“The Good Shepherd and the Oracles against Lebanon, Syria,
Jordan and the Palestinians”
The Oracles of God in Zechariah 9-14 and the Beginning Days of Redemption
October 15, 2002
Reedit and Graphics – December 2006 and June 2008
Man, ya'll sure choose some tough texts! The visions of Z’charyah are among the hardest passages in the entire TaNaKh to exegete. Rashi wrote that since all nine of his visions are so enigmatic, we will not know the true interpretation until the “teacher of righteousness” (Eliyahu) comes. Since there is very little emphasis on prophecy and eschatology (2001) in Judaism (and more emphasis on halachah and keeping mitzvoth), there is also very little commentary available. But, with HaShem’s help, I have done what I could to help with my thoughts and some of the commentaries I have been able to find.
Shalom Shalom to all,
Maggid Ben Yoseif
This chapter is truly the toughest and most difficult to interpret. In the fall of 2000, I asked Maggid ben Yoseif to help me in the exegetical interpretation of this chapter. This topic is of supreme interest in the worldviews between the literal Israelite, the orthodox Jew living in the Land of Israel and those who claim to be “Spiritual Israelites.”
The Literal Israelite focus is on “The Land,” keeping intact the “commandments (mitzvoth’s) of the Lord” in the Torah, all 613 of them, and the emphasis of keeping true and pure the human fulfillment and application of those commands in what is called the Jewish halakha. The Literal Israelite is best known as the Jewish people, the last great remnant of those twelve tribes who descended from the loins of that Patriarch Jacob in descent from Abraham and Isaac.
The Spiritual Israelite is focused towards the inward or implantation of the Spirit of HaShem within his heart and looking forward to the final consummation of the era of evil that has terrorized this planet since the fall of Adam and Eve. The true Terrorist is HaSatan, the called the Adversary who directs the forces of Evil. Here is the archenemy of HaShem that is played out over and over in individual and human evil. Isolated evil has been accepted but is now recognized by many as becoming a global phenomenon. Yes, the Spiritual Israelite’s emphasis is on eschatology and the prophecies of the time of the end. Instead of being “out of here” in a pre-tribulation rapture, the Spiritual Israelite will become the global spiritual guerrilla warriors assisting their literal and more visible brethren taking the international attention and hatred from those hate and despise the God of Israel. This is the God who demands their full allegiance, their servant-hood, their servitude to the Divine.
Let us now separate each entity: the shepherd, the flock and The Land and analyze the options, keeping a global view in mind. In the end of days, we will see physically and literally a realignment of the national political and spiritual leadership (the Shepherds), a realignment of the public conceptual viewpoints and ideology (the Flocks), and a realignment of nationalistic attachment to the land (nationalism). This will include a physical realignment of the super continents with the return of the continental land masses to Pangaea in the final catastrophic era before the Great and Awful Day of the Lord. Yes, the Garden of Eden and the super continent of Pangaea will be restored.
Who are the shepherds and what are they going to do? The shepherds are the leaders, whether political, economic, military and religious, who are for or against the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yes, the shepherds are anyone who leads, commands, influences or controls. Think big, think globally, and think universally.
What we will be discussing in this chapter will involve the political leaders of all nations, those economic and scientific brainchildren who mold the economic and scientific institutions of the world, the military generals and commanders who will become more and more under the influence of the forces of good and evil, and the religious leaders of all faiths.
These include Christian, Jews, Islamic, Hindu, Confucius, and hundreds of other religious ideologies who force and coerce their flocks to think and pattern their thoughts and ideals down patterned and constricted pathways. The Lord of Hosts is about to reprograms our minds to think in other-dimensional spheres.
To do so, we must break with our religious ideologies and learn to become totally depended upon direction of the ‘still small voice’ of HaShem, the God of Israel. He will lead us up to the Pole of Grace, the pathway Yahshua went before us. If we follow the pathway of Christ, we will be recipients to participate in the glorified worlds of other-dimensional living.
The flocks, the national populations, will be those who are for and against the physical return of the House of Jacob. This includes those Righteous Gentiles with a spiritual attachment with the House of Jacob; the House of Joseph (the exiled northern tribes of the House of Israel, represented by Ephraim) and the House of Judah (the Jewish people).
Look in the eyes and read the hearts of the people involved in the struggle to keep possession of the land of Israel. The arch enemies of Israel from the moment the tribes of Israel fled from Egypt were the tribes of Amelak, who with the tribes of Edom, children of Esau, Moabites and Ammonites, the children of Lot by incestuous relations with his daughters. These will be the same forces that are polarizing the present world.
The Flock of Sheep – Photo by Robert Mock
Who do you fear most today? The Russian bear? No! The Chinese dragon? Well, maybe! The Islamic Jihad? Absolutely! This fear will polarize the United States of America to demand, force, and coerce control over the Land of Israel because this is what the ancestors of the Ismaelites, the Amelakites, the Edomites, the Moabites, and the Ammonites want today.
The mini-dramas that were played in the restoration of the Children of Israel to the Land of Promise will be replayed in greater and more global forces so eventually, the United States, the European Community, the Russian Confederations with the Chinese and the Kings of the East will unite to a final assault upon Jerusalem at Megiddo, the final battle of Armageddon.
This polarization of the flocks will occur in the chambers of the Senate and the House, the backroom chambers of the Foreign Relations Department, the State Department, the Pentagon, the Banking Houses of the world, the Scientific consortiums of the world, and in the General Assemblies and Councils of every religion in the world. Yes, all of these will become polarized to accept or reject whether the chosen ones of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have a right to occupy and live and worship in the Land of Israel.
Can you imagine the ecumenical arm of religions who will reach out to the Islamic Jihad, the peaceful Moslems, and will proclaim peace throughout the land, peace in the land of Israel in which all nations and religions can worship on the Temple Mount, under the brilliant leadership of a world leader who will appear to form a world of millennial peace? The leader of deception, the Antichrist, will precede the real Messiah and the Millennial Kingdom.
The Land will be a literal restoration of the Kingdom of David and Solomon that extends from the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt. The physical restoration of the people to the land includes not only the restoration of the Jewish people but also the restoration of the House of Joseph to the lands of Lebanon, Gilead and Basham.
As noted in chapter ten, there will be an enlargement of the borders of Israel, to include the coastline of Lebanon, the Lebanese and Anti-Lebanese mountains, including Mount Herman, the Golan Heights, the western portions of Syria, including Damascus (Basham), and the former land occupied by Manasseh, Gad and Reuben on the eastern side of the Jordan River. This land mass will include the land presently under the political control of the countries of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
What this chapter is all about is the global geo-religio-political polarization that will occur throughout the whole earth as the time of the end approaches. This earth will be entering a new catastrophic era. As the national leaderships are polarized and the nationalism of the people is polarized, the spiritual forces of HaShem will reverse the geo-physical forces that stabilize this earth into this present era of uniformity.
The Darwinian scientific mindset which has examined the world’s physical forces and proclaimed that a slow and progressive evolutionary process is the foundation of the creation of this earth is for an intellectual shock of spiritual reality. The world is in the last stage of decay of entropy and will expel her last breath of geo-physical energy. Yet according to the prophets, this earth will be revitalized as the forces of the Almighty God begin to reverse the process of continental separation. This will lead to the eventual restoration of the Garden of Eden and the millennial kingdom under the sword (rod) of Yahshua, the Messiah ben David.
Under Yahshua HaMaschiach (Jesus the Messiah), now King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we will see “The Land” restored, the monarchy of David restored, the glorification of the Spiritual Israelites to reside on the Sea of Glass by the Throne of God, the restoration of the 144,000 genetic Israelites to serve in the Heavenly Temple of the Lord and the physical return of the Houses of Judah and Joseph. These will return intact not only to the restoration of the Land of Israel but the whole earth. Only then can the curse of sin be eradicated not just from humans but the curse against the land and the animal kingdom also.
Yes, the whole earth is groaning under the curse initiated by man, Adam. It will be Yahshua, the new Adam who will lead out in the restoration of the whole land, this planet earth. Genetic evil must be eradicated not only from humans, but from every plant, animal, and living organism on this earth. To you our scientists, your day has only begun.
