1st Kings 18

The image is of a lady using sign language to get her message across

old man looking frighten or scared

The new chapter begins another story and a new connection. But let us get the story first.

1 And it came to pass [after] many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. It was to be in the third year that he was to announce he was there to be found. Ahab was looking but had not found him. How hard he looked is obvious from this story.

2 And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And [there was] a sore famine in Samaria. The famine was biting hard. They had to do something quickly or lose everything.

3 And Ahab called Obadiah, which [was] the governor of [his] house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: The record points out Obadiah was a faithful man. He was aware of the intrigue within the administration. He knew of the forces at work.

4 For it was [so], when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) Two times we are told that Obadiah took the prophets of God and hid them by fifty in a cave. You can deduce that in this feature we have an important clue to the connection. Whenever things are mentioned twice you are expected to conclude they are more important than the things that are only mentioned once. Obadiah was going to save the prophets of God from the excesses of Jezabel. The truth was important to this man.

5 And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts. Apparently Ahab’s concern was for the commerce of the nation, not its spiritual health. He needed to find water for the animals. They were to visit all the places where water might be found, but it was only needed for the animals.

6 So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself. You can tell it is a parable by the way it is written. Ahab was the king. He would not go anywhere by himself. What we are to draw from this is the king was going in one direction and Obadiah was going in the opposite direction. The king was concerned about the economic welfare of the nation and Obadiah wanted God to be with his people.

7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, [Art] thou that my lord Elijah? Elijah met Obadiah. Elijah would not meet Ahab. The question he asked and the way he asked it is to be noted. This is a desperate man. He could not believe his good fortune. He knew him because he made himself aware of his appearance and what to expect so he would recognize him immediately.

8 And he answered him, I [am]: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah [is here]. The message was to Ahab through Obadiah. Let him know I am back. But there was more to it than that. Obadiah was a frightened man. He was full of doubt. Experience told him to be wary of his expectation. If I let him out of my sight Ahab will kill me.

9 And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? He was aware how hard the authorities had tried to find him and what it meant to them to bring him in.

10 [As] the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, [He is] not [there]; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not. This was not a casual exercise. This was serious. He took an oath as if there would be effects if he found they lied or was mistaken. And there was not a place where he had not looked.

11 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah [is here]. It was too much to say you have spoken to him and not seized him.

12 And it shall come to pass, [as soon as] I am gone from thee, that the spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and [so] when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth. God will want you to do something else and where will my request stand, how important will my life be. I am not like Ahab. I am not a worshiper of Baal.

The Syrophenecian woman

The image is of a lady using sign language to get her message across

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We go back to the story.

17 And it came to pass after these things, [that] the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. Elijah stayed with her for a time undefined, and eventually her son fell sick and was under threat of death. She was distressed and wondered why she had so much confidence in this man of God. Her confidence was shattered with the possibility the son she thought was saved was under threat in this way.

18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? She saw a connection between the man of God and her child’s condition. She did not expect to be delivered but she was, and now to have the deliverance snatched away was a bit much to take.

19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. The child was an infant. She carried him in her arms. Elijah put him on his own bed which is a strange thing to do under the circumstances.

20 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? Elijah also made a connection between the first deliverance and his condition now asking God why it had happened this way. This is a life and death struggle. I am the cause of this woman’s grief. Her expectation was reasonable.

21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. All of his reactions are strange. The way he dealt with the child shows the child died and needed to be revived. He had not raised the dead before and you can ask why he expected to be able to do it now.

22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. But there was something in his manner. He knew it was not in God’s plan to let this child die. And so his requests became more and more urgent. And God harkened and heard it.

23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. He was dead. his mother knew he was dead. She could see he is now alive and is beside herself with joy. It was not a test of his qualifications as a man of God, it did however prove that he was and everything else he said was true as well.

24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou [art] a man of God, [and] that the word of the LORD in thy mouth [is] truth. Remember she was a Gentile woman and her son died. And even though there is a connection with the woman in Zidon we start a new parable and a new connection with the Lord’s life. This woman represented the truth in the days of the Lord, and she and her son had to survive in a hostile environment. The infant ecclesia was under threat, and it is now represented by the son whom we are told died. As we know the people responded to the teaching of the Lord during the ministry, but with the passage of time their expectation was not realized and they fell away.

