“The Restoration of the House of Joseph and Ephraim and the Latter Rain”
The Oracles of God in Zechariah 9-14 and the Beginning Days of Redemption
Translation of text by the New English Bible
Translation of text and Rabbinic Commentary by Maggid ben Yoseif
Biblical Commentary by Robert D. Mock MD
September 15, 2002
Re-edited and Graphics - July 2007 and May 2008
the Stained Glass - From Joseph came two tribes named after his
sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Both were born
where their illustrious father’s talent as a dream interpreter and administrator
saved Egypt and his own family from famine. One hundred
years later, the stage is set for the triumphant Exodus
from slavery. Ephraim (from the root “pri” meaning
as his father declared “God made me fruitful in a desert.” This tribe proved
to be a larger and stronger tribe than that of Manesseh, however Manesseh’s
strength was recognized as that of a tribe whose
loving kindness was strong and blessed with the fortitude to
uplift others from the lowest places. Ephraim’s
standard is the head of a bull while Manasseh’s was
symbolic of what was probably a wild ox now extinct—although somehow it
earned the transmutation of that of a unicorn, which we all know to
be a mythical image.
Joseph, the dreamer and visionary (coat of many colors)…he once dreamed that his parents, in addition to his brothers (sun moon and stars) all bowed down to him. The shofar extends from the unicorn and represents the blasts of freedom sounded for the Exodus over a pyramid. The pomegranate, symbolic of one of the “seven species” represents the fruit of good deeds. According to midrash, there are exactly 613 seeds within a pomegranate corresponding to the number of mitzvot prescribed in the Torah. Dates, pear, and apple symbolize the bounties of the tribe of Ephraim and the fruit eaten at Passover, reminding us of the Exodus. Legend maintains that pious women went into the apple orchards of Egypt to give birth so as not to surrender their babies to Pharaoh’s executioners. It became known as the “orchard of holy apples” and resplendant with shekhinah, God’s feminine aspect. One final note, Gideon was a descendant of the Tribe of Manesseh.
Zechariah 10:1 – Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain.
The Lord will make flashing clouds;
He will give them showers of rain,
Grass in the field for everyone.
The time of the Latter Rain has been recognized by Torah and Christian scholars as coming at the time of the end, or the latter days. It is imperative to know when the “latter rain” arrives, because this is when we must ask of the Lord to do and to fulfill certain things. The prophet identifies immediately that the source of information and goodness is from the Lord and not from any other source of authority.
Rashi says request it “if you need it”. The Redak says if you make your request at the time of the latter rain, Hashem will make “lightning: He will immediately hearken to your prayer and make lightning and give rain.”
On a literal (pshat) basis the “Latter Rain” is only identified in contrast with the “Early Rain”. The early rain came at the end of the hot and parched summer, when the fall sowing of grains was dependent upon the proper moisture in the ground. The early rain is the first rain of the Torah year, usually immediately after the festival of Succot in the fall. The Latter Rain came in the spring to prepare the crops for harvest. This was when the sheaves of barley were to ripen prior to Passover.
The time of the latter rain falls during Nissan, when rain causes the vegetation to grow quickly.
On a spiritual basis, we already have as a historical context. The followers of Yahshua, prior to the formation of the Jewish Nazarene Ecclesia (Jerusalem Church of Acts), experienced the Latter Rain came at Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Ruach Hakodesh). An era was about to close on the national consciousness of the Jewish people. In about forty years after Pentecost, the collective symbols of national and spiritual identity of the Jewish people would be destroyed; Jerusalem and the Temple of Herod.
At this time the spiritual leadership of the Jewish Nazarene Ecclesia, under the leadership of James the Just (Jacob the Tzaddik), the brother of Jesus (Yahshua) were to establish the fourth great party in Judaism after the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes. The Nazarene Party essentially swallowed up the Essene Party and had great affinity with the Zealots and the masses of the people. Until 62 CE, when James the Just was stoned on the pinnacle of the Temple Mount, he was defacto the spiritual leader and High Priest in the Land of Judah.
According to Josephus, James the Just was known “because of his piety towards God and his benevolence to this country men.” (Josephus Antiquities XII, 43) According to Epiphanius, James the Just “officiated after the manner of the ancient priesthood wherefore also he was permitted once a year to enter the Holy of Holies, as the Law commanded the High Priest, according to that which is written, for so many before us have told of him, both Eusebius and Clement and others. Furthermore he was permitted to wear the high priestly diadem upon his head,…” (Epiphanius, Panarion IXXVII , in Schonfield 148)
In the meantime, the Torah scholars, in the Land of Israel, knew that the days of the nationhood were about over. About the year of 36 CE, they quietly and fervently began collecting the manuscripts and oral traditions of their rabbinic sages in order to preserve the writings under the safeguard of the rabbis. This oral tradition was respected by the rabbis as initially being given by Moses, to help the Israelites understand the application of the written Torah given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
As such, the Early Rain fell upon believers in the Torah and the Hebrew-Judaic traditions and culture. In the year of 2030, we will be approaching the 2000 year anniversary of Pentecost. The question that needs to be raised is, will the Latter Rain fall again on a Hebrew-Jewish body of believers or will it fall on all believers around the whole earth? The spiritual rain which fell on the seedlings of the “Good News” would eventually have to have a second rain to mature and ripen the harvest before the reapers, send by the Lord of Hosts arrive.
Let us first look at a review of the Early and the Latter Rain passages as expressed by the Prophets.
Job 19:46 – “They waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.”
Proverbs 16:15 – “In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favor is as a cloud of the latter rain.”
Isaiah 30:23 – “The Lord will give you rain for the seed you sow, and as the produce of your soil he will give you heavy crops of plenty in plenty.
When that day comes… “The passages of 30:26, depict a time of the end event, when ‘the moon shall shine with a brightness like the sun’s, and the sun with seven times his own brightness…” This will be in an era of a solar nova, when the brightness of the sun will explode into the brilliant radiance seven fold. The miracle of this event, the increased sun strength will destroy and parch most lands and crops, but the Lord will provide rain and abundance to the Land of Israel.”
Bob, I interpret this as a SOD, since if it is a P’shat obviously the earth cannot survive. As a SOD, it relates to the moon (Rachel) being on an equal footing with the sun (Jacob). The brightness is the degree of Torah revelation, indicating that the children of Rachel will become Talmudim Chachmim (learned in Torah wisdom).
Joel 2:23 – “Be glad then ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God : for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” Thus Nissan.
Hosea 6:3 – “If we follow on to know the Lord; his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
Jeremiah 5:24 – “They did not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives us the rains of autumn and spring showers in their turn, who brings us unfailingly fixed season of harvest.’”
Accompanying the Latter Rain will be “Bright clouds”, known in Hebrew as Chazizim,or Thunder clouds.
The Redak defines the Chazizim as “lightning.” Rashi defines them as “rain clouds that bring rain.”
The “showers of rain” representing the Holy Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh, will come down from heaven and will affect every blade of grass. This will be recognized as a miraculous event as witnessed by the whole world. This figure of speech is descriptive of the latter rain which the Holy Spirit will visit upon His people just prior to the Return of the Messiah. The brightness suggests a more overpowering illumination than first witnessed at Pentecost by the disciples of Yahshua in the Upper Room.
Since the phrase is repetitious, it could be a SOD, especially if SUN and MOON earlier are a SOD. But Redak says this defines “selective showers of rain” Should one person require rain for one herb, that one herb alone would receive rain
Let us now carefully weave this phrase into the events at the time of the end. The enemies surrounding the borders of Israel; Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian in Gaza and the West Bank, will by the miraculous workings of God be subdued (Zechariah 9). The Palestinians will even be asking for Israel to be their protector as the Jebusites did to David after he captured the Jebusite fortress and made it his capital, Jebu-salem or Jerusalem. The Jebusites were assimilated with the Israelites and became as one with them.
On a global basis, the time of tribulation will be exacting pain and sorrow on all the inhabitance of the world. The believers in Yahshua and His Father, the God of Israel will share the same fates; war, terrorist attacks, famine, pestilence (including biological warfare). During the cold and frosty evenings of winter, all of the barley crop will grow alike. Before the sixth seal arrives (Revelation 6:12-16), when Satan seals his own with the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:11-18) and the ascending Angel of the Lord seals the believers in God with the Seal of God (Revelation 7), a miraculous event will occur.
It is my belief that the world approaching the sixth seal will be experiencing a world wide famine. The continent of Africa and the Nile valley will become parched and barren as the noted famine in Somalia. The Nile River will dry up and the Islamic nation of Egypt, on the southwest border of Israel will collapse in internal deprivation. The engines of the world economy will come to a screeching halt and the flow of oil needed to run the engines of a flourishing economy will dwindle to a trickle, choking off the economies of the Middle Eastern nations.
Suddenly the spring rains will come but only to the land of Israel. The crops, vineyards and orchards will bloom and ripen, not under the gentle showers of spring rains but under the “chazizin” or the thunderclouds of intense lightning, the “bright clouds” of natural drama and spectacle. CNN World Report will televise these nourishing rains which will be a visible drama of the protecting hand of the God of Israel.
The spiritual and literal saints will awaken to the fact that in the midst of the spring rains in Israel, a miraculous spiritual rebirth, latter rain by the Holy Spirit, will be occurring over the whole earth. This will include the gentile Christian Church who recognize the God of Israel and Yahshua His son, the gentiles who were living in the lands across the world who are reclaiming a spiritual and literal genetic awareness that they are the children of the Lost Tribes of Israel and the Jewish people in the Land of Israel living in halakhah (according to the Life of Torah) with the secular Jew who will find a new spiritual awakening. These three groups will recognize the voice of God in the lightning of the latter rain in the same sense that the tribes of Israel recognized the voice of God in the thunder and lightning, which came down from Mount Sinai.
The literal manifestation of the latter rain in the land of Israel will be a sign that the Ruach HaKodesh is returning in all of Her power. A revival will sweep the world. The Jewish people, who have just witnessed a vast increase in the migration into the land of Israel (Zechariah 9) in the land of Gilead and Lebanon, will now experience a re-birth, as their brethren, the House of Ephraim or Joseph, are literally assimilated into the Land of Israel (aliyah). They are and represent all the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel. Remember, a large part of this assimilation will be the Tribe of Ephraim, of which the blessing upon Ephraim by his grandfather, the Patriarch Jacob when he stated that Ephraim would become as “myriads of myriads” or “a multitude of nations”. (Genesis 48:19) The evidence of the migration patterns of the Israelites suggest that the nations of Europe were predominately inhabited by these scattered tribes of the House of Israel, including the United States of America, as a European colony, from England, Spain, France, and Portugal.
If the rebirth of the land of Israel arrives with the literal manifestations of the latter rain, the vast migrations into the land of Israel by the “Ephraimites” and their fellow Israelites will result in a vast cultural interchange between the predominate Christian-Israelite followers of Yahshua (Jesus) and the Jewish Torah believing Orthodox. If Israel can today accept a secular Russian Jew who is a non-believer in HaShem (God of Israel), she will be impelled to recognize the Christian believers in Yahshua who are recognized as Israelites.
To the Orthodox Jew, the oracles of God, the Torah, which they have zealously preserved and studiously sought to adhered to, will now become imbedded into their hearts when out of jealousy (Romans 10:19) they perceive the spiritual righteousness of their Israelite brethren who are followers of Jesus. Is this not the symbolic picture of the two “sticks” or the “tablets” portrayed in Ezekiel 37? Will this not be seen to be the fulfillment of the full restoration of the House of Judah and the House of Ephraim/Joseph that is representing the whole House of Israel.
We must always be aware, the literal manifestation of God’s blessing upon Israel will also be depicting the spiritual or other dimensional events that are occurring on a cosmic level between the forces of good and evil. Lest we forget, the literal outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost came after the ending of the Jewish civil year at Purim and after the beginning of the Jewish religious or spiritual year at Passover. So also the latter rain may also begin at Pentecost, eighteen months or six months prior to the coming of the Maschiach ben David (Messiah son of David) on the Day of Atonement, Yon Kippur.
Zechariah 10:2 – For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies,
And tell false dreams; they comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wend their way like sheep;
They are in trouble because there is no shepherd.
The “idols” in the era of the Hebrews were the “teraphim”, household gods, such as the ones that Rebecca stole from the house of her father, when Jacob left the house of Laban. (Genesis 31:19)
The important thing I have learned about Teraphim is that they are made in the FORM OF A MAN and are able to speak through sorcery.
These teraphims will become vehicles of demonic illusions, where an inanimate statue will become a vehicle to communicate a message from the other world. We are presently in an era in which statues of the Virgin Mary, the Madonna, cry tears or weep blood, and give messages of prophetic utterances. The Madonna craze, in the religious circles of Catholic influence, are more powerful than the utterances of the Pope himself.
On the other hand, messengers reputing to be from God, including the worked and reworked translations of Nostradamos, Edgar Cayce, Jean Dixon and other modern New-Age prophets with their other dimensional guides give a portrayal of the time of the end that give a perspective and desires of the arch-deceiver Satan himself. Don’t for a minute believe these messages are literally false. Recognize that they are mostly literally true but with messages of deception from the powers of darkness. Remember that Satan’s perception of truth is a portrayal of an alternative way of looking at life, a way that is destructive to the way the Lord designed us to live.
Redak says this occurs in the last of the last days when the people will realize that false prophets have misled them before their destruction by promising them peace and futile consolations. My personal opinion is that these are people operating on a lower level of prophecy (the Ru’ach Ha-kodesh), but who have not learned to discern the messages coming from THEIR spirits from those of the Ru’ach Hakodesh. Many think they are prophets just because the Ruach Ha-Kodesh gives them a message but the OFFICE and MINISTRY of the prophet is a different level of prophecy altogether, which entails very great personal sacrifice, a great sense of mishpat and tzedekah and the ridding of the human soul of the KLIPPOT or HUSKS (through a Tikkun) that alters the message or keep it from being received at all.
This is an interesting perspective. A person whom the Lord given a prophetic message does not necessarily become a prophet. As ben Joseph has stated, the Tzaddik or the righteous one, which also includes the person who is entrusted with the prophetic office living in a spiritually elevated world, a world of personal loneliness and of great personal sacrifice.
The majority of the world lives as though they are herded animals, lemmings on a march, or a flock of migrating birds. People of the world are seen wandering from one spiritual ideology to another. This may be an illusion that there will be no spiritual leader or Tzaddik in the land of Israel in the latter days. Even so, in the latter days, when the reality of God’s way is being revealed in its totality, the “messengers of God” who speak from the pulpits will disappear into the crowds. They will slink away as spiritual cowards. We will see a great “falling away” of the spiritual leaders within the churches. People, who are dependant upon a leader, will become desperate for any “sign” or “portent” from God. Only those who have learned to listen to the “still small voice” and learned how to connect to the power of the Spirit of God will understand and know what is happening.
Their “traveling like sheep” is a reference to their exile according to Redak. To me this speaks to the current tension that exists in the souls of JOES who are being dislodged from their traditional religious frameworks and learning to hear the voice of Hashem through the Torah and His prophetic revelation to their innermost beings.
Let us consider that the shepherd is a royal motif. First it could be the kings of the land (3 Samuel 5:2, Isaiah 44:28, Jeremiah 23:2-4) or God as our King and Shepherd (Psalms 23:1, Psalms 100:3, Ezekiel 34:11-16) or the Messiah as the Davidic King as Shepherd (Ezekiel 34:23-24, John 10:11-16, Hebrews 13:20, 1 Peter 5:4) Yet the human agencies who represent either of these three motifs are recognized also as shepherds.
Zechariah 10:3 – My anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the goatherds.
For the Lord of hosts will visit His flock, the House of Judah,
And will make them as His royal horses in the battle.
HaShem, as He spoke to the leadership of the Judaites returning from Babylon, directed his wrath to the shepherds, the recognized leaders of the land and the willful secular Jews who wanted to form their own type of Judaic culture as a modified Babylonian culture, without the blessings and direction from HaShem.(God).
Today, we also recognize that the secular Jewish state was formed in 1948 with returnees from a land of exile. Most of the returnees came out of the Holocaust in World War II Germany recognizing their desire for a national state, but not spiritually aware of their role as “spiritual emissaries of HaShem”. They formed a secular state under the same political framework that they had serviced under in “Babylon”, from where they had been exiled. Even today, the Nation of Israel is a police state with autonomy and state privileges only to its own people.
God realizes that the flocks are helpless, because they, the sheep, have been taught to depend upon the “servants of the Lord”, secular states and the organized church, yeshiva, synagogue, and religious hierarchies for their spiritual direction. These teachers do not train their people how to open up, and release the fences and barriers we place around our spiritual lives. The wrath of God will be upon these leaders, the shepherds, not the sheep.
AMEN! Not just that but in the Last Days, the church itself may be the woman circumventing Ephraim and trying to hold back his return. www.torah-voice.org/messjews.htm See; Isaiah 3:12, 9:16, Jeremiah 2:8, 26-27; 8:1-2; 10:21; 32:32; Ezekiel 22;23-31; 34:2-10.
These teachers will be national leaders, political leaders, educational leaders, and spiritual leaders. For the citizens of the free world, we are now caught up in a nationalistic and cultural battle against terrorism. This is stated to be a battle against “Evil”. We are not sure, if it is “evil within” or “evil without”. Evil is a moral and spiritual dimension, not usually addressed by secular states. The fact that “evil” is becoming the enemy shows that there is an evolutionary process that is moving our secular western democracies towards governments of force and persuasion. The reality is, evil can only be overcome by good. In as much as this process can very easily override individual free will and in itself become a state of power, greed and control, then our moral righteousness used to overcome evil with force can actually be fighting evil with evil. What a turn-around that will be when the battle against the “Evil One” is manifested in full, the battle will eventually be controlled by the “Evil One” himself. Maybe there is a fact to suggest that the Lamb-like “Land Beast” of Revelation that many Christian scholars believed to be America may in turn be the reality of the “Beast of Terror” that we are fighting today, “Peace like Beast of Islam”. Yet the “Force” that we are using to fight the Islamic “Beast” will end up being the Terrible “Sea Beast” of Revelation that many Christian scholars believed to be the rise of the One World Order, may in turn be the reality of the “War Beast of the International Intelligence Organizations” that in turn are the western internationalist’s forces of power, greed and control, are actually both in the process of being morphed into the reality that they are the “Agents” of Satan.
Everyone in a position of teaching another person has an awesome responsibility. Their credibility will reflect the God or god’s they serve. It is useful to remember, the life you live is reflected by the God you serve.
TRUE. I believe this especially applies in a “religious framework” where the sheep blindly “eat” from the same pasture over and over and over again.
Goats are a more independent type of domestic animals. They represent those who follow their own spiritual wills. They are willful even in their own self-deception. The evil in which they teach comes from their will and their resultant willful lives, in which they refuse to lay at the foot of the cross and become servants of the Lord. The sheep will follow a goat, and the goats will be punished for not following the ways of the Lord.
Also I discovered a mystical reference, possibly to the ATUDIM (translated goats) as the chiefs of Esau who according to the Midrash, laid their crowns of thorns on the coffin of Jacob AFTER Joseph placed his crown on the coffin. The thorns surrounding the coffin made it a GOREN HA-ATAD, (a field of thorns). ATUDIM is plural for ATAD. The rabbonim are in agreement that the spiritual House of Esau is Rome and the Roman Church, which is responsible for 99 percent of the pagan elements and idolatry in the “Church” today, including doctrines such as the deity of Messiah and Trinity which persist in the Protestant churches. In this context, the GOATS are those who preach non-Torah doctrine.
It is useful to remember that the Christian Church is still in the midst of a reformation. Every different denomination is a different step away from the Mother Church in Rome and moving towards their former Mother “Church” in Jerusalem, the orthodox, Torah believing, Jewish believers in Yahshua. Even the Seventh-day Adventist, one of the last in this reformation process, who have returned back to the worship of the Shabbat, the 7th day Sabbath of the Hebrews, and the Mosaic message of “clean meats” are not Kosher observant, and instead of Torah balance in a sinful world, moved to the opposite spectrum of vegetarianism as a creed, not a choice. Yet, they still observe the orthodox Roman church’s view of the Divine as a “Trinity”, rather than the triune image of the Sefirot of the World of the Divine observed by the ancient Hebrews.
What is of interest is that the “Lord of Hosts will visit his flock”, the House of Judah. As a result of that visit, the House of Judah will be elevated to the role of the “goodly horse in battle”. Are the people of Judah also being portrayed as a flock of sheep without a shepherd? We do know that the flock is not the “Lost Tribes of the House of Israel”. Neither are the Jews “the prodigal son” who lost his way. Rather, the Jews are the “older son who stayed home”, and yes, they remained in halakhic observant of their covenant with God. Are we seeing a warning to the political leaders of Israel today and the spiritual leaders of Orthodox Judaism in their halakhic observant of Judaism, put up barriers of protection around their people so that their own Jewish descendants and even the “Lost Tribes of the House of Israel” cannot return home? They may be truth-fighters for HaShem, but also have become arrogant and conceited in their “chosen ness”.
I agree that Judah is not the prodigal but I don’t agree that this is a warning to political leaders and spiritual leaders who staunchly maintain halachah. The fact that the scenario with JUDAH is contrasted with the shepherds and the goats, to me says just the opposite. JUDAH becomes majestic out of its faithfulness to Hashem and Torah b’halachah.
It is true that Judah has remained faithful to Hasham and the Torah b’halakhah (how to live the life of Torah). This is not in dispute even though most Christians think that the Jews have been rejected by their God, we must be reminded that even the Apostle Paul, who was noted as the “Pharisee of the Pharisees” disputed the fact that the God of Israel rejected His own people.
Within the days of Paul, there were two halakhic interpretations of the Torah, the Torah according to Beit Hillel, the Pharisees of Hillel and the halakhic interpretations of the Torah according to Beit Shammai, the Pharisees of Shammai. When the temple of Herod was destroyed in 70 CE, is it not amazing that the Torah interpretations of Shammai were rejected for evidence based spirituality in the political world of 1st century Judaism saw that the Shammaites infected and fomented the Jewish Zealot movement with an anti-Goyim (anti-Gentile) barriers that eventual caused the Jews their own destruction.
It is true that Judah becomes majestic out of its faithfulness to it covenant with Hashem, the God of Israel. The Jews also were faithful to the halakhah of Torah, but they chose the wrong halakhic interpretation during the years of globalist oppression. They could have avoided their destruction if they had more “loving kindness” as the famed Hillel the Great suggested and Yahshua the Messiah affirmed in life and action. It suggests also, as Rashi agrees, that the Torah of Shammai may become the correct halakhah in the coming days when the Messiah will rule over this planet earth with a “rod in His mouth”.
