Posts Tagged ‘Judah’

Praise, Lifting Hands – Hebrew: Yadah


The Hebrew word yadah means to ‘cast’ or ‘throw.’ It comes from the root yad which means ‘hand.’ In worship it means to extend the hands in praise; or lifting holy hands in reverence to Adonai. By lifting the hands, it is an expression complete surrender to Adonai. Yadah is also used for making confession by holding out the hand. The name ‘Judah’ or Y’hudah in Hebrew comes from yadah and means ‘praise.’ The word yadah is found 114 times in Scripture; 70 times in the Psalms.

“She conceived yet again, had a son and said, “This time I will praise Adonai”; therefore she named him Y’hudah [praise]. Then she stopped having children” (Genesis 29:35).

“I yadah Adonai for his righteousness and sing praise to the name of Adonai ‘Elyon” (Psalm 7:17).

“Then I will generously sacrifice to you; I will yadah your name, Adonai, because it is good …” (Psalm 54:6).

“Give yadah to Adonai! Call on his name! Make his deeds known among the peoples” (Psalm 105:1).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Laud, Praise, and Thanks – yadah -ידה

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for yadah: finished work pathway revealed.

©2022 Tentstake Ministries Publishing

Parashah 54: V’zot (This is the blessing)

Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12

“This is the blessing that Moshe, the man of God, spoke over the people of Isra’el before his death” (Deuteronomy 33:1).

This final parashah of the annual Torah cycle is always read on Simchat Torah. The blessing of Moshe was not only for his generation, but for all generations to come.

“Adonai came from Sinai; from Se‘ir he dawned on his people, shone forth from Mount Pa’ran; and with him were myriads of holy ones; at his right hand was a fiery law for them”
(Deuteronomy 33:2).

The myriads of holy ones at the right hand of Adonai are the saints. These men and women have been justified by the blood of Messiah and have been made holy through the Word of Truth (John 17:17).

‘Saints’ or ‘holy ones’ are living persons, not dead, contrary to some ideologies. Sha’ul writes to the Corinthians calling them ‘saints,’ those “who have been set-apart by Yeshua the Messiah and called to be God’s holy people” (1 Corinthians 1:2).  Saints will one day judge the world and receive a glorious inheritance (1 Corinthians 6:2, Ephesians 1:18).  Saints are to love one another, and their prayers rise to Elohim like incense (Colossians 1:4, Revelation 5:8, 8:3-4).  Yeshua will be glorified through the saints (2 Thessalonians 1:10).

At Adonai’s right hand was a ‘fiery law’ which is Yeshua as the living Torah. ‘Fire’ symbolizes the divinity, the glory, and the holiness of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. His holiness was in the burning bush and his glory was the pillar of fire. Fire as His Ruach came down on the Temple at Solomon’s coronation, and on Shavuot, tongues of fire rested on the heads of Messianic Jews in Jerusalem. Sodom and Gomorrah were judged by fire, and the refiner’s fire melts away dross and leaving the purity of gold (Malachi 3:1-2).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Fiery Law or esh-dath – אש דת – alef, shin –– dalet, tav
– first strength consumes –– pathway sign

“Your word is refined to complete purity, and your servant loves it” (Psalm 119:140).

Being refined by Torah will perfect and leads us into a pure and holy walk with Elohim. Torah is the ‘double-edged sword’ that pierces our heart, transforms us, and guides us in our daily relationship with Adonai.

There is no difference between a holy one from a Tribe of Isra’el and a saint from one of the nations. Torah is an inheritance for the community of Isra’el that includes those who join the community through faith in Yeshua. Moshe’s blessing continues with the holy ones sitting at the feet of ‘I Am’ and receiving His instructions. 

“Then a king arose in Yeshurun when the leaders of the people were gathered, all the tribes of Isra’el together” (Deuteronomy 33:5).

Moshe uses the poetic term Yeshurun a second time. In the Septuagint, it is translated ‘the beloved one’ and refers to the people of Isra’el, the land of Isra’el, and the children of Jacob who became Isra’el.  There are two different possibilities for the Hebrew root of Yeshurun.  One is yashar which means ‘to be upright’. The other is from the word shir or ‘song’ alluding to the great rejoicing that will occur when the Messiah unites the Tribes of Isra’el.

Moshe Blesses the Tribes

Judah (Y’hudah)
“Hear, Adonai, the cry of Y’hudah! Bring him in to his people, let his own hands defend him; but you, help him against his enemies” (Deuteronomy 33:7).
Judah has always fought to stay alive from men like Haman, nations like Syria, and genocides like the Inquisitions, Crusades and Nazis. As the other tribes are scattered throughout the world, Judah remained Judah, the Jews.   Though it appears they fight their enemies with their own hands, Adonai always intervenes in order to keep His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the recent conflicts with Gaza and the Palestinians, many in the Israeli Defense Force spoke of miraculous events that could only be attributed to HaShem.

“Let your tumim and urim be with your pious one, whom you tested at Massah, with whom you struggled at M’rivah Spring. Of his father and mother he said, ‘I don’t know them’; he didn’t acknowledge his brothers or children. For he observed your word, and he kept your covenant. They will teach Ya‘akov your rulings, Isra’el your Torah. They will set incense before you and whole burnt offerings on your altar. Adonai, bless his possessions, accept the work he does; but crush his enemies hip and thigh; may those who hate him rise no more” (Deuteronomy 33:8-11).

The word ‘pious’ in Hebrew is chasid and means ‘godly one.’ The contemporary Orthodox movement known as ‘Hasidic’ came out of Russia in the Eighteenth Century and spread through Europe and into the western nations. Hasidic Jews are recognized by their long beards, dark suits, and payos or side curls that hang down on the sides of their faces. Their lifestyle gives the appearance that they are deeply spiritual because they adhere to strict religious practices and keep themselves separate from the rest of the world.

The Levites are called ‘pious’ because they were willing to keep Adonai’s covenant even when it meant killing members of their own family. Because of the faithfulness of the Levites, they would teach Torah to Isra’el. Though they would have enemies, their enemies would be crushed at the ‘hip and thigh’ and rise no more.

Yeshua brings division into families in Isra’el. There is a cost to following him, just as there was a cost for the Levites. Those Jews who choose to follow him will be and are rejected by their families (Matthew 10:34-38, Luke 14:25-32).

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, his mother, his wife, his children, his brothers and his sisters, yes, and his own life besides, he cannot be my talmid [disciple]” (Luke 14:26).

Benjamin (Benyamin)
“Adonai’s beloved lives securely. He protects him day after day. He lives between his shoulders”
(Deuteronomy 33:12).

‘Beloved’ is the endearment that describes the bride in Song of Songs, an allusion to the Bride of Messiah. According to this blessing, the ‘beloved’ is protected day after day and lives securely in Adonai.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Beloved or yadid – ידיד – yod, dalet, yod, dalet
– finished work pathway, finished work pathway

Loved or ahav – אהוב – alef, hey, vav, bet
– first strength revealed binding the family

Joseph (Yosef)
“May Adonai bless his land with the best from the sky, for the dew, and for what comes from the deep beneath, with the best of what the sun makes grow, with the best of what comes up each month, with the best from the mountains of old, with the best from the eternal hills, with the best from the earth and all that fills it, and the favor of him who lived in the [burning] bush. May blessing come on the head of Yosef, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. His firstborn bull — glory is his; his horns are those of a wild ox; With them he will gore the peoples, all of them, to the ends of the earth. These are the myriads of Efrayim; these are the thousands of M’nasheh” (Deuteronomy 33:13-17).

Joseph is the prince among his brothers. Ephraim and Manasseh have become a multitude of nations and are his glory. He is blessed with the best of everything from the sky, the dew, the deep; the best of what the sun makes grow, the best of the mountains, the earth and the eternal hills.  He is blessed with the favor of ‘him who lived in the burning bush’: the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. Joseph received the favor of personally knowing Yeshua through His character, His presence, and His deliverance. 

