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Friday, July 3 2015

Isaiah 15: What Does The Moabite Stone Say About Israel?

"Omri was king of Israel, and oppressed Moab during many days ... And the men of Gad dwelled in the country of Ataroth from ancient times, and the king of Israel fortified Ataroth ... I took from it the vessels of Jehovah"

Moab was a small kingdom that was located east of the Jordan River (see the map below). After the Civil War (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Civil War), David of Bethlehem became not only the king of the united kingdom of Israel (see How Many Kings Reigned In The United Kingdom?), but an emperor over other nations - including Moab.

"8:1 And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Methegammah out of the hand of the Philistines.

8:2 And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.

8:3 David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates. 8:4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David hocked all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots." (2 Samuel 8:1-4 KJV)

The Israelite imperialism ("The policy extending a nation's authority by territorial gain, or by the establishment of economic and political dominance over other nations") continued through the reign of King Solomon (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Solomon) and even after Israel was divided into the independent kingdoms of Israel and Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah). Then, "it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel." Israel, under King Jehoram, and Judah, under King Jehoshaphat, allied in the subsequent war against Moab. They consulted the prophet Elisha before a major battle (see also Did Elisha Have Chariots of Fire Too? and The Beginning Of Elisha's Miracles).

The Israel Empire

"3:4 And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool. 3:5 But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 3:6 And king Jehoram went out of Samaria the same time, and numbered all Israel. 3:7 And he went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, The king of Moab hath rebelled against me: wilt thou go with me against Moab to battle?

And he said, I will go up: I am as thou art, my people as thy people, and my horses as thy horses.

3:8 And he said, Which way shall we go up?

And he answered, The way through the wilderness of Edom.

3:9 So the king of Israel went, and the king of Judah, and the king of Edom: and they fetched a compass of seven days' journey: and there was no water for the host, and for the cattle that followed them.

3:10 And the king of Israel said, Alas! that the LORD hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab!

3:11 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD, that we may enquire of the LORD by him?

And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah.

3:12 And Jehoshaphat said, The word of the LORD is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

3:13 And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, What have I to do with thee? get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother.

And the king of Israel said unto him, Nay: for the LORD hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab.

3:14 And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee. 3:15 But now bring me a minstrel.

And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him. 3:16 And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches. 3:17 For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. 3:18 And this is but a light thing in the sight of the LORD: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hand. 3:19 And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.

3:20 And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.

3:21 And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come up to fight against them, they gathered all that were able to put on armour, and upward, and stood in the border. 3:22 And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood: 3:23 And they said, This is blood: the kings are surely slain, and they have smitten one another: now therefore, Moab, to the spoil.

3:24 And when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fled before them: but they went forward smiting the Moabites, even in their country. 3:25 And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land cast every man his stone, and filled it; and they stopped all the wells of water, and felled all the good trees: only in Kirharaseth left they the stones thereof; howbeit the slingers went about it, and smote it.

3:26 And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too sore for him, he took with him seven hundred men that drew swords, to break through even unto the king of Edom: but they could not. 3:27 Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land." (2 Kings 3:4-27 KJV)

The "Moabite Stone" was found in 1868 by Frederick Augustus Klein, an Anglican missionary. It is also known as the "Mesha Stele" (i.e. an inscribed stone) because it was written by King Mesha of Moab - the same king of Moab that is recorded in the Scriptures quoted above. Mesha's account of his war against Israel matches the Biblical account exactly, including the names of the kings. Also, although Mesha was a worshipper of the idol Chemosh, Mesha acknowledged the existence of the true God by Name on the Mesha Stele (although it is translated into English as "Jehovah"; see Who Created Jehovah?). He also plainly refers to the Israelite tribe of Gad who, along with Reuben and half of Manasseh (see Reuben, Gad And Half Of Manasseh), received their tribal inheritance east of the Jordan River, bordering Moab i.e. "And the men of Gad dwelled in the country of Ataroth from ancient times, and the king of Israel fortified Ataroth."

The Mesha Stele The English-language translation quoted here was that published by James King in 1878.

"I am Mesha, son of Chemosh-gad, king of Moab, the Dibonite. My father reigned over Moab thirty years, and I have reigned after my father. And I have built this sanctuary for Chemosh in Karchah, a sanctuary of salvation, for he saved me from all aggressors, and made me look upon all mine enemies with contempt.

Omri was king of Israel, and oppressed Moab during many days, and Chemosh was angry with his aggressions. His son succeeded him, and he also said, I will oppress Moab. In my days he said, Let us go, and I will see my desire upon him and his house, and Israel said, I shall destroy it for ever. Now Omri took the land of Madeba, and occupied it in his day, and in the days of his son, forty years. And Chemosh had mercy on it in my time. And I built Baal-meon and made therein the ditch, and I built Kiriathaim. And the men of Gad dwelled in the country of Ataroth from ancient times, and the king of Israel fortified Ataroth.

