Daughter Zion

Daughter Zion is a STUDY that has pushed my learning curve and I know this post is just the start. The translation you read will have different numbers of times the term, Daughter Zion is used and how it is worded. I use the NIV and it appears about thirty times. The KJV and others will use different phrases, at times, like maiden, young woman, young daughter, or unmarried woman. Yes, there are very specific words in Hebrew for daughter and virgin, but translators have a job to do, so check several sources. In the KJV in the New Testament Zion is spelled Sion in Matthew 21:5 and John 12:15; which is Zechariah 9:9 and refers to the last leg of Jesus’ final trip into Jerusalem.

Isaiah and Jeremiah/Lamentations use the term the most. It seems that David first coined the term in Psalm 9:14. Virgin Daughter Zion is the phrase that really pushed this study, the NIV uses it three times. I will give a few thoughts on both phrases as I believe they hold very different messages. I observed that the terms may mean actual women/girls, the city of Jerusalem, or the land of Judah/Israel. Yes, you need to read them in context because I am not sure that one “shoe fits all”. These phrases are also used for Jerusalem, Judah, Babylon, Edom, and Philistia. I have to wonder if poetic rhyme or some form of wordplay is at work with some of these passages.

Eve, Daughter Zion, the Bride of Christ – The first thing Christians need to do is lose the misogynous and misandrous mindsets and woke views that cloud our thinking as to how the Father sees His daughters, they are special and important. Eve was made for Adam using “prime rib”. (The Father defended Sarah when Abraham did not.) The devil has feared and hated the Daughters of Zion since God gave the promise of the Messiah to Eve. Eve was the completion of Adam that would populate the earth. Daughter Zion was how Israel would be filled. The Bride is how the earth will know the righteousness of the Father and the salvation that comes through Jesus.  Godly offspring is what the Father seeks-Malachi 2:15. These are the issues with the strange story in Genesis 6:1-4. “Sons of God” are historically the fallen angels polluting the human gene pool.

Virgin Daughter Zion – I will give my current thought on this phrase and hope that the Father will give me insight on it. This phrase is really only used twice-2 Kings 19:21 and Isaiah 37:22 both describe when the Assyrian king was sent away from Jerusalem, having never entered or defeated it, and Lamentations 2:13 is about Babylon having defeated and destroyed Jerusalem. (My verses and search are from the NIV.)

Two things cloud my thinking here. 1. 1 Kings 14:25 has Rehoboam and Jerusalem being defeated by Egypt, and 2 Chronicles 28 has Ahaz and Jerusalem losing to Israel and captives being taken. 2. Isaiah 47:1 refers to Babylon as a virgin daughter and queen city with a wound. Daniel has a story with the Medes and Persians about to take Babylon (the handwriting on the wall). My knowledge of this history is not that strong, so I do not know if any other nation actually breached the city of Babylon. There are five passages, in the NIV, that use the phrase “Daughter Babylon”.   

Isaiah 911

Isaiah 9:11 in the King James is- “Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him and join his enemies together.” I guess the first thing to look at is, who is Rezin.

Rezin is the king of Aram and an ally of Pekah king of Israel (northern kingdom). Their stories are in 2 Kings 15 and 16, 2 Chronicles 28, and Isaiah 7 and 9. This is the time of Ahaz king of Judea (he did not do right in the eyes of the Lord) and the prophet Isaiah. As enemies go, he did not last long. Rezin and Pekah harassed Judah and caused a problem (2 Chronicles 28) but did not overpower Ahaz. The attack is recorded in Isaiah 7, which also contains the message about Immanuel. 7:8 has a most unusual time prediction of sixty-five years for Ephraim (Samaria) to be scattered and not be “a people”.   

The second thing to look at is who his enemies were. Ahaz bribed the king of Assyria to attack Rezin (Damascus), he also marched on Samaria and deported the inhabitants of both countries to Assyria. Israel’s final deportation would come later-2 Kings 17.

Isaiah 9 also contains a messianic prophecy. The section of 9:8 to 10:4 is a message to Jacob (especially Ephraim and Samaria) about their pride and arrogance. It sounds like it could have come from Amos or Hosea. God did not forget Ephraim, but He did punish them. There are numerous words about God restoring Ephraim and Israel. To be fair Judah/Jerusalem was not acting right and under Ahaz, they really ignored God and the way of David.

