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).

2 Chronicles guide and info on the kings

“And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.” -2 Chronicles 20:29

List of Kings mentioned

  • Rehoboam – He was made king, and a relaxation was requested for him. He also refused counsel from the old men, but in the end, raised an army to subdue Israel.
  • Abijah – He was the son of Rehoboam and inherited his throne. He warred against Jeroboam and overcame him by trusting in God.
  • (Jeroboam – a King of Israel, who was shown warring with several kings of Judah.)
  • Asa was king after Abijah, to which, he was most known for destroying idolatry, promoting peace, and putting his faith in God.
  • Jehoshaphat was made king after him, to which, he sent Levites with the princes to teach Judah, was feared by the nations, and joined up with Ahab to be against Ramoth-gilead.
  • Jehoram is made king after him, and ruled wickedly – to which, a prophecy was made against him by Elijah, the Philistines and Arabians oppress him, and he had an incurable disease that brought death.
  • Ahaziah, another wicked king, takes the throne, to which he made confederacy with Joram the son of Ahab, and was then slain by Jehu.
  • Athaliah came in and usurped the kingdom, destroying the entire seed royal, and saving Joash.
  • Joash was made king, and soon after, Athaliah is slain. He reigned well, fell into idolatry, and slayed Zechariah.
  • Amaziah succeeded him on the throne. He began by slaying his father’s murderers, hired an army of Israelites against the Edomites, and successfully overthrew the Edomites.
  • Uzziah is then made king, and reigned well. He invaded the priest’s office and was smitten with leprosy.
  • Jotham succeeded Uzziah, to which, he was a prosperous king, but with little Scriptural record.
  • Ahaz was the next king, in which, he reigned in a bad way. He asked for help from the king of Assyria against the Philistines and Edomites, but to no avail. He was heavily involved in idolatry.
  • Hezekiah then took the throne after him. He restored religion, offered solemn sacrifices, and sung with praise. Also, he destroyed the altars of idolatry.
  • Manasseh would succeed him, and was wicked. Even so, he believed in God, and prayed – still dealing with idolatry.
  • Amon would reign shortly. He was slain by his servants (Amon was usually found guilty of trespassing), which ended his kingship quickly.

About Josiah: Josiah was best known for having a good reign starting at eight years old and being right in the eyes of the Lord. He walked in the ways of David, his father. He chose to destroy idolatry, which involved purging Judah and Jerusalem of all high places, carved images, and other molten images and groves. He also takes order of the repair of the Temple. Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law, and therefore, the king asked that people do after all that is written in the book. Finally, he makes a covenant with the Lord to walk after Him, keep His commandments, His testimonies, His statutes with all of his heart and soul. He desired to keep the words of the covenant, which are in the book. He led others to believe in God and never to depart from Him!

The Temple: The Temple was made as sacred as possible, with all the decorative furniture and “heavenly” things added to make it appear more holy. Since it was wonderfully made, and now that God has established his Temple within us instead of a building, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Queen of Sheba: Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s fame, and therefore, visited him. She admired his wisdom, and blessed him with her words. She saw that God blessed him, and that he was working for the glory of God, for God had loved Israel. She gave him 120 talents of gold, spices in great abundance, precious stones, and other gifts were brought as well. Therefore, King Solomon gave to the queen all that she desired or asked, and then she left. (Solomon had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen. He made silver and gold at Jerusalem that was as much as stones (which probably means quite a bit), and cedar trees he had. A chariot out of Egypt brought 600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150 (horses were brought for all the kings of the Hittites and the Kings of Syria).)

1:11-12 says, “And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.”

Synopsis

The Book of Second Chronicles, a book written by Ezra (most presume, or some other chronicler), was done around 450-420 BC. Much as First Chronicles was, Second Chronicles continues where it left off – which was the detail of the redemptive history of Israel. While the genealogy was detailed as well as David’s reign as king in First Chronicles, then in Second Chronicles, Solomon’s reign was detailed as well as the listing of Judah’s kings. The chronicler details the reigns of certain kings in Judah, especially those responsible for revival and reformation. Some of it focuses on the evil kings that caused problems, including the corruption and collapse of the kingdom.

