Tanak Foundatiosn-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 4

2 Sam 4.1-12 tells us about the diminishing position of the house of Saul. Ishboshet (Eshbaal) hears about the death of Abner and was disturbed over it, as well as all Israel. This is because they were weak and they trusted in man. Jonathan had a son who was crippled named Mephiboshet (“mouth of shame”). He is the last male descendant of Saul and he had a claim to the throne. He was five years old when he heard about the death of Saul and Jonathan, and his nurse took him and fled. As she was hurrying, he fell and became lame. As a result, he was considered unfit. He is also called Meribaal (“the Lord contends”) in 1 Chr 8.34.

Ishboshet is assassinated by two people from Benjamin, Baanah (“son of response”) and Rechab (“driver”). They came into his house while he was napping and stab him in the stomach, and then behead him, and brought the head to David to prove he was dead. They said they were serving God by doing this, and that God would approve. However, David didn’t and said that when he was told that Saul was dead, and the Amalekite messenger thought he was bringing David good news, David had him killed in Ziklag. How much more when wicked men kill a righteous man by comparison in his own house. So David commanded his “ne’arim” (elite warriors) who were with him to kill them, and they cut their hands and feet off and hung them by the pool at Hebron. They also took the head of Ishboshet and buried it in the grave of Abner in Hebron. By doing this he was showing all Israel that he was opposed to the destruction of the house of Saul.

In 2 Sam 5.1-25 David is recognized as king over all of Israel at Hebron, and we have the capture of Jerusalem. This will cause a war with their old enemy, the Philistines. The people came to David to anoint him and said, “We are your bone and your flesh.” This is because they all came from Jacob and they were conveying the concept of being “echad” (one). David had the first and only qualification to be king, the anointing of God. Prior to this, only one tribe recognized David as king. The other tribes recognized the pretender Ishboshet. Now that he was dead, the other tribes come over to David.

They accept David because he was the one who “led Israel out and in” in battle. They knew that the Lord had said to David, “You will shepherd my people Israel, and you shall be a ruler over Israel.” Then they anointed David as king, which was the third time. He reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned for thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah. This coronation alludes to Yeshua’s coronation in heaven (Rev 4-5). At Hebron, David reigned seven years. Hebron is a type of heaven in Scripture, and called Abraham’s Bosom because Abraham is buried there, It was also a priestly city and a city of refuge, like heaven is.

Yeshua reigns in heaven (Hebron) for seven years of the birth-pains, and then he returns to Jerusalem like David to reign over all of Israel. Yeshua also reigns for the seven thousand year history of man, and at the end he returns everything that has been restored back the the Father (1 Cor 15.20-27). David will reign thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah, and Yeshua died at thirty-three. David will reign forty years in total (2 Sam 5.4) and David is thirty years old when he begins, the same age Yeshua was when he started his ministry.

In 2 Sam 5.6-10 we learn about the capture of the eastern half of Jerusalem, and David and his men go up against the Jebusites, a name given to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. At the time, Jerusalem was a small, Canaanite city. The Jebusites said to David, “You shall not come in here, but the blind and lame shall turn you away.” They thought David was too weak to take the city.

Hittite documents record a curse upon the soldier who broke their oath to the king. They would become blind and deaf if they violated it. In addition to this, their vigor and vitality would leave them. The Jebusites may be doing the same thing here, and this was the beginning of a curse (v 6). David’s men were concerned because he will offer a reward for whoever went up first (1 Chr 11.4-7). It seems they entered the city through a water tunnel, and the city fell to David. This teaches us in our warfare, we may be in a spiritual “siege” and someone or something is trying to take our city. We must remember that we must always protect our water source (the Word of God and good teaching) or the enemy will use it to capture us by false teaching. Our enemy can take the same verses that can give us life, pervert them through bad teaching and a lack of knowledge, and leads us into spiritual captivity by making those Scriptures seem to say something that just isn’t true.

So David lived in the stronghold (of Zion), and called it the city of David. It will be the capital city because God has directed him to do so, and it will be the site of the coming Temple. As we have mentioned before, the three valleys around the city made it easy to defend. The only side that was vulnerable was the north side. He also built up all around it, from the Millo and inward. The Millo was a ditch around a fort, full of water, like moat. It was a hollow space between the fort and the lower city where the Jebusites were. Solomon filled in this area between the two summits and made it level (1 Kings 11.27). And David became greater and greater, for Yehovah was with him.

Then King Hiram (the father of the King Hiram in Solomon’s day) knew how to build political alliances, so he sent messengers to David with cedar trees, carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a house for David. David realized that the Lord had established his as king over Israel, and that the Lord had strengthened his kingdom on behalf of the people.

In the meantime, David took more wives and concubines (secondary wives, and under the wives) from Jerusalem after he came from Hebron. As a result, he had more sons and daughters, and one of them will be the future king of Israel after David. Now, these could be seen as blessings from the Lord, but we also know that most of the trouble David will have will come from his wives and children. The names of those born to him in Jerusalem were Shammua (“renowned” also called Shimea in 1 Chr 3.5), Shobah (“rebellious”), Nathan (“giver”), Solomon (“peace”), Ibhan (“Yehovah chooses”), Elishua (“my God is salvation” and also called Elishama in 1 Chr 3.6), Nepheg (“sprout”), Japhia (“Shining”), Elishama (“my God has heard”), Eliad (“God knows”) and Eliphelet (“God delivers me”).

In order to understand why Jerusalem (Jebus-1 Chr 11.4) was so important to David, we will need to go back and spend some time picking up some additional information. Jerusalem was going to be the capital of Israel and the site of the coming Temple. So, in Part 5 we will pick up here with an explanation as to why David took Jerusalem and made it his capital, and how he knew to do so.

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

Tanak Foundation-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 3

2 Sam 3.1-39 begins by telling us that there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. This shows how wrong it was for Joab to accept Abner’s cease fire (2 Sam 2.28). During David’s seven year reign in Hebron, sons were born to David by many wives. Some believe that having multiple wives went against Deut 17.17 where it says, “Neither shall he (the king) multiply wives for himself, or his heart will be led astray.” However, God said he gave all of Saul’s wives to David, and other wives (2 Sam 12.8), so did the Lord break his own law in Deut 17.17? Let’s look at this.

According to an article at Goodquestionblog.com called, “Why did God give David all of Saul’s wives?”, this law does appear in Deut 17.17 and the intention of the law was to prohibit marriages with surrounding pagan countries. The justification for this law appears in our verse where it says, “or his heart will be led astray.” A woman who went to a foreign country was allowed to worship her own gods and in doing so, the husband may want to please her ( or the father-in-law) and join in. This is exactly what happened to Solomon as he got older. His wives turned his heart after other gods. He followed Ashtoreth of the Sidonians and Molech of the Ammonites. It can be safely said that if an Israelite king married multiple wives who faithfully followed Yehovah and the Torah, his heart would not have been led astray. As a result, the “spirit” or “essence” of the commandment in Deut 17.17 would not have been broken.

Now, here is the other concern. God gave the wives of Saul to David and it would appear that Saul had a large harem. Usually a son who became king would not be able to inherit the wives of his father because the Torah prohibited a father and son from marrying the same woman. But David was starting a new kingly line and he was not a son of Saul, so it was biblically acceptable for him to make these women his wives upon the death of Saul and David’s ascension to the throne.

According to 1 Chr 3.1-4, David had six sons by six wives in Hebron, and six is the number of man. Amnon (“faithful”) was born to Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and he raped his sister. Chileab (“like his father” and also known as Daniel in 1 Chr 3.1) was born to Abigail the Carmelite. he third was Absalom (“father of peace”) was born to Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur. He murdered his half-brother and revolted against David and died in the revolt. He is a picture of the false Messiah as we shall soon see. David would have at least 13 other sons, and Tamar a daughter, born to him in Jerusalem. He also had more children by his concubines, and he had at least ten (1 Chr 3.5-9; 2 Sam 15.16, 20.3).

Adonijah (“my god is Yehovah”) was born to Haggith and he tried to seize the throne from his father, and tried to marry one of David’s concubines named Abishag the Shunamite. But Solomon knows that Adonijah is trying to take the throne from him by taking the royal harem. David never had sexual relations with Abishag so it was legal for Adonijah to marry her. Solomon recognizes this and says, “Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him” (1 Kings 2.22). Adonijah will be executed. Shephatiah (“Yehovah judges”) was born to Abital, and Ithream (“profit of the people”) was born to Eglah.

Now, Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah (“pavement”) and Ishboshet accused Abner of an impropriety for having relations with “my father’s concubine” (2 Sam 3. 6-7). Abner was making himself stronger in the house of Saul and this was seen as being very ambitious when you weren’t a successor. It seems Abner supported Ishboshet because he was weak, allowing Abner to get stronger in power and strength and be the power “behind the scenes.” As we have said earlier, to take the wife or concubine of a king as his property was seen as making a bid for the throne. Because Abner is getting stronger, perhaps Ishboshet is making up a story.

Abner denies this and is very angry. He says “Am I a dog’s head (that copulates with anything) that belongs to Judah?. Abner says he has shown nothing but kindness to the house of Saul and yet he gets accused of having relations with Saul’s concubine. He then says that he is going to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul to David, “As the Lord has sworn to David.” Ishboshet couldn’t answer Abner because Abner was a bully and Ishboshet was afraid of him. But Abner knew that David was God’s choice to be king and he is like us sometimes. We know things to be true but we delay to live it.

So, Abner joins David, but is it for the wrong reason? Is he coming to his senses knowing that David was God’s choice to be king, or is he coming for the wrong reason? As we have said, Abner was a bully and it seems that he is only coming to David now because Ishboshet offended him. Had Ishboshet not offended him, would he he still have resisted David and leveraged his position, all the while knowing that David was God’s choice to be king?

David agrees to forget the past and Abner is allowed to join him, but on one condition. He wants him to bring Michal, David’s wife (1 Sam 18.26-28), with him. Saul took her away from David (1 Sam 25.44) and David wants to show no bitterness towards the house of Saul. This would also be seen as favorable to the adherents of the house of Saul and would give David a greater claim to Saul’s throne, being the son-in-law. But, there was one problem. She had to be taken from her husband Paltiel (“God delivers”), who loved her very much (2 Sam 3.13-15). Michal was taken from David and given to another, but David and Michal were never divorced (1 Sam 25.44).

So Abner begins to consolidate the people and wanted them to place David as their king over them, and this seemed good to Issrael and the whole house of Benjamin. David then made a feast for Abner and his men and it was agreed that Abner would gather the people to David so that he could be king over all Israel (2 Sam 3.19-21). Meanwhile, Joab is out fighting robbers and came back with much spoil (2 Sam 3.22). He hears about what David has agreed to with Abner and is not happy about it. He knew Abner and if crossed he could be a formidable enemy. He knew what Abner was capable of. He was an expert in warfare and popular with the army. He could turn them against David and take the kingdom. He also remembers that it was Abner who killed his brother Asahel (2 Sam 2.23). In a sense, he thinks Abner is a spy and can’t be trusted.

Joab is going to do something about it. He sends messengers to Abner and asks him to come back to Hebron. When he arrives, he takes Abner off to the side to talk to him privately and stabs Abner in the belly, the same place he stabs his brother (2 Sam 2.23). He died on account of the blood of Asahel, but this is only the first one he kills. He will kill Amasa out of jealousy, and the Lord will require it from him in 1 Kings 2.32-34.

When David hears about this he says that he and his kingdom were innocent before the Lord of the blood of Abner. He also said that judgment may fall on the head of Joab and on his father’s house (all who had a hand in it). He then goes on to pronounce that Joab’s house would be cursed (2 Sam 3.29). We also learn in 2 Sam 3.30 that Abishai was in on this.

David leads the mourning over Abner. David had to show that his reign was not going to be one of brutality and murder. Joab and his brother Abishai had no right as a “goel” (kinsman redeemer) or an avenger of blood to do this because Asahel died in open warfare. Abner even tried to warn Asahel to turn back (2 Sam 2.22), but Asahel continued to pursue Abner. These events grieved David openly (2 Sam 3.35). David realizes that his nephews are going to be difficult. David is weak in respect to the kingdom because he couldn’t not inflict punishment on them. One was a general and the other an officer and a good warrior who was popular.

We will pick up here in Part 4.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 2

We are going to look at 2 Sam 1.19-27 briefly, which is a beautiful piece of Hebrew poetry. This song is a great scripture for veterans or Memorial Day services. We will go over this verse by verse with our commentary in parenthesis.

“The beauty (lit “gazelle”), O Israel, is slain on your high places (Mount Gilboa)! How have the mighty (“givorim”) fallen (Saul fell long before this)! Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not (root for “proclaim” is “basar” or “good news” where we get the word “gospel” from in English) in the streets of Ashkelon (that Saul is dead-both are Philistine cities); lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exalt.”

“O mountains of Gilboa, let not the dew or rain be on you (poetical speech for David’s abhorrence to what happened there) nor fields of offerings (have nothing to offer God); for there the shield of the mighty was defiled (they threw them away to run in disgrace), the shield of Saul not anointed with oil (but with blood).”

“From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back (he did not shoot his arrows in vain-they hit their mark), and the sword of Saul did not return empty (he killed many). Saul and Jonathan, beloved and pleasant in their life (to one another), and in their death they were not parted (Jonathan died close to his father); They were swifter than eagles (to help the distressed), they were stronger than lions (fighting their enemies).”

“O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet (enriched them by the spoil he brought back after his victories), who put ornaments of gold in your apparel. How have the mighty fallen in the midst of battle!”

“Jonathan is slain on your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan (David was married to Jonathan’s sister, so he literally was his brother-in-law, but he was his friend and brother in arms, a severe loss to David); you have been very pleasant to me (in his visits and conversation). Your love to me (he risked his life for David many times when his father was trying to kill him) was more wonderful than the love of women (The Targum Jonathan says, “more than the love of two women” meaning Ahinoam and Abigail. This means he was loved more affectionately by Jonathan then by them, and they loved David very much). How have the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished (Saul and Jonathan were the “shields” that defended the people).”

In 2 Sam 2.1-32 we have several issues going on. David inquired of the Lord where to go from Ziklag, and he was directed to go to Hebron. The word “Hebron” means “communion” and it is a type of “heaven” and “Abraham’s Bosom” in the Scriptures. That is an important concept to remember as we move forward and we will see how this applies in the life of David shortly. Hebron was a city for the priests and a city of refuge.

Twenty years or so earlier David was anointed king over Israel (1 Sam 16.12-13) and now he is anointed king by the elders of Judah over the house of Judah (Gen 49.10). He is told that the men of Jabesh-gilead buried Saul, and David blesses them and said they showed kindness to Saul, and he would show them kindness in return at a later time, but he needed them because of their courage. David knows that the enemy will resent their kindness, but David will protect them.

Now, Saul had a first cousin named Abner (“father of light”-1 Sam 14.50) and he was the commander of the army. He first met David in 1 Sam 17.55-57 when David went out to fight Goliath. We know that Saul had three sons who died with him in battle (1 Sam 31.6), but there was another one. Ishboshet (“man of shame”) is not mentioned before this as a son of Saul, and he may have been illegitimate or a son of a concubine, or by marriage like David (1 Sam 18.17-30).

Abner made him king over all Israel because he had right to it with the other sons dead, and so he could be the power behind the throne of a weak leader (2 Sam 2.9), and he reigned for two years. David was patient with this situation. The tribes accepted Ishboshet (who was also called Eshbaal in 1 Chr 8.33 meaning “man of Baal.” The word “boshet” means “shame” and “Ish” or “Esh” means “man”) because the Philistines would have really “lost it” had they accepted David as king. In the same way, to support the “son of David” is met with disapproval, too. But, the real power behind Ishboshet is Abner.

