Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Woman of Revelation 12

I've argued before that The Man-Child is The Church, using Isaiah 66 to back that up, and that thus that puts The Rapture at the Midway Point.

This agrees with the view that The Woman is Israel, thus refuting any views making Israel and The Church exactly the same.  I'm not a traditional dispensationalist, but there is a clear distinction.

This is proven by lots of old Prophetic references to Israel/Jerusalem being a woman (like Isaiah 62:4 where she is named Hephzibah), and often travailing in child birth, like Jeremiah 6 and Isaiah 66.

The Sun, Moon and Stars imagery comes from Genesis 37:9-10, one of Joseph's dreams.
"Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me."  And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, "What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?"
Which defines for us the Sun and Moon as Jacob and his Wife, and the eleven stars as Joseph's eleven brothers.  Revelation 12 has twelve stars because now Joseph is included.

Commentators repeatedly claim the Sun is Jacob and the Moon is Rachel, but that is wrong.  The mother in mind here is clearly Leah not Rachel because Rachel had died before this and so clearly never bowed before Joseph in Egypt when this was fulfilled.  What confuses people is Jacob saying "your mother" to Joseph.  But I don't doubt that by this point Leah was a mother to all 12 sons.

I argued in my Time of Jacob's Trouble post that Rachel in a sense serves typologically as a female personification of Israel.  Through Benjamin and Joseph she was a mother to populations in both Kingdoms.

In Genesis 35:19 and 48:7 Rachel dies after giving birth to Benjamin and was buried in the same land that will become Bethlehem.  (Some have argued those events only happened on the way to Bethlehem, either way they are thematically tied to Bethlehem by God's Word.)  When the children of Bethlehem were slaughtered by Herod, Matthew 2:18 quotes Jeremiah 31:15.
Thus saith Yahuah; "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not."

So I think the reason the Woman herself is not in the dream in Genesis 37 is because the Woman in a sense is Rachel.  Because it was a Tribe born to Leah that had Bethlehem when that slaughter happened, yet Rachel weeped for them as her own children.

Update June 2017: Virgo

 I'm now much more skeptical of the Mazaroth and Gospel In The Stars type theories then I used to be.  And I've already done a post refuting that hype around the September 2017 alignment.  But for sake of reference I'll talk about how the desire to associate Virgo with the Woman of Revelation 12 can back up her being in a sense Rachel.

There are different takes on which Signs to identify with which Tribes.  But the main form I'm familiar with is one that makes Issachar the tribe Virgo represents.  Many then note how the traditional site of Nazareth is in land allotted to Issachar (near Japhia), and Nazareth can be associated with The Virgin Mary.

The reason however for this argument to associate Issachar with Virgo revolves around Rachel in the narrative in Genesis 30:14-18.
"The young woman (Virgo) carries a branch (of mandrakes) and a stalk of harvested wheat, because at the harvest-time (stalk of harvested wheat) Issachar (whose name means hired man) was conceived by Leah after hiring her husband for the night from Rachel, Rachel receiving as her hire the mandrakes which Leah's son had found in the fields. The mandrakes were desired by Rachel because she hoped their aphrodisiac powers would help her conceive, when before this she had been barren (Virgo = virgin). And, indeed, she did conceive immediately thereafter, bringing forth her firstborn son, Joseph, typing the Promised Seed, the Messiah Jesus, born from the Virgin (Virgo) Mary. Rachel (Virgo) is seen in the sign carrying off the mandrakes, to represent the hiring from which Issachar received his name, and bearing the Seed (the star Spica, Ear of Corn), as a prophecy of the coming Messiah. A subjoined constellation, Coma, the "Hair" of the Virgin (representing the hair of the wheat plant ["mother"] which bears the Seed), was in ancient times depicted as a Virgin bearing a young boy on her lap. The Arabs said this young boy was Jesus, the Messiah, and claimed that an ancient prophecy of the Magi foretold that a great star would beam forth in this sign at the time the Messiah was born."
So, that is quite interesting.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Firstborn Inheretence and the Patriarchs

Deuteronomy 21:15-17
"If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his."
It's strange to me how this command of the Torah seems to condemn so much of what happened in Genesis.  There are other areas where the behavior of the Patriarchs is in conflict with the Law given later, but this is the one area where God himself seems to be complicit, besides maybe incest where the change in attitude (we assume) was do to a change in biological circumstances.

We keep talking about a younger son getting treated as the firstborn being an ongoing theme of The Bible.  But that theme doesn't apply to Jesus, who was the first born of both Mary and by adoption of Joseph, because all Joseph's other children were by Mary.  And He is refereed to as the only Begotten Son of God.

The thing that occurred to me recently is, for the most part the inheritance this was done with isn't the natural Firstborn inheritance, the Double Portion, but rather special divine promises.

Let's start with Isaac and Ishmael.  The land Abraham was promised went all the way to the Euphrates in Genesis 15:18.  But the geography in Ezekiel 40-48 does not give the 12 tribes of Israel all of what Abraham was promised, rather their borders don't even go east of the Jordan (meaning it gives Israel no claim to any Land in modern Jordan or the Golan Heights).  David ruled all the way to the Euphrates, but that was via other nations being tributaries, they still had their national sovereign identities outside the Tribal Allotments of Joshua.

Meanwhile the lands affiliated with Ishmael's sons include all of modern Jordan (Edom, Moab and Ammon were also in Jordan, but Edom I believe will not exist in the Messianic era, and the Nabateans conquered Edom, Moab and much of Ammon by NT times, and Isaiah 21 affiliated Dumah with Seir), the Golan heights, modern Syria south of Damascus (like the Iturians who were of Jether, and the Haggarenes/Haggarites), some northernmost parts of Saudi Arabia, and Iraq west of the Euphrates.  Isaiah 60:7 confirmed Kedar and Nebaioth, the two oldest sons of Ishmael, will exist in the Messianic era.  So it does seem that as far a geography goes Ishmael does still get twice what Isaac got.

What about applying the Firstborn inheritance to Nebaioth, Ishmael's Firstborn?  During NT times there were two Nabatean Kingdoms, the one based in Petra ruled by the House of Aretas, and the Kingdom of Osroene ruled by the Abgars.

So I'm willing to agree with certain Muslim apologists that Genesis 17 and 21 do not at all disinherit Ishmael.

Now with Jacob/Esau and Pharez/Zerah in Genesis 38 we're dealing with twins, where who is the real first born is legitimately ambiguous.  Still all Pharez got over Zerah is the Royal Line and other leaders.  And Esau sold his inheritance, while Jacob suffered repercussions for stealing the Blessing.

Genesis 10 says Japheth was the firstborn of Noah, and God said in Genesis 9 he would enlarge Japheth.

In Genesis 48 the younger son of Joseph, Ephraim, is given a special blessing and promise.  But in the land allotment Manasseh still got twice the land Ephraim did, even based on the larger interpretation of what Ephraim got (giving Ephraim both Shechem and Samaria), Manasseh had huge portions on each side of the Jordan river.  So in fact Manasseh's firstborn inheritance was in no way taken away by this.  In the Song of Deborah, Manasseh is treated as two tribes, Machir and Gilead.

So it's really only Jacob who would have been in direct violation of this command given in Deuteronomy, by giving the Double Portion to Joseph (which is why Joseph gets two tribes).  And while it can seem unfair to judge him by a law not written yet, the consequences of his choice are very apparent, God respected it, but it's still not painted as a good idea.

The same applies to looking at how this plays out with David.

David was the youngest son of Jesse and was chosen to be King over his seven older brothers.  I would argue that was irrelevant to who inherited Jesse's land, if anything David was effectively removed from that inheritance.  I like to speculate that the Shepherds in Luke 2 were descendants of David's older brothers, being called to witness the birth of their distant Cousin.  Some scholars already believe their fields were the same land Boaz redeemed for Naomi.

And then there's David's own sons.  Solomon was not even the oldest by Bathsheba who was far from David's first wife.  But still he inherited the Crown.  The King arguably didn't have a normal land inheritance.

David's actual firstborn was Amnon who predeceased him.  And either way you could argue lost any potential inheritance by the Sin he committed.

That leaves Daniel Chileab as the oldest surviving son.  He was the son of Abigail the Widow of Nabal, David gained Nabal's land when he married Abigail, so perhaps it's a safe guess that Daniel Chileab inherited Nabal's land?

Absolam and Adonijah effectively forfeited their inheritances by becoming usurpers, not unlike Reuben.

Maybe the remaining sons born in Hebron inherited Hebron or land near it in some fashion?

And perhaps the older sons of Bathsheba inherited land that once belonged to Urias?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Lost Tribes follow up post

This is a follow up to many Lost Tribes relevant posts I've done on this Blog.  Starting with The Lost Tribes and Bible Prophecy.  To deal with some bad theology linked to the Lost Tribes I recommend my post Ephraim and The Fullness of The Gentiles.

Main thing in that I don't stand by anymore is the speculation on Samaria being Mystery Babylon.  My far more recent Mystery Babylon posts including about the Kings of The East all show how Babylon can only be in Mesopotamia.  But that the Lost Tribes are Relevant to that is still possible, because The Lost Tribes went East not West.

But I want to revisit my objections to Chuck Missler and Chris White's arguments against the Lost Tribes concept.  I largely still view things about the same, but I've also noticed the issue is much more complicated.  The question is how many Tribes were actually deported?

Biblically the number Ten is applied to the tribes that make up the Northern Kingdom only when it was founded, never of the deportation itself.  1 Kings 11 tells us Jeroboam was given Ten Tribes, while Solomon's son kept one for David's sake (Judah) and one for Jerusalem's sake (Benjamin).

Which tribes were those ten?  It's a bit of a controversy since the traditional assumption is Simeon was one even though Simeon's main allotment was south of Judah.  Genesis 49 foretells Simeon and Levi both to be scattered among the tribes, and this was fulfilled in different ways.

You may think that only leaves nine tribes, but not quite.  One factor forgotten is that Manasseh was divided into half tribes on either side of the Jordan river.  Because he was the firstborn of Joseph and so had a double Portion just as Joseph himself did. In the Song of Deborah, Manasseh is treated as two tribes, Machir and Gilead.

Or maybe the key to solving this riddle is in how the land seemed to be divided under Solomon in 1 Kings 4 7-19.

The deportation was indeed not really of the entire population.  The deportation under Tiglath-Pilesser III which is recorded in 1 Chronicles 5:26, and 2 Kings 15-16, was mainly of the three Trans-Jordan tribes and Naphtali.  And then 2 Kings 17 is mainly just talking about the capital, Samaria, and surrounding areas, which was in Ephraim but not all of Ephriam.

2 Chronicles 30-31 refers to survivors still in the land in West Manasseh, Ephraim, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun and even Dan.

So returning to my basic theory that besides much of Dan the "lost tribes" went East.  Let's talk about Daniel 7 and 8.

Daniel 7 is Aramaic Daniel while 8 is Hebrew Daniel.  I've speculated before on the significance of two Empires having different Beasts represent them in different visions, noting the Levitical cleanness of the Daniel 8 beasts.  If following the deportation of the Northern Kingdom, there are nations that have both an Israelite and Gentile heritage, maybe that is a reason for the different beasts.

So perhaps in Daniel 7 the gentile focused vision, the four headed Leopard is Javan who had four sons in Genesis 10, and the Bear is Madai and the Lion is Asshur.  While in the Hebrew focused Daniel 8 the He-Goat is Dan who Ezekiel 27 tells us became linked to Javan.  And the Ram is Naphtali, I will do a post in April to explain why I feel the "Hind" used to describe Naphtali in the KJV of Genesis 49 is really a female Ram, or maybe it's the Ram references that are mistranslated.  That would make Daniel 8 about the sons of Bilhah.

