“And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation and made him king over all Israel. There was none that followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah” (I Kings 12:20)
Time is an essential component of God’s creation. He has created all things by His Word, setting all things in exact location establishing their course and direction by the power of His will. The heavens declare His glory and the firmament manifests the expression of His great might and majesty, which He has set in motion through the progress of time. He is not limited or controlled by time for He is the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy (Is. 57:15), wherein is neither time nor space as man understands them. Thus the progress of time is the order of events, within the confines of the eternal realm, as God has decreed for them to be revealed. The work which was finished before the foundation of the world comes to pass in the manifestation of time is in such a manner that the first must precede the second and every event is contingent upon that which has already been; “for precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line” (Is. 28:10). Since there is nothing new under the sun, the events which are now transpiring are indeed a testimony to that which has been and a foretaste of that which is yet to come. Thus the proof that He is Yehovah is that He has called those things which are not yet as thought they had already been, saying, My counsel shall stand. (Compare Is. 41:21ff)
Every man comes into this world in his order at the appointed time and, being assigned of the Creator a station in life resplendent with the necessary labours which he is to accomplish, he lives out his duration of time in this world; “there is a time to be born and a time to die” (Ecc. 3:2). This time is commensurate to that which is assigned and sufficient for the completion of each designation. Although man is constantly complaining about there never being enough time or matters taking too long, yet the time allotted is exact to the steps to be taken and the occupations that have been appointed. Each step must be precisely executed so that the path is walked and the race is run in perfectly choreographed simplicity so that all things work together in complete harmony one with another for; “to everything a season and a time to every purpose under heaven” (Ecc. 3:1).
Though a man may train his body for physical endeavours, yet the race is not unto the swift, nor the battle to the strong. Though he may condition his mind for entrepreneurial pursuits or business adventures, neither yet bread to the wise nor riches to men of understanding nor yet the favour of men of skill. Or even he may strive in things which indeed have a shew of wisdom and in will-worship and humility and neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh (Col. 2:23). He may study and occupy his time in the fascination of those things which have come before and in speculation about what shall be, but no man knows those things which are ordered fast and sure save He who is the Creator and maintainer of time, for “time and chance happen to them all” (Ecc. 9:11).
Nothing comes to pass save by the power of His will therefore whatsoever comes to pass is His will; “I Yehovah have spoken, it shall come to pass and I will do, I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to my ways and according to your doings, shall they judge you, saith Yehovah God” (Ezek. 24:14).
The events which came to pass in the life of Jacob and his family were all in perfect accord with the eternal will of Yehovah God. He was the second born of Isaac and a supplanter who, contrary to the natural order, was to be the heir of the promise and blessing of the family. His family was formed and grew after the deceit of Laban and the fierce competition between Leah and Rachel whom he loved. When in the fullness of time God opened the womb of she who was barren and gave her a son, Jacob’s heart was drawn out after the youngest child and when God blessed this chosen vessel with a wonderful manifestation of those things which must shortly come to pass, he was hated by his older brothers and sold into slavery.
Yet in the fullness of time, as these events beyond his control continually ‘happened’ all about him, he was raised up to be the ruler in Egypt and the savior of the land. He was sent forth into a foreign land in bondage to prepare a place of refuge for his aged father and the brothers who sought to kill him. He was given a wife of a family of influence, but neither she, nor her father could ultimately protect Israel from Pharaoh and his social reform. According to the time appointed of God there were two children born unto Joseph. The first, Manasseh, was in evidence that Yehovah God had caused Joseph to forget the suffering of many years and the second, Ephraim, was of the prosperity of abundance in Egypt. And it came to pass, in the fullness of time, that God reunited father Jacob with his dead son through the appointed means of the oppression and trauma of a great famine; thus Israel was drawn by the hand of Yehovah God through events in nature unto Egypt.
Here a dying old man intentionally crossed his hands and laying his right hand upon the younger and his left upon the older, Jacob promoted Ephraim to the position of first born in Israel. This was not because he was born of a foreign woman and Jacob desired to pay homage to his new hosts, nor was it because the young man had excelled in achievements or prospered in business. The cause in the mind of Jacob was an illicit act perpetrated many years earlier by Reuben but the purpose was of God; “I said in my heart, God judges the righteous and the wicked for there is time and purpose to every work” (Ecc. 3:17).
Again in the fullness of time, as God had promised Abram, Israel went into bondage when God raised up a leader in the great house who had no regard for the labours and conquests which God had provided at the hand of Zaph-nath-pa-a-ne-ah (Joseph). The children of Israel were corralled into the ghettoes of Goshen and pressed into forced labour for a time foretold to Abram many years earlier. But in the fullness of time, even on the self-same day that the “iniquity of the Amorites” was full, the strong hand of Yehovah God brought Israel out of the land of Egypt and delivered them from the bondage and oppression; “Because to every purpose there is a time and judgment therefore the misery of man is great upon him” (Ecc. 8:6).
Ephraim’s exaltation unto the place of the first born by Grandfather Jacob may have vaulted him over his brother and past all his uncles, who were much older and purported to be wiser than he, yet this title gave him no privileges over the house of Jacob. His family in Egypt did not have a great celebration when news of this new found prominence was made known and it did not entitle him to live a life of luxury and ease. Even though he grew up in the house of the second in command of Egypt, when the heart of the Pharaoh was moved to cleanse the land of racial impurities and social inequities, Ephraim (the half breed) was vanquished to the difficult living conditions of Goshen. He and his family lived their lives as hated enemies of the very people they lived with and were forced into the captivity and the conscript labour of Egypt; “Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with burdens: and they built for Pharaoh the treasured cities, Pithom and Raamses” (Ex. 1:11).
Four hundred and fifty years passed before Yehovah raised up Moses to deliver the first born and his family. The tribe of Ephraim had their place in the procession and they witnessed, as did all the children of Israel, the pillar of the cloud which went before them. They were ‘sore afraid’ as the army of Pharaoh followed hard against them and trapped them by ‘the place where the sedge grows’ (Pihahi-roth) and the ‘master of the north’ (Baal-zephon). They were amazed and wondered as Moses said, “Do not fear, stand still and see the salvation of Yehovah which he will shew unto you today: for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see them again, for ever”. Yehovah God provided for and protected them as they calmly walked dry-shod across the sea bed and into the wilderness. They saw the pillar of the cloud move behind them and protect them from the horse men and chariots as they crossed the sea bed and they witnessed the army of Pharaoh drown as the hand of Yehovah caused the waters to crash down upon them.
