News Letter 5846-058
22nd day of the 12th month 5846 years after creation
The 12th Month in the first year of the third Sabbatical Year
The Third Sabbatical Year of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
February 26, 2011
Shabbat Shalom Brethren,
We are now in the final phase of this twelfth month of 5846. We now await word from Nehemiah Gordon as to whether or not the Barley will be Aviv. If it is Aviv then we begin the New Year next week. If it is not Aviv then we add one more month, and then Passover will be in April. Watch for word from Israel very soon.
Many of you may want to look at and consider downloading the tool bar from http://www.solaceradio.com/ which is now playing Jono’s Truth2U 24/7 along with a number of other teachers. I am planning on teaching you the entire Sabbatical and Jubilee teachings including the Prophecies of Abraham over the coming weeks and months on the radio. I am so looking forward to this. So your prayers are asked for each of the Radio Stations that teach Torah will continue to grow and flourish.
Hebrew Nations and Solice Radio and Maria Merola on talk Shoe as well as Jono, all need your prayers and help. If there are others you know of let them know about The Prophecies of Abraham and the Sabbatical cycles and maybe I could share these teachings on their shows as well. Those of you who are reading the book tell others and share the warning of the times we are now it. Many Christians know something is happening in Egypt but have no clue as to what. They will be part of this great deception that Satan is about to pull off; Will you?
Two weeks ago we showed you the Sabbath and last week we showed you when the Month begins so that you would know when each of the Holy Days come.
Each time I post a News letter I get some strange responses almost every week.
I got one this past week from a couple who would claim they are the elect and as you can read they do use the sacred name.
please discontinue sending me anything from sighted moon or any other jewish crap! you jews who say u r jews, but are not, are really edomites through esau!!! and furthermore…are of the synagogue of satan!!! yahweh rebuke thee and thy website!!!
Mark and Bev
Brethren we need to pray for this couple and for the many others who are like them, as they did not develop that line of thinking on their own.
Another person wrote in to tell me about how the Sabbath was changed because of the 10 days that were removed from the calendar and the many other calendar changes over history. This sort of conclusion comes from very poor research. So right now I would like to urge you all to go and read this article about Has Time Been lost so that when someone comes up to you and say it is impossible to know when the Sabbath is you will have an answer. http://cog-ff.com/site/cog_archives/booklets/HAS%20TIME%20BEEN%20LOST.htm
Why am I sharing with you each week the Sabbath and the start of the calendar and other information about how to keep the Holy and set apart times?
Because the Sabbath is the mark of Yehovah. It is what is going to identify those who are his and those who are not. It is his test commandment as He tells us in Exodus 16:4 And יהוה said to Mosheh, “See, I am raining bread from the heavens for you. And the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, in order to try them, whether they walk in My Torah or not.
The Sabbath is a test commandment and it is there each week to test you and it is there when each Holy Day or appointed time comes around each year again to test you and the Sabbatical and Jubilee years are also there as a test to see if you will obey or not.
When Yehshua comes back and we are standing before the judgement seat and then He says in Mathew 7: 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Which one are you? Are you going to be those who obey and keep the commandments or are you one of those who twist the scriptures and hates the Sabbath and the Jews and does not have to keep the Torah because of a lie you have swallowed that says you are saved by grace alone?
Yehshua said to us;
John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
And the one commandment that most people will not keep is the 4th one, to keep Holy the Sabbath.
In Leviticus 23 we are told what those holy times are. So let us read through this chapter. As I have said so many times. If you cannot find the holiday you are keeping in Leviticus 23 then why on earth are you keeping it? You will notice Christmas and Easter are not mentioned in Lev 23, nor is Purim or Chanukah, nor is Ramadan mention in Lev 23. And because they are not here then why on earth are you keeping it?
Lev 23:1 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
Lev 23:2 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of יהוה, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these:
These Are Yehovah’s Holy Days not mans and not any religious groups. They are His as He just stated. They do not belong to the Jews, they are for all men in every country all around the world.
Lev 23:3 ‘Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to יהוה in all your dwellings.
The very first appointed time is the weekly seventh day Sabbath from Sunset Friday evening to Sunset Saturday evening. As we showed you two weeks ago.
Lev 23:4 ‘These are the appointed times of יהוה, set-apart gatherings which you are to proclaim at their appointed times.
We are to gather on these Holy Appointments. Did you or do you grasp that? We are commanded to gather together in these special set apart times. These Holy Days are counted from the first day the sighted Moon is seen in ISrael.
Lev 23:5 ‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the evenings, is the Passover to יהוה.
Now that we know the month begins with the sighted moon once the Aviv has been declared then all we have to do is count to 14 to arrive at the day of Passover. Again here it is stated very clearly that the 14th is between the evenings. From Sunset to Sunset. Right here Yehovah is addressing the new age teaching in modern time which makes the Sabbath the day only. It is from sunset to sunset.
Lev 23:6 ‘And on the fifteenth day of this month is the Festival of Unleavened Bread to יהוה – seven days you eat unleavened bread.
Lev 23:7 ‘On the first day you have a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work.
On the first day of this 7 day period of Unleavened Bread you do no work. And for 7 days starting on the 15th day of this first month we are commanded to eat Unleavened bread. You need to eat unleavened bread each day during this time. So you must order it in or find a Jewish store that sells it. But you must eat it for seven days. You must also remove all leaven from your homes before this time comes along.
This is where we get the term spring cleaning from. Remove all leaven, all yeast and food containing yeast from your homes and from your property. You check all your rooms and then lastly you clean the kitchen and then you take out the garbage and the dirt in the vacuum cleaner, so that no leaven is found on your property. Don’t forget the work place and your cars.
And sin is represented as leaven in your life. If you work hard to remove the leaven it is like working hard to remove sin from your life. This is the lesson to be learned here.
Lev 23:8 ‘And you shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה for seven days. On the seventh day is a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work.’ ”
Lev 23:9 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
Lev 23:10 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.
Lev 23:11 ‘And he shall wave the sheaf before יהוה, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it.
Here we are told to wave the Barley wave sheaf offering. This is why we must make sure we have barley, ripen barley so that we can make the wave offering the morrow after the weekly Sabbath; this is Sunday when the wave sheaf is made. This is the day Yehshua ascended to heaven as the first fruits offering.
Lev 23:12 ‘And on that day when you wave the sheaf, you shall prepare a male lamb a year old, a perfect one, as a burnt offering to יהוה,
Lev 23:13 and its grain offering: two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to יהוה, a sweet fragrance, and its drink offering: one-fourth of a hin of wine.
Lev 23:14 ‘And you do not eat bread or roasted grain or fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Elohim – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
Again I ask you what part of forever is done away with. This law is forever.
Lev 23:15 ‘And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths.
Lev 23:16 ‘Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה.
Here we are told to count from the morrow after the Sabbath, that the wave offering was made on that Sunday, we are told to count 50 days which will take us to the morrow after the seventh Sabbath; again on Sunday. When you do this those people who are lunar Sabbath theorist are proven wrong. And this annual reminder is an example of the Jubilee cycle of 7 Sabbatical cycles followed by the 50th year which is also the first year of the next cycle the same as the 50th day is also on the first day of the week.
Lev 23:17 ‘Bring from your dwellings for a wave offering two loaves of bread, of two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour they are, baked with leaven, first-fruits to יהוה.
This grain offering is made with leaven. It is the wheat that is used at this time and it has leaven in it. This represent us and we are to be part of this wheat offering that is yet to come.
Lev 23:18 ‘And besides the bread, you shall bring seven lambs a year old, perfect ones, and one young bull and two rams. They are a burnt offering to יהוה, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to יהוה.
Lev 23:19 ‘And you shall offer one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old, as a peace offering.
Lev 23:20 ‘And the priest shall wave them, besides the bread of the first-fruits, as a wave offering before יהוה, besides the two lambs. They are set-apart to יהוה for the priest.
Lev 23:21 ‘And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on it – a law forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
This day of Pentecost is another Holy Day and you are to gather together and it is to be kept throughout our generations forever.
Lev 23:22 ‘And when you reap the harvest of your land do not completely reap the corners of your field when you reap, and do not gather any gleaning from your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the stranger. I am יהוה your Elohim.’ ”
Lev 23:23 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
Lev 23:24 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you have a rest, a remembrance of blowing of trumpets, a set-apart gathering.
Lev 23:25 ‘You do no servile work, and you shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה.’ ”
Here we come to the 1st day of the seventh month. Here is the expression or that Hebrewism that no man can know the day or the hour of the return of the Son of Man. Why, because you will not know when the 1st day of the seventh month will be until the Moon is seen. And you will not know until that very moment. This month, this Holy day waits for two witnesses to shout out when the moon is seen at this time.
Lev 23:26 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
Lev 23:27 “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה.
Lev 23:28 “And you do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before יהוה your Elohim.
