139 – The Jewish Prophet Zechariah (3)

Jewish Wedding Video Sample. The video of this Jewish wedding shows Jews, of whom are descendants of the people being discussed in this study of the Jewish Prophet Zechariah. Notice the nodding of the head, forward and backward. That is also observed at the wailing wall in Jerusalem. By doing so, Jews are actively engaging in worship. The following video shows Jews engaging such in prayer and worship at the Jerusalem wailing wall.

It is important for non-Jews to understand things of Judaism, especially if there is any kind of bond supporting Jew-Gentile relationships. It is the purpose of these articles to make more of Judaism understandable to Gentiles. Such, especially, is the case of the information that is contained in this article. Because there is a lot of common ground between Jews and Christians, it is very important for followers of Christ to have a good understanding of the things that are important to Jews, especially when such things apply to Christians.

There is a belief among some Christians, that is known as replacement theology, which teaches that the Church has replaced Israel for the promises that God made to Israel. Such a teaching is totally without merit. The truth is that Israel is Israel, and the Church is the Church. Both, Israel and the Church, are addressed in Scripture, and both will receive the blessings that God has promised to each of them. Israel is a nation; the church is not. Israel is a physical entity; the Church is spiritual. Israel has a territory that was given to them by God; the Church has no territory; no territory has been promised to the Church by God. As a unified kingdom, the nation of Israel had three kings (Saul, David, Solomon). As a divided kingdom, Israel had thirty-nine kings (20 in the southern kingdom and 19 in the northern kingdom); the church has never had a king. The Jewish prophets speak of a future King and Kingdom for Israel, with that king coming through the bloodline of King David (Luke 3:23, Luke 3:23-38). Consider the following link. https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/issues-v05-n06/the-genealogy-of-the-messiah/

The King of “the Kingdom, Kingdom Age, and Millennium” is identified in Revelation 19:16:

“And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

The King of Kings of Revelation 19:16 will be “Messiah, Christ,” per scriptural prophecy and lineage.

None of the promises of God that were made to Israel have been taken away from Israel and given to the Church. The promised land of Israel is not an allegory, and is not a spiritual perception of that which God has said will be fact. Considering allegories and spiritual perceptions, no one has been identified by God to be the Chief of all “allegorical and spiritual application.”

It is clear that the Jewish prophets of the Old Testament were Jews, and that they wrote their prophecies to Jews, about Jewish things. There would be no purpose for God to speak prophecies of allegory to the prophets of Israel, for them to speak the same allegories to the Jewish people. In essence, God would not have been truthful in His prophecies, if His messages had been allegories, or spiritual representation of the promises that He made to “His chosen people,” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

Jews praying at the Wailing Wall HD

Introduction

Because of the length and importance of the book of Zechariah, this prophecy is being discussed, chapter by chapter. We are now in Chapter three of this important book of prophecy. Here, we study “The Vision Of High Priest,” and “The Coming Branch.”

This study of Zechariah will now use the New King James Version for its text. The following link takes you to an explanation of the NKJV. https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/New-King-James-Version-NKJV-Bible/

Zechariah Chapter 3
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=zechariah+3%3A1-10&version=NKJV

The Vision Of The High Priest

Verse 3.1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.

Comment 3:1 In this opening verse, Zechariah sees a heavenly courtroom. Joshua is seen as he represents the people of Judah. He is being accused by Satan, as he stands before the Angel of the Lord. It should be noted that this is not Moses’s successor, Joshua. Instead, he is the high priest that we are studying, who returned to Jerusalem with the exiles (See Ezra 3:2). It is important to know that “Satan,” in Hebrew, means “the Satan,” therefore, he is “the Accuser.”

Verse 3:2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”

Comment 3:2 With the words of God, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan.” We presuppose that an earlier conversation had taken place in which Satan made other accusations against the Jews, and against their priest. It is important for us to know that Satan is not sovereign. Satan, as is all others of God’s creation, is subject to the Lord, and falls under the Sovereign hand of God. Judah is the brand that was plucked from the fire, in that the Jews of Judah were delivered from the fire of their Babylonian captivity. The nation of Israel was represented by Joshua, their priest. It is also important to remember that the nation of Israel, “was is, and always will be,” a people of God’s chosen favor.

