Being Sealed by Yehovah and The Coming of the Enlightened One Nimrod

Joseph F. Dumond

Isa 6:9-12 And He said, Go, and tell this people, You hear indeed, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn back, and be healed. Then I said, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until the cities are wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land laid waste, a desolation, and until Jehovah has moved men far away, and the desolation in the midst of the land is great.
Published: Dec 8, 2011

News Letter 5847-038
14th day of the 9th month 5847 years after the creation of Adam
The 9th Month in the Second year of the third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences.

December 10, 2011


Shabbat Shalom Brethren,


This News Letter is going out one day early so that we can let you know about the blood moon that will be available to see from western North America. Please watch the video below. This will be the last one until the Appointed times of Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015. A Blood Moon is a sign of war coming.

Blood Moon Dec 10 in the AM

Also we have news for those in the Detroit Michigan and South Western Ontario area. Dr. Mathew Hasdell will be speaking in Sarnia, Ontario on Dec 17, 2011 at the Honey & Locust Specialty Books and Cafe, Tea room and book store.
11 AM
Honey & Locust Specialty Books & Cafe
Main 180 Front N,
Sarnia, ON N7T 5S3

Dr. Mathew Hasdell will once again be presenting on Why it is Time to go Home based on those things he has found in The Prophecies of Abraham which I did not see.

Two weeks ago Dr. Hasdell and I presented to a group in Barrie. Last week Dr. Hasdell presented again to the group in Hanover, Ontario. He is teaching many things from The Prophecies of Abraham which I wrote. But in just this one week Dr. Hasdell has kicked it up another notch. Even though I wrote The Prophecies of Abraham I had three pages of notes from the things Dr. Hasdell was teaching me and he only read the book at Sukkot this year for the first time. And I already had a number of pages of notes from the Barrie meeting to go over and relearn.

Things I did not know or understand when I wrote The Prophecies of Abraham Dr. Hasdell is explaining. And those things we both were not sure about we are coming to understand as we both are able to midrash with each other. It is so exciting to see.

So be there with paper and pen to take notes as this understanding of the Sabbatical years and the Prophecies they contain goes to even higher levels. We do hope you will come and learn why this message is so important and why you need to learn about and keep the next Sabbatical year in 2016-2017 to be protected. Those who do not keep the Sabbatical years are sinning, even in your ignorance, the same as those who do not keep the Holy Days of Lev 23 and the Seventh Day Weekly Sabbath.

We have a firm date and place set up in Texas. We will be coming to Abilene and we hope to see there. We will explain the Sabbatical years so you can understand them and the arguments against will be shown to you as well. In the Afternoon we will cover the Prophecies of Abraham and those things we have since learned that are not in the book, as well as world events that have taken place and where we are right now in prophecy. In the evening we will explain the Prophecy found in the Laws of Niddah and how all of this along with the 70 Shabuwa and Abraham’s deep sleep point to some very troublesome times in the years directly in front of us.

We shall also explain the reason the Daniel Time line which most messianic groups use is going to mislead so many, just as the scriptures say, Mat 24:24 “For false messiahs and false prophets shall arise, and they shall show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.

So make your plans right now to come out to Abilene, Texas and study these things and bring your loved ones as well. These teachings will scare you. The reason they will scare you is because no one else is showing you these things that are contained in the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. No One.

7 January 2012 10 AM to 8 PM
Courtyard Abilene
4350 Ridgemont Drive, Abilene, TX
(325) 695-9600 ? •

We also have had a number of inquiries from Virginia and North Carolina and Pennsylvania and Kentucky and California.

If you can help offset the cost of doing this type of tour where I will host at a local hotel if need be, then please do. Please also pray for us as we go about sharing this teaching. I am not good at organizing all that needs to be done to make this a success. But we are forging ahead with the help of a few others.

If you would like to have these things taught in your area then please contact Lora Skeahan at who is helping me with this organizing and the teachings on FB about the Sabbatical years and the Prophecies of Abraham. There are some excellent teachings there for you if you join the group.

If we can do a full day conference then we will explain the Sabbatical years in detail and present all the objections and show you what we know. Once you have this understanding under your belt then we can explain The Prophecies of Abraham and the newest one Dr Hasdell and I have just come to understand about Abrahams Deep sleep and his great terror. It ties into what I have been sharing about the Coming war and persecution. It just gives me shivers to know how Yehovah is confirming these things on many levels. We do hope to see you soon.

At this time of year the days are getting shorter. Here in Ontario the sun sets about 4:45 right now and in the next week or so it will be very close to 4:30. It seems to be dark all the time with the rains and drizzle.

But we can look forward to the sun reappearing because many people who are going to go out and light up the world with their Festivals of Lights. We already have the Indian people doing it because they celebrate Diwali a little while ago.



Diwali (also spelled Devali in certain regions) or Deepavali [note 1], popularly known as the “festival of lights,” is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons. [1] For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC.[2][3]

Diwali is an official holiday in India, [4] Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, [5] and Fiji. [6]

The name “Diwali” is a contraction of “Deepavali” (Sanskrit: ??????? D?p?val?), which translates into “row of lamps”.[7] Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas or d?pas) in Sanskrit: ???) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. [8] These lamps are kept on during the night and one’s house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. [9] Firecrackers are burst in order to drive away evil spirits. [10][11][12] During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.

The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival, Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. Amavasya, the third day of Diwali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. Amavasya also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the Bali, and banished him to Patala. It is on the fourth day of Diwali, Kartika Shudda Padyami, that Bali went to Patala and took the reins of his new kingdom in there. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj), and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.

Diwali falls on the one new moon night (Amavasya) between mid-October and mid-December. This year it was on 26th October 2011. Diwali is celebrated for five days according to the lunisolar Hindu Calendar. It begins in late Ashvin (between September and October) and ends in early Kartika (between November and December). The days in Ashvin are in the Krishna Paksha (“dark fortnight”) of that month, while the days in Kartik are in its Shukla Paksha (“bright fortnight”). The first day is Dhan Teras. The last day is Yama Dvitiya, which signifies the second day of the light half of Kartika. Each day of Diwali marks one celebration of the six principal stories associated with the festival.
We also have people lighting up the Christmas lights at this time of year and of course there are the new converts to Chanukah who also will light up the Channukah bush, (really a christmas tree in any other circles, but they say it is not. Sure looks like a Christmas tree though; but what do I know)

The Christians say that Jesus was born on this day and thus was the light brought into this dark world. I find it amazing that this is the exact same thing that is said of Nimrod. Nimrod was the one who enlightened man about the worship of himself and how his coming at this time of year, the darkest days of the year, that Nimrod brought light into the world of men and as such they began to light Yule logs to him and candles and many other fires at this time of year to encourage the sun to come back. The Sun of course represents Nimrod.

All of the celebrations that are done at this time of year are to the one who brought light to this dark world. To the one who enlightened us.

All of these different religions lighting up the festival of lights to the one who has enlightened them.

To the Buddhist they call this time of year Bodhi Day: 8 December – Day of Enlightenment, celebrating the day that the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Guatama) experienced enlightenment (also known as Bodhi).


And where does this celebration of lights come from?

It comes from the worship of Nimrod. The worship involved fire to represent the sun, the giver of light. Therefore, the deified Nimrod was worshiped as the giver of light to mankind; he enlightened them just as the Buddhist say above, (In fact the statue of Buddha is Nimrod) so as to show them good and evil. Hence came the name Lucifer, the light giver or enlightener. Even the snake was worshiped as a secret symbol of the Mysteries. To the contrary, it is shown in Genesis that the Devil appeared as a snake whose seed, Lucifer, would be destroyed by the woman’s seed, the real light giver, Yehshua. The opposite is the doctrine of the Devil. Paul said about this:
2 Co 11:13 For such are false emissaries, deceptive workers, masquerading as emissaries of Messiah. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself masquerades as a messenger of light! 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness, 1 whose end shall be according to their works! 2 Footnotes: 1Mt. 7:15-23, 2 Peter 2:1-22. 2Mt. 13:41-42.

Satan came as an angel of light and deceived Eve. Nimrod is represented as the great enlightener and is worshiped each year by the lighting of lights at the darkest time of the year.

But do not be deceived and jump from one pagan ditch to another. That is by jumping from pagan Christian festival of lights to a Jewish festival of lights called Chanukah. It is the exact same festival only with a different name given to it. It is not found in Lev 23 and you should not be keeping it.

I have two articles on this that you can read at;

This week as it gets darker I wanted to talk to you about the Sabbath. Each week it gets harder and harder to keep the Sabbath as it gets darker and you are still at work.

We are commanded not to work on the Sabbath.