But the house of Ephraim was neither immune from the unpleasantries of the wilderness experience, because of their position Israel, nor was this tribe of people elite in their understanding or ambitions. When the congregation murmured against Aaron, Moses and Yehovah God because of bitter water and no meat, Ephraim was numbered among the people. This tribe was not endued with any special abilities, inspirations or courage because they were of the house of the first born for at the base of Mt. Sinai they trembled and quaked when they saw the fire, heard the thunders and the voice of many waters (Ex. 19:16). They had no special dispensation from God that gave them the ability to believe what they saw and trust in the voice from above. They were as devoid of strength as their brethren to stand before the mountain of God and they quickly withdrew in fear of what they were experiencing; “and the people stood afar off and Moses drew nigh unto the thick cloud where was God” (Ex. 20:21). Ephraim demonstrated every fear and doubt filled with anxiety and uncertainty of the seed of Adam. His station in life could not alter the inherent nature of the children of the dust.
“When Israel was a child I loved him and called My son out of Egypt…I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by the arms; but they did not know that I healed them” (Hos. 11:1)
Though Ephraim was the youngest and the smallest of the tribes, yet was he lifted up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. He experienced everything that the children of Israel experienced and his people manifested the seed from which they had sprung. Though they were of the house of the first born yet could they not rid themselves of the weakness, frailties and corruption of the body of this death? Neither Ephraim nor his children could manifest any worth before God, endeared themselves to their brethren or give any evidence that they were of the chosen house of the first born of Israel; “that no flesh should glory His presence” (I Cor.1:29).
The natural evidence of this situation demonstrates that there is no difference in the Adamic nature because of the station in life of the individual. Just because God set apart the tribe of Levi and consecrated them unto Himself as those who should attend to the altar and keep the Tabernacle it should never be assumed that they were all faithful servants of God; “for they are not all Israel which are of Israel” (Rms. 9:6).
Levi (joined) was born third in order to Jacob and Leah but God had chosen him and his seed to be sanctified unto Him before he was born; not having done any good or any evil. Although he did not live to see Mt. Sinai or hear the voice of many waters thundering upon the mount, his children were brought forth in Moses and Aaron as the ministers of the services of the Tabernacle. These men were born into their station of life, just as every son of Adam is, and assigned labours without previous training, job interviews or personal references for God had chosen them. Yet these labours were never intended to bring praise or glory unto the men who performed these services, rather each man and his service were actors upon the stage of time as Yehovah God manifested the pattern of heavenly things.
These were each set forth to administer the types and foreshadows of the law and in doing so, they demonstrated to the entire house of Israel that they were all unclean in Adam. The blood stained garments were a witness to the need for a sacrifice for sin, the smoke ascending from the altar gave an aroma of death and the bleating of sheep and goats gave testimony that the bringers were sinners. The fact that the outer garments of the priest were stained with blood meant that these men had done their jobs. They had killed the sacrifices which either they brought forth for their sin and the sin of their families or they had shed the blood of those sacrifices which the people had brought; “for the blood makes an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17:11).
God had ordered their station in life to be occupied in the service of the Tabernacle and sanctuary as long as the types were needed. Each member of the house of Levi was assigned a time of habitation, a course of assignment, according to his father’s place in the family, and a full time job. They attended to the daily rituals of construction, maintenance and attendance to the furniture, appurtenance and function of the Law of Moses. Their birth-right was both a blessing in that they were the servants of Yehovah in Israel but it was also a curse in that in everything they did, they were servants in Israel all the days of their lives. They were given to live in the law as it was manifested in types. They had a life-long occupation which afforded them with food, clothing and shelter yet they had no inheritance in the land or part in the affairs of the nation of Israel.
This never ending duty was passed from generation to generation as the constant declaration of the sin of the people but neither this service nor the performance of duty made any son of Levi a child of grace. The manifestation in the end of the world of the perfect High Priest concluded the need of the blood of bulls and goats as He proclaimed before all that His work was finished; “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5).
Some of these of the seed of Adam and Levi were also of the seed of the serpent and their nature was soon manifested in their conduct (John 8:44). These were given of God to improvise according to carnal logic in attempt to make the Law more palatable to the natural way. They gave consent unto it by their outward actions but they added unto it by acting contrary to the ‘pattern given in the mount’; “And Nadab and Abi-hu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer and put incense thereon and offered strange fire before Yehovah which He did not command” (Lev. 10:1).
Others, being of the same combination of seed, had their roots planted in the love of wealth and prosperity not being content with the provisions which were given to them. These had their affections set on profit and prominence as they misused their office for personal gain; “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they did not know Yehovah. And was the custom of the priest with the people, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with fleshhook of three teeth in his hand, and he struck into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot; all the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself” (I Sam. 2:12).
Still more thought themselves privileged in the economy and society of Israel. They consider themselves the elite of the religious world which cannot be soiled with the contact or communication of the common man. They encompass land and sea to make one proselyte and thrived in the praise of man more than the service unto Yehovah. These love to be heard for their much speaking, consider themselves blameless with respect to the righteousness of the law and make long prayers for others to hear. “Then spake Jesus to the multitude and to His disciples saying, the scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. All therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, observe and do; but do not do after their works for they say and do not. They bind heavy burdens, grievous to be borne and lay on men’s shoulders but they will not move one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the borders of their garments and love the uppermost rooms at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the market place, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi” (Matt. 23:1ff).
These men were born into the priesthood and raised up by the hand of Yehovah in the work of the ministry but they followed after the course of this world, fulfilling the desires of the flesh. They were given to make alliances and confederacies with the children of the land and having their consciences seared, they esteemed themselves holy. This made them popular with the people and reverenced among men; “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land, the prophets prophesy falsely and the priest bear rule by their means, and My people love so: and what will you do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:30).
Yet there was a remnant according to grace, which Yehovah had reserved unto Himself, which occupied the office in spirit and truth. These were born of the incorruptible seed and even though tempted and drawn off continually after the desires of the flesh which is the nature of the earthen vessel they inhabited, yet by the power of the Spirit, they fulfilled their office in righteousness. They obediently fulfilled the office and performed the duties which manifested that they were sinners in need of mercy. They were complete and perfect in the birth-right of the Beloved but wretched, poor and blind after the flesh.