They expected God to take a hand in their affliction because they were his, and the others were wrong, and it seemed reasonable that God intervene on their behalf. Or was God to turn his back on their plight for past indiscretions. They responded to the message of the Lord, but met opposition from all quarters in Israel. They became so discouraged they even doubted the miracles. So the Lord had to become identified with them. They had to learn to lie in his bed, which was one of persecution and affliction.

Not only would he become identified with them, but they had to be part of him as well. That meant facing the enemies of the truth with courage and resolve.

The prayer of John chapter 17 reflects the concern of the Lord. The Lord prayed to God that he be with them as he had been with his son, that they all may be one. It was a prayer asking for the life of the child. They would experience persecution as he had done and he asks God to be with them in this, as he had been with his son.

Three years was he in making this ecclesia. For three times passed over him as he kept the feasts in Jerusalem, confronting his enemies and teaching those who had an ear to hear. The critical time would come at the end, the time when they forsook him and fled, but he appeared to them three times to reassure and settle them after he was risen John 21:14.

The Lord knew that God would hear him. He had the assurance of this parable to confirm it, and I have no doubt he was aware of the connection. It was the Lord that took the infant ecclesia down and delivered it to the mother, the religious system from which the child had come, even the truth in the nation of Israel.
And those in Israel who wanted to see and know, admitted that this was a man of God, and the word at his mouth was truth. It was not without significance the Lord said to John, behold thy mother, and to his mother behold thy son.

The woman at Zidon

The image is of a lady using sign language to get her message across

Depressionen

9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which [belongeth] to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. He is told to go to Zidon because there was a widow who would give him something he needed. Zidon was on the coast. It was a long journey from the Jordan. God commanded the woman to look after him at that place.

10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman [was] there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. Give something to me to drink was the first request. The woman did not hesitate, and so he asked for more. In a time of drought it was not such a kind request. But Elijah knew she was the woman he would contact.

11 And as she was going to fetch [it], he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. This request as well was unreasonable in the circumstance. A man of God might make a request like this and Jews knew they were obliged to provide. It was the way it was done in Israel. But this lady was not a Jew and she had a right to say it was not convenient.

12 And she said, [As] the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I [am] gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. The woman put forward a compelling argument in protest. How could this man expect her to feed him when she could not even provide for herself and her son. She had reached the end of the line and this request was not something he was entitled to expect her to provide.

13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go [and] do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring [it] unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. Fear not, is not much reassurance, given he insisted she do as he asked and provide for him first. It might have been reasonable that she be asked to provide for him second. But he said enough to make her aware he knew the situation and she trusted him. 14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day [that] the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. As well as that he told her what she needed to know. He was a man of God as she suspected and God would ensure there would be enough food for both of them. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat [many] days. God promised the woman would sustain him. Because of her faith God kept her and her family. The drought did not affect this family.

16 [And] the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah. She was a Gentile. She did not live in the land. He went from the wilderness to Gentile territory to continue to hide from the leaders of Israel.

It is a wonderful story of faith and contentment found in one who was not of Israel. So we now turn attention to the parable. The woman is the one referred to in Matthew 15:21-28 and again in Mark 7:24-30. She was a Greek, a Syrophenecian by nation, and she came out of the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. It would appear he had a meeting with the Pharisees and Scribes who came from Jerusalem to examine him and he sought refuge in a house in a Gentile land and would have no one know it, Luke 24. This woman sought him out and placed her request before him against the will of the disciples who saw the Gentiles as a nuisance and a threat. This is different from the story because it was Elijah who found her outside the city. The woman Elijah met was preparing the last meal for herself and her child and he asked her to give him something to eat first, and then give to the child. This woman did so, and the meal and oil failed not until the end of the drought.

Fear not, go and take the children’s bread and give it to me first, and afterwards you can feed your son. She was made aware of a promise, and her amazing faith compelled her to obey. In these parables the woman agrees to the religious organization, and the son the infant ecclesia. You will discover this time and again. There was no rain, and both she and her son would die if something did not happen soon.