This Day of the Lord will have universal consequences as the angelic forces of good and evil will meet their final polarization and separation. It is the assumption of some that the World of Angels and the Archangels have already polarized, yet the battle in which Satan (HaSatan) will be finally cast out of heaven, after his last assault against the throne of the Living God, has every appearance in Revelation to be a future time event. If Satan cannot achieve his ultimate goal to overthrow the Throne of God, the Keter or the Crown of the Sefirot in the World of the Divine, then he will turn his final attention to capture or control where the Lord of Hosts will choose to anchor his Sefirot into the Kingdom, the literal and physical spot where God, in the Shechinah Glory will manifest Himself to all the earth and to the whole universe. It is a potential fact that the salvation of the whole universe, at least our universe, depends upon the literal ability to anchor His vast vortex of energy on this earth in a literal physical and spiritual restoration. This is the Plan of Salvation which will culminate this Great Controversy between God and Satan.
The Oracles of the Lord against Lebanon
Zechariah 11:1 – “Open your doors, O Lebanon,
That fire may devour your cedars.”
“This is the direct command from the Lord of Hosts. The protection of HaShem is over. The door will open and the land will be devoured, even the pride of Lebanon, the beautiful cedars.” One year ago in September 2000 was all I could say about this text. It seemed to be another literal rendition of chapter nine in which the enemies of Israel to the northwest, northeast and western coast of Gaza would be facing dire omens of destruction.
The usual interpretation is that this is the Temple that is destroyed since the cedars for the Temple came from Lebanon and the reference to “opening the DOORS.”
I have three ideas to present. First, I (personally) tend to look at things more literal in terms of current events. The problem with this, however, is as current events unfold and change, the interpretation can change. HOWEVER, today we have this very scenario developing in Lebanon. In Kabbalah, the “trees” are symbolic of either “rulers” or “spiritual leaders,” depending on the context in which they are used. With the spiritual leaders of the Hizbullah inviting war with Israel any day now, this could pertain to the Hizbullah.
If we are on the brink of a regional war that will lead to Gog and Magog by this Succot, we still don’t have the alliance completed that will come against Israel. Turkey (the land mass of ancient Assyria) has not yet become a fully Islamic nation, although there are definite signs of discontent and unrest (witnessed by the recent arrests and rioting against the government). By this logic, these “cedars of Lebanon” indicate that Lebanon itself is a “puppet” and the cedars that rule it are the Islamic nations, Arab states and religious opponents of Israel who are using Lebanon as a “staging ground” for the upcoming invasion from the North.
(9/00) Today along the entire border between Israel and Lebanon, there are more than 30 Hizbullah gun emplacements (since “General Barak” sounded retreat). The IDF has about 75 tanks in position and we are hastily completing construction of a new border road that is safe from sniper fire. An IDF solider is either killed or injured on the average of once every two weeks. Hizbullah is controlled today by Syria. A recent attack on a Golani Brigade patrol within Israel has prompted an emergency meeting of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon to discuss Israel’s promised retaliation.
Second, we might view this as a judgment that already has occurred during the period of the Ottoman Turks who cut down all the trees when they invaded. If so, the prophecy of Zecharyah should loosely trace what has transpired in Israel since the Turks were driven out by Britain (the young lions of the prophecy)
Finally, since Zecharyah prophesied after the exile of the Northern Kingdom the fallen cedar may refer to Jeroboam and the House of Israel. The reference to the two staffs seems to have this historical slant. As you progress through the passages you might try to parallel these three ideas. I will confine my comments to exegetical helps and any strong impressions:
In 2002, we, as BibleSearchers, stated for the second time, “We shall now take another look for it seems the symbolism appears to prevail. The mighty fire of God’s wrath will first devour the mightiest of the trees in the land, the Cedars of Lebanon.
Is this going to be a scorched earth policy in the land of Lebanon? Maybe so, and maybe not. The mystical symbolism of trees has long been known to represent humans, and prized trees represented the rulers; national leadership, whether political, intellectual, or religious.
Is this not the intent of Judges 9, when the olive tree, the fig tree, the vine rejected the responsibility of leadership over God’s people, so the lowly bramble, who had no inherent commercial worth, was able to light the flame of the fire which would topple the mighty cedar, the enemies of Israel.
Judges 9:8-15 - The trees went forth [on a time] to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honor God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, [and] reign over us
But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?
Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us.
And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, [and] reign over us.
And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.
Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Zerubbabal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands…”
When we address a prophetic oracle, we need to remind ourselves that HaShem has a plan, a Plan of Salvation for the whole world. How can the Almighty reveal to us His plan but to over and over introduce us to parts of it in mini-dramas that over and over give us a feeling of de-ja-vu. More and more as God’s plan is being revealed to us, several facets seem to become clearer. The Plan for redeeming His people, literal and spiritual Israel, was initiated before the creation of this earth. The unfolding of the Plan is under the direct supervision of the Lord of Hosts, and the timing of the fulfillment of His Plan is under the direct will and supervision of God.
Living on this earth is limited to a three dimensional perspective in which time, as understood by man is linear time. There is a beginning and an end. We cannot go back into time and cannot live physically in time’s future. What is understood in all scripture, both the Old and the New Testaments, the nation of Israel is central to God’s Plan to redeem this earth. It is central to the physical and spiritual redemption of mankind and more than that, it is central to the redemption of the earth, or the Land itself.
One of the grand themes of the Hebrew faith was the concept of the Mo’eds, or the ‘appointed times’ represented in the festivals of Israel. Here was a way for humans to connect in a living way, by a repeated living drama on a cyclical basis, how man would eventually meet his final destiny that HaShem had ordained prior to the foundations of this earth. It was written, “To everything there is an appointed time, and a moment for every purpose under Heaven” (Ecclesiastes (Kohelet) 3:1)
To understand the Torah, the searcher of Torah knowledge must first understand that ‘time’ in the Torah is different than literal time in our human experience. To the Hebrew, ‘time’ had a cyclical dimension, a spiral like the vortex of the tornado. This spiral is literal and spiritual in a multi-dimensional sphere. Importantly, it revolves around the Land and the Nation of Israel, both literally and spiritually. It is a repetitive cycle that keeps that keeps repeating itself over and over, first over long reaches of time, but the vortex getting tighter and tighter until all the prophetic dramas are played out in one giant massive dramatic act called the “time of the end” and the Great Day of the Lord. Prophecy is the spiritual repetition and fulfillment of this drama. Human History is the literal fulfillment. Each historical moment has a spiritual counterpart, as all creation, humans and all creatures on this earth are progressively working towards a tikkun or reconciliation with each other, with our proper role as guardians of this earth and in reconciliation with our Maker and Creator.
With this in mind, we can study the repetitive cycles of history in reference to the Land of Israel and gain meaning to its final days before the time of the end. Revelation reveals to us a supra-dimensional view of Heaven in which the activities on this earth are in reflection to what is going on in the heavenly temple of God. Was it not the apostle John who witnessed just before the seventh trumpet of the Lord sounded for the last time?
Revelation 11:19 - “God’s temple in heaven (the door) was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.”
When it comes to judgment of a nation, the symbolic doors of the temple open, and God presents His case and judgment. His first judgment is upon the “cedars” or the mighty leaders in the land. The literal leaders of Lebanon today are the Hezbollah and the military power of Syria and the spiritual leaders are the mullahs.”
In the last four years (2002-2006) the world has watched a transformation of the tiny country of Lebanon. Lebanon is known as the “Switzerland of the Middle East” and the capital, Beirut, as the “Paris of the Middle East.” This haven of natural beauty has become over the decades as the den of the most hardened terrorists around the world. Camped out between the Lebanese and the Anti-Lebanese mountains north of the Mountain called Herman east of Damascus, are hardened bunkers, tunnels and camps of Hezbollah warriors.
The Hezbollah military wing was activated by Syria with funding by the Shi’ite Ayatollahs of Iran as a resistant movement and to act as the forward military force against Israel for the rising radical Shi’ite’s bid to eventually declare a Shi’a Caliphate in the Middle East. Over the centuries the Shi’a Muslims, 20% of the total Islamic population, were followers of what they proclaimed to be the “Rightful” Imams” or the spiritual leaders that were descendants of the dynastic family of the Prophet Muhammad. The Sunni Muslims, the majority of Islam, follow the religious leadership of the descendants of the Companions of “The Prophet.”
These Hezbollah warriors have become revered by the Islamic world for standing up to the Israeli military that to the Muslims had the appeared to be invincible. With the insurgent war in Iraq eroding the will power of the American people, hundreds dying daily in the streets of Baghdad and the Israeli military looking terminally wounded with the government of Israel acting like “puppets” to Condoleezza Rice’s American State Department has led many to say during the 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli war that Israel fighting America’s war for global domination on America’s terms, not Israel’s and definitely not the terms of the God of Israel.
