136 – The Jewish Prophet Zechariah (2)

Ruth & Mendel Wedding Highlights. The video of this Jewish wedding shows Jews, of whom are descendants of the people being described and discussed in this study of the Jewish Prophet Zechariah. Because of the length and importance of the book of Zechariah, this prophecy will be discussed, chapter by chapter.

Introduction

Jews have a great respect for the writings of Jewish prophets. Anyone having any kind of relationship with a Jew should also have a basic understanding of the things which are important to Jews.

Consider the information that was written by Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Deceased).

Zechariah was a priest who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel and Joshua, and was, according to tradition, a member of the Great Synagogue (the governing body of the Jews before the Sanhedrin). His name means “Yahweh remembers;” he was a contemporary of the Jewish prophet Haggai. During the reign of the Persian King, Cyrus, more than 50,000 Jews returned to Judah/Jerusalem/Judea in 538 B.C. They laid the foundation for the temple in 536 B.C. but, opposition stalled the work for about fifteen years. Darius Hystapes, who came to the throne in 521 B.C., confirmed the decree of Cyrus, and Zechariah, like Haggai, encouraged the people to finish the Temple, which they did in 515 B.C. Zechariah predicted more about Messiah than any other prophet except Isaiah. Prophecies concerning His first coming include 3:8; 9:9, 16; ; 11:11-13; 12:10; 13:1, 6; and prophecies to be fulfilled at His second coming include 6:12; 14:1-21. Zechariah is a book of consolation and hope, beginning with a call to repentance, and concluding with prophecies concerning the return of Christ (Charles Caldwell Ryrie (Th.D, Ph.D.).

Looking through the lens of time, as provided by Zehariah, is an exciting experience. I encourage you to stay with me throughout the journey. The following is a second peak into the millennium, from the Jewish prophet Isaiah (713 B.C.).

Isaiah 11:6-9 English Standard Version (ESV)

6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
9 They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

This study of Zechariah will use the English Standard Version for its text. The following link explains the ESV. https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/English-Standard-Version-ESV-Bible/

Zechariah Chapter 2
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=zechariah+2&version=ESV

2:1–13 When we consider this third vision, we see a man holding a measuring line. Just like the second vision, this vision builds on God’s promise of comfort to His people, the Jews (Zechariah 1:13, 17). The restoration of Jerusalem, after the return of the Jews from Babylon, is a mere appetizing fore-view of the yet future thousand-year Messianic Kingdom. Due to the language of the vision, it cannot be fulfilled historically. The scope of the vision extends far beyond the time of Zechariah to the time of the rule of the Messiah on earth during the Millennium. It is at that time that the Millennial Temple will be constructed by God in Jerusalem. The completion of the temple will be with total perfection (per Ezekiel 37:26, 587 B.C.).

2:6–9 The prophet Zechariah changed from his distant view of the future (Verses 4, 5) to the present, summoning those Jews still living in Babylon (referred to as the land of the north, Verse 7, because of the direction from which it invaded Israel) to flee before God pours out His judgment on it. This also implied a future call to leave a future Babylon (Revelation 17:3–5; 18:1–8.).

2:10–13 The language in these verses is Messianic. The words describe the personal presence of the Messiah, who will dwell on the throne of David in Jerusalem during the Millennium.

2:11 “Many nations” will worship the Lord “in that day,” which will be the future Day of the Lord, during the Millennium (Zechariah 14:16; Isaiah 2:3).

2:1 “a man with a measuring line” The restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem is symbolized. It is very possible that the surveyor is the Angel of the Lord (Zechariah 1:11; 6:12; Ezekiel 40:2,3), who is laying out the future dimensions of the city of Jerusalem.

2:3 “angel…talked with me” This is the instructing angel of Zechariah 1:9.

2:4 The news was so great that it was to be declared immediately. An angel was dispatched to say that Jerusalem will become so huge that it will extend beyond any walls (Isaiah 49:19,20; Ezekiel 38:11). The conditions described here have not been proven to be true historically (Nehemiah 7:4; 11:1-22); its full realization will occur in the future earthly Messianic Kingdom (Isaiah 49:19-20). A counterfeit of this un-walled safety will exist under the anti-Christ at the time of the tribulation, prophesied in Ezekiel 38:11 (587 B.C.).

2:5 “a wall of fire all around her” Even without walls, Jerusalem will live securely because of God’s protection. “The glory” illustrates the Messiah’s blessing and personal presence in His earthly kingdom of the Millennium. (Isaiah 4:2–6; 40:5; 60:17-18; Ezekiel 42:1–7).

2:6 “I have spread you” Per 2 Kings 17:6, the Jews were scattered from the Gozan River to Media. Some had also taken refuge in Egypt, Ammon, Moab and Edom (Jeremiah 40:11-12; 43:7).

2:8 “He sent Me after glory” The Messiah is sent by the “Lord of Hosts” (Verse 9) to receive His glory and to exonerate Himself in the nations which had defiled Israel. “the apple of His eye” Harming God’s chosen people is like hitting the pupil of God’s eye.

2:11-12 Zechariah echoes the promise that God had made to Abraham (Genesis 12:3). Many nations will join themselves to the Lord (Zechariah 6:15; 8:20–23; Isaiah 2:2–4; 56:6-7; 60:3). However, this will not change God’s choice of the Jews to be His chosen people. The Jews will still be “God’s inheritance in the Holy Land” (Deuteronomy 32:9).

2:12 “Holy Land,” The term is made not because it is the Promised Land but because it will be the site of the Messiah’s earthly throne when the land has been cleansed. A “holy land” can only be appropriate for its “holy Lord” (Isaiah 6:1–5).

2:13 “His holy dwelling.” This is addressed to all flesh. When Israel believes in Messiah Christ, and He returns, all humanity will “be silent” before the Lord. They will submit because He has been “aroused” (awakened, incited to activity), leaving “His Holy habitation” (the heavenly realms) to descend to His Holy Land (Zechariah 2:12), His earthly dwelling place. This context is not merely a “spiritual” descent of God to vindicate and help His people. The context places the event described in the Messianic era at the end of days. When the Lord comes to deliver His people, other prophets recognize that He will do so with the literal return of the Messiah (Isaiah 59:20; Romans 11:26-27; Micah 2:12-13, 5:4)(Moody Bible Commentary).

Consider the Hebrew names for “LORD” in Zechariah Chapter 2. http://biblehub.com/lexicon/zechariah/1-1.htm

LORD יְהוָ֗ה Yah·weh 3068 the proper name of the God of Israel (All verses, all capital letters) (YHWH/Yahweh)

The following video shows Christians, of whom have a love for the nation of Israel, and Jews everywhere. The song tells of the return of Messiah to earth to set up His Millennial Kingdom, which will be worldwide, and will have its Temple in Jerusalem. We will go into greater detail of this event, as we proceed further into Zechariah’s prophecy, which will show some people experiencing joy, and others experiencing judgment. We will address discuss key events that precede the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom, as well as things that will follow. This study of Zechariah is one that nobody should miss.

These are the Days of Elijah by Paul Wilbur

Thanks for reading this article. Please follow my Equipping blog; its purpose is to provoke thought. https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/

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There Are Ships. And, There Are Ships!

“88-year-old retires and lives on cruise ship.” Consider how wonderful it must be to make your home on a luxurious ocean liner. No furniture to buy; no cable or direct-tv payments. No telephone, electric, gas or water bills to pay; no groceries to buy. No Cooking!!! No spring cleaning or any cleaning! No loneliness; no days without dancing. New friends “galore!” A ship’s doctor and ship’s cruise director! Can anyone remember “Love Boat?” New ports of call every cruise! And, all of this for a measly one hundred seventy-five thousand dollars a year!!! I can’t wait!!! But, let’s consider another kind of ship; one, whose amenities are food to eat and a place to sleep; maybe not even a real bed. But, it is that kind of cargo ship that took many surviving holocaust Jews from Germany to Israel at the end of World War II. Let’s continue with that story. By the way, God bless that eighty-eight year old lady who lives on a cruise ship!

Israel – 444 BC To The Roman Empire

Ship Full of Holocaust Survivors Sing Hatikva in 1945. Consider the history behind the video scenes.

World War II had ended, with the defeat of the axis powers of Germany, Japan and Italy. The torture and murders of six million Jews during the Holocaust was a painful memory for the Jews whom are seen the video. They are returning to their homeland of Israel, from which Titus and the Romans had forced them out in 70 A.D. The name, “Israel,” was given to the Jews in 1739 B.C. The name of the land which they knew as their home was called “Israel,” and was given that name in 1451 B.C. Gentiles, and gentile nations have attacked Israel ever since 1296 B.C. On May 14, 1948 the United Nations granted statehood status to the Jews in their land that was called Israel. The Jewish prophet Isaiah spoke that prophecy in 698 B.C.

In Isaiah 66:7-8, the prophet foreshadowed the re-birth of Israel and, just like the Bible says, it happened “in one day.” This accurately describes that which happened on May 14, 1948. On that day independence was declared for Israel as a united and sovereign nation; its declaration of independence was not the result of a war.

During that same day, the United States issued a statement recognizing Israel’s sovereignty. And, only hours beforehand, a United Nations mandate expired, ending British control of the land. During a 24-hour span of time, foreign control of the land of Israel had formally ceased, and Israel had declared its independence, and its independence was acknowledged by other nations. Modern Israel was literally was born in a single day.

A movement called Zionism began in the 1800s to encourage Jews worldwide to move to Israel. Within hours of the declaration of independence in 1948, Israel was attacked by the surrounding countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Zion is a name that is used for Jerusalem, as well as for the biblical Land of Israel as a whole. Zionism is the national movement of the Jewish people who support the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel. Zion became known as “The City Of David” (2 Samuel 5:7, 1048 BC), when Jerusalem was made the capital of Israel.

The next video shows the horrible conditions in German concentration camps, from which Holocaust Jews were freed. Soldiers, “Russian, British and American,” are seen freeing Jews whom had been enslaved, murdered, tortured, and starved. Yes! There was a holocaust. Some people deny the Holocaust, but, “it happened!”

March of the Living – Tribute to Liberators

Back To The Study Of Israel

Israel 444 BC To The Roman Empire

In order for anyone to have a clear understanding of the culture of Israel, and the Jewish people, it is imperative that the religious aspects of such a people be considered. Before this post is read, it is advised that the prior posts be read, in their order of being published:

1. Israel, A Look Within, From Without
2. Israel 931-586 BC
3. Israel 586-445 BC

As has been mentioned in this study of Israel, the Jews have always had a great respect for their prophets, from whom “God’s chosen people” (per, Deuteronomy 7:6), believed that they received revelation from God. The prophets were identified as being major or minor prophets. The only difference between the two groups was the length of their writings. The major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) had no greater significance than did the minor prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi). The prophets wrote prior to the deportation of the Jews, during the exile of the Jews, and after the return of the Jews to Jerusalem and surrounding Judah. The times of the writings of the prophets occurred from approximately 850 B.C. until approximately 400 BC.

After the return of the Jews to Judah and Jerusalem, three other important books were written that Jews hold in high regard. Those books are Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.

Ezra. The Book of Ezra is devoted to events occurring in the land of Israel at the time of the return of Jews, from the Babylonian captivity and subsequent years, covering a period of approximately one century, beginning in 538 BC. The Persian King, Cyrus, issued an edict in that year., for the return of the exiled Jews to Judah and Jerusalem. The temple, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC, began being rebuilt in 535 BC, and was completed in 515 BC. Ezra was a Jewish scribe and priest; he was a descendant of Aaron, and was well-versed in the Law of Moses. He was commissioned by King Artaxerxes of Persia to return to Jerusalem and restore the Law for the Jewish people (Ezra 7:1-16). Ezra returned to Jerusalem in 458 BC. The time of writing was from about 457 to 444 BC.

Nehemiah. The Book of Nehemiah was likely written between 420 and 400 B.C. It continues the story of Israel’s return from the Babylonian captivity, and the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, which were also destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar. Nehemiah was the Jew who was appointed as the Governor of Judah, in 444 BC. He was appointed Governor by the Persian King Artaxerxes, and was serving as the King’s cupbearer (he tasted the King’s food to make sure that it was not poisoned). Nehemiah went to Jerusalem in 444 BC, and completed the rebuilding of the walls of the city in 443 BC.

Esther. The events of this book took place in Persia, which is current day Iran. Its author is anonymous, however, some believe Mordecai, (Esther’s cousin and guardian), wrote it. It was written approximately 470 BC in Persia. The key personalities are Esther, Mordecai, King Ahasuerus (or Xerxes), and Haman. The book is a post-exile story about Jews who stayed behind, after most returned to Jerusalem after captivity. Babylon was conquered by Persia, and Esther miraculously became the queen of the land. She was a brave young woman who saved her people from being exterminated. She became the queen of Persia around 475 BC, after winning a beauty contest. Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, saved the king’s life once, when two men in the palace tried to attack him (see Esther 2:21-23). He also played a big part in helping Esther stand up for her people. Haman is the villain of the story. He came up with a plan to kill every Jew in Persia. He built a tower, which he was going to use to hang Mordecai. But, Haman got the justice that he deserved; he was hung from his own tower (see Esther 7:9-10). After helping to save his people, Mordecai was promoted to second in rank to only the King (see Esther 10:2-3). As a Jewish maiden who had become the wife of the powerful king, Esther reached a crossroads of faith. Dare she stand up for the Lord and His chosen people? Or would she just blend into society as Persian royalty?

From 722 BC, when the northern ten tribes of Israel were taken captive by Assyria, until 586 BC, when the southern two tribes were taken captive by Babylon, until 539 BC, when Babylon was defeated by Medo-Persia, the Jews were under the control of world empires. Greece defeated the Persians in about 330 BC, and became the next world empire; they controlled and influenced the Jews in the culture of the Greeks until Rome became the next word empire. Jews became the writers of the New Testament of the Bible, and wrote their scriptures in Greek, to include some Aramaic verses. While in exile, many Jews lost their knowledge of their native Hebrew language. Prior to their deportation in 586 BC, some Jews were also speaking in Aramaic, as recorded in 2 Kings 18:26 (713 BC) and Isaiah 36:11 (710 BC).

Consider the oppression of the Jews while they were under the rule of the Greek Empire. The temple that had been rebuilt in 515 BC was desecrated by the Greeks in 167 BC. That event is recorded in the Old Testament book of Daniel, in Chapter eleven, verse 31. A second account is provided by a Jew, by the name of Matthew, in the New Testament book of Matthew, Chapter 24, verse 15. Most Jews do not accept the writings of Matthew, from a spiritual standpoint. However, the facts of Matthew are very consistent with the account of Daniel.

The following notes come from the writings of Dr. John MacArthur, as he discusses Daniel, Chapter, Verse 31, and Matthew, Chapter 24, Verse 15.

11:31 DEFILE THE SANCTUARY. Antiochus’ soldiers, no doubt working with apostate Jews, guarded the temple, halting all worship, while others attacked the city on the Sabbath, slaughtering men, women and children. Soldiers desecrated Israel’s temple, banned circumcision and daily sacrifices (1 Macc. 1:44–54), and sacrificed a pig on the altar. The Syrians on Chislev (Dec. 15, 167 B.C.), even imposed an idol statue, in honor of the Olympian god Zeus, into the temple. Jews called it “the abomination that causes desolation,” i.e., emptying or ruining for Jewish worship. ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. Antiochus’ soldiers profaned God’s temple by spreading sow’s broth on the altar and banning daily sacrifices (cf. 8:14 and see note there) as described in 1 Macc. 1:44–54. Both Daniel and Christ said this atrocity was only a preview of the abomination that would happen later, under the final Antichrist (9:27; Matt. 24:15).

24:15 ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. See notes on Daniel 9:27; 11:31. This phrase originally referred to the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Syria, in the second century B.C. Antiochus invaded Jerusalem in 168 B.C., made the altar into a shrine to Zeus, and even sacrificed pigs on it. However, Christ clearly was looking toward a yet-future “abomination of desolation.” Some suggest that this prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70, when Titus invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the temple (see note on v. 2). However, the Apostle Paul saw a still-future fulfillment (2 Thess. 2:3, 4), as did John (Rev. 13:14, 15)—when the Antichrist sets up an image in the temple during the future tribulation. Christ’s words here, therefore, look beyond the events of A.D., 70 to a time of even greater global cataclysm that will immediately precede His second coming to earth (cf. vv. 29–31).

Antiochus Epiphanes was a Greek king of the Seleucid Empire who reigned over Syria from 175 BC until 164 BC. He is famous for his brutal persecution of the Jews. Consider the following article that discusses the oppression of the Greeks and Syrians on Israel. The Maccbees were Jews. Consider the comment on Chanukah, also spelled Hanukkah.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/history-10.htm

333 BC-143 BC – Greek Rule

From the year 180 BC until 161 BC the Maccabees rebelled against the Syrian king Antiochus IV, who persecuted the Jews. He launched a campaign to crush Judaism, and in 167 BC he sacked the Temple. At the end of the period, after the rebels had conquered Judah and Jerusalem, the Temple was re-inaugurated. The Jewish holiday of Chanukah, also spelled Hanukkah, is based on these historic events.

In 168 BC, Antiochus, being defeated in his plans against Egypt, undertook the extermination of the Jewish religion and the complete Hellenizing of Judea. The walls of Jerusalem were thrown down, but the old city of David was fortified and occupied by a Syrian garrison. The observance of Jewish rites, the Sabbath, and circumcision, was prohibited. Those who resisted were put to death. In December 168, at the great altar of burnt offering in the temple of Jerusalem, a pagan altar was built, and on the 25th Chisleu sacrifices were offered on it.

Even after having suffered greatly from other kingdoms and nations, Jews still hold strongly to the promise that was given to them by Moses in 1451 BC, in the book of Deuteronomy. Consider the following verses:

Deuteronomy 7:6 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

6 For you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God. Adonai your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his own unique treasure.

Deuteronomy 7:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

6 For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.

Jews also hold to the writings of Moses, that they believe to be given to him by God, and date back to 2126 BC. Consider the following verses from the Book of Genesis:

Genesis 12:3 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Genesis 12:3 New Living Translation (NLT)

3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

Jews believe that the promises of Genesis 12:3 flow to them from Abraham (the object of this verse, Gen 12:1-2), through the bloodline of his covenant son, Isaac, and his covenant grandson, Jacob, who become known as Israel, per Genesis 32:28. The Jews also believe that by being the chosen people of God, He will use their bloodline to bring the promised Messiah into the world (Isaiah 7:14; 9:7). Jews also believe that they will inherit a place of key significance during the, “yet future,” Kingdom of God (Zephaniah 3:8).

Consider the words, “Judah” and “Judea.”

Prior to the exile of Jews from Jerusalem, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin made up the southern kingdom of Judah.

After the Captivity the name, Judea, was applied to the whole of the country west of the Jordan (Haggai 1:1, 14; 2:2).

The province of Judea, as distinguished from Galilee and Samaria, included the territories of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Dan, Simeon, and part of Ephraim. Under the Romans it was a part of the province of Syria, and was governed by a procurator.

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https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/

P.S. It’s amazing when you think about the lengths that a blogger must travel to post an article that will get beyond sensors. Many people will understand what I am saying. And, good luck to you, too!

136 – Israel – 444 BC To The Roman Empire

Ship Full of Holocaust Survivors Sing Hatikva in 1945. Consider the history behind the video scenes.

World War II had ended, with the defeat of the axis powers of Germany, Japan and Italy. The torture and murders of six million Jews during the Holocaust was a painful memory for the Jews whom are seen the video. They are returning to their homeland of Israel, from which Titus and the Romans had forced them out in 70 A.D. The name, “Israel,” was given to the Jews in 1739 B.C. The name of the land which they knew as their home was called “Israel,” and was given that name in 1451 B.C. Gentiles, and gentile nations have attacked Israel ever since 1296 B.C. On May 14, 1948 the United Nations granted statehood status to the Jews in their land that was called Israel. The Jewish prophet Isaiah spoke that prophecy in 698 B.C.

In Isaiah 66:7-8, the prophet foreshadowed the re-birth of Israel and, just like the Bible says, it happened “in one day.” This accurately describes that which happened on May 14, 1948. On that day independence was declared for Israel as a united and sovereign nation; its declaration of independence was not the result of a war.

During that same day, the United States issued a statement recognizing Israel’s sovereignty. And, only hours beforehand, a United Nations mandate expired, ending British control of the land. During a 24-hour span of time, foreign control of the land of Israel had formally ceased, and Israel had declared its independence, and its independence was acknowledged by other nations. Modern Israel was literally was born in a single day.

A movement called Zionism began in the 1800s to encourage Jews worldwide to move to Israel. Within hours of the declaration of independence in 1948, Israel was attacked by the surrounding countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Zion is a name that is used for Jerusalem, as well as for the biblical Land of Israel as a whole. Zionism is the national movement of the Jewish people who support the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel. Zion became known as “The City Of David” (2 Samuel 5:7, 1048 BC), when Jerusalem was made the capital of Israel.

The next video shows the horrible conditions in German concentration camps, from which Holocaust Jews were freed. Soldiers, “Russian, British and American,” are seen freeing Jews whom had been enslaved, murdered, tortured, and starved. Yes! There was a holocaust. Some people deny the Holocaust, but, “it happened!”