The Greek woman had given the Lord a drink of water in that she said what few in Israel knew. “have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David” He responded with the words which should have driven her away. “let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it unto the dogs.” And she said, “Truth, Lord:” It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to unworthy people. “yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters table.” Here was a woman who knew who he was, who knew that as a Gentile she was one of the dogs who licked up the blood of Jezebel and Ahab. There was a blessing preserved for them, and she came to him confident that blessing could be hers. “Jesus answering said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

She gave something to him first. He quoted Elijah to her, and she quoted Elisha back to him, and he had never had anything like that happen to him in Israel. He was so used to talking to those who did not hear, he was amazed at her understanding. And by the water she gave, he was sustained. The meal and the oil were the two things Messiah had to offer in his ministry. There were only two things he was to do according to the shadow institution while he ministered in the first sanctuary. There were only two things in the first tabernacle. The shewbread and the light were the only important items in the holy place. There was of course the altar of incense but it was of gold and related to the time when he would be immortal and would mediate the prayers of the saints. He was to feed them with bread, and show the light from the oil burning in the lamp. This woman was one of the few who saw the light, and ate of the bread.

But do not miss the main point here. Jesus needed support at this critical time and this woman provided it. The disciples did not provide it. Israel did not provide it. A Gentile woman knew her scriptures and she could provide the encouragement he needed then. Now I suggest to you that information does not emerge from the Gospel account. There is no other way for it to be conveyed. So the parable does a work for us by informing us of what was going on in his mind.

Three and a half years

The image is of a lady using sign language to get her message across

Beautiful wedding decorations on the table before celebration

We know the Lord’s ministry was three and a half years. This is from the first miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, to his ascension into heaven.

It is James in chapter 5:17 who says it did not rain in the days of Elijah for three years and six months. It was described as a great drought when it is mentioned in Luke 5. It was a drought in the period of the Lord’s ministry in the sense that no one heard the message, and in the end, all forsook him and fled. That it is described by God as a drought would be a surprise to many who feel it was a time of increased knowledge and many signs, but nothing grew. There was much planting and taking root, but there was no water to make it grow until the Lord’s work was complete. It was an amazing work. It was a new work. But the work had no meaning until the Lord was on the right hand of God. Then the rains came, and everything grew vigorously.

Most of the first two years of the Lord’s ministry was spent traveling around the countryside of Palestine, particularly the Jordan Valley where John had enticed the people to come. Ask yourself the question in what way did John prepare the way of the Lord? He taught ordinary people to come into the wilderness to hear what God had to say. He taught them to repent, because the day of the Lord was near. The Lord did much of his teaching work in the wilderness. The whole purpose of this was to hide from the religious leaders of Israel. You cannot miss the urgency with which the Lord asked the miracles be kept quiet. Tell no man of the things that happened, but so much the more was it spread abroad. Frustrating attempts to keep his presence secret accounted for many of his movements in this period.

Had he occupied the houses of disciples, or a place of his own, the authorities would have apprehended him or those who sheltered him. His work would have put many at risk. The plan was to teach in the desert place and find shelter among the rocks at night.

The ravens, being an unclean bird, are an apt representation of the disciples, whose primary task it was to feed the Lord morning and evening. We stress again that ravens actually fed Elijah, and God tells us he gave the commandment that they should. So this is something God made to happen, that he could relate to what would occur later. The disciples are described by the religious leaders of Israel, in Acts 13 as “unlearned and ignorant men” which means they were classed as unclean. They were unsuitable for high office, unworthy of recognition by scholars of the day. This became an issue on a number of occasions as the Lord preferred to mix with such people and avoided the scholars in Israel.

That they fed him literally is clear from passages that speak of Judas and others buying provisions from money in the bag. That the Lord gave no thought to these mundane matters is also clear from things he said.

Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but he was on the run just like Elijah and had nowhere to lay his head. He could not stay long in one place. They knew he was about, for John had announced him, but he was in hiding until the third year. He was openly teaching during the day, when the authorities were afraid to arrest him. At night he would simply disappear, and his hiding place was not betrayed until the end.

