Judas Iscariot, a character study. Part 4, the end.


As I close this out, I find I can’t give you a definitive answer as to where Judas Iscariot is. However, I think what I have given you is enough to show that we serve a merciful God and that not everything is so black and white that you can exclaim that Judas is in hell.

In talking about what I had learned as I did this study, a person who feels they are a biblical expert brought up the rich man and Lazarus. They pointed out that they think the rich man was in hell. I responded with, there is a problem with that, and it is a fact that there has, as yet, been no judgment. The final judgment will not occur until the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ, at the great white throne. Since, God has not judged anyone, nor sent anyone to hell as yet, why do you have the right to send someone to hell prematurely? They agreed that no one has been judged as yet, but had no reasonable response as what to do with the rich man.

Apparently, there are some things we don’t understand. Now I happen to think that the answers are there in scripture; we just don’t see them. An example of this was made clear to as I was editing this document so that I could post it in sections. I was reading John13:25-27 where Peter asks John, who was leaning back against Jesus if he would ask Jesus who is the one who will betray Him?

 (26) Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.  (27) As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” [NIV]

For the first time, I read this passage and saw something I have never seen before. Jesus statement toward Judas Iscariot may not have been directed at Judas; Jesus may have been speaking directly to Satan, just as He had done when Peter expressed how he would not allow them to kill him. Jesus turned, and looking straight into Peter’s eyes and said, get behind me Satan.

Matthew16:22-23 NIV  Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.”Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”  (23)  Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

I showed this insight to a friend who used to be an administrative law judge (I find him to be a speedy reader who absorbs information,) and he immediately, after looking at the passage for himself, said, you are right, this does open the door to that possibility. There is no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit knows that the timing and release of understanding are pertinent and needed. This release of information is the theme we see as the Book Of Daniel closes.

Daniel12:1-4 NASB “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. (2) “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. (3)“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. (4) “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.

I obtained the arguments against Judas from this source https://www.gotquestions.org/Judas-Iscariot.html. I have made comments in defense of Judas Iscariot below the bulleted points. The original document has, for the most part, been turned into bulleted points and the paragraphs as well are highlighted in bold type.

The thesis opened with a question and an answer:

“Who was Judas Iscariot?” Answer: Judas Iscariot is typically remembered for one thing: his betrayal of Jesus.

While his betrayal, as they put it, maybe the one thing we remember about him, let’s see if I change your heart and attitude about him.

  • Judas Iscariot fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 41:9, “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me” (cf. John 13:18).

The author of this treatise points out where Jesus says: 

“I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen, but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’ (John 13:18 NASB)

Psalm 41:9 seems to be what Jesus was referring to. [NIV]  “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.”

Do not think for a second that this was a surprise to Jesus. He knew all along what would happen.

TheThe Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury says this about the phrase, may be fulfilled.

“We find something that closely resembles this idea in the NIV, where it tells us “this is to fulfill this passage of scripture.”Maybe fulfilled, is the Greek word plērōthē. It is the subjunctive mood of probability, and cannot apply to predestination. The subjunctive is used when the action “…is viewed as contingent upon certain existing and known conditions—being objectively possible…””

The UCRT goes on to say, “What is predestinated cannot be a probability, but must be absolute!” (Cf. Mark 14:49). 
“Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” [NIV]  

So again we see that the Jewish council knew who Jesus was and plotted almost daily to take him and kill him. But Jesus makes it clear that this moment in time has been set aside for this action to take place, and nothing will stop the plan of redemption now.

  • Yet Judas was fully responsible for his actions. Jesus said, “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born” (Matthew 26:24).

This paragraph may be the most condemning statement of all that has been made merely because it says, “It would be better for him if he had not been born.” What are we to make of this?

Scriptures related to this statement are: 

Psalms 41:9 NASB Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.

Psalms 109:8 LITV  let his days be few, and let another take his office;

Romans 9:21-22 LITV  Or does not the potter have authority over the clay, out of the one lump to make one vessel to honor, and one to dishonor? Jer. 18:6  (22)  But if God, desiring to demonstrate His wrath, and to make His power known, endured in much long-suffering vessels of wrath having been fitted out for destruction,

While these passages may sustain the argument for many, there is one additional passage, which Jesus spoke, that may demonstrate some form of grace. 

John 17:12 LITV  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name; I guarded those whom You gave to Me, and not one of them was lost, except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

The word perdition is the Greek word apōleia. Sadly, it means ruin or loss (physical, spiritual or eternal), damnation, and destruction. 

How do you fight against that? 
While the word perdition is fairly damning, how do I treat a man whose job it is to fulfill scripture?

If you must make a statement like Judas being responsible for his actions, then you need to define in what way Judas demonstrated that responsibility. If going back to the Jewish council and telling them, in a manner, that their actions were wrong and therefore his actions were wrong, is taking responsibility, maybe I can see that. Hanging yourself does not demonstrate taking responsibility. But aren’t we all responsible for Jesus death?

Here is my perspective on responsibility for actions. Satan and a third of the angels had a choice to live in peace with God, but they did not; humankind also has the choice to live in harmony with God and others, but most choose not to. This freedom to choose is called free will; sadly though for every action, there is a reaction, and Judas experienced his. Since free will is so problematic, why allow for it? Because it gives us the freedom to choose to love the Father.

  • Matthew 27:6–8 reports that the chief priests took the “blood money” from Judas and bought a potter’s field as a place for burying foreigners (thus fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 11:12–13).

True

  • Acts 1:18–19 continues the story of what happened after Judas’ death and gives some additional information. Luke reports, “With the reward, he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field;

So Matthew tells us that the chief priests took the money and bought the field, but Dr. Luke, in the book of Acts conveys that Judas bought the field.

First, none of the disciples were there to see the transactions, and so all anyone has is gossip. 

Secondly, why would Judas have the foresight to take care of his own death. Not likely. 

Thirdly, where did Dr. Luke get his information?

The Biblical Illustrator commentary gives us the most definite clue as to the authorship of the Gospel of Luke, and therefore the clear link to the information Luke was able to obtain about this field. “Of the writer of the third Gospel nothing whatsoever is known, except that he was the faithful friend and companion of St. Paul.”

There he fell headlong, his body burst open, and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.” The additional detail we learn from Luke is that, after Judas hanged himself, his dead body fell into the very field purchased with his ill-gotten gains.

“Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this,” this tells you several things. 

1. Judas Iscariot was more well known than we are told. 

2. Nothing is secret. 

3. It suggests that people cared about Judas Iscariot or else they would not have cared what became of him.

  • Given the fact of Judas’ close proximity to Jesus during three years of ministry, it is hard to imagine how he could follow through on such a dastardly betrayal.

Setting aside the crass, unfounded remarks which lay the brunt of all that happened to Jesus on Judas Iscariot, there is 1 Peter.

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds, you have been healed.” (1Peter 2:24 NIV)

What is my take away from this?

That Jesus, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross. Jesus did this for us, and Judas was merely a player in the grand scheme.

  • Judas’ story teaches us to guard against small, gradual failings that gain strength and power in our lives and that could open the door to more deadly influences.

This idea of guarding against small, gradual failings is sound wisdom and should not be looked at in an accusatory tone.

Although we have no direct evidence of Judas’ motivation for handing Jesus over – outside of Satan entering into him, we can make a logical assumption that he had one, and had toyed with the idea frequently. The fact that Satan used him specifically for that purpose readily plays into that idea. 

You cannot repeatedly toy with ideas, such as indulging your fleshly desires, without those indulgences becoming deadly.

  • His story is also a great reminder that appearances can be deceiving.

The assumption I am left to make is that Judas Iscariot was a poser; you know the type, they act a certain way in front of the religious crowd, or some girl they are trying to impress when their real motive lurks in the dark and is typically played out behind closed doors. 

There is nothing about Judas that tells me he was like that; if there were, wouldn’t Jesus have perceived that in His spirit? Of course, He would; you can’t hide anything from God.

  • Jesus taught, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:22–23).

The writer of this thesis added this passage to tack down his motive – to direct your thoughts. Sadly though, they missed the context, and it has nothing to do with Judas. The reference has everything to do with the judgment of the nations, and we see a tremendous picture of that in Matthew 25 – the sheep and goat judgment.

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Judas Iscariot, a character study. Part 3.


Some might ask why I am defending such a man. Primarily it is because an aspect of what we have learned inside the brick walls we call the church, has imposed bad teaching and skewed traditions upon us; in doing so we have developed into some of the most judgmental people you will ever meet. Do we as Christians run around with swords and guns imposing our will on people, as some groups do, hopefully not, but our words and teachings have a comparable effect.

Secondly, the question itself demonstrates a horrendous judgmental attitude by the one doing the asking, but I suppose, to some degree, it is a legitimate question.

I guess you can say I am standing up for Judas-Iscariot because I am a lot like the man. I too am Sick of my government lying to me; I am annoyed to tears about “law enforcement” bullying good people, while no one seems to care about the drug dealer next door to me; I am fed up with most organized religion, as it is no different today than when the chief priests and elders corroborated to kill Jesus; It grieves me that within the church body I scarcely find anyone willing to focus on and talk about the Word of God (I am excluding those who, as one brother experienced, think they are learned, and therefore have to say whatever they want, including opinion, as they push some skewed teaching on us.) Oh sure, the men will talk sports, cars, and how important they are at their jobs, but God and the reality of life has no place in their lives, and most of these men, whether they have money or not, have credit cards and therefore put their faith in the credit card instead God – they are thus enabled to actively pursue their idols. So when it comes to “men” who will talk about Godly things I am only aware of a handful, and I sit regularly with two of them.

There is a point to most of this ranting; I am painfully aware that the things going on around us are a part of the birth pains, known as Jacob’s troubles depending upon the translation you use. (You will find the reference to Jacob’s troubles in Jeremiah 30:7.) All this is a lead into the time of God’s wrath; the seven-year period we so foolishly call the “Tribulation.”

We, as followers of Christ, have been given the power and authority to stand against much of this onslaught, and it is coming in many forms. Most recently France, with the yellow vest protests, has withstood some ridiculous taxation and it seems, for the moment, they won that battle. Sadly, some of us will die (Matthew 26:52.)

Judas-Iscariot was no worse or better than any of the disciples. Are we not told that “all have sinned and come short”? (Romans 3:23)

I have made comments in defense of Judas-Iscariot below the bulleted points. The original document has, for the most part, been turned into bulleted points and paragraphs are highlighted in bold type.

  • In fact, Judas was empowered to do what he did by the devil himself: “As soon as Judas took the bread [that Jesus had given him], Satan entered into him” (John 13:27).

Let’s take this verse one step further.

John 13:25-27 NIV Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” (26) Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.  (27) As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”

The “he” in this passage is Peter; so can I assume that Peter knew who it was that was going to betray Jesus. The inference is reasonably direct, and yet John 13:28 tells us that NO ONE understood what was happening. One other thing I noticed as I read John 13:27, “As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” We always assumed that Jesus was talking directly to Judas-Iscariot, but what if He wasn’t? What if the statement, “what you are about to do, do quickly,” was directed at Satan? Think about the interactions Jesus had with Peter and the demonic. How did he speak? He spoke directly to the demon(s) and ordered them to come out. Anyway, it’s just a thought.

If I stick with the NIV, I get a point-blank inference that Satan entered into Judas. So let’s examine that and see if it is a true statement.

The Greek word for entered is eiserchomai and means (According to Thayer’sDefinitions) 1) to go out or come in: to enter; 1b) of Satan taking possession of the body of a person.

So, yes, it is true that Satan entered Judas.

What does Satan entering Judas do to the previous three years and events in Judas’ life? Nothing. Get serious; there is not a man on the face of the earth that is immune to Satan’s deception unless they have accepted Jesus as the Lord of their life, receive the power of the Holy Spirit, and get firmly planted in God’s word; then, you stand a chance.

It seems like being a follower of Jesus Christ would be firm and common ground, but spend a little time in recovery and you will see that people fall off the wagon with regularity. Every few months they come dragging themselves back to meetings, not understanding what they did, or what happened in their religious moment at some altar or a church bench. This lack of understanding opens the door for Satan to run them ragged.

How about those who think they are the pillars of the church; can they be deceived and battered about? Absolutely. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to Timothy, instructs the young man about moving in gentleness and wisdom toward people who seem to betray their salvation, when in fact, they have been taken captive by Satan at his will.

2Timothy 2:24-26 NASB The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, (25) with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, (26) and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

If Satan can snare a believer, then he can catch Judas as well.

  • The other disciples had no clue that Judas Iscariot harbored treacherous thoughts.

This idea that the other disciples had no clue seems to be a contradiction to most everything the authors of this treatise have conveyed. It is, however, a true statement, because, as I said moments ago, when I pointed out John 13:28, that none of them understood what was going on.

  • When Jesus mentioned a betrayer in their midst, the other disciples worried that it was they who would prove disloyal (John 13:22).

True

  • No one suspected Judas. He was a trusted member of the Twelve.

True

  • Even when Jesus told Judas, “What you are about to do, do quickly,” (John 13:27), and Judas left the Last Supper, the others at the table simply thought Judas had been sent to buy more food or to give something to charity (verses 28–29).

True

  • Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord with a kiss, perfectly in keeping with his brazen duplicity (Luke 22:47–48).

Again, that word betrayal. Luke indicated a kiss most likely because it was dark (I say this because they had tried or wanted to kill Jesus on several occasions. The Jewish council knew who he was and what he looked like. They may not have known precisely where he was that night,) who Jesus was.

Judas-Iscariot’s actions fulfilled several prophetic words that night; and, played precisely into a Godly timeline that was to be achieved only a few hours from this moment.

  • After committing his atrocious act, Judas “was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders” (Matthew 27:3). But we learn that remorse does not equal repentance—rather than make amends or seek forgiveness, “he went away and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:5).

The Complete Jewish Bible translation tells us that “he was seized with remorse.” Few other translations treat Judas so kindly. Most read something like this,

Matthew 27:3 NASB Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,”

Saw is the Greek word eidō and means to perceive with the eyes, notice, discern, and discover, among others.

Condemned is the Greek word katakrinō and means judged worthy of punishment.

Some questions: if Judas truly wanted Jesus to die because of this so-called “betrayal,” why would he care what became of Jesus?

We are told that Judas-Iscariot saw (perceived) that he had been condemned. From whom and how did this perception come? Did it come from Jesus? I don’t think so, and we never see any interaction between the two after the kiss in the garden.

Did the condemnation come from the other disciples? Quite possibly, however, only those who were in the upper room and then the garden would have been aware of what transpired.

Could the condemnation come from the chief priests and elders, the same ones who lured Judas in, that they could have Jesus killed? This type of behavior would have been a common occurrence for them.

Felt and remorse are merely the same Greek word used twice. It is because of conjunctive words, that the meaning can be ascertained as “feeling remorse.” Old English, however, can occasionally be a poor translation and it mandates that we pursue the alternative possibilities from a concordance.

The Greek word is metamellomai and means to care afterward, regret, and repent, denoting a change of place or condition, and mélomai, mid. of mélō(n.f. see mélei[G3199], to concern), to be concerned.

So when we talk of repentance in the Christian community, aren’t we talking about 180 degree turns from that troublesome thing or a change in condition? All these words are religiously applied to repentance, and yet we can’t find any room for that in Judas-Iscariot.

So I could read Matthew 27:3 as, when Judas Iscariot determined what the Jewish council’s real intent was, he had a deep concern about delivering Jesus over to the Jewish council; as he has now learned their hidden agenda was to have Jesus killed.

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Posted in bible study, caught, character study, Cult teachings, Dispelling myths, enemies, false teaching, forgive, God's character, grace, hypocrisy, Jesus, Jews, Judas Iscariot, Mercy, overtaken, Prophetic, restore, Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Judas Iscariot, a character study. Part 2.


This examination of Judas Iscariot is the outgrowth of a recent group Bible study on Hebrews. During the evening’s interactions on Hebrews my friend, in reference to eternal security, adamantly contrasted Judas-Iscariot, declaring, Judas Iscariot went to hell. I have several problems with a statement like that and spoke to the man privately about them after the study was over. Several days later that brother in Christ sent me a text message which directed me to a website he declared offered sound information on the subject of Judas Iscariot. What that website did, was to affirm my friend’s arguments.  

I obtained the arguments against Judas from this source https://www.gotquestions.org/Judas-Iscariot.html. 
Assuming, and it’s a natural assumption, that my friend and several thousand others like him, feel so resolute and judgmental about Judas-Iscariot, I decided to pursue this character study on the man.

I have made comments which can be seen below the bulleted points. The original document has, for the most part, been turned into bulleted points and highlighted in bold type.

The overarching question is, Who was Judas Iscariot? 

As I began to respond to the thesis, which seems to have one goal – to have your opinion harmonize with theirs, my answers progressively turned into a ten-page treatise. I have learned that I cannot inundate you, the reader, with something that lengthy, as you will leave my site and probably never come back. Therefore, it is separated into parts. This is part two.

  • Jesus knew from the very beginning what Judas Iscariot would do. Jesus told His disciples, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (John 6:70).
  • Look how the Message conveys John 6:70, “Jesus responded, “Haven’t I handpicked you, the Twelve? Still, one of you is a devil!

    Handpicked, now there’s a visual image for you. Jesus, fully aware of the end of this chain of events, choose Judas-Iscariot intentionally. Why is that? Could it be that Jesus was the one with the plan and not Judas-Iscariot?

The plan, since the rebellion and fall of the angels that followed Satan, has been to restore peace, and redeem humanity – a necessary move since one man gave it all away. But then, God knew that would happen, just as He knew Judas would be manipulated into playing the role he did. All of it for the purpose of gaining eternal salvation for all who would follow after Jesus Christ.

What of this idea that one of you is the devil?

Luke 22:1-6 NET. Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. (2) The chief priests and the experts in the law were trying to find some way to execute Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. (3) Then Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve. (4) He went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers of the temple guard how he might betray Jesus, handing him over to them. (5) They were delighted and arranged to give him money. (6) So Judas agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus when no crowd was present.

If I look up the word devil I get diábolos; to accuse. A false accuser, used for the devil. It is simply one who accuses. Judas did not accuse Jesus; he did, however, try to push Him to act irrationally and prematurely. How could Jesus have acted prematurely? By taking the throne without going to the cross and redeeming us all.

It seemed that the dramatic change in Judas-Iscariot came when Satan entered him. My perception is always tainted by my humanity and so I see things rather black and white. As Judas Iscariot walked with Jesus, he acted and spoke just as he always did; James and John, the “sons of thunder,” were both capable of demonstrating a violent edge; Peter, much like James and John, was accustomed to the harsh, mouthy world associated with the fishing industry. These guys were just men and God saw the potential in them all.

Would God, knowing that He had Satan within His inner circle of leadership, be someone we should think highly of? Of course not. Common sense tells you that you never, knowingly, let the enemy close enough to disrupt your plans; and that is precisely what Satan was trying to do. 

The Tree of Life Version of the Bible uses the term deliver instead of betray. The definition of deliver is to hand over or convey into someone’s possession formally. Since the word betray means:

v. To give aid or information to an enemy of; commit treason against or betray one’s country.

v. To deliver into the hands of an enemy in violation of a trust or allegiance: 

v. To be false or disloyal to:

Can I then say that the act of delivering Jesus over, not to the Romans, but the Jewish council, was a betrayal? Since Judas never truly fit any of these definitions, especially when Jesus knew all along what Judas would eventually yield to; it does not feel like much of a betrayal, but a man with a mission, who was trying to provoke Jesus into a fight – one which he thought Jesus would quickly win.

You must remember that God’s agreements with us were never dependent upon our actions. Yes, there has always been a benefit for following after the covenants, but regardless of our efforts, or lack thereof, God was always going to remain faithful to His end of the deal. Such was the case with God’s end plan for the salvation of man. We know that Jesus went to the cross willingly, and would have been put there on that cross by some other means if necessary. Judas merely played a role.

  • And at the Last Supper, Jesus predicted His betrayal and identified the betrayer: “Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon” (John 13:26).

Again, the annoyance is that this is stated as though Judas was some random, last-minute alteration in the course of events. When it came to the Jews, Jesus told those who wanted to hang him, do you not realize that I could call legions of angels to come and rescue me. There is nothing that is happening to me that I have not approved and allowed. So to place words like betrayal and betrayer upon Judas is merely inciting anger and rage in the reader.

  • Jesus said that Judas Iscariot was not “clean”; i.e., he had not been born again and was not forgiven of his sins (John 13:10–11).

Jesus did not say, “Judas was not clean,” He merely said one of you.

What does John 13:10-11 say? (MKJV)  Jesus said to him (Peter,) He who is bathed has no need except to wash his feet but is clean every whit. And you are clean, but not all.  (11)  For He knew who would betray Him. Therefore He said, You are not all clean.

The bulleted statement above, unwisely states, “he (Judas,) had not been born again and was not forgiven of his sins.” None of them were born again. Since Jesus had not gone to the cross, they were all living under the law, not grace.

Bathed and washed are translations; however, the Greek word is louō and means to bathe the whole person. We probably perceive this as water baptism. The idea behind the word is an immersion into a wholehearted acceptance, something that none of the disciples did. In contrast to Judas, who clearly was not 100% invested, we have Peter, who betrayed Christ three times; and John, who stayed near the cross and Mary, as Jesus was dying. The problem with thinking that any of them “got it,” is that none of them did, and scripture proves that out.

Has no needG2192 echō A primary verb (including an alternate form σχέω scheō skheh’-o used in certain tenses only); to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession, ability, contiguity, relation or condition.) –

So I understand there not being a need to hold desperately onto sick relationships or possessions if I have been washed already, but to merely wash your feet as needed what did this mean? It meant that Jesus, through His word, had already cleansed them; but then, there is the daily, trivial nonsense, such stealing from the treasury bag – the stuff we call sin. In no way do I get a sense of ominous retribution worthy of separation from God. In the environment of that day, where you would sit on pillows, next to each other, to dine, I can completely understand why washing your feet would be an exceptional idea.

Would betray Himparadidōmi – From G3844 and G1325; to surrender, that is, surrender, deliver, give over.

Yes, I am aware that paradidōmi also carries the idea of betrayal, but I do not believe that Jesus saw Judas’ actions as insidious. If that were the case, then Peter would have been a write off as well. In general, I could easily say that Judas surrendered or delivered Jesus to the Jewish council; however, I do not believe Judas meant for Him to be killed. Everything I see, as I study Judas’ life, demonstrates that Judas intended to force Jesus to rise on their behalf.

Consider this idea of delivering someone over to an authoritative force.
The Jewish leadership had temple guards, and this is who took Jesus captive that night. The Romans, on the other hand, were under orders to rapidly suppress any violent acts. Would the activities of the Jewish leadership have been seen in that light? This potential of misconduct is one of the reasons that Pontius Pilate so “rapidly” relented to the chief priests cries to crucify Jesus.

Luke 22:52 NIV  Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs?

One of the pieces of evidence we have that demonstrates that the Chief priests and elders took Jesus in the garden, is the fact that they brought Jesus to the “jail” beneath Caiaphas’ home. Archaeology has proven that this place existed. Here is where Jesus was challenged over His claims to be God’s son, and therefore God – a blasphemous claim worthy of death according to Jewish law. The result is that the Jewish temple guards beat Jesus, based upon claims that have nothing to do with what Romans consider rebellion before they ever handed Him off to Pontius Pilate to judge.

Judas knew full well what the Romans could, and would do to those that caused trouble, but Jesus never did any of those things; he also knew that the Jews had no power to put someone on a cross and this was, therefore, a moot issue in the mind of Judas.

Judas, just like all the others, walked beside Jesus in a state of puzzlement.
Just a few days before this, what had taken place? At Jesus direction they had secured an unridden colt (Matthew 21) – this would have been comparable to borrowing a new Mercedes luxury car, just as dignitaries might arrive in, and placing Jesus in it. Just the sight of such an event triggered off a mad rush of onlookers, many of whom had experience with Jesus and the miracles He performed. But now He is riding into town as a King might. This moment has to be significant, and it is a long enough ride for many to have the time necessary to gather palm branches to spread upon the ground before Him.

Now, put yourself in the place of the disciples, especially Judas, as none of them were sure how this entrance into Jerusalem was going to end; for some, I am sure they were hoping for some kind of overthrow. The underlying motive is the possibility that they would hold important cabinet positions under the rule of Jesus.

Did Jesus step up and rule?
No, but He did overthrow the tables of the money changers and chased the vendors out of the outer court.
The blind and lame came to Him in the Temple, and He healed them.  (Matthew 21:12) Jesus then became embroiled, for two days, with the chief priests and elders about His authority to do what He did, and who He was. All this was the lead into what we see in Matthew 24 and 25, and the questions the disciples asked, “when will all these things come to pass and what will the sign of your return?” You see, they expected Him to step up and reign two days before; obviously, based upon what you are telling us now when you come back it will be to reign, so when is that going to happen?

When the disciple John wrote “For He knew who would betray Him. Therefore He said, You are not all clean,” it was understood to mean, Jesus could see the end result. In the perfect tense, the word see, meant to know. Can I surmise Jesus knowing or seeing to be comparable? Yes.

Bullet points and blocks of copy in bold have been extracted from Got Questions Ministries. I have done this to make their information distinct from my own thoughts and comments. 

©Copyright 2002-2018 Got Questions Ministries.

Posted in character study, condemnation, Deception, Dispelling myths, enemies, false teaching, Freedom from sin, God's character, Gospel of John, guilt, Hope, In Christ, Jerusalem, Jesus, Judas Iscariot, judgment, Mercy, overtaken, redemption, Sin, strongholds, Things I have never noticed before, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Judas Iscariot, a character study. Part 1.


This study originated from a Bible study on Hebrews, led by a man I know. During the evening’s bible study my friend, in reference to eternal security, added his thoughts on Judas-Iscariot, by adamantly declaring, Judas Iscariot went to hell.

I have several problems with a statement like that, but the Holy Spirit told me to hold my tongue until after the meeting was over and I could address his out of line and adamant statement quietly. I did just that and told him briefly the reasons why I disagreed with him.

Having spelled out some aspects of what you will find in this rebuttal, my friend responded with, “well, we just don’t know everything,” and I agreed, we don’t. I hoped that he would never speak with such adamancy about something he doesn’t understand. The next day I got a text message from him. In that message, he said, “my wife and I have discussed this, and Judas may have felt remorse, but he never repented;” he added, “there is a difference you know.” and quickly tried to define those differences. I responded with, “I will study this character Judas-Iscariot more closely soon, but not today. Until then, I must continue to err, if that is what I have done, I will do so on the side of mercy.

My friend then sent this link and said, “I get much of my understanding from this website https://www.gotquestions.org/Judas-Iscariot.html. I obtained the arguments against Judas from these people. Assuming, and it’s an easy assumption, that my friend and several thousand others like him, feel just as adamantly about Judas-Iscariot, I decided to pursue this character study on Judas-Iscariot. Let me add, that this is not the first time I have heard such anger, judgment, and lack of understanding about some Biblical character.

I have made comments which can be seen below the bulleted points.

The original document has, for the most part, been turned into bulleted points and highlighted in bold type.

Question:”Who was Judas Iscariot?”

Answer: Judas Iscariot is typically remembered for one thing: his betrayal of Jesus.

If I were to ask you why Judas is only thought of as a betrayer and thief, you might say, well, for one thing, scripture, such as John’s gospel, in particular, directs us to think that way.

Alright, that is a reasonable response, that is until you begin looking at the words, as found in concordances. For there you will see that they can have several meanings and I frequently find that the alternate wording better fits the context.

Let’s say you cling to the KJV as it is often represented as the authorized version. Yes, commissioned by King James, with whom they pleaded against continued efforts as the language alone was outdated by the time they published the limited and expensive copies they could make.

So, the authors answer to his own question is given above, and it states Judas is typically remembered for one thing: his betrayal of Jesus. There are other things about him such as he was one of the original, handpicked, disciples, but you don’t think about that until you do something as peculiar as writing an eleven-page thesis in defense of a man who may not be in hell, as some prescribe.

  • He was one of the twelve disciples who lived with and followed Jesus for three years.

And therefore, a part of the inner circle. As far as I can see you never let the spy or betrayer into the inner circle unless you have a higher, more significant plan; and Jesus did.

  • He witnessed Jesus’ ministry, His teaching, and His many miracles.

They (the disciples) were all given the mission to go out and heal the sick and cast out demons, and Judah Iscariot was included. However, Judas apparently had to be placed at the back of the listing, and Mark, among the others, had to mention the betrayal.

Mark 3:10-19 MKJV For He had healed many, so that they pressed on Him in order to touch Him, as many as had plagues.  (11) And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, they fell down before Him and cried, saying, You are the Son of God! (12) And He strictly charged them that they should not make Him known. (13) And He went up into a mountain and called near those whom He would. And they came to Him.  (14) And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them out to proclaim,  (15) and to have authority to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons. (16) And He put on Simon the name Peter.  (17) And He put on James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, the names Boanerges, which is, the Sons of Thunder.  (18) And He appointed Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, and Simon the Canaanite,  (19) and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. And they went into a house.

  • He was the treasurer for the group and used this trusted position to steal from their resources (John 12:6).

John was the only one to mention this act. Even under Mosaic law, judgments we make against others, are only legitimized by the mouths of two or three witnesses. Let’s say Judas Iscariot’s stealing from the bag is a true statement, then what am I to gather from it? That this action on the part of Judas was never a concern for Jesus or most of the disciples. When Jesus told the disciples to provide for the thousands gathered on the hillside that first day, they never said, we do not possibly have enough money.

  • Judas was a common name in that era, and there are several other Judases mentioned in the New Testament. One of the other disciples was named Judas (John 14:22), and so was one of Jesus’ half-brothers (Mark 6:3).

The fact that Judas is a common name of the day is an irrelevant point to make; it does, however, address the need to specify which “Judas” you are speaking about.

  • To differentiate, John 6:71 and John 13:26 refer to Christ’s betrayer as “Judas, son of Simon Iscariot.”

Sadly, Judas is always mentioned last in the apostolic lists of names and continuously with the notation that he was the one who betrayed Jesus. There is nothing in the gospels to suggest that he was set aside or treated differently from any of the twelve, even though Jesus knew what his future actions would be.

Scholars have several ideas about the derivation of the surname.

  • One is that Iscariot refers to Kerioth, a region or town in Judea.
  • Another idea is that it refers to the Sicarii, a cadre of assassins among the Jewish rebels. The possible association with the Sicarii allows for intriguing speculation about Judas’ motives.
  • The fact that he made a conscious choice to betray Jesus (Luke 22:48) remains the same.
  • The surname Iscariot is useful because it leaves no doubt about which Judas is being addressed.

None of the above information, concerning his name and the town he is from, is provable and therefore pure speculation.

Here are some of the facts we glean from key verses about Judas and his betrayal:

  • Money was important to Judas. As already mentioned, he was a thief,

If John had not brought it up, would it even be an issue? The assertion that money was important to Judas alone is purely conjecture and irrelevant.

People steal all the time; some steal by cheating on the time clock, or by merely taking a pen from a desk. We all have a sin nature, and it drives us, just as it drove Judas Iscariot.

Peter, as we should be aware, had a family to support and a house to maintain; perhaps he needed a steady supply of money as well, and yet, we see very little money involved in the life of Jesus and the disciples, outside of paying taxes on one occasion, and that money came out of a fishes mouth.

  • And, according to Matthew 26:13–15, the chief priests paid him “thirty silver coins” to betray the Lord.

None of the disciples were there to hear or witness the transaction between the chief priests and Judas; so all we have is an assumption as to how we came to know what happened in that private meeting. It may be that Judas was vocal enough to convey how he felt, and it seems that his greatest motivation was to force Jesus to step forward as the warring Messiah for which they all longed. Since all the theories put forth about why he did it are conjectural, then this statement I made about Judas motivation is as well; but, it is logical and here is why:

When Jesus rode into town on a young colt that no one had ever ridden before He was riding on the best that could be offered for that period, and, it was a very significant event as all of Israel’s kings had done something similar. But this entrance was different, as the first thing He did after the big entrance, was to overthrow the tables of the vendors and money changing thieves, in the outer court of the temple and then verbally accost the Jewish leadership, for two days. The Jews, including Judas, anticipated that He would integrate into their system; and He did not.

Matthew 26:14-16 MSG That is when one of the Twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the cabal of high priests (15) and said, “What will you give me if I hand him over to you?” They settled on thirty silver pieces. (16) He began looking for just the right moment to hand him over.

The word betray is the Greek word paradidōmi and also means to surrender, that is, yield upentrusttransmit:– commit, deliver(up).

Odd how the primary function of the word is to surrender. Thanks to the Apostle John’s hostility, and some bad choices in translation we are mired down with the idea of betrayal.

For the author of this treatise to try to direct us into a wholehearted acceptance of their thesis demonstrates their lack of faith that we have the ability to think logically when given the facts; that the Holy Spirit is not capable of leading and guiding us into truth, and, it establishes their lack of skill in presenting an apologetic.

Everyone, in the course of writing, and this includes the disciples and great theological minds, are trying to convince or direct you to see things their way. Historians, such as Josephus – a Jew under Roman rule, who had the task of recording the events of the day, had a strong motivation to make the one in control – Caesar or the Roman empire, look good. To do that they occasionally skewed history to make the current leader look better than he really was; such was the case with American history, and this skewing of a historical recollection may be the case with Judas Iscariot.

Bullet points and blocks of copy in bold have been extracted from Got Questions Ministries. I have done this to make their information distinct from my own thoughts and comments.

©Copyright 2002-2018 Got Questions Ministries.

www.GotQuestions.org

Posted in character study, deception, Dispelling myths, false teaching, forgive, God's character, Gospel of John, grace, Hearing God, Hope, Jerusalem, Jesus, Jews, Judas Iscariot, judgment, Mercy, overtaken, strongholds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You have filled the streets with the dead. Micah 3:1-7


Just last week California had two major fires burning at the same time, and in the case of the “Camp” fire, they lost the entire town of paradise, and I believe Megalia. If they are alive, then they have something to be thankful for, but not much else.

Today 11/22/2018 is Thanksgiving day in America, and I have much tobe thankful for. But, I wonder how much worse it is going to get before that day when Jesus comes back for His church. I know many of you don’t understand that or care about it, but someday you will.

One of the primary tenets of a follower of Christ is hope. Hope works by faith and this hope is embedded in the fact that Jesus, a believable witness, told us that there is a life with the Father and that He would come back for His church. Moments after Jesus returns for His church the wrath of God will begin to be poured out upon the earth. This wrath will be happening at the same time as man’s wrath and greed, which are expressed in death and destruction as well.

You should understand something; we were not promised an escape from things like what we see in Micah. In John’s gospel chapter 16:33 we are told, in the world you have tribulation. We do ourselves and others a huge disservice when we call the time of God’s wrath the tribulation. Oh, no doubt, it will be a time of great distress, but it is all God’s wrath, and nothing to be compared with what we deal with on a daily basis. However, 1Thessalonians 1:10 and 1Thessalonians 5:9 tell us that we have been rescued from, nor are we destined for God’s wrath.

Micah 3:1 ERV  Then I said, “Listen, leaders of Jacob and officers of the nation of Israel! You should know what justice is.

Immediately we know who God/Micah is addressing.

  • The heads of Jacob
  • The rulers of the house of Israel

What is the assertion? You, of all people, should know what justice is!

Justice is the Hebrew word mišpāṭ: A masculine noun meaning a judgment, a legal decision, a legal case, a claim, proper, rectitude. The word connotes several variations in meanings depending on the context. It is used to describe a legal decision or judgment rendered: it describes a legal decision given by God to be followed by the peopleWord Study Dictionary

You have to assume from Micah’s words, that Jewish leadership knows what they did wrong. Isaiah denounced the house of Jacob on a previous occasion.

Isaiah 58:1 MKJV  Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like aram’s horn, and show My people their rebellion, and the house of Jacob their sins.

However, the context for Isaiah 58:1 comes from Isaiah 57 verses 20, 21.

Isaiah 57:20-21 MKJV  But the wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt.  (21) There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked.

Here Israel, the northern and southern kingdoms are told they are wicked.

Malachi 2:17 AMPC  You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say, In what way have we wearied Him? [You do it when by your actions] you say, Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them. Or [by asking], Where is the God of justice?

Pay attention to the words of Malachi, but note the italicized words. Those words were added for clarity, and yet we have many in the Congress and the Senate of the United States still telling us that the brutal killing of unborn babies is appropriate, while conveniently putting someone in prison for life because they killed the mother of an unborn child. Which is it, we can’t have it both ways? Civility alone shouts out that you should not openly call for the assassination of the president, and yet these public officials do just that. I am intentionally vague here, but there is no doubt that we too are living in this wickedness now, especially is we, by our actions, say“Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord and He delights in them.” This will come to a violent end for those who choose to live in such perversion.

The one last passage before I move on. While it is clear that God is going to remove all the beneficial aspects, pay attention to verse 5 where it says, “the youth will storm against the elder and the inferior against the honorable.” Here in America, we have this stupidity called Antifa. These “youth” and they are not all youth; some are simply the down and out that want to make some fast money, are blockading roads and attacking people for reasons that change in accordance with the most recent sign one of them is carrying.

Isaiah3:1-5 NASB For behold, the Lord GOD of hosts is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah Both supply and support, the whole supply of bread And the whole supply of water; (2) The mighty man and the warrior, The judge and the prophet, The diviner and the elder, (3)The captain of fifty and the honorable man, The counselor and the expert artisan, And the skillful enchanter. (4) AndI will make mere lads their princes, And capricious children will rule over them, (5) And the people will be oppressed, Each one by another, and each one by his neighbor; The youth will storm against the elder And the inferior against the honorable.

Micah 3:2 now paints an even more gruesome picture.

Micah 3:2 NET.

yet you hate what is good,

and love what is evil.

You flay my people’s skin

and rip the flesh from their bones.

Isaiah3:14-15 MKJV  Jehovah will enter into judgment with the elders of His people, and their kings; for you have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.  (15)  What do you mean? You crush My people and grind the faces of the poor? says the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts.

Ezekiel11:6-7 MKJV  You have multiplied your dead in this city, and you have filled its streets with the dead.  (7) Therefore so says the Lord Jehovah: Your slain whom you have laid in her midst, they are the flesh, and this city is the pot. But I will bring you out of her midst.

Joseph Benson’s commentary claims that Micah 3:2 is “an allusion to lions bears, or wolves, which devour the flesh, and break the bones of the defenseless lambs.

“Your slain whom you have laid in her midst, they are the flesh, and this city is the pot.”

Micah 3:3 NET.

You devour my people’s flesh,

strip off their skin,

and crush their bones.

You chop them up like flesh in a pot —

like meat in a kettle.

“All these words (we see in Micah 3:3) are metaphorical expressions, to signify the oppression of the people by their heads, or great men; and, how they, by one means or another, deprive them of their substance and divide it among themselves.” “So, even though it is written for the purpose of expressive style, the overall impact is still the same, as it is a horrendous depiction of how they treat people; God’s people.”

I wanted to think these words were entirely symbolic, but what did Saul, the Pharisee do? He pursued the Jewish converts, reasoning that he was doing the Lord’s work. He had people locked up in prisons; and, he held the cloaks of those stoning Stephen, which made him an accomplice to their crime of murder.

Acts 22:3-4 KJV  I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.  (4) And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

When Pilate wished to free Jesus Christ because He had done nothing contrary to Roman law, it was the Jewish council that persisted until the Romans carried out their wishes. Because of their hatred and tenaciousness Jesus had the skin flayed from His back, ribs, and legs. It was the Jewish high priest that put the perfect lamb on that cross that day.

Micah3:4 MSG The time’s coming, though, when these same leaders will cry out for help to GOD, but he won’t listen. He’ll turn his face the other way because of their history of evil.

The NASB says it like this:

“Then they will cry out to the LORD, But He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time Because they have practiced evil deeds.”

This usage of the phrase, “they will cry out,” leaves you hanging as you try to figure out, once again, to whom he is speaking. This is a good reason to have other translations, and, as you can see Eugene Peterson sorted it out and declared that “these leaders will cry out for help to God, but He won’t listen.”

“Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time Because they have practiced evil deeds.”

We make the assumption that all of Israel has practiced evil deeds, when that may not be true. When Elijah cried out that he was the only one left, the Lord told him, no, I have reserved other. So the idea that they have all practiced evil is not right. Is it possible then that Jewish leadership has bullied most of Israel into a false belief and misunderstanding of God? Absolutely.

“Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray.”

Obviously, this happens; it is happening today, all around us.

Micah 3:5-7 NASB Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who lead my people astray; When they have something to bite with their teeth, They cry, “Peace, “But against him who puts nothing in their mouths They declare holy war. (6) Therefore it will be night for you–without vision, And darkness for you–without divination. The sun will go down on the prophets, And the day will become dark over them. (7) The seers will be ashamed And the diviners will be embarrassed. Indeed, they will all cover their mouths Because there is no answer from God.

“When they have something to bite with their teeth, They cry, “Peace,” But against him who puts nothing in their mouths They declare holy war.”

One might read this and interpret it as people who are no longer starving. How easy it is for them to cry peace. I am not sure this makes sense, but these same people are declaring a holy war against the one who did not put food in their mouths.

The Amplified translation adds some clarity as it refers to the false prophets and leaders.

“Thus says the Lord: Concerning the false prophets who make My people err, when they have anything good to bite with their teeth they cry, Peace; and whoever gives them nothing to chew, against him they declare a sanctified war.”

This entire scenario has a soap opera feel to it, as these characters are willing to chew up those who do not take care of them in some lucrative manner.

Perhaps I can understand this idea of biting with their teeth from Ezekiel’s words.

Ezekiel13:19 NASB “For handfuls of barley and fragments of bread, you have profaned Me to My people to put to death some who should not die and to keep others alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies.”

Breton’s is a translation that I do not refer too often, but in this case, it gives clarity.

Ezekiel13:19 Brenton  And they have dishonored me before my people for a handful of barley, and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls which should not die, and to save alive the souls which should not live, while ye speak to a people hearing vain speeches.

The “they” in this sentence is Jewish leadership. The essence of the passage wreaks of graft and collusion. In this verse they are doing it for barley and bread; in a sense, food in their mouths while most are struggling to survive. Keep in mind that the Northern Kingdom, Israel, and the Southern Kingdom, Judah, had been under attack for some time; first at the hand of the Assyrian and then the Babylonian kingdoms.

Therefore it will be night for you–without vision, And darkness for you–without divination. The sun will go down on the prophets, And the day will become dark over them.” Micah 3:6

Albert Barnes commentary

“In the presence of God’s extreme judgments, even deceivers are at length still; silenced at last by the common misery, if not by awe. The false prophets had promised peace, light, brightness, prosperity;” and yet, what befell them all, trouble, anguish, darkness, and fear.”

This idea of the day being dark over them, may not lend itself entirely to things like uncertainty, perplexity, and big troubles. The prophet Joel adds to our understanding.

Joel 2:1-2 NASB Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD, is coming; Surely it is near, (2) A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations.

Certainly much of this prophecy is metaphorical; however, even though much has been fulfilled, it will again see fulfillment at some point. For the day of the Lord is coming!

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My people behave like an enemy. Micah 2:8-12.


Once again, I find myself struggling to keep a clear picture of who is being addressed.

As you can witness, in Micah 2:6, we have Micah speaking against those who want him to shut his mouth, as they say, “Enough of your preaching!

Micah 2:6-7 CEV “Enough of your preaching!” That’s what you tell me.”We won’t be disgraced, so stop preaching!”  (7) Descendants of Jacob, is it right for you to claim that the LORD did what he did because he was angry? Doesn’t he always bless those who do right?

Israel asserts “We won’t be disgraced.” To call the voices speaking against Micah, Israel is a broad assumption but a fairly logical one. Why?

  • Based upon Micah 2:1,2 we know that the word Micah speaks applies to both sides of the divided kingdom – Israel and Judah; he is talking to those who have the power to rob and defraud the people of their land and therefore their inheritance. And, God is never speaking this way to everyone, although, such as in the case of humankind, all suffered the effects of Adam’s treasonous act – something we like to call sin – something that is so much easier to understand if you consider the “sin” a genetic modification that impacted ALL peoples since that day.

(Seeing as the Assyrians and Babylonians will soon take everyone captive or kill them, inheritance is somewhat of a moot point; unless there is that one person that remembers that God promised His people the land of Canaan. As long as someone is keeping records in their head there is the probability that land could be reclaimed if that opportunity ever arose again; and apparently, it did. Looking to a time well over 2700 years later this becomes important again, as the words of Micah 2: 4,5 indicate that there will be no left that could reestablish inheritance claims.)

  • Israel, for the longest time, was ruled by judges. Samson and Gideon are two that come quickly to mind. But Israel cried out; we want a king like the nations around us have, and so their first king was Saul. How quickly that went sour on them, and God warned them that it would. By the time Micah is speaking out against what is going on it feels more like some twisted struggle between the monarchical, aristocratic, and an oligarchical system. How is that possible? Well, consider that in Jesus day, although the Romans seemed to have the final say, who did Pontius Pilate turn to for the last word on the fate of Jesus? The Jewish council, which itself was a blend of oligarchical and aristocracy leadership.
    The kings, for the most part followed God in name only, and the relatively, wealthy Jewish council were the voices that spoke for the people, whether they wanted them to or not.

SoMicah is, for the most part talking to the ruling bodies.

Micah then retorts – “this is what you are saying, Does GOD lose his temper? Is this the way he acts? Isn’t he on the side of good people?”(MSG)

On a personal note, I was told by a particular pastor not to give words to the body of Christ any longer because several people expressed to the pastor that they thought I made God sound angry. Why do we believe God would not get annoyed, particularly if we are operating contrary to the will of God?

In contrast to the kind, pleasant, and somewhat encouraging words of verse 7, where it says, “doesn’t he always bless those who do right?” there is verse eight through eleven to bring us back to reality.

Micah 2:8 – 11 NET.“ but you rise up as an enemy against my people. You steal a robe from a friend, from those who pass by peacefully as if returning from a war. 9) You wrongly evict widows among my people from their cherished homes. You defraud their children of their prized inheritance. 10) But you are the ones who will be forced to leave! For this land is not secure! Sin will thoroughly destroy it! 11) If a lying windbag should come and say, ‘I’ll promise you blessings of wine and beer,’ he would be just the right preacher for these people!”

The Complete Jewish Bible opens with this: But lately my people behave like an enemy,” “ against my people.”(NET)

If God can generalize, using a sentence such as, ” rising up as an enemy against my people,” while saying “you are the ones who will be forced to leave,” about whom is He talking? Ruling bodies, which, for the most part, is the Jewish priestly council.

To refresh our memories –

Micah 2:1-2 MSG Doom to those who plot evil, who go to bed dreaming up crimes! As soon as it’s morning, they’re off, full of energy, doing what they’ve planned. (2) They covet fields and grab them, find homes and take them. They bully the neighbor and his family, see people only for what they can get out of them.

Since God called Israel Babylon at one point, and Babylon is not a clearly defined entity, is it possible that He is speaking about the ruling class and those who think they have a right to oppress merely because of money? Absolutely, and we see this despicable activity throughout history.

Isn’t it the people with money who own the land from which the widows are being evicted? And that is the lead into verse 9.

Micah 2:9 NIV  You drive the women of my people from their pleasant homes. You take away my blessing from their children forever.

Naomi is a good example of verse 9. When we meet Naomi, her husband is dead, and now her sons have died as well. [You can find much of this information in the first chapter of the book of Ruth] Naomi knowing she is the inheritor of land in Israel decides she will go back there. She tells the two daughters-in-law to go back home to their families, butRuth stays with her. Even in Israel, repossessing her land does not mean she will eat or pay any taxes owed, and so Ruth sets out to glean from a field so that they can survive.

In response to Israel’s claim that no harm will come to them, God says,

Micah 2:10 NIV  Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy.

Daniel had spent most of his adult life in Babylonian captivity (Daniel 1:2-4). Sitting quietly one day, reading the scroll of Jeremiah the prophet, he understood “that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.” That time, which was almost over, was the result of Israel disregarding the Sabbath years.

When I point these things out to people, many immediately come back at me with, I have never seen that in scripture. I have, but I don’t have it memorized and had to look it up.

2 Chronicles 36:20-21 KJV  And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:  (21)  To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years.

The command was to let the earth rest every seven years. Obviously, Israel did not do that. This idea of the seven-year sabbatical time plays a role in the time of God’s wrath, as at the end of that time there is a restoration of all things. You see, nothing in God’s scheme of things happens by coincidence, nor outside of God’s timing.

Micah 2:11 NIV  If a liar and deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’ that would be just the prophet for this people!

The NIV is a somewhat loose translation, but it conveys what Hebrew is saying through the mouth of Micah. Let me show you another translation that demands an explanation.

Micah 2:11 KJV  If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

Walking in the spirit — The Hebrew for walking is haw-lak’ and means to walk continually and be conversant. The Hebrew for spirit is rûachand means wind, but it also means breath or spirit. The Hebrew word rûach is the counterpart to the Greek word pneuma meaning a current of air, breath, or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit.

Is Micah, in verse 11, defining a “prophet” that is walking in Spirit of God? Not a chance. This analogy of a false prophet is precisely what they have all been calling for, plenty of beer and wine for all; nothing will happen but good!

Micah 2:12 MKJV  I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like the sheep of Bozrah, like the flock in the midst of their fold. They shall be in commotion because of men.

I frequently forget that the limitations within my mind do not limit God. This statement, by the mouth of Micah, is just another word picture that shows Israel diminished in number to where the imagery of a shepherd, tending to a manageable number of sheep immediately comes to mind.

Just for the fun of it, I looked up the population of Israel. It is 8,907,000. A loss of 2/3 reduces the population to just over 3 million.

Seeing as we see God gathering the remnant the Message translation makes sense.

Micah2:13 MSG Then I, GOD, will burst all confinements and lead them out into the open. They’ll follow their King. I will be out in front leading them.”

Bycomparison

Micah2:13 AMP The Breaker [the Messiah] will go up before them. They will break through, pass in through the gate and go out through it, and their King will pass on before them, the Lord at their head.

Seeing as the Jewish mind has been trained to refuse flamboyant words, the prophecies that are respected and valued are those that fall into repeated patterns and are verifiable by scripture. Micah 2:13 is just such a prophecy, an example, can be found in the words of prophets like Amos.

Amos9:11 AMP In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David, the fallen hut or booth, and close up its breaches; and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old,

Yeshua/Jesus Christ the Messiah will come as the conquering King that Israel has longed for; it just won’t happen in Israel’s timing, and that is proven out by the fact that Israel will take a horrendous beating. If you are not aware, Israel has been sustaining a large volume of missiles being shot at them from Gaza.

A friend of mine asked me, do I think that Israel is experiencing that time called Jacob’s troubles. Initially, I responded with, it seems like it, doesn’t it, but an intense look at the passages surrounding the verse where Jacob’s trouble is referenced indicates that this time is specific to the midpoint of the seven-year period.

Jeremiah 30:7 KJV  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

While the troubles Israel, all of Christianity, and the innocent bystanders of the world are experiencing can easily be classified as trials. Jesus told us that tribulations would be a part of our lifestyle, this is especially true for those who, like me, live on the front lines of this battle called life.

John 16:33 MKJV  I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.

Posted in Assyrians, bible study, gentiles, invasion, Israel, Jacob, Jerusalem, Jesus, Jews, Judah, Mercy, Micah, Millennium, overtaken, restore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You won’t have anyone left! Micah 2:5-7


Micah 2:5 NIrV  So you won’t even have anyone left in the LORD’s community who can divide up the land for you.

I must include the context that leads to this sad statement.

Micah 2:3-4 NIrV  So the LORD says to them, “I am planning to send trouble on you. You will not be able to save yourselves from it. You will not live so proudly anymore. It will be a time of trouble.  4)  At that time people will make fun of you. They will tease you by singing a song of sadness. They will pretend to be you and say, “We are totally destroyed. Our enemies have divided up our land. The LORD has taken it away from us! He has given our fields to those who turned against us.'”

It often helps of me to break things down in a childlike manner.

  • I am planning to send trouble on you.
    • You will not be able to save yourselves from it.
      • You will not live so proudly anymore.

        Search for similar verses that speak of pride and arrogance, and you will find that there are many; more than I want to bog you down with them all.

        • It will be a time of trouble.
          • At that time people will make fun of you. They will tease you by singing a song of sadness. They will pretend to be you and say, “We are totally destroyed.
            • Our enemies have divided up our land.
              • that breaks out and burns up something, whether people, things, or animals (Exo_22:6 [5]).
              • Both idols and the golden calf were burned up by fire (Exo_32:20; Deu_7:5, Deu_7:25; Deu_12:3).
              • In some cases, it was fire from the Lord which consumed sacrifices (Lev_9:24; 2Ch_7:1, 2Ch_7:3).
              • It was used to depict lightning in the plagues in Egypt (Exo_9:23-24.
            • The LORD has taken it away from us!
              • He has given our fields to those who turned against us.”

                Since we now understand how bad it will get, the realization sets in.