Verse 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.

Comment 3:3 As is recorded in Exodus 28:29 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exod%2028:29) the high priest represented the people before God. Never, was the high priest to become defiled or unclean, per Leviticus 21:10–15 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=lev+21%3A10-15&version=NKJV). Joshua’s filthy garments, being described with the most loathsome, vile term for filth, were deemed to be “befouled with excrement.” This phrase depicts the habitual condition of defilement of the priesthood and of the people of Israel per Isaiah 64:6 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa%2064:6). Satan made that assessment of Israel the basis for his accusation that the nation of Israel was morally impure, therefore, unworthy of God’s blessing and protection.

Verses 3:4-5 “3:4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes. 3:5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.”

Comment 3:4-5 Joshua could not be fully cleansed without the removal of his sin-soiled garments. God’s replacement of Joshua’s dirty clothes, and His gift of clean garments to Zechariah, were gifts that represented the gift of God’s righteousness, per 2 Corinthians 5:21 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+cor+5%3A21&version=NKJV ).The fact that Joshua had no part in his cleansing indicates that this work was totally by God’s grace. Remember that this is a spiritual cleansing of Zechariah. He was totally, spiritually, filthy, and was in that spiritual state until God did His spiritual cleansing of Zechariah. It was then that Zechariah was made to be “spiritually pure.” All of us, like Zechariah, were born having a spirit and soul that needed cleansing (1 Thessalonians 5:23, spirit, soul, body). This subject of spiritual cleansing will be discussed in greater detail in a later article.

The Coming Branch

Verses 3:6-7 “3:6 Then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying, 3:7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:‘If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk Among these who stand here.”

Comment 3:6-7 God will keep His promise to justify Israel. He will reinstate the nation as His priestly people to serve in His house. Joshua was recommissioned as the nation’s high priest. For his faithfulness, he was promised the privilege of exercising authority over God’s temple, “My house and its courts.”

Verse 3:8 ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.

Comment 3:8 The coming Messiah will be God’s Servant, per Isaiah 53:11 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+53%3A11&version=NKJV). He is also referred to as the BRANCH. Isaiah used this word and a similar one to describe the Messiah who will grow out of the root of the family of Jesse, as a tender sprout shoots up from the ground, per Isaiah 53:2 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa%2053:2). The Branch will also build the Temple that will be constructed during the Kingdom age, per Isaiah 6:12 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Zech%206:12). God spoke through the Prophet Ezekiel that He will put His Temple in the Kingdom, per Ezekiel 37:26 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ezekiel+37%3A26&version=NKJV). Therefore, we see the connection between Isaiah 7:14 (742 B.C.), Matthew 1:23 (5 B.C.), and Ezekiel 37:26 (587 B.C.), showing that the Branch/Messiah/Christ is “God with us.” Joshua and his companions were a sign because the reinstitution of the priesthood was made public. The fact of God’s never-ending intention to fulfill His promises to His people was “set in stone.”

Verse 3:9 For behold, the stone That I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription, Says the Lord of hosts, And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

Comment 1 3:9 “stone:” Like the priest Aaron, who possessed a jeweled ephod, per Exodus 25:7 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ex+25%3A7&version=NKJV); the new priest possessed a lustrous stone, which was a symbol of the authority of his priestly office. The eyes may be symbolic of wisdom and of the Presence of the Holy Spirit, per Isaiah 11:2 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa%2011:2). “in one day:” The phrase looks to the future day when there will be cleansing and forgiveness for the nation of Israel, “as a nation,” per Zechariah 12:10-13:1 and Romans 11:25-27. Zechariah 12:10-13:1 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Zech%2012:10-Zech%2013:1); Romans 11:25-27 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rom%2011:25-Rom%2011:27).

Comment 2 3:9 It is important to understand the Christian perspective of “in one day.” A separate article will be written to describe “in one day.”

Verse 3:10 ‘In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree.’