Lev 23:29 “For any being who is not afflicted on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people.
Lev 23:30 “And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people.
Lev 23:31 “You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
Lev 23:32 ‘It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.”
We now come to The Day of Atonement, the day of The Fast when we do not eat or drink from Sunset to Sunset just as all the other Sabbaths are kept. This is the day when the Books of Life are closed and sealed. A most solemn and important day; make sure you do not eat or drink on this day.
Lev 23:33 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
Lev 23:34 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Booths for seven days to יהוה.
Lev 23:35 ‘On the first day is a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work.
Lev 23:36 ‘For seven days you bring an offering made by fire to יהוה. On the eighth day there shall be a set-apart gathering for you, and you shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה. It is a closing festival, you do no servile work.
Now we come to the Feast of tabernacles which represents the Wedding supper and the millennial time. Once again we are to gather together at this time for 7 days. Yes for 7 days we are to be away from our homes and be with like minded believers and learn Torah together.
Lev 23:37 ‘These are the appointed times of יהוה which you proclaim as set-apart gatherings, to bring an offering made by fire to יהוה, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a slaughtering and drink offerings, as commanded for every day –
Lev 23:38 besides the Sabbaths of יהוה, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your voluntary offerings which you give to יהוה.
Lev 23:39 ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you gather in the fruit of the land, observe the festival of יהוה for seven days. On the first day is a rest, and on the eighth day a rest.
The Eighth Day is another and the last Feast. It represents the final judgment of the Great White throne and at this time all those who have ever lived are brought back to life and after this Yehovah Himself will come and dwell with man on earth and live with us forever.
Lev 23:40 ‘And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of good trees, branches of palm trees, twigs of leafy trees, and willows of the stream, and shall rejoice before יהוה your Elohim for seven days.
Lev 23:41 ‘And you shall observe it as a festival to יהוה for seven days in the year – a law forever in your generations. Observe it in the seventh month.
Lev 23:42 ‘Dwell in booths for seven days; all who are native Yisra’ĕlites dwell in booths,
Lev 23:43 so that your generations know that I made the children of Yisra’ĕl dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Mitsrayim. I am יהוה your Elohim.’ ”
Lev 23:44 Thus did Mosheh speak of the appointed times of יהוה to the children of Yisra’ĕl.
Notice you are told to do this forever. What part of forever has stopped? Then why are you not keeping these Holy Days?
What we have just done is looked at the 4th commandment which is the mark of Yehovah. If you’re not keeping these days then you do not have the mark of Yehovah on you but instead do wear the mark of Satan. So right now I urge you to go and read The Mark of Beast at http://www.sightedmoon.com/?page_id=17
Here are two other article I shared last week and do so now again.
Conjunction or Sighted Which? At http://www.sightedmoon.com/?page_id=22 and the second article is The Return of Yehshua at http://www.sightedmoon.com/?page_id=20
Christians have no idea what the Holy Days mean and why we observe them and this is why we have gone through Lev 23. They have baskets full of excuses why they will not keep them. It is only when you keep them that you would understand that the Feast of Trumpets represents the return of the Messiah on this day in the seventh month. Yehshua was not born December 25th as the world believes, nor at Sukkoth as some Messianic believe.
For those who are new and need to learn more about all the Holy Days, we will cover them more as they approach. But in the mean time many of you need to order this booklet and read it and gain a grasp for the meaning of each Holy Day and why we keep it. The group that gives this booklet away does keep the Hebrew calendar as does the Jewish community, and last week you learned and proved why the sighted moon is the proper way to start the month, you can keep this in mind as you read the booklet.
http://www.ucg.org/booklets/HD/ God’s Holy Day Plan
I would also like to share with you an article Nehemiah Gordon sent out this week about the Equinox.
With the Aviv Search coming up in two weeks I’ve several e-mails asking me about observing Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) before the Vernal Equinox. I usually respond with, “Where does it say anything about the Vernal Equinox in Scripture?” Last year I sent out a note entitled “Will the Real Equinox Please Stand Up”. Below is the note updated for 2011 along with some new info at the end.
To learn more about how the ripening of the Aviv Barley affects the beginning of the biblical year please see this study.
It’s not too late to support the Aviv Search by sending a donation to:
Makor Hebrew Foundation, POB 13, Mansfield, TX 76063 or clicking on the donate button here.
Our main expenses are related to travelling around Israel examining barley fields, especially gas (nearly $7.50 a gallon in Israel), car rental, etc. Every donation helps cover these expenses. Thank you for your support.
Now, Will the Real Equinox Please Stand Up, 2011 Update
Some people object that the true indicator for the beginning of the Biblical year should not be the Aviv barley but the Vernal Equinox, the day which marks the beginning of Spring. They base this on an anachronism in the rabbinical interpretation of the biblical Hebrew word Tekufah (”circuit”). An anachronism is erroneously placing something from a later time period into an earlier one. For example, speaking about telephones in ancient Rome is an anachronism. Interpreting the Biblical Hebrew word “Tekufah” as “equinox”, a meaning it never had in Tanakh times, is an anachronism. I won’t go into too much detail here about the word Tekufah as I have done so in the past. For more information on this topic please see:
Today I want to point out another anachronism in the application of the vernal equinox by those who claim it has a role in the Biblical calendar. Specifically I want to ask the question: If we are really required to use the vernal equinox for the biblical calendar, then which equinox? The problem is that there was no reliable way to calculate the timing of the Vernal Equinox in antiquity. Today modern astronomers have worked out with a high degree of accuracy the exact timing of the Vernal Equinox. The prerequisite for determining the true equinox was discovering the exact length of the solar year. According to modern astronomers a solar year is 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes 46 seconds and this year the equinox falls out on March 20, 2011 11:21pm UTC. Easy, right? Not so fast. The true value of the solar year was not known until modern times.
Fear not, say advocates of the equinox, Moses had secret astronomical knowledge learned at the court of Pharaoh. This secret knowledge supposedly included the exact calculation to work out the true timing of the Vernal Equinox. If Moses had this secret knowledge it was unfortunately unknown to later Jews. The early Rabbis mention the Vernal Equinox but they did not have a way of reliably calculating it because they did not know the true length of the solar year. There were actually two contradictory opinions about the length of the solar year and both were wrong. According to Rabbi Samuel the solar year was 365 days 6 hours whereas Rabbi Ada reckoned the solar year to be 365 days 5 hours 55 minutes 25.4 seconds. The difference between these two values may sound trivial but they result in the Vernal Equinox falling out on different days, neither of which is the correct day! For example, this year the Equinox of Samuel falls out on April 8, 2011 whereas the Equinox of Ada is March 28, 2011. The true Vernal Equinox in Jerusalem time comes out to March 21, 2011 at 1:21am - 7 days before the Equinox of Ada and 18 days before the Equinox of Samuel. Which one of these three values did Moses supposedly use: the Equinox of Ada, the Equinox of Samuel, or the true astronomical value only worked out in modern times? If this knowledge was known to Moses then why was it unknown to every other ancient civilization including the Jews? Did God really intend for us to wait for the advent of modern astronomy to know the true timing of the biblical feasts? Or did he set out a simple system that ancient Israelite farmers could easily follow by looking at their crops as they grew in the fields? It seems to me this is what the Creator was talking about when he said: “Observe the Month of the Aviv” in Deuteronomy 16:1. No need for secret astronomical knowledge; just a simple way to track the solar cycle relevant to an ancient farming society.
To make matters even more interesting, the Vernal Equinox is calculated today as a moment in time not as a day. As already mentioned, this year the Vernal Equinox will be March 21, 2011 at 1:21am Israel time. In the Hebrew reckoning, the day begins at sunset and this is well after sunset presumably making March 20 at sunset until March 21 at sunset the day of the Vernal Equinox. But not so fast with this either! The ancients defined the equinox as the day on which daytime and nighttime were of equal length, as we can see from the following quotation from the Jerusalem Talmud (Berachot 2c 1:1): “On both the Vernal Equinox and Autumnal Equinox the day and the night are equal”. So when would that be for observers in the Land of Israel? Considering that they did not have accurate clocks in ancient times, this would be no small feat to figure out, which is why both Samuel and Ada got it wrong. If you look at TimeAndDate.com for the day on which the daytime and nighttime are equal in Jerusalem you get a surprising result: March 17! On March 17 there will be 12h 00m 41s of daytime and 11h 59m 19s of nighttime. So is the “Biblical” equinox March 17 based on day lengths in Jerusalem? Or March 21 based on modern astronomy? Or March 28 or April 8 based on the ancient values of the year according to Samuel and Ada? Check the Jerusalem day lengths in March 2011 for yourself.
The ancients could theoretically have used the falling of shadows over the period of a year to figure out the timing of the equinox and then after a number of years correlated this to the rising of the sun at a fixed point on the horizon. This is what was presumably done at Stonehenge and similar sites. However, this would not bring them the correct day based on the equal length of days and night and the values of Samuel and Ada prove they did not use this method for the calendar.
