A guide to who the Jews were

Introducing the Jews preluding the restoration prophecy

The Promises to Abraham: One of them was in Genesis 12:1-3, as we see that he will be made a great nation and will be blessed so that the name is great. He shall be a blessing, and will bless them that bless him and curse them that curse him – and in this, all families of the earth will be blessed. The second one was in Genesis 13:15, where we see that all the land, which he sees, it will be given to him and his seed forever. A third one would be in Genesis 17:2-7, where we see that a covenant will be made that he will be a father of many nations, making them exceedingly fruitful. A fourth one would be in Genesis 22:18, which we see that by his seed that all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

Jacob was born as the son of Isaac, and had a brother named Esau. Isaac and Rebekah gave the second of these twin sons the name “Jacob,” which means, “to hold the heel.” At birth, Jacob’s hand grabbed the heel of Esau (Genesis 25:24-26). When they grew, Jacob proved his name by taking what belonged to Esau – which was the family birthright and the father’s blessing (Genesis 27:36). God was clear that Jacob was chosen, and through him, God would fulfill the promises to Abraham. God used this man to continue the line of descent from Abraham, to Isaac, and then to Jacob. The nation that God wanted was one that would be a passage of blessing. That nation was commonly called Israel, which was after the name God called him in Genesis 32:28.

For Israel, the Prince then… Israel means, “God’s fighter, God’s hero, wrestler with God, ruler with El (God), Prince of God.” The Disciples asked, “…Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Jesus answered them in a way that He said in other places about End Times, restoration, etc. that it is not of their concern when the time shall come for the restoration. In a way, He is saying that only God knows when the true restoration of Israel shall come, and that there is work to be done until then.

There was a great prophecy concerning the restoration of Israel given by Isaiah, as he says in 49:6, “And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” Then in 63:17, “O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.” The word, “restoration,” in the Old Testament is taken from the Hebrew word, “shalam,” which means, “to be safe, completed, to finish, to give again, to recompense, to make restitution.” In the New Testament, it comes from the Greek word, “apokathistemi,” which means, “to reconstitute in health, home, and organization.”

Malachi prophesied a restoration as well in 4:5-6, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Jesus then said in Matthew 17:11, “…Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” In the last days, the days of restoration, when the Lord will fulfill the prophecy of Joel and send us the former rain and the latter rain together (Joel 2:23), we will have that double-portion-anointed company of saints who will be raised up as deliverers with both the anointing of Elijah and of John. They will finish the old kingdom and bring in the new kingdom of God. Elijah’s ministry was to judge the system of idolatry and John’s ministry was to proclaim, “The Kingdom of God is at hand,” and to call all men to repentance. This will be the double-portion, end-time ministry.

Israel would be a people who were peculiar, holy, and above all nations that are upon the earth (Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2). A Redeemed and chosen people (2 Samuel 7:10-11, 23). A People with a special ministry (Exodus 6:6-8; Luke 9:60). A People whom God has blessed (Exodus 23:11, 20). A People who cannot be destroyed (Numbers 23:23-24). A perfect People (Numbers 24:3-9, 17-20). A People whose King is the Star of Jacob and the Sceptre of Israel (Numbers 24:17). Paul says in Colossians 2:17 that all the laws and rituals of Israel’s past are only a shadow of things to come. We have now come to that hour when all things are about to be fulfilled. Are you a Jew?

The Tribes of Israel

Oh Reuben… Genesis 49:3-4, “Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.” Moses’ prophecy for Reuben was found in Deuteronomy 33:6, “Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few.” Reuben’s great sin was laying with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, as we see in Genesis 35:22, “And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve.” As Reuben reverted back to the way he used to be – as we see in Judges 5:15-16. But, they were called to come back out and help, and Deborah sent it to them also. However, when the call came, they just mocked and hissed, saying, “Ha, who is going to battle? Not me. No thanks! I don’t want to be involved.” Reuben was a “curser,” Deuteronomy 27:13, “And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.”

Hello Simeon! Genesis 49:5, “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.” There were two great revivals in the Old Testament days, on under King Asa and one under Josiah. The one that Simeon was involved in was in 2 Chronicles 15:9, “And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.”

A portion of that tribe was located within Judah, but they were already subjects of the southern kingdom. A small body of Simeonites formed in the norther kingdom, but many returned of their own free will. The prophecies were fulfilled when the Lord, “divided them in Jacob and scattered them in Israel,” for when the land was divided among the tribes in the days of Joshua, Simeon did not receive an independent territory in the Promised Land, but obtained his portion within the inheritance of Judah. Overall, Simeon and Levi were “divided and scattered.”

Well Levi then… Genesis 49:5-7, “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” The purpose of this tribe was to become the priestly family of Israel – those that would stand and offer sacrifices on behalf of the bride (Israel). How it differs from the rest of the Tribes is that the Tribe of Levi were specifically chosen to represent the priestly family due to their zeal against idolatry, and due to the significance of being born third and given the name that means “unity.” The most important, however, is that there were three different sections of this tribe, and the Aaronic Line was the one chosen for High Priest duties. Other Levites were responsible for cleansing of the temple and preparing of sacrifices, but those of the Aaronic Priesthood were responsible for conducting the sacrifices, especially of carrying the blood into the Mercy Seat and surrendering unto God in atonement for the people’s sins.

Other Tribes could not accomplish the duty given unto the Tribe of Levi, because God created their tribe as a special tribe – one called for His Service in the Temple. This is based on Moses’ prophecy found in Deuteronomy 33:8-11, “And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant. They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law: they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar. Bless, LORD, his substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.”

The Levites were unpermitted to be numbered, because the Lord had chosen them as His Firstfruits Company – as we see in Numbers 1:47-49. He chose Levi as His Priestly Family, to which, was His Firstborn Family out of Israel. They represented all of Israel before the Lord. Their time of service was 25 years from age 25 to 50. After that, other ministry could conduct. We see these things detailed in Numbers 8:23-26.

Remember Judah… Genesis 49:9, “Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?” Jacob’s prophecies on Judah were in Genesis 49:8-12, “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.”

We see here in the context of Genesis 37:26 that the brothers sold Joseph to some traders who took him to Egypt. This verse is speaking that it would be no advantage to them to conceal his blood – for if it was discovered, they would be responsible for his blood and God would take vengeance upon them, therefore, it would be more profitable to sell Joseph instead of destroying him. Judah reveals his gift as an advocate and intercessor as we see in Genesis 37:27. Judah has a good influence with his brothers and is a gifted mediator. He is seen as settling crucial and difficult problems, including crises. He also speaks and others agree with him. His brothers support him well, and he makes a great international statesman. His sin is detailed in Genesis 38:1-30, however, the most important pieces of information are from… Verses 11-19, where we see that Judah did not want to give another son to daughter of Shuah, therefore, Tamar thought of a plan to disguise herself as a prostitute, which would succeed in seducing Judah. Since this was his daughter-in-law, he saw later that she was pregnant, and hoped to get rid of her, until she revealed that he was the source of the pregnancy – therefore, she shamed him.

Tamar would give birth to twins. The elder of the twins began the line of descent from Judah to David, and finally Jesus the Messiah! What is said on them? Genesis 38:26, “And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.” Judah was declared a chief ruler in 1 Chronicles 5:2. Further down the line, we see in Micah 5:2 that a ruler shall be in Israel that will come forth from the Tribe of Judah, and from of old and unto everlasting (Jesus was, is, and always will be King, to which, Micah is talking about here). For Moses’ prophecy in Deuteronomy 33:7, we see that Judah was the most powerful tribe, but besides protecting itself from enemies, it should help other tribes when in trouble. This tribe was also a praying and praising people (Judah’s name means, “Now will I praise the Lord” Genesis 29:35). Sadly, Moses did not speak anything of priesthood, but we know that Jesus did spring up from Judah (Hebrews 7:14). We see in Matthew 1:1-6/Luke 3:31-34, that Jesus is a member of the Tribe of Judah by lineage. We also see in Revelation 5:5 the apocalyptic vision of the Tribe of Judah – wherein we see Jesus described as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, who prevailed to open the book and loose the seven seals! Oh Glory to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

Do you remember Dan? Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis 49:16-18, “Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.” Moses’ prophecy in Deuteronomy 33:22, “And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion’s whelp: he shall leap from Bashan.” The Danites were characterized as switch and ruthless in their actions, especially when they slaughtered the people of Laish and seized the town for themselves and renaming it Dan (Judges 18:7-10, 27-29). In Genesis 46:23; Numbers 26:42; 1:38-39; 1 Chronicles 2-8… We see that the Tribes are detailed except for Dan’s Tribe.