My takeaway from the study of Isaiah 911 is

  • God watches over His chosen people.
  • The Father directs enemies to get His people’s attention when they will not listen to Him.
  • God has good for His people when they return to the Father and rest in His righteousness and salvation.

Further Study-Find examples of God’s promise to restore Israel and Ephraim in Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, and Micah.

Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah

These three men, Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah are palace officials who speak for Hezekiah and Jerusalem when Sennacherib’s commander maligns God. This story is found in 2 Kings 18, 2 Chronicles 32, and Isaiah 36. Eliakim and Shebna are also mentioned in Isaiah 22, this chapter is what really started this study. If you are going to do a word search for these names, please be aware that there are other men with these names. Joah for example is a name that is used several times in the family of Levi.

Joah – In Isaiah 36 he is identified as a son of Asaph and the recorder for Hezekiah. Asaph should be the musician that David appoints along with Heman in 1 Chronicles 6. This is a serious family line and it continues to the time of Josiah and Jeremiah.

He is a learned man because he knows the Assyrian and Aramaic languages and it is his job to record everything that goes on during the reign of Hezekiah. (It is possible that he documented this story.)

Other Levities, especially sons of Gershon, Moses’ son, and recorders are found in 1 Chronicles 6:21 and 26:4 and in 2 Chronicles 29:12 and 34:8.

Eliakim – This man was important for two reasons: 1. He was from the high priest’s family, Hilkiah. Like Jeremiah, he could have been a high priest. 2. He was the palace administrator. I believe that puts him in the same class as Daniel in Babylon under several kings, and Joseph in Egypt (under Potiphar, in the prison, and in Pharaoh’s house).  

Isaiah 22: 20-24 could sound like Shebna had been the administrator and got demoted. That is a very positive word for Eliakim. I could also see it happening between Hezekiah and Manasseh’s rule since he was only twelve when he started.  

Shebna – This name/man is mentioned only in connection with Sennacherib and Isaiah 22: 15- 19. Several titles are associated with him, so we know he was important. I find it odd that he has no family associations. Did his pride and questionable actions have anything to do with this? The chariots reference in vs 18 makes you think of Absalom’s behavior against David. Was he a royal? How much of the first part of Isaiah 22 was centered around him and his actions?

Whatever the truth is, my guess is he did not have a happy ending.

Further Study- Find the meanings of the names of Eliakim, Shebna, Joah, Hilkiah, Asaph, Hezekiah, and Isaiah. What does this add to the story?

NASA vs MASSA

I found these transliterations, nasa and massa, while reading/studying Isaiah (NIV, 1998 edition). The greatness of these words became such a burden to me, I had to be an oracle and sing their meanings. All of you Hebrew scholars, please lighten up as I have fun exploring these terms.

Massa, Strong’s H4853, has several ideas connected to it, but “a burden” is the major one. The KJV and other translations render the word “a burden”. The 1998 NIV says “oracle” and the 2011 NIV uses the word prophecy. That is why I found these two great words; Bible Gateway did not have enough oracles listed. They changed the translation, NIV does this frequently, and it really messes with search tools.

When it is used as “burden”, it means you are personally carrying the load. It also is used as a “weighty message” or a hard or dark saying. Isaiah 13:1 has massa and Isaiah “saw” it as actions against Babylon.

Okay, I thought it looked like masa, which is a corn mush used in cooking.

Nasa, Strong’s H5375, is the “parent word” for massa and it means burden. Strong’s says it is used in many different ways and it is. The definition that is given is very specific in that it is a burden carried for someone else; like the Messiah, Jesus, carrying our sin to the cross.

That is the term for the United States Space Agency, period. I truly believe God has a sense of humor.

Show some love to a translator. The job they do to bring an ancient language to modern man is astounding. There really is no dictionary the ancients left for your use. These men and women find the words in every passage and have to piece together meaning from the context the word is found in. Then they use modern words so it makes sense to us. That is why the Dead Sea Scrolls improved scholars’ understanding of the biblical text, they have more to work with and compare.

So, place yourself into the world of Isaiah. He saw a vision that was “dark” toward Babylon and it weighed him down, so he spoke it out as a prophecy.      

Now that the corny burden is lifted to the moon and beyond, I can continue studying Isaiah, and not be weighed down by massa and nasa.

