Islamic State Warns Christians: Convert, Pay Tax, Leave Or Die

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: Aug 14, 2014

News Letter 5850-021
19th day of the 5th month 5850 years after the creation of Adam
The 5th Month in the Fifth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence

August 16, 2014

Shabbat Shalom Family,

In the news this past week have been events and things I have prayed would not happen. And yet they are here. The very things I have been telling you about in the videos “The 70 Shabua of Daniel” and “The 2300 Days of Hell” are now coming to life and are boastful about the atrocities they are doing.
Right now do this test. Do it right now before you do anything else:

You have just heard on the news or via loud speakers going up and down your streets: Allah Akbar Allah Akbar – Attention, attention!  All residents of this town have until midnight tomorrow to convert to Islam, pay the infidel tax, or you and your family can leave and go to the next state or province, or you can stay here and die. Your choice.

Now what will you do? If you choose to flee, then know at the first check point all your possessions and car and money are taken in exchange for your life and that of your family. Now where do you go and what do you do and what do you eat? But you must keep running to get as far from these people as possible, as fast as possible. Are you going to your safe house or secret cabin in the woods that is stocked up? When they catch up to you later on, then what will you do? It could be too late for you then.

If you chose to pay the Infidel tax, it is half an once of pure gold per head for each person in your family. And that amount can change without notice and the amount of time fluctuates depending on the whims of those in charge. Others may not accept your proof of payment and demand more from you. Again, in exchange for your life.

What do you do?

We have been telling you about the Sabbatical year prophecies and what is coming. Many who hear this message or read this Newsletter are offended and accuse me of many things. It does not matter, the facts are now yelling out to you from across the sea. It is coming here to your homeland.
We have told you why it was coming and many of you still say the Sabbatical years are for only while in the land of Israel. This curse is then going to take all you love and own and destroy it unless you repent and keep the next Sabbatical year in 2016.

Why were those Christians in Mosul not raptured out of that fiery trial? Why were the Yazidi not raptured out?  Do you still think you will be? Ask those people who are fleeing for their lives now from Mosul and from Mount Sinjar where the Yazidi are hiding, how they are surviving. Ask them about all those they have buried. Ask them about their friends and loved ones who stayed and were beheaded and had their head mounted on a picket fence. Ask them why this was happening to them. They will tell you they are good God fearing people and never hurt anyone. Ask them why?
ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is now calling itself IS the Islamic State, They declared themselves a caliphate earlier this summer at the end of Ramadan in 2014.

“So raise your ambitions, O soldiers of the Islamic State! For your brothers all over the world are waiting for your rescue, and are anticipating your brigades,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph, said in a video message, purportedly recorded at the Al-Nouri Mosque in Mosul.
Al-Baghdadi is attempting to rally all Muslims under his authority to further his ambitions of this Caliphate which he has declared. Some question whether it will last very long. Whether or not this one lasts is not the question nor the issue. Bible prophecy does tell us that either this one or one just like it will thrive and will join forces with The King of the North and together, the King of the North and the South will conquer the western world.
Now we see ISIS flag being waved at rallies around the world in defiance of all authorities. In Germany they were even attacking Yezidis there.
Just before Obama announced the military will be conducting airstrikes against IS, the group released a video saying they would raise “the flag of Allah in the White House,” and called for Obama to send ground troops in to fight them.

“Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones,” Abu Mosa said. “Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”

Isaiah 13 tells us how the Medes and the Persian will slay Babylon with their arrows. Zechariah shows us how arrows are in fact flying scrolls which are nuclear missiles. This could be the factor that causes the Pope to move his seat to Jerusalem.

Then we have Daniel 8 which tells us about this Ram which is Media and Persia being attacked by this Goat from Greece. And we have Daniel 11 telling us that the King of the South in the last days will butt at the King of the North who will then attack it and stomp on it.

Dan 11:40  And at the end-time, the king of the south shall butt at him. And the king of the north shall come against him like a tempest, with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships. 41  And he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and pass over. He shall also enter into the glorious land, and many shall be stumbled. But these shall escape out of his hand: Edom and Moab, and the chief of the sons of Ammon. 42  And he shall stretch out his hand on the lands. And the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43  But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt. And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

Here we have this King of the South in either ISIS or Iran. The parts of Syria controlled by ISIS are the very place where Zechariah says the flying scrolls will be housed which go into every house.

Is it possible for Iran or ISIS to send a missile and hit Rome, the seat of Babylon? This would then cause Europe to unite and send an army to destroy the King of the South before they could send another missile at them.

Brethren, this is what we are watching for in the Middle East now. According to the Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles, this should be wrapped up by 2019. It is after this that this King of the North using the Muslim hoards attacks the USA and UK commonwealth countries. The feet of Iron, (Germany-Europe) and clay (Islam) of Daniel’s great image.

Here are a couple of articles if you want to read more about what is going on in Iraq. As you read this understand in a few years time this is going to be you and your cities on the run and being reported about in the news. What will you do? We are living in very exciting and extremely dangerous times. Watch always and pray and obey in order to be kept safe.

Who Are the Yezidis Who Galvanized International Support in Iraq?

By Alexandra Di Stefano Pironti 10/8/2014
“The followers of this gentle community of ethnic Kurds, whose religious beliefs are traced to antiquity and the ancient Zoroastrian and Hindu religions as well as to Christianity and Islam, was even persecuted in Iraq by Saddam Hussein. But never like it is now.

The followers of this gentle community of ethnic Kurds, whose religious beliefs are traced to antiquity and the ancient Zoroastrian and Hindu religions as well as to Christianity and Islam, was even persecuted in Iraq by Saddam Hussein. But never like it is now. Photo: AFP

BARCELONA, Spain – In the end it was the plight of tens of thousands of Kurdish Yezidis, fleeing Islamic State (IS/ISIS) armies in Iraq and dying in the dozens of hunger and thirst on an arid mountain, that galvanized the international support behind the Peshmerga forces.

US President Barack Obama said on Thursday that the United States “could not turn a blind eye” to the IS committing likely “genocide” against the Yezidis.
Only a few hours later, US jets began military strikes against IS positions in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, home to centuries-old Yezidi and Christian communities, allowing the Peshmerga to open a safe corridor to the Kurdistan Region, where thousands have already arrived.
European heavyweights France, Britain and Germany on Friday rallied in support of US air strikes against IS, all three pledging to aid the Yezidis.
Earlier this week, Kurdish President Massoud Barzani vowed to defend “our Yezidi brothers and sisters.”
But who are the Yezidis, whose plight has united major Western powers against IS brutalities?
The followers of this gentle community of ethnic Kurds, whose religious beliefs are traced to antiquity and the ancient Zoroastrian and Hindu religions as well as to Christianity and Islam, was even persecuted in Iraq by Saddam Hussein.
But never like it is now.
Early this week Vian Dakhil, a Yezidi in the Iraqi parliament, screamed before fellow lawmakers that the world must help because her people were dying in their dozens on Mount Shingal, where they had fled to escape being imprisoned or killed by the militants.
“We want humanitarian solidarity! Save us, save us!” she pleaded.
Her plea did not go unheard.
“Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, ‘There is no one coming to help,’” Obama said in a speech Thursday. “Well, today America is coming to help,” he said, authorizing airstrikes.
Until now, there are no accurate numbers of how many were on the mountain, and how many died. Estimates for the number on the mountain range from 50,000 to 100,000, with reports that some 70 had died of starvation and thirst and that bodies were seen from the air scattered among the rocks.
They had been hiding in the rocks since the town of Shingal fell to the militants more than a week ago.
There are reports that in Shingal the militants had taken 500 Yezidi women as war booty, and had posted pictures of dead Yezidis on the Internet.
Local Kurdish officials had said that 10,000 had been rescued Friday.
Iraqi human rights minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani was reported as saying that the militants had killed hundreds of Yezidis, burying some alive and taking women as slaves. There was no independent confirmation of his claims.
IS fighters, who have already driven out Christians from their ancestral homes in northern Iraq – including Zumar — have been especially targeting the Yezidis, whom they regard as “devil worshipers” for their religious beliefs.
The Yezidis, who follow one of the oldest religions in the world, believe in one God and seven deities, the most important of them Melek Taus, or “the Peacock Angel.”

Their practices, such as the baptism of infants and the Eucharistic ceremony of breaking bread and drinking wine which are performed by Yezidis sheiks, are believed to be taken from Christianity. In addition, male children are circumcised, such as in Judaism and Islam.
Their reverence of fire as a divine manifestation and practice of not accepting converts is believed to come from Zoroastrian influence. They also have a caste system and believe in reincarnation, as do the Hindus.
Yezidis also have their own beliefs about the origins of the world.

They believe that Melek Taus, assuming the form of a peacock, descended to earth to endow it with beauty and abundance. In the Garden of Eden he met Adam, giving him a soul and teaching him to worship regularly. Yezidis consider themselves descendants of Adam, but not Eve.
In the eleventh century Yezidi culture was reformed by the great Sufi, Sheikh Adi, who oversaw the final modifications that shaped the faith as it is today, according to the Yezidi Truth Organization.

Yezidis believe it was under the unseen guidance of Melek Taus that Sheikh Adi composed a scripture, taught hymns and prayers and established the current Yezidi caste system.

