OBJECTIVE: #1) To explore Israel’s entry into the promised land. #2) To see how Gentiles (non-Jewish bloodline) were included with Israel in their first Passover, with Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, through Abraham’s covenant on into Israel’s conquest of the promised land. #3) To explore how the physical nation of Israel and its physical religion of Judaism rose to its highest mark then entered a downward spiral of failure. #4) To determine, by scripture, the location of the Ark of the Covenant.
(Num. 13:22-33) In the forty years in the desert those who had refused to go into the promised land had died. After crossing Jordan (Josh. 5:2-10) the circumcising of Israel took place (Gen. 17:10-12) “as a token of the covenant betwixt me (God) and you Abraham (Israel)”.
(V.7) None of those born during their forty years in the desert had been circumcised. (Josh. 5:10-12) Then Israel celebrated God’s Passover that had protected them from death and delivered Israel from their bondage in Egypt.
(Read these: Gen. 15:16 & 19-21, Deut. 7:1-26 esp. V.10 keywords: hate him, & 12:30-31 key: burnt their children to their gods & 18:9-14 then Lev. 18:3-30 esp. V.3 & 24-27) The Canaanites had sinned to the point God said they hated Him. Israel was God’s physical judgment coming upon the Canaanites because of their sins. SO:
Joshua had been born into slavery and slavery was all he knew until Israel left Egypt. Then he was free. (Ex. 24:13) Joshua was Moses’ minister (to contribute to, to serve). (Num. 1:3) An Israelite had to be at least twenty years old to serve in their army. (Ex. 17:8-16 esp. V.9-10) Joshua was the commanding general of Moses’ army that fought Amalek and his army in Rephidim just after Israel had crossed the Red Sea so Joshua was probably forty years old at that time.
(Ex.40:17 keywords: first month of the second year) Israel was about two years in the desert while God gave Moses the Law, the tabernacle and their method of worship and their time of waiting at the Jordan River. (Num. 32:13) Then Israel wandered in the desert forty years because of their rebellion. SO:
(40+2+40=82) Joshua was probably about eighty-two years old (Josh. 3:14-17) when Israel followed the ark of the covenant across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. (Josh. 24:29) Joshua died when he was one hundred ten years old. (110-82=28) So Joshua led Israel in the Promised Land wars about twenty-eight years.
(Josh. 5:8) Perhaps in Israel’s time of healing from their circumcision Joshua had a time of remembering and reflection. (Ex. 2:1 thru 15:21) He remembered the doubt and excitement when Moses first came with his shepherd’s rod and told the elders God had sent him to challenge Pharaoh (Ex. 2:10-11) in whose house Moses had been raised.
He thought how the I AM God had worked the ten plagues upon Pharaoh (Ex. 12:29-33) and the tenth had broken the Egyptians’ will and set the Hebrews free. “My God can do anything!”
(Ex. 12:11-21 esp. V.14 & 18-19) Joshua remembered the seven-day feast of unleavened bread that ended with the killing of the Passover lamb and God’s decree that the celebration feast would be held yearly in the first month of their year.
(Josh. 1:1) Joshua shivered as he did when the Lord was near; “Is this some kind of living physical prophesy that signifies some future event?” Unseen, in His spiritual form, the great I AM, the Almighty God, smiled; “Joshua does not know his name is also a prophesy. He does not know there will be Greek and English languages.”
NOTE: Joshua’s name in Hebrew is Yeshua. Translated from Hebrew into English it is Joshua. The New Testament was written in Greek which translates the Hebrew name Yeshua into Iesous and Iesous translated into English is Jesus. Both names are defined (Saviour, and the salvation of the Lord).
Joshua (Yeshua) had physically defeated the army of Satan in Rephidim and had physically led God’s children into the Promised Land and would physically fight for them there. From Israel’s time of entry into the Promised Land under Joshua the physical children of God have physically been at war with the forces of Satan for their physical lives even in their diasporas (read about the holocausts and pogroms against the Jews).
(Heb. 2:14) Jesus (Yeshua / Iesous) would spiritually defeat Satan at the cross (Rom. 8:11-17 esp. V.16 keywords: children of God) and spiritually lead God’s children into the promised land of salvation. (Matt. 13:18-23 & 24:13, 2Cor. 10:3-5, Phil. 2:12, Eph. 6:10-18 esp. V.12 and Heb. 6:4-6) From the time of their entry into their spiritual promised land the spiritual children of God have been spiritually at war with the forces of Satan for our spiritual lives (Eph. 1:13-14, Rom. 8:26, Heb. 4:14-16 & 1John 1:7 thru 2:1) and Jesus fights for us there. END OF NOTE.
