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News Letter 5847-002
5th day of the 1st month 5847 years after the creation of Adam
The 1st Month in the Second year of the third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences.
April 9, 2011

Shabbat Shalom Brethren,

One Brother wrote to tell me the following after having read The Prophecies of Abraham;
You know what is sad? Everybody has been told it is impossible to know when the Jubilee Cycle starts, ends, or where we are in it right now. So, folks are afraid to even discuss the subject any closer than a rock’s throw away in fear of getting sucked into false theology. But, they have already been sucked into the false theology! Where do you go from there? Nowhere! Joseph, do you know that nobody can come near your prophetic understanding. So far, everything you said that would happen back in Feb 2009 is coming to pass. I am in the final pages of your book and am glad I finally read it. I picked up a bunch of golden nuggets. The kind of things that start discussions at home that bounces off the walls for days.

That is from my friend Don Dolhover who has been asking me the very hard questions about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years and who also kept the Sabbatical year with me in 2009-2010 when we were not 100% sure we were doing the right thing.

In the news this past week;
There is this meeting in Nanjing where all countries but one are trying to figure out how to get rid of the USD as the world’s major reserve currency, one country is trying to keep it’s currency as the world’s major reserve currency but have it depreciate against all the others, and one country wants its currency to become a reserve currency but doesn’t want anyone to buy it without permission. The intended outcome is reform of the international monetary system.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/citi-on-nanjing-meeting-2011-3#ixzz1INNXZqPg

This reminds me of the article I had not had time to share with you all from March 26 at http://by150w.bay150.mail.live.com/default.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0

Listen to what three of America’s top Congressional leaders just told THEIR constituents:
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) says, “we’re approaching FINANCIAL ARMAGEDDON.”
Representative Allen West (R-FL) says, ” … the economic situation here in the United States of America is a FISCAL ARMAGEDDON”

And Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) says, “we cannot ignore THE FISCAL TITANIC of our national debt and deficit.”
These are very appropriate and timely warnings, especially given the fact that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released a new report showing that President Obama’s budget will drive the budget deficit UP an additional $2.3 TRILLION over the next ten years.

And never forget: The CBO is infamous for grossly UNDERestimating budget deficits.

Just a couple of years ago, in fact, CBO said this year’s deficit would be LESS THAN ONE FOURTH as large as it actually is!
These massive estimation errors ALONE are enough to explain why these Congressmen are issuing such extreme warnings!
Make no mistake: America is rushing headlong towards the greatest economic crisis in our history — an “American Apocalypse.”
Thanks to corrupt and cowardly leaders, millions of Americans are about to face the specter of lost incomes … lost savings … lost buying power … lost homes … lost liberty.

• The article goes on to explain ; Three massive crises all converging NOW — each one capable of changing America forever.
• The infuriating reason why you could soon find yourself paying more than $11 for a gallon of gasoline and over $10 for a gallon of milk:
• Why you could soon see interest rates exploding into double digits … your Social Security and Medicare benefits slashed … even riots in the streets:
• Why more than 2,000 U.S. banks are now vulnerable to this crisis
• Why the U.S. stock market is now as vulnerable as a toy balloon in a room full of RAZOR BLADES:

Again I wonder why so many Americans who read this News Letter have contributed so little to the Israeli Farm Project.

They can read the news the same as I do and they can see the deficit going insane. They know the scriptures which warn us that if we obey we will be the head but if we do not obey then we will be the tail.

Deu 28:1 “And it shall be, if you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard to do all His commands which I command you today, that יהוה your Elohim shall set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim: 3 “Blessed are you in the city, and blessed are you in the field. 4 “Blessed is the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your livestock – the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. 5 “Blessed is your basket and your kneading bowl. 6 “Blessed are you when you come in, and blessed are you when you go out. 7 “יהוה causes your enemies who rise against you to be smitten before your face – they come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. 8 “יהוה commands the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and shall bless you in the land which יהוה your Elohim is giving you. 9 “יהוה does establish you as a set-apart people to Himself, as He has sworn to you, if you guard the commands of יהוה your Elohim and walk in His ways. 10 “And all peoples of the earth shall see that the Name of יהוה is called upon you, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 “And יהוה shall make you to have plenty of what is good, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land of which יהוה swore to your fathers to give you. 12 “יהוה opens to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. And you shall lend to many nations, but you do not borrow. 13 “And יהוה shall make you the head and not the tail. And you shall be only on top, and not be beneath, if you obey the commands of יהוה your Elohim, which I command you today, to guard and do. 14 “And do not turn aside from any of the Words which I am commanding you today, right or left, to go after other mighty ones to serve them.

Now read what Yehovah will do to us if we do not obey and see just how many of these things are already happening around you.

Deu 28:15 “And it shall be, if you do not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard to do all His commands and His laws which I command you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you: 16 “Cursed are you in the city, and cursed are you in the field. 17 “Cursed is your basket and your kneading bowl. 18 “Cursed is the fruit of your body and the fruit of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. 19 “Cursed are you when you come in, and cursed are you when you go out. 20 “יהוה sends on you the curse, the confusion, and the rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the evil of your doings by which you have forsaken Me. 21 “יהוה makes the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. 22 “יהוה smites you with wasting disease, and with inflammation, and with burning, and with extreme heat, and with the sword, and with blight, and with mildew. And they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 “And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you iron. 24 “יהוה makes the rain of your land powder and dust; from the heavens it comes down on you until you are destroyed. 25 “יהוה causes you to be defeated before your enemies – you go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them. And you shall become a horror to all the reigns of the earth. 26 “And your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth, with no one to frighten them away. 27 “יהוה shall smite you with the boils of Mitsrayim, with tumours, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you are unable to be healed. 28 “יהוה shall smite you with madness and blindness and bewilderment of heart. 29 “And you shall be groping at noon, as a blind man gropes in darkness, and not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and plundered all the days, with no one to save you. 30 “You become engaged to a wife, but another man does lie with her. You build a house, but do not dwell in it. You plant a vineyard, but do not use its fruit. 31 “Your ox is slaughtered before your eyes, but you do not eat of it. Your donkey is violently taken from before you, and it is not given back to you. Your sheep are given to your enemies, with no one to save them. 32 “Your sons and your daughters are given to another people, and your eyes look and fail for them all day long, and your hand powerless. 33 “A people whom you have not known eat the fruit of your land and all your labours. And you shall be only oppressed and crushed all the days. 34 “And you shall be maddened because of the sight which your eyes see. 35 “יהוה smites you in the knees and on the legs with evil boils of which you are unable to be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head. 36 “יהוה brings you and the sovereign whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other mighty ones, wood and stone. 37 “Thus you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a mockery among all the peoples to which יהוה drives you. 38 “You take much seed out into the field but gather little in, for the locust consumes it. 39 “You plant vineyards, and shall labour, but you neither drink of the wine nor gather, for the worm eats it. 40 “You have olive trees in all your border, but do not anoint with oil, for your olives drop off. 41 “You bring forth sons and daughters, but they are not with you, for they go into captivity. 42 “Locusts possess all your trees and the fruit of your ground. 43 “The sojourner who is among you rises higher and higher above you, but you come down lower and lower. 44 “He lends to you, but you do not lend to him. He is the head, and you are the tail. 45 “And all these curses shall come upon you, and they shall pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard His commands and His laws which He commanded you. 46 “And they shall be upon you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed, forever. 47 “Because you did not serve יהוה your Elohim with joy and gladness of heart for all the plenty, 48 you shall serve your enemies whom יהוה sends against you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in need of all. And he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you. 49 “יהוה brings a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you shall not understand, 50 a fierce-looking nation, which shows no regard for the elderly nor show favour to the young, 51 and they shall eat the fruit of your livestock and the fruit of your land, until you are destroyed. They leave you no grain, nor new wine, nor oil, nor the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you. 52 “And they shall besiege you at all your gates till your high and fenced walls, in which you are trusting, come down in all your land. And they shall besiege you at all your gates in all your land which יהוה your Elohim has given you. 53 “And you shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom יהוה your Elohim has given you, in the siege and distress in which your enemies distress you. 54 “The man among you who is tender, and who is very delicate, his eye is evil against his brother, against the wife of his bosom, and against the rest of his children whom he leaves behind, 55 against giving any of them the flesh of his children that he eats, because it is all that has been left to him in the siege and distress with which your enemy distresses you in all your gates. 56 “The tender and the delicate woman among you, who have not tried to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and tenderness, her eye is evil against the husband of her bosom, and against her son, and against her daughter, 57 and against her seed which comes out from between her feet, and her children whom she bears, for she eats them in secret for lack of all, in the siege and distress with which your enemy distresses you in all your gates. 58 “If you do not guard to do all the Words of this Torah that are written in this book, to fear this esteemed and awesome Name, יהוה your Elohim, 59 then יהוה shall bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues, great and lasting plagues, and grievous and lasting sicknesses. 60 “And He shall bring back on you all the diseases of Mitsrayim, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you, 61 also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in the book of this Torah, יהוה does bring upon you until you are destroyed. 62 “And you shall be left with few men, although you had become as numerous as the stars of the heavens, because you did not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim. 63 “And it shall be, that as יהוה rejoiced over you to do you good and increase you, so יהוה does rejoice over you to destroy you and lay you waste. And you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess. 64 “And יהוה shall scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other mighty ones, which neither you nor your fathers have known, wood and stone. 65 “And among those nations you are to find no rest, nor have a resting place for the sole of your foot. But there יהוה shall give you a trembling heart, and failing eyes, and sorrow of being. 66 “And your life shall be hanging in suspense before you, and you shall fear day and night, and not be certain of your life. 67 “In the morning you say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear of your heart, with which you fear, and because of the sight which your eyes see. 68 “And יהוה shall bring you back to Mitsrayim in ships, by a way of which I said to you, ‘You are never to see it again.’ And there you shall be sold to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one to buy.”

After reading this curse on the tribes of Israel for not obeying I still wonder why so few have made an effort to support this farm; Even after reading the reports from the US congressmen about the coming financial titanic and from the news in Nanjing about how many want to do away with the US dollar as their reserve currency. This will no doubt shoot interest rates through the roof as no one buys the US treasury notes which are used to support the huge debts they continue to live on each year.

When your dollar is worthless then what are you going to do?

The other news that has hit this morning as I eat my cereal of rice honey and cinnamon, watching the birds is whether or not my milk glowed in the dark. So I put it back in the fridge and turn off the light. Nope it is still OK this week anyway. All joking aside, I see from my map page that we have brethren in Japan who are near to the disaster sites. I have never heard from them in the past. I would like to hear from them now if they can write.

A few weeks ago I was ridiculed for showing the fall out of the Nuclear particles that were being sent up into the air from the Japan nuclear disaster. It showed the prevailing winds carrying the fallout over to the USA west coast.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0331/Radioactive-milk-found-on-West-Coast-but-levels-are-minuscule
Radioactive milk linked to the Japan nuclear crisis has been detected in samples from California and Washington State. But the amounts are so tiny that they pose no health risk, officials say.

So if the cows are eating the grass which this material is falling on then what about the fruits and vegetables that are growing on the west coast for our consumption?

Rev 16:8 And the fourth messenger poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given to him to burn men with fire. 9 And men were burned with great heat, and they blasphemed the Name of Elohim who possesses authority over these plagues. And they did not repent, to give Him esteem. 10 And the fifth messenger poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his reign became darkened. And they gnawed their tongues from pain. 11 And they blasphemed the Elohim of the heaven for their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their works.

This is just speculation on my part but what if this fire is Nuclear and not the sun. Because it says the earth was then darkened. Could this be Nuclear bombs going off and the dust particles going up to block out the sunlight. This then fits the next part of the sores they would then have.

A radiation burn is damage to the skin or other biological tissue caused by exposure to radio frequency energy or ionizing radiation.
The most common type of radiation burn is a sunburn caused by UV radiation. High exposure to X-rays during diagnostic medical imaging or radiotherapy can also result in radiation burns. As the ionizing radiation interacts with cells within the body—damaging them—the body responds to this damage, typically resulting in erythema—that is, redness around the damaged area. Radiation burns are often associated with cancer due to the ability of ionizing radiation to interact with and damage DNA, occasionally inducing a cell to become cancerous. Cavity magnetrons can be improperly used to create surface and internal burning.

Depending on the photon energy, gamma radiation can cause very deep gamma burns, with 60Co internal burns common. Beta burns tend to be shallow as beta particles are not able to penetrate deep into the person; these burns can be similar to sunburn.
Three Japanese ground workers laboring to contain the nuclear reactors in Fukushima were rushed to the hospital with radiation burns after irradiated water that escaped from the plant’s number 3 reactor seeped through the workers’ protective gear.

During WW II two Nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan. The description of the victims is what I am sharing with you next.

One survivor, Sadako Moriyama, had gone to a bomb shelter when the sirens sounded. After the bomb had gone off, she saw what she thought were two large lizards crawling into the shelter she was in, only to realise that they were human beings whose bodies had been shredded of their skin because of the bomb blast.

Death and injury in Nagasaki and the surrounding areas, depended on where you lived. People who lived on the Koba hillside, just three and a half miles from ground zero, were protected from the blast by a mountain. People caught up in the blast came to Koba for help and Fujie Urata, who lived in Koba and had seen a large flash, could not believe what she was seeing. She described people with great sheets of skin hanging off of their bodies; grotesque swollen faces; torsos covered with large blisters.

As in Hiroshima, many in Nagasaki died after the immediate impact of the bomb had gone away from mysterious ailments which we now associate with radiation poisoning. No-one, understandably, knew what to do to help the victims of this newest of illnesses.
In the Article titled Nuclear Weapons and Flying Scrolls I show you where scriptures describe this coming nuclear attack. http://www.sightedmoon.com/?page_id=82

Also in the news this week is the following article which shows how this disaster in the Japan is going to affect the USA in ways you never thought of. Here at Sightedmoon.com we have been sending out this warning since 2005. Now others who have never heard of us are saying the same thing we have been saying. They do so now because they see it now. Our bibles told us in advance, but do we listen? Are you listening now?

http://www.wakeupforeign.com/?p=121&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=1

Connecting the Dots … Grain Shortages & Food Inflation Quietly Accelerating Due to Perfect Storm

Thanks to disaster fatigue, most Americans have already forgotten about the ongoing mess in Japan. 99% of the press coverage is focusing on the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear reactors. There has been virtually no coverage of the impacts of the crisis on the U.S. economy and on commodity markets.
.
Supply Chain Distruptions: Both Japan and the United States have grown increasingly dependent on global just-in-time (JIT) delivery zero inventory supply chains. The Japanese are discovering the downside of JIT – when things go wrong, industry and commerce shut down and the people starve. For lack of fuel, deliveries are not being made. For lack of parts, factories through out the world are shutting down. This has hit the automotive industry particularly hard. Toyota will have to shut down all of the U.S. car factories because they are rapidly running out of parts for 80% U.S. manufactured cars that have a small percentage of parts made in Japan. Many Japanese grocery stores, particularly those in Tokyo and to the North, are running low on food and bottled water. Why should Americans care about Just-in-Time inventory problems in Japan? The reason you should care is that our food supply system uses the same system to minimize inventory and is just as vulnerable to disruptions.