Exo 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. 9 “Six days you labour, and shall do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath 1 of ???? your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. Footnote: 1 There are other Sabbaths, but this is the weekly Sabbath. 11 “For in six days ???? made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore ???? blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.

The other Sabbaths are found in Lev 23 but the very first appointed time is the weekly Sabbath.

Lev 23:1 And ???? spoke to Mosheh, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Yisra’?l, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of ????, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these: 3 ‘Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to ???? in all your dwellings.’

It is the Sabbath that identifies you to Yehovah as those who will obey His words and His commands. It is so important yet so many just ignore it and will have nothing to do with it. You do need to learn just how important it is.
You can learn about the Mark of the Beast and the Mark of Yehovah at

The reason I want you to learn what the Mark of Yehovah is, is so that you will understand how the Sabbath seals you and is what identifies you as His children. If you do not keep the weekly Seventh Day Sabbath then you are Satan’s children. This includes those who do not keep the Holy Days as they are in Lev 23 and if you add to them then again you are part of Satan’s crowd.

If you do keep the Sabbatical year then….. It too is what identifies you as one of Yehovah’s children. You can break the curses for not keeping these set apart times by repenting now and beginning to learn about them and when the next one comes determine to keep them no matter what.

When the next Sabbath comes Friday at sunset then keep the Sabbath Holy and do not work on that day. No one in your family. Get out your bible and read it.

When the Next Holy Days or High Days come along, and the next one will be Passover and the Days of Unleavened bread, then learn about them ahead of time and be ready for when they come to keep them Holy. And when the Next Sabbatical year comes at Aviv 2016 then you must be prepared the year before. But part of this Sabbatical command also includes the taking care of the widows and orphans and Levites in the 3rd and 6th year of the Sabbatical cycle. That 3rd year begins at Aviv 2012. Have you planned for this? Have you studied into it? Now is the time to get going and learn about it so that you are not caught off guard and again on the curse end for not keeping the commandments.

But what about the Sabbath now that the sun sets earlier and you are still at work. What do you do?

Last week I was at work and we still had two hours worth of work to do. I was running a boom truck used for setting up street lights. I was the only one there able to run and to drive it.

All day I kept trying to get everyone to hurry up. I could see how long the job was going to take. I kept warning them that I was leaving at 3 no matter what. After lunch they could see how far behind we were and how close it was to the time I was going to leave and they began to hurry up. But even then things seemed to drag on forever.

I was shouting pretty often to them come 3:30 and once 4 o’clock came I said that is it I am going. I had given them an hour more than I said but still had time to be off work for the Sabbath. I got some very strange looks as I departed with the truck they needed to finish the job.

But everyone knew I had to be done work before the sun set. We had talked about the Sabbath many times over the summer when the sun sets at 8 or 9 at night. But now it was different, we still had things to do on this Friday evening and I was demanding to leave.

I work in construction and we are a rough and tumble crowd. Our bark is normally worse than our bite, but we all bark. I have told the men I work with about my beliefs as they asked. I never preached to them or tried to convert them. They also knew about the book The Prophecies of Abraham and some have checked me out on the internet and said wow.

So before this day of testing had ever happened I had developed a reputation of keeping the Sabbath and not working on Saturdays and when I do work on the other days of the week, they know me as being one of the best employees the company had. This way when I do ask for Holy Days off or demand time off for Shabbat I am usually given it. They all still work on Saturdays and then they come up and say they want to join my religion so they can have the weekends off.

What I am saying is that you must prepare for the Sabbath days in advance, the same as you must prepare for the Sabbatical year weeks and months in advance. My boss has known about it for some time and when that Friday or the next one comes it is not a huge shock for them to see me just walk off the job as the sun nears to setting. Each year I get razzed about it but who cares. I have obeyed the creator. And that is all that matters.

I am sharing this with you all as I know there are many new to this way of life and you are being tested right now about the Sabbath and work.

The Sabbath begins at sunset. Period. Not when three stars are visible as Judah says but as Yehovah says when the sun sets. End of story.

But some Ephramites have come to the conclusion that the Sabbath is only the day part or is according to the moon. If any of these new teachings had any weight there would be ample historical evidence to back it up. But instead we find none at all and a reference in the encyclopedia that it only began some ten to twenty years ago with one guy.

After the captivity Judah repented from breaking the Sabbath and the Holy Days, the Sabbatical years. We have evidence to support this. We also have historical evidence that it was during the time preceding and after the temple fell in 70 AD that Judah began to get the holy Days and Sabbatical years messed up. But the only change to the Sabbath was to change the start from sunset to sighting three stars.

So for those of you, who are struggling with the Sabbath and work, know that it is a test. Yehovah said this would be His way of testing His flocks to see who would obey and be His and who would find excuses and not be His. It is a test each week and each of us must pass it in order to remain in His family.

So work up the nerve to tell your boss. Be firm and co-operative. Work through lunch if you have to or come in early to make up the time. But be firm about having to leave before sunset.

You may be tested by your boss to see if you will actually leave. Do what you have to do. If you get fired there are laws to protect against religious discrimination. Use them as a last resort.

I have found that when I was let go because I would not work on Shabbat I would end up finding a better paying job in a little while. Yes I was scared and upset at the time. I had not developed faith as I was supposed to.

This week you will be tested and again for another month until the sun sets later. Will you pass the test? This is what Yehovah wants to know. He can’t and won’t force you to obey. But He does warn you that there are consequences for not obeying. So you get to choose. What will you do? Find some excuses. Change the Sabbath to the day only so that you can work late; have a movable Sabbath so that you can work whenever you want? What are you going to do?

No one not even you will know until the Sabbath has begun and we see you either working or obeying Yehovah and not working.

Know this, that if He has called you, and you fail this test, the next one is or seems to be even harder. But if you pass this test the next one seems to be easier. I cannot explain why, but it just seems to be that way.

So may you pass the test and be sealed with the Mark of Yehovah.


Triennial Torah Cycle

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found at

Lev 6       Jer 29-31       Prov 18        Acts 15


Leviticus 6:8-7:38

A Perpetual Fire (Leviticus 6:8-7:38)

This section is basically a review of the various offerings, albeit with many interesting additional bits of information. One fascinating fact we find in this passage is that the fire upon the altar was to be kept burning (6:9, 12-13). The Nelson Study Bible comments: “The fire on the altar was never to go out. This was accomplished at night with a burnt offering that was not extinguished. It could have been stoked with wood through the night to keep it burning. After being renewed in the morning [with wood] (see v. 12), the fire was kept going throughout the day for the succession of [various offerings]…. Five times in this paragraph the priests are instructed to keep the fire burning. There are at least three reasons for this: (1) The original fire on the altar came from God (9:24). (2) Perpetual fire symbolized the perpetual worship of God. (3) Perpetual fire symbolized the continual need for atonement and reconciliation with God, which was the purpose of the offerings” (notes on 6:9 and verses 12-13).

When the altar was transported, the ashes were removed and a cloth was put on top (Numbers 4:13-14). The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary states in its note on verse 13: “No mention is made of the sacred fire; but as, by divine command, it was to be kept constantly burning, it must have been transferred to some pan or brazier under the covering, and borne by the appropriate carriers.” Though we can’t be certain about this, it is plausible since sacrifices were offered every morning and evening, which may well imply that they were done even at times of transport. When tabernacle worship was later transferred to the temple at the time of Solomon, God ignited that fire too. However, it is not known whether the same fire was kept burning through periods of apostasy when temple worship was abandoned, although it certainly could have been. However, there is no indication that God ignited the fire of the altar built after Judah’s Babylonian captivity.


Jeremiah 29

Letter to the Exiles (Jeremiah 29)

Jeremiah 29 appears to fall in the same time frame as chapters 27-28—the fourth year of King Zedekiah (see 28:1). Though chapter 27 contained rumblings and plotting of rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar, it is evident that Zedekiah has not yet actually revolted—for we see him sending a delegation to the emperor in Babylon (29:3). Later in his fourth year, Zedekiah himself travels with others to Babylon (see Jeremiah 51:59). The reason for these journeys is not given, “but it is altogether possible that they had to do with the annual presentation of tribute” (Eugene Merrill, Kingdom of Priests, p. 463). Regarding the second journey, The HarperCollins Study Bible alternatively suggests, “It may be that Zedekiah made such a trip in order to explain his participation in the conspiracy mentioned in chapter 27” (note on 51:59-64). The same could be true of this earlier delegation.

