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The Hebrew and Jewish Kingdoms

Query for the Month

of

January 2020

Next up-date: February 1st 2020 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
 

In the meantime, try this site.   

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.  All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.   


Query:

When and why did the Hebrew and Jewish kingdoms come to an end? 

      And what is the “time of the Gentiles”?

 

 

Response:

The first thing to recognise is that an earthly “kingdom” with one man or woman on the top is a perversion of the truth of heaven.  In the real universe God is on the bottom holding us up!  (Acts 17:28; Hebrews 1:3; Revelation 17:14; Psalm 37:23-24.)  The false concept came to earth through Satan’s and Nimrod’s view of it, and then when His people demanded a copy of the nations’ systems, the Son of God gave them, on loan as it were, a taste of what it could be, for the position of King is really His. 

For our purpose we can start near the end of the period of kings which was about 500 years long, with good king Josiah who died in 608BC.  In the line of succession there were good and bad examples and he was one of the best.

Josiah

2 Kings 23:

28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah [639-608BC], and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah?

29 In his days Pharaoh Nechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria [they were the two major powers in the world] to the river Euphrates [past Israel]: and king Josiah went against him [Josiah was interfering in politics - see

2 Chronicles 35:20-27]; and he [Necho] slew him [Josiah] at Megiddo, when he had seen him. 30 And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre.      [31 years]

Meanwhile, Necho continued on to the battle with the Assyrians.

Jehoahaz

30b And the people of the land took Jehoahaz [“Yahweh has grasped my hand”] the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's stead. 

31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign [in 608BC]; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem [before Necho came back and deposed him because he was anti-Egyptian].  And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.                                                                        [3 mths]

32 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done. 33 And Pharaoh Nechoh put him in bands [in jail] at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a [yearly] tribute of a hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold.

Jehoiakim

34 And Pharaoh Nechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king [Jehoahaz’s half-brother] in the room of Josiah his father [he was more pro-Egypt], and turned his name to Jehoiakim [“Jahweh raises up”, to make him more popular with the people], and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there [eventually] . . . 

36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign [also in 608BC]; and he reigned eleven years [in total] in Jerusalem [3 years under Necho – 8 under Nebuchadnezzar].  And his mother's name was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done .  .  .                                       [11 years]

Nebuchadnezzar’s first approach in 609BC came after defeating Necho.

2 Kings 24:

1 In his [Jehoiakim’s] days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up [after defeating the Assyrians and the Egyptians], and Jehoiakim became his servant [without a fight, for] three years [i.e. he submitted to pay tribute]: then he turned and rebelled against him [because the Egyptians had had a successful (but short) uprising]

So three years later came the first attack by the Babylonians.

Daniel 1:

1 In the third year of the [Babylonian sponsored] reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Jerusalem [606BC] and besieged it [to teach him a lesson].

2 And the LORD gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god [for their wars were also on behalf of their gods]

3 And the king spoke to Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; 4 children [young men] in whom was no blemish, but well favoured [good looking], and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science [gifted teenagers], and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans [a small limited group].

5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank [he put them on a pension]: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king [to be examined for inclusion with the “wise men” of the nation]

6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: [Nebuchadnezzar then left Jehoiakim on the throne for another 5 years making a total of eleven years to 597BC.]                                                         [11 years]

The second attack by Nebuchadnezzar came 5 years later.

Jehoiachin

2 Kings:24

6 So [in time] Jehoiakim slept with his fathers [after his eleven years][1]: and Jehoiachin his son [“Yahweh raises”] reigned in his stead [597BC].[2] 7 And the king of Egypt [and the king of Assyria] came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt [and broken the Assyrian might]

8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months.  And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done [he rebelled too].        [3 mth

10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. 12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon [he surrendered], he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him [to Babylon] in the eighth year of his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] reign.

13 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD [but not the furniture], and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said. 14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes [this included many priests], and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. 

Ezekiel was one of those captives:

      Ezekiel 1:     [five years later]

1 Now it came to pass in the [my] thirtieth year [my graduation year in accordance with Numbers 4:3], in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month [graduation day], as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God

2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity [and therefore the 5th year of Zedekiah (c. 592BC)], 3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar [in Babylon]; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him. [Why?  See note 1.] 

2 Kings 24:

15 And he [Nebuchadnezzar] carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon [c. 597], and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, [plus] all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon [about 10,000 in total].

Zedekiah

17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead [597BC because he was Jehoiachin’s uncle] and changed his name to Zedekiah [“Yahweh is righteous”].

18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.  And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until He had cast them out from His presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. [They were a rebellious people.  Ezra 4:12-15.]                                                            [11 years]

2 Chronicles 36:

11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. 12 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD. 13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning to the LORD God of Israel. [He refused to repent and keep his promise.]

14 Moreover all the chief of the priests [but not all the priests], and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which He had hallowed in Jerusalem. 15And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by His messengers [more than one], rising up betimes, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place: 16 but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy.

17 Therefore He brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: He gave them all into his hand. 18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 19 And they burnt the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. 

20 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 [537BC]: 21 to fulfil 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 [the yearly] sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years [See notes 2 and note 5] . . .  

The third attack

2 Kings 25:

1 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his [Zedekiah’s] reign [four years after Ezekiel’s vision], in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month [near the end of that year], that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it: and they built forts against it round about. 2 And the city was besieged to the eleventh year of king Zedekiah [so there was strong resistance this time]

3 And on the ninth day of the fourth month [of the 11th year of Zedekiah and the 19th of Nebuchadnezzar, v8] the famine prevailed in the city [after the 18-month siege], and there was no bread for the people of the land.

4 And the city was broken up [into separate factions], and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain [he ran away and abandoned the city]. 5 And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him [into the hills].

6 So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him [as a rebel]. 7 And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.

One month later

8 And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon [he ruled for 41 years of the 70 years of exile], came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, to Jerusalem: 9 and he burnt the house of the LORD [in 586BC], and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire. 10 And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls of Jerusalem round about.

A remnant was left

11 Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away [had surrendered] to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away. 12 But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen [to look after the land and [incidentally] keep the record of its yearly sabbaths, for they went back to rituals, without the temple]

13 And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brazen sea [brass water tank] that was in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon. 14 And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away. 15 And the firepans, and the bowls, and such things as were of gold, in [melted] gold, and of silver, in [melted] silver, the captain of the guard took away [the utensils for the rituals and all the furniture except the ark of the covenant [God’s earthly throne] which had been hidden by Jeremiah and friends] . . . 

The governor

22 And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler. [He was sympathetic to Jeremiah and co-operative with the Babylonians.  Jeremiah 39:11-14.]

23 And when all the captains of the armies [the scattered guerrilla forces in the hills, v5], they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to [at] Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Careah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.

24 And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said to them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you. [Which is what God had been saying all along through Jeremiah.  See note 3.] 

25 But it came to pass in the seventh month [2 months later], that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal [a distant relative], came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah. 26 And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees [the Babylonians]

God had advised them to stay in their land, but they chose to go to the world to hide from false religion to save themselves.

Jeremiah 43:

4 So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces [including the royal Ishmael], and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah. 5 But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations, whither they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah; 6 even men, and women, and children, and the king's daughters [ladies of the court?], and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and [he took] Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah [Jeremiah’s friend]. 7 So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: thus came they even to Tahpanhes.

8 Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes [he was now a captive in Egypt like Daniel was in Babylon], saying, 

9 Take great stones in your hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln, which is at the entry of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah; 10 and say to them, Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, My servant,[3] and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them. 

11 And when he comes, he shall smite the land of Egypt, and deliver such as are for death to death; and such as are for captivity to captivity; and such as are for the sword to the sword.

12 And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn [some of] them, and carry [some of] them [the god statues] away captives: and he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd puts on his garment; and he shall go forth from thence in peace [having won the war]. 13 He shall break also the images of Bethshemesh, that is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire. 

2 Kings 25:

27 And it came to pass in the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon [a grandson of Nebuchadnezzar] in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison;

28 and he spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the [captive] kings that were with him in Babylon; 29 and changed his prison garments: and he [and his family] did eat bread continually before him all the [rest of the] days of his life.

So the “on loan” kingly line of Judah continued during the exile and even after, until “He (the Son of God) who right it was” came.  Ezekiel 21:26-27.  After that came the “times of the Gentiles” which men call “Christianity” (Luke 21:24), and that will last until the fulfilment of Revelation 13:7-8.   The people of God during that long period have been the Sabbath-keeping Christians, some of which have existed in every century since the cross. 

                 See https://ancient-sda.com/centuries/centuries.html

Redemption at last

2 Chronicles 36:

22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia [who was the king of Babylon in 537BC], that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 23 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has the LORD God of heaven given me; and He has charged me to build Him a house [a temple] in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.  Who is there among you of all His people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.  

Ezra 2:

1 Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and came again to Jerusalem and Judah, every one to his city; 2       which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua [the high priest], Nehemiah [not the wall-builder], Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai [not Esther’s relation], Bilshan, Mizpar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. [Zerubbabel was of the royal line, and was now appointed as the governor.   Matthew 1:12.   (Jechonias = Jehoiachin).] 

Ezra 3:

12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house [Solomon’s temple], when the foundation of this [second] house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: 13 so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

There was a division of thought at that point which was openly voiced.  But no one asked God, who had already given the plans to Ezekiel. 

***************

The people of God who came out of the Babylonian exile were predominately of the tribe of Judah, so since then they have been known as “the Jews”.  As we know, they lasted as a nation for about 500 years until the Romans dispersed them around 70AD.  That dispersion lasted until 1948 when the state of Israel came back into existence by force of arms after World War 2.

Some questions have since been raised by a portion of professed Christianity:

When did the 70 years captivity start?  And under whose kingship?

They agree that the decree to return was issued in 537BC so that would take us back to 607-606BC.  And this is correct.  But the nation seems to have continued till the destruction of the temple in 586BC.

For that was only the first of three human decrees!

    Ezra 6:

14 And the elders of the Jews builded [the second temple], and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.  And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus [in 537BC], and Darius [the Great, about 522BC], and Artaxerxes king of Persia [about 465BC]

15 And this house [the second temple] was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year [about 518BC] of the reign of Darius the king [of the Persians, not the Medes, before the decree issued by Artaxerxes.]

Cyrus gave permission to the slaves to return to their home country and rebuild the temple; Darius the Great confirmed this permission and added gifts to it; but Artaxerxes gave full autonomy as shown below.  So the return to full active sovereignty was prolonged.

   Ezra 7:

11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of His statutes to Israel.

 12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. 13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of His priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with you. [This is the second return about 457BC.  The first was in 537BC 80 years before.]

14 Forasmuch as [by this decree] you are sent of [by] the king, and of [by] his seven counsellors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of your God which is in your hand; 15 and to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, 16  and all the silver and gold that you can find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem: 17 that you may buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat [food] offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. 18 And whatsoever shall seem good to you and to your brethren, [you have freedom] to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.

19 The vessels also that are given you for the service of the house of your God, those deliver you before the God of Jerusalem. 20 And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of your God, which you shall have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure house. [He really liked the Jews.  Why?  If you read his story you will find out why.  And his mother’s name was ? . . .]

21 And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,

22 to a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred measures of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. 23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?

24 Also we certify you [the officials over the river], that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.                 25 And you, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God, that is in your hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach you them that know them not. 26 And whosoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. 

Thus there came a full and complete restoration of the sovereignty of God’s people in 465BC which lasted for about another 500 years, even while under the guiding hands of the Greeks and the Romans, the second and third “overturners”, right through and past the time of Christ till 70AD. 

The question seems to be:

Did the 70 year exile commence when Daniel and his companions were taken prisoners in the first siege, or was its beginning when the temple was destroyed in the 11th year of Zedekiah at the third siege?  Was the exile 70 years from Daniel and king Jehoiakim, or from the burning of the temple in king Zedekiah’s time?  And that appears to be a stumbling block for some of the professed Christians, for the majority of historians agree that Daniel’s captivity began in 607 – 606, and some 20 years later for Zedekiah.  That makes the exile 20 + 50 to equal 70 years!  However, to add to the confusion, some astronomers agree with the 70 years starting in 607BC, but they claim that that is Zedekiah’s time.

