The Sabbatical Years were kept in the Garden of Eden

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: May 22, 2014

News Letter 5850-009
24th day of the 2nd month 5850 years after the creation of Adam
The 2nd Month in the Fifth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The 35th day of Counting the Omer
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence

May 24, 2014

Shabbat Shalom brethren,

It has been another stormy week and I am not talking about the weather. First of all, I want to thank the many who wrote last week and also shared their emails with me. I will share a few with you.

Out of the cancelled venue in Ohio comes word of others who will now host me, and how others now want to hear me speak even more than before because of this controversy. But not everyone wants to be awakened and they are still very grumpy, to have me telling them to get up.

Dear Friends –
I had just managed to work out the care of our animals for the weekend of Shavuot and was so looking forward to being able to join you all to hear Joseph Dumond that weekend…..
and now I find that you have cancelled his teaching.
I was able to hear most all of his messages at Sukkot 2013 and was floored with how complete his research was. He backed everything up with both historical records and Scripture (in context, not just verses pulled out). I was hoping to bring a number of others who need to hear this information to your gathering.

We home-schooled our children to protect them from all the horrible influences out there – so I totally understand how people are offended by the images that Mr. Dumond has used on facebook. I, too, was shocked to hear some 4-letter words at his teaching. BUT I know that the information he has to share is far more important to us than a few cuss words!  Parents should know ahead of time that they may want to leave small children at home (or in the tent with a caregiver) but we cannot forgo the sharing of such important information just because someone may be offended.
Horrible things are happening to people all around the world, and those same things are going to be coming to this country. People need to learn how to prepare and protect their families. They aren’t going to get it from some watered-down version of preaching the same old same old!
Do you think people were offended when prophets of old went naked and shouted judgments at them? Probably. And the results are recorded for us in Scripture….
those that refuse to pay attention to history are doomed to repeat it!

Should you decide to move forward with presenting the truth of our situation rather than choosing to bow out for fear of offending a few, please let me know, as I’d love to be able to join your flock for the Holy Day.
With love, prayers, and hopefulness –
Pamela Perrine


Dear Joe. I was sent an email from the Ohio flock without explanation as to the cancellation. My express purpose was to meet you and learn more of the Bible. Your letter summed up the reason. Joe, I’m not perfect… ask God. I personally would like an open and honest teacher rather than a pretend perfect one. I do so regret not being able to meet you since I only live an hour away. My wife and I have been born again Christians for over thirty years. Yet its only over the past two years that we have been finally serious about Gods word and growing. It just seemed like a natural shoe-in to meet you since so much of what we have been learning recently has pointed to the Old Testament. My sister lives just outside of Windsor. I wonder how far is it to your place or Church? I hope that you do stay REAL. God gave us persona’s for a reason. I feel that I want to meet you more now than before. God Bless you, my friend and hope to meet you and learn a lot.
Peter R. Markovic DC

I am sending this message to you because I am quite frankly dismayed that you would choose to cancel Joseph Dumond’s teaching for Shavuot.  A few friends and myself were seriously considering flying down to Ohio to hear his message, which we believe is a clarion call from Yehovah.  In your message to Joseph you stated there was no concerns with his message, but then further along stated your concern was that he was using fear to draw people to his message.  This sounds to me like you have some concern with his message.  You also stated you had no concerns with him personally but went on to state later that he uses “curse words” when he teaches at times, so it is obvious you do have a problem with him, otherwise you would not have mentioned the cursing.  Does not Torah say, “out of the abundance of the mouth the heart speaks”?  Could it possibly be Yah could be using this to shock our “oh so holier than thou” sensibilities?   It appears to me you are sending a mixed message.  Please say what you mean and mean what you say.  You state in your message your problem was with his style of delivery.  As soon as I read those words Ezekiel 4 & 5 dropped into my spirit man.  If you believe Joseph’s delivery style is out of the “political correctness box” and our ”sensitive sensibilities” might be aggrieved, take a long look at Ezekiel’s delivery style.  Yehovah used him as a symbolic act for the houses of Judah and Israel, as he lay in the street of Jerusalem on his left side for 390 days bearing the sins of Israel, then he was to lay on his right side 40 days, tied up (v-8) until the days of the siege were completed.  He was to eat the food and drink the water as Yehovah instructed him.  Ezekiel 4:12  And you shall eat it as barley cakes, and you shall bake it, using human waste in their sight. Now let me ask you a question?  Here we have a man, Ezekiel, under the mandate of Yehovah tied up on the street staring at an iron pan with a picture of Jerusalem under siege and when he was to eat the food allowed him by Yehovah he was supposed to cook it with his own excrement, (he just couldn’t get up and go to the bathroom could he?)  Ezekiel balked at this (v-14-15) and Yah relented and allowed him to use cow dung instead of human.  He also shaved off his hair in public with a sword and divided it up with a set of scales and then into 3 equal parts and did very weird things like burning 1/3 of it inside the city, striking another third of it with a sword around the city and the scattering the other 1/3 to the wind.  Is this a correct delivery?  I think you would have locked this man up and thrown the key away!

My point is this: Yah used Ezekiel as an object lesson for the sin of both Judah and Israel.  Everything he did as instructed by Yah pointed to the sin of the people who looked at him for 430 days.  His message was not only symbolic in his actions, it was verbal and it was fierce!  Ezekiel 5:6-17  Honestly, it sounds an awful lot like the message you would not allow Joseph to deliver because he uses fear to deliver his message.  Do you think Ezekiel did anything less?  Drastic times call for drastic measures!  We should all fall on our faces before Yah and give Him praise that He has found Himself a man who will stand up and say the things no one else wants to say.  The tragedy of this whole thing is that He has a message that no one apparently wants to hear!  These children you are so worried about seeing pictures of things that may disturb them will witness this not through a picture but through living it out!  Is it not better to prepare them than to bury heads in the sand and pray it just goes away?  Shame on you!

Geri Michalski
Alberta, Canada

Dear Barb, Shabbat shalom to you; Joseph and all of you!
My wife and I love the teachings of Joseph.
My wife is a strong believer in YHWH and Jeshuah. She has been, for all of her life. However, she never believed in the churches.  I was brought up as a Cohanim Jew, who has long ago lost my faith. Yet I do believe in Jeshuah.  We have even tried the messianic synagogue but soon found that to be wrong, too. My wife often prays to G-D for direction. That is how she found Joseph’s site. As open as our eyes already were, we’re always learning more from your teachings.
Before I go too far telling you our story, lets get back on track here. We really wish to attend the conference at Gladstone in Alberta.
With love & blessings to all of you !
May YHWH be with you, always.
Irwin & Tricia Freed

I have now received official word that we will be meeting in Alberta, Canada on June 28-29, 2014.

Shalom Brethren,
Some of our plans have changed for the Alberta gathering on June 28 and 29th. It will no longer be held at the Gladstone Ranch, as we did not reach the minimum number of people required to cover the cost of renting the ranch. In our desire to see the conference go ahead, we have changed the venue to the Hillcrest Fish and Game Hall which is within the municipality of Crowsnest Pass in southwestern Alberta, about 20 km. from the British Columbia border. We are a municipality comprised of five small communities: Bellevue, Hillcrest, Frank, Blairmore and Coleman – all within a 15 km. stretch of Highway #3. Our total population is approximately 5,500. The largest towns are Blairmore and Coleman, where the motels and hotels are located. This is important to know because in changing the venue, everyone coming will be responsible for their own accommodations whether in local motels or in campgrounds. There are numerous campgrounds throughout the area and even a free campground in Bellevue, which is very close to the venue, but the campground is first come first served!  All this information is easily accessed by typing Crowsnest Pass, Alberta into your search engine. We would advise booking your accommodations soon as it is the beginning of the long weekend. There is a possibility (depending on his work schedule) that Joseph may not have to return to Ontario until Monday. Should this be the case the conference might be extended to include a Monday morning session, if people request that.