(Ex. 13:17 thru 14:31 esp. V.14 & 25 keywords: the Lord shall fight for you) Joshua remembered how the Lord had gone before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night as they went day and night from Egypt toward the Promised Land. And he remembered (V.11-12) how afraid the children of Israel were and how they had rebelled against God and said they should have stayed in Egypt. Joshua’s face burned with shame at the memory.
(V.13-14) Moses had harshly told them to not be afraid and see the salvation of the Lord. (V.19) The angel of God moved to the rear of their column and stood between them and the Egyptians as a cloud of darkness but was a light to them as they fled. (V.21-22) Then through Moses God parted the Red Sea until it was a wall on each side and Israel fled across the empty seabed.
(V.23-25) The cloud removed, the Egyptians came after them in their might and fury but God slowed them down by taking away their mobility and they turned to flee from the face of Israel.
But they were too late. (V.26-31) Then through Moses the Lord brought the walls of the sea crashing down on the Egyptians and they all drowned (V.29) while Israel walked upon dry land the rest of the way out of the Red Sea between the walls of water and finished crossing the Red Sea upon dry ground.
(Num. 13:23 thru 14:30 esp. V.22) Remembering Israel’s rebellion had caused Joshua to remember their ten rebellions topped off by their rebellion in refusing to enter the Promised Land the first time and only righteous Moses’ prayer had saved them. “Thank you for Moses oh Lord.”
The thoughts of Moses brought tears to Joshua’s eyes. He remembered Moses great courage when he went up Mount Sinai and how the mountain shook and smoked and how supernatural fire flickered, flashed and flamed. He remembered Moses directing the construction of their precious tabernacle where the Lord would travel with them.
(Ex. 33:11) He remembered Moses tender tears and gentle smile when he recounted to Joshua what it felt like to talk to the Lord face to face as with a friend; “We did not deserve a leader like Moses and I’ll never fill his shoes.”
“I do not understand how a people can be so stiff necked, stubborn, proud, stupid, fearful and contrary after all the miracles, wonders and protections the Lord God has showed us from Egypt on through our forty years of wandering until now.” Joshua shook his head in wonder and his heart thudded heavily within him. “All they have to do is obey the Lord God and He will take care of us.”
(Deut. 34:9 & Josh. 1:9) Joshua was the anointed leader of Israel but he was still just a man and he didn’t know he was headed for trouble. (Josh. 6:1-27) Joshua followed the Lord’s instruction and the conquest of fortified Jericho was a smashing success that got the attention of the whole country.
(Josh. 7:1-26) Then Achan sinned and the men of the Canaanite town of Ai defeated Israel. Achan and his family paid with their lives, Israel was clean again (Josh. 8:1-29) and Israel destroyed fortified Ai and its people. “These stiff-necked people make me want to tear my own teeth out!”
Joshua was at war with the world, Canaanites. Joshua was at war with the devil, carnality, Achan and his type of Hebrew. Joshua was about to learn he was at war with himself.
(Josh. 9:1-26) A group of Canaanites deceived Joshua and the leaders of Israel, (V. 14-16) they did not ask the Lord what to do (pray) and Joshua made a league (blood covenant- it is unbreakable) with the group of Canaanites whom God had said to utterly destroy. (V.17-27 esp. V.27) But the best Joshua could do was enslave them.
(Josh. 1:1 thru 12:24) Joshua led Israel into the promised land, Canaan, and defeated 31 kings to conquer six nations that lived in part of the promised land. BUT: (Josh. 13:1) there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.
(Josh. 13:1 thru 19:51) When Joshua was old he divided the rest of the promised land among various tribes, (Josh. 20:1-9) appointed refuge cities, (Josh 21:1-45) appointed cities for the Levites, (Josh. 22:1 thru 24:33) went over Israel’s history, cautioned them against sin, blessed them and Joshua died. Next to Moses Joshua was Israel’s greatest physical leader.
NOTE: We have seen how God founded Israel and its Judaism religion. I will be very brief concerning the rest of the information about how Israel threw it all away because it is a repetitious agony of failure that makes one wonder how a people so blessed by God and the reality among them of God’s lovingkindness, miracles, patience, rescues, graciousness, tender pity and longsuffering could be so stupid, stubborn and proud that they turned their back on the Almighty, I AM, God of Israel.
Jewish tradition in the Talmud states Samuel was the writer of the Book of Judges and that makes sense because Samuel was the link between the time of the Judges and the time of the Kings of Israel. (Judg. 21:25) “In those days there was no king in Israel” shows that Judges was written during the time of Samuel.
