Search
Archive
Categories

News Letter 5848-007
29th day of the 1st month 5848 years after the creation of Adam
The 1st Month in the Third year of the third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences
This is also the end of the fourth week of this the Third Tithe Year for the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow Deuteronomy 26:12
The 14th day of Counting the Omer
April 21, 2012

The Debt Bomb & Pension cut backs or Help Build a Farm in Israel

Shabbat Shalom Brethren,
for those of you who were looking forward to our meeting in California this May 19, 2012, I regret to inform you that it has been canceled and no explanation given.

We are going to be speaking to the public about the state of Israel on May 6th in Sarnia as they celebrate Everything Israeli for the entire weekend with many speakers coming.

We have received the following email from our brethren in Kentucky;

Hi Joe, We’ve found that in all the studies by everyone about “Counting the Omer” the entire point being made by Yehovah is being missed. That point is that HE wants us to DAILY remember that our food and provision is coming from HIM so He says to count the amount of miraculous MANNA He gave each Israelite each day after the EXODUS throughout the 40 years. The OMER being the amount of food needed for a person to be properly nourished for a day which is 2.2 liters. AND, the main reason to remember the OMER is that it was not earned by wages, provided by slave owners(Egyptians),or harvested from their own hand-worked gardens. Yehovah wants us to realize we are totally under His care, and since we just put away sin and are striving for righteousness, preparing to become the BRIDE, He wants us to stay focused on the job ahead and Shavuot which is the annual rehearsal of the betrothal. If we can stay focused and avoid paying attention to Satan’s distractions we will be really prepared to properly observe Pentecost(Shavuot). We thought everyone could profit from this understanding in a “down-to-earth” explanation. Shalom and Profitable Counting to you and all those assisting you, Ellis & Lydia Wiley.

I have been telling you about the third Tithe year in the heading of each of these News Letters. I also mentioned this to Brother John Bennett this past week and he then spoke about this in last week’s Shabbat service. Please do have a listen to what he has to say about this subject and let Yehovah bless you this year. Go to http://maranathaourlordcometh.com/2.html and listen to Third Tithe Year.

In the Movie Schindlers List Oscar Schindler collected all the money from the Jews before the war and they did not know what to do. They were not sure they could trust this guy, but they were left with little choice. It proved to be the one thing that saved their lives.

I have been asking you since 2011 to donate funds to the farm project, which I believe we need to start in Israel before the next Sabbatical year in 2016; before the war years begin in 2017 and before your dollars are not even worth pennies.

A dedicated hand full of people has contributed over $32,000 towards this cause. Some did it in a lump sum and others donate on a regular basis. To each and everyone who made the effort to place their hard earn funds in this trust, I thank you. No matter if it was just $20 or $3000 to each of you I thank you.

I also said that if we do not have the money needed by July 2012, to begin this farm in Israel we would begin to return all the funds to those who have donated.

I do not solicit from you each week for money. Nor have I charged you all for the teachings many of you have come to appreciate and benefit from. No, nor do I teach you that you must tithe to me or to any group. The book cost me money to print and the DVD cost me money to have them made, so these you pay for and I make a very small amount in this and all the info on both of them is already free on the web site. I say this in contrast to all the other ministries out there which sell you all the things they teach. We do not do that at sightedmoon.com.

Since 2006 when this web site was made I have never charged for the information on it. And for the past 5 years beginning at Passover in 2007 We have researched and sent out articles that some have said are small books each week teaching you different aspects of Torah and helping many come to know and to keep the Sabbath, the Holy Days and even the Sabbatical years. Each news letter takes me about 18 hours worth of work on my part to put together.

This web site has grown. We have now passed the 1.5 Million hits mark. Our readership was over 11,000 at one time and is now down to over 6000. And each news letter is sent to many other web sites and repeated and printed and used for Sabbath services the world over. It is extremely humbling to know this.

Each week I get hundreds of emails asking me questions about this or that and I do try to answer as many as I am able to. And I also get the abusive ones as well.

With this 6000 readership, if each was to give $350 we would have in one week the needed funds to purchase and begin this farm in Israel. If those groups who use these teachings for their Shabbat services were to also ask their assembly to contribute we would be able to build the out buildings and water pumps and those things needed to make this come about.

Yehovah warned Noah well in advance to build the Ark. Noah did and you know the rest of the story. None of the other 7 people in the ark believed it would rain. Only Noah was righteous.

Moses had the Israelite collect gold and silver and cloth from the Egyptians well in advance of the last and final curse to hit the Egyptians. And they left Egypt having despoiled them before that fateful Passover night. But not all of them believed and they soon grumbled about what Yehovah was doing with them.

You have read Proverbs 31 and you have read how this woman went out and bought a field and took care of her family and clothed and fed them and how her husband was pleased with her. This woman of Proverbs is Israel and Israel is anyone who keeps Torah and is grafted in by doing so.

Pro 31:10 Who does find a capable wife? For she is worth far more than rubies. 11 The heart of her husband shall trust her, And he has no lack of gain. 12 She shall do him good, and not evil, All the days of her life. 13 She shall seek wool and flax, And with delight she works with her hands. 14 She shall be as the ships of Tarshish, She brings in her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is still night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her girls. 16 She shall consider a field and buy it; From her profits she shall plant a vineyard. 17 She shall gird herself with strength, And strengthen her arms. 18 She shall taste when her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She shall stretch out her hands to the distaff, And her hand shall hold the spindle. 20 She shall extend her hand to the poor, And she shall reach out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is dressed in scarlet. 22 She shall make tapestry for herself; She is dressed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She shall make fine linen and sell them, And shall give girdles for the merchants. 25 Strength and splendour are her garments, And she rejoices in time to come. 26 She shall open her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the Torah of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children shall rise up and call her blessed; Her husband too, and he praises her: 29 “Many daughters have done nobly, But you have risen over them all.” 30 Loveliness is deceptive And prettiness is vain, A woman who fears יהוה is to be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.

This woman is Israel and she buys a field to raise food and wool for her family. This is why we need to do this. We are Israel.

Many of you whom I have talked to and whom I have read emails from are all planning to have food stored in your basement or shed. You have guns and ammo stocked up and you are moving to the hills to get away from the city. And you have learned how to survive off the land eating the natural growing plants to be found around you. But your plans are so very short sighted.

We have been telling you exactly what it says in Ezekiel 20 for a number of years.

Eze 20:33 “As I live,” declares the Master יהוה, “do not I, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, reign over you? 34 “And I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. 35 “And I shall bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and shall enter into judgment with you face to face there. 36 “As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Mitsrayim, so I shall enter into judgment with you,” declares the Master יהוה. 37 “And I shall make you pass under the rod, and shall bring you into the bond of the covenant, 38 and purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me. From the land where they sojourn I bring them out, but they shall not come into the land of Yisra’ĕl. And you shall know that I am יהוה.

He is going to bring you all out from where we currently are and bring us into the wilderness. All of us are to pass under that shepherd’s rod. And this rod is explained in Isaiah.

Isa 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

Assyria is the ROD that Yehovah will use on us and when we pass under this rod, what this means is that every tenth one is saved and the rest are not. Oh I forgot to mention that Assyria is known today as the nation of Germany. We will pass under the rod of Germany’s military might and when this happens only 10% will survive.

Yes this means that 90% will be destroyed; As Ezekiel just said Yehovah will purge out the rebels from amongst us.

So if all of us are going to be removed from our places where we live, because of the rebelliousness of those around us, and then over the course of the next two Sabbatical cycles 90% of them are to be killed off, does it make sense to build up your own store house which are about to be destroyed or should we do what we already know we must do now while we can still do it and build up a farm for many to live on, in the place Yehovah has said to come home to. Israel.

Many of you ask this next question. Where do we go then?

The answer is in your bible.

Where are you when you see the armies surrounding Jerusalem? You are in Jerusalem! And you are told exactly what to do when you see this by Yehshua Himself;

Luk 21:20 “And when you see Yerushalayim surrounded by armies, then know that its laying waste is near. 21 “Then let those in Yehuḏah flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of her go out, and let not those who are in the fields enter her. 22 “Because these are days of vengeance, to fill all that have been written. 23 “And woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing children in those days! For there shall be great distress in the earth and wrath upon this people. 24 “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Yerushalayim shall be trampled underfoot by the gentiles until the times of the gentiles are filled.

Again Yehshua says in Mathew;
Mat 24:15 “So when you see the ‘abomination that lays waste,’1 spoken of by Dani’ĕl the prophet, set up in the set-apart place” – he who reads, let him understand –16 “then let those who are in Yehuḏah flee to the mountains. 17 “Let him who is on the house-top not come down to take whatever out of his house. 18 “And let him who is in the field not turn back to get his garments. 19 “And woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing children in those days! 20 “And pray that your flight does not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 “For then there shall be great distress,1 such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

In order to see these events take place you need to be in the State of Israel. If you are not then you will be taken into the fifth curse of Lev 26 which is captivity and there you will sit and suffer and watch many others die and maybe even die yourself.

It is after this captivity that those who survive will be brought back to Israel where they will have to flee into the wilderness one more final time for three and ½ years. And they will flee into Moab. But in order to flee there you need to be in Israel.

You have a choice. You can go now or you can be brought back by force after watching thousands die of starvation and beatings and watching them be murdered and raped. Again you get to choose. But look at your spouse and your children before you decide. Because you will not be able to protect them; you will barely be able to look after yourself, if that.

If you consider the coming curses and those you read about in Revelation you will also know that there is coming more severe and more often terrible droughts in which food will be hard to come by. In fact the two witnesses command no rain for three years and during this time while most are in captivity ¼ of the earth’s population will die.

You will need a farm and water supply to survive this three year period, not to mention the other 3 years when many are in captivity and then the 7 years Sabbatical cycle of war starting in 2017. There will not be any groceries on the shelf during this time for you to buy.

I will write more about this next week. For now consider what is happening to your money here in North America and Europe. And once you understand how it is evaporating right in front of you consider doing something with it that can help you and others. Consider investing it in land in Israel that will produce food in the coming bad times and will keep the Sabbatical years when they come.

Also know and consider what has happened to Australia these past few years with drought and floods, and now England is in a severe drought with water restrictions. Last year the horn of Africa was in the curse of famine and now the west and central Africa is in famine and drought conditions and millions are in danger. The USA is in constant danger every time a dark cloud comes on the horizon. They are in constant fear of tornados throughout the bible belt or what is known as the Midwest. And in South America Drought has come to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. And do not forget how Europe was under severe cold in which thousands froze to death this past winter. Considering all of this, now consider helping us to build this farm.

I have one other report I would like to share. It is about the potential war in the Persian Gulf. Too Many Americans think this is going to be just another route. It did not turn out that way in Iraq or Afghanistan and I have some disturbing information about Iran for you to consider. Again as you do think about the farm in Israel, because the potential price of a barrel of fuel could soon bankrupt most people.

The USA has assembled the most powerful armada in the history of naval warfare-and positioned it just outside Iran’s coastal waters.

Most people assume that any fight between Iran and the US will end with the US crushing Iranian forces. But Iran has a strategy for unconventional warfare that could give the US Navy the fight of its life.

No matter how this plays out, oil prices are going a lot higher than they are today. A key reason Oil isn’t already above US $160 is because investors think the US is invincible in the Strait of Hormuz—which, you will recall, is the narrow choke point through which almost all the Persian Gulf Oil must pass on its way to world markets.