Comment 3:10 “invite his neighbor under:” This phrase is a common expression in Israel meaning peace and prosperity, per Micah 4:4 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mic%204:4). The phrase here points to the peace that will be divinely mandated during the millennial rule of Messiah/Christ.

Consider the Hebrew names for “LORD” in Zechariah Chapter 3. http://biblehub.com/lexicon/zechariah/3-1.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. They are in Jerusalem for the Jewish Feast Of Tabernacles in the year 1999 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus+23%3A33-36&version=NKJV).

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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The Saluting Marine

Notice the correct position of the Marine’s right hand as he holds his salute.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Citizens should stand upright and place the right hand over the heart while reciting the pledge. Men not in uniform should remove any nonreligious head covering.
https://www.britannica.com/event/Pledge-of-Allegiance-to-the-Flag-of-the-United-States-of-America

This video has been used numerous times in my blog posts. With God’s help, it will continue to be one of my favorite ways of showing the greatness of The United States Of America.

1 – Future Things – Introduction – Follow Revealing Israel Blog

For Your Name Is Holy – I Enter The Holy of Holies – Paul Wilbur

https://success2693.wordpress.com/
Revealing Israel

Please follow my Revealing Israel Blog. It had been placed in archive status, but has an important need now. Please click onto the follow link to follow the Revealing Israel blog.

Revealing Israel is the Word Press Blog that posted the following article today.  Please follow Revealing Israel Blog, per the following:

https://success2693.wordpress.com/
Revealing Israel

Future Things is brand new series of articles,, and is being written as a companion to Equipping Blog. https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/

The Bible is God’s story of a journey, from a garden to a city, with a cross in between.

Whereas, Equipping Blog focuses on the Jews of the Old Testament, whom are known in Scripture as “God’s Chosen People,” (Deuteronomy 7:6), and their waiting for a Messiah who will rule and reign in the coming Jewish Kingdom; this Revealing Blog, and Future Things articles, will tell of the arrival of the Jewish Messiah, who was born a Jew, who also died a Jew, was resurrected a Jew, ascended to Heaven as a Jew, and will return to Earth as a Jew who will rule and reign in His Messianic Kingdom. Equipping Blog tells of God speaking to Jews through Jewish prophets about “future things” that relate to a Messianic King, who will rule and reign on Earth during the thousand-year Kingdom Age, also known as the Millennium (thousand years); Future Things articles identify Christ, our Lord, as being the Messianic King, whom is also known as “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16). At the end of the Messianic Kingdom, where only righteous people (of all time) entered, and only righteous conditions were present, “unrighteous Satan,” whom had been bound for most of the thousand years, emerges and leads an assault against Christ and righteousness. Christ wins, and Satan loses! At that time, all righteous people, of all time, enter into the eternal state of the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem, which is the end of the Journey that began at the Garden of Eden. God the Father, and God the Son, “are,” the Temple (Revelation 21:22), “and” the light (21:23-24). Ezekiel 47:12 pictures the New Jerusalem as the new and perfect “Eden.” The “throne” of God, “and the Lamb,” will be in the city, and “His” servants will serve Him (22:3). We are told in Scripture that Christ is “God with us,” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23), and that He is “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6). In Essence, this Revealing Israel Blog, and its Future Things articles, will reveal the things that God spoke to the prophets of the Old Testament, and which the prophets  spoke about to the Jews whom preceded the coming of the Messiah/Christ.

As pleasant is, the picture that is painted above, there is another picture that also needs to be painted. That second picture tells about all of the people whom will not find their eternity in the eternal state of “New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem.” Because of the seriousness of the outcome, no punches will be held back. The second picture will show things of this world that may lead a husband and wife to put themselves, and their children, on a road that will not take them to the eternal state where they can spend eternal bliss with God. Instead, the second picture will show such people, whose journey ends at the Great White Throne Judgment, where they will be cast into “the lake of fire,” which burns forever and ever,” where Satan, the anti-Christ, the false prophet, and all others whom were not found written in the book of life (Revelation 20:10-15).