                Micah 2:5 NIrV  So you won’t even have anyone left in the LORD’s community who can divide up the land for you.

                Who are those who divide the land?

                I suppose you could say that real estate agents do. But then, even they have to submit to county records, and then there is the county assessors office who taxes you on what you own. Maybe the bottom line is that governments divide the land. When Israel came out of Egypt God spoke through Moses, and He divided the land, we now call Israel, among the twelve tribes. Since ownership among the tribes was done away with through captivity and foreign domination, it would seem that the government has taken over.

                The point is, this onslaught is so bad that there is no one left of God’s people that could redistribute the land.

                Have you ever endured harassment from “believers” about the things you understand and words you say?
                I have, and so did Micah. Hopefully, your words are in line with scripture and not so much about your opinion, otherwise, these zealots we have to deal with could be correct in their assessments of us.

                Micah 2:6 AMP) Do not preach, say the prophesying false prophets; one should not babble and harp on such things; disgrace will not overtake us [the reviling has no end].

                He just as easily could have said, this is what I hear: Do not preach; one should not babble and harp on such things; disgrace will not overtake us. Micah continues with, this reviling has no end.

                A “brother in Christ” and a pastor, both, at different times, pointed out that the admonition that we wait expectantly for the Lord was given well over 2000 years ago. They say Jesus is not coming back anytime soon. They both effectively told me that I should not babble and harp on such things; Jesus will not come anytime soon.

                The word translated as disgrace is the Hebrew word kelimmāh: It is a feminine noun referring to disgrace, shame, humiliation. It has the meaning of embarrassment.

                So, in majority, Israel, then and now, are saying they will not be overtaken by:

                • shame
                • humiliation
                • embarrassment
                • And of course, disgrace.

                One would think that the German death camps would have fulfilled all those terms, and they did. So we are really talking about some future event, aren’t we?

                Do you read any of the news coming out of Israel? They are not so different from any other modern nation, as they are barraged with scandal, not only in the government, but within the priesthood of Israel; and this is not accounting for the multiple, daily attacks on citizens, police, and the military.

                What is being conveyed by Micah’s words is far beyond the scope of the ordinary harassment that occurs daily. Two-thirds of Israel will be killed, buildings and homes will be turned into rubble, and there will be no one left to live in them – much like Damascus.

                First, I want you to see Micah 2:7 in the King James Version, as it is archaic and hard to decipher at times.

                Micah 2:7 KJV  O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?

                The Modern KJV reads like this: “House of Jacob, it is said, The Spirit of Jehovah is limited if these are His doings. Do not My words do good to him who walks uprightly?”

                Clearer, but I still don’t get it. Well, what is the prophet trying to say?

                • First, Micah is addressing God’s people. However, I also have to take into consideration the fact that Micah is speaking under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and therefore this is God talking. Whoever the speaker is, he is addressing the House of Jacob – Since all Israel has descended from Jacob, then the speaker is talking about Israel/God’s people. Keep in mind that the nation has split into two kingdoms; Israel in the North, and Judah in the South.
                • What do the people say? it is said, The Spirit of Jehovah is limited if these are His doings.” What are his doings? As stated in Micah 2:3,4 I am planning to send trouble on you. You will not be able to save yourselves from it. You will not live so proudly anymore. It will be a time of trouble.  4)  At that time people will make fun of you. They will tease you by singing a song of sadness. They will pretend to be you and say, “We are totally destroyed. Our enemies have divided up our land. The LORD has taken it away from us! He has given our fields to those who turned against us.'”

                Perhaps another translation may help us.

                Micah 2:7 CEV  Descendants of Jacob, is it right for you to claim that the LORD did what he did because he was angry? Doesn’t he always bless those who do right?

                Do you really think that God cannot be angry? He warned Israel repeatedly that they should turn from their evil ways, but they did not, nor would they turn back to God. Do we think that these great countries we live in will be excluded from God’s wrath? Haven’t we too turned our backs on God?

                God has always been relatively straightforward, spelling out the good and the bad and then giving the hearer a choice. Note what Micah/God says, “Do not My words do good to him who walks uprightly?” And they will; God’s word will do good to those who follow it.

                Posted in bible study, guilt, hypocrisy, invasion, Israel, Jacob, Judah, Micah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

                They covet … houses, and take them away. A look at Micah 2:1-4


                These studies on Micah started as personal readings as I had no understanding of Micah and who he was talking to. Having been accosted by a pastor who told me to stay away from Eschatology, I was thrilled to see that Micah spoke with precision about such things. Another aspect of Micah that has troubled me for years was the division of the Northern and Southern Jewish kingdoms, Israel in the north, and Judah in the South. I feel strongly that I have a clear picture of much of that.

                The men I sit with several days a week, are always asking me what I am studying, that prompted me to turn my own questions and thoughts into something that might help someone else understand. I realize that much of scripture is self-evident, however, if you grew up in church, as I did, then you have a lot of tales, traditions, and false teachings to undo. Undoing these things takes some dedication on your part, and that lack of commitment to God’s word becomes evident as the people around you will fight with you to maintain those tales and traditions.

                Here it is November 9, 2018, and this morning we learned that a beautiful, peaceful, retirement community of Paradise, Ca. has pretty much burned to the ground. The lady who put up the video and showed you the destruction as they drove out of town to safety, continually said, “Oh my God!” You see, the majority of us have just enough experience with a self-serving and convenient religion that we can fight back with religious terminology. We are not fooling anyone, for we have chosen to do what Israel not only did but still does, they turned their back on God. They will, however, just like the person on the street, fight to protect what they think is right.

                If I had one purpose it would be to get people interested and excited about reading the Word of God. I find it a fascinating journey, and I know the end of the story. 

                Enough of this, on with the study. 

                Micah 2:1 MKJV  Woe to those who plot wickedness and prepare evil on their beds! When the morning is light they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand.

                • Woe to those who plot wickedness.
                  • and prepare evil on their beds!”
                    • because they have the power to do what they want.”

                      Micah 2:2 MKJV  And they covet and seize fields, and houses, and take them away. And they oppress a man and his household, even a man and his inheritance.

                      • they covet and seize fields, and houses, and take them away.”
                         In a previous post on Micah, I made a point of talking about the things that would have motivated the prophet (you know, life.) For example: suppose God brings some Hells Angel motorcycle rider to Christ. That man would undoubtedly have a rough exterior until God is through refining the man (by the way, God won’t be done perfecting us until we are changed just before entering heaven.) Micah had to deal with people like, King Ahab, who wanted the field of Naboth; a field which was profitable and happened to be next to the castle. Ordinary ploys at bartering did nothing to change the mind of Naboth, and so, Ahab’s wife, who had the power in her hands to take it, had Naboth killed. There is no reason to think that Micah would not have found out about this, especially since Jezebel’s actions brought a relatively swift judgment against her, and she was thrown out of an upper window, where she splattered and was eaten by dogs, leaving nothing to bury. This kind of action is high drama.
                      • And they oppress a man and his household, even a man and his inheritance.” By power wrest the estates out of the hands of the owners. This kind of action is precisely what I was trying to portray when I brought up Naboth.

                      Seized property. The acquisition of property by oppressing the poor and weak violates both the law against coveting as well as the injunction not to violate the covenantal division of the land to each Israelite household after the conquest. Despite these laws, the mounting debt of small landowners and the political power exercised by large landowners led to abuses, which are mentioned in Egyptian wisdom literature (Instruction of Amenemope).[From the IVPBBC]

                      Isaiah 5:8 MKJV Woe to those who join house to house, laying field to field, until the end of space, and you are made to dwell alone in the middle of the land!

                      Oppressive real estate development. Expansion of real estate holdings in the ancient world was usually at someone else’s expense. The story of Ruth is such a tale. Even though the Jews had laws which demanded that another Jew’s property was to be returned after seven years, the Jewish investors looked for ways to get around these laws. In Israel, this was a theological as well as an economic crisis. Since God had given them the land as a benefit of the covenant, each family considered its landholdings as its little share in the covenant. Therefore, what otherwise would be a financial tragedy (often with an oppressive dimension) also served to deprive family members of their part in the covenant.

                      Here in America we had, several years ago, some lousy banking practices where they made sub-prime loans. These loans were made to people who would not be able to make their payments, and a deluge of people lost their homes to foreclosure.

                      Micah 2:3 MKJV So Jehovah says this: Behold, against this family I am plotting an evil from which you shall not remove your necks; nor shall you go proudly, but it is an evil time.

                      • against this family.”
                      • I am plotting an evil from which you shall not remove your necks; ”
                      • nor shall you go proudly, but it is an evil time.”

                      Judges 2:15 MKJV Wherever they went out, the hand of Jehovah was against them for evil, as Jehovah had said, and as Jehovah had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.

                      Jeremiah 8:3 MKJV And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the rest of those who remain of this evil family, who remain in all the places where I have driven them, says Jehovah of Hosts.

                      Amos 3:1 MKJV Hear this Word that Jehovah has spoken against you, sons of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,

                      Micah 2:4 MKJV In that day one shall take up a parable against you and mourn a mourning of mournings, saying, We shall be completely laid waste. He has exchanged the share of my people. How He has removed it from me! To the apostate He has divided our fields.

                      • In that day.”
                        • We shall be completely laid waste.”

                          Micah 2:4 ISV When this happens, someone will compose a proverb about you, lamenting sorrowfully, ‘We are completely ruined! He has given my people’s heritage to others. How he has removed it from me, dividing up our fields!’

                          God restored Israel to their land; this restoration began to happen 1917 with the Balfour agreements. But Israel became an acknowledged nation in 1948. And yet, here again, Israel will be completely laid waste. To those who do not read the Bible, with the purpose of understanding, this makes no sense, and neither does God. We are told things like God is love, and because of love, God gave His only Son to die so that the world, through Him, could be saved.

                          Why then does He not just save these people He calls his own?

                          Note how I said, through Him, we could be saved. It is an open-ended invitation, and all one has to do is to walk through the door. Soon that door, which is now open, will be closed; and thus will end the age of Grace. Is the opportunity to find or come to Him still available? Indeed, but after the catching away of the church, you will have to prove your allegiance through your actions and testimony. In the face of some entity, like ISIS, you will probably lose your head. Here in America, where loving God is on the verge of becoming a criminal act, you will probably be arrested and thrown into one the FEMA camps that are already set up across this nation. There is a good chance you will die by guillotine. I failed to mention that during the seven years following the catching away of the church, the violence and animosity towards mere people will skyrocket. And none of this accounts for the destruction God will send upon the earth.

                          How do I know this stuff? I have read my Bible and subjected myself to lousy Bible studies, that were so bad that I had to go home and study out what scripture had to say myself. My guess is you figured out that I am no Einstein; I am just a regular guy that has learned to rely heavily on God’s grace and mercy.

