Is There No Such Thing As Messiah?

Over the last few years I’ve heard of people who have come out of traditional Christian churches; sought their Hebraic roots; and zoomed in on Judaism only to deny there ever was a Messiah.  This is so sad.  I believe these are people who discovered they’d been lied to about various things in the Christian church and decided to take matters into their own hands to find the truth.  They managed to learn barely enough Hebrew to use a concordance but didn’t have sufficient Hebrew language, Scripture knowledge, or ordinary reasoning skills to critically analyze everything that fell into their hands.  They’ve rejected one set of lies and swallowed the biggest lie of all—that there never even was a Messiah.  This is a great delusion.

The lie begins with the Hebrew word mashiach (H4899; G5547 christos); it means anointed.  The qal or simplest form of the Hebrew verb mashach (H4886; G5548 chrio) means to rub, anoint with oil, or consecrate.  The niphal form is passive and means to be anointed.  Another related word is the noun mishchah (H4888; G5545 chrismatos); it is an anointing oil or consecrated portion. One kind of anointing oil was referred to as the holy oil (shemen hakodesh).  People, as well as certain things were anointed to consecrate or sanctify them for various purposes.

There were a lot of anointed people (mashiach = sg.) in the Bible; they were usually priests and kings; some of these men were also prophets. Occasionally, a person was specifically anointed as a prophet.[i] Just because there were other anointed people in the Bible doesn’t mean there is no special Mashiach. There has to be one because the Jews were looking for that person in Yeshua’s day and they are still looking for him today. We will soon consider the verses that this prophecy is based on.

The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is like the anointing oil. When the Spirit comes upon someone, he may prophesy, or be set apart (consecrated); the Spirit may give that person special skills or authority for a specific purpose.[ii] We see this concept not only in the Tanach but also in the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament).[iii]

Normally, a prince would not be anointed with oil until he was about to be anointed as king.  David, the 8th son of Jesse was not a prince at the time of his anointing.  In fact, he was anointed years before he began to rule.[iv] He was not only anointed with oil, but he was also anointed at the same time by the Holy Spirit in preparation for his kingship.[v] Before he was anointed, he unknowingly trained to shepherd his people; but not long after being anointed with oil and the Spirit, he began training to be a military leader.  When the time was right, he became king.

There’s not much specifically mentioned in the Tanach about “The Messiah” by using the Hebrew term HaMashiach; but, in Daniel 9:25-27 he is called “Anointed Prince” (mashiach nagiyd).  Kings were anointed with oil before ascending the throne. Since this verse emphasizes this prince was anointed, there must be something unique about this prince. I believe this prince would be anointed, most likely with the Holy Spirit.

Daniel 9:25-27 gives the timing of the Anointed Prince’s arrival and says he will be cut off, but not for himself. His arrival time has long past. Yeshua arrived at the expected time. Wise men from the east were looking for his star at the expected time; and once they found him, they eventually presented gifts to give him the honor due a king.  These wise men must have been aware of Daniel’s prophecy.  Many years later, Yeshua was anointed with the Ruach HaKodesh, and eventually killed for the people before he became king.[vi] Fortunately, Yeshua rose from the dead and he is expected to be King of kings at the appointed time.

Daniel’s Anointed Prince must be the son or descendant of a king. Based on 2 Samuel 7:12-16, he must be a descendant of David; because, David’s throne has been established forever (leolam). Hence, this Messiah Prince is referred to as the Son of David. This specific Messiah is the one that other prophets foretold things about without actually using the term mashiach.