As a result, a civil war broke out between Judah and the other tribes. David reigned in in Hebron (heaven) for seven years and sis months and he is waiting on God’s timing (2 Sam 5.5). Eschatologically, Yeshua will be anointed king at the beginning of the Birth-pains (Dan 7.9-10, 13-14; Rev 4-5) and reign for seven years in heaven (Hebron), before coming to Jerusalem to reign on earth. Then he will reign for the remainder of the 1000 year Atid Lavo (Day of the Lord).

During these two years Abner was scheming on how to bring Israel under one government. He sets out with the servants (“avadim” meaning warriors) of Ishboshet. Joab (“Yehovah is father”) is one of David’s men and his nephew through his sister Zeruiah (1 Chr 2.16), along with Joab’s two bothers Abishai (“gift of God”) and Asahel (“made by God”), and he is with the servants (warriors) of David. They meet Abner, and Abner suggests a small group duel between the “ne’arim” or young men. These were not just “young men” but were elite, hand-picked troops and “special forces.” This duel will end in a draw, so this led to a larger battle where Abner and his men were beaten before the warriors (servants) of David.

Asahel starts pursuing Abner and after being warned to turn around by Abner, Asahel refuses to stop and Abner kills Asahel with his spear. But Joab and Abishai pursue Abner until the sun was going down, and they came to the top of the hill of Ammah (“mother, origin”), which is in front of Giah (“to break forth”). Abner was joined there by the sons of Benjamin, and Abner wanted an end to the fight, but it was Abner who started the whole thing back in 2 Sam 2.14 by saying, “Now let the young men (warriors) arise and hold a contest before us.” Joab blew a trumpet and the people halted in their pursuit. Abner and his men went through the Judean aravah (wilderness) all night to make sure Joab didn’t come after them, then they crossed the Jordan, and went to Machanaim from where they came, and where they left Ishboshet (2 Sam 2.8).

When Joab returned from following Abner, nineteen of David’s men were missing, besides Asahel. They took the body of Asahel and buried him in the tomb of their father in Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men went all night until they came to Hebron where David was.

We will pick up here in Part 3.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 1

Now we are going to continue with the Book of Second Samuel and bring out more concepts that will help us understand this book, but also the rest of Scripture. remember, the two books of Samuel originally formed one, historical book. They were separated into two books around 200 B.C.

In 2 Sam 1.1-27 David learns about the death of Saul and Jonathan through a man who came to David with his clothes torn and dust on his head. David knew this was a bad sign. David had remained in Ziklag for several days, which was a ruin, but it had some habitable parts. It was on the third day that this man said he came out of the camp of Saul. When he came to David he prostrated himself. David asked him where he had come from, and the man said he had escaped from the camp of Israel. David asked him what happened and the man said the people have fled from the battle, and many have died. He then said Saul and Jonathan were dead.

David said to him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” The man said that “by chance” he happened to be on Mount Gilboa and Saul was leaning on his spear. First of all, this is not true because 1 Sam 31.4 says that Saul used a sword and was wounded. The man said that the chariots and the horsemen were pursuing Saul closely. When he looked behind him, he saw the man and called out to him. Saul asked who he was, and the man said he was an Amalekite. Saul failed to kill the Amalekites, now he is face to face with one at his death.

Saul then asked the Amalekite to kill him because he was in much pain, and he was still alive after his wounds. So the Amalekite told David that he stood beside him and killed him because he knew that he could not live after he had fallen. He then took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet which was on his arm, and brought them to David.

First of all, we believe that this story is untrue. The Amalekite came to David because he thought he was going to get a reward for killing Saul, but David did not know he was an Amalekite just yet. We believe that the Amalekite came upon Saul, but he was already dead. We know that Saul’s armor bearer saw that he was dead (1 Sam 31.4-5) and then the armor bearer fell on his sword and died with him. The Amalekite came upon Saul and took the crown and the bracelet before the Philistines stripped Saul’s body. The crown is called a “netzer” in Hebrew and the bracelet is called the “edut” and this had the royal insignia on it and it had sealed scrolls that were given by God about his reign (2 Kings 11.12; Dan 7.9-10, 13-14; Rev 4-5).

If we believe the Amalekite’s story, then this is heart rendering and ironic. In an on-going battle, God had commanded Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites , but Saul failed to do it, and now an Amalekite says he killed Saul. But, we do not believe the Amalekite’s story. He said this because he believed that he would get a reward from David.

As we have said before, Amalek is a picture of Satan, the False Messiah and our flesh. Amalek focused his attention on the sick, feeble and weak (Deut 25.17-18). He did not fear Yehovah and Yehovah declares war on Amalek forever in Exo 17.16. The battle with Amalek can only be won with Yeshua’s death and resurrection, and with prayer. Like our nation of fleshly desires, God promises to blot out the remembrance of Amalek.

After hearing this news, David tears his clothes, mourned and fasted. Saul had taken everything from David, yet he mourned for him and his sons. He had been somewhat reconciled to Saul and he had stopped pursuing David. This teaches us that hatred, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness are things we choose to engage in, they are not “imposed” upon us (1 Cor 13.5; 1 Pet 4.8). There is a saying that says, “We can choose to become better not bitter.” Even David’s men mourned until evening for Saul and Jonathan. They also had their own reasons for hating Saul but chose not to.

David also grieved for Jonathan and the people of Israel. The nation was in a very dangerous position now because the king and his heir were dead, and the army was defeated. David asked the man “Where are you from?” The man answered, “I am the son of an alien (a ger) and an Amalekite.” David then says to him, “How is it you were not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” David didn’t do it (1 Sam 26.10-11), and neither did Saul’s armor bearer (1 Sam 31.4).

So, David orders one of his men to kill the Amalekite for saying he killed the anointed of God. He said, “Your blood is on your head, for your mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.'” At this point, it really doesn’t matter if the Amalekite was acting in good faith or not. By his own words he said he killed Saul, and besides, he was an Amalekite.

In 2 Sam 1.19-27 we have what is called “The Song of the Bow.” David intended that this song be taught to the people of Judah and it was written in what is called the “Book of Jasher.” The Book of Jasher is also mentioned in Josh 10.3 and Josh 19.1-2, and it contained a collection of Jewish poetry. This is not some missing piece of Scripture just because it is mentioned in the Bible and it contains common verses. There are other Jewish writings that are mentioned in the Bible like the “Book of the Wars of the Lord” (Num 21.14); “The Book of Samuel the Seer” and “The Book of Nathan the Prophet” and the “Book of Gad the Seer” (1 Chr 29.29).

There are also the “Acts of Rehoboam” and the “Chronicles of the Kings of Judah” (1 Kings 14.29). We know that Solomon wrote over a thousand songs (1 Kings 4.32) but we have only two in Psalm 72 and Psalm 127. Paul quoted the Cretan Epimenides in Titus 1.12, and Epimenides and Aratus in Acts 17.28. God used materials from many different sources in Scripture. There is a “Book of Jasher” out there today, but it is not the same book mentioned in these passages. It is an eighteenth century forgery that says it is a translation of the lost book of Jasher by Alcuin, an eighth century English scholar.

There is a more recent book called “The Book of Jasher” by a science fiction writer named Benjamin Rosenbaum, and it is complete fiction. There is another book by this name written in Hebrew called by some “Pseuodo-Jasher” and it is a collection of legends from creation to Joshua. Scholars don’t believe it existed before 1625 A.D. There are some rabbinical works that go by the name “Sefer Ha Yasher” but none of these are the original book. In short, the Book of Jaasher mentioned in Scripture is lost. Anything that claims to be this book is just plain fiction.

In Part 2, we will pick with the “Song of the Bow” since David wanted it to be taught, and we will examine it verse by verse. It is an eastern custom to celebrate the great and their exploits, qualities and deeds.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Conclusion

1 Sam 31.1-13 will tell us about the death of Saul and his sons about twenty years after Saul first heard the judgment against him from Samuel. It will also be a picture of the first Adam and his fall, taking his “sons” with him. The Philistines (“wallowers”) were fighting Israel in the Valley of Jezreel (“God sows”) and had moved deep into Israelite territory. They were attempting to cut the nation in half. Israel was losing the battle and fled to Mount Gilboa (“swollen heaps”), and the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons. It was the mercy of the Lord that did not allow David to participate in this.

Jonathan (“God has given”) was killed, along with Saul’s two other sons, Abinadab (“my father is noble”) and Malchi-shua (“king’s help”). Because of their father, these sons lost their lives. But all of this was part of God’s plan. We know that Jonathan would have yielded his right to the throne to David, but if he had lived there may have been serious divisions with other people saying that Jonathan was the rightful ruler and that David took it from Jonathan. In addition, the other sons may have had other ideas and try to take the throne for themselves. As it turned out, David would have to deal with the only remaining son of Saul named Ish-boshet before he was the undisputed king of Israel (2 Sam 2.8 to 4.12). But now, with these three dead, David’s way to the throne is now clearer.

The battle went against Saul and he was mortally wounded, and it was the same with Adam. He was mortally wounded because of his sin. Saul wanted his armor bearer to kill him before the Philistines got to him, but he would not touch the anointed of the Lord because he was greatly afraid (v 4). So Saul took his sword and fell on it, but he lingered for awhile, but then died (1 Sam 31.6). This was not suicide because Saul knew he could not survive his wounds and was already mortally wounded, and falling on his sword only accelerated the process. The men of Israel saw what happened on the other side of the valley and they abandoned their cities and the Philistines came and lived in them. When the shepherd is struck, the sheep will be scattered (Mark 14.27)

The Philistines came and began to strip the bodies of the fallen and they came upon Saul and his three sons on Mount Gilboa. They took Saul’s body and cut off his head and stripped him of his weapons. Messengers were sent to the Philistine cities to carry the good news (“Basar” where the word “gospel” comes from) to the house of their gods and to their people. His armor was put into the house of Ashtaroth (“star”) and they fastened his body to the walls of Bethshan (“house of ease”) and fastened his head at the temple of Dagon (1 Chr 10.10).

When the men of Jabesh-gilead (“dry, rocky”) heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men rose and walked all night and took his body, and the bodies of his sons, from the wall. Notice that it was not the sons of Benjamin, his tribe, that did this. This town was east of the Jordan and they did this in gratitude to Saul for what he did for them in 1 Sam 11.1-11 when he delivered them from Nachash (“serpent”) the Ammonite. They were repaying the kindness God showed them through Saul, and David will thank them for this in 2 Sam 2.4-7.

They took the bodies to Jabesh and burned them. Then they took the bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh. They then fasted till evening for seven days. They did this to keep the bodies from being taken again. David did not rejoice when he heard about what happened to Saul and his sons, as we shall see. David was not bitter because he trusted God and his authority. In other words, David “let it go.” Also, David knew that he had sinned and the evidence was all around him in Ziklag. It was a burned out ruin and the result of David’s sin. David knew that God had forgiven him so how could he harbor resentment, anger and bitterness towards Saul, and we will see this illustrated in 2 Sam 1.19-27.

Eschatologically, Saul is a picture of the first king over the Kingdom of God named Adam. Adam rebelled agains the Word of the Lord and fell, taking and all of his sons with him. His sin affected more than himself, just like Saul’s sin affected more than just himself and immediate family. The whole nation was vulnerable now, just like all mankind was affected by Adam’s sin. The Kingdom of God on earth had fallen and the kingdom of Satan had a victory, but it will be short-lived. Just as the path to the throne for David was now clear, the path to the throne for the son of David was now clear, and Yeshua will come and defeat the enemy and restore the Kingdom of God. As we move into 2 Samuel, we will see David as a type of the Messiah who will set the captives free, restore the Kingdom of the Lord, and prepare to build the Temple.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 23

1 Sam 29.1-11 tells us that the Philistines are going to war but the leaders have a problem with David and his men being around as the royal bodyguard, and they reject him. Achish the king defends David in the face of what his commanders are telling. A decisive battle is coming and they don’t trust David. David now finds himself in a sticky situation.

David finds himself in the middle of a situation that he did not anticipate. He has lived among pagans for a year and four months (1 Sam 27.7) and ready to fight against his own people. Spiritually, this is what can happen to us when we turn from the Lord, we will find ourselves in a position that we never saw coming.

David was a Hebrew, but the leaders knew what David didn’t know. They knew and sensed that this wasn’t right (v 3). He isn’t one of them, but David is blinded to this. They knew who David really was, and David would have never gone over to them if he had remembered who he really was. Achish defends David, which isn’t exactly a good endorsement if you are a believer. When pagans come to your defense and speak well of you, it isn’t good.

Of course, the commanders weren’t buying any of this and were afraid of David. What if he turns against them in the middle of the fight, they thought? So Achish tells David to go back to Ziklag. David has too much of the world in him to be at peace with the Lord, but he has too much of the Lord in him to be at peace with the world. David doesn’t want to “displease” the Philistine leaders, so he goes back to Ziklag.

There was a time when David displeased these lords as a mighty warrior against them. Is this the same David who killed Goliath and defied the whole Philistine army in the name of Yehovah? Not at this time he wasn’t, so David agrees and goes back home. He even appeals to Achish in 1 Sam 29.8 asking “What have I done” and “What have you found in your servant from the day when I came before you to this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” And Achish tells him that he has done nothing, but the commanders have said that he should not go up with them to the battle. This should have grieved David. To hear an ungodly, pagan ruler say the nice things about David that he did should have pierced him to the heart. But even now, the Lord is orchestrating events to bring David to his senses and save others.

1 Sam 30.1-31 tells us how the Lord will deal with David with the idea of restoring him back. David learns that Ziklag had been raided by the Amalekites. This was the “third day” so that means that David and his men covered about twenty-five miles a day on their way back to Ziklag from Aphek. They were tired, hungry and in need of some comfort, but instead got devastating news. Ziklag was unguarded and the Amalekites took advantage of the opportunity. They burned it to the ground, and David and his men weep greatly. They had nothing left to support them. Israel can’t help him and the Philistines don’t want him around. Even his friends spoke of stoning him (v 6).

Ziklag is a picture of the world and the Amalekites are a type of Satan, who has devastated this world. They take the women and all who were in it because the men were with David. David was making his living and providing for his people by being a bandit, and now it happens to him. David and his men were grieved, but David came to his senses and turned to the Lord because he was completely broken. How did he strengthen himself in the Lord? By remembering God’s love for him and how the Lord made promises to him. He knew the Lord had delivered him before. Besides, had the Philistines not rejected him, he would not have returned to Ziklag when he did. Now he has a chance to go after them because they had just left.

So, David inquired of the Lord with the Urim and Thummim and asked if he should pursue the Amalekites, and the Lord said, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them, and you shall surely rescue all.” Spiritually, just as the Lord foretold David’s victory, the Word of the Lord foretells how Yeshua will rescue all and have victory over Satan.

So David took 600 men and came to the brook (of living water) Besor (“cold water”) and is related to the word “besorah” which means “good news” and where we get the word “gospel” from. David pursued with 400 men because 200 were too exhausted to cross over. In a way, David took on the Amalekites alone, like Yeshua engaged the forces of evil alone (Mark 14.50). Though 400 men went with David, 400 Amalekites escaped (1 Sam 30.17).

In 1 Sam 30.11-30 we have an allusion to the concept, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4.22). They find an Egyptian in the field (the world) and gave him bread (the Word of God) and water to drink (The Ruach Ha Kodesh/Holy Spirit). They also gave him a fig cake (fig is synonymous with the Messianic Kingdom and peace in 1 Kings 4.25 and Micah 4.4), and two clusters of raisins (fruit of the vine, symbolic of joy, teaching and marriage-Psa 104.15). His spirit “revived” and this speaks of being born again, and he had not eaten for three days and three nights, an allusion to resurrection.

