Berean Bible Study Notes
John 10:22-42 The Good Shepherd & the worthless shepherd
Mary, did you know?
By Mark Lowry
Mary did you know that your baby boy would some day walk on water? Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you. Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man? Mary did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with his hand? Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God. Oh Mary did you know--- The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again. The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb---. Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations? Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you're holding is the great---I--- AM---!
I do love that song, and it goes well with the end of John 10, where Jesus is once again proclaiming that He is God.
I hope this Bible study will make sense when it's done. It's been one of those where there are many, many threads all wanting to go off in their own direction, and I need to pull them together into some sort of pattern.
We're continuing in John 10, where Jesus calls Himself "the Good Shepherd." Last time, we went over John 10:1-21. Remember, this was a conversation that Jesus started when He searched out the (formerly) blind man after he had been kicked out of the synagogue. The man believed that Jesus was the Messiah and worshipped Him. Then, Jesus says:
John 9:39 Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind."
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, "What? Are we blind too?"
41 Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
That starts this whole conversation with the Pharisees that we went over last time:
John 10:1 "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me- 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life - only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
19 At these words the Jews were again divided. 20 Many of them said, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?"
21 But others said, "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
That conversation took place on the 8th day of the Feast of Tabernacles. If that had happened in 2006, it would have been on October 14. The harvest was gathered in, and the Jews were celebrating the most joyous time of year for them. This was the final day of that celebration, a special Sabbath, when no work was done. It was also the day that the Torah was finished being read - the conclusion of the law - and a new reading cycle would begin. (kind of like our conclusion of the church year).
Now, for some reason, the Holy Spirit has John skip ahead a couple of months and continue the same conversation. It was the Feast of Tabernacles (usually our October or so) and now, it's winter and the Festival we call “Hanukkah”.
John 10:22 Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade.
So many, many ideas packed into so few words! I've read this section many times, but it never hit me until studying for this lesson that there is much there I've always missed.
First, it was the "Feast of Dedication." That is the Bible's name for the holiday we know as Hanukkah. Some people are surprised to find Hanukkah in the Bible at all and to find that Jesus apparently came to Jerusalem to honor it. The first Hanukkah took place in 164 BC. You can read about it in the historical book of 1 Maccabees:
36: Then said Judas and his brothers, "Behold, our
enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and
37: So all the army assembled and they went up to Mount Zion.
38: And they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates burned. In the courts they saw bushes sprung up as in a thicket, or as on one of the mountains. They saw also the chambers of the priests in ruins.
39: Then they rent their clothes, and mourned with great lamentation, and sprinkled themselves with ashes.
40: They fell face down on the ground, and sounded the signal on the trumpets, and cried out to Heaven.
41: Then Judas detailed men to fight against those in the citadel until he had cleansed the sanctuary.
42: He chose blameless priests devoted to the law,
43: and they cleansed the sanctuary and removed the defiled stones to an unclean place.
44: They deliberated what to do about the altar of burnt offering, which had been profaned.
45: And they thought it best to tear it down, lest it bring reproach upon them, for the Gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar,
46: and stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until there should come a prophet to tell what to do with them. (Traditionally, it was told that the stones were stored in a corner of Solomon's Porch. It would be very interesting if they were the very ones the Jews picked up to stone Jesus in John 10)
47: Then they took unhewn stones, as the law directs, and built a new altar like the former one.
48: They also rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the temple, and consecrated the courts.
49: They made new holy vessels, and brought the lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table into the temple.
50: Then they burned incense on the altar and lighted the lamps on the lampstand, and these gave light in the temple.
51: They placed the bread on the table and hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken.
52: Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year,
53: they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering which they had built.
54: At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals.
55: All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them.
56: So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise.
57: They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and furnished them with doors.
58: There was very great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was removed.
59: Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.
Interestingly, if Jesus was born during the Feast of Tabernacles, He was probably conceived at Hanukkah. There are many other interesting links between the Feast of Tabernacles and Hanukkah. The Jews had been prevented from celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles in 164 BC, because Antiochus was still in control, and all celebrations such as that were forbidden. After Judas and his brothers and their army defeated the Syrians, they found the Temple had been violated. The Book of Daniel talks about that violation and calls it the "Abomination of Desolation." Antiochus Epiphanes and his men had done two things. He had sacrificed a pig on the altar and set up a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies. The Maccabees cleansed and rededicated the Temple. They wanted to follow the example set by Solomon, so they basically copied what was done during the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles was an 8-day feast, so this Feast of Dedication would be an 8-day celebration. The lighting ceremonies were basically the same. In later years, the Rabbis designed a special candle holder to be used for Hanukkah that had eight candles, plus a 9th "servant" candle. The servant candle was used to light the others. Those of us who know Jesus came as a light to lighten the darkness, and as a servant of His Father, can find the symbolism there very interesting.
The story of the oil and the lamp staying lit miraculously for eight days first appeared in the Talmud, hundreds of years later. It's a tradition and may or may not have any truth to it.
Here is more on Hanukkah:
Hanukkah: Is It Really a Minor Festival? (History of Hanukkah from Jews for Jesus - more at link)
Whereas Hanukkah is not one of the holidays prescribed by God for us to celebrate, the reason to celebrate it is not merely to pacify Jewish children who might feel deprived because Santa Claus doesn't deliver to Jewish homes. Hanukkah is a holiday to celebrate because it teaches something about God and His love for our people.
From the time of the Babylonian Exile, our people were under foreign domination. From 539 to 333 B.C.E., about two hundred years, we were subjects of the Persian Empire. This vast kingdom, included Syria to the north of Israel and Egypt, which is to the south. The Persians placed a governor in Israel who did not interfere much with the religious practices of our people. He was mainly concerned that we pay taxes to Persia and that we obey the Imperial civil laws. But it was the High Priest who was recognized as the representative of the people. He dealt with the Persian governor. And for the most part, there was little interference from the Emperor.
But the Persian government grew weak and vulnerable. Alexander and his formidable army conquered the Persians and under Greek rule, the system of government changed. Alexander died ten years later, and his kingdom was divided between many rulers, all of them Greek. These kingdoms were far from harmonious. Syria was under the Seleucids and Egypt under the Ptolemies. They were less than friendly to one another and Judea was caught between.
For the better part of the third century B.C.E., we were under the dominion of the Ptolemies. Unlike the Persians, no foreign governor was installed. Instead, the High Priest served as both political ruler and religious representative. Along with this greater measure of self-rule came a certain amount of pressure upon our people to adopt Greek culture and customs. This gave rise to political parties within Israel, some more disposed to the Greco-Syrians and others to the Greco-Egyptians. Wars were frequent. Eventually, Syria conquered the Jewish land. This meant more changes. The Seleucids were even more dedicated to establishing the Greek way of life amongst our people that the Ptolemies had been. Many Jews adopted Greek names. Jews began wearing togas. Even in Jerusalem, a gymnasium was erected and Greek games were introduced.
Antiochus IV, who called himself "Epiphanes" (the visible god) was the despised Syrian ruler. Acting as High Priest, was a hellenized Jew named Joshua, who had taken the Greek name Jason. Jason thought himself to be a moderate, but Antiochus wanted a more committed hellenist in his position and three years later, Menelaus (formerly Menachem) was installed as High Priest.
The Persians only wanted tribute. The Greek successors to Alexander, especially Antiochus IV, shared his vision and arrogant belief in the superiority of "the Greek way of life" called hellenism. While it is true that hellenism encouraged intellectual pursuits and a polite, highly civilized society, it nevertheless involved idolatry and exalted the wisdom of man. The hellenists had nothing but disdain for the Jewish religion and the Jewish way of life and they set about to "civilize" the people of Judea by forcing them into the Greek mold under Antiochus Epiphanes. Only those who would renounce the "old ways" could have a place in the idealized Greek society. The rest were treated like barbarians, enemies of the state. The practice of worshipping the God of Israel became a "crime."
During this time, many of our people were slain and the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was defiled. The golden altar, the candlesticks, all the gold and silver utensils were taken from the Temple. And to show his utter contempt for our religion, Antiochus sacrificed a sow in the Temple, offering it to the Greek god, Jupiter.
