Online Midweek August 12

The Day and Night of Kislev

The return of the Jewish people from their first exile, the exile in Babylon

A look at how it came about:

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying:

2 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 

3 Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem.

 4 Every survivor, at whatever place he may  live, let the men of that place support him with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, together with a freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.’”

5 Then the heads of fathers’ households of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites arose, even everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up and rebuild the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. 

All those about them [c]encouraged them with articles of silver, with gold, with goods, with cattle and with valuables, aside from all that was given as a freewill offering. 

7 Also King Cyrus brought out the articles of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and put in the house of his gods; 

8 and Cyrus, king of Persia, had them brought out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and he counted them out to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah (Ezra 1:1-8)

A glance at Chapter 2 of Ezra give names and numbers

Nehemiah chapters 1 & 2 give some more insight into the situation.

In the midst of the rebuilding God sent a prophet to encourage them.

His name was Haggai, which means Celebration

Remembering how Scripture works

Has both an immediate application

and a future or long term application

The question: Does the modern return of Israel parallel the ancient?

The answer: Yes

Taking a look at both eras:

The return of the people to the land came in waves, not all at one time.

The Bible records this for the ancient times and in our era the Jewish people had begun returning in the 19th century and when the First World War occurred they were still not a nation, nor could they lay claim to Jerusalem.

As the books of Ezra and Nehemiah record the opposition and struggles they faced, so too in the modern era there would be opposition and struggles.

From the writings of Haggai came not only encouragement but a date for future blessings:

On the twenty-fourth of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Haggai the prophet, (V 10)

 But now, do consider from this day onward: before one stone was placed on another in the temple of the Lord, (V 15)

Do consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month; from the day when the temple of the Lord was founded, consider:  19 Is the seed still in the barn? Even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree, it has not borne fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you.’” (Vs 18-19)

Something to keep in mind: The date spoken of in the prophecy, the 24th day of the ninth month is important.

We need to remember that there is a difference in the Jewish Calendar and our calendar (the Gregorian Calendar)

A look at what will happen on that date:

20 Then the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth

22 I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.’

(Haggai 2:20-22)

Remembering the difference when our day starts and the Jewish day starts:

Ours: 12 midnight

Jewish:  The evening before the actual day,

That date in the year of the Jubilee (1917) December 9

Keep in mind for the Jewish people it would actually have started the evening of December 8

The natural question is: What happened then?

The night of December 8th was when the Ottoman soldiers guarding Jerusalem gave up the city and fled.

A look at another time Jerusalem was rescued and redeemed:

This occurred in the time period between to the Old and New Testaments.

A Jewish family of priests who came to be known as the Maccabees led a successful revolt against the Greeks who had occupied their land and defiled the Temple. According to the account after purifying the Temple there was enough holy oil for the temple lamps for one day, but God miraculously multiplied it to last for 8 days, giving them time to find or produce more of the holy oil.

This resulted in the Jewish holiday of Hunakkah

In 1917 this holiday began on December 8/9

The Scripture appointed to be read on the Sabbath of this holiday is

Zechariah 2:10-12 which says:

10 Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” declares the Lord. 

11 “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. 

12 The Lord will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.

The Scripture from so long ago had been fulfilled. And as in ancient times God ended on empire (the Babylonian) and raised up another (the Persians) so too God would end the Ottoman Empire and raise up the British Empire to accomplish His purposes for His people.