Posts Tagged ‘Jacob’

Parashah 8: Vayishlach (He sent)

Genesis 32:3-36:43

“Ya’akov sent messengers ahead of him to ‘Esav his brother toward the land of Se’ir, the country of Edom, with these instructions …” (Genesis 32:3).

Jacob heads toward the land of Seir in Edom, the land of his brother Esau. He has become a wealthy man with wives, children, and livestock. Because he fears that his brother may attack him, he divides his family into two camps so if he is attacked, one camp may escape. He prays to Elohim: “I’m not worthy of all the love and faithfulness you have shown your servant, since I crossed the Yarden with only my staff. But now I have become two camps. Please! Rescue me from my brother ‘Esav!” (Genesis 32:10-11)

While messengers are sent to Esau, Jacob divides his camp and sends his two wives and two concubines along with his 11 sons to the other side of the Jabbok River. Jabbok in Hebrew means ‘to empty itself.’ The source of this river was in Edom (modern-day Jordan) where his brother lived. When Esau is seen in the distance, Jacob further divides the camp. The concubines and their children are sent out first, followed by Leah and her children; Rachel and Joseph are last.

Jacob divides his family to protect them as sometimes division is necessary for protection, but the division is prophetic. Joseph, along with his mother (Benjamin has not yet been born), were kept behind the other mothers and Jacob’s other ten sons. The separation of the ‘ten northern tribes’ from the ‘two southern tribes’ was part of Elohim’s plan to keep the nation of Isra’el protected from complete destruction.  At the ‘appointed time,’ all of the tribes will be brought back together as the nation of Isra’el (Ezekiel 37:17).

Jacob, the Overcomer

Once the camps are divided, Jacob is alone. During the night, a man comes to him and begins to wrestle with him. When the man sees that he will not defeat Jacob, he strikes his hip socket so that it becomes dislocated. At sunrise, the man requests that Jacob let him go, but Jacob refuses unless he receives a blessing. The man asks his name and Jacob replies, “Ya’akov.”

The man blesses him, “From now on you will no longer be called Ya’akov, but Isra’el; because you have shown your strength to God and men and have overcome” (Genesis 32:28). Jacob asks the man his name, but he refuses to reveal it.

Jacob names the place Peni-El or ‘Face of Elohim’ because he had seen Elohim ‘face to face’ and his life had been spared. The ‘man’ who wrestles with Jacob is the Elohim of Hosts or the Commander of Elohim’s army –– Yeshua. This is a personal encounter with Yeshua and the reason Jacob can be ‘face to face’ with Elohim and live.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Peni’el (Face of Elohim) – פני – אל – peh, nun, yod, alef, lamed
– source of life, finished work of first strength urging forward

Up until Jacob wrestles with Yeshua, he lives his life in the flesh doing things his own way, which always includes some form of deception.  As he fears the meeting with his brother, he separates himself from his family and flocks.  Alone and sitting by the Jabbok River, he ‘empties himself’ before Elohim.   His carnal ways of life battle with the strength of Elohim’s hand on him.  He releases his carnality, limping for the rest of his life, and takes on Elohim’s strength, the Ruach Elohim, and receives a new name –– Isra’el.

“That is why, to this day, the people of Isra’el do not eat the thigh muscle that passes along the hip socket – because the man struck Ya’akov’s hip at its socket” (Genesis 32:32).

Isra’el means ‘because you have shown your strength both to Elohim and men and have overcome.’ In the book of Revelation, Yeshua rewards those in the Messianic congregations who ‘overcome’ with the right to eat from the Tree of Life, not being hurt by the second death, hidden manna, a new name, authority, white clothing, an eternal name, a pillar in the Temple, the name of Elohim, the New Jerusalem, and to sit down on his Father’s Throne.  To ‘overcome’ the flesh and its unspiritual desires has everything to do with ‘becoming’ Isra’el.

There are now two ‘persons’ within the same physical man: Jacob, the carnal man; and Isra’el, the spiritual man. In the physical world, Jacob receives a land inheritance and physical descendants; in the spiritual world, Isra’el receives the inheritance of the coming eternal Kingdom.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Jacob (Supplanter) or Ya’akov–יעקו –yod, ayin, kof, bet
– finished work, understand what is behind the family

Isra’el (Overcomer) or Yisra’el –ישראל–yod, shin, resh, alef, lamed
– finished work consumes the highest authority, first strength urges foward

Jacob Meets Esau

“A person’s gift clears his way and gives him access to the great” (Proverbs 18:16).

Esau has also grown into a nation of people. He brings 400 men with him to meet his brother. His cry to Isaac, “Have you only one blessing, my father,” has proven unfounded. He has become a wealthy man and, as a physical descendant of Abraham, Elohim blessed him just as He blessed Ishmael. Esau seems to have forgotten what happened in the past and is not interested in Jacob’s gifts or his wealth. He is just grateful to have shalom with his brother.


Jacob leaves his brother and travels on to Sukkoth where he builds himself a temporary dwelling and puts up shelters for his cattle. Sukkoth is a city located east of the Jordan River in the plain north of the Jabbok River. It is known today as Tel Deir Alla. As there is a fall ‘appointed time’ called Sukkot, the site of this temporary dwelling may be an allusion to the season when Jacob and his family camped at Sukkoth.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Sukkoth (Shelter) or Sukkot – סוכות– samech, vav, kaf, vav, tav
– support the finished work, allowing the binding of the covenant

The Account of Dinah

“Here is what Adonai says: ‘Don’t learn the way of the Goyim [pagan nations]…’” (Jeremiah 10:2).

Dinah is the only daughter of Jacob and Leah. In Genesis 34:1, it is written that she went out to visit the local girls in Shechem. She leaves the security of the camp, her father, her mothers, and her brothers. The implication given by Josephus, the Jewish historian, is that Dinah wanted to observe, and probably copy, the customs of her neighbors.

“Now as the Shechemites were keeping a [pagan] festival,  Dinah, who was the only daughter of Ya’akov, went into the city to see the finery of the women of that country.”

Shechem, a descendant of Canaan who was cursed because of his father’s sexual sin, rapes Dinah, but then falls in love with her and wants to marry her.  Shechem’s father goes to Jacob to arrange a marriage.  Jacob maintains his personal shalom while his sons, Dinah’s brothers, are outraged. Their immaturity in dealing with jealousy and anger will lead them to sell their younger brother into slavery.
There has been no direct command given by Elohim against intermarriage. Abraham and Isaac desired their sons not marry Canaanite women, suggesting there was a generational understanding about intermarriage with the cursed descendants of Canaan.

The negotiation plan presented by Shechem’s father to Jacob had five options:

  1. Begin the intermingling of the two nations. This was irrelevant because Shechem was the first place where Abraham pitched his tents. There had been intermingling between the two nations since that time.
  2. Sign a treaty of peaceful co-existence. Jacob had lived in this area for about 11 years before the event with Dinah. The problem between Shechem and Dinah is the first recorded problem between the two nations. A treaty was irrelevant to the negotiations.
  3. Jacob would be given the right of land possession in the territory. Jacob had already paid 100 pieces of silver for the land on which he lived. He already had the right of physical ownership. Spiritually, he had taken possession of the land when he built an altar to Elohim in Beit-el. This suggestion was irrelevant to the negotiation.
  4. Shechem was part of the great trading route between the Far East, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea.  Shechem’s father knew of Jacob’s wealth and perhaps wanted a share in it so he offered a trade agreement. This could be relevant to the negotiations and would be a perk when Shechem married Dinah. However, Jacob did not accept this offer.
  5. The last option was a bride price to be set by Dinah’s family. A bride price was definitely relevant to the negotiations as Dinah has been raped, which was the reason negotiations had to take place. It is not Jacob, Dinah’s father, who sets the bride price; it is her brothers. They require the circumcision of Shechem and all the men of the city as Dinah’s bride price.   Shechem is willing to do whatever they ask because he is “honorable of all the men in his father’s house” and, he loves Dinah.

Shechem’s circumcision could be the first example of the nations entering into the covenant given to Abraham because of a love for a virgin daughter of Isra’el.

Circumcision was the ‘sign’ of the covenant given to Abraham, a symbol of his faith and obedience, and his heart for El Shaddai. Circumcision set Jacob’s sons apart from the uncircumcised men around them, a separation instituted by Elohim. Shechem and the men of the city did not have a heart for Elohim; therefore, circumcision was not something they should have been asked to do. The sons of Jacob perverted the act of circumcision and used it in a deceitful way, not only to humble the men of the city, but to destroy them.

Three days after the men are circumcised and in pain, Simeon and Levi take their swords and descend on the city and slaughter all the males, including Hamor and Shechem. The remaining brothers climb over the dead bodies Simeon and Levi had killed and plunder the city as revenge for defiling their sister.

Dinah is found in Shechem’s house, which means she was betrothed, even married, and believed the bride price had been paid in full with the circumcisions. Shechem had done what was honorable and paid the required bride price. Dinah’s brothers, however, respond with vengeance and murder Shechem.

Simeon and Levi do not regret killing the men of Shechem.  They viewed it has an honor killing for their sister.  Jacob is not pleased with their behavior and says they made him a “stink in the opinion of the local inhabitants” (Genesis 34:30). Jacob makes it quite clear and it becomes written in Torah that honor killings are an abomination to Elohim and an unacceptable way for Isra’el to solve problems with their neighbors.

Judah and Reuben do not take part in the murders. Later, it is Judah who saves Joseph’s life and Reuben repents for everything done to their brother. In spite of their shortcomings (Reuben sinning with his father’s concubine and Judah’s rejection of Tamar), they have a deeper sense of value for human life, especially when it comes to family.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Dinah (Controversy) – דינה – dalet, yod, nun, hey
– pathway of finished work of life, revealed

Shechem (Shoulder) – שכם – shin, kaf, mem
– consume and open chaos

Immersion and Purification

“Get rid of the foreign gods that you have with you, purify yourselves, and put on fresh clothes.  We’re going to move on and go up to Beit-El.  There I will build an altar to God, who answered me when I was in such distress and stayed with me wherever I went” (Genesis 35:2-3). 

Elohim tells Jacob to return to Beit-el.  Before the camps set out, he instructs everyone to get rid of their foreign gods.  Apparently while living near Shechem, his family collected more foreign gods.   The household teraphim, along with all the women’s earrings, were collected and buried under a Pistachio tree.

The Pistachio tree in Hebrew is terebinth and is often translated in the Scriptures as ‘oak’  as in the ‘oaks of Mamre.’ The Hebrew word for pistachio is elah.  It was in the Valley of Elah, also known as the Valley of Pistachio trees, where David fought Goliath.

Jacob tells his family to purify themselves and put on fresh clothing. The Torah still has not been written, yet Isra’el and his family know the requirements for purification. They obviously understand there are ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ physical issues even before Elohim gives His written instructions.

Many teach there are no longer ‘clean’ or ‘unclean’ regulations because the Torah was abolished at the cross. They claim Yeshua did everything for us; therefore, we have no need to purify ourselves. This is not a Biblically sound argument when both John and James support purifying oneself even after the resurrection of Yeshua.

“And everyone who has this hope in him continues purifying himself, since God is pure” (1 John 3:3).

“Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded people!” (James 4:8)

Purification or cleansing refers to ritual washing long before Torah. Ritual washing was more than just taking a bath; it was symbolic of repentance and removing the impurities that pollute the soul through immersion in water. A ritual immersion takes place in a mikvah. A mikvah is a pool of water that must be connected in some way to natural or spring water. Putting on clean clothes is part of the purification required to attend a holy event. Jacob’s family is heading to Beit-el to meet with the Holy One of Isra’el. They need to wash and dress accordingly; they need to prepare their souls.

El Shaddai

Wherever Jacob and his family traveled, the fear of Elohim fell on the people so no one followed or tried to attack them.  During their travels, Elohim appears to Jacob a second time and blesses him.  By repeating that Jacob’s name is changed to Isra’el, there is a witness of two and the nation of Isra’el is established forever.

“Your name is Ya’akov, but you will be called Ya’akov no longer, your name will be Isra’el.  Thus he named him Isra’el. God further said to him, ‘I am El Shaddai.  Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed a group of nations, will come from you; kings will be descended from you.  Moreover, the land which I gave Avraham and Yitz’ak I will give to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you’” (Genesis 35:10-12).

This is the second time Elohim refers to Himself as El Shaddai. The first time occurs when He changes Abram’s name to Abraham. El Shaddai emphasizes His all-pervasive power, influence, and authority in all of creation while still having the nuance of being a ‘bosom friend.’ It is El Shaddai who makes promises of Land and descendants to Abraham, Isaac, and now Jacob.

Jacob sets up a second stone pillar. Along with anointing it with oil, he pours out a drink offering. This is the first time a drink offering is mentioned in Scripture. A drink offering was offered on the Sabbath as a symbol of rest. Only after El Shaddai defeated the enemies of Isra’el and gave them rest in the Promised Land did He accept drink offerings, but even then, the people did not drink the offerings as they were not the ones who defeated their enemies. El Shaddai defeated them by His arm of salvation –– Yeshua.

Jacob is now at rest.  He has shalom with his brother and his neighbors. His enemies have been subdued and he has received the eternal covenant given to his grandfather and father. Since drink offerings were poured out on the Sabbath, it may be inferred that he set the stone and poured out the drink offering on this day.

The drink offering was only given to Elohim.  While portions of animal sacrifices were set aside to be eaten by the priest and the person offering the sacrifice, the entire drink offering was poured out on the Altar.  This prevented the priesthood from drinking in the Tabernacle. As there is no Tabernacle at this time, there are no prescribed animal sacrifices or rules for drink offerings. On the  stone altar that Jacob makes, he does not offer an animal; he pours out a drink offering for El Shaddai and Him alone.

The drink offering symbolizes the life of the worshiper.  Sha’ul refers to his life as being “poured out like a drink offering” (Philippians 2:17).  Jacob has definitely ‘poured out his life’ to be at the place he has arrived, and now acknowledges the work was done through El Shaddai. He cannot deny that he wrestled with Yeshua and had his name changed –– he limps!

At Yeshua’s last Passover seder, he takes a cup of wine and refers to it as his blood being ‘poured out’ as drink offering (Matthew 26:26-28). This drink offering would occur on the cross as the required offering with the ‘meat’ of the lamb. Yeshua also said that he would not drink from the fruit of the vine again until the Kingdom of Elohim comes.

“I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint; my heart has become like wax — it melts inside me; my mouth is as dry as a fragment of a pot, my tongue sticks to my palate; you lay me down in the dust of death” (Psalm 22:14-15).

“I tell you, I will not drink this ‘fruit of the vine’ again until the day I drink new wine with you in my Father’s Kingdom” (Matthew 26:29).

Rachel Dies

While traveling to Efrat (Bethlehem), Rachel goes into labor.  She dies soon after giving birth to Jacob’s last son, but not before she names him Ben Oni (Son of My Grief).  Jacob changes the baby’s name to Benjamin (Son of the Right Hand). Rachel is buried near Bethlehem; Jacob continues to travel.

Beit-Lechem (Bethlehem) in Hebrew means ‘House of Bread.’

Isra’el pitches his tent on the other side of the Migdal Eder near Bethlehem.   Migdal Eder means ‘Tower of Eder.’  The prophet Micah referred to this place as the ‘watchtower of the flock.’ This is the location where sheep were raised for the Temple sacrifices in Jerusalem.  On the night that Yeshua was born, the shepherds at the Migdal Eder, who raised the sheep for the sacrifices, received the good news from the angels that the Messiah had been born.

“You, tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Tziyon, to you your former sovereignty will return, the royal power of the daughter of Yerushalayim” (Micah 4:8).

“But you, Beit-Lechem near Efrat, so small among the clans of Y’hudah, out of you will come forth to me the future ruler of Isra’el, whose origins are far in the past, back in ancient times. Therefore he will give up [Isra’el] only until she who is in labor gives birth. Then the rest of his kinsmen will return to the people of Isra’el. He will stand and feed his flock in the strength of Adonai, in the majesty of the name of Adonai his God; and they will stay put, as he grows great to the very ends of the earth; and this will be peace …” (Micah 5:2-5).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Ephratha or Efrat (Fruitful) – אפרת – alef, peh, resh, tav
– first strength source of the highest authority of the covenant

Bethlehem or Beit-Lechem – בית לחם – bet, yod, tav – lamed, chet, mem
– house of the finished work of the covenant
urging forward to protect the mighty

Esau and the Edomites

The Edomites, the descendants of Esau, have an interesting Biblical history. Esau took many Canaanite women as wives against his parents‘ wishes.  None of the marriages were blessed by Isaac or Rebekah and created an ongoing conflict between Isra’el (sons of Jacob) and Edom (sons of Esau). 

Though Esau was blessed in terms of physical wealth, he was not part of the spiritually blessed lineage. He behaved corruptly through sexual immorality and godlessness (Hebrews 12:15-17). One of Esau’s wives, Adah, gave birth to Amalek from whom descended the Amalekites, Isra’el’s greatest enemy. King Saul was commanded destroy the Amalekites, but disobeyed. An Amalekite named Haman came to power in Persia during the reign of King Ahasuerus and wanted to destroy the Jewish people from the kingdom (Esther 3).

Elohim commanded Isra’el to regard the Edomites as brothers despite their unwillingness to let them pass through their land (Deuteronomy 23:7).  During the reign of King Saul, Edom became a subject nation of Isra’el (1 Samuel 14:47); and King David established a military fort there (2 Samuel 8:14).  In the days of Yoram, the son of Ahab, the Edomites became an independent nation.  Herod the Great, who wanted Yeshua killed, was an Edomite.  Since the Muslims conquered the region of Edom, the area has been virtually unoccupied, except by Bedouins.

Isra’el and the Edomites

This parashah contains the genealogy of Esau because it is important to know one’s enemies. Understanding the battles between the two nations of Edom and Isra’el is important for understanding prophecies against Edom in the ‘last days.’ The Edomites, along with the Ishmaelites, are the first of many nations mentioned in Scripture that desire the destruction of Isra’el.

“God, don’t remain silent! Don’t stay quiet, God, or still; because here are your enemies, causing an uproar; those who hate you are raising their heads, craftily conspiring against your people, consulting together against those you treasure. They say, ‘Come, let’s wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Isra’el be remembered no more!’ With one mind they plot their schemes; the covenant they have made is against you — the tents of Edom and the Yishmaelim”… (Psalm 83:1-8).

“Therefore Adonai Elohim says, ‘I will stretch my hand out over Edom and Eliminate both its humans and its animals. I will make it a ruin; from Teman to D’dan they will die by the sword. Moreover, I will lay my vengeance on Edom through my people Isra’el; they will treat Edom in accordance with my anger and my fury; and they will know my vengeance’” … (Ezekiel 25:13-14).

The prophet Obadiah states that Edom will be completely destroyed for his hatred of his kinsman, Judah.

“You whose homes are caves in the cliffs, who live on the heights and say to yourselves, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’” (Obadiah 3)

Mount Seir was the hill country where Esau took his wives and children to live. The Edomites held the rock fortress of what is known today as Petra, modern-day Bozrah, Jordan, which can only be reached through a narrow, winding gorge. The fortress was so protected that it was said only twelve men were needed to defend it against an entire army.

“Your warriors, Teman, will be so distraught that everyone on Mount Esau will be slaughtered” (Obadiah 9).

Teman is a city in southern Edom to the east of Isra’el.  It was named after the grandson of Esau and became synonymous with the region of Edom.   Teman is possibly the modern-day Ma’an located about 135 miles southwest of Ammon, Jordan.

“For the violence done to our kinsman Ya’akov, shame will cover you …” (Obadiah 10).

The word ‘violence’ is the Hebrew word chamas or, as it is spelled today, Hamas.  It refers not only to violent crimes like robbing and extortion, but also false witness.  Hamas is an Arabic acronym for Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyya, which means ‘The Islamic Resistance Movement.’ Hamas in Arabic means ‘zeal.’

“Here is what Adonai says: ‘For Edom’s three crimes, no, four — I will not reverse it — because with sword he pursued his kinsman and threw aside all pity, constantly nursing his anger, forever fomenting his fury; I will send fire on Teman, and it will consume the palaces of Botzrah’” (Amos 1:11-12).

“Who is this, coming from Edom, from Botzrah with clothing stained crimson, so magnificently dressed, so stately in his great strength? ‘It is I, who speak victoriously, I, well able to save.’ Why is your apparel red, your clothes like someone treading a winepress? ‘I have trodden the winepress alone; from the peoples, not one was with me. So I trod them in my anger, trampled them in my fury; so their lifeblood spurted out on my clothing, and I have stained all my garments; for the day of vengeance that was in my heart and my year of redemption have come. I looked, but there was no one to help, and I was appalled that no one upheld me. Therefore my own arm brought me salvation, and my own fury upheld me. In my anger I trod down the peoples, made them drunk with my fury, then poured out their lifeblood on the earth’” (Isaiah 63:1-6).

The prophet Isaiah asks, “Who is coming from Edom?” Revelation 19:12-14 reveals the answer: Yeshua, stained with blood of his enemies. He is not coming from ‘heaven,’ but from Edom in southern Jordan, and the stronghold of Petra, where he finally judges the Edomites for their chamas against Isra’el.

“Next I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. Sitting on it was the one called Faithful and True, and it is in righteousness that he passes judgment and goes to battle. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on his head were many royal crowns. And he had a name written which no one knew but himself. He was wearing a robe that had been soaked in blood, and the name by which he is called is, ‘THE WORD OF GOD’” (Revelation 19:11-14).

Esau became a great nation, but he lived a faithless life and passed his godlessness onto his descendants ultimately bringing complete destruction to his own progeny by none other than Yeshua, his brother.  The same may be said of Ishmael who also became a wealthy man, but left the faith of his father Abraham. His descendants have become the ever-increasing Arab population who embrace chamas and perpetuate violence on Isra’el. Their destruction is prophesied along with Edom.

Yeshua’s Immersion

“The [Jewish] people were in a state of great expectancy, and everyone was wondering whether perhaps Yochanan himself might be the Messiah; so Yochanan answered them all, ‘I am immersing you in water, but he who is coming is more powerful than I — I’m not worthy to untie his sandals! He will immerse you in the Ruach haKodesh and in fire. He has with him his winnowing fork to clear out his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the straw with unquenchable fire!’ While all the people were being immersed, Yeshua too was immersed. As he was praying, heaven was opened; the Ruach haKodesh came down on him in physical form like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, whom I love; I am well pleased with you’” (Luke 3:15-22).

“Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim [disciples], immersing them into the reality [authority] of the Father, the Son and the Ruach haKodesh” (Matthew 28:19).

“They replied, ‘When you are in your glory, let us sit with you, one on your right and the other on your left.’ But Yeshua answered, ‘You don’t know what you’re asking! Can you drink the cup that I am drinking? Or be immersed with the immersion that I must undergo?’ They said to him, ‘We can.’ Yeshua replied, ‘The cup that I am drinking, you will drink; and the immersion I am being immersed with, you will undergo’” (Mark 10:37-39).

“His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now six stone water-jars were standing there for the Jewish ceremonial washings [immersion], each with a capacity of twenty or thirty gallons. Yeshua told them, ‘Fill the jars with water,’ and they filled them to the brim” (John 2:5-7).

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Revelation Chapter 13 – The Beast and Its Mark

Then the dragon stood on the seashore, and I saw a beast come up out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads. On its horns were ten royal crowns and on its heads blasphemous names. The beast which I saw was like a leopard, but with feet like those of a bear and a mouth like the mouth of a lion” (Revelation 13:1-3).

The ‘great red dragon’ stands on the seashore. The ‘dragon’ is not standing on rock, but sand that will eventually crumble beneath him. The ‘dragon’s’ power on earth will only last for a short time. Yeshua teaches the difference between the wise and foolish builders: the one who builds his house on the Word of God, the rock; and the other who does not. Using Yeshua’s words, the house of the ‘dragon’ that abhors the Torah, its laws and its commands, will crumble.

A ‘beast’ comes up out of the ‘sea.’ The ‘sea’ is symbolic of nations and peoples. In Hebrew the word for ‘sea’ is gam and it is also ‘many waters’ or mayim. In the Hebrew word pictures, the sea and water means ‘the beast rises up pridefully out of a world of chaos.’

Hebrew Word Pictures

Sea – gam or גם

Gimel – A Camel means ‘to lift up’ or ‘pride.’

Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for gam: lift up the chaos.

Water – mayim or מים

Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or mighty.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for mayim: mighty finished work chaos.

The ‘Beast’ Nations

The ‘beast’ has seven heads, ten horns, and ten crowns. There are four ‘beasts’ or kingdoms that have ruled the earth. These kingdoms are represented by a lion with eagle’s wings that turned into a man with feet and a human heart, a bear lying on its side with ribs in its mouth that was told to go and eat human flesh, a leopard with four heads and four birds’ wings on its sides, and a dreadful, horrible, strong animal with ten horns and iron teeth that crushed and stamped its feet on what was left from the other beasts (Daniel 7).

The ‘beast’ nations are the same ones seen in Daniel’s statue vision; the nations are described from a physical and historical narrative. The ‘beast’ nations in Daniel chapter 2 coincide with the historical narrative, but take on a spiritual meaning in Daniel chapter 7. I believe the ‘beasts’ are named for how they treat the nation of Isra’el and the Jewish people.

Babylon, the First Spiritual Beast

The first ‘beast’ nation, the lion with wings is considered to be Babylon ruled by Nebuchadnezzer, the greatest kingdom that conquered other kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzer went into Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and took the Jewish people captive. As captives, they lived in Babylon assimilating into the culture for 70 years. Daniel, one of the captives, has a vision during the reign of Nebuchadnezzer. This ‘beast’ believed he built his kingdom without any divine help from the Creator. Because of his arrogance, he was humbled by Elohim. After seven years of living on all fours eating grass like an animal, he is transformed into a ‘man with a heart’ who stands up. This transformation makes him more human and less warrior which allowed the next kingdom to overtake his. Babylon is modern-day Iraq.

Persia, the Second Spiritual Beast

The second ‘beast’ nation, a bear with ribs in its mouth is considered to be the Medo-Persian empire. Laying on its side suggests that one part of the empire was greater than the other. Persia becomes the greater empire and devours three other nations: Babylon, Egypt, and Lydia. Though Persia is greater than the Mede nation, it never becomes as great at Babylon. Persia is modern-day Iran.

Seventy years after being taken captive in Babylon, Daniel shows King Cyrus prophecies from Isaiah that were written 120 years before Cyrus was born (Isaiah 45:13). The prophecies speak of Cyrus by name as the one who would release captive Judah and allow her to return to Jerusalem (Isaiah 44-45).

King Cyrus immediately decrees that the captives could return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. He sent the first wave of Jews back to the Land with all the articles that had been stolen from the Temple by the Babylonians. He even financed the project.

Only some of the Jewish people left Persia for Jerusalem in the first wave; others remained in Persia. A fourth king came to power named Xerxes whose mother was Cyrus’ sister. During the reign of King Xerxes, a political advisor named Haman created an edict to exterminate all the Jewish people left in the kingdom. Esther, who was of Jewish descent, had become Queen and was made aware of the decree. She took her petition for the lives of her people to the King who quickly executed Haman. After the victory of the Jewish people celebrated as Purim, there was a second wave of Jewish immigration back to their homeland.

Greece, the Third Spiritual Beast

The third ‘beast’ nation, a leopard with four heads and four wings, represents the Greek empire. Alexander the Great, the leader of this kingdom, conquered the known world with exceptional speed represented by the wings. He died young and his kingdom was divided between four generals. One of these generals was Seleucus who ruled Syria and the east which includes the modern-day countries of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

It was during the Seleucian rule that the Syrians came into Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple. Antiochus, one of the kings of the Seleucian empire, wanted the Jewish people to assimilate into the Greek culture of the empire by destroying their Biblical heritage: Sabbath, Passover, circumcision, and dietary regulations. He placed an image of Zeus in the Temple and ordered it to be worshiped. A small group of Jewish men who refused to submit and assimilate joined together to fight the Syrian armies. Eventually the Jewish people won back Jerusalem, recaptured the Temple, and dedicated the Altar back to Adonai. The time for remembering the re-dedication of the Altar and the Temple is the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah.

Rome, the Fourth Spiritual Beast

“Then I wanted to know what the fourth beast meant, the one that was different from all the others, so very terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze nails, which devoured, crushed and stamped its feet on what was left; and what the ten horns on its head meant; and the other horn which sprang up and before which three fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogantly and seemed greater than the others” (Daniel 7:19-20).

Daniel was terrified with the vision of the fourth ‘beast’ nation. Its power and rule was so horrendous that there was no animal created to describe it. The world has seen no other ‘beast’ kingdom rise like the Roman Empire. Though the Seleucian empire tried to assimilate the Jewish people; the Roman empire sought to completely destroy them. The Romans ruled Isra’el when Yeshua walked on the earth; the Romans crucified him. The Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 CE; and they ended the revolt at Masada with the suicide of 967 Jewish men and women. At this point in history, the power of Rome and the destruction of Jerusalem became the ‘time of the gentiles.’

Sha’ul told the Roman believers to not become arrogant over Isra’el (Romans 11:17-18). They did not heed his warning and Roman theology birthed a new religion called Christianity. Special councils created edicts in Laodicea and Nicea contrary to the Hebrew Scriptures, gospels and letters. They removed all Biblical commands that ‘looked’ Jewish from the seventh-day Sabbath to circumcision to Passover to dietary regulations. The previous three ‘beasts’ were pagan nations with multi-god worship, but Rome ‘Christianized’ and embraced pagan gods and celebrations, mixing the ‘holy’ and the ‘profane,’ turning Biblical truth into a lukewarm soup. Rome did more harm to followers of the Jewish Messiah than the other three ‘beasts’ combined because it deceived the masses.

Ten royal crowns sat upon the ten horns of the Roman ‘beast.’ Rome was never conquered like the previous ‘beast’ nations, but divided into 10 smaller nations that became Europe. The small horn of power that rises from this ‘beast’ nation is believed to be the Bishop of Rome who transformed pagan Rome into a Roman political and religious entity called the papacy (Daniel 7:8-9).

The fourth ‘beast’ nation displaced three other powerful nations that refused to succumb to Rome’s power. Another ‘horn’ springs up in their place that has human eyes and a mouth that speaks arrogantly. Though Daniel doesn’t use the terminology of ‘anti-messiah,’ this is the revelation of the ‘man of lawlessness.’ This is the ‘horn’ that will make war with the holy ones of Adonai.

Some believe this little ‘horn’ is the ‘false prophet’ or the papacy who made war with Adonai’s chosen people. Historically, the Roman church has been responsible for more murders of the Jewish people than any other ‘beast.’ From the Crusades to the Inquisitions to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, the twisting of the Hebrew Scriptures against the Jewish people has been the modus operandi of the Adversary under the guise of the Roman catholic church (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11).

The Modern-Day Version of the Fourth Beast

To it the dragon gave its power, its throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast appeared to have received a fatal wound, but its fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed after the beast in amazement. They worshipped the dragon, because he had given his authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who can fight against it?” (Revelation 13:3-4).

The ‘beast’ seen by Yochanan looked like a leopard with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion. This ‘beast’ is comprised of Greece, Persia, and Babylon meshed together into one fierce religious system. This ‘beast’ will try to assimilate, destroy, and take captive the nation of Isra’el through a great spiritual deception.

This nation ‘beast’ receives its authority, its power, and its kingship from the Dragon. According to the prophecy in Daniel, the ‘Dragon’ is the Adversary or Satan. ‘The Lie’ that the nations embrace and believe is ‘the Lie’ that was spoken by that ancient serpent in Gan Eden: you will be ‘woke’ and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:4-5).

“I will put animosity between you and the woman, and between your descendant and her descendant; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

The ‘beast’ appears to have a fatal wound that is miraculously healed. Because of this miraculous event, the nations of the world will worship the ‘Dragon’ because of the authority he gives to the ‘beast.’

After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, each individual involved was given a consequence for their disobedience – even the Serpent. He was told that the ‘Seed of woman’ would ‘bruise his head,’ but the Serpent would only bruise the heel of the ‘Seed of woman.’

The ‘Seed’ of woman is Yeshua, the Messiah of Isra’el. When Yeshua died on the cross, he disarmed the spirits of darkness. He triumphed over satan and made impotent all of his powers (Colossians 2:15). Yeshua ‘bruised’ his head. Though Satan appears to be ‘dead,’ his power will be returned for a short time in his ‘seed,’ the anti-messiah. It will be such a powerful ‘return’ that everyone will worship the ‘beast.’ Who can fight against it?

“It was given a mouth speaking arrogant blasphemies; and it was given authority to act for forty-two months. So it opened its mouth in blasphemies against God to insult his name and his Sh’khinah, and those living in heaven;  it was allowed to make war on God’s holy people and to defeat them; and it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation” (Revelation 13:5-7).

The ‘arrogant one’ speaks blasphemies. ‘Blaspheme’ in Hebrew is gadaf and means ‘to revile’ or ‘assail with scornful and abusive language.’ The definition of ‘blaspeheme’ is ‘to insult, show contempt or lack of reverence for God and for His holy objects.’ The ‘anti-messiah’ will sit in the Temple in Jerusalem and call himself yod-hey-vav-hey (Matthew 24:14). He will scorn the Divine Presence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, Yeshua, the followers of the ‘Seed of woman,’ and make war against them (Daniel 11:31). The ‘seed’ of the Adversary will speak arrogantly for a period of 3½ years. The Hebrew word for ‘arrogant’ is עתק or athaq and means ‘unrestrained speech.’

There are two instances in the gospels where Yeshua is charged with blasphemy. When Yeshua is at the Temple for the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah, the Jewish people around him ask if he is the Messiah. He responds and says, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). The leaders call him a blasphemer because he equated himself with Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh.

Another instance is when Yeshua heals a paralyzed man. The man’s healing comes after Yeshua forgives his sins. The leaders call him a blasphemer because only Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh can forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7).

Yeshua refers to Daniel’s prophecy about the ‘abomination of desolation’ that will occur in the end times (Matthew 24). Daniel’s prophecy occured in the 148 BCE with the Maccabean Revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes during the Second Temple period. Antiochus is the Greek rendering of ‘antichrist’ and Epiphanes means ‘in the flesh. The god Zeus, the ‘abomination of desolation’ was set up in the sanctuary to be worshiped as God, and pigs were slaughtered on the Altar of Sacrifice.

By referring to the prophecy in Daniel, Yeshua wants his disciples to understand its greater prophetic significance in the end times before his return.

Everyone living on earth will worship it except those whose names are written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb slaughtered before the world was founded. Those who have ears, let them hear! “If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he goes! If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he is to be killed!” (Revelation 13:8-9).

Everyone living on earth will worship the ‘beast’ except those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. This Lamb was slaughtered before the foundation of the world; his Book of Life was written at the same time with the souls who will not worship the ‘beast. They may go into captivity or be put to death by the sword, but their names have been known from eternity past and will enter the eternal Kingdom.

This is when God’s holy people must persevere and trust!” (Revelation 13:10).

The times of the ‘beast,’ ‘false prophet’ and the anti-messiah will be so difficult that the people of Adonai must persevere and put their trust in Yeshua. No matter what happens during the days of the ‘abomination,’ the followers of Yeshua must keep hope so they can persevere.

The Hebrew word for ‘persevere’ is really not used in the verse. Two other words, however, are possible. The first is sarah and means ‘to persist or exert oneself.’ Interestingly, the same word sarah also means ‘princess.’ During the tribulation, the ‘princess will persist and exert herself’ just like Queen Esthe who had to exert herself in order to overcome the decree to murder her people.

Another Hebrew word that may be used for ‘persevere’ is tamid and means ‘continual,’ ‘perpetual,’ and ‘constant.’ During the days of tribulation, continual and constant faith in Yeshua will enable perseverance. These days will be like no other time in history, and only for the sake of the ‘elect’ will they be shortened (Matthew 24:22).

The False Prophet

“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. It had two horns like those of a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence; and it makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, the one whose fatal wound had been healed. It performs great miracles, even causing fire to come down from heaven onto the earth as people watch” (Revelation 13:11-13).

Another ‘beast’ comes up out of the earth. ‘Sea’ means ‘nations,’ so ‘earth’ may mean where there is no nation which would be a rare find in the present day. The word ‘earth’ in Hebrew is eretz and is used for Isra’el –– Eretz Isra’el.

A true prophet speaks on behalf of Adonai and directs people to worship Adonai. Biblical prophets performed miracles in the name of Adonai. Elijah made the widow’s oil last a long time, and brought fire down from heaven that consumed the offerings on Mount Carmel. Moshe brought forth judgment plagues, delivered the Israelites through the Red Sea, and brought water from the ‘Rock.’

The Bible warns against false prophets. False prophets are to be put to death for prophesying falsely (Deuteronomy 18:20). Yeshua warns that false prophets will rise up and calls them ravenous wolves among the sheep who lead the people astray. Peter teaches that false prophets will come among the people of Adonai bringing destructive heresies, even denying Yeshua who bought them.

Yochanan says we are to test the spirits because not every spirit is from Adonai but are the spirit of a ‘false prophet.’ The danger with the false prophet will be his lamb-like appearance, the appearance of being the Messiah. This suggests that the false prophet will arise in Eretz Isra’el; the vision of the ‘lamb’ with horns (power) that speaks like the ‘Dragon.’

He will have the ability to perform miracles especially bringing down fire onto the earth similar to Elijah. Not understanding the power of the ‘lamb’ could be very deceptive since Elijah, the true prophet, will also come before the great and dreadful day of Adonai (Malachi 4:6).

It deceives the people living on earth by the miracles it is allowed to perform in the presence of the beast, and it tells them to make an image honoring the beast that was struck by the sword but came alive again. It was allowed to put breath into the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could even speak; and it was allowed to cause anyone who would not worship the image of the beast to be put to death” (Revelation 13:14-15).

The worship of the ‘beast’ becomes global so that the false prophet tells the people to make an image of the ‘beast.’ This is reminiscent of the golden calf –– an image created by the hands of man to worship ‘God.’ The image of the ‘beast’ will be an ‘abomination’ in the Tabernacle in Jerusalem.

This is the same ‘beast’ that was struck by the sword and came back to life, and the ‘beast’ image will have the ‘breath of life.’ It will be able to speak. The world will see and hear the ‘beast’ in every corner of the world; and it will know those who worship the image and those who don’t. Anyone who doesn’t worship the ‘beast’ will be put to death.

Mark of the Beast

Also it [the Beast] forces everyone — great and small, rich and poor, free and slave — to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead preventing anyone from buying or selling unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name” (Revelation 13:16-17).

Waiting for Yeshua means death during these horrific days of ‘beast’ worship. Without the ‘mark of the beast,’ followers of Yeshua will not be able to buy or sell. Fathers will not be able to provide for their families. Women and children will go hungry and die. The righteous are called to ‘persevere.’

The word ‘forces’ is intriguing. Is there a difference between ‘choosing’ the mark and ‘being forced?’ Yes, but is ‘force’ a good translation from the Hebrew? And, if someone is ‘forced’ to do something, it is counted against them by Adonai

The Greek word for ‘force’ is poiei and means ‘causes, make to do.’ This definition does suggest ‘force.’ The Hebrew word for ‘force’ is darush and means ‘demand’ and ‘require.’ The ‘mark of the beast’ will be demanded and required.  People will have no choice; the ‘mark’ will be required to buy and sell.

In the Hebrew language, words are formed from three basic letters.  From these three basic letters, other words are formed by adding different vowels and parts of speech.  For example, to make an infinitive, the letter ‘l’ or lamed is added to the beginning of the word.  So, l’drosh is the infinitive of darush and means ‘to demand’ or ‘to preach.’  

The ‘mark of the beast’ will not only be demanded and required, but preached –– ‘publicly proclaimed to teach a religious message.’  Preach can also mean ‘to earnestly advocate a belief or course of action.’   The ‘mark of the beast’ will be publicly proclaimed and earnestly advocated. This is why Yeshua says to each of the Messianic congregations, “Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities.”

The ‘mark of the beast’ will be on the right hand or forehead.  The tefillin worn by men in Orthodox communities during morning prayers are put on the right hand and forehead. The word tefillin comes from the word tefillah, the Hebrew word for Psalms, and means ‘prayers.’  Tefillin are comprised of small black boxes containing scrolls with Scriptures from the Torah.  The tefillah on the arm is called shel yad (belonging to the hand). These small straps wrap around the right arm, hand, and fingers, while the head tefillah called shel rosh (belonging to the head) is tied above the forehead.  These religious objects are worn as a ‘sign’ on the body with their origin in the Shema:

“Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one]; and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-6).

The ‘mark of the beast’ will be a direct assault on the Orthodox Jewish community’s prayers. The Orthodox as well as the Conservative, Reformed, and Secular Jews are looking for the Messiah to come.  They will be deceived by the false prophet, and when the Orthodox are forced to remove their tefillin to receive the ‘mark of the beast,’ the deception will be complete. The greatest end times deception will be religious.

What Are The Marks?

The Hebrew word for ‘mark’ is tavah. It means to ‘set or make a mark’ like a scratch or imprint. Another Hebrew word for ‘seal’ is chotham and refers to seals made with a signet ring. A signet ring is personalized to show ownership and was used to mark possessions and sign contracts.

There are two ‘seals’ or ‘marks’ in Scripture. The first is the ‘mark of the beast’ which is well-known. There is also a mark or ‘seal of Elohim’ prophesied by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 9:4). This mark protected people in Jerusalem from the fury of Adonai and will be put on the foreheads of those who sigh and cry over the disgusting practices in Jerusalem.

Those who have been to Isra’el and Jerusalem know how much of the city and country is overtaken by false religions. Whether it’s the ‘christian catholic’ quarter in the Old City or the Ba’ahi Gardens in Haifa, the whole Land is defiled by ‘freedom of religion.’ Catholic shrines commemorate Biblical events with some not even near the place of the event. The Muslim call to worship heard throughout the city of Jerusalem is an abomination. For those who sigh and cry over these things, they have a mark on their forehead.

Whoever worships the beast, his image and receives the ‘mark’ on his forehead or hand will not only drink the wine of God’s fury, but be tormented in the ‘lake of burning fire and sulfur.’  In other words, those who receive the ‘mark of the beast’ will suffer along with the ‘beast’ and the false prophet for all eternity.  Being ‘forced’ or ‘required’ won’t protect anyone from eternal spiritual death; staying holy and set-apart by trusting in Adonai for provision will.  Every follower of Yeshua must remain alert and have discernment when anything is being forced in order to buy or sell –– including a choice between worshiping the God of Isra’el or another ‘beast.’

This is where wisdom is needed; those who understand should count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person, and its number is 666.”

The number ‘666’ has that many number of interpretations. Most scholars believe that ‘666’ is the number of man. During the end times Adonai allows sinful man complete control over the earth with the support of demonic forces. Mankind will actually learn that they are not the loving people they claim to be. They will become vicious and chamas or ‘violent.’

I have read that the anti-messiah would come from Rome, China, or Babylon, but I have never been totally convinced of these views. Rome via the Vatican already has control over all of the religious systems of the world except for Judaism. Christianity and all of its observances (Sunday Sabbath, Christmas and Easter) and much of its doctrinal beliefs (trinity, sacraments, and death views) are rooted in Roman catholicism that was birthed in paganism. Even Islam is being coerced to bind itself with Rome –– a false alliance in order to bring forth the Islamic Caliphate and achieve world religious and political dominance.

Islam has eschatological beliefs similar to the Hebrew prophets, but are the antithesis of what the prophets, apostles, and Yeshua taught. Their ‘deliverer’ has all of the character traits and actions of the Biblical anti-messiah; their ‘redeemer’ will be a descendant of Mohammed, who had no divinity, but was just a man.

Some have claimed that the number ‘666’ in Revelation has is Arabic script rather than an actual number. Because the literal writing changes in the manuscript and is somewhat distorted, Greek translations render the script as numerals. However, osme Muslim-turned-Christians claim the script are the Arabic words ‘Allah Akbar’ or ‘God is the Greatest.’

The ‘mark of the beast’ will be forced on the right hand and forehead. Suicide killers wear a green scarf on their head and on their right arm. The scarf has the inscription ‘God is the Greatest.’ Allah Akbar are also the Arabic words they yell before detonating themselves and killing others.

The Islamic ‘god,’ is not the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, but the god of Ishma’el from whom Muslims believe Abraham’s promised ‘seed’ went through. This begins the difference between the two religions of Judaism and Islam. Ishma’el was a son of Abraham’s flesh, not the ‘seed’ of promise. Whatever is the writing in this verse, the ‘666’ will be reavealed as the ‘number’ of the ‘beast.’

Muslims who read the Koran know that if they kill Jewish people (or any infidel), they will enter ‘paradise.’ This is nothing the Adversary’s plan of ‘stealing, killing, and destroying’ the chosen people of Adonai and the followers of Yeshua. This will be the end times battle.

When studying eschatology, Jerusalem and Isra’el must always remain central to the prophecies. The end times will not be about the United States and China, but about the ever-widening divisions between the brothers Ishma’el and Yitz’ak and Ya’akov and Esau. The last days wars of the Adversary will continue to escalate because he wants to destroy the people who must usher in the return of his greatest adversary, Messiah Yeshua (Matthew 23:36-39).

Revelation 14 – The New Song and the Harvest

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