Archive for December, 2012

Isaiah 17:2-3 Treaties with Enemies

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , on December 29, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 17:2 “The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be for flocks to lie down in, and there will be no one to frighten them.

Three cities are known by this name in the Old Testament. The first Aroer is located near the Arnon River. The Arnon River flows into the Dead Sea from the east. The river is approximately the midway point of the Dead Sea from north to south. The city is located on the north bank of the Arnon River 13 miles east of the Dead Sea (New Unger’s Bible Dictionary).

The second Aroer is located in Ammon or modern day Jordan.

The third Aroer is in the south of Judah. This city is located 12 miles southeast of Beersheba in modern day southern Israel. Beersheba is due west of the southern tip of the Dead Sea.

There are cities, plural. It is difficult to assess which cities are being discussed.  Regardless of the location, the cities have been destroyed and they are now pasture land for livestock. It will be a place of rest and peace for the animals. The meaning, according to Unger’s Bible Dictionary, of the name “Aroer” is nudity. So literally, the cities of nudity will be stripped.

Isaiah 17:3 “The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and sovereignty from Damascus and the remnant of Aram; they will be like the glory of the sons of Israel,” declares the LORD of hosts. 

Ephraim is the northern kingdom of Israel. They had a peace treaty with Damascus. Aram is the region where Damascus was located. Israel’s history was to sign peace treaties with countries or regions they viewed as military powers. Instead of sticking together with their kin, Judah, the northern kingdom had a treaty with Damascus. This treaty was against their family in the southern kingdom of Judah. Israel was divided. They did not trust or have faith in God to protect them.

Some have suggested this prophecy was fulfilled in 732 BC when Tiglath-pileser of Assyria leveled Damascus and surrounding cities. If this prophecy was proclaimed in the Isaiah 14:28 time marker, it was proclaimed in the year of King Ahaz’s death. The king’s death was in the year 715 BC as confirmed by multiple sources. That would mean the oracle would not be prophecy but history. It would be hard for this prophecy to be fulfilled when it had not been written. Damascus and neighboring cities have since rebuilt and are prominent in today’s world. I take it, these events are yet future.

The Lord Himself spoke on this matter.  Simply put, they will cease.

Isaiah 17:1 Burden of Damascus

Posted in Burden of Damascus, Isaiah, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , on December 23, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 17:1 The oracle concerning Damascus. “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin.

This is quite a statement. Damascus is going to be wiped out. The Hebrew is interesting in the description. The grammar states it is going to be taken away and removed. One could state it will be a ruined ruin or a ruined heap!

This is the city of Damascus, Syria. This place has been a hot spot in the Middle East and in the news cycle most of 2012. The country of Syria has been in Civil War since the spring of 2011. Damascus is the oldest continually inhabited city on the planet. The city’s had residents and inhabitants for over 5,000 years. There is some debate of what the meaning of the name is. In the Hebrew, according to Strong’s Concordance, it means “silent is the sackcloth weaver”. According to Wikipedia, the Damascus metropolitan area has approximately 5 million people.

Damascus is first noted in the Bible in Genesis 14:15 He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. The “he” is Abram in a battle after Lot was kidnapped from Sodom.

There are other judgments proclaimed against Damascus in Jeremiah 49:23-27 and Amos 1:3-5. The Jeremiah passages indicate destruction as well. Specifically 49:25-27. “How the city of praise has not been deserted, the town of My joy. Therefore, her young men will fall in her streets, and all the men of war will be silenced in that day,” declares the LORD of hosts. “I will set fire to the wall of Damascus, and it will devour the fortified towers of Ben-hadad.”

The about to become Apostle Paul was on his way to Damascus in Acts 22 to terrorize Christians until he encountered Jesus. Saul was blinded.  He had a change in attitude on the way to and once arriving in Damascus.

Isaiah 17:1 has not happened, yet.

Isaiah 7:14 Born of a Virgin

Posted in Christmas, Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

The message is straight forward and not confusing in the original Hebrew… the Lord Himself will give you a sign. The Hebrew word for “sign” is ‘owth. According to Strong’s Concordance the word means:  sign, signal, a distinguishing mark, banner, remembrance, miraculous sign, omen, warning, token, ensign, standard, miracle, or proof.

Virgin, this is the word where the debate is taking place. According To Strong’s Concordance the word means the following: virgin, young woman, of marriageable age, maid or newly married. The Hebrew word is almah. The word is generally translated as young woman or maiden.

The critic would argue that since this word is not translated “virgin” elsewhere and it does not literally mean “virgin”, that it is a reach to translate the word “virgin”.

70 Jewish translators and scholars of the Bible in the 3rd century B.C. translated the word “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14. This was before the birth of Jesus. One cannot accuse the scholars of translating to fit an agenda. The concept of a “virgin” conception/birth was made at least 200 years before the world even knew of Christ.

In Matthew 1:23, the apostle quotes Isaiah 7:14. He uses the word “virgin”. The fact that Mary is a “virgin” is restated in Matthew 1:25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. The grammar of verse 25 in the Greek is indicative that Joseph did not have sex with Mary until after she gave birth to Jesus.

