NUMBERS 255, 120, AND 5
THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM
compiled by Dee Finney
|9-6-08 - In the middle of a dream I met a man in the hallway of a
building I was walking through. He had the face of a lightbeing I've
seen before several times - a very strong facial appearance, with high cheekbones.
He said, "How would you like a job that pays $255 per month, plus $120 per day for services rendered.?
I thought for a second and without asking the details of the job, I asked, "Can I bring my 5 sons with me?"
NOTE: It took me a couple of days of thinking about those numbers without getting any idea of what that meeting in the hallway might mean for me personally and then it came to me in meditation that I should look at Bible verses with those numbers.
Below is what I found.
Bible Verse; 1 Maccabees 2:55 Jesus, since he fulfilled the word, was made a commander in Israel
Bible Verse: 1 Maccabees 1:20 And he (Antiochus) took
hold of the fortified cities in the land of Egypt,
and he received the spoils of the land of Egypt.
1:21 And Antiochus turned back, after he struck Egypt, in the one hundred
and forty-third year, and he ascended against Israel.
1 Maccabees: Chapter 2:
In those days arose Mathathias the son of John, the son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, from Jerusalem, and he abode in the mountain of Modin.
Mathathias:–The name means ‘Gift of Yahweh’. Son of John,
priest of the order of Joarib, and father to the Maccabees, he was
originally of Hasmonean descent, and it was his action of defying the decree
of Antiochus Epiphanes that sparked off the rebellion.
Mathathias, a priest of the first 24 courses and therefore of the noblest who dwelt at Modin, a city of Judah, was the first to strike a blow. With his own hand he slew a Jew at Modin who was willing to offer the idolatrous sacrifices ordered by the king, and also Apelles, the leader of the king's messengers (1 Macc 2:15-28). He fled with his sons to the mountains (168 BC), where he organized a successful resistance; but being of advanced age and unfit for the fatigue of active service, he died in 166 BC and was buried “in the sepulchers of his fathers” at Modin (1 Macc 2:70; Josephus, Ant., XII, vi, 3). He apparently named as his successor his 3rd son, Judas, though it was with real insight that on his deathbed he recommended the four brothers to take Simon as their counselor (1 Macc 2:65).
fif suna:–Each of the five sons is also given a
surname, or princely title, in the Bible as follows: John, Gaddi; Simon,
Thassi; Judas, Maccabees; Eleazar, Avarin; and Jonathan, Apphus. The main
character is clearly Judas. His surname,
Maccabees (possibly meaning ‘hammer’) is taken as the title for the
four books, as well as for the rebellion as a whole.
It was he who took over after the death of Mathathias and by 165 B.C. had
been so successful that he was able to re-purify the temple at Jerusalem.
He campaigned against the Edomites, Ammonites, and the Syrians in such areas
as Galilee, Gilead, and the lands of the Philistines. Despite all his
success he never aspired to the highpriesthood preferring always to remain a
military leader. He was eventually defeated by Bacchides.
And he had five sons:
John who was surnamed Gaddis: (The Holy) (My fortune) (numerically = 44 = 8 ) (The boy's name Gaddis/ Geddes \ge(d)-des\. surname possibly related to "goad", a pointed rod used to drive livestock.) gad'-is (A Gaddis; Kaddis; the King James Version Caddis): Surname of John, the eldest brother of Judas Maccabeus
John, the eldest, surnamed Gaddis (the King
James Version “Caddis”), probably meaning “my fortune,” was murdered by a
marauding tribe, the sons of JAMBRI (which see), near Medeba, on the East of
the Jordan, when engaged upon the convoy of some property of the Maccabees
to the friendly country of the Nabateans (1 Macc 9:35-42).
And Simon, who was surnamed Thasi: (numerically = 56 = 1)
(The guide) (The zealous) (The meaning of the name Thasi / Thassi is
uncertain. It might mean 'the spring is come' in reference to the
tranquility first secured by the supremacy secured by Simon. It might
also mean 'the fresh grass springs up'. The name Simon means: The name
is pronounced SYE-mun. It is of
and its meaning is "to
hear, to be heard;
Simon was the name of two of the
including Simon Peter.
Simon, surnamed Thassi (“the zealous?”) was now the only surviving member of the original Maccabean family, and he readily took up the inheritance. Tryphon murdered the boy-king Antiochus Dionysus and seized the throne of Seleucus, although having no connection with the Seleucid family. Simon accordingly broke entirely with Tryphon after making successful overtures to Demetrius, who granted the fullest immunity from all the dues that had marked the Seleucid supremacy. Even the golden crown, which had to be paid on the investiture of a new high priest, was now remitted. On the 23rd of Ijjar (May), 141, the patriots entered even the Akra “with praise and palm branches, and with harps, and with cymbals and with viols, and with hymns, and with songs” (1 Macc 13:51). Simon was declared in a Jewish assembly to be high priest and chief of the people “for ever, until there should arise a prophet worthy of credence” (1 Macc 14:41), a limitation that was felt to be necessary on account of the departure of the people from the Divine appointment of the high priests of the old line and one that practically perpetuated the high-priesthood in the family of Simon. Even a new era was started, of which the high-priesthood of Simon was to be year 1, and this was really the foundation of the Hasmonean dynasty (see ASMONEANS).
Upon the death of Jonathan Simon Thassi took over, claiming also the title of high-priest. He embarked on a scheme of refortification, managing ultimately to gain independence from Demetrius I in 142 B.C. He was eventually murdered by his son-in-law Ptolemy, leaving his heir, John Hyrcanus to take over.
John Hyrcanus, one of the sons of Simon,
escaped from the plot laid by Ptolemy, and succeeded his father, both as
prince and high priest. See ASMONEANS. He was succeeded (104 BC) by his son
Aristobulus I who took the final step of assuming the title of king.
Judas, who was called Machabeus: (numerically = 73 = 10 = 1
) (Machabeus means " the hammer".)
The name Maccabeus was first applied to Judas, one of the sons of Mathathias generally called in English the Maccabees, a celebrated family who defended Jewish rights and customs in the 2nd century BC (1 Macc 2:1-3). The word has been variously derived (e.g. as the initial letters of Mī Khāmōkhā, Bā-'ēlīm Yahweh! “Who is like unto thee among the mighty, O Yahweh ?”), but it is probably best associated with maḳḳābhāh] “hammer,” and as applied to Judas may be compared with the malleus Scotorum and malleus haereticorum of the Middle Ages (see next article). To understand the work of the Maccabees, it is necessary to take note of the relation in which the Jews and Palestine stood at the time to the immediately neighboring nations.
