News Letter 5846-057
15th day of the 12th month 5846 years after creation
The 12th Month in the first year of the third Sabbatical Year
The Third Sabbatical Year of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
February 19, 2011
Shabbat Shalom Brethren,
Before we get into this week’s News Letter I would like to encourage you all to take some time and watch this 13 part series called Against All Odds. I have to tell you I was in tears a number of times and I am also encouraged having watched this. We do have an awesome Elohim. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BZzTpd1Wx8&feature=player_embedded#at=270
Also this past Wednesday I was on Maria Merola’s Talk Shoe pod cast. You can listen to it at this link. http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/audioPop.jsp?episodeId=453443&cmd=apop
After that on Thursday evening I was once again on Jono at www.truth2U.org which you can listen to at http://www.truth2u.org/2011/02/joe-dumond-genesis-2740-the-current-restlessness-in-the-arab-world.html
And at the end of this week on Friday I was on Hebrew Nations http://www.hebrewnationradio.com/ And I urge you to listen in on each of these shows as they show you what is happening with the Egyptian Crisis and how The Prophecies of Abraham show these things in detail long before the events on TV show us them.
Some of you are asking about the music on the web site which thousands of
others love it as well; so go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOsEUgyqcrc and watch the youtube. The theme music on my site comes from this. Play this loud for your Shabbat.
I want to thank those who have gone to Amazon.com and written a book review of The Prophecies of Abraham. I would like to share them with you, and encourage others who have read the book to also write a short note at Amazon.
4.0 out of 5 stars Prophecies of Abraham, February 11, 2011
James R Fincham (CHARDON, OH, US)
This review is from: The Prophecies of Abraham: Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done (Paperback)
Greetings and Shalom to Prophecy minded believers! The Prophecies of Abraham is an excellent review of Scripture, that, in my view, objectively reviews Prophecy concerning the Last Days, from the perspective of the Jubilee Cycles. Gen 6:3 says that the days (read cycles from a Hebrew perspective) is now limited to 120. That is 120 Jubilee cycles. According to the book, we are in the 120th Jubilee cycle, the third sabbatical cycle. According to Leviticus 26, (this denotes blessings for obedience as well as cursings for disobedience) the Jubilee cycles are addressed in 7 year cycles where in YHWH says “if you will not obey me I will curse you 7 times—” There are curses pronounced for each successive 7 year cycle. Each added to the next. You will be amazed how the observations of this book match up with what is happening today. Amazingly, using that which is written being for our learning, we may not be as close to the coming of Yeshua (Christ) as many “teachers” would have you believe!! This is perhaps one of the best perspectives on the “Last Days” prophecies I have in my library. Joe does not prophesy in and of himself, only brings a perspective of Scripture I am blessed to have in my understanding.
4.0 out of 5 stars Bible End-Time Prophecy from a New Perspective, February 15, 2011
Stephen Dehnke (CARLISLE, PA, US) – See all my reviews
This review is from: The Prophecies of Abraham: Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done (Paperback)
First-time book author Joseph F. Dumond provides an innovative and fascinating look into the sequence of Bible eschatology by viewing the lives of the Patriarchs, most notably Abraham, as symbolic prophetic statements. Although the book’s primarily pastel yellow cover is not particularly impressive in appearance, no one should allow it to deceive them into thinking that the same holds true with the book’s content. This book is explosive with its outlook of near-future events, dated to specific coming years. Using end-time Bible prophecy and the recurring patterns of history as his guide, the author paints a vivid and frightening portrait of events expected to occur in the next 30 or so years — some of them already transpiring as predicted. As Mr. Dumond capably demonstrates, not only were the recorded events in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and others in the Bible written down for an example of righteous living but also as a precursor of prophetic events to come. Specifically, these “prophecies” are set to play out during the final Jubilee cycle, coinciding with Yah’shua (Jesus) the Messiah’s return on the heels of the apocalyptic epic events described in the book of Revelation. Before undertaking this study, Mr. Dumond pinpointed the major events recorded in the Bible and then correlated them with the 49-year Sabbatical Year cycles, each culminating in a Year of Jubilee in the 50th year. Thus, all of the major events of Biblical history and world history since the 1st Century have been charted according to these cycles. By cross-referencing the Biblical records of Sabbatical and Jubilee years with the accounts of ancient historians such as Herodotus and Josephus, Mr. Dumond was able to establish the precise dates of the 120 Jubilee cycles, as decreed in Genesis 6:3. Thus, he determined that the most recent Jubilee Year occurred in 1996. The next one is scheduled to occur in 2045. Symbolically interpreting the events in the patriarchs’ lives and linking them with the list of curses found in Leviticus 26 for violating YHWH’s Torah, Mr. Dumond presents numerous colorful charts throughout the book to show a recurring pattern played out with each Jubilee cycle. As shown through both history and current events, this pattern climaxes during the final Jubilee cycle — with dramatic catastrophic consequences for the world, especially for the present-day descendants of the ancient Israelites. These were the people freed from hopeless enslavement who made a covenant with the Almighty, YHWH, on Mt. Sinai to faithfully keep His commandments throughout their generations. Because these commandments have been forsaken, curses have been brought upon the earth. While the projected outlook seems full of doom and gloom, the author also provides considerable Scriptural reassurances of the unwavering love YHWH has for His people. Deliverance from the judgments to come has been promised to the faithful. More than ever, this is a time to be fervent in faith. Needless to say, there will be those who strongly disagree with the author’s views and interpretations of Bible eschatology in this book, as well as the prophetic outlooks he provides in his weekly online Sighted Moon Newsletter. In the end, history will be the final arbiter of fulfilled prophecies. Despite whatever differences readers may have with Mr. Dumond’s views, they may still find it worthwhile to obtain a copy of this book if for no other reason than to familiarize themselves with the recurring patterns found within the Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles. It should be noted that a correlation between the seven-year cycles and prophetic events is indicated by the prophetic timeline Daniel received, Daniel 9:24-27. Perhaps what is most amazing is that this aspect of Bible prophecy has been mostly overlooked up to now.
We also have more news this week about the food crisis which you can read about at http://ca.news.yahoo.com/asias-poor-suffer-food-prices-soar-raising-prospect-20110216-061211-556.html
Asia’s poor suffer as food prices soar, raising prospect of unrest
Feb 16, 2011
Surging food prices in India are forcing families to cut back on meat and vegetables. In Indonesia, they prompted the president to urge people to grow their own chili peppers. And in China, restaurant owners are feeling the squeeze.
Inflation is climbing across Asia as the cost of food jumps, echoing the previous global food crisis that peaked in 2008. While people in the united States and other western countries will barely feel the effects of higher prices, getting enough to eat is a big challenge for tens of millions in Asia.
World Bank: Food prices at “dangerous levels”
The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS – Global food prices have hit “dangerous levels” that could contribute to political instability, push millions of people into poverty and raise the cost of groceries, according to a new report from the World Bank.
The bank released a report Tuesday that said global food prices have jumped 29 percent in the past year, and are just 3 percent below the all-time peak hit in 2008.
I also found the following article alarming as well. Mathew 24:7 warns us of Famines Pestilences and Earthquakes. Lev 26:21-22 warns us of pestilences. The swine flu scare in 2009 did not measure up. Bird flu was then on the news but is now hardly ever mentioned. It is now being talked about in Asian papers.
You will want to read this article from Feb 7, 2011 at http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/h5n1-is-a-global-bird-flu-pandemic-brewing/ about the growing H5N1 bird flu. Here are a number of others articles all taking place since Feb 1, 2011 in Asia.
http://www.agra-net.com/portal2/home.jsp?template=newsarticle&artid=20017847012&pubid=ag002 The 12th case for Japan Feb 7, 2011
http://bdnews24.com/details.php?id=186727&cid=4 Bangladesh Feb 7, 2011
http://foodsafety.suencs.com/archives/15487 Myanmar Feb 7, 2011
http://foodsafety.suencs.com/archives/15510 Cambodia Feb 8, 2011
http://foodsafety.suencs.com/archives/15530 Cambodia Feb 9, 2011 Girl Dies H5N1
A five-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, the World Health Organisation said Wednesday, in the first reported fatality from the virus since early last year.
Lev 26:21 ‘And if you walk contrary to Me, and refuse to obey Me, I shall bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins, 22 and send wild beasts among you, which shall bereave you of your children. And I shall cut off your livestock, and make you few in number, and your highways shall be deserted.
This disease will rob you of your children.
As you read this, know and consider what my wife recently told me. She was very mad when this happened to her. A man had come to the hospital very sick with high fever and sweating. He had been like this now for two weeks. He also just came back from Asia where he had gotten sick.
We live in a small town. The man recovered and went home; but what if he had contracted one of the H5N1 bird flu diseases and brought it to the hospital where my wife works not to mention the airport and the airplane he traveled on? Do you see how far this pestilence which is coming can be taken and no community is safe from it, anywhere in the world?
Once again in the news this week are more Locust eating what remains of the Australian crops. A bumper crop was first ruined with too much rain then, what was left was washed away in devastating floods, And now an army of locust to eat up what remains.
Are the ozzies numb? Can they not see Yehovah’s hand in all of this, His hand of punishment for not keeping Torah and for not turning to Him? Wake up Australia before you are totally wiped out.
This next article you will want to open up The Prophecies of Abraham and read pages 62-90.
Europe Must Reclaim the Mediterranean by Brad MacDonald
In the world of geopolitics, the map is a prophetic instrument.
Consider the political upheavals in Egypt and the inevitable emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo’s new government. More broadly, consider radical Islam’s growing presence and influence in places like Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Pakistan. As extremist Islamic forces gain footholds in these countries, will they provoke transformations beyond the Middle East and North Africa? If so, where?
For the answers, we need only study a world map.
What quickly becomes apparent is radical Islam’s rise as a potent and controlling force in the southern and eastern Mediterranean. And who, outside that theater, does this trend threaten more than any other region? In virtually every conceivable way—politically, economically, strategically, demographically, culturally—it threatens Europe!
In an article aptly titled “If This Is Young Arabs’ 1989, Europe Must Be Ready With a Bold Response,” the Guardian’s Timothy Garton Ash warned last week that if violent, anti-Western Islamic forces gain the upper hand in Egypt and throughout North Africa, “producing so many new Irans,” then “heaven help us all” (emphasis mine throughout).
The stakes in the Mediterranean could hardly be higher for Europe, Ash stated: “If that does not add up to a vital European interest, I don’t know what does.”
Shamefully, few commentators beyond Mr. Ash have analyzed the rise of radical Islam in Egypt, Tunisia and throughout the Arab world in this context. Some of Europe’s leaders, on the other hand, know precisely what is at stake.
Last Friday, for example, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, in an article that warranted more attention than it received, warned it was time for Europe to think “geopolitically, not just fiscally, about the Mediterranean.”
In a glimpse of how European elites are digesting events in Egypt, Fischer warned that “what the European Union is facing in the Mediterranean region isn’t primarily a currency problem; first and foremost, it is a strategic problem— one that requires finding solutions urgently.”
