Monday, January 30, 2017

The 7 Year Covenant is not a Peace Treaty

I think Chris is Right and Wrong about much of this.

I now view the 70th Week of Daniel as fulfilled in the first Advent of Jesus, and that The Antichrist is mentioned in Daniel 9 only possibly in being the Abomination alluded to.  Which contrary to many translations is not set up by the same person who confirms the Covenant and stops the Daily Sacrifice.

But I think maybe the 70th Week has End Times relevance only in that an Antichrist will seek to claim he's The Messiah.  Though I do not view that scenario the same way Chris White does.  Though that could just be me seeking an excuse to not do all the work that changing the URL of this Blog would entail.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Misconceptions about the Magi and the Census

Matthew 2:1 clearly says.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem
And yet today the notion is constantly being promoted that the Magi arrived 2 years later, or at least over a year.

The first argument for this presented is often the easiest to refute, saying that Jesus was called a "child" not a "baby".  However the same Greek word translated "child" in Matthew 2:8, Luke uses in the same form in 2:17 to refer to the newborn Jesus.  And the form of the word used in Matthew 2:9 is used in Luke 2:21 of Jesus at his Circumcision.  So that whole argument is based on ignorance of the Greek.

That Herod ordered everyone under two years old to be killed was probably him grossly rounding up.  But that he asked the Magi how long ago they saw the Star may have been a factor.  And at the time they had that discussion it may be both the Magi and Herod thought the birth happened when they saw the star.  But they were Human. 

God's inspired Word in Matthew 2:1 clearly and unambiguously synchronizes the Birth of Jesus to when the Magi arrived in Jerusalem, not when the Star was first seen.  God used the Star to bring them to where he wanted them when he wanted them.  And I think even if the Magi told Herod the King was probably born now not then, Herod would not have wanted to take a chance on it.

Matthew 2:8 says Herod told them to "search diligently" so he may have given then plenty of time before realizing he'd been snubbed. So I don't think the 2 year time frame in question cleanly begins or ends with the Birth of Jesus.  Matthew 2:16 does clarify Herod was killing two years and under from when they saw the Star.

I also personally have come to feel it makes most sense if Jesus presentation in The Temple was after Herod was already dead.  Many who support the September 11th 3 BC birth-date (that I used to support) and a January 1 BC death for Herod, have Herod dying less then 40 days from when they have the Magi arrive in Jerusalem anyway.  Since some variations of that have the Magi arrive in Jerusalem on the 25th of December 2 BC, based on their analysis of the movements of Jupiter.

But the main reason I feel that way is, why would these foreigners proclaiming the Birth of a King of the Jews upset and surprise him so much, if Simeon and Anna had already given their very public declarations of The Messiah's birth?  Why wouldn't he have a similar reaction to that?

[Update 2018: I've changed my mind on these prior two paragraphs in light by reasons for now placing Jesus Birth in 12 BC.]

But there is one last argument against The Magi arriving in Jerusalem when Jesus was born, and I saved that for last cause I want to use it to transition into something else.

That argument is that in Matthew 2 Jesus and his parents are living in a House not an Inn.  Before I'd argued simply that a few days could be enough time for them to find better living quarters, as not everyone in Bethlehem when they first arrived was gonna stay them, some the Census may have been making travel even further.  But my views on that have possibly changed, which I want to explain below.

The problem is much of how we picture the Birth of Jess is indeed not Biblical.  There is no Biblical account of them seeking room in an Inn and finding none.  Nor does it anywhere say he was born in a stable or a cave.  That tradition comes from Christianized Rome wanting to make a cave for worshiping Adonis into a Church, thus we get the current Church of the Nativity.

The one occurrence of the word "inn" in the KJV of Luke 2:7 is mistranslated.  The Greek word is Katalumati.  The other two times it is used it is translated in the KJV "guestchamber".  It means a guest room of sorts usually located on the upper floor of a house.  It is used of the Upper Room of the Last Supper, in Mark 14:14 and Luke 22:11.  One of those is the same author as this verse.

And this statement that there was no room in the Katalumati comes after Jesus is born, not before, it's where to place him after being born.  This Katalumati is not where he was born.

Luke 2 also doesn't even say Jesus was born as soon as they arrived in Bethlehem.  Verses 1-5 tell us the Census brought them to Jerusalem.  And then verse 6 says while they were there the time for her to give Birth came.   They could have been in Bethlehem for weeks or even months.  Which addresses the criticism of making Mary travel this far at a full 9 months.  I now think they she may well have been only 4 or 5 months pregnant when they traveled to Bethlehem.

So there is in fact nothing in Luke's account to definitively contradict a theory that Jesus was born in a house Joseph (or his family) owned.  Yet I myself was still clouded by these misconceptions when I made all my previous Christmas relevant posts.  It's possible there was no room on the main floor because others of the House of David were also staying there at this time.

Which is why I want to move on to the Census now.

When refuting the common assertion that a Roman census would never require such traveling, on message boards I would copy/paste the following which I no longer remember where I got it from.
First of all, lets look at a few early census accounts taken from history and see how they matchup with the Bible:

The following is a record of a census taken in the year 104 A.D. which contains similar wording to that found in the Gospel:

"From the Prefect of Egypt, Gaius Vibius Maximus. Being that the time has come for the house to house census, it is mandatory that
all men who are living outside of their districts return to their own homelands, that the census may be carried out."

Another census was uncovered from 48 A.D.which also records a return of the people to their native land for the census. It reads as follows:

"I Thermoutharion along with Apollonius, my guardian, pledge an oath to Tiberius Claudius Caesar that the preceding document gives an accurate account of those returning, who live in my household, and that there is no one else living with me, neither a foreigner, nor an Alexandrian, nor a freedman, nor a Roman citizen, nor an Egyptian. If I am telling the truth, may it be well with me, but if falsely, the reverse. In the ninth year of the reign of Tiberius Claudius Augustus Germanicus Emperor."

It is interesting to note that these two census accounts required a person to return to their homeland to be registered. The same is true of the Gospel account.
The response I got (that at the time I wasn't ready to respond to) was that the point of these was to bring land owners to where they owned their land.  Not the hometown of a distant ancestor from a thousand years ago.  (Another objection is that these were Egyptian customs, but it's logical similar ones were done in neighboring provinces).

That notion seems inconsistent with the Nativity narrative only because of the extra-Biblical assumptions I just addressed.

The reason these Census instructions were needed is because clearly many people were living somewhere other then where they actually owned their property.

Remember, the word translated "Carpenter" in reference to Joseph could also very likely imply he was actually an Architect.  He may have been in Galilee because of a construction project, perhaps one of Herod's many.  And of course those insisting Nazareth is to young a city to be the Biblical one suggest it was at most brand new when Jesus was born.  Maybe Joseph was helping build Nazareth?

This Census, (whichever one it was, I'll try to tackle that in the future), then required him to return home sooner then originally planned.

And if my argument that Bethlehem is "Zion, which is the City of David" is true. Then that adds a lot to the above observations.  As we now see that David's family never stopped being linked to Bethlehem after they became Royalty.

Now I've seen someone argue that Nazareth not Bethlehem must be their hometown in Luke because of Luke 2:39.  Since Luke 2:3 says they are to return to their "own city", if Luke 2:39 is calling Nazareth their "own City" in contrast to Bethlehem, then you're not even dealing with an inconsistency with other records, but accusing Luke 2 of being inconsistent with itself.  Since no one accuses Luke of being garbled together from different authors like they do some other books, that option isn't really viable.  Luke 2:39 is simply about Nazareth becoming their new hometown after deciding to move there permanently, with Matthew 2 providing the reasons why this change in residence happened.  It may be that the English simply words this misleadingly.

Now this doesn't change that events of Matthew 1 takes place while Mary and Joseph were in Nazareth even though Matthew doesn't mention Nazareth.  But Matthew doesn't mention Bethlehem in that chapter either, Bethlehem is first mentioned in Matthew 2 when Jesus was born, and 6 to nine months separated the events of chapters 1 and 2.

And it's still possibly that Mary was indigenous to Nazareth.  Maybe Joseph met and courted here while in Nazareth on business.  Or maybe this arranged marriage is what first brought him there.  But that fact that Luke gives us the impression that the events of Matthew 1 didn't happen till three months into Mary pregnancy, makes most sense if we presume Joseph was living in Bethlehem when the Annunciation and Visitation happened, and came to Nazareth for the wedding around the end of Sivan or beginning of Tammuz.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Zion, which is The City of David

So I've listened to some more of Bob Cornuke talking about his Temple location theory.  The objections I've already made still apply, 1 Kings 8:1 which is repeated in 1 Chronicles says the Ark was brought out of Zion.  David purchased Mount Moriah later it was not in what he originally conquered.  The Tabernacle of David was not the same site, it was standing the whole time Solomon's Temple was under construction.

His argument cites a lot of verses that are Eschatological.  Leaving aside the usual logic that Zion become a poetically broader term later, and the Hebrew word translated Mount can often mean a Mountain Range.  In fact the term Zionism comes from the idea that Zion can sometimes mean the entire Holy Land.  And Paul in Hebrew 12:22 uses Mount Sion of the Heavenly Jerusalem, a location not currently on Earth.  And that is probably the same Sion seen in Revelation 14.  It is the land that will be known as New Jerusalem.

