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  The Lake of Fire Located
Posted by: aux - 04-02-2018, 12:30 PM - Forum: General - No Replies

This one's an oldie but a goodie. A 1981 report from the late Ernest Martin. Go make yourself a cup of coffee and come back because this one is a page turner, or screen scroller.. It floored me when I read it way back in the day and it still has me coming back to it today. Don't miss the footnotes either -- I guess reading it on the original URL is best for the hotlinks and formatting issues. Hope you enjoy and print copies to share!

The Lake of Fire: Where Is it Located?
By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1981
Edited by David Sielaff, February 2010
Read the accompanying Newsletter for February 2010
The new information in this article may come as a surprise, but it can be shown from the Bible and history that the Lake of Fire is presently in existence on this earth! You could be taken there, see it for yourself, and come away without your hair being singed. Incredible? Not at all! This is one article that all biblical students should read. It is not a “quack theory” given simply to gain attention. It is a serious study with practical information about this intriguing subject.

The New Testament mentions the existence of a lake which is destined to become the place of judgment for the Beast, the False Prophet, Satan (after the Millennium), and wicked human beings. It is called “The Lake of Fire,” or more accurately, “The Lake of the Fire.” It is “the Fire” which makes the lake unique, and that fire is the fire of judgment! The fuel that feeds the fire in this lake is brimstone (an old name for sulfur).

Is there such a lake on earth today that fits the description of this “Lake of the Fire”? The answer is yes. In fact, this lake has been in existence for at least 4000 years. People have traveled to its region and have reported seeing fire and columns of smoke ascending from its central sections. Such eyewitness reports have been given from earliest times. They also have testified to the presence of sulfurous fumes coming from the lake. And one scientist in our modern era has observed a hue of absinthe (the Wormwood of Revelation 8:11) hovering on occasion over the lake.
Where is this biblical lake located? It is not difficult to discover its whereabouts if one will pay attention to some of the identifying factors associated with the lake. Let’s notice some of these points.

(1) The first important matter to consider is what constitutes “a lake” as humans are able to perceive it. The dictionary defines a lake as an area of depression in the earth that contains a liquid (normally water). It always has higher ground surrounding it, and in the case of ordinary lakes, it represents the central area of a drainage region into which streams and/or rivers flow. Since the apostle John in the Book of Revelation used the common term for “lake,” it could be reasonably believed that he had a conventional lake in mind though he said it was “The Lake of THE Fire”!

(2) Second, this particular lake had fire associated with it, and the fire was fueled by sulfur. Someway, that chemical must be found in its midst.

(3) Third, John tells us that the lake will be in existence and active with fire prior to the Millennium (Revelation 19:20). This means it will be fully in evidence before the Second Advent of our Lord to this earth.

(4) Fourth, the Beast and False Prophet who fight against Christ at His coming will be thrown into it. Since it is made plain in the Bible that the final battles to be fought just prior to the Millennium will be at or around Jerusalem, it could reasonably be suggested that the lake would be located in the same vicinity. Indeed, it is plainly shown that the wicked will be tormented with fire and brimstone

Quote:“… in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascends up for the ages of the ages: and they have no rest day or night.”
  • Revelation 14:10–11

This is a direct reference to Isaiah 34:8–10:

Quote:“For it is the day of YHWH’s vengeance, and the year of recompense for the controversy of Zion. And the streams [of Edom] shall be turned into pitch, and the dust into brimstone, and the land [of Edom] shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke shall go up forever [for the age]: from generation to generation it shall lie waste.”
  • Isaiah 34:8–10

This burning of Edom (an area that borders the southern and southeastern portions of the Dead Sea) occurs when “the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll” (Isaiah 34:4) just like the Book of Revelation says will happen at the Second Advent of Christ (Revelation 6:14). This region of Edom will have its streambeds flowing with rivers of fire. This pitch and brimstone will flow into the Dead Sea located just east of Jerusalem. Since this judgment takes place so near to Jerusalem, it could be reasoned that “The Lake of the Fire” was nearby.

(5) There is also a fifth point. John says the lake has the factor of death associated with it. “The Lake of the Fire ... is the second death.” This is where Hades (hell) and Death are to be cast (Revelation 20:14). This reference shows that “the Lake of the Fire” cannot be a symbol of the ordinary grave (Hades), because Hades is “thrown” into it.

(6) Sixth, the lake cannot be Gehenna (another name of “hell” in the King James Version). The area of Gehenna (sometimes called Tophet) is a valley located on the southern edges of Jerusalem. In no way can the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna) be considered “a lake.”

It is also not the “bottomless pit” (Greek: abyss) because that is a pit in the earth with a door that a key can open (Revelation 9:1–2). Admittedly, the description of the abyss is figurative, but it is hardly suitable to connect a door and a key with the entrance to “a lake”!

(7) A final seventh factor to consider is John’s teaching that this Lake of the Fire will cease to exist after the Great White Throne period. This is because John says “the former things [including the Lake of the Fire] are passed away. Behold, I make all things NEW” (Revelation 21:4–5). The area in which this lake is found will one day be healed and made new. Interestingly, there are some important scriptures that speak of a prominent lake being healed.

These seven factors are not of themselves enough to identify the lake, but they give us some excellent clues that become significant when we look at other scriptures and a number of historical indications.

A Major Key

There is a prime New Testament reference which goes a long way in solving the identification of “The Lake of the Fire.” It is found in the Book of Jude. This New Testament writer was the brother of James, and the half-brother of our Lord. He said that there was, in his time, an EXAMPLE of eternal fire [“age-lasting” fire] that was an active and present witness to what the judgment of God would be like in the future. That example was the geographical area where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah once existed. Jude called attention to the ruined condition of that region, as well as the fire that was still burning in the locale. That is correct; the area around the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah was still having fires and smoke in the time of Jude! Notice carefully what he said on the matter.

Quote:“Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication [promiscuity] and going over to strange flesh, are set forth [are presently set forth] for an EXAMPLE, suffering [are presently suffering] the vengeance of age-lasting fire.”
  • Jude verse 7

When one looks at that verse closely, it tells us very much about the environment around the Dead Sea as it existed in the time of Jude! There were then active fires and smoke in the area. Strabo, the 1st century geographer, described the neighborhood as “a land of fires.” 1 Some of the fires were fed by the seepage of naphtha (an old name for petroleum), bitumen, and other gaseous fumes.

A hundred years before Strabo, there is the record of a Jewish author who described the Dead Sea area.

Quote:“Wisdom saved a man [Lot] from a destruction of the godless, and he escaped the fire that came down on the Five Cities, cities whose wickedness is still attested by a SMOKING waste.”
  • Wisdom of Solomon 10:7

This historical reference indicates that the Dead Sea region was then, back at that time, still smoking from subterranean fires. Diodorus Siculus, who also lived in the 1st century BC, said: “The fire which burns beneath the ground and the stench render the inhabitants of the neighboring country sickly and very short-lived” (Book 2.48.8).

A few years later, in the time of Christ’s childhood, the Jewish writer Philo gave witness to the burnings and smoke that were still ascending.

Quote:“The fire of the lightning is most difficult to extinguish, and creeps on pervading everything and smoldering. And a most evident proof of this is to be found in what IS SEEN TO THIS DAY: for the smoke which is still emitted, and the sulphur that men dig up there, are a proof of the calamity which befell that country.”
  • On Abraham 1.140–141, Yonge translation 2

This fire and smoke was also seen coming from the midst of the Dead Sea as well. The geographer Strabo called the Dead Sea a “lake” (as did Josephus, the early Jewish historian 3 ) , and described the fiery characteristics which came from its center. Strabo wrote:

Quote:“In the midst of the lake is the source of the fire and also there are great quantities of asphalt in the middle. The eruption is uncertain, because the movements of fire have no order known to us, as it is of many other gases.”
  • The Geography of Strabo, Book XVI, chapter 2, §44 4

Strabo continues:

Quote:“Together with the asphalt there arises a great deal of soot, smoke, and [gases] invisible to the sight, by which brass, silver, and everything shining, even gold, is tarnished.”
  • The Geography of Strabo, Book XVI, chapter 2, §42

Around the area were “drops of pitch distilling from the rocks [petroleum], and boiling streams.”

Quote:“The lake was formed by earthquakes and boiling outbursts OF FIRE, and hot water impregnated with bitumen and brimstone [sulfur].”
  • The Geography of Strabo, Book XVI, chapter 2, §44

It is interesting to note that the eruptions of fire, smoke, and asphalt were not continuous. Only at irregular times did such phenomena occur, but the occasions were frequent enough that eyewitnesses around the time of Christ and the apostles called it a lake of fire and smoke. In fact, we are told by Henry Maundrell (an English traveler to Palestine in 1697 AD) that most of the mapmakers prior to the 17th century show “smoke ascending above the surface of the water.” 5 However, when Maundrell visited the area, no smoke was seen by him. Yet the explorer Volney in 1787 AD was told that smoke periodically could be observed coming out of the Dead Sea.

Quote:“The south of Syria, that is, the hollow through which the Jordan flows, is a country of volcanoes [volcanic activity]: the bituminous and sulfurous sources of the Lake Asphaltis [the Dead Sea], the lava, the pumice stones thrown upon its banks, and the hot-baths of Tiberius, demonstrate that this valley has been the seat of subterranean fire, which is not yet extinguished. Clouds of smoke are often observed to issue from the lake, and new crevices to be formed upon its banks.”
  • Volney, Travels, vol. 1, pp. 281–282

Volney was a very astute observer and he customarily inquired of the inhabitants about the characteristics of the lands in which he visited. It seems, then, that as late as the 18th century, there were still some rare outbursts of smoke and fire coming from the middle of the lake. There have been no actual reports since that time to my knowledge. It is true, however, that after major earthquakes, a great deal of asphalt has broken up in the bottom of the lake and arisen to the surface. The lake itself has seemingly been rather quiet compared to activity formerly described near the time of Christ.

The first scientific investigation of the Dead Sea by Lynch in 1848 AD recounted that there was “a strong smell of sulfuretted hydrogen,” a “fetid sulfurous odor in the night,” “the north wind was quite fresh and accompanied with a smell of sulfur” (Journal of R. Soc. vol. XVIII, p. 127). This describes some of the factors comprising “The Lake of the Fire and Brimstone [sulfur] in the Book of Revelation, but, of course, there was no actual smoke seen by Lynch. He did, however, on another occasion report a strange phenomenon that happened. One time there “appeared” to be smoke coming from the center, though Lynch attributed it to an illusion.

Quote:“At one time today the sea assumed an aspect peculiarly sombre. ... The great evaporation enveloped it in a thin, transparent vapor its purple tinge contrasting strangely with the extraordinary color of the sea beneath, and, where they blended in the distance, giving it the appearance of smoke from burning sulfur It seemed a vast cauldron of metal, fused but motionless. In the afternoon of the same day it looked like molten lead. At night it had the exact hue of absinthe [or Wormwood].”
  • Journal of Royal Society, ibid. pp. 276, 324

In the Book of Revelation, absinthe is called “Wormwood” (Revelation 8:11) which caused waters to become bitter. What the explorer Lynch observed is interesting. The scene gave the impression of smoke from burning sulfur ascending above the surface of the Dead Sea, while parts of the lake gave the appearance of a vast cauldron of molten lead. Is this illusory occurrence seen by Lynch what the ancients were talking about? Maybe ... in part! But there is simply too much evidence from competent observers of the past to dismiss all the eyewitness accounts as illusionary. Indeed, only at certain times in the past did the lake erupt with its fiery display. And for the last 200 years (maybe much longer), the lake has been relatively inactive.

The prophecies, however, suggest (and we will show this later in the article) that a new and more violent eruption of sulfurous fire and smoke is destined to emerge from the lake and surrounding areas, and that “The Lake of the Fire” mentioned in the Book of Revelation will be very much active at the time of Christ’s Second Advent to this earth. Such a possibility should surprise none of us moderns because we have all witnessed the eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State in 1980. The Dead Sea area may well be getting ready for a renewal of its fiery activity. There are yet a few years ahead of us before this will occur. In fact, it will happen at an exact time in prophetic history.

“The Lake of the Fire” is the Dead Sea!

We will now show biblical evidence that the Dead Sea is the prophesied “Lake of the Fire.” Let us recall that Jude said that the area of Sodom and Gomorrah was a present example (in Jude’s time) for the eternal (age-lasting) fire that God has designed for the punishment of the wicked (Jude verse 7). The Bible tells us that those cities of which Jude spoke are now under the Dead Sea. The former Valley of Siddim in which Sodom and Gomorrah were situated is the salt sea” (Genesis 14:3).

These cities were positioned in the northern parts of where the Dead Sea now is. They were not in the southern part of the lake! This is made plain in the biblical revelation. Abraham and Lot looked over Sodom and Gomorrah from the site of Bethel located about ten miles north of Jerusalem. In no way would it have been possible for Abraham and Lot to have seen the southern part of the lake from Bethel (Genesis 13:10). The Bible, on the other hand, makes the clear statement that those two cities were “east” of Bethel (Genesis 13:11), not south-by-east!

[Image: x100201a.jpg]
Figure  1:  US Geological Survey, http://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/project-pag...tonic.html,
accessed January 4, 2010
Even the biblical description of the four northern kings attacking Sodom and Gomorrah, shows them circling the Valley of Siddim on the east and then south, and finally attacking Hazazon-tamar EnGedi [now half way up the western side of the Dead Sea] before they encountered the King of Sodom (Genesis 14:7–8). This, again, shows that Sodom and Gomorrah lay in the northern regions of the Dead Sea. We are also told that the Wilderness of Zeboim (a near spelling of Zeboiim, the neighbor city of Sodom) was directly east of Beth-boron and Bethel (1 Samuel 13:18). This also leads one from Bethel eastwards towards Jericho. Again, this directs us to the northern parts around the Dead Sea, not its southern section.

The northern half of the lake is its deepest part. Its surface is about 1300 feet below normal sea level, and soundings have been made in its northern sector of another 1300 feet to reach its bottom. It is truly the lowest area on earth below normal sea level.

The Dead Sea is a part of what is called the Jordan rift a great depression (or fault line) in the earth that starts north of Mount Hermon and continues southerly with the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee, and the Dead Sea in its nether regions. The rift continues south to the Gulf of Aqaba, the Red Sea, into Africa, and ends up near the source of the Nile River. It is the longest known fault line on earth. From satellite pictures, it is a very prominent feature on the surface of the earth, well distinguished from other land formations.

The Chasm of the Jordan the Example of Punishment

There is a reason why Jude centered his example of future judgment on the ancient area of Sodom and Gomorrah. To him the Dead Sea (with its sulfurous smoke and fiery characteristics) was the perfect exemplar given by God for His vengeance upon evil angels and wicked humans. He could simply point to the smoldering cauldron of the Dead Sea and tell the rebellious people that they would finally experience the ravages of that Lake of Fire when it would burst forth in a final and catastrophic eruption at the end of the age. Jude could also point to historical examples to substantiate his prophetic beliefs. His prototypes of punishment were recorded in the Book of Genesis! In fact, Jude’s reference to judgment went back before the Flood of Noah. Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, was a prophet that foretold even the Second Advent of Christ (Jude verse 14). He was also a prophet that gave many warnings of judgment. He even foretold the exact year for the occurrence of the Flood of Noah. The son of Enoch was Methuselah. The names of individuals often had prophetic meaning to them in ancient times. The name Methuselah, when broken down into its elements, meant “Die-Will-Send.”

Philo, the Jewish philosopher in the early period of Christ’s life, acknowledged that this was the meaning of his name (Posterity of Cain 1.44 and 1.73). This name was a prophecy by Enoch of the coming judgment upon the pre-Flood world. It actually meant that when this son of Enoch would die, “It [the Flood] would be sent.” And amazingly, the Flood of Noah started in the very year that Methuselah died. The prophecy came true! Methuselah did not die in the Flood; he died just a few days or weeks before it! The reason Methuselah lived to be the oldest man who ever lived (969 years of age) was to show that God will give people a long, long time to repent of evil before He will execute any prophesied judgment!

That may all be fine and good, but what has this to do with the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah which was an example of the end-time vengeance of God? It has very much to do with it. One should pay careful attention to the fact that Noah (the man who was saved through the Flood) was the TENTH GENERATION of man (Genesis chapter 5 and 1 Chronicles 1:1–4). God gave the pre-Flood world exactly ten generations before their judgment came.
The fact that the Flood happened in the tenth generation from creation was important to early biblical interpreters. This is because Enoch, according to Jude, also prophesied of the second judgment to occur on earth when the Lord would appear from heaven with ten thousands of his saints (Jude verses 14–16). This particular judgment was to be with fire, not water! Moreover, God promised that no more universal punishment would come through the agency of water (Genesis 8:21–22). When one compares later prophecies of the Bible, the next adjudication was to arrive on earth in the form of fire and brimstone. In ancient times it became popular to view history and prophecy as occurring in a cyclical fashion (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Things significantly reoccurred! Note that Noah was the tenth generation of man: (1) Adam, (2) Seth, (3) Enos (4) Cainan, (5) Mahalaleel, (6) Jared, (7) Enoch, (8) Methuselah, (9) Lamech, and finally (10) Noah in whose time the Flood destroyed the world!

Now note the next generation to follow Noah after the Flood. It was (1) Shem, then (2) Arphaxad, (3) Salah, (4) Eber, (5) Peleg, (6) Reu, (7) Serug, (8) Nahor, (9) Terah, (10) Abraham. The tenth generation from the watery destruction in the time of Noah was Abraham. With Noah, God began a new creation in a physical way, but with Abraham (also the tenth generation), God began a new spiritual creation. But He also did something else. A further judgment against rebellion and sin took place in that tenth generation just as one took place in Noah’s tenth generation. God did not bring the later destruction by water, but it was to be by FIRE! This was the time that fire and brimstone fell on Sodom, Gomorrah, and the Valley of Siddim. So thorough was the devastation that the whole of the Jordan Valley appeared as though there was a thorough burning up of the entire world.

That opinion was expressed by Lot’s daughters. “There is not a man [left] in the earth,” was their appraisal (Genesis 19:31). They thought the world had come to an end by the fire and brimstone. After all, it was the tenth generation from Noah! What a surprise they had when they discovered that only the Jordan rift valley was destroyed. It was a great enough devastation, however, that it became the example of the future judgment that God will rain down on rebellious men at the end of the age.

In order to warn men of this future judgment, Jude understood the Jordan Valley as a contemporary example of a bursting forth of periodic flames of sulfurous origin, with columns of smoke coming from the land and the lake. It was a further admonition of what would occur at the end of the age, only this time with even more intensity. This is why Jude placed the example of God’s judgment for the future directly into the Jordan rift valley of his time right to the area of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea was once “The Lake of the Fire,” and it is destined to become that same “Lake of the Fire” at the time of Christ’s Second Advent.

[Image: x100201b.gif]

Further Testimony

We should briefly remind ourselves of the parable given by Christ about Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16:19–31). The locale of that story is precisely in the area of the Jordan rift and the northern region of the Dead Sea. Here was the Rich Man after death in the place of fire. He looked and saw Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham.

Between Abraham and the Rich Man was a “great gulf fixed” (Luke 16:26). The great gulf is clearly the Jordan rift valley. The Rich Man was east of the Jordan River, and Lazarus and Abraham were west of it. The latter two were inheriting the promises of the land of Palestine given to Abraham, but the Rich Man (Judah) was not allowed to enter. He had to remain in the region of the fires! That area was just east of Jordan, north of the Dead Sea, but in an area of continual and unrelenting flames.

The significance of the parable (and it was a parable, not an actual occurrence), was to show that the region of the “great gulf” was a place of punishment. It was in the same location that Jude placed the example of age-lasting fire to try the wicked in the future (Jude verse 7). 6
The Valley of Hinnom

With the information that the great chasm or gulf of the Jordan rift (with the smoking Dead Sea in its midst) is the place of punishment for the wicked, we can now understand much better the position of Gehenna, the Valley of Hinnom, in this scheme of future punishment. Our Lord frequently referred to Gehenna as a place of fiery judgment (Matthew 5:22, 29–30, 10:28; Mark 9:47; Luke 12:5, etc.). This particular valley was situated outside the southern walls of Jerusalem. It was a place where the fires to the pagan god Moloch were sanctified (Jeremiah 32:35; Ezekiel 20:31). It was also called Tophet.

Quote:“For Tophet is ordained of old, yea, for the king [the evil king] it is prepared; he has made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of YHWH, like a stream of brimstone, does kindle it.”
  • Isaiah 30:33

It is the prison where some “high ones” (angels) and kings on earth will be incarcerated. Within the stretch of its confines is a very deep pit (a bottomless pit) and is the place of containment for evil angels and finally for Satan during the Millennium (Revelation 20:1–3). We will see in a moment that indications show that this pit of imprisonment (the abyss) is associated with the Valley of Hinnom (Tophet).

The Valley of Hinnom commenced at Jerusalem and journeyed eastwards at a precipitous rate until it emptied into the northern parts of the Dead Sea. The watercourse is known to this very day as the Wady (the streambed) of FIRE! This Valley of Hinnom (the Gehenna of scripture) was about fifteen miles long. It plummeted into the Dead Sea (The Lake of the Fire). This means that Gehenna and “the Lake of the Fire” were typically connected.

The ceremony of the Scapegoat (Azazel) on the Day of Atonement was a part of this typical story (Leviticus chapter 16). Two goats were selected. One was to be sacrificed in Jerusalem, while the other was to be taken by an able-bodied man into the wilderness east of Jerusalem. Indeed, the Scapegoat was to be taken down the Valley of Hinnom to a place about three miles east and south of Jerusalem called Beth Chaduda where the goat was allowed to go over a very deep cliff (like an abyss) so that he would never come in contact with civilization again (Yoma 67b; Targum Pseudo Jonathan 16:10 and Targum Onkelos Leviticus 16:10).

This part of the wilderness was where the demons were supposed to be. It was near this region where Christ was tempted of the Devil (Matthew 4:1–11). The place was a part of the drainage system of the Wady en-Nar the extension of Gehenna, the Streambed of Fire! From this area, “the Valley of Fire” (Gehenna) ran directly eastwards into the Dead Sea (“The Lake of the Fire”). This region between Beth Chaduda and the Dead Sea contained the abyss mentioned in the Book of Revelation. It will be a place of temporary confinement of Satan and his angelic powers for the Millennium.

Quote:“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit [the abyss] and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon [just like the “fit man” of Leviticus 16:21 with the Scapegoat], that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut him up [away from mankind and civilization], and set a seal on him that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: after that he must be loosed a little season.”
  • Revelation 20:1–3

The place that the Azazel Goat (the Scapegoat) was taken in the ritual of the Day of Atonement is where Satan will be kept for the Millennium. Again, it is also the place in the wilderness where Christ defeated Satan during His forty days of temptation. Everything fits perfectly in this prophetic scenario.

The Place of the Scapegoat

No one can adequately grasp the typical teaching about Gehenna, the abyss (bottomless pit), and the Lake of Fire, without realizing what the area is like in which the Scapegoat was taken. The geographical name of the region is the Wilderness of Judaea. It is one of the unique areas on earth. That wilderness is an utter desert of the worst kind, and yet it was right next door to the region “of olive oil, and honey: a land wherein you shall eat bread without scarceness, you shall not lack any thing in it” (Deuteronomy 8:8–9). The margin between “paradise” and “utter desolation” is often no more than one, two, or three miles. People who travel to the area are amazed at the abrupt contrast.

George Adam Smith, who wrote the classic book
The Historical Geography of the Holy Land, gave some graphic descriptions of this wasteland to the east of Jerusalem. Though I have seen it myself many times, the words of a professional geographer cannot be surpassed for description. Note what Professor Smith had to say about this land of the Scapegoat:
  • [T]he wilderness of Judaea. In the Old Testament this land is called the Jeshinion, a word meaning devastation” (p. 312).
  • “It is one of the driest and most poisoned regions on our planet” (p. 269).
  • “Those fifteen miles of chaos [east of Jerusalem], sinking [downward] to a stretch of the Dead Sea, you begin to understand the influence of the desert on Jewish imagination and literature. It gave the ancient natives of Judaea … the sense of living next door to doom; the sense of how narrow is the border between life and death; the awe of the power of God, who can make contiguous regions so opposite in character” (p. 314).
  • “For hours, as you travel across these hills, you may feel no sign of life, except the scorpions and vipers which your passage startles, in the distance a few wild goats or gazelles, and at night the wailing of the jackal and the hyena’s howl” (p. 317).
  • From “the heart of the country” near Jerusalem, the wilderness of Judaea “carries the violence and desolation” right down to the Dead Sea Valley (p. 313–314).
There could hardly be an area more foreboding and awesomely stark on the surface of this earth! What is so striking is the contrast. A beautiful and well watered land on the west side and crests of the Holy Land, that then so quickly and abruptly changes to the thorough desolation of the “Land of the Scapegoat,” the region traversed by Gehenna (the Streambed of Fire), the location of the abyss (bottomless pit), and reaching to the Dead Sea (“the Lake of the Fire”).

This is the very region where Christ battled Satan for forty days and won! But this is also where Satan will be bound (the area of the Scapegoat) for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1–3). There could be no harsher area for confinement. This is the region of the abyss (the bottomless pit) of the Book of Revelation.

The abyss into which Satan is shut up is not the Lake of Fire! He is only placed in the abyss for 1000 years. Only after the Millennium is Satan cast into the Lake that burns with Fire and Brimstone (Revelation 20:10). Satan will be kept in a deep pit (a prison) east of Jerusalem between Beth Chaduda and the Dead Sea within the region of the Valley of Fire, the eastern parts of Gehenna.

Mention in the Book of Enoch

In a book written about 100 years before the birth of Christ and attributed to Enoch, we have more information about these matters as understood by Jewish people who lived back at that time. This Book of Enoch is not a canonical book of the Bible, but it is referred to by Jude in verses 14–15 of his epistle. It does describe a great deal of information that is very compatible with teachings found in the Book of Revelation. The Book of Enoch gives much typical teaching about Gehenna, the Abyss, and the Lake of Fire, as believed in many Jewish quarters in the time of Christ.

In this book, the ancient Enoch was supposed to have seen in vision the manner in which God would judge evil angels and wicked men. In Enoch 54:1, he sees “a deep valley with burning fire.” This is the streambed of Gehenna as it leaves Jerusalem for its eastward trek to the Wilderness of Judaea and the Dead Sea. Once a person starts down the streambed, he gets closer to the wilderness. He then comes in contact with the kings and the mighty mentioned in Isaiah 24:21–22. This is the place of the pit (or the abyss). It answers to the Beth Chaduda region where the Scapegoat (the Azazel) is cast into an abyss down a steep and precipitous cliff. The Book of Enoch says this is where “iron chains are placed on those who descend into its bosom.” The bosom of the abyss is the place (or places) where the evil angels will be confined temporarily.
  • “These are being prepared for the hosts of Azael, so that they may take them and cast them into the abyss [the bottomless pit] of complete condemnation” (Enoch 54:5).
  • “And God will imprison those angels, who have shown unrighteousness in that burning valley [that is, the eastern parts of Gehenna, the Wady en-Nar] in the mountains of Israel” (Enoch 67:4).
This was the very place where the Scapegoat (the Azazel goat) was taken in the ritual of The Day of Atonement. As said before, this was in an area down the Wady en-Nar east of Beth Chaduda (also spelled Hadudo) about three miles easterly of Jerusalem (see Mishnah, Yoma, 6.5). 7 The Book of Enoch goes on to say that it is the same place where a “star had fallen from heaven ... into the abyss: now that abyss [the bottomless pit] was narrow and deep, and horrible, and dark” (Enoch 88:1–2).

The apostle John in the Book of Revelation spoke of the same place.

Quote:“I saw a star fall from heaven into the earth: and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit [the abyss]. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace.”
  • Revelation 9:1–2

The Book of Enoch also said the archangels of God will take hold of Azazel (the Scapegoat) with his angels “and cast them into the burning furnace” (Enoch 54:6).

A Temporary, Not a Final Prison

The Book of Enoch (as does the Book of Revelation) recognizes the abyss as only a place of temporary punishment. Professor R.H. Charles, who translated the Book of Enoch, said this “prison is the burning valley (Gehenna) … and this is the preliminary prison, not the final.” 8 The apostle John in the Book of Revelation said the same thing. Satan will be placed in the abyss for 1000 years. He is only placed in the Lake of the Fire (a different place from the abyss) after the Millennium is over (Revelation 20:1–10).

As said before, the typical location of this abyss is where the Scapegoat was taken a few miles east of Jerusalem down the Valley of Fire (the eastern extension of Gehenna). This abyss was somehow supposed to be connected with the lowest waters “under the earth” and sometimes those waters were considered hot and boiling. This is where angels and Satan are to be bound. These are the ones that the apostle Paul refers to when he spoke about those “under the earth” in Philippians 2:10. The apostle Peter said that some angels had been placed there as early as the Flood of Noah (1 Peter 3:19–20). Christ even went to preach to those angels in that prison back in the time of Noah.

But as said before, this abyss is not the final place of punishment for the rebellious. That last place is “The Lake of the Fire.” That “lake” is located farther on down the mountain from the abyss just east of Beth Chaduda. It descends further to the lowest habitable spot on this earth, which is the Dead Sea (the Lake of Fire). The Book of Enoch calls this area the valley of the angels who led astray mankind burned beneath that land (Enoch 67:7). This is a reference to the Jordan rift valley where the Dead Sea is located.

This was the area mentioned by Jude, set forth as an example of age-lasting fire (Jude verse 7). The depths of Tartarus (where the evil angels were kept) were somehow connected with these final waters of judgment. Into these depths will flow “streams of fire,” according to the Book of Enoch (67:7). 9

Remarkably, there is a prophecy of the future (connected with Christ’s Second Advent) that says all the streambeds of the country of Edom, located in the southeastern watershed of the Dead Sea area, will become filled with fire and burning pitch.

Quote:“For it is the day of YHWH’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. And the streams shall be turned into pitch, and the dust into brimstone, and the land [of Edom] shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for the age [olam]: from generation to generation it shall lie waste.”
  • Isaiah 34:8–10

This happens at the exact time the heavens depart as a scroll (Isaiah 34:4) and this is directly quoted in the Book of Revelation as a time associated with Christ’s Second Advent (Revelation 6:14).

These are the several streams of Edom that will flow into the Dead Sea. The streams will traverse part of the Valley of Jehoshaphat called in Joel 3:12–14 the Valley of Decision. This area of the southern portion of the Dead Sea will be the location of the greatest military action in history. The nations of the world will assemble at Armageddon and journey to Jerusalem and to this Valley of Decision at the southern end of the Dead Sea to fight with Christ at his Second Advent. 10 This is the same battle when Gog (the leader of these armies in the Valley of Decision) will have “great hailstones, fire, and brimstone” coming down on him and his rebellious army. The whole countryside near the Dead Sea will once again become a fiery furnace when the judgment of God begins to occur at the coming of Christ back to this earth.

Future Reactivation of the Dead Sea Fires

The Dead Sea east of Jerusalem is the Lake of Fire mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Today when one goes to the area, there are no fires or smoke to be seen coming from its midst. Throughout most of the historical period since the time of Abraham, however, it was normally described as a lake that periodically erupted with sulfurous flames and columns of smoke could be seen emerging from its center. But for some reason over the past two centuries or so, the lake has been quiet. Though some earthquakes have occurred in the region which have loosed a great deal of asphalt from its bottom, and this has risen to the surface, nothing has happened that would cause any of us to call the Dead Sea a “Lake of Fire” as most people of the past would have described it.

This will all change. The Book of Revelation shows clearly that “the Lake of the Fire”will be in existence at the Second Advent (Revelation 19:19–20). We may not have many years left to see its reactivation occur. An event is mentioned by the apostle John that could well be the catalyst that reactivates the fire. When the sixth seal of the Book of Revelation is opened, a most remarkable thing takes place.

Quote:“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their place.”
  • Revelation 6:12–14

This gigantic earthquake is associated with the time when the heavens depart as a scroll. There is only one place in the entire Bible that speaks of this exact phenomenon. That is when the streams of Edom will become burning pitch:

Quote:“For it is the day of YHWH’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.”
  • Isaiah 34:8–9

This occurs when:

Quote:“… all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falls off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Edom, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.”
  • Isaiah 34:4–5

These fiery streams of Edom will flow directly into the Dead Sea.

But there is more! This event that Isaiah tells about is also the exact time that “the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of YHWH come” (Joel 2:31). This is when the nations of the world assemble in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

Quote:“Assemble yourselves, and come, all you heathen [nations], and gather yourselves together round about. ... Let the heathen [nations] be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of YHWH is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall cease their shining. ... And the heavens and the earth shall shake.”
  • Joel 3:11–12, 14–16

At the great earthquake, and when the nations are gathered around the Dead Sea area (in the Valley of Jehoshaphat), that is when the sun, moon, and stars are darkened. Since the streams of Edom (which are in the same general region) will become burning pitch, and fire and brimstone will rain down on the heathen at the great shaking against Gog and his forces (Ezekiel 38:19–22), there will be a great conflagration from heaven around the Dead Sea.

Christ said there will also be darkness and obscurity over Jerusalem (Matthew 24:29). In another place Christ said to remember the example of Lot (Luke 17:22–37). Lot fled from the cities of the plains of Jordan from the Dead Sea area. That was when the whole of the Jordan rift valley went up in smoke. Jude said this area was the example of the future judgment that was to come upon the rebellious (Jude verse 7).

This is the exact region of the Valley of Jehoshaphat, though that location is in the southern part of the Dead Sea area. Throughout the region we are told that the blood will flow as high as horses’ bridles. It will do so for 1600 furlongs (stadia). That equals about 184 miles (Revelation 14:20). The valley in which this will happen is “without the city.” The city under discussion was “Mystery Babylon,” which is Jerusalem at the end of the age.

The Jordan rift valley from Mount Hermon to the end of the watershed south of the Dead Sea is almost exactly 1600 furlongs in length. This again is clearly the rift valley east of Jerusalem, the great chasm or gulf where Sodom and Gomorrah once were. It is also where the Dead Sea is! Since the whole of the Jordan rift depression went up in fire and smoke and brimstone in the time of Abraham and Lot (Genesis 19:28–29), this territory will once again become the fiery crucible that it once was. Jude tells us that the first incineration was only a type, an example of the final holocaust. Jude said: “Likewise [in the same fashion], will the judgment occur when YHWH comes with ten thousands of his saints” (Jude verse 14). 11

It is primarily the smoke that comes from the reigniting of the Dead Sea that causes the sun, moon, and stars to be darkened. This is when the Dead Sea will once again become “The Lake of the Fire” that it was periodically in the time of Christ. Even the sun being darkened at the time of Christ’s crucifixion could have come by an eruption of the Dead Sea (Matthew 27:45), and Peter must have been referring to a recent darkening of the sun and moon when he mentioned Joel’s prophecy in Acts 2:17–20. That darkening smoke referred to in the prophecy had to emerge from the Valley of Jehoshaphat in the area south of the Dead Sea. God could have bestowed at Christ’s crucifixion a foretaste of the judgment to come from the Lake of Fire.

This all means that the Dead Sea region is once again to become “The Lake of the Fire.” It will occur just before the Day of the Lord when gigantic earthquakes and heavenly disturbances take place. There are yet, however, a few more years before this occurs. There is a day coming when the Dead Sea will erupt with a holocaust that will make Mount St. Helens of recent date [1980] seem like child’s play. It will be a spectacle to see. Thankfully the Bible teaches that all of God’s people will be able to escape (as did Lot) this wrath of God’s vengeance to come (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

The Lake of the Fire to be Healed

Once Christ has returned to this earth and established his kingdom, Ezekiel says that a river of fresh water will emerge from underneath a new temple that will be built in the high country of Israel (Ezekiel chapter 47). This fresh water stream will go eastwards into the Dead Sea. It could well follow the old watercourse of the Wady (the Streambed) of Fire and change the characteristics of the land bordering it. This is no doubt what will occur because we are told that an abundance of fruit trees and medicinal plants will flourish around its banks (Ezekiel 47:12). This would mean that there would no longer be any Gehenna (Valley of Fire) going through that terrible wilderness. In fact, we have the express teaching of the Bible that Gehenna (otherwise called Tophet) will become holy to the Lord.

Quote:“And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto YHWH.”
  • Jeremiah 31:40

This will be the end of Gehenna!

With the Book of Ezekiel telling us that a river of fresh water will issue forth from the new temple (and gets larger as it approaches the Dead Sea), perhaps the river is fed by other streams as it descends and this will result in parts of the Wilderness of Judaea being healed (especially those quarters on the banks of the river). The region of the abyss, however, where Satan will be imprisoned, will remain in desolation as well as parts surrounding the Dead Sea (Ezekiel 47:11).

The great quantities of fresh water flowing into the Dead Sea will cause it to become fresh and clean with a great number of fish within its borders.

Quote:“And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea [the Mediterranean], exceeding many.”
  • Ezekiel 47:10

How long it will take the Dead Sea to become “alive” is not recorded. Since there will be a long period of time when peace and safety will be on earth, and a time when many of the deserts will blossom, it could be that several years or even centuries will take place before the whole of the Jordan rift area is healed. But it will be healed and made beautiful once again!