These men stood as the type of He that should come in the fullness of time to manifest the Law of God fulfilled in all righteousness. The heritage of these men, who had no choice in the manner, time or house unto which they were born, was established fast and sure before time began. Each member of this family, every man in his order, performed all that was assigned unto him by the perfect purpose of Almighty God as they walked upon the stage of time, each step rising up and setting down in perfect stride. Thus in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman and made under the Law. Yet He knew no sin and thus He fulfilled the Law in all righteousness and abolished the hand-writing of ordinances in the flesh. He came forth having His garments stained with the blood as He stood, glorious in His apparel and traveling in the greatness of His strength (Is. 63:1). He trod the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God alone for there was NO MAN worthy to save His people from their sin; “And I looked and none to help and I wondered that none to uphold; therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me and My fury upheld Me” (63:5).
The types and foreshadows are seen in each of the tribes of the house of Israel and time and chance happened to the house of Ephraim. Israel is the type of the kingdom of God as manifested in time wherein both wheat and tare reside. It stands as the evidence of the presence of the treasure hidden in earthen vessels who cannot cease from sin and the seed planted in the corruption of this flesh. The ground (earthen vessels fashioned from the dust of the earth) has been prepared to receive the seed designated and designed for planting. The Master Potter has made of the same lump one vessel unto honour, afore prepared unto glory, and another unto dishonour, outfitted for destruction. The seed, whether it be of the serpent or of the incorruptible seed, grows together in the same field side by side for the time appointed unto each. They appear the same with no distinguishing marks of identification to the labourers in the field, but the Father knows them that are His. Thus it is only in the time of harvest that the wheat is separated from the tare. They each grow to the proper height and bare the fruit that has been decreed necessary to the purpose of God and neither can retard or defer the allotment of the other. The fruit of the wheat is gathered into the Father’s barns while the tares are cut down and cast “into a furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 13:42).
The wheat, which are the children of the kingdom, are planted to bring forth fruit of varying degrees. This fruit, which is not of this world, is the peaceable fruit of righteousness for the household of faith. This is the fruit of the holy city of the tree of Life “which bare twelve fruits yielding her fruit every month and the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2). These children are planted as wheat, grow up as wheat and have been identified as the “enclosed garden and sealed fountain of the Beloved” (Song 4:12). Each and every one of this election according to grace has their Father’s name in their foreheads, they are joined unto Him and are “sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ, called” (Jude 1). They have the seal of the eternal love of the living God upon them and NO MAN can take them out of the Father’s hand (John 10:29).
He shed His blood from the foundation of the world, He afore prepared the chosen vessels unto glory and He swept the leaven out of the house. He removed all leaven from within the borders of the Israel of our God and there remains no residue of Edom. He cleansed the habitation of the Holy seed from all unrighteousness, removing it as far as the east is from the west, so that the Holy flesh should not be made unclean by coming into contact with a dead body (Hag. 2:12). He has struck the door posts of the earthen vessels with the blood of the Lamb so that as His wrath was poured out against all ungodliness of men so He acknowledged the blood and passed over His beloved; “for even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (I Cor. 5:7).
Thus in the nation of Israel there stands those who called themselves by the name of Yehovah of Hosts but not in truth nor in righteousness. These are proud of their Zionistic heritage and behaved themselves as the privileged people of the world. They draw nigh unto God with their lips but the heart is far from the truth for they have their particular form of godliness but they deny the truth thereof. These are the Scribes and Pharisees of the world who delight in the outward show of piety. They demand reverence but they are indeed, hypocrites like unto whited sepulchre which appear beautiful outward but within are full of dead bones and of all uncleanness (Matt. 23:27). These are proud of their works and have been deceived by the pride of their heart that they are “not as other men”. They claim to have kept all these things from their youth up and boast that they have Abraham as their father. These are none other than the seed of Adam who is enmity against God and at war against His Spirit.
There are also they which are called by the name of Yehovah. These are taught from above the truth about the vanity of this world and the corruption of the flesh. They are tempted and tried by the call of the flesh and the allurement of the lust of the eyes but within they delights after the Law of God and earnestly desire to return to the Father’s house. They find no good thing dwells in their flesh for the evil which they do is the sin that dwells in them. They experience daily the hypocrisy in the flesh that when they would do good, they do not find the method or the means in Adam to perform that which is good for evil is present.
This dichotomy is demonstrated in the nation of Israel as a whole and in the failures of the member of each tribe particularly. The tribe of Ephraim appears to be the focal point of this manifestation for the last child is soon to be synonymous with Israel. They begin as the evidence of the mystery of the gospel, they are grafted back into the people and are accounted as part of the whole; they eat of the heavenly things and are partakers of the grace and the wonders of God’s mercy to His people but they are also the epitome of the corruption of man and the blindness of the flesh. They are identified with Joshua in the salvation of Israel and also set forth as the consummation of Israel in wretched apostasy, spiritual adultery and complete idolatry. They are the representation of the progress of time and the events of man which lead to the desolation of the house of Israel; this also is the number of the beast which is the number of man.
“And the standard of the camp of Ephraim set forward according to their armies and over his host, Eli-shama the son of Ammi-hud” (Num. 10:22)
God instructed Moses in everything concerning the children of Israel including the arrangement of the camp around the Tabernacle. When in the fullness of time, the Tabernacle was to move, as indicated when the cloud ascended, the Levite and priests, disassembled the particulars, packed up the furniture and implements and transported it to the next location. When it came to rest in the place appointed of God, the Levites set it up again; “and the stranger that comes nigh shall be put to death. And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp and every man by his own standard, throughout the hosts” (Lev. 1:51f).
Each tribe had their exact location around the Tabernacle as it stood still, every house within the tribe and every man in precise alignment and perfect positions. Each tribe also had an exact location when the time was ordered to move. No tribe was asked for their advice or assistance in the move. The cloud had neither need for ‘GPS’ nor map. God did not send out advance scouts and He asked no man for directions, yet, in the fullness of time, the cloud ascended and, waiting the time necessary for the collapse and dismantling of the Tabernacle, He moved to the appointed location. No man prompted the move, no man encouraged the move and no man operated independent of the body. Everything came to pass in a cohesive manner, according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, so that every activity in the nation of Israel worked together for good.
When the Spirit conveyed that it was time to move the Tabernacle, the priests would blow the trumpets. This was the signal to assemble the tribes of Israel together but not an alarm unto war. At the sound of the trumpets of Israel the body was summoned; “and the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets and they shall be for you an ordinance forever throughout your generations” (Num. 10:8). Judah, which is praise, was the first to lead the house of Israel along with the ‘recompense for the exalted dwelling’ (Issachar and Zebulun).
These preceded the Tabernacle as evidence that the dwelling of God with men is a result of His eternal love. The Lamb, who is the Lion of Judah which has prevailed, stood (resurrected) as He had been slain before the foundation of the world; the precious blood, being the remission of the sin of His people in Adam, shed and applied as the atonement, is the recompense for the inherent inability of the creature, which was manifested in the garden. The Lamb, whose name is Faithful and Truth is praise unto our God for He finished His work in perfect righteousness and all that the Father gave unto Him, He preserved and protected. These have been declared the sons of God, through the testimony of His Spirit, by the first resurrection, which is Jesus Christ. And being raised up in Him with power, according to the spirit of Holiness, they are the Tabernacle of Yehovah in whom dwells the fullness of the Godhead; “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God with men and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people and God Himself shall be with them, their God” (Rev. 21:3).
Those ‘joined’ (Levi) unto God through the house of the ‘bringer of light’ (Aaron) who have been ‘exiled’ and ‘driven out’ (Gershon) by this world through the voice of Yehovah who called unto them saying “Come out of her, My people, and be not partakers of her sins and that you do not receive of her plagues, for her sins have reached unto heaven and God has remembered her iniquity” (Rev. 18:4) bear the dwelling. These are assigned by the lot of the inheritance of Yehovah to attend to the dwelling place from generation to generation and when the Tabernacle gave way to the Temple, their lot was to the maintenance and upkeep of it; but they did not attend to the holy place.
The first son (Reuben – unto whom belonged the genealogy but not according to the birth-right I Chr. 5:1) lead the next section of the procession. He was followed by they that ‘heard’ (Simeon) the voice of God, being the whole ‘troop’ of Israel (Gad). These marched between the dwelling place and the holy place to signify that the sacrifice for sin was the first-born of the house; “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:8).
He is the Elect Servant who heard the Word and fulfilled the work set before Him and of all that the Father gave Him, He lost none. He declared His generation saying, “Behold I and the children whom Yehovah has given Me for signs and wonders in Israel from Yehovah of hosts which dwells in Mt. Zion” (Is. 8:18). He had His seed in Him, which is the troop of the Israel of our God which He brought with Him to the Holy place where He became the sin of His people. Yehovah God remembers the sin of the great whore and her children as He manifests His wrath against the ungodliness of men but the sin of His people has been removed as far as the east is from the west, never to be called into account again (Ps. 103:12).
This venerated assembly (Kohathites) has been washed in the blood of the Lamb. They are born of the incorruptible seed which cannot deny the Father nor commit sin for His seed remains in them and, having been granted to be arrayed in the righteousness of the saints, they are the Holy place. These dwell within their earthen vessels as the type of the inner man who delights after the Law of God. Having his affections settled on things from above, he earnestly awaits the manifestation of the sons of God. Yet while strangers and sojourners in this foreign land, they endure the contradiction of sin against themselves. These have the manifest token of the righteous judgment of God that they are counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which they suffer (II Thes. 1:5) and are hated of all men for His name’s sake.
Following the Holy place were the remaining six tribes; Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin, then Dan, Asher and Naphtali. Together these represent the promise of the Father for His Beloved during the time of habitation in the body of this death. Judgment or discernment (Dan) and contentment (Asher) are given through the experience of the wrestling (Naphtali) of the warfare within. And unto the son of my right hand (Ben-jamin) is given the abundance (Ephraim) of all spiritual blessings as they are forgetting (Manasseh) those things which are behind and reaching for those things which are before, they press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:13).
The promise of the Father to His children is manifested in the fullness of time when He sent forth His Son, born of a woman and made under the Law. He came in the end of the world in testimony the fulfillment of every type and foreshadow in Him that they might have life and have it more abundantly (Ephraim). This abundant life, however, is not the abundance of this world for that which is seen is temporal and fades away. The daily bread of this world indeed has been granted unto His children as they wander through the barren wilderness for the Father has provided that which is needed but He has given unto them ALL things that pertain unto life and Godliness. He has properly equipped those born from above with ears to hear His voice and they follow Him. These find peace in His sovereign will and even though the flesh rebels constantly, they find whatsoever state they are in, therein are they content, knowing that this has been ordained by their loving Father for good.
His Spirit gives them all wisdom and spiritual understanding which keeps their hearts and minds in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah as He reminds them of their former ways. Herein they have walked according to the course of this world, being drawn away after the lusts of the flesh and after the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience; thus they hate themselves and the uncleanness of their manners (Ezek. 36:31). The Spirit brings those trials and tribulations which prove the faith within while manifesting the festering incurable wound without. These temptations are common to all men and they cause the creature to groan within. The testimony, however, of the Elder Brother is that He has overcome the flesh, the world and all His enemies are under His feet. He knows His foes and all which hate Him; this is Edom. He has made them the fire of an oven wherein the Refiner’s fire burns to consume the works of man, as sticks gathered together to be burned, which is Esau and his ways (Ps. 21:9).
The children of Israel in the procession of the Tabernacle are also a picture of the life of a child of the kingdom as he wanders through the wilderness of this world. He is supplied with those things which he has need of yet after Adam he is not thankful as he murmurs against God and His servants. He sees the beauty of the creation all around him which declares the glory of Yehovah yet the natural man cannot receive these wonders. He moves when God has decreed that it is time to move. He travels the exact distance unto a prescribed location for a specific reason and instead of being an obedient servant to the King of Kings, the natural man is stiff-necked and rebellious; “Because I knew that you are obstinate and your neck is an iron sinew and your brow brass” (Is. 48:4). But God, who is rich in mercy wherewith He loved us, has set before each of His children the example of the Son of God and unto the tribe of Ephraim He set up Eli-shama and Ammi-hud.
The fact that ‘My God hears’ (Eli-shama) is the descendant of the ‘glory of my people’ (Ammi-hud) is no coincidence; this is His testimony from generation to generation. His people hear His voice and He hears the cry of His children. He has glorified them with the same glory that He had in the Father before the world began and they are one in Him. The Father hears the Son for they are one and the Father hears the cry of His children for they are born from above. His seed was His people before man was formed from the dust of the earth and the love of the Father is always upon them; “Yehovah has appeared unto me from old saying, truly I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you” (Jer. 31:3). This He spoke to the families of Israel, not as the children of Jacob according to the flesh, but the children of promise; this is the Israel of our God. The glory therefore of the true Israel is the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah who is a “light to lighten the nations and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke2:32).