Zechariah 10:4 – From him (Judah) comes the cornerstone,
From Him (Judah) the tent peg,
From Him (Judah) the battle bow,
From Him (Judah) every ruler together.
The context is that out of Judah will come HaShem’s son, Yahshua, (Genesis 49:10, Micah 5:2) the Chief Cornerstone, (Psalms 118:22-23, Isaiah 8:13-15, 28:16, and Daniel 2:35,45; Matthew 21:42; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:6-8) and He will make Judah and Jerusalem also a cornerstone. Both have become a stumbling block for all the nations. Another translation used is “capstone”. The former is the first stone laid at the corner of a building, which defines the structure for the rest of the building. On the other hand, the “capstone” is the final stone that is placed upon the completion of the building. Do we see here the Messiah as the final and crowning achievement of the Lord of Hosts in His plans and purposes for His chosen people? Yes, Yahshua is the “cornerstone”, the first corner foundation stone, and the “capstone”, the last stone placed on the building as the crowning conclusion of the great building masterpiece.
The cornerstone here is simply the head of the people. The stake below is the officer and the bow the warrior. Israel will not need the assistance of any other nation; they will wage their own battles.
Are we dealing here with Yehoshua (Jesus) as coming out of Judah, and also being Judah’s cornerstone, or any head, ruler, prime minister or leader of Israel (Judah)? It appears this text is multi-dimensional. The war to be fought in the time of the end will be a real war with a bloody death for many of its participants. At the same time, this will be the ultimate spiritual warfare, for at the end all the cosmic forces of both good and evil will be fully participating. Remember the words of the Lord to Zerubbabel in Zechariah 4:6, “Not by military might, nor in your own strength, but by My Spirit, stated the Lord of Hosts.” At the same time, this Zechariah passage does not diminish the fact that physical might or military strength are necessary yet only when it is guided by the Spirit of the Almighty.
Out of Judah will come forth the “tent-peg”, that Judah was originally given when the House of Israel fell. This peg was removed (Isaiah 22:22-24), when Judah also fell to the forces of Babylon. She was replaced after the exile from Babylon was completed for 70 years, yet returned to exile with the fall of the Temple of the Lord, Herod’s Temple in 70 CE. This word, yathed (Heb-3489, Strong’s) is interpreted as nail, peg, tent-peg paddle, or stake. If the context is a military portrayal, “the goodly horse” than the officers over the armed forces, and under the modern prime minister and military commanders is an apt portrayal.
Out of Judah will also come the battle bow. This is known as the Divine Warrior terminology and is always presented by the prophets as the bow, ready for battle. (Zechariah 9:3, Psalms 7:12, 45:5, Lamentations 2:4, 3:12, Habakkuk 3:9) Yet, Judah has one problem, she needs an arrow. Will this arrow will be reserved for the House of Ephraim (Joseph)?
But the next verse doesn’t mention the ARROW even being necessary and the verses following that (below) speak of Joseph’s return come AFTER this particular conflict or series of events.
Yehoshua (Jesus) will bring out of Judah, the spiritual, military and political leadership necessary to vault her to her own rightful role as the blessed one of the Lord of Hosts. Together they will be in preparation for the day when Israel will have to stand alone in her service to the Lord of Hosts.
Zechariah 10:5 – They shall be like mighty men,
Who tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle.
They shall fight because the Lord is with them,
And the riders on horses shall be put to shame.
If it is suggested that the above reference in Zechariah that only the Holy Spirit will battle, for his people, then this passage is in vain. Why praise mighty men who battle for the Lord if we are to sit passively by and expect the Cosmic Powers of God to do the work for us. Here it states, the sheep, the weak, will now become mighty men.
What a different picture of the Jews of the Holocaust, and the world opinion of the Jews today. The prowess of the military might of Israel is legendary to the size of her military forces. But it has not been always so. During the Holocaust, the Jews were leaderless like wandering sheep being hunted by the wolves of the Nazi leaders. Yet, right after World War II, the Nation of Israel was established in May 14, 1948 B.C.E. and their national identity was restored. With their national identity we have seen a progressive development of a spiritual identity. The Orthodox Jews in the past year or two have almost achieved a majority status in the population of the country.
They shall fight because the Lord is with them. The defense of the Land of Israel will not be only because of their military prowess, which they have, but the conviction that they are now being led by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and that He has given them their prowess. Recent historical analysis on a logistic basis of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) have over and over been outnumbered, outgunned and fully surrounded by enemies when attacked with the intention of their adversaries to destroy and obliterate their whole country. At the end of each conflict, Israel has been the decided victor with the possession of more land than prior, able to win conflicts with 1/10th the armor of their opponents, maintained air superiority with fewer aircraft, and maintained an unprecedented kill-ratio.
After the 1967 six-day war, the IAF (Israeli Air Force) had destroyed over 400 planes of the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. In 1982, the IAF destroyed over 100 Syrian planes with no losses of their own. A military exercise, in the fall 1999, between the United States Navy Sixth Fleet and IAF, Israeli Air Force, in the Negev showed the Israeli completely trouncing the U.S. Navy pilots, according to report on the Air Force Monthly. This exercise involved engagements between IAF F-16’s and US Na Navy F-14 and F-18’s. According to the sources, the exercise ended in a score of 40:1 in favor of the IAF pilots. According to the report, IAF pilots downed 220 U.S. aircraft to a loss of only 20 of its own. It was stated that the report was not published “save the reputation of the US Navy pilots.” Yes, the American horse riders (pilots) were put to shame.
There are two different military strategies that the Lord has portrayed Judah at the time of the end. The King of the North invasion and the Gog-Magog battles clearly depict that the enemies against Israel will not be destroyed by the military dominance of Israel, but because they have been confounded, confused, or their military weaponry will be disabled by some other-dimensional forces beyond their control. Yet this passage is clear, Israel will have to fight her own battles and when she accepts her mission as being in defense of the God of Israel, the Lord of Hosts will truly go to battle with her.
One only has to go the battle accounts of both the Israelis and the Egyptians of the 1967 Six Day War, and listen to the Egyptians seeing overwhelming forces that did not exist, phantom tanks that were not in the vicinity and overwhelming noises of invasion that caused the Egyptians to jump out of their tanks and flee in terror. Some prophetic teachers see this as a conditional prophecy, which will never be fulfilled. The position of this writer is that if the Lord of Hosts states He will do a certain deed, it will be done, and secondly, all prophecies, given to Israel by God will see their ultimate fulfillment in the latter days.
The Land of the Twelve Tribes –
Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Zechariah 10:6 – I will strengthen the house of Judah, and
I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them.
They shall be as though I had not cast them aside;
For I am the Lord their God, and I will hear them.
The Lord of Hosts will make Judah into a military power of formidable strength. Prophecy fulfilled? This will be a marker or seed for the beginning of the restoration prophecies of the Lost Tribes of Israel under the leadership and banner of the largest tribe, Ephraim of the House of Joseph. It is true that in the context of these texts, Ephraim is not a participant in the military defense of the land of Israel at this time. Yet this event is a watershed for the salvation of the house of Joseph.
All the major commentaries, Rashi, Kara and Ibn Ezra agree this is Ephraim and since there was no known return of exiles from Assyria during the days of the Second Temple (subsequent to this prophecy) it implies a yet to be fulfilled exile.
It is these prophetic statements that cause many Christian theologians to close the books of the prophets in the Old Testament. They state that this is a conditional prophecy and since Judah failed to live up to covenant relationship with HaShem, she will forever be cast into exile. Why was this stated in the first place? The House or Nation of Israel never came home, so from a limited human perspective, 2730 years later, it will never happen. Wait a minute! Must we limit the Almighty God to our human dimmed vision? Yes, once again, the Lord of Hosts states that the house of Joseph, the lost sheep of the house of Israel will be saved. Why will this happen? It will happen because HaShem will have mercy on them. They will be restored as though they had never been exiled in 722 B.C.E. by the Assyrians empire. The prodigal son will return home with honors and the signet ring of the Father.
The Hebrew HOSHVOTIM is believed to a combination of HOSHAVTIM and HASHIVOTIM. This implies a physical return and resettling as well as a spiritual return to the YESHIVOT of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The Land of Israel under David and Solomon –
Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
I am the Lord their God because they now recognize me as their God, for I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If God hears, then the house of Joseph is calling and searching for their own identity. This is a prophecy in the process of being fulfilled.
I found it fascinating that the Adventist Bible Commentary, who does not accept the return of the House of Joseph, states though,
Adventist Bible Commentary - “However, a glorious destiny awaited those among these tribes who would join themselves to the Lord and unite with the remnant of Judah.” (ABC 1108)
The question is when?
The passage in the future tense, clearly designates the Return as an END TIMES phenomenon and something which was not fulfilled subsequently as some contend that the Ten Tribes returned at the time of the Return from Babylon.
Zechariah 10:7 – Those of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man,
And their heart shall rejoice as if with wine.
Yes their children shall see it and be glad;
Their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.
The House of Joseph shall also be given strength as a mighty warrior. Is this man of Ephraim, an individual “Joe” or rather a literal or spiritual descendant of Joseph, literally from the tribes of Ephraim and Manesseh and symbolically the “entire Lost Tribes of Israel” that is living in the Land of Israel at the time of the end? Is this collectively those Ephraimite nations who will come to the aid and protection of Israel?
Both good questions! Mighty man is a remez of the mighty men of David who were fierce fighters.
“Their hearts shall rejoice as being drunk (merry) with wine” gives us a word picture that is self explanatory. It does not portray a warrior drinking non-alcoholic grape juice. This has the appearance of a full release of exultation and emotional joy.
YES! And the vineyards of Judah will provide the wine!
“Their children shall see it and be glad….their hearts shall rejoice (exult) in the Lord.” Here we see that the whole families will be involved in the salvation of their people.
JEWS (Judaites) AND JOES (Josephites or Ephraimites) together again should make any heart exult.
Texts from the TaHaKh (Old Testament)
“Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying; ‘As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: “For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companion.” Then take another stick and write on it, “For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companion.” Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick and they will become one your hand.
“And when the children of your people speak to you, saying; “Will you not show us what you mean by these?” say to them “Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companion; and I will join then with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.” And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.
“Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
“David My servant shall be king over them and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. They shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover I will make a covenant of Peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.’”
After this chapter are the two chapters of prophecy on the war/s of God and Magog in Ezekiel 37 and 38.
First coming of Yeshua – “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner (signal) to the people (Jews); for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.
Second coming of Yehoshua – “It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria (Syria) and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush (Ethiopia), from Elam (Persia) and Shinar (Syria-Iraq), from Hamath (Syria) and the islands of the sea. (Greece or Britain)
He will set up a banner (signal) for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts (those driven out) of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth, also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim.
But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of (swoop down upon the flank of) the Philistines (Palestinians) toward the west (Gaza Strip); together they shall plunder the people of the East, they shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab (Saudi Arabia); and the people of Ammon (Jordan) shall obey them.
The Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of The Sea of Egypt (Nile Delta); with His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River (Euphrates), and strike it in the seven streams, and make men cross over dryshod. There will be a highway for the remnant of His people who will be left from Assyria, as it was for Israel in the day that he came up from the land of Egypt.”
The word of the Lord that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea:
“Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry, for the land has committed great harlotry be departing from the Lord.
“So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. Then the Lord said to him; “Call his name Jezreel, for in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. It shall come to pass in that day that I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.