The sheikh was entombed in Lalish, believed to be the ancient spot where the Peacock Angel first landed, making it the spiritual heartland of the Yezidis.
Yezidis have been brutally persecuted through centuries and falsely accused of worshiping the devil. That is because Yezidi traditions teach that Melek Taus was a fallen angel, but received the forgiveness of God and was returned to Heaven. In Judaism Christianity and Islam, the fallen angel is never redeemed and is despised.

Yezidis also suffered greatly under the Ottoman Empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when they were repeatedly massacred.
Under Saddam’s rule many Yezidi villages were wiped out as troops moved in on Iraq’s Kurdistan Region. In 2007, during the height of Iraq’s sectarian bloodletting, hundreds of Yezidis were killed in car bombings in northern Iraq.

Yezidis number some 700,000 worldwide, with some 500,000 in mainly northern Iraq where IS has been capturing their towns. The rest of the community has been scattered in Armenia, Georgia, Syria and Europe, particularly in Germany.

Yezidis have mostly inhabited Nineveh province, and are some of the oldest inhabitants of Iraq, believed to descend from the Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations.

As the Islamic State militant group continues to seize more parts of Iraq, they also continue to drive out the members of the Yazidi community. An ethnic minority concentrated in northern part of the country, the Yazidis were little known in the West before this week, but they have been among the hardest hit by ISIL violent offensive, as they have been driven away from their homes with little resources.

In response, the Obama administration has authorized airstrikes in Iraq, in an effort to not just repel the Islamic State militants, but to address the humanitarian crisis involving the Yazidis.

“In recent days, Yazidi women, men, and children from the area of Sinjar have fled for their lives,” President Obama said. “And thousands—perhaps tens of thousands—are now hiding high up on [a] mountain, with little but the clothes on their backs.”
The immediate question everyone’s raised, of course, has been “Who are the Yazidis, and why are they being persecuted?” There’s a long history behind the Yazidi community, and there are more than enough explainers out on the Internet ready to go. Here at The Wire, we’ve parsed out the four key points to take away:

The Yazidi community by the numbers

Number of Yazidis estimated to be living in Iraq: 400,000 to 500,000
Number of Yazidis worldwide: 700,000
Number of refugees driven to Mount Sinjar (most are Yazidis): 40,000
Number of Yazidis who fled the country as ISIL began its rise: 70,000

Misunderstanding turned into name-calling turned into persecution

Here’s what Yazidi means: “Worshippers of god.” The root of the name comes from the Persian “ized,” which means “angel” or “deity.”
Here’s what extremists think Yazidi means: “Worshippers of the devil” but we’ll get to that. Some think the name comes from Yazid ibn Muawiya, an unpopular second caliph of the Umayyad dynasty harkening back to the 7th Century. The ones who believe the devil definition have been misinformed: The Yazidi believe in a supreme being named Yasdan, whose seven great spirits include the Peacock Angel named Malak Taus. In turn, Malak Taus, who is supposed to be God’s alter ego, has an alternate name of Shaytan, which in Arabic means “devil.” Because the Yazidi believe in continual rebirth, Malak Taus exists in, but that doesn’t define their faith.
Over at Quartz, managing editor Bobby Ghosh (a former Time magazine Baghdad bureau chief) put it this way:
Many Iraqi Muslims refer to Yazidis as “devil-worshipers,” because one of the faith’s foundational narratives of a fallen angel is similar to that of shaitan (or Satan) in Islam. When I traveled to Sinjar in 2003, my Iraqi colleagues, Sunni and Shi’ite alike, used the term “devil-worshipers” as a joke, even a term of endearment. ISIL, however, is taking the false claim of satanism as deadly serious.

The U.S. invasion in 2003 helped the Yazidis… and then didn’t

When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 to oust Saddam Hussein’s regime, it first benefited minorities like the Yazidi community. They moved out of villages, resettled, and largely avoided the fighting at the start of the war.
Then, al-Qaeda began to take control of the country, and in turn targeted the Yazidi. In 2007, coordinated bomb blasts in a Yazidi village killed about 800 people in the single worst terror attack following the Americans arrival. Since then, the Yazidi have tried to remain alone in their mountainous homeland, but they easily became a target for the Islamic State.
The Islamic State’s siege has only gotten more aggressive over time, capturing the Yazidi heartland of Sinjar early on, as well as many of their shrines.

An alliance with the Kurds

Traditionally, the Yazidi community have hidden from threats by withdrawing into the mountains, but because of the Islamic State, they’ve fled farther than before, with few resources for survival. Because of this, they’re slowly starving to death, turning the conflict into the potential genocide of a religious minority.

Triennial Torah Reading

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading

Ex 1     1 Kings 3-4     Ps 105    Luke 14:12-15:32

Introduction to Exodus

“Exodus is the record of Israel’s birth as a nation,” says The New Open Bible (introductory notes to Exodus). “The Hebrew title, We’elleh Shemoth, ‘Now These Are the Names,’ comes from the first phrase in 1:1. Exodus begins with ‘Now’ to show it as a continuation of Genesis. The Greek title is Exodus, a word meaning exit, departure or going out. The Septuagint [Greek translation of the Old Testament] uses this word to describe the book by its key event (see 19:1, ‘gone out’)” (1990). Though a nation of slaves, Israel will leave Egypt victorious to meet their God in the wilderness.

Exodus is the second of the five books written by Moses. Yeshua affirmed him as the author (compare Exodus 17:14; Mark 12:26). After calling Moses, God sends him to lead the people. But it is clear that the power to free the Israelites is not the power of Moses. Rather, it is the power of the divine King of the universe. All the while, the weakness of man is made quite clear—from Moses’ own initial resistance of God’s will to the stubborn hardheartedness of Pharaoh to the incessant complaining, murmuring and outright rebellion of the Israelites.

God, however, proves ultimately faithful. He will deliver His people. And this is all a mere type or forerunner of the future deliverance that He will accomplish through sending Yeshua—first to die as the true Passover lamb (represented in type here in Exodus) and then to come again as immortal Savior—to destroy His enemies and glorify all who choose to serve Him and live according to His law, a law first spelled out for us in the book of Exodus.
Archaeologists and biblical scholars have entered into lively discussions about whether Israel’s sojourn in Egypt and the Exodus really occurred. Biblical “minimalists” dispute the historicity of these events, because there is no evidence outside of the Bible for them. Yet many distinguished scholars uphold the veracity of the biblical account. “‘Absence of evidence,’ observes Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen, ‘is not evidence of absence.’ Nahum Sarna, professor emeritus of biblical studies at Brandeis University, argues that the exodus story—tracing, as it does a nation’s origins to slavery and oppression—’cannot possibly be fictional. No nation would be likely to invent for itself, and faithfully transmit century after century and millennium after millennium, an inglorious and inconvenient tradition of this nature,’ unless it had an authentic core. ‘If you’re making up history,’ adds Richard Elliott Friedman, professor at the University of California at San Diego, ‘it’s that you were descended from gods or kings, not from slaves.’

“Indeed, the absence of direct material evidence of an Israelite sojourn in Egypt is not as surprising, or as damaging to the Bible’s credibility, as it first might seem. What type of material evidence, after all, would one expect to find that could corroborate the biblical story? ‘Slaves, serfs and nomads leave few traces in the archaeological record,’ notes [respected archaeologist] William Dever. And since official records and inscriptions in the ancient Near East often were written to impress gods and potential enemies, it would be quite surprising to find an account of the destruction of the pharaoh’s army immortalized on the walls of an Egyptian temple” (Jeffery L. Sheler, Is The Bible True?, 1999, p. 78).

Though Enslaved, Israel Becomes a Nation (Exodus 1—2)

Here we have a recount of the sons of Israel, interestingly not by order of age, but listed according to the sons’ mothers. First listed are the sons of Leah, then the sons of Leah’s handmaid (Zilpah), Rachel’s son Benjamin (Joseph was already in Egypt), then the sons of Rachel’s handmaid (Bilhah). It is stated that Jacob’s family of “seventy persons” had come into Egypt (verse 5), just as was stated in Genesis 46:27. Yet some people see here a conflict with Stephen’s statement in Acts 7: “Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob and all his relatives to him, seventy-five people” (verse 14). Yet, as Christ stated, “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). And indeed, a simple explanation is given in John W. Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible: “Jacob’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren amounted to sixty-six [Genesis 46:8-26]. Adding Jacob himself, and Joseph with his two sons, we have seventy. If to the sixty-six we add the nine wives of Jacob’s sons (Judah’s and Simeon’s wives were dead; Joseph could not be said to call himself, his own wife, or his two sons into Egypt; and Jacob is specified separately by Stephen), we have seventy-five persons, as in Acts” (p. 389).

But the Israelites were not to remain at these numbers for long. God had promised and covenanted with Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand of the seashore (Genesis 22:17-18). He reiterated that promise with Isaac (26:4) and with Jacob (28:14), who was renamed Israel (32:28). Now we see in Exodus the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise, emphasized by the use of five different descriptions: “were fruitful”; “increased abundantly”; “multiplied”; “waxed exceeding mighty”; “the land was filled with them.” It seems as though God inspired Moses to drive home the point that He was starting to fulfill the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is very easy to forget God’s Word, especially when we fall upon difficult times, but this shows God’s faithfulness to His promises.

Now we read that a number of years have passed since Joseph and his family (including his brothers and their families) have all died. A new pharaoh has come into power who does not know, remember or acknowledge the deeds and position that Joseph once held. Ask any number of young adults today whether they remember men such as Dwight Eisenhower, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. It doesn’t take long to forget men who once held highly visible positions. Yet in Egypt the tendency was far worse. There weren’t textbooks to read or TV news to watch. And a new pharaoh often erased evidence of the glory of the previous pharaoh to aggrandize himself in the eyes of the people.

This new pharaoh now regards the Israelites as a threat because of their vast and growing population. So the Egyptians devise a plan to bring the Israelites into total submission through slavery. This is all according to God’s plan that He had revealed to Abraham (Genesis 15:13-14). The attempt by the pharaoh to use the taskmasters to break the spirit of the Israelites, ruin their health through long, hard hours of work and discourage them from having children who would be born into slavery was not working. So an edict was proclaimed to kill the male children, thus restraining the population growth. It’s interesting to note God’s intervention here, as the midwives were not punished for disobeying Pharaoh’s command. In fact, God blessed the midwives due to their respect for Him! Pharaoh, in turn, commanded the Egyptians to engage in the murder of the male Hebrew children. Though many were killed, it is improbable that the edict lasted very long as we can see that by the time Moses returned to lead Israel out of Egypt as a grown man (in his 80s), the adult males of Israel numbered approximately 600,000.

Solomon Requests Wisdom (1 Kings 3; 2 Chronicles 1:1-13)

The Egyptian pharaoh gives his daughter in marriage to Solomon, cementing an alliance between Egypt and Israel. “In the ancient Middle East, political alliances were often ratified by the marriage of the son of one king to the daughter of another” (Nelson Study Bible, note on 1 Kings 3:1). Yet this case is remarkable in two respects. First: “Except in unusual circumstances, the pharaohs of Egypt did not observe this custom (but see 1 Chr. 4:17, 18). Therefore, the giving of Pharaoh’s daughter to Solomon attested to the Israelite king’s growing prestige and importance to the Egyptian king” (same note). Second: The pharaoh is the one giving his daughter to a foreign ruler along with a dowry, making Solomon appear to be the senior partner in the alliance. It is perhaps even likely that the pharaoh is the one who first proposed the alliance and marriage, rather than it being something Solomon sought. In any case, as part of the dowry, the pharaoh gives Solomon a captured, albeit destroyed, city of the Canaanites located near the Philistine border, which Solomon rebuilds as a fortress city (1 Kings 9:15-17). Solomon provides well for Pharaoh’s daughter, building a special house for her patterned after his own (3:1; 7:8; 9:24).
Consider what this development means as far as Solomon’s power and prestige is concerned. The image of Israel as an insignificant nation in the time of David and Solomon is simply incorrect. David was already allied with King Hiram of Tyre, the ruler of the Phoenician Empire, which dominated ancient maritime commerce (2 Samuel 5:11-12). This close alliance continues under Solomon (1 Kings 5:1). Assyria remains weak and subdued at this time, David apparently even achieving dominance over the powers of Mesopotamia (see highlights on 1 Chronicles 19 and 2 Samuel 10). And now Egypt, the other great power of the ancient world, joins the Israel-Phoenician alliance—with Solomon apparently sitting as the dominant figure among the partners. This is rather astonishing. And the true greatness of Solomon’s reign has not even been experienced as of this point in the story flow.

We next see the point made that the people sacrificed at high places (1 Kings 3:2). While this originally denoted hilltop shrines, it eventually became a generic term for any place of worship. Since the destruction of Shiloh and the separation of the tabernacle and the ark, and until the temple was built at Jerusalem, no single established place of worship existed. So multiple sites were employed for sacrificing and burning incense—perhaps even some formerly pagan worship places.

Indication that the current practice of the people was not acceptable is found in 1 Kings 3:3, where we are told that Solomon “loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.” Still, Solomon’s overall attitude at this time was one of seeking and obeying God. (It should be noted that later righteous kings of Judah allowed such high places to remain—apparently not understanding the problem with them.)

The chief high place—that is, the main worship center—was now at Gibeon, since that is where the tabernacle and original bronze altar were currently located (1 Kings 3:2-4; 2 Chronicles 1:3-6). Clearly this was an acceptable place of worship. Solomon goes there often in his early years as king to worship God. At one such visit, God appears to him in a dream and offers to grant him whatever he wants. Solomon focuses on the immense task of governing the people, and has the humility and sense, thanks to his father David’s instructions (compare 1 Chronicles 22:12; Proverbs 4:3-9), to ask for wisdom, knowledge and an understanding heart to carry out his responsibilities in governing God’s people (2 Chronicles 1:10; 1 Kings 3:9).

David would have preferred Solomon’s focus be on acquiring the understanding and wisdom to remain faithful in keeping God’s laws (2:3; 1 Chronicles 22:12-13; 28:7, 9; 29:19). It is not enough to judge righteously. A leader must be righteous himself. Nevertheless, God is impressed with Solomon’s unselfish request at this point, and not only grants him knowledge and wisdom, but also the tremendous riches and honor he could have asked for. And if he should continue in God’s way, he would also be granted a long life (1 Kings 3:14).

An example of the wisdom to judge that God granted the king is shown in the case of the two prostitutes and the baby, a case still famous even among those with little biblical knowledge.

Solomon’s Government (1 Kings 4)

Solomon has a special group of district officers who arrange for food for the king and his large and growing household (see 1 Kings 11:3). Two of these district officers become part of the family by marrying Solomon’s daughters (4:11, 15). “The provisions described here would have fed some 4,000 to 5,000 people though some estimates run as many as 14,000! The figures suggest Solomon developed a large, complex bureaucracy, and the land was wealthy enough to support it” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verses 20-23).

Solomon’s wisdom is not confined to discernment in judgment. He is also known throughout the world of his day for his proverbs and songs, a number of which are preserved as part of the Scriptures. And he develops a keen knowledge in the sciences: “To say that Solomon ‘named’ (1 Kings 4:33, NIV, ‘described’) plants and animals means that he mastered zoology and biology” (note on verses 29-34). He also gets involved in building projects, some of which we will read about in the next few chapters, and others which are described in Ecclesiastes (2:4-6).

With the peaceful reign of Solomon underway, Judah and Israel flourish with population growth and good times. The general peace and prosperity brought about by God were a type of conditions the whole world will experience when Yeshua returns and rules the earth (1 Kings 4:20-25; see Micah 4:4).

“He Remembers His Covenant Forever” (Psalm 105)

Psalm 105 continues from the past two psalms on the theme of praising and thanking God for His benefits—in this case, for His special care and provision for Israel in fulfillment of His promises. We earlier read Psalm 105 in conjunction with David’s bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem—for the first 15 verses of the psalm are taken from the first part of David’s song composed for that occasion (1 Chronicles 16:4-36). We more recently read Psalm 96, which is taken from the second part of that psalm in 1 Chronicles. (See the Bible Reading Program comments on 1 Chronicles 16:4-36; Psalm 105:1-15; 96; 106:1, 47-48 and on Psalm 105:16-45; 1 Chronicles 16:37-43; 2 Samuel 6:20-23.)

Just as the same doxology or praise expression “Bless the LORD, O my soul!” appears at the beginning and end of both Psalms 103 and 104, it seems likely that another doxology, “Praise the LORD!” (Hebrew Hallelujah) is found at the beginning and end of Psalms 105 and 106—the last two psalms of Book IV in the Psalter. It appears that the doxology “Praise the LORD!” at the end of Psalm 104 should actually begin Psalm 105—as it does in the Septuagint—prefixed to the statement from 2 Chronicles 16:1: “Oh, give thanks to the LORD!” (Psalm 105:1). Again, observe that the same doxology ends Psalm 105 and that it has been prefixed to the excerpt from 1 Chronicles 16:34 in Psalm 106:1 (and also affixed to the adaptation of 2 Chronicles 16:35-36 in Psalm 106:47-48).
Psalm 105:1-15 follows the source material from David in 1 Chronicles by instructing others to thank God, to seek Him and call on Him and to proclaim His wondrous deeds to others—one important way being through psalms such as this one. Minor changes may be noted from the source material. For instance, Psalm 105:6 refers to the Israelites (“children of Jacob”) as the “seed of Abraham His servant” rather than “seed of Israel His servant” (see 1 Chronicles 16:13)—perhaps to emphasize the covenant with Abraham mentioned a few verses later. Both descriptions are of course true. The progression of patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel) appears in 1 Chronicles 16:16-17 and Psalm 105:9-10. In the entire book of Psalms the name Jacob occurs 34 times while Abraham is mentioned by name in only Psalm 105 (verses 6, 9, 42) and 47:9—and Isaac is recalled by name in Psalm 105:9 only.

In 1 Chronicles 16, David had emphasized the theme of remembering—for the Israelites to remember God’s marvelous works and judgments (verse 12) and to remember the covenant He made with the patriarchs to give their descendants the land of Canaan (verses 15-19). The first reference (verse 12) is repeated in Psalm 105 verbatim (verse 5). Yet in the second reference, rather than calling for the audience to “remember His covenant forever” (1 Chronicles 16:15), Psalm 105 says that “He remembers His covenant forever” (verse 8). The change here would seem to stress that even if the people don’t remember, God does. This further demonstrates, in line with other psalms of this section, God’s benefits—here being His eternal faithfulness. The same theme of remembering is built on later in verse 42, where God’s faithfulness is again demonstrated.

David’s words in 1 Chronicles 16:20-22, repeated in Psalm 105:13-15, are a further reference to the patriarchs. God had promised them the land of Canaan as an inheritance when their households were few in number and they were actually strangers in the land, which was for the most part out of their control (verses 11-12). Though not immediately giving them this homeland, God preserved them from harm in the meantime as they traveled as nomads from nation to nation and kingdom to kingdom (verses 13-14). Regarding his rebuking of kings for their sakes, telling these rulers not to hurt His anointed ones (verse 15)—here synonymous with His prophets (same verse)—note two examples in the life of Abraham (see 12:10-20; 20:1-17). In the latter instance, God told Abimelech (the Philistine king of Gerar) that Abraham was a prophet (verse 7). Other stories in Genesis show that God continued to oversee the lives of

Isaac and Jacob, protecting them from those who would have harmed them.
We then move into the latter part of Psalm 105, which was not taken from David’s earlier composition in 1 Chronicles 16. The author of this latter section is unknown. It could have been David or, just as easily, anyone else from his time up to that of Ezra more than five centuries later. This section follows on from God’s promise to give the land of Canaan to Israel by telling the story of what led up to their eventual inheritance (verses 16-45).

The psalmist picks up the Genesis account with the story of Joseph, who was sold by his brothers into slavery and ended up the ruler of all Egypt under its pharaoh. While in prison, Joseph, with God’s inspiration, accurately interpreted the divinely induced dreams of the pharaoh’s baker and butler—eventually securing his release. This is evidently what is referred to in Psalm 105:18-19, which the NIV translates as saying that Joseph was imprisoned “till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the LORD proved him true.” Joseph then interpreted dreams of the pharaoh to mean that a period of plenty would be followed by a period of famine—and the pharaoh appointed Joseph as his vizier or prime minister to oversee the storing up of provisions for the famine.
This eventually served to provide during the time of famine for Joseph’s father Israel or Jacob and the rest of his family—who came down to settle in Egypt. Verse 16 declares the destruction of provision and resultant famine to be the work of God. And verse 17 further declares Joseph being sent as a slave to Egypt to be by God’s design—so as to provide for His people. This is just what Joseph himself acknowledged in assuring His brothers that He would not take vengeance on them: “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones” (Genesis 50:20-21).

Note, incidentally, that Egypt is referred to here as the “land of Ham” (Psalms 105:23, 27; 106:22; compare 78:51). Ham was one of the three sons of Noah, and from him sprang Mizraim or the Egyptians (Genesis 10:1, 6). The H in “Ham” was pronounced as a heavily aspirated or “coughed” K—so that the name could be written as Khem (as the Moffatt Translation renders the word in Psalms 105 and 106). Khem (sometimes spelled Chem) was in fact the ancient name for Egypt, written in hieroglyphic script as KM, the name denoting “black” or “hot” (in the sense of “burnt.”). The “black” meaning here is often understood to refer to the darkened fertile soil along the length of the Nile. But the name Khem could just as well derive from the name Ham, which has the same meaning, or be a reference to Ham’s dark-skinned descendants.

Jacob’s family grew and prospered in Egypt until God turned the hearts of the Egyptians “to hate His people…and deal craftily with His servants” (Psalm 105:25). At no time does the psalmist question why this long history of intrigue and reversal was necessary for giving the Promised Land to Abraham’s descendants. He trusts God. The Lord’s performance of spectacular miracles during the Exodus period that comes next in the story flow was critical for Israel’s remembering (see Deuteronomy 15:15).

In introducing the Exodus, the psalmist mentions God sending Moses and Aaron to perform signs and wonders (Psalm 105:26-27; compare Exodus 4; 7:8-13). He then follows with a description of the plagues with which God struck Egypt (Psalm 105:26-36; compare Exodus 7:14-12:30). The psalmist begins with the plague of darkness (Psalm 105:28a), which was actually the ninth of the 10 plagues. It may be that he was using this to metaphorically represent all the plagues as a dark time of affliction for Egypt. And this could have been intended as a play on words—the sending of darkness or blackness on the “Black Land” (as “land of Ham” in the previous verse could mean).

