Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

September 1, 2005

Volume 4 Number 17

Secrets in the Temple

Ezekiel was shown visions of the great abominations that were being practiced in the house, or temple, of Yahweh (the LORD). Among these were the secret practices by which even the elders were worshipping images and idols:

9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.

10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.

11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.

12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth. -Ezekiel 8

Yahweh had clearly condemned bowing down to, or serving, an idol or a likeness of anything whatsoever:

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; -Exodus 20

There is an historical desire to worship images representing anything besides Yahweh. For example, early in the history of the world, there were men who became both powerful and famous:

4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. -Genesis 6

Who were these people? They were the offspring of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men." The "sons of God" are likely the descendents of Adam, who was the created son of God:*

38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God. -Luke 3

As sons of God, Adamís descendents, through Seth and Enos, called God by His name, Yahweh (the LORD):

26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD. -Genesis 4

The expression "call upon" arq (qara) also means to call, call out, recite, read, cry out, or proclaim! Therefore, they gave glory to the name of Yahweh.

If the descendents of Adam through Seth are called the "sons of God," then who are the "daughters of men?" They appear to be somehow related to the "giants" that were in the earth. The word "giants" is translated from the Hebrew word Mylpn (nephilim), which comes from the root word lpn (naphal), meaning fail, fall down, cast down, or fall away. Therefore, it is likely that the nephilim ("giants") were those who had fallen, or who had been cast away, from the presence of Yahweh.

Because Cain killed his brother, Abel, he was driven out, or cast away, from the presence of Yahweh:

13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. -Genesis 4

Cain was disinherited. Driven from the presence of Yahweh, he lost his right to be called a son of God. He was still, however, a son of man (Adam).

Therefore, Cain glorified himself, instead of giving glory to Yahweh. For example, he built his own city and named it after his own son, Enoch:

16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. -Genesis 4

The "daughters of men" bore children by the "sons of God" that became mighty and renowned (powerful and famous). As "men of renown," they were remembered, and perhaps even worshipped, beyond their lifetimes.** The descendents of Cain were, therefore, given the glory that should have been given to Yahweh (GOD). Yahweh saw this as "wickedness:"

5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. -Genesis 6

Consequently, Yahweh destroyed the earth and its inhabitants with a flood. Only those that were on the ark, which included Noah, his three sons, and their wives, were spared.

Iniquity, however, was even found in Noahís family. Through one of his sons, Ham, the practices for which the rest of the world had been destroyed were continued. Hamís grandson through Cush became "a mighty one in the earth:"

8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.

10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. -Genesis 10

Nimrod was so mighty and powerful that he had lifted himself up before, or in front of, Yahweh. Since he established the first kingdom, he would have also made himself the first king, giving dominion to himself instead of to Yahweh. His kingdom was located in the "land of Shinar," which means "the land between the rivers." (The place is also called Mesopotamia and is now modern Iraq.)

As the united world moved to the land of Shinar (see Genesis 11:1-2), they worked to glorify their own names, rather than the name of Yahweh:

3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. -Genesis 11

They did not get to finish the project. Yahweh confused their language and scattered them from this land called Babel (also known as Babylon) throughout the earth:

7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one anotherís speech.

8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. -Genesis 11

The people, however, continued to worship as gods the things they made with their own hands, many of them, perhaps representing ancestors, such as Nimrod. It was for this reason that Yahweh removed Abram (later named Abraham) away from this land:

2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.

3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. -Joshua 24

As the people were scattered from the land of Babel, they had a strong desire to take idols with them. Even Rachel, Jacobís (Israelís) wife, secretly took images from the land that had belonged to her father, Laban:

19 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her fatherís. -Genesis 31

Nimrodís name means "rebel," which means to oppose or disobey one in authority or control. He became known as the god "Bel" and "Baal," which means "Lord." The images representing his heritage, both male and female (the feminine for "Lord" is "Lady") were secretly worshipped in rebellion against Yahweh. Some of these Babylonian images were given new appearances and names throughout the centuries. They were then openly worshipped by many who also professed to be the people of Yahweh.

*While Adam was a created son of God, Yahshua (Jesus) was the only begotten son of God (see John 3:16).

**The expression, "of old," is translated from the Hebrew word, Mlwe (owlam), which is most often translated as ever, everlasting, old, or perpetual.

 

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