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Book of Ezekiel
Prophetic Funeral for the Earthly House of David
This chapter is a funeral song written by Ezekiel as a prophesied funeral for the earthly end of the House of David. Ezekiel wrote this Chapter with mixed emotion, pride in the royal house of Judah, and shame for the disasters of the young princes.
This Chapter as well as the entire Book of Ezekiel, was done at the express commandment of the Lord GOD Himself. I think it is quite clear that Ezekiel wrote this dirge, and he did it with deep emotions in expressing his display of grief.
There are actually two laments (parables) here, the first under the symbol of a lioness and her whelps, and the second under the figure of a vine, and a rod of which caused its total destruction. Some think these laments could be: (1) for the nation as a whole, (2) for the royal house of David, or (3) for Hammutal, the mother of Zedekiah. In reality, I believe the lament is for ALL of Israel, which is about to suffer the irrevocable and permanent loss of their position as God's chosen people, and their honor as an independent nation, a true independence which they would never more have.
At this point in Israel's history, there were no rulers of the kingdom that anyone could trust. The wickedness of the ungodly men Ezekiel had just described in Chapter 18 was a true picture of Israel's kings, best described as a den of wild animals! All of them were doomed to death; and a dirge was normally sung or chanted after the death of the deceased and during the funeral; but Ezekiel here expressed the LORD'S sadness over the failure of the Judean leadership by speaking this funeral song over her terminal rulers BEFORE their deaths occurred. So it was, that Ezekiel publicly preached the funeral of Judah's wicked kings while they were still alive! It must have been a very remarkable occasion. God Himself, here preached Judah's funeral, through His servant Ezekiel!
Ezekiel is to compare the Kingdom of Judah to a lioness. He compares the kings of Judah to a lion's whelps; for they were cruel and oppressive even to their own subjects. The righteousness of God is to be acknowledged, when those who have terrified and enslaved others, are themselves terrified and enslaved. When professors of religion (apostates, hypocrites) make friends with ungodly persons, their children most often grow up following the sayings and manners of a wicked world. Advancement to authority so often discovers the ambition, greed and selfishness of men's wicked hearts (Jer.17:9); and those who spend their lives in wrongdoing, quite often end their lives by violence.
Lament of the Lord GOD over the Princes of Israel (19:1-12)
Ezekiel 19:1 Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, (KJV)
Moreover, take thou up a lamentation . . .these words were told to Ezekiel, to compose a sad, mournful song, such as was used at funerals; and it represented the deplorable state of the nation of Israel and their rulers, and was supposed to have emotional impact on them, with what was past, present and yet to come.
For the princes of Israel . . . the princes mean Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jeconiah and Zedekiah, who were kings, although called princes, these words being the same. The four last kings (princes), started unnecessary wars, producing their own and their country’s ruin. See Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
Lamentation: (19:14; 2:10; 26:17; 27:2; 32:16, 18; Jer.9:1,10,17-18; 13:17-18).
Princes, the: (2 Ki.29-30, 34; 24:6, 12; 25:5-7; 2 Chron.35:25; 36:3, 6, 10; Jer.22:18;-19, 28, 30; 24:1, 8; 52:10-11, 25-27; Lam.4:20; 5:12).
*****Ezekiel was to express grief for the princes of Israel. Chapter 19:1 is the first of five laments in Ezekiel (26:17-18; Ch.27; 28:12-19; 32:1-16). But, this dirge is also a parable or riddle (17:1-10). Ezekiel used the term princes to describe Judah’s kings (7:27; 12:10; 12:19).
Ezekiel 19:2 And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions. (KJV)
And say, what is thy mother? . . . Ezekiel was to say to the then reigning prince, Zedekiah, what is thy mother like? To what is she to be compared? Thy . . . one of these was upon the throne, and therefore the prophet speaks to one at a time. Mother . . . the land of Judea and Jerusalem, the chief city of it, the royal family of David.
A lioness . . . she is like a lioness, not for her strength and glory, but for her cruelty and violent seizure of property; for her utter lack of humanity, mercy and justice.
She lay down among lions . . . that is, kings, as the Targum interprets it. Heathen princes, the kings of the nations about them, as of Egypt and Babylon (Jer.50:17); so called for their oppressive and haphazard power, tyranny and cruelty. This lioness (the people of the Jews), lay down among them, joined with them in leagues and marriages, and learned their ways, and became of the same character and disposition.
