of God today (that we know of) because the Lord has not raised any up right now, however, we know during the Birth-pains that there will be the Two Witnesses and the 144,00 at least who will function as prophets and teachers. So, it is not that there will be no more true prophets, but there are no true prophets out there right now.

Next time we will pick up in 1 Kings 12.25-33 in Part 13.

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

Tanak Foundations- Concepts in First Kings-Part 11

1 Kings 10.16-17 says that Solomon made 200 large shields (“tzinah”) of beaten gold, paying 600 shekels for each one. A tzinah is a full body shield used to keep arrows and rocks way from you. He also made 300 shields (“magen”) of beaten gold, paying 300 shekels for each one (2 Chr 9.16). The magen is a smaller shield used in close combat. Eph 6.16 says we should take up the “shield of faith” but there are several types of shields as we have just seen in 10.16-17. The battle you are in will dictate which shield you should use. We recommend that if you don’t know, you should go to the teaching “The Spiritual Warrior” on this site to learn more about spiritual warfare. Solomon put these shields into the armory called the House of the Forest of Lebanon (Beit Yair Ha Levanon). This building served as the treasury (1 Kings 10.21; Isa 22.8; 2 Chr 9.16; 1 Kings 14.25-28).

1 Kings 10.18-20 talks about Solomon’s throne. It was made of ivory (white for purity-Rev 20.11) and he overlaid it with gold. There were six steps to the throne, alluding to the 6000 years to the Messianic Kingdom. There was a round top (alcove) to the throne and “hands” on each side (arms of a chair). Two lions stood beside the arms, alluding to the kingly tribe of Judah and the Messiah. Twelve lions were standing on the steps, six on each side. This also alludes to the kingly tribe of Judah and the Messiah.

1 Kings 10.21 says that all of King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold and all the vessels of the Beit Yair Ha Levanon were gold. In 1 Kings 10.23 it says that Solomon had ships at sea that brought gold, silver, ivory, apes and peacocks. Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches. Deut 28.1-44 is being fulfilled here.

1 Kings 10.23-25 says that Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth and they eere seeking the presence of Solomon to hear the wisdom which God gave him. In this he is a type of Yeshua (Eph 3.8). They brought many gifts to Solomon when they came before him (Deut 28.13).

1 Kings 10.26-29 gives us some insight into why Solomon’s reign was more peaceful than David’s. Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen. He had 1400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen and stationed them in “chariot cities.” He had a strong military, and very organized, something David didn’t have. However, some believe this is contrary to Deut 17.16.

Solomon made silver as common as stones. His great wealth was not something he sought after, it was given to him by the Lord (1 Kings 3.13). Solomon also testified about the vanity of riches in the Book of Ecclesiastes. So, this does not really contradict Deut 17.16 because it was a blessing from the Lord and not something Solomon went after for himself. He did have an interest in horses and he bough and sold them to others in trade. Perhaps he was the “{middle man” in these transactions.

Now we come to 1 Kings 11.1-43 and some of the false steps Solomon took despite his great wisdom. 1 Kings 11.1-8 tells us that he loved many foreign women, something the Lord said not to do (Deut 7.1). These were lustful, not lawful, unions and they turned his heart away from the Lord. Why does the Bible reveal the shortcomings of the major characters? We see from Adam all the way to the talmidim of Yeshua in the Gospels and epistles a tendency to be very “human.” The answer is because they are only pictures of the Messiah in certain contexts and events. Yehovah did not want the people of later generations to think any of these people could have been the Messiah. Then they would think he already came or have other false beliefs. When Yeshua comes it would have been harder to present his case as Messiah.

For example, there have been those who have made a case for Hezekiah being the Messiah. In a commentary on Isa 9.7 on the word “increase” (marbeh), it says that the Lord sought to designate King Hezekiah as the Messiah and Sennacherib and Assyria as Gog and Magog, all from the prophecy of Ezekiel with regard to the end of days (The William Davidson Talmud, Sanhedrin 94a). Another source to show King Hezekiah as Messiah is Mesorah Publications book called “Tehillim” on Page 948.

Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines for total of 1000. Now, this may not be for “personal” use because this was the practice of eastern kings. Some were for appearances or alliances, but this number seems to be referred to when Solomon wrote Ecc 7.28. These wives turned his heart away from God as the Torah said it would (Deut 17.17). When he was old his wives “turned his heart away from Yehovah to other gods. His heart was not fully devoted to Yehovah his God, as the heart of David his father.”

Though David had many sins, he never turned to idolatry. His heart was always sincere in his worship (Psa 18.20). Solomon went after Ashtoret the goddess of the Sidonians (hunter), enticed by a Sidonian women (1 Kings 11.1). He also went after Milcom (great lord), the detestable idol of the Ammonites. This is the same as Molech (1 Kings 11.7), and he was drawn to it by his Ammonite wife (1 Kings 11.1). He built “bamot” (high places) for Chemosh, the idol of the Moabites (Jer 48.7). This was due to his Moabite wife (1 Kings 11.1) and built these “bamot” for their idols on the Mount of Olives, and he did this for all his wives. This teaches us that even the brightest and best of men, left to themselves, may do terrible things, but the worst is the worship of false gods.

1 Kings 11.9-13 tells us the Lord was very angry with Solomon. Yehovah appeared to him twice, at Gibeon in 1 Kings 3.5 and 1 Kings 9.2 after the Temple was dedicated. So he announces his judgment. He will tear the kingdom away from Solomon and give it to “your servant.” But he would not do it in Solomon’s lifetime for the sake of his father David (2 Sam 7.12-17). He would not tear away the whole kingdom, but will leave one tribe to his son. This “one tribe” is Benjamin and Judah. They were considered “one” because their inheritance was together and mixed. They shared Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. After the division this area went by the name “Judah.”

In 1 Kings 11.14-22 it says the Lord raised up an adversary (Hebrew “a satan”) to Solomon by the name of Hadad the Edomite, a descendant of the King of Edom. Solomon had no “satan” in 1 Kings 5.4, but now he will have three “satans” against him (Hadad, Rezin and Jereboam). Rezin was from the north and he was the son of Eliada who had fled from his lord Hadadezer, the King of Zobah. He became a leader of a band of raiders and caused trouble all the days of Solomon.

In 1 Kings 11.26-28 it says the third “satan” (adversary) was a man who went by the name of Jereboam, the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite, a servant of Solomon. He will be different than the other two because he is Jewish. He will be a picture of the False Messiah in many ways, so pay close attention to him as we move on. Why did he rebel against Solomon? It says in 1 Kings 11.27 that it was because he built the Millo (mound) which filled in a hollow space between the fort and the lower city where the Jebusites were. Solomon filled in the area between two summits. Jewish tradition says that he opposed the use of forced labor for these projects because Jereboam thought this was oppressive. He was a valiant warrior and Solomon appointed him over the labor from the House of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh). He will be a thorn in the side to Solomon, and later his son Rehoboam, introducing Replacement Theology into the northern tribes.

We will pick up in 1 Kings 11.29-40 in Part 12.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Kings-Part 10

Now we come to 1 Kings 9.1-28 where Solomon has a second vision at Gibeon. He receives an answer to his prayer in 1 Kings 8.22-53, and this was probably the next night (v 1-3). Again, Yehovah says he put “my name there (the Temple) forever, and my eyes and my heart will be there perpetually.” Then in verse 4-5 he tells Solomon something very encouraging to us. He says, “And as for you, if you walk before me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep my statutes and my ordinances, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David.”

How could the Lord say that about David after all we have learned about just how “human” he was? Here is why. Although guilty of many sins and failings, David walked by emunah (faith) and was sincere and upright about the Torah and his relationship with the Lord. In addition, he was never involved with idolatry. If Solomon would do that, then the Lord will establish his throne over Israel forever. Previously in 1 Sam 1.22, we brought out some concepts relating to the word “forever” (olam), but let’s go over it again.

The Hebrew word “olam” (forever) seems to mean “indefinitely” with reference to the nature of the thing being discussed. If the nature is human, then “olam” is as long as that human lives. If the nature is relationships, then “olam” is as long as conditions which the relationship is based still hold. Olam does not mean “philosophic eternity” but is relative to some base.

For example, the ages of the Olam Ha Zeh and the Olam Haba are long periods of time (Deut 32.7, 33.15; Hab 3.6; Exo 14.13; Jer 17.4, 25.9; 1 Sam 2.30). So, “olam” does not mean “continues in force” throughout infinite time no matter what happens to the world, nor does it mean “irreversible” or something God cannot end if he wants to or should conditions change.

In 1 Kings 9.6-9 the Lord warns Solomon with a negative promise. If Solomon and his sons turn from Yehovah, then God will correct them. God will cast the Temple “out of my sight” and Israel will be chastised to the point that even the nations will be astonished. They would be a joke, an example and a proverb of disaster.

1 Kings 9.10-14 tells us of Solomon’s building projects and how Hiram of Tyre supplied wood and gold. It says in v 11 that Solomon gave Hiram 20 cities in Galilee, but there is problem with this wording. Solomon did not have the right to allot these cities to Hiram because they belonged to one of the tribes and it was their inheritance. Some think these cities were on the border and Solomon did not give Hiram the possession of these cities, but some think he gave the royalties and revenues of these cities until the debt he owed to Hiram was paid.

Others believe they were a “gratuity” and a full grant to them. They may have been cities David conquered and taken from those who lived there, so Solomon had a right to do what he wanted with them. It is clear that these cities were not inhabited by Israelites yet. However, these cities did not please Hiram, so he wrote to Solomon saying these were not suitable to him, so he gave them back in 2 Chr 8.2. Hiram had sent 120 talents of Gold and this is the reason he could build, repair and defray expenses.

1 Kings 9.15-24 tells us of the projects Solomon had begun and the forced labor that was needed. The Millo was a fortress near the Temple and palace. He also built the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor was strategic in the north and Megiddo had a great fortress and controlled the major roads from the coast into the Valley of Jezreel to Carmel. Gezer is on the road from Joppa to Jerusalem. These verses also tell us that Solomon did not drive out the Ammonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites as commanded by the Lord. They were not to be used as slave laborers, but Solomon did it anyway. He did not make the Israelites do that work. They were used to oversee the work being done and used as warriors, princes, captains, chariot commanders and cavalry soldiers.

In 1 Kings 9.25-28 we learn that Solomon offered korbanot “three times a year” and this coincided with the three pilgrim festivals called the Shelosh Regalim (2 Chr 8.13). He provided the offerings and the priests officiated. He also built a fleet of ships in Ezion-geber, near Eilat on the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. Hiram also sent sailors and ships to help bring gold from Ophir (420 talents) to Solomon (2 Chr 8.18).

1 Kings 10.1-13 tells us about the Queen of Sheba who heard about the fame of Solomon, so she came to see him for herself. This story alludes to how the non-Jews will hear about Yeshua as Messiah (Isa 11.10; Matt 12.42). This was a 1500 mile trip and came at great expense because she did not travel by herself, but had many with her for security. This was also a trade delegation, but she had to come herself because she had heard about his wisdom, and Solomon answered all her questions.

Now, as a queen, she was quite familiar with royal palaces and luxury, but what Solomon built overwhelmed her (v 5). She saw the Temple, the House of the Forest of Lebanon, his palace and the home he built for his wife. She had heard about all the wonderful things associated with Solomon, but seeing it all for herself brought her to the realization that reality was far greater than what she was told. She thought his men and servants were happy because Solomon was a wise and rich king. As a result, she gives the God of Israel glory, and this is what God wanted to do for Israel. If they followed him, he would bless them as he did Solomon. Then the world would notice and give God glory (Deut 4.6-8, 28.1,10). Yehovah wanted to reach the nations through an obedient king and nation. They were extensions of the Lord (1 Chr 29.23).

There is no record of her becoming a believer in Yehovah. She was impressed personally but without any expression of faith that is recorded. She was an impressed “seeker” who was impressed with the facilities, programs, organization and professionalism, but that isn’t what would save her. Many people today hear about Yeshua and his wisdom and go to a congregation and are impressed with the pastor, the facilities, the programs, the organization and professionalism but are never spiritually born again.

Yeshua did use the Queen of Sheba as an example of a “seeker” in Matt 12.42. His point was this. If she sought Solomon and his kingdom so diligently, with a lot of time and expense involved, how much more should people seek Yeshua and his kingdom, investing their time and expense. She will rise up in judgment against that generation (and ours).

In 1 Kings 10.11-13 we learn about the gifts exchanged between Solomon and the Queen. She gave a very great number of “almug” trees. This is a very aromatic wood and it is spelled “algum” in 2 Chr 9.9-11. In 1 Kings 10.14-29 we learn about Solomon’s great wealth. In one year he made 666 talents of gold, which is about 300 million dollars. This was just his base salary. The number “666” can be seen in Rev 13.18 and is associated with the False Messiah. Now, the accumulation of of this gold violated the Torah in Deut 17.14-20. A king is not to multiply silver and gold for himself. God blessed Solomon but he allowed that blessing to corrupt him.

It is not a coincidence that the 666 talents of gold and Solomon’s wealth may be his turning point away from God. From here on he declines, and this number is associated with the love of money and the root of evil. It is also associated with idolatry and alluded to in Dan 3.1. Solomon is a royal merchant, and the number of the False Messiah is on buyers and sellers in Rev 13.7.

We will continue examining 1 Kings 10.14-29 in Part 11.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Kings-Part 9

1 Kings 8.12 says that Solomon began speaking. Seeing the anxiety of the Kohanim (v 11) and the people that the cloud was symbolic of the Shekinah (presence of God), he speaks to comfort them. You can see right away where the concept of “dwelling presence” (“shkan”) is associated with the cloud. Solomon turned toward the people and blessed the assembly (Kahal) of Israel as they were standing there. He had to turn his back to the Holy of Holies and this meant that what Solomon said and did came through him from the Lord. The concept of the Kahal (“assembly”) is something that we should keep in mind.

Then Solomon gave one of the greatest prayers ever recorded in Scripture (v 22-53). He stands on a bronze platform before the altar of the Lord (2 Chr 6.13) and spreads his hands toward heaven. Now he represents all mankind like Yeshua did on the cross. He is going to pray about Jerusalem, the Temple and the non-Jews who believe. He will also discuss prophecy and what is going to happen in the future.

He recognizes there is no God in heaven or earth like Yehovah. The pretend “gods” of the nations could not compare to him (Isa 40.8). He thanks Yehovah for keeping his promises to his father David. He then asks the Lord to dwell in this Temple and honor those who will come to worship there. Solomon knows God will not actually “live” in this Temple like the pagan concept. It is good that he said this or we could get the wrong idea that he believed that (1 Kings 8.12-13).

At the time, Solomon thought this was an incredible idea, that God would dwell on the earth, and that is exactly what Yeshua did (John 1.1-18). Who would have thought such a thing, that God would dwell on earth! But Solomon knows that the heavens and the earth cannot contain Yehovah (v 27), and that makes what Yeshua did even more amazing. He then asks the Lord to open his eyes towards this house night and day, to the place where he said, “My name shall be there.”

So, there are two things we want to touch on here. First, the term “house” for the Temple. You will see this term used over and over again and it gives us the location of where the events in Acts 2. 1-41 took place. They were gathered in the Temple on the festival of Shavuot where they should have been (Exo 23.14-17). The phrase, “My name shall dwell there” refers to Jerusalem (1 Chr 6.6) and to the Temple (2 Chr 7.16).

Yehovah said in Deut 12.11, before they even came into the land, “Then it shall come about that the place in which the Lord your God shall choose for his name to dwell. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution (terumah)of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings where you will vow to the Lord.”