Ephraim in Joshua represented the Israel of our God. He heard the word of the Spirit and gave testimony to the truth. He judged Israel and was mighty in Yehovah; “on that day Yehovah magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel and they feared him as they feared Moses all the days of His life” (Josh. 4:14). He fought the battles and won the victories in the glory of the power of the Lord and all his enemies were placed under his feet. He sought the Lord with all his heart and followed after Him with all his soul and all his strength because he was a child of the King born of incorruptible seed. As the representative of the first-born of Israel, Joshua was faithful above the whole house to the praise of Yehovah God and the glory of His people. He spoke the Word, walked in the ways of Yehovah and preached the truth; “Now therefore fear Yehovah and serve Him in sincerity and truth and put away the gods which your father’s served on the other side of the flood and in Egypt and serve Yehovah. And if it seem evil unto you to serve Yehovah, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your father’s served on the other side of the flood or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Yehovah” (Josh. 24:14).
“And after that He gave judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years until Samuel the prophet” (Acts. 13:20)
The nation of Israel came into the land that God had promised unto them and as each tribe took possession of their land so the house of the first-born took their heritage. These people gave no evidence of a superior nature in them nor did they become champions of the Law in Israel. Numerous famous and some rather infamously nefarious events transpired in and around of Mt. Ephraim. Joshua the son of Nun and Eleazar the son of Aaron were buried there (Josh. 24:30 7 33) and Deborah the prophetess dwelt there when she judged Israel (Jud. 4:5). Gideon called forth all the men of mount Ephraim to do battle against the Midianites and Tola the son of Dodo of Issachar dwelt there when he judged Israel.
Then “there was a man of mount Ephraim whose name was Micah”. He made graven images unto the lord from silver he had stolen from his mother. He had a house of gods and made an ephod and teraphim (a domestic god used for healing) and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest”. He compelled a young Levite man from Bethlehem-judah to dwell with him to be a father and a priest unto his house. This young Levite made a contractual agreement for wages, apparel and provisions and “Micah consecrated the Levite and the young man became his priest and was in the house of Micah. Then Micah said, now I know that Yehovah will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to priest” (Jud. 17:12). This he did because in those days no king was in Israel; every man did right in his own eyes.
This fine religious entrepreneur was agreeable to the highest bidder as he found great success peddling his piety in the secular world. When men from the tribe of Dan came to Mt. Ephraim and unto the house of Micah they took the idols which Micah had made, enticed the Levite to renege on his promise and abandon his contract with Micah. He then departed from the house of Micah and went with them as they plundered a quiet and secure people. The children of the judge (Dan) smote the defenseless people of Laish with the edge of the sword and burnt the city. These people had no business with other men and being far from Zidon in the valley of the ‘house of open place’ (Beth-Rehob) there was no deliverer who could protect them from the house of Dan. Thus from Mt. Ephraim, the city of Dan was built and supplied from the beginning with graven images from the house of Micah; “but the house of God was in Shiloh” (18:31).
“And it came to pass, when no king in Israel” that a certain Levite sojourned on the side of Mt. Ephraim with his concubine from Bethlehem-judah. This woman cohabited with this certain Levite until such time as she began to engage in elicited sexual activity and “went from him unto her father’s house to Bethlehem-judah and was there four whole months” (Jud. 19:2). The Levite, being not legally bound unto the woman, pursued her to her father’s house and spoke kindly unto her. She received his overtures and brought him into her father’s house which made her father rejoice. After many days they left together “and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem”. His servant implored him to find shelter in the city of the Jebusites but the Levite would not dwell in a place that was not of the children of Israel; “And they passed on and went their way and the sun went down upon them by Gibeah of Ben-jamin”.
“And behold there came an old man from his work out of the field at even which was also of Mt. Ephraim”. He came upon the Levite and his company, provided both straw and provender for the animals and took them into his house. However, what happen that night would be a stain upon Israel for many years. The men of Gibeah, being certain sons of Belial, sought to become carnally acquainted with the Levite. The old man offered up his daughter and the concubine but the men desired to humble the man in a vile manner. When the Levite would not come out the men took the concubine and raped her to death, leaving her on the doorstep of the old man’s house. The Levite, having saved himself, then took a knife and divided this woman into twelve pieces sending her into all the coasts of Israel; “And it was so that all that saw it said, there was no such deed done nor seen from the day the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt, unto this day: consider of it, take advice and speak” (19:30).
The children of Israel, the people chosen from amongst all the people of the world wherein God made Himself known was a people of idolatry, adultery, fornication and murder, just like any other son of Adam. The first-born of Adam (Cain) killed his brother because God would not receive the works of his hands. The first-born of Israel (Ephraim) “is not hid from Me for now Ephraim commits whoredoms and Israel is defiled” (Hos. 5:3).
“But King Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, Hittites; of the nations which Yehovah said unto the children of Israel, You shall not go in unto them, neither shall they come in unto you: surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods; and Solomon clave unto these in love” (I Kings 11:1)
God told Moses from the beginning that the nation of Israel was a stiff-necked and rebellious people. He knew of their inability to receive the things of the Spirit because He created the natural man that way. He ordained that they should be a rebellious people to demonstrate that the nature of the flesh is neither content nor thankful and when the fullness of time was come, the people revolted against God and demanded that they be like the other nations. It was not enough that the God of the universe had set His attentions upon this nation of people to show forth His love, longsuffering and mercy for the heart of man is filled with the cares of this world. In spite of numerous supernatural occurrences performed by the hand of God in plain view of the people, the children of Israel could not believe the truth, nor turn from their wicked ways and trust in Yehovah God. Thus they demanded a king.
The promise of Samuel to the people was that if they returned from their idolatry and served Yehovah God with all their hearts, He would protect them and deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. The people gave outward allegiance to this by temporarily putting away their graven images made unto Baalim and Ashteroth and serving God in the manner of the Law. But this was a people who drew nigh with their lips while their hearts were far from God. Yet God delivered them in demonstration of His presence, His love for this people and His faithfulness as Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
Soon after, however, the true nature of Adam was again manifested as the people came to Samuel and demanded that he “make us a king like all the nations” (I Sam. 8:5). This sorely displeased Samuel yet God has decreed to give the people their requests of their hearts but sent leanness into their souls (Ps. 106:15). Saul (desire) became the king over Israel and for forty years he reigned as the people’s choice. He was not a child of the Kingdom and when the time of his earthly habitation was concluded and he had accomplished all the labour that God had assigned unto him, his life ended and David (Beloved) was made king over Israel.