Now just for fun, let’s look at the ancient Pharisee use of the equinox. The rabbis believed in determining the beginning of the year based on three factors of which the Aviv was considered the most important but not the only one. The other two were the Vernal Equinox and the ripening of unspecified “fruits of the trees” (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 11b). What the rabbis looked at when it came to the equinox was that the 16th of Nissan would fall on or after the Vernal Equinox. If it didn’t, then they added a 13th month, Adar Bet (Rosh Hashanah 21a). The problem is there are four different ways to calculate the Vernal Equinox:
• Equinox acc. to equal daytime and nighttime: March 17
• Equinox of Ada: March 28
• Equinox of Samuel: April 8
• Equinox acc. to modern astronomy: March 21
If the Aviv is found on March 6, it would make the 16th of Nissan on March 22, too early for Ada and Samuel but perfect timing based on modern astronomy and the day with equal daytime and nighttime. The ancient Pharisees used the equinox of Samuel for this purpose and this was later incorporated into the Hillel II calendar. This is why the modern rabbinical calendar has a leap year this year, based on the incorrect value that places the equinox on April 8.
Here is a reference to a letter written around 40 CE, a generation before Josephus telling us about the sun being in Aries, and it reflects an earlier Pharisee observance before the equinox or constellations were used:
It once happened that Rabban Gamaliel was sitting on a step on the Temple Mount, and the well known Scribe Yohanan was standing before him with three cut sheets [of parchment] lying before him. He said to him, …take the third [sheet] and write to our brethren, the Exiles of Babylon and to those in Media, and to all the other exiled [sons] of Israel, saying: ‘May your peace be great forever! We beg to inform that the doves are still tender, and the lambs are still young, and the Aviv is not yet ripe. It seems advisable to me and to my colleagues to add thirty days to this year.’” (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 11b)
The following are two commentaries from www.thetrumpet.com
Throughout the Egyptian crisis, the Muslim Brotherhood kept quiet as its Western apologists defended the movement, saying it was not extremist or violent and that there was no connection between the organization and Iran or al Qaeda or the Taliban, and so on.
But now that Mubarak is out of the way, the Brotherhood’s true colors have quickly resurfaced.
On Tuesday, Der Spiegel published an exposé on Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the “father figure” of the Muslim Brotherhood who advocates a “United Muslim Nations.”
One of the most popular Muslim clerics in the Middle East, Qaradawi has written at least 100 books and his weekly television program is viewed by 60 million Muslims on Al-Jazeera. He hates Jews and has asked Allah to kill “every last one” of them.
Mubarak banned Qaradawi from preaching in Egypt in 1981, but today Qaradawi is making his triumphant return. Incredibly, he will receive a military escort to Cairo’s Tahrir Square in order to deliver a Friday prayer sermon.
Columnist Barry Rubin writes,“The massing of hundreds of thousands of people in the square to hear Islamic services and a sermon by a radical Islamist is not the kind of thing that’s been going on under the 60-year-old military regime that was recently overthrown.
“The context is also the thanking of Qaradawi for his support of the revolution, an implication that he is somehow its spiritual father. …”
Just one month ago, Egypt was seen as a bastion of strength and stability in the region.
It’s amazing how fast prophetic events are now unfolding in the Middle East.
According to Israeli legislator Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Hosni Mubarak issued a warning the day before he resigned in a 20-minute telephone conversation between the two: “They may be talking about democracy but they don’t know what they’re talking about and the result will be extremism and radical Islam,” Ben-Eliezer quoted Mubarak as saying on February 10. “Egyptians are revolting against Western-style democracy,” Investor’s Business Daily recently editorialized. “They want an Islamic theocracy.” Mubarak understood this, which is why he told President Obama on February 3, “You don’t understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now.” Now that Mubarak is gone, we are about to see what happens next. As Mubarak told Ben-Eliezer, “I won’t be surprised if in the future you see more extremism and radical Islam and more disturbances—dramatic changes and upheavals.”
Today, just seven days after Mubarak fled Cairo for Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt is celebrating the homecoming of a wildly popular, radical extremist who prays for the extermination of Jews, approves of wife-beating and supports suicide bombings that target defenceless civilians.
What is happening in the Middle East and North Africa must be measured in tandem with events occurring just as dramatically to their north. These events are going to propel another nation increasingly into the spotlight—the economic powerhouse of Germany!
As we have pointed out in the past, the Bundeswehr is presently deployed in a perimeter that surrounds the crucial oil states of the Middle East.
The German Navy currently fulfills a mandate to secure the crucial Mediterranean Sea, bordering the presently destabilized northern rim of Africa. It has a strengthened presence off the coast of Lebanon. The German Navy is also deployed off the coast of Somalia, assisting in securing the crucial southern access points to Suez and the Persian Gulf. Germany currently provides the third-largest contingent of troops to the Afghanistan campaign, in addition to having a presence in Uzbekistan.
Thus it is that Germany is well advanced in securing toeholds in this strategic perimeter surrounding the main Middle East oil states, in particular Iran.
Watch Northern Africa closely as the competition for influence over the southern rim of the Mediterranean increasingly emanates from two rising powers with diametrically opposing geopolitical goals—Iran and Europe’s most powerful political force, Germany!
Iran, the most potent Islamist force in this region, will activate its agents to take fullest advantage of the rim of disruption cascading across the southern Mediterranean from Morocco to Syria. But they will meet stiff competition from Europe’s leading power.
Germany will be seeking to secure its hold over the Mediterranean Sea and the crucial gateways at its western and eastern extremities— Gibraltar and Suez—by offers of aid and cultural exchanges, plus the provision of weaponry to the regimes of its choice, as it now moves in to capitalize on its existing presence as the main force securing the Mediterranean under nato’s umbrella. This will also result in a strengthened presence of German commercial, defense and security interests in southern Sudan, Somalia and the southern Gulf states.
This competition for power and influence in the southern Mediterranean will create great tension between Iran and German-led Europe as the one pushes and the other reacts.
Again I urge you to look at this map and know who we are talking about. http://www.nationaljournal.com/unrest-in-north-africa-and-the-middle-east-20110224
We now return to our 3 1/2 year Torah studies which you can follow at http://www.sightedmoon.com/files/TriennialCycleBeginningAviv.pdf
We are now in our 50th week or our Jubilee week, since we began this first year of this 3rd Sabbatical cycle of the 119th Jubilee cycles since Adam and we began at Aviv 1 which was March 20, 2010 on the Gregorian calendar. I do hope you are reading each of these chapters as we come to them and not just my own comments on them. Read it yourself and let Yehovah inspire you. If you go to http://www.sightedmoonnl.com/?page_id=619 you can find each of the studies we have done so far since 1st of Aviv/March 20 of this year 5846.
26/02/2011 Ex 2 1 Kings 5-6 Ps 106 Luke 16-17
Here we find an attempt by a Levite family to save their son during the time of Pharaoh’s edict. It’s interesting to note that Yehshua—the ultimate Deliverer of whom Moses was a forerunner—also had to be hidden in Egypt when He was born, as a similar edict was issued during His infancy.
It is also wonderful to see here how Yehovah intervened during this very sobering time. Moses drifted right into the bathing area of the daughter of Pharaoh, who desired to save him and raise him as her own son. Though she recognized him as a Hebrew child, perhaps she viewed him as a gift of the gods, perhaps of the Nile god Khnum. Moreover, not only was Moses’ life spared, but his real mother was paid to nurse and rear him! The name the princess gave him, Moses, means “Drawn Out,” as in birth.
Interestingly, this was a common suffix for the names of various pharaohs of the Middle and New Kingdoms of Egypt. For instance, Thutmose or Thutmosis is Thoth-mosis, meaning “Drawn (or born) from Thoth,” the god of wisdom. Another example is Rameses or Ra-meses, meaning “Drawn (or born) from Ra” or Re, the sun god. Thus, there is reason to believe that Moses’ name may have originally had a pagan prefix that he, quite understandably, did not record when he wrote the Pentateuch.
More amazing still, considering that the pharaoh’s daughter recognized that Moses was a Hebrew child, it would be rather surprising if the pharaoh himself did not. Yet the pharaoh did not demand the death of the child (perhaps out of a combination of love for his daughter and a belief that the child may have been a divine gift). In fact, he allowed the boy to become a prince of Egypt. In Acts 7:22 Stephen tells us that besides the trappings of royalty, “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.” Indeed, the first-century Jewish historian Josephus informs us that he became a great Egyptian general. But all of this changed overnight when Moses became a fugitive fleeing for his life.
