|Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile|
15 March 2007 / 25 Adar 5767
A 2008 Ultimatum
for Joes ... and Jews?
Ezekiel's bizarre prophetic decree
Note: MbY does not engage in predicting dates for End-Times events, however he has been encouraged to explain an insight gleaned from the Torah of Moses that points to an end of judgments against the Northern Tribes of Israel that may initiate the reunion between the Houses of Joseph and Judah. But the reconciliation is demanded ... or else.
Prophets in the Bible often were instructed to speak and act out of the norm and what would be unacceptable behavior by today's social mores.
Isaiah was instructed to walk naked for three years to exemplify how Israel's sins were exposed to Hashem and consequently, the manner of the exile in which Israel was later carried away by the Assyrians. But nudity was characteristic among the students in the "School of the Prophets" since the days of Samuel. Under the inspiration of the Spirit, the prophets would throw off their clothes and prophesy.
Jeremiah was forced to cry out his prophesies from a pit into which Hashem caused him to be thrown.
Hosea was directed to marry a woman so loose that he could not be certain the three children he "fathered" were his. These "children of whoredoms" represented the descendants of Israel in exile after they were scattered, removed from covenant mercies and disowned by their God.
But it fell upon the prophet, Ezekiel, who ministered as "son of man," to carry out the most bizarre instructions of all.
390 years 'decreed' against Israel
As a Kohein, (priest descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses), he had taken special care from the time of his youth to never defile himself with anything unclean down to the meat that went into his mouth. But as Hashem's chosen "son of man" (a simile for a tzadik or someone who had overcome their evil inclination and was left on Earth to suffer on the behalf of others), he was ordered to eat food fit only for animals in small rations cooked over his own dung while lying bound with ropes and facing the north (Samaria) for 390 days. Then, still bound with ropes, he lay on the other side facing south (Jerusalem) for 40 days.
In Ezekiel 4, Hashem "decrees" one full year of judgment against the kingdoms of Israel and Judah for each day that Ezekiel was bound while facing that kingdom. A "decree" of judgment must be accompanied by a sign; thus Ezekiel was bound and lay on his side in the sight of all. But Hashem acquiesced and allowed him to use cow dung instead of his own to cook his pitiful daily ration. Such a radical "decree of judgment" surely had to mean something to those who would soon be exiled. It may mean even more today for those awaiting a world-changing reconciliation.
When do judgments begin?
So 390 years were "decreed" against Israel and 40 years were "decreed" against Judah by the sign of Ezekiel's suffering as the "son of man." We do not know the precise date that these decrees were decreed. But the popular assumption is that the judgments began with the exile of each house. So the 390 years started ticking down for the House of Israel in 722 BCE with its exile to Assyria and the 40 years of Judah's judgment began 136 years later in 586 BCE with its exile to Babylon.
As a "son of man," Ezekiel was to bear the years of the sins of both houses. This would mean that the House of Israel had sinned for 390 years prior. However, the Northern Kingdom of Israel had only existed for 240 years from the reign of its first king, Jereboam. This means that its sins were reckoned earlier -- apart from those of Judah -- for some 150 years including the times of the judges, who preceded King Saul. Seder Olam 26 reads,
"This teaches us that (the House of) Israel angered God for 390 years from the time they entered the Land, until they left it."
Expiration of first set of judgments in 332 BCE
Accordingly, the 390 years of judgment would have expired in 332 BCE. But in that year, nothing special is recorded about the Northern tribes. Their precise locations were unknown because of the Assyrian policy of resettling exiles from their different campaigns to another region that had been conquered. But the recovery and ongoing translations of ancient Assyrian tablets reveals at least the initial wanderings of a large contingent of the "House of King 'Omri," as the Assyrians referred to the Northern Tribes west of the Jordan River.
The Assyrians, themselves dwelled in the lands claimed by the people of Gomer, a son of Yaphet, son of Noah. They had difficulty with the gutteral "ayin" (like gulping from the back of the throat) that begins the name of 'Omri and it became a simple "g" in their speech and writings. Consequently, the Greeks knew the Israelites in exile as the Gomeri or Gimmerai. True to the prophetic decree with Hosea's marriage to Gomer, Israel had become this harlot in name as well as nature. The Greek Gamma yielded to the Anglicized "C" giving birth to the Cimmerian people, making Assimilated Israel the progenitor of the Anglo-Saxons and Celts of Europe.
The Route out of Asia Minor
The kingdom of Lydia, which occupied what would today be called southwest Turkey fought a war with the successors of the Assyrian captors: the Medes. After the Medes lost the war, the House of Israel in exile was largely forced from Asia Minor (Bythnia) across the San (river) of Bythnia (the Bosporus) into Macedonia. From there, they began their assimilation into the European landscape. Later European colonization populated the "coastlands" of the Earth and especially the British Isles and the Americas and the land "Down Under." But anyone familiar with the "missionary journeys of Paul" should recognize the early migrations of the remnant of the Northern Tribes called the House of 'Omri in Assyrian texts.