Every provision was made for his sustenance. He knew in advance that this was not to be one of his concerns. But he knew he needed more than bread alone, and he knew this would be provided as well. You have probably never experienced having something worthwhile to say and no one who can hear it. He could only tell his disciples certain things now because they would not understand. Those who came to hear needed a sign. They could not respond to his words alone, because his words were new and different, and soon the water dried up. He had nothing to sustain him.

You will say this is opinion. It connects in a loose way, and you are right. The force of the argument is it continues to connect on and on into the story, until you have Elijah taken up into heaven, and Elisha, who had been plowing with twelve yolk of oxen, left behind to carry on the work. We are going back to the story now so just stay with it and all will become clear.

7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, He could not stay for the whole period in the one place. The water eventually dried up and if he was to survive he must move on. But God was with him and his survival was never in doubt.

1st Kings 17

The image is of a lady using sign language to get her message across

Girl playing chess

We take up the record where Elijah informs Ahab there will be no rain for three and a half years.

1 And Elijah the Tishbite, [who was] of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, [As] the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. It was easy to recognize him as a man of God. He was austere and aloof. He was blunt and direct and usually only had bad news for Israel and her king. So Ahab knew who he was. It took a while for the drought to bite and Elijah did not stick around. He knew they would be hostile toward him.

2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that [is] before Jordan. God told him to hide. The brook Cherith was chosen because there would be enough water to survive for the longest period. It was in an isolated place and his whereabouts would not be discovered. You went down to the Jordan valley from the Judean hills and the country was dry and forbidding. It was not the place you would go for comfort or leisure.

4 And it shall be, [that] thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. Ravens were carrion eaters. That is, they found their food left over from the decaying carcass of some animal slain by the predators at the top of the food chain. These birds were unclean according to the law and are the least endearing creatures on the planet. God chose them to help Elijah survive. They are selfish creatures and do not share easily, but they gave up the food they found and had to be satisfied with what was left over.
5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that [is] before Jordan. Elijah did exactly what he was told to do without complaint. The three and a half years would be tough on him but he saw it as his duty and he was hardened against it.

6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. Two meals a day was all he needed. He did not have to worry about the next meal, it would be there right on time, because the ravens did what they were expected to do.

We can gather that Elijah was a single-minded person who was willing to do what had to be done to serve his God. He was willing to experience whatever hardship was necessary, and he was wise enough to keep out of the way so the authorities could not blame him for all their woes. He was not a person to please everyone. He would quickly condemn those who ignore God and especially those who worship another.

At this point we will depart from the story and introduce the parable. We say it is accurate information about another time and place because Elijah represents Messiah in his three and a half years ministry in Israel five hundred years later. We need to give the parable a name to distinguish them from the story, for they are unique, and you need to know when you go from one to the other. We will call them prophetic parables, because they give details about events still to occur. The Law was the shadow, or outline of what Messiah would be and do, and the prophetic parables fill the detail.

This does not mean that God made the events happen so they would match to later events, though this may be the case in certain instances. It means that God caused events to be recorded that would have a connection with things he knew in his foreknowledge would occur to Messiah and the disciples. There is a difference, and you need to be aware of it, or you start getting into problems of predestination, which does not affect individuals, but groups of people such as Gentiles, or Israel on a national basis. Again, these supposed predestination events appear to be influenced by God, but may equally be the result of his knowing all things in advance.

Introduction

The image is of a lady using sign language to get her message across

Pez escorpión

Reaction to the new information made me go back and rewrite the story of Elijah and Elisha. It had to be revised because the primary message could get lost in the parable, and many violently reacted to this. This would not be right. The parable must be secondary information, because the color and moral force is in the history, and the meaning of the parable can only be seen when the actual events are clearly known.

The parable has limited impact until the end day when it will be used by Elijah himself to introduce the Jews to their own scripture for the first time. The human story is powerful. The pressure and strain of events took its toll on those whose life’s story is told here, and their actions and re-actions based on their faith is the key to the message. So this is an attempt to capture both. The human side is given first and the prophetic information immediately after. If this irritates anyone I am sorry, but it is about time all the information is unravelled.

The prophetic information will do a job on those who want to say God left us without enough information to see the end of the law. We have a Messiah who was not a champion of the exclusive role of the Jew in the arrangements of God. The argument is they should have known. It is clearly spoken about in the Old Testament and should have been seen by the scholars. As proof of this we submit that a Gentile student made the connection without anything other than the Old Testament scriptures. He had the advantage of believing in Jesus to begin with, and was intent on making sense of the Elijah and Elisha record, with its obvious miracles and the raising of the dead to life. There was more to the record than appears on the surface.

But there are still those who are threatened by prophetic information and will want to say it is an invention. It is all in my imagination. I have great difficulty with that view, simply because there is so much in the record that does not make any sense at all except in the parable.

The Jews will not be a push over. If we are dealing with reluctant people today imagine what the Jews will be like. Elijah will need to present irrefutable proof, the proof that cannot be denied. I argue he can do that and I hope to show you why. But the first challenge is to tell the story the way it is supposed to be understood by all of us in this age.

Because this subject extends over two books it is not practical to include the two Isaiah chapters that refer to 1st and 2nd Kings. So I will summarize them in just a few words for you. The story of Hezekiah shows that Kings and Chronicles are parables, prophesying first century events. This story is told three times in scripture and is clearly a parable itself, and the way the Isaiah chapters connect with the books suggests they may be parables as well. We intend in this book to show you how that might work.

Answer him not

The image is of a lady using sign language to get her message across

Abuelo abrazado por su nieto

19 Where [are] the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where [are] the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? A believer has to satisfy him or herself of the offers made by other Gods. You need to know that God was not with Samaria, that he was against them. This is why they were taken captive. You need to know that Samaria’s god was another god and these other gods do not exist.

20 Who [are they] among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? The answer was none had delivered. They were all subdued. But that is the difference between the truth and error. The God of Israel is the God of heaven and earth. We do not believe in a God who cannot deliver.

21 But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king’s commandment was, saying, Answer him not. They held their peace because Hezekiah told them they do not negotiate with them. You do not argue endlessly with them, you just ignore them. We often feel obliged to defend the truth against their nonsense. But endless argument is counterproductive.

22 Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that [was] over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with [their] clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh. The disciples always reported to their Lord. You will remember how surprised they were when they went two by two throughout the land of Palestine, and even those who were demented were subject to them. These three men, being disciples, could speak in tongues. And their efforts were to keep the message of Assyria from the ears of the people on the wall who were under their protection.

Two thousand years

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working time

How do we know that? The answer is: it is two thousand years between the two events. In the Temple of Solomon there was a monument showing twelve oxen four square and on them were two thousand baths. So for two thousand years Christian believers were to baptize people in baths, as the only ritual of significance for them to be associated with Jesus. In the story of Legion, the madness that was his as a Gentile, that made him live among the graves, and made him a threat to all who encountered him, was sent out of him into the swine, and there were about two thousand of them, and they ran down the hill and were drowned in the sea. So the story of Legion becomes a parable conveying the idea there would be a delay of two thousand years before the second appearance of Messiah.
If God came right out and said it was two thousand years, the people in between would have despaired with the delay. But it has been about that time, and God wants to leave on record that he knew it would be, and told us about it.

9 How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? One captain would lead one hundred men. Such a feeble force. Such a one sided battle. And this was Rabshakeh’s point. They could not stand against the might of Assyria.

10 And am I now come up without the LORD against this land to destroy it? the LORD said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it. And then to undermine any confidence they might have mustered, he claims to be in league with their God. His cause is by God’s decree. And more than anything else, this idea took most of the Jews who fell away to them, and abandoned Jesus.

11 Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand [it]: and speak not to us in the Jews’ language, in the ears of the people that [are] on the wall. These three men, being disciples, could speak in tongues. And their efforts were to keep the message of Assyria from the ears of the people on the wall. This was their job. The ecclesia should not hear the taunts of the world. They are to be protected from lies and temptations and all things that undermine their faith.

The idea that disciples can speak in tongues and most of the believers could not, is part of the message here. Part of the challenge is to identify these connections to build the parable. It proves the message is from God.

12 But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? [hath he] not [sent me] to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you? He is crude and ruthless and his words convey this. His appeal is to the believers not the core of hardened followers. There attention is toward the flock not the shepherds. They wanted the brethren and sisters to turn away from their trust, and abandon the truth in favor of their lies.

13 Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. Note the tenor of the message.

14 Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you. Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. The message is Messiah will not deliver. So take advantage of what life has to offer and you will do well. It is a shallow appeal, for as soon as they have you in their grasp, you are their slave.

16 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make [an agreement] with me [by] a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern; 17 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. Can you believe that promise? It is like the promise to Abraham. What is missing is any promise of the future. You are required to know the difference between the offer of Messiah, and the professors of comfort and success. You are supposed to know that when you die you lose everything.

18 [Beware] lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?

Isaiah 36

The image is of a lady using sign language to get her message across

Mother and daughter

1 Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, [that] Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them. Hezekiah had a problem. Sennacherib was not going to stop because Jerusalem was a formidable fortress on a hill. All the other cities had fallen. He wanted them to give up the challenge and go quietly. 2 And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field. This conduit was the water supply for the city. The Assyrians did not know it was there. We are told in 2nd Kings 20:20 that God made a crack in the rock long ago to conduct the water into the city for a siege such as this. In Isaiah 22:11 he asks if we have given any thought to that preparation. It means God in his foreknowledge set it up. That Rabshakah is standing beside it is an irony. All he had to do to take the city was divert the water, but he did not know it was there.

But what does it mean to us who are trying to understand this chapter? That the delivery of Hezekiah and all who were with him inside the walls of Jerusalem was something God planned long ago, and he would be their deliverer.
And that was a parable of the delivery that would be by Messiah of all humankind. God would do it for them free of charge, or without them doing anything to make it happen.

The Hezekiah story draws attention to this, and tells us we should look again at the whole of Kings and Chronicles to find other similar prophecies.

3 Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah’s son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph’s son, the recorder. Perhaps we can start by explaining how this parable works? Hezekiah is Messiah in the besieged city. Sennacherib is the Roman authorities at the time. Rabshakeh represented the Jewish leaders, the enemy of Messiah, who did not know of God’s plan to deliver. They stood amid the place of the Holy.

Eliakim corresponds to James, Joah to John, and Shebna the scribe to Peter. They were the ones close to Messiah. We know that Shebna corresponds to Peter because in the chapter of Isaiah that relates to the book of Galatians, Shebna had carved out for himself a burying place in the wall the city of Jerusalem, for which he was rebuked by the prophet at the directions of God. In writing to the Galatians Paul informs them that he had to confront Peter for the way he supported the circumcision against the interests of the truth. It was like Shebna carving out a place in the wall. It was a betrayal of the truth.

4 And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence [is] this wherein thou trustest? Trust is the essence of the truth. The question is in what do we trust? Do we trust Messiah to deliver, or Assyria to provide? This question was being put to those who were inside the city with Hezekiah, and it is a question we face.
We are beginning to see how it works. Each of the characters has a job to do to convey positions people will take up at a future time.

5 I say, [sayest thou], (but [they are but] vain words) [I have] counsel and strength for war: now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? Believers rebel against the system established by Babylon the Great because they believe Messiah, that conformity with this world is enmity with God. But you have to be sure of your confidence to challenge such a formidable force. You need to believe that Messiah can deliver.

6 Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so [is] Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him. In this dialogue by Rabshakeh, we have the challenge to believers from those who do not believe and do not know. He was wrong. They did not expect Egypt to deliver. There was no plan but the one God had for them. They were trapped, and would die in the siege or fall to the enemy, live out their life and die eventually.

7 But if thou say to me, We trust in the LORD our God: [is it] not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar? As we might expect the argument of Rabshakeh is a fabrication. It is partly true. Hezekiah removed the altars of the god’s of the land, not the worship of the God of Israel. He restored true worship. The leaders in Israel defended what they set up, but it was false worship. But that was how the Jews presented it. God would not support this man.
8 Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them. They are asked to make some pact with Assyria. If they have two thousand horsemen to ride these animals they can have them. And see what they can do with them. Rabshakeh is inferring it will make no difference, if they had this advantage. But the offer in the story only has meaning in the parable. It represents two thousand years from Messiah’s first appearance and his second appearance.

