The Two Sticks Prophecy of Ezekiel 37 Explained

Ezekiel 37:14–28, The vision of the two sticks (trees). The second vision Ezekiel records in chapter 37 involves YHVH commanding him to take two sticks (or trees) and writing upon one stick “for Judah and for the children of Israel and his companions [i.e., those who have knit themselves together with or joined to the tribe of Judah],” and upon the other stick, write “for Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel and his companions [i.e., those who have knit themselves together with or joined to the tribe of Ephraim].” Ezekiel was to told to then join the two sticks together, so that they would become one stick (or tree) in his hand (verses 15–17).

How were these two nations, which separated from each other some three thousand years ago, to be rejoined into one nation? That has been the subject of much debate between both Jewish and Christian commentators for years. Some modern historical revisionists view this prophecy as having been fulfilled when the Jews returned to the land of Israel in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah after their Babylonian captivity ended. But this interpretation leaves some unanswered questions. The book of Ezra, which chronicles the return of a Continue reading

 

The Twelve Tribes of Israel Reunited

Genesis 46:1–7, The reuniting of Jacobs family—the twelve tribes of Israel. These verses recount the move of Jacob and his family to Egypt where they were reunited with Joseph and his family.

This prophetically foreshadows a time in the future, which the Jewish sages call the final redemption, which is to occur just prior to and at the coming of Messiah Son of David (Yeshua the Messiah) as he comes to establish the Messianic Era (or Millennium) on earth.

The Jewish sages teach that part of that final redemption includes the reunification of the two houses of Israel (i.e. the Messiah-loving Jews and Torah-loving Christians) into one kingdom under Messiah Son of David. Where do we find this prophesied in the Scriptures? (Read Ezek 37:15–28, which interestingly enough is this week’s Haftorah portion!) This speaks of the family reunification or ­reconciliation of Judah and Ephraim at Messiah’s return. (Hos 5:15–6:4; 1:11; Acts 3:21; Ezek 37:25). This will be a supernatural work of the Set-Apart Spirit of Elohim (Ezek 36:19–32).

After the reunification of the divided family, where did the reunited and reconciled family move to? (Read Gen 46:34.) Goshen was in the Nile River delta area and was and to this day is the prime farm land of Egypt. It was a veritable promised land compared to the arid regions of Canaan. Could Goshen be a tiny shadow-picture of the Millennium?

The Jewish sages have a sense that history for the people of Israel is continually repeating itself in cyclical patterns as YHVH works his purposes out among his people. He is constantly endeavoring to reveal his plan of redemption and reconciliation to his people—those who have eyes to see, and he is continually reaching out his loving hand of reconciliation to the next generations of Israelites.

The Israelites settling in Goshen is but one more picture of the cyclical pattern of redemption that we see YHVH working out in the pages of Scripture all pointing toward a final climax at the end of the age where all of the children of Israel will worship YHVH in spirit and in truth (John 4:23) under the rulership of King Yeshua the Messiah, Son of Joseph/David.

 

Ye shall reap if ye faint not!

Genesis 45:5, 7, 8, Elohim sent me. Joseph was sold into slavery at age 17, was freed from prison and made ruler of Egypt at age 30. After that, seven years of plenty followed, and then two years of famine had passed by the time he was reunited with is brothers. Only after 22 years in Egypt did Joseph finally figure out Elohim’s grand and wonderful plan for his life, and how it involved the saving of his family.

Had Joseph lost faith along the way, become embittered over his multiple misfortunes, and turned away from Elohim, the nation of Israel may have never been preserved.

Keeping one’s eyes on Elohim, and refusing to lose faith during the dark times of one’s life can yield some amazingly triumphant outcomes, as we learn from the life of Joseph.

 

What you do now may affect generations to come!


Genesis 44:32–34, Became surety for the lad. Christian commentator Matthew Henry on this passage states, “Judah’s faithful cleaving to Benjamin, now, in his distress, was recompensed long afterwards by the tribe of Benjamin keeping with the tribe of Judah, when the other tribes deserted it” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 56).

It is amazing that some 800 years later the fraternal love between these two brothers remained in the collective psyches their descendents such that the tribe of Benjamin remained loyal to that of Judah. What does this say about generational blessings (and curses) or attitudes that are passed on down to one’s descendants? If curses can be passed on down to the third or fourth generation (Exod 20:5), how about blessings? The Book of Proverbs states that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit,” (Prov 18:21) and that, “ A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit,” (Prov 15:4). ­Generations of our descendants can be affected positively or negatively by the inclination of our hearts and the words of our mouth.

It had been Judah’s idea to sell Joseph to slave traders. In the meantime, Judah’s heart had changed so that he was willing to lay down his life for his brother, Benjamin, Joseph’s only full brother. This change of heart on Judah’s part and the resulting outpouring of love for his youngest brother had lasting positive results. What are the prophetic implications of this relationship between Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) and Judah?

 

Blog Scripture Readings for 12-9 Through 12-15-18

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat Vayigash — Genesis 44:18 – 47:27
Haftarah — Ezekiel 37:15–28
Prophets — 1 Samuel 25:1 – 31:13
Writings — Psalms 69:1 – 75:10
Testimony — Mark 10:35 – 13:37

Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link below.

The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day: one each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 12/09/18 through 12/15/18.

 

Yeshua Warns About Sectarianism, Offenses and Worthless Salt

Mark 9:38–50, Avoid strife and contention. This is a very enigmatic passage that commentators struggle with trying to explain, since Yeshua links together so many seemingly disparate concepts. I say “seemingly,” since there is nothing average about the Master’s intellect, or his knowledge of spiritual truth. Our inability to comprehend his sayings should only spur us onward to dig all the more into their heights and depths of meaning, thus uncovering the nuggets of truth from within the transcendent intellect of our Master and Creator!

Yeshua the Master begins his discourse by discouraging sectarianism. “Those who aren’t against us are for us.” He then promises rewards to those who are kind to his disciples, implying that his disciples should in turn be kind to others who, though they may not be a part of your particular group, they may not necessarily be working against you, for they may also be kingdom workers but with a different assignment than yours (vv. 38–41).

Next, our Master warns against offense—especially those who offend (or cause to stumble) the little ones who are still young and tender in their faith. Linked with the preceding thought, the implication may be that Yeshua’s servants need to beware of not Continue reading

 

Overcoming the Tyranny of Self

Mark 8:34, Deny himself. The inordinate love of self is the greatest obstacle to following Yeshua wholeheartedly.

The chief characteristic of a life dominated by self is possessiveness. Evidence of this is that to one degree or another one has forced Elohim out of the center of one’s life and has crowned himself as his own king and has given himself over to the coveting of things and the exaltation of self.  To such a person, self-life has become their main focus and fiercest passion.

Moreover, surrounding oneself with many physical possessions causes one to feel elevated in that it makes one the ruler of one’s own kingdom—the kingdom of stuff and self. With such a person, the pronouns I and me are constantly heard from their lips, and they have becomes their own god and the leader of their own religious sect—the religion of self.

To the tyranny of things that largely monopolizes most men’s endeavors, Yeshua says “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” Elsewhere he says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:3). Finally, our Master leaves us with these words to ponder,

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. (Mark 8:35)

Mark 8:36, Profit …gain. When self is the king of one’s life, one’s chief goal becomes profit and gain. As Yeshua suggests in verse 34, the opposite of this is to deny oneself and to follow Yeshua, no matter the cost. For example,

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt 10:37–39)

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve Elohim and mammon. (Matt 6:24)