Instead of using the term mashiach, he was given other titles based on Scripture that describe his character or what he will do. Rabbis have even debated his name.  He is known as:

  • The Suffering Servant (son of Joseph) who was to be smitten by God, and afflicted; wounded for our transgressions; bruised for our iniquities; and the chastisement for our peace was upon him. In other words, based on typology, he was destined to be a grain offering, guilt offering, sin offering, and peace offering.[vii]
  • The Branch (YHVH our Righteousness; he’s a king and a priest)[viii]
  • Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.[ix]
  • Immanu El (God with us)[x]

The prophecy in Daniel 9 of the Anointed Prince was made during the Babylonian captivity and long after the death of Hezekiah.  Some people believed the Messiah lived in Hezekiah’s day and could have been his son.  This idea is based on the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-8:  “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”  

I don’t think Hezekiah’s son or anyone else has completely fulfilled this prophecy.  Many, including myself are confident that Yeshua was the child who was born, the Son that was given.  This is alluded to in the genealogy found in Luke 3:31 where we see the name Nathan, the son of David.  This genealogy is different from Matthew’s.  Liberties were taken with genealogies by the Jews for different purposes.  This genealogy emphasizes Nathan, the son of David instead of Solomon.  The name Nathan comes from the Hebrew verb natan which means to give; I think this genealogy indicates that Yeshua was “the son that was given.”  For our purposes it gives us the connection we are looking for in “the Prince of Peace” of Isaiah 9:6.  I believe “the Prince of Peace” is “the Anointed Prince” in Daniel 9:25-26.  Based on other Messianic prophecies, I believe the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-8 will be completely fulfilled by Yeshua at some point in the future.

The Anointed Prince is not just a descendant of David; he also has to be a descendant of Solomon.[xi]  Solomon’s son Rehoboam took the throne after Solomon’s death.  The kingdoms divided during his reign. Rehoboam was king of Judah, and Jeroboam who had been a servant of Solomon was the king of Israel.[xii]  The Davidic dynasty continued in Judah through Rehoboam.  YHVH created this split; He intended to afflict the descendants of David, but not forever.

Tracing the descendants of Rehoboam until the time of the Babylonian captivity leads to Jehoiachin.[xiii]    Jehoiachin became the king of Judah when he was 8 years old.  Three months later, he was carried off to Babylon.  Then the king of Babylon made Zedekiah king of Judah.  Previously, Zedekiah’s name was Mattaniah; he was Jehoichin’s uncle.  His name was changed to Zedekiah by King Nebuchadnezzer. With Jehoiachin gone, his brother Jeconiah (son of Jehoiakim/Eliakim) should have been king instead of Zedekiah.  Perhaps he was not old enough to rule without a co-regent; I don’t know. By the way, Jeconiah had a son named Zedekiah so let’s not get confused by that.

In Jeremiah 22:24-30 there is “the curse of Jeconiah” (also known as Coniah).  Jeremiah 22:30 says, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.”  Woe, this is not good.  How is YHVH going to stop afflicting the descendants of David forever?  How is YHVH going to bypass this curse?  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, adoption is the logical answer.[xiv]

Suddenly Jeremiah 23 shifts gears and says woe to the evil shepherds who are responsible for the scattering of God’s people.  Not all of the leaders of Judah had been good. Coniah was described as a despised, broken idol; he was a vessel in which there was no pleasure. Now, if YHVH doesn’t intend to afflict the descendants of David forever as mentioned in 1Kings 11:39, He’s got to do something about the curse placed on Coniah. Jeremiah 23 immediately tells us YHVH’s plan to correct the problem of the evil shepherds of Judah. YHVH intends to gather the remnant of his people and raise up a Branch of Righteousness to David. He is going to be an awesome king who will reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness. He can’t do this without being ANOINTED (MASHIACH).  He will be “The Messiah” (HaMashiach), the best of all of God’s anointed ones. He will be known as “YHVH our Righteousness.” In his days, Judah will be saved (niphal form of the verb yasha spelled yod-shin-ayin) and Israel will dwell safely.  The Anointed Prince who had been cut off, yet risen from the dead will be this Anointed King.  His name is Yeshua (means “he will save;” similar root = yod-shin-vav-ayin).

This Anointed King, the Branch of Righteousness (or YHVH Our Righteousness) could not have been any of the kings of the past: David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Athaliah (mother of Ahaziah), Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), Jehoiachin, Zedekiah (Mattaniah) or rightfully Jeconiah (Coniah). This was to be an anointed king of the FUTURE because this prophecy came AFTER the curse of Jeconiah.

First Chronicles 3:17-24 lists the genealogy of Jeconiah.  Verse 17 is the one we need to be most concerned with because the rest of it follows the descendants of Pedaiah.  We should be careful to note that Pedaiah had a son named Zerubbabel but this is not Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel.  Jeconiah’s son Assir had a son named Shealtiel, who had a son named Zerubbabel.[xv] This Zerubbabel helped build the house of God in Jerusalem.  He became the governor of Judah; he NEVER became a king. Therefore, he was not HaMashiach.  Zerubbabel was later chosen by YHVH of hosts to be like a signet ring.  This is the Zerubbabel mentioned in Matthew 1:12 which is part of the genealogy of Yeshua.

Matthew 1 gives us the genealogy of Yeshua HaMashiach.  He’s taken the liberty to lay it out in 3 sets of 14 generations for his own purposes.  As a result, he leaves out certain names in the genealogy.  This is apparent in Matthew 1:11-16 where it says, “Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.” He left out Jehoahaz, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), and Jehoiachin between Josiah and Jehoiachin.  The text leaves these names out to show three 14-generation periods related to Israel’s history: Abraham to David (period prior to the kings); David to the Babylonian captivity (period of the kings); and the captivity in Babylon to Yeshua (period after the kings).

Yeshua would have begun his ministry about 6 months after John the Baptist began his. His ministry began with His baptism and ANOINTING by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). His powerful ministry was marked by teaching his interpretation of Torah; healing the sick; cleansing metzorim (lepers); casting out demons; feeding thousands with bread; and more. Ultimately, he gave the people the sign of Jonah. He was in the heart of the earth for three full days and nights before his resurrection on the Day of Firstfruits.[xvi] He was seen showing infallible proofs of his resurrection over a period of forty days before his ascension. He was even seen by 500 brethren at once even though only two to three witnesses should have been sufficient. Many people who claim to have seen him after his resurrection were willing to be martyred for telling that truth. Who would die for a lie? The fulfillment of the 7th day (millennial reign of The Messiah) is expected to begin following that; this will be followed by the 8th day (age of the new heaven and earth). On earth he was a prophet, now he is High Priest, and soon he will be King of kings and Lord of lords. All three roles are that of a MASHIACH. No other mashiach has or will be anointed for all three of these roles. Yeshua is the ultimate Mashiach.

[i] See 1 Kings 19:16.

[ii] See Exodus 31:3, Numbers 11:17, 25; 27:18-20, Judges 3:10; 6:34; 14:6; 1 Samuel 10:6; Isaiah 11:2; 61:1-2; and Micah 3:8.

[iii] See Acts 4:27, 10:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; and Hebrews 1:9 which quotes Psalm 45:6-7.

[iv] 1 Samuel 15:1; 16:12-13; 1 Kings 1:34; 19:15-16

[v] 1 Samuel 16:13

[vi] John 1:32-34 and John 11:49-52

[vii] Isaiah 52:4-5

[viii] Zechariah 6:12-13

[ix] Isaiah 9:6

[x] Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23

[xi]  2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 8:20

[xii] 1Kings 11:35-39

[xiii] Solomon’s descendants are listed in 1 Chronicles 3:10-24.

[xiv] Joseph, a descendent of David adopts Yeshua as his own son.  I have also confirmed this by Bible code.

[xv]  This Zerubbabel is mentioned in in Ezra 5:2; Nehemiah 12:1; Haggai 1:1, 12, 14; and Haggai 2:2, 23.

[xvi]  Nisan 15-17th; He was buried before the sun went down (as Nisan14th became the 15th) rose on the Day of Firstfruits after the sun went down on Saturday (as Nisan 17th became the 18th).

