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Wednesday, May 6 2015
Proverbs 9: Why Was Jesus A Carpenter?
"For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God"
The Messiah was and is truly the Lamb of God (see Nisan 14: The Day That The Messiah Was Crucified). As such, many wonder why He was a carpenter (i.e. a builder), rather than a shepherd, as was King David - one of the Messiah's key ancestors (see David's View From The Cross and What Did King David Really Say About Zion?).
The logic of the question is sound, but the answer is found in the understanding and awareness that the Messianic promise was originally given to Abraham (see Before Abraham Was, I AM), not Abraham's descendant David.
"22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." (Genesis 22:16-18 KJV)
As further explained, the Messianic promise was made first, and foremost, to Abraham (see also The LORD God Our Saviour).
"3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Galatians 3:14-16 KJV)
So what was it then that Abraham looked forward to receive from his descendant Who would be the Messiah? What did Abraham view the coming Messiah to be? A builder.
"11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
The same promise was made to all of the LORD's people. It's what salvation is all about (see Strait And Straight).
While it is today defined as a large and expensive home, the English word mansion was derived from a Latin word, mansum, that actually means to dwell. Mansion is found once in the King James Version of the Bible to translate the original Greek word, pronounced moh-nay, that means to stay, or to reside. The Greek word is itself found only twice in the Holy Scriptures, both in the book of John; the King James Version translates it once as mansions, once as abode.
As understood by Abraham (verses quoted above), the Messiah is the "builder" of the place where His "sheep" will have their eternal home.
"14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2-3 KJV)
The only Biblical mention of the famous "pearly gates" is when they will be on Earth (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?).
"21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." (Revelation 21:2-5 KJV)
The Holy Spirit is the power of true wisdom by which all that is good is built and maintained. Many of the Proverbs portray the result of going the wrong way - tearing down, rather than building up (see Words To Get Ahead).
"9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 9:2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. 9:3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, 9:4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 9:5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. 9:6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
Fact Finder: What are the actual Biblical words for "carpenter"?
This Day In History, May 6
636: (date approximate) The Battle of al-Qadisiyah; a military engagement in which Arab forces defeated the Sasanid Persian Empire (Persia is known today as Iran) and completed the conquest of Iraq.
1527: 40,000 mercenaries, hired by Cardinal Pompeo Colonna, sacked the city of Rome, destroying two-thirds of the houses. They killed clergy and laity alike, and forced Pope Clement VII to flee, disguised as a gardener (see also The Struggle For The Papacy).
1536: In further defiance to the Pope in Rome, King Henry VIII ordered English-language Bibles to be placed in every church in England.
1576: The Peace Treaty of Chastenoy ended "the Fifth War of Religion."
1626: The mythological incident in which a Dutch settler, Peter Minuit, "bought" what is today Manhattan Island from the "Indians" for a handful of trinkets. At most, the native Americans regarded the "purchase" as a simple gift from a visitor; they had no actual custom or legal practice of owning or selling land - they regarded the earth as owned by the Creator.
1682: King Louis XIV of France moved his court to Versailles.
1757: Frederick II of Prussia attacked Austrian troops defending Prague in the Seven Years War. The attack succeeded and Prague fell with 10,000 Austrian casualties.
1778: Connecticut-born U.S. soldier and frontiersman Ethan Allen was released after being captured in Montreal in 1775 (in which British forces of "New England" invaded the then France-held territory of Quebec i.e. "New France"). After his return, he did not serve in the Revolutionary War of the New England colonies, but devoted his time to local affairs in Vermont, working for separate statehood along with the existing thirteen former colonies. When that didn't happen, he attempted to negotiate the annexation of Vermont to Canada.
1840: The first adhesive postage stamps, the "Penny Black" and the "Twopenny Blue," went on sale in Britain.
1877: About 1,500 Sioux, led by Sitting Bull, entered Canada to settle at Wood Mountain, in present-day Saskatchewan. They fled north after the Battle of The Little Big Horn. The warrior Crazy Horse was the actual Sioux leader of the battle; he later surrendered to stop the retaliatory slaughter of entire Sioux villages, but was bayoneted to death "while trying to escape" Army custody. Instead of being allowed to live on a reservation, as officially agreed by both sides at the time of his surrender, Crazy Horse was taken by "the white devils" (as whites became known to the native Americans) to a common prison where he would have spent the rest of his life in a tiny concrete and steel cage.
1882: British statesman Lord Cavendish was murdered by Irish nationalists soon after arriving in Dublin as chief secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
1884: Judah Benjamin died. In 1852 he became the first professing Jew to be elected to the U.S. Senate, but during the U.S. Civil War he was took the side of the Confederates, serving as Attorney General. He fled the country after the war.
1889: The Eiffel Tower in Paris was completed.
1910: Edward VII, king of Great Britain and Ireland from January 1901, died.
1919: At the end of the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the Paris Peace Conference disposed of Germany's colonies; German East Africa was assigned as a League of nations mandate to Britain and France, while German South-West Africa was mandated to South Africa.
1937: The German airship Hindenburg burned at Lakehurst, New Jersey. 36 people lost their lives.
1942: During the Second World War, Coregidor fell to Japanese invasion forces.
1954: British runner Roger Bannister became the first officially-recorded human to run a mile in under four minutes, recording a time of 3 minutes 59.4 seconds.
1994: Queen Elizabeth and French president Francois Mitterrand officially opened the English Channel tunnel at Folkstone, England. The first fixed link between Britain and the European continent since the Ice Age.
1996: The apparently-drowned body of former CIA director William Colby was found on a riverbank in southern Maryland, eight days after he disappeared.
2001: During an official visit to Syria, Pope John Paul II became the first pope to enter a Muslim mosque (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).