Tag Archives: Jewish Studies

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HASMONEAN DYNASTY…SIN IS THE PROBLEM

By:

Joe Butta &  Steve Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

From 333-323 B.C. Alexander’s Hellenistic [Greco-Macedonian] empire rose to defeat Persia [Daniel 8:1]. Alexander died young and four of his generals assumed leadership and divided his empire.  One of these founded what became known as the Seleucid dynasty. In 170 B.C. one of Seleucids, Antiochus Epiphanes IV, conquered Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple [Dan 8:11]. He wanted to impose Hellenistic paganism [including worship of himself] and eradicate Judaism as a challenge to his absolute authority. Antiochus gained support from many Jews, especially in the lowlands, but resistance gradually grew, especially in the more remote villages in the Judean hills.  From 166-160 B.C. a Levitical priest named Matathias and his son, Judah, known as Makkabee [Hammer] rose up to defeat Antiochus and save Judaism.  In doing so, Judah Makkabee established the Hasmonean dynasty.

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THE EXILES AND PROMISE OF PROPHETS…SIN IS THE PROBLEM

By:

Joe Butta & Steve Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

The Prophets Daniel, Ezekiel and Obadiah were all sent to the exiles in Babylon but a Persian King Cyrus was sent to defeat the Babylonians and permit the Jewish exiles to return to the Promised Land. During these years the Jewish exiles did learn from the past.  They stopped worshiping foreign gods.  God used several of the Persian Shah-en-Shah’s [King of kings], starting with Cyrus, paused under Xerxes I [Ahasuerus], renewed under Darius and Artaxerxes I, to provide protection to the Jewish people and encouragement for them to return to the Promised Land, rebuild Jerusalem, and re-build and restore worship to God Almighty in His Temple.  This was a fulfillment of God’s promises through the prophets that the exile would extend roughly seventy years, and that during that time, the Jewish people were to submit to their new rulers [first the oppressive Babylonians, and then the more tolerant Persians and Medes], serving them loyally, sowing crops and building homes.  During that time they would learn to set aside their idolatries and recommit themselves to the LORD Almighty, the God of the Patriarchs, the God who spoke to them through the smoking cloud over Sinai.

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Filed under History, Judeo-Christianity, Messiah, Salvation, Steven E. Daskal, Tanakh

The Kings of Israel and Judah…Sin is the Problem

By

Joe Butta

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

The Israelites then demanded their own human king [NOT the LORD] to be “like the nations around us.” God through the prophet Samuel anointed Saul from the tribe of Benjamin.  Saul got off to a good start, but as he aged, His sinful pride and disobedience led to his losing his anointing, the defeat of Israel, the loss of the Ark of the Covenant, and the demise of his family. God through Samuel anointed David long before the final destruction of the House of Saul.  God pushed young David through a series of trials and tests to prepare him to be the next king.  He, too, began well, but in the later years of his reign he sinned greatly. The prophet Nathan was sent to confront David, and David repented, though he and his family paid a heavy price for his sins for the rest of his reign and into Solomon’s.   The LORD appeared twice to Solomon, who like his two predecessors began well but became prideful and wayward later in his reign.  Solomon chose to take many wives and concubines, allowing them to bring their pagan idols into the royal estates, and condoning their worship, leading to growing corruption throughout the kingdom.  This angered God who punished Solomon by telling him that the kingdom would be divided and most of it taken away from his heirs, but that he would retain Judah and Jerusalem for his father David’s sake.  This came to pass when Solomon’s son Rehoboam became king and chose to ignore his father’s advisors’ sound advice, alienating the northern tribes who revolted under Jeroboam.

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Genesis – Judges… Sin is the Problem

By

Joe Butta

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

In the Jewish scriptures known as Tenakh or Old Covenant one theme is constant throughout.  There will be problems brought about by the consequences of sin.  Knowing that sinful man could not remedy the situation the LORD God often sent someone to warn, admonish or save the people. After 1000 years of Biblical history people were so evil the Lord sent Noah to save what he could of humankind. Eight were saved. After another 1000 years the Lord sent Abraham to begin fulfilling his design for our salvation. During this time the Lord sent Melchizedek to remind Abraham that there was One who was greater.

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WHO IS MELCHIZEDEK?

BY: Steven E Daskal

This is a simple question at one level, and a much more complex one beyond that.  It is one of my favorite Biblical conundrums, because we know quite a bit, yet so little.  BTW, while Melchizedek is commonly used, the pronunciation and Hebrew spelling reflect Melkhizedek (the KH being the sound common to Semitic and Slavic languages, while CH is the sound common to many linguistic families, as found in “Church” or “Chalice”).  I tend to use the KH version.

At the simplest level, it is a reference back to Abram’s (later Abraham) life in Genesis:

(Gen 14:17-24 NIV84)  After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

          Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.  And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

          The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”  But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me — to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”

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How Many Times Did Moses Climb Mt Sinai?

By:  Steve Daskal,

CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS

 

** A brother in Christ recently asked me about a seeming inconsistency in the Exodus account of Moses’ interactions with God and the Israelites at Mt. Sinai.  He thought it appeared as if the number of trips up and trips down didn’t match.  I had never actually sat down to work this out, though I’ve been hearing and reading this story repeatedly since I was in grade school.  This is what I found:

Ex 19 — The Israelites are three months after leaving Egypt via Rephidim [located in the Sinai desert].  They’ve reached Sinai, and set up camp in front of the mountain.  Moses goes up the mountain the first time [v3], he returns to the people [v7] and warns them that they are going to get the terms of the Covenant, and they agree to them — without having heard them — based upon God’s taking them out of Egypt and providing for this huge mass of people in the desert for 3 months.

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Filed under General, Judeo-Christianity, Miscellaneous, Religion, Steven E. Daskal

Habakkuk—Pivotal Prophet of Judah

FROM: Steve Daskal

CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS & APOLOGETICS

 

What Was Happening?  Judah is on the Brink of Disaster

— Judah’s new king at this time, Jehoiakim, aka Eliakim, is a relatively young man.  But he is characterized in 2 Chronicles 36:1-8 and 2 Kings 23:34-24:6 as being an evil king, who did not follow the pattern of godliness of his father Josiah.  Josiah had been an ally of Assyria against Egypt who died in battle when the Egyptians had defeated the last remnant of Assyrian power at Megiddo [in the lands of the former northern Israelite kingdom of Israel].

— Jeremiah refers to him this way:  “your eyes and your heart are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, and on shedding innocent blood and on practicing oppression and extortion.”  [Jer. 22:17]  While it may have required heavy taxes and harsh action to pay the required tributes to great powers and keep his throne in the face of widespread violence and disorder, the tone of Jeremiah’s condemnation [and those in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles] indicates that not only was Jehoiakim tough and demanding, he was also brutal and corrupt.   Jehoiakim apparently reverted to the idolatry and unjust rule of his grandfather Amon and great-grandfather Manasseh [ref 2Ki21].  Jehoiakim also openly rejected and mocked prophetic warnings from Jeremiah [36:23-27] and had them destroyed.

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