Category Archives: Symbolism

An American Da Vinci Code

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This week I’d like to share with you a bit of intriguing Americana with an unusual religious twist. It’s a true story about a famous Christian soap maker of early America and his brick cipher which The New Yorker magazine called the “Mystery on Pearl Street”.

To give you a sense of this story, New York’s own Historic Districts Council called this brick symbol an “American Da Vinci Code”, The New York Times headline ran, “Three Cryptic Shapes Pose a Puzzle” and USA Today proclaimed “Symbol on NYC building a History Mystery”.

Our story begins with William Colgate, one of America’s early success stories. When you think of Colgate you’re probably thinking of toothpaste, but Mr. Colgate actually began his entrepreneurial endeavors as a soap and candle maker in Baltimore, Maryland. Eventually Mr. Colgate moved to New York and became one of the most influential and wealthy men of that era. But that is only the most well-known part of the story. Continue reading

The 13th Symbol is Now in Print!

 

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For all of you who have so patiently waited I am pleased to announce that my novel The 13th Symbol has finally been published. Like Book I & II, this story is a unique blend of history and Bible prophecy intertwined in a thrilling action packed novel.

A Brief Synopsis:
When terrorists strike a US Border Patrol outpost in southern Arizona it is but the opening move in a complicate game of international chess which will change the face of American politics forever.

Half a world away Zane Harrison must face his greatest fear when he learns that he has become the focus of the greatest treasure hunt the world has ever known. Can he find the 13th Symbol and the billions in gold it represents before those he loves are destroyed? As events overtake him, Zane must come to terms with his desire for revenge and responsibility to do what is right.

The 13th Symbol: Rise of the Enlightened One is available at Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

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          Sneak Peek: The 13th Symbol: Rise of the Enlightened One

          Prologue 

          Northern Virginia, 1666

          The ebony musket parted the emerald wall of leaves, its smooth octagon barrel invisible in the wet, shimmering foliage, the well-oiled steel securely cradled in a pair of oaken arms. A massive set of antlers filled the ancient weapon’s sights. The hunter paused, his breath held a moment as his bony finger increased pressure on the curved trigger. The finger froze.

          A whisper of wind escaped as Francis Pope released his breath and slowly withdrew his weapon from its leafy ambuscade. He waited and watched. Something intangible called to him from the quiet sylvan scene, something he knew better than to ignore.

          A minute later his quarry raised its stately antlers from where it had been peacefully grazing. Head erect, the stag looked into the forest opposite Francis and with an amazing leap bounded from the grassy glade where it had been eating its morning meal. A bird rose from the trees where the deer had looked.

          Another moment passed, and a line of bronzed figures emerged from the trees and paused at the edge of the clearing. With the same wild attentiveness as the deer, they surveyed the scene. After several minutes they continued, crossing the small park to the other side, where they again stopped. Their destination was an ancient gray crumbled finger of stone, which thrust its defiant tip toward the sun as if to challenge the trees for the right to bathe in its golden rays.

          A fire was kindled, a hole dug. Fascinated, Francis Pope watched as the Indians performed their ancient ceremony. He had been told when he purchased the land that it was once an ancient burial ground. Now, looking down from the hill where he was concealed, he knew this to be true.

          As he watched, a grizzled old man, whether medicine man or chief he knew not, began to dance and whirl in growing frenzy. Slowly, with ever increasing volume, the dancer wailed the ancient song of death and the afterlife. His body taut, strung tight by the resonant notes that cascaded from his lips, he gave a final leap and a mournful incantation, then silence once more descended upon the scene like a fog whose misty vapors conceal and cool.

          An object was placed in the hole, ashes sprinkled in the air. The hole was filled, the fire extinguished. All evidence of the party’s activities erased. One by one, the colorful entourage filed from the park and returned in the direction they had come.

          Francis remained fixed to his position, waiting. He had no intention of donating his scalp as an offering to the funeral party’s gods. Pondering, he considered the implications of what he had just witnessed.

          “Godless heathen,” he muttered under his breath. He’d bought this land and dedicated it to Mother Church. Yes, he would leave his mark on this land. The hill he stood on was one of seven, and he’d name it Rome; the creek yonder, the Tiber. He smiled to himself proudly. He was Pope Francis of Rome on the Tiber. He had a vision that the land upon which he was standing would be the nucleus for a great empire, that shining city on a hill for which mankind had so long searched in vain.

          Francis Pope turned his steps homeward. He was a canny man, and he had seen the future.

          * * *

          Ninety years later, a young man stood on Rome Hill, his intelligent eyes taking in the scene below him. His knowing gaze saw the potential of the land he was being paid to survey. His mind carved streets out of the wooded land which lay before him. His imagination painted stately buildings and grand thoroughfares. Lord Fairfax would be pleased.

          Withdrawing a notebook from his pocket, the young surveyor drew a detailed map and made notes. Pausing, he gazed out over the great trees and grassy parks, a premonition of the future rising, growing in his conscious mind, the sacred ground upon which he was standing once again exerting its invisible influence upon an unwitting visitor.

          Gathering his surveying equipment, the young man turned, unaware that this piece of land was part of his destiny. With a final backward glance, George descended Rome Hill ignorant of the fact that he was standing on the future capital of the most powerful nation the world had ever known, a city on seven hills which would someday be named in his honor.

          Chapter 1

          London, England, Present Day

          Reading the report for the third time, Rawlins Dewhurst felt his hands begin to tremble uncontrollably as realization swept over him. Slowly he placed the paper back on his desk, and reaching to loosen his nine-hundred-pound white-and-blue silk tie, he looked balefully out of the corner of his eye at a bar of gold which had been cut in half. Now sitting on his desk like a worthless paperweight, its dull gray core mocked him.  With unsteady hands he removed a handkerchief from the pocket of his suit and wiped away the bead of sweat forming on his ice-cold forehead. He was trapped. Trapped by his own ambition, the allure of Sir Peter’s gold, and a mistake.

          Rawlins’s pragmatic mind ran through his options. None of them were pleasant. The repercussions were incalculable and the costs damning.

