Saturday, December 3, 2016

152 - Judah's Cause to Celebrate


 "my feast".  A name given in anticipation of the joyous return from exile. Perhaps a Levite, as the rabbis say he was buried at Jerusalem among the priests. Tradition represents him as returning with the first exiles from Babylon his birthplace, under Zerubbabel 536 B.C. Easton Bible Dictionary.

When the captives in Babylon were allowed to return to Judea they began to build a temple but soon they lost interest in it and rather finished their own homes.  The main theme of the Book of Haggai is, why are you living so comfortably at home and not exerting any effort in rebuilding the temple of the Lord.  Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your finished houses, and shall this House (the new temple) lie waste? Haggai 1:4.

You looked for much, (good crops, etc) and behold, little (the yield was poor)! Because My House that is waste, and you, each man runs to his own house. 1:9.  

The people were not in the least interested in worshipping Jehovah until Haggai got on his soapbox, then Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel ... and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of Jehovah of Hosts, their God. 1:14

Then the Word of Jehovah came by the prophet Haggai, saying ... Now speak ... to the remnant of the people, saying, Who is left among you who saw this house in her first glory? (That is in reference to the temple that Solomon built). And how do you see it now? When compared to it, is it not as nothing in your eyes? 2:1-3.  

In the post I shared on July 24, 2015, I wrote, In the seventh month of the year of their return the people started rebuilding the altar on which to worship Jehovah.  In the second month of the second year, they started rebuilding the temple, Ezra 3:8and the ancient men who had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice.  

It just did not measure up to their expectations or to the grandeur of Solomon's temple.  And many of the younger people shouted aloud for joy because they had a place to worship so that the people could not tell the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people. Ezra 3:12-13.

Some believe that Psalms 146-150 were specially written to be used as hymns for the dedication ceremony of the second temple.


"Jehovah remembers" or "Jehovah is renowned".  

Zechariah was an active preacher at the same time as Haggai.  He also spoke of the restoration of Jerusalem as we see in these words, Then the Angel of Jehovah answered and said, O Jehovah of Hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah against which You have cursed these seventy years? Zachariah 1:12.  It was after 70 years of captivity that the Jews were finally allowed to return home.

Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, four horns! And I said to the angel who talked with me, What are these? And he answered me, These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.1:18-19.  

These are believed to be Shalmaneser (of Assyria); Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon); ... Cambyses (the Medes and Persians), ... and may likewise have reference prophetically to their after troubles and captivity by the Romans. Gill
Everyone in Jerusalem, celebrate and shout! Your king has won a victory, and he is coming to you. He is humble and rides on a donkey. 9:9 CEV.  The Christian church interprets this to mean Christ, especially so since on Palm Sunday He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. 

It seems interesting that a Jewish Bible commentator takes a similar stance as the Christian Church has, It is impossible to interpret this except as referring to the King Messiah, as it is stated: “and his rule shall be from sea to sea.” We do not find that Israel had such a ruler during the days of the Second Temple. Rashi. This, of course, does not insinuate that Rashi is referring to Jesus Christ; people in the Jewish religion are still waiting for the Messiah to come.

My people will go through an ocean of troubles, one wonders if truer words have ever been spoken.  But I will overcome the waves and dry up the deepest part of the Nile.  (Speaking symbolically, Egypt's 'life-line' will be dried up and they will no longer harass Israel.) 

Assyria's great pride will be put down, (it was Assyria that captured and destroyed the Northern tribes of Israel and now, at the end of all Jewish conflicts, Assyria will finally get what she deserves).  What goes around - comes around and Assyria had this coming.

I'll strengthen my people because of who I am, and they will follow me. 10:11 CEV.  

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