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The Harbinger

Today, we’ll look at Isaiah 8-12.  In Isaiah 8, the Lord told Isaiah to write “Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz” on a large scroll; it was to be witnessed by Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah.  Later, Isaiah’s wife, the prophetess conceived and gave birth to a son.  The Lord told Isaiah to name him “Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz” which means “make haste to plunder! Hurry to the spoil!”  The Lord also said that before the boy knows how to say ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria would be carried off by the king of Assyria.  This prophecy was fulfilled in 732 by Tiglath-pileser III. 

Because the people rejoiced in Rezin, the king of Aram (Syria) and Pekah, the king of Israel and rejected the waters of Shiloah, the Lord used the imagery of the rising Euphrates River to describe how the army of Assyria would sweep into the southern kingdom and cover the whole land of Judah.  According to 2 Kings 18:13, this was accomplished by Sennacherib in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah. 

What could be so special about the waters of Shiloah?  Shiloah was a fountain or pool in Jerusalem that shares similarities in spelling to Shiloh which is an epithet of the Messiah.  How interesting that Revelation 21:6 refers to Jesus as the Fountain of Life!  Jeremiah 2:13 agrees with Isaiah by saying, “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns — broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

Why would people in Judah rejoice in their enemies, Rezin, the king of Aram (Syria) and Pekah, the king of Israel in addition to rejecting the Lord?  Obviously, they practiced idolatry.  Were these people foreigners or terrorists in the land and/or ordinary citizens’ whose thoughts and behavior were at war with their own people or government?  Could there be a parallel here to address what’s happening in America today?    

The Lord promised to bring the army of Assyria on these people.  As Isaiah speaks of Assyria filling the land of Judah, he says, “Be shattered, O you peoples, and be broken in pieces! Give ear, all you from far countries. Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces; Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces. 10 Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; Speak the word, but it will not stand, For God is with us.”

The Lord said to all those from distant lands to arm themselves and devise a plan.  No matter what they said, it would not come to pass because “Immanu El (God is with us).”  This must be a message not only for the past but the near future—perhaps it’s a message not only for Israel but America as well.

Just like Isaiah, we should not be afraid of those around us.  We are to fear the Lord of armies and consecrate Him!  He will be our sanctuary!  Lord, please be selective in judgment!

Both Israel and Judah have stumbled against the Rock of their salvation.  In other words, they rejected the Lord during the Old Testament period and rejected Jesus when He came to visit them as Immanu El.  They were greatly offended by Him.  By the time Jesus came, the religious leaders had added numerous and complicated teachings and traditions to the law that often nullified the law of God.  Their teachings and traditions were preventing the common people from entering the kingdom of heaven.  It was obvious to Jesus that the light of the Lord was not within them.  Jesus did not abide by their traditions but taught the Torah by His own authority. He drove out demons by the finger of God, healed the sick, and raised the dead to show He was the Living Water but they couldn’t see what He was showing them or hear what He was saying.  Apparently, the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were more interested in their power and position, and their traditions and interpretations of the law than in living out the written law given to them by the Lord through Moses.  Aren’t we the same today?

The meaning of the precepts of the written law was to be bound and hidden but revealed only to those the Lord intended.  Jesus made it clear to His disciples that this was His reason for telling parables—so that only those God intended to see, ear, and understand could do so.  When Jesus came the first time from Galilee, He broke the burden of the oral law which had become so overwhelming and laid the easier yoke of the original written law on the people.

In Isaiah, prophecy is bound up by the way it was written.  It’s clearly a mixture of the past and the future.  It’s often hard to separate and some of it likely applies to both the past and the future.  It’s written in such a way that it can only be seen dimly.  In a similar way, Isaiah’s children were for signs and wonders in Israel because their names foretold the future.

God’s people were not to participate in the occult to know what would happen in the future.  The Lord has revealed the future from the beginning through His word.  He said there would be those who walk in the way of the Lord and others who won’t, and some who would bless Him while others cursed Him.

The first time Jesus came as Immanu El, He came from Galilee but the next time He comes as Immanu El, the government will be upon His shoulders and there will be peace forever.  Obviously, much prophecy must be fulfilled before that happens.

Isaiah 9:8-10 says, “The Lord sent a word against Jacob, And it has fallen on Israel. 9 All the people will know — Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria — Who say in pride and arrogance of heart: 10 ‘The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with hewn stones; The sycamores are cut down, But we will replace them with cedars.”

Since Israel said this, the Lord raised up Retzin’s enemies against him; Rezin, the king of Aram (Syria) could no longer help Israel because he was killed by Tiglath-Pileser, the king of Assyria (2 Kings 16:9).  Assyria carried the northern kingdom of Israel into captivity but the Lord said Syria and the Philistines would devour Israel with an open mouth.  Since Syria was an ally of the northern kingdom of Israel, this has to happen in the future.  Even now they are salivating at the chance while nipping here and there.

America is much like the house of Israel.  In Jonathan Cahn’s book, The Harbinger, he gives a detailed description of America as seen in Isaiah 9:8-10.  Even though it is in a fictional format, it is true down to the last detail.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.  It shows how America is under judgment, how leaders in America declared the words of Isaiah 9:9-10 in response to 9/11, and how the harbinger was fulfilled in amazing detail.  Woe to America, my homeland!  Oh, how you have fallen!  I can only grieve for my country because I know based on Isaiah that a horrible tragedy is coming.  Please repent, America!  Have mercy, Lord!  Please protect Your faithful!  Please be selective in judgment!  Praise the Lord, Immanu El!

Let us stand with fear and trembling because the Lord’s hand is still raised against us.  It should be clear that God is using the Syrians and Philistines to get our attention.  The northern kingdom didn’t get it in the past, we’re not getting it now, and I doubt Israel will get it in the future.  God wants people to repent and turn to Him.  He has His hand stretched out waiting for people to take it.

Look at this warning: Isaiah 9:15-16 says, “The elder and honorable, he is the head; The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail. 16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed.”  Surely this is true of America as much as it was/is of Israel.

Who will we follow after?  Who will we listen to?  Our political and spiritual leaders are causing us to error!  We must individually repent of our pride and arrogance and turn to the Lord evening if our churches and nation won’t join us corporately.  Pray for the Lord to have mercy on us and on Israel (Judah).  Don’t join those who stand against Israel.   Reject the teachings of men and embrace the commands of God before it’s too late!

Isaiah said woe to those who make unrighteous decrees.  This is a warning to leaders who take what belongs to the people and deny people of justice.  They will not escape punishment for what they are doing.

The Lord used Assyria as a rod in His hand against His people.  Assyria moved their boundaries, plundered their treasuries, and moved captives far away from home.  Isn’t this the goal of Israel’s enemies today?  Even though the Lord used Israel’s enemies to judge and turn His people back to Himself, His people ignored Him.  Wake up! Repent!

Eventually, the Lord judged and punished Assyria too.  In the future, Israel’s enemies won’t get away either.  Jesus, the Lord of heaven’s armies, will cut down those who are haughty and this rod (Israel’s enemies) will be burned with a consuming fire.  The people of the east will be plundered.  The remnant of Israel will return.  Jesus, the rod from the stem of Jesse will rise up and rule in righteousness.  That which was once wild will dwell in peace with that which is domesticated.  The Gentiles will seek the Lord.  The Lord will be praised in all the earth.

Isaiah 9:6-7 makes it clear:  “And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor [Pele-Yo’etz], Mighty God [El Gibbor], Everlasting Father [Avi –‘Ad], Prince of Peace [Sar- Shalom].  7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

A Remnant Will Return

Today, we will look at Isaiah 7.  Near the end of the reign of Jotham, the Lord began to send Ephraim (northern kingdom, Israel) and Syria to fight against Judah (southern kingdom).  The Lord was using Israel and Syria as a tool to cause Judah to repent of their idolatry.  During that time, Ahaz was co-regent with his father, Jotham. 

According to Isaiah 7, Pekah, the king of Ephraim and Rezin, the king of Aram (Syria) came against Jerusalem to make war. They intended to make a gap in the wall and set for themselves a different king in the midst of Judah– the son of Tabeel.  The name Tabeel means to please God; it’s also the name of a Syrian and a Persian.  

The hearts of the people of Judah were fearful of their enemies.  Since Ahaz’ heart was also troubled by what was happening, the Lord told Isaiah to take his son, Shear-Jashub and meet with Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool which was on the highway to the Fuller’s Field (also translated as Launderer’s Field).  The Lord instructed Isaiah to tell Ahaz to stay calm and not fear Rezin and Pekah.

Since the name of Isaiah’s son, Shear-Jashub means “a remnant will return,” Isaiah’s son was a visible message to Ahaz and the people of Judah that a remnant will return.  Depending on the actual chronology of events, this message may refer to all of the captives taken by Pekah which were returned to Jericho instead of being kept as slaves while those taken by Rezin were kept and taken to Damascus (2 Chronicles 28). 

During this meeting between Isaiah and Ahaz, Isaiah told Ahaz that Pekah and Rezin’s plan of dividing the land and setting up a new king would not come to pass.  In fact, within 65 years Ephraim, the house of Israel would no longer be a people.  At the same time, Isaiah warned Ahaz if he didn’t stand firm in his faith, he would not stand either.

To assure Ahaz that His word was true, the Lord offered to give Ahaz a sign.  Since Ahaz would not ask for one, the Lord gave him the sign of the virgin birth of “Immanu El” (“God with us”) and told him before the child knew enough to choose right and reject wrong, he would have to eat curdled milk and wild honey and the land Ahaz dreaded would be forsaken by her kings. Isaiah also told Ahaz that the Lord would bring the king of Assyria with his powerful Assyrian armies (bees) and numerous Egyptian armies (flies) down on him—meaning the kingdom of Judah.

Judah’s enemies would not have been a threat to Ahaz if he trusted in the Lord.  He refused to believe that Syria and Ephraim were smoking firebrands—that their power was fizzling out.  Ahaz refused to believe the prophecy of Immanu El — “God is with us.”  Ahaz rejected the Lord and wanted other gods to protect him so he continued his idolatrous ways and caused the nation of Judah to do the same.  The Lord knew what Ahaz’ choice would be.  This is why Isaiah warned him that the king of Assyria (fly) and the king of Egypt (bee) would be brought down on him and those days would be worse than any he had ever known since the time of the divided kingdom.

The sign of the virgin birth was fulfilled when Mary gave birth to Jesus although some believe this was a reference to Ahaz’ son, Hezekiah who was a type of the Messiah.  Either way we look at it, the Lord assured Ahaz that the land of Syria and Ephraim would be forsaken before the promised child was a few years old.  History shows that Hezekiah was no longer a child but was already reigning in Jerusalem by the time of the last deportation of Ephraim to Assyria.  This confirms the prophecy of the virgin birth was not referring to Hezekiah. 

Once Ahaz ignored Isaiah’s prophecy, he became a vassal of Tiglath-Pileser, the Assyrian king instead of trusting in the Lord.  Tiglath-Pileser then captured Damascus, took captives to Kir, and killed Rezin (2 Kings 16:9).  

According to 2 Kings 15:30, Hoshea, the son of Elah attacked and assassinated Pekah; Hoshea succeeded Pekah as king in the 20th year of Jotham.  Since Pekah had come against both Jotham and Ahaz, it seems that the reigns of Jotham and Ahaz overlapped.  This practice was not uncommon in the Middle East.

In Hoshea’s ninth year, the king of Assyria took Samaria which was the capital of Ephraim and carried away the house of Israel into Assyria because of their lawlessness (2 Kings 17:1-18). Ahaz’ son, Hezekiah began to reign in Hoshea’s third year so he had reigned six years when the king of Assyria deported the last group of Israelites into Assyria.

Judah did not fight against the Egyptians (bees) until the end of Josiah’s reign when the Egyptians were on their way to aid the Assyrians who were fighting against the Babylonians.  As a result of confronting Pharaoh Necho, Josiah died at Megiddo.  On their way back, the Egyptians took control over Judah. King Jehoahaz, son of Josiah was deported to Egypt where he died (2 Kings 23) and Eliakim, son of Josiah reigned in his place.  Eliakim’s name was changed to Jehoiakim and he reigned in Jerusalem for eleven years.  He eventually became a vassal of the Babylonians.  After a period of rebellion against the Babylonians, Jehoiakim died and his son, Jehoiachin reigned in his place.  Eventually, what belonged to Egypt was taken over by the Babylonians and finally, the Jews were taken into captivity for seventy years in Babylon until a remnant returned in the first year that Cyrus reigned in Persia.

What happened in the past is a pattern for the future.

Much has happened to the land of Israel throughout history.  Many empires and peoples have claimed it for their own.  Samaria is located in what is now called the West Bank.  Israel refers to the West Bank as Judea and Samaria.  The West Bank was once controlled by Jordan but it is now claimed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization.  Damascus is still in Syria and is the home of several terrorist organizations who desire to destroy Israel. 

It’s no secret these groups have evil intentions for Israel.  Today, Israel’s enemies say they intend to divide the land of Israel and set up their own ruler just like Pekah and Rezin intended to do.  Perhaps they want a Syrian or Persian to be their leader.  Who knows for sure?  Will all of their plans for Israel come to pass?  Time will tell.

Many throughout the world think dividing the land will bring peace to the land.  Surely this plan for peace won’t bring lasting peace.  As the prophecies of the latter days unfold, the Jews must not be afraid but must stand firm in their faith in the Lord.  Believers around the world must fearlessly stand with them as well.

Ephraim also seems to parallel America today.  America was once united with the country of Israel against its enemies; however, the current administration has taken the side of Israel’s enemies.  Israel is being forced to stand alone.  Israelis needs to know who their Savior is.  Believers around the world should also stand with Israel.  Who can say what will happen to America in the future?  Will America soon cease to be a people like Ephraim did?  Again, only time will tell.

No matter what happens, remember, Immanu El!

Even more curious is Assyria.  Previously, once Ephraim and Syria were no longer a threat to Judah, Assyria and Egypt became a problem for Judah.  Assyria is not synonymous with Syria as many believe.  Even though the Assyrian empire faded away, ethnic Assyrians still exist throughout the world.  It may surprise you to know they are predominantly Christians and not Muslim. 

During the last 1260 days, the Lord will hide and nourish the 144,000 in the wilderness.  It’s possible that they may eat curdled milk and wild honey.  This will be during the last half of the final shavuah—the 70th week of Daniel.

Who is the future antichrist known as?  One of his many names is “the Assyrian.”  Could it be that he will be ethnically Assyrian?  Since he will not follow the god of his fathers, he will not be a true Christian.  He could be Muslim.  When he rises to power, everyone will be expected to submit to him and worship him in Jerusalem.  Our pattern suggests that Egypt will be his ally.  Once again, as the sixth millennium ends, a battle will be fought in the Valley of Jezreel at Har Megiddo –which is also known as Armageddon.  This time, Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords will be leading the battle and not King Josiah.  He will not disguise Himself or die like King Josiah did.  Everyone will know who He is and He will be victorious.

In recent history, a remnant returned to Israel after the Holocaust of World War II.  In the future, shear-jashub — “a remnant will return” from the four corners of the earth when Christ returns to begin His millennial reign in Jerusalem.  Immanu El!