The Deutercanonical Apocryphal book of Tobit revolves around a family of the Tribe of Naphtali that become prominent in Assyria and Media after the deportation.  A person mentioned briefly there is Akhair who is more prominent in other more obscure apocrypha, and also maybe the same as a character in Judith.

I did a post on The Medes, Kurds and Adiabene that is relevant here.  And I've speculated before how Iran and Iranians could come from Eran and the Eranites of Numbers 26:36.  And that Pars and Persia could come from the Hebrew name Pharez. The first part of the name of Zarathustra/Zoroaster could also come from the Hebrew name Zerah, I believe the ancient traditional date for Zarathustra placing him around 600 BC.

The Persians were not Elamites, though they probably intermingled with them some.  That confuses people partly because of Isaiah 13.  The Persian king Teispes who lived about 675-640 BC, conquered the Elamite city of Anshan.  He had two sons, a Cyrus who was the grandfather of Cyrus The Great, and Ariaramnes who was the great grandfather of Darius I.  Teispes was the son of Achaemenes, who ruled from 680-655 BC and was born around 705 BC.  Greek writers tended to merge Achaemenes with Perses the mythical son of Perseus and Andormeda, who I talk about in my Tribe of Dan post.

So, I think Achaemenes could be a Naphtalite born in Exile.  Perhaps a relative of Tobit and Akhair.

Perhaps it's also a clue that Susa/Shushan the Persian Capital's name is also the Hebrew word for Lily, Strong Number 7799.  Hosea 14:5 uses the Lily as a symbol of Ephraim/Israel in a Prophecy of their restoration.  If the people saying they went West can use the name Gomer in Hosea to link them to the Cimmerians, then I can use Shushan the same way.

Actually the problem with the Cimmerian part of the Lost Tribes became Europeans argument is that the claimed link between the Cimmerians and the Gauls doesn't hold up.  The Gallic connection to that region went in the other direction, Gauls traveled to Asia Minor well after the Old Testament era ended and became the Galatians.  This was something I myself was still confused on the last time I mentioned the Cimmerians on this blog.  The Cimmerians first show up East of Lake Urmia, from there they migrated.  And their alleged connection to Crimea is based on the unreliable Herodotus.  I think maybe Crimea is the Gomer of Japheth and Ezekiel 38-39, and the Cimmerians the Gomer of Hosea.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Could The Antichrist rule from Egypt?

This post is not a speculation on his ethnic ancestry, or his religious affiliation prior to the Abomination of Desolation, this is mainly just geographical.

The only clue Revelation gives us about where he will rule from is that it's West of the Euphrates, based on Revelation 16 when the 6th Bowl is poured out.  But since the Euphrates is also the Western border of what God promised to Abraham, perhaps it's not too difficult to extrapolate from that that it'll be West of what God promised to Abraham, that Israel is in the middle of this conflict as they were the Daniel 11 conflicts.

A lot of false assumptions about the Antichrist exist because of a desire to find him in as many Old Testament prophecies as possible.  I no longer view him as The Assyrian.  And in Daniel I feel only chapter 7 and 8 give us any hints about him and 8 is mostly typological.  Daniel 11:40-45 is the basis for thinking of Egypt as a nation he goes to war with, but that is actually about Augustus.

What about the Fourth Beast being Rome?  The Ten Horns I believe are European nations that emerged from Rome, the Little Horn emerges after them.  The Eight King I believe must be a king of one of the first three Beasts.  So it's a complicated relationship, basically I feel the Horns provide his military strength.  And it could be noted that the Roman Emperors took over the Pharonic Worship in Egypt, Egypt was treated uniquely among Roman Provinces, as the personal possession of The Emperor.

Rob Skiba's Yahuah Triangle theory is interesting, I disagree with the Pyramid stuff, but he has a valid point that throughout the The Bible the narrative seems to bounce back and forth between Israel, Mesopotamia and Egypt.  At face value Egypt seems absent from Revelation, but we often see typological parallels to the Exodus and Wandering in Revelation.

Some Jewish traditions name The Pharaoh of the Exodus Adikam, like the Sefar Olam and the Prayer of Asenath, and the alleged Jasher.  This obviously wasn't his real name since it's a blatantly Hebrew name.  It could be a shortened form of Adonikam, a name which in Ezra 2:13 is linked to the number Six Hundred and Sixty Six.

I have recently discussed reasons to suspect a connection between Satan's Seat and Egypt.

To many, all Daniel 8 tells us for certain is he'll come from or rule one of the Kingdoms Alexander The Great's empire was divided into.  One of those was Egypt, the Ptolemaic Dynasty.  Ptolemaioin is a known attested variation of the name Ptolemaios/Ptolemy that has a Greek Gematria value of 666.  3 Maccabees is an apocryphal book included in the Orthodox canon where Ptolemy IV Philopater seems to serve as a type of The Antichrist.

In Isaiah 19 the "Cruel Lord" who rules Egypt could be viewed as The Antichrist, but I also see it as fulfilled in the 20th century.  I'm still unsure entirely what to make of Isaiah 19, I'll likely return to it in the future.

The real smoking gun however to me is what I've noticed that few have before about Ezekiel 29-32.

A lot of people even who are Futurists think those Prophecies were fulfilled by the time the Old Testament ended.  There is a statement that is interpreted as saying Egypt would never have a native ruler anymore, and then saying that was fulfilled by the time the Ptolemaic dynasty took over.  But the statement was not about ethnicity but that no one would ever rule from Egypt again (perhaps more specifically Egypt being an Empire ruling other lands).  So we know that isn't fulfilled yet because of the Ptolemies, the Fatimid Caliphs and modern Egypt.

