Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 23

Jer 23.1-40 contains accusations against the kings, priests, false teachers and prophets, and rulers who have scattered the flock of Yehovah. As they have scattered the flock, Yehovah will hold them accountable. He will replace these false shepherds with good shepherds who will feed them. There is also a well-known promise of the Messiah here. Israel will be regathered in the Second, or Messianic, Redemption back to the land. The people are not to listen to these false prophets and teachers because he has not sent them and Yehovah is against them.

v 1…”Woe (cursed, or empowered to fail) to the shepherds (false teachers, kings, priests and rulers, in particular Shallum, Yehoikim, Yeconiah, Zedekiah, etc) who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord.

v 2…Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending (shepherding) my people: “You have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not attended to them (with true teaching); behold (take note), I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the Lord (Yehovah).

v 3…Then I myself shall gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries (this is plural so it has future implications-Isa 66.20) where I have driven them, and shall bring them back to their pasture; and they will be fruitful and multiply (grow numerous).

v 4…I shall also raise up shepherds over them (like Ezra, Nehemiah, Zerubbabel, Yeshua, the Talmidim, Paul, and future shepherds) and they will tend (teach, feed) them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing (John 10.28),” declares the Lord.

v 5…”Behold (see for yourself), the days are coming (in the Second Redemption; when Messiah comes; this idiom is the same as “B’yamim” or “in those days”),” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David (as his successor) a righteous branch (a “tzemach”-Isa 4.2; Zech 6.9-14; Jer 33.15, 50.4, and this alludes to the Messiah becoming flesh and blood) and he will reign as king and act wisely (the branch will be a king) and do justice and righteousness (as defined by the Torah) in the land (in the Messianic Kingdom).

v 6…In his days (Messiah’s) Judah (southern tribes) will be saved, and Israel (northern tribes) will dwell securely (Rom 11.26; Hos 2.18; Isa 4.2; Matt 6.10); and this is his name by which he (you will notice in Jer 33.15.16 that it will say “she” and that is because there has been a marriage) will be called, “The Lord our righteousness (Yehovah tzedkaynu).”

v 7…”Therefore, behold, the days are coming (when Messiah comes),” declares the Lord, “when they will no longer say, ‘As the Lord (Yehovah) lives (this is in the form of an oath), who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt (the Exodus from Egypt was a foreshadowing of future events),

v 8…but, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land (Babylon at the time but this refers to the future after Yeshua comes) and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.”

v 9…As for the prophets (the false ones): my heart is broken within me (Jeremiah was in horror), all my bones tremble (because of what is coming because of their false doctrines and prophecies; I (Jeremiah) have become like a drunken man, even like a man overcome with wine (who can’t talk or stand up), because of the Lord and because of his holy (has a kedusha) words.

v 10…For the land is full of adulteries (literal and spiritual); for the land mourns because of the curse (Deut 28.15-68). The pastures of the wilderness have dried up (no rain). Their course (the prophets and the people) is also evil and their might is not right (their power is in doing evil).

v 11…For both prophet and priest are polluted; even in my house (Temple) I have found their wickedness (not truly consecrated to the Lord or the Torah),” declares the Lord.

v 12…”Therefore their way (of evil) will be like slippery paths to them, they will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it (pushed and fell in their sins); for I shall bring calamity (evil) upon them, the year of their punishment (the appointed time for it),” declares the Lord.

v 13…Moreover (and), among the prophets (false) of Samaria I saw an offensive thing (their perversity and evil doctrines): they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray (1 Kings 18.19).

v 14…Also among the prophets of Jerusalem (the acts of the false prophets of Judah will be worse) I have seen a horrible thing: the committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; and they strengthen the hands of the evildoers (instead of confronting them); so that no one has turned his back from his wickedness. All of them have become to me like Sodom, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

v 15…Therefore (as a result), thus says the Lord of hosts (or “armies”-he is coming from a military position of power) concerning the prophets (the false ones), ‘Behold (see), I am going to feed them wormwood (bitterness-Deut 29.18; Rev 8.11, meaning the curse) and make them drink poisonous water (alluding to the Law of the Jealous Husband in Num 5.11-31), for from the prophets of Jerusalem pollution has gone forth into all the land.”

v 16…Thus says the Lord of hosts, ” Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility (making a fool out of you with their empty words); they speak a vision of their own imagination (heart), not from the mouth of the Lord (Yehovah).

v 17…They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord has said, ‘You will have peace’; and as for every one who walks in the stubbornness of their own heart, they say, ‘Calamity (evil) will not come upon you’ (they tell them what they want to hear).

v 18…But who has stood in the council (Hebrew “sowd” meaning close to him to know what he says-Ezek 13.8; Amos 3.7) of the Lord that he should see and hear his word? Who has given heed to his word and listened (marked it and obeyed it)?

v 19…Behold, the storm of the Lord has gone forth in wrath, even a whirling tempest; it will swirl down on the head of the wicked (rashim or the false prophets and whoever listens to them). A “whirlwind” can refer to a coming time of trouble, Yehovah, or the Messiah and his coming).

v 20…The anger of the Lord will turn back (without accomplishing its commission) until he has performed and carried out the purposes of his heart; in the last days (“acharit yamim” and a term that alludes to the time Messiah comes) you will clearly understand it (once you see everything happening and fulfilled just as God said it would).

v 21…I did not send these prophets, but they ran (they had no commission from the Lord, but they went anyway). I did not speak to them, but they prophesied (no calling).

v 22…But if they had stood in my council (“sowd”), then they would have announced my words to my people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds (and none of this would even be happening).

v 23…Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “and not a God afar off (he sees and hears everything and nothing escapes his notice)?

v 24…Can a man hide himself in hiding places, so I do not see him?” declares the Lord (let not the false prophets think for one second that their evil devices are unknown to the Lord). Do I not fill the heavens and the earth (so that every person is seen and known by Yehovah)?” declares the Lord/

v 25…I have heard what the prophets (false ones) have said who prophesy falsely in my name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream (a divine dream, imitating the true prophets who do have dreams from Yehovah-Num 12.6-it’s the same today).

v 26…How long (you ask will God permit this to go on)? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart,

v 27…who intend to make my people forget my name by their dreams which they relate to one another (that contradicts what was truly prophesied in his name) just as their fathers forgot my name because of Baal?

v 28…The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream (but don’t say it is a revelation from Yehovah, it was just a dream), but let him who has my word speak my word in truth (a true word of prophecy and not the word of mere men). What does straw have in common with grain (wheat, as in Matt 13.24-31 where the tares and the wheat grow together but later separated; true and false prophets will co-exist).

v 29…Is it not my word (Torah) like fire (it consumes the straw and chaff, false prophets and their prophecies)?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock (a true prophecy will shatter false ones)?

v 30…Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, ” who steal my words, each one from his neighbor (imitate the true prophets by using their terms and misapplying them to their own devices).”

v 31…”Behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who use their tongues and declare (with no inspiration from Yehovah).”