She nourisheth her whelps among young lions . . . princes, as the Targum explains it; either the princes of Judah, who had become like young lions (Jer.5:6; 25:30; 50:17), fierce and cruel; or the princes of other nations, among whom the children of the royal family were brought up. They were trained up in the principles of haphazard and tyrannical power, and were taught to oppress their subjects, never doing any justice or mercy among them.
Ezekiel 19:3 And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men. (KJV)
And she brought up one of her whelps . . . or sons, as the Targum, meaning Jehoahaz. Brought up not as a nurse, but advanced, promoted or caused him to take the throne after the slaughter of Josiah (2 Ki.23:29-30). One of her whelps (2 Ki.23:31-32) this was Jehoahaz, the second son of Josiah. The people made him king; for God had not made him so by right of succession. The people saw him as a warlike prince, more fitted to sustain the troubles of those warlike times than his eldest brother, Johanan (1 Chron.3:15).
It become a young lion . . . a king, tyrannical and random, cunning and cruel, never having good assets, although the son of righteous Josiah. He never learned the goodness of his father. Jehoahaz soon showed his fierce, proud, cruel and bloody disposition (2 Ki.23:30-32), although he continued just three months, doing his wickedness.
And it learned to catch the prey. . . instructed by wicked counsellors, he soon learned to oppress his subjects, to steal their substance from them, and do many evil things (2 Ki.23:32). Learned . . . he had coaches and counsellors that showed him sinful ways; and he was a very apt student in a very evil school, learning very quickly to catch the prey . . . first seizing it, then tearing it to bits by fraud and violence . . . devouring what he took, as lions do.
It devoured men . . . he was an actual man-eater to his subjects, having no conscience when he would consume a poor man, seeking and sucking his blood . . . simply acting as if he were eating a meal when hungry (Ps.14:4; Jer.10:25; Amo.8:4; Mic.3:2-3). Devoured = eat up, lived upon. Lions here are evil men (Dan.Ch.7). http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_daniel_ch7.htm
Ezekiel 19:4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt. (KJV)
The nations also heard of him . . . the neighboring nations, mainly the Egyptians; heard the reputation of his behavior . . . how he used his own subjects, what plans he had formed and what arrangements he was making against his neighbors. His lion-like disposition and practices were soon publicly known and noticed. He did not last long in his tyranny.
He was taken in their pit . . . alludes to the way of hunting and taking lions. Tyrants do not stay long, those beasts are made to be taken and destroyed (Jer.22:11-12). Pharaohnecho, king of Egypt (2 Ki.23:33) came out against Jehoahaz, took him and put him in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign any more in Jerusalem, after he had been on the throne for just three months (2 Ki.23:31).
And they brought him with chains into the land of Egypt . . . or, with hooks in his nose (Isa.37:29). It is certain that Jehoahaz was put in bonds or fetters, and carried into Egypt, where he died (2 Ki.23:33). With chains or hooks, which were fastened in the noses of wild beasts (19:9).
Ezekiel 19:5 Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion. (KJV)
Now when she saw . . . meaning his mother, not his natural mother . . . but the congregation of Israel.
That she had waited . . . being very weak, the Jews found that they could not resist with any hope of success; so the king of Egypt was permitted to do as he pleased.
And her hope was lost . . . of his return to her and so being eased of the tribute imposed, and of being restored by him to liberty and glory; for the Lord had declared that he would return no more to his native country, but die in the place where he was carried captive (Jer.22:10).
Then she took another of her whelps . . . or sons, Jehoiakim.
And made him a young lion . . . a king, as the Targum paraphrases it; meaning Jehoiakim, the brother of Jehoahaz, who before was called Eliakim (2 Chron.36:4), but his name was changed by Pharaohnecho; and although he is said to make him king, yet it was by the approval of the Jews.
Ezekiel 19:6 And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men. (KJV)
And he went up and down among the lions . . . imitated the irresponsibility and tyranny of the surrounding kings (Jer.22:13-17). He became a perfect heathen, and made Judea just as idolatrous as any of the surrounding nations. He reigned eleven years and was a monster of iniquity (2 Ki.23:30). Of whom he learned to king it, and to lionize it (19:2-3).
He became a young lion . . . an oppressive prince, a cruel and tyrannical king.
And learned to catch the prey, and devoured men . . . he was notorious for his acts of injustice and unpredictable power; for keeping back wages of workmen, for his oppression, viciousness, violent seizure of people’s property and shedding of innocent blood (Jer.22:13). Learned to catch the prey . . . to do evil, gratifying his lusts by oppression (2 Ki.23:37). And devoured men (19:3).
Ezekiel 19:7 And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise of his roaring. (KJV)
And he knew their desolate palaces . . . he knew all the richest men of the nation, and plundered them of their treasure and wealth, making them desolate. He knew their desolate widows, he first killed their husbands, and then lay with the widows . . . the men he devoured, the women he deflowered. Such evil, immoral work this wicked prince made, until the Lord GOD took him in hand.
And he laid waste their cities . . . putting the inhabitants to death; or forcing them to leave, and go elsewhere, not being able to pay the taxes he imposed upon them, partly to support his own grandeur and luxury, and partly to pay the tribute to the king of Egypt.
And the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise of his roaring . . . the whole land was emptied of men, riches and strength by his threats, edicts and exactions . . . he so terrified the people, that although it once was full of men and riches, it became in a place destitute of both; the people left their houses, both in city and country, and fled elsewhere with what remained of their substance, being indicated by their agreeing that his character was that of a lion, to which he is compared (Pro.19:12). By the noise of his roaring . . . by the constant violent threats of this cruel king, which are called his roaring, which terrified his neighbors in the three years’ revolt which are mentioned (2 Ki.24:1-2).
Ezekiel 19:8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit. (KJV)
Then the nations set against him . . . the nations which were tributary to Nebuchadnezzar, and were certain to back him in his wars. The nations set against him were the Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites, Ammonites (2 Ki. 24:2).
On every side from the provinces . . . Nebuchadnezzar and his auxiliaries, which consisted of the people of the provinces all around, who were brought together, and placed round about Jerusalem, at the siege of it; mainly the bands of the Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites and Ammonites. The provinces which belonged to the Babylon Kingdom were governed by presidents, or minor kings, vassals to Nebuchadnezzar.
And spread their net over him . . . which may express both the policy, crafty and secret contrivances and plans of Jehoiakim's enemies; and of their external force and hostile power against him.
He was taken in their pit . . . which they dug for him, or by the means which they prepared for his ruin, and which they executed effectively. The symbol of a lion is carried on, and the manner of taking one is alluded to, which is commonly in pits. The people dug a pit where lions were known to come into, and cover it with reeds or small branches of trees, hoping to lure and catch them.
Ezekiel 19:9 And they put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel. (KJV)
And they put him in ward in chains . . . (19:4) or in an enclosure; or in a collar of iron around his neck, which had hooks in it, and to those hooks chains were attached, in which he was led a prisoner. It is certain that he was bound in shackles, in order to be carried to Babylon, although it is thought he never reached there, but died on the way (2 Chron.36:6). In chains: (2 Chron.36:6; Jer.22:18-19; 36:30-31)
And brought him to the king of Babylon. . . to Nebuchadnezzar, who came up against him with his army of many nations, he having rebelled against him; and, being taken by his soldiers, was brought to him in chains, wherever he was, whether outside the gates of Jerusalem, or some other place; it is not certain where he was.
They brought him into holds . . . places of confinement, one after another, on his way to Babylon; where, it seems, before he came there, he died, and was cast out on a dunghill, and had no burial, just as the prophet Jeremiah foretold (Jer.22:18-19).
That his voice should no more be heard in the mountains of Israel . . . in the kingdom of Israel, to the terror of its inhabitants, threatening them with death, if they did not answer his excessive demands; nor was it ever heard any more. The reference is still to a lion living in the mountains, and roaring after its prey, terrorizing other creatures.
Another Lament Describing the Desolation of the People (19:10-14)
Jerusalem was a vine (15:2, 6; 17:6-7), flourishing and fruitful. This vine is now destroyed, although not plucked up by the roots. She has by her wicked sinfulness become as kindling to the sparks of God's holy wrath, so that her own branches serve as fuel to burn her. Blessed be the Lord GOD, one Branch of the vine (Isa.4:2; 11:1; Jer.23:5; 33:15; Zec.3:8; 6:12), here referred to, is not only become a strong rod of iron (Ps.2:9), and the scepter of righteousness (Heb.1:8), but He Himself is the True and Living Vine (John Ch. 15). This indeed should be a time of rejoicing for all the TRUE people of God throughout all generations.
