Archive for April, 2011

Isaiah 19:21-22 I AM the LORD

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , on April 25, 2011 by paulthepoke

Thus the LORD will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the LORD and perform it.

This is a two way street. Both parties will know each other. The Egyptians will turn from their god(s) and worship the God of Israel. Does this seem possible today (April 2011)? The Egyptians worship towards the God of Israel with oblation, sacrifices, gifts, and tributes. They offer their worship in word, by vow, and by deeds.

The text is very specific who is being worshipped. The name for LORD in this verse is Jehovah. It means the existing one. This is the proper name of the Hebrew God of the Bible. Jehovah is a word that has been translated to English from the Hebrew, Yahweh. The correct spelling is YHWH (Hebrew font is not available).  Scholars refer to this as the Tetragrammaton, Greek for four letters. This name is so sacred, Jews refuse to pronounce it. The name is first introduced in Exodus 3:14 when Moses and God are having a discussion. God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

The LORD will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the LORD, and He will respond to them and will heal them.

Egypt gets a spanking. The smiting shall bring about healing. The rod of discipline is used by God. There is a cause and effect. Yes, physical punishment can bring about a change in attitude and behavior. Egypt is struck which causes them to return to LORD. Like a good Father, when His people return to Him, He heals them. The verse does place an emphasis on healing by God. Healing is noted two times in the verse.

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Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Posted in Gospel with tags , , , on April 18, 2011 by paulthepoke

As we approach the holiday of “Easter”, many will ask “, What does a rabbit have to do with Jesus, why are eggs involved, and why did Jesus have to die?”

There are many traditions as to how “Easter” gets its name. Ishtar (Easter) is the Babylonian queen of heaven. She is the Assyrian and Babyloniangoddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. Astarte (Easter) is the Syrian sun goddess, known as the queen of heaven. According to legend, she allegedly laid a golden egg which became the sun. There is also a pagan tradition concerning a bird who wanted to be a rabbit. The goddess Oestre (Easter) turned the bird into a rabbit. According to legend, this rabbit could still lay eggs. From this, the egg became a symbol of the start of new life, rebirth, and fertility. A rabbit became a symbol of fertility and new life. What does any of this nonsense have to do with Jesus? Absolutely Nothing!!!

One small problem, the early Christian church joined the fun and adopted the egg as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus. This has done nothing but add to the confusion to the point and purpose of Jesus’ death.

Why did Jesus have to die? This point is specific and clear according to the Bible. At this time, I will let the Bible speak for itself.

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…

Hebrews 9:26b … but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

1 Peter 2:24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

Just in case anyone is wondering, the message of a sacrificial death for sin rings loud and clear in the Old Testament in Isaiah. Look at the detail of these verses. This was written approximately 700 years before Christ. It reads as a narrative of the events along with the accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Isaiah 53:3-12 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.

But wait, there is more…

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a SECOND time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

Just believe it (John 3:16).

Isaiah 19:19-20 Hebrew Altar in Egypt

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , on April 11, 2011 by paulthepoke

In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD near its border.

At some point in the future there will be a structure of worship, an altar to the God of Israel in the middle of Egypt. That is an incredible statement. Imagine what would happen if one would go over to Egypt at this time in history (April 2011) and try to build an altar to some god other than Allah. I don’t think that would be well received or tolerated. Note the location of the altar, it will be in the middle of Egypt. The Hebrew word for midst is tavek. It means among or middle.

It would appear the pillar is a second and different structure than the altar based on grammar. It is placed on the border, which border?

Ancient Egypt was divided into Upper (area in southern Egypt) and Lower (area in the north) Egypt. The terminology upper and lower is based on the flow of the Nile. The Nile flows from upper elevations in the south to lower elevations in the north. The border between the two areas is roughly modern day Cairo or near Giza and the Great Pyramid. Generally, the pharaoh of Egypt was leader of both Upper and Lower regions.

The other possible border would be the one Israel and Egypt share.

There needs to be a point of comparison between the two nouns altar and pillar. Note that altar (mizbeach) is a masculine noun and pillar (matstsebah) is a feminine noun. The gender of the two nouns is an issue because of the pronoun that begins the next verse, “It”. In the Hebrew, “It” is a masculine pronoun. It would stand to reason that ties it to the masculine noun altar (mizbeach).

The altar is in the middle of Egypt. The pillar could be on the border of Israel/Egypt or the border of Upper and Lower Egypt.

It will become a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them.