Judas, commonly called Judas Maccabeus - often called in 2 Maccabees “Judas the Maccabee” - held strongly the opinions of his father and proved at least a very capable leader in guerrilla warfare. He defeated several of the generals of Antiochus - Apollonius at Beth-horon, part of the army of Lysias at Emmaus (166 BC), and Lysias himself at Bethsura the following year. He took possession of Jerusalem, except the “Tower,” where he was subsequently besieged and hard pressed by Lysias and the young king Antiochus Eupator in 163 BC; but quarrels among the Syrian generals secured relief and liberty of religion to the Jews which, however, proved of short duration. The Hellenizing Jews, with ALCIMUS (which see) at their head, secured the favor of the king, who sent Nicanor against Judas. The victory over Nicanor first at Capharsalama and later (161 BC) at Adasa near Beth-horon, in which engagement Nicanor was slain, was the greatest of Judas' successes and practically secured the independence of the Jews. The attempt of Judas to negotiate an alliance with the Romans, who had now serious interests in these regions, caused much dissatisfaction among his followers; and their defection at Elasa (161 BC), during the invasion under Bacchides, which was undertaken before the answer of the Roman Senate arrived, was the cause of the defeat and death of Judas in battle. His body was buried “in the sepulchres of his fathers” at Modin. There is no proof that Judas held the office of high priest like his father Mattathias. (An interesting and not altogether favorable estimate of Judas and of the spiritual import of the revolt will be found in Jerusalem under the High Priests, 97-99, by E.R. Bevan, London, 1904.)
Eleazar, who was surnamed Abaron: (numerically = 56 =
1 ) (Aharon?) (Avaran) (The beastslayer)
The final son, Eleazar Avarin, was never a leader of the
rebellion. However, his importance is recognised in II Macc 8:23ff., where
we are told that he was appointed to read aloud the sacred book. He died in
the battle near Beth-zacharias against Antiochus Eupator.
Jonathan, who was surnamed Apphus. (numerically = 81 = 9 ) (The cunning) (The wary)
Jonathan (called Apphus, “the wary”), the youngest of the sons of Mattathias, succeeded Judas, whose defeat and death had left the patriotic party in a deplorable condition from which it was rescued by the skill and ability of Jonathan, aided largely by the rivalries among the competitors for the Syrian throne. It was in reality from these rivalries that resulted the 65 years (129-64 BC) of the completely independent rule of the Hasmonean dynasty (see ASMONEANS) that elapsed between the Greek supremacy of the Syrian kings and the Roman supremacy established by Pompey. The first step toward the recovery of the patriots was the permission granted them by Demetrius I to return to Judea in 158 BC - the year in which Bacchides ended an unsuccessful campaign against Jonathan and in fact accepted the terms of the latter. After his departure, Jonathan “judged the people at Michmash” (1 Macc 9:73). Jonathan was even authorized to reenter Jerusalem and to maintain a military force, only the “Tower” the Akra, as it was called in Greek, being held by a Syrian garrison. See further under ASMONEANS; LACEDAEMONIANS; TRYPHON.
After the death of Judas the leadership passed to Jonathan who commanded from 160–143 B.C. Jonathan is notable for the diplomatic success of making a truce with Bacchides. This allowed him both time to regroup his army and also to support Alexander Balas, the pretender to the Syrian throne, receiving in return the appointment of High Priest. In 145 B.C. Demetrius II deposed Alexander, and Jonathan was forced to side with Antiochus VI, son of Balas, only to be treacherously murdered at the hands of his regent Tryphon.
After Judas’s death, Jonathan Apphus led the rebellion. Although his power was intially weakened, he eventually, due as much to Syrian inter-struggle as his own skill, established the Hasmonean dynasty on the throne in Jerusalem. As well as being the military leader, Jonathan was also appointed high-priest.
These saw the evils that were done in the people of Juda, and in Jerusalem.
Numerically, 91118 - 81119 = 9999 - also - 81119 - 91118 = -9999
666 = the number of man
999 = the number of God
Other name spellings from the Jewish encyclopedia
There was a lot of slaughter in the wars and battles of the Maccabeans, but when the battles were done, the sang with praise to God because they were doing God's will.
MATHATHIAS'S IN THIS LONG STORY
MATHATHIAS (1 Maccabees 11:70), the son of Absalom and a captain in the army of Jonathan the Machabee; together with Judas the son of Calphi, he alone stood by Jonathan's side till the tide of battle turned in the plain of Asor.
MATHATHIAS (1 Maccabees 16:14), a son of Simon the high priest; he and his father and brother Judas were murdered by Ptolemee, the son of Abobus, at Doch. MATHATHIAS (Matthathías), two ancestors of Jesus (Luke 3:25, 26).
Festivals honoring this period became Hannakah - Chanakah
The beginning of the book includes two letters sent by
Jerusalem to Jews of the
concerning the feast day set up to celebrate the purification of
the temple (see
Hanukkah) and the feast to celebrate the defeat of Nicanor.
Hanukkah (Hebrew: חנוכה, alt. Chanukah), also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, and may occur from late November to late December on the Gregorian calendar.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a special candelabrum, the Menorah or Hanukiah, one light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. An extra light called a shamash, (Hebrew: "guard" or "servant") is also lit each night, and is given a distinct location, usually higher or lower than the others. The purpose of the extra light is to adhere to the prohibition, specified in the Talmud (Tracate Shabbat 21b-23a), against using the Hanukkah lights for anything other than publicizing and meditating on the Hanukkah story. (The shamash is used to light the other lights.)
Hanukkah is mentioned in the deuterocanonical or apocrypha books of 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees. 1 Maccabees states: "For eight days they celebrated the rededication of the altar. Then Judah and his brothers and the entire congregation of Israel decreed that the days of the rededication...should be observed...every year...for eight days. (1 Mac.4:56-59)" According to 2 Maccabees, "the Jews celebrated joyfully for eight days as on the feast of Booths."
Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות or סֻכּוֹת, sukkōt ; "booths", also known as Succoth, Sukkos, Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles), is a Biblical pilgrimage festival that occurs in autumn on the 15th day of the month of Tishri (late September to late October). The holiday lasts 7 days. Outside the land of Israel, many people continue to sit in the Sukkah on the following day, Shemini Atzeret. In Judaism it is one of the three major holidays known collectively as the Shalosh Regalim (three pilgrim festivals), when historically the Jewish populace traveled to the Temple in Jerusalem.
In 2008 - it occurs on October 14, 2008
SEE: FEAST OF TABERNACLES - 2008
The Menorah is Linked to The Tree of Life
The Menorah crop circle formation is directly linked to three other extremely significant crop formations that also appeared at Barbury Castle, one of which was the Kabalistic Tree of Life. Amazingly, the circles of the new Menorah formation can be rearranged slightly to become strikingly similar to The Tree of Life!
The three diagrams above illustrate the point.
The three circles on each side of the top of the Menorah pattern are
simply moved to the sides, and the pathways straightened and
shortened, as shown in the middle illustration. The illustration on
the right is the Kabalistic Tree of Life. Notice that one of the
circles in the Tree of Life diagram is a ring, rather than a
completely darkened circle. This sphere of the Tree of Life is
called "Daat," and is considered "hidden." In most of the diagrams
of the Tree that I have seen, the sphere of Daat is either not
shown, or is shown as a ring made of dashed lines. The ten circles
of The Tree are given the numbers one through ten. The hidden circle
called "Daat" can be considered the eleventh.
1 Maccabees 2:55 Jesus for fulfilling the word was made a judge in Israel.
1 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book written by a Jewish author after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom, probably about 100 BC. It is included in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox canons. Protestants and Jews regard it as generally reliable historically, but not a part of Scripture.
The setting of the book is about a century after the conquest of Judea by the Greeks under Alexander the Great, after Alexander's empire has been divided so that Judea was part of the Greek Seleucid Empire. It tells how the Greek ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes attempted to suppress the practice of basic Jewish religious law, resulting in a Jewish revolt against Seleucid rule. The book covers the whole of the revolt, from 175 to 134 BC, highlighting how the salvation of the Jewish people in this crisis came from God through Mattathias' family, particularly his sons, Judas Maccabeus, Jonathan Maccabaeus, and Simon Maccabaeus, and his grandson, John Hyrcanus. The doctrine expressed in the book reflects traditional Jewish teaching, without later doctrines found, for example, in 2 Maccabees.
In the first chapter, Alexander the Great conquers the territory of Judea, only to be eventually succeeded by the Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes. After successfully invading the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt, Antiochus IV captures Jerusalem and removes the sacred objects from the Jerusalem temple, slaughtering many Jews. He then imposes a tax and establishes a fortress in Jerusalem.
Antiochus then tries to suppress public observance of Jewish laws, in an attempt to secure control over the Jews. He desecrates the Temple by setting up an "abomination of desolation" (an idol). Antiochus forbids both circumcision and possession of Jewish scriptures on pain of death. He also forbids observance of the sabbath and the offering of sacrifices at the Temple. He also requires Jewish leaders to sacrifice to idols. While enforcement may be targeting only Jewish leaders, some Jews (and children) are killed as a warning to others. Antiochus introduces Hellenistic culture; this process of Hellenization included the foundation of gymnasiums in Jerusalem. The latter practice discouraged the Jewish practice of circumcision, which had already been forbidden, even further; a man's state could not be concealed in the gymnasium, where men socialized in the nude. Jews even engage in non-surgical foreskin restoration in order to pass in Hellenic culture.
Mattathias calls forth the people to holy war against the invaders, and his three sons begin a military campaign against them. There is one complete loss of a thousand Jews (men, women and children) to Antiochus when the Jewish defenders refuse to fight on the Sabbath. The other Jews then reason that, when attacked, they must fight even on the Sabbath. In 165 BC the Temple is freed and reconsecrated, so that ritual sacrifices may begin again. The festival of Hanukkah is instituted by Judas Maccabeus and his brothers to celebrate this event (1 Macc. iv. 59). Judas seeks an alliance with the Roman Republic to remove the Greeks. He is "succeeded" by his brother Jonathan, who becomes high priest and also seeks alliance with Rome and confirms alliance with Sparta (1 Macc. xii. 1-23). Simon follows them, receiving the double office of high priest and prince of Israel. (Simon and his successors form the Hasmonean dynasty, which is not always considered a valid kingship by the Jews, since they were not of the lineage of David.) Simon leads the people in peace and prosperity, until he is murdered by agents of Ptolemy, son of Abubus, who had been named governor of the region by the Macedonian Greeks. He is succeeded by his son, John Hyrcanus.
The name Maccabee probably means "hammer" and is properly applied only to the first leader of the revolt, Judas, third son of Mattathias. The name Maccabee also might have been derived from the battle cry of the revolt, Mi Kamocha B'elim, YHWH ("Who is like you among the heavenly powers, YHWH!!" - Exodus ch. 15:11.) In Hebrew, the first letters of this four word slogan form the acronym MKBY (Mem, Kaf, Bet and Yud). This became synonymous with the revolt. The name came to be used for his brothers as well, which accounts for the title of the book. Scholars infer that in the original Hebrew, the term used for "abomination of desolation" would have sounded similar to "Lord of heaven", so that this term might refer to an image or altar of Zeus.
The narrative is primarily prose text, but is interrupted by seven poetic sections, which imitate classical Hebrew poetry. These include four laments and three hymns of praise.
The history presented is very accurate, comparing favorably to pagan historians such as Livy or Tacitus. The author exhibits a personal interest in the events, but presents them accurately. Josephus most likely used some form of this text in writing his account of the Maccabean revolt.
Transmission, language and author
Though the original book was written in Hebrew, as can be deduced by a number of Hebrew idioms in the text, the original has been lost and the version which comes down to us is the Septuagint. Some authors date the original Hebrew text even closer to the events covered, while a few suggest a later date. Because of the accuracy of the historical account, if the later date is taken, the author would have to have had access to first-hand reports of the events or other primary sources.
Origen (cited by Eusebius Eccl Hist vi. 25) gives testimony to the existence of an original Hebrew text. Jerome likewise claims "the first book of Maccabees I have found to be Hebrew, the second is Greek, as can be proved from the very style" (per Prologus Galeatus). Many scholars suggest that they may have actually had access to a Biblical Aramaic paraphrase of the work -- most Christian scholars of the time did not distinguish between Hebrew and Aramaic. In either case, only the Greek text has survived, and this only through its inclusion in the Christian canon. Origen claims that the title of the original was Sarbeth Sarbanael (variants include Sarbeth Sarbanaiel and Sarbeth Sarbane El), which some translate either as "the Book of the Prince of the House of Israel" or "the Book of the Dynasty of God's resisters" .
The book's author is unknown, but is assumed to have been a devout Jew from the Holy Land who may have even taken part in the events described in the book. He shows intimate and detailed geographical knowledge of the Holy Land, but is inaccurate in his information about foreign countries. The author interprets the events not as a miraculous intervention by God, but rather God's using the instrument of the military genius of the Maccabees to achieve his ends. The words "God" and "Lord" never occur in the text, always being replaced by "Heaven" or "He".
2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which focuses on the Jews' revolt against Antiochus and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work.
2 Maccabees was written in Greek, probably in Alexandria, Egypt, c 124 BC. It presents a revised version of the historical events recounted in the first seven chapters of 1 Maccabees, adding material from the Pharisaic tradition, including prayer for the dead and a resurrection on Judgment Day.
Catholics and Orthodox consider the work to be canonical and part of the Bible. Protestants and Jews reject most of the doctrinal innovations present in the work. Some Protestants include 2 Maccabees as part of the Apocrypha, useful for reading in the church. Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England defines it as useful but not the basis of doctrine and not necessary for salvation.