“And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him; “Call her name Lo-Ruhanah (Not Loved), for I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, but I will utterly take them away. Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword or battle, by horses or horsemen.
And when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. Then God said; “Call his name Lo-Amni (Not My People), for you are not My people, and I will not be your God. Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God.’
Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and appoint for themselves one head; and they shall come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel! (Great Day of the Lord)
“Say to your brethren, “Amni , (My people)’ and to your sisters, “Ruhanah” (You are loved or Mercy is shown.)”
Zechariah 10: 6-12
“I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; for I am the Lord their God, and I will hear them. Those of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man and their heart shall rejoice as if with wine. Yes, their children shall see it and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord. I will whistle for them and gather them, for I will redeem them; and they shall increase as they once increased.
I will sow them among the peoples, and they shall remember Me in far countries; they shall live, together with their children, and they shall return. I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, until no more room is found for them. He shall pass through the sea of affliction, and strike the waves of the sea; all the depths of the River (Euphrates) shall dry up. Then the pride of (Syrian President Assad) Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter (royal throne of Mubarak) of Egypt shall depart.
So I will strengthen them in the Lord, and they shall walk up and down in His name.’ Says the Lord.
“For the day of the Lord upon all the nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you; your reprisal shall return upon your own head. For as you drank on my holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; yes, they shall drink, and swallow, and they shall be as though they had never been.
“But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; the house of Jacob (Judah) shall possess their possession. The house of Jacob (Judah) shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame; but the house of Esau (Saudi) shall be stubble; they shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,’ for the Lord has spoken.
“The South shall possess the mountains of Esau, and the lowland shall possess Philistia (Palestinian’s Gaza). They shall possess the fields of Ephraim and the fields of Samaria. Benjamin shall possess Gilead. And the captives of this house of the children of Israel shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far a Zaraphath (Sidon). The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the cities of the South. Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion (Jersalem) to judge the mountains of Esau (Islam’s Kingdom of Saud), and the kingdoms shall be the Lord’s”
The Return of the House of Israel (Joseph and Ephraim)
Zechariah 10:8 – I will whistle for them and gather them,
For I will redeem them;
And they shall increase as they once increased.
There is a positive and a derogatory interpretation of this passage. The LXX renders this statement as, “I will make a sign for them. Hissing is a derogatory sound to gain a persons attention. As the children of HaShem are to listen for the “still small voice”, so we also see the Almighty One quietly whistle to his lost sheep, “Come, I am in the process of saving and redeeming you.”
Will this whistle be a spiritual whistle? We know that there will be a spiritual reformation and a new identity as HaShem will take away their hearts of stone and give them hearts of flesh. How will this spiritual reformation be seen on a literal basis? By a literal restoration and redemption to the Land.
ESHREKAH in Hebrew means “I will whistle” Rashi says this is a “sign” and a signal” to those who are straying on their way.
The Tomb of Joseph – by BiblePlaces
When the Lord of Hosts states, “I will gather them; for I have redeemed them”, we have a verbal picture of plucking and gathering people from many places and nations and placing (redeeming) them back to the Land of Israel, like the mother hen who gathers her chickens under her winds. When we hear of ancient tribal names who scattered across Europe; such as the Scythians, Abiri, Habiru, Hibernians, Danaoi, Celtai, Gatae, Galatae, Kimmerians, Iskuza, Sakia, Sacae, Saka, Omri, Khumri, Gimmiri, Cimmerian, Kumri, we must now think of the wandering Lost Tribes of Israel.
Remember that historically and biblically ONLY the FIRSTBORN (the bechorah or those with the birthright, which Hashem restored in Ephraim (Jeremiah 31), require REDEMPTION.
If Judah was the son who carried the birthright of the House of Jacob with the family of Leah, so Joseph carried the firstborn birthright of the House of Jacob with the family of Rachel. This birthright of Joseph was not given to Joseph but transferred by Grandfather Jacob to the Ephraim, who was not the eldest, but the one chosen. (Genesis 48:13-22)
When the Lord says, “They shall increase as they once increased”, He is making a special note that of the ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel, the tribe of Ephraim was to become the most numerous and most prosperous. (Genesis 41:50-52) This comes from the name given to Ephraim, by his father, Joseph. “God has made me fruitful in the land of my hardships.” This fruitfulness will come during exile.
True, the name does reflect fruitfulness but in the censuses taken of the tribes, Ephraim was usually one of the smallest of the tribes. This means that the prophecy of their increase takes place during their exile, a point on which Rashi, Redak and Ibn Ezra are all in agreement.
Zechariah 10:9 – I will sow them among the peoples,
And they shall remember Me in far countries;
They shall live together with their children,
And they shall return.
The children of Israel, represented by the House of Joseph (Ephraim) will be sown in many countries. In the farthest reaches of the earth, from the Americas to coastline of China, the ancient Israelites were sowed and scattered. No, these were not the Judahites, who for seventy years became profitable and productive in the land of the richest country of the world, Babylon. Rather it was the Israelites of the Nation of Israel who were scattered across the globe. There in those far off lands, “they shall live with their children and they shall return.” Whole clans, not as individual mercenaries, but whole families with all the extended clans will return to the Land of their fathers. How so? In the end of this era, their minds will return (remember) the Lord, and they will find again their genetic and spiritual roots. Has this been fulfilled to date? No! If the Lord of Hosts states that He will gather His own, even the literal chosen ones, He will do it. Who are we to challenge the intentions of the God of Israel?
Ezekiel 36:22-28 (parts) – “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations, wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst: and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hollowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. … I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. The you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.”
Who are we to proclaim that the God of Israel changes His mind and now proclaim that His covenant was “conditional” and depended upon the action or will of the Israelites? Did He not proclaim that at the end of the age, the Lord of hosts will redeem the House of Israel (Lost Tribes of the House of Israel) even though they are the ones who have “profaned” God’s holy name to the nations of the world? It will not be because of their actions, but for only one reason, to honor His holy Name!
Here I believe all of the Jewish commentaries miss it as they revert back to the phraseology “scattered Jews,” when clearly these are Joes. But Rashi DOES make the connection to SOWING for a harvest and NOT just SCATTERING. As he points out, “first among the peoples, as a person SOWS a seah (of seed) to bring in MANY korim (one KOR is about 30 seahs), so if MANY implies at least 100 KOR, then the multiplication is at least 3 0 x 100 or 3,000-fold per seed sown!!
Before proceeding to the next verse, let us take some time to analyze potentially how the opening up the land in central Palestine will be accomplished. To do so, it will take a few assumptions, which the Lord of Hosts may choose to bypass in fulfilling His prophetic march to the final apocalypse.
Assumption Number 1 – The prophecy of Zechariah 9 and 10 is a marker of the beginning of the Time of Tribulation, which will begin with the first Seal, the White Horse going forth to make war. According to BibleSearchers Reflections, this White Seal of the Apocalypse of Revelation (the White Horse and Rider is the Seal of the American Illuminist Council of Foreign Relations) began with the War against Terror that began on the 7th day of Succot in the year of 2001. According to the kabbalist Jews and the prophecies of the late Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri, this also began the 7 year war of GoguMagog that will end in the fall of 2008.
Assumption Number 2 – The New World Order is in the process of forming a World Economic Alliance, which will produce an environment to develop a world of peace based upon human prosperity and the realignment of all religious belief systems into a World Confederation of Religions. As the United States approaches her 2008 elections, the collapse of the American dollar and the progressive revelation of the 2010 goal of the rise of the North American Union with a new international currency, the Amero, suggests that the New World Order is fast coming to its completion.
Assumption Number 3 – The geopolitical forces in the Middle East will cause a realignment of nations and national boundaries that will eventually form a smaller coalition of ten kingdoms. These nations will surround the enlarged Nation of Israel, which will include land for the House of Joseph. Nation rebuilding has begun.
Assumption Number 4 - The coming Anti-Messiah (Antichrist) will truly emulate the real return of the Jewish messiah, Yehoshua (Jesus). It will bring a false “millennium” of economic and religious peace.
This era of peace will mimic the era of prosperity of Solomon’s reign, using wisdom of understanding and knowledge, with diplomatic skills of molding nations together for world peace and understanding, plus the economic skills of power, greed and control. The latter eventually toppled the New Age Solomonic Empire.
Let us analyze the first steps as we begin to see in reality the opening up of Seal One, the White Horse. The United States of American under the auspices of multiple world coalitions is in the process of dismantling the country of Afghanistan. The superstructure of the most backward of the Middle Eastern countries is the most virulent in its opposition to the economic world order and the religious world order philosophical systems. It is now in the developmental stage as the government of the “heroin capital of the world” is in the process of being swept clean and rebuilt into a country that is in harmony and in compliance with the rest of the world.
In the fall of 2006, the United States military command turned over to NATO the military control of Afghanistan. Within a month, as the 2006 Rome Peace Agreement of Lebanon was signed after the 2006 Missile Barrage against Israel by the Iranian backed militia called Hezbollah after the capture of Israel’s three troops on the northern border of Israel. This resulted in the Israeli counter attack aerial bombardment of Lebanon and Beirut. With the signed agreement by multiple western nations, NATO with UNIFIL assumed occupational command for peace in the country of Lebanon. In the spring of that same year, in 2006, the Palestinian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, called “Hamas” won its first democratic election in the Gaza Strip on January 26, 2006. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh became the elected “king of Gaza” while Yasser Arafats’ protégé, President Mahmoud Abbas moved the Palestinian Organization headquarters to Ramallah in the West Bank. By the fall of 2007, with the progressive bombardment of over 3,500 missiles against Israel by the Hamas forces in Gaza, the stage was begin set to introduce NATO troops into the Palestinian district of the West Bank.
As the United States winds down its war in Iraq, it is assumed by BibleSearchers, that NATO will be taking over the military command of the former Nation of Iraq. This will fulfill the American promise of withdrawal, a goal for all Presidential candidates, Republican and Democratic alike. With NATO’s military command in Italy, and the Italian forces in charge of the Lebanese occupation, we see the looming presence of the Vatican in the strategic architectural strategy of surrounding the Nation of Israel.
The question now is, what now? Let us look carefully at a posting by DEBKAfile’s (www.debka.com) on October 17, 2001 as the United States was preparing for the War against Terror that began in the country of Afghanistan.
Debkafiles - “The United States has been massing naval strength, including Marine units aboard an aircraft carrier, in the eastern Mediterranean opposite the Syrian and Lebanese coasts. The Israeli and Turkish armies, air forces and navies are in a state of preparedness. Washington has also hardened its tone against Syria’s sponsorship of terrorist groups, eleven of which call Damascus home. Strong personal condemnation of President Bashar Assad was voiced by US deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, in his most recent conversations with Arab rulers on the American campaign against world terror. Syria’s deputy chief of staff, General Ali Aslan, was pinpointed as the overlord of Syria’s intelligence logistical ties with those terrorist groups. An American diplomat, who declined to be named warned that if Syria failed not only to sever its ties with the terrorist world, including the Hezbollah, but only crack down on them, Damascus could find itself at the receiving end of a few Tomahawk missiles. Such harsh words against Syria have not been heard from American officials for many years.