Yehovah is God’s personal name, above all others. His name is written nearly 7000 times in the Tanak. The name has been found written out with full vowels in 2300 Hebrew manuscripts and it is pronounced “Yehovah.” Yahweh has never been found, nor any other name. There are other “names” or titles in the Scripture such as El Shaddai, ELohim, Makom and Shalom, but Yehovah is his personal name. Shalom and Shaddai begin with the Hebrew letter Shin, and it has three heads. When one looks at a topographical map of Jerusalem, you can see the letter shin on the city, formed by the Hinnom., Tyropean and Kidron Valleys. When Abraham came near to this place in Gen 22.4, he lifted his eyes and he “saw the place afar off.” What did he see? He saw the shin formed by the valleys. So, the Hebrew letter shin is a symbol for the Lord. The False Messiah will also place his name on his followers (Rev 13. 16-18) and this will be a counterfeit shin made up of three Hebrew letter vavs that will look like the shin. The letter vav in Hebrew is the number “6” (6,6,6).

Then Solomon says in v 30, “When they pray towards this place.” Jerusalem and the Temple was seen as the “gate of God (Gen 28.17). Psa 138.2 says, ” I will bow down toward thy holy Temple.” Psa 118.20 says, “This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous will enter through it.” A gate is a “door” so spiritually this alludes to Yeshua (John 10.7).

People would pray towards Jerusalem no matter where they were, like Daniel did in Dan 6.10, and Jonah in Jonah 2.4. If you were in the Temple, you prayed toward the Holy of Holies like David in Psa 5.7, 28.1-2. If you were in the Holy of Holies, you prayed toward the Ark, especially the area between the wings of the Keruvim (Exo 25.22, Psa 138.2). He asks that the Lord hear and forgive from his dwelling place in heaven. Again, this carries the idea that the Temple and Jerusalem were seen as the “door of heaven” where prayers were directed, and the Lord will hear from heaven. The Temple was seen as a place for judgment in 1 Kings 8.31-32, and if Israel is defeated before the enemy because they have sinned, and they confess his name and pray in the house, then he asks the Lord to hear from heaven and forgive their sin (v 33.34).

1 Kings 8.35-36 talks about a time of drought because the people have sinned against the Lord (Lev 26.19). If they pray toward the Temple and confess his name (own his power and his justice in dealing with them), then Solomon asks that the Lord hear from heaven and forgive them, sending rain (like with Elijah in Jam 5.18). Then in 1 Kings 8.37-40 he brings up the case of famine because of the lack of rain (or any other cause). He asks that whoever prays (prayer of a righteous man avails much-Luke 18.10-14; Jam 5.16), or if many pray (corporate), each sensitive to his own sin privately committed in his own heart (sin begins there and God knows the heart-Psa 51.4; Mark 7.20-23), spreading his hands towards the Temple, that the Lord would hear their prayer and forgive their sin, and act in accordance with his ways (remove the calamity and trouble). God alone knows the hearts of all men (Jer 17.9), and God knows whether the person is sincere and pure in his intentions.

1 Kings 8.41-43 brings us to another scenario with Solomon, the case of the foreigner (Nokri), or the non-Jew, who comes to God in prayer and prays towards “this house.” Acts 8.25-27 tells us about the Ethiopian court official who came to the Temple for worship (as allowed in Lev 22.18 in the Temple). The non-Jews will hear of God’s great name and mighty hand and they will come and pray. He wants the Lord to hear his prayer so that “all the peoples of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel.” Solomon acknowledges the calling of the non-Jews (Isa 56.7).

In 1 Kings 8.44-45 he brings up the case of when Israel goes out to battle against their enemies at the counsel of Yehovah. When they pray toward the Temple, he asks the Lord to hear from heaven. Even though the cause will be just and the Lord has given them permission already, they were still to pray for success. That is an interesting concept. In 1 Kings 8.46-53 Solomon brings up the case when Israel sins against God, and all people do. If they return with their heart and turn, and prays to God in the land that has taken them captive, then he asks for the Lord to hear their prayer when they turn “toward their land, the city and the house” (v 48).

In verse 51 Solomon uses the term “iron furnace” to describe Egypt when God brought them out. This term alludes to Europe and the furnaces of the Holocaust during World War II and the birth-pains (Deut 4.20). This will happen again. The “Pharaoh” of Europe will be the False Messiah who will persecute the Jewish people.

1 Kings 8.54-61 tells us Solomon was kneeling before the altar when he finished praying, but he started out standing (8.22). Verses 54-66 is the Haftorah (reading from the Prophets) for Shemini Atzeret, the eighth day or concluding day of Sukkot. Solomon is kneeling on the brass platform (2 Chr 6.13). As he finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven (2 Chr 7.1) and consumed the burnt offerings and the sacrifices, and the Kivod of the Lord filled the house (Temple). Again, the priests could not enter into the Heichal (Holy Place) because the Kivod filled the house. This is exactly what happened at the dedication of the Mishkan.

1 Kings 8.62-66 tells us about some very important concepts and the time of the year all of this is happening. We know it was during the “feast (all of them) in the month of Ethanim (Tishri), which is the seventh month” (of the religious calendar-1 Kings 8.2). Solomon offered so many animals (v 63) that the middle courtyard was used. The bronze altar was too small. So Solomon observed the festivals of Ethanim (Tishri), which included Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. People came from the entrance of Hamath, the northern border of Israel, to the brook of Egypt (a branch of the Nile called “Rhinoculura”) in the south.

The festival was kept for fourteen days, and on the eighth day (Shemini Atzeret of Sukkot) they went home. The fourteen days started on Tishri 7, then on Tishri 10 it was Yom Kippur. Then they continued through Tishri 15-21 and Sukkot, and went home on Tishri 22, called Shemini Atzeret or the “eighth day” of Sukkot as a whole. This encompassed the “Feast of the In-gathering” (Exo 23.16) which is known as Sukkot. 2 Chr 7.9-10 says they were sent home after sunset at the beginning of Tishri 23.

In Part 10 we will pick up with 1 Kings 9.1-28.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Kings-Part 8

Now, we have assigned our own meanings to many words in the Scriptures. But the Gospels and Epistles were written by Jews and so these words and concepts need to be understood as they knew and understood them when they were written. The Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy spirit) is the power of God (Acts 1.8). It is associated with God only and the power was conveyed by action on the part of God. The manifestations of the Holy Spirit are healing; prophecy; tongues; interpretation of tongues; the word of knowledge; the word of wisdom; miracles; the discernment of spirits and faith. These are not charismatic gifts but manifestations of the Holy Spirit (Ruach). Each are associated actions of God and power. God does something and it is manifested in power.

Romans 12 has what is called the “charismatic gifts” which are given by God’s grace (Hebrew- “chessed” and in Greek “charis”). These are freely given by God and one is born with these. Everyone has at least one, but don’t confuse them with the Ruach (power) gifts. We come along and believe in Yeshua and it is then that we receive the Shekinah (presence). The Ruach (power) comes at a separate time, although some have received them at the same time they believed, but that is not the norm.

In Hebrew thought, all these manifestations are looked at as prophecy. So, we need to understand a few points. The Kivod (glory) came and went, it did not “indwell”, the Shekinah did. In John 20.22 it says that the Lord “breathed” the Holy Spirit on the talmidim (disciples), but it was not the Ruach (that came days later in Acts 2) but the Shekinah, the indwelling presence of God. Fifty days later the Ruach Ha Kodesh fell in power on these same believers as they were gathered in the Temple for the festival of Shavuot. Both the Shekinah and the Ruach were translated as “pneuma” in Greek and this caused some confusion when you compared the two verses.

When the Lord says that he will never leave us or forsake us, he is talking about the Shekinah. In Matt 18.15-20 Yeshua is giving the talmidim authority to have a court (called a Beit Din=House of Judgment) and when he says “where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst” he is talking about the Shekinah. It is not talking about prayer, but the judgments you might have to make in a congregational court setting (Deut 17.9-11; Matt 16.19, 23.1-3; 1 Cor 6.1-6). When the believers in the first century saw these things happening, remember they were raised in these concepts and expectations and they knew about being empowered by the Ruach when the Messiah came. They couldn’t believe they were actually seeing this come to pass, not knowing what is going on and saying, “What does this mean” (Acts 2.12)? The concepts they knew, and the timing was perplexing, but they did expect it.

When believers in the first century received the Shekinah, the Ruach coming in power was expected. With those unfamiliar with these concepts, the Ruach didn’t happen for one reason or another (Acts 19.1-7). Today, false teaching, misunderstanding and being afraid keeps people from experiencing what should be a natural flow of events. Not knowing the difference between the Kivod and Shekinah and their concepts has really put trash in the river and slowed down the flow of living water to a trickle. What we need to do is pull out all the trash so we can operate in fullness.

The word “Shekinah” is a feminine word and in Hebrew thought it is the light that goes before the torch. The Shekinah is used in Hebrew imagery as a bride, daughter and queen. God’s relationship with the bride is related to the Shekinah, who is called the “bride” in Rev 21.9-10. The union between man and wife is a picture of the union between God and the believer, and teaches intimacy. When man receives the Shekinah, this union is holy and we are set apart to God with a “kedusha.” Moses is a picture of Messiah, empowered by God as a prophet and a deliverer.

In Num 11.25 we have Moses taking seventy elders up Sinai to meet with the Lord. Then the Spirit (Ruach) that was upon Moses was also put on the seventy elders, but it did not diminish what Moses had. Moses said he wished that everyone was filled with the Spirit (Num 11.26-29) and this was seen as a prophecy of what was to come in the “Yom’ot Mashiach” or the “days of the Messiah” and it did, starting in Acts 2. When a person becomes a true believer they receive the Shekinah. The Kivod (glory/radiance) can come and go. The Kivod can be felt and can be seen. Yeshua had this in its fullness from birth. He had the Shekinah at his conception and the Ruach came upon him when he was immersed by Yochanon.

In John 4.2 we have the word “perfected” and this is a concept. The Urim V’Thummim means “lights and perfections.” It was the manifestation upon the High Priest that allowed him to have direct communication with the Lord using them. There is debate as to what these really were, but everyone agrees that the High Priest could communicate directly with the Lord. God’s love would be seen as the light of God in us. The “perfect” in 1 Cor 13.10 is related to the Messianic Kingdom with its “light” and “perfections.” Remember, whenever you see “spirit” you must find out if it’s the Ruach or Shekinah, because both words are translated with the Greek “pneuma.” Not knowing this simple concept has caused much confusion within some Christian denominations.

Some have read verses that say a believer has the Holy Spirit when they believe and others say it comes with power later, called “the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” However, the Greek word “pneuma” was used for the Holy Spirit and the Shekinah in Hebrew, but they are two different manifestations. A believer does not have the Holy Spirit in power (Ruach Ha Kodesh) at the new birth, they have the indwelling presence of God called the Shekinah. By not understanding this, many believers thought they had the Ruach and short-changed themselves, missing out on the power of God. You determine which word is applicable in a verse by how it is used. If the Spirit has come “upon” you and there is power, it is the Ruach Ha Kodesh. If it is “in” you, it is the Shekinah. Again, they are two different manifestations.

The word “cloud” is associated with the Shekinah and believers (Dan 7.13-15; Isa 60.8). In Hebrew, there are masculine and feminine words that describe the attributes of God, just like marriage. In John 1.2 we have “light” associated with “life” and the life is associated with the Kivod (glory of God). Therefore, Kivod is associated with life and the life was the light of man. As a result, the Kivod (glory) is associated with the resurrection and life (John 7.39) and the transfiguration (Luke 9.28-36). That is why the Kivod was seen at the wedding in Cana. After six days (Jon 1.19-51) Yeshua goes to this wedding and on the seventh day his glory is seen (John 2.1-11).

Eschatologically, after six thousand years (called the Olam Ha Zeh, or “this present age”), there will be a resurrection in the seventh day, then a wedding. Miracles and the Kivod (glory) will be seen then, just like in our passages in John just mentioned. Now, what is a miracle? It is the manifestation of the Ruach (1 Cor 12.7-11) and through the manifestation the “glory” or Kivod is seen. When Yeshua is resurrected, the believers could now receive the Shekinah (John 20.11). Then fifty days later they could receive the Ruach Ha Kodesh in power (Acts 1.8, 2.1-4), and the Kivod (Acts 2.3). The talmidim received the Shekinah in John 20.22 and then the Ruach and Kivod, but some believers received all three at the same time in Acts 2.

In the Temple, there were items in the Holy Place that pictured these things. The Shulchan Ha Lechem Ha Pannim was the “Table of the Bread of the Faces (of God)” and this symbolized the Shekinah (presence). The Menorah symbolized the “light” or Kivod, and the Mizbe’ach Shell Zahav (Golden Altar of Incense) symbolized the Shekinah also because there was a cloud of incense. In the Messianic Kingdom, glorified believers we will have all these things in their fullness (1 Cor 13.9-12. We will be resurrected (perfect) and see God “face to face” (the Shekinah or presence), just like when the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. An idiom for Yom Kippur is “face to face” because the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies with a censor that had incense on hot coals, making a cloud or covering. This is associated with the Shekinah. When Messiah would come, the people expected the Kingdom of Heaven (God) and the restoration of these things. This is exactly what happened (Acts 1.1-9).

Today we have congregations that were built along the model set up in the Scriptures. We were to have Zekanim (elders) with certain functions like an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. These were functions and not permanent. One could be an elder, but be sent as an apostle (sent one or Shaliach) on behalf of the congregation. Once that function was over, they ceased being an apostle. One may function as a prophet for awhile, but once that ceased, he was no longer a prophet. They fulfilled what was needed at the time and these functions would come and go.

There were other functionaries in a congregation like the Rosh Knesset or Nasi. They were the spokesman for the synagogue/congregation. You had the Shammashim who kept order in the congregation (1 Tim 3.8) and was also known as the Chazzan. They also did the work needed around the synagogue and distributed food to the poor as servers, etc. The Gabbai Tzedekah (keeper of the treasuries) collected money and food. The Batlanim were those who studied and taught full time. They were called the “do nothings” (not an insult) because they were wealthy and did not need to work. In the movie “Fiddler on the Roof” Tevye sings, “If I were a rich man” because then he could study the Scriptures in the synagogue for hours a day and not need to work. A Beit Din was a court of at least three judges who settled disputes about doctrine and other legal matters. The Maggid was a preacher and a story teller and the rabbi was a teacher who traveled. The Shaliach Tzebur lead the people in prayer and stood before God to represent those who did not understand the importance of the prayer. For more information on how a congregation was set up in the Gospels and Epistles, see “First Century Congregational Structure” on this site. The qualifications for these functions can be seen in Avot 6.6 of the Mishnah; Exo 18.21; 1 Tim 3.1-13; Titus 1.6.

All the members were to be empowered by the Ruach, and all the membership had charismatic gifts like charity, exhorting, teaching, prophecy, mercy and so on. The Zekanim (elders) were responsible to teach these functions and concepts, find them in the body and use their abilities for the benefit of all. Non-Jews could hold these functions as well. As the congregation meets together, the Shekinah will manifest among among them, as well as the Kivod and Ruach.

For further study, here are some Scriptures for your consideration related to these concepts: Gen 3.8; 2 Cor 5.1-3; Exo 19.1-17; Rom 3.21; John 3.1-21; Exo 24.1-4, 33.1-11, 36.3-38; Acts 14.15-16, 17.30; Exo 34.29-35; Num 14.17-21; Zech 14.9-21; Isa 2.2-3; Mic 4.1-4; John 1.43-49; Isa 66.18-23; Exo 40.34-38; Deut 12.11; Ezek 1.1-28, 8.1-14; Jer 44.17-18; Ezek 9.1-31, 10.1-4; John 20.22; Matt 18.15-20; Acts 20.8 (Havdalah service); Isa 4.2; Num 11.24-25; Matt 16.27-28; 1 John 4.12; Matt 16 27, 19.28; Dan 7.13-14; Isa 60.8; Matt 24.30-31; Luke 2.9-14, 2.32; 1 Cor 13.9-13; Luke 24.25-26; John 2.11; Hos 6.2; Luke 13.52; John 12.41, 17.5; Acts 7.2, 22.6-11; Rom 1.18-19, 2.7-11, 8.18-21, 10.4, 5.12, 6.4, 9.4, 9.23; John 7.37-39; Matt 5.17; Rev 21.1-3 (Sabbath is seen as a bride/Shekinah/presence of God); Isa 61.1 through 62.5.

