portion is about the offerings taken for repairing the temple of God during the
reign of King Jehoash. Jehoash became king when he was seven years old and set
his heart on repairing the temple.
2 Kings 12:4-5 NKJV 4 And Jehoash said to the
priests, "All the money of the dedicated gifts that are brought into the
house of the LORD-each man's census money, each man's assessment money-and all
the money that a man purposes in his heart to bring into the house of the LORD,
5 "let the priests take it themselves, each from his constituency; and let
them repair the damages of the temple, wherever any dilapidation is found."
passage corresponds to the Torah portion Vayak’hel which includes the
description of the offering taken to build the Tabernacle in the wilderness. In
both situations, the offerings were those given voluntarily to the LORD. The
book of Exodus relates that in the wilderness, the offerings were immediately
used to build the Tabernacle which was completed within six months. However, in
King Jehoash’s time, the offerings were not immediately used for the needed
Why did it
take so long to repair the temple? Why was the temple in need of such major
repairs? How does the state of the temple reflect the state of the throne of
Judah? What does this tell us about the time that Yeshua takes the throne?
of the house of God and the state of the house of David have been linked from
the time of their founding. Because David had a heart to build a house for God;
God would build a house for David.
2 Samuel 7:25-27 NKJV 25 "Now, O LORD God,
the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his
house, establish it forever and do as You have said. 26 "So let Your name
be magnified forever, saying, 'The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel.' And
let the house of Your servant David be established before You. 27 "For
You, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant,
saying, 'I will build you a house.' Therefore Your servant has found it in his
heart to pray this prayer to You.
Now, at the
time of Jehoash, God’s house and David’s house were both in disrepair. Jehoash
had to take the throne at the young age of seven indicating problems in the
house of David. The temple was in sad disrepair through years of idolatry and
misuse. What happened that both houses were in such a state?
king, Jehoash, was the great grandson of both the famous King Jehoshaphat of Judah
and the notorious King Ahab of Israel. At the time of Jehoash’s grandfather,
King Jehoram of Judah, the ties between Judah and Israel were close. This
sounds good; we would think that a close relationship would foster the
reunification of the twelve tribes of Israel. Unfortunately, Israel was not
drawn to return to the true worship of God, instead Judah was drawn into the
sins of Israel! King Jehoram married the daughter of King Ahab and walked
according to the ways of the wicked kings of Israel.
2 Kings 8:18 NKJV 18 And he walked in the way
of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of
Ahab was his wife; and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.
of David, under Jehoram, followed in the wickedness of Ahab and the previous
kings of Israel. After Jehoshaphat died and Jehoram became king, Jehoram killed
all of his brothers and other princes of Israel. Yet, in spite of Jehoram’s
wickedness, God was not willing to remove the kingship from the house of David
or destroy David’s house.
2 Chronicles 21:7 NKJV 7 Yet the LORD would not
destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that He had made with
David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever.
promised that David and his sons would be a lamp to Israel. David is first
referred to as the bearer of the lamp of Israel when David fought against the
Philistines who killed King Saul and his son Jonathan.
2 Samuel 21:17 NKJV 17 But Abishai the son of
Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men
of David swore to him, saying, "You shall go out no more with us to
battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel."
Solomon turned away from God in his later years and God determined to tear the
kingdom away from the sons of Solomon, God reserved one tribe to Solomon so
that the lamp of Israel would not be extinguished.
1 Kings 11:36 NKJV 36 'And to his son I will
give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in
Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there.
In the time
of Jehoram, the house of David faced even greater threats than it did under
Solomon. Jehoram had killed all his brothers and many other princes of Israel.
These princes would have been people with influence and authority and probably
included other descendants of David through his other sons. Jehoram’s evil came
to the attention of the prophet Elijah. Elijah’s ministry was centered in the
northern kingdom of Israel where he prophesied against King Ahab and his
family. However, the word of God came to Elijah regarding Jehoram, and Elijah
relayed that word to Jehoram in a letter.
2 Chronicles 21:12-15 NKJV 12 And a letter came
to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus says the LORD God of your father
David: Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, or
in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but have walked in the way of the kings of
Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot
like the harlotry of the house of Ahab, and also have killed your brothers,
those of your father's household, who were better than yourself, 14 behold, the
LORD will strike your people with a serious affliction-your children, your
wives, and all your possessions; 15 and you will become very sick with a
disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out by reason of the
sickness, day by day.
later, Jehoram died in severe pain due to this illness of his intestines. He
had reigned in Judah for eight years. Most of Jehoram’s sons had died in an
attack by Arabians leaving only the youngest son. At Jehoram’s death, his
youngest son Ahaziah became king over Judah. The ranks of the house of David
continued to be thinned!
his cousin King Joram of Israel were close friends and allies, both continuing
in the wickedness of King Ahab. However, God, determined on the end of the
house of Ahab, sent Jehu to bring His judgment. King Azariah, along with his
nephews, came to the support of King Joram. Jehu killed all of them in the
resulting battles. The house of Ahab was destroyed and Jehu became king of
Israel. However, the death of Ahaziah and his nephews left a power vacuum in
death of her son and her brothers, Ahaziah’s mother Athaliah, determined to
wipe out the remaining members of the house of David and seize the throne of
Judah for herself.