According to DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources, both the US and Israeli governments had received accounts of a stepped-up flow of armaments to the Hezbollah by sea. The new supplies include automatic anti-air 23 mm and 40 mm cannons, which are most effective against helicopters, and various types of Katyusha rockets including Iranian-made long-range weapons. The Iranian sealift to the Hezbollah was intended to equip the group to fight off an American or an Israeli assault, or, alternatively, to enable the Shiite militants to launch their own assault against northern Israel as soon as American troops land in Afghanistan…The likely targets of a military offensive in Syria and/or Lebanon will be Syrian bases and strategic points in the Lebanese Bekaa Valley, Baalbek, Beirut’s environs and even locations in northern Syria itself. If an attack is confined to Lebanon, then the assault is likely to focus on the north Lebanese Palestinian center of Naher al-Bared and the Ein Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon, where groups linked to Al Qaida are based.”
Terrorist Camps in the Gaza Strip.
With October 2001 as the foundational history, let us now revisit Zechariah 9.
Zechariah 9:1 - An oracle, the word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrach (Lebanon)
And will rest upon Damascus (capital of Syria) .
For the eyes of men and all the tribes of Israel are on the Lord
And upon Hamath (northern border of Syria where Hezbollah camps are located)
too, which borders on it,
And upon Tyre and Sidon (site of the Ein Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp)
though they are very skillful.
Is there any reason to believe that since September 11, 2001, the eyes of the world were not on the Lord? HaShem, the Lord of Hosts, and Allah, the god of Islam, appear now to be in direct conflict. It was on that same day, now known as “911” that the United States was attacked by a coordinated assault of the fundamentalist Islamic organization called al-Qaeda, under the command of Osama bin-Laden. It began by crashing two commercial airliners (American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175) into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. A third airline (American Airlines Flight 77) crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia near Washington D.C. and a fourth airline (United Airlines Flight 93) that was scheduled to crash into the White House in Washington D.C. but instead was crashed in a field near the town of Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
Fourteen days later, on September 25, 2001, the centurion Sephardic Kabbalist Rabbi, Yitzhak Kaduri, represented by his spokesman on national TV in Israel announced this statement.
Yehoshua Meiri on Rabbi Kaduri - "On Hashanah Rabba, the actual war of Gog and Magog will commence and will last for some seven years."
October 7, the celebration of the Jewish holiday Hoshana Rabba, the 7th day of Succot, began. Precise to the minute as the sun was setting in the western horizon, the eve of that day as the festival day began, the US and British forces began an aerial bombing campaign against the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan and the War against Terror was begun. Using the mystical teachings of the writings of the Vilna Gaon, a “Sign of the Gog and Magog War” began when the American War on Terror against Afghanistan broke out on the Jewish holiday of Hoshana Rabba (the 7th day of the Sukkot holiday), just after the conclusion of the 7th or Sh’mittah agricultural sabbatical year. This war would last for a complete Sabbatical year cycle (Fall 2001-2008), in which its disastrous conclusion for the multi-national coalition of forces of Gog from the Land of Magog, near the month of October 2008. This catastrophic event would herald the last Sabbatical year cycle (Fall 2008–15) before the coming of the Messiah.
Eight days later on October 15, 2001, two simultaneous events were occurring in Israel and in Britain. In Israel, the ministers of the infrastructure and tourism, Avigdor Lieberman and Rehavam Zeevi announced that they were resigning the national unity government to protest the decision to pull the army back from two Palestinian hilltop areas of Abu Sneineh and Khart-e-Sheikh that overlook the Jewish quarters of Hebron. This takeover came in response to Jewish worshippers being shot and hit while visiting the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
Meanwhile at 10 Downing Street in London, Yasser Arafat, called the “Methuselah of the terror business”, was basking in the warm welcome he received from British prime minister Tony Blair and other European leaders in his willingness to enter peace talks. The prime minister was disregarding the history of the world’s most innovative terrorist, called by some, the “Chameleon”. While Prime Minister Blair was proclaiming the eventuality of a Palestinian State, and even calling Arafat, President and a moderate Arab, Yasser Arafat was confiding to close confidants that he “dare not side with the American anti-terrorist campaign, because sooner or later he too would be confronted with an American demand to terminate the activities of the Palestinian Hamas and the Jihad against Israel – at the very least.
It was Arafat who invited the elite guerrilla elite of the Lebanese Hezbollah, who for years have high on the US State Department’s list of terrorist organization to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. They were trained in northern Iran by instructors under the command of Imad Mughniyeh, one of American’s 22 most wanted terrorists in the word. Their purpose was to train Arafat’s security forces run by Muhamed Dahlan and Muhamed El Hindi in the arts of putting together powerful car bombs, training suicide teams with correct composition mixes in explosive belts strapped to human suicide bombers, and the use of mortars and how to storm military facilities and Israeli settlements.
On October 17, 2001, Rehavam Zeevi, popularly known as “Ghandi”, four hours before his resignation was to have taken place, died after being assassinated outside his hotel room on the VIP floor of the Hyatt Hotel on the French Hill in Jerusalem. He became the first Israeli minister to die at Islamic hands. A mortal blow was made to the diplomatic movement between the Palestinians and Israelis.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hit team publicly broadcasted on Arab TV with three masked men, claimed they were Zeevi’s killers. According to intelligence sources on the West Bank, Col. Tawfiq Tirawi, head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service on the West Bank, along with Arafat and Iragi military intelligence who recently infiltrated into the West Bank as commando units through Jordan about a month ago, orchestrated the assassination with the PFLP. They were eager to avenge the death of their secretary general in August by an Israeli missile strike. Even so, within three days, Arafat transformed himself in Arab eyes from a collaborator with the US to a victim of Israel, US’s ally.
Palestinian Colonel Tawfiq Tirawi was a close personal friend with Abul Abbas, the head of the Iraqi intelligence-funded Arab Liberation Front (ALF). Both of them grew up in Tirah, a village near Ramallah, Israel. Abul Abbas was best known for the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro pleasure yacht and the murder of the American, Leon Klinghoffer. Intelligence files noted a recent meeting in Amman, Jordan, between Abbas and Tirawi, who represented as Arafat’s liaison office in joint terrorist operations.
What was known is that the PFLP’s headquarters were located in Damascus while Hamas and the Islami Jihad have operational command centers in Damascus, Lebanon and Iran. The Hezbollah Shiites commandos were imported to the Gaza Strip and West Bank last by the Force 17, Arafat’s Elite security forces.
Within twenty four hours, the emergency Israeli Ministerial Meeting gave the unanimous ultimatum without the usual equivocations, that was endorsed even by the dovish foreign minister, Shimon Peres, that Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas would be deemed terrorist organizations until they handed over the assassins of ex-minister Zeevi, and the Palestinian terrorist installations destroyed. This was the defacto declaration of war upon the Palestinian Authority.
On October 20, 2001, the Israeli War against Arafat’s Jihad began with the rejection of the PLO. In the rejection of its offer, the IDF with tanks, Apache and Cobra gun ships and armored ground troops moved into the Palestinian West Bank towns of Jenin and Ramallah, plus Bethlehem, Beit Jallah, Beit Sahur and Talkarm, Qalqilyeh, and Nablus. Each one, a siege was laid, and cut off from each other by road.
Within three days, there was a report of over 50 Palestinian ‘security’ officers and members of the PFLP, Hamas and Jihadi Islami plus a few Hezbollah activists that were captured or killed. Now under the direct leadership of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, this Israeli operation which included IDF Special Force troops, members of Shin Beit counter-terrorist and combat units were made operational. This military operational style was repeated soon after as the operational style of the subsequent United States Offensive into Afghanistan in form and purpose.
It was October 2001, the GoguMagog War had just begun couched by the name of the “War against Terror”. The government of the Nation of Israel was now under prime minister’s rule of Arial Sharon, who had now begun the parallel counter offensive against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This occurred in tandem as the United States began the official “War against Terror” that Rabbi Yikzok Kaduri prophesied would begin the War of Gogu-Magog of the Prophecy of Ezekiel 38. It is believed that at this time, the First White Seal of the Apocalypse began.
In the context of the War against Terror and the Gogu-Magog War, three premises within this text come to mind.
1. Zechariah 9 - Ashkelon will see it and fear; Gaza (Gaza Strip) will write in agony, and Ekron too, for her hope will wither.
2. Gaza will lose her “king”. Yasser Arafat died while living in Ramallah in the West Bank and never fulfilled the destiny as reigning in Gaza. President Mahmoud Abbas living also in the West Bank, has not fulfilled this Gaza prophecy. Yet Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is a most potential candidate and Ashkelon, presently an Israeli city of 117,000, has the sober prophetic oracle that suggest that this city will become deserted.
3. Foreigners (mamzers or those of mixed blood) will occupy Ashdon (city of 150,000 and occupied by Israel today) and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
4. I will take the blood from their mouths, (the blood oath of violence), the forbidden food (words of insult, blasphemy and red) from between their teeth.
5. Those who are left (Aluf, a docile or friendly element of the population) will belong to our God (followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and become leaders in Judah and Ekron will be like the Jebusites, (the people who controlled the city site of Salem, when David conquered it, and these people lived in peace with Israel.
6. But I will defend my house against marauding forces. (Terrorist groups) Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch.
Are we setting the stage for the final fulfillment of this passage? Ancient Ashdod is presently an uninhabited archeological site as well as Ekron, whose inhabitants have blended in with the general population over the centuries. The citizens of Israel occupy Ashdod (Ashdon) in a thriving metropolis of 150,000 Israelis. The region of Gaza is seen in the last throes of agony as she awaits her future. The “shooting into the air”, the vile oaths against Israel, the threats of wiping the Jewish off the entire land of Israel is seen as the pride of the Palestinians that will be cut off as Gaza loses her king, to fates unknown. When the last element is fulfilled, Israel will no longer face the threat of marauding terrorist forces and will also have room to expand her borders for the return of the House of Joseph.
Zechariah 10:10 – I will also (beside the worldwide assimilation) bring them (Tribe of Joseph)
Back from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon,
Until no more room is found for them.
The land of Egypt was their first bondage, yet some the Israelites were sent or escaped to Egypt during their second bondage. Though there is a lot of symbolism here, Jeremiah, the prophet in Jerusalem, does speak of Israelites living in Egypt (Jeremiah 43:44) and this was after the fall of the nation of Israel in 722 BCE. At the same time, there was a large group of Judaites, who fled from Jerusalem to the land of Egypt. It will be fascinating if we see populations of Egyptians, who will accept their Hebrew Semitic roots in the future and return to Israel, like a recent migrations of Fallujah Ethiopian Jews.
The most famous story of royal Davidian exiles is the exile of the family of the last king of Judah, King Zedekiah, under the custody of Jeremiah, the prophet and his scribe, Baruch the son of Neriah (Berekhyahu son of Neriyahu). The king’s daughter, Tamar Tephi, was later given in marriage to a Scythian prince, whose father was the head of the mercenary forces for the Pharaoh of Egypt. They moved to Spain and then northward to Ireland where Tamar Tephi placed her royal household at Tara. Here began the long and illustrious Irish dynasty that lasted over 110 kingships until the time of the Norman invasion of England in 1066 A.D. There are several variations of the legends of the Irish people, but the result is that their ancestral High Kings of Ireland are descendant from a Jewess Princess bride. As such, a large segment of Judaites are also still in exile and encompass the Irish, British and a large portion of the American population.
Assyria was the place the Israelites were exiled to initially, known better along the Black Sea. They were known as the House of Omri or Ghomeri, after by the best known of Israel’s kings, King Omri, the father of King Ahab. From Assyria, they were scattered over the face of the earth. Even so, a large population of Hebrew Semites still live in the land of ancient Persia and the area of the Black Sea, the Caucasus, in present day Turkey and Armenia.