Zebulun (Z’vulun)
Issachar (Yissakhar)
“Rejoice, Z’vulun, as you go forth, and you, Yissakhar, in your tents. They will summon peoples to the mountain and there offer righteous sacrifices; for they will draw from the abundance of the seas and from the hidden treasures of the sand” (Deuteronomy 33:18-19).

These two tribes rejoice together because they will summon people to the mountain of Adonai to offer righteous sacrifices. They will find their abundance in the seas and hidden treasures of the sand. Zebulun and Issachar will have a significant role in the restoration of Isra’el.  From the sea of nations, ‘grains of sand,’ the faithful descendants of Abraham will return to Mount Tziyon and worship Adonai.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. A man found it, hid it again, then in great joy went and sold everything he owned, and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44).

“Blessed is he who makes Gad so large; he lies there like a lion, tearing arm and scalp. He chose the best for himself when the princely portion was assigned. When the leaders of the people came, he carried out Adonai’s justice and his rulings concerning Isra’el” (Deuteronomy 33:20-21).

Like a devouring lion, Gad will become a powerful nation. When it is time for Adonai’s justice and His rulings to be carried out concerning Isra’el, Gad will fulfill the call.

“Justice will once again become righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it” (Psalm 94:15).

“Dan is a lion cub leaping forth from Bashan” (Deuteronomy 33:22).

Og, the giant, was king in Bashan which is located in the Golan Heights. Cattle and a special breed of sheep have been raised in this area since ancient times. Wild animals often attacked the sheep which didn’t fare well for the animals.

Dan was the rear guard as the Israelites traveled through the wilderness.  As a lion cub, Dan may become the protector of the sheep. Dan’s land inheritance and the city of Dan are near the borders of Syria and Lebanon.  It is important that Dan is a lion cub, for perhaps it will become a military base protecting the sheep of the House of Isra’el.

“You, Naftali, satisfied with favor and full of blessing from Adonai, take possession of the sea and the south” (Deuteronomy 33:23).

Standing on the cliff of Mount Arbel, I was able to see the land inheritance of Nafatli, a beautiful, lush, fertile land. This land lies north of the Sea of Galilee which is not ‘the Sea and the south.’ Perhaps as the end times unfold, it will be the descendants of Nafatli who secure the West Bank from the Arabs which lies west and south of the Sea of Galilee.

“May Asher be most blessed of sons, may he be the favorite among his brothers and bathe his feet in oil. May your bolts be of iron and bronze and your strength last as long as you live”
(Deuteronomy 33:24-25).

Asher is to be the most blessed of Jacob’s sons and will the favorite among his brothers.  His feet will be bathed in oil and he will have great strength. 

Being ‘bathed in oil’ is an allusion to being anointed as king, priest or prophet. Queen Esther ‘bathed in oils’ as she prepared to meet the King. Psalm 104:15 says, “Oil makes the face glow,” however, it is Asher’s feet not his head that will be bathed. This may symbolize prosperity and that wherever his feet are placed, there will be blessing.

“Miryam took a whole pint of pure oil of spikenard, which is very expensive, poured it on Yeshua’s feet and wiped his feet with her hair, so that the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume”
(John 12:3).

“Yeshurun, there is no one like God, riding through the heavens to help you, riding on the clouds in his majesty. The God of old is a dwelling-place, with everlasting arms beneath. He expelled the enemy before you and he said, ‘Destroy!’” (Deuteronomy 33:26-27)

Yeshua will return ‘riding on the clouds’ so this is prophetic to the return of the majestic King Messiah. At his return, he will destroy Isra’el’s enemies and remove them from the Land.

“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; extol him who rides on the clouds by his name, Yah; and be glad in his presence” (Psalm 68:5).

“So Isra’el lives in security; the fountain of Ya‘akov is alone in a land of grain and new wine, where the skies drip with dew. Happy are you, Isra’el! ‘Who is like you, a people saved by Adonai, your defender helping you and your sword of triumph? Your enemies will cringe before you, but you will trample down their high places’” (Deuteronomy 33:28-29).

‘Fountains’ symbolize spiritual nourishment that comes from the Word of Elohim.  When Yeshua reveals himself to Isra’el as Messiah, there will be security and the Land will drip with dew, grain, and new wine. ‘Dew’ symbolizes blessing and Isra’el will finally receive the fulfillment of her blessings: the covenants and the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Aaron, Phineas, and King David.

Two tribes are not blessed by Moshe: Reuben and Simeon.

Moshe Goes to His Ancestors

“I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over there” (Deuteronomy 34:4).

From the top of Mount Nebo across from the Jordan River, Moshe was shown all of the Promised Land –– from Gilead as far north as Dan, all of Nafatli and the Galilee, the lands of Ephraim and Manasseh, the land of Judah all the way to the Mediterranean and beyond, the Negev desert and the Aravah including the valley of Jericho and as far away as Tzoar.

Moshe died in the land of Moab at 120 years of age with ‘eyes undimmed and vigor undiminished.’  Though has aged, his eyesight and vigor suggest he still had many years left to live, but because of his unfaithfulness in front of the community of Isra’el, he had to die ‘young.’ He was buried in the valley of Beit-P’or, but to this day no one knows the location of his grave.  Isra’el mourned 30 days for Moshe.

“Since that time there has not arisen in Isra’el a prophet like Moshe, whom Adonai knew face to face.  What signs and wonders Adonai sent him to perform in the Land of Egypt upon Pharaoh, all his servants and all his land!  What might was in his hand!  What great terror he evoked before the eyes of all Isra’el!” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12)

Moshe was the greatest prophet who ever lived. He was the most humble man on earth because that is how Adonai knew him. It was not with pride or arrogance that he led Isra’el or wrote down the words of Torah, it was in great humility.

Drawn out of the reeds of the Nile River as an infant and raised in the Egyptian court, Moshe became a simple shepherd. He was called by Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh from a bush that burned, holy ground under his feet, and was transformed into a man who performed signs and wonders –– evidence that Adonai Elohim was with him.  He stood before the Egyptian Pharaoh and judged his nation and his gods. He led a group of millions out of slavery through the Red Sea and into a covenant relationship with ‘I am.’ He talked with Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh panim el panim and received hand-written instructions from Him, twice. He stood in the crevice of the ‘Rock,’ protected by His Hand as the glory of Adonai passed by.

He struggled with the quarreling, judgments, and rebellion of the Israelites offering his own life so that they would not be destroyed from the earth. He saw manna come with the dew and water gush from the ‘Rock.’ He instructed Isra’el to build a Mishkan so Adonai could dwell among His people in a cloud of glory. He had to wander in the wilderness 40 years with a faithless generation who whined, groaned, and mixed the holy and profane until he had enough and hit the ‘Rock’ losing the privilege of entering the Promised Land.

From the mouth of Adonai, he received and wrote down the accounts of creation, the flood of Noach, the lives of the patriarchs until the day the Hebrews left Egypt. He was given Adonai’s instructions, mitzvot, regulations, and statutes. He wrote them in a book called Torah, a book that would sit at the right hand of the Ark of the Covenant until the words would be brought to life through the Torah in the flesh –– Yeshua of Nazareth.

Yeshua, a prophet like Moshe, was even greater because he is the visible image of the invisible Elohim. He taught the Torah that was spoken by his Father and written down by Moshe. Through his blood, he instituted the promised new covenant that transformed the rebellious hearts of Isra’el into hearts of flesh. As the living Torah, the instructions of his Father remain a righteous and holy standard for life in this present world and the Messianic Era. Torah will only passing away when there is a new heaven, new earth, a New Jerusalem, and Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the ‘I Am’ tabernacles with man once again and for eternity.

“Y’hoshua, the son of Nun was full of the Spirit of wisdom, for Moshe had laid his hands on him, and the people of Isra’el heeded him and did what Adonai had ordered Moshe” (Deuteronomy 34:9).

Yeshua and The Resurrection

“When Yeshua arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute-players, and the crowd in an uproar, he said, ‘Everybody out! The girl isn’t dead, she’s only sleeping!’ And they jeered at him. But after the people had been put outside, he entered and took hold of the girl’s hand, and she got up” (Matthew 9:23-25).

“When he arrived at the house, he didn’t allow anyone to go in with him except Kefa, Yochanan, Ya‘akov and the child’s father and mother All the people were wailing and mourning for her; but he said, ‘Don’t weep; she hasn’t died, she’s sleeping.’ They jeered at him, since they knew she had died. But he took her by the hand, called out, “Little girl, get up!” and her spirit returned. She stood up at once, and he directed that something be given her to eat” (Luke 8:51-55).

“Yes, indeed! I tell you that there is coming a time — in fact, it’s already here — when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will come to life” (John 4:25).

“Yeshua said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Marta said, ‘I know that he will rise again at the Resurrection on the Last Day.’ Yeshua said to her, “‘I Am the Resurrection and the Life! Whoever puts his trust in me will live, even if he dies; and everyone living and trusting in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world….’ Yeshua looked upward and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I myself know that you always hear me, but I say this because of the crowd standing around, so that they may believe that you have sent me.’ Having said this, he shouted, ‘El‘azar! Come out!’ The man who had been dead came out, his hands and feet wrapped in strips of linen and his face covered with a cloth. Yeshua said to them, “Unwrap him, and let him go!” (John 11:21-27, 41-44)

©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, Study Helps, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

2 Kings 17 – Replacement Samaritans

Assyria was a major kingdom in the area of modern Iraq.  Two of its largest cities were Nineveh and Asshur.   Nineveh was the city to which Jonah was sent to warn of impending destruction if the people didn’t repent.  They did and were granted a reprieve.  The area was settled as early as 6000 BC and by 3000 BC had become an important religious center for worshiping the goddess Ishtar, known today as Easter. 

Asshur was another large city in Assyria that was located on the banks of the Tigris River.  Asshur was also the main god of the city and was equivalent to the Babylonian god, Marduk, who was worshiped for water, vegetation, judgement, and magic.  

Assyria was a warring kingdom and took captives from every nation in the Middle East along with countries in Africa.  After Samaria was taken captive, the Israelites living there were taken to Assyria where they eventually assimilated into the culture around them.   Those who had been taken captive  from other nations were moved into Samaria so that the land would be populated again.   These new tenants worshiped the gods from their native nations and the God of Israel didn’t approve.   The king of Assyria, Sancheriv,  sent a priest to live in Samaria to teach the new residents about Israel’s God. Still, everyone made gods of their own and put them in temples on high places. 

“They both feared the LORD and served their own gods in the manner customary among the nations from which they had been taken away.  To this day they continue to follow their former [pagan] customs.  They do not fear the LORD.  They do not follow the regulations, the rulings Torah or mitzvah which the LORD ordered the descendants of Jacob to whom he have the name Israel with whom Adonai (the LORD) had made a covenant and charged them:

‘Do not fear other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them.  On the contrary, you are to fear the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm.  Worship him, and sacrifice to him.  You are to observe forever the laws, rulings, Torah and mitzvah which he wrote for you. You are not to fear other gods, and you are not to forget the covenant I made with you.  No, you must not fear other gods but must fear the LORD your God; THEN he will rescue you from the power of all your enemies. 

However, they didn’t listen, but followed their old [pagan] practices.  So these nations mixed fearing the LORD with serving their carved idols; likewise their children’ and to this day, their descendants do the same as their ancestors did” (2 Kings 17:33-41).

The people living in Samaria after Assyria’s invasion were not true Israelites, they were ‘new Israelites.’   They were people from other nations settling the land, people who had once lost everything to the Assyrian empire. Though they appeared to be Israelites, making a ‘new Israel,’  they continued to worship their gods with their pagan ways.  The God of Israel did not accept their type of worship in His Land and sent lions to devour them.

The priest sent to them came from the town of Beit-el, (House of God). Though these people were being taught God’s laws by a priest from the ‘House of God,’  they continued to worship God with their more ‘familiar’ ways.  They lost God’s protection and the very same people who had experienced Assyria’s genocide in their own lands were attacked again.   After three years, Samaria was captured and the ‘false Israelites’ were taken captive.  

“This happened because they did not heed the voice of the LORD their God, but violated his covenant, everything that Moses the servant of the LORD had ordered them to do, and would neither hear it nor do it” (2 Kings 18:12).

If this is how God dealt with those who looked like Israelites, but didn’t live like they were commanded,  how will He deal any differently with those who want to replace them, who mix the holy and the profane, and refuse to do His Words?

Eventually Judah was attacked and King Hezekiah gave the King of Asshur what he asked for in gold and silver.  Controlling Samaria and then Judah wasn’t enough for the King of Asshur,  he wanted Jerusalem, too.  His armies  surrounded Jerusalem and the king mocked God in the presence of those who were at King Hezekiah’s palace and on the city walls.  It is even recorded that he had his servants speak in Hebrew, not Aramaic,  because he wanted everyone listening to understand his threats against the God of Israel.  

“Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, because he won’t be able to save you from the power of the king of Asshur.  And don’t let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, ‘the LORD will surely save us; this city will not be given over to the king of Asshur.  Don’t listen to Hezekiah.’  This is what the king of Asshur says: ‘Make peace with me, surrender to me.  Then everyone of you can eat from his vine and fig tree and drink the water in his own cistern; until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land with grain and wine, a land with bread and vineyards, a land with olive trees and honey; so that you can live and not die” (2 Kings 18:26-32).

When I read these verses, I saw the anti-messiah promising a kingdom of peace where every man eats from his vine and fig tree.  This kingdom of peace will be somewhere else – not Israel –  a land filled with grain, wine, olive trees and honey.  Is this what America was to those who settled here, a place of peace and God’s ‘new Israel?’  A place where the God of Israel would be given lip service, but worshiped in the ways of the nations that emigrated here?  A place where fearing Adonai and worshiping other gods would become customary and acceptable because of ‘freedom of religion?’   If the God of Israel didn’t allow ‘freedom of worship of other gods’ in His own land, why would He allow it in a ‘new Israel’ that claims His name?

The king’s emissary continues:

“So don’t listen to Hezekiah; he is only deluding you when he says, ‘The LORD will save us.’  Has any god of any nation ever saved his land from the power of the king of Asshur?  Where are the gods of Hamat and Arpad?  Where are the gods of Shefarvayim, Hena and Ivah? Did they save Samaria from my power?  Where is the god of any country that has saved its country from my power, so that the LORD might be able to save Jerusalem from my power?’”

The king of Assyria’s becomes emboldened in his arrogance.  Who can come against him? Who?  Anyone?  Any nation of the world?  I am reminded of Yeshua when tempted by the devil refused to bow down for any  kingdom in this world inclusive of the United States.  His Kingdom isn’t of this world and therefore, no nation is worthy to be called Israel, except Israel.

The King of Asshur begins by belittling King Hezekiah of Judah.  According to Second Kings,  King Hezekiah did what was right in the eyes of Adonai.  He followed the example of King David, his father,  by putting his trust in Adonai, the God of Israel.  There have been no other kings of Judah like him since nor any before him.

“For he clung to the LORD and did not leave off following him but obeyed his mitzvot [commands], which the LORD had given to Moses.  So the LORD was with him.  Whenever he went out to battle, he did well.  He rebelled against the king of Asshur and refused to be his vassal.  He drove the Philistines back to Gaza and laid waste to their territory” (2 Kings 18:6-8).

The King of Asshur attacks the gods of Samaria and the nations.  There are no gods that can stand against his power.  None of the false gods protected their worshipers from attacks in their native lands or even in the land of Israel.  Other gods have no power.

Finally, the King of Asshur ‘taunts’ the God of Israel saying that there is no way He can protect Jerusalem from his power.  I remember going to church years ago on the Fourth of July and the altar was covered with an American flag with a photo of the current president.  I knew something was deeply wrong. Sometimes I think that Christians put this nation above the God of Israel believing that this country is so great that it’s worthy of worship. Both Assyria and Rome were considered great kingdoms and both are nothing but archeological ruins.

The response of the people in Jerusalem is silence because the king’s order was ‘Don’t answer him.’  

King Hezekiah sent his secretaries to Isaiah, the prophet.  Isaiah tore his clothes, covered himself in sackcloth, and entered the house of Adonai, the Temple in Jerusalem.   He prays a simple, but powerful prayer:

“LORD, God of Israel, who dwells above the cherubim!  You alone are God of all the kingdoms on earth.   You made heaven and earth.  Turn your ear, O LORD, and hear!  Open your eyes, O LORD, and see!  Hear the words that Sancheriv sent to taunt the living God.  It is true, O LORD, that the Kings of Asshur have laid waste to the nations  and their lands and have thrown their gods into the fire.  For those were non-gods, merely the product of people’s hands, wood and stone; this is why they could destroy them. Now therefore, O LORD our God, please save us from his power – so that all the kingdoms on earth will know that you are the LORD, God – you only”  (2 Kings 19:15-19). 

God responds to Hezekiah’s prayer.  He confronts the King of Asshur’s  arrogance saying that he didn’t just attack Zion and Jerusalem with his haughty voice, but came against the ‘Holy One of Israel’.  God was going to defend the city of Jerusalem.  And He did.  That night the angel of Adonai killed 185,000 men in the camps.  The king of Assyria returned home to Nineveh as prophesied, and one day while he was worshiping in the temple of Nisrikh, two of his sons killed him and ran off to Ararat.

God fought for Jerusalem for the sake of Himself and the covenant He made with King David.  Those who lived in Samaria and appeared to be Israelites, but were from other nations and worshiped other gods, He removed from His Land and they are still in exile worshiping other gods with their children.   Only a Jewish remnant was left to take root again in the Land and bear fruit for the Kingdom (2 Kings 19:30-31).

If the United States considers itself the ‘new Israel’ and the church as ‘replaced Israel’ as God’s people, won’t He deal with the United States as He did the ‘true’ Israelites who lived in His Land?  Will He allow those who are called by His name to continue to mix the holy and the profane?  Will He continue to allow the hardness of heart and the  unwillingness to hear and obey His Word?   Does ‘replacement theology’ really believe that ‘new Israelites’ will not bear the consequences of arrogance and pride like the King of Asshur? Only a remnant of Jewish people lived to plant roots and bring forth the Word of theAdonai; not the replacement Samaritans who considered themselves ‘new Israelites.’ 

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The Sons of Israel in Hebrew

These are the Hebrew Word Pictures for the wives, sons, and daughter of Jacob –– Israel. The sons of Jacob are listed with a number representing their birth order.

Jacob (Supplanter)

Ya’akov or יעקב

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ע Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ and ‘understand.’

ק Kof – Back of the Head means ‘what is behind’ and ‘what is final.’

ב Bet – A House means ‘house’ and ‘family.’

The Hebrew word picture for ya’akov: understand the finished work of what is final in the family.

Israel (Overcomer)

Yisra’el or ישראל

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘leader’ or ‘first authority.’

א Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ and ‘strength.’

ל Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff means ‘leader who urges forward.’

The Hebrew word picture for yisra’el: finished work consumes the leader’s strength who urges forward.

Rachel (Ewe, female sheep) She gave birth to two sons.

Rachel or רחל

ר Resh – A Head means ‘leader’ and ‘highest authority.’

ח Chet – A Fence means ‘protect.’

ל Lamed – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘leader who urges forward.’

The Hebrew word picture for rachel: the highest authority that protects and urges forward.

11.  Joseph  (May he add)

Yosef or יוסף

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ס Samech – A Prop means ‘to support.’

פ Peh – A Mouth means ‘speak’ or ‘source.’

The Hebrew word picture for Yosef: finished work binding, support and speak.

12. Benjamin (son of the right hand)

Benyamin or בנימין

ב Bet – A House means ‘family’ or ‘house.’

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

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

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

The Hebrew word picture for Benyamin: finished work of the family; mighty finished work.

Bilhah, Rachel’s maid

5. Dan (Judged)

Dan or דן

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

The Hebrew word picture for Dan: pathway of life.

6. Naphtali (My wrestling)

Naftali or נפתלי

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

פ Peh – A Mouth means ‘speak’ or ‘source.’

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’

ל Lamed – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘leader who urges forward.’

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘a finished work.’

The Hebrew word picture for Nafatli: life source of covenant, leader who urges forward the completed work.

Leah (Weary or tired) – She gave birth to six sons and one daughter.

Leah or לאה

ל Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff means ‘leader who urges forward.’

א Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ and ‘strength.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew word picture for Leah: leader who urges forward the first strength, revealed.

1. Reuben (See, a son!) – The firstborn of Jacob

Reuven or ראובן

ר Resh – A Head means ‘leader’ or ‘highest authority.’

א Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ or ‘strength.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ב Bet – A House means ‘family’ or ‘house.’

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

The Hebrew word picture for reuven: highest authority, first strength binding the family house.

2. Simeon (Hearing) The ‘root’ of this word is related to Shema or ‘Hear’

Shim’on or שמעון

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’

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

א Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ or ‘understand.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

The Hebrew word picture for shi’mon: destroys chaos, sees binding of life.

3. Levi (Joining)

Levi or לוי

ל Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff means ‘leader who urges forward.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding’ as in the ‘binding of Isaac.’

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

The Hebrew word picture for Levi: leader who urges forward the binding, the finished work.

4. Judah (Praise)

Y’hudah or יהודה

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew word picture for y’hudah: finished work reveals binding, pathway revealed

9. Issachar (Hire, reward)

Yissakhar or יששכר

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’

כ Kaf – Back of the Head means ‘what is behind’ or ‘what is finished.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘leader’ or ‘highest authority.’

The Hebrew word picture for Yissakhar: finished work consumes what is behind the leader, the highest authority.

10. Zebulun (Living together)

Z’vulun or זבולן

ז Zayin – A Weapon means ‘to divide’ or ‘cut.’

ב Bet – A House means ‘family’ or ‘house.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ל Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff means ‘leader who urges forward.’

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

The Hebrew word picture for Z’vulun: dividing the family binding, the leader who urges forward life.

Daughter, Dinah (Controversy over rights)

Dinah or דינה

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew word picture for dinah: pathway to the finished work of life revealed.

Zilpah, Leah’s maid

7.  Gad (Good fortune)

Gad or גד

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

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

The Hebrew word picture for Gad: to lift up the pathway.

8. Asher (Happy)

Asher or אשר

א Alef – An Ox means ‘strength’ or ‘first.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘leader’ or ‘highest authority.’

The Hebrew word picture for Asher: first to consume the highest authority.

All the Hebrew Word Pictures of the sons of Jacob, the family of the Overcomer, Israel.

(Reuben) The highest authority, the ‘first strength’ secures the house. (Simeon) It destroys chaos that life understands. (Levi) The leader urges the binding, the finished work. (Judah) Behold the finished work, the binding, the pathway, behold –– (Dan) the way of life, (Naftali) the life source of the covenant. (Gad) The leader who urges the completed work lifts up the pathway. (Asher) The ‘first strength’ consumes the highest authority; (Issachar) the finished work consumes what is behind the leader, the highest authority (Zebulun) dividing the family, securing the one who urges forward. (Joseph) The finished work support the words, the source. ( Benjamin) The finished work of the family is a mighty finished work.

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