Bishop James Ussher tried to argue the prophecy of Egypt being uninhabited for 40 years was fulfilled during what we today call the Neo-Babylonian empire.  But archaeology is lacking for that and even his seeing it documented in Herodotus seems like a stretch.  I think it's possible that that 40 years is the first 40 years of the Millennium, which I don't view as being as Utopic as most people do.

Some verses here mention Nebuchadrezzar by name implying an at least typological connection to Ezekiel's own time.  But it's also important to remember that this isn't all one Prophecy, there are numerous "The word of Yahuah came onto me saying" indicating a separate prophecy.  All linked in some way but also separate.  Nebuchadrezzar is mentioned by name only in 29:17-21 and 30:1-19, the latter may have been given the same day as the former.  I could make this argument independent of those prophecies.  But his role is still at least typologically linked due to the title Terrible of the Nations being applied to him.

Ezekiel 30:24 says "And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh's arms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded man.".  The word for "deadly" there can also be translated "mortally".  Being mortally wounded by a sword is a defining trait of The Beast in Revelation 13, and this is the only Old Testament prophecy that clearly has that same terminology.  Later chapter 32 again refers to the Sword of the King of Babylon.

Then in chapter 32 and also slightly 31 it talks about Pharaoh descending into the underworld.  The most vivid description of the underworld the Hebrew Scriptures have.  Chapter 31 also says "the Pit" a likely idiom of specifically The Abyss.  The Beast ascends out of the Abyss.  32:17 dates this Prophecy to the 15th day of the month.  I've argued before the 15th of Nisan is when Jesus entered Sheol, so perhaps the Antichrist enters it on the same day.

A further striking detail is that Ezekiel 29:3 calls Pharaoh the "Great Dragon" this is the only place outside Revelation that the phrase "Great Dragon" is used.  Now at face value that seems to identify Pharaoh with Satan, and there are other Prophecies I see as about Satan even though it seems like a human ruler because it's in the context of Satan's relationship to that nation. Also later the Hebrew word translated "whale" in the KJV is the same word translated Dragon here.

But again the Dragon in Revelation gives his Seat to The Beast, so maybe the Pharaoh in 29:1-16 and 30:20-26 aren't the same. or maybe they're doing some kind of mimickery of the Ancient Egyptian view of the relationship between Osiris and Horus, both of the gods associated with the Rulership of Egypt, who were father and son and thus in comparative mythology get compared to the Trinity.  And in that context Thoth could be the role taken by the False Prophet.

And given what I've said before about Babylon being in conflict with The Antichrist in Revelation. I think The Terrible of The Nations/King of Babylon/Assyrian of these prophecies is the man who will kill The Antichrist.  And may perhaps be a Messiah Ben-Joseph claimant given my theories about the Kings of the East and the Lost Tribes.

The talk of Egypt in Isaiah 27 could also be a clue.

I've done a post on how this could tie in with American Antichrist theories.

And now I've maybe found the smoking gun in Daniel 11?

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Ressurection was on Sunday

So Rob Skiba is again promoting something bizarre.

He's recently argued that EVERY reference to "the first day of the Week" in The New Testament is really The Sabbath.  Now I have shown on this Blog that there is no overturning of The Sabbath in the New Testament.  But Sunday is not inherently evil just because Pagans named it after the Sun.

It's already popular among Sabbath worshipers to say the Resurrection was actually on The Sabbath and it was only "The first day of The Week" that the Women found The Tomb empty.  And I've already argued against that silliness.  I don't think the Risen Jesus lingered there for 12 hours.

The modern Greek word for "week" Rob says should have been used if the text meant week.  Problem is we can't even prove that was used yet in NT times.  I've never seen any solid proof the Greco-Romans observed 7 day weeks before they adopted Christianity.  It's used in the NT texts only as a word for Seven, and once is used with the word for day to refer to a period of seven days, but if it meant week it wouldn't have needed the word for day.  And The Septuagint is a Christian document far younger then the NT texts.

The NT texts borrow many Hebrew words, and the Hebrew word for Week comes from the same root as the word for Sabbath.  It even has a form then ends with an N.

The parable he references cannot fit his interpretation, you can't Fast twice in 1 day, you have not Fasted at all until you have not eaten for a whole day.

This website explains why the term is translated this way and why It's accurate.  It's wrong on saying there was any call for weekly Sunday worship, but that's another post I already linked to.

In the video Rob applied this logic to both when the Tomb was found Empty and Pentecost.  He never once stopped to realize how he was dismantling the fulfillments of First Fruits and Shavot, which were both REQUIRED by Leviticus 23 to be on Sundays.

Look I agree the italics of the KJV adds some things they shouldn't (Rob himself since he became a Flat Earther is unwilling to notice what isn't in the Hebrew in Genesis 11).  But when it suites him he is determined to proclaim anything in the italics besides the most basic pronouns to be part of some massive conspiracy to distort God's Word.  I believe God's promise to preserve God's Word.  Greek is a far more precise language then English, there is often much implied in the Grammar that is difficult to translate word for word, so just because something lacks a word for it in the text doesn't mean what the text says doesn't justify it being there.  Neither I or Rob is a Greek expert.

Leaving all that aside, the entire context and set up of the Women finding the Tomb empty does not fit this theory of it being on The Sabbath.  We are told they did not anoint Jesus Body when they first buried him because the Sabbath was about to start.  And we are told the Sabbaths (plural) had passed when they came to the tomb on Sunday morning.  And you can't just say they were only skipping the 15th of Nisan (which I do place on a Friday) because, the restrictions on those special Holy Convocations were actually less then the Weekly Sabbath's restrictions.

I believe Jesus Rested on The Sabbath.