The following information is too serious to not be stated at this time. Parents, this is as real as a heart attack! Some of you may need to take corrective actions now! Consider the things that affect the minds of your children.

Conditions that will exist in the Eternal State of Revelation 21-22, and that will not exist, are shown in the following verses.

Revelation 21:1-3 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The New Creation

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. 3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God.

Conditions that will not be present in the Eternal State.

Revelation 21:4 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.

God is active in making the Eternal State perfect.

Revelation 21:5 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

5 Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.”

Unrighteous/imperfect people will not be present in the Eternal State.

Revelation 21:8 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

8 But the cowards, faithless, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Question: Why are cowards unrighteous/imperfect? It is because they have not trusted in Christ as their Lord and Savior, because they have not been born again, which would have given them a perfect spirit, and which would have allowed them to be given a righteous/perfect eternal body.

Consider the born-gain experience, and results.

John 3:3 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

3 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

It’s simple. If anyone believes in Christ as Lord and Savior, they have been born again. If they have been born again, they believe in Christ.

John 3:16-18 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.

The new birth puts our spirits in the Spirit of Christ, creating a perfect spirit in us.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!

In order for our spirit to be put in the Spirit of God the Father/God the Son, we must have a spirit that is as perfect as the Spirit of God the Father/God the Son.

1 John 1:5 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him.

The perfection of the Eternal State will not allow anything, or anyone, that is not as spiritually pure as God to enter the Eternal State, where only righteousness is present. Only people whom have been made to be new will be allowed to enter the Eternal State (Revelation 21:4).

A consistent lifestyle of one, or more, of the following conditions are proof of a person which has not been born again, and identifies such a person as one whom will not enter the Eternal State.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (Christian Standard Bible)

9 Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or males who have sex with males, 10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.

But, people can change. They can place their trust in Christ and be born again

1 Corinthians 6:11 (Christian Standard Bible)

11 And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Of course, the Democrat Party has promoted legislation which bans anyone from trying to show homosexuals that they can leave the homosexual lifestyle.

Parents, “it’s up to you” to teach Godly things to your children (Deuteronomy  6:5-9).

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Revealing Israel

America, The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave

“To The Shores Of Tripoli” was a movie that was made about World War II during that war. The Marines who are shown in the video are examples of those who train to fight for our nation. World War II was a very critical period of time in our nation’s history. To see the Marines as they are marching, is to also see, “freedom on parade.” If you will notice, Randolph Scott is leading the marching Marines, who are spread, left to right, “23 abreast.” The left heel of each Marine can be seen striking the ground, at the same time, in perfect cadence, with the beat of the drum. Watch how the marines make that wide right turn, with no one getting out of cadence, or out of place. Wow! Such an example of training and disciple! I have watched this video, many times, without ever getting tired of it.
(Randolph Scott is the actor playing the Marine who is leading the other marching Marines. John Payne is the actor playing the Marine, “Private Winters.”)

The Axis Powers of Germany, Japan and Italy had plans to conquer the world for their cause of world domination. Without the entry of the United States military forces into World War II, the objectives of the Axis powers would have been achieved.

Consider some of the related facts that are included as a part of this post.

Parents, teach your children the importance of honoring our country and our flag, and to not, “take a knee.”

Marines Raise Flag Over Iwo Jima Archival Footage PublicDomainFootage.com

Consider the Marines on Iwo Jima as they “raised a flag” in honor of their defeat of the Japanese armed forces. The Japanese attack on American forces in Hawaii took place on the morning of December 7, 1941. The American forces took the island of Iwo Jima on February 9, 1945. Consider the importance of paying honor to the flag of the United States Of America.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Iwo_Jima

http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-iwo-jima

The Attack On Pearl Harbor – December 7, 1941

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_powers
The axis powers of the world, being led by Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), and Hirohito (Japan), had their declared intent of taking over the whole world. Hitler was already overrunning much of Europe. Great Britain was the last significant military force that Hitler was trying to overthrow. France had it’s “resistance,” but had no military force to oppose Germany. After the Japanese attack on American forces in Hawaii, on Dec 7, they attacked American forces in the Republic of the Philippines on the next day, Dec 8, 1941. Japanese forces began their plan of overthrowing all nations and forces in the south Pacific.