2 Chronicles 22:10 NKJV 10 Now when Athaliah
the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the
royal heirs of the house of Judah.
looking really bleak for the house of David! However, Yehoshab’ath, Ahaziah’s
sister and the wife of the high priest, rescued Ahaziah’s infant son and hid
him in the house of God.
2 Chronicles 22:11-12 NKJV 11 But Jehoshabeath,
the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away
from among the king's sons who were being murdered, and put him and his nurse
in a bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada
the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah so that
she did not kill him. 12 And he was hidden with them in the house of God for
six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.
fitting that the only remaining heir of the house of David would find refuge in
the house of God! Jehoash was raised by his aunt and uncle, staying in the
house of God for six years. In the seventh year, his uncle the high priest Jehoiada,
acted to restore the house of David to the throne of Judah. And this was all
accomplished in the house of God!
the military leaders, the Levites, and the chief leaders of Judah to make a
covenant with Jehoash to make him king.
2 Chronicles 23:1a,2-3 NKJV 1 In the seventh
year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and made a covenant with the captains of
hundreds… 2 And they went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all
the cities of Judah, and the chief fathers of Israel, and they came to
Jerusalem. 3 Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house
of God. And he said to them, "Behold, the king's son shall reign, as the
LORD has said of the sons of David.
appointed day arrived to proclaim Jehoash as king, the temple guard escorted Jehoash
into the temple where he stood by a pillar. They gave him the testimony and
proclaimed him king!
2 Kings 11:10-12 NKJV 10 And the priest gave
the captains of hundreds the spears and shields which had belonged to King
David, that were in the temple of the LORD. 11 Then the escorts stood, every
man with his weapons in his hand, all around the king, from the right side of
the temple to the left side of the temple, by the altar and the house. 12 And
he brought out the king's son, put the crown on him, and gave him the
Testimony; they made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands
and said, "Long live the king!"
of David had been repaired! The rightful king, who was hidden away for six
years, was revealed in the seventh year and was now on the throne! The usurper,
Athaliah, devout worshiper of Baal, was executed in the king’s house.
2 Kings 11:15-16 NKJV 15 And Jehoiada the
priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the army, and
said to them, "Take her outside under guard, and slay with the sword
whoever follows her." For the priest had said, "Do not let her be
killed in the house of the LORD." 16 So they seized her; and she went by
way of the horses' entrance into the king's house, and there she was killed.
With the restoration
of the house of David, it was now time to repair the relationship between the
people and God!
2 Kings 11:17 NKJV 17 Then Jehoiada made a
covenant between the LORD, the king, and the people, that they should be the
LORD'S people, and also between the king and the people.
of the covenant and the bonds of trust that had been broken needed to be
repaired. The kingdom of Judah, which had been led into idolatry and Baal
worship by King Jehoram, King Ahazaiah and Athaliah needed to return to God and
renew their covenant with Him. They needed to bind themselves in covenant
agreement that Jehoash was their king.
act as new covenant partners was to destroy the temple of Baal.
2 Kings 11:18 NKJV 18 And all the people of the
land went to the temple of Baal, and tore it down. They thoroughly broke in
pieces its altars and images, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the
altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD.
taken and installed on the throne of the kings of Judah and the people
2 Kings 11:20 NKJV 20 So all the people of the
land rejoiced; and the city was quiet, for they had slain Athaliah with the
sword in the king's house.
time to repair the house of God! The house had suffered greatly under Athaliah
and her sons which she probably had from a previous marriage.
2 Chronicles 24:7 NKJV 7 For the sons of
Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God, and had also
presented all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD to the Baals.
began by designating all voluntary offerings that were brought into the house
of God to be used for needed repairs.
2 Kings 12:4 NKJV 4 And Jehoash said to the
priests, "All the money of the dedicated gifts that are brought into the
house of the LORD-each man's census money, each man's assessment money-and all
the money that a man purposes in his heart to bring into the house of the LORD,
gifts, census money, and voluntary offerings were to be used for these repairs.
These were all offerings given above and beyond tithes and other offerings. The
dedicated gifts were those described by Moses in Leviticus 27 which included a
monetary gift equal to their own value, gifts of animals, houses, and land. The
census money was the half-shekel token that was counted instead of the people.
Exodus 30:13 NKJV 13 "This is what
everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to
the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty gerahs). The half-shekel shall
be an offering to the LORD.
gathered in the census were used for the service of the tabernacle. Finally,
any gifts that a man chose to give for the house of the LORD were to be used
for that purpose. When the tabernacle was built in the wilderness, it was built
from the free will offerings of the people.
Exodus 35:4-5 NKJV 4 And Moses spoke to all the
congregation of the children of Israel, saying, "This is the thing which
the LORD commanded, saying: 5 'Take from among you an offering to the LORD.
Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the LORD:
gold, silver, and bronze;
Jehoash commanded that these offerings be placed in the hands of the priests to
make repairs as they had the funds available to do so. However, twenty-three
years later, the repairs had still not been done.
2 Kings 12:6-7 NKJV 6 Now it was so, by the
twenty-third year of King Jehoash, that the priests had not repaired the
damages of the temple. 7 So King Jehoash called Jehoiada the priest and the
other priests, and said to them, "Why have you not repaired the damages of
the temple? Now therefore, do not take more money from your constituency, but
deliver it for repairing the damages of the temple."
there was corruption or simply inefficiency, is unknown; however, Jehoash was
not pleased and removed the priests from the equation. Jehoash put the high
priest Jehoiada in charge of collecting and distributing the funds.
