♪ Up, Up and Away is a 1967 song written by Jimmy Webb and recorded by The 5th Dimension, that became a major pop hit, reaching #7 on the U.S. Pop Singles. The singers, Billy Davis Jr., Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, Lamonte McLemore, and Ronald Townson, sang a song of people being caught up in the clouds. The thought of anyone being “caught up in the clouds,” is more than a mere thought. As was stated in our last Israel article, Enoch was “caught up,” but to be taken to the Presence of God. Such an event can only be described as being “Divinely orchestrated!” (God “took” Enoch to heaven, Genesis 5:24.) The events of Israel’s history, and of her “yet to happen” future, can best be described as being a series of miraculous events that God performed, for “His purposes, for “His chosen people” (Deuteronomy 14:2). This article will begin with another miraculous “catching up” event of the Jewish prophet, Elijah. We will proceed from the catching up of Elijah to a study of the miraculous events that God performed to remove Israel from their place of bondage in Egypt.
Israel 7 – Exodus 5-12 – Preliminary
2 Kings 2:1-12 – NASB – Elijah Taken Up to Heaven – Context
Specific verse of Elijah being taken up to heaven:
VS 11: As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven.
Parallel Translations, Verse 11:
NIV: Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
NLT: Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.
ESV: Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
KJV: Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
CSB: Elijah went up into heaven in the whirlwind.
NET: Elijah went up to heaven in a windstorm.
HCSB: Elijah went up into heaven in the whirlwind.
NASB: Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven.
NAS 1977: Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven.
DARBY 1890: Elijah went up by a whirlwind into the heavens.
GENEVA 1599: Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
Based on the wording of the above translations, it is very clear that the Jewish prophet, Elijah, was taken up to heaven by God, and did so without experiencing death. New Testament comparisons of the same experience can be found in John 14:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. Information about the Jewish Prophet Elijah can be found in the follow article that was published by Chabad.org, which is a Jewish organization (not Messianic Jewish).
In the opening of this article, and the last post about Israel, we discussed the miraculous power of God in lifting His people up, from this earth, to heaven. In the closing of this article, we will discuss the miraculous power of God in making it possible for His people to cross a large body of water that has a floor of more than a mile below its surface. A normal question may be: (1) How could the fleeing Israelites (some very old and some very young, and some in very poor health and some in very good health), walk downward from the edge of the shore, a distance of 5500 feet, and then walk upward, a distance of 5500 feet, onto the far shore? Another reasonable question may be: (2) What happened to the possessions of the Egyptians, whom were pursuing the Israelites? These Egyptians were drowned by the same water that had been opened by God to allow the Israelites to flee to safety on the opposite shore from where they began their water crossing. Answers to these questions are considered in the closing video of this article.
Israel – Ongoing.
The miracles of God, in His deliverance of Israel from Egypt, continue in the following verses.
Let my people go (vs 1). I will not let Israel go (vs 2)
Exodus 5:1-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Israel’s Labor Increased
1 And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.’” 2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and besides, I will not let Israel go.” 3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, otherwise He will fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” 4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you draw the people away from their work? Get back to your labors!” 5 Again Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now many, and you would have them cease from their labors!” 6 So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters over the people and their foremen, saying, 7 “You are no longer to give the people straw to make brick as previously; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 But the quota of bricks which they were making previously, you shall impose on them; you are not to reduce any of it. Because they are lazy, therefore they cry out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Let the labor be heavier on the men, and let them work at it so that they will pay no attention to false words.”
Moses and Aaron confront the Pharaoh, demanding the release of the Hebrew people. Pharaoh only increases the workload for the Israelites. God responds by inflicting a series of ten plagues on Egypt. Before each plague, Moses demands the Israelites’ release, and after each plague, God purposefully “hardens” Pharaoh so that he refuses the request (4:21, 7:22). The plagues are shown in Exodus 7:14-12:36. The year date of the plagues was 1447 B.C. (Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, Frank Charles Thompson, 1858-May 3, 1940, D.D., Ph.D.). The plagues outline comes from the Ryrie Study Bible, Dr. Charles Caldwell Ryrie, 1925-2016, Th.M., Ph.D.). It is important to know that all that is happening through these sovereign actions of God is to remove the Jews from Egypt and to lead them to their promised land. The promised land, which will be the possession of the Israelites, after they complete their soon to begin forty-year wilderness journey, will also be the land of the Jews during the yet to come Kingdom Age, in the time of the millennium. The fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham is seen in His leading the Jews to their promised land (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:18-21).
Prelude to plagues. Exodus 5:1-7:13.
God authenticates Moses by the plagues that He pours out on Egypt. Scriptures come from New American Standard Bible, 1995 Update. Links come from BibleGateway, https://www.biblegateway.com/
1 First Plague. Blood. Exodus 7:14-24.
2 Second Plague. Frogs. Exodus 7:25-8:15.
3 Third Plague. Gnats. Exodus 8:16-19.
4 Fourth Plague. Flies. Exodus 8:20-32.
5 Fifth Plague. Disease on the livestock. Exodus 9:1-7.
6 Sixth Plague. Boils on man and beast. Exodus 9:8-12.
7 Seventh Plague. Hail. Exodus 9:13-35.
8 Eighty Plague. Locusts. Exodus 10:1-20.
9 Ninth Plague. Darkness. Exodus 10:21-29.
10 Tenth Plague. Death. Exodus 11:1-12:36.
Before the plague, Moses instructs the Hebrew people to cover their door posts in the blood of a sacrificed lamb as a sign for God to protect their homes from His killings. Pharaoh relents and releases the more than 600,000 Israelites who, in turn, plunder the Egyptians’ wealth.
Israel – Supportive.
A video view of the land in the study of Exodus is provided in the following video and discussion. It is clear that God provided for the exodus of the Israelites in a plan that He devised in eternity past. It is also clear that God led the Israelites to the place of their “Red Sea Crossing,”and that it was not just by “happenstance” that the Jews “stumbled across” the proper place to cross the sea.
As we have been going through this wilderness study of Israel, we have been using a video tape series of discussions that show the terrain, and other natural land marks, that affected the travel of the children of Israel (Israel=Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham). The six part study is called, “The Real Mount Sinai.”
Dr Bryant G. Wood, B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D. is the leader of the series of videos, The Real Mount Sinai.” I think that you will come away from this video series, having gained a lot of good food for thought. You will notice that this video series has not necessarily aligned up with each article, but has added content that is valuable to this overall series of articles that we are studying. Check the bio on Dr. Wood: https://creation.com/dr-bryant-g-wood
[Acts 7:36-40] He [Moses] led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness [of Midian/Saudi Arabia] forty years.
See Israel 4 for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Exodus of Moses at Red Sea – The Real Mount Sinai :: Part 6 of 6
In this study of God’s chosen people, it is important to know some of the most commonly used names of God (John 8:32). There is a list of the names of God in the previous articles on Israel.
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