We will pick up here in 1 Kings 8.10 in Part 9.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Kings-Part 7

We are going to look at several issues here in 1 Kings 8.10-11. What does it mean when it says “the priests could not minister” and what is the “cloud” and the “glory” in 1 Kings 8.11? First of all, the priests could not minister because of the cloud, which is the “Shekinah” or “presence of God.” Now, people think the “presence” is a “warm and fuzzy” feeling but it isn’t. Men like Peter (Luke 5.8), Isaiah (Isa 6.5), and John (Rev 1.17) felt “struck” in God’s presence. This isn’t because God forced some uncomfortable feeling upon them, but because they were not comfortable in their sinful state in God’s presence. This “kivod” or “glory” remained at the Temple until Israel totally rejected Yehovah in the time of Ezekiel (Ezek 10.18) prior to the destruction of the city. So, we need to loo at the concept of the presence of God (Shekinah), the glory of God (kivod) and the power of God (Ruach/Spirit).

We have seen these concepts mentioned before before this point in the Tanak, but we will develop these concepts out here because it will relate to the Temple, and to the future. There has been much misunderstanding about these terms and we will need to go over them to get the right concepts that go behind them.

The Shekinah is the presence of God, the dwelling place of God. The Ruach is the Holy Spirit, the power that was promised to a believer with certain manifestations. These manifestations were seen as prophetic of the Kingdom of God. The Kivod is the radiance and glory of God. We are going to take a look at these concepts and that will give us understanding so that we can understand them in their context.

When Adam sinned, he lost his “kedusha” (holiness, set apart status). The Shekinah comes from the root “sh’kan” which means “to dwell’ and “sh’kin” which means “neighbor.” In Gen 3.8 we have “presence” translated as “pannay” which means “faces” so these terms will be related. In 2 Cor 5.1-3 we see that the Shekinah would return to the people. The Shekinah departed when Adam sinned, along with the Ruach and Kivod, but we are going to deal with one at a time. It returned and manifested at times after that but it did not reside or dwell” until after Yeshua. In Exo 19.1-11 we have the “cloud” and that was symbolic of the Shekinah (presence). In three days God would reveal himself and that was prophetic of the Messiah (Hos 5.15 to Hos 6.3).

Moses is seen as escorting the bride to meet the Lord at Mount Sinai and this was a “betrothal” (Jer 2.2), and he was one of two witnesses. The other witness will be assigned to the groom, to introduce the groom to the bride, and he was seen as Elijah. So, Moses and Elijah were the two witnesses. They signify the Torah (Mosses) and the Prophets (Elijah) and this is how we are introduced to Yeshua (Psa 40.7; Luke 16.31, 24.27;John 5.39-47). These constitute the two witnesses (Rom 3.21) in regards to the bride and groom. Yochanon ha Matvil (John the Immerser) said he was the “friend of the bridegroom” and we k now he came in the spirit (cut out of the same cloth) and power of Elijah (Luke 1.17).

As a result of this meeting with the Lord on Sinai, Moses receives plans for the Mishkan (see the “sh’kan” in the word) and it will be placed in the center of the camp of Israel. But, while this is being built, a tent of meeting (ohel moed) was used outside of the camp. Moses would come and go, and Joshua stayed there and the people were in tents. The tent of meeting was used for legal matters and for judging the people.

Now, in Exo 33.12-23 we have an example of some of the terms be ing used. In v 12 we have “favor” which is “chessed” (grace) in Hebrew and this will allow Moses to have the “presence” of God go with him. The “face of God” is a synonym for the Shekinah. In v 18 we have the “glory” and this will be our word “kivod.” The Kivod (glory) came upon Moses in Exo 34.29-35 and his face radiated with it.

So, as you can see, you can have the Shekinah and Kivod in the same place, or they can manifest differently. They are not the same thing and are never referred to as the “Shekinah Glory” like in Christianity. The Mishkan was the dwelling place of God in the midst of the camp, and remember it comes from the word “sh’kin” which also means “neighbor.” Yehovah becomes a “neighbor” with his people. God also gives the “avodah” or worship that was to be done in the Mishkan. The Torah is the source for the only religious form of worship ever given to mankind. These were primarily the “Korbanot” (offerings). In Hebrew thought, today’s services are not biblical worship. They are meetings and assemblies, but not worship in the biblical sense.

Praise in the Mishkan/Temple was seen as worship. Praise outside of the Mishkan/Temple was not considered worship (Rom 9.4) The purpose of the Mishkan remained unchanged all the way to Solomon. The Mishkan was repaired several times and the building went from skins to actual stone on the sides. The Beit Ha Mikdash was built and it also went through several changes. Solomon’s Temple went from small to large, with the same furniture. When that was destroyed and Zerubbabel built another Temple, it was smaller than Solomon’s. That one was revised by the Hasmoneans and Herod and eventually called “Herod’s Temple.” This Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.

There are two more Temples coming. The next one will be the Temple used during the time of Jacob’s Trouble (Birth-pains) and then after Yeshua returns a larger Temple will be built called Ezekiel’s Temple (Ezek 40-48). What we have here is a progression from simple to complex. The purpose of the Temple and the “avodah” (services) was the worship of God. God wanted to reveal himself through manifestations there, and teach the people about the concept of “Kedusha.” Our finite minds and bodies could not handle the Lord just coming and saying “Here I am.” He divides his manifestations into different concepts and through thousands of people so we can grasp them.

As revelation increased, the Temple increased. Biblically speaking, for us to understand what God wants us to understand, we must understand the Mishkan and the Temple (all of them) because it was a living, breathing manifestation of Yehovah. Everything a worshiper senses is through experience, and it teaches about the Lord. It reveals the spiritual things in everything you would see, hear, feel, taste and smell in the Temple. What does that show us? It shows us what happens to a believer when they are “born again.” Yehovah will come into your “Mishkan” and you will receive the Shekinah (presence) and that separates you from all else. Adam was the first Mishkan and he had the fullness of the Shekinah, Kivod and the Ruach. He lost them when he sinned, but they are going to be restored to mankind through the Messiah.

The whole earth will be filled with his Kivod (Num 14.21; Psa 72.19; Isa 6.3). In Exo 40.334-38, the tent of meeting was done away with and the Mishkan was used. The cloud (Shekinah) and the glory (Kivod) filled it. In 1 Kings 8.1-3 they will take the Ark of the Covenant to Solomon’s Temple, and the Shekinah and Kivod fill the Temple (v 10-11). He then goes into a prayer and says that the name of Yehovah will dwell there. He would listen to prayers from there (1 Kings 8.29-30, 44, 48), as evidenced by David (Psa 5.7, 28.1-2, 138.2), the Prophet Daniel (Dan 6.10) and Jonah (Jonah 2.4). In Ezekiel 1 we have a vision of the Kivod of God (v 28). In Ezek 9.1-3 we have the Kivod beginning to depart the Temple because of idolatry (Ezek 8.1-18), leaving the Cheruvim on the Ark to the threshold of the Temple. Then in Ezek 10.19 it moves to the east gate of the Temple, then to the midst of city and then to the Mount of Olives east of the city (Ezek 11.23). It stayed there for three years. Eventually that Temple was destroyed. Yeshua departed the Temple the same way (Matt 23.39, 24.1-3) and departed from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1.9-13). Eventually that Temple was destroyed.

The Kivod and Shekinah was manifested in the Mishkan and Solomon’s Temple. Zerubbabel and Ezra rebuilt the Temple after the Babylonian Captivity, but there is no record that the Kivod and Shekinah dwelt in that Temple. The only thing that was left was the foundation stone for the Ark in the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies). But when Yeshua came and rose from the dead, the Kivod, Shekinah and Ruach came and dwelt on the people who were gathered in the Temple for the festival of Shavuot in Acts 2.

In Part 8 we will pick up here and begin to discuss how we have assigned our own meanings to many words in the Gospels and epistles, but we need to remember that they were written by Jews and we need to understand them with the concepts they were trying to get across to the reader, and the concepts of the Kivod, Shekinah, and the Ruach are no exception.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Kings-Part 6

1 Kings 7.1-2 tells us that Solomon built he palace in thirteen years and the finished it. He also built other items for the Temple (7.13). He also built the “House of the Forest of Lebanon” which will be where the Beit Otzrot chamber was later in the Second Temple (southwest corner). In Hebrew, this was called the “Beit Yair Ha Levanon” and it had several uses. It was a court or house of judgment (Beit Din) in 1 kings 7.7, and a treasury/armory in 1 Kings 10.17, 21; 1 Kings 14.25-28; 2 Chr 9.16 and Isa 22.8. The palace of Solomon took so long because it did not have the same “prep” for it that the Temple had. There wasn’t the same urgency as there was for the Temple.

1 Kings 7.13-14 tells us that Solomon sent for Hiram of Tyre. This is not the king, and he is Jewish from the tribe of Naphtali. 2 Chr 2.13-14 says he was the “son of a Danite” but that means he lived among the Danites, or his mother was a Danite and his father was from Naphtali. It says his father was “a man of Tyre” which means he lived there but was not by birth.

Now, Hiram worked in bronze and was filled with wisdom, understanding and skill for doing any work in bronze. 1 Kings 7.15-51 tells us he made the furnishings for the Temple after the pattern of the Mishkan and the pattern God gave David and Solomon (1 Chr 28). He made two pillars of bronze called Jachin (“he shall establish”) and Boaz (“in it is strength”). These pillars reminded the kings in the future that he was ruling because the Lord had appointed it. These also allude to those of us who are weak and feeble. As we enter the congregation of Yehovah (the body/Temple) that he will “establish” us and the Messiah is our “strength.”

He also made a sea of bronze that was 15 feet across and it was used for ritual washings. 1 Kings 7.27-39 tells us that he made ten smaller lavers that were used by the kohanim to wash their hands and feet. These had the faces of lions, oxen and Keruvim (angels) on the borders. These faces are seen in the Merkavah visions of Ezek 1 and Ezek 10. There were stands with wheels and this also alludes to Ezek 1, and the wheels were the workmanship of a chariot wheel, another allusion to Ezek 1. These lavers in the Temple teach us about God’s provision. There was only one laver in the Mishkan. These ten lavers speak of judgment and we have a large provision of the Word and the blood for cleansing (Eph 5.26).

He also made all the furnishings for the Heichal, also called the Holy Place. He made ten lampstands and ten tables for the bread (2 Chr 4.8). There were five on the right side and five on the left side. This alludes to greater provision of light and understanding of the Torah, Prophets, Writings, Gospels and Epistles.

King Solomon finished all the work for the Temple, like Moses did for the Mishkan. Yeshua will also do the same when he returns and builds the Messianic Temple (Ezek 40-48). He then brought all the things his father dedicated (silver, gold, utensils) and put them in the treasuries of the Lord. These will be used for the purchase of korbanot and for any repairs to the Temple that will be needed.

1 Kings 8.1-66 is one of the most important chapters in Scripture. The Temple is going to be dedicated and Solomon brings up the Ark. This portion is read as the Haftorah for the second day of Sukkot because this is when the Temple is dedicated, as we shall see at the end of the chapter. As we know, Sukkot is related to Chanukah (“dedication”) and are associated with Temple “dedications.” The Temple was finished in Chesvan the year before (1 Kings 6.38) but it will not be dedicated for eleven months (Tishri). In this chapter, Solomon will be a picture of the Messiah who will dedicate Ezekiel’s Temple after the birth-pains. This dedication will take place 1335 days after the mid-point of the birth-pains, which would be the festival of Chanukah (Dan 12.11-12).

So, the Ark is brought up to Moriah (v 1) and all the men of Israel assembled themselves to Solomon at “the feast, in the month of Ethanim, which is the seventh month.” This would be the seventh month of the religious calendar called Tishri. This implies the whole fall festival season of Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. The concept of “season” in 1 Thes 5.1 refers to this. The “season” covers from Yom Teruah (the new year) to Shemini Atzeret, or the eighth day of Sukkot (Exo 23.16). Ethanim was considered the first month of the civil new year.

The Levites brought the Ark to it’s place in the Holy of Holies (the Devir), and they did it right this time (1 Chr 5.4). This is the place for speaking, and “devir” is related to the Hebrew word “davar” meaning “word.” The Ark had a place prepared for it in the Devir (v 21). Under the Dome of the Rock, some scholars say they can see where the ark may have been place in an area cut out of the rock. However, there is reason to doubt that this is the true place for several reasons. The configuration of the Ark and poles do not match the cut out space in the rock. The Ark will be moved out of the Devir later by Josiah in 2 Chr 35.3. So let’s talk briefly about where the Ark is today.

It could not have been taken to Ethiopia by Solomon’s son Menelek, and it was not taken by Shishak 300 years later (1 Kings 14.25-28) because Josiah moves it. In the Mishnah, Shekalim 6.1-2, it says that the Ark is hidden under the Wood Chamber of the Temple. The concept of kedusha prevents it from leaving the Temple Mount. Solomon built a place on the Temple Mount to hide it if the people turned away from God and the Temple was attacked. Josiah moved the Ark while repairing the Temple and he probably took the Ark to the Deir Ha Etz chamber prepared by Solomon, where it is today. It has the same level of kedusha as the Holy of Holies. The reason nobody thinks about this as a location is because they do not check Jewish sources.

The Ark was placed under the wings of two, 15 foot high Keruvim (1 Kings 6.23). They spread their wings over the place for the Ark (8.7). The poles for the Ark were so long that the ends of the poles could be seen from the Holy Place before the Devir, but they could not be seen outside (there were doors). These poles poked the paroket (veil), and the Holy of Holies was 20 cubits by 20 cubits, and poles were 20 cubits. These poles were seen by the High Priest on Yom Kippur and served as a guide for him to go between when approaching the Ark. So the poles had to be low on the Ark so he could step over them. This tells us the position of the poles on the Ark. The Ark was carried like a throne, so the poles were along the width of the Ark, near the bottom, not along the length of the Ark.

In 1 Kings 8.9 it says “there was nothing in the Ark except the two tablets of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb.” In Exo 25.21 it says these tablets will be put into the Ark. Deut 10.2 says the second set of tablets were put outside the Ark. Some think that the jar of Manna and Aaron’s Rod were put in the Ark, but they were put “before” the Ark (Exo 16.33-34; Num 17.10). In Deut 31.24-26 it says that a handwritten copy of the Torah was put “beside” the Ark.

Some of the confusion comes in when we read Heb 9.4 where it says, “Having a golden censor of incense and the Ark of the Covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which the golden jar holding the manna and Aaron’s Rod which budded and the tables of the covenant.” This verse makes it sound like these items were in the Ark, but it doesn’t mean that. It means the “same location” or Holy of Holies. The Greek word means “by or with.” The “in which” refers to the Holy of Holies of Heb 9.3, not the Ark.

Then it says in 1 Kings 8.10-11 that it came that the cloud filled the house so that the priests could not minister because of the glory (“kivod”) of Yehovah. This cloud filled the Holy Place in the Temple building (sanctuary). In Part 7 we will pick up here and look at several issues. We will look at what “could not minister” means and then we will look at the concepts of the Shekinah (“presence”) and the Kivod (“glory/weight”). The priests “could not stand to minister because of the cloud (Shekinah), for “the glory of Yehovah filled the house of Yehovah” (1 Kings 8.11). These are two different manifestations.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Kings-Part 5

1 Kings 6.1-38 begins to to tell us about the building of the Temple. It will give us information about the basic dimensions and structure. In the 480th year after the sons of Israel came out of Egypt (961 B.C.), in the fourth year of the reign of Solomon, he began to the the “House of Yehovah” (6.1). This shows how long Israel lived in the land without a Temple. The Mishkan served the people well, and it was being transformed into a more permanent “house” with a stone/tented structure at Shiloh. From this verse the Exodus can be dated. We go over this dating in our “Concepts in Exodus” study but we will do a brief review again here.

