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.

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)

Hosea 911

Hosea 9: 11-As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception. (KJV) The set of verses from 9: 10 to 17 is a direct statement from God and is a very intense promise of what will happen to Ephraim/Jacob.

From the beginning of the background study of Hosea, I have wondered why “Ephraim”. I have offered some thoughts in the first post and then I dug a little deeper.

Ephraim’s land was south of Mount Gerizim, which was on the border with Manasseh’s land. Shiloh, the place where the Ark was kept, was here (1 Samuel 1). Manasseh still had the most land allotted to him. Shechem and, more importantly, the city of Samaria was here.

Jeroboam (1 Kings 12 and 14), the first king of the northern kingdom, was an Ephrathite. To maintain his control of the people, he made idols and picked priests who were not the descendants of Aaron. This idolatry would consume Israel.

Verse 9: 10 talks about Baal Peor (Numbers 22 to 25). This was the first time Israel worshiped other gods after receiving the Law and the Tabernacle. The sin of Jeroboam was that bad. 10a tells how excited God was to find Israel; Baal Peor changed that. The rest of the section is NOT a blessing.

Hosea 9: 11 has two things in it: Ephraim’s glory and children. Ephraim was not a small, poor tribe. They were leaders and had many fighting men. That was some of their glory. Part b of the verse is a statement against the offspring. (Children and what happens to them is a theme that runs throughout Hosea.) The three parts, because of children, each had a “glory” that was going to fly away – birth, pregnancy or womb, and conception. It would change those three stages for the women, from a happy, glorious time to one of trouble and grief.

God is love, and He took Ephraim back after they were punished and returned to His ways. The last chapter of the book proclaims this and, like the last chapter of Amos, especially Amos 9:11, there is a happy ending in Hosea after its 9:11.

Bible 911-Hosea

Okay, this Bible 911 about Hosea is my background study for the 9:11 post. If you are new, I am looking at every book that has 9 chapters and then focusing on the eleventh verse. When I did Amos, I realized how little I knew about that book, so I did a background study. Now on to Hosea.

The timeframe is very important for this book. There are several prophets who prophesied at the same time and were led to write very similar things. Hosea started writing during the reign of Uzziah and ended in the time of Hezekiah, just like Isaiah. Both of these great prophets called for repentance, spoke out about Assyria, and had Messianic visions.

These are the kings of the southern kingdom of Judah, think Jerusalem and south along the Dead Sea. “Right” does not mean that they did not have problems, I am glad the Father is so gracious.

  • Uzziah did right (2 Kings 15, he is also known as Azariah)
  • Jotham did right
  • Ahaz did evil
  • Hezekiah did right like David (2 Kings 18)

The northern kingdom of Israel (Samaria); think north of Jerusalem on both sides of the Jordan and all-around Lake Galilee. None of these kings did right; well maybe Jehu. This is where Elijah and Elisha worked for the Lord.

  • Zechariah (2 Kings 15, he was the last of Jehu’s family to rule Israel. See verse 12.)
  • Shallum
  • Pekahiah
  • Pekah
  • Hoshea (2 Kings 17) He was the last king of Israel. Assyria was the Lord’s instrument for punishment, and they deported all the tribes and replaced them with various people groups including Babylonians. They became known as Samaritans.

Gomer is Hosea’s wife. After reading several articles, I think it would be right to refer to her as a “trophy wife”. Hosea 1 – 3 tells the story. She has three children, and it is possible they are not all Hosea’s (more on the names later). She is unfaithful and leaves Hosea. In 3:2 Hosea pays for her again, I will refer to this as a second “bride’s price” like what he did in chapter 1 when he first married her. So, either she sold herself or her father married her off again.

A thought I had here is the timeline for chapters 1 – 3; when did all of this happen? Given that this is a picture of an unfaithful Israel, it would seem right to believe that chapters 4 -14 happened during and after the marriage.

Prostitution and Adultery

This is the major theme of Hosea. Israel has left Jehovah and gone after other gods. In the NIV this idea is stated more than sixteen times. 4:12 and 5:4 talk about the spirit of prostitution that has affected the people of God.

The Kids

Hosea and Isaiah are contemporaries. Both had a mission and part of that was to be witnesses and signs to the two kingdoms. Their missions extended into their families; a very visible part was the names God instructed them to give the children. Hosea’s three children are mentioned in 1: 4 Jezreel is a son; 1:6 Lo-Ruhamah is a daughter; 1:8 Lo-Ammi is a son. I have to wonder who took care of the children when Gomer left. Isaiah had a very different family. His wife is called a prophetess and she bore two sons- 7: 3 Shear-Jashub and 8: 3 Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. 8:18 refers to the family as symbols in Israel (NIV).

Children are a major theme in Hosea. The 9:11 verse highlights this, but it is not the only one to talk about children.

Assyria

This nation rose to world power during the lives of these prophets. They were the main nation that Israel prostituted itself to. Nineveh was the main city and was the focus for other prophets- Jonah and Nahum. The field commander of Assyria called his king the “great king” in Isaiah 36: 4 +13; this idea is repeated in Hosea 5:13, 10:6, and 8:10.

Egypt is frequently mentioned in the same verse as Assyria. They are seen to be a false help for Israel.

