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”.   

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?

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.

A Question About Rehoboam

The question about Rehoboam was really on who his mother was. The problem for the questioner was the fact that she was an Ammonite and not a native Israelite. I have two posts on Naamah. Post #1 and Post #2. I will guess Deuteronomy 23 is the scripture the question stems from. I am not going to wade through the jots and tittles of Hebrew Law about marrying foreigners.

But I had to stop and think about all of the times that Hebrew men married foreign women. Moses, Salmon, Boaz, and probably David, and the men who returned to Jerusalem with Ezra and Nehemiah are the ones I thought of. Moses married a Cushite (Numbers 12), Salmon married Rahab (1 Chronicles 2:13, Matthew 1:5), Boaz married Ruth, David married Bathsheba (possibly a Hittite, 2 Samuel 11), and the men with Nehemiah (13:23) seemed to be marrying who was available. You may argue with God about the first four. I will try to contrast and compare the women of these two groups.

Group 1 – We know very little about the Cushite and Naamah, just that they had yoked themselves to the Israelite community. Rahab hid the spies in Jericho after acknowledging God and the things He had done. Ruth pledged to Naomi that she would follow her and accept Jehovah as her God. Bathsheba was part of the community and I guess David offered sacrifices for her when the first baby died. It seems to me that all of these women chose to follow God when they married into Israel.

Group 2 – These women were from Ashdod (Philistine), Ammon, and Moab, not that different from Group 1. Nehemiah 13: 23 and 24 paint a different picture of how they lived. They married the men but did not choose the God of Israel. To be fair to them their husband may not have been on fire for Jehovah either. They were not even taught to speak Hebrew, which met that they could not read Torah or participate in festivals with the Hebrew community.

A great, well-learned Pharisee wrote a New Testament commentary on this subject in 2 Corinthians 6:14-do not be unequally yoked to unbelievers. I am not sure if any of the women in Group 1 could enter the “temple” and worship God with their husbands. I have read that the Hebrew husband would “cover” the children of these marriages, but that finer point of the Law is above my paygrade. It does seem that these women did yoke themselves to the God of Israel.

Since much of the lineage of Jesus was mentioned in Group 1, I will let you question if Rehoboam should have had an Ammonite for a mother.

Homework-What did the people (men) of Israel yoke themselves to in Numbers?