Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Malachi-Chapter 3

Mal 3.1-18 gives the answer to the question on Mal 2.17, “Where is the God of Justice?” But, before he comes, he will send his messenger of the covenant. This was actually fulfilled (given meaning) when Yochanon ha Matvil (John the immerser) came and preceded Yeshua. After, he has told them that he will suddenly draw near to judge the wicked. He goes on to explain why he has withheld his blessing. There will also be a contrast between those who fear Yehovah and the wicked.

v 1…”Behold (here is the answer to the question in 2.17), I am going to send my messenger (“malaki” in Hebrew is a word play on the name of the prophet), and he (“Elijah” or the “voice”, Yochanon) will clear the way before me (as the “poretz” or breachmaker-Isa 40.3; Isa 62.10-12; Mic 2.12-13-the “highway.” This “malak” is not heavenly or an angel, but an earthly agent who comes in the spirit and power of Elijah-Mal 4.5; this points to Yochanon because no earthly prophet arose in Israel after Malachi and the coming of Yochanon). And the Lord (Adon) whom you seek will suddenly (like a thief) come to his temple (Hebrew “heichal” or the literal Temple or large building) and the messenger (malak) of the covenant (covenant is the Torah at Sinai with Israel, where Yehovah dwells among his people and blesses the righteous and judges the wicked-Exo 25.8; Lev 25.11; Deut 4.24; Isa 33.14-this was fulfilled, or given meaning, when Yeshua came, having his way prepared by Yochanon, in whom you delight (speaking to those who still desire the orah and want it to be fulfilled), behold (see), he is coming,” says the Lord of hosts (armies).

v 2…”But who can endure the day of his coming (he is speaking to the wicked, and the answer is, “no one endures it”-Joel 2.11)? And who can stand when he appears (a parallelism)? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap (where the fire burns out impurities and the soap cleanses the Levites).

v 3…And he will sit as a smelter (now Yehovah is not the fire, but the smelter) and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings (minchah) in righteousness (their moral character will be in line with a proper condition of the heart).

v 4…Then the offerings (minchah) of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in the former years (during the time of Moses, or David and the first years of Solomon).

v 5…Then I will draw near (“karavti” and this word is related to the word “korban” meaning to “draw near” and it is the word used for the offerings) to you for judgment (the wicked who do not fear him) and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely (Lev 19.12), and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages (didn’t pay them), the widow and the orphan (devouring widow’s houses and causing affliction to the fatherless), and those who turn aside the alien (“ger”-do not do him justice), and do not fear me (the root of these sins),” says the Lord of hosts.

v 6…”For I, the Lord (Yehovah), do not change before you (if you think I have because I have not executed judgment yet). Therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

v 7…From the days of your fathers you have departed from my ordinances (chukim) and have not kept them. return (shuv/repent) to me and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’

v 8…Will a man rob God (defraud him)? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In tithes and contributions (the maaser and the terumot by either not paying them or not bringing them to the Temple or storehouse; these were agricultural produce and animals, not money from trade or commerce).

v 9…You are cursed with a curse (failure of the harvest, barren crops for not paying off them), for you are robbing (defrauding) me, the whole nation!

v 10…Bring the whole tithe into the storehouses (in the Levitical cities and in the Temple; the tithe went like this. There was a seven-year cycle called the Shemitah. In the first year of the Shemitah, the first tithe is called the Maaser Rishon, and it went to the Levitical city storehouses nearest to the farmer at Shavuot. The second tithe, the Maaser Sheni, went to the Temple storehouses at Sukkot-Deut 14.12-29. In the second year, the Maaser Rishon went to the Levitical city storehouses at Shavuot, and the Maaser Sheni went to the Temple storehouses at Sukkot. In the third year, the Maaser Rishon went to the Levitical city storehouses at Shavuot, and the Maaser Sheni went to the Levitical city storehouses at Sukkot for the widows, orphans, and the poor-Deut 26.12-15. In the fourth year, the Maaser Rishon went to the Levitical city storehouses at Shavuot, and the Maaser Sheni went to the Temple storehouses at Sukkot. In the fifth year, the Maaser Rishon went to the Levitical city storehouses at Shavuot, and the Maaser Sheni went to the Temple storehouses at Sukkot. In the sixth year, the Maaser Rishon went to the Levitical city storehouses at Shavuot, and the Maaser Sheni went to the Levitical city storehouses at Sukkot for the widows, orphans, and the poor. In the seventh year, there were no crops, so no tithing)so that there may be food in my house, and test me now with this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I do not open for you the windows of heaven (rain for the crops) and pour out for you a blessing until there is a superabundance.

v 11…Then I will rebuke the devourer for you (anything that could injure the produce) so that it may not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the Lord of hosts (tithing only applied while the Temple stood, only in the lnad of Israel, andn it was given to the Levites who distributed a tenth to the priests and the rest to the nnedy. What is called (tithing” today is not biblical and it didn’t start till about 800 years ago when funds were needed to build a cathedral. Tithing as seen today was not in practice during the biblical period).

v 12…And the nations will call you blessed; for you shall be a delightful land (an object of pleasure),” says the Lord of hosts.

v 13…”Your words have been arrogant against me (after he shows them why they have not succeeded, he further tells them their murmuring against him is unjust),” says the Lord. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against you?’

v 14…You have said, ‘It is vain (useless) to serve God; and what gain is it that we have kept his charge (they don’t walk outwardly out of love, but in selfish gain), and that we have walked in mourning before the Lord of hosts (because the righteous have no advantage over the unrighteous)?

v 15…So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up (in apparent joy and happiness), but they also test God and escape (nothing seems to happen to them).”

v 16…Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another (in faith that Yehovah will judge in due time and repay the rashim and the tzadikim), and the Lord gave attention and heard, and a book of remembrance (Sefer Zikron) was written before him for those who fear the Lord and esteem his name (that they can be rewarded in the future; this concept is taught at Rosh Ha Shanah, which is also called “Yom Ha Zikaron” or the day of remembrance; this is the day that the Nazal will happen when the Lord “remembers” the believers and there is a resurrection before the birth-pains begin).

v 17…”And they will be mine (a possession),” says the Lord of hosts, “on the day (the day of judgment that goes along with his coming) that I prepare (ceate), and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.

v 18…So you will again distinguish between the righteous (tzadik) and the wicked (rasha), between the one who serves God (by following the Torah in love of God) and one who does not serve him (Matt 7.21-23; 1 John 2.1-4; the difference had been seen before in previous judgments, and it will reveal itself again).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Malachi-Chapter 2

Mal 2.1-17 tells us about a rebuke given to the priests (kohanim) for their sins. They were to be the teachers (Ezek 44.23) but they were neglecting their duty. A punishment was coming if they did not listen to this admonition. In Babylon, synagogues were developed and the priests had lost their influence, and teaching was done by certain rabbis and scholars, called sages. The priests could not teach very well and by 70 AD their influence was almost entirely gone. This made way for what is known as Rabbinic Judaism today, which moved away from following the Torah and Moses to following the teachings of the rabbis and sages. The foundation for this can be found in this chapter.

v 1…”And now, this commandment is for you, O priests.

v 2…If you do not listen and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to my name,” says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah tzavaot or Lord of the armies), “then I will send a curse upon you (for not taking care of his worship and services), and I will curse your blessings (make ineffective the blessings uttered by the priests upon the people); and indeed I have cursed them (it had already started) because you are not taking to heart (the covenant relationship to be a priest).

v 3…Behold (take note and see), I am going to rebuke your seed (the LXX and the Latin Vulgate translate seed, or “zera”, as arm, and this means the “hand” which was raised to bless; this signifies the negating of their official duties performing in the Temple); and I will spread dung on your faces (they will be subject to contemptuous treatment), the refuse of your feasts (chaggim); and one will carry you away to it (they offered blind and lame animals in contempt, so Yehovah will repay them by turning them over to contemptuous treatment).

v 4…Then you will know that I have sent this commandment (mitzvah-when the threats happen it will be proof that the Lord has spoken), that my covenant (Torah at Sinai) may continue with Levi,” says the Lord of hosts.

v 5…”My covenant with him was life and peace (guaranteed and given to Levi), and I gave them to him for fear (of Yehovah); so he revered me and stood in awe (trembling) of my name (he humbled himself before Yehovah).

v 6…True instruction (“torah emet”, and is the same as “mishpat emet” in Zech 7.9 ) was in his mouth (to teach the people), and unrighteousness was not found on his lips (unrighteous behavior not dictated by the Torah); he walked with me in peace and uprightness (he had a close relationship with Yehovah, by his side) and he turned many back from iniquity (the priests led the people in the right way-the Torah).

v 7…For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge (of the Torah) and men should seek instruction (Torah) from his mouth; for he is a messenger of the Lord of hosts (“malak Yehovah tzavaot”-the same name given to the angels as God’s messengers were given to the priests).

v 8…But you have departed from the way (the priests had abandoned the Torah and their calling); you have caused many to stumble at the law (Torah); you have corrupted the covenant of Levi (the priesthood),” says the Lord of hosts.

v 9…So I (not bound by the covenant any longer) also have made you despised and abased before all the people (disgusting), just as you are not keeping my ways (“derechi” or Torah) but are showing partiality in the instruction (Torah).

v 10…Do we not all have one father (Yehovah-1.6)? Has not one God (El) created us? Why do we deal treacherously (faithlessly) each against his brother so as to profane (treat as common) the covenant of our fathers (the Torah-Exo 19.5-6, 24.8).

v 11…Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, for Judah has profaned the sanctuary (the community that returned from the exile) of the Lord which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god (they married foreign wives who did not give up their idolatry-Ezra 9.2; Neh 13.23).

v 12… As for the man who does this, may the Lord cut off (karet) from the tents of Jacob one who awakes and one who answers (any descendant of such sinners), but anyone who presents an offering to the Lord of hosts (offer a korban for him).

v 13…And this is another thing you do: you (compel the wives who have been wronged to) cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and with groaning, so that he no longer regards the food offering (minchah) or accepts it with favor from your hand (the divorced lawful wives come to the Temple and weep because of the injury and damage done to them; Yehovah rejects their legal korbanot-no blessing).

v 14…Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth (God witnessed their acts and she was the love of his young life), against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion (and shared joy and pain with you) and the wife of your covenant (unscriptural divorce was prevalent at the time they had a covenant of mutual promises).

v 15…And not one did so who still had a remnant of the spirit (in other words, no one who had a sense of right and wrong would ever do this). And what of the one (the well-known one, Abraham, who put way Hagar; he is rebutting their appeal to Abraham’s conduct with Hagar)? He sought seed of God (Abraham sought to obtain the seed promised him by God, so he put away Hagar because God had promised to give him an heir, not with Ishmael, but through Sarah in Isaac; Abraham was acting on the word of Yehovah). Take heed then, to your spirit (your attitude), and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth.

v 16…For I hate divorce (those not permitted in the Torah-Deut 24.1-4; Exo 21.10),” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and he who covers his garment with wrong (“hamas” or violence, iniquity),” says the Lord of Hosts. So guard your spirit (attitude, that you do not deal treacherously.

v 17…You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say (those in opposition to Yehovah), “How have we wearied him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them (the prosperity of the wicked looked like Yehovah took pleasure in their behavior, but he didn’t),” or (if this was not the case then, “Where is the God of justice (why does he not judge these people, not taking into account Yehovah’s patience and long-suffering; this is the scoffing of the rashim, or wicked-2 Pet 3.3; the answer to this question in v 17 will be given in the next chapter).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Malachi-Chapter 1

Malachi is a very important individual who was prophesying at a dividing point in history, but not much is known about him. The prophets before him had come and gone but the people have not really changed. The priests were corrupt and the people weren’t much better. He is the last of the prophets and is seen as the “seal” of the prophetic message. Malachi means “my messenger” and some scholars believe he was born in the territory of Zebulon. The time of his prophesying is contested but it may have been written around Nehemiah’s second arrival in Jerusalem about 432 BC. The Temple had been rebuilt and the walls of Jerusalem had been completed in Nehemiah’s first visit. We know the rubble needed to be removed before any of this rebuilding could be done. Spiritually, this also refers to how we need to remove the rubble before any rebuilding in our lives can begin. This book also alludes to the return of the people after the great dispersion in the day of the Lord. Malachi’s message will mirror the concerns of Nehemiah is addressing true worship in the Temple, Sabbath observance, and the custom of Jewish men marrying foreign, pagan wives.