He tells David that he was a slave to the Amalekites (we were slaves to sin and Satan) and he was sick three days ago (sick of sin). He says they made a raid on the Negev, which is south (the direction of faith) of the Cherethites (who were Philistines and it means “executioners”) in the land of Judah (salvation is of the Jews/”Yehudim”), on the Negev of Caleb (alluding to the faith of the non-Jews-Caleb means “dog” who was a faithful non-Jew according to many scholars). He will tell David where they are but does not want to be given back to his masters. David, like Yeshua, assures him that this will not happen. Yeshua will not turn us over to our slave masters again.

So, the Egyptian shows David where they were and they were spread out all over the land, eating, drinking and dancing. Yeshua’s enemies ate the Passover that night rejoicing over their victory, too. David slaughtered them from the twilight until the evening of the next day. Yeshua’s victory over Satan (the Amalekites) was done while darkness was over the land (Matt 27.45). David recovered all that the Amalekites had stolen, and so will Yeshua. And he came back to the 200 men who were too tied to keep up and were left at the brook Besor (alluding to the good news/gospel) and crossed over again (a type of the resurrection) and brought them into his presence. Now why was David able to keep the spoil when Saul couldn’t (1 Sam 15.1-3)?

Saul was told explicitly not to keep the spoil of the Amalekites, and David was never told that by the Lord. Secondly, David restored what the Amalekites had stolen from others. Third, he was not acting as the king of Israel representing the nation of Israel. David was operating by different rules than Saul.

Some of David’s men who were “wicked” and worthless (sons of Belial) said they did not want to share the spoil with those who did not go to battle, but David gave an ordinance that will carry down through history (v 25). David followed Abraham’s example in Gen 14.24, and Moses in Num 31.27. The spoil will be divided evenly between those who went to battle and those who stayed “behind the scenes.” They would share alike, just like we will share alike and are co-heirs with God and Yeshua (Rom 8.16-17), even though we may have gotten tired, weary or afraid or too weak to go on. We will share alike with those who did exploits.

David had some fence mending to do. He knew that his time with the Philistines didn’t sit well with many in Israel, especially his friends, so he had an idea. He would share the spoil with others. So, he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah saying, “Behold, a gift for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Yehovah.” He also sent some to Behtel (“house of God”), to Ramoth (“heights”) of the Negev, to those in Jattir (“plenty”), to Aroer (“ruins”), to Siphmoth (“fruitful”), to Eshtemoa (“make myself heard”), to Racal (“trade”), to those in the cities of the Jerahmeelites (“may God have pity”), to the cities of the Kenites (“smiths”), to Holmah (“devotion”), to Borashan (“furnace of smoke”), to Athach (“lodging place”) and to those in Hebron (“communion”). He also sent some to all the places where David himself and all his men were accustomed to go.

We will pick up here in the conclusion of First Samuel.

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

Tanak Foundations- Concepts in First Samuel-Part 22

1 Sam 28.1-25 tells us that the Philistines gathered for war against Israel, and Achish told David that he would go out to fight with him against them. And David agreed and told Achish that he knew what David and his men could do, and Achish made David and his men his bodyguard. This was a common practice because foreigners were not involved in all the politics and allegiances to the nation. David would use Philistines as his bodyguard as we shall see.

Samuel was dead and it is mentioned again here to show the spiritual void left by his death. In obedience to the Lord, Saul had removed all the mediums and spiritists from the land (Lev 19.31, 20.6,27; Deut 18.10) in his earlier days when Samuel was still around and had an influence on Saul. We learn that the Philistines penetrated into Israel and camped at Shunem (“double resting place”), a place in the valley of Jezreel, about twenty miles north of Aphek. They had reached the ancient trade route that led through Gilboa up to Beit Shean and it showed just how dominant they were over Saul’s kingdom. Saul camped in Gilboa (“swollen heap”).

When Saul saw the Philistines he was afraid. Just as he had pursued David, now the Philistines are pursuing him. This is a far cry from Saul’s earlier days when he was filled with courage (1 Sam 11.6-11). But as the Lord had departed from Saul, he did not have the courage he had before, but Saul sought the Lord anyway. However, the Lord did not answer in dreams, or by the Urim and Thummim or by the prophets. The Urim and Thummim was David (1 Sam 23.9). Saul was in a place of judgment because Saul had rejected the Lord’s will for him before. Since Saul doesn’t want to obey God, the Lord will not answer him. So, Saul decided to seek the help of a medium, who weren’t that easy to find since Saul had purged the land of them. He particularly asked them to find a woman who is a medium, but why?

It is a fact that women are more drawn to the occultic arts than men are. If we asked Paul this question he would say, “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression” (1 Tim 2.14). Adam was just as guilty about the fall and sinned knowing exactly what he did, but he was not deceived. So, Saul knew that a woman was more likely to be found who practiced these arts and that is why he asked for one, and they found one at En-dor (“spring of Dor”). Now, En-dor was a short distance away from where Saul was and he could get to it, but it was only about four miles northeast of Shunem where the Philistines were camped.

Saul disguised himself and went to this medium, bringing on him a curse (Lev 20.6), and he wanted her to call up Samuel so he could talk to him. This shows just how far Saul has fallen, and he certainly isn’t thinking clearly here. The medium, or better yet this “necromancer”, thought that this might be a trick to catch her (v 9) and that these people were working undercover, but Saul took an oath in the name of Yehovah that no harm would come to her. This oath was illegal because the Lord had already said what to do with mediums. Now he swears an oath using the name of Yehovah to do the exact opposite of what God told him to do.

So the woman calls up Samuel and he appears and she cries out with fear. She is familiar with demonic spirits most likely, but this was a different matter altogether. She sees a power that was superior to her own and she had no power over this, and she didn’t really expect to see him. He didn’t come because the medium did anything, this was by the will of God alone. She was just as surprised as anyone. She now realizes this is Saul and wants to know why he had deceived her. The text doesn’t say how she knew, but she knew. He asks her what she sees, and she sees a “elohim” (or power) but this does not mean she saw God, but this was all she could say coming from her pagan background and vocabulary. The deceased were referred to as “gods” (elohim). She describes an “old man” coming up and he is wrapped with a robe (1 Sam 15.27). Saul knew this was Samuel and for real. God allowed this to happen because he had a reason for it, and that was to confirm the coming judgment on Saul’s kingdom. It also taught the medium a valuable lesson about the dangers of doing this type of thing, even though it was not by her power that it came about.

So Samuel speaks to Saul in 1 Sam 28.15-18. He tells Saul why the Lord will not communicate with him, and coming back to earth “disturbed” Samuel’s peace in Abraham’s Bosom. At that time, Samuel was not in heaven yet. This is explained in the parable (aggadah) of Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16.19-31. This happened before Yeshua died on the cross and was resurrected. All believers who died went to a place called Abraham’s Bosom, and unbelievers went to a place called Torments. Once Yeshua was resurrected, everyone in Abraham’s Bosom, including Samuel, went to heaven.

Saul explains his problem to Samuel. The Philistines are at war with Israel, and God has departed from him and he did not know what to do. So Samuel says, “Why do you ask me since the Lord has departed from you and has become your adversary?” Samuel is on the Lord’s side, and did Saul really think he was going to get better news? Samuel then confirms what the Lord has already said to Saul (1 Sam 15.28-29). Samuel then tells Saul about his fate in 1 Sam 28.19. Saul learns that he and his sons will be dead tomorrow, with Samuel. Does that mean Saul and his sons went to Abraham’s Bosom? Maybe, but not necessarily. In Yeshua’s parable in Luke 16, Abraham’s Bosom and Torments were in the “same area.”

Israel is going to lose the battle the next day, and Saul was going to be taking many innocent lives with him. Of course, Saul loses his strength and collapses. The medium comforts Saul and prepares a meal for him. Later, he leaves knowing what awaits him, but he never repents. What lessons can we draw from this story?

First, if we want to hear from the Lord we should obey what we know in the Torah (which includes all the Scriptures overall). We should also reject any connection to the occult (like tarot cards, horoscopes and Ouija boards). When we stop listening, the Lord will find unusual ways to get our attention and speak to us. We also learn that there is another world beyond this one. We also learn that God’s word stays the same no matter what world we are in and no matter how much time is involved. God spoke on Mount Sinai 3500 years ago and it still applies today. We should not expect to stand before God and hear him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You figured out that my word has changed and that I spoke again through my servants Constantine and the Church fathers. You listened to them and knew you were free from the Torah and all that has been done away with. You rightly rejected what I had said in the Torah and followed the teachings of your pastors and priests.” No, that is not going to happen. We should learn from this episode with Saul and not expect that the Lord has changed his word over time, and that the Torah still applies to mus today. Saul learned that the word of the Lord had not changed, and he resigned himself to his fate as he left the house of the medium of En-dor.

In Part 23 we will pick up here.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 21

In 1 Sam 26.1-23 David has another chance to kill Saul. David goes and hides in the same place as 1 Sam 23.19 and the Ziphites betray David again, and Saul goes after him and has gone back on his previous “teshuvah” (1 Sam 24.16-21). Saul has a 5-1 advantage, so David sent out spies to watch Saul. David saw where Saul had camped and David took it upon himself to go into the camp. He see’s where Saul was sleeping, with Abner (“my father is a lamp”) the commander of the army, the son of Ner (“light”), lying near him in the circle in the camp.

So David and his nephew Abishai (“father of a gift”) sneak into the camp. Abishai is the son of David’s sister. Saul is vulnerable and Abishai thinks God has delivered Saul into David’s hands again. However, David is not going to touch God’s anointed and Abishai wasn’t going to be allowed to touch him either. David knows that the Lord will do it in his own time and in his own way.

Another thing to point out here is David and Abishai did not sneak into the camp due to some “skill.” Yehovah led them and protected them (v 12). The Lord anointed Saul and it was the Lord who would take him out, but it won’t be by David’s power. David did take the spear of Saul that was by Saul’s head, the one used to try and kill David (1 Sam 18.10-11, 19.9-10) and the jug of water he had, as evidence that he was there, and then left. The spear of Saul is symbolic of his authority, like a scepter. He crosses over to the other side and stood on top of the mountain at a distance with a large area between them.

David calls out to the people and to Abner and says, “Will you not answer, Abner?” The Abner answered and asks who it is that is calling. David said to Abner, “Are you not a man (of great fame for courage)? And who is like you in Israel (with such a high office)? Why then have you not guarded your lord the king? For one of the people came to destroy the king your lord. This thing you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, all of you must surely die, because you did not guard your lord, the Lord’s anointed. And now, see where the king’s spear is, and the jug of water that was in his hand.”

Saul recognized David’s voice and David asks him why he is still pursuing him. He wants to know what he has done or what evil intent he has. He then says, “If the Lord has stirred you up against me, let him accept an offering, but if it is men (if people have turned you against me), cursed are they before the Lord, for they have driven me out today that I should have no attachment with the inheritance of the Lord (the land of Canaan), saying ‘Go serve other gods (corrupted in the land by heathen enticements). Now then, do not let my blood fall to the ground away from the presence of the Lord, for the king of Israel has come out to search for a flea (weak, small), just as one hunts a partridge (impossible to catch) in the mountains” (1 Sam 2619-20).

Saul says that he has sinned but he had no true sense of it. He had a guilty conscience for his present condition, like Pharaoh in Exo 9.27). David gave back the spear of Saul because it was like a scepter and he had no right to keep it. David puts his life into the hand of the Lord (v 24) because he did not expect justice from Saul, nor could he depend upon it in the future.

So in 1 Sam 27.1-12 we learn that David flees to the Philistines again because he was discouraged and feared Saul in his heart, and now he knows he is never going to reconcile with Saul, so he moves his army and the families out of the camp to Gath of the Philistines because he thinks “there is nothing better.” Before David trusted the Lord to protect him from Saul, now he gives up on trusting the Lord and decided he is safer with his pagan enemies. He decides to go to King Achish (“I will terrify”)of the Philistines again, and he was welcomed this time, not like before. He had to act insane to get out of there, but now he returned with some leverage. He had an army to help King Achish. At first, David stays in Gath but David wants a place of his own. He had a large group, so the king gave him a place called Ziklag (“winding”). This city was taken from Israel so it had Hebrews already there.

Achish was one of five Philistine kings. The other four kings will be suspicious of David, however. He is a bandit as far as they were concerned and couldn’t be trusted. Even his own king wanted him dead so why should they trust him. David was now deep into Philistine territory so he did not fear Saul, and he was in the country so Achish would not what he was up to either.

Once Achish trusted David, David began to attack nearby tribes to make a living. They learned about Philistine military tactics and methods, and this knowledge would be very useful later on. 1 Sam 27.8 says that David raided the Geshurites (“proud beholder”), the Girzites (“a piece) and the Amalekites (“people of lapping”) and he was ruthless and killed everyone. He took away the livestock and the clothing, then returned to Achish. The Geshurites were allied with the Amalekites (or at peace) and David felt justified to kill them along with the Amalekites. It does not say that David was under God’s direction here with the Geshurites and the Girzites, but he did have a mandate from the Lord to exterminate the Amalekites (Exo 17.8-16).

David is working both sides here and he is attacking the enemies of Israel, which will make him a hero with Judah, but those who he is attacking were not friends of the Philistines either, so they thought he was helping the Philistines. Achish got the spoil (at least some of it) and David is gaining the trust of the Philistines and making them wealthier. But David is being secretive about all of this. The king does not tell David who to raid (v 10) but he does ask what David has been doing. David tells him “The Negev of Judah” and “against the Negev of the Jerahmeelites” (“may God have compassion”) or the “Negev of the Kenites” (“smiths”). At this time, the “Negev” meant “south” and Saul’s influence was to the north of these places.

In 1 Sam 27.11 it says that David did not report the details of his raids to Achish and “dead men tell no tales.” David’s purpose for these killings had little to do with God’s general command to destroy Amalek, although it was part of it. Achish only knew about the treasure David decided to tell him about and most likely kept some back, including weapons and money. Also, the Philistines were not pitiless pagans and they probably would have never approved of David’s tactics, but David did not want any witnesses, especially when he was being ambiguous.

Since David was operating in the Negev of Judah, he figured David was hated by his own people. He figured David had burned all his bridges with the people of Israel and King Saul. The topic about David’s actions here is avoided by many, and some do not even know he did this. It can be uncomfortable discussing what David was doing. However, heroes (and biblical heroes) are flawed people by nature. Sometimes these flaws actually help them become heroes.

David is a type of Messiah, but that doesn’t mean everything he did was the exact representation of what the Messiah would do in all cases. He is just a man who was picked by Yehovah to be the next king. That is an important concept to remember. He failed, was tempted, he could be moral, faithful, commit injustices, loved beautiful women no matter what their marital status was, he was courageous, fearful and would do anything to survive, just like we would. Now he is joining in with Israel’s enemy for protection. Unless God intervenes, David may have stayed there. We see at this point that David had no plans to go back to Israel.

David had a heart for the Lord, but he also wanted to survive. He would right moral wrongs, show mercy, but he would also take a life if he needed to, and not bat an eye. We have also seen David as a bit impulsive, like with Naval in 1 Sam 25. And even after all this, God still loved him and that should encourage us. This should give us a deeper feeling of hope for our future. We have all had moments that we would love to take back, do over, and above all, not want anyone else to know.

