There are a few things that I want to note before we begin on the scripture, I believe that we have to have an understand just what prompted God to be so dissatisfied with the Jewish people that He would wipe out the Jewish nation and scatter the people over the rest of the world; and why He would bring the Jewish people back to the newly formed nation of Israel in 1948.
So I have spent a good deal of time and effort to show the history of the relationship between the Jewish people and their God, and how from the very beginning, when the Jewish people left Egypt, right up to the last kings of Israel, for the most part, the Jewish people were not faithful to their God. And therefore faced the punishment of God for this unfaithfulness; just as we in the United States currently are not faithful to God, and will face His future punishment.
After we have learned about the whys of Gods punishment of the Jewish people, then you will learn when God planed for this punishment to be completed; and how this date is incredibly tied to 1948.
The next section is about the life and times of Jesus and is titled, “The Middle”. It includes many of the parables that Jesus used during His life on earth, and what is the meaning is of the parables He used.
The last section is titled “The End”, in it I will use scripture to predict what could happen in our future.
The Beginning of Gods relationship
To The Jewish people
In the beginning, the Lord God said to Abram, (Genesis 12:1) “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
2“I will make you into a grate nation and I will bless you: I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
And the Lord did indeed follow through on his promise to Abraham, as his descendants did indeed become a great nation, the nation of Israel; which at one time was the strongest nation in the world.
You will read about how the Jewish people from the very beginning, even as they were being liberated from the 430 years of slavery by the Egyptian nation, were complaining to Moses about their treatment by God. Just after the Israelites escaped from Egypt, just as God said they would, they had no faith in God and complained bitterly to Moses that they were going to die at the hand of Pharaoh before they could get across the Red sea. I will continue to cover their complaints, and lack of trust in God thru the time of the judges and kings.
All of this is the background information as to why God finally wiped the Jewish nation off of the face of the earth, and why he would then bring them back as the new nation of Israel in 1948.
10As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
13Mose answered the people “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
15Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that Israelites can go through the sea on dry land 17I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
19Then the angle of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.
21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
23The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. 24During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. 25He made the wheels of their chariots come off so they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”
26Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing towards it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. 28The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen─the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
29But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. 30That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses his servant.
Instead of the Israelites dying by the red sea, or even in the red sea, it was the Egyptians who died in the red sea by the actions of God. One would think that by Gods action in parting the Red Sea, the Israelites should have believed and trusted that with God, nothing is impossible.
1The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
4Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
6So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, 7and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” 8Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”
1The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”
Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”
3But the people were thirsty for water, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”
4Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
5The Lord answered Moses, “Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
One would wonder, why would the Israelites say, “Is the Lord among us or not?”; when it is very obvious that the Lord is with them. Water from a rock, food from the sky, crossing the Red Sea by walking on the ground; are any of these things accomplished without God? And the form of God, in a dark cloud, has also been present with them most of the time. Would God allow his chosen people to die or come to harm, while on their way to a land God has chosen for them to live in? Over and over the Israelites have shown that they don’t believe or trust in their God. If you were God, would you not bring some tests into these people lives to see if they were worthy, or even grateful for all the things God has done, and will do for them.
God is extremely patient with his chosen people and will be patient with them for many, many generations to come as I will show. In the rest of ‘Numbers and Leviticus’ God gives through Moses to all the Israelites the laws and rules for holy living. These laws and rules are requirements that the Israelites must follow to continue in the good graces of God. Chapter 11 of Deuteronomy was written by Moses just before he died.
1Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. 2Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm; 3the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country; 4what he did to the Egyptian army, to his horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the water of the Red Sea as they were pursing you, and how the Lord brought lasting ruin on them. 5It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the desert until you arrived at this place, 6and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliah the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them. 7But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the Lord has done.
8Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 9and so that you may live long in the land that the Lord swore to your forefathers to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. 11But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. 12It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyed of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.
13So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today ─to love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and with all your soul─14then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. 15I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied,
16Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you.
18Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
22If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow─to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him─23then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. 24Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the western sea. 25No man will be able to stand against you. The Lord your god, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.
26See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse─27the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known. 29When the Lord your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses. 30As you know, these mountains are across the Jordan, west of the road, toward the setting sun, near the great trees of Moreh, in the territory of those Canaanites living in the Arabah in the vicinity of Gilgal. 31You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there, be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.
12 1These are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow in the land. 2Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains and on the hills and under every spreading tree where the nations you are disposing worship their gods. 3Break down their altars, smash their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.
4You must not worship the Lord your God in their way. 5But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; 6there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.
8You are not to do as we do here today, everyone as he sees fit, 9since you have not yet reached the resting place and the inheritance the Lord your God is giving you. 10But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety. 11Then to the place the Lord your God will chose as a dwelling for his Name─There you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord. 12And there rejoice before the Lord your God, you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites from your towns, who have no allotment or inheritance of their own. 13Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offering anywhere you please. 14Offer them only at the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command.
The next book of the bible is Joshua, it is the story of both Joshua and Israel as they, with God’s help, conquered the Promised Land─Canaan. The people miraculously crossed the Jordan River and conquered the town of Jericho. Then, with God’s help again, they quickly took possession of all the main areas of Canaan. During the time of Joshua, the Israelites loved the Lord their God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands, therefore the Lord gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies were able to withstand them; the Lord handed all of their enemies over to them. Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one of His promises were fulfilled.
19Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.”
21But the people said to Joshua, “No! we will serve the Lord.”
22Then Joshua said, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the lord.”
“Yes, we are witnesses,” they replied.
23“Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord the God of Israel.”
24And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.”
25On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he drew up for them decrees and laws. 26And Joshua recorded these things in the book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the Lord.
27 “See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the Lord has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.”
The next book of the bible is Judges and it tells of Israel’s history for the period of time between the death of Joshua and the ministry of Samuel. This time period was known for its heroes─called judges─who ruled the tribes of Israel.
These events in Judges all followed a certain pattern:
The Israelites lived in peace while serving and loving God.
- The Israelites forgot God and worshiped idols.
- God punished his people by sending a neighboring nation to fight and rule over them.
- The Israelites turned to God and asked for forgiveness.
- God forgave his people and saved them by sending a judge to help conquer their enemy.
This pattern of events repeated itself many times during this time period in Israel’s history. A total of fifteen judges are listed in the bible.
8Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at an age of a hundred and ten. 9And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
10After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12They forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the people around them. They provoked the Lord to anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14In his anger against Israel the Lord handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.
16Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the Lord’s commands. 18Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the lord had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
In general this last statement in Judges, ‘They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.’, defines the Israeli Nation from beginning of exodus to end of their nation; except for the time that Joshua was ruling the Nation. God has had a great deal of patience for his people up to this time and this patience will continue on into the time of ‘Kings’; however ‘his’ patience is not unlimited. Let’s now continue with the time of the Kings of Israel; it starts with the book of Samuel.
1 Samuel 8:1-22, 9:17
1When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel. 2The name of his first born was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served in Beersheba. 3But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.
4So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
6But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”
10Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king. 11He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with the chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and some commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17He will take a tenth of your flock, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
19But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
21When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”
9:17When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”
15:1 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. 2This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and woman, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.”
4So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim─two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men from Judah. 5Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. 6Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.
7Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt. 8He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs─everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
10Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11“I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and he has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.
12Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”
13When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”
14But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”
15Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”
16“Stop!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
“Tell me,” Saul replied.
17Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of these tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.’ 19Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”
20“But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
24Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them. 25Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”
26But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”
27As Samuel turned to leave Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors─to one better than you. 29He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.”
2 Samuel 2:1-4
2:1In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked.
The Lord said, “Go up.”
David asked, “Where shall I go?”
“To Hebron,” the Lord answered.