          “Bloody hell,” he muttered as he folded his hands and placed them on top of his desk in an effort to stop their shaking. How could he have been so stupid? The bloody gold had ruined him.

          The irony was not lost upon him. Barrclays Bank had its origins in the goldsmithing business of James Barrclay in 1690. Now, over three centuries later, it would see its demise due to the single largest gold hoard in history. They had truly come full circle. All because he had been in a hurry to get Sir Peter Herschel’s gold into their London vault.

          He knew the axe would fall hardest on him. He had signed off on the partial audit of the gold in order to speed the transfer. His signature was the official Barrclays certification.

          As if it were some evil talisman, Rawlins touched the thirteen-pound bar. With effort he lifted the glowing metal and looked at the cut end. This one had been the first, part of the bank’s transaction and storage charge. As per their agreement, Peter Herschel was to pay their fees in bullion. When the bullion was transferred from Sir Peter’s holdings to the bank’s own accounts, a full audit was done on the transferred gold. Each of the gold bars had been tested and the one he was now holding found.

          Whoever had made the counterfeit gold bars had done a superb job. The bar he held had been cut in half, exposing its tungsten core. For years they had known about fake tungsten bars, but nothing like what they now held in the vaults below his feet. Gold bugs and conspiracy quacks had been claiming for years that the gold in Fort Knox and other central banks around the world held fake bars. Every time the price of gold dropped, they came out of the woodwork claiming that the powers that be were dumping their gold bullion on the market in an effort to suppress the price. Their ludicrous theory was that as long as central banks could keep the lid on the price of gold, the ignorant masses would keep using the worthless paper currencies of the world. In an effort to disguise their nefarious activities, the banks replaced their dumped gold bullion with fake gold bars, or so the story went.

          Rawlins sighed with resignation. “Looks like the conspiracy nuts will have their day in the sun after all,” he muttered.

          What made tungsten so attractive as a gold substitute was its density: compared to 24K gold, it was only a .26 percent difference. In small gold coins this discrepancy was visually apparent. A full-sized gold bar, on the other hand, only had a .0017 percent dimensional difference—visually indistinguishable. The best way to determine the real from the fake was by ultrasound.

          That was how the fake bar he was holding had been found—after he signed off on the certification of the gold bullion shipment. Due to the amount of gold Peter Herschel had placed under their custodianship and his desire to get it into their vaults as quickly as possible, he had authorized a limited spot check of several dozen bars. Everything had appeared legitimate.

          Now, a month later, he had followed the discovery of the first bar with a complete and final audit of the entire shipment of gold. One third of the bars were fake. Barrclays now had to guarantee several hundred billion dollars’ worth of fake gold bars. That was beyond the scope of any modern-day financial institution, let alone the one Rawlins Dewhurst oversaw.

          If this information got out, the gold price would spike as traders realized that billions of dollars in gold would have to be bought in order to make good on the fake gold held in Barrclays’ vaults. It would be a vicious cycle: what was several hundred billion dollars of paper loss right now could grow to multiples of that if anyone ever found out.

          To make matters worse, about the same time as the discovery, he’d received a phone call from the new president of Iran demanding to know the names of those present at the attempted opening of Sir Peter Herschel’s will. He claimed the new Persian nation had been defrauded by Peter Herschel, and he was going to contest the execution of the will. At first Rawlins had refused to give him any information, but then Darius Zarindast had threatened to leak the information about the gold to the press. How he knew about the fake gold Rawlins had no idea, but in an effort to keep a lid on the information until an audit could be completed, he e-mailed Zarindast the list. Zarindast had promised not to share the information, and to Rawlins’s surprise, he kept his word. But all that didn’t matter now.

          Rawlins turned his attention back to the paper sitting on his desk—the report detailing the results of the audit. It was the kiss of death for one of the most respected banking institutions in the world. In the current financial environment, the loss would likely cascade across the London banking industry and ultimately fall upon the shoulders of the British central bank and the Crown. London’s status as the world’s banking center would be no more. All because a greedy little banker named Rawlins Dewhurst had cut a corner. They’d be coming for him, that was for sure; bloody good it would do them.

          Rawlins set the fake gold bar back down on the report, leaving the fake side up. Leaning to one side, he opened a drawer in his desk. Calmly he removed a nickel-plated automatic pistol from under the papers at the bottom of the drawer; and placing it to his temple, Rawlins Dewhurst pulled the trigger.

           

          The 14th Sacrifice

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          Burnt Offerings

           

          I’m continually thrilled by the Messianic symbolism YHWH has hidden in the Scripture for us to find. To me it’s the ultimate treasure hunt, with each new find bringing additional depth and beauty to our Creator’s plan of reconciliation for all mankind.

          Burnt Offering Sacrifice

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          Right up front I’ll admit my bias, I believe the Bible to be the inspired words of YHWH. When there are passages that don’t make any sense or seem down right funky I like to look a these parts as a wonderful puzzle to solve. A good example of what I am talking about is the order and number of sacrifices prescribed during the Biblical feast days. If you’ve read my article An Old Testament Enigma or The Messiah Factors you already know there is more to the arrangement of Old Testament sacrifices offered during the Feast of Tabernacles.

          Since Passover 2014 is just days away I thought I would share a little bit different perspective on this wonderful Biblical holy day which is so symbolic of Yeshua’s sacrifice on our behalf.

          I know many today hold to the belief that in order for Yeshua to fulfill the symbolic nature of this Biblical feast he had to be crucified at the same time as all the other “Passover” lambs on the 14th of Nisan. There are several reasons I do not hold this belief. The first, and most important reason is it would require me to take the gospel accounts at something other than face value and by doing so it needlessly confuses the rest of the Passover week chronology. The second, is that I think that holding this position does not allow us to see a greater symbolic picture which Yeshua fulfilled in regards to this Biblical feast day.