Bob Cornuke specifically cites Ezekiel 47.  Ezekiel's Temple is not in Jerusalem at all, it's about 11 or 12 miles north, Bethel in my view but others have argued for Shiloh or Shechem.  It is the center of the Holy District, while Yahuah-Shammah is in the middle of the southern third of the Holy District.  And the entire Geography has clearly completely changed.

He quotes Joel 3.  Joel uses the word Temple only once, referring to Pagan Temples.  And Joel never uses Tabernacle.  Joel like other Prophets refers to Zion as where Yahuah will, in the Future, Dwell.  Yahuah-Shammah means Yahuah is There, but it is not the site of Ezekiel's Temple.

Also New Jerusalem we're specifically told will not have a Temple, but it is called the Tabernacle of God.  Some Eschatological references are to the Tabernacle of David, which as can be shown was NOT where Solomon's Temple was, but in Mount Zion.

Also the Gihon is mentioned very rarely, and contrary to assumption the Tabernacle isn't defined as the location of Solomon's Coronation, it just says the Oil came from the Tabernacle. And it's certainly never linked to The Temple.

Much of the Southern Conjecture argument overlaps with Cornuke's.  That it also places the Antonia Fortress where the Dome of the Rock is, and north of The Temple higher up the mountain overlooking it.  And that model also doesn't need to make excuses on the "no stone left" issue.  The Wailing Wall was not part of The Temple in that model either.

However, I have now come to a possible theory that may allow Bob Cornuke to be right and wrong at the same time.  That maybe The Temple was in what is today considered the City of David.  But that the traditional location of the City of David is wrong.

An argument can be made that the account of how Jerusalem came under David's control (2 Samuel 5:6-9 and 1 Chronicles 11:4-8) makes more sense if Jebus and "Zion which is the City of David" are separate cities.  He had to take one first to conquer the other. And this fits later references to the two locations in the time of Solomon also.  The Ark was brought out of the City of David to The Temple, and likewise the Daughter of Pharaoh was brought out of the City of David to Solomon's house.  It looks like after the Jebusites chose to resist, David simply chose the fortress of Zion to be the base of his campaign against Jebus.

It might be that Jerusalem is sometimes used broadly of an entire district, but when used specifically of a single City it's just Jebus.  Some references to Jerusalem and Zion in the same verse often taken to verify their being synonymous, can also work as listing separate cities side by side.  Like Isaiah 64:10 which says cities, plural, then lists Jerusalem and Zion.  But since Zion also arguably has both a poetic broader application and a more specific one, perhaps it fits when paired with Jerusalem, two names that refer to different specific cities but basically the same area when applied broadly.  Psalm 76:2 also makes sense as referring to Salem and Zion as separate cities.

It's possible sometimes Jerusalem and Zion are paired together to represent the two tribes of the Southern Kingdom, Benjamin and Judah, Psalm 78:68 says Zion is a mount of Judah.  And perhaps this area was similar in intent to the original plan for Washington DC, taking parts of both Maryland and Virginia to create a capital District.  Isaiah 24:23 refers to Yahuah ruling in Zion and in Jerusalem, as if they are separate.

One question that might pop into your mind from the idea of separating Jerusalem from the City of David is, which city then is Ariel in Isaiah 29?  "Where David dwelt" could apply to both but arguably fits the City of David better.  And Zion is mentioned explicitly.  Also Ariel means "Lion of God", that fits it being a Judean rather then Benjamite city, as Judah is the Lion in Genesis 49.  Other tribes (Gad and Dan) are associated with Lions elsewhere (Deuteronomy 33), but not Benjamin.

I think the house David built with materials provided by Hiram of Tyre was in Jebus/Jerusalem, where he lived and had children with his wives from Jerusalem, and that could be the same archeological site it's usually associated with.   But the Fort of Zion was in the City of David, that fort already existed.

Ophel is a place-name linked to the Gihon once.  It's a Hebrew word for Tent sometimes used of the The Tabernacle, and in the KJV is translated " tabernacle", so it may not always refer to the same place. Maybe the Ophel in the City of David could have been where David's Tabernacle was?

Only 2 Chronicles 1:4 says David pitched a Tent for the Ark in Jerusalem rather then Zion or the CIty of David.  First off the books of Chronicles probably entered their final form later, so a broader definition of what qualifies as Jerusalem may make more sense there.  But also this reference comes after David had purchased Moriah, so maybe the Ark did some moving around during this period.

The City we usually call Jerusalem I feel is obviously the Jerusalem of the The Gospels & Acts and thus the Jebus of the Hebrew Bible.  Where Solomon and Zerubabel/Herod's Temples were built.  So where then is the City of David and Mount Zion?

Luke Chapter 2 in verses 4 and 11 calls Bethlehem the City of David, and endless Christian commentaries try to explain why this doesn't contradict the Hebrew Bible's City of David being Jerusalem by saying both could be described that way.  Yet we're supposed to use Scripture to interpret Scripture, and Luke said "The" not "a".  And Christians view the New Testament as revealing and clarifying the "Old Testament".  This argument would not convince Jews or other non Christians of course, so fortunately I have some directly from the Hebrew Scriptures.

1 Samuel 20:6 when speaking of David refers to Bethlehem as "his city", that predates the exact phrase "City of David' ever occurring.  When you think about it this should always have been obvious, the hometown of David is the City of David.  To go back to a previous point, Bethlehem was in Judah.

If you object, "David had to capture his own home town?" remember what I said above, in my theory Zion didn't need to be captured, it was the base of operations for capturing Jebus.  Bethlehem is also in a mountainous region, in fact it's elevated higher then Jerusalem.  Perhaps the Gihon was the spring now known as the Spring of Etam, or Atan?

It's interesting to note that the Crusaders also captured Bethlehem first, Godfrey sent Tancred to take it, then they used it as a base in their siege of Jerusalem. Lots of people overlook this detail of the Crusades, but once you're aware of how Bethlehem is elevated higher then Jerusalem, you realize it is ideal to secure that area first if you want to siege Jerusalem.

Micah 5:2 is the key Prophecy that The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.  But remember the Chapter divisions were not in the original text, and Micah 5 does sound like it's starting in the middle of something.  Micah mentions Zion constantly, particularly in chapter 4.

The first time Bethlehem is mentioned it is home to the Tower of Edar in Genesis 35:20-21.  Micah 4:8 refers to the Tower of Edar (Tower of The Flock in the KJV) as the Stronghold of Zion.  Then later refers to Jerusalem arguably as a separate city.  Some traditions say it was from the Migdol Eder that the Angel announced the Birth of Jesus to the Shepherds.

Psalm 132 mentions Ephratah in a context that seems to place the Tabernacle (Ophel) and The Ark there.  And it is a Davidic Psalm.  The City of David housed the Tabernacle of David and The Ark during most of David's reign.  And that Psalm also uses the name Zion.

2 Samuel 2:32 says David's nephew Asahel was buried in Bethlehem in the sepulcher of his father.  Kings of the House of David are repeatedly refereed to as being buried in the City of David, and resting with their fathers.  Starting with David himself in 1 Kings 2:10 being buried with his father in the City of David (Acts 13:36 also says David was buried with his fathers).  And it turns out Bethlehem does have a site with a tradition of being where David was buried.  Or the Kings might have been among those buried in the Bronze Age caves built where modern Efrat is.'s_Tomb " In the 4th century CE, he and his father Jesse were believed to be buried in Bethlehem. The idea he was entombed on what was later called Mt Zion dates to the 9th century CE." Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky, 'Where is King David Really Buried?,' The Jewish Press, May 15th 2014.  "By the mid-fourth century, the tombs of King David and his father, Jesse, are described as being in Beit Lechem.[See Limor, “King David’s Tomb.”] The first mention of Mount Zion as King David’s final resting place was in the ninth century".  Back to Wikipedia  "4th century Pilgrim of Bordeaux reports that he discovered David to be buried in Bethlehem, in a vault that also contained the tombs of Ezekiel, Jesse, Solomon, Job, and Asaph, with those names carved into the tomb walls."...[Ora Limor, "The Origins of a Tradition: King David's Tomb on Mount Zion," Traditio 44 (1988): 459.] "Having initially revered David's tomb in Bethlehem, Muslims began to venerate it on Mount Zion instead but no earlier than the 10th century following the Christian (and possibly Jewish) lead. In the twelfth century, Jewish pilgrim Benjamin of Tudela recounted a somewhat fanciful tale of workmen accidentally discovering the tomb of David on Mount Zion."
Asahel was a maternal Nephew which makes the above argument not quite a slam dunk exactly.  But his father is never identified.  And all three of Zeruiah's children are called sons of Zeruiah rather then by their father.  That makes it possible they may have been born out of wedlock and so mostly treated as part of Jesse's family.  Either way being buried in Bethlehem means, if it was his direct father he was buried with, he was one from the same city and so probably at least the same Tribe.  That David's nephews were so important to him means he may have insisted they be buried as part of the royal family.

