Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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April 18, 2001
Last Updated :
November 28, 2013
More Fulfillments Of Jacob's Prophecy, Tamar's Persistence, Jesus Is The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah, Ruth Seduces Boaz, King David Commits Adultery And Murder, Foreskins Were An Israelite Token Of Victory, David's Wild Dance And Michal Is Struck Barren, Did God Make A Mistake?, Judging God, God's Ways Are Above Our Ways, Isaiah And Menstruous Cloths, God Is The Boss, Isaiah Walks Naked, Unorthodoxy With A Message, Apostate Israel And Assyrian Expansion, King Hezekiah And Sennacherib, Dung And Piss: An Odd Diet, "Pisseth Against The Wall", Prophet Ezekiel Is Told To Eat Dung, Cannibalism In The Scriptures, Prophet Hosea Is Ordered To Marry A Whore
Continuing our discussion from part one, following are a few more prophetic fulfillments regarding the words that were spoken by Jacob in Genesis chapter forty-nine:
"And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt."
John 12:14-15, KJV
"And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs."
Revelation 14:17-20, KJV
"And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God."
Revelation 19:13, KJV
Returning to the story of Judah and Tamar, because of one woman's persistence, the line of Judah continued, ultimately resulting in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the true Lion of Judah. This point becomes evident by the following verses:
"For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood."
Hebrews 7:14, KJV
"For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:"
Hebrews 8:8, KJV
"And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."
Revelation 5:5, KJV
So think about this for a moment. Thus far, we have seen that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has an earthly ancestry which includes liars, deceivers, and a woman who played a whore. In spite of what she did, Tamar was clearly blessed by God, and deemed more righteous than selfish Judah. Why? Because she did not do it for money. She did it in order to preserve the Royal Seed. Tamar was in tune to God's Spirit. I don't know if she really knew what the future held, but because of her persistence and trickery, God's Plan was fulfilled. How is that for a shocker from the Holy Book?
Tamar's seductive behavior is not the only questionable or what some people might view as an "unChristian" act that is associated with our Savior. Moving up hundreds of years, are you aware of the fact that Ruth -- who was another ancestor of Jesus Christ -- purposely seduced Boaz, who himself was the great grandfather of King David, in obedience to her mother-in-law Naomi's bidding? That dear girl waited until Boaz had eaten and was drunk, and then crept in and slept with him late at night. Her motivation? Again, it was to continue the family line. Following is a part of the story:
"Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor. Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do. And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I. Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning. And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor. Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city. And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her."
Ruth 3:1-16, KJV
Now isn't that an odd question! Why in the world would Naomi ask her daughter-in-law -- who she already knew very well -- who she was? Was Naomi mad? Had she lost her memory? Or is it possible that Naomi was asking Ruth if their plan had worked, and if she was no longer the same person she was twelve hours earlier? Do you understand what is being inferred here? As we learn from the story of Ruth, wise Boaz acted like a gentleman and married Ruth after a closer next-of-kin refused her.
Next in our list of unorthodox stories is Boaz and Ruth's great grandson, King David. Many of you are familiar with the fact that King David was both a murderer -- he purposely had Uriah killed in battle -- as well as an adulterer -- he took Uriah's beautiful wife, Bathsheba, to be his own wife -- yet he too is heralded as one of the greatest kings of Israel. Not only that, but we all know that David was also a direct ancestor of Jesus Christ. Due to the length of the story regarding Bathsheba, I will not include it here. You will find it in 2 Samuel chapters eleven and twelve. Let me just mention that God did punish King David for his sinful and selfish deeds. However, He also blessed David with many other sons; the first of whom was King Solomon.
Before leaving King David behind, allow me to mention a few more interesting facts regarding the life of this famous and highly-respected Jewish king. Are you aware of the fact that it was a common practice of the Israelites to cut off the foreskins of their male enemies as a token of victory? For those of you who do not know what a foreskin is, it is the sheath of skin which surrounds an uncircumcised man's penis. Imagine. If you were defeated by the Israelites, you risked suffering sudden circumcision; and I seriously doubt that any kind of local anesthesia was applied. Of course, maybe you were already dead when they did it. My regular readers know that I love the Lord, and I love His Word. Yet I am not ashamed to admit that even though I have studied the Bible for many years, I still find this practice very repulsive. I just cannot imagine myself ever grabbing any man's penis, and doing this to him, regardless of whether he is dead or alive.