2 Kings 12:9 NKJV 9 Then Jehoiada the priest
took a chest, bored a hole in its lid, and set it beside the altar, on the
right side as one comes into the house of the LORD; and the priests who kept
the door put there all the money brought into the house of the LORD.
were counted and given to the workmen who oversaw and accomplished the repairs
to the temple. They focused on the physical structure first, then, turned to
making new articles for use in the house of God.
2 Chronicles 24:14 NKJV 14 When they had
finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; they
made from it articles for the house of the LORD, articles for serving and offering,
spoons and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the
house of the LORD continually all the days of Jehoiada.
of David and the house of God had both been repaired! King and priest worked
together to restore the true worship of God.
both the house of God and the house of David came through the introduction of
idolatry into the kingdom. It didn’t seem to start as much, merely bringing a
wife into the house. King Jehoshaphat, Jehoram’s father, authorized and perhaps
even orchestrated Jehoram’s marriage to Ahab’s daughter. Jehoram’s weak
character and desire to do evil did the rest. As a result of the sin of the
house of David, the temple was allowed to deteriorate and be used for idolatry.
It could not be repaired until the house of David was first repaired!
returns, He must first repair the authority of the throne of David removing any
usurpers to His throne! Only when Yeshua has taken His rightful place on the
throne, will He repair or rebuild the temple of God!
became a temple to the LORD when we accepted Yeshua, the scion of the house of
David, as our Lord and King! He builds us into a temple of God!
Ephesians 2:19-22 NKJV 19 Now, therefore, you
are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and
members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the
apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in
whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the
Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God
in the Spirit.
turn away from Yeshua, the embodiment of the house of David, our temple is in
danger of being corrupted. Paul writes that there is no compromise between God
2 Corinthians 6:16 NKJV 16 And what agreement
has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As
God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their
God, And they shall be My people."
on to tell us to cleanse ourselves from the sins of the flesh and the spirit so
that we will be a holy dwelling place for God. Then, with willing hearts, we
are to bring our offerings to our high priest and king to be used to build up
the temple of God in our lives as we anticipate the return of Yeshua and the
establishment of His throne.
1.Discuss the connection of
this teaching to the Torah Portion Vayak’hel, Exodus 35:1-38:20:11-34:35.
2.Where is the phrase “the lamp
of Israel” used and what does it mean?
3.King Jehoram’s wife Athaliah
was the daughter of King Ahab. In 2 Kings 8:26, she is referred to as the
granddaughter of Omir. What is the significance of referring to her in relation
to King Omri? Athaliah reigned for six years and was killed in the seventh. How
can she be compared to the woman on a scarlet beast in Revelation 17?
4.Amos 9:11 refers to a
tabernacle of David. How can we apply this teaching to the message of Amos 9:11
5.What does Paul say about
believers being the temple of God? How do his words relate to this teaching?
6.What new insight did you
gain by watching this video or reading this blog? How do you respond to this
new insight? How will you realign your life based on this new understanding?
Extra Credit: 2 Kings 12:2 says that King Jehoash
did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days in which Jehoiada
instructed him. What happened to Jehoash after Jehoiada died? How many kings of
Judah followed in his path?
period of this week’s Haftarah reading is a rough one for the prophets of the
God of Israel.Ahab was king and we are
hard pressed to determine whether he or his wife Jezebel are the worst of the
pair.Undoubtedly king Ahab was one of
the most powerful and successful kings of the northern kingdom.He expanded the political and commercial
interests of the kingdom during his twenty-two year reign. However, Ahab also earned
the reputation of being the most sinful and evil king to rule the nation of
brought idolatry in the Northern kingdom to an entirely new level by greatly
expanding the worship of Baal.He
ordered the death of many hundreds of the prophets of the God of Israel.But when such an evil king, and in such times
as these rise up, the LORD God of Israel raises to the challenge and brings
forth greater prophets to counter the evil.
Haftarah reading contains one of the most well-known of the many miraculous
stories involving the prophet Elijah.It
is the story of the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred
prophets of Asherah.But we will see
that they were no match for the one prophet Elijah and the God of Israel.
opening of our Haftarah reading we find the land is experiencing an extended
famine because of a drought.This
drought was brought about through the prophet Elijah.
1 Kings 17:1 NKJV 1 And Elijah the Tishbite, of
the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD God of Israel lives,
before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my
of Baal in the kingdom of Israel was most likely introduced by Ahab’s Father
Omri.When Ahab became king, he married
Jezebel the daughter of a Canaanite king.
1 Kings 16:31 NKJV 31 And it came to pass, as
though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the
son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the
Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him.
pronouncing the famine and drought before king Ahab, Elijah received word from
the LORD to go into hiding.
1 Kings 17:2-4 NKJV 2 Then the word of the LORD
came to him, saying, 3 "Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by
the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 4 "And it will be that you
shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you
So we have
set before us in this Haftarah a contrast between two central figures, not
unlike a previous teaching we had done titled “The Tale of Two Kings”; the
story of the on-going rivalry between Herod Antipas and Yeshua.In this teaching we have, on the one hand
Elijah, a prophet and a man of God who had appeared before Ahab some three and
a half years earlier and announced the famine. And on the other hand, we have
Ahab, politicly successful king of Israel but an exceedingly evil man in the
sight of the LORD.
once again calls on Elijah to present himself to Ahab to announce the end of
1 Kings 18:1-2 NKJV 1 And it came to pass after
many days that the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying,
"Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth." 2
So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab; and there was a severe famine in
looking to God to deliver Israel from the famine and drought, Ahab looked to
his own solutions.He sent his servant
Obadiah out to secure food and water for the king’s livestock.
1 Kings 18:3-6 NKJV 3 And Ahab had called
Obadiah, who was in charge of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly.
4 For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah
had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed
them with bread and water.) 5 And Ahab had said to Obadiah, "Go into the
land to all the springs of water and to all the brooks; perhaps we may find
grass to keep the horses and mules alive, so that we will not have to kill any
livestock. 6 So they divided the land between them to explore it; Ahab went one
way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
Elijah, Obadiah feared the LORD God of Israel and was himself a prophet.We had previously done a study on Obadiah
which you can find in our video archives. Obadiah was on the mission that Ahab
had sent him on when he met up with Elijah. Elijah told Obadiah to tell Ahab
that he wants a meeting, but Obadiah is fearful because Ahab has been searching
for Elijah to have him killed.
1 Kings 18:7-10 NKJV 7 Now as Obadiah was on
his way, suddenly Elijah met him; and he recognized him, and fell on his face,
and said, "Is that you, my lord Elijah?" 8 And he answered him,
"It is I. Go, tell your master, 'Elijah is here.'" 9 So he said,
"How have I sinned, that you are delivering your servant into the hand of
Ahab, to kill me? 10 "As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or
kingdom where my master has not sent someone to hunt for you; and when they
said, 'He is not here,' he took an oath from the kingdom or nation that they
could not find you.
very doubtful and complains about it to Elijah!
1 Kings 18:11-14 NKJV 11 "And now you say,
'Go, tell your master, "Elijah is here"'! 12 "And it shall come
to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the LORD will carry
you to a place I do not know; so when I go and tell Ahab, and he cannot find
you, he will kill me. But I your servant have feared the LORD from my youth. 13
"Was it not reported to my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the
prophets of the LORD, how I hid one hundred men of the LORD'S prophets, fifty
to a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14 "And now you say, 'Go,
tell your master, "Elijah is here."' He will kill me!"
assures Obadiah that it is safe for him to tell Ahab that Elijah wants to meet.
1 Kings 18:15-16 NKJV 15 Then Elijah said,
"As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely present myself
to him today." 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him; and Ahab went
to meet Elijah.
apparent that not only king Ahab, but many of the people blamed Elijah for the
famine and drought when it was clearly a judgment from God.It’s the classic case of “kill the
messenger.” We see it over and over again throughout the scriptures with respect
to the prophets of the God of Israel. Ahab expresses this sentiment toward
Elijah, and Elijah answers with a direct challenge to Ahab and his devotion to
1 Kings 18:17-19 NKJV 17 Then it happened, when
Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, "Is that you, O troubler of
Israel?" 18 And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel, but you and
your father's house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the
LORD and have followed the Baals. 19 "Now therefore, send and gather all
Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and
the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."
quite the reprimand and challenge to Ahab.Was Elijah the real troublemaker?No, it was not Elijah, but God who brought the famine on the land as a
result of the idolatry of Ahab and the rulers of the kingdom! If Elijah
troubled anybody, he troubled king Ahab and his wife Jezebel through his
relentless and never-ending outcry against their wickedness.Not only their personal wickedness, but the
greater sin of causing all of Israel to sin! King Ahab and his wife were the
ones who forsook the commandments of God! Jezebel was a Canaanite, and Ahab’s
marriage to her was a clear violation of specific commands of the Torah.
troubles were a direct result of his unfaithfulness to the covenant. The
consequences of such actions are clearly defined in Deuteronomy chapters twenty-seven
us to the central story in our Haftarah this week. Elijah challenged Ahab to a
kind of final showdown.Who was the most
powerful?The LORD God of Israel or
Baal? Elijah details the challenge.
1 Kings 18:20-24 NKJV 20 So Ahab sent for all
the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. 21
And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter
between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him."
But the people answered him not a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people,
"I alone am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four
hundred and fifty men. 23 "Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let
them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood,
but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the
wood, but put no fire under it. 24 "Then you call on the name of your
gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire,
He is God." So all the people answered and said, "It is well
situation in Israel had come to a head and Elijah, through the guidance of the
LORD, decided it was time to act. He told Ahab that he would challenge the best
of the prophets and worshipers of Baal to a kind of duel.
gathered at Mount Carmel; the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal as well as a
multitude of the people.The Hebrew in
the text indicates there were at least some representatives from every tribe of
of this showdown, Mount Carmel is the northern most peak of a mountain range
stretching some thirty miles from what is today, Haifa to Megiddo.Mount Carmel rises from the valley floor to a
height of about five hundred feet. The name Carmel, number 3760 in the Strong’s
lexicon, means fruitful field, plentiful, garden. To this day, Mount Carmel is
rich in olive groves and vineyards.