The author of 2 Maccabees is not identified, but he claims to be abridging a 5-volume work by Jason of Cyrene. This longer work is not preserved, and it is uncertain how much of the present text of 2 Maccabees is simply copied from that work. The author wrote in Greek, apparently, as there is no particular evidence of an earlier Hebrew version. A few sections of the book, such as the Preface, Epilogue, and some reflections on morality are generally assumed to come from the author, not from Jason. Jason's work was apparently written sometime around 100 BC and most likely ended with the defeat of Nicanor, as does the abridgement available to us.
The beginning of the book includes two letters sent by Jews in Jerusalem to Jews of the Diaspora in Egypt concerning the feast day set up to celebrate the purification of the temple (see Hanukkah) and the feast to celebrate the defeat of Nicanor. If the author of the book inserted these letters, the book would have to have been written after 124 BC, the date of the second letter. Some commentators hold that these letters were a later addition, while others consider them the basis for the work. Catholic scholars tend toward a dating in the last years of the second century BC, while the consensus among Jewish scholars place it in the second half of the first century BC.
It appears to be written for the benefit of the diaspora Jews in Egypt, primarily to inform them about the restoration of the temple and to encourage them to make the yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It is written not from the point of view of a professional historian, but rather of a religious teacher, who draws his lessons out of history.
Unlike 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees does not attempt to provide a complete account of the events of the period, instead covering only the period from the high priest Onias III and King Seleucus IV (180 BC) to the defeat of Nicanor in 161.
In general, the chronology of the book coheres with that of 1 Maccabees, and it has some historical value in supplementing 1 Maccabees, principally in providing a few apparently authentic historical documents. The author seems primarily interested in providing a theological interpretation of the events; in this book God's interventions direct the course of events, punishing the wicked and restoring the Temple to his people. It's possible that some events appear to be presented out of strict chronological order in order to make theological points. Some of the numbers cited for sizes of armies may also appear exaggerated, though not all of the manuscripts of this book agree.
The Greek style of the writer is very educated, and he seems well-informed about Greek customs. The action follows a very simple plan: after the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple is instituted. The newly-dedicated Temple is threatened by Nicanor, and after his death, the festivities for the dedication are concluded.
2 Maccabees is notable for several points of advanced doctrine deriving from Pharisaic Judaism.
Doctrinal issues that are raised in 2 Maccabees include:
In particular, the long descriptions of the martyrdoms of Eleazer and of a mother with her seven sons (2 Macc 6:18–7:42) caught the imagination of medieval Christians. Several churches are dedicated to the "Maccabeean martyrs", and they are among the very few pre-Christian figures to appear on the Catholic calendar of saints' days (that number is considerably higher in the Eastern Orthodox churches' calendars, where they also appear). The book is considered the first model of the medieval stories of the martyrs.
Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox regard 2 Maccabees as canonical. Jews and Protestants do not. 2 Maccabees, along with 1 and 3 Maccabees, appeared in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible completed in the 1st century BC. In Jamnia c 90, Palestinian rabbis endorsed a narrower canon, excluding deuterocanonical works such as 2 Maccabees. This had little immediate impact on Christians, however, since most Christians did not know Hebrew and were familiar with the Hebrew Bible through the Greek Septuagint text of Hellenistic Jews, which included 2 Maccabees and other deuterocanonical works. When the texts were translated into Latin in the early fifth century by Jerome, he noticed that they were absent in the Hebrew but, not wanting to remove them from the canon entirely, coined the term deuterocanon (Greek second canon) for them. In the early 1520s, Martin Luther found much of the contents of the deuterocanon, particularly 2 Maccabees, doctrinally disagreeable and removed them on the grounds that they were absent from the Masoretic text, along with the Epistle of James. 
2 Maccabees was condemned in Protestant circles. Many have suggested that this is the primary reason for its rejection—and following from that, the rejection of all the deuterocanonical books—by reformers such as Martin Luther, who said: "I am so great an enemy to the second book of the Maccabees, and to Esther, that I wish they had not come to us at all."
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
One of the Pseudepigrapha, the Biblical book 3 Maccabees is found in most Orthodox Bibles as a part of the deuterocanonical books, but Protestants and Catholics do not include it in their list of apocrypha books, except the Moravian Brethren who included it in the Apocrypha of the Czech kralicka Bible. The book actually has nothing to do with the Maccabees or their revolt against the Greek empire, as described in 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees. Instead it tells the story of persecution of the Jews under Ptolemy IV Philopator (222-205 BC). The name of the book apparently comes from the similarities between this book and the stories of the martyrdom of Eleazar and the Maccabeean youths in 2 Maccabees; the High Priest Shimon is also mentioned.
The contents of the book have a legendary character, which scholars have not been able to tie to proven historical events, and it has all the appearances of a romance. According to the book, after Ptolemy's defeat of Antiochus III in 217 BC at the battle of Raphia, he visited Jerusalem and the Second Temple. However, he was miraculously prevented from entering the building. This led him to hate the Jews and upon his return to Alexandria, he rounded up the Jewish community there to put them to death in his hippodrome. However, Egyptian law required that the names of all those put to death be written down, and all the paper in Egypt was exhausted in attempting to do this, so that the Jews were able to escape. Ptolemy then attempted to have the Jews killed by crushing by elephant; however, due to various interventions by God, the Jews escaped this fate, despite the fact that the 500 elephants had been specially intoxicated to enrage them. Finally, the king was converted and bestowed favor upon the Jews, with this date being set as a festival of deliverance.
Authorship and historicity
Critics agree that the author of this book was an Alexandrian Jew who wrote in Greek. In style, the author is prone to rhetorical constructs and a somewhat bombastic style, and the themes of the book are very similar to those of the Epistle of Aristeas. The work begins somewhat abruptly, leading many to think that it is actually a fragment of a (now-lost) longer work.
Although some parts of the story, such as the names of the Jews taking up all the paper in Egypt, are clearly fictional, parts of the story cannot be definitively proven or disproven and many scholars are only willing to accept the first section (which tells of the actions of Ptolemy Philopator) as possibly having a historical basis. Josephus notes that many (but certainly not all) Jews were put to death in Alexandria under the reign of Ptolemy VIII Physcon (146-117 BC) due to their support for Cleopatra II, and this execution was indeed carried out by intoxicated elephants. This may be the historical center of the relation in 3 Maccabees and the author has transferred it to an earlier time period and added an ahistorical connection to Jerusalem if this theory is correct.
Another theory about the historical basis of the book was advanced by Adolf Büchler in 1899. He held that the book describes the persecution of the Jews in the Fayum region of Egypt. It is certain that the Jews abruptly changed allegiance from Egypt to Syria in 200 BC. This author presumes that the change must have been due to persecution in Egypt.
