The Winepress of YHVH’s Fury

In Isaiah 63:1, the prophet says, “Who is this, coming from Edom, from Botzrah with clothing stained crimson, so magnificently dressed, so stately in his great strength?”  The Messiah replies, “It is I, who speak victoriously, I, well able to save.”  The prophet asks, “Why is your apparel red, your clothes like someone treading a winepress?”  Messiah answers, “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the peoples, not one was with me. So I trod them in my anger, trampled them in my fury; so their lifeblood spurted out on my clothing, and I have stained all my garments; 4 for the day of vengeance that was in my heart and my year of redemption have come. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help, and I was appalled that no one upheld me. Therefore my own arm brought me salvation, and my own fury upheld me. 6 In my anger I trod down the peoples, made them drunk with my fury, then poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

This passage leads us back to Isaiah 34:5-6:  “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on Edom, And on the people of My curse, for judgment. 6 The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, It is made overflowing with fatness, With the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah, And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.”  Proverbs 3:33 tells us that YHVH’s curse or punishment is in the house of the wicked. The lambs and goats mentioned here represent the wicked people that will be in Bozrah in Edom.  The word botsrah can be H1224 which is defined as a place in Edom or H1223 which is defined as an enclosure or sheep fold.  I want to remain open to the idea that it is not a specific city per se but simply a place in Edom.  If that is the case, we can then look at the future destruction of Edom discussed in Obadiah.

In the vision of Obadiah, YHVH says that everyone on Mount Esau will be slaughtered.  YHVH says all the nations will drink (be punished) in turn.  Another place where the destruction of Edom is mentioned is in Jeremiah 25; it says kingdoms of the world including Edom will be killed by the sword. Obviously, there has to be people left living to reign over so I suspect that it is the warriors from these nations that will be slaughtered.  Based on Isaiah 63, it appears that Edom will be first.  The description of Isaiah 63:2-3 sounds very similar to Revelation 14:19-20 where the angel uses his sickle to throw the earth’s grapes into the great winepress of God’s fury.  Revelation 16:16 says that when the sixth bowl/plague is poured out by the sixth angel, the kings of the earth will gather at Har Megiddo (Armageddon).  Revelation 19:13 describes Yeshua coming with His robe already soaked in blood for the battle of Armageddon; therefore, by this point, the warriors on Mount Esau have been slain with the sword and their blood has stain Yeshua’s clothing.  Yeshua, the Angel of His Presence, comes to Har Megiddo to execute judgment over Israel’s enemies and bring salvation to His people.

According to Isaiah, YHVH intends to show loving kindness and mercy to His people.  He calls them His children and says they are not disloyal; this is the reason He became their Savior.  Right now, we might be shaking our heads and thinking Israel does not deserve a Savior because they are not loyal to Him.  We need to pray for them to repent and be loyal to Him because they are rebellious and are grieving His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).  Before all has been fulfilled, YHVH will be their enemy by bringing the nations against them as a rod in His hand.  They are in trouble and don’t seem to know the remedy for their trouble.  I do know that their condition is of great concern to YHVH.  He will do whatever it takes in order to bring them to Himself.  One day, in His love and pity, He will redeem them.

For now, His people need to read the Scriptures and remember the days of old, the days of Moses.  They need to remember the Exodus from Egypt and how He led them across the Red Sea and through the wilderness like a shepherd who leads his flocks.  They need to remember how the Ruach was on Moses and the 70 elders and how YHVH gave them rest.

256px-Mustard_Blue_SunsetYHVH, please hear my prayer!  Look on all of us from your glorious dwelling in heaven. Don’t hold back your zeal, mighty deeds, inner concern, and compassion for your people.  You are our Redeemer of Old!  YHVH, don’t let us wander from your ways and harden our hearts; we need to fear you.  YHVH, we are just like the nations around us who don’t know your name.  Please return to the tribes of Jacob who are your possession!  Please come down from heaven and make the mountains shake at your presence! Make your enemies know your name and make the nations would tremble before you!  YHVH, please hear my plea!

YHVH, help us to do works in keeping with repentance and put sin far from us.  Help us to keep your ancient ways so we can be saved.  YHVH, we are unclean and our righteous deeds are gross; we are dying in this condition. Our perversity blows us away like the wind. It separates us from you and is destroying us.

YHVH, you are the Potter and we are merely the clay in your hands. Please take us, forgive us for provoking you, and refashion us according to your will. Please don’t give us more than we can bear.  Help us to put our old natures to death and to walk by the power of the Ruach.  Help us to see and separate ourselves from the unholy mixture that we’ve been raised in.  Help us to know how to not offer something unholy to you.  Help us to be clean and holy, unstained by the world.  YHVH, our food supply is highly processed and we don’t know what’s in it; help us to know what we can and can’t eat.  Help us not to become puffed up thinking we are holier than others, especially You.  Don’t cast us aside; please find some good within us.  Please, do not destroy us but bring us into the Promised Land.  Amen.

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The Prophecy of Eliakim

Isaiah 21 and 22 give us several prophecies.  The last one is fantastic.

Isaiah 21 begins with a terrifying prophecy about the coastal desert.  More specifically, Elam and Media are being called upon to advance and lay siege against Babylon.  The Lord told Isaiah to post a watchman in the watchtower so he can report what he sees.  In verse 6, the Lord wanted Isaiah to post himself as the watchman and later in verse 8, the Lord told him to set someone else there.

When the watchman saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, he reported that Babylon had fallen.  He emphasized this by repeating the phrase twice.  He also said all of the carved images of her gods lie shattered on the ground.  Since the phrase “is fallen!” is repeated, it begs us to ask the question as to whether or not this implies multiple fulfillments.

Originally, the kingdom of Babylon was given to the Medes and the Persians during Daniel’s time.  Strangely enough, a few years ago, journalists around the world told us of the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.  At that time, people around the world could see the statues and images of Saddam Hussein being pulled down and destroyed.  As incredible as that seemed, there is yet another time in the future when the mysterious harlot known as Babylon will fall.

During Daniel’s time, God’s people were exiled in Babylon until Cyrus eventually allowed them to return to their homeland before Medo-Persia was conquered by Alexander the Great.  In Revelation 18, an angel declares the fall of Babylon the Great and a voice from heaven commands God’s people to come out of her so they don’t share in her sins and receive her plagues.  Surely, this must be done prior to the take over and rule of the false prophet.

The burden of Dumah (Idumea or Edom) begins in verse 11.  Most English translations begin, “He calls to me out of Seir…”  This is a little hard to understand until we realize that it can also be translated, “He calls to me because of Seir…”  The question asked of the watchman is “what of the night?”  The Hebrew word, layil can be translated as night but it can also figuratively refer to adversity.  It seems the people of Seir were causing misery to God’s people.  The book of Obadiah describes the coming judgment on Edom.  In the future, the prophecy of Obadiah will be fulfilled; what Edom has done to others will be done to them and Israel will be delivered.

Obviously, the misery caused by Edom was meant to be a method to discipline God’s people.  It was supposed to cause the Lord’s people to repent and return to Him so that joy and salvation could come in the morning to those who do so.

There is also a prophecy concerning Kedar in Arabia.  In this prophecy, the Dedanites will dwell in the forest in Arabia instead of the desert.  According to Ezekiel, the Dedanites were one of the peoples that Judah traded with.  Apparently, war will make it unsafe to dwell in the desert. During that time, the inhabitants of Tema should bring water and bread to those who flee from the sword of war.  By the end of a year, Isaiah prophesied that the glory of Kedar would end.

Following this burden is the prophecy of the Valley of Vision.  This is a vision of the invasion of Jerusalem.  This took place because of a grave sin; they failed to look to the Lord who caused the breaches to take place.  Instead of repenting, the people decided to eat, drink, and be merry because the next day they knew they were going to die.  Please pray that the people of Israel do not ever make the same mistake again.

In this prophecy, a man named Shebna was to be removed from being in charge of the king’s house and be replaced by Eliakim, son of Hilkiah.  This is an awesome prophecy.  Look at what the Bible says in Isaiah 22:17-25:

“Indeed, the Lord will throw you away violently, O mighty man, And will surely seize you. 18 He will surely turn violently and toss you like a ball Into a large country; There you shall die, and there your glorious chariots Shall be the shame of your master’s house. 19 So I will drive you out of your office, And from your position he will pull you down. 20 ‘Then it shall be in that day, That I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; 21 I will clothe him with your robe And strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem And to the house of Judah. 22 The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23 I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, And he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house. 24 ‘They will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the posterity, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the pitchers. 25 In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘the peg that is fastened in the secure place will be removed and be cut down and fall, and the burden that was on it will be cut off; for the Lord has spoken.'”

The reason I like this prophecy so much is because it is a picture of what the Lord will do in the future.  The Lord will make sure the false prophet is removed from the place where he will exalt himself.  Within a short amount of time, Satan will be seized and thrown into the Abyss.  Jesus, the suffering servant who has the key of David will open and shut the house (Revelation 3:7).  On the Day of the Lord, He will be clothed in a robe of righteousness; a belt of justice will be around his waist; and a sash of faithfulness will be around his hips.  When He comes, He will strike the land with a rod from his mouth (Isaiah 11:4-5).  His kingdom and His throne will be secure forever because He will rule in righteousness (Prov. 16:12; 29:14). 

As we wait for that day to come, we are only mere vessels of clay.  Let us continually bring glory to the Lord now and forever!

Esau and Jacob

Today, I want to summarize some information from Jasher 26-32 and Genesis 25-33.  I won’t cover all of the details today so we can come back and explore more of it on another day.  What simply amazes me is how old Esau and Jacob were at different points in their lives.  What seemed to occur quickly in the Bible was spread out over a much larger span of time than we have previously understood.   Finally, the animosity that was birthed between Esau and Jacob will eventually lead to God’s judgment of Esau’s descendants.

If you recall, Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah.  The writer of Jasher says Rebekah was 10 years old at that time (Jasher 24:40).  For many years Rebekah was barren but after seeking and pleading with the Lord, fraternal twins named Esau and Jacob were born when Isaac was 60 years old.  This means Rebekah was 30 years old when she finally gave birth to them.

Abraham died at 175 years old and was buried by Isaac and Ishmael.  Since Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old, Jacob and Esau were 15 years old when Abraham died. 

The book of Jasher tells us that Esau went hunting frequently after Abraham’s death.  Nimrod (Amraphel) observed him at this time because he was jealous of him.  Nimrod was also considered a mighty hunter so he may have been jealous of Esau’s hunting skills.  It’s hard to know for sure the exact reason for his jealousy but it’s could have been related to the prophecy that was given around Abraham’s birth.  If you recall from a previous post, Nimrod’s star gazers saw a shooting star that swallowed up stars from the four corners of the heavens and prophesied that Abraham and his descendants would kill the kings of the earth and inherit their lands forever (Jasher 8:1-11). 

On one of these hunting trips, Esau killed Nimrod by cutting off his head with his sword.  Esau also killed the 2 men who were with him and took Nimrod’s valuable garments that Cush had given him and hid them at his house.  These garments may be the same ones that God originally made for Adam, that had been passed down to Noah, stolen by Ham, and passed to Nimrod through Cush (Jasher 7:24-29; 27:10).  After Esau murdered Nimrod and his 2 men, he ran to his father’s house exhausted and hungry.  This is when he asked his brother Jacob to give him some red stew.  The writer of Jasher said Esau sold his birthright and his portion of the cave at Machpelah to Jacob because this was of the Lord, although most people assume it was because Jacob was simply being deceitful.  According to the book of Jasher, Jacob wrote this transaction in a book and had it witnessed.  Once Nimrod died, his kingdom was restored to its many rightful kings.

Famine was in the land after Abraham died.  Isaac planned to go to Egypt but God instructed him to go to Gerar until the famine was over.  At first, Isaac said Rebekah was his sister while they were in Gerar but after 3 years, Abimelech saw Isaac caressing Rebekah.  This is most likely the son of the original Abimelech who had been known as Benmalich.   Abimelech soon had them paraded before the people and warned everyone not to harm them.   

Fortunately, Isaac found favor in Abimelech’ sight who remembered the covenant between his father and Abraham.  According to Jasher 28:13-16, Abimelech told Isaac, “Behold the whole earth is before thee; dwell wherever it may seem good in thy sight until thou shalt return to thy land; and Abimelech gave Isaac fields and vineyards and the best part of the land of Gerar, to sow and reap and eat the fruits of the ground until the days of the famine should have passed by. 14 And Isaac sowed in that land, and received a hundred-fold in the same year, and the Lord blessed him. 15 And the man waxed great, and he had possession of flocks and possession of herds and great store of servants.  16 And when the days of the famine had passed away the Lord appeared to Isaac and said unto him, Rise up, go forth from this place and return to thy land, to the land of Canaan; and Isaac rose up and returned to Hebron which is in the land of Canaan, he and all belonging to him as the Lord commanded him.”  

Esau and Jacob were at least 18 years old at when they returned from Gerar to Canaan.  Isaac then sent Jacob to Shem and Eber for 32 years to learn the instructions of the Lord after which he returned to his father’s home.  Esau was not willing to go with Jacob to Eber’s but remained in his father’s house in Canaan.   Esau was deceitful; he continued to hunt beast as far as the field of Seir (Edom) and hunted the hearts of men by winning them over through flattery.

Esau took Jehudith [Judith] the daughter of Beeri, son of Epher from the families of Heth the son of Canaan when he was 40 years old (Jasher 28:22-23; Gen. 26:34).  Genesis says Esau also took Bosmath [Basemath], the daughter of Elon, the Hittite as his wife when he was 40 but Jasher says he did so after Jacob stole his blessing (Jasher 29:12).  

Jacob returned to his father in Hebron in Canaan when Noah’s son, Shem died at the age of 600 years.  Since Isaac was 110 years old at that time, Jacob and Esau were 50 years old.  If the years given in Jasher are correct, it seems there was a period of time between the age of 40 and 50 when Jacob had left Eber but didn’t live with his father in Hebron.    

When Jacob was 56 years old, Rebekah was told Laban’s wife and handmaids were barren.  The Lord remembered Laban’s wife, Adinah and she bore twin daughters – Leah and Rachel.  Rebecca was glad to hear this news (Jasher 28:28).

Years later, Issac sent Esau to hunt and get venison and planned to bless him when he returned.  Rebecca heard and called Jacob and told him to bring her 2 goats that she would prepare so Jacob could deceive Isaac and get Esau’s blessing.

Esau was very angry when he heard what his brother had done.  Since Jacob was afraid of Esau, he went to Eber, the son of Shem.  He was 63 years old when he went to Eber’s.  He stayed there 14 years and learned the ways of the Lord and his commandments (Jasher 29:11).

Esau took his first wife, Judith and went to Seir and took Bosmath [Basemath], the daughter of Elon the Hittite as his wife but he called her Adah.  Six months after leaving his parents, he returned to them with his wives who committed idolatry by worshipping the Baalim.  This greatly bothered Isaac and Rebekah.  Esau’s wife, Adah bore a son named Eliphaz when he was 65 years old.

After Jacob had lived with Eber for 14 years, he returned to his parents.  While Jacob had been gone, Esau had forgotten what Jacob had done to him but quickly remembered when he saw him and desired to kill him.  Rebecca heard about his plans and warned Jacob to flee to Laban’s place in Haran.  Jacob told Isaac not to take a wife from Canaan but to go to Laban in Haran.  Isaac warned Jacob not to forsake the Lord while he was there and to find a wife that was good and upright in the ways of the Lord.  He blessed him and sent him on his way.  Based on my calculations, Jacob was 77 years old when he went to Laban’s in Padan-aram and Rachel and Leah would have been 21 years old. 

Esau sent his 13 year old son, Eliphaz to pursue and kill Jacob and bring back his things.  Jacob convinced Eliphaz and his men not to kill him but to take all his things instead.  Esau was not happy with that but when he heard his parents didn’t want Jacob to marry a Canaanite, he married Ishmael’s daughter, Machlath [Mahalath] (Gen. 28:9; Jasher 29:43).

Jacob came to Mt. Moriah near Luz.  The Lord promised him many descendants, his enemies to fall before him, and to bring his back to Canaan with children and riches.  He named the place Bethel.

After finally arriving in Padan-aram, Jacob told Laban what Esau and Eliphaz had done to him.  After one month, Jacob said he would work 7 years for Rachel.  In the 2nd year he was in Haran, Jacob mourned when he heard about the death of Eber.  In the 3rd year, Esau and Bosmath [Basemath] had a son named Reuel.  In the 4th year, Laban’s wife gave birth to 3 sons because of Joseph.  In the 5th year, Esau’s wife Jehudith [Judith] died.  After she died, Esau went to hunt as usual in Seir.  In the 6th year, Esau took another wife, Ahlibamah [Aholibamah] and they had 3 sons.  Esau’s herdsmen quarreled with the inhabitants of Canaan because his cattle and goods were too abundant so he took his family and possessions and moved to Seir.  In the 7th year, Jacob married Leah and worked 7 more years for Rachel. 

Jacob was/would have been:

  • 79 years old when Eber died (Jasher 30:15).
  • 85 years old in the 7th year.
  • 91 years old when Joseph was born (Jasher 31:21).
  • 92 years old in the 14th year.
  • 98 years old when the Lord told him to go home after serving Laban his final 6 years.
  • 108 years old when Joseph went to Egypt because Joseph was 17 when he was sold into Egypt (Gen. 37:2).
  • 121 years old when his son, Joseph stood before Pharaoh.  Joseph was 30 at that time (Gen. 41:46; Jasher 49:38).
  • 130 years old when he came to Egypt during the famine (Gen. 47:9).
  • 147 years old when he died (Gen. 47:28; Jasher 56:1).

As Jacob’s family prepared to go to Canaan, Rebecca took the household gods so Laban couldn’t know where they had gone but Laban ended up inquiring of their whereabouts from some other images before pursuing them (Jasher 31:44-45).  After seeing his daughters and grandchildren and sending them away, Laban sent word to Esau that Jacob was returning home.  Esau was angry at the news and got ready to take revenge.  Laban’s messengers went ahead to Rebekah and Isaac to tell them Esau was getting ready to go against Jacob.  Rebecca quickly sent messengers to warn Jacob that Esau was coming and recommend that he conceal nothing from Esau and honor him with gifts.  In addition, the Lord sent 3 angels to come against Esau and his men in order to turn Esau’s anger to kindness. 

We tend to think this was a happy ending to the saga of Jacob and Esau but those who’ve read the book of Obadiah know there is more of the story.  Obadiah begins with a vision in which a messenger was being sent among the nations to attack the proud people of Edom (Esau’s descendants) to deceive and set a trap for them.  Obadiah 10 says this will be done to Edom for the violence that was done to their kinsman, Jacob and that they would be cut off forever because they failed to help when lots were cast for Jerusalem and strangers took their treasure and foreigners entered their gates.  Instead of helping the descendants of Jacob, they handed over their survivors to their enemies.  This passage parallels Jeremiah 49:14-22.   If you carefully read the surrounding chapters of Jeremiah, you will notice that this is part of God’s plan for the future judgment of the nations in the latter days.

When the Day of the Lord’s return comes, there will be a remnant of Jacob that will repossess their rightful inheritance.  The house of Jacob will be a flame that will completely consume the stubble of the house of Esau and the Lord will be King.