v 32…”Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,” declares the Lord, “and related them, and led my people astray by their falsehoods (insisting their own thoughts were to be accepted as the words of Yehovah) and reckless boasting (false glorying); yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit (its just the opposite, they were doing a lot of harm),” declares the Lord.

v 33…”Now when this people or the prophet or a priest asks you (Jeremiah) saying, ‘What is the oracle (word) of the Lord (in a sneering manner)?’ then you shall say to them, “What oracle (I will not burden myself with you)?’ The Lord declares, ‘I shall abandon you (to answer their sneering question).’

v 34…Then as for the prophet or the priest or the people who say, ‘The oracle (word) of the Lord,’ I shall bring punishment upon that man and his household (in other words, every person who uses “oracle” in a sneering way will be avenged and punished by Yehovah).

v 35…Thus shall each of you say to his neighbor and to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or, “What has the Lord spoken (in respect to Jeremiah)?”

v 36…For you will no longer remember the oracle of the Lord (use this expression in mockery), because every man’s own word will become the oracle (if used in a mocking manner, it will bring him to the ground), and you have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God.”

v 37…”Thus you shall say to that prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken (this is the approved way to address Jeremiah or any true prophet)?’

v 38…For if you say, ‘The oracle of the Lord (insisting on ignoring this prohibition in a scoffing manner)!’ surely thus says the Lord, ‘Because you said this word, “The oracle of the Lord (and continue to use it)!” I have also sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’

v 39…Therefore behold, I shall surely forget you and cast you away from my presence, along with the city (Jerusalem) which I gave you and your fathers.

v 40…And I will put an everlasting reproach on you and an everlasting humiliation which will not be forgotten.”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 22

Jer 22.1-30 is a prophecy that related to an earlier time (before Chapter 21) concerning the sons of Josiah (Yehoahaz, Yehoikim, Yeconiah). There is a prophecy in this chapter that directly relates to the virgin birth of Yeshua.

v 1…Thus says the Lord (Yehovah), “Go down to the house of the king of Judah and there speak this word,

v 2…and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sits on David’s throne (in his place, as his successor, one in whom they should follow as an example), you and your servants and your people who enter these gates (of the king’s palace).

v 3…Thus says the Lord, “Do justice and righteousness (as defined by the Torah), and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of the oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.

v 4…For if you men will indeed perform (do) this thing (Hebrew “ha davar” or this word), then kings will enter the gates of this house, sitting in David’s place on his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, even the king himself and his servants and his people (the blessings that could have been).

v 5…But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself (there is no one higher),” declares the Lord, “that this house (royal house) will become a desolation.”

v 6…For thus says the Lord concerning the house of the king of Judah; “You are like Gilead to me, like the summit of Lebanon (beautiful, fruitful); yet most assuredly I shall make you a wilderness, like cities which are not inhabited (barren).

v 7…For I shall set apart destroyers against you (Babylon); and they will cut down your choice cedars (sons of the kings, nobles and princes, great men at the time) and throw them on the fire (of judgment).

v 8…And many nations will pass by this city (after it is destroyed); and they will say to one another (as they travel by), ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this great city?’

v 9…Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the covenant (Torah) of the Lord their God and bowed down to other gods and served them.’

v 10…Do not weep for the dead or mourn for him (Josiah who was killed by Pharaoh Necho-2 Kings 23.28-30), but weep continually for the one who goes away (Yehoahaz who was about to be taken to Egypt); for he will never return to see his native land (he died in Egypt-2 Kings 23.34).

v 11…For thus says the Lord (Yehovah) in regard to Shallum (one of the names for Yehoahaz-2 Kings 23.30-34) the son of Josiah king of Judah, who became king in the place of Josiah (for three months) his father, who went forth from this place, “He will never return there (to Judah, but this also alludes to eternal punishment and the second death of the wicked);

v 12…but in the place where they led him captive, there he will die and not see this land again.”

v 13…”Woe to him (Yehoikim the reigning king) who builds his house without righteousness and his upper rooms without justice, who uses his neighbor’s servants without pay and does not give him his wages (he is enlarging his house and that is why attention was given to it in v 1),

v 14…Who says, “I will build myself a roomy house with spacious upper rooms, and cut out its windows, paneling it with cedar and painting it bright red (for a proud show of splendor at the expense of others).’

v 15…Do you become a king because you are competing in cedar (making a show of prosperity)? Did your father eat and drink (yes, having his needs met), and do justice and righteousness (yes)? Then it was well (Hebrew “tov” or good) with him.

v 16…He (Josiah) pled the cause (case) of the afflicted and needy; then it was well. Is not that what it means to know me (Jer 9.23)?” declares the Lord

v 17…”But your eyes (Yehoikim) and your heart are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, and on shedding innocent blood and on practicing oppression and extortion (Yehoikim was wicked, don’t do these things)”

v 18…Therefore thus says the Lord in regard to Yehoikim (he succeeded Yehoahaz-2 Kings 23.34-37 and half-brother of Yehoahaz) the son of Josiah, king of Judah, “They will not lament for him: ‘Alas, my brother!’ or, ‘Alas, sister (in reply)!’ They will not lament for him: ‘Alas for the master!’ or, ‘Alas for his splendor!’

v 19…He will be buried with a donkey’s burial (who has no burial at all but is cast into a ditch; the donkey is a type of the natural man-Job 11.12), dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem (2 Chr 36.6).

v 20…Go up to Lebanon (the mountains) and cry out (for help from the Assyrians or Egyptians), and lift up your voice in Bashan (another high hill); cry out from Abarim (the top of Pisgah and one of the peaks of Nebo in Moab; these mountains are named because from there they could look around to their neighbors and call to them for help). All of your lovers (allies) have been crushed (by Babylon).

v 21…I spoke to you in your prosperity (and reproved them); but you said, ‘I will not listen!’ This has been your practice from your youth (from the time they came out of Egypt), that you have not obeyed my voice.

v 22…The wind (Babylon) will sweep away all your shepherds (kings, princes, priests, counselors), and your lovers (allies) will go into captivity (Assyria and Egypt); then you will surely be ashamed and humiliated (disappointed in all those who you thought could help you) because of all your wickedness.

v 23…You who dwell in Lebanon, nested in the cedars (Jerusalem is referred to here because the kings and others dwelt in houses made of wood from Lebanon), how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain like a woman in childbirth (this also alludes to the birth-pains of the Messiah)!”

v 24…”As I live,” declares the Lord, ” even though Coniah (Yeconiah who was also known as Coniah and Yehoichin) the son of Yehoikim king of Judah were a signet ring on my right hand (valued, close to me), yet I will pull you off (your throne);

v 25…And I will give you over into the hand of those who are seeking your life, yes, into the hand of those whom you dread, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hands of the Chaldeans (2 Kings 24.8).

v 26…I shall hurl you and your mother (named Nechushta, the “givorah” or great lady who ruled as queen in Judah-2 Kings 24.8) who bore you into another country where you were not born, and there you will die (in Babylon).

v 27…But as for the land to which they desire to return, they will not return to it (neither by prayer or any false hope).”

