History’s Most Famous Execution

David Matthew a committed Christian since the age of twelve who reached the blessed age of 77 and was a schoolteacher for 14 years, then went into the Christian ministry, to be by now still very much on a journey of faith having become now a lot less dogmatic on doctrinal issues than he used to be, and a lot more Jesus-focused, always tried to keep up with current thinking on evangelical Christianity and wrote about it.

He has been disturbed to keep coming across once-keen Christians, including some church leaders, who, in the face of the challenges of raising questions about traditional views or proposing new ways of looking at certain biblical passages, have lost their faith altogether. He therefore wrote a.o. the book: “ A Poke In The Faith: Challenges to evangelical faith and how to survive them”.

He also looked at “Did God Kill Jesus?: Searching for love in history’s most famous execution by Tony Jones (HarperOne, 2015).” and asks “What happened to the cross“.   He also made a very nice “synopsis of the bookin which we found the following text we do like to share with you:

History’s Most Famous Execution

We should be clear on the basics about Jesus. Born in 6 or 4BCE, he was reared in Nazareth, in the fairly prosperous region of Galilee. He was, like Joseph, a tekton, ‘craftsman’ — not necessarily a carpenter. At the age of 30 he merged from obscurity into his public ministry. The core of his message was:
‘A new age is dawning — the rules by which followers of Yahweh lived their lives, while not irrelevant, are in need of
a serious overhaul; the spirit of those rules has been forgotten amid the attempts to keep those rules; I’ve come to redefine the relationship between God and humanity.’ (p70)
The ultimate rule, he taught, is love —which should extend even to one’s enemies.
The apocalyptic aspects of his teaching (a common and popular genre at the time) were directed chiefly at the political situations of his day. His miracles were not primarily to show his deity but to demonstrate God’s rule and show how it reaches out to the marginalised in society.
Jerusalem, where Jesus headed at the end of his ministry, was the centre of Jewish religious life. The Gospel writers focus on his last week there. Each of the four has its own angle on it. They focus on his trial, sufferings and death.
The Gospels show little interest in who actually killed Jesus (or, indeed, in what his death accomplished), but together they portray him as crucified by the Romans at the instigation of the Jewish leaders.
His resurrection led his followers to see his death cosmically and theologically, as an act of God.
At a human level, the early church put the blame chiefly on the Jews, while later centuries blamed them entirely, on the basis of Matt 27:25 — a verse which has had a terrible anti-Semitic legacy. The Gospels do tie Jesus’ death to the Passover. His passion takes place during the build-up to Passover. His last act is to eat the Passover meal with his followers. Like the original Passover lamb, the blood of Jesus liberates the people.
Paul, however, takes this much further…

Paul’s Cross-Centred Life

Paul got to know the Jesus story backwards: starting with the resurrected Lord. He never heard Jesus teach, nor witnessed his miracles (note of the editor: he might have witnessed some miracles, but we do not know that, but for sure he would have heard about them from first hand witnesses) , and never mentions his life — the focus is on his death and resurrection.
He sets these in the context of Israel’s story, a key feature of which was the law. Paul concludes that the law killed Jesus (Gal 3:13).

‘The cross’, for Paul, means ‘the gospel’, and it is the lens through which he interprets everything else. He opens up his thinking on it chiefly in Romans 3, and Romans 7 – 8. In Rom 3 God is faithful, and it is through Jesus, the faithful Israelite, that he fulfils his covenant promises. Jesus is the ‘sacrifice of atonement’ — literally the place of atonement, or Mercy Seat. In other words, he sums up everything that has gone before in Israel’s history. In Rom 7 – 8, all of human sin is concentrated in Jesus, and in him on the cross all sin is condemned.
If the Gospels show Jesus as the Passover sacrifice, Paul presents him as the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) sacrifice. Both are valid emphases, but different.
According to Paul, in the cross God showed himself to be on the side of all human beings, Jews and Gentiles alike, and through the cross he shows us how to live right, recognising that we have been crucified with Jesus. We are called to live out the example that God set on the cross: self-limitation, humility and submission.

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Preceding

Review: What happened at the cross?

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Additional reading

  1. Christian values, traditions, real or false stories, pure and upright belief
  2. The saviour Jesus his human side
  3. Redemption #4 The Passover Lamb
  4. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  5. Hebraic Roots Bible Matthew Chapter 28
  6. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  7. Glory of God appearing in our character
  8. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2
  9. Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
  10. Anointing as a sign of Promotion
  11. Preparing for 14 Nisan
  12. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  13. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  14. A Messiah to die
  15. Lost senses or a clear focus on the one at the stake
  16. Jesus the “God-Man”: Really?

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Related

  1. Events That Changed History
  2. The Outrageous Story
  3. Torsten Jantsch on Jesus, the Savior: The Soteriology of the Lukan Doppelwerk
  4. Jesus Led The Way
  5. We Preach Christ Crucified …
  6. Did Jesus Christ die on Good Friday or not?
  7. The Mathematics of Caiaphas and Christ
  8. A New & Glorious Morn
  9. No Sweat, No Thorns, in New Jerusalem (2)
  10. The One You Pierced!
  11. Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
  12. When God seemed to be an atheist
  13. No Need for Sleep in New Jerusalem
  14. Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? … by Alice ..
  15. ”Moksha With Jesus Christ”

First month of the year and predictions

Nisan, the first month of the ecclesiastical year and for the Jews the seventh month (eighth, in leap year) of the civil year, it is the month were renewal is at the tip of the tongues. In the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv, referring to the month in which barley was ripe. But in the Book of Esther in the Tanakh and in the Christian Bible it is referred to as Nisan.

Jesus, being a Jew commemorated also the salvation of the Israelite firstborns during the Plague of the Firstborn.

According to standard biblical chronology, the Jewish people got its freedom after that tenth plague wrought upon Ancient Egypt. Jehovah had spoken to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt requiring them to remember the moment He was going to give them as part of the month which had to be the beginning of months. Being the first month of the year to the people of God.

Exo 12:1-2 The Scriptures 1998+  (1)  And יהוה  {Jehovah} spoke to Mosheh and to Aharon in the land of Mitsrayim, saying,  (2)  “This month is the beginning of months for you, it is the first month of the year for you.

For those who followed the orders of God there was no problem but for the others who did not listen to the Most High every firstborn in the Land of Mitzrayim (Ancient Egypt) got struck.

Exo 12:23-30 The Scriptures 1998+  (23)  “And  יהוה  {Jehovah} shall pass on to smite the Mitsrites, and shall see the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, and  יהוה  {Jehovah} shall pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you.  (24)  “And you shall guard this word as a law for you and your sons, forever.  (25)  “And it shall be, when you come to the land which  יהוה  {Jehovah} gives you, as He promised, that you shall guard this service.  (26)  “And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What does this service mean to you?’  (27)  then you shall say, ‘It is the Passover slaughtering of יהוה  {Jehovah} , who passed over the houses of the children of Yisra’ĕl in Mitsrayim when He smote the Mitsrites and delivered our households.’ ” And the people bowed their heads and did obeisance.  (28)  And the children of Yisra’ĕl went away and did so – as  יהוה  {Jehovah} had commanded Mosheh and Aharon, so they did.  (29)  And it came to be at midnight that  יהוה  {Jehovah} smote all the first-born in the land of Mitsrayim, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of livestock.  (30)  And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants, and all the Mitsrites. And there was a great cry in Mitsrayim, for there was not a house where there was not a dead one.

The Old Moore’s Almanac which has been published in Ireland since the year 1764 makes every year predictions. You need only look back on the monthly predictions it projects to realise just how inaccurate it is – just a bit of a ‘break’ here and there. but it was very popular and still today people are fascinated with predictions. Strangely enough they may find a book full of predictions, but which is not so popular because it gives predictions but also a lot of warnings which seem to be frightening, because they demand an honouring of Somebody Who cannot be seen. Though that Book of books may present lots of predictions we can verify with what happened in the past and see that they came true.

The Bible not only makes predictions, its batting average is 100%. Usually when we read the prophecies from elsewhere we end up knowing that they really haven’t got a clue – just a good calculated guess here and there. Prophecy for us humans with a consistency and without generalisation, well, our track record is not good. We can travel in space but not into the future.

Today people got more frightened with ISIS and other fundamental groups terrorising whole populations and killing people like it are just flees to be done with. Lots of people wonder if there is hope in what is increasingly being seen as a hopeless world. They should come to see that the future is plain to God as is the past and that gives us security.

With the first month of the religious year of the People of God, not only the Israelites got liberated, but also for the gentiles was given hope by the one who was also called the son of David and son of Abraham. this time it was not just a year old male taken from the sheep or from the goats.

Exo 12:5-6 The Scriptures 1998+  (5)  ‘Let the lamb be a perfect one, a year old male. Take it from the sheep or from the goats.  (6)  ‘And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then all the assembly of the congregation of Yisra’ĕl shall kill it between the evenings.

The world got offered a new spotless lamb. That perfect one was born as the only begotten son of God and anointed by his heavenly Father. Not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless, the 33 year old one gave himself for the sins of many. Herein we do have our hope. Isaiah had forecasted that a baby will be born who will be a sign in the world. Beyond any short term fulfilment of that sign it pointed to someone coming who will really fulfil the sign and in their coming to the world, start a train of events that will make a difference both in time and eternity.

The baby born in Bethlehem, grown up in Nazareth had walked up to Jerusalem, God’s city and was now ready to have him taken prisoner, flogged and killed. Nobody can do God anything, but man can do a lot of awful things to another man. So Jesus had all the reason to be afraid and even to go sweating blood and water, at one moment even doubting the future and crying to his heavenly Father why He the God of gods had left him, now when he was in his hour of death.

Isaiah and others had made predictions about that sign which would come. Predictions in Old Testament days often had a short range fulfilment which prepares our minds to accept a long-range and far more significant fulfilment of what has been promised. The predictions are often fulfilled a couple of times. There’s an immediate fulfilment, and there’s also a long-term fulfilment.

500 years after the time of Isaiah, and about 250 years before the time of Jesus Christ, 70 scholars met in Egypt with the aim of getting the Old Testament from the Hebrew into the Greek language. Coming to the verse about a young woman they saw more in this event than a child back then. They saw that a child would be ‘God with us’. Lots of people came to understand that God could only be with us when He would be here on earth. They forget that God is everywhere and always is present all over. Having the ‘Immanuel‘ or God with us does not mean that the child would be The God. Throughout times many were called ‘Immanuel‘ or ‘Emmanuel,’ also today, but for sure they are not God here on earth..
What got fulfilled at Bethlehem was that the promise first made in the Garden of Eden came into fulfilment. Jesus of Nazareth was the personification of that Word given by God (John 1:1). He was going to present God’s Word in the world and let enough people see Who the heavenly Father really is. He also wanted to have people to understand how important it is not to do our own will but to try to come to do God His Will, like Jesus all his lifetime tried to do God His will and not his.

It was God His will that there would come a saviour to bring an end to the curse of the fall, the sin of man. Now the time had come in the first month of the year. Spring was near, but now had to come a more important Spring. He had to be the Spring of life, the Source of life for many. That is what we are commemorating soon. The liberation of God’s people is the first thing we do have to remember, but secondly we do have to commemorate the evening that Jesus gathered in the upper room with his close disciples and dearest friends.

The coming days we should prepare for that holy moment when wine became a symbol for blood and bread the symbol for the life giving flesh of the promised one.

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Find also:

  1. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  2. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  3. Challenging claim 2 Inspired by God 1 Simple words
  4. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  5. Many Books, yet One
  6. Eternal Word that tells everything
  7. Bible in the first place #1/3
  8. Why think that (5) … the Bible is the word of God
  9. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  10. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  11. Creator and Blogger God 11 Old and New Blog 1 Aimed at one man
  12. Miracles of revelation and of providence 1 Golden Thread and Revelation
  13. Isaiah’s Book of the Messenger of Glad Tidings
  14. Date Setting
  15. Exodus 9: Liar Liar
  16. Commemorating the escape from slavery
  17. 1 -15 Nisan
  18. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  19. High Holidays not only for Israel
  20. OT prophesies and the NT fulfilment of them
  21. About a man who changed history of humankind
  22. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  23. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  24. Ransom for all
  25. Thoughts on Passover
  26. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  27. Shabbat Pesach service reading 2/2
  28. This Passover maybe we can liberate ourselves
  29. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  30. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  31. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  32. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  33. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  34. The Evolution Of Passover–Past To Present
  35. Passover and Liberation Theology
  36. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
  37. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  38. The day Jesus died
  39. Impaled until death overtook him
  40. Jesus is risen
  41. Christ has indeed been raised from the dead
  42. Risen With Him
  43. To whom do we want to be enslaved