Marines Raise Flag Over Iwo Jima 1945 United News Newsreel; World War II

Consider the allied forces, of which the United Sates assumed leadership.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allies_of_World_War_II

After the United States of America was drawn into the second world war, American military forces also began engaging axis forces in Europe and North Africa. Other nations of Allied support followed the lead of the United States to stop Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito as they brutalized the citizenry and military of the nations that were on their map of world domination. As stated above, without the entry of the United States into World War II, Hitler would have overthrown Russia and Asia, through its attack from the West, with Hirohito advancing from the East, and Mussolini attacking from the South. Could any nation have succeeded in defending itself from such a three-front attack? Consider the numbers of Russian civilians and soldiers that died at the hands of Hitler’s soldiers, minus the forces of Japan and Italy.

Soviet military dead and missing, 8.7 million

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties_of_the_Soviet_Union

Consider the Blitzkrieg, of Britain by German aircraft.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blitz

The importance of the presence of U.S. forces in the battle against the axis powers can not be understated. Without the defeat of the forces of Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito, the freedom of America, and other free countries, would not have been saved.

Group of American and British prisoners are marched through streets under German …HD Stock Footage

(U.S. And British POWs being marched by German soldiers through a French city. Notice how the French citizens mistreat the POWs.)

Hitler had a strong hold in North Africa, and would have marched southward, until all of Africa would fly the flag of Nazi Germany. Germany, Italy and Japan would have continued their assault on Asia, until the flags of those nations would fly no more. The nations of the Pacific, to include the continent of Australia, would be easy prey for the assault of the axis forces, with the result of many more Nazi flags flying in the lands of Nazi-led conquest.

After the attack on Hawaii, there was great concern that the west coast of the United States would also come until Japanese attack. There was also a fear that sympathizers of Japan living in the United States would begin attacks on the mainland of the United States. Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reacted to the fear of attack “from within” the USA, by the internment of citizens of the USA, who were of Japanese ancestry.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/roosevelt-ushers-in-japanese-american-internment

Concerns of the President were found to be valid when a German u boat was sunk off of the east of coast of the USA, and was found to have loaves of bread from a local bakery stored in the boat.

The military forces of the USA was at a weakened state of readiness when the Japanese attacked Hawaii. Without a national resolve to defend our country, and defeat the axis forces in other parts of the world, the USA would have been the starting point of axis entry into North, Central and South America, where the Nazi flag would have been planted. The success, liberty and tolerance that we have as great fortune in the United States of America, would have been replaced with the Nazi desires for our country, as well as for the rest of the world. There would be no NFL, NBA, MBL, or multi-millionaire contracts for athletes. Every other aspect of our lives would be totally different, whether it would be employment, hobby, relaxation, recreation, or religious.

The Liberation of Dachau

Notice the American Soldiers liberating the German concentration camp at Dachau. The prisoners were Jews of the Holocaust.

https://ww2.kqed.org/lowdown/2017/05/25/interactive-american-war-deaths-by-the-numbers/
Notice the numbers of American War deaths.

405,399 Americans of our armed forces lost their lives in World War II. They died in their support for our flag, and to keep it flying.

LEE GREENWOOD GOD BLESS THE USA

Many of us have known members of the armed forces who gave their lives in defense of our nation. My friends, who were such brave and honorable patriots, were those of the Vietnam War era. There is a bible verse that sheds rich thought on such brave and honorable people. “The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them.” (John 15:13)

I am proud to be an American, and proudly salute our flag.

The United States Air Force (USAF) turned 70 years-old on September 18. On September 18, 1947, Chief Justice Fred Vinson swore in Stuart Symington as the first secretary of the air force, officially founding a new branch of the U.S. military. Gen. Carl A. Spaatz became the USAF’s first chief of staff eight days later on September 26, 1947.

I am also very proud to be, “U.S. Air Force, Retired.”

138 – Israel Under Roman Rule – 27 B.C. To 476 A.D.

