Thus says YHVH “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am YHVH, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says YHVH. (Jeremiah 9:23–24)Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of Elohim! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of YHVH? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33–36)
Jeremiah 16:15, Children of Israel … from all the lands where [YHVH] had driven them … I will bring them again into their land. This verse corresponds to Leviticus 26:33 of this week’s Torah portion, which states as a result of Israel’s disobedience to YHVH’s Torah-Word: “And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you, and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.” When did this prophecy come to pass in ancient Israel? To whom did it apply? (On Israel being dispersed among the nations of the world, see Isa 11:12; 56:3, 6–8; Ezek 36:19; Zeph 3:10; John 7:35. On Israel becoming outcasts from its land, see Isa 11:12; 27:12–13; 56:8; Ps 147:2; cp. Deut 30:3–4.)
Jeremiah 16:16, Fishers. Not only this verse, but all of Jeremiah 16:16 is a prophecy about exiled Israel returning from the lands where YHVH had driven them (verse 15). Jeremiah says YHVH would use spiritual fishermen to fish his scattered people out of all the places—even to the ends of the earth (verse 19)—where he had driven them. Some of Yeshua’s disciples were fishermen by trade whom he recruited to become “fishers of men” (John 4:19). Who has that commission now?
Another way to look at this issue is to compare Israel to lost sheep. How many times does Yeshua liken his mission to that of a shepherd gathering his lost sheep? (Please note Ps 119:176; Isa 53:6; Ezek 34:4, 16; Matt 15:24; cp. Isa 40:11; Matt 18:11; Luke 15:4; 1 Pet 2:25 [cp. 1 Pet 1:1].) When will these lost sheep be regathered? In the end days, YHVH will gather his sheep that have lost their way, been scattered, hurt and wounded by hireling shepherds and self-seeking religionists (Ezek 34:11,16). YHVH will gather them from the nations where they have been scattered and return them to the land of Israel with David (or Messiah Son of David) as their king (see Ezek chapters 34 and 36–37).
Jeremiah 16:19, The Gentiles…ends of the earth. Who are these “Gentiles” that have been scattered to the ends of the earth? The word gentiles is the Hebrew word goyim (Strong’s G1471, Greek: ethnos, Strong’s G1484) This word is translated in the Tanakh (Old Testament) as nation 374 times, as heathen 143 times, as Gentiles 30 times, and people 11 times.
Whenever the word gentile is used in the KJV it is the word gowy or goy. According to Strong’s Concordance, the meaning of goy is “a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (fig.) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.” According to Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, the word gowy means “a people, a confluence of men,” and “contextually in holy Scripture it is used to refer to the other nations besides Israel, the foes of Israel, and strangers to the true religion of Israel.”
There are times when goy refers specifically to Israel (e.g., the descendants of Joseph in general: Gen 48:19; of the southern kingdom of Judah when it forsook Elohim and its covenant with him and became like the surrounding heathen nations: Isa 1:4; of the southern kingdom: Isa 9:1; of Israel in general: Isa 26:2; 49:7; Ps 33:12; Gen 12:2; 35:11). There are numerous other instances in Scripture where the words goy or goyim are applied to the descendants of Abraham. Scripture’s use of the term is unbiased and lacks any of the pejorative implications that have been applied to the term subsequently (e.g., Gen 17:4, 5, 6, 16; 18:18; 25:23; 46:3; Exod 19:6; 33:13; Deut 4:6, 7, 8, 34; Ezek 37:22).
As already noted, the word goy simply means “people group.” The Greek word ethnos as found in the Testimony of Yeshua (New Testament) is equivalent in meaning to the Hebrew word goyim. So clearly, in Jeremiah 16:19 gentiles is a reference to lost and scattered Israel who has mixed herself with the heathen (Hos 7:8; 8:8), and who is now returning to YHVH.
The use of trees or wooden poles as an object of worship in the ancient world was universal as a fertility or phallic symbol. In many places, the Bible strongly condemns involvement with this pagan custom. Obviously the tree of Jeremiah 10:1–5 is not a Christmas tree, since Christmas as we know it didn’t enter into Christianity until about the late fifth century AD. However, the pagan implications of the Christmas tree are clear as evidenced by history, which is why it was outlawed by the Puritans and many other religious groups in America in the 1700s. It was not until the 1850s with many Germans migrating to America with their Christmas tree tradition that Christmas became popularized again in this country.
The Scriptures advise us to abstain from all appearances of evil (1 Thess 5:22). At the very least, because of its pagan connotation, a Christmas tree is an appearance of evil. Furthermore, where in the Bible do we find any examples of YHVH’s people reclaiming a pagan tradition, sanitizing it, and then practicing it? This occurred only when Israel was in a state of apostasy or was attempting to syncretize the religion of the Bible with the pagan practices of the surrounding nations.
True, many things in our daily lives have been tainted by paganism. If we were to toss out everything that fits that category, we probably wouldn’t be able to say anything, wear anything, eat anything, or do anything. Some of us would even have to change our names! What we are to throw out are those things that the Bible forbids, anything that is indigenously pagan, or anything that leads us away from YHVH and his Word.
Often our view of the Scriptures is filtered through our emotions. We all struggle with this spiritual disease. When we’re extremely partial to a belief or an idea, we have a hard time conforming our lives to those biblical scriptures that disagree with us. Thus, we have a spiritual blind spot. For many, Christmas has become a spiritual blind spot because it is so ingrained in our families and the culture. It is perhaps the hardest thing for people to let go of because of family and emotional ties. Each of us has to make the choice: do we love the praises of family or the praises of Elohim more (John 12:43)?
Jeremiah 10:1–5 is the perfect description of what has come to be known as a Christmas tree. The Word of Elohim says don’t do it. This is fact. I didn’t make it up, I just read it and believe it. Further, Jeremiah 10 isn’t a stand alone scripture. When this passage is placed against the backdrop of the heathen practices of the Gentile cultures around ancient Israel, and against the Bible’s repeated prohibitions against (a) Israel’s adopting pagan religious Continue reading
Jeremiah 7:21–8:3, 9:22 (23)–23 (24), “The Sacrifice of the Wicked Is an Abomination” (Prov 15:8).
This message of Jeremiah reveals that the purpose of sacrifice and of all outward acts of worship should be to deepen the inward sense of religion and to stimulate one to a holy or set-apart life. Jeremiah, speaking for YHVH, decries the uselessness of religious activity when accompanied with unholiness and unrighteousness. Furthermore, he denounces the mere mechanical performance of acts of worship; of the superstition that the temple ritual could be a guarantee of security from the judgments of Elohim, while the Israelites were divorced from obedience to YHVH’s Torah. Only whole-hearted repentance could avert a national disaster brought on by YHVH’s judgments (Soncino Pentateuch, p. 439).
What is the true meaning of religion and what was the true purpose of the temple in Israel? Its purpose was to transform people into living temples that would be set-apart or holy unto YHVH Elohim. If they acted one way while in the temple and another way while outside the temple, then the temple activities had only become a mockery of YHVH, a farce and a repugnance to the very one they had supposedly come to worship. Humans may kid themselves by their religiosity, but they cannot deceive the Holy One of Israel who Continue reading
Jeremiah the prophet received a direct call from YHVH Elohim to warn the nation of Judah, YHVH’s people, of impending judgment if they would not repent and return to his Torah. YHVH commissioned the prophet to warn and to rebuke those at all levels of society: kings, princes, priests and people (1:18). Is it likely that YHVH will raise up a prophet or prophets in the last days prior to the return of Yeshua the Messiah who will be doing the same thing as Jeremiah?
Jeremiah did not feel adequate to the job (1:6), yet YHVH assured him that he was, for YHVH personally had called and empowered him to do what seemed to be an impossible task: for one man, as YHVH’s representative, to set his face against an entire nation and to survive the resulting wrath of the wicked against that righteous man of YHVH (1:7–10; 18–19).
In the end times, will there yet arise true prophets in which the Word of YHVH is shut up like fire in their bones (Jer 20:9) who will utter forth the fiery oracles of YHVH, which like a hammer will smash to pieces the rock-hard hearts of YHVH’s obstinate, rebellious and sinful people (Jer 23:29)?
Yeshua prophesied that in the last days false prophets would arise, and if possible, would deceive the very elect (Matt 24:11, 24). If Satan the adversary has his false prophets on Continue reading
Genesis 32 is the story of Jacob’s return to Canaan after having been exiled from his homeland for 20 years. This is often referred to as Jacob’s Trouble (from Jer 30:7). His exile occurred after he obtained his divinely promised birthright through shrewd if not unscrupulous means from his brother Esau resulting in his having to flee Canaan for fear of his life due to Esau’s vengeance. Jacob found refuge in the region of Babylonia at his Uncle Laban’s home where he married Laban’s two daughters, Leah and Rachel. Genesis 32 recounts Jacob’s encounter with Esau who, along with his small army, physically stood in Jacob’s way from entering the land of his promised inheritance—later to be known as the land of Israel or Promised Land.
The Jewish sages believe that this encounter between Jacob and Esau is prophetic in nature and will happen again in the end times, but this time on a much larger scale and this time involving the numerous descendants of Israel and Esau. The Israelites will be attempting to return to their ancestral homeland, while the descendants of Esau will be attempting to block their way. As we proceed in this study, we will see whether this prophecy is beginning to come to pass in our days.
Rolling the film backwards a little, Laban had chased Jacob out of the area of Babylon, and yet Jacob was being blocked from entering Canaan by Esau (or Edom meaning “red”). This is reminiscent of Pharaoh chasing the Israelites out of Egypt only to find themselves blocked by the Red Sea, which is a picture of Edom (meaning “red”). In both instances, YHVH’s people were forced to totally rely on him for deliverance from their enemies who were before and behind them.
Chapter 32 is a study in how we often deal with major trials and stressful situations in life. Jacob (a) was gripped by fear, (b) resorted to fleshly schemes to appease his brother’s wrath and “to save his own hide” and that of his family, and (c) at the same time he Continue reading
Baal was the god of the Canaanites, the enemies of the ancient biblical Israelites. God’s people were constantly being enticed by the heathen practices associated with Baal worship. Down the through the ages, the worship of Baal has resurrected itself and taken on the trappings of each new culture. The concepts behind Baal worship are thriving and growing in our post-Christian culture. To what degree having you fallen for the enticements of Baalism? Before you write this off saying it doesn’t apply to you, please watch this video!