Deals much with history

  • Massacre at Jezreel 1:4 by Jehu. See 2 Kings 10:11, it seems that Jehu went too far in carrying out his instructions 2 Kings 9.
  • Gibeah 5:8, 9:9, and 10:9. Judges 19, they sinned, and the other tribes of Israel destroyed Benjamin for the rape of the concubine. 
  • Gave them a king 13:11; this could reference Saul or more specifically Jeroboam (for the north). He had a promise from God if he did right.
  • Gilead- 6:8, 12:11 a city of wicked men. This is on the east bank.
  • Gilgal- 4:15, 9:15, 12:11 wrong sacrifices. This is where Joshua circumcised the young men when they entered the land. 
  • Jacob in Aram 12:12 
  • Moses the shepherd in 12: 13
  • Admah and Zeboyim 11:8 These are cities overthrown with Sodom and Gomorrah

Ephraim

Ephraim is the second-born son of Joseph. He was born in Egypt and has an Egyptian mother. Jacob blessed him to be over his brother Manasseh and get a bigger inheritance from Joseph. (See Tribes of Israel-Ephraim.) In Hosea, he is first mentioned in Chapter 4, he is lost to idols, and is talked about in every chapter, thereafter. In Chapter 14 he returns to God and remembers where his strength comes from. I suggest you use a search tool and follow his story through Hosea, it is very telling. The NIV has 32 passages with him in it. He is paired with Judah (another son who was elevated in status by Jacob) several times. It is easy to see that Ephraim is being used in place of Israel in representing the northern kingdom. That actually is shallow because I also see other things he is standing for-the tribe and someone who is still divided about God. The most telling statement about him is 7:11 where he compared to a dove who is easy to deceive. (A note. Manasseh got two sections of land, one on the east bank and one on the west.)

 Connections

These are random thoughts and comparisons; I am sure I missed some good ones.

  • 12:9 sounds like Amos 9: 11
  • 11:11 sounds like Amos 9:15
  • The Day, referring to a day of judgment, like in Isaiah. It is said several times, especially at 10:15.
  • 10:4 and 8 sound like Matthew 13:24 the Parable of the Weeds.
  • The name Hosea is used in Romans 9:25 and in his book, nowhere else.
  • The Bible is unique in that it talks about the shortcomings of some very important characters. Lot was willing to let his daughter suffer abuse (angels guarded them) and then is abused by them. Judges 19 tells a tale of sexual abuse by a city that is defended by a tribe. Absalom uses ten of his father’s concubines (wives). Hosea’s tale is special because the wife leaves and then is redeemed by her husband.
  • Baal Peor-9:10b, this is found in Numbers 25.

Prophets

Prophets of God are an amazing group of people. God loves His people but not all have the same mission, so some have higher levels of responsibility. According to talents, gifts, and callings, He expects more from some people, true prophets of God fall into the higher levels. Jeremiah had to walk hundreds of miles to bury and then retrieve a belt. Elijah had to face 850 false prophets and people who doubted God. Ezekiel had a special diet for a year and had to dig through the city wall. Jonah hated the Assyrians and a whale had to bring him back.

I think Hosea may have been the prophet that really mirrored the heart and actions of the Father and Jesus the most. He had to marry (pay a dowry) a beautiful woman he knew would cheat on him, and then purchase her again after she left him. God first purchased Israel when He freed them from Egypt.

Jesus in the Story

The task of buying back the unfaithful wife fell on Jesus. Hosea’s purchase speaks of Israel and Judah. The price Jesus gave was for all unfaithful mankind. His broken body and shed blood are the only things that could restore fellowship with the Father as Adam and Eve had in the Garden.

Homework-Find the meanings of the names of the children of Hosea and Isaiah. Now find how they would be symbols (a Bible 911) for a nation that is ignoring their God.

AMOS 911 

Amos 9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old (KJV) 

(This is one of two posts on Amos. In the other one I studied topics in Chapter 1-9:10.) 

The last five verses of Amos are a promise of good things that will happen for Israel (all the children of Jacob-3:1). Most of the Book foretells judgements and why they are coming. Amos focuses on the northern kingdom, but Judah, the southern kingdom is included. This book was written before the north went into exile-2 Kings 17. The name Israel, before 2 Kings 17, normally refers to the northern kingdom. I suggest you read Amos, carefully, because it may be talking about both parts, and it will switch without warning.  

There are two references to David in Amos, the first one is 6:5 and is scolding people for mimicking David (the name means beloved) while their hearts are far from God. David is the “gold standard” for kings in Israel, not many came close to being like him.  

The thing that is fallen, destroyed, or ruined, and has holes in it is the focus of the verse. (The day is a common theme in Amos and Isaiah.) The KJV says tabernacle, while other good translations say tent, family or people, or kingdom. On a surface read, you may think that this is the tent he pitched for the Ark of God (2 Samuel 6). Verse 12 does lend itself to family or kingdom, as they will be dealing with Edom and other countries (verse 12). The term for this fallen thing is Strong’s #5521H or sakkut/sukkah, which is a temporary dwelling used during the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23: 39-44) made of branches. If it was #168 H, ohel, or tent, it could be a metaphor for family or even the tent for the Ark. An ohel is more permanent than a sakkut. The restoring terms sound like Isaiah 58. 

The part about Edom gave me a “maybe” for the near future of this prophecy. Amos, a prophet from Judah, was sent to Samaria (the north) to call them to repent. David’s grandsons ruled the southern area near Edom. 2 Chronicles 28:17 states that Ahaz sent for help because Edom was raiding the land again. See chapter 1 as Edom was involved in the slave trade of God’s people and it was the final “sin” for them. Ahaz was not a king after the heart of David, but Hezekiah, his son, was. Hezekiah could be the “near” fulfillment of Amos 9:11 and 12.  

Amos 9:13-15 relates to a “blessing” harvest that is coming after the judgments in the book. Remember, a sukkot is a shelter for the Feast of Tabernacles which came after the harvest. Verse fifteen may have been fulfilled in 1948, or it could be speaking about heaven. 

The Father will have people who want to follow Him and do His will and work. Yes, Amos speaks of judgments, but these came because the people refused to love God and their neighbors. Amos 9:11 is a reminder that He will restore all things. 

More Study-What Feast of Israel is associated with the events in the Book of Ruth?