Last Events of Old Testament – Right of Wrong?

The books of  Ezra/Nehemiah are the last history books of the Old Testament.

They are never quoted in the New Testament.

The moral judgments about the actions of Ezra and Nehemiah came from God via Zechariah and Malachi – His prophets of the time. And also from John the Baptist and Jesus, after a long period of “night without vision” as Micah 3 had foretold.

This article proposes that Ezra and Nehemiah were not acting rightly when they enforced separation from foreigners including divorcing wives and sending away children.

Their words are recorded for our learning in the same way as the words of Eliphaz to Job.

Job 15:5 “Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty.”   (The incorrect opinion of Eliphaz)

When Ezra records that foreigners are “enemies” that is the opinion of the Jewish leaders – left for our learning. Zechariah disagreed. Jesus tell us that this Zechariah was murdered by his contemporaries. Matt. 23:35 “On you will come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.” The Old Testament ends with a murder mystery hidden by those professing to be “teachers of the Law”.

Background
Ezra – Nehemiah were originally one book
It covered the period from approx 538 BC432BC

538 BC – Zerubbabel led 1st return to Jerusalem – Ezra 2:2

520 BC Haggai/Zechariah Prophesy

516 BC – Temple completed in Jerusalem – Ezra 6:15

6th year Darius Prophet Zechariah contemporary Ezra 6:15

486 BC – Letter written to Xerxes – Ezra 4:6

479 BC – Esther* made queen in Persia – Esther 2:16

465 BC – Artaxerxes King in Persia

457 BC – Ezra led a 2nd return

444 BC – Nehemiah led a third return

432 BC – Last memoirs of Nehemiah

Prophet Malachi

*While the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were declining offers from foreigners to help build the temple, and later forcing Jewish men to send away foreign wives and children (or else they would lose their land)…

Back in Persia

Esther the Jewish girl married a FOREIGN King and saved the nation!

(There are different opinions whether it was Xerxes or Artaxerxes Esther married. The description of the greatness of the Kingdom in Esther 1:1 would indicate it was Xerxes)

THE GREAT DIVORCE – under Ezra

Ezra 10:2.. “Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these (foreign) women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law….15 Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah, supported by Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite, opposed this.”

Consider the possibility that the group in verse 15 who opposed the great divorce are right to do so.

IT IS ALSO WRITTEN

Mal 3:16  “The man who hates and divorces his wife, ” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty.”

Nehemiah’s FINAL REFORMS

Neh. 13:1-3 “On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God (from Deut. 23)… When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel ALL who were of foreign descent.”

 

“When the people heard THIS Law”

The people took one passage at face value and applied it wrongly.

IT IS ALSO WRITTEN IN DEUT. 23…..

V 7-8  “You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land. The children of the third generation born to them may enter the assembly of the Lord.”

NOT ALL FOREIGNERS WERE TO BE EXCLUDED.

ALSO – V 1 “No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the Lord.” (a eunuch)

It seems likely that Nehemiah himself was a eunuch, also Daniel. (no mention of Nehemiah enforcing this law)

“It is Also Written”

European illustration of one of the "whit...

European illustration of one of the “white eunuchs” of the Ottoman Sultan’s court (1749) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FOREIGNERS & EUNUCHS

“Let no foreigner who is bound to the LORD say,
“The LORD will surely exclude me from his people.”
And let no eunuch complain,“I am only a dry tree.””
Isaiah 56.3-5

Note: Jesus applied the prophecies in Isaiah to His own day, not a distant kingdom age.

“Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for ALL nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’ Mark 11:17 quoting Isaiah 56:7

“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” Exodus 22:21

PREVIOUSLY IN OLD TESTAMENT

– God Accepted Foreigners

CALEB – the Kenizzite Represented the tribe of Judah as one of the 12 spies

Moses wife – a Kennite

Absalom’s mother – Geshurite Princess

SAMSON – fell in love with a Philistine “from the Lord”

MELCHIZEDEK -King of Salem, Canaanite – Priest of God

Ittai – The Gittite – David said

“Go back…You are a foreigner”Ittai said wherever my lord the king may be …there will your servant    be.” 2 Sam 15:21

Obededom – The Gittite (FOREIGNER AS ABOVE) – Cared for the ark (as distinct from Obededom the son of Jeduthun/Levite) It could be that Obededom was given a place amongst the Levites – as Caleb the gentile had a place amongst the tribe of Judah – Or as Samuel an Ephraimite (1 Sam. 1:1) counted as a Levite according to the writer of 1 Chron. 6:16-28.

Ezekiel 47:23 In whatever tribe a foreigner resides, there you are to give them their inheritance” (written to the house of Israel while in exile for them to contemplate)

RAHAB a Canaanite

URIAH – The Hittite

RUTH – Moabitess

Asriel – descended from Manasseh through his Aramean concubine.

ASENATHEgyptian – mother of Ephraim and Manasseh

Children of Jacob by ethnically ‘Arabic‘ servant girls

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. Ezek. 16:3

Genealogy of Jesus includes: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth – mentions Uriah

Elijah & Elisha sent to Gentiles

“I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, … Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. (Lebanese) And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” Luke 4:25

Previously in Old Testament – No Partiality

The Tabernacle – No separate court for Gentiles or Women

SACRIFICES – Numbers 15:14   “Native-born Israelites and foreigners are equal before the LORD and are subject to the same decrees. This is a permanent law for you, to be observed from generation to generation.”