Again this week I have posted many articles on Face Book telling us about the growing food shortage and the lack of rain in some parts of the US and too much rain in other parts threatening flood conditions which will prevent the wheat crops from being planted.

They are saying that 37% of this year’s crops are all that is good for human consumption. The rest is cattle feed.
Now before we get into this week’s study I have two announcements. If you’re going to be in Israel for Passover then Avi ben Mordecahi has a tour that you will be interested in. If you are interested then you need to contact him ASAP and let him know. Here are the details of the tour.

Avi ben Mordecahai is offering some very exceptional tours in and around Jerusalem. And I well be taking him up on a few of his tours this Passover season. Space is limited so you do need to register quickly. For those of you who are coming at another time to Jerusalem in the future, please plan on taking in one of these tours from Avi the author of Galatians [which you can learn more about Galatians at http://www.m7000.com/Avi/Galatians.htm ] To view some of the Tours Avi has done in the past go to http://cominghome.co.il/ and if you are interested in registering for any of the tours being offered at Passover 2011 please contact Avi by email at avidm@013net.net

Here is Avi’s itinerary this Pesach 2011 and also know I have taken one of the places on this tour already. So you do need to act fast.

Joe, shalom.

Below, you will find the information for the programs that I am offering for Passover/Unleavened Bread. If you would please, send this information out to your list, as we discussed and if anyone is interested in registering for the programs, they can contact me directly. Please, DO THIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I NEED TO HAVE A REGISTRANT HEAD COUNT BY THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK, AT THE LATEST.

Take care
Avinoam

Passover April 2011
Chol haMoed One-Day Field Trips with your Israeli State Licensed Tour Guide Avi ben Mordechai

Will you be in Jerusalem for Pesach (Passover) / Unleavened Bread Week? Are your plans simply to just “hang out” in Jerusalem and find some interesting things to do? May I interest you in taking advantage of your precious time
in Jerusalem, with one or more of the following half-day and full-day field trips and biblical study programs that I am offering?

During Pesach Week Chol haMoed (Intermediate Days), I will be hosting a couple of half-day and full-day study tours in and around Jerusalem and one, to the north of Israel. The programs include transportation (as needed), Israel National Park entry fees (where required), and the guiding services of Israeli State Licensed Tourguide - me, Avi ben Mordechai.

The price for each program is clearly stated and based on a specified minimum number of registrants. HOWEVER, each program also has a maximum cut-off so as to avoid unnecessary transportation costs.

If one or more of the field trips/ study programs below are of interest to you, PLEASE REGISTER PROMPTLY by replying to this email and in the subject line, state which field trip you are interested in. Upon receiving your
email, I will direct you to the next step.

Your registration will require a per registrant down payment of fifty (50%) percent of the advertised stated price. I will ask you to make your fifty (50%) percent down payment via PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, American Express,
or Discover. The balance of payment MUST BE MADE in cash (US Dollars or Israeli Shequels) on the day of the program. In the event that you do not show up, you forfeit your down payment. In the event that the program is
cancelled due to our not meeting the minimum number of program participants, you will be notified by email and/or mobile phone in Israel (if you have one) and will receive a full 100% refund of your down payment.

PLEASE NOTE: None of the offered programs below include lunch. Therefore, you must either bring a lunch or bring enough cash to purchase lunch at the site or sites that we will be at.

Have a look at the programs that I am offering below and again, if any one of them interests you, please register promptly because we will NEED the stated minimum number of participants to do the program and further, we
cannot exceed the maximum number of participants either, in most cases – 14 people.

Shalom from Jerusalem
Avi ben Mordechai
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Wednesday, April 20 (First Half of the Day) 7:30am- 11:30am. An early morning biblical study tour on the Temple Mount and at the tombs of the Qidron Valley

7:15am Meet at the Davidson Center

Minimum Number of Participants: Four (4).
Maximum Number of Participants: Twelve (12)
Time: 7:30am - 11:30am
Cost: $20.00 USD, per person. Lunch is NOT included. Please bring lunch or snacks in your knapsack or buy lunch in the Jewish Quarter.

This Temple Mount biblical study tour will show and give you some compelling reasons why the death and burial of Yeshua more likely occurred east of the Temple Mount, on the Mount of Olives, and not northwest of the Temple Mount at “Gordon’s Calvary” (the Garden Tomb), or anywhere else, for that matter.

We’ll study what could be called “the sacred line” from Moses in Deuteronomy 34:5 to Yochanan (”John”) in Mark 1:4 to Yeshua in Matthew 27:45-56. We’ll look for scriptural and physical evidence to determine where the ancient
Holy of Holies of the Temple once stood. We’ll examine the various theories and determine what makes the most sense according to scripture.

Leaving the Temple Mount, we will then hike down into the ancient Qidron Valley and descend into ancient Hebrew history for a study of the Yehudi royal tombs that are found in that area, between the Mount of Olives and the
Holy Hill - Moriah. We’ll read and study on-location, Matthew Chapters 15 and 23, among other topics.

Lunch in the Old City Jewish Quarter 11:40am - 12:20pm

REQUIREMENTS and COMMENTS:

-Backpack to carry all your personal things
-A SMALL pocket Bible (nothing large and pretentious to draw attention to
yourself)
-Passport and identification (if needed)
-Camera, notepad, pen and/or pencil for note-taking
-One or two liters of purchased bottled water
-Good walking or hiking shoes. This is a walking tour. There will be no
transportation for the morning activity
-Women: only pants or dresses for the Temple Mount and no “bare shoulders”
-Men: no shorts
-Kippah, not advised. Wear a cap in place of a kippah.
-Tzitziot hanging out, not advised (tucking them in, okay)
-Sunglasses (if needed)
-Hat for sun protection

————————————————–

Wednesday, April 20 (Second Half of the Day) 12:30pm - 4:30pm. A half-day
4×4 Jeep tour into the western Judean foothills and into the historical
narratives of 1 Samuel Chapters 6, 17, 21:10 and 23:13

12:30pm Meet at the Old City Jaffa Gate, next to the Plaza

Minimum Number of Participants: Six (6)
Maximum Number of Participants: Fourteen (14)
Time: 12:30pm - 4:30pm
Cost: $75.00 USD, per person. Includes transportation only. NO lunch included. If our registration numbers are sufficiently more than the minimum, then our transportation costs will be lower and we promise to pass
those savings on to you!
Full-Day: you may combine both events of the day into one full-day, if you wish.

Leaving Jerusalem in a 4 x 4 Jeep, we will drive to an archaeological site called Tel Tzafit (ancient Gath of the Philistines). We’ll learn about Goliath and the culture of the Philistines. We’ll also learn about David, who later fled from the pursuit of King Saul to Achish, King of Gath (1 Samuel 21:10). We’ll also learn about Solomon’s servant Shimi and his actions of breaking his word, in 1 Kings 2:36-46. Further, we’ll also learn about the Crusaders and their White Castle “Blanche Guarde” of Gath. We’ll also learn about their Kingdom of Israel and how its presence greatly
influenced the coming centuries of history in Eretz Israel.

Leaving Gath we will travel to a new archaeological site that is not yet open to the public. The site is mentioned in 1 Samuel 17:52 and is referred to as the “Elah Fortress” or Sha’arayim (Two Gates). From this site, we’ll learn about the battle between David and Goliath in the Elah Valley. We’ll also study ancient Israelite gate complex architecture and how it relates to the periods that are before and after King Solomon.

Leaving the Elah Fortress, we’ll continue our journey to Tel Beit Shemesh, tracing the movement of the ancient Ark of the Covenant as it left Philistine Ekron (1 Samuel 6) and came through for a stop at Beit Shemesh, where about 50,000 men lost their lives because of the Ark. We’ll then follow the movement of this Ark up to Jerusalem, stopping only briefly to talk about it at Keriyat Ye’arim (1 Samuel 7:1)

If time permits (between Gath and the Elah Fortress), we’ll consider a short stop at the cave of Adullam as it is mentioned in 1 Samuel 23:13 and have a look at the area where David and his thirty “mighty men” hid in this
stronghold against the Philistines (again, time permitting).

REQUIREMENTS AND COMMENTS:

-Backpack to carry all of your personal things
-A Bible
-Passport and identification
-Camera, notepad, pen and/or pencil for note-taking
-One and a half or perhaps two liters of purchased bottled water
-Good walking or hiking shoes. The hike up Tel Gath demands that you are in
reasonably good physical condition.
-Shorts okay
-Sunglasses (if needed)
-Hat for sun protection
-Men: Kippa and Tzitziot, fine
———————————————————–

Thursday, April 21: 8:00am - 4:30pm. A five to six hour trail hike through the “Strongholds of Ein Gedi” (1 Samuel 23:29)

7:45am Meet at the Old City Jaffa Gate, next to the Plaza

Minimum Number of Participants: Six (6)
Maximum Number of Participants: Twelve (12)
Time: 8:00am (Leave Jerusalem) - 4:30pm (approximate return to Jerusalem)
Cost: $80.00 USD, per person. Includes transportation only. NO lunch provided. You must provide your own lunch and bring it in your knapsack. You can also purchase your lunch at the visitors center. If our registration
numbers are sufficiently more than the minimum required, then our transportation costs will be lower and we promise to pass those savings on to you!

One of the most celebrated stories of the Bible - David, King of Israel and his flight from King Saul. He takes 600 of his men and finds refuge in the Wilderness of Ein Gedi (1 Samuel 24:1 - the Spring of the Kid).

Ein Gedi was a wilderness city of ancient Judah (Joshua 15:62) and much later, it was mentioned by Josephus in the context of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (66 -73). Further, it was a center of Jewish activity during the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-136).

We’ll start our hike at Nahal David, at the visitors center and finish in Nahal Arugot. We’ll hike our way up through the rocky crags towards the Falls of David and Shulamit’s Spring, where you can jump in and get a much needed refreshment in the natural pools of spring water. We’ll continue hiking up into the canyon (Nahal David), along some rather narrow paths and then on steel rungs, climb down into a cave area (Dodim Cave) that may have likely been the scene of the confrontation story between David and Saul in 1 Samuel 24:1-3.

Climbing our way back up out of the cave, we’ll continue hiking up through the mountain crags and then make our way over to the Ein Gedi water spring and then down the mountain to Tel Goren and the ancient Ein Gedi synagogue
with its fascinating inscriptions and incredible stories dating back to the 500s.

All along the way, we’ll learn some valuable biblical lessons as we study the awesome flora of Ein Gedi - the Acacia Tree of the Bible, the Jujube, the Sodom Apple of Genesis, the Salt Plants, the reed plants, the Eshel Tree of Abraham, and so much more.

REQUIREMENTS AND COMMENTS:

-NOTE: This is a five to six hour strenuous trail hike. Only those that are in reasonably good to excellent physical condition are allowed to register.
-Reasonably good hiking shoes, a must
-Three liters of bottled water, per person. You can fill up your bottles, as
needed, for more spring drinking water from its natural source.
-Backpack or Knapsack for all of your personal things
-Camera
-Sunglasses (as needed)
-Hat for sunlight protection
-A Bible
-Passport and Identification
-Shorts, okay
—————————————————————-

Friday, April 22: 8:00am - 3:00pm. The Bible, Eclectic Art and Jewish
History: the unique artistic landscapes of Jerusalem from Armon haNatziv and
the sculptures of Israeli artists Ron Morin (the Olive Trees Park) and Natan
Rappaport (Scrolls of Fire)

8:00am Meet at the Old City Jaffa Gate, next to the Plaza

Minimum Number of Participants: Six (6)
Maximum Number of Particpants: Twelve (12)
Time: 8:00am (Leave Jerusalem) - 3:00pm (approximate return to Jerusalem)
Cost: $75.00 USD, per person. Includes transportation only. NO lunch included. Please bring lunch in your knapsack. If our registration numbers are sufficiently more than the minimum, then our transportation costs will be lower and we promise to pass those savings on to you!

We’ll begin our day with an artistic, divinely sculpted overview of Jerusalem looking to the north from the south, atop the hill called Armon haNatziv (the Palace of the Commissioner), traditionally the general location where Genesis chapter 22:1-6 took place. This will teach us about Israel’s biblical history from Abraham to David to Yeshua (Matthew 1:17).
We’ll also learn about “pre-state” Israel during the years of the “British Mandate.” We’ll get an overview of how Jerusalem looked in those days and how it got its water and how the Almighty Holy One of Israel emblazoned His
Name into the topography of Jerusalem so that His Name and Memory would NEVER be blotted out.

Leaving Armon haNatziv, we’ll travel to the Olive Trees Park, a creation of sculptor Ron Morin. Here, we’ll let our imaginations run wild with all kinds of interesting interpretations from his work. We’ll learn about his approach
to divine faith and learn how the prophets of ancient days were very much on the same page, understanding faith and trust by actions and not by theology (Jeremiah Chapter 11).

Leaving Armon haNatziv, we’ll make our way over to the western Judean Hills and to the Scrolls of Fire, designed by Israeli Holocaust sculptor Natan Rappaport. We’ll have a look at the details of his sculpture work and allow ourselves some time to think about his message and seek to enter into the pain of the Holocaust and to imagine the event from the perspective of an artist that understood its impact and implications, very well.

REQUIREMENTS AND COMMENTS:

-Backpack or Knapsack to carry all of your personal things
-A Bible
-Camera, notepad, pen and/or pencil
-Sunglasses (as needed)
-Hat
-Passport and Identification
-One and a half liters of purchased bottled water
-Reasonably good walking shoes
————————————————————-

Sunday, April 24: Full-Day 8:00am - 5:30pm. Jezreel Valley comparative studies into the actions of Saul, Elijah, Ahab, Jezebel, and Gideon

7:45am Meet at the Old City Jaffa Gate, next to the Plaza

Minimum Number of Participants: Eight (8)
Maximum Number of Participants: Fourteen (14)
Time: 8:00am (Leave Jerusalem) - 5:30pm (approximate return to Jerusalem)
Cost: $120.00 USD, per person. Includes transportation and all park entrance fees. No lunch provided. Bring your own lunch in your knapsack or purchase it. If our registration numbers are sufficiently more than the minimum, then
our transportation costs will be lower and we promise to pass those savings on to you!

God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows, this he will also reap (Galatians 6:7): comparative studies in the actions of King Saul (1 Samuel chapters 28-31), Elijah (1 Kings chapters 18-21), Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings chapters
18-19; 2 Kings chapter 10), and Gideon (Judges chapters 6 - 7).

We’ll leave Jerusalem promptly at 8:00am and drive northwards through the Jordan Valley (Highway 90) to Israel’s famed Jezreel Valley - the setting for the final “mother of all battles” - “Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). While in the Jezreel Valley, we will stop at the following locations:

Ma’ayan Harod, to visit the story of Judges chapters 6 and 7 and retell of the courage and faith of Gideon and his men. Here, the Holy One of Israel pares down the army of Gideon from 32,000 to 300 and with that small army,
they defeat the army of the Midianites. Their faith and their courage stand out as a “never-to-forget-who-we-trust” lesson in biblical history.