The writer here is very focused on the dynasty continuance through Solomon from David. Solomon was another very important figure as he was to build the temple and create a lasting way for people to be able to worship God and bring sacrifices unto Him. Solomon’s devotion to God was great at the beginning of his reign, in that he arranged a ceremony at the tabernacle in Gibeon and had been offered a gift from God – to which he chose wisdom to be able to reign in Israel. So, Solomon’s wisdom would be at work in the everyday affairs of people’s lives, especially in how he managed his kingdom. Solomon also would write words of wisdom and songs – some people would record the wisdom he would speak. His wisdom was so widely known. But, more importantly, the plans for building the temple were to be done. The writer shows the enjoyment Israel had under King Solomon. They trusted that he would carry out the temple project successfully.

Solomon had help from King Hiram of Tyre in preparing the materials and arranging a workforce to build the temple. Construction lasted for seven years – to which the temple and all its furnishings were completely done and prepared ceremonially. After that, the temple was dedicated to God. Solomon wanted to preserve the holiness of his throne, so he had a palace built for his Egyptian wife. The writer emphasized that the Davidic line of kings wanted to stay faithful to God. Anyway, temple services were organized according to the plans laid out by David and him.          After noting a bit more about the wisdom of Solomon, his ability in business, and his fame and wealth – the writer closes with talking about the death of Solomon. Rehoboam, his son, took the helm after his death.

Next, the writer deals with an outlined explanation of all of the important reigns of Judah’s kings. He starts with Rehoboam, who took the kingly throne after the death of Solomon. Rehoboam began his reign well, which was influenced by priests and Levites who came to Judah from Israel. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, took Judah’s throne, which caused the Davidic line to be under “Judah” rather than “Israel.” During the kingdom division, Israel was divided, and two of the tribes went into their own kingdom called Judah. Jeroboam ruled in Israel, and Rehoboam ruled in Judah.

Next, the writer details the reformation under Asa, and then talked about the end of his reign before Ahab came to power in the north. Under the influence of his wife, Jezebel, Baalism became a norm in Israel. This “Baalism” was very evil and powerful than others had practiced, and this concerned the other kingdom. After the reign of Asa and Ahab was outlined, then the writer talks about the reign of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat carried on the reformation of Asa, and destroyed all of the Baal shrines that remained in Judah. Jehoshaphat also reformed and reorganized the judicial system in Judah, because of the need to eliminate injustice and to be sure, that people are treated fair.

The Baalism of Ahab and Jezebel had remained to be strong in the northern kingdom during the reigns of Ahaziah and Joram. It had spread to Judah in the reign of Jehoram. When Judah had died, Athaliah seized the throne herself and she ruled for six years – doing all she could to establish the northern Baalism for her parents in Judah. However, the death of Athaliah was also the end of Jezebel’s Baalism in Judah.

Another proponent of David was Joash, whom encouraged better worship among his people. However, Joash was reported to have turned away from God and encouraged Canaanite worship – and in this, he came under God’s judgment. His death was a punishment, because he murdered a priest who had rebuked him. The writer, then, moves forward in other kings he details, such as Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham, and Ahaz. On Hezekiah’s work, great detail was added, because he began a very thorough reformation of Judah’s religion, which was prompted by the prophet Micah.

Hezekiah’s work affected the temple, priests, and Levites – as they neglected the temple because of God’s anger with Judah. The temple was to be cleansed and prepared for a renewal of services. Services were held, offerings were made, and the temple was successfully rededicated. A Passover feast was held after, and all of the traces of false religions were removed from Jerusalem. His reformations helped Judah to be more prosperous, but pride led him on to becoming friends with Babylon, which was the current rising power in that area. Later, this brought disaster upon Judah.

With Manasseh ruling next, he destroyed all the good work of his father, and drug the nation down to a very low condition spiritually. However, when his life was ending, he tried to quickly reform it and undo the damage, but it was impossible to do with so many years of damage. Amon followed and removed the reform that was beginning from Manasseh. However, once Josiah stepped in, a big reform came, and a Passover feast followed – just like during the reform of Hezekiah.