2So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3David also took the men who were with him, each with his family and they settled in Hebron and its towns. 4Then the men of Judah came to Hebron and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.
5:1All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who lead Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will Sheppard my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”
3When all the elders of Israel had come to the King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.
4David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. 5In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.
God’s Promise to David
1After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him around him, 2he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”
3Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”
4That night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:
5“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? 6I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. 7Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”
8“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. 9I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. 10And I will provide a place for my people Israel and plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
“The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house
for you: 12When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I
will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your
own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He is the one who will
build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his
kingdom forever. 14I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he
does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men. 15But my love will
never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I
removed from before you. 16Your house and your kingdom will endure
forever before me; your throne will be established forever.
17Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.
David was the king that all of the other kings of Israel would be judged against. David’s devotion to following God was unsurpassed by any other king; he set the standard. He was not without sin, but his sin was forgiven after he was punished by God.
In verses 12-15 above I believe God is talking about Jesus, the house and kingdom is the Christian Church, which is His legacy and it will last forever.
The last king of an undivided Israeli kingdom was Solomon and 1 Kings tells of his reign and his wisdom and includes the building of the temple and the palace in Jerusalem. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, took over the throne after Solomon’s death. Rehoboam became king about 100 years after the first king, who was Saul; and he probably wasn’t even aware of the words that God that had spoken to the Israeli nation after they said they wanted a king:
1 Samuel 8:6-18
6But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”
10Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king. 11He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with the chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and some commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves
and give them to his attendants. 15He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17He will take a tenth of your flock, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
So now over 100 years have gone by after Saul became the first king, it is now time for Rehoboam to become the fourth king, and time for the Lords words to come true. (“When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.”)
And so the people of Israel have become very weary of the heavy burden of having a king and are asking the new king, Rehoboam for some relief.
3So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: 4“Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
5Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.
6Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.
7They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”
8But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 9He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
10The young men who had grown up with him replied, “Tell these people who have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter’─tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”
12Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me three days.” 13The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, 14he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” 15So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the Lord, to fulfill the word the Lord had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.
16When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:
“What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse’s son?
To your tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!”
So the Israelites went home. 17But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, Who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
20When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David.
21When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered the whole house Judah and the tribe of Benjamin─a hundred and eighty thousand fighting men─to make war against the house of Israel and regain the kingdom for Rehoboam son of Solomon.
22But this word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God; 23“Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, to the whole house of Judah and
Benjamin, and the rest of the people, 24‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home every one of you, for this is my doing.’” So they obeyed the word of the Lord and went home again, as the Lord had ordered.
So now the old nation of Israel has become two new nations, the nation of Israel which is the northern part of the old Israel and consists of the 10 tribes of Israel and the southern part of the old Israel which consists of two tribes, Judah and Benjamin.
Israel had a total of nineteen kings during its existence, the following scripture summarizes how these kings ruled during their reign.
Hoshea Last King of Israel
2 Kings 17:1-41
17 1In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years. 2He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him.
3Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up to attack Hoshea, who had been Shalmaneser’s vassal and had paid him tribute. 4But the king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was a traitor, for he had sent envoys to So king of Egypt, and he no longer paid tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore Shalmaneser seized him and put him in prison. 5The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. 6In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the town of the Medes.
Israel Exiled Because of Sin
7All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods 8and followed the practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the lings of Israel had introduced. 9The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. 10They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 11At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that provoked the Lord to anger. 12They worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.” 13The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”
14But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do,” and they did the things the Lord had forbidden them to do.
16They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger.
18So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 19and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. 20Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.
21When he tore Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat their king. Jeroboam enticed Israel away from following the Lord and caused them to commit a great sin. 22The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them 23until the Lord removed them from his presence, as had warned through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there.
One would think that after the Lord destroyed Israel, Judah would have believed the warnings of doom issued by the prophets and return to worshiping and obeying the laws the lord had given them; but they didn’t.
24The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns. 25When they first lived there, they did not worship the Lord; so he sent lions among them and they killed some of the people. 26It was reported to the king of Assyria: “The people you deported and settled in the towns of Samaria do not know what the god of that country requires. He has sent lions among them, which are killing them off, because the people do not know what he requires.”
Then the king of Assyria gave an order:“ Have one of the priests you took captive from Samaria go back to live there and teach the people what the god of the land requires.” 28So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the Lord.
29Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in several towns where they settled, and set them up in the shrines the people of Samaria had made at the high places. 30The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashim;
31the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adranmmelech and Anammelech, the god of Sepharaim. 32They worshiped the Lord, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places. 33They worshiped the Lord, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.
34To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 35When the Lord made a covenant with Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. 36But the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. 37You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. 38Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. 39Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
40They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41Even while the people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.
So Israel was conquered by Assyria in 722/3 B.C. and by the time Israel was completely resettled by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaims it was around 704 B.C. and there were very few Jewish people left in the 10 nations of Israel. A while later the king of Assyria again came up against the people of Judah.
2 Kings 18:19-37 & 19:1-37
19The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:
“ ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours? 20You say you have strategy and military strength─but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?
21Look now, you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces a man’s hand and wounds him if he leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. 22And if you say to me, “We are depending on the Lord our God”─isn’t he the one whose high place and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before the altar in Jerusalem”?
23 “Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria:
I will give you two thousand horses─if you can put riders on them!
24How can you repulse one officer of the least of my master’s officials,
even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen?
25Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without
word from the Lord? The Lord himself told me to march against this
country and destroy it.’”
26Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and Shebna and Joah said to the field commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.”
27But the commander replied, “Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the men sitting on the wall─who like you, will have to eat their own filth an drink their own urine?”
28Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you from my hand. 30Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’
31‘Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then every one of you will eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink waters from his own cistern, 32until I come and take you to a land like your own, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death!
“Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ 33Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 35Who of all the Gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”
36But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.”
37Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah the place administrator, Shebna the secretary and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went to Hezekiah, with their clothes torn and told him what the field commander had said.
Jerusalem’s Deliverance Foretold
19:1When king Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord. 2He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Sheba the secretary and the leading priest, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the point of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. 4It may be that the Lord your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives.”
5When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, 6Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard─those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Listen! I am going to put a spirit in him that when he hears a certain report, he will return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’”
8When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.
9Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the Cushite king of Egypt, was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10“Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’ 11Surly you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? 12Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my forefathers deliver them: the gods of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of Hena or Ivvah?”
14Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “O Lord, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16Give ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God.
17“It is true, O Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waist these nations and their lands. 18They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by men’s hands. 19Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hands, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”
Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib’s Fall
20Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have herd your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21This is the word that the Lord has spoken against him:
“ ‘The Virgin Daughter of Zion
despises you and mocks you.
The Daughter of Jerusalem
tosses her head as you flee.
22Who is it you have insulted and blasphemed?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23By your messengers
you have heaped insults on the Lord.
And you have said,
“With my many chariots
I have ascended the heights
of the mountains,
the utmost heights of Lebanon.
I have cut down its tallest cedars
the choicest of its pines.
I have reached its remotest parts,
the finest of its forests.
24I have dug wells in foreign lands
and drunk the waters there.
With the soles of my feet
I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.”
25“ ‘Have you not heard?
Long ago I ordained it.
In the days of old I planned it;
now I have brought it to pass
that you have turned fortified cities
into piles of stone.
26Their people, drained of power,
are dismayed and put to shame.
They are like plants in the field,
like tender green shoots,
like grass sprouting on the roof,
scorched before it grows up.
27 “ ‘But I know where you stay
and when you come and go
and how you rage against me.
28Because you rage against me
and your insolence has reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
and I will make you return
by the way you came.’
29“This will be the sign for you, O Hezekiah:
“This year you will eat what grows by itself,
and the second year what springs from that.