March of the Living – Tribute to Liberators

Back To The Study Of Israel

Israel 444 BC To The Roman Empire

In order for anyone to have a clear understanding of the culture of Israel, and the Jewish people, it is imperative that the religious aspects of such a people be considered. Before this post is read, it is advised that the prior posts be read, in their order of being published:

1. Israel, A Look Within, From Without
2. Israel 931-586 BC
3. Israel 586-445 BC

As has been mentioned in this study of Israel, the Jews have always had a great respect for their prophets, from whom “God’s chosen people” (per, Deuteronomy 7:6), believed that they received revelation from God. The prophets were identified as being major or minor prophets. The only difference between the two groups was the length of their writings. The major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) had no greater significance than did the minor prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi). The prophets wrote prior to the deportation of the Jews, during the exile of the Jews, and after the return of the Jews to Jerusalem and surrounding Judah. The times of the writings of the prophets occurred from approximately 850 B.C. until approximately 400 BC.

After the return of the Jews to Judah and Jerusalem, three other important books were written that Jews hold in high regard. Those books are Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.

Ezra. The Book of Ezra is devoted to events occurring in the land of Israel at the time of the return of Jews, from the Babylonian captivity and subsequent years, covering a period of approximately one century, beginning in 538 BC. The Persian King, Cyrus, issued an edict in that year., for the return of the exiled Jews to Judah and Jerusalem. The temple, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC, began being rebuilt in 535 BC, and was completed in 515 BC. Ezra was a Jewish scribe and priest; he was a descendant of Aaron, and was well-versed in the Law of Moses. He was commissioned by King Artaxerxes of Persia to return to Jerusalem and restore the Law for the Jewish people (Ezra 7:1-16). Ezra returned to Jerusalem in 458 BC. The time of writing was from about 457 to 444 BC.

Nehemiah. The Book of Nehemiah was likely written between 420 and 400 B.C. It continues the story of Israel’s return from the Babylonian captivity, and the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, which were also destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar. Nehemiah was the Jew who was appointed as the Governor of Judah, in 444 BC. He was appointed Governor by the Persian King Artaxerxes, and was serving as the King’s cupbearer (he tasted the King’s food to make sure that it was not poisoned). Nehemiah went to Jerusalem in 444 BC, and completed the rebuilding of the walls of the city in 443 BC.

Esther. The events of this book took place in Persia, which is current day Iran. Its author is anonymous, however, some believe Mordecai, (Esther’s cousin and guardian), wrote it. It was written approximately 470 BC in Persia. The key personalities are Esther, Mordecai, King Ahasuerus (or Xerxes), and Haman. The book is a post-exile story about Jews who stayed behind, after most returned to Jerusalem after captivity. Babylon was conquered by Persia, and Esther miraculously became the queen of the land. She was a brave young woman who saved her people from being exterminated. She became the queen of Persia around 475 BC, after winning a beauty contest. Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, saved the king’s life once, when two men in the palace tried to attack him (see Esther 2:21-23). He also played a big part in helping Esther stand up for her people. Haman is the villain of the story. He came up with a plan to kill every Jew in Persia. He built a tower, which he was going to use to hang Mordecai. But, Haman got the justice that he deserved; he was hung from his own tower (see Esther 7:9-10). After helping to save his people, Mordecai was promoted to second in rank to only the King (see Esther 10:2-3). As a Jewish maiden who had become the wife of the powerful king, Esther reached a crossroads of faith. Dare she stand up for the Lord and His chosen people? Or would she just blend into society as Persian royalty?

From 722 BC, when the northern ten tribes of Israel were taken captive by Assyria, until 586 BC, when the southern two tribes were taken captive by Babylon, until 539 BC, when Babylon was defeated by Medo-Persia, the Jews were under the control of world empires. Greece defeated the Persians in about 330 BC, and became the next world empire; they controlled and influenced the Jews in the culture of the Greeks until Rome became the next word empire. Jews became the writers of the New Testament of the Bible, and wrote their scriptures in Greek, to include some Aramaic verses. While in exile, many Jews lost their knowledge of their native Hebrew language. Prior to their deportation in 586 BC, some Jews were also speaking in Aramaic, as recorded in 2 Kings 18:26 (713 BC) and Isaiah 36:11 (710 BC).

Consider the oppression of the Jews while they were under the rule of the Greek Empire. The temple that had been rebuilt in 515 BC was desecrated by the Greeks in 167 BC. That event is recorded in the Old Testament book of Daniel, in Chapter eleven, verse 31. A second account is provided by a Jew, by the name of Matthew, in the New Testament book of Matthew, Chapter 24, verse 15. Most Jews do not accept the writings of Matthew, from a spiritual standpoint. However, the facts of Matthew are very consistent with the account of Daniel.

The following notes come from the writings of Dr. John MacArthur, as he discusses Daniel, Chapter, Verse 31, and Matthew, Chapter 24, Verse 15.

11:31 DEFILE THE SANCTUARY. Antiochus’ soldiers, no doubt working with apostate Jews, guarded the temple, halting all worship, while others attacked the city on the Sabbath, slaughtering men, women and children. Soldiers desecrated Israel’s temple, banned circumcision and daily sacrifices (1 Macc. 1:44–54), and sacrificed a pig on the altar. The Syrians on Chislev (Dec. 15, 167 B.C.), even imposed an idol statue, in honor of the Olympian god Zeus, into the temple. Jews called it “the abomination that causes desolation,” i.e., emptying or ruining for Jewish worship. ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. Antiochus’ soldiers profaned God’s temple by spreading sow’s broth on the altar and banning daily sacrifices (cf. 8:14 and see note there) as described in 1 Macc. 1:44–54. Both Daniel and Christ said this atrocity was only a preview of the abomination that would happen later, under the final Antichrist (9:27; Matt. 24:15).

24:15 ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. See notes on Daniel 9:27; 11:31. This phrase originally referred to the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Syria, in the second century B.C. Antiochus invaded Jerusalem in 168 B.C., made the altar into a shrine to Zeus, and even sacrificed pigs on it. However, Christ clearly was looking toward a yet-future “abomination of desolation.” Some suggest that this prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70, when Titus invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the temple (see note on v. 2). However, the Apostle Paul saw a still-future fulfillment (2 Thess. 2:3, 4), as did John (Rev. 13:14, 15)—when the Antichrist sets up an image in the temple during the future tribulation. Christ’s words here, therefore, look beyond the events of A.D., 70 to a time of even greater global cataclysm that will immediately precede His second coming to earth (cf. vv. 29–31).

Antiochus Epiphanes was a Greek king of the Seleucid Empire who reigned over Syria from 175 BC until 164 BC. He is famous for his brutal persecution of the Jews. Consider the following article that discusses the oppression of the Greeks and Syrians on Israel. The Maccbees were Jews. Consider the comment on Chanukah, also spelled Hanukkah.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/history-10.htm

333 BC-143 BC – Greek Rule

From the year 180 BC until 161 BC the Maccabees rebelled against the Syrian king Antiochus IV, who persecuted the Jews. He launched a campaign to crush Judaism, and in 167 BC he sacked the Temple. At the end of the period, after the rebels had conquered Judah and Jerusalem, the Temple was re-inaugurated. The Jewish holiday of Chanukah, also spelled Hanukkah, is based on these historic events.