Meanwhile, war between Greek Egypt and Greek Syria continued. While Syria was advancing in its war with Egypt, Antiochus reluctantly withdrew in response to pressure from the Roman Senate. Judea then became the southern border of Syria. Wanting to keep the boundary with Egypt secure, he issued a decree for all the peoples in his kingdom demanding that they were to worship Grecian gods and to become Greeks. This was accepted by all Antiochus' subjects, all but the Jews. Our rejection of hellenism infuriated the Syrian king and we read in I Maccabees of the persecution that ensued:
The Books of the Law which they (the hellenists) found, they tore into pieces and burned. Wherever a book of the covenant was found in anyone's possession, or if anyone respected the Law, the decree of the king imposed the sentence of death upon him. Month after month, they dealt brutally with every Israelite who was found in the cities...In accordance with the decree, they put to death the women who had circumcised their children, hanging the newborn babies around their necks; and they also put to death their families as well as those who had circumcised them...
Some Jews fled from the cities to the hills of Judea, forming themselves into bands of guerrilla fighters. They were faithful to the God of Israel and would not assimilate into Greek culture and idolatry. One such group was led by a family of priests from the town of Modin, near Jerusalem. They were called Hasmoz scans, though no one seems to know how that name came about. Unlike the other bands of Jewish resistance fighters, the leader Mattathais and his five sons believed that for self-defense purposes, it was permissible to fight on the Sabbath. Until this time, the Greeks could prevail simply by attacking on the Sabbath. This guerrilla company was valiantly successful in its skirmishes with the Syrian soldiers. They grew in numbers and in the ability to fight. According to the account in the extra-biblical writings, Mattathais died within a year and his son Judah took charge. He was given the nickname, "Maccabee" which means "hammer." It was said that he was God's hammer to smash the Syrians. History and legend seem interwoven, but as best as we can piece it together, after three years of fighting, the Hasmoneans, under the leaddership of Judah Maccabee, vanquished the Syrians in Jerusalem and set about to purify the Temple. The altar which had been defiled with the sacrifice of pigs was dismantled and a new one built. New holy vessels were crafted. A date was set for the rededication of the Temple-the 25th of Kislev, the same day on which, three years earlier, Antiochus had issued his decree.
When Judah dedicated the Temple, only one vessel of sanctified oil was found-enough for one day. Miraculously, it burned for eight days. This is remembered by the kindling of lights for eight days. A special lamp, the menorah, is used.
It is the event of the dedication of the Temple in 165 B.C.E. which Jews around the world commemorate each year in the festival called Hanukkah. While some today maintain that Hanukkah is a minor festival, elevated only by the presence of Christmas in the same season, it was certainly important to Jews before the time of Jesus and yes, even during the first century for Jesus Himself celebrated the Festival of Hanukkah.
We read in the Gospel of John, a reference to Hanukkah:
Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade. (John 10:22, 23)
They celebrated Hanukkah, not as a potato latkes party, but as a solemn time to remember the rededication of the Temple. It became a national festival, as well. The spirit was similar to Independence Day in the U.S., only the character of the feast was religious, not secular. It was observed with ceremonies resembling the Feast of Booths, accompanied by the offering of many sacrifices.
After the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, many Jews apparently lost their zeal for celebrating Hanukkah. It is ironic, that it is those who believe in Jesus, Jews and Gentiles, who can see more significance in this celebration of God's faithfulness. For those of us who believe in Jesus, believe His words, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." (John 2:19)
Jesus was, by these words, speaking of himself as the Temple, the place of sacrifice, and the Holy altar. He was telling the people that while he would be destroyed physically, he would rise from the dead, that the Temple of God might never be defiled again, might never be made rubble. But, instead would stand for all eternity.
Today, Hanukkah is often called "the Festival of Lights." In Josephus' writings, we find no mention of the term "Hanukkah." Instead, he says, "From that time onward unto this day we celebrate the festival calling it 'Lights'" (Antiquities 12:325). His explanation for the name is that the right to serve God came to the people unexpectedly, like a sudden light.