Iran has threatened to block the Strait, if attacked. To keep the Strait open, the Pentagon has put together one of the most formidable armadas in the history of Naval warfare; three nuclear-powered aircraft carrier battle groups.
Investors think this show of force should be sufficient to contain a third rate military power like Iran—which is why oil prices are within a few percent of US $110.

But in a war, victory doesn’t always go to the strongest—as the examples of guerrilla masters from George Washington to Mao Zedong, from Davey Crocket to Ho Chi Minh, attest.

Although vastly overmatched, on almost every conventional measure of military strength, Iran has evolved a novel strategy that uses unconventional tactics and exploits local geography in a way that’s been giving the US admirals a lot of sleepless nights.
One of the key unconventional attack platforms in Iran’s arsenal is its swarms of suicide bombers in fast attack boats.
Most of these boats are armed with little more than a couple of sailors with shoulder-fired anti ship missiles. Some have mounted machine guns, so they can shoot back against US attack helicopters. Lots of them are adapted for suicide missions, with prows backed full of shaped plastique design to detonate on impact with a target vessel.

This may be low tech, but it’s extremely effective. In 2000 a single fast attack boat, piloted by Al Qaeda suicide bombers, blew a 40 foot wide hole in the destroyer USS Cole killing 20 sailors, and coming within a whisker of sinking it.

Being small and fast makes these boats difficult to detect, especially at night, and hard to hit. Made mostly of fibreglass and riding low in the water, they are extremely difficult to pick up on radar.

Iran’s unorthodox strategy is simple. Swarm America’s big, slow moving warships with so many fast attack boats from as many different directions at the same time, the US defensive systems become overloaded.

Sooner or later, a few of these Iranian speed boats will get through and blow their targets to kingdom come.

The entire Eastern side of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf is Iranian territory. The long coastline is dotted with literally hundreds of fishing villages, small inlets, tiny island, and hidden coves.

Just about any one of them could make a well concealed launch point for fast attack boats with very short time to target travel times.

They also make secure, well concealed launch points for the most feared conventional weapon in the Iranian naval arsenal; supersonic sea skimming anti ship missiles.

Modeled after the French Exocet and the Chinese Silkworm, these solid fuel missiles fly just a few feet above the water, which means they rarely show up on radar until they are only seconds from impact.

Packed with several hundred pounds of high explosives, these ship killers are designed to punch through the hull of the target vessel right at the water line and then detonate deep inside.

The Strait of Hormuz is only 21 miles wide. Simple arithmetic says a missile traveling at the speed of sound would take less than a minute from launch to strike.

Because the target vessel has only seconds to react, these missiles are essentially impossible to stop. That’s precisely why the US naval doctrine has been to stay out of their range. That’s fine if you’re out on the open ocean. But it’s impossible in the narrow, confined waters of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

Back in 2002, the Pentagon conducted a highly classified US $250 Million war game to evaluate how US forces might fare in a fight against Iran.

The Exercise, dubbed “Millennium Challenge”, was one the largest ever undertaken by the Pentagon. Commanding the “Red Force” was Marine Corps Lt. General Paul K. Van Riper, who studied Iran’s unconventional tactics and tried to figure out how they might be used.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002 for even more details.

For example, instead of radar, which could be electronically observed and tracked by the “blue Force” (representing the US navy), he used his fleet of small fast attack boats as his eyes and ears, to quietly scout US positions.

To keep his communications from being intercepted by US spy satellites and surveillance drones, which would reveal the dispositions of his forces he shut off all radios.

Instead, he used motorcycle messengers to direct his land forces and World War II era light signals to coordinate his naval forces.
These measures enabled him to attack the Blues Force fleet virtually without warning. Using anti ship missiles and suicide attacks by swarms of fast attack boats, Van Riper’s Red Forces sent one nuclear aircraft carrier, ten cruisers, and six amphibious ships straight to the bottom of the Persian Gulf.

“The Whole thing was over in five, maybe ten minutes,” He later recalled.

Had this been an actual battle instead of an exercise, more than 20,000 Us Sailors would have been killed in what would have been the US Navy’s worst shellacking since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour.

Bottom line; far from being able to assure safe transit for oil tankers through the Strait of Hormuz, the US Navy could wind up in the fight of its life if war breaks out with Iran.

Half of the world’s Oil reserves are bottled up inside the Straits of Hormuz. If war breaks out either by Israel attacking Iran or the US attacking Iran, the price of your gas is going straight up.

Here is an editorial from the Trumpet.com for April 12, 2012.

The Last Bubble by Robert Morley

There is a new and dangerous bubble hanging over the economy. It is far bigger than the dotcom bubble. It absolutely dwarfs the housing bubble. And it is far more dangerous than the debt bubble that ignited the Great Depression.

This bubble will blow the 2008-2009 crisis out of the water, economist Peter Schiff recently said.
Schiff is famous for correctly predicting the housing bubble.

But unlike houses, or Internet stocks, this bubble is less obvious at first—even if the dangers are much more dramatic. Millions of Americans are unknowingly living it each day.

Record low mortgage rates: Thank the bubble. Current low tax environment: Thank the bubble. Somewhat functioning government: Thank the bubble. Only 8.2 percent unemployment—thank the bubble. In fact, this bubble is probably the only thing making possible your current standard of living (as high or low as it may be).

But know this: Standards of living are soon going to change all across America—and for the worse.

Analyst Marc Faber agrees that life in America is about to massively change. Known as Dr. Doom for his pessimistic outlook for the country, his latest forecast warned that it is inevitable that “somewhere down the line we will have massive wealth destruction that usually happens either through very high inflation or through social unrest or through war or credit market collapse.”

“Maybe all of it will happen.” Faber got the housing bubble right too.

What is this looming bubble that so worries sane market observers?

Here is a hint. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the Federal Reserve “purchased a stunning 61 percent of the total net treasury issuance” in 2011.

What this means is that 61 percent of the money the federal government “borrowed” to cover its spending did not come from citizens, big banks, or even our Chinese and Japanese creditors. It was money that did not even exist prior to the government spending it.

This is a huge, startling, and ominous development. The government needed money, so the Federal Reserve simply created it out of thin air and debited government bank accounts. Without this conjured money, the government can’t pay its bills. If you or I did what the Federal Reserve is doing, it would be called counterfeiting and we would be thrown in jail. The Fed does it and it is simply called “quantitative easing.” Either way, it is a form of stealing.

But it is actually worse than that.

According to the Journal, the Federal Reserve isn’t just subsidizing U.S. government borrowing and spending, but it is more dangerously masking the “rapidly widening gap between [the] Treasury’s need to borrow and a more limited willingness among market participants to supply the Treasury with credit.”

People are beginning to shun American debt!

In 2008, foreign nations lent America the equivalent of 6 percent of America’s gross domestic product. That number plunged to 1.9 percent in 2011. Similarly, private sector lending to America has fallen from 6 percent to 0.9 percent. It is no wonder that at the end of March, leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa announced plans to create a brics bank to compete with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. These nations account for approximately 30 percent of the global economy. The purpose of the bank is to facilitate trade between the five nations in their own currencies, as opposed to the U.S. dollar. It is a step toward breaking their dependence on the dollar.

Perhaps this is why Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has refused to rule out more money printing even though he says the economy is out of recession. If the Fed were to stop printing money to “lend” to the government, the government might not be able to find enough willing lenders, at anywhere near acceptable borrowing costs, to finance its deficits.

The Fed is worried that if it stops printing money, the treasury market will melt down. If America can’t find enough lenders, interest rates will skyrocket. And the economy will seize up. If rates just return to the 5 percent range (as they were in 2007), almost half of all the money the government collects in taxes would go to paying just interest on the debt. Nobody even contemplates what will happen if rates return to the levels seen during the 1980s—because total financial meltdown would occur before they even got there. But interest rates have been there before—so what is stopping them from returning again?

This is what Schiff and Faber are worried about: The explosion of the biggest bubble in the history of the world—the U.S. government debt bubble. And the resulting end of the financial system as we know it.

Consider America’s situation. It has never been more dependent on financial markets to pay its bills. Yet lenders are coming up short.

Since the 2008 crisis, America’s national debt has increased by $5.6 trillion. To put that into context, according to analyst Jim Quinn, it took all the years from 1789 until 2000 to accumulate the first $5.6 trillion of government debt.

Prior to the crisis, America’s yearly deficits never exceeded 4 percent of GDP. Now they exceed 9 percent. In the eight years preceding 2008, the deficits averaged $190 billion, according to Quinn. Since 2008, they have averaged $1.3 trillion.

And the debt is piling up. At current spending rates, America’s official debt will hit $20 trillion by 2015. That’s if things go well. The official debt doesn’t include the $60 trillion or so the government has already promised but not funded to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

America’s debt reckoning may be looming. Analyst Grant Williams notes that in 2012, approximately $3 trillion, or 30 percent of U.S. debt, comes due. And America doesn’t have the money. He says it will be “the biggest refinancing in U.S. history.” But it may also be the beginnings of the end of the government debt bubble.

Either way, with government debt levels inflating rapidly, the risk to America’s economy is expanding. Each year America has to not only find more money to borrow, it also has to convince its lenders to relend the money they have already lent.

The government debt bubble is the single most important economic issue facing America today. It is about to affect virtually every aspect of your life, because America’s economic system is a debt-based system. When the debt bubble explodes, it will feel like a hydrogen bomb just went off in the economy. It will be the last bubble because it will wipe out everything.

The world will need a whole new economic system.

Get prepared to greatly reduce your standard of living.

You can do it on your own now while it is relatively easy, or it can be forced upon you when the government debt bubble explodes.

We also have this article for you to consider. I am sharing these as they have come up and it just so happened to come along at the same time I was going to ask you to help us get this farm going.

More pension funds will have to cut pay-outs next year. From Holland but no matter where you are you all need to consider this if you are living on a pension now or expect to retire on one soon.

Friday 17 February 2012

At least 20 more pension funds may have to cut pay-outs in 2013, unless the economy improves, according to research by Nos television on Friday.

The Dutch central bank is due to publish a list of pension funds which need to boost their assets to avoid making cuts on Monday.

In January, the central bank said 125 funds would have to take steps to get their finances in order. Among the pension groups which have already said they will cut pay-outs next year are civil service fund ABP, health care fund PMT and the engineering industry funds.

Greece approves tough salary, pension cuts
Updated 2/28/2012 9:01 PM Comments 3
ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greece’s Parliament late on Tuesday approved new cuts in public sector pensions and government spending required to secure a second package of international rescue loans.

Lawmakers voted 202-80 in favor of cutbacks worth a total €3.2 billion ($4.31 billion) and aimed at bringing the 2012 budget back in line with targets. Lawmakers from both parties in Prime Minister Lucas Papademos’ coalition, the majority Socialists and the conservatives, backed the legislation.

Earlier, the debt-crippled country’s Cabinet decided to apply recent labor reforms, including deep cuts to the minimum wage, retroactively to Feb. 14.

“It is dramatic to cut someone’s pensions. . . . But why do we have to take these measures? Because our budget is still running at a loss,” Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in Parliament. “We are still adding debt to our debt. And if we do not start to generate a primary surplus next year, that will be catastrophic.”

AMR wants to cut 13,000 jobs, pensions
By Kyle Peterson

Thu Feb 2, 2012 5:52am EST

(Reuters) - AMR Corp, the parent of bankrupt American Airlines, wants to slash 13,000 jobs and terminate employee pension plans as part of a cost-cutting strategy the carrier says is necessary to compete with rivals.

