Wednesday, April 5, 2017

David and Jesus, Kings of the Jews: The Ascent Up the Mount of Olives


                                              Promise of Messiah:the Covenant of Messiah
                                                        by Elizabeth Kirkley Best
                                                       Judah's Glory Bible Studies

       Promise of Messiah:  The Ascent Up the Mount of Olives



 II Samuel 15:30 And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
 Luke 22:39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them,Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down*, and prayed,
42 Saying,Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Matthew 27: 29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
  6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together
.

 King David, King of the Jews in the Old Testament reigned around 1000b.c., and save for Jesus Christ alone, is the only other person in scripture referred to as the King of Kings, or King of the Jews.  In David's life, there are many allusions and foreshadows of the Messiah, the King of Israel yet to come:  David was a shepherd, David lived by faith, David defeated the enemies which vexed Israel,  and David established God's Word and House, at least the foundation of it, in Jerusalem so much so, that it came to be known as the Holy City, the City of David, and the Mount Zion. 
David, though, unlike the Messiah to come, had faults:  even David, though obedient in delivering Israel from the Philistines, Amalekites, and others warring tribes, was ultimately not at attain his life goal of building the Temple in Jerusalem, because the Lord via Nathan, showed David that he had too much blood on his hands from the wars of Israel.
  7 And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God:
8 But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

David had a myriad of other life troubles: his daughter was raped by her half brother; Absalom his son rebelled and tried to take the Kingdom out of his hand, and was killed; David had an affair with Bathsheba, which resulted in the killing of her innocent husband at David's command; and the son from that liaison died.  David was a man of war, noted in the Word that "Saul had killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands", but as noted in I Chronicles 22:8, his grandest desire before the Lord, after a life fraught with the pride of a King, the willfulness of a boy, and heartache of his family crumbling,  it was the blood on his hands that prevented him from building God a 'house to dwell in', with God making it clear in the end, who builds a house.  Even God, even for David, acknowledged that David "hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight."

 David as a Type and Foreshadow of Messiah 

In light of the 'sins of David', though we hear far more in preaching about his accomplishments and victories, one would wonder, how David's life could foreshadow the coming Messiah, and yet it did, more than most precipitating lives and prophecies.   We can easily point to such themes as David as King of the Jews, as king of Israel, or David the Shepherd, or Deliverer of Israel.  We see him greatly establishing the City of the Great King, and Mount Zion,  we see his anointing and appointment of God by the prophet Samuel, and his countless acts of faith.  His heart for God is seen in the Psalms,  and it was in utter joy, without reservation, that he danced before God, as the Ark of the Covenant returned to Jerusalem (2 Sam 6:14).  Despite his human failings, and a Kingdom filled with violence, corruption, and treachery, it is the anointing of David as God's choice of King, that causes his life to shine in the glory of God, declaring Messiah.

Nearing Easter, though,  we see several other passages in which David foreshadows the events the high churches call "The Passion".  The Kings of Israel, rode mules, at their coronation, and while David's is not specific, he is nevertheless mentioned as giving his to his Son Solomon upon his death, and the practice is seen when Saul rides one, and Absalom, when entangled by his hair, trying to overthrow his father's kingdom, is riding one, no doubt as symbol.  The idea that the 'King of Israel' or Meschiach would ride a lowly ass into his coronation (which the crucifixion becomes), is well established since Genesis and again in Zechariah: [Gen 49:11 KJV] 11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes
[Zec 9:9 KJV] 9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
While Kings rode in finery on horses in battle (a type and kind we see upon Jesus' return at the end as Faithful and True leads his saints into 'teleos' victory, and certainly David did, the lowly 'donkey' (not used in KJV) or ass, was the prophecy in Genesis to Judah, the head of tribes, by the dying Jacob, or Israel, Prince of God.

 An Earthly King of Israel Ascends Olivet 

While these many 'types' and shadows of the coming Messiah are seen in the Davidic Kingdom and David, there is one though which is often overlooked, and most blithely skip by it in the Second Book of Samuel:
 II Samuel 15:30 And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
  Note the beautiful parallels:

  1.  David 'ascends' Mount Olivet
  2.  David Weeps Ascending the Mount
  3.  David had his head covered
  4.  David went barefoot
  5.  The people who went with him, covered their head
  6.   weeping as they went
 
  Let's consider each of the above:

  1. David Ascends or goes up on the ascent of Mount Olivet: Mount Olivet figures prominently in the Scriptures: it is the place where the Olivet discourse will be given by Christ;  it is the place where Jesus does not ascend YET to the cross, but begins the ascent: in the garden of Gethsemane:

 Luke 22:39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them,Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down*, and prayed,
42 Saying,Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 