It is interesting to note that it is traditional to have a shammos candle as part of the Hanukkah menorah. This candle is in addition to the eight candles. "Shammos" means servant. One of the reasons given for having this extra candle is that it can be used to light the others. The eight candies receive their light from the one. It's role is to serve. The writer of this article believes that the shammos can be regarded as a visual symbol of Jesus, who gives light to all who allow themselves to shine for God. He said of himself, "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28) We also read, that he was the true light, "...that gives light to every man." (John 1:9)
In a sense, Rabbi Rackman was correct in saying that in light of Christmas, Hanukkah "was catapulted from the status of minor festival into one of great importance." It is true that the event of the birth of Jesus gives added understanding of Hanukkah as the "Festival of Lights" as well as the "Feast of Dedication," for those who have come to know the Light of the world himself, can enter the holy place by his priestly offering (See Hebrews 9 and 10).
This Hanukkah, instead of competing with Christmas or perpetuating nothing more than a cultural expression, why not remember the Temple and the Light of Life?
Christmas Would Be Impossible Without Hanukkah (Also from Jews for Jesus)
That's right, without Hannukah there would
be no Christmas. Yet Hannukah, also known as the 'Feast of
Dedication' or the 'Festival of Lights', is not one of the holidays
God commanded Israel to celebrate in the Old Testament. In fact,
you will only find one mention of Hannukah in the Bible, in the New
Testament: 'Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was
winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's
Colonnade.' (John 10:22-23) Jesus chose to be in the Temple during
this festival. The startling statement He made there is best
understood against the background of this feast.
The Jewish people were utterly defeated and demoralised, until a small band of guerilla soldiers, known as the Maccabees, rekindled their hope. Within three years, these warriors had miraculously recaptured Jerusalem and the Temple. The people were able to worship the God of Israel once again. The Temple was rededicated on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, in the year 165 BC, and ever since then this date has been celebrated as the first day of Hannukah.
Had Antiochus been successful, Israel would have lost her unique identity and God's precious promises to Abraham would have been invalidated. If Antiochus had had his way there would have been no recognizable Jewish culture for the Messiah to be born into. Without Hannukah, there would have been no Christmas.
The book of Maccabees gives an explanation as to why Hannukah (resembles) the feast of Tabernacles. Centuries earlier King Solomon had chosen the eight day Festival of Tabernacles (2 Chron 7:9) to celebrate the dedication of the Temple, and so Hannukah is patterned on that joyous festival. Furthermore, according to Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, giant candelabra lit up the Temple during the Feast of Tabernacles, a tradition again borrowed for Hannukah, the Festival of Lights.
Finally, the common theme that links Hannukah and Christmas is that of God with us, Immanuel. A traditional Hannukah hymn declares to God: 'Rock of Ages, let our song praise thy saving power; thou admidst the raging foes wast our sheltering tower; furious they assailed us but thine arm availed us; and thy word broke their sword when our own strength failed us.' God's presence defeated the schemes of the evil Syrian king. When Antiochus defiled the Temple, he declared himself 'Antiochus Epiphanes' meaning 'Antiochus, God manifest'. The Jewish nation rejected his outrageous, counterfeit claim to deity.
On the other hand God had promised to be present with His people in human form. He promised to actually be what Antiochus in his insanity had claimed to be-the incarnate God. This promise was wrapped up in the special name by which the prophet Isaiah predicted the Messiah would be known: '...the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.' (Isa 7:14)
How poignant that Jesus chose the Festival of Dedication to stand in the Temple, in Solomon's Colonnade, and declare, 'I and the Father are one' (John 10:30). Was it a coincidence that Jesus chose this time and place to reveal His deity? John tells us that in response to His claims the Jewish leaders 'picked up stones to stone Him' (John 10:31), accusing Him of blasphemy, 'because You, a mere man, claim to be God' (v.33).
There is an interesting aside going back to the original Hannukah celebration. Before the Temple could be rededicated, a new altar built with clean stones was needed. But what about the stones from the old, defiled altar? They had been washed of course, but could they ever be considered clean, porous as they were? According to tradition, these stones were to be stored in Solomon's Colonnade until such time as the Messiah would come and explain what to do with them.
Could it be that when those Jewish leaders looked around the Solomon's Colonnade for stones to throw at Jesus that they reached for those very pieces of that old altar? What divine irony-to hurl a symbol of the sacrificial system at the One who was about to sacrifice Himself for us all.
It is only because Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, that He could sacrifice Himself as atonement for our sin. He was born to die and rise victorious and born to light our way and make us to be lights. He was born to be adored by Jews and Gentiles who will bow and worship the One who is the hope of Hannukah and the Christ of Christmas. These two holidays share their ultimate significance in the person of Y'shua (Jesus) the Messiah. He truly is our Rock of Ages.
IS YOUR MESSIAH TOO SMALL? (portion below - much more at link)
The Messiah they hoped for was too small. The real Messiah was not, so to speak, the Messiah of Hanukkah, a deliverer bringing temporal victory, but rather the Messiah of Christmas, the timeless God incarnate, bringing a greater and eternal deliverance.
THE FEAST OF CHANUKAH
Hanukkah, the Festival of Light
The Messiah in Hanukkah
And, just for fun:
POTATO LATKES - Serves 6-8
9 medium potatoes
2 medium onions, minced
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3-4 tbsp. matzo meal (ordinary barley cereal tastes best}
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Wash, peel, and grate potatoes. Place in colander and let stand for 10 minutes, then press out remaining liquid. Mix with onions (the onions may be lightly fried first) and eggs. Add matzo meal, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Mix well. Heat about 1/4 inch of salad oil in a large skillet and add soup-spoonfuls of latke mixture. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Keep in warm oven (180 degrees) until time to serve. Can be made up to a week in advance and frozen. (If not frozen, the potatoes will turn brown.) Reheat in 400-degree oven for 10 minutes. Serve with applesauce, sour cream (or plain yogurt), jam, powdered sugar, or cinnamon. Yummy.
OK, so it was the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah, Chanukkah, etc.), and Jesus was in Jerusalem. We don't know if He just stayed there for two months (seems unlikely, given the anger of the Jewish leadership) or if He left and came back.
John 10:22 Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade. 24 The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
It was winter. Verse 21 was autumn, and during Tabernacles, which among other things, celebrated the gathering in of the last of the crops. Now, it's winter, the rainy season in Israel. From Fausset's Bible Dictionary:
January (temperature average 49 degrees F., greatest cold 28 degrees F.) is the coldest month; July and August the hottest (average 78 degrees F.; greatest heat in shade, 92 degrees F.; in sun, 148 degrees F.). The mean annual temperature is 65 degrees F. The temperature and seasons resemble California. A sea breeze from the N.W. from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. mitigates the four months' midsummer heat. The khamsin or sirocco blows in February, March, and April. When it comes from the E. it darkens the air and fills everything with fine dust. Snow often falls in January and February (Ps 68:14; Isa 55:10; 2 Sam 23:20); but plants do not need shelter from the frost. The average fall of rain at Jerusalem is 61. 6 inches; whereas the London mean is only 25. Rain comes most from S. or S.W. (Luke 12:54) It begins in October or early in November, and continues to the end of February or middle of March, rarely to the end of April. Not a continuous rain, but a succession of showers or storms with intervals of fine weather for a few weeks in December and January. A drought of three months before harvest is fatal to the crops (Amos 4:7). None falls from April to October or November. Thus but two seasons are specified, "winter and summer," "cold and heat," "seedtime and harvest."
As compared with Egypt, Palestine was a land of rain (Deut 11:10-11), but for six months no rain falls so that "rain in harvest" and "thunder" were marvelous phenomena, and out of time and place (Prov 26:1; 1 Sam 12:16-18). The early rain begins gradually, the latter end of October or beginning of November. Generally from the W. or S.W. (Luke 12:54); the wind then changes to the N. or E. At no period in the winter, from the end of October to the end of March, does rain entirely cease. In January and February snow falls, but lies only a short time. "The early rain" means the first autumnal showers which prepare the arid soil for the seed; "the latter rain" the later spring showers, especially in March, which Bring forward the crop toward harvest (James 5:7; Prov 16:15). Showers fall occasionally in April and May.
So, chances are, it's raining, and Jesus is in the shelter of Solomon's Portico, or Porch (Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1995. Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary. T. Nelson: Nashville):
SOLOMON'S PORCH - the name of two porches associated with the Temple in Jerusalem:
1. The outer corridor of Solomon's Temple (1 Kin. 6:3, KJV; portico, NIV).
1 Kings 6:2 The temple that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high. 3 The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits, and projected ten cubits from the front of the temple.
2. A roofed portico on the east side of Herod's Temple in Jerusalem (John 10:23; Solomon's Portico, REB; Solomon's Colonnade, NIV).
Solomon's Porch, located along the east wall, had two rows of columns (John 10:23; Acts 3:11; 5:12). This was the place where the scribes had their debates (Mark 11:27; Luke 2:46; 19:47) and where the merchants and moneychangers transacted business (Luke 19:45-46; John 2:14-16).
The picture is a scale model of the temple. The covered area here is Solomon's Porch
John 10:22 Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade. 24 The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
OK, now you've got to put this all together. Jesus had been talking on the 8th day of the Feast of Tabernacles and telling the people that He was the Good Shepherd. That is not just an illustration He was using about how He cares for His sheep. He was saying that He was the fulfillment of prophecy - the fulfillment of Ezekiel 34, Psalm 23 and many others. He was saying that He was THE Good Shepherd, which should have been understood by the people as an expectation and title of Messiah. Now, the conversation continues in Solomon's Colonnade or Portico or Porch - that covered area on the east side of Herod's Temple. It was well known as Solomon's Porch. Who was Solomon? He was the son of David and meant to illustrate a type of Christ. In fact, when you read some of the language describing Solomon, it almost sounds as though it is Jesus being described. That's on purpose.
Son of David is another well-known title of Messiah. So, the Holy Spirit is intentionally linking the Feast of Tabernacles with Hanukkah - and the conversation of the Good Shepherd with all that Hanukkah symbolizes. Judas the Maccabbee freed the people from the tyrant Antiochus the IV. He was what the people considered a Messiah - someone that would return Israel to glory. So, this idea isn't lost on the Jews. They ask Jesus, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." They're not interested in hearing that Jesus is the Son of God. They want a military ruler.
Now, there is another aspect to this contrast. Jesus is the Good Shepherd in contrast to the False Shepherd or the Worthless Shepherd. There is a very confusing passage in Zechariah. Some of it seems plain, and some of it is vastly confusing:
Zechariah 11:4 This is what the LORD my God says: "Pasture the flock marked for slaughter. 5 Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, 'Praise the LORD, I am rich!' Their own shepherds do not spare them. 6 For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land," declares the LORD. "I will hand everyone over to his neighbor and his king. They will oppress the land, and I will not rescue them from their hands."
7 So I pastured the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favor and the other Union, and I pastured the flock. 8 In one month I got rid of the three shepherds.
The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them 9 and said, "I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another's flesh."
10 Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. 11 It was revoked on that day, and so the afflicted of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the LORD.
12 I told them, "If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it." So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potter"-the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter. 14 Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15 Then the LORD said to me, "Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hoofs.
17 "Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!"
The "Good" Shepherd in John 10 can just as easily be translated "worthy" shepherd. Jesus was making a commentary on the Jews who had thrown the formerly blind man out of the synagogue and calling them false shepherds. But, He is also showing Himself in contrast with the worthless shepherd in Zechariah 11. As you can see, the mention of the worthless shepherd comes after the rejection of the true shepherd in verses 8-9.
In the Old Testament, the ultimate example of a "good shepherd," was of course, David. The ultimate example of a "worthless shepherd" is none other than Antiochus Epiphanes. He was in charge of the people of Israel and ruled over them, so he was meant to be their shepherd. The Bible talks about him in Daniel:
Daniel 8:8 The goat became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven. This is Alexander the Great and then his four generals.
9 Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. Here, the Scripture is lumping all the resulting dynasties into each horn, kind of as though each horn represented each family and all successors. Out of those dynasties came "another horn." This is Antiochus the IV. 10 It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. 12 Because of rebellion, the host [of the saints] and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground. Kind of odd language, huh? It's talking about Antiochus the IV, and yet it's not. Some of this language seems to apply to something or someone much bigger - even to Satan himself.