God reveals the flaws of the biblical characters and “heroes” so that we can see ourselves and see how God deals with the repentant attitudes some of them had. But we all have a little “Saul” in us, too. Only Yeshua is perfect. Saul went down the wrong road and went against God. David went down the wrong road, but repented and wanted God’s forgiveness. Now he is a wandering bandit.

In Part 22 we will pick up here.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 20

In 1 Sam 25.1-44 we will have the death of Samuel and an incident between David, a man named Nabal (Laban backwards) and his wife Abigail. This chapter will be very eschatological and prophetic as we shall see. Samuel died and all Israel gathered and mourned for him, and buried him at his house in Ramah. The same verse says, “And David arose” and this is very significant because God’s plan never dies with just one man, but it continues with others. David went down to the wilderness of Paran (“place of caverns”) and where this is exactly is unknown, but it has been associated with the Mount Sinai area. David would have greater safety there. Before Samuel died, he laid the groundwork for the coming Temple (1 Chr 26.27-28). Samuel will not appear again until 1 Sam 28.

Now we are going to go over the story of Naval, which will be a picture of the redemption and the birth-pains. David will be a picture of the Messiah. The name “Naval” means “a fool” (Matt 5.22) and this would mean a fool who is similar to a “rasha” or a wicked person. There are three types of people in the world. You have the Tzadikim or “righteous” and then you have the Chata’im meaning “sinners” or “average people” and then you have the Rashim, or “wicked.” These people will never be saved and are totally given over to sin. They don’t care about the Lord, sin, righteousness or anything else but themselves. The Chata’im (“sinners”) still have a chance to move into the Tzadakim (“righteous”) category.

Naval was very rich and did business in Carmel and was from Maon (“habitation”). As we mentioned earlier, the name Naval is Lavan backwards, which gives us a clue about who he is (Gen 31.36-42). He has a wife named Abigail (“my father’s joy”) and she will be a type of the believer in this story. She was a woman of good understanding and beautiful, but Naval was harsh and evil in his dealings, and he was a Calebite (Caleb lived in Hebron). The name Caleb means “dog.”

Naval is shearing his sheep and David asks for help and compensation from Naval for protecting the area from the Philistines. Naval owed part of his wealth to David who protected him. David was the perfect example of the saying, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night because rough men are willing to do violence on their behalf.” David sends ten young men to make this request of Naval. Now, these weren’t just ten young men but “Ne’arim” who were elite troops, hand-picked by David for this mission. They were the “Navy Seals” of David’s army. Ten alludes to the Ten Commandments and the number of divine judgment that is sent to the wicked.

David and his men presented themselves as “servants” of Naval. The word “servant” is “avadim” and these were a class of warrior in David’s army and they were royal bodyguards. They were the same as the “mishma’at” guard (2 Sam 23.24). So we have the Ne’arim as elite warriors and we will also have the “Givorim” or “mighty men” coming up shortly. The Givorim actually did things that were unbelievable (2 Sam 23.8-39). A “Shalish” was a third man in a chariot and we will see the development of a professional army under Joab (“Yehovash is father”) and a militia under Amasa (“burden”) as we move on. So, we have the Avadim, the Ne’arim, and the Givorim, the professional army and the militia developing under David. Keep this in mind as we move forward.

Naval rejects David’s request for help because he thinks that David is leading a rebellion against King Saul (25.10). He didn’t think he was obligated to help David and his men, but he also had what is called an “ein ra” or “evil eye” meaning he was stingy. The opposite of that is having an “ein tov” or “good eye” meaning generous (Matt 6.19-22; Prov 22.9). David was insulted about being refused help and was ready for a fight, but this was not a good idea. He is not as patient with Naval as he is with Saul. Nabal’s wife Abigail hears how David and his men are treated and she knows about all the good David and his men have been doing and she believes he should be rewarded. David was not going to take this insult lightly, and she takes the needed provisions to David and his men.

So, Abigail meets David and she begins to appeal to David. She was humble and doesn’t want him to do something he will regret. She says in 1 Sam 25.25, “Please do not let my lord pay attention to this worthless man Naval, for as his name is (fool), so is he. Naval is his name and folly is with him; but your maidservant did not see the young men (ne’arim) of my lord whom you sent.” She also does a few things that raise an eyebrow here. She did all this without Naval knowing about it and she openly criticizes her husband. She infers that David will eventually kill Naval (v 26) and she asks that he spare her household, and wants David to “consider her” after Naval is dealt with. There is a Hebrew word play in 1 Sam 25.25. Naval means “fool” and the word “folly” is “navalah” meaning “revulsion.”

David blesses Yehovah for sending Abigail to him to stop him from taking vengeance. That belongs to the Lord and if David was not stopped there would have been a great slaughter. Abigail goes home to Naval and he is holding a feast, like the feast of a king” which is an allusion to Rosh Ha Shanah. Rosh Ha Shanh is also called “Ha Melek” meaning “the king” and it has several themes like the wedding and coronation of the Messiah, resurrection and it is called a Yom Ha Din, meaning “day of Judgement.” In this story, Naval is judged as a “rasha” (wicked).

Naval is happy so she did not tell him about what she did. When morning came, she told him and “his heart died within him so that he became a stone.” He was a rasha (wicked) and he had a “hard heart” and he became paralyzed. About ten days later the Lord struck Naval and he died. So, what is this alluding to? Naval is a type of the “rasha” or wicked person and on Rosh Ha Shanah all men are judged and put into one of the three categories just mentioned, the Tzadikim (righteous), the Chataim (regular sinners) and the Rashim (wicked). Naval suffers what looks like a stroke on the day he held a feast “like a king” which is an allusion to Rosh Ha Shanah (Tishri 1). Ten days later he dies. Ten days after Rosh Ha Shanah is Tishri 10 and the festival of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), another Yom Ha Din or “day of judgment.” We are assigned a category on Rosh Ha Shanah, and sealed as a sinner or wicked on Yom Kippur. Those who are the tzadikim (righteous) do not ever lose that gift from the Lord and stay in that category for all time.

An idiom for Yom Kippur is “face to face” because it was the one day of the year when the Kohen Ha Gadol (High Priest) entered the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies) and came face to face with Yehovah. Naval died ten days later and came face to face with God. When Yeshua returns on Yom Kippur to Jerusalem (Matt 24.29-31) there will be a judgment (Matt 25.31-46). The survivors of the birth-pains will come face to face with God also.

When David heard that Naval was dead and divine justice had been manifested, David blessed Yehovah for stopping him from slaying Naval and hurting the family. David proposed to Abigail and she arose and she came with five maidens, which is also an allusion to Matt 25.1-13 and the parable of the Ten Virgins. Abigail and her five maidens were prepared to meet David, a type of the Messiah. So, David married Michal, and then he married Ahinoam (“brother of pleasnantness”, and now Abigail.

In Part 21 we will pick up here.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 19

In 1 Sam 24.1-22 David gets a chance to kill Saul but he doesn’t. It will also be a picture of Yeshua at Golgotha. Saul is told that David is at En-gedi (“spring of the goat”). There are many caves in a canyon that runs westward from the Dead Sea, with waterfalls and many plants. It seems more like a garden than a desert. It was a great place for David to hide, to see the enemy approaching, and had plenty of water. Saul will be a picture of the natural man. But it is also a place where one could get comfortable and be susceptible to an ambush.

After Saul was done dealing with the Philistines, which God arranged to draw him away from David, he comes with three thousand men to some sheepfolds (large caves to pen the sheep and large enough to house David and his 600 men) that were on the way to where he thought David was, and there was a cave. Saul went in to relieve himself (literally “cover his feet”) and so he came alone, but David and his men were sitting in the inner parts of the cave. What are the chances that Saul chose the very cave that David and his men were in. But there are no coincidences in the Scriptures, this was by the hand of God to test David and to reveal his heart to Saul. A cave is seen as a place of death and the grave, and in this it was like Golgotha. David was there because of Saul (the natural man). Spiritually, we would like to think that our present victory will be the final victory, and our pursuers would give up and not bother us anymore, but that is not going to happen. Our enemies will keep coming back in this life so we need to be ready.

The men of David were excited to to see that Saul had come into the cave alone and thought this was David’s chance to rid himself of his enemy, so they said to him that today God is going to give Saul into his hands. This is like the law of sin and death that urges the death of all transgressors. But David arose and and cut off the “kanaf” (“corner”) of Saul’s robe where his tzitzit hung. He may have took his robe off in one part of the cave and went to another part to relieve himself. David did not have to get right next to Saul. You will remember that Saul did this to Samuel in 1 Sam 15.27 and he did this to illustrate Samuel’s words in 1 Sam 15.28. But afterward, David’s conscience (heart) bothered him. He had acted against the appointed authority that Yehovah had given Saul as king.

In this David is like the Messiah because he risked his life to prove his love for Saul, the natural man. David felt regret for doing this, however, because he should not have stretched out his hand against Saul like this. God anointed Saul as king and it was God’s job to remove him, so David was not going to sin by killing Saul. He would have to wait on the Lord. Yeshua refused Satan’s “offer” to win the kingship of the world. Yeshua was not going to sin by obeying Satan’s demand for worship (Matt 4.9). We also know that David did not harbor bitterness and resentment towards Saul, so David kept himself from sin, and persuaded his men not to do any harm to Saul. The Torah has two aspects to it, the Judicial aspect and the Educational aspect. The Judicial aspect of the Torah demands death as the result of sin, and Yeshua did not allow that to happen to those who believe to demonstrate his righteousness (Rom 3.25).

Saul arose and left the cave and went his way. David (a type of Messiah) arose and went out of the cave and he calls out to Saul. This alludes to Yeshua’s resurrection, calling man to repent (1 Sam 24.8-16). David calls out to Saul and tells him not to listen to the liars who say that David is out to kill him and take his throne, and these people are like the false teachers of today who misrepresent Yeshua (1 Tim 4.1). But David also knows that Saul’s hatred and fear came from Saul himself, and David tells him he could have killed him but he had mercy on Saul (v 10).

David then calls Saul “my father” because he was David’s father-in-law. David honored his parents and in-laws with acts of kindness. He showed Saul the tzitzit he had cut off as proof he could have killed him. The tzitzit symbolize authority, and by cutting off the tzitzit, David was showing that Saul’s authority as king has been cut off (1 Sam 15.27-28). But David did not kill him. He was going to let the Lord judge him, and David was going to trust the Lord to deliver him from Saul (1 Sam 24.12) and to fulfill his promises.

In the same way, Yeshua does not want man (pictured by Saul) to perish. He shows us the Torah (the tzitzit symbolize the Torah commandments) to show that he wants us to have life, not death. Yeshua went to the cross because of man, like David went to the cave because of Saul. He believed that God would deliver him from the hand of man (Saul).

Saul went home after hearing David words and knows the measure of David’s love for him. He says that David is more righteous than he is because of how he has dealt with him, while he was trying to kill David. Saul knows that it is unlikely that when a man finds his enemy that he will let him go safely. In the same way, we have symbols of God’s love for us like the Temple when it stood, the Torah, the promises, the Messiah, the adoption as sons and the glory of God.

Saul knows that David will be king because of how God has prospered him and protected him. He also saw the tzitzit in David’s hand. Man also knows that Yeshua will be king because he has raised him from the dead and how God has prospered his name and work over the centuries. Deep down in the heart of man he knows that Yeshua is the Messiah and will be king over the God’s kingdom.

Saul asks David to promise that he would not cut off his seed or destroy his name after he becomes king. This was done by evil kings and rulers, but David or Yeshua will not do that. David swore to Saul that he would not do that, and Saul went home. However, David did not naively think that all was well between them. He was not going to let Saul’s emotional reaction to what David did lull him into thinking Saul had changed, there had to be signs of teshuvah (repentance). As a result, David was not going to take any chances with his life or the lives of those with him, so he and his men went up to the stronghold in En-gedi (1 Sam 23.29).

We will pick up here in Part 20.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 18

In 1 Sam 22.1-23 we learn that David flees to the Cave of Adullam (“Refuge”) and he has regained his senses, but his actions and lies will have consequences. David could not go home, to the palace, to Jonathan or even the Miahkan. Some scholars believe that this cave was not too far from where David killed Goliath. David was discouraged and this sentiment can be seen in Psalm 142. But Psalm 57 says that God encouraged him there. Others came to David there, including his family, and this will be the beginning of David’s army and he will be their captain. In this he is like the Messiah because everyone who is in distress and everyone who is in debt and discontented will gather to him, and these are the ones who come to Yeshua (Matt 11.28). He had 400 men and it grew to 600 (1 Sam 23.13).

From there they went to Mizpeh in Moab and asked the king to let his parents stay with him. Remember, they were related to Ruth the Moabitess (Ruth 4.18-22). The Prophet Gad, one of Samuel’s students, came to David and told him to leave this stronghold and go to Judah, his home but the stronghold of Saul. This was not what David wanted to hear, but he obeyed. Yehovah was going to use David and not have him wait for the death of Saul. He goes to the forest of Hereth (“forest”).

Saul hears about David and thinks his men are conspiring against him. Saul is sitting under a tamarisk tree in Gibeah with his spear in his hand like a scepter, and it also meant he was going to hurt someone. He doesn’t trust his men because no one told him about the covenant his son made with David and thinks that David is setting an ambush for him. He calls him the “son of Jesse” and not the “man who killed Goliath and 200 Philistines.” he calls him the lowest name he could think of, the son of simple farmers. Then Doeg the Edomite follows Saul’s lead and said he saw “the son of Jesse” at Nob, at the Mishkan. He said Ahimelech inquired of the Lord and gave David provisions.

So Saul sent for Ahimelech the priest and all his father’s household. This would have been the family of Eli, the former high priest. So they came not realizing that they were in trouble. Saul accuses all of them of treason and Ahimelech tells Saul the truth in that he knew nothing of all this. He was not aware of the hatred that Saul had for David, and that is evident by how he treated David in 1 Sam 21. But Saul condemns Ahimelech and the priests without consulting anyone. Saul is descending fast and he doesn’t kill the enemies of God, but he doesn’t bat an eye when it comes to killing God’s people wants to kill God’s people (1 Sam 15.9). In this he is like the False Messiah who will make war on God’s people.

The servants of the king are told to kill to kill the priests of the Lord, but his servants won’t do it.. Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn around and attack the priests.” And Doeg (“fearing”) turned around and and attacked them and killed eighty-five men who wore the ephod (priests). Then he went to Nob and killed and struck the city, killing both men, women, children and infants; also oxen, donkeys, sheep with the sword. Now, there was one son of Ahimelech named Abiathar (“my father is great”) and he escaped the carnage and fled to David and told him that Saul had killed the priests of Yehovah. He was probably left behind at the Mishkan and he came with the Urim and Thummim (1 Sam 23.6). David will tells us how he felt about all this in Psalm 52. The killing of these priests fulfilled 1 Sam 2.27-36 where the Lord said that he was going to cut off the family of Eli from the priesthood, but not all.

David tells Abiathar that when he saw Doeg the Edomite there that day he knew he would tell Saul. David felt responsible for the death of everyone in Abiathar’s family. David’s lies had consequences any way you look at it. But David turned his heart to the Lord and he promised to protect Abiathar. In the birth-pains, the false Messiah will act just like Saul here. He will favor those against Yeshua (David) and persecute and kill those who follow Yeshua and keep the Torah (Rev 12.17). Knowing this, many will escape into the wilderness and be protected by the Lord from the False Messiah who will pursue them like Saul pursues David (Rev 12.1-17).

1 Sam 23.1-29 tells us the story of how David inquired of the Lord to relieve a place called Keilah (“fortress”) who were fighting against the Philistines, probably through Gad (1 Sam 22.5). The Lord was going to use David and that is why he was called out of safety. The Lord gave him permission and it also tells us that Saul found out he was there and tried to trap him there. At that time Abiathar came down with the ephod that had the Urim and Thummim (Exo 28.15; 28.30). Saul falsely interprets David’s presence in Keilah as a sign that God is delivering David into his hand. He thought that he could surround him.