At the time
of our Haftarah, Mount Carmel was also a key center of Baal worship. Even the Egyptians
regarded Mount Carmel as a sacred promontory. Because of their belief system,
and the practices of Baal worship, they regarded much of human life as
expendable. Murder and other heinous crimes were tolerated if not out-right
condoned if it was felt expedient. People were lured by the temple prostitutes
and sexual acts performed in the temples of Baal as acts of worship. Farmers
were often driven to sacrifice their own children in their effort to bring rain
for their crops.
spelled out the challenge and let the priests and prophets of Baal have the
1 Kings 18:25-26 NKJV 25 Now Elijah said to the
prophets of Baal, "Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first,
for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under
it." 26 So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it,
and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, "O
Baal, hear us!" But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped
about the altar which they had made.
must have gone on for hours without the fire igniting. Elijah mocked their
strange rituals and their god.
1 Kings 18:27-29 NKJV 27 And so it was, at
noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, "Cry aloud, for he is a god;
either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is
sleeping and must be awakened." 28 So they cried aloud, and cut
themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed
out on them. 29 And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the
offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no
one paid attention.
wasn’t so sad and pathetic, it would be funny. Their antics were worthy of
mocking and their practices were downright vulgar. Verse twenty-eight mentions
the priests and prophets cutting themselves and bleeding. Perhaps some of their
other common practices were performed here as well but are not specifically
mentioned. Eventually they worked themselves into a frenzy in attempting to get
their god to light the sacrificial fire. But it was to no avail.
perhaps ironic that Baal is known, in addition to being a fertility god, was
also known as a god of fire and lightning. There was no fire or lightning
coming from Baal! As the time of the evening sacrifice approached, it was now
Elijah’s turn and he called the attention of the people.
1 Kings 18:30-35 NKJV 30 Then Elijah said to
all the people, "Come near to me." So all the people came near to
him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. 31 And Elijah
took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob,
to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, "Israel shall be your
name." 32 Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD;
and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed.
33 And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the
wood, and said, "Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt
sacrifice and on the wood." 34 Then he said, "Do it a second
time," and they did it a second time; and he said, "Do it a third
time," and they did it a third time. 35 So the water ran all around the
altar; and he also filled the trench with water.
enlisted the people to help him with rebuilding the altar of God located on
Mount Carmel and to prepare the sacrifice.Elijah had them totally drenched the sacrifice, all the wood for the
burning, the altar and even filling up the trench around the altar with large
amounts of water.How was the fire to
consume the sacrifice when it was so thoroughly soaked with water?This must have confused the people.
Many of the
things Elijah did in preparation are quite interesting and perhaps have some
serious implications and symbolic meaning for the wayward kingdom of Israel and
king Ahab.As part of the repair of the
altar, Elijah placed twelve stones on the altar representing the twelve
tribes.Although this event took place
in the northern kingdom which consisted of just ten tribes, this act indicates
that Elijah and God considered Israel as a single and complete kingdom of
twelve tribes. But above all, the total soaking of the altar and the sacrifice
with water would remove all doubt that only God could light this fire! And the
miracle happened just as Elijah said it would!
1 Kings 18:36-39 NKJV 36 And it came to pass,
at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet
came near and said, "LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be
known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I
have done all these things at Your word. 37 "Hear me, O LORD, hear me,
that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned
their hearts back to You again." 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and
consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it
licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 Now when all the people saw it,
they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is God! The LORD,
He is God!"
This was a
tremendous victory for Elijah and the God of Israel.We are not told how many of the people
ultimately turned back to God because of this miracle. Even though Elijah was
among the few or even the one prophet of God declaring His word to the
backslidden people of the kingdom of Israel, God promised him there would
always be a remnant of faithful in Israel.
1 Kings 19:18 NKJV 18 "Yet I have reserved
seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every
mouth that has not kissed him."
Paul cites this incident and the encouragement that the LORD gave to Elijah
when he teaches that Israel’s rejection of the LORD is not total or final.
Romans 11:1-4 NKJV 1 I say then, has God cast
away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of
Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He
foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads
with God against Israel, saying, 3 "LORD, they have killed Your prophets
and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life"? 4
But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself
seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal."
and all of Israel, by the time the day was finished, God had proved that He
alone was the supreme and only sovereign God of the universe!
we can take away from this Haftarah this week is that against unimaginable
odds; when we find ourselves greatly outnumbered and smack in the middle of
enemy territory, we can be assured that there is indeed a remnant of believers
among the Jews and among the nations. There is power in standing faithful to
the LORD even when it seems we are the only ones doing it. By allowing Messiah
Yeshua to live in us; allowing the Holy Spirit to indwell us with power as
taught and demonstrated to us through the prophets like Elijah and the apostle
Paul and others, we will see many opportunities to proclaim the name of Messiah
and the Holy One of Israel. The strongholds of the idols of this world cannot,
and will not stand up to the God of Israel.
1.Discuss the connection of
this teaching to the Torah Portion Ki Tisa, Exodus 30:11-34:35.
2.Compare the rivalry between
Elijah and Ahab to that of Yeshua and Herod Antipas.What are the similarities?How are they different?Compare the outcomes and final disposition
Ahab and Herod Antipas.(Reference our
teaching “The Tale of Two Kings” from 3-7-2018 available in our YouTube and Facebook
3.Although we did not cover
Obadiah’s involvement in this Haftarah reading, why was he brought into this
story? What purpose did he serve to this event? What was his relationship to
Ahab and Elijah?