Well, the Prophet Samuel informs us that King Saul required that David collect one hundred foreskins of his Philistine enemies, before he would give David the hand of his daughter Michal in marriage. We are told that David humbled King Saul by not just bringing him one hundred Philistine foreskins, but by doubling the amount and bringing him two hundred of the same. Imagine if such outlandish marriage requirements were made today. Lord help us! Consider this verse:
"Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife."
1 Samuel 18:27, KJV
Speaking of Michal, are you aware of the fact that God cursed her, so that she was unable to bear any children for David? Do you know why the Lord did this? The Bible tells us that it was because she was a jealous woman. It seems that David was a rather happy, wild and carefree king. He was so in love with the Lord, and His Word, that he was not afraid to publicly demonstrate his affection for the Lord. On one particular occasion, when the Ark of the Covenant was being returned to Jerusalem, David danced wildly before it. The reason why Michal became jealous and spoke against David, is because he did his wild dance in front of the handmaids of Israel, and we are given the impression that he stripped off some of his clothes. God simply did not like anyone speaking against His anointed leader -- not even David's wife -- and David told her so. Thus she was cursed, as we see by these verses:
"And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart . . . Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD. And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour. Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death."
2 Samuel 6:14-16, 20-23, KJV
So allow me to ask you a question. Considering the stories which we have examined thus far in this series, couldn't God have made much better choices than people such as these? In fact, didn't this questionable lineage place a dark stain on Jesus' bloodline? Is it difficult to understand why to this very day, many modern Jews still refuse to accept Jesus as the one true Messiah? Is it difficult to understand why they say so many nasty things about Him, and even spit at the very mention of His name? Did God make a mistake by choosing such questionable people? Or was He actually trying to emphasize a particular point by resorting to such unorthodox methods, and by using people who were less than perfect? Personally, I am convinced that He was. As I point out in the article entitled "The Only Credentials You Need!", that point seems to be that God can use whoever He wants, however He wants, whenever He wants, regardless of what mere humans think of His methods; even if they think that He is wrong, or not a very holy God. As the Lord said to dear Job:
". . . Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?"
Job 40:1b-8, KJV
Many centuries later, the Apostle Paul would likewise write the following in his Epistle to the brethren at Rome:
"Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?"
Romans 9:20, KJV
So, as we have begun to see, if we start to examine some of the lives of the "heroes" of the Bible, we discover that they said and did some things which would make the sensitive modern Christian turn their head in shock, in disgust, and in absolute wonderment. Yet each of the individuals who were involved in these different situations were both chosen and blessed by God. To reiterate, God simply does not care what we humans think of His methods. As we see by the following group of verses, God's ways are simply not our ways; and at times they are far beyond our human comprehension. For this reason, we should all be very careful, and not be too quick to judge Him:
"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding."
Isaiah 40:28, KJV
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9, KJV
"Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number."
Job 9:10, KJV
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"
Romans 11:33, KJV
Before leaving the Old Testament behind, let's take a look at a few more examples of God's unorthodox methods. First in our line-up is a person who is greatly respected by Bible scholars of our modern era. Allow me to introduce you to the Prophet Isaiah by way of one of his many prophecies. Please be advised that this individual seems to have a penchant for employing shock value in his writings. He would have fit in perfectly with modern shock radio and television. Yes, I am employing a bit of sarcasm here. Near the end of the Book that is named after him, this humble Prophet of God wrote the following lines in which he very graphically describes our less-than-perfect condition:
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
Isaiah 64:6, KJV
Do you fully understand what Isaiah has written here? The Lord is having him say that our righteousness stinks! Our self-perceived holiness is putrid! Exactly how bad is it? Well, if we look up the Hebrew origin of the phrase "filthy rags", we discover that it is derived from the word "ed". According to the Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Hebrew Aramaic English Lexicon, this Hebrew word refers to the filthy rags or stained garments of menstruation. In other words, God is having Isaiah state that our righteousness, and the holier-than-thou image that certain people have of themselves -- in this particular case, the backslidden Jews -- isn't any better than a stinking, putrid menstrual cloth; that is to say, a Kotex or Tampax!
