Last Events of Old Testament – Right of Wrong?

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

They are never quoted in the New Testament.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

520 BC Haggai/Zechariah Prophesy

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

6th year Darius Prophet Zechariah contemporary Ezra 6:15

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

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

465 BC – Artaxerxes King in Persia

457 BC – Ezra led a 2nd return

444 BC – Nehemiah led a third return

432 BC – Last memoirs of Nehemiah

Prophet Malachi

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

Back in Persia

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

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

THE GREAT DIVORCE – under Ezra

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

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

IT IS ALSO WRITTEN

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

Nehemiah’s FINAL REFORMS

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

 

“When the people heard THIS Law”

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

IT IS ALSO WRITTEN IN DEUT. 23…..

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

NOT ALL FOREIGNERS WERE TO BE EXCLUDED.

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

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

“It is Also Written”

European illustration of one of the "whit...

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

FOREIGNERS & EUNUCHS

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

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

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

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

PREVIOUSLY IN OLD TESTAMENT

– God Accepted Foreigners

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

Moses wife – a Kennite

Absalom’s mother – Geshurite Princess

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

MELCHIZEDEK -King of Salem, Canaanite – Priest of God

Ittai – The Gittite – David said

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

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

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

RAHAB a Canaanite

URIAH – The Hittite

RUTH – Moabitess

Asriel – descended from Manasseh through his Aramean concubine.

ASENATHEgyptian – mother of Ephraim and Manasseh

Children of Jacob by ethnically ‘Arabic‘ servant girls

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

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

Elijah & Elisha sent to Gentiles

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

Previously in Old Testament – No Partiality

The Tabernacle – No separate court for Gentiles or Women

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

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

FOREIGNERS in Ezra/Nehemiah

AS ENEMIES

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

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

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

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

ELSEWHERE – FOREIGNERS AS FRIENDS

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

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

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

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

REBUKE FROM ZECHARIAH DURING

COMPLETION OF TEMPLE

4th Year of Darius

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

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

6th Year of Darius

The temple was completed without the help offered by foreigners.

What became of the prophet
Zechariah Son of Berekiah ?

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

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

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

Perhaps it was his last prophesy- Zech 14:21  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mystery of Zechariah’s Murder

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

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

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

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

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

Gates shut or Open?

Nehemiah

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

Malachi/Isaiah

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

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

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

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

Nehemiah built physical walls
God cared about the spiritual ones

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

COMPARE TO

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

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

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

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN – AND WILL BE

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

People Ezra & Nehemiah
Perceived as Enemies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALL FOREIGNERS Neh. 9:2

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

Foreign women Neh. 13:27

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

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

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

THE LORD’S TABLE

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

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

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

God said via Malachi

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

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

Examples of David’s men:

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

Noadiah & The other Prophets
A Silent Witness

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

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

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

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

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

END OF CHRONICLES

2 Chron. 36:22-23

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

BEGINNING OF EZRA

Ezra 1:1-3

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

Chronicles – A Comparison

2 Chron. 8:2 Hiram gave towns to Solomon

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

I Chronicles 2 1:1 Satan incited David

2 Sam. 24:1 God incited David

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

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

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

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

Who beat and pulled hair out?

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

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

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

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

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

Gentiles were to be Blessed

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

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

Where did Sanballat Go?

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

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

FROM ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY

National Campus for Archaeology of Israel

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

WHERE WE WORSHIP

EZRA

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

JESUS

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

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

Records Mattered to Jews
But Way of Worship mattered GOD

JEWS

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

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

Zechariah

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

THIS PROPHECY WAS CONDITIONAL

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

John the Baptist

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

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

TO NATURAL ISRAEL

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

TO SPIRITUAL ISRAEL – Women & Gentiles included

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

PRIESTS FROM ALL NATIONSMEN & WOMEN

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

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

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

Ezra’s Genealogy

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

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

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

Elijah’s Genealogy

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

ELIJAH – The Stranger

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

Inhabitant =“TOWSHAB”

Towshab – Occurs 14 times in Old Test.

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

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

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

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

NEW TESTAMENT MESSAGE ABOUT ELIJAH

A remnant saved by grace

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

Elijah & Elisha sent to Gentiles

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

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

THE GOD OF ELIJAH

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

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

ELIJAH means “My God is Jehovah”

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

Not his lineage in natural Israel

 

LAST WORDS OF OLD TESTAMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robin Jones from Blog

alsowritten.wordpress.com

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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.
    +
    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.