Page Nine Thought-Sherds 41 - 45
Thought-Sherds (It's a play on words, you know, "potsherds'' the little Earthenware fragments that Archaeologists find, with scriptures, notes, and things written on them,.... well if you have to explain it...... it's not so funny anymore)
Thoughtsherds: [thot '- surdz ] too small to be an article, but maybe big enough to make a difference.
Why knowing Prophecy in Advance Matters......
At the end of John the 15th chapter Jesus explains to his disciples/apostles at some length that they will be persecuted...... why ?
He explains why himself, “I have told you this so that you don't fall away... …I have told you this so that when the time for it comes you'll remember that I told you.” (John 15:25-16:4) And also worth noting, Paul was told in some Detail of the afflictions and persecutions he would experience and have to endure.
“Forewarned is Forearmed”
Jesus Knew that the very Knowledge itself would impart strength.
That is just amazing to me. I would have thought that their Christian Personality and Faith alone would have been enough !
But even Jesus himself was strengthened by the Fore-Knowledge of what he was to go through, 'He was able to endure His Crucifixion because of the Joy that was set Before Him”! (Heb 12:2)
It is a very different thing to go through severe pain, knowing it will be over in five minutes, as compared to going through severe pain thinking it will never end !
A clear Understanding of Prophecy gives us Courage, Comfort, & Hope.
THAT'S WHAT IT'S THERE FOR !!!
And after its Fulfillment It also fortifies Faith.
Which, in turn, gives us More Courage, Comfort, & Hope.
But it is also a progressive thing, meaning; if you see what appears to be the fulfillment of one Prophecy in a connected series. The next one builds on the last,,, and so on..... confidence building, faith building...as things get worser and worser, (prophecies are not always fun) your faith, hope, and confidence gets gooder and gooder....
Putting on the New Personality
I have over time developed a little saying/perspective:
"Putting on the New(Christian) Personality is identical to deep psychoanalysis”
The longer I have tried to “bring every thought into captivity to the Christ”, on what I hope is “the narrow path”, the more I have come to realize this is true.
Einstein was very impressed with Newton. Einstein saw that 'Out of the Chaos' Newton extracted his simple laws of mechanics/motion. In the same way, I think, out of the Chaos of thoughts/emotions, we need to discover the simple Laws of Spirit that “conquer the world” even as Jesus did.: “I have conquered the world”.
just a little story here:
I heard this many years before the Internet, but as I remember it, a man who later became a great scientist was in his room as a child doing something to the flat monochromatic wall of his room. And he broke through to the out-side. He related his shock in discovering the whole outside world of dimensions colours motion etc. just beyond the wall. HE JUST DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS THERE !!! The shocking sensation of discovery, where he never expected to find it, never left him ! Such will be your discoveries as you "Put on the New/Christian personality"!
Maybe a little clarification might help:
When you are a young child and hear Music, it feels like a “Whole Thing”, you simply 'feel it'. You have no knowledge of the individual instruments, the Strings, the Brass, the Woodwinds, even the Notes, etc. you just 'Feel' the Music as a “Single Thing”. Over time though, you might become familiar with individual instruments, flute, drums, horns etc. and even come to realize how their participation in a musical score can be varied independently (and yet harmoniously) of/with each other.
In the same way, as a child, we simply “Feel” what we would call our Spirit/Mood. We are unaware of the complex melange of the many many many different disparate emotional sub, and micro-currents, that constitute our State-of-Mind/Spirit at any given moment. We might just say “I'm in a good mood/spirit” or “I'm grumpy” (you are) and lump all of our emotions into a single 'glump' with a simple name/handle for it; angry, happy, sad, etc.
It's a funny thing, but the Bible, a book super-duper-abundantly rich in human emotions, never actually uses the word “Emotion(s)”. The odd translation may now and then shoehorn the word “emotion” in, but it's really not there. The Bible prefers the word “Spirit” i.e. the complex/aggregate bundle of your emotions. And really, There really is no such thing as a “Standalone Emotion”. Our Spirit, at any given moment, is really an 'Emotional Soup”, in constant flux, in both mixture and intensity. [In fact, the word “Spirit” really implies “Flux” or “Volatility”.]
And in the “Playground Universe” before Sin, that was perfectly Okay.
Godspeed..... my friend.....
How long was Jesus's Ministry ?
(the john 6:4 'plexer)
There are a number of ideas as to the Length of Jesus's Ministry, ranging from 1 year to 10, or even more, from what I've seen just lookin' around. And frankly, it's never been a burning issue for me, and it still isn't. But I've stumbled on to an interesting Discovery.
In reading the book of John many times it becomes quite evident that Jesus had a 1 year Ministry. It is evident from the intense Pacing of the book, and a very clear Pattern of one(1) complete Rotation of all of the Jewish Festivals. Starting just before the Passover at the Beginning of His Ministry, and ending just after the Passover of His Death. With all Five Major Holidays in sequence: Passover (2:13,23), Pentecost(5:1), Booths(7:2), Hanukkah(10:22), Passover(11:55, 12:1).
Except for that Pesky forth verse of chapter six ('the Passover was near'). Which throws this whole idea off..... or does it ?
As I write this, it is the End of January, and some people are still wishing “Happy New Year !” and a few Christmas Lights still Merrily Sparkle and glow with a self-awareness that boxes in the attic soon await them. The Christmas/New Year's Season is breathing its last cheery sigh. BUT HERE'S THE POINT: THE CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR'S SEASON STARTED AT THE END OF NOVEMBER !!
Why does this Matter ?
Because at any time during the last TWO Months you could rightly say: “It's the Holiday Season !”, or “Christmas isn't/wasn't that far away !”, or “The New Year is upon us !”i.e. “the Holidays are near !”
But here's what you may not know: In the Jewish Religious System there were/are always 2 Passovers every year ! The conventional/standard Nisan 14 Passover..... And the Late Passover, exactly one Month later (aka Pesach Sheni). Did you know that ?
So, when John, at John 6:4 says: 'the Passover was near' he was talking in the context of the Passover Holiday season. Which logically would begin around Nisan 1, or earlier, (holiday mood begins, just like Christmas season) and would extend in the Festive-mind's-eye for 2 or three weeks beyond Pentecost. In fact, the name “Pentecost” essentially means 'fifty days after Passover'. So, in the Jewish person's Festival-mind's-eye, Passover “Season” would start around Nisan 1, Officially on Nisan 14, continuing thru Iyyar 14(Pesach Sheni, second Passover), then through Pentecost, Which is The Official End of The Passover Season, and with the Lingering Holiday Mood/Spirit reasonably for another 2 to maybe 3 weeks. Thus the “Passover Season” was quite long, so, John instead of describing the technicalities of the “Second Passover” and “Pentecost” to his Gentile reader, simply said 'the Passover of the Jews was near'. And in point-of-fact, Pesach Sheni, second Passover, is only about 20 days before Pentecost. Notably John alludes to this “holiday mood-margin” again at John 11:54-12:1, wherein Jesus departs Jerusalem right after the Resurrection of Lazarus, which could have been a few weeks before the Passover, and yet without skipping a beat, as soon as Jesus departs John says the Passover mood-Season was near.
The Point ? Well something can be near from the standpoint of going forwards or backwards. As in the well-known case of the two Jerichos where Jesus healed the blind man. So, this is what I'm suggesting: John 6:4 may well be referring to the nearness of the “Passover Season” as an event “just passed”, not “just coming”.
And John was also explaining to his Gentile readers: 'this is why thousands of people were traveling north and in the middle of no-where' !!
When someone says Christmas/New Year's is near it can mean it has just passed or it's almost here.
Please consider too: There is absolutely nothing in the context or narrative after verse 6:4 that suggests a festival period of any kind. But the context and narrative before verse 6:4 absolutely suggests a festival period. Period.
Some supplementally supportive clues:
*It is quite possible that Jesus himself identifies the season/month, when at John 4:35, in time-frame shortly before John 6:4, he says, 'you have a saying: 4 months, and then the Harvest'. The harvest being the "Festival of Booths/Ingathering". And the context appears to be shortly before Pentecost, which is about 4 months before the "Festival of Booths/Ingathering(Harvest)".
*Also please notice this: if John 6:4 was shortly Before Passover, why were he and his entourage headed NORTH ? (John 6:1, 16, 23 Tiberius to Capernaum is clearly North and appears to be Jesus's home base) BECAUSE It was AFTER Passover season (Pentecost) and they were headed home. You don't say that the Passover is COMING, and then head North, drawing THOUSANDS of people in the wrong direction who should be on-their-way to Jerusalem, first to purify themselves for [Jon 11:55] and then Celebrate the Passover !! You head SOUTH to Jerusalem. But if the Passover season has just ended, i.e. Pentecost, Which is The Official End of The Passover Season, (all of chapt 5). ahhhh yeah, then you head NORTH, and home. And again, John was also explaining to his Gentile readers: 'this is why thousands of people were traveling north and in the middle of no-where' !! ("where can we get bread to feed all of these people? -john 6:5"
And, in fact John 7:1-13 clearly indicates that he stayed in North/Galilee until the "Festival of Booths/Ingathering". John 7:1, "He could not travel around Judea because the Jews wanted to kill him !!!" (7:20 referring to his one miracle at Pentecost) Thus he stayed NORTH/GALILEE for about 4 months, and then went to Jerusalem for the "Festival of Booths/Ingathering(Harvest)" which was a required-attendance Festival.
too, consider this: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A THREE-YEAR OLD LAMB
If it is three-years old it is a Sheep or Mutton. (Here)
Only a one-year-old is a Lamb, a two-year-old is a Hogget, and a three-year-old is a Sheep or a Mutton.
Please compare with these Scriptures:
Lv 14:10, Nu 6:14, 7:15, 21, 27, 33, 39,45, 51, 57, 63, 69, 75, 81.
And besides, “Behold ! The Mutton of God !!”, just doesn't have the right ring to it.
* Please note too; that WAY over half of the book of Luke, from 9:51-24:53, is a single journey, Jesus's last, from Galilee to Jerusalem to his death. Luke said 'I've put everything in logical order' (1:3) and then writes 9:51 to 24:54 as one contiguous Journey/Event ! Well over HALF of his book !! Did you know that ?
I didn't really notice Until after I realized it was a one year ministry.
I'm tellin' yah, it was a one year ministry/walkabout !
So What !?!?
Iff'n Jesus's ministry was One Year long, then there may be a very, very interesting discovery here.
I think you know that Jesus's ministry/walkabout began 40 days before John 1:29, which was three days before the “Water to Wine” at the Cana wedding. And John 1:29 appears to Also be about two weeks before the Passover (John 2:13)
So that gets you 54 days. (40 X 14) And from Passover to Passover is obviously One year. And most certainly it was a Full Jewish Year; meaning 13 months (Adar and Veadar) otherwise it's only a Lunar Fulfillment and as has been noted (please see here), prophecies tend to have a Lunar and Solar Fulfillment. And each Lunar month is 29.53 days long. Not 30, not 29, but 29.53, aka The Synodic Lunar Month.
And 29.53 X 13=383.89 days.
40 days in Wilderness until his birthday, Nisan 1 (please see here)
14 days 'til Passover, Nisan 14
13 months @ 29.53 days each=383.89
437.89 divided by 7(one week) = 62.55 weeks
hmmmm........ 62 and one half weeks, hmmmm..... why does that sound so familiar ?
…..pssst dan 9:24-27...... more to come.....
7 weeks ? (of Daniel 9:24-27)
"So what about the Seven weeks ?” You ask.
Well, as with most Riddles, the answer is embarrassingly simple once you see it.
"From the going forth of the Word to Restore [actually “Return”H7725 shoob] and Rebuild Jerusalem and the Anointed Leader.... there will be Seven Weeks....” -Dan 9:25
(Just a side-note here: One of the more Surprising Things I've observed on my spiritual walkabout is that so many, many times, and especially when I'm working on a stubborn Bible passage. I find out that it has been miss-translated. And I don't suggest ill-intent, but when translating, many times the translator has to make 'a judgment-call'. And that can only be done in the context of what they believe is true.
So, All I can say is “Thank You !!” to all of those who have worked hard to provide Interlinears, Concordances, etc. and to the Holy Spirit that has nudged them along. Thanks Again !! )
But back to those Seven Weeks.
Well, if the 62½ weeks are literal, then the 7 weeks must be literal as well. And they are. But where are they ?
As always; hidden in plain sight.
And they're Right Here:
(I'll state it briefly, and then after, I'll give you more details.)
In his first year of his reign of Babylon. Our good friend Cyrus issued The Decree to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem i.e. “The Going Forth of the Word”. SEVEN WEEKS LATER. ON TISHRI 1 THE OFFERING OF SACRIFICES IN JERUSALEM, BY THE ANOINTED [Mashiach] HIGH PRIEST[Leader] named JESHUA, RESUMED !!!
It's really just that Simple.
The resumption of the offering of Temple Sacrifices on Tishri 1, at Jerusalem, by the Anointed High Priest Jeshua at the Altar's correct permanent Temple site (vs 3) is a simple Biblical Fact, it's right here at Ezra 3:1-6, esp. vss 3 & 6. (first Day of 7th Month is Tishri 1)
Here's another Fact, if you count Backwards 49 days (7 weeks) from Tishri 1 (non-inclusive) guess where you end up ? Yep, Av 10, the Exact Day after the 70 years from the destruction of the Temple on Tisha B'Av (Av 9) were completed. How perfect is that ?
(As with many Prophecies, if you calculate it backwards it's easy.
It's like having the Teacher's Edition of a Textbook with the answers in the back of the book.)
On Tishri 1, 7 weeks after Cyrus's Decree, the Anointed [“Mashiach” Heb] High Priest [Leader] Jeshua [Jesus in the Greek Septuagint hmmm....] offered the first Sacrifices on the Altar. That's Exactly70 years and 7 Weeks after the Temple was Destroyed !!!
And that was Exactly 7 Weeks after Tisha B'Av, [non-inclusive] of the year of Cyrus's decree. Tisha B'Av being the anniversary of the day that the Temple was destroyed !!
It's 7 WEEKS, [49 DAYS], FROM TISHA B'AV UNTIL TISHRI 1, non-inclusive !!!
So There's yer 7 Weeks. Yup, it's really that Simple.
Which also means that the 70 years were EXACTLY 70 YEARS TO THE DAY !!!!!
Tisha B'Av, then 70 years to Tisha B'Av.
Thus the “Word went Forth” from Cyrus on THE EXACT DAY AFTER THE 70 YEARS WERE COMPLETED !!! And 7 weeks later True Worship from The Altar on it's Exact Proper Permanent Temple Location was Restored !!!! (Ezra 3:2-6)
Starting to make Sense, Yes ?
Some might object, “Oh no, Cyrus's Decree was for the Temple. And Daniel's prophecy sez 'Jerusalem', The 7 weeks of Dan chapter 9 started with Artaxerxes decree to Nehemiah”.
Well, yes. Cyrus's decree did specifically say “Temple”. But if I tell you, “put on your shoes, we're going to the Store”, do I really need to say, “Oh, and put on your clothes too”? And in fact, the Bible clearly states that the Wall of Jerusalem had already begun to be built before Nehemiah was even in the picture (Ezra 4:12"they are Finishing H3635 the Walls"! this was long before Nehemiah's involvement. and additionally, an interlinear will show that the Heb says "The Walls Completing, they have Completed"!!). Actually it was, in part, Nehemiah's reaction to the decay of the already re-built wall and gates that triggered his entry into the overall restoration process. (Neh 1:3) Which the Prophecy clearly states would be a somewhat meandering indeterminate process 'through difficult times'. And had many 'fits and starts'. And in fact Temple Repair/Restoration apparently continued right up until the time of Jesus. (Jon 2:20 Herod's Restoration)
The Artaxerxes/Nehemiah phase was one of the most notable. But not the only. Many feel that The 7 weeks of Dan chapter 9 started with Artaxerxes' decree to Nehemiah..... Nope …..
It has also been suggested that it is a 4 month sojourn from Babylon to Jerusalem. Yes, that was true for Ezra and his entourage. (Ezra 7:6-9) remembering that Ezra's group made a late winter/early-mid spring journey, muddy roads, weather etc. and not on an urgent time-schedule.
But not the First Group. The “Cyrus Decree Group”.
But let's look at the conditions/impetus/and timing of the cohort with the Anointed High Priest Jeshua:
Timing: The Decree was given about 5 days before the full Moon, (on Av 10th) the full moon is always about the 15th of every month when you use a Lunar month. So even though it may have been around the end of July beginning of August when it would be very hot for travel, a night departure would would work very well. Assuming they had a very late July/early Aug Departure, they would reach the top of the Euphrates corridor, a very well-watered corridor with super roads, during Harvest Season, On good Equipment no Doubt provided by Cyrus. Best horses (Horses have amazing night-vision, so if they continued to travel at night during the Hot-Season, which is also Dry Season, i.e. No mud. On very good roads, night travel would be no problem.), Super Good wagons, Letter of Passage etc. They would reach the top of the Euphrates corridor close to the beginning of September, as the days began to cool. Well past half-way of an appx 950 mile Journey. The last leg of the sojourn would be during the more temperate September-like conditions.
Rate-of-Travel: Speculating on a very rapid pre-trip preparation, and a fairly rapid construction of the Altar (remembering that the Altar could not be built with hewn stones, so there's a big time-saver Ex 20:25, Deut 27:5,6 and any other Altars, copper etc. would be stuff returning from Babylon). I'm gunna give 9 days for departure, Jerusalem arrival, and Altar construction. Leaving 40 days for travel. That would require a Rate-of-Travel of appx. of about only 25 miles per day. They may have stopped for the Sabbaths on the way, but even with 6 Sabbaths it still works out to less than 30 miles per day ! Duck-Soup for a group of young Sabra men !! Plus, they knew they had a dead-line !!! They Knew the 70 week prophecy of Daniel. DANIEL TOLD THEM HIMSELF !!! And they were on FIRE with zeal to get back to Jerusalem, they were packed and ready IN DAYS !! They had just the day before mournfully commemorated the 70th Anniversary of the Destruction of the Temple, and now on Av 10 Cyrus makes his Decree !! The 7 weeks were no Riddle to them !! Let that soak in for a bit.
YOUNG MEN TORE UP THE ROAD GETTING BACK TO JERUSALEM !!!!!
And got there ON-TIME !!
(if you take a moment now and read Ezra 3:1 the full-force of the phrase "as one man" will really hit you)
"Well, well, aaah.... what about the 490 years ?”. Some might say (actually almost everybody). There may well be a Day-for-a-Year application to this Prophecy. Dunno. But from all of the research I've seen, in Nehemiah's episode the dates just seem forced. And the 7 weeks just ends somewhere 'out there' in the Ether. And really, the “Going forth of the word” was from Cyrus.
Some have suggested that the fact that “The People were in expectation”, during the time of John the Baptist indicates that the calculated year had arrived. But the context clearly shows that it was simply a reaction to John's preaching. Just a little side-note here; I had never really caught it before, but the Bible says that John had Elijah's Spirit and Power. (Luke 1:17) Just speculating, but maybe John had done a miracle or two. As I say, just speculating, but that might explain some of his enormous effect on the crowds.(and, yes I know what Jon 10:41 says, but remember that Jesus, right in the midst of performing miracles said, 'you'll get no sign from me, but the sign of Jonah'.... and please compare w/ Mark 6:14, Matt 14:1, which clearly shows that Herod expected miracles from John...... , and Heb 2:4 CLEARLY differentiates between signs and miracles.... so idunno...) But the point here is that it was John's powerful effect on the crowds that put the people “in expectation”. However nothing in the context or scriptures indicate that it was the result of a calculation. (Luke 3:15)
Thus, The 70 weeks appear to have a 7 week initiation with an Anointed Leader named
Jesus [Joshua, Jeshua] and then has an unspecified interval"the straits of time", and then a 62 ½ week fulfillment with
an Anointed Leader named Jesus(Christ).
It starts with a Physical Jesus [Joshua, Jeshua] High Priest, and ends with a Spiritual Jesus(Christ) High Priest. Makes amazing good sense, yes ?
Afternote: From “The Going Forth of the Word” until the Death of Jesus could be about 570 years. Not 490 years, However, that does leave a possible remainder of 80 years, 40+40. More stuff to think about.......
hmmm..... does the 70 week prophecy have a secondary fulfillment/application ?
methinks so ..... "curiouser and curiouser" indeed ......
..... oh wait !!
This explains the 7 weeks, ......
and then the 62 weeks, .......
and then the one half week (3 ½ days), ......
but that leaves three and one-half days unaccounted for !?!?
hey !!.... what's going on here ?
We'd better go back and look at dan 9:24-27 for some more clues
and I think we'll find them in ThoughtSherd #46
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tanx eh ?
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