The Ark was returned to the temple where it belonged, and many good things happened during his reign – until he was killed in battle. Hezekiah and Josiah were two great kings who had successfully reformed in Judah. However, once Josiah died, Judah returned to its wicked ways, and the successors for the throne kept following disastrous policies that only hurt Judah so much more. God, then, allowed one final judgment upon the nation by allowing Babylon to conquer Judah, destroy Jerusalem, and take the people captive to another land. Many of the reasons for the destruction included the unfaithfulness of the priests and people, their refusal to heed the warnings of the messengers of God, and kept on with their sinful acts.

God, however, was not through with His People just yet, as a new king was raised up named Cyrus of Persia, who conquered Babylon – as well as freeing the Jews to be able to return and rebuild their homeland. The nation then centered its life on the temple in Jerusalem. King Cyrus desired that the Lord be with them once again.

2 Kings paves the road to Kingdoms

“But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” -2 Kings 17:39

Some other key verses:

  • 2:1-2: This shows that Elijah shall be taken up into heaven by a whirlwind, and therefore, he told Elisha to stay with him, because the Lord had sent Elijah to Bethel. Elisha promised not to leave him, but to go with him.
  • 2:7-11: Elijah is seen taking the mantle, wrapping it together, smiting the waters, and they were divided – so that him and Elisha could proceed on dry ground. Elijah offered to do something for Elisha before he was to part, and Elisha requested a double portion of his spirit. Elijah acknowledge it would be difficult, but it would be dependent (on the Lord’s power?) on whether Elisha saw him afterward or not. Elijah then ascends into a whirlwind to heaven.
  • 9:30-35: Jezebel is shown here mocking in fear, for her heart was hardened against God. She planned to continue braving it, seducing others to wickedness. However, her attendants delivered her up to be put to death, and it was the end of pride and cruelty.

List of dynasties noted in 2 Kings

  • Of Israel:
    • Ahaziah
    • Joram
    • Jehu
    • Jehoahaz
    • Jehoash
    • Jeroboam II
    • Shallum
    • Menahem
    • Pekah
    • Pekahiah
    • Hoshea
    • (Zechariah was one of them, but we don’t see info on him in 2 Kings.)
  • Of Judah:
    • Jehoram
    • Ahaziah
    • Athaliah
    • Joash
    • Amaziah
    • Azariah
    • Jotham
    • Ahaz
    • Hezekiah
    • Manasseh
    • Amon
    • Josiah
    • Jehoahaz
    • Jehoiakim
    • Jehoiachin
    • Zedekiah.

Background

The authorship of 2 Kings is credited to Jeremiah. After the death of Jehoram, Jehu succeeded him and destroyed the wicked house of Ahab but not all idol worship. The restoration of the Temple took place during Joash’s reign, but later he was despised by the people for trying to buy peace by giving the Temple treasure to the Syrians. The King who was remembered “as one of Judah’s better kings” and was affected by “leprosy” was  Azariah.

Israel experienced a series of six kings in a very short period, only Menahem was not violently slain and then Israel fell into the hands of the Assyrians. During the reign of Ahaz in Judah, all manner of restoration and extension were restored, and the prophet Isaiah ministered in Jerusalem during his days. In 721 B.C. the Northern Kingdom of Israel made up of ten tribes came to an end and they were taken into captivity in the area now known as Persia.

The prophet Isaiah was at the right hand of King Hezekiah of Judah. While Sennacherib, King of Africa made war with Judah, Micah wrote his Book of the Bible. The great Babylonian Empire builder was Nebuchadnezzar II and Judah fell into his hands in 606 B.C. when Judah as a state ended. Bad Kings reigned for about 373 years, and Good Kings reigned for 383 years.

Synopsis

Second Kings, a book written by an unknown author in 560-550 BC; details the ministry of Elisha, and the continual division & multiples reigns of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. In addition, we see the single kingdom arisen as Judah after Israel’s collapse.

First, it’s best to detail the entire reign of all of the kings. Ahaziah had continued to reign in Israel, and then it was Joram. Jehoam, then Ahaziah took over the throne in Judah. Jehu was next in line for Israel, and Athaliah and Joash were next in Judah. Jehoahaz and Jehoash followed for Israel, before Amaziah took over in Judah. Then, it was Jeroboam II in Israel and Azariah in Judah. Azariah lasted for quite a while, while Israel had new reigns from Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah. After that, we see Jotham and then Ahaz in Judah, and Hoshea in Israel. After Hoshea was imprisoned, Israel had collapsed, especially when Israel was taken into captivity. The land of Israel, after that, was resettled, for Judah was now the single kingdom, which would come under the reign of Hezekiah.