Delphi/GM pension cuts a bitter pill for retirees
By Thomas Gnau, Staff Writer
Updated 1:25 AM Thursday, April 1, 2010
For Delphi salaried retirees, change is here — or it’s fast approaching.

In early March, some salaried retirees of formerly bankrupt Delphi began receiving notices that their pensions — now controlled by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. — are being reduced.

Others with certain family situations — such as provisions ensuring that a spouse will receive part of a pension — expect to see their pensions cut soon.

“We’ve moved to a new stage here,” said Den Black , 63, a Piqua native who heads the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association.

For retirees who spent most of their careers working for General Motors — and yet are still classified as Delphi retirees — the cuts are a bitter pill.

Kettering resident Tom Rose, 63, who spent 30 years of his 39-year career with GM, said his pension has been cut by 40 percent.

“I’ll have to go back to work at some point,” Rose said.

Jerry Biersack — a 60-year-old who worked for GM for more than 27 years and Delphi for less than three — is looking at a 25 percent cut. The Beavercreek resident is in the same boat as Rose, expecting to have to find work “to at least offset what I’ve just lost here.”

Last year, Delphi shed health care and life insurance obligations to salaried retirees and released all pensions to the PBGC. That means about 1,000 salaried Delphi employees in the Dayton area must live on reduced pensions while paying their own health insurance.

Salaried Delphi retirees watched as hourly Delphi retirees kept some health benefits and some pension support from GM. They watched as salaried GM counterparts keep full pensions, if not health benefits.

Mary Miller, 59, of Washington Twp., expects to lose more than half of her pension in a few months.

Miller, a former GM human resources manager, is building her own company, MTM Transformation Coaching. She isn’t sure what to expect.

“I couldn’t even live on it,” Miller said of her reduced pension.

In response, the DSRA is suing the PBGC, the U.S. Treasury Department and the federal Automotive Task Force among others to regain full pensions, a benefit for which they worked decades. A federal judge in Detroit has directed the PBGC to place lost pension amounts in escrow — a move that gives retirees some hope that their case has merit.

“It’s extremely powerful and indicative,” Black said.

Said Rose, “It’s David vs. Goliath here.”

A Washington, D.C., attorney representing the DSRA referred questions to another attorney, who couldn’t be reached for comment.

Existing Pensions Also Will Be Cut

AUG. 27, 2011

By JOHN SEILER

It’s obvious that pensions for future government workers are being cut, and will be cut further. But California state and local governments’ unfunded liability for future pensions now is so large, $884 billion, that those already retired will see their pensions cut as well. I’ve been predicting this all along during the almost two years CalWatchDog.com has been on the Internet.

Historian and economist Gary North provides a national perspective on that here. Although now located in Arkansas, grew up in California, got his Ph.D. at UC Riverside and long lived in this state. The link is to his Specific Answers site, which you have to pay for. But I’ll provide the gist of his argument.

The California Constitution guarantees that pensions cannot be cut for government workers who already have retired. North writes:

In a time of major economic crisis, which will be the world after the Federal Reserve stops printing money (either before or after hyperinflation), states will renege. A precedent will be set in some state. Then other states will renege. As to whether California does is a political question.

I think it’s obvious California will renege on part of that $884 billion, an amount equal to the entire state general-fund budget for 10 years.

In a time of major economic crisis, which will be the world after the Federal Reserve stops printing money (either before or after hyperinflation), states will renege. A precedent will be set in some state. Then other states will renege. As to whether California does is a political question.

There will be a deal worked out by unions (weakened) and voters (strengthened). This deal will involve reductions in pension obligations, now coming due. There may not be open bankruptcy and a 100 percent default, although that option is possible. But those retirees who expect full payment will be disappointed.

Politics is the art of negotiation. These negotiations will never end.

CalWatchDog.com’s Wayne Lusvardi detailed how high pension fund payments will be for many cities. For Fresno, the “best case” is that, in 2019, pension payments will devour “only” 78 percent of the city budget. The “best case” is there’s an economic recovery.

But the “worst case” scenario is that, if the economy continues to stagnate, by 2015 the Fresno budget will consist of 142 percent payments to pensions. Obviously, you can’t pay out 142 percent of something, only 100 percent.

But even in the “best case” scenario, 78 percent of the Fresno budget still would be devoured by pension payments, leaving just 22 percent for everything else — police, fire, parks, social services, etc.

North again:

Taxpayers will revolt. If it’s pensioners vs. public schools, public schools will win. If it’s today’s police vs. retired police, voters and today’s police will sacrifice the pensioners. If it’s today’s firemen vs. retired firemen, voters and today’s firemen will burn the pensioners’ contracts.

Right. A lot of the pensioners don’t even live in California because it’s so expensive. So they don’t vote here.

This News Letter was the result of someone who wrote me to tell me because their pension cheque had been cut in half they could barely make ends meet. This was not how they had planned to live the golden years of their lives. How about you? How will you make it in the years to come? You can invest now or you can hold off and do it alone by yourself. Again you get to choose. Choose wisely.
WEEK 3 שבוע 3

April 22, 2012:
Today is the 1st day of the 3rd week of seven weeks. Today is the 15th day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

22 אפריל 2012:
הַיּוֹם יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן‏ לַשָּׁבוּעַ שְׁלִישִׁי מִשִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעוֹת. הַיּוֹם חֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר‏ יוֹם מִסְפִירַת חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם מֵהֲנָפַת הָעֹמֶר מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת.
15 Safety in the Law of יהוה 119:113-120

Psa 67:1 Elohim does favour us and bless us, Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah.
Psa 67:2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations.
Psa 67:3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, And lead the nations on earth. Selah.
Psa 67:5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us!
Psa 67:7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him!

Psa 119:113 I have hated doubting thoughts, But I have loved Your Torah.
Psa 119:114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I have waited for Your word.
Psa 119:115 Turn away from me, you evil-doers, For I observe the commands of my Elohim!
Psa 119:116 Support me according to Your word, That I might live; And put me not to shame Because of my expectation.
Psa 119:117 Sustain me, that I might be saved, And always look to Your laws.
Psa 119:118 You have made light of all those Who stray from Your laws, For falsehood is their deceit.
Psa 119:119 You have made to cease All the wrong of the earth, like dross; Therefore I have loved Your witnesses.
Psa 119:120 My flesh has trembled for fear of You, And I am in awe of Your right-rulings.

April 23, 2012:
Today is the 2nd day of the 3rd week of seven weeks. Today is the 16th day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

23 אפריל 2012:
הַיּוֹם יוֹם שֵׁנִי לַשָּׁבוּעַ שְׁלִישִׁי מִשִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעוֹת. הַיּוֹם שִׁשָּׁה עָשָׂר‏ יוֹם מִסְפִירַת חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם מֵהֲנָפַת הָעֹמֶר מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת.

16 Obedience to the Law of יהוה 119:121-128
Psa 67:1 Elohim does favour us and bless us, Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah.
Psa 67:2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations.
Psa 67:3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, And lead the nations on earth. Selah.
Psa 67:5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us!
Psa 67:7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him!

Psa 119:121 I have done right-ruling and righteousness; Leave me not to my oppressors.
Psa 119:122 Guarantee Your servant’s well-being; Let not the proud oppress me.
Psa 119:123 My eyes have pined away for Your deliverance, And for the word of Your righteousness.
Psa 119:124 Do with Your servant according to Your kindness, And teach me Your laws.
Psa 119:125 I am Your servant – make me understand, That I might know Your witnesses.
Psa 119:126 It is time for יהוה to act! For they have broken Your Torah.
Psa 119:127 Therefore I have loved Your commands More than gold, even fine gold!
Psa 119:128 Therefore all Your orders I count as right; I have hated every false way.

April 24, 2012:

Today is the 3rd day of the 3rd week of seven weeks. Today is the 17th day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

24 אפריל 2012:
הַיּוֹם יוֹם שְׁלִישִׁי לַשָּׁבוּעַ שְׁלִישִׁי מִשִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעוֹת. הַיּוֹם שִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם מִסְפִירַת חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם מֵהֲנָפַת הָעֹמֶר מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת.
17 Desire to obey Law of יהוה 119:129-136

Psa 67:1 Elohim does favour us and bless us, Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah.
Psa 67:2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations.
Psa 67:3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, And lead the nations on earth. Selah.
Psa 67:5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us!
Psa 67:7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him!

Psa 119:129 Your witnesses are wonders; So my being observes them.
Psa 119:130 The opening up of Your words gives light, Giving understanding to the simple.
Psa 119:131 I have opened my mouth and panted, For I have longed for Your commands.
Psa 119:132 Turn to me and show me favour, According to Your right-ruling, toward those who love Your Name.
Psa 119:133 Establish my footsteps by Your word, And let no wickedness have rule over me.
Psa 119:134 Redeem me from the oppression of man, That I might guard Your orders.
Psa 119:135 Make Your face shine upon Your servant, And teach me Your laws.
Psa 119:136 Streams of water have run down from my eyes, Because they did not guard Your Torah.

April 25, 2012:
Today is the 4th day of the 3rd week of seven weeks. Today is the 18th day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

25 אפריל 2012:
הַיּוֹם יוֹם רְבִיעִי לַשָּׁבוּעַ שְׁלִישִׁי מִשִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעוֹת. הַיּוֹם שְׁמוֹנָה עָשָׂר‏ יוֹם מִסְפִירַת חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם מֵהֲנָפַת הָעֹמֶר מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת.
18 The justice of Law of יהוה 119:137-144

Psa 67:1 Elohim does favour us and bless us, Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah.
Psa 67:2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations.
Psa 67:3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, And lead the nations on earth. Selah.
Psa 67:5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us!
Psa 67:7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him!

Psa 119:137 Righteous are You, O יהוה, And Your right-rulings are straight.
Psa 119:138 You have commanded Your witnesses In righteousness and truth, exceedingly.
Psa 119:139 My ardour has consumed me, For my adversaries have forgotten Your words.
Psa 119:140 Your word is tried, exceedingly; And Your servant has loved it.
Psa 119:141 I am small and despised; I have not forgotten Your orders.
Psa 119:142 Your righteousness is righteousness forever, And Your Torah is truth.
Psa 119:143 Distress and anguish have found me; Your commands are my delight.
Psa 119:144 The righteousness of Your witnesses is forever; Make me understand, that I might live.

April 26, 2012:
Today is the 5th day of the 3rd week of seven weeks. Today is the 19th day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

26 אפריל 2012:
הַיּוֹם יוֹם חֲמִישִׁי‏ לַשָּׁבוּעַ שְׁלִישִׁי מִשִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעוֹת. הַיּוֹם תִּשְׁעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם מִסְפִירַת חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם מֵהֲנָפַת הָעֹמֶר מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת.

19 Prayer for deliverance 119:145-152

Psa 67:1 Elohim does favour us and bless us, Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah.
Psa 67:2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations.
Psa 67:3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, And lead the nations on earth. Selah.
Psa 67:5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us!
Psa 67:7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him!

