Created Wed, Sept. 18, 2002   -   Updated Sat. Jan. 15, 2005

Part 1: The Old Testament on the New Covenant


Sub-headings:

First Prophecies
Promises to Abraham & Sons
Moses and the Law
The Essence of the Law

Holy Feasts
A Symbolic Circumcision
The Worship That Truly Matters
Israel Would Reject God
The Nations Are Blessed


Related Articles

These scriptures are primarily from the Old Testament. I gathered most of those that deal with the law and a promise of a new covenant brought by one like Moses in greatness and power and that the old law covenant with Israel would be done away with. So since these were prophesied by the law and prophets themselves, it should be no surprise to us. I also compiled a collection of New Testament scriptures in another document for you to consider as well. I will let the scriptures do most of the talking now.

In as many places as I could, I cite New Testament references to scriptures I quote from the Old Testament. Some of these gathered here, are not quoted by New Testament authors, but are cited by early church writers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries. After the end of a scripture, a paragraph of my commentary will begin with a ">>" so that you will not mistake it for a continuation of the scriptures. Subsequent paragraphs after the first one with a >> will not be highlighted. When a scripture is cited, the name of the book will clearly appear at the beginning so you will know it is from the Bible and where.



First Prophecies
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Genesis 3:
14 And Jehovah God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all beasts, and above every animal of the field. You shall go on your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

>>Man sinned and so a future enmity was foretold at that time between the serpent, reveal elsewhere in the Bible as Satan, and a specific seed who is a "he." This would be Jesus in due time. There is also a woman foretold. This is likely the woman of Revelation 12, a symbolic woman. Not that some of mankind has not had some enmity with Satan since he has made the whole world miserable. But most of the world joins Satan in his rebellion so Eve is not a likely candidate for this. The heavenly symbolic woman of Revelation 12 seems a much better candidate since she gives birth to Christ in that chapter and the devil rages and goes after the remnant of her.

Genesis 9:
26 And he said, Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Shem; and may Canaan be his slave.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall live in the tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be their slave.

>>Noah pronounces a blessing on Shem and Japheth, especially Japheth. This was brought out to me by the early church writers of the 2nd century. Japheth was to be enlarged in comparison to Shem, from whom Abraham would descend from. It foretold how the nations would have much more a part in the heavenly kingdom of God than would the sons of Shem Abraham Israel. Already it was being foretold about the nations/ Gentiles more enthusiastically embracing the word than the Jews would.



Promises to Abraham & Sons
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Genesis 12:
1 And Jehovah had said to Abram, Go out from your land and from your kindred, and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you.
2 And I will make of you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great; and you will be a blessing.
3 And I will bless those who bless you, and curse the one despising you. And in you all families of the earth shall be blessed. [Galatians 3:8].

Genesis 15:
4 And behold! The word of Jehovah came to him saying, This one shall not be your heir. But he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir.
5 And He brought him outside and said, Look now at the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He said to him, So shall your seed be.
6 And he believed in Jehovah. And He counted it to him for righteousness.

>>This promise/ prophecy made it clear it was not Ishmael, son of a slave girl that would be heir but one from his true wife, a free woman, Sarah. And Paul quotes it from Romans 4:3, 9, 18, 22.

Genesis 17:
5 And your name no longer shall be Abram; but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
6 And I will make you very fruitful, exceedingly. And I will give you for nations. And kings shall come out of you.
7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and your seed after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your seed after you. [Galatians 3:16].
8 And I will give to you and to your seed after you the land of your sojourning, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession and I will be their God.

9 And God said to Abraham, You shall keep My covenant, you and your seed after you in their generations.
10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised.
11 And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin. And it shall be a token of the covenant between Me and you.
12 And a son of eight days shall be circumcised among you, every male in your generation, he that is born in the house, or bought with silver from any son of a foreigner who is not of your seed.
13 Surely the child of your house and the purchase of your money must be circumcised. And My covenant shall be in your flesh for a perpetual covenant.
14 And an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, his soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.

15 And God said to Abraham, You shall not call your wife Sarai by her name Sarai, for Sarah shall be her name;
16 and I have blessed her and have also given to you a son from her. Yea, I have blessed her and she shall become nations; kings of people shall be from her. [Quoted at Romans 4:17].

Genesis 18:10 And He said, I will certainly return to you at the time of life; and, Behold! A son shall be to your wife Sarah. And Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, and it was behind Him. [Romans 9:9].

Genesis 18:18 And Abraham shall become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him.

Genesis 21:12 And God said to Abraham, Let it not be evil in your eyes because of the boy, and on account of your slave-girl. All that Sarah says to you, listen to her voice, for in Isaac your Seed shall be called. 13 And also I will make a nation of the son of the slave-girl, for he is your seed. [Quoted at Romans 9:7].

Genesis 22:16 And He said, I have sworn by Myself, declares Jehovah, that on account of this thing you have done, and not have withheld your son, your only son, 17 that blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the shore of the sea. And your Seed shall possess the gate of His enemies. 18 And in your Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because you have obeyed My voice.

>>We see from these 4 previous scriptures that all the nations would be blessed because of Abraham and his seed as discussed by Paul in Romans. This foretold the nations becoming God's chosen people as will many scriptures to follow.

Genesis 25:23 And Jehovah said to her, Two nations are in your womb; even two peoples shall break from your body And one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. [Romans 9:12].

>>Just as the older would serve the younger, so it was with the new covenant in that the nations who came after the Jews into God's house became the more numerous and approved, with only a remnant of the Jews accepting Christ and the nation as a whole rejecting him. This would become a repeating theme and pattern as you will soon see. Now Isaac delivers a blessing to Jacob.

Genesis 27:29 May the nations serve you and peoples bow to you; be a ruler to your brothers, and may your mother's sons bow to you, and cursed be those who curse you, and blessed be those who bless you.

>>Of course, this was as much a prophecy of Joseph, Jacob's future son, as it was to Jacob. The account continues.

Genesis 27:30 And it happened that when Isaac had made an end blessing Jacob, then it came about that Jacob had hardly left from the face of his father Isaac, and his brother Esau came in from his hunting. 31 And he also made delicious things and came to his father. And he said to his father, Let my father rise and eat from the game of his son, so that your soul may bless me.
32 And his father Isaac said to him, Who are you? And he said, I am your son, your first born, Esau. 33 And Isaac was terrified with a very great anxiety. And he said, Who then was the one who hunted game and came to me; and I ate from it all before you came; and I blessed him? Yea, he shall be blessed. 34 When Esau heard the words of his father he cried out a great and very bitter cry. And he said to his father, Bless me, me also, my father.

>>Isaac was very upset and concerned. He realized he had been fooled but it had happened so easy and been so convincing. How was Isaac so easily fooled? God knowing that Esau did not appreciate his birthright and despised it, and that he had sold it to Jacob, as God had foreseen, God gave it to Jacob and possibly caused Isaac to be dull in senses so as to give the blessing. I suspect that Isaac sensed this, too.

Genesis 27:
35 And he said, Your brother came with deceit and took your blessing.
36 And he said, It is because his name is called Jacob, and this twice he took me by the heel; he took my birthright and, behold, now he has taken my blessing. And he said, Have you not reserved a blessing for me?
37 And Isaac answered and said to Esau, Behold, I have set him over you as a ruler, and I have given him all his brothers for servants; I have girded him with grain and wine. And what then can I do for you, my son?

>>Isaac likely concluded that it was by providence that this had occurred so he let it stand. Again, the older serves the younger. He who came before goes after and he who came after gets the blessing as it would be with the nations getting the blessing intended for Israel.

And to Jacob it was promised by God, somewhat as it had been promised to Abraham:

Genesis 28:14 And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your seed.

>>Next we see that recurring pattern again.

Genesis 48:
17 And Joseph saw that his father was putting his right hand on the head of Ephraim; and it was evil in his eyes. And he took hold of his father's hand to turn it from Ephraim's head to the head of Manasseh.
18 And Joseph said to his father, Not so, my father! For this one is the first born; put your right hand on his head.
19 And his father refused and said, I know, my son, I know. He also shall be a people, and he shall become great. But his younger brother shall become greater than he, and his seed shall become the fullness of the nations.

>>Once again, the younger shall be greater than the older or previous. This was related by the early Christian writers.

Isaiah 54:
1 Rejoice, unfruitful one who never bore; break out a song and shout, you who never travailed. For the sons of the desolate one are more than the sons of the married woman, says Jehovah.
2 Make the place of your tent larger, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings. Do not spare, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.
3 For you shall break forth on the right hand and on the left. And your seed shall possess nations, and people will inhabit ruined cities.
4 Do not fear, for you shall not be shamed, nor shall you be abashed, for you shall not be wounded. For you shall forget the shame of your youth, and you shall not remember the reproach of your widowhood any more.
5 For your Maker is your husband; Jehovah of Hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of all the earth.

>>Here we see veiled references to Sarah and words that also sound a lot like what was said about Japheth enlarging his tent. It is a figure and type as Paul later tells us. Galatians 4:22 For it has been written, Abraham had two sons, one out of the slave woman and one out of the free woman. 23 But, indeed, he of the slave woman has been born according to flesh, and he out of the free woman through the promise, 24 which things are being allegorized, for these are two covenants, one, indeed, from Mount Sinai bringing forth to slavery (which is Hagar, 25 for Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, and she slaves with her children), 26 but the Jerusalem from above is free, who is the mother of us all.

Galatians 4:27 for it has been written, "Be glad, barren one not bearing; break forth and shout, the one not travailing; for more are the children of the desolate rather than she having the husband." [Isaiah 54:1]

Galatians 4:28 But, brothers, we are children of promise according to Isaac. 29 But then, even as he born according to flesh persecuted the one according to Spirit, so also now.

>>Now at the time the law was written by Moses, no one probably saw that Sarah and Hagar were going to be symbolic of two covenants. But that was God's intention which He fulfilled with Isaiah giving mention to it in a figure of sorts.

Genesis 49:1 And Jacob called his sons and said, Gather yourselves and I will tell you what will happen to you in the days to come.

>>It was said by early Christian writers that the scribes and Pharisees were foretold by the next verse about Simeon and Levi, because the scribes and Pharisees were of the tribe of Levi. Since this was yet to happen but would occur in days to come, the prophecy could hardly apply to what they did at Shechem but to something else of a more symbolic nature. And since the enemies of Christ were largely of the priestly and Levite class and there is an obvious future application of this scripture, in harmony with the Bible, it is likely true.

Genesis 49:
5 Simeon and Levi, brothers; their weapons are instruments of violence.
6 Let not my soul come into their counsel; let not my spirit be joined to their company. For in their anger they killed a man; and in selfwill they hamstrung a bull.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and I will scatter them in Israel.

>>Jacob does not have good things to say about these two "figures" or "prototypes." Jacob wants nothing to do with "them." They killed a man which the early writers say was Jesus and that is so. They receive nothing but a curse. While it bears much resemblance to what Simeon and Levi did at Shechem, it goes much further, since they were not cursed in major ways at that time. And it was for the future days to come, so what Simeon and Levi did at Shechem was only a figure and shadow of what their descendants would do to the Messiah of God.

And now since the prophecies of Judah apply to Jesus coming, it should be no surprise that what is given to Simeon and Levi also applies to that time.

Genesis 49:
8 Judah, may your brothers praise you, your hand be on the neck of your enemies. May the sons of your father bow themselves to you.
9 Judah is a lion's whelp. My son, you have risen up from the prey; he stoops, he crouches like a lion; and like a lioness, who can rouse him?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the lawmaker from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and the obedience of the peoples to him.
11 Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass's colt to the choice vine, he washes his clothing in wine, and his covering in the bloods of grapes.
12 His eyes shall be dark from wine and his teeth white from milk.

>>Verse 10 says that the scepter or rulership, a king, shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh, that is, Jesus, comes and "the people" will obey him. And when Jesus rode an ass into the city and people praised him, it was a fulfillment of verse 11 as well as Isaiah 62:11; Isaiah 63:1-3; Zechariah 9:9; His blood also washes sins in 11. Of course, these are spoken of in very symbolic mysterious terms hard to recognize until after the fact. That is as it was intended for reasons discussed in another article on "How to Interpret the Bible" under "Related Articles."

Genesis 49:8-12 sounds a little different when quoted from Greek Septuagint which was quoted by Justin, an early writer:
>"
Judah, your brethren have praised you: your hands [shall be] on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall worship you.
Judah is a lion's whelp; from the germ, my son, you are sprung up. Reclining, he lay down like a lion, and like[a lion's] whelp: who shall raise him up?
A ruler shall not depart from Judah, or a leader from his thighs, until that which is laid up in store for him shall come; and he shall be the desire of nations.
Binding his foal to the vine, and the foal of his ass to the tendril of the vine. He shall wash his garments in wine, and his vesture in the blood of the grape.
His eyes shall be bright with wine, and his teeth white like milk.
"<
>>The interpreters of the Greek Septuagint were better able to judge what was intended by Hebrew words, having spoken the Greek of the time as a second language of, no doubt, fluent verse and I think it sounds more understandable. They also had a firm grip on how Hebrew was to be understood since it was their native language. At the very least, we should give their words an eager listening and careful consideration. The Apostles always quoted from the Septuagint version. Justin referred to the translations of the Greek Septuagint as the 70, since it was 70 men that translated it. Septuagint basically means 70. And 70 witnesses is not a bad number to have to verify anything, either.

Genesis 49:
16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Let Dan be a serpent on the way, a horned snake on the path that bites the horses' heels, and its rider falls backward.
18 I have waited for your salvation, O Jehovah.

>>This one is most unusual. According to a number of early writers, there was a particular anti-Christ foretold by the Apostles. Now John did say:

1John 2:18 Young ones, it is a last hour, and as you heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have risen up, from which you know that it is a last hour.

1John 4:3 And every spirit which does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God; and this is the antichrist which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world.

>>I always had thought that the antichrist referred to heretics in general. But early writers say there was a particular antichrist who would appear just before the end, who would, I gather, basically rule the world briefly and attack Christianity, hence, an antichrist or enemy of Christ. Most unusual of all was that he would be a descendant of the tribe of Dan. This is said to be the meaning of Genesis 49:16. It is also said to be the reason why the tribe of Dan is left out of the12 tribes of Israel listed in Revelation chapter 7 and 14.

John seems to admit to an antichrist, a single one, who is coming. But the great apostasy, itself being full of enemies of Christ, or antichrists if your prefer, was already in progress. That does not mean there is not a particular one due near the end, but there have been very many to date. But it is allowed in the words of John, though by no means proved. But it is also odd, considering that Dan is not spoken of well in Genesis and is missing altogether in Revelation. Given the preponderance of evidence, I would have to say it is a good possibility that what the early writers say may be true.

It seems to be the opinion of the majority of Christians today that there is going to be a particular antichrist who will appear near the end. I never understood why they thought that since John and Paul had said there were already many such ones in their time and there is no clear statement in the Bible to that effect. But now understanding the tradition of old, I can better understand it. Since Dan seemed not to play any role in Jesus' first coming, so perhaps his role will be near the second coming.

*** This was originally wrote before I did my study and work on Revelation and Daniel. Since then, there is no doubt in my mind about the single primary antichrist and the meaning of the scriptures dealing with Dan being involved. Dec. 17, 2009.



Moses and the Law
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Deuteronomy 34:
10 And never since has a prophet like Moses arisen in Israel, whom Jehovah knew face to face,
11 in regard to all the signs and wonders which Jehovah sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants and to all his land;
12 and in regard to all the mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel.

Deuteronomy 29:
2 And Moses called to all Israel, and said to them, You have seen all that Jehovah did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants, and to all his land.
3 Your eyes have seen the great trials, the signs, and those great miracles.

>>Indeed, Israel had never seen anything like Moses before. Neither had the nations of mankind for that matter. God had worked through Moses is such an powerful and extraordinary way. Israel would never see that again until the days of Jesus and for good reason. In order to verify a covenant as being from God, great and extraordinary works which could only come from God are required so as to erase any doubt as to who was behind this and put people's doubting to rest.

God left no doubt as to whether He spoke through Moses or not. The signs, portents, miracles, and show of force was unprecedented. Abraham got to see nothing compared to Moses and Israel under him. God sealed the covenant and gave it authority and credibility with His great demonstration of His power through Moses. The Law covenant with Israel was official and certain.

If another covenant was to be introduced and taken seriously, it would require works of a similar nature to those of Moses. And indeed, Jesus would produce works as outstanding as Moses if not more so. By this we can believe and put faith in Jesus and the new covenant he brings. Great signs from God always accompany any change or addition to law. We should note the great acts also took place through the Apostles as Jesus said would happen and this was done sine they did make additions to Jesus' work such as opening the way for the nations of the world to be brought into the new covenant and saved even as the Jews who already accepted Christ were. Only because of the great works of the Apostles can we be certain that it was from God and His son.

But what remains to be settled is the nature of the law and how much of it remains and how much is obsolete and no longer required. I want to demonstrate that there are laws which censored sin and proscribed punishment and then there were requirements that were part of a sign and agreement between God and Israel, in order to support His worship. I want to demonstrate that this worship had no goal or purpose other than to prefigure and foreshadow the coming Messiah and God's Kingdom, so when they arrived, they would be recognized and understood.

Having accomplished an understanding and recognition, those symbols of worship would be done away with. They were not rules that governed behavior, other than for worship. The only worship which is truly pleasing to God is goodness, kindness, love, righteousness, and the like. The types and symbols of worship governing the temple, days of observance and that sort of thing were not important to God; they did nothing for Him, for they were meant for us to point out the authenticity of the coming mediator and his new deal by him fulfilling and resembling those types, symbols, and shadows. So now we will look at that law. In essence, Moses laid the ground work for the coming Messiah. That was his real job.

One more thing was accomplished by the temple and the priesthood, in addition to being symbols and types. They were the keepers of the writings, the scrolls of the law and the coming prophets. As care takers of God's words, His oracles as Paul called them, they would deliver the message for our later use. This message would reveal the Messiah. So we get our Bible from the priesthood set up by God through Moses.



The Essence of the Law
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Moses was given all sorts of instructions for building a tent complex with a surrounding court yard sealed off by a cloth fence on tall poles. Called a tabernacle, it served as a movable temple for Israel as it wandered around in the desert and became fixed in one place in Israel upon their being established in the land of Canaan which becomes Israel. Here is what God had to say to Moses about the temple and various objects made for it.

Exodus 25:40 And see that they are made by their patterns which you were caused to see in the mountain. [Hebrews 8:5].

>>And Paul refers to that scripture in Hebrews to show us the essence of the law, much of it existing as patterns of things to come.

Exodus 31:
13 And you speak to the sons of Israel, saying, You shall surely keep My sabbaths; for it is a sign between Me and you for your generation; to know that I am Jehovah your sanctifier.
14 And you shall keep the Sabbath, for it is holy for you; the profaners of it surely shall be put to death; for everyone doing work in it, that soul shall be cut off from the midst of his people.
15 Work may be done six days, and on the seventh day is a sabbath of rest, holy to Jehovah; everyone doing work on the Sabbath day surely shall be put to death.
16 And the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to do the Sabbath for their generations; it is a never ending covenant.

>>Some see that phrase, it is a never ending covenant, and reasonably think that means never ending. But that is not exactly what it means. It is never ending, until another prophet like Moses comes along and changes it, with the accompanying authentication of works from God that first verified Moses. Notice Moses' words.

Deuteronomy 18:
15 Jehovah your God shall raise up to you a Prophet from among you, of your brothers, One like me; you shall listen to Him,
16 according to all that you desired of Jehovah your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Jehovah my God, nor let me see this great fire any more, lest I die.
17 And Jehovah said to me, They have spoken well, what they have said.
18 I shall raise up a Prophet to them from among their brothers, one like you; and I will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him.
19 And it shall be, whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I will require it at his hand.

>>This scripture is also quoted twice in Acts.

Acts 3:
22 For Moses indeed said to the fathers, "The Lord your God will raise up to you a Prophet from among your brothers, One like me; you shall hear Him according to all things," whatever He may speak to you. [See Deuteronomy 18:15-19]
23 And it shall be that of every soul, whoever should not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.

Acts 7:
37 This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, "The Lord your God will raise up a Prophet to you" "from your brothers, One like me." You shall hear Him. [Deuteronomy 18:15]
38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him in Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living words to give to us,
39 to whom our fathers did not desire to be subject, but thrust him away, and turned their hearts back to Egypt.

>>So everyone in Israel should have known another like Moses was coming and he would speak the words that God put in his mouth and we should listen or die. He would have the right and authority to change things since God Himself was the one giving the commands and performing works like those of Moses through this coming prophet.

And once the people understood why the rules of worship were instituted, namely, to point out this prophet, then they could understand why the old deal would be done away with. Now back to the rules of worship.

Leviticus 19:30 You shall keep My sabbaths; and you shall revere My sanctuary. I am Jehovah.

>>Again, we might want to ask what the purpose of the Sabbaths and the sanctuary were. Why did God require they be kept? People were not hurt or injured by an absence of these things, as they would be from a murder or rape that was not prohibited or punished. And we know that a great and awe inspiring God could not possibly be so needy and shallow as to need these things to satisfy Him. So what's up with them? They were for Israel and us, to prepare us to recognize the heavenly things and Jesus by these prototypes and symbols. Notice Ezekiel next.

Ezekiel 20:
10 I caused them to leave from the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.
11 And I gave them My statutes, and I made them know My judgments, which if a man does them, he will even live by them.
12 And I also gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am Jehovah who sets them apart.

>>In 10 & 11, God gives us commands and statues which, if we can keep them, we will live by them and will not die. The fact we can not keep them is evidence that we are sinful and not able to live up to them or we do not want to live. I think the former is much more likely. But then in verse 12, God makes an addition. "I ALSO" meaning in addition to the law code, He gave them Sabbaths to be a sign between Him and Israel, a deal or agreement, a contract, a symbol, to set them apart as belonging to God and obligated to Him and to remember Him by. That was the purpose of the Sabbath and things like it such as the next quotation.



Holy Feasts
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Leviticus 23:
1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 2 Speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them, The appointed feasts of Jehovah which you shall proclaim, holy gatherings, shall be these: These are My appointed seasons: 3 Work is to be done six days, and in the seventh day shall be a sabbath of rest, a holy gathering; you shall do no work; it is a sabbath to Jehovah in all your dwellings.
4 These are appointed seasons of Jehovah, holy gatherings which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons: 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth of the month, between the evenings is the Passover to Jehovah. 6 And on the fifteenth of this month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Jehovah; you shall eat unleavened things seven days. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy gathering; you shall do no work of service; 8 and you shall bring near a fire offering to Jehovah seven days; and the seventh day shall be a holy gathering; you shall do no work of service.

23:9 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 10 Speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them, When you come in to the land which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in the sheaf, or the beginning of your harvest, to the priest, 11 then he shall wave the sheaf before Jehovah for your acceptance; on the morrow of the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And you shall prepare a lamb in the day you wave the sheaf, a perfect one, a son of a year, for a burnt offering to Jehovah. 13 And its food offering shall be two tenth parts of flour mixed with oil, a fire offering to Jehovah, a sweet fragrance; and its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine. 14 And you shall not eat bread, nor roasted grain, nor fresh ears, until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God; it is a never ending statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

23:15 And you shall number to you from the next day after the sabbath, from the day you bring in the sheaf of the wave offering; they shall be seven perfect sabbaths; 16 the next day after the seventh sabbath, you shall number fifty days; and you shall bring near a new food offering to Jehovah; 17 you shall bring in bread out of your dwellings for a wave offering, two loaves; they shall be of two tenth ephah of flour; they shall be baked with leaven; firstfruits to Jehovah 18 And besides the bread, you shall offer seven lambs, perfect ones, sons of a year, and one bullock, a son of the herd, and two rams; they are a burnt offering to Jehovah, with their food offering and their drink offerings, a fire offering of soothing fragrance to Jehovah. 19 And you shall offer one he-goat for a sin offering, and two lambs, sons of a year, for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them, besides the bread of the firstfruits, a wave offering before Jehovah, besides the two lambs; they are holy to Jehovah for the priest. 21 And you shall make a proclamation on this same day; it is a holy gathering to you. You shall do no work of service. It is a never ending statute in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

23:22 And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not completely reap the corner of your field, nor shall you gather the gleaning of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor, and for the alien: I am Jehovah your God.

23:23 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 24 Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first of the month, you shall have a sabbath, a memorable acclamation, a holy gathering. 25 You shall do no work of service and you shall bring a fire offering to Jehovah. 26 And Jehovah spoke to Moses saying,

23:27 Also, on the tenth of this seventh month shall be a day of atonement; there shall be a holy gathering, and you shall humble your souls and shall bring a fire offering to Jehovah. 28 And you shall do no work in this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to atone for you before Jehovah your God. 29 For any person who is not humbled in this same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any person who does any work in this same day, I shall even destroy that person from the midst of his people. 31 You shall do no work; it is a never ending statute throughout your generations, in all your dwellings. 32 It is a sabbath of rest to you, and you shall humble your souls in the ninth of the month at evening; from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.

23:33 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 34 Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, In the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be a Feast of Booths seven days to Jehovah. 35 On the first day shall be a holy gathering; you shall do no work of service. 36 Seven days you shall bring a fire offering to Jehovah; on the eighth day you shall have a holy gathering; and you shall bring the fire offering to Jehovah; it is a solemn assembly; you shall do no work of service. 37 These are the set feasts of Jehovah which you shall proclaim, holy gatherings, to bring a fire offering to Jehovah, a burnt offering, and a food offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, the thing of a day on its own day; 38 besides the sabbaths of Jehovah, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you shall give to Jehovah.

23:39 Also, in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you gather the increase of the land, you shall keep the feast of Jehovah seven days; on the first day a sabbath, and on the eighth day a sabbath. 40 And you shall take to yourselves on the first day the fruit of majestic trees, palm branches, and boughs of oak trees, and willows of the brook, and shall rejoice before Jehovah your God seven days. 41 And you shall keep a feast to Jehovah, seven days in a year, a never ending statute throughout your generations; in the seventh month you shall keep it. 42 You shall live in booths seven days; all who are homeborn in Israel shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations shall know that I caused the sons of Israel to live in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am Jehovah your God. 44 And Moses announced the appointed feasts of Jehovah to the sons of Israel.

>>These were the festivals and feasts of Jehovah that were to be kept by Israel as the Messiah was to come in a manner and offered at the time that one of these festivals took place so that people would see the similarity and know that Jesus was form God and fulfilled God's will and His word, the Bible. They were not for God to make Him happy. His happiness does not depend on humans. They can do nothing for Him. But they can do something for themselves and their descendants by observing the types and representations. That was the purpose of these things.

Deuteronomy 5:2 Jehovah your God cut a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 Jehovah did not cut this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us who are all of us here, alive today.

>>God's laws have always existed. But covenants have not always existed and were not made with everyone. God made a deal with only one nation. He only needed one to preserve His words and maintain a temple and culture that would introduce and identify His Messiah, His Christ, who would then establish a new deal with Israel and eventually the whole world.

Deuteronomy 8:3 And He has humbled you, and caused you to hunger, and caused you to eat the manna, which you had not known, and your fathers had not known, in order to cause you to know that man shall not live by bread alone, but man shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Jehovah.

>>Being dependant on manna was to teach Israel in an illustrative way by their complete dependence on God, to live by every word that came from their God, Jehovah, dependant upon Him for all things, especially His words which bring everlasting life. It says so right there by Moses.



A Symbolic Circumcision
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Deuteronomy 10:16 And you shall circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and you shall not harden your neck any more.

Deuteronomy 30:6 And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.

Jeremiah 4:3 For so says Jehovah to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow to the thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, and take away the foreskin of your heart, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, that My fury not go forth like fire and burn, so that no one can put it out; because of the evil of your doings.

>>See what a real circumcision is? The real circumcision that was important was not the one given to Abraham and those after him, but to remove the foreskin from their hearts and not harden their attitudes toward God's commands. Again, all these things represented the more important things of the heart and spirit. Further, although all agreements with God need to be kept, it did no good to get a physical circumcision and then ignore God's more important laws of love and avoidance of wickedness.

Jeremiah 9:26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the sons of Ammon, and Moab, and all those trimmed on the edges of their beards, who dwell in the wilderness. For all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel, those uncircumcised of heart.

>>While the nations were uncircumcised physically, Israel was uncirucmcised in heart and spirit. Get it?

Ezekiel 44:7 when you brought in the sons of aliens, uncircumcised of heart and uncircumcised of flesh, to be in My sanctuary, to profane it, even My house, when you bring near My bread, the fat and the blood. And they have broken My covenant by all your abominations.

Ezekiel 44:9 So says the Lord Jehovah: No son of an alien, uncircumcised of heart and uncircumcised of flesh, shall enter into My sanctuary, or any son of an alien who is among the sons of Israel.

>>Though circumcision was a command from God, its purpose was for them to circumcise their hearts. To be circumcised and yet not listen to God and to do wickedness was no circumcision at all. It does no good to obey some commands and not others. Obey them all or none at all, but of the two, the heart is more important than the physical sign, which is supposed to symbolize the heart, mind, and spirit.



The Worship That Truly Matters
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1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Does Jehovah delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice! To give attention is better than the fat of rams. 23 For the sin of divination is rebellion; insolence is both iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of Jehovah, so He has rejected you from being king.

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Matthew 9:13 But going, learn what this is, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice." For I did not come to call righteous ones, but sinners to repentance. [Hosea 6:6]

Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Isaiah 1:9 Except Jehovah of hosts had left a remnant for us, a few, we would be as Sodom; we would be as Gomorrah. [Romans 9:29] 10 Hear the word of Jehovah, rulers of Sodom. Listen to the law of our God, people of Gomorrah. 11 What good to Me are your many sacrifices, says Jehovah? I am full of burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fattened cattle, and the blood of bulls; nor do I delight in the blood of lambs and he goats. 12 When you come to see My face, who has required this at your hand, to trample My courts? 13 Do not add to bringing vain sacrifice; its incense is an abomination to Me. I cannot endure the new moon and sabbath, the going to meeting, and the evil assembly. 14 My soul hates your new moons and your appointed feasts. They are a burden to Me. I am weary of bearing them. 15 And when you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you. Yea, when you multiply prayer, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.

>>Israel was careful to observe the outward "signs" of the law, but did not observe the true spirit. Jesus said in John 4:24 the day would come when people would worship in spirit and truth. This is that spirit, rather than token outward signs and gestures that really meant nothing. You will also notice in verse 9, which Paul quotes in Romans 9, makes it clear only a small remnant of Israel would embrace the Messiah. Isaiah continues his focus on the worship of the spirit.