The book was written at some point after 2 Maccabees, since that book is cited in the text. This sets the date of composition to the end of the first century BC and its use in the Orthodox Church also speaks for its composition before the first century AD. One theory, advanced by Ewald and Willrich, holds that the relation is a polemic against Caligula, thus dating from around AD 40, but this theory has been rejected by more recent authors, because Ptolemy in the book does not claim divine honors as Caligula did.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The book of 4 Maccabees is a homily or philosophic discourse praising the supremacy of pious reason over passion. While once accepted as a deuterocanonical book by the Orthodox, it is increasingly relegated to an appendix of apocryphal works, one of the Pseudepigrapha. The reasons for this include its inclusion of pagan thought and the differences between the dialog of the martyrs that it portrays and the one in 2 Maccabees. Amongst churches other than the orthodox, it has always been regarded as completely apocryphal.
The work consists of a prologue and two main sections; the first advances the philosophical thesis while the second illustrates the points made using examples drawn from 2 Maccabees (principally, the martyrdom of Eleazer and the Maccabeean youths) under Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The last chapters concern the author's impressions drawn from these martyrdoms. The work thus appears to be an independent composition to 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees, merely drawing on their descriptions to support its thesis.
Authorship and criticism
According to some scholars, the last chapter shows signs of later addition to the work, though this was disputed by the 19th century authors of the Jewish Encyclopedia. The dispute is based on the weak ending the book would have without the "added" chapter, as well as arguments based on style. The change of direction with chapter 27 supports the view of the work as a homily held before a Greek-speaking audience on the feast of Hanukkah, as advanced by Ewald and Freudenthal, where this would be a rhetorical element to draw the listeners into the discourse. Others hold that a homily would have to be based on scriptural texts, which this work is only loosely.
In style, the book is oratorical, but not so much as 3 Maccabees. A good amount of Stoic philosophy is cited by the author, though there is little original philosophical insight in the text. The writer appears to be an Alexandrian Jew who used the philosophical ideas of the time to clothe his religious ideas. This characterization is practically without parallel in Jewish literature, and it is cited as the best example of syncretism between Jewish and Hellenistic thought. Perhaps the closest match in the New Testament is the (anonymous) Epistle to the Hebrews.
The book is ascribed to Josephus by Eusebius and Jerome, and this opinion was accepted for many years, leading to its inclusion in many editions of Josephus' works. More modern critical scholarship points to great differences of language and style, so that this identification is largely abandoned today. The book is generally dated between the first century BCE and the first century CE, due to its reliance on 2 Maccabees and use by Christians. It was probably written before the persecution of the Jews under Caligula, and certainly before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
The writer believes in the immortality of the soul, but denies the Pharisaic belief in the resurrection of the body. Good souls are said to live forever in happiness with the patriarchs and God, but even the evil souls are held to be immortal. The suffering and martyrdom of the Maccabees is seen by the author to be vicarious for the Jewish nation, and the author portrays martyrdom in general as bringing atonement for the past sins of the Jews.
One Hundred and Twenty
is made up of three forties (3x40=120). Applied to time therefore it signifies a divinely appointed period of probation, Genesis 6:3.
Applied to persons it points to a divinely appointed number during a period of waiting, Acts 1:15.
It is a factor also in the number of those who returned from Babylon, 42,360, being 120 x 353.
It is also a factor of the number of the men who went up out of Egypt, 600,000, being 120 x 5000.
It is a factor also of the 144,000 who will be sealed from the Twelve Tribes of Israel to go unscathed through the great tribulation, 144,000, being 120 x 1200.
The unanimous voice of Jewish tradition agrees with the Talmud* that "the Great Synagogue" (Neh 10:1-10) consisted of 120 members. "It was called 'Great" because of the great work it effected in restoring the Divine law to its former greatness, and because of the great authority and reputation which it enjoyed." Its greatest work was in completing the Canon of the Old Testament. The Great Synagogue lasted about 110 years, from BC 410-300, or from the latter days of Nehemiah to the death of Simon the Just. It then passed into the Sanhedrim, when its whole constitution was changed.
* Jerusalem Berachoth, ii. 4; Jerusalem Megilla, i; Bab. Meg. 176.
Five is four plus one (4+1). We have had hitherto the
three persons of the Godhead, and their manifestation in creation. Now
we have a further revelation of a People called out from mankind,
redeemed and saved, to walk with God from earth to heaven. Hence,
Redemption follows creation. Inasmuch as in consequence of the fall of
man creation came under the curse and was "made subject to vanity,"
therefore man and creation must be redeemed. Thus we have:
These are the five great mysteries, and five is therefore the number of GRACE.
If four is the number of the world, then it represents man's weakness, and helplessness, and vanity, as we have seen.
But four plus one (4+1=5) is significant of Divine strength added to and made perfect in that weakness; of omnipotence combined with the impotence of earth; of Divine favour uninfluenced and invincible.
The word "the earth" is Cr)h (Ha-Eretz).
|The gematria of this word is 296, a multiple of four; while
the word for "the heavens" is Mym#h (Ha-shemayeem),
the gematria of which is 395, a multiple of five
The gematria of h cariV (grace) is 725, a multiple of the square of five (52x29).
The numerical value of the words "My grace is sufficient for thee" ('Arkei soi h cariV mou) is 1845, of which the factors are 5 x 32 x 41.
Grace means favour. But what kind of favour? for favour is of many kinds. Favour shown to the miserable we call mercy; favour shown to the poor we call pity; favour shown to the suffering we call compassion; favour shown to the obstinate we call patience: but favour shown to the unworthy we call GRACE! This is favour indeed; favour which is truly Divine in its source and in its character. Light is thrown upon it in Romans 3:24, "being justified freely by His grace." The word here translated "freely" occurs again in John 15:25, and is translated "without a cause" ("they hated me without a cause"). Was there any real cause why they hated the Lord Jesus? No! Nor is there any cause in us why God should ever justify us. So we might read Romans 3:24 thus: "Being justified without a cause by His grace." Yes, this is grace indeed,—favour to the unworthy.
It was so with Abram. There was no cause in him why God should have called him and chosen him! There was no cause why God should have made an unconditional covenant with him and his seed for ever. Therefore the number five shall be stamped upon this covenant by causing it to be made with five sacrifices—a heifer, a goat, a ram, a dove, and a pigeon (Gen 15:9).
It is remarkable, also, that afterwards, when God changed Abram's name to Abraham (Gen 17:5), the change was made very simply, but very significantly (for there is no chance with God), by inserting in the middle of it the fifth letter of the alphabet, h (Hey), the symbol of the number five, and Mrb), Abram, became Mhrb) AbraHam (Gen 17:5). All this was of grace, and it is stamped with this significance. It is worthy of note that this change was made at a particular moment. It was when Abraham was called to "walk before" God in a very special manner. He was to look for the promised "seed" from no earthly source, and thus he was to "walk by faith and not by sight." It was at this moment that God revealed Himself for the first time by His name of EL SHADDAI, i.e. the all bountiful One! able to supply all Abraham's need; able to meet all his necessities; able to do for him all that he required. How gracious! How suitable! How perfect! It is the same in 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18, when we are called, as Abraham was, to "come out," to "be separate," and walk by faith with God. He reveals himself (for the first time in the New Testament) by the same wonderful name, "Ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord ALMIGHTY"!—able to support and to sustain you; able to supply all your need. This is grace.
THE FIFTH BOOK OF THE BIBLE (DEUTERONOMY)
magnifies the grace of God, and in it special pains, so to speak, are taken to emphasise the great fact that not for the sake of the people, but for God's own Name's sake had He called, and chosen, and blessed them. Read Deuteronomy 4:7, 20, 32, 37, 8:11, 17, etc.
THE FIFTH BOOK OF PSALMS
sets forth the same great fact. Its first Psalm (Psa 107) magnifies this, and shows how "He sent His word and healed them" (v 20), and again and again delivered them out of all their trouble.
THE FIFTH PSALM OF THE FIRST BOOK
has also special reference to God's "FAVOUR," or grace, with which He encompasses His people. Psalm 5:12, "For thou LORD wilt bless the righteous; with FAVOUR wilt Thou compass him [Heb. crown him] as with a shield."
THE "STONE" KINGDOM
will be the fifth kingdom, succeeding and comprehending the four great world-powers, absorbing all earthly dominion, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Anointed, and He shall reign in glory and in grace.
ISRAEL CAME OUT OF EGYPT
five in a rank. In Exodus 13:18 it says, "The children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt." In the margin it says they went up by five in a rank, My#mx from #mx, five. It may be in ranks, i.e. fifties, as in 2 Kings 1:9 and Isaiah 3:5.* The point is that they went up in perfect weakness; helpless, and defenceless; but they were invincible through the presence of Jehovah in their midst.
"FIVE SMOOTH STONES"
were chosen by David when he went to meet the giant enemy of Israel (1 Sam 17:40). They were significant of his own perfect weakness supplemented by Divine strength. And he was stronger in this weakness than in all the armour of Saul. It is worthy of note that after all he used only the one, not any of the four. That one was sufficient to conquer the mightiest foe.
IT WAS THE FIFTH BOOK
that David's son and David's Lord used in His conflict with that great enemy of whom Goliath was the faintest type. It was only the Book of Deuteronomy which formed the one stone with which he defeated the Devil himself (compare Matt 4:1-11 and Deut 8:3, 6:13,16). No wonder that this Book of Deuteronomy is the object of Satan's hatred. "No marvel" that today his ministers, "transformed as the ministers of righteousness" (2 Cor 11:14,15), are engaged in the attempt to demolish this Book of Deuteronomy with their destructive criticism. But their labour is all in vain, for it is stamped with the number which marks the omnipotence of Jehovah's power and grace.
"Five of you shall chase a thousand, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight" (Lev 26:8), conveys the truth elsewhere revealed;—"If God be for us who can be against us?" (Rom 8:31). But note, it does not say "five shall chase a thousand"; but "five OF YOU,"—five of those whom God has redeemed and delivered, and whom He will strengthen with His own might.
"I had rather speak five words with the understanding, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue" (1 Cor 14:19). That is to say, a few words spoken in the fear of God, in human weakness, depending on Divine strength and blessing, will be able to accomplish that which God has purposed; while words without end will be spoken in vain. Man may applaud the latter and bestow his admiration on their eloquence. But God will own only the former, and follow them with this blessing, making them to work effectually in them that believe (1 Thess 1:6, 2:13).
JEHOVAH'S DEMAND TO PHARAOH
was five-fold in its nature, because it was the expression of His grace in this deliverance of His people. It brought out, therefore, five distinct objections from Pharaoh. Jehovah's demand sprang purely from His own spontaneous grace. Nothing necessitated it; neither Israel's misery nor Israel's merit called it forth. "God heard their groaning, and God remembered HIS covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them" (Exo 2:24,25). It was not their covenant with God, as with Israel afterwards at Sinai; but it was God's covenant which HE had made with their fathers. All was of grace. Hence, Jehovah's demand to Pharaoh (in Exo 5:1) was stamped by the five great facts which it embraced:
Behold, here, then, the perfection of grace, manifested in the demand of Jehovah for those "whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy" (Psa 107:2). Each of its five-fold parts was stoutly resisted by the enemy, but the grace of Jehovah is invincible.
had five for its all-pervading number; nearly every measurement was a multiple of five. Before mentioning these measurements we ought to notice that worship itself is all of grace! No one can worship except those who are sought and called of the Father (John 4:23). "Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts; we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple" (Psa 65:4).
The Divine title of the book we call Leviticus is in the Hebrew Canon "He CALLED." It is the book of worship, showing how those who are to worship must be called by God, and showing how He wills to be approached. The book opens with the direction that if any man will bring an offering to the Lord he shall bring such and such an offering. The offerers and the priests are told minutely all that is to be done. Nothing is left to their imagination.
We have seen that Leviticus is the third book of the Bible. It comes to us stamped with the number of Divine perfection. The opening words are, "And Jehovah spake," an expression which occurs in the book 36 times (32x22).*
Indeed, this third book is unique, consisting, as it does, almost wholly of the words of Jehovah. No other book of the Bible is so full of Divine utterances. It is fitting, therefore, that the number three should be stamped upon it.
I AM JEHOVAH" occurs 21 times (3x7).* "I AM THE JEHOVAH YOUR GOD" occurs 21 times (3x7).** "I JEHOVAH AM" occurs three times (19:1, 20:26; 21:8); and "I JEHOVAH DO" twice (21:15, 22:9), or five times together. * Lev 11:45, 28:5,6,22, 19:12,14,16,18,28,30,32,37, 20:8, 21:12, 22:2,8,31,32,33, 26:2,45. ** Lev 11:44, 28:4,30, 19:3,4,10,25,31,34,36, 20:7,24, 23:22,43, 24:22, 25:17,38,55, 26:1,13,44. Here then we have Divine communication, and the number of Deity stamped upon it. This might have been brought out under the number three, but it is well to have it here in connection with worship as springing from the will of God, and being founded in grace. The Tabernacle has this number of grace (five) stamped upon it. The outer court was 100 cubits long and 50 cubits wide. On either side were 20 pillars, and along each end were 10 pillars, or 60 in all; that is 5 x 12, or grace in governmental display before the world, 12 being the number of the Tribes. The pillars that held up the curtains were 5 cubits apart and 5 cubits high, and the whole of the outer curtain was divided into squares of 25 cubits (5x5). Each pair of pillars thus supported an area of 52 cubits of fine white linen, thus witnessing to the perfect grace by which alone God's people can witness for Him before the world. Their own righteousness (the fine linen) is "filthy rags" (Isa 64:6), and we can only say "by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor 15)—a sinner saved by grace. This righteousness is based on atonement, for 5 x 5 was also the measure of the brazen altar of burnt offering. This was the perfect answer of Christ to God's righteous requirements, and to what was required of man. True, this brazen altar was only 3 cubits high, but this tells us that the provision was Divine in its origin, that atonement emanates solely from God. The building itself was 10 cubits high, 10 cubits wide, and 30 cubits long. Its length was divided into two unequal parts, the Holy place being 20 cubits long; and the Holy of Holies 10 cubits, being therefore a perfect cube of 10 cubits. It was formed of forty-eight boards, twenty on either side, and eight at the end, the front being formed of a curtain hung on five pillars. These forty-eight boards (3x42) are significant of the nation as before God in the fulness of privilege on the earth (4x12). The twenty boards on each side were held together by five bars passing through rings which were attached to them. The curtains which covered the Tabernacle structure were four in number. The first was made of ten curtains of byssus in various colours adorned with embroidered cherubim. Each curtain was 28 (4x7) cubits long and four wide. They were hung five on each side, probably sewn together to form one large sheet (20x28); the two sheets coupled together by loops, and fifty (5x10) taches of gold. The second covering was formed of eleven curtains of goats' hair, each 30 cubits long and four wide, joined together in two sheets fastened by loops and taches of brass. The third was of rams' skins dyed red, and the fourth was of tachash (or coloured) skins,* of which the dimensions are not given. * Probably of a sacrificial animal. The Entrance Vails were three in number. The first was "the gate of the court," 20 cubits wide and 5 high, hung on 5 pillars. The second was "the door of the Tabernacle," 10 cubits wide and 10 high, hung like the gate of the court on 5 pillars. The third was the "beautiful vail," also 10 cubits square, which divided the Holy place from the Holy of Holies. One feature of these three vails is remarkable. The dimensions of the vail of the court and those of the Tabernacle were different, but yet the area was the same. The former was 20 cubits by 5 = 100 cubits; the latter were 10 cubits by 10, equaling 100 cubits also. Thus while there was only one gate, one door, one vail, they each typified Christ as the only door of entrance for all the blessings connected with salvation. But note that the "gate" which admitted to the benefits of atonement was wider and lower (20 cubits wide, and 5 cubits high); while the door which admitted to worship was both higher and narrower, being only 10 cubits wide, half the width, and twice the height (10 cubits high); thus saying to us, that not all who experience the blessings of atonement understand or appreciate the true nature of spiritual worship. The highest worship—admittance to the mercy-seat—was impossible for the Israelites except in the person of their substitute—the high priest; for the beautiful vail barred their access. Yet this vail was rent in twain the moment the true grace which came by Jesus Christ was perfectly manifested. And it was rent by the act of God in grace, for it was rent "from the top to the bottom." It is worthy of note, and it is a subject which might well be further investigated by those who have leisure, that the Gematria of Hebrews 9, which gives an account of the Tabernacle, yields the number five as a factor. Taking each letter as standing for its corresponding figure, the value of Hebrews 9:2-10, describing the Tabernacle and its furniture, is 103,480. The factors of this number are all full of significance, viz., 5 x 8 x 13 x 199; where we have five the number of grace, four the number of the world, the sphere in which it is manifested, while in thirteen we have the number of sin and atonement. (See under Thirteen.) In like manner the second section of the chapter (Heb 9:11-28), which relates to the application of the type to Christ and His atoning work, is a simple multiple of thirteen, viz., 204,451 (13x15,727). While the important digression in verses 16, 17, and 18, amounts to 11,830, which is 132 x 14 x 5, where we have the same great important factors. THE PREPOSITIONS CONNECTED WITH SUBSTITUTION used in connection with atonement, expressing Christ's death on behalf of His people, occur also in multiples of five:— uper (huper), which means on behalf of, in the interests of, occurs 585 times, the factors of this being 5 x 13 x 9, i.e., grace, atonement, and judgment. peri (peri), a word of similar sense and usage, meaning about or concerning, occurs 195 times, of which the factors are 5 x 13 x 3, or grace, atonement, and divinity. THE HOLY ANOINTING OIL (Exo 30:23-25) was composed of five parts, for it was a revelation of pure grace. This five is marked by the numbers four and one. For four parts were spices, and one was oil. The four principal species:— Myrrh, 500 shekels (5x100). Sweet cinnamon, 250 shekels (5x50). Sweet calamus, 250 shekels (5x50). Cassia, 500 shekels (5x100). And olive oil, one hin. This anointing oil was holy, for it separated to God; nothing else could separate. It was of God, and therefore of grace; and therefore the number of its ingredients was five, and their quantities were all multiples of five. Seven classes of persons or things were consecrated with this holy oil:— Aaron and his sons. The Tabernacle itself. The table and its vessels. The candlestick and its furniture. The altar of burnt offering and its vessels. The altar of incense. The laver and its foot. The word for "consecration" and the act are so misunderstood that it may be well to make a passing note upon it. The Hebrew is )lm (Mah-leh). It means, to fill, fill up, complete. Its first occurrence is Genesis 1:22, "multiply and fill the waters in the seas." So 21:19, "she filled the bottle with water"; 29:21, "My days are fulfilled"; Exodus 15:9, "My soul shall have its fill of them"; 28:41, "Thou shalt fill their hand." This has been translated consecrate, which is a comment rather than a translation. When this word is used with the word dy (yad), hand, it means to fill the hand, especially with that which is the sign and symbol of office, i.e., to fill the hand with a sceptre was to set apart or consecrate to the office of king. To fill the hand with certain parts of sacrifices, was to set apart for the office of priest and to confirm their right to offer both gifts and sacrifices to God, Exodus 29:22-25, 28:41, 29:9, 32:29. (See also Heb 5:1, 8:3,4.) A "ram of consecration" (or of filling) was a ram with parts of which the hands of the priests were filled when they were set apart to their office. Whenever the word refers to official appointment, or separation to a work or dignity, it is the sovereign act of God, and the accompanying symbolical act was the filling of the hand of the person so appointed with the sign