Mal 1.1-14 tells us about the love of Yehovah for Israel, but the gratitude that was due to him for all he has done for them was missing, and he gives examples.

v 1…The oracle (burden, prophecy) of the word of the Lord (Yehovah) to Israel through Malachi.

v 2…”I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say “How hast thou loved us (you destroyed the city and the Temple, and many have died or were scattered into captivity)?” “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother,” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob (by contrast and election, Esau/Edom was inferior and would serve Jacob);

v 3…but I have hated Esau (in the sense of the fact that he was not elected or chosen to receive the promise; love and hate are relative terms) and I have made his mountains a desolation, and his inheritance (was appointed) for jackals of the wilderness (to prove his sovereignty and distinction of God’s love by Israel’s election).”

v 4…Though Edom (Esau) says, ‘We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins (but they will never recover or rebuild);’ thus says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah tzavoat meaning “Yehovah of the armies”; when Yehovah uses this term he is coming from a military position of power), “They may rebuild, but I will tear down (Edom will never recover their former power and wealth); and will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the Lord is indignant (angry) forever.

v 5…And your eyes will see this and you will say, ‘The Lord be magnified over the borders of Israel (it will be proof that Yehovah had chosen, or loved, Israel over Esau, and that his wrath is upon them and the land for their iniquities).’

v 6…”A son loves his father and a servant his master. Then if I am a father (to you), where is my honor? If I am your master, where is my respect? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests who despise my name (this reproof applies not only to the priests but to the whole nation; he lays down a basic truth here which no one can doubt). But you say, ‘How have we despised thy name?’

v 7…”You are presenting (they knew better) defiled food upon my altar (the flesh of the korbanot-Lev 21.6-8, 17-the “food” of God; this is in the sense of a covenantal meal. When one sins he goes to the Temple as a continuing testimony and rededication back to their covenantal partner at the covenantal center in a “zevach” or celebratory feast).” But you say, ‘How have we defiled thee?’ In that you say, “The table of the Lord is to be despised.”

v 8…But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you (and thank you or have respect for it)? Or would he receive you kindly?” says the Lord of hosts.

v 9…”But now, supplicate (pray) the face of God, that he may have a compassion (graciousness) to us? With such an offering on your part, will he receive any of you kindly?” says the Lord of hosts (will he show you favor and grant any of your requests).

v 10…Oh that there was one among you who would shut the gates (of the inner court where the altar stood), that you might not uselessly kindle (fire or light) on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of hosts, “nor will I accept an offering from you (your hands).

v 11…For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, my name shall be great among the nations (this is prophetic) and in every place incense (seen as prayer-Psa 141.2; John 4.20-24) shall be offered to my name, and a pure grain offering (alluding to true worship, in contrast to the defiled animals and offerings being given now); for my name shall be great among the nations,” says the Lord of hosts.

v 12…”But you are profaning it (his name), in that you say, ‘The table of the Lord (altar) is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to despised (they manifest their contempt for the altar by offering defiled offerings).’

v 13…You also say, ‘My, how wearisome it is (the “Avodah” or service of the altar; it was a burden for them, not an honor)!’ And you disdainfully sniff (blow) at it,” says the Lord of hosts, “and you bring what was taken by robbery (a crime; again showing contempt), and lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hands ?” says the Lord.

v 14…”But cursed be the swindler (deceiver) who has a male in his flock (without spot or blemish as the Torah requires), and vows it (to give it), but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great king (the reason for the curse),” says the Lord of hosts, “and my name is feared among the nations (because of his judgments among them-they knew history; to offer a blemished animal offends the majesty of Yehovah the king).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Zechariah Chapters 1-14 Can Be Found Earlier on this Website

Posted in Uncategorized

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Haggai-Chapter 2

Hag 2.1-23 contains three prophecies that were delivered to the people. The first discourse is given to encourage them to continue building the Temple, although it will seem to fall short of the glory of the first Temple as far as form. Then a second prophecy is given with some questions about ritual purity, and this application is compared to the Jewish people who were also ritually impure. The last prophecy is directed towards Zerubbabel where it foretells the destruction of the pagan kingdoms and the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom, where Zerubbabel is given as a type of the Messiah.

v 1…On the twenty-first of the seventh month (Tishri 21, the seventh day of Sukkot, or Hoshanah Rabbah, meaning the “great salvation”; not even a month has gone by since they began rebuilding), the word of the Lord (Yehovah) came through Haggai the prophet saying,

v 2…”Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Yehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying,

v 3…’Who is left among you who saw this Temple in its former glory (there were some still alive who had seen Solomon’s Temple in all its glory; some stayed in the land and some returned at various times, etc)? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison (they wept in Ezra 3.10-13).

v 4…But now, take courage also, Joshua son of Yehozadak, the high priest, and all you people in the land take courage (be inwardly strong and build the Temple,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work, for I am with you (to help and protect you)!’ says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah tzavaot or armies; when this is used Yehovah is coming from a military position of power).

v 5…As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt (that Israel belonged to Yehovah and that remains undiminished), my spirit is abiding in your midst (he is still working his purpose); so do not fear (God’s power will carry out his word and glorify this Temple)!

v 6…For thus says the Lord of hosts (armies), “Once more in a little while (a short time), I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land (when Persia is conquered by the Greeks and soon after Greece is conquered by Rome).

v 7…And I will shake all the nations (as above); and they will come to the desire of all nations (Israel and the Temple, the land-Song 1.8, 5.9; Dan 11.37; Jer 3.19; Rev 12.1); and I will fill this house with glory,” says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah will eventually come to this Temple with Yeshua).

v 8…”The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,” declares the Lord of hosts (by shaking the nations he will cause the nations to present their treasures to him).

v 9…The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former (because Messiah himself will come into it and he brought the redemption; don’t compare the past with the present; the ultimate end will surpass anything they could imagine),” declares the Lord of hosts, “and in this place I shall give peace (with Yehovah),” declares the Lord of hosts.

v 10…On the twenty-fourth of the ninth month (Kislev), in the second year of Darius (three months after the people began to build the Temple in 1.15), the word of the Lord came to Haggai the prophet saying,

v 11…”Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Ask now the priest for a ruling (using the Torah as their guide),

v 12…If a man carries holy (had a kedusha, called Kodshai Kelim meat, and can be eaten within Jerusalem) in the fold of his garment, and touches bread (lechem) with his fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any food, will it become holy?’ And the priests answered and said, “No” (because they knew the concept of kedusha-only God can make something have a kedusha; so neither will their ritual devotions and “holy” actions sanctify their impure hearts-Lev 6.27).”

v 13…Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean (ritually and cannot enter the sanctuary) from a corpse touches any of these (holy things) will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered and said, ‘It will become unclean (Lev 19.24).’

v 14…Then Haggai answered and said, “So is this people. And so is this nation before me,” declares the Lord, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean (religious actions cannot sanctify impure hearts as seen in v 12, and being impure in heart, like a corpse, defiles all our actions, even religious ones-v 13).

v 15…But now, do consider (direct your hearts on) from this day onward (Kislev 24) before one stone was placed on another in the Temple of the Lord (the foundation was already laid-Ezra 3.10),

v 16…from that time (about 16 years has passed since the foundation was laid) when one came to a heap of twenty (measures) there would be only ten, and when one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there would be twenty (the yields looked promising but it did not turn out that way).

v 17…I smote you and every work of your hands with blasting wind (burning), mildew (moisture), and hail (battering the crops); yet you did not come back to me (they didn’t consider that their sin was causing all this, nor turn from them),’ declares the Lord.

v 18…Do consider (direct your hearts on) from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month (Kislev 24), from the day when the Temple of the Lord was founded, consider (direct your heart);

v 19…Is there seed still in the barn (they were still in a shortage)? even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree, it has not borne fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you (Kislev 24 will be associated with Chanukah and the rededication of this Temple at the time of the Maccabees in the future; also, the conception of Yeshua happened about this time also, so let’s go back and look quickly at the possible scenario concerning Yeshua’s time of birth; in Luke 1.5 it says that Zechariah is a priest belonging to the course of Abijah mentioned in 1 Chr 24.10. Zechariah is chosen by lot to go into the Holy Place and burn incense, something that one could only do one time in their life. As he is praying the Amidah, the angel Gabriel appears to him and says he is going to have a son by his wife Elizabeth, and he was to call him Yochanon. This course would serve in the Temple during the tenth week of the religious calendar which began on Nisan 1, and allowing for two weeks for Hag ha Matzah and Shavuot, this appearance was around mid-June on our calendars. That would make the birth of Yochanon around nine months later around Passover. Six months after Elizabeth’s conception in June, Gabriel appears to Miriam around Kislev 25 and announces she will conceive and bear a son, making Yeshua’s birth around Sukkot nine months later in Tishri. This date in Haggai is very significant and is related to the building of the Temple in three ways. First, the Maccabees took back the Temple on Kislev 25 and rededicated it, leading to the Chanukah festival. Second, our passages in Haggai relate to Kislev 25 and the building of the Temple. Third, Yeshua is conceived around Kislev 25 and his body was seen as a Temple in John 2.19).”

v 20…Then the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth of the month saying,

v 21…”Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah (a type of the Messiah) saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth (Persia will give way to the Greeks),

v 22…and I will overturn the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow their chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down everyone by the sound of another (Persia would fall by the Greeks, the Grecian empire of Alexander would give way to the Romans, etc).

v 23…On that day (when all these kingdoms and their armies fall),’ declares the Lord of hosts, “I will take you Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you a signet ring, for I have chosen you ” declares the Lord of hosts (the sense of this verse is this, in Jer 22.24 the “signet ring” relates to the kingship, and it was prophesied that Coniah would not have a descendant sit on the throne. But now, when Yehovah overthrows the kingdoms of the world, Zerubbabel would be like a signet ring, giving him a position that was inseparable from Yehovah’s hand. He would not be cast off, but be taken care of as a valuable possession. What is being promised here is related to the official post he had. The overthrow of these nations did not take place till well after his lifetime. The kingship of David is in ruins at this time, but the promise will preserve the seed of David and his kingdom, which is now associated with Zerubbabel. The Messianic promise is transferred to Zerubbabel and his family, and this promise will have its ultimate fulfillment in Yeshua in the Messianic Kingdom).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Haggai-Chapter 1

This prophecy is directed to Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua (Yehoshua) the high priest in 520 BC. Haggai means “my festival” and not much is known about him personally. He exposes the false but prevailing view that building the Temple is secondary and must wait until the economy gets better. When the leaders respond, he tells them that Yehovah will help them even in the face of some very disappointing circumstances. This has a positive effect on the leaders and the people and they immediately go about the work they were encouraged to do. He also confirms the choice of Yehovah to have Zerubbabel as governor, and this will have messianic implications relating to Yeshua in the Messianic Kingdom.