Consistent with Gospel and repentance of Judah
A legitimate Gospel, such as the one Jesus preached in his search for the Lost Sheep of the (non-Jewish, divorced from Covenant) House of Israel, should naturally follow on the heels of "that which was lost." It would also take time for this Good News -- that God was ready to accept the Assimilation of Israel as His People again, recovenant with them and return them to their land to be reunited with their brother, Judah -- to travel around the world and reach these coastlands. Thus, an anticipated second-coming to bring about the final stages of this national Redemption.
Naturally if the purpose of the Gospel of Jesus -- which he limited to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel -- was to find that which was lost, recovenant with it and return it, the Gospel should follow the path of the "lost."
Judah on the other hand returned to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple 70 years after its exile. But the decree by Koresh for the House of Judah (Judah, Simeon, Levi and part of Benjamin) to be allowed to return came in 546 BCE -- true to the decree -- exactly 40 years after the exile of 586 BCE.
Non-Jewish Israel given to sword of Allah
This would indicate that Judah had repented of the transgressions that resulted in its exile, but Israel, rapidly scattering, intermarrying and assimilating into the nations, had not by 332 BCE.
So, what happens next as far as the fate of assimilated non-Jewish Israel who did not repent? The applicable exegesis is found in Leviticus 26:14-46. This section of the Torah is usually called the Tochachah or "Admonition." It is the same Admonition referred to later in Deuteronomy 29:11,13, which is enforced by the attribute of God's judgment known as "Allah." Thus the disobedient of Israel were/are handed over to the sword of Allah.
Another chance for Israel
After instructing all of Israel to follow His decrees and to guard and perform his commandments, God lays down a strict penalty for disobedience to His will.
But if you will not listen to Me (engage in Torah study) and will not perform all of these commandments; if you consider My decrees loathsome, and if your being rejects My ordinances, so as not to perform all My commandments, so that you annul My covenant -- then I will do the same to you; I will assign upon you panic, swelling lesions and burning fever, which cause eyes to long and souls to suffer; you will sow your seeds in vain, for your enemies will eat it. I will turn My attention against you, you will be struck down before enemies; those who hate you will subjugate you -- you will flee with no one pursuing you. (Leviticus 26:14-17).
This is referred to by the sages of Torah as the "first series of punishments" and would apply to the first judgments against both Israel and Judah within the respective 390 years and 40 years of judgments.
The seven-fold multiplication
And if you do not heed Me still, then I shall punish you SEVEN (times) (on, upon or over or according to) your sins. I will 1) break the pride of your might, I will 2) make your heaven like iron and 3) your land like copper, 4) your strength will be spent in vain; 5) your land will not give its produce and 6) the tree of the land will not give its fruit. (Leviticus 26:18-20).
The question at hand -- and it is a crucial one -- is whether the sevenfold multiplication of judgments applies to degrees of judgments within these six categories. If so, why was there not a seventh category? Or does the multiplication apply to the terms of the original judgment -- 390 years -- during which the House of Israel assimilating among the nations did not repent.
Original decree of judgment phrased in years
Had seven ways actually been listed in the verses above instead of six ways, this would likely be the context of these judgments. But the original terms of the judgment in Ezekiel was phrased in years alone.
A seven-fold multiplication of 390 years totals 2,730 years.
2008: Expiration date of judgment
Counted from the time of the exile, 722 BCE, the seven-fold multiplication of the judgment against the House of Israel in exile would expire in or around the year 2008 (2,730 - 722).
If this interpretation is correct, then the year 2008 (Hebrew year 5768) represents the fulfillment of Hashem's judgments against the Northern Kingdom of Israel and mandates some kind of display of repentance from a "nation of people still in exile."
Unification spells end of enmity and vexation
The sages of Torah state that the exile of the Northern tribes occurred because of the idolatry that was being practiced and the effect this idolatry was having on the Southern Kingdom of Judah. There is also the matter of the Civil War waged by the North against the South and the confederacy between Syria and the Northern Kingdom against the Southern Kingdom. This is all evidence of the enmity and vexation which first divided the two houses and kingdoms of Israel from the time they were separate monarchies defining the House of Joseph and the House of Judah. It also represents unfinished business for the God of Israel and the need to unify His name through the unity of His children and especially the families of Judah and Joseph.
This would suggest that 2008 should be a year at least to initiate the reconciliation and reunion with the House of Judah by at least a representative remnant from the House of Joseph. That should ultimately result in a future mass aliyah or return as citizens by these descendants of the non-Jewish northern tribes.
Window for reconciliation is NOW ... or else
If this reconciliation and reunion with Judah and return of the representative House of Joseph does not materialize, Leviticus 26:21 promises another "sevenfold" judgment.
You do the math. 7 x 2730 =19,110. Even reckoned from 722 BCE, it is doubtful that mankind can survive to the year 18,388 or the 184th Century. The window of opportunity for reconciliation between Joes and Jews, a window that will allow much of the light of Torah to shine by the example that would be set for the world ... that window ... is NOW.
Maggid ben Yoseif