In contrast to the Hebrews or the Israelite’s prized genealogical ancestral heritage, the Lebanese had a mixed history. They were a people of great antiquity or the Lebanese (Phoenicians) were mentioned in three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh discovered in the clay text library at Elba (2400 BCE). The ruins of Baalbek are a testimony that a megalithic civilization lived in this area before the Great Flood of Noah. The massive foundation stones are noted in the legends of the ancient for their architectural skills that were able to cut and hew stones so massive, move them such a great distance from the quarry and place them with such skill on the foundations of ancient temples.
The Phoenicians were also a coastal maritime nation with ships that traversed around the world, the “inventors” of the Phoenician alphabet, and the motherland of the great city of Carthage that challenged Rome for the supremacy of the Mediterranean World. Their greatest historical legend was that the Phoenicians were known in antiquity the premier builders for large building construction. Was it not Hiram, the king of Phoenicia at Tyre that became the good friend of King David and contributed so generously to the construction of the Temple of Solomon, erected to the God of Israel? He sent over his expert Phoenician architects and metal craftsmen like Hiram of Tyre that were so famed for large scale building projects. He also sent over the mighty Cedars of Lebanon, so revered in ancient days as the structural framework for giant temples, palaces and government building projects.
These same prized cedars of Lebanon that were used in the famous Egyptian solar boats of the Pharaohs and the palaces of antiquity also became the structural support for the Temple of Solomon (1 Kings 5:6-10, 1 Chronicles 2:8-16) and later the Temple of Zerubbabel after the Jews returned from their Babylonian exile. Was not Jezebel the princess of Tyre a descendant of King Hiram, who formed a dynastic marriage with King Ahab of Israel? Did not Jezebel permanently introduced Baal worship into the Northern Kingdom, the act that led to the Nation of Israel’s final destruction?
What is even more mysterious was at the base of the Temple Mount just north of the Wailing Wall, the foundation of the temple has been excavated. There the archeologists found a site so amazing that no explanations can be made to its date or origin. Here was a massive foundation stone that is forty one feet long, 12 feet wide and 11.5 feet in depth, estimated to be 379 tons in weight. To the members of Freemasonry, this foundation stone is called “The Master Course” in honor to Hiram Abiff, their revered Master Craftsman who was sent by King Hiram of Tyre to be the chief architect of the Temple of Solomon.
Here was a man as mysterious in his origins as he was in the history and traditions of the building of the Temple of Solomon. We look at the “The Story of Hiram Abiff” as written by William Harvey, J.P., F.S.A. (Scottist), who was the Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire for part of the legends of Hiram Abiff. Here were the legends of Scottish Freemasonry that imprinted the minds of all of our Founding Forefathers that signed the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. Here is the story, in part, as told:
William Harvey, Provincial Grand Master - The outstanding figure in modern Freemasonry is undoubtedly the widow's son who is known to members of the Fraternity under the somewhat obscure name of Hiram Abiff. He dominates Craft Masonry and that in spite of the fact that neither the Entered Apprentice nor the Fellow-Craft knows anything at all about him… Hiram, like many other notable men in the history of the world, was distinguished in the manner of his death as that is set forth in the legend, and the dramatic circumstances attending the tragedy are what give amplitude to his biography. Beyond the time, place, and means of his murder, Freemasonry knows little about the man, nor, apart from Freemasonry, are many particulars to be gleaned. All that is known of him is contained in the Volume of the Sacred Law…
“The Master Course” at the Western Wall Excavations at the Temple Mount - One of the Largest ancient Megalithic Hewn Stones in the World at 379 tons (41x12x11.5 feet)
According to the author of the Second Book of Chronicles (Chap. ii.), Solomon sent messengers to Hiram, King of Tyre, to acquaint that friendly sovereign with the fact that he contemplated erecting a Temple, and inviting him to furnish men and materials for the prosecution of the work. Solomon's first demand was for a specially gifted craftsman. "Send me now," he says, "a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah, and in Jerusalem:" The King of Tyre received the embassy with cordiality, and returned a favourable answer to Solomon. "I have sent a cunning man," he says, "endued with understanding. . . The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was ''a man of Tyre."
The account given in the First Book of the Kings (Chap. VII.) differs somewhat so far as the parentage of the man is concerned. There it is stated that he was "a widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali." The author or editor of Kings agrees with the Chronicler that Hiram's father was a Tyrian, adding that he was "a worker in brass." Josephus describes him as of Naphtali on his mother's side, his father being Ur of the stock of Israel. It is not easy to reconcile these differences. One Biblical student - Giesebrecht - suggests that the dislike felt by the editor of Kings to the idea of the Temple being built by a half-Phoenician caused him to insert the words "a widow of the tribe of Naphtali," the alteration of the phrase "of the daughters of Dan" into "of the tribe of Naphtali," being the more permissible, since Dan lay in the territory of Naphtali.
The clear points that emerge are that Hiram was of mixed race, the son of a brass worker, and a man so high in his profession as to have secured the patronage of his King, and to have been deemed worthy to uphold the reputation of his country. His exalted position is inferred from the description given by the author of the Chronicles who alludes to him as "Hiram Abi," and the word "Abi," meaning "my father," is usually taken in the sense of "master," a title of respect and distinction.
The name is undoubtedly Phoenician, but there is some confusion, as to its actual form. "Hiram" is the more common rendering, but the author of the Chronicles adheres to the spelling "Huram," and other writers adopt the variant "Hirom." Mr J. F. Stenning says that it is equivalent to "Ahiram," and means "the exalted one." According to Movers, Hiram or Huram is the name of a deity, and means "the coiled or twisted one," but other scholars regard this derivation as very improbable…
The editors of "The Jewish Encyclopaedia" point out that there is an essential difference as regards the nature of his technical specialty between the account preserved in the First Book of Kings and that in the Second Book of Chronicles. According to the former, Hiram was an artificer only in brass, and the pieces which he executed for the Temple were the two pillars, Jachin and Boaz, the molten sea with its twelve oxen, the ten layers with their bases, the shovels and basins, all of brass. But in the Second Book of the Chronicles he is depicted as a man of many parts, and the impression is conveyed that he superintended all the work of the Temple. Josephus seeks to reconcile the two accounts by saying that Hiram was expert in all sorts of work, but that his chief skill lay in working in gold, silver and brass.
And there our exact knowledge of Hiram ends. History knows nothing of him. The volume of the Sacred Law is silent as to his fate. Brother Robert Freke Gould, found that the eleventh verse of the fourth chapter of the Second Book of the Chronicles, says he "was certainly alive at the completion of the Temple." Out of this slender basis of fact Freemasonry has created a wonderfully vivid character.
The Order maintains that he was the chief architect at the construction of the Temple and associates him with Hiram, King of Tyre, and Solomon, King of Israel, on a footing of Masonic equality. It suggests that these three were the most exalted personages in the Masonic world and that the secrets of a Master Mason had either descended to them, or been invented by them, and could not be communicated to anyone else without the consent of all three.”
The travel diaries of veteran world travelers have written accounts of this ancient city whose antiquity rivals that of the Hebrews. As we can testify, this foundation site may be a relic of a more ancient civilization that left a massive megalithic foundation stone that was used in the supporting foundation of the Temple of Solomon. Called the “Such was a traveler in 1907 who left his travelogue to Beirut and Baalbek, titled “Among the Lebanons”:
The Old World and Its Way - The road from Beyrout to Baalbek climbs over the Lebanon range, reaching in one place an altitude of about six thousand feet. The view is one of rare beauty—the winding shore of the Mediterranean, the terraced mountain sides and the snow clad peaks combining to form an impressive picture. The far-famed cedars of Lebanon, some of them sixteen feet in diameter, still crown the higher summits, but few of them are visible from the train. A well built carriage road follows the same general course as the railroad, but the latter now monopolizes the traffic. The main line of the railroad runs to Damascus, but in the Beka, as the valley of the Leontes is called at this point, a branch has been built to Baalbek, where a wonderful temple once stood.