4.Why do you think Mount
Carmel was chosen by Elijah for this challenge? What is the significance of
5.Other than demonstrating the
unquenchable nature of the fire sent by God, what is the significance of
soaking the sacrifice and entire altar with water?
Join us each
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The video version of this teaching is available at: https://youtu.be/e61vrRzISmk
The reading for this teaching is: Ezekiel 43:10-27
Ezekiel was a priest and prophet who lived in
Babylon at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple of God.
Although Ezekiel wasn’t in Jerusalem to physically see this destruction, he saw
it in a vision. Ezekiel also saw a vision of a new temple or house of God. In this
portion of the scriptures, Ezekiel 43:10-27, God commands Ezekiel to describe
this temple to the house of Israel.
43:10 NKJV 10 "Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel,
that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern.
A description of the altar follows this interchange,
not a description of the temple. Further, why would describing the temple to
the house of Israel make them recognize and be ashamed of their iniquities? And
what patterns were they to measure?
“describe” in this verse we just read is “nagad,” number 5046 in Strong’s
Concordance, meaning to front. That is, to stand boldly out opposite and
announce, proclaim, expose, explain, or praise. The word “temple” in this verse
is “beit,” number 1004 in Strong’s Concordance, meaning house. Ezekiel was to
proclaim, expose, explain and praise the house of God! Although a description
of this house is included, Ezekiel was to do more than just describe the house!
The house of Israel was to be shown the house of God and they were to measure
the patterns that they saw.
back a few chapters so we can understand the context of this instruction God
gave to Ezekiel. These instructions were part of a vision that Ezekiel had on
the tenth of the month of Nisan.
Ezekiel 40:1 NKJV 1 In the twenty-fifth year of
our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in
the fourteenth year after the city was captured, on the very same day the hand
of the LORD was upon me; and He took me there.
of Nisan is an important day for the children of Israel. This is the day that
they selected the Passover lamb while they were still in Egypt. They kept and
protected the Passover lamb for the four days leading up to the Passover
examining it for blemishes.
Exodus 12:3 NKJV 3 "Speak to all the
congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth day of this month every man shall
take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a
the priest, this day would be a day that he would deeply experience the loss of
the temple in Jerusalem. Without a temple, the Passover as practiced for
hundreds of years could no longer be observed. God commanded that the Feast of
Unleavened Bread, which begins at the conclusion of the Passover, be observed
at the place where He caused His name to reside. For hundreds of years, that
place was at the temple in Jerusalem presided over by the priests. But, nineteen
years before this vision, Ezekiel had another vision, recorded in chapters
eight through eleven, in which he saw the Glory of the LORD depart from the
temple and the city. The Glory of the LORD first crosses over the threshold of
Ezekiel 10:18 NKJV 18 Then the glory of the
LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim.
Glory departs from the city to pause on the Mt. of Olives.
Ezekiel 11:23 NKJV 23 And the glory of the LORD
went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the
east side of the city.
presence was no longer in the house that David and Solomon built for Him! Seven
years later, on the ninth of Av, the temple was destroyed. Passover and the
Feast of Unleavened Bread were still practiced but not at Jerusalem and not at
a central temple of worship. Ezekiel, the head of his household, would have
selected the lamb for his household on this day that he received the vision of
a new house for God! What an incredible joy that vision would have been!
Ezekiel 40:4 NKJV 4 And the man said to me,
"Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your
mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them
to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see."
we see the instruction that Ezekiel was to “declare” everything he saw. This
word, translated “declare” is “nagad” the same word translated “describe” in
opportunity to tour God’s house would be like being invited to tour every nook
and cranny of Bill Gates’ brand new house. You are even allowed to measure the
size of the rooms and examine the furnishings and share everything you saw! You
would certainly take pictures and videos of everything and post them on
Facebook! Our son recently returned from a trip to India where he was able to
take a tour of the Taj Mahal. He came back with lots of pictures and short
videos which he shared with us but he was not allowed to take pictures of the
inside of the Taj Mahal.
completed the tour of the future house of God, he was taken to the eastern gate
and witnessed the Glory of God coming to take up residence in His house.
Ezekiel 43:1-2 NKJV 1 Afterward he brought me
to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. 2 And behold, the glory of
the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound
of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.
that once you have finished your tour of Bill Gates’ house, he drives up the
driveway to move in and invites you back into the house for a private
conversation. This is kind of what happened for Ezekiel except Ezekiel got to
witness the arrival of the glory of God!
Ezekiel 43:4-5 MKJV 4 And the glory of the LORD
came into the house by the way of the gate whose view is eastward. 5 And the
Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner chamber. And behold, the glory
of the LORD filled the house.
brought into the house, into the inner court, to have a conversation with God!
Ezekiel 43:6-7 ASV 6 And I heard one speaking
unto me out of the house; and a man stood by me. 7 And he said unto me, Son of
man, this is the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet,
where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever. And the
house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name, neither they, nor their
kings, by their whoredom, and by the dead bodies of their kings in their high
explained that the house of Israel would no longer defile His house, the place
of His throne. This implies that the house of Israel had defiled God’s previous
house, the house that had been destroyed more than twelve years earlier. They
defiled God’s house by their whoredom; they were unfaithful to God by
worshiping other gods in God’s house. The “dead bodies” of their kings probably
refers to both the bodies of the kings and the lifeless idols the kings
worshiped. God uses the same word to describe His judgment on those who do not
obey God and keep His commandments.