Gethsemane comes from a Chaldee origin of two words, 'Gath' and 'Shemen', together :"oil-press".  This is the place where both David and Jesus, anointed for a purpose are put to the test, where both accept God's will, though it be with more than a modicum of 'angst'. More than that: they both cross over the brook Kidron (cedron) to get there, both to regroup to do battle, though of a differing nature, both distraught over the transpiring events.
2.  David Weeps at the ascent of Mount Olivet: So does Jesus:
[Luk 22:44 KJV] 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
 David 'wept as he went up'. Why was David weeping?  Absalom, David's son, had just committed treachery and treason against his father, the anointed King.  Rather than fight his son, and because Absalom had garnered so many followers in Israel as the young and more handsome, 'people pleaser', Absalom had stirred up discontent in Israel: David knew he would have to at least temporarily abdicate the throne, or start a bloodbath in Israel, and perhaps even kill his own son.  Jesus finds himself in a similar situation:  the High Priest had declared that it was 'better that one man die for Israel'...and though Jesus would shortly confront Caiaphas about who was King (and Pilate), it was clear that     had not Jesus had a higher and more divine purpose, the avoidance of a great conflict in Israel was also near at hand.

     Both were putting on the altar all they were and had worked for: both were facing a horrible fate: David of exile and possible death, or the death of his son, and Jesus his own impending death.  Certainly, both had cause to mourn, with many in Israel. (at least a remnant).

 3. David has his head covered: The covering of the head, in Jewish culture has indicated various things at different times.  Priests in the Temple of God during the time of the Tabernacle, wore 'bonnets' or essentially a 'turban' with a mitre, particularly the high priest, in which the covering of the head was obedience and awe before God: the words on the covering meant "Holiness unto the LORD". (Exodus 28:36)

Several other scriptures speak of the covering of the head in regard to males: in Esther 6:12 Haman covers his head indicating mourning or extreme distress;  and the protection of God is indicated in Psalm 140:7 when the psalmist writes: "O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle".  The covering of heads pointed to a covering for shame or being confounded in Jeremiah 14:3, and in 14:4.  By the time of the New Testament, as Paul sets in order the 'policies' for church attendance, he writes "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishououreth his head" I Cor 11:4.  It is interesting to note that the change in the meaning of a male covering for the head, over 1000 years between 1000bc and around 50-60 a.d. changes to the opposite. The parallel though, even though the custom had changed, is that both mourning and headship are denoted: the ascent of David up Mount Olivet, and the weeping and praying of the Messiah in the Garden at the ascent of the Mount of Olives both show mourning, and a sign of obedience and the sovereignty of God.  In the garden of Gethsemane, beseeching God that the cup of suffering about to occur might pass, but nonetheless owning it "if it be thy will" shows the acknowledgement of the order of the Son to the Father, even if they are one.  With David, not only did the King ascent Olivet with his head covered, but so did his people:
 ...2 Samuel 15:30  ...and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
4. David went barefoot  Being barefoot is not mentioned directly in the Bible more than a few times:  the 4 direct mentions are of Isaiah's prophetic similitude in Isaiah 20 2-4, in which Isaiah is told for 3 years to walk 'naked and barefoot' as a sign of a coming captivity by the King of Assyria.  It is a sign of shame and enslavement, or servitude, being taken captive in war. At least one in the Old Testament and once in the new, Moses is mentioned as having to remove his shoes to stand 'on holy ground':
 Exodus 3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place wereon thou standest is holy ground.
Acts 7:33 Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground." 
  The removing of a shoe was a covenant or contract in Ruth, and an indication in Psalms that God considered some areas of Israel as 'lesser' since he mentions casting out his shoe over them.  Here though, it seems to carry the connotation of 'holy ground' and humility: the abasement of two Kings is easily seen in the ascent,  both going forward to a form of willing captivity, though in both cases, their 'servitude' is to 'take captivity captivity' since David regains the earthly kingdom of Israel/Judah, and Jesus 'sets the captives free' by a divine act.  It is fair to propose that barefoot David (and possibly Christ though it is not mentioned) both demonstrate the humble surrender to God's will, and in the ascent up Olivet beginning at the 'wine press',  they are also on 'holy ground'.

 5. and 6. The people who went with him, covered their heads and wept also.
Here is an easy parallel: only a few, a remnant follow their King in his abasement, both out into the wilderness.  They weep as they go, up the hill.
With David it is a band of loyalists from the palace,  with Jesus, it is the remnant of his disciples and followers, particularly women who will attend his death and burial, Joseph of Arimathea, and John, the beloved disciple.(Matthew 27:55-57; LK 23:27; John 19:25-27) David sends back Ittai to attend the palace, and insists that the Ark of the Covenant be returned to the Temple in Jerusalem.  Abiathar the priest and Zadok are sent back to the royal court, carrying back the Ark, even if it is to attend Absalom.  The followers of both men, are willing to take on the suffering of their King, though the Kings do not tell them, that the reason they are 'sent back' is because they cannot.

How beautiful is this often unnoticed passage, where in the life of David, perfect often in faith, but imperfect often in human foible, we nonetheless see the foreshadowing of the King of Kings, the King of Israel, Yshua HaMeschiach, in the face of trial and division in Israel, with his loved Israel calling for his death, rather than consume the children he loves, willing abdicates an earthly throne for a cross in the wilderness, weeping and abased.  How beautiful upon the mountains! are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that published peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! (Isaiah 52:7)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Promise of Messiah is Moving!!!

While it is still a lengthy process, Promise of Messiah will be moving to promiseofmessiah.judahsglory.com.   This site and the wordpress site will stay the same for now, but the continuing studies after all the old ones are updated and moved will occur on the new site.

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Jeremiah's Prophetic Letter: Jeremiah 29

©2009 Elizabeth K. Best

Please note: one can use any info in this informal bible study as long as it is referenced to this study. One cannot re-teach or re-preach the entire substance. Let us love one another in the Lord.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Beginning today you can sign up for free daily devotions from Judah's Glory/Promise of Messiah. Each devotion will be via Promise of Messiah and Judah's Glory on Facebook, and can also be accessed by sending us your email address, to judahsglory@gmail.com or elizabethkirkleybest@gmail.com. Please do not use elizabeth.best@gmail.com as in the past, since this longstanding email of mine has had great problems: all future mail to Judah's Glory or Promise of Messiah should go to elizabethkirkleybest@gmail.com or judahsglory@gmail.com. 


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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Promise of Messiah is Moving

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Dr. Elizabeth K. Best



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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings to all:  Let us all set apart part of our days to remember to pray for peace in our communities, nation and the world.  Do we need to be reminded that prayer changes things?  You can effect even peace in war torn countries from your doorstep: it is the most effective thing you can do.  The beauty of prayer and supplicating God for an end to conflict, is that it always gets to the right person at the right address:  to the one who can do something about it.   At this time of remembrance of the Nativity of the Messiah (though we recognize the date is secular), and the dedication of Chanukah in the festival of lights,  let us re-dedicate ourselves to fervent, merciful and wise prayer; partnering with Christians in war zones around the world, to bring about peace in the middle east and other parts of the world.  We particularly also remember China earthquake victims who are recovering during this difficult time, and pray that the love of Christ our Messiah be shed abroad.  Many blessings from Judah's Glory.
  
Elizabeth Kirkley Best PhD
Director Shoah Education Project Web

Mail: 613 Valley Park Court #1
Eau Claire Wisconsin 54701
(920)242-0649
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Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Healing of Christ, the Messiah of Israel, and his Prophets, Apostles and Disciples

Blind Bar Timaeus Meets the Son of David



F"And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus , the son of Timaeus sat by the highway side begging."
I would like to begin "in those days" as though the blind no longer have to beg, but the truth is, physical blindness today, is often treated just as inhumanely now as back then: we have a sort of "chrono-centricity" in which we think we are far advanced and more 'mature' than back in the first century a.d. but the truth is, if anything, while our technology has grown, our hearts have stayed the same, or perhaps grown even more cold and brutal.
As the disciples and Jesus came to Jericho (and went out of Jericho*) they encounter a blind beggar by the name "Bar-Timaeus", or son of Timaeus. That day, they were in no small number, and 'blind Bartimaeus' would probably have gone unnoticed to another crowd of this size, but when Bartimaeus heard that it was "Jesus of Nazareth", Yshua the "nazarim" something in his spirit caused him to 'cry out'. Before the healing, before even the gaze of the Lord turned to him, he cried out something rather unusual, for a Jewish beggar with no sight---not 'help me', nor 'give me something', but

"Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me." 10:47
Eager to calm the crowds and hustle and bustle, many charged him to be quiet--- after all, the real Jesus of Nazareth was at hand, and seemingly to many, if he were the Messiah, he would have no time to deal with this poor blind man, whom most saw as the bottom rung of the social ladder of Israel. This encounter has been written of no doubt thousands of times, but the healing often gets little more than a brief pause, and the 'cry' of an Israeli beggar for his Lord and Savior, receives almost none. The more they tried to stop him, the more he continued in his plea and purpose [like much of Israel], he cried out "all the more"
"Thou son of David, have mercy on me."
Why did the blind man call out son of David? The title "Son of David" is mentioned exactly 23 times, 9 in the Old Testament. The titles 'son of Man', son of the Blessed, son of Adam, and son of God as well as son of the most High and others are also mentioned: the Son-ship of Christ was not in dispute, but peculiarly, 'Son of David' indicated that the blind man requiring mercy from Jesus, already believed he was the Messiah of Israel, as 'Son of David' used as a title pointed to the anointed one of Israel. It is interesting in the New Testament, that while Jesus is called "Son of Man" several times, the term 'son of man' or in Hebrew, 'Ben Adam' (Son of Adam) can be and is used of other prophets and even just a member of the human race. For example, used of one merely in the line of Adam, the following two examples show that the term could be used somewhat liberally:

[Num 23:19 KJV] 19 God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? [Job 25:6 KJV] 6 How much less man, [that is] a worm? and the son of man, [which is] a worm?
The term 'Son of Man' though is also used more eminently when referring to the prophets, particularly of Ezekiel :
[Eze 2:1, 8 KJV] 1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. ... 8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. [Eze 16:2 KJV] 2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,
The term is used in the three verses above to refer to Ezekiel, by God, and in 91 other passages in that book alone. Jesus also as part of his 'offices' which he held, was a prophet, so the term 'son of man' certainly carries with it a significance that points to the 'son of Adam', son of God, and prophet, but less directly though albeit of a certainty, the messiah.The Blind Bartimaeus though, cries out the more specific term: "Son of David". His faith is evident before Jesus even requires it of him. Like the children and others on the road into Jerusalem during the Triumphal entry, who cry the same, Bartimaeus was declaring and trusting that he was the 'Son of David', the Messiah of Israel.
One could argue that 'Son of David' would have included any of those in David's line, since it is mentioned, for example in descriptions of Solomon or Absalom and even Joseph (Matt 1:20), literal sons or in the line; but the Davidic covenant of the land and seed, and the forthcoming King to sit on the throne of Israel (the Messiah) more clearly takes foreground from several passages:

[2Sa 7:11-14 KJV] 11 And as since the time that I commanded judges [to be] over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son.
This is the 'for ever' Kingdom and King of Israel which will proceed from David's bowels, in other words, the 'zera' or seed which creates the generations of David. We find in both the 'genealogies' of Jesus, the one from Mary and Joseph's side, that Jesus is a direct descendent of David:
[Mat 1:1 KJV] 1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. [Luk 3:31 KJV] 31 Which was [the son] of Melea, which was [the son] of Menan, which was [the son] of Mattatha, which was [the son] of Nathan, which was [the son] of David,
That the people who were eyewitnesses to the miracles and healing of Jesus on more than one occasion used the term 'Son of David' as a messianic one is clearly seen in a sample of the many passages in which he was addressed by the expression, and further evidence comes from their corollary use of the word 'Lord' when addressing Jesus:
[Mat 9:27 KJV] 27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, [Thou] Son of David, have mercy on us.
[Mat 12:23 KJV] 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
[Mat 15:22 KJV] 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, [thou] Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. [Mat 20:30-31 KJV] 30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, [thou] Son of David. 31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, [thou] Son of David.
[Mat 21:9 KJV] 9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
Many other passages point to the same idea. In Israel, no man was ever to receive worship: it was considered a form of idolatry to attribute worship, reserved only for the Creator, toward a created being. Yet in several verses, the people of Israel confront Jesus in very unusual ways. They bow down before him and worship him (Matt 2:11, 8:2, 9:18 etc.) even as a young infant. In Matthew 14:33 he is referred to as the Son of God, which if it had not been true, would have been blasphemy. In 18:26 and 26:9 they fall down , or bow down and worship him, in the former, grasping his feet. One has to understand Jewish culture in that day and time to consider how terribly unusual it was for the common people of Israel to do such a thing: calling him the 'Son of David', a 'Prophet', the "Son of Man' and the 'Son of God'. They would have been cut off from their communities and synagogues, if these attributions had been to a mere man. Something in the Messiah, triggered the Jewish spirit so in the first century, that frequently even in a first encounter, those seeking healing for themselves or others, called him 'Messiah' in one form or another, recognized him in faith as God's Son, and sometimes bowed down and worshipped him. (at least 12 times in the New Testament, though one was the soldier's mocking worship.)
Though the above defense of the term is somewhat parenthetical, we nonetheless need to take it into account in order to understand the significance of a blind man on the wayside, crying out for mercy to Jesus, and calling him "Son of David". He was declaring his very sufficient faith not only in his ability to heal, but also declaring that he recognized and thoroughly trusted Him for all that he was and would do, for to otherwise use the term would have ostracized him entirely from his people, and the blind were already marginalized in the society of the first century.
So intense was Bartimaeus' faith that day on the roadside to Jericho, that when he hears that it is Jesus of Nazareth passing by, he calls out for mercy from the Son of David, not once but twice, even amidst the admonition of those attending:

And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me
Bartimaeus was certain that Jesus could heal him because he was the Son of David, the long awaited Holy One of Israel, the Meschiach. Jesus, never a respecter of persons, does not tell his followers to silence the man, nor does he rush on to the next town: he stops everything to attend to faith in Israel.
Mark 10:49 And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. 50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
The blind beggar also showed signs of immediate obedience: the minute Jesus calls, he 'casts away his garment', a very precious thing then as the poor often had no more than two, but he is willing to leave it behind, even suddenly counting it as of no value for the great treasure of being in the presence of Jesus. Already, by this point in his ministry Jesus has encountered everyone from Roman soldiers, Kings and nobles, to outcasts and villagers: he counted them all the same save that the value he looked for in the children of Israel and others was faith. Often as we have seen in other studies, his first remarks are about faith, before he healed people. Faith was more important than disease and infirmity, more important than healing, though healing followed. Jesus' first remark to Bartimaeus is not whether he is 'saved' (though that is always the point of healing), nor does it have to do with his worthiness, or how many times he attends synagogue, but rather, sensing the deep faith in the man and his desire to be made well, accompanied by his belief in the Messiah of Israel, his first statement is one of service:
Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? Mark 10:51
We see the fulfillment of the scripture regarding one of the reasons for the coming of the Messiah, which is pointed to right before the encounter with Bartimaeus:
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
It is the case that when a person, in this situation the blind man trusts utterly, and places full confidence in God through his son, willingly laying all aside, that God is willing to do great works for and through him. Bartimaeus has one request: he wishes to receive his sight:
The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
The healing of the blind was a sign of the Messiah: in Isaiah, it is noted that he will give sight to the blind in Isaiah 42:7:
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
Sight in Israel was both literal and figurative: blindness and sight were always a metaphor for spiritual blindness and sight, as Jesus in speaking with the Pharisees upon healing the man in the temple with clay to the eyes, remarks that he came to give sight to the blind, and "to take it away from those who say they can see". He says in the Temple:
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. For. John 3:17
Sight to the blind was a promise of the Messiah made in Isaiah 61, Jesus' "Inaugural Address" when he declared that he would bring 'sight to the blind:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
It seems that Isaiah 61 does not contain the passage about the blind, but the on the site called 'Baptist Board', a pastor notes that they really are the same and the Masoretic [Hebrew] text includes the following translation:


The KJV is not incorrect but is translating the expression with regard to an idiom. The 'opening' word, פְּקַח־קוֹחַ is based upon the word פָּקַח which means an opening of the eyes. The preference in translation is difficult because it conveys both the opening of the eyes from some bondage, i.e. blindness, and yet it also connotes release from captivity so both are correct and translators in a few passages like this have to consider the more salient meaning when the expression of both in English is not possible without saying more or less than is there: the Hebrew is able to convey both. Being a KJV proponent, I do not find any contradiction there to accuracy.
In any event, the beauty of this encounter, is that it encompasses all that Jesus is looking for in Israel: the opening of blind eyes, the setting free from captivity, 'blind faith' being better than 'seeing unbelief', immediate obedience and trust, and servanthood. Faith in Bartimaeus is the ultimate goal and accomplishment. He is healed of blindness in the flesh, because he has in the Spirit declared Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, before Jesus heals him.
One last note must be made of this passage since many try to use the differing accounts in the Gospel as evidence of error or contradiction. One account holds that there are two blind men, and the other names Bartimaeus and only the interaction with Bartimaeus is included in Mark 10. Again, one has to consider eyewitness accounts: if one describes an accident on the corner, some will report who stood by and some will not. That does not mean there were not more persons there than reported, or that a person who reports the onlookers is more or less correct or accurate than the one who does not, only that the one who reports the more detailed account has included more. The same is true of this passage, and since both accounts are included in the scripture, the whole picture comes together. The gospels were collated as noted in Luke 1, from many, many eyewitness accounts, firsthand accounts of people who were there when it happened. As Luke and others put all the accounts together, the complete picture was seen. No error.
Faith in Israel was the heart cry of Yshua Ha Meschiach, Jesus Christ, 'Salvation, or 'He Saves', the Messiah. Jesus was more interested in forgiving sin, and granting eternal life to those in Israel even than performing miracles. The miracles and healings, though they are critical to an understanding of the beautiful Gospel, are signs that point to Salvation and the Son of God, the Son of David. Blind Bartimaeus could see that.
Till the next, Many blessings
Elizabeth K. Best
Judah's Glory: Series: Healing of Christ, the Messiah of Israel























Audio for Bartimaeus Meets the Son of David


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Chamush in the Wilderness?

This is just a brief entry regarding a wonderful passage often overlooked:  Exodus 13:18:


But God led the people about,through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

What is so wonderful about the passage?   Reading this on an entirely different study,  I was somewhat surprised at the word 'harnessed'  referring to the condition of the exiles leaving Egypt under the leadership of Moses.  The word in hebrew,  according to Eastons, ISBE and Gesenius is 'chamush' which can mean armed (2x) harnessed(1x)e, armed men (1x) .   The word derives in part from a word for '5', meaning a bond or yoking of five soldiers in a formation for battle.  (hamesh).  Gesenius describes it as a five parted array for battle, with the connotation of eager, brace, active, prepared for fighting,  yet bonded together.

The word 'harnessed' describes a pattern of military formation of 5 soldiers, but more than that, there was a standard  "five" part array for battle:  a head, a tail , a center, a left, and a right.   Armed and
Israel, in the Wilderness in formation: the Ark in the midst.
arrayed in the form of a cross!  Here is a wondrous picture of Salvation and Deliverance as the Children of Israel are delivered by a Prophet-deliverer,  via the wilderness in a cross formation.

 Carrying it forward to the cross, we see the 'Ark' in the midst of the cross (the formation in the desert),  in the midst of the wilderness:  the great deliverance of the Chosen people of God,  leaving Egypt with God tabernacling, indwelling in the midst.

 Had to share it: just too wonderful.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Bartimaeus and the Son of David

Blind Bartimaeus and Faith in Israel

1531  Lucas Van Leyden

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His Eyes were Blind, He could not See...Bar Timaeus



"And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus , the son of Timaeus sat by the highway side begging."

I would like to begin "in those days" as though the blind no longer have to beg, but the truth is, physical blindness today, is often treated just as inhumanely now as back then: we have a sort of "chrono-centricity" in which we think we are far advanced and more 'mature' than back in the first century a.d. but the truth is, if anything, while our technology has grown, our hearts have stayed the same, or perhaps grown even more cold and brutal.

As the disciples and Jesus came to Jericho (and went out of Jericho*) they encounter a blind beggar by the name "Bar-Timaeus", or son of Timaeus. That day, they were in no small number, and 'blind Bartimaeus' would probably have gone unnoticed to another crowd of this size, but when Bartimaeus heard that it was "Jesus of Nazareth", Yshua the "nazarim" something in his spirit caused him to 'cry out'. Before the healing, before even the gaze of the Lord turned to him, he cried out something rather unusual, for a Jewish beggar with no sight---not 'help me', nor 'give me something', but

"Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me." 10:47


Eager to calm the crowds and hustle and bustle, many charged him to be quiet--- after all, the real Jesus of Nazareth was at hand, and seemingly to many, if he were the Messiah, he would have no time to deal with this poor blind man, whom most saw as the bottom rung of the social ladder of Israel. This encounter has been written of no doubt thousands of times, but the healing often gets little more than a brief pause, and the 'cry' of an Israeli beggar for his Lord and Savior, receives almost none.

The more they tried to stop him, the more he continued in his plea and purpose [like much of Israel], he cried out "all the more"

"Thou son of David, have mercy on me."


Why did the blind man call out son of David? The title "Son of David" is mentioned exactly 23 times, 9 in the Old Testament. The titles 'son of Man', son of the Blessed, son of Adam, and son of God as well as son of the most High and others are also mentioned:  the Son-ship of Christ was not in dispute,  but peculiarly, ‘Son of David’ indicated that the blind man requiring mercy from Jesus,  already believed he was the Messiah of Israel,  as ‘Son of David’ used as a title pointed to the anointed one of Israel.    It is interesting in the New Testament, that while Jesus is called “Son of Man”  several times,  the term ‘son of man’ or  in Hebrew, ‘Ben Adam’ (Son of Adam) can be and is used of other prophets and even just a member of the human race.

For example, used of one merely in the line of Adam, the following two examples show that the term could be used somewhat liberally:

[Num 23:19 KJV] 19 God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
[Job 25:6 KJV] 6 How much less man, [that is] a worm? and the son of man, [which is] a worm?
 

The term ‘Son of Man’ though is also used more eminently when referring to the prophets, particularly of Ezekiel :

[Eze 2:1, 8 KJV] 1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. ... 8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
[Eze 16:2 KJV] 2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,

The term is used in the three verses above to refer to Ezekiel, by God,  and in 91 other passages in that book alone.  Jesus also as part of his ‘offices’ which he held, was a prophet,  so the term ‘son of man’ certainly carries with it a significance that points to the ‘son of Adam’, son of God,  and prophet,  but less directly though albeit of a certainty, the messiah.

The Blind Bartimaeus though,  cries out the more specific term:  “Son of David”.  His faith is evident before Jesus even requires it of him.   Like the children and others on the road into Jerusalem during the Triumphal entry,  who cry the same,  Bartimaeus was declaring and trusting that he was the ‘Son of David’,  the Messiah of Israel.

One could argue that ‘Son of David’ would have included any of those in David’s line, since it is mentioned, for example in descriptions of Solomon or Absalom and even Joseph (Matt 1:20), literal sons or in the line; but the Davidic covenant of the land and seed, and the forthcoming King to sit on the throne of Israel (the Messiah) more clearly takes foreground from several passages:

[2Sa 7:11-14 KJV] 11 And as since the time that I commanded judges [to be] over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son.  

 

This is the ‘for ever’ Kingdom and King of Israel which will proceed from David’s bowels, in other words, the ‘zera’ or seed which creates the generations of David.  We find in both the ‘genealogies’ of Jesus, the one from Mary and Joseph’s side, that Jesus is a direct descendent of David:

[Mat 1:1 KJV] 1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
[Luk 3:31 KJV] 31 Which was [the son] of Melea, which was [the son] of Menan, which was [the son] of Mattatha, which was [the son] of Nathan, which was [the son] of David,

That the people who were eyewitnesses to the miracles and healing of Jesus on more than one occasion used the term ‘Son of David’ as a messianic one is clearly seen in a sample of the many passages in which he was addressed by the expression, and further evidence comes from their corollary use of the word ‘Lord’ when addressing Jesus:

 

[Mat 9:27 KJV] 27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, [Thou] Son of David, have mercy on us.
[Mat 12:23 KJV] 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
[Mat 15:22 KJV] 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, [thou] Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
[Mat 20:30-31 KJV] 30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, [thou] Son of David. 31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, [thou] Son of David.
[Mat 21:9 KJV] 9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

 

Many other passages point to the same idea.  In Israel, no man was ever to receive worship:  it was considered a form of idolatry to attribute worship, reserved only for the Creator, toward a created being.    Yet in several verses, the people of Israel confront Jesus in very unusual ways.   They bow down before him and worship him (Matt 2:11, 8:2, 9:18 etc.) even as a young infant.  In Matthew 14:33 he is referred to as the Son of God, which if it had not been true, would have been blasphemy. In 18:26 and 26:9 they fall down , or bow down and worship him, in the former, grasping his feet.    One has to understand Jewish culture in that day and time to consider how terribly unusual it was for the common people of Israel to do such a thing:  calling him the ‘Son of David’, a ‘Prophet’, the “Son of Man’ and the ‘Son of God’.  They would have been cut off from their communities and synagogues, if these attributions had been to a mere man.   Something in the Messiah, triggered the Jewish spirit so in the first century,  that frequently even in a first encounter, those seeking healing for themselves or others,  called him ‘Messiah’ in one form or another, recognized him in faith as God’s Son, and sometimes bowed down and worshipped him. (at least 12 times in the New Testament, though one was the soldier’s mocking worship.)

Though the above defense of the term is somewhat parenthetical,  we nonetheless need to take it into account in order to understand the significance of a blind man on the wayside,  crying out for mercy to Jesus,  and calling him “Son of David”.  He was declaring his very sufficient faith not only in his ability to heal, but also declaring that he recognized and thoroughly trusted Him for all that he was and would do, for to otherwise use the term would have ostracized him entirely from his people, and the blind were already marginalized in the society of the first century.

So intense was Bartimaeus’ faith that day on the roadside to Jericho,  that when he hears that it is Jesus of Nazareth passing by,  he calls out for mercy from the Son of David, not once but twice,  even amidst the admonition of those attending:

 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me

Bartimaeus was certain that Jesus could heal him because he was the Son of David, the long awaited Holy One of Israel, the Meschiach.

Jesus, never a respecter of persons, does not tell his followers to silence the man, nor does he rush on to the next town:  he stops everything to attend to faith in Israel.

Mark 10:49 And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. 50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.  

The blind beggar also showed signs of immediate obedience:  the minute Jesus calls, he ‘casts away his garment’,  a very precious thing then as the poor often had no more than two,   but he is willing to leave it behind, even suddenly counting it as of no value for the great treasure of being in the presence of Jesus.   Already, by this point in his ministry Jesus has encountered everyone from Roman soldiers, Kings and nobles, to outcasts and villagers:  he counted them all the same save that the value he looked for in the children of Israel and others was faith.    Often as we have seen in other studies, his first remarks are about faith, before he healed people.  Faith was more important than disease and infirmity, more important than healing, though healing followed.

Jesus’ first remark to Bartimaeus is not whether he is ‘saved’ (though that is always the point of healing),  nor does it have to do with his worthiness, or how many times he attends synagogue,  but rather,  sensing the deep faith in the man and his desire to be made well, accompanied by his belief in the Messiah of Israel,  his first statement is one of service:

Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? Mark 10:51

We see the fulfillment of the scripture regarding one of the reasons for the coming of the Messiah, which is pointed to right before the encounter with Bartimaeus:

28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

It is the case that when a person, in this situation the blind man trusts utterly, and places full confidence in God through his son, willingly laying all aside, that God is willing to do great works for and through him.   Bartimaeus has one request:  he wishes to receive his sight:

The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

The healing of the blind was a sign of the Messiah:  in Isaiah, it is noted that he will give sight to the blind in Isaiah 42:7:

To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Sight in Israel was both literal and figurative:  blindness and sight were always a metaphor for spiritual blindness and sight, as Jesus in speaking with the Pharisees upon healing the man in the temple with clay to the eyes, remarks that he came to give sight to the blind, and “to take it away from those who say they can see”.  He says in the Temple:

And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. For. John 3:17

Sight to the blind was a promise of the Messiah made in Isaiah 61, Jesus’ “Inaugural Address” when he declared that he would bring ‘sight to the blind:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

 
It seems that Isaiah 61 does not contain the passage about the blind,  but the site called ‘Baptist Board’ and the Masoretic text includes the following translation:

א  רוּחַ אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה, עָלָי--יַעַן מָשַׁח יְהוָה אֹתִי לְבַשֵּׂר עֲנָוִים, שְׁלָחַנִי לַחֲבֹשׁ לְנִשְׁבְּרֵי-לֵב, לִקְרֹא לִשְׁבוּיִם דְּרוֹר, וְלַאֲסוּרִים פְּקַח-קוֹחַ.
1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to bring good tidings unto the humble; He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the eyes to them that are bound;
 
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1061.htm

The KJV is not incorrect but is translating the expression with regard to an idiom.   The ‘opening’  word, פְּקַח־קוֹחַ is based upon the word פָּקַח which means an opening of the eyes.  The preference in translation is difficult because it conveys both the opening of the eyes from some bondage, i.e. blindness,  and yet it also connotes release from captivity so both are correct and translators in a few passages like this have to consider the more salient meaning when the expression of both in English is not possible without saying more or less than is there: the Hebrew is able to convey both.  Being a KJV proponent,   I do not find any contradiction there to accuracy.
In any event, the beauty of this encounter,  is that it encompasses all that Jesus is looking for in Israel:  the opening of blind eyes, the setting free from captivity, ‘blind faith’  being better than ‘seeing unbelief’,  immediate obedience and trust, and servanthood.    Faith in Bartimaeus is the ultimate goal and accomplishment.  He is healed of blindness in the flesh, because he has in the Spirit declared Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, before Jesus heals him.
One last note must be made of this passage since many try to use the differing accounts in the Gospel as evidence of error or contradiction.  One account holds that there are two blind men, and the other names Bartimaeus and only the interaction with Bartimaeus is included in Mark 10.   Again,  one has to consider eyewitness accounts:  if one describes an accident on the corner, some will report who stood by and some will not.  That does not mean there were not more persons there than reported, or that a person who reports the onlookers is more or less correct or accurate than the one who does not, only that the one who reports the more detailed account has included more.  The same is true of this passage,  and since both accounts are included in the scripture, the whole picture comes together.  The gospels were collated as noted in Luke 1,  from many, many eyewitness accounts, firsthand accounts of people who were there when it happened.  As Luke and others put all the accounts together,   the complete picture was seen.    No error.
Faith in Israel was the heart cry of Yshua Ha Meschiach, Jesus Christ, ‘Salvation, or ‘He Saves’, the Messiah.   Jesus was more interested in forgiving sin, and granting eternal life to those in Israel even than performing miracles. The miracles and healings, though they are critical to an understanding of the beautiful Gospel,  are signs that point to Salvation and the Son of God, the Son of David.  Blind Bartimaeus could see that.
 
Till the next, Many blessings
Elizabeth K. Best
Judah’s Glory: Series: Healing of Christ, the Messiah of Israel
 

 

____________________
note 1:
skeptics sometimes point to this passage as an 'error' for how could Jesus be coming and going to the same place. If one does a bit of research, it will be discovered that there were 2 Jerichos, and the inconsistency is erased.