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Sunday, May 17 2015
Proverbs 20: Awake And Sing, Ye That Dwell In Dust
"Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust"
The English-language word "sleep" originated from an Anglo-Saxon word, slaepan, that meant to slip (the English words sleep and slip originated from the same root word), as in becoming loose, or relaxed (The Consolidated Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary). Right from the earliest time, the English and Anglo-Saxon words meant either sleeping or the "sleep" of death - hence also the saying "rest in peace."
As is so often the case, a single English word, "sleep," is used to translate a number of actual Hebrew words of the Holy Scriptures. Notice carefully how often the Scriptures, along with describing natural or induced sleep (e.g. Adam and Abraham; see the first examples below) also use "sleep" to refer to the state of being dead.
The photograph shows a 3,000 year-old mummified Egyptian child. It was taken at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto by Wayne Blank in October 2009. Appropriately, many cultures had or have a custom of placing their dead in a sleeping position - as was the child. Also most fittingly, it is "sleeping" in a fetal position (i.e. like an unborn child) - portraying very well what actually happens to the dead while they await the time when they will surely be "born again" (see the Fact Finder question below).
Notice the verse also accurately specifies not merely that the dead sleep "in the dust," but eventually (or sooner, if cremated or lost in a fire) become dust i.e. "ye that dwell in dust," not merely "ye that dwell in the dust" (see Dust In The Wind and Leaving The Soul Behind).
"26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." (Isaiah 26:19 KJV)
The prophet Daniel was given to plainly see the future time when "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake" (see the entire study series for the prophet Daniel beginning with The Prophet Daniel: A Child Of The Exile; the links to all studies in the series are found in each one).
"12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:1-3 KJV)
So too, the apostle Paul described the resurrections from the "sleep" of death to come:
"15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:51-54 KJV)
The Proverbs are applied examples of living a righteous life in the time that humanity will be judged. Those who choose to repent and obey the LORD (see The LORD God Our Saviour) will awaken to eternal life.
"20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise [see also Seed-Bearing Plants: For Food Or For Folly?].
This Day In History, May 17
218: The 7th recorded perihelion (the point in the orbit of a planet or comet where it is nearest to the sun) passage of Halley's Comet (see also What Can You See In The Firmament Of The Heavens? and The Christian Universe).
395: Upon the death of Emperor Theodosius I, the Roman Empire was no longer ruled by a single leader. Theodosius had divided the empire into western and eastern portions, thereby creating the prophesied "two legs" of the prophecy given to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (see The Prophet Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar's Image).
1377: Pope Gregory XI restored the papacy to Rome from Avignon, France, where it had resided for 72 years. It had been moved there by French Pope Clement V in 1305, to escape the political turmoil in Italy at the time (see The Struggle For The Papacy and The Little Big Horn; listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).
1521: Edward Stafford, the 3rd Duke of Buckingham, was executed for treason.
1562: The Edict of St. Germain permitted the Huguenots (Protestants) in France.
1590: Anne of Denmark was crowned Queen of Scotland.
1620: The first merry-go-round at a fair, in Philippapolis, Turkey.
1756: Britain declared war on France, beginning the French and Indian War.
1773: The Resolution, under Captain James Cook, became the first ship to enter Antarctic waters.
1805: Muhammad Ali became the Governor of Egypt.
1808: Napoleon I of France (Napoleon Bonaparte) ordered the annexation of the Papal States into the French Empire.
1809: The Papal States were annexed by France.
1814: Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden.
1902: Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovered the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.
1912: Captain Robert Scott's expedition reached the South Pole, a month after Roald Amundsen of Norway.
1940: Germany occupied Brussels, Belgium and began the invasion of France (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1945: The Soviet Red Army liberated and occupied Warsaw, Poland, from German forces.
1966: A U.S. B-52 bomber collided in mid-air with a refuelling tanker over Spain. 8 people were killed, and the bomber released its H-bomb into the Atlantic.
1987: At the time when Iraq was regarded as a U.S. ally (primarily because Iraq was at war with Iran), an Iraqi fighter jet "accidentally" fired a missile that struck the USS Stark. Although 37 U.S. sailors were killed, the U.S. declared it to be an incident of "friendly fire" from an ally.
1990: "Enlightened leaders" of the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric diseases.
2004: Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize homosexual "marriage" (see also Iniquity In History And Prophecy).