The theme of this book is the people are called to repent for not building the Temple. It will also allude eschatologically to the days leading up to the birth pains. It will give an example of the theme of Chanukah 400 years before it played out in the time of the Maccabees. It also alludes to the building of the Third Temple, something being worked on in 2022, and the building of the Messianic Temple.

v 1…In the second year of Darius (possessing good), the king (this is Darius Hystaspes who reigned from 521 to 486 BC), on the first day of the sixth month (Elul 1), the word of the Lord (Yehovah) came by the prophet (navi) Haggai to Zerubbabel (seed of Babylon) the son of Shealtiel (asked of God in prayer), governor of Judah, and to Joshua (Yehoshua meaning “Yehovah saves” and the same name as Yeshua) the son of Yehozadak (Yehovah is righteous), the high priest (Kohen ha Gadol), saying

v 2…”Thus says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah tzavaot or armies-when this is used Yehovah is coming from a military position of power), ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time for the house of the Lord (Beit Yehovah) to be rebuilt (this sentiment is happening in 2022. Whatever the reason was, they did not feel it was the right time).”

v 3…Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet saying,

v 4…”Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate (with this he cuts off all their excuses).”

v 5…Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways (direct your heart on your attitude)!

v 6…You have sown much (to pursue your own wants), but harvest little (it doesn’t satisfy you); you drink, but not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm; and he who earns, earns wages into a purse with holes (their money disappears quickly).”

v 7…Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways (direct your hearts on your attitude)!

v 8…Go up to the mountain (Hebrew ha Har” or where wood generally grows), bring wood and rebuild the Temple, that I may be pleased (take pleasure) in it and be glorified (glorify myself upon the people who obey e, causing my blessing to come to it),” says the Lord.

v 9…”You look for much (in your harvests), but behold (take note), it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away (like chaff). Why?” declares the Lord of hosts, “because of my house which lies desolate while each of you runs to his own house!

v 10…Therefore, above you the sky has withheld its dew (Deut 28.23), and the earth (land) has withheld its produce.

v 11…And I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grains, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on man, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands (the cultivation of the soil, the preparation).”

v 12…Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people (those who had returned from the exile), obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared (showed reverence) before the Lord (Yehovah; they saw what they had done, believed the drought was his judgment and resumed building the Temple).

v 13…Then Haggai the messenger (Hebrew “malak” or “angel) of the Lord, spoke by the commission of the Lord (in the message) to the people saying, “I am with you,” declares the Lord (he will remove all obstacles in the way).

v 14…So the Lord stirred up the spirit (“ruach” or intentions, thoughts) of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit (thoughts and intentions) of Joshua the son of Yehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit (thoughts and intentions) of the remnant of the people (those who came back from the exile); and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God (Haggai’s revival in Ezra 5.1-2, 6.15)

v 15…on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month (Elul 24) in the second year of Darius the king (they began the work on Elul 24; eschatologically this may be the date Israel will have control of the Temple Mount, seven days before Tishri 1, Yom Ha Din Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001, when the Natzal (or “rapture”) occurs. This seven-day period will give Israel and the priests enough time to dedicate the mount, the priests, the utensils, and at least the altar with the ashes of the Red Heifer, or Parah Adumah; this is alluded to in Ezra 3.1-6).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Zephaniah-Chapter 3

Zeph 3.1-120 again turns to Jerusalem and the abominations of the city. Yehovah has the right to bring judgment and it will be necessary because of the hard-hearted sinners in it. It is the only avenue left by which salvation can be assured for Israel and the entire world.

v 1…Woe (lamentations await) to her who is rebellious and defiled, the tyrannical city (oppressive)!

v 2…She heeded no voice (of God in the Torah); she accepted no instruction (through the prophets who taught the Torah, which means “instruction”). She did not trust in the Lord (Yehovah), she did not draw near to her God (in worship and repentance).

v 3…Her princes within her are roaring lions (seeking who they may devour), her judges are wolves at evening (when they are the most hungry), they leave nothing for the morning (they totally devour their prey).

v 4…Her prophets are reckless (without a calling from God), treacherous men; her priests have profaned the sanctuary (Temple). They have done violence to the Torah (meaning to misinterpret and disobey it-Matt 5.17).

v 5…The Lord is righteous (tzadik) within her; he will do no injustice (wrong). Every morning he brings his justice to light (in contrast to the evil of the people), he does not fail (justice was not wanting or absent). But the unjust know no shame (or disgrace over their deeds).

v 6…”I have cut off nations (as a previous warning to Israel and they have seen it); their corner towers are in ruins. I have made their streets (not in the city, but the roads in the flat country) desolate, with no one passing by; their cities are laid waste, without man without inhabitant.

v 7…I said, ‘Surely you will revere me (they will take notice of my judgments on other nations and fear me), accept instruction (correction).’ So her dwelling will not be cut off (according to all that I have appointed for her). But they were eager (rose early) to corrupt all their deeds (deliberately).

v 8…Therefore, wait for me,” declares the Lord (said to the believing remnant), “for the day when I rise up to the prey (in the sense that Yehovah will obtain those from among the nations those who will call on him). Indeed, my decision (Hebrew “mishpati” or justice, which is his right to pour out judgment on the nations) is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them my indignation, all my burning anger; for all the earth will be devoured by the fire of my zeal.

v 9…For then I will give to the people purified lips (purified from sin and idolatry, they will be converted so that they may call upon Yehovah with the thoughts of his heart in faith and confession); that all of them may call on the name of the Lord (Yehovah), to serve him with one (Hebrew “echad” or a plural unity) shoulder (serve him together).

v 10…From beyond the rivers of Cush (the remote nations in the south) my worshipers (“daughter of my dispersed ones” meaning the Israelites who God scattered all around the world) will bring my offerings (they are presented by the non-Jews as “minchati” to prove they are true worshipers of Yehovah-Isa 66.13-21).

v 11…In that day you will feel no shame because of all your deeds by which you have rebelled against me (Israel will not be ashamed of their sins in the former times because they will not occur anymore); for then I will remove from your midst your proud exulting ones (those who oppressed them), and you will never again be haughty on my holy mountain (Temple Mount-Yehovah will keep them from sin-Jude 24; Col 2.17; Phil 2.13).

v 12…But I will leave among you a humble and lowly people (knowing that their deliverance was by God’s grace alone, they were powerless to do what was good). And they will take refuge (trust) in the name of the Lord (Yehovah).

v 13…The remnant of Israel will do no wrong (iniquity), and tell (speak) no lies, nor will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths (a holy nation true to its calling in Exo 19.6); for they will feed and lie down with no one to make them tremble (Yeshua the Messiah is their shepherd as the “little flock”-Mic 4.1-4, 7.14; Luke 12.32).

v 14…Shout for joy (exult), O daughter of Zion (the submissive inhabitants who believe and follow Yehovah’s will)! Shout (in triumph), O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem (submissive inhabitants who believe and follow Yehovah’s will)!

v 15…The Lord (Yehovah) has taken away judgments against you. He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord (Yeshua), is in your midst; (and because of this) you will fear evil no more.

v 16…In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: do not be afraid, O Zion; do not let your hands fall limp (you will not see or experience evil no more).

v 17…The Lord (Yehovah) your God (eloheycha) is in your midst (like a hero), mighty (givor) who helps (or saves). He will exalt over you with joy, he will be quiet in his love (quietly cherish you), he will rejoice (to spin around) over you with shouts of joy.

v 18…I will gather those who grieve about the appointed feasts (those that are troubled for the moedim are those that grieve because they cannot participate in the festivals because they are not in the land. They cannot keep the festivals outside of Jerusalem and the Temple-they were from you, the reproach (of the exile) was a burden on them (this burden was the reproach).

v 19…Behold (take note), I am going to deal at that time with all your oppressors, I will save the lame and gather the outcast (those disregarded), and I will turn their shame into praise and renown (the glory of the future salvation will be seen in all the nations where they suffered shame).

v 20…At that time (remember this phrase alludes to when the Messiah comes also) I will bring you in, even at that time when I gather you together (in your own land); indeed, I will give you renown and praise among all the people of the earth (this is repeated from the previous verse to confirm the fact of it), when I restore your fortunes (turn back your captivity) before your eyes (you will see it for yourself, it will stand out to you),” declares the Lord.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Zephaniah-Chapter 2

Zeph 2.1-15 tells us that Zephaniah is exhorting the Jewish people to repent, and he also predicts the fall Assyria and Ninevah and several neighboring nations. Judgment is coming.

v 1…”Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation that dost not grow pale (it has no shame)

v 2…before the decree takes effect (a Yom ha Din or day of judgment term)-the day passes like chaff (before judgment comes and it will come quickly like the wind blows the chaff)-before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you (this also alludes to the end of the 6000 year Olam Ha Zeh and before the shofar blows on Yom Ha Din Rosh Ha Shanah).

v 3…Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth who have carried out his ordinances (kept the Torah by faith), seek humility, perhaps you will be hidden (Hebrew “tisatru” meaning to escape from, not protected through) in the day of the Lord’s anger (these verses speak about the coming judgment on Judah in the Peshat by Babylon, but eschatologically, they allude to the Natzal or “rapture” that will occur on Rosh Ha Shannah, year 6001 from creation, which will be the first day of the Lord, which is the last 1000 years of God’s 7000-year plan. Rosh Ha Shanah is also called the “day of the Lord” idiomatically. The catching away of the believers happens before the anger of the Lord comes in the birth-pains, or “tribulation”-John 14.1; Isa 13.2; 1 Thes 2.3, 4.13-18; Isa 26.20; Isa 57.1-2; 1 Thes 1.10; Rev 4.1).

v 4…Gaza will be abandoned and Ashkelon a desolation; Ashdod will be driven out at noon, and Ekron will be uprooted (these four capitals of the Philistines represent all people and land that will be destroyed.

v 5…Woe (lamentations await you) to the inhabitants of the seacoast, the nation of the Cherethites (Philistines along the sea and called the “goy Keretim” or nation of Cretans, who were devoted to cutting off or exterminating others)! The word of the Lord is against you (because they were devoted to extermination), O Canaan, land of the Philistines (they shared a portion of Canaan); and I will destroy you, so that there will be no inhabitant (no Philistines-interestingly, the Romans called Israel “Palestina” which is Latin for “Philistine”).

v 6…So the seacoast will be pastures (depopulated), for shepherd caves (dug to protect them from the sun) and folds for flocks.

v 7…And the coast will be for the remnant of the house of Judah and they will pasture it. In the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down at evening; for the Lord (Yehovah) their God will care for (visit) them and restore their captivity (from Babylon).

v 8…I have heard the abuse of Moab and the reviling’s of the sons of Ammon (the threat turns from the Philistines on the west to several nations on the east), with which they have abused my people (showed hostility to Israel since Moses in Num 22 and Num 24) and become arrogant against their territory.

v 9…Therefore, as I live (shows the certainty of what will happen),” declares the Lord of hosts (Hebrew “Yehovah tzavaot” or armies; when Yehovah uses this term he is coming from a military position of power), the God of Israel, “Surely Moab will be like Sodom, and the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah-a place possessed by nettles and salt pits (this simile was a perfect one because their territory was near these cities; it describes the utter ruin of these two tribes), and a perpetual desolation. The remnant of my people will plunder them, and the remainder of my nation will inherit them (after the captivity in Babylon).”

v 10…This they will have in return for their pride (the coming calamity), because they have taunted and become arrogant against the people of the Lord of hosts.

v 11…The Lord will be terrifying to them (in his judgments), for he will starve all the gods of the earth (cause them to vanish because he will destroy the nations who relied on them).

v 12…You also, O Ethiopians (“Cushim” but not the Ethiopians in Africa, but in Arabia Chusea between Judah and Egypt, where Midian was) will be slain by my sword )of Babylon).

v 13…And he (Yehovah) will stretch out his hand against the north and destroy Assyria (who was seeking to destroy the kingdom of God in Judah), and he will make Ninevah a desolation, parched like the wilderness.

v 14…And flocks will lie down in her midst, all beast which range in herds; pelicans also and hedgehogs will lodge on her knobs (her pillars); birds will sing in her window; desolation will be on the threshold; for he has laid bare the cedar work (the former great city with its houses and cedar paneling is in utter ruin).

v 15…This is the exultant city (rejoiced without ceasing) which dwells securely (carelessly, in perfect security) who says in her heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me (self-confident and arrogant).” How she has become a desolation (deserted, a resting place for beasts (of the desert)! Everyone who passes by will hiss, and wave his hand (in contempt).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Zephaniah-Chapter 1

The book of Zephaniah is one of the lesser taught books but it is a very important one. Zephaniah means “Yehovah hides” and eschatologically it will relate to the last half of the Birth-pains, or “tribulation.” The book is dated to the reign of King Josiah (640-609 BC) and probably before Josiah’s reforms when Judah was heavily involved in idolatry. Some prophets give their lineage, but few give the detail that Zephaniah does, which shows he is the great, great-grandson of King Hezekiah. That makes him a descendant of David, in the royal line. By giving this lineage he links himself with the godly kings of the past, so his rebukes are noticed. He prophesied twenty years or so after Nahum and was a contemporary with a young Jeremiah.