So the problem seems to be that we have to choose between two opinions held by men!!  There were “aged men” at the re-building who had seen the first temple, so the 20-year gap is plausible in both cases.  But would they have made the hazardous and strength-draining journey from Babylon to Jerusalem – a four months walk when they would have been in their 80’s or 90’s?  Or in their 60’s and 70’s if they had been there at the burning of the temple? [There were more than two deportations into exile.]

What is disturbing is that a solution made on those terms leaves us with a whole set of doctrines that have been devised arising from those astronomers’ assertions, particularly with a secret coming of Christ in 1914.  But it does not leave us with a scriptural answer.  What does the Spirit have to say? 

What is the real question?

It is:

Did the kingship of Judah cease to exist at that time [606BC], and was the burning of the temple the end of the Hebrew religion?  Did the “times of the Gentiles” begin then? (See note 4.)  Let’s look at the inspired record.  (This is a good time to bring to your remembrance that God did not want either of those two things!!  He was asked for a king, and He was asked for a tabernacle (temple).  And He gave them.  But He does not take His gifts back! Check those facts for yourself.)

So let’s read:

    Matthew 1:

1 The book of the generation [the human family tree] of [the human called] Jesus Christ, the son [descendant] of David, the son [descendant] of Abraham.

 2 Abraham begat [had a son named] Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas [Judah] and his brethren [the heads of the twelve tribes]; 3 and Judas begat [the twins] Phares and Zara of Thamar [his daughter-in-law. Genesis 38].

And Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 4 and Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;

5 and Salmon begat Booz [Boaz] of Rachab [Rahab of Jericho]; and Booz [Boaz] begat Obed of Ruth [the Moabite]; and Obed begat Jesse; 6 and Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias [Uriah].

7 And Solomon begat Roboam [Rehoboam]; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; 8 and Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias [Uzziah]; 9 and Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; 10 and Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias [Josiah]; 11 and Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren [Jehoiakim etc.], about the time they were carried away to Babylon.

12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias [remember him?

2 Kings 23:34 on page 2] begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel [Zerubbabel, the governor in the first return]; 13 and Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; 14 and Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; 15 and Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; [see Ezra chapters 1 and 2.]

16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. [This genealogy gives Jesus the legal right to the throne of Israel through His step-father.  He received the blood-right through His mother’s line.  Luke 3:23-38.]

This was in accord with the prophecy:

    Ezekiel 20:

1 And it came to pass in the seventh year [of Ezekiel’s captivity], in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month [and the seventh year of Zedekiah], that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me . . .

    Ezekiel 21:  [and God said to me]

14 You therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite your hands together [a sign of calamity], and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain [let it be much worse then]: it is the sword of the great men that are slain, which enters into their privy chambers. 15 I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that their heart may faint, and their ruins be multiplied: ah! it is made bright [sharpened], it is wrapped up [ready] for the slaughter.

Then, speaking to the people, God said,

16 Go [choose] you one way or other, either on the right hand, or on the left, whithersoever your face is set [My way or your way]. 17 I will also smite My hands together, and I will cause My fury to rest [on you (in a Jacob’s trouble)]: I the LORD have said it. [So they were to have the Romans and God against them!  In reality, they would not let Him look after them.] 

18 The word of the LORD came to me [Ezekiel] again, saying, 

19 Also, you son of man, appoint you [one of] two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come: both twain shall come forth out of one land: and choose you a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city.

20 Appoint a way, that the sword may come [first] to Rabbath [the great city] of the Ammonites, and [or directly] to Judah in Jerusalem the defenced. [This was to be a physical sign to confirm the prophecy.]

21 For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination [asking the gods]: he made his arrows bright [sharp], he consulted with images, he looked in the liver. 22 At his right hand was the divination [an inclination] for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint battering rams against the gates, to cast a mount, and to build a fort. 23 And it shall be [in another way] to them as a false divination in their sight, to them that have sworn oaths [and then broken them]: but He will call to remembrance the iniquity, that they may be taken. 

