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Saturday, March 28 2015

Psalm 126: Streams In The South

"As the streams in the south ... precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing"

The Negev (or Negeb) Desert got its name from the Hebrew word, pronounced neghev, that means dry. It's a vast wilderness area located to the south of Jerusalem and Judea (see the map below) - from which Negev has also taken on the meaning south. English-language Bible translations use both words, or even further variants, as shown in the examples below from Genesis 12:9.

A Wadi In The Negev Desert

"12:9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south." (King James Version)

"12:9 The Avram traveled on, continuing toward the Negev." (Complete Jewish Bible)

"12:9 Then Abram travelled on, still southward." (James Moffat Translation)

The Negev extends far southward from the mountains and lowlands of Judea where the rolling hills terminate abruptly along the desert. The Dead Sea is located to the east (see also What Does The Bible Call The Dead Sea?), the Mediterranean Sea is to the west, the Sinai Peninsula is to the southwest (see also Paul's Geography Lesson).

The "South" is a vast desert area of about 4,700 square miles - over half of the sovereign territory of Israel - although the percentage is now threatened with disastrous change as some of Israel's self-serving "friends" in the present seek "peace" for Israel by presuming themselves to speak for Israel, in place of Israel, in dealings with nations that have chosen to be deadly enemies of Israel.

The outsider's blundering negotiations (many of the "negotiators" can't even find Israel on a world, or even Middle East, map - and don't care) with Israel's enemies would give away large areas of Israel's prime territory in the north, or reduce Israel's sovereign right to defend itself in whatever way that the people of Israel see fit in their own country, in exchange for a reckless and naive "promise of peace" from those who have also promised to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons if they are ever able to get them. The pro-terrorist, anti-Israel, non-Israeli politicians and diplomats will get their coveted Nobel Peace Prize and "place in history," while Israel would get nuked soon thereafter.

Fortunately, the Negev is also the primary home of Israel's nuclear arsenal - that Israel has responsibly possessed since the 1960s, but never used (despite numerous wars and invasions against them by the nations all around them; see also Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century). That reality is in stark contrast to the other reality that Israel's enemies would quickly and surely use any weapon of mass destruction that they can get their hands on - just as they have publicly stated many times.

Anyone who attacked Israel with nuclear weapons would themselves be immediately destroyed by Israel's nuclear weapons in retaliation (delivered by Israeli aircraft, or missiles from Israel's German-built submarines), but those who would incinerate Israel don't care; they think that their national suicide would get them, according to their Mohammedan religion, a "better place in paradise." Israel's nuclear weapons are in the hands of rational people, while Israel's enemies who seek to obtain nuclear weapons are religious lunatics in charge of countries.

The Negev in History and Prophecy

The Negev was well-known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when they lived there (Isaac and Jacob were born in the Negev). Many familiar events of Bible history happened in the southern desert or Beersheba which is located in the northern area of the Negev.

"12:9 And Abram journeyed [see also A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan], going on still toward the south." (Genesis 12:9 KJV)

24:62 And Isaac [see also Isaac: Rising From The Ashes] came from the way of the well Lahairoi [see Isaac's Wells]; for he dwelt in the south country." (Genesis 24:62)

"25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian [see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria]. ... 25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them [see The Birth of Jacob and Esau]. 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob." (Genesis 25:20, 24-28 KJV)

"21:14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba [see The Birth of Isaac and The Expulsion Of Hagar]. ... 21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer." (Genesis 21:14,20 KJV)

Isaiah was one of the prophets of the LORD who was given to see the coming time when the Earth is going to become a well-watered true Paradise (see also The Identity Of The LORD God and Isaiah: Visions Of The Messiah).

Israel

"41:18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 41:19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: 41:20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it." (Isaiah 41:18-20 KJV)

"43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 43:20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise." (Isaiah 43:19-21 KJV)

Like many deserts, the Negev experiences limited rainfall or waterflow at certain times. A "wadi" (A "gully or streambed in northern Africa and the Middle East that remains dry except during rainy season," as shown in the photograph above) is such a seasonal streambed that will become a year-round stream "when the deserts bloom" in the Kingdom of God (as described in the verses above). But there is a further fulfillment.

A Negev wadi, such as in shown in the photo above, was specifically described by King David in Psalm 126 - "the streams in the south" i.e. the streams in the Negev. But David spoke of it not merely of water making a dry place come to life, but "living waters" (see Living Waters) that will restore life through a resurrection of the dead i.e. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy" and "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing."

"126:1 A Song of degrees.

When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. 126:2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

126:4 Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psalm 126"1-6 KJV)

The famous "dry bones" prophecy is another portrayal of the same restoration to life that is surely coming (see the Fact Finder question below).

"37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?

And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

37:4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 37:5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 37:6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 37:8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

37:9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD." (Ezekiel 37:1-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did King David know of the coming resurrections? What did Job know of the coming resurrections?
See David's Resurrection Prophecy and Job's Prophecy Of The Resurrection


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This Day In History, March 28

37: Roman Emperor Caligula accepted the title of the Principate by the Senate (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

193: The accession of Didius Julianus, 20th Roman emperor (see also Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire).

845: Paris was sacked by Viking raiders.

Eisenhower 1800: The Act of Union with England was passed by the Irish Parliament.

1849: Frederick William IV of Prussia was elected Emperor of the Germans by the German National Assembly (see Emperors and Popes).

1854: Britain and France declared war on Russia in the Crimean War.

1917: Jews were expelled from Tel Aviv and Jaffa by Ottoman/Turkish authorities (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1930: Constantinople (which was named after the Roman emperor Constantine; listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy and see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad) and Angora changed their names to Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey.

1933: The Reichstag (the German Parliament) gave dictatorial powers to Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion). That same day, the Nazis banned Jews in all businesses, professions and schools in Germany.

1939: The Spanish Civil War ended when Madrid fell to Francisco Franco.

1945: Germany launched the last of the V-2 rockets against Britain.

1968: The U.S. lost its first warplane in Vietnam when an F-111 vanished on a combat mission over North Vietnam. According to most reliable estimates, by the end of the war, all branches of the U.S. military had over 2,000 fighter aircraft and 7,000 helicopters lost in Vietnam. The U.S. involvement in the Vietnam civil war was very profitable for a few manufacturers of weapons and machines of war - as warned in 1961 by retiring President Dwight Eisenhower who stated that the "military-industrial complex" would get the U.S. into endless and needless wars for the business of war - until the war profiteers ("the disastrous rise of misplaced power") would eventually "bleed" the U.S. dry.

"Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

1979: Equipment failures and human error led to a partial core meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Middleton, Pennsylvania.

2003: In one of numerous "friendly fire" incidents during the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions, two U.S. A-10 Thunderbolts attacked British tanks in Iraq.

2005: A magnitude 8.7 earthquake struck Sumatra.



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