In other words, the possibility of losing southern and eastern Mediterranean countries to radical Islam is a greater problem than even the eurozone crisis!
To understand Fischer’s alarm, a person need only consider a map of the Mediterranean Sea in light of radical Islam’s growing footprint in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and throughout much of North Africa and the Middle East.
One of Europe’s most important strategic assets is the Strait of Gibraltar. Situated on Spain’s southern tip, dividing Europe from Africa, the sea-lane is the western gateway into the Mediterranean Sea. Each year more than 80,000 vessels, many carrying goods to and from the shores of Europe’s largest economies, particularly Spain, Italy and Greece, transit the maritime gateway. The Port of Gibraltar is a deep water port, one of the busiest and most important in Europe.
From Gibraltar, one can peer across less than 15 miles of ocean and see Morocco, a bustling nation of 31 million, 98 percent of whom are Muslim. Morocco’s government and populace is relatively stable, but experts say Islamic terrorist organizations in recent years have taken root in the country. Some have joined forces with drug cartels smuggling their wares into Europe.
Others are actively working to overthrow the Moroccan government.
Moreover, neighboring Algeria has emerged as a terrorist mecca. According to former cia official and counterterrorism expert Charles Allen, al Qaeda is using Algeria as a breeding ground. Al Qaeda “functions as an umbrella organization for a disparate collection of Sunni Muslim terrorist elements determined to attack what they see as apostate regimes in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania and Morocco,” he said. Another expert said the region is emerging as al Qaeda’s next Afghanistan.
For Europe, the rising dominance of radical Islam in territory adjacent to its most crucial sea-lane amounts to a major strategic threat!
Roughly 1,000 miles east of Morocco is Tunisia. We’re told that this country, after the recent ousting of its authoritarian president, is embracing the democratic election of a new government. No one knows what this government will look like, but experts expect Islamist political parties will emerge with considerable influence. The leading Islamist party, Ennahdha—known for its anti-Western, extremist roots—is expected to gain significant power.
For Europe, Tunisia is immensely important. The shores of Sicily are a little over 150 miles away, and the region has historically been a staging ground for armies seeking to invade Europe via the Italian peninsula.
For Europe, the emergence in Tunisia of a government that identifies with radical Islam—and possibly condones its ambitions for an Islamic caliphate—is a strategic threat!
Then there’s the Suez Canal, which bisects Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Each day, 2 to 3 million barrels of oil and fuel products pass through the canal and the energy pipelines that transit the Suez desert, which is controlled by Egypt.
About two thirds of that energy ends up in Europe, where it accounts for 5 to 7 percent of the continent’s oil consumption. As Joel Hilliker highlighted last week, if the Muslim Brotherhood gains the levers of power in Cairo, it will be able to shut down the Suez, halting the flow of oil and goods.
For Europe, the transition of the Suez Canal into the hands of radical Islam would be a strategic and financial catastrophe!
Beyond Egypt, radical Islam is making its presence felt in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen. Except for Ethiopia, each of these countries is adjacent to the Red Sea or the Gulf of Aden, the vital sea-lanes connecting the Arabian Sea with the Mediterranean Sea, connecting Asia with Europe. Beyond their role as maritime highways, the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden contain vital ports from which oil is shipped to the world.
For Europe, the possibility of the Red Sea falling under the influence of radical Islam is a strategic and economic nightmare!
Another sliver of territory of extreme importance to Europe is the Dardanelle Strait and the Sea of Marmara, both of which connect the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Historically, these have generally marked the line between Europe and the Middle East. Today, these vital sea-lanes are controlled by Turkey. Since World War I this nation has been a secular state nurturing warm relations with the West, especially Europe. For Europe, as long as Turkey remained a secular, pro-Western state, there was no need to worry about the vital sea-lanes.
In the last couple of years, however, Turkey has given Europe cause for concern. Hardline Islamist forces have gained greater influence, both politically and religiously. More worryingly, Istanbul seems to be losing interest in sustaining rosy relations with the West, including Europe; it is showing an ominous tendency to prioritize relations with its Muslim neighbors, particularly Iran.
For Europe, the thought of Iran’s mullahs exploiting relations with Turkey to meddle in the Dardanelles and the Black Sea is deeply alarming!
Truly, when you look at the map and track the rise of radical Islam, it’s difficult to exaggerate just how much is at stake for Europe in the Mediterranean. Historically, the Mediterranean Sea belongs to Europe.
Strategically, the Strait of Gibraltar, the coast of Tunisia, the Suez Canal and Red Sea, the Dardanelles and the island of Cyprus are absolutely vital to Europe’s national security.
In the last two months, it has become obvious that radical Islam—a vehemently anti-Western, intensely violent, aggressive and uncompromising force—is engaged in a campaign to take control of Europe’s southern flank. Iran is at the vanguard of this uprising.
As reality sinks in, Europe is realizing: Inaction is not an option!
In the time ahead, expect Europe to engage more directly in North Africa and the Middle East. It has too much at stake to do nothing!
More significantly, the rise of radical Islam in the Mediterranean— the region Winston Churchill termed Europe’s soft underbelly—will serve as a powerful impetus for Europe to continue to forge itself into a streamlined and dominant political, economic and military superstate.
Be assured, events in Egypt are serving to assure Europe that if it wants to survive as a unified power—if it wants continued access to energy and resources from Africa and the Middle East—if it wants to stop radical Islam’s war on Christians—if it wants to purge the Islamic extremists from the Continent—then it must develop the political and military might to confront Iran and its
radical Islamic proxies.
Watch Europe closely. It knows the window of opportunity to tackle radical Islam’s mounting armies is closing. It is about to reclaim the Mediterranean!
ron fraser | COLUMNIST
Egypt, Israel, Germany and the Vatican
The Jerusalem Post recently reported, “President Shimon Peres has not abandoned his old friend, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
‘We always have had and will have great respect for President Mubarak,’ Peres [said]. … He was the peacekeeper of the Middle East’” (January 31).
Soon that “peacekeeper of the Middle East” will be gone from the scene. His removal combined with the very evident inability of the White House to influence current events in Egypt, or anywhere in the current North African turmoil for that matter, is set to accelerate the involvement of Germany and the Vatican in the Middle East Peace Process.
Israel is desperately looking for another friend, another “peacekeeper of the Middle East” to replace Mubarak and its patently undependable ally, the U.S.
Israeli President Shimon Peres, is the principal emissary involved in seeking to encourage Germany and the Vatican to become Israel’s “friends,” active “peacekeepers” in the Middle East.
During a recent visit to the Vatican, Peres told an interviewer on the First Channel of Italy’s public television (rai): “The relations between the Vatican and the Jewish state are the best since the times of Jesus Christ, and have never been so good in 2,000 years of history. … The reigning pontiff wishes to have a sincere dialogue with us, as we wish to have with the Vatican.”
Of Germany, during Chancellor Merkel’s most recent visit to Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “We are allies, Israel and Germany, and we have a great desire, on both sides, to strengthen our relationship and our bilateral cooperation. We also have the strong desire to advance peace and security in our region. Chancellor Merkel and I spoke at length about several ideas in this regard. “We know that we are in a very stormy and unstable period, and we would like to advance stability, peace and security” (jta, January 31).
Having regard to current American weakness, it seems both the Vatican and Germany are well placed to step up their direct involvement in the Mideast peace process in the wake of the Egyptian imbroglio.
German Fingers in Egyptian Pie
February 11, 2011 | From theTrumpet.com
With the fall of the Tunisian regime and the impending demise of Egypt’s President Mubarak, Germany has scored a significant strategic win. By Ron Fraser
During the ongoing upheavals in Egypt, little publicity has been given to German strategic interests in that nation, or indeed in the surrounding region of North Africa and the Mediterranean.
Germany’s postwar involvement with Egypt dates to the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1957. German interests in Egypt are driven by its strategic location at the vital Suez gateway via which many of its products are shipped south to southern and eastern markets, China in particular.
Egypt and Germany have well-established cultural exchanges established via the Cultural Cooperation Protocol signed in 1959 in addition to two other agreements signed in 1979 and 1981 covering cultural and scientific cooperation.
Politically the two nations enjoy exchanges of information in areas of mutual interest through the bilateral framework of what is known as the Euro-Med Cooperation agreements.
During a visit to Berlin in April 2008, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak established a joint committee of representatives of both countries to explore areas of mutual interest in which they could jointly cooperate each to the other’s benefit. These areas of interest include political dialogue, trade and industry, environment, scientific research, culture, and judicial and immigration matters. Inevitably, the German security and intelligence service, the BND, will use these fronts to mask its spy activities in a foreign country. Thus it is that German intelligence is kept up to date with the machinations of competing movements in Egypt as it currently undergoes the process of regime change.
Germany has shown particular interest in helping to secure the Gaza Strip, the vital corridor buffering Israel at its southern border with Egypt. At the summit conference held in Sharm el-Sheikh in March 2009 to discuss the reconstruction and security of Gaza, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel took a lead role.
Germany and Egypt are in agreement on the two-state solution to the Palestinian question, a main sticking point with the Middle East peace process in which Germany is busy working behind the scenes in an effort to take on a lead role.
Key to understanding German foreign policy in Egypt is the increasing extent of its involvement in industry, and the Bundeswehr elites’ involvement with Egypt’s military elites.
German-Foreign-Policy.com has reported that “Following Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s announcement that he would not seek reelection in the upcoming presidential elections in September, the German government has reinforced its efforts to gain influence in Cairo’s incoming power structures. The Egyptian military still has control. The most important ministers are from the military” (February 3).
Noting this, German-Foreign-Policy.com continues, “A constellation that could successfully leave Egyptian power with [Omar] Suleiman and the military would be favorable to the Western powers. This would permit the maintenance of the existing precarious Middle East tensions, based on support for Israel by some of the Arab governments—including the Egyptian—and permitting Western control over Arab resources.”
But Berlin is hedging its bets in Egypt by also continuing to court opposition groups through its traditional method of masking its strategic political intentions behind educational and humanitarian initiatives.
“In case the military cannot stabilize its control over the Egyptian situation, Berlin is maintaining contact with members of the opposition, also through German-party-affiliated foundations, such as the Friedrich Naumann Foundation” (ibid.). That foundation is directly affiliated with Chancellor Merkel’s main coalition partner, the Federal Democratic Party.
Then there is the rather intriguing connection between the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Germany.
“Postwar West Germany offered the MB a valuable safe haven in the heart of Europe, primarily because the Ikhwan [Muslim term for the Muslim Brotherhood] had established a relationship with the Nazis during World War II and maintained ties to powerful Germans after the war” (Center for Security Policy, Oct. 7, 2010).
Over the past 20 years, we have often publicized in the Trumpet magazine the historically documented fact that many former Nazis were placed into positions of influence under Germany’s first postwar government headed by Chancellor Adenauer.
During Adenauer’s chancellorship, “The West Germans were especially welcoming of Syrians and Egyptians because of a state policy that offered assistance to any ‘refugees’ from nations that formally recognized Bonn’s rival, Communist East Germany—something both Egypt and Syria did” (ibid.). So it was that, mid-20th century, the Muslim Brotherhood found safe haven in Germany.
Thus it is that today Germany is involved with, and has influence over, the three main parties that could have impact on shaping the post-Mubarak future of the highly strategic nation of Egypt: the military elites, the opposition parties and the Muslim Brotherhood.
But one of the main thrusts of Germany’s involvement with the Egyptian elites has been to counter initiatives by France in its efforts to supply a counterweight to Germany’s lucrative interests in Eastern Europe by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Mediterranean Union.
President Sarkozy’s main partners in this political/economic union were President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia. The deposing of the Tunisian president and the apparent downfall of Hosni Mubarak has led to the collapse of the French-inspired Mediterranean Union. Its general secretary, seeing the writing on the wall, recently resigned. This is a significant defeat for France’s efforts to influence events in the Middle East and Mediterranean region against specific German economic and political interests. The door is now open for Germany to move in and become the main agent of influence in this crucially strategic region.
Watch Northern Africa closely now for the power behind the thrones in the southern rim of the Mediterranean to increasingly emanate from Europe’s richest economy and most powerful political force, Germany!
Germany will be seeking to secure its hold over the Mediterranean Sea and the crucial gateways at its western and eastern extremities—Gibraltar and Suez.
Last week in our Torah study we talked about the Sabbath and how we are to keep it and how some have perverted this understanding in recent years.
When we go to Lev 23 we are then told how to keep the Holy Days that come along annually.
As we approach the Passover season it becomes very important to know how to count to each of the holy days as you are told to do in Lev 23.
The very first Holy Day or the very first set apart time is told to us in Lev.
Lev 23:1 And ???? spoke to Mosheh, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Yisra’?l, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of ????, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these:
3 ‘Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to ???? in all your dwellings.
4 ‘These are the appointed times of ????, set-apart gatherings which you are to proclaim at their appointed times.
5 ‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the evenings, is the Passover to ????.
6 ‘And on the fifteenth day of this month is the Festival of Unleavened Bread to ???? – seven days you eat unleavened bread.
We are also told more in verse 10 Lev 23:10 “Speak to the children of Yisra’?l, and you shall say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.
Lev 23:11 ‘And he shall wave the sheaf before ????, for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it.
What is this wave sheaf that is to be waved from the first fruits?
This is a very important thing to know because without the first fruits sheaf you cannot start the Passover season.
My friend Nehemiah Gordon has an excellent article on this subject at Karaite Korner.
Biblical Leap Years
The Biblical year begins with the first New Moon after the barley in Israel reaches the stage in its ripeness called Abib. The period between one year and the next is either 12 or 13 lunar months. Because of this, it is important to check the state of the Barley crops at the end of the 12th month. If the barley is Abib at this time, then the following New Moon is Hodesh Ha-Aviv (“New Moon of the Abib”). If the barley is still immature, we must wait another month and then check the barley again at the end of the 13th month.
By convention, a 12-month year is referred to as a Regular Year while a 13th month year is referred to as a Leap Year. This should not be confused with Leap Years in the Gregorian (Christian) Calendar, which involve the “intercalation” (addition) of a single day (Feb. 29). In contrast, the Biblical Leap Year involves the intercalation of an entire lunar month (“Thirteenth Month”, also called “Adar Bet”). In general, it can only be determined whether a year is a Leap Year a few days before the end of the 12th Month.
Where is Abib Mentioned in the Hebrew Bible?
The story of the Exodus relates “This day you are going out in the the month of the Abib.” (Ex 13,4).
To commemorate that we left Egypt in the month of the Abib, we are instructed to bring the Passover sacrifice and celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Hag HaMatzot) at this time of year. In Dt 16,1 we are commanded:
“Keep the month of the Abib and make the Passover (sacrifice) to YHWH your God at night, because in the month of the Abib YHWH your God took you out of Egypt”. [click here to hear the verse in Hebrew!]
Similarly, we are commanded in Ex 23,15:
“You will keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread; seven days you will eat unleavened bread, as I have commanded you, at the time of the month of the Abib, because in it you went out of Egypt.”
The same is commanded in Ex 34,18:
“You will keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread; seven days you will eat unleavened bread, as have I commanded you, at the time of the month of the Abib, because in the month of the Abib you went out of Egypt.”
What is Abib?
Abib indicates a stage in the development of the barley crops. This is clear from Ex 9,31-32 which describes the devastation caused by the plague of hail:
“And the flax and the barley were smitten, because the barley was Abib and the flax was Giv’ol. And the wheat and the spelt were not smitten because they were dark (Afilot).”
The above passage relates that the barley crops were destroyed by the hail while the wheat and spelt were not damaged. To understand the reason for this we must look at how grain develops. When grains are early in their development they are flexible and have a dark green color. As they become ripe they take on a light yellowish hue and become more brittle. The reason that the barley was destroyed and the wheat was not is that the barley had reached the stage in its development called Abib and as a result had become brittle enough to be damaged by the hail. In contrast, the wheat and spelt were still early enough in their development, at a stage when they were flexible and not susceptible to being damaged by hail. The description of the wheat and spelt as “dark” (Afilot) indicates that they were still in the stage when they were deep green and had not yet begun to lighten into the light yellowish hue which characterizes ripe grains. In contrast, the barley had reached the stage of Abib at which time it was no longer “dark” and at this point it probably had begun to develop golden streaks.
We know from several passages that barley which is in the state of Abib has not completely ripened, but has ripened enough so that its seeds can be eaten parched in fire. Parched barley was a commonly eaten food in ancient Israel and is mentioned in numerous passages in the Hebrew Bible as either “Abib parched (Kalui) in fire” (Lev 2,14) or in the abbreviated form “parched (Kalui/ Kali)” (Lev 23,14; Jos 5,11; 1Sam 17,17; 1Sam 25,18; 2Sam 17,28; Ruth 2,14).
While still early in its development, barley has not yet produced large enough and firm enough seeds to produce food through parching. This early in its development, when the “head” has just come out of the shaft, the seeds are not substantial enough to produce any food. At a later stage, the seeds have grown in size and have filled with liquid. At this point the seeds will shrivel up when parched and will only produce empty skins. Over time the liquid is replaced with dry material and when enough dry material has amassed the seeds will be able to yield “barley parched in fire”.
Abib and the Harvest
The month of the Abib is the month which commences after the barley has reached the stage of Abib. 2-3 weeks after the beginning of the month the barley has moved beyond the stage of Abib and is ready to be brought as the “wave-sheaf offering” (Hanafat HaOmer). The “wave-sheaf offering” is a sacrifice brought from the first stalks cut in the harvest and is brought on the Sunday which falls out during Passover (Hag HaMatzot). This is described in Lev 23,10-11:
“When you come to the land which I give you, and harvest its harvest, you will bring the sheaf of the beginning of your harvest to the priest. And he will wave the sheaf before YHWH so you will be accepted; on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest will wave it.”
From this it is clear that the barley, which was Abib at the beginning of the month, has become harvest-ready 15-21 days later (i.e by the Sunday during Passover). Therefore, the month of the Abib can not begin unless the barley has reached a stage where it will be harvest-ready 2-3 weeks later.
That the barley must be harvest-ready 2-3 weeks into the month of the Abib is also clear from Dt 16,9 which states:
“From when the sickle commences on the standing grain you will begin to count seven weeks.”
From Lev 23,15 we know that the seven weeks between Passover (Hag Hamatzot) and Pentecost (Shavuot) begin on the day when the wave-sheaf offering is brought (i.e. the Sunday which falls out during Passover):
“And you shall count from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day you bring the sheaf of waving; they will be seven complete Sabbaths.”
Therefore, the “sickle commences on the standing grain” on the Sunday during Passover, i.e. 2-3 weeks after the beginning of the month of the Abib. If the barley is not developed enough so that it will be ready for the sickle 2-3 weeks later, then the month of the Abib can not begin and we must wait till the following month.
It should be noted that not all the barley ripens in the Land of Israel at the same time. The wave-sheaf offering is a national sacrifice brought from the first fields to become harvest-ready. However, the first-fruit offerings brought by individual farmers can vary in ripeness anywhere from “Abib parched in fire” to fully ripe grain which may be brought “crushed” or “coarsely ground”. This is what is meant in Lev 2,14:
“And when you bring a first-fruit offering to YHWH; you shall bring your first-fruit offering as Abib parched in fire or crushed Carmel” (Carmel is grain which has hardened beyond Abib to the point where it can be “crushed” or “coarsely ground”).
All of the above passages have been translated directly from the Hebrew and it is worth noting that the King James translators seem to have only understood the various Hebrew agricultural terms very poorly. In Lev 2,14 they translated Carmel as “full ears” and “Abib” as “green ears” whereas in Lev 23,14 they translated Carmel as “green ears”!
In summation, barley which is in the state of Abib has 3 characteristics:
1. It is brittle enough to be destroyed by hail and has begun to lighten in color (it is not “dark”).
2. The seeds have produced enough dry material so it can be eaten parched.
3. It has developed enough so that it will be harvest-ready 2-3 weeks later.
Now that we know that the first month is when the Barley is ready to harvest for the wave offering, the other question we must sort out is when does the month begin? Is it a dark conjunction moon or the first crescent or new sliver of the new moon or the as some new ages have it as the full moon.
Again I refer you to my friend. And then after I will share with you what my friend could not share.
The New Moon in the Hebrew Bible
The Biblical month begins with the crescent New Moon, also called First Visible Sliver. The Hebrew word for month (Hodesh) literally means New Moon and only by extension the period between one New Moon and the next.
The Rabbanite Midrash relates that when God said to Moses “This month (HODESH) shall be for you the beginning of months” (Ex 12,2) the Almighty pointed up into the heavens at the crescent New Moon and said “When you see like this, sanctify! [=declare New Moon day]”. This Rabbinic fairy-tale highlights an important point, namely that the Bible never comes out and says we should determine the beginning of months based on the New Moon. The reason for this is that the term for “Month” (Hodesh) itself implies that the month begins with the crescent New Moon. As will be seen, this would have been obvious to any ancient Israelite present when Moses recited the prophecies of YHWH to the Children of Israel and therefore there was no need to elucidate this concept any more than such terms as “light” or “dark”. However, due to the long exile, we have lost the use of Biblical Hebrew in day to day speech. Therefore, we will have to reconstruct the meaning of Hodesh from the usage of the word in the Biblical text using sound linguistic principles.
He Created the Moon for Holidays
There can be no doubt that the biblical Holidays are dependent on the moon. The strongest proof of this is the passage in Ps 104,19 which declares:
“He created the moon for Mo’adim [appointed times]”
The Hebrew term Mo’adim [appointed times] is the same word used to describe the Biblical Holidays. Leviticus 23, which contains a catalogue of the Biblical Holidays opens with the statement: “These are the Mo’adim [appointed times] of YHWH, holy convocations which you shall proclaim in their appointed times [Mo’adam].”. So when the Psalmist tells us that God created the moon for Mo’adim [appointed times] he means that the moon was created to determine the time of the Mo’adim of YHWH, that is, the Biblical Holidays.
“Hodesh” Is Related To the Moon
The above verse clearly teaches us that the holidays are related to the moon. But when the Torah was given Ps 104 had not yet been written by the Levitical prophets, and the question still remains of how the ancient Israelites could have known this. The answer is that the Hebrew word for month (Hodesh) itself indicates a connection to the moon. We can see this connection in a number of instances in which Hodesh (month) is used interchangeably with the word “Yerah”, the common Biblical Hebrew word for moon, which by extension also means “month”. For example:
“…in the month (Yerah) of Ziv,
which is the Second month (Hodesh)…” (1Kings 6,1)
“…in the month (Yerah) of Ethanim… which is the Seventh month (Hodesh)…” (1Kings 8,2)
Another proof that Hodesh is related to the moon (Yerah) is the phrase “A Hodesh (month) of days” (Gen 29,14; Nu 11,20-21) [meaning a period of 29 or 30 days] which is equivalent to the phrase “A Yerah (month/ moon) of days” (Dt 21,13; 2Ki 15,13). Clearly then Hodesh is related to “Yerah”, which itself literally means “moon”.
“Hodesh” Means New Moon (Day)
The primary meaning of Hodesh (month) is actually “New Moon” or “New Moon Day” and it is only by extension that it came to mean “month”, that is, the period between one New Moon and the next. This primary meaning is preserved in a number of passages such as 1Sam 20,5 in which Jonathan says to David “Tomorrow is the New Moon (Hodesh)”. Clearly, in this verse Hodesh is used to refer to the specific day on which the month begins and not the entire month. Another passage which uses Hodesh in its primary sense is Ez 46,1 which talks about “The Day (Yom) of the New Moon (Ha-Hodesh)”. Clearly in this verse Hodesh (New Moon) is a specific event and the beginning of the month is the day on which this event (New Moon) occurs.
The Biblical New Moon is the “First Crescent”
“Hodesh” (New Moon), is derived from the root H.D.SH. meaning “new” or “to make new/ renew”. The Crescent New Moon is called Hodesh because it is the first time the moon is seen anew after being concealed for several days at the end of the lunar cycle. At the end of the lunar month the moon is close to the sun 1 and eventually reaches the point of “conjunction” when it passes between the Sun and the Earth.2 As a result, around the time of conjunction very little of the moon’s illuminated surface faces the Earth and it is not visible through the infinitely brighter glare of the sun. After the moon moves past the sun it continues towards the opposite side of the Earth. As it gets farther away from the sun the percentage of its illuminated surface facing the Earth increases and one evening shortly after sunset the moon is seen anew after being invisible for 1.5-3.5 days. Because the moon is seen anew after a period of invisibility the ancients called it a “New Moon” or “Hodesh” (from Hadash meaning “new”).
Crescent New Moon vs. Astronomical New Moon
Many people have been led astray by the inaccurate use in modern languages of the term “New Moon”. Modern astronomers adopted this otherwise unused term, which had always referred to the first visible sliver, and used it to refer to conjunction (when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, at which time it is not visible). The astronomers soon realized that the inaccurate use of “New Moon” to refer to conjunction would lead to confusion so to be more accurate scientists now distinguish between “Astronomical New Moon” and “Crescent New Moon”. “Astronomical New Moon” means New Moon as the term is used by astronomers, i.e. conjunction. In contrast, “Crescent New Moon” uses the term in the original meaning of the first visible sliver. A good English dictionary should reflect both meanings. For example, the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged Edition defines New Moon as: “The moon either when in conjunction with the sun or soon after being either invisible [Astronomical New Moon] or visible [Crescent New Moon] only as a slender crescent.” (square brackets added by NG).
The Supposed Evidence For “Concealed Moon”
Having been confused by the use of the term New Moon in modern astronomy some people have sought Biblical support for this incorrect meaning of the term. Ps 81,3 [Heb. 81,4] is usually cited which says:
“Blow on a horn for the Hodesh (New Moon)
On the Keseh (Full Moon) for the Day of our Hag (Feast).”
According to the “Concealed Moon Theory”, the term “Keseh” is derived from the root K.S.Y. meaning “to cover” and thus means “covered moon” or “concealed moon”. According to this interpretation, when the verse says to blow on a horn on the day of Keseh it actually means “[blow on a horn] on the day of Concealed Moon”. However, the language does not support this argument for the second half of the verse also refers to the day of Keseh as “the day of our Feast (Hag)”. In the Bible, Feast (Hag) is a technical term which always refers to the three annual pilgrimage-feasts (Matzot, Shavuot, Sukkot; see Ex 23; Ex 34).3 New Moon Day (Hodesh) is never classified as a “Pilgrimage-Feast” so Keseh/ Hag can not possibly be synonymous with New Moon Day (Hodesh). It has further been suggested that Keseh refers to the Biblical holiday of Yom Teruah (Day of Shouting), which always falls out on New Moon Day. However, the Bible describes Yom Teruah as a Moed (appointed time) and never as a Hag (Pilgrimage-Feast) so Keseh/ Hag can not refer to Yom Teruah either.
What Does Keseh Really Mean?
It is likely that Keseh is related to the Aramaic word “Kista” and the Assyrian word “Kuseu” which mean “full moon” (see Brown-Driver-Briggs p.490b) [Hebrew, Aramaic, and Assyrian are all Semitic languages and often share common roots]. This fits in perfectly with the description of Keseh as the day of the Hag since two of the three Pilgrimage-Feasts (Hag HaMatzot and Hag HaSukkot) are on the 15th of the month, which is about the time of the Full Moon!
More on “Concealed Moon”
Another point to consider is that there is no actual “day” of concealed moon. In fact the moon stays concealed anywhere from 1.5 to 3.5 days in the Middle East. It has been proposed that the “day” of concealed moon is actually the day of conjunction (when the moon passes between the Earth and Sun). However, it was only 1000 years after Moses that the Babylonian astronomers discovered how to calculate the moment of conjunction. Therefore, the ancient Israelites would have had no way of knowing when the moment of conjunction takes place and would not have known on which day to observe “Concealed Moon Day”.
It has been suggested that the ancient Israelites could have looked at the “Old Moon” and determined the Day of Conjunction by when the Old Moon was no longer visible in the morning sky. However, such a method would not work in the Middle East where the so-called “concealed moon” can remain concealed for as many as 3.5 days! It is in fact common for the moon to stay concealed for 2.5 days and in such instances how would the ancient Israelites have known which day was the Day of Conjunction?
In contrast, the ancient Israelites would have been well aware of the Crescent New Moon. In ancient societies people worked from dawn to dusk and they would have noticed the Old Moon getting smaller and smaller in the morning sky. When the morning moon had disappeared the ancient Israelites would have anxiously awaited its reappearance 1.5-3.5 days later in the evening sky. Having disappeared for several days and then appearing anew in the early evening sky they would have called it the “New Moon” or “Hodesh” (from Hadash meaning “New”).
Note 1: From the perspective of an observer on Earth. Back
Note 2: I.e. it is on the same plane as the Sun and the Earth. Back
Note 3: see BDB pp.290b-291a. Even in the few instances where Hag does not refer to the three Biblical Pilgrimage-Feasts, it refers to non-Biblical pilgrimage-feasts. For example, in Judges 21,19 Hag refers to the annual pilgrimage-feast held around the shrine of Shiloh. Also, in Exodus 10,9 Moses tells Pharaoh that the Israelites must leave Egypt to celebrate a Hag to YHWH in the desert, which clearly is a pilgrimage-feast. It is worth noting that Moses says that they have a Hag, meaning they must make a pilgrimage, in this case to Mt. Sinai, and thus they must leave Egypt in order to observe the Hag properly. Back
When I first learned of this Crescent moon, I was in shock as I had been keeping the Feast days according to the Hebrew calendar which uses the conjunction moon to start the month. This then means that those who use the Hebrew Calendar are not keeping the Feast days at the right time.
I prayed about this and asked for the biblical proof as to which method was correct. What comes next is the proof which my friend Nehemiah cannot agree with as it involves the birth of Yehshua and when that was.
Those of you who are new to all of this read this entire News letter a couple of times and make sure you print off a copy of the following two articles.
Christians have no idea what the Holy Days mean and why we observe them. They have baskets full of excuses why they will not keep them. It is only when you keep them that you would understand that the Feast of Trumpets represents the return of the Messiah on this day in the seventh month. Yehshua was not born December 25th as the world believes, nor at Sukkoth as some Messianic believe.
For those who are new and need to learn more about all the Holy Days, we will cover them more as they approach. But in the mean time many of you need to order this booklet and read it and gain a grasp for the meaning of each Holy Day and why we keep it. The group that gives this booklet away does keep the Hebrew calendar as does the Jewish community, and now that you have just learned and proven why the sighted moon is the proper way to start the month, you can keep this in mind as you read the booklet.
http://www.ucg.org/booklets/HD/ God’s Holy Day Plan
We now return to our 3 1/2 year Torah studies which you can follow at
Exodus 1 1 Kings 3-4 Ps 105 Luke 14:12 – 15:32
We have been reading Genesis since we started at Aviv in 2010 and finally now we begin to read Exodus and it is just before and leading up to the Passover season. On top of all this, this week’s Psalms also matches with the exodus season. I once again love how this is all working out, by us doing the 3 ½ year Torah study in accordance with the Sabbatical cycle.
Here is Exodus 1 we are brought up to speed about what has happened since the life of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis. And it is not long into Exodus before we learn of the fear that the Egyptian had of the Israelites.
But it wasn’t some future war that the Egyptians had to fear, but it was the war that was beginning in their hearts. As we read this book of Exodus the main theme for me will be to watch Pharaohs heart as it gets harder and harder. We now know the leading cause to his hard hearted nature; Fear.
The Egyptians began to fear the very people who had helped their land prosper; and in that fear, they were afraid of what would happen to them if Israel remained in their land.
And they were also afraid of what would happen to themselves, if Israel left.
The Egyptians are afraid of both of their suggested options.
And if these are the only kinds of options we see for ourselves, we have already lost the war before it really begins.
The only way we can get ourselves into this kind of situation, which contains no positive options, is if Yehovah is not part of our decision-making process. Later when Moses is at the Red Sea the Israelites saw no options in how they would escape. They had not considered what Yehovah was going to do for them. It is the same for us today. Do we include Yehovah in our daily decisions?
In the rest of this chapter we read about the midwives. What would you do in this situation? Would you comply with the state orders or would you lie to the state? When the midwives chose to fear Yehovah they were blessed for it.
Recently a number of nations have spoken out against Israel and they have reaped many disasters. Canada has spoken out in favour of Israel and throughout this recession our economy has been fair. I cannot help but wonder if the two are related.
Each of us has a job to do in standing up for Torah where ever we are in whatever state we are in. When we do Yehovah has promised to bless those who bless you and to curse those who curse you. How will history record the light that has come from you? Will it be like the midwives, or will it be like the soldiers we will read about next week who throw the babies into the Nile?