The city of Baalbek was founded so long ago that history does not record its beginning. Arab tradition peoples this district with the earliest of the Bible characters. The tower of Babel has been located at Baalbek by one tradition, while another has Gain building a fortress there as a refuge. It is certain that the city ranks among the oldest known to history, the location being probably determined by the presence of a very large spring whose waters would supply a great population. The name of the city (but a few thousand inhabitants are to be found there now) indicates that it was the center of Baal, or sun, worship. It is believed by those who have made research that an ancient temple, built by the Egyptians or Phoenicians, occupied the ground now covered by the ruins of a later temple built by the Romans. It is this latter temple which has drawn tourists from all over the world. It was begun during the first century of the Christian era, and the work upon it continued for more than two hundred years. It was dedicated to Jupiter and the Sun, the worship of these two deities being combined. The Romans even adopted the Greek name, Heliopolis, for the city, but the Arabic designation, Baalbek, has survived.
This great temple was laid out upon an immense scale. First a hill was built, filled with subterranean chambers, and upon the massive walls which separated these chambers the superstructure was reared. The temple was approached by u staircase one hundred and fifty feet wide and entered through a hexagonal court two hundred feet in diameter. Next came the great court, nearly four hundred feet square, with an altar in the center. Both of these courts were open, but had broad colonnades around the sides supported by granite pillars brought from the upper Nile. These colonnades were ornamented with carvings and contained two rows of niches, three hundred and thirty altogether, formerly occupied by images. Our guide, Mr. Alouf, whose pamphlet on Baalbek gives the results of his fifteen years' study of the ruins, insists that the great court was really a pantheon and contained all of the gods at that time worshiped by the conquerors and by the native population.
The temple of Jupiter must have been a most impressive building. It stood twenty-six feet above the courts and therefore about fifty feet above the natural level of the ground around. It measured three hundred and ten feet in length and one hundred and sixty in breadth. Its outer wall supported fifty-four columns of Corinthian style, each column being seventy feet in height, seven feet in diameter and composed of three pieces. Six of these columns are still standing, having survived three earthquakes and one mountain torrent. The six columns with the capitals and cornice give some idea of the magnificence of the temple before its decay. The stone used is taken from a lime-stone quarry near the city, and the carving is excellent. Enormous masses of stone lie scattered over the ground-parts of pillars, pieces of cornice, and sections of the pediment. How these huge blocks were ever lifted into place is still a matter of conjecture. No mortar was used, and yet in some places the joints are so nicely fitted and the stone so accurately cut that a knife blade can not be inserted after a lapse of nearly twenty centuries.
Stupendous as is the plan of this wonderful temple and elaborate as is its ornamentation, the most remarkable feature is the size of the stones employed. The guide first shows a number of blocks about thirty-three feet long, fourteen feet high and ten feet thick. After one's wonder has had sufficient time to express itself, three blocks are pointed out which measure sixty-four feet in length, fourteen feet in height and twelve feet in thickness. The estimated weight of one of these stones is nearly one thousand tons, and it is calculated that it would require ten thousand horse power to lift it.
At the quarry about three-quarters of a mile away a companion block, seventy-two feet long and about fifteen feet in height and thickness is to be seen, chiseled from the stone about it, but not entirely separated from the stratum beneath it. This was probably intended for the sustaining wall around the temple. Whether it remained at the quarry because the work was interrupted, or because the builders despaired of being able to move it, is a secret which the living are not able to reveal. After the decline of paganism the Christians built a church in the great court, using the stones and pillars for the walls. Then came the Mohammedans and turned the courts and temple into a fortress, making use of the walls of the church.
A little way distant from the great temple is a smaller temple dedicated to Bacchus, which would of itself be sufficient to distinguish a city, but for its more famous rival. This temple is about two hundred and twenty-five feet long by one hundred and ten feet wide, and a row of fifty columns, of which fourteen are fluted, surround it. These columns are sixty feet in height and about six feet in diameter. While smaller in its dimensions this temple is even more elaborately carved than the larger one. Some of the clusters of grapes are less than two inches in length but exquisitely wrought. This temple is in a much better state of preservation than the great temple and is therefore in some respects even more interesting.”
The modern State of Lebanon began with the declaration of its independence on November 26, 1941. It was a mixed and diverse population with about 40% Christians, 35% Shia Muslims, 20% Sunni Muslims and 5% Druze with a sprinkling of Jews in Beirut, Byblos and Bhamdoun. Since 1948, almost 400,000 of an estimated 4 million population in Lebanon (10%) are registered Palestinian refugees.
Sarcophagus of Ahiram the king of Byblos – National Museum of Beirut
Lebanon’s ancient history began in the dim and mystic past of antiquity. The city of Byblos is considered to be the oldest city in the world that has been continuously inhabited. Here was discovered the massive and ornate Late Bronze and Early Iron Age sarcophagus of Ahiram, the king of Byblos, upon which is carved a king sitting upon his throne surrounded by winged sphinxes with a priestess offering him a lotus flower. Here we read the oldest written tomb curse of the ancient Phoenician language:
Wikipedia – “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...(text destroyed)!
There on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the Phoenicians lived, who were close relatives with the Hebrews. It was their far flung maritime culture that ranged from the Isles of Ireland, down the coastlines of Africa, virtually controlling the sea lanes of the Mediterranean. It was during the days of King Nebuchadnezzar that the invincible Phoenician city of Tyre was put under siege, but not conquered by the military might of the Babylonians. It would take the military genius of Alexander the Great over a century later (Jewish calendar time) to lay waste this mighty city of antiquity. Since then the Lebanese people have been the subjects to the same imperial forces that affected the Jewish people; Greek-Macedonians, Roman Byzantine, Arab Caliphates, European Christian Crusaders, the Ottomans Turks, and the European globalists in the French Mandate of Lebanon.
In the last century, the 400 year rule of the Ottoman Empire closed when the Lebanese came under the rule of the French Mandate of Syria in 1918 following World War II. It would not be until 1943 that Lebanon would gain her independence when France was then under the occupation of Germany’s Nazi regime. During these years, General Henri Dentz, the German Vichy High Commissioner for Syria and Lebanon, was an instrumental agent pushing for the independence of Lebanon November 8, 1943.
It actually was as early as 1923 that Lebanon achieved a semi-independent Christian enclave of State of Greater Lebanon within the region of Greater Syrian on September 1, 1926. The first Lebanese constitution of May 23, 1926 remained in effect until late 1987. It was then that the first census was taken and the unicameral parliament called the Chamber of Deputies was officiated by a Maronite Christian President, a Sunni Muslim Prime Minister and a Shi’ite Muslim Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.
Historically, Lebanon was one of the five nations that joined the Arab League, but during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, no Lebanese army ever invaded Israel. When the Arab Liberation Army’s Hiram Operation was defeated by Israel in 1949, Lebanon still became a signer of the armistice on March 23, 1949.
It was in 1975 that the Lebanese Civil War broke out. It would take fifteen years with the Taif Agreement in 1990 that the war was resolved, leaving a devastated economy in Lebanon, 150,000 Lebanese killed and 200,000 injured. During these years of chaos, the Palestinian Liberation Organization under Yasser Arafat gained control in Lebanon and used these borders to launch attacks into Israel. It took two separate invasions into Lebanon, 1978 and 1982, that the PLO were eventually expelled from Lebanon by Israel. It could be said that this left Israel in defacto control of the southern borders of Lebanon until the year of 2000.
It was during these years that the newly rising guerrilla militia of Hezbollah took over the political and religious void of the PLO exodus and began to attack Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (2000), now Defense Minister of Israel (2006-2008), made the fateful decision to unilaterally withdraw from Southern Lebanon in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 425, for he was under the illusion that the Hezbollah militant attacks against Israel would cease without Israel’s armies within the borders of Lebanon. It was Defense Minister Barak (2006) who also failed as the Israeli Defense Minister to adequately defense Israel and gave the defense forces a “black eye” for the Israeli Defense Forces with the Islamic nations as the militia forces of Hezbollah fired over 4000 missiles that pounded the Northern Galilee regions of Israel and left a half of million of Israelis as refugees. This war in Lebanon left General Arial Sharon a war hero and the border region of the Shebaa Farms in dispute even though Israel earlier took control of the surrounding region of the Golan Heights during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
The modern history of Lebanon and its evolution into a force of anti-Islamic fundamentalism against the Nation of Israel began officially on February 14, 2005, when the former anti-Syrian Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated with a powerful car bomb that eluded Hariri’s anti-bomb sensor detectors as he was being driven along Saint George Bay near Beirut. The powerful Lebanese billionaire had been former prime minister of Lebanon from the years of 1992 to 1992 and again from 2000 until he resigned on October 20, 2004. He was most known for the “Horizen 2000” Plan for the reconstruction of Beirut, Lebanon after the 15 year war that also made him one of the riches men in the world.