Ezekiel 19:10 Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. (KJV)
Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood . . . thy mother, O thou prince of Israel (19:2). Thy mother is Judah or Jerusalem. Jehoiachin is still addressed. Another example is here used, involving the same person, before compared to a lioness, but here compared to a vine, as the people of the Jews often are (Ps.80:8; Isa.5:1-7; 27:2-3; Jer.2:21; Eze.15:6; 17:6; 19:10). It is still the same person who is here addressed, the then reigning prince, Zedekiah, whose mother was the Jewish people, from where he had sprung, and was like a vine; especially with respect to his blood, the royal family from he had descended. In thy blood . . . blood is the same as life (Gen.9:4). The quality of a vine is in her fruitful branches; the glory of a mother is in her honorable children. Jeremiah was to write Jehoiachin childless (Jer.22:30). Ezekiel here takes an over-all view of the king and princes of the blood royal.
Planted by the waters . . . in hot countries vines required water, and thrived much better when planted in moist places. This may mean the many privileges, blessings, laws and ordinances which greatly advantaged the Jewish people; both in their civil and religious state.
She was fruitful and full of branches, by reason of many waters . . . She was fruitful, and thrived, bringing forth much fruit (17:8). Although many thousands were carried away, more were born and trained up for useful arts and employments. The royal family did spring up like a vine well-watered vine. Full of branches; many princes, full of children; when Josiah died he left four behind him (1 Chron.3:15), beside other branches of the royal line. Many waters is probably the well-watered land of Canaan (Deut.8:7-9).
Ezekiel 19:11 And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches. (KJV)
And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bear rule . . . strong rods; many excellent persons gifted with qualifications suitable for kings, that they might sway the scepter, and rule the people with equity. Zedekiah had many sons, who were like branches coming from the vine of which the prophet speaks here. This vine exalted and flattered herself with the multitude of her branches. Zedekiah forgot God, and imitated the crimes of Jehoiachim (Jer.52:1-2), whom the Scripture rebukes with pride, ambition, cruelty and injustice (Jer.22:13-14, 18; Mic.3:10; Hab.2:9-11).
And her stature was exalted among the thick branches . . . her stature, the grandeur of the kings and kingdom. Exalted among the thick branches . . . high above the normal majesty of other kingdoms. Zedekiah grew proud of his numerous offspring and prosperity; and even though he copied the example of Jehoiakim, he thought he could rebel against the king of Babylon. The sense seems to be that in the days of David and Solomon, and some others, it greatly exceeded all the kingdoms of the nations around it.
And she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches . . . Israel was like a mighty tree that stands far above all others in the forest. She was seen and taken notice of for the multitude of her people, and for the splendor of her state. She was a goodly kingdom above all kingdoms, and it was seen and noted, according to God’s Promise that it should be the head, and not the tail (Deut.28:13, 44).
Ezekiel 19:12 But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. (KJV)
But she was plucked up in fury . . . plucked up not slowly withered. This vine turned into a corrupt plant of a strange vine (Jer.2:21). The Jews had become so wicked and disobedient to the Lord GOD, utterly disregarding His laws and ordinances . . . which rightfully brought about His Holy and righteous wrath! In His fervent fury, He let the Assyrians in among them, who at once carried off ten tribes. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin did not take warning, but continued in increasing sinful ways, and a great part of them were carried captive into Babylon, with their king Jehoiachin or Jeconiah (2 Ki.24:6), who succeeded Jehoiakim before mentioned; when the kingdom seemed to be utterly ruined and destroyed, and is what is referred to here: she was plucked up in fury . . . Jerusalem; taken after a violent and most destructive siege; Nebuchadnezzar was furious at Zedekiah for breaking his oath to him (17:13, 15).
She was cast down to the ground . . . this expresses how Nebuchadnezzar overthrew the entire nation, for when a vine is plucked up . . . if it is not immediately planted again, but left on the ground, there is no hope for it. This may mean the desperate case of these people at this time, being in captivity. So the Targum paraphrases both clauses, and it was rooted up with strength out of the land of the house of the Shechinah, and translated into another land. Glory of God, Shekinah: (Eze.1:28; 3:12, 23; 8:4; 9:3; 10:19; 11:22-23; 39:21; 43:2, 4-5; 44:4).
What is the Shekinah Glory? What is Shekinah Glory? Is This In The Bible?