Previously in verses 18, 20, Matthew spells out that Joseph was aware Mary was pregnant prior to their marriage and she was a virgin.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

In Matthew 1:20, an angel communicates to Joseph that Mary has conceived from the Holy Spirit. Translation, she physically did not have sex and had not had sex prior to this event of conception.  But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

The name Immanuel means “God with us” or “with us is God” in the Hebrew.

In the final analysis, it does not matter what I think. It does not what anybody else thinks. What matters is what you think. Do you believe the Bible? Was a man, Jesus, who claimed to be God, born of a virgin?

Merry Christmas!

Isaiah 6:11-13 The Time is Coming…

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , on December 9, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 6:11-13 Then I said, “Lord, how long?” And He answered, “Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, houses are without people and the land is utterly desolate, “The LORD has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. “Yet there will be a tenth portion in it, and it will again be subject to burning, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump.”

Isaiah asks a question with a time marker, “how long?” God replies with a set of circumstances. God does not say when. But He does give the end results.

Many people have the same condition today when asking about the Lord’s return. We all want to know when. God does not tell us when. But He does tell us what will happen along with specific events before Christ’s return.

God is very specific. Cities will be ruined and there will be nobody left. Houses will be devastated, abandoned and there will be nobody left. There will be nobody left in the land. People will be moved from the land of Israel. Four times we are told there will be nobody left. Just in case a few are missed and left over, God will make sure that nobody is left. I take it, nobody will be left.

Historically, that is what happened to the Jewish people. This prophecy was written approximately 100 years or more before their deportation. The Jews were completely exiled to Babylon in approximately 587 BC. The process had started roughly 10 years earlier in 597 BC. Jerusalem and the land were absolutely destroyed. Those who did survive were taken into captivity. See specific details in 2 Chronicles 36:15-21.

The destruction was completely to the ground. God did promise to leave the stump. An oak or a terebinth tree can sprout and grow again if the stump is left in the ground. That stump can regenerate from the noted destruction and death. The nation will be back. Any guess who that “holy seed” or stump is?

Isaiah 19:4 Egyptian Dictator?

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , on December 5, 2012 by paulthepoke

Moreover, I will deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master, and a mighty king will rule over them,” declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

God will intentionally give (piel stem verb form in Hebrew) the Egyptian people this leader. There are two adjectives that describe this leader in the verse. You can bet this leader will use force on the population.

Qasheh:  (translated cruel) This word can be defined as hard, cruel, severe, obstinate, difficult, fierce, intense, vehement, stubborn, stiff-necked, rigorous (of battle).

`Az: (translated mighty) This word can be defined as strong, mighty, fierce.

These first four verses of Isaiah 19 make one point over and over and over. God is controlling the action. It is observed in the language and grammar. This is a direct quote from God.

December 2012, Mohammed Morsi has been elected the President of Egypt. Just one day after getting international credit and acclaim for assisting with brokering a cease fire between Israel and Palestinians, President Morsi declared sweeping presidential authority to himself. This was met with swift opposition. Tahrir Sqare in Cairo was filled with hundreds of thousands of protesters. Riots were taking place in the city. Protestors stormed the presidential palace and Morsi was forced to flee.  The Egyptian Stock Market declined over 10% in one day. Egyptian judges rebelled against the presidential decree. Political adversaries proclaimed him “pharoah”. Morsi’s response, “I won’t be another dictator.”

Time will tell…

Isaiah 6: 8-10 The Senses Are Dulled

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , on December 2, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 6:8-10 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand.’ Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed.”

Isaiah volunteers to God’s call. God wants Isaiah to go tell His people the following. How would you like to send this message to a group of people? Your senses are dulled. You have a limited ability to hear. You are not really capable of comprehension. And your ability to see things accurately is a bit blurry.

Judgment on Israel has been pronounced and there is no turning back at this time as far as God is concerned.

This dulling of the senses has been the case from the beginning with Israel. Prior to going into the land, God is discussing this very topic with Moses. Despite all the miracles Israel had witnessed coming out of Egypt, they still did not believe. Despite the provisions during the wandering in the desert for 40 years, Israel did not believe. The result is Deuteronomy 29:4 “Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.

Other prophets have reminded Israel their senses are dulled. Take Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

Jeremiah 5:21 ‘Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see; who have ears but do not hear.

Ezekiel 12:2 “Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house.

Fulfillment of the Isaiah 6:9-10 passages are noted in Matthew 13:14-15 when Jesus began speaking in parables about the kingdom of Heaven.

The Apostle Paul in Romans 11:8 referred to these Israelites who did not believe. In the previous verse Paul indicates people were “hardened”. The Greek word is poroo. According to Strong’s Concordance it means: to cover with a thick skin, to harden by covering with a callus, to make the heart dull, to grow hard, become dull, lose the power of understanding.

This is what happens to people when they reject God’s word. They become calloused and cynical toward what the Bible has to say. It is read and it has no meaning. Eventually, God leaves people to their own devices. The result is Psalm 81:11-12 “But My people did not listen to My voice, And Israel did not obey Me. So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices”. To see what humanity is capable of doing when left to their devices, see Romans 1:18-31. A little taste of humanity making decisions apart from God…Romans 1:29-31 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful…

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