Cursed Time for Amalek and Saul
When Israel came out of Egypt, they were met by their first enemies, the Amalekites, who attacked them from the rear. In the ensuing battle, Moses stood on a hill overlooking the battleground. Exodus 17:11-16 reads,
11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua; for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi; 16 For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
Thirty-eight years after this battle with Amalek, as Moses gave his series of speeches to Israel just before they crossed the Jordan, he reminded Israel of this in Deuteronomy 25:17-19,
17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt, 18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19 Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
God put Amalek under a curse. Strangely enough, however, after giving instructions not to forget what Amalek did, God seemed to forget about it for centuries until the time of king Saul. But once we understand the principle of Cursed Time, we can see why God waited until the time of Saul (1 Samuel 15). Cursed Time, as you may recall, is a grace period, during which God gives opportunity to repent and get off Cursed Time. Thus, God gave Amalek precisely 414 years of grace. They did not repent, so God told Saul to bring judgment upon Amalek.
Saul’s Call to Judge Amalek
We established on page 24 that Saul’s reign extended 40 years, from the years 2845 to 2884. The Bible does not specifically tell us what year God told Saul to destroy the Amalekites, but we do know that this job fell to Saul. God’s curse upon Amalek came in the year of the Exodus (2448), and thus, 414 years later would fall in the year 2862, the 18th year of king Saul.
When Amalek’s grace period had ended, and they obviously had not repented of their sin in attacking Israel, God told Saul in 1 Samuel 15:3-9,
3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.… 7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. 8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag…
King Agag was the head of the Amalekite nation. As such, he was the representative of the nation and the focal point of the curse. The Scriptures are clear that Saul should have executed him. But Saul spared him, and the people concurred (1 Sam. 15:9).
A godly judge, whether Levite or king, was to “minister in the name of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:7). That is, they were not called to legislate their own laws but to agree with God and enforce His laws. They were not to add their own humanistic ideals of right and wrong, but were to learn and understand God’s moral views (Deuteronomy 4:2). King Saul disobeyed God’s decree, and spared Agag. In so doing, he took upon himself the penalty that would have come upon Agag.
We find this principle clearly stated in 1 Kings 20:42, when (many years later) king Ahab spared the life of Ben-hadad, king of Syria.
42 And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.
Sure enough, we find that king Ahab eventually was killed by a Syrian (1 Kings 22:34-35). We can see from this that when God raises up a judge (as head of government or in some official capacity), that judge is responsible before God to pass sentence according to the law of God. If he does not do so, that same problem will come around and eventually bite him. Ahab spared a Syrian, so a Syrian eventually killed Ahab.
In the case of Saul, who spared Agag the Amalekite, we find a curious situation surrounding his death. The night before the battle where Saul died, he consulted the witch of Endor in order to bring up Samuel’s spirit (1 Samuel 28). Samuel told Saul that he would die the next day because he had refused to execute Agag, the Amalekite (1 Sam. 28:18). Saul then committed suicide upon losing a battle with the Philistines (1 Sam. 31:4). However, an Amalekite took credit for his death (2 Sam. 1:1-10), and so David executed that Amalekite. That unfortunate Amalekite represented his entire nation and prophesied the truth as their spokesman. He took credit for killing Saul. His personal motive was to get a reward from David; but God’s purpose was to show us God’s judgment of Saul for sparing king Agag.
It is interesting to note that Saul died in the 22nd year after he spared Agag; while king Ahab died in his 22nd year as well. Both Saul and Ahab died because they had refused to obey God and execute His righteous sentence.
These biblical examples establish the principle that a judge is called only to be the executor of God’s judgments. If he deviates from this (in effect, disagreeing with God), then he is held accountable to God for his own decision (traditions of men). If he merely does what God requires, then is he clear. We should hasten to mention that this principle should not be used to condone vigilante activity. There are many who say they are called to be God’s judges, but who are actually self-called. I cannot determine other people’s callings, but I do know that for every legitimate call there are at least a hundred who are deluded. In this case, just because God’s law mandates certain sentences be carried out for certain offenses, this does not obligate the average Christian under God to carry out those sentences. Both Saul and Ahab were kings of Israel and were thus called to act on a level not given to the average citizen. Some tend to assume more authority than God has given them, and usually their motive is hatred or bitterness in the heart, rather than any true obedience to God.
Samuel Mitigates Saul’s Liability
Saul became liable for Agag’s penalty when he spared Agag’s life. When Samuel discovered what had happened, he “hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal” (1 Sam. 15:33). This execution brought a degree of mercy to Saul. Saul himself would have died according to Cursed Time, had Samuel not executed Agag. We find, however, that Saul lived another 22 years and died in his 40th year—the year 2884 from Adam.
Saul died precisely 434 years after the nation of Israel had refused to enter Canaan under Moses (2884 – 2450 = 434 years). This is what we call “Judged Time." We mentioned on pages 8-9 the difference between Blessed Time (490 years), Judged Time (434 years), and Cursed Time (414 years). The obedient ones tend to manifest cycles of 490 days or 490 years; those in rebellion or disobedience manifest judgment cycles of 414 days or years; but the late obedient manifest 434 days or years.
The nation of Israel entered Canaan 38 years late (Deut. 2:14), and as a result of their late obedience, they were given two distinct 434-year periods of history leading up to the Babylonian captivity. Saul participated in Israel’s national sin in his own way, and thus his life ended precisely 434 years after Israel’s rebellion. (See chart above.) Yet if Samuel had not executed Agag, I believe Saul would have died 20 years earlier, or 414 years after Israel’s rebellion. In effect, Samuel added 20 years to Saul’s life. His execution of Agag legally changed Saul’s actions from disobedient to late obedient.
David’s Test in His 18th Year
Some may question the wisdom of adding 20 years to the life of an oppressive king. It was necessary, however, because David was only eight years old at the time. If Saul had died on Cursed Time in place of king Agag, David would have been too young to become king over Israel. We can figure David’s age quite easily. David was 30 when Saul died in 2884. The Scriptures give us his age when he was crowned king at Hebron shortly after Saul’s death (2 Sam. 5:4). If the incident with Agag occurred in Saul’s 18th year (22 years before the death of Saul), then David would have been only eight years old at the time.
After Saul’s offense, Samuel mourned for Saul, but God told him to go to the house of Jesse in Bethlehem to anoint the next king of Israel (1 Sam. 16:1). He went and examined each of David’s older brothers, all of whom God rejected. David was then called out of the pasture where he was watching over the sheep. Samuel anointed him king that day (1 Sam. 16:13). He was the eighth son of Jesse and eight years old at the time.
While we cannot prove this absolutely, there is some circumstantial evidence that seems to support it. Many years later, David’s son Absalom led a revolt against his father, and rather than fight his own son, David fled Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15). We find that this revolt came “after forty years” (2 Sam. 15:7), but we are not told from what date. It is certainly not 40 years of David’s reign, for he only reigned 40 years in all. The only way we can make sense of this chronological statement is that Absalom revolted 40 years after David was first anointed by Samuel at the age of eight.
If this is the case, then David was 48 years old when Absalom revolted. It was David’s 18th year, or 40 years after Saul’s 18th year, when he spared king Agag.
The number 18 is used in the Bible to indicate “captivity or bondage." It appears to have been the time of crisis for both Saul and David. The difference is that David passed the test, while Saul did not.
Saul Consults the Witch of Endor
When Saul refused to kill king Agag, the Amalekite king, Samuel told him that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (1 Sam. 15:23). Saul tried to appease Samuel, but the prophet told him that since he had rejected the Word of the Lord, God had rejected him from being king (1 Sam. 15:26). From that time on, Samuel refused to see Saul (1 Sam. 15:35), though he mourned for him. At that point, God had Samuel go to Bethlehem to anoint David, the son of Jesse. We read in 1 Samuel 16:13-14,
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up and went to Ramah. 14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.
About ten years later, when David was a teenager skilled in music, he was called to Saul’s court to assuage this evil spirit from the Lord. There David became very popular and was admired by all. This made Saul very envious, for he knew in his heart that God had rejected him. He was not rejected for his sin, but for his lack of true repentance.
Saul was never able to deal with his heart of rebellion against the ways of God, and he knew that God had rejected him. He became paranoid, wondering when God would call someone else to replace him as king. Fear turns kings into common murderers, which they justify by convincing themselves of their own perpetual calling as king. Though Samuel had plainly told Saul that God had rejected him from being king (1 Sam. 15:26), this was a Word which Saul was unable to “hear." This problem is all too common in the Church today.
Samuel had indeed anointed Saul as king of Israel, so it was easy for him to justify himself in “defending the crown." It was not long before Saul was trying to kill David as a potential rival. He could see plainly that David had favor with God, but the nature of such spiritual blindness would make Saul believe that David was “out of divine order."
When Samuel finally died, Saul pursued David like a common criminal for many years, probably for 12 years, for we know that David was 30 years old when Saul died (2 Sam. 5:4). The biblical pattern seems to be that God trains his rulers for 12 years, for we find the same true with Joseph, who was 18 when he was sold into Egypt by his brethren, and 30 when Pharaoh elevated him to power.
In biblical numerology, 18 is the number of bondage, while 30 is the number of spiritual maturity. Thus, God put David and Joseph into bondage in order to mature them. They reached maturity after 12 years and then began to rule. Twelve is the number of divine government. God’s use of numbers clearly bears witness to our chronology and analysis of the divine Plan.
Just before Saul’s final battle with the Philistines, he sought out a witch to try to divine his fate and the course of the coming battle. The witch seems to have actually brought up Samuel (or his spirit) from the grave, though it took her greatly by surprise and frightened her terribly (1 Sam. 28:12). We read Samuel’s words in 1 Samuel 28:16-18,
16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? 17 And the Lord hath done to him, as He spake by me; for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand and given it to thy neighbor, even to David; 18 Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day.
Thus, while Saul actually committed suicide, in a sense he was overcome by the Amalekites, for this was the root cause of his death. Interestingly enough, while Saul was busy fighting the Philistines, the Amalekites actually raided Ziklag, where David was living at the time. They took all of David’s possessions, including his wives (1 Sam. 30:1-5). However, David inquired of the Lord, who gave him victory over the Amalekites. David recovered from them all that he had lost (1 Sam. 30:18).
Note the contrast here: Saul was overcome by Amalek; David conquered them and recovered all that Amalek had taken. This is a significant factor to those who study types and shadows, for Saul represents the Church, and David the Overcomers. This is, however, a side issue, and we cannot pursue it, lest we stray from our immediate purpose.
When Saul consulted the witch of Endor, he put the monarchy on Cursed Time. The law of God forbids consulting witches, on pain of exile or death. Deuteronomy 18:9-12 says,
9 When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times [Hebrew awnan, “clouds”], or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord; and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
God tells us here that He was exiling the Canaanites from the land specifically because they consulted witches and the like, instead of consulting Him. This is what king Saul did as well; thus, the penalty was death or exile. On one level, Saul died the next day, but his death was specifically caused by his rebellion when Amalek’s grace period had expired. His consulting of the witch of Endor was a new offense, which put the monarchy on Cursed Time. Thus, we find that Jehoiachin paid the price for Saul’s offense precisely 414 years later.
Most historians date the first year of Jehoiachin’s captivity at 597 B.C. He was replaced by Zedekiah, Jerusalem’s last king, who reigned 11 years until the city was destroyed in 586 B.C.
Recall from pages 25-26 that we proved that Ahab died in the year 853 B.C., which was the equivalent of 3042 years from Adam. From Ahab’s death in 853 B.C. to the captivity of Jehoiachin in 597 B.C. was 256 years.
Figuring the same period using years from Adam, Ahab died in the year 3042. When we add 256 years to this figure, we arrive at the year 3298 for Jehoiachin’s captivity. In other words, 3298 = 597 B.C.
This year, 3298, is precisely 414 years after 2884—the year Saul died in battle with the Amalekites.
This is the simplified manner of proving our case connecting Saul’s sin in consulting the witch of Endor with Jehoiachin’s captivity. At the same time, God caused the Babylonians to remove all the Temple vessels and carry them to Babylon. No doubt, God considered this to be a part of the penalty for Saul’s witchcraft, coupled with the people’s refusal to repent.
It is also interesting to note that the Romans took the Temple vessels to Rome in 70 A.D., which is precisely 666 years later. It shows us by historical example what the number 666 means. It is more than simply the number of man. Specifically, it refers to man’s system taking authority over the holy things of God. In modern vernacular, it refers to the condition whereby the Holy Spirit is replaced by men as the true authority in the church. When men establish their own programs and teach their own traditions of men, replacing the Holy Spirit, it is a 666 condition. God then writes “Ichabod” upon the church mantel, and the glory departs, leaving an empty shell, an abomination that is desolate, a structure uninhabited by the Spirit of God.
The fact that it is 666 years from 597 B.C. to 70 A.D. is one more cross-check by which we may establish Jehoiachin’s captivity as beginning in 597 B.C. For those who may wish to study this aspect of chronology in greater depth, we have included more details with charts in Appendix A.
Egypt’s Debt of 37 years
On page 49, we told how Canaan assumed responsibility for Abram, and how this made them liable to observe God’s rest years so long as they assumed authority over Abram and his seed. When Jacob and his 12 sons left Canaan and went to Egypt at Joseph’s invitation, Canaan’s liability ended, with 38 rest years owing. The same kind of time debt came upon Egypt while Israel remained in Egypt.
At the age of 18, Joseph was sold as a slave to “Potiphar… an Egyptian” (Gen. 39:1). The Bible tells us that Joseph was 17 when he was given two dreams, in which he saw his father and brethren bowing down to him (Gen. 37:7). The book of Jasher tells us that Joseph was 18 when he was taken to Egypt (Jasher 44:14). We know from Scripture that he was elevated to power under Pharaoh when he was 30 years old (Gen. 41:46), and that Joseph’s family moved to Egypt nine years later (after seven years of plenty and two of famine).
We also saw on page 18 that Israel moved to Egypt in the year 2238 from Adam. If Joseph was 39 years old in that year, then Joseph was sold as a slave to Egypt 21 years earlier in the year 2217. This is the date that we use in determining Egypt’s time debt. Joseph was sold as a slave to Potiphar in 2217. Joseph was the birthright son (1 Chron. 5:1-2), and Egypt assumed authority over him. Thus, God held Egypt liable to observe the divine law, including the rest years.
The year 2219 was the 317th rest year from Adam. This was the first rest year after Joseph was sold to Potiphar that Egypt was liable to observe (but did not). The year 2255 was the first Jubilee that Egypt failed to keep. By the time Israel left Egypt in the year 2448, they had failed to keep 31 rest years and 6 Jubilees, and thus, they owed God a total of 37 years of time debt.
Recall from pages 52-54 that Israel refused to execute God’s law and expel the Canaanites when their time debt came due. As a result, Israel assumed the debt themselves, and so they spent 38 years in the wilderness to pay Canaan’s time debt. The question is, how did God subsequently deal with Egypt’s time debt? For reasons known only to God, He did not foreclose on Egypt’s time debt for many years. He held the debt in abeyance until the time of Jehoiachin. Then Jehoiachin spent 37 years in a Babylonian dungeon to pay Egypt’s 37-year time debt.
The question is, how did Jehoiachin become liable for Egypt’s time debt? Here is where the story goes back to his ancestor, king Solomon. Solomon married the daughter of Pharaoh (1 Kings 7:8; 2 Chron. 8:11). When a man marries a wife, he assumes her debts. Marriage involves authority and responsibility. Solomon took authority over Pharaoh’s daughter, and thus he assumed responsibility for her debts as well. Because she was the daughter of Pharaoh, she brought with her a time debt of 37 years, and Solomon became liable for Egypt’s time debt. This ensured that someone of his line would eventually have to pay the debt.
Eighteen is the biblical number of captivity or bondage. Recall that both Saul and David had a crisis in the 18th year of their reigns. Thus, it is not surprising to note that Jehoiachin was the 18th generation from Solomon, and that Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he was taken into captivity to Babylon (2 Kings 24:8-15). He remained in the Babylonian dungeon until the death of Nebuchadnezzar. We then read in 2 Kings 25:27-30,
27 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; 28 And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon; 29 And changed his prison garments; and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life. 30 And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.
The conclusion of the matter is that the timing of Jehoiachin’s sentence was determined by king Saul, who had consulted the witch of Endor 414 years earlier, putting the monarchy on Cursed Time. God gave the monarchy 414 years of grace in which to repent, and when the time came, Jehoiachin did not heed the voice of God. Thus, the sentence fell upon him. However, the length of his sentence in the dungeon was determined by king Solomon, who had married the daughter of Pharaoh, incurring Egypt’s time debt of 37 years. The God of history, the Ancient of Days, is still sovereign in the earth and takes an active role in establishing and deposing the very kings who deny Him or rebel against Him.
Jehoiachin the Intercessor and Type of Christ
Jehoiachin paid the debt that his forefather, Solomon, had incurred over three centuries earlier. He was thus an intercessor, one who takes on the burdens or debts of another and pays them as though he was the one who had incurred the debt. In this he was like Jesus, the Great Intercessor, who took upon Himself the sin of the whole world. It is therefore no coincidence that Jehoiachin spent precisely 37 years in the dungeon, for 37 is the biblical number of the Word of God and is, along with the number 24 (priesthood), particularly associated with Jesus Himself. Jesus came as the Word made flesh (1 John 1:1), in order to become a faithful High Priest for us all. If we multiply these two numbers together, we get 888, which is the numeric value of the name “Jesus” in Greek.
While some may not find this of particular interest or value, it is just one more detail that opens up a whole new understanding of the story of Jehoiachin’s captivity. Jehoiachin is not only a type of Christ, but also of the Overcomers, the Body of Christ. Overcomers are all intercessors on one level or another, for they are called as priests of God and of Christ (Rev. 20:6). The main function of a priest is to be an intercessor, representing God to men and men to God. God’s Overcomers throughout the centuries have been in a captivity to “Babylon” as well. Not all have been captive to the literal city, but all have been in captivity to “Mystery Babylon” and the flesh.
Thus, Jehoiachin’s release from prison is likewise a foreshadowing of the Great Jubilee, which the Overcomers shall experience soon. In that great release, they will be given the three things that Jehoiachin received:
1. Authority over the nations of the earth taken captive by Babylon (Rev. 2:26),
2. New garments of transfiguration (2 Cor. 5:1-3), and
3. A daily rate of food, hidden manna, the spirit of revelation (Rev. 2:17).
These rewards are reserved for the Overcomers. There is a day coming when the Overcomers will enter into the redemption of the Body and the Fullness of the Spirit, which will give them the authority on earth that Jesus had during His ministry. Then will be manifested the greatest revival in earth’s history, and it will not degrade into the dead forms and wormy manna of stultified denominationalism. It will remain a vital force in the world until all things are put under His feet.
The Timing of Jehoiachin’s Release in Long-Term Prophecy
Jehoiachin was in captivity at the time of Judah’s 70-year captivity to Babylon. His dungeon experience prophesied of a long-term Babylonian captivity that has affected us all today. This longer-term captivity is not a mere 37 years, nor even 70 years. It is 37 x 70 years long, extending from 597 B.C. to 1994 A.D. It is 2,590 years in all. At the end of that 37th cycle (Nov. 21-29, 1993) this long-term Babylonian captivity began to come to an end. At that time, a group representing the Overcomers was led specifically to declare an end to Babylon’s rule. It was called the “Jubilee Prayer Campaign." We then saw a lunar eclipse the night of Nov. 28/29, a sign of Babylon’s power eclipsed.
The Jubilee Prayer Campaign brought Mystery Babylon to the divine court, where the Overcomers appealed to God to end the earth's captivity. We understood this to be like the battle of Jericho, which took seven days to overthrow. The people marched, and the priests blew rams' horns until the city was taken on the seventh day. The Hebrew word translated "rams' horns" in Joshua 6: 4, 5, 6, 8, and 13 is yobel, or "Jubilee." That is, the priests were, literally speaking, blowing the Jubilee for those seven days of battle. The inhabitants of Jericho no doubt laughed at the Israelites, for this was no way to lay siege to a city. They did not know that Israel was conducting spiritual warfare. In the same manner, the Jubilee Prayer Campaign was actually designed to be a seven-year campaign of spiritual warfare, leading to the end of the year 2000.
As for the results of this long prayer campaign, we leave this in the hands of God, who alone knows the end from the beginning. If we assume precise timing, the seven years is completed on November 29, 2000 A.D. The next day, November 30, is the precise end of the seven years and six months transition from Saul to David (2 Samuel 5:5). Because Saul was crowned on the day of wheat harvest, i.e., Pentecost (1 Samuel 12:17), he was a type of the Church under Pentecost, while David was the Overcomer who received the promise of the enduring dynasty to rule God's Kingdom. For this reason, these dates should be watched.