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Sunday, August 5 2012

Israel In History and Prophecy: Back To Babylon

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


Abraham's Journey From Mesopotamia

The map below shows ancient Mesopotamia (which means "between the rivers" i.e. the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers) as the shaded areas in the upper right of the map. Abraham was born in Ur, a city of southern Mesopotamia near where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers flow into the Persian Gulf.

The map also shows the "Fertile Crescent," a relatively productive and well-watered area that arcs over and around the vast deserts of Arabia, from the Tigris-Euphrates Valley in Iraq, through Syria, to the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon and Israel. Also shown on the map is the relatively narrow, but immense in length, region that is watered by the Nile River of Africa (the Nile is the world's longest river), until it terminates in the lush Nile Delta area (see Why Did They Go To Goshen?) before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.

Ancient Mesopotamia

It was from Ur in Mesopotamia (the place is today in Iraq) that the LORD chose Abraham to journey to a land that would serve a purpose to the LORD (A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan, A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac and Where Jacob Became Israel).

"11:31 And Terah took Abram his son [see - A Biography Of Abraham: The Genealogy Of Abram], and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. 11:32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran." (Genesis 11:31-32 KJV)

"12:1 Now the LORD [see Who Is The LORD?] had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation [see A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac and Israel In History and Prophecy: Roots and Branches], and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran [see also The Syrian Marriage Wells and The Syrian Tongue Of Jesus]. 12:5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

12:6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. 12:9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south [see A Biography Of Abraham: Mamre in Hebron and The Negev Of Israel]." (Genesis 12:1-9 KJV)

Israel Exiled To Assyria

Two great empires existed in ancient Mesopotamia - the Assyrian Empire, that peaked in imperial power around the eighth century BC, and then the Babylonian Empire, that peaked in imperial power around the sixth century BC. The map below shows the Assyrian Empire. At its south-western-most tip was the land of Israel.

Assyrian Empire

Abraham came out of the land of Babylon (a name that originated from the Tower of Babel; see Genesis 11:1-9) to found a line of people who were to be a prefigure of the Kingdom of God, in which, like Abraham, everyone obeyed the Word of God (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?, Who Is The LORD? and The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God). Unfortunately, they became corrupt instead, so the LORD had Israel split into two separate kingdoms, "Israel" and "Judah" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah). When Israel went grossly corrupt, and refused warnings from the LORD's prophets (see The Prophets: North and South) to repent, the LORD had the Assyrian Empire conquer Israel and take its people away into exile by 721 BC. They never returned (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes). Rebellious Israel was sent back to the place to where repentant Abraham began.

17:1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years. 17:2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him. 17:3 Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents. 17:4 And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. 17:5 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria [see The Capitals Of Israel], and besieged it three years. 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

"17:7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, 17:8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. 17:9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. 17:10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: 17:11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: 17:12 For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. 17:13 Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Law Of The LORD] which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.

17:14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. 17:15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.

17:16 And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17:17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

17:18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. 17:19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. 17:20 And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight." (2 Kings 17:1-20 KJV)

Judah Exiled To Babylon

The Assyrian Empire was eventually defeated and swallowed up by the Babylonian Empire (see also What And Where Is Babylon Today?). The map below shows the territorial extent of the Babylonian Empire (notice, like the Assyrian Empire, the "Fertile Crescent" wasn't merely a part of the Empire; it was an attack and supply route - the reason that, as some prophecies record, attacks from the "north" actually came from enemy nations in the east).

Babylonian Empire

By 586 BC, Judah had become as corrupt as Israel had done (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah). The LORD then not only permitted the Babylonians to attack and conquer Israel, but He actually made it happen. The Kingdom of Judah fell, Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Temple that Solomon built was demolished. As happened to Israel over a century earlier, rebellious Judah was sent back to the place to where repentant Abraham began. For the sake of the coming Messiah however, the Kingdom of Judah, unlike "the lost ten tribes" of the Kingdom of Israel, were permitted to return, seventy years later, as we will cover in a subsequent study in this series.

"36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God [see also The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today], great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

36:20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years." (2 Chronicles 36:15-21 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did the prophet Jeremiah know about Judah's return from their exile in Babylon?
See Jeremiah's Letter To Babylon


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This Day In History, August 5

642: The Battle of Maserfield was fought between the forces of Penda of Mercia and Oswald of Northumbria.

910: The Battle of Tettenhall. Forces of Mercia and Wessex, under King Edward the Elder and Earl Aethelred of Mercia, ended further Danish attacks on England.

1100: Henry I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1305: William Wallace, Scottish hero and champion of Scottish independence who beat Edward I at the battle of Stirling Bridge, was captured by the English and later executed.

1388: The Battle of Otterburn, a border skirmish between the Scottish and the English in Northern England, was fought near Otterburn.

1456: With Halley's Comet overhead, 40,000 Church of Rome "Crusaders" (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy) battled at Belgrade, a city besieged by the Turks (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire and see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1529: The Treaty of Cambrai was signed by Francis I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (see The Holy Roman Empire). Francis renounced his claim to Italy and Charles renounced his claims to Burgundy.

1583: Sir Humphrey Gilbert founded the first English colony in North America, at what is today St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

1600: The Gowrie Conspiracy against King James VI of Scotland (later to become King James I of England; the King James Version of the Holy Bible is named after him) takes place.

1620: Nearly 40 years after the first English settlement in North America was established, in Newfoundland (see entry for 1583 above), the Mayflower sailed from Southampton, England on its first attempt to reach North America.

1689: Iroquois warriors attacked the settlement of Lachine, just west of Montreal, killed about 200 settlers and took 100 others as prisoners. The attack was seen as retaliation for an event 2 years before when 50 Iroquois were sent to France as galley slaves.

1716: In a devastating defeat, Prince Eugene of Savoy with a force of 40,000 Austrians defeated 150,000 Turks under Darnad Ali Pasha at the battle of Peterwardein. Over 30,000 Turks were killed.

1762: Russia, Prussia and Austria signed a treaty agreeing on the partition of Poland.

1824: During the Greek War of Independence, Constantine Kanaris led a Greek fleet to victory against Ottoman and Egyptian ships in the Battle of Samos.

1850: The Australian Government Act granted representative governments to South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.

1858: The first trans-Atlantic cable was completed, enabling telegraphic communication between Britain and the U.S. The service was ended on September 1 because the current was too weak.

1884: The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid on Bedloe's Island (now Liberty Island) in New York Harbor. While most are aware that it was a gift from the Roman-Catholic people and government of France, very few are aware (and are often shocked to learn) that the Statue of Liberty was a deliberate, as stated by its builders, reproduction of the ancient Roman goddess Libertas, idol-worshipping Rome's "goddess of freedom." A 2,000 year-old Roman coin from 42 BC, from the era of the birth of the Roman Empire, seen below, shows Libertas (including the idol's name, the Latin Libertas, in English meaning "Lady Liberty" right on the coin); the face and the crown are identical to the Statue of Liberty.

Libertas

1963: The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed. It disallowed testing in the atmosphere, in outer space, and underwater; however, since the U.S. and Soviets wanted to develop their weapons of mass destruction further, underground testing was allowed under the treaty. France and China did not sign the treaty, and continued testing in the atmosphere.

1974: With no longer deniable criminal evidence mounting against him, U.S. President Richard Nixon admitted that he had lied and withheld information (including in nationally-televised Presidential addresses) about the Watergate burglary and subsequent obstruction of justice cover-up. He announced his resignation three days later. His successor, Gerald Ford (the only man to hold the office of Vice President, and then President, without ever having been elected to either office i.e. Ford was appointed Vice President when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned when he was convicted of tax evasion), pardoned Nixon before he could be prosecuted and sent to prison (a number of top level members of the Nixon regime did go to prison, including White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman and U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell).

1989: The Sandinista Front on a majority in general elections in Nicaragua.

2010: 33 Chilean miners were trapped 2,300 feet below ground at the Copiapo mine. They were rescued 69 days later.





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