It appears that this tribe was left out of noting down info about it. Even in Revelation 7:4-8, there is no mention of the Tribe, as if the Holy Spirit is leaving the info out about them. Dan would be at the end of different lists as well – wherein, this all remains a mystery nonetheless. We see “warlike Dan” in Judges chapters 17-18 – The Israelite Nation at the time of this story had no central government and the people in the various tribes did what they pleased, which caused problems overall. In short, people of the Tribe of Dan had never won complete control over their tribal inheritance on the Philistine coast, therefore, they were clutched between Judah and Ephraim – and pressed back from the coast by the Philistines and Amorites. The Tribe of Dan became sore, because there wasn’t much expanse to call their own. The spies from Dan set out looking for land to claim, and found a suitable area in the far north of Palestine (Laish). The spies returned with good news that the place they explored had well fertile land and quiet people – so an attack would definitely be unexpected.

The people of Dan made their way then to conquer Laish and make it theirs. Micah had been kind to them earlier in the chapter as we see, however, they ignored that and decided to raid his shrine, rob him of his images, and bribe his priest to go with them. When Micah protested, he was threatened. Meanwhile, the tribe voyaged to Laish where they brutally slaughtered the people and scorched the town to crisp. They rebuilt the town soon after, renamed it Dan, and used Micah’s priest and images to establish their own idolatrous religion. In 2 Kings 10:18-36, Jehu is seen killing off members of Ahab’s family as well as breaking down the image of Baal and his temple. However, the golden calves stayed in Bethel and Dan, which caused the heart of Dan to become the heart of idolatry. We see in Ezekiel 27:19, for example, that Dan was worldly. Yes, skillful, but worldly – to the point that the love of nice things was a great temptation to Dan.

Worldly things even caused Dan’s greatest hero to fall, and their downfall is their idolatrous activity. Dan was one to know that Samuel was anointed to be a prophet (1 Samuel 3:20). God fought for Israel in the domain of Dan, because He was fighting for Dan’s property (Joshua 10:12-14). Jacob’s prophecy for Dan (Genesis 49:18): “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.” Jacob intercedes so intensely more than the other tribes that Dan would be saved, restored, and redeemed.

Naphtali… Jacob’s prophecy: “Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words” (Genesis 49:21). There are many similarities between Naphtali and Zebulun, for they always get along very well together. Naphtali has the ability to “scribe” the words God gives her, which in this way and in her gift of light, she is close to Zebulun. Moses’ prophecy: “And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favour, and full with the blessing of the Lord: possess thou the west and the south” (Deuteronomy 33:23).

The west speaks of the land that lay to the west of Naphtali, which was the mighty Mediterranean Sea, and was the gateway to new lands and adventures – for God wants Naphtali to possess the nations and move out across the waters in new places in God both spiritually and naturally. The south speaks of the pleasant things at the foot of Naphtali, for just west of Naphtali was Zebulun. God wants the uniting of Naphtali and Zebulun, for it was in the southern coast of Naphtali that Jesus preached most of his life. God wants Naphtali to even possess the message of the Sermon on the Mount. Judges 1:33 refers to a problem… Naphtali did not complete their God-given task of driving out the enemies.

They dwelt among the Canaanites; claiming taxes from people. Nonetheless, he dwelt among the inhabitants in cowardice and sloth. Instead of collecting tribute, they should have expelled them. Because of her backsliding, God began to punish Naphtali. It began against Naphtali when King Asa of Judah leagued with King Benhadad of Syria to invade Israel (1 Kings 15:20). Eventually, the Naphtalites would be taken captive (2 Kings 15:29). More details, such as the listing of her sins was done in 2 Kings 17:6-23. Isaiah 9:1 will one day apply to Naphtali, as this verse shows God’s wonderful end-times promise to Naphtali and Zebulun, which was partially fulfilled when Jesus came preaching in their borders – but it will be completely fulfilled in the future, for Naphtali is able to travail herself through to victory. She knows the key to redemption and will cry and travail. She needs to praise, sing, prophesy, fight, leap over the hills, and trust in God as her covering. One day she shall be made glorious!

Now is Gad… The prophecies concerning Gad given by Jacob included in Genesis 49:19, “Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.” Gad on the east of Jordan, was more open to attack than the western tribes, but its men were fierce fighters who drove back the invaders. Gad, however, is overcome with self, the independence and strong will – God will help him overcome himself so that he may be redeemed.

Moses’ prophecy to Gad is found in Deuteronomy 33:20-21, “And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head. And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.” God promises a blessing to those who bless Gad. Moses also sees Gad as a “lion” – the king of beasts, resting in confidence and strength. This depicts the ferociousness also of this tribe. Overall, they kept their promise to help other tribes conquer Canaan and they were fierce fighters. God will enlarge Gad, expand his territories, and keep him safe and secure from his enemies. He destroys his enemies at the head and the seat of the crown – hurting the subject of their strength.

Meet Asher… in Judges 1:31, that they failed to drive out whom God told them to (inhabitants), but rather, the Asherites just dwelt with the Canaanites as if nothing was wrong. They had the chance to take the whole land! We see what enables Asher to rise up in anointing to take their place as a soldier of the Lord in 1 Chronicles 7:40, “All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father’s house, choice and mighty men of valour, chief of the princes. And the number throughout the genealogy of them that were apt to the war and to battle was twenty and six thousand men.”

These men were eminent in courage and valor, willing to rise up as the heads of their fathers’ families. They had a large militia and were equipped of the Lord to battle! We see the information about the revival that occurred in 726 BC in 2 Chronicles 30:10-11, “So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.” They were seen confessing their sin and expressing sorrow and repentance – and then they were willing to obey God and attend his worship and ordinances.

Issachar… Prophecies first: Jacob’s, found in Genesis 49:14-15, “Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.” We see that Issachar gained good prosperity from the good farming area they were part of, to which, they sadly submitted too often to the powerful Canaanites that controlled most of the area. Moses’, found in Deuteronomy 33:18-19, “And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.” We see that Issachar would prosper (as well as Zebulun) through the agricultural success of their region. They were shown, during the great big feast in 1 Chronicles 12:40, to have brought many provisions for the feast. They are very generous people, to which, God needs, who will give their home and supplies, and even love. They are filled with such joy and rejoicing because of their wise investment in His Kingdom.

Hello there Zebulun… Prophecy of Jacob, Genesis 49:13, “Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.” The Tribe of Zebulun that settled near the Mediterranean Coast was enriched with trade that passed through its territory to the sea. In addition, the burden for souls will motivate the life of Zebulun. They will go and go when she cannot go any longer to help those shipwrecked souls crying for help. Prophecy of Moses, Deuteronomy 33:18-19, “And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.”

Just as Issachar, they will also prosper through their agricultural activities. You may not get to the mission field, but you will always have a burden and call for missions overall in your life. Zebulun shall dwell in the light and attract others to her. They did serve with King David, 1 Chronicles 12:33, “Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.” They likely had around 50,000 noted in the verse. In Judges 12:11-12, we read about the judge, Elon, a Zebulunite, “And after him, Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel 10 years. And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulon.” Elon means, “the prominent, elated, exalted, noble one; oak, strong one.”

He is named after one of the sons of Zebulun. In Deuteronomy 27:13, we read that Zebulun stands with Reuben, Gad, Asher, Dan, and Naphtali to utter the warnings to the people of God. We read about a revival in Zebulun in 2 Chronicles 30:10, “So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.” We see the immaturity of a Zebulonite here, as there is mocking going on, laughing, and deriding. We see in Isaiah 9:1-5 the five good prophetic verses about Zebulun, which are full of promise. Out of the darkness of the conquered regions of the north, the Messiah, the one to lead His People to victory is coming to introduce an era of light, of joy, and of peace. Oppressors will be overthrown and war will be banished (which is good news for all of the tribes, especially those aiming for peace – such as Zebulun).

Oh yes, Joseph: The unusual part about these blessings was that Jacob pronounced them over Joseph (which factored in Manasseh and Ephraim). We see the blessings as follows in Genesis 48:13-20: Let Jacob/Israel’s name be named on them, and the name of his fathers Abraham and Isaac. Let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. Become a people, become great – a seed shall become a multitude of nations. Make him as Ephraim and Manasseh. In Genesis 49:22-26, “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.” We see at the time of Jacob’s prophecy, Joseph was very important and may have been attacked in the past – but only for God to strengthen and bless him. The two tribes descended from Joseph were likewise blessed, and though large in number, the regions they occupied were the best. Moses’ prophecy to Joseph is found in Deuteronomy 33:13-17, “And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.” The Joseph tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim, were to inherit the best part of Canaan, and the God who once appeared in the burning bush to Moses would give them special power, so that they would become the leading tribes in the northern kingdom. In Judges 7:24, we see that Gideon sent to war against the Midianites, and sent the messengers through all the mount of Ephraim.