The Sabbath is important, but it's not impossible for God to do things on other days.  The First Day of a Week can also be an Eight Day, this is why the Gemetria of Iesous is 888 in contrast to 666 as the Gemetria of The Beast which I think has a connection to the 6th day of the Week.  The first day of the Week symbolizes New Beginnings, just like the Eight Day of Tabernacles.  I believe the Creation week was Tabernacles.  Circumcision is on the Eight Day and so is the first verse of Leviticus 9.  And the 8th of Tishri is the day the dedication festival for Solomon's Temple began.

Sunday is also the day God created Light, so it's not a coincidence the Pagans wound up affiliating that day with the Sun.  Jesus is The Light of The World and the Sun of Righteousness of Malachi, which is why I believe He Rose from The Dead at Sunrise.  It was also a Sunday the Manna was first given in Exodus 16.  So the First Day is not without Torah significance.

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Second Coming of Messiah Ben-David

The common perception is that only people who think Jesus is The Messiah think he has two advents, that he was born thousands of years before he actually conquerors Israel's enemies and establishes his Kingdom.  And that the only thing you'll find in Rabbinic or other non Christian Jewish traditions that could be adapted to fit the Christian view is the dual Messiah concept.

However there is an interesting over looked collection of Jewish traditions about a Messiah Ben-David named Menahem.

Jerusalem Talmud, Berachot 2:4 5a says.
A Jew was ploughing and his cow was lowing as he went.
An Arab who passed by heard it, and said: "Son of the Jews, release your cow and abandon your plough, for the
Temple has been destroyed."
The ox lowed again, and the Arab said: "Son of the Jews, tie up your cow and tie up your plough, for King Messiah
has been born."
The Jew asked: "What is his name?"
The other answered: "Menahem."
The Jew asked: "What is his father's name?"
The other answered: "Hezekiah."
The Jew asked: "Where is he from?"
The other answered: "From the dwelling place of the King, Bethlehem in Judah."
The Jew sold his cow and his plough and became a seller of infants' swaddling clothes.
He went in and out of one town after another until he came to that town, and all the women bought from him, but
Menahem's mother did not buy.
He heard the women say: "Mother of Menahem, mother of Menahem, come and buy for your son!"
She told him: "I should like to strangle my son Menahem, for on the day he was born, the Temple was
He told her: "We are sure that just as he marked its destruction, so he shall build it once more."
She said: "I have no money."
He said: "No matter, come and buy, and if you have no money today, after some days I shall come and collect it."
After some days, he came back to the town, and asked her: "How is the child?"
She said: "After you saw me, a mighty wind came and snatched him out of my hands."
The Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 98b says
Others say: His name is Menahem the son of Hezekiah, for it is written, Because Menahem ['the comforter'], that would relieve my soul, The Rabbis said: His name is 'the leper scholar,' as it is written, Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Lamentations 1:16 is the Bible verse being quoted to support Menahem being The Messiah's name.  Because the name is often said to mean "Comforter" which ought to make Christians think of John's Gospel, where it used as a title of The Holy Spirit, we see with Mani, Muhammad and Bahai that it is common for heretics to twist that refer to a future prophesied figure.  

But the Hebrew word for Comforter is Nachom, Menahem comes from putting a Mem at the beginning as a prefix, which makes it mean "from the Comforter".  The reference to Isaiah 53:4 is actually a different proposed name of the Messiah, it shows how the Rabbis did consider that Messianic.

Actually John 14:16 has been translated as saying "Another Comforter" implying The Comforter is a title of Jesus also. In the fact that same Greek word is the one translated Advocate when Jesus is called our Advocate in 1 John 2:1.

I wonder if this personage is in any way based on Menahem ben Judah of Josephus.  Being born the day The Temple was destroyed wouldn't fit.  But his ancestor Judas the Galilean there is good reason to suspect either was the same person as or the son of Judas ben Hezekiah who was also a Galilean.

Certain fringe theorists and Preterists make much of how the Yossipon seems to place Agrippa and Monobaz as being killed about three and a half years before The Temple was destroyed in 70 AD.  Tying into Daniel 9 and 12.  Josephus has both of them alive after this, but places the execution of Menahem about this time.

Even more complicated then the Menahem ben Hezekiah tradition is the Menahem ben Ammiel traditions, the core of which is the Sefer Zerubabel.  An English translation can be read online here.  Where Messiah Ben-Joseph is Nehemiah Ben Hushiel and Messiah Ben-David is Menahem ben Ammiel.

This text began to form in the early 7th Century in the time of Nehemiah ben Hushiel.  It entered it's final from in the 11th century, there are many contradictions in it, and between it's different texts.

In this version he's taken by a whirlwind not to heaven but to Rome (spiritually called Nineveh) where he is being held prisoner till the time of the end.

His genealogy is curious, first why is he the son of Ammiel?  Christians concerned that the Antichrist might be of Dan and claim to be the Messiah could take note that Ammiel was the spy representing Dan in Number 13:12.  But I find it more interesting that Ammiel was the name of the father of Bathsheba.  Perhaps it is telling us cryptically which wife of David the author thought would produce The Messiah.  Which for Christians is consistent with both Matthew and Luke's genealogies.

The mother of Menahem ben Ammiel is a very surprisingly interesting character in this story.  Her name is Hefzibah/Hephzibah.  Which is interesting because that was the name of the wife of Hezekiah and mother of Manesseh.  And this Menahem does call himself the son of Hezekiah at one point.  And Manesseh was held captive in Babylon for awhile.  2 Chronicles but not 2 Kings records that he did repent of his sins.  But his sins included placing Idols in The Temple, which makes him a possible type of The Antichrist.  She may of course have born Hezekiah other sons.

Hephzibah is also a poetic name for Israel in Isaiah 62:4.  So perhaps Christians should see Hephzibah as a name for the woman of Revelation 12?