[The Exodus took place in 1379 BC. Moses was in Midian for 40 years; this would have started in 1419 BC and his birth would have taken place in 1459 BC. The Pharoah of the Exodus is thought to have been Djedneferre Dudimose based on the statement of Manetho as quoted bt Josephus]
Acts 7:43 tells us that Moses was 40 years old at the time of his flight from Egypt. Verse 30 reveals that he sojourned in the land of Midian for another 40 years. And he would later wander with the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years (verse 36)—finally dying at the age of 120 (Deuteronomy 34:7). So Moses had three 40-year segments of leadership training: 1) training as a leader in Pharaoh’s court; 2) training as a shepherd in Midian; 3) training as a leader of the Israelites. From this we can deduce that a period of approximately 80 years, or two-thirds of Moses’ life, transpires in Exodus 2 alone!
Moses was trained for 40 years under Reuel, the “priest” of Midian. This term makes sense when we realize that the Midianites were descended from Abraham (Genesis 25:1-4) and that, even in Israel, the head of each family was the one who would offer sacrifices prior to the institution of the Levitical system. Moses married Reuel’s daughter Zipporah. It should be noted here that Reuel was also known as Jethro—as both names refer in Scripture to Moses’ father-in-law (Exodus 2:18; 3:1; Numbers 10:29).
Author John Haley says that, according to several scholars, “Jether, or Jethro, is not a proper name, but simply a title of honor, denoting ‘excellency,’ and about equivalent to the Arabic ‘Imam’” (Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, pp. 354-344).
I want to point out something to you all. When Yehovah made the covenant with Abraham He said the following.
Gen 15:13 And He said to Aḇram, “Know for certain that your seed are to be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years.
This 400 years began when Isaac was 10 year old and Ishmael was about to bring him harm and Sarah had him and Hagar put out.
Gen 15:14 “But the nation whom they serve I am going to judge, and afterward let them come out with great possessions.
Gen 15:15 “Now as for you, you are to go to your fathers in peace, you are to be buried at a good old age.
Gen 15:16 “Then, in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the crookedness of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
This word in Gen 15:16 for generation is H1755
From H1752; properly a revolution of time, that is, an age or generation; also a dwelling: - age, X evermore, generation, [n-]ever, posterity.
So this verse can be read fourth revolution of time. Abraham lived in the 42 Jubilee cycle. That was during the early part of the 3rd millennial day. If we count this third millennial day as our first day and add four more to it we are at the end of this prophesied 4th revolution of time when Yehovah is going to bring us back to the land.
You can also count the four generations who were in Egypt from Moses to his parents Amram and Jochebed. Amran was the son of Kahoth who was the son of Levi.
The year that Moses was born would be about 80 years before the Exodus so we are in this chapter talking about the year 1459 BC as the year Moses was born. The Exodus taking place at Passover 1379 BC.
1 Kings 5-6
Hiram and Solomon Make Contact
[1-Kings 5:1] AND HIRAM KING OF TYRE SENT HIS SERVANTS UNTO SOLOMON; FOR HE HAD HEARD THAT THEY HAD ANOINTED HIM KING IN THE ROOM OF HIS FATHER: FOR HIRAM WAS EVER A LOVER OF DAVID.
In Hebrew-language Bibles this is verse no.15 i.e. [1-Kings 5:15].
Hiram had already befriended David and had assisted him in building his own monarchic residence
AND HIRAM KING OF TYRE SENT MESSENGERS TO DAVID, AND CEDAR TREES, AND CARPENTERS, AND MASONS: AND THEY BUILT DAVID AN HOUSE [2-Samuel 5:11].
Hiram send a letter of congratulations and good wishes to Solomon on the occasion of his coronation.
This gave Solomon an opportunity to strengthen the alliance with Hiram.
Hiram was King of Tyre. The two major Phoenician cities were Tyre and Sidon. Sidon trditionally was considered the senior of the two but Tyre was by far the most wealthy and powerful. The Phoenicians were the international traders of the time.
[1-Kings 5:2] AND SOLOMON SENT TO HIRAM, SAYING,
[1-Kings 5:3] THOU KNOWEST HOW THAT DAVID MY FATHER COULD NOT BUILD AN HOUSE UNTO THE NAME OF THE LORD HIS GOD FOR THE WARS WHICH WERE ABOUT HIM ON EVERY SIDE, UNTIL THE LORD PUT THEM UNDER THE SOLES OF HIS FEET.
David indeed was constantly fighting wars whether against foreign oppressors or against his own rebellious subjects.
David wished to build the Temple but had been told not to but to leave it for his son (1-Chronicles 17:11-12, 2-Samuel 7:11-13).
David was actually prevented from building the Temple because of the wars and because of the bloodshed he had occasioned. This was despite the fact that the conflicts had been imposed upon him it was implied that something about his personality and his very propensity for war made him unsuitable to build the Temple.
BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME TO ME, SAYING, THOU HAST SHED BLOOD ABUNDANTLY, AND HAST MADE GREAT WARS: THOU SHALT NOT BUILD AN HOUSE UNTO MY NAME, BECAUSE THOU HAST SHED MUCH BLOOD UPON THE EARTH IN MY SIGHT [1-Chronicles 22:8].
The Discretion of Solomon
[1-Kings 5:4] BUT NOW THE LORD MY GOD HATH GIVEN ME REST ON EVERY SIDE, SO THAT THERE IS NEITHER ADVERSARY NOR EVIL OCCURRENT.
Solomon tells the truth but does not get into personal details. He presents the case that David had not built the temple because he had been fighting all the time. From the way Solomon describes it one would understand that David never built ther Temple because the warfare left him no time or peace of min for it. Solomon neglects to mention the impairment of qualification occasion by the very bellicosity that David had exercised for the sake of his people.
[1-Kings 5:5] AND, BEHOLD, I PURPOSE TO BUILD AN HOUSE UNTO THE NAME OF THE LORD MY GOD, AS THE LORD SPAKE UNTO DAVID MY FATHER, SAYING, THY SON, WHOM I WILL SET UPON THY THRONE IN THY ROOM, HE SHALL BUILD AN HOUSE UNTO MY NAME.
[1-Kings 5:6] NOW THEREFORE COMMAND THOU THAT THEY HEW ME CEDAR TREES OUT OF LEBANON; AND MY SERVANTS SHALL BE WITH THY SERVANTS: AND UNTO THEE WILL I GIVE HIRE FOR THY SERVANTS ACCORDING TO ALL THAT THOU SHALT APPOINT: FOR THOU KNOWEST THAT THERE IS NOT AMONG US ANY THAT CAN SKILL TO HEW TIMBER LIKE UNTO THE SIDONIANS.
[1-Kings 5:7] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN HIRAM HEARD THE WORDS OF SOLOMON, THAT HE REJOICED GREATLY, AND SAID, BLESSED BE THE LORD THIS DAY, WHICH HATH GIVEN UNTO DAVID A WISE SON OVER THIS GREAT PEOPLE.
The letter of Solomon appears to us to be rather cut-and-dry but apparently there was something in the way it was formualted that reveasled to Hiram that Solomon was wise and good.
Cedars of Lebanon
[1-Kings 5:8] AND HIRAM SENT TO SOLOMON, SAYING, I HAVE CONSIDERED THE THINGS WHICH THOU SENTEST TO ME FOR: AND I WILL DO ALL THY DESIRE CONCERNING TIMBER OF CEDAR, AND CONCERNING TIMBER OF FIR.
The Cedars of Lebanon (according to the “Daat Mikra” Commentary) are called Cedrus Libani. They are tall (40 to 50 meters high) and impressive. The wood does not breat or bend easily and is strong and solid and soaked with resin giving it a pleasant smell smell and protection from rot. The tree grows staight and it is possible to hew long planks from it.
The firs of Lebanon in Akkadian were known as birasu and in Latin are now called Juniperus. It is also tall and strong (but less than the cedar of Lebanon) and produce straight planks.
Ancient Inscriptions speak of both these trees being used together to build temples and palaces and it could be that they had supplementary qualities.
Divisions of Labor
[1-Kings 5:9] MY SERVANTS SHALL BRING THEM DOWN FROM LEBANON UNTO THE SEA: AND WILL CONVEY THEM BY SEA IN FLOATS UNTO THE PLACE THAT THOU SHALT APPOINT ME, AND WILL CAUSE THEM TO BE DISCHARGED THERE, AND THOU SHALT RECEIVE THEM: AND THOU SHALT ACCOMPLISH MY DESIRE, IN GIVING FOOD FOR MY HOUSEHOLD.
FLOATS: Hebrew “Raphsodot” i.e. rafts.
[1-Kings 5:10] SO HIRAM GAVE SOLOMON CEDAR TREES AND FIR TREES ACCORDING TO ALL HIS DESIRE.
[1-Kings 5:11] AND SOLOMON GAVE HIRAM TWENTY THOUSAND MEASURES OF WHEAT FOR FOOD TO HIS HOUSEHOLD, AND TWENTY MEASURES OF PURE OIL: THUS GAVE SOLOMON TO HIRAM YEAR BY YEAR.
Wheat and oil were important export goods from Judah and Israel.
Ezekiel also lists various good that the Israelites were wont to trade with Tyre:
JUDAH, AND THE LAND OF ISRAEL, THEY WERE THY MERCHANTS: THEY TRADED IN THY MARKET WHEAT OF MINNITH, AND PANNAG, AND HONEY, AND OIL, AND BALM [Ezekiel 27:17].
[1-Kings 5:12] AND THE LORD GAVE SOLOMON WISDOM, AS HE PROMISED HIM: AND THERE WAS PEACE BETWEEN HIRAM AND SOLOMON; AND THEY TWO MADE A LEAGUE TOGETHER.
[1-Kings 5:13] AND KING SOLOMON RAISED A LEVY OUT OF ALL ISRAEL; AND THE LEVY WAS THIRTY THOUSAND MEN.
[1-Kings 5:14] AND HE SENT THEM TO LEBANON, TEN THOUSAND A MONTH BY COURSES: A MONTH THEY WERE IN LEBANON, AND TWO MONTHS AT HOME: AND ADONIRAM WAS OVER THE LEVY.
Solomon raised from Israel 30,000 men who were probably chosen by lot. They were divided into three groups of 10,000 each. Each group stayed at home for two months and then went to Lebanon for a month.
When Israel was in Lebanon a few years back it was customary for soldiers fulfilling their annual military service to do it there. I myself was in Lebanon about four times, for a month each time. We however spent the time in training, military exercises, patrols, or manning outposts. We never got around to doing any timber-logging.
[1-Kings 5:15] AND SOLOMON HAD THREESCORE AND TEN THOUSAND THAT BARE BURDENS, AND FOURSCORE THOUSAND HEWERS IN THE MOUNTAINS;
Solomon in addition to the 30,000 Israelite timber workers thast for four months (one month out of every three) of the year were in Lebanon had 70,000 porters and 80,000 quarry workers. These were derived from the non-Israelite inhabitants of the land of Israel.
[1-Kings 9:20] AND ALL THE PEOPLE THAT WERE LEFT OF THE AMORITES, HITTITES, PERIZZITES, HIVITES, AND JEBUSITES, WHICH WERE NOT OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL,
[1-Kings 9:21] THEIR CHILDREN THAT WERE LEFT AFTER THEM IN THE LAND, WHOM THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL ALSO WERE NOT ABLE UTTERLY TO DESTROY, UPON THOSE DID SOLOMON LEVY A TRIBUTE OF BONDSERVICE UNTO THIS DAY.
[1-Kings 9:22] BUT OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL DID SOLOMON MAKE NO BONDMEN: BUT THEY WERE MEN OF WAR, AND HIS SERVANTS, AND HIS PRINCES, AND HIS CAPTAINS, AND RULERS OF HIS CHARIOTS, AND HIS HORSEMEN.
[1-Kings 5:16] BESIDE THE CHIEF OF SOLOMON’S OFFICERS WHICH WERE OVER THE WORK, THREE THOUSAND AND THREE HUNDRED, WHICH RULED OVER THE PEOPLE THAT WROUGHT IN THE WORK.
Solomon had 3,300 Israelites overseeing the various work projects he had initiated.
[1-Kings 5:17] AND THE KING COMMANDED, AND THEY BROUGHT GREAT STONES, COSTLY STONES, AND HEWED STONES, TO LAY THE FOUNDATION OF THE HOUSE.
[1-Kings 5:18] AND SOLOMON’S BUILDERS AND HIRAM’S BUILDERS DID HEW THEM, AND THE STONESQUARERS: SO THEY PREPARED TIMBER AND STONES TO BUILD THE HOUSE.
STONESQUARERS. Hebrew “Giblim” which could be understood to mean “Stone-quariers” as the KJ renders it. Most modern commentatories however understand it to mean workers from the Phoneiican city of Gebel (otherwise known as Byblos) who apparently had their own expertise to provide.
The Temple of Solomon
[1-Kings 6:1] AND IT CAME TO PASS IN THE FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTIETH YEAR AFTER THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WERE COME OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT, IN THE FOURTH YEAR OF SOLOMON’S REIGN OVER ISRAEL, IN THE MONTH ZIF, WHICH IS THE SECOND MONTH, THAT HE BEGAN TO BUILD THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.
It says that the building of the Temple began 480 years after the Coming out of Egypt. We understand this passage in its simple sense. We would say that the year was ca. 960 BCE and that the Children of Israel came out of Egypt in ca. 1480 BCE. Not everyone would agree with us on these issues.
MONTH ZIF. In Hebrew “Ziv” or “Ziw”. This is the equivalent of the month now called in Hebrew Iyar. At present (February 2006) we are in the month Shevat, then comes Adar (Purim), then Nissan (Pesach), then Iyar (overlaps April-May), then Sivan.
[The fourth year of Solomons reign was 967 BC according to the Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles.]
[1-Kings 6:2] AND THE HOUSE WHICH KING SOLOMON BUILT FOR THE LORD, THE LENGTH THEREOF WAS THREESCORE CUBITS, AND THE BREADTH THEREOF TWENTY CUBITS, AND THE HEIGHT THEREOF THIRTY CUBITS.
Length 60, width 20, height 30. These measurements are internal ones and do not take account of the external walls.
[1-Kings 6:3] AND THE PORCH BEFORE THE TEMPLE OF THE HOUSE, TWENTY CUBITS WAS THE LENGTH THEREOF, ACCORDING TO THE BREADTH OF THE HOUSE; AND TEN CUBITS WAS THE BREADTH THEREOF BEFORE THE HOUSE.
THE PORCH. In Hebrew “Ulam”. This was a kind of preliminary hall (Portico?) for entrance purposes. It was 10 cubits long and 20 wide. According to the simple meaning of 2-Chronicles 3:4 it was 120 cubits high. See pictures below.
[1-Kings 6:4] AND FOR THE HOUSE HE MADE WINDOWS OF NARROW LIGHTS.
NARROW LIGHTS. In Hebrew “shekufim (transparent) atumim (closed, opaque. DM in the light of the Talmud says that the windows could be looked out from but not looked into. They let the light in. Another explanation says they let light out but not in. There were candles in the Temple that may have served for illumination.
[1-Kings 6:5] AND AGAINST THE WALL OF THE HOUSE HE BUILT CHAMBERS ROUND ABOUT, AGAINST THE WALLS OF THE HOUSE ROUND ABOUT, BOTH OF THE TEMPLE AND OF THE ORACLE: AND HE MADE CHAMBERS ROUND ABOUT:
[1-Kings 6:6] THE NETHERMOST CHAMBER WAS FIVE CUBITS BROAD, AND THE MIDDLE WAS SIX CUBITS BROAD, AND THE THIRD WAS SEVEN CUBITS BROAD: FOR WITHOUT IN THE WALL OF THE HOUSE HE MADE NARROWED RESTS ROUND ABOUT, THAT THE BEAMS SHOULD NOT BE FASTENED IN THE WALLS OF THE HOUSE.
THAT THE BEAMS SHOULD. This may be implied but the words are not in the Hebrew original. It does not expressly mention “the beams”.
The basic structure of the Temple was built around the “House” with the “Ulam” (120 cubit high entrance Porch) in front of it. The House was 30 bubits high. According to DM the walls of the “House” were built in three layers of 10 cubits each. The first layer was 6 cubits thick, the second 5 cubits, and the third four cubits. In front of the wall on each side were three-storied verdandas split up into “cells”. The veranda on the bottom floor was five cubits wide, on the second six, and on the third seven. This was because for each story of the House the wall became “thinner” by a cubit as one went upward.
[1-Kings 6:7] AND THE HOUSE, WHEN IT WAS IN BUILDING, WAS BUILT OF STONE MADE READY BEFORE IT WAS BROUGHT THITHER: SO THAT THERE WAS NEITHER HAMMER NOR AXE NOR ANY TOOL OF IRON HEARD IN THE HOUSE, WHILE IT WAS IN BUILDING.
According to the simple meaning the stone blocks for the building were prepared according to their exact measurments outside of the Temple Mount and then brought in where they were put together like “Leggo” blocks.
[1-Kings 6:8] THE DOOR FOR THE MIDDLE CHAMBER WAS IN THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOUSE: AND THEY WENT UP WITH WINDING STAIRS INTO THE MIDDLE CHAMBER, AND OUT OF THE MIDDLE INTO THE THIRD.
[1-Kings 6:9] SO HE BUILT THE HOUSE, AND FINISHED IT; AND COVERED THE HOUSE WITH BEAMS AND BOARDS OF CEDAR.
[1-Kings 6:10] AND THEN HE BUILT CHAMBERS AGAINST ALL THE HOUSE, FIVE CUBITS HIGH: AND THEY RESTED ON THE HOUSE WITH TIMBER OF CEDAR.