13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, "How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled - the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot?"
14 He said to me, "It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated." This is also kind of odd, because there really isn't any way this can be stretched to apply to Antiochus Epiphanes.
15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. 16 And I heard a man's voice from the Ulai calling, "Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision."
17 As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. "Son of man," he said to me, "understand that the vision concerns the time of the end."
18 While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.
19 He said: "I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. Oops! Suddenly we're talking about the time of wrath! 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king. 22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.
23 "In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.
26 "The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future." This is about Antiochus IV, and yet not. It's also describing that ultimate worthless shepherd far in the future of Israel.
Daniel 11:20-30 describe the career of Antiochus IV. Then, you have this:
Daniel 11:31 "His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.
33 "Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.
36 "The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. Compare to some of the passages to come 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. 38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.
40 "At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission. 44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
12:1 "At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people - everyone whose name is found written in the book - will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge."
As you can see, some of this was fulfilled in history through the reign (and rampage) of Antiochus the IV, but the language implies that it also involves the time of wrath and the time of resurrection. So, in Antiochus, you have the near fulfillment. In the time of wrath, you have the final fulfillment.
From the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary From the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary (A COMMENTARY Critical, Experimental, and Practical On The OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS. Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset, David Brown. S.S. SCRANTON, HARTFORD, 1877)
(3) Out of one of the four horns or divisions of the Greek empire came forth "the little horn" (Dan 8:9), or power which "magnified himself even to the prince of the host," and "took away the daily sacrifice, and cast down the place of the sanctuary" (Dan 8:11). It is a striking fact that the Old Testament Antichrist did not spring from a rude and barbarous or half civilized age and kingdom, but from the most refined of classic nations, Greece, and in an age of art and advanced civilization. Antiochus Epiphanes was an enthusiastic admirer of art. He reared temples in accordance with the most approved principles of architecture. He encouraged gymnasia, or schools in which the teaching of philosophy was combined with the development of the bodily powers. Some Jews, along with Jason, who intrigued for the High Priesthood, in order to ingratiate themselves with Antiochus, began to adopt Grecian fashions, building theaters, and with the profession of large-minded liberality, regarding all religions alike, and therefore, while sacrificing to Yahweh, at the same time contributing money for the worship of Hercules.
(5) The career of Antiochus Epiphanes , in his persecution of the people of God and blasphemous enmity against Yahweh and His sanctuary, is described in language which evidently is not exhausted by the incidents of his history, but is designed in the fullest sense to describe the last Antichrist, of whom Antiochus was the Old Testament forerunner. The adoption of the so-called refinements and usages of the ungodly world, and a growing indifference to the exclusive and paramount claims of the only true God, on the part of those Jews who "forsook the holy covenant" (Dan 11:30), were the first insidious steps toward preparing the way for the open blasphemies of Antiochus. So it shall be in the last days. A false liberalism, which reduces all religion to a mere matter of individual opinion, as though no one creed were revealed by God as the absolute truth to be believed and obeyed exclusively, combined with a growing laxity of practice and an exaggerated exaltation of art and human science and invention, as if man were now almost independent of God and constituted the judge of revelation, are symptoms, already being manifested, that we are verging toward those coming last days of anti-Christian apostasy.
I believe the Bible has a lot to say about this "worthless shepherd" who is destroyed later by Jesus Himself. Remember what Jesus said earlier in John:
John 5:43 I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.
However, you need to be a Berean about this. I'm going to give you some Scripture without a lot of commentary, but the very fact that I'm putting them together and saying they are about the Worthless Shepherd is a commentary in itself. Am I right? You can't believe it just because I say so. This is something you need to study for yourself.
I honestly believe that you can say the Bible is a tale of two cities - Jerusalem and Babylon. It is the tale of light and darkness, of good and evil. It is the tale of the author of the universe and the father of lies. Or, it is the tale of two shepherds - the Good Shepherd and the worthless shepherd. The kings of Israel were meant to be pictures of the coming perfect king who would shepherd His people with love, but too often they were pictures of the one who leads the flock astray, who destroys the sheep.