          Let’s start with gospel accounts: 

          Matthew 26:18-20 17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?…19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.  20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

          Mark 14:12-18   12 And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?…. and they made ready the passover17 And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.  18 And as they sat and did eat,

          Luke 22:8-15   8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat….  and they made ready the passover14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.  15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

           John 13:1-2  Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.  2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;

          Taken at face value the above passages show that Yeshua ate the Passover supper with his disciples at the same time as the rest of Jerusalem. Some have used the passage in John 13 to claim that Yeshua kept a special teaching “supper” with his disciples before the real Passover supper. Matthew, Mark and Luke do not support this position. If you have read my article Even unto Even and the Exodus Day then you know the Scripture is perfectly clear that the Passover lambs are killed before “even” on the 14th which was just before sunset beginning the15th day of Nisan . (And the start of the 7 days of Unleavened Bread.)

           To avoid confusion I think it would be helpful here to define the two ways the term “passover” is used in the Bible. In the specific sense the Hebrew term pecach (Passover) comes from the Hebrew root pacach which means to “pass over”. In a majority of cases the term is used to designate the commemorative Passover supper as kept by the Israelites the night before they exited Egypt.

          Exodus 12:11-13  11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the YHWH’S passover.  12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, …… and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

          Yeshuas_Passover_Supper2014

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           As I showed in my article on the Exodus Day , Israel sacrificed the Passover lamb late on the 14th day of Nisan just before the 15th. Later that night (on the 15th) all Israel ate the Passover supper.

           The term Passover is also used in a more general sense to designate the entire 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread. (The Passover “supper” beginning this 7 day feast.) Here are a couple of examples:

           Ezekiel 45:21   21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.

          Luke 22:1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

          Josephus also shows that the term Passover was used to represent the entire 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread. Ant. 14:21; Ant. 17:213; Ant. 18:29; Jwr. 2:10

           *    *    *

          Even though the New Testament does not show that Yeshua was killed at the same time as the other Passover lambs there is a bigger picture related to the “Passover” that I think many are missing.

           First of all, the fact is the Passover lambs were not killed on the “feast day” proper. The Passover lambs were killed during the day of the 14th of Nisan just before sundown of the 15th. In my opinion and I think the Biblical record bears this out, both contextually and symbolically Yeshua had to be killed on the “feast day” proper (i.e. the 15th). Contextually the above gospel accounts show that Yeshua ate the Passover with his disciples as prescribed by the Law. This would place his death during the daytime hours of the 15th of Nisan about the same time as the sin atonement sacrifice was offered by the high priest.

          The gospel accounts aside the apostle Paul’s in 1 Cor. 5:7-8 refers to Yeshua as “our passover” in the context of the feast of unleavened bread. Later in 1 Cor. 11:23-26 Paul shows that the “bread” and “cup” of the Passover supper kept by Yeshua and the disciples was, in Yeshua’s own words,  a symbol of the Messiah’s death and resurrection. As such this service should be kept in remembrance of Yeshua until he comes again.

           1 Corinthians 5:7-8  7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

           1 Corinthians 11:23-26   23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:  24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

           I know some will argue that Paul’s reference above to Yeshua as our “passover” means that Yeshua had to be killed at the same time as the other “Passover” lambs. As I showed above, the term “Passover” is used in both a general and specific sense. In order to not contradict the gospel accounts the term “passover” in 1 Cor. 5 (above) must be understood in the general sense. Indeed, it was not until the 15th of Nisan that an sin atonement sacrifice was offered.

          *    *    *

          Yeshua_Garden_Geth For the sake of argument let’s take the gospel accounts at face value. Let’s assume that Yeshua did in fact eat the Passover supper with his disciples and the rest of Jerusalem during the early evening hours which began the 15th of Nisan. Later that night, still the 15th of Nisan, Yeshua took the disciples into the garden of Gethsemane to pray.

          Now contrast this with the events of the Exodus Day. That very night about 1500 years earlier the blood on the doors posts of Israelites protected them from the angle of death. Yeshua that very same night shed his blood in “great drops” petitioning the Father. Instead of an angel sent to kill that night an angel was sent to strengthen.

           Luke 22:43-44   43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.  44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

           About the same time Israel was leaving Egypt with their “unleavened bread” upon their shoulders, Yeshua, the unleavened “bread of heaven”, bore (on His shoulders) a cross and the sins of mankind on his way to pay the righteous price for our reconciliation to our Creator.Yeshua_Bearing_Cross

           Exodus 12:34  34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.

           John 19:17-18  17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:  18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

           Matthew 27:31-32   31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.  32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

           *    *    *

           With the above chronology in mind let’s now consider the 1st day of Unleavened Bread in context of the sacrificial service. One of my secondary objections to Yeshua crucifixion on the 14th of Nisan is that the 14th of Nisan is not a miqra or “holy convocation”. Though the Passover lambs were killed on the 14th of Nisan their blood did not protect, nor was the sacrifice consumed by the Israelites until the night of the 15th (the feast day proper). For 1500 years before Yeshua and now almost 2000 years after both Jews and Gentiles have commemorate the 15th of Nisan as the day YHWH delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt. As I have laid out above, a reasonable case can be made that Yeshua’s blood, that very same day, paid the price for mankind’s bondage to sin.

           *   *   *

          As a final thought on the subject (for this article anyway) I would like to look at the sacrifices prescribed for the first day of Unleavened Bread as found in Numbers 28. 

           Numbers 28:17-23  17 And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.  18 In the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein:  19 But ye shall offer a sacrifice made by fire for a burnt offering unto YHWH; two young bullocks, and one ram, and seven lambs of the first year: they shall be unto you without blemish:…. 22 And one goat for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you.  23 Ye shall offer these beside the burnt offering in the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering.

          Numbers 28:3-4  3 And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto YHWH; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering. 4 The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even;

           In light of my articles on the Messiah Factors isn’t it fascinating to realize that 13 sacrifices are commanded to be made for this day. (2 bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 goat, and the 2 morning/evening continual burnt offering.) What’s even more, though the “Passover” lamb was killed on the 14th it’s purpose was not realized until the 15th of Nisan, thus making 13 sacrifices offered but 14 consumed on the feast day. Now how awesome is that? The Passover lamb was indeed a 14th sacrifice, and by its unique nature forever stamping the 15th of Nisan with the Messiah Factors .   