There will be no charge for this conference and all meals will be provided except for breakfasts. We are fully trusting Yah that He will put it upon the hearts of His people to give a fair donation to cover our costs plus bless Joe for his time and travel and teaching extraordinaire with a love offering. The conference is slated to begin on Saturday at 10 am and go all day with breaks for lunch and supper. There will also be an evening session which may consist of midrashing and fellowship instead of a teaching, as some with children may have to leave early due to children’s bedtime schedules. Sunday there will be teachings from 10am to mid afternoon. Joseph at this time has to work Monday, so will need to travel back to Calgary to catch his plane to Toronto in the evening.
We are wondering if families who plan on coming can provide us the ages of their children as we may be able to plan for some care for them during the teachings sessions.

It is important for those of us planning the gathering that we have an accurate idea of those who will be attending, including children, so we may adequately provide for all meals and children’s care and also so that we do not exceed the number of people within the fire code for the Hillcrest Fish and Game Hall. The cut-off date for informing us of your desire to attend is June 6, 2014. Contacts for confirming your attendance and other questions concerning the gathering are:
Barb Hemphill
Geri Michalski  Phone: 1 ( 403 ) 562- 2487


I want to thank everyone who wrote and expressed your disappointment at the cancellation of the Shavuot meeting. I do appreciate it. We look forward to meeting you somewhere at another meeting place soon.

The same thing that has caused the past couple of weeks’ controversy continues. Those controversial ads on Facebook are ringing a number of bells and I am indeed hearing about it. We may have to run them again because they were so effective. To all of you who shared them, and all of you who are questioning the Messianic leadership – you are having an effect. You are bringing the sabbatical year issue to those who claim to be your leaders. And I am hearing that they do not like your questions. Keep asking them at every meeting you go to, every chance you get. DEMAND THEY ANSWER YOU. Why will they not keep the Sabbatical year in 2016? After all, most of them were touting the Daniel timeline lie of the Jubilee year in 2017. If 2017 was indeed a Jubilee year, which it is not, then that meant that 2016 would have been the 49th year – A SABBATICAL YEAR. Ask those who kept preaching the Daniel Timeline why they will not keep the Sabbatical year in 2016.  Write them each week and demand an answer. Your letters do have an effect, the same as the ‘tares’ letters do.

If they say the Land rest years are for only while in the land of Israel, then tell them they are Hypocrites, because Lev 19 also says when you come into the land you shall keep the Sabbath. So, because we are not in the land we do not have to keep the weekly Sabbath? It is hypocrisy at its highest. Brethren, your letters to them and your questions to them at the meetings they host are getting to them. I am hearing this. So, keep it up and do not stop.
How awesome it will be when all the brethren keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days and the Sabbatical years at the right time. One of the ads I use on Facebook is the word Shalom, and I explain what it means: To Destroy the Office of Chaos. It is not until we are all keeping the Torah, including the Sabbatical years, that we will have peace – but only by destroying all those things that prevent the keeping of Torah. You are told to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Well, that is not appeasement, that is not caving in to Hitler or anyone else for the sake of peace. That is not bowing down to a Messianic leader because he is on TV and you are not. Peace, true peace for Jerusalem will only come when everyone is keeping the Torah in Jerusalem as it was in the days of Shem, who is also known as Melchizedek, the King of Peace. Appeasement is what you are doing by not keeping the Sabbatical years because your leadership says it is only for when you are in the land.

Brethren, we all have a job to do. Mine seems to be standing out front, shouting out to all who will listen to keep the next Sabbatical year or face the consequences of the next curse without Yehovah’s protection. If that is what people call fear tactics then blame Yehovah not me. Your job, brethren, is not to support me – no, your job is to stand beside me, also shouting out this warning – however you can, with whatever resources you have. I am not your leader, I am your equal, your brother. I get so thrilled when I see people using those things I taught them to teach others. Remember what James has said:

Jas 5:17  Elijah was a man of like passion as we are. And he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for the time of three years and six months. 18  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth caused its fruit to sprout. 19  Brothers, if anyone among you err from the truth, and if anyone turns him back, 20  know that he who turns back the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins

You brethren have the zeal of Elijah in each of you. You Brethren are like David fighting Goliath, with no fear because of his size. Do not be afraid because they know the scriptures better than you or you are new to this walk. Do not shrink back because they are a messianic leader and they are on TV or the radio. They are but men. And they, too, will die if you are not able to turn them back from the sin of breaking the 4th commandment of not keep the Sabbatical year.

You and your group can begin to write letters to each of these leaders each week, and send emails telling them why they need to repent and keep the Sabbatical year in 2016. You can do the same for those in your groups and get them the book Remembering the Sabbatical year of 2016. It answers every question they are going to throw at you. You will be able to stand up, and with the scriptures and history on your side, show them why they are wrong for not keeping them.

And if they refuse to hear you or refuse to keep the Sabbatical year, then tell them in front of the whole group that you will withdraw your financial support from them. That will get their attention. Take away the money you give them until they repent.

Again, I remind you of the words in the book of James. Get off your couch, get off your pew, get off your soapbox and get off your butt. Begin to do something, such as saving your brothers who are going to be hurt in the next curse of war if they will not keep this next Sabbatical year from Aviv 2016 to Aviv 2017. They need to begin learning about it now so they can stock up food in 2015 and give a tithe to the widows and orphans in 2015, the 6th year of the 7 year cycle.

Jas 2:14  My brothers, what profit is it if a man says he has faith and does not have works? Can faith save him? 15  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16  and if one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them those things which are needful to the body, what good is it? 17  Even so, if it does not have works, faith is dead, being by itself. 18  But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith from my works. 19  You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe and tremble. 20  But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22  Do you see how faith worked with his works, and from the works faith was made complete? 23  And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness, and he was called the friend of God.” 24  You see then how a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25  And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she had received the messengers and had sent them out another way? 26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Will each of you show Yehovah your faith by the works you do, the things you do, the souls you help save by them keeping the Sabbath, the Holy Days of Lev 23 and the Sabbatical years? Will you stand in the gap that is in the wall of the Messianic brethren, and GUARD THE TORAH? By keeping the 4th commandment you put Yehovah’s mark upon you. Will you help others to realize this and get His mark on them?

 The Garden of Eden and the Sabbatical Years

I had not considered nor even thought of the Torah readings for the past two weeks due to all that has been going on, but they are all about the Sabbatical years and the curses they hold for not keeping them.
Parshah Bechukotai  Leviticus 26:3-27:34 Was two weeks ago
Parshah Behar  Leviticus 25:1-26 was last week.

And this is the subject many have been talking about. So, by my saying that those people who say “the Sabbatical Years are only for when you are in the Land of Israel”, that they are hypocrites, I see how the leadership can become very, very upset with me as those in their assemblies bring this issue to their attention. And I have heard from those leaders. Those questioning them and their judgment on this subject should continue to do so, because everyone and anyone who says or even suggests that the Sabbatical years are only for when you are in the land of Israel are indeed HYPOCRITES.  All you have to do is quote the many places in Lev 19 where it says “When you come into the land”, and then it lists the things you should not do: Prostitution, and many other things, should not be done IN THE LAND; and when you come INTO THE LAND you should keep the Sabbath. So, what your leaders are saying is this: because you are not in the land you do not have to keep the Sabbatical years, nor do you have to keep the weekly Sabbath as you are told to do when you come into the land (Lev 19) and because you are not in the land that prostituting your daughters is okay to do wherever you are OUTSIDE THE LAND. Hypocrites all of them!

Anyone with half a brain can see how hypocritical this is. If you are going to argue one way, then be consistent and argue the same way for Lev 19. Yes, they are hypocrites and I stand behind that until they all repent.

Brethren, I say this in love even though I am mad as hell right now.  I do this so that they will come and be obedient to our King Yehovah. Lev 5 tells us that if you see your brother sinning (and by not keeping the Sabbatical year they all will be sinning) and you do not tell them and try to help them repent from this sin, that you by doing nothing, are guilty of murdering your brother. The reason is because you knew he was in error and the penalty for not keeping the Law is death. So, by your silence you have murdered him. Yehshua says the same thing in John.

Lev 19:17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall always rebuke your neighbor, and not allow sin on him.

In our teaching on the 6th commandment we explain this understanding in more detail. Let me share the concluding remarks.

1 John 3:15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

What is John speaking of here?
We read in Leviticus that if you see your brother sinning and do not correct him then it is the same as if you hated him.

Leviticus 19:17 “‘Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.

This, brethren, is what I was doing concerning eating out on the Sabbath. I was standing up and telling you it was wrong. If I did not do that it would be the same as hating you and also, of murdering you.
(This article was written after our Feast trip in 2012. Today I am doing the same thing, pointing out that you all need to keep the Sabbatical year no matter where you are in the world.)

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart,….

Although no hatred may be expressed either by words or deeds, yet being in the heart is a breach of the sixth command (see Matthew 5:21) and of this a man may be guilty, when he does not attempt to save the life of his neighbor, either by bearing a testimony for him, or by delivering from danger, as preserving him from drowning, from wild beasts and thieves, as in Leviticus 19:16; or when he does not reprove him for sin, as in the next clause, but suffers him to go on in it to his ruin, either of which by interpretation is a hatred of him:

thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, for any sin committed by him, though secretly, yet known; which rebuke should be private, and repeated as may be found necessary, and given gently in meekness and tenderness:

And not suffer sin upon him; unconvinced of, unrepentant of and persisted in, which may prove of fatal consequence to him; and therefore to let him alone, and go on in it without telling him of it, and reproving him for it, would be so far from acting the kind and friendly part, and showing him love and respect, that it would be an evidence of hating him at heart, at least it might be strongly suspected: or, “and not bear sin for him” (a); become a partner with him in his sin, and so become liable to bear punishment for it; which is a strong reason for reproving sin, in a proper manner, lest we should be partakers of other men’s sins; see 1 Timothy 5:20.

1Ti 5:22 Do not lay hands quickly on anyone, neither be partaker of the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

Luke 17:3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
1 John 2:9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.
1 John 2:11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

If you see your brother sinning, you have an obligation to tell him of his sin privately. If he repents, then forgive him and move on. But if you choose to do nothing then it is the same as if you have murdered him, which is what John is telling us.
Again, the commandment is You shall not murder. If you let your brother continue in his sin He will die for it and you will be guilty of letting him continue and as such, you will be guilty of murder.

Evil thrives when good people do nothing.

So, stop doing nothing and saying ‘as long as it does not harm me then I am fine with it’. Again, get off your butt and tell people the truths you have learned. You are commanded not only to keep the commandments, but also to GUARD them, which means you defend them when others break them. This means you must take action. Evil thrives when good people do nothing.

Brethren, I tell everyone I can about the Sabbatical years. And I tell those who say they are just for while in the land of Israel they are Hypocrites, in order to provoke them to repent.

Now, this week I had the great pleasure to listen to a Torah portion and was extremely blessed by it.
I am going to talk about the things this rabbi has brought to my attention, and then some other things my brother John Bennett brought to my attention last Shabbat.

In one of my very first Newsletters I explained where the Garden of Eden was. In fact, I was in the western part of the Garden when I went to Noah’s Ark in 2007 and this is symbolically the same as the Holy of Holies, when you compare the Garden of Eden to the Temple, which we do in that article.
This week I want to show you that even though the Garden of Eden was not “in the Land of Israel” and that in fact, it was in the land of Northern Iran and Eastern Turkey, they still kept the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. Yes, Adam and Eve kept the Sabbatical and Jubilee years and we are about to prove this to you.

Adam and Eve kept the Sabbatical years OUTSIDE THE LAND OF ISRAEL. By understanding this you should also be able to understand that the keeping of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years was not just for “when you come into the Land”. We hope to show you that Noah also kept the Sabbatical and Jubilee years OUTSIDE THE LAND of Israel. Noah lived in what is Iraq today. Moses also kept them, and he lived outside the land of Israel and was never allowed to go into it. Once we have shown you these two proofs and others, you should be rethinking your position of not keeping the Sabbatical year if that is your current erroneous position.

So, let us begin.

For the longest time, I have focused on the curses of Lev 26 for not keeping the Sabbatical year. To my own detriment I had not paid much attention to the blessings if we did obey. I did this because we had not obeyed and the curses were and are already happening to us. They are so plain to see, if people would just wake up and pull their heads out their holier than thou pews.

Lev 26:1  You shall make no idols to yourselves; and you shall not set up for yourselves graven images, or a memorial pillar. And you shall not set up any image of stone in your land in order to bow down to it. For I am Jehovah your God.
Lev 26:2  You shall keep My Sabbaths and revere My sanctuary. I am Jehovah.
Lev 26:3  If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them,
Lev 26:4  then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Lev 26:5  And your threshing shall reach to the vintage, and the vintage shall reach to the sowing time. And you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
Lev 26:6  And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down and none shall make you afraid. And I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
Lev 26:7  And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
Lev 26:8  And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight. And your enemies shall fall by the sword in front of you.
Lev 26:9  For I will have respect to you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish My covenant with you.
Lev 26:10  And you shall eat of the old provision, and clear away the old because of the new.
Lev 26:11  And I will set My tabernacle among you. And My soul shall not abhor you.
Lev 26:12  And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be My people.
Lev 26:13  I am Jehovah your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, from being their bondmen. And I have broken the bonds of your yoke, and made you go upright.

The very first thing you notice here is that the first two verses are similar to that which was said to Moses at Mount Sinai.

Exo 20:1  And God spoke all these words, saying, 2  I am Jehovah your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3  You shall have no other gods before Me. 4  You shall not make to yourselves any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5  You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them. For I Jehovah your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of those that hate me, 6  and showing mercy to thousands of those that love Me and keep My commandments.
Lev 26:1  You shall make no idols to yourselves; and you shall not set up for yourselves graven images, or a memorial pillar. And you shall not set up any image of stone in your land in order to bow down to it. For I am Jehovah your God.
Exo 20:7  You shall not take the name of Jehovah your God in vain. For Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.
Exo 20:8  Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9  Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10  But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Jehovah your God. You shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger within your gates. 11  For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day, and sanctified it.
Lev 26:2  You shall keep My Sabbaths and revere My sanctuary. I am Jehovah.

Yehovah is talking about the Shmitta years or the Sabbatical years in Lev 26 and in the Ten Commandments, also. He is using the exact same language, giving us His Laws. Many assume the 4th commandment is only about the weekly Sabbath, but Lev 23 says the Holy Days are also the Sabbaths and the first one is the weekly Sabbath. In Lev 26, where Yehovah is talking about the Sabbatical years in verse 2, He says ‘My Sabbaths’ again. He is connecting the Shmitta to the weekly Sabbath and the Holy Days of Lev 23.

We are being given a choice here in Leviticus 26. If we obey, then we will be given these blessings. If we will not obey, then we will reap these curses. We do the same things to our kids. If you’re good, then I will give you an ice cream cone. If not, then you’re not going to be allowed to go out and play.
You get to choose whether you will live by keeping them or whether you will die for not keeping them. YOU CHOOSE. I am accused of fear mongering by many, as you already know. But here in Leviticus, Yehovah is showing you some very scary things if you do not obey. Those who say I am fear mongering are still stuck in their Christian attitudes of ‘saved by grace’ and ‘all you have to do now is be good’. And this makes me sick. They are ignorant of the true loving Yehovah who is also a jealous El.

Here is the key to understanding this: “If you walk in my commandments”

Lev 26:3  If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them,

Then at the end of Leviticus 26, after all these horrible things have taken place, we are told:

Lev 26:33 And I will scatter you among the nations, and will draw out a sword after you. And your land shall be waste, and your cities waste. 34Then shall the land enjoy its Sabbaths, as long as it lies waste, and you are in your enemies’ land; then shall the land rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. 35As long as it lies waste it shall rest, because it did not rest in your Sabbaths when you lived on it.

So, all of these blessings in the beginning of Lev 26 are conditional, and all of these curses are the results of not obeying and they all include the keeping of the Sabbatical years. Curses for not taking care of the land – not just the land of Israel but THE LAND, as in the whole earth, because when Lev 26 was written they were not yet in the land of Israel.

Lev 26:3  If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them,

If you walk in my Sabbatical years, if you walk in my Jubilees, if you walk in my Holy Days, if you walk in my weekly Sabbaths, then the land shall do this: then the land shall produce food for you, then you will have the good things. But if you do not, then the land will vomit you out. Your crops will fail. Again, you get to choose which one you will receive, blessings or curses.

The question may be asked: “Why are these Shmitta and Yobel Years of such great importance?”
Rashi-ShlomoYitzchaki (Hebrew: ?????????????; 22 February 1040 – 13 July 1105), in Latin Salomon Isaacides, and today generally known by the acronym Rashi (Hebrew: ??”??, RAbbi SHlomo Itzhaki) was a medieval French rabbi and author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud and commentary on the Tanakh.
Rashi in his commentary says that if we walk with Yehovah, He will walk with us.

Lev 26:3  If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them,
Lev 26:12  And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be My people.

Rashi then makes this comment;

“I shall stroll with you in the Garden of Eden, as if I were one of you and you will not be terrified of me.”

Why is Rashi commenting on Lev 26 and talking about Yehovah walking with us in the Garden of Eden? Let me ask another question: Why did Moses’ face shine so? Was it not because he was face to face with Yehovah who was talking to him?

Isa 43:1  But now so says Jehovah who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel; Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. 2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; nor shall the flame kindle on you.

Think about this verse. It has huge implications. In the book of Jubilees it says that Abraham was thrown into the fiery furnace with his brother Haran. Abraham lived and his brother died. Daniel’s three friends were also put into the fire and they also lived – it was even said that they saw four people in there and not just the three.

Why did they live? I am telling you it is because they were keeping the Commandments. They also kept the Sabbatical years and they all did this while they were living outside the land of Israel. This is what Lev 26 is all about, with such emphasis on the Sabbatical years. You must keep the Sabbatical years in order to keep all the law, and only then will Yehovah dwell amongst us and protect you and bless you.

Exo 29:45  And I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will be their God.
Exo 29:46  And they shall know that I am Jehovah their God, who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt so that I may dwell among them. I am Jehovah their God.
Psa 90:1  A Prayer of Moses, the man of God. O Jehovah, You have been our dwelling-place in all generations.
Eze 43:7  And He said to me, Son of man, the house of Israel shall no more defile the place of My throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the sons of Israel forever; neither they, nor their kings, by their fornication, nor by the dead bodies of their kings in their high places.
Eze 43:9  Now let them put away their fornication, and the dead bodies of their kings from Me, and I will dwell in their midst forever.
Zec 2:10  Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion. For lo, I come, and I will dwell in your midst, says Jehovah. Zec 2:11  And many nations shall be joined to Jehovah in that day, and shall be My people; and I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that Jehovah of Hosts has sent me to you.

Note here that it is many nations and not just the land of Israel. It is the whole world that is keeping the Sabbatical years. That is the only way Yehovah is going to dwell with men. When we all keep the Torah, including the Sabbatical years, everywhere around the world. And this does not happen until the end of the 7th and the beginning of the 8th Millennium. So, start to practice now!

Joh 6:56  He who partakes of My flesh and drinks My blood dwells in Me, and I in him. 57  As the living Father has sent Me, and I live through the Father, so he who partakes of Me, even he shall live by Me.
Rom 8:9  But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. 10  And if Christ is in you, indeed the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11  But if the Spirit of the One who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised up Christ from the dead shall also make your mortal bodies alive by His Spirit who dwells in you.

If you are not obeying the commandments and you do not keep the Sabbatical years, He does not dwell in you and you will not be raised up.

2Co 6:16  And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are the temple of the living God, as God has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

Eph 3:17  that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, but if you are not keeping the Sabbatical years which is an act of faith Yehshua does not dwell in you. Again love is explained by Yehshua. If you love me keep the commandments and they include the Sabbatical and Jubilee years.

1Jn 4:12  No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.13  By this we know that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.14  And we have seen and testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15  Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God.

Rev 21:3  And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Yehovah will not dwell with us nor walk amongst us if we are not keeping the commandments, if we are not keeping the weekly Sabbath, if we are not keeping the Holy Days and if we are not keeping the Sabbatical years. He wants to dwell with us and amongst us.
So why has Rashi said

“I shall stroll with you in the Garden of Eden, as if I were one of you and you will not be terrified of me.”

The answer is found in Lev 26 itself and this is so insightful and so brilliant. Lev 26 is replete with allusion after allusion to life in the Garden of Eden.
Look at the Genesis account.

Gen 1:28  And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it. And have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the heavens, and all animals that move upon the earth. 29And God said, Behold! I have given you every herb seeding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree seeding seed; to you it shall be for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the heavens, and to every creeper on the earth which has in it a living soul every green plant is for food; and it was so.

Notice that Adam was told to have dominion over all the animals, the fish, the plants and all the trees. But take a look at this word dominion. I thank John Bennett for pointing this out to me this past week.

H7287    ???    ra?da?h   raw-daw‘       A primitive root; to tread down, that is, subjugate; specifically to crumble off: – (come to, make to) have dominion, prevail against, reign, (bear, make to) rule, (-r, over), take.

Dominion: To reign and to rule over. He was to be the King over them all. All Kings are to write out the Torah so they know what it says. Adam, living in Eden which is Northern Iran and Eastern Turkey, would have written out this law and kept it all including the Shmitta years.
Now lets compare Lev 26 to Genesis 1 to see how Rashi and these awesome Jewish Sages connected the keeping of the Sabbatical years to being in the Garden of Eden walking with Yehovah, because the whole of Lev 26:1-13 – the blessing we would be given if we obeyed – are spoken to Adam.
The first is to be fruitful:

Lev 26:9  For I will have respect to you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish My covenant with you.
Gen 1:28  And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth,

Adam was told to subdue the land:

Gen 1:28  And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it.
Lev 26:7  And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
Lev 26:8  And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight. And your enemies shall fall by the sword in front of you.

Adam was to have dominion and to rule over the animal world:

Gen 1:28   And have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the heavens, and all animals that move upon the earth.
Lev 26:6  And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down and none shall make you afraid. And I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.

Adam would have plant food in abundance:

Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold! I have given you every herb seeding seed which is upon the face of all the earth,
Lev 26:5  And your threshing shall reach to the vintage, and the vintage shall reach to the sowing time. And you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

Adam would have an abundance of food from the trees:

 Gen 1:29, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree seeding seed;
Lev 26:4  then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

Lev 26 is repeating what Gen 1:28-29 is saying in reverse order. But, notice the very next thing that is said in Genesis. You are told Yehovah created the Sabbath by resting on it. And this is the very thing that Yehovah is stating when He begins in Lev 26.

Gen 1:31  And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Gen 2:1  And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2  And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. 3  And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He had rested from all His work which God created to make.
Lev 26:2  You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary. I am Jehovah. 3 If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them,

But remember, REMEMBER what Lev 26 is all about. They are about the Shmittah years, the keeping of the Sabbatical years. The 4th commandment. All Rashi and the sages did was to point us in this direction back to the Garden of Eden. They understood we could recreate Eden by obeying the Commandments and the Shmittah laws.

Adam and Eve walked with Yehovah until they sinned. The only way they could walk with Yehovah was by obeying the commandments, including the keeping of the Sabbatical years. Enoch also walked with Yehovah, which means Enoch would have kept the Sabbatical and Jubilee years also.

Gen 3:8  And they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.

Again I am accused of fear mongering, but what does Rashi say?

“I shall stroll with you in the Garden of Eden, as if I were one of you and you will not be terrified of me.”

“You shall not be terrified of me” – why? – because you are keeping the commandments, you are keeping the Shmitta. Lev 26 points you back to Genesis 1, in the garden of Eden when we once walked with Yehovah. Pay attention to what John is telling us in light of this, and what we said above about hating your brother.

1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And we have this commandment from Him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.

There is no fear in love. Do you get it? What then is love?

Joh 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.

In order to not be afraid of the horrible things that are coming, you must love Yehovah and in order to love Him you must keep the commandments, and this includes the Sabbatical years. Those who do not keep the Sabbatical years DO NOT LOVE OUR KING YEHOVAH. They may say they do, but in truth their actions say they do not.

When we sinned in the Garden we hid ourselves and because we will not keep the Shmitta now, we are again hidden from Yehovah by our own making. We are “hiding” when we run for cover from the tornadoes, when we run for our lives from an earthquake, when we hide from the extreme heat of the sun and the drought. We are again repeating what Adam and Eve did because of our sins – they also hid themselves. And while these severe weather events are happening to us we are terrified. Are you aware that two days after this event in Ohio was cancelled, those very same people had a tornado coming towards their home and they said they were terrified? Think about this.

Gen 3:8  And they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God in the middle of the trees of the garden. 9And Jehovah God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you? 10And he said, I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I am naked, and I hid myself.

Here is another example. Cain murdered Able. Cain sinned by breaking the commandment not to murder. Notice what happens next – listen to what Cain says.

Gen 4:14 Behold! You have driven me out from the face of the earth today, and I shall be hidden from Your face. And I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth, and it shall be that anyone who finds me shall kill me.

That word hidden is:

H5641     ???     sa?thar     saw-thar’
A primitive root; to hide (by covering), literally or figuratively: – be absent, keep close, conceal, hide (self), (keep) secret, X surely.

BDB Definition:1) to hide, conceal1a) (Niphal)1a1) to hide oneself1a2) to be hidden, be concealed1b) (Piel) to hide carefully1c) (Pual) to be hidden carefully, be concealed1d) (Hiphil) to conceal, hide1e) (Hithpael) to hide oneself carefully

Go and do a word search on this word “sathar – hide.” Our sins cause us to hide ourselves from Yehovah. Adam and Eve hid in the bushes. They covered themselves with fig leaves. They did the same thing we do when we cover up our sins, trying to hide them. Many of you are addicted to porn and have your secret sins so nicely covered up, so that no one can see them. But the truth is you are hiding from Yehovah and your shame is going to be exposed.
You are given a choice in Lev 26. You can obey and reap the blessings as told to you in the first 13 verses, just as Adam did in Genesis 1:28-29, or you can not obey and reap the curses of Lev 26:14 onwards. You can eat of the Tree of Life, the Torah, and walk with Yehovah just as Adam and Eve did, just as Enoch did, just as Noah did, just as Abraham did, just as Daniel did, just as Job did, and just as Moses did – all of them righteous, because they kept the Torah and the Shmitta laws.

Psa 119:172  My tongue shall speak Your Word, for all Your Commandments are righteousness.

Those commandments include the Sabbatical years. You must keep them in order to be righteous. Those who do not keep them are not righteous.
Are you aware that in Ezekiel, Yehovah does the same thing of reversing the order of events? We are told of the blessings Adam was given in Gen 1, and then the order was reversed in Lev 26:1-13. In Lev 26:14 onwards we are told of the curses, of the terror we would receive for not obeying. Then in Ezekiel, Yehovah warns us that unless we have the righteousness of Noah, Daniel, and Job, ALL OF WHOM DID NOT LIVE IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL, that unless we had that righteousness we would also die. Noah lived in what is today Iraq before the flood; after the flood, Turkey and Iran and then Italy. Daniel lived in Iran after he went into captivity. Job lived in Oman where his tomb is to this day.

Eze 14:14  And though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver only their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord Jehovah. 15  If I cause destroying beasts to come through the land, and they spoil it so that it is deserted, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, 16  though these three men were in its midst, as I live, says the Lord Jehovah, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters. They only shall be delivered, but the land shall be deserted. 17  Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it; 18  though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord Jehovah, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves. 19  Or if I send a plague into that land, and pour out My fury on it in blood, to cut off man and beast from it; 20  though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, says the Lord Jehovah, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter. They shall only deliver their own souls by their righteousness. 21  For so says the Lord Jehovah: How much more when I send My four evil judgments on Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the destroying beast, and the plague, to cut off man and beast from it. 22  Yet, behold, there shall be left a remnant in it that shall be brought out, sons and daughters. Behold, they shall come out to you, and you shall see their way and their doings. And you shall be comforted concerning the evil that I brought on Jerusalem, for all that I have brought on it. 23  And they shall comfort you when you see their way and their doings. And you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, says the Lord Jehovah.

In order to have that righteousness, you must keep the commandments – the 4th includes the weekly Sabbath and the Holy Days and the Sabbatical years. You must keep these to have righteousness. It is so simple. All Abraham did was obey Yehovah, and by faith Abraham walked into the promised land which was not yet his. He believed Yehovah and then obeyed Him because he did believe.

Gen 15:6  And he believed in Jehovah. And He counted it to him for righteousness.

Rom 4:1  What then shall we say that our father Abraham has found, according to flesh? 2  For if Abraham was justified by works, he has a boast; but not before God. 3  For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.”
Rom 4:19  And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body already dead (being about a hundred years old) or the deadening of Sarah’s womb. 20  He did not stagger at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21  and being fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was also able to perform. 22  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23  Now it was not written for him alone that it was imputed to him, 24  but for us also to whom it is to be imputed, to the ones believing on Him who has raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Rom 4:25  who was delivered because of our offenses and was raised for our justification.

Gal 3:6  Even as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. 7  Therefore know that those of faith, these are the sons of Abraham. 8  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through faith, preached the gospel before to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all nations be blessed.” 9  So then those of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10  For as many as are out of works of the Law, these are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them.” 11  But that no one is justified by the Law in the sight of God is clear, for, “The just shall live by faith.” 12  But the Law is not of faith; but, “The man who does these things shall live in them.” 13  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone having been hanged on a tree”); 14  so that the blessing of Abraham might be to the nations in Jesus Christ, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Jas 2:23  And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness, and he was called the friend of God.”

Each of you brethren can have the same righteousness of Noah, Daniel and Job, the same righteousness of Adam and Eve before they sinned, the same righteousness of Abraham – just by keeping the commandments as we are told in Lev 26, which refer you back to the Garden. But should you continue to say that the Sabbatical years are just for while in the land of Israel and therefore you will not keep them – then you will not be righteous and you will continue to have to hide from the Terrors that Yehovah is going to send, the same way Adam and Eve had to hide.

By keeping the Shmita years, by keeping the next Sabbatical year from Aviv 2016 to Aviv 2017 you will be eating from the Tree of Life that was in the Garden of Eden. By continuing to refuse to keep the next Sabbatical year and not even trying to obey this command, you show yourself and the world that you are eating at the tree of good and evil, at the tree of your own knowledge. At the Tree of Life you live and at the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil you die. Your choice. You choose.
One more point.
Eventually, the whole world is going to worship Yehovah as we are suppose to do and as was done in the Garden when Yehovah walked with Adam.

Joh 4:23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him. 24  God is a spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.

Psa 86:9 All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.10 For You are great and do wonderful things; You alone are God.11 Teach me Your way, O Jehovah; I will walk in Your truth; my heart rejoices to fear Your name.

Rev 15:4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your righteousness’s were made known.

But those nations who will not obey, those nations who will not release the slaves at Sukkot in the Sabbatical Year, those nations who will not release the debts in a Sabbatical year, those nations that will not come up to Jerusalem in the Sabbatical year to read the Torah out loud, those nations that will not keep the Sabbatical year and let the land rest by not harvesting and not planting – those nations will be punished by Yehovah, and these severe weather events we see now will happen to them.

Zec 14:16 And it shall be, everyone who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.17 And it shall be, whoever will not come up from all the families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, even on them shall be no rain.18 And if the family of Egypt does not go up, nor come in, they shall have no rain, but the plague with which Jehovah shall strike the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.19 This shall be Egypt’s offense, and the offense of all the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 20 In that day there shall be on the bells of the horses, HOLY TO JEHOVAH. And the pots in Jehovah’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holy to Jehovah of Hosts. And all those who sacrifice shall come and take of them, and boil in them.

It is time now for the leadership to repent. It is time for the brethren to repent. It is time now for you to repent and begin to keep the Sabbatical years, no matter where on earth you are located. No matter what your status, whether you are a single mom on welfare living in an apartment or a farmer with large acreage. It matters not if you are in a hot and humid country or one that is frozen half the year. Stop looking for excuses why you can’t keep it – start looking for ways that you can keep it. It is time now to begin to obey so that we too can walk with Yehovah, just as Adam and Eve did, and as Enoch did. It is time to stop fighting against Yehovah. Stop finding excuses why you can’t obey and begin to find reasons why you will, to the best of your ability. Yehovah bless you in understanding this teaching.

Triennial Torah Cycle

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading

Gen 39  2 Sam 4-7  Ps 79  Luke 1:27-80

Joseph in Potiphar’s House (Genesis 39)

Joseph was sold again by the Arabian traders to an officer of the Egyptian pharaoh. God surely had a hand in Joseph being sold to Potiphar, “in order that in the house of one so closely connected with the court, he might receive that previous training which was necessary for the high office he was destined to fill, and in the school of adversity learn the lessons of practical wisdom that were to be of greatest utility and importance in his future career” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary, note on verse 1).