Some kings are assumed to not be buried with the others in the City of David however.  Manasseh and Amon were buried in the Garden of Uzza or Uzzah, in 2 Kings 21. Manasseh is still said to have "slept with his fathers", however that terminology is arguably more vague being sometimes just used of death in general.  But, Uzzah was also the name of the person who died from touching the Ark as it was transported to the City of David, and David named a location after this Uzzah, Perezuzzah.  And another Uzza is listed in 1 Chronicles 6:29 as a Levite who was appointed a Musician in the Tabernacle of David.  So the name of Uzza can be linked to the City of David.

Jehoram was buried in the City of David but not with the other kings because of the condition he died in according to 2 Chronicles 21:20.  2 Chronicles 24:25 has a similar situation with Joash.  Jehoiada, a priest who married Jehosheba, a daughter of Jehoram, is refereed to as being buried among the Kings in the City of David in 2 Chronicles 24:16.  So that adds more context to the Asahel situation.

Another King explicitly said not to be Buried with the others was Ahaz in 2 Chronicles 28:27, and this time it doesn't mention the City of David but says he was buried in Jerusalem.  Maybe where he was buried could be a clue to Manesseh and Amon's Garden of Uzza.

The name of Uzza/Uzzah here could be a variation of Uzziah, another name of King Azariah.  This king was originally buried "in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings" (2 Kings 15:7; 2 Chr. 26:23), but... that leads us to the Uzziah Tablet.
In 1931 an archeological find, now known as the Uzziah Tablet, was discovered by Professor E.L. Sukenik of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He came across the artifact in a Russian convent collection from the Mount of Olives. The origin of the tablet previous to this remains unknown and was not documented by the convent. The inscription on the tablet is written in an Aramaic dialect very similar to Biblical Aramaic. According to its script, it is dated to around AD 30-70, around 700 years after the supposed death of Uzziah of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. Nevertheless, the inscription is translated, "Hither were brought the bones of Uzziah, king of Judah. Not to be opened." It is open to debate whether this tablet really was part of the tomb of King Uzziah or simply a later creation. It may be that there was a later reburial of Uzziah here during the Second Temple Period.
Being buried on the Mount of Olives, is pretty interesting.

It may also be interesting to note that a Bethlehem site is believed to be where Herod was buried, the Herodion.  And Herod's Official Biographer claimed him to be of Davidic ancestry.  I also wonder if Herod built his Herodium fortress over the older fort David had used that I'd mentioned earlier, possibly eliminating all evidence of the older fort.  Some aspects of Josephus description seem consistent with the idea of an older fortification existing there, it was the site of a battle before Herod built anything.

Bethlehem is never mentioned (by that name at least) in the books of Kings and only once in 2 Chronicles during the reign of Rehoboam.  As if during the Kingdom period calling it by that name was phased out in favor of the City of David.  Of course between Solomon and Hezekiah the only references to the City of David are as where the Kings were buried.

If you still think The Man-Child of Revelation 12 is Jesus.  It is Zion far more often then Jerusalem refereed to as travailing in Childbirth. With my view of The Man-Child as The Church at The Rapture, maybe Bethlehem will play a role in that?  After all a Mount Sion is important to Revelation 14.

Yahuah-Shammah is nine times the size of modern Jerusalem, according to the most common estimate of it's size, it could be larger.  Bethlehem is about five miles south of Jerusalem.  Yahuah-Shammah could be large enough to encompass both Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

But remember not all references to Bethlehem are to the one in Ephratah of Judah, there is another lesser known one in the North.  Sometimes people will try to argue that is where Jesus was born, but Micah, Matthew and Luke all make qualifiers ruling out the Northern One.  And the reference in John 7 would make no sense in that context if they meant a city in Galilee.

If I'm wrong on all that, then I would have to remain firmly in favor of the Southern Conjecture.  But if I'm right and the City of David wasn't in Jerusalem as we commonly think of it.  Then Bob Cornuke's site could be equally as likely as the Southern Conjecture.  His arguments from Josephus make a lot of sense.

Update:  I have become a bit more convinced of Cornuke's theory now that I've seen him tie a new model for the Crucifixion of Jesus into it.  (I'm also thus abandoning my theories about where Jesus was Crucified from a few days ago.)  Placing it East of Jerusalem.   But this doesn't take away what I argued at the start.  I'm now more convinced then ever that the City of David is Bethlehem.

Though I am bothered by him repeating the usual memes against using The Cross that I already talked about.  A key innovator in arguing for Ethiopia's claim to the Ark should know better.

And if Jesus was Crucified at the Mount of Olives, perhaps that changes how we should view the Mount of Olives reference from Zechariah 14.

Since Zion is in Judah.  It's interesting typologically that I identify Ethiopia largely with Judah.  And Zion held The Ark until Jerusalem's Temple was ready for it.

The more I contemplate the issue of Solomon's House that he built partly for the Daughter of Pharaoh.  I wonder if that was built on what we today know as The Temple Mount?

And now I've talked about how all this perhaps makes more sense of The Nativity Narrative.

Update 01/29/2017: And my thoughts regarding the Temple site shift again as I read this criticism of Cornuke.  However I'm not likely to support their view of where The Temple was (the Al-Aqsa Mosque).  And their rationalization of Jesus statement of no stone being left I find troubling.  Josephus, an eye witness, said after The Temple was destroyed it looked like there had never been a building there.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque could be where Solomon's House was built.  But I'm also thinking Solomon's Palace may have been the site we've been assuming was David' Palace.

But I'm still convinced that in fact Bethlehem was the City of David.

Update Again: So I have run into a major problem with my Bethlehem theory.  Nehemiah 3:15-16 and 12:37 refer to the City of David as seemingly pretty clearly within the Jerusalem he rebuilt, and refers to the burial site of the Kings being there.  But I shall look more into that as there could be an explanation.

Update 2/23/2017: The potential answer to that issue is that Nehemiah's wall was larger then we usually think it was, that it encompassed Jerusalem and Bethlehem.  Maybe the wall we usually identify it with isn't it at all, or maybe it is but was only part of it.  And that most of what Nehemiah build we won't find the remains of due to the conquests of Israel by Antiochus Epiphanes and Rome.

Update March 8th 2017: Given my speculation that the Construction projects of Suleiman The Magnificent could be a second fulfillment of the Daniel 9 Prophecy fulfilled by Nehemiah.  It's interesting to note that he also built fortifications in Bethlehem, like The Castle of The Pools.

Update June 2017: I have redone the Zion is Bethlehem argument on another blog.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Second Captivity of Samaria?

When prophecies like Jeremiah 32 and Ezekiel 16 were foretelling the coming Babylonian Captivity of Jerusalem, they compared and contrasted it to the Assyrian Captivity of Samaria.  The thing I note about this is that Judah ultimately had two captivities and returns, while Samaria has thus far had one Captivity and not yet a return.

Meanwhile I also feel many difficult to fully understand Prophecies are implying a conflict between Ephraim and Judah in the End Times.  From Isaiah 28, (and possibly Isaiah 7-11 which may or may not have Eschatological significance).  And Jeremiah 4, and Zechariah 9-11.  Like how they were often at war during the divided Kingdom period.

Which is a problem for how Two House Theology and British Israelism like to see the Eschatological role of Ephraim.  I should also point out that Mormonism teaches a form of Two House Theology.

I'm not a Dispensationalist as that is usually defined, I agree that The Church is grafted into Israel.  But we're not grafted into a specific Tribe, Ezekiel 37 says Joseph and Judah both have companions joined to them.

Now people might ask, if the "Lost Tribes" returning is a part of the End Times, where is it in Revelation?

Well it's in Chapter 16, in the Sixth Bowl of God's Wrath.  The Euphrates River is dried up to make way for the Kings of the East, East of the Euphrates is where Assyria first took them.  But it also describes people coming from all four corners of the Earth, just as Israel was ultimately scattered to all four corners.  And they are gathered at Megiddo, Northern Kingdom territory, in the valley of Jezreel which had been one of their capitals.

I think it's possible part of the point of The Millennium is so the Northern Kingdom can have a second Captivity.

Chris White talks about reasons that the Antichrist could resemble the Rabbinic expected Messiah Ben-Joseph, an idea that some Hebraic style Christians have also accepted.  But does so leaving the Lost Tribes aspect of that doctrine completely out of it.

I've been talking a lot about The Antichrist possibly ruling from Egypt.  How can that and a false Messiah Ben-Joseph claimant go together?

Well between lots of maps online confusing the Brook of Egypt with The Nile, thus expanding Israel's rightful borders to include much of Egypt.  And fringe history theories hijacking legit Revised Chronology research to say many Kings of Israel and Judah were really Pharaohs of Egypt.  And people trying to claim The Great Pyramid was built to honor Yahuah.  And my arguments that some nations believed to be of the Lost Tribes may really be of Exiled Egyptians (or perhaps both).  And Hosea foretelling that Ephraim would return to Egypt.  And that Jeroboam was a vassal of Shishak.  And Leviticus 24 talks about a Blasphemous Israelite who's mother was Danite and Father was an Egyptian  There is a lot to work with.

