Archive for Bethlehem

Trend Update: Days of Rage Across the Holy Land, December 2017

Posted in Gaza Strip/Philistia, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2017 by paulthepoke

Live video feed from the Holy Land.

https://www.rt.com/news/412638-israeli-police-use-tear-gas/

 

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…

Psalm 122

I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
Our feet have been standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem!

Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together,
to which the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
There thrones for judgment were set,
the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
“May they be secure who love you!
Peace be within your walls
and security within your towers!”
For my brothers and companions’ sake
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your good.

http://biblehub.com/esv/psalms/122.htm

 

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Pentecost/Shavuot/Feast of Weeks: Reading the Book of Ruth

Posted in Pentecost/Shavuot/Feast of Weeks, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2017 by paulthepoke

Leviticus 23:15-16 ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord.

In the Old Testament and in the Hebrew, this holiday is referred to as Shavuot. The word means: weeks.

Shavuot is one of the three holidays where Jewish men are required to come to Jerusalem (Exodus 23:14-17). The men were to make their presentation and sacrifice before God at the Temple. This holiday is one of seven holidays appointed by God.

Shavuot and Pentecost are synonymous. Shavuot is often associated with God giving the Torah, the birth of Judaism. Pentecost is often associated with God giving the Holy Spirit, the birth of the church.

On a Gregorian calendar in the year of 2017, the holiday of Shavuot/Feast of Weeks/Pentecost begins at sunset on Wednesday, May 31. The God Appointed holiday ends at sunset Thursday, June 1. Although not indicated in the Bible, an interesting tradition of the holiday is King David died on Shavuot.

During Shavuot, Jews will read the book of Ruth. The story is about a gentile widow, Ruth. She was married to a Jewish man who died. His name was Elimelech (meaning “My God is King” per Strong’s Concordance). Ruth freely decided to follow her Jewish mother in law after her husband’s death.

Ga`al is the Hebrew word used in the book of Ruth of Boaz who is the kinsman redeemer. Boaz is a pattern or type for Jesus Christ. The custom of the kinsman redeemer is played out in Ruth 4.

There are two conditions for Boaz or any kinsman redeemer to meet. The land of the relative has to be purchased or redeemed and the bride of the deceased relative must be acquired if the deceased was married.  In this case, Elimelech was the deceased relative.

The legal transaction was made in front of ten city elders. Another relative of Elimelech was on board with land acquisition. But he was not interested in acquiring Ruth, the gentile Moabite. Boaz stepped in and exercised his full right as a kinsman redeemer. Boaz purchased the land and acquired Ruth.

The legal contract was a sandal. Witnesses were present and confirmed the transaction.

Ruth 4:7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel.

It is from this prophetic transaction, blessing would come to Israel and the world. Over 1,000 years later, a Savior would be born in Ephrathah, the area in and around Bethlehem.

Ruth 4:11 All the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem.

So a Jewish groom born in Bethlehem purchases a gentile bride…

 

 

Birth of Jesus: City of Bethlehem, Address Migdal Eder

Posted in Christmas, Gospel, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2015 by paulthepoke

Micah 4:8 As for you, tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Zion, to you it will come— even the former dominion will come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.

Many believe this is the location and address of the birth of Jesus Christ. The address is the “tower of the flock”. In the original Hebrew, it is “migdal eder

Per Strong’s Concordance, migdal eder means: tower of the flock.

The following paragraph is from The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Alfred Edersheim.

At the time of the birth of Jesus, Migdal Eder was a specific place. It was the location where shepherds brought their sheep. The sheep were to be sacrificed at the Temple. These were not just any flock and herd. The shepherds who kept them were men who were specifically trained for this royal task. They were educated in what an animal that was to be sacrificed had to be and it was their job to make sure that none of the animals were hurt, damaged or blemished. During lambing season the sheep were brought to the tower from the fields, as the lower level functioned as the birthing room for sacrificial lambs. Being themselves under special rabbinical care, these priests would strictly maintain a ceremonially clean birthing place. Once birthed, the priestly shepherds would routinely place the lambs in the hewn depression of a limestone rock known as “the manger” and “wrap the newborn lambs in swaddling clothes,” preventing them from thrashing about and harming themselves “until they had calmed down” so they could be inspected for the quality of being “without spot or blemish”.

