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A Literal Translation of the New Testament






 

Southlawn Lessons in Joshua and Judges

 

 

Summer Quarter 2003

The book of Joshua deals with the subjects of the inheritance possessed, while the book of Judges deals with the subjects of the inheritance despised. The book of Judges as we call it in our English, records the history of the spiritual activity of Israel through the period of thirteen judges. Twelve were called of God, and one was a usurper. Judges tells us what happened during the period of time between the death of Joshua and the rise of Samuel. Judges records the failure of the people of Israel to believe and call upon the name of Jehovah, and the faithfulness of Jehovah to answer when they did call for help.

Scholars are somewhat arbitrary over the time period during which the events recorded in the book of Judges occurred. They generally estimate the period to be somewhere in the period of about 1200-1050 BC.

Judges records some of the lowest times in the history of Israel.  They had been delivered out of Egypt, and while on their way to the promised land Jehovah had done so many miracles before their very eyes.  But now, while in the promised land, they seem to have national mass amnesia about what Jehovah had done for them in the past, and why He did it, which was that they came back to search for  Him and His Word.  But yet, again they go a whoring after idols, and suffer all the butt-kicking again the adversary gives them, as they stray away from God and His Word again.  How many times does this cycle need to repeat before they learn what they're doing wrong?  Frankly, the history of Israel as a nation before God, is a history of national stupidity.  They never learn, butt kicking after butt kicking!  Throughout the old covenant writings, this goes on for centuries!  In spite of their unbelief, Jehovah makes available His endless love, mercy, and grace.  He picked a stiff-necked, hard-hearted people on purpose, to show the world how He could deliver them, and be their sufficiency through all things which may happen upon this earth (1 Cor. 10:11).  Let's not start thinking we're much better (1 Cor. 1:24-31)

Jehovah is always there!  He's always there waiting for Israel to remember what they finally did right last time, which coerced Him into coming to their rescue, their repentance from their sin!  Jehovah's love and patience is great!  Israel's repeated cycle of spiraling back down to national destruction, hints at the responsibility of previous generations to adequately make known their failures in believing Jehovah, to the new generation, so that the new generation doesn't repeat those failures in believing.  Israel's endless cycle of turning away from God's Word, then experiencing calamity and devastation, then finally when they've had enough, turning back to God's Word and repenting from their sin, demonstrates the point for all mortalkind that God requires repentance from sin before there can be any forgiveness of sin. 

A Note On Rightly Dividing

When working the Father's Word and rightly dividing a passage, I suggest you immediately look for holy Spirit's special markings in the text which are the sign posts along the way in a narrative, which keep our understanding of what God says, on track with/to the points He is making. These special markings are types, figures of speech, cultural idioms and Orientalisms.

Types are persons, places or things which represent other persons, places or things whether material or spiritual, objective or subjective.  Figures of Speech are peculiar ways of saying things, which put emphasis on that which is said, causing them to stand out. For example; "The ground is thirsty" is a figure of speech, as opposed to, "the ground is dry." Cultural Idioms are ways of saying things, phrases and clichés, which are common to the culture, and are used to apply specific contextual meanings to objects or events. Orientalisms are references in the text to common or uncommon cultural practices, such as the covenant of salt, birth, death and marriage customs. For example, Apostle Paul uses the orientalism of a marriage relationship between a man and a woman, and the responsibilities between them, as a type to the spiritual responsibilities between the members of the one body of Christ and himself, Jesus Christ being the head of that body of believers, those who have been called out (Eph. Chap. 4, 5).

The epilogue of Judges gives us an important key to understanding why spiritual calamities occurred again within Israel during this period of time;

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel. Each man did the right in his own eyes.

Why should the Father raise up a leader if the people are not willing to believe, become obedient and follow?  Remember, Jehovah has omniscience.  He knows the future.  The lack of leadership in Israel at this time was not a failure on God's part to raise someone up.  It was a failure, and a continuing failure on the part of Israel, for anyone to rise up to believe God and His Word!  Israel had many times turned away from God, even when they had "leadership".  There was simply no one in Israel at this time who was "king" material for God to raise up.  There was no leadership material after the prophet Malachi, for a long time as well.  A calamity which befalls Israel, or anyone at anytime, is never God's fault (Psalm 103:10).  Each man did right in his own eyes is why there was no leadership material in Israel during this period.  Whatever the 'right' was in their own eyes, it didn't include believing God's Word.  The reason why they did right in their own eyes will quickly become apparent.

In the Word of God, the land of Canaan, the promised land, less its evil inhabitants, is a type to the Kingdom of God. The temple of God, Solomon's Temple, which eventually would become built in the promised land, in Jerusalem, is a type to the Temple made without hands, which is the one body of Christ Jesus. Therefore, when studying the objective elements of the land of Canaan, the promise of it, the journey to it, the entrance into it, and the subsequent dwelling within it, we must keep in mind the spiritual counterparts which have now become a reality to us through the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, through his broken body and shed blood which have made us 100% righteous and acceptable in the Father's eyes. And through the indwelling Spirit of Him, the gift of holy Spirit, the new birth from above, each individual believer now has direct access to fellowship with the Father, in whom also we are built together into a habitation of the God, in Spirit. (Eph. 2:11-22). Apostle Paul in his letter to the believers at Colossae, refers to a believers new indwelling holy Spirit as, "Christ in you!" (Col. 1:27). Jesus said, "the Kingdom of the God is inside you!" (Luke 17:21).

KJV Translation

Lesson 8 - Judges 4:1-23

Judges 4:1 And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord (Jehovah) when Ehud was dead.

children = sons; Children is a translation error. Sons is in the Hebrew text, and refers to the patriarchal lineage of responsibility in a family being passed down through the male offspring. This is common in the Middle Eastern cultures, and has been for thousands of years, that the sons, especially the firstborn son, to whom it was customary to pass on the family legacy, failed to continue to believe and stay obedient to God.

evil = The Evil; Another translation error, the article the appears in the Hebrew text indicating evil should be treated as a proper noun. This indicates that the kind of evil Israel did was the most serious kind of evil. The most serious kind of evil was to break the first commandment (Exodus 20:1-17), "You shall have no other gods before me." At the outset of this record, holy Spirit sets the stage with the specific reason for the calamity which was to come upon Israel.  It tells us that Israel had gone back to idolatry, worshipping other gods (devil spirits), as it has time and time again. Jesus said, in a record of him preaching upon the mount, perhaps the Mount of Olives, to a multitude, he gives to them a prayer model to follow when they construct their own prayers to the Father;

Mat. 6:13a, and (kai) may we not be brought (me eisenegkes hemas) into (eis) testing (peirasmon), BUT (alla), rescue (rusai) us (hemas) from (apo) the (tou) evil one (ponerou)!

The KJV translators ignored the article the in the original language Greek text, which appears before the word evil in all the copies of the original language text. Jesus says "The Evil" in the genitive (possessive) case. In my opinion, The Evil to which Jesus refers, refers to the breaking of the first commandment also, which is idolatry. The Evil being in the genitive case, refers to all the calamities and suffering that can result, that can come out of breaking the first commandment and practising idolatry. Jesus suggests in a model prayer, to the multitude of Israelites, that they pray that they be rescued from all the calamities and results of practising idolatry.

In the writings of Judges holy Spirit will show us what it has shown us throughout the writings of the history of Israel, that when they become without leadership, they turn to idolatry, as they did when Moses went up into the mountain to receive the ten commandments from God, and didn't return for a number of days.

 

Back to Genesis 4:1;

 

"the Lord" - Jehovah; It is very important to note the name of God when He uses it, and what specific name He uses.  When holy Spirit uses God's title Elohiym, meaning God, in the text, God's impersonal relationship as a God of power, the creator of the creation is emphasized. Whereas, when He uses any of His Jehovah names, His personal relationship and presence, as a father's relationship and presence with his children, is emphasized. For example; in Genesis chapter 1, during the seven days of creation, God goes strictly by His title Elohiym (Strong's # 0430), which means God as a creator, an artisan title.  Holy Spirit gives us God's title, Elohiym, from Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 2:3, as the creator of all creation in preparation for mortalkind.

 

Then, beginning in Genesis 2:4, when holy Spirit begins to tell us the reason for His creation, which is mortalkind, then holy Spirit changes from using only a title, Elohiym, to incorporating a name along with it, Jehovah Elohiym, going forward. Elohiym is His impersonal title, but Jehovah is His personal name. Take God's son for example; Jesus is his personal name, but Christ is his impersonal, prophetic title. Beginning in Genesis 2:5 and throughout the record of Elohiym's special preparations for mortalkind, and the forming of mortalkind, both male and female, and His relationship with them until after they are dismissed from the garden of Eden in Genesis 3:24, Jehovah Elohiym is the incorporated name and title through which He expresses Himself. Then, beginning in Genesis 4:1 with the record of Abel and Cain, and in the context of them having a relationship with Him insofar as they brought offerings to Him personally, to please Him, holy Spirit tells us He now uses his name Jehovah only, in his personal dealings with mortalkind.

 

Judges 4:2 And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles.

Lord = Jehovah;

sold them - This is a figure of speech Anthropopathia, which means, ascribing human passions, actions, or attributes to God.  Holy Spirit uses figures of speech as special markings in the narrative, which when they are properly understood bring our understanding right on track with the major points in the context.  God didn't literally sell Israel to Jabin, the king of Canaan. But what is meant is that there is a transference of authority over Israel, a transference of who has the authority over Israel. If you'll recall, upon Adam and Eve's sin of high treason against Jehovah Elohiym, whatever authority, dominion and power the original Adam had was given (Gen. 1:26), was transferred to Satan (Luke 4:6), and Adam and Eve were subsequently expelled from the garden. Whenever Israel, because of its lack of knowledge and believing toward Jehovah (Hosea 4:6, Heb. 11) turned their back on Jehovah to turn to idolatry, to go whoring after false gods, Jehovah was forced to remove His hand of power and protection (Deut. 32:39; Psalm 89:20-24; Prov. 1:23-29; Isa. 1:24-27; 43:10-28; 50:1-3) over Israel, which allowed the other spiritual power, that of Satan, the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4), to move in and take authority over Israel. This is the same kind of situation which occurred in the record of Job. In Isaiah 50:1, Jehovah (Lord in the text) says, speaking of Israel again, "or which of my creditors [is it] to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities you have sold yourselves…!" 

Ezekiel 39 shows how Jehovah declares He will restore His hand of power and protection over Israel, according to their believing and obedience. Often times with the removal of Jehovah's hand, comes the hiding of His face from them as well. The hiding of His face means that He does not look at them when they pray to him, to listen to their prayers. In these circumstances the situations are grave.

The usage of this figure of speech in the text focuses our minds on the concept of the first commandment, that when Israel puts God and His Word first, and believes and is obedient to Him alone, then Israel will have peace and prosperity by the power of the hand and arm of Jehovah, their Elohiym. This is the point in all the records in Judges. It's all about putting Jehovah first, and keeping the first and greatest commandment, and not committing The Evil.

the hand of Jabin - the word hand is in the singular in the text. The NIV makes it plural in their English translation, ignoring the Hebrew text. This, along with many other unsubstantiated deviations from both the source language Hebrew and Greek texts, are hallmarks of the NIV US translation, not to mention omissions and other translation skullduggery. In the Middle East, hands have special designations, other than simply being left or right. We can see this in God's Word where His holy Spirit is constantly pointing out whether something is done by the left hand, the hand of cursing, or the right hand, the hand of blessing (Mat. 25:31-46; 26:64; Acts 2:25; 3:7; 5:31; Rev. 1:17). Holy Spirit, in this record, doesn't bluntly come out and tell us into which of Jabin's hands Jehovah "sold" Israel. But we can easily ascertain this from the local context in verse 3, where it tells us that Jabin had "nine hundred chariots of iron, and twenty years mightily oppressed the sons of Israel." We can conclude that Jehovah "sold" Israel into Jabin's left hand, the hand of cursing. Israel, by their own free will went whoring after false gods, which caused Jehovah to withdraw his hand of blessing, which allowed the transfer of Satan's left hand of cursing, via Jabin, to have authority over Israel.

Judges 4:3 And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.

children = sons;

Lord = Jehovah;

iron - Iron when mentioned in God's Word usually connotes the idea of strong oppression. When used in prophecy or mentioned in visions, the idea of strong oppression is brought into the context.

Judges 4:5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.

dwelt = sat; Why don't the translators simply let it say in English exactly what it says in the original language Hebrew text?

sat under a palm tree - Replace the paragraph below with a quote or two from the experts in orientalisms, such as Lamsa, Freeman, Pillai, etc.

This is an orientalism, of which the KJV translators apparently had no knowledge. In the Middle East it was and still is customary for someone who searches knowledge and wisdom from God, to sit under an oak tree.   A wise man or prophet would sit under an oak tree to receive knowledge and/or wisdom from God, or as an indicator that he was available to offer wisdom and guidance to those in need.  Likewise, for someone who searches for joy in their life, or who wishes to demonstrate joy over something, they would sit under a palm tree to express their joy. We can see other manifestations of this orientalism in the use of palm branches in festive occasions (Lev. 23:40; Neh. 8:15; John 12:13). They were regarded as tokens of joy and triumph. Jesus' disciples waved Palm branches before him on the occasion of his entry into Jerusalem. In the new Jerusalem John sees the triumphant followers of Jesus with palms in their hands.

Judges 4:17 Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.

Judges 4:18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle.

he had turned in unto her into the tent - This is an orientalism. In the Middle East it is a custom that if any man be found in the tent of a woman, or in the side of the tent that is properly her quarters, the death penalty is appropriate. Under the law, Jael had a legal right to kill Sisera, who she bade to come into her tent.

mantle = rug;

Judges 4:19 And he said unto her, "Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty." And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.

Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. - According to custom, it was very inappropriate for a male to speak to a strange women, except to ask for one thing, a drink of water. This request is most often made by a well, as Jesus did in the city of Sychar in Samaria, to the woman at the well.

a bottle of milk = a skin of buttermilk; The same word is rendered butter in 5:25.