Within three weeks, the Militia Director of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah was inflaming the public and calling for a “massive popular uprising”. On March 8, 2005 one the largest rallies in Beirut’s history crowded the downtown Beirut area. International press proclaimed that the crowd size was between 200,000 (CNN) and 500,000 (AP) pro-Syrian protestors while Al Jazeera estimated it to be 1.5 million. The protestors that were predominately Shi’ite Muslims, held placards “No for the American Intervention” and as Nazarallah spoke, "all the articles of U.N. resolution give free services to the Israeli enemy who should have been made accountable for his crimes and now finds that he is being rewarded for his crimes and achieves all its demands.”
The Throngs of People lining the streets of Beirut, Lebanon in protest to the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri
One month after the assassination, a anti-Syrian counter-revolution rocketed the Nation of Lebanon. Called the March 14 Alliance the Cedar Revolution of 2005 led to even more massive demonstrations that united the Lebanese people to rally in “Martyr’s Square” in central Beirut chanting, ”Freedom, Sovereignty, Independence” carrying a huge Lebanese flag. All the roads were packed with people as they flocked to, not a violent, but peaceful rally called "the largest demonstration ever seen in Lebanon". This time the international media estimated the turnout to be between 1.2 million to 1.5 million people, and much larger than the earlier pro-Syrian rally. Three weeks earlier, the pro-Syrian government of Prime Minister Omar Abdul Hamid Karami was toppled as he was forced to resign on February 25, 2005
The effect was quick. The protestors began to demand an international inquiry into their former Prime Minister’s death. With the nation aroused came also extreme international pressure, and the Syrian occupation forces for about 29 years began to withdraw about 15,000 Syrian troops moved back to the borders of Syria. With Syrian forces gone, peace did not come. Overt rebellion by the pro-Syrian Islamic forces now turned to covert assassinations; Samir Kassir, a university professor and journalist who was a vocal anti-Syrian voice for freedom in Lebanon was murdered on June 2, 2005; George Hawi, a former communist activist, now turned anti-Syrian was assassinated by a remote controlled denoted car bomb; Member of Parliament Gebran Tueni was assassinated on December 12, 2005, Pierre Amine Gemayel, the youngest member of Parliament was assassinated in broad daylight by 3-4 gunmen in the Beirut suburbia on November 21, 2006. He was the 6th anti-Syrian member of Parliament to be assassinated since the death of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Yet, it was 2006, and the pro-Syrian Hezbollah militia awakened all the sorrow and anger of this war-torn land of Lebanon when a Hezbollah commando force invaded the border of Israel. They attacked an Israeli Humvee, kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and the Hezbollah-Syrian “July War” erupted with great fury. Between the dates of July 13 and August 14, 2006, Northern Galilee was relentlessly pounded with over 4200 Katyusha artillery rockets. The Israeli Air Force flew over 12,000 combat missions while the Israeli Defense Force fired over 100,000 shells. Large segments of the infrastructure of Lebanon was destroyed, 400 miles of roads, 73 bridges, electrical facilities, commercial buildings, schools, hospitals and homes were pounded by the Israeli military.
The world reaction was immense and all sides, Christian, Sunni Muslims, Shi’ite Muslims and Jews were emotionally and physically wounded. Nobody could claim a victory but Hezbollah did emerge as a fighting force that broke the “invincible shield” of Israel and raised the cry throughout the Islamic world to rally to the call of Iran and Syria to “drive the Jews out of the Land of Israel.” The fragile pro-Western, anti-Syrian government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora emerged weakened and powerless as the NATO forces of Europe imbedded their soldiers in Lebanon. The Vatican NATO forces were now imbedded at the Northern Borders of Israel (“Northern Walls of Jerusalem”). By Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Succot, the Black Internationale was emerging as the final globalist force on the international scene. The agenda of the “Black Seal” was formulated at the Rome Peace Conference in August 2006 and introduced to the world at the Annapolis Conference in November 2006.
Hezbollah continued to court the Lebanese populous with reconstruction projects, and programs to help the injured and dispossessed. The United States, that was the only backbone in the support of the Siniora Lebanese government, the prime minister emerged as gutsy and defiant against the much stronger forces of Hezbollah seeking to topple its government. America with its tepid support of the Cedar Revolution and its role in dragging and slowing down the peace efforts to stop the Hezbollah-Israeli war emerged with the international opinion that the American response was “wholly benign.”
On the 30th of November, 2006, the Lebanese people again crowded the streets of Beirut as between 800,000 to one million Lebanese, surrounded the Lebanese Parliament Building demanding that the American supported government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and his remaining cabinet members resign. With the protest and the Hezbollah Shi’ite members of Parliament pulling out of the government as the only anti-Syrian government in the past decades was teetering and collapsing. Large sections of the civilian infrastructure of the capital of Lebanon were destroyed in the summer of 2006 War as the outcome of the Hezbollah provoked war with Israel. Opposition leaders were there to support the Syrian and Iranian backed Hezbollah along with General Aoun of the Christian Maronites.
Underneath, this historic trend was moving like a tsunami seeking to make change with peaceful mass political dissent. Hezbollah was seeking to engage the political agenda without war. At the same time, there never had been any Lebanese government that had stood its ground against the forces of Syria, Iran and their imbedded Lebanese political and military front guard militia, Hezbollah. For all sides, it was seen as a “moment of historical reckoning”. Currently the President of Lebanon is a Christian, the Prime Minister is a Sunni Muslim, and the Speaker of the House is a Shi’ite Muslim. The “historic reckoning” was not just with Hezbollah and its national supporters, Syria and Iran, but also with the Arab world, the United States and the European Union (NATO), plus Russia and China. Is Hezbollah willing to remake what they call an “illegitimate government” by declaring whether their political aim is to serve the people of Lebanon or to continue serving globalist seeking governments of Syria and Iran? In a region where the political consensus-building has broken down, and their best political negotiations are known as “no victor, no vanquished”, Hezbollah is now, along with all parties, Christian, Sunni, and Shi’ites are at the cross-roads.
Three years after the death of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, on February 14, 2008, “Martyr’s Square” was filled with the largest crowd since 2005. Traveling from every corner of Lebanon, from the mountain, the coastline, by boat, car, and foot and there in pouring rain gave again their support for a peaceful Lebanon in which to live. Yet, the prophetic focus bodes that a peaceful democracy of Christians and Muslims will be aborted prior to birth, while attacking and sabotaging the “chosen ones of Israel. Did not the God of Israel will “devour” her mighty men (“cedars”) with fire?
Zechariah 11:1 – “Open your doors, O Lebanon, that fire may devour your cedars.”
Why would the Eternal One seek such devastation upon the land of Lebanon? This is the “time of the end” and the prophetic voice is speaking loud and clear. The nations will fight against each other, so that the lands of Lebanon and Gilead (Syria) will become opened for the redemption of the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel. Here is Zechariah’s prophetic vision:
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 (scepter of the House of David taken to Egypt and on to Ireland) Egypt shall depart. So I will strengthen them in the Lord, and they shall walk up and down in His name’ says the Lord.”
Let us look more closely, here we see not only the House of Judah (Jewish Nation of Israel) being strengthened by the Lord of hosts, but at the same time, the “lost” House of Joseph” will be “saved” and the descendants of Ephraim, the son of Joseph, specifically will become like a “mighty hunter.” We also know from the prophetic writings that “Ephraim” and “Joseph” were names that collectively represented the entire redeemed House of Israel. These Josephites and Ephraimites were the exiled citizens of the Northern Kingdom of Israel who rebelled against the Torah, and proclaimed their own “improved Torah”, by worshipping the “Golden Calf”. They rebelled against going to the Temple of Solomon and built their own “temple” in their altars to the Canaanite gods, Baal and Ashtarte in the regions of Samaria. They also rebelled against the authorized halakhic rulings of the rabbanim in Judah and proclaimed that they had a new improved religious authority, the Priests of Baal. It was the apostasy of the Northern Tribes of Israel that gave us the concept of “Spiritual Israelites”. As they opposed the literal Torah, the Temple, the Land of Judah as the location of God’s governing body and opposed the priests of the Temple of Solomon, the “Literal Israel” now in the Kingdom of Judah was transferred to the “Spiritual Israel” in the Kingdom of Israel. Lest we forget, the wrath of the God of Israel for the apostasy of the “Spiritual Israelites” in the Nation of Israel, He exiled the Kingdom of Israel to Assyria. From there they were scattered across the entire continents of the earth; from China to the Isles of Ireland and Great Britain and to the Americas beyond. There they lost their entire identity. Now, the God of Israel was proclaiming that He was going to redeem them, and open the doors of Lebanon and Gilead to be their new homes.