          Passover Sacrifices 2014

           Authors Note: In subsequent articles I will explore some of the more controversial aspects of the chronology described above. Such as:

          * The 14th Sacrifice
          * “The Feast Day”: Judas’ Betrayal
          * Defiled on the “Passover”
          * The “Preparation” Day
          * The “3rd Day”
          *The Sign of Jonah
          Special Offer:
          Subscribe to my blog and you’ll receive a complimentary copy of the first book in my new series on the Messianic symbolism of the Bible:
          The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bibles Messianic Symbolism

           


           

          The Jubilee Code

          Rams-horn-BlowerMy previous articles on The Messiah Factors made the case that the list of names in Matthew 1 was a purposeful arrangement of Yeshua’s lineage in order to show that He was indeed the Messiah promised in the Old Testament Scriptures.  Not only did Matthew 1 provided us with the Messiah Factors of 13 & 14 but he also gave us a list of 41 names. These names, starting with Abraham and ending with Yeshua, represented 41 generations. My present article will explore the possibility that these 41 names are also the key to an even more far reaching prophetic picture. A panoramic view if you will, of YHWH’s redemptive plan for all mankind beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation. 

          Years ago, in early 2000, I became interested in long term economic cycles. I researched Kondratiev  cycles, Elliott Waves, Armstrong Pi cycles, and Gann’s famous cycle work. The men for whom these cycle studies were named  believed that human socio/economic behavior had some level of underlying order. Being one who actually believes the Bible to be an accurate representation of past history I wondered if I could find evidence of socio/economic cycles in the Bible. After all the Bible is full of historical records which describe bountiful harvests and great famines, great wars, and mass migrations. 

          According to the Biblical record, about 3500 years ago YHWH instituted three definable socio/economic cycles which governed the lives of the Hebrew people.  These cycles were the daily Sabbath cycle of 6 days labor and 1 day rest; a similar yearly Sabbath cycle which concerned the use of land and Hebrew servitude; and a 50 year Jubilee cycle which governed the use of debt, slavery, and service. To make a long story short I wondered if these cycles had possibly left an echo which could still be measured in our present era. What I found changed my macro view of the Bible and set my course on path to the discovery of what I call the Jubilee Code.

          *    *    *

          After the Exodus, one of the commandments YHWH gave Moses was a set of instructions which called for the canceling of all debts and release of all slaves in the year following 7 completed (yearly) Sabbath cycle (7×7 = 49+1). This 50th year, a “year of release” was celebrated on the Day of Atonement and became known41_Jubilees_Cycles as the Yowbel or Jubilee. (For more information on the Jubilee see my article The First Jubilee.) I found that these Jubilee cycles marked important events in the chronology of the Old Testament especially as it related to YHWH’s redemptive plan for mankind through Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.   My articles on the Messiah Factors showed that Matthew 1 was the key which unlocked the prophecy of Daniel 9. A prophecy which bridged the five centuries between the Old & New Testaments. The first verse of the New Testament reads:The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham”. This verse establishes Yeshua’s connection to both Abraham and king David. As given the list shows 41 generations between Abraham and Yeshua.  What is most exciting from a chronological perspective is that the Old Testament also describes 41 Jubilee cycles between Abraham and Yeshua. Yes, you heard that right! The list of Matthew was arranged to show Yeshua’s lineage as a series of Jubilee cycles. Further adding to the importance of this discovery is that there are also 41 Jubilee cycles between Adam and Abraham. The chart to the right gives a panoramic view of 41 Jubilee cycles and its relationship to the chronology of the Bible.

          *   *   *

          The apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians, described the adoption of the Gentiles into the family of God through Yeshua. Paul states that YHWH, “when the fullness of time was come” sent his Son (Yeshua) to redeem mankind.

           Galatians 3:29 – 4:5  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.   Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Jubilee&70Years 

          If there was one theme I tried to show in my articles on the Messiah Factors it was that Daniel 9 was a prophecy of the coming Messiah as part of YHWH’s redemptive plan for all mankind. If we take a look at this theme in light of the Jubilee Code we see that indeed Yeshua came in the “fullness of time“.

          When YHWH caused Judah to be taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar in 604 BC, this event began the period of 70 years captivity as prophesied by Jeremiah. (Jer. 25:11-12) What makes these 70 years stand out is that they began in the 70th Jubilee cycle from Adam. Shortly after the 1st captivity of Judah began, Ezekiel (Eze. 8-10)  records the departure of the Shekinah from the Temple and Jerusalem. 70 years later YHWH announces that His Divine anger had ended and He had returned to Jerusalem “with mercies“.

          Zechariah 1:12-16  Then the angel of YHWH answered and said, O YHWH of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?  And YHWH answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.  o the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith YHWH of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.  And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.   Therefore thus saith YHWH ; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith YHWH of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

          This period of Divine anger also began in the 70th Jubilee cycle. If you read my article The Fifth Command you recognize Zechariah 1:16 above as the Divine commandto restore and build Jerusalem“. The very command which started the Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9 and began the countdown to the Messiah. Take a look again at the chart above. Not only did the 70 years of Divine anger begin in the 70th Jubilee cycle but it ended exactly on the 71st Jubilee celebration. Further, since the first and last year of the Jubilee cycle overlap this year also marked the start of the 72nd Jubilee cycle. This year (520 BC) marked the half way point to the 144th Jubilee and the start of the 8th millennium. In other words, the Divine command which began the Countdown to the Messiah was given at the mid-point in a 7000 year plan of YHWH.

          The third set of 70 years began in the 70th Jubilee with the destruction of Solomon’s temple. This 70 years period ended with the completion of the 2nd temple and its dedication in 516/515 BC during the reign of Darius “the Great” Artaxerxes.