Isaiah 1:16 Wash yourselves, purify yourselves. Put away the evil of your doings from My sight; stop doing evil. 17 Learn to do good, seek justice, reprove the oppressor, judge the orphan, strive for the widow. 18 Come now and let us reason together, says Jehovah: Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as the crimson, they shall be like wool. 19 If you are willing and hear, you shall eat the good of the land. 20 But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of Jehovah has spoken.

>>All God really wanted was for people to be pure in their conduct and stop doing evil. They were observing the sacrifices, but without obeying God's law of love and avoidance of evil, what good was it? Yes, I am repeating myself plenty. Can you discern why? The next quotation is much the same sentiment.

Isaiah 58:
1 Call out with the throat! Do not spare. Lift up your voice like the ram's horn! And show My people their rebellion, and their sins to the house of Jacob. 2 Yet they seek Me day by day, and desire knowledge of My ways. As a nation that has done right, and not forsaking the judgment of their God, they ask Me about judgments of righteousness; they desire to draw near to God. 3 They say, Why have we fasted, and You did not see? We have afflicted our soul, and You did not acknowledge. Behold, on the day of your fast you find pleasure; and you drive all your laborers hard.

4 Look! You fast for strife, and for debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness. Do not fast as today, to sound your voice in the high place. 5 Is this like the fast I will choose, a day for a man to afflict his soul? To bow his head down like a bulrush, and he spreads sackcloth and ashes? Will you call to this as a fast and a day of delight to Jehovah? 6 Is this not the fast I have chosen: to open bands of wickedness, to undo thongs of the yoke, and to let the oppressed ones go free; even that you pull off every yoke? 7 Is it not to break your bread to the hungry, that you should bring the wandering poor home? When will you see the naked and cover him; and you will not hide yourself from your flesh?

>>God really isn't that concerned with the token worship. What He would really like is to see love and righteousness carried out for other people. That is how God likes to be worshipped. More from that passage in Isaiah now.

Isaiah 58:8 Then your light shall break as the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of Jehovah shall gather you. 9 Then you shall call, and Jehovah will answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If you put the yoke away from among you, the sending out of the finger, and the speaking of vanity; 10 and if you let out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then your light shall rise in the darkness, and your gloom shall be as the noonday. 11 And Jehovah shall always guide you, and satisfy your soul in dry places, and support your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. 12 And those who come of you shall build the old ruins; you shall rear the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to live in.

58: 13 If you turn your foot away because of the sabbath, from doing what you please on My holy days, and call the sabbath a delight, glorified to the holiness of doing your own ways, from finding your own pleasure or speaking your word; 14 then you shall delight yourself in Jehovah. And I will cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and make you eat with the inheritance of your father Jacob. For the mouth of Jehovah has spoken.

>>In verse 13, Israel apparently found the sabbaths displeasing and a burden. They wanted to do what they wanted and not what God wanted and was pleased with. But had they did things as God wanted, He would have poured out a large blessing upon them.



Israel Would Reject God
Warning, this is a long section as the evidence is numerous.
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Deuteronomy 29:
2 And Moses called to all Israel, and said to them, You have seen all that Jehovah did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants, and to all his land.
3 Your eyes have seen the great trials, the signs, and those great miracles.
4 Yet Jehovah has not given to you a heart to know, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, until this day. [Romans 11:8].
Alternate reading of verse 4:
(RSV) 4 but to this day the LORD has not given you a mind to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear.

>>Despite all they had seen and experienced, Israel was a tough bunch. They were so dull of understanding and so unappreciative of the presence and blessing of God. They had not a heart, eyes, or ears, to see, hear, know, or appreciate their creator. God next gives a warning to Moses shortly before his death and it is rather disturbing.

Deuteronomy 33:16 And Jehovah said to Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers, and this people shall rise up and go lusting after the gods of the strangers of the land into which they are going, and shall forsake Me, and shall break My covenant which I made with it. 17 And My anger shall burn against them in that day, and I shall forsake them and hide My face from them. And it shall be consumed, and many evils and distresses shall find this people. And it shall say in that day, Is it not because my God is not in my midst, that these evils have found me? 18 And I will completely hide My face in that day, because of all the evil which this people has done, for it shall turn to other gods. 19 Now, then, write this song for you, and teach it to the sons of Israel. Put it in their mouths, so that this song shall be for a witness to Me against the sons of Israel.

>>Now this does not say that Jehovah shall reject and curse them, only later to kiss and make up. This curse and rejection is a permanent and everlasting rejection, where God hides His face from them. Moses was to make a song out of it and teach it to them as witness against them from God. They will not need to wonder why so many bad things happen to them all the time. The song will constantly remind them. Some modern day Christians, not recognizing the spiritual symbolism of many prophecies, believe Israel is God's chosen people forever. Far from it. Some think Israel will return to God. I doubt it. If they will not listen to God's son or Moses, I doubt they will listen to anything else, either.

Exodus 33:1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, Come, go up from here, you and the people whom you have caused to go up out from the land of Egypt, to the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, I will give it to your seed. 2 And I will send an angel before your face, and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite; 3 to a land flowing with milk and honey. For I will not go up among you, for you are a stiffnecked people, lest I consume you in the way.

>>What follows is 40 verses that make it clear that Israel as a nation and race, in majority, will not remain faithful to God and will break and reject His covenant. And many horrors would be in store for them as a result. So God give a warning what will happen if they reject His commands and He has already told Moses they will.

Deuteronomy 28:15 And it shall be, if you will not heed the voice of your God, to take heed to do all His commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today, even all these curses shall come on you and overtake you: 16 You shall be cursed in the city, and you shall be cursed in the field. 17 Your basket and your kneading-trough shall be cursed. 18 The fruit of your body shall be cursed, and the fruit of your land, the offspring of your oxen, and the young ones of your sheep. 19 You shall be cursed when you come in, and you shall be cursed when you go out. 20 Jehovah shall send cursing on you, trouble and rebuke in all that you set your hand, all which you will do, until you are destroyed, or until you quickly perish, because of the badness of your doings by which you have forsaken Me.

28:21 Jehovah shall make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from off the land where you are going, to possess it. 22 Jehovah shall strike you with lung disease and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting and mildew. And they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 And your heavens over your head shall become bronze, and the earth under you iron.

28:24 Jehovah shall make the rain of your land be dust and ashes. It shall come down on you from the heavens until you are destroyed. 25 Jehovah shall cause you to be stricken before your enemies. You shall go out one way against them, and shall flee seven ways before them. And you shall be a trembling to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 And your body shall be food to all the birds of the heavens, and to the beasts of the earth; and there shall be none to cause them to tremble.

28:27 Jehovah shall strike you with the ulcer of Egypt, and with hemorrhoids, and with the scab, and with itch, of which you cannot be healed. 28 Jehovah shall strike you with madness, and with blindness, and with astonishment of heart. 29 And you shall grope at noonday as the blind grope in darkness. And you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be always oppressed and plundered all the days; and there will be no one to save.

28:30 You shall betroth a wife, and another shall lie with her. You shall build a house, and you shall not live in it. You shall plant a vineyard, and shall not use its fruit. 31 Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, and you shall not eat of it. Your ass shall be violently taken away from before you, and it will not be given back. Your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have no deliverer. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people; and your eyes shall look and fail for them all the day. And no power shall be in your hand.

28:33 The fruit of your ground, and all your labor, shall be eaten up by a nation which you do not know And you shall always be oppressed and crushed. 34 And you shall be maddened because of that which you shall see with the sight of your eyes. 35 Jehovah shall strike you with an evil ulcer on the knees, and on the legs, of which you cannot be healed from the sole of your foot even to your crown.

28:36 Jehovah shall cause you and your king whom you shall raise up over you, to go to a nation which you have not known, you and your fathers. And you shall serve other gods there, wood and stone. 37 And you shall be an astonishment, a proverb and a byword among all the peoples where Jehovah shall lead you. 38 You shall carry much seed out to the field, and you shall gather in little; for the locusts will devour it. 39 You shall plant vineyards, and shall labor, and you shall not gather, nor drink wine; for the worm will devour it.

>>Verses 36-37 were fulfilled when Babylon conquered Judah and carried her off to Babylon where she stayed for 50 years before being allowed to come back.

Deuteronomy 28:40 You shall have olive trees in all your border, and you shall not anoint with oil; for your olive shall fall off. 41 You shall father sons and daughters, and they shall not be with you; for they shall go into captivity. 42 The locust shall possess all your trees and fruit of your ground. 43 The alien in your midst shall go above you, higher and higher; and you shall come down, lower and lower. 44 He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.

28:45 And all these curses shall come on you and shall pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed; for you did not heed the voice of Jehovah your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 And they shall be on you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed forever. 47 Because you did not serve Jehovah your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things, 48 and you shall serve your enemies whom Jehovah shall send on you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in lack of all things. And He shall put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.

>>I don't detect any sort of reconciliation here. Sounds pretty permanent if you ask me. The next part describes Rome attacking Judah and devastating Jerusalem.

Deuteronomy 28:
28:49 Jehovah shall raise a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flies; a nation whose tongue you will not understand, 50 a nation fierce of face, who will not regard the person of the aged, nor show favor to the young. 51 And he shall eat the fruit of your livestock, and the fruit of your land, until you are destroyed. He shall not leave to you grain, new wine, and oil, offspring of your oxen, or young ones of your flock, until he has destroyed you.

28:52 And he shall lay siege to you in all your gates, until your high and fortified walls in which you are trusting come down, in all your land; yea, he shall lay siege to you in all your gates, in all your land which Jehovah your God has given to you. 53 And you shall eat the fruit of your body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom Jehovah your God has given to you, in the siege, and in the anguish with which your enemies shall distress you. 54 The man who is tender and very delicate among you, and his eye shall be evil against his brother, and against the wife of his bosom, and against the remnant of his sons which he has left; 55 so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his sons that he shall eat, because he has nothing left to him in the siege, and in the anguish with which your enemies shall distress you in all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not have ventured to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil against the husband of her bosom, and against her son, and against her daughter; 57 and against her fetus which comes out from between her feet, even against her sons whom she shall bear. For she shall eat them in secret, for the lack of everything in the siege and in the anguish with which the enemy shall distress you within your gates.

>>This was fulfilled when the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem in 70 AD. A woman was actually found and her account reported by Josephus in his Wars of the Jews. She was caught by a band of merciless thieves and murderers marauding Jerusalem during the seige. Even these hardened criminals were horrified and ran out of her house when she brought out her cooked son, half of which she had eaten and half which she offered to them.

Deuteronomy 28:58 If you will not take heed to do all the words of this law written in this book, to fear this glorious and fearful Name, Jehovah your God, 59 then Jehovah will make your plagues remarkable, and the plagues of your children shall be great and persistent plagues with evil and long lasting sicknesses. 60 He shall also bring on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid; and they shall cling to you. 61 Also every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this law, Jehovah shall cause them to come on you until you are destroyed.

>>We already have heard God say that Israel will not keep His laws and covenant. This is being given to Israel so that when things go bad, they will know why. It is not a matter of if. They had already done it once and would do it many more times. The torments would continue until they were destroyed as Paul related. I would say that would ultimately be Judgment Day, commonly referred to as Armageddon or the Apocalypse.

Deuteronomy 28:62 And you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of the heavens for multitude, because you would not obey the voice of Jehovah your God. 63 And it shall be, as Jehovah rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so Jehovah shall rejoice over you to destroy you, and to lay you waste. And you shall be plucked from the land you are going to possess. 64 And Jehovah shall scatter you among all people, from one end of the earth even to the other, and you shall serve other gods there, wood and stone, which you have not known, nor your fathers.

28:65 And among these nations you shall find no ease, nor shall the sole of your foot have rest. But Jehovah shall give you there a trembling heart and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind. 66 And your life shall hang in doubt before you, and you shall fear day and night, and shall have no assurance of your life. 67 In the morning you shall say, Oh that it were evening! And in the evening you shall say, Oh that it were morning! For the fear of your heart with which you fear, and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see. 68 And Jehovah shall bring you into Egypt again with ships, by the way of which I said to you, You shall never see it again. And you shall be sold to your enemies there, for male slaves and slave-girls; and there shall be no buyer.

This concludes the 40 verses of judgment against Israel. From 65-68, we see the constant peril they would exist in throughout the world. Jews have often suffered anti-semitism in various countries and live in constant peril in literal Israel, being surrounded by enemies on all sides. So it would seem that God's prophecy has indeed, proved true. Of course, much of the language and descriptions are to some degree figurative at times such as verse 68. But we should also take what happened to them as a warning. If they were God's chosen covenant people and He did not spare them, how much more is He apt to punish disobedient ones among Christianity? Let us not fall into the same trap as could easily happen.

Deuteronomy 32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he shall tell you; your elders, and they shall tell you; 8 when the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance; when He separated the sons of Adam, He set up the bounds of the peoples, according to the number of the sons of Israel. 9 For Jehovah's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance. 10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste, a howling wilderness. He encircled him and cared for him; He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. 11 As the eagle stirs up its nest; it hovers over its young; it spreads out its wings and takes it, and bears it on its wing. 12 Jehovah alone led him, and there was no strange god with him. 13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, so that he might eat the increase of the fields. And He made him suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; 14 butter from cows, and milk from the flock, with fat from lambs, and rams of the sons of Bashan, and he goats, with the fat of the kidneys of wheat, and of the blood of the grape you shall drink wine.

>>God treated Israel well. But Israel would not show herself to be grateful. God gives Israel the figurative name Jeshurun in the next verse, which in Hebrew means "upright one."

Deuteronomy 32:15 But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked; you grew fat, thick and sated [gorged]. And he abandoned God who made him, and fell away from the Rock of his salvation. 16 With strange gods they moved Him to jealousy; and with idols they provoked Him to anger. 17 They sacrificed to demons who were not God, to gods whom they did not know, new ones who came lately. Your fathers had not dreaded them. 18 You forgot the Rock that brought you into being and ceased to care for God who formed you.

32:19 And Jehovah looked and despised them because of the provocation of His sons and of His daughters. 20 And He said, I will hide My face from them; I will see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, sons in whom is no faithfulness. 21 They made Me jealous with a no-god; they made Me angry by their vanities; and I shall make them jealous by a no-people; by a foolish nation I shall make them angry. [Romans 10:19].
[ (RSV) 21 . . . So I will stir them to jealousy with those who are no people; I will provoke them with a foolish nation. ]
[ (BBE) 21 . . . I will give their honor to those who are not a people, moving them to wrath by a foolish nation. ]

>>Here is a prophecy whereby God shall give the honor to another people and nation and attempt to provoke Israel to jealousy as mentioned by Paul.

Deuteronomy 32:
32:22 For a fire has been kindled in My anger, and it burns to the lowest Sheol, and consumes the earth and its produce; and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains. 23 I will heap evils on them; I will use up My arrows on them. 24 I will send on them exhaustion by famine, and depletion by burning heat, and bitter destruction, and the teeth of beasts, with the venom of crawling things of the dust. 25 The sword shall bereave from without, and terror from within, both the young man and the virgin, the suckling with the man of gray hairs.

32:26 I said, I will dash them to pieces; I will make their memory cease from among men; 27 saying, Were it not the provocation of an enemy I feared, that their foes should judge amiss, that they might not say, Our hand is high, and Jehovah has not done all this. 28 For they are a nation void of counsel, and no understanding is in them. 29 If they were wise, they would understand this; they would consider their latter end.

>>Jehovah would sometimes take up for Israel, not because they deserved it but because He did not want the nations think that He, as the God of Israel was weak or non-existent. For the sake of His own name and reputation, He would defend Israel when He was challenged by the nations, as did happen in the Bible at times.

Deuteronomy 32:30 How could one chase a thousand, and two put a myriad to flight, if it were not their Rock that sold them, and Jehovah had shut them up? 31 For their rock is not our Rock, even our enemies being judges. 32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and their grapes of the fields of Gomorrah, grapes of gall; they have bitter clusters. 33 Their wine is the venom of serpents, and the cruel venom of asps. 34 Is it not stored up with Me, sealed in My treasuries? 35 Vengeance and retribution belong to Me; in due time their foot will slip; for the day of their calamity is near, and the things prepared are hurrying for them.

>>While we are here, note the symbolic language used here, calling Israel the vine of Sodom and their grapes Gomorrah. The grapes are said to be grapes of gall, with bitter clusters and wine being the venom of serpents, even cruel venom. Clearly we are not dealing with literal language here. So often do we encounter language like this. So we must be careful when we come across a reference to Israel or even one of their enemies. Look at the language carefully before deciding whether it is a literal reference or a figurative one.

Deuteronomy 32:36 For Jehovah will bring His people justice; and He shall have compassion on His servants, for He sees that their power is gone, and only the imprisoned and abandoned remain. 37 And He will say, Where are their gods, the rock in which they sought refuge? 38 Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up and help you; let it be a hiding place for you.

32:39 See now that I, I am He, and there is no other God with Me. I kill, and I keep alive. I wound and I heal, and there is no deliverer from My hand. 40 For I lift up My hand to Heaven and say, I live forever! 41 If I have sharpened My glittering sword, and My hand lays hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My foes, and I will repay those who hate Me. 42 I will make My arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh, with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the hairy head of the enemy. 43 Rejoice, O nations, of His people; for He shall avenge the blood of His servants, and shall render vengeance to His foes, and shall have mercy on His land and His people. [Romans 15:10].

[(KJV) Deuteronomy 32:43 Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.]

In 40 through 43, we basically see what I believe is a description of Armageddon. And there would be mercy shown to some, those who are faithful and loyal to God. You see there in verse 43 how God commands the nations with His people to rejoice and indeed they should. For they get to inherit what Israel has thrown away. Ezekiel also has things to say about Israel.

Ezekiel 33:31 And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with their lips they show much love, but their heart is set on their gain.

Ezekiel 20:5 And say to them, So says the Lord Jehovah: In the day I chose Israel and lifted My hand to the seed of the house of Jacob, and I was made known to them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up My hand to them, saying, I am Jehovah your God. 6 In that day I lifted up My hand to them to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land flowing with milk and honey that I had searched out for them, the glory of it is to all lands.

20:7 Then I said to them, Let each man cast away the filthy idols of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am Jehovah your God. 8 But they rebelled against Me and would not listen to Me. They did not each man throw away the filthy idols of their eyes, and they did not forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, I will pour out My fury against them, to fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 But I worked for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they were, for I made Myself known to them in their eyes, by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.

>>This is a very important point. Israel was rebellious and wicked. So why didn't God get rid of them completely. Well, God has said He was going to do this and that and He didn't want to appear as having gone back on His word or at the least, seem like He was not capable an was not a God at all. So for His own name and reputation among the nations, He delivered Israel with a mighty hand, so to speak. Israel did not deserve it but got it anyway. And the nations could sit back and take notice. In later times, people of the nations would have to be impressed with what God did, especially if it was to be found in the archaeological and historical records. I am writing a book to show that such acts as the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt is, indeed, in the archaeological record. But you will have to wait till it is finished.

Ezekiel 20:10 I caused them to leave from the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. 11 And I gave them My statutes, and I made them know My judgments, which if a man does them, he will even live by them. 12 And I also gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am Jehovah who sets them apart. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes, and they despised My judgments, which if a man does them he will even live by them. And they greatly profaned My sabbaths. Then I said, I will pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them.

>>Now notice carefully that God gives them statutes and judgments which perfect people can keep and live. But fallen men can not. But then God says "I also gave." What was it in addition to His laws that He also gave? Sabbaths! Why? They were to be a sign! They helped to set Israel apart from the other nations. It was something separate and distinct from the laws, commandments, regulations, and judgments that God gave. We still honor those which prohibit harm to others, though we do not obtain righteousness by them and are not able to live up to them perfectly.

But the signs of the covenant and temple worship were a different aspect of those things which Moses assigned to Israel. They did not prohibit harm but served only as signs and teachers to lead us to Christ as we shall see later on from reading Paul's writings. They were given to Israel until the real sacrifice of meaning, namely, God's son, was offered. Then the old signs would no longer be of any value, having fulfilled their purpose if identifying Christ. Some people are not able to make the distinction between the two types of things prescribed in the law. Things to avoid and signs of distinction that lead to identification of the Messiah.

And even in things to avoid, there are things which are not so much for the prevention of harm to others but as a means of further distinguishing Israel from the surrounding nations such as dietary prohibitions which Paul will later tell us are not necessary. We need to distinguish between prohibitions against harm and sin and things that help separate and identify Israel and exist as types and figures of things to come to help identify and recognize them. When we see the difference, we are on our way to God's kingdom in grand style.

Ezekiel 20:14 But I worked for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the eyes of the nations, before whom I brought them out, in their eyes. 15 And I also lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey which I had given; it is the glory to all the lands, 16 because they despised My judgments, and they did not walk in My statutes, and they profaned My sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. 17 And My eye spared them, from destroying them, and I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.

>>Remember how God told Moses He was not going up with Moses into Canaan but was sending His angel along? Ezekiel is referring to that. God continues to deliver, not for the sake of Israel, but for His own sake and reputation that He was building up among the nations.

Ezekiel 20:18 But I said to their sons in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers and do not keep their judgments, and do not defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am Jehovah your God, walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them. 20 And keep My sabbaths holy, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am Jehovah your God.

20:21 But the sons rebelled against Me. They did not walk in My statutes, and they did not keep My judgments, to do them, which if a man does them, he shall live by them. They profaned My sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them, to fulfill My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withdrew My hand and acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the eyes of the nations, from whom I brought them out in their eyes.

>>Jehovah often saved and preserved the kings of Judah, not because Judah was deserving, but because God's name was called on that nation and kingdom and because God was Himself often challenged by attacking nations and so He accepted the challenge.

Ezekiel 20:23 And I lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness, to scatter them among the nations and sow them among the lands, 24 because they had not done My judgments and had despised My statutes and had profaned My sabbaths. And their eyes were after their fathers' idols. 25 Therefore I also gave them statutes that were not good and by which they could not live. 26 And I defiled them by their own gifts, by making all that open the womb to cross the fire, so that I might waste them, to the end that they might know that I am Jehovah.

>>Statutes that were not good? Could it be that the law was not good as in righteous. No! But the law was not good in that people could not live up to it and died in their sins as the prescription of the law required. So the law became a death sentence. That definitely is not good. This verse is quoted by early church writers as well.

Psalm 50:7 Hear, My people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against you; I am God, your God. 8 I will not reprove you for your sacrifices; yea, your burnt offerings are continually before Me; 9 I will take no bull out of your house, nor he-goats out of your folds, 10 for every beast of the forest is Mine; the cattle on a thousand hills; 11 I know all the birds of the mountains; and all moving in My fields are Mine;

50:12 if I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and the fullness of it. 13 Will I eat the flesh of mighty ones, and will I drink the blood of he-goats? 14 Offer thanksgiving to God; and pay your vows to the Most High. 15 And call on Me in the day of distress; and I will save you; and you shall glorify Me.

>>The point here is that Israel gives God nothing that He doesn't already own for all the universe belongs to Him, so how much more so for Earth, Israel, and the animals of the earth. He is trying to make it clear that He gains nothing from sacrifices "given" to Him. Israel is commanded to give them for their own benefit. And they are to observe God's law when they sacrifice. They ignored His prohibitions against harming people and not caring for them but they were careful to sacrifice as if it did some good while they broke other laws.

Psalm 50:16 But to the wicked, God says, What is it to you to proclaim My statutes, and to take up My covenant on your mouth? 17 Yea, you hate instruction, and toss My words behind you? 18 When you saw a thief, you were pleased with him; and you have taken part with adulterers. 19 You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit. 20 You sit; you speak against your brother; the son of your mother; you give slander. 21 You have done these things, and I have kept silence; you thought that surely I would be like you; but I will rebuke you and set in order before your eyes.

50:22 Now think of this, you who forget God, lest I tear, and not any to deliver: 23 Whoever offers thanks glorifies Me; and he who prepares a way, I will show the salvation of God to him.

>>Now when you read "he who prepares a way," it means someone who gets himself together, cleans himself up, mends his ways, purifies himself by ceasing from doing sin. This is the kind of person who God will save.

Jeremiah 23:20 The anger of Jehovah shall not turn back until He has executed, and until He has set up the purposes of His heart. In latter days you shall understand it perfectly.

Jeremiah 30:24 The fierce anger of Jehovah shall not turn back until He has finished, and until He has fulfilled the intentions of His heart. In latter days you will understand it.

Jeremiah 7:
21 So says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh.
22 For I did not speak to your fathers, nor command them in the day that I brought them out from the land of Egypt, concerning matters of burnt offerings and sacrifices.
23 But I commanded them this thing, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. Also, Walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, so that it may be well with you. 24 But they did not listen nor bow their ear. But they walked in their own plans, in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward.

>>Sacrifices were not required until the law was given at Sinai. They were brought up out of Egypt without the law. They were told to obey God.

Jeremiah 7:25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants, the prophets, daily rising up early and sending. 26 Yet they did not listen to Me nor bow their ear, but they stiffened their neck. They did more evil than their fathers.
27 And you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. And you will call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 But you shall say to them, This is the nation that does not obey the voice of Jehovah their God, nor receive instruction. Truth has perished, and it is cut off from their mouth. 29 Cut off your crown and throw it away, and take up a dirge on the heights. For Jehovah has rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath.

>>God certainly gave them plenty of chances. We can't say they weren't told. The prophets told them over and over. They were determined not to listen.

Jeremiah 2:13 For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, to hew out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Jeremiah 14:3 And their nobles have sent their little ones for water. They came to the cisterns; they found no water. They returned with their vessels empty. They were ashamed and confounded and covered their head.

Hosea 9:7 The days of her visitation have come; the days of retribution have come. Israel shall know. The prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is insane, because of the greatness of your iniquity and your great hatred.

>>God did not think prophets and spiritual men were fools and crazy. It is just that Israel was so wicked, that to her, the prophets seemed like fools and spiritual men as crazy.

Micah 7:4 The best of them is like a thorn; the upright more than a hedge of thorns. The day of your watchers, your visitation is coming; now their shame shall be.

Isaiah 29:10 for Jehovah has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes. [Romans 11:8]. He has covered the prophets and your heads, the seers. 11 And the whole vision to you is like the words of a sealed hook which they give to one knowing books, saying, Please read this. Then he says, I am not able, for it is sealed. 12 And the hook is given to one who does not know books, saying, Please read this. Then he says, I do not know books.

Isaiah 29:13 And the Lord says, Because this people draws near with its mouth, and they honor Me with its lip; but its heart is far from Me, and their fear of Me is taught by the command of men; 14 So, behold, I am adding to do a wonders with this people, the wonder, even a wonder. For the wisdom of his wise ones shall perish, and the wit of his witty ones shall be hidden. 15 Woe to those who go deep to hide their purposes from Jehovah; yea, their works are in the dark; and they say, Who sees us? And, Who knows us?

>>Jesus had quoted verse 14 in reference to the Pharisees and others. Their made and kept their own commands rather than God's.

Isaiah 6:8 And I heard the voice of Jehovah, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then I said, Behold me. Send me!

Isaiah 6:9 And He said, Go and tell this people, Hearing you hear, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make his ears heavy, and shut his eyes, that he not see with his eyes, and hear with his ears, and understand with his heart, and turn back, and one heals him. 11 Then I said, Until when, O Lord? And He said, Until cities lie desolate without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land is laid waste, a desolation; 12 and until Jehovah has sent mankind far away, and the desolation in the midst of the land is great. 13 But yet a tenth shall be in it, and it shall return and be consumed like the terebinth and like the oak that in being felled yet has its stump (the holy seed is its stump).

>>Isaiah would preach but no one was going to listen or understand. And how long would he and other prophets preach? Till the walls of Jerusalem came tumbling down. But there would be a small portion of the people that would return to God.

Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our report? [Romans 10:15].

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, but He did not open His mouth. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a ewe before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from justice; and who shall consider His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living; from the transgression of My people, the stroke was to Him. 9 And He put His grave with the wicked; and with a rich man in His death; although He had done no violence, and deceit was not in His mouth.

>>Verses 1 and 7 highlight the skepticism of Israel toward Jesus and the new covenant he was offering. Who has believed him and after he dies, who shall consider his generation? Such was Israel.

From these many quotations which, if not quoted by the Apostles or Jesus, were quoted by early Christians writers such as Justin, show that Israel was a rebellious people who were rejected by God. What remains to be proved is that only a remnant of Israel/ Judah/ Jerusalem would be saved and that the nations would receive much of God's blessing. We did have one or two scriptures that suggested a remnant but there are more. So let us do that now.



The Nations Are Blessed
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The word you want to be focusing on at all times is "nations." The promises of God were not just made to Israel. They were also made to the nations. The nations had always been a part of God's plan, but at the right time of God's choosing. God has an order for everything. First, Israel is given full opportunity out of respect for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and David along with other great ones, but especially Abraham. But since Israel does not avail himself of it, then the offer is taken to the nations. Jesus makes this point subtly in his ministry and the Apostles finally open the way for the nations. So here we go.

Isaiah 11:10 And it shall be in that day, the Root of Jesse stands as a banner of peoples; nations shall seek to Him; and His resting place shall be glory. [Romans 15:12]. 11 And it shall be in that day, the Lord shall again set His hand, the second time, to recover the remnant of His people that remains, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Ethiopia, and from Persia, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the coasts of the sea. 12 And He shall lift up a banner for the nations, and shall gather the outcasts of Israel, and gather those dispersed from Judah, from the four wings of the earth.

>>Paul in Romans cited above, quotes the Septuagint version of verse 10: "The Root of Jesse shall be, and He rising up to rule the nations; on Him nations will hope." Not only the nations, but in 11, a remnant of Israel, too.

Amos 9:11 In that day I will raise up the booth of David that has fallen, and I will wall up its breaks. And I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as the days of old; 12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the nations on whom My name is called, declares Jehovah who is doing this.

>>This one suggests both a remnant and the nations, too.

Acts 15: 16 After these things "I" will return and "will build again the tabernacle of David which has fallen," "and I will build again the things which have been demolished," and I will set it up, [Amos 9:11,12]. 17 so as the rest of men may seek the Lord, "even all the nations on whom My name has been called, says the Lord, who is doing all these things." [Amos 9:11, 12].

Psalm 2:7 I will declare concerning the statute of Jehovah: He said to Me, You are My Son. Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give the nations as Your inheritance; and the uttermost parts of the earth as Your possession.

2 Samuel 22: 44 And You delivered me from the strivings of my people; You kept me as the head of the nations; a people I have not known served me.

Psalm 18:43 You have delivered me from the strivings of the people; You have made me head of the nations; a people I have not known shall serve me. 44 At the hearing of the ear they listen to me; the sons of foreigners shall bow down to me. 45 The sons of foreigners shall faint and come trembling out of their strongholds.

18:48 He delivers me from my enemies; yea, You lift me up from among those rising up against me. You have delivered me from the violent man. 49 On account of this I will extol You, O Jehovah, among the nations. and I will sing praises to Your name. [Romans 15:9].

Psalm 22:27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn back to Jehovah; and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.

Psalm 46:8 Come, behold the works of Jehovah, who sets ruins on the earth, 9 causing to cease wars to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts apart spears; He burns the chariots in the fire. 10 Be still and know that I am God! I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 67:1 To the chief musician, for stringed instruments. A Psalm. A song. May God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. 2 That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. 3 Let the peoples thank You, O God; let all the peoples thank You. 4 Oh let the peoples be glad and sing for joy; for You shall judge the peoples uprightly and govern the peoples on earth. Selah.

Psalm 72:11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him. 12 For He shall save the needy who cries, and the poor with no helper. 13 He shall have pity on the poor and needy; and He saves the souls of the needy ones. 14 He shall redeem their souls from oppression and violence; and their blood shall be precious in His eyes.

Psalm 72:17 His name shall be forever; His name shall continue before the sun; and they shall bless themselves by Him; all nations shall call Him blessed.

>>With this Psalm, it becomes more clear how all the nations are blessed because of Abraham and Jesus, too.

Psalm 86:8 None among the gods is like You, O Lord, and none are like Your works. 9 All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You; yea, Lord, they shall glorify Your name.

Psalm 102:15 So nations shall fear the name of Jehovah, and all the kings of the earth Your glory.

Psalm 106:45 He remembered His covenant for them, and breathed a sigh, according to His many mercies. 46 And He gave them to tender mercies before all their captors. 47 Save us, O Jehovah our God, and gather us from the nations, to give thanks to Your holy name, to exult in Your praise.

>>This is one of those that foretells a remnant of Israel coming to God.

Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will cut a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not according to the covenant that I cut with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt (which covenant of Mine they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Jehovah). 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will cut with the house of Israel: After those days, declares Jehovah, I will put My law in their inward parts, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 And they shall no longer each man teach his neighbor, and each man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah. For they shall all know Me, from the least of them even to the greatest of them, declares Jehovah. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more. [Hebrews 8:8-12].

>>This would include both the remnant and the nations since it includes everyone knowing God.

Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: 2 And it shall be in the last days, the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come and let us go up to the mount of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach from His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion the law will go forth, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. 4 And He shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more.

Isaiah 10:20 And it shall be in that day, the remnant of Israel, and the escaped ones from the house of Jacob, shall not any more lean on him who struck him. But they will truly lean on Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel. 21 The remnant shall return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 For though Your people Israel is like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of it shall return; a determined end, overflowing with righteousness. [Romans 9:27].

>>This one kind of clearly spells out only a small remnant of Israel accepting Jesus.

Isaiah 19:23 In that day there shall be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria. And Assyria shall come into Egypt; and Egypt into Assyria; and Egypt shall serve with Assyria. 24 In that day Israel shall be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom Jehovah of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be My people Egypt, and Assyria, the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.

>>Egypt and Assyria were both significant national powers that surrounded Israel north and south. A figurative Egypt and Assyria would would be blessed along with Israel.

Isaiah 42:1 Behold My Servant; I will uphold Him; My Elect in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit on Him; He shall bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed He shall not break, and a smoking wick He shall not quench; He shall bring forth justice to truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be crushed until He has set justice in the earth; and the coasts shall wait for His law.

42:5 So says Jehovah God, creating the heavens and stretching them out; spreading out the earth and its offspring, giving breath to the people on it, and spirit to those walking in it. 6 I, Jehovah, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand, and will keep You, and give You for a covenant of the people, for a Light of the nations.

Isaiah 42:16 And I will lead the blind by a way they knew not; I will lead them in paths they never knew; I will make darkness into light before them, and crooked places a level place. I do these things to them and do not forsake them.

Isaiah 51:4 Hear Me, My people; yea, give ear to Me, My nation. For a law shall go out from Me, and My justice I will make rest as light to peoples. 5 My righteousness is near; My salvation went out; and My arms shall judge peoples; coastlands shall wait on Me, and they shall hope on My arm.

Isaiah 52:5 So then what is to Me here, declares Jehovah? For My people is taken for nothing; his rulers howl, declares Jehovah. And My name is continually despised, every day. [Romans 2:24] 6 So My people shall know My name thus in that day; for I am He speaking. Behold Me!

52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him bringing good news, making peace heard, bringing good news, proclaiming salvation; saying to Zion, Your God reigns! [Romans 10:15]. 8 The voice of your watchmen, they lift the voice together, they sing aloud. For they shall see eye to eye when Jehovah brings back Zion. 9 Break out, sing together, waste places of Jerusalem; for Jehovah comforts His people; He has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 Jehovah has bared His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 11 Turn! Turn! Go out from there! Touch not the unclean! Go out of her midst, purify yourselves, bearers of the vessels of Jehovah. 12 For you shall not go out with haste, nor will you go by flight; for Jehovah is going before you, and the God of Israel gathers you.

52:13 Behold, My Servant shall rule wisely; He shall be exalted and lifted up and be very high. 14 Just as many were astonished over You, so much was the disfigurement from man, His appearance and His form from sons of mankind. 15 so He sprinkles from many nations. At Him kings shall shut their mouths; for they will see that which was not told to them; yea, what they had not heard, they will understand.

>>Both a remnant and the nations shall come to God.

Isaiah 55:3 Bend your ear and come to Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will cut a covenant everlasting with you, the faithful mercies of David. 4 Behold, I gave Him a Witness to peoples, a Leader and Commander of peoples. 5 Behold, You shall call a nation You do not know; yea, a nation not knowing You shall run to You, because of Jehovah Your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified You.

>>A new covenant, mentioned many times in the scriptures I have quoted, though I have not always pointed them all out. And again, mention of nations being called be God, as the next quote confirms as well as the rest.

Isaiah 65:1 I have been sought, not by those who asked. I have been found, not by those who sought Me. To a nation not calling on My name, I said, Behold Me! Behold Me! [Romans 10:20]. 2 I have spread out My hands all the day long to a rebellious people who walk in the way not good, after their own thoughts; [Romans 10:20]; 3 a people who continually provoke Me to My face; who sacrifice in gardens, and burn incense on the bricks; 4 who sit among the graves and lodge in the towers; who eat swine's flesh, and broth of unclean things in their pots; 5 who say, Keep to yourself! Do not come near me, for I am holier than you! These are a smoke in My nose, a fire burning all the day. 6 Behold! It is written before Me: I will not be silent, except I repay; yea, I will repay to their bosom, 7 our iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers together, says Jehovah; they that burned incense on the mountains, and have blasphemed Me on the hills. And I will measure their former work on their bosom.

65:8 So says Jehovah: As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one says, Do not destroy it, for a blessing is in it; so I will do for the sake of My servants, not to destroy the whole.

>>While nations not seeking Him have found Him, in verse 8 there is also a remnant spared in Israel, more specifically Judah.

Isaiah 65:9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah one to inherit My mountains. And My chosen one shall inherit, and My servants shall live there. 10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks; and the valley of Achor a resting place of herds for My people who have sought Me.

65:11 But you are those who forsake Jehovah, who forget My holy mountain; who array a table for Fortune, and who fill mixed wine for Fate. 12 And I will number you to the sword; and you shall all bow down to the slaughter; because I called and you did not answer. I spoke, and you did not hear; and you did the evil in My eyes; and you chose that in which I had no pleasure.

Isaiah 65: 13 So the Lord Jehovah says this: Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry. Behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty. Behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed. 14 Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry from heartbreak, and howl from breaking of spirit. 15 And you shall leave your name for a curse to My chosen. And the Lord Jehovah shall kill you; and He shall call His servants by another name.

>>There will be a seed of Jacob that will be faithful, although seed applies to Jesus specifically but servants apply to Jacob. They are the faithful while the majority are wicked and rejected and go hungry. And the faithful remnant shall be called by another name rather than Jacob or Israel. That name would be "Christians."

Isaiah 61:
1 The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is on Me, because Jehovah has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and complete opening to the bound ones; 2 to proclaim the acceptable year of Jehovah, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of the spirit of infirmity, so that one calls them trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, in order to beautify Himself.

61:4 And they shall build old ruins; they shall raise up former desolations; and they shall restore the waste cities, ruins of generations and generations. 5 And foreigners shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of strangers shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. 6 But you shall be called, Priests of Jehovah; it will be said of you, Ministers of our God. You shall eat the riches of the nations, and you shall revel in their glory. 7 Instead of your shame and disgrace, double. They rejoice in their portion; for they shall possess a second time in their land; everlasting joy shall be theirs.

>>Much figurative speaking going on here. But there will be a remnant.

Isaiah 62:1 For Zion's sake, I will not be silent; and for Jerusalem's sake, I will not rest; until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning lamp. 2 And nations shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. And you shall be called by a new name which the mouth of Jehovah shall name. 3 You also shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of Jehovah, and a royal diadem in the palm of your God. 4 You no longer shall be called Forsaken; nor shall your land any longer be called Desolate. But you shall be called, My Delight is in Her; and your land, Married. For Jehovah delights in you, and your land is married. 5 For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you. And as a bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God shall rejoice over you.

>>Of course, "Israel" or "Judah" and "Jerusalem" also symbolize all those who accept God, both Jews and the nations. Here the nations come to be called beautiful things and the references to a bridegroom and marriage which are both common references to the brothers of Christ as a bride.

Isaiah 28:14 So hear the word of Jehovah, scornful men, rulers of this people in Jerusalem. 15 Because you have said, We have cut a covenant with death; and, We have made a vision with Sheol, when the overwhelming rod passes through it will not come to us for we have made the lie our refuge, and we have hidden in falsehood. 16 So, the Lord Jehovah says this: Behold, I place in Zion a Stone for a foundation, a tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation; he who believes shall not hurry. 17 And I will lay justice for a line, and righteousness for a plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of the lie; and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 18 And your covenant with death shall be covered; and your vision with Sheol shall not rise up. When the overwhelming whip passes through, then you shall be for a trampling to it.

>>"Jerusalem" in her arrogance believes she will escape the rod of discipline because of her clever lies that she has made her refuge in. But hail will sweep away the refuge of the lie and waters cover the hiding place. She will be punished. Jesus is the stone mentioned.

Isaiah 66:1 So says Jehovah: Heaven is My throne, and earth the footstool of My feet. Where then is the house that you build for Me? And where then is the place of My rest? 2 And My hand has made all these things, even all these things exist, declares Jehovah. But I will look toward this one, to the afflicted, and to the contrite of spirit, even trembling at My word. 3 He who kills an ox is as if he struck a man; he who sacrifices a lamb is as if he broke a dog's neck; he who offers a present is as if it were swine's blood; he who marks incense is as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their way, and their soul delights in their abominations. 4 I also will choose their vexations; and I will bring their fears to them; because I called, and no one answered; I spoke, and they did not hear. But they did the evil in My eyes, and chose that in which I had no pleasure.

>>Same theme here as earlier back. God delights in works of righteousness and mercy, not token gestures of worship.

Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of Jehovah, those who tremble at His word. Your brothers who hate you, who drive you out for My name's sake, have said, Jehovah is glorified. But He shall appear in your joy, and they shall be ashamed. 6 A roaring sound from the city! A sound from the temple! It is the sound of Jehovah repaying retribution to His enemies. 7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before pain came to her, she delivered a male child. 8 Who has heard a thing like this? Who has seen things like these? Shall the earth be brought forth in one day? Shall a nation be born in one step? For Zion travailed and also brought forth her sons. 9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? says Jehovah. Surely I cause birth, and hold back, says your God.

>>7-9 are quoted in the New Testament pointing out the birth of the Christian "nation."

Isaiah 66:10 Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all who love her. Rejoice a rejoicing with her, all who mourn for her; 11 that you may suck and be satisfied with her comforting breasts; that you may milk out and delight yourselves with the fullness of her glory. 12 For so says Jehovah: Behold, I stretch out peace to her like a river, and glory of nations like an overflowing torrent. And You shall suck; you shall be carried on the side and be dandled on knees. 13 As a man whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you. And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 14 And you will see, and your heart shall rejoice; and your bones shall flourish like the grass. And the hand of Jehovah shall be known toward His servants, and He shall be indignant with His enemies.

>>This Jerusalem is the figurative spiritual one. Peace and the glory of nations will abound, so many people from the nations would be a part of it. God's servants will know Him and He will destroy His enemies.

Isaiah 66:15 For, behold, Jehovah will come with fire, and His chariots like the tempest, to return His wrath in fury, and His rebuke in flames of fire. 16 For by fire and by His sword Jehovah will execute judgment with all flesh; and the slain of Jehovah shall be many. 17 Those who sanctify themselves, and purify themselves to the gardens, each one in the midst, eaters of swine's flesh, and the hateful thing, and the mouse, these are cut off together, says Jehovah.

>>Visions of Armageddon.

Isaiah 66:18 For I know their works and their thoughts; it comes to gather all the nations and the tongues; and they shall come and see My glory. 19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those who escape from them to the nations of Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, drawers of the bow; to Tubal and Javan, to the far away coasts that have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brothers out of all nations, an offering to Jehovah, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, says Jehovah; as the sons of Israel bring the offering in a clean vessel to the house of Jehovah. 21 And I will also take some of them for the priests, for the Levites, says Jehovah.

>>This is an amazing account. It is more clear and a little less symbolic that many prophecies so it is easier to understand. The small remnant of Jews go forth to preach to the nations and bring people from them into the congregation of God as brothers. Israel brings in the nations as a clean offering in a clean vessel to Jehovah. And from among them God is going to take some as priests. We know from a consideration of the New Testament that these priests will be in heaven. Here it is clearly foreshadowed and easy to see.

Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth which I make stand before Me, declares Jehovah, so your seed and your name shall stand. 23 And it will be, from new moon to its new moon, and from sabbath to its sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says Jehovah. 24 And they shall go out and see the dead bodies of the men who have transgressed against Me; for their worm shall not die, nor shall their fire be put out; and they shall be an object of disgust to all flesh.

>>A new heavens and new earth, just as Peter mentioned and John in Revelation 21 as well. Not replacements but remodeled for sure. And the aftermath of Armageddon is also described, too.

Hosea 2:23 And I will sow her to Me in the earth. And I will have mercy on No Mercy. And I will say to Not My People, You are My people! And they shall say, My God! [Romans 9:25].

Malachi 1:6 A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My fear? says Jehovah of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, In what have we despised Your name? 7 You are offering defiled food on My altar, and you say, In what have we defiled You? It is in your saying, The table of Jehovah, it is to be despicable. 8 And if you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Bring it now to your governor. Will he accept you or lift up your face? says Jehovah of hosts. 9 And now entreat the face of God, that He favor us. This has been by your hands; will He lift up your faces? says Jehovah of hosts. 10 Who is even among you that will shut the doors, and you not kindle fire on My altar in vain? There is no delight to Me in you, says Jehovah of hosts. I will not be pleased with a food offering from you.

>>Oh, I don't need to interpret this one for you now, do I?

Malachi 1:11 For from the east to the west, My name shall be great among the nations, and everywhere incense shall be offered to My name; and a pure food offering; for My name shall be great among the nations, says Jehovah of hosts. 12 But you are profaning it when you say, The table of the Lord, it is polluted; and its fruit, His food is despicable. 13 And you have said, Behold, what weariness! And you have sniffed at it, says Jehovah of hosts. And you bring plunder, and the lame, and the sick; and you bring the meal offering. Should I accept it from your hand? says Jehovah. 14 But cursed be a deceiver and there is a male in his flock, yet he vows it, but he sacrifices a blemished one to the Lord. For I am a great King, says Jehovah of hosts, and My name is feared among the nations.

>>Jehovah is disappointed with Israel but He will be great among the nations. Time an again we hear this. It really should not have been a surprise. But let us also be fair. We all have Bibles we can read over an over again as well as the early church writers and modern commentaries, too. Those in the days of Jesus did not have such luxuries. All they had was the Old Testament read to them each sabbath at the synagogue. Certain scriptures kind of get passed by in our hearing, unless someone were to direct out attention to them. That is the purpose of all God worshipping people. To draw attention that that which might have got passed by and did not stand out.

But when we give it some attention and notice, we have to admit that scriptures about God being worshipped among the nations are quite numerous and more than once a new covenant and other features are foretold. We just didn't notice. The subtlety was easy to overlook. That is why devotion to the scriptures is so important for those who claim to love and worship God. God can be very subtle in His words. If we don't pay close attention, we can miss things. That can be hazardous to our spiritual health, right?

Zechariah 8:7 So says Jehovah of hosts: Behold, I will save My people from the rising sun and from the land of the setting sun. 8 And I will bring them, and they shall live in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be for a people to Me, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.

>>Here is another scripture where the nations from the rising sun (east) to the setting sun (west) live in the midst of Jerusalem and will belong to God. Can't miss it, can we?

Zechariah 8:20 So says Jehovah of hosts: There shall yet come peoples, and inhabitants of many cities. 21 And the inhabitants of one shall go to another, saying, Let us go at once to seek the favor of the face of Jehovah, and to seek Jehovah of hosts; I will go also. 22 And many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek Jehovah of hosts in Jerusalem, and to seek the favor of the face of Jehovah. 23 So says Jehovah of hosts: In those days ten men out of all languages of the nations shall take hold, and will seize the skirt of a man, a Jew, saying, Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.

>>Once more, people of the nations are seeking out Jehovah. And they join a small faithful remnant of Jews in, symbolically described as 10 men out of all languages, from everywhere, going along this small band of Jews who accept Jesus as God's son and their savior. What a deal, eh? More of the same in the next verse that by now you can interpret for yourself quite well. Zechariah is so easy to interpret, isn't he?

Zechariah 2:10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion. For, lo, I come; and I will dwell among you, says Jehovah. 11 And many nations shall be joined to Jehovah in that day, and they shall be My people. And I will dwell among you; and you shall know that Jehovah of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 And Jehovah shall possess Judah, His portion in the holy land, and He shall again choose Jerusalem. 13 All flesh, be silent before Jehovah. For He is raised up out of His holy habitation.

Micah 4:1 But it shall be in the end of the days, the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established on the top of the mountains; and it shall be lifted up from the hills; and peoples shall flow on it. 2 And many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us from His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For the law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. 3 And He shall judge between many peoples, and will decide for strong nations afar off. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, nor shall they learn war still.

>>You might recognize this quote as it is almost identical to the prophecy given to Isaiah in chapter 2 of his book. Many nations shall worship at the "mountain" of Jehovah; not a literal mountain, of course, but then you knew that anyway, right?

Micah 4:4 But they shall each one sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and there shall be no trembling. For the mouth of Jehovah of hosts has spoken. 5 For all the peoples walk, each one in the name of his god; but we will walk in the name of Jehovah our God forever and ever. 6 In that day I will gather the lame, declares Jehovah, and I will gather the banished, and the one I have afflicted. 7 And I will make the lame into a remnant, and her who was cast off into a strong nation. And Jehovah shall reign over them in Mount Zion from now on, and to forever.

>>Peace and prosperity and a remnant of Jews to serve God. They are figuratively described as lame, banished, and afflicted ones, just as Jesus spoke of the lame, cripples, and beggars being brought to his marriage feast or banquet. I suppose this could also include those of the nations. Hard to tell here for sure. But tax collectors and prostitutes were going ahead of the Pharisees into the kingdom of God. More figurative speech for us to learn, right?

Daniel 7:13 I was looking in the night visions. And behold! One like the Son of Man came with the clouds of the heavens. And He came to the Ancient of Days. And they brought Him near before Him. 14 And dominion was given to Him, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

>>All the all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him, the Messiah and Son of God, not just Jews. It could not be any plainer than that could it? Nothing really seriously figurative in that, is there? This pretty well wraps up the Old Testament scriptures, along with New Testament cross references. Let us move on to the New Testament commentaries in Part 2.


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