In our experience, some Christians today would think that using the Urim and Thummim was “crude” and “old testament magic.” But it was far superior to what most Christians do. They base what they think and do on “feeling” or outward appearances. They have little discernment. The Urim and Thummim is based on the Word of God because it commanded that it be used.

David rescues Keilah and Saul comes against him. He did not discern God’s will. David has Abiathar and the ephod with the Urim and Thummim, but Saul doesn’t care about losing the priesthood or the true worship of God, and neither will the False Messiah. Saul wouldn’t go to save the people of Keilah from the Philistines, but he will go after David.

So, David escapes because he inquired of the Lord (1 Sam 23.8-11) and he goes into the wilderness of Ziph (“borrowed”) at Horesh (“a forest”). Jonathan came to David from Gibeah and told him not to fear his father. David was going to be king (Samuel and David told him) and he would be second in civil affairs like he was now, and even his father knew. They confirm their previous covenant, but this would be the last time David would ever see Jonathan again.

The Ziphites betray David and tell Saul, and Saul actually blesses them. This is how the unrighteous are, they bless those who are willing to betray an innocent man (1 Sam 23.19-23). Saul goes to Ziph but David had already left and had gone to the wilderness of Maon (“dwelling”) in the Arabah (“desert”) on the western side of the Dead Sea near En-gedi (“springs of the wild goat”). David expresses his feelings about this in Psalm 54.

Saul pursues David there and they end up on the same mountain, separated only by a ridge, and he began to surround David and David was hurrying to get away. But a messenger came to Saul (from heaven?) and drew Saul away because he was told that the Philistines were raiding the land. David realizes that God was with him and a disaster was averted. So they called that place “Sela ha Makloket” meaning “the rock of divisions” and David escaped to En-gedi.

We will pick up here in Part 19.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 17

1 Sam 21.1-5 tells that David fled to Nob where the Mishkan was and Ahimelech the high priest. This is about 12 miles from Jerusalem. The Mishkan and the Ark were there and David met with the high priest. Nob is in the territory of Benjamin, the tribe of Saul. This was the custom. It was in Shiloh in Ephraim, the tribe of Joshua, and later it would be in Judah with David.

The name of the priest, as we have mentioned, is Ahimelech (“my brother is king”) and he was afraid to meet with David, and said, “Why are you alone and no one is with you?” Ahimelech thought it was strange that an important man like David was alone. And David said, “The king has commissioned me with a matter, and has said to me, ‘Let no one know anything about the matter on which I am sending you and with which I have commissioned you; and I have directed the young men (warriors) to a certain place.’ Now, therefore, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found.” The bread he is referring to is the twelve loaves of “showbread” called the Lechem Ha Pannim (“bread of the faces”) which was meant for the priests. It was meant to be eaten before the “faces” of the Lord in the Mishkan. Ahimelech only asked that the ones eating it would be ritually clean because they had kept themselves from women (Lev 15).

David told Ahimelech a lie to protect himself, and David goes on to put words into Saul’s mouth to make it look like he was on a secret mission. David’s reasons for lying was clear from all that has happened to him. David doesn’t want to tell Ahimelech anything so that it can’t get back to Saul, but we will find out later that it will. Evidently, David doesn’t know Ahimelech well enough to trust him, so he tries to keep Ahimelech and the other priests out of danger from Saul. Before we come down on David, we would have probably done the same thing, but David will come to regret this lie (1 Sam 22.22). Why didn’t David just tell Ahimelech the truth? He could have told him that Saul was trying to kill him, and he knows that he would not understand all the drama, but he needed help. His lie will have serious consequences.

So David asks for bread, and this was no ordinary bread. It was the bread that was reserved for the priests, but the Torah never says that “only” the priests can eat it. That would be adding to God’s word. This may have been a Sabbath when the old bread is exchanged for the new bread (Lev 24.5-9). These loaves of bread were huge and five of these loaves would feed David and his men. They were hungry and in need, so the high priest inquired of the Lord (22.10) and the Lord gave him permission to give David the consecrated bread (21.6). We are going to talk about a very important concept here.

Yeshua refers to this incident in Matt 12.1-8 and approved of what Ahimelech did. Yeshua was going through some grain fields on the Sabbath and his talmidim were hungry, and they began to pick the heads of the grain and ate them. This act itself was permitted in Deut 23.25. But when the Pharisees, probably from the House of Shammai, saw what they were doing they said that it was unlawful to pick the grain on the Sabbath because it was considered work. And Yeshua asked them if they had ever heard about what David did when he and his men became hungry. He told how he entered the house of God (the Mishkan at Nob) and they ate consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him. But again, Lev 24.5-9 never says that “only” the priests can eat it. That would have been different.

He then makes another statement about how the priests work on the Sabbath to meet the needs of the Temple, and that “something greater than the Temple is here.” He tells them they had not learned the lesson of Matt 9.13 because if they did, they would have known that compassion is greater than sacrifice and they would not have condemned the innocent. He also said that he was the Lord of the Sabbath. Yeshua is making a comparison here. David and his men were men in need, and they were good men. The high priest asked God if it was allowable to let David eat the bread, and the Lord said it was allowed. Yeshua and the talmidim were like David and his men, and they were good men in need, and they had permission to pick the grain and eat it because Yeshua the high priest allowed it. Here is what Yeshua is saying.

If the needs of the Temple outweigh the Sabbath (priests working), what about the needs of man? The answer is “Yes” according to Mark 2.27. Within the framework of the Torah there is a concept called the “Hierarchy of Principles.” Certain needs take precedence. Yeshua is the Temple (John 2.19-21) and if they knew and understood he was the Messiah, they would have no cause to criticize those who did any work serving the one who is greater than the Temple. He is the Lord of the Sabbath and that means he instituted it and he is the one that can permit what is done. Just like David went to the high priest, and the high priest inquired of the Lord, and gave David permission, in the same way, Yeshua is the high priest and what the talmidim were doing was allowed by the Lord of the Sabbath. Man’s “traditions” should never take precedence over the Word of God.

However, one of Saul’s servants was there named Doeg (“fearing”) the Edomite (“red”), the chief shepherd of Saul. He was not an Israelite and what exactly he was doing at the Mishkan is unclear. He may have been fulfilling a ceremonial requirement and was probably a non-Jew who followed Yehovah and the Torah, but he will inform Saul that David was there, and will kill eighty-five “men who wore the linen ephod” (priests). He is a type of the false shepherds and religious men who had a heart opposed to the Messiah and his people (Luke 16.15).

David asks if there are any spears or swords on hand because “I brought neither my sword or my weapons with me because the king’s matter was urgent.” In this David was not lying. The king’s matter was to kill David, and Saul was very urgent about that. Ahimelech then gave David the sword of Goliath because they were priests and they did not have spears or swords, and certainly did not have one like that sword. Was David exchanging the weapon of faith (his sling) for a weapon of the Philistines? So David took it and went to Goliath’s home town, to King Achish (“I will terrify”) in Gath (“wine press”) of the Philistines! That is not a good idea.

Of course the Philistines were very suspicious of David. They said, “Is this not David the king of the land?” This meant that David had the authority of a king in the land and more honor and esteem than Saul. So David acted like he was insane because he feared Achish, and Achish wanted to know why they brought him because he is a madman. He said, “Do I lack madmen that you have brought this one to act the madman in my presence? Shall this one come into my house?” David knew this was not going to work. He can’t walk into the home of Goliath with the sword he used to cut his head off and think this was a good plan. So David will soon depart from there in 1 Sam 22.1 and wrote Psalm 34 because God will deliver him and his heart was full of gratitude. The Lord got him out of a huge problem.

David is not “walking in the Spirit” and was not aware of the Lord’s guidance, but Yehovah was guiding him nonetheless (Psa 37.23). He has tried to protect himself with lies and even went to the ungodly enemies of Israel for protection, but the Lord did not abandon him. David’s “departure” started in Nob and ended in Gath because he repented of what he was doing (see Psa 56). That is the difference between Saul and David. Both were on slippery slopes, but Saul kept sliding and David turned around. David isn’t afraid anymore, but he has more trouble on the way.

We will pick up here in Part 18.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 16

1 Sam 20.1-42 deals with Jonathan’s attempt to get his father and David back on the same page. David has fled from Naioth (“Navit”) while Saul was prophesying in 1 Sam 19.23-24. David wants to know if there is any chance of reconciliation with Saul, so he comes to Jonathan and asks, “What have I done?” This is to test Jonathan’s loyalty and he wants to know what side Jonathan is on. Jonathan is loyal to David, and David wanted to know why Jonathan didn’t warn him about Saul’s attempt to arrest him at Naioth. Jonathan said he didn’t know and he reassures David of his loyalty. Even though he and his father were close, Saul didn’t tell him because he knew Jonathan had a relationship with David.

David says that there is but a step between him and death, meaning death is close. He knows Saul is after him and he won’t quit, and Jonathan reassures David that he will help him. So they will test Saul. The next day was a new moon (possibly Yom Teruah as we shall see) and there will be a feast. David can’t go but he will hide in a field. Jonathan will test Saul and find out what his intentions are at the feast. He is to tell Saul David went home for the yearly sacrifice with his family, which was the customNow, this is an important concept and special korbanot were commanded for the new moon in Num 28.11-15. This were permitted at certain times before the Temple of Solomon was built. The “bamot” or “high places” were discussed in the Mishnah, Zevachim 14.4-8, and it says, “Before the tabernacle was set up, the high places (to Yehovah) were permitted and the Altar service was fulfilled by the first born. But after the tabernacle was set up, the high places were forbidden, and the Altar service was fulfilled by the priests; the Most Holy things (Kodshai Kodashim) were consumed within the curtains, and the Lesser Holy things (Kodshai Kelim) throughout the camp of Israel.”

“After they came to Gilgal the high places were again permitted (no Ark in the Mishkan); the Most Holy things could be eaten only within the curtains but the Lesser Holy things in any place. After they came to Shiloh (the Ark was in the Mishkan) the high places were forbidden. There was no roof-beam there, but below was a house of stone and above were the hangings, and this was the ‘resting place.’ The Most Holy things were consumed within the curtains, and the Lesser Holy things and the Second Tithe in any place within sight of Shiloh.”

“After they came to Nob and to Gibeon the high places were permitted; the Most Holy things were consumed within the curtains and the Lesser Holy things throughout the cities of Israel. After they came to Jerusalem the high places were forbidden and never again permitted; and this was the ‘inheritance.’ The Most Holy things were consumed within the curtains and the Lesser Holy things and the Second Tithe within the wall of Jerusalem.” Now, this is an important concept. These high places were for the worship of Yehovah only. Any high place dedicated to a false god was never permitted.

So, David tells Jonathan to tell Saul that he has gone home for the yearly sacrifice, but he will be hiding in a certain field. When Jonathan tells his father where David went (home), if Saul says, “It is good” then he would be safe. But if he gets angry, he is to know that his father has decided on evil against him. But how will David know the answer if he is hiding in a field and Jonathan can’t be seen with him? Jonathan says once he has ascertained what his father’s intentions are “this time tomorrow or the third day” he will tell David. The “third day” alludes to the fact that this was Yom Teruah (Rosh Ha Shanah) because it was a two day festival. The third day refers to the next day after the two days of celebration. Jonathan knows where David will be in the field and will just send for David and tell him. But if Saul’s intention was evil, he will let David know this as well. Jonathan wants David to make a covenant with him that he will show kindness to Jonathan’s house, and David agrees. David will fulfill his promise to Jonathan in 2 Sam 9.1-8 and 21.7.

Jonathan will give David a signal in 1 Sam 20.18-29 about Saul’s intentions. Jonathan loved David as his own life, even above his own father. He tells David that tomorrow is the new moon, and he will would be missed at the ceremonial meal in the palace. After three days he was to go where he hid himself before and remain by the stone Ezel (“going”). Just in case someone might be around, Jonathan will shoot three arrows (according to the three days he was missing) to the side like he was aiming at a target. Then he will send an attendant to retrieve the arrows. If he says the arrows are “on the side of you” then it is safe. But if he says, “The arrows are beyond you go, for the Lord has sent you away.”

So David hid in the field and when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat, but David’s place was empty. Saul didn’t think much of it and thought that David was in a state in uncleanness so he could not eat a ceremonial meal. On the second day of the new moon (showing this was Yom Teruah or Rosh Ha Shanah) David’s place was still empty, and Saul asks why David has not come to the meal. Jonathan tells him that David asked for leave in order to go to Bethlehem with his family. But Saul got angry with Jonathan for letting David go and accused him of favoring David over him. Saul says that people will say that Jonathan was not fit to reign because he is choosing David over his own father. Then people will say Jonathan was illegitimate, bringing shame to his mother (v 30).

The new moon is called “The Day No Man Knows” (Matt 24.36) because the Lord was the only one there (no man) when the moon was created. Nobody knows when the moon will be sighted each month, so the new moon is a day no man knows until the first crescent of the moon is sighted. Tishri 1 is a new moon and it is the day the civil calendar begins, and this day was called “the head of the year” or Rosh Ha Shanah. The Natzal (rapture/gathering) will happen on the new moon of the month of Tishri, year 6001 from creation. We will deal with this in our upcoming teachings on the Natzal (rapture). So, it was called the “day no man knows” by Yeshua because we won’t know the exact day he will come. The Rosh Ha Shanah celebrates the resurrection of the righteous, the judgment, the Coronation of the Messiah and the Wedding of the Messiah.

Saul orders Jonathan to go get David for he must surely die. As long as David is alive, Saul’s heirs will not have a kingdom because he is a threat to Jonathan’s reign, but Saul was just concerned for himself. Of course, Jonathan says “No” and Saul throws a spear at Jonathan and he now knows that his father has decided to kill David.

So Jonathan meets David at the rock Ezel and he tells him to run and find the arrows he is about to shoot. As the attendant is running, Jonathan shoots an arrow past him. When the attendant reaches the spot where the arrow was, Jonathan calls for him and tells him, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” He then calls the attendant and tells him that he can go ahead and go back to the city of Gibeah, and gives him his weapons. Jonathan knew that nobody was around so he dismisses the attendant so that he can talk to David.

When the attendant was gone, David rose from the south side (the direction of faith) and fell on his face before Jonathan, and bowed three times. This was proper when greeting a king or prince. David has hoped against hope that things can be reconciled, but as the arrow went past him his hopes were dashed. It was never to be. They kissed one another and both wept. David couldn’t stay and has a long, treacherous life before him, and Jonathan couldn’t go. Jonathan says, “Go in safety, inasmuch we have sworn to each other in the name of Yehovah.” He then says, “Yehovah will be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants forever.” They were saying their goodbyes and they know that the other will honor them, even after their death. David will see Jonathan one more time shortly before Jonathan’s death.

We will pick up here in Part 17.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 15

1 Sam 19.1-7 tells us of Saul’s private attempts to kill David (18.17) going openly, and he tried to enlist the help of Jonathan to do it. After killing Goliath and becoming famous, Saul dislikes David. Saul has tried to kill David several times already and now tries something new. But Jonathan is David’s friend and he tells him about it (v 2). Saul is beginning to put everyone into a difficult position because the servants of Saul liked David (1 Sam 18.5). Jonathan is loyal to David and is going to help David and he doesn’t “stay out of it.” He tells his father that what he is planning is wrong because the commandment said, “You shall not murder” (Exo 20.13). We are to submit to different authorities in our lives, but we are never excused to violate the Torah due to loyalty. Jonathan knew he could not obey his father. But Saul had a “cause” in his own mind, even though Saul saw how David delivered Israel. As a result, Saul listened to Jonathan and swore to leave David alone. Jonathan brings David back into Saul’s presence as he was before. But that oath will be short lived.

