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Thursday, July 26 2012

Israel In History and Prophecy: The Civil War

Studies in this complete series of Israel In History and Prophecy:
1. Roots and Branches 2. Jacob's Family 3. Moses 4. The Exodus 5. Passover
6. Law Of The LORD 7. The Sinai Journey 8. Joshua 9. The Judges 10. Samuel
11. Saul and David 12. The Civil War 13. Jerusalem 14. Zion 15. King David
16. Solomon 17. The Tabernacle 18. The Temple 19. Israel and Judah 20. The Lost Ten Tribes
21. Kingdom Of Judah 22. Back To Babylon 23. The Prophets 24. Babylon and Persia 25. The Return Of Judah
26. Jews 27. Judaism 28. Purim 29. Hanukkah 30. Hasmonean Judea
31. Roman Judea 32. Herod 33. The Messiah 34. The Zealots 35. Aelia Capitolina
36. Rome and Islam 37. Balfour Declaration 38. Israel Of Judah 39. The New Covenant 40. Alpha and Omega


"The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD's anointed"

In the time of the prophet and judge Samuel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Samuel), "the children of Israel" decided that they wanted a king from among themselves, rather than the King that they already had - a government of the people, rather than a government of the LORD (see The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God; also Satan's Fall: From Conservative To Liberal).

Samuel at Ramah

"8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 8:8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Exodus] even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee." (1 Samuel 9:7-8 KJV)

Who was "the LORD God" Who "brought them up out of Egypt," the King that they already had "even unto this day," but then had democratically decided to reject? "That Rock was Christ" (see Who Is The LORD?).

"10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock [see also The First Rock Star] that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV)

Nevertheless the LORD allowed "the children of Israel" to have their make-believe king, as a lesson to them, but with the warning that human politicians will always use and abuse the country, and its people, not like a Good Shepherd caring for His flock, but as a wolf feeding upon a captive prey. They ignored the warning, and thereafter suffered the result from then on, at the hands of the "leaders" that they chose for the lusts of themselves.

"8:11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. 8:12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. 8:13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. 8:14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 8:15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 8:16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. 8:17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. 8:18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 8:20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.

8:21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD." (1 Samuel 8:11-21 KJV)

Israel's first choice for a king, Saul, turned out to be a failure. A replacement was then chosen - David, a young shepherd from Bethlehem (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Saul and David). The difficulty, for David, was that kings in that time had no "term limits" - Saul was king for his lifetime, which made it obvious what must happen for David to begin to reign, but David also had another problem - a bigger one. Despite the disaster that he personally was as a leader, Saul had been anointed by the LORD. As we will read, David refused to kill Saul (while Saul tried to kill David numerous times), when David could easily have done so, when they were alone together at first, as well as a number of other times in battle. David didn't flee from Saul because he was afraid of Saul; David fled from Saul because he was afraid of killing the LORD's anointed. It's a key to understanding David's circumscribed strategy for fighting the civil war, that had to happen, and had to be won. Example:

David and Saul

"24:6 And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.

24:7 So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way." (1 Samuel 24:6-7 KJV)

How was David going to win then? He answered it himself. He was waiting for one of three things to happen to Saul: "the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish." As it happened (and as we will read) it was "he shall descend into battle, and perish" - but not against David, who refused to kill "the LORD's anointed."

"26:2 Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.

26:3 And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.

26:4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed. 26:5 And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him. 26:6 Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.

26:7 So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.

26:8 Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.

26:9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD's anointed, and be guiltless? 26:10 David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. " (1 Samuel 26:9-10 KJV)

"There was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger"

David fought the Civil War in two stages. The first, as explained above, was in waiting for Saul to put an end to himself, as his reckless and unstable behavior guaranteed would happen, sooner or later. It came when Saul marched his army into a "Custer's Last Stand" debacle on the slopes of Mount Gilboa. Saul was killed by the Philistines, not by David.

The Death Of Saul

"31:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. 31:2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul's sons. 31:3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.

31:4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me.

But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. 31:5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. 31:6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.

31:7 And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

31:8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. 31:9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people. 31:10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.

31:11 And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul; 31:12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. 31:13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days." (1 Samuel 31:1-13 KJV)

When David heard of Saul's death, he grieved "over Saul and over Jonathan his son," and wrote his famous "how are the mighty fallen" lament.

"1:17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: 1:18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)

1:19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! 1:20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

1:21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil. 1:22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. 1:23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. 1:24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel." (2 Samuel 1:17-24 KJV)

With Saul respectfully rendered inert, for the time being (see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?), David then began the all-out war that was needed to take what he, as the sole anointed by the LORD, had every right to take. That second phase of the Civil War was fought against "Ishbosheth the son of Saul," who been appointed by the military officers in Saul's army who wished to keep their positions in an army that had just lost the king who had commissioned them.

Hebron

"2:1 And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?

And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up?

And he said, Unto Hebron.

2:2 So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelite. 2:3 And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. 2:4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.

And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul. 2:5 And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have showed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him. 2:6 And now the LORD show kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing. 2:7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.

2:8 But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; 2:9 And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.

2:10 Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 2:11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months." (2 Samuel 2:1-11 KJV)

While the war went on for a lengthy time (keeping in mind that it was a civil war, fought on home territory - a different situation than invading some other nation), " David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker."

"3:1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker." (2 Samuel 3:1 KJV)

The war came to a treacherous and savage end when Ishbosheth was murdered and beheaded by two brigands, Rechab and Baanah - who then took their king's head to David, seeking to win his approval with it. David instead had them executed for their treason ("4:11 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? 4:12 And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron" 2 Samuel 4:12-11-12 KJV).

Ishbosheth

"4:1 And when Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled. 4:2 And Saul's son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin. 4:3 And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.)

4:4 And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

4:5 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. 4:6 And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.

4:7 For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night." (2 Samuel 4:1-7 KJV)

The Civil War was over. All of the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and proclaimed him king of Israel.

"5:1 Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. 5:2 Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.

5:3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel.

5:4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5:5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah." (2 Samuel 5:1-5 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did Jerusalem become an Israelite city only after the Civil War?
See A History Of Jerusalem: Jebus Of Canaan


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This Day In History, July 26

811: The Battle of Pliska. Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus I was killed and his heir Stauracius was seriously wounded.

920: Muslim forces defeated the combined "Christian" (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy) armies of Leon and Navarre at the battle of Valdejunquera in Spain.

1309: German King Henry (Heinrich in the actual German) VII was proclaimed "King of the Romans" (Rex Romanorum) by Pope Clement V (see The Holy Roman Empire and What Is The Mark Of The Beast?).

1469: The Battle of Edgecote Moor during the Wars of the Roses; the forces of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick against Edward IV of England.

1581: The Act of Abjuration (Dutch "Akte Van Verlating"), the declaration of Dutch independence from the rule of King Philip II of Spain.

1603: James VI of Scotland was crowned King James I of England. It was that King James that authorized an English translation of the Scriptures, first published in 1611 and known since as the "King James (or "Authorized") Version" of the Bible.

1759: The French relinquished Fort Ticonderoga in New York to the British under General Jeffrey Amherst.

1822: The Battle of Dervenakia began; forces of the Ottoman Empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) under Mahmud Dramali Pasha verses a Greek Revolutionary force under Theodoros Kolokotronis.

1847: Liberia became the first "independent republic of Africa." It was created by the U.S. government in an effort to get all black people in the U.S., including those born in the U.S., to move to Africa.

1858: Lionel Rothschild became the first (known) Jewish member to take his seat in the British House of Commons.

1886: William Gladstone was replaced by Lord Salisbury as Prime Minister of England.

1891: France annexed Tahiti.

1918: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Britain's top war ace, Edward Mannock, was shot down by ground fire on the Western Front.

1947: U.S. President Harry Truman (the only human ever to order the detonation of nuclear weapons on another country i.e. the incineration of the civilian populations of Hiroshima, and then Nagasaki, Japan in 1945) created the Central Intelligence Agency.

1952: King Farouk of Egypt abdicated and was ordered to leave the country, three days after a coup led by General Neguib.

1953: Communist insurgent Fidel Castro led an attack on the Moncada Barracks, thereby beginning the Cuban Revolution against the CIA and Mafia (the Cuba scenes in The Godfather criminal movies are based on historical reality) fascist government of the puppet/stooge dictator Fulgencio Batista. The movement took the name of that date i.e. "The 26th of July Movement."

1956: Egyptian President Nasser declared that Egypt had nationalized the Suez Canal Company, thus ending Western (i.e. U.S. and Britain) control 12 years ahead of the expiry date of the Suez concession; overnight, he became the hero of the Arab world (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).

1958: Prince Charles was proclaimed Prince of Wales by Queen Elizabeth.

1963: Syncom 2, the world's first geosynchronous ("marked by an orbit with a period of 24 hours so that a position in such an orbit is fixed with respect to the earth") satellite, was launched.

1974: Prime Minister Constantinos Karamanlis formed first Greek civil government after seven years of martial law.

2005: The first U.S. space shuttle launch, of Discovery, after the Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry in 2003.

2005: Mumbai, India received 99.5 centimeters of rain (39.17 inches) within 24 hours.





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