24 Therefore thus says the LORD GOD [to the monarchy of Israel]; Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear; because, I say, that you are come to remembrance, you shall be taken with the hand. 25 And you, profane wicked prince of Israel [Zedekiah], whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, 26 thus says the LORD GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: [from hereafter] exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high [after that they were governors without kingship]. 27 I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him. 

There were to be three times when the earthly crown’s power was to be removed from Judah – the first, by Babylon; the second, by Greece; and the third and last, by the Romans: then Christ would receive His kingdom in a spiritual way.  During these times, about 500 years, the people of God would have to follow Him in a spiritual way also, as we do today.

Do you remember these words?

    John 18:

33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said to Him, Are you the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Say you this thing of yourself, or did others tell it you of Me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me: what have You done?

36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My kingdom not from hence [it is a very real but spiritual one, i.e. in the minds and hearts of His people].

37 Pilate therefore said to Him, Are you a king then?  Jesus answered, You say that I am a king.  To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.  Every one that is of the truth hears My voice. [I am a witness first, then a king.  He omitted part of His title “prophet, priest and king” for that did not concern Pilate.  That part of His duty also escapes most of those who claim to follow Him even today.] 

It is clear that the physical picture of the kingdom continued on after the Babylonian exile for another 500 years or so with a physical leader and a physical temple till God the Saviour came and went, and God the Holy Spirit took over as Comforter and Teacher.

Conclusion:

The earthly kingdom of God has never come to an end, but it has undergone some significant changes.  From every man for himself, to a monarchy, to a governorship and now back to every man and woman for themselves with Him.  

God does not “set” a time by clock or calendar as we would, but by the behaviour of the people.  When the inhabitants of Nineveh changed THEIR BEHAVIOUR then the 40-day prophecy no longer applied.  When the nations were in such a turmoil such as never had happened before, God allowed His Son to assume humanity and give a us two examples which we desperately needed – the first, how to LIVE a Christian life; the second, how to DIE to self and spend our life on others., or remain selfish and perish.

 

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Note 1:

Why did the Word come expressly to Ezekiel?  Why did He come in all His power and glory sitting on His throne?  It was Ezekiel’s thirtieth year – the time of his graduation from “college” priest to “working” priest. 

    Numbers 4:

2 Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers, 3 from thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation. 40 This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things . . .  [priests and Levites obeyed the same rules.]

But Ezekiel could not have the normal “graduation” while in Babylon, and I believe a compassionate Saviour came to him as the Chancellor (the Head of the school) to give him his qualification, because he wanted to serve so much.

However, this vision was to apply to all those in similar circumstances, to cheer them up and remind them of the fact that He really was in charge in their world through the wheels attached to the cherubim, even though it had been turned up-side-down recently. [See note 6.]  For this was in the fifth year of Zedekiah’s eleven-year reign and worse was yet to come.

What Ezekiel the priest was given was the chance to show the plan of the new temple in all its glory (a look at His character though bricks and stones and rooms which cannot be equalled except in Person).  But it was rejected when the rebuild happened!

This shows us that while we may have an idea of what a priest should do, this one was able serve God better by writing a book while living miles from Jerusalem than killing animals and performing rituals in a stone building.

There is a principle which men soon forget: the signs given by God are, and should be seen, as spiritual and not just physical.  BACK

 

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Note 2:

Daniel 9:

1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans [539BC]; 2 in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books [the Old Testament  Scriptures] the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. [So it was a definite period, and Daniel had been exiled for 68 years!  That set him off in a prayer.  See also note 3.] 

3 And I set my face unto the LORD God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: 4 and I prayed to the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O LORD, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments . . .  [He wanted to know if there was anything he could do to help in that restoration.]  BACK

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Note 3:

Jeremiah 25:

11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, says the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations . . .  

Jeremiah 27:

6 And now have I given all these lands [of Israel and the nations] into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant [one who is doing My will]; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him [for that is the safest plan for the next three generations]. 7 And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come: and then many [other] nations and great kings shall serve themselves of [against] him.