In 168 BC, Antiochus, being defeated in his plans against Egypt, undertook the extermination of the Jewish religion and the complete Hellenizing of Judea. The walls of Jerusalem were thrown down, but the old city of David was fortified and occupied by a Syrian garrison. The observance of Jewish rites, the Sabbath, and circumcision, was prohibited. Those who resisted were put to death. In December 168, at the great altar of burnt offering in the temple of Jerusalem, a pagan altar was built, and on the 25th Chisleu sacrifices were offered on it.

Even after having suffered greatly from other kingdoms and nations, Jews still hold strongly to the promise that was given to them by Moses in 1451 BC, in the book of Deuteronomy. Consider the following verses:

Deuteronomy 7:6 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

6 For you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God. Adonai your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his own unique treasure.

Deuteronomy 7:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

6 For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.

Jews also hold to the writings of Moses, that they believe to be given to him by God, and date back to 2126 BC. Consider the following verses from the Book of Genesis:

Genesis 12:3 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Genesis 12:3 New Living Translation (NLT)

3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

Jews believe that the promises of Genesis 12:3 flow to them from Abraham (the object of this verse, Gen 12:1-2), through the bloodline of his covenant son, Isaac, and his covenant grandson, Jacob, who become known as Israel, per Genesis 32:28. The Jews also believe that by being the chosen people of God, He will use their bloodline to bring the promised Messiah into the world (Isaiah 7:14; 9:7). Jews also believe that they will inherit a place of key significance during the, “yet future,” Kingdom of God (Zephaniah 3:8).

Consider the words, “Judah” and “Judea.”

Prior to the exile of Jews from Jerusalem, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin made up the southern kingdom of Judah.

After the Captivity the name, Judea, was applied to the whole of the country west of the Jordan (Haggai 1:1, 14; 2:2).

The province of Judea, as distinguished from Galilee and Samaria, included the territories of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Dan, Simeon, and part of Ephraim. Under the Romans it was a part of the province of Syria, and was governed by a procurator.

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Julian and Aria, twin babies born too soon premature 21 weeks gestation

Children, not choices.

Jennings Paige Photography
Published on May 15, 2016

Julian and Aria were conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the fall of 2014. We found a surrogate, who was successful on our first attempt. We soon discovered we were blessed with twins! One baby boy, who we named Julian Griffin Ashker, and one baby girl, who we named Aria Paige Ashker. Unfortunately, something caused our surrogate to go into labor at 21 weeks. Although she went to the hospital immediately, she was already in full labor. Less than 3 short hours later, our babies came into the world. They were too young to survive outside the womb, although they did live, and move, for a short while after birth. They died in loving arms. They were so loved, and so wanted. We will never forget our angel twins. We love our babies to the moon and back, forever and a day

135 – The Jewish Prophet Zechariah (1)

David And Rebecca Jewish Wedding. The video of this Jewish wedding shows Jews, of whom are descendants of the people being described and discussed in this study of the Jewish Prophet Zechariah. Because of the length and importance of the book of Zechariah, this prophecy will be discussed, chapter by chapter.

Introduction

Jews have a great respect for the writings of Jewish prophets. Anyone having any kind of relationship with a Jew should also have a basic understanding of the things which are important to Jews.

Information has been added after, “Israel is Israel.”

The book of Zechariah was written in its earliest chapters at about 520 B.C. The prophet finds himself in Jerusalem, among other Jews, some of whom are returning to their home after having been taken captive to Babylon in 586 B.C. There are other Jews in this group, who are younger, that were born in Babylon during the exile of the Jews; for them, a new life begins in Jerusalem, with them seeing for the first time in their life, the remains of the Temple that King Solomon had built in 959 B.C., and had been destroyed in 586 B.C. by Babylonians, who are also known as gentiles (non-Jews). It is now 520 B.C. Zechariah is one of the younger Jews, being of a Levitical priestly family line of descent. Reconstruction of the Temple had begun in 535 B.C., but was halted in 530 B.C. Zechariah’s prophecy is about a Jewish prophet having a message to give to other Jews about Jewish matters. The message dealt specifically with the completion of the Temple and the need for Jews to get serious about their relationship with God. The prophecy of Zechariah relates specifically to the nation of Israel, and is not directed to the Church. There are situations that will develop, as a result of this prophecy, that relate to gentiles (non-Jewish nations) and the church, but only as they are collateral to Israel. As you read through Zechariah, and other Jewish prophetic books, it is important to remember that, “the Church is the Church, and Israel is Israel.”

Information has been added to this paragraph.

Nothing can be taken from the Jewish prophetic books that will justify a thought that any of the scriptures of the prophets can be taken to be other than factual. There is nothing in any of the Jewish prophetic writings that can justify a spiritual or allegorical representation of the things that are being presented as being literal fact; the prophecies actually relate to the Jews and their place in the end times. The first five verses of Zechariah 1 clearly identify the characters of the prophecy as being Jewish. Whenever the word, “kingdom,” is used by the Old Testament Jewish prophets, it represents earthly, physical Israel, in the boundaries that have been provided by God through the Patriarchs, and is an area that is much greater in size than that which is recognized by the world today. Whenever the word, “millennium,” is used, it represents the thousand year duration of the physical, earthly kingdom. An eternal state follows the thousand years of the millennium. In the eternal state there will be a new heaven, new earth and new Jerusalem. Verses of the Old Testament and New Testament agree on the literal fact of the eternal state. (Isaiah 65:17, 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-2).

The southern kingdom of Israel, which consisted of two tribes of Israel, was attacked by the forces of the Babylonian World Empire in 586 B.C. The Jews of the southern Kingdom were taken captive to Babylon, and have not returned to their covenant land, with the prominence with which Jews believe to be theirs in their covenant land, as was promised to them by the Patriarchs. The Jews have been given even greater eternal and spiritual promises, as have been spoken by God through the Jewish prophets. Zechariah speaks very clearly, and strongly, of the facts of Israel’s return to their promised land. Of the Old Testament prophets, Ezekiel, Daniel and Zechariah have provided a clearly defined timeline of events that relate to the eschatology that believers in Christ find fulfilled in the New Testament.

The prophecy of Zechariah will take you from 520 B.C., the time of the prophecy, to the time that Zechariah sees the Jews in their covenant land of Israel, and Jerusalem. There, the Jews will be delivered from the never-ending attacks of gentile nations. That time is known as the millennium, which means one thousand years. Other Jewish prophecies point to the same time in the future. Many Christians also understand that same time-line occurrence, and will be discussed in future articles.

Looking through the lens of time, as provided by Zehariah, is an exciting experience. I encourage you to stay with me throughout the journey. The following is a peak into the millennium, from the Jewish Prophet Micah. “He,” is the Messiah, who will rule the entire world during the millennium, and thereafter.