In 1 Sam 19.8-10 we learn that David went out to war against the Philistines with his own men (a thousand in 1 Sam 18.13), but Abner, Saul’s cousin, was still in charge of the whole army (14.50) and David struck the Philistines with a great slaughter. This only made Saul more envious and jealous of David and he tried to kill David again by pinning him to a wall with a spear. David escapes with his life and never returned to the palace again until he was king twenty years later.

In 1 Sam 19.11-17 we learn that David escaped from Saul with the help of Michal. She let David out through a window and it is at this time that David writes Psalm 59. Michal took an image called a “teraph” used as a household idol to help in the worship of God. They didn’t think of the teraphim (plural) as other gods, but it represented Yehovah. Rachel had teraphim in Gen 31.19. The would-be priest Micah used them in Judges 17.5. The word “idolatry” in 1 Sam 15.23 is the word “teraphim.” It seems that this idol did not belong to David, but it was in his house and it was wrong for it to be there. This may be another flaw in the character of David, but others think he may have not known. But, we know that Michal knew it was there and maybe this is what Saul meant when he said in 1 Sam 18.21, “I will give her (Michal) to him, that she may be a snare to him.”

Now, Israel had no business using these for images of God. However, there seems to be other types of teraphim used other than for idolatry. John Gill in his commentary on 1 Sam 19.13 says that some were used to draw heavenly influences, or to know the time of day. Some were made in the form of a known man. Wives had them made in the form of their husbands so that they might always have them there, like a picture. This may have been the type used here and had a human face, or Michal would have never tried to use it to make people think it was David.

Michal puts the image in a bed and told the messengers (“malakim” or “angels”) of Saul seeking David that he was sick. However, Saul wanted his people to bring David on his bed so he could kill him because he didn’t believe her. But the messengers found the idol on the bed, and Saul accused Michal of deception. He demands to know why she would deceive him! But the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. She was faithful to David with her actions but not her words. She says David would kill her if she didn’t help him escape. She sacrifices David’s reputation and honor to save herself. Saul calls David “my enemy” in 1 Sam 19.17.

In 1 Sam 19.18-24 we learn that David flees to Ramah and tells Samuel all that has happened. They both then leave Ramah and go to a place called Naioth. In Hebrew it is “Navit” and it means “habitation of prophets.” This may be the name of the home of Samuel or a place in Ramah. Whenever Naioth (Navit) is mentioned it is related to Ramah (v 23). Saul finds out David is there and pursues him. As they approach they saw a company of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing and presiding over them. Then the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) comes upon those messengers of Saul. When Saul learns of this, he sends other messengers and they also prophesied. So Saul decides to go himself and comes to Naioth in Ramah. When he arrives the Spirit came upon Saul also. Saul strips off his outer garments of royalty and armor, and laid himself out all that day and night. The Lord moved him to do this in order to say, “I have stripped you of the kingship.” Yehovah was in the process of humbling Saul because he wouldn’t do it himself. He was putting Saul in a place that would make it easier for him to repent about what he was doing to David.

This whole affair gave David more time to escape. Then the people wondered, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” This phrase was first used in 1 Sam 10-10-12. They were amazed that Saul was “religious” all of a sudden. Saul’s plan against David has completely failed. David’s consultation with Samuel is meant to strengthen David and have him wait on the Lord.

Eschatologically, this story is a picture of the battle between the Messiah (David) and the False Messiah (Saul). The False Messiah will find that people he thinks should be loyal to him (Israel) will turn to the true Messiah Ezek 39.22; Rev 12.1-17). The False Messiah, like Saul, will will more and more irrationally and violently against the true Messiah, but also those who follow him (Dan 7.21; Rev 12.17). Satan and the False Messiah will get more and more desperate as his plans for world domination begins to fall apart and his time is coming to an end (Dan 11.45; Rev 19.11-21). Look at what happened to Hitler in World War II. At first, he won many battles and took Europe with ease and under his total domination. But as time went by his plans began to unravel and he became irrational and desperate. He retreated and retreated till finally he was in hiding in Berlin as the Allied forces and the Russians surrounded him. In the end, all he did was lead his country into total destruction, including himself and anyone who followed him.

We will pick up here in Part 16.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 14

1 Sam 18.1-30 begins to deal with Saul, Jonathan and David, especially the relationship that was beginning between Jonathan, the son of Saul, and David. After speaking with Saul in his “after killing Goliath” conversation (v 1), Jonathan saw that David was as brave as he was, and he felt drawn to David. They were similar in some ways, about the same age but Jonathan was slightly older, and both trusted the Lord and men who didn’t just talk a good game, but walked a good game. Jonathan was the crown prince of Israel and next in line to be king, and David was the youngest son of a farmer, but it was David who would be king, not Jonathan. So they made a covenant together because Jonathan loved David as himself. David had a heart for the Lord and Jonathan now knew it. So let’s talk about covenants because that is a very important concept in the Scriptures.

Jonathan took off his robe and gave it to David, with his armor, even his sword, bow and belt. Did Jonathan know that David was going to be the next king? At this point we are not even sure David knew. Remember, when Samuel anointed David nobody knew why, except for the Lord and Samuel. When two people make a blood covenant (Hebrew “brit”) they become members of each other’s family and heirship rights. This is significant because we have entered into a blood covenant with the Lord and we are in the household of God. David and Jonathan become “joint heirs” and when Jonathan dies, David inherited the throne. In the same way, we have a covenant with the son of the king, too. When he died, we are his joint heirs (Heb 1.2-4).

One of the concepts put forth in the Book of Hebrews is “Inheritance” (Heb 12.23). Yeshua is the first-born (Heb 1.6) and the promise God gave to Abraham came with an oath, with Abraham and his seed is (Heb 6.13-14). Yeshua is a priest according to the word (“order”) of Melchizedek. This is because the order of Melchizedek preceded the Levitical priesthood and supersedes it. The Torah command about priests having to descend from Aaron only applies in the Olam Ha Zeh (this present age) and in the Atid Lavo (the Day of the Lord/Millenium). But Yeshua’s priesthood is in the Olam Haba (the World to Come) because he lives on forever. There is no need for descendants in the Olam Haba.

Yeshua’s blood seals the Brit Chadasha (New Covenant) in Heb 8-9 and it is a renewal of the covenant (Heb 7.22, 8.6-13). Because of this covenant relationship we have an inheritance (Heb 9.11-22). As a result, since Yeshua is the heir of all things (Heb 1.13, 2.59) we inherit with him (Heb 1.14, 2.10-18). This covenant has not been entered into like the Abrahamic covenant, but with its promise yet to be received (Heb 4.9-10, 6.13-20, 11.39-40).

Saul takes David and he never goes back to his father’s house again. David submitted to Saul and went out to fight militarily wherever Saul sent him, and he prospered. David acted wisely in the midst of all of this (1 Sam 18.14). When David would return from battle, the women came out singing to meet King Saul. They would sing with tambourines and musical instruments saying, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” Saul would get jealous of David and suspected he was after his kingship (v 8), so he looked at David with suspicion. Saul had a guilty conscience and was going to lose his throne, so he was going to hold on to it. These verses tells us about the first attempt of Saul to kill David (v 10-11). Saul was being troubled by an evil spirit from the Lord and David was playing music to calm him as usual. But there was a spear in Saul’s hand and he threw the spear at David, attempting to pin him against the wall, but David escaped.

Saul had the throne and the army, but David had the Lord, so Saul removed him from the court. He then puts David over some troops (v 13) and he didn’t do this because he liked David, but it pleased others and he was hoping that David would be killed. Like Messiah, David was prospering in all his ways (Isa 52.13). As Saul saw his wisdom, he dreaded him because he knew the Lord was with David and that he had departed from Saul. But David became more popular with Israel and Judah. David was not a victim, he knew his future was in God’s hands.

In 1 Sam 18.17-19 it says that Saul was going to give his oldest daughter Merab (“increase”) and he wanted David to “fight the Lord’s battles” but this was a trap. Saul had promised to give his daughter to the man who killed Goliath (1 Sam 17.25). But at the last minute, Saul gives Merab to another man named Adriel (“flock of God”) and this was to provoke David, but David shows no vengeance. She would eventually lose all her sons because this marriage was cursed from the start (2 Sam 21.8).

Now Michal (“who is like God”), Saul’s daughter, loved David. When they told Saul about that, it was agreeable to him because Saul thinks that Michal will be a snare to David because of the dowry, and because of her character. So the servants of Saul tell David, but David does not think this is such a small thing to be the king’s son-in-law and because he does not have a dowry. David is supposed to believe Saul is not angry with him and all is well. Not only that, Saul says that David does not have to pay a dowry for a king’s daughter, so he tells David to forget about that. The dowry Saul wanted was for David to get one hundred Philistine foreskins. He was not being kind to David here, he was going to use the Philistines to kill David. But Saul’s plan fails because David goes out and kills two hundred Philistines and brought their foreskins to Saul. Saul had no choice but to give Michal to David. And there is an eschatological picture. Messiah was rejected by the first born (Merab/Israel) but marries the younger “eschatological Kahal” or congregation who loves him pictured by Michal (“who is like God”).

Saul knows that the Lord is overruling his efforts to hurt David because the Lord is with David and he saw he couldn’t use Michal against him because she loved David. But this made Saul even more afraid of David. In the meantime, the Philistines go out to war because of what David did to them with Goliath and the two hundred Philistines, and this made Saul happy because maybe David would be killed in battle. But, David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul and his name was highly esteemed. This is the same in a greater sense with Yeshua, the son of David (Phil 2.5-9).

We will pick up here in Part 15.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 13

In 1 Sam 17.1-58 we have one of the most well known portions of Scripture by anyone who has had any Bible training. It is a chapter that is taught to children and it deals with the story of David (“beloved”) and Goliath (“exposer”). Goliath is challenges the God of Israel and the people. The Philistines (“wallowers”) have gathered for battle against Israel at Socoh (“bushy”-Josh 15.35) in Judah (“praise”), between Socoh and Azekah (“dug over”) in Ephes-dammim (“edge of blood”). Saul and his men were gathered and camped in the Valley of Elah (“valley of a terebinth/oak”). The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side and Israel stood on the other, with the valley separating them. As we have said, Elah means “terebinth or oak” and it alludes to the cross of Yeshua. This whole battle is alluding to the Kingdom of God against the Kingdom of Satan at the cross, and God’s Messiah will be pictured by David leading to the victory.

Goliath was a “champion” and he came out and taunted the armies of Israel. Goliath stood nearly nine feet tall and he was from the Philistine city of Gath (“wine-press”). Josh 11.22 says the Anakim (“long-necked”) still lived there. Now, Goliath was tall but this kind of height was not unheard of. The historians Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus and Pliny make mention of people seven cubits high. Robert Wadlow was eight foot 11 at the time of his death on July 15, 1940. Needless to say, Saul and his army were afraid of Goliath.

Goliath wanted to have a duel, like Hector and Achilles in Greek history. The Philistines were sea-peoples and from the Aegean area and were familiar with this type of warfare. There are three types of battles. You have army against army, elite troops against elite troops, and duels. In a duel, two champions fight and it is winner take all. Goliath is trying to demoralize the Hebrew army and he is doing a good job. Satan will taunt us, too. Jewish tradition says that Goliath tainted Saul by saying “What has Saul ever done to be made king? Let him come down and fight, unless he is weak and a coward.

At one time, Saul was fierce and a warrior (1 Sam 14.52), but that was before the Ruach Ha Kodesh departed. His courage also left him, too. It was at this time that David comes to the camp (v 12-15). He spends time in the pasture as well as the palace, as needed, like Yeshua did. Notice David is the youngest of eight and yet Psa 89.27 calls David the first born. He is the first born from the House of David and this is a title and a concept of prominence as seen in Col 1.15. When Paul says that Yeshua is first born over all creation he isn’t saying that Yeshua is a created being and had a beginning. He is saying he has prominence.

1 Sam 17.16-21 says that David was sent by his father and brought food and gifts from home because the Goliath came forward for 40 days (testing) to taunt Israel. David left his sheep with a “keeper” (v 20) and brought the gifts and food to his brothers who were in the army. As the armies were arrayed as usual, David comes and sees Goliath make his taunts, and he sees the fear in the army (v 24). The David hears of the reward Saul will give to the man defeats Goliath (v 26).

But 1 Sam 17.28-30 tells us that Eliab is the oldest brother and he falsely accuses his brother. This what Israel (the eldest brother) did to Yeshua before he took on Satan at the cross. He fest that David was too insignificant to speak up, he should be back with the sheep. He thought David was insolent and wicked in his heart. He thought that David just came to watch the battle. But he did not know David’s heart, but God did. (1 Sam 16.7). Eliab also thought that David was trying to get someone else into a fight with Goliath, like him. Eliab was tall (1 Sam 16.7). Here is another point here. If Eliab knew that his little brother had been anointed king, he would have never treated him like this. This is the same with how Israel treats Yeshua. So, David says, “What have I done now.” They had been through this before, and David was hurt, but he is concerned with the insults directed towards the Lord here.

So in 1 Sam 17.31-32 David volunteers to fight Goliath, but Saul says that he is too young. Then David tells him that he has had training and has killed a lion and a bear while tending sheep, and this Philistine will end up like them. He said the Lord delivered him out of the paw of both the lion and the bear, and he will deliver him out of the hands of Goliath. David is not boasting here, he really trusts in the Lord.

So, 1 Sam 17.38-40 says that David tries on the armor of Saul, but he can’t wear it. God always rejects the covering of man, even if it was the best. That armor did not fit David physically or spiritually. Armor, military technology and human wisdom will not win this battle. This is a spiritual battle and David had the armor of God (Eph 6.11-17). Everyone in this army had this armor available to them, but only David walked in them.

However, David did have physical weapons. He had a staff (a type of Yeshua, a dead branch), five smooth stones from the brook in the valley, a shepherds pouch to put the stones, and his sling. The stones in the brook came from a place called Migdal Oz, meaning “strong tower.” Prov 18.10 says, “The name of Yehovah is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe.” On Sept 11, 2001, as terrorists were destroying the twin towers of men, they proclaimed the name of their god. At that same moment in Israel, the true pronunciation of the name of God (Yehovah) was being revealed fully written out with vowel markings (which is never done as a whole) in an ancient manuscript. This will enable a person to say the name of the Lord (Yehovah). There was a local church at ground zero, and in the church, the name of God was written on the building and many went there for safety as the buildings fell, and it was not destroyed, even though the surrounding buildings were, fulfilling Prov 18.10.

David picks up five smooth stones and there has been a lot of conjecture as to why. Some say it is because of the five books of Torah, or the five books of the Psalms. Others say that Goliath had four other relatives. But we think it is more simple than that. He picked up five stones in case he missed. David is not being presumptuous here. With these five stones he approached the Philistine.

Goliath makes a major mistake in 1 Sam 17.41-44 by cursing David and Yehovah by his gods. Goliath despised David just by looking at him. Yeshua was also despised and his appearance was not something that attracted people to him (Isa 53.2). Goliath asks if he is “dog.” This word “Kalev” in Hebrew is used for male homosexual prostitutes (Deut 23.18).

In 1 Sam 17.45-47 David responds to Goliath with words that seemed quite a contrast. Goliath probably had a deep voice and David had the voice of a young man, but that means nothing. David was coming to Goliath in the name of Yehovah, and Goliath was coming in the name of his false gods. It will be the Lord who would deliver Goliath into Davids hands so that the earth, including the assembly of Israel, may know there is a God in Israel. So, there it is. The battle was over before it even began.