PASSOVER – Exodus 12:48   A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land.”

FOREIGNERS in Ezra/Nehemiah

AS ENEMIES

Zerubbabel was supposed to lay the foundation and cap stone of the temple (be there at start & finish). His refusal to let foreigners help meant the project was delayed. He disappeared from history before the temple was finished.

Ezra 4:1-3 “When the enemies of Judah (from Ezra’s perspective) and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.”

 But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord”

The rejected foreigners at this stage were Rehum (Persian governor of Samaria), Shimshai, the judges, officials, administrators over the deportees and the other people. (Ezra 4:9-10)

ELSEWHERE – FOREIGNERS AS FRIENDS

By contrast- David was the friend of foreigners and Solomon let gentiles help build the first temple.

2 Sam 5:11 ”Now Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, …they built a palace for David.  Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom.”

1 Kings 5: 6 “My men will work with yours, … You know that we have no one so skilled in felling timber as the Sidonians.”

 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was greatly pleased and said, “Praise be to the Lord today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.”

REBUKE FROM ZECHARIAH DURING

COMPLETION OF TEMPLE

4th Year of Darius

Zech. 7:9-12 ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.  Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’

 But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears.  They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by His Spirit through the earlier prophets.

6th Year of Darius

The temple was completed without the help offered by foreigners.

What became of the prophet
Zechariah Son of Berekiah ?

Jesus tells us – “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!… Upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.” Matt 23:35

UNSOLVED MYSTERY…WHICH TEACHERS OF THE LAW MURDERED ZECHARIAH approx 460-480 BC?

What did Zechariah say to anger the Jews so much they would kill him?

Perhaps it was his last prophesy- Zech 14:21  

“On that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar.  Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them.”

Holy to the Lord” was previously reserved for the gold band worn on the high priests turban (Ex.28:36-38) but Zechariah was saying that every pot in Jerusalem and Judah would be “holy to the Lord” and FOREIGNERS would come and do their own sacrifices and cook in the pots themselves – holiness would no longer be just for the priests

Everyone and thing on God’s Holy Hill will be Holy

Zechariah’s final verse ch. 14:21
“And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord Almighty

The distinction between Jew and foreigner will finally be gone. For those living the “kingdom life” it shouldn’t exist now.

Gal. 3:26-29 “ So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,  for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Those who may dwell on God’s holy hill are the righteous regardless of race, gender, tribe

Psalm 15 “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbour  and casts no slur on others who despises a vile person but honours those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest;  who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.”

Mystery of Zechariah’s Murder

The book of Ezra/Nememiah covered the history of Jerusalem during the period from approx 538 BC – 432BC but leaves out the murder of Zechariah Son of Berekiah, Son of Iddo, who was murdered in Jerusalem during that time.

Zechariah was a “young man” in 520 BC (Zech. 2:3)

As well as Jesus confirmation of this event in Matt. 23:35 Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.” – There is also a reference to it in the Targum on Lamentations 2:20

“Is it right to kill priest and prophet in the Temple of the Lord, as when you killed Zechariah son of Iddo, the High Priest and faithful prophet in the Temple of the Lord on the Day of Atonement because he told you not to do evil before the Lord?” Cited with permission from English translation by C.M.M. Brady

Zechariah’s murder is a witness against those who carried it out – their house would be left desolate until they say ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ (Matt. 23:38)

Gates shut or Open?

Nehemiah

Neh. 13:19 “When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. … Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you.”

Malachi/Isaiah

Mal. 1:10 “Among you the doors shall be shut, and one will not kindle the fire of mine altar for nothing, I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord Almighty, and I will not accept a sacrifice at your hands. 11 For from the rising of the sun even to the going down thereof my name has been glorified among the Gentiles; and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering: for my name IS great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord Almighty. ” (Septuagint)

Isaiah 60:10 “Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you…Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night,

Matt. 23:13 “You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

Zech. 8:16 “Speak truth every one with his neighbour; judge truth and peaceable judgment in your gates: and let none of you devise evil in his heart against his neighbour

Nehemiah built physical walls
God cared about the spiritual ones

Ne. 1:3-4 “The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. ” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”

COMPARE TO

Isaiah 58:5 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?  Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter , when you see the naked, to clothe them?”

Ezek. 22:29 “They oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice.

I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN – AND WILL BE

Zech 2:4 ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it.  And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’

People Ezra & Nehemiah
Perceived as Enemies

Rehum the commanding officer (Governor Samaria), Shimshai the secretary, the rest of their associates -the judges, officials and administrators over the people from Persia, Uruk and Babylon, the Elamites of Susa,  and the other people deported and settled in the city of Samaria. Ezra 4:9-10

Daughters of Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. Ezra 9:1

Sanballat the Horonite (Moabite), Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab. Neh. 2:19

The Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod. Neh. 4:7

Prophetess Noadiah and the other prophets. Neh. 6:15

The nobles of Judah who kept reporting the good deeds of Tobiah. Neh. 6:14

Those who could not find family records were considered unclean. Neh. 7:64

ALL FOREIGNERS Neh. 9:2

People from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem. Neh. 13:16

Foreign women Neh. 13:27

Son of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest who was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. Neh. 13:28

“Thus cleansed I them from all strangers” Neh. 13:30

WE ARE NOT TOLD THAT GOD REGARDED THESE PEOPLE AS ENEMIES and to do so contradicts other Bible teachings.

