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Monday, January 20 2014
Deuteronomy 27: Why A Dark Side Of The Moon?
"These shall stand upon Mount Gerizim to bless ... And these shall stand upon Mount Ebal to curse"
Mount Ebal, from the Hebrew word pronounced ay-bawl, meaning rocky, is a mountain in the Samaria region of central Israel. At a height of 3,077 feet / 937 meters above sea level, and 1,200 feet / 365 feet above the level of the adjacent valley, it was located on the north side of the ancient city of Shechem. Mount Gerizim was to the south of Shechem on the opposite side of the valley.
While Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim were easily visible from each other, from the sight of each other Mount Ebal's barren appearance (due largely to its more shaded north face) contrasted with Mount Gerizim's more profusely-covered side (due largely to its brighter south face).
There is no "dark side of the moon." It's a term that originated because the moon turns on its axis (the "day" on the moon) in the same period as it orbits the Earth (a month) - thereby producing the visual effect that only one side of the moon is visible from Earth. In that same way, Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim both had a contrasting "light" and "dark" side as viewed from each other, even though they also each had their light and dark side. That natural contrast was used in a ceremony to symbolize the blessings for those who obey God, and the curses for those who disobey - a principle that applies as much now as at any other time during the history of humanity.
"27:1 And Moses with the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, Keep all the commandments which I command you this day. 27:2 And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, that thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaister them with plaister: 27:3 And thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law, when thou art passed over, that thou mayest go in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk and honey [see Deuteronomy 6: The Way To Milk And Honey]; as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee. 27:4 Therefore it shall be when ye be gone over Jordan, that ye shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in mount Ebal, and thou shalt plaister them with plaister. 27:5 And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them. 27:6 Thou shalt build the altar of the LORD thy God of whole stones: and thou shalt offer burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD thy God: 27:7 And thou shalt offer peace offerings, and shalt eat there, and rejoice before the LORD thy God. 27:8 And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly." (Deuteronomy 27:1-8 KJV)
The Levites (see the Fact Finder question below) then declared the Will of the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God), with the result of obedience or disobedience - blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience.
"27:9 And Moses and the priests the Levites [see Numbers 3: When Were The Levites Set Apart? and Numbers 18: The Inheritance Of The Levites] spake unto all Israel, saying, Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the LORD thy God. 27:10 Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the LORD thy God, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day.
Fact Finder: What was the prophetic purpose of the Levite High priest?
This Day In History, January 20
250: Emperor Decius began persecution of Christians in Rome (genuine Christians and those who were merely using Christ's identity for their religion; see The Church Of God At Rome).
1265: The first English Parliament of the elected knights of the shires and burgesses convened by Simon de Montfort in the original Palace of Westminster i.e. the "Houses of Parliament."
1320: Wladislaw I was crowned king of Poland. He defeated the Knights of the Teutonic Order, and established the Polish nation.
1327: Edward II of England abdicated in favor of his son Edward III.
1356: Edward Balliol abdicated as King of Scotland.
1612: Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II died (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation). His inability to reconcile Roman Catholics and Protestants led to the Thirty Years War.
1649: King Charles I of England was charged with treason after the civil war against Parliamentarian forces.
1783: Britain signed a peace agreement with France and Spain, who malignantly supported the rebel insurgency against Britain during the rebellion of the New England colonies - while hypocritically permitting no rebellion in their vast colonies throughout North and South America.
1841: Hong Kong was ceded to Britain from China after the Opium War.
1918: In Russia following the Bolshevik Revolution, all church property was confiscated and all religious instruction in the schools was abolished.
1936: King George V died at age 70. He was succeeded by Edward VIII whose abdication (to marry a divorced U.S. woman) made possible the eventual coronation of Elizabeth II after the death of her father, King George VI (the younger brother of Edward VIII who succeeded Edward).
1942: Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin formalized a "final solution" plan for the murder of Europe's Jews (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1981: 52 U.S. hostages from the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, were released after 444 days in captivity.
1989: Ronald Reagan broke the "year zero curse" when he became the first U.S. President since 1840, who won a Presidential election in a year ending in a zero, to leave office alive (although not without incident - Mr. Reagan was very seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in March of 1981):
2001: Philippine President Joseph Estrada was removed from office after a 4-day revolution.
2009: Barack Obama was inaugurated as the first black President of the U.S.