          *    *    *

          The Jubilee Code also provides a unique perspective on YHWH’s desire to dwell with mankind. After the exodus of Israel from Egypt, the Tabernacle was completed in the wildness under the instructions of Moses as given by YHWH.  A short time later YHWH’s “glory” entered the Tabernacle. It was from this “glory” that YHWH spoke to Moses:

          Exodus 40:34 – Leviticus 1:1  Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of YHWH filled the tabernacle.  ….  And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: … For the cloud of YHWH was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.  And YHWH called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation…

          After Solomon’s Temple was completed the “glory” or Shekinah presence of YHWH entered the Temple for a period of time. As we learned above the Shekinah left Solomon’s temple before its destruction and then just 70 years later YHWH hadreturned to Jerusalem with mercies.” At some point YHWH’s “mercies” again left Jerusalem and His dwelling with mankind took the form of His Son Yeshua. Each one of these events began in a specific Jubilee cycle as you can see in the chart below.

          JubileeTempleYHWHJohn 1:14   And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt (tabernacled) among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

          Isaiah 7:14 Therefore YHWH himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

           Matthew 1:22-23 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

          *    *    *

          In Part III of the Messiah Factors I looked at YHWH’s redemptive plan for mankind in terms of the promised “seed”. This promise took on new meaning when YHWH made His covenant with Abraham. The background to this covenant is a wonderful story of faith, doubt, and promise. As the Bible records, Abram and Sarai were not able to conceive children, yet YHWH had promised Abram to make of him a great nation. Finally after much heart ache and missteps (by Abram and Sarai) YHWH appeared to Abram in the 99th year of his life (Abram’s 2nd Jubilee) and told him that he and Sarai would conceive a child at “set time” (mow’ed) the following year. To make his point YHWH changed Abram’s name to Abraham. The name Abram had meant “exalted father” but YHWH wanted to made sure Abram understood his true purpose so He changed it to Abraham which meant “father of a multitude“. It is important to note here that both Abram and Sarah were past the years of producing children but by faith they believed the promise of YHWH.

          Hebrews 11:8-13 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed;….Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. ….These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

          Genesis 17:17-19 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?  And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!   And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

          Because of Sarah’s and Abraham’s faith YHWH did make of Isaac a great nation. The Jubilee Code again offers a wonderful perspective on these events.

          YHWH’s covenant with Abraham and Sarah was fulfilled just as He had promised. Isaac was born the following year at the “set time” or mow’ed. This year did indeed mark a very special time because Isaac’s birth fell right on the 43rd Jubilee. Later to test Abraham’s faith, YHWH asked him to sacrifice Isaac, his son. Abraham’s faith in YHWH’s promise, as expressed to his “young men” and his son, was a wonderful testimony to his belief. Read the passage below and see if you don’t agree.

           40_Jubilee_Cycles Genesis 22:2-8 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.  And Abraham rose up early in the morning,…Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.  And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you,…. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?  And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:….

          YHWH’s sacrificial provision in place of Isaac was a picture of the future Messiah who would someday pay the price for mankind’s sins. 39 Jubilee cycles later that picture was fulfilled in Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah. The next Jubilee cycle, exactly  40 Jubilee  cycles from Isaac’s birth the sacrificial system was brought to a close with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem (69-70 AD). Those events marked the beginning of what Yeshua described as the Times of the Gentiles in Luke 21:

          Luke 21:24-25  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.   And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

           Romans 2:9-11  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.

          Romans 11:1-27 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. ……… (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. …….I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. ….. For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:   For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

          The times of the Gentiles is only temporary. According to both Yeshua and the apostle Paul, at the end of this period of time Yeshua will return and “all” Israel shall be saved. From the point when the covenant was first confirmed with Abraham at the birth of his son Isaac, YHWH kept His covenant with the “seed” of Abraham for a period of 40 Jubilees. Today we are living in the 40th Jubilee cycle of the Times of the Gentiles.  If YHWH intended for The Times of the Gentiles to be equal to the 40 Jubilees which proceeded it then we are truly living in the “last days” before the return of Yeshua.

          *    *    *

          Final Thoughts

          Towards the end of the next decade several Biblical cycles converge. My article After Two Days showed that the apostle Peter, when comforting his Jewish brethren concerning the coming of Yeshua told them that “one day with God {YHWH} is as a thousand years“. I showed that this phrase was a reference to the prophecy in Hosea 6. About the same time as the “two days” of Peter ends the 123 Jubilee cycle from Adam completes. The 40th Jubilee of the Times of the Gentiles described above also coincides with the end of the 123rd Jubilee cycle from Adam. It’s worth considering here the words of Yeshua in Mark 13 and Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5. Both describe the events leading up to the 2nd coming (during the Times of the Gentiles) in terms of birth pangs. A woman’s pregnancy is normally 40 weeks. 

          Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

            Authors Note: The information developed in this article is based upon over twenty years of research. The chronology involved took two years to complete in charted form. For those who would like to see the Biblical basis for the Jubilee Code you will find a PDF chart of chronology here: Chronology of the Old TestamentPlease note this chronology is based upon the MT text of the Scriptures. Though the chart itself is solely my own effort I often turned to some of the great chronologists of the past and present to try and work out the chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah. I’ve appreciatively walked in the footsteps of the following giants of Biblical chronology: Ussher, Rawlinson, Newton, Rutherford, Davidson, and Jones. Please do your own due diligence as a Berean. Please note that the dates in this article should be understood within the context of the Jubilee & Sabbath cycles given. The dates are not a prediction of the Rapture or the 2nd coming of Yeshua.

           

           

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          The Messiah Factors (Part I): Decoding 13 & 14

          If YHWH intended to leave irrefutable proof of a coming Messiah, what do you think it would look like? Would we recognize it if he did? In this article I am going to look for that proof. Proof, I believe, can be found in what I call the Messiah Factors.

          If you’ve read any of the articles at this blog, you know I have spent a great deal of time building a congruent picture of the 2nd temple era and Ezra’s and Nehemiah’s place in it. By now most of you have realized this chronology is indispensable to an accurate understanding of the prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks. In my article The Fifth Command I showed there is only one “commandment” which could have possibly begun the countdown to the coming of the Messiah as described in Daniel 9.  That “commandment” was the Divine command given by YHWH in the 2nd year of Darius, “the great” Artaxerxes, circa 520 B.C. For the next five centuries the Scriptures are silent until that silence is broken by these words of the apostle Matthew:
          “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
          Think about that for a moment. Five centuries of silence bridged only by an amazing prophecy about the coming of the Messiah.

          The first chapter of the first book of New Testament rightly establishes the lineage of Yeshua as a son of David and Abraham. As I hinted at in my article, The New Testament Cipher, there is much more to the lineage of Yeshua in Matthew 1 than meets the eye.  Let’s take a look. I believe this simple list of names is one of the greatest proofs that Yeshua is the Messiah promised in the Scripture.  Take a moment to look at the chart below. A couple of points which have caused scholars no end of debate are worth noting here. First the list is described by Matthew as three sets of 14 generations each (14+14+14). Yet, when all the names are counted there are only 41 (14+14+13).  Notice in the 3rd column, Yeshua is listed as the 13th generation. Symbolically, Yeshua upon his resurrection, becomes the 14th generation and completes the list.

          Another point of contention for scholars over the centuries has been the fact that four Old Testament kings are missing from the lineage of Yeshua. In the list below they are represented by two red lines.  Further below in the single column the missing kings are listed as they should have appeared in the list.  What immediately becomes apparent is the names are missing in two peculiar places.  Their omission brings attention to the numbers 13 & 14. Also, as you will see shortly, the single missing name between the 13th and 14th generation is not an accident. That missing king happens to be Jehoiakim.  In Daniel 1:1-6 it states that Daniel was taken captive during the reign of this Jehoiakim.  Keep that peculiar fact in mind.

          In summary then, we have a lineage of Yeshua which was purposely arranged to show that He was both the 13th & 14th generation. Further it brings attention, in a subtle manner, to those same numbers in relation to a young Judean captive who would someday record the greatest Messianic prophecy in the Scripture.  It is here, in this strange list of Yeshua’s generations that we first find evidence of the Messiah Factors. Did you know that this is not the only place in the Biblical record where they are found? Lineage of Yeshua Matt 1

                           
          We found the Messiah Factors in Matthew 1, now we will look for them in the record of his birth as given by Luke. If you’ve read my article The Course of Abija you know that it provides us with the only place in the entire New Testament where we can reasonably identify the timing of the birth of Yeshua. For the sake of brevity I won’t reproduce the entire article here. But in short, based upon the time of the conception of John and the priestly service of his father Zacharias (during the course of Abija) we can determine the month of the Messiah’s birth. Take a look at the list below. Can you find the Messiah Factors?

          In John 1:14 it talks about Yeshua as the “word” that was made flesh and “dwelt” or tabernacle with mankind. Based upon Luke 1 and the course of Abija it shows that in fact Yeshua was born during the 13 or 14 priestly course of service most likely during the feast of Tabernacles. Those courses were most appropriately called Huppah (Canopy) and Jeshebeab (Dwelling of the Father). Now how awesome is that!  (For more details please see my article The Course of Abija)

          Isaiah 7:14 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

          Matthew 1:23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

          Course_Of_Abijah

          While we’re on the subject of the Feast of Tabernacles, there is another place where the Messiah Factors are hidden.  In this case they are hidden in the “Burnt Offering” sacrifices which YHWH commanded Israel to make in Numbers 29:13. Keep in mind the reference as you will find it is another one of those “coincidences” which we find associated with this subject.  In Numbers 29 YHWH gave Moses some unusual instructions concerning the Burnt Offering (burnt = ascent) sacrifices for the first seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. Take a look at the chart below. On the first day there are 13 Bullocks, 2 Rams, & 14 Lambs for a total of 29 sacrifices. Also notice that the Bullock sacrifices are offered in a descending order from 13>7 for a total of 70.  Notice above in the linage of Yeshua that 7th to 13th names in the list are set out by the missing names. As you will see this was not an accident. The total number of Burnt Offerings for the first seven days is equal to 182 (13×14).  Clearly these numbers are all intentional but what do they mean? I asked you above to remember the reference Numbers 29:13. Now I am going to ask you to remember the numbers 13, 14, 29 and 70. Shortly you will see why they are so important.

          Burnt Offering Sacrifice

          After reading my articles on Ezra: Priest and Scribe, Nehemiah: The Governor, or The “Artaxerxes” Assumption some of you must be asking yourselves why Christian chronologists have failed to address the chronology of Ezra and Nehemiah in terms of the 2nd temple era.  The simple answer is they believe; there is no other way to prove that Yeshua fulfills the prophecy of Daniel 9 unless Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries of Artaxerxes Longimanus. Out of necessity they made an assumption which few of them thought necessary to verify.

          What if there was a more elegant solution which was intimately connected to the religious calendar of the Jewish people, the very calendar YHWH gave to Israel through Moses.  As I showed in my article Ezekiel’s 13th Month, Biblical time as understood during the 2nd temple era was based upon a lunar/solar calendar. Most years their religious calendar had 12 months of 29.53 days for a total of 354.36 days per year. Once every third year or so they had a 13th month of 29.53 days which made the year 383.89 days long . Any of these “Numbers” look familiar?

          For a moment put yourself in the shoes of the 2nd temple era Judeans. How did they keep track of their religious calendar? How did they know when it was time to keep Passover or the Feast of Tabernacles?  Their “mow’ed” or appointed days were regulated by “lights in the firmament” as described in Genesis 1:14. Each month they watched the 29.53 day lunar cycle to determine where they were in YHWH calendar. For thousands of years that cycle has had 13 or 14 days of waxing light followed by 13 or 14 days of waning light.  2 cycles of 13 or 14 days of visible light in every 29.53 day cycle.  Take a look again at Numbers 29:13 and the Burnt offering sacrifices.