The Gentiles (non-Jewish bloodline)
It is interesting to note after the Book of Judges comes the Book of Ruth then the Book of 1Samuel. Ruth is the story about how Ruth, a Gentile woman, became the bride of Boaz, the Jew, a mighty man of wealth. (1Chron. 2:11-15) Ruth, the Gentile, was king David’s great grandmother.
(Gen. 17:7-12 key: covenant- the beginning of God’s special, personal relationship with man after the flood) We have seen how “any stranger (Gentile) not of thy seed (not of Jewish blood)” were included in God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham but they had to be circumcised first. Remember the second definition of everlasting is to conceal, to veil.
(Ex. 12:19 & 48) Strangers (Gentiles) were included in Israel’s Passover and Exodus but they had to be circumcised, (Lev. 16:29-30) Gentiles were included in Israel’s everlasting day of atonement cleansing (Lev. 16:20-22) when the sins of Israel and the circumcised Gentiles were placed upon the scapegoat (Lev. 18:26-27) and the Gentiles that were part of Israel were also warned not to commit the sins of the Canaanites.
These are but a few of the Biblical examples of Gentiles who have gone through the formal process (teaching and testing by rabbis) of conversion to Judaism and are now scripturally called (Matt. 23:15, Acts 2:10, 6:5 & 13:43) proselytes (a gentile convert to Judaism). Jews, descendants of Jacob, who was later named Israel by God, are physically born into Judaism because of their race.
By these OT gentile examples God is giving us a tiny peek behind the veil of the covenant into the holiest of holies to a time (Rom. 2:9-29 esp. V.9 keywords: Jew and Gentile) when some Jews and some Gentiles will choose (V.29) to be spiritually circumcised, (Col. 2:11) in a “circumcision made without hands”, (John 3:3 & 1Pet. 1:23 keywords in both: born again) through a spiritual event, (Eph. 2:7-14 esp. V.14 keyword: hath made both one- V.11 uncircumcision and circumcision) and welcomed into the commonwealth of a spiritual Israel AND:
(Rom. 8:9-17 esp. V.16-17) be spiritual children and heirs of God with His Son (1Cor. 2:9, Rev. 21:1-4 & 22:1-5 key: the culmination of God’s special, personal relationship with man after the flood) to God’s new, perfect, physical kingdom in the future? END OF NOTE.
Joshua died (Judg. 1:1 thru 3:14) and Israel started a pattern of failure. They did not fully drive out the Canaanites, they went into sin by worshipping Canaanite gods, God would send a judgment upon them, the Canaanites would subjugate them, they would cry for help and God would send a judge and/or a deliverer to rescue them. (Judg. 13:1 thru 16:30) Samson is an example.
(1Sam. 1:1-28) A childless woman named Hannah, married to a man of the tribe Ephraim, prayed before the Lord for a man child and promised she would give him unto the Lord for all the days of his life. She named her son Samuel (heard of God) and after he was weaned she gave him to Eli the high priest-judge in the house of the Lord at Shiloh.
(1Sam. 2:1-36) Eli’s sons served in the temple but they were wicked. (V.27) God’s prophet told Eli (V.32) God would kill Eli and his sons (V.35) and that God would raise up His own faithful priest.
(1Sam. 3:1-21) The Lord used Samuel to bring the prophesy to Eli (V.14) that his house would not be forgiven of their iniquity (V.13) because Eli had not restrained his sons from sin. (1Sam. 2:22 & 29) They fornicated with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle and they took the best of Israel’s sacrifices to the Lord for themselves. (V.20) And Israel knew the Lord had established Samuel as a prophet of the Lord.
(1Sam. 3:1) Israel had declined under Eli’s priesthood until it had no vision and the Lord spoke not to them as a nation. (1Sam. 4:1-22) The Philistines attacked, defeated Israel and captured the ark of the covenant and the glory was departed from Israel. (1Sam. 5:1 thru 7:2) God would not let the Philistines keep His ark of the covenant. After seven months of supernatural and physical torture by God the Philistines returned the ark to where they had taken it and the ark was taken to the house of A-bin’a-dab and it stayed there for twenty years.
Israel lamented after the Lord. (1Sam. 7:3-17 esp. V.6 keywords: Samuel judged) Samuel told Israel to put away the strange (heathen) gods and serve only the Lord. Samuel prayed, Israel was revived and Samuel was their judge. It was a time of transition and Samuel was priest/judge/prophet. Israel’s war with the Philistines went on and Israel conquered them.
(Deut. 17:14-20) Just like God said they would. (1Sam. 8:1-22 esp. V.7 they have rejected me) Israel rejected God and demanded a king be placed over them to be like the Canaanite nations around them With the appointment of a king (Saul) Israel rejected God’s rule and officially left their theocracy and entered political statehood.
(1Sam. 9:1 thru 31:13) King Saul’s reign was a dragging agony of failure as he listened to evil spirits time after time and failed to follow God’s instruction. (1Sam. 16:17 thru 17:58) David won national fame when he defeated and killed the Philistine giant Goliath.
(1Sam. 18:1-9 esp. V.9 keyword: eyed- defined: to watch with jealousy) (V.2) King Saul took David into his royal court to serve him (V.3-4) then David and Saul’s son Jonathan became best friends and made a covenant of brotherhood.
(V.5) King Saul used David in various endeavors obviously for the royal court, David was wise in all his activities, Saul came to depend on David and eventually promoted David to commanding general of Israelite army. (V.6-9) Another war erupted between Israel and the Philistines, David led Israel to slaughter the Philistines and David was acclaimed ten times more than Saul. Saul was very angry (V.9) and Saul eyed (to watch with jealousy) David from that day and forward.
(1Sam. 18:10 thru 19:1) Saul personally tried to kill David (V.12) because the Lord was with David and had departed from Saul. (V.10) Saul had let Satan (evil spirit) direct his life, the Lord had put up with it for a while and He had finally spiritually given Saul over to Satan.
David grew in popularity with the people of Israel, Saul gave David his daughter to wife (V.21) so she would be a snare (a noose, a hook in the nose) to David, Saul tried to have David killed in combat and finally Saul told his servants to kill David. None of it worked.
(1Sam. 19:2 thru 31:13) Saul was insanely jealous of David and tried to kill him many times but David remained loyal to the Lord and to king Saul. (1Sam. 28:3) Samuel died. (1Sam. 28:4 thru 31:1-13) Saul called on Satan (woman with the familiar spirit) for help until it killed him and three of his sons, including Jonathan. Saul had reigned about forty years.
(2Sam. 2:3-11) David was anointed king over the tribe of Judah in Hebron where he reigned seven years and six months while civil war raged between Judah and the rest of Israel which was intermittently broken by battles with the Philistines. (2Sam. 5:1-5) Finally David united Israel and Judah and was anointed King of all of Israel.
(V.5) David had reigned over Judah from his capital Hebron seven years and six months (V.6-10) then after he had destroyed the Jebusites whose fort was named Jerusalem David made Jerusalem his capital, named it the city of David and he reigned thirty-three more years (V.4-5) for a total of forty years.
(V.5) Six months does not make a year so David reigned forty years. (2Sam. 5:3-10) The Jebusites had said their lame and blind could defend Jerusalem against David’s army but David had defeated them and made Jerusalem his capital.
David was Israel’s greatest king (Gen. 15:18) and God fulfilled his promise to Abraham when (2Sam. 8:1-18, 10:6-19 & 1Ki. 4:21) He enabled David to conquer the promised land: from Ezion Geber on the present-day Gulf of Arabia and the river of Egypt (Nile) all the way north past Haran on the eastern branch of the Euphrates River and east past Damascus almost to Tadmor (courtesy of www.bible.ca/maps).
David’s life is recorded in 1 & 2 Sam, 1 & 2 Ki. and 1 & 2 Chron. with the Book of Psalms revealing David’s writings of praise, worship, prophesy, supplication to, dependence on and confidence in the Lord God of Israel.
(1Sam.16:11 thru 1Ki. 2:11 esp. V.3-4) King David’s life is explored from his beginning as a shepherd, (1Chron. 2:15) the youngest of Jessie’s seven sons, whom the Lord told Samuel to anoint as the future king of Israel. (V.3-4) And on to his death immediately after he had given his son Solomon the charge to always obey everything the Lord said to do. David had reigned over Israel forty years.
#1) Throughout all his life David never committed idolatry with any graven image or heathen god of the imagination.
#2) (2Sam. 11:1 thru 12:23 & 1Chron. 21:1-28) David grievously sinned twice, he confessed them, accepted responsibility for them, repented of them, and asked for and received forgiveness for them.
#3) David always depended upon the Lord and always worshipped the Lord.
David was Israel’s greatest king.
(1Chron. 22:1-11 esp. V.6-10 David is speaking) David was not allowed to build the Jewish temple in Jerusalem because he had shed much blood upon the earth in God’s sight. David had married Bathsheba and their union produced Solomon who did build the temple.
Reminder: God’s Abrahamic covenant is with the physical nation of Israel. Whatever happened to the Jews in Israel at any given time in their history happened to those individuals and does not influence God’s everlasting covenant with the physical nation of Israel.
(1Ki. 6:1-38 esp. V.38) Solomon was 7 years in building the temple in Jerusalem (1Ki. 8:1-11 esp. V.6 keyword: oracle- defined- the shrine, the innermost part of the sanctuary) then with great reverence, fanfare and respect (V.4) Solomon ordered the priests to bring the Ark of the Covenant and all the holy vessels into the tabernacle (V.6) then they took the ark of the covenant into the most holy place behind the veil.
(V.9) The ark of the covenant contained only the two tables of stone (Ex. 20:1-17 then Ex. 34:1 then Deut. 10:1-5 the ten commandments) that was the Lord’s covenant with the children of Israel. AND: (V.10-11) The glory (splendor) of the Lord filled the house of the Lord with such a glory the priests could not stand to minister there. (Ex. 25:16-22) Israel could not live without the tabernacle, the mercy seat and the Ark of the Covenant!
Ark of the Covenant
NOTE: (Josh. 3:3-17) (V.6) The ark of the covenant is also called (V.13) the ark of the Lord, (Ex. 16:31-36 esp. V.33-34) the Testimony, (Ex. 25:22) ark of the testimony, (Ex. 35:12) the ark, (Num. 4:5) ark of testimony, (Num. 10:33) the ark of the covenant of the Lord, (1Sam. 4:22) the ark of God, (1Sam. 5:7) the ark of the God of Israel, (Jdgs. 20:27) the ark of the covenant of God.
The ark of the covenant is also called (1Ki. 2:26) the ark of the Lord God, (1Chron. 13:3) the ark of our God, (1Chron. 13:6) the ark of God the Lord, (1Chron. 15:14) the ark of the Lord God of Israel, (2Chron. 35:3) the holy ark, (Psa. 132:4-11 esp. V.8) the ark of thy strength (Rev. 11:19) and the ark of his testament.
In God’s agenda the term ark (Gen. 6:11 thru 9:16 & Heb. 11:7 keyword: Noah and Ex. 2:1-3 & 10 keyword: Moses) signifies a saving and a protecting.
The Ark of the Covenant Disappears
(2Chron. 35:3 keywords: holy ark) This is the last time the Ark of the Covenant is mentioned in the Old Testament (Jer. 3:16) except in Jeremiah’s prophesy about a future ingathering. BUT: Perhaps Paul tells us where it went. (Ex. 16:33-34) The golden pot that contained manna (Num. 17:10) and Aaron’s rod that budded were laid up before (in front of) the Testimony
(Heb. 9:1-9 esp. V.4) The Apostle Paul places the golden pot of manna and Aaron’s rod that budded in the Ark of the Covenant with the tables of the covenant. (2Cor. 12:1-6 & Gal. 1:12-18) Is Paul saying he was permitted to look into the past and the Ark of the Covenant had been packed up and was ready to travel?
(Ezek. 1:1-3) Jehoiachin was the king when Israel was in captivity by the river Chebar (a tributary of the Euphrates River) under Nebuchadnezzar of the Chaldeans. (V.2) It was the fifth year of their captivity and (Ezek. 8:1-4) God gave Ezekiel a vision.
(Ezek. 8:1 thru 11:25) (8:6) God said He was leaving Israel because of their abominations. (8:18) God said He would no longer spare nor have pity on Israel. (9:3) God left the mercy seat and went to the door of the tabernacle. (10:2) The Lord ordered coals of fire scattered over Jerusalem (symbolic of a coming judgment).
(10:4) The brightness of the Lord’s glory filled the house and the court yard. (10:18) The glory of the Lord departed from the door of the tabernacle and stood above the cherubims. (11:14-16) The word of the Lord said that He would scatter them among the countries but He would be to them a little sanctuary in those countries (God would preserve the diaspora) AND (11:17-20) that the Lord would gather the Jews back to Israel sometime in the future.
(11:23) The glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city (where a hill would be named Calvary in the far future) and then the glory of the Lord left. And the prophesy said the God of glory had finally departed Israel because of their disbelief, sin and rebellion.
Then it Happened
(Dan. 5:2-4) When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Judah, looted and then burned the temple in 587 BC he took all the vessels but the Ark of the Covenant is not mentioned so it was already gone and that is why Judah fell under so many conquering nations. God was gone (Ezek. 10:15-17) and He would not leave His Ark of the Covenant nor its mercy seat cover to be defiled just like He did with the Philistines!