Will the return of the House of Israel (Josephites or Ephraimites) bring them back to the present day borders of modern Israel? No! They will settle in the Land of Gilead and the Land of Lebanon. This land is to the northwest of Israel in the present day land of Lebanon, and Gilead is along the eastern border of the Jordan River from below the Sea of Galilee to the region east of the upper middle region of the Dead Sea. This was the area of Decapolis and Perea during the time of Jesus and in present day Syria and Jordan.
The Land of Lebanon
The Land of Lebanon (Heb Lebanon) is called “white” for the gorgeous white mountain ranges which are covered by snow a large part of the year. This range is a geologic anomaly because it is actually a double range of mountains which run parallel to the Mediterranean Sea for about 150 miles from the Litani (Leontes) River from Latakia in the north down to the city of Tyre in the south. These two ranges, the western range called the Lebanon Mountain and the eastern ridge, called Anti-Lebanon Mountain, are transected by a beautiful highland valley called the “Valley of Lebanon” (Joshua 11:17, 12:7)
In the classical era it was called Coele Syria, or Hollow Syria. In this modern era, it is called the Beqaa, our of which flows the two main rivers of Syria, the Orontes River to the north and the Litani (Leontes) River to the south.
The biblical authors seemed to call Lebanon as the land including both mountain ranges. Speaking of “the Hivites that dwelt in Mount Lebanon,” it describes their territory as ‘from Mount Baal-Hermon unto entering in of Hamath” on the eastern range or the valley in between. (Judges 3:3, 1 Chronicles 5:23) Other passages in the TaNaKh, call this area as “from the gorge of Arnon” to Mount Hermon, called Siriion by the Sidonians and Senir by the Amorites, the southern ranges of the eastern or Anti-Lebanon slopes and the most majestic mountain in the Middle East.
The mountains on the western range are visible from the Mediterranean Sea and the most picturesque with their elevations of 8,000 feet above sea level with the western fertile slopes which were once covered by massive forests of the famed ‘cedars of Lebanon’ plus firs, cypress, pines, oaks as well as orchards of almond trees, mulberry, figs, olives, walnuts, apricots, pear, pomegranate, and pistachio trees.
The cedars of Lebanon were prized export to Egypt in the 3rd millennium B.C. They were used for the famed Solar boats of the pharaoh’s and to build the palaces of the royalty of the world. It was Solomon, who obtained cedar beams from his friend, the King Hiram of Lebanon, for the Temple of Solomon and his famed palace, “The House of the Forest of Lebanon”. (1 Kings 5:6-10, 1 Chronicles 2:8-16) Later in the rebuilding of the Temple of Zerubbabel, which is the time of our present study in the time of Zechariah, the cedars were once again imported to Jerusalem. (Ezra 3:7)
The land was praised and acclaimed by poets and prophets alike for the beauty of its snow (Jeremiah 18:14), the leopards and lions that roamed its slopes (2 Kings 14:19, Song of Solomon 4:8), and its stately trees and cedars (2 Kings 19:23, Isaiah 60:13, Zechariah 11:1,2).
The Pentateuch records that the northernmost boundary of the Promised Land to the northwest was Lebanon. (Deuteronomy 1:7, 11:24, Joshua 1:4, 11;17, 12:7, 13:5). Here stood the most beautiful snowy peaks of Mount Hermon, rising to 9,232 feet above sea level as it towered over the barren southern plateau and steppes of modern Syria.
The land of Gilead (Heb. Gil’ad) had the meaning of hard and rough. It was a mountainous region south of the Yarmuk River which flows along the southern ridge of the Golan Heights toward the Jordan River, about two to three miles south of the Sea of Galilee (Sea of Kinnereth). The land of Gilead traverses southward for about seventy miles to the Arnon River which borders across the tableland on the northern border of Moab as it flows to the middle part of the eastern border of the Dead Sea.
Where did they get the name? It is uncertain except possibly from the mountain south of the River Jabbok, called Jebel Jele’ad. It was this river, Jabbok, (Joshua 12:2) which formed the boundary of the tribes of Manasseh and Gad who lived in the upper and mid portions of this land. (Deuteronomy 3:12-13, Joshua 13:24-31) These two tribes plus the tribe of Reuben to the south of Mount Nebo, where the body of Moses was buried, formed what was called Trans Jordan, or the “other side’ of the Jordan. Gilead, being the largest and most productive part of this land was sometimes called Transjordan. (Deuteronomy 34:1, Joshua 22:9, Judges 20:1, 2 Samuel 2:9)
The land was thickly forested in many parts (2 Samuel 18:6,8,9) a fertile and productive land for cattle growing (Numbers 32:1, 1 Chronicles 5:9) and famed for its balm (Genesis 37:25; Jeremiah 8:22), sung about in the southern gospel spiritual, “There is a Balm in Gilead”. This balm (Heb. seri) came from a resin from the mastic or terebinth tree (Genesis 43:11, Jeremiah 51:8, Ezekiel 27:17) which also was noted for its rich wood that produced little “terebinth idols” which Rebecca stole and hid from her father’s, Laban, oracle room. The quality and quantity of healing properties of this balm was noted in the ancient days and it became a prime export from the land of Gilead. (Genesis 37:25, Jeremiah 46:11)
This land was the last meeting place of Jacob and Laban (Genesis 31:21-22), the site of the battle between Gideon’s company of 300’s battle with the Midianites, and the home of the prophet Elijah.
Let us return to our memory of Zechariah 9’s oracle from HaShem concerning His desire to take possession of the land of Hadrach and Sidon, the area today of modern Lebanon and Damascus, in the land of modern day Syria. The whole chapter has an unsettling portrayal that some outside “Force” will prevail upon these lands and in the judgments sent upon them by HaShem, they will be open for repossession by the people of Israel.
Because of the bombing of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001, the international war against terror began with focus against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban regime in Afganistan. If this war spreads to other countries which harbor and finance terrorists, namely Lebanon, Syria and possibly Iraq, then we may be seeing the fulfillment of the oracle of Zechariah 9.
It is time for students of end time prophecies to seriously consider that the time is now. If Lebanon, the Syrian land of the Golan Heights which Israel now controls by the capture and possession during the War of 1967, and now the land of ancient Gilead in the present land of Jordan on the eastern side of the Jordan River down to the middle of the Dead Sea, becomes open for the possession by the returning Lost Tribe of Joseph or the Tribe of Ephraim, which will include the whole house of Israel, then it gives us understanding of the serious geo-political changes that are occurring in the Middle East. As stated, the Land of Israel will soon be ready for a massive migration of the House of Joseph, so large that a “place shall not be found for them until there is no more room for them.” What a massive migration this will be. What will be the political, economic, or global catastrophic conditions that will precipitate these events is still (2008) hidden in the palm of the Almighty One’s hand.
Zechariah 10:11 – He shall pass through the sea with affliction,
And strike the waves of the sea;
All the depths of the River shall dry up.
Then the pride of Assyria shall be brought down,
And the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
Rashi has an interesting take on this, which is curiously beginning to materialize in this hour. He says this is a veiled illusion to Esau/Edom since ancient TYRE (near the border between Lebanon and Israel at the Mediterranean) is “the head of Edom.” Support for this idea is found in Malachi 1, where Hashem explains in judging Esau (Tyre).
Malachi 1:1-5 - “The oracle ‘burden’ of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.
‘I have loved you’, says the Lord. Yet you say, ‘ In what way have You loved Us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?’ says the Lord. “Yet Jacob I have loved; but Esau I have hated, and laid waste his mountains and his heritage for the jackals of the wilderness.”
Even though Esau has said, “We have been impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places,” Thus says the Lord of Hosts: “They may build, but I will throw down; they shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, and the people against whom the Lord will have indignation forever. Your eyes shall see, and you shall say, ‘The Lord is magnified beyond the border of Israel.”
With the proliferation and deployment of Hizbullah forces along the entirety of the Northern Border, we could see this literally occur very shortly.
Continuing in this verse, “All the deeps of the river shall dry up” was many times alluded to in ancient times the Nile River (Exodus 1:22, 2:3,10.), yet ye’or could mean other rivers. In Daniel 12:5-7, the river referred was to the Tigris River. In Revelation, during the Trumpet and Vial Plagues, the Euphrates River will be dried up. The spiritual implications are that when a river is dried up, the power of God’s Presence, physically and spiritually, will be leaving that region. The inhabitants that remain will have a military, political and psycho-spiritual decline. Will we see a miraculous drying up of the Nile, the Tigris, and the Euphrates, as a vast migration of Hebrew Semites return to the Land of Israel? Think again. Will the literal drying up of these vast rivers be a spiritual indicator that Presence of the Almighty is also “drying up”? The physical drama of such actions can very well offer insight to the spiritual battle that is taking place on a cosmic plane.
The fourth seal of Revelation, we see the dappled horse, which is sent out to the south land, that is south from the land of Israel, in the Oracles of Zechariah, chapter 4. This horse, without the chariot, will return in the end of times in the Book of Revelation from a land, which could very well be the continent of Africa, which controls about a fourth of the continental land mass or populations of the world. What is the fate of this continent?
The sacred oracles proclaim that the citizens of this mighty continent of Africa will be killed with the sword, (continental and tribal wars) with hunger (famine of continental proportions either climatic or secondary to war), death (pestilence by virus, such as the Ebola, HIV and others, plagues and other insect, rodent, or human biological warfare vectors), and by the beasts of the earth (elephants, lions, tigers, rhinoceros who will turn against any human beings). If there is a continental size famine and a drying up of the rain forests of the Congo River, the Nile River will decline and the land of Egypt will be politically and sociologically destroyed.
The last part of this fascinating verse, “the Pride of Assyria shall be brought down”. It is from the Arab controlled lands of Iraq, Iran, Syria, within the imperial land of ancient Assyria in which the reign of terror upon the world has found its roots and financial backing. Imagine as the River of Euphrates or the Tigris River begins to dry up, and suddenly whole clans and tribes of indigenous peoples suddenly become aware of their Hebrew Semitic roots. What will happen from the Rabbinic Courts in Israel when they desire to be repatriated back to the Land of Israel? Now, instead of Palestinians returning to the land of Israel, the mantra of Yasser Arafat, and now the Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of the Hamas Palestinian Chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, we suddenly see a vast migration of newly recognized Hebrews returning in “aliyah” to the Land of Israel. Couple this with the death or the surrender of Prime Minister Ismail Haniya in Gaza (see chapter 9), will we see the borders and hinterlands of Lebanon and Gilead in the present land of Syria, absorbed into the national boundaries of Israel? Will we also see the “pride” of the Philistine/Palestinians brought down, also the “pride” of the modern enemies of Israel within the Middle Eastern states of Iran, Iraq and Syria humbled by the “mighty hand of God”?
Last in this text, “the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away” portrays the fall of the ruler or ruling party of the land of Egypt. Will we see the death or departure of the ruling government of Mubarak in Egypt?
I think we also must consider in these verses the context of Zecharyah 9 which clearly depicts a FUTURE conflict with Tyre and Sidon (which is how an ancient writer would define Lebanon).
We know it is in the future because Zecharyah 9 begins with the timing of “when all the tribes of Israel are turned toward Hashem.” Since the Northern Kingdom was exiled at the time of this prophecy, it could not have applied to any prior judgment against Lebanon. Also, the Redak, in his commentary EXPLAINS IT AS REFERRING TO MESSIANIC TIMES WHEN THE ENTIRE NATION – JUDAH, BENJAMIN AND THE TEN TRIBES -- WILL RETURN.