There is a shift of power going on in the middle east from Assyria to Babylon, so Ninevah’s hold on Judah was weakened. As a result, Judah has some freedom. This book will be used by God to prepare Judah for Josiah’s reforms and Torah revival. Judah is faced with its sin and knows about the coming judgment and ultimate glory. Zephaniah warns that the “day of the Lord” is near at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. But it also looks beyond to the birth-pains of the Messiah and the fulfillment of Daniel’s seventieth week. Even though the day of the Lord is one of trouble, wrath, distress, devastation, and darkness, Zephaniah also offers a hiding place for those who seek Yehovah. The eventual salvation of the believing remnant is also prophesied.

v 1…The word of the Lord (Yehovah) which came to Zephaniah (Yehovah hides), son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amaziah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah, son of Amon king of Judah:

v 2…”I will completely remove all from the face of the land (Judah),” declares the Lord.

v 3…”I will remove man and beast; I will remove the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea (so that man cannot use them for food in a famine that was coming), and the ruins (idols) along with the wicked (rashim); and I will cut off man from the face of the land (Judah),” declares the Lord.

v 3…”So I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and I will cut off the remnant of Baal (left over after the ten tribes departed) from this place, the names of the consecrated servants (those appointed by the kings of Judah for the worship of the high places and the idolatrous worship of Yehovah), along with the priests (the idolatrous priests in the strictest sense).

v 5…And those who bow down on the housetops to the hosts of heaven, and those who bow down and swear to the Lord and yet swear by their king (Baal-along with two classes of priests were shown, two classes of worshipers set for destruction.

v 6…And those who have turned back from following the Lord, and those who have not sought the Lord or inquired of him (a third class of the religious indifferent).”

v 7…Be silent (don’t even dispute the point, judgment is coming) before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord (this term is often used although it is referenced to as “that day” in other places. The day of the Lord is when Yehovah reveals his power to overthrow his enemies and defends the kingdom; it is also a term meaning “when Messiah comes” and a term for Rosh Ha Shannah and the last one thousand years in Jewish eschatology) is near (Hebrew “karav” meaning here now). For the Lord has prepared a sacrifice (Hebrew “zevach” meaning a festive meal, and Judah is to be consumed by the nations), he has consecrated his guests (set apart the nations).

v 8…Then it will come about on the day (day of the Lord) of the Lord’s sacrifice (when Judah is offered), that I will punish the princes, the king’s sons (the royal family and superior servants), and all who clothe themselves with foreign dress (to imitate the customs of the foreigners-Matt 22.1-14).

v 9…And I will punish on that day all who leap on the threshold (a violent rushing into the houses to steal property), who fill the house of their master with violence and deceit (they thought that was the best way to serve their master).

v 10…And on that day,” declares the Lord, “there will be the sound of a cry from the Fish Gate (western portion of the wall on the north side-2 Kings 22.14), and a loud crash from the hills (the breaking to pieces of what exists-the city is being conquered, utter destruction).

v 11…Wail (howl), O inhabitants of Maktesh (a locality in Jerusalem with a depression), for the people of Canaan are destroyed (these are Judean merchants, not Canaanites because they were acting like Canaanites); all who weighed out silver will be cut off (they grew rich through trade and interest).

v 12…And it will come about at that time that I will search Jerusalem with candles (to bring out the wicked from their hiding places) and I will punish them who are stagnant (settled, apathetic) on their lees (like old wine which is not drawn off, a picture of moral and religious complacency; neither hot nor cold) who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good or evil (meaning things will go on as usual)!’

v 13…Moreover, their wealth will become plunder, and their houses desolate (robbed during the fall of the city). Yes, they will build houses but not inhabit them (destruction taking place before they can move into them), and plant vineyards but not drink their wine (destruction taking place before they can even harvest the grapes).”

v 14…Near (karav or “here now, close) is the great day of the Lord (judgment on Judah, also alluding to the birth-pains), near (karav) and coming quickly; listen, the day of the Lord! In it the warrior bitterly cries (because he can’t save himself and must give up).

v 15…A day of wrath is that day (now the effect of that day on men is brought out), a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

v 16…a day of trumpet (of war) and battle cry (shouting) against the fortified cities and the high corner towers (battlements, fortifications).

v 17…And I will bring distress on men, so that they will walk like the blind (seek a way out but can’t find one), because they sinned against the Lord (by falling away from the Torah into idolatry, etc); and their blood will be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung (worthless, no regard them).

v 18…Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the day of the Lord’s wrath; all the land (Judah) will be devoured in the fire of his jealousy, for he will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the land (this fire will burn up all the briars and thorns of sinful Judah. Eschatologically these verses will not be limited to the land of Israel, but the whole world)

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Habakkuk-Chapter 3

Hab 3.1-19 is a prayer of Habakkuk written like a psalm of David and directed to the director of the Levitical choir to be used in the Temple. Agitated over what was coming upon Judah, he now describes Yehovah’s appearance to judge the whole world.

v 1…A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth (a strong, impassioned emotion sung in a triumphant manner).

v 2…Lord (Yehovah), I have heard the report (of the coming calamity by Babylon) about thee and fear (at Yehovah’s omnipotence). O Lord (Yehovah), revive thy work (call to life) in the midst of the years (the present calamity), in the midst of the years make it known (the “work” is Judah’s judgment by the Chaldeans, and then the overthrow of the Chaldeans. Habakkuk sees these years as long, and then the appointed time for Babylon’s judgment will come. He wants it to be as brief as possible). In wrath remember mercy (he knew the cruelty of Babylon).

v 3…God (Eloah) comes from Teman, and the Holy One (he has a kedusha) from Mount Paran (Deut 33.2). Selah (pause and meditate on this). His splendor covers the heavens, and the earth is full of his praise (as Yehovah came to Sinai and established his covenant, so he will come in the future with great glory to save Israel from the world powers. This describes the coming of Yeshua at the end of the birth-pains).

v 4…His radiance is like the sunlight (bursting forth over the horizon); he has rays (horns) from his hands (emanating from his hands) and there is the hiding of his power (splendor is his covering manifesting the invisible Yehovah).

v 5…Before him goes pestilence, and plague (“reshef” meaning burning heat, a blaze, spark-denoting a fever)

v 6…He stood and sets the earth reeling (to shake); he looks, and makes nations tremble; the ancient mountains burst in pieces (crumble, shattered), the eternal mountains (olam) collapsed (passed away-as Yehovah advanced when he came from Sinai, so the mountains will melt and trembling at his coming now). His ways are everlasting (olam).

v 7…I saw the tents of Cushan under distress, the tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling (as he once went before Israel, God’s wondrous acts preceded them and the neighboring nations were full of fear-Exo 15.15-16; Josh 2.9-11; the same thing will happen again).

v 8…Did the Lord rage against the rivers (Nile and its canals at the plagues), or was thine anger against the rivers (Jordan when he parted it), or was thy wrath against the sea (Red Sea when he parted it-God’s problem was not with the Nile, Jordan or the Red Sea; his problem was with the Egyptian and Canaanite people), that thou didst ride on thy horses (the pillar of fire and the clouds used as vehicles to redeem Israel), on thy chariots of salvation (he was not displeased with the rivers and the sea, but his intention was to save Israel).

v 9…hy bow was made bare (drawn and made ready), the rods of chastisement are sworn through the word (points to the oath God promised when he said he would take vengeance on his enemies, and avenge the death of his servants0Deut 32.40-42). Selah (pause and think). Thou dost cleave the earth with rivers (the sea pours its waves over the land and divides it into rivers).

v 10…The mountains saw thee, and quaked (writhed in terror at the coming of Yehovah); the downpours of waters swept by (rain came from heaven). The deep (tehom) uttered forth its voice (the subterranean waters in the earth rage forth in an outburst, producing a loud, mighty roaring, like the Flood), it lifted high its hands (this mass of waters from the heart of the earth is seen as lifting up of the hands towards heaven, representing the voice of terror and anguish).

v 11…Sun and moon stood in their places; they wear away at the light of thy arrows, at the radiance of thy gleaming spears (the chaotic condition the earth is in, as the instruments of his wrath take effect, is elevated by the darkness in heaven as they “enter their dwelling” so that they are obscured).

v 12…In indignation (fury) thou didst march (progress) through the earth; in anger thou didst trample the nations (Isa 63.1-6).

v 13…Thou didst go forth for the salvation (Hebrew (“yesha” or rescue) of thy people (Israel when they were brought into Canaan, so now again), for thy salvation (Hebrew “yeshua”) of thine anointed (go forth for salvation with thy Messiah; in a way, this verse says Yeshua is the Messiah). Thou didst strike the head (wounded it) of the house of the evil one (in the Peshat it is the Babylonians, but this also alludes to the work of Yeshua against Ha Satan in Gen 3.15, and the False Messiah or “Leviathan” when his heads are crushed-Isa 27.1; Psa 74.13), to lay him open from thigh “Hebrew “yesod” meaning foundation, as in a house) to the neck (the gable of a house-destruction comes from above and below, and the house of the evil one is dashed to pieces in one blow).

v 14…Thou didst pierce with his own spears the head of his throngs (alludes to Sisera in Judges 5.26 who was killed with a “yotaid” or a tent peg, a type of the Messiah; the spear of Yehovah the king will pierce the heads of Babylon and his warlike forces, or Leviathan/False Messiah will be defeated by the coming of Yeshua the Messiah at his coming). They stormed in to scatter us; their exulting was like those who devour the oppressed (Israel) in secret (they are like highway robbers who wait in secret places for a traveler and look forward with rejoicing for the time they can kill him for his money or possession).

v 15…Thou didst tread on the sea with thy horses, on the surge of many waters (at the Red sea to help Israel-nothing could stop him; he will do the same against Babylon, and later Leviathan/False Messiah).

v 16..I heard and my inward parts (belly, body, bones) trembled (was afraid); at the sound my lips quivered (when they smite one another before crying out). Decay enters my bones (inward corruption, paralyzed by pain) and in my place (within himself) I trembled. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress (the trouble Babylon will bring upon Judah, and also alluding to the trouble in the birth-pains), for the people to arise who will invade us (Babylon and also the False Messiah and those nations hostile to Israel).

v 17…Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive tree should fail, and the fields produce no food (the land is devastated by war with Babylon; the farms and field produce no fruit); though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there are no cattle in the stalls (with no necessities of life famine is very near, and this is very distressing for Habakkuk),

v 18…yet (in the midst of all this) I will exult in the Lord (his joy was not dependent on present circumstances or the things of this world; he exults in Yehovah-Phil 4.7; 1 Cor 2.9), I will rejoice in the God of my salvation (who rises up to obtain salvation for his people).

v 19…The Lord (Yehovah) is my strength, and he has made my feet like hinds (deer) and makes me walk on my high places (he is sure-footed like the deer, a clean animal that chews the cud and has cloven hooves, and he is able to walk in the Torah in ultimate triumph over all the oppression of the world-1 Cor 11.2; 2 Thes 2.15, 3.6; Phil 3.17; Acts 21.24; Song 7.3; Josh 1.8; 1 Pet 2.2; Psa 42.1). For the director (of the Levitical choir) on my stringed instruments (this was to be used in public worship, accompanied by stringed instruments. It may indicate “my stringed playing” and affirms that he himself will play it. This means he was qualified to do so, and if he could perform this in public worship in the Temple, then he may have been a Levite whose job it was to perform the musical worship in the Temple).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Habakkuk-Chapter 2

Hab 2.1-20 contains Yehovah’s answer to Habakkuk about his feelings just expressed in Chapter 1.

v 1…I (Habakkuk) will stand on my guard )a place of waiting) and station myself on the rampart (a spying tower or fortress); and I will keep watch to see what he (Yehovah) will speak to me (as a revelation)-he did not do these things literally like Balaam did in Num 23.3, but this is figurative language for an internal preparation to be able to hear the words of Yehovah), and how I may reply when I am reproved (his complaint in Hab 1.13-17 about letting the wicked go unpunished; he will wait for an answer).

v 2…Then the Lord (Yehovah) answered me and said, “Record the vision (the revelation) and inscribe it on tablets (to draw a distinction between his own words and the Spirit of God), that the one who reads it may run (the prophecy is to be laid on the heart by all the people).

v 3…For the vision (prophecy) is yet for the appointed time (“moed”-the fixed time set by God for its manifestation and realization, which was still afar off); it hastens toward the goal (the end), and it will not fail (lie). Though it tarries (is not fulfilled immediately), wait for it, for it will certainly come (take place), it will not delay (fail or remain behind, not arrive).

v 4…Behold, as for the proud one (Chaldeans), his soul is not straight (steadfast) within him; but the righteous (the tzaddik, just) will live through his faith (Rom 1.17).

v 5…Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man (the Babylonians were addicted to wine), so he does not stay at home (is not content). He enlarges his appetite (opens his mouth) like Sheol (to gather up other nations), and he is like death, never satisfied (insatiable). He also gathers to himself all nations and collects to himself all peoples.