But also that Joseph himself, viewed as the first type of Messiah Ben-Joseph, was essentially placed Second in Command of Egypt by Pharaoh.  I think there are a lot of pieces to this puzzle I'm still trying to put together.  And Joshua 10:41 says Joshua conquered all the way to Goshen.  Either that's a different Goshen, or he conquered the same land they had lived in as slaves.  Whichever answer is true, a Messiah Ben-Joseph wanna be claiming to b a new Joshua could well use the latter interpretation.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Is it possible Jesus was Crucified further from Jerusalem then we assume?

[Update January 25th 2016: This is now an Abandoned theory as explained at the end of this post.  March 8th Update: and now elaborated on here.

Update again, October 22nd 2017, perhaps it's not so abandoned anymore, I've become less impressed with the Mont of Olives view.]

Both popular favorites for the Crucifixion site today are within the city limits of modern Jerusalem but were outside New Testament era Jerusalem.  The accounts all agree He was taken outside the City.

But given how much emphasis is placed on travel time in the accounts of his Burial and the women later coming to anoint him afterwards.  I can't help but wonder if it was further then we think.

First I want to say that as far as Revelation 11 calling where the Two Witnesses bodies will lay the place where Jesus was Crucified.  That city being where His execution was ordered still fits spiritually, as it is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt.  But, at the same time this location being called where Jesus was crucified was my main argument against Jack Kelly saying the Revelation 11 Temple will be at the same place as Ezekiel's Temple (he believes that is Shiloh, I believe it's Bethel) so perhaps this is significant.

John 19:20 says he was Crucified "nigh to the city".  But looking at other uses of the Greek word for Nigh, it's usually an idiom of time not distance.  And in Luke 19:11 Jesus is refereed to as nigh to Jerusalem when he was at Jericho.  And in John 11:18 Bethany is called "Nigh to Jerusalem".  In some contexts it seems like it could mean "facing" or "on the way to".  On the 14th of Nisan some people might have still been on the way to Jerusalem since the Pilgrimage command only required them to be there on the 15th.  And the point of that detail of John is to explain why word of what was written on Jesus Cross spread quickly in Jerusalem.

Where do I think it was?  Well I don't know for certain at all, this is just me throwing out that we should think about it.

But since my belief that Bethel is the site of Ezekiel's Temple has been relevant already, perhaps I should start there.

In Joshua 8:29 the King of Ai is hung on a Tree.  Something I already talked about having possible typological relevance to the Crucifixion of Jesus.  His body was taken down at sunset "even tide" which I recently pointed out being a relevant detail of Jesus Burial.  The text can also be taken as implying he was hung west of Ai.  Also west of Ai is Bethel, and I talked about how Abraham's altar was East of Bethel between it and Ai, and that Abraham's altar might be the site of Ezekiel's Brazen Altar.  Putting all that together, this as the site of Jesus Crucifixion becomes compelling.

But the key word used in the text to identify where Jesus was crucified is Golgotha, The Place of the Skull.  Garden Tomb proponents say this proves their site since it kind of looks like a Skull, but I don't think the Holy Spirit was going to make an identifier based on a Rorshach test.

The Hebrew word this name comes from is Gulgoleth, Strong number 1538.  It's not used too often which can make it easy to research, but the majority of the time the KJV doesn't translate it Skull, though in my opinion not once is it a context where it would totally lack grammatical sense to do so.

Only three places it's used could work to explain a location coming to carry that name, one involves tie ins with other passages to figure out how the Skull in question got to it's final resting place.

The least likely of these three to be relevant is Judges 9:53, where Abimelech's skull is crushed.  I don't see that location coming to have that name.

But 2 Kings 9:34-37 is interesting.  It refers to the fate of Jezebel, and her Skull and a few bones of her's being all that's left of her, and them being left there in the valley of Jezreel, which is also the valley overlooked by Meggido.

Now suggesting Jesus was Crucified there seems too far even for the logic I've argued already.  And yet on the subject of Zechariah 12-14 and my considering it's relevance to the First Advent of Jesus.  I talked about Chapter 12 verse 11 possibly being about the Mourning of Jesus, and it refers to the valley of Megiddon.

Third is Chronicles 10:10 which says the Skull of Saul was placed in the Temple to Dagon.  The KJV translates this Head but a prior verse had used a different word for Head when describing his post-Morten decapitation.  So I think this clearly tells us they removed the skin and meat from Saul's skull before placing it in there.

Then the men of Jabeshgiliead reclaimed the bodies of Saul and Johnathon and buried them in the Transjordan.

In 2 Samuel 21, seven descendants of Saul are Hung on Trees to appease the Gibeonites.  In or near Gibea, Saul's former capital, in land allotted to Benjamin, his tribe.  And this is dated to the beginning of the Barley Harvest, meaning near or at the time of Passover.

Later in verses 12-14 David had the bones of Saul and Johnathon moved from where they were buried to be reburied with these descendants of Saul in Zelah in the Sepulcher of Kish their father.

Jerusalem is also in Benjamite territory, but pretty close to the southern edge of it.  Given that Jericho which wasn't Benjamite territory was called nigh to Jerusalem, I think it's safe to say any place in Benjamin could be.

John 19:21 tells us the place where he was buried was right by the place he was Crucified.  Yet we also know this Tomb was originally the tomb Joseph of Arimathea had prepared for himself.  Arimathea is probably a Rama or Ramath of the Hebrew Bible.  Joshua 18:25 and Nehemiah 11:33 places one in the territory of Benjamin, and Judges 19:13 and Isaiah 10:29 seems to place it near Gibea.  Though Judges 4:5 places one near Bethel.  That makes the place known as The Tombs of the Children of Israel an interesting place to look.

The Toldoth Yeshu drawing on various conflicting Talmud passages often speculated to be about Jesus, places the Crucifixion at a place called Lod/Lud/Lydda.  In the Talmud this isn't said of a Yeshu at all but of Ben-Stada, I don't think Ben-Stada was Jesus, in fact I agree with the speculation that he may have been "That Egyptian" of Acts and Josephus.  What is interesting here is that it seems he was likewise sentenced in Jerusalem then taken to Lud, which could perhaps imply this was a standard procedure.

The few references to Lod in the Hebrew Bible associate it with Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:12; Ezra 2:33; Nehemiah 7:37; 11:35).  Acts 9:32-38 has Peter perform miracles there, and calls it Nigh to Joppa but that is using the same word for Nigh again.  So I saved this for last because it begins with something not only outside The Bible but ultimately hostile to it.  However it can be seen as possible further evidence for it being in Benjamite land north of Jerusalem.

I'm going to add at the end here a bone for Preterists that they might find interesting.  In the Talmud the "Slain of Lydda" refers to people killed in Lod by Rome during the Kitos War.  The two notable ones were Jullian and Pappos.  The Talmud also refers to a Pappos ben Yehuda, in one context implying a possible family connection to Yeshu and Mariam.  Church history tells us unnamed grandsons of Jude the half brother of Jesus survived a persecution during the reign of Domitian, Eusebius adds however they were Martyred under Trajan, the Kitos War was under Trajan.  Then a great grandson of Jude was the last Bishop of Jerusalem.  Especially given a recent theory of mine, could Julian and Pappos be the grandsons of Jude?  Which could then open up for preterists to consider that these two Martyrs of Lydda were the Two Witnesses Martyred where Jesus was Crucified in Revelation 11.

Interestingly an Islamic Hadith refers to Lod as being where the Dajjal will be slain.  Many Islamic Antichrist proponents fixated on the Mahdi like to speculate that the Dajjal will be the Two Witnesses, independent of any of this.

Update October 22nd 2017:  Moreh and Gilgal.

Genesis 22:14 is often taken by Christians as saying where Isaac was offered is where Jesus will be Crucified.  And since Genesis 22:2 says that is Mt Moriah, that's taken as proof it must be some location that cna qualify as the same mountain as The Temple Mount.

But the Samaritan Pentatuch version of Genesis 22:2 says Moreh rather then Moriah, and the Latin Vulgate supposedly translated from the Torah used by Jews in Jerome's time, seems to be based on that reading.  I've been a strong Masoretic Text over anything else proponent for years.  But certain factors have recently caused me to consider the Samaritan version to possibly be right in some areas.  In this case the difference in just a Yot between the R and the H.

The Masoretic text does mention Moreh in three places, Genesis 12:6, Deuteronomy 11:30 and Judges 7:1.  The Samaritan tradition on where exactly Moreh refers to I think could be off.  It's not a synonym for Shechem.  Genesis 12:6 says Abraham went through the land of Shechem to the plain of Moreh.

Moreh is a plain or plains in the Torah references but a Hill in Judges 7.   In Genesis 12 Abraham leaves his Altar in the Plain of Moreh to make one on a hill between Bethel and Ai.  Could that hill have become the Hill of Moreh? And so for the offering to Isaac God brought Abraham back to the place where he earlier called upon the name of Yahuah?

Gilgal is a name that I'm not sure every place it appears refers to the same location.  And if it does I doubt the traditional place is it.  Deuteronomy 11:30 has a Gilgal right by the Plain of Moreh.  The first Gilgal of Joshua seems to be east of Jericho.  But then in Joshua 9 that's still the name of their Camp after taking Ai.  Which I talked about above.