Micah 4:3 English Standard Version (ESV)

3 He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore;

This study of Zechariah will use the English Standard Version for its text. The following link explains the ESV. https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/English-Standard-Version-ESV-Bible/

Zechariah Chapter 1
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=zech+1&version=ESV

Zechariah’s Call To Repentance

1:1-6 The Warning To Repent. The opening 6 verses provide an introduction to the entire prophecy in which the prophet calls upon the people to repent and never again repeat the past sins of their fathers.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=zech+1%3A1-6&version=ESV

Zechariah’s Eight Night Visions

1:7-17 The First Vision: The Rider On The Red Horse. This is the first of 8 night visions which Zechariah saw in a single night. It summarized all the other 7 by giving the general theme, leaving the details to the other visions. Reassuring words are provided to the exiles by revealing God’s purpose for the future of His chosen people. Dreams happen during sleep. Visions occur during awake times.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=zech+1%3A7-17&version=ESV

1:8 “a man riding on a red horse!” This is the first vision revealing God’s plan for Jerusalem, which begins with the sight of “a man riding on a red horse.” The man is identified as the Angel of the Lord (vs 11). The other riders report to Him, indicating His authority over them. Because of the strength of horses, they became symbols of war. Red is often the symbol of blood, hence judgment (Isaiah 63:1–4; Revelation 6:3.)

1:8 “red, sorrel, and white horses.” These other horses had riders as well. The colors may speak of the work of the riders: red speaking of bloodshed and judgment (Isaiah. 63:1-2), white speaking of victory (Revelation 19:11), and sorrel or a brownish color might be a combination of the others. A similar picture is found in Revelation 6:1–8. These horses are about to gain a victorious judgment. Since they are messengers of vengeance, they most likely represent angels, so frequently employed as God’s instruments of judgment.

1:11 “the angel of the Lord.” the Angel of the Lord is frequently identified with the pre-incarnate Lord Himself (Exodus 3:2-4). In verse 13, this Angel is called Lord, and is the divine commander-in-chief of this angelic army.

1:11 “all the earth remains at rest.” In contrast to the difficulties facing the exiles, without temple or city walls, the heathen nations were superficially at rest, occupied with their own selfish interests (verse 15). This was generally the condition in the second year of Darius. The contrast makes the situation of Israel all the more distressing, and the hope for the fulfillment of Haggai 2:7 (“I will shake all the nations”) 2:22 (“I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms”) to be more intense.

1:12 “these seventy years.” The Angel of the Lord interceded to God the Father on behalf of Israel, pleading for the withdrawal of God’s chastening hand. The “seventy years” refers to God’s words to Jeremiah concerning the length of Judah’s Babylonian captivity (Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10).

1:15 “I am exceedingly angry with the nations that are at ease.” Moved by His great love for His people, the Lord acted in anger (1:2) against the nations which mistreated His people.

1:15 “they furthered the disaster.” Although they were God’s instrument of judgment against Israel, they had exceeded His instructions in handing out punishment. They did not understand that God’s intention was to punish Israel, for a period of time, but then show compassion (Isaiah 54:7-8).

1:16 “my house shall be built in it.” The Temple (My house) was finished in 515 B.C. (Ezra 6:15).

1:16 “the measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem” “A line was used to measure before destruction or construction (in this case, construction).

1:16, 17 Not only would the temple be rebuilt, which at that time had only a foundation (Haggai 2:18), but the city itself would again expand due to the prosperity (Isaiah 40:9-10). The wall was completed 75 years later. God would again comfort Jerusalem (Isaiah 40:1-2; 51:3,12), and would again choose it as the place of His earthly throne (Psalm 132:13). This will be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom of Messiah (Revelation 20). Given the fact that the returning Jews lost sight of their priorities (Haggai 1:1–12), this message reaffirmed God’s plan. It should be noted that the millennial kingdom will provide the presence of God in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 48:35), a glorious temple (Ezekiel 40–48), a rebuilt Jerusalem (Jeremiah 31:38–40), the nations punished (Matthew 25:31–46), the prosperity of Judah’s cities (Isaiah 60:4–9), the blessedness of the people (Zechariah 9:17), and the comfort of Zion (Isaiah 14:1). The millennium will be an actual 1,000 year time when Israel is living in peace in their covenant land. There will be a physical temple located in Jerusalem during the time of the millennium, and will be placed there by God. There will also be a temple that will be built in Jerusalem, during a seven-year time of tribulation and great tribulation, prior to the beginning of the millennium. The tribulation temple will be a counterfeit temple that will have its construction sanctioned by the anti-christ.

1:18-20 The Second Vision: The Four Horns And The Four Craftsmen. The second of 8 night visions adds details to the judgment of the nations that persecuted God’s Israel, building upon His promise to comfort His people (1:13, 17).
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=zech+1%3A18-20&version=ESV

1:18 “four horns.” The power of the Gentile nations that afflicted and scattered Israel (vs 19,21).

1:18 “four horns.” Horns were symbols of power and pride; a nation, or the head of that nation, (Daniel 7:21, 24; 8:3; Revelation 17:12); referring either to Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, and Medo-Persia or perhaps, more likely, to the 4 world empires of Daniel 2, 7: Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, all of which oppressed Israel.

1:19 “scattered Israel.” The horns, the kingdoms, that scattered Israel.

1:20 “Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen.” Those peoples and nations that God used to overthrow the enemies of Israel. In respect to Genesis 12:3, this vision reinforces the warning and promises of Genesis 12:3.

1:20 “craftsmen.” The word is literally the term for stone workers, metal workers, and wood workers, those who shape material with hammers and chisels. These “hammers” represent the nations which overthrow the 4 horns (verse 18). As with the 4 beasts of Daniel 7, each empire is overthrown by the subsequent one, the last being replaced by Messiah’s kingdom (Daniel 2:44; 7:9–14, 21, 22). Babylon was hammered in a night attack by the Medo-Persians (539 B.C.). With the victory of Alexander over Darius in 333 B.C. at Issus, the Greeks hammered the Medo-Persian “horn.” In the second century B.C., the Roman hammer fell and, one by one the nations fell (Israel in 63 B.C.). The Roman Empire, to be revived in the last days, according to Daniel, will be hammered by the returning Messiah (Daniel 2:34, 35, 45).

1:21 “horns.” Horns were symbols of strength.

1:21 “terrify them.” Contrast verse 11 (“at rest and in peace”) and 15 (“feel secure”).

1:15 “nations that feel secure.” A security that will be completely undone; those nations went too far with the punishment. God was angry with Israel and used the Assyrians (Isaiah 10:5) and Babylonians (Isaiah 47:6; Jeremiah 25:9) to punish her, but they went too far by trying to destroy Israel as a people (2 Kings 10:11).

Consider the Hebrew names for “Lord” and “LORD” in Zechariah Chapter 1. http://biblehub.com/lexicon/zechariah/1-1.htm

“My lord, אֲדֹנִ֑י a·do·ni 113 lord (Zechariah 1:9) (Adonai)

of the LORD יְהוָ֗ה Yah·weh 3068 the proper name of the God of Israel (All other verses) (YHWH/Yahweh)

The following video shows Christians, of whom have a love for the nation of Israel and Jews everywhere.

Paul Wilbur – Shalom Jerusalem

Thanks for reading this article. Please follow my Equipping blog; its purpose is to provoke thought. https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/

134 – Israel 586 B.C. – 445 B.C.

