Archive for Ephraim

Isaiah 9:19-20 Cannibalism and Civil War

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , on September 8, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 9:20-21 They slice off what is on the right hand but still are hungry, and they eat what is on the left hand but they are not satisfied; each of them eats the flesh of his own arm. Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh, and together they are against Judah. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out.

Scholars debate whether verse 20 is figurative or literal language in regards to the topic of cannibalism. The point (whether figurative or literal) being made is that people are hungry and food is scarce.

The Hebrew word for eat is ‘akal. It is the verb used for the consumption of humans. The context of the verse is humans.

There are other verses in the Bible where cannibalism is discussed and it is literally humans eating other humans. In some cases, it is a judgment proclaimed by God. In other cases, people are acting independently out of hunger.

Leviticus 26:29 is a series of judgments being proclaimed by God for disobedience to His commandments. ‘Further, you will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters you will eat.

In 2 Kings 6:28-29 hunger and famine were in Samaria due to military conquest. And the king said to her, “What is the matter with you?” And she answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow, so we boiled my son and ate him; and I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.” 

Draw your own conclusions, literal or figurative cannibalism.

Ephraim and Manasseh were members of the northern kingdom. They were fighting against each other. There was civil war in the northern kingdom. But they did manage to get together to fight Judah. Judah is the region in the south of Israel. It is the southern kingdom. There was civil war throughout all of Israel.

The phrase His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out is noted for the third time in Isaiah 9. The third judgment has been completed. Israel still has one more remaining judgment before completion.

Isaiah 9:8-10 The Cost of Pride

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 9:8-10 The Lord sends a message against Jacob, and it falls on Israel. And all the people know it, That is, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, asserting in pride and in arrogance of heart: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with smooth stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”

God is very specific to who He is communicating, Israel. Judgment is coming.

Ephraim and Samaria are located due north of Jerusalem and west of the Jordan River.

The mental attitude is, “We will build it bigger and stronger”. This is a temporary setback. Majesty, greatness, and magnificence are their intentions.  One could say we see this same attitude in our world today. Look at the response of humanity to natural disasters. Engineering is geared to withstand massive quakes and hurricanes with the belief buildings and bridges can survive acts of God.

They upgrade their materials from bricks to smooth stones. Bricks were the most primitive material used in the construction of homes. Prominent cities utilized stone for their fortified walls, temples, grain silos, and buildings. Stone construction was a symbol of strength and technological development. Personal houses and dwellings that were built with stone indicated wealth (The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times).

The wood used is higher in quality from sycamore to cedar. Sycamore trees were abundant. Sycamore lumber was long lasting and light. Cedar wood was choice for architectural uses. The wood of the cedar is disease resistant and slow to decay. Cedar was a valuable and stout wood. The temple was primarily constructed with cedar (New Unger’s Bible Dictionary).

Israel uses the best materials available. This is not going to matter. It did not work for Edom either…Malachi 1:4a Though Edom says, “We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins”; thus says the LORD of hosts, “They may build, but I will tear down…

Isaiah7:3-9 Be Calm, God Knows

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 7:3-4 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway to the fuller’s field, and say to him, ‘Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, on account of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah.

God gives a direct command for Isaiah to take his son with him to meet King Ahaz. Imagine if you were Ahaz and you saw Isaiah and son headed your direction, especially when you take the meaning of their names into account. Isaiah means “Jehovah has saved”, and Shear-jashub means (a remnant will return) according to Strong’s Concordance. This should provide some comfort knowing “Jehovah has saved” and “a remnant will return” is coming your direction as messengers from God.

Isaiah repeats a simple message four times, do not be afraid. Yes, these two adversaries are really ticked but they are losing their fire and just smoking and smoldering. The log is about to burn out.

Isaiah 7:5-6 ‘Because Aram, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has planned evil against you, saying, “Let us go up against Judah and terrorize it, and make for ourselves a breach in its walls and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,”

God knows their plans and tells Ahaz. Essentially, God is saying “I know what these guys are up to”. They have plans of being king makers. This northern alliance is looking to replace an enemy with an ally. They look to put a friend in power for political gain. This would be a natural alliance to strengthen their foothold in the region. The idea seems reasonable. They want to put the son of “God is good” (Tabeel) in charge in the south.

They have battle plans in place. They are going to break down the wall in Jerusalem and invade. You can make all the plans you want, God may have other ideas for you.

Isaiah 7:7 thus says the Lord GOD: “It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass.”

Isaiah 7:9 and the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you will not believe, you surely shall not last.”’”

God has a plan for eternal life. The issue for us is the same issue as it was for Ahaz, faith. Do you trust God? Do you believe Him? It is there for the taking, free of charge…

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.

%d bloggers like this: