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The Judges, part 1

Apr 15, 2019

Moses warned Israel that if they cast aside His law in rebellion against God (who was their King), He would bring judgment upon the nation. The list of judgments is seen clearly in Deuteronomy 28, wherein we are given the laws of tribulation. Such judgment was to be progressive in nature, for if they persisted in their rebellion, the tribulation would increase. In the end, they would be placed under an “iron yoke” (Deuteronomy 28:48), which meant that they would be exiled to foreign lands where they would serve other gods (Deuteronomy 28:64).

The lesser judgments, as we learn later through Jeremiah, were pictured as a “wooden yoke,” that is, a lighter sentence. A wooden yoke assumed that the people would accept God’s judgment and submit to the rule of foreigners that God raised up to enslave them for a season. We are given many examples of this wooden yoke captivity in the book of Judges and 1 Samuel. These were Israel’s captivities during the three centuries between the death of Joshua and the death of King Saul.

Moses’ warning was based on his prophetic knowledge that Israel would indeed rebel, violate their covenant with God, and ultimately be exiled to foreign lands. So he told them plainly in Deuteronomy 31:29,

29 For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, for you will do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.

Moses’ words proved to be true. Just 42 years after their Jordan crossing, they experienced their first captivity. This was just 14 years after the death of Joshua. It is hard to believe that they could fall so quickly into rebellion. During the next three centuries, they spent more than a third of their history in captivity to a variety of foreign nations.

Yet the Israelites were allowed to remain in their land as they paid tribute to their foreign masters. Such is the nature of a wooden yoke. But these wooden yokes ended later, first when Israel was deported to Assyria and a century later when Judah was deported to Babylon. The era of the iron yoke brought both Israel and Judah into a long-term captivity of “seven times” (i.e., 7 x 360 years), which did not end until 2017. Babylon is now being brought into divine judgment for refusing to relinquish dominion over the world, as prophesied in Jeremiah 50:33, 34.

The Deliverers, or Saviors

The book of Judges gives us the history of the captivities and the manner in which God raised up judges to deliver the Israelites after they repented. Each of these are types of Christ in the sense that they delivered the people from bondage. They “saved” the nation from captivity, which made them “saviors,” foreshadowing a greater salvation that was to come through Jesus. His Hebrew name, Yeshua, literally means “Salvation.”

Later, the ninth chapter of Nehemiah recounts those days wherein Israel was delivered from captivities. Nehemiah 9:27 reads,

27 Therefore Thou didst deliver them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them. But when they cried to Thee in the time of their distress, Thou didst hear from heaven, and according to Thy great compassion Thou didst give them deliverers [yasha] who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors.

Yasha is the root of the name Yeshua. It can also be translated “savior.” In fact, the KJV translates this word as “saviours.” Though Yeshua-Jesus is the ultimate Savior, there are many types of Christ who are also saviors that play an essential role in the history of the Kingdom.

Obadiah 21 prophesies about the deliverance in the latter days from the descendants of Esau,

21 The deliverers [yasha] will ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain [kingdom] of Esau, and the kingdom will be the Lord’s.

The NASB again renders yasha as “deliverers,” but again, the KJV translates yasha as “saviours.” Both are correct, but I prefer saviours, because it suggests that these Judges are types of Christ.

Obadiah shows that Esau-Edom was to hold dominion in the latter days. The implication is that when Edom is brought into judgment, then “the kingdom will be the Lord’s.” Thus, one must know the history of Esau-Edom and how he would come to hold dominion in the latter days if one hopes to understand what is going on today in the latter days. Though it is Mystery Babylon that gets the most attention, we must also understand that Esau’s descendants have taken the top positions in Babylon. Hence, Esau too is slated for divine judgment for refusing to release the people and to implement the law of Jubilee.

I gave that history in my book, The Struggle for the Birthright.

Obadiah also shows that there is more than one deliverer in the latter days, for his term is plural. In other words, in the latter days God will raise up Judges once again who will act in some way as deliverers and saviors in the overthrow of both Babylon and Esau.

The Early Judges

There are seven or eight judges in the first few centuries of Israel’s history in the Promised Land. Taken together as a group, they represent a body of saviors whose collective feats more closely resemble the final Savior, Yeshua the Messiah. Their names are prophetic as well, and when we study those names, a hidden message emerges to reward our efforts with greater understanding.

We will study each of these names in turn, but here is the overall revelation in their names, which we will prove afterward:

“The voice of God united in His sons (in an orderly manner that is subject to God’s Word) will fell the enemy and open the Ark to show forth the light of the Sun.”

The list of Judges are as follows:

1. Othniel
2. Ehud
3, 4. Barak and Deborah
5. Gideon
6. Jephthah
7. The Ark (with Samuel)
8. Samson

We will describe each of their ministries in their turn.

First Captivity Patterns

Israel’s first captivity was to “Chushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia,” the old name of Babylon which means “land between the two rivers.” (Judges 3:8). By the Law of First Mention, the first captivity is the pattern-setter for all the other captivities. It is most important because it was a captivity to a king of Babylon (under its old name). Babylon, of course, figured very prominently in a later captivity in the time of Daniel and Jeremiah. Mystery Babylon is the final form of captivity before the great deliverance at the end of the age.

Israel’s captivity to the king of Mesopotamia lasted just eight years, but these years established a more long-term pattern in terms of eight cycles of Cursed Time (8 x 414 years). If you study my book, Secrets of Time, chapter 10, you will see that this captivity was dated from the year 2530 to 2538 (years from Adam). Israel had crossed the Jordan in 2488, and the captivity came 42 years later in 2530.

By converting the years from Adam to our present way of reckoning on our modern calendar, the captivity began in 1365 B.C. Two cycles of 414 years later came to 537 B.C., the year that Babylon fell in Daniel 5.

Another six cycles of 414 years brings us to the year 1948 A.D., the year that the Israeli state was founded. From the fall of old Babylon until 1948 the dominion mandate was passed down to Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the extensions (“horns”) in various forms until 1948, when Esau was given the dominion mandate to fulfill Isaac’s prophecy in Genesis 27:40 KJV. Since Jacob had taken the dominion mandate from Esau by lying and by identity theft, Esau had a valid case against Jacob in the divine court. Hence, the dominion had to returned to him at some point in history in order for justice to be done.

The descendants of Esau-Edom were later conquered and absorbed by the Judeans under John Hyrcanus in 126-125 B.C., as we read in virtually all history books that deal with that topic. The first-century Jewish historian, Josephus, tells us in Antiquities of the Jews, XIII, ix, 1,

“Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea [the Greek name for Edom], and subdued all the Idumeans, and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would be circumcised and make use of the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision and the rest of the Jews’ ways of living; at which time therefore, this befell them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews.”

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia states more plainly on page 587,

“The Edomites were conquered by John Hyrcanus who forcibly converted them to Judaism, and from then on they constituted a part of the Jewish people.”

The Jewish Encyclopedia, under Edom, says further,

“From this time the Idumeans ceased to be a separate people.”

Hence, the descendants of Esau, who was called “Edom” (Genesis 36:8), was later known by the Greek name Idumea. They ceased to be a nation separate from the Jews in 125 B.C. This merger had huge prophetic implications, for at that point the Jews themselves had two sets of prophecies to fulfill—one for Judah itself and the other for Edom.

Of course, if either group had come under the New Covenant through Jesus Christ, they could have become a new creation, avoiding the judgments written in Scripture. But as long as they remain under the Old Covenant, they are subject to the prophecies of the cursed fig tree and the prophecies in Obadiah, Isaiah 34:6-10, and Malachi 1:1-4 regarding Edom. Fortunately, many individuals among them have come to Christ and have thereby reversed the curses, at least on their own behalf.

The year 1948, being the end of 8 x 414 years dating back to Israel’s first captivity, was an extremely important turning point in prophetic history. It marked the point where Esau-Edom received the dominion mandate from Babylon, carrying on the secretive policy of “Mystery” Babylon. The dominion mandate itself dated back to Genesis 1:26 and was the divine right to rule the earth. Hence, from 1948 to the present time, Esau has had dominion even over Mystery Babylon.

By understanding the big picture and how Israel’s first captivity to the king of Mesopotamia set the pattern even for the latter days, we are able to see through the “mystery” of secret governments in the latter days. The rise of Othniel as the first judge, deliverer, or savior, also instructs the overcomers in our time about how we ourselves may be types of Christ in bringing deliverance to the world.

In part 2 we will look at the prophecy inherent in Othniel and the other judges.

This is part 1 of a series titled "The Judges" To view all parts, click the link below.

The Judges

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Category: Teachings
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones