~1452 BC – 1322 BC: Moses, Jacob’s great-great-grandson, contemporary with Joseph
Key Precept: Melchizedek Moses of the Hebrew nation led the multi-ethnic nation of Hebrews out of Egypt.Stepping stone on the path to eternal life: Know what nation you belong to.
‘God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses…I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob…I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land…Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me…I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt…Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt…and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go…that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. (Exodus 3)
The Exodus has reverberated through world history”, and is such a significant biblical event, perhaps second only to creation, that it is as vehemently denied by Bible critics as creation itself. Many theories have been advanced to explain the composition of the first five books of the Bible, but two have been especially influential. The first of these, Persian Imperial authorisation, advanced by Peter Frei in 1985, holds that the Persian authorities required the Jews of Jerusalem to present a single body of law as the price of local autonomy. Frei’s theory was demolished at an interdisciplinary symposium held in 2000, but the relationship between the Persian authorities and Jerusalem remains a crucial question. The second theory, associated with Joel P. Weinberg and called the “Citizen-Temple Community”, proposes that the Exodus story was composed to serve the needs of a post-exilic Jewish community organised around the Temple, which acted in effect as a bank for those who belonged to it. The books containing the Exodus story served as an “identity card” defining who belonged to this community (i.e., to Israel), thus reinforcing Israel’s unity through its new institutions.Wow. And what reinforced Israel’s unity in the thousand years or so before this “myth” was invented? There is no question that belief in the Exodus requires faith in the God and “his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…upholding all things by the word of his power” (Letter to the Hebrews 1:1-3), including controlling the triggering, timing and intensity of what could very likely have been a cascade of natural events comprising the plagues on Egypt. But the written record provides hermeneutical verification of the claims made. I put to you that it requires more of what is called faith, but is actually uninformed biased opinion, to believe in god-less speculations
- by a person living about 3,500 years after the events he pretends to know more about than people who lived during the time in question,
- whose purpose in proposing it is to discredit a faith in existence for at least 1,000 years prior to the supposed creation of a justification for their faith, and
- whose means of discrediting this faith is to call their religious leaders gross liars,
The Hebrew people are the source of a unique but vital contribution to our Western heritage…it is the treasure of sacred literature which constitutes the Hebrew legacy. [Emphasis added.] The tradition of a monotheistic religion upon which Christianity would build and out of which the modern world would emerge, has arguably served as the wellspring of Western civilization. Monotheism (the belief that God is one) set the Hebrews apart from the other ancient Near Eastern civilizations. [Emphasis added.] Their monotheism contributed to their understanding of nature as a creation of the transcendent, sovereign, and just God, who made ethical demands of human beings based on His own moral rectitude…The Hebrew belief that each individual was equal before the law became a fundamental notion in Western culture, establishing for the first time the greater worth of the human person over physical property.In fact, it is only as heirs of Abraham the Hebrew, I.e. as people who walk in the faith of Abraham the Hebrew and his works proving his faith, that the nation of Israel has any claim to occupation of the land promised to Abraham the Hebrew.
“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram…Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15:1-7)
“and thou shalt be a father of many nations…
- And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
- And I will give unto thee, and to thy [chosen, not all] seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised…it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you…And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people / nation of Israel; he hath broken my covenant [of land ownership, not salvation].” (Genesis 17:4-14)
“faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness…when he was… in uncircumcision…that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.” (Roman 4:9-12)As detailed in the post Father Abraham, Abraham’s Hebrew nation, like America, was always a haven for the peoples seeking freedom from oppression and want. While Abraham and his small household lived out this promise on a small scale, it exploded on the world scene about 400 years later during the Exodus of the Hebrew people from the oppressive Egyptian Empire. As discussed in more detail in the posts Melchizedek and Father Abraham, the first covenant God establishes with Abraham in the Hebrew nation is the fundamental Melchizekian covenant to bless all the families of the world by defeating the Evil King of sin and death and retaking dominion over the earth by God’s righteous priest-king. The terms of inheritance are clearly stated at this point in history to be passed in a line of descent through Isaac rather than Ishmael. This is commonly considered to reference the later nation of Israel, but it does not. Isaac was a member of the Hebrew nation. He had a certain amount of control, and intended to pass the inheritance of this covenant to Esau. This Melchizedekian covenant predates the establishment of the Abraham’s offspring nation of Israel and remains in the purview of Israel’s parent nation, Abraham’s Hebrews. Paul goes to great lengths to prove that Abraham’s Hebrew identity supercedes that of his future offspring, the Israelite nation.
“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?…what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness…Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works…How was it then reckoned? when he was in…uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised…For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:1-13)Unlike mainstream Christianity which only treats Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph as types of Christ / Messiah / the Promised Seed, scripture presents these human offspring of the Woman as actual Christs / Promised Seeds in an unbroken line of descent from the Adams as the order of Melchizedek in the post-flood Hebrew nation. Don’t let the close focus theological conclusions of Paul’s arguments in the 1st century AD blur your awareness of the long range background proofs.
“He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one [heir]…In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is…the children [this must be grand-, greatgrand-, etc. in a line of descent] of God [are] the children [plural] of the [originating] promise…the [singular] seed [of the woman]. (Romans 9:7-8)Most regretfully, by the time most Bible studies leave the book of Genesis and advance to Exodus, the very concept of the foundational Hebrew nation led by Melchizedek is forgotten in the focus on the offspring nation of Israel. Following the posts on Melchizedek and Father Abraham, this post keeps the focus on the world-wide Hebrew nation led by Melchizedek. All of Abraham’s many nations branched off from his root Hebrew nation. Jacob is only the most well known founder of an Abrahamic nation. Other Abrahamic nations described in scripture derive from Ishmael, Midian, and Esau, as well as, technically, Lot’s descendants the Moabites and Ammonites. The social sciences concur with the biblical record of a population explosion at this time in history following the close extinction of humanity from the flood. As these nations migrated in search of living space, they naturally split into subsidiary nations. A parallel would be the nations of America, Canada, and Australia being rooted in England which has its roots in continental Angles and Saxons which are more ancient Germanic tribes. We all share a common language, culture, and historic roots. Distance is just one factor in separating offspring nations. Just as America rebelled against England’s control, so Lot, Ishmael, Esau, and other nations descended from Abraham separated themselves to live on their own terms. This may be understood not just as separating themselves from Abraham’s authority, but from the ultimate source of his power and authority – the God of the Hebrews. But not necessarily. Lot is a good example.
“God…spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness…And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes…delivered just Lot…that righteous man…The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.” (II Peter 2:4-9)Scripture documents the rapid growth of Abraham’s offspring nations, all of whom had a head start on Jacob. Even with four wives and twelve sons Jacob’s family had grown to only 70 direct descendants at the time they entered Egypt. We need to understand that a nation of Israel did not exist until over a hundred years after Jacob died, when it was established at Mount Sinai. In the meantime, Jacob and his descendants, as well as any others who chose to do so, continued to be identified under the religious umbrella of Priest-King / Melchizedek’s multiethnic one nation under God.
“And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar…an Egyptian, bought him…And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. [Obviously the LORD is known as the God of the Hebrews to this Egyptian.]…And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife…called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; ” (Gen 39:1-14We need to keep Jacob’s Hebrew national background in view as the story line narrows its focus from the whole world at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 to Abraham’s seed from Genesis 12 onward, without altering its theme and main plot which is to restore spiritual life and dominion over the earth to people from ALL nations of mankind. Joseph inherited the position of Melchizedek over the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth upon the death of his father Jacob. He was 57 year old and had trained for 27 years as Prime Minister of the world-wide Gentile empire. We know the timeline because Scripture explicitly, and seemingly randomly, states that Joseph became Prime Minister at the age of 30, then gives us other data regarding Jacob’s death that we can apply to Joseph’s timeline. This numerical data is not extraneous, and shouldn’t be overlooked. As in scientific research, or a mortgage application, numerical data answers questions, i.e. “reveals mysteries” about important activities like COVID resurgence or erratic employment. So let’s collect this subtle but highly significant background information as we track the Hebrew Melchizedek ruling from international Egypt back to the land formerly known as the land of the Hebrews but currently overrun by the Canaanites.
“and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. and came into Egypt,
- Jacob, and all his seed with him:
- His sons, and his daughters, 1st generation
- his sons’ sons and his sons’ daughters” 2nd generation
All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six; And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls [Ephraim and Manasseh]: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten (70).” (Genesis 46:5-7, 26-27)Note that the text makes a point that Jacob’s grandchildren, i.e. his 2nd generation, entered Egypt. It further makes the point that Joseph, from Jacob’s 1st generation, was still alive to see his own 3rd generation, i.e. Jacob’s 4th generation. Using 30 years as the age of reaching adulthood, therefore an approximate “generation“, we can calculate a rough estimate of 60 years for these two generations born in Egypt after the 2nd generation entered Egypt. I’ve rearranged the text slightly without changing the wording to create a database out of the narrative.
- “And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father’s house: and Joseph lived 110 years. And Joseph saw
- Ephraim and Manasseh [born before Joseph was 37 yrs old]
- Ephraim’s children and Machir the son of Manasseh [born before Joseph was 67 yrs old
- Ephraim’s children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh [born before Joseph was 97 years old]. (Genesis 50:22-23)
- “the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years. And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations,
- Gershon, Merari and Kohath [entered Egypt]: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years. And the sons of Kohath;
- Izhar, Hebron, Uzziel and Amram: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years. And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him
- Aaron and Moses: [fourth generation of Jacob / Israel]. (Exodus 6)
“And Joseph said unto his brethren…God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old.” (Genesis 50:24-26)There is a good reason why Jacob’s body was taken shortly after his death for burial in the promised land but Joseph’s burial could wait until the entire group left for good. Joseph knew that he was relaying the promise of occupying the promised land to the very generation to whom this promise applied.
“And he (the LORD) said unto Abram,
- Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs,
- and shall serve them;
- and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
- And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge:
- and afterward shall they come out with great substance…
- in the fourth generation they shall come hither again” (Genesis 15:13-16)
- “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel,
- who dwelt in Egypt,
- was four hundred and thirty years.
And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. ” (Exodus 12:40-41)Note that this passage states two separate sets of circumstances, reported as phrases separated by commas, that are improperly combined into one set of circumstances by the short analysis. Read closely – the sojourning of the children of Israel was 430 years. So-journ includes the root of the word “journ-ey” in our English translation, providing the sense of being on the move, temporary. Think gypsy lifestyle – traveler.
“By faith Abraham…sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:” (Hebrews 11:8-9)They also dwelt in Egypt for an unspecified period of time. This word denotes the completely opposite condition, that of being settled in place. This was well expressed when the children of Israel moved to Egypt.
“Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan…For to SOJOURN in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying… [in essence, No! No! Don’t wander seeking pasture!] in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to DWELL; in the land of Goshen let them DWELL…” (Genesis 47:4-6)More significantly than residing in tents or caravans vs houses in cities, a sojourner is an alien without the rights of a citizen or member of society to protection when “afflicted”. The children of Israel were not afflicted in Egypt when they first came in “to dwell”, they had the highest law of the land looking out for their welfare. It was only later in Egypt, and previously in every other country where they “sojourned” including Haran and the land of Canaan, that they were afflicted.
“And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, And said unto them, I see your father’s countenance, that it is not toward me as before;…And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times…And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him…Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money…And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that…he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead [high ground in anticipation of a battle for his life and slavery for his wives and children].
And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled. And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him…and they overtook him…and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead. [Battle formation.] And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done…thou hast now done foolishly in so doing. It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt. (Genesis 31)Shake off your casual assumptions of what Laban’s “hurt” could be! He owned Jacob and his family. They were escaped slaves! Laban could make examples of them with utter impunity, like the infamous Simon Legree in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s incendiary novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This character represented all the evils of slavery in the American South, and strengthened the resolve of Abolitionists to go to war if necessary to end slavery. And don’t you see that’s exactly what Jacob was willing to do.
Legree can torture and murder his slaves. He can refuse to let them practice their religion. He can keep them half-starved. He can buy fifteen-year-old Emmeline and use her as a sex slave…it did happen to Cassy… Stowe wants her reader to feel alarmed at even the possibility that someone like Legree could rule men, women, and children with impunity…Stowe’s 19th century reader may be asking, “Well, how bad could slavery possibly be?” Simon Legree is the answer. In other words, unbelievably, horrifyingly bad…After God delivers Jacob from that battle, he has to face yet another.
“And Jacob sent messengers before him…saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; I have sojourned with Laban…
Thy servant Jacob saith…I have sent…that I may find grace in thy sight…a present…200 she goats, and 20 he goats, 200 ewes, and 20 rams, 30 milch camels with their colts, 40 kine, and 10 bulls, 20 she asses, and 10 foal…it is a present sent unto my lord Esau…” (Genesis 32)Jacob was rightly groveling as he asked permission to sojourn with Esau. As long as Isaac was alive, which he was at this time, Jacob had no claim to the inheritance he had stolen from Esau. He was indeed a thief, and by the lawlessness of the day – “Might makes Right” – just cited by Laban, Esau was entitled to retribution through the power of his men. And did you really think God approved of the way Jacob went about obtaining possession of the land, regardless of God’s intention for him to have it in the end? The ends don’t justify the means in God’s book. There were consequences, and Jacob’s hardships were brought on by his own actions, requiring God’s chastening to transform him into the likeness of The Promised Seed / Messiah / Christ. And don’t let cultural incompetence mislead you into thinking that Jacob‘s “present” was for ”making up after a fight”, like a husband with flowers. In a political context, a present from one leader to another is an acknowledgement of the other’s higher authority, along with bowing and kissing, and the right to impose tribute on subjugated peoples, or customs duty on travelers seeking to profit from enterprises within their territory.
In the following text, Herodotus of Halicarnassus [the Father of History] tells us how Darius organized the Persian empire in tax districts or satrapies. The reliefs of Persepolis show how the subject people mentioned below bring their tribute… A few peoples upon whom no regular tax was imposed made a contribution in the form of gifts; the Nubians, for instance, on the Egyptian border […] Every second year these two nations brought – and still bring to-day about two quarts of unrefined gold, two hundred logs of ebony, and twenty elephant tusks…Lastly, the Arabs brought a thousand talents – about twenty-five and a half tons – of frankincense every year. This, then, was the revenue which the king received over and above what was produced by regular taxation.The Book of Jasher, which if not accepted as 100% spiritually accurate, at least has historical cultural relevance. This gives credible accounts of battles between the children of Israel and the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, supporting the prediction of years of affliction to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This actually is a good thing in that God’s people draw closer to him when we are desperate, and there’s no better witness of God’s ability to save than eyewitness examples.
…Jashub king of Tapnach...sent to all the kings of the Amorites that surrounded Shechem and Tapnach, saying, Go up with me and assist me, and we will smite Jacob the Hebrew and all his sons, and destroy them from the earth, for thus did he do to the city of Shechem, and do you not know of it? And the seven kings of the Amorites assembled with all their armies, about ten thousand men with drawn swords, and they came to fight against the sons of Jacob; And Jacob exclaimed against Simeon and Levi, saying, What is this act that you did?…And Judah answered his father, saying, Was it for naught my brothers Simeon and Levi killed all the inhabitants of Shechem? Surely it was because Shechem had humbled our sister, and transgressed the command of our God to Noah and his children, for Shechem took our sister away by force, and committed adultery with her… And Judah said unto Simeon and Levi, and unto all his brothers, Strengthen yourselves and be sons of valor, for the Lord our God is with us, do not fear them. Stand forth each man, girt with his weapons of war, his bow and his sword, and we will go and fight against these uncircumcised men; the Lord is our God, He will save us… [You do realize that Judah had his grandfather Abraham’s example to follow, and that Judah’s descendant David, as do millions of schoolboys for thousands of years, shaped his character and behavior on heroic stories like these.] And all the kings of the Amorites came…to consult with their counsellors what was to be done with the sons of Jacob, for they were still afraid of them, saying, Behold, two of them slew the whole of the city of Shechem. And the Lord heard the prayers of Isaac and Jacob, and he filled the hearts of all these kings’ advisers with great fear and terror that they unanimously exclaimed…Surely you know that their God is exceedingly fond of them, and has done mighty things for them, such as have not been done from days of old, and amongst all the gods of nations, there is none can do like unto his mighty deeds… Surely he delivered their father Abraham, the Hebrew, from the hand of Nimrod, and from the hand of all his people who had many times sought to slay him… And…behold, we ourselves saw with our eyes that Esau, the brother of Jacob, came to him with four hundred men, with the intention of slaying him, for he called to mind that he had taken away from him his father’s blessing…and who delivered him from his hands but his God in whom he trusted? he delivered him from the hand of his brother and also from the hands of his enemies, and surely he again will protect them… Surely you know and understand that you do not come to fight with them, but you come to war with their God who made choice of them, and you have therefore all come this day to be destroyed. And when the kings of the Amorites heard all the words of their advisers, their hearts were filled with terror, and they were afraid of the sons of Jacob and would not fight against them.Rather than substantiating the short analysis’ misreading of Exodus 12:41, the Galatians’ passage firmly places the start date of the 430 years back to Abram, not the entering of Jacob’s family into Egypt.
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made [one of which was granting possession of the land inhabited by the Canaanites in Abraham’s day.]…And this I say, that
- the covenant / commitment / promise, that was confirmed [to Abram] before of God in Christ [the Promised Seed]
- the law [to Moses], which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect…God gave it to Abraham by promise.” (Galatians 3:16-18)
“And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives…When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him…But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them.” (Exodus 1:15-17)
“And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months [obviously because she was a Hebrew woman]. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.
And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river [Moses’ mom probably put him in the river during the optimal time to catch the eye of a powerful maternal ally – during a religious ritual such as those in India]…she saw the ark among the flags…when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said,
- This is one of the Hebrews’ children.
- Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women…And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Go….and he became her son. And she called his name Moses…Because I drew him out of the water. [Major forshadowing here for Moses’ most famous action of leading the Exodus on dry land through the sea!]
- when Moses was grown…he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.” (Exodus 2:1-12)
“Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian…Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them [one against many!], and watered their flock. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said…why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread. And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.” (Exodus 2:16-21)De ja vu of Jacob watering Laban’s flock! Bear in mind that what is also repeated is that when Moses joined Reuel’s household, Reuel had complete authority over him, just as Laban had over Jacob. And Reuel giving his daughter in marriage to Moses should be recognized as the standard practice for royal rewards for exceptional service on behalf of the kingdom, just like Pharaoh rewarded Joseph through marriage to a priest’s daughter. This would not have been simply for helping his daughters water the flock, it would have been for Moses’ efforts to rescue Reuel’s fellow Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. Unlike the pagan priest Laban who had a self-serving agenda of enlarging his household and increasing his wealth through enslaving Jacob, this priest of Midian is clarified to be a righteous Melchizedekian priest in his ancestor Abraham’s godly Hebrew nation. His name Reu-el, which means “friend of God,” This is an honorary title only bestowed previously on Abraham, then later also on believers in the Son of God.
“Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings?…I the LORD, the first, and with the last…Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isa 41:2-10)
“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you.” (John 15:14-16)Once we recognize that Reuel is an Hebrew priest in the order of Melchizedek, we should better understand his leading role in transforming Moses from an impetuous Egyptian prince into the world’s greatest religious leader apart from the Jesus Christ himself. Jethro’s involvement in the formation of the Israelite government at Mount Sinai is a direct outgrowth of the calling and purpose of the Hebrew nation, which is to preserve and propagate the knowledge of the one true God to all the earth. Moses’ father-in-law Jethro is also identified as “the Kenite.” The significance of this seemingly insignificant confusion of names and identities is that the Kenites were a cursed nation aligned with monstrously wicked nations.
“the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: [taking it from] The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” (Genesis 15:18-21)
“Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city…Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever…the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.” (Numbers 24:19-22)Apparently Jethro, like the Amorite brothers Mamre, Eshcol, Aner who were confederate with Abram, and like Abram himself, repudiated his nation of origin to join the Hebrews under the rule of their God YHVH and consequently shared their blessings. Like Moses’ identity with the children of Israel, Jethro’s identity with the tribe of Midian must indicate that Midian was the clan of the multi-clan Hebrew nation that Jethro had left the Kenites to join. It would appear that the persistent reference to the Kenites throughout scripture is a reminder of the option for any individual to join God’s kingdom.
“And Moses said unto [his brother-in-law] Hobab the son of Raguel/ Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel…the children of the Kenite, Moses’ father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.” (Numbers 10:29-32)
“the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.” (I Chronicles 2:55)
“The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD…Go unto the house of the Rechabites…bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink…And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers…Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered…Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you…Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.” (Jeremiah 35)What should really pique our interest Moses’ father-in-law the Kenite – Midianite – Hebrew is how much authority he continued to have over Moses after Moses was leading 9 million people camped out at Mount Sinai. I’m not going to sidetrack from the main topic other than to mention in passing that it is not inconceivable that as a descendant of Abraham he is the interim high priest in the order of Melchizedek during Moses’ hiatus from society. Jethro’s close relationship with God can be deduced by his
- authority over Moses despite Moses being “instead of God“,
- Like Melchizedek Shem for Abraham after the slaughter of the kings, hosting of a sacrifice attended by Moses,
- superior wisdom accepted by Moses
”When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father in law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt;
- Then Jethro, Moses’ father in law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back, And her two sons…Gershom…And Eliezer…And…came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God:
- Jethro rejected Moses’ filing for divorce and mediated restoration of his marriage as well as his high social standing, like Joseph in Egypt, through marriage to a priest’s daughter.
- And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him;
- Remember, this is a sign of acknowledging Jethro’s higher authority despite Moses being “instead of God“ to Pharaoh and his people.
- And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.
- And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.“ (Hebrews 7:7)
- And Jethro, Moses’ father in law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father in law before God.
- Despite being a visitor, Jethro hosts the ceremony, indicating that he, like Shem to Abraham, is the higher level priest interceding between God and man.
- And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?…The thing that thou doest is not good…Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee…provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge…So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.“ (Exodus 18)
- Jethro instructed Moses in such a godly way as to transform him from an impetuous brawler, then a potential cult leader, to a world political and religious leader whose fame, respect and influence endures through millennia even among unbelievers.
- “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
- “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3).
“The LORD reigneth…let the earth be moved…Moses…among his priests…” (Psalm 99:1-6)Moses was not a priest in the Levitical order. It hadn’t even been established when Moses represented the LORD God to the Egyptian international empire. The following passages in the New Testament letter to the Hebrews applies as much to Moses as it does to Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Yes, in this particular passage the writer is applying this to Jesus Christ in contrast to the Levitical priests, but that doesn’t mean he is the only person to whom this statement applies. Moses functioned as Priest-King before the Levitical priesthood was set up for the nation of Israel.
“consider how great this man was…he whose descent is not counted from [Levi]…blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better...it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec Shem there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment.” (Hebrews 7:4-15)
“the LORD…said…Aaron the Levite thy brother…shall be thy spokesman unto the people…and thou shalt be to him instead / Representative / Priest-King of God.” (Exodus 4:14-16)
“And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water. And he put upon him / Aaron the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith. And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim. And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the Lord commanded Moses. And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them. And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.” (Leviticus 8:6-12)
- Moses [as Higher Priest than the Israelite High Priest Arron] commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob…
- And he was king in Jeshurun…
- of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one…They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law: they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar. Bless, LORD, his substance, and accept the work of his hands;“ (Deuteronomy 33:1-11)
“God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said…I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham the Hebrew, the God of Isaac the Hebrew, and the God of Jacob the Hebrew. I have surely seen the affliction of my Hebrew people which are in Egypt…And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel [only one of Abraham’s many nations in the Hebrew federation of ethnicities with a unique promise of inheriting the land described above] is come unto me:
Come now therefore, and I will send thee…And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee as my representative / embassador / vicar / priest: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God [as a priest] upon this mountain…Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning…And thou shalt say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness. (Exodus 3)
“Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.” (Exodus 9:1, also verse 13, and 10:3)The text plainly states that the children of Israel did not become identified as a unique nation ruled by God until after the establishment of the Mosaic Covenant with God on Mount Sinai.
“And Moses and the priests the Levites spake unto all Israel, saying…O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt therefore
- obey the voice of the LORD thy God,
- and do his commandments and his statutes”(Deuteronomy 27:9-10)
“And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai…in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: So were all those that were numbered…603,550 (Numbers 1)And don’t forget to count the women, children and infirm. “Based on historical data, the adult population in a typical polity in the Middle Ages could support one fighting man for every 15 adults maximum.“ In terms of proportion of number of fighting men per extended family, this is realistic. So multiplying 600,000 x 15 we calculate a census of 9 million people. Now do you see why the numerical data is so important? But wait! This says the children of Israel, families, fathers. Pay attention to the numbers! Follow the chronology. During the Passover and three months into the Exodus the group was a mixed bag of nationalities who, for personal benefit, had fled the Egyptian empire led by its powerless gods and joined the Hebrew nation led by its unique God YHVH. Two years later there was a nation of Israel. We need to track what happened in between, starting at three months into the Exodus at Mount Sinai when God addresses the multi-ethnic Hebrew nation within which is contained the genetically and spiritually related nation of Israel. The Exodus from Egypt was simply one of many recorded occurrences of people trusting in YHVH to make a way for them to become free from cruel tyranny. Recall from the prior post that the same thing happened during Shem’s exodus from Nimrod’s forced labor at the Tower of Babel. This also happened during Abram’s exodus from the Mesopotamian empire. In both cases various ethnicities within an oppressive empire renounced their allegiance to their source of daily bread and joined the Hebrew nation. Why did a polyglot multitude of people have the faith to do so? Because they heard about the marvelous exploits God worked on behalf of his people. At the time of the Egyptian Exodus the amazing rescues of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph were as recent as our own heroic events of World Wars I and II and remembered and recounted. Even more compelling were the current eyewitness accounts of Moses surviving unscathed from confrontation after confrontation with Pharoah – and preaching – and God proving that he would protect the people who served him by obeying his word.
“Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die.
- He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:
- And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field…(Exodus 9:19-23)
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether...the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people. And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die...Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house.It is vitally important that we sidebar here to ascertain understanding of an ancient cultural practice that is taken for granted in this passage. “House” in this context includes both concrete meaning of “safe house” and abstract meaning of all the people who were under the head man’s authority, therefore protection. I.e., not just family members, but servants as well.
- “when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house” [indicative of others not born in his own house therefore not as trustworthy, good example being Theon Greyjoy] (Genesis 14:14)
- “Abram said…I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus…one born in my house is mine heir.” (Genesis 15:2-3)
- “Pharaoh said unto Joseph…Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou…I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:39-41)
- “And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh…and his servants.” (Genesis 45:16)
- “Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, LORD, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?…Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears…For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech.” (Genesis 20)
- “And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother…saying…I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants…Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him…” (Genesis 32:, 35:2)
- “Esau cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him…And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house [a substantial number of servants required to herd all the animals], and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob. For their riches [in cattle and consequently herdsmen] were more than that they might dwell together (Genesis 32:6, 36:6-7)
- “Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me…thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and thy household…And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father’s house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father’s house [two different groups], which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me; And the men are shepherds [obviously lots of them, not just Jacob’s immediate family] (Genesis 45:9-11, 46:31-32)
- “Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob…And [making a distinction between servants] all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled [with their households including servants.]” (Exodus 1:1-7)
- “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us…ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” (I Corinthians 5:7, Ephesians 2:19)
- “when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair…and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house…And Pharaoh called Abram and said…Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife [in his harem, but he didn’t, she was simply a guest]..” (Genesis 12:14-19
- “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and…Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and…he pressed upon them greatly; and they…entered into his house; and…the men of the city…called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said…unto these men do nothing; for therefore [for my protection] came they under the shadow of my roof.” (Genesis 19:1-8)
- t”he children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.” (Exodus 1:1)
“In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai….And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house[hold] of Jacob, and tell [a separate entity] the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself [both the children of Israel and the larger group of unrelated household members].” (Exodus 19:3-4)Who is the household of Jacob which Moses brought unto the God of the whole world? Some would be servants of the children of Israel, yes, but the Hebrews had become slaves in Egypt, remember, so not many were living a luxury lifestyle. The household of Jacob the Hebrew included their non-Israelite house guests who joined them in accepting YHVH’s word for salvation in the Passover.
- if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant
- then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people:
for all the earth is mine:
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (Exodus 19:3-6)Now, don’t hastily jump to the conclusion that “the children of Israel” in this context is referring to the political nation of Israel. Take your time, read carefully and most importantly keep the history in accurate chronological order. For example, did you pay attention to the big IF at the beginning of what is an OFFER to BECOME a special nation? It hasn’t happened yet! The passage clearly states that God is addressing the household of Jacob. He is addressing multi-ethnic Hebrews. Even Judaism itself acknowledges that the original offer at Mount Sinai was to all the nationalities, not just the children of Israel.
The message of the Torah is for all mankind. Before giving the Torah to Israel, God offered it to the other nations, but they refused it.Read on in Exodus 19. The passage describes how God does not arbitrarily impose service on anyone. His plan develops as he interacts with people who willingly work with him.
“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And…the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever…Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow…And let the priests also, which come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.“ (Exodus 19)Are you catching the significance of “the priests”? If not, allow me to direct your attention to the fact that the Levitical priesthood doesn’t get established until 8 chapters later.
“…it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel…Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel…minister unto me in the priest’s office...” (Exodus 27:21-28:1)Hermeneutically, there is no getting around the fact that God offered favored nation status to the multi-ethnic Hebrew nation headed by its Melchizedekian priesthood. Moving on in Exodus chapter 19 where God descends on Mount Sinai in the presence of the Melchizedekian priests and the Hebrew people and interacts with them all directly, as priests, exactly as he had offered.
“And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.”So far so good. Things going according to God’s plan.
“The LORD…rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, he loved / united with the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.” (Deuteronomy 33:1-3)
“And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled…And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down,
- charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.
- And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.” (Exodus 19)
“And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire)…even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; And ye said…this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? [Unbelief!] Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us [refusing responsibility]…
and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee, they have well said all that they have spoken. O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always…Go say to them, Get you into your tents again. But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.” (Deuteronomy 5:23-31)(Sigh) Notice how their reaction is completely the opposite of Moses’ when he first met God on this same mountain. Plan B.
After that Melchizedekian brotherhood proved themselves worthy of the assignment.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves / joined themselves with hyperdimensionals; [read Seed of the Serpent if you don’t get the diagnostic meaning of “corrupt”] They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt… [Put some life into God’s verbatim report! He is outraged and spitting it out! You can best believe Moses was mirroring God’s response when he stormed down the mountain.]
And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing…Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. [Destroyed the covenant between these people and YHVH before they were completely wiped out under the terms of the covenant.] And when Moses saw that the people were naked [unprotected from any source of danger]; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD‘s side? let him come unto me. ” (Exodus 32)Only the Levites – Moses’ tribe – stood up for their leader, which is to say, stood on the LORD’s side. Against 11 other tribes and who knows how many millions of heathen taggers-on.
And all the sons of Levi [Moses’ tribe] gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. For Moses had said, Consecrate / set apart yourselves today to the LORD.” (Exodus 32)
“I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” (Jude, verse 5)
Where they just manically reckless of danger in doing so? There is no evidence of that. What is documented is that the Levites had a legacy of zealously contending for righteousness.
“And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?” (Genesis 34:30-31)The zealous Levites had proven themselves fearless in the face of overwhelming odds before. No surprise that the LORD chose / anointed them and turned the curse of being scattered in Israel into a blessing. Notice that the Levites had fought to uphold the righteous standards of YHVH when they were Hebrews – both back in the land of Canaan and at Mount Sinai.
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the COMMON [not different systems for Jews and Gentiles, Old and New Covenants, dispensations, etc.] salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend / fight! for the faith which was ONCE [not multiple times] delivered / dispensed like life-saving medicine unto the saints. (Jude 1:3)The Levites were a good choice for priesthood – representing the God of the common salvation for the whole world. Prior to being anointed the priests of the nation of Israel they had already demonstrated saving faith:
- BELIEVING that God’s Word is true past, present and future, driving
- PUBLIC ACTIONS as a witness / mediator to lead others to salvation through
- IDENTITY MERGED WITH ALMIGHTY GOD
“the righteousness which is of faith speaketh…the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth (public action) the Lord YHVH’s Savior / Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed [to identify with God].” (Romans 10:6-11)Remember, Moses was a cursed Levite, like his father-in-law a cursed Kenite. In consequence of killing an Egyptian Moses was scattered from his Israelite clan. He could have sunk into obscurity, but his extreme faith in the God of the Hebrews – and his mentoring under Reuel the Friend of God and Priest of Midian – transformed him into the leader of his tribe, his clan of Israelites, and the whole world.
“God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said…I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt…
- And I am come down to deliver them… Believing required
- And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name [secret powers]? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses,
- Past truth, evidence on which to base belief: I Am That I Am…Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am / Eternal All Powerful i.e. Creator hath sent me unto you…the LORD God of your fathers… this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. [Do you get that? ALL generations since Adam to the end of the world.]…AND I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob…And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.
- Present truth, reason / need for belief: And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.
- Future promise to be believed: Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will…redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments…ye shall know that I am the LORD your God…I am the LORD.” (Exodus 3:6-15, 6:2-8))
- And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name [secret powers]? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses,
- Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh… Public action required
- that THOU mayest bring forth MY PEOPLE the children of Israel out of Egypt...Identity merged with God required
“And the LORD said unto Moses…thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves…Now therefore, let me alone
- that my wrath may wax hot against them
- and that I may consume them
And Moses…said, LORD
- why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people
- which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?…
And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.“ (Exodus 32)
This includes the evil that had been called down upon the Levites by Jacob’s curse.
“Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” (Genesis 49:7)To grasp just how upset Jacob was when he, like Noah, cursed one of his children, we need to get the whole story, especially the consequences of Levi’s actions at Shechem. It’s like reading the entire newspaper article instead of just the first paragraph.
“And Jacob came to Shalem [same root word as Jeru-salem – peaceable, perfect, full of everything necessary], a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram [after narrowly escaping from first Laban then Esau]…And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money…”Remember, Rachel had a difficult time getting pregnant. It is quite likely that Jacob’s purchase of land and expected good relations with Hamor’s powerful clan at Shechem was intended to provide a safe haven during Rachel’s pregnancy and delivery of a treasured child.
“And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land…Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him…let us arise, and go up to Bethel…And they journeyed from Bethel. (Genesis 33-34)Don’t overlook Jacob’s limited resources in the land. He couldn’t go back to Laban, couldn’t depend on Esau’s continued good will, and the Canaanites were notoriously warlike. Levi’s actions against Shechem not only ruined his plans, but certainly caused massive physical and emotional stress for Rachel during the family’s forced flight from attack to avert certain death to the men and enslavement of the women and children.
“..and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour…And Rachel died…”Rachel’s death in childbirth can certainly be linked to Levi’s actions at Shechem. To understand both cognitively and emotionally what Jacob and his family suffered as a result of Levi and Simeon’s actions, I recommend the book A Thousand Miles of Miracles by A.E. Glover. This is a detailed account of a similar experience, when Christian missionaries were forced to flee China during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. After experiencing harrowing escapes from danger, deprivation of food and shelter, brutal forced marches on foot to get from hiding place to hiding place, despite finally reaching safety one missionary lost his pregnant wife and her stillborn son to the last stressor of delivering the baby. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Jacob also lost Joseph as a consequence of Levi’s actions at Shechem.
And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar…And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem?…Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem…And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; And they…brought it to their father; and said, This have we found…And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And…he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.” (Genesis 36-37)With this in mind, we can see that Jacob cursed Levi – through his descendants – to permanently experience the unsettled lifestyle – and its dreadful consequences – forced upon him by their actions.
“we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;” (I Corinthians 4:11)God turns the curse itself into a blessing. We can expect that God will do the same to us. We want our circumstances to be eliminated, but God proves his power through our failures and inadequacies. Peer counseling. Our testimony is what we have to offer to people who are just like us.
“The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and his inheritance…the LORD is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.” Deuteronomy 18:1-2)As a health provider working with desperate people suffering the consequences of their actions, this account of Levi gives me tremendous comfort and faith that every individual can experience, not just the ultimate eternal salvation from sin and death, but customized salvation from the consequences of one’s personal sin and inherited family sin in this life. The curses and blessings brings up the point that, just like our modern individual states are subsets of the United States of America with laws applicable only to them but subject to federal regulations, tribes, like the Levites, can have laws that apply only to them while being primarily subject to the regulations governing all Israel. Likewise the nation of Israel can have laws that apply only to them while remaining subject to the larger Hebrew nation led by Melchizedek. Although treated as such thousands of years later, “Hebrew” is not the equivalent of “Israelite” or “Jew”. Israel was constituted as a subset of the Hebrew nation. Each serves a different purpose with a different population, as explained in Hebrews 7-8.
- Levitical: “under it the people received the law”
- Melchizedekian: “able also to save them that come unto God by him”
- Levitical: “the house of Israel and the house of Judah”
- Melchizedekian: “the uttermost parts of the earth i.e. the whole world
- Time frame
- Levitical: “the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law…Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”
- Melchizedekian: “he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” This “everlasting life” did not start with Jesus Christ’s resurrection. It existed before there was time, was breathed into Adam, and carried in the mitochondria of the Seed of the Woman in an unbroken line of descent prior to YHVH’s Promised Seed’s ultimate atonement and resurrection.
“We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of The Promised Seed Savior / Jesus Christ, even we have believed in YHVH’s Promised Savior / Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of The Promised Seed / Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:15-16)
“We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written,
- There is none righteous, no, not one:
- There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
- They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable;
- there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Psalm 14:1-4)
- Their throat is an open sepulchre;
- with their tongues they have used deceit; (Psalm 10:7)
- the poison of asps is under their lips: (Psalm 140:3)
- Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
- Their feet are swift to shed blood:
- Destruction and misery are in their ways: (Isaiah 59:7)
- And the way of peace have they not known: (Psalm 35:1)
- There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped [particularly the self-righteous Jews], and all the world [including the self-righteous Jews] may become guilty before God.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified [including the Jews] in his sight:” (Romans 3:9-20)
“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in ALL things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4). And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. (Deuteronomy 30:16) and Romans 10:5) (Galatians 3:10-12)
“Christ / the Promised Seed hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ / Yahweh’s Promised Savior that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, (Gen 12:7) And to thy seed, which is The Promised Seed / Christ.
And this I say, that the covenant [of Abraham], that was confirmed before of God in The Promised Seed / Christ, the law [of Moses], which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise [to Abraham] of none effect. (Galatians 3:10-17)
The citizens in the new nation of Israel constituted at Mount Sinai were not saved by engaging in Levitical religious rites. They and the other Hebrews gathered at Mount Sinai were saved under the Melchizedekian faith in the Promised Seed Savior, like their forefathers, by believing and proving their faith in their actions. They were saved by
- believing on the Lord Yhvh’s promised savior,
- And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (Exodus 3:13-15)
- acting on their profession of faith through the Passover,
- “In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house…without blemish…And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it…For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night…and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you.” (Exodus 12)
- becoming united as one body / corporation with the savior in baptism signifying death to the old life and resurrection to new.
- I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;” (I Corinthians 10:1-2)
”What then? are we [Christians] better than they [Jews]? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one…
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Yahweh’s Anointed Savior/Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Yahweh’s Anointed Savior/Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Yahweh’s Savior/Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” (Ro 3:9-31)The law that we establish is not the means of salvation, which is by grace, through faith under the Melchizedekian Priest-King. The Mosaic law that we establish is the means to achieve a good life, free from sin and its consequences of disease, destruction and death once we are empowered to overcome sin by becoming a son / citizen in the nation of Melchizedek King of Righteousness.
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days:” (Deu 30:19-20)
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of [Abraham, Isaac and] Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths:
- for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
- And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and
- they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks:
- nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:2-5)