But in the third year sow and reap,
plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
30Once more a remnant of the house of Judah
will take root below and bear fruit above.
31For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,
and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
32“Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:
“He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here.
He will not come before it with shield
or build a siege ramp against it.
33By the way that he came he will return;
he will not enter this city,
declares the Lord
34I will defend this city and save it,
for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.”
35That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning─there were all the dead bodies! 36So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.
37One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer cut him down with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.
Because of the goodness of Hezekiah, the king of Israel, the Lord God of Israel intervened in what would have been the certain destruction of Judah by Sennacherib king of Assyria. As you have read, the kings of Israel and Judah served their two nations at about the same time and had very different results. The beginning of ‘Two Kings eighteen’, tells about the rule of the two kings and why their results were so different.
2 Kings 18:1-12
18:1 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 3He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. 4He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)
5Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. 6He held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7And the Lord was with him; he was successful in what ever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8From watchtower to fortified city, he defeated the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory.
9In King Hezekiah’s fourth year, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. 10At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah’s sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel. 11The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Harbor River and in towns of the Medes. 12This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated his covenant─all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened to the commands nor carried them out.
Hezekiah was a great king of Judah, if you want to find out more about Hezekiah read 2 Chronicles 32:22-33. Hezekiah saw the way God treated Israel because of their evil king Hoshea and all of the evil done by Israel throughout its existence; God destroyed Israel and gave it over to the Assyrians. And because Hezekiah was faithful to God all throughout most of his reign as king of Judah, God saved Judah from certain destruction by the Assyrians, when he killed 185000 Assyrian soldiers overnight by an ‘angel of the Lord’. When Hezekiah died his son Manasseh who was 12 years old became the king of Judah. One would think that with all Manasseh saw of his fathers rule, and all that his father taught him as a child, that he would have followed in his fathers footsteps; unfortunately this was not the case.
2He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. 3he rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected alters to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. 4He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “My Name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5In both courts of the temple of the Lord, he built alters to all the starry hosts. 6He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, Divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritsts. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger.
7He took the carved image he had made and put it in God’s temple, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. 8I will not again make the feet of the Israelites leave the land assigned to your forefathers, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them concerning all the laws, decrees and ordinances given through Moses.” 9But Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.
10The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. 12In his distress he sought the
favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.
If you want more information on Manasseh you can continue reading 33:14-22, 2 Chronicles.
Although God forgave Manasseh for the evil he had committed, He did not forget the evil he had done, and would hold Jerusalem and Judah accountable.
2 kings 21:10-16
The Lord said through his servants the Prophets: 11“Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. 12Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab, I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and hand them over to their enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their foes, 15because they have done evil in my eyes and have provoked me to anger from the day their forefathers came out of Egypt until this day.”
16Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end─besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the Lord.
Seventy Years of Captivity
25:1 The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the forth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. 2So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah and to all those living in Jerusalem: 3For twenty-three years─from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Almon king of Judah until this very day─the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoke to you again and again but you have not listened.
4And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention. 5They said, “Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the Lord gave to you and your fathers for ever and ever. 6Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not provoke me to anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”
7“But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have provoked me with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.”
8Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, 9I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. 10I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of a lamp. 11This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
12“But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylon, for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate forever.
Shortly before the seventy years of punishment for the Israeli nation were fulfilled, Nebuchadnezzar died and Belshazzar, his son became king of Babylon. Belshazzar did not believe in, nor did he honor God; which is why God said that he would punish the king of Babylon and the land of Babylon for their guilt in verse 12 above. And the following, in Daniel 5:1-6, tells what the king Belshazzar guilt was and what he did to deserve this punishment.
5:1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. 2While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. 3So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze. iron, wood and stone.
5Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way.
25“This is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN
26“This is what these words mean: (Daniel said)
Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign an has brought it to an end.
27 Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
30That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.
Now lets go back in time to 606 BC, when God sent the Babylonian nation to Judah; which is also the time when Gods punishment of the Jewish nation started. His punishment began with the seventy years of banishment to the Babylonian nation.