which marked his office. Hence the verb means in this usage to invest with an office, to communicate a dignity. It is needless to say that no man can do this for himself. It must be the act of God. When the word is used of what man can do it is followed by the preposition l, which means "to" or "for," as in 2 Chronicles 29:31, to fill the hand for one, i.e., to bring offerings (to Jehovah), which is quite a different thing altogether. There is no idea here of what is called today, "consecration." It is a simple offering of gifts, which the offerer brings in his hands. Only Jehovah Himself can invest a man with the privilege of any office in His service. "No man taketh this honour unto himself but he that is called of God" (Heb 5:4). Hence the Lord Jesus is specially called "the Anointed," which is in Hebrew Messiah, and in Greek CriostoV, Christos, and in English Christ. Those who vainly talk about "consecrating themselves" should read 2 Chronicles 13:9. At the consecration of the priest under the Old Covenant in Exodus 29:20, the numbers three and five accompany the act of Divine grace. Three acts, each associated with five. The blood, and afterwards the holy oil upon it, was put— On the tip of the right ear, signifying that the Holy Spirit would cause him to hear the Word of God, and separating his five senses for God; On the thumb of his right hand (one of the five digits), signifying that he was to do and act for God; On the great toe of his right foot (again five), signifying that his personal walk was to be conformed to God's Word. Thus it is now that the Holy Spirit consecrates all who are priests unto God. It is a Divine act, an act of sovereign grace. A grand reality when done for the sinner by God the Holy Ghost, but a worthless vanity when presumptuously done by a mortal man. THE INCENSE (Exo 30:34) also was composed of five parts. Four were "sweet spices," Myms (Sa-meem), and one was salt. xlm, to salt, being rendered "tempered together." See verse 35, margin. The four "sweet spices" were:— "Stacte," P+n (Nataph), "to drop"; hence a drop of aromatic gum. The LXX is stakth from spazein, "to drop." The Rabbins call it opobalsamum, as the RV margin. "On'ycha," tlx# (Sh'cheyleth), "a shell"; Greek onux, the shell of a species of mussel which burnt with an odour of musk. "Gal'banum," hnblx (Chel-b'nah), "a fragrant gum." "Frankincense," hnwbl (L'bonah), "a bright burning gum." The one, salt. The verb xlm (Mah-lach), "to salt," occurs only here and Leviticus 2:13 and Ezekiel 16:4, from which its meaning may be seen. This incense was called by various names,—"pure," "perpetual," "sweet," "holy." No imitation of it was allowed. It indicates those precious merits of Christ through which alone our prayers can go up with acceptance before God. The incense was to symbolise "the prayers of the saints" offered by Christ Himself (Rev 5:3). Our prayers are real prayers only when they ascend through His merits. The smoke of the incense was always associated with the smoke of the burnt offering! It was the fire from the brazen altar which kindled the incense on the golden altar! It was fire of no earthly origin. It came down originally from heaven (Lev 9:24; Judg 6:21; 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chron 21:26; 2 Chron 7:1). Incense kindled with "strange fire" was visited with immediate death (Lev 10:1; Num 3:4, 26:61). And incense not made of the prescribed five ingredients was forbidden to be offered (Exo 30:9). Solemn provisions these, when we apply them to our prayers. They show us that our own words are nothing, and that Christ's merits are everything. David said, "Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice" (Psa 141:2), i.e., as incense goes up (Heb. directed) to Thee, and the smoke of the burnt offering (the evening sacrifice), so let my prayers be accepted through the merits of that sacrifice. "There was given unto him much incense that he should offer it WITH the prayers of all saints...and the smoke of the incense which came WITH the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand" (Rev 8:3,4). Rome has of course perverted this in her Vulgate Version, and in her various translations of it. She reads (Rev 8), ut daret de orationibus sanctorum omnium, i.e., "that he might offer the prayers of all the saints." And verse 4, et ascendit fumus incensorum de orationibus sanctorum, i.e., "and the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended." The incense and the prayers are perfectly distinct; the one represents the merits of Christ, the other our imperfect prayers. But Rome confuses them, and her reason for doing so is shown by the notes which she puts in her various versions. The teaching of Scripture is clear, that apart from Christ's merits all our prayers are absolutely worthless. Hence the exhortation in Hebrews 13:15, "BY HIM therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually; that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name" (see Lev 7:12; Psa 51:12; Hosea 14:3, LXX). WORDS THAT OCCUR FIVE TIMES Among many words stamped with this significance are:— Ntm (Mat-tahn), "gift" (Gen 34:12; Num 18:11; Prov 18:16, 19:6, 21:14). It is suitable that this word should occur five times, for gifts are of grace. It is noteworthy that trk#m (mas-koh-reth), "wages," occurs four times, for wages are of the earth, earthy. Nwyqn (nik-kah-yohn), "innocency" (Gen 20:5; Psa 26:6, 73:13; Hosea 8:5; Amos 4:6). paraklhtoV (parakleetos), translated Comforter four times in the Gospel of John, viz., 14:16, 26, 15:26, and 16:7; and Advocate once in the Epistle, 1 John 2:1. What a gracious provision! one Advocate within us (the Holy Spirit) that we may not sin (spoken of four times); and another with the Father for us if we do sin—even "Jesus Christ the righteous." The word means one called to one's side to give any help and to meet any need. Two advocates speaking of the enemy which causes our need, and of the Helper who supplies it. Other words are:— agalliasiV (agalliasis), "gladness" (Luke 1:14; Acts 2:46; Heb 1:9), "joy" (Luke 1:44), "exceeding joy" (Jude 24). adw (ado), "to sing" (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16; Rev 5:9, 14:3, 15:3). anapausiV (anapausis), "rest" (Matt 11:29, 12:43; Luke 11:24; Rev 4:8, 14:11). asfalhV (asphalees), "certainty" (Acts 21:34, 22:30, 25:26; Phil 3:1; Heb 6:19). PHRASES WHICH OCCUR FIVE TIMES "Bless the Lord, O my soul."—All in Psalms 103 and 104, viz., 103:1, 2, 23 and 104:1, 35. The Talmud calls attention to this and says, "As God fills the earth and nourishes it, so He nourishes and blesses the soul." "Whosoever hath, to him shall be given" (Matt 13:12, 25:29; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18, 19:26).—Five times, telling of the grace which gives. "The kingdom of God."—Five times in the Gospel (Matthew) which alone speaks of "the kingdom of heaven." The latter refers to earth, and the kingdom to be established here. While the former relates to the larger kingdom of grace, which includes it and the Church and all beside (Matt 6:33, 12:8, 19:24, 21:31 and 43). The Talmud (Yoma, fol. 21, col. 2) asks (under Hagg 1:8), "How is it that the word dbk)w, 'And I will be glorified,' is written without the final h (which stands for five) and is yet read as if it had it (hbk)w)? Because it indicates that the second Temple lacked five things that were found in the first Temple, viz:— The Ark that is the mercy-seat of the Cherubim, The Fire from heaven on the altar, The Shechinah, The Spirit of prophecy, and "The Urim and Thummim." This answer is correct as far as it goes, but it is written nevertheless, in Haggai 2:9, "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former." True, it lacked the Law that was contained in the Ark, but it had the presence of Him who was full of grace and truth, and who had that Law within His heart.
*2:54 It is the ego that led to Satan's fall. It is the ego that caused our exile to this world, and it is the ego that is keeping most of us from redemption to God's Kingdom.
*2:55 It is noteworthy that the word "GOD" in this verse is the 19th occurrence, and this is the verse where the people demanded "physical evidence." The Quran's mathematical code, based on the number 19, provides such physical evidence. Note also that 2+55=57=19x3.
*ISRAEL TEMPLE DATABASE ON THIS SITE:
MENORAH DATABASE ON THIS SITE
DREAMS OF THE GREAT EARTHCHANGES - MAIN INDEX