Jeremiah sent messages from God with key individuals in both delegations—the first message being a letter to the Jews in captivity. He entrusts the letter to Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah. They are clearly important dignitaries. Elasah was evidently the brother of Ahikam, who defended Jeremiah (26:24), and brother of the Gemariah who allowed the use of his room at the temple for the proclamation of Jeremiah’s prophecies (36:10)—all three being sons of Shaphan, who reported the finding of the Book of the Law by the high priest Hilkiah to King Josiah (2 Kings 22:3-13). The Gemariah of Jeremiah 29 may have been the son of Hilkiah the high priest. “If so, Jeremiah was supported by two very powerful families in Judah who had been involved in Josiah’s reform” (verse 3).

In the letter, God tells the exiles through Jeremiah that they will be there for a long time and that they should make the most of it by settling down, building houses, growing food, expanding their families and being good citizens of Babylon, even praying for it: “For in its peace you will have peace” (verse 7). This parallels the responsibility of God’s people today, which dwells in the “Babylon” of this world. Besides telling us to obey the governing authorities (Romans 13:1-7), the apostle Paul writes: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

Indication of Judah’s integration into Babylonian society is confirmed by archaeology. Over the course of excavations in 1889, 1900 and 1948 at Nippur, southeast of Babylon, 700 inscribed tablets known as the Murashu Archives were uncovered. “These tablets record contracts, certificates and receipts for payments, in documents belonging to a Jewish family living in Babylon in the fifth century B.C. The names of the individuals mentioned there are both Hebrew and non-Hebrew names, perhaps indicating that the family was integrating into Babylonian society” (Walter Kaiser Jr., The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant?, 2001, p. 163 ).

In general, “the Jews experienced economic well-being, and some found opportunities to rise high in the government, just as Daniel did. There is evidence that they were able to form their own council of elders and to have the advantage of prophets and priests in their midst as well, for Jeremiah addressed all three groups when he wrote to the captives (Jer. 29:1)” (Kaiser, A History of Israel, 1998, p. 414). Yet Jeremiah warns the people against listening to the prophets among them (Jeremiah 29:8-9). For these prophets were preaching the same message the false prophets in Judah were propagating—that the captivity would be over shortly, with the people soon resettled in the Jewish homeland.

Yet Jeremiah reaffirms the time as 70 years, as in chapter 25 (see 29:10). He also reaffirms the wonderful fact that God’s people actually would go free and return to Judah—but that they had to wait a while. Verses 11-14 “are undoubtedly among the most comforting in Scripture. The exiles in Babylon are to settle down and wait, for God knows the plans He has for them, plans to give them a hope and a future. In the Old Testament ‘hope,’ either miqweh/tiqwah or yahal invites us to look ahead in confident expectation. Each assumes a time of waiting. But the latter especially reminds us that our future is guaranteed by our personal relationship with God. Because He is our God, He has plans for us too. And those plans are good—both beautiful and beneficial. Like the exiles, we may have to wait for God’s plans for us to bear fruit. But we can wait confidently, because our hope is in Him” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on 29:11-14).

The point of verses 15-20 can be a little confusing. In essence, God seems to be saying: “Because you think these false prophets are telling you the truth—that you’ll be going back to Judah soon—let me tell you what’s going to happen to the land of Judah and the people who remain there….” “He informs them that their hopes of returning soon are fruitless, for Zedekiah, the present occupant of Judah’s throne, will shortly be unseated and the last vestiges of the kingdom will be cruelly eroded away” (Merrill, p. 463). The imagery of cyclical punishment and rotten figs is again used (verses 17-18; compare Jeremiah 24). So the exiles just needed to wait it out—keeping their hopes and trust on God’s true message.

In Jeremiah 29:21-23, two prophets were singled out for speaking lies in God’s name. As punishment, Nebuchadnezzar would have them “roasted in the fire,” a form of execution that was certainly used in Babylon (see Daniel 3).

Next Jeremiah sends instruction to proclaim a message to another false leader in the exile, Shemaiah (Jeremiah 29:24), who went on a letter-writing campaign to the people and priests of Jerusalem to have Jeremiah reprimanded or locked up for his prophecies. One important recipient was Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah (compare 21:1-2; 34:3-4; 2 Kings 25:18), who read aloud the letter he received to Jeremiah. The prophet then received God’s judgment against Shemaiah. His treachery would be paid back in his having no descendants and being prevented from seeing the blessings God had promised to the exiles.

Deliverance From Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:1-31:26)

It is not known specifically when chapters 30 and 31 of Jeremiah were written. Since they follow our previous reading, chapter 29, which contains the letter sent to the captives in Babylon, we are reading these chapters now. Indeed, there is a thematic continuity here. In the letter, Jeremiah delivered God’s message that the people would later be brought back from captivity. The message of this section, communicated to Jeremiah in a dream (31:26) is also one of return from captivity—yet clearly in the end time. “In the latter days,” God says, “you will consider it” (30:24). This ties in with “Behold, the days are coming…” in verse 3. We will see more about this phrase in our next reading.

In no way can the return of this section refer to merely the Jewish return from the ancient Babylonian captivity. Notice that this is a return of Judah and Israel to the Promised Land (verses 3, 10). This has never happened. However, some who recognize that this section is a prophecy of events in modern times have argued that it refers to the Jewish return to establish the state of Israel in the 1900s. Yet it is only a low percentage of Jews in the world who have returned to live in the land of Israel. Moreover, only a very small percentage of Jews are ethnically descended from Israelites of the northern tribes. Most are descended from the southern tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. Moreover, most of the people in the world today who are descended from the northern tribes of Israel are not Jews at all—rather, they are largely people of northwest European heritage (as northwest Europe is the area to which the “lost tribes” eventually migrated following their ancient captivity). The United States and Britain are the preeminent nations descended from ancient Israel (download or request our free booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy to learn more).

Also noteworthy is the great joy described in Jeremiah’s account of the return from captivity. When some of the Jews under Zerubbabel returned from Babylonian captivity, they apparently were not feeling relieved and liberated, since they had not suffered an oppressive slavery prior to this. They had mixed feelings when they arrived at Jerusalem, saw the ruins and realized they would not be able to restore the temple to its former glory (Ezra 3:11-13; Haggai 2:1-3). Shortly before Nehemiah came to Jerusalem, he “wept and mourned for many days” at the pitiful state of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:3-4). So the description in Jeremiah 30-31 of miraculous interventions, huge masses of people and great excitement, joy and thanksgiving just does not fit the return of Jews from Persian-ruled Babylon.

We should also observe that the release from captivity described here follows a period of greatest suffering for both Israel and Judah (Jeremiah 30:4-7). The greatest suffering the people of the northern kingdom had experienced so far was the Assyrian conquest of their nation and their subsequent deportations. Yet God could not here be referring to those events, as He gave Jeremiah this prophecy of Israel’s suffering more than a century later. So to what was He referring?

Notice verse 8: “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it”—that is, after suffering through it, not that Israel would never have to go through it at all. This is parallel with other passages of Scripture. The end of Daniel 11 describes events “at the time of the end” (verse 40). Of the same period, the prophet Daniel was told, “At that time…there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered” (12:1). The next verses show that this refers to the time of the resurrection at Christ’s return. We see this here in Jeremiah 30 as well. God says He will “raise up” King David after this terrible time (verse 9), so there should really be no question that we are dealing with future events.

Matthew 24:21-22 says of the time preceding Christ’s second coming, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved [preserved alive]; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Clearly, there is not more than one worst time ever. These verses are all describing the same period. Jeremiah 30:12-15, regarding Israel’s incurable affliction and wound, abandonment by allies and severe chastisement from God is obviously parallel to Hosea 5:12-15, which was previously explained in the Bible Reading Program to be a prophecy of this same period of the Great Tribulation.

In fact, as we have elsewhere noted, God offers a promise of protection even during this terrible time to those who will repent and seek Him. In Luke 21:36, Jesus said: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” And He tells all who remain faithful in this age: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10). This should not be viewed as a guarantee against death or even martyrdom, as death itself can be a “place of safety” until the resurrection (see Isaiah 57:1-2). Nevertheless, it does appear that God will give His faithful servants protection from the kind of suffering the rest of the world will experience—and in general will hide His faithful people from what is coming (see Revelation 12:13-16; Zephaniah 2:3).


A Dream That Ends Sweet (Jeremiah 30:1-31:26)

Humbled and repentant, the Israelites will be restored to a position of honor and glory in the world (Jeremiah 30:18-20). Foreigners will no longer be their masters (verse 8). In fact, the nations that enslaved them will be destroyed (verse 11)—that is, the political entities, not all the people in them, since we also see that these enemy nations will themselves be put into captivity for a time (verse 16). At long last, Israel will have peace and no longer need to fear (verse 10).
The beginning of Jeremiah 31 contains what The Expositors Bible Commentary describes as “one of the most beautiful poems in [Jeremiah’s] book” (1998, note on verses 3-4). It is a continuation of the magnificent prophecy about Israel and Judah’s future in the previous chapter. God’s love won’t be just a nice platitude—He will demonstrate it with action. He will bring Israel’s people home, the land will be fertile, producing plenty of food, and there will be peace and abundance.