Leaving Gideon in Judges chapters 6 and 7, we’ll come to 1 Kings chapter 21 on location at Tel Jezreel. This site marks a turning point for the Kingdom of Israel, when Ahab steals the land inheritance of Navot the Jezreelite (1
Kings 21) after his Phoenician wife Jezebel has the man framed and murdered. We’ll also learn more about Jezebel and how she is still very much alive today (2 Kings 10)!

From Tel Jezreel, we will break for some lunch at the new Jezreel Valley Gilboa “ski resort.” Then after lunch, for the adventurous, try some skiing or snow boarding down the slopes. No need to bring any warm clothes. You can ski in your summer shorts!

Finishing up at the Gilboa and Tel Jezreel, we will spend a couple of hours swimming and relaxing at Gan haShelosha (Garden of the Three). Here, at Gan haShelosha, you can swim in beautiful huge spring-fed ponds and splash your way through fast-flowing waterfalls. We’ll learn the story of Gan haShelosha on-location and touch on the events that shaped the history of “pre-state Israel” and learn about the challenges of what David ben Gurion meant when he once said, “No State is handed over on a Silver Platter.” We’ll learn about several modern and courageous men who led pre-state Israel to its destiny: Yehoshua Hankin; Orde Wingate; Chaim Sturmann, among many others.

Leaving Gan haShelosha, we’ll return to Jerusalem in time for dinner.

REQUIREMENTS AND COMMENTS:
-Backpack to carry all of your personal things
-A Bible
-Camera, notepad, pen and/or pencil
-Sunglasses (as needed)
-Hat
-Passport and Identification
-Men: swimming shorts and thongs
-Women: swimming suit and thongs
-Two liters of purchased bottled water
-Reasonably good walking shoes
———————————————————————-

Tuesday, April 26 - Friday, April 29

I am leaving my schedule open for private study tours, if you have an extended stay in Jerusalem; you have a rental car to get around; and you want to see some additional things while visiting in Israel.

Avi ben Mordechai
Licensed Tour Guide
Coming Home, Inc. (Avinoam’s Coming Home Study Tours)

So that is one tour that is available to you this Passover and throughout the year.

Just found out that the Tour for Sukkot has come together. You see brethren much of this work being done is hard to organize until the New Year is determined and then we can know when the Holy Days will come.

So here is the Tour announcement for Sukkot if you are interested in joining us at this time.

Flyer for the L’Chaim Ephraim Succot 2011 Festival and Tour. We have put a lot of time into making this year’s event better than ever! We will do some of our most favourite things again, and we have added some new things for those who were with us in previous years.

It was a serious challenge to cram everything that we wanted to show you into just 9 days. Most importantly, we will take a trip through the Shomron and discuss the importance of these beautiful mountains in the Heartland of Israel and why all the Nations of the world are trying to tear them out of Israel’s hands. We feel that we have been strategically placed here in these Mountains just to be able to report to you what is happening in these challenging days.

We have enhanced the Flyer to be an entire brochure! It now contains hostel details, instructions for registering, a detailed schedule, tips for a safe tour, and even a links page with photos and web links for the sites we are hoping to see.

Please be so kind as to forward this Flyer to everyone on your email list that might want to join us to celebrate Succot in Jerusalem in 2011!!!

I am looking forward to see each one of you THIS year in Jerusalem!!!

Blessings,
Amanda L. Boyd and Carolyn Ardeeser
L’Chaim Ephraim Feast Coordinators

If you want to read this brochure which I am unable to attach please email Amanda at lchaimephraim@yahoo.com

After writing last week’s News Letter about Jerusalem I began to think about the something els. We do have many things to consider and I want to share with you something else I am seeing now, The Ten Horns.

If you count all of the nations in the Middle East who are having riots and uprisings, I count 12 of them; All of them surrounding Israel. I have not counted Saudi Arabia as it has not yet rebelled. Here a brief chronology of the events this past few months.

1) Tunisia
2) Egypt
3) Yemen
4) Bahrain
5) Libya
6) Syria
7) Lebanon
8) Iran
9) Ethiopia
10) Iraq
11) Sudan
12) Jordan

http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE6BI06U20101219

Sunday Dec 19, 2010
Tunisia starts off the train of uprisings in the Middle East when Mohamed Bouaziz, a citizen of Tunisia, set fire to himself. This was in protest against the confiscation of the fruits and vegetables he was selling from the police. It then resulted in hundreds of Tunisians rebelling and consquently, with the revolution. The uprising ended in March when the country dissolved its former president’s party.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/07/algeria-riots-food-prices
Friday Jan 7, 2011
Algerians riot against unemployment and food prices. The protestors set up barricades and threw stones at the police who reacted by using teargas and batons. On March 9th, the government boosted the wages of many jobs to prevent further unrest.
Friday Jan 28, 2011 The Egyptian Riots

The first organized protests turn Cairo into a “war-zone”. The news spreads via networking site like Facebook and Twitter. Soon after, the government shuts down all mobile and Internet networks. Hosni Mubarak pledges to step down and on March 21st, the country votes for a change.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/23/yemen-arrests-protest-leader
Sunday January 23, 2011
On January 23rd, 19 activists are arrested and prostests arise. Thousands of people line the streets, protesting for an end to Ali Abdullah Saleh’s reign. On March 25, people come together to demand the president’s resignation.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/28/gaza-protests-palestinian-papers-leak
Friday January 28, 2011
Thousands gather in the city of Gaza to protest after some documents are leaked. On March 15, the people come together in Gaza and the West Bank to demand an end to political division and Israeli occupation.

http://www.france24.com/en/20110128-thousands-gather-amman-jordan-political-change-greater-freedoms-reform-tunisia
Friday January 28, 2011
Thousands of people gathered in Jordan’s capital Amman Friday in the latest in a string of protests calling for political change and greater freedoms. Jordan is one of several Arab countries hit by demonstrations sparked by Tunisia’s recent uprising.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/15/bahrain-police-funeral-procession
Wednesday Feb 16, 2011
Protests begin in Bahrain as a result of the uprising in Egypt. On the 15th, the main opposition party withdrew from parliament and troops fired at mourners at the funeral of a man who was shot the day before. The focal point of the protests was destroyed after government’s orders as the leaders try to crush the reformist movement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEnvJTOTIVs
Jan 13, 2011
Protests erupt in Libya and spread like wild fire. Soon after, Gaddafi supporters are being ordered to kill the protesters. The airports are bombed and the Internet and phones are all blocked. Other countries are trying to figure out ways to help.

So, on top of this list of rioting nations you can add Syria and Iran.

Now I want to show you something you may not have noticed before. We are now somewhere in this section of prophecy in Daniel. Exactly where is up for debate. But read this and then we will look at some other scriptures.

Dan 11:33 “And those of the people who have insight shall give understanding to many. And they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering, for days. 34 “And when they stumble, they shall be helped, a little help, but many shall join them, by flatteries. 35 “And some of those who have insight shall stumble, to refine them, and to cleanse them, and to make them white, until the time of the end, for it is still for an appointed time. 36 “And the sovereign shall do as he pleases, and exalt himself and show himself to be great above every mighty one, and speak incredible matters against the Ěl of mighty ones, and shall prosper until the wrath has been accomplished – for what has been decreed shall be done – 37 and have no regard for the mighty ones of his fathers nor for the desire of women, nor have regard for any mighty one, but exalt himself above them all. 38 “But in his place he shall give esteem to a mighty one of strongholds. And to a mighty one which his fathers did not know he shall give esteem with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 “And he shall act against the strongest strongholds with a foreign mighty one, which he shall acknowledge. He shall increase in esteem and cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. 40 “At the time of the end the sovereign of the South shall push at him, and the sovereign of the North rush against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall enter the lands, and shall overflow and pass over, 41 and shall enter the Splendid Land, and many shall stumble, but these escape from his hand: Eḏom, and Mo’aḇ, and the chief of the sons of Ammon. 42 “And he shall stretch out his hand against the lands, and the land of Mitsrayim shall not escape. 43 “And he shall rule over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the riches of Mitsrayim, and Libyans and Kushites shall be at his steps.

Now verse 44 is when the Beast power goes off to make war with the nations of East and this matches Rev 16. This is during the Great tribulation which we are not yet into. So the verses above are to happen before that time. It is at this time of when Egypt and Libya and Ethiopia are subdued that I am looking at.

Dan 11:44 “Then reports from the east and the north shall disturb him, and he shall go out with great wrath to destroy and put many under the ban, 45 and he shall pitch the tents of his palace between the seas and the splendid set-apart mountain, but shall come to his end with none to help him.

Rev 16:12 And the sixth messenger poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, in order to prepare the way of the sovereigns from the east. 13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, as frogs, 14 for they are spirits of demons, doing signs, which go out to the sovereigns of the entire world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of יהוה the Almighty.

This King of the North is to come and subdue the Egyptians, Libyans and Kushites which could be both Sudan and or Ethiopia. Notice it is three nations that are attacked and taken over.

Now read what Daniel says about these three nations.

Dan 7:7 “After this I looked in the night visions and saw a fourth beast, fearsome and burly, exceedingly strong. And it had great iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the rest with its feet. And it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 “I was thinking about the horns, then saw another horn, a little one, coming up among them, and three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots before it. And see, eyes like the eyes of a man were in this horn, and a mouth speaking great words.

This fourth beast power is a government system. The Fourth Beast is the Roman Empire and the many resurrections of it over the centuries. If you look at a map of the many phases of the Roman Empire you will see that at its height it encompassed the European continent and the North African coast and the Middle East so that it went all the way around the Mediterranean Sea. This fourth and last Beast that Daniel was looking at was different from the rest because it incorporated the rest of the territory the former beast governments occupied. And in our day you will see this Beast power control the entire Mediterranean Sea area.
Dan 7:19 “Then I desired for certainty concerning the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, very fearsome, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, crushed, and trampled down the rest with its feet, 20 and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and of the other horn that came up, before which three fell – this horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke great words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. 21 “I was looking, and this horn was fighting against the set-apart ones, and was prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and right-ruling was given to the set-apart ones of the Most High, and the time came and the set-apart ones took possession of the reign.

Rev 17:12 “And the ten horns which you saw are ten sovereigns who have not yet received a reign, but receive authority as sovereigns with the beast for one hour. 13 “They have one mind, and they shall give their power and authority to the beast. 14 “They shall fight with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for He is Master of masters and Sovereign of sovereigns. And those with Him are called, and chosen, and trustworthy.” 15 And he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and crowds, and nations, and tongues. 16 “And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these shall hate the whore, and lay her waste and naked, and eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 “For Elohim did give it into their hearts to do His mind, to be of one mind, and to give their reign to the beast, until the words of Elohim shall be accomplished. 18 “And the woman whom you saw is that great city having sovereignty over the sovereigns of the earth.”

By careful reading of the both Dan 7 and Rev 17 above you can see that these ten horns receive power from the beast for a short time in the end. You can also see that three of the horns are to fall.

We have already read that Egypt Libya and Kush are to fall in these last days to the King of the North.

Many of the COG’s believe the King of the North is made up of the ten Horns. But this is not what is being said here. The ten horns are made up of the Kingdoms of the South and given authority by the Beast Power. This is part of the deal that is struck in Psalm 83 when Germany makes allegiance with all these Arab nations.

Once again we read in Daniel 7: 20 and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and of the other horn that came up, before which three fell – this horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke great words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows.

We read in Isaiah 19:1 The message concerning Mitsrayim. See, יהוה is riding on a swift cloud, and He shall come into Mitsrayim. And the idols of Mitsrayim shall tremble at His presence, and the heart of Mitsrayim melt in its midst. 2 “And I shall stir up Mitsrites against Mitsrites, and they shall fight, each one against his brother, and each one against his neighbour, city against city, reign against reign. 3 “And the spirit of Mitsrayim shall vanish within them, and I destroy their counsel. And they shall seek the idols and the mutterers, the mediums and the sorcerers. 4 “And I shall deliver the Mitsrites into the hand of a cruel master, and a fierce sovereign to rule over them,” declares the Master, יהוה of hosts.

Again in Isaiah we read about the how Egypt and Kush will be led away.

Isa 20:3 And יהוה said, “As My servant Yeshayahu has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Mitsrayim and Kush, 4 so does the sovereign of Ashshur lead away the captives of Mitsrayim and the exiles of Kush, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered – the shame of Mitsrayim. 5 “And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Kush, their expectation, and of Mitsrayim, their boast.

And in Daniel we read about this king with fierce King.

Dan 8:23 “And in the latter time of their rule, when the transgressors have filled up their measure, a sovereign, fierce of face and skilled at intrigues, shall stand up. 24 “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power, and he shall destroy incredibly, and shall prosper and thrive, and destroy mighty men, and the set-apart people. 25 “And through his skill he shall make deceit prosper in his hand, and hold himself to be great in his heart, and destroy many who are at ease, and even stand against the Prince of princes – yet without hand he shall be broken.

When we read Psalm 83 we also see that there are just 10 nations of the Arab league listed there along with Assyria.
Psa 83:1 O Elohim, do not remain silent! Do not be speechless, And do not be still, O Ěl! 2 For look, Your enemies make an uproar, And those hating You have lifted up their head. 3 They craftily plot against Your people, And conspire against Your treasured ones. 4 They have said, “Come, And let us wipe them out as a nation, And let the name of Yisra’ĕl be remembered no more.” 5 For they have conspired together with one heart; They have made a covenant against You – 6 The tents of Eḏom [1]and the Yishmaʽĕlites, [2] Mo’aḇ [3] 3and the Haḡarites, [4] 7 Geḇal, [5] and Ammon, [6] and Amalĕq, [7] Philistia [8] with the inhabitants of Tsor, [9] 8 Ashshur also has joined with them, They have helped the children of Lot.[10] Selah. 9 Do to them as to Miḏyan, As to Sisera, As to Yaḇin at the wadi Qishon, 10 Who perished at Ěndor, Who became as dung for the ground. 11 Make their nobles like Orĕḇ and like Ze’ĕḇ, And all their princes like Zeḇaḥ and Tsalmunna, 12 Who have said, “Let us take possession of the pastures of Elohim For ourselves.” 13 O my Elohim, make them as whirling dust, As stubble before the wind! 14 As a fire consumes a forest, And as a flame sets mountains on fire, 15 So pursue them with Your whirlwind, And frighten them with Your storm. 16 Fill their faces with shame, And let them seek Your Name1, O יהוה. Footnote: 1See also 44:21-22, 74:18, Isa. 52:5, Jer. 23:26-27. 17 Let them be ashamed and alarmed forever; And let them become abashed and perish, 18 And let them know that You, Whose Name is יהוה, You alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Daniel 7: 8 “I was thinking about the horns, then saw another horn, a little one, coming up among them
Daniel is speaking of someone coming up from amongst the three that went down. Is this speaking of the Mahdi?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi

In Sunni and Shia eschatology, the Mahdi (Arabic: مهدي‎ / ISO 233: mahdī / English: Guided One), also Mehdi (Arabic: مہدی‎ English: One of the Moon) is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years (according to various interpretations)[1] before the Day of Judgment (yawm al-qiyamah / literally, the Day of Resurrection)[2] and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny. [3]

In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a “powerful and central religious idea” and closely related to the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, whose return from occultation is deemed analogous with the coming of the Mahdi.[4]

In Sunni traditions, there are several hadiths referring to the Mahdi.[5]
The Bahá’í scholar Moojan Momen considers the following beliefs in relation to the Mahdi are shared by Sunni and Shia Muslims alike:[3]
• The Mahdi will be a descendant of Muhammad of the line of Fatimah, He will be descendent by one side (by one of the parents) by Hassan and by another by Hussain.
• He will have the same name as Muhammad.
• He will be a fore-runner to Jesus’ Islamic Rule.
• His coming will be accompanied by the raising of a Black Standard.
• His coming will be accompanied by the appearance of the Antichrist.
• There will be a lunar and solar eclipse within the same month of Ramadan.
• A star with a luminous tail will rise from the East before the coming of the Mahdi.
• He will establish the Caliphate.
• He will fill the world with justice and fairness at a time when the world will be filled with oppression, which is war and calamities.
• He will have a broad forehead, a prominent nose, and a natural mascara will ring his eyes.
• His face shall shine upon the surface of the Moon.[6]
• The name of the Mahdi’s representative will begin with the first-letter of a prophet’s name and a verse of the Qur’an: ی (English: Y).[6]

Portents

According to Moojan Momen, among the most commonly reported signs that presage the advent of the Mahdi in Shia Islam are the following:
• Before his coming will come the red death and the white death. The red death is the sword and the white death is plague.
• Several figures will appear: the one-eyed Antichrist (Masih ad-Dajjal), the Sufyani and the Yamani.
• The Muslims will throw off the reins and take possession of their land, throwing out the authority of the foreigners.
• There will be a great conflict in the land of Syria, until it is destroyed.
• Death and fear will afflict the people of Baghdad and Iraq. A fire will appear in the sky and a redness will cover them

You all need to watch who stands up and very outspoken amongst the Muslim Brotherhood out of those three nations that are being put down.