We understand this to be referring to the Verandas (see 6:5-6 above). Each wall had a three-story 30 cubit high protuberance running along its outside. Each story was 10 cubits high. The bottom half of each storey facing outside had a five cubit high wall (of cedar wood?) and after that the next five cubits were open to the air.
[1-Kings 6:11] AND THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME TO SOLOMON, SAYING,
[1-Kings 6:12] CONCERNING THIS HOUSE WHICH THOU ART IN BUILDING, IF THOU WILT WALK IN MY STATUTES, AND EXECUTE MY JUDGMENTS, AND KEEP ALL MY COMMANDMENTS TO WALK IN THEM; THEN WILL I PERFORM MY WORD WITH THEE, WHICH I SPAKE UNTO DAVID THY FATHER:
[1-Kings 6:13] AND I WILL DWELL AMONG THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, AND WILL NOT FORSAKE MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.
God will dwell amongst the Children of Israel if we and our leaders keep the Torah.
We all have to do as well as we can. We all have a responsibility. We cannot rely on our leaders. Nevertheless a leader of Israel has an EXTRA obligation to conduct themelves according to the Divine Will.
[1-Kings 6:14] SO SOLOMON BUILT THE HOUSE, AND FINISHED IT.
[1-Kings 6:15] AND HE BUILT THE WALLS OF THE HOUSE WITHIN WITH BOARDS OF CEDAR, BOTH THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE, AND THE WALLS OF THE CEILING: AND HE COVERED THEM ON THE INSIDE WITH WOOD, AND COVERED THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE WITH PLANKS OF FIR.
[1-Kings 6:16] AND HE BUILT TWENTY CUBITS ON THE SIDES OF THE HOUSE, BOTH THE FLOOR AND THE WALLS WITH BOARDS OF CEDAR: HE EVEN BUILT THEM FOR IT WITHIN, EVEN FOR THE ORACLE EVEN FOR THE MOST HOLY PLACE.
THE ORACLE. Hebrew “Devir” meaning the “Kadosh HaKadoshim” (Holy of Holies) or Inner Sanctuary.
The Temple was dividied into three:
a. The Ulam (Porch).
b. The House (main hall)
c. The Devir. Unlike the Tabernacle and the Second Temple where the Holy of Holies was separated from the main hall only by a curtain the Devir was separated from the hall by a wall in which there was a doorway. According to Rashi the Devir was also lower in height than the hall and therefore a separate part of the building altogether.
[1-Kings 6:17] AND THE HOUSE, THAT IS, THE TEMPLE BEFORE IT, WAS FORTY CUBITS LONG.
[1-Kings 6:18] AND THE CEDAR OF THE HOUSE WITHIN WAS CARVED WITH KNOPS AND OPEN FLOWERS: ALL WAS CEDAR; THERE WAS NO STONE SEEN.
[1-Kings 6:19] AND THE ORACLE HE PREPARED IN THE HOUSE WITHIN, TO SET THERE THE ARK OF THE COVENANT OF THE LORD.
[1-Kings 6:20] AND THE ORACLE IN THE FOREPART WAS TWENTY CUBITS IN LENGTH, AND TWENTY CUBITS IN BREADTH, AND TWENTY CUBITS IN THE HEIGHT THEREOF: AND HE OVERLAID IT WITH PURE GOLD; AND SO COVERED THE ALTAR WHICH WAS OF CEDAR.
[1-Kings 6:21] SO SOLOMON OVERLAID THE HOUSE WITHIN WITH PURE GOLD: AND HE MADE A PARTITION BY THE CHAINS OF GOLD BEFORE THE ORACLE; AND HE OVERLAID IT WITH GOLD.
[1-Kings 6:22] AND THE WHOLE HOUSE HE OVERLAID WITH GOLD, UNTIL HE HAD FINISHED ALL THE HOUSE: ALSO THE WHOLE ALTAR THAT WAS BY THE ORACLE HE OVERLAID WITH GOLD.
[1-Kings 6:23] AND WITHIN THE ORACLE HE MADE TWO CHERUBIMS OF OLIVE TREE, EACH TEN CUBITS HIGH.
[1-Kings 6:24] AND FIVE CUBITS WAS THE ONE WING OF THE CHERUB, AND FIVE CUBITS THE OTHER WING OF THE CHERUB: FROM THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE ONE WING UNTO THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE OTHER WERE TEN CUBITS.
[1-Kings 6:25] AND THE OTHER CHERUB WAS TEN CUBITS: BOTH THE CHERUBIMS WERE OF ONE MEASURE AND ONE SIZE.
[1-Kings 6:26] THE HEIGHT OF THE ONE CHERUB WAS TEN CUBITS, AND SO WAS IT OF THE OTHER CHERUB.
[1-Kings 6:27] AND HE SET THE CHERUBIMS WITHIN THE INNER HOUSE: AND THEY STRETCHED FORTH THE WINGS OF THE CHERUBIMS, SO THAT THE WING OF THE ONE TOUCHED THE ONE WALL, AND THE WING OF THE OTHER CHERUB TOUCHED THE OTHER WALL; AND THEIR WINGS TOUCHED ONE ANOTHER IN THE MIDST OF THE HOUSE.
[1-Kings 6:28] AND HE OVERLAID THE CHERUBIMS WITH GOLD.
[1-Kings 6:29] AND HE CARVED ALL THE WALLS OF THE HOUSE ROUND ABOUT WITH CARVED FIGURES OF CHERUBIMS AND PALM TREES AND OPEN FLOWERS, WITHIN AND WITHOUT.
[1-Kings 6:30] AND THE FLOORS OF THE HOUSE HE OVERLAID WITH GOLD, WITHIN AND WITHOUT.
[1-Kings 6:31] AND FOR THE ENTERING OF THE ORACLE HE MADE DOORS OF OLIVE TREE: THE LINTEL AND SIDE POSTS WERE A FIFTH PART OF THE WALL.
[1-Kings 6:32] THE TWO DOORS ALSO WERE OF OLIVE TREE; AND HE CARVED UPON THEM CARVINGS OF CHERUBIMS AND PALM TREES AND OPEN FLOWERS, AND OVERLAID THEM WITH GOLD, AND SPREAD GOLD UPON THE CHERUBIMS, AND UPON THE PALM TREES.
[1-Kings 6:33] SO ALSO MADE HE FOR THE DOOR OF THE TEMPLE POSTS OF OLIVE TREE, A FOURTH PART OF THE WALL.
These doors were at the entrance to the main hall.
[1-Kings 6:34] AND THE TWO DOORS WERE OF FIR TREE: THE TWO LEAVES OF THE ONE DOOR WERE FOLDING, AND THE TWO LEAVES OF THE OTHER DOOR WERE FOLDING.
[1-Kings 6:35] AND HE CARVED THEREON CHERUBIMS AND PALM TREES AND OPEN FLOWERS: AND COVERED THEM WITH GOLD FITTED UPON THE CARVED WORK.
[1-Kings 6:36] AND HE BUILT THE INNER COURT WITH THREE ROWS OF HEWED STONE, AND A ROW OF CEDAR BEAMS.
[1-Kings 6:37] IN THE FOURTH YEAR WAS THE FOUNDATION OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD LAID, IN THE MONTH ZIF:
[1-Kings 6:38] AND IN THE ELEVENTH YEAR, IN THE MONTH BUL, WHICH IS THE EIGHTH MONTH, WAS THE HOUSE FINISHED THROUGHOUT ALL THE PARTS THEREOF, AND ACCORDING TO ALL THE FASHION OF IT. SO WAS HE SEVEN YEARS IN BUILDING IT.
BUL. In Modern Hebrew this month is know as “Cheshvan” or “Marcheshvan”. It is considered the eighth month. It is just after Tishrei (Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur). It overlaps October-November.
He began in the fourth year of his reign and finished in the eleventh year, seven years in all. Solomon began to reign in 970 BC and 11 year later would be 960 BC.
“They Soon Forgot…For Their Sake He Remembered” (Psalm 106)
In the arrangement of the Psalter as it has come down to us, Psalm 106 is the concluding psalm of Book IV. Yet as explained in the Bible Reading Program’s introductory comments on the Psalms, it appears that Books IV and V originally formed a single collection before a book division was placed here. Furthermore, as was mentioned in the program’s opening comments on Psalm 101, Psalms 101-110 appear to form a collection of hymns. Indeed, Psalms 105, 106 and 107 (now the first psalm of Book V) seem to be very closely related (more on this later). Of course, the location of the book division here, though seemingly artificial, must surely have been very carefully selected. Perhaps this place was chosen so that Book V would flow right on from Book IV in theme and tone, serving to establish the continuity of the psalms.