But she is also called the Wife of Nathan the Prophet in the translation I linked to above.  In a Bate Midrashot 2:504, Hefzibah is called the wife of Nathan The Prophet son of David and the mother of Menahem son of Ammiel, son of David.  The Zohar 3:17b says
“You who bring good tidings to Zion” is Hephzibah, the wife of Nathan son of David, who is the mother of Messiah, Menachem son of Amiel. She shall go out and bring the tidings . . .”
So the confusion perhaps comes largely from a confusion of Nathan the Prophet with Nathan the son of Bathsheba.  So this is a Jewish text hostile to Christianity cryptically hinting at The Messiah Ben David possibly coming from Nathan.  I've argued before why you can get that conclusion from The Hebrew Scriptures alone.

Contradictions exist on when Menahem ben Ammiel was born, some imply when the First Temple was destroyed modifying the Talmudic tradition.  But the only statement I noticed on it in the translation I read said he was born during the reign of King David.

Could Nathan Ben David have had a son born that early?   As I argued before Nathan was older then Solomon, and since Rehoboam was 41 when he began to reign and Solomon reigned only 40 years he was born to Solomon during the reign of David.

Luke 3 lists the Son of Nathan as Mattatha, and the son of Mattatha as Menan.  Menan is distinct from but has a similarity to Menahem (in the Septuagint Menahem ben Gadi King of Israel is rendered Manaem, and as Manaen by Aquila of Sinope).  But it's also possible Mattatha was not Nathan's only or even firstborn son.

I have argued that Heli is the father of Mary in Lke's genealogy.  In expending on that I argued that there may be other places where Luke's genealogy is really going through a father in law, but still Joseph is the man named who's not a biological ancestor of Jesus.  Particularly my belief regarding the additional Cainan/Kenen of Luke 3's overlap with Genesis 11 is that Kenen was an older son of Arphaxad and that Selah married Kenen's daughter, since even Leviticus 18 does not forbid uncle/niece marriage.  So maybe Luke is recording a similar thing in 3:31, maybe Menan and Mattatha were both sons of Nathan and Menan married his niece, a daughter of Mattatha?

So it seems the only thing Rabbinic Jews are completely uncomfortable with (besides Divinity) is Messiah Ben-David dying, yet they know a Messiah will die and give that role to Ben-Joseph.  But the main Bible passage they cite as being about Ben-Joseph is Zechariah 12, which I've discussed before showing how even Jewish translations make it pretty clear the one pierced is of the house of David.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Mercy Seat is NOT a Throne

I believe Ron Wyatt's proposed location for the Red Sea Crossing and Mount Sinai (Jabal El Lawz) are mostly correct, they were confirmed by Bob Cornuke and endorsed by Chuck Missler.

But I'm inclined to be much more skeptical of Ron Wyatt's other claimed discoveries, I haven't looked too deep into most.  But I'm most unnerved by many implications of his Ark of the Covenant/Mercy Seat claim.

For starters it's dependent on the Garden Tomb model of where Jesus was crucified and buried, which I find interesting but has a major flaw with the Tomb being way to old, (Jesus was buried in a new Tomb no body had previously been buried in,) I haven't seen it's supporters adequately deal with that yet.

But even assuming that theory is correct.  It bothers me how people who fully believe his claim, like especially Michael Rood, are constantly adding this extra Biblical information to how they describe The Crucifixion.

And then there are all the stories he tells about encountering Angels in the room where it was and everything.  If he was explicitly trying to introduce New Scripture we'd all see it as being the same thing Joseph Smith did.

One thing from his story often left out when others talk about it is how he claims the last time he went into that hidden room, the Ark and almost everything else was gone, with the implication that the Israeli Government took them.  And when he tells that story about the Tablets, the Angel defines the Tablets as being The Ten Commandants which contradicts The Bible, and then ties it into the Seventh Day Adventist view of the Mark of The Beast.

I've been a strong supporter of the Ark being in Ethiopia but getting there a different rout then the Menelik legend.  Following the research of Graham Hancock (not a Believer) in his The Sign and The Seal which was followed up by Believer Bob Cornuke and endorsed by Chuck Missler.

One thing both those Ark theories have in common is claiming with alleged eye witness testimony that The Mercy Seat is a Throne.  Which I accepted myself at face value till I decided to look deeper into that a few weeks ago, and found that claim doesn't hold up, and is based on a bad translation.  Because of that I've been starting to doubt Cornuke's claim somewhat too.

The "Mercy Seat" is one word in The Hebrew.  Strong number 3727 Kapporeth, which comes from from 3722 Kaphar being it's feminine plural.  They both mean Mercy, no word for chair or seat or throne is used.  The Greek term used in Hebrew 9:5 is Strong number 2435 hilasterion which comes from 4233, is the same.  The Greek word for Throne that is sometimes translated Seat particularly in Revelation is Thronos.

Jeremiah 3:17 following 3:16 is the main Bible verse Chuck Missler likes to cite to say the Throne is the Mercy Seat and thus The Mercy Seat has eschatological significance.  He then ties that into Ezekiel 43:7.  The Hebrew word translated Throne in both those verses, and of God's heavenly four wheeled flying Throne, and the Throne of David is Kicce, strong number 3678.  In Ezekiel 43:7 I feel the Mercy Seat, if it will still exist at all, is probably Yahuah's Foot Stool rather then Throne.  That fits 1 Chronicles 28:2 and Psalm 132.

When God is described as dwelling "between the Cheirbuim" that could be referring to the Cheirmbum that were part of the design of the Tabernacle/Temple itself rather then on the Mercy Seat.

Michael Rood's depictions of the Mercy Seat show only 2 of the 4 wings of the Cherubim on the Ark spread out, with the other two at their sides.  That doesn't match what Exodus 37:9 describes.
And the cherubims spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubims.
Clearly all 4 wings are spread over the lid.