Although Joseph prospered in Potiphar’s house, this was not God’s ultimate purpose for Joseph in his human life—God had a greater design for him. To reach that intent, Joseph had to be thrown into prison, creating the environment where God would later exalt Joseph to the right hand of Pharaoh. This illustrates something very important for us to remember: Sometimes Believers must endure hardship and trial to reach God’s final outcome. Keep in mind that God has created us for an awesome purpose. While Joseph would eventually be taken from prison and given a position in Egypt equivalent to what we would call the nation’s prime minister, we will eventually be taken from this physical, limiting existence and, along with Joseph, will be made co-rulers with God over the entire vast universe! So if it takes suffering and tribulation to help us attain that purpose, God will allow us to be subjected to it. Yet, although things may look quite bleak at times, God will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5). So we can be patient in times of trial, trusting God and continuing to serve and obey him, knowing that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28) and that He will not allow us to be tried beyond what we are able to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13).

We can learn many lessons from Joseph’s example. Take some time to look up the following scriptures and notice their relation to this trying period of Joseph’s life: Proverbs 22:29; 10:4; 12:24; Matthew 25:21; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Peter 3:17; Romans 5:3-4; 8:35-39.

One important lesson is that obeying God in all circumstances ultimately works out for the best. Joseph knew that adultery was sin and refused—even though it may have cost him his life—for He trusted in God to bless those who obey Him. (And even if Joseph had lost his physical life, God would have blessed him in eternity.)

Incidentally, this particular episode brings up something else we should notice. Joseph’s response to Potiphar’s wife’s seduction provides us with important information that has sometimes gone overlooked. Joseph asks, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). Many today believe that the Ten Commandments were not in place before the time of Moses. Yet not only do we see Joseph’s virtue in his response, but we also find proof that God’s law was known at the time. According to Romans 5:13, “Sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Yet Joseph clearly calls adultery sin, thereby showing that God’s law was in force prior to its codification around 250 years later at Mount Sinai.

Joab Murders Abner; Murder of Ishbosheth (2 Samuel 3:22-4:12)

Joab seeks revenge for his brother Asahel’s death by murdering Abner. Yet it’s not a tit for tat. For while Abner killed Joab’s brother during the course of battle and in self-defense—after repeatedly warning Asahel to call off his pursuit and even offering him the opportunity to fully arm himself for a fair fight (2:18-23)—Joab kills Abner in a deceitful plot. Under false pretenses, Joab stabs him in the stomach—where Asahel was pierced by Abner’s spear. Moreover, this treacherous act occurs at Hebron, a city of refuge, wherein an avenger of blood is not permitted to kill a murderer without a trial (Numbers 35:22-25). However, it may be that the act actually occurs in a suburb just outside the Levitical city itself (compare Joshua 21:11-12; 2 Samuel 2:3).

Wisely, David makes it a point to let the Israelites know that it was not his intention to kill Abner. These are already very delicate times, as David and Abner had just begun an important peace process in the unification of all of Israel. So it is no wonder that David speaks so strongly against his nephew Joab, pronouncing a curse on him and his descendants. David declares a fast and personally follows Abner’s coffin to the gravesite in an outward show of honor and respect. He refers to Abner as “a prince and a great man.” David’s skills in statesmanship prove successful in gaining the hearts of the people.
In 2 Samuel 4, we learn of a son of Saul’s son Jonathan, Mephibosheth, who was five years old at the time of Israel’s defeat by the Philistines. It was characteristic for the victor of a battle to wipe out the entire family of a defeated king, especially the sons, thus preventing any succession to the throne and any eventual revenge. So, after hearing the news of Saul’s defeat and death, Mephibosheth’s nurse picked him up and fled for their lives. In the course of her escape, she evidently stumbled, dropping the young child and causing a serious enough injury (possibly spinal) that he became paralyzed in the legs and was unable to walk.

Saul’s kingdom, under Ishbosheth, continues to grow weaker. So now we find another assassination plot under way. This time it is Ishbosheth who becomes the victim of those of his own Benjamite tribe. For the second time we find David’s “reward” for those who feel they are doing him a favor. Once again we see David’s valiant intention of allowing God to be the one to take action. After all of the battles David has fought, he feels it to be thoroughly dishonorable to murder someone in this way. As he lamented concerning Abner: “Should Abner die as a fool dies? Your hands were not bound nor your feet put into fetters; as a man falls before wicked men, so you fell” (3:33-34).

Ishbosheth meets the same fate, but there is no rejoicing from David over this heinous crime. Actually, David fulfills the requirement of the law in this matter as found in Exodus 21:14: “But if a man acts with premeditation against his neighbor, to kill him by treachery, you shall take him from My altar [showing no mercy in such a case], that he may die.” Once again, David makes it publicly known that he did not support this assassination. The executed men are hung in a public place with their hands and feet cut off, for all to see.

One may ask why this same sentence was not carried out upon Joab. He had the excuse that he was acting as a kinsman avenger of blood (2 Samuel 3:27; compare Numbers 35:16-21). Although there evidently were problems with the reason for which, and the manner in which, Joab carried out his vengeance, perhaps it was too difficult to prove that his actions were not justifiable. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that Joab was a member of David’s family. Still, it is interesting that many years later, this matter with Abner is a factor in David ordering his son Solomon to execute Joab once David is dead (1 Kings 2:1-6).

City of David; Mighty Men

(2 Samuel 5:6-10; 1 Chronicles 11:4-19; 2 Samuel 23:8-17)

At the time of David’s siege, Jerusalem is called Jebus, which, interestingly, means “Trodden Underfoot” (New Open Bible, Topical Index, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990). Upon Israel’s entrance into the Promised Land, it was allotted to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. But these tribes only briefly defeated the Canaanite inhabitants of Jebus (Judges 1:8), for the Jebusites were soon back in their fortress city (see 19:10-12).

“The city itself was strategically located in the hill country near the border of Judah and Benjamin, making it a foreign wedge between the northern and southern tribes” (Nelson Study Bible, note on 2 Samuel 5:6-9). Jerusalem was originally a fortress built on a high hill between two valleys that converged in a V formation. The steep sides of the hill, combined with the city’s walls, made it seemingly impossible to penetrate. The Jebusites are so confident in the safety of their walls that they mock David, possibly placing the blind and lame in positions that are in full view of the Israelite troops.

But considering what is written concerning the skill, wisdom and bravery of the men who are now united under David’s leadership, it is not so surprising that Jerusalem is conquered. David challenges his men to enter the city “by way of the water shaft” (verse 8). This shaft “extended about 230 feet up from the Gihon spring to the top of the hill where the Jebusite fortress was situated (2 Chr. 32:30). The tunnel gave the city a secure water supply in the event of a siege” (note on verse 8). The account in Chronicles reveals that it is Joab who runs with David’s challenge and leads the first invasion of the city, earning him the position of captain over all of Israel’s army. David then makes this fortress city of such great strategic value his own new capital, calling it the City of David.

David also exercised considerable diplomatic wisdom here. Rather than choosing as his capital a city held by one of the 12 tribes of Israel (or one of the two kingdoms) and thus being perceived as favoring that one, David chose a city that belonged to none of the tribes and was thus viewed as neutral. In similar manner, the government of the United States early on placed its national capital, Washington, in the District of Columbia, a territory bordering two states but that did not belong to any state, so as not to be seen as favoring one state over another.

Continuing, we then read about the “mighty men” of David. An elite group of three of these warriors is listed first with their individual claims to fame. As we will see in our next reading, another elite group of three is also mentioned, which includes Joab. However, this other trio, we are told, does not compare with the “first three” (1 Chronicles 11:20-21)—and neither does another group (verses 22-25). One member of the first group is not mentioned by name in 1 Chronicles 11, but his name is given in 2 Samuel 23 as Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite (verse 11). Another is mentioned in both passages as Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite (1 Chronicles 11:12; 2 Samuel 23:9). The other, mentioned first, is listed in 1 Chronicles 11 as Jashobeam the son of a Hachmonite (verse 11) and in 2 Samuel 23 as Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite (verse 8). This name is probably a play on the words of his real name. For Tachmonite denotes “wise” (New Open Bible, Topical Index). And Josheb-Basshebeth, which sounds similar to Jashobeam, literally means “One Who Sits in the Seat” (Nelson Study Bible, margin). This could denote his exalted position as “chief of the captains” (1 Chronicles 11:11)—in exploits, not rank, as Joab was chief over the others in authority (verse 6).

Another apparent discrepancy is that 1 Chronicles 11:11 says Jashobeam killed 300 men at one time while 2 Samuel 23:8 says he killed 800 at one time. Yet, while it is uncertain just how to reconcile these verses, that does not make them irreconcilable. One possibility is that a particular military engagement went on for a few days with 300 killed in one day and 500 others killed on the other days. Another possibility is that these were two separate occasions, and that he was known for both.

We also see here the amazing account of the obtaining of water from the well of Bethlehem. It is not entirely clear whether this was done by the group of three just mentioned or another unnamed group of three. Since individuals are named throughout the account, and since 2 Samuel 23:17 says “these things”—rather than just the one act of getting the drink—were done by “the three mighty men,” and since the named individuals in verses 8-39 add up to the total of 37 in verse 39, it is most likely that the three who got the water are the same men first listed, Jashobeam, Eleazar and Shammah. Regardless, these scriptures show us the strength and loyalty of the men who served under David. These three were willing to give their lives just to get David, their commander-in-chief, a drink of water.

But David refuses to drink it, calling it “blood” because it was brought to him at tremendous risk of life, and he pours it out in offering to God (verses 16-17). “Ordinarily, wine was used for a drink offering (Lev. 23:13, 18, 37); here, water more costly than the finest wine was poured in celebration before the Lord” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 16).

This is an outstanding example of godly leadership. Such respect for his men and such personal humility must have inspired even greater loyalty.

The United Kingdom (2 Samuel 5:1-5; 1 Chronicles 11:1-3; 12:23-40)

After years of civil unrest, all of Israel is finally ready to accept David as king. As all of the tribes agree: “We are your bone and your flesh.” This basically means, “We are your relatives.” Centuries earlier, Laban said the same thing to his nephew Jacob (Genesis 29:14) and Gideon’s son Abimelech said it to his mother’s family (Judges 9:1-2). But, if people would really think about it, that goes beyond our immediate next of kin—or, at least, it should.

No matter what color or nationality, we are all human beings, created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). No matter what race we belong to today, our roots all trace back to Noah, and back to our ancestral parents, Adam and Eve (“the mother of all living,” 3:20). Indeed, God “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). Thus, we are all blood relatives. We are all one family. But men have always found reasons to fight each other, whether geographically, economically or racially motivated. From the beginning, man has always found reasons, however unjustified, to kill his brother (compare Genesis 4:1-15).

Back to the story of David’s kingdom, the Israelites are now ready for unity and peace among each other after years of killing.
From the account in 1 Chronicles 12, we can see the numbers of troops from each tribe who come to Hebron to declare loyalty to David. Commentaries disagree on whether the actual troops assembled or only their commanders. If the troops actually presented themselves, their numbers approached 350,000! Regardless of whether the full battle-hardened army amassed before David, their unanimous support for David’s kingship is dramatically conveyed. After years of strife, troops that were fighting and killing each other are now celebrating this momentous event with food and drink being brought in by the neighboring tribes. For a time, there is truly joy in Israel! David reigned for 7 1/2 years from Hebron as king over Judah. It is now time to reign for the next 33 years from the city of peace, Jerusalem.

Interestingly, it should be remembered that Israel was actually divided into two kingdoms—Israel and Judah—when Ishbosheth was proclaimed king over Israel and David was made king of Judah. But a distinction between Israel and Judah existed even in Saul’s day (compare 1 Samuel 11:8; 17:52; 18:16). Perhaps it goes all the way back to the initial conquest of the land under Joshua, when the south went to Judah and the lands of the northern conquest went to the other tribes. Following Ishbosheth, even when David replaces him as king of Israel, there are still two distinct kingdoms—albeit with both under the same king. David is now king of Israel and king of Judah, a distinction maintained during his reign. Indeed, much later in David’s reign, we find a military census reporting, “Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to the king. There were in Israel eight hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men” (2 Samuel 24:9). The creation of this United Monarchy is very similar to what happened in Britain. When King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England, he was still king of Scotland. Indeed, he became King James I of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Israel’s two kingdoms under one ruler will continue through Solomon’s reign, with Judah and Israel still being mentioned under him as distinct nations (1 Kings 4:20, 25).

The Divided Monarchy will reemerge when Israel proclaims a non-Davidic ruler after Solomon’s death. Judah will continue to be ruled by the line of David. Ironically, though, the tribe of Benjamin, instead of leading the Kingdom of Israel as in the days of Ishbosheth, will, in the later split, become part of the Kingdom of Judah. (We will explore this in more detail when we come to it in our reading.)

Attempt to Move the Ark (1 Chronicles 13; 2 Samuel 6:1-11)

With Jerusalem now the royal city of Israel, it is finally time to bring “church and state” together in this centralized location. So David calls for the Ark of the Covenant to be moved to Jerusalem from KirjathJearim, approximately 10 miles west of Jerusalem. The ark has been situated here since the Philistines relinquished it to the Israelites (1 Samuel 6:21).

Now we come to a very important lesson that David and all Israel had to relearn. Let’s review some of the specific instructions that God previously gave for Israel to follow.

The ark of God was an extremely holy object, representing His presence (see Exodus 25:21-22). It had to be handled with the utmost regard to strict regulation in the Law of Moses, which mandated that the care of the most holy things was entrusted to the Levitical sons of Kohath (Numbers 3:29-31). Yet even these caretakers were not to touch the holy articles or so much as look casually upon them “lest they die” (4:15, 20). The Kohathites were instructed to carry the ark on their shoulders by poles passing through rings on the ark’s corners to keep them from touching it (4:1-16; Exodus 25:14-15). It was not to be transported by cart or any other vehicle (Numbers 7:6-9). David, however, was using the same transport method the Philistines had used (compare 1 Samuel 6:7-8).

Yet God says, “Therefore you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (Deuteronomy 5:32). And: “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (4:2). Also: “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (12:32).
We are never to reason against, or attempt to change, God’s commands. A king was not to be ignorant of God’s instruction: “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel” (17:18-20). Thus, God requires much of a leader He chooses.

Though Uzzah’s violation is apparently unintentional, God makes a powerful example of him. It is possible, of course, that Uzzah was more involved in what happened than we know. As one given the great honor of walking so closely to the ark, it may be that he was instrumental in the decision to use the cart. Perhaps it was his cart or oxen being employed. And, in any case, he is the one who actually touched the ark. Still, it appears he meant well.
When Uzzah is struck down, then, David becomes angry—and not, it should be pointed out, at his own carelessness. Evidently, David still doesn’t understand important aspects of what has gone wrong. That he has either forgotten or is ignorant of God’s specific instructions regarding the transport of the ark is apparent from 1 Chronicles 13:12: “David was afraid of God that day; saying, ‘How can I bring the ark of God to me?'” (compare 2 Samuel 6:9). He doesn’t know.

So his anger, then, is at God—for what He has done to Uzzah. His death seems so unjust and unnecessarily harsh, as it does, no doubt, to many today. After all, Uzzah was trying to protect the ark, and David, who had made the decision about transporting it, was zealous to restore God’s prescribed tabernacle worship to the nation. But he should have looked more closely at exactly what God had prescribed.

Moreover, there were other Levites who probably knew of God’s instructions and should have made His will known to David. Ignorance and forgetfulness do not negate God’s specific commands. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” God will later proclaim (Hosea 4:6). In other words, what you don’t know can hurt you! Because of such neglect, Uzzah was killed by God. So what began as a joyous time of celebration has turned into a very sad and sobering moment.

God is sending a warning signal here to all people of all times that He is not a God to be trifled with. We must approach Him with the proper awe and respect. And David does receive a dose of healthy fear of God, which undoubtedly sends him to the Scriptures or to the priests to determine what ought to be done—as should have been done in the first place. Let this, then, serve as a lesson for all of us too. From the point of view of leadership, the decisions a leader makes brings consequences—either good or bad—on the lives of those he leads.

As for Uzzah, he will stand in the general resurrection of the dead after Christ’s millennial reign (compare Revelation 20:5, 11-12) with all those of mankind who have not yet been given an opportunity for salvation—and he will then be able to choose whether to truly serve the Lord. God is ultimately fair. Indeed, Uzzah will awake in a world far better than the one he has left behind.

For the next three months, the ark is left at the home of Obed-Edom, a Levite of the line of Korah who will later be one of the doorkeepers for the ark (1 Chronicles 15:18, 24; 26:4-8). He is also called a Gittite (2 Samuel 6:11) because he is from the Levitical city of Gath Rimmon (compare Joshua 21:24).

The Davidic Covenant (1 Chronicles 17; 2 Samuel 7)

These chapters tell of David’s desire to build a house for God—a temple, a more permanent structure than the tabernacle. God’s answer, through the prophet Nathan, is No. David later sheds additional light on this pronouncement. Notice that the material in these chapters is “according to all” that Nathan told David (1 Chronicles 17:15; 2 Samuel 7:17)—i.e., they don’t contain everything Nathan said. We can find more elsewhere. David explains in 1 Chronicles 22:8 and 28:3 that God told him that he is not permitted to build Him a permanent dwelling because he has been a warrior who has shed blood. Indeed, his entire reign is virtually one battle after another. This would not be fitting symbolism. The transfer of the ark from a tabernacle to the more permanent temple is to represent the Lord moving to this earth as an enduring dwelling—which will commence with the coming reign of Yeshua Messiah over all nations. This future reign of Christ, the Prince of Peace, will be over a peaceful world (see Isaiah 9:6-7). So, instead of David, God will have the temple built by David’s son Solomon, his name meaning “Peaceful,” who will, appropriately, reign over a period of peace. This is not to say that Solomon would not fight under certain circumstances. Rather, it will not be necessary because, by the end of David’s reign, God will at last give the Israelites rest from their enemies—which, again, is representative of God’s coming Kingdom.

God then speaks through Nathan of His plan to establish David’s house. David’s “house,” his royal dynasty, will be established forever. How will God go about this? In 2 Samuel 7, God tells David what will happen after his death: “I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom” (verse 12). This, of course, refers to Solomon. Notice verse 13: “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” We must be careful here, however, as the Hebrew word translated “forever,” olam, does not always carry the same meaning as “forever” does in the English language. Occasionally it means unending as long as certain conditions apply (compare Exodus 21:6; Jonah 2:6). Recorded elsewhere, there are definite conditions attached to the endurance of Solomon’s throne. Looking at 1 Chronicles 28 again, David expresses the condition God gives: “Moreover, I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day” (verse 7). This condition is later reiterated by God to Solomon himself (2 Chronicles 7:17-18, compare verses 19-22). So if Solomon lives in disobedience to God, his dynasty will not go on without end. Sadly, this will come to pass, as Solomon will eventually have his heart turned to following other gods (see 1 Kings 11:4).
So what is meant by 2 Samuel 7:14-15, where God says he will not remove his mercy from Solomon as he did with Saul, who disobeyed? As we’ve seen, it cannot mean that Solomon’s dynasty would never be cut off. Rather, it must mean that, in the event Solomon disobeys, he will not be killed by God as Saul was. Instead, he will be allowed to live out his life. Furthermore, though the kingdom will be torn from him and given to a neighbor as Saul’s was—this will not happen to Solomon himself. As God later tells Solomon: “Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David” (1 Kings 11:12).
Though Solomon’s dynasty is not prophesied to continue forever, that of David himself is. God says, “I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: ‘Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations'” (Psalm 89:3-4). In 2 Chronicles 13:5, we are told that “the LORD God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt.” Salt is a preservative against corruption and decay. It was required in offerings (Leviticus 2:13), which were often part of covenants. In using the phrase “covenant of salt,” then, God is denoting a permanent alliance, an inviolable covenant, established for “all generations.”

What this tells us is that this throne must be in existence in our generation. Some might suggest that Christ sits upon it now. After all, He is of the line of David—not through Solomon but through David’s son Nathan. Furthermore, Yeshua is actually prophesied to sit on David’s throne. An angel tells Mary: “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Yeshua. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-33; compare Isaiah 9:6-7). But Christ never took over a throne in his human life. And since His death and resurrection, He has been in heaven, sharing His Father’s throne (compare Revelation 3:21). Yet He is coming back to rule Israel and all nations, as the book of Revelation goes on to show. It is at that time that He will fulfill the prophecy of at last assuming the throne of David.

So where is that throne, which must exist in “all generations,” in our day? Fascinatingly, we can trace the line of David through Solomon beyond ancient Israel and Judah all the way to the British monarchy today. When Christ returns, the rule of the Solomonic line will finally cease, and Christ, of the line of Nathan (another of David’s sons), will take over the throne.

“Restore Us, O God” (Psalms 79-80)

Psalm 79, which begins the second cluster of psalms in Book III, is a lament over a devastating attack on Jerusalem and its temple. As with Psalm 74, this setting raises questions over Asaph’s authorship noted in the superscription since Asaph would have seen no such invasion unless he lived well over a century to witness Pharaoh Shishak’s invasion in the fifth year of Solomon’s son Rehoboam (ca. 925 B.C.). Refer back to the Bible Reading Program’s comments introducing Psalm 74 to see various suggestions for resolving this matter—the likeliest perhaps being that Asaph, as a seer, was foretelling the future.

Asaph may have been writing in Psalm 79 of Shishak’s invasion, but it is likely that even later destruction was also being prophesied, such as that wreaked by the Babylonians (586 B.C.) and, later still, by the Romans (A.D. 70). The invasion and temple defilement by the Greek Syrians during the time of the Maccabees (ca. 168 B.C.) could also be represented here—as could the destruction and defilement of the end time yet to come.
Note verse 2 in this regard: “The dead bodies of Your servants they [the invaders] have given as food for the birds of the heavens, the flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth.” God through Jeremiah later warned of what His people would experience at the hands of the Babylonian invaders in similar terms: “Their dead bodies shall be for meat for the birds of the heaven and the beasts of the earth” (Jeremiah 34:20; compare 7:33; 16:4; 19:7). Of course, Jeremiah’s prophecy, in a dual sense, was foretelling both immediate and end-time devastation.

The word “saints” in Psalm 79:2 means “holy ones.” This could perhaps refer to God’s holy nation generally or more specifically to priests at the temple, yet it may have referred, as it would today, to spiritually converted people. An end-time setting would indicate the latter—and other prophecies do show that even some of God’s end-time saints will be slain in the coming time of tribulation along with the people of Israelite nations generally.
The wording of verse 4, about being a reproach and target of scorn and derision, is very similar to that of Psalm 44:13.

Asaph asks “how long” this terrible situation will continue (verse 5). Will God be angry with His people forever? Will His “jealousy burn like a fire”?—that is, will His anger over His people’s unfaithfulness utterly consume them? Things appeared so bad as to seem like this might be the case. So the psalm asks God for mercy, deliverance, atonement and salvation (verses 8-9). And it appeals to God to be true to His name as the Savior of His people—to defend His own reputation, as the enemy taunts, “Where is their God?” (verse 10).

The psalm is also a call for just retribution on the enemy and all nations that oppose God and His people: “Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You…for they have devoured Jacob” (verses 6-7). It asks for God to act as His people’s divine Kinsman-Redeemer and Avenger of Blood, avenging the deaths of His slain servants (verse 10) and rescuing those who will likewise die at the hands of the enemy if He doesn’t act (verse 11). Again, God’s reputation is shown to be at stake: “Pay back into the laps of our neighbors seven times the reproach they have hurled at you, O Lord” (verse 12, NIV). “The sevenfold restitution expresses a concern for full justice…the judgment must be equal to the severity of the reproach of God’s name!” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on verse 12).

Asaph at last expresses confidence that God, as a caring shepherd over His flock (see Psalms 23; 80), will act in His people’s favor—so that they may praise Him for all time (79:13).

Luke 1:27-80

In this portion of the Gospel of Luke, we read about the Messenger coming to Miryam to tell her of her election to give birth to The Messiah and the miracle that she will experience. Miryam goes to visit Elisheva who is pregnant with Yochanan and they both talk of the prophetic and rejoice over their blessings.