v 28…”Is this man Coniah (Yeconiah or Yehoichin) a despised shattered jar? Is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants still in his loins; not been born yet) been hurled out (as being king) and cast into into a land that they had not known?

v 29…O land, land, land (the earth, on which man dwells, is called as a witness to what is going to be said now), hear the word of the Lord!

v 30…Thus says the Lord, ‘Write this man down (as if he was) childless (in fact he wasn’t; he had descendants named Shealtiel and Zerubbabel-Matt 1.12 but he might as well have been childless because his descendants will not rule as a king ever again), a man who will not prosper in his days; for no man of his descendants (direct descendant) will prosper (as king) sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah (and they didn’t; Zerubbabel was a governor but not a king. However, there is a problem. God made a promise to David that one of his descendants would reign on his throne forever, so how does Yehovah get around this curse and have Yeshua as king of Israel? Well, here is the answer. We have the kingly line promised in Gen 49.8-12 and Yeshua is the Messiah who sits on this throne, so how can that be possible? Matt 1.1-12 gives us the line of Joseph through Solomon, the kingly line. Luke 3.23-31 gives Miriam’s (Mary) line through Nathan, a non-kingly line. Yeshua is literally Joseph’s son through the flesh, but he is literally the son of David through Miriam, so God can still have Yeshua sit on the throne as a son of David despite the curse on the line of Coniah. There is also some evidence that Yeshau may have descended from Levi. Look at the priestly and Levitical names in Miriam’s genealogy in Luke 3. She was also related to Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah, who was a daughter of Aaron and a Levite in Luke 1.5, 36).”

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

Tanak foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 21

Jer 21.1-14 contains Jeremiah’s reply to a message by King Hezekiah. He reiterates that the city will be destroyed and gives his counsel as to what the king and the people should do. The names of the persons sent to Jeremiah are also mentioned.

v 1…The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Hezekiah sent to him Pashur the son of Malchiah, and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah (who will die in Jer 52.27), saying,

v 2…”Please inquire if the Lord (Yehovah) on our behalf, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is warring against us; perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all his wonderful acts, that the enemy may withdraw from us (like Sennacherib did years before).”

v 3…Then Jeremiah said to them, “You shall say to Zedekiah as follows:

v 4…’Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “Behold, I am about to turn back the weapons of war which are in your hands, with which you are warring against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you noutside the wall; and I shall gather them into the center of this city (Yehovah not only refused to aid Judah, but he is going to help the Babylonians).

v 5…And I myself shall war against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, even in anger (fury) and wrath and great indignation.

v 6…I shall also strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they will die of a great pestilence (animals are linked to man and our sins-Rom 8.28).

v 7…Then afterwards (their death),” declares the Lord. “I shall give over Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people, even those who survive in the city from the pestilence, the sword, and the famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their foes, and into the hand of those who seek their lives; and he will strike them down with the edge of the sword (like Zedekiah’s sons). He will not spare them nor have pity nor compassion.”

v 8…”You shall also say to this people, ‘Thus say the Lord, “Behold (see, take note of), I set before you the way of life and the way of death (similar to what is set out before us in the Basar).

v 9…He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live , and he will have his own life as a booty (they had to go out to Nebuchadnezzar by faith in the word of the Lord through Jeremiah to come out of this alive and it is the same with us. We must surrender to the Lord by faith in order to come out of this life alive).

v 10…For I have set my face (in determination) against this city for harm and not for good,” declares the Lord (Yehovah). “It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it with fire (the message of Jeremiah is surrender and live. If you fight in your own strength against God’s word and you will die. They may hold off for awhile but in the end, the enemy is coming into the city to get them. Again, Nebuchadnezzar is a picture of Yehovah here, the King of Kings, who has the power of life and death as in Jer 27.11-17, 38.17; 2 Kings 25.22. We sin and there is nothing we can do to save ourselves in spite of our defenses, so we must surrender and put our faith and trust in the word of the Lord who could destroy us in a second-Luke 17.33).”

v 11…”Then say to the household of the king of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord,

v 12…O house of David (this was to remind the kings who they descended from. They needed to be like him and do the right thing), thus says the Lord: “Administer justice every morning (early) and deliver the person who has been robbed from the power of the oppressor, that my wrath may not go forth in fire and burn with none to extinguish it, because of the evil of their deeds.

v 13…Behold (see for yourself), I am against you, O valley dweller, O rocky plain (a description of Jerusalem),” declares the Lord, “You men who say, ‘Who will come down against us? Or who will enter into our habitations (they thought they were impregnable)?’

v 14…But I shall punish you according to the results (or fruit; good intentions is not good enough) of your deeds,” declares the the Lord, “And I shall kindle a fire (judge) in its forest (the houses made of wood and stood together as thick as a forest) that it may devour all its environs (the surrounding cities and towns; this is not what they wanted to hear).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 20

Jer 20.1-18 is about the persecution Jeremiah received once his prophecy was published and how it affected him. He was beaten, put in stocks by Pashur (increase in whiteness), a priest. He gets released but continues to prophesy about the destruction of the city and its wealth. Jeremiah doesn’t want to continue but is compelled to do it, but regrets he was even born because of the intensity of the persecution and he thought he was a failure.

v 1…Now Pashur the priest, the son of Immer (sixteenth course of priests in 1 Chro 24.4) who was chief officer (sagan) in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things.

v 2…Pashur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put him in stocks that were at the upper Benjamin gate (they faced his territory in the Temple), which was by (in) the house of the Lord (Yehovah).

v 3…Then it came about on the next day, when Pashur released Jeremiah from the stocks, that Jeremiah said to him, “Pashur is not the name the Lord has called you, but rather Magor-missabib (terror on every side).”

v 4…For thus says the Lord (Yehovah), “Behold, I am going to make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends (his conscience will fill him with terror at God’s judgment); and while your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies. So I shall give over all Judah to the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will carry them away as exiles to Babylon and will slay them with the sword (because he didn’t the words of the Lord through Jeremiah, the fear and terror of Babylon will be upon him).

v 5…I shall also give over all the wealth of this city, all its produce and all its costly things (jewels of the rich, furniture, etc); even all the treasures of the kings of Judah I shall give over to the hand of their enemies, and bring them to Babylon (as their property now).

v 6…And you, Pashur, and all who live in your house will go into captivity; and you will enter Babylon and there you will die, and there you will be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have falsely prophesied.”

v 7…O Lord (Jeremiah cries out about all the burdens he has to bear and the sorrow of what is about to happen. He also knows he has been rejected), thou hast deceived (persuaded) me and I was deceived (persuaded); thou hast overcome me and prevailed (conquered him through the Ruach Ha Kodesh to be a prophet, and like Job, Jeremiah will realize that Yehovah never promised that he would never suffer, but God will deliver him out of it all). I have become a laughingstock (mocked) all day long; everyone mocks me.

v 8…For each time I speak, I cry aloud (call out); I proclaim violence and destruction, because for me the word of the Lord has resulted in reproach and derision all day long.

v 9…But if I say, “I will not remember him or speak any more in his name,” then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones (a divine impulse to speak); and I am weary of holding it in, I cannot endure it (to keep silent).

v 10…For I have heard the whispering of many, “Terror on every side (prompting him not to prophesy because he was in a dangerous position, and this was to deride the prophecy about Pashur’s new name also)! Denounce him; yes, let us denounce him (bring accusations up against Jeremiah)!” All my trusted friends (he thought), watching for my fall, say: “Perhaps he will be deceived so that we may prevail against him (get the better of him) and take our revenge on him.”

v 11…But (Jeremiah states what is on his heart) the Lord (Yehovah) is with me like a dread champion (to defend him); therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail (as they had hoped Jeremiah would), they will be utterly ashamed because they have failed (and not acted wisely), with an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.

v 12…Yet, O Lord of hosts, thou who dost test (examines to reveal faith, to refine) the righteous, who sees the mind (kidneys) and the heart (lev-Heb 4.12); let me see thy vengeance on them (he calls for judgment on those who have turned from Yehovah and against Jeremiah. It was Yehovah’s matter to deal with); for to thee I have set forth my cause (his case was in God’s hands).

v 13…Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord (Yehovah)! For he has delivered the soul of the needy one (he sees God’s hand in saving him in the future) from the hand of evildoers (Yehovah stood by him when all others didn’t).

v 14…Cursed (empowered to fail) be the day when I was born (but in the present, Jeremiah sees nothing but trouble and failure right now and he expresses the grief in his heart); let the day not be blessed (empowered to succeed) when my mother bore me (since his life was such a failure he thought)!

v 15…Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father, saying, “A baby boy has been born to you (which was supposed to be a blessing)!” and made him very happy.

v 16…But let that man be like the cities which the Lord overthrew without relenting (the four cities of the plain called Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim which God overthrew without being sorry or showing mercy), and let him hear an outcry in the morning and a shout (teruah or loud noise) at noon (of being besieged and the war cries of the Babylonians;

v 17…Because he (the one who brought the news) did not kill me before birth (in the womb you can be killed), so that my mother would have been my grave, and her womb ever pregnant (so that Jeremiah would not have seen the light of day).

v 18…Why did I ever come forth from the womb to look on trouble and sorrow, so that my days have been spent in shame (he thought his ministry was a failure because he didn’t save Judah from the desolations that were coming now; this feeling is common among believers who are called by Yehovah to do something, but it looks like it has been a failure)?

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 19

Jer 19.1-15 is a conformation about the destruction of Jerusalem in the coming siege. The potter’s had their houses outside the city due to the smoke and fires, so Jeremiah is told to go outside the Potter’s Gate. This is where the Hinnom Valley connects with the Kidron Valley. This is a major prophecy and this area is also called Tophet and a picture of Gehenna.

v 1…Thus says the Lord, :Go and buy a potter’s earthenware jar (ancient “tupperware which is earthly and natural), and take some of the elders of the people and some of the senior priests (as witnesses);

v 2…Then go out to the valley of Ben-hinnom, which is by the entrance to the potsherd gate (the potter’s gate south of the city so wind could blow the smoke away from the city to the east) and proclaim there the words that I shall tell you,

v 3…and say, “Hear the word of the Lord (Yehovah), O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem (both groups were guilty of idolatry in this valley), thus says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot), the God of Israel, “Behold (take note) I am about to bring a clamity upon this place (Jerusalem), at which the ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle.

v 4…Because they have forsaken me and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known (the godly ones), and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent (they burned their children to Molech and Baal. We “burn” our children when we don’t tell them about Yehovah and Yeshua and they die unconverted),

v 5…and they have built the high places (bamot) to Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter my mind (these bamot were near to the tomb of Annas or Chanan, which has been found. He was the high priest who was involved in the death of Yeshua. This whole idea was loathsome to Yehovah);

v 6…therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when this place will no longer be called Tophet (“spitting” and this was a burial place of the ashes of the children burned. This area is where the three valleys come together-Jer 7.27-34; Rev 19.17-18; Ezek 29.1-7; 32.1-8; Luke 17.33; Matt 13.30-41, 24.28) or the the valley of Ben-hinnom, but rather the valley of Slaughter (and will also be called the valley of Yehoshaphat-Joel 3.1-12).

v 7…And I will make void (empty) the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place (all their schemes for deliverance through their false gods will be as empty as the earthenware jar he had in his hand), and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I shall give over their carcasses as food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth (see verses listed in v 6; this is an idiom for a great slaughter and this also alludes to the feast of Leviathan at the end of the birth-pains between Tishri 10-15 after Yeshua returns-Matt 25.31-46).

v 8…I shall also make this city a desolation and an object of hissing (sneering); everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of all its disasters (the plagues that Yehovah brought).

v 9…And I shall make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters (cannibalism predicted in Lev 26.29; Deut 28.53), and they will eat one another’s flesh in the siege and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life will distress them (this also happened in 70 A.D. during the Roman siege).”

v 10…”Then you are to break the jar in the sight of the men who accompany you (because they are broken and beyond repair also)

v 11…and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Just so shall I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot be repaired; and they will bury in Tophet (an unclean place) because (until) there is no other place for burial (the trash of Jerusalem was taken there and this area became a picture of Gehenna).

v 12…This is how I shall treat this place and its inhabitants,” declares the Lord, “so as to make this city like Tophet.

v 13…And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled like the place Tophet because of all the houses on whose rooftops they burned sacrifices (incense) to all the heavenly host (sun, moon, stars) and poured out libations to their gods.”

v 14…Then Jeremiah came from Tophet (the most cursed place on earth and where the high priest Annas was buried) where the Lord had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the Lord’s house and said to all the people (what he just told the elders and the priests);

v 15…”Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold (see for yourself), I am about to bring on this city and all its towns the entire calamity that I have declared against it, because they have stiffened their necks (to not accept the yoke of the Torah and become lawless) so as not to heed my words.”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 18

Jer 18.1-23 is a prophecy that tells us about the sovereign power of Yehovah over his creatures and creation and how he deals with them. He discusses the coming destruction of Judah for their idolatry and it has Jeremiah’s complaint about his enemies and what he would like to see happen to them. God’s power over his creatures is illustrated with a metaphor about the potter and the clay.

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

v 2…”Arise and go down (from his house or the Temple area) to the potter’s house (near Tophet south of the city), and there I will announce my words to you.”

v 3…Then I went down to the potter’s house and there he (the potter is a type of Yehovah here) was making something (like God working on Israel) on the wheel (literally “both stones” and symbolizes time).

v 4…But the vessel (Israel) that he was making of clay was spoiled (as he was working; Israel was spoiled by idolatry) in the hand of the potter. So he remade it into another vessel as it pleased the potter to make (a future generation; a believing remnant, will be put back on the wheel of time).

v 5…Then the word of the Lord came to me saying,

v 6…”Can I not, O house of Israel (twelve tribes), deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord (Yehovah). “Behold (see for yourself), like the clay in the potter’s handd, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

v 7…At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it (he reminds Israel how he delivered them from a nation he uprooted to be the people of God),

v 8…If that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent (this is an anthropomorphism which gives human qualities to God; his plan and foreknowledge leaves room for this and he is never wrong in his judgments) concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it (like Assyria in Jonah for instance).

v 9…Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it (like he did with Israel),

v 10…If it does evil in my sight by not obeying my voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it (by withholding any benefit to them to do good).

v 11…So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am fashioning calamity (evil) against you and devising a plan against you (like the potter who plans his vessel). Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds.”‘

v 12…But they say, ‘It’s hopeless, for we are going to follow our own plans (no use in talking to them, Jeremiah’s efforts would go unheeded), and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart (God knew their hearts and this is what they expressed in their actions).’

v 13…Therefore, thus says the Lord, ‘Ask now among the nations (non-Jewish pagans), who ever heard the like of this (of Israel’s shameful acts of idolatry and unfaithfulness to their God)? The virgin Israel (were never under the yoke of another nation until they committed spiritual adultery with other gods) has done a most appalling thing.

v 14…Does the snow of Lebanon forsake the rock of the open country (no, it is continually occurring)? Or is the cold flowing water from a foreign land ever snatched away (No, there is no interruption; the sense is, Israel should no more have left the living water of God’s word than the snow and the water have failed to flow from the mountains to the fields below).

v 15…For my people have forgotten me (the fountain of living waters-Jer 17.13), they burn incense to worthless gods and they have stumbled in their ways, from the ancient paths (the Torah-Jer 16.16), to walk in bypaths not on a highway (a new, unbeaten path and very dangerous),

v 16…to make their land a desolation, an object of perpetual hissing (which is a drawing in of the breath when men shudder in loathing and hatred); everyone who passes by it will be astonished and shake his head (in exultation).

v 17…Like an east wind I will scatter them (Babylon his tool) before the enemy; I will show them my back and not my face in the day of their calamity (he will not regard their cries for help).”

v 18…Then they (unbelieving Judah) said, “Come and let us devise plans against Jeremiah. Surely the law (Torah) is not going to be lost to the priest, nor counsel to the sage (the Ketuvim), nor the divine word to the prophet (the Nevi’im-this verse is the breakdown to the three realms of Jewish thought in the Scriptures, where we get “Tanak” from-see Ezek 7.26 also. They were saying they had other priests, sages and prophets besides Jeremiah, so we will seek the word of the Lord from them). Come on and let us strike at him with our tongue, and let us give no heed to any of his words.”

v 19…Do give heed to me (Jeremiah can go to Yehovah for help if nobody listens), O Lord, and listen to what my opponents (those who contend with me) are saying!

v 20…Should good be repaid with evil (he only meant good for them)? For they have dug a pit for me (for my soul). Remember how I stood before thee (to intercede for them) to speak on their behalf, so as to turn away thy wrath from them.

v 21…Therefore (since they won’t listen), give their children over to famine, and deliver them up to the power of the sword; and let their wives become childless and widowed. Let their men be smitten to death, their young men struck down by the sword in battle (he ceases to intercede because he knows they are now doomed).

v 22…Man an outcry be heard from their houses (because of the entrance of the enemy into the city), when thou suddenly bringest raiders upon them (Babylon); for they have dug a pit to capture me and hidden snares for my feet (a just retaliation).

v 23…Yet thou, O Lord, knowest all their deadly designs against me (no matter how hidden or how secret their plans, Yehovah knows); do not forgive their iniquity or blot out their sin from thy sight. But may they be overthrown before thee; deal with them in the time of thine anger (these curses are not because Jeremiah has some personal vengeance or agenda to settle, but because they refused to listen to Yehovah and are his enemies, and they have rejected the salvation that he has offered, so let his wrath come)!

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 17

Jer 17.1-27 is a collection of various prophecies and declarations written before the captivity . It continues the thought from the previous chapter about Judah’s sins in v 1-4 and then he goes on with various statements and declarations.

v 1…The sin of Judah is written down with an iron stylus (used to write on hard surfaces in a clear, evident and obvious way); with a diamond point it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart (a hard, stony surface) and on the hearts of their altars (on which the names of their gods were written-Acts 17.23).

v 2…As they remember their children (and trained them in idolatry), so they remember (did not forget) their altars and their Asherim (symbols of their immoral rites) by their green trees on the high hills.

v 3…O mountains of mine in the countryside (Jerusalem, Mount Moriah-Mic 3.12), I will give over your wealth and all your treasures for booty (your situation in the mountains is not impregnable), your high places (used for idolatry) for sin throughout your borders (of Judah).

v 4…and you will, even of yourself, let go of your inheritance that I gave you (the land of Canaan as a whole); and I will make you serve your enemies in the land which you do not know (Babylon); for you have kindled a fire in my anger which will burn forever (forever is the Hebrew “olam” and means for a long time; olam seems to mean indefinitely with reference to the nature of the thing being described. If the nature is God, then “olam” means eternal. If it is a man, it is for as long as he lives. If it is a relationship, it is for as long as the conditions upon which the relationship is based still holds. Olam does not mean “philosophic eternity” but it is relative to some base. For example, the ages in Jewish eschatology are called the “Olam Ha Zeh” (this present age) or the “Olam Haba” (the world to come). These mean long periods of time-Deut 32.7, 33.15; Hab 3.6; Exo 14.13; Jer 17.4, 25.9; 1 Sam 2.30. So, olam neither means “continuously in force” throughout time no matter what happens to the world, nor does it mean “irreversible” or something God cannot end if certain conditions exist, or if he wants to. In this case, it means for a long time but he will also restore them eventually and put his anger to rest).

v 5…Thus says the Lord (Yehovah), “Cursed (empowered to fail) is the man who trusts in mankind (Egypt in particular) and makes flesh (Hebrew “basar” and the term for “gospel” or “good news”) his strength (arm), whose heart turns away from the Lord (or trusting in Yehovah).

v 6…For he will be like a bush (or a tree without moisture, withered, a type of one without the word of the Lord) in the desert (aravah) and will not see (perceive or get an advantage) when prosperity comes (rain), but will live in stony places in the wilderness (b’midbar), a land of salt without inhabitant (no life).

v 7…Blessed (empowered to succeed) is the man who trusts in the Lord (Yehovah) and whose trust is the Lord.

v 8…For he will be like a tree (not a burned out shrub) planted by the water (with moisture, cool-Psa 1.3; Isa 61.3; Psa 96.12; a type of the word of God), that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat (adversity) comes; but its leaves (fruit, profession of what kind of a tree it is) will be green (full of life), and it will not be anxious in a year of drought (the tests in life) nor ceases to yield fruit (by the Ruach Ha Kodesh).

v 9…The heart (synonymous with mind, soul, spirit, thoughts, desires, intentions and is seen as the stomach, bowels, kidneys or the innermost being) is made deceitful (insidious) than all else and is desperately sick (incurable, weak, human ); who can know (understand) it (only God can; our righteousness, which are the good things about us, is seen as filthy rags or menstrual cloths-Isa 64.6; our sins are exchanged for righteousness through Yeshua-Isa 1.18; Isa 4.4)?

