Ancient Mesopotamia

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Ancient Mesopotamia

Ancient Mesopotamia, literally “the land between the rivers”, was one of the world’s first empires.

Map of Ancient Mesopotamia

Ancient Sumerians were some of the most advanced and developed people of the ancient world. Interestingly enough, however, very little is known of their origins.

It plays an integral part in the history of Palestine . It was from Ur, located in southern Mesopotamia, that God called Abraham to leave and migrate to Palestine.

Kings from ancient Mesopotamia and Babylon occur throughout the Old Testament. The Tower of Babel was built in ancient Mesopotamia.

After the Babylonian destruction of the First Temple, many Jews were exiled to Mesopotamia. The descendants of these exiled Jews were present on the day of Pentecost. The great prophet Ezekiel wrote from the banks of the Chebar River. Great empires, such as the Sumerian, Akkadian , Babylonian, and Assyrian empires were born in ancient Mesopotamia. These empires all played vital roles in shaping the history of the world.

The Tigris & Euphrates

The Tigris and Euphrates rivers dominate Mesopotamia. These rivers originate in the mountains of eastern Turkey and flow southward (south-southeast) to the Persian Gulf.

They were the very life support systems of ancient Mesopotamia, as all life revolved around the waters of these two great rivers.

Near Baghdad, these two rivers come within twenty miles of each other, and eventually merge into a marshland near the gulf. Many scholars believe the Tigris and Euphrates associated with the Garden of Eden are the same two rivers that exist today.

In fact, some believe the Garden of Eden perhaps existed south of Ur, where in antiquity two other rivers merged with the Tigris and Euphrates. The area has long since been covered up by the waters of the Persian Gulf.

A Map of Northern and Southern Ancient Mesopotamia

The Euphrates is the longer of the two rivers at 1,780 miles long, while the Tigris runs at 1,150 miles long.

These rivers were so important to ancient Mesopotamia that nearly every major city can be found along their banks. If a river changed its course, which the Euphrates occasionally did, then towns effected adversely by the change declined and were soon abandoned.

Both rivers combined with melting snow from mountains in the north and flooded annually.

However, the waters were unpredictable, at times being insufficient, and at other times turning violent and dangerous. Consequently, the Tigris and Euphrates were not nearly as useful for farming as the flooded waters of the Nile in Egypt.

The ancient Mesopotamians, thus, needed a way to control the water. The inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia used a complex series of dikes, canals, dams, and other irrigation techniques, to provide a consistent supply of water.

Ancient Mesopotamia was an extremely technologically advanced civilization. They seemed to have built, literally overnight, massive cities, and complex irrigation systems.

Baghdad serves as a rough dividing line, separating the differing climates, geography, and resources of north and south Mesopotamia.

Southern Mesopotamia is flat, formed by sediments from the rivers and soil blown in by the desert. Summers are very hot, averaging 95 degrees Fahrenheit in July. Winters, however, are mild.

Rainfall is scarce in this region, thus crops depend on irrigation. This area also lacks many resources. Metals and timber had to be imported.

However, this area produced abundant supplies of barley, and some wheat. Dates and sesame oil provided carbohydrates. Fish was the staple meat of the region.

North of Baghdad the geography is quite different. Steppes and uplands make up this part of Mesopotamia. Some sections of this region receive as much as 20 inches of rainfall per year.

Summers in the north were much milder than in the south, yet the winters in the north, due to the higher altitudes, were much colder.

The Great City of Ur

Located on the headwaters of the Persian Gulf, Ancient Israel can be traced back to this great Sumerian city. Ur was located on an important branch of the International Coastal Highway. It was also the homeland of Abraham.

A Map of Ur and Ancient Sumeria in Southern Mesopotamia

It was a very large and important city, as it had been an established commercial center before the first dynasty was founded in 2500 B.C. One estimate placed the population of Ur in 2030 B.C. at 65,000 people!

Dating back to the 5th millennium B.C., Ur thrived as a settlement, and by 2600 B.C. was one of the most important cities of the Ancient Near East.

This is evident by the great architectural works found here. A Great Ziggurat Temple was constructed in Ur near the end of the 3rd millennium, perhaps a copy of the much earlier Tower of Babel.

Ur’s Great Palace has been dated back to to the 24th century, and is the earliest known residence built for a King. Royal tombs attested to the great stature of Ur, and the wealth the ancient city possessed.

The Great Ziggurat of Ur during the Time of Abraham

Ur, however, was entangled in the idolatry and mythologies surrounding the Sumerian system of belief and religious practices.

It was no doubt heavily influenced by the rebellion centuries earlier of Nimrod, and the subsequent rebellion of mankind against God and His statutes.

Thus, it was not fit for a family of God, such as Terah’s , and consequently God called Terah to pick up and leave for the land of Canaan. The promised seed of Israel must be born in the land God was to promise for His people. The land of Canaan had not been as established as Mesopotamia.

Though occupied, it was far less advanced in its development. Perhaps God had intended to establish His nation in, or around, Ur. However, Nimrod had turned from God.

Perhaps God was just testing Terah and Abram as to their faith and trust in Him by calling them from such a civilized and advanced city. Whatever God had intended, Ancient Israel would not take root in the land of Ur.

It would be up to Abram to trust in God, and leave his birthplace behind. However, the parallels between ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Israel are evident. Ancient Mesopotamia left its imprint on Israel more than any other civilization in the ancient world.

Assyria

Near modern day Mosul lies the heartland of the ancient Assyrian empire. Nineveh, Calah (Nimrud) , and Asshur were the major cities of this time.

In this region timber and building stone were used to construct the royal palaces, houses and temples of the Mesopotamian kings and elite.

Assyria could not produce enough barley and wheat to be totally self sufficient, thus supplemental food supplies had to be imported in. Assyria had a significant impact on the history of Palestine. Metals, such as copper, tin, iron, lead, needed for weapons and such, had to be imported as well.

The Heartland of the Vast Ancient Assyrian Empire

For these reasons, Assyria often sought to expand its empire, south to Babylonia, and west to the Mediterranean.

In its quest for expansion and resources, Assyria left an indelible finger print on the history of Palestine.

Aram-naharaim

Due west of Assyria is northwest Mesopotamia, known for its fertile land and grassy steppes. The Balikh and Habor rivers supply ample amounts of water to this region.

Along with the high winter rains and the many small streams, this area is very desirable for raising sheep and grazing cattle.

Genesis 24:10 and Deuteronomy 23:4 use the term Aram-naharaim, which is translated “Mesopotamia”, and refers to the land between the Balikh and Habor rivers.

A Map of Aram-Naharaim and its Proximity to Canaan

The Bible closely associates Abraham with this region, specifically the city of Haran.

It was here that Abraham settled briefly before continuing on into Palestine, forever changing the makeup and history of Palestine. Aram – Naharaim had a significant impact on ancient Israel, as well. Abraham migrated from Ur, in southern Mesopotamia near the Gulf, to Haran, in northwest Mesopotamia. It was in Haran that Abram’s father, Terah, died.

Abraham then picked up and departed for the land of Canaan. However, later in his life, he sent his servant back to Aram-Naharaim to find a wife for his son, Isaac. This wife had to be of pure blood, thus, from Abraham’s father’s household.

People from this region had frequent interactions with the ancient people of Israel, and Canaan as a whole. Many of the traditions found in the Bible have mirror stories in Mesopotamian creation stories.

Some claim Enoch of the Bible, is in fact, Enkidu of the Mesopotamian flood story.

The Sons of Noah – Shem, Ham, and Japheth

From: http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/sons-of-noah.html

The Sons of Noah – Shem, Ham, and Japheth

The three sons of Noah, according to the Bible, were to be responsible for the re-populating of the world after the flood. Though Noah had three sons, it would be Shem through whom the “promised seed of the woman” would be transmitted. Shem was to be the father of the Semitic line of descent, which included the Jews, as well as Syrians and Arameans, among others.

Sons of Noah: Map of the Table of NationsSons of Noah: Map of the Table of Nations

Ancient Israel tradition has it that Noah, along with the sons of Noah and their families, settled on the lower slopes of the northern side of Mount Ararat. Noah lived for 350 years after the flood, dying as the 3rd oldest man in the Bible at 950 years.

All of the sons of Noah had been born after Noah’s 500th birthday, as the Bible makes mention of them being grown and married before his 600th birthday.

The Adamic nature of longevity still remained with Noah, and, to a lesser degree, the sons of Noah. However, as time passed after the flood, lifespans were drastically and significantly reduced.

Lifespans were not the only thing that had changed with this new world, as Noah would soon find out.

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Ham & his descendants

Japheth & his descendants

The Gentiles

Shem & his descendants

The Semitic Line

Wine is mentioned for the first time in the Bible in Genesis 9:21. This incident becomes a defining moment in the lives of each of the sons of Noah.

Noah is said to have planted a vineyard. The natural assumption is that Noah and his sons would still practice the same farming and food gathering methods as they had before the flood.

The change in environment would have had a profound affect on the soil. The process of photosynthesis was brand new to this world.

The change in how the soil was watered would have also had a profound effect on not only the soil, but also what was grown out of the soil.

Regardless, Noah made some wine from his vineyard, got drunk, and then passed out naked on his bed. This event happened some time after the flood, exactly when is not said.

This incident becomes fundamental in understanding the history of Ancient Israel, and the relationships between the sons of Noah and their descendants.

As Noah lay asleep naked in his bed, passed out from drinking too much wine, Ham “saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without”.

Ham did more than just see his father. The word “saw”, when used in this context, indicates “gazed at”. Ham gazed at his father, with apparent satisfaction at his fathers brief and rare moral slip.

Why Ham reacted as he did is not explicitly stated in scripture.

From the use of the word “saw”, and the context of the passage, many biblical scholars interpret Ham’s actions as expressing a long-hidden and built up resentment of his father’s righteousness and authority.

Whatever the reason or cause, apparently Ham reacted inappropriately, and went back to share in the laugh with the other two sons of Noah. This behavior would force Noah to issue the curse of Canaan to Ham’s descendants.

A distinct difference is seen in the reaction of the sons of Noah.

Whereas Ham snickers and revels in Noah’s mishap, Shem and Japheth immediately go to their fathers house, enter his room backwards, so as not to see their father in his shame, and cover his naked body.

A division is seen here within the sons of Noah that will become extremely important.

 

Sons of Noah: Map of Ham's Descendants in Canaan

Ham – son of Noah

It is interesting to note that immediately after Noah passes out naked, the Bible introduces Ham as the father of Ca’naan (v. 22).

For when Noah comes to, and discovers what Ham did, it is Ca’naan, the son of Ham, that Noah curses, not Ham! The Bible mentions that Canaan received the curse as a result of Ham’s actions. However, the Bible is silent as to how many generations from Canaan the curse affected, only that it was directed at Canaan as a result of his father’s indiscretion.

Ham’s heart of rebellion had been exposed. Not only was it rebellion against his father’s authority, but ultimately it was rebellion against God and His authority.

Consequently, Ham will become a servant of the other two sons of Noah. As a father, Noah could not directly curse his son. Instead, he curses Ca’naan, his grandson, Ham’s son.

Genesis 9:25 reads:

“And he said, Cursed be Ca’naan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.”

This curse, though pronounced on Ca’naan, was a Hamitic curse, aimed at Ham and specifically his son Canaan. The extent of this curse beyond Ham and Canaan is unknown.

The sons of Ham are Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Ca’naan, and it is from this line that will be subject to the other sons of Noah and their descendants.

Cush – son of Ham (Ethiopians, Arabians, Babylonians)

Cush, in the Bible, is the same as “Ethiopia”. The people of Cush first moved southward, into Arabia. From Arabia they crossed the Red Sea into modern day Ethiopia.

The most memorable of Cush’s sons was Nimrod , chief architect of the Tower of Babel. Nimrod chose to settle down in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley.

Nimrod founded his kingdom in Babel, where he attempted to erect a tower to the heavens.

It was Nimrod who built such cities as Babel (Babylon), Erech, or Uruk, the legendary home of Gilgamesh, Accad, the future namesake of the Akkadian Empire, closely tied with the Sumerian Empire , and Nineveh, made famous centuries later by the prophet Jonah.

Map of Nimrod's land.Mizraim – son of Ham – Egyptians, Philistines

Mizraim is the ancestor of the Egyptians. In scripture, Mizraim is also used to identify Egypt. Psalm 105:23 calls Egypt “the land of Ham”.

Some scholars take this to indicate that Ham accompanied Mizraim in the initial settlement of the Nile Valley. The word “Mizraim” is plural. Some suggest that this was just a form of Mizraim’s name.

The exact form of his name is not known, however, some writers and scholars claim that perhaps the founder of Egypt’s first dynasty, Menes, was in fact Mizraim.

Other sons of Mizraim are listed as the names of peoples, evident by the plural -im ending.

Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, were well known and important tribes around Egypt during the time of writing.

The last sons of Mizraim listed, Pathrusim, Casluhim, and Caphtorim, are very interesting.

From Caphtorim came the Philistim.

The Pathrusim lived in Pathros, or Upper Egypt.

The Casluhim are unknown.

The Caphtorim are twice associated with the Philistines in the Bible, in Amos 9:7 and Jeremiah 47:4.

The Philistines are generally said to have migrated from the island of Crete. Caphtor is identified in secular writings as Crete.

These three sons of Mizraim kept their families together, eventually ending up on or near Crete.

From Crete they eventually crossed the Mediterranean, landing on the eastern shore of Can’nann, settling into the land known in Biblical times as Philistia.

Of the descendant’s from the sons of Noah, few have had the impact and influence on Ancient Israel as the Philistines have.

One of the most famous of all bible stories involves a young David facing off against a giant named Goliath, who happened to be a Philistine from Gath in Philistia.

Sons of Noah: Map of Ham's Descendants in Egypt.

Phut – son of Ham – Libyans, Sabeans

Phut is the same as Libya when mentioned in the Bible. The region of Libya applied to Northwest Africa, west of Egypt.

Ca’naan – youngest son of Ham – Ancestor of the Canannite Tribes

Ca’nann plays a very prominent part in the history of Israel. It was Ca’naan who received the Noahic curse aimed at Ham, the youngest of the sons of Noah.

It would be Ca’naan who would become the father of the Holy Land, the backdrop against which the drama of Israel would unfold.

From Ca’naan came eleven sons, the eldest being Sidon. Sidon found the city Sidon, and was the progenitor of the Phoenicians.

From Heth came the Hittites (Gen. 23:10), who ruled over an empire in Asia Minor for over 800 years.

Hittites are very active throughout the entire Old Testament. Sons of Noah: Map of the land of Canaan. They were present in Canaan at the time of Abraham , reaching their zenith sometime later in Asia Minor, yet were still a force during the reign of Solomon 1,000 years later (II Chronicles 1:17).

Eventually their empire crumbled, and there is evidence that some of the Hittite people fled eastward.

Cuneiform monuments record the name “Khittae”, and this may have been modified to Cathay.

Archaeologists have noted many similarities between the Hittites and the Mongoloids.

The rest of Ca’naan’s sons listed were the originators of the peoples that would populate and inhabit the Holy Land throughout the Bible.

The Jebusites descended from a man named Jebus, who is described in the Bible as the King of Jerusalem , attesting to the antiquity of that great city.

The Amorites are continually referred to in the Bible, and in fact are one of the more prominent tribes, as they are often used to refer to all the Canaanite Tribes collectively.

The Girgasites are listed frequently, but their location is not yet found.

A map of Ham, the son of Noah, and his descendants.

Evidence of The Hivites have been found spread from Sidon to Jerusalem.

In Syria , traces of The Arkites have been discovered around Tell-Arka.

The Arvadites were centered in Arvad, a port city of the Phoenicians.

Six miles south of Arvad, in modern day Sumra, The Zemarites lived.

The Hamathites are associated with Hamath, a very well known Syrian city.

The Sinites are an interesting tribe. There is tenuous evidence that they may be the ancestors of the Chinese.

Possibly the Sinites migrated east all the way to China. Of the descendants of Ham, Sin and Heth are the two most probable ancestors of the Oriental people.

Ca’naan’s descendants, according to scripture, “spread abroad” (Gen. 10:18). Of the lines descending from the sons of Noah, these peoples migrated perhaps more than any other.

The contributions made by the descendants of Ham, the youngest of the sons of Noah, are staggering. They were the first explorers. They became the first cultivators of the basic food groups.

They discovered and invented medicines, and surgical practices. They were the firs to develop fabrics, and the devices used to sew these fabrics.

They were the inventors of mathematics, surveying, and navigation.

Thus, the following is an attempt at a comprehensive list of the descendants of Ham, the youngest of the three listed sons of Noah:

Ethiopians

Egyptians

Sumerians

Babylonians

Arvadites

Arabians

Zemarites

Assyrians

Hamathites

Philistines

Phoenicians

Sabeans

Jebusites

Amorites

Girgasites

Hivites

Arkites

Sinites

 


Japheth – son of Noah

Of the sons of Noah, Japheth’s genealogical line is the least accounted for in Genesis. Genesis 10:2-4 lists Japheth’s line.

The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras. The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah. The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittim and the Rodanim. From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language

This is the extent of Japheth’s recorded descendants. However, though his list is much smaller than his two brothers, he is of no less importance than the other sons of Noah.

Japheth was to become the father of the Indo-European nations, also referred to as Gentiles. Genesis 9:27 makes an interesting observation about Japheth.

“God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”

The word “enlarge” is an unusual translation of the Hebrew word Pathah. Pathah is not the word normally used for “enlarge”, and in this instance, “enlarge” does not signify a geographical enlargement.

Rachab would be the word used to convey a geographical enlargement. Instead, Pathah typically is translated as “entice”, or “persuade”.

It is derived from the Hebrew word Pathach, which means “to make open”. However, this verse is the only instance in the Bible where the form Pathah occurs, and it has been agreed upon by linguists and scholars to be translated as “enlarge”.

When all of this is taken into consideration, it would seem to indicate some sort of mental enlargement.

This may seem like a reach. But, when an individual is “persuaded”, or “enticed”, then their original opinions and thoughts have changed.

One’s mind has been “made open” to other possibilities and experiences. Of the sons of Noah, Japheth was the most open minded brother, and his descendants would be open minded as well.

Of the three sons of Noah, Japheth would be the father of the intellectually curious nations. His descendants would be stimulaters of thought, exploring new ideas and principles.

Not only would the eldest of the sons of Noah become intellectually enlarged, but he would also; dwell in the tents of Shem. These two sons of Noah would be close, and maintain a brotherly relationship.

The phrase, “dwell in the tents”, is a common figure of speech in the Bible. Psalms 84:10 makes mention of “dwelling in the tents of the wicked”.

To “dwell in the tents” is another way of saying “to have fellowship with”.

Japheth and his descendants would not literally live with Shem in his tents, but instead would have companionship and fellowship with Shem and Shem’s descendants.

Even though it was through Shem that God would carry the seed of Ancient Israel, Japheth would share in many of the blessings of Shem.

As one of the sons of Noah, he would come to share in Shem’s spiritual inheritance.

The Nations of Japheth

It is assumed by some scholars and historians that the son of Noah responsible for compiling the Table of Nations found in Genesis 10 was Shem.

Logically, he would start with the oldest son of Noah, Japheth.

By allowing for the gradual variations in names that develop over time, referencing these names in Scripture and other secular documents and writings, and through archaeological discoveries, it has been confirmed that Japheth was the father of the Indo-European peoples.

Japheth’s name has been found in certain documents as Iapetos, the legendary father of the Greeks, and Iyapeti, the alleged progenitor of the Aryans in India.

Gomer & His Sons – Ashkenaz, Riphath, Togarmah – Cimmeria, Germany, Cambria (Wales)

Herodotus and Plutarch associate Gomer, Japheth’s first son, with the peoples of Cimmeria, a region north of the Black Sea. Cimmeria is modern day Crimea.

A certain group of Gomer’s descendants eventually moved westward, and the name was more than likely preserved in the names Germany and Cambria, or Wales.

Ashkenaz – son of Gomer, son of Japheth – Germany, Scandia, saxons Sons of Noah: Map of Japheth's Descendants in Turkey Jews have identified Ashkenaz with Germany. In fact, to this day, German Jews are known as the Ashkenazi. This term is traced all the way back to the sons of Noah.

Some ethnologists claim the name Ashkenaz was also preserved within the names Scandia and Saxon, as peoples migrated into Denmark.

Other descendants from Ashkenaz stayed in Armenia. Strabo called these the Sakasene, very closely related to the word Saxon.

Riphath – son of Gomer, son of Japheth – Paphlagonians, Carpathians

Josephus associates Riphath as the ancestor of the Paphlagonians. Other historians and scholars have identified him with the Carpathians.

Some have gone as far as to say that the name Europe is a corruption of the original word Riphath, though evidence for this may be questionable.

Togarmah – son of Gomer, son of Japheth – Armenians, Turkey, Turkestan

Togarmah is very likely the ancestor of the Armenians, as Armenian traditions make this very claim.

The Jewish Targums claim that Germany was also derived from Togarmah and his descendants.

Turkey and Turkestan also have possible connections with Togarmah.

Magog, Meshech, and Tubal – sons of Japheth – Russian peoples

These three sons of Japheth are closely linked throughout scripture. Ezekiel 38:2 mentions all three sons in a prophecy against Gog.

Magog’s name possibly means “the place of Gog”, and is very likely that this referred to the region near the Black Sea called Georgia.

Josephus states that Magog, or Gog, was the forebearer of the Scythians. The Scythians originally settled in the Black Sea area, which correlates to the meaning of Magog’s name.

Meshech’s influence can plainly be seen in the names Muskovi, the former name for Russian, and Moscow, the Russian capital.

Tubal has been identified on certain Assyrian monuments as the Tibareni, and more than likely his name is preserved in the modern day Russian city of Tobolsk.

Ezekiel links these three brothers together in association with Rosh, translated “chief” in the King James and NIV.

Rosh was the name from which present day Russia was derived.

By and large, from the line of the sons of Noah, Magog, Meshech, and Tubal have come to be known and accepted by scholars as the originators of the current Russian peoples.

Madai – son of Japheth – Medes, in part Persians, Aryans

It is nearly unanimous that Madai was the ancestor of the Medes.

The Medes settled in modern day Persia. Along with the Semitic Elamites, the line of Madai were perhaps ancestors of the Persians as well.

As stated above, Madai was one of two sons of Noah responsible for the Persian Empire.

It was by means of Madai and his descendants that the Aryans arose. The Aryans later moved into India, and became the ancestors of the Indian peoples.

Javan & His Sons – Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim

Democracy and philosophy were both founded in countries originating from the sons of Noah.

The name Javan is the original form of the name Ionia. Ionia is synonymous with Greece.

The same Hebrew word is translated “Javan” in some passages, and “Greece” in others. It is recognized and agreed upon by scholars that of the sons of Noah, Japheth, and his son Javan, were the initiators of the Greeks.

Elishah – son of Javan, son of Japheth – Greeks

Hellas, as in Hellespont and Hellenists, is a form of the name Elishah, and came to be applied to Greece as a whole.

The Tell el Amarna and Ugaritic documents, dating from the 1400’s to the 1300’s B.C., make mention of the Alasians.

It appears that the Alasians were from Cyprus, yet another Greek connection to the sons of Noah and their descendants.

Tarshish – son of Javan, son of Japheth – Spain, North Africa

Certain cities in Spain (Tartessos), and North Africa (Carthage), have been identified with Tarshish. However, this appears problematic.

It is historical fact that these cities were Phoenician cities. The Phoenicians, as we have seen earlier, were Canannites, descended from a different son of Noah, Ham.

It is possible, though, that Tarshish and his descendants were early settlers of Spain and North Africa.

They were either conquered, or much less significant, than the more prominent Phoenicians , who played a larger role in the development of these two countries.

This would not be unusual. As we have seen from examples above, oftentimes two sons of Noah would contribute to the development and formation of a particular nation, or at least contribute certain aspects to that society.

Kittim – son of Javan, son of Japheth – Cyprus

Kittim has been understood to refer to Cyprus. It is plausible that the Hebrew term “Ma-Kittim”, meaning “the land of Kittim”, perhaps developed into the term “Macedonia”.

Dodanim – son of Javan, son of Japheth

These peoples are apparently the same as the Rodanim, mentioned in I Chronicles 1:7. The influence of Dodanim can be seen in the geographical names of Dardanelles, and Rhodes.

Tiras – son of Japheth – Thracians, Etruscans (debatable)

According to Josephus , Tiras became the ancestor of the Thracians. There has also been some debate that Tiras gave rise to the Etruscans in Italy.

The Gentiles

Genesis 10:5

“By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” (KJV)

Though some of the above identifications are uncertain, they stem from rational thinking and logical conclusions based on the available data.

Regardless, it is widely accepted that the descendants of Japheth spread out all over Europe, more so than any of the other sons of Noah. From this main body of settlers, one group split off and ventured into the East, to Persia and India.

Genesis 10:5 states that the sons of Noah and their descendants were spread, “every one after his tongue”.

This migration of peoples took place clearly after the division of language at Babel. The descendants and sons of Noah spread out from Babel to all four corners of the earth.

From the sons of Noah, it was Japheth’s descendants that eventually acquired the term “Gentiles”.

The different islands, coastlines, mountains, valleys, and continents they spread to were divided initially by what language they spoke.

The allusions to, “divided in their lands”, and “every one after his tongue”, are clear indications that Genesis 10 was written after the Dispersion at the Tower of Babel.

The Japhethites were the thinkers of their time, and Japheth’s descendants carried on that tradition through the ages.

Greek and Roman philosophers are unquestionably some of the most influential thinkers the world has ever seen.

Democracy was produced through that line of Japheth which established the Greeks.

Europe would later become one of the principle contributors to the growth and maturity of philosophy and science. Dissidents would eventually break from the European powers (Great Britian), and form the United States of America.

The descendants of Japheth, the oldest of the sons of Noah, have perhaps played more of a role in shaping our present day world than any of the other sons of Noah.

The following is an attempt at a comprehensive list of the peoples and nations of Japheth, eldest son of Noah.

Cimmerians (Crimea)

Germany and her peoples

Denmark and her peoples

Carpathians

Armenians

Turkey (possibly)

Turkestan (possibly)

Georgia and her peoples

Russian and the Russian peoples

Thracians

Etruscans (possibly)

Persians

Medes

Scythians

Aryans

India and her peoples (founded by the Aryans)

Over the course of the following centuries, Japheth’s descendants migrated to the America’s, where they encountered the Native Americans, descendants of Ham.

Thus two of the sons of Noah are responsible for the settlement and growth of the Americas.


Shem – son of Noah

Genesis 10:21 begins the list of the descendants of Shem. Of the three sons of Noah, Shem knew that “the seed of the woman” would be carried through his descendants, and it was up to him and his line to transmit and carry the knowledge of God through the generations.

Shem lists his own descendants to the fifth generation, whereas Ham is only listed to the third generation, and Japheth only to the second.

It would seem reasonable to believe that Shem lost touch with much of the family after the Dispersion at Babel.

In all probability, Shem was the only one of the sons of Noah that remained nearby, choosing not to migrate to Babel with the other sons of Noah.

Evidence suggests that he settled near the family of his great-great grandson Peleg for his last years.

It is interesting to note that before any of Shem’s sons are listed, Shem is listed as the father of the children of Eber . It is from “Eber” that the term “Hebrew” came from.

Verse 5 also makes mention of “Japheth, the elder” .

Some versions favor the interpretation of this verse as, “Shem, the elder brother of Japheth”.

However, the Masoretic and Authorized Version favor the interpretation that Japheth was the elder of the sons of Noah. This also seems to fit better within the context of the entire passage.

Further evidence of Japheth as the oldest comes from comparing Genesis 5:32, with Genesis 11:10 and Genesis 7:11.

Genesis 11:10 provides evidence of the age of Shem when the flood happened.

“Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old…”

Thus Shem was born 97 years before the flood.

Compare this to:

Genesis 5:32

“After Noah was 500 years old he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”

Now look at Genesis 7:11.

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life….the springs of the great deep burst forth and the floodgates of the heavens were opened..”

From these passages it can be determined that the eldest son of Noah was indeed Japheth. He was 1-3 years older than Shem.

The Nations of Shem

Shem & His Sons – Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, and Aram

Elam – son of Shem – Elamites

The first of Shem’s sons listed is Elam. Elam is the forerunner of the Elamites. The Elamites are recurrent throughout Scripture, and many monuments attest to their prominence in the region. Sons of Noah: Map of Shem's descendantsGenesis 14 describes a confederation of Kings that waged war in Canann during the times of Abram. One of the leaders of this alliance was Chedorlaomer, King of Elam.

The Elamites capital city was Susa, or Shushan. This archaic city was located east of Mesopotamia.

The Noahic Prophecy of Japheth dwelling in the tents of Shem is fulfilled through the Elamites. They later merged with other peoples, namely the Medes.

The Medes were descended from Madai, a son of Japheth. These two peoples joined forces to form the Persian Empire.

Thus, the descendants from two of the sons of Noah, Shem and Japheth, joined together to form one of antiquity’s most powerful empires.

Asshur – son of Shem – early Assyrians

Asshur was the original founder of the Assyrians, though Nimrod later invaded the area and established his own empire.

Thus, the Assyrians were a combination of Semitic and Hamitic characteristics.

The natives of Assyria, those living in the area before Nimrod, were racially of Shem.

Yet, after the invasion and subsequent settlement by Nimrod and his people, the Assyrians adopted Hamitic culture, language, and religion.

Again, two sons of Noah are seen helping to shape and form a nation which would lead to yet another powerful ancient empire, the Assyrian Empire.

Arphaxad – son of Shem – forerunner of the Israelites

Albeit very little is known of Arphaxad, he is one of the most important sons of Shem in regards to the “seed of the woman”.

God had promised Noah to increase his seed upon the earth, and Shem was that son of Noah through which God would bring forth the Jews and Arabs.

Arphaxad, son of Shem, is in the direct line leading to Abraham. Thus, he is an early ancestor of the Israelite people.

A region in Assyria known as Arrapachitis may have originated from Arphaxad’s name, though this is not known for certain.

Though Arphaxad probably had more than one son, only one son is listed, Salah.

A possible, and indeed the most probable, explanation for this would be that it was from Arphaxad to Salah that the “seed of the woman” was transmitted to the next generation.

Sons of Noah: Map of Shem's descendants in the Sinai

Likewise, only one son of Salah is mentioned, Eber. Eber, like his father before him, was chosen to carry the “seed of the woman” through to the next generation.

Genesis 10:25-30 depicts the descendants of Arphaxad through Joktan.

“And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one, Peleg, for in his day the earth was divided; and his brother’s name, Joktan. And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, and Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah, and Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba, and Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling was from Mesah, as thou goest unto Sephar, a mount of the east.” (KJV)

Thirteen sons of Joktan are listed in these verses. It is believed that all thirteen settled in Arabia.

Ophir and Sheba are both undeniably sited in Arabia, the former linked with a region known for its gold, the latter associated with the Sabeans.

Genesis 11:10-26 lists the descendants of Arphaxad through Peleg.

“These are the generations of Shem: Shem was a hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah: and Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters. And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber: and Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters. And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg: And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters. And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters. And Reu lived two and thirty years and begat Serug: and Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters. And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor: And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah: And Nahor lived after he begat Terah a hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters. And Terah lived seventy years and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.”

Peleg is more known for the event that took place immediately preceding his birth, the division of the earth.

There is a chance that the Pelasgians are derived from Peleg, but this seems to be the only people ascribed to him.

In all, twenty three verses in Scripture are dedicated to Arphaxad and his descendants. This is more than any other of the sons of Noah and their descendants.

Obviously, there was something very special and important about Arphaxad, even though he is the least known about of Shem’s sons.

Genealogies serve as benchmarks of time, listing dates and years and kings.

The men in these genealogies, though ignorant of the fact during their respective lifetimes, would come to be the very pillars upon which Israel would be built!

It is interesting to note that in the generations immediately following the flood, lifespans were still upwards of 400-500 years.

The flood had taken its toll on human life, as even 400 and 500 years are a far cry from the 800 and 900 plus year lifespans before the flood.

However, after Peleg, the lifespans drop off even more significantly.

It was in the days of Eber, leading up to the birth of Peleg, that the incident with the Tower of Babel took place. This is the division Scripture is talking about in relation to Peleg.

Mankind had once again rebelled against God, and God saw it fit to significantly reduce the lifespans of man, perhaps in order to limit man’s ability to accumulate knowledge and technology through hundreds of years of living and learning.

Lud – son of Shem – Lydians

Very little is ever mentioned of Lud, the fourth son of Shem listed. Josephus attributes the Lydians of Asia Minor to Lud.

Aram – son of Shem – the Arameans (same as Syrians)

It is interesting that four children of Aram are mentioned in this passage, even though three of Shem’s sons have nothing listed under their names.

Scholars and historians suggest that this may be because the children of Aram had more interaction and contact with the descendants of Abraham.

This would seem like a reasonable assumption, yet should not be taken as indisputable fact.

Aram’s children are Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Though little is known of these four, two passages in Scripture shed light on one of Aram’s sons, Uz.

Uz – son of Aram, son of Shem

Job 1:1 : “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job…”

Jeremiah 25:20 : “and all the foreigh people there; all the kings of Uz…”

Apparently Uz’s name was preserved in the region of Arabia known as Uz. This was later to be Job’s homeland, and mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah as one of the nations to receive God’s Wrath.

The other brothers of Uz have not been identified as of yet.

Thus the following is an attempt at a comprehensive list of Shem’s descendants.

Jews

Arabs

Elamites

Assyrians (with Ham)

Lydians

Arameans (a.k.a. Syrians)

Pelasgians

The Semitic Line

Genesis 10:21-29 gives the genealogy of the Semitic line starting with Shem, through whom the “promised seed” would be carried into the new world.

An interesting detail is added to this genealogy in Genesis 10:25. Peleg, a direct descendant of Abraham, is listed, and alongside his name is the added notation that, “in his time the earth was divided”.

The name Peleg means, “division”. Apparently something drastic happened in the days leading up to the birth of Peleg that divided the earth.

The exact nature of this division is not mentioned in this verse, but immediately following this genealogical record, in Genesis 11, is the story of the Tower of Babel, and the division of languages.

The natural assumption is that the Tower of Babel occurred in the days leading up to Peleg’s birth.

It thus becomes important to study the times leading up to the birth of Peleg, and how these times affected the history of Israel.

Genesis 10:25 states that Eber was the father of Peleg. Eber is a fascinating figure in the history of Ancient Israel.

Eber is so important that Shem is listed specifically as the “father of all the children of Eber” (10:21).

Eber was Noah’s great-grandson through Shem. This placed him as a contemporary of Nimrod. Eber was a righteous man, as is evident in that the “promised seed” is through his line. He is a direct descendant of Abram.

Though Eber and Nimrod lived at the same time, and came from the same family, they were very different men.

Nimrod, the chief architect of the Tower of Babel , and great-grandson of Noah through Ham, was a man of exceeding wickedness, and sought to thwart God’s plans at every turn.

God, however, will not let evil go unimpeded. As Nimrod sought to establish his own kingdom in and around Babel, and build his tower to the heavens, perhaps Eber sought to remind the people of righteousness and holiness, and to repent and turn to God, instead of turning to Nimrod and the plans of man.

Eber knew that ultimately God would prevail. As a result of man’s arrogance, God confused the tongues and dispersed the people.

Throughout Ancient Israel, men like Eber were instrumental in the preservation of God’s commands.

After God’s judgment on Babel, the people of that region spread out all over the world. The dispersion was all part of God’s plan for the future shaping of Ancient Israel.

Ancient Israel’s line of descent from Shem to Abraham is as follows:

Shem brought forth Arphaxad, who brought forth Salah, who brought forth Eber, who brought forth Peleg, who brought forth Reu, who brought forth Serug, who brought forth Nahor, who brought forth Terah, who was the father of Abram.

The direct line of the promised seed travels from Shem through his son Arphaxad, and down to Abram.

After the dispersion at Babel, scripture goes quiet about what was happening.

Tribes of families and peoples were migrating from Babel throughout the world. Cultures and languages were developing.

The exact date of this period in Ancient Israel is unknown. The reason for this uncertainty is that scholars disagree on the chronology of Genesis 11.

Some say that gaps exist in this genealogical list, others disagree and say the list is complete and accurate.

The Significance of “Seventy”

Genesis 10:32 summarizes the Table of Nations. As stated earlier, Shem was the son of Noah whom scholars credit as writing the Table of Nations.

From Ham 30 nations are listed, 26 nations are listed under Shem, and 14 under Japheth. In all, 70 nations are mentioned from the sons of Noah.

These figures were arrived at by counting the names under each of the sons of Noah.

Each son, and that son’s particular descendants, became the originators of a people, and eventually of a nation.

Seventy nations are mentioned within the Table of Nations in Genesis 10, and “From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.”

God had told Noah, and the sons of Noah, to be fruitful and multiply upon the face of the earth.

At the time of the writing of The Table of Nations, the sons of Noah had populated the earth to the extent of seventy nations.

This is the first instance of any significance being placed on the number seventy in the Bible.

Genesis 46:27 lists the number of Jacob’s family that came into Egypt from Canaan as seventy. Moses reiterated this fact in Deuteronomy 10:22, when he reminds the people that though seventy entered Egypt, God had made them as “numerous as the stars in the sky”.

Daniel 9:24 allots seventy weeks for the nation of Israel’s history to unfold.

“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.”

Numbers 11:16, 25 speaks of “seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials”.

There were seventy members of the Sanhedrin. Seventy scholars and linguists translated the Old Testament into Greek, creating the Septuagint.

In Psalms 90:10, Moses wrote that man’s years were seventy.

The Babylonian Captivity lasted seventy years.

Whatever the significance God attached to the number seventy, it is seen repeatedly throughout Scripture, with the first mentioning here in Genesis 10.

Through the sons of Noah, the post flood world repopulated itself. From Japheth, Shem, and Ham, seventy nations emerged. These seventy nations would become the descendants of the modern day nations of the world.

It is important to note here, that the sons of Noah, and the respective migrations of each clan, is what laid the foundation for the biblical setting of the Old and New Testaments.

Israel’s history, from Ancient Israel to today, is a result of the interaction between the sons of Noah and their descendants over thousands of years.

Nimrod and the Tower of Babel

From : http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/nimrod.html#%3Cb%3E%3Cu%3EHis%20Religion%3C/b%3E%3C/u%3E

Nimrod and the Tower of Babel

Nimrod, the son of Cush, had an impact on ancient Israel unmatched by any other of Ham’s descendants. Cush, the oldest son of Ham, fell under the Noahic curse. Consequently, the descendants of Cush, Nimrod included, would fall under the curse as well.

Nimrod, A Mighty Hunter Before GodThe son of Cush

The son of Cush’s name literally means “Let us rebel”. Cush felt threatened by Noah’s prophecy of servitude, and consequently sought to establish his own kingdom through his son.

Ham had laid the groundwork for open rebellion against his father Noah. He had resented Noah’s authority, and in effect, God’s authority. This attitude trickled down to his son Cush.

Cush, in turn, raised his son in a spirit of rebellion against God and His plan for mankind.

He would become the founder of the very empire which would one day completely destroy the nation of Israel and its Temple, and send its people into exile.

This empire would, in due course, come to represent the satanic government set up and established in Revelation to pursue and utterly destroy all Jews and Christians from the face of the earth.

Genesis 10:8-10

“And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.”

Nimrod

As the descendants of Ham moved into Arabia and Africa, Cush and his clan choose to settle in the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley.

By the time the son of Cush had come of age, he had established himself as a “mighty one in the earth”.

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His Empire

Map of Empire

His Religion

The Tower of Babel

The Jerusalem Targum has this to say about him:

” He was powerful in hunting and in wickedness before the Lord, for he was a hunter of the sons of men, and he said to them, ‘Depart from the judgment of the Lord, and adhere to the judgment of Nimrod.’ Therefore is it said: ‘As Nimrod the strong one, strong in hunting, and in wickedness before the Lord.’ “

The spirit of rebellion is seen clearly in Ham’s grandson. He has no desire to pursue the commandments of God.

Instead, in an effort to thwart the Noahic curse of servitude, Cush had raised his son in the hopes of establishing their own kingdom on earth, and perhaps even enslaving the descendants of Shem and Japheth.

Nimrod was without a doubt a man of great charisma and ability. He held tremendous influence over the people. It is noted that he was a “mighty hunter before the Lord”.

Such a phrase would seem to indicate hunting above and beyond the normal hunting required to gather food for one’s family.

Throughout the Old Testament the Bohemath and Leviathan appear sporadically, indicating that extremely large animals were present in Old Testament times. Some geologists and scholars claim that the Ice Age immediately followed the Genesis Flood , and fossil records from the Ice Age, and pre-Ice Age (before the Flood), indicate that enormous animals existed, perhaps even dinosaurs, or some ancestors of them that found their way onto the ark.

As the environment changed due to the flood, the food supply would have changed as well. Animals that were used to abundant supplies of food before the flood, perhaps found it hard to survive on the limited food supply after the flood.

These fossil records indicate that enormous animals were in fact living around this time. These animals may have been a serious threat to man in the centuries following the flood.

Any person that gained a reputation as a Big Game Hunter in those times would surely have gained fame and popularity among men.

However, this ability was taken and used “against the Lord”.

Verse 9 from this passage literally translates;

“He was a mighty hunter against the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter against the Lord.” (italics added)

He hunted and killed these animals in a heart of deliberate and open rebellion towards God.

Perhaps he viewed his killings as a way to establish his control over God’s creation, thus his independence from God’s sovereignty.

Cush had taught his son that God was against their side of the family, and it was up to him to save his lineage from enslavement and humiliation.

It was by his prowess as a hunter that fame and honer were obtained, and ultimately he rose to a position as a world leader of his time, using his charisma, ability, and energy to establish an empire, centered in Babel.

God had given Noah and his sons the order to establish human government, but the kind He intended was a far cry from what Ham’s descendants would build and establish.

The Babylon mentioned throughout the entire Bible, from the captivity and destruction of Israel in 586 B.C., to the Babylon of the book of Revelation, is the Babel built and established in Genesis.

This was truly a government set up against God, and everything God represented.

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The Chaldeans settled in Ur, home of Abraham. This was also the land of the empire established by Nimrod. Add this invaluable resource to your collection today!

The Chaldean account of Genesis, containing the description of the creation, the fall of man, the deluge, the tower of Babel, the times of the patriarchs, and N

Steven Merrill dives into the history and background of the mysterious Nimrod. He brings to life the distant and remote times of ancient Mesopotamia, and one of the most mysterious characters in all of the Bible!

Nimrod: Darkness In The Cradle Of Civilization

His Empire

These people built a vast network of cities and religious complexes, centered in Babel, or Babylon.

The Mighty Hunter built Erech, called Uruk in the Bible. Erech is 100 miles southeast of Babylon, and was the legendary home of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh was the hero of the Babylonian flood story.

Archaeological excavations at Erech have produced ancient writings that date long before Abraham .

Immediately north of Babylon, was Accad. Accad is also found throughout the Bible and other ancient texts spelled Akkad, and Agade.

The Akkadian Empire lent its name from this city. The Akkadian Empire is practically the same as the Sumerian Empire.

Calneh has yet to be identified, however it was in the land of Shinar. The “land of Shinar” is most likely Sumer, and referred to in Daniel 1:2 as Babylonia.

From Babel, Nimrod worked his way up the Tigris River into Assyria.

His plan of expansion was in motion. He sought to establish great cities on each river, the Tigris and the Euphrates, in an attempt to control trade and commerce in the region.

Approximately 200 miles north of Babylon, on the upper Tigris river, he founded Nineveh.

As Babylon was situated on the Euphrates, Nineveh was situated on the upper Tigris, and later became the capital of the Assyrian Empire, just one of the eventual conquerors of Israel.

Along with Nineveh, he built the cities of Rehoboth, Resen, and Calah.

Nimrod's Empire

Rehoboth and Resen were satellite cities of Nineveh, yet have not been identified.

Twenty miles south of Nineveh, on the banks of the Tigris, rests the excavated ruins of Calah. Calah is still called “Nimrud” after its founder.

Resen was said to have been built between Nineveh and Calah.

These cities taken together were known as “a great city”. Nimrod, in essence, became the originator of the Metropolitan are.

The Assyrian myths and legends tell of a “Ninus” that founded Nineveh and the “great city”. Linguists and scholars agree that “Ninus” is a form of “Nimrod”.

Genesis 11:1-4

“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar (That is, Babylonia) and settled there. They said to each other, ‘come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth.”

As Nimrod built up his vast network of cities, both on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, he began to institute religious practices that were directly at odds with the worship of the true God.

The passage in Genesis 11 tells the story of Nimrod’s efforts at establishing a world religion.

Though Nimrod’s name is not directly mentioned, the Tower of Babel was built in Babylon, presumably under his direction.

As Nimrod was a “mighty one” among men, and the founder of the Babylonian Empire, it is natural to assume that he was the driving force behind man’s rebellion in those days.

It is interesting to note that the passage states, “As men moved eastward”..

The plain of Shinar is located southeast of Ararat, thus, this may suggest that people first migrated to the far southeast of Mt. Ararat into Persia or Afghanistan.

Perhaps Nimrod even led a rebellion that broke from the main body, and led his group westward into Babylonia. Though there is no factual basis for this, it is an interesting thought, and certainly not out of character for Nimrod to rebel and try to establish his own kingdom.

By the time of the Tower of Babel, his kingdom is well established with major cities (Nineveh & Babel) on both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

Perhaps once they settled, then Nimrod rose to prominence. Whatever the course of events, by this time Nimrod was firmly in control of the region.

It is worth noting here that archaeology has revealed that the bricks used in ancient Babylon were stronger and more durable than those used in ancient Egypt and Assyria.

The Egyptians and Assyrians used the sun to dry their bricks, hence the term “sun-dried brick”. The Babylonians used a kiln of sorts. Their bricks were furnace-treated, thus stronger and more enduring.

They also used bitumen instead of mortar. The “tar” mentioned was probably the slime found in the asphalt pits of the Tigris-Euphrates valley.

Kiln-fired bricks and asphalt construction were very common in ancient Babylon, and agree with this passage in Genesis.

Once they had established their construction methods, Nimrod sought to establish his legacy by building a tower in honor of man.

They no longer were concerned with worshiping the Creator. Romans 1:18-32 gives a vivid description of what life must have been like for Nimrod and his followers.

So corrupt and evil had this generation become that Revelation 17:5 calls Babylon “the mother of prostitutes, and of the abominations of the earth”.

His Religion

This perversion led to Pantheism, the belief that Nature and God are in essence the same, and Polytheism, the religious system which establishes multiple gods.

This was in direct opposition to Monotheism, which is the worship of one God. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are all forms of monotheistic belief systems.

There is plentiful evidence to suggest that all forms of paganism, meaning all forms of pantheism and polytheism, traces its roots back to Ancient Babylonia.

It is no secret that the assortment of gods and goddesses from Egypt, India, Greece and Rome all find their beginnings in the original pantheon of the Babylonians.

There is even evidence that Nimrod himself was later deified as Merodach, or Marduk, the chief god of Babylon.

This may be the origin of Pharaoh and Caesar worship seen in later empires, where the leader of the particular empire is claimed to be a god.

Naturally the stars, and planets, the “heavenly host”, became involved with these deities and pagan practices. The sun began to occupy a central place of importance.

The zodiac was created. Astrology became perverted, and led to spiritism, and soothsaying, and using the stars to predict events and dates in the future.

This perverted religion of creation-worship ultimately led to Baal worship, Zoroastranism, and any other form of worship that seeks to praise the creation, rather than the Creator.

An artist's rendition of Nimrod's Tower of Babel.

The Tower of Babel

The King James Bible translate verse 4 as reading;

“….and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven…”.

The reason for building this tower was not to reach the heavens, but to honor heaven and its angelic host.

The word “unto” suggests an offering, and this tower was an offering to heaven and its host.

It would serve as a temple, a central altar, where man could offer sacrifices and worship.

This tower would dominate the city. It would be the crown jewel, architecturally, culturally, socially and spiritually, of the empire. It would be a symbol of man’s unity and strength.

Nimrod instituted governing bodies of priests to regulate and oversee worship. Verse 8 suggests that though the tower was not finished, it was in use at the time when God came down to look in on the construction.

Ornate decorations would have adorned the ceilings and staircases of the temple.

Emblazoned scenes of stars and heavenly bodies filled the empty spaces in the ceremonial rooms throughout.

The stars began to assume identities, such as Leo the great King of Heaven, and perhaps these identities were shown in sculptures and statues that lined the staircases and doorways of the tower.

The beauty of the tower was surely breathtaking. In fact, so impressive was the Tower of Babel that God Himself commented, “now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do“.

As a result, God saw it necessary to scatter the people to prevent further corruption and moral degradation. To accomplish this, God confounds the language of the people.

The word “confound” is the Hebrew Balal, and means mingled, or mixed, and by extension confusion.

The English word “babble” is an example of an onomatopoeia, a word formed to imitate an actual sound.

The very name Babylon would come to represent the city of babbling, or confusion. Babylon, in fact, has since been a center of religious and political confusion.

Babylon was an ever constant threat to Ancient Israel, both spiritually and physically, and continues to be a threat to this very day.

The Journeys of Abraham

From http://www.bible-history.com/maps/6-abrahams-journeys.html 

The Journeys of Abraham
Map of the Abraham's Journey from Ur to Haran to Egypt
(Enlarge) (PDF for Print) (Freely Distributed for Personal or Church use)

Map of Abram’s Journey from Ur to Haran to Egypt

The Bible shifts its focus in Genesis 12 from the history of the entire human race to a man named Abram, the first Hebrew, and he lived in Ur of the Chaldees. Later God appeared to Abram and promised him that if he would leave his country and journey to a land that he has never seen, God would make of his descendants a great nation and through them the Savior of the world would come, through his “seed.” Later God changed his name to Abraham which means “father of a many nations” and he obeyed God and journeyed to the land of Canaan. The Lord also spoke a promise that anyone who blessed Abraham and his descendants would be blessed and anyone who cursed Abraham and his descendants would be cursed.

The Journey (Abraham Visits 17 Locations)

The land of Canaan would be the inheritance of Abraham’s descendants but Abraham would only be a pilgrim there. On his journey to Canaan there were seventeen places that Abraham visited recorded in the Old Testament. Each of these places are important in the history of Israel and there is evidence of their existence in ancient times through archaeology.

1. Ur of the Chaldees was the original home of Abraham. It was one of the greatest cities of the ancient world, and Ur was the capital of the ancient Chaldean Empire in ancient Mesopotamia. Sometime around 1900 BC the Lord told Abraham to leave his home and country and go to a land that He would show him. He obeyed and departed from Ur with his father Terah and his nephew Lot. (Gen. 11:31; Acts 7:2-4).

2. Haran in Mesopotamia was the first stopping place recorded inn the Bible. They dwelt here until after the death of his father Terah, and in Haran the Lord called Abraham again (Gen. 12:1-4; Acts 7:4). Nahor, Abraham’s brother, had probably settled in Haran before they departed.

3. Damascus was a great city in the ancient world and it was located in ancient Aram (Syria). Abraham and his nephew Lot had departed Haran and followed the leading of the Lord. They moved southward and passed by the city of Damascus along the way and it might have been at this time that Abraham secured his servant Eliezer (Gen. 15:2).

4. Shechem or Sichem was the first place where Abraham came to in Canaan. The Lord appeared to Abraham again and confirmed his promises, and It was here at Shechem that Abraham built the first altar to the Lord (Gen. 12:6, 7).  There is much history in this place (Joshua 24:1, Judges 9:6, 1 Kings 12:1).

5. Bethel. Abraham continued his journey southward and came to a mountain near Bethel, where he built a second altar (Genesis 12:8).

6. Egypt. Abraham and his family journeyed southward through the land of Canaan and a major famine hit they migrated to Egypt. In Egypt Abraham deceived the King in order to save his own life and was expelled from the land of Egypt (Gen. 12:9-20). The king of Egypt feared Abraham because of a dream and allowed him to leave with all of his possessions.

7. Bethel. Abraham and his nephew Lot returned to their former home at Bethel, but on account of strife between their herdsmen they parted each others company as friends. (Gen. 13:1-9).

8. Hebron. Lot chose the warm climate and lush plains of the Jordan Valley and pitched his tent toward Sodom, and Abraham left the desirable Sodom and Gomorrah and sojourned at Hebron in Mamre where he heard again from the Lord and built an altar (Gen. 13:10-18). An interesting note is that Hebron was one of the oldest cities in ancient Canaan and Numbers 13:22 says that “it was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.”

9. Dan. Four kings of the east came to Canaan who were united under Chedorlaomer of Elam (the territory of ancient Ur) and made war against the five kings of Canaan. In their conquest of the Jordan Valley they captured Lot as a prisoner of war, and when Abraham heard of it he pursued the four kings and overtook them at Dan and defeated them with the help of the Lord (Gen. 14:1-14), Abraham had assembled an army of 318 men. The city of Dan was located in the north between Hazor and Damascus.

10. Hobah. Abraham and his army of servants smote the army of the 4 kings of Chedorlaomer and chased them to Hobah, which was located near Damascus. Lot and all the people with them were rescued including their belongings (Gen. 14:15, 16).

11. Salem. On his return Abraham passed through Salem (Jerusalem) and was met by a man named Melchizedek whose name means “king of righteousness”. Melchizedek was a mysterious man regarded in the Bible as the priest and king of Salem. This was the first mention of the word “priest” in the Bible and he gave to Abraham bread and wine. The Bible also mentions that Abraham paid him 1/10th of all his spoils from the war as a “tithe”. Hebrews 7:3 gives an interesting description of Melchizedek and therefore his identity remains a mystery. The king of Sodom also came out to meet Abraham at the same place (Gen. 14:17-21).

12. Hebron. When Abraham finally returned to Hebron God reminded him of his covenant with him and changed his name from Abram to Abraham (Gen. 15:1-21; 17:1-27). During his stay at this place Ishmael was born (Gen. 16: 1-16) and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed (Gen. 18:1 – 19:38)

13. Gerar. Abraham left Hebron and for a time sojourned among the Philistines in Gerar which was in southern Canaan west of Beersheba. It was in Gerar that Abraham deceived King Abimelech (Gen. 20:1-18).

14. Beersheba. Abraham remained at Beersheba for some time. During this time he made a covenant with king Abimelech. Later he gave birth to a natural son of him and Sarah in his old age, he named him Isaac which means “laughter”. When Isaac was born Ishmael was expelled and his mother Hagar fled and was met by “the Angel of the Lord” which was the Lord Himself (Gen. 21:1-34).

15. Moriah. It was in Beersheba that Abraham received the command from the Lord to take his only son Isaac to Mount Moriah, a mountain of Salem, to offer Isaac as a burnt offering (Gen. 22:1-18).

16. Beersheba. Abraham returned to Beersheba and dwelt there for some time.

17. Hebron. Abraham bought the cave of Machpelah as the family sepulcher and buried his wife Sarah there (Gen. 23: 1-20). At the age of 175 Abraham died, and was also buried in the cave at Machpelah.

Map of the Journeys of Abraham
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Map of the Journeys of Abraham

Map of the World of Abraham
Map of the World of Abraham

Ur of the Chaldees

Map of Ancient Ur

Ur in Easton’s Bible Dictionary light, or the moon city, a city “of the Chaldees,” the birthplace of Haran (Gen. 11:28,31), the largest city of Shinar or northern Chaldea, and the principal commercial centre of the country as well as the centre of political power. It stood near the mouth of the Euphrates, on its western bank, and is represented by the mounds (of bricks cemented by bitumen) of el-Mugheir, i.e., “the bitumined,” or “the town of bitumen,” now 150 miles from the sea and some 6 miles from the Euphrates, a little above the point where it receives the Shat el-Hie, an affluent from the Tigris. It was formerly a maritime city, as the waters of the Persian Gulf reached thus far inland. Ur was the port of Babylonia, whence trade was carried on with the dwellers on the gulf, and with the distant countries of India, Ethiopia, and Egypt. It was abandoned about B.C. 500, but long continued, like Erech, to be a great sacred cemetery city, as is evident from the number of tombs found there. (See ABRAHAM The oldest king of Ur known to us is Ur-Ba’u (servant of the goddess Ba’u), as Hommel reads the name, or Ur-Gur, as others read it. He lived some twenty-eight hundred years B.C., and took part in building the famous temple of the moon-god Sin in Ur itself. The illustration here given represents his cuneiform inscription, written in the Sumerian language, and stamped upon every brick of the temple in Ur. It reads: “Ur-Ba’u, king of Ur, who built the temple of the moon-god.” “Ur was consecrated to the worship of Sin, the Babylonian moon-god. It shared this honour, however, with another city, and this city was Haran, or Harran. Harran was in Mesopotamia, and took its name from the highroad which led through it from the east to the west. The name is Babylonian, and bears witness to its having been founded by a Babylonian king. The same witness is still more decisively borne by the worship paid in it to the Babylonian moon-god and by its ancient temple of Sin. Indeed, the temple of the moon-god at Harran was perhaps even more famous in the Assyrian and Babylonian world than the temple of the moon-god at Ur. “Between Ur and Harran there must, consequently, have been a close connection in early times, the record of which has not yet been recovered. It may be that Harran owed its foundation to a king of Ur; at any rate the two cities were bound together by the worship of the same deity, the closest and most enduring bond of union that existed in the ancient world. That Terah should have migrated from Ur to Harran, therefore, ceases to be extraordinary. If he left Ur at all, it was the most natural place to which to go. It was like passing from one court of a temple into another. “Such a remarkable coincidence between the Biblical narrative and the evidence of archaeological research cannot be the result of chance. The narrative must be historical; no writer of late date, even if he were a Babylonian, could have invented a story so exactly in accordance with what we now know to have been the truth. For a story of the kind to have been the invention of Palestinian tradition is equally impossible. To the unprejudiced mind there is no escape from the conclusion that the history of the migration of Terah from Ur to Harran is founded on fact” (Sayce).

Ur in Fausset’s Bible Dictionary Of the Chaldees (Genesis 11:28; Genesis 11:31; Genesis 15:7; Nehemiah 9:7), from which Terah, Abraham, and Lot were called. In Mesopotamia (Acts 7:2). Now Mugheir (a ruined temple of large bitumen bricks, which also “mugheir” means, namely, Um Mugheir “mother of bitumen”), on the right bank of the Euphrates, near its junction with the Shat el Hie from the Tigris; in Chaldaea proper. Called Hur by the natives, and on monuments Ur. The most ancient city of the older Chaldaea. Its bricks bear the name of the earliest monumental kings, “Urukh king of Ur”; his kingdom extended as far N. as Niffer. The royal lists on the monuments enumerate Babylonian kings from Urukh (2230 B.C., possibly the Orchanus of Ovid, Met. 4:212) down to Nabonid (540 B.C.) the last. The temple was sacred to ‘Urki, the moon goddess; Ilgi son of Urukh completed it. For two centuries it was the capital, and always was held sacred. One district was “Ibra,” perhaps related to “Hebrew,” Abraham’s designation. Ur was also a cemetery and city of tombs, doubtless because of its sacred character, from whence the dead were brought to it from vast distances for 1,800 years. Eupolemos (in Eusebius, Praep. Ev. 9:17) refers to Ur as “the moon worshipping (kamarine; kamar being Arabic for moon) city.” The derivation from Ur, “fire,” led to the Koran and Talmud legends that Abraham miraculously escaped out of the flames into which Nimrod or other idolatrous persecutors threw him. Ur lies six miles distant from the present coarse of the Euphrates, and 125 from the sea; though it is thought it was anciently a maritime town, and that its present inland site is due to the accumulation of alluvium (?). The buildings are of the most archaic kind, consisting of low mounds enclosed within an enceinte, on most sides perfect, an oval space 1,000 yards long by 800 broad. The temple is thoroughly Chaldaean in type, in stages of which two remain, of brick partly sunburnt, partly baked, cemented with bitumen.

Ur in Hitchcock’s Bible Names fire

Ur in Naves Topical Bible 1. Abraham’s native place Ge 11:27,28 Abraham leaves Ge 11:31; 15:7; Ne 9:7 -2. Father of one of David’s mighty men 1Ch 11:35

Ur in Smiths Bible Dictionary was the land of Haran’s nativity, Ge 11:28 the place from which Terah and Abraham started “to go into the land of Canaan.” Ge 11:31 It is called in Genesis “Ur of the Chaldaeans,” while in the Acts St. Stephen places it, by implication, in Mesopotamia. Ac 7:2,4 These are all the indications which Scripture furnishes as to its locality. It has been identified by the most ancient traditions with the city of Orfah in the highlands of Mesopotamia, which unite the table-land of Armenia to the valley of the Euphrates. In later ages it was called Edessa, and was celebrated as the capital of Abgarus or Acbarus who was said to have received the letter and portrait of our Saviour. “Two, physical features must have secured Orfah, from the earliest times, as a nucleus for the civilization of those regions. One is a high-crested crag, the natural fortifications of the crested citadel….The other is an abundant spring, issuing in a pool of transparent clearness, and embosomed in a mass of luxuriant verdure, which, amidst the dull brown desert all around, makes and must always have made, this spot an oasis, a paradise, in the Chaldaean wilderness. Round this sacred pool,’the beautiful spring Callirrhoe,’ as it was called by the Greek writers, gather the modern traditions of the patriarch.” –Stanley, Jewish Church, part i.p.7. A second tradition, which appears in the Talmud, finds Ur in Warka, 120 miles southeast from Babylon and four east of the Euphrates. It was the Orchoe of the Greeks, and probably the Ereck of Holy Scripture. This place bears the name of Huruk in the native inscriptions, and was in the countries known to the Jews as the land of the Chaldaeans. But in opposition to the most ancient traditions, many modern writers have fixed the site of Ur at a very different position, viz. in the extreme south of Chaldaea, at Mugheir, not very far above– and probably in the time of Abraham actually upon– the head of the Persian Gulf. Among the ruins which are now seen at the spot are the remains of one of the great temples, of a model similar to that of Babel, dedicated to the moon, to whom the city was sacred. (Porter and Rawlinson favor this last place.)

Ur in the Bible Encyclopedia – ISBE ur (‘ur, “flame”; Codex Vaticanus Sthur; Codex Sinaiticus Ora): Father of Eliphal, one of David’s “mighty men,” in 1 Ch 11:35; in the parallel 2 Sam 23:34 called “Ahasbai.”

Ur Scripture – Genesis 11:28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Genesis/11/

2 Kings 25:13 – And the pillars of brass that [were] in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brasen sea that [was] in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon.

2 Kings 24:2 – And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets.

2 Chronicles 36:17 – Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave [them] all into his hand.

Genesis 11:31 – And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

2 Kings 25:4 – And the city was broken up, and all the men of war [fled] by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which [is] by the king’s garden: (now the Chaldees [were] against the city round about:) and [the king] went the way toward the plain.

Genesis 15:7 – And he said unto him, I [am] the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

2 Kings 25:5 – And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him.

2 Kings 25:25 – But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah.

2 Kings 25:24 – And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you.

2 Kings 25:26 – And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees.

Nehemiah 9:7 – Thou [art] the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;

Isaiah 13:19 – And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees‘ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

2 Kings 25:10 – And all the army of the Chaldees, that [were with] the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.

Genesis 11:28 – And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

Ancient Haran

Map of Ancient Haran

Haran in Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1.) Heb. haran; i.e., “mountaineer.” The eldest son of Terah, brother of Abraham and Nahor, and father of Lot, Milcah, and Iscah. He died before his father (Gen. 11:27), in Ur of the Chaldees. (2.) Heb. haran, i.e., “parched;” or probably from the Accadian charana, meaning “a road.” A celebrated city of Western Asia, now Harran, where Abram remained, after he left Ur of the Chaldees, till his father Terah died (Gen. 11:31, 32), when he continued his journey into the land of Canaan. It is called “Charran” in the LXX. and in Acts 7:2. It is called the “city of Nahor” (Gen. 24:10), and Jacob resided here with Laban (30:43). It stood on the river Belik, an affluent of the Euphrates, about 70 miles above where it joins that river in Upper Mesopotamia or Padan-aram, and about 600 miles northwest of Ur in a direct line. It was on the caravan route between the east and west. It is afterwards mentioned among the towns taken by the king of Assyria (2 Kings 19:12; Isa. 37:12). It was known to the Greeks and Romans under the name Carrhae. (3.) The son of Caleb of Judah (1 Chr. 2:46) by his concubine Ephah.

Haran in Fausset’s Bible Dictionary HARAN was Terah’s firstborn son, oldest brother of Abram (who is named first in Genesis 11:27, because heir of the promises), father of Lot, and Milcah who married her uncle Nahor, and Iscah or Sarai who married her uncle Abram, being “daughter (i.e. granddaughter) of his father not of his mother” (Genesis 20:12). That Haran was oldest brother appears from his brothers marrying his daughters, Sarai being only ten years younger than Abram (Genesis 17:17). Haran died in Ur, his native place, before his father. In the Hebrew the country Haran begins with ‘ch’, the man Haran with ‘h’, as also the Haran the Gershonite Levite under David of Shimei’s family (1 Chronicles 23:9). Hara begins with ‘h’; Caleb’s son by Ephah (1 Chronicles 2:46) begins with ‘ch’. Jewish tradition makes Haran to have been cast into Nimrod’s furnace for wavering during Abram’s fiery trial.

Haran in Hitchcock’s Bible Names mountainous country

Haran in Naves Topical Bible 1. Father of Lot and brother of Abraham Ge 11:26-31 -2. Son of Caleb 1Ch 2:46 -3. A Levite 1Ch 23:9 -4. Also called CHARRAN A place in Mesopotamia to which Terah and Abraham migrated Ge 11:31; 12:4,5; Ac 7:4 Death of Terah at Ge 11:32 Abraham leaves, by divine command Ge 12:1-5 Jacob flees to Ge 27:43; 28:7; 29 Returns from, with Rachel and Leah Ge 31:17-21 Conquest of, king of Assyria 2Ki 19:12 Merchants of Eze 27:23 Idolatry in Jos 24:2,14; Isa 37:12

Haran in Smiths Bible Dictionary (a mountaineer). 1. The third son of Terah, and therefore youngest brother of Abram. Ge 11:26 (B.C. 1926.) Three children are ascribed to him –Lot, vs. Ge 11:27,31 and two daughters, viz., Milcah, who married her uncle Nahor, ver. Ge 11:29 and Iscah. ver. Ge 11:29 Haran was born in Ur of the Chaldees, and he died there while his father was still living. ver. Ge 11:28 2. A Gershonite Levite in the time of David, one of the family of Shimei. 1Ch 23:9 3. A son of the great Caleb by his concubine Ephah. 1Ch 2:46 4. HARAN or CHARRAN, Ac 7:2,4 name of the place whither Abraham migrated with his family from Ur of the Chaldees, and where the descendants of his brother Nahor established themselves. Comp. Ge 24:10 with Gene 27:43 It is said to be in Mesopotamia, Ge 24:10 or more definitely in Padan-aram, ch. Ge 25:20 the cultivated district at the foot of the hills, a name well applying to the beautiful stretch of country which lies below Mount Masius between the Khabour and the Euphrates. Here, about midway in this district, is a small village still called Harran. It was celebrated among the Romans, under the name of Charrae, as the scene of the defeat of Crassus.

Haran in the Bible Encyclopedia – ISBE ha’-ran (charan; Charhran): The city where Terah settled on his departure from Ur (Gen 11:31 f); whence Abram set out on his pilgrimage of faith to Canaan (Gen 12:1 ff). It was probably “the city of Nahor” to which Abraham’s servant came to find a wife for Isaac (Gen 24:10 ff). Hither came Jacob when he fled from Esau’s anger (Gen 27:43). Here he met his bride (Gen 29:4), and in the neighboring pastures he tended the flocks of Laban. It is one of the cities named by Rabshakeh as destroyed by the king of Assyria (2 Ki 19:12; Isa 37:12). Ezekiel speaks of the merchants of Haran as trading with Tyre (27:23). The name appears in Assyro-Babalonian as Charran, which means “road”; possibly because here the trade route from Damascus joined that from Nineveh to Carchemish. It is mentioned in the prism inscription of Tiglath-pileser I. It was a seat of the worship of Sin, the moon-god, from very ancient times. A temple was built by Shalmaneser II. Haran seems to have shared in the rebellion of Assur (763 BC, the year of the solar eclipse, June 15). The privileges then lost were restored by Sargon II. The temple, which had been destroyed, was rebuilt by Ashurbanipal, who was here crowned with the crown of Sin. Haran and the temple suffered much damage in the invasion of the Umman-Manda (the Medes). Nabuna`id restored temple and city, adorning them on a lavish scale. Near Haran the Parthians defeated and slew Crassus (53 BC), and here Caracalla was assassinated (217 AD). In the 4th century it was the seat of a bishopric; but the cult of the moon persisted far into the Christian centuries. The chief temple was the scene of heathen worship until the 11th century, and was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th. The ancient city is represented by the modern Charran to the Southeast of Edessa, on the river Belias, an affluent of the Euphrates. The ruins lie on both sides of the stream, and include those of a very ancient castle, built of great basaltic blocks, with square columns, 8 ft. thick, which support an arched roof some 30 ft. in height. Remains of the old cathedral are also conspicuous. No inscriptions have yet been found here, but a fragment of an Assyrian lion has been uncovered. A well nearby is identified as that where Eliezer met Rebekah. In Acts 7:2,4, the King James Version gives the name as Charran.

Genesis 11:29 – And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife [was] Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

Genesis 12:4 – So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram [was] seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

Genesis 12:5 – And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

Genesis 11:32 – And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

Ezekiel 27:23Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, [and] Chilmad, [were] thy merchants.

2 Kings 19:12 – Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; [as] Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which [were] in Thelasar?

Isaiah 37:12 – Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, [as] Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which [were] in Telassar?

Genesis 11:26 – And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Genesis 27:43 – Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;

1 Chronicles 23:9 – The sons of Shimei; Shelomith, and Haziel, and Haran, three. These [were] the chief of the fathers of Laadan.

Genesis 11:28 – And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

Genesis 28:10 – And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

Genesis 29:4 – And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence [be] ye? And they said, Of Haran [are] we.

Genesis 11:27 – Now these [are] the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

1 Chronicles 2:46 – And Ephah, Caleb’s concubine, bare Haran, and Moza, and Gazez: and Haran begat Gazez.

Genesis 11:31 – And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

Shechem

Map of Ancient Shechem

THE city of Nabulus, one of the most ancient in Israel, is also one of the most interesting. It lies in the beautiful Valley of Shechem, which is about 500 yards wide, between Mounts Ebal and Gerizim. The place was originally called Shechem, and it was the first spot where Abraham pitched his tent after entering Canaan. It was a prominent place in the days of the Patriarchs, and is frequently mentioned in the Book of Genesis. It became, four centuries later, the first great gathering place of the Israelites after their occupation of the Promised Land. (Josh. 8:30-35.) Shechem was assigned to the Levites, and made a city of refuge. It was the first capital of the kingdom of Israel. It was called by the Romans Neapolis, and the Arabs have corrupted this into Nabulus, its modern name. Near the city is the well at which the Saviour held his discourse with the woman of Samaria. Jacob’s well and the tomb of Joseph are also close by in the valley. A small remnant of the ancient Samaritans dwell here still, despised and persecuted by their Mahommedan masters. – Ancient Geography

Shechem in Easton’s Bible Dictionary shoulder. (1.) The son of Hamor the Hivite (Gen. 33:19; 34). (2.) A descendant of Manasseh (Num. 26:31; Josh. 17:2). (3.) A city in Samaria (Gen. 33:18), called also Sichem (12:6), Sychem (Acts 7:16). It stood in the narrow sheltered valley between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south, these mountains at their base being only some 500 yards apart. Here Abraham pitched his tent and built his first altar in the Promised Land, and received the first divine promise (Gen. 12:6, 7). Here also Jacob “bought a parcel of a field at the hands of the children of Hamor” after his return from Mesopotamia, and settled with his household, which he purged from idolatry by burying the teraphim of his followers under an oak tree, which was afterwards called “the oak of the sorcerer” (Gen. 33:19; 35:4; Judg. 9:37). (See MEONENIM ¯T0002483.) Here too, after a while, he dug a well, which bears his name to this day (John 4:5, 39-42). To Shechem Joshua gathered all Israel “before God,” and delivered to them his second parting address (Josh. 24:1-15). He “made a covenant with the people that day” at the very place where, on first entering the land, they had responded to the law from Ebal and Gerizim (Josh. 24:25), the terms of which were recorded “in the book of the law of God”, i.e., in the roll of the law of Moses; and in memory of this solemn transaction a great stone was set up “under an oak” (comp. Gen. 28:18; 31:44-48; Ex. 24:4; Josh. 4:3, 8, 9), possibly the old “oak of Moreh,” as a silent witness of the transaction to all coming time. Shechem became one of the cities of refuge, the central city of refuge for Western Israel (Josh. 20:7), and here the bones of Joseph were buried (24:32). Rehoboam was appointed king in Shechem (1 Kings 12:1, 19), but Jeroboam afterwards took up his residence here. This city is mentioned in connection with our Lord’s conversation with the woman of Samaria (John 4:5); and thus, remaining as it does to the present day, it is one of the oldest cities of the world. It is the modern Nablus, a contraction for Neapolis, the name given to it by Vespasian. It lies about a mile and a half up the valley on its southern slope, and on the north of Gerizim, which rises about 1,100 feet above it, and is about 34 miles north of Jerusalem. It contains about 10,000 inhabitants, of whom about 160 are Samaritans and 100 Jews, the rest being Christians and Mohammedans. The site of Shechem is said to be of unrivalled beauty. Stanley says it is “the most beautiful, perhaps the only very beautiful, spot in Central Israel.” Gaza, near Shechem, only mentioned 1 Chr. 7:28, has entirely disappeared. It was destroyed at the time of the Conquest, and its place was taken by Shechem. (See SYCHAR ¯T0003542.)

Shechem in Fausset’s Bible Dictionary (“shoulder”, or “upper part of the back just below the neck”); explained as if the town were on the shoulder of the heights dividing the waters that flow toward the Mediterranean on the W. and to the Jordan on the E.; or on a shoulder or ridge connected with Mounts Ebal and Gerizim. Also called SICHEM, SYCHEM, and SYCHAR (John 4:5; Joshua 20:7; Judges 9:9; 1 Kings 12:25). Mount Gerizim is close by (Judges 9:7) on the southern side, Mount Ebal on the northern side. These hills at the base are but 500 yards apart. Vespasian named it Neapolis; coins are extant with its name “Flavia Neapolis”; now Nablus by corruption. The situation is lovely; the valley runs W. with a soil of rich, black, vegetable mold, watered by fountains, sending forth numerous streams flowing W.; orchards of fruit, olive groves, gardens of vegetables, and verdure on all sides delight the eye. On the E. of Gerizim and Ebal the flue plain of Mukhna stretches from N. to S. Here first in Canaan God appeared to Abraham (Genesis 12:6), and here he pitched his tent and built an altar under the oak or terebinth (not “plain”) of Moreh; here too Jacob re-entered the promised land (Genesis 33:18- 19), and “bought a parcel of a field where he had spread his tent,” from the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, and bequeathed it subsequently to Joseph (Genesis 48:22; Joshua 24:32; John 4:5); a dwelling place, whereas Abraham’s only purchase was a burial place. It lay in the rich plain of the Mukhna, and its value was increased by the well Jacob dug there. Joshua made “Shechem in Mount Ephraim” one of the six cities of refuge (Joshua 20:7). The suburbs in our Lord’s days reached nearer the entrance of the valley between Gerizim and Ebal than now; for the narrative in John 4:30; John 4:35, implies that the people could be seen as they came from the town toward Jesus at the well, whereas Nablus now is more than a mile distant, and cannot be seen from that point. Josephus (B. J. 3:7, section 32) says that more than 10,000 of the inhabitants were once destroyed by the Romans, implying a much larger town and population than at present. (See DINAH; HAMOR.) frontJACOB on the massacre by Simeon and Levi, Genesis 34.) Under Abraham’s oak at Shechem Jacob buried the family idols and amulets (Genesis 35:1-4). Probably too “the strange gods” or “the gods of the stranger” were those carried away by Jacob’s sons from Shechem among the spoils (Genesis 35:2; Genesis 34:26-29). The charge to “be clean and change garments” may have respect to the recent slaughter of the Shechemites, which polluted those who took part in it (Blunt, Undesigned Coincidences). Shechem was for a time Ephraim’s civil capital. as Shiloh was its religious capital (Judges 9:2; Judges 21:19; Joshua 24:1-25-26; 1 Kings 12:1). At the same “memorial terebinth” at Shechem the Shechemites made Abimelech king (Judges 9:6). Jotham’s parable as to the trees, the vine, the fig, and the bramble, were most appropriate…

Shechem in Hitchcock’s Bible Names part; portion; back early in the morning

Shechem in Naves Topical Bible 1. Also called SICHEM and SYCHEM, a district in the central part of the land of Canaan Abraham lives in Ge 12:6 The flocks and herds of Jacob kept in Ge 37:12-14 Joseph buried in Jos 24:32 Jacob buried in Ac 7:16; with Ge 50:13 -2. Also called SYCHAR, a city of refuge in Mount Ephraim Jos 20:7; 21:21; Jud 21:19 Joshua assembled the tribes of Israel at, with all their elders, chiefs, and judges, and presented them before the Lord Jos 24:1-28 Joshua buried at Jos 24:30-32 Abimelech made king at Jud 8:31; 9 Rehoboam crowned at 1Ki 12:1 Destroyed by Abimelech Jud 9:45 Rebuilt by Jeroboam 1Ki 12:25 Men of, killed by Ishmael Jer 41:5 Jesus visits; disciples made in Joh 4:1-42 -3. Son of Hamor; seduces Jacob’s daughter; killed by Jacob’s sons Ge 33:19; 34; Jos 24:32; Jud 9:28 Called SYCHEM Ac 7:16 -4. Ancestor of the Shechemites Nu 26:31; Jos 17:2 -5. Son of Shemidah 1Ch 7:19

Shechem in Smiths Bible Dictionary (back or shoulder). 1. An important city in central Israel, in the valley between mounts Ebal and Gerizim, 34 miles north of Jerusalem and 7 miles southeast of Samaria. Its present name, Nablus, is a corruption of Neapolis, which succeeded the more ancient Shechem, and received its new name from Vespasian. On coins still extant it is called Flavia Neapolis. The situation of the town is one of surpassing beauty. It lies in a sheltered valley, protected by Gerizim on the south and Ebal on the north. The feet of these mountains, where they rise from the town, are not more than five hundred yards apart. The bottom of the valley is about 1800 feet above the level of the sea, and the top of Gerizim 800 feet higher still. The sit of the present city, which was also that of the Hebrew city, occurs exactly on the water-summit; and streams issuing from the numerous springs there flow down the opposite slopes of the valley, spreading verdure and fertility in every direction. Travellers vie with each other in the language which they employ to describe the scene that here bursts so suddenly upon them on arriving in spring or early summer at this paradise of the holy land. “The whole valley,” says Dr. Robinson, “was filled with gardens of vegetables and orchards of all kinds of fruits, watered by fountains which burst forth in various parts and flow westward in refreshing streams. it came upon us suddenly like a scene of fairy enchantment. We saw nothing to compare with it in all Israel.” The allusions to Shechem in the Bible are numerous, and show how important the place was in Jewish history. Abraham, on his first migration to the land of promise, pitched his tent and built an altar under the oak (or terebinth) of Moreh at Shechem. “The Canaanite was then in the land;” and it is evident that the region, if not the city, was already in possession of the aboriginal race. See Ge 12:6 At the time of Jacob’s arrival here, after his sojourn in Mesopotamia, Ge 33:18; 34 Shechem was a Hivite city, of which Hamor, the father of Shechem, was the headman. it was at this time that the patriarch purchased from that chieftain “the parcel of the field” which he subsequently bequeathed, as a special patrimony, to his son Joseph. Ge 33:19; Jos 24:32; Joh 4:5 The field lay undoubtedly on the rich plain of the Mukhna, and its value was the greater on account of the well which Jacob had dug there, so as not to be dependent on his neighbors for a supply of water. In the distribution of the land after its conquest by the Hebrews, Shechem fell to the lot of Ephraim, Jos 20:7 but was assigned to the Levites, and became a city of refuge. Jos 21:20,21 It acquired new importance as the scene of the renewed promulgation of the law, when its blessings were heard from Gerizim and its curses from Ebal, and the people bowed their heads and acknowledged Jehovah as their king and ruler. De 27:11; Jos 24:23-25 it was here Joshua assembled the people, shortly before his death, and delivered…

Shechem in the Bible Encyclopedia – ISBE she’-kem (shekhem, “shoulder”; Suchem, he Sikima, ta Sikima, etc.; the King James Version gives “Sichem” in Gen 12:6; and “Sychem” in Acts 7:16): 1. Historical: This place is first mentioned in connection with Abraham’s journey from Haran. At the oak of Moreh in the vicinity he reared his first altar to the Lord in Israel (Gen 12:6 f). It was doubtless by this oak that Jacob, on his return from Paddan-aram, buried “the strange (the American Standard Revised Version “foreign”) gods” (Gen 35:4). Hither he had come after his meeting with Esau (Gen 33:18). Eusebius, in Onomasticon, here identifies Shechem with Shalem; but see SHALEM. To the East of the city Jacob pitched his tent in a “parcel of ground” which he had bought from Hamor, Shechem’s father (Gen 33:19). Here also he raised an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel, “God, the God of Israel” (Gen 33:20). Then follows the story of Dinah’s defilement by Shechem, son of the city’s chief; and of the treacherous and terrible vengeance exacted by Simeon and Levi (Genesis 34). To the rich pasture land near Shechem Joseph came to seek his brethren (Gen 37:12 ff). It is mentioned as lying to the West of Michmethath (el-Makhneh) on the boundary of Manasseh (Josh 17:7). It was in the territory of Ephraim; it was made a city of refuge, and assigned to the Kohathite Levites (Josh 20:7; 21:21). Near the city the Law was promulgated (Dt 27:11; Josh 8:33). When his end was approaching Joshua gathered the tribes of Israel here and addressed to them his final words of counsel and exhortation (chapter 24). Under the oak in the neighboring sanctuary he set up the stone of witness (24:26). The war of conquest being done, Joseph’s bones were buried in the parcel of ground which Jacob had bought, and which fell to the lot of Joseph’s descendants (24:33). Abimelech, whose mother was a native of the city, persuaded the men of Shechem to make him king (Jdg 9:1-6), evidently seeking a certain consecration from association with “the oak of the pillar that was in Shechem.” Jotham’s parable was spoken from the cliff of Gerizim overhanging the town (Jdg 9:7 ff). After a reign of three years Abimelech was rejected by the people. He captured the city, razed it to the foundations, and sowed it with salt. It was then the seat of Canaanite idolatry, the temple of Baal-berith being here (Jdg 9:4,46). In the time of the kings we find that the city was once more a gathering-place of the nation. It was evidently the center, especially for the northern tribes; and hither Rehoboam came in the hope of getting his succession to the throne confirmed (1 Ki 12:1; 2 Ch 10:1). At the disruption Jeroboam fortified the city and made it his residence (2 Ch 10:25; Ant, VIII, viii, 4). The capital of the Northern Kingdom was moved, however, first to Tirzah and then to Samaria, and Shechem declined in political importance. Indeed it is not named again in the history of the monarchy. Apparently there were Israelites in it after the captivity, some of whom on their way to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem met a tragic fate at the hands of Ishmael ben Nethaniah (Jer 41:5 ff). It became the central city of the Samaritans, whose shrine…

Joshua 17:2 – There was also [a lot] for the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families; for the children of Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, and for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these [were] the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph by their families.

1 Chronicles 7:28 – And their possessions and habitations [were], Bethel and the towns thereof, and eastward Naaran, and westward Gezer, with the towns thereof; Shechem also and the towns thereof, unto Gaza and the towns thereof:

Genesis 34:24 – And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.

1 Chronicles 6:67 – And they gave unto them, [of] the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; [they gave] also Gezer with her suburbs,

Judges 21:19 – Then they said, Behold, [there is] a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly [in a place] which [is] on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.

Genesis 34:20 – And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,

Numbers 26:31 – And [of] Asriel, the family of the Asrielites: and [of] Shechem, the family of the Shechemites:

Judges 9:2 – Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether [is] better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, [which are] threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I [am] your bone and your flesh.

Joshua 20:7 – And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which [is] Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.

Joshua 24:1 – And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

Judges 9:31 – And he sent messengers unto Abimelech privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee.

Judges 9:49 – And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put [them] to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.

Judges 9:7 – And when they told [it] to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.

Genesis 33:18 – And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which [is] in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.

Joshua 21:21 – For they gave them Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, [to be] a city of refuge for the slayer; and Gezer with her suburbs,

Judges 9:1 – And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his mother’s brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying,

1 Kings 12:25 – Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.

Genesis 35:4 – And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which [were] in their hand, and [all their] earrings which [were] in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which [was] by Shechem.

Judges 9:18 – And ye are risen up against my father’s house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother;)

Jeremiah 41:5 – That there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, [even] fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring [them] to the house of the LORD.

Judges 9:24 – That the cruelty [done] to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.

Judges 9:3 – And his mother’s brethren spake of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He [is] our brother.

Genesis 34:13 – And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:

Joshua 17:7 – And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethah, that [lieth] before Shechem; and the border went along on the right hand unto the inhabitants of Entappuah.

Genesis 34:8 – And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.

Genesis 37:14 – And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

Judges 9:41 – And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.

Psalms 60:6 – God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.

Psalms 108:7 – God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.

Genesis 34:26 – And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem‘s house, and went out.

Hebron

Map of Ancient Hebron

HEBRON is one of the most ancient cities in the world still existing, and it is in this respect the rival of Damascus. It was originally called Kirjath-Arba, ” The city of Arba.” It was afterwards known as Mamre. The vicinity was long the favorite camping-ground of the patriarchs. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob dwelt here, and it was here that Abraham bought a tomb – the Cave of Machpelah. After the occupation of the land by the Israelites, Hebron became one of the cities of refuge. It was David’s first capital. The town was situated in a narrow valley – the “Valley of the Eschol; ” whose sides are clothed with vineyards, groves of olives, and other fruit trees. The valley runs from north to south, and the main quarter of the town, surmounted by the lofty walls of the great mosque, lies partly on the eastern slope. The houses are stone, solidly built, flat-roofed, and have each one or two little cupolas, such as are seen in several parts of Israel. The town has no walls; but the main streets opening on the principal roads have gates. The population is about 8000, of which about 600 are Jews; the remainder Turks and Arabs. – Ancient Geography

Hebron in Easton’s Bible Dictionary a community; alliance. (1.) A city in the south end of the valley of Eshcol, about midway between Jerusalem and Beersheba, from which it is distant about 20 miles in a straight line. It was built “seven years before Zoan in Egypt” (Gen. 13:18; Num. 13:22). It still exists under the same name, and is one of the most ancient cities in the world. Its earlier name was Kirjath-arba (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 14:15; 15:3). But “Hebron would appear to have been the original name of the city, and it was not till after Abraham’s stay there that it received the name Kirjath-arba, who [i.e., Arba] was not the founder but the conqueror of the city, having led thither the tribe of the Anakim, to which he belonged. It retained this name till it came into the possession of Caleb, when the Israelites restored the original name Hebron” (Keil, Com.). The name of this city does not occur in any of the prophets or in the New Testament. It is found about forty times in the Old. It was the favorite home of Abraham. Here he pitched his tent under the oaks of Mamre, by which name it came afterwards to be known; and here Sarah died, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah (Gen. 23:17- 20), which he bought from Ephron the Hittite. From this place the patriarch departed for Egypt by way of Beersheba (37:14; 46:1). It was taken by Joshua and given to Caleb (Josh. 10:36, 37; 12:10; 14:13). It became a Levitical city and a city of refuge (20:7; 21:11). When David became king of Judah this was his royal residence, and he resided here for seven and a half years (2 Sam. 5:5); and here he was anointed as king over all Israel (2 Sam. 2:1-4, 11; 1 Kings 2:11). It became the residence also of the rebellious Absalom (2 Sam. 15:10), who probably expected to find his chief support in the tribe of Judah, now called el-Khulil. In one part of the modern city is a great mosque, which is built over the grave of Machpelah. The first European who was permitted to enter this mosque was the Prince of Wales in 1862. It was also visited by the Marquis of Bute in 1866, and by the late Emperor Frederick of Germany (then Crown-Prince of Prussia) in 1869. One of the largest oaks in Israel is found in the valley of Eshcol, about 3 miles north of the town. It is supposed by some to be the tree under which Abraham pitched his tent, and is called “Abraham’s oak.” (See OAK ¯T0002758.) (2.) The third son of Kohath the Levite (Ex. 6:18; 1 Chr. 6:2, 18). (3.) 1 Chr. 2:42, 43. (4.) A town in the north border of Asher (Josh. 19:28).

Hebron in Fausset’s Bible Dictionary 1. Third son of Kohath; younger brother of Amram, father of Moses and Aaron (Exodus 6:18). The family of Hebronites sprang from him. In the 40th year of David’s reign 2,700 of them, at Jazer in Gilead, “mighty men of valor,” superintended for the king the two and a half tribes “in matters pertaining to God and the king” (1 Chronicles 26:30- 32); Jerijah was their chief. Also Hashabiah and 1,700 Hebronites were officers “in all the Lord’s business and the king’s service” on the W. of Jordan. 2. 1 Chronicles 2:42-43. 3. A city in the hill country of Judah, originally Kirjath (the city of) Arba (Joshua 15:13; Joshua 14:15). “Arba was a great man among the Anakims, father of Anak.” (See Joshua 21:11; Judges 1:10.) Twenty Roman miles S. of Jerusalem, and twenty N. of Beersheba. Rivaling Damascus in antiquity. Built seven years before Zoan in Egypt (Numbers 13:22). Well known at Abram’s entrance into Canaan, 3,780 years ago (Genesis 42:18). Hebron was the original name, changed to Kirjath Arba during Israel’s sojourn in Egypt, and restored by Caleb, to whom it was given at the conquest of Israel (Genesis 23:2; Joshua 14:13-15). The third resting place of Abram; Shechem was the first, Bethel the second. Near Hebron was the cave of Machpelah, where he and Sarah were buried. Now El Khalil, the house of “the friend” of God. Over the cave is now the mosque El Haran, from which all but Muslims are excluded jealously (though the Prince of Wales was admitted), and in which probably lie the remains of Abraham and Isaac, and possibly Jacob’s embalmed body, brought up in state from Egypt (Genesis 50:13). Near it was the oak or terebinth, a place of pagan worship. Hebron was called for a time also Mamre, from Abram’s ally (Genesis 23:19; Genesis 35:27). It was made a Levite city of refuge (Joshua 21:11-13). Still there is an oak bearing Abraham’s name, 23 ft. in girth, and covering 90 ft. space in diameter. In Hebron, David reigned over Judah first for seven and a half years (2 Samuel 5:5). Here Absalom set up the standard of revolt. On the return from Babylon some of the children of Judah dwelt in Kirjath Arba (Nehemiah 11:25). After various vicissitudes it fell into the Moslems’ hands in A.D. 1187, and has continued so ever since. It is picturesquely situated in a narrow valley running from N. to S. (probably that of Eshcol, whence the spies got the great cluster of grapes, Numbers 13:23), surrounded by rocky hills, still famed for fine grapes. S. of the town in the bottom of the valley is a tank, 130 ft. square by 50 deep. At the western end is another, 85 ft. long by 55 broad. Over the former probably David hung Ishbosheth’s murderers (2 Samuel 4:12). 4. A town in Asher; spelled in Hebrew differently from the former Hebron. Abdon is read in many manuscripts

Hebron in Hitchcock’s Bible Names society; friendship

Hebron in Naves Topical Bible 1. A city of the territory of the tribe of Asher Jos 19:28 -2. A city of the tribe of Judah, south of Jerusalem When built Nu 13:22 Fortified 2Ch 11:10 Called KIRJATH-ARBA Ge 23:2 ARBA Ge 35:27; Jos 15:13 Abraham lived there and Sarah died at Ge 23:2 Hoham, king of, confederated with other kings of the Canaanites against Joshua Jos 10:3-39 Descendants of the Anakim live at Nu 13:22; Jos 11:21 Conquest of, by Caleb Jos 14:6-15; Jud 1:10,20 A city of refuge Jos 20:7; 21:11,13 David crowned king of Judah at 2Sa 2:1-11; 3 David crowned king of Israel at 2Sa 5:1-5 The burial place of Sarah Ge 23:2 The burial place of Abner 2Sa 3:32 The burial place of Ish-bosheth 2Sa 4:12 The conspirators against Ish-bosheth hanged at 2Sa 4:12 Absalom made king at 2Sa 15:9,10 Jews of the Babylonian captivity lived at Ne 11:25 Pool of 2Sa 4:12 -3. Son of Kohath Ex 6:18; Nu 3:19; 1Ch 6:2,18; 23:12,19

Hebron in Smiths Bible Dictionary (alliance). 1. The third son of Kohath, who was the second son of Levi. Ex 6:18; Nu 3:19; 1Ch 6:2,18; 23:12 He was the founder of a family of Hebronites, Nu 3:27; 26:58; 1Ch 26:23,30,31, or Bene-Hebron. 1Ch 15:9; 23:19 2. A city of Judah, Jos 15:54 situated among the mountains, Jos 20:7 20 Roman miles south of Jerusalem, and the same distance north of Beersheba. Hebron is one of the most ancient cities in the world still existing; and in this respect it is the rival of Damascus. It was a well-known town when Abraham entered Canaan, 3800 years ago. Ge 13:18 Its original name was Kirjath-arba, Jud 1:10 “the city of Arba;” so called from Arba the father of Anak. Jos 15:13,14; 21:13 Sarah died at Hebron; and Abraham then bought from Ephron the Hittite the field and cave of Machpelah, to serve as a family tomb Ge 23:2-20 The cave is still there, and the massive walls of the Haram or mosque, within which it lies, form the most remarkable object in the whole city. Abraham is called by Mohammedans el-Khulil, “the Friend,” i.e. of God, and this is the modern name of Hebron. Hebron now contains about 5000 inhabitants, of whom some fifty families are Jews. It is picturesquely situated in a narrow valley, surrounded by rocky hills. The valley runs from north to south; and the main quarter of the town, surmounted by the lofty walls of the venerable Haram, lies partly on the eastern slope. Ge 37:14 comp. Gene 23:19 About a mile from the town, up the valley, is one of the largest oak trees in Israel. This, say some, is the very tree beneath which Abraham pitched his tent, and it still bears the name of the patriarch. 3. One of the towns in the territory of Asher, Jos 19:28 probably Ebdon or Abdom.

Hebron in the Bible Encyclopedia – ISBE he’-brun (chebhron, “league” or “confederacy”; Chebron): One of the most ancient and important cities in Southern Israel, now known to the Moslems as el Khalil (i.e. Khalil er Rahman, “the friend of the Merciful,” i.e. of God, a favorite name for Abraham; compare Jas 2:23). The city is some 20 miles South of Jerusalem, situated in an open valley, 3,040 ft. above sea-level. I. History of the City. Hebron is said to have been rounded before Zoan (i.e. Tanis) in Egypt (Nu 13:22); its ancient name was Kiriath-arba, probably meaning the “Four Cities,” perhaps because divided at one time into four quarters, but according to Jewish writers so called because four patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Adam were buried there. According to Josh 15:13 it was so called after Arba, the father of Anak. 1. Patriarchal Period: Abram came and dwelt by the oaks of MAMRE (which see), “which are in Hebron” Gen (13:18); from here he went to the rescue of Lot and brought him back after the defeat of Chedorlaomer (14:13 f); here his name was changed to Abraham (17:5); to this place came the three angels with the promise of a son (18:1 f); Sarah died here (23:2), and for her sepulcher Abraham bought the cave of Machpelah (23:17); here Isaac and Jacob spent much of their lives (35:27; 37:14); from here Jacob sent Joseph to seek his brethren (37:14), and hence, Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt (46:1). In the cave of Machpelah all the patriarchs and their wives, except Rachel, were buried (49:30 f; 50:13). 2. Times of Joshua and Judges: The spies visited Hebron and near there cut the cluster of grapes (Nu 13:22 f). HOHAM (which see), king of Hebron, was one of the five kings defeated by Joshua at Beth-horon and slain at Makkedah (Josh 10:3 f). Caleb drove out from Hebron the “three sons of Anak” (Josh 14:12; 15:14); it became one of the cities of Judah (Josh 15:54), but was set apart for the Kohathite Levites (Josh 21:10 f), and became a city of refuge (Josh 20:7). One of Samson’s exploits was the carrying of the gate of Gaza “to the top of the mountain that is before Hebron” (Jdg 16:3). 3. The Days of the Monarchy: David, when a fugitive, received kindness from the people of this city (1 Sam 30:31); here Abner was treacherously slain by Joab at the gate (2 Sam 3:27), and the sons of Rimmon, after their hands and feet had been cut off, were hanged “beside the pool” (2 Sam 4:12). After the death of Saul, David was here anointed king (2 Sam 5:3) and reigned here 7 1/2 years, until he captured Jerusalem and made that his capital (2 Sam 5:5); while here, six sons were born to him (2 Sam 3:2). In this city Absalom found a center for his disaffection, and repairing there under pretense of performing a vow to Yahweh, he raised the standard of revolt (2 Sam 15:7 f). Josephus mistakenly places here the dream of Solomon (Ant., VIII, ii, 1) which occurred at Gibeon (1 Ki 3:4). Hebron was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Ch 11:10). 4. Later History: Probably during the captivity Hebron came into the hands of Edom, though it appears to have been colonized by returning Jews (Neh 11:25); it was recovered from Edom by Simon Maccabeus (1 Macc 5:65; Josephus, Ant, XII, viii, 6). In the first great revolt…


Bethel

Map of Ancient Bethel

Bethel in Easton’s Bible Dictionary house of God. (1.) A place in Central Israel, about 10 miles north of Jerusalem, at the head of the pass of Michmash and Ai. It was originally the royal Canaanite city of Luz (Gen. 28:19). The name Bethel was at first apparently given to the sanctuary in the neighbourhood of Luz, and was not given to the city itself till after its conquest by the tribe of Ephraim. When Abram entered Canaan he formed his second encampment between Bethel and Hai (Gen. 12:8); and on his return from Egypt he came back to it, and again “called upon the name of the Lord” (13:4). Here Jacob, on his way from Beersheba to Haran, had a vision of the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached unto heaven (28:10, 19); and on his return he again visited this place, “where God talked with him” (35:1-15), and there he “built an altar, and called the place El- beth-el” (q.v.). To this second occasion of God’s speaking with Jacob at Bethel, Hosea (12:4,5) makes reference. In troublous times the people went to Bethel to ask counsel of God (Judg. 20:18, 31; 21:2). Here the ark of the covenant was kept for a long time under the care of Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron (20:26-28). Here also Samuel held in rotation his court of justice (1 Sam. 7:16). It was included in Israel after the kingdom was divided, and it became one of the seats of the worship of the golden calf (1 Kings 12:28-33; 13:1). Hence the prophet Hosea (Hos. 4:15; 5:8; 10:5, 8) calls it in contempt Beth-aven, i.e., “house of idols.” Bethel remained an abode of priests even after the kingdom of Israel was desolated by the king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:28, 29). At length all traces of the idolatries were extirpated by Josiah, king of Judah (2 Kings 23:15-18); and the place was still in existence after the Captivity (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32). It has been identified with the ruins of Beitin, a small village amid extensive ruins some 9 miles south of Shiloh. (2.) Mount Bethel was a hilly district near Bethel (Josh. 16:1; 1 Sam. 13:2). (3.) A town in the south of Judah (Josh. 8:17; 12:16).

Bethel in Fausset’s Bible Dictionary (“house of God”.) 1. Abram pitched his tent on a mountain E. of Bethel, abounding in pasture (Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3). The city, near the place, then bore the Canaanite name Luz. Bethel is the name given by anticipation to the place; appropriately so, as Abram virtually made it the “house of God.” It was expressly so named by Jacob, when he had the vision of the heavenly ladder, on his way from his father at Beersheba to Harsh (Genesis 28:19; Genesis 31:13). He set up a pillar, and anointed it with oil, to mark the place where God spoke with him. Bethel, the place, is expressly distinguished from Luz, the old Canaanite city. “Jacob called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of that city was called Luz at the first” (Joshua 16:1-2). The naming of Bethel Jacob repeated more publicly on his return home, 20 years later, with his family purified of idols, when God again appeared to him, and confirmed his change of name to Israel (Genesis 35:1-15; Genesis 32:28). Bethel belonged by lot to Benjamin, but was falcon by Ephraim (Bethel being on his southern border) through the treachery of an inhabitant (Judges 1:22-26). It was about 12 miles N. of Jerusalem. In Judges 20:26 translate for “the house of God” Bethel. During the civil war with Benjamin the tribes took the ark thither to consult God (compare 1 Samuel 10:3). It was one of Samuel’s towns of circuit for judging (1 Samuel 7:16). One of Jeroboam’s two sanctuaries for the calf worship, selected doubtless because of its religious associations (1 Kings 12-13). There the prophet from Judah foretold the overthrow of the calf altar by Josiah. Abijah, king of Judah, took Bethel from Jeroboam (2 Chronicles 13:19), but it was soon recovered by Israel. Under Ahab the Baal worship at Samaria and Jezreel drew off attention from the calf worship at Bethel. This accounts for a school of prophets of Jehovah being there in Elijah’s time (2 Kings 2:2-3). The existence of “bears,” two, near the town, implies that Bethel was then less frequented (2 Kings 2:23- 25). Under Jehu, who restored the calf worship, and Jeroboam II his great grandson, Bethel comes again into prominence (2 Kings 10:29). Bethel became the king’s chapel” (sanctuary) “the king’s court” (“house of the kingdom”) (Amos 7:13; Amos 3:14-15). More altars, besides the original one were erected. “Summer and winter houses” too, and “great houses” and “houses of ivory.” After the overthrow of Israel, the king of Assyria sent one of the Israelite priests to settle at Bethel, and teach the new settlers from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, “the manner of the god of the land,” and “how they should fear Jehovah” (2 Kings 17:27- 28). Josiah, as foretold, defiled the altar with dead men’s bones, but disturbed not the sepulchre of the prophet of Judab when he discerned its title. It was ordered by God that the votaries of the calf worship at Bethel never dared to violate the sepulchre and title of the prophet who denounced their idol. The worship of Jehovah and of the calves had been all along strangely blended. (See BETHAVEN.) Among those returning from captivity were men of Bethel (Ezra 2:28; Nehemiah 7:32; Nehemiah 11:31.) The ruins, covering three or four acres, still bear a like name, Beitin, on a low bill, between two wadies, which unite in the main valley of es-Suweinit, toward the S.E. Bethel still abounds in stones such as Jacob used for his pillow and afterward for a sanctuary. On the round mount S.E. of Bethel. Abram doubtless built the altar, and afterwards stood with Lot when giving him his choice of the land (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:10). E. of this mount stands the ruin Tel er Rijmah, “the mound of the heap,” answering to Ai or Hai. Ritter makes Medinet Gai answer to Ai. 2. A town in southern Judah (Joshua 12:16; 1 Samuel 30:27). Bethel in Joshua 19:4 answers to Chesil in Joshua 15:30. Bethuel, 1 Chronicles 4:30. Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho under the curse (1 Kings 16:34).

Bethel in Hitchcock’s Bible Names the house of God

Bethel in Naves Topical Bible 1. A city north of Jerusalem The ancient city adjacent to, and finally embraced in, was called Luz Jos 18:13; Jud 1:23-26 Abraham estblishes an altar at Ge 12:8; 13:3,4 The place where Jacob saw the vision of the ladder Ge 28:10-22; 31:13; Ho 12:4 And builds an altar at Ge 35:1-15 Deborah dies at Ge 35:8 Conquered by Joshua Jos 8:17; with 12:16 Conquered by the household of Joseph Jud 1:22-26 Allotted to Benjamin Jos 18:13,22 Court of justice held at By Deborah Jud 4:5 By Samuel 1Sa 7:16 Tabernacle at, and called HOUSE OF GOD Jud 20:18,31; 21:2 Jeroboam institutes idolatrous worship at 1Ki 12:25-33; 2Ki 10:29 Idolatry at Jer 48:13; Am 4:4 Shalmanezer sends a priest to 2Ki 17:27,28 Prophecies against the idolatrous altars at 1Ki 13:1-6,32; 2Ki 23:4,15-20; Am 3:14 The school of prophets at 2Ki 2:3 The young men of, mock Elisha 2Ki 2:23,24 People of, return from Babylon Ezr 2:28; Ne 7:32 Prophecies against Am 5:5 -2. A city in the south of territory of the tribe of Judah 1Sa 30:27 -3. A mountain 1Sa 13:2

Bethel in Smiths Bible Dictionary (the house of God) well known city and holy place of central Israel, about 12 mlles north of Jerusalem. If we are to accept the precise definition of Ge 12:8 the name of Bethel would appear to have existed at this spot even before the arrival of Abram in Canaan. Ge 12:8; 13:3,4 Bethel was the scene of Jacob’s vision. Ge 28:11-19; 31:13 Jacob lived there. Ge 35:1-8 The original name was Luz. Jud 1:22,23 After the conquest Bethel is frequently heard of. In the troubled times when there was no king in Israel, it was to Bethel that the people went up in their distress to ask counsel of God. Jud 20:18,26,31; 21:2 Authorized Version, “house of God.” Here was the ark of the covenant. Jud 20:26- 28; 21:4 Later it is named as one of the holy cities to which Samuel went on circuit. 1Sa 7:16 Here Jeroboab placed one of the two calves of gold. Toward the end of Jeroboam’s life Bethel fell into the hands of Judah. 2Ch 13:19 Elijah visited Bethel, and we hear of “sons of the prophets” as resident there. 2Ki 2:2,3 But after the destruction of Baal worship by Jehu Bethel comes once more into view. 2Ki 10:29 After the desolation of the northern kingdom by the king of Assyria, Bethel still remained an abode of priests. 2Ki 17:27,28 In later times Bethel is named only once under the scarcely-altered name of Beitin. Its ruins still lie on the righthand side of the road from Jerusalem to Nablus. 2. A town in the south part of Judah, named in Jos 12:16 and 1Sam 30:27 In Jos 15:30; 19:4; 1Ch 4:29,30 the place appears under the name of CHESIL, BETHUL and BETHUEL. Hiel the Bethelite is recorded as the rebuilder of Jericho. 1Ki 16:34 3. In Jos 16:1 and 1Sam 13:2 Mount Bethel, a hilly section near Beth-el, is referred to.

Bethel in the Bible Encyclopedia – ISBE beth’-el (beth-‘el; Baithel and oikos theou, literally, “house of God”): (1) A town near the place where Abraham halted and offered sacrifice on his way south from Shechem. 1. Identification and Description: It lay West of Ai (Gen 12:8). It is named as on the northern border of Benjamin (the southern of Ephraim, Josh 16:2), at the top of the ascent from the Jordan valley by way of Ai (Josh 18:13). It lay South of Shiloh (Jdg 21:19). Eusebius, Onomasticon places it 12 Roman miles from Jerusalem, on the road to Neapolis. It is represented by the modern Beitin, a village of some 400 inhabitants, which stands on a knoll East of the road to Nablus. There are four springs which yield supplies of good water. In ancient times these were supplemented by a reservoir hewn in the rock South of the town. The surrounding country is bleak and barren, the hills being marked by a succession of stony terraces, which may have suggested the form of the ladder in Jacob’s famous dream. 2. The Sanctuary: The town was originally called Luz (Gen 28:19, etc.). When Jacob came hither on his way to Paddan-aram we are told that he lighted upon “the place” (Gen 28:11. Hebrew). The Hebrew maqom, like the cognate Arabic maqam, denotes a sacred place or sanctuary. The maqom was doubtless that at which Abraham had sacrificed, East of the town. In the morning Jacob set up “for a pillar” the stone which had served as his pillow (Gen 28:18; see PILLAR, matstsebhah), poured oil upon it and called the name of the place Bethel, “house of God”; that is, of God whose epiphany was for him associated with the pillar. This spot became a center of great interest, lending growing importance to the town. In process of time the name Luz disappeared, giving place to that of the adjoining sanctuary, town and sanctuary being identified. Jacob revisited the place on his return from Paddan-aram; here Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under “the oak” (Gen 35:6 f). Probably on rising ground East of Bethel Abraham and Lot stood to view the uninviting highlands and the rich lands of the Jordan valley (Gen 13:9 ff). 3. History: Bethel was a royal city of the Canaanites (Josh 12:16). It appears to have been captured by Joshua (8:7), and it was allotted to Benjamin (Josh 18:22). In Jdg 1:22 ff it is represented as held by Canaanites, from whom the house of Joseph took it by treachery (compare 1 Ch 7:28). Hither the ark was brought from Gilgal (Jdg 2:1, Septuagint). Israel came to Bethel to consult the Divine oracle (Jdg 20:18), and it became an important center of worship (1 Sam 10:3). The home of the prophetess Deborah was not far off (Jdg 4:5). Samuel visited Bethel on circuit, judging Israel (1 Sam 7:16). With the disruption of the kingdom came Bethel’s greatest…

2 Kings 23:15 – Moreover the altar that [was] at Bethel, [and] the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, [and] stamped [it] small to powder, and burned the grove.

1 Chronicles 7:28 – And their possessions and habitations [were], Bethel and the towns thereof, and eastward Naaran, and westward Gezer, with the towns thereof; Shechem also and the towns thereof, unto Gaza and the towns thereof:

2 Kings 2:23 – And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

2 Chronicles 13:19 – And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with the towns thereof, and Jeshanah with the towns thereof, and Ephrain with the towns thereof.

1 Samuel 10:3 – Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine:

1 Kings 12:33 – So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, [even] in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.

Joshua 8:17 – And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel.

1 Samuel 13:2 – Saul chose him three thousand [men] of Israel; [whereof] two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.

2 Kings 23:4 – And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.

Joshua 12:9 – The king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which [is] beside Bethel, one;

Joshua 12:16 – The king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one;

Genesis 31:13 – I [am] the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, [and] where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.

Joshua 18:13 – And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which [is] Bethel, southward; and the border descended to Atarothadar, near the hill that [lieth] on the south side of the nether Bethhoron.

1 Kings 13:4 – And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.

Joshua 16:1 – And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel,

Genesis 28:19 – And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city [was called] Luz at the first.

Amos 7:10 – Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.

Amos 7:13 – But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it [is] the king’s chapel, and it [is] the king’s court.

Joshua 8:9 – Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie in ambush, and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among the people.

Amos 3:14 – That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.

Jeremiah 48:13 – And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their confidence.

1 Samuel 7:16 – And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places.

2 Kings 23:19 – And all the houses also of the high places that [were] in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke [the LORD] to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel.

Genesis 35:1 – And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

1 Kings 13:32 – For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which [are] in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.

Judges 4:5 – And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.

2 Kings 2:3 – And the sons of the prophets that [were] at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know [it]; hold ye your peace.

2 Kings 23:17 – Then he said, What title [is] that that I see? And the men of the city told him, [It is] the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel.

Joshua 7:2 – And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which [is] beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.

1 Kings 13:1 – And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.

The Ancient Nile River

Map of the Ancient Nile River

Nile River in Easton’s Bible Dictionary dark; blue, not found in Scripture, but frequently referred to in the Old Testament under the name of Sihor, i.e., “the black stream” (Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18) or simply “the river” (Gen. 41:1; Ex. 1:22, etc.) and the “flood of Egypt” (Amos 8:8). It consists of two rivers, the White Nile, which takes its rise in the Victoria Nyanza, and the Blue Nile, which rises in the Abyssinian Mountains. These unite at the town of Khartoum, whence it pursues its course for 1,800 miles, and falls into the Mediterranean through its two branches, into which it is divided a few miles north of Cairo, the Rosetta and the Damietta branch. (See EGYPT ¯T0001137.)

Nile River in Fausset’s Bible Dictionary Not so named in the Bible; related to Sanskrit Nilah, “blue.” The Nile has two names: the sacred name Hapi, or Hapi-mu, “the abyss of waters,” Hp-ro-mu, “the waters whose source is hidden”; and the common name Yeor Aor, Aur (Atur): both Egyptian names. Shihor, “the black river,” is its other Bible name, Greek Melas or Kmelas, Latin Melo, darkened by the fertilizing soil which it deposits at its overflow (Jeremiah 2:18). The hieroglyphic name of Egypt is Kam, “black.” Egyptians distinguished between Hapi-res, the “southern Nile” of Upper Egypt, and Hapi-meheet, the “northern Nile” of Lower Egypt. Hapi-ur, “the high Nile,” fertilizes the land; the Nile low brought famine. The Nile god is painted red to represent the inundation, but blue at other times. An impersonation of Noah (Osburn). Famine and plenty are truly represented as coming up out of the river in Pharaoh’s dream (Genesis 41). Therefore they worshipped it, and the plague on its waters, was a judgment on that idolatry (Exodus 7:21; Psalm 105:29). (See EGYPT; EXODUS.) The rise begins at the summer solstice; the flood is two months later, after the autumnal equinox, at its height pouring through cuttings in the banks which are higher than the rest of the soil and covering the valley, and lasting three months. (Amos 8:8; Amos 9:5; Isaiah 23:3). The appointed S.W. bound of Israel (Joshua 13:3; 1 Chronicles 13:5; 2 Chronicles 9:26; Genesis 15:18). 1 Kings 8:65 “stream” (nachal, not “river”.) Its confluent is still called the Blue river; so Nilah means “darkblue,” or “black.” The plural “rivers” is used for the different mouths, branches, and canals of the Nile. The tributaries are further up than Egypt (Psalm 78:44; Exodus 7:18-20; Isaiah 7:18; Isaiah 19:6; Ezekiel 29:3; Ezekiel 30:12). “The stream (nachal) of Egypt” seems distinct (Isaiah 27:12), now “wady el Arish” (where was the frontier city Rhino-corura) on the confines of Israel and Egypt (Joshua 15:4; Joshua 15:47, where for “river” should stand “stream,” nachal)). Smith’s Bible Dictionary suggests that nachal) is related to the Nile and is that river; but the distinctness with which nachal) is mentioned, and not as elsewhere Sihor, or “river,” Ye’or, forbids the identification. “The rivers of Ethiopia” (Isaiah 18:1-2), Cush, are the Atbara, the Astapus or Blue river, between which two rivers Meroe (the Ethiopia meant in Isaiah 18) lies, and the Astaboras or White Nile; these rivers conjoin in the one Nile, and wash down the soil along their banks from Upper Egypt, and deposit it on Lower Egypt; compare “whose land (Upper Egypt) the rivers have spoiled” or “cut up” or “divided.” The Nile is called “the sea” (Isaiah 19:5), for it looks a sea at the overflow; the Egyptians still call it El Bahr “the sea” (Nahum 3:8). Its length measured by its course is probably 3,700 miles, the longest in the world. Its bed is cut through layers of nummulitic limestone (of which the pyramids of Ghizeh are built, full of nummulites, which the Arabs call “Pharaoh’s beans”), sandstone under that, breccia verde under that, azoic rocks still lower, with red granite and syenite rising through all the upper strata…

Nile River in Naves Topical Bible Called THE RIVER Isa 11:15; 19:5-10; Eze 29:4; Am 8:8 -Called SIHOR Isa 23:3; Jer 2:18

Nile River in Smiths Bible Dictionary (blue, dark), the great river of Egypt. The word Nile nowhere occurs in the Authorized Version but it is spoken of under the names of Sihor [SIHOR] and the “river of Egypt.” Ge 15:18 We cannot as yet determine the length of the Nile, although recent discoveries have narrowed the question. There is scarcely a doubt that its largest confluent is fed by the great lakes on and south of the equator. It has been traced upward for about 2700 miles, measured by its course, not in a direct line, and its extent is probably over 1000 miles more. (The course of the river has been traced for 3300 miles. For the first 1800 miles (McClintock and Strong say 2300) from its mouth it receives no tributary; but at Kartoom, the capital of Nubia, is the junction of the two great branches, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, so called from the color of the clay which tinges their waters. The Blue Nile rises in the mountains of Abyssinia and is the chief source of the deposit which the Nile brings to Egypt. The White Nile is the larger branch. Late travellers have found its source in Lake Victoria Nyanza, three degrees south of the equator. From this lake to the mouth of the Nile the distance is 2300 miles in a straight line –one eleventh the circumference of the globe. From the First Cataract, at Syene, the river flows smoothly at the rate of two or three miles an hour with a width of half a mile. to Cairo. A little north of Cairo it divides into two branches, one flowing to Rosetta and the other to Damietta, from which place the mouths are named. See Bartlett’s “Egypt and Israel,” 1879. The great peculiarity of the river is its annual overflow, caused by the periodical tropical rains. “With wonderful clock-like regularity the river begins to swell about the end of June, rises 24 feet at Cairo between the 20th and 30th of September and falls as much by the middle of May. Six feet higher than this is devastation; six feet lower is destitution.” –Bartlett. So that the Nile increases…

Nile River in the Bible Encyclopedia – ISBE nil (Neilos, meaning not certainly known; perhaps refers to the color of the water, as black or blue. This name does not occur in the Hebrew of the Old Testament or in the English translation): I. THE NILE IN PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY 1. Description 2. Geological Origin 3. The Making of Egypt 4. The Inundation 5. The Infiltration II. THE NILE IN HISTORY 1. The Location of Temples 2. The Location of Cemeteries 3. The Damming of the Nile 4. Egyptian Famines III. THE NILE IN RELIGION 1. The Nile as a God 2. The Nile in the Osirian Myth 3. The Celestial Nile A river of North Africa, the great river of Egypt. The name employed in the Old Testament to designate the Nile is in the Hebrew ye’or, Egyptian aur, earlier, atur, usually translated “river,” also occasionally “canals” (Ps 78:44; Ezek 29:3 ff). In a general way it means all the water of Egypt. The Nile is also the principal river included in the phrase nahare kush, “rivers of Ethiopia” (Isa 18:1). Poetically the Nile is called yam, “sea” (Job 41:31; Nah 3:8; probably Isa 18:2), but this is not a name of the river. shichor, not always written fully, has also been interpreted in a mistaken way of the Nile (see SHIHOR). Likewise nahar mitsrayim, “brook of Egypt,” a border stream in no way connected with the Nile, has sometimes been mistaken for that river. See RIVER OF EGYPT. I. The Nile in Physical Geography. 1. Description: The Nile is formed by the junction of the White Nile and the Blue Nile in latitude 15 degree 45′ North and longitude 32 degree 45′ East. The Blue Nile rises in the highlands of Abyssinia, latitude 12 degree 30′ North, long. 35 degree East, and flows Northwest 850 miles to its junction with the White North. The White Nile, the principal branch of the North, rises in Victoria Nyanza, a great lake in Central Africa, a few miles North of the equator, long. 33 degree East (more exactly the Nile may be said to rise at the headwaters of the Ragera River, a small stream on the other side of the lake, 3 degree South of the equator), and flows North in a tortuous channel, 1,400 miles to its junction with the Blue Nile. From this junction-point the Niles flows North through Nubia and Egypt 1,900 miles and empties into the Mediterranean Sea, in latitude 32 degree North, through 2 mouths, the Rosetta, East of Alexandria, and the Damietta, West of Port Said. There were formerly 7 mouths scattered along a coast-line of 140 miles. 2. Geological Origin: The Nile originated…

Ancient Memphis

\Hosea 9:6 – For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant [places] for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns [shall be] in their tabernacles.

Ajaran Luther, Zwingli & Calvin

PERSAMAAN DAN PERBEDAAN TEOLOGI REFORMATORIS PROTESTAN

Luther, Zwingli dan Calvin adalah tokoh-tokoh dalam reformasi gereja. Dikatakan sebagai tokoh reformasi, karena mereka mengkritik dan mereformasi ajaran gereja Katolik Roma pada masa itu. Dikemudian hari, mereka juga menyebut gereja mereka “yang direformasikan”.[1] Antara aliran yang berkaitan erat dengan Martin Luther (1483-1546) di Wittenberg dengan aliran yang berkaitan erat dengan Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) di kota Zurich, Swis yang di dalamnya juga termasuk Johannes Calvin (1509-1564) terdapat banyak persamaan, namun ada juga perbedaan-perbedaanya. Berikut kita akan membahas persamaan-persamaan maupun perbedaan-perbedaan dari ketiga tokoh reformasi di atas.

Persamaan Teologi Luther, Zwingli dan Calvin
Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli dan Johannes Calvin merupakan tokoh-tokoh reformasi yang mengkritik gereja Kalolik Roma pada masa itu, di mana terjadi krisis kepausan pada akhir abad pertengahan, yang juga berkaitan dengan krisis rohani yang dialami oleh anggota-anggota gereja. Luther, Zwingli dan Calvin dalam teologinya berpandangan bahwa kebenaran ilahi harus dicari dalam Alkitab, bukan dalam ajaran gereja sebagaimana yang banyak dirumuskan oleh gereja Katolik Roma, dan bahwa keselamatan semata-mata hanya oleh anugerah Allah melalui Yesus Kristus yang mati di kayu salib, dibangkitkan, dan naik ke surga untuk menebus dosa-dosa manusia.
Baik Luther, Zwingli dan Calvin memahami bahwa pelayanan sakramen gereja tidak dapat menyelamatkan. Karena dalam teologi Luther, Zwingli dan Calvin hanya Alkitab yang merupakan sumber kebenaran ilahi. Maka pemberitaan firman (khotbah) menjadi titik sentral dalam ibadah, dibandingkan dengan sakramen yang dianggap sangat penting dalam gereja Katolik Roma.

Perbedaan Teologi Luther, Zwingli dan Calvin
Perbedaan antara Teologi Luther, Zwingli dan Calvin lebih banyak dibandingkan dengan persamaannya, meskipun mereka sama-sama menolak ajaran dari gereja Katolik Roma. Salah satu dari perbedaan yang ada adalah pandangan mereka mengenai Perjamuan Kudus.

a. Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Teologi Luther dipengaruhi oleh Augustinus dan teologinya berkembang di sebuah universitas. Hal ini dapat kita lihat dari 97 dalil yang ia keluarkan untuk menentang gereja Katolik Roma mengenai “Surat Penghapusan Siksa” yang ia diskusikan di universitas. Dalam tulisannya ini, Luther memperlihatkan pengaruh Augustinus. Teologi Luther, umumnya teologi Reformasi, biasanya diringkaskan dengan tiga ungkapan dalam bahasa Latin: sola gratia, sola fide dan sola Scriptura.
Mengenai Kristologi:[2] pandangan Luther mengenai ajaran tentang Yesus bertolak dari kesatuan antara kemanusiaan dan keilahian Kristus, yang berarti bahwa bagi Luther kemanusiaan Kristus ditentukan oleh keilahian-Nya.
Baptisan:[3] Luther menekankan kembali hubungan yang erat antara Sakramen dan Firman Allah. Menenai baptisan, Luther berpandangan bahwa Baptisan Kudus merupakan tanda yang ditetapkan Allah untuk memeteraikan janji-Nya sebagai pengampunan dosa manusia. Namun, Luther tetap mempertahankan bahwa percaya akan janji Allah perlu, karena hanya dalam iman orang dapat menikmati pengampunan yang dijanjikan dalam baptisan. Luther menyetujui Baptisan Anak, dan ia berpandangan bahwa tidak perlu orang mempunyai iman yang matang untuk menerima baptisan, sebab bukan imanlah yang menjadikan baptisan efektif, melainkan janji Allah.
Perjamuan Kudus:[4] Luther menolak doktrin Katolik Roma mengenai transsubstansiasi[5], tetapi tetap percaya akan kehadiran yang nyata dari tubuh dan darah Kristus “di bawah” roti dan anggur dalam Perjamuan Kudus. Luther lebih menonjolkan iman dalam Perjamuan Kudus. Bagi Luther Perjamuan Kudus adalah tanda nyata bahwa keselamatan yang dijanjikan dalam Firman mengenai penebusan dosa oleh Kristus pada kayu salib, benar-benar diberikan kepada orang yang menyerahkan diri dalam iman kepada Allah yang rahmani. Tanpa iman, Perjamuan Kudus menjadi tanda keselamatan yang tidak efektif.
Gereja dan negara:[6] Luther melihat hubungan antara gereja dan negara sangat mempengaruhi pemerintah dalam kehidupan gereja. Menurutnya sebaiknya raja diikutsertakan sebagai orang partikelir dalam pimpinan gereja demi mencegah bahaya timbulnya kasta iman tersendiri yang hierarkis. Jadi, baginya yang terpenting adalah sekali-kali bukanlah pengaturan hubungan antara gereja dan Negara.

b. Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531)[7]
Zwingli pernah menjadi pastor Gereja Katolik Roma di Glarus. Ia adalah murid dari Erasmus, namun dalam pekerjaannya itu, ia lebih banyak dipengaruhi oleh Augustinus. Zwingli berpendapat bahwa suatu doktrin tidak boleh berlawanan dengan akal. Hal ini dapat kita bandingkan dengan teologi Luther yang kurang menekankan peranan akal dalam teologinya.
Baptisan: dalam salah satu karyanya, Zwingli menulis buku berjudul Baptisan, Baptisan Ulang dan Baptisan Anak. Di dalamnya ia membela dilakukannya baptisan anak, baginya baptisan anak merupakan tanda perjanjian, dan perjanjian meliputi seluruh keluarga bukan hanya oknum-oknum tertentu. Namun, meskipun ia mempertahankan baptisan anak, Zwingli (berlainan dengan Luther) menolak kepercayan Katolik Roma, bahwa baptisan, juga baptisan anak memberikan kelahiran baru dan pengampunan dosa. Ia berpendapat bahwa baptisan merupakan tanda luar dari iman kita. Lebih lanjut Zwingli berpandangan bahwa sakramen (baptisan) adalah tindakan simbolis, yang menunjuk kepada keselamatan yang diberikan Kristus dan yang dipakai oleh orang-orang percaya untuk memperingati dan untuk menyatakan iman mereka.
Mengenai Perjamuan Kudus: Zwingli menolak kehadiran yang nyata dari tubuh dan darah Kristus, ia menegaskan bahwa roti dan anggur hanya lambang dari tubuh dan darah Kristus. Bagi Zwingli Perjamuan Kudus merupakan peringatan pengucapan syukur, pada waktu mana kita memperingati karya Kristus di kayu salib. Ia juga berpendapat, bahwa “tubuh” dan “darah” adalah lambang untuk keselamatan yang diperoleh Kristus dengan tubuh dan darah-Nya di kayu salib.[8]
Gereja dan negara: Zwingli tidak begitu menaruh perhatian yang khusus pada peranan negara dalam gereja sebagaimana pandangan Luther. Ketika ia diangkat menjadi imam di wilayah Glarus tahun 1516, ia menentang praktek perdagangan tentara bayaran yang dilakukan pemerintah Swis. Menurutnya praktek-praktek ini tidak bermoral dan Zwingli mengkritik hal ini dengan khotbah-khotbah yang ia utarakan.

c. Johannes Calvin (1509-1564)[9]
sebelum mengikuti studi teologi, Calvin sempat belajar di universitas di Paris, fakultas hukum. Calvin mengagumi Erasmus dengan Humanismenya, bahkan Calvin pernah menghasilkan karya ilmiah Humanisme pada tahun 1532.[10]
Mengenai Kristologi: pandangan Calvin mengenai ajaran tentang Kristus bertolak dari perbedaan antara tabiat ilahi dan tabiat manusiawi dalam diri Kristus dan menekankan bahwa walaupun dalam Kristus ke-allah-an berdiam secara penuh, itu tidak berarti bahwa keilahian-Nya terbatas pada Yesus sebagai manusia.
Baptisan: Calvin melihat baptisan sebagai tanda pengampunan dosa dan kelahiran baru. Pengampunan ini diberikan Allah kepada manusia sebelum ia lahir, sehingga tidak dapat diikat pada pelayanan baptisan. Lebih lanjut baptisan menurut Calvin menandai bahwa orang percaya ikut serta dalam kematian dan kebangkitan Kristus, dan bahwa orang percaya menjadi satu dengan Kristus. Konsekuensi dari ikatan baptisan dengan keanggotaan gereja bagi Calvin adalah bahwa pelayanan baptisan harus terjadi di dalam kebaktian jemaat, oleh pejabat yang ditentukan oleh gereja, yaitu Pendeta.
Perjamuan Kudus: Calvin berpandangan, bahwa Perjamuan Kudus adalah tanda, tetapi bukan tanda kosong, sebab tanda ini diberikan Allah melalui Anak-Nya, supaya orang percaya melalui roti dan anggur betul-betul dipersatukan dengan tubuh dan darah Kristus. Dalam Perjamuan Kudus, Kristus betul-betul hadir untuk menjadi satu dengan orang-orang percaya, dan menguatkan iman mereka. Kristus membuat makanan jasmani menjadi rohani, sehingga orang-orang yang ikut dalam Perjamuan Kudus menerima apa yang telah diterima Kristus pada kayu salib, yakni pengampunan dosa dan hidup yang kekal.
Gereja dan negara: Calvin berpendapat bahwa negara perlu selama gereja masih berada di dunia ini, itu tidak berarti bahwa ia menyerahkan segala-galanya kepada pemerintah. Dengan tegas ia menetapkan batas antara gereja dan negara, atau dengan istilah lain, antara pemerintahan rohani dan duniawi/politik. Ia juga menjelaskan bahwa pemerintah berasal dari Allah, tetapi pemerintahan rohani yang diselenggarakan oleh gereja, membina manusia supaya memperoleh keselamatan abadi, sedangkan pemerintahan sipil, yang ditangani oleh negara, membina kehidupan bersama di dunia ini.

by HR

(HR seorang freethinker.. saya bukan penganut freethinker, tapi tulisannya di atas semata2 Ajaran Reformed, jadi saya repost artikel ini karena jarang & sukar ditemukan tulisan mengenai perbandingan ajaran ketiga reformator besar ini di internet. Semoga dapat dipelajari & menjadi berkat kepada Kebenaran Kristus, Kebenaran Alkitab satu2nya. trims.)

Allah Tritunggal – Tuhan Yesus digambarkan oleh Musa

Allah Tritunggal 3

Tuhan Yesus digambarkan oleh Musa

Allah Tritunggal 2

Allah Tritunggal dan Para MalaikatNya

 

 

[img]https://bigbiblebook2.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/allah-tritunggal-31.jpg[/img]

[b][color=#FF0000]1. Tuhan Yesus yang tertinggi, tidak ada yang lebih tinggi daripada Dia.[/color][/b]
Tuhan Yesus mengecilkan & merendahkan diriNya menjadi Anak Manusia, atau dalam daging.
Tapi ada yang mengira bahwa itu berarti Yesus adalah Allah yang lebih kecil daripada Bapa, seakan2 ada 2 atau 3 Allah. Maka saya tanggapi bahwa itu tidak benar.
Sebenarnya, Tuhan Yesus adalah Allah itu sendiri, sebab Ia adalah Satu dalam Allah.
[color=#0000FF]Tuhan Yesus duduk di tempat yang tertinggi di Kerajaan Allah, tidak ada yang menyamai Dia. Bapa & Anak terpisah jauh dengan yang lainnya, seperti yang digambarkan oleh Musa & Allah di atas Gunung Sinai. Jadi Bapa tidak duduk lebih tinggi dari Yesus, atau Bapa lebih besar dari Yesus di sorga.[/color]

[b][color=#FF0000]2. Sekalipun tertinggi, Tuhan Yesus tidak memerintah sendiri.[/color][/b]
Yesus berkata: kalian seharusnya senang, sebab Aku pergi kepada Bapa, dan Bapa lebih besar. Maksudnya : Yesus akan menjadi lebih besar saat di sorga, sama besar & sama tinggi dengan Bapa, karena Ia sepenuhnya masuk kembali ke dalam Keseluruhan Kemuliaan Bapa (100% Mulia seperti Bapa), karena Bapa tidak memberikan kemuliaanNya kepada yang lain, Seluruh Kemuliaan & Kepunyaan Bapa adalah Milik Yesus Kristus.
Namun juga dikatakan Yesus akan naik & menaklukkan diri kepada Bapa, artinya Ia akan membuat Bapa diperallah oleh semua ciptaan, dengan cara Ia akan duduk di tahta Bapa, memakai baju kemuliaan Bapa, mahkota Bapa, memegang tongkat kerajaan Bapa, dengan kata lain Yesus menjadi Bapa dengan memakai seluruh Atribut Kekuasaan Bapa.
[color=#0000FF]Jadi Yesus duduk di tahta tidak mempermuliakan diriNya sendiri, tapi Mempermuliakan Kerajaan Bapa. Dan memang Kemuliaan Bapa itu dimiliki Bapa & dipersiapkan Bapa HANYA UNTUK YESUS. Jadi bukan 2 Allah yang berbeda, hanya ada 1 tahta Allah bagi Tuhan Yesus.[/color]

[b][color=#FF0000]3. Kekuasaan & Hikmat Tuhan Yesus tidak pernah berubah karena Keilahian selalu menyertaiNya & Ia selalu menjalankan KeilahianNya.[/color][/b]
Bapa Menyerahkan KekuasaanNya 100%, jadi Yesus adalah Allah yang sama besar dan sama tinggi dengan Bapa. Seperti Daud menyerahkan KerajaanNya ke tangan Salomo, demikianlah Bapa menyerahkan semua ke tangan Yesus Kristus, bahkan membuat Kerajaan Yesus itu menjadi lebih besar lagi.
Namun ini juga bukan berarti bahwa sebelumnya Yesus bukan Allah atau lebih kecil dari yang sekarang atau yang akan datang. Sekalipun Yesus di dalam wujud manusia, Yesus tidak pernah berhenti menjadi Allah & bekerja sebagai Allah. Bahkan berinkarnasi pun menjadi pekerjaan ilahiNya.
[color=#0000FF]Terbukti saat Yesus berumur 12 tahun, HikmatNya tidak berkurang sama sekali, Yesus benar2 Tuhan Allah yang melampaui semua Akal Budi Manusia. Terbukti walau dalam wujud manusia, FirmanNya tetap berkuasa atas alam semesta.
Sudah sejak sebelum dunia diciptakan, Yesus semulanya adalah Allah Tritunggal, Yesus adalah Alam Lingkaran Kudus Allah, Sendirian di sana menjadi Allah, bersama Sinar Pengertian (Bapa).[/color]

[b][color=#FF0000]4. Tuhan Yesus adalah Kesadaran Diri Allah & Pengertian Allah, satu2nya yang mengenali Allah & menjadikan Allah.[/color][/b]
Bagaimana kita tahu bahwa kita ini manusia? Karena ada yang mengenali, mengakui & memanggil kita sebagai manusia, yaitu Allah. Allah berkata: hai manusia! baru saat itulah kita mengerti & tahu bahwa kita adalah manusia. Allah adalah sumber pengertian.
[color=#0000FF]Nah siapa yang mengenali bahwa Allah adalah Allah saat permulaan saat Ia masih sendirian?
Tidak ada yang lain, hanya ada Allah sendiri, maka Allah sendiri yang memanggil Allah.[/color]
Allah mulanya adalah Kesadaran & Pengertian (Hikmat), maka dimungkinkan terciptanya manusia yang berakal budi, bukan hanya partikel2 atom yang mati seperti di dalam teori penciptaan melalui evolusi.

[b][color=#FF0000]5. Tuhan Yesus adalah Yang Pertama, Yang Awal, dari segalanya, lahir bersama Allah, hidupNya sepanjang hidup Allah.[/color][/b]
Hikmat itulah yang berseru di dalam diriNya: Aku tahu Yang Baik & Benar, Engkaulah Allah (ibrani:Oneness, yang tahu adalah satu dengan yang diketahui, di dalam dia).
[color=#0000FF]Itulah Anak yang mengenali keilahian, membuat Yang Benar itu menjadi Kebenaran.
Maka ”saat itu” jadilah Allah itu Allah, sekalipun saat itu tidak ada siapa2 selain Dia.
Lalu Allah itu berkata kepada DiriNya juga: Mari jalankan Kebenaran, jadilah Tuhan/Raja.
Itulah Bapa yang memulai Memerintah, membuat Kebenaran menjadi Hidup dalam Anak.
Maka ”saat itu” jadilah Tuhan itu Tuhan, sekalipun saat itu tidak ada siapa2 selain Dia.[/color]
Maka Anak mengatur segala sesuatu menurut yang dipandang benar oleh Bapa.
Itulah Allah Tritunggal, hanya ada Dia, yaitu Tuhan Yesus Kristus bersama Yang Tidak Terlihat.
[color=#0000FF]Dan Lingkaran Allah itu adalah Roh, Allah itu Roh & Hidup, di dalamNya ada Tuhan Yesus Sang Kebenaran, yang terus mendengar & melakukan apa yang dikehendaki Bapa di dalam hati Anak.[/color]

[b][color=#FF0000]6. Tuhan Yesus satu2nya Kebenaran sehinga satu2nya yang menerima penyembahan di sorga & seluruh semesta.[/color][/b]
Lalu Tuhan Yesus menciptakan mahkluk2 berpengertian, yaitu serafim & kerubim.
Mahkluk2 yang hanya memandang kepada Sang Raja, yang mengenali Dia Yang Benar & Yang Berkuasa: Engkaulah Allah, Engkaulah Tuhan kami! Suci, Suci, Suci! (sebab di dalam Anak adalah Bapa).
Lalu Tuhan Yesus menciptakan malaikat2 untuk melayani kebenaran, mendengar kebenaran, menyuarakan kebenaran, menjalankan kebenaran, yaitu melakukan apa yang benar yang dikatakan/diperintahkan oleh Anak Allah. Malaikat2 bersaksi satu sama lain : Dialah Allah, Dialah Tuhan kita, Sembahlah Dia! Suci, Suci, Suci!

[b][color=#FF0000]7. Tuhan Yesus adalah Allah yang di dalam Tabut Perjanjian Lama.[/color][/b]
[color=#0000FF]Seperti juga yang digambarkan oleh Tabut Perjanjian, demikianlah Allah.
Allah tersendiri, di dalam Dia ada Tongkat/Jalan/Anak, Hukum/Kebenaran/Bapa, & Mana/Hidup/Roh.
Tuhan Yesus itulah yang di dalam diri Allah, dan Allah menjadi Tuhan Yesus (Raja, Penguasa, Pencipta).[/color]
Seperti yang terdapat di sebelah luar tabut itu, hanya kerubim2 yang boleh ada di dekat Allah tapi harus selalu memandang Allah & sejalan dengan Allah, SETIA, tidak boleh memandang yang lain, tidak boleh sesat. Tapi mereka tidak pernah menjadi bagian Allah Tritunggal, sekalipun selalu bersama2 Allah, mereka hanya bisa memandang & mengerti, tapi tidak turut memutuskan & tidak bisa melihat kedalaman Bapa seperti Anak Allah.

[b][color=#FF0000]8. Tuhan Yesus adalah Allah yang tidak dikenali & tidak dikehendaki di dunia oleh manusia yang sesat.[/color][/b]
Dan semua ciptaan yang lain tidak dapat mendekati Allah, ataupun melihat & mendengar Allah secara langsung. Apalagi manusia berdosa, mereka berada di luar Sorga/Kemah Allah.
Mereka hanya dapat mendengar imam2 yang menyampaikan Firman Allah, seperti jabatan malaikat. Demikianlah manusia berdosa, selamanya tidak akan masuk ke sorga, itulah adil.
Seluruh isi bumi ini dapat dibinasakan dengan mudah & sah kapanpun Dia mau.
Jika Allah tidak berfirman, maka seluruh dunia akan larut dalam dosa. Tapi karena Allah ingin menyelamatkan sebagian mereka, maka barulah Dia berfirman & menunda kebinasaan mereka. Jadi keselamatan bukanlah berasal dari kehendak manusia.
Demikian juga di Gunung Sinai. Tanpa Allah berfirman, maka semua manusia segera membuat dewanya sendiri untuk bersukaria. Dan saat Tuhan Yesus datang ke dunia, maka manusia pun segera membunuhNya. Allah & manusia berdosa sebenarnya tidak bisa dipersatukan.

Hanya karena Tuhan Yesus rela turun menjadi manusia, maka keselamatan baru mungkin.
Karena Allah menjadikan diriNya sebagai bangsa manusia, sehingga wajar & sah bila Allah hendak membela & mempertahankan bangsaNya itu.
Lucifer tidak mungkin diselamatkan karena dia sendiri adalah mahkluk roh yang memberontak kepada Roh Anak Allah, sehingga Lucifer disebut pengkhianat (melawan dari dalam).
Namun karena Tuhan Yesus merendah menjadi umat yang harus tunduk di bawah hukum (padahal sesungguhnya Dia adalah Hakim, Pembuat Hukum), maka dagingNya bisa dicobai, dihakimi & dibunuh. Itulah artinya Dia merendahkan diri.
Tapi sedikit pun Yesus tidak pernah berhenti menjadi Allah di dalam Bapa, seperti kataNya: Bapa selalu menyertai Aku. Bagi Bapa, Yesus tidak pernah mati, hanya tertidur. Bagi Bapa, hanya daging Yesuslah yang dimatikan, tapi RohNya hidup kekal karena selalu bersama Bapa.

[color=#FF0000]1 Timotius 3:16
sesungguhnya agunglah rahasia ibadah kita: “Dia, yang telah menyatakan diri-Nya dalam rupa manusia, dibenarkan dalam Roh; yang menampakkan diri-Nya kepada malaikat-malaikat, diberitakan di antara bangsa-bangsa yang tidak mengenal Allah; yang dipercayai di dalam dunia, diangkat dalam kemuliaan.”
1 Petrus 3:18
Sebab juga Kristus telah mati sekali untuk segala dosa kita, Ia yang benar untuk orang-orang yang tidak benar, supaya Ia membawa kita kepada Allah; Ia, yang telah dibunuh dalam keadaan-Nya sebagai manusia, tetapi yang telah dibangkitkan menurut Roh,
[/color]

[b][color=#FF0000]9. Tuhan Yesus membuka kesadaran diri manusia berdosa, & mereka pun melenyapkan diri di neraka.[/color][/b]
Setelah semua orang pilihan diubah menjadi orang2 kudus, maka Hukum dibacakan & Kebenaran Tuhan Yesus dinyatakan sebagai Tuhan Allah & Raja Semesta Alam.
Orang2 yang membenci Dia akan takut pucat seperti disamber geledek, lalu langit digulung, bumi dibongkar, seluruh kisah ditutup, pertunjukkan selesai, manusia berdosa dihukum.
Tuhan Yesus mengenali orang2 pilihan & berkata: kalian adalah orang2 kudus milikKu!
Maka kita diberi kesadaran & mengenali diri sebagai milik Tuhan Yesus, lalu memuji Dia.
Tuhan Yesus mengusir orang2 durhaka & berkata: kalian adalah pembuat kejahatan, enyahlah!
Maka mereka diberi kesadaran diri sebagai mahkluk terkutuk yang jahat & menjijikkan, dan mereka ketakutan sekali melihat Sang Suci. Mereka ‘membakar diri’ selamanya di neraka.

Berikut gambaran sekilas tentang Pengertian Allah dalam kitab Yehezkiel, Tuhan Yesus adalah Pusat dari segalanya, sebab [color=#0000FF]Tuhan Yesus adalah ALLAH YANG MELIHAT ALLAH. SUCI,SUCI,SUCI![/color]

[img]https://bigbiblebook2.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/allah-tritunggal-2.jpg[/img]

KEDAULATAN ALLAH & KEJAHATAN MANUSIA

KEDAULATAN ALLAH & KEJAHATAN MANUSIA

BERSALAHKAH ALLAH DENGAN MEMBIARKAN KEJAHATAN TERJADI?

by proJesusChrist on SarapanPagi.com Sep 19, 2012

BERSALAHKAH ALLAH?? JIKA..
1. Jika Dia Mahatahu bahwa manusia akan binasa tapi tetap menciptakan mereka?
2. Jika Dia Mahamampu menyelamatkan tapi tetap menghukum dalam kekekalan?
3. Jika Dia Mahasuci tapi tetap membiarkan/menetapkan dosa terjadi?

Bagi manusia, Allah tampak sangat bersalah kepada mereka. Tapi Bagi Allah, Dia tidak merasa bersalah terhadap manusia ataupun terhadap segala atributNya itu sendiri.
Jika Allah tidak bersalah dalam ketiga hal di atas, di mana letak kebenarannya, bagaimana kita bisa mengerti?

(Kol 1:16) karena di dalam Dialah telah diciptakan segala sesuatu, yang ada di sorga dan yang ada di bumi, yang kelihatan dan yang tidak kelihatan, baik singgasana, maupun kerajaan, baik pemerintah, maupun penguasa; segala sesuatu diciptakan oleh Dia dan untuk Dia

Jawabannya: Karena segala hal yang diciptakan dan terjadi adalah diciptakan & terjadi di dalam Tuhan Yesus Kristus. Apa maksudnya?

Adam ‘dibiarkan’ berdosa, tapi tidak berhenti sampai di situ. Karena kejatuhan Adam, ujungnya adalah Kristus. Yaitu kasih & kebenaran Allah justru dinyatakan, & maut dikalahkan. Hanya di dalam Kristus, keberdosaan Adam menjadi suatu yang ‘dibenarkan’ untuk terjadi.

Firaun ‘dikeraskan’ hatinya, tapi tidak berhenti sampai di situ. Karena kekerasan hati Firaun, ujungnya adalah Kristus. Yaitu Kristus melakukan mujizat & menunjukkan diriNya sebagai Tangan Kanan Allah yang dulu membebaskan Israel dari Mesir. Hanya di dalam Kristus, pengerasan hati Firaun menjadi suatu yang ‘dibenarkan’ untuk terjadi.

Daud ‘dibiarkan’ berzinah & membunuh, tapi tidak berhenti sampai di situ. Karena kenistaan Daud, ujungnya adalah Kristus. Yaitu sebagai tanda lahirnya Anak Yang Terkutuk, lalu dari rahim yang sama lahir Anak Pengganti, Anak Kesukaan & Yang Diberkati untuk menjadi Raja Israel, yaitu Salomo sebagai gambaran Kristus. Hanya di dalam Kristus, kenistaan Daud menjadi suatu yang ‘dibenarkan’ untuk terjadi.

Yunus ‘dibiarkan’ melarikan diri dari Allah, tapi tidak berhenti sampai di situ. Karena keterpisahan Yunus, ujungnya adalah Kristus. Yaitu Kristus akan tinggal di dalam perut bumi seperti Yunus tinggal dalam perut ikan, dan kemudian bangkit keluar dan memberitakan penghakiman kepada seluruh bangsa. Hanya di dalam Kristus, keterpisahan Yunus menjadi suatu yang ‘dibenarkan’ untuk terjadi.

Keempat contoh hal di atas, semuanya dibenarkan terjadi, karena memiliki arti dalam kekekalan rencana Allah, yaitu di dalam Kristus Yesus. Maka sebenarnya Allah sudah mengampuni dan memaklumi banyak sekali dosa manusia dari sejak awal. Dia tidak menujukan mataNya untuk mencari2 kesalahan manusia, tapi untuk mencari manusia & kebenarannya, bahkan merancang berbagai kejadian bagi pertobatan dan keselamatan mereka.

Apakah artinya Allah mendukung atau sengaja merancangkan atau memanfaatkan dosa2 itu untuk membenarkan diri dan tindakanNya?  TIDAK!!! Semua dosa terjadi murni karena KEINGINAN DAN KESADARAN hati manusia sendiri.
Allah tidak sedikit pun setuju atas dosa2 manusia, tapi Allah setuju kepada penyelesaian dosa itu. Mata Allah tidak tertuju kepada dosa manusia, tapi pada kasih dan kebenaran Kristus yang akan menyelamatkan & menyelesaikan segala perkara itu sehingga membawa keadilan.

Allah tidak pernah berniat jahat atau curang, Allah tidak pernah bersekutu dengan iblis untuk menjatuhkan manusia. Tujuan/Rancangan Allah dalam segala sesuatu adalah ADA PADA UJUNGNYA, yaitu KRISTUS.
Kristus adalah Alfa & Omega, segala alasan & tujuan dari segala tindakan & ketetapan Allah yang harus terjadi di dalam semesta ini.

Hal ini paling jelas digambarkan dalam kitab Ayub. Juga ada kisah Mikha & Ahab, kisah pencobaan terhadap Yesus di padang gurun.

Mazmur 94:20 Masakan bersekutu dengan Engkau takhta kebusukan, yang merancangkan bencana berdasarkan ketetapan?
Mazmur 92:15 untuk memberitakan, bahwa TUHAN itu benar, bahwa Ia gunung batuku dan tidak ada kecurangan pada-Nya.
Mazmur 51:4 Terhadap Engkau, terhadap Engkau sajalah aku telah berdosa dan melakukan apa yang Kauanggap jahat, supaya ternyata Engkau adil dalam putusan-Mu, bersih dalam penghukuman-Mu.

—-

Lalu mungkin kita bertanya, apakah tidak lebih baik jika Adam tidak jatuh dalam dosa saat itu, ada Firaun tidak perlu dikeraskan hatinya, atau Daud dicegah dari berzinah & membunuh? Kita tidak pernah tahu, karena tidak pernah membuktikannya, tapi kita bisa mempercayai Tuhan, bahwa Tuhan sudah memutuskan yang terbaik.

Allah tampak membiarkan dosa2 yang tampak di permukaan, tapi sebenarnya dosa2 itu sudah terlebih dulu tumbuh di dalam hati manusia. Jika Adam dicegah dari dosa yang satu itu, mungkin Adam bisa melakukan dosa yang lebih besar. Jika Firaun tidak dikeraskan hatinya, mungkin orang2 mesir terlebih dulu membunuhi & menyiksa orang2 Israel itu sebelum mereka berhasil keluar dari Mesir. Banyak kemungkinan yang belum dapat kita pikirkan, karena kita tidak mungkin sebijaksana Tuhan. Hanya Tuhan yang tahu kedalaman hati manusia & rancangan mereka terhadap sesamanya.

JADI, SEMUA TINDAKAN/KETETAPAN ALLAH TIDAK DIBENARKAN DALAM DOSA2 & KEMALANGAN YANG TERJADI, TAPI NANTINYA, YAITU DIBENARKAN DI DALAM KRISTUS & KESELAMATANNYA, KEADILANNYA, KEBENARANNYA, KASIHNYA & PENYELAMATANNYA, SEBAGAI JAWABAN ALLAH TERHADAP SEMUA PEMBERONTAKAN SEMESTA OLEH IBLIS DAN MANUSIA.

Maka semua hal yang terjadi di dunia ini tidak mungkin memiliki arti atau dapat dimengerti di luar Kristus Yesus, atau di luar Kekristenan. Sekali lagi, hanya Tuhan Yesus Kristus jawaban untuk semuanya, dan hanya kekristenan jalan untuk mengenal & menemukan Yesus Kristus yang sebenarnya. Amin. terima kasih Tuhan, kemuliaan hanya bagi namaMu.

———–

ALLAH MERANCANG YANG BAIK, MANUSIA MENGINGINKAN YANG JAHAT

ALLAH TAK MUNGKIN MERANCANG YANG JAHAT, & MANUSIA TAK MUNGKIN MENGINGINKAN YANG BAIK

Allah merancang & menetapkan segala sesuatu, segala langkah manusia.
Tapi siapakah manusia itu? Mereka adalah manusia yang berdosa secara total, secara status, moral dan existensinya. Mereka manusia yang sudah tercemar keinginannya, yang terikat dengan perjanjian maut, yang deal/bergumul dengan pikiran/cara & keinginan/perasaan dunia. Mereka bukan lagi manusia Adam dahulu kala yang tahunya ‘hanya’ Tuhan dan bergaul/deal dengan Tuhan saja.

Dapatkah keluar suatu yang baik dari najis? Tentu tidak!! (kitab Ayub)
Dosa manusia sejujurnya adalah hampir dalam segala sesuatu, kalau tidak bisa dibilang semuanya. Jadi bagaimana Allah mengatur manusia2 berdosa ini tanpa ‘tidak membiarkan’ mereka berbuat dosa? Tidak mungkin!! Jika manusia memilih A, ia akan berdosa, begitu juga dengan C, D, E, dst. Itulah sebabnya, harapan manusia untuk tidak berdosa adalah sama sekali tidak ada! Hanya bergantung 100% kepada Tuhan Yesus.

Maka Dosa itu hanya berasal dari manusia, dan bukan dari Allah. Misal, andai, jika, Allah ‘dapat’ tidak mengatur semuanya, manusia akan selalu berdosa dengan sendirinya. Apa yang Allah adakan bukanlah ‘dosanya’, karena semua dosa itu telah ada dengan sendirinya, tinggal menunggu jenis-jenis pelaksanaannya. Yang Allah adakan adalah penyelesaian perkara atau tujuan Allah sendiri yang melibatkan manusia2 berdosa dan tindakan2 mereka yang berdosa.

Dosa itu sendiri adalah melawan Allah. Mana mungkin Allah berbuat sesuatu melawan diriNya sendiri? Karena dalam pandangan Allah semua yang ada di dunia ini berdosa, Allah ‘hanya’ bisa mengatur keberdosaan mereka supaya melaksanakan dan mencapai tujuan2Nya yang mulia. Mengatur itu dalam pengertian yang sangat luas, baik mengetahui, membiarkan, atau menetapkan untuk terjadi, tapi dengan maksud yang baik.

Dosa yang menjadi senjata melawan Allah, Allah balikkan untuk mendatangkan kebaikan, dan menjadi senjata yang melawan mereka sendiri.
Dosa, sesuatu senjata/kuasa iblis untuk menghina & menyakiti hati Tuhan, Tuhan pakai untuk mendatangkan kebaikan & mencapai kemenangan, dan mempermalukan si iblis.

Apakah anda pikir Allah sepikiran & sehasrat & sehati dengan iblis saat mencobai Ayub? Apakah Allah sepikiran dengan Daud yang ingin berzinah & membunuh? Apakah Allah menginginkan kejatuhan Yesus ke dalam dosa saat iblis mencobai Dia di padang gurun?
Semua jawabannya, Tentu Tidak!! Bahkan sekalipun Roh Allah sendiri yang menuntun AnakNya untuk dicobai, tapi tidak ada keinginan untuk ‘menjebak atau menjatuhkan’ Dia, seperti yang iblis lakukan.
Allah menetapkan dosa atau pun pencobaan terjadi, tanpa turut menikmatinya. Allah menetapkan dengan sambil berjaga2 & menopang mereka, untuk menyediakan pertolongan pada waktuNya.

Dunia ini adalah kain kotor, Allah bekerja di antara kain2 kotor. Allah tidak menyebabkan kekotoran sedikit pun atau menambahkanNya. Kain kotor itu hanya saling mengotori satu sama lain, tanpa Allah maupun dengan Allah. Selama di dunia ini, Allah masih berkenan memperhatikan & mengasihi, semua dosa masih dalam kedaulatan & pengawasan kasih Allah, masih ada harapan untuk mendatangkan kebaikan.

PREDESTINASI TIDAK MENYEBABKAN ALLAH MENJADI PEMBUAT KEJAHATAN, SEBALIKNYA, ALLAH MENJADI PENGENDALI DUNIA YANG BIJAK LUAR BIASA.

Dalam kemahatahuanNya, Dia tetap bisa menjadi Mahasuci dan tidak turut menjadi berdosa dalam segala keputusan dan tindakanNya.
Bayangkan, apakah anda bisa seperti Allah jika anda mahatahu?
Dalam kemahasucianNya, Allah tetap bisa menjadi Mahakuasa dan tidak menjadi Allah apatis tapi tetap mengendalikan manusia yang berdosa sehingga tidak liar atau berkuasa sendiri di luar diri Allah.
Dan dalam kemahakuasaanNya, Allah tetap bisa menjadi Mahabaik dan tidak dikendalikan kekuatanNya sendiri untuk menghancurkan manusia berdosa.
Dalam kemahabaikanNya, Allah tetap bisa menjadi Mahaadil dan tidak mengampuni atau membiarkan dosa begitu saja, melainkan menghakimi dan menyelesaikan segala perkara dengan adil.

Dan semua tindakan keMahaanNya itu hanya bisa terjadi di dalam Tuhan Yesus Kristus. Dalam penebusan & penghakiman & pengadilanNya, Allah terbukti Mahatahu, Mahasuci, Mahakuasa, Mahabaik atau Mahakasih, dan Mahaadil.

Tampaknya akan terlalu mudah jika Allah hanya mahatahu tanpa maha mengatur, atau bahkan itu bisa dikatakan tidak mungkin atau bahkan bisa jadi Berdosa!! Sebab Allah Mahakuasa untuk mengatur, mengapa Dia harus tidak mengatur?? Justru Dia akan mengingkari kemahabaikanNya karena bersikap tidak peduli, cuci tangan atau melipat tangan saja dan membiarkan dunia tak terkendali di dalam dosanya. Tanpa Tuhan mengendalikan dosa yang sudah & akan terjadi, mungkinkah dunia dapat menjadi sebaik ini atau menjadi bermoral? Tanpa kendali Allah, seharusnya dunia sudah dilanda air bah Nuh berpuluh2 kali sampai sekarang.

Itulah sebabnya kita sangat membutuhkan Allah yang Maha dalam segalanya & Allah yang berpredestinasi, seperti yang kita miliki di dalam Tuhan Yesus Kristus. amin.

———–

APAKAH ALLAH HANYA MEMBIARKAN ATAU JUGA MENETAPKAN LANGKAH MANUSIA?

APAKAH ALLAH MENETAPKAN ISRAEL DALAM MEMBUAT PATUNG LEMBU EMAS??

Jangankan Tuhan Yang Mahatahu, Musa dan Harun pun tahu orang2 israel yang keluar dari mesir itu bangsa yang ‘rusak’.
Tuhan yang dapat ‘melihat’ hati manusia terlebih dulu, membuat sejarah ‘melihat’ apa yang ada di hati bangsa itu.
Tuhan ‘sengaja membiarkan’ Musa lebih lama di atas gunung sehingga Tuhan dapat ‘melihat’ atau membuktikan hati bangsa itu. Dengan sengaja, karena Tuhan ‘tahu’ apa yang akan terjadi. Supaya Dia dapat berkata kepada Musa: Kini ‘biarkanlah’ Aku!
Apakah Musa ‘membiarkan’ Tuhan? Tidak, Musa tidak membiarkan dan ‘hebatnya’ Allah menyesal dan tidak jadi memusnahkan mereka.  Perhatikan kisahnya berikut ini :

(1) Ketika bangsa itu melihat, bahwa Musa mengundur-undurkan turun dari gunung itu, maka berkumpullah mereka mengerumuni Harun dan berkata kepadanya: “Mari, buatlah untuk kami allah, yang akan berjalan di depan kami ..”
(7) Berfirmanlah TUHAN kepada Musa: “Pergilah, turunlah, sebab bangsamu yang kaupimpin keluar dari tanah Mesir telah rusak lakunya. (8) Segera juga mereka menyimpang dari jalan yang Kuperintahkan kepada mereka; mereka telah membuat anak lembu tuangan, dan kepadanya mereka sujud menyembah dan mempersembahkan korban, sambil berkata: Hai Israel, inilah Allahmu yang telah menuntun engkau keluar dari tanah Mesir.”
(9) Lagi firman TUHAN kepada Musa: “Telah Kulihat bangsa ini dan sesungguhnya mereka adalah suatu bangsa yang tegar tengkuk.
(10) Oleh sebab itu biarkanlah Aku, supaya murka-Ku bangkit terhadap mereka dan Aku akan membinasakan mereka, tetapi engkau akan Kubuat menjadi bangsa yang besar.”
(11) Lalu Musa mencoba melunakkan hati TUHAN, Allahnya, dengan berkata: “Mengapakah, TUHAN, murka-Mu bangkit terhadap umat-Mu, ..
(12) Mengapakah orang Mesir akan berkata: Dia membawa mereka keluar dengan maksud menimpakan malapetaka kepada mereka dan membunuh mereka di gunung dan membinasakannya dari muka bumi? Berbaliklah dari murka-Mu yang bernyala-nyala itu dan menyesallah karena malapetaka yang hendak Kaudatangkan kepada umat-Mu.
(14) Dan menyesallah TUHAN karena malapetaka yang dirancangkan-Nya atas umat-Nya.
(22) Tetapi jawab Harun: “Janganlah bangkit amarah tuanku; engkau sendiri tahu, bahwa bangsa ini jahat semata-mata.

Perhatikan dalam kisah itu, tampak seperti ini :
1. Tuhan sengaja membiarkan bangsa itu berbuat sesuka hatinya.
2. Tuhan minta Musa membiarkan Tuhan berbuat sesuka hati Tuhan terhadap bangsa itu.
3. Musa tidak membiarkan Tuhan berbuat sesuka hati Tuhan.
4. Tuhan tidak membiarkan diriNya berbuat sesuka hatiNya sendiri karena perkataan Musa.

Apakah anda perhatikan hal yang aneh atau bahkan ‘lucu’ di sini??
Jika Allah tahu akan marah, mengapa Dia membiarkan dan memberi kesempatan orang israel membuat diriNya marah?
Bagi Allah, bukankah lebih baik atau lebih enak untuk tidak marah dan tidak diberontak?
Lebih mudah dan lebih enak mana bagi Allah, untuk membiarkan atau menetapkan?
Mengapa Tuhan tidak menetapkan Musa cepat2 turun sebelum israel sempat berbuat dosa?
Kalau demikian berarti Allah menetapkan diriNya untuk marah dan dilawan, bukan?
Kedua2nya adalah ketetapan. Apakah anda menangkap maksud saya?

Bahwa jika Allah Mahatahu segala kemungkinan yang dapat terjadi, segala sesuatunya telah ditetapkan untuk terjadi.
Jika Allah tidak menetapkan Musa untuk cepat2 turun, berarti Dia menetapkan atau memutuskan hal yang lain, yaitu agar israel jatuh dibiarkan jatuh dalam dosa.

Tetapi orang atheis bisa dengan sinis berkata bahwa Tuhan itu licik : oh ya jika dan hanya jika Tuhan memberi kesempatan mereka berdosa maka barulah mereka berdosa.
Tapi kebetulan hal itu memang terjadi, dengan arti yang berbeda.
Langkah tindakan yang diambil israel saat itu, langkah yang dibiarkan Tuhan untuk terjadi.
Tapi bukankah Allah bisa tidak membiarkan itu terjadi?
Siapa yang bisa mengubah keputusan atau ketetapan Tuhan?
Jika Tuhan MAU itu terjadi, maka terjadilah!!

Tentu semua orang tahu bahwa Allah tidak mungkin menginginkan patung itu, hanya Israel (manusia berdosa) dan iblislah yang menginginkan atau menyukai patung itu.
Namun ‘kehendak bebas’ itu sendiri dibagi menjadi ‘kehendak’ dan ‘bebas’.. ‘kehendaknya’ dari israel/manusia, ‘bebasnya’ dari Tuhan. Sebebas apa kehendak itu terjadi, Tuhan yang menetapkannya dari sejak semula.
Dengan demikian, sebenarnya bisa dibilang sisa ‘kehendaknya’ saja yang dari israel/manusia, tidak sungguh2 bebas, tidak ada yang bebas di luar atau dari ketetapan Tuhan. Sebab, hanya Allah yang dapat menetapkan itu untuk terjadi, atau menetapkan itu untuk tidak terjadi.

Israel hanya dapat melangkah ke arah itu, jika dan hanya jika sebelumnya Tuhan memutuskan atau menetapkan hal itu untuk terjadi. Tuhan menetapkan israel melangkah ke situ, Tuhan tidak punya maksud dan rencana lain sebelumnya untuk mencegah mereka, sekalipun Ia Mahatahu.
Jika Tuhan tidak menetapkan langkah israel itu, apa saja sih pekerjaan Tuhan dalam kemahatahuanNya? Apakah jika Ia Mahatahu, Ia hanya menunggu? tidak mungkin!

Bukankah karena Mahatahu, maka otomatis Tuhan memperhadapkan diriNya dengan 2 pilihan, menetapkan untuk terjadi dan menetapkan untuk tidak terjadi?
Jika Anda tidak setuju jika dikatakan Allah menetapkan langkah israel itu, karena hal itu anda anggap membuat Allah turut berdosa, maka artinya anda menuduh Allah bersalah dalam hal :
SECARA SENGAJA Dia tidak menetapkan israel untuk tidak melangkah ke arah itu, sekalipun Ia punya kuasa mencegahnya.

Tentu kita tidak menerima ini, kita TIDAK percaya bahwa Tuhan bisa berdosa atau bersalah.
Sehingga satu2nya jawabannya yang mungkin kini hanyalah:
WALAU BAGAIMANAPUN, TUHAN TELAH MENETAPKAN SEGALANYA, TETAPI TUHAN TIDAK PERNAH BERSALAH DALAM KETETAPANNYA.

Kelemahan yang tidak setuju akan predestinasi adalah :
Mereka menganggap manusia mempunyai pilihan, tapi tidak menghiraukan bahwa Tuhan yang seharusnya punya banyak pilihan. Mereka memperluas kemampuan manusia bisa memilih, tapi mempersempit kemampuan Allah untuk memilih dan memutuskan.
Mereka menempatkan kemampuan memilih Allah, ada di bawah kemampuan memilih manusia.
Mereka menganggap manusia bukan robot dan bebas memilih, sementara Allah hanya dapat ‘mengikuti’ pilihan2 manusia itu.

Kembali lagi ke kasus Musa.
Jika Tuhan sudah menetapkan agar diriNya membiarkan itu terjadi, maka tidak seorang pun dapat mengubah pendirian dan ketetapan Allah, karena tidak ada siapapun yang tahu apapun yang akan terjadi selain Allah sendiri, maka tidak ada yang dapat memberi saran kepada Allah.
Hanya Allah yang Mahatahu & Mahakuasa, sehingga tidak ada yang mampu memberi saran atau mencegah apa yang ditetapkan hatiNya untuk terjadi. Itulah pengertian ‘ketetapan’ dalam predestinasi.

Tapi di bagian kedua kisah di atas, tampak sepertinya bahwa Allah ‘mengubah’ ketetapanNya berdasarkan saran atau ‘pilihan’ perkataan Musa. Benarkah?
Apakah Musa lebih baik hatinya bahkan lebih bijak dari pada Tuhan sendiri yang Mahatahu?
Apakah Tuhan perlu diberitahu dulu oleh Musa untuk memilih dan melakukan yang baik dan benar? Benarkah Tuhan menyesal dan mengubah rencanaNya karena Musa?
Atau penyesalan dan perubahan rencana Tuhan memang suatu ketetapan Tuhan juga, karena Tuhan ingin menunjukkan atau menjelaskan sesuatu kepada kita?
Perhatikan, bahwa Musa saja yang diberitahu oleh Tuhan kemungkinan israel dibinasakan karena dosanya, tidak membiarkan atau mencegah hal itu terjadi, masakan Tuhan tidak lebih baik dari Musa?

ALLAH TERLALU BENAR & BAIK UNTUK BERSIKAP HANYA MEMBIARKAN, & AKAN TAMPAK KEJAM JIKA TIDAK MEMAKAI KUASANYA UNTUK MENGATUR LANGKAH ORANG-ORANG JAHAT.
Jika Tuhan Mahatahu, Dia tidak mungkin hanya membiarkan jika itu memang tidak sesuai dengan kehendak hatiNya ataupun rencanaNya.
Karena dengan membiarkan saja, tanpa membuat suatu ketetapan/rencana/tujuan yang baik, Allah menjadi bersalah.
Lihatlah bagaimana Allah membenarkan Musa yang tidak membiarkan ‘suatu yang buruk’ terjadi. Lihatlah kemudian bagaimana Allah membuat sautu ketetapan/rencana penghukuman yang dianggapNya baik dan sempurna.
Jadi mungkinkah Tuhan dengan SENGAJA membiarkan? tidak! Dia pasti juga menetapkan.
Apakah dengan menetapkan maka Dia berdosa? tidak! karena tidak sampai di situ saja.
‘Pembiaran/penetapan’ Tuhan itu karena Dia punya rencana yang baik.
‘Pembiaran/penetapan’ itu menjadi benar di dalam Kristus, yaitu bagi penghakiman & penebusan oleh Dia dan bagi Dia.

Jika Tuhan hanya mempunyai kemampuan sebatas ‘membiarkan’ atau ‘tidak membiarkan’ seperti Musa yang hatinya lembut dan penuh kasih, pastilah Dia hanya akan berbuat seperti Musa, untuk tidak membiarkan israel jatuh ke dalam dosa dan penghukuman.
Tapi jika Tuhan mempunyai kemampuan lebih dari itu, bahwa Dia mampu ‘menetapkan untuk terjadi’ dan ‘tidak menetapkan untuk terjadi’, maka Dia pastilah harus mempunyai kuasa, kebijakan, keadilan, dan hikmat yang lebih dari sekedar baik hati.
Jika mempunyai kemampuan ‘menetapkan segala sesuatu’, maka Dia harus mempunyai rencana, Dia harus menjadi Allah Yang Berencana/Berpredestinasi, Dia harus mempunyai rencana jangka panjang yang baik dan sempurna yang jauh melampaui waktu, tempat, sejarah ataupun kejadian.

Jika Allah punya kemampuan menetapkan, tapi Dia hanya membiarkan saja, maka Dia mungkin akan merasa bersalah kepada diriNya sendiri, karena Dia tidak mengatur supaya dunia ini menjadi adil & benar pada akhirnya.
Ingatlah, bukankah dikatakan mazmur bahwa mata Allah terus mengamat2i untuk mengadili?
Maka Dia tidak mungkin hanya diam dan tutup mata, sementara di hatiNya tahu sesuatu akan terjadi, pastilah Dia bertindak, membiarkan atau tidak membiarkan, apalagi jika Dia sudah tahu sejak lama sebelumnya, maka Dia pasti terlebih dulu menetapkan, untuk menyediakan pertolongan pada waktunya ataupun penghukuman menurut kekekalan.

Kesimpulan :
Sekalipun kita tidak mau percaya, tidak mengerti, ataupun tidak menerima tentang ‘predestinasi’, tapi tampaknya itu hal yang teramat sulit dihindari oleh Allah Yang Mahatahu, Mahakuasa, Mahaadil, Mahakasih, dst.

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PRAPENGETAHUAN ALLAH & KEHENDAK BEBAS MANUSIA?

BUKANKAH SEHARUSNYA ALLAH JUGA BERKUASA MENETAPKAN UNTUK TIDAK TERJADI??
Sangat mustahil bagi manusia untuk mengerti seluruh Pekerjaan Allah yang dilakukannya sejak dulu kala sebelum bumi diciptakan. Jika ingin mengerti, maka itu akan menjadi kesalahan atau kebingungan. Ini yang dikatakan Alkitab (kalau tidak salah di Ayub atau Mazmur).
Tapi baiklah jika Allah ijinkan saat ini, kita akan mencoba mengerti sedikit demi sedikit sampai batas kemampuan yang Tuhan akan anugerahkan kepada kita.
Jika anda menggolongkan pikiran dan pengetahuan Allah seperti jalan pikiran dan jalan pengetahuan manusia, maka tentu saja predestinasi menjadi hal yang tidak mungkin, lucu atau bahkan mungkin berdosa.
Maka dikatakan, Jalan Allah lebih jauh lebih tinggi dari jalan manusia, dan tidak tercapai oleh kita.

Ketika anda berusaha memahami si telur, ternyata anda sadar harus memahami induk ayamnya terlebih dulu, tapi ternyata harus paham induk dari induknya, lalu induk dari induk induknya, terus berlanjut hingga tak terhingga, dan kemungkinan akan mengalami kebuntuan. Anda perlu teleskop yang lebih besar dan lebih besar lagi untuk melihat dan mengerti segala sesuatunya.
Sebelum anda tanya tentang bagaimana Allah menetapkan apa yang terjadi di dalam dunia ini, mungkin anda harus memikirkan lebih jauh lagi terlebih dulu, bagaimana Allah menetapkan dan menciptakan dunia yang seperti ini?? Bagaimana dan dengan tujuan apa dan hasilnya apa??

Allah tidak hanya menciptakan bumi dan isinya, tapi Dia juga yang menciptakan WAKTU!
Saat Allah baru berniat menciptakan bumi, apakah Dia belum ‘tahu’ tentang kiamat?
Dari mana Allah tahu tentang kiamat, jika manusia saja belum dia ciptakan?
Jangankan kemungkinan adanya dosa, lah manusia saja belum ‘niat’ diciptakan, ‘baru berniat’ menciptakan bumi kok!
Nah, anda ikuti jalan pikiran saya sampai sejauh ini?

Bumi tidak diciptakan tanpa niat Allah menciptakan manusia, tapi bumi yang terlebih dulu diciptakan.
Bisakah anda balik pemikiran anda, bahwa manusia tidak akan diciptakan tanpa Allah berniat turun ke dunia sebagai Yesus Kristus?
Bukankah karena itu manusia diciptakan dengan gambar dan rupa Kristus?
Bahkan bisakah anda melihat, bahwa dunia diciptakan di tengah2 kegelapan, apakah hanya untuk tinggal selama2nya di tengah kegelapan, atau karena Allah bermaksud mengakhiri atau melenyapkan kegelapan itu saat kiamat?

Allah bertindak dan menciptakan berdasarkan sebuah tujuan, dan bukan kejadian asal2an atau kebetulan. Allah tidak pernah main2 dengan setitik saja POWER yang dikeluarkan dariNya.
Tidak ada suatu yang sia2, apa yang dikeluarkan dariNya akan kembali mencapai tujuanNya (Kitab Ayub).
Jadi apakah tidak mungkin bagi Allah, untuk memulai segala pekerjaanNya sejak awal karena Dia sudah terlebih dulu menetapkan akhirnya yang adalah tujuan dari segala pekerjaanNya di semesta?
Bukankah dikatakan Yesus adalah Alfa dan Omega, Yang Awal dan Yang Akhir, Yang Tak Berawal dan Tak Berakhir, Yang Lanjut Usia atau Tidak Berumur, Yang Tidak Berkesudahan, Berhenti, atau bahkan Berubah??
Hingga dikatakan di Alkitab, Tidak Ada Perubahan atau Bayangan, segalanya sudah sempurna!

Jika saya membayangkan ini dan mencoba mengerti, ini menjadi suatu kengerian (ayatnya di Ayub).
Bumi dan Sorga berada dalam dimensi yang berbeda. Di bumi di mana segala sesuatunya belum terjadi secara sempurna, sementara di Sorga segala sesuatunya sudah sempurna.
Bagaimana anda bisa memahami dan mendefinisikan pikiran dan pengetahuan Allah yang adalah Roh dan Sempurna?
Lalu, jika Allah ‘sudah tahu’ akan segala2nya, apakah Dia menjadi bersalah karena menciptakan segala2nya?
Bagaimana Dia bisa mengetahui segala2nya jika Dia belum menciptakan segala2nya?
Apakah Allah mempunyai berbagai kemungkinan dan pilihan?
Siapa yang memberikan bagi Allah suatu kemungkinan atau pilihan, dan menyediakan bagi Dia suatu Sebab-Akibat? Apakah Allah mempunyai Allah yang lebih tinggi dari Dia?
Siapakah yang akan menilai perbuatan Allah atau mengadili Dia, tentang benar atau salahnya ‘pilihan2’ Dia? (semua ayatnya ada di Ayub dan Mazmur)
Inilah Jawabannya: Karena tidak ada yang dapat mengadili Allah, maka Dia menciptakan dunia ini!!
Tidak ada yang bisa mengadili antara Allah dan iblis, antara Terang dan Gelap, antara Anak Allah dan si Anak Setan.
Dengan Allah menciptakan bumi ini, Ia menghendaki supaya jelas batas Terang dan Gelap, diadili apa yang Benar dan Sesat, dipisahkan untuk selama2nya.
Dengan demikian sejak awal, bumi didesain untuk mengalami kegelapan dosa, agar dosa berkuasa di dalamnya untuk dimusnahkan selama2nya dari hadapan Tuhan.

Apakah manusia menjadi korban dari kepentingan sepihak Tuhan? Tidak!
Manusia diciptakan Allah sebagai pelaku, bahkan menempatkan mereka sebagai allah2 dan hakim2 (di mazmur).
Apa yang menjadi kebenaran, biarlah berbuah di dalam manusia, demikian juga apa itu kegelapan.
Dan ketika genap segalanya di dalam manusia2 di dunia ini, mereka akan dipisahkan dan ditempatkan sesuai asalnya.
Yang berasal dari kegelapan biarlah kembali dalam kegelapan, dan yang berasal dari terang biarlah kembali ke dalam terang, untuk kemudian dipisahkan selama2nya.

Karena tidak ada yang dapat membenarkan Allah dari tuduhan2 iblis, maka Allah membuktikan kebenaranNya sendiri di dalam manusia, yaitu di dalam Yesus Kristus.
Setelah melihat hal ini, apakah kehendak bebas manusia menjadi penting?
Apakah itu manusia? Hanya bayangan yang berlalu, hanya sebuah nafas.
Tanpa pengetahuan akan Allah, bahkan nasib manusia bisa disamakan dengan binatang.
Kecuali Adam, Hawa, dan Yesus Kristus, maka semua manusia diciptakan dalam kegelapan dosa.
Semua mempunyai kehendak dosa, lahir dari dosa dan akan kembali kepada dosa.
Hanya manusia2 pilihan yang diciptakan ulang di dalam Yesus Kristus, sehingga kembali ke sorga.

Allah menghakimi perbuatan2 dosa yang melawan Anak Allah, dosa itulah yang menjadi arti Jahat sesungguhnya.
Perbuatan isreal membuat patung itu bukan kejahatan yang sebenarnya, tapi hati yang menolak Allah, itulah Kejahatan dan Tandanya bahwa mereka berasal dari kegelapan.
Dan lihatlah si lembut hati Musa dengan sangat mengejutkan memerintahkan pembunuhan saat itu juga 3000 orang israel tanpa perlu mendengar pembelaan dan permintaan ampun lagi.
Tetapi yang memihak Musa, sebagai wakil Allah, kepada mereka tidak dituntut apapun lagi.

Kebebasan berbuat yang Tuhan adakan, berhadapan dengan kehendak hati manusia yang jahat.
Tuhan menetapkan itu terjadi sebagaimana Dia menciptakan bumi yang menjadi berdosa ini.
Di sini bukan sekedar prapengetahuan Allah atas apa yang akan terjadi, tapi prapengetahuan Allah akan kehendak jahat manusia yang tersembunyi yang ingin Ia tunjukkan dan perlihatkan kepada manusia itu sendiri.
Tuhan menetapkan hatiNya untuk menunjukkan hal tersebut melalui peristiwa ini.
Makanya Tuhan sering berkata: ini menjadi peringatan dan pelajaran bagimu.
Dalam hal ini, Tuhan tetap bersih. Sekalipun Dia menetapkan hal itu untuk terjadi, Dia tidak memerintahkan pembuatan patung itu atau bersukacita atas kematian 3000 orang israel itu.

Lihat peristiwa selanjutnya.. saat Musa meminta yang memihak Allah untuk berpindah mendekat.
Di sini mungkin tampak seperti Pilihan Bebas atau Kehendak Bebas untuk menjadi benar.
‘Tapi tawaran’ ini menjadi bagian peristiwa yang juga sudah ditetapkan Tuhan sejak awal.
Jadi Tuhan tidak menetapkan bagian ‘patung lembu’ itu saja, tapi juga ‘pengampunan’.
Apakah anda lihat sisi baik dari peristiwa ini, bahwa bangsa israel dimurnikan dari yang Jahat?
Bisakah atau tahankah orang2 fasik diam di tengah2 orang2 benar? (kitab mazmur)
Di sini terjadi, yang jahat kembali kepada yang jahat, yang benar makin dibenarkan.
Yang milik maut biarlah kembali kepada maut, yang milik Allah biarlah menjadi milik Allah selamanya. Di sinilah pembiaran dalam ketetapan, kebebasan dalam kepastian.

Demi mengetahui ini, sungguh siapakah yang dapat sombong di hadapan Tuhan bahwa dia berbuat baik atau bahkan dia telah setia mengikut Tuhan sehingga tidak kehilangan keselamatan?
Karena jika tidak ditetapkan terlebih dulu untuk dimiliki Yesus, kita tidak mungkin dimiliki Yesus.
Karena mereka saja yang tidak dimiliki Yesus, karena sudah ditetapkan untuk tidak dimiliki Yesus, maka lihatlah betapa beruntungnya kita dan bersyukurnya kita.

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PRAPENGETAHUAN ALLAH ADALAH KEHENDAK & KETETAPANNYA SENDIRI

ALLAH MENGETAHUI APA YANG KEHENDAKNYA YANG INGIN DILAKUKANNYA TERLEBIH DAHULU DARIPADA MENGETAHUI YANG MANUSIA KEHENDAKI

Tindakan Tuhan/Pencipta sama sekali tidak tergantung dari tindakan ciptaanNya karena Ia Mahatahu & Mahakuasa. Jika hal2 yang baik bisa dimengerti dengan mudah dan rela sebagai suatu ketetapan Tuhan, apakah hal2 yang buruk adalah ketetapan sesuatu di luar Tuhan? Adakah yang sama kuasanya dan setara dengan Tuhan?
Prapengetahuan Tuhan Terbesar BUKANLAH sekedar Prapengetahuan atas kehendak jahat manusia, tetapi Prapengetahuan Yang Terduhulu sebelum itu adalah MISINYA, TUJUANNYA, RENCANANYA & TINDAKAN2 BAIK DARI ALLAH SENDIRI, Yang Sudah Sangat Terukur/Sempurna/Tepat/Mencapai TujuanNya/Tidak Sia2/Tidak Mungkin Salah/Tidak Mungkin Gagal/Tidak Mungkin Berubah.

Tuhan menciptakan/merancang angin dengan sifatnya yg bisa bertiup sampai merusak.
Lalu Tuhan membiarkan angin itu bertiup, tapi pada saat2 tertentu Ia hendak menunjukkan sifat angin itu sebenarnya, Ia membiarkan/menetapkan angin mengerahkan segala keinginan & kekuatannya untuk melibas apapun, tapi dalam batas2 yang Tuhan tentukan juga.

Demikian juga halnya Tuhan menciptakan/merancang manusia tapi dengan membawa sifatnya yang berdosa yang diturunkan/diwarisi bahkan diciptakan oleh iblis.
Lalu Tuhan membiarkan manusia itu hidup, manusia diberiNya nafas yaitu kekuatan untuk hidup.
Maka dosa itu hidup di dalam manusia, dan pada saat2 tertentu Tuhan membatasi sifat jahat manusia tapi ada saat Tuhan menghendaki menunjukkan siapa manusia sebenarnya dan apa yg di hati mereka. 

Angin di atas adalah contoh Kehendak Bebas, sifat/kehendaknya dari angin/manusia/iblis, bebasnya dari Tuhan, seturut dengan ijin & ketetapan/rencanaNya. Tuhan pasti lebih dulu hendak menurunkan hujan seribu tahun yang akan datang hingga akhirnya Ia menetapkan angin yang suka bertiup kencang untuk tampil saat itu. Demikian juga, Tuhan pasti lebih dulu hendak membebaskan Bangsa BentukanNya dua ribuan tahun yang lalu hingga akhirnya Ia menentukan bahwa saat itu Firaun yang  jahatlah yang berkuasa, supaya Ia mengadakan mujizat2 tulah tersebut.

Demikian juga Israel DITETAPKAN/DIRANCANG untuk berputar2 dalam 40 tahun perjalanan mematikan (journey) untuk menunjukkan dosa2 mereka hingga kematian mereka oleh maut (maut), dan keselamatan mereka (tiang tembaga), mengenal awan/api Roh Keselamatan, roti dari sorga, air yang menghidupkan, sehingga yg disisakan akan masuk & tiba di kanaan.
Hingga hanya Yosua yang tersisa tetap hidup sebagai lambang Kristus yang memimpin mereka masuk tanah perjanjian, bersama angkatan isreal yang baru dilahirkan kemudian di dalam journey itu, yaitu orang2 percaya di dalam Yosua, untuk menduduki destany mereka, tanah yang dijanjikan & disediakan Allah sebagai lambang sorgawi.Jadi

Ketetapan Allah ini harus dimengerti sebagai Ketetapan Rencana Yang Menyelamatkan, bukan ketetapan bagi Rencana Yang Mematikan, karena kehendak Allah yang terutama adalah menyelamatkan Umat PilihanNya.
Tuhan menetapkan semua peristiwa Kejadian & Sejarah semata2 demi mengantar kepada berita Keselamatan Kristus. Namun untuk menuju Destany itu, harus melewati suatu Journey di mana sifat2 dosa manusia dipertunjukkan seluruhnya dalam batas2 yg dikehendaki Tuhan, agar kemudian semua dosa itu ditebus (dibalas/dibayar) oleh Kristus di kayu salib oleh kasih & kesetaiaanNya. Untuk inilah Allah membiarkan dan juga menetapkan segalanya hingga terjadi.

Demikianlah Allah terbukti adil & kasih/baik dalam segalanya. Bahkan sempurna dalam kasihNya.
Tuhan puas dengan perbuatan2/ketetapan2Nya sendiri demi satu peristiwa puncak utama di dunia ini & sepanjang sejarah bumi, yaitu Penebusan oleh Tuhan Yesus di kayu salib.
Seluruh peristiwa2 yang ditetapkan terjadi adalah proses menuju ke sana, riak2 yang mengantar kepada gelombang yg terdahsyat, gema2 kecil yg memperdengarkan Seruan Keselamatan di Kayu Salib “Sudah Selesai”.
Maka Tuhan tidak menyesal dalam segala ketetapanNya yang membiarkan, mengijinkan & menetapkan semua peristiwa.
Mungkin Tuhan bisa menyesal sesaat melihat kematian orang2 yang mencari matinya sendiri, tapi melihat Salib Kristus di ujung sana, Dia tidak pernah menyesal atas semuanya, karena Dia tahu sendiri dengan pasti bahwa semua perbuatan & keputusanNya baik & sempurna.
Sehingga seluruh dosa pun akhirnya PASTI dikalahkan dengan sempurna, dimatikan, oleh KebenaranNya.
Dan dengan PASTI setelah dosa tidak ada kuasanya lagi, Dia mengangkat orang2 pilihanNya, dengan menganugerahkan RohNya yang menghidupkan, & Roh Allah tidak akan pernah mati dalam mereka, jaminan keselamatan.

Sementara manusia yg binasa menjadi nyata dalam dosa, & dosa menjadi menjadi nyata dalam mereka. sebenarnya Dosa itu adalah pembenci Anak Allah/Kasih Allah.
Oleh sebab itu tidak mungkin ada kasih/keselamatan di dalam mereka, jaminan kebinasaan.
Apakah mereka binasa disebabkan oleh ketetapan2 Tuhan itu? Tidak!
Ketetapan2 Tuhan itu untuk mengetuk semua hati manusia (bahkan sekalipun sia2 bagi yang ditetapkan/dibiarkan binasa). Kebinasaan mereka adalah disebabkan kehendak jahat di dalam hati mereka yang diwarisi dari si iblis, mereka sejatinya lalu diperanakkan di dunia menjadi anak2 kegelapan.

Namun Tuhan pun berkata: dosa semerah kirmizi menjadi putih seputih salju.
Mungkin saja orang2 Israel yang mati dalam dosanya di tengah perjalanan bukanlah seluruhnya anak2 kegelapan, dan mereka mungkin akan dihidupkan dalam roh pengampunannya seperti Musa. Tidak seperti Firaun & orang2 Mesir yang memang untuk ditinggalkan Tuhan di negeri maut selama2nya karena tidak ditetapkan untuk keluar dari sana.
Tidak disebutkan apakah orang2 Israel yang dihukum mati itu termasuk orang2 pilihan atau bukan, kan? Semoga Tuhan mengampuni mereka dalam kasih dan keadilanNya yang kekal.

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KEHENDAK MANUSIA BERDOSA YANG BEBAS & KEHENDAK MAHABENAR

KEHENDAK MANUSIA BERDOSA YANG BEBAS & KEHENDAK ALLAH MAHABENAR YANG BEBAS

Dari judulnya sudah tampak ‘Manusia YANG Berdosa’ dan ‘Allah YANG Mahasuci’.
Kata Ayub: dapatkah keluar suatu yang suci dari yang najis?  Jawabnya, TIDAK MUNGKIN!
Kehendak itu apa sih??
Dapatkah kehendak manusia yang berdosa itu benar/suci?
Benar/suci itu apa sih? Berdosa itu apa sih?

Kata Alkitab: semua jalan manusia lurus dalam pandangannya sendiri.
Jika yang menjadi STANDAR BENAR adalah manusia, dijamin, tidak ada dosa sama sekali.
Bahkan NERO pun akan berpikir bahwa tindakannya yang menyiksa orang Kristen adalah benar!!!
Orang2 zaman dulu yang membakar manusia sebagai korban, atau memakan manusia, atau orang Niniwe yang menyiksa dengan keji, apa kata Tuhan mengenai mereka?
Mereka tidak tahu membedakan tangan kanan dari tangan kiri, yang benar dari yang salah!!
Sekalipun manusia peka dan mengetahui apa yang jahat, tidak menjadikan manusia dapat mengetahui yang sebaiknya dilakukan dan secara benar melakukannya. Inilah kejatuhan manusia yang teramat dalam.

Inilah salahnya, inilah jadinya, bilamana Tuhan tidak lagi menghukum manusia sekarang ini dengan ketat seperti waktu Israel hidup di padang gurun, hasilnya adalah kita tidak pernah tahu apakah kehendak kita benar atau salah!?
Mungkin kalau Tuhan masih membimbing manusia dengan tabut perjanjian, setiap hari ada saja yang terkena kutuk karena kehendak bebas manusia yang salah.
Seperti kitab Ayub katakan : apakah jika Tuhan tidak menghukum (atau menegur saat ini), maka engkau tidak bersalah? maka engkau pasti benar?

Karena kita sedikit terdidik, sedikit bermoral, sedikit beragama, sedikit modern, sedikit beramal, sedikit merasa simpati, sedikit setia ibadah, sedikit setia karena memang tidak ada yang mengancam kita dengan pedang, maka kita dikatakan SETIA dan BERBUAT BENAR?
Karena kita tidak membunuh, tidak mencuri, membantu orang saat kasihan, hidup setia menyebut nama Tuhan sampai akhir di dalam rumah dan negara yang aman, maka kita telah HIDUP SETIA DAN MEMILIH YANG BENAR?
Bagaimana kalau kita sekarang hidup di padang gurun dan hanya makan manna, minum serba sedikit, sandal tak pernah ganti, sementara kita dulu makan daging di tanah mesir, apakah kita bisa berbuat lebih benar dari israel, apakah kita tidak akan menggerutu?
Inikah namanya MEMILIH YANG BENAR, KEHENDAK YANG BENAR, di tengah pilihan2 yang mudah?
Kemungkinan, saat kita membenarkan diri, itulah menjadi SATU2nya kesalahan kita. ;)
TIDAK ADA YANG SETIA DAN SELALU MENGHENDAKI ANAK ALLAH LEBIH DARI DIRINYA SENDIRI

Anda tahu mengapa Yesus kesepian sepanjang hidupNya di dunia?
Karena tidak ada yang memikirkan Dia, tidak ada yang sungguh2 mencari Dia & mengasihi Dia.
Dunia ini tidak hanya membunuh Dia, bahkan sebelumnya dunia ini telah lama melupakan Dia.
Manusia telah terlebih dulu membunuh Anak Allah dalam pikiran dan nafsu hatinya.
Apakah Israel mengenal bahwa Yesus adalah Yehova yg membebaskan mereka dari Mesir?
Bahkan akhirnya Petrus sahabat Yesus sendiri, dihancurkan hatinya & pikirannya (keras kepala), hingga ia menangis penuh penyesalan karena dia juga terhadap Yesus, tidaklah lebih baik/setia dari kaum sebangsanya.

Hingga Petrus justru baru dipanggil kembali, dalam kondisi awal ketika bertemu Tuhan dan berkata, pergilah dari padaku, aku orang berdosa’, bukan dalam kondisinya yang terbijak saat ia berkata ‘Engkau Anak Allah’.
Pada saat itulah Yesus baru bertanya ‘apakah engkau MENGASIHI AKU??’
3 kali ditanya!!! Susah sekali untuk benar2 yakin kita telah mengasihi Tuhan Yesus!
Tanpa Yesus setia mengasihi & terus menerima kita kembali, kita tetaplah manusia berdosa yang kurang setia dan tidak layak melayani Dia atau menghadap Dia dan bersahabat setara bahkan bersaudara dengan Dia Yang Mahasuci.

Kehendak benar dan perbuatan benar di mata Tuhan adalah ‘Mengasihi Aku’. Mengapa perbuatan ini membenarkan?
Bukan karena ‘mengasihi’ nya, tapi karena ‘AKU’ nya. Dalam Kristus maka kita baru bisa dibenarkan. (lihat surat2 Paulus)
Perhatikan perkataan Paulus, bahwa sekalipun dia menyerahkan nyawanya tapi JIKA tanpa kasih, maka tidak ada gunanya. Sekalipun tindakan kasih paling drastis, tapi tanpa mengenal Siapa Sang Kekasih itu, adalah pengkhianatan dengan sembunyi2.
Banyak orang mengambil dan mengembar-gemborkan ‘Mengasihi’ sebagai perbuatan kebenaran.
JANGAN MENGURANGI AYAT!! Sebab inilah ‘taktik cerdik’ iblis yang menyesatkan dan paling berbahaya : iblis ingin menghapus nama/kata Anak Allah dari Alkitab!! Iblis rela anda mengasihi siapapun, asal jangan mengasihi Anak Allah.

Demikian pula, apakah sebenarnya kesalahan fatal Isreal dengan patung lembu itu?
Karena mereka menyangkal ‘TANGAN KANAN YEHOVA’, bahwa bukan Dia yang membawa kemeanangan dan menyelamatkan mereka, melainkan ‘BUATAN TANGAN MEREKA SENDIRI’.
Maka Musa menghancurkan 2 Loh Batu Tulisan Tangan Allah sendiri.
Sampai akhir Isreal hanya memiliki 2 Loh Batu tulisan tangan Musa, maka Tuhan Yesus berkata kepada Yahudi bahwa cukuplah Musa saja yang akan mengadili mereka, tidak perlu Dia Sang Hakim memperkarakan mereka ke hadapan Bapa.

Tuhan menantang : biarlah tanganmu yang menyelamatkanamu sendiri, biarlah perbuatanmu yang menyelamatkanmu sendiri, biarlah kesetiaanmu yang menyelamatkanmu sendiri.
Hingga Yesus menegur kita bukan? Jika hidup keagamaanmu tidak lebih benar/baik dari ahli Taurat, maka engkau tidak bisa masuk ke Kerajaan Allah.
Anda mengerti maksudnya? Yahudi itu kurang setia apanya? Mereka sangat setia dalam hukum dan perbuatan, kamu bisa lebih setia dan lebih taat dari pada Yahudi kepada perkataan2 Yesus?
Perkataan Yesus lebih berat dari Taurat loh, bahwa membenci saja sudah sama artinya dengan membunuh, apakah kamu tidak pernah membenci?
Apakah kamu berani berkata bahwa keselamatanmu tidak hilang karena kesetiaanmu dan hidupmu yang baik? Apakah kamu sudah cukup baik terhadap Yesus dengan sepenuh hati, jiwa, dan kekuatanmu?

JADI adakah kehendak bebas manusia yang benar?
Inilah bukti bahwa kehendak bebas manusia tidak mungkin benar:Apakah manusia dapat selalu memilih Yesus Anak Allah lebih dari dirinya sendiri? Di mana kamu hari ini, apa yang kamu pikirkan sepanjang hari, benarkah kamu memikir2kan Anak Allah, seperti Daud yang merenungkan Taurat dari pagi sampai petang?
Kamu mungkin tidak berdosa atau memilih yang jahat sepanjang hari ini, tapi kamu juga tidak memilih yang baik.
Kamu tidak setia kepada Tuhan Yesus, kamu berzinah dengan pikiran dan hatimu.
Bacalah, Samuel berkata kepada Saul bahwa kedegilan hati sama dengan dosa bertenung atau menyembah berhala.
Anda sorak2 atau tertarik dengan kedatangan idol2 artis, atau memikir2kan pekerjaan dan kuliah sepanjang minggu yang lalu, apakah ada kaitannya dengan MENGASIHI YESUS KRISTUS?
Apakah benar anda setia? Apakah anda berbuat benar, dan memilih yang benar?

Saya tidak tahu bagaimana kelas2 dan buku2 teologi mendefinisikan kehendak bebas.
Tapi yang saya rasakan dan tangkap dari Alkitab adalah seperti keterangan di atas.
Maka Tuhan Yesus berseru: Saat Anak Manusia datang kembali, akankah Ia menemukan IMAN di bumi?
Mungkin penjahat di sebelah kanan kayu salib Yesus memang ‘berhak’ masuk sorga duluan, bersama2 dengan Tuhan Yesus lagi! Karena dia benar2 dengan modal IMAN saja!! Dia tak sempat berbuat baik atau menunjukkan betapa setianya dia beribadah dan memilih mengikut Yesus.

Anda kenal Lazarus? Apa yang bisa diperbuat pengemis?
Dia hanya mengharapkan orang berbuat baik pada dia, dia tidak berbuat baik kepada orang lain, bahkan kepada dirinya sendiri. Tidak ada kebanggaan dan kesenangan sedikit pun dalam hidupnya, dia orang terasing, dia tidak mendapatkan apapun dari dunia ini dan tidak memiliki apapun.
Tapi Allah mengasihaninya…  hanya belas kasihan Allah yg ingin memangku dia dan menghibur dia, karena dia dibuang dunia, tidak ada yang mengasihaninya selain Allah.

Di sinilah Kehendak Bebas Tuhan.
Tuhan Baik & Benar, apapun yang diperbuatNya dengan sebebas2Nya, ada di dalam Kasih & KebenaranNya.
Kita yang sebenarnya tidak bisa memilih yang benar, masih bisa berpikir bahwa kita MUNGKIN untuk memilih yang benar. Masakah Tuhan yang HANYA bisa memilih yang benar, tidak bisa menetapkan segalanya terlebih dulu tapi TETAP benar/suci??
Jika kesucian Tuhan hanya diukur dari respon2Nya terhadap tindakan jahat dan baiknya kita, maka bisa dikatakan bahwa Perbuatan Allah dibenarkan oleh perbuatan kita! Apakah anda paham maksud saya?

Apakah… Allah baru bisa benar, jika dan hanya jika, dia menghukum saya saat berbuat salah, dan memberkati saya saat saya memilih yang benar/setia…??
Tidak bisakah Allah menjadi benar dengan sendirinya, tanpa menunggu perbuatan2 kita?
Tidak bisakah Allah menjadi benar jika Dia berbuat lebih dulu, memutuskan lebih dulu, sebelum kita memutuskan apapun atau berbuat/berdoa apapun atau mengatakan/meminta apapun?
Apakah kesalahan dan kebenaran kita yang membenarkan Keputusan/Ketetapan2 Dia?
ATAU Keputusan/Ketetapan2 Dia yang membenarkan atau menyalahkan kita?

Kita menjadi salah karena Dia (hukumNya), atau Dia baru menjadi benar karena kita (harus terlebih dulu menghukum kita)?
Di mazmur disebutkan bahwa, jangan katakan bahwa Terang ada karena adanya kegelapan!
Terang lebih dulu ada sebelum kegelapan!!
Keputusan2 kegelapan, tidak menggelapkan atau menjadikan atau membuat terang ada.
Terang yang akan menerangi kegelapan atau menunjukkan/menetapkan apa itu gelap.
Allah bukannya baru menjadi benar karena respon terhadap kita, KebenaranNya tercipta bukan oleh kita.
Bukan Allah Mahabenar yang berasal dari kita atau bukan kita yang menciptakan/menyebabkan kebenaran Allah, tapi kita yang berasal dari dan diciptakan oleh Allah.

Predestinasi menantang kita untuk percaya sepenuh2nya kebaikan Allah sejak awal!!
Anda susah percaya predestinasi?? Anda tidak percaya Allah berbuat baik dan memutuskan segalanya dengan baik dan benar sebelum apapun dan siapapun??
Saya sendiri sangat sulit percaya, tapi saya mau percaya dan terus belajar sampai sedikit demi sedikit Alkitab/Firman Allah Yang Hidup menjelaskan dirinya sendiri.

Jika anda memilih yang benar, puji Tuhan, Allah mampukan.
Jika anda jatuh ke dalam dosa, minta ampun terus dan berusaha berubah, jangan putus asa, Tuhan lebih baik dari Petrus yang mengampuni 7 x 7 x 7 itu…
Ingatlah hanya Anak Allah yang setia/sempurna, apakah anda sanggup setia seperti Dia?
Ucapkanlah seperti ucapan Petrus tiap hari: kami orang yang berdosa dan kurang setia, anugerahkanlah pengampunanMu tiap hari & bantulah kami mengasihiMu lebih baik lagi hari ini..
Keselamatan kita seharusnya hilang tiap hari jika kita mengandalkan kesetiaan & perbuatan baik kita, maka hanya karena Kesetiaan Janji & Kasih Yesus Kristus saja maka kita menerima jaminan keselamatan.

Demikian juga, karena kita berkata keselamatan kita hanya karena Yesus yang setia, bukan bergantung pada kesetiaan kita atau karena kita yang setia.. MAKA artinya :
Keselamatan kita yang bergantung 100% pada kesetiaan Yesus pun tidak mungkin hilang.. sebab jika kita ragu, itu sama saja dengan mengatakan Yesus tidak mungkin setia.
Karena jika seseorang mempunyai iman keselamatan yang demikian tapi berpikir bisa kehilangan keselamtannya, maka sama artinya dengan menuduh Tuhan Yesus tidak setia atau berubah setia, atau ingkar janji, atau lebih parah lagi Pengkhianat cinta kita kepadaNya.
Ingatlah Tuhan Yesus itu Allah, Allah itu Kasih, Tuhan Yesus adalah Kekasih Sempurna & Paling Ideal, Dia tak akan pernah mengkhinati kasih mesra kita kepadaNya. amin.

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KEHENDAK ALLAH & KEHENDAK BEBAS MANUSIA (bagian 1)

KEHENDAK ALLAH & KEHENDAK BEBAS MANUSIA (bagian 1)

by proJesusChrist on SarapanPagi.com Sep 19, 2012

MEMILIH ALLAH??

(Roma 11:3) Tidak ada seorangpun yang berakal budi, tidak ada seorangpun yang mencari Allah.

sekalipun ada free will, tidak ada yang dapat menggunakan free will itu dengan benar.
TIDAK ADA YANG MENCARI ALLAH = TIDAK ADA YANG MEMILIH ALLAH.

Setelah berdosa, free will tidak lagi berguna, segala kehendak manusia sudah di bawah kutuk & diracuni dosa.
Percaya 100% kepada perkataan Alkitab, bahwa tanpa karunia Allah & Roh Allah, tidak ada seorang pun yang dapat bertemu/mengenal/percaya kepada Allah Tritunggal/Tuhan Yesus.

Anggaplah beberapa manusia ‘teringat/merasakan’ akan Allah oleh sebab hati nuraninya, tapi manusia berdosa tidak mungkin sanggup ‘mendapatkan/menemukan’ Allah Yang Benar dan secara benar, dengan otak & hatinya, hasilnya mereka ‘keliru menemukan/mendefiniskan Allah’ yaitu dalam agama2 & kepercayaan2.

Jadi satu2nya jalan adalah, bukan manusia yang mencari/memilih Allah, tapi Allah yang mencari/memilih manusia.
Allah satu2nya oknum dalam alam semesta yang masih mempunyai Free Will yang suci & kesanggupan untuk menyelamatakan dengan jaminan 100% berhasil.

Sesungguhnya pertanyaan besarnya/intinya yang tersembunyi di balik segala pertanyaan mengenai predestinasi, adalah:
mengapa Allah tidak memilih semua manusia untuk diselamatkan jika Dia tahu & Dia mampu?
atau mengapa Allah menciptakan sebagian manusia ‘untuk binasa’ jika Dia tahu & Dia baik?
Apakah Allah aktif atau pasif dalam menentukan manusia yang binasa?
Inilah yang mengusik ‘rasa keadilan & logika moral’ manusia.
Jawabannya tidak sederhana, & disimpulkan di paling akhir.

PERBUATAN MANUSIA??

Matius 7:21
Bukan setiap orang yang berseru kepada-Ku: Tuhan, Tuhan! akan masuk ke dalam Kerajaan Sorga, melainkan dia yang melakukan kehendak Bapa-Ku yang di sorga.

Sekilas ini tampak seperti ‘perbuatan’, tapi intinya adalah ‘kehendak BapaKu/kehendak sorga’.
bukan dengan perkataan/iman manusia, manusia tidak mungkin mencapai/meraih sorga.
sorga itu terlalu tinggi/suci sehingga hanya bisa dianugerahkan/diberikan/diturunkan kepada manusia yang rendah/berdosa, jika Allah menghendakinya.

Kalimat bagian kedua dapat dituliskan/diartikan :
melainkan dia yang di dalamnya, Kehendak Bapa terlaksana.
melainkan dia yang telah melakukan/menggenapi AGAR TERLAKSANA yang Bapa telah Kehendaki/Rencanakan dari semula.
bahkan DIA ini sebenarnya cerminan Yesus Kristus sendiri, & semua orang percaya yang mencerminkan Yesus yang juga sama dipanggil untuk menggenapi kehendak/rencana Bapa.

Yesus mengenal dari buahnya : Dari buahnyalah kamu akan mengenal mereka (ay16).
Buah itu adalah Buah Roh Yesus sendiri, Buah Roh Kudus..
Buah dari pengenalan akan Tuhan Yesus Kristus..
tanpa Roh Kudus, tidak ada yang dapat mengenal Allah, dan mereka ‘tidak dikenal’ Allah.
Buah yang benar adalah yang tahan uji, bahwa yang dikenal & diketahui mereka tentang Allah & kehendak/maksudNya di dalam Tuhan Yesus adalah benar..
pengenalan yang benar akan Tuhan, bukan sekedar berseru Tuhan Tuhan atau berbuat sesuatu bagi Tuhan atau atas nama Tuhan.

Sekali lagi jelas: keselamatan bukan berdasarkan perbuatan baik atau amal & ibadah manusia, bahkan sekalipun perbuatan itu diatasnamakan Tuhan & bagi kemuliaan Tuhan.

Jawabannya jelas : Keselamatan berdasarkan KEHENDAK BAPA.
Apakah adil? beranikah kita menuduh atau mencurigai Allah itu tidak adil dalam kehendakNya?
Apakah untuk adil, kehendak Bapa harus bergantung kepada perbuatan manusia?
Apakah perbuatan manusia itu? di bawah ini:

PILIH KASIH ???

Penting!!! Pikirkan ulang apakah itu KESELAMATAN?? Untuk apa???
KESELAMATAN ITU UNTUK KEINGINAN MANUSIA ATAU UNTUK KEPENTINGAN/KEINGINAN TUHAN??

Keselamatan versi keinginan manusia adalah Masuk Sorga, Selamat Dari Penderitaan, Lari dari Hukuman Dosa!!
Keselamatan versi kehendak Allah adalah Mencintai & Mendekap Allah, Mengakui & Mengagumi Kasih Allah Yang Indah, Membenci & Jijik terhadap Kejahatan/Dosa yang mengkhianati Allah.

Apakah Bapa atau Tuhan Yesus menyelamatkan untuk melayani keinginan manusia yang egois atau untuk melayani keinginan Allah yang ingin mengasihi manusia??
Apa itu KESELAMATAN, APA ALASANNYA? Jawabannya :
Yohanes 3:16   KARENA begitu besar KASIH ALLAH akan dunia ini, sehingga Ia telah mengaruniakan Anak-Nya yang tunggal, SUPAYA setiap orang yang PERCAYA kepada-Nya tidak binasa, melainkan beroleh hidup yang kekal.

Manusia berbuat apapun karena ingin menyelamatkan dirinya sendiri, bukan untuk mencari Kebenaran/Hidup atau Sang Penyelamat/Sang Keselamatan/Sang Hidup.
Sedangkan maunya/kehendak Allah adalah hanya supaya manusia percaya akan Allah & bahwa Allah itu Kasih & Kebenaran satu2nya di dalam AnakNya.

Jadi berdasarkan alasan ini, maka perbuatan manusia tidak mungkin sebuah perbuatan yang benar/kasih di mata Tuhan, perbuatan mereka khas perbuatan orang berdosa, bukan perbuatan orang benar. Hanya Orang Benar yang bebas dari dosa yang dapat melakukan perbuatan benar, yaitu Tuhan Yesus Kristus.

Bagi Allah, adalah ADIL dan SUDAH SEPANTASNYA jika manusia berdosa mengalami neraka yang kekal. Setiap orang berdosa dibalaskan/mengalami keberdosaannya sendiri.
Lebih tegasnya, Allah Tidak Perlu Kasihan atau Menyelamatkan, sekalipun Ia merasa kasihan dan ingin menyelamatkan.
Tidak ada yang berhak diselamatkan, bahkan tidak adil untuk diselamatkan.
ALLAH TIDAK PILIH KASIH, KARENA SEMUA MANUSIA DILAYAKKAN DIHUKUM DI NERAKA.

Pertanyaannya jadi terbalik, kan?? pertanyaannya bukan lagi, mengapa ada yang tidak diselamatkan, melainkan mengapa ada yang diselamatkan?
kita bisa berkata : TIDAK ADIL JIKA ADA MANUSIA YANG DISELAMATKAN!!
Inilah ikatan maut & keadilan Taurat, yang menjadi senjata iblis atau kekuatan maut.

KEADILAN ALLAH ???

APAKAH ITU KESELAMATAN & SIAPA YANG BERHAK DISELAMATKAN ATAU ADIL UNTUK DIPILIH??

Maka logikanya, untuk apa keselamatan itu jika segala sesuatu sudah adil?
Allah merasa tidak cukup hanya menunjukkan KeadilanNya tanpa menunjukkan KasihNya.
Keselamatan untuk menunjukkan Kasih & Kebenaran Allah di dalam Yesus Kristus.
Keselamatan Adalah Yesus Kristus itu sendiri, diadakan oleh & untuk Yesus Kristus.

Supaya dunia percaya, supaya seluruh semesta melihat kebenaran AnakNya,
& tidak dibutakan atau dikuasai kebohongan iblis.
Supaya dalam seluruh ciptaan ini, ada sukacita & harapan dalam Allah,
& agar jangan mati semuanya & dikalahkan/dimiliki maut.
Dan agar Allah bersukacita dalam AnakNya atas kasih & keselamatan itu.

Di manakan keadilan dalam keselamatan itu?? Dalam Yesus Kristus !!
Mengapa Adil?? Berdasarkan HUKUM YANG BARU, PERJANJIAN BARU.
Yesus menggenapi Taurat dengan sempurna dengan seluruh hidupNya sehingga mematahkan kuasa maut, Taurat tidak berkuasa atas diriNya, Dia tidak bersalah.

Taurat itu kini ada di dalam Yesus, karena seluruhnya digenapi Yesus Kristus.
Jadi keadilan Allah & standar Allah kini adalah Tuhan Yesus itu sendiri.
Semua yang dikatakan & diputuskan Tuhan Yesus, itu menjadi standar & hukum Allah.
Yesus mendeklarasikan Hukum Yang Baru: Siapa yang percaya kepadaKu, dia Kuselamatkan.
Berdasarkan hukum ini sajalah SEBAGIAN MANUSIA AKAN ADIL UNTUK DISELAMATKAN, & TIDAK AKAN ADIL BILA MEREKA TIDAK DISELAMATKAN.

Tepatlah dikatakan bahwa Yesus datang untuk menyelamatkan, bukan membinasakan.
Yesus mengadakan keadilan untuk mereka yang diselamatkanNya, sedangkan bagi yang binasa mereka mengalami keadilan dari hukum Taurat.
Maka semua manusia yang terus mengukur/percaya keadilan dalam Taurat, akan binasa diadili oleh hukum Taurat.
Sedangkan manusia yang percaya oleh perbuatan keselamatan Yesus & kasih Allah dalam diriNya, akan diadili oleh perjanjian atau hukum yang baru, asal percaya maka selamat.

Pertanyaannya sekarang, siapa yang harus percaya, bagaimana mereka percaya, mengapa tidak semuanya menjadi percaya atau dibuat untuk percaya kepada Tuhan Yesus??
Apakah Tuhan Yesus pilih kasih? Apakah Tuhan Yesus cukup adil?
Apakah semata untuk menunjukkan bahwa Keselamatan adalah Anugerah/Kehendak Allah dan bukan perbuatan/kehendak manusia, maka harus ada manusia yang tetap binasa??

Jawabannya menyusul..

PREDESTINASI & PENCIPTAAN MANUSIA

PREDESTINASI & PENCIPTAAN MANUSIA

PREDESTINASI & TRITUNGGAL, JALAN ALLAH & IMAN KRISTIANI YANG UNIK & MELAMPAUI AKAL & AGAMA

by proJesusChrist on SarapanPagi.com Nov 20, 2012

 

Nyatalah segala yang terjadi di dunia HANYA TUHAN YESUS KRISTUS JAWABANNYA.
Hanya dengan iman Kristiani ini maka semua pertanyaan di dunia dapat dijawab tanpa bisa dibantah & diguncang & disangkal, sekalipun mungkin mereka tidak mau menerimanya.
Manusia mau menjawab semua pertanyaan dunia dengan agama & ilmu pengetahuan, tapi itu tidak mungkin, karena semua yang terjadi adalah KARENA KRISTUS, OLEH KRISTUS, & BAGI KRISTUS. Dan ini disebabkan oleh diberikanNya pemahaman akan PREDESTINASI!!

1. Predestinasi Sebagai Pengetahuan Allah
Hanya orang Kristen yang beriman, karena segalanya diberitahukan & dimulai oleh Allah, sedangkan agama2 lain adalah hasil karya olah hati & olah pikir manusia belaka.
Seperti amsal katakan: Permulaan pengetahuan adalah takut akan Tuhan.
Maka siapa yang memulai dengan Kristus, akan mengerti segala jawabannya.
Tapi agama2 lain memulai dengan perkataan iblis, yaitu pengetahuan akan yang baik & yang jahat, sehingga mereka tidak akan menemukan Allah, tapi berputar2 pada pikiran & perasaannya sendiri yang seakan2 mengerti Allah, padahal mereka menipu diri sendiri.
Menurut predestinasi, Allahlah Sumber Pengetahuan karena Ia yang mengatur segalanya terjadi sampai akhir, sedangkan bagi ajaran agama lain, semua tergantung pada pilihan manusia, jadi pilihan manusia yang menjadi sumber pengetahuan bagi sang tuhan mereka.

2. Predestinasi Sebagai Bukti Allah Yang Mahakuasa & Tidak Haus Kekuasaan
Atheis secara sinis mengkritik agama sebagai semacam alat kekuasaan politik, kendara untuk menaklukkan orang sebanyak2nya untuk memperkuat kekuasaan petinggi2 agama dengan cara menakut2i dengan neraka & menjanji2kan dengan sorga.
Tanpa ajaran predestinasi, kekristenan akan jatuh menjadi salah satu agama2 yang mencari pengikut2 sebanyak2nya & mengajarkan manusialah yang harus memilih demi memenuhi kebutuhan spiritualitas mereka semata & nasibnya setelah mati.
Allah agama2 lain seakan2 haus kekuasaan, mencari pengikut sebanyak2nya, seakan2 allah mereka membutuhkan dukungan manusia2 untuk memperkokoh kekuatan & eksistensinya (sebenarnya ini menggambarkan apa yang dilakukan Lucifer).
Allah Kristen adalah Allah Yang Sudah Mahakuasa sehingga Ia tidak lagi haus akan kuasa/ego & popularitas/narsis, & eksistensiNya pun tidak bergantung kepada manusia.
Allah Kristen adalah simple, Allah yang ingin mengasihi & menyelamatkan, yang hanya menghendaki domba & kekasihNya yang terhilang, bahkan Kristus menolak orang2 yang ingin mengikuti Dia jika mereka bukan domba2Nya (ada di keempat Injil).

3. Predestinasi Bukti Allah Mencipta Bukan Karena Kurang Kerjaan Atau Ingin Mempermainkan Manusia
Agama2 lain mengartikan manusia diciptakan tuhannya di bumi agar mereka memilih yang benar & menjauhi yang salah (pengetahuan yang baik & yang jahat), ini seperti yang dikatakan & diingini si iblis (karena manusia pasti memilih yang jahat/sesat, sebab semua manusia sudah sesat).
Agama2 lain menggambarkan seakan2 tuhan kurang kerjaan, sengaja menciptakan bumi hanya demi mengetahui apakan manusia memilih a atau b, seakan2 ia senang menguji manusia & menganggap manusia sebagai bahan penelitian & mainannya.
Tapi Ajaran Predestinasi berkata, Allah menciptakan bumi dengan alasan yang teramat penting & serius, bukan sebuah optional atau ajang uji coba, melainkan HARUS demi mencapai sesuatu yang sangat perlu & mendesak, jadi semata2 karena kasih & keadilan.
Allah menciptakan bumi supaya memilih manusia dari antara ciptaan2 lama untuk diselamatkanNya menjadi ciptaan baru supaya dapat dikasihiNya.

KESIMPULAN:
Makin jelaslah bahwa Ajaran Predestinasi sangat diperlukan manusia, supaya mereka tidak terus curiga (apatis & skeptis) terhadap motivasi Allah, karena ajaran ini yang dapat menjelaskan kebaikan motivasi Allah yang sesungguhnya.
Bahkan Kerajaan Allah sudah ada dalam diri Allah sendiri & Dia sendirinya sudah menjadi Raja Yang Kekal & Kaya, sehingga tujuan utamaNya pun bukan mendirikan Kerajaan SorgawiNya atau membuktikan kelayakanNya menjadi Raja Semesta, tapi semata2 karena Allah adalah Kekasih Yang sudah dilukai/dikhianati, dan Dia hendak mengasihi manusia2 yang juga dilukai/dikhianati/ditipu seperti diriNya.

PREDESTINASI (KRISTUS) <== WAKTU (MANUSIA/BUMI) ==> DESTINASI (KRISTUS)
awal/alasan…………………………….pekerjaan/perbuatanNya…………………….akhir/tujuan
dalam kekekalan……………………………..sementara…………………………….dalam kekekalan
dikhianati……………………………………..mati & bangkit………………………….setia mengasihi

Hanya Ajaran Kristiani dengan Predestinasinya saja yang dapat menjelaskan ini, karena agama2 lain tidak mengenal Kristus yang mati untuk mencintai manusia, & ajaran2 anti-predestinasi tidak mengenal Kristus yang memilih manusia & yang tidak menjadikan mereka sekedar bahan pencobaan untuk menebak2 pilihan mana yang benar.
Hanya dalam ajaran predestinasi, segala akal pikiran & daya upaya Allah adalah semata2 hanya demi menyelamatkan manusia, dalam setiap langkah & keputusanNya sejak awal sampai akhir semata2 KARENA KASIH & OLEH KASIH.
Akankah manusia percaya kepada kasihNya & hatiNya & pekerjaanNya yang demikian indah?

Kiranya Kasih Tuhan mencapai kedalaman hati kita sekalian, terima kasih Tuhan Yesus. amin.

PREDESTINASI DAN DOSA (bagian 1)

PREDESTINASI DAN DOSA (bagian 1)

by proJesusChrist on SarapanPagi.com Nov 16, 2012

MENGAPA? MENGAPA? MENGAPA?
COZ PREDESTINATION, ALL ALREADY DONE.. YET TO COME…..
Mengapa Allah membiarkan iblis di bumi/taman eden untuk menjatuhkan manusia?
Jawabannya akan sangat mengejutkan… sangat keras, sehingga membutuhkan iman yg kuat untuk mengetahui ini & menerimanya.. jawabannya adalah :
KARENA ALLAH INGIN MANUSIA JATUH SAAT ITU JUGA !!
MENGAPA!!!!?? pasti hampir semua orang bahkan orang kristen tidak mau menerima ini & merasa ini tidak mungkin! Sabar… baca terus sampai akhir…
Karena Tuhan punya Alasan & Tujuan YANG BAIK. Karena Allah berpredestinasi!
PREDESTINASI = ALLAH MEMPUNYAI RENCANA & TUJUAN DALAM SEGALA HAL SEJAK AWAL, TERATUR DALAM SEGALANYA, UNTUK MENUJU AKHIR YANG SEMPURNA & YANG BENAR & YANG BAIK.
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Ingat, kunci mengerti ini ada 3 yaitu WAKTU, & Allah BAIK, & Allah SEMPURNA di dalam waktu (artinya Dia sudah melihat langsung segalanya, seluruh sejarah RIBUAN TAHUN HANYA dalam 1 DETIK, tidak terpotong2 tapi juga sedetail2nya).
2 Petrus 3:8  – Akan tetapi, saudara-saudaraku yang kekasih, yang satu ini TIDAK BOLEH KAMU LUPAKAN, yaitu, bahwa di hadapan Tuhan satu hari sama seperti seribu tahun dan seribu tahun sama seperti satu hari.
(Jangan lupakan = perhatikan, tidak boleh diabaikan, harus selalu kamu pegang, jadikan peganganmu.. jadi Predestinasi inilah kunci untuk mengerti pekerjaan Allah, sehingga iman Kristen teguh, & tidak bisa dipersalahkan/diragukan, & bisa kita pertahankan, karena kita mempunyai jawaban atas segalanya, atau tepatnya, Tuhan Yesuslah yang menjawabnya).
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God is the Great Planner, the Best Planner, the Perfect, the One & Only.
Allah adalah Pengatur & Perancang yang paling sempurna, tepat/persisi dalam waktu & cermat/teliti dalam setiap aspeknya, sehingga tidak perlu ada yang diubah lagi.. TAPI juga tidak dipengaruhi siapapun, TAPI JUGA bagi kepentingan/kebaikan semuanya…

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ALASANNYA DI BALIK KEJATUHAN MANUSIA….

Karena saat itu adalah waktu yang paling tepat bagi manusia jatuh.

Kenapa itu waktu yang tepat?
Karena waktu itu adalah waktu menjelang Kristus AKAN & HARUS mati & bangkit menebus semesta ciptaanNya yang sudah terusik oleh hadirnya iblis/kejahatan. Jika manusia berdosa setelah itu, mereka tidak akan ditebus. Hanya jika kejatuhan manusia ditetapkan lebih dulu, maka mereka bisa diikutsertakan dalam penebusan & kelahiran baru semesta alam di dalam kematian & kebangkitan Kristus.
Kenapa Kristus harus mati?
Karena di dalam kematianNya, adalah cara Allah mematikan segala ciptaanNya yang lama, sehingga bisa mematikan iblis & malaikat2nya (melenyapkan/membinasakan ciptaan lama, atau yang ada dalam dimensi roh/kekekalan).
Kenapa mereka harus mati?
Karena ciptaan lama (sepertiga malaikat) mengkhianati Dia dengan ‘bertunangan’ dengan iblis, sehingga dengan mematikan mereka, adalah satu2nya cara Allah dapat melupakan mereka, & memutuskan rasa cintaNya yang begitu dalam & murka/sakit hatiNya kepada mereka. Allah harus mengakhiri karena mereka terlebih dulu mengakhiri & tidak mungkin dimulai/direfisi lagi.
Kenapa caraNya harus mati?
Karena bila Allah tidak melupakan yang lama, maka Allah tidak bisa memulai hidup & cintaNya yang baru dengan ciptaan yang baru (manusia), maka Dia mematikan segala yang lama termasuk sakit hatiNya, amarah, sedih, patah hati, perasaan terlukaNya.
Kenapa harus ada yang baru (manusia)?
Karena demikian dalamnya cinta & perasaan Allah yang telah Ia dengan rela keluarkan/ciptakan dari dalam diriNya & diberikanNya kepada ciptaan lama, tapi ciptaan yang lama itu membuang cinta itu. Karena cinta itu kekal (karena Allah itu kekal), maka cinta tidak bisa ditiadakan, hanya bisa dialihkan untuk dilanjutkan, maka Allah harus mengambil cinta itu lagi & memberikannya kepada yang baru. Jika cinta itu mati, Allah harus mati, jika tidak ada Allah maka tidak ada apapun, maka cinta itu tidak boleh mati. Maka Allah menciptakan manusia.
Kenapa yang baru itu pun harus berdosa & mati?
Karena dalam keberdosaan & kematian mereka, mereka akan menerima cinta Allah itu, akan mengerti nilai dari cinta Allah& selamanya tidak akan membuang cinta Allah itu seperti yang dilakukan oleh ciptaan2 lama, sehingga ciptaan baru tidak mungkin terkutuk atau terpisahkan dari Allah lagi selama2nya.
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Dan lagi…
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Kenapa manusia harus dalam bentuk daging?
Karena dalam daging itu saja Allah dapat mematikan yang lama (termasuk diriNya di dalam kisah cintaNya yang lama, perasaan & pengalaman cintaNya yang lama di dalam hatiNya). Yesus/Cinta Allah itu dimatikan bersama yang lama, tapi oleh karena itu juga Yesus telah membangkitkan/memulai hidup & cinta Allah yang baru. Hidup yang baru tapi yang sama dengan yang lama yaitu KASIH/CINTA, tapi dengan ciptaan yang baru (tersirat dalam perintah kasih dalam surat Yohanes).
Kenapa ada manusia yang tetap binasa?
Karena disamakan dengan ciptaan lama & mendapat bagian bersama2 dengan yang lama (iblis & malaikat2nya), karenanya mereka tetap menjadi manusia berdosa bahkan durhaka.
Kenapa ada yang dipilih & ada yang tidak dipilih?
Karena ada yang diciptakan untuk menjadi bagian yang baru, ada yang dibiarkan terlahir & tetap menjadi bagian yang lama.
Kenapa Allah tidak menjadikan semuanya baru?
Karena manusia berdosa lahir untuk kehendak roh2 dunia yang sesat, sebenarnya mereka tidak mempunyai hak untuk dijadikan baru. Jika ada manusia yang dijadikan baru, itu HANYA DEMI kehendak Bapa untuk mencintai, untuk melayani kehendak RohNya yang ingin mencintai, untuk dipersekutukan dengan deritaNya & menangisi Dia dalam kematian cintaNya, tapi juga berbagi sukacitaNya, yang Ia hibur/bahagiakan dalam cinta yang kekal.
Kenapa Allah tetap menjadikan manusia yang akan binasa untuk lahir?
Karena dorongan roh2 jahat & dosa yang berjuang untuk bereksistensi, & Allah membiarkan mereka membunuh & menyakiti Dia selama di dunia dengan segala cara & dalam segala aspek, dengan cara yang paling lembut sampai hinaan yang paling kasar & siksaan yang paling keji, yang dilakukan oleh manusia dari zaman awal sampai hari ini. Hingga Allah mati sepenuh2nya bagi mereka & di hadapan mereka semua (manusia terus membenci/membunuh Tuhan Yesus dari dulu hingga sekarang), agar Allah pada akhirnya tidak akan lagi bereksistensi sama sekali kepada mereka di neraka selamanya, sesuai keinginan mereka sendiri, dan mereka semua (iblis & malaikat2nya, manusia2 lama) tidak akan pernah lagi menemukan setitik pun cinta & harapan & kebahagiaan di sana, karena semuanya berasal dari Allah.
Kenapa harus tercipta neraka?
Karena Iblis yang bermesraan dengan malaikat2 sesat & manusia2 sesat yang ingin menyingkirkan Allah harus ditempatkan di suatu tempat di mana Allah tidak bereksistensi. Karena seluruh semesta adalah rumah Allah, karena Allah eksis di mana2, maka tempat mereka haruslah ”TEMPAT DI MANA SEGALA TIDAK ADA” yaitu pembakaran/penghilangan/peniadaan/penyangkalan terus-menerus atau neraka yang berapi kekal.
Kenapa neraka itu kekal?
Karena keinginan mereka sendiri yang ingin meniadakan Allah, demi memenuhi keinginan mereka, maka Allah membiarkan api itu tidak pernah padam, supaya Allah tidak pernah hadir lagi di antara mereka. Karena jika api itu padam, maka Allah akan eksis lagi di tempat itu. Selalu ada semesta di mana pun, karena di mana pun selalu ada Allah. Allah tidak mungkin tidak berada, tidak mungkin ada tempat di mana tidak ada Allah, KECUALI tempat itu dibakar terus-menerus & Allah terus-menerus dibunuh di dalam mereka & hilang dari hadapan mereka, dan mereka pun terus-menerus hilang dari pandangan Allah, Allah tidak mungkin lagi teringat & melihat mereka untuk selama2nya, walaupun hanya dalam 1 detik.
Kenapa harus tercipta dulu bumi?
Karena iblis menciptakan/mengadakan suatu yang SEMENTARA & yang BERLALU & yang LAMA, dengan menghentikan hormat & kesetiaannya kepada Allah. Padahal Allah itu Kekal & Setia & Tidak Berubah, & bagi Allah, Cinta/Kasih & hubungan/relationship seharusnya kekal & tidak pernah berakhir/berujung, tapi iblis mengakhiri cinta & hubungannya dengan Allah. Di dalam iblis terciptalah suatu yang sementara, saat itu baru ada/tercipta istilah ‘sudah berlalu’ & ‘yang lama/dulu’. Iblis menciptakan suatu yang baru dalam dirinya sendiri, cinta versi iblis, dan menjadikan Allah suatu yang sementara & yang lama & yang berlalu & yang salah bagi si iblis & malaikat2nya (melupakan/membunuh Allah & fitnah).
Maka Allah akan membalikkan semua itu, di bumi lah Allah menjadikan iblis & malaikat2/manusia2 yang sesat menjadi yang lama bagi Dia, & menciptakan yang baru bagi DiriNya sendiri, yaitu manusia2 baru & diriNya yang baru & kisah cintaNya yang baru. Di bumilah, Iblis & seluruh pengikutnya akan dihakimi dalam kesementaraan/kesia2an/dusta mereka & diakhiri/dilenyapkan sebagaimana mereka telah mengakhiri/melenyapkan Allah di hati mereka sendiri (yang disebut mereka: keinginanan/kebebasan).
Kenapa Allah membiarkan iblis tercipta?
dijawab di post yang lain.
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Kesimpulan :

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Kini bisa kita lihat, bahwa ‘membiarkan/menetapkan’ manusia jatuh ke dalam tipuan iblis, adalah suatu kebijaksanaan Allah JUSTRU agar manusia diselamatkan & dijadikan anak2 Allah yang hidup kekal & mengasihi Anak Allah selama2nya.
Jika manusia jatuh berdosa sendiri di dalam wujud roh & setelah hidup bersama Allah Tritunggal, maka mereka menjadi pencipta dosa seperti iblis & tidak mungkin diampuni lagi.

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Anak Allah : Yang Kekal masuk ke dalam Yang Sementara lalu masuk lagi ke Yang Kekal.
iblis & pengikut2nya : yang kekal dimatikan dalam yang sementara.
orang2 percaya : yang semenatara dihidupkan ke dalam yang kekal.

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Lihat, lagi2 segala sesuatu dikerjakan Allah di dalam AnakNya/Kristus. Melalui Anak Allah, Bapa telah mematikan iblis & pengikut2nya, serta menghidupkan orang2 yang pilihanNya.

Hanya inilah satu2nya cara di mana Allah mematikan segala sesuatu & menghidupkan segala sesuatu, yaitu HANYA DI DALAM DIRINYA SENDIRI.
Karena segala sesuatu ada & bermula dari Allah, maka hanya Allah yang mampu mengakhiri segala sesuatu. Dan bila segala sesuatu sudah diakhiri, maka Allah akan memulai segala sesuatu yang baru lagi dengan kekuatanNya sendiri.
Di sinilah Kemenangan Allah, Kekuasaan & Kedaulatan Sang Pencipta yang amat ‘menakutkan’ & menggetarkan, bahwa Dia bisa melakukan segala sesuatu seturut kehendakNya sendiri, baik mematikan apapun maupun menghidupkan apapun.

Syukur kepada Tuhan Yesus Kristus yang berkenan memilih & mengasihi kami, amin.