Before the reign of Hezekiah is detailed, Elisha’s ministry should be detailed separately – for the things that Elisha did were part of God’s plan, of course. Elijah knew his time had come, where he would have to pass on his work to Elisha. A test was given for Elisha, who was able to pass the test. Since he knew that he was Elijah’s spiritual heir, he had to remain with Elijah to the end so that he would receive the spiritual power to carry on his work. When Elijah was supernaturally carried away, Elisha gained power from God to go and do the Lord’s work. Elisha’s first two miracles involved blessing and cursing. At Jericho, he brought healing, and at Bethel, he brought God’s curse on those who rejected his message.

Elisha continued his miracles; he helped preserve the small body of believers in Israel who remained faithful to God. The collection of stories from chapters four through six show the supernatural powers that Elisha had to help preserve this small remnant of believers. The second collection of stories in chapters six through eight deals with the part of his work, which was concerned with the judgment on the nation of Israel. In the first collection of stories, some of the things that were detailed included Elisha moving around the schools of the young prophets, where he would instruct and encourage the faithful people. Foods were scarce in one school, but God provided for them through Elisha. On another occasion, we see God’s care for the faithful shown, when a farmer had brought an offering of food that was miraculously multiplied to feed Elisha and a hundred of his followers. This was a prophetic picture of Christ’s miracles to multiply food.

Some of Elisha’s remaining work was concerned with his dealings with the rulers of Israel and Syria, because God was going to use Syria to punish Israel for its sin (in the period of the Omri dynasty). However, Elisha, first, was to teach the two nations. Elisha had repeatedly warned the Israelite king of the ambushes that were coming from Syria. When Syria’s king heard of the failings of his ambushes, he had found out Elisha was doing such things to impede the success of the ambushes.

Therefore, the Syrian king sent out capture for Elisha; however, Elisha controlled the Syrian soldiers and led them to the Israelite capital (which was Samaria). Israel’s king thought it was a good idea to just kill them, but Elisha directed him to just feed them, and then release them. Peace was temporarily restored between Syria and Israel. Elisha, later, had one final responsibility, and that was to anoint Israel’s army commander, Jehu, as king. Jehu needed to rid Israel of the entire family of Ahab and Jezebel (especially because of the Baalism spread unto Judah). That closed Elisha’s good and helpful work.

After Elisha’s work, we read of anti-Baal movements being done and other chaos that was occurring throughout Israel. Then, Hezekiah was ushered in as new king. Hezekiah ruled for quite a while, which would bring a revival and reform in Israel. However, later Hezekiah would become quite ill and then be healed, before his foolishness caused death. Babylon started increasing in power, and this brought trouble for the nation.

This would sadly usher in an evil reign for Manasseh. After the reign of Manasseh, we would see the reigns of Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, and Jehoiakim. Josiah, when he reigned, had his own revival and reformation, to which he wanted extensive repairs to be done for the temple, because it had been damaged during the reigns of Manasseh and Amon. His biggest part of reform, it seems, was that he re-established the worship of Yahweh by keeping the Passover. He also tried to control idolatry, by forcing people to remove their private gods (in their households) and prohibiting spiritism and fortune telling. However, his reforms, mainly on idolatry, were unsuccessful.

Later, God prepared Babylon as a tool to punish Judah. Judah would soon lose its independence, as Pharaoh Necho considered himself the controller of Judah, where he wouldn’t accept a king that was chosen by the people of Judah. Soon, we read about the reign of Jehoiachin and Zedekiah, before we see the fall of Jerusalem, destruction of the temple and city walls, and the final deportation of the people to Babylon.

The herdsman and prophet named Amos

Amos was a common, ordinary, everyday, working man – a herdsman and a “dresser of sycamore tree.” Dresser means, “nipper” or “pincher” – which was for the sycamore fruit, which can be ripened by puncturing it. Amos was drafted by God to Preach National accountability to Israel in the North.