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  • Jews Around The World Recognize Strength, Pride With Purim Celebrations (newyork.cbslocal.com)
    Jews around the world are celebrating Purim, a joyous holiday that teaches lessons about strength and pride in your identity.
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    “The good part is hidden and wrapped up. You have to know that in all of nature we don’t see God, but he’s hidden somewhere,” Yosef Rapoport said.
  • Netanyahu and Queen Esther of Persia (rehmat1.com)
    Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we’ll read the Book of Esther. We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies. The plot was foiled. Our people were saved,” Netanyahu said.
  • Netanyahu, Persia, Purim and Esther (stream.org)
    Netanyahu specifically mentioned Esther, Persia, Haman and the Feast of Purim. Here is what happened in the story. Haman, a wealthy high official, had tricked the king of Persia, Ahasuerus (many scholars think this was Artaxerxes II) into issuing a special order. According to Persian law, once such an order was issued, it could not be rescinded. The order required that all the scattered Jews throughout the empire (including Canaan, the location of modern Israel) be attacked and wiped out on a certain day.
  • No Mask Needed When Defending Israel (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
    Since the original decree calling for a “day of rage” could not be overturned, the king permitted the Jews to fight back in self defense. Instead of what was to be a “final solution” for the Jews, 75,800 men were killed. No Jewish casualties are recorded, although the Book of Esther does mention that no spoils of war were taken, indicating that the Jews were only fighting because they were being attacked.

    The story of Purim has repeated itself more than a few times in our history. Just over 70 years ago, the Holocaust, and shortly thereafter, Israel’s War of Independence was launched with the intended goal of our total decimation.

  • Netanyahu and Queen Esther of Persia (mooglemeow.blogspot.com)
    ‘Benjamin Netanyahu while addressing the American Knesset in Washington DC invoked Persians’ hatred toward country’s Jewish community over 2500 years ago.
  • Residents of Moldaw Enjoy a Purim Art Project and Time of Reflection with Local Students (ireport.cnn.com)
    our students spent time reflecting upon what they discovered about themselves, others and how they may make a difference in the world.
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    “Everyone feels uplifted when the children visit and they can exchanges stories and discuss their lives and particular holidays, like Purim,” said Thia Tran, lifestyles director at Moldaw Residences. “The intergenerational interaction is beneficial for everyone involved and always brings such joy to our residents. We’re happy to welcome the students and their families any time they want to visit.”
  • Seeking Esther (susanlapin.typepad.com)
    There is much that humans need to do and, tragically, too many people today, both Jewish and non-Jewish, are not standing up to the challenges of our time. However, no matter what we do, no matter how strong our military, no matter how advanced our technology, we need to deeply believe and modify our behavior in accordance with, the additional words, “God willing,” iin order to act as descendants of Moses and Esther. May God deliver us from evil today as He did long ago in Persia, reaffirming the blessing we say before reading the Book of Esther, “in those days as at this time.”

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

+++

 

Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom

The Name of the God and of the City written upon the pillar

In the inspired Revelation, the apostle John records information concerning the “new Jerusalem.”

12 “‘The one who conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out from it anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God+ and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem+ that descends out of heaven from my God, and my own new name.+ (Revelation 3:12)

I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God+ and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.+ (Revelation 21:2)

The apostle Paul speaks about a holy city and Mount Zion:

22 But you have approached a Mount Zion+ and a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem,+ and myriads* of angels(Hebrews 12:22)

God fearing people and their land

After Babylon was overthrown in 539 B.C.E King Cyrus of Persia issued a decree enabling God-fearing Jews to return to Jerusalem and restore Jehovah’s worship. (Ezra 1:2-4) In 537 B.C.E., the first returning Jews were back in their homeland. Jehovah once again showed favor to Jerusalem, as is reflected in the warmth of his prophetic declaration:

“For the sake of Zion I shall not keep still, and for the sake of Jerusalem I shall not stay quiet until her righteousness goes forth just like the brightness, and her salvation like a torch that burns.” (Isaiah 62:1.)

Pope's Road leading up to Mount Zion (Jerusalem)

Pope’s Road leading up to Mount Zion (Jerusalem) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 537 B.C.E., Jehovah fulfilled his promise to restore Zion, or Jerusalem. Her inhabitants experienced salvation by him, and their righteousness shone brightly. Later, though, they again drifted away from pure worship. Eventually, they rejected Jesus as the Messiah, and Jehovah finally abandoned them as his chosen nation.

42 Jesus said to them: “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone that the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone.*+ This has come from Jehovah,* and it is marvelous in our eyes’?+ 43 This is why I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits. 44 Also, the person falling on this stone will be shattered.+ As for anyone on whom it falls, it will crush him.”+ (Matthew 21:42-43-44)

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent to her+—how often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you did not want it.+ 38 Look! Your house is abandoned to you.*+ 39 For I say to you, you will by no means see me from now until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in Jehovah’s* name!’”+ (Matthew 23:37-38-39)

The true light that gives light to every sort of man was about to come into the world.+ 10 He was in the world,+ and the world came into existence through him,+ but the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own home, but his own people did not accept him. 12 However, to all who did receive him, he gave authority to become God’s children,+ because they were exercising faith in his name.+ 13 And they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.+ (John 1:9-13)

A new nation to be born

Jehovah caused a new nation, “the Israel of God,” to be born. This new nation became his special people, and in the first century, its members zealously preached the good news throughout the then-known world.

16 As for all those who walk orderly by this rule of conduct, peace and mercy be upon them, yes, upon the Israel of God.+ (Galatians 6:16)

23 provided, of course, that you continue in the faith,+ established on the foundation+ and steadfast,+ not being shifted away from the hope of that good news that you heard and that was preached in all creation under heaven.+ Of this good news I, Paul, became a minister.+ (Colossians 1:23)

Falling away from true religion

Already soon after the death of Jeshua, Jesus Christ, several opportunists saw chance to get more interest and followers by pretending they were followers of that popular Nazarene, who was considered to be the Messiah. The apostles saw everywhere preachers bringing false teachings. They warned their followers for the dangers of such false teachers. But those false teachers attracted more people by their allowance of traditions and popular ideas from Roman and Greek culture which looked more interesting or captivating than the ‘dry’ Christian teaching which left no opportunity to worship other gods, nor dream of an afterlife.

Unhappily, following the death of the apostles, there was a falling away from true religion. As a result, an apostate form of Christianity developed, as found today in Christendom.