More Fire to Come

This is still not the end of “the Lake of the Fire,” however! The Book of Revelation says there will yet be one more outburst of fire and brimstone that issues from the lake. It will once again, at the end of the Millennium, become a Lake of Fire. This will happen when God sends down fire out of heaven (Revelation 20:9) to judge the wicked at the conclusion of the 1000 years!

This happens when Satan is finally released from the abyss (the bottomless pit) and he is allowed to cause a final rebellion to God. Dire consequences will come from God because of this. And no wonder! People on earth will have witnessed for such a long time the beauties and blessings of the Kingdom of God on earth even with Gehenna and “the Lake of the Fire” healed, and yet they allow themselves to be tempted of Satan the Devil. Because of this, God will re-activate the old area of punishment. This time, Satan will be cast into the renewed Lake of Fire. This will last throughout the ages of the Great White Throne.

EXCURSUS: The Bible nowhere tells us how long those ages within that judgment period will last. Some have applied the reference of Isaiah 65:17–25 to this space of time. This is not possible. The scene in Isaiah is millennial, and is not applicable to a later period. It could mean that in the Millennium a generation could be reckoned a hundred years. If so, the millennial duration would answer to ten generations of peace before the judgment at the end of the Millennium when Satan is released from the abyss. If so, then there would have been …

  1. ten generations for the pre-flood world until a destruction; also
  2. ten generations until the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah in Abraham’s day; and
  3. ten generations of the Millennium that will see a fiery judgment also at its end.
It could well mean that the “ages” that accompany the Great White Throne may also last for a similar period of 1,000 years. No one, of course, can know this for sure! 12  ELM

The Lake of Fire to Permanently Cease

When the time of the Great White Throne period is over, God will then create a new heavens and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). All the former things (including “the Lake of the Fire”) will pass away (Revelation 21:4–5). “Behold, I make all things NEW” (Revelation 21:5).

This is when God the Father himself finally comes down to this earth to establish his residence here (Revelation 21:2–3). There will be a New Jerusalem totally unlike any Jerusalem that preceded it. There will be no need for any earthly temple (Revelation 21:22), but there will be a river of water come forth from the throne of God (Revelation 22:1–2). The physical example of water coming from the temple that existed in Ezekiel’s prophecy (the millennial temple) will have served as a foretaste to this one in the new earth.

There will even be nations that God will allow to be on earth at that time (Revelation 21:24–26; 22:2–5). These will be a “new creation” of humans, because all humans who will have lived from the time of Adam to the end of the Great White Throne will now be spiritual beings (1 Timothy 2:4–6). This “new creation” of humans could well be a hint that God has further “creations” of human beings in mind both for this earth, and other regions of the universe because the heavens were capable of receiving inhabitants (Deuteronomy 30:4).

Since the prime characteristic that describes God is His role as “creator” (Genesis 1:1), it could be that the creation of new sons and daughters will continue throughout all eternity. We could no doubt play a part in helping God in His continued creation. After all, we are His children and we shall not only see Him as He is, we shall be like Him (1 John 3:2). Our present human race has a destiny that is awesome in potential and glorious in scope.

Quote:“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for them that love him.”
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9

The time is coming when “death” will be abolished for all who have ever lived (1 Corinthians 15:26). And the final conclusion of all things is that God will become all and in all! (1 Corinthians 15:28). There will then be no more Gehenna, no more abyss, no more Dead Sea (“Lake of the Fire”). All that will be left is LIFE — and the beginning of a series of new creations in which we can participate — for all eternity that lies ahead of us! 13

Ernest L. Martin, 1981
Edited by David Sielaff, February 2010

[url=http://www.askelm.com/prophecy/p100201.htm#_ftnref1]1 The Geography of Strabo, XVI, chapter 2, §§43–44, in Vol. VII, H.L. Jones translation, Loeb Classical Library edition, 1932, accessed November 10, 2009.  DWS

2 The Works of Philo Judaeus, the Contemporary of Josephus, trans. by C.D. Yonge (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1854–55).  DWS

3 Here is Josephus’ extended description of the Dead Sea in his Wars of the Jews 4.476–485, Whiston translation:
“The nature of the Dead Sea is also worth describing. It is, as I have said already, bitter and unfruitful. It is so buoyant that it bears up the heaviest things that are thrown into it; nor is it easy for anyone to make things sink therein to the bottom, if he had a mind so to do. Accordingly, when Vespasian went to see it, he commanded that some who could not swim, should have their hands tied behind them, and be thrown into the deep, when it so happened that they all swam, as if a wind had forced them upwards.

Moreover, the change of the colour of this lake is wonderful, for it changes its appearance thrice every day; and as the rays of the sun fall differently upon it, the light is variously reflected. However, it casts up black clods of bitumen in many parts of it; these float on the top of the water, and resemble both in shape and size headless bulls; and when the labourers that belong to the lake come to it, and catch hold of it as it hangs together, they draw it into their ships; but when the ship is full, it is not easy to cut off the rest, ...

This bitumen is not only useful for the caulking of ships, but for the cure of men’s bodies: accordingly, it is mixed in a great many medicines. The length of this lake is about seventy-three miles, where it is extended as far as Zoar in Arabia; and its breadth is about nineteen miles.

The country of Sodom borders it. It was of old a most pleasant land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its cities, although it be now all burnt up. It is related how, for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning; in consequence of which there are still the remainders of that divine fire; and the traces [or shadows] of the five cities are still to be seen, as well as the ashes growing in their fruits, which fruits have a colour as if they were fit to be eaten, but if you pluck them with your hands, they dissolve into smoke and ashes. And thus what is related of this land of Sodom has these marks of credibility which our very sight affords us.” DWS

4 Here is a different translation of The Geography of Strabo, XVI, chapter 2, §44, in Vol. VII, H.L. Jones translation, Loeb Classical Library edition, 1932, accessed November 10, 2009.

“Many other evidences are produced to show that the country is fiery; for near Moasada [Masada] are to be seen rugged rocks that have been scorched, as also, in many places, fissures and ashy soil, and drops of pitch that emit foul odours to a great distance, and ruined settlements here and there; and therefore people believe the oft-repeated assertions of the local inhabitants, that there were once thirteen inhabited cities in that region of which Sodom was the metropolis, but that a circuit of about sixty stadia of that city escaped unharmed; and that by reason of earthquakes and of eruptions of fire and of hot waters containing asphalt and sulphur, the lake burst its bounds, and rocks were enveloped with fire; and, as for the cities, some were swallowed up and others were abandoned by such as were able to escape.” DWS

5 Henry Maundrell, p. 454, Bohn Edition that Dr. Martin referenced. The full title is A Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem: At Easter, A.D. 1697: to which is Added an Account of the Author’s Journey to the Banks of the Euphrates at Beer, and to the Country of Mesopotamia (S.G. Simpkins, 1836), p. 143 from the Google scanned edition, accessed November 10, 2009.  DWS

6 Dr. Martin explains the interpretation of this parable in his article “The Real Meaning of Lazarus and the Rich Man.”  DWS

7 Mishnah Yoma 6:5 [words in brackets are in the original Rodkinson translation]:

“The high-priest was told: ‘The goat has reached the desert.’ How was the fact known? Watches were stationed on high towers [meaning doubtful], who lifted up flags [to give signals]. Said R. Jehudah: ‘They could have excellent evidence [by calculating the time]. From Jerusalem to Beth Hadudo was three miles.’” DWS

8 R.H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Vol. 2, Oxford, 1913, 2004), p. 231.  DWS

9 Enoch 67:7:

“And through its valleys proceed streams of fire, where these angels are punished who had led astray those who dwell upon the earth.” DWS

10 For even greater detail regarding these very end-time events, see Dr. Martin’s article “New Prophetic Discoveries Concerning the End Time,” where the Valley of Jehoshaphat and the Valley of Decision are indicated in prophecy, complete with maps showing these vital areas. The visual understanding of the text given by these maps will greatly clarify the next several paragraphs.  DWS

11 This is when these events will intersect directly with your life, at your resurrection from the dead. See my article “Your Resurrection” and the other important articles listed by Dr. Martin on this subject

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  Matthew 7:11: <you>
Posted by: Charles Wilson - 03-25-2018, 03:45 PM - Forum: General - Replies (5)

Matthew 7: 7 - 14 (RSV):

[7] "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
[8] For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
[9] Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
[10] Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
[11] If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
[12] So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
[13] "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
[14] For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Hello everyone --

I'm following another Trail again.  The above Passage reads, to me, as another of the "Herod Stories".  Herod builds a Safe Harbor at Caesarea, hocks everything in the palace to buy bread from the Procurator Petronius in Egypt and distributes the bread to everyone regardless of whether people support Herod or not.  Many are worried that this "Goodwill" will lead people astray.  There is a BLISTERING famine throughout Judea and Syria occurring at this time.

There are "Jokes" in this .  Verses 7 - 8 tell of those who would seek any type of help..  The key "Joke" is verse 9.  The Safe Harbor is constructed by dropping giant stones in the harbor to form a breakwater.

Mark 9: 42 (RSV) (Also: Matthew 18: 6):

[42] "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

If you look up this verse in the Interlinear on this site, you get the important literal, "...millstone of a donkey...".

Verse 10 continues: "Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent".  A nod to the Story of Moses and the Staff.
Which leads us to verse 11. 

"[11] If you then, who are evil...

Fairly simple, yes?  Maybe.

The Interlinear has "...and if...<you>...who are imperfect...".

Precisely at the point where an identifier for "Herod" would be found is "<you>" in inequality brackets.  Why?  We may find the most trivial reason here but I ask for some help. 

Thank you,


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  Bart Ehrman vs Mike Licona Debate (2018-02-21)
Posted by: aux - 03-12-2018, 07:42 PM - Forum: General - Replies (5)

NT scholars Bart Ehrman and Mike Licona had a debate last month over the historical reliability of the Gospels posted on Licona's youtube channel here. Even in the position of pro-authenticity Licona is handicapped with western biases and compromises built into the scholarship he relies on to defend the NT. I wanted to highlight one of the glaring flaws in Ehrman's argument which Licona didn't really address which I thought was most important and I posted about on Licona's channel. I later made a 3.5 min video showing how youtube (Google) is running algorithms (and likely machine learning/AI) in favor of Bart Ehrman on Licona's channel rigging the comments section (I've even had my own post disappear from one of my own videos before among other things so this is no surprise to me.) Here are a few posts:

@39:38 Ehrman: "..king Herod died in the year 4 BCE"

This is a perfect example of why I personally don't take the word of a scholar at face value, however expert or well meaning, neither pro or con, neither a consensus without fact checking as much as possible with a close eye on original text and languages, or as close as possible and an open mind.

To state the obvious: the bible nor Josephus says Herod died in 4 BCE. This date is inferred from Josephus saying that Herod died soon after a lunar eclipse before the spring Passover like the one in 4 BCE.

What many don't realize is that there was another eclipse in 1 BCE -- a total lunar eclipse unlike the traditional partial one -- and it allows enough time for all the events surrounding Herod's funeral to fit perfectly unlike the problematic 4 BCE date. I've verified this with professional astronomy software myself.

The popular view of Herod's death in 4 BCE does not account for all the facts we have from the historical record. However, some of the latest published scholarship shows that when other pieces of evidence typically overlooked is carefully considered it rather points to Herod having died in 1 BCE.

Steinmann, Andrew E. "When Did Herod the Great Reign?"
Novum Testamentum, Volume 51, Number 1, 2009

This new time frame fits the events like a glove from an historical, astronomical, and biblical point of view, unlike the traditional time frame. It fixes problems like a good solution to a problem is supposed to. The old time frame creates unnecessary problems critics capitalize on (a frequent 'pattern' I have come across for 15 years studying the scriptures).

With the new date of Herod's death, scholars like the late Ernest L. Martin were able to find the (wandering) star of Bethlehem and it fits the descriptions of Matthew to a tee, not to mention other surrounding details provided by Luke, and more astronomical signs mentioned in Revelation 12.1-2 while also providing deeper Christian/Jewish fulfillment to the festivals of Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah and even rabbinic expectations (see the last link below).

The new date of Herod's death (1 BCE) is like a new key that opens an old chest nobody could open before with an old key, and now new amazing treasures are revealed but many people still insist the old key is the best one and are keeping the treasure chest locked and the treasures hidden from the world. This is very sad.

Astronomy and the Death of King Herod

The Lunar Eclipse of Josephus

The Real Star of Bethlehem

Tertullian mentioned Roman records of censuses during the time of Christ's birth when Saturninus was governor of Syria. Does this conflict with Luke's record? No. Josephus mentioned that there were governors (plural) in Syria during the rule of Saturninus, naming at least 2. It would seem from his background that Quirinius was a special type of governor at this time, or as Justin Martyr referred to him, a procurator, a special delegate for census taking.

More info: askelm.com/star/star014.htm


Ehrman resorts to an unfounded conspiracy theory to speculate that Luke and others (presumably Luke was not isolated and able to hide his gospel from the original apostles and disciples) lied about the birth of Jesus for religious reasons. This too relies on a popular presumption and creates unnecessary problems. Luke doesn't actually state that "everyone" had to go to their ancestor's city from a 1000 years previous:

Luke2.3 "And all went to be registered, each to HIS OWN TOWN."
Cf Syriac, כלנשׁ "all men"

Luke is speaking of MEN going to THEIR OWN town in this verse, but then he makes a distinction with those who were of the House of David, royal lineage, and includes Mary (which supports the idea that Matthew's genealogy is of Mary as even Matthew's text indicates in the Syriac text and also hinted at in the Greek text). This was not the normal procedure for a census/enrollment, so why assume it was an ordinary census/enrollment?

Luke2.4 "Joseph also went up from Galilee.. to the city of David.. called Bethlehem BECAUSE he was of the house and lineage of David"

These curious details show this was no ordinary census and was concerned with royal lineage and is distinct from the previous general statement in verse 3.

What could Jewish royal descendants possibly have to do with this?

There's a lot of background to this but in a nutshell, it was at this time that not only the Jews but also the Roman elite knew of the messianic expectations of a Jewish ruler to rise in the East and conquer the world. This is why the Roman puppet Herod had to kill off candidates to the throne when the magi came looking for the messiah and why Herod and the people in Jerusalem were 'troubled' when they heard of the news from the magi (Mat 2.3).

Herod was apparently following a precedent Suetonius mentions from the Roman Senate that said the world ruler had to come from Rome (ie, Caesar) when a group of magi made a false start coming to the Roman Senate some 60 years previously as Suetonius tells us (De Vita Caesarum: Divus Augustus).

The Jews had a history of mutiny by this time and Rome was sensitive to the political conditions and messianic expectations in the region (having the city-sized Fort Antonia adjacent to the Jewish temple itself, where some believe the western wall is from rather than the temple which was utterly destroyed as Josephus witnessed and Jesus foretold). This concern was even leveraged by the enemies of Christ to manipulate Pontius Pilate into doing their bidding (John 19.12). Josephus tells us this expectation is what led to the Jewish revolts against Rome and eventually to the destruction and desolation of the temple and the city. (2The 2.3 takes on a new meaning perhaps: Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy (מרודותא rebellion, apostasy; ἀποστασί revolt, rebellion, abandonment) comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.. Note: the Caesar held the office of pontifex maximus, now held by the Roman bishop)

In light of this political situation and the new time frame mentioned above moving Herod's death to 1 BCE, we now have a new solution to Luke’s census/enrollment on the table: Josephus spoke of an oath of allegiance (like a covenant) about a year to 15 months prior to the death of Herod in all the empire. The late Dr. Martin gives us information that makes the most sense of the the most data in this area of research rather than resorting to speculative conspiracy theories with little to no supporting data:

..the year 2 B.C.E. was one of the most important and glorious in the career of Augustus. It was the Silver Jubilee of his supreme rule over the Empire and the year in which the Senate awarded him the country’s highest decoration the “Pater Patriae” (Father of the Country). There was no year like it for majestic celebrations in Rome, and since the significance of the festivities involved the entirety of the Empire, there can be little doubt that similar anniversary ceremonies were ordained by Augustus and the Senate for all the provinces.

It should be remembered that back in 27 B.C.E. Augustus was given complete and absolute allegiance by the Senate and people of Rome. Would there not have been a renewal of their loyalty to Augustus in the Jubilee year? If so, we could well have a reference to an Empire-wide registration of loyalty to the emperor. Josephus mentioned that Augustus demanded an oath of allegiance about twelve or fifteen months before the death of Herod. This event would fit nicely with a decree going out from Augustus in 3 B.C.E. that all were to give an oath of allegiance to him at some designated time during the year. Obviously, the recording of oaths (where people ascribed their names) was a type of registration. That is what Luke said the census was. It was an enrollment of people.

Full chapter: askelm.com/star/star014.htm

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  New Half-Shekel Minted with Trump's Image
Posted by: aux - 03-02-2018, 03:06 AM - Forum: General - No Replies

[Image: trump_coin.png]

In a 'token gesture' for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Israeli group “Hamikdash Betzion” (The Temple in Zion) headed by Prof. Rab. Hillel Weiss have minted 1000 silver half-shekels with Trump's image next to king Cyrus' on one side and an the temple on the other.

Rabbi Mordechai Persoff said that Trump, like Cyrus, made a "big declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of the holy people.


Mikdash bills itself as a non-profit educational and religious organization. The donations will "help spread the light of Jerusalem and the spirit of the Holy Temple throughout the world," it said.

Israel has warmly welcomed Trump's move, which angered Palestinians.

The Trump coin is likely to rile Iranians, who uniformly respect King Cyrus as an ancient Persian hero.

Full story:

From Arutz Sheva:

Temple organizations have issued a half-shekel coin, the likes of which the Torah mandates every Jewish male must donate to the Temple, with a weight of 9.5 grams in real silver.


Prof. Hillel Weiss, Chairman of the organization “Hamikdash Betzion” (The Temple in Zion), says that the motivation to embed the image of the President of the United States on the coin is gratitude for his support of Israel and especially for the recognition of our sovereignty over Jerusalem.. "This is a historic act for which the Jewish people is grateful," says Weiss, who believes that the declaration sets off a process at the height of which the Temple will be rebuilt.

On the other hand, warns Weiss, the coin is a reminder of what happened to those benevolent kingdoms when they turned back from their great declarations. Cyrus, in the language of the sages, "missed," was swayed by factions opposed to building the Temple and halted its construction - and only ruled for three years. And the British empire, which renounced and crushed the Balfour Declaration, was shattered as a superpower on the stage of history.

"The Trump Declaration must continue with a declaration of the role of the Jews in establishing the Temple in its place. Only then will President Trump's international ambitions come true in the Middle East.

Full story:

What next, "Trump Temple" complete with casinos (casting lots) and boutiques in the outer court with the merchants and money changers? I hear he knows a thing or two about large building projects. Only you won't be able to buy or sell there unless you pledge allegiance to the 'messiah' and take the mark of the name in his Sinai/Noahide covenant, but I suppose we'll find out the details before very long.

Things are feeling more surreal by the minute.

Flashback: Sanhedrin to Trump-Putin: Fulfill Cyrus-like role in Jerusalem (2016-11-15)

...Prof. Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the Sanhedrin, said, "The political conditions today, in which the two most important national leaders in the world support the Jewish right to Jerusalem as their spiritual inheritance, is historically unprecedented.”

He said that the election of Donald Trump, who has promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, coupled with Putin’s expressed desire for the Temple's rebuilding, prompted the Sanhedrin to send a letter to both leaders. The letter proposes that they act jointly as did King Cyrus of Persia 2,500 years ago and show most practically that they recognize the importance of Israel and the Holy Temple.

“We are poised to rebuild the Temple," Weiss said.

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  Michael Heiser the Deceiver
Posted by: aux - 02-12-2018, 07:29 AM - Forum: Aramaic Primacy Forum - No Replies

I title this thread after the one posted in 2003, Metzger the deceiver (Text. Crit.) because it's the same lie being told but from a different liar, Dr. Micheal Heiser, the popular biblical scholar and darling of "middle-earth Christianity" as he would call it. I could write a book on the myriad deceptions Heiser engages in but I'll just focus on what he said re Aramaic NT, but first a quick revisit of the lie Dr. Metzger told in 1992 from the above link:

"We have no records in manuscript form of the gospels in Aramaic. There are no Aramaic documents of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John left. All we have are Greek documents of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John."

Twenty-five years later, Heiser makes a similar assertion in the midst of responding to a question about the original language of Jesus in his podcast from August 12, 2017:

"It just makes no sense to have an Aramaic New Testament is what I'm getting at. Again, maybe Matthew, maybe Mark... an early Gospel or something like that. But even if it makes sense for those two books, we don't actually have any manuscript evidence for it."

Here's the transcript, discussion begins on page 8.

I also like how during the discussion he plays dumb wondering why in God's green earth people would be so interested in the original language of the NT if it was Aramaic anyways, and implies there might be something wrong or "unusual" about people who care about this issue... meanwhile he has a PhD in Hebrew to study the underlying text of the OT! What a joke!! This kind of insulting deception (and it's a pattern from him, but he's slicker than most) just further confirms to me that there is indeed an ongoing, concerted effort to keep people away from investigating the Aramaic NT and keep the superstructure of institutional lies standing as long as possible. But I wouldn't think for a minute that those who make it past the gatekeepers are home-free.. NO, there are deceivers, SPIES, inside the court too masquerading as brethren, some being officious and insinuate themselves as teachers while trampling the scriptures with their man-made traditions and imaginations, including on this board. The apostles dealt with them in their day and show us their tactics that we might be wise to them:

And in regard to the false brethren, who had crept in to spy out the liberty we have in Jesus the Messiah, in order to bring me under subjection [or "us under subjection" first person, plural: דנשׁעבדונני]; not for the space of an hour, did we throw ourselves into subjection to them; so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. And they who were esteemed prominent, (what they were, I care not; for God regardeth not the persons of men,)—even these persons added nothing to me. (Gal 2:4-6 MRD, notes in brackets)

These actors -- SPIES -- leveraged whatever popularity or reputation they assumed, those popular in a given community and now 'the media' in today's terms (often linked to intelligence services and therefore SPIES), to ensnare their targets by persuading them to follow man-made teachings, in this case from Judaizers (Gal 1.6-11; 2.16). Paul reminded them: "But I make known to you, my brethren, that the gospel announced by me, was not from man."

John exposes another tactic of such SPIES that he calls "antichrists" (2.18, 22) when he describes how they COPY the sayings and IMITATE sentiments of believers (imitators, paying cheap lip service) in his first letter defending the gospel truth against early man-made gnostic teachings/traditions:

He that saith, "I am in him," is bound to walk according to his walkings. (1Jo 2.6 MRD)

Whoever therefore shall say that he is "in the light," and hateth his brother, is in darkness until now. (1Jo 2.9 MRD)

For he that saith, "I know him," and doth not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1Jo 2.4 MRD)

And this is his commandment, that we believe on the name of his Son Jesus the Messiah, and that we love one another as he hath commanded us. (1Jo 3.23 MRD, my emphasis)

John was exposing false brethren antichrists teaching Gnosticism and Paul was exposing false brethren spies teaching to keep the law of Moses. This pincer attack from antichrist spies using man's teachings and traditions to undermine the simple gospel truth that was already in effect in the times of the apostles is stronger than ever and taken to whole new levels with the global WWWiretap, Total Information Awareness, botnets, troll farms, multi billion dollar black budgets for DoD/spycraft, media control and AI systems (imitation Sophia/Wisdom) analyzing everything in cyberspace to infiltrate groups they don't control and cutoff any new movements. If you're Christian, you're being targeted. Scriptures teach us to be watchful of the subtle serpent lest you lose your royal garments of glory and be found naked and ashamed (Gen 2.15, 3.7; Num 20.24-26; Mark 14.38, 51-2; Rev 16.15; 1John 3.2 = Ps 104.1-2)

Enter ye in by the strait gate; for wide is the gate and broad the way which leadeth to destruction; and many are they that walk in it. How narrow the gate and strait the way that leadeth to life, and few they who find it! (Mat 7.13-4)

There's nothing really new and we were always warned.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep among wolves. Therefore be ye shrewd as serpents, and guileless as doves. (Mat 10:16 MRD)

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  Peshitta Web App Updates
Posted by: borota - 12-24-2017, 07:46 AM - Forum: General - No Replies

You can now reference verses in Peshitta like this:
https://peshitta.github.io/Mt/6/9 (Our Father)

List of supported book names found here: https://github.com/peshitta/sedra-model/...ok.js#L109

App is actively being worked on, but one of the more immediate goal is to have and Eastern version diff codified. Grammatical info from the Lexicon will also be added, support for displaying transliterations, search, concordance, etc.

Anybody interested to join forces? Feel free to PM me if interested, or twitter or git chat. The whole source code is found here: https://github.com/peshitta?tab=repositories

Any of the more well-known Aramaic sites interested to host the app?

Another desirable thing would be to have a more in-depth analysis of verses than what is stored currently in the Lexicon:

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  RH Charles' Intro to Sirach - On the Syriac version
Posted by: aux - 12-05-2017, 09:39 AM - Forum: Aramaic Primacy Forum - No Replies

I've been wanting to post this write up that I found a while back reading through RH Charles' OT Apocrypha and thought now would be a good time while I'm in the neighborhood. It may or may not help in Peshitta studies, I still find it interesting. Enjoy:

Pp 288-89 [reformatted]:


§ 5. Other Ancient Versions.

i. The Syriac Version.

It is impossible to fix the date of the Syriac version of our book with any certainty ; the
earliest known MS. (Cod. Mus. Brit. 12142) belongs to the sixth century, but this MS. contains
already a very large number of scribal errors, which points to a long previous history ; it
seems, however, to be the parent of all other extant Syriac MSS. of Sirach, for its corruptions
occur in all of them. Wright, in speaking of the Syriac translations of the Old Testament
Apocrypha, the dates of which are quite unknown, says that ' it seems tolerably certain that
alterations were made from time to time with a view to harmonizing the Syriac text with that of
the Septuagint ', 2 a process which Burkitt thinks ' may have begun as early as the episcopate of
Palut (about A.D. 200) ', which would imply the existence of a Syriac version some time previous
to this date.

Although some scholars long ago sought to show that the Syriac version of Sirach was a
translation from the Hebrew, their contention was combated by Syriac scholars, who maintained
that it was translated from the Greek. 3 The discovery of the Hebrew text has, however, definitely
settled the matter ; if there was reason to believe, as was certainly the case, that the Syriac text
itself presented indications of its having been translated from Hebrew and not from Greek, there is
absolutely no doubt about this now that we can compare the Syriac with the Hebrew. Nevertheless,
the Syriac translation was not made from the original form of the Hebrew, though from a form
which seems to have been in many respects nearer to the original form than that represented in the
recently found Hebrew MSS. This fact makes the Syriac version valuable for correcting, where
necessary, the Hebrew text in the form in which we now have it ; and for those large portions of the
book of which the Hebrew text has not been found the Syriac is, of course, indispensable. Another
fact which makes the Syriac version valuable is that it contains a number of verses and parts of
verses which are only found elsewhere either in the Hebrew alone, or in isolated Greek MSS., in
some few cases also in the Old Latin version. 4 ' In some instances the Syriac has retained the
correct text where both the Hebrew and the Greek agree in having gone astray. But in a consider-
able number of passages the Syriac is not a translation of the Hebrew, but of the Greek ; 5 it is
possible that the reason of this was that in such cases the Greek version represented what the
original Syriac translator believed to be the reflection of a more original form of the Hebrew than
that which he had before him ; or else, and this is more probable, it may be that the Syriac, as we
now have it, has been corrected on the basis of the Greek ; this would have been a very natural
proceeding (even if a comparatively speaking pure Hebrew text had been available) at a time when
the Greek Bible was regarded in the Christian Church as more authoritative than the Hebrew.
That the Syriac translator of Sirach was a Christian seems more than probable. The Greek
MS. or MSS. which the Syriac translator made use of contained elements representing the
secondary Greek text, and it was a text which had undergone deterioration in other respects.' 6
In any case, the Syriac version is one which has a distinct value ; nevertheless it must be used with
caution, for, in spite of what has been said about its usefulness and importance, it has some grave
blemishes which must be taken into consideration when utilizing it. Smend says it is the worst
piece of translation in the whole Syriac Bible, though in many cases it is uncertain in what pro-
portion its mistakes are due to the translator himself, or to the Hebrew text which he had before
him, or to some deteriorated Greek text which he utilized, or to textual corruptions which crept
in during the process of transmission. But, however this may be, the fact remains that the work
of translation has been done carelessly and without much trouble having been expended upon
it ; paraphrases abound ; sometimes they are of a purely arbitrary character, at other times they
apparently represent what the translator believed to be the general meaning of the original, which
he did not understand in all its details ; in yet other cases these paraphrases were evidently due to the
desire to give a Christian sense to a passage. But perhaps the most serious blemish in this version
is the large number of omissions ; Smend says that these amount to 370 stichoi, or one-ninth of the
whole book. In many cases it is evident that the Syriac translator had what seemed to him good
reasons for omitting certain passages ; thus, as a Christian he felt justified in omitting such words
as these :

Thanksgiving perisheth from the dead as from one that is not,
(But) he that liveth and is in health praiseth the Lord (xvii. 28).