2 Chronicles 36: 17-23
17He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and spared neither young man nor young woman, old man or aged. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. 18He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.
20He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21The land enjoyed its sabbath rest; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and put it in writing:
23“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“ ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any one of his people among you─may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.’”
At this point in time, you might ask, why were the Israelites sent to Babylon for exactly 70 years of punishment, why not more or less years?
The following explains the why, of the punishment, and also when the punishment of God started …
606 BC ─ Judah’s punishment
The reason for the initial punishment for the Jewish nation is laid out in, Jeremiah 25:1-12 (page 33), which you have already read. The Jewish people were stubborn and willful and would not follow Gods commandments; the time of their punishment, 70 years, has to do with the Jewish people not following his commandment about ‘Sabbaths’. The following explains what the Sabbath is and where it came from.
The Sabbath Year
25:1The Lord said to Moses, 2“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the Lord. 3For six years sow your field, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4But in the seventh year the land is to have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.
If you are wondering what the people would eat during the seventh and eighth years, God tells us in Leviticus.
18 “‘Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. 19Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety. 20you may ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?” 21I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. 22While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in.
As one can see, if you do not obey God regarding the sabbath year, in addition to breaking Gods rule you are also saying that you do not believe God will provide for you in the seventh, eighth and ninth years as he said he would.
So there was 70 years of punishment for not observing the 70 Sabbaths to the Lord. As the Sabbath only occurs once every 7 years, then the total years involved would be seven times seventy years, or 490 years total; so at the end of the 490 years, the year was 606 BC. If you subtract 490 years to the start date of 606 BC then the starting date for not observing the Sabbath was 1096 BC; which was the year that the first king, king Saul, became their ruler. (If you want to check the date when king Saul became the first king of Israel, it is verified by this web site) ─ (CREATION AND CATASTROPHE CHRONOLOGY ─ http://www.setterfield.org/ccchron/barrychron.html).
At this point everyone in the nation of Israel was bound to obey the king, and at that point, 1096 BC Saul should have instituted Gods commandment about the ‘Sabbath Year’. Which he failed to do; so 490 years after the date Saul became King, which was 606 BC, God decided to punish the Israelites for ignoring ‘The Sabbath Year’ provision.
This would then indicate that there was not even one sabbath recognized by the united Jewish nation, during the entire 490 years; which spanned the life time of many, many kings.
34Then shall the land retrieve its lost Sabbaths during all the time it lies waste, while you are in the land of your enemies; then shall the land have rest and make up for its Sabbaths 35during all the time that it lies desolate, enjoying the rest that you would not let it have on the Sabbaths when you lived there.
The punishment is also laid out in Jeremiah 25:11 which indicates that Judah would spend 70 years of captivity in Babylon, and begins by telling what would happen to the land of Judah:
11This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
After 70 years the Israelites were freed to return to Jerusalem in 536 BC by the Persian king Cyrus (the Persian king who had taken over Babylon, just as God said he would). Even though king Cyrus gave all the Jews permission to return home, only a small number actually accepted the offer (around 25%). The overwhelming majority of the Jews had become comfortable over the seventy years they spent in pagan Babylon and chose to stay there. (over a long period of time, exactly 42,360 Jews chose to return to Israel-see Ezra 2:64)
This made God extremely angry, as the seventy year banishment from Israel was a punishment for their actions in Israel. The great majority of Israelites chose to stay in the land they had become comfortable with, instead of returning to the land that God had given them. They refused to return to their homeland; and again rejected their God and his commandments. It was an affront towards the offer of being allowed to peacefully return to their own homeland, that God had given them. So God decided to extend the punishment of the Jewish nation and added the punishment for this additional sin they committed, and all the additional sins they had committed while living in their homeland, both in Israel and in Babylon.
Leviticus 26:23 details the degree of additional punishment the Israelites incurred upon themselves as a nation for rejecting God.
23“ ‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, 24I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over.
The next section details the length of time the punishment would last, and the actual date when the punishment would begin and end. The details are in Ezekiel 4:1-8.
1“Now, son of man, take a clay tablet, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. 2then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering ram around it, 3Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the house of Israel.
(This is the siege of Jerusalem lead by Nebuchadnezzar, which led to it’s downfall in 606 BC.)
4“Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. 5I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the house of Israel.
6“After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the house of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year. 7Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her. 8I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege.
So Ezekiel was to be bound by ropes for 430 days, a day for each year that the whole of Israel and Judah was in sin (Ezekiel 4:5-6). And after this, Judah and the people, including Ezekiel, were taken captive by Babylon. The rulers and most of the people were also taken in captivity to Babylon and the Temple in Jerusalem was totally destroyed.
This site documents God leaving the first temple before it was destroyed.
The Departure of God’s Glory (Ezekiel 10)
The vision of chapters 8 and 9 continues in chapter 10. Here we have a lesson from God of considerable importance to us. For us to continue as God’s chosen people, He must actually dwell or live among us. The people of Israel came to understand this following their Exodus from Egypt. In Exodus 25:8 God instructed Moses, “Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” It was God’s intent at that time that He would dwell in the midst of the 12 tribes of Israel in the tabernacle made of goatskins. And His presence was evident in the pillar of cloud illuminated by the divine glory filling the tabernacle (see Exodus 40:34-35). As explained in previous comments, rabbis later designated this glory by the term shekinah, meaning “indwelling.”
God’s glory later came to dwell in the temple built by Solomon after his fervent and humble prayer (2 Chronicles 6-7). God chose to allow His presence—again evident through the radiance and splendor of His glory—to remain in the temple for centuries. Yet after the Jews had proven their determination to continue in false, idolatrous worship, the presence of God did eventually leave the Jerusalem temple prior to its looting and destruction by the Babylonians. Even when the second temple was rebuilt in its place after the return from Jewish exile, God’s glory did not occupy it. Moreover, there is no record of the shimmering, luminous glory ever again occupying an earthly building. However, centuries later the shepherds saw the glory appear in the sky as angels announced the birth of the Savior (Luke 2:9). Indeed, the coming of Christ in the flesh was, in essence, God coming to dwell with human beings (John 1:1, 14; Matthew 1:23). And after His death and resurrection, He would again do so through the Holy Spirit.
Later, Stephen proclaimed the truth that God no longer dwells in temples made with hands (Acts 7:48). As the apostle Paul explained, God’s temple is now His Church, the people whom He dwells in through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16). And the initial giving of the Spirit to the Church was accompanied by the miraculous signs of wind and fire, reminiscent of the glory of Ezekiel’s vision (see Acts 2).
On the night before His death, Jesus relayed some very important guidelines for God dwelling in His people through the Holy Spirit: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to Him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23). Notice: in order for the Father and Jesus Christ to dwell with a person, that person must be obeying Christ’s words. The apostle Paul repeats essentially the same principle in 2 Corinthians 6:16: “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you [Christians] are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be my people.'”
But Paul goes on to follow this with a warning from God: “Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (verse 17). God dwelling among a people or in the heart and mind of a person is conditional upon that people or person being submissive and obedient to God. The presence of any idol or unclean worship will cause God to withdraw His presence. This is one of the most important lessons God is using Ezekiel to teach us in this chapter.
Ezekiel 10 begins with the image of the living cherubim carrying God’s throne. God gives the order to the man in linen to gather coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city of Jerusalem (verses 1-3). This symbolizes that God has now judged the city and it is to be punished and burned, as when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed with fire and brimstone (see Genesis 19:24-25). Yet as we’ve seen, the punishment on Jerusalem is representative of punishment to befall all of Israel (Ezekiel 9:9-10).