THE LORD’S TABLE

Nehamiah said the Lord’s table was defiled by foreigners –

Neh 13:6 Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God.  I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room.  I gave orders to purify the rooms.

BY CONTRAST – JESUS SAID “In my Father’s house are many rooms… I go to prepare a place for you” John 14:2

God said via Malachi

Mal 1:11 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with YOU,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. YOU profane my name by saying, ‘The Lord’s table is defiled…my name is to be feared among the nations.” 

David shared the shewbread with his men – the criteria- “being committed to God” – not whether they were foreigners. 1 Sam. 23:5

Examples of David’s men:

Uriah the Hittite, Ittai the Gittite, Zelek the Ammonite, Jebosthe (chief among the captains) the Chananite (Canaanite) 2 Sam 23:8 (Septuagint) Ithma the Moabite

Noadiah & The other Prophets
A Silent Witness

The book of Nehemiah is written from Nehemiah’s perspective. We are not told that his words and actions had God’s approval.

It’s the last history book of the Old Testament and the voice of God was silent in Israel for the next 430 years. Zechariah and Malachi – God’s prophets- condemn the actions of the time.

We don’t hear the silent voices of Noadiah and the other prophets who opposed Nehemiah. We only know that they, and many others objected to his actions and the actions of Ezra.

Neh. 6:14 “Remember also the prophetess Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me.”

Connection between Chronicles & Ezra/Nehemiah
There seems to be a commonality in these 3 books. All promote the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin and omit positive things about foreigners. All omit negative things about Jews. Ezra gives added emphasis that God dwells in Jerusalem in Judah.

END OF CHRONICLES

2 Chron. 36:22-23

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’”

BEGINNING OF EZRA

Ezra 1:1-3

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.”

Chronicles – A Comparison

2 Chron. 8:2 Hiram gave towns to Solomon

1 Kings 9:11 Solomon gave 20 towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre

I Chronicles 2 1:1 Satan incited David

2 Sam. 24:1 God incited David

1 Chron 17:5 “For I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day.”

2 Sam 7:6 “Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day.”

In omitting to say that Israel came out of Egypt, and adding that God dwells in Jerusalem (inferring it’s the only place He dwells) perhaps the Chronicler was trying to stress the connection of the Jews to the land of Canaan, rather than to let them appear as a foreign people who came from Egypt.  This would be especially important in Nehemiah and Ezra’s time when they were excluding foreigners and forcing men to send away their foreign wives and children.

In Chronicles the kings of Israel in the North are barely mentioned. The kings of Judah are recorded with much of their “bad” history left out (eg. David’s sin with Bathsheba) The writer of Chronicles also excluded the lives of Elijah, Elisha and their gentile converts mentioned in Luke 4:25. Elijah’s only mention is via a letter after he was gone. By contrast, in the Book of Kings Elijah is mentioned over 60 times. Also his mission to the foreign widow of Lebanon.

Who beat and pulled hair out?

Isaiah 50:6 “I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard”

Two people named in Old Testament who carried out this behaviour…

Ezra 9:3 “When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled.”

Nehemiah 13:25   “I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair.”

Their descendants (Scribes and Pharisees) did the same thing to Jesus

Gentiles were to be Blessed

Isaiah 9:2 “In Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.”

LEBANON BLESSED
“And I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon, till there is no room for them.” Zech. 10:10

Where did Sanballat Go?

“One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. And I drove him away from me.” Neh. 13:28

He went with a group of priests, built a temple and woshipped God on Mt Gerizim.

FROM ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY

National Campus for Archaeology of Israel

“Today we can state with certainty that the first phase of the temple on Mount Gerizim was erected in the middle of the fifth century BCE by Sanballat the Horonite, a contemporary of Ezra and Nehemiah…
Sanballat the Horonite who was a governor of Samaria on behalf of the Persian Empire – decided to build a temple to a supreme god on Mount Gerizim, which was sacred to both the people of Samaria and the people of Judah, and thus severe all ties with Jerusalem and its temple.
He decided to wed his daughter to a scion of the high priesthood in Jerusalem thereby making all his descendants priests from the sect of the Jerusalem priesthood. It seems that along with the grandson of Eliashib the Priest other Judean priests came to Mount Gerizim where they built and sanctified the temple as a replica of the Jerusalem temple.”

WHERE WE WORSHIP

EZRA

Ezra focussed his worship on Jerusalem and the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and part of Levi. Ezra 1:3 “Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem”

JESUS

Jesus said the place of worship doesn’t matter, but HOW you worship.

John 4:20 “Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”  “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth”

Records Mattered to Jews
But Way of Worship mattered GOD

JEWS

Ezra 2:62 “These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean.

– This is in contrast to the KINGDOM of Priests they could have been

Zechariah

Zech 6:15   “Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the Lord.”

THIS PROPHECY WAS CONDITIONAL

“This shall come to pass, if ye will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God.”

John the Baptist

Luke 3:8 “Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.”

A Conditional Promise
Nation of PRIESTS – not just males from tribe of Levi

TO NATURAL ISRAEL

Exodus 19:4 “Now IF you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession …you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

TO SPIRITUAL ISRAEL – Women & Gentiles included

1 Pet. 2:9 “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession”

PRIESTS FROM ALL NATIONSMEN & WOMEN

Revelation 5:9 “Because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

TRIBE, NATIONALITY, GENDER NO LONGER MATTER – THEY NEVER DID –What matters to God is the way we worship

God always approved of women prophets and judges – it was traditions of men which made them a minority.

Ezra’s Genealogy

Ez. 7:1-6 “Ezra son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,  the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,  the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,  the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,  the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest this Ezra came up from Babylon.

He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses”

Nicodemas was also a “Teacher of the Law” – Jesus said to him that genealogies of men don’t count – John 3:3 “No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again (from above).”

Elijah’s Genealogy

“Elijah the Tishbite who was of the sojourners of Gilead” -A voice in the wilderness

ELIJAH – The Stranger

1Kings 17:1 “And Elijah the Tishbite , who was of the inhabitants of Gilead”.

Inhabitant =“TOWSHAB”

Towshab – Occurs 14 times in Old Test.

Translated 13 times – sojourner/stranger/foreigner   1 time – inhabitant

STRANGERS IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY
ELIJAH the Tishbite, who was of the foreigners/sojourners of Gilead

ABRAHAM “made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country” Heb. 11:9

DAVID“I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children” Psalm 69:8

NEW TESTAMENT MESSAGE ABOUT ELIJAH

A remnant saved by grace

Romans 11:4 “God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.  And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”

Elijah & Elisha sent to Gentiles

“I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, … Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. (Lebanese) And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” Luke 4:25

Even in Elijah’s time God’s message was given to the gentiles and those in Israel saved by grace – Not works of Law

THE GOD OF ELIJAH

Heb. 11:13-16 “They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth…Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

God was called the “God of Elijah” in 2 Kings 2:14

ELIJAH means “My God is Jehovah”

In a world of Baal worship – Elijah’s name proclaimed His worship of God

Not his lineage in natural Israel

 

LAST WORDS OF OLD TESTAMENT

Mal. 4:5-6 “I will send to you Elias the Thesbite, before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes; who shall turn again the heart of the father to the son, and the heart of a man to his neighbour” (Septuagint)

God also appeared to Elijah at Horeb , as He had to Moses. He was no longer in the earthquake wind and fire. He was with any who didn’t bow the knee to Baal, who came to Him in faith. He was now in the still small voice heard by Elijah and those of faith as He always had been – both Jews and Gentiles.

ELIJAH will “Turn again the heart of the father to the son, and the heart of a man to his neighbour” (Septuagint) Mal.4:5-6
“Who is my neighbour?” Luke 10:29

Jesus explained who a “neighbour” is in the parable of the good Samaritan – Ezra & Nehemiah did not consider Samaritans to be neighbours.

By contrast Jesus mixed with people others despised. He taught that barriers must come down and true righteousness be discerned. It’s not who we mix with that contaminates us but how we think and how we worship. Despising others is wrong worship. Loving your neighbour as yourself is right worship.

Zechariah told Joshua the priest and his associates that they were supposed to build a temple that was welcoming – they didn’t build such a place – but another is – “the Branch” (Jesus).

In that day, says the Lord Almighty, you shall call together every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig-tree.Zech. 3:10 (Septuagint)

Robin Jones from Blog

alsowritten.wordpress.com

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Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

In the previous postings I talked about the torn, business card-size fragment which found instant fame when Harvard historian Karen King announced its discovery in September 2012, because it bears the startling line: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …'”

The manuscript written in Coptic, the language of early Christians living in Egypt, has the beginning and end of each line of the manuscript missing. It could be interpreted as a record of a conversation between Jesus and his disciples, in which the disciples tell Jesus: “Mary [Magdalene] is not worthy of it,” and Jesus responds that his wife — presumably Mary Magdalene — “will be able to be his disciple.”

Example Jesus

“Christ gave the example
Now you have been called to this, really, because Christ also suffered in our behalf, leaving you17 an example that you should follow in His footsteps:  (22)  who did not commit sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth;  (23)  who being reviled did not revile in return, suffering did not threaten but committed it to Him who judges righteously;  (24)  who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, so that we, having died to those sins,18 might live for the19 righteousness; by whose wound20 you were healed.” (1Pe 2:21-24 WPNT)

For many Christians Christ Jesus should give the good example. This means that a male of that age should have been married, so Jesus should have had a wife and normal sexual relationship. Most Christians take Jesus also to be god, forgetting he is the son of God and not god the son, he like the Father in heaven ‘Yahweh” would have a wife.

Essence of life belongs to only One

It is very well know that between the 10th century BCE and the beginning of their exile in 586 BCE, polytheism was normal throughout Israel. According to many scholars it was only after the exile that worship of Yahweh alone became established, and possibly only as late as the time of the Maccabees (2nd century BCE) that monotheism became universal among Jews. As a believer I do believe the Holy Scriptures and accept that there have always through history have been people honouring and worshipping the Only One True God, who later gave His Name to be known all over the world as “The I Am Who Is the Being, the Essence of Life”, the Elohim God of gods Hashem Jehovah.

Threat of false teachings

The false teachings of those who liked the plural gods soon entered the world of the followers of the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ). The apostles described already in the Acts of the apostles that their community was already under threat for this danger. The acts of Peter show more of those false teachings having been entered in the Christian faith.

Mother goddess

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Asherah אֲשֵׁרָה Goddess of motherhood and fertility, Lady of the Sea

One of those teachings was that the god of heaven and earth had a counterpart or Dione, which like ‘Elat means “Goddess”. Before Christ Jesus the prophets, like Jeremiah, also warned people not to fall for such “Queen of Heaven” or a “Mother god”.  In the Book of Jeremiah, written circa 628 BCE, where the people pray to ha asherah or Asherah ( ‘ṯrt; אֲשֵׁרָה‎, ʼAṯirat, Ashratum/Ashratu) the mother goddess or the Queen of Heaven Jehovah is provoked to anger. (Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:17–19, 25).

Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah” and “Yahweh of Teman and his Asherah.” are inscription been found. We should know that several polytheist also adhered Yahweh and even Romans kept a shrine for the God, Whose name they were not quite sure He had. (The unknown God of heaven and earth.)

Relation between Yahweh and other gods

Yahweh having had a temple in Samaria raises a question over the relationship between Yahweh and Kaus (Qaush, Kaush, Qaus, Kos, and Qaws), the national god of Edom. {Keel, Othmar; Uehlinger, Christoph (1998). Gods, Goddesses, And Images of God. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 228. ISBN 9780567085917. Retrieved 10 March 2014.}

It has been suggested that the Israelites might consider Asherah as a consort of Baal due to the anti-Asherah ideology which was influenced by the Deuteronomistic History at the later period of Monarchy. {Sung Jin Park, “The Cultic Identity of Asherah in Deuteronomistic Ideology of Israel,” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 123/4 (2011): 553–564.}

Male or female god

For certain Christians The Hebrew God Yahweh or Elohim is conceived of biblically as a male deity, which is is of course not surprising in a patriarchal or male-ruled society. Lots of Christians seem to overlook that in the Bible is written that God the Elohim is not comparable to a human being and is an eternal Spirit and as such does not have a male or female site, no bones, no flesh with blood running through.

Susan Ackerman notes also that there are some feminizations of Yahweh in Isaiah (e.g., “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you” [66:13]; see also 42:14 and 49:15). But then Isaiah also refers to kings as “nursing fathers” (49:23) and to daughters who “shalt suck the breasts of kings” (60:16), words that cannot be taken literally. In any case, Yahweh outside of some Isaianic imagery is masculine in the Hebrew Bible. In the New Testament, “God” translates the Greek Theos, with God remaining a male deity. Thus Jesus regularly uses the word Father (Greek Pater, in Jesus’ Aramaic Abba) for God (e.g., Matthew 6:8-9; Mark 14:36; Luke 10:21; John 17:1; see also Paul’s use in Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6).

Masculine and feminine terms

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God-Bearer, Lady of the Sign, temper on board, 19th c., Russia – Supraśl – Museum of Icons

In the previous chapters I spoke about those Gnostic gospels where we can find the thought of the divine in both masculine and feminine terms, with Jesus referring to the Holy Spirit as his Mother in the Gospel of Thomas and in the Gospel to the Hebrews, and with the Apocryphon of John describing the Trinity as Father, Mother, and Son. It is in that trinitarian thinking that most people adhere to the mother of god-idea, taking Miriam/Miryam or Saint Mary or Virgin Mary as “Blessed Virgin Mary” being the mother of Jesus Christ, the mother of God or even the Theotokos, literally “Bearer of God”.

Gerunds no personal figures

Man Satan and Lady Wisdom

Several Christians do like to give nouns, substantives or gerunds a personal figure, and as such make the word ‘satan’ which means the adversary a literal figure with the name Satan. Wisdom they make into God and as such find proof that God is also a Woman. This is than affirmed for them in the Apocrypha where ‘Lady Wisdom‘ is identified with the Torah or biblical law (Sirach 24:23; Baruch 4:1). Many Christians like in the same way to use the Greek word Logos as the person Jesus, where in the New Testament the preexistent Word (Greek: Logos) at the beginning of the Gospel of John is reminiscent of Wisdom and of being God and being Christ Jesus, as such them having to be one and the same person. When the apostle Paul later calls Christ “the wisdom of God” (Greek Theou Sophia) then the cat’s away the mice will play. (1 Corinthians 1:24)

Husband and wife metaphor

The metaphor of Yahweh and the Hebrew people as husband and wife is found first in the book of Hosea, and continues in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. When there is spoken of a troubled marriage, for despite Yahweh’s “love toward the children of Israel,” they “look to other gods”  it is not about a literal marriage.

“And Yahweh said to me, Go again, love a woman loved by a companion, but [is] an adulteress, even as Yahweh loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods, and love cakes of raisins.” (Hosea 3:1 UPD)

Children of Israel

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The Israelites, god’s chosen people more than once forgot what their Protector and Redeemer had done, and committed ‘adultery’ in the eyes of God.

Yahweh or Jehovah loving the sons is not love like many would like to imagine they having to love some one. The love of Yahweh/Jehovah has nothing to do with a sexual relationship. His love for the sons of Israel which will return (Hosea 3:5) has all to do with the People God made for himself. The wife and/or the bride of which the Bible speaks God has is a figurative ‘wife‘ or ‘spouse‘. The ones that seek Yahweh or Jehovah their God, and David their king, and will come with fear to the Only One True God and to His goodness in the latter days, He is willing to take unto Him like a man would take a wife unto him.

“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:  (5)  Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek YHWH their Elohim, and David their king; and shall fear YHWH and his goodness in the latter days.” (Hosea 3:4-5 RNKJV)

Bride Israel

In several places in the Holy Scriptures we can find “The Wife” or “the bride” as a metaphor for the Israelite people, the “Chosen Ones” or the Jews, and later for the Jews and gentiles or converted heathen who wanted to follow the son of God.

Marriage strict bond between God and Israel

As marriage is a matter of a strict bond, Jehovah wants also to have a strict bond or covenant between the two parties, Him (the Creator) and the ones who want to be connected with Him, God His people, or “Israel“. The bed or couch God wants His people to take is with Him, who is the Maker of all. In the past Jehovah had to see more than ones that His people Israel choose to have their beds down with others. For that reason He also provided a new bond or a new marriage, with His son and those who wanted to recognise him as the son of God and as the Messiah, as presenter of the New Covenant.

“For thy Maker is thine husband; YHWH of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The Elohim of the whole earth shall he be called.” (Isaiah 54:5 RNKJV)

” Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice.  (8)  Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it.” (Isaiah 57:7-8 RNKJV)

“For as a youth marries a virgin,  thus your sons marry you:  and as the bridegroom joys over the bride,  thus your Elohim rejoices over you. ” (Isaiah 62:5 ECB)

Israel showing no fidelity to marriage vows

The backsliding children (the Israelites) had neglected many times the pleas of the Most High, though He let them know that He  was totally connected to them like man and wife are connected with their marriage vows. he always wanted to offer the honourable and honest the safest place where they could find rest in His bed. The Elohim, God of gods is the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, and His name is Holy, and everybody should come to know His Name: Jehovah; the One Who dwells in the high and holy place, even with the contrite and humble of spirit; to make live the spirit of the humble and to make live the heart of the contrite ones.

“(1.5)  For thus said the High and Lofty One that inhabit eternity, whose Name is Holy; I dwell in the high and Holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.  (16)  For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.  (17)  For the iniquity of his covetousness I was wroth, and smote him: I hid Me, and was wroth, and he went on forwardly in the way of his heart. ” (Isaiah 57:15-17 RHB)

“Jehovah also said to me in the days of Josiah the king, Have you seen what the apostate Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every green tree, and has fornicated there.  (7)  And after she had done all these, I said, She will return to Me; but she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.  (8)  And I watched. When for all the causes for which the apostate Israel committed adultery, I sent her away and I gave the writ of her divorce to her. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she also went and fornicated.  (9)  And it happened, from the wantonness of her harlotry she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with pieces of wood.  (10)  And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but with falsehood, says Jehovah.  (11)  And Jehovah said to me, The apostate Israel has justified herself more than treacherous Judah.  (12)  Go and cry these words toward the north, and say, Return, O apostate Israel, says Jehovah. I will not cause My face to fall on you, for I am merciful, says Jehovah; I will not keep anger forever.  (13)  Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have rebelled against Jehovah your God and have scattered your ways to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice, says Jehovah.  (14)  Return, O apostate sons, declares Jehovah; for I am Lord over you. And I will take you, one from a city, and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.  (15)  And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.  (16)  And it will be, when you multiply and increase in the land in those days, says Jehovah, they will no longer say, The ark of the covenant of Jehovah! Nor shall it come to the heart, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they miss it, nor shall it be made any more.  (17)  At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah. And all nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem. And they shall not walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart.” (Jeremiah 3:6-17 LITV)

The Bed of Jehovah

The bed of Jehovah and the throne of Jehovah, are the places where those who love God should come to. We like the children of Israel should remember:

” Turn O backsliding children, declares YHWH; because I am married to you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family and I will bring you to Zion:” (Jeremiah 3:14 UTV)

Broken bond

The marriage bond was broken by those people of Israel, because they committed ‘adultery‘. Ezekiel 23 allegorizes Samaria and Jerusalem, the Israelite and Judahite capitals, as two sisters with a host of foreign lovers while both are married to Yahweh and should have known the Will of this Most High Jehovah. It are such passages which deem to be very disturbing to feminist commentators when they look at what they call the brutal punishment of the women by God. Those women symbolize Israel’s unfaithfulness. As noted by Kathleen M. O’Connor, the portrayal of physical abuse by the divine in such passages implicitly condones such behaviour in humans.

Open Invitation to non-Israelites

Kinsmen Redeemer

In the Holy Scriptures we can find the invitation of the Divine Creator God to human beings to become His People and to come and sit down. For the daughter of Babylon (the unbelievers but also the spurious church) may sit on the ground; though they might say to be on the throne of Peter, there is no throne, because they will have lured many people in their base, but would find that at a certain time they would no more be called tender and delicate. We may even see that at such a time those in high position may become  undressed. They shall be bare and many (not all) shall come to see their nakedness uncovered. In such way there might still be hope, because then  her shame (of those institutions or the church) will be seen. But no way out, Jehovah will take vengeance and He says in the Book of Jeremiah that He will not meet them as a man.  As for our kinsmen- redeemer, YHWH יהוה {Jehovah} of Hosts is his Name, the Holy One of Israel or better:  the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl.

“Come down and sit upon the dust, thou virgin daughter of Babel, sit upon the earth: no throne, thou daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt not be added for them to call thee tender and delicate.  (2)  Take the two mill-stones and grind flour, and uncover thy veil; strip off the train, uncover the leg, pass through the rivers.  (3)  Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, also thy reproach shall be seen: I will take vengeance, I will not make peace with man.  (4)  Jehovah of armies redeemed us, his name the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 47:1-4 Julia)

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Whore of Babylon (woman of Babylon) – Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553)

Virgin daughter of Babylon

We may find it cruel that Jehovah strips “the virgin daughter of Babylon” in Isaiah 47:1-4, and helps the Babylonians rape Jerusalem in Jeremiah 13:26 and that He trods “the virgin” Jerusalem “as in a winepress” (Lamentations 1:15), and that He raises up their lovers against them as a jealous husband, stripping them out of their clothes.

“For this, O Aholibah, thus said the Lord Jehovah: Behold me raising up those loving thee, against thee, whom thy soul was rent away from them, and I brought them against thee from round about  (23)  The sons of Babel and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, all the sons of Amur with them: young men of desire, prefects and governors, all of them third men, and celebrated, riding horses all of them.  (24)  And they came against thee firm with chariot and wheel, and with a convocation of peoples, shield and buckler and helmet, they will set against thee round about: and I gave judgment before them, and they judged thee with their judgments.  (25)  And I gave my jealousy against thee, and they did with thee in wrath: thy nose and thine ears they shall take away; and thy posterity shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters, and thy posterity shall be consumed in fire.  (26)  And they stripped thee of thy garments, and they took the instrument of thy glory.  (27)  And I caused thy wickedness to cease from thee, and thy fornication from the land of Egypt: and thou shalt not lift up thine eyes to them, and thou shalt remember Egypt no more.” (Ezekiel 23:22-27 Julia)

Mutilated wife

The Adonay Yah Veh, Jehovah looks at His people like a man looks at his wife. But this does not have to mean that He was really married to a wife and certainly not to Asherah, the consort of El (“god”), the supreme god of Canaan and father of the popular Baal.  Several Catholic theologians have written many books on Asherah as the wife of Yahweh. Some, not all, have overlooked these metaphors of Jehovah. For many of them the husband physically abusing his wife presents a challenge to modern biblical interpreters. Through such imagery “the Bible,” writes Sharon H. Ringe in The Women’s Bible Commentary,

“seems to bless the harm and abuse with which women live and sometimes die.”

The brutality seems hardly ameliorated by Yahweh’s assurances to his mutilated wife of a brighter tomorrow, for they make God sound like the stereotypical wife beater who minimizes what he has done and promises not to do it again:

“In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee… Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel,… and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry” (Isaiah 54:8; Jeremiah 31:4).

The French epigrapher Andre Lemaire looking at some graffiti, inscriptions dating from the eighth century BCE, found on walls and storage jars at two sites, Khirbet el-Kom and Kuntillet Ajrud, in Israel, declaring:

“I bless you by Yahweh of Samaria and by his asherah,” and “I bless you by Yahweh of Teiman and by his asherah.”

brings him wrongly to the conclusion that Jehovah should have a wife or woman goddess.

“Whatever an asherah is, Yahweh had one!”

he says.

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Preceding articles:

Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

Marriage of Jesus 6 Jesus said to them “My wife”

Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

To be followed by:

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

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Further reading of interest:

  1. God or a god
  2. God of gods
  3. I am that I am Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיה
  4. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  5. Lord in place of the divine name
  6. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  9. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  10. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  11. Who was Jesus? – Video
  12. Around pre-existence of Christ
  13. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  14. A man with an outstanding personality
  15. Jesus and his God
  16. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  17. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  18. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  19. Another way looking at a language #6 Set apart
  20. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  21. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  22. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  23. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  24. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  25. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:1, 2 – Factual Data
  26. Archaeology and the Bible researcher 2/4
  27. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  28. 2 Corinthians 5:19 – God in Christ
  29. Position and power
  30. Hellenistic influences
  31. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  32. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  33. Phoenicians sacrificed infants
  34. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  35. Religion and spirituality
  36. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  37. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  38. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering
  39. Signs of the Last Days
  40. Misleading Pictures
  41. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  42. Can we not do what Jesus did?
  43. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  44. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  45. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  46. Isaiah prophet and messenger of God
  47. Did Yahweh have a wife? Excerpt from Chapter 5: Polytheism: The Religion of Ancient Israel
  48. A New Jerusalem
  49. Israel, Fitting the Plan when people allow it
  50. Jerusalem God’s City for ever