Hab 2.6-9 describes the retribution and destruction coming against the Chaldeans.

v 6…Will not all of these (nations) take up a taunt song (parable) against him, and a mocking riddle against him, and say, “Woe (lamentations to you) to him who increases what is not his (takes the possessions of others)-for how long- and makes himself rich (heavy) with loans (the Babylonians were seen as a harsh usurer, and his ill-gotten gains were pledges in his hands).

v 7…Will not your biters (enemies) rise up suddenly, and those who shake you (destroy) wake up? Indeed, you will become plunder for them (eventually the Medes and the Persians destroyed the Babylonian Empire-Dan 5.1-31).

v 8…Because you have looted many nations, all the remainder of the people will loot you because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, to the city (in general)-not Jerusalem) and all its inhabitants.

v 9…Woe (lamentations await you) to him who gets evil gain for his house (king’s royal dynasty), to put his nest on high (securing his government against attacks) to be delivered from the hand of calamity (war or invasion)!

v 10…You have devised a shameful thing for your house (instead of honor) by cutting off many peoples; so you are sinning against yourself (soul-bringing retribution upon himself).

v 11…Surely the stone will cry out from the wall, and the rafter will answer from the framework (because of the robberies and crimes committed in building Babylon).

v 12…Woe (lamentations await) to him who builds a city with bloodshed (the spoils taken) and founds a town with violence (oppression-it is vain to do this).

v 13…Is it not indeed from the Lord of hosts (Yehovah of the armies) that people toil for fire (they work and strain to build a city, only to have it consumed by fire when it falls), the nations grow weary for nothing (all the great buildings will end up in the dust-it is all vanity).

v 14…For the earth will be filled with the knowledge (“da’at”-the knowledge of God in Torah facts) of the glory (kivod/radiance) of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (his judgments on the ungodly powers will bring acknowledgment of his power and glory from all the nations).

v 15…Woe (lamentations await you) to you who make your neighbors drink (this is figurative), who mix in your venom even to make them drink (entices them into alliances with them with cunning and deception) so as to look on their nakedness (overthrow their nation).

v 16…You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your nakedness (to be overthrown). The cup in the Lord’s right hand (the power hand) will come around for you, and utter disgrace will come upon your glory (the cup the Chaldeans gave to others will be given to them by Yehovah).

v 17…For the violence done to Lebanon (not satisfied with robbing the people, their cruelty extended to nature and the animal world by cutting down the wood and displacing and exterminating the animals-Isa 14.8) will overwhelm you, and the devastation of its beasts by which you terrified them (Babylon’s conquests terrified the natural world and devastated forests and the animals), because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, the city and all its inhabitants.

v 18…What profit is the idol (graven image) when its maker has carved it, a molten image (cast metal), a teacher of lies (it sustains the delusion that it is a god)? For its maker trusts in his own handiwork when he fashions speechless idols (and expects the idol to help him).

v 19…Woe (lamentations await) to him who says to a piece of wood, ‘Awake’ (to help)! To a dumb stone, ‘Arise’! And that is your teacher (should it teach)? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all inside it (so how can it teach if it is not alive).

v 20…But the Lord (Yehovah) is in his holy Temple (not in idols of metal and stone, but in his Temple in heaven). Let all the earth be silent before him (when he appears as a judge; if the whole earth is subject to him, then he is over Babylon also).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Habakkuk-Chapter 1

Nothing much is known about Habakkuk except for the personal qualities evident in his writing. He is the only one in Scripture with this name, and it means “one who embraces.” Various dates have been given for the writing of this book, but it was probably written between 605 BC and 597 BC, when the Babylonians invaded Judah.

Habakkuk is upset about the sins of Judah and their wickedness. Unlike Jeremiah his contemporary, Habakkuk is more concerned with God’s delay in judging Judah than the failure of the people to repent. Violence and lawlessness (lawless is not obeying the Torah) were everywhere, despite Habakkuk’s fries for God to act. Yehovah replies to him that he doesn’t have to wait long for the answer. The Chaldeans will be God’s rod of punishment to afflict Judah before Habakkuk’s very eyes. Rather than lifting his burden, it makes it worse.

Habakkuk is also bothered by a second problem: how can Yehovah, whose eyes see all the wickedness, just stand by in silence while the wicked run all over the righteous. So, Habakkuk stands on guard and awaits the answer. When it comes, it comes with one of the greatest statements in Scripture: “the just shall live by faith” or his faithfulness. The righteous will be preserved in the day of trouble because they have depended on Yehovah. Swift retribution will come upon the Babylonians who will learn that pride and idolatry destroys. As a result, God is sovereign and all the earth should be silent when he appears as the judge. Believing that righteousness (as defined by the Torah) will triumph, Habakkuk prays that God will again do a great work, like he did in the Exodus and Mount Sinai. Habakkuk pictures God’s glory and power and this reaffirms his confidence in Yehovah, which will also have eschatological implications.

v 1…The oracle (Hebrew “massa” or “burden” because it announces heavy judgments) which Habakkuk the prophet saw.

v 2…How long, O Lord (Yehovah), will I call for help (to stop the oppression of the righteous by the wicked of his own people), and thou wilt not hear (or help)? I cry out to thee, “violence (tyranny and oppression)!” Yet thou dost not save (put an end to it).

v 3…Why dost thou make me see iniquity (allowing him to see it), and cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me (in his sight0, strife exists and contention arises (lifts itself up).

v 4…Therefore, the law (Torah) is ignored and justice is never upheld (in the courts, no righteous verdicts given or come forth). For the wicked surround the righteous (so that the righteous cannot cause right to succeed); therefore, justice comes out perverted (twisted, the opposite of right).

v 5…”Look among the nations (because judgment is coming from there)! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I (Yehovah) am doing something in your days you would not believe if you were told (which is the destruction of Judah, the city, the Temple and exile. Paul quotes this in relation to going to the Diaspora to bring the Basar to those scattered as a result of the Babylonian exile, and warns them with this verse not to reject it or destruction is going to come from Rome).

v 6…For behold (take note), I am raising up the Chaldeans, that fierce and impetuous people who march throughout the earth to seize dwelling places which are not theirs (Babylon is being raised up as a mighty, cruel, and merciless people to come against Judah).

v 7…They are dreaded and feared (their army was brave as they were cruel)! Their justice and dignity originate with themselves (they do not follow God’s justice in the Torah, but they decide what is right and wrong, and what justice is).

v 8…Their horses are swifter than leopards (attack with light, rapid movements) and keener than wolves in the evening (who go out at night looking for prey). Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swooping down to devour (this points to the threat in Deut 28.49, “Yehovah will bring against thee a nation from afar, from the end of the earth, swift as an eagle flies”-this is about to be fulfilled or given meaning).

v 9…All of them come for violence (strive for it). Their horde of faces forward. They collect captives like the sand.

v 10…They mock (scoff) at kings, and rulers are a laughing matter to them. They laugh at every fortress (ridicules all resistance that is put up before them), and heap up rubble to capture it (siege mounds).

v 11…Then they will sweep through like the wind (a hostile army-Isa 21.1, 8.8) and pass on (through the nation and their defenses). But they will be held guilty, they whose strength is their god (Babylon will think their gods gave them their power, so Yehovah will destroy them because such idolatrous concepts cannot be allowed).”

v 12…Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord, my God, my holy one? We will not die (Habakkuk as a confident hope that his people will not perish). Thou, O Lord, hast appointed them to judge (to carry out judgment against them). And thou, O rock, has established them to correct (to chastise).

v 13…Thine eyes are too pure to behold evil (he cannot be compared to it, he above it). Why dost thou look with favor on those who deal treacherously (the Babylonians)? Why art thou silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they (the Godly portion of Israel-they suffer when the wicked are punished).

v 14…Why dost thou made men like the fish of the sea (who Babylon collects in their net), like creeping things (lobsters, crabs caught in traps) without a ruler over them (to protect them from this)?

v 15…He (Babylon) brings all of them up with a hook (to take them out of the water), drag them away with their net (a large fishing net), and gather them together in their fishing net (Babylon brought home the goods, jewels, silver, gold). Therefore, they rejoice and are glad (because of what they have taken).

v 16…Therefore, they offer sacrifice to their net. And they burn incense to their fishing net (does not thank Yehovah but glories in their own power and gods-Hab 1.11); because through these things their catch is large (and attains wealth and prosperity), and their food is plentiful.

v 17…Will they, therefore, empty their net (to throw it in again and conquer another nation) and continually slay nations without sparing?

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Nahum-Chapter 3

Nahum 3.1-19 also predicts the fall of Ninevah and the whole Assyrian Empire, caused by the murders, cruelty, lies, and thefts it was known for

v 1…Woe to the bloody city (Ninevah and the whole empire), completely full of lies and pillage (murder); prey (innocent victims) never depart (to let them go).

v 2…The noise of the whip, the noise of the rattling wheel, galloping horses, and bounding chariots (a hostile army coming upon Ninevah)!

v 3…Horseman charging (dashing along), swords flashing, spears gleaming, many slain, a mass of corpses (slaughtering at will), and countless dead bodies-they (the slayers) stumble over the dead bodies!

v 4…All because of the many harlotries of the harlot (the treacherous dealings in politics which ensnared smaller nations), the charming one (the city dazzled and trapped many), the mistress of sorceries (devoted to witchcraft or “secret wiles” to rob them), who sells nations by her harlotries (takes their freedom and liberty) and families (smaller tribes) by her sorceries (like the magical arts, their schemes do not come to light until its too late).

v 5…”Behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot); “and I will lift up your skirts over your face (her whoredom will be repaid by the uncovering of her nakedness), and to show (expose) to the nations your nakedness and to the kingdoms your disgrace).

v 6…I will throw filth (shikkutzim-objects of abhorrence, a word frequently used for idols) on you and make you vile (contemptible), and set you up as a spectacle (to give them up to open shame and disgust).

v 7…And it will come about that all who see you (looking at her) will shrink from you (as an object of horror and disgust) and say, ‘Ninevah is devastated! Who will grieve for her?’ Where will I seek comforters for her (no one will take pity on her because her fate was deserved)?”

v 8…Are you better than No-amen (Thebes in Egypt) which was situated by the waters of the Nile (destroyed by Assyria in 663 BC), with water surrounding her (the Nile and its canals), whose rampart (bullwork) was the sea (great rivers can be called a “yam” or sea) whose wall consisted of the sea (moats for fortification)?

v 9…Ethiopians (Cush) was her might (at her command), and Egypt too, without limits (innumerable multitude). Put (Libya) and Lubim (connected to Libya) were among her (Thebes) helpers (auxiliary tribes).

v 10…Yet (in spite of all this help) she became an exile (by Assyria), she went into captivity; also her small children were dashed to pieces at the head of every street; they cast lots for her honorable men (to use as personal slaves), and all her great men were bound with fetters (shackles to bind or restrain them).

v 11…You too will become drunk (drinking from the cup of Yehovah’s divine wrath), you will be hidden (as if you never existed. You too will search for a refuge from the enemy (but not find any).

v 12…All your fortifications are fig trees with ripe fruit-when shaken, they fall into the eater’s mouth.

v 13…Behold (take note and see), your people are women (helpless, weak, unable) in your midst (to defend or resist)! The gates of your land are opened wide (accessible) to your enemies; fire consumes (approaches) your gate bars (the bolts that held the gate shut).

v 14…Draw yourself water for the siege (needed for a long siege)! Strengthen your fortifications (improve them)! Go into the clay and tread mortar! Take hold (prepare) the brick mold (to make bricks-Nahum is mocking their preparations for defense because they will never work)!.

v 15…There fire will consume you, the sword will cut you down; it will consume you as the locust (devours everything). Multiply yourself like the creeping locust, multiply yourself like the swarming locust (even though the city with its masses and houses resembled a swarm of locusts, resistance was futile no matter how many defenders they had).

v 16…You have increased your traders (merchants) more than (beyond) the stars of heaven (commercial endeavors of every sort imaginable)-the creeping locust plunders and flies away (with its booty-Assyria took what they wanted, and now it is going to be done to them).

v 17…Your levied ones (levied for war, guardsmen) are like swarming locust (innumerable). Your soldiers are like hordes of grasshoppers (many) settling in stone walls on a cold day (they cannot fly-stiff). The sun rises and they flee (fly away because it is warmer, and the place where they are is not known (the Assyrian army will be no more, it won’t leave a trace behind, completely annihilated).

v 18…Your shepherds (princes and great men, generals, deputies) have fallen asleep, O king of Assyria; thy nobles (glorious ones) are lying down! Your people are scattered on the mountains (because the shepherds are asleep-lost sheep), and there is no one to regather (so they perish).

v 19…There is no relief for your breakdown (no healing for your fracture, your wound is grievous (incurable). All who hear your report will clap the palm over you (an expression of joy), for on whom has not your evil passed continually (Yehovah used Assyria as his rod on Israel and Judah, but his judgment came upon the land and they fell around 612. BC)

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Nahum-Chapter 2

Nahum 2.1-13 describes the overthrow of Ninevah. The destroyer of Israel who was vindictive and cruel is himself going to be destroyed.

v 1…The one who scatters has come up against you (an approaching army). Man the fortress, watch the road (secure the passes that lead to Ninevah); strengthen your back (put on armor, put on the sword, prepare for battle), summon all your strength (the courage you will need, but it will all be in vain).

v 2…For the Lord (Yehovah) will restore the splendor of Jacob (the natural name for the twelve tribes) like the splendor of Israel (the spiritual name for the twelve tribes-Yehovah will exalt the nation again to its divine calling), even though devastations have devastated them and destroyed their vine branches (Yehovah will avenge the people-Isa 5.1; Jer 12.10).

v 3…The shields of his (Yehovah’s) mighty men are red (the color of their painted shields or the copper color which overlaid them), the warriors are dressed in scarlet (the fighting uniform of the nations was frequently blood red). The chariots are in flashing steel (axes, bows, arrows, armor, weapons adorned the chariots) when he is prepared (to fight), and the cypress (spears or javelins) are brandished (swung by the warriors).

v 4…The chariots race madly in the streets, they rush wildly in the squares (to make a spoil in Ninevah, confusion in the suburbs surrounding the inner citadel), their appearance is like torches (the chariots as they drive about being ornamented with steel weapons and armor), they dash to and from like lightning flashes.

v 5…He remembers his glorious ones (the Assyrians remember their great warriors who may possibly defend the city); they stumble in their march (in terror at the violent assault), they hurry to the wall, and the tortoise is set up (a battle formation formed by soldiers holding their shields close together and above their heads).

v 6…The gates by the rivers are opened (the gates protected by the rivers and canals are occupied easily), and the palace is dissolved (vanish through fear and alarm once the gates protected by the rivers and broken open).

v 7…And it is fixed (determined); she (the city) is stripped, she is carried away (completely destroyed), and her handmaids are moaning like the sound of doves, beating their breasts (mourning over the loss of their mistress Ninevah).

v 8…Though Ninevah was like a pool of water throughout her days (full of life and people), now they are fleeing; “Stop, stop” but no one turns back.

v 9…Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! For there is no limit to the treasure-wealth from every kind of desirable object (the conquerors are summoned to plunder by Yehovah. What Ninevah took will now be taken from them).

v 10…She is emptied! Yes, she is desolate and waste (nothing left)! Hearts are melting and knees knocking (people can hardly stand because of the terror)! Also anguish is in the whole body, and all their faces are grown pale!

v 11…Where is the den of lions (the predatory nature of the kings of Ninevah) and the feeding place of the young lions (the citizens of Ninevah who could not seek prey for themselves-Ninevah is described as the dwelling place of lions, but no more), where the lion, lioness, and the lion cubs prowled, with nothing to disturb them (describes the predatory nature of the Assyrians themselves)?

v 12…The lion tore through for his cubs (the kings took what they wanted), strangling for his lioness (the warriors, citizens), and filled his lairs with prey (the innocent victims-lions drag their prey back to their dens) and his dens with torn flesh.

v 13…”Behold (see for yourself, take note), I am against you,” declares the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot or “armies”). “I will burn up her chariots in smoke (they disappear). A sword will devour your young lions (citizens, warriors), I will cut off your prey from the land, and no longer will the voice of your messengers be heard (the complete destruction of the imperial power of Assyria; Assyrian ambassadors in foreign courts demanding tribute and subjection will not be feared any longer).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Nahum-Chapter 1

Nahum was a little-known prophet who lived in Galilee, most likely at a place called Elkosh (God the ensnarer) out of Galilee. Besides Jonah, this again disproves the assertion by the Sanhedrin that no prophet arises out of Galilee in John 7.52. His name means “consolation” or “full of comfort” and the book was written around 620 BC. His message contains a prophecy about the downfall of Ninevah because after they repented at the time of Jonah, they fell back into sin. However, Nahum never went to Ninevah but this prophecy tells us that Yehovah is determined to break the yoke off Judah that Assyria has placed on them.

v 1…The oracle (burden, weight because its message is heavy) of Ninevah (abode of Ninus), the book (no other prophecy is called a “sefer”-it was sent to them) of the vision of Nahum the Ekloshite.

v 2…A jealous and avenging God is the Lord (Yehovah); the Lord is avenging and wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes, and he reserves wrath for his enemies (God can cause delays on his punishments because he is merciful).

v 3…The Lord is slow to anger (patient to execute-Exo 20.5, 34.14) and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave (the guilty) unpunished (acquit). In whirlwind (tempest) and storm is his way (manifestations of divine wrath in national judgments), and clouds are the dust beneath his feet (as a man goes upon the dust, so Yehovah goes upon the clouds).

v 4…He rebukes the sea and makes it dry (like at the Red Sea-Exo 14.15); he dries up all the rivers (since they obey him, too). Bashan and Carmel wither; the blossoms of Lebanon wither (all very fruitful but now with no rain).

v 5…Mountains quake because of him (Amos 8.8), and the hills dissolve; indeed the earth is upheaved (lifts itself) by his presence, the world and all its inhabitants in it (it is foolish to resist Yehovah).

v 6…Who can stand before his indignation (fury)? Who can endure the burning of his anger? His wrath is poured out like a fire (in a torrent, consuming everything in its path), and the rocks are broken up by him (anything that seems strong and immovable, like Ninevah, are trodden down).

v 7…he Lord (Yehovah) is good (in himself, the perfection of his nature), a stronghold in the day of trouble (any trouble, but this term alludes to the birth-pains), and he knows those who take refuge in him (who has faith-John 10.27-30; 2 Tim 2.19).

v 8…But (to Ninevah) with an overflowing flood (literally fulfilled by an overflow of the Tigris, washing away two and a half miles of wall allowing the armies of the Medes and Babylon to come in). He will make a complete end of its site (Ninevah’s), and will pursue his enemies into darkness (complete destruction).

v 9…What do you (Judea) think of the Lord? He will make a complete end of it (Ninevah will not come back); the distress will not rise up twice (to afflict the Jews again because its destruction will be so complete, so don’t worry about them again).

v 10…Like tangled thorns (useless, fit for burning), and like those who drunken with their drink (can’t help themselves), they are consumed (devoured), as stubble completely withered.

v 11…From you has gone forth one (various Assyrian conquerors and kings) who plotted evil against the Lord (by planning to destroy the Jewish people-Isa 10.7; 36.14-20), a wicked counselor (of Belial).

v 12…Thus says the Lord, “Though they are at full strength and likewise many (the Assyrian army had huge numbers), even so, they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you (using Assyria as a rod to punish Judah-Isa 9.4, 10.5; Mic 5.1), I will afflict you no longer.

v 13…And now, I will break his yoke bar from you (the oppression that caused them to be bowed down), and I will tear off your shackles (bondage).”

v 14…The Lord (Yehovah) has issued a command concerning you (Ninevah), “Your name will no longer be perpetuated (Assyrian power will become extinct). I will cut off idol and image from the house of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are contemptible (no moral worth)-Assyria’s power and their idolatry will be destroyed).”

v 15…Behold (take note), on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news (Hebrew “basar” also meaning flesh or bread, where we get the word “gospel” from; that their oppressor has been destroyed by an army, as announced in v 14), who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah (giving thanks for Yehovah’s blessings); pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one (kings of Assyria) pass through you; he is cut off (Hebrew “karet” or “loosed from the community) completely (because this hostile power of the world has been destroyed by Yehovah).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Micah-Chapter 7

Micah 7.1-20 is a lamentation for the sin of the people. They were going into exile. The fig tree is Israel, but there was no fruit. But there is hope for their future (Jer 31.15-37; Hos 14.1-9; Amos 9.15), and in the first century, Yeshua will use the same terminology when warning his generation (Mark 11.12-14).

v 1…Woe is me (lamentation awaits me)! For I am like the fruit pickers and the grape gatherers (when there are only a few berries or stalks). There is not a cluster of grapes to eat (all fruit is gone), a first-ripe fig I crave (there were very few righteous people with whom he could be refreshed; Micah speaks in the name of the Kahal (assembly) of Israel).

v 2…the godly person (“chasid” or pious fruit) has perished from the land (he was looking for the person of emunah/faith), and there is no upright (v’yashar) person among men (they are as scarce as the first-ripe fig). All of them lie in wait for bloodshed; each of them hunts his brother with a net (laid traps, snares, and nets to obtain wealth, power, and riches of men).

v 3…Concerning evil (“ra”), both hands do it well (diligent to do evil). The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe; and a great man speaks the lust of his soul; so they weave it together (working together to weave plots and webs and snares against their unwary victims).

v 4…The best of them is like a briar, the most upright like a thorn hedge (they injure anyone who comes in contact with them). The day of your watchman (the true prophets who foretold this), your visitation (by God in judgment) is coming, now shall be their confusion (perplexity will surround them with no way out).

v 5…Put no faith (“aminu” and the root is emunah or faith ) in a neighbor (companion); do not have confidence (trust) in a friend. Keep the door of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom (not safe to divulge your thoughts with your wife); for son disputes father (openly), daughter rises up against her mother (no respect, always striving with her), daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own household (Yeshua quotes this in Matt 10.21, 35-36; the deepest ties and relations will be trodden under foot-all the bonds of family and friends will be discarded-this will happen again in the birth-pains-Matt 24.10-12).

v 7…But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord (only Yehovah can be trusted), I will wait for the God of my salvation (only he can save them from all the coming evil). My God will hear me (to help deliver me).

v 8…Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy (Assyria in Micah’s time, but any enemy). When I fall I will arise; though I dwell in darkness (the afflictions of God), the Lord (Yehovah) is a light for me (their salvation-he judges now but he will not break his promises to his people).

v 9…I will bear the indignation (wrath) of the Lord because I have sinned against him (Israel had it coming), until he pleads my case and executes justice for me (he knows that the current afflictions will cease soon when Yehovah’s justice is satisfied). He will bring me out to the light (out of affliction and captivity; like getting out of prison), and I will see his righteousness (deliverance that agrees with his promises).

v 10…Then my enemy (Assyria or any enemy) will see, and shame will cover her (alludes to the evil woman in Proverbs, especially Prov 2.16-22, 5.3-23, 6.24-35, 7.1-27) who said to me, “Where is the Lord (Yehovah) your God (a scornful question in derision)?” My eyes will look on her (the evil woman); at that time she will be trampled down, like mire in the streets (Isa 10.6; wisdom, insight knowledge, discernment and understanding come into play because the evil woman has presented herself as the virtuous woman, it is a seduction).

v 11…It will be a day for building your walls (of Jerusalem by the decree of Cyrus; or our spiritual house and walls); in that day shall the decree be removed (the evil decree of the captivity and oppression).

v 12…It will be a day when they (Jews and non-Jews as believers) will come to you (Mic 4.2) from Assyria and the cities of Egypt (the two most powerful empires at the time of Micah), from Egypt even to the Euphrates (the river), even from sea to sea and mountain to mountain (all regions and countries).

v 13…And the earth (the nations in the world) will become desolate because of her inhabitants, on account of the fruit of their deeds (while Israel is rebuilt, judgment has fallen on the nations, completing the promise of the restoration of the land of Israel).

v 14…Shepherd thy people with thy scepter (Micah pleads with Yehovah to take care of the people in their afflicted condition while in exile), the flock of thy possession (heritage) which dwells by itself in the woodlands (alone in the world, called to be different-Deut 4.6-8), in the midst of a fruitful field (Hebrew “carmel”-enjoying prosperity and abundance). Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead (Golan Heights today, famous for good pasture land) as in the days of old (under David and Solomon).

v 15…As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles (divine manifestations).

v 16…Nations will see and be ashamed (his wonders will make such an impression on them they will stand in awe) of all their might (it was useless against Yehovah). They will put their hand on the mouth, their ears will be deaf (dumb and deaf with terror).

v 17…They will lick the dust like a serpent (driven out of hiding in fear-Gen 3.14), like reptiles of the earth (this will be the scene when the nations stand before Yeshua). They will come trembling out of their fortresses (closed paces, castles); to the Lord our God they will come in dread, and they will be afraid before thee (of his power).

v 18…Who is a God like thee (a wordplay on Micah’s name), who pardons (Hebrew “nasa” meaning “lifting off”) iniquity and passes over the transgression (rebellious act) of the remnant of his possession? He does not retain his anger forever; because he delights in mercy (chesed/grace).

v 19…He will again have compassion on us, tread down our transgressions (conquer their power and tyranny) and you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea (as he once did to the tyranny of Pharaoh and drowned him and his army in the “temot” or depths of the sea).

v 20…Thou wilt give truth (Hebrew “emet” as found in his word-Psa 119.160; John 17.17) to Jacob and mercy (chesed/grace) to Abraham which thou didst swear to our forefathers from the days of old (God will give to them what he has promised to the fathers-Gen 22.16-18).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Micah-Chapter 6

Micah 6.1-16 tells us Yehovah has presented his case against them, so he tells them to present their case (to cross-examine him). These legal terms are associated with what is called a Yom Ha Din or “day of judgment.”

v 1…Hear now what Yehovah is saying (in his lawsuit against his people), “Arise, plead your case before the mountains and let the hills hear your voice (they are to hear Yehovah’s indictment against Israel as witnesses because they have seen what Yehovah has done for Israel throughout the years, and they were the site of many abominations associated with idolatry committed on them-Gen 49.26; Deut 33.15; Psa 90.2; Hab 3.6).

v 2…Listen, you mountains, to the indictment (cause) of the Lord, and you enduring (strong) foundations of the earth (as witnesses), because the Lord (Yehovah) has a case against his people; even with Israel he will dispute (to get the case settled).

v 3…My people, what have I done to you (hat more could I have done for you), and how have I wearied you (why have you run out of patience with me)? Answer me (testify against me in public).

v 4…Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt (he brings them back to the Exodus where they were showered with his merch and kindness), and ransomed you from the house of slavery, and I sent (as a “shaliach” where we get the concept of “apostle” from) before you Moses (a lawgiver), Aaron (a priest before Yehovah) and Miriam (a prophetess).

v 5…My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab counseled (to destroy Israel) and what Balaam son of Beor answered him, from Shittim to Gilgal (between the first station after Balaam’s blessing and the first station in Canaan-Num 25.1; Josh 4.19), in order that you might know the righteous acts of the Lord (in performing what he promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in his covenant with them).

v 6…With what shall I come to the Lord and bow myself before the God on high (in humility to repair the bond of the covenant)? Shall I come to him with burnt offerings (Korban Olot), with yearling calves (considered the choicest of offerings)?

v 7…Does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil (sparing no expense to restore the covenantal relationship)? Shall I present my first-born for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul (signifying the most precious possession-the answer to all this is “No.”)’v 8…He has told you (already), O man (adam), what is good (by the light of the Torah), and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice (mishpat), to love kindness (chesed), and to walk humbly with your God (they know to do the good commanded in the Torah, and to avoid the evil forbidden by it).

v 9…The voice (kol) of the Lord will call to the city (of Jerusalem in warning) and sound wisdom shall see your name (gives attention to Yehovah’s revelation); hear the rod (the threatened judgment) and who has appointed it (Yehovah has appointed judgment for his people).

v 10…Is there yet a man in the wicked house, along with treasures of wickedness (does the wicked person still bring unjust gain into his house); and an ephah of leanness cursed (the rich “short-weighed” the people contrary to the Torah in Deut 25.13-16)?

v 11…Can I justify (count them pure) wicked scales and a bag of deceptive weights (to make the scales incorrect)?

v 12…For the rich man of the city (Jerusalem) are full of violence (cruel and unscrupulous), her residents speak lies (used fraud).

v 13…So I will make you sick, striking you down, desolating you because of your sins (of idolatry, injustice and oppression- as they did it to others, so Yehovah will do to them).

v 14…You will eat, but you will not be satisfied (hollowness of stomach), and your illness shall be in your midst (the bowels, like dysentery). And you shall draw back (to save goods and family, etc), but you will not preserve (save), and what you do preserve I will give to the sword (it will fall into the hands of the Assyrians and later the Babylonians)

v 15…You will sow but you will not reap (they will work but not get the benefits for various reasons). You will tread the olive but not anoint yourself with oil, and the grapes, but you will not drink wine (this is the rod of correction with which they are threatened-Lev 26.16; Deut 28.33).

v 16…The statues of Omri (who built Samaria and set up idolatry like Jeroboam) and all the works of Ahab are observed (Omri’s son, who married Jezebel, had a daughter named Athaliah who introduced Phoenician paganism into Judah); and in their devices you walk. Therefore, I will give you up (Samaria) to destruction and your inhabitants for derision (hissing and scorn), and you will bear the reproach of my people (the punishment in the Torah will come upon them-Deut 28.33-37).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Micah-Chapter 5

Micha 5.1-15 begins with a prophecy about the siege of Jerusalem by Assyria, and eschatologically this will take place again in the day of the Lord (when Yehovah reveals his power to overthrow his enemies and defends the kingdom; also means when Messiah comes). It is probably the most important, compact, and eschatological chapter in the Bible. It alludes to the birth of Messiah, the first and second “birth-pains” of the Messiah, the 144,000, the second coming of Yeshua on Yom Kippur, the invasion of Gog and Magog (Russia), and the False Messiah. If one wants to teach prophecy and you have the background to do it, this is the chapter to go to. You must know it backward and forward.

v 1…”Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops (the thought is this, “Crowd together with fear in a troop “); they (the enemy) have laid siege against us (set or prepares a siege); with a rod (Assyria-Isa 9.4, 10.5, 10.24; but also alludes to Gog and Magog/Russia)) they will smite the judge of Israel (the person holding the highest office; this would be Ahaz and Hezekiah) on the cheek (refers to the treatment of the king, humiliation).

v 2…But as for you, Bethlehem (house of bread) Ephratah (fruitful), too little to be among the clans of Judah (of little importance), from you one (Yeshua as Messiah) will go forth for me (Yehovah) to be ruler in Israel (a targum on this verse is quoted in Matt 2.6). His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity (“mimay olam”-or before there was creation, eternity past, equal to the “l’olam vaed.” The 7000 years involves the Olam Ha Zeh, the present age of 6000 years, and the Atid Lavo, the last 1000 years. This 7000-year period is followed by the “olam vaed” or the Olam Haba again; Yehovah’s will is from eternity and planned before the world was created. It will be manifested through the birth of a descendant of David in a small town called Bethlehem of Judah).

v 3…Therefore, he (Yehovah) will give them (Israel) up (into the hands of the enemy-the Davidic line has lost the throne and has fallen into poverty because God has given them up) until the time (when the future Messiah from the line of David comes; he was not going to come to Zion the royal city, but from the insignificant town of Bethlehem, and until this happens, they were under the power of the nations). When she who is in labor has borne a child (Yeshua born from Mary), then the remainder of his brethren (Judah who preserved the Torah and Yeshua’s brethren) will return to the sons of Israel (the ten northern tribes).

v 4…And he shall stand and shepherd his flock (blessings the birth of Yeshua brings; lead them) in the strength of the Lord (in his power and authority to protect the flock from the threat of “wolves”), in the majesty of the name of the Lord (Yehovah) his God, and they will remain (sit undisturbed, dwell); because at that time he will be great to the ends of the earth (his authority extends to the whole world, including the non-Jews).

v 5…And this one (Messiah) will be peace (“shalom” and in Hebrew it is written with a broken vav, similar to the one in Num 25.2; this means the “peace” will not be complete until the Olam Haba ). When the Assyrian (a type of all the nations) invades our land (Num 24.24; Isa 9.2-7, 10.24-25-Assyria was the kingly power at this time, and they are a picture of Gog and Magog/Russia in Ezek 38 and 39), when he tramples on our citadels (palaces). Then we (Israel) will raise against him (Assyria, or Gog and Magog/Russia)) seven shepherds (princes/kings) and eight leaders of men (this may allude to the Russian invasion of Israel in the birth-pains; the False Messiah started with ten shepherd kings, but later this was reduced to seven in Dan 7.8, 20, 24. The False Messiah has a treaty with Israel in Dan 9.27. Counting the False Messiah, this makes eight leaders-Rev 17.11).

v 6…And they (the eight) will shepherd (rule over) the land of Assyria (eschatologically Gog and Magog/Russia) with the sword (Russia will be defeated by the power of God, but the False Messiah will take advantage of their defeat and attack Russia itself and defeat them-Ezek 39.1-6), the land of Nimrod (Mesopotamia/Assyria, and a picture of Russia) at its entrances (cities and fortresses-Isa 3.26, 13.2). And he (Yehovah through Messiah) will deliver us from the Assyrian (prophetically Russia/Gog and Magog-Ezek 38-39; Isa 36-37; Num 24.24) when he attacks our land (Isa 14.25), and when he tramples our territory (when Russia attacks Israel in the birth-pains; Yehovah defended Judah and destroyed the Assyrian army with a plague, and he will do the same thing when Russia attacks-Ezek 38.22. Israel will believe in Yeshua as a nation as seen in Isa 10.12; Ezek 39.22; Isa 9.2-7. As a result, however, the False Messiah will take credit for this defeat and become powerful and move into Israel to take the Temple and set up the Abomination of Desolation between Tishri 10 and the defeat of Russia, and Nisan 10 six months later. When this happens, Israel, who now believes in Yeshua, will reject him and flee to the Moabite-Jordanian wilderness and be protected by God for the last three and a half years of the birth-pains-Rev 12.1-17).

v 7…Then (after the defeat of Gog and Magog/Russia and Israel’s redemption into the Messiah) the remnant of Jacob (possibly an allusion to the 144,000 from all twelve tribes) will be among many peoples (for the first three and a half years they preached the Basar in Israel, like Yeshua. But during the last three and half years they will be sent with the Basar to the non-Jews) like dew (a type of teaching the Torah-Deut 32.1-2) from the Lord, like showers on vegetation (bringing renewed life, a resurrection, born again, etc) which do not wait for man (redemption and resurrection is all God’s work).

