The first three chapters of the Book of Hosea are introductory or preparatory, showing that an experience had to be created in the prophet’s life so that when he subsequently published his message to the nation, he could do it with feeling. How would this happen? When Hosea would see the Lord’s mercy on behalf of Israel and also have in his own life a personalized experience along these lines, he could speak with great fervor, realizing the tenderness of God in dealing with His people. Hosea’s message would thus have more power and effect. Therefore, it is not until chapter 4 that Hosea began his public message and ministry to the nation: “Hear [hearken to] the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel.” In the first three chapters, Hosea was merely being instructed. In other words, some years had to pass before Hosea could begin his public ministry; all three children had to be born first.
Posts Tagged ‘ 606 BC ’
The setting of this chapter was right after the fulfillment of the 430 (390 + 40) days that Ezekiel lay on his left and right sides. During all that time, his hair grew. Now, at the end of the 430 days, Ezekiel was instructed to cut off all the hair on his head and beard—that was a lot of hair!—and divide it into three parts by carefully weighing it. Ezekiel’s treatment of the hair demonstrated how those of Judah would die in the coming literal siege of Jerusalem, for the hairs represented the people. There was a sufficient quantity of hair to make this demonstration dramatic. Ezekiel ended up bald.
One third of the hair was burned with fire in the midst of Ezekiel’s portrayal of Jerusalem. This action showed that the city would be destroyed by fire and that people would die in the fire. Another third of the hair was chopped with a knife, portraying that people would be slain in the violence of the war. The final third was scattered in the wind. As the hair was scattering, Ezekiel ran after the hair with a sword and slashed at it in the air, showing that people would be pursued and killed as they tried to escape from Jerusalem, ran out for food, or ran out to actively defend the city.
The voice of mirth, gladness, the bridegroom, and the bride and lighted candles and the sound of millstones were removed not only from Judah but also from the surrounding nations. Right away we can see a spiritual connotation because of Revelation 18:23, “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” In other words, the natural picture, from which we can extrapolate valuable information, is a past historical fulfillment that embodies a prophecy of the future. As we continue, we will become more and more convinced that chapter 25 was not wholly fulfilled by the king of Babylon and his confederates, for some of the details did not happen back there but are prophesied elsewhere as events in the near future.
The first chapter of Zephaniah and part of the second chapter speak of the complete desolation that occurred when Nebuchadnezzar invaded the land and left no inhabitants. Although the judgment to occur on the Arabs in the near future will not be utter desolation, there will, nevertheless, be devastating developments to remove the Arab threat. This judgment will solve the problems with Israel’s more local and surrounding enemies, but not with the distant ones, who will be dealt with when God saves the Holy Remnant out of Jacob’s Trouble.
In other words, for 70 years, God would clean the land of all kinds of false worship and atheistic tendencies. Zephaniah went into detail to show just how thorough the Lord’s reform would be—a thoroughness that was guaranteed! Hearing the prophet’s words, Josiah tried to establish the reform, and he will be blessed in the Kingdom Age for his efforts, even though pockets of idol worship remained. He risked his kingship and suffered unpopularity for a while, but when temporal benefits began to accrue from his reform efforts, the people followed him. Josiah must have been a wonderful leader and very unusual to win the confidence and support of the people. Other prophets tried to effect a reform through their message and were persecuted as a result.
Then suddenly nothing was heard about the 850,000 Jewish refugees. They became “forgotten refugees.” Why? The billion dollar oil financed Arab propaganda machine was heralding worldwide half-truths and non-truths to portray the Palestinians as poor, abused refugees. Dependent on Arab oil, Third World nations and European countries sided with the propaganda—not because it was true, but for economic survival.
Since 1947, the UN General Assembly has passed 101 resolutions favoring Palestinian refugees—none favoring Jewish refugees. Tens of billions of dollars have been disbursed by the UN to provide services and assistance to Palestinian refugees. Not one penny for Jewish refugees deported penniless from Arab countries.
The name “Habakkuk” means “wrestle, wrestling”—hence the mental and moral struggle presented in Habakkuk’s prophecy. (The verbal form of the word has to do with “cling” or “clasp.”) As we proceed, we will see that the perspective of Habakkuk’s prophecy is that of the Great Company. Therefore, by extension, the Book of Habakkuk pertains to the mental and moral struggle or condition of the Great Company, a righteously inclined class who will have problems after the Little Flock is off the earthly scene.
The Book of Habakkuk is most famous for a Scripture quoted several times in the New Testament: “The just shall live by his faith” (Hab. 2:4). See Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38. There is a lot behind Habakkuk’s statement that the just shall live by faith.
Verses 1 and 2: “At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.” Jeremiah said that the time would come when the bones of all segments of society would be exhumed by the king of the north, Nebuchadnezzar. A principle in Bible study is to know the type before we consider the antitype, for God laid down the picture, from which we get the antitype.
Ezekiel pantomimes a prophecy to the nation of Israel regarding King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the subsequent captivity. This chapter discusses the 390 days and its significance and application. Also the proof of the 606 BC date that is not normally accepted.
This Bible study on the 4th Chapter of Ezekiel is significant in that it proves that the period of the Kings (Saul to Zedekiah) is 513 years. This is an important figure in Chronology. Ezekiel is instructed to make special cakes to eat and to lie on his side for 390 days. We are told that the 390 days prefigure 390 years. Which is where we get the usage of a day for a year in prophetic matters. We have the 40 year reign each of Saul, David and Solomon, which gives us 120 years. Then we have 3 years of Rehoboam before the dividing of the land. We are now at 123 years. It is from this point that the 390 years comes into play, terminating in the reign of Zedekiah the last king of Israel. The division of the Kingdom in Rehoboam’s day was 996 BC and 390 years later would bring us to 606 BC the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The prophecy also talks about a 40 year period which corresponds to the 13th year of Josiah King of Judah. What happened at this date? Josiah started his great reformation cleansing out the land of idolatry and held a great Passover. Also this was the year Jeremiah the great prophet started his ministry. At the end of the 40 years the land lay desolate.