1st Samuel 7:16 has a Gilgal in Samuel's circuit with Bethel.  Lots of later references to Gilgal in Samuel treat it possibly as almost synonymous with Bethel.  Hosea 4:15 pairs Gilgal with Bethaven, a name used as a derogatory synonym for Bethel while Jeroboam's Idol was there. A number of places seem to refer to sacrifices being made at Gilgal.  Amos also links Gilgal to Bethel.

In the Strongs, Gilgal is right next to Gulgoleth, the latter is arguably Gilgal with a TH added at the end.  Is it possible that Golgotha is Gilgal?

Update November 27th 2017: Retracting the Moreh instead of Moriah part.

First of all since I, unlike Torah only people, consider Chronicles canon, I think the only reason it names Moriah is to identify that location with Genesis 22, like how it in the same verse mentions the threshing floor.

There is also the fact that Moria is just a shorter way of saying the meaning of Jehovah-Jirah, that's why it's Yah theophoric.  And the Samaritan Pentateuch still agrees with saying Jehovah-Jirah in 22:14.

Also Moriah too carries the meaning of seeing or vision in it, so the argument for the Vulgate agreeing with the Samaritan here is flawed.

Also Abraham was living in Mamre/Hebron both before and after this narrative.  So I'm not sure it works to say he traveled that far north.

Since some use the existence of Salem against this being Moriah, I will remind people of my view that the Salem of Genesis is Shiloh.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Was Rabbinic Judaism founded by Apostate Christians?

That is a shocking suggestion isn't it?

First of all this is another post where I need to remind people up front that I'm ultimately a Futurist because of how I view Matthew 24, Revelation, the Thessalonian Epistles and 2 Peter 3.  But yet I'm open to Preterist interpretations of many Prophecies most Futurists aren't because I think God has his hand in all eras of Human History.

For this I am returning to the subject of Zechariah 12-14.  In the last post where I brought that up, I mentioned how Preterists have argued Zechariah 13:7-9 including the two thirds being killed detail can apply to the Jewish-Roman War of 66-73 AD.  I disagree with them wanting to make Matthew 24 part of that, but much of Luke 21 can apply.

The only problem with that, which I suspect most Preterists ignore, is that part of what Zachariah 13:7-9 says is that all or most of those who survive will be right with God when it's all over.  And from a Christian perspective that would mean becoming Christians.

Well it is interesting that the sects of Judaism that were most hostile to Early Christians, the Sadducees, Zelots, and Shammai Pharisees, were the ones mostly wiped out by that war.  (there is a theory that some Sadducees went to Arabia and became the Himyar kingdom.)  Rabbinic Judaism basically grew out of the post 70 AD evolution of the Pharisees who followed Hillel.  There are plenty of Christians out there seeking to argue that basically Jesus was a Hillel Pharisee.

Chuck Missler likes to say if you study Acts closely it seems like eventually all the Pharisees became Christians.  Well after 70 AD the Pharisees are all that were left.

Karaite Jews reject the Rabbinic traditions, but they as a community are not an independent descent, they are people who left Rabbinic Judaism in the 10th and 11th Centuries, like how Protastants left The Catholic Church.  Inder the leader ship of an Exilarch who descended from the Rabbinic Exilarchs.

Today a lot of Karaite Jews get along well with Torah Observant Christians.  Yet I once years ago read a rant from a Karaite on a message board basically blaming the Talmud and the Mishna for why so many Jews are becoming Messianic Jews now days.  He pointed out how much of what's said in those traditions imply The Messiah already came and was rejected, and even that this happened around 1-100 AD.

I already talked about the Menahem traditions including the Sefer Zerubabel, which has come to define the Eschatology of Rabbinic Judaism.  How they seem to teach that Messiah Ben-David had already come and is waiting to return, and even imply he'll descend from David's son Nathan.  And the strange emphasis on the Mother of the Messiah.  And I've also had my thoughts on how the Messiah Ben-Joseph tradition could be related to the White Horseman of Revelation 6 and/or The Two Witnesses.

Gamaliel the grandson of Hillel the Elder is mentioned in the New Testament twice.  He appears early in Acts encouraging tolerance of Christians.  And then Saul aka Paul a fellow Benjamite claims to have been mentored by Gamaliel.  There are extra Biblical traditions that say eventually Gamaliel converted to Christianity, these are dismissed by mainstream scholars since the Jewish traditions know no hint of it.  But it's interesting to recall that he and his family were the intellectual leaders of Rabbinic Judaism until the Sanhedrin was dissolved around 600 AD.  And much later Rashi descended from the house of Hillel.

The traditional succession of the Exilarchs (descendants of Zerubabel who were leaders of the Jewish Community in Babylonia) skips right from those mentioned in The Hebrew Bible to a contemporary of Trajan.  Is it possible that large gap could be partly filled by The New Testament?  Both Matthew and Luke's Genealogies trace the family of Joseph and Mary to Zerubabel.  I did a post on the Half Brothers of Jesus, and another on Adiabene, which seem to make it plausible that the Exilarchs that popped up in the Second Century could have descended from the Half Brothers of Jesus.

The Epistles of The New Testament seem to foretell a coming Apostacey, not just in II Thessalonians 2.  Apostacey means leaving the faith, not bad doctrine.  Maybe that isn't limited to the End Times, maybe it foretells many Jewish Christians of the East backsliding back into Rabbinism in the late first and early second centuries?  I see today a major problem of many Hebraic Themed Christian leaders calling themselves Rabbis and acting like Rabbinic interpretations are valid, even though Jesus said "Call no man Rabbi" in the same place he said "Call no man Father" which we love to use against the Catholic Church.  Being Torah observant is good, but over valuing the Rabbis, even though they got a few things right, is dangerous.

But I'm not necessarily saying the majority of these Jewish Believers fell away.   Maybe many who spread The Gospel to Gentile nations simply in time become absorbed into their populations?  Edessa for example was a city with a major Jewish population in the days of Trajan (when Christians were still seen as a sect of Jews by the Romans) and later became a major center of Syraic Christianity later.  Also there are apparently families in Antioch that claim descend from Simon Peter.

Update May 2nd 2017:  Leaders of the Sanhedrin.

I mentioned Gamaliel I up above.  He is traditionally the Nasi of the Sanhedrin till about 50 AD.  Then his son Simeon or Shimon II is from 50-70, some have already theorized he could be Simon the Pharisee of Luke 7.

After 70 AD things get more clouded.  Sometimes no one is listed between Simon II and Gamaliel II.  But often Gamaliel II (the son of Simon II) isn't said to have become Nasi till 80 AD.

Gamaliel II (80-118) is noted for disputing with early Christians.  In fact he seems to be the earliest known example of someone misusing Matthew 5:17 to support legalism.  Perhaps it is under him this Apostacey began?

Update March 27 2018: After reading more on Johanan ben Zakai I'm not longer comfortable with theorizing he's a Biblical John.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Lunar Sabbath proponents are misinformed

I already did one post on The Lunar Sabbath Issue.  But I want to add something important.

They keep saying the idea of a Weekly Sabbath synchronized to the month comes from Pagan Babylon.  This is literally the Opposite of the Truth.

From the Seven Day Week Wikipedia page's History section.
While the seven-day cycle may have deep historical origins in the Ancient Near East, the "planetary theory" of horoscopy is a development of Babylonian astrology roughly around 500 BC, with the oldest extant horoscope dated to just before 400 BC.[8]
The seven-day week being approximately a quarter of a lunation has been proposed (e.g. by Friedrich Delitzsch) as the implicit, astronomical origin of the seven-day week,[9] and indeed the Babylonian calendar used intercalary days to synchronize the last week of a month with the new moon.[10]
Meaning the oldest references to a Week like concept to occurs in Ancient Mesopotamia were using something probably not identical to the modern Lunar Sabbath concept, but the same basic logic behind it.  Sumerian Texts and the Enuma Elish seem to imply every Full Moon was a Sabbath.

The Astrological idea of affiliating the Days with Planets not showing up till 500 BC, means they didn't show up till after the Babylonian Captivity, and well after the Assyrian.  So there is no evidence of a strict seven day week not synchronized to a new moon that can be proven to exist independent of Jewish and/or Christian influence.  Which backs what I proposed in The Manna Miracle and The Sabbath.

The people running Wikiepdia of course want to convince people that the idea of a Week was borrowed by the Israelites from Babylon.  But we know better.

The Lunar Sabbath model also argues for a Friday Crucifixion, which I have firmly refuted.

Friday, January 20, 2017

When The Bible records what day a Prophecy is given, is that a clue to what day it'll be fulfilled?

This is something I've been thinking about, especially as sometimes even in the same book from the same Prophet there is no consistency to if we're told what day the Prophecy was given.  So I think when a date is given, it must be given for a reason.

I've already talked about this in regards to Haggai 2.  How I think the first part of that chapter places the Seventh Bowl of God's Wrath on the 21st of Tishri aka the 7th day of Tabernacles.  And that the second part is relevant to Hanukkah, and perhaps also to the ultimate Eschatological destiny of Hanukkah.

But Haggai is consistent, he dates all of them, and both dates given in Chapter 1 are about the Sixth Month, Elul.  And in this context I wonder if they might tell us about events that will lead up to the Midway point drama.