                          Posted in Assyrians, bible study, gentiles, Israel, Jerusalem, Jews, Micah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

                          A look at Micah. Chapter 1: 6-16. The end of chapter 1.


                          May I be honest? There are some portions of the Bible that I find tedious, like the book of Numbers and these next few verses. Let’s see if I can invest a bit of life into them.

                          Micah 1:6 MKJV And I will make Samaria into ruins of the field, planting places for a vineyard; and I will pour down her stones into the valley, and I will uncover her foundations.

                          This verse reminds me of another scenario in scripture, where it spells out the destruction of Damascus. Isaiah 17:1 tells us that Damascus will cease to be a city.

                          Look at this picture of Damascus; If it is not yet uninhabitable, it will be soon.


                          A Drone picture of Damascus that shows the destruction going on there; “no copyright infringement is intended.”

                          The IVPBBC gives us this piece of information. “The Syro-Ephraimitic War which raged during the middle 730s ended with the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III invading Syria and Israel and devastating both of these rebellious states (734-732). The Syrian kingdom ruled from Damascus by Rezin (see Isa_7:1-9), had been Israel’s principal political and economic rival. He had meddled in Israel and Judah’s internal affairs and had encroached on their territories for over a decade. It seems apparent, however, that Rezin overstepped his bounds in leading an anti-Assyrian coalition. Assyria did not welcome a rival “Greater Syria,” and the destruction of Damascus in 732, as recorded in the Assyrian Annals, was massive, leaving hundreds of sites looking “like hills over which the flood had swept.” This widespread destruction also included both the reduction of much of the city of Damascus to rubble as well as the redistribution of its territories in Syria as well as in Transjordan and the Galilee.”
                          [The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament; Copyright © 2000 by John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews, and Mark W. Chavalas]

                          Apparently, the destruction is happening once again.

                          Samaria.

                          From ESV maps showing the range of the Assyrian empire. Note where Samariah is located, directly above Judah.

                          Although I went into great detail about why there was such a hatred of Samaritans, I can’t just walk away from the region because the Holy Spirit seems to keep drawing that area into the equation.

                          Note: Samaria was taken by Shalmaneser (2Ki_17:6) B.C. 724; razed to the ground by Hyrcanus (Josephus, Ant. l. xiii. c. 18); restored by Herod, and called Sebastê; and is now a small village called Sebusta, its ancient site being converted into gardens.

                          So, we have learned that Samaria was taken all the way to the ground, and will, like Damascus, be destroyed again. One of the main problems I see with that area is that it sits in the Megiddo valley and Ezekiel 38,39 decree that the Megiddo valley will be filled with blood soon.

                          Micah 1:7 MKJV And all her graven images shall be beaten to pieces, and all her gifts shall be burned with the fire, and I will destroy all its idols. For she gathered it from the reward of a harlot, and they shall return to the reward of a harlot.

                          Let’s consider two aspects of this verse for a moment.

                          • And all her graven images shall be beaten to pieces, and all her gifts shall be burned with the fire.”
                            • and I will destroy all its idols. For she gathered it from the reward of a harlot, and they shall return to the reward of a harlot.”

                              And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, …By the Assyrian army, for the sake of the gold and silver of which they were, made, or with which they were adorned, as was usually done by conquerors to the gods of the nations they conquered; these were the calf of Samaria, and other idols; and not only those in the city of Samaria, but in all the other cities of Israel which fell into the hands of the Assyrian monarch;” see Isa_10:11; [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

                              Micah 1:8 MKJV Therefore I will wail and howl; I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like jackals, mourn like the daughters of an ostrich.

                              [I will wail and howl] The prophet took up wailing because of the invader and the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem (Mic_1:8-16). [Dake]

                              Dake’s commentary wants us to believe that this is Micah, speaking about his actions and reactions. I have to remind myself that Micah is speaking under the influence of the Holy Spirit (even if he didn’t know he was doing that,) on behalf of God. Micah is speaking God’s heart. Why would God strip himself naked and wail like a jackal? That idea doesn’t even seem reasonable. The bottom line here; I am not sure to whom I should assign these words. If it is Micah, he is indeed trying to make a point.

                              Micah 1:9 MKJV For her wounds are not curable; for it has come to Judah; it has reached to the gate of My people, to Jerusalem.

                              Interesting how the problem initiated with Samaria, in Israel, the Northern divided kingdom. Imagine that, God’s people divided against themselves. Does that happen today? Oh sure, it happens all the time and churches will split over divisions.

                              When we consider a wound, does it typically heal? Certainly. Now some things take longer than others, and, in war, a leg blown off does not grow back. Some spiders, on the other hand, leave you with necrosis, which, in some cases, will not heal.

                              [wound is incurable] This expresses the fact that nothing could prevent her utter ruin, inasmuch as the nation had utterly filled up her measure of iniquity. [Dake]

                              Micah 1:10 MKJV Do not declare it in Gath; weep not at all; in the house of Leaphrah roll in the dust.

                              “Do not declare it in Gath” is interesting, as Gath is where Micah hails from, and eventually, so does Goliath.

                              John Gill’s commentary points out that this phrase is borrowed from 2 Samuel.

                              2 Samuel 1:20 MKJV Tell it not in Gath, do not let it be known in the streets of Askelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

                              One commentator stated, “why would you tell the enemy about the crushing punishment that was to be dealt out to their enemies; they would only laugh.”

                              Micah 1:11-12 MKJV Pass over to them, O dweller of Shaphir, in nakedness of shame. The dweller of Zaanan has not gone out; the mourning of Beth-ezel shall take from you his standing. 12) For be grieved for good, the dweller of Maroth, for evil came down from Jehovah to the gate of Jerusalem.

                              Joseph Benton’s commentary communicates this: “Passye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir —Houbigant says that Eusebius places this city, the name of whichsignifies fair,or elegant, inthe tribe of Judah, between Eleutheropolis and Askelon. Some think,however, that Saphir is not a proper name, and that there was noplace so called in Judea; but that the clause ought to be rendered,Pass away, thou inhabitant of a delightfulplace, that is, Samaria, which was verypleasantly situated. The prophet herethreatens the inhabitants of that place that they should go intocaptivity, in a way very unsuitable to their former softness andluxury, even stripped by the conquering enemy, and without so much asa covering to hide their nakedness. Theinhabitant of Zaanan — A place in thetribe of Judah, called Zenan,Jos_15:37;came not forth in the mourning ofBeth-ezel — “There was no burial ofher dead with solemn mourning out of the precincts of her city, butshe was besieged and put to the sword.” — Newcome. Or, themeaning may be, the inhabitants of Zaanan were so much concerned toprovide for their own safety, that they took no notice of themournful condition of their near neighbour Beth-ezel, which seems tohave been a place near Jerusalem, termed Azal,Zec_14:5.Grotius, however, supposes Zaananto denote Zion,and Beth-ezelto signify Beth-el,called here by another name, importing thehouse of separation, because itwas the principal seat of idolatrous worship. Heshall receive of you his standing — The standing, or encamping ofan army against the city; that is, the enemy shall encamp among you,shall stand on your ground, so that you will have no opportunity ofcoming out to the help of your neighbours.For the inhabitant of Maroth —A town in Judea, (the same probably that is called Maarath,Jos_15:59,)waited, &c.— Or rather, as the words may be translated, Althoughthe inhabitant of Maroth waited for good, yet evil came, &c.,unto the gate of Jerusalem — Such acalamity as stopped not at Maroth, but reached even to Jerusalem. ByMaroth, whichsignifies bitterness,or trouble, Grotius understands Ramah,or, expressed as it often is in the plural, Ramoth,a place in the tribe of Benjamin, near Beth-lehem, and not far from Jerusalem.

                              Micah 1:13-15 MKJV O inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the stallion; she is the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion, for the sins of Israel were found in you. 14) Therefore you shall give parting gifts to Moresheth-gath; the houses of Achzib are for a lying thing to the kings of Israel. 15) Yet I will bring an heir to you, O dweller of Mareshah. The glory of Israel shall come to Adullam.

                              The following is from: JosephBenson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

                              O thou inhabitant of Lachish This was a strong fortress in the tribe of Judah: see Jos_15:39. Bind the chariot to the swift beast — In order to flee from the approaching enemy. Lachish was one of the first cities that Sennacherib besieged when he invaded Judea. She is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion — She was the first among the cities of Judah which practised those idolatries which the kings and people of Israel had begun. Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moresheth-gath — Or, to Moresheth of Gath; that is, to the Philistines of that country, either to defend thee against the enemy, or to receive thee under their protection. The houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel — The word Achzib signifies a lie. There was a town of that name in the tribe of Judah, mentioned Jos_15:44. This place, the prophet here foretells, will answer its name, and disappoint the kings of Israel that depended upon its strength and assistance: see 2Ch_21:3; and 2Ch_28:19. Israel is sometimes used for Judah, and so it may probably be taken here. Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah — This was another town belonging to Judah, mentioned Jos_15:44. The name signifies an inheritance; so here, by way of allusion, it is said, that a new heir or master should come and take possession of it, namely, a conquering enemy. He shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel — Or, The glory of Israel shall come to Adullam; the Assyrians, whom Israel once gloried in as their ally, shall come to Adullam. This was a town in Judah not far from Lachish: see Jos_15:35. Some think the meaning of this clause is, that the chief men of Israel should be forced to hide themselves from their enemies in the cave of Adullam, as David did when he fled from Saul, 1 Samuel 23.

                              Micah 1:16 MKJV Make yourself bald, and cut off your hair for the sons of your delight; make your baldness large like the eagle; for they go into exile from you.

                              By these phrases the prophet signifies, that the calamity would be so great as to deserve the strongest expressions of grief.”

                              [Make thee bald] Making the head bald in mourning was forbidden under the law (Deu_14:1), but since Judah had become like the heathen, she might as well mourn like them. Dake’s commentary

                              Cutting the hair, or shaving it close, were expressions of mourning and lamentation anciently used among most nations. Enlarge thy baldness as the eagle — When she molts her feathers; for they are gone into captivity, &c. — By these phrases the prophet signifies, that the calamity would be so great as to deserve the strongest expressions of grief. Joseph Benson

                              Posted in Assyrians, bible study, Dispelling myths, enemies, gentiles, invasion, Israel, Jacob, Jerusalem, Jews, Judah, Micah, overtaken, Peace, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

                              Micah 1:5 part two, What is the transgression of Jacob?


                              So let’s go back to Micah 1:5 for a moment.

                              Micah 1:5 NASB All this is for the rebellion of Jacob And for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the rebellion of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? What is the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?

                              The verse states, “All this is for the rebellion of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel.” As you can see the verse ends with a period, and then, inserts a question. Perhaps they should have ended with a comma and then said, “but,” what is the rebellion of Jacob, because I, nor you, know. I can now conclusively tell you how Samaria came to hold such disdain in the eyes of the Jews, but I cannot tell you what this rebellion was with any specificity. So let’s find out.

