Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — 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. — Nehemiah 8:8

March 14, 2006

Volume 5 Number 6

The Serpent and the Lion, Part 1

Before their deaths, both Jacob and Moses offered prophetic blessings upon the tribes of Israel. Of particular interest is the blessing of Jacob upon Judah and that of Moses upon Dan. Jacob calls Judah a lion’s cub (or whelp):

9 Judah is a lion’s cub: from the prey, my son, you are gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? -Genesis 49

Moses also calls Dan a lion’s cub:

22 And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion’s cub: he shall leap from Bashan. -Deuteronomy 33

We understand that Jacob’s prophecy is fulfilled through Yahshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). He is described as the powerful Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who is the only one able to open the seals in the Book of Revelation:

5 And one of the elders said to me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. -Revelation 5

What about Moses’ prophecy concerning Dan? Has it been fulfilled? Has Dan yet grown into a powerful lion?

Before addressing that question, we should look further into the prophesies concerning Dan. While Moses said Dan is a lion’s cub, Jacob offered an ominous prophecy concerning his son:

16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse’s heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. -Genesis 49

The name of Dan means "a judge." Jacob said that, as one of the tribes of Israel, Dan shall execute judgment upon his people. Therefore, based on the prophecies of Jacob and Moses, Dan will be both a serpent and a lion.

In the first encounter with mankind, the serpent was presented as the most subtle of Yahweh’s creation. He used that subtlety in the garden of Eden to undermine the Word of God and deceive mankind into sin:

1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Yahweh God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

13 And Yahweh God said to the woman, What is this that you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. -Genesis 3

Who was this serpent that was in the garden of Eden? Yahweh says that he was the king of Tyre (Tyrus):

12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say to him, Thus says the Lord Yahweh; You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

13 You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your tambourines and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created.

14 You are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you. -Ezekiel 28

While the serpent is described as the king of Tyre, he is revealed in the Book of Revelation as Satan, who deceives the whole world:

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. -Revelation 12

By calling Dan a serpent, did Jacob call Dan Satan? When Yahweh said that the king of Tyre was in the Garden of Eden, did he also call him Satan? What is the relationship between Dan and the king of Tyre? Could they work together as a subtle manifestation of the serpent, which is Satan?

When Solomon, the king of Israel, determined to build a house for Yahweh, he sent to Hiram (also called Huram), the king of Tyre, for help. Hiram responded to his request with flattery for Solomon and with a blessing for Yahweh:

11 Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because Yahweh has loved his people, he has made you king over them.

12 Huram said moreover, Blessed be Yahweh God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who has given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build a house for Yahweh, and a house for his kingdom. -2 Chronicles 2

As the building of the temple progressed, Solomon sent for a man from Tyre, who was also named Hiram. He erected two large ornate brass pillars on the porch of the temple:

13 And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre.

14 He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and worked all his work.

15 For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about. -1 Kings 7

While Hiram’s father was a man of Tyre, his mother, who was apparently a widow of a man from the tribe of Naphtali, was herself from the tribe of Dan. Tyre and Dan were, therefore, brought together through Hiram:

13 And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father’s,

14 The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skillful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to engrave any manner of engraving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with your skillful men, and with the skillful men of my lord David your father. -2 Chronicles 2

After the houses for Yahweh and Solomon were completed, Yahweh gave Solomon a stern warning:

6 But if you shall at all turn from following me, you or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:

7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: -1 Kings 9

Despite Yahweh’s warning to Solomon, the process of building the temple and amassing a great fortune for Solomon had been heavily influenced by a son of Tyre and Dan. The principle city of Tyre was Zidon, where the goddess Ashtoreth was worshipped. In addition, even before the kingdom of Israel was established, the people of Dan had already moved to Laish, a northern city of the Zidonians, which they had renamed Dan:

29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel: however the name of the city was Laish at the first. -Judges 18

The tribe of Dan adopted the Zidonian religion, based on graven image worship, which they had found among the people of Laish:

30 And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. -Judges 18

Despite Yahweh’s warnings, Solomon was deceived by foreign influences. Ignoring the word of Yahweh, he married their women:

1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;

2 Of the nations concerning which Yahweh said to the children of Israel, You shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in to you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clung to these in love. -1 Kings 11

Solomon soon began to worship the goddess of the Zidonians, Ashtoreth, and the great king god, Milcom, in addition to Yahweh:

5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. -1 Kings 11

Consequently, Yahweh promised to take the kingdom from Solomon:

10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which Yahweh commanded.

11 Therefore Yahweh said to Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely rend the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. -1 Kings 11

(To be continued)



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