v 10…I, the Lord (Yehovah), search the heart (Hebrew “lev” or the motives-Psa 51.10; 1 Sam 6.6-7; he wants a mended heart and answers the question of v 9), I test (examine) the mind (Hebrew “kilayot” or kidneys and is synonymous with heart in a parallelism here), even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the result (fruit) of his deeds (Heb 4.12).

v 11…As a partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid (unjust gain), so is he who makes a fortune (riches) but unjustly; in the midst of his days it will forsake him (he will die and not enjoy the riches), and in the end he will be a fool (Hebrew “naval” or called a wicked man).

v 12…A glorious throne (throne of God) on high (in the Temple) from the beginning (since it was built and dedicated) is the place (Hebrew “makom” and an idiom for Yehovah and the Shekinah in the Temple-Ezek 43.7) of our sanctuary (“mikdashaynu”).

v 13…O Lord (Yehovah), the hope (Hebrew “mikveh” meaning the person confided in-1 John 3.3; Isa 8.6; Heb 3.6, 6.2) of Israel, all who forsake thee (as the hope) will be put to shame. Those who turn away from me (as his prophet and refuse Yehovah’s words) will be written down in the earth (where writing disappears), because they have forsaken the fountain (source of life and true teaching) of living water, even the Lord (This verse had a fulfillment in the life of Yeshua. In John 7.1 through 8.11, Yeshua is at the festival of Sukkot. One of the themes for this festival was rain and water after the harvest. On Hoshana Rabbah, meaning the “great salvation” and the seventh day of Sukkot, Yeshua stands up and says he is the fountain of living water and whoever believes in him will have rivers of living water. He said this during a water pouring ceremony in the Temple. He is alluding to the Ruach Ha Kodesh which the believers in him will have flowing out of them after his resurrection-John 7.39. The next day of Sukkot is called “Shemini Atzeret” or the “eighth day”-Lev 23.36. He was in the Temple again in John 8.1-11, and they brought a woman caught in adultery. This was a trap and Yeshua knew it because they did not bring the man. They wanted to test him so they could accuse him of not obeying the Torah because such a one should be stoned. Knowing this, he begins writing on the ground. He says that whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone at her. He is disqualifying the witnesses because they would have had to have seen the act, and the next question would have been, “Why were you there?” and “Where did the man go?” He is using the Torah to save her, and again, he writes on the ground. The Torah says there must be two witnesses to condemn her. He is using their consciences and hearts to convict them. Being Sukkot, Jer 17.13 was one of the verses that was studied because it deals with water. The day before, as we have said, Yeshua declared that he is the fountain of of living water described in Jer 17.13, and they turned away from him by trying to trap him with the woman taken in adultery. If he breaks the Torah command they will have grounds to kill him as a false prophet. As a result, he begins to write on the ground. What was he writing? Maybe he was writing the names of the people and their sins, beginning with the oldest. They took the hint and left him alone. So, Yeshua actually fulfilled this verse (gave it meaning) at the festival of Sukkot in John 7.1 through 8.11).

v 14…Heal me (Jeremiah senses his own sin), O Lord, and I will be healed (he can’t cure himself); save me and I will be saved (from corruption and the desires of his his enemies to kill him), for thou art my praise (the reason).

v 15…Look, they (his enemies) keep saying to me, “Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come now (Jeremiah prays for deliverance from his enemies, the ones he has agitated by his words. This tells us that his prophecies haven’t happened yet or come to pass).

v 16…But as for me (he is still a willing servant), I have not hurried away from being a shepherd after thee (he knew his calling and knew what he predicted was going to happen), nor have I longed for the woeful day (or wished for it, how could he; this is similar to the words of Yeshua in Luke 12.49-50. When judgment does come it will be too late for them and many will be lost, and this is what causes Jeremiah and Yeshua so much stress. For a deeper look into this concept, see the book, “Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus” by Roy Blizzard and David Biven, p. 78-103, Dstiny Image Pub.); thou thyself knowest the utterance of my lips was in they presence (he said what God had him say).

v 17…Do not be a terror to me (by abandoning him); thou art my my refuge in the day of evil (When Babylon comes or any outward calamity).

v 18…Let those who persecute me be put to shame, but as for me, let me not be put to shame (Jeremiah prays for justification); let them be dismayed (terrified) but let me not be dismayed (terrified). Bring on them the day of evil (punishment from Babylon but he did not want this day to come upon the people, just his persecutors), and crush them with two-fold destruction (meaning fully and completely)

v 19…Thus the Lord (Yehovah) said to me, “Go and stand in the public gate through which the kings (plural) of Judah come in and out (near the palace), as well as all the gates of Jerusalem (go to every gate and the most public places);

v 20…And say to them, ‘Listen to the word of the Lord, kings of Judah (this word concerns those of the highest rank and the lowest), and all Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who come in through these gates;

v 21.., Thus says the Lord , “Take heed for yourselves (and not sin), and do not carry any load on the sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem (this was an issue relating to work and commerce. This tells us that the violation of the Sabbath contributed to the destruction of Judah-Num 5.32; Neh 10.31, 13.18-21; Amos 8.5. Yeshua “loosed” this command and the rabbinic laws of Beit Shammai in John 5.10-17 to advertise a healing by the one healed carrying his pallet. Beit Shamma said this was not permissible and took issue with Yeshua, but Beit Hillel said it was, which was the majority viwe).

v 22…And you shall not bring a load out of your houses on the sabbath day or do any work, but keep the sabbath day holy (it has a kedusha with legal limitations and restrictions; the kedusha of time is marked by limits on man’s activities of work and construction), as I commanded your forefathers.

v 23…Yet they did not listen or incline their ears, but stiffened their necks in order not to listen or take correction (about the sabbath-Jer 31.18).

v 24…But it will come about, if you listen attentively (diligently) to me,” declares the Lord, “to bring no load in through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but to keep the sabbath day holy by doing no work on it,

v 25…Then there will come in through the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city will be inhabited forever (a long time).

v 26…They will come in from the cities of Judah and from the environs of Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the lowland (Shephelah Valley), from the hill country, and from the Negev, bringing burnt offerings (olah), sacrifices (zevachim), grain offerings (minchah) and incense (levonah), and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving (todah) to the house of the Lord (Beit Yehovah).

v 27…But if you do not listen to me to keep the sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I shall kindle a fire (of judgment) in its gates, and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem and not be quenched!”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 16

Jer 16.1-21 tells us about the distresses that are foretold for the people as punishment for their spiritual adulteries, but Yehovah will also restore them back to their own land (this will also allude to the Second Redemption) but only after a terrible exile. It also contains a promise that the non-Jews will realize all their pagan religions and beliefs contrary to the Torah is vain and worthless and they will also come to know Yehovah.

v 1…The word of the Lord also came to me saying,

v 2…”You shall not take a wife for yourself nor have sons or daughters in this place (Judah because he will see them die or be carried away-Matt 19.12, 24.19; Luke 23.29; 1 Cor 7.6-29).

v 3…For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bear them, and their fathers who begeet them in this land;

v 4…They will die of deadly diseases, they will not be lamented or buried; they will be as dung on the surface of the ground and come to an end by sword and famine, and their carcasses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth.”

v 5…For thus says the Lord, “Do not enter a house of mourning (“banquet” in Amos 6.7 and associated with mourning) or go to lament or to console them; for I have withdrawn my peace from this people,” declares the Lord, “my lovingkindness and compassion.”

v 6…”Both great men and small will die in this land; they will not be buried, they will not be lamented, nor will anyone gash himself or shave his head for them (pagan customs for mourning-Lev 19.28, 21.5;Deut 14.1-2).

v 7…Neither will men break bread in mourning for them to comfort anyone for the dead, nor give them a cup of consolation to drink for anyone’s father or mother.

v 8…Moreover you shall not go into a house of feasting to sit with them to eat and drink (have nothing to do with them in mourning or feasting, in sadness or in joy).

v 9…For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I am going to eliminate from this place before your eyes and in your time the voice of rejoicing and the voice of gladness, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride.

v 10…Now it will come about when you tell this people all these words that they will say to you, ‘For what reason has the Lord declared all this calamity against us? And what is our iniquity, or what is our sin which we have committed against the Lord our God (as if they were innocent and didn’t know why all this was happening. But in reality, they knew)?’

v 11…”Then you are to say them, ‘It is because your forefathers have forsaken me,’ declares the Lord (the sins did not begin with that generation but it had been going on for a long time), ‘and have followed other gods and served them and bowed down to them; but me they have forsaken and have not kept my law (or Torah; here is the basic idea of spiritual warfare. Basic warfare is when one imposes his will over another. Strategy is how to win the war. A tactic is how to win battles. In spiritual warfare, the strategy of our enemy is to take the Torah away from the people, Jewish or non-Jewish, so that they do not know the Lord. The tactic is to get the Jews to look at what the non-Jews have done to them in the past and not see the Messiah in the Torah in his fullness. For the non-Jew it is to bring in confusion as to what the Torah is, what the concepts are and who the Messiah really is and what God said in relation to the Torah, and to not study the Torah at all. Then the two groups must be kept apart. This also applies to us personally).

v 12…’You too have done evil, more than your forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to me.

v 13…So I will hurl you out of this land (head first, by force) into the land which you have not known (Babylon, Mesopotamia), neither you nor your fathers (Abraham did, but noe of the recent generations did); and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I shall grant you no favor (they want to worship Babylonian gods, then they will go to Babylon).’

v 14…”Therefore behold, days are coming (Israel’s restoration and redemption is prophesied when Messiah comes),” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt (this is the second, or messianic, redemption; why would they say this in Babylon now? The exile will render this meaningless unless it refers to a later time-Hos 2.14; Isa 11.10-12; Jer 23.5, 33.1-26; Mic 7.7-20),’

v 15…but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers (Jer 23.8).

v 16…”Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen (conquerors and speaks to the ease by which they will be caught),” declares the Lord, “and they will fish for them; and afterwards I shall send for many hunters (like Nimrod in Gen 10.9 and speaks of the keenness of their pursuit into every cave or hole) and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and from the clefts of the rocks.

v 17…For my eyes are on all their ways (evil ways); they are not hidden from my face, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes (the root cause of their trouble).

v 18…And I will first doubly repay their iniquity and their sin (meaning completely and fully-Isa 40.2; Job 11.16; Jer 17.18), because they have polluted my land; they have filled my inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable idols (‘Sikkutz”-1 Kings 11.5) and their abominations (the Abomination of Desolation is a an idol that causes horror).”

v 19…O Lord, my strength and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of distress (the confidence of Jeremiah, but this also alludes to the Birth-pains or “tribulation” in the last days), to thee the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, “Our fathers have inherited nothing but falsehood (all the pagan religions and replacement theology of today will come to Yehovah), futility and things of no profit (all terms for idolatry).”

v 20…Can man make gods for himself (being weak himself)? Yet they are not gods (teyt are made by man and have “deity” imparted to them, something man does not have himself)!

v 21…”Therefore behold, I am going to make them know (the non-Jews)-this time I will make them know my power and my might; and they shall know that my name is the Lord (Yehovah and all it implies-Exo 6.3).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 15

Jer 15.1-21 contains Yehovah’s answer to Jeremiah’s prayers. Judgment must come. Jeremiah complains about the hardships, but Yehovah will protect him. Judah is going into exile.

v 1…Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before me (famous intercessors), my heart (“nefesh” or soul) would not be with this people; send them away from my presence and let them go (tell them this is coming)!

v 2…And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord; “Those destined for death, to death; and those destined for the sword, to the sword; and those destined for famine, to famine; and those destined for captivity, to captivity (this is like the four horsemen of the book of Revelation-Rev 6.1-8).

v 3…And I shall appoint over them four kinds kinds (of agents for doom),” declares the Lord: the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.

v 4…And I shall make them an object of horror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem (the idolatry and the murder he did in Jerusalem, even when he had a godly father-2 Kings 23.26).

v 5…Indeed, who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem, or who will mourn for you, or who turn aside to ask about your welfare (none will pity them because their sin was so grievous)?

v 6…You who have forsaken me, declares the Lord, “You keep going backward (spiritual movement does not relate to distance that can be measured as in physical movement. “Near” means “similar to” and “far” means “different, opposite”-Jer 7.24), so I will stretch out my hand against you and destroy you; I am tired of relenting (giving you another chance)!

v 7…And I will winnow them with a winnowing fork at the gates of the land (the wheat and the chaff will be separated); I will bereave them of children (die), I will destroy my people; they did not repent of their ways.

v 8…Their widows will be more numerous before me than the sand of the seas (at the siege of Jerusalem and captivity the men were slain); I will bring against them, against the mother of a young man, a destroyer (Nebuchadnezzar) at noonday (not in secret); I will suddenly bring down on her anguish and dismay.

v 9…She who bore seven sons (also seen as Jerusalem) pines away; she has breathed out her last (blew out her soul). Her sun has set while it was yet day (darkness of affliction and distress came sooner than she thought); she has been shamed and humiliated, so I will deliver the rest of them to the sword before her enemies,” declares the Lord (of those who remain).

v 10…Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me as a man of strife and a man of contention in the land (others quarreled with Jeremiah and contended with him, and he was hated by many)! I have neither lent nor have men lent money to me (given cause to be hated by so many), yet everyone curses me (without a good reason).

v 11…Yehovah said, “Surely I will set you free for purposes of good (Yehovah will protect Jeremiah), surely I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you in a time of disaster and a time of distress (he will be treated better by the Babylonians).

v 12…Can anyone smash iron, iron from the north, or bronze (the strength of Babylon from the north comes from Yehovah in judgment)?

v 13…Your wealth and your treasures (Judah’s) I will give for booty without cost (free spoil to the Babylonians), even for all your sins and within all your borders (everything in the land will be plundered).

v 14…Then I will cause your enemies to bring it into a land you do not know (Babylon); for a fire has been kindled in my anger, it will burn upon you (judgment on Judah).

v 15…Thou who knowest (my case), O Lord, remember me (with favor), take notice me (in mercy), and take vengeance for me on my persecutors (for the sake of God’s name and his glory, in which he was working). Do not, in view of thy patience, take me away (by death); know that for thy sake I endure reproach (in bringing God’s message to the people).

v 16…Thy words were found and I ate them (he was satisfied to communicate them), and thy words became for me a joy and a delight of my heart (accepted into his being); for I have been called by thy name (as God’s agent or “shaliach”); O Lord of hosts.

v 17…I did not sit in the circle (Hebrew “sowd” or inner council) of merrymakers, nor did I exult (the situation was too serious, he did not join the others who mocked God). Because of thy hand upon me I sat alone (did not fellowship with those who he was sent to warn), for thou didst fill me with indignation (at what they were doing).

v 18…Why has my pain been perpetual and my wound incurable, refusing to be healed (a Hebrew parallelism meaning the pain in his mind had no hope of changing. The people just would not repent and they reproached him)? Wilt thou indeed be to me as a deceptive stream with water that is reliable (a wadi will seem dry, then all of a sudden it rushes with water upon you and you could drown. Jeremiah knew the Lord to be good on his word, but he feared his enemies would rush upon him and triumph over him and say God was not with him).

v 19…Therefore, thus says the Lord, “If you return (from your doubts and lack of self-confidence as seen in the previous verses), then I will restore you (to his function as a prophet) before me you will stand; and if you extract the the precious (truth) from the worthless (your own hasty words and corruptions), you will become my spokesman (as my mouth), they for their part may turn to you (you will influence them), but as for you you must not turn to them (be influenced by them like the false prophets).

v 20…Then I will make you to this people a fortified wall (as promised in Jer 1.18); and though they fight against you, they will not prevail over you (contradict what he is saying and take his life); for I am with you to save you and deliver you (from his troubles), “declares the Lord.

v 21…So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked (the men of Judah)), and I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent (the Babylonians).”

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 14

Jer 14.1-22 tells us that Jeremiah gives a prophecy about a drought and famine, and a prayer for mercy.

v 1…That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah in regard to the drought (as a result of their sins (Lev 26.19-20; Deut 28.15-68):

v 2…”Judah mourns, and her gates (the courts met there, a public place for business) languish (cease). They sit on the ground in mourning, and the cry of Jerusalem has ascended (in despair, but the drought and famine continued).

v 3…And their nobles have sent their servants for water; they have come to the cisterns and found no water (anymore). They have returned with their vessels empty; they have been put to shame and humiliated, and they cover their heads (the princes and the nobles are in mourning).

v 4…Because the ground is cracked, for there has been no rain on the land; the farmers have been put to shame (could not work), they have covered their heads (in mourning).

v 5…For even the doe in the field has given birth only to abandon their young, because there is no grass.

v 6…And the wild donkeys stand on the bare heights; they pant for air like jackals (sniffing the air for water), their eyes fail for there is no vegetation (gasping for water and for food).

v 7…Although our iniquities testify against us, O Lord, act for thy names sake (even though Jeremiah was told not to intercede for this people, he felt moved to do so because the scene of all this suffering was too much. Yehovah said he would not listen in Jer 11.14)! Truly our apostasies have been many, we have sinned agaisnt thee.

v 8…O hope (mikveh) of Israel, its savior (moshiach) in time of distress (they people realized this too late), why art thou like a stranger in the land or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for the night (as one who has no interest, indifferent)?

v 9…Why art thou like a man dismayed (unconcerned), like a mighty man who cannot save (or won’t exert his power)? Yet thou art in the midst, O Lord (in the Temple), and we are called by thy name (his people-Deut 9.29); do not forsake us (lay us down)!”

v 10…Thus says the Lord to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander (following idols); they have not kept their feet in check (from going to Egypt and Assyria for help or to other temples to worship). Therefore, the Lord (Yehovah) does not accept them; now he will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account (their idolatry, alliances, murder, theft, etc).”

v 11…So the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the welfare of this people (1 John 5.16).

v 12…When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering (Korban Olah) and grain offering (Korban Minchah), I am not going to accept them. Rather, I am going to make an end of them by the sword (war), famine and pestilence.”

v 13…But, “Ah, Lord God!” I said, “Look, the prophets (false ones) are telling them, ‘You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I will give you lasting (true) peace (shalom) in this place (much of the guilt of the people is due to the influence of these false prophets).'”

v 14…The the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in my name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds (“lev” or heart in Hebrew-they were ignorant of the word of God).

v 15…Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who are prophesying in my name, although it was not I who sent them-yet they keep saying, ‘There shall be no sword or famine in the land’-by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end (be consumed-this is an example of the concept called “midah kneged midah” or “measure for measure”)!

v 16…The people also to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and there will be no one to bury them-neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters-for I shall pour out their own wickedness son them (contrary to their prophecies, God is going to fulfill his word over theirs).

v 17…And you will say this word to them (instead of a prayer for them, Yehovah gives Jeremiah a lamentation), ‘Let my (Jeremiah) eye flow down with tears night and day (9.1), and let them not cease; for the virgin daughter of my people (they have never been under a foreign yoke till now) has been crushed with a mighty blow, with a surely infected wound.

v 18…If I go out to the country (where the enemy camps were), behold (see), those slain with the sword (because they tried to escape or they went out to fight them)! Or if I enter the city (Jerusalem); behold, diseases of famine (those ready to die, no food, many dead lying unburied)! For both prophet and priest have gone up into a land that they do not know (the land has changed so much they do not even recognize it).”

v 19…Hast thou completely rejected Judah (again, Jeremiah pleads with Yehovah)? Or hast thou loathed Zion? Why hast thou stricken us so that we are beyond healing? We waited for peace, but nothing good came; and for a time of healing, but behold, terror (they had neglected Yehovah and the Torah for so long it had influenced them so that they could not even see he had rejected them good this time)!

v 20…We know our wickedness, O Lord, the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against thee (Jeremiah is doing this on behalf of the faithful few of the people who had realized the extent of their own sin and how they imitated the sins of their fathers).

v 21…Do not despise us, for thine own name’s sake (for the sake of God’s honor not their own); do not disgrace the throne of thy glory (Jerusalem where the Temple was-Jer 3.17); remember and do not annul the covenant with us (Yehovah does not break his covenant, but man does, and it may seem like it is broken, but he will never break it because he is faithful to it).

v 22…Are there any among the idols (vanities) of the nations who give rain (the answer is “No”)? Or can the heavens grant showers (not on their own-Job 38.28)? Is it not thou, O Lord our God? Therefore we hope (are in expectation) in thee (for the rain), for thou art the one who hast done all these things (none of the false gods and idols can do anything to benefit those who worship them. Yehovah is their only hope so they will wait for his favor).

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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