Glory of God, Shekinah: (Eze.1:28; 3:12, 23; 8:4; 9:3; 10:19; 11:22-23; 39:21; 43:2, 4-5; 44:4)
Jesus’s glory as God was veiled in human flesh but at times His glory, the so-called Shekinah glory, was revealed. What is the Shekinah glory of God? What does the word “Shekinah” mean? It is not in the Bible, so why do we need to know what this word means regarding God’s Glory? The word Shekinah is from the Hebrew word “shekinot” and actually is in the Bible where God is said to “settle in” or “dwell with.” This word means where God is dwelling, settling or where His Divine Presence is. This Glory is seen when God’s glory filled the Temple and even in the wilderness where He was a Light during the night and the Shekinah cloud of His Glory shaded Israel in the scorching sun of the desert. His Presence was revealed by the intense light that filled the Tabernacle, the Temple in Jerusalem and even in the Transfiguration on the Mount (Mat. 17), where Jesus shone as bright as the sun when He spoke with Moses and Elijah. Shekinah, a wonderful thing!
The east wind dried up her fruit . . . (17:10), the east wind is a burning, drying wind, meaning here Nebuchadnezzar and his army, compared to an east wind, being hurtful and threatening, as the east wind is to trees and fruit, and because Babylon lay northeast of Judea. The fruit of the vine means the people of the land, with their wealth and riches, which were seized and wasted, or carried into Babylon. The Targum says, and a king strong as the east wind slew her people.
Her strong rods were broken and withered . . . or strong rod; the singular for the plural; which may mean King Jeconiah for the most part, who with his mother, wives, princes, and officers, and the mighty of the land, even all the mighty men of valour, with the craftsmen and smiths, were taken and carried captive (2 Ki.24:14). Her strong rods were broken . . . the children of Zedekiah were slain before his eyes, and after that his own eyes pulled out; and he was laden with chains, and carried into Babylon (2 Ki.25:6-7).
*****Nebuchadrezzar was greatly irritated by the disloyalty of Zedekiah, who, without any regard to his covenant, had entered into a league with the king of Egypt, came and besieged Jerusalem, took it, and put to death the sons of Zedekiah in the presence of their father. See 2 Kings 25:6-7. Thus the vine was torn up, cast to the ground, withered, and consumed in the fire. Fire in the Scripture most commonly means war.
Ezekiel 19:13 And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. (KJV)
And now she is planted in the wilderness . . . and now, at that present time she is planted, how different from what she was . . . a brand pulled out of the burnings (Zec.3:2). It is not said who planted them, but it is easy to guess Nebuchadnezzar planted them in policy and for his advantage. They planted themselves out of need, and God planted them there in correcting mercy, and will give them root, and make them thrive, and then transplant them after 70 years, and set them on the mountains of Israel again. Wilderness . . . in the land of Chaldea, where the people had been carried captives; and which, compared with their own land, was to them a dreary desert.
In a dry and thirsty ground . . . which is an indirect description of a wilderness (Ps.63:1); and means the same place as before; where the Jews were deprived of their liberties, and had no opportunities of divine worship, the word and ordinances; and were deprived of the comforts of both civil and religious life. Unless this is to be understood of the land of Judea, which by the devastation made in it by the king of Babylon, and the multitudes that were carried captive by him out of it, it became like a desert, a dry and thirsty land; and so the vine planted in it indicates the people remaining in it, after the great destruction; when it looked like a vine plucked up and thrown down (19:12), and left on the ground, dried up with the east wind, and burnt with fire . . . and so it would be with the remnant in a short time later, as the next words show. In a dry and thirsty ground so it was to them, they lacked there the waters of the sanctuary, and many other comforts of their own country (Ps.137:1-6).
Ezekiel 19:14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation. (KJV)
And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches . . . Zedekiah, by his perjury and rebellion (17:13, 15) had ruined it all, set all on fire. Fire is gone out . . . a mean, murderous disposition had taken hold. Of a rod of her branches . . . the rod of them, King Zedekiah, then on the throne when this prophecy was given, her branches mean the rest of the Jews left in the land; and the fire is said to go out of him indicates his rebellion against the king of Babylon, his breaking covenant and oath with him, which greatly provoked the Lord GOD, and brought down the fire of His wrath upon him (2 Ki.24:20).
Which hath devoured her fruit . . . she was destroyed by sword, famine pestilence and captivity; indeed, the city and Temple of Jerusalem, the palaces and houses there were burned; their king was taken, and his eyes put out; his sons were slain, and all the princes of Judah (2 Ki.25:6-7).
So that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule . . . there was none to be king, none to succeed in the kingdom; there never was a king after of the family of David, or of the tribe of Judah, until Shiloh the Messiah came (Luke 2); and even though there were princes and governors, yet there was no king. The Targum is, and there came people who were strong as fire, and, because of the sins of her pride, slew her people; and there were not in her strong rulers, kings that are mighty to subdue kingdoms.
This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation . . . (19:1) meaning this prophecy, the Targum is, a lamentation, or matter of lamentation; what of it had been already fulfilled occasioned lamentation; and, when the rest should be fulfilled, it would be the cause of more. Deplorable was the case of the Jews already, but it would be much worse when all that was foretold of them should be accomplished. It indicates their continuing in their sad estate. Part of the lament, that of Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim (2 Ki.23:34; 2 Chron.36:4) was matter of history already accomplished; part, as to Zedekiah (2 Ki.24:20, 25:7). This prophecy is both a subject for lamentation, and shall be so to distant generations to come. The Jews shall never lack matter for mourning.
These predictions shall be so punctually fulfilled, and the catastrophe shall be so complete, that it shall always remain as a lamentation; as this state of Jerusalem shall never be restored. Even to the present day this, to a Jew, is a subject of mourning.
What is the Shekinah Glory?
What is Shekinah Glory? Is This In The Bible?
Glory of God, Shekinah: (Eze.1:28; 3:12, 23; 8:4; 9:3; 10:19; 11:22-23; 39:21; 43:2, 4-5; 44:4)
Jesus’s glory as God was veiled in human flesh but at times His glory, the so-called Shekinah glory, was revealed. What is the Shekinah glory of God?
What does the word “Shekinah” mean? It is not in the Bible, so why do we need to know what this word means regarding God’s Glory? The word Shekinah is from the Hebrew word “shekinot” and actually is in the Bible where God is said to “settle in” or “dwell with.” This word means where God is dwelling, settling or where His Divine Presence is. This Glory is seen when God’s glory filled the Temple and even in the wilderness where He was a light during the night and the Shekinah cloud of His Glory shaded Israel in the scorching sun of the desert. His Presence was revealed by the intense light that filled the Tabernacle, the Temple in Jerusalem and even in the Transfiguration on the Mount (Mat. 17), where Jesus shone as bright as the sun when He spoke with Moses and Elijah.
Jesus’ Glory of the Transfiguration
Jesus partially revealed His Shekinah Glory on a mountain and allowed Peter, James and John to see this awesome Glory. This is why the Apostle John said that Jesus “dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (Jn.1:14); and that Jesus is “the light of men.” John 1:4-7 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. (KJV) . . . Christ Jesus is the very essence and nature of God as light and that is part of His Shekinah Glory which was why John said “we have seen his glory.”
*****Consider the following: Nine good Kings of Israel: (1). David (1 Ki.11:4, 33); (2). Asa 1 Ki.15:11). (3). Jehoshaphat (1 Ki.22:43). (4). Jehoash (2 Ki.12:2). (5). Amaziah (2 Ki.14:3). (6). Uzziah (2 Ki.15:3). (7). Jotham (Ki.15:34). (8). Hezekiah (2 Ki.18:3). (9). Josiah (2 Ki.22:2).
There was NOT even one king in the any of the kings of the Northern Kingdom that was godly. Three reasons why judgment fell upon Solomon. (1). His heart was turned away from the LORD (1 Ki.11:1-4, 9). (2). He went after other gods (1 Ki.11:10). (3). He did not keep God's covenant and statutes (1 Ki.11:11).
The Kings of Israel (all were wicked)
Jeroboam I (933-911) 22 years Evil (1 Ki.12:19; 2 Chron.10:2)
Nadab (911-910) 2 years Evil (1 Ki.15:25)
Baasha (910-887) 24 years Evil (1 Ki.15:27)
Elah (887-886) 2 years Evil (1 Ki. 16:8)
Zimri (886) 7 days Evil (1 Ki. 16:9)
Omri (886-875) 12 years Evil (1 Ki.16:17)
Ahab (875-854) 22 years Evil (1 Ki.16:29; 2 Chron.18:1)
Ahaziah (855-854) 2 years Evil (1 Ki. 22:40)
Jehoram (Joram) (854-843) 12 years Evil (2 Ki.3:1; 2 Chron.22:7)
Jehu (843-816) 28 years Evil (2 Ki.9:2; 2 Chron.22:7)
Jehoahaz (820-804) 17 years Evil (2 Ki.13:1)
Jehoash (Joash) (806-790) 16 years Evil (2 Ki.13:10; 2 Chron.25:7)
Jeroboam II (790-749) 41 years Evil (2 Ki.14;16)
Zechariah (748) 6 months Evil (2 Ki.14:29)
Shallum (748) 1 month Evil (2 Ki.15:10)
Menahem (748-738) 10 years Evil (2 Ki.15:14)
Pekahiah (738-736) 2 years Evil (2 Ki.15:22)
Pekah (748-730) 20 years Evil (2 Ki.15:25)
Hoshea (730-721) 9 years Evil (2 Ki.15:30)
Assyrian Captivity (722) (2 Ki.17:1)
The Kings of Israel reigned from 930 BC - 722 BC (208 years) and ALL were evil.
ALL the kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were evil. They all followed in the ways of the first king Jeroboam I who worshipped idols. The Lord GOD finally cast them out of His sight, the Assyrians carried them away in 722 BC. 2 Kings 17:16 And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. (KJV)
The Kings of Judah
1 Kings 12:17 But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. (KJV)
The Southern Kingdom was made up of 2 tribes (Judah and Benjamin). The kingdom extended in the north as far as Bethel, while in the south it ended in the dry area known as the Negev. Its eastern and western boundaries were the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Jerusalem was its capital and it lasted from about 922-586 B.C.
The Kings of Judah (8 were good)
Rehoboam (933-916) 17 years Evil (1 Ki.12:1; 2Chron.10:1)
Abijam (915-913) 3 years Evil (1 Ki.15:1; 2 chron.13:1)
Asa (912-872) 41 years Good (1 Ki.15:9; 2 Chron.14:1)
Jehoshaphat (874-850) 25 years Good (1 Ki.22:41; 2 Chron.17:1)
Jehoram (850-843) 8 years Evil (1 Ki.22:50; 2 Chron.21:1)
Ahaziah (843) 1 year Evil (2 Ki.8:24; 2 Chron.22:1)
Athaliah (843-837) 6 years (2 Ki.11:1; 2 Chron.22:10)
Joash (843-803) 40 years Good (2 Ki.11:4; 2 Chron.23:1)
Amaziah (803-775) 29 years Good (2 Ki.14:1; 2 Chron.25:1)
Azariah (Uzziah) (787-735) 52 years Good (2 Ki.15:1; 2 Chron.26:1)
Jotham (749-734) 16 years Good (2 Ki.15:32; 2 Chron.27:1)
Ahaz (741-726) 16 years Evil (2 Ki.15:38; 2 Chron.28:1)
Hezekiah (726-697) 29 years Good (2 Ki.18:1. 2 Chron.29:1)
Manasseh (697-642) 55 years Evil (2 Ki.21:1; 2 Chron.33:1)
Amon (641-640) 2 years Evil (2 Ki.21:19; 2 Chron.33:21)
Josiah (639-608) 31 years Good (2 Ki.22:1; 2 Chron.34:1)
Jehoahaz (608) 3 months Evil (2 Ki.23:31; 2 Chron.36:1)
Jehoiachim (608-597) 11 years Evil (2 Ki.23:36; 2 Chron.36:4)
Jehoiachin or Jeconiah (597) 3 months Evil (2 Ki.24:6; 2 Chron.36:9)
Zedekiah (597-586) 11 years Evil (2 Ki.24:17; 2 Chron.36:11)
The Babylonian Captivity (586 BC) (2 Ki.25:1; 2 Chron.36:13)
Kings of Judah 8 Good, 11 Bad 387 Years
There were 8 good kings ruling the Southern Kingdom of Judah, all the rest were evil. After Josiah reigned there was no hope for Judah, the last 4 kings were evil. Babylon came and captured Jerusalem in 597 BC. A second attack led to Jerusalem's second defeat in 586 BC. Captives from both campaigns were taken to Babylon to mark the captivity of the Southern Kingdom.
The Lord GOD said that He would split the tribes of Israel because of Solomon’s disobedience and unfaithfulness.
1 Kings 11:9-13 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. 11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. 12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. 13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen. (KJV)
And He did just that!