The Ephraimites had great victory, but then they wondered why he wanted to war with the Midianites. They blamed Gideon (a Manassite), for what God had not enabled them to do. There seemed to be quite a brotherly jealousy between the two. In Judges 12:1, we see envy and contention, as the men of Ephraim were preparing to fight with Jephthah. When they fought, the men of Gilead smote Ephraim. The Gileadites captured the fords of Jordan behind the army of Ephraim and whenever a fugitive of Ephraim tried to cross the river, the Gilead guards challenged him asking if he was a member of the Tribe of Ephraim. If he was not, they wanted him to say, “Shibboleth.” If he couldn’t pronounce it correctly, he was dragged away and killed. 42,000 of them died just then, which was of great humiliation and tragedy.

Then we see Benjamin… Jacob’s prophecy was in Genesis 49:27, “Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” Benjamin seems to have been declared too warlike for his own good, and brought trouble upon itself that it was almost wiped out. Jacob did not like calling his son this, however, there are two stages to this prophecy: One, in the morning, he ravin’s like a wolf, where he devours his prey. He looks for food, and fights for it (ravin means “tear to pieces.” He had to tear through and make his way into the world from his mother’s womb. It was at a great price he was born. This stage he was immature and youthful. In the second stage, he is seen as the one at night dividing his spoil, to which, he will share with others and reach a place of maturity willing to make sacrifices and give out the good things that God has given him.

The only time wolves share the carcass or other “spoils” is with family. God can do wonderful acts of maturity for Benjamin and the Benjaminites. For Moses’ prophecy, found in Deuteronomy 33:12, “And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.” We see that Benjamin had its special blessing when the Temple in Jerusalem was built in its territory, even though the rest of Jerusalem was in Judah’s territory. The Lord will always watch over and protect them, though, and this is definitely a promise that God will be with them, for that’s what is said for the Benjaminites that a special protection is given to them. They became mighty soldiers of Israel and they shall ask, “Lord, where do you need me on the front lines today?” What is interesting about the history of Benjamin, is that, like the other tribes did, they did not drive out the Jebusites, but rather, inhabited with them (Judges 1:21) – which was disobedience to God. They were likely lazy, and of course due to spoilage, too comfortable. When Deborah called for help certain of the tribes did not come down, but in Judges 5:14, Benjamin is noted as coming to the aid of the warriors. They don’t mind working together with a woman, and he will be happy to cooperate. It was terrible for Benjamin that he didn’t drive out the Jebusites, for the Jebusites were sinful, full of sodomy, and every kind of evil. Benjamin fell into the same sins, and in Judges 19-21, the story involves these sins.

Because of this, all Israel joined to go to warfare against Benjamin, and although they fought bravely and won two battles, in the end the tribe was almost obliterated. Six hundred were left that fled to the wilderness. Later, they found women to be with and the Tribe of Benjamin was saved. This humbled them overall, so that God may move them in the direction according to His Will. In 1 Chronicles 12:16, 18, 29, we read that the Benjaminites and the children of Judah were the very first to go down into the wilderness to David while he was still a fugitive. They were indeed of the same tribe as the King, and it proves they were willing to leave their own family connections and loyalty to join David in the wilderness – even though he was of the Tribe of Judah. The warriors had one unique thing about them, they were left-handed, as we see in Judges 20:16, “Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.” They did so well shooting stones on a sling with their left hand. We see in Psalm 68:27, “There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.” Little Benjamin will be important, especially in the last days! Psalm 80:2, “Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.” The writer of this psalm is pleading for God to stir up His Power and save Benjamin, which shall be a fulfillment in the last days that God will save Benjamin!

Jeremiah 6:1, “O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.” Jeremiah seemed closely connected to this tribe and seemed to have warned them of the coming judgment for Benjamin. God wants the Benjaminites in the last days of coming judgment to flee out of the midst of the cursed thing, blow the trumpet, and set up signs of warning through the fire of the Holy Ghost, for evil is again coming from the north for great destruction. Jeremiah 33:13, “In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the LORD.” No matter how hard things get, he knows there is a time of rest and peace coming again. Jeremiah 37:12, “Then Jeremiah went forth out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to separate himself thence in the midst of the people.” Jeremiah wanted to leave the doomed city of Jerusalem to find a place of refuge in Benjamin because he remembered the promises of God to Benjamin, but he was arrested at the city gate and put in a dungeon. In 726 B.C., we saw the great revival under King Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 31:1), and that Benjamin was in the middle of a new move of God. They went out with Judah and said, “Come and repent.” They pulled down the high places where idols were worshipped and burned up the devil’s idols, and tore up satan’s temples. There were many tribes that did move with revival, and even some mocked and scoffed – however, the Benjaminites were ready for battle, which was similar under the revival of Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:9).

Who are the Jews today then?

There are three main types of Jews as we see in the Bible that reflect what we also see today: 1. Orthodox Jews (Also called Hebrews or Mosaic Jews)(Genesis 14:13; 32:28; 46:1; Exodus 19:5-6;); 2. Messianic Jews (Jews that believe in Christ Jesus)(John 12:11; Romans 1:16; 9:27; Jeremiah 31:31; 1 Corinthians 5:7); 3. Grafted Jews (Gentile believers in Christ who have been grafted into Israel)(Acts 28:28; Romans 11:11-24; Ephesians 2:11-22). The Tribes of Israel that were originally sworn in as we see in Numbers 26:53-55, “Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him. Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit.” This origination makes up the Natural Israel.

The Natural Israel appears to be the Israelites/Israelis (former Israel inhabitants and current inhabitants) as we see in the Bible in the verses mentioned in the previous paragraph (“The land shall be divided…the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit”). All of the physical descendants of Jacob were God’s chosen People, Israel, in the physical and national sense (natural Israel). Not all were God’s People in the inward and spiritual sense, however. The Spiritual Israel appears to be the New Israel, the one that God’s People are part of, to which, we are new Creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Therefore, only Messianic Jews and Grafted Jews). Those who have turned from their sins and trusted in the saving mercy and grace of God could be called the true Israel.

Those that believe upon Jesus Christ will be saved, and there is no difference to the Lord between Jew and Greek, for He is Lord of all; therefore, the both deserve equal treatment (Romans 10:12-14; Galatians 3:28-29; 1 Peter 2:9; John 1:12). Many Orthodox Jews will not be saved, as they cannot accept Christ (see John 4-5 for example). It is best to explore the difference between Mount Sinai and Mount Zion, because we learn of the two different stages of God’s People: Those under the Law of Moses, and those under the Law of Love (Jesus Christ).

Mount Sinai is the place where the Law was given to Moses (Exodus 19:12-21; Deuteronomy 4:11-12; 5:4, 23-26). It was a place where His People would not trace, it seared with fire and was full of blackness, darkness, and tempest, there was a sound of the Trumpet and the full voice of God, they could not endure what was said from the mountain, and so terrible was the sight that Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and quake!” Mount Zion (Sion) is where Grace is extended to us, for out of Zion came the Deliverer who shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Romans 11:26). The 144,000, that is, the elect, shall stand on the mountain with Him, having the Father’s name written in their foreheads (Revelation 14:1). It is the Capital City of the Living God (Revelation 3:12; chapter 21), it is the Heavenly Jerusalem filled with an innumerable amount of angels (Revelation 5:11-14), it is the Church of the Firstborn, those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Colossians 1:18), where God is the judge of all, where the Spirits of just men are made perfect (Revelation 6:9-11), unto Jesus, the Mediator of our Covenant (Matthew 26:38; Hebrews 9:15), and where the Blood of Jesus has been offered, for it speaks better things than that of humanity (Colossians 1:20; 1 Peter 1:18-23).

Esther and the story of Haman

“As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.” –Esther 9:22 … this I believe shows the awesome power of rest!

The Book of Esther, written around 460-400 BC by an anonymous author, covers a period after the exile during the reign of King Xerxes. The Book talks much about a person named Esther who was chosen to become queen, about a plan that was crafted to destroy the Jews (and how it occurred), and about the triumphant Jews.

In the beginning of the book, an exhibition of riches was displayed before the officials and citizens, which lasted for many months. The current queen, Queen Vashti, was asked by the king to display her beauty before drunken men at this banquet, but she refused. This was defiance of the king’s authority, so therefore, she was removed from power. Soon, many young and beautiful women in the land were brought together in the palace, so that the king might choose one of them to be a queen. Among those women was a Jew, whom was also an orphan, named Esther. However, she didn’t make it known she was a Jew. After all the preparations, the women were brought before the king, and then he chose Esther and crowned her.

Now, a man named Haman, the king’s chief minister, had begun to demand people to worship him. Mordecai (cousin of Esther), refused to do this, because he was a Jew and worshiping Haman was against his religion. Haman wanted revenge because of this, and therefore decided to kill all of the Jews. Haman then gained the king’s permission to do so after he spoke that killing the Jews would greatly increase the royal treasury. The king trusted him that he gave Haman his ring, so that Haman could sign legal documents and put things into order.

However, Haman had to wait for eleven months before proceeding (to kill them). Haman decreed he would do it, which disturbed many of the people. Mordecai knew that Esther was a Jew and only she could help, so he asked Esther to have the king cancel the decree. God wanted His People alive, and so the urgency was great for Esther to do this, even though she’d be risking her life. However, she agreed to approach the king thusly, and attempt to get the problem resolved.

After a few days had passed, Esther invited the king and Haman to a couple of dinners, in hope to get favor from one or both of them. Haman was positive about the queen, likely flattered that he may have gotten the queen’s approval for killing the Jews. Haman then asked for a royal favor, in hopes to get Mordecai killed right away. However, when Haman made the request to the king, the king was hesitant because Mordecai had saved his life at an earlier time.

The king wanted to reward Mordecai, as we see in chapter six. However, Haman didn’t know about the reward, it seems, so Haman was astonished that the honor would go to Mordecai (not execution). Haman was humiliated and felt betrayed by the royal family. Later that night, another dinner was between the king, queen, and Haman, where Esther brought the case before the king that Haman had been plotting to kill the Jews (admitting she was also Jewish) and killing her, and therefore the king was angry because of it. Haman began weeping with anguish before the king, which was interpreted by the king as rape or other form of tactic by Haman to hurt the queen. Therefore, the king wanted Haman immediately executed.

Next, we see Mordecai promoted to chief minister. However, the king’s decree (from Haman’s proposal to kill the Jews) was still intact, but the king gave Mordecai and the queen power to counteract it with a new decree. Therefore, they acted promptly, and gave the Jews permission to do anything they could to defend themselves against attacks on the day (of war against them). When the day came for the Jews to be attacked, only a few of the enemies actually attacked them.

However, the Jews fought hard, it seems, and were even given an extra day to defend themselves and get revenge on the enemies. After the Jews won (and survived by the grace of God), a feast was thrown in celebration (which was done every year after that, as well). The book concluded quickly by talking about the reign of Mordecai, and how he helped the Jewish people under his leadership. Mordecai continued rule for many years.

Nehemiah: One filled with sorrow

Nehemiah was filled with sorrow because the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and gates were burned. The King was concerned about Nehemiah’s sadness and allowed him to return to Jerusalem for the purpose of going back and helping to rebuild Jerusalem. It took 52 days to rebuild the walls. When the walls were completed, they were solemnly dedicated and guarded continually.

The Book of Nehemiah, presumed to have been written by both Ezra and Nehemiah, around 430-420 BC details Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem, the rebuilding of the city wall, and all about Nehemiah’s reforms.

The book begins by talking about Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem, for thirteen years had passed since Artaxerxes issued the decree for Ezra to go and reform Israel. Now, Ezra’s work had been an early success, but when the Jews wanted to rebuild the city wall, they ran into many problems. Many of Israelite enemies accused them of rebellion against Persia, so the Israelites avoided any building of a wall.

We read about Nehemiah, for in Persia, Nehemiah, who was a Jewish official in the king’s palace, had become a cupbearer (which I have recognized is someone who is a wine steward). The Jews heard about Nehemiah and wanted to speak with him, for someone so trusted had to be someone they could trust also maybe. Nehemiah, though, was a man of God who prayed much, and therefore, knew the people’s troubles were resulting from sin. Therefore, Nehemiah brought a confession before God and interceded before Him for four months.

He prepared to speak to the king about this, but the king was taken aback about Nehemiah’s return. However, he was given permission after all to return and carry out the reconstruction of the wall that was planned. He obtained the necessary building materials. Soon, the rebuilding of the city wall had commenced. During the period of building this wall, a lot of antagonism had occurred. Much of the antagonism involved mockery, treachery, extortion, compromise, insults, and other forms of disloyalty – before it was finally accomplished, as we see in chapters six through seven. Right before it was completed; there was a significant event, in which people attempted to draw Nehemiah out of the city in order to kill him. However, Nehemiah knew their tactics and did not budge from the plan of completing the wall. In completing the wall, Nehemiah made a record of all of those that lived in Jerusalem now.

Next, now that the wall was finished, it was time to execute Nehemiah’s reformation. By the end of the sixth month, the wall was complete, which was right before Israel’s mid-year meetings and festivals had occurred, so he thought this is the perfect time for a celebration of the completion of the wall. After this, the people requested that Ezra, assisted by some Levites, would read the Law and explain it to the people, because it had been so long since they heard it. When people looked upon themselves and figured how far they had departed from the Law, they began to grieve and worry. Nehemiah thought that the festivities were going to be filled with a bunch of sad people. Nevertheless, to his surprise, there wasn’t much to worry about. People were intently focused on attending every reading of the Law.

After the end of the Feast of the Tabernacles, more readings of the Law occurred. Then, there was a time of confession and worship that was led by the Levites. After confession, a fresh covenant promise was made so that they would be faithful unto God. An oath was created as well, which was signed by many leaders. All of the people involved in this oath were bound to the covenant document that told them to be obedient to the Law. There were specific matters in the document, which involved mixed marriages, temple taxes, the Sabbath Day and Sabbatical Year, maintenance of the temple and rituals, and tithes and offerings. After that, listings were created of residents, and priests and Levites. Then, we see the dedication of the wall. After the reading of the Law and miscellaneous celebrations, it appears that they dedicated the wall. People joined in offering sacrifices, praised, and rejoiced God. Officials were then assigned to watch over the money and supplies that were brought by people to the temple. All of the Israelites gave one-tenth of their income to the central fund. After the funds would be collected, it would be distributed among the Levites, as they worked in different functions in the temple. People were also reminded to keep God’s temple holy and that Pagans were not allowed inside.

Now, after serving about twelve years governing Jerusalem, Nehemiah had been called back to Persia for a while. Some of the Jews’ old enemies had returned and caused issues, such as a mixed marriage for example. Nehemiah had heard and quickly corrected this situation, since it was a violation of the promise made. Also, they hadn’t paid tithes in quite a while, and because of this, the Levites no longer worked at the temple, but went to the fields to work instead. If that wasn’t bad enough, people were working and trading on the Sabbath.

All of these things broke the covenant promise that was made. Nehemiah was furious and intent on putting an end to it. He closed the city gates on the Sabbath, which prevented people from bringing goods into the city to sell. He made doubly sure that no one sold right outside the gate either. Nehemiah had continued to correct the people and helped them follow God’s Law the best they can. Nehemiah was remarkable in trying to keep up with the reformation and overall was helpful in continuing Israelite living in Jerusalem.

Book of Ezra in the Bible

“Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.” –Ezra 10:1

King Cyrus of Persia had hoped that the prophecy by Jeremiah might be fulfilled, so he made a proclamation, which involved building a house at Jerusalem (in Judah). The chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, as well as the priests and Levites, went to go build the house of the Lord. Vessels were brought and placed in the house of his gods. When the seventh month came, people gathered themselves as one in Jerusalem, and an altar was built to offer burnt offerings as it is written in the Law of Moses. They praised and worshiped God in the house.

The prophecy was that King Cyrus would be a shepherd performing His pleasure, to which, he shall say to Jerusalem be built, and to the Temple would the foundation be laid. He is to also subdue nations before him, and the power of kings will be weakened so that he is made to be conqueror.

In chapter 7, we see Ezra’s genealogy. We also see the priests, Levites, and Ezra going up to Jerusalem, which involves the commission of Artaxerxes to Ezra. Ezra also blesses God for his favor to the people. In chapter 8, we see Ezra’s companions returning from Babylon. He sends Levites to Iddo to be ministers for the Temple, keeps a fast at Ahava (for a safe and prosperous journey), and committed the treasures to the custody of the priests. After Ahava, they go to Jerusalem, where the treasure is weighed in the Temple. Lastly, the commission is delivered to their adversaries, and they further the house of God (by making sacrifices).

After Ezra prayed and confessed, it was proposed by Shechaniah that those who had married strange wives should put them away with their children – to which, they had sworn to do so. A proclamation is made through the land for a meeting at Jerusalem in three days – to which, they attended. At exhortation from Ezra, all had agreed to do it, and there were persons set up to see it done. The work was completed in three months, and a list of names of them are given who married strangely and now put away – which were of the priests, Levites, and other Israelites.

Synopsis

The Book of Ezra, written by Ezra himself around 450-420 BC, is a continuation of where Second Chronicles left off. This book deals with the first return of the exiles to Jerusalem resulting from King Cyrus, and the second return of the exiles to Jerusalem led by Ezra. Many main events that occurred involved the return of the exiles, restoration of the temple/reconstruction, and Ezra’s work.

Cyrus ruled in Persia for a while before conquering Babylon in 539 BC. After this conquest, he gave the Jew permission to return to Jerusalem. The Jews, according to Jeremiah’s prophecy, were released from the Babylonian captivity and were allowed to return and rebuild their nation. Many people had chosen to remain in Babylon; it appears, however, Cyrus wanted as many to return as possible. He even provided for many of the exiles to return, and helped people rebuild their lives overall, it seems.

The primary leaders were Zerubbabel and Joshua over the returned exiles. The total number returned was around 50,000. Many people, when returned, contributed to the rebuilding of the temple. So then, the temple work began for rebuilding, where the Jews got the provisions and got to work right away. However, a halt was placed on the rebuilding, even though much of it was complete – for Artaxerxes thought that it was necessary to postpone it.

Next, we find that the temple rebuilding continued, after not being worked on for about sixteen years. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the work to re-begin for the temple work. Although some rejected the idea, others caught on and completed the temple rebuilding and rededication within four years. A while after the dedication, a new annual festival was to be held in the temple. This was the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread. Celebrations were held for the restoration of their homeland.

Now, the return of Ezra is detailed, as the temple being completed in 516 BC, Ezra came back around 458 BC. This was a time when Artaxerxes I was still reigning. Ezra had big plans to reform, as he was both a priest and scribe. He had much knowledge of Jewish Law, it seems, and had the ability and funds to be able to conduct a reform. Ezra could also appoint judges to set up courts and carry out punishments as necessary. So, under this mission, authorized by the king, a journey was conducted for Ezra and others that accompanied him to Jerusalem. The journey was set to take around four months, and Ezra was fully intent on this reform.

Ezra went to the Persian officials and presented the documents that authorized him to take control of the Jewish homeland. Therefore, being allowed to do so, Ezra began his reformation as planned. Ezra was quite grieved; it appears, at mixed marriages. Israelite men married non-Israelite women; making families by them. Ezra was aware that this could destroy the religion of Israel, and therefore, he wanted this changed first. Ezra confessed sin on behalf of the nation, before presenting his case.

People heard and met with Ezra, confessed their troubles, and made an oath that it would be corrected. The work of this, though, took around three months to complete. People, though, were intent on relieving the grief of Ezra, confessing their sins, and making sacrifices as necessary. Ezra was successful in this reformation, and was great leader who had influenced many in the Israelite region.

Haggai the prophet of Temple building

Nebuchadnezzar had captured Jerusalem, the Temple was completely destroyed. After about fifty years in Babylon, the Jews were finally allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and ancient Temple. Cyrus not only granted such privilege, but also supplied a good amount of money to guarantee the work.

Then, under Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, the people returned to their old home and began carrying out orders from Cyrus, to which, they were eager to remove the debris. Their enthusiasm soon subsided, because of the hostility of the Samaritans and by the hard labor that such construction had demanded. Cyrus, the great conqueror, was followed by his son Cambyses, who had taken his own life and brought the land into a critical situation. Persia, Media, and others had broken away from the Empire, but gradually Darius the Great gained control and order grew out of chaos. Haggai stood beside Zechariah in the important task of bringing God’s Word to the governor, priest, and the people.

Haggai was a Jewish Patriotic layman who responded enthusiastically to the call of God. He was likely older, and lived in Babylon before coming to Jerusalem with the returning exiles. He is associated with Zechariah as the author of certain Psalms. They were coworkers and contemporaries of the period. Zechariah prophesied for three years, however, Haggai only prophesied for three months and twenty-four days. Haggai sets us a great example as he effaced himself by giving no details about his own life and service (he just exalted the Lord), he never presented his own opinions, nor proclaimed, “thus saith the Lord.” He didn’t criticize, commend, or cheer. He lastly demonstrated by word and work, not only preached but practiced the Word found in 5:1-2.

His idea of God set him ablaze with burning zeal. The people were so compelled as to follow his orders, and he was able to, in some unseen way, put godly courage into the hearts of his relatives. He was so influenced by Ezekiel. He was not a man of spacious ideas, such as that of Amos, Isaiah, or Jeremiah – but his greatness lies in the fact that he saw the next duty at hand and inspired his people to undertake the building. He does not occupy any conspicuous place among the prophets, but fills it as a man called and led of God, albeit. He was a traditionalist rather than an original thinker, and the influence of the priestly caste was evident in his homilies. He did not have the stern searching note of Jeremiah, however, he used the everyday language/jargon of a jaded people, to which, he didn’t apologize for their dejection, but instead challenged them. He writes his book in a blunt and obscure manner, but it was a sure, humble, curious, and perceptive book nonetheless.

Haggai’s Oracles

  • First Oracle, 1:2-11: This is a word of rebuke and a call to action. The failure was because of fear and selfishness. The ones who were holding back were men who lived in luxury. They showed no concern for spiritual matters. In order for God to start blessing them, they must begin work – bringing timber and stones to build the Temple.
  • Second Oracle, 2:1-9: A call to courage in the hour of disappointment. There are always pessimists in a crown that must be overcome, and even though this Temple may not be as beautiful as the one the Israelites once had, it is still God’s dwelling place so He could glorify Himself among the nations!
  • Third Oracle, 2:10-19: An appeal to conscience and a call to patience is made as Haggai begins to hear complaints. The promised blessings were slow in coming and had been working for three months. Haggai made it clear that the land had been defiled and profaned, because of their neglect. Evil manifests a powerful infection and it would take a while for all of the promised to come. They would be required to continue their labor and rebuild – staying faithful, for God would bring victory!
  • Fourth Oracle, 2:20-23: This contains the message of hope to Zerubbabel who was to bask in the assurance that he was the chosen object of divine care and that he would be protected in the great overthrow that was to destroy the surrounding nations. Haggai was to be the representative of Yahweh among the peoples of the earth.

The response of the people to the message of Haggai was that they were obedient to him in return, but more than that: obedient unto God. They took quick action and re-began work on the Temple!

Lessons to learn from Haggai

  • Face difficult duties courageously and immediately.
  • God-given messages will result in action.
  • Serious and lasting are the effects of evil.
  • Human effort is useless when separated from spiritual emphasis.
  • Outward splendor does not necessarily attribute to true glory.
  • Preachers are challenged to throw themselves enthusiastically into the great program of God.

The prophet known as Joel knew revival was coming

Joel said he was the son of Pethuel. Otherwise, he was a native to Jerusalem. He was a pious, godly, courageous preacher who came in the hour of opportunity to deliver a powerful Message from Yahweh to His People. He may have been a priest. His preaching centered generally on repentance of God’s People! Joel is known as The Prophet of Revival or Pentecost. The key Scripture is Joel 2:28-32, because a prophecy is given that God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh…to which, we see come in Acts 2 – and I’m glad for this, because it is because of this whole deal that we have His Spirit within us, and are able to also minister His Spirit unto others.

The burden of Joel’s Message is a certain fearful time of judgment which he mentions five times in three chapters – and refers to “the Day of the Lord.” The Key Verse helps explain it, “Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand…” This day is yet to come and will begin with the removal of the Church, as the Lord will judge and interfere in the course of world politics. Joel points out God’s dealing with people as the outcome of their own spiritual condition. Genuine repentance is at the foundation of real revivals, and this was Joel’s burden as he labored to produce revival. He cries out in 2:13, “Rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for he gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.” A rent heart is followed by a rent veil, and access to God and Pentecostal Blessing follow true repentance.

Joel’s message contains the greatest description in literature of a locust devastation, but it also points out the invasion of locusts was only a type of another horrible invasion which was in swarms of heathen invasion in that day and will be further fulfilled in the last days or the days to come. He is scared for what may happen. His heart holds dear the people and his mind is in fear.

The Apostle Peter uses the passage Joel 2:28-32 as a powerful productive sermon on “The Day of Pentecost,” which was fulfilled gloriously in the outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon those exercising true repentance and faith unto Salvation. We see Peter’s Message in Acts 2:16-21, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

The instructions and background of this book

There is a plague, to begin with, that many older people don’t remember. The whole countryside is bare, and Joel tells the people to tell the story of this to their children and grandchildren. Those that have lived greedily are punished, and they will no longer be drunk with wine, because the vineyards have been destroyed. The people are mourning in misery, especially because of the destruction and that the crops have fallen into ruin. Joel reveals the plague was no accident, but that it is a disaster/judgment from God, to which, the priests must now lead the nation in repentance.

Joel now sees a picture of the swarms coming and compares them to an enemy army. The locusts quickly consume farmlands and the people are helpless. The locusts turn toward Jerusalem in attack, and they swarm the cities and through houses. The clouds of insects brought darkness and made it clear that God’s judgment has come. God sent the judgment so that people would come to a genuine repentance. In repenting, God would restore their vineyards, and they will be able to worship Him again with their offerings. A trumpet is blown calling the people to the Temple to fast and mourn. God then accepts the people’s repentance and promises removal of locusts. Good harvests are to follow and will compensate for all losses. This should bring people into the knowledge of God better, and give people hope for a better future.

People naturally come to God in calamity and then turn away when things are great. Joel hopes that one day God will give His Spirit to each person, not just a few that do His tasks or other purposes and special occasions. This locust plague is only a picture of the last great judgment awaiting the people, to which, believers will be saved but sinners perish. Joel then pictures enemy nations gathering for a final attack to Jerusalem, but these nations don’t know that God brought them together, and He is going to execute judgment upon them for their crimes against Judah. The nations are guilty, wickedness is great, and therefore, they must die. The time of its occurrence is also the time of deliverance of Jerusalem, to which God protects His People.

His prophecy of restoration to Israel

Joel 3:16-17, “The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.”

The Day of Darkness

Joel pictures the swarms of locusts as a person sees them in Jerusalem, and compares them to an enemy army. The swarms are so thick that they look like black clouds as they sweep over the mountains and farmlands. It appears that the swarm comes quickly like an uncontrollable bushfire and devours farmlands to barrenness. The locusts turn their sights to Jerusalem, attacking them in a cloud so thick that it blots out the sun and demonstrates to people that God’s judgment is upon them. This day was a day of darkness upon the people due to so much swarm of locusts.

Lessons Joel tries to express to all people

  1. Trials and other issues help to turn us back to God and prepare our minds to hear Him.
  2. Judgment day can mean either fear or glory depending on the attitude of our hearts.
  3. National calamities call for a nationwide prayer and repentance.
  4. God has blessings for those that yield their heart unto Him!
  5. You can either abide in Him or abide in the world – and either one will have to be the choice and not both. We are called to abide in Him only, for this will bring true repentance of heart. God knows us very well and understands the things that we do. He hopes that we will realize it and repent of our wrong.

God’s forgiveness is real – Hosea the prophet

The prominent lesson we learn from Hosea is that God will do the same for every sinner, backslider, Jew, or Gentile, who will repent and return, as He has said He would do for Israel. Hosea is called the Suffering Love Prophet. (The text says he’s the Prophet of Suffering Love.) We find Hosea in the New Testament in Romans 9:25 and it relates to us what the Lord will do for the backslider – “As he saith also in “Osee” I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.” The Kings that were on the scene during Hosea’s writing were Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Jeroboam.

All of his writing reflects unfaithful Israel, and he is called upon by God to “live his prophecy.” Hosea was a young man and received a special endowment of soul that caused him to have a keen sensation of God. His sensitive soul gave him a decided advantage of experiencing the deeper mysteries of Grace over other messengers. He was profoundly influenced by Amos, and loved the land, his neighbors, and his beloved Yahweh! He commonly wrote from experience, as well as inspiration.

Gomer, his unfaithful wife, which bore him bastard children, became a parable to the nation of its Spiritual Adultery in forsaking Jehovah and falling down before false gods. She was the daughter of Diblaim, had no way of knowing or understanding the mighty love of Hosea, and many have said this must be an Allegory, however, it’s the truth. Hosea was willing to give his life to be a Message for God to God’s People.

Hosea was called the Prophet of Suffering Love, because he was a broken-hearted man. He was a sufferer, because his wife was unfaithful, but he was faithful. He did his best in the relationship, but his wife decided in her unfaithfulness to have bastard children – which forgone his ability to create heirs.

He lived out the Message as he received Gomer, his wife, back repeatedly, until finally he found her on the slave block in the market, and once more, as Jesus would do, forgave her. He bought her back so she could return to home. Hosea grieves over his love for Gomer; in this we see that God is desperately in love also and keeps sobbing from His heart, as does Hosea, while they continue to repeat their love story and call from their heart, “Come back!” Hosea was of the tribe of Issachar, which would give him the gift of knowing the times and seasons before the normal man; therefore, people were slow to hear, as was the case with the prophecies of Amos.

This is a book of repentance, as backsliders are invited to return to God or suffer the consequences of being cut off. The Lord speaks to Israel through the domestic troubles of the Prophet. Hosea was commanded to take a wife of whoredoms to picture the condition of Israel when God called and married her, bringing her into a covenant relationship with His People.

After having children by him, Hosea’s wife, Gomer, left him to go after old lovers. He was then commanded to buy her back as his wife again, and then to make a contract that she would never do it again. The experience was used to teach Israel that she must now return to God, after forsaking His covenant and going after other gods; He would marry her again and enter into an eternal covenant relationship with her!

The theme could be summed up by two words: “Lo-ammi,” meaning “not my people.” 1:9, “Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God;” and “Ammi,” meaning “My People.” 2:1, “Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ru-ha-mah.” Therefore, she bore one daughter and two sons. The Prophetical Message would concern the restoration of Israel to God, 2:14-23, after the many days of 3:4-5, at which time they will be His eternal people. The Message in 6:1-3 concerns the return of Israel to God by repentance and that in 13:14 He will ransom them. In 14:3-9 God is redeeming them eternally.

The underlying purpose overall is to record and predict Israel’s backslidings from God for many days, during which time they were to be scattered among the nations, and be without a King, a prince, sacrifice, image, Ephod, and Teraphim (1:9; 3:4-5); to reveal the final and eternal restoration of Israel; and to assure them of God’s forgiveness and eternal blessing as seen in the above Scriptures 6:1-3 and 14:3-9.

OVERALL LESSON: We are faithless when we sin, because sin is contagious and a trouble for our soul. Sin can destroy one’s spirit and hurt one’s soul, so it is upon genuine repentance that would ensure ourselves of His full forgiveness. However, God loves us nonetheless, whether we sin or not, for there is nothing greater than God’s love. Repentance is necessary for some, as it heals and delivers them. People should aim, however, to lead sinless lives, because it will always bring more peace and joy.

What is Israel’s hope and future? Exploring the prophet named Ezekiel

OVERALL:

  • Ezekiel was called The Exile Prophet of Hope, for he wrote to The Jewish Exiles in Babylon concerning hope for the future of the Israelite Nation.
  • He was one where he wrote in a cause-effect pattern, where he talked about the judgment and sins of Jerusalem for the first half for the book of Ezekiel, and then talked about returning to the land and the new age for the other half.
  • His pattern of writing had to do with showing what the problem is, and what the Lord will do to bring hope to the people!

The background of Ezekiel

He had quite an impressive status, which was an aristocrat of Jerusalem, a descendant from Zadok’s line. He was a proud and confident person as he looked to the future of the Priesthood, involving God’s chosen people. He was called one of the most influential men, and was greatly influence by the preaching of Jeremiah and the reform of Josiah.

As far as personal abilities were concerned, he was an utterly helpless one before the might God who controlled him, for his whole philosophy and utterances were colored because of the Hand of God upon him and vision of “God’s Glory.” He was also a “Mediator” and in deep thought usually. Sometimes harsh, bold, or blunt – he was also uncompromising. He was a man of deep convictions, with a fearless determination, and housed a heart deeply sympathetic with abiding love for his people who needed a pastor – someone to shepherd them back to the Lord (and hope). His education comes through as a careful planning scenario and an orderly dating of all his writings. He outlined things well, and helped many people through his writings.

He was a married man, but his wife died the year of when the final siege of Jerusalem began.  His wife was apparently a symbol of the Temple, as he began a very picturesque, but powerful ministry at 35 – after his captivity in Babylon. At this time, Jeremiah was approaching the end of his valiant, but tragic career.

Now, for the call of God on his life, God laid his hand upon Ezekiel just as he did Jeremiah, and he felt it. He was called to the lonely exiles on the riverbanks of Chebar. In a dramatic way, he describes for us his vision and call to service, which was a vision of God’s glory. In this vision, he beheld the “Glory of God,” and “felt” the Hand of the Lord. He even saw the likeness of God’s being and fell upon his face. A voice spoke to him commissioning him. He received several commissions overall, which had much to do with returning unto God and beholding His Glory.