          Every time I look at this information it still thrills me. Years ago I remember reading about the next big thing in corporate advertising. The idea was to put huge solar powered billboards in space which could be seen by us on earth.  We’ll, YHWH beat them to it. Since recorded history He has been broadcasting the Messiah Factors for all who have eyes to see.  These very numbers which are closely associated with Yeshua. Can’t help but think of the words of King David. He sure had it right:

          The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.  2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.  Psalm 19:1-3

          There are two more places I would like to look for the Messiah Factors before I move on to part II of this article. The first is found in what some  might call another coincidence. I will let you decide.

          How many of you remember Ephesian 2:13-14 where Paul talks about the “middle wall of partition” between Jews and Gentiles?

          Ephesians 2:13-14  13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

          This wall was a partition build between the Court of the Gentiles and the Temple proper. On pain of death no Gentile could enter the inner court of the temple. Paul describes how the blood of Yeshua, in a symbolic sense, granted Gentiles access to the presence of YHWH once only reserved for the Jewish people. What is so fascinating about these verses is that during the time of Yeshua the “middle wall of partition” was accessed by 14 steps and entry was granted by one of 13 gates.

          I am sure with time we will find more evidences of the Messiah Factors, but in this article I want to address just one more. To me what I am going to show you convinces me YHWH has an awesome sense of humor.  According to mathematicians Pi is an irrational number whose decimal representation never ends. Pi express the relationship between a circles circumference and its diameter.  For centuries mathematicians have tried to solve or explain its nature but have been unable to do so. In the Bible the number 7 represent divine perfection. Curiously in Numbers 29:13 we saw the numbers 7, 13, 14 and 29 featured prominently. What are the odds the first 7 numbers of Pi, reversed, gives us the same values? The very same values which have been expressed in the cycles of the moon for thousands of years.

          3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971

          Here you go: 295/14/13. Funny where the Messiah Factors turn up, don’t you think? Just to make it a little more interesting, note that the first 7 found in Pi is in the 13th decimal digit. Then next 7 is found in the 29th  decimal digit. And just for you skeptics, it just happens to be between the 2 & the 9. The third 7 of Pi is found in the 39th decimal digit (13×3).

          So does all of this have some purpose or is it just a big coincidence as skeptics might claim. In my next article, The Messiah Factors (Part II): The Countdown I will show that the numbers 13 & 14 do in fact provide reasonable proof that Yeshua/Jesus was and is the Messiah promised in the Scriptures.

          Updated 4/6/2014: For more evidence of the Messiah Factors I encourage you to read my latest article The 14th Sacrifice. Did you know there were 13/14 sacrifices in the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Take a look and see what you think.

           

          Special Offer:
          Subscribe to my blog and you’ll receive a complimentary copy of the first book in my new series on the Messianic symbolism of the Bible:
          The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bibles Messianic Symbolism

           


           

          More Articles related to the prophecy of 70 Weeks and 2nd temple era chronology:
          The “Artaxerxes” Assumption – The best kept secret of Old Testament chronology.
          The Fifth Command – Why do prophecy teachers ignore it?
          Ezra: Priest & Scribe – Part I – Defining “Artaxerxes” in the context of Ezra.
          Ezra: Priest & Scribe – Part II – Ezra, Darius even “Artaxerxes”.
          Nehemiah: The Governor– Nehemiah’s place in the 2nd temple chronology
          Queen of Persia – Part I – Defining Esther is the context of the 2nd Temple era.
          Queen of Persia – Part II – Defining Esther is the context of the 2nd Temple era.
          A New Testament Cipher – The key to unlocking the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks.
          Ezekiel’s 13th Month– Key to understanding Biblical “time” in the 2nd Temple era
          6 milestones – Seventy Weeks – Defining the purpose of the Messiah within Daniel’s 70 “weeks”.
          The Messiah Factors (Part I): Decoding 13 & 14 – Symbolism of the Messiah

          A New Testament Cipher

          The lineage of Yeshua/Jesus in Matthew 1 has long been an enigma. For centuries scholars and critics have argued about its legitimacy.  The list claims to be 3 sets of 14 generations (3×14=42), yet it only has 41 names.  Further complicating the list is the fact that Yeshua’s lineage is missing 4 Old Testament kings.  Why would a list like this be placed in the 1st chapter of the 1st book of the New Testament?

          I am sorry to disappoint those of you who are skeptics.  This list was not an accident, it was intentional. The “mistakes” are keys to solving an ancient code.  Could it be one of the greatest ciphers of all time? I will let you decide.

          See if you can solve it, The 13th Enumeration is the key!

          Lineage of Yeshua Matt 1
          Matthew 1:1-17 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.   Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;  And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;   And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;   And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;   And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;   And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;   And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;   And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;   And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;   And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:   And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;   And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;   And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;   And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;   And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.   So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

          Daniel 1:1-6 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.   And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.   And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;   Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.   And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.   Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

          1 Chronicles 3:10-20  And Solomon’s son was Rehoboam, Abia his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son,   Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son,   Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son,   Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son,   Amon his son, Josiah his son.   And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum.   And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.   And the sons of Jeconiah; Assir, Salathiel his son,   Malchiram also, and Pedaiah, and Shenazar, Jecamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah.   And the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel, and Shimei: and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister:   And Hashubah, and Ohel, and Berechiah, and Hasadiah, Jushabhesed, five.

          Numbers 29:12-13 And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto YHWH seven days:   And ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto YHWH; thirteen young bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year; they shall be without blemish:

          Numbers 29:17 And on the second day ye shall offer twelve young bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:

          Numbers 29:20  And on the third day eleven bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish;

          Numbers 29:23  And on the fourth day ten bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish:

          Numbers 29:26 And on the fifth day nine bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:

          Numbers 29:29  And on the sixth day eight bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish:

          Numbers 29:32  And on the seventh day seven bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish:

           

          Special Offer:
          Subscribe to my blog and you’ll receive a complimentary copy of the first book in my new series on the Messianic symbolism of the Bible:
          The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bibles Messianic Symbolism

           

           

           

          More Articles related to the prophecy of 70 Weeks and 2nd temple era chronology:
          The “Artaxerxes” Assumption – The best kept secret of Old Testament chronology.
          The Fifth Command – Why do prophecy teachers ignore it?
          Ezra: Priest & Scribe – Part I – Defining “Artaxerxes” in the context of Ezra.
          Ezra: Priest & Scribe – Part II – Ezra, Darius even “Artaxerxes”.
          Nehemiah: The Governor– Nehemiah’s place in the 2nd temple chronology
          Queen of Persia – Part I – Defining Esther is the context of the 2nd Temple era.
          Queen of Persia – Part II – Defining Esther is the context of the 2nd Temple era.
          A New Testament Cipher – The key to unlocking the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks.
          Ezekiel’s 13th Month– Key to understanding Biblical “time” in the 2nd Temple era
          6 milestones – Seventy Weeks – Defining the purpose of the Messiah within Daniel’s 70 “weeks”.
          The Messiah Factors (Part I): Decoding 13 & 14 – Symbolism of the Messiah
          The Messiah Factors (Part II): The Countdown – Proving Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah promised in Daniel 9.

          The Course of Abija

          How many of you have heard of the course of Abija (Abijah)?  Did you know it is one of the only ways to date the birth of Jesus in the Bible?   95% of Americans will celebrate the birth of Christ this year, so I thought some might be interested in the Biblical case for the timing of the birth of Jesus Christ.

          Most are familiar with story of the birth of Christ from Luke 2.  But it is Luke 1 that provides the means by which the timing of the birth of Jesus can be determined.   In Luke 1 we have the story of Zacharias, the priest, and his wife, Elisabeth.  Zacharias and Elisabeth were well on in years and without children.  As it is told in Luke 1, Zacharias was performing his duty in the temple when the angel appeared and told him they would have a son and to call his name John.  Needless to say Zacharias was somewhat incredulous considering their age.  As proof of his message the angel told Zacharias he would be unable to speak until the day the message was fulfilled.

          The passage goes on to say that Elisabeth conceived after Zacharias’ service ended.  Then 6 months later Mary, the mother of Jesus, conceived.   Zacharias performed his priestly service during the course of Abijah which fell during the latter part of the 4th month.  From this it is a simple matter to determine the general time of the birth of Jesus.  The chart below gives the priestly courses in relation to the conception of Elisabeth and Mary.

          Luke 1:35-37  35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.  37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

          (Click to enlarge picture)

          The birth of Jesus fell during the 7th month of the Biblical calendar which is our September/October.   It is during the 7th month that the Biblical holy day of Succoth is celebrated.  The term Succoth comes from the Hebrew word “cukkah” which literally means booth or tabernacle.  The Jewish people were commanded to dwell in booths during the 8 days of this feast.  Succoth is one of the Biblical holydays which all adult males were commanded to observe in Jerusalem.  This is likely the reason the only lodgings which Mary and Joseph found were in a stable.

          Further confirmation of the evidence of Luke 1 is found in Luke 2.  The shepherds were still in the fields keeping watch over their flocks when the angles announced the birth of Christ.  This places the birth of Jesus sometime between the spring and fall. It was not common practice in Israel to stay in the fields with the sheep during the winter months.

          John 1:14 makes a possible allusion to the birth of Jesus during the feast of Succoth.

          John 1:14   14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

          The “Word” (Jesus) “was made flesh” (conceived) “and dwelt” (skenoo – from the Greek meaning to dwell or fix ones tabernacle.)

          Now look at the priestly courses again.  Jesus “dwelt” with man at his birth during the 13th and 14th priestly courses.  The names of these courses were Huppah (Canopy) and Jeshebeab (dwelling of the father). Pretty neat if you ask me!  Now take a look again at my blog post A New Testamen;t Cipher,  note especially the missing names and their arrangement in the list.  Matthew’s lineage of Jesus was intentional wasn’t it?   The 13th Enumeration is the key!

           Isaiah 7:14 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

          Matthew 1:23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

          Authors Note:
          Over the years some of you have written in asking about the priestly courses and their order. This article was based upon the assumption that King David organized the courses in the same manner he did the other courses of service. (i.e. the courses each served their complete term in one service.) Some believe that the priestly courses served only 1 week then returned home and then approximately 6 months later came back and served another week. In the following chart I’ve tried to work out such an organization included the feast days when all priests were required to serve. Please note, neither of the charts in this article account for a 13th month or other required intercalations.

          – WS

           

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          Colossians 1:19   19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

          1 Chronicles 24:1-19  Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.  2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office.  3 And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service.  4 And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar; and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers.  5 Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors of the house of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar.  6 And Shemaiah the son of Nethaneel the scribe, one of the Levites, wrote them before the king, and the princes, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and before the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites: one principal household being taken for Eleazar, and one taken for Ithamar.  7 Now the first lot came forth to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah,  8 The third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim,  9 The fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin,  10 The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,  11 The ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah,  12 The eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim,  13 The thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,  14 The fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer,  15 The seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Aphses,  16 The nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezekel,  17 The one and twentieth to Jachin, the two and twentieth to Gamul,  18 The three and twentieth to Delaiah, the four and twentieth to Maaziah.  19 These were the orderings of them in their service to come into the house of YHWH, according to their manner, under Aaron their father, as YHWH God of Israel had commanded him.

          1 Chronicles 27:1-15 Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand.  2 Over the first course for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.  3 Of the children of Perez was the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month.  4 And over the course of the second month was Dodai an Ahohite, and of his course was Mikloth also the ruler: in his course likewise were twenty and four thousand.  5 The third captain of the host for the third month was Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, a chief priest: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.  6 This is that Benaiah, who was mighty among the thirty, and above the thirty: and in his course was Ammizabad his son.  7 The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.  8 The fifth captain for the fifth month was Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.  9 The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.  10 The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.  11 The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.  12 The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anetothite, of the Benjamites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.  13 The tenth captain for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.  14 The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.  15 The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

          1 Kings 4:7 7 And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household: each man his month in a year made provision.