1 Kings 3-4
I would now like to use Yair Davidiy to explain the chapters we are going to be reading about in Kings. I find he has a wealth of knowledge that you all need to tap into. When you see his books offered order them. You can also go to the sight to see those pictures and maps he has up.
The Daughter of Pharoah is Wed to Solomon: Batya and Mered
[1-Kings 3:1] AND SOLOMON MADE AFFINITY WITH PHARAOH KING OF EGYPT, AND TOOK PHARAOH’S DAUGHTER, AND BROUGHT HER INTO THE CITY OF DAVID, UNTIL HE HAD MADE AN END OF BUILDING HIS OWN HOUSE, AND THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, AND THE WALL OF JERUSALEM ROUND ABOUT.
Daughters of Pharoah played an important part in the History of Israel. A daughter of Pharoah found Moses who had been placed in ARK OF BULRUSHES (Exodus 2:3). She recognized that the infant was one of the Children of the Hebrews and saved him, having him brought up by his own mother in the regal palace. Her name according to tradition was Batyah. The name Batyah means “Daughter of God”.
She is identified with Batyah (transliterated as BITHIAH in the KJ) who was the wife of Mered.
THESE ARE THE SONS OF BITHIAH THE DAUGHTER OF PHARAOH, WHICH MERED TOOK [1-Chronicles 4:18].
Mered according to tradition was another name for Caleb from the Tribe of Judah.
In Jewish legends the daughter of Pharaoh whom Solomon married is sometimes also referred to as Batya.
Nial who was the ancestor of part of the early kings of Ireland and Scotland according to one version married Scotta daugher of Pharoah. Other versions says it was Goidel Glas (another of the early Gaels) who married Scotta.
Did Neal Marry Scotta Daughter of Pharoah?
Extract from, “The Milesian Legends”
In some http://members.aol.com/lochlan6/mlegend.htm
Nel, the son of Feinius Farsaid, king of Scythia, went to Egypt and married Scota, the daughter of Pharoah. In others a later descendant also went to Egypt and married Scota, the daughter of pharoah. In some versions the Gaedil went from Scythia to Egypt, back to Scythia then on to Spain. In others they went from Scythia to Egypt and back to Scythia; then from Scythia to Egypt yet again before sailing to Spain. In at least one version they never went to Spain at all! In some versions the sons of King Milesius were the last to invade Ireland; in others the last invasion was led by a Simon Breach.
The Egyptian Wife of Solomon
Quite a bit has been said concerning the Daughter of Pharaoh whom Solomon married.
Wikipedia has an article about it.
This article mentions the legend (supported by Scripture) that the marriage of Solomon to the Daughter of Pharoah was ultimately the cause of the Ten Tribes separating themselves from Judah.
Pharaoh’s daughter (wife of Solomon)
Extracts from Wikipedia
Pharaoh’s daughter who was the wife of Solomon is a figure in Hebrew scriptures who married the king of the United Monarchy of Israel to cement a political alliance with Egypt. Out of his vast harem, she is the only wife singled out, although she is not given a name in the texts. Her influence on Solomon is seen as the downfall of his greatness.
While there is no archaeological evidence of a marriage between an Egyptian princess and a king of united Israel, claims of one are made at several places in the Hebrew Scriptures.
1 Kings 3:1 says,
“And Solomon became allied to Pharaoh king of Egypt by marriage, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.”
The fact that Pharaoh’s daughter has been singled out in the accounts of Solomon is significant as similar treatment is not given to his “seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines” (1 Kings 11:3). Some scholars believe this unique example was because this marriage in particular “demonstrates the wealth and power of the Hebrew monarchy, for Pharaoh’s daughters did not ordinarily marry outside of their own family, and perhaps indicates the weakness of the Egyptian kingdom at this time.” Another scholar points out that marrying Pharaohs daughter is significant in light of the story of Exodus, “A descendant of former Egyptian slaves now became Pharaoh’s son-in-law”. Most scholars believe the alliance was a result of the reputation of Solomon’s father, “Under David, Israel had become a factor to be reckoned with in Eastern politics, and the Pharaoh found it prudent to secure its friendship.” The marriage alliance is seen by scholars as the reason for the reported increase in trade with Egypt at 1 Kings 10:28-29.
City of Gezer as dowry
Location of city of Gezer (to the west of Judah).
The Hebrew scriptures relate that the Cannanite city of Gezer had never fallen before the Israelites from Joshua to David.
Joshua 16:10 “And they drove not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in the midst of Ephraim, unto this day, and became servants to do taskwork.”
Judges 1:29 “And Ephraim drove not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.”
2 Samuel 5:25 “And David did so, as the Lord commanded him, and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gezer.”
This situation changed when the Egyptian army invaded the city, ethnically cleansed the populace and Pharaoh turned it over to his daughter as a wedding gift, whereby it became the property of Israel.
1 Kings 9:16
“Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a portion unto his daughter, Solomon’s wife.”
1 Kings 9:17 shows that Gezer was now rebuilt and made a fortified city of Solomon.
The historian Josephus gives a similar account in his Antiquities of the Jews, Bk 8, Ch 6, Sec. 1.
According to 1 Kings 9:20-23, Solomon enslaved, “All the people that were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites” and he had members of “the children of Israel…rule over the people that wrought in the work.” The slaves produced many structures for Solomon including a palace for Pharaoh’s daughter.
The Talmud states that Pharaoh’s daughter played a role in why Jeroboam was found worthy of becoming ruler of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. At Sanhedrin 101b it says “Why did Jeroboam merit sovereignty? Because he reproved Solomon. And why was he punished? Because he reproved him publicly. As it is written, And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father. He said thus to him: Thy father David made breaches in the wall, that Israel might come up [to Jerusalem] on the Festivals; whilst thou hast closed them, in order to exact toll for the benefit of Pharaoh’s daughter..”
Rashi explains that Solomon sealed up a place that was in Jerusalem, enclosed by a low wall and was filled with dirt called the Millo (mentioned in 1 Kings 11:26-32). He did this “to build within it houses for her manservants and maidservants. Concerning this Jeroboam admonished him, saying: Your father left it open for the pilgrims, and you enclosed it to make a labor force for Pharaohs daughter. …the Millo he did not build for any greatness, for his father had left it for the pilgrims to pitch their tents therein, but since Pharaohs daughter had gone up to her house, and the Millo was adjacent to that house, then he built up the Millo.”
Pictures of Ancient Egyptians
High Places and the Tabernacle at Gibeon
[1-Kings 3:2] ONLY THE PEOPLE SACRIFICED IN HIGH PLACES, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO HOUSE BUILT UNTO THE NAME OF THE LORD, UNTIL THOSE DAYS.
HIGH PLACES. Hebrew “bamah” which can connote some type of elevation possibly man made.
Before the Temple was built there was a main place of worship centered around the Tabernacle. At first the Tabernacle was in Shiloh but the Philistines destroyed it. After that the Tabernacle was moved from one place to another. When Solomon came to rule it was in the Benjaminite city of Gibeon close to Jerusalem. When the Tabernacle had been in Shiloh (in the territory of Ephraim) it was the only place were sacrifices were permitted. After Shiloh all public sacrifices were carried out wherever the Tabernacle was located but private sacrficies were permitted elsewhere. Private sacrficies evidently requyired the erection of a “bamah” or high place”.
[1-Kings 3:3] AND SOLOMON LOVED THE LORD, WALKING IN THE STATUTES OF DAVID HIS FATHER: ONLY HE SACRIFICED AND BURNT INCENSE IN HIGH PLACES.
This affirmation of the piety of Solomon comes almost straight after the account of his marriage to the daughter of Pharoah. Even though according to tradition the marriage was to have negative effects that was because of the personbality of the bride and the culture she came from. There was nothing intrinsically wrong with the marriage itself.
Brit-Am is in favor of “Israelites” doing what it takes for the sake of their families and people.
We have been accused of being ambivalent on the question of inter-marriage etc and maybe we are.
Nevertheless, Brit-Am has very popular articles on Racial Types and Pictures of Ancient Hebrews.
We also have the article entitled,
“The Black Woman.
Color Prejudice Condemned by the Torah”
This article is accessible from our front page and is quite prominently displayed.
Its message is also quite clear.
This article tells us what the Bible message is on this matter.
Without going into details if it was not for certain “colored” individuals who helped Yair Davidiy personally and the organization Brit-Am on several occasions we would have been in serious trouble.
[1-Kings 3:4] AND THE KING WENT TO GIBEON TO SACRIFICE THERE; FOR THAT WAS THE GREAT HIGH PLACE: A THOUSAND BURNT OFFERINGS DID SOLOMON OFFER UPON THAT ALTAR.
God Appears to Solomon in a Dream
[1-Kings 3:5] IN GIBEON THE LORD APPEARED TO SOLOMON IN A DREAM BY NIGHT: AND GOD SAID, ASK WHAT I SHALL GIVE THEE.
God appeared to Solomon, the King of Israel in honor of his father David and on behalf of all Israel.
[1-Kings 3:6] AND SOLOMON SAID, THOU HAST SHEWED UNTO THY SERVANT DAVID MY FATHER GREAT MERCY, ACCORDING AS HE WALKED BEFORE THEE IN TRUTH, AND IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND IN UPRIGHTNESS OF HEART WITH THEE; AND THOU HAST KEPT FOR HIM THIS GREAT KINDNESS, THAT THOU HAST GIVEN HIM A SON TO SIT ON HIS THRONE, AS IT IS THIS DAY.
THOU HAST RAVISHED MY HEART (Livavtini), MY SISTER, MY SPOUSE; THOU HAST RAVISHED MY HEART WITH ONE OF THINE EYES, WITH ONE CHAIN OF THY NECK (Song of Solomon 4:9).
From this root “Lev” meaning heart and “Levav” meaning “draw the heart out” or “make to like” we get the English word “love”.
[1-Kings 3:7] AND NOW, O LORD MY GOD, THOU HAST MADE THY SERVANT KING INSTEAD OF DAVID MY FATHER: AND I AM BUT A LITTLE CHILD: I KNOW NOT HOW TO GO OUT OR COME IN.
[1-Kings 3:8] AND THY SERVANT IS IN THE MIDST OF THY PEOPLE WHICH THOU HAST CHOSEN, A GREAT PEOPLE, THAT CANNOT BE NUMBERED NOR COUNTED FOR MULTITUDE.
God chose the People of Israel. The Israelites are the chosen People. This applies to boyth Judah and Joseph. We should not forget this. Each section of the Israelite People has its own tasks. The task of Joseph is discussed in our works especially,
Joseph – The Israelite Destiny of America
“Role to Rule. The Task of Joseph”
[1-Kings 3:9] GIVE THEREFORE THY SERVANT AN UNDERSTANDING HEART TO JUDGE THY PEOPLE, THAT I MAY DISCERN BETWEEN GOOD AND BAD: FOR WHO IS ABLE TO JUDGE THIS THY SO GREAT A PEOPLE?
[1-Kings 3:10] AND THE SPEECH PLEASED THE LORD, THAT SOLOMON HAD ASKED THIS THING.
[1-Kings 3:11] AND GOD SAID UNTO HIM, BECAUSE THOU HAST ASKED THIS THING, AND HAST NOT ASKED FOR THYSELF LONG LIFE; NEITHER HAST ASKED RICHES FOR THYSELF, NOR HAST ASKED THE LIFE OF THINE ENEMIES; BUT HAST ASKED FOR THYSELF UNDERSTANDING TO DISCERN JUDGMENT;
[1-Kings 3:12] BEHOLD, I HAVE DONE ACCORDING TO THY WORDS: LO, I HAVE GIVEN THEE A WISE AND AN UNDERSTANDING HEART; SO THAT THERE WAS NONE LIKE THEE BEFORE THEE, NEITHER AFTER THEE SHALL ANY ARISE LIKE UNTO THEE.
[1-Kings 3:13] AND I HAVE ALSO GIVEN THEE THAT WHICH THOU HAST NOT ASKED, BOTH RICHES, AND HONOUR: SO THAT THERE SHALL NOT BE ANY AMONG THE KINGS LIKE UNTO THEE ALL THY DAYS.
[1-Kings 3:14] AND IF THOU WILT WALK IN MY WAYS, TO KEEP MY STATUTES AND MY COMMANDMENTS, AS THY FATHER DAVID DID WALK, THEN I WILL LENGTHEN THY DAYS.
[1-Kings 3:15] AND SOLOMON AWOKE; AND, BEHOLD, IT WAS A DREAM. AND HE CAME TO JERUSALEM, AND STOOD BEFORE THE ARK OF THE COVENANT OF THE LORD, AND OFFERED UP BURNT OFFERINGS, AND OFFERED PEACE OFFERINGS, AND MADE A FEAST TO ALL HIS SERVANTS.
The Judgement of Solomon
[1-Kings 3:16] THEN CAME THERE TWO WOMEN, THAT WERE HARLOTS, UNTO THE KING, AND STOOD BEFORE HIM.
HARLOTS. Hebrew “Zonot”, singular “zonah”, from the root “zoneh” to sin, err, be sexually promiscuous”. This is the source of the English word “sin”.
There is a similarly-sounding word in Hebrew “zon” meaning “to feed”. The word “zoneh” as well as meaning “prostitute” could also conceptually mean “a female seller of food” or “a female seller of lodgings”. The Commentators say that in Ancient Times female inn-keepers etc were also often prostitutes.
[1-Kings 3:17] AND THE ONE WOMAN SAID, O MY LORD, I AND THIS WOMAN DWELL IN ONE HOUSE; AND I WAS DELIVERED OF A CHILD WITH HER IN THE HOUSE.
[1-Kings 3:18] AND IT CAME TO PASS THE THIRD DAY AFTER THAT I WAS DELIVERED, THAT THIS WOMAN WAS DELIVERED ALSO: AND WE WERE TOGETHER; THERE WAS NO STRANGER WITH US IN THE HOUSE, SAVE WE TWO IN THE HOUSE.
[1-Kings 3:19] AND THIS WOMAN’S CHILD DIED IN THE NIGHT; BECAUSE SHE OVERLAID IT.
The claim was that the other woman had slept with her baby beside her and accidentally smothered it.
[1-Kings 3:20] AND SHE AROSE AT MIDNIGHT, AND TOOK MY SON FROM BESIDE ME, WHILE THINE HANDMAID SLEPT, AND LAID IT IN HER BOSOM, AND LAID HER DEAD CHILD IN MY BOSOM.
[1-Kings 3:21] AND WHEN I ROSE IN THE MORNING TO GIVE MY CHILD SUCK, BEHOLD, IT WAS DEAD: BUT WHEN I HAD CONSIDERED IT IN THE MORNING, BEHOLD, IT WAS NOT MY SON, WHICH I DID BEAR.
[1-Kings 3:22] AND THE OTHER WOMAN SAID, NAY; BUT THE LIVING IS MY SON, AND THE DEAD IS THY SON. AND THIS SAID, NO; BUT THE DEAD IS THY SON, AND THE LIVING IS MY SON. THUS THEY SPAKE BEFORE THE KING.
[1-Kings 3:23] THEN SAID THE KING, THE ONE SAITH, THIS IS MY SON THAT LIVETH, AND THY SON IS THE DEAD: AND THE OTHER SAITH, NAY; BUT THY SON IS THE DEAD, AND MY SON IS THE LIVING.
[1-Kings 3:24] AND THE KING SAID, BRING ME A SWORD. AND THEY BROUGHT A SWORD BEFORE THE KING.
[1-Kings 3:25] AND THE KING SAID, DIVIDE THE LIVING CHILD IN TWO, AND GIVE HALF TO THE ONE, AND HALF TO THE OTHER.
[1-Kings 3:26] THEN SPAKE THE WOMAN WHOSE THE LIVING CHILD WAS UNTO THE KING, FOR HER BOWELS YEARNED UPON HER SON, AND SHE SAID, O MY LORD, GIVE HER THE LIVING CHILD, AND IN NO WISE SLAY IT. BUT THE OTHER SAID, LET IT BE NEITHER MINE NOR THINE, BUT DIVIDE IT.
[1-Kings 3:27] THEN THE KING ANSWERED AND SAID, GIVE HER THE LIVING CHILD, AND IN NO WISE SLAY IT: SHE IS THE MOTHER THEREOF.
If we really care for someone or something we have to be prepared if necessary to let it go on its own way or at least give up some of our own hold on it.
[1-Kings 3:28] AND ALL ISRAEL HEARD OF THE JUDGMENT WHICH THE KING HAD JUDGED; AND THEY FEARED THE KING: FOR THEY SAW THAT THE WISDOM OF GOD WAS IN HIM, TO DO JUDGMENT.
For more pictures see:
The Judgment of Solomon
The 1-Kings 4
Sources used for the Commentary on this chapter:
Yehudah Kiel (“Safer Melacim”, Daat Mikra).
The Royal Administrators of Solomon
[1-Kings 4:1] SO KING SOLOMON WAS KING OVER ALL ISRAEL.
[1-Kings 4:2] AND THESE WERE THE PRINCES WHICH HE HAD; AZARIAH THE SON OF ZADOK THE PRIEST,
ZADOK had served as High Priest under David (1-Kings 1:8). AZARIAH may have been one of his sons. Alternately Azariah has been identified with a descendants of Zadok (cf. 1-Chronicles 6:8-10 or in the Hebrew Original 6:38. Why is there a discrepancy? Does the KJ in this case follow the Greek Septuagent?). It is a principle in Scripture that the term “son of” does not always mean a direct son of but rather “descended from” more than one generation ago.
[1-Kings 4:3] ELIHOREPH AND AHIAH, THE SONS OF SHISHA, SCRIBES; JEHOSHAPHAT THE SON OF AHILUD, THE RECORDER.
SCRIBES in this case means Correspondents with near-Ministerial powers.
THE RECORDER: The equivalent of “Chief Secretary” in our terms.
[1-Kings 4:4] AND BENAIAH THE SON OF JEHOIADA WAS OVER THE HOST: AND ZADOK AND ABIATHAR WERE THE PRIESTS:
Benaiah in the time of David had been over the CHERETHITES, AND THE PELETHITES [1-Kings 1:38] who were the Royal Bodyguard and possibly of foreign origin.
[1-Kings 4:5] AND AZARIAH THE SON OF NATHAN WAS OVER THE OFFICERS: AND ZABUD THE SON OF NATHAN WAS PRINCIPAL OFFICER, AND THE KING’S FRIEND:
[1-Kings 4:6] AND AHISHAR WAS OVER THE HOUSEHOLD: AND ADONIRAM THE SON OF ABDA WAS OVER THE TRIBUTE.
The Redivision of Tribal Israel by Solomon
[1-Kings 4:7] AND SOLOMON HAD TWELVE OFFICERS OVER ALL ISRAEL, WHICH PROVIDED VICTUALS FOR THE KING AND HIS HOUSEHOLD: EACH MAN HIS MONTH IN A YEAR MADE PROVISION.
These twelve officers parallel the twelve tribes of Israel but not exactly. Some Tribes overlap each other in these divisions while others are divided. It may be that in the course of time the relative populations of the different tribes that had always been uneven in numbers had become accentuated. Since these divisions were for the purpose of taxation and administration it makes sense that a certain departure from strict Tribal Boundaries was required in order to make the distribution more equitable.
[1-Kings 4:8] AND THESE ARE THEIR NAMES: THE SON OF HUR, IN MOUNT EPHRAIM:
Most of the original area of Ephraim.
[1-Kings 4:9] THE SON OF DEKAR, IN MAKAZ, AND IN SHAALBIM, AND BETHSHEMESH, AND ELONBETHHANAN:
This mainly entailed the original area of Dan that Dan had mostly left and moved northwards leaving it to Joseph (mainly Ephraim) to take over (Judges 1:35).
[1-Kings 4:10] THE SON OF HESED, IN ARUBOTH; TO HIM PERTAINED SOCHOH, AND ALL THE LAND OF HEPHER:
Portions of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Dan on the coast.
[1-Kings 4:11] THE SON OF ABINADAB, IN ALL THE REGION OF DOR; WHICH HAD TAPHATH THE DAUGHTER OF SOLOMON TO WIFE:
This was the coastal section of Manasseh. Dor was a very important port. People of Menasseh were later referred to as “Dorians” and confused with a Grecian people of the same name. The Dorians of Menasseh eventually moved to Tartessos of Spain and from there to Ireland and Britain. We have suggest (in “Lost Israelite Identity”) that a memory of the daughter of Solomon, “Taphath”, gave rise to the Irish tradition concerning Tea Tephi. This area may also have included elements from Zebulon and Issachar.
[1-Kings 4:12] BAANA THE SON OF AHILUD; TO HIM PERTAINED TAANACH AND MEGIDDO, AND ALL BETHSHEAN, WHICH IS BY ZARTANAH BENEATH JEZREEL, FROM BETHSHEAN TO ABELMEHOLAH, EVEN UNTO THE PLACE THAT IS BEYOND JOKNEAM
This region included sections of Manasseh, Issachar, and the North Galilee.
[1-Kings 4:13] THE SON OF GEBER, IN RAMOTHGILEAD; TO HIM PERTAINED THE TOWNS OF JAIR THE SON OF MANASSEH, WHICH ARE IN GILEAD; TO HIM ALSO PERTAINED THE REGION OF ARGOB, WHICH IS IN BASHAN, THREESCORE GREAT CITIES WITH WALLS AND BRASEN BARS:
Mainly Manasseh east of the Jordan. Geber was a very important name in Irish tradition. The Gabraige were one of the peoples of Northern Ireland extending into Scotland.
THE SON OF GEBER in the past we suggested that he was the son of GEBER THE SON OF URI [1-Kings 4:19] mentioned below. This is still a possibility though it is not necessary so. “Ben-Gever” in Hebrew can mean THE SON OF GEBER, or the “Son of a Hero”, or “A Heroic Man”.
[1-Kings 4:14] AHINADAB THE SON OF IDDO HAD MAHANAIM:
Gad, some of Manasseh, and possibly alsopart of Reuben.
[1-Kings 4:15] AHIMAAZ WAS IN NAPHTALI; HE ALSO TOOK BASMATH THE DAUGHTER OF SOLOMON TO WIFE:
[1-Kings 4:16] BAANAH THE SON OF HUSHAI WAS IN ASHER AND IN ALOTH:
The territory of Asher extended up through Lebanon and along the coast of Syria.
[1-Kings 4:17] JEHOSHAPHAT THE SON OF PARUAH, IN ISSACHAR:
[1-Kings 4:18] SHIMEI THE SON OF ELAH, IN BENJAMIN:
[1-Kings 4:19] GEBER THE SON OF URI WAS IN THE COUNTRY OF GILEAD, IN THE COUNTRY OF SIHON KING OF THE AMORITES, AND OF OG KING OF BASHAN; AND HE WAS THE ONLY OFFICER WHICH WAS IN THE LAND.
Most of Reuben. Note the recurrence of the name “Geber” (cf. 1-Kings 4:13 above) in both cases associated with areas east of the Jordan.
The Inclusion or Exclusion of Judah in the Redivision?
AND HE WAS THE ONLY OFFICER WHICH WAS IN THE LAND [1-Kings 4:19]. This is read as referring to Geber to son of Uri at the beginning of the verse.
Sometimes however in Biblical Hebrew words are doubled over.
The first word of the next verse is JUDAH[1-Kings 4:20]. In the original text of the Torah according to Nachmanides there was no punctuation and no breaks between words. It was all written in one straight line.
In stead of the phrase AND HE WAS THE ONLY OFFICER WHICH WAS IN THE LAND being attached to verse [1-Kings 4:19] it should be read (as it can be rendered in Hebrew), AND ONE OFFICER WHICH WAS IN THE LAND of JUDAH. The word Judah is doubled over and is used here as well as heading the next verse JUDAH AND ISRAEL WERE MANY?[1-Kings 4:20].
That is to say, that instead of writing,
[1-Kings 4:19] AND ONE OFFICER WHICH WAS IN THE LAND of JUDAH. JUDAH AND ISRAEL WERE MANY [1-Kings 4:20] with the word JUDAH being written twice one beside the other. It was instead written,
[1-Kings 4:19] AND ONE OFFICER WHICH WAS IN THE LAND of JUDAH AND ISRAEL WERE MANY [1-Kings 4:20] with the word JUDAH being both the end of the previous verse and the beginning of the next one.
This phenomenon according to some Commentators happens quite often in Scripture. Iben Ezra frequently mentions it and uses it to explain difficult passages.
Remember that all the divisions we have of Scripture, which letters form which words, sentences, etc, etc, are all ultimately based on the Oral Tradition.
Every now and again “Purists” (who often do not know Hebrew or know it only partially) come along and say we have to get back to the written text and throw out all the oral traditions. The Problem however is that without the Oral Tradition we would not even know what the Written text said. It would all be nothing more than a jumble of incoherent letters.
[1-Kings 4:20] JUDAH AND ISRAEL WERE MANY, AS THE SAND WHICH IS BY THE SEA IN MULTITUDE, EATING AND DRINKING, AND MAKING MERRY.
The Twelve Tribes of Israel were all included in the above divisions.
According to the above interpretation (based on that of Yehudah Kiel) Judah was also included and had an appointee over them of their own.
There are some modern (Jewish and non-Jewish) Commentators who are not aware of this interpretation or reject it. They claim that Solomon hset Governors who were also de facto tax collectors over all the other Tribes but Judah he left alone apparently ruling it himself. This claimed mark of favoritism, they say, was one of the reasons the other Tribes later separated themselves from Judah and set up their own kingdom. Anything is possible but in order to accept something like this we would need more evidence and a more explicit mention by Scripture which incidentally does not hesitate to reveal the shortcomings of any of its “heroes”.
The Extent of Solomon’s Kingdom
[1-Kings 4:21][5:1] AND SOLOMON REIGNED OVER ALL KINGDOMS FROM THE RIVER UNTO THE LAND OF THE PHILISTINES, AND UNTO THE BORDER OF EGYPT: THEY BROUGHT PRESENTS, AND SERVED SOLOMON ALL THE DAYS OF HIS LIFE.
[In modern versions of the Hebrew Bible this begins chapter five but in the KJ it continues chapter four]
See the Maps below of the borders of Greater Israel in Biblical Times for an idea as to the extent of the Kingdom of Solomon. His actual sphere of influence extended well beyond these regions.
Provisions for Solomon’s Court
[1-Kings 4:22] AND SOLOMON’S PROVISION FOR ONE DAY WAS THIRTY MEASURES OF FINE FLOUR, AND THREESCORE MEASURES OF MEAL,
[1-Kings 4:23] TEN FAT OXEN, AND TWENTY OXEN OUT OF THE PASTURES, AND AN HUNDRED SHEEP, BESIDE HARTS, AND ROEBUCKS, AND FALLOWDEER, AND FATTED FOWL.
Running the Kingdom
[1-Kings 4:24] FOR HE HAD DOMINION OVER ALL THE REGION ON THIS SIDE THE RIVER, FROM TIPHSAH EVEN TO AZZAH, OVER ALL THE KINGS ON THIS SIDE THE RIVER: AND HE HAD PEACE ON ALL SIDES ROUND ABOUT HIM.
THE RIVER: This is the Euphrates River.
[1-Kings 4:25] AND JUDAH AND ISRAEL DWELT SAFELY, EVERY MAN UNDER HIS VINE AND UNDER HIS FIG TREE, FROM DAN EVEN TO BEERSHEBA, ALL THE DAYS OF SOLOMON.
DAN and Beersheba were the names of Provinces as well as being townships within those Provinces.
[1-Kings 4:26] AND SOLOMON HAD FORTY THOUSAND STALLS OF HORSES FOR HIS CHARIOTS, AND TWELVE THOUSAND HORSEMEN.
Here is says that Solomon had 40.000 stables whereas in 2-Chronicles it says he had only 4,000.
AND SOLOMON HAD FOUR THOUSAND STALLS FOR HORSES AND CHARIOTS, AND TWELVE THOUSAND HORSEMEN; WHOM HE BESTOWED IN THE CHARIOT CITIES, AND WITH THE KING AT JERUSALEM [2-Chronicles 9:25].
Different explanations have been given for this discrepancy. One says (quoted in Daat Mikra) that he had 4,000 in Jerusalem and many more scattered throughout his kingdom. Another explanation says that the different verses were referring to different periods in his reign.
HORSEMEN. Hebrew “parashim” which does mean horsemen or “cavalry” in Modern Hebrew. Daat Mikra claims (based on a comparison with Arabic) that the word may also mean just “horses”.
The Antiquities of the Jews
4. The king had also other rulers, who were over the land of Syria and of the Philistines, which reached from the river Euphrates to Egypt, and these collected his tributes of the nations. Now these contributed to the king’s table, and to his supper every day (3) thirty cori of fine flour, and sixty of meal; as also ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred fat lambs; all these were besides what were taken by hunting harts and buffaloes, and birds and fishes, which were brought to the king by foreigners day by day. Solomon had also so great a number of chariots, that the stalls of his horses for those chariots were forty thousand; and besides these he had twelve thousand horsemen, the one half of which waited upon the king in Jerusalem, and the rest were dispersed abroad, and dwelt in the royal villages; but the same officer who provided for the king’s expenses supplied also the fodder for the horses, and still carried it to the place where the king abode at that time.
[1-Kings 4:27] AND THOSE OFFICERS PROVIDED VICTUAL FOR KING SOLOMON, AND FOR ALL THAT CAME UNTO KING SOLOMON’S TABLE, EVERY MAN IN HIS MONTH: THEY LACKED NOTHING.
THOSE OFFICERS i.e. the Governors of the 12 different administrative districts listed above.
[1-Kings 4:28] BARLEY ALSO AND STRAW FOR THE HORSES AND DROMEDARIES BROUGHT THEY UNTO THE PLACE WHERE THE OFFICERS WERE, EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS CHARGE.
DROMEDARIES. A dromedary is a one-humped camel as distinct from the Bactrian camel of Central Asia which has two humps. The Hebrew word here is “haRechesh” which usually means “acquirement, property, purchase”. Daat Mikra says it means here “swift horses”.
Metsudat Zion says it means a type of beast that runs swiftly and refers to Esther 8:10 where again the KJ translates it as “dromedaries”. Radak (Kimchi) quotes an opinion that it means Mules. A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.
In Ancient Times there were other horse-like creatures in existence that have since become extinct.
Remains of these beings are sometimes found in archaeological remains and are referred to as “equids”.
#3. Excavations at Tartessos
This article discusses finds from Tartessus in Spain which in the Bible is referred to as “Tarshish”
and as we shall see was also connected with King Solomon.
Amongst the finds were those of some kind of “equid”.
“Surprisingly, we have also found skeletons of what at first appeared to be horses or donkeys.
Later analysis showed that these were the bones of a now-extinct equid not known anywhere else in the world one smaller than a horse but taller than a donkey or a pony.”
Remains of thirty of these creatures were found in the described excavation.
Elsewhere we have suggested that the Biblical word “padar” translated as “mule” or “ass”
also refers to a type of equid.
The Wisdom of Solomon and his Communication with the Creation
[1-Kings 4:29] AND GOD GAVE SOLOMON WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING EXCEEDING MUCH, AND LARGENESS OF HEART, EVEN AS THE SAND THAT IS ON THE SEA SHORE.
[1-Kings 4:30] AND SOLOMON’S WISDOM EXCELLED THE WISDOM OF ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE EAST COUNTRY, AND ALL THE WISDOM OF EGYPT.
[1-Kings 4:31] FOR HE WAS WISER THAN ALL MEN; THAN ETHAN THE EZRAHITE, AND HEMAN, AND CHALCOL, AND DARDA, THE SONS OF MAHOL: AND HIS FAME WAS IN ALL NATIONS ROUND ABOUT.
The above names are also found given as the sons of Zerrah son of Judah.
AND THE SONS OF ZERAH; ZIMRI, AND ETHAN, AND HEMAN, AND CALCOL, AND DARA: FIVE OF THEM IN ALL [1-Chronicles 2:6].
The Sages said that these sons of Zerah were indeed referred to here and that they were very wise and Prophesied amongst the Children of Israel while they were still in Egypt.
THE SONS OF MAHOL. In Hebrew this expression “Beni Mahol” could be translated to mean (as indicated by Daat Mikra) “Setters to Rhyme” i.e. they set their wisdom to rhyming stanzas to be chanted in popular assemblies or by workers in the fields.
[1-Kings 4:32] AND HE SPAKE THREE THOUSAND PROVERBS: AND HIS SONGS WERE A THOUSAND AND FIVE.
[1-Kings 4:33] AND HE SPAKE OF TREES, FROM THE CEDAR TREE THAT IS IN LEBANON EVEN UNTO THE HYSSOP THAT SPRINGETH OUT OF THE WALL: HE SPAKE ALSO OF BEASTS, AND OF FOWL, AND OF CREEPING THINGS, AND OF FISHES.
Solomon acquired great knowledge of botany and biology. We see from this that the search for knowledge amongst the Ancient Hebrews was highly respected.. They who fear God and believe in the Bible should be well informed also in secular matters.
HE SPAKE ALSO OF. Hebrew “al” which can mean “to”. The Sages interpreted this to mean not that he spoke of them but that he spoke “to them”, i.e. he could communicate with them. This is not so far-fetched as it sounds. People who live in the wilds, etc, sometimes develop a certain ability to interrelate with animals.
[1-Kings 4:34] AND THERE CAME OF ALL PEOPLE TO HEAR THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON, FROM ALL KINGS OF THE EARTH, WHICH HAD HEARD OF HIS WISDOM.
Knowledge is power. The wisdom of Solomon sanctified the Almighty in the eyes of others. There were periods in Ancient Times when a respect for the God of Israel and the Laws of Israel spread to other nations.
“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
There has been so much going this week that I have had trouble writing about this one section in our current Torah Study. I have been very busy.
The great feast that this is talking about is the Feast of Tabernacles or in other words the Wedding super which is what this section of Luke 14 is all about.
But Yehshua not only talks about this here, it is also spoken of in Mathew 22, and is an invitation by all of Israel to come home to take part in the wedding supper. Most of them do not come and in fact they turn on those who bring this message and kill them.
We read in Mathew 25 of the 10 virgins who wait for the bride groom to come and 5 of them do not have lamps nor their vessels filled with oil. And when the call comes they find out they do not have enough of the Holy Spirit to last.
Luke then goes on to tell us to count the cost of obeying. Many of us never do and are so excited to just come. It is later that we find out how much our families and relatives and those we love, it is later when we find out how much they hate us.
I have been busy this week. I have had three Radio interviews back to back and preparing for them also takes some time. On top of this I have been gearing up for the ad campaign and running ads on FB showing how the current Egyptian crisis is leading up to these end times. My family hates me for this and is extremely ashamed of me. My wife once again has said we are going to split up because of what I am doing.
And here in Luke 14:26 we are warned how hard this way of life and striving to be at this wedding supper is going to be. We have to be willing to give up all things. And some of us if not many of us will be called upon to do exactly this. It is very hard.
What is it that is holding you back from obeying and from doing our Fathers will? These are the weeds, the tares that hinder your growth as a stock of wheat.
We are then told how much the Father is going to rejoice over us in the story of the prodigal son when we return to him. It does not say that the Father found the son waiting for him to come and rescue him. No the son had to return and the Father was waiting and so excited when the son came.
You too brethren must go back to our ancestral lands of Israel. We must return. We cannot let the things that have ensnared us keep us in our present Diaspora. We cannot sit here and think how good it is, because as I have been shouting out to you it is all about to change. Begin to think how you can go back and begin to plan it. Pray about it and then pray some more. Read all of the chapters I have referred to here, in this one little study. We are to go home to our Father.
We now continue to study the 613 laws of Torah which we can read at http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm
We are doing 7 laws each week. We shall study laws 339-345 We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from http://theownersmanual.net/The_Owners_Manual_02_The_Law_of_Love.Torah
(339)Do not practice kisuf (magic using herbs, stones and objects). “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to Yahweh, and because of these abominations Yahweh your God drives them [the Canaanites] out from before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) Mitzvot #339 through #344 are all taken from the same couple of verses. Yahweh is denouncing the practice of seeking esoteric knowledge in as many ways as the Hebrew language will allow. He wants us rather to rely on Him for revelation. His Word is a lens through which we can discern the truth or falsehood of a matter, while everything listed here is an attempt to circumvent our reliance on Him. Bear in mind that the anglicized spelling of these Hebrew words varies widely from source to source. This first word is kashaph, translated “sorcerer” here. It is a verb meaning to engage in witchcraft, be a sorcerer, or to practice the black magic arts.
(340)Do not practice kessem (a general term for magical practices). “There shall not be found among you anyone who…practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to Yahweh.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) The phrase “practices witchcraft” is rendered from the Hebrew qasam qesem. It means “to practice divination, to seek an omen, or to state or determine the future (or hidden knowledge) through signs, omens, or supernatural power.” (Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains) There are “four broad classes of divination: (1) the position of stars; (2) speaking with dead spirits; (3) examining animal parts or potsherds [reading palms or tea leaves would fall into this category]; (4) casting lots for a yes or no answer. A ‘lot’ is a specially marked small stick, pebble, or shard thrown down for making decisions based on pagan views of chance, or believers using the lot perceived as quasi-chance, but believed to be guided by God.” In other words, qasam qesem is arranging your life according to astrology, necromancy, voodoo, or even just flipping a coin. All these things are an abomination to Yahweh. We are to be guided by His Word and Spirit, not by chance or self-deception.
We do have examples of Joshua casting lots to find out the sin of Achan. We also have examples of lots being cast to decide which goat was the Azazel goat at The Day of Atonement. You have another in Proverbs 16:33 and another when the sailors cast lots to find out Jonah’s sin.
As we have been reading it is when you do these things and are not consulting Yehovah. The casting of lots when not done in association with Yehovah is wrong. What we have and what we are looking at are those who consult with demonic powers. This is what we are not to do.
(341)Do not practice the art of a chover chaver (casting spells over snakes and scorpions). “There shall not be found among you anyone who…practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to Yahweh.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) The phrase “conjures spells” is chabar cheber, another related verb-noun combination like qasam qesem. Chabar means “to unite, join, bind together, be coupled, be in league with, heap up, or have fellowship with.” (S) Likewise, the noun cheber connotes association, co-habitation, a banding together. The phrase therefore suggests casting magic spells uniting the object with demonic forces via incantations. This type of illicit religious charm would be used to invoke satanic power. The incantation could be made either verbally or through actions like tying magic knots. Thus a chabar cheber is an enchanter, one who makes and invokes unlawful incantations of various kinds. The Islamic Hadith makes it clear that Muhammad was a chabar cheber.
(342)Do not enquire of an ob (a ghost). “There shall not be found among you anyone who…practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to Yahweh.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) We’ve seen this warning before (in Mitzvah #337). If you’ll recall, an ’owb is either a “medium, i.e., a spiritist or necromancer that conjures and communicates with ghosts,” or the ghost itself, a “spirit of the dead, i.e., a spirit which can communicate with human mediums, called from the underworld of the dead.” Once again, the instruction is to rely on Yahweh alone for information concerning future or hidden events. And even if He hasn’t told you specifically what to expect tomorrow, He has at least told you what to do today: Love God, and love your neighbor.
(343)Do not seek the maytim (dead). “There shall not be found among you anyone who…practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to Yahweh.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) To darash muwth is to “call up the dead.” The phrase fully amplified means to resort to, seek, enquire of, consult, investigate, or worship the dead. This, of course, is precisely what Saul did in I Samuel 28. But it also warns against the kind of ancestor worship we see in Eastern religions. And closer to home, it is a stern indictment of the Catholic-style “veneration” of saints, praying not to Yahweh through His “Son” Yahshua, but to an unnamed and misunderstood deity through the good graces of “saints,” dead people to whom has been attributed some sort of magical power. Mary, for example, was a good and faithful woman, but she has no power to help you—and if she came back from the dead like Samuel did, she would tell you as much! Yahweh has spoken: You shall not call up the dead.
(344)Do not enquire of a yid’oni (wizard). “There shall not be found among you anyone who…practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to Yahweh.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) We’ve run into the yidoni before, back in Mitzvah #338, which is practically identical to this one, though based on a different Torah passage. A yidoni, you’ll recall, is a wizard, familiar spirit, fortune teller, magician, or sorcerer, and the word can apply to either the spirit or the guy who conjures him up.
There are a few words in Moses’ list here in Deuteronomy 18 that Maimonides covered elsewhere, so I’ll take this opportunity to reprise them. The word translated “soothsayer” here is ’anan, which we covered in Mitzvah #335. It’s a verb meaning: “to practice soothsaying, to conjure, to observe times [i.e., as an occult practice], practice soothsaying, spiritism, magic, augury, or witchcraft.” (S) Its noun form denotes a “soothsayer, enchanter, sorceress, diviner, or fortune teller.” We’ve also seen “one who conjures spells” or “interprets omens” (as it’s worded in the NASB) elsewhere. Mitzvah #336 prohibited nachash, a verb meaning “to practice divination, to observe occult or astrological signs, practice fortunetelling, or to take something as an omen, including interpreting omens or signs.” The bottom line: Yahweh is crystal clear about His hatred of occult practices. Consult Him alone.
(345)Do not remove the entire beard, like the idolaters. “You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.” (Leviticus 19:27) Maimonides is correct in connecting the practice of “disfiguring” the beard with the style that had been practiced by the idolaters of Canaan. The connection is clear in the larger context in Leviticus. I get the feeling that Yahweh isn’t so much interested in condemning a particular fashion statement as He is in warning us not to emulate the world. This principle is particularly timely today, when we are bombarded with images of wannabe “idols.” I remember back in the mid-60s when the Beatles hit the scene. Almost overnight, everyone was wearing his hair a little longer than before. God may not have objected to slightly longer hair per se, but to grow it out in imitation of a group of musicians was wrong.
The fashions we adopt say a lot about us. The more extreme our personal styles—the more they differ from the societal norm—the stronger our statements become. For example, in Israel, groups of “Hasidic” style ultra-orthodox Jews (popularly known as “black-hats”) compete with each other in modes of dress. The goofier the outfit, the more fundamental and strict the doctrine—or at least that’s what they’d like you to believe. The mode of dress is based not on what the typical Israeli would wear, but rather on what would have been worn by the average Jewish guy in an Eastern European ghetto two or three hundred years ago. In short, the black-hats are showing off—displaying their religious pride by flouting convention.
We’re left with a quandary. Fashions shift with time and place. Are believers to follow style trends, or are we to petrify our fashion sense in some bygone century? I believe the answer is: neither. As usual, the key is motive. Going out of our way to look like one thing or another is probably not such a hot idea. But if everybody in your community—regardless of their political, religious, or economic persuasion—is dressing one way, there’s no reason to buck the trend. There is no such thing as “Christian fashion” (provided, of course, that men look like men, women look like women, and your wardrobe isn’t designed to engender lust in the opposite sex—see Mizvot #365-367). There is nothing particularly “holy” about fashion that’s thirty years out of date.
To learn more about the maring of the beard you can go to News Letter 5846-038 6357Thou Shalt Grow a Beard! Really? & Judah the Lawgiver? https://sightedmoon.com/sightedmoon_2015/?page_id=686
News Letter 5846-039 6341 Tonsuring or Shaving the Head and the Kipa https://sightedmoon.com/sightedmoon_2015/?page_id=690