Custom of the day utilized swaddling cloths for newborn infants as well as sacrificial lambs. These cloths or bands were also used for restraining lambs prior to sacrifice. The swaddling bands held the lambs for inspection to insure they met the standard set forth in the law (Numbers 28:3, Exodus 12:1-6). The lambs were restrained to keep them from harming themselves and disqualifying them from sacrifice. Lambs had to be without blemish.

See also http://hethathasanear.com/Birth.html

Today, the exact location of Migdal Eder is speculation.

Luke 2:7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

The angel had directions for the shepherds in the hills. Luke 2:12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Notice, the shepherds did not need guidance. Migdal Eder was a destination. Any shepherd in the area knew the exact location. Directions were not necessary. These guys knew the specific address.

Luke 2:15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”

Luke 2:16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, was born in the same location as sacrificial lambs for the Temple. Jesus was wrapped “snugly” in swaddling cloth like a sacrificial lamb for inspection.

Birth of Jesus: Hills of Bethlehem

Posted in Christmas, Gospel, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2015 by paulthepoke

Micah 5:2 But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.

The first mention of Bethlehem in the Bible is in Genesis 35:19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). This is Jacob or Israel’s wife. She is the mother of Joseph and Benjamin (Genesis 35:24).

Ephrath or Ephrathah are terms that are synonymous with Bethlehem. Genesis 48:7, Genesis 35:19.

In the original Hebrew, Ephrathah means “place of fruitfulness”. –Strong’s Concordance.

Bethlehem is the setting for the Book of Ruth.

1 Samuel 17:12 Now David was the son of the Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah…

Bethlehem is a place where a young boy named David raised sheep for his father Jesse. 1 Samuel 17:15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s flock at Bethlehem.

The hills around Bethlehem were home to the thousands of lambs used in ritual worship in the Temple. The law required daily sacrifices of spotless and perfect lambs. Bethlehem was the town in Israel that was known for sacrificial lambs.

http://hethathasanear.com/Birth.html

Numbers 28:3 You shall say to them, ‘This is the offering by fire which you shall offer to the LORD: two male lambs one year old without defect as a continual burnt offering every day.

See also Exodus 12:1-6 for qualifications of a sacrificial lamb.

For roughly 1,000 years from the time of King David to the birth of Jesus, Bethlehem continued to be known for the Temple’s sacrificial lambs. We know this place remained an area for sheep because of Luke 2:8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

Jesus is the Lamb of God who was born in Bethlehem. The town known for spotless, perfect, sacrificial lambs. As these lambs were destined for sacrifice, so was Christ.

1 Peter 1:19 …but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ…

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Birth of Jesus: Region of Judah/City of Bethlehem

Posted in Christmas, Gospel, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2015 by paulthepoke

Micah 5:2 But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.

The fulfillment of Jesus being born in Bethlehem is in Matthew 2:1a, Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king…

Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth (70 miles north of Jerusalem) to Bethlehem (10 miles south of Jerusalem). The distance is approximately 80 miles. They were ordered to travel due to a request for the census. The government was counting people in order to collect taxes. Luke 2:3-4 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David…Mary would later give birth in verse 7 in Bethlehem.

bethlehemmap

It is promised, the Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah. Genesis 49:10-11 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. He ties his foal to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; He washes his garments in wine, and his robes in the blood of grapes.”

The Micah 5:2 prophecy confirms the Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah. Jesus is the lion of the tribe of Judah. Revelation 5:5 and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”

David was born and raised in Bethlehem (1 Samuel 16). Bethlehem is in Judah as confirmed by Matthew 2:6. Matthew is quoting Micah 5:2.

Christ is in the line of David. This fulfills the David Covenant (2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17:11–14, 2 Chronicles 6:16). The covenant is a promise that Israel’s Messiah will come through the offspring of King David. It is also a promise that this kingdom will be eternal. The covenant is totally up to God to fulfill.