Well, if God really wanted to create a favorable impression with us, or with the ancient Israelites, He certainly did a rather poor job of it, didn't He? He certainly didn't make it easy for Isaiah, did He? But you see, as I have already made clear, God simply does not care what we think of Him, or of His methods. He will do as He pleases, because He is the boss, and not us. He is the one who calls the shots. How dare any of us to speak against Him. Tragically, blasphemy against God is rampant everywhere today, and the forces of darkness are exalted and praised across the land. There should be no doubt that the very spirit of antichrist has filled our modern world.
Imagine if the Prophet Isaiah, the man who prophesied of the fall of kings and kingdoms, the man who prophesied of the sufferings of the Messiah, the man who also prophesied of the Millennial Rule of Jesus Christ, came today and said the very same things concerning the modern religious system. Would he have been accepted by such a pharisaical group of people? I seriously doubt it; particularly after I tell you of another interesting fact regarding the life of this wonderful Prophet of God.
Are you aware of the fact that the Prophet Isaiah was the first streaker? For those of you outside of America who are not familiar with the term, a number of decades ago, there was a certain fad in the United States whereby for the simple sake of shock value, certain daring individuals -- both men and women -- would don nothing but tennis shoes, and run -- or streak -- unexpectedly across a certain area, totally in the nude. I never personally witnessed this. Whether or not they were trying to make some kind of political statement, I do not recall. Perhaps some were, while others did it merely for the challenge, or the exhilaration that they experienced while doing it. I really don't know.
Well, some 2,700 years ago, dear Isaiah was called by God, to do something equally as radical. In fact, I would dare say that it was even more radical. Why? Because Isaiah did not just dash across town for a minute or two. He did not even run. We are told that he walked totally naked for not just a few minutes, but for a total of three years! Notice that in the following verses we are told that he did not even wear a loin cloth around his buttocks and genitalia:
"At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt."
Isaiah 20:2-4, KJV
As you can see by the previous verses, whenever the Lord asked one of His servants to perform such an unorthodox act, it was always for a specific reason. In this case, Isaiah's three-year naked streak was meant to serve as a very graphic example of the fate which would soon befall the Egyptians and the Ethiopians, as they were taken into captivity by the Assyrians. Now, can you imagine what would happen today if a man of God were to strip himself of his clothing, and engage in a ministry similar to that of the Prophet Isaiah? There is no doubt in my mind that the religious establishment would quickly brand him a false prophet who was possessed by the devil; well, at least those who still believe that Satan is real. Sadly, many churches now teach that Satan was only a symbolic or metaphorical creature.
At any rate, I don't doubt that the legal authorities would send the men in white coats in order to quickly subdue and lock up anyone who would dare venture out onto the street in the nude, in order to preach the Word of God. Stop and think about what your reaction would be if you heard such a thing on the nightly news. Being the skeptical person that I am, I know that I would raise my eyebrows, and I would be extremely hesitant to embrace such an individual as a modern Prophet who has been sent by God.
That brings us to our next example of "shocking" language which is found in the Bible. Similar to his contemporaries, Isaiah was a very intense Prophet of warning. As I mention in articles such as "The Fruits of Disobedience", during much of the time that they existed as an independent nation, the people of ancient Israel were living in great sin, and God was getting rather tired of it. Thus, He sent Isaiah and other Prophets to warn them that they had better repent. As we learn from the Scriptures, their primary sin was their worship of the ancient pagan gods, which had been strictly forbidden since the days of Moses. So rebellious were they, that not only did they build altars to these false gods, but they likewise sacrificed their very own children to them as well. Scattered amongst the disobedient kings of ancient Israel, there were a few good leaders, such as King Hezekiah who ruled over the southern kingdom of Judah.