Recall that Psalms 103 and 104 both begin and end with the same inner exhortation “Bless the LORD, O my soul.” Likewise, as noted in prior comments, it appears that Psalms 105 and 106 both begin and end with a shared doxology or praise expression: Hallelujah or, as translated, “Praise the LORD!” (as this expression on the last line of Psalm 104 seems more likely to open 105).
Coming immediately after these opening words in Psalm 105 is the call to gratitude: “Oh, give thanks to the LORD!” (verse 1), taken along with a large section that follows (verses 1-15) from David’s psalm composed for the occasion of bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem in 1 Chronicles 16 (see verses 7-22). In Psalm 106 we find a parallel to this. Occurring right after its opening doxology is another call to thanksgiving taken from a later related line in the very same Davidic composition: “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy [or steadfast love] endures forever” (compare Psalm 106:1; 1 Chronicles 16:34). The end of Psalm 106 was essentially taken from the same song as well, as we will later consider further (compare Psalm 106:47-48; 1 Chronicles 16:35-36). For this reason we earlier read these parts of Psalm 106 (verses 1, 47-48) in conjunction with our reading of 1 Chronicles 16. Observe moreover that Psalm 107 also opens with David’s words “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy [or, again, steadfast love] endures forever.” (This is also powerfully expressed throughout Psalm 136.)
Many consider Psalm 106 to be a companion to 105 in various respects-including both language and theme. Psalm 106 rehearses much of the same national history covered in 105 but with an expanded perspective. Psalm 105 is a song of thanks to God for His faithfulness in remembering His promises and covenant as a benefit for His people. Psalm 106 thanks God for continuing in His faithfulness despite the rebellion of His people-repeatedly leading them to repentance and restoration. On this basis, the psalm is also a prayer to be included among the recipients of this wonderful benefit of God’s mercy and deliverance, which is here asked for yet again. Note especially verses 4-5: “Remember me, O LORD, with the favor You have toward Your people. Oh, visit me with Your salvation, that I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I may glory with your inheritance.” Thus, Psalm 106 constitutes a continuation of the presentation of God’s benefits to His people begun in Psalm 103-the benefit here being God’s wonderful patience.
A strong contrast is drawn throughout the psalm: the sinful rebellion of the people versus the constant faithfulness of God; the people who “soon forgot His works” (verse 13), who “forgot God their Savior” (verse 21), versus the God who “for their sake…remembered His covenant, and relented according to the multitude of His mercies” (verse 45). In all the confession of Israel’s rebellion throughout the psalm, we must not make the mistake of seeing this as the point of the psalm. As one commentator expresses it: “The purpose of the psalm is not to condemn Israel but to extol the Lord for His longsuffering and mercy toward His people. In order to glorify God, the writer had to place God’s mercies against the dark background of Israel’s repeated disobedience” (Wiersbe, Be Exultant, introductory note on Psalm 106).
The particular circumstance behind the composition of the psalm is not known except that the psalmist appears to have been scattered with others of God’s nation among foreigners (see especially verse 47). For this reason and a statement we will later note in verse 46, many have surmised that the psalm was written during the Babylonian captivity. Furthermore, we can see that the psalmist was familiar with Psalm 105, using it and its source material by David in 1 Chronicles 16 to write Psalm 106. (Some advocate the same author for Psalms 105, 106 and 107.)
The psalmist may have been reflecting on the amazing events described in the previous psalm, “God’s wonders in the land of Ham” (105:27), for He notes that the Israelites forgot that God did “wondrous works in the land of Ham” (106:22). Remarkably, God had done these wondrous works for His people despite the fact that they had basically lost faith in Him and persisted in their failure to acknowledge Him even as He rescued them (verse 7).
Interestingly, the great act of God left out of the Exodus account in Psalm 105 is the Red Sea crossing-but this pivotal event is incorporated as a major focus in the expansion of the story in Psalm 106 (verses 7-12, 22). Verse 12 says that this episode finally led the people to then believe God’s words and sing His praise-yet only, as the next verse clarifies, for a very brief period. They did not wait on God, lacking trust and patience (verse 13), and grumbled for water (see verse 14; compare Exodus 15:22-27), for food (see Exodus 16) and more specifically for meat (see Numbers 11:4-15, 31-35). Although God gave the people what they asked for, He allowed them to suffer consequences (Psalm 106:15; compare Numbers 11:33).
Psalm 106:16-18 recalls the rebellion in Numbers 16 of Korah, Dathan, Abiram and other dissenters who envied and opposed the leadership of Moses and Aaron-though Korah is not named here, perhaps for the simple reason of poetic construction. The earlier horrific episode of the golden calf at Horeb or Mount Sinai, the very site of Israel’s covenant with God, is also recalled (Psalm 106:19-20; see Exodus 32). On more than one occasion God would have destroyed the people for their idolatry “had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath” (verse 23). “The metaphor ’stood in the breach’ derives from military language, signifying the bravery of a soldier who stands in the breach of the wall, willing to give his life in warding off the enemy” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on verse 23). Similar imagery occurs in Ezekiel 22:30, where God finds no one to “stand in the gap” before Him on behalf of His people’s land so that he should not destroy it.
The psalm next addresses the Israelites’ fearful refusal to honor God in embracing and entering the Promised Land, which brought on them the penalty of their decades of wandering and death in the wilderness (Psalm 106:24-27; see Numbers 14).
The next two incidents in Psalm 106 happened near the end of Israel’s wilderness years. The episode of worshipping Baal of Peor (verse 28) is found in Numbers 25, which mentions the people’s involvement in Moabite and Midianite sexual rites. Psalm 106 adds the detail that the people “ate sacrifices of the dead” (verse 28b, KJV)-which horridly might mean that they ate the dead as sacrifices, for Baal worshippers practiced cannibalism (the word cannibal deriving from Kahna-Baal, meaning “priest of Baal”). The idolatrous debauchery so provoked God that He sent a plague that killed 24,000 people, withdrawing it only when Aaron’s son Phinehas executed an Israelite man and Midianite woman who brazenly attempted to perform their lewd rites at God’s tabernacle.
Because of Phinehas’ bold stand for the holiness of God and His people, God promised him an enduring priesthood for his descendants.
The incident at the “waters of strife” (verse 32) or “waters of Meribah” (NIV) occurred earlier (Numbers 20). Moses lost patience with the people and reacted to their rebellious grumbling “so that he spoke rashly with his lips” (verse 33). As a result of his angry outburst, Moses lost the privilege of leading the people into Canaan. This drastically contrasts with Moses’ intercessory role in verse 23. The point seems to be that they wore down even their wonderful intercessor so much that he lost patience with them and stumbled.
When the people finally entered the Promised Land, they “did not destroy the peoples, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them” (verse 34). They instead embraced the lifestyle and customs of the native Canaanites (verse 35). They worshipped their idols, even sacrificing their children to the pagan deities behind them, which were actually demons (verses 36-37; compare Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:17; 1 Corinthians 10:20). By these works they defiled themselves and polluted the land (verses 38-39). Therefore God’s wrath was so great that He “abhorred His own inheritance” (verse 40). Pathetically, in blending with the gentiles (that is, the other nations), the Israelites were actually submitting to the ways of peoples who hated them. God therefore gave them over wholly to these enemies (verses 41-42).
Yet God’s purpose, even in the midst of His wrath, was not to destroy His people but to bring them to repentance and rescue them. “Many times He delivered them” during the period of the Judges (verse 43), but the people always drifted away from Him (verse 44). Nevertheless, He heard their cry (verse 44), remembered His covenant (verse 45) and relented (same verse). Verse 46 further says that God made His people’s captors to take pity on them. The Zondervan NIV Study Bible says this “makes clear that the author’s recital includes the Babylonian captivity (see 1Ki 8:50; 2Ch 30:9; Ezr 9:9; Jer 42:12). Although there were earlier captivities of Israelite communities, no other captive group was said to have been shown pity” (note on Psalm 106:46).
This, of course, assumes past Scripture as the only source of the psalmist’s information.
Finally, as previously noted, verses 47-48 are, as with the opening of the psalm, taken from David’s psalm in 1 Chronicles 16 but with some interesting differences. Observe that David in 1 Chronicles 16 tells those who hear his psalm to “say, ‘Save us, O God…” (verse 35). Psalm 106:47 does not say to “say,” but rather simply says, evidently in response to David’s words, “Save us, O LORD our God…” David further said to say, “Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles…” In David’s context of Israel as an independent nation, this would simply have been a prayer for the unity of God’s people and help against foreign enemies bent on destroying them. When applying this statement in Psalm 106:47, notice that it has been changed to fit new circumstances: “…And gather us from among the Gentiles…” (emphasis added). This implies a time of captivity-again commonly assumed to mean that the psalmist and his people are captives in Babylon.