God says in verse 8, “Behold, I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the ends of the earth”—wherever they have been scattered. A proclamation is issued to the nations and to the remnant of Israel “in the isles afar off” (verse 10) that God is the one who has humbled, freed and now amazingly blessed Israel. The scattered Israelites will come “streaming to the goodness of the LORD” (verse 12).

We then see a sad picture of Rachel weeping inconsolably for the loss of her children, which is heard at Ramah in the territory of Benjamin, five miles north of Jerusalem. Rachel, wife of Jacob, was the mother of Joseph and thus of the northern tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh that descended from him. She was also the mother of the southern tribe of Benjamin, so she is representative of both kingdoms. Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin and was buried not too far to the north of Bethlehem, which itself is five miles to the south of Jerusalem (Genesis 35:19; 48:7). The location of her tomb was later referred to as Zelzah, which in Samuel’s day was within the territory of Benjamin (see 1 Samuel 10:2-3). The traditional spot is about a mile north of Bethlehem, and thus around nine miles from Ramah. The image of Rachel weeping from the grave is not to be understood literally. Like the image of Abel’s blood crying out to God from the ground (see Genesis 4:10), it is figurative—especially considering that this is a prophetic dream.

Rachel’s northern children had in one sense been lost in the Assyrian conquest and deportation more than a century earlier. Many of her southern children had been lost to the Assyrians not long afterward. And many more were lost in the stages of Babylonian conquest, the final stage of which was coming soon. Ramah was “the very place where exiles were gathered before deportation to Babylon (cf. [Jeremiah] 40:1)…. Jeremiah himself was in a camp for exiles in Ramah (cf. 40:1)” (Expositor’s, note on 31:15). So the prophecy apparently had some application to Jeremiah’s day. However, in context, it should be clear that the primary meaning here relates to what we have already seen in this prophetic dream—the terrible time of Jacob’s trouble, when Rachel loses more children than ever before. In verses 16-17, the weeping is to stop because the children will be brought back. In fact, Ephraim is specifically mentioned as returning in the next few verses, making the end-time context plain—since Ephraim will not return in the repentant way described until after the Great Tribulation.

It may seem strange, then, that the New Testament book of Matthew applies the verse about Rachel weeping for her children to King Herod’s massacre of the innocent children in the region of Bethlehem in his attempt to kill the infant Messiah (Matthew 2:16-18). Expositor’s comments: “How can this prophecy be fulfilled in Matthew’s reference? First, it must be stressed that Matthew’s method of quoting an Old Testament reference does not automatically imply a direct fulfillment…. For proof see the immediate context in Matthew 2:15, where Hosea 11:1 in its original context unmistakably speaks of the nation Israel but by analogy and higher fulfillment (called by some ‘compenetration’) refers to Christ. Similarly, that which related to Israel in original revelation (v. 15) is by analogy (‘typological fulfillment’…) used in speaking of Herod’s atrocities. In both cases God will overrule the nation’s sorrow for her ultimate joy” (note on Jeremiah 31:16-17; see also Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary, note on verse 15). Indeed, though children were lost to Rachel in Herod’s massacre, they will ultimately be restored in a future resurrection (see Ezekiel 37:1-14).

It should be pointed out that though we have spent time exploring the meaning of Rachel’s weeping, that’s not really the main focus of the dream. The main focus of the dream, and why it is so positive at this point, is that the time for weeping has ceased. The mention of the weeping itself was in fact very brief. It is God’s declaration concerning the wonderful time that follows that filled most of Jeremiah’s present vision.

In Jeremiah 31:21, Israel is directed back to God. In verse 22, God intends to bring Israel’s gadding about to an end. “For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth—a woman shall encompass a man.” This is one of the most disputed sentences in the book of Jeremiah. Many interpretations have been suggested. A tradition going back to early Catholic theologians is that it refers to Jesus in Mary’s womb. But most modern interpreters reject this view. Indeed, just to say that a male child is inside a mother’s womb does not seem that unique.

Interestingly, rabbis have used verse 22 to explain the custom of a bride walking in circles around the bridegroom seven times at a traditional Jewish wedding. This is also related to the encirclement of Jericho seven times, whereby the city wall was brought down. The idea with bride and groom seems to be one of collapsing any wall or barrier between them—and in Jeremiah would imply collapsing the wall that has been built up between the woman Israel and her Husband the Lord. However, if the interpretation does relate to God and Israel, perhaps it is much simpler. In the beginning of the verse, God asked Israel how long she would gad about. And now the new thing He has brought about is that she encircles her Husband with her arms—embracing and clinging to Him rather than continuing to wander. The New Living Translation renders the verse: “For the LORD will cause something new and different to happen—Israel will embrace her God.” This seems most reasonable. Nevertheless, we cannot be certain as to what is meant. We do know that Israel returns to God—and that is sufficient.

Verses 23-25 show Judah, Jeremiah’s beloved homeland, ultimately restored with great blessings. The prophet had been afforded a marvelous picture. After all the warnings and the people’s continuing rebellion, beyond the sin and punishment of Israel and Judah, he sees through God’s vivid testimony that they would ultimately turn back to God and be gloriously restored to such blessings as he could only imagine. It was such a change for Jeremiah from the sadness of so many previous visions, and the frightening images at the beginning of this one, that he woke up in the middle of it feeling on top of the world—or, as he put it, “my sleep was sweet to me” (verse 26). Greatly comforted, he was able to rest easy—for he saw with clarity what the future would ultimately bring.


A New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:27-40; 49:34-39)

At the end of our previous reading, Jeremiah awoke from a prophetic dream that had become peaceful and even blissful regarding the future of Israel and Judah. Comforted, he fell soundly back asleep. And it appears that he went right back into the dream.

This final part of the prophecy is divided into three sections, each beginning with the same words we read in Jeremiah 30:3, “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD…” (31:27, 31, 38). “This expression introduces a new era in the history of God’s dealing with His people” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 38-40). The Expositor’s Bible Commentary says it is “an eschatological formula that places the prophecy in messianic times in the Day of the Lord, the consummation period of the nation’s history” (note on verse 31).

The first section continues the millennial picture of the prophetic dream. Though the population of Israel and Judah will be greatly diminished due to the calamities they will suffer in the end time, God will begin to multiply them once again when He returns them to the Promised Land. He will also multiply the animals of the nation—bringing back the livestock and general wildlife (verse 27). As God has overseen the destruction of the nation, He will now oversee its building and planting—here using the same words as those describing Jeremiah’s commission (see 1:10).

In God’s just society, children will not be made to pay for their parents’ sins, as happens in various ways in the present age (31:29-30). The New Living Translation paraphrases the thought this way: “The people will no longer quote this proverb: ‘The parents eat sour grapes, but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste.’ All people will die for their own sins—those who eat the sour grapes will be the ones whose mouths will pucker.” (The discontinued proverb is also mentioned in Ezekiel 18:2; see verses 1-20 there for a fuller exposition).

We then come to the second section here (Jeremiah 31:31-37). God says He will make a “re-newed covenant” with Israel and Judah (verse 31). “This mountain-peak Old Testament passage stands in a real sense as the climax of Jeremiah’s teaching” (Expositor’s, note on verse 31). Indeed, in Jeremiah 17:9 God proclaimed that the human heart “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Here, we see how this is going to change.

Under the terms of the Renewed Covenant, the laws of God (i.e., those that were His laws at the time of Jeremiah’s prophecy, when the Old Covenant was in force!) are to be written in the hearts and minds of God’s people—engraving them into their very character and making it possible for them to truly obey. God says that all will know Him under this new arrangement (Jeremiah 31:34). And how do people really know God—developing an intimate, loving relationship with Him? The New Testament answers: “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4). That should be pretty clear—God’s law is still required under the Renewed Covenant. Of course, God desires and expects more than mere grudging compliance. That’s not at all what God’s laws and covenant are all about. He wants our hearts to be in the covenant and the covenant to be in our hearts. This is the spirit and intent of God’s commandments.

Finally, we come to the third section of Jeremiah 31 (verses 38-40). With the Renewed Covenant will come a rebuilt Jerusalem. “The rebuilding of the city will encompass the four corners of the capital (cf. Zech 14:10). The Tower of Hananel was the northeast corner of the city (cf. Neh 3:1; 12:39; Zech 14:10). The Corner Gate probably refers to the one at the northwest corner of the city wall (cf. 2 Kings 14:13; 2 Chron 26:9). The locations of Gareb and Goah are unknown (v. 39); conjecture places Gareb on the western side of Jerusalem and Goah towards the Valley of Hinnom on the south. There are no clues to the sites. The valley of the corpses and ashes (v. 40) is generally understood to be the Valley of Hinnom (cf. 7:31). It has been suggested that the fields are quarries. The Kidron flows east of Jerusalem (cf. 2 Sam 15:23). The Horse Gate is apparently at the southeast corner of the temple courts (…cf. Neh 3:28 with 2 Kings 11:16; 2 Chron 23:15). Thus even the polluted areas would be sanctified to the Lord” (Expositor’s, note on Jeremiah 31:38-40).

Prophecy Against Elam (Jeremiah 31:27-40; 49:34-39)
The prophecy against Elam (49:34-39) apparently came to Jeremiah at a later time than the several prophecies immediately preceding it in chapters 46-49. Yet they are all grouped together in his book, along with chapters 50-51, as these are prophecies against other nations. This one was given to Jeremiah “in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah.” This would date the prophecy to some time in the first half of Zedekiah’s reign, from 597-593 B.C.

Elam was a son of Shem (Genesis 10:22). As we have seen previously in the Bible Reading Program, the ancient territory of the descendants of Elam eventually came to be called Persia (known today as Iran). Western Persia was called Elymais by the Greeks. During the day of Assyrian rule, some of the Elamites were evidently pressed into Assyrian military service and may have participated in assaults on Israel and Judah. This may be partly what is meant in Isaiah 22:6, which states that “Elam bore the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen” (though, as was explained in the Bible Reading Program commentary on this verse, it may well be an end-time prophecy). Yet the Elamites, along with the nearby Medes, actually opposed Assyrian rule in the main. They allied with the Chaldean Babylonians in overthrowing the Assyrians. Following that, they also “helped Nebuchadnezzar against Judea” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary, note on Jeremiah 49:34)—at least in the initial incursions.

For the Elamites’ actions and pride in their strength, God pronounces punishment on them. He would break their “bow”—the implement of their power (again compare Isaiah 22:6). “God often orders it so that that which we most trust to [at] first [later] fails us, and that which was the chief of our might proves the least of our help” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary, note on verses 34-39). The “four winds from the four quarters of heaven” (verse 36) represent a mustering of power by God (compare Ezekiel 37:9; Daniel 8:8)—evidently military forces under His direction in this case.

Interestingly, “the last exploit of Nebuchadnezzar which is recorded in the Babylonian Chronicle is a campaign against the Elamites…594-593 [B.C.]” (Eugene Merrill, Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel, 1987, p. 452). Once Babylon was secure as the imperial successor to Assyria, the Elamites and Medes were no longer needed as allies. So they were conquered and became subjects of the Chaldeans. Some see this as the prophesied destruction on Elam. In this context, the Lord setting His throne in Elam (Jeremiah 49:38) is said to be Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest, as this is by God’s doing (compare 27:4-8; 43:10), and the Elamite return from captivity (49:39) is considered to be the later conquest of Babylon by the Persians and Medes under Cyrus in 539 B.C. Still others identify the destruction of Elam as the Persian Empire falling to the Greek forces of Alexander the Great in 331 B.C.—this later episode seeming to fit better since it was the great destruction of the Elamites in ancient times and the prophecy states that recuperation from the foretold loss does not occur until “the latter days” (verse 39).

Yet while verses 35-37 may refer to ancient destruction, perhaps they actually refer to end-time calamity—or it could be that they are dual in meaning, applying to past history and events yet to be. In any case, verses 38-39 are probably exclusively for the end time—which would seem to give some latter-day context to the previous verses as well. The Lord setting His throne in Elam (verse 38) most likely refers to the establishment of the Kingdom of God over all nations following Christ’s return—and this will be accompanied by great destruction, as the nations of the world will attempt to fight Him.

Recall from the Bible Reading Program comments on Isaiah 21 that the Elamites today are apparently to be found in Eastern Europe as well as their ancient homeland of Iran (with a few in western India). When the kings “of the whole world” gather to fight the returning Christ (Revelation 16:14), it is evident that a representation of Elamite forces will be present and thus destroyed. Soon afterward, forces of Persia are part of a great military host that will be destroyed for attempting to invade a reestablished Israel under Christ’s rule (see Ezekiel 38-39, especially 38:5). Either or both of these events would well fit Jeremiah’s prophecy.


Proverb 18

In 18:1, the person who “isolates” or, literally, “separates” himself is not here a quiet recluse or hermit. Rather, the latter part of the verse makes clear that this individual is one who “rages” at other people. The NIV translates the Hebrew term here as merely “defies,” but the literal sense is “breaks out,” the word also being used in 17:14 and 20:3 in the sense of engaging in quarreling. The person identified in 18:1 is therefore contrary and schismatic, one who is divisive, setting himself against others and bringing strife. The proverb thus fits well with the next one in verse 2.
Second Part of Major Solomonic Collection Cont’d (Proverbs 18)
42. Diverse Teachings (18:22?20:4)
“TYPE: THEMATIC, RANDOM REPETITION, INCLUSIO SERIES….The verses of this text do not readily organize into small, discrete units. At the same time, this is not simply a jumbled collection of unrelated proverbs. Within this section are many parallel or similar verses, and some of these serve as structural markers. Also, a number of proverbs are collected into groups that follow distinct themes, although the borders of these groups may not be clearly marked.

“First, 18:22 and 19:13-14, describing family life and repeating the assertion that a good wife is from the Lord, are an inclusio that marks off a section of verses. This does not mean that all intervening verses concern wife and family, but the opening and closing assertions that a good wife is a gift of Yahweh are significant…. Second, proverbs on laziness (19:15,24; 20:4) demarcate two further sections. Once again, this does not mean that the intervening proverbs concern laziness. In addition, two pairs of similar proverbs in chiastic order [when taken together] on forbearance and a king’s wrath (19:11-12; 20:2-3) close off the major sections.

“Three sections that for the most part adhere to common themes occur within these three divisions. There are (1) the inequities and abandonment suffered by the poor (18:23?19:10), (2) the disciplined life (19:16-23), and (3) the mocker (19:25?20:1). Thus the structure of the whole is illustrated below.

“In addition, many verses closely parallel each other either within or between the sections. Close parallels include 19:1 and 19:22; 19:4 and 19:7a,b; 19:5 and 19:9; 19:8 and 19:16. Also 19:17, on kindness to the poor, appears to be a response to 18:23?19:10. These interrelationships among the verses have two functions. First, they help to tie the whole text together; and second, by randomly repeating certain points, they reinforce the lessons in the reader’s mind” (NAC).

Most scholars agree that the first colon of Proverbs 18:24 is mistranslated in the King James and New King James Versions. While it is true that a key to friendship is being friendly, this is evidently not what the proverb says. Indeed, how would this contrast with the loyalty of a true friend in the second colon? On the phrase “must himself be friendly,” the NKJV gives the following marginal note: “Masoretic Text reads may come to ruin.” Several modern translations render the verse accordingly. The New American Bible has “Some friends bring ruin upon us.” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary notes on the phrase: ” The Hebrew lehith ro?ea? is difficult. It means ‘for being crushed’ or ‘to be shattered’ but not ‘to show oneself friendly’ (cf. KJV). The idea may be that there are friends to one’s undoing….If a person has friends who are unreliable, he may still come to ruin, especially if these nominal friends use him. The second line is clearer: ‘there is a friend {?oheb} who sticks closer than a brother.’ This indeed is a rare treasure!” Indeed, Proverbs 19:4 highlights the fickle nature of fair-weather friends. And verse 7 shows that even brothers may abandon a person in adversity. Thus the need for a true, loyal friend who is closer than a brother. The epitome of such a friend is Jesus Christ.

Acts 15

Last week we ended with Paul and Barnabas in Antioch, with many believers and taught ones there following much success in their witness of the Good News to the Gentiles with many receiving belief in Messiah Yahshua. Chapter 15 directly follows these things and tells us of “certain men coming down from Judah” v.1, who were going behind Paul and Barnabas and telling the Assemblies of new believers that they must be circumcised according to the Law of Moses in order to be saved. This created great strife within the teaching, because Paul, being the most knowledgeable Pharisee in the land – had not been teaching this to the Gentiles and knew that this doctrine had no foundation in Scripture.

So the assembly of believers prayed over Paul and Barnabas and sent them out from Antioch on their way to Jerusalem so settle this dispute of salvation and circumcision within the elders of the assembly at Jerusalem. A real revival must have truly been happening in the land, for we are told of how Paul and Barnabas are traveling through Phoenicia and Samaria sharing all the good reports of all that God had done while on their way to Jerusalem. Not too much earlier than this period – men of Jerusalem and Judah would not even walk through that land, they would walk around it. A great witness to the power of Truth and Messiah Yahshua!

Here was the claim of some who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, v5 “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Torah of Moses.” Much debate and discussion ensued on this matter until Peter rose up and said in v7, “Men, brothers, you know that a good while ago Elohim chose among us, that by my mouth the gentiles should hear the word of the Good News and believe.” Relating and reminding them of his experience with Cornelius, the Italian guard. He reminds them that only God knows the heart of men and that by giving the gentiles the Holy Spirit that God Himself makes no distinction between the Judeans (tribe of Judah) and them. God can cleanse the heart of both peoples. Peter goes so far as to ask them “why do you try Elohim?” He emphasises that all must trust to be saved… both Jew and Gentile alike and in the same way.

After this, they all listened intently as Paul and Barnabas related story after story with miracles that Elohim had accomplished through them unto the gentiles. Then James, who seems to be the leader and primary decision-maker of the congregation of elders spoke up and said, “Elohim first visited the gentiles to take out of them a people for His Name. And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it has been written: After this I shall return and rebuild the Booth of David which has fallen down. And I shall rebuild its ruins, and I shall set it up, so that the remnant of mankind shall seek ????, even all the gentiles on whom My Name has been called, says ???? who is doing all this, who has made this known from of old.”

At this, he declares his judgment concerning the gentiles and circumcision… that being they should not be troubled with it at this time. Then James proclaims the minimal amount of requirements that should be made so that the Jews and Gentiles could come together to learn and worship the One Elohim of Israel together. These are: 1) abstain from defilement of idols, 2) abstain from whoring, 3) abstain from things that are strangled (eating), and 4) abstain from blood (ingesting). James already knew that the written Torah as given to Moses was being read in the congregations every Sabbath, and that the gentiles would hear the Torah.

The Jerusalem congregation then wrote a letter to the assemblies at Antioch, Syria, and Kilikia stating their decisions on these matters and they sent it through Paul, Barnabas, and some other leaders: Barsabba (Judah), and Sila – to proclaim also this decision by word of their mouths to them. The letter and words were read aloud to the assembly at Antioch and everyone rejoiced and were very happy. Judah Barsabba and Sila also taught and prophesied to them there.

After a little while there at Antioch, Paul wants to go back through all the previous cities that he and Barnabas went through proclaiming the Good News to check on them and strengthen them. Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them, but Paul did not. Paul remembered how Mark had left them previously on a different journey because of his lack of faith. Barnabas and Paul had a severe disagreement that ended up with them going separate ways for a time. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus while Paul took Sila and went to Syria and Kilikia.



The 613 laws.
We are doing 7 laws each week during our septennial study. We shall study laws 597-603
We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from

We continue in the category of Politics

The Nazarite shall shave his hair when he brings his offerings at the completion of the period of his Nazariteship, or within that period if he has become defiled. “And if anyone dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it.” (Numbers 6:9); “Now this is the law of the Nazirite: When the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall be brought to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. And he shall present his offering to Yahweh: one male lamb in its first year without blemish as a burnt offering, one ewe lamb in its first year without blemish as a sin offering, one ram without blemish as a peace offering, a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and their grain offering with their drink offerings. Then the priest shall bring them before Yahweh and offer his sin offering and his burnt offering; and he shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of a peace offering to Yahweh, with the basket of unleavened bread; the priest shall also offer its grain offering and its drink offering. ” (Numbers 6:13-17) The Nazirite vow wasn’t designed to be a lifelong endeavor. Normally, one would take the vow for a certain specific period of time, after which the devotee would resume his or her normal life spiritually refreshed. Symbols aside, it’s intended to be kind of a mountain-top experience, life-changing, focusing, and renewing.

And what was to happen when the vow had been fulfilled? The Nazirite was to perform a ceremony whose every facet reflected the condition of the redeemed soul. If you’ll recall the various types of sacrifice we discussed in Chapter 12, an olah (a burnt offering) of a year-old male lamb prefigured the sacrifice of God’s Messiah on his behalf. The sin offering (or chata’t) of a ewe lamb signified the Nazirite’s indwelling by Yahweh’s Holy Spirit (the “sin” being our failure to heed Her counsel). The selem—the peace offering—symbolized the Nazirite/believer’s outpouring of thanks to Yahweh. The appropriate minha, or grain offering with oil, was brought as well, a reminder of Yahweh’s provision. And a nesek, or drink offering (which would have normally accompanied any of these various types of offerings), stood for the blood of the Messiah Yahshua spilled for us at Calvary. Conspicuously absent from the list of sacrifices the Nazirite was to offer was the asham, or trespass offering, which ordinarily covered “mistakes.” It was deemed inappropriate apparently because of the purposeful, thoughtful, and voluntary nature of the Nazirite vow. The Nazirite was to have no “Oops, my bad” moments.

“Then the Nazirite shall shave his consecrated head at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and shall take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offering.” The devotee’s hair, which had been allowed to grow for the entire duration of the vow, was now shorn and burned up with the peace offering—a statement that whatever God had provided was offered back to Him in thankfulness. “And the priest shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, one unleavened cake from the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and put them upon the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his consecrated hair, and the priest shall wave them as a wave offering before Yahweh; they are holy for the priest, together with the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering. After that the Nazirite may drink wine. This is the law of the Nazirite who vows to Yahweh the offering for his separation, and besides that, whatever else his hand is able to provide; according to the vow which he takes, so he must do according to the law of his separation.” (Numbers 6:18-21) The conclusion of the vow ends up being a party, a celebration in honor of Yahweh. The priest (again, prophetic of Yahshua in his role as mediator) is an honored guest. Since it is becoming increasingly clear that the Nazirite vow is prophetic of the life of the believer in God’s Messiah, this “post-game party,” unless I miss my guess, is prophetic of the Millennial reign of Christ. Wine is back on the menu at this point, for this is the land in which we should be settled—our promised rest, our permanent home, the final destination marking the end of all our pilgrim wanderings. It is our final and complete break with the world.



Those engaged in warfare shall not fear their enemies nor be panic-stricken by them during battle. “Your eyes have seen all that Yahweh your God has done to these two kings [the Amorites, Og and Sihon]; so will Yahweh do to all the kingdoms through which you pass. You must not fear them, for Yahweh your God Himself fights for you.” (Deuteronomy 3:21-22); “You shall not be terrified of them [the nations of Canaan], for Yahweh your God, the great and awesome God, is among you.” (Deuteronomy 7:21) It’s one thing to conjure up courage and charge blindly into battle. Any idiot with enough testosterone coursing through his veins can do it—which is why governments draft teenagers, not guys my age. It’s something else entirely to wage war because Yahweh has promised to fight for you. It’s important to keep things in perspective here: this is not everything Yahweh had to say on the matter: we must factor in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, where the same audience was told that if they did “not obey the voice of Yahweh your God,” then “Yahweh will cause you to be defeated before your enemies.” (Deuteronomy 28:15, 25) Their blessing in battle, then, was conditional. But in the end, it’s all of a piece: if they really knew and trusted Yahweh, they would not hesitate to carry out His directives when it came to warfare, knowing that “where God guides, God provides.”

Bear in mind that Yahweh had given the Israelites who first heard these words a specific military objective: wipe out the seven Canaanite nations from the face of the land (defined geographically in Numbers 34)—leave no trace of them, their customs, or especially their modes of religious observance. Just as there was a caveat based upon their obedience, there were also limits implied to Yahweh’s promises: He only said that the Israelites were not to be afraid when fighting the Canaanites. This wasn’t to be a blanket directive to be applied whenever and wherever a Jew felt like attacking somebody. That being said, since the rebirth of political Israel in 1948, they have indeed shown courage in battle against their Muslim antagonists, and Yahweh has obviously been fighting their wars with them and for them. By any stretch of human military logic, the Israelis should have been wiped off the map in 1948, and if not then, then in 1955, 1967, or 1973. But the God who loves them—the One whom so few Jews know—has other ideas. It was a revelation to me as I did the research for Future History to discover that Scriptural predictions of the restoration and ascendancy of Israel outnumber any other prophetic subject by a wide margin. They have (at least) one more battle to miraculously win before Yahweh shows them the hard way how to rely on Him. Israel will finally “get it,” but it will take the most drastic of measures for Yahweh to show them who He is and what He’s done for them.

Anoint a special kohein to speak to the soldiers in a war. “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for Yahweh your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for Yahweh your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” (Deuteronomy 20:1-4) Maimonides’ mindset is to elevate men to positions of honor and authority (authority that could be—and was—later usurped by the rabbis). Yahweh is coming from a different place. He appointed His priesthood by selecting one family in Israel to perform a specific function: not to rule, but to be intermediaries between God and men in prophetic symbolism of the coming Messiah. “The priest” here is simply the high priest serving at the time the Israelites would commence their offensive against the Canaanites. He was to remind them of what we saw in the previous mitzvah: that Yahweh goes before them into battle—fear, therefore, is not an option. It is the height of folly (or is that arrogance?) to presume you can anoint your own priest. Only Yahweh can do that.

By the way, Joshua, Israel’s leader during the conquest of Canaan, was not a priest (i.e., a Levite from Aaron’s line)—he was an Ephraimite. But notice the prominent role priests were instructed to take in the “battle” of Jericho (Joshua 6). The point of having them march around the city blowing trumpets was to announce to Jericho (and us) that this was no mere “military” operation, just one more materialistic enterprise perpetrated by aggressive and acquisitive men. Rather, they were the heralds of Almighty God—it would be Yahweh who conquered the city, and Yahweh who received the glory of victory.

In a permissive war (as distinguished from obligatory ones), observe the procedure prescribed in the Torah. “When you go near a city to fight against it, then proclaim an offer of peace to it. And it shall be that if they accept your offer of peace, and open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be placed under tribute to you, and serve you. Now if the city will not make peace with you, but war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when Yahweh your God delivers it into your hands, you shall strike every male in it with the edge of the sword. But the women, the little ones, the livestock, and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall plunder for yourself; and you shall eat the enemies’ plunder which Yahweh your God gives you. Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far from you, which are not of the cities of these nations. (Deuteronomy 20:10-15) We shall establish in a moment (Mitzvot #601 and #602) that there were seven specific people groups in the Land that were slated for total destruction because of their utter and irredeemable depravity. But Yahweh knew that here and there in and around the Promised Land were settlements of other tribes whose “iniquity was not yet (necessarily) full.” These (described in geographical terms as “very far from you”) would be given the option of surrendering to the Israelites (and their God) and paying tribute, without being utterly wiped out. Indeed, under David and Solomon, the kingdom expanded to include many such groups—notably, the Philistines.

There is a revealing story recorded in Joshua 9 about a group who took advantage of this precept (though there is no evidence that they actually knew what Yahweh had commanded). The nations slated for destruction were scared spitless when they heard what Joshua and the armies of Israel had done to Jericho and Ai (not to mention Egypt a generation before this), and they all banded together to fight against the invaders. But one good-sized Hivite city called Gibeon had a better idea. By trickery, they convinced Joshua that they were not among the local tribes slated for destruction, but were rather emissaries from a distant land—they had heard of Yahweh’s great victories, they said, and wished to ally themselves with Him and His people. Joshua and his elders bought their story, only to discover later that they were indeed local Hivites with whom they should not have signed any kind of treaty. Israel honored their agreement, but shaped it to fit the precept at hand, making the relieved Gibeonites wood cutters and water carriers for the congregation of Israel—which they rightly saw as being far better than corpses.

Most commentators see in this only the failure of Israel to follow God’s law. I see in it the incredible mercy of Yahweh. The Hivites of Gibeon—just like you and me—were slated for destruction because of our sin and depravity. Their death sentence was rightly deserved. But faced with the awesome glory of Yahweh, they repented, turned around, forsook their pagan affiliations and idolatrous practices and joined themselves by whatever means they could to God and His people. They wisely decided that it’s better to be a slave in the house of Yahweh than a king in Satan’s domain. And what did Israel’s God do in response to their courageous repentance? He defended them against the attacks of their former allies, achieving for them the great victory recorded in Joshua 10. Will he do anything less for us if we repent? I think not.

Do not keep alive any individual of the seven Canaanite nations. “But of the cities of these peoples which Yahweh your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as Yahweh your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against Yahweh your God. (Deuteronomy 20:16-18) Maimonides is not mistaken in saying there were seven Canaanite nations that Israel was tasked with destroying, even though this passage lists only six. All of them are named in Deuteronomy 7:1-2—where they’re called “seven nations greater and mightier than you.” (See Mitzvot #352 and #353.) The missing group is the Girgashites, who were named in several similar lists (e.g., Joshua 3:10 and 24:11, Nehemiah 9:8). Interestingly, the territories of several nations not included in the “official” list of seven were included in the original promise Yahweh made to Abraham: the Kenites, Kennizites, Kadmonites, and Rephaim.

All these “target” nations had one thing in common: “wickedness.” But they were not unique in that regard. Both the Egypt from which Israel had been so recently delivered and the Assyria and Babylon to which they would eventually be exiled were also wicked. Indeed, even at this very moment in history, Israel itself was far from perfect in God’s eyes, though they had been chosen to be the instrument of Yahweh’s wrath: “It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that Yahweh your God drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which Yahweh swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore understand that Yahweh your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.” (Deuteronomy 9:5-6) So Israel was bad but the Canaanites were even worse—is that the game God is playing here, judgment based on a sliding scale of morality? No. As usual, there’s more to it.

By now we should be comfortable with the concept that the Torah’s ubiquitous symbols are ultimately there to teach us about God’s plan for our redemption, salvation, and reconciliation with Himself. And although it may not look like it at first glance, the conquest of Canaan is one of those symbols—an important one. Israel was a covenant people—that is, they were the recipient of unilateral promises from Yahweh. As such they metaphorically represent Yahweh’s family—believers, whether Jews or gentiles, of every age of man, recipients of God’s grace. These believers are not perfect in themselves, but they are holy, that is, separated from the world and joined instead to God by receiving in faith His gift of imputed righteousness, enabling them to stand in the very presence of God. The Canaanites, on the other hand, represent the world from which the believers have been separated. Seven nations tell us that God means for them to represent the complete picture—the whole world. This world (as we all know from experience) has some good things in it and some bad: the Canaanites had a relatively advanced civilization for its day, a robust economy and highly developed technology, arts, and agriculture. But they were, in God’s words, “wicked.” I’ll explain precisely what that means in the following mitzvah.

The point of the symbol is that Yahweh will not allow His people and the world’s to dwell side-by-side forever. Yahweh’s conquest of Canaan (with the Israelites functioning as His arm of retribution) was meant to be a dress rehearsal for the eventual conquest of the whole earth by the returning Messiah (accompanied by His resurrected saints). Remember, God had “given” the Land to Abraham hundreds of years before this time. It belonged to Israel, whether or not they had previously occupied it. They were returning to it—just as their Messiah will. It’s not just a nice-sounding expression: “The meek—those who trust in Yahweh—shall inherit the earth.” God is in the process of separating His people from those who choose not to know Him. Since “The earth is Yahweh’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein,” (Psalm 24:1) it is His prerogative to remove from it those who don’t wish to be His people, who don’t wish to receive His inheritance. So when we read, “You shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them,” we are merely getting a preview of what Yahweh is about to do in the world as a whole—clean it out so His people may live there in perfect peace. His planet, His rules.

Exterminate the seven Canaanite nations from the land of Israel. “But of the cities of these peoples which Yahweh your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as Yahweh your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against Yahweh your God. (Deuteronomy 20:16-18) Maimonides seems to be drawing a distinction between killing the individual Canaanites and eliminating their national entities. Okay, whatever—they’re both supposed to be “utterly destroyed.” This whole subject is one that today’s shades-of-gray secular humanists really choke on—the idea that a “loving” God would direct one group of people to annihilate another. They complain that it opens the door to anybody to engage in genocidal war if they perceive that “God is on their side.” Their observation, moreover, is not without merit: evil men have been doing precisely that since the dawn of history. What makes this any different?

Quite a bit, as it turns out. Note first that Yahweh’s instructions were quite specific: seven nations, all located within the confines of well-defined borders (see Numbers 34, cf. Future History, Chapter 6: “Ground Zero”) were slated for “utter destruction” by the generation of Israelites led into the land by Joshua. It wasn’t an open-ended command to kill anybody, anywhere, at any time, who doesn’t believe exactly like you do (which is pretty much what Muhammad told his followers to do if they got the chance). Second, a very good reason was given for this attack: “…lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against Yahweh your God.” Whether they realized it or not, Israel had been chosen by Yahweh to be the vehicle for the salvation of all mankind—a task that would be that much harder to achieve if they became infected with the very disease for which they were supposed to be delivering the cure. I realize that atheists don’t find this a compelling rationale. Too bad. The heart of the issue (in the historical sense) was the little phrase “their abominations which they have done for their gods.” What in the world were the Canaanites doing “for their gods” that was so bad Yahweh would call it an “abomination”? As it turns out, He had a very specific list of behaviors in mind, and He told us what they were (as will I, in a moment). Moreover, He told the Israelites that if they began practicing these same things, He would kick them out of the Land just as He had the Canaanites. This, then, is not a case of punishing the heathen for their sins while blessing the Israelites in spite of them, but rather of cleansing the land from an evil that had matured, grown rotten, turned toxic, and begun to stink. The Israelites in this context weren’t predators; they were scavengers. They weren’t invaders; they were God’s biohazard containment team.