This was not because the people had seen the errors of their ways and repented before God, for Israel was not joined unto David. Upon the death of Saul and Jonathan, Abner, the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, and made him king. He ruled over Gilead, Ashur, Jezreel and over Ephraim and Benjamin and over Israel. He was forty years old when he began to reign and her reigned two years over Israel (II Sam. 2:8) as the house of the first-born of Israel was drawn out after the desire of the people rather than the anointed king of God. The fact that the prophet Samuel had anointed David was immaterial to the sons of Ephraim as were the victories which David had won and the prosperity of the nation under him. They could not see the house of Saul languishing and growing weak, or the house of David growing stronger. Thus the type is represented of the outer man, whose delights and cares are after the needs of the flesh is perishing while the inner man, the Beloved of Yehovah, is renewed daily.
David reigned forty years over Israel and he subdued all the enemies of the Lord. Yehovah gave him the victory over the nations and all his foes were placed under his feet. This was the type of the heavenly reality of He who came forth, riding the white horse, conquering and to conquer. As David kept the commandments of God with his whole heart, being the new heart of flesh not the heart of stone of the natural man, he represented the Beloved whose name is Faithful and Truth. He was given the charge of God to keep His commandments in justice and truth and to walk before the Lord in all the statutes. The man David failed continually as his Adamic nature was openly manifested but the child of grace, born of the incorruptible seed, was faithful. The Beloved Son was given this same charge and in the fullness of time He manifested that He continually walked blameless before the Father, for He could not deny Himself. He was not of the corruption of the flesh, being made flesh by the power of God, and being the fullness of the Godhead bodily, He and the father are One.
David was strengthened in the power of Yehovah when he slew Goliath of Gath but the fallacies of the flesh were amply displayed as the dictates of circumstance came upon him. He made a covenant with Jonathan for the love which knit their hearts together as one and then played the fool in an antic disposition as he fled from King Saul. David brought forth his band of men unto Abi-melech the priest who gave them the shew bread and Goliath’s sword but then changed his behaviour before Achish when he was caught in his lies and deception. The presence of the two seeds may be seen in the actions of this one who was a man after God’s own heart according to the inner man and the despicable actions of a wretched man of Edom/Adam who was carnal sold under sin. The one is of the earth and cannot cease from sin and the other is of the Spirit and cannot fall short of the glory of God for; “whosoever is born of God does not commit sin for His seed remains in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God” (I John3:9).
Messiah came forth and partook of flesh and blood in the body prepared for Him. He is the first Adam and though He was found in fashion as a man yet the power of God overshadowed Him. His mind was not filled with the things of this world as is the sons of Adam (Ecc. 3:11) for He came to do the will of He who sent Him. He was made like unto a servant in the likeness of sinful man but the sin of Adam was not upon Him for He stood as the perfect sacrifice for sin before Adam was created. He took upon Himself the sin of Adam in His people before His people became partakers of flesh and blood lest the Holy seed should come in contact with the sinful flesh and be made unholy; “Then said Chaggai (the feast day), If unclean by a dead body touch any of these shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean” (Hag. 2:13). Thus the earthen vessel was afore prepared.
Thus the perfect sacrifice for sin was Holy and without spot before sin entered into the world and death by sin. The sin of Adam was cleansed for the elections according to grace before they were planted in the corrupted ground of mortality prepared for them (every man in his order) and the creature made subject to vanity. The sin, which entered into the world by the action of one, was already covered and forgiven before Adam was formed from the dust of the ground for a fit man, the Son of Man, took it into the uninhabited wilderness; “and the goat (untamed) shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness” (Lev. 16:21).
The seed is protected and preserved in the Anointed for they have eternal life howbeit they should be tried in the furnace of affliction for a time. Time and chance happen to the outward man as he lives out the finite time of his habitation. His works are consumed by the fire for his life is but a vapour (James 4:14). The flesh could never inherit the Kingdom of God because Adam was formed from the dust of the earth and the Kingdom is not of this world. The seed was never in jeopardy of hell or damnation because of the eternal love of the Father and the shed blood of the Lamb “For I Yehovah do not change, therefore the sons of Jacob (the children of promise) are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6).
“Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth, be strong therefore and shew yourself a man. Keep the charge of Yehovah your God, to walk in His ways to keep His statutes and His commandments and His judgments and His testimonies as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you my prosper in all that you do and whithersoever you turn:” (I Kings 2:1).
Solomon was a man of less than honourable beginnings. His mother had an elicit sexual encounter with the king who had her husband murdered so he could take her to wife. His older brother died by the hand of God for the sin of his father and mother. He was not the proper heir to the throne by any protraction of the law or stretch of the imagination and he was certainly not the people’s choice. As King David was dying in his bed, his son, Adoni-jah, assumed the throne and proclaimed himself king. He invited the right people and, excluding those of the opposing party, he prepared a great feast and exalted himself. He organized a magnificent procession of chariots and horsemen with fifty men to run before him and began to make preparations for his administration. Conferring with Joab, captain of David’s army, and Abi-athar the priest, he slew the sheep and oxen and fatted cattle by the stone of Zoheleth for his inaugural ball. He called all the king’s sons and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants to come and celebrate the new king but this was short lived.
David, in response to a pre-arranged charade, produced and performed by Bath-sheba, Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet, proclaimed Solomon his successor. His father gave him the charge as he was anointed by the ‘righteous’ priest. Then, riding upon David’s own mule as a sign of royal approval, he came and took his rightful place on the throne of David. When news of this came to Adoni-jah, he left his friends and followers and departed from the banquet to lay hold upon the horns of the altar in the Temple. Here he desired sanctuary and protection from Solomon, who sought no vengeance upon him. When he petitioned Bath-sheba for an audience before Solomon, Adoni-jah said unto her; “You know that the kingdom was mine, and all Israel set their faces on me that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about and is become my brother’s for it was his from Yehovah” (I Kings 2:15). His audience was not granted but his petition was heard of Solomon. But Adoni-jah’s request and Bath-sheba intervention were refused as Ben-aiah the son of Je-hoiada was dispatched and Adoni-jah was slain. Thus Solomon became King over Israel.
The commission of Yehovah was again given to Solomon as God appeared unto him in a dream. He told Solomon to “ask what I shall give you” and Solomon’s reply pleased Yehovah. Not as though Yehovah God had laid a decision before Solomon which He had not ordained or that the whole of creation was held in check as the hosts of heaven waited anxiously to hear what this man may choose. Indeed God had laid this before His servant to prove him and show forth the truth within and so Solomon said; “give Your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil: for who is able to judge this, so great, Your people?” (I Kings 3).
Almighty God not only granted the request of the King but He also ordained that he should have greater wisdom than any other man. He was to be abundantly rich and have the honour and respect of the nations. These blessings were the necessary tools for the performance of the extensive and wondrous labours which Solomon was to accomplish. It was his to build the Temple of Yehovah and to rule over the kingdom of Israel at the height of her existence. The enemies of the Lord were subdued by the hand of David and there was peace in the land as the territorial boundaries, established and promised by God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were realized. The realization of the fullness of the promise was a testimony to the height, depth, length and breadth of the grace and love of the Lord God of Israel; “there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, who keeps covenant and mercy with Your servants that walk before You with all their heart: who has kept with Your servant David, my father, that which You promised him, which You spake with Your mouth and have fulfilled with Your hand this day” (8:23).
The commission as given by David was confirmed in the dream and manifested in time not because Solomon was faithful for in Adam there is none righteous no not one. David was after the heart of Yehovah (I Sam. 13:14) because he was a child of grace born of the Spirit. He was a child of grace, in whom Yehovah had removed the rebellion and stubbornness of Adam (heart of stone) and given him an heart of flesh wherein God had written His Law. The Breath of God (Spirit), which is the life of His children, dwelt in David in the inward man causing him to walk according to His commandments and keep His statutes. Herein David was made willing in the day of the power of God unto salvation having his affections set on things from above “and Yehovah has commanded him to be captain over His people”.
Certainly no praise is due unto David, the son of Jessie, for his antics demonstrate of the corruption and vileness of the seed of Adam. He was assigned the labours in Adam to be manifested in the flesh which demonstrated the incompetence and stupidity of man as the will of God unfolded. But David was also created in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah unto good works which are not after the initiatives of man or the power of the arm of the flesh. Thus David walked before Yehovah all the days of his life in testimony of the finished work in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah and kept His commandments.
Solomon was given this same commission through the dream from God that he was given from the mouth of his father that in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall all things be established (Deut. 19:15). He was taught by the Breath of Yehovah through the communion of faith unto faith the end of the whole matter; that ‘the reverent fear of Almighty God and the keeping of His commandments applies to every man’ (Ecc. 12:13). Unto those in whom the power of God does not reside, being of the seed of the wicked one in a vessel outfitted for destruction, this commission is the testimony of condemnation; “he that believes on Him is not condemned but he that does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). The seed of Adam, being the natural man, cannot receive the things of the Breath of God; therefore this commission is foolishness unto him; “and the foolishness of man perverts his way and his heart is perplexed before Yehovah” (Prov. 19:3).
But unto the child of the Israel of our God this commission is the way wherein they walk. It is the light of Yehovah and His Lamb wherein the redeemed live, without the slightest possibility of failure or deviation. The steps of the righteous are ordained of God “and I will put My Spirit (Breath) within you causing you to walk in My statutes and you shall keep My judgments and do” (Ezek. 36:27). Unto these this commission is not a list of do’s and don’ts, of admonitions and exhortations unto a moral life. It is not an instruction manual as to how to live a victorious ‘christian’ life, be happy in ‘jesus’ or take dominion over your sin. None who are born of God can fall short of the glory of God; therefore by nature, through the actions of the inner man wherein they delight after the Law of God, the children of Zion, city of our God, love Yehovah their God with all their hearts and with all their soul and with all their might and they love the fellow companions of the pasture (neighbours) as they love themselves (Mk 12:29).
Solomon as the type of Messiah kept the Law in perfect righteousness and His people dwelt in the land of their inheritance in perfect peace and complete harmony (obviously not this terra firma!). Solomon, as a child of grace, could not deny His Father in heaven nor reject the divine nature in him; therefore being justified by faith he had peace with God who works all things together for good to them that love Him, to the called, according to His purpose. But Solomon, the son of Adam, could not measure up to the standard of the perfect holiness of Yehovah God and being drawn away after the desires of the flesh, he followed after the course of this world.
“And I gave my heart to seek and search out, by wisdom, concerning all that is done under heaven: this is a sore travail which God has given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith…and I gave my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is a vexation of the spirit” (Ecc. 1:13 & 17)
When God spoke to Solomon in the dream, He instructed him to ask what he would of Him. Solomon asked for the wisdom to judge His people, which God gave unto him, and added unto this wise and understanding heart, riches and honour and possessions so that there was like unto him all the days of his life , neither after him “shall any arise like unto you” (I Kings 3:12). This gift completed the type of Solomon as the Prince of Peace who should be manifested in the end of time for in Him is the sum of all understanding, knowledge and wisdom. Messiah is the fullness of the Godhead bodily and the creator of all that is; for without Him was nothing made that was made. He is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us who alone is worthy “to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12) for He was slain for the sin of His people. He alone knows the hidden things and the secret sin of His people for He searches all hearts and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts (I Chr. 28:9). “The Word is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing point of bone and marrow and is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
Nothing may be hid from He who knows, sees and has ordained whatsoever comes to pass and this was typified in Solomon; “and all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged and they feared the king for they saw the wisdom of God in Him to do judgment” (I Kings 3:28). This wisdom and understanding of Solomon caused him to come to the conclusion that the world is full of labour and that labour is worthless. Nothing can add anything to God, increase His Holiness or improve the status of the fallen sons of Adam and still God has put the things of this world into the minds of Adam causing him to be drawn away after the cares and needs of the flesh. Thus Solomon set his heart to know what it was that made a man happy, content and gave him pleasure. He said in his heart, “go to now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure” (Ecc. 2:1).