In Ezekiel and Daniel 7 God is described as having a Four Wheeled flying Throne.  I think the Shekeniah Glory in a sense is that Throne.  I believe Yahuah's Throne in the Holy of Holies of The Tabernacle and Solomon's Temple was the same Throne as his Heavenly Throne.  And if anything The Mercy Seat was his Foot Stool.  The Yom Kippur description in Leviticus 16 clearly has Yahuah ABOVE the Mercy Seat, not on it.

Michael Rood has also made it part of his view of Bible Prophecy that at the start of the 70th Week "The Messiah" who he views as Jesus, will "confirm the Covenant" (referring to Daniel 9 70 Weeks Prophecy), by revealing The Ark to The World.

Now I feel there is an unwitting danger there, I do not question Rood's intentions, I'm convinced he is a true Brother in Christ.  But this idea of an Eschatological role for The Ark/Mercy Seat combined with mistakenly making The Mercy Seat a Throne, I see as having potential for an End Times deception.

Paul in II Thessalonians 2 does describe The Man of Sin as "sitting" in The Temple.  Michael Rood thinks he'll sit on The Ark, so for that reason I'm certain he'll recognize The Abomination of Desolation for what it is when it happens even if he's mistaken on the events leading up to it.

Isaiah 14:13 describes Satan as having a Throne of his own, that he wants to make higher then the Most High's.  The word there is Kicce also.  Haggai chapter 2 refers to The Throne of the Nations.

Revelation 2 in the letter to Pergamos makes reference to Satan's Seat (Seat being Thronos).  Because of the nature of the letters to the Seven Churches, I don't necessarily think Satan's Thronos is literally in Pergamos, though it could be. I may touch on one theory for where it could be later in this study or in a future one.  In my past Seven Churches post I theorized that what Jesus meant by Satan's Seat allegorically in this context was the Serapis Temple (a cult that originated in Hellenistic Egypt based on Osiris and Apis/The Golden Calf and maybe also Apollo) not the more famous Altar of Pergamom.

In Revelation 13 The Dragon/The Serpent/The Devil/Satan gives his Thronos and his power and his authority to The Beast.  The same Authority he offered Jesus in his third Temptation.

In Revelation 16 when the 6th Bowl of God's Wrath is poured out this Thronos is mentioned again.  Because of how this ties into the rest of that chapter and the following ones.  I'm convinced it must be located (at that time) west of the Euphrates.

Going back to Isaiah 14.  Satan wants to place his Throne on the "Sides of the North", on the one hand this refers to God's Heavenly throne room.  But The Tabernacle and Temple is modeled after that.  Psalm 48 is the only other usage of this phrase "Sides of the North", where it is linked to Zion.

Now for those who think The Antichrist could be someone claiming to be the Islamic Mahdi, there are Mahdi Prophecies that say he'll discover The Ark of The Covenant and other ancient Relics like the original Torah Scroll and Gospel to Refute Judaism and Christianity.  Here is a Sunni Muslim website on the subject, one I'll be talking about more in the future.  And here is another Muslim claim that the Mahdi will have the Ark, and that Muhammad had it.

The sources conflict on where these things will be found.  Some imply Antioch, some Rome, given the context of the origins of Islamic eschatology Constantinople could be what is meant by Rome, which would make two options in modern Turkey, same modern nation as Pergamon.  Others say by or in the Sea of Tiberius, an ancient name for the Sea of Galilee.  There is also a related prophecy about the waters receding from Alexandria in Egypt to uncover the treasures of Duhl-Qarnain, further confirming early Muslims saw him as Alexander The Great.

I have my skepticism of the Islamic Antichrist theory, but I do view all these false prophecies as potential satanic seeds for the Antichrist even if they wind up being irrelevant to how the End Times actually plays out.

Another reason to suspect a possible Egyptian origin for a counterfeit Ark would be how the Masonic Enoch built the Great Pyramid theorists like to claim the dimensions of the sarcophagus in the King's Chamber has the same dimensions as the Ark of the Covenant.  I'm not sure how accurate that claim is but I know it's out there.  Here is one crazy variation that says Moses stole The Ark from the Pyramid.

The theory about the journey of the Ark I said above that I used to and still kind of do favor does have it go through Egypt.  In fact II Chronicles 35:21 is thought of as implying Pharaoh Necho had direct access to it.

But the most famous theory about the Ark's fate in modern popular imagination is the one used in the premise of Raiders of The Lost Ark.  Which is that it was taken to Egypt by Shishak.  The common theory among many Atheist Bible Skeptics (if they concede it existed at all) is that Shishak taking it is the only logical fate, but it wasn't fully admitted in the text because of national pride.  I don't know if that was a factor in Lucas and Spielberg using that theory or not.

You can however be an Inerrantist and still favor that theory.  The strongest Biblical argument for the Ark being in The Temple anytime after that is the "Dwelleth between the Cheirbum" references, and I already addressed that phrase.  Besides that Josiah's request in II Chronicles 25:3 tells us that it was removed sometime before then and implies it's location was known, but nothing more concrete.  It being in the same chapter as the Necho reference has been interpreted as explaining why Josiah inexplicably attacked Necho.

Maybe it's possible Shishak took it but the rest of the going to Ethiopia theory of Cornuke is also true.

Maybe an Ark substitute of some kind was created for the Onias Temple?

Another thing Bible critics love to make a big deal out of is objects in the ancient Egyptian Pagan religion that kind of resembled The Ark and claim Moses just ripped those off.

However given what I've argued above one key difference to weaken that argument is that the Egyptian Arks were Thrones for Idols and/or looked like Thrones.  The Japanese Omikoshi I feel is more legitimately similar to The Ark of The Covenant because it's not a Throne, only a container of sacred relics.

So the gist is, could it be some Ancient Egyptian relic will be found in the End Times and claimed to be the Ark?

[Update: Follow Up Post]]

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Eschatological Babylon is Basra

On this blog I've repeatedly maintained that Eschatological Babylon is in Mesopotamia/Shinar and not a mere allegory, citing Zechariah 5 and so on.  But I've also said that it could be a different Mesopotamian city then the Babylon of Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar.