The presence of God had left but the Jews had kept right on worshipping in their temple as if God was still there.
Adventurers and Archaeologists have searched and searched for the Ark of the Covenant. Some have even claimed to have found it but nobody has ever produced it for us to see! Remember (Num. 7:89) “the ark of testimony” where God spoke to Moses? (Rev. 11:19) A man named John was given a revelation and in that revelation John saw “the ark of his testament” in the temple of God in heaven. END OF NOTE.
(1Ki. 11:1 thru 14:31 keyword: Jeroboam) The OT tells how national sin, stubbornness, pride and ineffective, disobedient, corrupt kings finally, in about 920 BC, split Israel in into 2 kingdoms when the 10 northern tribes revolted against Solomon’s evil son Rehoboam (1Ki. 11:1-12) who had learned his evil ways from his father Solomon.
The ten northern tribes elected Jeroboam their king, named their kingdom Israel and named Samaria as their capital city. Much later that whole land would become known simply as Samaria. The two southern tribes, Judah and Benjamin, were left with Rehoboam their king, they named their nation Judah and kept Jerusalem as their capital city. Israel was but a divided hollow shell of its former glory days under Joshua and King David.
(1Ki. 14:15) God had warned the northern kingdom Israel (house of Jeroboam) He would destroy it from the face of the earth if they didn’t stop sinning and return to their worship of Him (Judaism). (2Ki. 17:9-17 esp. V.14 keywords: did not believe in the Lord and V.15 keywords: rejected his statutes, and his covenant) God had offered Israel a way out of their sins. The northern kingdom, Israel, did not believe God (2Ki. 17:18-33) so God let the Assyrian empire destroy Israel in 722 BC.
(2Ki. 17:22-34 esp. V.24 keywords: Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath and Sepharvaim) The Assyrian king slaughtered most of the Jews and he removed all the rest, ***(2Ki. 17:18 keywords: there was none left)*** every one of them, from Israel/Samaria and replaced them with non-Jews from 5 provinces in the Assyrian kingdom. Now Judah, the southern kingdom, the other two tribes, stood alone.
God did not interfere with Israel’s free will to choose and decide. He told them the consequences of their actions if they didn’t come back to Him. They refused and God let the Assyrian Empire destroy them. They were free to choose and they made the wrong choice. It was that simple.
(2Ki.17:23) The survivors of Israel, the 10 disobedient tribes, became the diaspora when they were disbursed and scattered throughout the Assyrian Empire (Ezek. 11:16) and God had them in their Jewish communities ready and waiting for a time the Jews did not yet know or could even have imagined. But God knew.
(Lev. 25:1-7) Every seventh year was the Hebrew Sabbath year, the land was to be left alone, no crops planted and etc. (2Chron. 36:21) For 490 years the Jews in Judah, the two remaining tribes, the southern kingdom, had not kept a Sabbath year and they had transgressed after the abominations of the heathen. (V.21 keywords: three score and ten = 70) (490 divided by 7 = 70).
(Jer. 25:5-11 esp. V.11 keywords: seventy years and 2Chron. 36:14-23 esp. V.21 keywords: to fulfill threescore and ten years) God said; “I will take My seventy Sabbath years at one time.”
(2Ki. 24:1 thru 25:20 esp. V.9 keywords: burnt the house of the Lord) In 587 BC the Babylonians conquered Judah, the southern kingdom, destroyed Jerusalem, looted the temple and burned the house of the Lord (the temple), (25:10) broke down the walls surrounding Jerusalem and carried away much of the population into slavery for seventy years. (Dan. 5:2-4 & 23) The Babylonians had the vessels of the tabernacle but they did not have the ark of the covenant!
(Dan. 5:22-31 esp. V.28) In 517 BC the Medes and Persians defeated the Babylonians. (2Chron. 36:22 thru Ezra 10:44) The Persians set the Jews free to go rebuild Jerusalem and the House of God and they did BUT no mention is made of the ark of the covenant nor of the glory of God inhabiting their new temple.
(Dan. 8:21 & Joel 3:6) In 490 BC the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great conquered the Medes and Persians and from (Dan. 2:33 & 40-41) 168 BC to 86 BC the Roman Empire finally defeated the Greek Empire. Judah was simply a vassal state under the power of these various Empires.