Psa 119:145 I have called with all my heart; Answer me, O יהוה! I observe Your laws.
Psa 119:146 I have called upon You; Save me, that I might guard Your witnesses.
Psa 119:147 I rise before dawn, and cry for help; I have waited for Your word.
Psa 119:148 My eyes have gone before the night watches, To study Your word.
Psa 119:149 Hear my voice according to Your kindness; O יהוה, revive me according to Your right-ruling.
Psa 119:150 Those who pursue mischief have drawn near; They have been far from Your Torah.
Psa 119:151 You are near, O יהוה, And all Your commands are truth.
Psa 119:152 Of old I have known Your witnesses, That You have founded them forever.

April 27, 2012:
Today is the 6th day of the 3rd week of seven weeks. Today is the 20th day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

27 אפריל 2012:
הַיּוֹם יוֹם שִׁשִּׁי לַשָּׁבוּעַ שְׁלִישִׁי מִשִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעוֹת. הַיּוֹם עֶשְׂרִים יוֹם מִסְפִירַת חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם מֵהֲנָפַת הָעֹמֶר מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת.
20 Plea for salvation 119:153-160

Psa 67:1 Elohim does favour us and bless us, Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah.
Psa 67:2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations.
Psa 67:3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, And lead the nations on earth. Selah.
Psa 67:5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us!
Psa 67:7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him!
Psa 119:153 See my affliction and deliver me, For I have not forgotten Your Torah.
Psa 119:154 Plead my cause and redeem me; Revive me according to Your word.
Psa 119:155 Deliverance is far from the wrong ones, For they have not sought Your laws.
Psa 119:156 Your compassions are many, O יהוה; Revive me according to Your right-rulings.
Psa 119:157 My persecutors and adversaries are many; I have not turned aside from Your witnesses.
Psa 119:158 I saw traitors and was grieved, Because they did not guard Your word.
Psa 119:159 See how I have loved Your orders, יהוה, revive me according to Your kindness.
Psa 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth, And all Your righteous right-rulings are forever.

April 28, 2012:
Today is the 7th day of the 3rd week of seven weeks. Today is the 21st day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath. Today is Sabbath, the 3rd Sabbath of seven Sabbaths. Today completes the 3rd week of seven weeks.

28 אפריל 2012:
הַיּוֹם יוֹם שְׁבִיעִי לַשָּׁבוּעַ שְׁלִישִׁי מִשִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעוֹת. הַיּוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְאֶחָד‏ יוֹם מִסְפִירַת חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם מֵהֲנָפַת הָעֹמֶר מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת. ‏הַיּוֹם שַׁבָּת, שַׁבָּת שְׁלִישִׁית מִשֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת. הַיּוֹם נִשְׁלַם שָׁבוּעַ שְׁלִישִׁי מִשִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעוֹת.
21 Dedication to Law of יהוה 119:161-168

Psa 67:1 Elohim does favour us and bless us, Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah.
Psa 67:2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations.
Psa 67:3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, And lead the nations on earth. Selah.
Psa 67:5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; Let all the peoples praise You.
Psa 67:6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us!
Psa 67:7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him!

Psa 119:161 Rulers have persecuted me without a cause, But at Your word my heart stood in awe.
Psa 119:162 I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure.
Psa 119:163 I have hated falsehood and loathe it, Your Torah I have loved.
Psa 119:164 I have praised You seven times a day, Because of Your righteous right-rulings.
Psa 119:165 Great peace have those loving Your Torah, And for them there is no stumbling-block.
Psa 119:166 יהוה, I have waited for Your deliverance, And I have done Your commands.
Psa 119:167 My being has guarded Your witnesses, And I love them exceedingly.
Psa 119:168 I have guarded Your orders and Your witnesses, For all my ways are before You.

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found at http://www.sightedmoon.com/files/TriennialCycleBeginningAviv.pdf

21/04/2012 Lev 25 Ezek 29-32 1 Peter 5/2 Peter 1

Leviticus 25

Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land (Leviticus 25)
These words of verse 10 are engraved on the American Liberty Bell, a traditional symbol of U.S. freedom that sits outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While it was first rung on July 8, 1776, to celebrate the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, it was actually commissioned by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly in 1751 to proclaim the Jubilee year. (Ironically, the bell was first cast in London.) In any event, it was seen by Revolutionary America as a symbol of freedom from tyranny. And the verse quoted is quite fitting in that regard.

In actuality, the proclamation of “liberty” in the 50th year specifically referred to the fact that all debts were canceled, all Israelites who had sold themselves into slavery were freed, and all land went back to its original owners. The phrase “proclaim liberty” also occurs in Isaiah 61:1, where it is proclaimed to the “captives,” along with “the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” To whom is this referring? Those who are in “the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:26), i.e., the world at large. This is also seen as proclaiming “the acceptable year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:2), Which was a Sabbaticla year of 28 C.E.

When Christ began His earthly ministry, He explained that He was fulfilling these very verses in Isaiah (Luke 4:16-21). We should easily see how this relates to the issue of debt and servitude. The penalty earned for sin is compared to debt in the Scriptures. And in Romans 6, the apostle Paul explains that the way of sin is actually a form of bondage or slavery. It is the debt of sin that has separated mankind from his intended inheritance.

Land, in this picture, is quite important. Notice this from The Nelson Study Bible on “Redeeming the Land”: “An ancient Israelite was in desperate straits if he had to sell his family’s land. Both food and income came from the proceeds of the land. Dispossessed family members would quickly become someone else’s servants. Most people would work hard to avoid such a situation. However, illness, crop failure, or other misfortunes could force a person into debt to the point that his only alternative was to sell his land. Even in this distressing situation there was hope. A dispossessed family could be saved from poverty and hardship:

“First, a redeeming relative could redeem (or buy back) the land (Lev. 25:25). From the proceeds, the man could pay off his creditors. The land stayed in the extended family; the poor family stayed on their land; and eventually the redeemer was repaid. The redeemer was the nearest male relative. If he could not fulfill this privilege and obligation, it passed down the kinship line until someone could. This is the scenario of Ruth 4: Boaz acted as a kinsman-redeemer and bought Naomi’s field.

“If a man did not have any relative who would redeem his land, he could save enough to buy it back himself. The purchase price would be prorated according to the number of years left until the next Jubilee year, the fiftieth year (25:26, 27). A man might have to wait until the Jubilee year to reclaim the land of his inheritance (25:28). Even in this most desperate situation there was the hope and promise that at the Jubilee year the family would be able to return debt-free to their land and make a fresh start.

“The law of redemption and the law of the Jubilee year are vivid symbols of what Jesus Christ did on the Cross for every person [1 Corinthians 6:20; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18—19]. What our first father and mother lost in the Garden [i.e., man’s dwelling in the paradise of God and opportunity to eat from the Tree of Life], we cannot retrieve by any means [on our own]. We cannot go back to Eden [of ourselves]. Yet Jesus Christ, our elder Brother, redeemed it for us. We have been evicted from our inheritance, but in the Year of Jubilee, we will be allowed to return (cf. Is. 51:3; Ezek. 36:33-35; Rev. 2:7; 22:1-2, 14). We will live with Jesus in Paradise.” Moreover, we will at last inherit the whole universe with Him (Romans 8:16-19; Hebrews 2:8-9; Revelation 21:7], which was God’s intent for mankind from the beginning (compare Deuteronomy 4:19). What a glorious redemption—of both us and our heritage.

Egypt to Be Laid Waste and Scattered for 40 Years (Ezekiel 29:1-16)

In the 10th year of Ezekiel’s captivity, January of 587 B.C., God gives him a prophecy of the downfall of Egypt. The timing here is significant, as this is the period during which Pharaoh Hophra’s forces came up to oppose the Babylonians, causing the siege of Jerusalem to be temporarily lifted. In our next reading, we will go through another prophecy of Ezekiel-given a few months later-that alludes to the outcome of this particular conflict and describes the coming fall of Egypt to Babylon. The current reading concerns the latter aspect.

God refers to the Egyptian pharaoh as a great “monster” (NKJV) or “dragon” (KJV) in the midst of his “rivers,” saying, “My River is my own” (verse 3). The major “River” of Egypt is of course the Nile-which represented the entire country of Egypt, as the population was concentrated along its length. The “rivers” (plural) likely denote the many branches of the Nile in the northern delta region. The word “monster” is translated from the Hebrew tannim. “The word’s meanings and its cognates range from ‘jackal’ to ’serpent,’ ‘dragon,’ ’sea-monster,’ ‘monster,’ ‘crocodile.’ In all O[ld] T[estament] contexts where the term is used, a fearful creature is imagined” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, footnote on verse 3). The fearful dragonlike beast of the Nile and its branches-a river-dwelling creature with powerful jaws and thick scales (see verse 4)-is surely the crocodile. “The crocodile god, Sebek [or Sobek], was very important to the Egyptians in the Nile delta area. He was considered Egypt’s protector and at times was identified with the solar deity, Re [or Ra] (cf. Diodorus 1.35)” (Expositor’s, note on verses 1-7). Recall from Isaiah 30:7 and 51:9 that God referred to Egypt as a monster called “Rahab,” meaning “Fierce” or “Violent”-parallel to the Egyptian name Sobek, meaning “Rager” (conjuring images of a fierce crocodile attack).

The pharaoh was identified with Egypt’s divine protector. God says the pharaoh considers himself the creator of the Nile (verse 3), meaning, essentially, of all Egypt. Besides being a blasphemous concept of the pharaohs in general, as they promoted themselves as divine incarnations, “this was [a particularly apt description of] Hophra’s (Apries’) arrogant self-image. [The Greek historian] Herodotus implied that Pharaoh Apries was so strong in his position that he felt no god could dislodge him. In his reign he sent an expedition against Cyprus, besieged and took Gaza (cf. Jer 47:1) and the city of Sidon, was victorious against Tyre by sea, and considered himself master over Palestine and Phoenicia. Such pride was consistent with the denunciation in this message ([Ezekiel 29] v. 3), for the Pharaoh felt that the Nile (Egypt) belonged to him and that he had created it for himself. This arrogance had also shown itself in an attempt to interrupt Babylonia’s siege of Jerusalem-an attempt thwarted by God” (note on verses 1-7).

God says He will draw the pharaonic crocodile out with hooks along with all the “fish” clinging to his scales, meaning the Egyptians in general who clung to or followed the pharaoh (verse 4). The pharaoh and his people would be pulled from their position of national strength and left “in the desert” as carrion for the birds and beasts (verse 5, NIV). The Egyptian ruler, at least in a figurative sense, “would not even be afforded the royal burial so important to the Pharaohs. The tombs in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes demonstrate how important proper royal burial was to the Pharaohs’ successful journey through the Egyptian afterlife. Lack of such burial would have been [seen as] a horrible fate” (note on verses 1-7).

The imagery then changes from that of a mighty, thrashing river beast to that of a weak river plant. God calls Egypt a “staff of reed to the house of Israel” (verse 6)-just as the Assyrians had described it more than a century earlier (see Isaiah 36:6). This is an allusion to Egypt’s weakness and unreliability as an ally for the Israelites-as well as the worthlessness and even danger of looking to this nation for protection. When the Israelites lean on Egypt for support, it shatters, leaving them seriously wounded (Ezekiel 29:7).

God says He will bring the sword of warfare on Egypt to lay it waste, showing that He, not the pharaoh, is the one who determines whether the nation exists or not (compare verses 8-9). The devastation would extend across the length of the land, from Migdol in the north (in the eastern delta region) to Syene in the south (modern Aswan) and even down to the border of Nubia in what is today Sudan (verse 10). The prophet Jeremiah later foretells the fall of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar’s forces (Jeremiah 43:8-13). And Ezekiel later gives more details of this Babylonian invasion in Ezekiel 29:17-30:19. The prophet placed this other prophecy right after the one we are currently reading because it follows thematically-even though it was given more than 16 years later (compare 29:1, 17).

According to our current reading, the land would remain desolate for 40 years, during which time the Egyptians would be scattered-after which they would be returned to their homeland of Pathros, southern Egypt (verses 11-14). There is no secular confirmation of this period of scattering. Indeed, we would not expect an admission of such a massive defeat in the Egyptian records. However, “a Babylonian chronicle suggests that Egypt was conquered [by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar] around 568 B.C. Forty years after this date, the Persians [having overthrown the Babylonians] instituted a policy of resettlement for many of the peoples who had been dispersed by Babylon” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 11). Pharaoh Hophra was executed at the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion, not long after a coup by Hophra’s own general Amasis or Ahmose, who replaced him as pharaoh. Ahmose (II) remained on the throne as a Babylonian vassal and continued into the Persian period, dying a year before the Persian invasion of Egypt in 525 B.C.

Following its conquest by the Babylonians, Egypt would never again be a superpower empire. This was especially true of the original ethnic Egyptians. More than 200 years later, after Alexander the Great, the land of Egypt did emerge again as an independent power under the Ptolemaic dynasty for three centuries-but, besides the fact that it was nowhere near the great power that Egypt had once been, this was actually a Greek kingdom, not a truly Egyptian one. Afterward, Egypt became a Roman possession and then, centuries later, a province of the Islamic empire. When Egypt became an independent nation in modern times, it was as an Arab, not a true Egyptian, state. The original Egyptians today may be found among the Copts of Egypt and possibly the Gypsies (according to some of their historical traditions)-both of whom are indeed very lowly peoples in geopolitical terms.

In verses 6 and 16, God says that His purpose in punishment is to show the Egyptians that He is God. While some may have come to this conclusion at the time of the Babylonian conquest, or at least to the rejection of their own false gods, including the concept of the pharaoh as divine, the Egyptians as a whole did not forsake their false religion or come to know the true God. It may be, then, that this prophecy of Egypt is dual, with elements of it applying to the end time-just as in the prophecies of judgment on Judah’s immediate neighbors in Ezekiel 25, where the purpose of punishment is also repeatedly given as teaching the recipients of God’s judgment that He is really God, a fact they will not truly learn until the last days. Like the great majority of other peoples and nations of the region, the inhabitants of Egypt have for centuries been overwhelmingly Muslim, worshipers of Allah. In time they will learn who the true God is. Concerning Egypt of the end time, it is interesting to note that the future king of the North (a revival of Babylon) will invade and subjugate the nation (Daniel 11:40-42). Afterward, Egypt will be delivered under the reign of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 19:20-25)-when the nation will finally come to truly know God and learn of His ways (verse 21).

Egypt Will Fall to Babylonian Conquest (Ezekiel 29:17-30:19)

In the spring of 571 B.C., two years after Ezekiel’s vision of the temple, the prophet receives one more dated prophecy. Jeremiah has already been taken to Egypt by the remnant of Judah, against his warnings from God. He prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar would take Egypt (Jeremiah 43:10-13; 44:30). Ezekiel, too, has already received a series of prophecies about the coming fall of Egypt to the Babylonians (see the other prophecies of Ezekiel 29-32). God now gives Ezekiel two more prophetic messages concerning Egypt, which the prophet includes with the section of his book dealing with that nation.

Ezekiel is told that God will give Egypt into Nebuchadnezzar’s hand, as “payment” for the work the ruler of Babylon unwittingly performed on God’s behalf, especially against Tyre (Ezekiel 29:18-20). “As a fulfillment of God’s judgment on Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army laid siege to Tyre for thirteen years (cf. Jos[ephus] Antiq[uities of the Jews] X, 228 {xi.1}). The scant historical data indicates that Egypt and Tyre became allies under Pharaoh Hophra (Apries). The extended siege of Tyre was perhaps due to the aid Tyre received from the Egyptians. In such an act Hophra was going contrary to God’s purposes. Not only was the siege prolonged by Egyptian support, but some also surmise that Egypt’s maritime aid enabled Tyre to send away her wealth for security during the siege” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on Ezekiel 29:17-21).

As you may recall from our reading of Ezekiel 26 and the prophecies against Tyre, in spite of 13 years of siege, Nebuchadnezzar failed to capture the island fortress and its store of wealth. God says here that He will give him Egypt to make up for it.

The meaning of Ezekiel 29:21, in which God says He “will cause the horn of the house of Israel to spring forth,” is uncertain. Given in the same context as the opening of Ezekiel’s mouth, it is usually interpreted to mean that the Jewish exiles would be strengthened or encouraged at the time of Egypt’s fall to Babylon along with further encouraging messages from the prophet that are unrecorded. Yet given the duality in these prophetic sections concerning Egypt, verse 21 could perhaps refer to a strengthened end-time Israel finally receiving Ezekiel’s prophecies. Yet there is another possibility. While the horn can symbolize national strength or power, it can also represent the power center of a nation—its ruler. Consider that it was during the period of Egypt’s ancient destruction that Jeremiah oversaw the transfer of the throne of David from Judah to the house of Israel in the British Isles (see The Throne of Britain: Its Biblical Origin and Future at www.ucg.org/brp/materials/index.htm). This seems a likely fulfillment of this verse.

Ezekiel then receives another prophecy from God in the first part of chapter 30—the last recorded message in the book. Ezekiel 30:2-3 mentions the “day of the LORD” in wording very similar to Joel 2:1-2. In this case, he describes the day as it will be from Egypt’s perspective, but the wording—fire and desolation—is quite similar (compare Ezekiel 30:7-8; Joel 2:3). However, the imagery need not exclusively apply to the end time. As Expositor’s notes: “yom laYHWH (’a day of the LORD’) is not a construct state and therefore is not properly translated ‘the day of the LORD’ [but], literally, ‘a day {belonging} to the LORD.’ The word yom (’day’) is indefinite twice in this verse. Those who see the ‘day of the LORD’ here as an earnest of the eschatological [i.e., end-time] Day of the Lord (cf. Joel), keeping it as a technical expression, generally link together the near and distant future into a singular meaning with multiple fulfillments” (footnote on Ezekiel 30:3). This seems reasonable—that the ancient time of divine intervention was intended by the passage as well as, in type, the end-time intervention yet to come.

Verse 5 mentions other doomed lands in alliance with Egypt. Where the New King James Version has “all the mingled people,” the New International Version has “all Arabia.” Expositor’s explains: “The translation ‘Arabia’ is based on a revocalization of ha`erebh (’Arabia’?) to `arabh (’Arabia’) with the Syrian. However, some prefer to read ereb (’mixed company’) since the term is modified by kal (’all’)…. The exact meaning is still unclear” (footnote on verse 5). The identity of “Chub” or Kub is also unclear. Some have proposed the Cobii (or Cubians), a people of the Egyptian province of Mareotis in the western Nile Delta mentioned by the ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy (see John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, note on verse 5; Adam Clarke’s Commentary, note on verse 5).

Nebuchadnezzar evidently laid waste the entire country of Egypt. “Migdol to Syene” (verse 6)—that is, Suez to Aswan—denotes, as it did in 29:10, the whole land from north to south. We read about Noph, Pathros and Tehaphnehes (Tahpanhes) in connection with Jeremiah’s journey to Egypt in Jeremiah 43-44. Noph (Memphis), Zoan (Tanis), Sin (Pelusium), Aven (On or Heliopolis), Pi Beseth (Bubastis) and Tehaphnehes (Daphne) were in the northern Nile Delta region of Egypt. No (Thebes), Pathros (southern Egypt) and Syene (Aswan) were all in the south.

However, this could also refer to destruction meted out over time—by Nebuchadnezzar yes, but also by later invaders. Notice the prophecy of verse 13: “There shall no longer be princes from the land of Egypt.” This has been understood to mean that the rulers of Egypt would no longer be native Egyptian. Under Babylonian rule, the pharaoh was subject to the Babylonian emperor. Yet, although a vassal, the pharaoh did rule as king and was Egyptian. This changed after the invasion by the Persian emperor Cambyses II, son of Cyrus the Great. “When the last Egyptian king was defeated by Cambyses II in 525 BC, the country entered a period of Persian domination under the 27th Dynasty. Egypt reasserted its independence under the 28th and 29th dynasties, but the 30th Dynasty was the last one of native rulers” (http://www.emayzine.com/lectures/egyptciv.html). At the time of Alexander the Great, Egypt came under Greek rule, which was perpetuated through the dynasty of Alexander’s general Ptolemy. This reign was broken when, following in the tradition of the earlier northern empires, the Romans later invaded and took over Egypt as well.

Perhaps a similar measure of destruction will come in the last days when the ruler of end-time Babylon, the future Roman emperor and “king of the North,” invades and assumes control of Egypt, as described in Daniel 11:40-43.

Egypt Defeated as a Prelude to Complete Destruction (Ezekiel 30:20-31:18)

The prophecy against the Egyptian pharaoh in Ezekiel 30:20-26 comes in the early spring of 587 B.C., just a few months after the prophecy of Egypt in our previous reading (30: 20; compare 29:1). God says He has “broken the arm of Pharaoh” (30:21) and that He “will break his arms, both the strong one and the one that was broken” to “make the sword fall out of his hand” (verse 22). The “arm” is the symbol of strength. It holds a “sword,” meaning that it wields military power. The breaking of the first arm, which had already taken place at this point, refers to Pharaoh Hophra’s attempt to relieve the siege of Jerusalem, which we read about in Jeremiah 37:5. The attempt had obviously failed, with Egypt left sorely defeated.

The image of a broken arm was quite suitable. “The flexed arm was a common Egyptian symbol for the Pharaoh’s strength. Often statues or images of the Pharaoh have this arm flexed, wielding a sword in battle. A king with great biceps was especially a popular concept under the Saites Dynasty of Ezekiel’s day. In addition Hophra took a second formal title that meant ‘possessed of a muscular arm’ or ’strong-armed’” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on Ezekiel 30:20-26).

The initial defeat of the Egyptian forces by the Babylonians was a mere prelude to the complete destruction Egypt would soon suffer. The nation would be devastated, with its people scattered (verses 23-26), as previously proclaimed in 29:12-13. Also repeated is the intended goal of God’s discipline—that the Egyptians would know that He is the true God (30:26). As in other prophecies, this seems to signify that ultimate fulfillment will not come until the end time.

Egypt to Be Felled Like the Great Tree Assyria (Ezekiel 30:20-31:18)

Two months later, God gives Ezekiel another prophecy of Egypt’s fall (31:1; compare 30:20). A comparison is made between Egypt and Assyria. Egypt was a powerful and arrogant empire like Assyria. But the Assyrian Empire was even more powerful than Egypt. In fact, Egypt itself had been conquered by Assyria and incorporated into the Assyrian Empire.

In the imagery of chapter 31, Assyria is pictured as a Lebanon cedar—as the cedars of Lebanon were the tallest trees in the Middle East. Great rivers nourished the empire—the Tigris and Euphrates providing Mesopotamia with its fertility of soil and with important commercial traffic routes. Smaller nations, represented as birds and beasts, dwelt in and beneath its boughs. No other “trees,” imperial nations, were like it. Still, this great tree was felled—brought down to “hell” or, in Hebrew, sheol, meaning “the grave” (verses 15-17; compare “death” and “the Pit” in verse 14).

