|Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile|
As many are astonished concerning you thus: "an outline from a man!" ... "his features mirror the sons of Adam!" Thus he shall startle many nations. Concerning him, kings (rulers) shall shut their mouths because that which was not told to them they shall see and that they had not heard they shall meditate to themselves.
(Literal translation of Isaiah 52:14-15)
NOTE: Whenever we are critical of persons or policies, we do no service to anyone without proposing an alternative. The alternative proposed to the Bush Administration's Road Map to Peace in the Middle East is the "Zechariah Plan," researched by MbY calling for a contiguous Palestinian State in the region generally known in the Bible as the "Plain of the Philistines." MbY submits this exegesis for consensus and collegiality to promote this alternative.
Exegesis of Zechariah 9 alludes
to 'contiguous' Palestinian State
First, a little about Zechariah. He was a prophet and priest who wrote about events in the far-distant future called the Last Days. Chapters 9-11 involve Israel's dealings with the nations, beginning with the people known as P'lishtim, which is the plural of the name by which Yasser Arafat referred to the Palestinian people. In a Last Days context, therefore, Zechariah's prophecy should be primary source material in formulating foreign policy with Israel that agrees with the Bible. The real irony is that the support base for the proposed Palestinian State in Judea-Samaria comes from the Christian Religious Right, which has been supporting an anti-biblical position.
9:1-2: "The burden of the word of the Lord: in the land of Hadrach and Damascus its rest, when to the Lord shall be the eyes of man as of all the tribes of Israel. And in Hamath also which bordereth thereby; in Tyrus and Zidon, ... though it be very wise:"
The Lord is burdened by something going on in Hadrach, an out-lying region of Damascus (its -- Hadrach's -- rest), Damascus itself, Hamath, another region in Western Syria that bordered Lebanon, plus two Mediterranean coastal regions in Lebanon. Tyre, in Southern Lebanon is below the Litani River and therefore part of biblical Israel. It lies on the same latitude as the northernmost Israeli settlement of Kiryiat Sh'mona. Sidon lies a few miles to the south of Beirut and on the same latitude as Damascus.
It is important to note that the time of this burden is ci l'adonai eyn adam v'kol shivtei Yisrael when or because the eyes of man as of all the tribes of Israel are looking to the Lord. The comment about Zidon being very wise is what you might call "tongue in cheek." This qualification gives it an End-Times context, since it refers to the time when the tribes of Israel are looking to reunite.
Zechariah prophesied after the 10 Northern Tribes of Israel led by the House of Joseph were exiled. The timing for this burden relates to the reviving of the House of Joseph, the major two tribes of Israel who remain in exile. The burden may even relate specifically to the preparation of the land for these non-Jewish exiles of Ephraim and M'nashe to return. We mention this possibility because Zechariah 10:10 indicates that when the House of Joseph returns, they will be so numerous that the land will not be able to contain them and they will spill over into Lebanon and the Gilead, which is in today's Jordan.
9:3-4: "And Tyrus did build herself a stronghold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and He will smite her power (in, by means of, with) the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire."
Tyre was one of the fortified cities of the Canaanites mentioned in the Book of Joshua. Like Gaza and the land of the Philistines, Tyre was never fully conquered by the Israelites. Its inhabitants were never called Tyrians, but rather Sidonians, coupling its fate with Sidon to the north. The great wealth for which the Sidonians were noted was acquired under PERSIAN rule, establishing an early claim to the region by Persia (modern Iran). As we reported in a special edition of Jerusalem Vistas magazine: Apocalypse Now: Mixing Religion and Terror, published two weeks before the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the expansion of radical Islam closely correlates with the spread of the ancient Persian empire. Today, Iran (Persia) masterminds this spread throughout the Middle East and controls the sheikdoms of especially radical Shi'ties. Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah in Lebanon, is also complicit in the Shi'a insurgency in Iraq.
The combination of Syria and Lebanon with Persian Shi'ia radical Islam alluded to in this scripture is precisely the scenario on the ground today in South Lebanon.
Tyre also was a divided city, partly on the mainland and partly on an island that once existed connected by a causeway. The island is today submerged but ruins of a castle built into the mountainside with numerous cave entrances are still discernible on the mainland. While many biblical scholars claim this judgment uttered by Zechariah already has taken place, they have no explanation for its "re-occurence" at the time the "eyes of man as all of the tribes of Israel are toward the Lord." Nor do they dispute that all of Zechariah's other prophesies do pertain to a future time. There is also no existing record of any war between Israel and the Sidonians in Tyre and Sidon. However, inhabitants of Tyre descended from Esau betrayed the House of Judah when it went into exile by turning in those who had escaped the Babylonian invasion and siege of Jerusalem.
9:5-6: Ashkelon shall see and fear; Gaza also and be very sorrowful, and Ekron that her expectation hath been ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the P'lishtim.
The destruction in verse four is SEEN not heard by the inhabitants of Ashkelon, Gaza and Ekron. Given the Mediterannean wind currents, a fire in Tyre far to the north in Lebanon could not be seen from Gaza and these regions in the far south. In our day, this alludes to some kind of media coverage of the destruction ... in the Last Days. Fear, sorrow and shame about some kind of expectation or hope results. In the context of current events, we would submit that this would be the hope by Hamas that Hezbollah would defeat Israel with its arsenal of katusha rockets or the hope in Palestinian ultra-nationalism.