Ezekiel dates some but not all, 16 isn't dated.  But 26 is, 27 and 28 seem to be more given on that same day.

I've already in key posts of my Egypt tag paid close attention to chapters 29-32 and how they might be the key to unlocking the mystery of the Beast out of the Sea.  Those are all dated.

Ezekiel 40:1 dates that massive vision of the Messianic Kingdom to the 10th of Nisan.  Which I think argues against the common notion of thinking End Times prophecy will involve Tishri years.

Zechariah also dates some of his Prophecies.  Like Chapter 7, which is dated to the 4th day of the Ninth month (Kislev) in the fourth year of Darius.  It seems it is estimated this fall on December 4th 518 BC.   Which makes that a year in which he 25th of Kislev fell on the 25th of December.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Seals, Trumpets and Bowls.

I didn't grow up being taught any particular view of the End Times, I'm one of those who never knew what the Rapture (or really Secret Rapture) was until the Left Behind books became a pop culture phenomenon.

In my first memories of reading the Book of Revelation, I was admittedly skimming it over and not digesting most of the details.  But while much I didn't understand, it's chronology never confused me.  It seemed clearly like John was being shown a sequence of events, mostly in Heaven but to varying degrees correlating to events on Earth.

I never bought Pre-Trib.  For a long time, until not long before I created  this blog, I was essentially Post-Trib.  But what caused me to become alienated from mainstream Post-Trib was how they scrambled the Chronology of Revelation.  But at least they're not like Pre-Wrath saying their view is Chronological when it clearly is not.

But my personal perspective aside, here are clear textual reasons why the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls are clearly threes sequences that follow each other and can't in any way be happening at the same time.

Revelation 8 begins with the Seventh Seal being opened and then clearly depicts the Seven Trumpets being given to their angels as a result of the Seventh Seal being opened.

Revelation 11:15-18 begins to describe what happens when the Seventh Trumpet is sounded.  And one statement is "Thy Wrath is Come".  In context what the grammar and meanings of these words is saying in both Greek and King James English is NOW his Wrath is Come at the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, Biblically trumpets are warnings and this was the last warning.

Pre-Tribbers and Pre-Wrathers (and also Post-Tribbers) want to insist we were already in God's Wrath at least in the Trumpets because "obviously that's God's Wrath".  But that isn't sound doctrine.  Releasing demonic entities in Revelation 9 isn't God's Wrath.

The Bowls are defined as God's Wrath, so not even one could have been poured out before the Seventh Trumpet.

The only time Wrath is mentioned before the Seventh Trumpet is sounded is in Chapter 6, after the Sixth Seal is opened.  And it's not the narrative voice, or God, or anyone in Heaven, or any Prophet saying it.  It was said by the kings and other powerful men of the Earth.  They think this is God's Wrath.

In Anime analysis videos much is made of how things in early episodes are meant to take on a new meaning when re-watched.  Well this part of Revelation chapter 6 I think has a similar effect.  That these worldly people think they are already in God's Wrath is hilarious when you know what's coming, they have no idea.

And I have another post on that it's perfectly fine to view some plagues as happening more then once.

The Book of Revelation repeats many things from earlier in The Bible.

This is well known, people have written much on how it's judgments echo the Plagues inflicted upon Egypt before The Exodus.  And other repeats are noted too.

So why do these "Revelation obviously isn't Chronological" people have so much trouble accepting that some of these things will happen more then once over the course of the Time of Jacob's Trouble? 

Remember during the Wandering God inflicted Plagues upon Israel in their disobedience.

Jesus refereed to Earthquakes, plural, in the End Times in Matthew 24.  Revelation always seems to refer to a single Earthquake at a time, but does so five times.  But Post-Tribbers seems to think they are all different accounts of the same Earthquake.  So when does Jesus' plural Earthquakes happen?

Trumpets Biblically are Warnings, there are some compelling reasons to see each Trumpet as a warning of each Bowl, but there are also flaws with that.  But the point here is the parallels that exist are all the Trumpets being lesser.  A Third of the water turns to Blood in the Trumpets, all of it does in the Bowls, same with the Darkening of the Sun and Moon.  Those can't both be true at the same time.

And the Moon turning to Blood is NOT the same thing as it being darkened or not giving her light.  The shade of Red that Blood is is actually a very bright shade.  I don't think this is a Lunar eclipse, it may or may not have some natural process involved.  But Dark means it is not currently giving or reflecting any light.  Meaning the only color it could be is black, which is actually the absence of color.

Now I've seen Post-Tribbers assert "how can a Star fall in the one Trumpet in Revelation 8, and a third be Darkened in another, and then a third fall from Heaven in Revelation 12, if they all fell to the Earth in in the Sixth Seal in Revelation 6?".

This was not asked by a Flat Earther, but it directly relates to how Flat Earthers abuse the concept of "literal" interpretation when it comes to things like the Stars.  And I already did a post on dealing with what The Bible says about Stars.  "Star" to the Ancients didn't mean the modern Scientific definition.  Revelation 6 is poetically describing a Meteor Shower, Revelation 12 could be another Meteor Shower.  And Wormwood is a Comet.  None of this contradicts a Chronological interpretation of Revelation.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Objections to Enoch and Elijah being translated

Lex Meyer has raised some I want to address.

This post is not me objecting to his overall doctrine.  Where I agree and disagree with that I already addressed on my Sola Scriptura Blog.

Here I want to point out that he can keep his basic premise without being so contrarian on Enoch and Elijah.  I do NOT believe they already obtained immortal glorified bodies.  And I agree that Jasher and the Book of Enoch should be rejected.  I believe they are the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11, which means I believe they are going to die in the future.

The first explanation for how this could work is what I already mentioned on this Blog in my main Two Witnesses identities post.  That they traveled through Time as well as Space.  I do not believe they ascended to the Third Heaven, but may have been taken to receive training on another Planet and then sent back, and for them it'll have seemed like only a few years not Thousands.  Because of the theory of Relativity.

The second option also still has them basically the same normal humans we are, but God has supernaturally stalled their ageing process.  We saw during the 40 Year Wandeirng that he did something similar in Deuteronomy 29:5, making it so the shoes and cloths the Israelites wore wouldn't wear out.  This could then also apply to the argument for The Apostle John being a Witness.

As far as his attempts to explain away the accounts of their translations.

His argument is ironically more difficult to buy with Enoch precisely because so much less is said.  With the Elijah narrative his arguments about the real point of what was going on being to get Elisha to go out on his own are quite valid, and without what's said in Malachi and The New Testament, I would be totally willing to accept that.

But with Enoch he just sites all the places where similar terminology is used of death.  That's all true, but context matters.  In the context of Genesis 5 a point is made to define Enoch's fate as not like everyone else, and everyone else is defined as dying.  Genesis 5 is unambiguous about what it is trying to say.

Now what he cites as proof of Elijah not being taken out of the Earth is the letter Jehoram received from him later in 2 Chronicles 21:12.  If Elijah himself were personally present in this story, I would consider it a slam dunk for his argument.  But he is not.

I don't have his book unfortunately, I just listened to the Rob Skiba interviews.  Rob Skiba is into science fiction like Back to The Future.  There is a trope that shows up in some Time Travel stories of a letter being written to be delivered to someone on a very specific date in the distant future.  Well maybe that concept originated right here?

God did a lot of pre-planning with Elijah.  The instructions to anoint Hazael and Jehu were originally given to Elijah in 1 Kings 19, but they were carried out in 2 Kings 9 after the mantle was passed to Elisha.  So I think God had Elijah write this letter way in advance, because He knows the End from the Beginning.  And delivering it at the appointed time was another responsibility passed on to Elisha.

A second explanation could be that our understanding of the Chronology is wrong, many disagree on the Divided Kingdom Chronology.  But I don't want to get into that here, the above theory works just fine for me.

Now on the subject of Elijah's foretold return.  He cites that John The Baptist preached in the Spirit and Power of Elijah to mean that the Two Witnesses will just do the same.  Problem is in John's Gospel 1:21, John The Baptist states blatantly that he does not qualify as the return of Elijah.  What Jesus says at the Transfiguration about how John could have been that was purely rhetorical.  What Malachi said in his closing verses was NEVER applicable to the First Advent, it is strictly about the Day of Yahuah.

The return of Elijah absolutely needs to be taken literally.  Or else you open the door to not take Jesus promised Return literally.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The 390 years and 40 years of Ezekiel.

 Ezekiel 4:4-6.
 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.  For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.  And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
I've talked on another blog about how I feel these time-periods make most sense as ending with the Captivity of Judah, rather then beginning with a Captivity.  And I've mentioned on this blog before how this does NOT support the Historicist Day=Year theory logic because a period of Days did still happen.

Still, it remains popular for variations of both Zionism and British Israelism & Two House theology to insist the 390 years points to some relatively modern event.  This is done by misusing Leviticus 26.  Problem is Leviticus 26 is about the Jubilee, and it uses Times as a synonym for Years like Daniel and Revelation do for certain prophecies.  If Leviticus 26 has any eschatological significance, it is in terms of expanding the "Tribulation period" from the usual expected seven years to a full Jubilee.  Or perhaps a Jubilee separating the end of the Millennium and descent of New Jerusalem.  And that is something I may talk about more in the future.