Anti-Semitism: Hitler’s Rise to Power. The Jews in the following videos are descendants of the Jews that were forced from their homeland of Israel, beginning in the year 70 A.D. It was then that the Romans destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple; more than a million Jews were murdered by the Romans. Jews had made the land of Israel their home, from as far back as 1451 B.C. Beginning with the 70 A.D. attack of Romans on the Jews, the Jews began their forced dispersion to many other countries, including Germany. It was in Germany (where the videos in this article were made) that the murders of more than six million Jews took place at the hands of Germans.
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-great-revolt-66-70-ce

First Newsreel Pictures Of The Liberation Of The Nazi Death Camps

Women & Children in the holocaust

Yes! There was a holocaust! Six million Jews murdered!

https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.

Hatikva at Bergen-Belsen

Any non-Jew would normally wonder what it is that keeps the emotional drive of Jews so strong, especially after they have viewed the preceding videos of the Jews who were so brutally treated during the time of the Holocaust. Any normal person should also wonder how one group of people could be so brutal to another group of people. Many people have denied the fact of the Holocaust; but, the videos of this article don’t lie. Consider the following reports of other articles that discuss how Jews were treated during their time of dominance by the Roman World Empire.

Israel In The Roman Empire

In order for anyone to have a clear understanding of the culture of Israel, and the Jewish people, it is an imperative that the religious aspects of the Jews be considered. In order for a news reporting agency to properly report on the nation of Israel, and Jews around the world, there must be an honest sensitivity to things that are important to Jews, and must be shown in that reporting. In order for businesses to effectively incorporate Jewish businesses into their overall corporate scheme, the sensitivities and beliefs of Jews and Israel must be taken into account. 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
4. Israel 444 BC To The Roman Empire

Consider the following breakdowns of Jewish history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_the_Roman_Empire

The history of the Jews in the Roman Empire traces the interaction of Jews and Romans during the period of the Roman Empire (27 BC – AD 476). Their cultures began to overlap in the centuries just before the Christian Era. Jews, as part of the Jewish diaspora, migrated to Rome and Roman Europe from the Land of Israel, Asia Minor, Babylon and Alexandria in response to economic hardship and incessant warfare over the land of Israel between the Ptolemaic and Seleucid empires. In Rome, Jewish communities enjoyed privileges and thrived economically, becoming a significant part of the Empire’s population (perhaps as much as ten percent).

The Roman general Pompey in his eastern campaign established the Roman province of Syria in 64 BC and conquered Jerusalem in 63 BC. Julius Caesar conquered Alexandria c. 47 BC and defeated Pompey in 45 BC. Under Julius Caesar, Judaism was officially recognised as a legal religion, a policy followed by the first Roman emperor, Augustus. Herod the Great was designated ‘King of the Jews’ by the Roman Senate in c. 40 BC. The Roman province of Egypt was established in 30 BC, and Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea (biblical Edom) were converted to the Roman province of Iudaea in 6 AD. Jewish-Roman tensions resulted in several Jewish–Roman wars, 66-135 AD, which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple and institution of the Jewish Tax in 70 and Hadrian’s attempt to create a new Roman colony named Aelia Capitolina c. 130.

Around this time, Christianity developed from Second Temple Judaism. In 313, Constantine and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan giving official recognition to Christianity as a legal religion. Constantine the Great moved the Roman capital from Rome to Constantinople (‘New Rome’) c. 330, sometimes considered the start of the Byzantine Empire, and with the Edict of Thessalonica in 380, Christianity became the state church of the Roman Empire. The Christian emperors persecuted their Jewish subjects and restricted their rights.

https://www.ahistoryofgreece.com/roman.htm

To the Romans, the Greek civilization was a source of inspiration, and as Athens prospered under the Emperor Hadrian, Rome prospered from the ideas of the ancient Athenians.