Despite the greatness and power of Assyria, God brought it down by means of the forces of Babylon. So why did Egypt think that it could now prevail against Babylon? If the Assyrian Empire had fallen to the Babylonians, so would the much weaker Egypt—especially since the Almighty God was behind it.

Egypt to Fall Like Other Defeated Nations (Ezekiel 32)

The next chapter of Ezekiel in time order is not the next one in numerical order. As mentioned before, Ezekiel’s arrangement is thematic. The lamentations for Pharaoh and Egypt in chapter 32 have been placed at the end of a whole section of prophecies dealing with Egypt (29-32), part of which we have yet to read.

“The exiles in Babylon had recently learned of Jerusalem’s fall when Ezekiel chanted this dirge [in the first half of Ezekiel 32] in March of 585 B.C. Egypt had witnessed the fall of Judah and may have felt proud of her own survival. Ezekiel, however, pictures that great southern land as already dead. God has condemned her, and none of her many gods will be able to help” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on Ezekiel 32:1-16).

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary notes: “The lament over Egypt was principally a recapitulation of the judgment messages [already given against Egypt], emphasizing Egypt’s false pride and bewailing the fate of judgment. Once again the double imagery portrayed the Pharaoh’s energetic pride but ineffective strength. Hophra was likened to a young lion and a thrashing crocodile that only muddied the streams of the Nile (v. 2; cf. 29:3). The crocodile (Pharaoh) would be captured with a net ([32] v. 3) and hurled on the open field as food for the birds and animals (v. 4). The carnage would be so great that it would fill every ravine and mountain (vv. 5-6). It would be as if a great darkness covered the land (vv. 7-8), demonstrating that Egypt’s great sun gods were impotent to help. Cosmic collapse is a common image with earth-shaking events (cf. Joel 2:28; Acts 2). The nations who sang this funeral dirge would be stunned and horrified that Egypt had fallen in their midst ([Ezekiel 32] vv. 9-10)” (note on verses 1-10). Verse 11 shows that the agent of destruction will be the king of Babylon.

Of course, the heavenly signs could be an indication that this prophecy has some application to the future Day of the Lord, especially as Daniel 11:40-43 shows that the end-time Babylonian ruler of the north will invade and plunder Egypt. Nevertheless, as pointed out in the Bible Reading Program comments on Ezekiel 29:1-16, massive calamity was going to come on Egypt around 568 B.C., 17 years after the lamentation of Ezekiel 32. At that time Nebuchadnezzar invaded the country and laid waste to the entire Nile Valley, evidently deporting most of the survivors for a period of 40 years.

In the latter half of Ezekiel 32, given two weeks after the lamentation of the first half, Ezekiel is told to bewail the fact that Egypt will follow other fallen nations to the grave. “This final prophecy, uttered in April of 585 B.C., sums up God’s word concerning contemporary Egypt and concludes Ezekiel’s messages concerning foreign nations” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verses 17-32). These other nations have apparently all fallen to Babylon—and so too will Egypt.

It should be noted that though this concludes the prophecies against Egypt in arrangement order, there are two more prophecies regarding Egypt in chronological progression (29:17-30:19). In fact, those two prophecies are the latest dated sections in Ezekiel’s book.

1 Peter 5 (Adam Clarke’s Commentary Online)

Chapter 5
Directions to the elders to feed the flock of God, and not to be lord over God’s heritage, that when the chief Shepherd does appear, they may receive a crown of glory, 1-4. The young are to submit themselves to the elder, and to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, and cast all their care upon him, 6-7. They should be sober and watchful, because their adversary the devil is continually seeking their destruction, whom they are to resist, steadfast in the faith, 8,9. They are informed that the God of all grace had called them to his eternal glory, 10- 11. Of Silvanus, by whom this epistle was sent, 12. Salutations from the Church at Babylon, 13. The apostolic benediction, 14.

Notes on Chapter 5
Verse 1. The elders which are among you 
In this place the term elders or presbyters is the name of an office. They were as pastors or shepherds of the flock of God. They were the same as bishops, presidents, teachers and deacons, Acts 14:23; ; 1 Timothy 5:17. And that these were the same as bishops the next verse proves.

Who am also an elder 
A fellow elder; one on a level with yourselves.

A witness of the sufferings of Christ 
He was with Christ in the garden; he was with him when he was apprehended. and he was with him in the high priest’s hall.

A partaker of the glory 
He had a right to it through the blood of the Lamb; he had a blessed anticipation of it by the power of the Holy Ghost; and he had the promise from his Lord and Master that he should be with him in heaven, to behold his glory; John 17:21,24.

Verse 2. Feed the flock 
Do not fleece the flock.

Taking the oversight 
Discharging the office of bishops or superintendents. This is another proof that bishop and presbyter were the same order in the apostolic times, though afterwards they were made distinct.

Not by constraint 
The office was laborious and dangerous, especially in these times of persecution; it is no wonder then that even those who were best qualified for the office should strive to excuse themselves with a genuine Nolo episcopari, “I am unwilling to be a bishop.”

Not for filthy lucre 
Could the office of a bishop, in those early days, and in the time of persecution, be a lucrative office? Does not the Spirit of God lead the apostle to speak these things rather for posterity than for that time? See Clarke on 1 Timothy 3:3.

But of a ready mind 
Doing all for Christ’s sake, and through love.

Verse 3. Neither as being lords over God’s heritage 
This is the voice of Peter in his epistle to the Church! According to him there are to be no lords over God’s heritage, the bishops and presbyters who are appointed by the head of the Church are to feed the flock, to guide and to defend it, not to fleece and waste it; and they are to look for their reward in another world, and in the approbation of God in their consciences. And in humility, self-abasement, self-renunciation, and heavenly-mindedness, they are to be ensamples, types, to the flock, moulds of a heavenly form, into which the spirits and lives of the flock may be cast, that they may come out after a perfect pattern. They are in every sense the reverse of this. But we may ask, Do the other Churches, which profess to be reformed from the abominations of the above, keep the advice of the apostle in their eye? Have they pastors according to God’s own heart, who feed them with knowledge and understanding? Jeremiah 3:15. Do they feed themselves, and not the flock? Are they lords over the heritage of Christ, ruling with a high eeclesiastico-secular hand, disputing with their flocks about penny-farthing tithes and stipends, rather than contending for the faith once delivered to the saints? Are they heavenly moulds, into which the spirits and conduct of their flocks may be cast? I leave those who are concerned to answer these questions; but I put them, in the name of God, to all the preachers in the land. How many among them properly care for the flock? Even among those reputed evangelical teachers, are there not some who, on their first coming to a parish or a congregation, make it their first business to raise the tithes and the stipends, where, in all good conscience, there was before enough, and more than enough, to provide them and their families with not only the necessaries, but all the conveniences and comforts of life? conveniences and comforts which neither Jesus Christ nor his servant Peter ever enjoyed. And is not the great concern among ministers to seek for those places, parishes, and congregations, where the provision is the most ample, and the work the smallest? Preacher or minister, whosoever thou art, who readest this, apply not the word to thy neighbour, whether he be state-appointed, congregation-appointed, or self-appointed; take all to thyself; mutato nomine de TE fabula narratur. See that thy own heart, views, and conduct be right with God; and then proceed to the next verse.

Verse 4. When the chief Shepherd 
That is, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 5. Likewise, ye younger probably means here inferiors, or those not in sacred offices; and may be understood as referring to the people at large who are called to obey them that have the rule over them in the Lord. In this sense our Lord, it appears, uses the word, Luke 22:26.

Be subject one to another 
Strive all to serve each other; let the pastors strive to serve the people, and the people the pastors; and let there be no contention, but who shall do most to oblige and profit all the rest.

Be clothed with humility 
Be ye truly humble; and let your outward garb and conduct be a proof of the humility of your hearts.
Verse 6. Humble yourselves 
Those who submit patiently to the dispensations of God’s providence he lifts up; those who lift themselves up, God thrusts down.

If we humble not ourselves under God’s grace, he will humble us under his judgments. Those who patiently submit to him, he exalts in due time; if his hand be mighty to depress, it is also mighty to exalt.

Verse 7. Casting all your care Your anxiety, your distracting care, on him, for he careth for you. This is a plain reference to Psalms 55:22: Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee. He will bear both thee and thy burden.

Verse 8. Be sober 
Avoid drunkenness of your senses, and drunkenness in your souls; be not overcharged with the concerns of the world.
Be vigilant 
Awake, and keep awake; be always watchful; never be off your guard; your enemies are alert, they are never off theirs.
Your adversary the devil 
This is the reason why ye should be sober and vigilant; ye have an ever active, implacable, subtle enemy to contend with. He walketh about-he has access to you everywhere; he knows your feelings and your propensities, and informs himself of all your circumstances; only God can know more and do more than he, therefore your care must be cast upon God.
As a roaring lion 
Satan tempts under three forms: 1. The subtle serpent; to beguile our senses, pervert our judgment, and enchant our imagination. 2. As an angel of light; to deceive us with false views of spiritual things, refinements in religion, and presumption on the providence and grace of God. 3. As a roaring lion; to bear us down, and destroy us by violent opposition, persecution, and death. Thus he was acting towards the followers of God at Pontus, persecution.
Walketh about 
Traversing the earth; a plain reference to Job 2:2, which see.
Seeking whom he may devour Whom he may gulp down. It is not every one that he can swallow down: those who are sober and vigilant are proof against him, these he MAY NOT swallow down; those who are drunken with the cares of this world, unwatchful, these he MAY swallow down. There is a beauty in this verse, and a striking apposition between the first and last words, which I think have not been noticed: If you swallow strong drink down, the devil will swallow you down. Hear this, ye drunkards, topers, tipplers, or by whatsoever name you are known in society, or among your fellow sinners. Strong drink is not only the way to the devil, but the devil’s way into you; and YE are such as the devil particularly MAY swallow down.

Verse 9. Whom resist 
Stand against him. Though invulnerable, he is not unconquerable: the weakest follower of God can confound and overpower him, if he continue steadfast in the faith-believing on the Son of God, and walking uprightly before him. To a soul thus engaged he can do no damage.
The same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren 
It is the lot of all the disciples of Christ to suffer persecution.

Verse 10. But the God of all grace 
The Fountain of infinite compassion, mercy, and goodness. Who hath called us 
By the preaching of the Gospel.
Unto his eternal glory 
To the infinite felicity of the heavenly state.
By Christ Jesus 
Through the merit of his passion and death, by the influence of his Holy Spirit, by the precepts of his Gospel, and by the splendour of his own example.
After that ye have suffered a while Having suffered a little time; that is, while ye are enduring these persecutions, God will cause all to work together for your good.
Make you perfect 
 All these words are read in the future tense by the best MSS. and versions.
He will make you perfect. Put you in complete joint as the timbers of a building.
Stablish 
 Make you firm in every part; adapt you strongly to each other, so that you may be mutual supports, the whole building being one in the Lord.
Strengthen Cramp and bind every part, so that there shall be no danger of warping, splitting, or falling.
Settle 
Cause all to rest so evenly and firmly upon the best and surest foundation, that ye may grow together to a holy temple in the Lord: in a word, that ye may be complete in all the mind that was in Christ; supported in all your trials and difficulties; strengthened to resist and overcome all your enemies; and after all abide, firmly founded, in the truth of grace. All these phrases are architectural; and the apostle has again in view the fine image which he produced 1 Peter 2:5, where see the notes.