This article has been a very difficult one for me to compose and publish. As I watched the different videos that showed the inhumanity of Germany and the Nazis toward the Jews, it affected me in a way that I had not expected. My question to myself was, ‘how could a “so-called” Christian nation be so terrible to a group of people, the Jews, solely because of ethnicity’? I have watched videos on the trials and hangings of World War II German soldiers. Some of the soldiers were young men, and some were old men; it made no sense to me. Unfortunately, even in our world today, there is a desire to exterminate Jews, solely because “Jews are Jews.” It is easy for anyone who sees the opening video to understand the severity of the atrocities that came upon the Jews, at the hands of the followers of Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s.

My father knew a man who was in Berlin, Germany during the 1930s. He mentioned how Hitler had an amazingly mind captivating effect on the people of Germany who went to hear “the Fuhrer” speak. I remember a program that said that as Hitler was rising to his political fame, that he won one election by one vote. Can anyone imagine how greatly different the world would be today if that one winning vote had been changed to Hitler’s opposing candidate?

In the 1920s, Mussolini’s “black shirts” helped to push him to political power in Italy. At the same time, Hitler’s “brown shirts” helped him in his rise to power in Germany. I am very concerned about the “black hoodies” that are seen so often in media news reports in America today.

The Great Depression of America which began in 1929 had a world-wide effect. The Jews of Germany had fared better financially than had most German citizens. Because of the prosperity of the Jews, and for other reasons of ethnic prejudice, they were targeted by the Nazis for extermination, which led to the murders of more than six million Jewish men, women and children. Yes! The Holocaust was real.

In order for anyone to have a proper understanding of the people of Israel, and Jews throughout the world, it is very important to understand that the Jews are a religious people. Without that understanding, there can be no intimate knowledge of the nation of Israel, or of Jews who reside throughout the world. Jews have a deep respect for parents and their elders. Jews also have a great respect for God’s Word. They have a belief that, from Moses through the last prophet, God gave them the ways of life and culture that were designed to make them a holy and righteous people.

History shows that Jews have fared well in life. The “Israelites” have always believed that they are “God’s chosen people” (Deuteronomy 7:6), with such a promise for the coming of the Messiah through the Jewish bloodline, and for a special place of blessing for Jews during the coming Kingdom of God, also known as the Millennium. Jews also believe that by being the chosen people of God, there will be harsh punishment for people who treat them poorly (Zechariah 2:8).

Jews are very particular in their keeping of the “feasts of the Lord.” They believe that they are to keep the “feasts of God,” forever (Leviticus 23:31, 37, 41) (i.e., Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, etc.)

Jews believe in the authority of the prophet, priest and King. The prophet represents God to the people. The priest represents the people to God. The King is God, and is over all of His creation.

There were three Jewish prophets during the time that Jews of Judea were taken captive to Babylon.

Jeremiah lived in Jerusalem and Egypt. He lived from 640-570 B.C.

Ezekiel was also taken captive to Babylon (597 B.C.). He lived from 623-570 B.C.

Daniel was also taken captive to Babylon (605 B.C.). He lived from 620-533 B.C.

Going back to 722 B.C., Shalmanezer, King of Assyria, captured Samaria (the northern ten tribes of Israel) and carried those tribes of Israel away into exile to Assyria (2 Kings 17:1-6). The Jews of Jerusalem/Judah were taken into exile to Babylon, beginning in 605 B.C. until 586 B.C. Their return to Jerusalem began in 536 B.C, after King Cyrus of Persia had issued an edict, allowing the return of the Jews to Jerusalem. The return was in three stages of events through 445 B.C. The temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem was finished in 443 B.C. Jeremiah wrote in 607 B.C., that the time was soon coming for the Jews to spend 70 years of captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 25:11). He also wrote of that same captivity in 599 B.C. (Jeremiah 29:10). In 538 B.C., Daniel discovered those writings of Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2).

From 722 B.C., until 445 B.C., the Jews were subservient to other world empires. Those powers were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Medo-Persia. The empires of Greece and Rome would follow in ruling over Israel.

The following video shows a group of Christians who have a love for Israel.

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133 – The Jewish Prophet Haggai

Israeli soldiers sing alongside Idan Raichel | Hebrew songs Israeli army IDF song Ethiopian Jewish. Consider the following account of an Ethiopian Jew: “There was an Ethiopian man, a eunuch and high official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to worship in Jerusalem and was sitting in his chariot on his way home, reading the prophet Isaiah aloud.” (See the context: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts+8%3A26-38&version=HCSB )

Consider the following video which gives a quick introduction to the book of Haggai.

What Is the Message of the Book of Haggai? James M. Hamilton Jr., Ph. D. (Bio at bottom of page)

Key To Understanding Haggai

The book of Haggai was written by a Jew, to other Jews, about Jewish matters. There is nothing allegorical about this prophecy; it clearly relates to facts, as opposed to symbolism. The characters in the book can only be identified as being Jews. Nothing can be found in the book of Haggai that detracts from the Jewishness of the characters, or from the problems that are also clearly related to the Jewish people of Jerusalem. Haggai pointed out the problems that existed between God and the Jews; the Church does not enter into the dialog.

Haggai Overview

Of all of the books of the Bible, the book of Obadiah is the shortest; the book of Haggai is the second shortest. Haggai was the first prophet which prophesied to Israel during the postexilic period. The time of Judean Jewish exile was the seventy years of their being held captive in Babylon. Their deportation followed the 605 B.C.- 586 B.C. assault on Jerusalem by the Babylonians. The ministry of Haggai was to call the Jews in Jerusalem to finish the construction of the Temple which had been destroyed by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.

The following paragraph shows a chronology of events that encompassed Haggai’s ministry. Haggai was a contemporary of Zechariah, whose ministry followed his, and Ezra, who recorded the first return of exiled Jews to Jerusalem.

The construction of the Jerusalem Temple began in 535 B.C., and was halted in 530 B.C. The prophecies of Haggai were most likely given toward the end of 520 B.C. Through the encouragement of Haggai, the Temple was completed in 515 B.C. Haggai most likely returned from Babylon to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel, who became the Governor of Judea. Haggai spoke his prophetic words to Zerubbabel, and to Joshua, who was the high priest, as well as to all of the Jews who were living in Jerusalem.

Consider the following outline of the book of Haggai.

1. Message of rebuke (1:1-11). 2. Word of encouragement (1:12-15). 3. Second message of encouragement (2:1-9). 4. Second message of rebuke (2:10-19). 5. Final message of encouragement (2:20-23).

Consider the following key points of the book of Haggai.

1. Haggai 1:1-11
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Haggai+1%3A1-11&version=HCSB

Message of rebuke

The returning Jews were discouraged by the people who were already living in Jerusalem (Ezra 4:1–5, 24). It was the wrong conclusion of these returning Jews that it was not yet time for them to rebuild the temple (vs 2). But, God reminded them that it was not right for them to live in their own finished homes while the temple still was in a state of ruin (vs 4). God “urged” them to consider the error of their way, and the consequences that would follow if they would not finish the Temple (vs 5–11).

2. Haggai 1:12-15
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Haggai+1%3A12-15&version=HCSB

Word of encouragement

God’s call to the Jews to “carefully, consider your ways” (vs 5, 7), caused the people to repent and obey Haggai’s message to complete the construction of the temple (vs 12). Haggai’s new message of God to the Jews, “I am with you,” resulted in the stirring of the Jews to action (vs 13-14).