(2Ki. 17:1-24) Israel, the northern kingdom of ten tribes, was gone into captivity. Rome had inherited Judah when they took over the Greek Empire. Judah, the southern kingdom, was dying. It had been conquered and was under military occupation by the Romans.
The three easiest methods to totally subjugate and control a nation is to disarm them, take over their government and control their religion. #1) Judah’s army had been defeated and disbanded. #2) The Jew’s Rome appointed king Herod wasn’t even a Jew, he was an Idumaean, a tribe belonging to Edom, (Gen. 36:1-9 esp. V.9) Esau’s progeny, (Psa. 83:2-12 esp. V.6 keyword: Edom) who were the Jew’s enemy.
(2Chron. 36:22-23) God had stirred up the heart of Cyrus the king of Persia to send the Jews to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:1 thru 10:44 esp. 10:3-8) and they built the second temple. Some carnal historical sources claim king Herod, known as the great builder, built the second temple but he did not, he only added to the existing temple to could curry favor with the Jews.
#3) Judah’s high priest, Annas, was a Roman political appointee from a wealthy Jewish family of the Sadducees until about 15 AD when the Romans removed him for some political indiscretion but behind the scenes Annas still wielded considerable power with the Jews.
The Romans then appointed Annas’ son-in law Caiaphas as high priest. (Luke 3:2 keywords: Annas and Caiaphas) For effect the Jews had 2 high priests, both men were Sadducees and neither had followed the prescribed Levitical priesthood method of being selected as high priest.
(Acts 23:8) “The Sadducees say there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit:” Obviously they did not believe in the immortality of the soul. Therefore, they could not have believed in heaven or hell (John 4:24 keywords: God is a spirit) and in reality, they couldn’t have even believed in God because God is a Spirit (Eph. 6:12) so they couldn’t have believed in the Devil (2Cor. 4:4) who was blinding them.
They believed in nothing but Abraham’s covenant, their circumcision and the Do’s and Do Not’s in the Law of Moses. SO: The Law of Moses was their god. At that time there was no ark of the covenant in the temple but Judah (the Jews) still worshipped God in their temple in the manner prescribed in the Law of Moses.
It had been 400 years since the last prophesy and there had been no word from God since then. Nothing! God had not been present in their temple for hundreds of years! The once dominant nation of Israel had been reduced to a tiny strip of land they called Judah (Judaea in Latin) along part of the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.
With a stubbornness that baffled their Roman conquerors the Jews clung to their sacred Abrahamic Covenant, they studied the prophesies in their Holy writings, they worshipped the God of their fathers with circumcision, sacrifice and their nodding, wailing, by rote prayers.
For effect (Matt. 15:1-9) the Jews received their religious instruction by memorization of rabbinical tradition, named the Talmud, which was human interpretations of the Torah by Rabbis and scholars, also prophesy and Jewish heroes. Their theology, moral standards, dietary laws, circumcisions and ceremonies had their roots in Moses’ Law. BUT:
God’s Biblical personality, truths, standards, religious authority and guidance had been distorted and diluted. For effect they had forgotten God. The Ark of the Covenant was absent from their tabernacle and they worshiped Judaism itself.
But sometimes in the loneliness of the darkness of night they wept bitter tears upon their pillows; “Oh great and Almighty God of all glory look at us with tender pity. Help us oh Lord, we are dying and Judaism is fading; help us oh Lord lest we perish.”
And thus reassured by their own words the next day they looked at the Romans with baleful eyes and waited for their Deliverer (seed) to take the throne of their legendary King David, defeat the Romans and once again lead Israel to national prominence among nations.
Sometimes, here and there, a more devout, studious Jew would wonder about God’s written prophesies. They knew God’s knowledge of the future is how He can inspire the prophets to write prophesies that will come true every time yet each person is left with his free will to decide and choose. But they would wonder; (Rom. 11:25) “I must be blind, something is hidden and I cannot see it!”
When they read in the Torah about all the accouterments of the Hebrew practice of worship (Ex. 25:10-22) especially the Mercy Seat on top of the Ark of the Covenant they sometimes had a “feeling” they represented something or someone else (objective prophesies). AND:
They could sometimes dimly perceive the OT Jewish hero deliverers “appeared” to represent someone else (living prophesies) who would deliver them. Example: (Judges 14:5-9) Samson the Jew killed the Judean lion on his way into sin with a harlot and later in the lions body he found honey (the sweetness of deliverance). Thinking; “What is hidden there?”
Wondering; “The Psalms are filled with poetry, praise, worship and dependence on God but sometimes they speak with a harshness of verse that appears to be prophesy about someone else rather than the author (Messianic prophesies). I read (Psa. 22:1-18 esp. V.18) and someone is being horribly tortured to death and some people are gambling for His clothes. David, the author, had never suffered that fate. Who is it?”