I assaulted the wall and captured it, and killed all the warriors of the city for the well-pleasing of Chemosh and Moab, and I removed from it all the spoil, and offered it before Chemosh in Kirjath; and I placed therein the men of Siran, and the men of Mochrath. And Chemosh said to me, Go take Nebo against Israel, and I went in the night and I fought against it from the break of day till noon, and I took it: and I killed in all seven thousand men, but I did not kill the women and maidens, for I devoted them to Ashtar-Chemosh; and I took from it the vessels of Jehovah, and offered them before Chemosh. And the king of Israel fortified Jahaz, and occupied it, when he made war against me, and Chemosh drove him out before me, and I took from Moab two hundred men in all, and placed them in Jahaz, and took it to annex it to Dibon. I built Karchah the wall of the forest, and the wall of the Hill.

I have built its gates and I have built its towers. I have built the palace of the king, and I made the prisons for the criminals within the wall. And there were no wells in the interior of the wall in Karchah. And I said to all the people, 'Make you every man a well in his house.' And I dug the ditch for Karchah with the chosen men of Israel. I built Aroer, and I made the road across the Arnon. I took Beth-Bamoth for it was destroyed. I built Bezer for it was cut down by the armed men of Daybon, for all Daybon was now loyal; and I reigned from Bikran, which I added to my land. And I built Beth-Gamul, and Beth-Diblathaim, and Beth Baal-Meon, and I placed there the poor people of the land. And as to Horonaim, the men of Edom dwelt therein, on the descent from old. And Chemosh said to me, Go down, make war against Horonaim, and take it. And I assaulted it, And I took it, for Chemosh restored it in my days."

The prophet Isaiah (see also What Did The Messiah Read From Isaiah That Day?) also recorded the destruction of Moab, prior to the time that they turn to the true God - along with the rest of the world (see The Declaration Of Repentance).

"15:1 The burden of Moab.

Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; 15:2 He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off. 15:3 In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth: on the tops of their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abundantly. 15:4 And Heshbon shall cry, and Elealeh: their voice shall be heard even unto Jahaz: therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out; his life shall be grievous unto him.

15:5 My heart shall cry out for Moab; his fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of destruction. 15:6 For the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate: for the hay is withered away, the grass faileth, there is no green thing. 15:7 Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, shall they carry away to the brook of the willows. 15:8 For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab; the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and the howling thereof unto Beerelim. 15:9 For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood: for I will bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land." (Isaiah 15:1-9 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who was the key ancestor of King David and the Messiah who was from Moab?
See Ruth 1: Elimelech and Naomi


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This Day In History, July 3

324: The Battle of Adrianople. Constantine I defeated Licinius (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

The Stone Of Scoon 987: Hugh Capet was crowned King of France, beginning the Capetian dynasty that would rule France until the French Revolution in 1792.

1035: William the Conqueror became the Duke of Normandy.

1608: Samuel de Champlain established a settlement at Quebec City, the first in "New France." A few days later, Champlain learned of and thwarted a plot within his own people to end the French fur trading monopoly - to shoot Champlain and hand Quebec to the Basques or Spain.

1754: During the Seven Years War (a European and North American conflict; in North America it is commonly known as the French and Indian War), British forces under George Washington (then a loyal Major in the British Army in Virginia) surrendered Fort Necessity to the French.

1814: During the War of 1812 (1812-14), Fort Erie, Ontario was briefly captured by a U.S. invasion force. It was the last time that foreign troops occupied Canadian territory.

1844: The last known pair of Great Auks were killed.

1886: Karl Benz of Germany introduced the Benz Patent Motorwagen, the first automobile.

1928: In London, John Logie Baird transmitted the world's first color television transmission.

1940: British forces attacked and severely damaged the French fleet at its moorings at Mers-El-Kebir after the French admirals refused to sail it out of Petain's Vichy government control (which was collaborating with their Nazi conquerors). Over 1,300 French sailors were killed in the action.

1962: President Charles de Gaulle of France declared Algeria independent, ending the Algerian War of Independence against France.

1976: Israeli commandos, using 4 Hercules transports and a Boeing 707 command plane, conducted the "Raid on Entebbe" in Idi Amin's Uganda to rescue the hostages (83 of whom were Israelis threatened with death if the Israeli government did not release the 53 Palestinian terrorists it held) aboard an Air France airliner that had been hijacked shortly after takeoff from Athens airport on June 27. The terrorists and a number of Ugandan soldiers were killed; of the 104 captives rescued, 4 were killed. An Israeli officer, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu (brother of then future Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) was the only Israeli military casualty (see also Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).

1979: The U.S. began supplying insurgent forces in Afghanistan with military equipment to fight the Russian invasion of Afghanistan (a few years later, the U.S. found itself fighting those same Afghan defenders after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan).

1987: In France, Klaus Barbie, the Nazi "butcher of Lyon," was jailed for life for wartime crimes against humanity.

1988: The U.S. missile cruiser Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf just off the coast of Iran, killing all 290 civilian passengers and crew aboard. The captain of the warship claimed that he mistook the unarmed airliner, flying on its authorized flight plan, for a hostile military aircraft.

1996: British Prime Minister John Major announced that The Stone of Scone ("The Stone of Destiny" beneath the seat of the Coronation Chair) would be returned to Scotland. The announcement came on the 700th anniversary of the 400 pound slab of reddish-grey sandstone being taken from the Scottish by Edward I in 1296 during the Wars of Independence.

2006: An asteroid passed within 432,308 kilometers / 268,624 miles of Earth (about the distance between the Earth and moon).


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