You now have just one week left to de-leaven your homes cars and work places.

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 56th 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. We are now into our second year of this 3 ½ year study. 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 past year 5846. To read each of the studies in this second year you can go to http://www.sightedmoonnl.com/?page_id=719

09/04/2011 Ex 8 1 Kings 15-16 Ps 115-117 Luke 22:39-71

Ex 8
You will notice in this chapter that the Magicians could produce the frogs but could not get rid of them.

We then see how Yehovah separates the Israelites from the Egyptian with the plagues. It is my belief that this is how the two witnesses will show the world who are Israelites in the last days.

Verse 26 is one we should look at. The reason it was an abomination to the Egyptians if Israel were to sacrifice a lamb was because this lamb was one of the gods of Egypt. One animal associated with perhaps some of Egypt’s best known and most important gods was the Ram, who like the bull, seems to have also been specifically worshipped as a temple animal.
See article at http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/ram.htm

1 Kings 15-16
1-Kings 15
[1-Kings 15:1] NOW IN THE EIGHTEENTH YEAR OF KING JEROBOAM THE SON OF NEBAT REIGNED ABIJAM OVER JUDAH.
Abiyam in Hebrew, i.e. Father of (Abi) the People. He is also referred to as Abiyah (Abijah see 2-Chronicles 12:16) and in Hebrew as Abiyahu (2-Chronicles 13:20 the KJ renders this name as simply ABIJAH). Abiyah means “My Father is God”.
See our note to
1-Kings 14:31
http://britam.org/Kings/1Kings14.html
where we note that the form “Yam” could have been used interchangeably with Yah.

[1-Kings 15:2] THREE YEARS REIGNED HE IN JERUSALEM. AND HIS MOTHER’S NAME WAS MAACHAH, THE DAUGHTER OF ABISHALOM.
There is a chronological discussion as to whether the three years of Abiyah’s reign were full years or merely regnal ones i.e. not complete years but counted as such for dynastic purposes.
ABISHALOM is considered another form of Abshalom.
The father of Maachah according to some accounts (e.g. Josephus) was Abshalom son of David who rebelled against him, defiled his concubines, and was killed.
See:
2-Samuel-15
http://britam.org/2samuel-15.html
In [2-Chronicles 13:2] it says: HIS MOTHER’S NAME ALSO WAS MICHAIAH THE DAUGHTER OF URIEL OF GIBEAH.
There seems to be contradiction here.
Was his mother MAACHAH, THE DAUGHTER OF ABISHALOM [1-Kings 15:2]
or
MICHAIAH THE DAUGHTER OF URIEL OF GIBEAH?
To find an answer, we went through some of the Commentaries.
MICHAIAH was another name for MAACHAH. She may not have been actually the daughter of ABISHALOM but rather the grand-daughter through her mother.
We see later that she was a bad person. Her grandson Asa who reigned after Abiyah was a good king and demoted her from her position of importance due to her wickedness.
AND ALSO MAACHAH HIS MOTHER, EVEN HER HE REMOVED FROM BEING QUEEN, BECAUSE SHE HAD MADE AN IDOL IN A GROVE; AND ASA DESTROYED HER IDOL, AND BURNT IT BY THE BROOK KIDRON [1-Kings 15:13].
In Scripture ancestors are sometimes referred to as “father” or “mother” and in genealogical accounts it happens that some generations may be skipped over.
It has been suggested (Daat Mikra) that MAACHAH is referred to as THE DAUGHTER OF ABISHALOM (even though she was actually merely a descendant) to emphasize the retrograde qualities she may have inherited from him.

[1-Kings 15:3] AND HE WALKED IN ALL THE SINS OF HIS FATHER, WHICH HE HAD DONE BEFORE HIM: AND HIS HEART WAS NOT PERFECT WITH THE LORD HIS GOD, AS THE HEART OF DAVID HIS FATHER.
The Sages said that both Rehoboam and his sin Abijah did not actually sin themselves. They rather did not prevent the people from sinning. They failed to exert their authority and the influence they did have to keep their subjects on the right track.

[1-Kings 15:4] NEVERTHELESS FOR DAVID’S SAKE DID THE LORD HIS GOD GIVE HIM A LAMP IN JERUSALEM, TO SET UP HIS SON AFTER HIM, AND TO ESTABLISH JERUSALEM:
There are Jewish families that believe they are descended from King David. There are also claims concerning the British Royal Houses and so on. We have discussed this elsewhere. It does stand to reason however that descendants of David now occupy ruling positions over different sections of the House of Israel and Judah.
Aviyah did not deserve to rule by virtue of his own deeds but rather due to him being descended from David. We may never know how things are figured out. We all should try to do as well as we can in religious matters not only for our own sake but also for the sake of our family and our people.

[1-Kings 15:5] BECAUSE DAVID DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE LORD, AND TURNED NOT ASIDE FROM ANY THING THAT HE COMMANDED HIM ALL THE DAYS OF HIS LIFE, SAVE ONLY IN THE MATTER OF URIAH THE HITTITE.
David only sinned in the matter of Uriah.

[1-Kings 15:6] AND THERE WAS WAR BETWEEN REHOBOAM AND JEROBOAM ALL THE DAYS OF HIS LIFE.

[1-Kings 15:7] NOW THE REST OF THE ACTS OF ABIJAM, AND ALL THAT HE DID, ARE THEY NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE CHRONICLES OF THE KINGS OF JUDAH? AND THERE WAS WAR BETWEEN ABIJAM AND JEROBOAM.

[1-Kings 15:8] AND ABIJAM SLEPT WITH HIS FATHERS; AND THEY BURIED HIM IN THE CITY OF DAVID: AND ASA HIS SON REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.
The Book of Chronicles gives us more details concerning the reign of Abiyah.
We hope eventually to write a separate Brit-Am Commentary to Chronicles so we may not always refer to what Chronicles says in our commentary to the Book of Kings. Nevertheless concerning Abiyah it is worth noting.

Chronicles tells us how Abiyah with 400,000 warriors went to war against Jeroboam with 800,000. it is implied that Jeroboam had initiated hositilieis in an attempt to subdue Judah. Abiyah reproved Jeroboam and the Ten tribes for rebelling against the House of David and for taking advantage of the inexperience of Rehoboam his father to break away from Judah. He also condemned them for worshipping golden statues of bull calves and appointing ordinary volunteers as priests in place of the Levites.
Jeroboam the King of Israel made an ambush against the Host of Judah and attacked them from both sides. The men of Judah cried to the Almighty and the Priests sounded the trumpets. God saved them. They slaughtered 500, 000 Israelites and pursued after them capturing settlements in the region of Bethel, Yehsanah, and Ephraim in general. After that Jeroboam never recovered. He was struck by God and died.
Abiyah had 14 wives, 22 sons, and 16 daughters.
He died 1o years after the war against Jeroboam and was succeeded by his son Asa.

Below is the relevant passage from Chronicles:
[2-Chronicles 12:16] AND REHOBOAM SLEPT WITH HIS FATHERS, AND WAS BURIED IN THE CITY OF DAVID: AND ABIJAH HIS SON REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.

[2-Chronicles 13:1] NOW IN THE EIGHTEENTH YEAR OF KING JEROBOAM BEGAN ABIJAH TO REIGN OVER JUDAH.

[2-Chronicles 13:2] HE REIGNED THREE YEARS IN JERUSALEM. HIS MOTHER’S NAME ALSO WAS MICHAIAH THE DAUGHTER OF URIEL OF GIBEAH. AND THERE WAS WAR BETWEEN ABIJAH AND JEROBOAM.

[2-Chronicles 13:3] AND ABIJAH SET THE BATTLE IN ARRAY WITH AN ARMY OF VALIANT MEN OF WAR, EVEN FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND CHOSEN MEN: JEROBOAM ALSO SET THE BATTLE IN ARRAY AGAINST HIM WITH EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND CHOSEN MEN, BEING MIGHTY MEN OF VALOUR.

[2-Chronicles 13:4] AND ABIJAH STOOD UP UPON MOUNT ZEMARAIM, WHICH IS IN MOUNT EPHRAIM, AND SAID, HEAR ME, THOU JEROBOAM, AND ALL ISRAEL;

[2-Chronicles 13:5] OUGHT YE NOT TO KNOW THAT THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL GAVE THE KINGDOM OVER ISRAEL TO DAVID FOR EVER, EVEN TO HIM AND TO HIS SONS BY A COVENANT OF SALT?

[2-Chronicles 13:6] YET JEROBOAM THE SON OF NEBAT, THE SERVANT OF SOLOMON THE SON OF DAVID, IS RISEN UP, AND HATH REBELLED AGAINST HIS LORD.

[2-Chronicles 13:7] AND THERE ARE GATHERED UNTO HIM VAIN MEN, THE CHILDREN OF BELIAL, AND HAVE STRENGTHENED THEMSELVES AGAINST REHOBOAM THE SON OF SOLOMON, WHEN REHOBOAM WAS YOUNG AND TENDERHEARTED, AND COULD NOT WITHSTAND THEM.

[2-Chronicles 13:8] AND NOW YE THINK TO WITHSTAND THE KINGDOM OF THE LORD IN THE HAND OF THE SONS OF DAVID; AND YE BE A GREAT MULTITUDE, AND THERE ARE WITH YOUR GOLDEN CALVES, WHICH JEROBOAM MADE YOU FOR GODS.

[2-Chronicles 13:9] HAVE YE NOT CAST OUT THE PRIESTS OF THE LORD, THE SONS OF AARON, AND THE LEVITES, AND HAVE MADE YOU PRIESTS AFTER THE MANNER OF THE NATIONS OF OTHER LANDS? SO THAT WHOSOEVER COMETH TO CONSECRATE HIMSELF WITH A YOUNG BULLOCK AND SEVEN RAMS, THE SAME MAY BE A PRIEST OF THEM THAT ARE NO GODS.

[2-Chronicles 13:10] BUT AS FOR US, THE LORD IS OUR GOD, AND WE HAVE NOT FORSAKEN HIM; AND THE PRIESTS, WHICH MINISTER UNTO THE LORD, ARE THE SONS OF AARON, AND THE LEVITES WAIT UPON THEIR BUSINESS:

[2-Chronicles 13:11] AND THEY BURN UNTO THE LORD EVERY MORNING AND EVERY EVENING BURNT SACRIFICES AND SWEET INCENSE: THE SHEWBREAD ALSO SET THEY IN ORDER UPON THE PURE TABLE; AND THE CANDLESTICK OF GOLD WITH THE LAMPS THEREOF, TO BURN EVERY EVENING: FOR WE KEEP THE CHARGE OF THE LORD OUR GOD; BUT YE HAVE FORSAKEN HIM.

[2-Chronicles 13:1 AND, BEHOLD, GOD HIMSELF IS WITH US FOR OUR CAPTAIN, AND HIS PRIESTS WITH SOUNDING TRUMPETS TO CRY ALARM AGAINST YOU. O CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, FIGHT YE NOT AGAINST THE LORD GOD OF YOUR FATHERS; FOR YE SHALL NOT PROSPER.

[2-Chronicles 13:13] BUT JEROBOAM CAUSED AN AMBUSHMENT TO COME ABOUT BEHIND THEM: SO THEY WERE BEFORE JUDAH, AND THE AMBUSHMENT WAS BEHIND THEM.

[2-Chronicles 13:14] AND WHEN JUDAH LOOKED BACK, BEHOLD, THE BATTLE WAS BEFORE AND BEHIND: AND THEY CRIED UNTO THE LORD, AND THE PRIESTS SOUNDED WITH THE TRUMPETS.

[2-Chronicles 13:15] THEN THE MEN OF JUDAH GAVE A SHOUT: AND AS THE MEN OF JUDAH SHOUTED, IT CAME TO PASS, THAT GOD SMOTE JEROBOAM AND ALL ISRAEL BEFORE ABIJAH AND JUDAH.

[2-Chronicles 13:16] AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL FLED BEFORE JUDAH: AND GOD DELIVERED THEM INTO THEIR HAND.

[2-Chronicles 13:17] AND ABIJAH AND HIS PEOPLE SLEW THEM WITH A GREAT SLAUGHTER: SO THERE FELL DOWN SLAIN OF ISRAEL FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND CHOSEN MEN.

[2-Chronicles 13:18] THUS THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WERE BROUGHT UNDER AT THAT TIME, AND THE CHILDREN OF JUDAH PREVAILED, BECAUSE THEY RELIED UPON THE LORD GOD OF THEIR FATHERS.

[2-Chronicles 13:19] AND ABIJAH PURSUED AFTER JEROBOAM, AND TOOK CITIES FROM HIM, BETHEL WITH THE TOWNS THEREOF, AND JESHANAH WITH THE TOWNS THEREOF, AND EPHRAIM WITH THE TOWNS THEREOF.

[2-Chronicles 13:20] NEITHER DID JEROBOAM RECOVER STRENGTH AGAIN IN THE DAYS OF ABIJAH: AND THE LORD STRUCK HIM, AND HE DIED.

[2-Chronicles 13:21] BUT ABIJAH WAXED MIGHTY, AND MARRIED FOURTEEN WIVES, AND BEGAT TWENTY AND TWO SONS, AND SIXTEEN DAUGHTERS.