But for now, I want to talk about how these time periods were fulfilled if they indeed began rather then ended with captivities.  Perhaps as a second fulfillment.

The Babylonian captivity is commonly refereed to as 70 years.  Chuck Missler has talked about how there were really two overlapping periods of 70 years, 608-538 BC and 588-518 BC.  The Captivity and the Desolation of Jerusalem.  From that however, I notice it becomes possible also to say that there were 40 years from the final Captivity of Judah, to the initial decree to rebuild it issued by Cyrus and return from Captivity under Zerubabel and Jeshua.  So Ezekiel's 40 years for Judah was fulfilled without needing to multiply anything by 70.

 [Update January 23rd 2017:  Well my generally solid math skills totally betrayed when I made this and allowed me to think 588-538 BC was 40 rather then 50 years.  That puts a hole in this premise. But given that later then the Temple's destruction many Judeans fled to Egypt as Jeremiah records.   And Ezekiel also talks about a 40 year Captivity of Egypt.  Maybe that's how the 40 years for Judah can fit?]

722 BC being the usual date for the final fall of Samaria, makes 390 years later the year 332 BC.

That is the year Alexander The Great first came to the land of Israel and Judah.  Early in that year he finished besieging Tyre, and by the end he'd entered Egypt.  So anything he is recorded as doing in the lands of the 12 Tribes before going to Egypt would have happened in 332 BC.

Much is made about Josephus account of Alexander's activities in this year in Antiquities of The Jews Book 11 Chapter 8.  Many say Josephus made it all up, but I believe the account is true.  And I certainly believe Josephus over The Talmud which gets the High Priest wrong.  Alexander was shown Daniel's Prophecies of him like how Cyrus was shown Isaiah 44 and 45.  And he honored Yahuah in The Temple in Jerusalem.

Less talked about however is what Josephus tells us about Alexander and the Samaritans, chiefly in section 6.  Josephus does so from a perspective of hostility towards the Samaritans.  It was a bit more complicated then his relationship with The Jews.  But most importantly the building of the Samaritan Temple was sanctioned by Alexander, that happened earlier in Section 4.

Jesus of course agreed with the account in 2 Kings that the Samaritans descended from Gentiles, when he called them not Israelites.  But some remnants of Ephraim and Manasseh may have intermingled with them.

Could Macedon have been another nation descended form the Lost Tribes?  Dan is linked to Greece in Ezekiel 27, and I've argued that possibly is backed up by Daniel 8.  I've also argued for linking Asher, Western Manesseh, and Zebulun & Isshacar to Celtic tribes, and Macedon had a Celtic element.  The Slavic elements of modern Macedonia come from Slavs migrating south during medieval times and later.

Joel 3 also refereed to Judeans being sold into slavery to Greeks.  And God says that from there God shall raise them up to bring Judgment to Tyre and Sidon and Philista.  Alexander besieged Tye and Gaza, and totally destroyed the latter.

Most historians and archeologists think the earliest Macedonian King likely to be historical was Perdiccas I.  Dates for him vary but he seems to emerge around 700 BC.  After the fall of the Northern Kingdom.

Whether the ancient Macedonians counted as fellow Greeks was a mater of controversy, it seems most Greeks didn't want to claim them till after Alexander became so important to Greek History.  Yet The Bible agrees with calling them Greeks at least in the context of Daniel 8.

Zechariah 9-11 is like 12-14, three Chapters that are all one Prophesy.  It's perhaps even more confusing to interpret, many isolated verses are important and well known, but how they all fit together is difficult.

Zechariah 9 also alluded to The Resurrection in verses 11 and 12.  And I have argued Alexander was among those Resurrected in Matthew 27:52-53, without mentioning Zechariah 9. 

Chuck Missler has argued much of Zechariah 9 could be about Alexander The Great, Greece is mentioned.  But Ephraim is mentioned as well, and others have seen this Prophecy as being important to figuring out how Joseph and Judah will finally be reunited.  Britam sees the later part as a double fulfillment Prophecy about both the Maccabean revolt and a future Messiah Ben Joseph.

Could Zechariah 9:13
 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.
Could this be poetically linking Greece to Ephraim similarly to how Zion is to Judah?

John R. Salverda has attempted to argue legends about Sisphus in Greek mythology are partly inspired by Joseph of Genesis.  He and Britam in general make lots of Arguments I would not support.  But his argument that Ephyra, the name of a couple of ancient Greek cities, could be linked to Ephraim is interesting, given how Ephraim is technically a plural or dual form, the singular would be close to Ephyra or Ephrya.  Ephrath was the feminine plural.  One Ephyra was a city of Epirus, the homeland of Alexander's mother Olympias.

Salverda's arguments also bring up the possible Salmoneus and Solomon connection, which I mentioned in my last Song of Solomon post.

But just as Cyrus decree was only the beginning of Judah's return from Captivity, so 332 BC was only the beginning of Ephraim's.

Monday, January 16, 2017

I don't think Jesus was born on a Leviticus 23 Holy Day

I've already done one post where I explained why historically I find it highly implausible, I don't think Rome would have forced everyone to be at a specific location so close to any of the Pilgrimage Festivals.

Still, there are some people in the Torah Observant and Hebrew Roots communities who seem darn near like the Holy Days are Idols to them.  Insisting "They are Yahweh's Appointed Times, of course Yeshua could only be born then", ignoring any history based arguments besides the common anti December 25th Memes that I've firmly refuted.

Remember how people used to mock the title of Star Wars Episode VII?  "The Force doesn't Sleep".  Well it seems like some Christians think Yahuah sleeps over 300 days a year, and wakes up only on those Leviticus appointed times.

In Exodus 16 in the very next month after Yahuah initiated the calendar, He does something significant on a day not mentioned in Leviticus 23.  And later the Book of Esther ordains Purim.

Other Anti-Christmas people start with how The Bible never calls for celebrating Birthdays at all, and every reference to Birthdays seem to be about Pagans celebrating them.  So maybe that's a good argument against Jesus being born on an Appointed Time?

But of course since these people are usually Pro-Lifers, I could point out that perhaps they should consider the Conception date more important, the time of the Annunciation and Visitation.  And the traditional date for Jesus Birth places that around Passover, it is inherently linked to Early Christians believing (before Constantine) that Jesus Conception should logically happen around the same time as His Death and Resurrection.  It's the Conceptions of Jesus and John, being Six months apart, that start the New Testament narrative chronologically, not their births.

It was first Zola Levitt who discovered a compelling correlation between the Gestation process and the Leviticus 23 Holy Days.  And Rob Skiba, one of the most adamant anti-Christmas people out there right now, endorses that idea, including a video about it on his Virtual House Church website, on the page for Week 15, Bo.

That begins with placing the sequence of biological events we commonly call "Conception" on the Spring Feasts in Nissan.  That the Early Church Fathers, having no knowledge of any of these modern Scientific facts, for totally separate reasons concluded that Jesus was conceived at that time, I find an awfully compelling coincidence.

What's interesting then is to try, though it's not easy, to follow the chronology of Exodus after the first Passover, and see what if anything there can be estimated to happen about Nine Months later.

In Exodus 18 and 19 the giving of what we commonly call The Ten Commandments is placed in the Third Month, now known as Sivan, and generally conjectured to be Pentecost.

In Exodus 24:18 to chapter 32, after the initial Covenant had been given and ratified, Moses goes up into the Mount for 40 days and 40 nights.  It's difficult to be certain when this was.  But it's common to theorize it as basically Elul and the first 10 days of Tishri.  It was near the end of this Period the Golden Calf was made, and there is potential typological significance to it being in early Tishri or late Elul, when the Abomination of Desolation will likely happen.

Stuff happens after that, and then in Exodus 34:27-28 Moses goes up again for another 40 days because now the Tablets have to be replaced.

Exodus 40:2&17 tell us that the Tabernacle was first set up on the first day of the first month of the second year, that is almost a full year since the first Passover.

Between the end of the second 40 day period, and the start of the second year, it was mostly the creating of The Tabernacle and everything needed for it that they were doing.  And it does seem the first priority was building The Ark of The Covenant.  Could it make sense to place the construction of the Ark as being on the Birth and/or Circumcision day of Christ?  Or maybe it'd be fitting if the Menorah was originally made during what would become Hanukkah?

Is it possible the second 40 day period may have correlated to the 40 days and nights that it rained in Genesis 7?  Which is commonly viewed as beginning on the 17th of Heshvan and ending during the 8 days that would become Hanukkah? 

That's another thing.  In the Torah observant branch of the Anti-Christmas movement, it commonly goes hand in hand with arguing for Hanukkah.  Other Anti-Christmas people also hate Hanukkah (though Hanukkah receives hate from pro-Christmas people as well).  Well I've been a Hanukkah defender on this Blog.  And the fact is I've also seen it argued that Hanukkah is a reason for placing Jesus birth at that time of year.  Him being the Light of The World and so forth.

And to a great extent reasons for placing Jesus birth at Tabernacles can be transferred to Hanukkah, but without the Pilgrimage problems.  I firmly believe the real origin of Hanukkah is Haggai 2, where it is essentially ordained as a Second Tabernacles.  And the First and Second Maccabees accounts of their Hanukkah also back that up.