24 He presented another illustration to them, saying: “The Kingdom of the heavens may be likened to a man who sowed fine seed in his field. 25 While men were sleeping, his enemy came and oversowed weeds in among the wheat and left. 26 When the stalk sprouted and produced fruit, then the weeds also appeared. 27 So the slaves of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow fine seed in your field? How, then, does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy, a man, did this.’+ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go out and collect them?’ 29 He said, ‘No, for fear that while collecting the weeds, you uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest season, I will tell the reapers: First collect the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them up; then gather the wheat into my storehouse.’”+ … 36 Then after dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples came to him and said: “Explain to us the illustration of the weeds in the field.” 37 In response he said: “The sower of the fine seed is the Son of man; 38 the field is the world.+ As for the fine seed, these are the sons of the Kingdom, but the weeds are the sons of the wicked one,+39 and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things,* and the reapers are angels. 40 Therefore, just as the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be in the conclusion of the system of things.*+41 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will collect out from his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness, 42 and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace.+ There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be. 43 At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun+ in the Kingdom of their Father. Let the one who has ears listen. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

29 I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you+ and will not treat the flock with tenderness, 30 and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.+ (Acts 20:29, 30)

Renewed earth and heavens foretold

Long before Christ Isaiah had already described conditions that were far better than those the Jews had lived under in Babylon. He foretold joyfulness and rejoicing. In the Old testament we can find the expression “new heavens and a new earth.”

17 For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth;+ And the former things will not be called to mind,* Nor will they come up into the heart.+18 So exult and be joyful forever in what I am creating.

For look! I am creating Jerusalem a cause for joy  And her people a cause for exultation.+19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people;+ No more will there be heard in her the sound of weeping or a cry of distress.”+ (Isaiah 65:17-19)

The ancient Jews who, as Isaiah accurately predicted, did return to their homeland, and gained what might be called a new system of things, also reestablishing pure worship. (Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4)

There was a new ruling body. Zerubbabel, a descendant of King David, was governor, and Joshua was high priest. (Haggai 1:1, 12; 2:21; Zechariah 6:11) These constituted “new heavens” over “a new earth,” the cleansed society of people who were back in their land in order to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple for worshiping Jehovah. Hence, in this real sense, there were new heavens and a new earth in the fulfillment involving the Jews at that time.

The apostle Peter also writes in his second letter:

“There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.”(2 Peter 3:13)
You may already have learned that Jesus in heaven is the key Ruler in the “new heavens.”

A son to reign on the throne of David to rule over the house of Jacob and Gentiles

Taking in mind that the angel spoke to Miriam (Mary) that she will bear a son who will come to reign on the throne of David to rule over the house of Jacob, we should wonder who can make up this hose of Jacob. The one who has “the legal right” to the Davidic crown lost by Zedekiah is demonstrated in the Christian Greek Scriptures to be Christ Jesus, of whom the angel, announcing his future birth, said:
32 This one will be great+ and will be called Son of the Most High,+ and Jehovah* God will give him the throne of David his father,+33 and he will rule as King over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end to his Kingdom.”+ (Luke 1:32, 33)
With Jerusalem’s fall in 607 B.C.E. the Gentile powers exercised domination over the entire earth. The Davidic dynasty and rule suffered interruption, and so Jerusalem, or what it stood for, would continue to be “trampled on” as long as God’s kingdom, as functioning through David’s house, was kept in a low, inoperative condition under the Gentile powers. Observing this connection with rulership Unger’s Bible Dictionary (1965, p. 398) comments:
“Consequently Gentiles move on as ‘the nations’ to the end of their stewardship as earth rulers. The termination of this period will be the end of the ‘times of the Gentiles’(Luke 21:24; Dan. 2:36-44).”
— Compare Ezekiel 17:12-21; also the description of Medo-Persia’s fall at Daniel 8:7, 20.

Domination of the earth by the Gentile powers

At least twice in this prophecy concerning the time of the end, Jesus referred to the contents of the book of the prophet Daniel. (Compare Matthew 24:15, 21 with Daniel 11:31; 12:1.) In the book of Daniel we find a picture drawn of the domination of the earth by the Gentile powers during their “appointed times.” The second chapter of Daniel contains the prophetic vision (received by King Nebuchadnezzar) of the great image that Daniel by inspiration showed to represent the march of Gentile world powers, ending with their destruction by the Kingdom set up by “the God of heaven,” which Kingdom then rules earth wide. (Daniel 2:31-45) It is of note that the image begins with the Babylonian Empire, the first world power to ‘trample Jerusalem’ by overthrowing the Davidic dynasty and leaving “Jehovah’s throne” in Jerusalem vacant. This also confirms the start of “the appointed times of the nations” in the year of Jerusalem’s destruction, 607 B.C.E.
The dream vision of Nebuchadnezzar, in the book of Daniel  shows that God’s self-restraint (represented by the bands of iron and of copper around the stump of the tree) would continue until “seven times pass over it.” (Daniel 4:16, 23, 25) Then, since “the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind,” God would give world domination “to the one whom he wants to.” (Daniel 4:17) The prophetic book of Daniel itself shows that one to be the “son of man” to whom are given “rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him.” (Daniel 7:13, 14) Jesus’ own prophecy, in which the reference to “the appointed times of the nations” occurs, points definitely toward Christ Jesus’ exercise of such world domination as God’s chosen King, the heir of the Davidic dynasty. (Matthew 24:30, 31; Luke 21:27-31, 36) Thus, the symbolic stump, representing God’s retention of the sovereign right to exercise world domination in “the kingdom of mankind,” was due to sprout again in his Son’s Kingdom. (Psalm 89:27, 35-37).

The Delight Zion Owned as a Wife

Jehovah declares that Zion will be called “My Delight Is in Her,” and her land, “Owned as a Wife.”

54.1 “Shout joyfully, you barren woman who has not given birth!+Become cheerful and cry out for joy,+ you who never had birth pains,+For the sons* of the desolate one are more numerous Than the sons of the woman with a husband,”*+ says Jehovah. …

“For your Grand Maker+ is as your husband,*+ Jehovah of armies is his name, And the Holy One of Israel is your Repurchaser.+ He will be called the God of the whole earth.+For Jehovah called you as if you were an abandoned wife and grief-stricken,*+ Like a wife married in youth and then rejected,” says your God. (Isaiah 54:1, 5, 6)

 Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Will a land be brought to birth in one day? Or will a nation be born all at once? Yet, as soon as Zion went into labor, she gave birth to her sons. (Iasiah 66:8)

“Look! The days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when I will raise up to David a righteous sprout.*+ And a king will reign+ and show insight and uphold justice and righteousness in the land.+In his days Judah will be saved,+ and Israel will reside in security.+ And this is the name by which he will be called: Jehovah Is Our Righteousness.”+

“However, the days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when they will no longer say, ‘As surely as Jehovah is alive, who brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt!’+but rather, ‘As surely as Jehovah is alive, who brought out and brought back the descendants of the house of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands to which I had dispersed them,’ and they will dwell in their own land.”+ (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

17 “But I will restore your health and heal your wounds,”+ declares Jehovah, “Though they called you an outcast: ‘Zion, for whom no one searches.’”+ (Jermiah 30:17)

English: picture of Jerusalem from mount zion

Picture of Jerusalem from mount zion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today Jerusalem is being scorned. It is like all that pass by clap their hands at this city not to favour it but to laugh at it. They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, laughing at it because it is preferred as their holy city that they call the perfection of beauty, even the joy of the whole earth.

15 At you all those passing by on the road scornfully clap their hands.+ They whistle in amazement+ and shake their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying: “Is this the city about which they said, ‘It is perfect in beauty, the joy of all the earth’?”+ (Lamentations 2:15)

The desolate woman

Many today like to look at the city in the Middle East as the barren lay where no fruits come from, bearing no children. But the world should now that it will be breaking forth and cry aloud having no labour pains any more; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband. {Isaiah 54:1} And in the world will come brothers and sisters, like Isaac, children of promise, remembering the time when the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit.
It is in this time now that we should do what the Scriptures ask from us to get rid of the slave woman (the false church and those followers who want to keep to all traditions) Those falls institutions, with misleading doctrines, will present itself as the best marriage bond for people with Christ.

We all have our own choice and can either go with those false doctrines and enjoy the traditional churches. But we should come to see that it is impossible for us to share equality in the judgement, for “the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” {Gen. 21:10} Therefore the lovers of God should make up their choice to become brothers and sisters in Christ, not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

27 For it is written: “Be glad, you barren woman who does not give birth; break into joyful shouting, you woman who does not have birth pains; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than those of her who has the husband.”+ 28 Now you, brothers, are children of the promise the same as Isaac was.+ 29 But just as then the one born through natural descent* began persecuting the one born through spirit,+ so also now.+ 30 Nevertheless, what does the scripture say? “Drive out the servant girl and her son, for the son of the servant girl will by no means be an heir with the son of the free woman.”+ 31 So, brothers, we are children, not of a servant girl, but of the free woman. (Galatians 4:27-31).

Returners from exile

Zion’s returning sons released from Babylonian exile (attempted extermination of the Jews; the Shoah or Holocaust) took possession of the old capital city and settled in her once again. We are told that when that happens, Zion is no longer desolate but filled with sons.

14 “Return, you renegade sons,” declares Jehovah. “For I have become your true master;* and I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.+ (Jeremiah 3:14).

Jehovah God will give the universe shepherds after His own heart, who will lead the people in the world, who are willing to listen to God’s Word, with knowledge and understanding. And there shall come a time that in those days, when their numbers have increased greatly in the land. The ark of the covenant of the Most High will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honour the name of the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.

15 And I will give you shepherds after my own heart,+ and they will feed you with knowledge and insight. 16 You will become many and will bear fruit in the land in those days,” declares Jehovah.+ “No more will they say, ‘The ark of the covenant of Jehovah!’ It will not come up into the heart, nor will they remember it or miss it, and it will not be made again. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah;+ and all the nations will be brought together to the name of Jehovah at Jerusalem,+ and they will no longer stubbornly follow their own wicked heart.” (Jeremiah 3:15-17)

Walking together and partakers

English: Jerusalem, Ziongate, Townside Deutsch...

Jerusalem, Ziongate, Townside Deutsch: Jerusalem, Ziontor, Stadtseite Français : Vieille ville de Jerusalem, Porte de Sion (vue depuis l’intérieur des murailles) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At that time the house of Judah alongside the house of Israel will walk together, and together they will come from the land of the north into the land that Jehovah, the God of gods gave to their and our forefathers as an inheritance. (Jeremiah 3:18) The house of Israel, have dealt treacherously with Jehovah and did not want to accept the Send One from God. This Messiah formed his pupils to go into the world to preach the Good News of the coming Kingdom. He promised that the apostles and some others like them would have a place in heaven.

In the book of Hebrews, the apostle Paul described such ones as “partakers of the heavenly calling.” And Jesus said that those of this group would sit on thrones in heaven with him. (Hebrews 3:1; Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:28-30; John 14:2, 3) The point is that others reign with Jesus as part of the new heavens. Then what did Peter mean by the term “new earth”?
For centuries, Christendom had been allowed to bring great reproach upon Jehovah’s name.

People willing to bring forth fruits

Those now who are prepared to obey God’s Law and are willing to be part of the Body of Christ may also enter that spiritual estate, which has the prophetic name “Owned as a Wife.” Their Christian activity in that land has made it evident that these anointed Christians are the “people for [Jehovah’s] name.”

14 Sym′e·on+ has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.+  (Acts 15:14)

Those people who are willing to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom and making the Name of God known to the world may become part of the Body of Christ, when they do accept Jesus as the only begotten son of God sent to the world to save it. We may look forward to it that Jehovah shall take delight in these Christians. By anointing these Christians with holy spirit, liberating them from spiritual captivity, and using them to preach the Kingdom hope to all mankind, Jehovah has demonstrated that he rejoices over them with the joy of a bridegroom over a bride.

36 “Therefore this is what Jehovah the God of Israel says concerning this city that you are saying will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, 37 ‘Here I will gather them together from all the lands where I dispersed them in my anger and in my wrath and in great indignation,+ and I will bring them back to this place and let them dwell in security.+38 And they will be my people, and I will be their God.+39 And I will give them one heart+ and one way so that they may always fear me, for their own good and the good of their children after them.+40 And I will make with them an everlasting covenant,+ that I will not turn away from doing good to them;+ and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, so that they will not turn away from me.+41 I will exult over them to do good to them,+ and I will firmly plant them in this land,+ with all my heart and with all my soul.’”* (Jeremiah 32:36-41).

Faithful remnant

In Jehovah’s due time after the return of the faithful remnant from Babylon, Jerusalem does become “a praise in the earth”—a walled city providing safety to her inhabitants. Day and night, watchmen on those walls are alert to ensure the security of the city and to relay warning messages to her citizens.—Nehemiah 6:15; 7:3; Isaiah 52:8.

Today we can see those Chosen People coming to the city of God, Jerusalem, and other believers in God, willing to become part of that Body of Christ, prepared to unite with each other in the love of Christ.

In the apostle John his vision he sees the “holy city” as “coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” This is in relation to the vision he sees of “a new heaven and a new earth.” This “bride” was said to be “the Lamb’s wife.” (Revelation 21:1-3, 9-27) Other apostolic writings apply the same figure to the Christian congregation of anointed ones. (2Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:21-32) In Revelation chapter 14 “the Lamb” Christ Jesus is depicted as standing on Mount Zion, a name also associated with Jerusalem (compare 1Peter 2:6), and with him are 144,000 having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.—Revelation 14:1-5;

A bride adorned for her husband, Lamb of God

Dormition Church, situated on the modern "...

Dormition Church, situated on the modern “Mount Zion” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Near the end of that series of visions, and after seeing Babylon the Great destroyed, the apostle John sees the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2).

In the light of other scriptures, the identity of New Jerusalem is made certain. She is “as a bride.” Farther along, John writes:

“One of the seven angels . . . spoke with me and said: ‘Come here, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ So he carried me away in the power of the spirit to a great and lofty mountain, and he showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God and having the glory of God. Its radiance was like a most precious stone, as a jasper stone shining crystal-clear.” (Revelation 21:9-11).

New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who shed his blood sacrificially for mankind. (John 1:29; Revelation 5:6, 12; 7:14; 12:11; 21:14) She is composed of the members of the glorified Christian congregation. The congregation on earth was likened to “a chaste virgin” to be presented to the Christ. (2Corinthians 11:2) Again, the apostle Paul likens the Christian congregation to a wife, with Christ as her Husband and Head. (Ephesians 5:23-25, 32).

Furthermore, Christ himself addresses the congregation at Revelation 3:12, promising the faithful conqueror that he would have written upon him

“the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which descends out of heaven from my God, and that new name of mine.”

Earthly and heavenly

A wife takes her husband’s name. Therefore those seen standing with the Lamb upon Mount Zion, numbering 144,000, having the Lamb’s name and that of his Father written in their foreheads, are evidently the same group, the bride. (Revelation 14:1).

We can see a new Jerusalem in construction on this earth, but this will only be the shade and the capital of the Kingdom of God, where there shall also be the spiritual or heavenly New Jerusalem. It is that heavenly, not earthly Jerusalem which shall come down “out of heaven from God.” (Revelation 21:10) So this city is not one erected by men and consisting of literal streets and buildings constructed in the Middle East on the site of the ancient city of Jerusalem, which was destroyed in 70 C.E. The members of the bride class when on earth are told that their “citizenship exists in the heavens” and that their hope is to receive “an incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance.” “It is reserved in the heavens for you,” says the apostle Peter.—Philippians 3:20; 1Peter 1:4.

Measures of Heavenly City

That the New Jerusalem is indeed a heavenly city is further supported by the vision of her that John beheld. Only a symbolic city could have the dimensions and splendour of New Jerusalem. Its base was foursquare, about 555 km (345 mi) on each side, or about 2,220 km (1,379 mi) completely around, that is, 12,000 furlongs. Being a cube, the city was also as high as it was long and wide. No man-made city could ever reach that far into “outer space.” Round about was a wall 144 cubits (64 m; 210 ft) high. The wall, itself constructed of jasper, in turn rested on 12 foundation stones, precious stones of great beauty—jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, hyacinth, and amethyst. On these 12 foundation stones were engraved the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb. The city proper within these beautiful walls was no less glorious, for it was described as “pure gold like clear glass,” having a broad way of “pure gold, as transparent glass.” {Revelation 21:12-21}.

A Pure, Beneficial Rule.

Entrance into the New Jerusalem through its magnificent walls was by means of 12 gates, three on a side, each made of a huge pearl. Although these gates were never closed, “anything not sacred and anyone that carries on a disgusting thing and a lie will in no way enter into it; only those written in the Lamb’s scroll of life will.” A holy and sacred city indeed, yet there was no visible temple of worship, for “Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb is.” And there was “no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God lighted it up, and its lamp was the Lamb.” Its rulership over the nations will be beneficial to them, for “the nations will walk by means of its light.” (Revelation 21:22-27).

 

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Find in this series:

 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

 Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

The Bride New Jerusalem

A royal wedding due to take place

Reply to questions concerning The Bride of Christ

Magnificent bride for royal wedding

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Additional reading:

  1. Message from the family tree in the Tanakh
  2. OT prophesies and the NT fulfilment of them
  3. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  4. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  5. Our openness to being approachable
  6. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful

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  • The rebuilding of the next Jewish Temple (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
    The Bible mentions about the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. This would be the third temple then. The rebuilding of the Temple is one of the signs of the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ. In fact the Anti Christ will enter the Temple and as an act of blasphemous portray himself as God. At the present moment the Temple of Jerusalem is in ruins. The Jews of today are very eager to rebuild it again so that the old manner of worship and sacrifice to the Living God (whom Christians know as Jesus’ Father and God) is restored to its former glorious state. It’s a known fact that the Jews hold their traditions with great respect and will go to any lengths to defend it. They believe that their Messiah will come to the Temple of Jerusalem and reveal himself as sent from God. Due to this they are desperate to complete the task of rebuilding it. With the way Israel has been advancing on the financial, technical and most importantly in the field of warfare the construction will surely happen. This is the will of God and no man, no nation nor the Devil can stop it.
  • The Preciousness of Zion and Jerusalem and the Situation of the Overcomers in Zion (matassew.wordpress.com)
    Zion and Jerusalem are the earthly signs that shows us the existence of the invisible and misterious God. Zion is not only the center but also elevated peak. That is where we have the church, the body of Christ, yes the economy of God! Praise the Lord about Zion! Hallelujah for Zion!
    Speaking about Jerusalem, she typfies the churh, and Zion typfies the overcomers!

    The people of Israel love the law of God! But the couldn’t fullfil it. Instead the law exposed who the are, showed their real codition.

  • Revelation and You (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
    The anointed remnant today have obeyed the words of the angel. They have not sealed up the words of the prophecy. Why, the very first issue of Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (July 1879) set out comments on numerous verses of Revelation. As we noted in our opening chapter, Jehovah’s Witnesses have over the years published other enlightening books on Revelation. Now we again draw the attention of all truth-lovers to the powerful Revelation prophecies and their fulfillment.
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    lend your voice to the joyful proclamation of the everlasting good news concerning the established Kingdom of Jehovah and his Christ. (Revelation 11:15; 14:6, 7) Be at this work urgently. And may a realization that we are in the Lord’s day move many who are not yet serving Jehovah to join in the work of proclaiming the good news. May these also progress toward dedicating their lives to God with a view to baptism. Remember, “the appointed time is near”!—Revelation 1:3.
  • New Jerusalem is the Eternal Marriage (3) (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Isaiah 54:5 is so clear: “For your Maker is your Husband; Jehovah of hosts is His name. And the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; Heis called the God of all the earth.” Here the Lord is saying to the Old Testament part of Hispeople that He is the Husband. And they are the wife.In this verse “Husband” is first, then “Redeemer.” As here, there are other examples in the Bible where words are not in time order but arranged to place God’s purpose first. To be our Husband, God must first (in time) be our Redeemer. But, Husband is first in Isaiah 54 because that is what God desires.
  • Daily Tidbits 5/9 – Jerusalem Above vs. Jerusalem Below (littleguyintheeye.wordpress.com)
    The word for ‘Christian’ (נצרות ‘Naztrut’) is 746.  The phrase, ‘therefore ye are my witnesses, saith YHWH, that I am El’ equals 746.  And the Greek word ‘authority’ has the same numerical value.
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    The numerical value of מקום ‘maqom’ without using thefinal form as 400 but as 40 (normal value) is 186.  ‘His work’ in Hebrew (פעלו ‘pa’alu’) also has the numerical value of 186.YHWH is also related to 186.  Take each of the letters from YHWH, square them (since a “place” is an area, so squared units), and you get 100+25+36+25=186.
    +True Zion are those who are grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel, who is Messiah.  The counterfeit is the Zionism we see in the world today which uplifts a false olive tree of Israel.  As Paul says, not all those of Israel are Israel (Romans 9:6).Those grafted into the Olive Tree are Zion, the new creation…born again.
  • Awaiting Revelations 21, The New Jerusalem Will Be My Dwelling Place Forever. (deadcitizensrightssociety.wordpress.com) >
    Awaiting Revelation 21, The New Jerusalem Will Be My Dwelling Place Forever.Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
  • New Jerusalem Prepared as a Bride (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    The first wife in the whole universe was Eve. In Ezekiel 23 the children of Israel are referred to as the wife of Jehovah (vv. 1-4). In John 3 all the regenerated believers are the bride of Christ to be His increase, His enlargement (vv. 29-30). In Ephesians 5 the church is the wife of Christ, and in 2 Corinthians 11:2 the believers have been engaged, or betrothed, to Christ as their Husband. In Revelation 19:7-9 there is a universal wedding day, the marriage of the Lamb. Finally, in the last two chapters of the Bible there is the wife of the Lamb. Revelation 21:2 tells us that the New Jerusalem is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, and verse 9 refers to the New Jerusalem as the bride, the wife of the Lamb.
  • Let Us Rise For The Bride! (thejaggedword.com)
    when in doubt, cast your eyes upon the bride descending down the aisle and get a glimpse of heavenly reality!Rise now and rise then! Until He comes again!
  • Redemption and Life for the Bride (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Christ, the Lamb of God who died, took away sin. Because of this, we can be born again and have eternal life (John 3:3, 5-7, 15-16). However, after we were born again, there were still many attitudes in us and actions by us that were not suitable for the bride of Christ. Nevertheless, through our entire Christian life, eternal life operates in us to make us the bride to match Christ in every way. The result is “New Jerusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
  • New Jerusalem is a Living City (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Throughout the New Testament, God is building His people together in Jesus Christ (an overview with verses). New Jerusalem is the consummation of this New Testament building work and maintains the same structure—God’s people built together in Christ.

The Bride New Jerusalem

In the Old Testament and also in Revelations, the last chapter, we are told that God will create a New Earth and a New Heaven and the former will be no more.

The New Jerusalem

The New Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jerusalem was God’s chosen city. The temple had already been built there before, and was already promised to be built there again.

Those who have faith in the words of Christ Jesus and his Father have come in a time where they are looking for a new heaven and a new earth, which will be the resting-place of righteousness.

“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:13 KJ21)

The lovers of God who have found Christ the Messiah, Jeshua (Jesus Christ) and who are willing to overcome, live on the promise that for them a pillar will be provided in the temple of Jesus his God. Those believers shall also have the name of their God, and the name of the city of their God written down. That pillar in the temple of God is used to represent a righteous Christian who has been made an eternal part of the family of God (’he will never depart from it’).

An Old Testament symbol which was once used of Israel and the Jews, is taken and applied to Christians. Notably, it is a part of the Temple building which is being applied to the Christians, which reinforces the fact that the Temple and its furniture will be used in Revelation to refer to the body of Christ, and to Christians.

There also will be one hundred and forty and four thousand, having Jesus his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads.

“And I looked and lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with Him a hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.” (Revelation 14:1 KJ21)

Christians shall be able to see those 144 000 and the the fortified city, the iron pillars, and brazen walls (Jeremiah 1:18, Revelation 14:1, Revelation 22:4) They shall know that the name of the city from that day shall be, “Jehovah is there”, the New “Jerusalem”, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. (Ezekiel 48:35, Revelation 21:2)

“And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2 KJ21)

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God, and I will write upon him My new name.” (Revelation 3:12 KJ21).

The texts from the apostle John do not to be taken as real literal presentations. It are visions were it is fairly obvious that it is not a literal city him speaking about.  We are told in Revelation 21:16 that the length, breadth and height of the city are all 12,000 stadia, or 2,200 kilometre. The length of the side of the city, if it were literal, would stretch from Jerusalem to Rome, its area would be more than 100 times the whole area of Israel, and its height would be about 200 times the height at which commercial airliners fly.  The angel told John it was a figurative city when he said,

“9 … “Come hither; I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven from God,” (Revelation 21:9-10 KJ21)

In the Book of revelation we as such also find the Bride, the wife of the Lamb, … who shows the holy city Jerusalem. (Revelation 21:9-10)  So, New Jerusalem is a symbolic representation of the true church, which comprises followers of Jesus Christ.

 

Kronheim's Baxter process illustration of Reve...

Kronheim’s Baxter process illustration of Revelation 22:17 (King James’ Version), from page 366 of the 1880 omnibus printing of The Sunday at Home. Scanned at 800 dpi. The greyish border around the flowers is a metallic silver ink, however, shininess cannot be reproduced in an electronic medium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Find in this series:

 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

 Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

To be continued: A royal wedding due to take place

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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.
    +
    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.
    +
    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:
    +
    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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Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go

“Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go”

 

These words should be familiar to all Bible readers: they are the words of the “two men … in white robes” (a common way of describing angels) – it is what they said to the disciples as their astonished eyes watched their Lord ascend upwards “and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9-11). We suspect it was no ordinary cloud, but like the cloud that Moses climbed up into on the mountain (Exodus 24:16).