Preface

The image is of a lady using sign language to get her message across

Rock climber

I know, I know. We were away for a few days and it stopped. I apologize. But this series will compensate. It is called Elijah and Elisha and it is like nothing you have ever read before. This is prophecy as prophecy is meant to be. This is telling of future events. Hear this and it will change your life.

Isaiah 36 is the chapter that agrees to 1st Kings, so I have included that chapter here to show how it connects. The middle verse, or in this case the middle verses of the chapter are the key because in them we have the subject of 1st Kings.

We are told in verses 11 and 12 that: “Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand [it]: and speak not to us in the Jews’ language, in the ears of the people that [are] on the wall. But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? [hath he] not [sent me] to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?” Everyone was delivered who was inside the walls of the city, but the message from Rabshakeh to those on the wall was this deliverance is not worth having. It will be like eating your own dung and drink their own piss, which is another way of saying they should reject it because it will not happen. Many of the Jews at the death of Messiah gave out this message as they do today. Deliverance in Christ is not deliverance. The three scribes asked that he speak in another language that the Jews on the wall do not know, but that Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah knew, but he refused. The language became the issue in the first century because everyone heard in the language in which they were born.

Those who are astute will realize the stories of Elijah and Elishah are found in 1st and 2nd Kings and therefore two chapters of Isaiah apply to this record. This means two sets of middle verses ought to be read when explaining these stories. So we will now read the verses 19-20 of Isaiah 37 and see if they fit the subject of the Elisha story. 19 “And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. 20 Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD, even thou only.” There can be no better description of the work of the twelve disciples (Elisha) than is given in these two verses. So the four verses of Isaiah 36 and 37 combine beautifully to describe what we are studying.

Only certain people can understand the language of parables and we must hope we are among them, because we need this information to make sound decisions.

1st and 2nd Kings, and particularly the Elijah and Elisha stories is in every word a prophetic parable of this period in the Acts of the Apostles.

The first verse of the Isaiah chapter 36 reads; “Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, [that] Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defended cities of Judah, and took them.” We know about prophetic parables now, so it is not hard to see that the Assyrian invasion is the backdrop to the story of the advance of the truth in the first century. The last verse of the chapter reads; “Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that [was] over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with [their] clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.”

The story of Hezekiah is a parable of Messiah, so 1st kings and the things that happened to David and Solomon tell the same story, but in a different way. The Hezekiah story is the greatest parable in scripture. This story is claimed to be a parable in the New Testament about the deliverance in Jerusalem. Those who had no way of escape from death were delivered by God, who took the one who had the power of death out of the way through Christ.
These two verses speak of three disciples of Hezekiah who spoke in other tongues, which in the days after the deliverance were Peter and James and John, who took the message of Messiah to the Jews in the city. This brings us to Isaiah chapter 36.

There are three identical records like the one we have here in Isaiah 36, 37, 38 and 39 that tell the history of Hezekiah? There is one in 2nd Kings, one in 2nd Chronicles and one in Isaiah which we are reading now. The one in Kings is three chapters, the one in Chronicles is four chapters, and the one in Isaiah is four chapters, and they are much the same record.

Hezekiah’s life was extended, and he was delivered without doing anything to deliver himself, and one hundred and eighty five thousand Assyrians were slain by the angel of God. When something is mentioned once it is important. When it is mentioned twice, it is twice as important. When it is mentioned three times it is so important you had better not miss it.

There is no greater prophetic parable than the life of Hezekiah. It is the mother of all parables. Some people call them types, but a prophetic parable is different to a type. It is a narrative, where each point that is made has prophetic import. You can take every verse of the record and relate it to the parable. Hezekiah is an obvious and relatively easy parable to see. All commentators accept that his story connects to Messiah and the deliverance.

Because there are four chapters, and we are looking for books that correspond to those chapters, it is telling us that 1st Kings and 2nd Kings as well as 1st Chronicles and 2nd Chronicles are all parables, just like the Hezekiah story.