The mamzer (Heb. bastard) who lives in Ashdod is a bit of detail that awaits further clarification. But the Lord's promise to "cut off the pride of the P'lishtim" could be interpreted according to current events as the means to "dash the hopes of the Palestinian people for a state in Judea-Samaria." Yasser Arafat referred to his people by the same name, P'lishtim. Palestinian designs on Judea-Samaria have been given false and cruel hope by the U.S. State Department and the Bush Administration's Road Map to Peace in the Middle East.
9:7: And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: and he, even he, shall remain for our God, and he shall be as a chief in Judah, and Ekron as the Jebusite.
Once the expectation for a Palestinian State in Judea-Samaria ends and the Palestinian people accept the Israeli leadership of the nation, the Palestinian people undergo a radical change toward peace. The verse literally suggests that the P'lishtim even adapt their lifestyle to eating kosher meats, although figuratively it suggests the end of the terror with shouts of "Allah Akhbar," and violence and the abominable language in the Palestine National Charter calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. The language "aluf" (chief or master) in Judah, implies that there will be no independent Palestinian state, however this would not rule out autonomy for the Palestinian people living in this contiguous area within the nation of Israel when the Palestinians living in Ekron become as the peaceable Jebusites.
9:8: And I will encamp about Mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now I have seen with mine eyes.
Contextually, the "house" God will encamp about is the new God-fearing Palestinian people who have their own autonomy in the regions of Gaza, Ashqelon, Ashdod and Ekron and probably the fertile Sh'felah adjoining them. God will protect those Palestinians who live in this area from the Israeli army, from instigators of trouble or oppressors passing through and from those returning, clarified two verses down as the House of Joseph.
Palestinians who leave Judea-Samaria will have safe haven in this autonomous Palestinian state within the nation of Israel as long as they live there in peace. But for those Palestinians who do not leave Judea-Samaria, the fate is dire. (See Obadiah 17ff). Their hearts will be hardened and harbor the hatred of Esau toward Jacob, evidenced by Obadiah calling them "the House of Esau."
9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy king cometh unto thee: he is just and deserving to be helped; lowly and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Traditionally, this verse is believed to refer to the coming messiah. HOWEVER, contextually, once the Palestinian people have rid themselves of the mindset of Palestinian ultra-Nationalism, they are also called by God, a "daughter" of Zion and Jerusalem. He will send Israel a king who will be just, deserving and humble, possibly the king messiah.
9:10: And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the nations: and his dominion shall be from sea to sea and from the river od ofsei eretz (even to the ends of the land).
The chariot of Ephraim may refer to the mass annihilation that will occur in the northern two-thirds of Judea-Samaria in the inheritance of Ephraim due to Palestinian resistance there. Or it could refer to the war-like nature Ephraim has become in his assimilation (another theological treatise for a later time). As Obadiah phrased it , "at the time Jacob returned to his inheritances," the fields of the Shomron and the fields of Ephraim -- both regions that are the inheritance of the House of Joseph -- would be occupied by the House of Esau.
"And the House of Jacob would be a fire and the House of Joseph (Ephraim) would be the flame and the House of Esau for stubble and they (Jacob-Joseph) would kindle in them and devour them and none would remain from the House of Esau." (Obadiah 18).
As I have tried repeatedly to warn the last three American administrations, the worst thing the U.S. State Department can do is promote a Palestinian state in this region, which means the eventual certain death of millions of Palestinians who would return there.
Our State Department, in taking the portion Jacob promised Joseph as his birthright and handing it to Esau, is betting against the Bible. Judea-Samaria is set aside by the God of Israel for the return, reunion and reconciliation of the House of Joseph with the House of Judah.
In our June 6, 2006 (6-6-06) Newsletter, we present the case for the identity of M'nashe among the wave of Xicano (Chicano) immigrants coming from the South into the American Southwest. Ephraim is an assimilated people most heavily concentrated in the isles and coastlands of the Earth. Therefore, the biblical policy the U.S. State Department should be pursuing is to help the Chicano people and persons being displaced from coastal regions due to hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes and various Earth changes relocate to the inheritance of the House of Joseph. As the prophet Isaiah stated in the context of this return, "Send Me your Not Comforted (one of the judgments against the House of Joseph), homeless and "tempest tossed."
The oil companies and major defense contractors who have benefited from decades of State Department and CIA intervention in the Middle East on their behalf should contribute some of their obscene windfall profits toward picking up the tab for this relocation as well as the relocation of Palestinians from Judea-Samaria into the Gaza-region state. It is only fair, after all. State Department policies that have resulted in death and destruction in Israel, the Gaza, Lebanon and Iraq were put into effect to keep the energy sector profiteering on, lower-priced-than-could-be-produced-domestically, Arab oil.
Back to the exegesis. This king who will unite the nation of Israel with its Palestinian "state" therein will be an emissary of world peace. His dominion is defined here within the context of the borders of Greater Israel ... or possibly a broader context that encompasses the entire world. Again, another treatise. The Hebrew suggests either context.
9:11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.
If the "thee" in verse 11 refers to the daughter of Zion in verse 9, it fits with the context of a repentant Palestinian people. Today, their plight appears as that of Joseph, who was thrown into a pit where there was no water. His situation looked hopeless. The House of Joseph comes out of that pit biblically and historically with the renewed covenant made possible by the blood of Jesus (Y'shua) and spiritual gifts commensurate with that covenant. The same is promised to the Palestinian people when the violence and terror ceases.
On the other hand, the "thee" in verse 11 could refer to this emissary of world peace, whose covenant earlier applied to the assimilation of the non-Jewish House of Israel led into exile by the House of Joseph. In this case, the prisoners would depict the House of Joseph who would be free to return.
9:12: Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today will I bring again unto thee a maggid of double peace.
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