The altar will be a signal to the LORD. So there is no confusion, the altar is in the middle of Egypt. Believing Egyptians will cry out to the God of Israel at that time. The idea of oppression is “being squeezed” in the Hebrew. God hears them and sends them One who will deliver and save. One who is exceedingly and abundantly great and strong. Guess who?

He is coming again…

Isaiah 19:5-8 Trend Update

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , on April 6, 2011 by paulthepoke

The waters from the sea will dry up, and the river will be parched and dry. The canals will emit a stench, the streams of Egypt will thin out and dry up; the reeds and rushes will rot away. The bulrushes by the Nile, by the edge of the Nile and all the sown fields by the Nile will become dry, be driven away, and be no more. And the fishermen will lament, and all those who cast a line into the Nile will mourn, and those who spread nets on the waters will pine away.

Please note the following news article. I offer this up as a point of consideration. I am not suggesting this is what will cause the Nile to go dry. Interesting, don’t you think???

Ethiopia to defy Egypt and build huge Nile dam

Published: 03.30.11, 19:11 / Israel News

Ethiopia on Wednesday said it planned to build a huge dam on the Nile despite a long-running row with Egypt over use of the river and concern the dispute may spark a war. The nine countries through which the river passes have for more than a decade been locked in often bitter talks to renegotiate colonial-era treaties that gave Egypt and Sudan the lion’s share of the river’s waters.

However, six of the nine upstream countries, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi, have signed a new deal stripping Egypt of its veto and agreeing to renegotiate how much water each country is entitled to. (Reuters)

For more information:

Google: Ethiopia Nile Dam

Isaiah 19:17-18 Hebrew Language in Egypt

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , on April 5, 2011 by paulthepoke

The land of Judah will become a terror to Egypt; everyone to whom it is mentioned will be in dread of it, because of the purpose of the LORD of hosts which He is purposing against them.

Who and where is the land of Judah? Judah is a son of Jacob/Israel from Genesis. The lineage of Judah becomes the Tribe of Judah (Genesis 46, 49).  Jesus is from this tribe and is called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). This tribe is synonymous with the southern kingdom in the day of Isaiah. It is modern day southern Israel, the area which shares a border with Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

From previous verses, we know the Nile River is dry during this time. The text does not say if the cause is by drought or if water is being withheld by the Aswan Dam. Time will tell. The following is food for thought in the event the waters of Nile are restrained by the dam.

Recently as 2009, Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has stirred controversy with comments about Arab citizens and Egypt. He once suggested Egypt’s Aswan Dam might be bombed. In 2008, he said Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian President at that time, could “go to hell.”

Now if Israel is threatening to bomb the Aswan Dam, this would most certainly cause fear, dread, and terror. The concept of the verse is reeling in terror. This would effectively flood and wipe out Egypt. Granted, God has many options at his disposal in regards to stirring up fear. He has plagues, weather, darkness (Exodus) just to mention a few.  I am not suggesting or claiming to know the mind or purpose of God. It does not say. I do find the scenario worth noting in today’s geo-political world. God can absolutely plant an idea into the mind of a person (see Ezekiel 38, 39 with Gog and note Pharaoh and his hardened heart in Exodus).

In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will be speaking the language of Canaan and swearing allegiance to the LORD of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.

There are all kinds of speculation and conjecture as to the symbolism or meaning of the five cities noted in this verse. Some commentators are looking for a hidden meaning. Some are seeking spiritual significance of the number five. Some are allegorizing the number of cities.

I am going to take God at His word and believe that He says what He means. There will be five cities in Egypt where those residents will speak Hebrew. Those people in those five cities will be committed to the God of the Bible.

One of those cities is named. The name of that city is debated with legitimate scholarship, not speculation or allegorical interpretation. The argument lies in which text. Here are the considerations.

The Hebrew text has עִיר הַהֶרֶס (’ir haheres, “City of Destruction”; cf. NASB, NIV).

The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa (Dead Sea Scrolls) and some medieval Hebrew manuscripts read   עִיר הָחֶרֶס (ir hakheres, “City of the Sun,” i.e., Heliopolis). This reading also finds support from Symmachus’ Greek version, the Targum (Aramaic translation of the Bible), and the Vulgate (Latin translation of the Bible).

FYI, Heliopolis is located in northern Egypt on the Nile River where it branches into multiple rivers and streams.

I trust at some point in the future this city name will be clarified and make sense.

PaulthePoke

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