Historical background of Jerusalem

In Jerusalem, we see the people in constant turmoil. Jehoiakim is succeed by his son, who reigned only three months before going to captivity in Babylon along with many others in Judah. Ezekiel was taken in this group along with 10,000 other captives. Zedekiah was left on the throne in Jerusalem as the agent of the Babylonian government, and Jeremiah was the preacher still in the Holy City of Jerusalem to carry God’s message to the people.

Around 587 BC, Nebuchadnezzar returned to put down the rebellion of Zedekiah and take the rest of the people to join the exiles by the river Chebar. Many things were destroyed in Jerusalem, and others were taken away to captivity, to which, Jeremiah’s prophecy had happened. In Babylon, conditions were just as horrible. We see Daniel and a few other Jewish boys come in 605 BC, and Ezekiel and the upper class brought in 598 BC. For several years, ten thousand exiles lived in a concentration camp in Babylon, while Ezekiel and the upper class of people carried on in Jerusalem.

For five years, the captives had no preacher of priest to help them. In this dark hour, Ezekiel hears the call of God and began to serve. For six years, he wanted to break down false hopes of an early return to Palestine, and wanted to prepare the captives of the bad news of the destruction of the Holy City. The Jewish people were in a darkened state with their Temple gone, and very little opportunity for business – false prophets were abundant. Complaints and murmurs, among wails filled the air. Ezekiel dealt with many different kinds of people, particularly negative people.

Ezekiel’s ordeal (his mission)

His mission was clearly revealed by God as the Spirit entered into him and cleansed him of bitterness. He had a revelation of the “Glory of God” to which he was to destroy false hopes of an early return to Jerusalem, interpret the meaning and purpose of the exile to gather up and preserve the teachings of Historians, Psalmists, and Prophets, to organize new forms for worship and life in the restored community, to preserve Israel’s soul in Babylon, and to stimulate new hope for the future Israel. He was to be an effective watchman also in the dark days of captivity. His message was that before they could even hope to return to Jerusalem, they had to return to the Lord.

New Testament fulfillment

  • Israel’s restoration as a nation as they await their Messiah (34:11-31; 36:1-15, 23-38; 37:1-28)
  • The Battle of Armageddon at the return of Christ (38:1-39:20)
  • Rebuilding of the Temple by the Messiah for Millennial and eternal worship (40:5-43:12)
  • The Millennial (1000 years) and eternal river from the Temple spoke about in The Book of Revelation (47:1-12)

Practical things Ezekiel communicated to help all people

  • The heart of God wants His People back, and He longs for their return unto Him.
  • Each person is responsible for their own sins, and therefore, are subject to consequences individually.
  • Each minister that is called is subject to their own troubles, but they cannot let that stop them from continuing the work of the Lord.
  • Love must be expressed in everything we do.
  • Repentance is important and makes alive the reality of the atonement of Jesus Christ. Good godly conduct and behavior should emanate through us on a normal basis.

Do you see the similarities in what the New Testament authors, apostles, disciples, etc. tried to communicate compared to Ezekiel? Yeah, almost every one of these match.

The Evangelical Prophet, Isaiah

OVERALL:

  • His Book is known as The Book of Salvation, which is great, because there are so many references to Jesus and His Ministry, death and resurrection, etc.
  • He was known as The Evangelical Prophet.
  • He covered around 62 years, which was very significant.
  • The period covered was during the Reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
  • Other than Ahaz, there were some good rulers in that period, which made it easier for Isaiah to proclaim his message.
  • This Book of Isaiah pictures Man needing salvation (and what will occur as Man obtains it). Christ is pictured in this Book as the suffering redeemer, the King of Glory, and the real ruler.

Isaiah’s background

In the last 40 years of the 8th century BC, many great men spoke the words of God – as Amos and Hosea were preaching in the Northern Kingdom with Isaiah. Politically, world forces were battling for power (not much has ever changed, has it?). Uzziah and Jeroboam II were closing their prosperous reigns, which brought peace, plenty, and extravagance to the leading citizens. Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah followed Uzziah on the throne of Judah. Through these years, the statesman Prophet preached in Jerusalem.

Then, in 745 BC, Assyria came to life vigorously under the dynamic leadership of Tiglath Pileser. Damascus had fallen in 732 BC, to which, Israel was destroyed with the exception of the City of Samaria – which defied capture until 722 BC. Ahaz, the puppet king, became subject to Assyria with little real independence left. Sennacherib proved the painful thorn in the side of Judah. The government always fostered prosperity, which had a rich class and poor class with a normal chasm between the two. There were many problems, including corrupt government and laziness – as well as suffering of many people.

Isaiah was the son of Amoz, born in Jerusalem about 760 BC. He began ministry around 740 BC, to which, was the same year King Uzziah died. He preached for 40 years in his own city. He was married around 734 BC and fathered at least two sons. The greatest influence he had in his life was the Hand of God guiding him in preaching and prophesying. He had many educational advantages and was destined for greatness at a young age. He was a very well aware man of the region around him, and was influence by Amos, Hosea, and Micah. He died a martyr’s death during the reign of Manasseh around age 120.

Isaiah was called just after the death of King Uzziah, as he was in prayer and meditation. He had a vision of God on His Throne, robed in splendor and glory – to which, changed his life. It was as if, the text explains, that The Robe of the Lord filled the temple where he was meditating. He immediately saw himself as unclean, unworthy, desperately in need, and undone (of course, comparing such splendor and glory of God to yourself will lead you to such negative thoughts). The cry of repentance from this man brought healing and his eyes had beheld a dying, sinful, and needy world, to which he called for help.

He was transformed as the Seraphim came unto him with a live coal in hand, to which, he had taken off the altar of God, and laid it upon Isaiah’s mouth. Upon this, he said, “Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine integrity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” With this, Isaiah was forever transformed, and said, “Here am I; send me!”

In his ministry, he was called by God to be a prophet, and he preached. He even counseled Kings. He was magnetic and/or charismatic, because of being with God, having clear faith, genuine love, and lips that felt the fire of God. He was a statesman Prophet, as a part of the administration of the nation. His wisdom and courage came from a faith in God. When the princes of Judah determined to break the alliance with Assyria to cast their lot with Egypt, it was him that cautioned against this suicidal policy. He counseled faith in God in the midst of troubles with the rulers, and hoped to help them rule well. He even prophesied the overthrow of the Assyrians. A neutral man, he would rebuke foolishness and predict things that would scare even the good rulers, because he was working for God, not Man. He had incredible spiritual depth that brought him to be adept in all sorts of ways that helped improve the life of His People!

Three divisions of the Book of Isaiah

There are three divisions in this Book, which are 1-39; 40-55; and 56-66. There could have been a couple of other people helping Isaiah on this Book. It is probably that Isaiah penned the first 39 himself, and his disciples did the remainder. I have heard of the possibility, although this is just probably an opinion, that there may have been more than one Isaiah – however, it seems that the scope of prophecy was directly related to Isaiah himself and there were just writing changes in the different divisions. There could be many theories, and we don’t need to be “lost in translation” about it. What’s important is how these divisions are markedly Isaiah and what he has to say in each.

The first section, 1-39, breathes the Spirit of judgment and warning characterizing the 39 books of the Old Testament; the second section, 40-55, breathes the Spirit of Grace and Peace characterizing the 27 books of the New Testament; and the third section, 56-66, proclaims the Messiah much more clearly than anywhere outside of the NT. The 53rd chapter has obtained the pseudonym, “The gospel according to Isaiah.” This is where Isaiah pictures the Suffering Savior.

The Ethiopian

We see in Acts 8:35 (and verses just prior), Philip had seen the Ethiopian reading the Book of Isaiah, and then he “began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” This is similar to us, because we are seen reading the Scripture, but we cannot fully understand it sometimes, so it helps to have a teacher/preacher to help us understand. Philip had an open door of opportunity to minister to the Ethiopian, and he took it and ministered well. This Ethiopian’s life was forever changed when Philip ministered to him – and that’s the way it is for us, whether we want to be taught or that we want to teach…God opens doors and we take those open doors and help people!