Hadrians Arch and the Temple of Olympia Zeus. In 168 BC the Romans defeat the Macedonians in the battle of Pydna. In 146 BC and 86 BC the Romans seize rebellious Corinth, killing all the men, selling the women into slavery and destroying the city as an example. When Athens joins King Mithridates in another rebellion against the Romans in Asia Minor they invade the city, destroy the walls and leave with the most valuable sculptures. When Octavion becomes emperor with his victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra (of the line of Greek Ptolemaic Pharaohs) the period of peace which follows is known as Pax-Romana, lasting 300 years. It is the longest period of peace in the history of Greece

http://fellowship.ifcj.org/site/PageNavigator/sfi_about_history_roman

History of Israel

Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was an outgrowth of the ancient Roman Republic, which had roots back as far as 500 BCE. In the first century BCE, Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus formed the First Triumvirate in an attempt to gain control of the Republic. Caesar emerged as the victor, but was later assassinated. However, his chosen heir, Octavian, formed part of the Second Triumvirate, and in 31 BCE, became the undisputed ruler. Roman emperors continued to expand and conquer more territory, until the Romans ruled much of the known world. During the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, a period of relative peace, the Roman economy thrived and trade routes were established. The Romans built huge, architecturally impressive structures, like the Coliseum, and made incredible advances in infrastructure, building aqueducts, sewer systems, and the first highway system.

The Romans, in the 1st century BC, conquered much of the known world, ending the reign of the Greeks, as well as the reign of the Hasmonean dynasty in Israel. Their reign lasted until 476, when the Eastern Roman Empire, or the Byzantine Empire, gained control.

At first, the Romans granted the Jewish people some authority over their internal affairs; however, frequent rebellions by the Jews led the Romans to stamp out that autonomy. Around 40 BC, the Roman Senate proclaimed Herod the Great as “King of the Jews,” and he was appointed the governor of Judea. He married a Hasmonean princess in order to gain the favor of the Jews in the region and shore up support for his reign. Herod also embarked on a program to reconstruct the Temple, which suffered damage from invasions over the years. He returned the Temple to its former glory, as well as enclosing the Tomb of the Patriarchs and building the fortress at Masada, but never received full Jewish support.

After Herod’s death in 4 BC, the Romans took full control of Jerusalem. The Jewish revolts began in earnest, culminating in the rebellion in 66 AD, which led the eventual destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. The Jewish people had been able to fend off Roman advances for a few years, but were never a true match for the stronger and better-equipped Roman army, under the Emperor Titus.

After the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, the Jewish people were devastated. Hundreds of thousands were killed by the Romans, exiled, or sold into slavery. The image of the Romans triumphantly carrying off the sacred vessels from the Temple is immortalized on the famous Arch of Titus. Hope stirred again briefly during the reign of Bar Kokhba, a messianic figure and powerful military leader, who managed to reclaim Jerusalem in 132 AD. His victory, though, was short-lived; in 135 AD, his rebellion was crushed, the remaining Jews exiled, and Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina.

However, this did not end Jewish presence in Israel. The north, specifically Tiberias, became a center of Jewish learning and Torah study.

http://www.templemount.org/destruct2.html

A.D. 70 – Rome’s Destruction Of Jerusalem

During the long siege a terrible famine raged in the city and the bodies of the inhabitants were literally stacked like cordwood in the streets. The toll of Jewish suffering was horrible but they would not surrender the city. Again and again they attempted to trick the Romans through guile and perfidy. When at last the walls were breached Titus tried to preserve the Temple by giving orders to his soldiers not to destroy or burn it. But the anger of the soldiers against the Jews was so intense that, maddened by the resistance they encountered, they disobeyed the order of their general and set fire to the Temple. There were great quantities of gold and silver there which had been placed in the Temple for safekeeping. This melted and ran down between the rocks and into the cracks of the stones. When the soldiers captured the Temple area, in their greed to obtain this gold and silver they took long bars and pried apart the massive stones.

A Second Exile for Israel

When the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 the period of the second exile began. The Jewish people were soon to be scattered throughout the earth. For the next 1900 years the Jews would have no authority in the land God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However during most of the period of this Second Exile there have always been some Jews living in Jerusalem. Although most of the nation was in exile from their land, the Jews did not forget Jerusalem or the Temple Mount. Their daily prayer was for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.