1 Sam 17.48-49 tells is that David kills Goliath, as we all know. David took a stone and shot it and it struck Goliath the forehead and it “sank.” Goliath was killed instantly. We know that this is very prophetic. In Dan 2.1-49 we have the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, a huge image like Goliath. It was struck by a stone (Dan 2.34-35) and the statue fell. We know that the stone is a type of Messiah and the Kingdom of God, and it filled the whole earth. The forehead is the seat of the intellect and profession and the only part of Goliath that was undefended by armor. This was the work of God.

1 Sam 17.50-54 tells us that David beheads Goliath, and he brought his had to Jerusalem, thus ending the treaty in Gen 21.22-34, although this treaty had been broken in Samson’s time. Goliath’s head was concrete evidence that Abraham’s covenant with Abimelech was over and not in force anymore since the Philistines started the war.
Goliath’s sword went to the Mishkan (1 Sam 21.9). In 1 Sam 17.55-58 Saul meets David and inquires about whose son he was, even though David had played for Saul and knew he was the son of Jesse (1 Sam 16.18). Knowing his daughter Michal (“who is like God”) was promised to him now for his victory, he wanted to know about him. Saul may have forgotten some of David’s details.

Now, this battle is a picture of Yeshua’s victory over Satan (Gen 3.15). David and Yeshua represent their people; they fight on ground that belonged to God’s people; both fought an enemy that dominated the people of God through fear; both were sent by their father; both were rejected by their brothers; both fought spiritually; both know the enemy will not give up on their own and both fought a battle where the victory was assured before the battle was even fought. David’s ancestry was doubted later because of Ruth the Moabitess. He is called a “Moabite” when he was insulted (“Ruth”, Mesorah Pub, p 56-57) and Yeshua was called a Samaritan (John 8.48).

We will pick up here in Part 14.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 12

In 1 Sam 16-1-23 we begin with the command to anoint a new king over Israel. Samuel is still upset over the rejection of Saul and the Lord tells him “enough.” He tells Samuel to fill his horn with oil and go to Jesse in Bethlehem (“house of bread”). This was common oil and not the oil that was used in the Mishkan. God has selected a king for himself and he tells Samuel to go to Bethlehem.

Samuel wondered if going there to anoint a new king was a good idea because “When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” But the Lord said to take a heifer with him and say, “I have come to sacrifice to Yehovah.” This was allowed in those days because the Ark was in one place and the Mishkan in another (Mishnah, Zevachim 14.4-8). So we learn that this anointing was to be a secret (v 2). Seeing Samuel arrive at Bethlehem, the elders of the city were afraid that something was wrong, or that some sort of judgment was coming (v 4).

God was not going to allow his work to end because of the death or the failure of a man. Satan wanted Samuel trapped in mourning over the past but Yehovah wanted Samuel to move on. God was providing for a king after his own heart, not a king who went after his own heart like Saul. The first king Saul (a picture of the False Messiah) was a king that the people wanted (Saul means “desired”), but now the Lord was choosing a king “for myself” (v 1). He will be his king (like Yeshua).

Samuel asks the elders to come with him to the sacrifice. This was not just to watch, but a ceremonial meal was going to be a part of this. He also invited Jesse and his sons to the meal. Samuel looks at the oldest son Eliab (“father is God”) and the Lord tells Samuel to not look at his appearance or the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. This was the mistake Israel made with Saul. God does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (v 7). The Scriptures say that the Messiah was not beautiful in appearance “that we should be attracted to him” (Isa 53.2). The Lord did not choose any of the seven sons of Jesse.

Spiritually, the seven sons allude to the seven thousand years of God’s plan. There is no person who is able to reign over the Kingdom of God except Yeshua. We see this concept in Rev 5.1-7 which is the coronation of Yeshua in Heaven on Rosh Ha Shanah. David will be a picture of this concept. Then Samuel asks, “Are these all the children?” Samuel thinks he has a problem. Did he hear the Lord correctly? He was told to go to the house of Jesse and anoint one of his sons, but has gone over seven sons and has not found the one. Then Samuel is told that there is one son missing who is tending the sheep, and he is the youngest. Samuel tells Jesse to send for that son, for “we will not sit down (to eat) until he comes hear.” The sacrifice was a Korban Shelem and part of it was eaten in a ceremonial meal.

We should not be surprised that the Lord had the youngest son in mind. It is often the younger is the heir over the eldest (Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over Reuben, Ephraim over Manasseh, Yeshua over Adam, etc). He often chooses “not many wise according to the flesh, not many noble are called” (1 Cor 1.26). We may be despised in our family or among others, and not seen as the “intellectual” but being rejected by man often means we are “beloved” (the meaning of David) by Yehovah.

So, David is tending the sheep. Many of God’s leaders were shepherds. It was a profession that gave the shepherd the time to think, look at creation, care for the helpless little creatures under his care against the wolves. A shepherd had to put his trust in God because there was much danger. A wolf attack could decimate a whole flock in minutes. Many times the Lord has us “tending the sheep” on a lonely hill. Sometimes it seems nobody even knows you exist, but you aren’t waiting, you are being trained.

So, 1 Sam 16.12-13 says David is brought to Samuel. David is described as “ruddy with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance.” But he did not look like Saul (1 Sam 9.2). David looked nice but he was no movie star like Saul. You did not look at David and say, “Now there is a born leader.” Samuel is told to “arise” and anoint David because he is the one. He is the one Samuel was speaking about to Saul when he said, “Yehovah has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and he has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you” (1 Sam 15.28).

We don’t know how old David was here. Josephus says he was ten, and others say he was about 15, so he was somewhere in that range. So, the question is, “Where did David get his heart?” The answer is simple, and it is one that we should keep in mind. David had a heart after the Lord’s own heart because he spent time with the Lord. But, someone got him started. Psa 86.16 and Psa 116.16 refers to his mother as a maidservant. He learned to serve from his mother. This may also be a reference to his great grandmother Ruth the Moabitess.

So, Samuel anointed David (v 13) but only God and Samuel knew what was really happening, judging from the actions of David, Jesse and his brothers. Nobody dared to think that this was David’s anointing to be king over Israel. But God knew and he had been preparing David’s heart for years. The Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) came upon David from that day forward and this was the real anointing as king. After this was completed, Samuel arose and went home to Ramah.

Why didn’t God depose Saul and enthrone David right away? Well, Samuel was probably thinking, “I don’t know why you chose this kid, so you will have to be the one to put him on his throne. In other words, God was going to have to be the one to do it, not Samuel. Meanwhile, the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) departed from Saul and a distressing spirit began to trouble him (v 14). Saul had the Ruach Ha Kodesh but did not follow his leading, so it was like the Lord said, “You don’t want or need my Spirit, then you are on your own. Saul would crumble under the pressure of being a king and leading the nation.

Today, Saul would probably be diagnosed as someone who was mentally ill, but his problem was not psychological, it was spiritual. Saul’s servants came up with a brilliant idea. Music would help Saul to feel God’s peace and presence. God created music and it can be used for good (1 Sam 10.5-10…prophecies were sung). Saul had been helped before. SO a musician was suggested, and his name was David, the son of Jesse. He was a skillful musician and a warrior. He was articulate and a handsome man. But above all, “Yehovah is with him.”

So, in 1 Sam 16.19-23 we learn that Saul sends messengers to get David, and David enters the court of Saul. David had gone back to the sheep and did not understand the significance of what Samuel’s anointing meant yet. David did not have to manipulate himself into the palace, God opened the way for him. We also learn that Saul took to David immediately, and David became Saul’s armor bearer, a very trusted position. Saul had asked Jesse to let David stay with him, and whenever the evil spirit would come upon Saul, David would play his music for him and Saul would be better, and the evil spirit would depart. This was more than natural. The music had the blessing of God in order to raise the fame and influence of David in Saul’s court.

We will pick up here in Part 13.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 11

In 1 Sam 15.1-9 God gives a very clear order through Samuel (the spiritual leader) to Saul (the political leader) to destroy (Hebrew “cherem”) the Amalekites, but Saul did not do it. The Hebrew word used means to utterly and completely destroy the Amalekites. That means every man, woman, child, infant, ox, sheep, camel and donkey (v 3). However, he spared King Agag and the best of the animals. This was because Amalek would lay in ambush to kill any Israelite as they made their way from Egypt to the promised land (Exo 17.14-16; Deut 25.19), especially the weak, sick, tired and stragglers. Josephus says he was spared because he was tall and handsome, and he kept him alive like a trophy. This similar to Absalom in 1 Sam 13-18. But Saul not only left Agag alive, but he left other Amalekites alive because David had to deal with them in 1 Sam 27.8, 30.1 and 2 Sam 8.12. This will play a role many years later because Haman was a descendant of Agag and he will try to exterminate the Jews (Esther 3.1-8).

1 Sam 15.10-19 tells us that Samuel went out to reprove Saul, and Saul was quite happy with himself, and even set up a monument for himself (v 12). But Samuel knew what happened because he could hear the bleating of the sheep and knew and Saul had disobeyed a clear word from the Lord. As a result, he was now going to be rejected as king. Saul was more concerned for his own honor than for the honor of the Lord. This story alludes to Adam, the first king of the Kingdom of God, and he was rejected for disobeying the Lord. Samuel told Saul that he was humble at first and made king. The Lord had sent him to destroy the Amalekites until they were exterminated. This tells us several things. Spiritually, “Amalek” will try to attack us and our weaknesses so we must take steps to exterminate the Amalekites in our lives with no mercy (1 John 3.8).

Israel is authorized to exterminate the Amalekites who are sinners and are under judgment. Execution is not arbitrary killing or murder. Killing is the lawful taking of a life, but murder is unlawful. God judged man in Eden and in Noah’s world. Israel was now ordered to do this to ensure the survival of the people and the messianic line. It was also to prevent Satan’s attempt to destroy God’s people Israel. Saul was told to do this, but he disobeyed the voice of God and did evil. Saul gives several excuses for his behavior. He blames the people for his disobedience like Adam blamed Chava. He also said he spared the animals so that they could be sacrificed to the Lord. However, Samuel said “to obey is better than sacrifice (korbanot).” If man obeyed God, there would be need for korbanot, and if Saul obeyed God there would be no animals to sacrifice. Samuel said that rebellion against God is as the sin of witchcraft. Divination was forbidden by the Torah just like any other sin. He then tells Saul that God has rejected him from being king. Now Saul would continue as king but his posterity would never rule.

1 Sam 15.24-31 tells us that Samuel did not buy Saul’s confession. Saul never feared the people (v 24), he did what he wanted to do. As Samuel turned away, Saul seized the “edge” of his robe and tore it. The word “edge” is the Hebrew word “kanaf” or “corners” and that is where the tzitzit (fringes) hung. The tzitzit were for the wearer to remember the Torah (Num 15.37-41). Samuel said, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and he has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you.” We will see later that David did this to Saul in 1 Sam 24.1-5 to show that just as the tzitzit symbolize authority, that authority was being taken away from Saul by God.

We see the tzitzit in the ministry of Yeshua in Mark 5.25-43 and Mark 6.56. So, let’s look at this. In Mark 5.21-34, Yeshua is on his way to heal the daughter of Jairus (“enlightened”) who was a synagogue official. On his way to his daughter, a woman touched his garments expecting to be healed, based on Mal 4.2, and she was healed. She had suffered with an affliction for twelve years. She touched the tzitzit that hung on the corners of his garment.

In Mark 5.35-43 Yeshua moves on to heal the daughter of Jairus, who was twelve years old. It is significant that the woman suffered her affliction for twelve years and the daughter was twelve years old. As he is going to the house of Jairus, he is told that the girl had died. When Yeshua got to the house he put out all the people, exept that parents of the girl and his talmidim. He took the child by the hand and said, “Talitha cumi” which means, “Little girl in the talit (where the tzitzit were) arise.” It is translated in English as, “Little girl, I say to you arise” but that is not what it means. If Yeshua wanted to say that, he would have said, “Yaldah cumi” if the girl was twelve. If she was 13.17 he would have said, “Almah cumi.” If she was 18 or older he would have said, “Betulah cumi.” But notice the word “talitha” there. You can see the word “talit” in what he said, with a feminine ending. That is where the tzitzit were, on the corners of his talit.

People knew the prophecy of Mal 4.2 where it says, “But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness (Messiah) will rise with healing in his wings” and “wings” is the Hebrew “kanaf” meaning “corners” where the tzitzit hung (Num 15.38). The same talit that healed the woman with the affliction was wrapped around the little girl. Why? The tzitzit symbolize the Word of God and it is greater than any defilement, even death itself.

Mark 6.56 says, “Whenever he (Yeshua) entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the marketplaces, and entreating him that they might just touch the fringe (tzitzit) of his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed.” So, as we can see, the tzitzit are very symbolic and that is why Samuel and David and did what they did. Samuel went back with Saul in front of the people so that he would not be despised in the eyes of the people. Samuel had to finish Saul’s work in 1 Sam 15.32-35 and killed Agag.

Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, or in other words, visit him like before. Samuel liked Saul it seems and he grieved over him. The Lord “regretted” that he made Saul king, and this means that he regretted the choices Saul made and what they came to (v 11) and this was for Saul’s sake. God knew what was going to happen and all of this was part of his plan. He is explaining himself to us in human terms so that we can have “binah” or understanding. God knew the destiny of Saul, and he knows our destiny. As we have said before, Saul will be a picture of several things. He is a picture of the first Adam who sinned and lost his kingship over the Kingdom of God, and he is also a picture of the False Messiah who will be replaced by Yeshua, a descendant of David.

We will pick up here in Part 12.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 10

1 Sam 14.1-15 tells us about the story of Jonathan, Saul’s son, and his armor bearer coming against a garrison of the Philistines, resulting in a great victory. It says, “Now the day came” and there is nothing in this phrase that tells us that there was anything extraordinary going to happen, but God knew he was going to use Jonathan for something remarkable. Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree (a tree that speaks of the Messiah) in Migron (“precipice”), and he had 600 men with him. He had Ahijah (“brother of Yehovah”), the son of Ahitub (“brother of good”), Ichabod’s (“glory has departed”) brother, the son Pinchas (“mouth of brass”), the son of Eli, the priest of the Lord at Shiloh (“peace bringer”), wearing the ephod with him (the high priest with the Ark-1 Sam 14.18).

Jonathan was going to cross over to the Philistine garrison through a pass with several crags, but he did not tell his father because he would’ve probably said “No.” One crag was named “Bozez (“surpassing white”) and the other was named “Seneh” (“thorny”). Jonathan tells his armor bearer that God is not limited by numbers and he can deliver with one or a thousand (Lev 26.8; Judges 3.31). He had a great trust in God here, but so did his armor bearer because he said he would go with him. However, they were not being presumptuous here. They were going to reveal themselves to the Philistines, but they were looking for a sign from the Lord to go ahead. Once Jonathan revealed himself, if the Philistines said to them, “Wait until we come to you”; then they will stand in their place and not go up to fight. But, if they say, “Come up to us” then they would go up because Yehovah has given them into their hands, and this would be a sign to them. This is a good concept to remember.

So Jonathan and his armor bearer revealed themselves and the Philistines thought that the Hebrews were coming out of their holes. So the men of the garrison called them and said, “Come up to us and we will tell you something.” It was then that Jonathan knew that the Lord had given them into their hands. These Philistines probably thought they were more deserters coming out of their holes (1 Sam 13.6) They climbed up the rocky terrain on their hands and knees and the garrison fell before Jonathan. Then there was a great trembling of the earth in the camp of the Philistines and Yehovah set the Philistines against each other because of the great fear and divine confusion.