When the gentile Christians at Rome proclaimed their rebellion against the Jews (Judah), they also proclaimed their own “improved Torah” by claiming that the original Torah (Old Testament) had been “done away” and divorced the biblical “New Testament” from the foundation of the TaNaKh (Old Testament) based on the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. The synagogues and ecclesias of the Jews became basilicas and churches, the “Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem” became “Cathedral of St. Peter’s”. The Roman Christians rebelled against the authorized interpreters of the Oracle of God, the Rabbanim of Judah, and proclaimed that they also had a new improved religious authority, the Pope and the Bishops.
When the gentile Muslims at Mecca proclaimed their rebellion against the Jews (Judah), they also proclaimed their own “improved Torah” by claiming that the original Torah (Old Testament) had been “improved by new revelation” and divorced the non-biblical “Quram” from the foundation of the TaNaKh (Old Testament) based on the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. The synagogues and ecclesias of the Jews became mosques, the “Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem” became “Masjid al-Haram of Mecca”. The Roman Christians rebelled against the authorized interpreters of the Oracle of God, the Rabbanim of Judah, and proclaimed that they also had a new improved religious authority, the Mullahs and the Imams.
The time was coming, the God of Israel was preparing to bring them home.
Zechariah 11:2 – “Wail, (Howl) O Cypress, for the cedar has fallen, because mighty trees are ruined.”
Would it be suggestive that the cypress is the mightiest tree in the land since the cedar has fallen? This could be ominous since the Cypress, the next person to assume the mantle of leadership could be a target for destruction. In Ezekiel 31:3, the ruler of Assyria was identified as the cedar and also as a shadowing shroud.
Ezekiel 31:3 – Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of a high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.”
I can agree with this in the context of current events, since the land mass of Assyria today is Turkey and the Turks have a history of cutting down trees, as I alluded to above. I look for Turkish intervention or something coming out of Turkey any day now … again … IF this is the year for Gog and Magog this Succot. However, you bring a very complicated verse.
The Assyrian Empire shaped like a towering Cedar of Lebanon – SDA Bible Commentary
The problem is the phrase CHORESH METZAL, which you have translated “a shadowing shroud.” This is a “thick-branched” tree that casts an imposing shadow. Also the reference to the “top among the thick boughs.” A better translation is “its crown was among the INTERWOVEN branches.”
There are two ideas that stem from this: 1) This was Asher, (for whom Assyria was named) because at the time the plans were being laid for the building of the tower of Bavel, he saw his sons falling under the influence of Nimrod and left before the incident was judged and for this HaShem later rewarded him with the rise to world dominion. 2) The CROWN of a Cedar remains separate from the intermingled branches, which surround it. This is interesting because although Turkey is under the spell of Islam for sure, I would not call it an “Arab” nation. There is a heavy Persian presence from neighboring Iran, and one thing you do not do is call an Arab a Persian or a Persian an Arab (unless you want to die real quick).
Looking into the map above, yes the Assyrian Empire was like a giant tree, a cedar, whose top is as a shadowing shroud that was among the thick boughs. It truly casts an imposing shadow over the whole Middle East. The nation of Syria under the military dictatorship of Assad, is the modern day reincarnation of the Assyrian nation and carries the core name as her national identity. Syria today has the same ideology of a terror machine as did ancient Assyria; ruthless and merciless to her adversaries. She houses more terrorist organizations than probably any other nation in the world.
Yet in true form, part of this land mass is the present day country of Turkey, though Moslem, the Nation of Turkey is still our ally and a member of NATO. How should we look at this passage?
One thought suggests that Turkey stands as the roof over the entire Middle East in geographical topography and demographics, is like a giant tree that casts her shadow over the region. If Turkey, though a Moslem nation, still has a national identity separate from the rest of the trees, such as not being of Arabian (descendents of Ishmael) or Canaanite (Canaan, grandson of Ham) descent, then in the final drama she will stand above the other middle eastern countries in military and spiritual haughtiness. This may be the unfolding drama as the land around Israel is rearranged to finally host the invasion of the forces of Gog from the Land of Mogog near the time of the end.
Secondly, we have the literal tentacles of Syria, which move throughout the land of Lebanon. There is no political move done today without the knowledge and approval of Syria. The Hezbollah terrorists who maintain their forward positions on the northern border of Israel have brought this land, once known as the Switzerland of the Middle East in beauty and in economic commerce, to a backward land of feudal warlords and fiefdoms.
The Babylonian Empire about the Year of 600 BCE - SDA Bible Commentary
The United States as the Great Eagle with Great Wings
Thirdly, there was an imagery that was even more relevant to Zechariah. This was cedar of Lebanon that was identified with Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty emperor of Babylon. It was Ezekiel, who again talked of a cedar, this time being cropped by a great eagle.
Ezekiel 17:3 – A great eagle with great wings, long-winged, full of feathers, which had diverse (embroidered) colors, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: He cropped off the top of his young twigs and carried it into a land of traffic (land of Canaan); he set it in a city of merchants.
Obviously this power comes from outside of Lebanon as evidenced by its wings. The land of traffic is also interesting. If you have ever been to Istanbul, (Constantinople, Turkey) you know that it is the place where East meets West and is a major marketplace, much more so than Israel today. I definitely see an influence of Turkey in this passage when interpreted re: current events.
Once again we are seeing a mini-drama, first in the days of Nebuchadnezzar cropping of the top of the cedar, which was Judah, and carrying her into a land of commerce and traffic. This seems to play into the imagery of John in Revelation as the end times Babylon being a land of commerce and traffic.
Yet the imagery seems to change again in our modern world. Who is the eagle? Not only that but who is the “great eagle with great wings, long-winged, full of feathers, which had divers (embroidered) colors” Any school child would say this was the United States of America, the great land peopled with people from around the world of diverse colors, making this the most mosaic country in the world. Not only that, America is symbolic of her mighty commercial and military air fleets, with great wings of an eagle.
What we are seeing today, the modern America, who imposes her might upon all the nations by her military aerial dominance. Look at Serbia, reduced to rubble and to the ‘stone age’ as some commentators have noted by the air force destruction of her military defense systems. Look at Iraq, in the Persian War, who with lightning speed, was reduced to burnt out tanks and airplane hulls in the desert sands by the air power of America in 1991. Look at Afghanistan, the al Qaida with the Taliban, that were also reduced to rubble, allowing the Northern Alliance to literally walk across the land as victors without hardly a battle to claim for its own. Look at Iraq again in the third Persian war, this time charging unopposed to the gates of Baghdad as the “Shock and Awe” finished off the imperial dreams of Saddam Hussein. Look again at Iraq, this time as the insurgency battleground between the western globalist forces of the Golden Internationale and the Iran-Persian front of the eastern globalist forces of Russia and China. The battle of Daniel 8 between the Ram and the He-Goat for the final oriental and occidental battle for world domination is about to be completed.
“Wail (Howl), O Oaks of Basham, for the thick forest has come down.”
Again, the oaks of Basham will be leveled down. Basham (fruitful), was a district east of Jordan, the limits were strictly defined as extending from the “border of Gilead” on the south to Mount Hermon on the north (Deuteronomy 3:3,10,14; Joshua 12:5, 1 Chronicles 5:23), and from the Arabah or Jordan valley on the west to Salchah (Sulkhad) and the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites on the east. (Joshua 12:3-5; Deuteronomy 3:10) This district was given to the half-tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 13:29-31), together with “half of Gilead”
Here, I would bring SYRIA, because the Golan today is a different land mass than the half-tribe of Manasseh and the best cattle-producing region is farther to the east into the plains of Bashan, which fall into the border between Israel and SYRIA and part of Jordan. Syria has clearly been pulling the puppet strings in Lebanon and to see it invaded by a more powerful nation (today part of the NATO alliance) is reason for howling.
Syria was the head of the Security Council of the United Nations in September, 2001 and a military engagement by the United States against the country of Lebanon, which Syria controls and the country of Syria itself will be reason to howl. This howling will ring throughout the courts of the United Nations and across the world media who are fully captivated by the progressing drama of polarity between Christians, Jews and Islam.
The Cry of the Political Leaders of Lebanon and Syria
Zechariah 11:3 – “There is a sound of wailing shepherds!
For their glory is in ruins.
There is the sound of roaring lions!
For the pride of the Jordan is in ruins.”
The leaders again seem to be the political and spiritual leaders of the lands of Lebanon, Basham and the Jordan valley.
Jeremiah 25:34-36 - Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished: and he shall fall like a pleasant vessel. And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and a howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard: for the Lord hath spoiled their pasture.”
The pride and glory of the ancients were their forests. Each section was renowned for the special trees: the cedars of Lebanon, the oaks of Basham, the forest along the Jordan River Valley. Also the Jordan River itself is called the Pride of Jordan, since it is cool, clear unpolluted water that comes out of Mount Lebanon (Hermon) and flows toward the Dead Sea as a lifeline for the farmers all along its banks.
The lands of Lebanon and Basham constitute the current Phoenician lands of Lebanon, including the Lebanese Mountains, the Beqaa Valley and the Anti-Lebanese mountains that peak on the southern end by the majestic peaks of Mount Herman. Below this mountain are the Golan Heights to the east of Lake Galilee captured by Israel from Syria in the 1967 War. This constitutes the Land of Basham. From Mount Hermon flows the Jordan River with the melting of the snow into water pure and clear. That is could be called the “Pride of Jordan” is true and contested by the roaring of young lions, the military warriors from the Nation of Israel.
Another symbolism is suggested. This reminds one of the ancient and modern techniques to humiliate and control the arrogance and haughtiness of enemy prisoners; to cut off all their hair (trees) and their identity is destroyed. Again, this is what the Ottoman Turks did when they invaded.
Once again, let us compare with Zechariah 10:10, “Bring them to the Land of Gilead and Lebanon”. The lands of Gilead and Lebanon are to the northwest of Israel in the present day land of Lebanon while 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. It appears that the land given to Manasseh, Gilead and Basham will be beautiful and the prime pastureland for cattle will become the future home of the House of Joseph and the arrogance of the indigenous Assyrian (Syrians), Moabite and Ammonite (Jordan) peoples will be destroyed.
Historically, the young lions of Britain drove out the Ottoman Turks. A case in point, the Sultan of Turkey, during the era of 1860 to 1917, transferred thousands of Moslems from seventeen different countries to Palestine to offset the growing population of the majority of Jews in the Land. There were tens of thousands of Muslims that were assimilated from the Moslem sector of Bosnia.
In 1917, after World War I, thousands of European Jews returned to the Land of Israel to make it their home. The population of then known British Colonial Palestine, was predominately Jewish with a few Arabs tribesmen living in the area for the land of Palestine, as it was known since the days of the Roman occupation after the fall of Jerusalem, was predominately a desolate wasteland. Together they lived and co-existed peaceably.
President Beneš of Czechoslovakia promoted the idea in 1919 with U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, the idea of a Jewish Homeland in the region called Palestine. The world leaders who became the architects of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles all agreed that the Jewish should be allowed to settle in the land known as the British Colonial Palestine. The rest of the land from Iraq to Yemen would go to the rest of the Arabian people. Yet, it was the British in 1921 that created the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan as a Palestine for the Arabs. It was suppose to leave room for a Jewish state that never was allowed to become a political reality.
The failure of the world leaders to create a viable Jewish state led eventually to the Holocaust under Hitler Germany with the Jewish people having no homeland to escape or flee. This failure was the prime responsibility of the British that controlled the area as the British Mandate. Millions of Jews perished because of the British refusal to allow them to immigrate to Palestine Israel.
Where did this resistance come from? The British had no motive to form a new nation of Israel, for the Monarchy of British, believes that they are the living and visible throne of
Israel today. Were they not the genetic royal lineage that was preserved from the House of David from the remnant that fled to Egypt with Jeremiah the Prophet? Here Tamar Tephi, the last princess of Israel, married a Scythian prince and became the first Queen of the House of Ireland, the ancestors to the British Royal Family.
This land of Israel did not come into reality until 1947 when Menachem Begin, the “young lions of Judah” drove out the old Lions, the British out of Colonial Palestine in the War of Liberation. Yet when the UN resolution 181 of 1947 was formulated, which called for the partitioning of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, this land was part of British Colonial Palestine which included Judea and Samaria. It was the “young lions of Judah” who liberated their Land from the evacuating British. Before the British withdrew, the Jewish people were forcibly evacuated from Judea and Samaria so that Jordan [Hashemite (God’s??) Kingdom of Jordan] could accept national control over the area.
Of the land envisioned by Czechoslovakia Foreign Minister Edvard Beneš (1918-1935) of Czechoslovakia with President Woodrow Wilson of American in 1919, only 10% was eventually given to the Jews to be their homeland.
By that time the Jews were heading to their new homeland (1948), the now President Edvard Beneš ’ country of Czechoslovakia has been swallowed up by Nazi Germany, the Jewish population when the Czech people were sold out by the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain at the Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler in 1938 that toppled the government of one brave foreign leader that had a vision for a homeland for the Jews. How could this have happened?
It was on March 28, 1938 that the Konrad Henlein of the Czech Sudeten-German party (SdP) and an undercover agent of Adolf Hitler demanded from the Edvard Beneš government that the central part of Czechoslovakia be ceded to the Germany government of Adolf Hitler. This plan may seen strange and preposterous that a foreign power could take control of the central highlands of a different and separate country in what was called the Carlsbad Decree. Named after a small town in the hinterland of the Czech Republic, this spa city at the junction of the Ohře and rivers was founded in 1370 was famed for its 13 hot springs, 300 smaller springs and the warm water river.
A majority of the population of the Sudetenland in central Czechoslovakia were German when it was ceded to Nazi Germany in 1938. This was a strategic ploy on the part of Hitler because Germany and Czechoslovakia was protected from Germany by a mountainous chain in which the Germany Panzers would have difficulty invading this fiercely independent country. So Hitler used the German minority in Sudeten to exploit in his pretext to eventually conquer Czechoslovakia and then Central Europe.
When the Edvard Beneš government was faced with the cessation of the interior part of their country, he suddenly found himself also isolated from the rest of the European community. The Carlsbad Decrees on April 24, 1938 demanded autonomy for the German’s in Sudetenland to give them the freedom to profess the rising Nazi ideology that was sweeping the German nationals.
In the meantime, France and Great Britain were in an isolationist and pacifist mood, not wanting war and not wishing to confront the evil of Nazi anti-Semitism face to face. France backed out geo-politically and gave her foreign policy decision role to Britain. The British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (1937-1940) became the prime spokesman for Western Europe. Chamberlain’s foreign policy and international relations was centered by the ideology of appeasement. Thinking that giving German access to the Sudetenland that Germany would become satisfied in her lust for regional or world domination that she would not seek any more European territorial concessions, Chamberlain agreed to the Munich Agreement in which Germany, France, Britain, and Italy signed with Hitler permitting the German annexation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.
A true understanding of the next few weeks in Czechoslovakia in the fall of 1938 can give a BibleSearcher the prophetic insight into what has now become the model for independence of the Palestinian people and the declaration of a Palestinian State in the midst of the Nation of Israel. This is not a coincidence. This is actually a replay of a chain of events played out before World War II between the Nazi Germany and the Western European powers that imposed international agreements upon another autonomous state that they had no international right to do. Yet the government of the militarily strong country of Czechoslovakian collapsed on September 30, 1938 when President Edvard Beneš waited for her western allied to come to her aid. They remained silent and the citizens of Czechoslovakia took up her defense to late.
So today the Nation of Israel has now been caught between a rock and annihilation as the Barak-Sharon-Olmert governments have linked their national destiny with the American Clinton-Bush White House, both of which are well know supporters of a future world unified global government. This time, biblical prophecy has given us the Roadmap of the Divine. The Nation of Israel will become as corrupt as Sodom and Gomorrah as she follows the Roadmap of the Quartet in their appeasement to radical Islam. Only a “remnant” will remain true to the God of Israel, but this remnant will become like a firebrand for the coming messiah of Israel. This is the story of the prophets of ancient Israel and Judah. Let us first see what happened to Czechoslovakia.