The first Thanksgiving was actually in September.  And many have argued it originates from celebrating Tabernacles.  Perhaps that Holiday getting moved from the month named the Seventh Month to the month named the Ninth Month has something to do with how Hanukkah relates to Tabernacles?

Of course my initial main argument was for Jesus being born in Tevet.  But I'm less certain on my exact chronology now since I've possibly changed my view on the Lunar Eclipse preceding the Death of Herod

So I'm still working out the details.  But I now believe Jesus was born at the earliest in late November and at the latest in early February.

And as I was still writing this, it occurred to me, what if there is some relevance to the start of Leviticus 24?  What Yahuah talked about right after finishing the Leviticus 23 Appointed Times?  Since our modern chapter divisions weren't in the original text.  And that just so happens to be about The Menorah.  And then talk of frankincense.  Almost as if The Holy Spirit wanted to tell me something before I finished this.

And then Leviticus 25 to the end is mainly about the Sabbatical Cycle and The Jubilee, showing He wasn't done with The Calendar when 23 ended.

In my attempts to do searches for others who might have thought the same thing.  I am seeing a common argument that it was nine months spent building The Tabernacle.  So far no sign of anyone using this as evidence for the Birth-date of Jesus, but it would be attractive to those who place his Birth in Nissan.  This estimate fudges the dates, they could not have begun building the Tabernacle till after Moses came down from the first period of 40 days.  The soonest that could have ended was maybe in Tammuz, but as I said it was probably much later Moses even went up there.

The completion of the Tabernacle construction is recorded in Exodus 39.  Then early in 40 the instruction to set it up on the First Day of the new year is given.  Then later in that chapter that is recorded.  So perhaps it can be assumed the Tabernacle was done significantly before it was set up?  Not unlike Solomon's Temple.

Perhaps the first 40 day period, which ended with the Golden Calf incident, was really most of Tammuz and early Av, making a link between that period of Sin and the dates the associated with The Temples' destructions much later.  And the second 40 days were Elul and the beginning of Tishrei.  And the Tabernacle was completed in Kislev or Tevet?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Did Muhammad descend from Ishmael?

There are some who question the traditional claim that Muhammad descended from Ishmael Abraham's Firstborn, and I can understand why.

The Koran itself never addressed Muhammad's ancestry.  But Islamic genealogies usually trace him to Kedar, but a minority to Nebajoth/Nebaioth, the progenitor of the Nabateans.  These are the first two of Ishmael's sons listed, and Isaiah 60:7 also lists these two together as existing in the Messianic Era.

The Bible seems to always associate the tribes of Ishmael with mainly the region of modern Jordan, but also to an extent the Golan Heights and parts of modern Syria between the Golan Heights and Damascus.  While the parts of Arabia where Muhamamd emerged seem more likely to be Keturite tribes or even Joktanite.  In fact the name of Medina probably comes from Medan.

The Nabateans were associated with Petra, a city also linked often to Edom, but also to Kedar in Isaiah 42:11.  Isaiah 21 also confirms Kedar and Tema in the area of modern Jordan, and links Dumah to Seir. It seems like once Edom went to Italy to become Rome his ancient lands were all absorbed by Ishmaelites, I agree with Bill Cooper in After The Flood that the Idumeans were from Dumah not Esau.  Passages like 1 Chronicles 5 also further link Jether and Hagar to the Trans-Jordan region.  The New Testament era Iturians came from Jether.

Jeremiah 49:28-33 is the key.  This is a Prophecy against Kedar and Hazor, in which they are foretold to be scattered by Nebuchadnezzar.

The traditional genealogies of Muhammad do clearly skip many generations.  As they pretty much go right from Kedar to Adnan.  Adnan and his son Ma'ad were contemporaries of Nebuchadnezzar.  Their families fled south when Nebuchadnezzar attacked Kedar, and many tribes of Saudi Arabia, not just the Quraysh from whom came the Hashamites, claimed descent from Adnan.  Like for example  the Banu Kinanah.

Later, around 100 AD the Nabatean Kingdom of Petra was conquered by Trajan and became a Roman Province.  So that is when Nabateans would have fled south.  It was about 400 years before the birth of Muhammad, 170 AD, that the Hubal idol was set up at the Kaaba.  Hubal was a Nabatean god, their form of Baal Hadad, not a moon god as is often claimed.

Things inevitably came full circle as the Royal Family of modern Jordan are the senior heirs to Muhammad.

As far as attempts out there to argue a different ancestry for Muhammad.  Well Muhammad like most people did have multiple ancestors.  But Tribal Identity tended to be determined by Paternal ancestry, and Muhammad's Paternal ancestry going back to Adnan does seem to add up.  He does also descend from intermarriages between the leading Quraysh and the tribe that controlled Mecca before them, who were possibly a Joktanite Tribe from Yemen.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

God has used Babylon, and he might again.

The key passage for this study is Jeremiah 27 and 28.  Read all of that before going into this study, I shall quote one particular verse at the start, verse 8 of 27.
"And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith Yahuah, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand."
God's people should never worship the gods and goddesses of Babylon or other nations.  But it's important not to forget that there was a time when God's will was for nations to serve political Babylon.

Jeremiah, and also Ezekiel, preached to the people of Israel that God wanted them to submit to and serve Babylon.  And he was accused of Treason for that, of being a spy.  Imagine the modern equivalent of that, an America Baptist or Pentecostal Pastor going on Television and Preaching to the whole Nation that God wants The United States to surrender to Russia or to China, or to Iran, or I.S.I.S. and if they don't then God will punish them.  The Pundits and your typical Evangelicals would go crazy.

But that's what happened.  And The People indeed didn't listen and instead allied themselves with Egypt.

My point Eschatologically here is that there are reasons to think that in some ways the End Times will be a repeat of some of that history.  Plenty of Prophecies from Jeremiah and Ezekiel seem to be about both their own time and the End Times.  I've already argued that Ezekiel 30:24 could be telling us a King of Babylon will be who Mortally Wounds The Beast.

And now I think, what if Jeremiah and Ezekiel were also Types of the Two Witnesses?  What if part of what they'll Preach is to side with Babylon over Egypt?  Because Egypt is being ruled by The Beast?  The modern Church would be totally unprepared for that, especially if this Egyptian Ruler is also presenting himself as a Conservative Christian, and maybe even an American.  And maybe he'll even be preaching the same kind of Anti-Babylon message as Rob Skiba.

Rob Skiba is right spiritually to preach against the wickedness of Babylon.  Yet at the same time I suspect his treating Babylon as being the same as The Antichrist may be unwittingly helping The Beast.

So I want to repeat. The Bible never says Nimrod was Evil.  And it also never necessarily says the World will Love the Antichrist.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Does The Bible talk about the End Times more then the Life of Jesus?

Chuck Missler likes to say it does, calling it.
"a period of time about which the Bible says more than it does about any other period in human history- including the time when Jesus walked the shores of the Sea of Galilee or climbed the mountains of Judea. "
And my being uncomfortable with that implication is perhaps a factor in why, even though I am ultimately a Futurist based on my view of Matthew 24 and Revelation, and Paul's Thessalonian Epistles, and 2 Peter 3.  I'm increasingly becoming sympathetic to Preterist interpretations of many passages where my fellow Futurists aren't fond of Preterist interpretations.  Because I do believe the Death and Resurrection of Jesus is the time period around which The Bible revolves

Not all Preterism is so focused on 70 AD, some say much was fulfilled by within Seven Years of Jesus Crucifixion.  And that is where I am in terms of the 70th Week of Daniel, I don't think it refers to 66-73 AD.  I think it was 30-37 AD or maybe 29-36 AD.  And that Jesus was Crucified at it's beginning or end but NOT the Middle.

Still 70 AD can be viewed as in some senses "close enough" to the time of Jesus, plenty of people lived through both time periods.  And I think Jesus did especially in Luke foretell the events of 70 AD often.

I already made one post on Zechariah 12-14, and how I'm unsure what to think of it but am growing more and more open to it being about 30-70 AD.  And I recently became aware of a new argument for that.

Zechariah 13:7 is quoted by Jesus in Matthew 26:31 and Mark 14:27 as being fulfilled by His arrest.
 Then saith Jesus unto them, "All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, "I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad"."
The following verses of Zechariah 13 are the basis for saying in the End Times two thirds of all Jews will be massacred, probably by The Antichrist.  Preterists have argued this was filled by by how many Jews were killed in the 66-73 AD Jewish-Roman War.  I will objects to any claims that 70 AD fulfilled Matthew 24, but as far as Zechariah 12-14 (and much of Luke 21) go, it fits.

And on Daniel 12 I have strong reasons for believing that can apply to the First Century AD also.  As The Book of Revelation defines it's existence as the unsealing of Daniel.  And the Resurrection alluded to is the same one alluded to in Matthew 27:52-43, as those are the only two Resurrection verses that say "many" rather then All.  And I've shown that Daniel 36-45 is about Augustus Caesar.

And my thoughts on Isaiah 19 are also complicated.

I also think some passages usually assumed to be about before The Millennium are actually about after The Millennium.  Like the Gog and Magog invasion.