The subjects which Solomon explored were extensive and his field studies were all inclusive which made his findings thoroughly conclusive. He gave his heart to know wine and great works. He laid hold on folly “till he might see what was that good for the sons of man, which they should do all the days of their lives”. He had elaborate gardens and groves; he gathered together silver and gold to build not only the Temple of Yehovah but also many other lavish dwellings. People and dignitaries came from all over the world to see his work and hear his wisdom, which never departed from him; “so I was great and increased more that all that were before me in Jerusalem, and whatsoever my eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy for my heart rejoiced in all my labour” (2:9ff).
It should therefore be of no surprise that Solomon also gave his heart and body, wholly, in the pursuit of carnal satisfaction and pleasure. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred female companions and still he gave the Queen of Sheba “all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty” (I Kings 10:13). He also became son-in-law to Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He took his daughter and brought her to the city of David, but he would not allow her to live in the city so he built Millo and there she dwelt.
These elaborate buildings and extensive renovations were very expensive and Solomon levied a tax upon all the children of the land whom Yehovah left among the children of Israel. Millo was one of these cities “and all the people who were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel, their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able to utterly destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bond service unto this day” (I Kings 9:20f). And so the tax dollars paid for the building of a city where Solomon had one of his wives. But not just any wife, for this marriage placed his political and family affiliation with the king of the people that had enslaved and oppressed Israel for four hundred years. (Talk about strange bed-fellows!)
Historically, this was also the place where Gideon and his men came to when they returned from defeating the Midianites; after they blew the trumpets and broke the clay pitchers and holding the torches in their left hand and the trumpets in their right hands, they blew the trumpets and cried, “The sword of Yehovah and of Gideon” (Judg. 7:20). But the men of Ephraim were offended that Gideon, who was instructed of Yehovah to thin his ranks before he went into battle, did not call upon them to go to war. The men of Ephraim felt that they had been slighted from the honour of this victory for as the first-born of Israel surely they should have been called and consulted.
It was also in this place where David built himself a fort when he began to reign. Forty years did he reign over Israel and he reigned over Judah for seven years in Hebron. When he was given to desire to take the city of Jebus, which is Jerusalem, the men of Jebus blasphemed his name and said; “except you take away the blind and the lame you shall not come in hither, thinking David could not come hither, but David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David” (II Sam. 5:6f). So David dwelt in the fort and called the city the city of David but the mound (Millo) was left out “for he built roundabout from Millo inward”. Thus the former king demonstrated his disdain for the mound but Solomon built it again for his pleasures.
Also Gezer, which was within the borders of the inheritance of Ephraim, was burnt to the ground by Pharaoh and given to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. This was the place where the Canaanites, which the tribe of Ephraim could not drive out, lived and served. The house of Ephraim did not take kindly to a foreign king coming into their back yard, burning a city to the ground and killing all the inhabitants; not to mention, giving the ‘portion’ (Gezer) he did not own to his daughter as a wedding present (I Kings 9:16).
“And Jeroboam, son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zereda, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king” (I Kings 11:26).
Many years had expired since Jacob told Joseph that Ephraim was to become a great people and his seed become a multitude of nations (Gen. 48:19) but now in the fullness of time, someone was given ‘pay attention’ to what was going on. Amidst all the improvements and splendour of Solomon’s Jerusalem and Israel, the ‘contention of the people’ (Jeroboam) was given ‘regard’ and ‘paying attention’ (Nebat) to the insults to the tribe of Ephraim.
He remembered well what Pharaoh did to the father of the tribe of Ephraim when he purged Egypt of the Hebrew influence and now Solomon was not only son-in-law but he built a city for this Egyptian woman. He knew how that his brethren were passed over in the mighty victory over the Midianites and although their anger was abated by Gideon at Millo, still he had no right to snub them. And he remembered well how that Millo was excluded by David from the fort and Jerusalem and now his son was bringing it right into the middle of their society and their culture. No doubt he also knew of the commandment of God by Moses concerning the taking of foreign woman to wife for indeed they would draw the king’s heart away from following Yehovah and that is exactly what happened; “for it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with Yehovah his God as the heart of his father David; for Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of Yehovah and did not follow fully after Yehovah as David his father. Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab in the hill before Jerusalem (probably Millo – the mound) and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon and likewise did he for all his strange wives which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods” (I Kings 114ff). So that there may even be a point of law here that Jeroboam was using as a reason for his opposition to the king but in conjunction with all the variables and the interweaving of all necessary ingredients, Jeroboam the Ephraimite, rose up against the king.
But this man was not an average Israelite who was upset with the direction of the government neither was he a political activist who was seeking to overthrow the administration nor a lobbyist trying to sway public or political opinion. There is no record of his involvement in any military campaigns or even of him being a part of the military or Para-military organizations in Israel but Jeroboam was “a mighty man of valour; and Solomon seeing that the young man was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph”. He was gifted with strength, efficiency and courage yet until the appointed hour, he was not noticed or recommended by any one. God had so moved the heart of the King to recognize this young man and his potential, so Solomon made him a part of his social programs in the country; Solomon gave him what could be considered a cabinet position!
He had no inclination of the course of the path which God had ordained for this man but as a fellow Israelite who was esteemed to be beneficial to the agenda he was given the burden of attending to the affairs of the house of Joseph, which included the houses of Manasseh and Ephraim and all lands and possessions pertaining thereunto. Yehovah God, who had blessed the king with greater wisdom than anyone on the earth, caused this young man, Jeroboam to be hid from the insight and intuition of Solomon. All the wisdom in the world could not see this one coming for it was ordained from the foundation of the world and no man can stay the hand of the Lord God Omnipotent who lives and reigns over all. The King of Glory ordained and brought to pass in the fullness of time, Jeroboam; the man who would lead the rebellion against Solomon’s son and divide the kingdom of Israel.
Nothing in the promise spoke to the house of Ephraim as being the ruling house, this man was a ‘nobody’ in politics and society and his mother was a servant who had a disfiguration or disease in the flesh, maybe leprosy (Zeruah). He was not the handsome ‘Adonis’ that Saul was to the people. He was not the warrior leader that David was and he did not possess the wisdom, wealth or influence of Solomon. He was not the desire of the people, or the champion for Israel or the glory of the nation and yet;
“it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahi-jah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself in a new garment and they two alone in the field. And Ahi-jah caught the new garment on him and rent it in twelve pieces and said unto Jeroboam, Take ten pieces for thus said Yehovah the God of Israel, Behold I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you” (I Kings 11:29ff).
(Lord willing, to be continued!)
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
January 16, 2017
The Banner of Hope
Volume 11, No. 1