Verse 11. To him 
The God of all grace, be glory-all honour and praise be ascribed, and dominion-the government of heaven, earth, and hell, for ever-through time, and ever-through eternity. Amen-so be it, so let it be, and so it shall be. Amen and Amen!

Verse 12. By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose 

Exhorting 
Calling upon you to be faithful, humble, and steady.
And testifying Earnestly witnessing, that it is the true grace-the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ, in which ye stand, and in which ye should persevere to the end.

Verse 13. The Church that is at Babylon 
After considering all that has been said by learned men and critics on this place, I am quite of opinion that the apostle does not mean Babylon in Egypt, nor Jerusalem, nor Rome as figurative Babylon, but the ancient celebrated Babylon in Assyria, which was, as Dr. Benson observes, the metropolis of the eastern dispersion of the Jews.
Elected together with you Fellow elect, or elected jointly with you. Probably meaning that they, and the believers at Babylon, received the Gospel about the same time. On the election of those to whom Peter wrote, See Clarke on 1 Peter 1:2.
And-Marcus my son. 
This is supposed to be the same person who is mentioned Acts 12:12, and who is known by the name of John Mark; he was sister’s son to Barnabas, Colossians 4:10, his mother’s name was Mary, and he is the same who wrote the gospel that goes under his name. He is called here Peter’s son, i.e. according to the faith, Peter having been probably the means of his conversion. This is very likely, as Peter seems to have been intimate at his mother’s house. See the account, Acts 12:6-17.

Verse 14. Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity.
Peace be with you all 
May all prosperity, spiritual and temporal, be with all that are in Christ Jesus-that are truly converted to him, and live in his Spirit obedient to his will.
Amen. 

I SHALL sum up the contents of this chapter in the words of a good commentator: “Because the knowledge and good behaviour of the people depend, in a great measure, upon the kind of instruction which they receive from their teachers, the apostle in this chapter addressed the elders, that is, the bishops, pastors, rulers, and deacons among the brethren of Pontus, 1 Peter 5:1, exhorting the bishops in particular to feed the flock of God committed to their care faithfully, and to exercise their episcopal office, not as by constraint, but willingly; not from the love of gain, but from love to their Master and to the flock, 1 Peter 5:2; and not to lord it over God’s heritage, but to be patterns of humility and disinterestedness to the people, 1 Peter 5:3. This exhortation to bishops to feed Christ’s flock was given with much propriety by Peter, who had himself been appointed by Christ to feed his lambs and his sheep. Next, because the faithful performance of the bishop’s office was, in that age, attended with great difficulty and danger, the apostle, to encourage the bishops, assured them that; when the chief Shepherd shall appear, they shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away, 1 Peter 5:4. The distinguished reward which Christ is to bestow on those who have suffered for his sake being a favourite topic with our apostle, he introduces it often in this epistle.
“Having thus exhorted the pastors, the apostle turned his discourse to the people, charging them to be subject to their elders, and to one another; that is, to be of a teachable disposition, and to receive instruction from every one capable of giving it, and to do all the duties which they could to each other, according to their different stations and relations, 1 Peter 5:5. But especially to be subject to God, by humbly submitting themselves to the judgments which were coming upon them, that God might exalt them in due time, 1 Peter 5:6. Casting all their anxious care on God, because he cared for them, 1 Peter 5:7. And to watch against the devil, who went about as a roaring lion, seeking to destroy them by instigating the wicked to persecute them, and drive them into apostasy, 1 Peter 5:8. But they were to resist that terrible enemy by steadfastness in the faith, and not to think themselves hardly dealt with when persecuted, knowing that their brethren everywhere were exposed to the same temptations of the devil, 1 Peter 5:9. In the meantime, to give them all the assistance in his power, the apostle prayed earnestly to God to stablish and strengthen them, 1 Peter 5:10. And ended his prayer with a doxology to God, expressive of his supreme dominion over the universe, and all the things it contains.
“The apostle informed the brethren of Pontus that he had sent this letter to them by Silvanus, whom he praised for his fidelity to Christ, 1 Peter 5:12. Then, giving them the salutation of the Church in Babylon, where it seems he was when he wrote this letter, he added the salutation of Mark, whom he called his son, either because he had converted him, or on account of the great attachment which Mark bore to him, 1 Peter 5:13. And having desired them to salute one another, he concluded with giving them his apostolical benediction, 1 Peter 5:14.”

2 Peter 1

Chapter 1
The apostolical address, and the persons to whom the epistle was sent described by the state into which God had called, and in which he had placed, them, 1-4. What graces they should possess in order to be fruitful in the knowledge of God, 5-8. The miserable state of those who either have not these graces, or have fallen from them, 9. Believers should give diligence to make their calling and election sure, 10,11. The apostle’s intimations of his speedy dissolution, and his wish to confirm and establish those Churches in the true faith, 12-15. The certainty of the Gospel, and the convincing evidence which the apostle had of its truth from being present at the transfiguration, by which the word of prophecy was made more sure, 16-19. How the prophecies came, and their nature, 20,21.
Notes on Chapter 1
Verse 1. Simon Peter 
Symeon, is the reading of almost all the versions, and of all the most important MSS. And this is the more remarkable, as the surname of Peter occurs upwards of seventy times in the New Testament, and is invariably read, Simon, except here, and in Acts 15:14, where James gives him the name of Symeon. Of all the versions, only the Armenian and Vulgate have Simon. But the edit. princ., and several of my own MSS. of the Vulgate, write Symon; and Wiclif has Symont.
A servant 
Employed in his Master’s work.
And an apostle 
Commissioned immediately by Jesus Christ himself to preach to the Gentiles, and to write these epistles for the edification of the Church. As the writer was an apostle, the epistle is therefore necessarily canonical. All the MSS. agree in the title apostle; and of the versions, only the Syriac omits it.
Precious faith Valuable faith; faith worth a great price, and faith which cost a great price. The word precious is used in the low religious phraseology for dear, comfortable, delightful, but how much is the dignity of the subject let down by expressions and meanings more proper for the nursery than for the noble science of salvation! It is necessary however to state, that the word precious literally signifies valuable, of great price, costly; and was not used in that low sense in which it is now employed when our translation was made. That faith must be of infinite value, the grace of which Christ purchased by his blood; and it must be of infinite value also when it is the very instrument by which the soul is saved unto eternal life.
With us 
God having given to you-believing Gentiles, the same faith and salvation which he had given to us-believing Jews.
Through the righteousness of God 
Through his method of bringing a lost world, both Jews and Gentiles, to salvation by Jesus Christ; through his gracious impartiality, providing for Gentiles as well as Jews. See the notes on Romans 3:21-26.
Of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ 
This is not a proper translation of the original, which is literally, Of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ; and this reading, which is indicated in the margin, should have been received into the text; and it is an absolute proof that Peter calls Jesus Christ GOD, even in the properest sense of the word, with the article prefixed. It is no evidence against this doctrine that one MS. of little authority, and the Syriac and two Arabic versions have, Lord, instead of, God, as all other MSS. and versions agree in the other reading, as well as the fathers. See in Griesbach.

Verse 2. Grace 
God’s favour; peace-the effects of that favour in the communication of spiritual and temporal blessings.
Through the knowledge of God By the acknowledging of God, and of Jesus our Lord. For those who acknowledge him in all their ways, he will direct their steps. Those who know Christ; and do not acknowledge him before men, can get no multiplication of grace and peace.

Verse 3. As his Divine power 
His power, which no power can resist, because it is Divine.
Hath given unto us Hath endowed us with the gifts; or, hath gifted us, as Dr. Macknight translates it, who observes that it refers to the gifts which the Holy Spirit communicated to the apostles, to enable them to bring men to life and godliness; which were, 1. A complete knowledge of the doctrines of the Gospel. 2. Power to preach and defend their doctrines in suitable language, which their adversaries were not able to gainsay or resist. 3. Wisdom to direct them how to behave in all cases, where and when to labour; and the matter suitable to all different cases, and every variety of persons. 4. Miraculous powers, so that on all proper and necessary occasions they could work miracles for the confirmation of their doctrines and mission.
By life and godliness we may understand, 1. a godly life; or, 2. eternal life as the end, and godliness the way to it; or, 3. what was essentially necessary for the present life, food, raiment, they were in a suffering state, and most probably many of them strangers in those places, one can scarcely say that they had all things that pertained to life; and yet so had God worked in their behalf, that none of them perished, either through lack of food or raiment. And as to what was necessary for godliness, they had that from the Gospel ministry, which it appears was still continued among them, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit which were not withdrawn; and what was farther necessary in the way of personal caution, comfort, and instruction, was supplied by means of these two epistles.
That hath called us to glory and virtue 
To virtue or courage as the means; and glory-the kingdom of heaven, as the end. This is the way in which these words are commonly understood, and this sense is plain enough, but the construction is harsh. Others have translated, by his glorious benignity, a Hebraism for and read the whole verse thus: God by his own power hath bestowed on us every thing necessary for a happy life and godliness, having called us to the knowledge of himself, by his own infinite goodness. It is certain that the word, which we translate virtue or courage, is used, 1 Peter 2:9, to express the perfection of the Divine nature: That ye may show forth the virtues or PERFECTIONS, of him who hath called you from darkness into his marvellous light.

Verse 4. Whereby are given unto us 
By his own glorious power he hath freely given unto us exceeding great and invaluable promises. The Jews were distinguished in a very particular manner by the promises which they received from God; the promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets. God promised to be their God; to protect, support, and save them; to give them what was emphatically called the promised land; and to cause the Messiah to spring from their race.
That by these ye might be partakers 
The object of all God’s promises and dispensations was to bring fallen man back to the image of God, which he had lost. This, indeed, is the sum and substance of Christ. We have partaken of an earthly, sensual, and devilish nature; the design of God by Christ is to remove this, and to make us partakers of the Divine nature; and save us from all the corruption in principle and fact which is in the world; the source of which is lust, irregular, unreasonable, in ordinate, and impure desire; desire to have, to do, and to be, what God has prohibited, and what would be ruinous and destructive to us were the desire to be granted.
Lust, or irregular, impure desire, is the source whence all the corruption which is in the world springs. Lust conceives and brings forth sin; sin is finished or brought into act, and then brings forth death. This destructive principle is to be rooted out; and love to God and man is to be implanted in its place. This is every believers privilege; God has promised to purify our hearts by faith; and that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so shall grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life; that here we are to be delivered out of the hands of all our enemies, and have even “the thoughts of our hearts so cleansed by the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit, that we shall perfectly love him, and worthily magnify his holy name.”
This blessing may be expected by those who are continually escaping, flying from, the corruption that is in the world and in themselves. God purifies no heart in which sin is indulged. Get pardon through the blood of the Lamb; feel your need of being purified in heart; seek that with all your soul; plead the exceeding great and invaluable promises that refer to this point; abhor your inward self; abstain from every appearance of evil; flee from self and sin to God; and the very God of peace will sanctify you through body, soul, and spirit, make you burning and shining lights here below, (a proof that he can save to the uttermost ail that come to him by Christ,) and afterwards, having guided you by his counsel through life, will receive you into his eternal glory.

Verse 5. And beside this 
Notwithstanding what God hath done for you, in order that ye may not receive the grace of God in vain;
Giving all diligence 
Furnishing all earnestness and activity: the original is very emphatic.
Add to your faith 
 Lead up hand in hand.
Your faith-That faith in Jesus by which ye have been led to embrace the whole Gospel, and by which ye have the evidence of things unseen.
Virtue Courage or fortitude, to enable you to profess the faith before men, in these times of persecution.
Knowledge 
True wisdom, by which your faith will be increased, and your courage directed, and preserved from degenerating into rashness.

Verse 6. Temperance 
A proper and limited use of all earthly enjoyments, keeping every sense under proper restraints, and never permitting the animal part to subjugate the rational.
Patience 
Bearing all trials and difficulties with an even mind, enduring in all, and persevering through all.
Godliness 
Piety towards God; a deep, reverential, religious fear; not only worshipping God with every becoming outward act, but adoring, loving, and magnifying him in the heart: a disposition indispensably necessary to salvation, but exceedingly rare among professors.

Verse 7. Brotherly kindness 
 Love of the brotherhood-the strongest attachment to Christ’s flock; feeling each as a member of your own body.
Charity Love to the whole human race, even to your persecutors: love to God and the brethren they had; love to all mankind they must also have. True religion is neither selfish nor insulated; where the love of God is, bigotry cannot exist. Narrow, selfish people, and people of a party, who scarcely have any hope of the salvation of those who do not believe as they believe, and who do not follow with them, have scarcely any religion, though in their own apprehension none is so truly orthodox or religious as themselves.

Verse 8. For if these things be in you and abound 
If ye possess all there graces, and they increase and abound in your souls, they will make-show, you to be neither, idle, nor, unfruitful, in the acknowledgment of our Lord Jesus Christ. The common translation is here very unhappy: barren and unfruitful certainly convey the same ideas; but idle or inactive, which is the proper sense of, takes away this tautology, and restores the sense. The graces already mentioned by the apostle are in themselves active principles; he who was possessed of them, and had them abounding in him, could not be inactive; and he who is not inactive in the way of life must be fruitful. I may add, that he who is thus active, and consequently fruitful, will ever be ready at all hazard to acknowledge his Lord and Saviour, by whom he has been brought into this state of salvation.

Verse 9. But he that lacketh these things 
He, whether Jew or Gentile, who professes to have FAITH in God, and has not added to that FAITH fortitude, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and universal love; is blind-his understanding is darkened, and cannot see afar off, shutting his eyes against the light, winking, not able to look truth in the face, nor to behold that God whom he once knew was reconciled to him: and thus it appears he is wilfully blind, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins-has at last, through his nonimprovement of the grace which he received from God, his faith ceasing to work by love, lost the evidence of things not seen; for, having grieved the Holy Spirit by not showing forth the virtues of him who called him into his marvellous light, he has lost the testimony of his sonship; and then, darkness and hardness having taken place of light and filial confidence, he first calls all his former experience into doubt, and questions whether he has not put enthusiasm in the place of religion. By these means his darkness and hardness increase, his memory becomes indistinct and confused, till at length he forgets the work of God on his soul, next denies it, and at last asserts that the knowledge of salvation, by the remission of sins, is impossible, and that no man can be saved from sin in this life. Indeed, some go so far as to deny the Lord that bought them; to renounce Jesus Christ as having made atonement for them; and finish their career of apostasy by utterly denying his Godhead. Many cases of this kind have I known; and they are all the consequence of believers not continuing to be workers together with God, after they had experienced his pardoning love.
Reader, see that the light that is in thee become not darkness; for if it do, how great a darkness!

Verse 10. Wherefore 
Seeing the danger of apostasy, and the fearful end of them who obey not the Gospel, and thus receive the grace of God in vain; give all diligence, hasten, be deeply careful, labour with the most intense purpose of soul.
To make your calling 
From deep Gentile darkness into the marvellous light of the Gospel.
And election 
Your being chosen, in consequence of obeying the heavenly calling, to be the people and Church of God.
Sure Firm, solid. For your calling to believe the Gospel, and your election to be members, will be ultimately unprofitable to you, unless you hold fast what you have received by adding to your faith virtue, knowledge, temperance,
For if ye do these things 
If ye be careful and diligent to work out your own salvation, through the grace which ye have already received from God; ye shall never fall, ye shall at no time stumble or fall; Romans 11:11, where the same word is used, and as apostates do, and lose their peace and salvation. We find, therefore, that they who do not these things shall fall; and thus we see that there is nothing absolute and unconditional in their election.

Verse 11. For so an entrance shall be ministered 
If ye give diligence; and do not fall, an abundant, free, honourable, and triumphant entrance shall be ministered to you into the everlasting kingdom. There seems to be here an allusion to the triumphs granted by the Romans to their generals who had distinguished themselves by putting an end to a war, or doing some signal military service to the state.

Verse 12. Wherefore I will not be negligent 
He had already written one epistle, this is the second; and probably he meditated more should he be spared. He plainly saw that there was no way of entering into eternal life but that which he described from the 5th to the 10th verse; 2 Peter 1:5-10and although they knew and were established in the present truth, yet he saw it necessary to bring these things frequently to their recollection.

Verse 13. As long as I am in this tabernacle 
By tabernacle we are to understand his body; and hence several of the versions have, body, instead of, tabernacle. Peter’s mode of speaking is very remarkable: as long as I AM in this tabernacle, so then the body was not Peter, but Peter dwelt in that body. Is not this a proof that Peter believed his soul to be very distinct from his body? As a man’s house is the place where he dwells, so the body is the house where the soul dwells.

Verse 14. Knowing that shortly I must put off 
Peter plainly refers to the conversation between our Lord and himself, related John 21:18,19. And it is likely that he had now a particular intimation that he was shortly to seal the truth with his blood. But as our Lord told him that his death would take place when he should be old, being aged now he might on this ground fairly suppose that his departure was at hand.

Verse 15. Moreover, I will endeavour 
And is not this endeavour seen in these two epistles? By leaving these among them, even after his decease, they had these things always in remembrance.
After my decease 
After my going out, i.e. of his tabernacle. The real Peter was not open to the eye, nor palpable to the touch; he was concealed in that tabernacle vulgarly supposed to be Peter.

Verse 16. Cunningly devised fables 
It is probable that he means those cunningly devised fables among the heathens, concerning the appearance of their gods on earth in human form. And to gain the greater credit to these fables, the priests and statesmen instituted what they called the mysteries of the gods, in which the fabulous appearance of the gods was represented in mystic shows. But one particular show none but the fully initiated were permitted to behold; hence they were entitled, beholders. This show was probably some resplendent image of the god, imitating life, which, by its glory, dazzled the eyes of the beholders, while their ears were ravished by hymns sung in its praise; to this it was natural enough for Peter to allude, when speaking about the transfiguration of Christ.

Verse 17. For he received honour and glory 
In his transfiguration our Lord received from the Father honour in the voice or declaration which said, This is my Son, the beloved One, in whom I have delighted. And he received glory, when, penetrated with, and involved in, that excellent glory, the fashion of his countenance was altered, for his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white and glistening, exceeding white like snow; which most glorious and preternatural appearance was a confirmation of the supernatural voice, as the voice was of this preternatural appearance: and thus his Messiahship was attested in the most complete and convincing manner.

Verse 18. And this voice-we heard 
That is, himself, James, and John heard it, and saw this glory; for these only were the, beholders, on the holy mount. It is worthy of remark that our blessed Lord, who came to give a new law to mankind, appeared on this holy mount with splendour and great glory, as God did when he came on the holy mount, Sinai, to give the old law to Moses. And when the voice came from the excellent glory, This is my Son, the beloved One, in whom I have delighted; hear him: the authority of the old law was taken away. Neither Moses nor Elijah, the law nor the prophets, must tabernacle among men, as teaching the whole way of salvation, and affording the means of eternal life; these things they had pointed out, but these things they did not contain; yet the fulfilment of their types and predictions rendered their declarations more firm and incontestable.

Verse 19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy 
We have the prophetic doctrine more firm or more confirmed; for in this sense the word is used in several places in the New Testament. See 1 Corinthians 1:6: Even as the testimony of Christ, was CONFIRMED, among you. 2 Corinthians 1:21: Now he which stablisheth us, who CONFIRMETH US. Colossians 2:7: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, CONFIRMED in the faith. Hebrews 2:3: How shall we escape if we neglect great salvation, which was CONFIRMED to us. Hebrews 6:16: And an oath, for CONFIRMATION. This is the literal sense of the passage in question; and this sense removes that ambiguity from the text which has given rise to so many different interpretations. Taken according to the common translation, it seems to say that prophecy is a surer evidence of Divine revelation than miracles; and so it has been understood. The meaning of the apostle appears to be this: The law and the prophets have spoken concerning Jesus Christ, and Isaiah has particularly pointed him out in these words: Behold my servant whom I uphold, my CHOSEN IN WHOM MY SOUL DELIGHTETH; I have put my Spirit upon him, and he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and THEM THAT SIT IN DARKNESS out of the prison house, Isaiah 42:1,7. Now both at his baptism, ; Matthew 3:17, and at his transfiguration, Jesus Christ was declared to be this chosen person, God’s only Son, the beloved One in WHOM HE DELIGHTED. The voice, therefore, from heaven, and the miraculous transfiguration of his person, have confirmed the prophetic doctrine concerning him. And to this doctrine, thus confirmed, ye do well to take heed; for it is that light that shines in the dark place-in the Gentile world, as well as among the Jews; giving light to them that sit in darkness, and bringing the prisoners out of the prison house: and this ye must continue to do till the day of his second, last, and most glorious appearing to judge the world comes; and the day star, this light-bringer, arise in your hearts-manifest himself to your eternal consolation. Or perhaps the latter clause of the verse might be thus understood: The prophecies concerning Jesus, which have been so signally confirmed to us on the holy mount, have always been as a light shining in a dark place, from the time of their delivery to the time in which the bright day of Gospel light and salvation dawned forth, and the Son of righteousness has arisen in our souls, with healing in his rays. And to this all who waited for Christ’s appearing have taken heed.

Verse 20. Knowing this first 
Considering this as a first principle, that no prophecy of the Scripture, whether that referred to above, or any other, is of any private interpretation-proceeds from the prophet’s own knowledge or invention, or was the offspring of calculation or conjecture. The word‚ signifies also impetus, impulse; and probably this is the best sense here; not by the mere private impulse of his own mind.

Verse 21. For the prophecy came not in old time 
That is, in any former time, by the will of man-by a man’s own searching, conjecture, or calculation; but holy men of God-persons separated from the world, and devoted to God’s service, spake, moved by the Holy Spirit. So far were they from inventing these prophetic declarations concerning Christ, or any future event, that they were, carried away, out of themselves and out of the whole region, as it were, of human knowledge and conjecture, by the Holy Spirit, who, without their knowing any thing of the matter, dictated to them what to speak, and what to write; and so far above their knowledge were the words of the prophecy, that they did not even know the intent of those words, but searched what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. See 1 Peter 1:11,12, and the notes there.

Email this article to a friend.
 digg    del.icio.us    technorati    reddit    facebook

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

DVD available!


Sabbatical and Jubilee Calendar available!


Tell me more
Enter your email address to receive the Sighted Moon Newsletter.

Music player

This text will be replaced by the flash music player.

Navigation

Statistics

Hits since July 2006: 2585292
Locations of visitors to this page

Links