It was probably owing to an anti-Jewish tendency that he omitted xxxvii. 25 :

The life of a man {numbers) days but few,
But the life of Jeshurun days innumerable.

A similar reason would account for the omission of xxxviii. 11, xlv. 8-14, parts of 1. 18-21, and
the litany after li. 12, though this last is also omitted in the Greek version. Quite comprehensible
are the omissions of xxxiii. 26 (<& xxx. 35) and xxxvi. 21, 23 (<& 26, 28) ; but why such passages,
e.g., as xli. 14 — xlii. 2, and most of xliii. 11-33 should have been passed over it is impossible to say,
excepting on the supposition that they are difficult ones to translate, and the Syriac translator did
not feel inclined to undertake the task.

It will thus be seen that while the Syriac version has a distinct value of its own and can
certainly not be neglected, it must nevertheless be used with great caution ; indeed, the student will
be wise never to utilize it without at the same time referring to the Greek. It should be added that
in this version the right order of the chapters is preserved.

2 Syriac Literature, p. 4, quoted by Burkitt in EB, iv. 5026.
3 Smend, op. cit., p. exxxvi.
4 See e.g. ii. 18d, xxv. 8 6, xlvii. 23e, xlviii. 12c,d, li. 11 d, 19d, 26d.
5 See e.g. xxvi. 19-27, xliii. 1-10.
6 Oesterley, Ecclesiasticus, in the Cambridge Bible, p. ci.


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Lightbulb The Revelation of 666 from Moses and Ezra
Posted by: aux - 12-05-2017, 09:20 AM - Forum: General - Replies (19)

Good to be back. Where is everyone!

I wanted to share something I've pieced together over the years and recently compressed into a post. It's about the nature of the "mark of the beast" and 666, etc. Some may have already realized it themselves,for all the commentary commentary and discussion on this subject over the last 1900+ years, I've never seen anyone explain it this way before, and the mountains of disinfo and counter-intelligence low-life trolls posing as helpful buddies on messageboards on the #WWWiretap is horrendous.

There's no Aramaic involved in the discussion unfortunately since the earliest copy of Revelation is in Greek (AFAIK) and I didn't consult the Aramaic translation of the Greek that we have (not yet anyways), but I was hoping someone here might have insight from the Eastern perspective on this, I'd love to hear it. I do find it kinda funny that folk in NT scholarship say that the author John's first language was Aramaic based on the poor Greek writing as Bart Ehrman does on his blog here.

Here are my thoughts:

Quote:It appears John is referring to nothing more than a census or numbering of heads in regards to 666. Moses conducted one in the book of NUMBERS and so did the high priest Ezra in the return from Babylon — John uses nearly identical language from both cases when he refers to the “number of his name” and the “number of a man.” It’s as if John was trying to make the text foolproof so the reader did not misunderstand what he was talking about rather than concealing the meaning, but we will not understand if we do not listen to the Word, listen to Wisdom. Here is Wisdom:

Take ye the sum [רֹאשׁ lit. head] of all the congregation of the children [sons] of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, [LXX: ἀριθμὸν ἐξ ὀνόματος αὐτῶν] every male by their poll [ גֻלְגְּלֹתָֽם lit. skulls] (Numbers 1.2 KJV, my notes in brackets)

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name [ἀριθμὸν τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ]. (Rev 13.17 KJV, my notes in brackets)

Here are the key phrases side by side in Greek:
ἀριθμὸν ἐξ ὀνόματος αὐτῶν –Num 1.2 (LXX)
ἀριθμὸν τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ –Rev 13.17 (Nestle-Aland 27h Ed)

Here is how Ezra records the census in his day, first verse included for context:

Now these are the children [sons] of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city; Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men [LXX: ἀνδρῶν ἀριθμὸς] of the people of Israel (Ezra 2.1-2 KJV, my notes)

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man [ἀριθμὸς γὰρ ἀνθρώπου]; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Rev 13.18 KJV, my notes)

Side by side use of language referring to numbering sons of men:
ἀνδρῶν ἀριθμὸς –Ezra 2.2 (LXX)
ἀριθμὸς γὰρ ἀνθρώπου –Rev 13.18 (Nestle-Aland 27h Ed)

Another link between the census here in Revelation 13.18 and Ezra’s census is the infamous number 666 itself:

The children [sons] of Adonikam [אֲדֹ֣נִיקָ֔ם lit. “my lord has arisen”], six hundred sixty and six. (Ezr 2.13 KJV)

Inclusively, we come to 667 and perhaps homiletically we could say that the so-called perfect man symbolized by triple sixes is not the case:

The children [sons] of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven. (Neh 7.18 KJV)

Not only does John use similar language used in the old testament for numbering the sons of Israel, but the very next verse following Rev 13.18 refers to the number of the sons of the 12 tribes of Israel sealed with the name of God who were numbered in a census in Revelation 7.4-8. This gives us the same language combined with the same context of the language pointing to a census [twice]. All the tribes are represented among the 144,000 except for the tribe of Dan, this may tell us what tribe the 666 are from, in which case all the tribes are now represented.

That the tribe of Dan is separated from the 12 tribes is also found in the old testament when Dan is left out of the genealogies of the 12 tribes in 1Chronicles 4-7, apparently forsaking their inheritance when they moved out of their allotment. An argument of Dan being absent from Balaam’s parable-prophecy in Numbers 24 could also be made.

Irenaeus accepts that the Antichrist is from the tribe of Dan without reservation quoting from Jeremiah, however he would also need to be related to the House of David, or at the very least claim to be, in order to satisfy biblical prophecies and the expectations of rabbis, and Dan was known to mix with other tribes and nations early on.

The number 666 may be a literal number of sons, as seen in Ezra 2.13, like the 144,000 and could also have symbolic meaning — the two don’t need to be mutually exclusive. These numbers are only focused on the tribes of Israel, not Gentiles.

The mark and name are the same thing, ESV’s rendering brings this out best, and we see the antithesis to the antichrist’s name/mark in Rev 14.1. The case could be made further in studying more passages in the old testament but that would be beyond the scope of this post. BUT, the number of the name refers to sons of a family name.

So we have two different components to the prophecy here: the (renewed Sinai) covenant and the people of the covenant — The antichrist has his marriage covenant with the harlot and Christ has his marriage covenant with the virgin bride. The woman takes the name of the husband in marriage and it is non-physical (ie, not a microchip!).

The name or mark is spiritual, however many Jews wear phylacteries or tephillin on their forehead (thoughts) and hand/arm (works) with the Name (שׁדי Shaddai) and the Sinai covenant marriage text as an outward fulfillment of the text itself (cf Mat 23.5). You cannot buy or sell the offerings and sacrifices with the merchants and money changers in the outer court of the temple unless you accept the covenant marriage and receive the name.

Well I tried to keep it short but it's hard to know where to stop. I did a video touching on this [last year] and how transgenderism/transhumanism fits in with AI and more in my video, Robot Sex and the Holy of Holies which I'm open to constructive criticism on if you have time to look at it -- I still say it's the most important video on youtube but I may be biased.

It goes deeper at openthematrix.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

Blessings in the name of Yeshua who crushes the ggg/666.

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  australian split/controversy in 80's?
Posted by: onebiblestudent - 11-09-2017, 09:06 PM - Forum: Church of the East Forum - No Replies

Hello, just out of curiosity, can someone explain to an outsider what the split in the CoE in australia in the 80's was about and how its viewed in your church community?  Tried looking it up but not much info I could find, just wikipedia says that they split into Ancient CoE and Assyrian CoE, and a video on YT, nothing really says why though.  If there is a thread here about it already I couldn't find it.  Thanks.

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  Complete Peshitta Bible Interlinear published
Posted by: gbausc - 11-04-2017, 12:07 PM - Forum: General - No Replies

I just published the whole Peshitta Bible in interlinear form as an ebook download for your computer or cell phone for $29.95.
This is the first and only complete interlinear translation of the ancient 1st century Peshitta Bible and takes up 2765 pages.
The Peshitta New Testament included is the divine original. I document this in 210 pages of notes. The Peshitta Old Testament is a 2000 year old translation of an unedited Hebrew Bible of the 1st century, which the corrupt scribes of Jesus' day had not defiled with their many alterations, which went as far as to remove the sacred name of God (YHWH) in 134 places! They also went on to make many other Anti-Christ alterations to produce an Anti Christ Bible. The Peshitta OT is a translation from Hebrew to its sister language Aramaic, but it retains many original readings which have been removed from the current Massoretic Hebrew edition used for most translations of the Bible.

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