“Sometimes it appears the millions of animal sacrifices we use to cover our sins are prophesies that a man is going to be a sacrifice for sins (living prophesies). I read: (Isa. 53:1-12 esp. V.3, 4, 5, & 7 keywords: he (a man) is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, then V.9, 10 & 12) but the man’s name is not given. What does it all mean?” And they would question each other but they did not know.
“Many prophesies are about Israel’s future events but sometimes they “appear” to be about another people (inclusive prophesies). Example: (Isa. 11:10, 42:1 & 6 and 49:6 keywords: a light to the Gentiles) We Jews are God’s chosen people but it appears the Gentiles (non-Jews) will somehow be included in something with us. A light to the Gentiles would have to shine over the whole world! This cannot be!”
“Sometimes prophesy speaks of a redeemer (Messianic prophesy). (Job. 19:25-27) Job wrote;” “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins (kidneys- essential organs) be consumed within me.”
The studious Jews would again mutter to themselves; “A redeemer who will resurrect Job’s long ago rotted into nothingness body and make it live again? Will the redeemer resurrect the millions of Jewish dead to be the army with which the coming king will crush Rome?”
And again they would think; “Between our calendar years 3059 and 3079 (701 and 681 BC) Isaiah wrote a prophesy” and they would read aloud; (Isa. 9:6-7) “that one was coming whose name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace and he would sit upon the throne of David”. (V.7) Those few studious Jews read; “of peace there shall be no end” and they wondered; “That has not happened since Cain killed Abel!”
“But David died in 2790 (970 BC) 269 years before Isaiah wrote that prophesy and David’s throne has been passed through a series of other kings of Israel as time progressed (2Ki. 23:13) and, starting with Solomon, they polluted David’s throne with their awful abominations.” Then they read in Genesis:
(Gen. 17:7) “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed in their generations for an everlasting (defined as: #1 eternal, always, perpetual and #2 concealed, to veil) covenant to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee.” They would think; “This Hebrew word covenant, is defined as a compact made by passing between pieces of flesh by cutting, a confederacy, a confederacy in the Hebrew is defined; to marry, master, husband, owner.”
As the Jews read they understood perfectly the definitions but yet they were puzzled; “Something in this everlasting covenant is concealed and veiled. What does that definition “to marry and husband” mean?” A very few extremely well-read Jews asked themselves” “When, who and why is God going to marry someone and become their husband?”
Those more devout Jews who studied the scriptures instead of blindly listening to what was taught discussed the scriptures in private and they agreed; “Our Almighty God is a conqueror of impossibilities”.
They whispered among themselves; “Now I understand!” (Jer. 3:6-18 esp. V. 6 keyword: Israel, V. 8 keyword: Judah and V. 14 keywords: Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you) “The prophet Jeremiah gave us the answer. Obviously God married the future nation of Israel when He made His covenant with Abraham. God is still married to Israel and Judah! BUT: The ten tribes of Israel might as well have been sown into the wind. How will God ever bring them back again?” And they doubted:
NOTE: AD is the abbreviation for Anno Domini which is Latin and translates as “Year of our Lord” and refers to the year of Christ’s birth. AD does not mean after death. The use of Anno Domini was discontinued because it made reference to Christianity. EXAMPLE: Cunningham and Starr (1998) write that “B.C.E./C.E. …do not presuppose faith in Christ and hence are more appropriate for interfaith dialog than the conventional B.C./A.D.”
The meaning of BC is Before Christ and AD means the new counting of time starts the year of Christ’s birth. CE is a recent term that refers to Common Era and is now used in place of AD (Anno Domini). Example: 2016 AD (Anno Domini) is now named 2016 CE (Common Era). BC (before Christ) is now named BCE (Before Common Era). Example: 400 BC is now called 400 BCE. END OF NOTE.
The Jews didn’t know time was about to change. The beginning of year 1 AD (Anno Domini) later called CE was at their elbows. While the Jews read their prophesies, while they prayed in their hypnotic, nodding style, while they discussed their Biblical Deliverers, while they kept their dietary rules, while they dressed as instructed, while they searched the sky for their coming poet, warrior king who would be like David had been they missed it!
It was in their very own writings so well worn from their reading. While they read the prophet Daniel (Dan. 9:25-26 keyword: Messiah- defined- anointed king and/or priest) (V.26) “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself:” and waited for Messiah they missed it.