“9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they were looking stedfastly into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11 ASV)

“And the glory of Jehovah abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.” (Exodus 24:16 ASV)

English: Israel location Judea and Samaria.

Israel location Judea and Samaria. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Countless generations of Bible believers have looked for their Lord to descend from heaven in their lifetime. The disciples had asked,

“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (verse 6)

and were told by their Lord they were to be “my witnesses in Jerusalem” – but ultimately that the witnessing was to be “to the end of the earth” (verse 8). He had said this earlier, also on the mount of Olives,

“this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

The other sign which Jesus gave, which Luke also recorded, was that

“Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (21:24).

 

Today, Jerusalem is constantly a centre of world attention – and the returned Jews have made it the capital of their resurrected country. The evidence is plain that the climax of the ages is near. But we know, and must emphasize that it was not for his disciples, then or now, to know exactly when. Notice again the answer of Jesus when the disciples asked him,

“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (verse 6).

They were commissioned to be “my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria” (verse 8). It is for true believers today to complete that commission “… and to the end of the earth”.

Are you his disciple? Are you helping this commission to be carried out? If you are, you will be really looking for his return “in the same way (as the disciples) saw him go into heaven”.

As his disciple you will be following the examples given in the book of Acts, which we have now started reading. Notice the way in which the Old Testament is often quoted as an essential part of that message. It tells us many details of the Kingdom Jesus will set up, also giving us examples of faithful service (and failures) as we are reading in the book of Deuteronomy.

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Additional reads:

  1. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  2. Angels (“Our world” article)
  3. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  5. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  6. Jeruzalem Gods city
  7. Jerusalem God’s City for ever
  8. Presentation: Crisis in the Middle East – Bible Expectations
  9. Isaiah prophet and messenger of God
  10. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  11. How do we know the coming of Jesus is very near?
  12. Armageddon, har and megiddo, an action or a place
  13. The Song of The Lamb #3 Daniel and Revelation
  14. The Song of The Lamb #8 Revelation 15 Lessons for us today
  15. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  16. Certainty in a troubled world
  17. The day is near studyweekend
  18. End Times
  19. The Conclusion of the System of Things
  20. Signs of the Last Days
  21. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  22. Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2 v14-20 Pentecostal Sermon
  23. Because men choose to go their own way
  24. The famine of the word
  25. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  26. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  27. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  28. Zion, Flames, Terror, Signs and Games of Peace
  29. Babylon is fallen
  30. Gaza in Bible Prophecy
  31. Hamas the modern Philistines
  32. Turkey and Pictures for the times coming
  33. Syrian capital facing total destruction in the coming months
  34. Crimea votes overwhelmingly to join Russia
  35. Swallowing up Crimea, who is next
  36. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  37. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  38. Breathing to teach
  39. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  40. Together tasting a great promise
  41. Witnessing Glad Tidings
  42. Zionism comments and the place of Jerusalem in the world
  43. Will Jesus ever return to the earth?
  44. Articles on the Belgian Biblestudents about the Return of Christ
  45. The Return of Christ seen through the eyes of the Brethren of Christ
  46. The Ecclesia of the Belgian Christadelphians looking at the Return of Christ
  47. Why did Christ not reveal the exact time of his second coming?
  48. Looking forward to the return of Jesus
  49. Secret or public return of Jesus

 

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  • Friday (April 25): “It is the Lord.” (shechina.wordpress.com)
    Skeptics who disbelieve the resurrection say the disciples only saw a vision of Jesus. The Gospels, however, give us a vivid picture of the reality of the resurrection. Jesus went out of his way to offer his disciples various proofs of his resurrection – that he is real and true flesh, not just a spirit or ghost. In his third appearance to the apostles, after Jesus performed the miraculous catch of fish, he prepared a breakfast and ate with them. Peter’s prompt recognition of the Master – It is the Lord! – stands in sharp contrast to his previous denial of his Master during the night of Jesus’ arrest. The Lord Jesus reveals himself to each of  us as we open our hearts to hear his word. Do you recognize the Lord’s presence in your life and do you receive his word with faith?
  • The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven (viviansielaff.wordpress.com)
    After Jesus resurrection He was with the disciples for forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:2-3). And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; “for John truly baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which they Father has put in His own authority. “But you shall receive power when they Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:4-8
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    This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
  • Luke 9:28-36 (arietta18.wordpress.com)
    at the transfiguration, Peter, John, and James would, in a sense, get to see the kingdom of God.
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    This appearance was the same or similar to the appearance that Jesus would have after his resurrection when hewas exalted to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.Later, in Acts, when Stephen, the first recorded Christian martyr, was being stoned to death, he “looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55b NIV).  A few chapters later, the Apostle Paul saw Jesus appear to him
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    In the transfiguration, we get a glimpse of heaven, where all the dead in Christ will rise and be glorified with him.
  • Mystery – What causes a Christian to be set apart part 2? (lhwm1.wordpress.com)
    There is a mystery that surrounds the cross of Christ. Jesus the Son of God, Savior of mankind, Lord of Lords and King of Kings beaten until He no longer looks like a human being. Unbelievers see Jesus as weak and unable to stop His horrible death. (Luke 23:35, 39)
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    The death of the coming Messiah was told to the prophets of the Old Testament (Isaiah 53) and was planned before the beginning of time. The mystery was not death itself; it was the method and purpose of His death on the cross.  How could the Messiah die and reign forever. There was certainly no seeing the cross for the unity of Gentiles and Jews (Ephesians 3:3-6). All this was kept hidden until Jesus Christ came to the earth. He would tell his disciples in detail of His death and resurrection.
  • Lift Up Your Heads – a take on the ‘Olivet Discourse’ (Luke 21:5-38) (newjerusalem.net.au)
    Jesus says that they will see the Son of Man ‘from now on’ – ie. from that moment. It seems that on these two occasions Jesus is not speaking of an event, as much as a position of power and authority. In fact, He is making an unveiled reference here (and every time he calls himself ‘the Son of Man’) to Daniel 7
  • The True Easter Story (findingmywayinfo.wordpress.com)
  • Happy Resurrection Day! Christ IS Risen! (wrightlexi83.wordpress.com)
  • FFOZ TV Review: The Restoring the Kingdom (mymorningmeditations.com)
  • Jesus Is in Every Book of the Bible! (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
  • Morning Prayer 4.23.14, Wednesday in Easter Week (dailyoffice.org)
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