3. Haggai 2:1-9
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Haggai+2%3A1-9&version=HCSB

Second message of encouragement

With the building of the temple going strong, God gave a strong encouraging Word, in particular to those whom were elderly and had seen Solomon’s temple. Even though Solomon’s temple was much more majestic, God urged the people to be courageous. He assured the Jews that He would be present among them (vs 4). God also reminded the people of His faithfulness to His covenant promises (vs 5), and of His promises of a greater, and much more glorious temple in the future in the millennial kingdom (vs 6–9). A description of the Millennial Temple is shown in the book of Ezekiel, Chapters 40-48.

Verses 6-7, “I will shake,” relates to: (1) the cataclysmic disturbances in the universe that are described in Revelation, Chapters 6–19; (2) the dominance of the nations by the Messiah; and (3) the setting up of the Messianic kingdom which will never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44; 7:27; Zechariah 14:16–21; Matthew 25:32; Luke 21:26; Hebrews 12:26; Revelation 19:19–21). In essence, we see the events of the tribulation leading to the setting up of the millennium, with the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:17-21) being the key event during that transition. The preparation of the nations of the Earth, for their assault on Jerusalem in the Battle of Armageddon, begins in Revelation 16:12.

Verse 7: “I will fill this temple with glory.” When we consider “the temple,” we must go back to a time when there was no Jewish temple; such a time is described in Exodus 33:7 (1491 B.C.). From there, we turn around and go forward as far as we possibly can go. So, hop on board! You’ll enjoy the ride!

“Now Moses took a tent and set it up outside the camp, far away from the camp; he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone who wanted to consult the Lord would go to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp.”

While the tent of Moses was being used as a tent of meeting, the Israelites were constructing a tabernacle, or a sanctuary, which has been called “the tabernacle in the desert.” At times, the terms, “tent of meeting,” and “tabernacle,” are used interchangeably. Consider the following chronology.

God commissioned the construction of the tabernacle/sanctuary (Exodus 25:8-9, 1491 B.C.).
The tabernacle in the desert was completed (Exodus 40:33, 1490 B.C.).
God commissioned King Solomon to build the first temple in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 28:6, 1015 B.C.).
Solomon finished the construction of the temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 5:1, 1004 B.C.)
The forces of Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:19, 586 B.C.)
The Temple was rebuilt in Jerusalem, being known as Zerubbabel’s Temple (Haggai 1:1-15, 2:1-23; Ezra 6:15, 515 B.C.)
Herod’s Temple, which was a remodeling of Zerubbabel’s temple, was completed in 4 B.C., but was not totally completed until 63 A.D.
https://www.bible-history.com/jewishtemple/
https://www.bible-history.com/jewishtemple/JEWISH_TEMPLEHerods_Temple00000006.htm.
Herod’s Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. https://www.preteristarchive.com/Ancient_Revelations/archeology/2001_harvardhouse_scientific-dating.html
The prophecy of the destruction of the temple was made by Christ in Matthew 24:1-2 (30 A.D.) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+24%3A1-2&version=HCSB

There will be a temple that will be built in Jerusalem during the time of the Tribulation. The Tribulation Temple will not be one where God dwells. The Anti-Christ will most likely authorize the construction of the temple during the first part of the Tribulation, and place it on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. See the following article on the Tribulation temple. http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/the-tribulation-temple

There will be a Temple that will be placed by God in Jerusalem during the Millennium (Ezekiel 37:26), following the Tribulation. The Glory of the Lord had previously been seen by the Jewish Prophet Ezekiel departing the temple in 594 B.C. (Ezekiel 9:3; 10:4; 10:18-19, 11:22-23). The Glory will not return until the future kingdom of Messiah, in the Millennial Temple (Ezekiel 43:2–7; 44:4), as was seen by Ezekiel in 574 B.C. At the time that Ezekiel saw the Glory of God leaving the Jerusalem Temple, the city was under siege by the Babylonians. There is no scriptural proof of the Glory of God returning to the rebuilt or remodeled temples of Zerubbabel or Herod. There is presently no temple in Jerusalem. The tribulation temple will not be one of Godly legitimacy. It will only be when Christ sets up His Millennial Kingdom that there will be a Godly Temple in Jerusalem.

4. Haggai 2:10-19
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Haggai+2%3A10-19&version=HCSB

Second message of rebuke

The fourth message of Haggai to the Jews was delivered on December 18, 520 B.C. Just a month earlier, the Jewish Prophet Zechariah began his ministry (Zechariah 1:1). This message of Haggai was meant to show that the Jews’ lack of obedience to God had caused His blessings to them to be withheld. The obedience of these Jews to God would cause His blessings to be showered upon them. This blessing is a reminder of future blessings that God will shower upon the Jews during the Kingdom Age/Millennium. It is a time of God’s restoration of Israel, which was prophesied by the Jewish Prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 34:11-31. The particular scripture reference is Ezekiel 34:25-26: “I will make them and the area around My hill a blessing: I will send down showers in their season—showers of blessing.” Often times, Christian congregations sing a song that is titled, “There Shall Be Showers Of Blessing,” without realizing that the verses of reference for that song were given as encouragement to the dispersed Jews in Babylon in 587 B.C., and relate to the blessings that God will shower upon Israel during the millennium. The prophecy relates to the New Covenant of God with Israel, per Jeremiah 31:31–34 and Ezekiel 37:26.

5. Haggai 2:20-23
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Haggai+2%3A20-23&version=HCSB

Final message of encouragement

This fifth message was directed to Zerubbabel, who was the governor of Judah (vs 20). It came on the same day as the fourth message, and returned to the theme of vs 6–9, which related to the millennial reign of the Messiah. The message dealt with the overthrow of the kingdoms of the world and the establishment of the Messianic kingdom (Daniel 2:44 and 7:27). Due to the prophesied events not occurring historically, the promise relates to the royal line through whom the Messiah will come. It looked to the day when the Messiah will reign on earth (Psalm 2; Revelation Chapters 19-20). The following passages tell more about the blessings of the Messianic Kingdom, and God’s promises of Israel’s presence in the Kingdom. (See Isaiah 32:18, below.)

Isaiah 2:4 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

“He will settle disputes among the nations and provide arbitration for many peoples. They will turn their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will not take up the sword against other nations, and they will never again train for war.”

Isaiah 11:6-8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

6 The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat. The calf, the young lion, and the fatling will be together, and a child will lead them. 7 The cow and the bear will graze, their young ones will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 An infant will play beside the cobra’s pit, and a toddler will put his hand into a snake’s den.

Isaiah 32:16-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

16 Then justice will inhabit the wilderness, and righteousness will dwell in the orchard. 17 The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever. 18 Then my people will dwell in a peaceful place, in safe and secure dwellings.

The promises of God to His chosen people, Israel, are firm. (Deuteronomy 7:6)

About the Holman Christian Standard Bible
https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/1599-Geneva-Bible-GNV/

About James M. Hamilton Jr., Ph. D.
https://www.amazon.com/James-M.-Hamilton-Jr./e/B000APFNL6
http://jimhamilton.info/about/

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