Bible 911 Luke

This edition of Bible 911 is from Luke and is found in the story of the feeding of the five thousand. Why would Jesus feed 5,000 people and then feed 4,000 more soon after that? How does this miracle fit into the Kingdom timeline of Jesus heading to Passover? What does each Gospel add to the narrative to form a “big picture”? Whom did Jesus want to perform this miracle?

A Little Background

Luke was a Greek doctor that was known as a traveling companion of Paul. He wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts for a person known as Theophilus. Since “most excellent Theophilus” means “strongest God friend” I have to wonder if that was a play on words or some hidden meaning. In Luke 1:1-3 he makes it clear that he has done a lot of research and feels he should write an account of what he knows. It seems that Luke follows the basic timeline in Matthew and Mark but puts events and stories together differently to achieve a smooth tale for Theophilus.

Luke is the only writer to include the narrative about the 72 disciples who were sent out. I think because of this, a tradition was started that he was part of those 72 disciples. We do not know this as a fact.    

Feeding the 5,000

Luke 9: 11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. (KJV) Luke’s telling of this miracle starts in verse 10 and runs through verse 17. The story of feeding the 5, 000 is one of a few events that make it into all four Gospels. The stories are basically the same. They are found in Matthew 14, John 6, and Mark 6.

John adds about the little boy’s lunch (In my tradition, that is John Mark, his nephew.) People have picked Feeding to be one of the seven miracles that show Jesus as Lord. Really, John has more miracles than just seven, but this sign was given for a reason. I think it mirrors the feeding of Israel in the wilderness, something tradition said the Messiah had to do to prove Himself. It is possible that Jesus added the feeding of the 4,000 after He refused to give the Pharisees a sign, just because He was Jesus.

I wish to highlight that this period was part of Jesus’s final push before He went to Jerusalem to die. Luke 9:11 says that He welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom, and healed those who needed it. The pattern of teaching about the kingdom of God/Heaven and healing the sick is well established in the Gospels and Acts. It makes you wonder what happened.

This list is compiled from all four Gospels. It may be missing parts from your favorite telling, just include them for your study. In my long-running study of the Kingdom, I noticed that in Matthew, mentions of John the Baptist and blocks/levels of specific teaching on the Kingdom go hand-in-hand. Here are twelve events that are associated with the feeding of the 5,000 and His preparation for Jerusalem.     

  1.  The Twelve are sent out and John the Baptist is killed.
  2. Jesus is seeking quiet time and feeds 5,000+ people.
  3. Jesus walks on water.
  4. John 6:15 The Bread of Life.
  5. Questioned about clean and unclean practices, and His authority.
  6. The group goes to Tyre and the Decapolis for specific healings.
  7. 4,000+ are fed.
  8. Matthew 16:1 is a demand for a sign.
  9. Yeast of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herod.
  10. Peter’s confession and Jesus predicts His death.
  11. The Transfiguration for the inner circle, while talking to Moses and Elijah.
  12. 72 are sent out to prepare the way to go to Jerusalem.  

As Master Teacher, Jesus provided hands-on learning opportunities and evaluation experiences for His students. The Twelve being sent out filled both of these learning events. In Luke 9:13 it is clear that Jesus wanted them to feed the crowd, that is a master-level evaluation. The students did not pass that test. So, Jesus began a reteach by feeding the 5,000 and walking on water. (A miracle to rival opening the Red Sea.)

Jesus was preparing the Disciples for the “ride into Jerusalem” and Pentecost. (Remember, Judas Iscariot, was present for these events.) Jesus still had His time on the East Bank and then the trek to the Mount of Olives and His Sermons on the Two Mounts.

Observations, Questions, and Comments

  • What did Jesus do when the disciples were out on their missionary trips?  Search and see if you can find any clues.
  • Jesus did reach out to Gentiles during His trips to Tyre and the Decapolis. These stops foreshadowed the work the Disciples were charged with.
  • 5,000+ people eating without washing their hands, which must have aggravated the Pharisees.  
  • Jesus told the disciples many times that He was to die. Not sure they listened well.

These are two sites from a web search about events in all four Gospels. I am adding these for reference.

10 Events Seen in All 4 Gospels (whatchristianswanttoknow.com)

The Bible in a Year: Seven stories that all the same in all 4 Gospels (sylviabibleinayear.blogspot.com)