Of course, these dates are approximates but we believe Joseph begins to reign in 1660 B.C. Jacob arrives in 1651 B.C. and they were in the land approximately 210 years, and that brings us to 1441 B.C. and the Exodus. This Temple will built on the same set of hills that Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac and Jacob saw his vision of God in Gen 28.11-19. This is Mount Moriah (Gen 22.2; Chr 3.1), meaning “mount of the Teacher.” Yeshua said he would build his kingdom “on this rock” which is a name for the Messiah. So, “teacher” equals “rock” equals “Messiah.” Yeshua also said that he was greater than the Temple, and if you destroyed that Temple he would raise it up in three days (Matt 12.6; John 2.19).

Now, Here is another interesting concept with Solomon’s Temple. When you lay this temple out and look at it from above, you will see it looks like a human form. We know that Jacob had a dream in Gen 28.10-22 and laid down on that mount where the Temple would be built, and Jacob’s pillow was a rock. We also know that Isaac was laid out on the altar before Abraham. The rock that Jacob laid on corresponds to the rock in the Holy of Holies, called the ‘Even Shetiyah” or “foundation stone.” The Holy of Holies is called “Devir” meaning “word or speak” where the “mouth” is. So, for a moment, imagine a person (Isaac and Jacob) laying down and where the Holy of Holies is where the head was.

Jacob’s neck would then correspond to the steps leading up to the Holy of Holies. We know there will be ten wheeled lavers and these will correspond to Jacob’s fingers on both hands. Jacob’s legs correspond to the two pillars called “Jachin” (“he shall establish”) and “Boaz” (“in it is strength”). Jacob’s feet would correspond to the ALtar.

Now, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a statue with four metals. It had a head of gold, arms of silver, a belly and thighs of bronze and feet of iron and clay. This temple in human form is the exact opposite of that. When you look at the Temple, the “head” (Holy of Holies) and the “chest” (Holy Place) was all gold. The “two legs” (the two pillars) were bronze, as well as the feet (the Altar). Nebuchadnezzar’s statue and image showed the kingdom’s of man. The Temple shows the Kingdom of God and the Messiah.

Furthermore, when you look at Solomon’s Temple from above, it also looks like a High Priest. The turban of the High Priest are the cells on the west side of the Holy of Holies. The Ark had two poles that poked out the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies (1 Kings 8.8) and could be seen from the Holy Place. Thses two poles are like nostrils.

Then the cells on the north and south side correspond to the two arms. The Holy place was the chest. Five lavers were on the north and south side, corresponding to the fingers of the hands. Then we have the two pillars corresponding to the two legs, followed by the Altar (feet). For a more detailed look at these concepts with pictures and commentary, go to “Temple Secrets.Info.” This site gets into detail about how the floor plan reveals a Temple in human form.

The next thing we want to establish is the cubits used. The royal Cubit was used in the 500 x 500 cubit Temple Mount, and it was 20.67 inches. In the Court of the Women area, a five hand-breadth cubit of 19.2 inches was used. In the Azarah (courtyard) a six hand-breadth cubit of 23.04 inches was used. As we have said before, this will not be a massive study on Solomon’s Temple, but we are going to touch on some verses that will have concepts that we should know and understand, and concepts you will not find in most commentaries.

1 Kings 6.4 talks about the windows in the Temple. They were narrow on the outside and wide on the inside. This added light to the inside and it also kept out bad weather. It also teaches that the glory is “narrow” reaching the outside world because for now we see “in part” (Song 2.8; Isa 55.8). We also have the Heichal (Holy Place) and the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies) mentioned in v 5. The Holy of Holies is called the “Devir” as we have said before and it is related to the word “Davar” meaning “word.” The Holy of Holies is called this because God spoke from there (Exo 25.22).

The Sanctuary was 60 cubits long, 20 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. The Porch (“ulam”) was 20 cubits long and 10 cubits wide and it ran along the front of the Sanctuary (north to south). There were side chambers three stores high on the north, south and west sides. The Azarah (“to help”) or “courtyard” surrounded the Temple sanctuary building (1 Kings 6.36).

The “house” (Sanctuary/Temple) wad stones prepared beforehand at a quarry. This alludes to the painful work of the Ruach Ha Kodesh in our lives, before we can be fitted together with other stones (1 Pet 2.5-10). Neither hammer or ax or an y iron tool could be heard in the house while it was being built. This applied during the assembly of these pre-fab stones. This teaches us that people are hewed and squared by the Ruach Ha Kodesh first, then fitted together into his “house” by God’s workmen in a quiet, peaceful way without fighting, clamor or contention.

In 1 Kings 6.8 it refers to “winding stairs” to the middle story, and from the middle story to the third. This tells us that we have “windings and turnings” which are afflictions in our lives as we pass from one stage to another. Solomon built the house and finished it, and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar, a high priced wood (6.9).

In 1 Kings 6.11-14 Yehovah speaks to Solomon and promises to dwell among Israel and will not forsake her as long as Solomon follows the Torah of Yehovah. The Temple will be built according to God’s blueprint and plan in 1 Chr 28.11-19. These verses also tell us that Solomon built the Temple and finished it, and as we read the verses we will see the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim is referred to as the “oracle” in the KJV and “inner sanctuary” in the NASB. We have mentioned before that the word in Hebrew is “devir” which means to “speak” and this alludes to the Ark being in the there and how Yehovah actually spoke from between the wings of the keruvim over the Ark. What many people over look is Solomon also had two 14 foot keruvim wood sculptures in there, overlaid with gold.

The floor of the Temple was overlaid with gold, and the walls also (1 Kings 6.20-22). Gold was hammered into the doors (1 Kings 6.32). He also carved all the walls of cedar wood in the Temple sanctuary, and had keruvim, palm trees and flowers in the Holy of Holies and Holy Place. The two doors were olive wood and he had keruvim, palm trees and flowers carved on them overlaid with gold. The doors to the Heichal (Holy Place) were made of cypress wood, and he carved keruvim, palm tress and flowers on them overlaid with gold. This was similar to the Mishkan which also had designs on the inside. It also alludes to the Garden of Eden (Gen 2.8-9). Could these trees be alluding to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life? Could the palm tree (called the “tree of righteousness”) be the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the and almod tree that budded on Aaron’s rod (in the Holy of Holies) be the Tree of Life?

It took Solomon seven years to beuld the Temple (v 38), but this number is “rounded off” because from Iyar (1 Kings 6.1) to Bul (Chesvan) is six months, so it is seven years and six months actually. The word “Bul” means “increase” and it is related to the word “mabul” meaning “flood” in Gen 6.17. It was the rainy season. It is not unusual for the numbers to be “rounded off” in the Scriptures.

We will pick up in 1 Kings 7 in Part 6.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Kings-Part 4

In 1 Kings 4.1-34 we have an account of the riches and honor Solomon had (see 1 Kings 3.13), and it talks about his princes, food providers for his court and family, the extent of his kingdom and the overall peace and prosperity that was enjoyed. It was under these conditions that the Temple could be built and the influence of the King of Israel was seen by the other nations. This influence reflected back on the Lord as king over the earth, and the Temple was symbolic of that.

Solomon’s officials were Azarah, the son of Zadok, as High Priest (actually he was the grandson-1 Chr 16.8). Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha (Shua) were Secretaries (scribes). Jehoshaphat was the recorder (Secretary of State) and he served under David (2 Sam 8.16; 20.24). We also have Abiathar as a priest in v 4. Solomon could reassign Abiathar in responsibility, but he could not take away his title or duties as a priest.
Benaiah was over the army and Azariah, the son of Nathan the prophet, was over the deputies listed in v 7-19. His other son Zabud was the chief minister. Ahishar was chief steward over the household and Abda was over collecting the tribute.

Solomon had twelve deputies that furnished food from the twelve districts in the land. One district would provide food each month. These provisions were for the king and his family, and the court. These deputies (officers) allude to the twelve Talmidim of Yeshua who were appointed to provide spiritual food (the Word of God) to God’s (the king) family (the believers). If there was a thirteenth month, then there was an officer fixed who could take food from anywhere. This thirteenth officer alludes to Paul, to make thirteen Talmidim who provided spiritual food to the king’s (God) family.

Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand of the seashore and were eating and drinking and rejoicing (like in the messianic kingdom). Solomon ruled over the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt, and this also alludes to messianic times (Psa 72.8). Israel and Judah dwelt safely, every man under his fig tree. This is an idiom for the Messianic Kingdom (John 1.48; Isa 36.16; Zech 3.10).

1 Kings 4.22-23 gives Solomon’s daily provisions, and in 1 Kings 4.24-28 it talks about the political stability of his kingdom. In 1 Kings 4.26 it says there were 40,000 stalls for his horses, and in 2 Chr 9.25 it has 4000 stalls. There is an extra “yod” (number “10” in Hebrew) indicating that this is referring to the number of horses in 1 Kings 4.26. In 2 Chr 9.25 the 4000 does not have the extra “yod” indicating these are the number of stalls. There are some who say this could also be a scribal error. But this also shows that Solomon did not follow the instruction in Deut 17.16 where the Torah says that a king was not to multiply horses for themselves. The horse was symbolic of military power, the more horses you had the powerful you looked. But the kings of Israel did not need military power, they had Yehovah, and the Lord did not need horses. To multiply horses meant you did not trust the Lord in a sense.

1 Kings 4.29-34 tells us that God gave Solomon wisdom, discernment and breadth of spirit. His wisdom surpassed the wisdom of Persia, Arabia, Babylon (“sons of the east” in Matt 2.2) and the wisdom of Egypt. He is wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite (wrote Psa 89) and Heman (wrote Psa 88 and a musician in 1 Chr 6.33, 25.4-7, Psa 16.42). Then the verse also mentions Chalcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. They are mentioned in 1 Chr 2.6, and Darda is called “Dara.” Solomon also wrote 3000 proverbs, some of which are in the Book of Proverbs, and his songs (psalms) numbered 1005.

Then v 33 says that he spoke of trees, from the cedar (the greatest) to the hyssop (the least). This like saying “from A to Z.” He also spoke about animals (Zoology) and fish (Ichthyology) and creeping things (Entomology). People came from all the peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon (Philosophy).

In 1 Kings 5.1-18 it says Solomon prepares to build the Temple, with help from Hiram of Tyre. Hiram is an abbreviation of the word “Ahiram” meaning “my exalted brother.” He was a friend of David and had built an alliance with him. Archaeologists have found his royal sarcophagus. Solomon told him spiritual things and explains why his father could not build the Temple “for the name of Yehovah his God” until all the enemies that surrounded him had been dealt with. Hiram initiates the contact with Solomon and this is a sign of foreign acceptance. The fact that Solomon would build the Temple is not a rejection of David, but it is in acceptance of what David did because he had safe borders, an established order and a dynasty that could transfer power. Now a Temple could be rebuilt.

When the Bible talks about David being a “man of war” it is not criticizing him. Yehovah never condemned David for the wars he fought. They were fought in defense of his people and were the right thing to do. However, the killing of anyone leaves a person “spiritually” scared and that is why the Torah says that the Altar should not be made with stones that are hewn or had a sword or metal tool upon them (Exo 20.22).

Solomon uses the phrase “For the name of Yehovah” for the Temple because this was not going to be like the pagan temples, where the pagan deity actually “lived.” He knew the heavens could not contain Yehovah, much less a house of stone. He wanted Hiram to cut down cedar tress for the Temple. Tyre and Sidon were known as wood craftsmen.

Now, we have a concept here. The Mishkan was built by the hand of the Jewish people. But this Temple will be built with aid from the non-Jews. The Temple is a house of prayer for all nations, and this alludes to the eschatological congregation of Yeshua made up of Jews and non-Jews (Eph 2.11-22). When Hiram heard Solomon’s words, he rejoiced and blessed Yehovah for giving such a wise son to reign over Israel. In return, Solomon provided food for the household of Hiram (v 9). So the wood was brought down from Lebanon by rafts and unloaded at Joppa (2 Chr 2.16). They would be carried away from there. As long as the work lasted, Solomon gave 60 tons of wheat and 6 tons of beaten oil for Hiram’s household year by year. 2 Chr 2.10 says he also gave portions to the workmen.
1 Kings 5.13-14 tells us that Solomon had a force of freemen who were conscripted to work on the Temple from all Israel. They were not fighting wars so they could do this, and this is another reason why peace had to be established by David before the Temple could be built. 30,000 men were used, and 10,000 were used at a time, with the the other 20,000 going home. Adoniram was in charge of this project. Solomon’s wisdom is displayed in how he used this workforce. He delegated responsibility and he did not make these workmen work constantly away from home.

Solomon also used 70,000 transporters and 80,000 hewers of stone. According to history, not one workman died or was sick working on this project. Solomon also had 3,300 chief deputies (middle management) who were over the project. 2 Chr 2.18 says there were 3,600 deputies, meaning 300 supervised the 3,300. Then Solomon commanded that great stones be quarried (quality stones) for the foundation, and these stones were to be ones that were never seen. But Solomon was not cutting corners. Though out of sight, the Temple was to be built on a solid foundation (Isa 54.11; Rev 21.14). So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites cut the stones and prepared the timbers to be used in the Temple.

So, as we can see, the Jews and the non-Jews worked together to build a physical Temple. Spiritually, it is the same thing. We are the stones of Messiah’s Spiritual Temple (1 Pet 2.5) being “cut out” by the expert workmen God has placed in our lives and by Yeshua himself. We should keep in mind that all of this is a picture of the Messianic Kingdom and the building of Ezekiel’s Temple by Yeshua.

We will pick up in 1 Kings 6 in Part 5.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Kings-Part 3

1 Kings 3.1-28 tells us about the marriage of Solomon to Pharaoh’s daughter. It is said that Psa 45 was written on this occasion. It goes on to tell us about his love and obedience to the Torah and his prayer for wisdom. This wisdom will be demonstrated in the case of the two harlots. The daughter of Pharaoh was not Solomon’s first wife. His first wife is Naamah the Ammonitess, who he married before he became king. Rehoboam was born of her, and he succeeded Solomon (1 Kings 11.43). Marrying royalty was common because it could avoid hostility between the two nations.

However, Solomon has multiple wives and this would cause issues in Solomon’s life, and later Nehemiah was angry because the people of Israel intermarried with pagan nations, following Solomon’s bad example (Neh 13.25-27. These wives of Solomon also ruined his spiritual life (1 Kings 11.1-4), which started out so strong in our verses in 1 Kings 3.3-15). It was not forbidden to marry a foreign woman in the Torah, but she must convert to the God of Israel. Solomon brought her to Jerusalem, also not forbidden in the Torah, but he should not have done that and it was unwise. These foreign wives would turn his heart away from Yehovah (1 Kings 11.4).

Now, the people were still sacrificing at the “bam’ot” (high places) because there was no Temple at this time. Altars were allowed at this time because the Ark had no permanent house and it was not at the Mishkan. As long as these nations altars were unto Yehovah and not idolatrous they were allowed. Once the Temple was built, however, this practice was no longer allowed. In the Mishnah, Zevachim 14.4-8, it says, “Before the Tabernacle was set up, the high places (bam’ot) were permitted and the Altar service was fulfilled by the first born. But after the Tabernacle was set up, the high places were forbidden, and the Altar service was fulfilled by the priests; the Most Holy Things (Kodshai Kodashim) were consumed within the curtains, and the Lesser Holy Things (Kodshai Kelim) throughout the camp of Israel.”

“After they came to Gilgal the high places were again permitted; the Most Holy Things could be eaten only within the curtains but the Lesser Holoy Things in any place. After the came to Shiloh the high places were forbidden. There was no roof beam there, but below was a house of stone and above were hangings, and this was the resting place. The Most Holy Things were consumed within the curtains, and the Lesser Holy Things and the Second Tithe in any place within sight of Shiloh. After they came to Nob and to Gibeon the high places were permitted; the Most Holy Things were consumed within the curtains and the Lesser Holy Things throughout the cities of Israel. After they came to Jerusalem the high places were forbidden and never again permitted; and this was the inheritance. The Most Holy Things were consumed within the curtains and the Lesser Holy Things and the Second Tithe within the wall of Jerusalem.”

Solomon loved the Lord and followed the Torah and he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, other than the one in Gibeon and the Mishkan. This is something David never did. Solomon went to Gibeon in 1 Kings 3.4 to sacrifice there because that was the “great altar.” That was where the Mishkan was and he offered a thousand burnt offerings (Korban Olah) on that altar.

In Gibeon, Yehovah appeared to Solomon in a dream. He asked Solomon to ask him for anything. Solomon had full use of his reasoning mind under this divine impression. He was in a spiritual state of mind and in God’s mercy. Yehovah is really talking to him. God was going to work something into Solomon. Believers read this and say, “{I wish I had a dream with promises like this” but we do have promises like this (Matt 7.7; John 15.7; 1 John 5.14). We have several important concepts in this exchange.

Solomon says his father “walked before you in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward you.” We have gone over David’s life and we know all about his failings and imperfections. Solomon could say this because David lived by “emunah” (faith, confidence) and not by a system of works righteousness. Solomon also says he was “but a little child” meaning in knowledge and understanding of the Lord. This should be our attitude, no matter what we think we know. He says he does not know “how to go out or to come in.” This is a shepherd term meaning he did not know how to “govern and manage a flock of sheep (people).”

So, in essence, he asking for understanding, which in Hebrew here is the word “Shama” meaning “to hear or to have discernment.” He wants a heart to speak and to judge according to the truth and righteousness found in the Torah. The Lord was pleased with Solomon’s request of “Shama” so he said he would make Solomon like no other before him, or after him. However, Solomon must walk in the Torah “as your father David walked.” You see, Yehovah saw that David was an imperfect man with many grievous sins, but he said David walked in the Torah by faith (emunah), and Solomon said he has seen this (3.6). So Solomon awoke and it was a dream, but it was a prophetic dream. He will soon find out he possessed the discernment and wisdom he asked for.

In 1 Kings 16-28 we have the story of two women who were “harlots.” The word “zonot” could also mean “innkeepers.” This story is also prophetic. One woman is a type of a believer with faith, and the other woman an unbelieving apostate. As we see in the story, both live in the same house (household of God/faith) and they stood before the king (Matt 7.15-23). It happened that on the third day (Hos 6.1-3 alluding to the third day when Yeshua returns) one gave birth, and the other gave birth and were together. There was no stranger with them in the house (no guests in the inn), so there were no witnesses.

She goes on to say that “this woman’s son died (Yeshua was rejected and killed by Israel) in the night (darkness/no understanding) because “she lay on it.” Then she says this mother woman came in and “took my son from beside me (alludes to replacement theology where the “Yeshua of the Scriptures” is replaced by the “Jesus” of replacement theology apostate Christianity and they try to make him “theirs”) and laid him next to her. Then she arose to nurse her child and realized the dead son was in her bosom. When she looked at him, she realized it was not her son. Then the other woman spoke up and said, “No! For the living one is my son and the dead one is your son.” Believers in Yeshua by faith argue that the Messiah (Yeshua) is theirs, and unbelievers say the Messiah is theirs (Jesus).

Then Solomon requested a sword. This “sword” alludes to the Word of God in the Scriptures (Heb 4.12-13; Eph 6.12). The “sword” is a sharp mind in the Torah, exposing the true intentions of the heart. David did the same thing in 2 Sam 19.29. Solomon said, “Divide (what the word does in Heb 4.12) the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” This was done to try their affections. Then the woman whose child was living spoke to Solomon and said she was upset and did not want the living child killed. But the other woman said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours: divide it (notice she says “it” and not “him?” This shows distance in affection and that the child was not hers). The Solomon said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is the mother.”

Yeshua gives us a clue as to who the “real mother” of Messiah is in Luke 8.21. He said, “My mother and my brothers are these who hear the Word of God and do it (obey the Torah).” This carries the concept of “hear and obey.” We have the same situation today. There is a “son” who have “two mothers” argue over. There are those who have true faith and follow the Torah of the true mother Israel (Rev 12.17), and those who follow a “lawless” (“anomos” in Greek meaning “no Torah”) mother of a religion called Replacement Theology Christianity (Rev 17.1-5). In order to know who he is we must examine the Yeshua (the living son) being presented, and the “Jesus” (the dead son) being presented. What do we use to examine this question? We use the the Scriptures, but we must have wisdom, insight, discernment, knowledge and understanding to know who the true “mother” is. This chapter gives us a glimpse of Solomon’s ability to judge the people (3.12).

We will pick up here in Part 4.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Kings-Part 2

In 1 Kings 2.1-46 we have what David told Solomon right before his death. His instructions will include what to do with Solomon and how he should walk, on Adonijah, the removal of Abiathar from the high priesthood, putting Joab to death for his murders and treason, and Benaiah replacing Joab, Zadok replacing Abiathar and what to do with Shimei who cursed David. This chapter also alludes to the last days of David and being a picture of Yeshua’s first coming to save, and Solomon being a picture of the second coming for judgment.

David’s time to die drew near showing us man’s days are determined by Yehovah (Job 14.5; Psa 139.16; Matt 6.27). He tells Solomon to “show yourself a man” in fortitude and wisdom, and warned him of flatteries and wicked devices brought on by man and Satan. He is told to “keep the charge of Yehovah” (Torah).

David begins to deal with Joab. Solomon is to bring justice to Joab for killing Abner (2 Sam 3.27) and Amasa (2 Sam 20.9-10). Now, Joab is a complicated individual. He was fiercely loyal to David, but shrewd when it came to his own ambition. However, he does not mention the killing of Absalom, which he was commanded not to do (2 Sam 18.5). It is thought that David has come to the conclusion by this time that Absalom had to die for his treason. By this time, David could no longer deal with such a loyal person who had some major issues.

David wanted Solomon to show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite who assisted David when he fled from Absalom (2 Sam 19.35). And then he came to Shimei. David vowed he would not execute him for his rebellion in 2 Sam 16.5-13. David kept his word, but justice will be brought through Solomon.

So David “slept with his fathers” which will become a common phrase in First and Second Kings for “death.” David reigned seven years in Hebron and 33 years in Jerusalem. This is eschatological and alludes to Yeshua. Hebron was seen as a type of “heaven.” Yeshua will have a coronation in heaven (Dan 7.9-10, 13-14; Rev 4 and 5) and reign for the seven years of the birth-pains. Then he will come to Jerusalem like David. Hebron and “heaven” will also be called “Abraham’s Bosom, Gan Eden and Paradise.”

In 1 Kings 2.12-17 it says that “Solomon sat on the throne of David.” His reign will be a picture of the Messianic Kingdom (2 Chron 1.1 through 9.31). But right away Adonijah came to Bathsheba with a request. She asks him, “Do you come peacefully?” He then tells her that the kingdom was really his, and all Israel had that expectation. But he is deluded. The people were waiting on David’s choice and Adonijah knows the kingdom was Solomon’s from Yehovah. So he wanted one thing. Abishag was a concubine of David and legally bound to him. Now that David is dead, that bond is broken. So, he wants Abishag to be his wife.

But, we know from Adonijah’s character he wants more than Abishag. Absalom went forward with his rebellious claim to the throne by taking his father’s concubines. What adonijah is doing is building a claim to the throne by taking a concubine of his father David. This is what new Persian and Arab kings did. They took the harem of the previous king.

So Bathsheba says she will take his request to Solomon (v 18). He had a throne set up for his mother also because the Queen mother of Judean kings was a “Givorah” and she was queen in Judah (Neh 2.6; 2 Kings 11.1-3; 2 Chron 15.16; Jer 13.18). She asks Solomon to let Abishag be given to Adonijah as a wife. But Solomon understood what Adonijah was doing and says, “And why are you asking Abishag the Shunnamite for Adonijah? Ask for him also the kingdom? For he is my older brother.” He knew by marrying Abishag that he is seting himself up to succeed Solomon. He could step in and take over if there was an opportunity.

Solomon also says that he is his older brother, and Abiathar and Joab are available now (v 22) and Adonijah was positioning himself to take the throne, and Solomon knew it. The fact that Abishag was not taken back to her father’s house shows she was David’s wife. So Solomon sent Benaiah to put Adonijah to death for his former and present treason. Now Solomon begins to bring judgment. As we have mentioned before, David is a picture of Messiah’s first coming to save the nation, and Solomon is a picture of Messiah’s second coming where his enemies are killed in judgment.

Then Abiathar the priest was brought before Solomon and Solomon says, “Go to Anathoth to your own field, for you deserve to die; but I will not put you to death at this time, because you carried the Ark of the Lord God before my father David, and because you were afflicted in everything which my father was afflicted.” So he dismissed Abiathar as high priest to fulfill the word of Yehovah which he spoke concerning the house of Eli, Abiathar’s grandfather (1 Sam 2.27-36).

Joab hears about what happened to Adonijah and Abiathar, so he fled to the Mishkan at Gibeon (2 Chr 1.3) or the nearest altar, which was at the threshing floor of Araunah (2 Sam 24.25), and took hold of the horns of the Altar. Solomon is told where Joab was and sent Benaiah to kill him and bury him, thus removing from Solomon and David’s house the blood which Joab shed “without cause” (Abner, Amasa). Their blood would return on the head of Joab and his descendants, so Benaiah went to this altar and killed Joab. In other lands, taking hold of the horns of an altar was a custom asking for “sanctuary” and protection, but it was not done in Israel to protect a guilty person (Exo 21.14).

Benaiah was appointed over the army in place of Joab, and Zadok was appointed as high priest in place of Abiathar. Ezek 44.15 says that the priests that will serve in the Messianic Temple with Yeshua will be from the line of Zadok because of the loyalty that Zadok showed to Solomon. Now we come to the case of Shimei in 1 Kings 2.36-46.

Solomon calls for him and says, “Build for yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, and do not go from there to any place. For it will happen on the day you go out and cross over the brook Kidron, you will know for certain that you shall surely die; your blood shall surely be on your own head.” Solomon said this to keep an eye on him and to stop him from stirring up trouble.

Shimei was linked to the house of Saul and was considered a threat to the house of David. David instructed Solomon not to let Shimei die in peace (1 Kings 2.8). Shimei knew that Solomon was going to be a good king and he agreed to this restriction. But Shimei forgot about this restriction after three years, and ventured out of his house to look for his servants who had left to Achish, the king of Gath. So Shimei saddled his donkey and went to Gath to Achish to look for his servants, and then brought them back.

Solomon was told about this and said to Shimei, “Did I not make you swear by Yehovah and solemnly warn you saying, ‘You will know for certain that on the day you depart and go anywhere, you shall surely die’? And said to me, ‘The word which I have heard is good.'” Then Solomon asked him why he did not keep the oath to Yehovah, and the command which he told him. Solomon said that Shimei knew all the evil which he has acknowledged in his heart, which he did to his father David. As a result, Yehovah is going to return all that evil on Shimei’s head. So, Solomon commanded Benaiah to go out and kill Shimei. With Adonijah, Joab, Abiathar and Shimei dealt with, the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.

We will pick up in 1 Kings 3 in Part 3.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Kings-Part 1

We are going to begin our study of First Kings, and like the other books, we will not be going into it verse by verse, but try to bring out concepts that will help the reader do more of an in-depth study on their own. We will again look for Messianic themes. The books of First and Second Kings were originally one book, and we don’t know who the author was, but Jewish tradition says it was Jeremiah the Prophet.

1 Kings 1.1-53 gives us the account of David’s infirmities in his old age, and of how Adonijah (“my Lord is Yehovah”) tried to usurp the throne. It also tells us of what Bathsheba told David about it. She, of course, wanted her son Solomon to be king, and the prophet Nathan also agreed. So Nathan and Zadok the priest anointed Solomon. It will go on to say this news was brought to Adonijah and he was afraid , and he promised that he would not interfere with Solomon. So, let’s get into the chapter and pick up a few concepts.

David is old now and he is weak and could not keep warm (v 2). He was about 70 years old at the time and he had led a rough life, much of it outdoors in the elements. In order to keep him warm, David’s servants searched for a beautiful girl throughout Israel, and found Abishag (“my father is a wanderer”) the Shunammite (“double resting place”). She became a concubine of David but he did not co-habit with her, however. This was an acceptable practice, and Adonijah will condemn himself later by asking for Abishag as a wife. To marry a former wife of the king was seen as laying claim to the throne. Adonijah was renewing his bid for the throne and to Solomon, this was the last straw as we shall see.

In 1 Kings 1.5 Adonijah, being the oldest now, revealed his intentions by saying “I will be king.” We know Amnon, Absalom and Chileab were not around to rule, so he naturally thought he was next. We should look for allusions to the False Messiah in this story. But in Israel, it was Yehovah who determined who was king (Psa 75.6-7). Adonijah prepared chariots and fifty men to run before him. This was a way to announce he would be king. By doing this, he is copying the conduct of Absalom (another picture of the False Messiah) in 2 Sam 5.1.

David did not do a very good job raising his sons, and Adonijah was no exception (v 6). It seems David did not have a very good relationship with his father either. Any godly influence he had seems to have come from his mother. David refers to his mother as a “maidservant of Yehovah” several times in Psa 86.16 and 116.16. That is not an excuse because God treated him with comfort and correction. He could have learned how to be a good father.

In 1 Kings 1.7-8 we learn that there were two high priests at the time, Abiathar (“the father is great”) and Zadok (“righteous”). Abiathar followed Adonijah, but Zadok belonged to David. Zadok was from Aaron’s son Eleazar and he shared duties with Abiathar (2 Sam 8.17, 15.24).

In 1 Kings 8-10 Adonijah has a banquet and Joab and Abiathar attended. They did not consult Yehovah about supporting Adonijah, and they turn against David. Joab may have wanted revenge for David’s pick of Amasa over him, and Abiathar may have been jealous of Zadok (2 Sam 8.17). So Adonijah offered korbanot by the stone of Zoheleth (“stone of the serpent”) in En-rogel (“fountain of the foot”). This was just south of the spring of Gihom, about a half mile. He invites all his brothers and all the men of Judah. But he did not invite Nathan, Benaiah or Solomon (v 11). But Nathan the prophet and Bathsheba intercede to David for Solomon (v 11-14).

In Judah, the mother of the king was queen (2 Kings 2.19) and Nathan takes the lead here because he knows God’s choice was Solomon. David had also told Bathsheba that Solomon would succeed him (v 17, 30). David did not know what was going on (v 11) so they tell David what Adonijah is doing (v 15-27).

So, in 1 Kings 1.28-37 we see arrangements being made to make Solomon king. They take Zadok and Benaiah (captain of the bodyguard in v 38) and take some of the warriors, and then have Solomon ride David’s mule, and go to the Gihon (“gusher”) Spring, about a half mile north of En-rogel where Adonijah was. Then Zadok and Nathan were to anoint Solomon as king. Then they were to show he was king by having him sit on David’s throne.

So, in 1 Kings 1.38-40, Solomon is anointed and heralded as king. They had the Cherethites and Pelethites go with them to the Gihon Spring (royal bodyguard). They took oil from the tent (ohel) that David made in 2 Sam 6.17 and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet and the people said, “Long live King Solomon.” Remember, the Mishkan was in Gibeon and the Ark was in the tent David made.

Now, a coronation ceremony in Judah consisted of five parts. First we have the “Investiture” with insignia. Second we have the “Anointing” followed by the “Acclamation.” Then we have the “Enthronement” and then the “Homage.” Anytime a king is coronated in the Scriptures it carries prophetic implications. Prophecies about the kingly Messiah are very ancient (Gen 49.10, Num 24.17). These verses tell us the coming king must be from Judah. This will be realized with David, but there is another one coming (Jer 23.5-6; 33.15-16). Yeshua will fulfill this prophecy (Luke 1.32-33).