President Beneš obviously resisted. Was he not the only world leader where the Lord of hosts implanted a novel idea; the Jewish people that were scattered to the nations around the world would need their own national homeland before the prophecies given to the prophets of Israel could be fulfilled. The time had come. The Jewish people and her corrupt rabbinic and political leadership had resisted the idea of a national homeland. As difficult as it is to conceive of such a fate, it took the Holocaust in Central Europe and the pogroms in Russia to convince the Jews of Europe (Sephardic) and Russia (Ashkenazi) that what ever their religious convictions, the Jewish people, the last nationalistic people not to have their own homeland, would now begin to dream about the prayer that had been on their lips for centuries, “Someday in Jerusalem.”
By May 20, 1938, the Nation of Czechoslovakia partially mobilized their military with the international rumors that the German troops were on the move. Unknowns to them, Hitler had signed a secret “directive of war” that no later than October 1, 1938, Germany would declare war against Czechoslovakia. In the meantime, the Britain demanded that the Czech government request international mediation. To this international pressure President Beneš reluctantly conceded.
The British Lord Runsiman was appointed as mediator and instructed that the government of the Czech people be forced to accept a settlement with the German residents in Sudeten. On September 2, 1938, Beneš accepted most of the Carlsbad Decree in his “Fourth Plan.” But the German revolted and went to the streets in violent protest. Demonstrations erupted in the town of Ostrava on September 7. The negotiations fell apart on September 15. The rising revolt demanded the return of the entire Sudetenland to the Nation of Germany.
In the meantime, Hitler and Chamberlain were meeting in secret at Adolf Hitler’s Villa retreat called the “Eagle’s Nest” along with houses for Hitler’s secretary, Martin Bormann and Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering sitting over an intricate bunker network to protect the Nazi leaders in the Bavarian Alps at Berchtesgaden. Here the Fuhrer demanded in the name of the Third Reich that the Sedetenland be turned immediately over to Germany because the Czech government was “slaughtering” the German people. If not, the western world would be facing a regional war and possibly a global war.
The British and the French gave the government of Czechoslovakia an ultimatum, give up Sudetenland or face the withdrawal of any western alliance or assistance. On September 21, 1938, the government of Beneš capitulated to western pressure and the Czech nationals now went into revolt. They demanded that their government protect them.
Immediately Hitler made new demands; the minority claims of the Polish and the Hungarians would have to also be settled. A new “acting” government under the appointed new Prime Minister General Jan Syrový made some generalized mobilization of forces. A military of the Czech’s was modern and an envy of many of the European countries. They had a country with natural protection of mountains and frontier fortifications that were in excellent condition for the defense of the country. Even the Soviet Union proclaimed its willingness to come to their assistance. Yet President Beneš refused to act without the western support and assistance.
On September 28, 1938, Chamberlain appealed to Hitler, so the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler met with the chief representatives of France, Italy and Great Britain in Munich, Germany. Top secret negotiations without the knowledge or consultation of the Czech government were conducted that led to the signing of the Munich Agreement on September 29, 1938.
The Czechoslovak government capitulated and agreed to abide by the Munich Agreement on September 30. The Munich Agreement stipulated that Czechoslovakia must cede Sudeten territory to Germany. German occupation of the Sudetenland would be completed by October 10. The day for the independence for the Czech Republic was over. President Beneš had been politically and military surrounded by his friends and foes. The Nation of Czechoslovakia had to cede the Sudeten territory to Germany without even a fight. It was to be completed by October 10 under an international commission represented by Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and now Czechoslovakia that would determine the final borders according to the plebiscite. The British and the French promised to protect and give international guarantee that the new borders would be protected from “unprovoked” aggression. Germany and Italy refused to join in any guarantee until the Polish and the Hungarian minority complaints were resolved. On October 2, 1938, the Czech territories were given to Hungary by Germany and Italy at Vienna and by November 1, 1938, the Polish annexed Czech territory to the Nation of Poland.
On October 5, 1938, President Beneš resigned and fled into exile at Putney, London. Later his family lived out the war living in The Abbey at Aston Abbotts in Buckinghamshire. There he organized the Provisional Government-in-Exile where General Jan Šrámek lived nearby as his Prime Minister.
With the main military fortifications in the country built in the Sudeten region and now taken over by the German Nazi army, the remainder of the Czech Republic remained defenseless. Within six month, the pro-German Slovak fascists, provoked by Hitler, began to demand the Slovak independence. This “independence” actually became a puppet state dependant upon the protection of the Third German Reich after Hitler invaded the provinces of Moravia and Bohemia. Without any resistance, the once Nation of Czechoslovakia became a German Protectorate under the appointed Reich Protector, Konstantin von Neurath.
The Jewish people living in Czechoslovakia numbered about 350,000 out of a total population of 15.3 million Czechs. About a third of the Jewish people lived in Bohemia and Moravia, in the land that was left after the appropriations by the German Sudetenland plus the lands given to Hungry and Poland. Within seven months the new Reich Protector, Konstantin von Neurath began a series of anti-Semitic decrees paralleling those issued earlier in Germany. Soon the economic stability of the Jewish citizens was gone and soon all of their property was confiscated. By October 1939, the first of the deportations of Jews were sent to the Polish concentration camps had begun. Three years later 75% of the Jewish population in Czechoslovakia had been killed in the fiery furnaces at Auschwitz. When the war was over, the total Jewish casualties during the Holocaust of World War II were calculated, out of 5,754,000 Jewish deaths, 277,000 were from Czechoslovakia.
The Germans were expelled in 1945 when the Czech government gained control of its lands after World War II with President Edvard Beneš returning to the new Czech government in 1946. He resigned when the Communists forced him to sign a Communist constitution in 1948 and his country remained under the control of the communist United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR).
Hass was one of the twenty-two German defendants put on trial at the Nuremberg Trials on August 8, 1945. He was convicted on four counts:
1. Conspiracy to Wage Aggressive War – guilty
2. Waging Aggressive War or “Crimes Against Peace” – guilty
3. War Crimes – guilty
4. Crimes Against Humanity – guilty
Close your eyes and now think about the events that are swirling around the world today. Reconsider the plight of the Jews and then consider their fate that their Islamic neighbors publicly demand for the Jewish people to the international media. The influence of Hitler with the Islamic radicals has been profound. This history with the rise of the Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood and the Mufti of Jerusalem was documented in the BibleSearchers article titled, “The Mufti of Jerusalem” and “The Muslim Brotherhood” – The Fight to Own Jerusalem and the Land of Israel.” Are the nations of the world any more astute today than they were with the rise of Hitler’s Third German Reich? The jury is out, but we are probably today just as clueless. When radical Islam today proclaims, “Death to America” does that ring any bells in the annals of history? The fact that they look to America as the “Great Satan” and Israel as the “Little Satan” suggests the importance of destroying the influence of the American “Eagle” on the geo-political stage of history.
Yet, did the God of Israel give us the lesson of “Hitler and Czechoslovakia” as a mini-drama to give us an idea of what would be recreated again for the Jewish Nation of Israel? Is it not a coincidence that the one national leadership who foresaw in the “Age of Nationalism” became the only nation on the international landscape not to have a national home. These were the Jewish people who publicly pronounced the need for the national homeland to the international community. Did Beneš proclamation of support for the Jewish people also spell the fate for the independence of his own people?
Let us again look at the actors in the mini-drama of “Hitler and the Nation of Czechoslovakia” and see the parallels of Radical Islam and Hamas with the Nation of Israel:
Radical Islam with Hamas (Palestinians), Hezbollah (Syrian and Iran)
Nation of Israel
Date of the Proclamation by British PM Balfour (Balfour Agreement) - 1917
Rise Greater Germany and a Jewish Solution - 1938
Rise of the State of Israel - May 15, 1948
1948 – 1969 (21 Years) – Rise of the State of Israel to the Cairo Peace Agreement with Egypt
Key Players in the Fate of Israel: (2006) Germany, France, Britain and Italy (Vatican and the Italian Forces heading NATO’s UNIFIL Forces in Lebanon)
Britain, France, and the Italian (Vatican and UNIFIL Forces) forcing Israel to give up the West Bank and Gaza Strip to Nazi inspired Hamas and Hezbollah
Shimon Peres of the Jewish Labor and Kadima Party as an undercover agent for the Vatican (Italy)
The one globalist president who has staked his presidential career to the Partitioning of Israel – President George W. Bush
Go to Zechariah 11 – Part Two –
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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