For a detailed account of the Genealogy of Jesus, see Matthew 1. The abbreviated notes of the lineage of Christ are in Matthew 1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

In the Hebrew language, Bethlehem means “house of bread”.

Jesus proclaimed to be “the bread of life”. John 6:35a Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger…”

Jesus, the bread of life, was born in Bethlehem, the house of bread.

Merry Christmas, Tradition, Part 1

Posted in Christmas, Gospel, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2014 by paulthepoke

December 25 is the day we culturally celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. He was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1, Luke 2:3). The point Christ was born in Bethlehem is also confirmed twice by an enemy of Jesus, King Herod. In Matthew 2:8 Herod sent the Magi to Bethlehem to look for the child. In Matthew 2:16, Herod had all boy children two and under killed in the town of Bethlehem. Christ’s birth in the town of Bethlehem fulfilled the prophecy of Micah 5:2 But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.

Where is the Biblical evidence for celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25th? Is this the day on the calendar when Jesus was born? Does the Bible support the date of this celebration? The answer is no. Look all you want, you are not going to find it. The date of Christ’s December birth is a man made tradition unfounded in the Bible.

Christmas, December 25 is not a God Appointed Holiday.

What evidence is in the Bible for when Christ may have been born? There are some clues, but there is no definitive statement. Evidence is circumstantial.

Luke 2:8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

The grammar of the sentence states the shepherds were living in the fields as a lifestyle. They were sleeping out in the open fields. This was not a one night campout. The word “staying” is agrauleo in the original Greek text. The verb is present tense in the Greek meaning continual action. It is defined as: to live in the fields, be under the open sky, even at night (Strong’s Concordance). If they were doing this in late December, they would have been pretty miserable.

Historically, shepherds are out of the fields past October. Grass does not grow in the winter. There is no pasture available for sheep to feed in late December. Shepherds are not in the field in late December. In the winter, shepherds are responsible for provision and feeding the animals. Often times in bad weather, sheep and shepherds would retreat to caves for protection. Sheepfolds or small buildings would also be built. These structures would keep sheep out of the wind and cold elements (Manners and Customs of Bible Lands).

Matthew 24:20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath…-Jesus The context of Jesus’ comments is the Olivet Discourse. He is talking about leaving Jerusalem immediately when the antichrist defiles the Temple and claims to be God. His concern is traveling conditions that are noted in the region during winter. These areas are often impassible during the winter.

Christmas celebrated on December 25th.

Accurate birthday for Jesus???? I don’t think so, but do your own homework.

star-of-bethlehem1

Isaiah 11:1 Jesus, The Branch

Posted in Isaiah, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 11:1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

The “shoot” or “branch” that will bear fruit is Jesus. His story is the central theme of the Bible. The first mention of His coming and necessity of His arrival is told in the Garden of Eden. The context is the fall of mankind and the choice of sin. God is talking to Satan in Genesis 3:15 “From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” We know this person is going be a male and He will be a human. He is the offspring of the woman.

As the narrative moves forward, we learn the Savior will come from the tribe of Judah of nation Israel. He will be a king. The scepter or sword indicates His military power. Multiple sources indicate Shiloh is a Hebrew word that has an uncertain meaning. Some take it to mean “tranquility” or “secure”. He will be obeyed. Genesis 49:10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

We further learn He will come from a little town in Israel, Bethlehem. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He is eternal. Micah 5:2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”

Jesse is David’s father. Other prophets verify He is to come from the line of David. Jeremiah 30:9 But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

The people of Israel, the Jews will be returning to their land. We learn He will come in “the last days”. Note, “the last days” are equated with the Jews returning to the their home land of Israel. By definition, we are in “the last days” as of December 2013. They have yet to seek their king. Hosea 3:5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.

The Apostle Luke verifies Jesus is God’s promised Savior in Acts 13:23 “From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus…

Witnesses in the throne room of Heaven, in the presence of the Trinity, verify Jesus is of the tribe of Judah and of the family tree of David. Revelation 5:5 and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”

Jesus Himself confirms He is the One. Revelation 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

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