[2-Chronicles 13:2 AND THE REST OF THE ACTS OF ABIJAH, AND HIS WAYS, AND HIS SAYINGS, ARE WRITTEN IN THE STORY OF THE PROPHET IDDO.

[2-Chronicles 14:1] SO ABIJAH SLEPT WITH HIS FATHERS, AND THEY BURIED HIM IN THE CITY OF DAVID: AND ASA HIS SON REIGNED IN HIS STEAD. IN HIS DAYS THE LAND WAS QUIET TEN YEARS.

[1-Kings 15:9] AND IN THE TWENTIETH YEAR OF JEROBOAM KING OF ISRAEL REIGNED ASA OVER JUDAH.
Asa in Hebrew (and Aramaic) connotes “healing”.

[1-Kings 15:10] AND FORTY AND ONE YEARS REIGNED HE IN JERUSALEM. AND HIS MOTHER’S NAME WAS MAACHAH, THE DAUGHTER OF ABISHALOM.

[1-Kings 15:11] AND ASA DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE LORD, AS DID DAVID HIS FATHER.

[1-Kings 15:12] AND HE TOOK AWAY THE SODOMITES OUT OF THE LAND, AND REMOVED ALL THE IDOLS THAT HIS FATHERS HAD MADE.
SODOMITES. Hebrew “kedoshim” literally “Holy Ones”. These were males who dedicated themselves to homosexual prostitution with the proceeds going to the pagan Temple they worked out of.

[1-Kings 15:13] AND ALSO MAACHAH HIS MOTHER, EVEN HER HE REMOVED FROM BEING QUEEN, BECAUSE SHE HAD MADE AN IDOL IN A GROVE; AND ASA DESTROYED HER IDOL, AND BURNT IT BY THE BROOK KIDRON.
We saw above (1-Kings 15:3) that MAACHAH is referred to as THE DAUGHTER OF ABISHALOM (even though she was actually merely a descendant) to emphasize the retrograde qualities she may have inherited from him.

[1-Kings 15:14] BUT THE HIGH PLACES WERE NOT REMOVED: NEVERTHELESS ASA’S HEART WAS PERFECT WITH THE LORD ALL HIS DAYS.
THE HIGH PLACES. Hebrew “Bamot”. These were places of worship and the offering of sacrifice to the God of Israel but outside of the Temple Area. This was forbidden but a continued common practice even when righteous monarchs were in power.

[1-Kings 15:15] AND HE BROUGHT IN THE THINGS WHICH HIS FATHER HAD DEDICATED, AND THE THINGS WHICH HIMSELF HAD DEDICATED, INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, SILVER, AND GOLD, AND VESSELS.

[1-Kings 15:16] AND THERE WAS WAR BETWEEN ASA AND BAASHA KING OF ISRAEL ALL THEIR DAYS.
Baasha was the king of the Ten Tribes in the Kingdom of Israel to the north of Judah and Jerusalem. The narrative has here jumped forward in regards to the Northern Kingdom but it backtracks later. We shall see 1-Kings 15:27) how Jeroboam the son of Nebat died and was followed by his son Nadav who reigned for two years. He was then killed by Baasha from the Tribe of Issachar who ruled in his stead.

[1-Kings 15:17] AND BAASHA KING OF ISRAEL WENT UP AGAINST JUDAH, AND BUILT RAMAH, THAT HE MIGHT NOT SUFFER ANY TO GO OUT OR COME IN TO ASA KING OF JUDAH.
RAMAH. Supposedly near the present-day Arab occupied city of Ramallah.

[1-Kings 15:18] THEN ASA TOOK ALL THE SILVER AND THE GOLD THAT WERE LEFT IN THE TREASURES OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, AND THE TREASURES OF THE KING’S HOUSE, AND DELIVERED THEM INTO THE HAND OF HIS SERVANTS: AND KING ASA SENT THEM TO BENHADAD, THE SON OF TABRIMON, THE SON OF HEZION, KING OF SYRIA, THAT DWELT AT DAMASCUS, SAYING,
SYRIA. In Hebrew “Aram” a term that applied also to areas in northern Syria and present-day Iraq.
DAMASCUS. In Biblical terms Damascus often refers to a city or area by the Upper Euphrates in the region of Gozan.
See:
“Brit-Am Now”- 402
http://britam.org/now/now402.html
#3. The NORTHERN BORDERS of Biblical Israel

[1-Kings 15:19] THERE IS A LEAGUE BETWEEN ME AND THEE, AND BETWEEN MY FATHER AND THY FATHER: BEHOLD, I HAVE SENT UNTO THEE A PRESENT OF SILVER AND GOLD; COME AND BREAK THY LEAGUE WITH BAASHA KING OF ISRAEL, THAT HE MAY DEPART FROM ME.

[1-Kings 15:20] SO BENHADAD HEARKENED UNTO KING ASA, AND SENT THE CAPTAINS OF THE HOSTS WHICH HE HAD AGAINST THE CITIES OF ISRAEL, AND SMOTE IJON, AND DAN, AND ABEL-BETH-MAACHAH, AND ALL CINNEROTH, WITH ALL THE LAND OF NAPHTALI.
MAACHAH became the name of the goddess of war in Ancient Ireland.
ABEL-BETH-MAACHAH means The Plain of the House of Maacah. In Hebrew it could also be rendered as Emain Maacah, as explained elsewhere. ABEL-BETH-MAACHAH had been an important Israelite center in the north.
Later the name Emain Macah re-appeared in Ancient Ireland.
Emain Macha is also known as Navan Fort in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It was the site of the traditional capital of the Ulaid.
Quotation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navan_Fort#Emain_Macha_in_Irish_mythology
##According to Irish mythology and historical tradition it [Emain Macha] was the capital of the Ulaid, the people who gave their name to the province of Ulster. It was supposedly founded by the goddess Macha in the 5th or 7th century BC, and was the seat of Conchobar mac Nessa in the tales of the Ulster Cycle. …##The name Emain Macha is variously explained as “Macha’s neck-brooch”, after Macha marked out the boundaries of the site with her brooch, and “Macha’s twins”, after Macha gave birth to twins after being forced to compete in a chariot-race. The Annals of the Four Masters record that it was abandoned after it was burned by the Three Collas in 331 AD, after they had defeated Fergus Foga, king of Ulster.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O70-EmainMacha.html
Excavation (1963–71) has established that the round house was begun c.700 BC and rebuilt nine times before 100 BC; the surrounding stockade was rebuilt six times. Emain Macha is probably identical with the Isamnion mentioned in Ptolemy’s geography (2nd cent. AD). The survival of the skull of a Barbary ape at Emain Macha implies that the site was known far beyond Ireland.
[1-Kings 15:21] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN BAASHA HEARD THEREOF, THAT HE LEFT OFF BUILDING OF RAMAH, AND DWELT IN TIRZAH.
TIRZAH. A town in the Highlands of Samarian northeast of Shechem.
It had been named after one of the five daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 26:33).
It was known for its beauty,
THOU ART BEAUTIFUL, O MY LOVE, AS TIRZAH, COMELY AS JERUSALEM, TERRIBLE AS AN ARMY WITH BANNERS (Song of Songs 6:4).

[1-Kings 15:22] THEN KING ASA MADE A PROCLAMATION THROUGHOUT ALL JUDAH; NONE WAS EXEMPTED: AND THEY TOOK AWAY THE STONES OF RAMAH, AND THE TIMBER THEREOF, WHEREWITH BAASHA HAD BUILDED; AND KING ASA BUILT WITH THEM GEBA OF BENJAMIN, AND MIZPAH.

[1-Kings 15:23] THE REST OF ALL THE ACTS OF ASA, AND ALL HIS MIGHT, AND ALL THAT HE DID, AND THE CITIES WHICH HE BUILT, ARE THEY NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE CHRONICLES OF THE KINGS OF JUDAH? NEVERTHELESS IN THE TIME OF HIS OLD AGE HE WAS DISEASED IN HIS FEET.
Asa supposedly had gout which is known as the disease of kings. Henry-viii of England also suffered from gout. I had several attacks of gout a few years ago but (apart from occasional twitches) have since benefited from a relief. I hope it continues. Gout may be occasioned by a combination of diet, general health factors, and hereditary. It is said to occur when uretic acid accumulates in the body as a result of not being sufficiently flushed out by urination. The acid accumulates over time in the joints (especially those of the feet) until being activated. My own attacks, though very painful to me, were relatively mild and I may have gotten rid of it, at least in part. Previously my diet had been composed largely of elements said to cause gout such as fish, honey (I used it instead of sugar), and occasional beer. I drastically modified my diet and apparently alleviated the cause. Gout can be very painful and disabling. When attacks occur there seems to be little that can be done about them except take medicine to reduce the swelling and wait till it passes.
I had received advice to eat cherries and drink cherry juice and this seemed to help.
When one feels an attack is about to occur moderate exercise seems to put it off though athletic activity in the past may increase susceptibility?

[1-Kings 15:24] AND ASA SLEPT WITH HIS FATHERS, AND WAS BURIED WITH HIS FATHERS IN THE CITY OF DAVID HIS FATHER: AND JEHOSHAPHAT HIS SON REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.
JEHOSHAPHAT. In Hebrew Yeho-shaphat i.e. God is the Judge.

[1-Kings 15:25] AND NADAB THE SON OF JEROBOAM BEGAN TO REIGN OVER ISRAEL IN THE SECOND YEAR OF ASA KING OF JUDAH, AND REIGNED OVER ISRAEL TWO YEARS.
NADAB from the root NDB (also pronouceable as NDV) connotes generosity, voluntariness.

[1-Kings 15:26] AND HE DID EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, AND WALKED IN THE WAY OF HIS FATHER, AND IN HIS SIN WHEREWITH HE MADE ISRAEL TO SIN.

[1-Kings 15:27] AND BAASHA THE SON OF AHIJAH, OF THE HOUSE OF ISSACHAR, CONSPIRED AGAINST HIM; AND BAASHA SMOTE HIM AT GIBBETHON, WHICH BELONGED TO THE PHILISTINES; FOR NADAB AND ALL ISRAEL LAID SIEGE TO GIBBETHON.
Daat Mikra based on an analysis of names in the Book of Chronicles suggests that the Tribe of Issachar as well as its dwelling in its own territory which may have stretched in a narrow strip from the Sea of Galilee to the Mediterranean also settled in part in the territory of Ephraim.
GIBBETHON is of unknown location. There was a place of the same name in the southern territory of Dan (Joshua 19:44). It could be that the Philistines had occupied GIBBETHON and the Israelites were trying to take it back. Gibbethon would have been close to the border with Judah.

[1-Kings 15:28] EVEN IN THE THIRD YEAR OF ASA KING OF JUDAH DID BAASHA SLAY HIM, AND REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.

[1-Kings 15:29] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN HE REIGNED, THAT HE SMOTE ALL THE HOUSE OF JEROBOAM; HE LEFT NOT TO JEROBOAM ANY THAT BREATHED, UNTIL HE HAD DESTROYED HIM, ACCORDING UNTO THE SAYING OF THE LORD, WHICH HE SPAKE BY HIS SERVANT AHIJAH THE SHILONITE:
Ahiyah had prophesied that all the House of Jeroboam would be wiped out.

[1-Kings 15:30] BECAUSE OF THE SINS OF JEROBOAM WHICH HE SINNED, AND WHICH HE MADE ISRAEL SIN, BY HIS PROVOCATION WHEREWITH HE PROVOKED THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL TO ANGER.
Jeroboam is nearly always recalled as someone who sinned and who caused Israel to sin. We should be very careful in what we do or say and not cause others to transgress because of us.

[1-Kings 15:31] NOW THE REST OF THE ACTS OF NADAB, AND ALL THAT HE DID, ARE THEY NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE CHRONICLES OF THE KINGS OF ISRAEL?

[1-Kings 15:32] AND THERE WAS WAR BETWEEN ASA AND BAASHA KING OF ISRAEL ALL THEIR DAYS.

[1-Kings 15:33] IN THE THIRD YEAR OF ASA KING OF JUDAH BEGAN BAASHA THE SON OF AHIJAH TO REIGN OVER ALL ISRAEL IN TIRZAH, TWENTY AND FOUR YEARS.

[1-Kings 15:34] AND HE DID EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, AND WALKED IN THE WAY OF JEROBOAM, AND IN HIS SIN WHEREWITH HE MADE ISRAEL TO SIN.

1-Kings chapter 16

[1-Kings 16:1] THEN THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME TO JEHU THE SON OF HANANI AGAINST BAASHA, SAYING,

[1-Kings 16:2] FORASMUCH AS I EXALTED THEE OUT OF THE DUST, AND MADE THEE PRINCE OVER MY PEOPLE ISRAEL; AND THOU HAST WALKED IN THE WAY OF JEROBOAM, AND HAST MADE MY PEOPLE ISRAEL TO SIN, TO PROVOKE ME TO ANGER WITH THEIR SINS;
JEHU (Yehu) THE SON OF HANANI was a Prophet and so was his father (2-Chronicles 15:7).
Baasha had been made king in place of Nadab, the inheritor of Jeroboam, because Jeroboam and his successor had sinned. The Commentators point out that Jeroboam had had great merits of his own. He had been considered one of the greatest Torah scholars in all Israel but he had sinned by changing the mode of worship and setting up two gold bull calves in Beth-el and Dan and appointing non-Levites to priestly positions. These innovations had led to open idol worship though such may not necessarily have been the original intention.

Baasha lacked the redeeming qualities of Jeroboam and had not turned out better than him. On the contrary he had continued in his reprobate path. For this he was to be punished.

[1-Kings 16:3] BEHOLD, I WILL TAKE AWAY THE POSTERITY OF BAASHA, AND THE POSTERITY OF HIS HOUSE; AND WILL MAKE THY HOUSE LIKE THE HOUSE OF JEROBOAM THE SON OF NEBAT.

[1-Kings 16:4] HIM THAT DIETH OF BAASHA IN THE CITY SHALL THE DOGS EAT; AND HIM THAT DIETH OF HIS IN THE FIELDS SHALL THE FOWLS OF THE AIR EAT.

[1-Kings 16:5] NOW THE REST OF THE ACTS OF BAASHA, AND WHAT HE DID, AND HIS MIGHT, ARE THEY NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE CHRONICLES OF THE KINGS OF ISRAEL?

[1-Kings 16:6] SO BAASHA SLEPT WITH HIS FATHERS, AND WAS BURIED IN TIRZAH: AND ELAH HIS SON REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.

[1-Kings 16:7] AND ALSO BY THE HAND OF THE PROPHET JEHU THE SON OF HANANI CAME THE WORD OF THE LORD AGAINST BAASHA, AND AGAINST HIS HOUSE, EVEN FOR ALL THE EVIL THAT HE DID IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, IN PROVOKING HIM TO ANGER WITH THE WORK OF HIS HANDS, IN BEING LIKE THE HOUSE OF JEROBOAM; AND BECAUSE HE KILLED HIM.

ALSO. The Commentary Mishbatsot Zahav (Shabtai Weiss) points out that the Prophecy of Jehu (Yehu) the Prophet was in addition to the previous prophecy he had given beforehand. Even though the decree in heaven had been made against Baasha there was still a chance that through repentance it could be annulled. Elah the son of Baasha however did not take the warning to heart but kept going in the perverse manner of his father. The previous Prophecy against the House of his father (i.e. in effect against him) was therefore repeated and strengthened.
BECAUSE HE KILLED HIM. He had the right to kill Nadab the son of Jeroboam only so long as he did better than him. When instead of correcting the evil that had been done he did the opposite then he too was to be found culpable.

[1-Kings 16:8] IN THE TWENTY AND SIXTH YEAR OF ASA KING OF JUDAH BEGAN ELAH THE SON OF BAASHA TO REIGN OVER ISRAEL IN TIRZAH, TWO YEARS.

[1-Kings 16:9] AND HIS SERVANT ZIMRI, CAPTAIN OF HALF HIS CHARIOTS, CONSPIRED AGAINST HIM, AS HE WAS IN TIRZAH, DRINKING HIMSELF DRUNK IN THE HOUSE OF ARZA STEWARD OF HIS HOUSE IN TIRZAH.
Zimri according to a Midrash (Pesikta de Rav Kahana, MZ) was from the Tribe of Simeon.

[1-Kings 16:10] AND ZIMRI WENT IN AND SMOTE HIM, AND KILLED HIM, IN THE TWENTY AND SEVENTH YEAR OF ASA KING OF JUDAH, AND REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.

[1-Kings 16:11] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN HE BEGAN TO REIGN, AS SOON AS HE SAT ON HIS THRONE, THAT HE SLEW ALL THE HOUSE OF BAASHA: HE LEFT HIM NOT ONE THAT PISSETH AGAINST A WALL, NEITHER OF HIS KINSFOLKS, NOR OF HIS FRIENDS.
He wiped out all the males in the extended family of Baasha.

[1-Kings 16:12] THUS DID ZIMRI DESTROY ALL THE HOUSE OF BAASHA, ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF THE LORD, WHICH HE SPAKE AGAINST BAASHA BY JEHU THE PROPHET.

[1-Kings 16:13] FOR ALL THE SINS OF BAASHA, AND THE SINS OF ELAH HIS SON, BY WHICH THEY SINNED, AND BY WHICH THEY MADE ISRAEL TO SIN, IN PROVOKING THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL TO ANGER WITH THEIR VANITIES.

[1-Kings 16:14] NOW THE REST OF THE ACTS OF ELAH, AND ALL THAT HE DID, ARE THEY NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE CHRONICLES OF THE KINGS OF ISRAEL?
These Chronicles are not the same as the Biblical Books of Chronicles but separate records that have been lost. Our own Books of Chronicles in the Bible were traditionally written up by Ezra the Scribe but Ezra could well have extracted them in part from the official records mentioned here.

[1-Kings 16:15] IN THE TWENTY AND SEVENTH YEAR OF ASA KING OF JUDAH DID ZIMRI REIGN SEVEN DAYS IN TIRZAH. AND THE PEOPLE WERE ENCAMPED AGAINST GIBBETHON, WHICH BELONGED TO THE PHILISTINES.
Baasha had slain Nadab son of Jeroboam when the Israelites were besieging Gibbethon. Now the sons of Baasha in his turn were murdered by Zimri, again when they were besieging Gibbethon (1-Kings 15:27).

[1-Kings 16:16] AND THE PEOPLE THAT WERE ENCAMPED HEARD SAY, ZIMRI HATH CONSPIRED, AND HATH ALSO SLAIN THE KING: WHEREFORE ALL ISRAEL MADE OMRI, THE CAPTAIN OF THE HOST, KING OVER ISRAEL THAT DAY IN THE CAMP.

Omri was to become king of Israel. His son was King Ahab. Both Omri and Ahab were important monarchs. They made an impression on foreigners. In their honor the Kingdom of Israel was referred to by the Assyrians as Bit Khumria or House of Omri. InnHebrew the name Omri begins with the letter “ayin” which can take a guttural sound and be pronounced as a K or a G. It has been suggested in the past that an Assyrian pronunciation of Khumri (Gumria) gave rise to Gimmirri which was the name given to the Cimmerians amongst whom part of the Lost Ten Tribes were to be found.
Brit-Am acknowledges this possibility but leaves the case open.

Below are two extracts on this matter: One from a British-Israel source, the other from our book, “Lost Israelite Identity. The Hebrew Ancestry of Celtic Races”, Jerusalem, Israel, 1996.
(1) Extract One

THE REAL DIASPORA

(THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING BIBLE TRIBES!)

http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/diaspora.html
In the second row of carvings, Kinsmen of Jehu, son of a man named KHUMRI, are shown bringing tribute consisting of metal and vessels of silver and gold.. KHUMRI was the Assyrian designation of the Jews… This monument of the Assyrian king has pictures of conquered princes paying tribute, including “Jehu, the son of Khumri,” a term designating him as an Israelite. This Assyrian name for Israel, Khumri, translates as “House of Omri,” after an Israelite king who gained fame for a new law-code he developed (Micah 6:16). Famed early 20th century historian archaeologist, Archibald Henry Sayce, in his book, Higher Critics and the Monuments, p. 396, adds: ‘lt was, however, in the lime of Ahab the son of Omri that the Assyrians first became acquainted with the northern kingdom of lsrael, and consequently Samaria continued ever afterwards to be known to them as Beth-Omri, the ‘house of Omri’. ”

KHUMRI

Scholars confirm that the people known to the Persians as SAKA, to the Babylonians as GIMIRRI, and to the Assyrians as KHUMRI, were but different names for the Lost Ten Tribes in captivity. “Saka” or “Sacae” meant “House of Isaac,” while the terms “Khumri” and “Gimirri” translate as “House of Omri.” (The Assyrians later also adopted the Babylonian variant of Khumri, Gimirr.) From this word Khumri or Gimirri developed the tribal name, “Cimmerian,” as well. The famed ancient writer, Herodotus, visited these tribes about 450 B.C. Sir Henry Rawlinson, decipherer of the Behistun Rock, informs us that, “We have reasonable grounds for regarding the GIMIRRI, or CIMMERIANS, who first appeared on the confines of Assyria and Media in the seventh century B.C., and the SACAE of the Behistun Rock, nearly two centuries later, as identical with the BETH-KHUMREE of Samaria, or the Ten Tribes of the House of lsrael… “‘ George Rawlinson, translator of the History Of Herodotus, stated, “The SACAE or Scythians, who were termed GIMIRRI by their Semitic neighbours, first appear in the cuneiform inscriptions as a substantive people under Esar-Haddon in about B.C. 684.” By this date the Ten Tribes, Israel-Gimirri, were entirely resident in Assyria, for a great deportation of the whole seed of Ephraim (Jer. 7:15) had removed them from Palestine. We read . ….. “there was none left but the tribe of Judah only … so was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.” (2 Ki. 17:18,23).

(2) Adaptation of Extract 2.
From
“Lost Israelite Identity. The Hebrew Ancestry of Celtic Races”.

The exile of all Israel from the northern Galilee is recorded in an inscription of Tiglathpileser who boasts of exiling all of “Bit Khumria” except for a small remnant which he left around the city of Samaria6 which city was then the capital and had been built by King Omri. “Bit Khumria” was the name which the Assyrians gave to northern Israel presumably in remembrance of King Omri (”Khumri” in Assyrian) whose son Achab had once fought and defeated the Assyrian forces7.
The Gimirae were also to become known as Gamira, Kimmeroi, and Cimmerians; the appellations Cymry and Cimbri are also derived from the same root. In the east Caucasus area the Humri River is also called the River Gumri and may have been named after the Cimmerians.
The Cimmerians proper were to be driven out of the Middle East and to make their way to western Europe. Forms of their name or root words derived from it are: Cymree, Cimbri, Camber, Humber, Hammer, Himmer, and so on. It has been suggested (quite frequently) that the name Gimirae together with its derivatives are a form of the Hebrew “OMRI” which was pronounced by the Assyrians something like KHUMRI. The Assyrians used “Omri” (i.e. “Khumri”) as a name encompassing all of the kingdom of ten tribed northern Israel. Omri had been only one of the kings of northern Israel but his name was used by the Assyrians for all of his kingdom for several generations after his demise. The suggested permutation of “Khumri” (Omri) into Gimirae is actually linguistically quite feasible. Parallel cases of permutations of other words beginning (like “OMRI”) with the Hebrew letter AYIN and eventually being pronounced in the Assyrian sphere as “G” are known. Even so, that “Khumri” (Omri) eventually really did become “Gimirae ” has yet to be proven and does not really need to be since stronger more confirmable proofs are readily at hand.
Micah (6:15) condemns the northern Israelites for keeping the “Statutes of Omri”. “OMRI” begins with an AYIN which as enunciated has no exact equivalent in European tongues and is variously transliterated as “H” (”Hebrew”), “O” (”Omri”), “A” (”Anamim”), “G” (”Gaza”), etc. The Arabs today have a form of AYIN which transliterated into English would be rendered as “G” and does have a “g”-like sound. The northern Israelites like the Phoenicians (whose dialect of Hebrew was similar to theirs probably did not pronounce “Ayin” clearly. The Assyrians used a special symbol called “KHETH” for all gutturals including Ayin so that Omri became pronounced as Khumri. The Akkadian languages which the Assyrians used had a tendency to exchange a simple “K” for the “KHETH” (”KH”) and also “G” for “K” so therefore Omri (Khumri) could have become Gimirae.
Some authorities, such as Pinches, seem certain that the actual pronunciation (by both the Northern Hebrews and by the Assyrians) of “Omri” (the name applied to Israel) was at least quite close to Gimiri, e.g. T.G. Pinches “Omri was likewise pronounced in accordance with the older system, before the ghain became ayin. Humri shows that they said at that time `Ghomri’” : “Ghomri” in Assyrian speech would easily have been renderable as “Gimirae” the name given to the Cimmerians.
Kristensen, in her work (Anne Katrine Gade KRISTENSEN, “Who were the Cimmerians, and where did they come from?”, translated from the Danish by Jorgen Laessoe. Copenhagen, 1988)
(also milled over this subject, as for example in the following quotation:

~The Cimmerians are referred to as “Gimiraja”, “Gamiraaja”, “Gamir”, and “Gamirra”.
~ When ‘Omri could be rendered as “~Humri”, then according to Pinches it shows that at the time the name was pronounced `Ghomri, in accordance with the older system before ghain became ayin’.
~In as much as the Assyrians…had to represent it by a character which may be transliterated Kh, Gh, or H, according to choice.
~It may be taken for granted that there is a linguistic relationship between ‘Omri and the term used for the Cimmerians…
“Cf. also the Armenian name for northern Gamir in the vicinity of Leninakan: Kumayri (Later Gumri) (Kristensen p.121 n.419; [suggests the transition from “Khumri” to “Gumri”..]:
~The arguments adduced by the students of the Ten Tribes amounts to the possibility that there may have been two different ways in which the Assyrians attempted to render the Hebrew ‘Omri. Incidentally, the Hebrew word for Cimmerians, Gomer, appears to be rather close to the older form, Omri.
In the past a whole string of writers identified the Lost Ten Tribes with the Cimmerians and the Cimmerians with West European groups especially with the Celts or at least with part of them. Kristensen openly accepts the British Israelite equation of Omri with Gimiri and she is probably one of the few recognised academic scholars to do so.

“The philological connection between ‘Omri and “Gimiri” has been so conclusive to the students of the Ten Tribes…everywhere in the works of these scholars, in spite of an apparent lack of petty criticism of sources, we find results and conclusions which will turn out to be of invaluable importance for professional historians..particularly if we would go to the trouble of checking the premises on which the conclusions rest. The perspectives which are laid open, and the insight and intuition displayed by these scholars, are truly remarkable”.

We would add to the above:
We have indicated additional reasons for accepting the possibility of a transmutation of Omri (Khumri) to Gimiri. It now seems undoubted that such a possibility exists and in one way or another is mentioned and exemplified in quite a few sources. NEVERTHELESS, even if the two names were identically the same (without the need to explain how one turned into the other), it would not be sufficient in itself. Despite everything the whole equation still contains an element of uncertainty. The alternate explanation that the exiled Israelites combined with elements from another entity called GOMER is more compatible with all of the facts rather than the idea of a one to one complete identity of Gomer (Gimira) with Israel. The suggested combination may have been accompanied by a similarity of name and historical parallels for such a “coincidence” are known.
In our opinion the Brit-Am explanation and summarization of the subject is still the best available.

[1-Kings 16:17] AND OMRI WENT UP FROM GIBBETHON, AND ALL ISRAEL WITH HIM, AND THEY BESIEGED TIRZAH.

[1-Kings 16:18] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN ZIMRI SAW THAT THE CITY WAS TAKEN, THAT HE WENT INTO THE PALACE OF THE KING’S HOUSE, AND BURNT THE KING’S HOUSE OVER HIM WITH FIRE, AND DIED.

[1-Kings 16:19] FOR HIS SINS WHICH HE SINNED IN DOING EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, IN WALKING IN THE WAY OF JEROBOAM, AND IN HIS SIN WHICH HE DID, TO MAKE ISRAEL TO SIN.
Zimri only reigned for seven days (1-Kings 16:15).
What kind of sins could he caused Israel to commit in such a short time. The Radak says that he committed the offences while still the Chief of the Army under Baasha and Elah son of Baasha whom Zimri killed.
The Commentary “Mishbatsot Zehav” brings commentaries to the effect that Zimri when being made king had all his sins forgiven in the same way as (according to tradition) a Groom on the day of his marriage is forgiven his sins. A King and others who are appointed to high positions like a bridegroom are given a new chance on the day of their appointment.
Zimri however intended to cause the people to continue to worship idolatry and the power of his personality was enough even in the few days that he was in power to have an effect.

[1-Kings 16:20] NOW THE REST OF THE ACTS OF ZIMRI, AND HIS TREASON THAT HE WROUGHT, ARE THEY NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE CHRONICLES OF THE KINGS OF ISRAEL?

[1-Kings 16:21] THEN WERE THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL DIVIDED INTO TWO PARTS: HALF OF THE PEOPLE FOLLOWED TIBNI THE SON OF GINATH, TO MAKE HIM KING; AND HALF FOLLOWED OMRI.

[1-Kings 16:22] BUT THE PEOPLE THAT FOLLOWED OMRI PREVAILED AGAINST THE PEOPLE THAT FOLLOWED TIBNI THE SON OF GINATH: SO TIBNI DIED, AND OMRI REIGNED.
The Commentaries (Rashi, Radak) say that Asa king of Judah married his daughter to Omri. This strengthened popular support for him against Tibni who committed suicide.

[1-Kings 16:23] IN THE THIRTY AND FIRST YEAR OF ASA KING OF JUDAH BEGAN OMRI TO REIGN OVER ISRAEL, TWELVE YEARS: SIX YEARS REIGNED HE IN TIRZAH.

[1-Kings 16:24] AND HE BOUGHT THE HILL SAMARIA OF SHEMER FOR TWO TALENTS OF SILVER, AND BUILT ON THE HILL, AND CALLED THE NAME OF THE CITY WHICH HE BUILT, AFTER THE NAME OF SHEMER, OWNER OF THE HILL, SAMARIA.
Samaria in Hebrew is written as “Shomron”.
Judah and Samaria in Modern Hebrew are referred to as
“Yehudah ve-Shomron”.
Samaria is a Green pronunciation that appears to have been derived from the Phoenicians. There are indications that the Northern Israelites themselves may actually have referred to the Shomron as Samaria or something like it. The Assyrians called it Samarina. The Khazars who comprised part of the Lost Tribes left a trail of place-names after them named in honor of Samaria.
See:
“The Khazars. Tribe 13″
http://www.britam.org/Khazarbook.html
Samaria was also the name given to a Province around the city of that name.
The city of Samaria became the capital of the Northern Kingdom.
In the Bible the term Sarmaria is often used as synonymous with the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the same way as the term Washington is sometimes used to stand for the USA Administration.

The sages said that Omri merited that he and his son and grandson would rule over Israel by virtue of his building the city of Samaria. He added an additional settlement of importance to Israel and enabled those who were in need to settle there.

[1-Kings 16:25] BUT OMRI WROUGHT EVIL IN THE EYES OF THE LORD, AND DID WORSE THAN ALL THAT WERE BEFORE HIM.

[1-Kings 16:26] FOR HE WALKED IN ALL THE WAY OF JEROBOAM THE SON OF NEBAT, AND IN HIS SIN WHEREWITH HE MADE ISRAEL TO SIN, TO PROVOKE THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL TO ANGER WITH THEIR VANITIES.

[1-Kings 16:27] NOW THE REST OF THE ACTS OF OMRI WHICH HE DID, AND HIS MIGHT THAT HE SHEWED, ARE THEY NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE CHRONICLES OF THE KINGS OF ISRAEL?

[1-Kings 16:28] SO OMRI SLEPT WITH HIS FATHERS, AND WAS BURIED IN SAMARIA: AND AHAB HIS SON REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.
Ahab was apparently the son of Omri and the daughter of Asa king of Judah.

[1-Kings 16:29] AND IN THE THIRTY AND EIGHTH YEAR OF ASA KING OF JUDAH BEGAN AHAB THE SON OF OMRI TO REIGN OVER ISRAEL: AND AHAB THE SON OF OMRI REIGNED OVER ISRAEL IN SAMARIA TWENTY AND TWO YEARS.

[1-Kings 16:30] AND AHAB THE SON OF OMRI DID EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD ABOVE ALL THAT WERE BEFORE HIM.

[1-Kings 16:31] AND IT CAME TO PASS, AS IF IT HAD BEEN A LIGHT THING FOR HIM TO WALK IN THE SINS OF JEROBOAM THE SON OF NEBAT, THAT HE TOOK TO WIFE JEZEBEL THE DAUGHTER OF ETHBAAL KING OF THE ZIDONIANS, AND WENT AND SERVED BAAL, AND WORSHIPPED HIM.
Ahab took Jezebel (Yezebel) to wife even though she was a worshipper of idols. She could not have converted since a convert has to renounce idolatry and accept the commandments (Mishbatsot Zehav).
It may that, even at that stage, the Northern Israelites already had the status of non-Israelites from the point of view of religion or where in some kind of in-between-zone. An Israelite who worships idolatry has a problematic status.
Alternately, it may that on a superficial level there was not that much of a difference between the worship of the Northern Israelites and the Canaanites. The two parties may have used the same terminology and symbolism only given it a different emphasis.
ETHBAAL KING OF THE ZIDONIANS reigned over Phoenicia.

[1-Kings 16:32] AND HE REARED UP AN ALTAR FOR BAAL IN THE HOUSE OF BAAL, WHICH HE HAD BUILT IN SAMARIA.
This could be interpreted as saying that he set up an altar for Baal in the House of Baal that he had already built.
The Northern Israelites (and Israelites in general) may have used the term “Baal” an an alternative name for the Almighty. Baal mean “master, lord”.
Under the influence of his wife and her entourage however he redirected his intentions i.e. whereas before in some way by “Baal” the Almighty may have been intended the same term was now used for explicitly for idolatrous worship such as the Canaanite Phoenicians employed.

Cf.
[2-Kings 17:9 Also the children of Israel secretly did [Hebrew: VaYechapu] against the LORD their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images[a] on every high hill and under every green tree.

The words translated as “secretly did” in Hebrew (VaYechapu) connote cover over and hide. The Targum Yehonatan renders this as:
The Children of Israel said things that were not correct about the Almighty their God.
This translation in our opinion suits the Hebrew meaning here. They invented a new theology making their worship of the Almighty consistent with concepts of the surrounding nations.

We see from Hosea that the Northern Israelites referred to the God of Israel as Baal.
[Hosea 2:16] AND IT SHALL BE AT THAT DAY, SAITH THE LORD, THAT THOU SHALT CALL ME ISHI [My husband]; AND SHALT CALL ME NO MORE BAALI.

[Hosea 2:17] FOR I WILL TAKE AWAY THE NAMES OF BAALIM OUT OF HER MOUTH, AND THEY SHALL NO MORE BE REMEMBERED BY THEIR NAME.

[1-Kings 16:33] AND AHAB MADE A GROVE; AND AHAB DID MORE TO PROVOKE THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL TO ANGER THAN ALL THE KINGS OF ISRAEL THAT WERE BEFORE HIM.
A GROVE. Hebrew Asheyra.

[1-Kings 16:34] IN HIS DAYS DID HIEL THE BETHELITE BUILD JERICHO: HE LAID THE FOUNDATION THEREOF IN ABIRAM HIS FIRSTBORN, AND SET UP THE GATES THEREOF IN HIS YOUNGEST SON SEGUB, ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF THE LORD, WHICH HE SPAKE BY JOSHUA THE SON OF NUN.
Hiel from Beth-el rebuilt Jericho.
Jericho was in the territory of Benjamin (Joshua 18:21).
Beth-el comprised twin townships, one in Benjamin and the other in Ephraim.
Joshua had cursed whosoever would rebuild Jericho (Joshua 6:26).
Hiel had several sons. When he began the rebuilding his firstborn died and by the time he finished all of his sons had been taken away.

Ps 115-117

“He Has Sent Redemption to His People”
Psalm 115 is another psalm of praise, portions of which appear in Psalm 135. As stated earlier, Psalm 115 was, and still is among the Jews, the first of those traditionally read or sung following the Passover meal. It is a song expressing communal confidence in God to help and bless His people, apparently originally intended to have groups singing responsively. “Structurally, the song advances in five movements involving a liturgical exchange between the people and temple personnel: (1) vv. 1-8: the people; (2) vv. 9-11: Levitical choir leader (the refrain [”He is their help and shield”] perhaps spoken by the Levitical choir); (3) vv. 12-13: the people; (4) vv. 14-15: the priests; (5) vv. 16-18: the people” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible, note on Psalm 115).

The psalmist has the people begin by directing praise away from themselves to where it rightly belongs-to God (verse 1a). As the song later shows, God’s people are not the source of their own blessings. Rather, God Himself is. God’s glory is revealed in His “mercy” (hesed, steadfast loyal love) and His “truth” (His revelation of what is true and His commitment to maintain His word)-His “love and faithfulness” toward His people (verse 1b, NIV)-as evidenced through their many blessings.

What, then, the people continue, is the basis for the gentile nations to question the whereabouts-the existence or power-of Israel’s God? (verse 2). God is not bound to the earth. He dwells in heaven, from where He rules over the universe with all power and authority to do throughout it as He pleases (see verse 3; compare verses 15-16). Their gods, in contrast, are merely lifeless metals formed into shape by the hands of men (verse 4). These idols are pointless “do-nothings.” They can’t speak, see, hear, smell, feel, walk or talk (verses 5-7)-all things the true God can do.

Then notice Psalm 115:8: “Those who make them [i.e., idols] are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them.” Yet idolaters themselves speak, see, hear, smell, feel, walk and talk. In what way, then, are they like their idols? Perhaps with the people the words are meant in a figurative sense of lacking spiritual discernment and ability-i.e., being spiritually deaf, dumb and blind. Note, for example, Jeremiah 5:21: “Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not.” Further, they lack spiritual power, being unable to “walk” in the way of God. The idolaters could also be said to be like the idols in the general sense of being foolish things. Both are also ultimately powerless and ineffectual. It could even be that the end of idolaters is in mind-that those who persist in idolatry will become like idols in that they will end up as lifeless human forms. They will have noses but will do no smelling, hands but will do no handling and mouths but will do no talking-because they will be dead (compare Psalm 115:17).

In contrast to vainly worshipping false idols is serving and trusting in the true God-who has all power and glory-for help, for protection and for perpetual blessing. The Levitical choir appeals to three groups of people to trust Him: the Israelite nation (verse 9), the house of Aaron, i.e. the priesthood (verse 10) and those who fear God (verse 11). The last group apparently means all God-fearers everywhere, in every nation, as the complementary statement in verse 13 adds “both small and great.” Verses 12-13 contain the response of the people, who refer to themselves as “us,” as in verse 1. “The threefold call to trust the Lord, the three groups of people, and the threefold assurance of God’s protection find their symmetric complement in vv. 12-15a with a threefold formula of blessing (’will bless us’) and a restatement of the three groups (’house of Israel,’ ‘house of Aaron,’ and ‘those who fear the LORD’)” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on verses 12-15). These groups are also found in Psalm 118:2-4 (compare 135:19-21, where the house of Levi is also entioned).

Verses 14-15 of Psalm 115 follow with the priests’ blessing on the people, ending with the declaration that God is the maker of heaven and earth. In the next and last section, the people give the final response in the song, acknowledging God’s sovereignty over heaven and earth, including His appointment of man’s subordinate dominion over the earth (verse 16, compare Genesis 1:28-30). This is part of God’s great blessing. Furthermore, He desires that people acknowledge and enjoy His blessings-not that their lives and participation in His creation be snuffed out in death (verse 17). Those who sing this song in faith and hope conclude that they will bless God forevermore (verse 18)-implying a joyous eternal life of praising Him.

“I Will Praise You, for You Have Answered Me, and Have Become My Salvation”
Psalm 116 is a song of thanksgiving to God for deliverance from “the pains of death…the pains of Sheol [the grave]” (verse 3). The circumstances of its original composition are unknown. In similar language to that of some of David’s psalms, the author here speaks of personal rescue by God from some severe life-threatening situation. However, the “I” in the song eventually came to represent all of Israel, being sung on the occasion of Passover-the second of those psalms sung after the traditional Jewish meal, as explained in previous comments. In that sense, the song came to be seen as celebrating deliverance from Egyptian bondage (compare verse 16).

Interestingly, in Jewish interpretation every follower of God is to view himself as having been personally delivered from Egypt, making the “I” in the song all the more fitting for that occasion. We could say the same in a spiritual sense for those who make up God’s Church-as Egypt represents the evil world we live in and its sin leading to death. In any case, the song certainly has application to all of God’s saints (verse 15)-His holy ones-even today. And it particularly applies to the quintessential saint-the One who offered Himself up in sacrifice on Passover as the true Passover sacrifice-Jesus the Messiah. Jesus Himself was miraculously saved more than once from attempts against His life-until it was time for Him to make the supreme sacrifice and die. Yet even after He died, God the Father nevertheless rescued Him from death by resurrecting Him to eternal life. Just the same, God will often intervene throughout the physical lives of His people to keep them from untimely death. But should He choose to allow them to die before they have reached old age-or even if they do reach old age and die naturally-He will ultimately rescue them later through the future resurrection.

Looking at some of the specifics of the psalm, verse 6 says that God preserves the “simple.” Whereas this word often means naïve, here it could probably better be translated “innocent, clean, or untarnished” (The Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 6). Perhaps the person intended is uncomplicated in manner of thought because he is not trying to spin and maintain a web of deceit. The NIV translates the word in this instance as “simplehearted,” which could imply “those who are childlike in their sense of dependence on and trust in the Lord” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible, note on verse 6).

Having been rescued from death’s clutches (verses 3-6, 8) , the psalmist is able to find rest and peace of mind (verse 7). He knows that he “will walk before the LORD in the land of the living” (verse 9)-similar to words used elsewhere by David (Psalm 27:13; Psalm 56:13). Indeed, it appears that the psalmist believed in this outcome even during his ordeal, as his next words, “I believed, therefore I spoke” (verse 10a), are probably to be linked with the statement in verse 9 (contrary to the NKJV punctuation). “The belief in v. 10 is the hope, articulated in v. 9, that the psalmist would walk in the land of the living” (Nelson, note on verses 9-10). This interpretation we may surmise from the apostle Paul’s quotation of the first part of verse 10 in 2 Corinthians 4 as a profession of faith, explaining why he risked his life preaching the gospel (see verses 7-14). Note Paul’s words in verses 13-14: “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.” Paul in this statement may imply that the psalmist himself had faith not only in being presently rescued, but ultimately even in the future resurrection of the dead.

The latter part of Psalm 116:10 should probably not be within the quotation of what the psalmist had earlier spoken. Rather, it is likely just a statement of fact, as Green’s Literal Translation presents it: “I was greatly afflicted.” In verse 11, the word rendered “haste” could be interpreted “dismay” (NIV) or “alarm” (Green’s). And the despairing statement that “all men are liars” could mean that all are “vain” or “unreliable” (see Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on verses 10-11)-in contrast to God, who is always true and trustworthy, the only one who can be absolutely counted on to come through on His promises.

In verse 12, the psalmist considers what he will give to God for the good that God has done for Him. Of course, none of us could ever repay God for the blessings He has given us. That is not the point. Rather, our obligation to our Maker and Savior is to do all that He requires of us-to give to Him what He expects of us-to submit our lives wholly to His will. This is the context to bear in mind for the rest of the psalm.

The first thing the psalmist answers with is that He will “take up the cup of salvation” (verse 13a). Some see here a drink offering (compare Numbers 28:7). However, it appears that the psalmist is taking up this particular cup to drink from it himself rather than pouring it out as a drink offering. The figure of the “cup” occurs elsewhere in the Psalms as signifying one’s lot in life-what has been apportioned to him (see 16:5). In 23:5, as part of dining at the Lord’s banquet, the cup is shown to be running over with blessings. Here in Psalm 116 it offers salvation. The meaning, then, would seem to be that the psalmist will embrace this salvation that God has apportioned to him. As his duty to God, he will accept God’s offer of eternal life and blessing along with all the terms that accompany it.

There may be more to the imagery here as well. Some view the “sacrifice of thanksgiving” in verse 17 to mean a thank offering-a special peace offering-and see the cup as “the cup of wine drunk at the festal meal that climaxed a thank offering (cf. 22:26, 29; Lev 7:11-21)-called [it is presumed in this case] the ‘cup of salvation’ because the thank offering and its meal celebrated deliverance by the Lord” (Zondervan, note on Psalm 116:13).