For the next two thousand years, the Temple Mount would lack any Jewish presence. The destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 caused the beginning of the scattering of the Jews throughout the world. During this period, the Temple Mount was for the most part neglected and profaned. Though this time constituted a period of neglect, some significant events concerning Jerusalem and the Temple Mount did occur. More information on this time period of Temple Mount history is given in Tuvia Sagiv’s writings.

Let’s go back to the opening question of consideration of this article.

“What is it that keeps the emotional drive of Jews so strong?”

My belief is that it is because Jews hold deeply to a promise that is written in a Jewish scripture.

Deuteronomy 7:6 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Lord’s Chosen People

Moses said:

6 Israel, you are the chosen people of the Lord your God. There are many nations on this earth, but He chose only Israel to be His very own.

Any religious Jew understands that the Jews were chosen by God to bring the Messiah into the world. Such Jews also believe that during the future Kingdom of God, Jews will have a special role of service during that thousand year period of time. Beyond the Kingdom age, religious Jews look to, new heavens, a new earth and a new Jerusalem, where they will also have a place of God-ordained prominence. Many Christians hold to these same beliefs.

Hear O’ Israel

Per the Jewish prophet, Isaiah, the nation of Israel would be born in one day. The prophecy was made in 698 B.C. The day that the prophecy was fulfilled was May 14, 1948.

Isaiah 66:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?
Can a land be born in one day?
Can a nation be brought forth all at once?
As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/creation-israel

Many Jews hold to the promise of Genesis 15:18-21, which describes the land that the Jews would inherit, and is rightfully theirs today in the land that is called Israel. Many Christians also hold to that same promise that was made to the Jews in approximately 1913 B.C., as was written by Moses.

Genesis 15:18-21 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

18 That day Adonai made a covenant with Avram: “I have given this land to your descendants — from the Vadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River — 19 the territory of the Keni, the K’nizi, the Kadmoni, 20 the Hitti, the P’rizi, the Refa’im, 21 the Emori, the Kena‘ani, the Girgashi and the Y’vusi.”

Comment made by Dr. James MacArthur

15:18–21 river of Egypt to the…Euphrates. Scripture records both general (Ex. 23:31; Num. 13:21; Deut. 11:24; 1 Kin. 8:65; 2 Kin. 14:25; Is. 27:12) and specific (Num. 34:1–12; Josh. 15:1, 2; Ezek. 47:15–20; 48:1, 28) descriptions of the Promised Land, centering on the ancient land of Canaan. Such precise geographic demarcation will not allow for any redefinitions which would emasculate God’s promise of its specificity. The river of Egypt was most probably what became known as the Wadi El Arish, the southern border of Judah. Kenites…Jebusites. The various peoples who inhabited the land are named. Such precise detailing of the nations in the land of Canaan attests again to the specificity of the Promised Land in God’s promises.

Jews do not believe that their land should be used as a political bargaining chip. They do not believe that the land that was given to them by God should be reduced, “in cookie cutter fashion,” and parceled out to any other nation or group of people.

Two terms have entered the situation that affects the nation of Israel.

ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is a terrorist group.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/middle-east/2017-09-25/how-isis-transforming

The Levant is a geographic region that covers and extends in all directions beyond the borders of Israel.

https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Levant

The term Levant is employed to refer to peoples, states, or parts of states in the region, namely:

Israel
Jordan
Lebanon
Palestinian Territories
Syria

Soon after ISIS made is presence known to the world, most people began to use the name, “ISIS,” to relate to ISIS. But soon, thereafter, U.S. President Obama began to refer to ISIS as “ISIL,” which caused that group to be known as “The Islamic Sate of Iraq and the Levant.” Such recognition of “ISIS,” as “ISIL,” inflated its importance in the world, to include its territorial overshadowing of the nation of Israel.

Ever since the death of King Solomon in 931 B.C., Jews have come under the domination of the following world empires: Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greek and Rome. At present time, Israel is located within the geographic territory of the Old Roman Empire. Oppression never ceases to come upon the Jews. For a confirmation of the previous sentence, “check your daily news.”

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https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/

137 – 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

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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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