1 Sam 14.16-23 tells us that Saul learns of the battle and the watchmen said the Philistine army was being dispersed and they were fighting one another. So Saul mustered his army because he knew this was the time to strike. However, Jonathan was not among them. Saul told Ahitub to bring the Ark up. Saul wanted to inquire of the Lord through the Urim V’Thummim about what was going on, but when Saul saw all that was happening and how disorganized the Philistines were, he didn’t need to inquire through the high priest so he told him to “withdraw your hand” out of the ephod where the Urim V’ Thummim were. They went forward into the battle and the Lord delivered them because of the actions of just two men.

It seems that there were many in Israel who had deserted or were captured slaves of the Philistines, and when they heard of Israel’s sure victory, they came in support of the Israelite army (v 21). These people probably hated their Philistine masters and used this opportunity to escape only when victory was assured. So Yehovah saved Israel because he used Jonathan and his armor bearer and they trusted the Lord.

1 Sam 14.24-30 tells us about a very foolish oath that Saul made. He told his men that none of them could eat until evening, and until he has avenged himself on his enemies. God had just given the Philistines into the hands of the Israelites through Jonathan and his armor bearer, and it was the job of Saul and the army to finish the job by chasing down the fleeing army and destroying it. On one hand, this sounds like the spiritual thing to do, to call a fast and wanting God to do a great work. But that is not what is going on here. Saul’s focus was wrong. He wanted them to fast so he could take vengeance on his enemies. He thought this was his battle, not the Lord’s. Saul was showing that doing something spiritual doesn’t mean it is right, especially if the focus is about you.

Saul did not have the spiritual authority or leadership to declare such a fast, Samuel did. If Saul wanted to voluntarily fast, he could, and if others wanted to join him, they could. But he had no right to place the whole army under it. However, Jonathan had not heard about the fast and the curse that went along with it, so he was not part of the ban. He ate some honey and he regained some of his strength after the battle (he was tired), but the people refrained from eating it, fearing the ban. Jonathan was told about the ban and he said that was not a wise thing to do. He felt better by eating and they could have afflicted the Philistines even more, and taken more spoil, if the army had eaten and been strengthened.

1 Sam 14.31-35 says there was a great victory against the Philistines, from Michmash (“concealed place”) to Aijlon (“field of deer”). There are three places with the name of Aijlon. There was a city in the tribe of Dan, famous for the moon standing still (Josh 10.12), and another in Zebulon (Judges 12.12), and this one in Judah (2 Chr 11.10). The people took the spoil and were so hungry that they ate the meat with the blood in it. Some told Saul that they were sinning against the Torah by doing this. Saul orders that a great stone be rolled to him so that the animals could be killed and the blood could drain out. He also would build an altar to the Lord.

1 Sam 14.36-46 tells us that Saul tried to inquire of the Lord by the Urim V’ Thummim about going after the Philistines by night, but he got no answer. He then called the chiefs, but in Hebrew it is “pinah” meaning “corners” because they were the “cornerstones” of the army. But why was there no answer?
Saul assumed a sin had been committed by someone. He never considered it was because of his rash oath.

Saul would carry out the death penalty, no matter who did it, but he did not know who sinned. But none of the people told him it was Jonathan. So, Saul said, “Give a perfect lot” alluding to the “thummim” which means “perfection.”

Saul separated himself and Jonathan to show that they were innocent, but the lot showed it was Jonathan, and Saul was shocked. He wanted to know what he had done, and Jonathan told him. But he hardened himself and pronounced a death penalty on Jonathan, instead of admitting that the problem was with him. Saul would spare Agag later, but kill his own son.
He started out humble (1 Sam 10.21) but pride had overtaken him now. However, the people rescued Jonathan and stood up to Saul. It was Jonathan who had worked with the Lord, and it was Saul who had undermined the victory by being foolish. It was right to spare Jonathan because the oath and the penalty were foolish laws. Jonathan also ate the honey in innocence and God had approved of Jonathan because he worked through him to bring the victory.

1 Sam 14.47-52 tells us that Saul had constant warfare and that he was able to establish his strength in Israel. He won many battles and had a large family. However, Saul’s power was shallow because he was not totally committed to the Lord and his relationship was more about being seen by men, but it was not built on a solid foundation. As a result, his kingdom was doomed to fall, as we shall soon see.

In Part 11, we will pick up here.

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Part 9

In 1 Sam 13.1-4 tells us Saul was 40 years old when he began to reign, and he would reign for 40 years (Acts 13.21). Saul begins to build the nucleus for the first army and this was designed to hold the enemy until the full militia could be called up. Saul would pursue David with the militia.

Jonathan will smite the garrison of the Philistines in Geba (1 Sam 10 says they had a garrison there), also known as Gibeah, and the Philistines heard about it. Saul blew the trumpet throughout the land for the Israelites to hear what Jonathan was doing, and that the Philistines were gearing up for war again. The people were summoned to Gilgal. 1 Sam 13.5-7 says that the Philistines gathered an army against Israel, and the NASB has 30,000 chariots in verse 5, but this may mean that there were 30,000 men who fought in chariots, or, some sort of carriages, not chariots, were used. Some were used not as chariots but carriages for the baggage of the infantry, and to carry away the spoil of the Israelites after they had defeated them. Even if this was a copy error ( “shelosh” or three to “sheloshim” or thirty) it is only 3000, but this is still too many chariots. Pharaoh only had 600, Jabin in JUdges 4.3 only had 900. So, this number was including even the carriages it seems. They camped at Michmash (“hidden”), east of Beth-aven (“house of vanity or wealth”). When the people saw that there was a vast number of Philistines gathered against them, the people hid in caves, cliffs, pits and cellars. But Saul was in Gilgal with his army and they were “trembling.”

Saul waited in Gilgal for Samuel to come, but he did not come. The people were deserting the army every hour and Saul was getting a little nervous. So he called for the Korban Olah and the Korban Shelem to be brought to him to offer before the battle. And it came about as soon as he was finished offering the Korban Olah, Samuel came and Saul went out to meet him. Samuel asked him what he was doing, and Saul said he was losing his army by waiting seven days for Samuel to come, so he forced himself to offer the korbanot. We do not know whether Saul or a priest with him offered it.

Samuel said that he was commanded by the Lord to wait for Samuel. This showed Saul’s impatience and his lack of trust in what God told him and his disregard for Samuel. Saul is beginning to reveal his true character. He is acting foolishly. Now, the Lord was going to take the kingdom out of his family (1 Sam 16.7, Acts 13.22) and begin to seek out for himself a “man after his own heart” and this relates to knowledge and understanding, and setting his desire on the things of the Lord as seen in Jer 3.15. So, this would be a good time to look at some concepts that will help explain what this verse means when it says that Yehovah was looking for a “man after his own heart.”

In Hebrew thought, the heart (lev) was the stomach. We are going to see that the kidneys, bowels, spirit, soul, mind will be synonymous terms. They were seen as the seat of the intellect and thought, not the head (Exo 28.3). They were idioms for the person in the Artscroll Yom Kippur Machzor, p. 319; Luke 2.10; 1 Cor 7.34 and James 2.26. There some who believe that the nature of man is two-fold, not three-fold. We know about the physical body, but what we are talking about is the second aspect.

The Nefesh is the essence of the person or living creature, or the soul. Gen 9.5 talks about the blood of your nefesh (soul). Gen 46.28 refers to the individual person. Exo 21.23 uses nefesh for life. Gen 6.17 uses “ruach” (spirit) as “life.” The word nefesh is used in regards to certain organs as the seat of certain psychological attributes.

The word “lev” means “heart” and it is the center of thought and conscience (1 Sam 24.5); love (Deut 6.5); anger (Deut 19.6); joy (Isa 30.29); hatred (Lev 19.17); lack of courage (Jer 48.41); imagination (Jer 23.16); sense (Prov 15.21); understanding (Prov 15.32). The “kidneys” is the Hebrew word “kilya’ot” and it refers to the emotions and “mind” in Jer 20.12, 17.10; Psa 16.7 and Jer 12.2. Kidneys or “kilya’ot” refers to the heart (lev) in Job 19.27 and “feelings” in Jer 11.20.

The word “me’ahim” refers to the “bowels” and is used in Lam 2.11 for “spirit.” It is the seat of overpowering feelings. Modern Bible versions substitute “heart” for bowels or kidneys in such a context (Lam 1.20, 2.11). Nefesh is the “mind” in 1 Chr 28.9 and “soul” in Deut 4.29. Ruach (spirit) is “mind” in 1 Chr 28.12, Isa 29.24 and Prov 29.11. Lev means “heart” but used for “mind” in 1 Sam 9.19, 10.9. Nefesh (soul) is “heart” in Deut 24.15 and Exo 23.9. Heart, mind, soul, spirit, kidneys, bowels and liver are synonymous terms. The idea is that the thought processes should “filter.” The word “kivod” means the “radiance and glory” of God. It is translated “soul” in Psa 16.9 and Psa 108.1.

Now, having this basic understanding will help interpret verses such as Heb 4.12 correctly where it says, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of the soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and be able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” The word for “division” there is “merismos” and in the Greek translation of the Tanak called the Septuagint (LXX) it means “to expose” so here it means “the exposition of the soul and spirit. Here we see several Hebrew parallelisms using these concepts of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, thoughts and intentions.

We are discussing the fact that heart, mind, soul, spirit, kidney, bowels and liver are used interchangeably in the Scriptures. The heart and all the terms just listed are seen as the “person” and understanding and reasoning come from the heart. God was going to find a man like that to replace Saul. That is why Yehovah is going to do a “circumcision of the heart implying mind, soul, spirit, kidneys, bowels and liver, or in other words the thoughts, intentions and desire of the person (Jer 31.33). So let’s look at more.

In Josh 23.14 heart (lev) and soul (nefesh) are used in a parallelism. Prov 17.22 says a joyful heart (lev) is good, but a broken spirit (ruach) is not. In Lam 2.11 it says, “My spirit (me’ay” of “bowels”) is greatly troubled; my heart (“kivedi” meaning “liver”) is poured out.” Matt 10.28 says that we are not to fear those that can kill the body, but not the soul (nefesh). This is and example of the two-fold nature of man. Eph 4.4 is another example where it says that there is “one body and one Spirit.”

Prov 2.10 says that wisdom will enter your heart (lev) and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul (nefesh), another parallelism. Exo 7.3 says that Yehovah hardened the heart (lev) of Pharaoh. In Deut 2.30 it says he hardened the spirit (ruach) of Sihon, which is the same thing. In Judges 10.16 “he” is used for “soul” (nefesh). In Judges 16.19 “strength” is used for “spirit” (ruach) and Deut 24.15 translates “heart” (lev) in English (KJV, NASB) for the Hebrew “soul” (nefesh). In Judges 16.16-17 it says that Samson’s “soul” (nefesh) was annoyed and he told all that was in his “heart” (lev).

In Jer 17.9-10 the heart (lev) is deceitful; the Lord searches the heart (lev) and will test the “mind (“kilya’ot” meaning “kidneys”). 1 Cor 5.5 says that a person’s spirit (ruach) may be saved and it says the same thing as Heb 10.39 where it talks about the preservation of the soul (nefesh). Josh 5.1 says “their hearts (lev) melted and there was no spirit (ruach) in them.” Psa 51.10 says that God can create a clean heart (lev) and renew a right spirit (ruach). In Psa 51.17 it says that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit (ruach); a broken and contrite heart (lev) he will not despise, another parallelism.

In Ecc 12.7 it says that the spirit (returns) to God, and the soul (nefesh) returns to life in Job 33.30, which basicaly says the same thing. Psa 31.5 says, “into your hands I commit my spirit (ruach), and that his soul (nefesh) will not be abandoned in Psa 16.10. Ezek 18.4 says that the soul (nefesh) that sins will die, but in Matt 10.28 it says that you cannot kill the soul (nefesh). In Judges 16.25, heart (lev) is translated as “spirit” (ruach).. Job 7.11 says, “I will speak in the anguish of my spirit (ruach), I will complain in the bitterness of my soul (nefesh).” This is another parallelism.

In Job 15.35 the Hebrew word for “belly” (bitanam) is translated as “mind.” Psa 16.7 says, “My mind (kilya’ot meaning kidneys) instructs me.” Why is kidneys used? Because the kidneys filter impurities. Luke 1.17 says, “In the spirit (ruach) of Elijah.” 2 Chr 6.37 says, “Take thought ” meaning “return to their heart (lev).” Ezra 1.1 says the Lord stirred up the spirit (ruach) of Cyrus. Neh 2.12 translates heart (lev) as “spirit” (ruach). 1 Sam 2.35 says, “But I will raise up for myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in my heart (lev) and in my soul (nefesh).” This is similar to what the Lord is looking for in our verse in 1 Sam 13.14.

1 Sam 30.6 has “embittered” as “bitter in soul” (nefesh) in Hebrew, then in v 12 it says his “spirit (ruach) revived.” In 1 Kings 21.5 it says a spirit (ruach) is sullen, but then in v 7 it says to let the heart (lev) be joyful. Psa 143.4 says, “My spirit (ruach) is overwhelmed within me and my heart (lev) is appalled within me.” Ezek 36.26 says God will put a new heart (lev) and a new spirit (ruach) within a believer. This is a parallelism.

Rev 2.23 says the Lord searches the minds (could be nefesh, ruach, kilya’ot or lev in Hebrew because they have all been translated as “mind”) and the hearts (lev) and it could be nefesh (soul), kilya’ot (kidneys) or meahim (bowels) in Hebrew. Prov 16.9 has “the mind (but in Hebrew it is “heart”=lev) of man plans his way.” Jer 4.19 has “my soul, my soul (“meah” meaning bowels)! I am in anguish in my heart (lev).” Jer 15.1 is translated, “My heart (“nefesh or soul in Hebrew) would not be with this people.” Jer 20.12 says that God sees the mind (kilya’ot meaning kidneys) and the heart (lev), another parallelism.

Jer 32.41 says, “With all my heart (lev) and all my soul (nefesh)” in another parallelism. Ecc 12.7 says that the dust (the body) will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit (ruach) will return to God who gave it. This verse shows the two natures of man. Lam 3.20-21 says that “Surely my soul (nefesh) remembers; this I will recall to my mind (lev meaning heart in Hebrew).” This is another parallelism. Ezek 18.31 says, “to make yourselves a new heart (lev) and a new spirit (ruach)” in another parallelism. Phil 1.27 says, “I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit (ruach) with one mind” (could be translated with any of the other words we have shown because they are all synonymous) in a Hebrew parallelism.

This is just a small sample of this concept alluded to in 1 Sam 13.14. God was going to find a man after his own heart, mind, soul, spirit, kidneys, bowels or liver. This concept teaches that the “heart” was the “stomach” and understanding and reasoning comes from the heart, not the head. The circumcision of the heart is used to describe this, but it relates to the mind, soul, spirit, kidneys, bowels and liver because all of these were seen as synonymous terms in Hebrew thought.

1 Sam 13.15-23 has several concepts to pick up on. Again, the Philistines were harassing Israel, but Israel had no real weapons. No blacksmiths could be found in all the land of Israel because the Philistines feared they would make weapons, so they were disarmed. This was like ancient “gun control.” So Israel had to go to the Philistines to sharpen their plowshares, axes or hoes. On the day of battle coming up, there were no swords found in the hands of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan, but they were the only ones with swords or spears. The people will use slings and other things, but there were only two swords in the whole army (13.22).

In Part 10 we will pick up here.

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