Furthermore, recall that this psalm became associated with the Passover-and consider that this verse may have given the psalm its special place in the Jewish liturgy of the evening. As The Nelson Study Bible comments: “At Passover this psalm is read after the meal, immediately following the third cup of wine, called the cup of salvation. How appropriate that this Passover psalm would call to mind God’s cup of salvation the very night that the Savior was betrayed (Matt. 26:27; Luke 22:14-22)” (note on Psalm 116:12-13). We do not eat a meal as part of the Passover service today, recognizing that Jesus implemented new symbolism. But the truths expressed in these psalms readily correspond to the spiritual meaning of this sacred memorial of Christ’s death. The psalmist’s sufferings certainly prefigured those of Jesus. And there may well be a relation between the cup of salvation here and the cup of the New Covenant that Jesus instituted at the Passover. Indeed, all of God’s people must accept the redemption and salvation that comes through it.

Hearkening back to his question of verse 12, concerning what he will render to God, the psalmist next answers that he will call on the name of the Lord (verse 13b). That is, he will look to God as his source of help-as his God. Next he says he will pay his vows to God (verse 14)-honor the promises and commitments he has made-in the presence of all God’s people, as a witness and example.

The psalm then makes what may seem a strange, non-sequitur statement in verse 15: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” Some think the word for “precious” here should be translated “costly”-meaning that God takes it as a heavy loss-so that He does not readily allow it. Yet God does not lose His faithful saints. Those who die are preserved for His Kingdom, and for Him the time passes quickly. So how are we to understand the verse? The Zondervan Student Bible comments: “This verse, often read at funerals, in no way implies that God enjoys the death of his people. Instead, it means that he carefully watches over their death, and that it matters deeply to him” (note on verse 15). While true, this does not explain how the verse fits here. Indeed, if the psalmist were glad of God rescuing him from death, why is he saying this at all?

Recall the context of verse 12: “What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me?” Immediately after saying he will render the paying of his vows in verse 14, we find this statement in verse 15 that God considers the death of His saints to be precious or valuable. In context, it too is something rendered to God. The point would seem to be that the giving of ourselves wholly to God-unto death if necessary-is highly valued in His sight. After all, in such death God does not lose His servant. Just the opposite, it is a moment of immense gain. For when saints die their salvation is assured-surely a very precious thing in God’s sight, as in their next conscious moment they will be immortal spirit members of His family, faithful through all eternity to come. Even though God has rescued him, the psalmist knows that God could still require the sacrifice of his life-which he is willing to give, knowing that God will resurrect him in the future. Here, of course, is a very strong parallel with Jesus Christ, who willingly submitted to the sacrificial death God required of Him in anticipation of life with the Father yet to come.

Following on in the listing of what he will give to God, the psalmist next commits himself to being God’s humble servant. Interestingly he points out in this context that God has loosed his bonds. God has released him from death’s grip not to wild abandon, but to freely and fully serving the true God. Israel shared this responsibility in the Exodus and throughout its national history. And Christians have likewise been freed from their sinful past to obey God from now on (compare Romans 6:15-22).
The psalmist next declares that he will offer the “sacrifice of thanksgiving” (Psalm 116:17). As mentioned above, this could refer to the giving of a special thank offering (Leviticus 7:12). Yet it could more generally apply to simply thanking and praising God, at least in a figurative sense. We should be extremely grateful for all that God has done for us and express our gratitude to Him regularly and often when we call on Him in prayer.

Throughout this section, we see a loving relationship in action. God loves the writer, providing him with many blessings, including instruction on his obligations to his Creator. The author loves God, responding with a willing heart eager to fulfill his responsibilities in living according to God’s Word. In the briefest of terms, God commands and man obeys. But there is more-a loving relationship exists, as illustrated throughout the psalms. The New Testament further develops this relational aspect of mutual love between the Father and the believing son or daughter.

Verse 18 may be only a reiteration of verse 14. Yet it could well be more than that, signifying that the psalm itself, in its composition and later actual performance in the temple (compare verse 19), is a fulfillment of paying vows made to God. On a prophetic level, the wording may also foreshadow Jesus’ offering of Himself in Jerusalem as the true Passover sacrifice-and the witness and example given to His followers.

“I Will Praise You, for You Have Answered Me, and Have Become My Salvation” January 20
Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm and the shortest chapter in the Bible. It has a simple yet important directive: everyone is to praise the Lord (verse 1). The psalmists typically call for the faithful of Israel to offer praise. But in this psalm, the writer calls for “all you Gentiles”-that is, “all you nations” (NIV)-and “all you peoples” to praise God.

In Romans 15:11 the apostle Paul quoted Ps.117:1 in conjunction with other Old Testament passages to explain that God intended the gentiles to have a relationship with Him as well (see Romans 15:8-12; compare Psalm 18:49; Deuteronomy 32:43; Isaiah 11:10).

Along with the other songs of this section, the psalmist here uses Hallelujah-”Praise the LORD” (Psalm 117:1-2). He also uses the word shavah for “laud” or “extol” (verse 1, NIV). “Laud, which means ‘to speak well of,’ nicely parallels the term praise, which means ‘to be excitedly boastful about’” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 1).

God is to be praised for His hesed (His loyal, steadfast lovingkindness and mercy) and His enduring emet or truth, implying “faithfulness” (NIV) to maintain His word, to keep His promises (verse 2). Through these, those of all mankind who respond in sincerity and faith may share in the wonderful, eternal blessings of the people of God-for they, too, will be His people.

Luke 22:39-71
You will notice we are reading about the Exodus and at the same time at this time of year we are also reading about the arrest and the crucifixion of Yehshua.

Rather than say anything I would urge you all to rent and watch the Ten Commandments and then the Passion of Christ this coming week as we all de-leaven our homes.

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 388-394 We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from http://theownersmanual.net/The_Owners_Manual_02_The_Law_of_Love.Torah

(388)A kohein with a temporary blemish shall not serve there. “No man of the descendants of Aaron the priest, who has a defect, shall come near to offer the offerings made by fire to Yahweh. He has a defect; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.” (Leviticus 21:21) This isn’t rocket science. The persistence or duration of the blemish has absolutely nothing to do with it. A priest with a defect doesn’t serve. Period. If the defect or blemish is no longer there, there is nothing to keep the priest from serving. If we come to terms with the fact that the defect is a metaphor for sin—and that the sin must be removed before the priest can minister—it will all make sense. But if we refuse to look beyond the letter of the law, we will spend our lives looking for loopholes.

(389)A person with a physical blemish shall not enter the Sanctuary further than the altar. “…Only he shall not go near the veil or approach the altar, because he has a defect, lest he profane My sanctuaries; for I Yahweh sanctify them.” (Leviticus 21:23) The altar was a big barbeque that stood outside the entrance to the tent of meeting, and later the temple. The only reason a priest would approach the altar was to participate or assist in the offering of a sacrifice. Maimonides would have you believe that geographical limitations were being placed on priests with blemishes. Seems that even when he’s right, he’s wrong. The point (again) is that sin precludes service. If we haven’t been cleansed of our sins—our shortcomings—by the blood of Yahweh’s Lamb, then the best things we can do are worse than worthless in God’s sight, as we are reminded in Isaiah 64:6.

(390)A kohein who is unclean shall not serve (in the Sanctuary). “Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they do not profane My holy name by what they dedicate to Me: I am Yahweh. Say to them: “Whoever of all your descendants throughout your generations, who goes near the holy things which the children of Israel dedicate to Yahweh, while he has uncleanness upon him, that person shall be cut off from My presence: I am Yahweh.’” (Leviticus 22:1-3) There were quite a few things that could make a priest or Levite ceremoniously unclean (not so much “dirty” as disqualified). Some of them are listed in the following verses, things like having a discharge of some sort, being a leper, touching something that had been touched by a corpse, or coming into contact with something that was defined as unclean. Some of these things were avoidable, and some were not. For example, if a bug landed on you, you were unclean as far as the temple service was concerned, and the condition would persist until the sun went down and you washed yourself with water. Worse, you couldn’t really be sure what had touched you without your knowledge—you might be unclean and not even know it.

If this had no application beyond the raw letter of the law, one could easily get the impression that Yahweh was some sort of heavenly hypochondriac. Keep your grubby germs away from Me! But the obvious truth, once again, is that Yahweh is stressing His unique nature, because of which we are to be set apart from the world around us. We can’t be immersed in the world’s system of values and expect to be of any use to God or His people. No, it’s worse than that: if we are not “clean” as we stumble about in the temple trying to assume the role of God’s priesthood, then we will be “cut off from His presence.” This is an admonition to the false teachers the New Testament writers warned us about: having a form of godliness without God’s power (see II Timothy 3:5). Paul told Timothy to turn away from such people, for Yahweh certainly has.

(391)Send the unclean out of the Camp of the Shechinah, that is, out of the Sanctuary. “And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, everyone who has a discharge, and whoever becomes defiled by a corpse. You shall put out both male and female; you shall put them outside the camp, that they may not defile their camps in the midst of which I dwell.’” (Numbers 5:1-3) Maimonides is trying to shift the playing field to his advantage here, saying the “camp” is actually the “Sanctuary.” Sorry, rabbi. Machaneh really does mean camp, a settling of nomadic people, a temporary dwelling place with several tents in close proximity. The Shekinah, the cloud of Yahweh’s glory, isn’t mentioned here—because His presence actually was in the Tent of Meeting. Maimonides’ agenda here is transparent. He’s saying it’s okay to make the tabernacle/temple/sanctuary a holy place with godly standards. (After all, the Romans tore the temple down half a century before the rabbis under Akiba grabbed the reins of power for themselves, so who cares what has to be done there? It’s a moot point.) But the “camp” is the whole community of Israel. If the “unclean” can’t stay within the camp, then the false teachers like Maimonides and the other rabbis (symbolized by unclean priests—see #390) are in big trouble.

It’s interesting, though, how the rabbis’ obvious twisting of the Torah reveals their mindset. They pride themselves not on truth, but on being able to prove anything they want from scripture. Theirs is a god of power, pride, and intellectual prowess—not Yahweh.

(392)A kohein who is unclean shall not enter the courtyard. (This refers to the Camp of the Shechinah.) “And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, everyone who has a discharge, and whoever becomes defiled by a corpse. You shall put out both male and female; you shall put them outside the camp, that they may not defile their camps in the midst of which I dwell.’” (Numbers 5:1-3) This is merely the negative statement of the affirmative mitzvah discussed above. Note that Yahweh includes all Israelites in His injunction, while Maimonides speaks only of priests (Kohein). Since the sons of Aaron couldn’t be identified with written genealogical records after the sack of the temple in 70 A.D., this was one more factor helping to mitigate the holiness required of Israel by Yahweh in the eyes of the rabbis. They looked at this as sort of a “get out of jail free” card, comprehending neither the extent nor the reality of the prison they had built for themselves.

(393)The kohanim shall bless Israel. “And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “Yahweh bless you and keep you; Yahweh make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; Yahweh lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.’” (Numbers 6:22-27) Webster’s Dictionary defines “bless” as: “To invoke the divine favor upon; to express a wish for the good fortune or happiness of; to bestow happiness, prosperity, or good things of any kind upon.” How surprising it is then to discover that the Hebrew word for bless here (barak) literally means: to kneel, or to cause to kneel. It is derived from the word for “knee,” berek. What’s going on?

It turns out that the Hebrew word incorporates within its meaning the relationship between the blessor and the blessee. As one would normally kneel before a potentate when receiving a grant or blessing, so also were the priests to come in humility and thankfulness before Yahweh. The word barak implies an admission that “blessings” are not given between equals, but rather by the greater to the lesser (see Hebrews 7:7 above). But note: even though it may look something like the fawning submission required of their worshippers by false gods from Ba’al to Allah, this is fundamentally different. We are being told that Yahweh wishes to give us good things (something false gods never do), but arrogance on our part can impede those blessings. If we approach God in a spirit of realistic humility, however, Yahweh will be gracious to us, bless us, and give us peace. All we have to do is ask.

(394)Set apart a portion of the dough for the kohein. “When you come into the land to which I bring you, then it will be, when you eat of the bread of the land, that you shall offer up a heave offering to Yahweh. You shall offer up a cake of the first of your ground meal as a heave offering; as a heave offering of the threshing floor, so shall you offer it up. Of the first of your ground meal you shall give to Yahweh a heave offering throughout your generations.” (Numbers 15:18-21) Let’s get something straight here. The “heave” or “wave” offering was not for the priests, although they were the ones who would eat of it. The offering was made to Yahweh. It was an acknowledgment that His blessing and provision has enabled the Israelites to put food on their tables. This offering is distinguished from the wave offerings made at the beginning of the barley and wheat harvests, celebrated at the Feast of Firstfruits and at the Feast of Weeks. This time, “the first of your ground meal” was being offered, in other words, the processed product of the barley or wheat that had already been harvested.

The heave offering (called the t’rumah) was a part of the tithe. We’ll discuss tithes in detail in the next chapter. But perhaps this would be a good place to lay out the basic structure of how it all works. “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.” A “tithe” (ma’aser) simply means one tenth—derived from asarah, meaning ten. A tenth of the produce of the Land was to be given to the Levites. “Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die. But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.” That is, the Levites would be given no tribal lands like the other eleven tribes. Their jobs were not to be agricultural (that is, “normal”), like everyone else, but would be, rather, concerned with the operation of the sanctuary, the tabernacle or temple. The tithes of Israel paid for all that. “For the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer up as a heave offering to Yahweh, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, ‘Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance….’” It was a trade-off, then. The non-Levites all got more land, but what was grown on that extra land (more or less) was to go back to the Levites, freeing them to work directly in the service of Yahweh on their behalf. Not a bad deal for anybody.

So much for instructions to the non-Levites. “Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: “When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to Yahweh, a tenth of the tithe. And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the winepress.” In other words, though the Levites didn’t have fields, vineyards and pastures of their own, the tithes they received from the other eleven tribes were to be considered as if they had been produced on “Levite” lands. Therefore, a tithe of the tithe was given, this time to support the Levitical sub-tribe of Aaron—the priesthood (see Mitzvah #412). This was presented as the t’rumah, or heave offering. “‘Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to Yahweh from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give Yahweh’s heave offering from it to Aaron the priest. Of all your gifts you shall offer up every heave offering due to Yahweh, from all the best of them, the consecrated part of them.’ Therefore you shall say to them: ‘When you have lifted up the best of it, then the rest shall be accounted to the Levites as the produce of the threshing floor and as the produce of the winepress. You may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your work in the tabernacle of meeting. And you shall bear no sin because of it, when you have lifted up the best of it. But you shall not profane the holy gifts of the children of Israel, lest you die.’” (Numbers 18:21-32)

The question, then, is: “Are we to tithe today?” After all, there is no temple; there are no Levites to maintain it, or priests to intercede there for us. Or are there? Paul points out that our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (II Corinthians 6:19). And John relates that we have been made both kings and priests to Yahweh through the cleansing blood of Yahshua (Revelation 1:5-6). Does this mean we are to pay the tithe to ourselves? Perhaps, if we are devoting one hundred percent of our energies and resources toward the furtherance of Yahweh’s kingdom (and let’s be honest, now—how many of us do that?). But remember, even the t’rumah first went through the hands of the Levites. Who are they in the context of Yahweh’s order of things? In practical terms, they were (1) specifically set apart by Yahweh to (2) do a particular service for God and man and (3) had been denied by their divine calling the capacity to earn a living in the normal way. I’ll leave it to you to figure out who the “Levites” in your world are. But I’ll offer a word of caution: not everyone who stands behind a pulpit is called of God.

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