Zechariah 10:12 – I will strengthen them in the Lord,
And they shall walk up and down in His name, says the Lord.
The strength given by the Lord is not just military might, but Lord of Hosts will strengthen them in Yahshua, their ‘Lord’. Here is a real return to spirituality and the ways of Torah. Here is the time when the fundamental Orthodox Judaism will become aware how Yahshua is really the Body, or ‘Beauty’ of the Sefirot of the World of the Divine. They will also recognized that Yahshua presides over the Central Pole of Grace. Yes, for by grace ye are saved, in Jesus our Lord.
“They shall walk up and down in His (God’s) name”.
Where are they walking? The context suggests that it will be throughout the whole expanded land of Israel? This time, it will be demonstrated that they are there in the Name of the Lord.
In Hebrew the last part of this verse is “yitHALACHU n’um HASHEM.” The sages point out that literally this is the HALACHAH. Contextually, it may also apply to the HALACHAH forbidding the mention of the HOLY NAME until the HOLY TEMPLE and the HOLY PRIESTS are all restored. See www.torah-voice.org/thename.htm
The literal ability to walk unimpeded throughout the land of Israel, even to the extent of its expanded borders, which will include Lebanon and Basham, gives a spiritual signal that the return to the halakhic observance of Torah is being observed by the majority of the inhabitances in the Land of Israel. When a majority of the inhabitance of the Land recognizes their role in the purity of their souls and the purity of the Land, then the Shekinah and the Power of the Lord of Hosts can once again make preparation for a visible return to the Land.
With the enlarged borders of Israel and the land is now teeming with a populous and vigorous peoples from the Tribes of Ephraim (Joseph), it is important to relook at the rearrangement of the boundaries and territories of the peoples that surround the Nation of Israel. It appears, prior to the End of the Ages, the boundaries of Israel will expand to include direct control and the area of expanded influence, such as seen in the era of David and Solomon. It will reach from the boundaries of Hamoth to the north to the northeast of the Anti-Lebanon mountains, included the land of Lebanon which include the Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon mountain ranges, the area around Mount Herman and Damascus, the Golan Heights, the area of Gilead down to the middle of the eastern edges of the Dead Sea. The Gaza Strip in the old area of Philistia, plus the coastal regions of southern Phoenicia, (Lebanon) from Tyre and Sidon in the south to Bebal (Byblos) in the north will remain independent provinces.
The Borders of Israel and the Surrounding Nations
After the Return of the House of Joseph
Psalms 83 - “Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God!
For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered Ones. T
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
“For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You:
The tents of Edom and the Ismaelites; Moab and the Hagerites; Gebel, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia
With the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot. Selah
The Ten Nations Surrounding Israel of Psalms 83
Let us look at each one of these national entities, ten in number. Since this prophecy was never fulfilled and taking our present assumption that all biblical prophecies will be fulfilled, is it reasonable to look at each of these opponents of Israel and try to identify their peoples and understand how they stand in opposition to Israel today.
What is so important about these peoples is they may very well represent the 10 city-state kingdoms that will exist at the time of the end, during the era of the Antichrist. If we make the assumption that the King of the North may represent the Western global powers as they seeks to subject the peoples in the Middle East to their rule and authority in Daniel 11, then we also have to suggest that not all of these countries will willing come the subjection of the western powers. Historically we see this text as Antiochus Epiphanes IV who overran and desecrated the Temple of the Lord about 145 BC. It was this desecration that led to the Maccabean Revolt and the eventual subjection by Rome.
Scholars of prophecy also place this prophecy at the time of the end, as the Anti-Messiah will also come and desecrate the Temple of the Lord. As stated, “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. (Daniel 11:31-32)
What is of interest, later in the chapter, not all will be subjugated by the Antichrist. He will also invade the Beautiful Land (Israel). Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. He will extend his power over many countries…(Daniel 11:41-42) Later we see in Zechariah that at the very time of the end, when the nations come to fight Jerusalem, that YHVH God will enter our three dimensional planetary sphere and “fight the nations of the world.”
Zechariah 14:1-5 (parts) - “The Day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; and the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the people will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.
Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel….”
It will be in the land of Edom, one of the last free lands on earth,that the inhabitants of Jerusalem will flee. Most scholars believe that Azel, is the mountain fortress of Petra in the land of Edom, where people in ancient days could hide themselves from various oppressors.
The Famed stone carved City of Petra is an archeological dream site located in the basin of the mountains that form the eastern flank of the Arabah (Wadi Araba), the immense valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Agaba.
Let us look at these countries and suggest that maybe these are the ten (10) kings or horns on the head of the beast?
The Tents of Edom
This land called “Edom” (Heb), was originally called “Seir” (Genesis 32:3, 36:20, 21,30; Numbers 24:18) and included the depression called the Arabah extending from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqabah, which was known as the wilderness of Edom (2 Kings 3:8,20) This land included the mountainous territory on both sides of the Arabah, some rising more than 3,000 feet above the lower depressions. The land consisted of sandstone, limestone, and porphyry, with veins of copper and iron. Though most was barren (Malachi 1:3,4), some was of productive agricultural land. (Numbers 20:17-19) The capital was a rock fortress called Sela, later and today known as Petra. This city lay in an impenetrable mountain ravine and became the home of the Idumeans of which Herod the Great was the most famous.
Having the meaning of “red” it was the land inhabited by the descendents of Esau “red man”, Jacob’s older brother (Genesis 36:1,19) who sold him his birthright for red-colored lentiles. (Genesis 25:30, 36:1,8,19) The Edomites were recognized as a brother nation and under the Mosaic law they could become admitted into the Hebrew nation in the 3rd generation, whereas the Moabites and the Ammonites could not become full-fledged Israelites until the 10th generation (Deuteronomy 23:3-8)
The Tents of the Ishmaelites
Coming from the Hebrew word Yishme’e’li, these peoples were descendents of Ishmael, the half brother of Isaac, and therefore half-Egyptian and half-Semitic Hebrew. From Ishmael sprang twelve princes who became the tribal ancestors of the Arabian desert tribes who living a nomadic life in the deserts of northern Arabia and eastern Syria. They were skilled bowmen, caravan leaders who commanded the pathways of commerce across the Fertile Crescent from the east to the west. (Genesis 37:25) In Judges, they were known as the Midianites (Judges 8:5, 21-24)
The land of the Ismaelites today are the countries of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States in Arabia.
The Land of Moab
The Moabites (Hebrew, Mo’ab) a brother nation to the Ammonites were descendents of Lot, Abraham’s nephew. (Genesis 12:5) This tribe lived in the region of the Transjordan, where apparently Lot lived after the destruction of Sodom. Since they refused permission to the Israelites to cross over into the Promise Land, their descendents were refused permission to be a part of the Hebrew nation until the 10th generation. Balak the Moab king, during this time, hired Balaam to curse the Hebrews, hoping to weaken them. The curses were turned to blessings.
It was the Moabite king, Eglon, who oppressed the Israelite people during the days of the Judges (Judges 3:12-30) and later assassinated by Ehud, a Benjamite. Later we see Elimelech, a citizen of Bethlehem, who moved to Moab and his two sons married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth, the latter who became the ancestress of David and his descendant, the Prince of David, Yahshua ben Yosef, through the remarriage to Boaz. (Ruth 1-4) Throughout the United and the Divided Monarchies, the Moabites and the Israelites jockeyed for power with each other. This area is presently in the southern region of the present state of Jordan, across on the eastern border of the Dead Sea from the Kingdom of Judah.
The Nomadic People called the Hagerites
The Hagerenes (Hebrew Hagri) were a nomadic people who dwelt across the Jordan River in the Transjordan region to the east, who were rich in sheep, asses, and camels. The Reubenites and other tribes waged war against them (1 Chronicles 5:18-20) and Saul destroyed them (vs 10)
A Bedouin and his Camel in the Desert Region of the Nation of Jordan
In fact, it was Jaziz the Hagerite, a descendant of the Egyptian concubine of Abraham, Hagar, and the mother of Prince Ishmael, who was given charge over King David’s flocks of sheep. (I Chronicles 27:31)
Ancient Gebel at Byblos
The inhabitants of Gebel (Hebrew Gibli’) lived on the Mediterranean coastline at the site of Byblos, about twenty-six miles north of the modern city of Beirut, Lebanon. (Joshua 13:5, 1 Kings 5:18) Here was one of the most famous of the Phoenician cities, the city of Gebel (Gubla), believed to have been founded around 5000 BCE, named from the Egyptian word, bublos (Bύβλος) meaning “Egyptian papyrus” that was first imported from here to the land of Greece.
According to the legendary Phoenician historian called Sanchuniathon, who lived in the era before the Trojan War and quoted by Philo of Byblos, who was quoted by the Christian Church historian, Eusebius, the city of Gebel was the first city ever built. According to Sanchuniathon, Gebel was founded by Cronus and it was here where Thoth invented the art of writing.
These theses complement what many antiquarians who today believe that here was the oldest city of the world that has remained in continuous habitation. This has been correlated with archeological remains as early as the 3rd century BCE during the era of the 4th dynasty of Egypt.
Sarcophagus of Ahiram in the
Here at Gebel was the home of the famed king of Lebanon of biblical fame, King Ahiram, who was called King Hiram, the friend of King David who provided the famed cedars of Lebanon that were the structural support in the Temple of Solomon and the famed Palace of King Solomon, called the “House of the Forest of Lebanon”. It was here that the first evidence of the Phoenician alphabetic script of twenty-two characters was discovered on the Sarcophagus of King Ahiram. As written:
Sarcophagus of King Ahiram – “Coffin which Ittobaal, son of Ahiram, king of Byblos, made for Ahiram, his father, when he placed him in the 'house of eternity'. Now if a king among kings or a governor among governors or a commander of an army should come up against Byblos and uncovers this coffin, may the sceptre of his rule be torn away, may the throne of his kingdom be overturned, and may peace flee from Byblos! And as for him, if he destroys this inscription, then the...!
The Land of Ammon
The Moabites and the Ammonites (Hebrew Ammon) were descendants of Lot, the nephew of Abram the Prince of Sumer. The Ammonites in specific were descendents of Ben-Ammi, the son of Lot by his own younger daughter. (Genesis 19:38) By the time of Moses, the Ammonites had displaced the aboriginal Rephaim, called “giants” or Zamzummin by the Ammonites (Deuteronomy 2:20-21) from the headwaters of the Jabbok River. Their capital was Rabbath, also called Rabbath-ammon, now Ammon, the capital of Jordan.
Here to the east of Gilead, northwest of Arabia and also east of the Dead Sea, were the descendants of Ben-Ammi, yet the land of the Moabites was conquered by the Israelites from King Sihon of the Amorites who had earlier conquered and displaced the Moabites. This claim to the land by conquering it was later challenged by the King of Ammon, an unjust charge as proclaimed by the Israelites because they had won this land by conquering it. This gave the Israelites possession of the land “from the wilderness even unto Jordan”. (Judges 11:22) There on the border was the Tribe of Gad.
Here in the land of the Ammonites, their capital, Rabbah (Rabbath Ammon), millenniums later became the city of Ammon that once included a strong and fortified city with a central acropolis that was placed on both sides of a tributary of the River Jabbok. The countryside was known for its fertility and throughout the land, fortified villages depicted an industrious population.