The glory or presence of God then begins to move. The step-by-step exit from Jerusalem is recorded for us. As the glory of God moved from the Holy of Holies to the threshold or entryway of the temple (9:3; 10:4), we see that the living cherubim carrying the mobile throne were waiting outside the temple on the south side (verse 3). The entire house and courtyard were filled with the surrounding cloud and brightness (verse 4). Then, apparently after God assigned the man in linen and the executioners their jobs, He left the temple threshold and ascended His mobile throne above the living cherubim, not returning to the physical Holy of Holies within the temple (verse 18). The cherubim may have moved to meet Him as we see them hovering, with Him above them, at the east gate of the temple (verse 19).
The east gate is probably the one referred to as “the gates of righteousness” and “the gate of the LORD” in Psalm 118:19-20 and the “everlasting doors” in Psalm 24:7, 9. It is called the “Sun gate” in a Talmudic passage (Erubin 5:22c) because the sun would shine through it in the morning. Also through this gate traditionally entered the king and the ark in the sacred processions.
The Jewish people remained in captivity in Babylon for 70 years, and it was the time of punishment for the sin of not observing the Sabbaths. God then also decided to add to their punishment all of the years that Israel, and also Judah were in sin against God. God then tells Ezekiel how many years they were in sin; Israel and Judah combined had committed 430 years of sin, as determined by God.
However, the 70 years of captivity in Babylon did count for 70 years towards the 430 years that they owed for the sin they had committed, leaving 360 years.
Then Leviticus 26:23 was invoked by God, because the Israelites refused to return to Jerusalem, they did not respond as they should have to Gods corrective punishment, and therefore God punished them for the entirety of their sins.
23“ ‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, 24I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over.
Thus the 360 years were multiplied by 7 resulting in 2520 years that God would punish them by turning His face from them, and His not being with them to protect and provide for them during the time of punishment.
The beginning of this punishment would start in the spring of the year 536 BC, which was after the 70 years they spent as captives in Babylon (606 BC to 536 BC). So 536BC was the year that the first captives were allowed to returned from Babylon and also the year punishment would begin.
The 2520 years were in Jewish years of 360 days for each year, which if converted to the present calendar days of 365 days, plus leap days, comes to
: (2520x 360=907200 days) – total days of punishment
(907200 /365.25=2483.78) – total days of punishment divided by our current days in a year = number of years punishment
(2483.78 – 536BC = 1947.78) – total years punishment minus the start date
If we then factor in that it happened in the spring of 536BC we would add about .27 of a year this would come to 1948, isn’t that amazing?
(the explanation for the .27 of a year is contained in this next section)
In the above statement that the punishment began, “in the spring of 536BC”, the date that Jerusalem fell is verified in scripture to the very day that the wall of Jerusalem was breeched is listed in 2 Kings 25:3.
2 Kings 25:1
25:1 Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign on tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He camped outside the city and built siege works all around it. 2The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 3By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat. 4Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Babylonians were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah, 5but the Babylonian army pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and he was captured.
So Jerusalem’s walls were broken through on the ninth day of the fourth month, which is the spring of 536BC. (about .27 of a year)
So the significance of 1948 is that God chose 1948 as the year that His hostility would be concluded with the Jewish Nation, and then He brought the Jews back as a nation in the same year 1948, and He will, according to scripture, be their protector until the end of days has been completed. 1948 is also very important for another reason, as we shall see in the third section which is titled the End Times!
21“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. 23They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
So in 536 BC God turned his face from Israel and would no longer be with them as their protector, and would not be with them again until 1948; which was the date He chose to end His punishment. During the time of their punishment (from 536 BC to 1948 AD), whatever they did would have to be under their own power.
Malachi was the last prophet and he probably lived in the mid-fifth century B.C. around the same time God turned his face from Israel. So as I see it, this explains why Malachi is the last Prophet and why there is nothing else from God until He sends his Son to Israel in 1 A.D. and the new testament begins.
And the story continues in “The Middle”.