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.

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