Jesus Christ in fulfillment of prophecy (from Isaiah)

We see Isaiah and John the Baptist on a similar note – where John the Baptist is fulfilling the prophecy that Isaiah told (Matthew 3:3), “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

  • Many places, Jesus spoke that He was fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah:
    • Matthew 4:14 (people that were in darkness would come to see great light);
    • 8:17 (Him bearing our sicknesses/infirmities);
    • 12:17 (He charged those whom he had cured that they should not talk about it);
    • (“by hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive…”);
    • (people doubted the Lord, and therefore, the Jews are declared generally blind spiritually).
  • Jesus had also preached what Isaiah had said,
    • Matthew 15:7-8 (people come and honor with their lips, but their heart is far from Him);
    • Luke 4:17-19 (“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor…”).

Isaiah 59 was a defining chapter for the generation of Jews

Isaiah 59 was important to note, because the society that the Jews were living in became rather ungodly of sorts. Unfortunately, the society that the people dwelt was headed for disaster, because people’s sins have cut them off with God, and He is the only one who can save them. They filled the land with treachery, lies, violence, etc. Because of the corruption of the courts, where is the justice? Nowhere! Wickedness grows and good people are punished – and bad people are rewarded. As people embrace evil, the good suffer. Sin is covered, and the society deteriorates.

The Prophet joins with the people in their confession of sin, to which, the people want to see the end of the oppression and injustice. However, moral darkness prevailed, and therefore, they eventually began turning away from God even more and developed a false way of life (dishonest and humiliatingly prideful). God sees this and wants to intervene, and therefore, in His purity and justice, He acts against such sinners, and people worldwide begin to acknowledge Him. Those who repented began a new relationship with the Father, and become His true people to enjoy such spiritual blessings of His covenant.

This is very important as this compares very similarly to our world over time, even today, is that people have gone from loving God and celebrating Him everywhere to fully sinful, lustful, and prideful people. God tries His best to rescue them back, and is successful some or most of the time. He continues to draw people back to His good Will, and yet, more and more stray. It’s sad but true!

Seer, Prophet, and High Priest: The extraordinary man that is Samuel!

The political background of Samuel involved the Philistines – whom were especially troublesome and in control of much of the territory controlled by the Israelites. It also involved the Tribes of Israel – who were not united, and each group sought to go its own way and protect itself, even if others of their brethren suffered. Next, we see invasions by Syrians, Moabites, Canaanites, Midianites, and Ammonites – who all caused great havoc and suffering in the land. In critical hours, deliverers arose to help drive out invaders and give the land a temporary ease.

Then, came the time of the judges, to which, came into focus that those Judges were used to overthrow great hordes of evil men who had taken possession of the Land of Israel. Gideon, Deborah, Jephthah, and Samson were some of the main judges. In Egypt, the 21st dynasty was coming to the throne after a weak 20th dynasty had failed completely, to which the golden days of power and influence were gone forever. Assyria was under the reign of Tiglath Pileser, who had built up a mighty kingdom, but had not come in contact with the struggling and suffering Israelites. We see a couple more empires/kingdoms noted, including the Hittite Empire, which was in decay, and the Aramean Kingdom, who rapidly became a troublesome power.

The social background of Samuel included a constant oppression and frequent wars, which kept the people unsettled. The years of conquest and possession had introduced them to uncounted problems. They didn’t have a settled government that could be relied on to organize them together against their enemies. When Samuel came, the Philistines had reduced them to another siege of slavery – and they were even deprived of means of sharpening their farm tools. This was tragic in the life of Israel.

As for the religious background of Samuel – they didn’t see any teaching or preaching for 300 years. We see a people who had a ring of neighbors with idols, many gods, heathen rites, cults, customs, and ceremonies. With those practices came immoral conceptions and a standard that produced a lifestyle that was not conductive to holy and godly spiritual worship. These people intermarried and gathered unto themselves idols as gods. The central sanctuary was at Shiloh, where the ark was kept and a High Priest officiating at the sacred altar. His name was Eli, a grand old man of Israel – and at this moment, Samuel was born.

If Hannah had not obeyed the Lord – Would Samuel had come?

Samuel’s prized possession was a godly mother who spent her years agonizing in prayer for her boy that was left in the Temple. The influence of a godly home, the solemn dedication to the sanctuary, and the fact that he had been given as an offering before God – were great prizes to this boy/man. His mother visited year to year strengthening the impressions that were already made in his tender years. All of this made for a powerful, faithful, and dynamic man of God – Samuel the Prophet.

Samuel’s mother, Hannah, kept her vow that she would dedicate the child to the Lord for service, and therefore, she did so. Samuel was presented to the Lord at the Temple and received as a young servant by the Old Priest Eli in Shiloh. Later, Samuel hears the voice of the Lord calling him to service, as we see in the text, to which was in the night hours. Samuel did not recognize it as the voice of God and ran to ask Eli about it. Eli gave him admonition after Samuel did this a couple times. When Samuel heard the Lord’s voice for the third time, he did as Eli told him to do, and said to the Lord, “speak; for thy servant heareth.” Samuel heard the prophecy against his house, the house of Eli and Samuel had the task as a young lad to pronounce judgment upon Eli’s house. Samuel waits for Eli to inquire for he feared to tell Eli of the conversation, to which Eli pleaded with Samuel to “hide it not from me.” Samuel was then established as the Prophet of the Lord, and the Lord appeared again in Shiloh and revealed Himself to Samuel.

His Work for the Lord

Samuel’s work and ministry included many things, especially being a first leader and “father” of the School of the Prophets. Samuel was the “Seer,” “Prophet,” and “High Priest.” He was a genuine representative of which God was working through in that hour after 300 years of silent religion in the land. He attained the High office of High Priest, which was made sacred by Aaron. He was truly “Yahweh” messenger and God had honored him with a Divine Call that gave him special revelations for the people. He was successful in restoring the kingdom.

He was also the first circuit judge in the Land of Israel. Through 40 years of his adult life, beginning at about age twenty, he did this work. He continued to be a judge after Saul was chosen until the kingdom was established. He judged Israel and exercised the office of a Prophet at the same time. He was used by God to choose and anoint kings, outline the terms of the kingdom, and oversee the king in his conquests. Samuel was highly esteemed as Prophet, Teacher, Priest, and Judge in Israel until his death around 38 years after the reign of King Saul.

Samuel was a deeply religious/spiritual person from childhood, was obedient to Yahweh, as well as to Eli and his parents. He was a magnanimous person in his thoughts and acts, and was a man of outstanding integrity. His burning social passion kept him active in helping his people, and through his long life, he spent himself, carrying the nation of Israel upon his heart.

It is amazing that one person could be such a great leader doing all kinds of things for the Lord. It is inspiring to see that the Lord designed him for such a great purpose, and he was so obedient in all the things that the Lord wanted him to do according to His Will. With what he accomplished, it was great that so many lives were touched because of him.

He was needed by others – see other accounts

In 1 Chronicles 6:28, we see the sons of Samuel, which were his firstborn Vashni, and Abiah. In Psalm 99:6, we see Samuel was among Moses and Aaron & priests as the chief – to which, they would call upon the Lord…and this includes complete worship of the Lord that Samuel led them. Jeremiah 15:1 talks about even though that Moses and Samuel stood before Him just as Jeremiah was doing, He did not want them in His sight (told him to cast them out of His sight and go forth).

We look next in Acts 3:24 in Samuel’s days the word of the Lord was precious or rare. There were many prophets from Samuel, and all have foretold of these days – as it explains. Then, in Acts 13:20, we see after the judges of 450 years, Samuel the prophet came. Lastly, in Hebrews 11:32-33, Samuel was described with others that through faith they subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouth of lions, etc.

Samuel had a great following, and worked great with fellow prophets and leaders, which was very helpful in chronicling all that the Lord had done.

How Samuel compares to Jesus Christ

SamuelJesus Christ
The High Priest Eli blessed Hannah’s son, Samuel, before his birth (1 Samuel 1:17)An angel blessed Mary before the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:30)
Hannah brought Samuel along with a sacrifice to dedicate him to God (1 Samuel 1:24-28)After purification, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the Temple with an offering (Luke 2:22-24)
The parents went to the Tabernacle annually (1 Samuel 2:19)The parents went to the Temple yearly (Luke 2:41)
Samuel became of service to the TabernacleJesus studied and became of service in the Temple
Samuel would be given to Israel after a long silenceJesus would be given to Israel after a long silence
A boy who grew in favor of the Lord (1 Samuel 2:26)A boy who grew in wisdom and favor of the Lord and with men (Luke 2:52)
Samuel partially fulfilled God’s Promise of raising a prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15; 1 Samuel 3:19-21)Jesus Christ completely fulfilled God’s Promise of a prophet, but this One was and is better than Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6)
Samuel established kingship in Israel (1 Samuel 10:24-25)Jesus is the true Kingship of Israel and the world as a whole (Luke 1:32-33)