Was Yeshua ever proclaimed as king? He was referred to in his life as Son of David, the king of the Jews and King of Israel in John 1.48-49). When he rode into Jerusalem on Nisan 10 in Luke 19.37-38 he rode on a donkey (like Solomon does) and the people recognized what he was doing. He was showing his “identification” as king (Zech 9.9). In order to have a king you must have a coronation. Yeshua will be coronated on Yom Teruah (Rosh Ha Shanah), year 6001 from creation, in Heaven after the people have been gathered together in what is called the “Natzal” or “rapture” (Dan 7.9-10, 13.14).

In Rev 4.1-11 and Rev 5.1-14 we have passages indicating that this is Yom Teruah, and we have a court scene like in Dan 7. God the Father is on the throne till Rev 5, then Yeshua is given the kingdom. What we should take notice of is John is called to this coronation in Rev 4.1 as a witness, and so will all the believers in the Natzal. Several Psalms speak of the coronation of Yeshua, like Psalm 2 and Psalm 47.

1 Kings 1.41-49 tells us that Adonijah wasn’t even finished with his banquet when he hears the sound of Solomon’s coronation, about a half mile away. The whole city was making noise. He finds out that David has made Solomon king and now Adonijah was afraid. 1 Kings 50-53 says that Adonijah “took hold of the horns of the altar” and this was probably the closest one on Araunah’s threshing floor (2 Sam 24.25). The Mishkan Altar was at Gibeon. This was an ancient custom in other lands, but it was not used in Israel to protect a guilty person (Exo 21.14).

But Solomon showed Adonijah a brief measure of grace and mercy. He did tell him that if Adonijah ever showed even the slightest instance of rebellion, treason or crime, he would be killed. So Adonijah was brought from the altar and he came before Solomon. He prostrated himself before Solomon, Solomon said, “go to your house” in peace. In other words, take care of the affairs of your family and leave the kingdom to me.

We will pick up here in Part 2.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Conclusion

2 Sam 23.1-7 tells us the last recorded words of David under the inspiration of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit). These are not literally his last words, obviously. It says that David was the son of Jesse but anointed to be king by the Lord. He is called the “sweet psalmist of Israel” (v 1) because he composed most of them. He says that the Ruach inspired him and his word was on his tongue. The very words David uses in the Psalms were given by God.

He says, “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me.” This is a Hebrew parallelism, and v 2 also alludes to the Godhead. We have the Ruach, the God of Israel (the Father) and the Rock of Israel (the Son). He (the triune Godhead) rules over men righteously, who rules in the fear of God (v 3). These three speak to David as a type of the Messiah. He also allude to when Messiah comes (v 4), who will be a light to the people (Mal 4.2; John 1.9; Luke 1.78; Rev 22.16). Then he says the Lord is like “a morning without clouds (v 4) which is an idiom meaning “nothing blocking the sun, no storms.”

David goes on to say his kingdom is like tender grass that sprouts from the earth “through sunshine after the rain.” This alludes to the peaceful state David and the kingdom is in, but also alludes to the state the world will be in after Yeshua returns (Joel 2.23; Hos 6.1-3; Isa 4.2). He says his seed will grow to be rulers until Messiah comes (v 5), but the worthless will be thrust away like thorns. The parables (aggadot) in Matt 13 talk about this. The kingdom will have a mixed character until Messiah comes. Not everything that springs up after a rain is tender grass (Heb 6.8). Thorns cannot be handled gently (v 6). A tool is needed to remove them (v 7), so weapons of war are used against the sons of Belial (Rev 19).

In 2 Sam 23.8-39 we have the names of the Givorim (“mighty men”) we have mentioned throughout David’s career who were famous for warlike exploits. Joab is not mentioned, but all of these men were under him. The first class consisted of just three men, and they were like general officers. Josheb-bashebet (“who sat in the seat”) a Tachemonite (“you make me wise”) is the first one mentioned and he was chief of the generals. He was also called Adino (“his ornament”) the Eznite (“sharp”). He killed 800 men at one time. This is not unusual in the Scriptures. Shamgar killed 600 with an ox goad (Judges 3.31) and Samson killed 1000 with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15.15).

After him was Eleazar (“God helps”) the son of Dodo (“His beloved”) the Ahorite (“brother of rest”). He stood against the Philistines until they had to pry his sword out of his hand. Next came Shammah (“astonishment”) the son of Agee (“I shall increase”) that Hararite (“mountain dweller”). The Philistines were gathered together and he took a stand and defended a lentil filed and won a victory.

The above three went to David at the cave of Adullam when the Philistines were at Rephaim. David longed for a drink from the well in Bethlehem, but the Philistines were in-between. This longing for water from Bethlehem is an allusion to the coming of the Messiah (John 4.10). In a way, David wanted Bethlehem out of Philistine hands. But the three mighty men broke through the Philistines and drew water from the well and brought it to David. However, David did not drink it because they risked their lives to get it. So, David poured it out as a libation to the Lord. Better water than their blood. These three were the first class.

The second class was Abishai (“my father is a gift”), the brother of Joab, who was chief of the second class. He swung his spear against three hundred and killed them. He was most honored of the second three, so he became their commander, but he did not attain to the level of the first three. He did other things as well (1 Sam 26.6; 2 Sam 21.16; 1 Chr 18.12). Next comes Benaiah (“built by Yah”), the son of Yehoyada (“Yehovah knows”). He killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab who were great warriors, and he also killed a lion in a pit of snow. He once killed an Egyptian who had a spear as big as Goliath’s by taking the spear out of his hand and killing him with it. He was placed over David’s bodyguard (2 Sam 8.18).

Asahel (“made by God”) was the third of the second three. He was placed over the thirty Givorim (mighty men), but he was dead by this time because he was killed by Abner. All three were David’s nephews. Joab was not named because he was over the whole army. The thirty men just mentioned were the third class of Givorim.

In 2 Sam 23.39 we see that the last one listed was Uriah the Hittite. He was also dead by this time. He may have converted as a non-Jew to the God of Israel and married Bathsheba, the granddaughter of Ahitophel (“brother of folly”) and the daughter of Eliam (“God of the people”), a givor (mighty man) listed in v 34.

In 2 Sam 24. 1-25 we have the account of David numbering the people to strengthen the militia and the regular army; David’s acknowledgment of this sin and God’s anger over it. David is given a choice of punishment and he chooses pestilence. But through this, David finds the place of the Altar at the threshing floor of Araunah, offers korbanot on it, and the plague is stopped. Why was the place of the Altar revealed through David’s sin? We refer you to “Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 7” for that answer. In that view the “he” in 2 Sam 24.1 refers to the Lord inciting David. In another view, the “he” alludes to Satan (1 Chr 21.1). who stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel. God allowed it as a chastisement against David. God opened the door and allowed this to happen. It was up to the Lord to command a counting.

Joab objects to this numbering (24.3-4) and hints that it was pride that prompted David. He was tempted to take some of the credit for how Israel had grown. The captains of the army warned David. This numbering took almost a year and there were 1,300,000 fighting men available. Then David realized he had done wrong (24.10) and he saw the pride.

God allowed him to choose his punishment and offered three thing. There could be seven years of famine, but that would result in many deaths. David could flee three months before his enemies, but that would also result in many deaths because he was king and who knows what would have happened if David was gone. The third option was three days of plague in the land, and that would surely mean the death of some, but anyone could be struck.

The Lord wanted David to use the prophet to relay his answer, and David chose the three days of plague. This shows David’s heart and wisdom. In the other two choices, David and his family could be insulated from danger, but the third choice exposed himself and his family like everyone else. In the other two choices, Israel was at the mercy of the other nations. God was more merciful and just in the third choice. So, the plague came and 70,000 people died. God relented from the plague, thus revealing why David chose the third plague.

So, in 2 Sam 24.18-21 David is instructed to build an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah. It was on Mount Moriah where Abraham offered Isaac and where Yeshua would be crucified. It was a place where the wheat was separated from the chaff, a fitting place for korbanot to be brought and for worship in the Temple. David wanted to buy the threshing floor, not receive it as a gift. So, David built an altar and offered korbanot, and the plague was stopped. David knew that the death of 70,000 (number of completion) did not atone for his sins, nor for the sins of Israel, because atonement could only come through the blood. God showed his acceptance by consuming David’s korbanot with fire. David wanted to be right with God by offering peace offerings (v 25).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 19

2 Sam 21.1-6 tells us about a famine that had been on the land for three years, so the Lord was inquired. The Lord said it was because Saul slaughtered the Gibeonites and this was contrary to the oath Joshua gave them in Josh 9.15. David called for them and asked what would satisfy them according to justice. The Gibeonites were killed in Saul’s zeal to possess their cities and goods. According to Num 35.33, only the blood of him who shed blood could atone, and they considered themselves as blood avengers. So the Gibeonites required that seven sons (number of completion) of Saul were to be hung (after they were killed).

2 Sam 21.7-9 says that because David swore to Jonathan that he would not cut off his seed, he did not turn over Mephiboshet, but he did turn over the two sons of Rizpah, Saul’s concubine (2 Sam 3.7). He also turned over the five sons of Michal, who were actually the sons of Merab (1 Sam 15.9) whom she brought up for Adriel. Micah had no children to the day of her death. David delivered these sons into the hands of the Gibeonites. They were put to death first, then hung, like Moses did in Num 25.4. This happened in the first days of the barley harvest, around Passover.

2 Sam 21.10-14 says that Rizpah guarded the bodies until God sent the rain to end the famine by setting up a canopy for herself. She did this to drive away the birds of the sky that would rest on them by day and the beasts by night. According to the Torah in Deut 21.22 the bodies should have been taken down and buried the same day. However, they were killed by non-Israelites so that verse did not apply to this situation.

Now, David heard about what Rizpah did and was moved to give the sons of Saul a proper burial. So he took the bones of Saul and Jonathan from Jabesh-gilead, and the bones of those who were hung, and they were buried in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the tomb of Kish his father . After that, the rains came (21,14).

In 2 Sam 21.15-17 it says that the Philistines were at war with Israel again and David went down with his warriors and fought them, but David got weary. He was getting too old to fight these battles. Abishai protected him from a giant named Ishbi-benob (“his dwelling is Nob”), a descendant of Goliath, or of another giant. Abishai said David should not go to war again so that David’s “lamp” (life) not be extinguished.

2 Sam 21.18-22 goes on to say that after this there was a battle at Gob (“pit”) and there were individual duels (1 Sam 17.8). This was a common practice between armies so that both armies would not be engaged. Sibbecai (“Lord sustains”) the Hushathite killed Saph (“sea moss”), and Sibbecai was one of the Givorim (“mighty men”). Elhanan (“God is gracious”), the son of Jaare-oregim (“city of weavers”) the Bethlehemite, killed the brother of Goliath named Lahmi (“my war”-1 Chr 20.5).

There was war again and there was a man of great stature who had six fingers and six toes, born to a giant. He defied Israel and Jonathan the son of Shimei (also called Shammah in 1 Sam 16.9 and Shimma in 1 Chr 2.13) the brother of David struck him down. These four were born to one of the giants of Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by his Avadim (“warriors”). They were descendants of the Anakim (Josh.11.22). Including Goliath, there were five. This may allude to the five rocks David picked up from the brook in 1 Sam 17 and it may also allude to the five times the word “rock” is used in Deut 32 and coming up soon in 2 Sam 22.

2 Sam 22.1-51 contains a song which is also associated with Psa 18. Now, whenever we see a song (psalm) in the Scriptures it will have messianic messages in it. But, if we only see the messianic implications will may miss other aspects. This is the Haftorah reading for Deut 32.

We have already mentioned that the word “rock” is mentioned five times here, and in Deut 32, and how it alludes to the five rocks David used (1 Sam 17 40) and how David and his men killed five giants (2 Sam 21.22). It also alludes to the five books of Torah that Moses wrote; how the Psalms are arranged in five books; how Nebuchadnezzar’s giant statue is dropped by a rock (Dan 2.34-35, 45) and how Zechariah talks about the “burdensome stone (or rock) in Zech 12.3.

David wrote this in his last days (23.1) and some of the passages apply to Yeshua. 2 Sam 22.2-3 are quoted in Heb 2.13 and 2 Sam 22 is quoted in Rom 15.9. There are many things in this song that allude to Yeshua as a servant and mediator encompassed by snares and sorrows.

2 Sam 22.2-10 speaks of the “rock”, which we have mentioned, and the “shield” which are messianic terms. The shield (magen) is referred to as a “he” in Prov 30.5, and called the “word of God.” This shield is also the “horn” or “power” of David’s salvation (“yishi” related to “Yeshua) and “saviour” (“moshiach”). He goes on to say that Yehovah (v 4) has saved him from his enemies. Death encompassed him and torrents of destruction overwhelmed him. The “cords of Sheol” surrounded him, meaning he was near death (v 6). He called on Yehovah and he was heard. Then the earth quaked and the foundations of Heaven was trembling. Smoke went out of God’s nostrils (He was angry) and fire from his mouth, meaning strong denunciations.

It goes on to say in 2 Sam 22.10-12 that God came down with “thick darkness under his feet and he rode on a cherub and flew (like an eagle-Deut 28.19). He appeared on the wing (“kanaf where the tzitzit are) of the wind (Ruach) and he made darkness (hidden from human eyes) canopies (sukkot) around him, a mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky.

These verses are seen as part of what is called the “Ma’aseh (work) Merkavah” (work of the chariot/throne of God). This is similar language to Ezekiel 1, which is also called the “Ma’aseh Merkavah” in Hebrew thought. We will get into that concept when we get to Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ezekiel. David is alluding to Mount Sinai in these verses and is describing what the Lord will do to his enemies. This can also apply to the Messiah and how the Lord delivered him and “drew me out of many waters” (saved me) and what will happen at the coming of Yeshua. As we read this chapter, keep in mind what Yehovah did for David, but also what he did for Yeshua.

We will conclude Second Samuel next time.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 18

2 Sam 20.1-26 gives us the account of another rebellion led by Sheba (“oath”), a “worthless fellow” (“son of Belial”), the son of Bichri (“youthful”), a Benjaminite. He knew that David’s position at this time was weak and so he is going to try and exploit it. He blew a trumpet to gather people to himself and he said, “We have no portion in David (not even a tenth-2 Sam 19.43), nor do we have an inheritance in the son of Jesse (as if he is a private person and not the king); every man to his tents, O Israel!” Now, “every man to his tents” is an idiom relating back to their days in the wilderness meaning “break ranks and go home” (1 Kings 12.16; 2 Chr 10.6), or “do your own thing.” So the men of Israel (ten tribes) withdrew from following David and followed Sheba. Judah remained loyal to David and never left him, from the Jordan to Jerusalem.

In 2 Sam 20.3 we learn that David took his ten concubines and shut them up for the rest of their lives, but he took care of them. He did this for several reasons. First, he could not divorce them or punish them because they weren’t the ones who sinned. Secondly, he could could not have relations with them because they had been defiled by Absalom. It was as if they were widows.

Then David said to Amasa, his nephew and Joab’s cousin, “Call out the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself (to command the militia). They knew he was Absalom’s general, so it took longer than three days to get them together because he was not up to the job like Joab was.

Then David said to Abishai that Sheba is doing more harm than Absalom. He had little to say to Joab by this time. Without waiting for Amasa and the troops he was assembling, David tells him to take his warriors (David’s bodyguard) and pursue Sheba before he gets behind fortified walls and escapes. So, with Abishai at their head, he took Joab’s men, the Cherethites, Pelethites and all the Givorim (mighty men) and they went after Sheba.

They met at a rendezvous point called the “large stone in Gibeon” and Amasa arrived with the men he assembled. Joab was also there with his men and he was dressed in his military attire. As he went to meet Amasa, his sword fell out. When he saw Amasa he kissed him, but Amasa was not alert enough to see the sword in Joab’s hand, and Joab killed Amasa (like Judas in Matt 24.49).

Although he was pardoned by David, Amasa could not escape God’s judgment for joining the rebellion of Absalom. After that, the army followed Joab and he was ruthlessly devoted to David and a true leader. Then Joab went through all the tribes and found people who were loyal to David in his recruiting.

2 Sam 20.15-22 tells us about the end of Sheba’s revolt. Sheba was hiding in the city of Abel (“meadow”) and a siege began. A siege is a horrible tactic, especially for the people in the city. The attackers and those in the city do not want to have a siege take place. It is expensive, it takes time, destroys a city and the casualties can be very high. A woman who had some wisdom (chachmah) came out of the city and talked to Joab. She knew the Torah said that they should ask for peace in a siege first (Deut 20.10). She did not want to see a major city destroyed (“a mother in Israel”). This idiom is because there are usually many little towns around a major city that are seen as “children.”

Joab agreed saying that he did not want to do that either. He was only after a man who had rebelled against David, and he was only interested in Sheba. She said his head will be thrown to Joab over the wall, and she had the power to make this happen. She went back to talk with the people, and they took Sheba and cut off his head. When Joab saw this, he blew the trumpet and they dispersed the army from their siege plans of the city. Sheba thought he was safe within the walls of the city, but no one is safe when they run against the will of God. There isn’t a wall high enough to protect that person from the Lord.

Spiritually, we are like a city (Jer 1.18; Ecc 9.14). Our sin is like the rebellion of Sheba, who was considered a traitor against the will of God. Yehovah calls for the death of the traitor. If we love the traitor over our soul, we will die. If we “cut it off” we will live (Matt 5.30).

This ended the revolt of Sheba and Joab is now the head of the army. He gained it through vengeance and murder, but David allowed Joab to take control over the army anyway. David tried to replace him but he was very powerful and he had influence with the men. So, David started his reign over again and Benaiah continued to be over the bodyguard of David (2 Sam 8.18), and Adoram was over the tribute to be collected from his own people and those he conquered. Yehoshaphat was the recorder (clerk/historian) and Sheva was scribe (secretary). Zadok and Abiathar were the priests like before (High Priest and Sagan or “deputy” high priest).

Ira the Jairite was also a priest to David. He was a chief ruler, counselor and possibly the prime minister. He seems to have succeeded Ahitophel and he will be an intimate friend of David and would hear his most intimate thoughts. In this we see that David’s kingdom will not be built on David;s abilities alone, but he knew how to assemble capable people around him and delegated his authority to them. Spiritually, this teaches us that even though David was God’s anointed it didn’t mean he didn’t need other people who were talented, gifted and anointed to help him.

We will pick up here in Part 19.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 17

In 2 Sam 19.1-3 it tells us about how David’s victory was turned into mourning, and this was not good. David’s lamenting over Absalom (“Oh, Absalom, Absalom , my son”) dampened the spirit of those who were loyal to him, and they risked their loves to save him from Absalom. So the people did not have a victory parade but they snuck back into the city as if they should feel ashamed.

In 2 Sam 19.4-7 Joab has had enough and he rebukes David. David did not thank his generals nor did he even see them. David was mourning for Absalom. So Joab says, “Today you have covered with shame the faces of your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines.” In other words, you have made them feel like they have done something wrong. How did he do that? By loving those who hated him, and hating those who loved him. At least it looked like that.

By his actions, David is showing that they didn’t mean much to him. He hasn’t seen his people or thanked them. Joab may have been going too far by saying if Absalom was alive and all of his army was dead David would be happier, but he is making a valid point here. He wanted David to go out and commend them for their bravery and faithfulness. But Joab was showing he could be dangerous.

2 Sam 19.8-10 tells us that David set aside his mourning and did what Joab had suggested, and went to the gate. Then all the people came before the king to be congratulated and thanked. Those that followed Absalom went home to their own cities. All the people were quarreling throughout the tribes because they were disorganized. There were those loyal to David, then there were those who were loyal to Absalom, and there were those who didn’t care either way. David does not cry out for Absalom again.

2 Sam 19.11-15 tells us that David sent negotiators to all the tribes because there was a dispute over whether David would be welcomed back. A “reelection” was somewhat necessary. David wanted to be invited back by the tribes who rejected him for Absalom, but Judah did not concur. They were the last to bring the king back. So David agreed to replace Joab with Amasa, Absalom’s general. This was to put Joab in his place for killing Absalom and Abner. This was an act of reconciliation to those who supported Absalom. This was welcomed by everyone but their hearts could not be forced, they needed to be persuaded. David uses kindness and affectionate words to incline their hearts toward him. So Judah came to Gilgal in order to meet the king, and to bring him across the Jordan from Mahanaim to Jerusalem. In the same way, Yehovah will not force his reign on us. We must welcome him and our hearts swayed by the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit). David wanted his reception to be unanimous, and this was accomplished through the work of Zadok and Abiathar.

In 2 Sam 19.16-23 David shows kindness to Shimei for what he did in 2 Sam 16.5-14. Now that Absalom was dead, Shimei thought he better ask David for forgiveness. Shimei says to David, “I have come today, the first of all the house house of Joseph to go down to meet the lord my king.” Why does he say “Joseph” when he is from Benjamin? Because he is alluding to the brothers of Joseph who abused and mocked him wrongly, and he is hoping that David will forgive him like Joseph forgave his brothers for what they did.

Abishai, the same guy who wanted Shimei’s head in 2 Sam 16.9 said, “Should not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?” But David got angry with his nephew and did not want him to be an adversary (“Satan” in Hebrew) this day. David did not want more blood to be shed in this affair. David says, “For do not I know that I am king over Israel today?” David will do what he thinks is best because he knows he is the rightful king (v 22) and he does not want any more families in Israel to have sorrow. So he tells Shimei, “You shall die” and gave him his word.

However, Solomon was under no such obligation, and David is about to die and he tells Solomon to “not let him go unpunished” for cursing him. He tells Solomon that he will know what to do with him, and “to bring his gray hair down to Sheol with blood” if he commits another crime against Solomon. He is not to spare him because of his age or let him die a natural death (1 Kings 2.8-9).

2 Sam 19.24-30 tells us that David showed kindness to Mephiboshet. David asked him why he did not go with him earlier, and he tells david that Ziba said that he was going to saddle a donkey for him but then just took off. Being lame, Mehpiboshet could do nothing He tells David how he mourned for him since he departed the city because David had been kind to him. Hearing this whole story, David revoked his earlier decree giving Ziba the estate of Mephiboshet. David then says that Mephiboshet and Ziba will share the estate, and Mephiboshet says, “Let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely to his own house.” David is testing Mephiboshet by using the property to determine the true intentions of the heart, and he passes the test by saying Ziba can take it all. Solomon will use a similar test to determine the true mother in 1 Kings 3. 16-28.

In 2 Sam 19.21-39 David shows his appreciation to Barzillai the Gileadite who brought help to David when he was fleeing from Absalom. In gratitude, David offers him the honor of living with him in Jerusalem. Barzillai was a welathy man and he used his riches to support a servant of God. Yeshua spoke of the foolish man who lays up his treasure for himself in Luke 12.21, and Barzillai was not like that example. He did not help David for a reward, he gave because his heart was right, so he declined. He said, “Can I distinguish between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I hear anymore the voice of singing men and women? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?”

Barzillai was very old (v 32) and his ability to enjoy life has diminished, and he had infirmities. He did not want a reward for doing his duty to the king. He just wanted to go back home and die in his own city (Rogelim-2 Sam 17.27) and be buried near his parents. However, he had a son named Chimham (“their longing”) and David could show kindness to him. David would give him possession in Bethlehem that later had an inn (Jer 41.17) and probably identical with the “inn” in Luke 2.7 and the birth of Yeshua.

We learn in 2 Sam 19.40-42 that the people of Judah escort David to Gilgal. The other tribes felt excluded from this procession, but David’s palace was on their border in Judah and the king was a relative, so they did not understand why they were angry. But the people of Israel said, “We have ten parts in the king” (ten tribes- Simeon laid inside Judah and was reckoned with them-Josh 19.1), and they claimed that they were first in wanting the king back to begin with (2 Sam 19.11, 43). It seems they only wanted David back after the death of Absalom. This attitude and contention will set the stage for a civil war that will happen in David’s day, and eventually lead to the divided kingdom.

We will pick up here in Part 18.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 16

2 Sam 18.1-33 gives us the story of how David prepared for battle with Absalom, and Absalom’s defeat and eventual death. It has been at least seven years since the sin of Amnon (a type of Adam) and Tamar, and this is a picture of the seven thousand year plan of God. David gets ready for the battle and numbers his troops, then he sets commanders over them. He puts one third of the army under Joab, one third under his nephew Abishai, and one third under Ittai the Gittite, who is a new believer but has military experience (2 Sam 15.19-22). David will use a classic three-pronged attack against Absalom.

The people did not want David to go out to battle with them. They said he was more important than all of them. He could bring reserves up if he needed them and they they knew it would be hard for him to fight against his own son. This shows their dedication and devotion and this should be an example for us in our devotion to our king (Yeshua). So, they wanted David to stay in the city of Mahanaim (v 24). David wanted Absalom taken alive and he did not want Absalom to die in his sin. This is like the Lord who does not want any to perish, but have life.

So the army went out and the battle took place in the Forest of Ephraim. David’s army was well trained and Absalom’s army wasn’t. They were no match for David. They were being led by an ego-maniac and David drew Absalom into a place where he had the advantage. The battle was spread over the whole countryside and the forest devoured more people than the sword (v 8).

David picked this battleground because Absalom’s army had weapons not suited for a forest, mountains and underbrush. Bows and slings (long range weapons) are useless there. Absalom’s army was at another disadvantage. They did not know the terrain like David’s army did. Joab knew this area (2 Sam 11.11) and more people will die in the forest than in the field. That is why Ahitophel killed himself in 2 Sam 17.23. When his counsel to Absalom was rejected, he knew David’s army would defeat Absalom in a battle.

Now, Absalom just happened to meet the warriors (“servant”) of David during the battle. He didn’t know which way to go to escape. He was riding his mule and the mule went under the thick branches of an oak tree because Absalom had no control over the mule. His hair (2 Sam 14.25-26) got caught up in the branches of the oak tree, and he was left hanging between “heaven and earth” while his mule that was under him kept going.

Absalom was caught up “in his pride” (hair). Being suspended between heaven and earth speaks of judgment (Zech 5.9; 1 Chr 21.16), which alludes to be unworthy of heaven or earth. He was also caught up in the branches. The branches allude to the Messiah (Zech 6.12; Isa 4.2). The False Messiah, the king of the children of pride (Job 41.34) who will also be caught up in his bride and be caught by the branch Yeshua. This will lead to his judgment and destruction (suspended between heaven and earth).

Now, a certain man saw Absalom hanging and told Joab (v 10). Joab asked him why he did not kill him because he would have given him ten pieces of silver and a “belt” which was an insignia as an officer or honorary (1 Sam 18.4). Then the man said he would not disobey the orders of the king which said he wanted Absalom alive (v 5). He said if he did harm Absalom, and the king heard about it, Joab would not have helped him.

So Joab did not waste anymore time on this, so he took three spears and thrust them through the heart of Absalom while he was still alive hanging in the tree. These spears are the Hebrew word “shevatim” and it means a scepter. Why did he disobey the order of David? Because he was directed by God to save the nation and the king (2 Sam 19.1-7). Joab knew that Absalom was a murderer, a traitor and a rapist and deserved death. He also knew that David was over indulgent with his children and would never punish Absalom, so he acted. But Joab will be held accountable for this (1 Kings 2.5-6). But Absalom did not die immediately, so ten soldiers who attended Joab struck Absalom again and killed him. Then Joab blew the trumpet recalling his men from pursuing Absalom’s army. Now that Absalom was dead, there was no further need of bloodshed.

They took the body of Absalom and cast him into a deep pit in the forest and put great stones over his body in the wilderness. This alludes to the destruction of the False Messiah, like Azazel (Lev 16.21; Ezek 29.1-5, 32.1-8; Isa 22.15-25; 2 Kings 11.1-15; Rev 19.20-21). All the people of Israel fled “each to his own tent” which means they went back to their own business.

To perpetuate his memory, Absalom set up a pillar to himself in the Kidron Valley (2 Sam 18.18). He had three sons (2 Sam 14.27) but they seem to have died prior to this, so he called this pillar after himself. There is a pillar in the Kidron Valley today that may be on the spot where Absalom placed his, but it can’t be the one he put up because the style is not consistent with the architecture of Absalom’s era. What Joab did with the body is consistent with the Torah in Deut 21.21 with the death of a rebellious son.

Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok the priest wanted to run and tell David the “news” (Hebrew “basar” where we get the word “gospel” from) that he was safe and his enemies are dead. However, Joab did not want him to do it. He was a priest and did not think he should be the one to bear such news because Joab respected him. So Joab sent a Cushite to David with the news, but Ahimaaz persisted in his request, so Joab said he could go, and he passed up the Cushite on the way. Ahimaaz ran to David in Mahanaim. He was well known because the watchmen recognized his running style (v 27).

Because he was alone it was assured that it was good news and he was not fleeing from battle. They also saw the Cushite running by himself. He called out, “All is well” before he got to the city gate. David was sitting by the city gates to hear of news asked, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” But Ahimaaz did not say anything right away. Then the Cushite arrived and said, “Let my lord the king receive good news (basar), for the Lord has freed you this day from them the hand of all those who rose up against you.” Then David said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “Let the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be as that young man!”

Then 2 Sam 18.33 says that David was “deeply moved.” The Hebrew idea of this is a violent trembling. This phrase is also used in conjunction with Yeshua in John 11.33 when he hears about the death of Lazarus. David knew that his sin with Bathsheba caused this, and he was an indulgent parent. David’s story shows us that parents must first train themselves in godliness before they can train their children. David wept for Absalom, and this shows us God’s heart. David wanted to die in the place of his sinful son, but David could not do that. But Yeshua did, dying in the place of rebellious sinners like us.

We will pick up here in Part 17.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 15

2 Sam 17.1-29 gives the account of the beginning of the demise of Absalom, contrary to the advice of Ahitophel. David’s men are better warriors and David is going to lure Absalom and his army into the wilderness to fight. David knows the terrain better than Absalom and he is drawing Absalom to a place of his choosing. As a battle strategist, David is more experienced that Absalom.

Anitophel knows this and advises Absalom to go after David now to surprise him, while he is on the run. He wants to assemble twelve thousand men so that he can pursue David. Then he says “I will come upon him while he is weary and exhausted and will terrify him so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king” (2 Sam 17.1-2). Notice he says “I will strike down the king.” He knew deep in his heart that David was still the king. He does not want David to settle in and prepare for a battle, and let David choose the terrain. This is a picture of the False Messiah making war on the saints (Rev 13.7). They can scatter David and his men now by pursuing a defeated enemy. This was good advice and it pleased Absalom and the elders of Israel.

Then Absalom calls in Hushai, who was not present, to see what he thought of the plan. He said the advice of Ahitophel was not good (even though it was). He knows David is not ready for a fight, but he must make Absalom believe that he was. Remember, Hushai was there to frustrate the counsel of Ahitophel. So he tells Absalom to remember his father and his men and that they were mighty warriors and experts in warfare and would be fierce, “like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field” (v 8). He tells Absalom that if he pursues David now he is walking into a trap and he wants Absalom to think that David is not as weak as everyone thinks. Hushai knows Absalom and he knows that he is not a good warrior, at least not as good as David. Hushai knows if they go after David now, Absalom would probably win, so does not want that.

Hushai wants to appeal to Absalom’s pride and vanity and says he should wait and gather a huge army and lead them personally into battle. Hushai knows he is no general and once David finds his place to fight, he will cut Absalom’s army to pieces. What David needs right now is time and Hushai is trying to give him that time. He tells Absalom that with such a huge army he can surround him wherever he is (v 12.13).

Absalom decides that the counsel of Hushai is better than the counsel of Ahitophel because it appealed to his pride. The Lord has ordained that the good counsel of Ahitophel had to be thwarted in order that the Lord might bring about the demise of Absalom (v 14). This answers David’s prayer in 2 Sam 15.31 and proves prayer is more powerful than intelligence. Absalom’s lust for power and glory will lead to his downfall. He tries to handle more than he is capable of, and he will be destroyed as a result. In this he is also like the False Messiah (Num 24.24; 2 Thes 2.3; Rev 19.20; Ezek 32.17-32). Hitler tried to do the same thing and nothing or nobody could stop him at first. Then there came a point when nothing went right because he would not listen to the good counsel of his generals. The power behind him was thwarted by the Lord. David knew that all of this was part of God’s chastening of him, but we also see that God did not abandon him.

Hushai relayed the battle plan to Zadok and to Abiathar, and they quickly relayed the message to David. They cautioned David to not spend the night at the fords of the wilderness, but to crossover. Hushai didn’t know if his counsel would be done because they might change their minds. So the message was sent to Jonathan and Ahimaaz (“my brother is anger”) by way of a maidservant, who were staying in En-rogel (“fountain of the fullers”), just southeast of the city, just below the junction of the Valley of Hinnom and the Kidron Valley, near Tophet. They will go to David. This is real spy-craft here.

However, someone saw Jonathan and Ahimaaz enter the city and told Absalom. So the two left and went to a man in Bachurim and hid in his well. A woman took the lid and placed it over the well so that nothing was known. When Absalom’s men came to the woman they asked where Ahimaaz and Jonathan were. She said they had already crossed over the Kidron, so they returned to Jerusalem. So David and those with him crossed over the Jordan (“death”) in darkness and not one was left behind. Yeshua “crossed over” death in darkness also and was resurrected (Mark 16.1-6; Matt 28.1). Others were resurrected with him and none were left behind (Matt 27.51-53).

Ahitophel knew he had lost the advantage now and that David would win the coming battle because they had waited. So, like Judas, he strangled himself and was given an honorable burial (v 23). Now David had enough time to get to one of his strongholds in the Valley of Sukkot called Mahanaim (“two camps”). This is the same Mahanaim mentioned in Gen 32.2-10 with Jacob, and it is a few hundred yards from Peniel where Jacob wrestled with the angel, about two miles from Sukkot (Gen 33.15-17). The Jewish people will flee to this area and all way south to Petra in the birth-pains (Isa 16; Rev 12).

But Absalom and all the men of Israel also pursued and was crossing the Jordan (v 24). Absalom set Amasa over the army in place of Joab. He is the son of Jithra the Israelite, also called Yether the Ishmaelite in 1 Chr 2.17. He was an Israelite but lived among the Ishmaelites. Amasa you will remember was David’s nephew and his mother was Abigail, David’s sister (2 Sam 17.25). He commanded the reserve army under David (2 Sam 20.4-5). Absalom and the army of Israel camped in Gilead.

When David got to Mahanaim supplies were brought to him and his people. They were hungry and had left Jerusalem in a hurry to go into the wilderness. They were also weary and tired. This is a picture of the words of Yeshua in Matt 24.15-20. The False Messiah will declare that he is “Jesus the Messiah” after the Abomination of Desolation is set up, and the Jews are to flee into the wilderness quickly, not even taking the time to get a coat. They will flee with no provisions and go into the wilderness fleeing from another “Absalom” and they will be given provisions by God (Rev 12.14).

We will pick up here as David gets ready for the battle in Part 16.

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Tanak Foundations- Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 14

In 2 Sam 15.30 we have a very prophetic event. As David is fleeing from Absalom, he went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives and wept as he went. His head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up weeping as they went.

In Luke 19.31-41 we have Yeshua coming into the city and he weeps over it near the descent of the Mount of Olives, where David wept. In a Sukkot Machzor (Prayer Book) there is a prayer about the Messiah called “The Voice of the Herald” and it talks about Messiah coming to the Mount of Olives. A student of David Flusser, a professor of Early Christianity and Judaism of the Second Temple period at Hebrew University, said that Gethsemane is a loan word from the Aramaic “Gad’some” and it means “ascent of the Mount of Olives.” Both Yeshua and David weep at the ascent/descent of the Mount of Olives.

David’s life is in peril and it was a time of trial and division, with Israel calling for his death. In the same way Yeshua is in the face of a trial and division, with Israel calling for his death. Rather than consume them, David abdicates his earthly throne with his followers willing to take on the suffering of their king. Likewise, rather that consume them, Yeshua abdicates his earthly throne, with his followers willing to take on the suffering of their king.

In another devastating turn of events, David is told that Ahitophel his friend and counselor has gone over to the conspirators with Absalom. Absalom sent for him while he was offering korbanot and the conspiracy was very strong (v 12), and David is told that Ahitophel is among the conspirators (v 31). David prays that Ahitophel’s counsel is foolish and not carried out. God can and does disappoint crafty counsel and it does not turn out the way it is planned (Job 5.12). This prayer will be answered in 2 Sam 17.14 as we shall soon see. Now Ahitophel is a traitor and he will also hang himself like Judas did (Matt 27.5).

David stops at the top of the Mount of Olives to worship. Hushai (“hasting of Yah”) the Archite (“long”) met him with his coat and was in mourning also. He was a friend of David (v 37) and it is believed that he wrote and sung Psa 3. David tells Hushai that he would be a “burden to me” because he was elderly or he did not have enough provisions. David wanted Hushai to return to the city to serve Absalom and to gather information and frustrate the counsel of Ahitophel. He told him that Zadok and Abiathar were there, too, and to report any information that might be useful to them. It would look like he was conducting religious business with them. They had two sons and they would carry any information they had back to David. This scenario will be similar when believers flee Jerusalem from the False Messiah. Just as Absalom will pursue David into the wilderness, the False Messiah will pursue the believers into the wilderness (Matt 24.16-20; Rev 12.13-17).

In 2 Sam 16.1-23 we have Ziba (“statue”), a servant of Mephiboshet (“exterminate the idol”), the adopted son of David, meeting David with some provisions. David asks where Mephiboshet was, and he is told that he was in Jerusalem waiting to have the kingdom of his father Jonathan restored to him. But this is a lie. Mephiboshet was crippled and this servant just went off and left him. So David gave all that belonged to Mephiboshet to Ziba, based on what Ziba has just told him about Mephiboshet’s treason, but Ziba misrepresented the situation. All of this is happening very fast as David is crossing the Kidron Valley and going up the Mount of Olives.

Now, David comes to Bachurim (“warlike, valiant”) on the road to the Jordan Valley, close to the Mount of Olives. A man named Shimei (“renowned”) of the family of Saul came out and began to curse David. He threw stones at him and his people. He told David saying, “Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed and worthless fellow (“Ish Belial”). The Lord has returned upon you all the bloodshed of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned (meaning David usurped the throne); and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. And behold, you are taken in your own evil, for you are a man of bloodshed.”

This statement about Absalom contradicts what he just said, for if David usurped the throne, then Absalom had no right to it either (v 8). Abishai, David’s nephew, asked, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over now and cut off his head.” But David did not take his advice (and Joab’s). David says, “If he curses , and if the Lord has told him, ‘Curse David,’ then who shall say, ‘Why have you done so?'” In other words, David is saying to let him go on and curse because this was a part of God’s plan. Shimei had a corrupt hatred of David and God is using it.

David says Absalom, his own son, wants to kill him, so what can the words of Shimei really do. Perhaps the Lord will look upon this and return good to him instead of cursing. Shimei was part of Saul’s family so David was not going to harm him. Besides, David knew his sins and deserved it, but God is gracious and merciful. So they left him alone and this was contrary to the Torah in Exo 22.28 where it says, “You shall not curse a judge or a ruler of your people.”

Now, here is an interesting aspect to this story. In Est 2.5 we learn that Mordechai was the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjaminite” (1 Sam 9.1-2). David had mercy on Shimei and it produced a Mordechai who saved the Jewish people in the book of Esther. On the other hand, Saul had mercy on Agag and it produced a Haman, a descendant of Agag the Amalekite, who will try to kill the Jewish people (Est 3.1). Mordechai and Agag would have a confrontation in the book of Esther, but Mordechai was there to stop him. This teaches us that there is a time for mercy and a time not to show mercy. Misplaced mercy can produce a Haman, and properly placed mercy can produce a Mordechai.

Finally, David arrives in Bachurim (v 15) and at the same time, Absalom and Ahitophel arrive in Jerusalem. Hushai comes to Absalom and says, “Long live the king” trying to gain his confidence. Absalom says, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” Absalom couldn’t even mention the name ‘David” or “my father” here. But Hushai will be ambiguous here when he says, “No! For whom the Lord, his people, and all the men of Israel have chosen, his will I be, and with him will remain.” Hushai is talking about David, but Absalom thinks he is talking about him. There was a song by Carly Simon in the seventies, released by Elektra records in November of 1972 called “You’re So Vain” and there is a line in the song that says, “You probably think this song is about you.” Well, that’s Absalom. God wants Hushai to serve Absalom, and Hushai wants Absalom to believe that the kingship is in the family, so who he serves makes no difference to him.

Then Absalom says to Ahitophel, “Give your advice.” And Ahitophel tells him to lie with his father’s concubines (2 Sam 15.16, 16.21). By this act, all of Israel will see how much Absalom hates his father and they will be strengthened with resolve against David. But this advice fulfilled a prophecy given by Nathan because of what David did in the Bathsheba/Uriah affair in 2 Sam 12.11 where it says, “Behold I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.” So, this was part of God’s plan.

They “pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof and Absalom went into his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel” (2 Sam 12.12). This symbolized the taking of the kingship from David. Adonijah, another son of David, will try to do the same thing with Abishag, and Solomon will have him killed (1 Kings 2.19-25). The chapter ends with the verse that says, “And the advice of Ahitophel which he gave in those days was as if one inquired of the word of God; so was all the advice of Ahitophel regarded by both David and Absalom” (2 Sam 16.23).

We will pick up in 2 Sam 17.1-29 in Part 15.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 13

2 Sam 15.1-37 now tells us the story of how Absalom will plot against the king and undermines him. As we have said before, he will be a picture of the False Messiah. Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men as runners before him. He may have gotten these from his grandfather Talmai, the king of Geshur (east of the Jordan). Absalom’s name means “father of peace (Avshalom) but he really isn’t, his heart is cold (Matt 24.5).

Absalom would rise early (shows diligence) and stand beside the way to the gate of the king’s palace and when any person had a suit to bring before the king, Absalom would call to them and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel” showing he was not from a city of another nation. Then Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but no one listens to you on the part of the king.” He would also say, “Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has a suit or cause could come to me, and I would give him justice.” He is trying to take the kingdom by seduction.

And it happened when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. He is also trying to delude them. This is the way Absalom dealt with all Israel who would come to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel, by flattery. The majority of Israel was swayed then, and majority will be swayed in the future by the flattery of the False Messiah (Dan 11.32). He will also question the judgments of the king in the Torah, and he is called “lawless” which means “Torah-less.” The False Messiah will tell the people what they want to hear, like Absalom, saying “you are free from the law” or “you are not under the law.”

Now it came about that Absalom asked his father for permission to go to Hebron to fulfill a vow. He made the vow in Geshur to serve the Lord if he brought him back to Jerusalem. He was given permission and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent spies throughout the land saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you say, ‘Absalom reigns in Hebron.'” He took two hundred men with him to Hebron and they did not know what was happening. But the people would see him and think they backed Absalom. It will be the same thing with the leaders who appoint the False Messiah in Rev 17.12-13.

Then Absalom sent for Ahitophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city in Giloh (“exile”). The conspiracy is strong and the people increased continually with Absalom. Now, the story of Ahitophel is an important one and it is a study about the roots of bitterness and what can happen to a person who is bitter. So, we are going to take a look at this concept and it will cover 2 Sam 11.1 to 2 Sam 17.23.

Ahitophel (“brother of ruin”) was the grandfather of Bathsheba and the father of Eliam. Eliam and Uriah the Hittite were part of the “Givorim” (“mighty men”) of David (2 Sam 23.34, 39). Ahitophel became very bitter over the death of Uriah and the whole affair with Bathsheba. Eliam, Bathsheba’s father, remained faithful to David even after the Bathsheba incident, but Ahitophel didn’t. Eliam stood by David even after he murdered his son-in-law and disgraced his daughter because he knew that God was with David. He had to stand against his own father to support David.

We can learn about an unforgiving spirit from this story and how it can lead to destruction. There are a lot of times we feel justified and hold on to our bitterness and anger, and we won’t let go of whatever it is. We can choose to let it go or hold on to bitterness. But we cannot afford to be bitter even if we are in the right and they are truly guilty. We can let it go, but it won’t be easy and we will struggle with it. But how do we let it go?

What was the message in Jeremiah? The people needed to surrender and come out from behind the walls of Jerusalem to live. They had to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar who was called the “King of Kings.” In this he is a picture of Yehovah. The people had to believe the Lord and come out because resistance meant death. We will see in this story that Ahitophel would not let go of his bitterness and hatred of David, and it ended with the death of Ahitophel. As for those who followed Absalom, they were cut to pieces in the Forest of Ephraim.

We learn in 2 Sam 15.13-18 that the heart of the people was with Absalom. David knows this and he flees because there was going to be a massacre. So, David and his household fled and they move east and stop at the last house. His servants (“Avadim” or warriors) pass on beside him. It also says the Cherethites, Pelethites, and the Gittites with 600 men who had joined him pass on before the king.

These troops were a part of what is called the “Sea Peoples” and they were related to the Philistines and they became Jews because they believed in the God of Israel. The Gittites were from Gath of the Philistines who had just joined the day before (v 20). These troops were part of the bodyguard of David.

We have other terms that are used and their meanings are missed for their military meanings. We have gone over these before, but we want to go over them again. When you see “young men” they are what is called the “Ne’arim” and they are elite troops. The “Givorim” are the mighty men and they performed some unbelievable exploits in Battle. Eliam and Uriah were a part of this group. Then we will have the professional army and officers under Joab, and we will also have the militia led by Amasa.

The leader of the Gittites was a man called Ittai. David asked him why he was leaving with him, since he had just joined (v 20). Ittai was what is called a “Nokri” (“foreigner”) and an exile. David wanted him to go home and not get mixed up in all this, but Ittai would hear none of it. He knew David was God’s man and he said wherever David went, he would go. So David said, “Go and pass over” (the Kidron Valley). So Ittai and his men went on. We will learn in 2 Sam 18.2 that Ittai will command one-third of the army under David. David also passed over the Kidron Valley (like Yeshua did in John 18.1 after his arrest) and they were making their way to the wilderness, including the Valley of Sukkot to the northeast. David is quite familiar with this area when he was fleeing from Saul and he knew the terrain. This will be an advantage against Absalom in any upcoming battle, and David is choosing the place to fight. In our spiritual warfare, you never want the enemy to choose the place for battle because it will always be to their advantage. Prophetically, we know that Israel will be fleeing from the False Messiah in Rev 12.14 and Isa 16 to this very same wilderness. This is the same area where Jews fled from the Romans in 70 A.D. and 135 A.D.

The High Priest Zadok came and all the Levites with him, and they brought the Ark of the Covenant. However, David told them to return it to the city. It would be safer there and besides, if God brought David back he would “show me both it (Ark) and his habitation (the Mishkan/Temple).” David wasn’t assuming anything and he did not want the Ark outside the city. He also said that it may be that the Lord says, “I have no delight in you” and will do to David whatever he wants. So, he was not taking any unnecessary risks or being presumptuous. David knows that the Lord is dealing with him, but he also trusted in Yehovah and put his future into God’s hands.

He asked Zadok, “Are you not a seer?” This means he was either a prophet or a knowing man and he wanted Zadok to see the wisdom in this. He wants them to go back and David will wait at the fords of the Jabbok River for word about the conspiracy, the numbers involved and Absalom’s plans. This information could prove to be valuable to David. So Zadok, Abiathar and the Ark returned to Jerusalem and remained there.

Starting in 2 Sam 15.30 we have a very prophetic event and we will pick up with that in Part 14.

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