The second part of verse 28 has caused much difficulty in interpretation. The NKJV has: “And they did not rebel against His word.” Some take the “they” as “these”—referring to the plagues that follow in the next few verses, meaning that these (in a personified sense) did not veer from accomplishing what God sent them to do. Others take the “they” of verse 28 to be the same “they” of verse 27, that is, Moses and Aaron (verse 26), which would mean they did not go astray from fulfilling the signs God gave them to perform. Others take “they” in verse 28 to refer to the “them” of verse 25, among whom signs were performed—though it is not clear whether this refers to the Israelites or the Egyptians (see verses 24-25). If the Israelites, verse 28 would mean that they did not go against doing what God commanded them at this time—i.e., keeping the Passover, etc.

However, the “they” in verse 28 is usually understood to refer to the Egyptians, as “their” in the next verse clearly refers to them. Yet how did the Egyptians “not rebel against [God’s] word” when they were punished for defying God’s command to release His people? Some Bible versions try to fix this problem by dropping the word “not” before “rebel”—meaning that the Egyptians did rebel. However, the Hebrew word for “not”—lo—is clearly present here. The NIV and Jewish Publication Society Tanakh more reasonably solve the problem by interpreting the words as a rhetorical question: “…for had they not rebelled against his words?” Another possibility is that the statement here speaks of the end result of all the plagues—that the darkness of the plagues in the previous clause broke the Egyptians so that they no longer rebelled against His order to release His people. Finally, it may be that the statement simply means that at all points the Egyptians did not withstand His word (to any effect)—as they could not.

The psalm then reiterates the various plagues in generally the same order as the book of Exodus except for switching flies and lice and skipping over the fifth plague of livestock deaths and the sixth plague of boils (and, as already mentioned, for having darkness first as a summary rather than in its actual next-to-last position). The psalm, we must remember, is written as poetry and makes no claim to giving the historical order. The present wording may simply have better fit the musical composition.

Following the description of Egypt’s punishment, we then again see God’s provision and benefits for His people. Psalm 105:37 mentions the Israelites departing enriched with silver and gold. Where the same verse says that there was “none feeble” among them, J.P. Green’s Literal Translation says that “not one was stumbling.” The NIV says “no one faltered” (compare JPS Tanakh). Thus, God took such excellent care of His people that everyone made it. Verse 39 describes His pillar of cloud and fire, which shaded the people from the desert sun during the day and gave them light to see at night. And during their travel through the desert He miraculously fed them with quail, manna and water (verses 40-41)—the word “satisfied” here recalling the listing of God’s benefits in Psalm 103:5.

God performed all of this because (“for”) “He remembered His holy promise” to Abraham (Psalm 105:42). Joyfully and gladly, God gave the land to “His chosen ones,” Abraham’s descendants. They inherited a land already developed by the labor of the Canaanites, so they could immediately enjoy its produce and benefits. Yet all this required a proper heartfelt response of gratitude (as the psalm begins) and the honoring of God through obedience. “He gave them the lands…that they might observe His statutes and keep his laws” (verse 45).

God remembered His covenant and promises and stuck to them—and the people needed to do the same. Moreover, these wonderful laws, as God’s greatest benefits to Israel, gave the people far more freedom than their physical deliverance from Egypt. Far more than land and populace in the land of Canaan, obedience to God’s laws would make them a truly great nation, as God had also promised Abraham (compare Genesis 12:1-3; Deuteronomy 4:6-8). This promise is yet to be completely fulfilled when Israel at last comes to properly understand all this and fully submits to God’s ways in the Kingdom of God.

Psalm 105 makes it clear that God is in charge of history—and guides its outcome for the benefit of His people. As we will see, the next psalm continues the theme of God remembering His people for their great benefit (compare 106:4-5). As we reflect on these psalms, may we all join in our thoughts in the expression that opens and closes them: Hallelujah or “Praise the LORD!”

Luke 14:12-15:32

Yeshua continues His teachings. When you give a feast, invite the poor, the cripples, the lame, the blind… then you shall be blessed. You will be repaid at the resurrection. Yeshua shares the parable of the wedding feast, how the invitations went out through the servants of a certain man. One by one the people began making excuses as to why they could not come.

So the man told his servants to then go out and invite everyone they saw, down to the very least of society. The ones who were sent invitations who made excuses will not attend the supper with the Master. No one, who does not leave all to follow Yeshua cannot be His taught one.. and serious consideration must be given to the cost of doing so as well.

The scribes and Pharisees were questioning Yeshua eating with sinners and Yeshua taught them that the sinners are the ones who need salvation, forgiveness, and healing. There is more rejoicing in heaven over these because they have been found after having been lost. He tells the parable of the lost gold coin and the parable of the prodigal son.