                              “What is the transgression of Jacob?”

                              The transgression of Jacob. (According to the UCRT cross reference all these references apply to Jacob’s transgression.) 2Ki_17:7-23, *2Ch_36:14-16, Isa_50:1-2; Isa_59:1-15, Jer_2:17; Jer_2:19; Jer_4:18; Jer_5:25; Jer_6:19, Lam_5:16, 1Th_2:15-16.

                              Without diving into scripture, there is the incident that all of us who have been around organized church for a long time are aware of; the short version of it goes like this. Issac is old, cannot see, and is dying., At his mother’s prodding Jacob deceives his brother Esau, and then his father. Because of this deception, Issac gives Jacob (the second born) the blessing that was due the first – sheep, land, and the promise of God’s best upon his life. Esau of course now wants to kill his brother Jacob, and so Jacob flees for life, at his mother’s direction, to the land where her brother Laban resides, and thus begins our tale.

                              Now this deception aspect alone might be the answer to what the transgression of Jacob might be, but strangely, you still the blessing of God (what a coincidence that Issac gave him that blessing,) upon his life – along with constant problems. So, I am uncomfortable pinning the transgression/rebellion to this incident alone.

                              When searching for a reference that explains the transgression of Jacob, this passage in Genesis 31:1-3 is one of the places you are taken.

                              Genesis 31:1-3 NASB Now Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what belonged to our father he has made all this wealth.” 2) Jacob saw the attitude of Laban, and behold, it was not friendly toward him as formerly. 3) Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

                              Note how Jacob heard Laban’s son say, Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s. They were, of course, referring to the goats that had distinct markings, an agreement that Laban made with Jacob, and broke several times by stealing the goats away from Jacob.

                              Genesis 30:31-35 NASB So he said, “What shall I give you?” And Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flock: 32) let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted sheep and every black one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. 33) “So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen.” 34) Laban said, “Good, let it be according to your word.” 35) So he removed on that day the striped and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, every one with white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the care of his sons.

                              Laban agreed and then had his sons take those same sheep out of the herd so he would not have to pay Jacob. At this point, I would say that all the transgression is on the part of Laban.

                              The sons of Laban may have also been referring to their sisters when they said “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s,” but that too was an agreement that their father had made and did not uphold. Still, Jacob had done nothing wrong to Laban.

                              As I go through references to Jacob, the first thing I find is the deception performed by Jacob and his mother, against Esau and Issac. But as I follow that trail, it seems that God had his hand in it all along, and blessed Jacob regardless.

                              There is, however, a drastic change when they meet Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite:

                              Genesis 34:2 MKJV  And when Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and humbled her.

                              Almost all of Genesis 34 is centered upon Dinah, this young man Shechem and his actions, and the primary focus, the deception and deadly violence committed by Jacob’s sons.

                              Who or what’s to say men are good; but didn’t this young man and his father seem to want to do the right thing. What you can’t ignore is that Shechem raped Dinah; at best he seduced her, but when you consider the Jewish idea that a young girl is marriageable at 12 years and a day, how could you expect her to have the skills to resist some smooth talking man?. Besides all that, Shechem, we learn loved Dinah and wanted to marry her; while that seems excellent look at the IVP commentary below. Still, it seems men died without cause at the hands of Jacob’s sons, while Jacob did and said nothing. Perhaps now we have what might be the transgression of Jacob.

                              The IVP Bible Background Commentary has this to say about rape.

                              Ravishing women. Rape as a means of obtaining a marriage contract was apparently one stratagem used in the ancient Near East. Laws regulating this practice are found in Exo_22:16-17, Deu_22:28-29, the Middle Assyrian Laws and the Hittite laws. These often require the rapist to pay an especially high bride price and sometimes forbid any possibility of divorce. Sumerian Law 7, like Genesis 34, deals with a case where a young, unbetrothed woman leaves her parents’ home without permission and is raped. The result is an option by the parents to marry her to the rapist without her consent.

                              On a side note: this phrase, “and he did and said nothing,” should have a familiar tone, for this was the way King David ran his own family.

                              Genesis 34:11-13 MKJV  And Shechem said to her father and to her brothers, Let me find grace in your eyes, and whatever you shall say to me I will give.  12)  Heap upon me ever so much price and dowry, and I will give according as you shall say to me. But give me the girl for a wife.  13)  And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father, speaking with deceit because he had defiled Dinah their sister.

                              Again, the conversation starts with Jacob but quickly turns to the sons, who are doing all the speaking on behalf of the family. Everything the son’s say is deceitful, with the purpose of making them pay for what Shechem did to Dinah.

                              Genesis 34:14-17 MKJV  And they said to them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised. For it is a reproach to us.  15)  But in this we will agree with you, if you will be as we are, that every male of you be circumcised,  16)  then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will live with you, and we will become one people.  17)  But if you will not listen to us, to be circumcised, then we will take our daughter, and we will go.

                              Jacob is sitting right there, listening to every word, and yet he says and does nothing. Maybe he thinks this is all reasonable; and maybe it is.

                              Genesis 34:18-24 MKJV  And their words pleased Hamor and Shechem, Hamor’s son.  19)  And the young man did not hesitate to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter. And he was more honorable than all the house of his father.  20)  And Hamor and Shechem his son came to the gate of their city, and talked with the men of their city, saying,  21)  These men are at peace with us. Therefore let them live in the land, and trade in it. For behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.  22)  Only on this condition will the men agree to us, to live with us, to be one people, if every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised.  23)  Shall not their cattle and their substance and every animal of theirs be ours? Only let us agree with them, and they will live with us.  24)  And all that went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and to Shechem his son. And every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.

                              The assumption, on the part of the Hivites, was that these people and their “wealth” would be joined to their community, making it stronger. The sons of Jacob had no intention of doing that and therefore waited until the third day after this barbaric surgery so that they could kill them all.

                              Genesis 34:27-29 MKJV  The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister.  28)  They took their sheep and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city and that which was in the field.  29)  And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives, they took captive, and plundered even all that was in the house.

                              What was it that Laban’s sons accused Jacob of taking, all that belonged to their father; and now Jacob’s sons have done just that to the Hivites. Jacob, who has said nothing, now has something to say.

                              Genesis 34:30 MKJV  And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, You have troubled me, to make me stink among those who live in the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. And I, being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and kill me. And I shall be destroyed, my house and I.

                              Now the story goes on, but is it possible that this incident is one of the primary roots of Jacob’s transgression?

                              2 Kings 17:7 MKJV  And it happened because the sons of Israel had sinned against Jehovah their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,

                              Note what 2Kings 17:7 says, “ And it happened because the sons of Israel had sinned against Jehovah their God.” While the reference has little to do with Shechem and the Hivites, these are the tribal names that evolved from the same sons that we just witnessed, deceiving the Hivites, slaughtering all the males, taking all the females captive, and looting all that they possessed. Is it possible, that as representatives of God on this earth, that they just misrepresented God? Why can I ask that question, because I have learned that God is, above all else, filled with mercy and justice.

                              If you know the story of Jonah, then you know that narrative ends with Jonah having a pity party because God showed the Ninevehites mercy and temporarily spared them. I can think of one other misrepresentation, and that was performed by Moses when he, against God’s direction, struck the rock instead of speaking to it. Oh sure, water flowed, but what I see is Moses misrepresenting God. The people, most likely see God as an angry, vengeful God instead of one who operates out of mercy.

                              What is a predominant belief that most of us have?

                              That God is a vindictive God with one purpose, send as many people to hell as possible. I have come to understand this twisted theme from the mouths of church elders who lead studies at the churches I have attended over the years.

                              There is one last predominant thing that stands out against Jacob, although it is preceded by God’s blessing once again as God changes Jacob’s name to Israel.

                              Genesis 35:6-16 MKJV  And Jacob came to Luz in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people with him.  7)  And he built an altar there and called the place El-bethel, because God appeared to him there when he fled from the face of his brother.  8)  But Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried beneath Bethel, under an oak. And the name of it was called Oak of Weeping.  9)  And God appeared to Jacob again when he came out of Padan-aram and blessed him.  10)  And God said to him, Your name is Jacob. Your name shall not be called Jacob any more, but Israel shall be your name. And He called his name Israel.  11)  And God said to him, I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall be from you, and kings shall come out of your loins.  12)  And the land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give to you, and to your seed after you I will give the land.  13)  And God went up from him in the place where He talked with him.  14)  And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone. And he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it.  15)  And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.  16)  And they moved from Bethel. And there was only a length of land to come to Ephrath. And Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor in her bearing.

                              This is where things get even tougher for Jacob, as Rachel dies giving birth to Benjamin, and Reuben has sex with one of Jacob’s concubine.

                              Rachel’s tomb around 1930’s

                              Genesis 35:22 MKJV  And it happened when Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine. And Israel heard it. And the sons of Jacob were twelve:

                              You follow the story out to the end of Genesis 35 and what do see happening to Reuben? Nothing. The next time we hear of Reuben is in Genesis 37:21 where he is trying to save Joseph’s life. While his words may have diverted the brothers from killing Joseph, Joseph was still sold into slavery. Reuben says something interesting here which tells us that many things happen in the background and we are not aware.

                              Genesis 37:29-30 MKJV  And Reuben returned to the pit. And behold! Joseph was not in the pit! And he tore his clothes.  30)  And he returned to his brothers and said, The child, he is not. And I, where shall I go?

                              Much time has passed. Joseph has become second in command in Egypt, and the brothers have convinced Jacob/Israel that they need to go and get some grain from Egypt or they will die. Things go badly for the brothers because Joseph recognizes them and wants them to squirm a little.

                              Genesis 42:22 MKJV  And Reuben answered them, saying, Did I not speak to you saying, Do not sin against the youth? And you would not hear. Therefore, behold, also his blood is required.

                              After all these years, Joseph is a middle-aged man with a family, since Reuben’s indiscretion with his father’s concubine, and finally, we hear some disdain against him.

                              Genesis 49:3-4 MKJV  Reuben, you are my first-born, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.  4)  Unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it. He went up to my couch.

                              Jacob/Israel called his sons to him and spelled out prophetically, how their lives would go as a nation. Jacob had no idea it would include 400+ years of slavery in Egypt, but that was yet to come. Jacob died and was buried with Rachel in Samaria.

                              Now that is the summary of Jacob’s fraudulence, the transgressions done to him, and his lack of action about his sons’ bloody violence. Can I pin any one thing on Jacob and say this is what got him in trouble? Not really, but if you noticed, God seems to portray a consistent family line and ownership of problems through that line. Rebecca, taught Jacob; and Jacob taught his sons; and when they got out of line, we see nothing done to them.

                              Posted in bible study, deception, enemies, Genesis, hypocrisy, Israel, Jacob, Mercy, Micah, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment