Friday, April 29, 2016

The Moabite Stone Mentions The Name Of JEHOVAH

2 Kings 3:1-27 NIV

1Jorama son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned twelve years. 2He did evil in The Eyes of The LORD, but not as his father and mother had done. He got rid of the sacred stone of Baal that his father had made. 3Nevertheless he clung to the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit; he did not turn away from them.

4Now Mesha king of Moab raised sheep, and he had to pay the king of Israel a tribute of a hundred thousand lambs and the wool of a hundred thousand rams. 5But after Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6So at that time King Joram set out from Samaria and mobilized all Israel. 7He also sent this message to Jehoshaphat king of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?”

“I will go with you,” he replied. “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”

8“By what route shall we attack?” he asked.

“Through the Desert of Edom,” he answered.

9So the king of Israel set out with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. After a roundabout march of seven days, the army had no more water for themselves or for the animals with them.

10“What!” exclaimed the king of Israel. “Has The LORD Called us three kings together only to deliver us into the hands of Moab?”

11But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of The LORD here, through whom we may inquire of The LORD?”

An officer of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.b 

12Jehoshaphat said, “The WORD of The LORD Is With him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

13Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Why do you want to involve me? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.”

“No,” the king of Israel answered, “because It Was The LORD Who Called us three kings together to Deliver us into the hands of Moab.”

14Elisha said, “As surely As The LORD ALMIGHTY Lives, WHOM I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not pay any attention to you. 15But now bring me a harpist.”

While the harpist was playing, The Hand of The LORD Came on Elisha 

16and he said,

 “This Is What The LORD Says: 

I Will Fill this valley with pools of water. 

17For This Is What The LORD Says: 

You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. 18This is an easy thing in The Eyes of The LORD; HE Will also Deliver Moab into your hands. 19You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones.”

20The next morning, about the time for offering the sacrifice, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water.

21Now all the Moabites had heard that the kings had come to fight against them; so every man, young and old, who could bear arms was called up and stationed on the border. 22When they got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water. To the Moabites across the way, the water looked red—like blood.23“That’s blood!” they said. “Those kings must have fought and slaughtered each other. Now to the plunder, Moab!”

24But when the Moabites came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and fought them until they fled. And the Israelites invaded the land and slaughtered the Moabites. 25They destroyed the towns, and each man threw a stone on every good field until it was covered. They stopped up all the springs and cut down every good tree. Only Kir Hareseth was left with its stones in place, but men armed with slings surrounded it and attacked it.

26When the king of Moab saw that the battle had gone against him, he took with him seven hundred swordsmen to break through to the king of Edom, but they failed. 27Then he took his firstborn son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him as a sacrifice on the city wall. 

The fury against Israel was great; they withdrew and returned to their own land.

Moabite Stone

The Mesha Stele (also known as the "Moabite Stone") is a stele (inscribed stone) set up around 840 BCE by King Mesha of Moab (a kingdom located in modern Jordan). Mesha tells how Kemosh, the god of Moab, had been angry with his people and had allowed them to be subjugated to Israel, but at length Kemosh returned and assisted Mesha to throw off the yoke of Israel and restore the lands of Moab. Mesha then describes his many building projects.

The stone was discovered intact by an Anglican missionary, at the site of ancient Dibon (now Dhiban, Jordan), in August 1868, having been led to it by a local bedouin. Before it could be seen by another westerner, the next year it was smashed by local villagers during a dispute over its ownership. A "squeeze" had been obtained by a local Arab and fragments containing most of the inscription (613 letters out of about a thousand) were later recovered and pieced together. The squeeze and the reassembled stele are now in the Louvre Museum.

The Mesha stele is the longest Iron Age inscription ever found in the region, the major evidence for the Moabite language. The stele, whose story parallels, with some differences, an episode in the Books of Kings (2 Kings 3:4-8), provides invaluable information on the Moabite language and the political relationship between Moab and Israel at one moment in the 9th century B.C.  It is the most extensive inscription ever recovered that refers to the kingdom of Israel (the "House of Omri"), it bears the earliest certain extra-biblical reference to the Israelite GOD YAHWEH, and — if French scholar André Lemaire's reconstruction of a portion of line 31 is correct — the earliest mention of the "House of David" (i.e., the kingdom of Judah).

The points established by the Inscription are:

1. That Moab recovered from the blow dealt by David 2 Samuel 8:22 Samuel 8:12, and became again an independent state in the interval between David's conquest and the accession of Omri;

2. That Omri reconquered the country, and that it then became subject to the northern kingdom, and remained so throughout his reign and that of his son Ahab, and into the reign of Ahab's son and successor, Ahaziah;

3. That the independence was regained by means of a war, in which Mesha took town after town from the Israelites, including in his conquests many of the towns which, at the original occupation of the holy land, had passed into the possession of the Reubenites or the Gadites, as Baal-Meon Numbers 32:38, KirjathaimNumbers 32:37, Ataroth Numbers 32:34, Nebo Numbers 32:38, Jahaz Joshua 13:18, etc.;

4. That the Name of YAHWEH Was Well Known to the Moabites as that of The GOD of the Israelites; and

5. That there was a Sanctuary of YAHWEH at Nebo, in the Trans-Jordanic territory, where "vessels" were used in HIS Service.

The Ascension Of CHRIST Is Figured In The Removal Of Elijah

2 Kings 2:1-25 NIV

Elijah Taken Up to Heaven

1When The LORD Was About To Take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; The LORD Has Sent me to Bethel.”

But Elisha said, “As Surely As The LORD Lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

3The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that The LORD Is Going To Take your master from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”

4Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; The LORD Has Sent me to Jericho.”

And he replied, “As Surely As The LORD Lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.

5The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that The LORD Is Going To Take your master from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.”

6Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; The LORD Has Sent me to the Jordan.”

And he replied, “As Surely As The LORD Lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.

7Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

9When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”

“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

10“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

11As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

13Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where Now Is The LORD, The GOD of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

15The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16“Look,” they said, “we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps The SPIRIT of The LORD Has Picked him Up and Set him Down on some mountain or in some valley.”

“No,” Elisha replied, “do not send them.”

17But they persisted until he was too embarrassed to refuse. So he said, “Send them.” And they sent fifty men, who searched for three days but did not find him. 18When they returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”

Healing of the Water

19The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.”

20“Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.

21Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, 

“This Is What The LORD Says: 

‘I Have Healed this water. Never again will it cause death or 

make the land unproductive.’ ” 

22And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.

Elisha Is Jeered

23From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in The Name of The LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. 

25And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.

Elijah Taken Up to Heaven

The LORD Had Let Elijah know that his time was at hand. He therefore went to the different schools of the prophets to give them his last exhortations and blessing.  

The removal of Elijah was a type and figure of the Ascension of CHRIST, and the opening of the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers. 

Elisha had long followed Elijah, and he would not leave him now when he hoped for the parting blessing. Let not those who follow CHRIST come short by tiring at last.

The waters of Jordan, of old yielded to The Ark of JEHOVAH; now, to the prophet's mantle, as a token of GOD'S Presence. When GOD Will Take Up His faithful ones to heaven, death is the Jordan which they must pass through, and they find a way through it. The Death of CHRIST Has Divided those waters that the ransomed of The LORD may pass over. O death, where is your sting, your hurt, your terror!

Elijah is carried to heaven in a fiery chariot. Many questions might be asked about this, which could not be answered. Let it suffice that we are told so. He was engaged in serious discourse, encouraging and directing Elisha about the Kingdom of GOD among men.

The chariot and horses appeared like fire, something very glorious, not for burning, but brightness. By the manner in which Elijah and Enoch were taken from this world, GOD Gave a glimpse of the eternal life brought to light by the Gospel, of the glory reserved for the bodies of the saints, and of the opening of the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers. It was also a figure of CHRIST'S Ascension.

Elijah was to Israel, by his counsels, reproofs, and prayers, better than the strongest force of chariot and horse, and kept off the Judgments of GOD. CHRIST Bequeathed To His disciples His Precious Gospel, like Elijah's mantle; the token of the Divine Power being exerted to overturn the empire of Satan, and to set up the Kingdom of GOD in the world. The same Gospel remains with us, though the miraculous powers are withdrawn, and it has Divine Strength for the conversion and salvation of sinners.

Observe the miracle of healing the waters. Prophets should make every place to which they come better for them, endeavoring to sweeten bitter spirits, and to make barren souls fruitful, by The WORD of GOD, which is like the salt cast into the water by Elisha. It was an apt emblem of the effect produced by the Grace of GOD on the sinful heart of man. Whole families, towns, and cities, sometimes have a new appearance through the preaching of the Gospel; wickedness and evil have been changed into fruitfulness in the works of righteousness, which are, through CHRIST, to the Praise and Glory of GOD.

Here is a curse on the youths of Bethel, enough to destroy them; it was not a curse causeless, for it was Elisha's character, as GOD'S prophet, that they abused. They jeered at him by saying “go up”, reflecting on the taking up of Elijah into heaven. The prophet acted by Divine Impulse. If The HOLY SPIRIT Had Not Directed Elisha's solemn curse, the Providence of GOD Would Not Have Followed it with judgment.

The LORD Must Be Glorified as a Righteous GOD WHO Hates sin, and Will reckon for it. Let young persons be afraid of speaking wicked words, for GOD Notices what they say. Let them not mock at any for defects in mind or body; especially it is at their peril, if they scoff at any for well doing. Let parents that would have comfort in their children, train them up well, and do their best to drive out the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts. And what will be the anguish of those parents, at the Day of Judgment, who witness the everlasting condemnation of their offspring, occasioned by their own bad example, carelessness, or wicked teaching!

Do Not Compare JEHOVAH, The LIVING GOD Of HEAVEN With Baal-Zebub, lord of flies

2 Kings 1-18 NIV

The LORD’S Judgment on Ahaziah

1After Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel. 2Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. 

So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.”

3But The ANGEL of The LORD Said to Elijah the Tishbite, 

“Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no GOD in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’ 

4Therefore This Is What The LORD Says:

‘You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will 

certainly die!’ ” 

So Elijah went.

5When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, “Why have you come back?”

6“A man came to meet us,” they replied. “And he said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, “This Is What The Lord Says: Is it because there is no GOD in Israel that you are sending messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!” ’ ”

7The king asked them, “What kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?”

8They replied, “He had a garment of haira and had a leather belt around his waist.”

The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.”

9Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men. The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “Man of GOD, the king says, ‘Come down!’ ”

10Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of GOD, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.

11At this the king sent to Elijah another captain with his fifty men. The captain said to him, “Man of GOD, this is what the king says, ‘Come down at once!’ ”

12“If I am a man of GOD,” Elijah replied, “may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then the Fire of GOD fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.

13So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. “Man of GOD,” he begged, “please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! 14See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!”

15The ANGEL of The LORD Said to Elijah,

“Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up 

and went down with him to the king.

16He told the king, 

“This Is What The LORD Says: 

Is it because there is no GOD in Israel for you to consult that 

you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god 

of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never 

leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!” 

17So he died, according to The WORD of The LORD that Elijah had spoken.

Because Ahaziah had no son, Joram succeeded him as king in the second year of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. 18As for all the other events of Ahaziah’s reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?

Baalzebub - the god of flies

Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber—This lattice was either a part of the wooden parapet, or fence, which surrounds the flat roofs of houses, and over which the king was carelessly leaning when it gave way; or it might be an opening like a skylight in the roof itself, done over with lattice-work, which, being slender or rotten, the king stepped on and slipped through. This latter supposition is most probably the true one, as Ahaziah did not fall either into the street or the court, but "in his upper chamber."

Inquire of Baalzebub—Anxious to learn whether he should recover from the effects of this severe fall, he sent to consult Baalzebub, that is, the god of flies, who was considered the patron deity of medicine. A temple to that idol was erected at Ekron, which was resorted to far and wide, though it afterwards led to the destruction of the place (Zechariah 9:5; Amos 1:8; Zephaniah 2:4).

"If anyone is visiting Ekron, 'the god of flies' will be a name that gives no surprise. The flies there swarmed, in fact so innumerably, that no one could get any food without these troublesome insects getting into it."