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  • Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh (farpointe.wordpress.com) >Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh + reblog: Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh
    The archaelogical record suggests that Asherah was the Mother Goddess of Israel, the Wife of God, according to William Dever, who has unearthed many clues to her identity. She was worshiped, apparently throughout the time Israel stood as a nation.  In many homes, images like the one above decorated household shrines.
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    Asherah’s image was lost to us not by chance, but by deliberate action of fundamentalist monotheists.  First Her images were torn down, then Her stories were rewritten, then Her name was forgotten.  In fact, Her name appears 40 times in modern translations of the Bible, but not at all in the first English translation, the King James Bible.  Since no one knew who Asherah was anymore in the 17th century when the King James Version (KJV) was being created, Her name was translated as groves of trees or trees or images in groves, without understanding that those trees and groves of trees represented a mother goddess.
  • The Way: Yahweh, The amalgamated Enlil and Enki (reverenddrred.wordpress.com)
    In this edition, I show how Yahweh/Jehovah may be Enlil and Enki. Not one, but two gods amalgamated into one. Sections include “Enlil” (breakdown of Enlil’s attributes), “Enki” (breakdown of Enki’s attributes), “Yahweh” (breakdown of Yahweh’s attributes), “Yahweh as Enlil”, and “Yahweh as Enki”.I only quote from one source, though many are used. There are countless verses in the Bible that may be utilized. However, I will only be stating the more well-known to prove the point. After reviewing the below information, the pattern will become evident as you read your Bible (regardless of translation).
  • Asherah, Wife of God (fractalfortress.wordpress.com)
    Do you remember the furor over Dan Brown’s depiction of Jesus in his book “The Da Vinci Code?” Fundamentalists were up in arms over the idea that perhaps God had a wife…but in ancient times, the Judeo-Christian god Yahweh did indeed have a female counterpart — and among some circles she was worshipped exclusively! Her name is Asherah, Lady of the Sea.Asherah is a Semitic “mother goddess” who appears in several ancient sources. She was loved by the Jews, Akkadians, Hittites, Canaanites, Sumerians, and possibly the Ancient Egyptians. Due to syncretism, she absorbed the traits of the Goddess Athirat. Her titles are similarly many and include Queen of Heaven, Creator of the Gods, Lady of the Sea, and Holiness.
  • Never Mind Jesus–Did God Have A Wife? (theatlantic.com)
    The recently revealed “evidence” that Jesus had a wife deserves those quotation marks. As various people have argued, a fragment of text written centuries after the crucifixion doesn’t carry much weight as a biographical source. However, when it comes to the question of whether Jesus’s father had a wife, the evidence is stronger. And I’m not talking about Joseph, but, rather, about Jesus’s heavenly father–God.

    I discussed this a few years ago in my book The Evolution of God. I argued (as had a number of scholars) that Israelite religion was for a long time polytheistic, and that full-fledged monotheism didn’t arrive until the Babylonian exile in the sixth century BCE. And, of course, in many polytheistic religions, gods have mates. So might Yahweh have had one for a time?

  • Know Your Bible Lesson 13: Warring Kingdoms (Period 5) (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    In our last lesson, we learned about how God instigated a massive civil war in Israel after the death of the idolatrous King Solomon. The nation was split into two kingdoms: Israel in the north and Judah in the south.
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    All the nations in this area are serving manmade gods. Every god has a bunch of folklore attached to it. Certain gods are friends with other gods. Certain gods don’t like other gods. Certain gods are stronger and other gods are weaker. It’s all a bunch of make believe rubbish, but this is how stupid people get when they reject the real God.Now you have your male gods and your female gods. Baal is a male god, and he comes up more in the Bible because he’s considered to be one of the higher ranking gods. Baal was associated with weather control, which is of supreme importance to agricultural nations. Baal is outranked by big daddy god El. We don’t hear much about El in the Bible, but El was believed to have a queen named Asherah. So Asherah was the top female goddess, also called “the Queen of Heaven” (the same title we use for Mary in some branches of the Church today—yikes!).Every god has its worshiping paraphernalia. Asherah’s equipment included some physical object which is referred to as Asherah poles (or plural Asherim) in the Bible. People are always setting these dumb things up and then later someone else comes along and takes them down. And of course Yahweh finds all of this quite exasperating.

    We learn that our good king Asa is boldly defying his mother in his war against idolatry, because mom is a very big fan of Asherah.

  • Know Your Bible Lesson 19: More Kings & the Prophet Amos (Period 5) (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    The high priest makes all the people enter into a covenant (a serious promise) that they would honor Yahweh and obey all of His Laws. Then everyone troops over and tears down the temple to Baal that is in Jerusalem. Jehoiada gets the sacrificial system back on track and little Joash is placed on the royal throne.
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    What does God do when He’s mad and no one is listening to Him? He sends prophets to convict people of their sins and show them how to return to obedience. What happens if no one listens to the prophets? Well, then He has to come up with some other form of motivation, doesn’t He? Life in Judah starts feeling very unblessed. After Joash has had enough time to notice how rotten things are going, God raises up yet another prophet to explain the obvious.
  • Who is Yahweh? (gnosticwarrior.com)
    The name of the Hebrew national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel and Judah is Yahweh  (Jahveh, Jehovah or Iehoua pronounced “yohweh” or /ˈjɑːw/ or /ˈjɑːhw/; Hebrew: יהוה‎) and In the Hebrew Bible, Yahweh is written as יהוה (YHWH). In the book of Jonah, the name Yahweh (Lord) is mentioned 22 times, , Elohim or El (God) 13 times, and the combination Lord God four times for a total of 39 references. The meaning of El in the Hebrew Scriptures is the singular form of the word God and Elohim is the noun plural version. Rabbinic Judaism teaches that the Tetragrammaton (י-ה-ו-ה), YHWH, is the ineffable and actual name of God, and as such is not read aloud in the Shema but is traditionally replaced with אדני, Adonai (“Lord”).
  • Jesus is the Messiah (darnellbarkman.wordpress.com)
    The terms Messiah and Christ have a very rich history and carry a lot of expectations to Jesus when he took that identity upon himself:
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    In practice ‘Messiah’ is mostly restricted to the notion, which took various forms in ancient Judaism, of the coming King who would be David’s true heir, through whom YAHWEH [The Creator God’s proper name] would rescue Israel from pagan enemies.
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