At this time in world history, the Assyrian empire was aggressively conquering the Middle East, and the land of Judah was next on their agenda. Of course, their conquest had been ordained by God, even though in their pride, the foolish Assyrians did not realize this. They assumed that they conquered different lands by the power of their false gods, and they even ridiculed the God of Israel. What they failed to realize is that King Hezekiah was one of the good kings. Furthermore, Hezekiah had done something which had in fact pleased the Lord. He had put a halt to the worship of the false gods in Judah, as we see by the following verses:
"Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses."
2 Kings 18:1-6, KJV
So unbeknownst to the Assyrians, at that particular time, the Lord was with the people of Judah; and His intentions were to deliver them out of the hand of their enemies, which He did. You can read about the Divine Deliverance in chapter nineteen of the Second Book of the Kings. Consider now part of what was said when Rabshakeh -- who was one of the proud generals of Assyrian king Sennacherib -- drew near to the walls of Jerusalem, in an attempt to convince the people of Jerusalem that they should simply surrender peaceably, and thus avoid any unnecessary bloodshed:
"But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?"
Isaiah 36:12, KJV
That is rather strong language for the Bible; and I suspect that most people would find it much more offensive than my use of the word "crap". Why would Rabshakeh even resort to saying something like that?
Well, if you take the time to study the war strategies which were used by the Assyrians and the Babylonians in the Bible, you will discover that they relied heavily upon the strategy of siege. Most cities were surrounded by steep walls at that time in history -- including the city of Jerusalem -- and the inhabitants would store up supplies which could last for a considerable amount of time. This was particularly beneficial during times of war. I'm reminded of the following verse that is found in the Book of Proverbs:
"A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished."
Proverbs 22:3, KJV
Eventually, however, the supplies would run out; and unless they surrendered, what else would they have left to eat or drink? So I believe that this is what Rabshakeh was really saying to them: "Surrender now, or you will end up eating and drinking your own dung and piss." In fact, if you read some of my other articles regarding this topic, you will see that this is precisely the strategy that the Babylonians used less than two hundred years later when they too sieged -- and in fact conquered -- Jerusalem during the reign of King Zedekiah.
It might interest you to know that this is not the only place where the word "piss" is used in the Bible. On six different occasions, the phrase "pisseth against the wall" is also used; as we see by the following example verse:
"So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall."
1 Samuel 25:22, KJV
Let's continue our discussion by taking a look at the life of another Old Testament messenger of God; that is, the Prophet Ezekiel. Are you aware of the fact that God actually commanded him to eat his own dung? Ezekiel was completely horrified by such a thought, because he considered himself to be such a holy man who would never eat anything unclean, just like the Apostle Peter in the New Testament, as we see by the following two verses:
"But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean."
Acts 10:14, KJV
"But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth."
Acts 11:8, KJV
In the Prophet Ezekiel's case, the Lord decided to make it a little easier for him by telling him he could eat cow dung instead. Following are the key verses:
"And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them. Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth. Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow's dung for man's dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith."
Ezekiel 4:12-15, KJV
Imagine. The God of Heaven commanded His Prophet to eat his own dung! But again, as we have already seen, the reason why the Lord chose to do this, was to try to shock the children of Israel into recognizing the seriousness of their sins. He knew that it would require a strong hand in order to motivate them to repent. Thus, He used this unorthodox example with Ezekiel to tell them exactly what was going to befall them. In fact, the degree of suffering became so acute after the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians, that to our horror, the Prophet Jeremiah informs us that women were eating their very own children! Cannibalism was actually occurring in Israel at that dark time, as we see by the following verse:
"The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people."
Lamentations 4:10, KJV
The other Prophets of the Old Testament were not immune to the Lord's unorthodox, wild tactics. In the case of Hosea, God's Word informs us that the Lord ordered the Prophet to marry a whore in order to graphically illustrate backslidden Israel's whoredoms with the pagan gods of the countries which surrounded them. Not only that, but we are informed that this Prophet even had a son by this woman, as we see by the verses that follow:
"The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD. So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son."
Hosea 1:2-3, KJV
Please go to part three for the continuation of this series.
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