  • He pictures Christ as “The Restorer of the House of David.” (Amos 9:11-12; Acts 15:15-16)
  • The Key Word of the Book was Punishment.
  • Its Central Theme was “The Ultimate Reign of David” and “National Accountability for National Sins.”
  • Amos was known as “The Prophet of Justice.”
  • The main characters of the Book are the Prophet Amos, King Jeroboam II, and The Israelites.

Overall, society and religion were bankrupt. Amos was a strange personality that came from the Judean wilderness with a burning message from God. He was influenced by Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah. We see the Land of Israel enjoy a season of peace. Then, King Jeroboam II came to throne and began a vigorous rebuilding program, to which, he recaptured lost territory and expanded the limits of his kingdom.

We then see King Uzziah built in much of the same in the south. Judah was a strong and vigorous Kingdom with armies, fortifications, trade routes, and other powerful political alliances – to which, these two aggressive Kings carried their small kingdoms along from victory to victory. Expansion came, as well as freedom, prosperity, and peace. There was also, though, sins such as drunkenness, extravagant meals, carousals, slumber, among other things – and retribution was coming.

The rich gained their wealth through injustice and oppression, as always, and the poor workers in the fields suffered cruelty on them from the landowners and heartless creditors. Dishonest merchants and unfair judges made attempts to keep the lives of the poor miserable beyond endurance.

The spiritual conditions involved that the people were outwardly religious, but had gross moral behavior – and it was openly aided and abetted by the religious leaders. The rich nobles took the lead in religious matters and were selfish, among indifferent, to the cries and groans of the suffering multitude. This suffering multitude suffered because of injustice, oppression, and violence. Lastly, they lacked knowledge overall.

Direct call from God

The Lord told him to, “…Go, prophesy unto my people Israel” (Amos 7:15). He was not a member of any prophetical group or had any formal training (as we know). He was simply pulled from his animals in the wilderness by this overpowering conviction from God that He wanted him to take a message to Bethel. He must have felt God’s presence upon him.

In addition to that, he’s also been called the prophet of “woe,” because the message of his call was a stern one for a people living in luxury and self-indulgence. However, he received the call and moved in humility. He was industrious and productive before God, and was in harmony with nature. He sought wisdom and preached simply so that the hearer would understand. He was successful, as he had great influence over the Land of Israel.

He approaches the nations: He began in Damascus, and quickly caught their sympathetic attention. He turned the emotion of the people quickly toward Philistia, claiming to be a prophet from God with a genuine word against these bitter enemies of Israel. In rapid succession, his sharp tongue and quick wit lashed out the enemies of Israel and he hit broadside at Tyre, Edom, Ammon, and Moab – closing in on the worst and wicked enemies; revealing justice was on its way to the rebellious nations. The crowd hung on to his every word and likely praised him with agreement. Next, he pointed his finger at Judah/Israel telling them they have despised the Law of the Lord and failed to keep His Commandments.

We see Amos quoted in Acts 15:15-16, “And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up.” This is known so that “men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things” (17).

Six gentile nations warned against harming Israel and Judah

  • Syria is condemned to destruction and captivity, because of its continual cruelty. They tortured and butchered its victims using brutal methods.
  • Philistia captured cities and sold entire populations as slaves – whether men, women, or children. In punishment, Philistia’s own main cities would be destroyed.
  • Tyre would be conquered and burnt to the ground for deceiving its treaty partners, and also they had bought and sold slaves like merchandise.
  • Edom is condemned for their savage attacks against Israel without question of the blood relation between the two nations.
  • Ammon also would suffer a devastating judgment, because of its merciless killings of whole populations, just so they could expand their territory.
  • Foreign armies would invade Moab, and in a large judgment from God, its cities would be burnt and leaders killed, because it acted with uncontrollable hatred toward its enemy.

Lessons people can learn

  • Hollow and insincere worship displeases God.
  • When one possesses power over others, there is danger.
  • God is not pleased when people turn away from Him, because He only wants what’s best for His People – and that is to be loved by Him and walk with Him.
  • God helps us through trials by guiding us and giving us wisdom to understand what’s going on.