8…And the remnant of Jacob will be among the nations (non-Jews), among many peoples (Yeshua’s talmidim preached to the lost sheep of Jacob for three and a half years, then they were sent into the whole world in Matt 28.19-20. In the same way, the 144,000 preached in Israel for three and a half years, and then they will be sent into the whole world for the last three and a half years of the birth-pains, and then the end will come) like a lion among the beast of the forest and like a young lion among the flocks of sheep, which, if he passes through, tramples down and tears, and there is no to rescue (in other words, there will be none who will be victorious over the 144,000 if they oppose them).

v 9…Your hand (considered from the shoulder to the fingers, and synonymous with “arm” or “zeroah”, a term for the Messiah) will be lifted up against their adversaries, and all your enemies will be cut off (Israel’s supremacy).

v 10…And it will be in that day (the day of the Lord),” declares the Lord, “that I will cut off your horses (power and confidence of men) from among you and destroy your chariots (all the instruments of war will be destroyed, all war ceases).

v 11…I will also cut off the cities of your land and tear down all your fortifications (won’t have these to put their trust in for defense).

v 12…I will cut off sorceries (witchcrafts) from your hand and you will have fortune tellers no more (soothsayers who deceived the people with the false appearance of things and pretend to know the times and seasons).

v 13…I will cut off your carved images and your sacred pillars from among you, so that you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands.

v 14…I will root out your Asherim from among you and destroy your cities (Targum says “destroy your enemies”-Yehovah is going to exterminate everything that is related to idolatry).

v 15…And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath among the nations (outside the land) which have not obeyed (the Torah and refused to listen; these things will be done so that the peace he is bringing to Israel cannot be disturbed).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Micah-Chapter 4

Micah 4.1-13 tells us about some promises concerning the last days after Yeshua returns and the kingdom was renewed. This is given because all of this was lost when Babylon took the city, the Temple was destroyed and the kingship was lost, so a picture of the coming glory of it all is re-established.

v 1…And it will come about in the last days (“acharit yamim” and v 13 repeats the words of Israel in Isa 2.2-4-they lived at the same time; acharit yamin is an eschatological term for when the Messiah comes) that the mountain of the house of the Lord (Moriah, but mountain also alludes to “kingdom”) will be established as the chief of the mountains (or “kingdoms”). It will be raised above the hills (the Messianic Kingdom will be exalted over all the kingdoms, small and great), and the peoples will stream to it.

v 2…And many nations (non-Jews) will come and say, “Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob (the Messianic Temple in Ezek 40 through 48-the people would say this when they started to go to Jerusalem for the festivals-Hertz Pentateuch and Haftorahs, p.429, 860), that he may teach us about his ways (the Torah) and that we may walk in his paths (the non-Jews should and will walk in the Torah as it applies to them, proving it has not been done away with).” For from Zion (Jerusalem) will go forth the law (Torah), even the word of the Lord (the same as the Torah) from Jerusalem (this is called the “Ki Mitzion” and is said when a Torah scroll is taken out of the ark in a synagogue-see “The Authorized Daily Prayer Book” by Dr. Joseph Hertz-p. 475).

v 3…And he will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant (far off) nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks (weapons of war will be turned into agricultural instruments); nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they train for war (the opposite of Joel 3.10).

v 4…And each of them will sit under his vine, and under his fig tree (these are idioms for peace in the Messianic Kingdom-1 Kings 4.25; Isa 36.16; Zech 3.10), with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot or armies) has spoken (so it will certainly come to pass, no matter how incredible it sounds or what anybody says to the contrary).

v 5…Though all the peoples walk each in the name of his god (for now), as for us, we will walk in the name of the Lord (Yehovah) our God forever and ever (olam vaed).

v 6…”In that day (when Messiah comes),” declares the Lord, “I will assemble the lame and gather the outcasts (the Jewish people), even those whom I have afflicted (because of their sins).

v 7…I will make the lame a remnant, and the outcasts a strong nation (those in distress and in misery in the world), and the Lord (Yehovah) will reign over them in Mount Zion (the monarchy restored as it has never been through the Messiah) from now on and forever (never interrupted again).

v 8…And as for you tower of the flock (Hebrew “Migdal Eder”), hill (ophel) of the daughter of Zion (the hill where Jerusalem stood-the Ophel was a hill on the south side of the Temple-2 Chr 27.3, 33.14; Neh 3.26-27; it refers to the Davidic palace on Zion as shepherd of the nation-Neh 3.25; Migdal Eder was also in the neighborhood of Bethlehem where the Temple sheep were raised, and where Yeshua was born), to you it shall come (the former dominion of David and Solomon through the Messiah; it was withdrawn from the Davidic line but will return; this alludes to the birth of Yeshua, a descendant of David, at Migdal Eder and the kingdom of God returning) -even the former dominion will come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem (restored-Dan 7.27, Matt 11.7-19).

v 9…Now, why do you cry out loudly (“cry a cry” and Micah turns from the glorious future to the current situation-telling the people what will precede the glory- the loss of the kingdom and the exile)? Is there no king among you (did he die, is that why there is lamentation), or has your counselor (also the king-Isa 9.5) perished (a parallelism), that agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth (true believers mourning the loss of the kingdom; this also alludes to the birth-pains before Yeshua returns to restore the kingdom-Isa 66.7-9; Matt 24.8)?

v 10…Writhe and labor to give birth, daughter of Zion (the calamity of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and the people going into exile is related as birth-pains), like a woman in childbirth (this also alludes to when Rome came in 70 AD and took the city and dispersed the Jewish people). For now you will go out of the city (as captives, dwell in the field (exposed, in the open weather, etc; it also alludes to the Jews leaving Jerusalem in 70 AD and dwelling in the world-Matt 13.3-8), and go to Babylon (at the time Assyria was the main enemy of Israel; this also refers to Judah being carried away there, confirming Jeremiah’s prophecy and this verse and Mic 3.2 was used to defend him in Jer 26.18-19; eschatologically this alludes to the fall of Jerusalem and the Jews going into the world, but eventually coming to the USA, which many believe is “Babylon”). There (in Babylon through Cyrus and their return to the land) you will be rescued (Hebrew “natzeli” and related to “natzal” meaning to “pluck up, preserve” but it is also a term for what is known as the “rapture” on Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001; Jews will flee Babylon before the destruction of the USA), there the Lord will redeem you from the hand of your enemies (historically through Cyrus when they were given the freedom to leave Babylon and go back to the land, but we know Babylon is a type for the USA who will become more anti-semitic as we get closer to the birth-pains)

v 11…And now (presently, back to the current time) many nations are assembled against you, who say, “Let her be polluted and let our eyes gloat over Zion (this refers to Assyria and their attempt to destroy Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah-Isa 10.5-7. Assyria was dominant when this was written, not Babylon).

v 12…But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord, and they do not understand his purpose; for he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor (we know Assyria attacked Judah in the fall and were defeated at the time of the harvest-Deut 16.13; Exo 23.14-16; Isa 9.1-5, 10.12-19. This invasion is a picture of the defeat of Gog and Magog/Russia during the birth-pains-Ezek 38 and 39).

v 13…Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, for your horn (power) I will make iron and your hoofs I will make bronze (give his people strength that can’t be conquered), that you may pulverize many peoples (many peoples were allied with Assyria, but this won’t be done with fleshly power, but through God’s power) that you may devote to the Lord their unjust gain and their wealth to the Lord of all the earth (their possessions that were taken by plunder after they were defeated will be consecrated to Yehovah-Isa 9.2-5).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Micah-Chapter 3

Micah 3.1-12 tells us Micah reproves the civil leaders in government for their miscarriage of justice, their hatred for good and love of evil, and their oppression and distress. When they cry to Yehovah they will not be heard by him. Basically, the government is deteriorating.

v 1…And I said, “Hear now, heads (roshay) of Jacob and rulers (magistrates) of the house of Israel. Is it not for you to know justice (to give attention to what is right)?

v 2…You who hate good and love evil (they were the exact opposite of what God wanted in a leader), who tear off their skin from them (flaying the people) and their flesh from the bones (like wild beasts in their lust for gain).

v 3…And who eat the flesh of my people (by oppression, devouring them; today it is called “smart business”), strip off their skin (to be flayed) from them; break their bones, and chop them up as for the pot and as for meat in a kettle (these are figures for pledged clothing and desired fields-Mic 2.2, 2.8).

v 4…Then (at the time of judgment) they will cry out to the Lord (Yehovah), but he will not answer them (they turned a deaf ear to the oppressed, so Yehovah will turn a deaf ear to them). Instead, he will hide his face from them at that time, because they practiced evil deeds.

v 5…Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets (false religious leaders) who lead my people astray (make them commit error); when they have something to bite with their teeth (receive something to eat as a bribe) they cry, “Peace,” but against who puts nothing in their mouths (give them nothing to eat) they declare holy war (proclaim that Yehovah has set them apart for vengeance through slander, or use the government and neighbors against them, etc).

v 6…Therefore it will be night for you without a vision (no light or understanding in them-Isa 8.20), and darkness for you-without divination (no understanding, no predictions for good). The sun will go down on the prophets (no prosperity and out of favor with the people), and the day will become dark over them (a day of judgment-Amos 5.18).

v 7…The seers will be ashamed (their prophecies proven false) and the diviners will be embarrassed. Indeed, they will cover their mouths (stop talking because of shame) because there is no answer from God (they will no longer say they hear from God because it is now plain to see).

v 8…On the other hand (in contrast to these false prophets) I am filled with power (from Yehovah)-with the Spirit of the Lord (Ruach Yehovah)-and with justice and courage (by God’s help) to make known (bring to light, openly get it before them) to Jacob his rebellious acts, and to Israel his sin (so they can repent).

v 9…Now hear this, heads (roshay) of the house of Jacob (the principal men of the land) and rulers (magistrates) of the house of Israel, who abhor justice) and twist everything that is straight (perverting equity),

v 10…who build Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with violent injustice (obtaining the means to build through extortion, bribes and judicial murder-1 Kings 21.1-10; Jer 22.13-17),

v 11…her leaders (heads) pronounce judgment for a bribe (influenced by money or personal gain), her priests instruct for a price (decide controversies for a fee), and her prophets divide the money (their “prophecies” being fashioned according to what is given them). Yet they lean on the Lord saying, “Is it not the Lord in our midst (enthroned in the Temple and that he will protect our city)? Calamity (evil) will not come upon us (without realizing that was Yehovah who was the one bringing the evil in the first place because of sin).”

v 12…Therefore, on account of you, Zion (the royal palaces) will be plowed as a field, Jerusalem (the rest of the city) will become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house (the Temple Mount) will become high places of a forest (overrun with bushes and shrubs, destroying all false trust in the Temple-Jer 7.1-15).

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