Leviticus 26:30 ASV 30 And I will destroy your
high places, and cut down your sun-images, and cast your dead bodies upon the
bodies of your idols; and my soul shall abhor you.
God goes on
to condemn the house of Israel for violating the thresholds and doorposts of
Ezekiel 43:8 NKJV 8 "When they set their
threshold by My threshold, and their doorpost by My doorpost, with a wall
between them and Me, they defiled My holy name by the abominations which they
committed; therefore I have consumed them in My anger.
the context of this vision was four days before the Passover. On the Passover
in Egypt, they were to kill the lamb selected on the tenth of the month, the
day of the vision, at the threshold of their house and put the blood of this
lamb on the doorposts and lintels.
Exodus 12:6-7 NKJV 6 'Now you shall keep it
until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the
congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 'And they shall take some
of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where
they eat it.
understand the significance of God’s words of judgment to the house of Israel,
we have to understand that the Passover sacrifice is a threshold covenant
sacrifice. The lamb was the covenant sacrifice killed at the threshold of the
Exodus 12:22 NKJV 22 "And you shall take a
bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the
lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of
you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.
“basin” is the Hebrew word “saf,” number 5592, meaning something that contains,
a dish, basin, or threshold. This is the same word that is translated threshold
in Ezekiel 43:8. The threshold was a shallow trough across the base of the
doorway. The late nineteenth century theologian H. Clay Trumbull explains the
significance of the threshold in his book The Threshold Covenant. When
an honored guest arrived, the resident of the house would meet the guest at the
doorway with the sacrificial animal. The animal would be slain at the doorway
with the blood draining into the threshold or basin. The host would take some
of the blood and put it around the doorway on the doorposts and the lintels.
When the guest entered the home, he passed through the blood entering into a threshold
covenant. The covenant agreement was that the guest would not harm any of the
family and that the host would protect the life of the guest above even those
of his own family.
statement that the house of Israel put a threshold by His threshold and a
doorpost by His doorpost is that they had violated the threshold covenant and
the Passover sacrifice which established the house of Israel as God’s people!
Instead, they had entered into a different threshold covenant with their idols!
Further, they practiced the worship of those idols inside God’s house putting a
threshold within God’s threshold and a wall between them and God even in God’s
house! God showed their actions to Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 8:9-12 NKJV 9 And He said to me,
"Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there."
10 So I went in and saw, and there-every sort of creeping thing, abominable
beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the
walls. 11 And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of
Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a
censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. 12 Then He said to
me, "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do
in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, 'The LORD does
not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.'"
the elders of the house of Israel were the ones who put the barrier between
them and God erecting walls and hiding their eyes from seeing and observing
God’s commandments. Instead they entered into a different threshold covenant
and shed innocent blood.
Ezekiel 9:9 NKJV 9 Then He said to me, "The
iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is
full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, 'The LORD has
forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!'
As a result
of their iniquities, the house of Israel was in exile and the house of God
destroyed! However, Ezekiel was to describe, explain, proclaim and praise the
coming house of God so that the house of Israel would be ashamed of their
iniquities. How would this make them ashamed? God says that they were to
measure the pattern. Our first clue to this pattern is that the glory of God
approaches the temple from the east. There are two words in Hebrew that are
translated as east or eastward. One is the word “Mizrach,” number 4217 meaning
sunrise. The second word is “qedem,” number 6924 meaning the front of time or
place, before, east, or eternal. Ezekiel uses this second word which is the word
used to describe the location of the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 2:8 KJV 8 And the LORD God planted a
garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
The use of
the word qedem draws the mind toward the Garden of Eden and God’s creation. In
contrast, the seventy elders who defiled the house of God, bowed toward the
east, qedem, to worship the sun.
Ezekiel 8:15-16 NKJV 15 Then He said to me,
"Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn again, you will see greater
abominations than these." 16 So He brought me into the inner court of the
LORD'S house; and there, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the
porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the
temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping
the sun toward the east.
instructed Ezekiel to describe the entire design of the temple including the
exits and entrances.
Ezekiel 43:11 NKJV 11 "And if they are
ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple
and its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, its entire design and all its
ordinances, all its forms and all its laws. Write it down in their sight, so
that they may keep its whole design and all its ordinances, and perform them.
three gates to the house of God on the east, north, and south sides. The
entrance through which the glory of God entered was that of the east facing the
altar. The steps to ascend to the altar came from the east. The description of
the altar uses some unusual words that have a dual meaning. The Stone Edition
Chumash comments that “Ezekiel uses symbolic names that are not found elsewhere
Ezekiel 43:13-17 MKJV 13 And these are the
measures of the altar by the cubit. The cubit is a cubit and a span; even the
base shall be a cubit, and the width a cubit, and its border by its edge all
around shall be a span. And this is the upper part of the altar. 14 And from
the base on the ground even to the lower ledge shall be two cubits, and the
width one cubit. And from the smaller ledge even to the greater ledge shall be
four cubits, and the width one cubit. 15 And the altar hearth shall be four
cubits, and from the altar hearth and upward shall be four horns. 16 And the
altar hearth shall be twelve cubits long, twelve wide, square in its four
sides. 17 And the ledge shall be fourteen long and fourteen wide in its four
sides. And the border around it shall be half a cubit, and its base a cubit
around. And its steps shall face eastward.
13, the word for altar is “mizbach,” number 4196 in Strong’s Concordance
literally meaning an altar from a word meaning to slaughter. This is not
surprising. As we go on, Ezekiel describes two “ledges” around the base of the
altar and around the top of the altar. The word “ledge” is the Hebrew word
“azarah,” number 5835 meaning a surrounding, enclosure or courtyard. The only
other place this word is used in the Bible is in the description of Solomon’s
temple to describe the court of the priests and the courtyard containing the
altar and the laver. The ledges or courtyard around the altar are there for the
priests to walk around the sides.
15, the first word for “altar” is “har’el,” number 1025 meaning the mountain of
God. The second word for “altar” is “ari’el,” number 739 meaning the Lion of
God! Ezekiel is describing a courtyard containing the mountain of God upon
which is the Lion of God! The priests approach the mountain of God and the Lion
of God from the surrounding ledges or courtyard! The Lion of God is the altar
on the Mountain of God!
instructions to Ezekiel continue with how to dedicate the altar. The word used
for altar in this passage reverts back to the usual word “mizbach.”
Ezekiel 43:18-20 NKJV 18 And He said to me,
"Son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: 'These are the ordinances for the
altar on the day when it is made, for sacrificing burnt offerings on it, and
for sprinkling blood on it. 19 'You shall give a young bull for a sin offering
to the priests, the Levites, who are of the seed of Zadok, who approach Me to
minister to Me,' says the Lord GOD. 20 'You shall take some of its blood and
put it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge, and on
the rim around it; thus you shall cleanse it and make atonement for it.
dedication begins with a sin offering brought to the Levitical priests of the
lineage of Zadok. Zadok was high priest under David and Solomon. The name Zadok,
number 6659, means “just, clean or righteous.” The blood sprinkled on the altar
makes atonement for it. This process of dedicating the altar continues for
seven days following the pattern of dedicating the altar in the wilderness and
the altar in Solomon’s temple.
offering is made on the mountain of God on the altar of the Lion of God! The
writer of Hebrews explains that Yeshua, the Passover Lamb, is both the sin and
the covenant sacrifice.
Hebrews 9:15-19 YLT 15 And because of this, of
a new covenant he is mediator, that, death having come, for redemption of the
transgressions under the first covenant, those called may receive the promise
of the age-during inheritance, 16 for where a covenant is, the death of the
covenant-victim to come in is necessary, 17 for a covenant over dead victims is
stedfast, since it is no force at all when the covenant-victim liveth, 18
whence not even the first apart from blood hath been initiated, 19 for every command
having been spoken, according to law, by Moses, to all the people, having taken
the blood of the calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, he
both the book itself and all the people did sprinkle,
of the altar revealed by Ezekiel pointed straight to the Messiah!
eighth day, the altar is fully dedicated to the LORD and open to receive the
offerings of the people.
Ezekiel 43:27 NKJV 27 'When these days are over
it shall be, on the eighth day and thereafter, that the priests shall offer
your burnt offerings and your peace offerings on the altar; and I will accept
you,' says the Lord GOD."
God will accept not just the offerings but He will accept the people! The word
for “accept” is raw-tsaw,” number 7521 meaning to be pleased with, to satisfy a
debt, pardon or reconcile. There on the altar of the mountain of God in the
presence of the Lion of God, God will declare Himself pleased; that the debt
has been satisfied.
Ezekiel 20:40 JPGreen For in My holy mountain in
the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord Jehovah, all the house of
Israel shall serve Me there; all of them in the land. There I will accept them;
and there I will seek your heave offerings, and the firstfruits of your
offerings, with all your holy things.
pattern of the altar and sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah will cause the house
of Israel to be ashamed of their iniquities. They could not pay the penalty for
their transgressions; neither can we. However, the payment has been made by the
sacrifice of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb of God.
Hebrews 9:28 NKJV 28 so Christ was offered once
to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a
second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
coming again to bring the realization of the gift of salvation! The patterns in
the temple and the altar of God reveal the coming of Messiah! The house of
Israel will recognize that the LORD does see them and has not forsaken either
them or the land. The house of God will be rebuilt in Jerusalem on God’s holy
mountain. His glory will come by way of the East from the Mount of Olives to
fill His house! And God will accept His people. All Israel and the nations will
know that the LORD is God.
1.Discuss the connection of this teaching to the Torah
Portion Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:11.
2.There were many connections to creation and the
Garden of Eden in this haftarah. The first is the word “nagad” for declare or
proclaim God’s house. In Genesis 1:18 where God states that He will make a
helpmate “suitable” or “comparable” to Adam. The Hebrew word is “neged” #5048,
from the root nagad. How is Eve’s role with Adam similar to Ezekiel’s role in
this situation? What are some other connections to creation and the Garden of
3.How does God convey the importance of the threshold
4.Ezekiel was to “describe the pattern” of the house
of God. The description of the house of God is in Ezekiel 40-43. What patterns
in the house reveal Messiah?
5.What will it mean for the Jewish people when the
temple and/or the altar is rebuilt and the sacrificial system reinstated?
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