Rob Skiba likes to say "the first shall be last" when defending both his views about Babylon (which I think are partly right) and Nimrod (which I view as totally wrong).  Well I've argued before in depth that the original Babel of Genesis 10 and 11 was Eridu.

The modern Iraqi city the ruins of Eridu are nearest to is Basra.  Both the Freemason Voltaire in Zadig and the Fabian Socialist H.G. Wells in The Shape of Things to Come predicted Basra to be the international capital of a future Globalist Utopia.

Basra is the second largest city in modern Iraq after Baghdad.

It was founded after the rise of Islam by the Caliph Umar in the 600s AD.  He is coincidentally the same Caliph who first conquered Jerusalem for Islam  In the 700s it already started to become an intellectual center of not just Mesopotamia but the entire Islamic world.

Like most of South Eastern Iraq it is today a primarily Shiite city.  The battles over it during the the current Iraqi turmoil have been between different Shiite factions.  The Shiite dominated US backed Government, and The Mahdi Army backed by Iran.  ISIS so far has never gotten near it.  So it could be important to Imam Mahdi speculations.

Given my speculation that I have alluded to before and will touch on more in the future that Babylon and the Kings of The East in Revelation may be dominated by Lost Tribes descendants rediscovering their Israelite identity, possibly under the leadership of a False Messiah Ben-Joseph who'd be a decoy Antichrist.  It's interesting that the area of Basra is also a proposed location for the Garden of Eden, being located between the Persian Gulf and were the Tigris and Euphrates unite.  So one could see followers of an Abrahamic faith making a Holy Site out of it.

The Bible does place Eden in Mesopotamia, I've recently flirted with speculation that placed Eden in Israel, (The Beth-El and Ezekiel's Temple posts, the overall points of those posts I still agree with).  But The Bible repeatedly uses the name Eden of a location in Mesopotamia, but the Strongs pretends it's a different word giving it a different number.  So Eden is undeniably in Mesopotamia.

I want to do a follow up here to my Seven Heads and Daniel 7 study.

Since I'm now suggesting the Eridu/Basra region is the main area who's ruler-ship we need to pay attention to.  I'd change only one thing in that study, instead of Parthia as the 6th head of Revelation 17 and 4th head of the Leopard, perhaps we should look at The Kingdom of Characene.

It's capital city Charax was founded by Alexander The Great on an artificial mound very near modern Basra.  Originally inhabited mainly by retired Macedonian war veterans, it's speculated Alexander's original ambition for the city was for it to be an important port center for Babylon.  It was destroyed by a river inundation and later re-founded by Antiochus III The Great.

Characene's formation as an independent state began when Parthia invaded Mesopotamia in 141 BC.  It was officially founded in 127 BC by Hyspaosines a former Satrap appointed by Antiochus Epiphanes.  The Kingdom controlled South Eastern Mesopotamia, the same area that is the core of Shiite Iraq today.

According to Josephus, Symacho a princess of this kingdom converted to Judaism around the same time as Izates of Adiabene (around 30/31 AD) and became his wife while he was living in Charax prior to becoming King.

Pliny The Elder wrote of the kingdom.
The embankments extend in length a distance of nearly 4½ kilometers, in breadth a little less. It stood at first at a distance of 1¾ km from the shore, and even had a harbor of its own. But according to Juba, it is 75 kilometer from the sea; and at the present day, the ambassadors from Arabia, and our own merchants who have visited the place, say that it stands at a distance of one 180 kilometers from the sea-shore. Indeed, in no part of the world have alluvial deposits been formed more rapidly by the rivers, and to a greater extent than here; and it is only a matter of surprise that the tides, which run to a considerable distance beyond this city, do not carry them back again. [Pliny the Elder (AD 77). Natural History. Book VI. xxxi. 138-140. Translation by W. H. S. Jones, Loeb Classical Library, London/Cambridge, Mass. (1961).]
Who exactly ruled the Kingdom in John's time isn't known for certain, it's speculated the kingdom was briefly ruled directly by the Parthian King (thus not changing the individual King I suggested before) but still as an independent state.

After Trajan captured Babylon from the Parthains in 116 AD he approached Characene with his armies and Attambelos VII surrendered the Kingdom to him.  Trajan is said to have visited the port and watched ships leaving for India and lamented that he couldn't go there himself like Alexander.

Not long after Trajan died Hadrian gave all of Mesopotamia and Assyria back to the Parthians.  Hence Rome only ruled it very briefly.  But Characene's independence was still pretty much done, the Parthains wouldn't give them an independent king again till 131 AD and it then survived less then a century.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Beast and Babylon are enemies

This is the vitally important detail of Revelation that people overlook.

In Revelation 17 the Woman rides the Beast, she has power over it at first, but The Beast and his Horns inevitably attack and destroy her.

The geographical clues of Revelation 16 from the 6th and 7th Bowls tell me the Seat of The Beast is west of the Euphrates, while Babylon is clearly East of the Euphrates.

This is why Babylon can't be an allegory for anyplace west of the Euphrates.

But it's also proof the Antichrist can't be Alexander Hislop and Rob Skiba's fantasy version of Nimrod.  That Nimrod created Babylon, he would not destroy it.

In fact I think Christians need to be prepared for the possibility that The Antichrist could be someone spouting all of the same Anti-Babylon rhetoric that people in The Church love spouting.  Especially since I think The Antichrist could be an American riding the coat tails of the very dangerous Dominionist movement, and/or Mormonism.

The Kings of The East are allied with Babylon I believe, The Beast uses the demonic frogs to lure them and their armies to Armegeddon away from Babylon so he can do a sneak attack on it.

This conflict does not mean Babylon should suddenly be viewed as good.  But this is also interesting to remember in light of the fact that East of the Euphrates river is the first place we should look for the Lost Tribes.