1 Kings 12:16-20 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents. 17 But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18 Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.
20 And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. (KJV)
The United Kingdom of Israel lasted through the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon. After Solomon died, the kingdom split: the ten tribes (Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) and Benjamin) of ISRAEL with their capital up in Samaria, and the tribes of Benjamin and Judah forming the kingdom of JUDAH with their capital at Jerusalem.
The Northern Kingdom of Israel lasted a little over 200 years before it was slowly conquered by the Assyrians, and by 721 B.C. they had nearly all been taken into exile to Assyria (2 Ki.17:1-23). The vast majority of them never returned, and have become known as the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.
The Southern Kingdom of Judah, about 135 years later, in 586 B.C., was conquered by the Babylonians, and the Jews were taken into captivity to Babylon. The original Temple of God in Jerusalem was destroyed at that time. The people of the Southern Kingdom of Judah did return after Babylon fell to the Persians, and their descendants have become the Jewish people of today.
After the death of King Solomon of Israel, the 12 tribes of Israel divided into two kingdoms. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, became king of the southern kingdom of Judah, which was made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and much of the tribe of Levi, the tribe that served at the Temple. Jeroboam, a former servant of King Solomon, became king of the northern kingdom of Israel, which was made up the remaining 10 tribes (1 Kings 11 and 12). Even though all the tribes were descendants of Jacob, also called Israel, (Gen.32:28; 35:10) and were known as Israelites under the single nation with this name, these peoples were now separated into two nations.
What happened to Israel and Judah?
It is important to see the difference between the people of these two nations: Israel and Judah. While all Jews were Israelites because they were descendants of Jacob (Israel), not all Israelites were Jews. Some Israelites came from tribes other than Judah and Benjamin. Considering this difference, the first time the word Jew appears in the King James Version of the Bible, the nations of Israel and Syria are at war with the “Jews” (2 Ki.
Because of disobedience to His laws, God allowed the Northern Kingdom of Israel to be taken into captivity by the Assyrians in the eighth century B.C. The Assyrians took these Israelites captive in successive deportations and settled them in the cities of the Medes (2 Ki.17:6; 18:11). Since this time, these people are known in history as the lost 10 tribes of Israel.
Less than 150 years later, during the sixth century B.C., God allowed the nation of Judah, which also continued to sin, to fall to the Babylon Empire. Many Jews, including the prophet Daniel and his three friends, were taken as captives to Babylon. After 70 years, the Jews were given their freedom and allowed to return to Judah and rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple. They were still in their land when the Romans conquered Judea in 63 B.C.
Israel and Judah in the first century
Although there had been some mixing of the peoples of Israel and Judah during their particular captivities, during the first century it was still understood that they remained distinct groups of people. Since he was of the tribe of Benjamin, the apostle Paul said that he was both a Jew (Acts 21:39) and a Hebrew (Phil.3:5).
When James wrote his Letter, he addressed it to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad (Jam.1:1). Writing during this same time period, Josephus the Jewish historian said, “The entire body of the people of Israel remained in that country; wherefore there are but two tribes [Judah and Benjamin] in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers” (Antiquities of the Jews, 11.5.2, Complete Works of Flavius Josephus).
The modern nation of Israel
When the modern nation of Israel was founded in 1948, it was established as a refuge or sanctuary for Jews. Some have incorrectly supposed that because its founders chose the name Israel, this nation is now home for all of the descendants of ancient Israel. Several passages in the Bible make it clear that the modern nation of Israel does not represent all of the ancient Israelites. The Bible states that Abraham’s descendants would be a very large number of people . . . as the sand of the sea (Gen.32:12). The modern nation of Israel’s population is approaching 8 million, compared to the earth’s current population of in the area of 7 billion, the belief that the modern nation of Israel represents all of Abraham’s descendants does not fully do justice to the Promise God made to Abraham. In addition, Abraham’s descendant Ephraim was prophesied to become a multitude of nations; and his brother, Manasseh, a great nation (Gen.48:19).
God tells us through Ezekiel, His plan to unite the two nations once again!
Ezekiel 37:16-22 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: 17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. 18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? 19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. 20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. 21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: (KJV)
All the descendants of the ancient Israelites who had been part of the ancient nations of Israel and Judah will be reunited. The Bible tells us that Israel and Judah will one day be reunited as ONE nation.
Book of Ezekiel
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