The last two lines of verse 47 and the first two lines of verse 48 are the same as in 1 Chronicles 16:35-36. Yet observe in 1 Chronicles 16:36 that the second line ends David’s psalm. It is followed by this description of what happened following its performance: “And all the people said, ‘Amen!’ and praised the LORD” (same verse). This is transformed in Psalm 106:48 into a directive as part of the song: “And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’ Praise the LORD!” Thus verse 47 says what David told the people to say. And verse 48 tells people to say what the people did say in response to David’s song. This ending to Psalm 106 very much seems to be an intrinsic part of the psalm rather than an editorial attachment of a doxology and amen as in other book endings within the Psalter-further strengthening the idea that there was initially no book ending here.
I want to focus this week on the last part of 16:30-31 “And he said, ‘No, father Aḇraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they shall repent.’ “But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Mosheh and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded even if one should rise from the dead.’ ”
Many Christians have someone who came from the dead and is alive as this parable says. His name is Yehshua. He has come back from the dead and throughout the New Testament tells the readers to repent.
The question is then asked repent of what?
The News testament answer is found in 1 John 3:4 Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
We are also told in John 14:15 NKJV “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
And also we are told in John 14:21 NKJV He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
But again what was told to the rich man by Lazarus? ‘If they do not hear Mosheh and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded even if one should rise from the dead.’ ”
Christianity will not listen to the one who came from the dead just as Lazarus has said and they most certainly do not listen to Moses and the Prophets. Something to think on.
In chapter 17 we read about the servant who after doing all his work is not thanked but only told to do more work. You and I are that servant. “So also you, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants, we have done what was our duty to do.’ ”
We all have only done our duty, Nothing more. But just before this is a very serious verse to say to yourself each time you teach someone. 2 “It would be better for him if a millstone is put around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.
We all must stick very close to the scriptures and not let our own opinions and belief’s be what we teach. Nor can it be leaving out key scriptures or by omitting Moses and the prophets. All of Torah is for teaching and it all fits together.
In verse 26-30 Yehshua is revealing to us the Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles that show us the exact same time in the 6th Sabbatical cycle is when Noahs flood came. It was also at the exact same time in the sixth Sabbatical cycle when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and at the exact same time in our day during the sixth Sabbatical cycle Yehshua will be revealed when Satan is locked away and his kingdom destroyed. Look at the Prophecies of Abraham and learn this awesome truth.
We now continue to study the 613 laws of Torah which we can read at http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm
We are doing 7 laws each week. We shall study laws 346-352 We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from http://theownersmanual.net/The_Owners_Manual_02_The_Law_of_Love.Torah
(346)Do not round the corners of the head, as the idolatrous priests do. “You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.” (Leviticus 19:27) Same song, second verse. Again, Moses was warning his people not to adopt the fashion statements of idolaters because they’re idolaters. It’s all a question of motivation. Don’t cut your hair (or grow it out) because some rock star does it. Don’t wear baggy pants because you want to look tough like a gang banger. Don’t wear a daisy in your lapel because your favorite news anchor does.
Leviticus 19:17 is speaking to the custom of disfiguring your head when people mourn for the dead. This is not to be done as the next verse shows us it all done to honour the dead. We are not to do this.
(347)Do not cut oneself or make incisions in one’s flesh in grief, like the idolaters. “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am Yahweh.” (Leviticus 19:28) “You are the children of Yahweh your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead. For you are a holy people to Yahweh your God, and Yahweh has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
(Deuteronomy 14:1-2) God is not talking about fashion here—earrings and the like. He’s warning against self mutilation done in the name of religion. The classic Biblical illustration is in I Kings 18, where Elijah challenged the priests of Ba’al to a “prophets’ duel” to demonstrate once and for all whose god was really God. “And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, ‘Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.’ So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.” (I Kings 18:27-29) Satan loves to see us bleeding and in pain, and if it’s self-inflicted, so much the better.
Yahweh, though—the inventor of life—tells us that our “life is in the blood.” And pain was something He built into our bodies to warn us when something’s wrong. The last thing He wants to see is for us to suffer pain and shed our blood in a misguided attempt to placate Him. So why do tens of thousands of Muslims cut their flesh in Ramadan rites at the Kaaba every year trying to gain the blessing of Allah—a false god who’s never blessed anybody? Why do twenty million pilgrims a year visit the shrine of the “Virgin of Guadalupe” in Mexico City, many walking for days and then crawling on bloodied knees the last few hundred meters of the journey to show their devotion to an apparition some guy named Juan says he saw back in 1531? Yahweh plainly said not to do such things.
(348)Do not tattoo the body like the idolaters. “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am Yahweh.” (Leviticus 19:28) Tattoos have grown quite popular of late. I have no idea why. I even have Christian friends who advertise their faith with Christian tattoos. The passage at hand, as Maimonides notes, is primarily a warning against emulating the idolaters in our midst. Does it apply to “faith-neutral” tattoos or Christian body art? I’d be inclined to take Yahweh’s word for it and call it a day. Yahweh has issued these instructions for our benefit—we can either heed them or not—it’s our skin that’s at risk. Maybe it’s like eating pork and shellfish: if there are consequences, He didn’t enumerate them. He just said, “Don’t.”
(349)Do not make a bald spot for the dead. “You are the children of Yahweh your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead.” (Deuteronomy 14:1) Here is one more example of something that might have been done in imitation of the idolatrous people of Canaan. Although there’s not much of this going on today (quite the opposite, in fact, with baldness-remedy sales going through the roof) the principle still applies: we are God’s people. We are not to pattern our lives, beliefs, or even fashions, after the godless world we see around us.
My personal “favorite” contemporary example of this sort of thing is the “baggy pants” look favored by inner city youth. Why in the world do they prefer ill-fitting trousers? It turns out that the “fashion” got started in jail, where such things as belts and shoe laces were taken away from the inmates so they couldn’t be used as weapons or implements for suicide. Without belts to hold them up, the offenders’ pants tended to droop a bit. In time, this droop became an indicator of prison experience, and kids wanting to look as tough as these convicts affected the same falling-pants style. My pants are falling off—That means I’m a bad dude—don’t mess with me or my crew…. I know it sounds stupid—as stupid as shaving a bald spot on your forehead so you’ll look like a bigwig with Ba’al. That’s the kind of foolishness Yahweh is warning against here.
(350)Do not plant a tree for worship. “You shall not plant for yourself any tree as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to Yahweh your God.” (Deuteronomy 16:21) I like trees. I’ve planted scores of them—and I live in the middle of a forest! Does that mean I’ve run afoul of the Torah here? No. Moses is referring to a particular pagan practice: planting a tree (‘ets, the ordinary Hebrew word for a tree or wood—any kind of relatively large woody plant) as an image. That’s asherah in the Hebrew—one of many names of the female component of the prototypical false Babylonian trinity of Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz. Semiramis’ self-deified character would show up as Astarte among the Assyrians; she was known as Inanna by the Sumerians, Asthoreth by the Caananites, Ishtar by the Akkadians, Isis by the Egyptians, and Diana by the Greeks—among others.
Her name is commemorated in “Christian” tradition, I’m sad to say, in the spring festival of Easter—which was supposed to be celebrated as Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of Firstfruits, the first three “holy convocations” on the annual festival calendar instituted by Yahweh. These days are prophetic of the death, burial, and resurrection of Yahshua our Messiah—and they center on the removal of our sins. Ishtar is a blatant counterfeit
Anyway, the Canaanite practice was to plant a tree (or a whole grove) near the altars where Asherah was to be worshipped—usually in a “high place” or hilltop. Yahweh’s warning notwithstanding, Israel fell (or perhaps jumped) into the same sort of idolatrous practices. For example: “They also built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree.” (I Kings 14:23) Yahweh wanted His people to be holy—set apart from the nations around them. The last thing He wanted was for the rites He instituted—which were all prophetic in some way of His plan of redemption for mankind—to be blended with and corrupted by the religions of the clueless idolaters.
(351)Do not set up a pillar (for worship). “You shall not set up a sacred pillar, which Yahweh your God hates.” (Deuteronomy 16:22) This, of course, is a continuation and expansion of the previous thought. A pillar (Hebrew: matstsebah) could either be a stone obelisk (like the Washington Monument—oops) or a wooden stump. They were invariably placed in groves or under trees, and used as focal points of pagan worship. It’s no big surprise that Yahweh hates them.
(352)Do not show favor to idolaters. “When Yahweh your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when Yahweh your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.” (Deuteronomy 7:1-2) That’s a strange way of putting it, Maimonides. As the Israelites entered the Land of Canaan, they were to “conquer” and “utterly destroy” the idolaters they found there. Yahweh didn’t even hint at the idea of peacefully coexisting with them, tolerating their presence but “showing no favor” to them. Israel was to totally displace the nations of the Land in order to remain set apart for Yahweh’s purposes. They failed to do so, and the result is scrawled in their blood across the intervening centuries.