The Tribe of Amalek
Amalek, (Hebrew ‘Ameleq) was the son of Esau’s son, Eliphaz by a concubine, Timna (Genesis 36:12,16, 1 Chronicles 1:36) was the progenitor of the people who became the worse and most ardent enemies of Israel, the Amalekites. They lived in the desert areas of the Sinai Peninsula and southern Palestine that would later be called the regions of Arabia Petraea. They also lived in the region known as Ephraim’s mountains in the Transjordan. (Judges. 5:14, 12:15) According to the Arab historian, Abu al-Hasan 'Alī al-Mas'ūdī, as he recorded the traditional Arab history of the Amalekites, was that their ancestral homeland was in the region of Mecca, living there before the era of the Patriarch Abraham.
Because of their prolonged battles with the Israelites during their years of wandering, they were cursed and their annihilation predicted first by Moses (Exodus 17:14-16, Deuteronomy 25:19) and later by Balaam. (Numbers 24:21)
Numbers 24:21 – “And he (Balaam) looked on Amalek, and he took up his oracle and said: ‘Amalek was first among the nations, but shall be last until he perishes.’”
The Israelite King Saul was commanded by the Lord to annihilate the tribe of Amalek during the time of Samuel the Prophet. And that he did, in part, except he saved King Agag, , though he killed the king, spared the women and children (1 Samuel 15) whose genetic seed of hatred to the Israelites, can be traced by some authors to this very day.
It was in the article written for BibleSearchers Reflections titled, “Purim, the Amalekites, and the Justice of the Lord” that recorded the following:
BibleSearchers Reflections - “In the oral traditions of the Jews, the rabbis claim that the Amalekite king, Agag, was treated with royal courtesy and was given the choicest of the concubines of King Saul in a manner befitting a king. Not only was King Agag living in the land of Israel, which that alone was an abomination to the Lord, but the progeny that were conceived by this union of Israelite maidens to the Amalekites king in the Land of Israel became the ancestry of Haman the Agagite and future ‘Amalekites’, all who will genetically retain a hatred towards the chosen people of God.
The strongholds of these “Amalekite-Israeli” descendants were raised in the region of Shechem. Is it any wonder that one of the bitterest and implacable enemies of Israel today is the terrorist organization called Hamas? Is it any wonder that one of the major strongholds of suicide bombers in the Land of Israel come from the city of Shechem? Is it any wonder that like the Amalekites of old, the modern day Hamas especially target the woman, children and the weak and infirmed. This reminds us again of what the Torah said:
Deuteronomy 25:17-19 – “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear rank, all the stragglers at your rear, when all you were tired and weary: and he did not fear God.
Therefore it shall be (a future era), when the Lord your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, (a future day when Israel’s enemies will be conquered) in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance (the Land of Israel) that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.”
The City States of Philistia (Palestinians)
The Peleshites, Heb. Pelesheth, known as the Palestinians after the Roman times, was routinely known as Philistia in the days of the Israelites, (Psalms 60:8, 87:4, 108:9) during the era of the United and the Divided Monarchies. This included the coastal plain of southwestern Palestine lying southward from Joppa and including Gaza.
Though their origins are still debated by archeologists, their cultural heritage has been linked to the ancient Mycenean culture in Greece and identified as the part of the naval confederation called the “Sea Peoples” in the era of Pharaoh Ramesses III of the 20th dynasty (1180-1150 BCE). Here we find their first archeological identity as the “Peleset” or Philistines, that appeared on the walls of the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu near the modern city of Luxor, Egypt.
Acquainted with the life as a maritime people, they linked their roots with the ancient maritime people called the Phoenicians.
The land was fertile with important seacoast harbor sites that included five largest cities: the Pentapolis that included; Gaza, Ashkelon and Ashdod on the coast and Ekron and Gath in the inland areas, that were earlier Egyptian cities in 19th century dynastic Egypt. Here we find the Hebrew names of Sampson, Samuel, King Saul and King David associated with the bronze-aged Hebrews who were in defensive wars against their iron-aged warrior neighbors, the Philistines. A signal defeat came by their one-time ally, the Hebrew fighter, King David, who once was a mercenary warlord for Achish of Gath, that turned on his allies and conquered them.
Today this land is in part known as the Gaza Strip that was under the political control of
Chairman Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and later the Palestinian Authority. Coveting the land formerly called the Province of Judea that was occupied by the Jewish people until after their expulsion by the Romans from the Province of Judea in after the First Jewish Revolt in 70 CE and later the Second Jewish Revolt in 135 CE, this land is called Palestine after the land where some of their ancestors dwelled.
Called Roman Palestine, the ancient Palestine (Palestinians) took on the cultural heritage of the ancient Philistines. The Gaza Section of the Palestinian Authority and now under the control by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of the Hamas Palestinian Chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Phoenician City States Dominated by the Ancient Island City of Tyre
The inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon were synonymous with the best of the Phoenician people who inhabited the northern coastline of Palestine, fifty miles south of Beirut. This city was known for its greatness in the antiquity of the past. (Isaiah 23:7) It was mentioned in the Execration Texts of the 19th dynasty of Egypt and the Amarna Letters with its King Abimiki as a vassal-king of Egypt in the 14th century. It was a fortress at the time of Joshua (Joshua 19:29, 2 Samuel 24:7)
It’s ruler, King Hiram (Ahiram), was friend with the Israeli King Solomon and furnished both David and Solomon with materials for their palaces and the Temple of Solomon (2 Samuel 5:11, 1 Kings 5:1-6; 9:10-14, 1 Chronicles 14:1, 2 Chronicles 2:3-16) Experienced maritime sailors of Hiram’s assisted Solomon in the transport of gold and exotic animals and plants to the Land of Israel.
Ancient Siege Warfare Drawing by Duncan B. Campbell
The Tyrians were merchant princes and not interested in warfare. (Isaiah 23:8) They traded with all the nations along the Mediterranean Sea and along the Atlantic coastline beyond. Their main products were the rare and expensive purple dyes from the murex shellfish that was called the Tyrian purple. Other exports included glassware, and metal objects and slaves. (Ezekiel 27:13, Amos 1:9, Joel 3:5,6)
The citizens of Tyre maintained their independence from Assyria by tributes, and King Nebuchadnezzar spent 13 years in a failed siege trying to overthrow them. It was finally overthrown by Alexander the Great who built a causeway out to the 140 acre city. Even so the city was populated during the time of Jesus the Nazarene who visited this area. (Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-31) Today, the modern name of ancient Tyre is Sur.
The Assyria Empire dominating the Kingdom of Aram-Damascus
The Assyrians were probably the most known, most notorious and the cruelest of the ancient empires. They swept the Middle East and nation after nation fell before them including the House of Israel who was taken into captivity. They displaced all the populations and instilled new populations in each of the countries.
With Nineveh as its capital, this former Middle Bronze Age land was named after its ancestral city of Assur. Though there were three imperial eras of the Assyrians, the Old (20th – 15th century) and the Middle (15th -10th century), it was the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911-612 BCE) that affected most the citizens of the Kingdom of Israel to the north and the Kingdom of Judah to the south.
A militaristic and warrior culture, their ruthless conquering power was assisted by their invention of excavations that would undermine the integrity of seemingly invincible city walls, battering rams to knock down impregnable gates and the development of the military specialists of the Corp of Engineers that built portable bridges to cross over rivers and floating skins used by soldiers to cross treacherous waters.
The Assyrian Empire extended from the Tigris River to the “Mountains of Ashur”, known as the Gordian (Kardashian) Mountain range of Armenia, they rose to power under the accession and rule of Adad-nirari II, in 911 BCE and disappeared from imperial history after the fall of Nineveh by the assault of the Neo-Babylonian-Chaldean dynasty of King Nabopolasser and his famous son, Prince and later King Nebuchadnezzar in 612 BCE.
The regions of Modern day Assyria is taken up by the State of Syria today. That Syria today fulfills the prophetic role, as in the days of the Divided Monarchy as being one of the foremost enemies of Israel is uncanny.
The picture today is now reversed. The House of Judah has been returning to the Land of Israel now for 60 years. The House of Israel is preparing, as told by the prophets of old, to begin her return as the House of Joseph or Ephraim. The judgments of the Lord of Hosts will soon be meted out as seen in other prophecies in the prophets against Assyria, Moab, Edom, the Amalekites and the rest.
Go to Zechariah 11 – Part One –
The Shepherd, the Flock and The Land.
The Oracles of the Lord against Lebanon
The Oracles of the Lord against Syria
The United States as the Great Eagle with Great Wings
The Oracles of the Lord against Jordan
The Cry of the Political Leaders of Lebanon and Syria
The Good Shepherd
The Evil Shepherds
The Lord of hosts becomes the Good Shepherd
The Staff called ‘Beauty’
The Staff called ‘Bands’
Three Evil Shepherds cease to exist in One Month
The Reverse Prophecy of King Jehu
The Lord of hosts breaks the Covenant of Beauty
The Struggle to Unify the Houses of Judah and Ephraim (Israel)
Two Models to the Unification of the Houses of Judah and Israel
The Final Evil Shepherd, the Anti-Christ
Index for the Commentary on the Prophecies of Zechariah
The Redemption and Restoration of Jerusalem and Israel
Zechariah 1 - God remembers and God blesses at the Appointed Time
Zechariah 2 – God sets His sights to Rebuild Jerusalem
Zechariah 3 – The Priesthood is Re-consecrated for the Temple
Zechariah 4 – God sends Israel His Anointed Ones and His faithful Eyes
Zechariah 5 – The Flying of the Megillah and the Cleansing of the Land
The Oracles and Judgments of the God of Israel
Zechariah 9 - Part One – The Burden of the Lord on the Fertile Crescent
Zechariah 9 - Part Two – The God of Israel wants Damascus to be One of His Zions
Zechariah 9 - Part Three – The Prelude to the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah War – Global News
Zechariah 9 - Part Four – The Israeli-Hezbollah War in the Summer 2006
– Global News
Zechariah 9 - Part Five – The Oracles of HaShem against the Palestinians
Zechariah 10 – Latter Rain - Restoration of the Houses of Judah & Joseph
Zechariah 11 – Part One – The Good Shepherd and the Oracles against Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the Palestinians
Zechariah 11 – Part Two – The Good Shepherd and the Unification of the Houses of Judah and Israel
Zechariah 12:1 – The Creator and the Throne of the God of Israel
Zechariah 12:1-2 – Jerusalem, a Cup of Trembling
Zechariah 12:3-14 – Jerusalem, a Burdensome Stone
Zechariah 13 – The Gihon Fountain flows from the Temple of the Lord
Message from BibleSearchers
BibleSearchers scans the world for information that has relevance on the time of the end. It is our prayer that this will allow the believers in the Almighty One of Israel to “watch and be ready”. Our readiness has nothing to do trying to halt the progression of evil on our planet earth. In our readiness, we seek to be prepared for the coming of the Messiah of Israel so that goodness and evil will be manifested in its fullest. Our preparation is a pathway of spiritual readiness for a world of peace. Our defender is the Lord of hosts. The time of the end suggests that the Eternal One of Israel’s intent is to close out this chapter of earth’s history so that the perpetrators of evil, those that seek power, greed and control, will be eliminated from this planet earth. The wars of the heavens are being played out on this planet earth and humans will live through it to testify of the might, power, justice and the love of the God of Israel. In a world of corruption and disinformation, we cannot always know what the historical truth is and who is promoting evil or mis-information. We cannot guarantee our sources but we will always seek to portray trends that can be validated in the Torah and the testimony of the prophets of the Old and the New Testament.
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