The worthless shepherd has many names, including the man of lawlessness, as in Thessalonians (the King James calls him the son of perdition, the man of sin):
2 Thessalonians 2:1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
He calls himself God (as many "types" have in the past, including Antiochus Epiphanes). He is powered by Satan, just as Judas was when he betrayed Jesus:
Luke 22:3 Then Satan entered Judas , called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.
Twice, Jesus seems to link him to Antiochus Epiphanes (in my opinion - you may disagree). Once, is in John 10, when Jesus is talking about false shepherds and then the connection is made to the Feast of Dedication. The other is in Matthew 14:
Matthew 24:15 "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel - let the reader understand- Daniel 8, 9, 11 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again. A quote from Daniel 12. See above. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect - if that were possible.
He is called the King of Babylon (yet his exploits seem to go far beyond any of the historical king of Babylon). Check out Isaiah 14:
Isaiah 14:3 On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:
How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended! 5 The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers, 6 which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression.
7 All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing. 8 Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon exult over you and say, "Now that you have been laid low, no woodsman comes to cut us down."
9 The grave below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you - all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones - all those who were kings over the nations.
10 They will all respond, they will say to you, "You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us." 11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you. 12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."
15 But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. 16 Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate:
"Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, 17 the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?"
18 All the kings of the nations lie in state, each in his own tomb. 19 But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain, with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit. Like a corpse trampled underfoot, 20 you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land and killed your people.
He speaks boastfully (compare to the quotes above):
Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
2 Daniel said: "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. 3 Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
4 "The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.
5 "And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, 'Get up and eat your fill of flesh!'
6 "After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule. 7 "After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast - terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
8 "While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
9 "As I looked, "thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. 10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.
11 "Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12(The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)
13 "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. 15 "I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. 16 I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this.
"So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: 17'The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever - yes, for ever and ever.'
19 "Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws - the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell - the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.
23 "He gave me this explanation: 'The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.
26 "'But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.'
He is worshipped by the inhabitants of the earth:
Revelation 13:1 And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea.
And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. 2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. 4 Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"
5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast - all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
9 He who has an ear, let him hear.
10 If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14 Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
18 This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.
Revelation 17:11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
12 "The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings - and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."
15 Then the angel said to me, "The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth."
Daniel 9:24 (NKJV) "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.
25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.
26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
Ezekiel 38:1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him 3 and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army - your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5 Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops - the many nations with you.
7 "'Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. 8 After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. 9 You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land. 10 "'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11 You will say, "I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people - all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. 12 I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land." 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, "Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?" '
14 "Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? 15 You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. 16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. 17 "'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. 18 This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD. 19 In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD. Every man's sword will be against his brother. 22 I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. 23 And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.'
(The story continues in Ezekiel 39)
OK, remember our list of shepherds from last time? Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David & finally, Jesus? Now, both Abraham and Isaac kept sheep, but they had others that cared for them. If you leave them out of the list, you have five through David. If you put the "worthless shepherd" into this list in order (Zechariah 11:16-17), he comes 6th (interesting), and Jesus would be seven.
John 10:22 Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade. 24 The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
25 Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one." Can you snatch yourself out? Can you jump out? There isn't a simple answer to that.
John 10:31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" Remember, they were in the Temple, in Solomon's Porch. Were these the stones from the altar that the Maccabees layed aside until a prophet would come and tell them what to do with them?
33 "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." Jesus never said He was God? The Jews certainly thought He did.
34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'? 35 If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came - and the Scripture cannot be broken- 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? 37 Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed 41 and many people came to him. They said, "Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true." 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.
I hope that will be said about our city one day. Don't be afraid to speak up to your family and friends about why Jesus came. He was born to die.
Galatians 4:4 But when the time had fully come , God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
And, because He did, we are heirs of all things. How amazing is that?
The Berean Bible Study of the Gospel of John
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. - Acts 17:11
© 2012 This study was written by Jacqui Komschlies and last updated 3/6/2012. If you have questions, comments, corrections or concerns, please write me.
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