8 And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon [during the 70 years], and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, says the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. 9 Therefore hearken not you to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak to you, saying, You shall [should] not serve the king of Babylon: 10 for they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and you should perish.

11 But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him [this is important in our time], those will I let remain still in their own land, says the LORD; and they shall till it [but not in the seventh year], and dwell therein.

12 I spoke also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. 13 [And Jeremiah added] Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD has spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?  (See note 4.)  BACK

 

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Note 4:

Luke 21:

5 And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, He [Jesus] said, 6 As for these things which you behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down [a future event]. 7 And they asked Him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?

8 And He said [speaking of their time and ours, a two-fold prophecy], Take heed that you be not deceived: for many shall come in My name, saying, “I am Christ; and the time draws near”: go you not therefore after them. 9 But when you shall hear of wars and commotions [in the world of politics], be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.  

10 Then said He to them, [In the last days] Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom [in great wars]:11 and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

12 But before all these [are finished], they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake [there shall be religious persecutions as well as earthly disasters]13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony [that will be the time for you to witness]

14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer: 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom [at that time], which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist [even if they won’t accept it].

16 And you shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death [so be careful who you trust]. 17 And you shall be hated of all men for My name's sake. 18 But there shall not a hair of your head perish [for you will come up in the first resurrection]. 19 In your patience possess you your souls.

20 And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies [the literal city in 70AD and the spiritual “city” of the future, for this is a two-sided prophecy], then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let them which are in [spiritual] Judaea flee to the mountains [where the Spirit leads them]; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

23 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and [spiritual] Jerusalem [the people of God] shall be trodden down of the Gentiles [in a special way], until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. [Consider Daniel 7:21-22 and Revelation 13:4-9.] 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh [and you will need to live by faith completely through Jacob’s Trouble.  “In the latter [last] days ye shall consider it”. Jeremiah 30:7.]   BACK to note  

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Note 5:

Sabbath is a day for necessities and working for others.  Consider this principle:

Matthew 12:

2 But when the Pharisees saw it [the disciples plucking corn], they said to Him, Behold, Your disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day. 

3 But He said to them, Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and they that were with him; 4 how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 

5 Or have you not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane [work harder on] the Sabbath, and are blameless?

6 But I say to you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. 7 But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy [good works], and not sacrifice [rituals], you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of man is LORD even of the Sabbath day.   BACK

 

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Note 6:

{Fundamentals of Christian Education 409.1} 

The use which men have made of their capabilities, by misusing and abusing their God-given talents, has brought confusion into the world.  They have left the guardianship of Christ for the guardianship of the great rebel, the prince of darkness.  Man alone is accountable for the strange fire which has been mingled with the sacred

The accumulation of many things which minister to lust and ambition has brought upon the world the judgment of God [the lack of His protection].  When in difficulty, philosophers and the great men of earth desire to satisfy their minds without appealing to God.  They ventilate their philosophy in regard to the heavens and the earth, accounting for plagues, pestilences, epidemics, earthquakes, and famines, by their supposed science.  Hundreds of questions relating to creation and providence, they will attempt to solve by saying, This is a law of nature [“an act of God”].   {FE 409.1} 

There are laws of nature, but they are harmonious, and conform with all God's working; but when the lords many and gods many [philosophers] set themselves to explain God's own principles and providences, presenting to the world strange fire in the place of divine, there is confusion.  The machinery of earth and heaven needs many faces to every wheel in order to see the Hand beneath the wheels, bringing perfect order from confusion. [Ezekiel 10:8.]  The living and true God is a necessity everywhere.  {FE 409.2}   BACK

 

 

Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.  Some of the comments on this page are adapted from books in my library. Recognition is not always given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.

 

Next query. To be discussed from 1st February 2020

Query:

Why did Satan help Israel destroy the Canaanites?

 

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[1] There is evidence that he was ill-treated by the Babylonians for his body was cast out of the city and only eventually buried.  Jeremiah 22:18-19;  36:29-31.

[2] Jehoiachin was also known as Jechoniah or Coniah, and in the New Testament he is Jechonias.

[3] God calls those who obey Him (even partially) His servants!  Those whom He serves!

 


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