Like most ancient civilizations, the Canaanites were a very religious culture. And, perhaps in a more direct lineage than most, their gods were derivatives from, or permutations of, the original Babylonian “mystery” religion of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz. I described this seminal false religion in detail in Future History, Chapter 3, “In a Manner of Speaking,” and Chapter 14, “Mystery Babylon.” There I described how the original Babylonian religion spread to virtually every corner of the earth, mimicking and replacing Yahweh’s intended familial relationship with a counterfeit religion that took on a plethora of forms and spawned scores of “gods,” though in reality there was only one—Satan.

In it’s grossest incarnation, this religion became what was being practiced in Canaan. The behaviors it fostered, and their consequences, were listed in one of the nastiest passages in the Bible, a passage that explicitly told the Israelites not to do what the Canaanites were doing: Adultery. “You shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, to defile yourself with her.” Human sacrifice—of one’s own children. “And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech.” Blasphemy. “Nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am Yahweh.” Homosexuality. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” Notice that Yahweh calls it an abomination—the strongest epithet in Scripture. Finally there’s bestiality. “Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion….” I can’t even believe there’s a word for it.

These are all things the Canaanites were doing in the practice of their sick religion, things from which the Israelites were warned to be separated. “Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.” (Leviticus 18:20-29) The Israelites didn’t throw the Canaanites out, not exactly—the land itself “vomited out” its evil inhabitants. Unfortunately, that category later included the very Jews who had been tasked to be the instruments of God’s housecleaning project. They, too, eventually began to practice these same abominations, and they too were expelled for doing so. But they, unlike the Canaanites, couldn’t say they hadn’t been warned. Review Mitzvot #82 through #105.

“Alas, those poor stupid Jews,” you may be thinking. “They suffered the consequences of their actions, just like the Canaanites they replaced. What were they thinkin’?” Yes, they blew it, but are we (the rest of the world) any better? Do we not deserve to be “vomited out of our land”? Look at that last sentence again: Yahweh isn’t talking about Israel, necessarily—He’s talking about anybody. “Whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.” But I’d never do these things, you protest. Maybe not personally, but nationally? Do we tolerate and foster Canaanite/Babylonian practices in our society? Look at the list again.

(1) Adultery: it’s so rampant, it’s almost considered acceptable, even semi-inevitable, in our society. But it’s a stoning offense in the Torah. God calls it the only legitimate reason for divorce, and He hates divorce (see Malachi 2:14-16).

(2) Human sacrifice: How barbaric! I agree, but we do it all the time. There are about 1,300,000 reported legal abortions performed in the United States each year, some 22 million worldwide. Add to that the unreported legal abortions and clandestine illegal procedures, and the annual number climbs to somewhere between 36 and 53 million abortions each year. (They’re perfectly legal in 54 countries, whose populations represent about 61% of the world’s total.) And why are so many babies murdered in the womb? The number one reason given (in America, anyway) is that having the child would interfere with work, school, or other responsibilities. Number two: financial stress. Number three: relationship issues with the child’s father. Let me put it bluntly, folks. Every year, 50 million children are sacrificed on the twin altars of convenience and irresponsibility. You tell me: how is that any different from Canaanites placing their infants into the red-hot arms of a bronze statue of Molech or Chemosh in return for a promise of bountiful crops?

(3) Blasphemy: to be guilty of this—profaning the name of Yahweh—all you really have to do is ignore Him, pretend He doesn’t exist, live your life as if you’re not personally accountable to an Almighty Creator God whose self-revealed name means “I Am,” i.e., the One who exists eternally. Of course, you can do worse—you can give your allegiance to a “god” of another name, whether it’s Ba’al, Allah, or Lucifer himself.

(4) Homosexuality: this is a fundamental and purposeful perversion of the God-instituted family unit. There’s more to this than merely wanting to put your sexual apparatus where it wasn’t designed to go. Yahweh created our entire mammalian biology to reflect His nature: a Father (representing Yahweh—the ultimate authority figure), a Mother (representing the Holy Spirit—Ruach Qodesh in the Hebrew tongue, a feminine noun, the nurturing, comforting—and convicting—spirit), and the Child (representing the “Son of God,” Yahshua, who walked among us as a human being, a manifestation of and representative for Yahweh, voluntarily bereft of His heavenly glory as well as several dimensions that were His by right of His divinity). Homosexuality destroys this biological picture of a spiritual reality, obfuscating God’s plan and purpose. To hear them tell it, “gays” (a misnomer if ever there was one) number ten percent of the population. (In reality, it’s between one and two percent, which is scary enough.) But with Satan’s help they exert an influence far beyond what their numbers would suggest. Am I a homophobe? You bet I am. I’m scared spitless of being within a hundred miles of anything that Yahweh has promised to “cut off from among His people.” I mean, look what He did to Sodom.

(5) Bestiality: c’mon, does anybody really do this? Whether or not they do physically, they certainly will spiritually. It’s not by accident that an evil world leader prophesied to appear in the last days (who’s more or less equated with the demon that inhabits him) is called “the Beast,” nor is this prophecy insignificant: “All the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:3-8) There it is—spiritual bestiality, coming soon to a world near you.

Are you starting to get the picture? The Israelite conquest of Canaan was nothing short of a prophetic dress rehearsal for the coming destruction of Satan’s kingdom on earth at the hands of the returning Messiah, King Yahshua. It matters not that the Jews failed to achieve their mission parameters. Yahshua most certainly will not fail. If you think the “poor Canaanites” were treated unfairly by God back in Joshua’s day, you probably think adultery, abortion, homosexuality and secular humanism are all acceptable human foibles, even if you don’t personally practice these things, and in all likelihood you’ll welcome the Antichrist—a.k.a. “the Beast”—as the politician to end all politicians. As mistakes go, that one’s about as wrong as you can get.

One final thought: the Hebrew word for “land,” erets, has a broad range of meanings—no doubt by God’s design: “land, earth, the whole earth (as opposed to part), earth (as opposed to heaven), the inhabitants of earth, country, territory, district, region, a piece of ground, the land of Canaan (i.e., Israel), the inhabitants of the Promised Land, Sheol (the land without return—the underworld), a city or city-state, ground, the surface of the earth, soil, the land of the living, or the ends of the earth.” (S) In other words, the language itself supports my hypothesis that “the land of Canaan vomiting out its inhabitants” because of their evil can rightly be construed as a prophetic microcosm of the coming worldwide judgment. It’s Yahweh’s erets. He wants it back.

Do not destroy fruit trees (wantonly or in warfare). “When you besiege a city for a long time, while making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them; if you can eat of them, do not cut them down to use in the siege, for the tree of the field is man’s food. Only the trees which you know are not trees for food you may destroy and cut down, to build siegeworks against the city that makes war with you, until it is subdued.” (Deuteronomy 20:19-20) The disposition of resources is one key to the mindset of God. Man’s agenda (and Satan’s) in war is: “defeat the enemy.” This may seem to make sense until we compare it to God’s agenda in warfare: “Cleanse the land of evil.” Killing the bad guys isn’t the point—in fact, Yahweh doesn’t really want anyone to perish, though He leaves the choice of whether to live or die up to us. During the conquest of Canaan, as with the coming global cleansing, the land (whether Israel or Earth) would have to support a population of the redeemed after the smoke had cleared. God’s not done with the planet quite yet. There’s the little matter of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom to prepare for.

It seems ironic that Muhammad’s tactics when besieging the Jewish Beni al-Nadir tribe of Yathrib (Medina) included cutting down their date palms (cf. Qur’an Sura 59:5; Al-Tabari, Volume II:158; Ibn Ishaq:437). This, of course, left his faithful followers no way to make an “honest” living on their newly stolen lands—they had to continue to rely on piracy, kidnapping for profit, the slave trade, and murder. And some things never change: when the “Palestinian” Muslims finally bamboozled the pathetically naïve Sharon/Olmert Israeli government out of the Gaza strip in 2005, the first thing they did was destroy the productive hydroponic farms the Israeli settlers had no choice but to leave behind. Muslims apparently don’t have the sense God gave geese.