The Monarch Butterfly—an Illustration of Transfourmation
I hope to exhibit in this writing the creative transFOURmation process in both the Biblical creation account as well as the human heart and life, imaged and paralleled by the lifecycle of a Monarch butterfly. This particular part of the series will also be an exhaustive study on the number four as it categorizes these same concepts throughout the entirety of scripture.
Before we continue, I should probably inform you that this article is lengthy, as in, there is enough material in it as there would be in an average-sized book. I recommend reading it in comfortable increments and maybe writing down where you left off. If certain sections don't interest you, scrolling to the next might be of interest. There is so much fascinating revelation in all of this that it has become a bit of an eternal article as I keep adding to it and the revelations continue. The other three parts of this article are not this lengthy and will focus more on other aspects of the transformation process.
Every year it is a great joy and educational opportunity, for my grandchildren and me, to observe the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly. It is no less than a miraculous process to behold. We are blessed to live in a rural area that hosts plenty of milkweeds, the only staple food eaten by the Monarch in the caterpillar phase of its life.
"The wise person is one to whom every aspect of creation and life contains something of value to be learned"
— "The Book of Psalms" with an interlinear translation commentary the "Shottenstein Edition" Artscroll series
After observing this fascinating process of development my curiosity was aroused concerning the possible spiritual applications that could be gleaned concerning our own life journey in the wilderness of this world and transFOURmation process. I sincerely believe that all of God's creation contains a lesson about who God is and how life is intended to function.
since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made
— Romans 1:20
Charles Spurgeon, "preacher of preachers" from the 1800s agrees.
"all things are full of teaching, and when the eye is divinely opened, that teaching flashes upon the mind far more vividly than from written books...all created things point to their Maker"
— Charles Spurgeon
Further commentary from the Schottenstein Edition of the Psalms adds to the resounding symphony of testimonies on this topic.
"Contemplating merely the general categories of the unfathomable Divine Power and Wisdom evident in creation, would completely overwhelm the most brilliant mind"
— Tehillim commentary The Schottenstein edition
To which Paul in his letter to the Corinthians agrees.
...in him were the all things created,
- those in the heavens,
- and those upon the earth,
- those visible,
- and those invisible,
- thrones, whether
- Lordships, whether
- principalities, whether
all things through him, and for him, have been created,
— Colossians 1:16
The foundation verse for this study and illustration, as delivered by Paul to the church in Rome, in reference to the living out of the new life we have been given at salvation, is animated by the life cycle of the butterfly.
...do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...
— Romans 12:1-2
The word transFOURmed in the above portion of Scripture comes from the Greek word metamorphoo, from which the English word metamorphosis is derived. Metamorphosis is a term used to explain the complete change of form and substance of something and is commonly used to describe the radical process of conversion that occurs during the FOURmation and development of a butterfly. We will, therefore, study this incredible insect's testimony and lesson of our transFOURmation process through God's plan and pattern of salvation.
Metamorphoo is only used four times in the New Testament, first in our foundation verse, twice in reference to Christ's transfiguration recorded in Matthew and Mark, in which four men were present, and the fourth one is found in II Corinthians 3:18 which will be noted later in the study.
Let us begin with the first of the four stages of development.
Egg—In the Beginning
The Monarch butterfly goes through a four-phase life cycle:
And it takes about four weeks to complete.
The first phase ("In the beginning...) begins with an adult butterfly laying an egg on the underside of the leaf of a Milkweed plant. A female butterfly lays approximately 400 eggs.
The butterfly carefully selects the location of laying and spacing of her eggs based on the best opportunities for the developing worm to feed. It is good to know that God has planted us in times and spaces that we might find and be fed in Him.
He... has determined their (mens) preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him...
— Acts 17:26-27
Eggs in nature are incubators for the development of something outside the body of its species. This could be symbolic from the Christian perspective of how in the natural we begin spiritually outside of God's covenant.
you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world
— Ephesians 2:12
A Very Hungry Caterpillar
It takes, on average, about four days for the tiny caterpillar to be FOURmed and recognize its hunger for more as well as realize its captivity, at which time it eats its way out of the bondage of its shell. Exodus's are kind of like that. For further reference read the Book of Exodus revealing how God had to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt not only by challenging their captors but also helping them realize their need for deliverance as well as develop their desire or hunger for it. We will view this escape as a picture of salvation in part two of this series.
We Are But a Worm
As it concerns the caterpillar phase of development, which will be studied at greater length in part two of this series, It might be observed that we, apart from God, are no more than a spineless defenseless worm as Spurgeon well noted.
"See that creeping worm, how contemptible its appearance! . . . That caterpillar is yourself . . ."
— Charles Spurgeon
Bildad, one of Job's advisers, understood this reality.
How much less man, who is a maggot, And a son of man, who is a worm?
— Job 25:6
In concert with this revelation one of the four colors used in the Exodus instructions for the clothing of the priestly garments, curtains, and coverings, was scarlet.
This particular word for "scarlet" is in reference to the blood of the worm from which they obtained the dye to create this color for each of these coverings. Covering speaks of atonement for sin, which typifies the bloodshed necessary to transform us into God's likeness.
The Number Four—The Stamp of Transfomation
You may have already noticed the number four is a common theme stamping the creative transFOURming process of the Monarch butterfly and I haven't even mentioned yet its four skins (molting) Its first molt occurs four days from its shell exit. It has four main sets of legs with a grand total of 16 (4x4). It hangs in the shape of a "J" for 24 (4x6) hours, in its caterpillar phase. It has 36 ( 4x9) gold spots on its chrysalis and has four wings that take four hours to fill with fluid and harden. The average wingspan is approximately four inches.
There are four main structures on the adult head:
- and proboscis.
And it has a four-color vision system in its butterfly phase. It also has a four-generation process of getting from Mexico to Canada and back along with spending four months in semi-hibernation in the Mexican mountains, a 56,000 (4x14,000) Hector biosphere.
The Monarch migration schedule also follows this pattern of four. It is theorized that Monarchs that have wintered in Mexico head due North from their roost on the first day of the spring equinox. Each day they are oriented one degree east. This pattern will follow into the succeeding generations until the final generation will be oriented to migrate south and will head that direction in and around the time of the autumn equinox. This is a 180 (4x45) degrees turn from their starting point.
A final fact that only four species of Monarch's live in North America.
Four's Relationship to God's Word and the Creation
Before I continue the phases of development of the Monarch butterfly It would be relevant, to begin with, the importance and meaning of the number four in both nature and the Word of God which are of course always consistent with each other especially considering that the creation was created by the Word and Wisdom of God. Would it be any surprise that four is mentioned about 400 times in the Bible according to Dr. Noah Hutchings in his book "God the Master Mathematician" and it is notable that the Bible was written by 44 authors.
It is also a worthwhile mention that the first sentence of the Bible . . .
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
— Genesis 1:1
. . . contains 28 (4x7) letters in Hebrew. Four indicative of created things and seven concerning the fulfillment of and by God.
This is interesting in that in the very first sentences of Genesis the written record of the beginning of all things created. The first four recorded acts of God have to do with the FOURmation and transFOURmation of the universe. Then comes a "change" with days five and six when the scriptures record that He filled the earth and sea with living creatures and the seventh He rested.
Acts chapter 4:24 reiterates the very first clause of the Bible, and confirms this pattern, in a prayer prayed by the early Apostles and does so with four
“Lord, You are God, who made
- and earth
- and the sea,
- and all that is in them"
Brad Scott from Wildbranch Ministry also makes these fascinating observations in his teaching of the biblical number four in relation to the created material universe along with its processes and functions...
"On the first day we see YHVH restoring by four means: He said, He saw, He divided and He called. On the second day we see YHVH restoring His creation by four means: He said, He made, He divided, He called. On the fourth day we see YHVH restoring the earth by four means: He said, He made, He set, and He saw. On the seventh day we see our Creator giving His creation the pattern for Shabbat by ending, resting, blessing, and sanctifying. He does these four things on four of the seven days. On the fourth day the material creation is complete or tov. Our Creator shows us His creation through the number four from the very beginning"
The ancients considered there to be four elements.
- and water
Modern science observes and acknowledges that the entire universe consists of and functions by four elements.
- and energy
These are consistent with the biblical account of the beginning of all things.
"In the beginning..." (time), "God created the heavens" (space) "and the earth" (matter)"...Then God said, “Let there be light (energy)”
— Genesis 1:1,3
Light, also known as electromagnetic radiation, is the first element of transformation mentioned in Genesis chapter one. Light has four properties.
- light travels in straight lines.
- light can be reflected.
- light can bend.
- light is a form of energy
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
— II Corinthians 4:6
Paul's transformation was an experience with light. Paul mentions this light in his testimony before King Agrippa four times (Acts 22:6,9,11, 26:13)
Paul then testifies to king Agrippa the transformative mission of this visitation of light.
I (Jesus the light) now send you (Paul), to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.
— Acts 26:17
On the second day of the creation account, we see God creating space or atmosphere by dividing the waters above from the waters below. Water itself has four properties.
- temperature moderation
- and versatile solvent.
God also creates the firmament or heavens that could be considered the atmosphere and or space which has four layers.
- and thermosphere.
The atmosphere consists of four basic gases.
- and carbon dioxide.
Air itself has four properties.
- It takes up space.
- It has a measurable mass.
- It exerts pressure; i.e., it fills up whatever container it's in.
- Air has temperature
Four-Stage Water Cycle
Before continuing with space, our second element of creation, an interesting note concerning the subject of waters, mentioned in the above verse, is that the water cycle itself follows a four-stage transformation process of
- and precipitation
And it has a four-stage convection process, illustrated in the image below, as it moves about the earth. One illustrates a type of heavenly process and the other an earthly one. This two-fold idea of processes will be discussed later in Part Three of this series
This might be a good place to foretell that mathematics will be an integral part of the rest of this series and revelation, and no wonder that it is, considering that math itself is the transFOURmation of numbers through the four processes.
- and division
There also are known, what is called Maxwell's Equations which are a set of four complicated equations that describe the world of electromagnetics
Kinematic equations are another type of four equations that can be utilized to predict unknown information about an object's motion.
There are also four levels of measurement
- and the ratio
A form of Biblical math is called the Gematria, whereby the letters of the Hebrew aleph-bet are considered numbers as well. This ancient concept might be more familiar when considering Roman numerals in which letters were also numbers and was used for mathematical as well as linguistic purposes. What is most stunning concerning the Hebrew method is that the numbers and formulas produced by the numeric values are consistent with the meanings of the words they spell. An example concerning our study comes with the understanding that words that are divisible by four are most likely to carry the themes of creation and transformation. There are four methods of doing Gematria
- Absolute value
- ordinal value
- reduced value
- and integral reduced value
In terms of, and back to space, we are all familiar with the three dimensions of space that we were taught in geometry class of length, width and height. Science is now considering a fourth dimension based upon algebraic formulations that reveal this. How interesting that. Paul prays about four dimensions of knowing Christ and being filled with His fullness.
. . . that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
— Ephesians 3:14-19
In view of our referencing space and dimension, Paul wants us to be filled in every sphere and dimension of our lives with the comprehension of the love of God. Sphere, dimension, and the potential of created things are communicated by the number four
Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord
— Jeremiah 23:24
On the third day, we see the dry land appear (matter).
There are four states of matter
- and plasma
Relative to the material earth itself, there are four spatial directions of the earth.
- and West
These divide the earth into four hemispheres. There are 360 (4x90) degrees in a circle describing the earth.
The earth also is made up of four layers.
- inner core
- liquid core
- and crust.
Its circumference is approximately 40,000 Kilometers or 24,000 (4x6) miles
There are four components of soil.
- organic matter,
- and air.
The Earth also has four major oceans.
- and Indian
The major dry landmasses of the earth can also be divided into four groups.
- and Australia
An additional fun fact is that North America has four major deserts.
- The Great Basin
- and Chihuahuan
In terms of distance, there are 5280 (4x1320) feet in a mile, 36 (4x9) in a yard, and 12 (4x3) in a foot.
Fruit Trees and Botanical Life
Fruit trees, which were created on the third day as well, weren't considered fully mature or developed until the fourth year of growth.
‘When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as uncircumcised. Three years it shall be as uncircumcised to you. It shall not be eaten. But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the Lord
— Leviticus 19:23-24
John Gill in his commentary "Gills Exposition of the Entire Bible" notes that this was both beneficial to the tree that it may grow stronger, as well as the eater of it considering that fruit produced before its maturity was considered of no nutritional benefit to man and they thought it to be possibly harmful.
Sukkot, a Biblical Jewish feast, that is themed as a memorial of their wilderness earthly journey to the promised land as well celebrated in appreciation and acknowledgment of the gifts of the earth God has provided, uses four species of plants and fruit in its observance
And you shall take for yourselves on the first day
- the fruit of beautiful trees,
- branches of palm trees,
- the boughs of leafy trees,
- and willows of the brook;
and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days
— Leviticus 23:40
In general, there are four main categories of plants that all exhibit the processes of transformation.
- and flowering plants
consisting of four main parts.
- and flowers
The four parts of the flower.
- stamen (male reproductive organ)
- and carpel
The carpel is the female reproductive organ which also has four parts.
- and stigma
They go through four stages of development.
- lowering-fruit development,
And this development is governed by four hormones.
- Abscisic acid
Fourth Day—Time—Sun Moon and Stars
On the fourth day, we see the creation of the markers for the passage of time. Time is a natural event as opposed to eternal.
God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for
- and seasons
- and for days
- and years
and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day
— Genesis 1:14-19
Revelation chapter 8 (4x2) includes each of the fourth-day elements in its announcement of judgment to the inhabitants of the earth.
Then the fourth angel sounded:
- And a third of the sun was struck,
- a third of the moon,
- and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened.
- A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night (time)
And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth
— Revelation 8:12
Revelation 16 (4x4) begins with the topic of the angel's instructions for judgment in created earth.
Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth
— Revelation 16:1
The fourth angel's judgment including the fourth-day element of the sun discusses the transformative act of repentance.
Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory
— Revelation 16:8-9
The Greek word translated "blasphemed" is used four times in the book Revelation (Rev 13:6, 16:9,11,21) in reference to man kinds refusal to acknowledge the God who created all things and repent of their wickedness. The second occurrence in chapter 16.
They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds
— Revelation 16:11
Four things are listed that mankind did not repent from.
But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their
- murders or their
- sorceries or their
- sexual immorality
- or their thefts.
— Revelation 9:20-21
Four shows us that repentance is part of the transformation process and that God will do everything physically naturally possible to save the soul of a man.
In terms of quantum, physics time is considered the fourth dimension.
The fourth day account is the first time that the word "sign" is used, which in Hebrew pictograph language is the picture of a cross with its four directional arms. The second mention of the word for "sign" is, would you believe, in Genesis chapter four relating to the first birth and death which are evidence of our physicality.
Four Terrestrial Planets and Four Gaseous Planets
In reference to the planets, it is noted, according to Wikipedia that
There are four terrestrial (or rocky) planets in the Solar system:
And there are Four giant gas planets in the Solar system.
And there are Four moons of Jupiter known as the Galilean moons that are readily visible from Earth.
It is noted that the fourth day contains the first mention of the word "sign" and the second mention is in Genesis chapter four. Could it be that God's organizing His creation and truth in this mathematical form is a sign of who has done all these things?
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the Lord has done this
— Job 12:9
Should it be any surprise then that the fourth Word of the Bible in Hebrew in its original language, OT that is, references time in a sense? It is a word that is untranslated and consists of two letters Aleph and Tav. Aleph and Tav are the first and last letters of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet and in Greek would translate to something most Christians are quite familiar with, and that would be Alpha and Omega
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty"
— Revelation 1:8
And of course the phrase "Alpha and Omega" occurs four times.
"Aleph", the first letter of "aleph" and "tav" occurs four times within the first four words of the Bible. The tav pictographically speaking is the sign of the cross.
Categorically speaking in reference to time, as revealed in the above verse, there are four seasons.
- and in winter.
After the flood, God covenants with the creation with these four words expressing seasonal patterns, processes, and cycles in the earth.
“While the earth remains,
- Seedtime and harvest,
- Cold and heat,
- Winter and summer,
- And day and night
Shall not cease.”
— Genesis 8:22
Many climates are also known for their dry and rainy seasons but even these are divided into four consisting of two rainy seasons, in the Bible known as the early and latter rains, and two dry seasons in between them.
"Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above, Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love"
— From the Hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" written by Thomas O. Chisholm composed by William Runyan
There are also four biblical divisions of the day.
- and midnight.
The Bible also refers to "watches" which is how both day and night are divided into four equal 3-hour sections.
It is the fourth watch of the night that Jesus comes to His disciples walking on the sea, demonstrating how He had stepped into the created realm of time yet held authority over the physical natural world. (Matthew 14:25, Mark 6:48)
In modern timekeeping, there are 24 time zones (4x6), 24 (4x6) hours in each day, 60 (4x15) minutes in every hour, and 60 (4x15) seconds in a minute. In a Biblical year, there are 360 days (4x90).
Four lunar phases are also noted in marking of months (4 weeks) and appointed times- new moon, crescent moon, gibbous moon, and full moon. Also, notice that there are 12 (4x3) in each year.
There are at least four eclipses every year. Two lunar and two solars.
Paul in Galatians, his fourth epistle, refers to the weak and beggarly elements of this world to which prior to Christ's redemption we were in bondage to and gives four observances in terms of time that they are limiting themselves by.
how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe
- and months
- and seasons
- and years
— Galatians 4:9:10
There are actually four Jewish New Years.
- Time of Selichot in preparing for the High Holy Days,
- Rosh Hashanah,
- and Shevat 15 Tithe of the fruit trees.
A portion of the book of Ecclesiastes (the preacher) that I think we all might be familiar with, thanks to "The Byrds", sums created time up well, in communicating the truth that all of the creation including time and experience, will serve the purposes of the creator when all is said and done.
Ecclesiastes is well noted for the use of the phrase "under the sun" and is a poetic expression of our physical natural life on the earth. He makes note of all the futility there is, from only a natural, rather than spiritual perspective.
Notice that each verse contains four "times" or seasons for things on the earth, and there are seven sections consisting of four lines each indicating God's perfect fulfillment.
To everything there is a season (ziman used 4x in Scripture),
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
— Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
The "Preacher" wraps up his discourse with the understanding that God is in control, whatever our experience in the earth might be and it will serve His purpose in the end, and all we are asked to do is trust and obey.
What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
— Ecclesiastes 3:9-11
This reminds me of Paul's observation recorded in the book of Romans.
we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
— Romans 8:28
Mark makes some time references in a fourfold manner as it concerns the end of the age.
Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—
- in the evening,
- at midnight,
- at the crowing of the rooster, or
- in the morning—
lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
— Mark 13:33-36
The word "watch" is used four times.
The Fourth Commandment Concerns Time
In wrapping up this section on the fourth day and time, a little look at the Sabbath, and its relationship to earth and creation will be beneficial to this study.
According to E.W. Bullinger, the fourth commandment to keep the Sabbath is the first that mentions the earth and references time. The first time this law is transgressed occurs in the fourth book of the Bible. (more on the fourth book later)
In "The Bible Wheel" book Richard Amiel McGough observes that...
"The Sabbath is the prophetic prototype of the rest we have through the Work of Christ on the fourfold cross"
The New Testament application of the concept of Sabbath in spiritual terms can be found in Hebrews chapter...you guessed it...four, and references time as well and quotes from Psalm 95 hailing God as King over all creation and worthy of our observation and adoration.
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
— Hebrews 4:6
This Psalmist also gives the protocol in the form of four instructions for us to approach the King of all creation in verses 1 and 2
- "Let us sing to the Lord"
- "Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation"
- "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving"
- "Let us shout joyfully to Him with Psalms"
In reference to creation, the Psalmist also declares four things that are in God's hand in terms of creation, ownership and therefore rightful rule.
- "deep places of the earth"
- "The heights of the hills"
- "The sea"
- "dry land"
Psalm 95 ends with what happens when we refuse to acknowledge nor rightfully worship the Creator King and is congruent with the whole theme of Hebrews chapter four and the Sabbath.
...a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest
— Psalm 95:10-11
This OT verse is also quoted in Hebrews chapter four.
Was The Dirty Deal Done On The Sabbath?
This is pure speculation of course but in light of this revelation of the Sabbath being the day that God the King, took His rest and was seated on His throne, a final act of establishing His dominion over all that He had made, it could be considered that it was the very day the fateful act of treason took place. It was the day that His vassal king Adam was to follow suit in resting in the dominion God had given him, but instead, he was dealing and trading with the devil and "working" to establish his own independent kingdom.
Jesus, the Messiah, after paying the penalty of our sins, did what Adam was originally supposed to do
He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God
— Mark 16:19
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it...For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
— Hebrews 4:1,10
This transaction that took place concerning the dominion of the earth and the devil's deal with its results is recorded in the Ezekiel 28, which lists four things that occurred. The King of Tyre is addressed in this speech but is also a metaphoric representative of Satan/Lucifer — one who can appear as light, proposing what looks to be a good deal.
- By your great wisdom in trade
- you have increased your riches...
- became filled with violence within,
- you sinned...
You defiled your sanctuaries
— Ezekiel 28:5,16,18
The Hebrew word translated "trading" is used four times, all in the book of Ezekiel three in the above-quoted portion of scripture. Ezekiel 26:12 contains the fourth use of the word "trade" which is also in reference to Tyre a city well noted for its trading and exploits. Jezebel was from this very area.
According to Wikipedia
"The commerce of the ancient world was gathered into the warehouses of Tyre"
And relative to the theme of four Tyre is currently the fourth largest city in Lebanon and is its most major port city.
More on Ezekiel and the number four later in this article.
Saturn And The Sabbath
The planet Saturn, sixth from the sun, and known as Shabbatai by the Jewish people, honoring God's six days of creative works has four main rings and three faint ones. Four meaning physical, three meaning spiritual, together with completing and fulfilling all the purposes and plans of God.
Days Five and Six
As was mentioned previously, day four was a pivotal point in the creation narrative. Days five and six concern the living creatures that would inhabit the earth of which four are mentioned. Birds, fish, beast, and man.
The sixth and final day of God's creative work, "And God said" is recorded four times.
"The material world became the cradle into which He (God) placed His spiritual-material message" "The material world became the cradle into which He (God) placed His spiritual-material message"
— Kenneth E. Bailey "Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes"
Four Primal Desires
According to the Jewish sages observe that the scriptures record four primal desires as noted by Jonathan Cahn in his latest writing "Book of Mysteries"
- Eve for Adam
- The evil inclination of Cain
- rain for the land
- Master of the universe for humanity
He also notes that there are four similarities between Adam and Cain that are post-garden temporal life experiences
- Both of them hear the divine question "Where are you?"
- Both express fear and hide
- Both are condemned to difficulty farming
- Both suffer exile
Four Levels of Creation
Although there were seven days of creation, in Jewish thought there are four levels of creation as is noted in an article titled "A Little Word With a Big Meaning" by Phil Walker at "One for Israel".
In Jewish thought there are four levels of creation in the Genesis account:
- inanimate matter (rocks, minerals, waters and so on)
- vegetative matter, which can grow and reproduce
- animal life, with willful motion and a voice,
- but only the fourth layer of creation, humanity, can grow, reproduce, move as they wish and also use language.
The Human Body—The Crown of God's Creation
"God created me - and you - to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion - namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying His Supreme excellence in all spheres of life"
— John Piper "Don't Waste Your Life"
On a practical note, There are four main building blocks of the human body. hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen.
- and oxygen
There are also four main systems of the human body.
- and respiratory.
The fourth day of the FOURmation of a human being inside the womb, which takes 40 weeks or 280 (4x70) days, is known for "Momentous change" as noted in the book "From Conception to Birth" by Alexander Tsiaras and Barry Werth.
The process of cell division and multiplication, as does occur in human creation, is known as mitosis which involves four processes.
- and telophase
I couldn't help but think of the loaves and fish when Jesus gave thanks, He divided the bread and it multiplied. Bread the symbol and staff of life illustrates our necessity for God's Word that can give us life and reproduce when we receive it into our hearts by faith.
receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls
— James 1:21
Let it be to me according to your word.
— Luke 1:38
Let us break open His Word with thanksgiving and allow His truth to be developed in us.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
— Psalm 34:8
There are four elements of taste
- and salty
By 16 (4x4) weeks gestation a baby is, on average, four inches long and weighs about four oz. and is noted for being a time for a great growth spurt.
There are four types of body tissue.
- Epithelial tissue,
- Connective tissue,
- Nerve tissue,
- Muscle tissue
Flesh in the Bible always indicates our limited physical existence and being there are four types of flesh mentioned in I Corinthians 15:39.
All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds
There are also four systems of the human body.
- and respiratory.
As well as four quadrants of internal organs
Muscle has four distinct properties
- excitability- ability to respond to stimulation
- contractility- ability to shorten actively and exert a pull
- extensibility- ability to continue to contract (range of lengths)
- elasticity- ability to rebound to original length (like a rubber band)
There are four blood types (A, B, O, AB).
Four components of blood are...
- Red blood cells carry oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the lung and tissues.
- White blood cells which kill bacteria and other organisms.
- Platelets are important in clotting.
- Plasma is the liquid component of blood and carries nutrients and minerals.
the Hebrew word for blood "dam" consists of the letters dalet (4) and mem (40) gematria value is 44. It is considered that our life on this planet, is in the blood that is transported through our bodies by our heart.
. . . the life of the flesh isin the blood . . .
— Leviticus 17:11
Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey in their book "In His Image" write
Blood was always poured out before God an offering, for life that belonged to Him.
It would make sense then that In Psalm 40, four types of offerings are mentioned, as Bullinger observes
The death and life of Christ are set forth by a four-fold type and record. His death. the four great offerings
Sacrifice and offering ...
Burnt offering and sin offering ...
— Psalm 40:6
And Leviticus four shows us four types of people for which the sin offering applied; the anointed priest, the whole congregation of Israel, a ruler, and common people
The altar of sacrifice measured in Ezekiel's vision of the Temple shown him is characterized by fours
The altar hearth is four cubits high, with four horns extending upward from the hearth. The altar hearth is twelve (4x3) cubits long, twelve wide (4x3), square at its four corners; the ledge, fourteen cubits long and fourteen wide on its four sides
— Ezekiel 43:15-17
The book of Hebrews displays four verses that speak of Christ's offering of Himself for our sins. (5:3, 9:7, 9:14, 9:25) Isn't it through the Forgiveness of our sins that we are transFOURmed?
In fact, once again, Ezekiel chapter one spends a fair amount of time describing four living creatures called Cherubim.
Jamieson, Fausset, and Browns commentary note, in reference to the creation.
"The Cherubim represent the ruling powers by which God acts in the natural moral world"
They were considered guardians of the threshold of God's dwelling. No one passed through apart from the blood sacrifice.
Ezekiel's vision also began in the fourth month, and the number four is recorded 40 times in this particular biblical and prophetic book.
He was told to prophesy to four places in creation, that represented the highest and lowest places on it.
“Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to
- the mountains,
- the hills,
- the rivers, and
- the valleys,
‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations.”
— Ezekiel 36:6
The Creation of the Human Heart—A Demonstration of Four
The human heart is the first functional organ to fully FOURm by day 28 (4x7/week 4), and it is developed in a four-fold fashion that follows along with the creation account.
"Heart development consists of the formation of a primary tube that loops and separates into the four cardiac chambers and paired arterial trunks that form the adult, human heart."
We see this imaged in the biblical account of the planting, development, and function of what was to be the "heart" of the created world, that being Eden representing the life of a paradise in unhindered fellowship with God...
a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four river heads
— Genesis 2:10
More on this later, concerning the four gospels that are to go throughout to all the earth preaching the message of salvation.
There were also noted to be four who were in the garden (the heart of creation); God, Adam, Eve, and the serpent
After the garden, there were four First recorded family members were Adam Eve Cain and Abel
There were four commissions of the Edenic covenant,
- Be fruitful and multiply,
- fill the earth and subdue it,
- rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky,
- and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
Blood is produced in the marrow of some types of bones.
There are 248 (4x62) bones in the human body.
The four types of bones are short bones, long bones, flat bones, and irregular bones.
Four functions of the skeletal system are:
- supports muscles and tissues,
- protects the vital organs from injury and trauma,
- allows for movement, and
- stores essential body minerals and immature blood cells
Where teeth are concerned humans have four canines, four incisors, and four wisdom teeth. According to Wikipedia tooth enamel is one of four major tissues that make up the tooth.
- dental pulp
Connecting our bones are four types of joints:
- ball and socket,
- pivot, and
The major joints of the body have a bursa sac or cushion, of which there are four types of a bursa.
- and sub-muscular
The Fourth Intercostal Space or Fifth Rib
Relating to the heart and bones, I was reading Young's Literal Translation of the Bible one day and ran across a recurring phrase
the spear smote him under the fifth rib (chomesh חֹ֫מֶשׁ)
— II Samuel 2:23
My curiosity got the better of me and so I googled "fifth rib" and discovered an article at Simple Bible Studies.com titled "Adam's Fifth Rib"
Much to my amazement, this phrase is used four times in the scriptures and all in reference to the killing of four men in the process of the establishment of the Davidic kingdom. David was referred to by God as "one after God's own Heart". It was through King David that the Messiah of all the hearts of man would come.
The meanings of the names of the men who were killed have an interesting message that points prophetically to a coming Messiah.
- Asahel (God has made)
- Abner (My Father who is light)
- Ishbosheth (man of shame)
- Amasa (sparing His people)
Sentence structure is different in Hebrew, in that the action always appears first, so I will paraphrase it how we would better understand according to our sentence structure with the subject being first. "God, My Father who is light, has made a man of shame in order to spare his people"
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised . . .
. . . Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him...
. . . For the transgressions of My people He was stricken...
. . . Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin...
. . . My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities...
. . . Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors..
— Isaiah 53
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him
— II Corinthians 5:21
. . . Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
— Hebrews 12:1-2
The "Adam's Fifth Rib" article makes note that the 5th rib would be the nearest most vulnerable and accessible path to the heart.
The fifth rib is located just below the fourth intercostal space of the human rib cage, which is the most vulnerable place for a piercing or puncturing wound to the heart, considering that from that space both ventricles of the heart can be accessed.
The author then makes this connection to the rib God took from Adam's side to build the woman in terms of the nearness of heart, which was God's intention for their union. The original text uses just the word rib in this case and doesn't tell us that it is the fifth but could this clue from II Samuel interpret that for us.
What also came to my mind in reference to why there are four occasions of the use of this phrase and how it relates to our topic of the processes of transFOURmation, is the piercing of Christ's side. Eve was built from Adam's opened side. The church, those who would come to God through faith in His one and only Son, would be built from the wounded side of Christ.
Is it possible to consider that the piercing of Christ's side occurred at this very fourth intercostal space or fifth rib from which blood and water flowed?
one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately, blood and water came out
— John 19:34
There is a condition called pericardial effusion, which is thought may have very well occurred to Jesus when He was on the cross. A possibility from the dehydrating loss of blood He experienced...
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”
— John 19:38 9 (fourth Gospel)
...which would have caused the shutting down of His kidneys and created a fluid build up around His heart. This would explain why both the blood and the water flowed, as well as indicated the place of the piercing as was foretold in the meaning of the names of the four men who were pierced in the fifth rib (fourth intercostal space) in establishing the kingdom of David.
Might I add that a typical rib cage consists of 24 (divisible by four) ribs? twelve on each side. The book of Revelation may give us insight as to what these 24 ribs could represent in terms of creation.
twenty-four elders (first mention in 4:4) fall down before Him (four mentions) who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
“You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”
— Revelation 4:10-11
We are not told in the Bible text who these twenty-four elders are but a scriptural pattern may give us clue in that there were twelve tribes of Israel in which God governed and was authorized to bring his Son and rule to the earth, known as the Jewish people.
In the New Testament, there are twelve apostles to whom He gave His authority and through whom He worked His kingdom in the earth. It would make sense, according to this revelation, that the heart of God's dwelling with man is centered inside the structure of His people both Jew and Gentile believers who would bow in submission to Him.
Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles
— Acts 26:23
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
— Revelation 21:23
Chapter five of Revelation continues this theme and reveals four categories of created ones who will be redeemed and singing His praise naming four things that will be ascribed to the Lamb by those new creations.
Out of every
- and tongue
- and people
- and nation,
have made us, and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth...”
— Revelation 5:9-10
...And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
- and honor
- and glory
- and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever
— Revelation 5:13-14
Christ Enthroned on Our Hearts
What an amazing consideration that the creator of all would enthrone Himself on our hearts as well as entrust the tenderness of His own heart to mankind within this structure. He has placed the responsibility of man to cherish, guard and protect that relationship just as the rib cage does the heart through his submission to God.
This enthronement of Christ in our hearts is further evidenced by the crown of arteries that surrounds our hearts known as the Coronary (Carona) arteries which take its root from the Latin word for "crown" because it resembles a crown of thorns.
Dr. Charles Thurston at Science and wonders.com furthers this revelation with Revelation chapter four's account of the throne surrounded by the 24 elders, comparing it to the structure and function of the human heart as such.
from the throne proceeded lightnings (electrical signals of the heart), thunderings [Lub (Leb spelled lamed bet is the Hebrew word for heart) dub sound made by the valves as they open and close],...
and voices (the blood flowing through valves and the chambers of the circulatory system.
— Revelation 4:5
A further explanation of the parallels of the human heart's picture of salvation and the throne of God according to Revelation 4 and 5 are; There are four heart valves, beginning with the tricuspid meaning three-leafed, that the de-oxygenated carbon dioxide laden blood passes through into the upper right atrium or chamber before descending to the right chamber. The number three, signifying spiritual things, will be significant for this section.
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!” (three phrases with three items each)
...the living creatures give
- glory and
- honor and
to Him who sits on the throne
and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
“You are worthy, O Lord,
- and honor
- and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”
— Revelation 4
The three, the number of spiritual things or dimensions, shows us that this salvation of created humankind was a spiritual endeavor.
Next, from the right ventricle, the blood gets pumped through the second valve known as the pulmonary valve and into the lungs.
Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God
— Revelation 4:5
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him
— II Corinthians 5:21
The now cleaned and oxygenated blood returns to the heart and is collected in the left atrium where it is released through the third valve, the mitral valve, and into the lower-left ventricle then finally it is released through the fourth valve, the aortic, to flow and feed and cleanse the rest of the body. Revelation chapter five gives us four praises for this incredible work that gives life eternal to all who believe.
Represented by the Tricuspid (who came in the form of sinful flesh to bear and take away the sin of the world)
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”
— Ephesians 4:8-9
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
— Hebrews 2:9
The Mitral is a picture of the resurrected and glorified Christ
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
— Romans 6:4
and power mirrors the Aortic (New cleansed believers going out with power)
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
— Revelation 5:13
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen
— Matthew 28:18-20
...the earth is man's province. We are bidden to perfect it and transform its material nature into something spiritual. In deed, we were created to make the earth heavenly
— Commentary from the "Tehillim" Schottenstein edition.
"Thy Kingdom come Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven"
Bowing Down Before the Throne
Can you see the twenty-four bones that make up the rib cage all curving and bowing to the King of King's enthroned upon our hearts?
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the
- and length
- and depth
- and height
— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Back to the Davidic Kingdom through whom the Messiah was foretold to come; the place where God would dwell and meet with His people, namely the temple, would be built and established by David's fourth son of those born to him in Jerusalem, with Bathsheba. Bathsheba bore for David four sons, representing the heavenly city, where David reigned for 33 years, the same number of years Christ the King of Kings was in the earth exhibiting the heavenly Kingdom. David purchased this place, which was a threshing floor, from Onan who had four sons.
David's first fourth son, Adonijah, from the sons born to him in Hebron (Kiriath Arbah - a city of four), before David became king, prepared for himself to take the throne. But David who ruled over Israel for a total of 40 years altogether, overruled Adonijah's assumption and chose Solomon instead.
Solomon built four houses.
- his own house,
- the house of the forest,
- house for Pharaoh's daughter (his wife),
- and God's house.
The work of building God's house (temple) began in the fourth year, on the fourth day of the month, of Solomon's reign and he reigned for 40 years, 480 (4x120) years after the children of Israel came out of Egypt. (I Kings 6). The temple Solomon built would stand for a little over 400 years.
In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its details and according to all its plans
— I Kings 6:37
May it also be noted that the Davidic covenant was the fourth covenant God made with the nation He created, Israel and this covenant contained four promises of a land, a son, a house, and a throne. These four things foundational themes actually run throughout all of the scripture from beginning to end.
There are four structures/temples/places where God could meet and dwell with His people on the earth in scripture.
- The tabernacle, (400 years)
- Solomon's temple, (400 years)
- Ezekiel's temple,
- and the New Jerusalem built of His body of believers.
do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
— I Corinthians 6:19
The first of these four, being the wilderness Tabernacle consisted of four materials.
- and wood
The silver sockets, typifying the redemptive price the Messiah would pay, that provided the foundation for the wilderness tabernacle totaled one hundred (4x25). They were arranged
- Forty (4x10) sockets along the south
- Forty (4x10) sockets along the north
- Sixteen (4x4) sockets along the west
- Four across the tabernacle that divided the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies
The transformed life begins with redemption.
The tabernacle had four coverings Much like our human body that consists of four layers of flesh.
- goats hair,
- ram's skins,
- badger skins,
- and fine linen.
The brazen altar which displayed the Divine judgment is four-sided and had four horns. So with the golden altar. The camp was also foursquare.
The priesthood had four orders of people;
- Aaron and his sons,
- and Merari who were Levites, which also was the earthly copy and pattern of the more real and true in the heavens.
We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things
— Hebrews 8:1-5
The New Testament Greek word for temple is used in four ways, according to C.I. Scofield
- of the temple in Jerusalem Mt 23:16.
- of the believer's body 1Cor 3:16,17 6:19
- of the local church 2Cor 6:16 and
- of the true church Eph 2:21 But in all these instances the thought is simply of a habitation of God
The Tanakh (Hebrew scriptures) consists of 24 books which comprise what Christians call the Old Testament, all is an invitation to submit our hearts and bow down to the King of Kings who came to the earth for our salvation, 400 years after the last words of God were spoken to His chosen ones.
Ezekiel's Heart Exhibit
Back to the "heart", the book of Ezekiel, which contains the highest concentration of the use of the number four, as well as is located on the fourth spoke of the Bible Wheel. records these Words of God in reference to transFOURmation, through the recreation, of our stubborn willful hearts?
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh
— Ezekiel 36:26
In the following chapter of Ezekiel, we are given an illustration of transFOURmation and revival of people through the changing of certain dead dry bones into living beings through a four-fold process.
- "I will put sinews on you
- and bring flesh upon you
- cover you with skin
- and put breath in you
and you shall live."
— Ezekiel 37:6
When Ezekiel prophecies as instructed, the transFOURmation begins.
Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”
— Ezekiel 37:9
Charles Spurgeon wisely comments on this portion of scripture in terms of the transFOURmation process.
"here is a picture of the recovery of ungodly men from their spiritual death and corruption—a parable of the way in which sinners are brought up from their hopeless, spiritually dead condition, and made to live by the power of the Holy Ghost"
C.I Scofield makes this observation, concerning this portion of scripture, concerning the transformation that occurs when God revives His people.
"Having announced Ezekiel 36:24-38 the restoration of the nation, Jehovah now gives in vision and symbol the method of its accomplishment. Ezekiel 37:11 gives the clue. The "bones" are the whole house of Israel who shall then be living. The "graves" are the nations where they dwell. The order of procedure is:
- the bringing of the people out Ezekiel 37:12-14 Ezekiel 37:19-27
- the bringing of them in ( Ezekiel 37:12 );
- their conversion ( Ezekiel 37:13 )
- the filling with the Spirit ( Ezekiel 37:14 )"
Four Soils—Stages of TransFOURmation
In the parable of the four soils (Matthew 13, Mark 4) Jesus references four conditions of hearts that receive the Word of God revealing the pitfalls that prevent the seed of God's Word producing fruit in our lives. These four can also be viewed in a progressive way that can show how hearing the word of God progressively transforms us as we continue to hear and obey it.
The first soil of the hard ground is a picture of how we are hard to His truth when we first hear it, and the enemy comes to steal it. But as His truth continues to work in us it begins to break up the fallow hard ground causing the rocks to surface. Once His truth removes the remaining hardnesses of unbelief we then become soft and vulnerable to weed infestation, expressed in these accounts as distractions and desires for other things. His truth does not stop there. It continues to work the soil by weeding out the distracting concerns and desires of this life until we become unadulterated soil capable of producing the fruits of His kingdom.
Brad Scott on the Hebrew Roots Network in part five of his series "Prophecy In The Field" makes an interesting observation about the fourth soil. He notes that it is the only soil that produces, and reveals a previously hidden meaning in reference to the amount Jesus said would be produced
"other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty"
— Matthew 13:8
Brad connects this statement with the four patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. The connection lies with all but Jacob's age in reference to when each birthed their chosen sons along with when Joseph ( a type of Jesus) entered into the service of Pharaoh. Abraham was 100 when he produced Isaac, Issac was 60 when He produced Esau and Jacob, and Joseph was noted to be 30 years old when he began his ministry as was Jesus. Jacob is not included because he is the only one who is not a chosen son recalling that Esau was Isaac's favorite. Recall as well that three concerns spiritual realities, therefore, God is revealing that through these four physical men would come the seed of Abraham "Jesus Christ" God's one and only chosen Son that contained His Holy Spirit and through faith in Him we can be saved and produce a harvest. Faith in the promised seed of Abraham, that is the Lord Jesus Christ, is the secret of the good soil.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear!..Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven...for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it...“Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?..”
— Matthew 13, Mark 4
This type of teaching was not new to His audience. It is said that there were and are approximately 4000 Jewish parables. Jewish teachings held that there were four types of disciples.
There are four qualities in disciples: he who quickly understands and quickly forgets, his gain disappears in his loss; he who understands with difficulty and forgets with difficulty, his loss disappears in his gain; he who understands quickly and forgets with difficulty, his is a good portion; he who understands with difficulty and forgets quickly, his is an evil portion. (Pirke Avot 5:15) 2
There are four characters among those who attend the house of study: he who goes and does not practice secures the reward for going; he who practices but does not go secures the reward for practicing; he who goes and practices is a saint; he who neither goes nor practices is a wicked man. (Pirke Avot 5:17)
We can see in each of these systems, the material universe, the human heart, and the butterfly along with their laws and functions, all categorized by the number four, exhibiting God's power, ability, and will to create, establish, transFOURm, and sustain it all.
The Two Sets of Four Kingdom Parables
Matthew chapter 13 kicks off what is known as the eight (4x2) kingdom parables. The first one being the parable of the four soils as shown in the above section.
Frank E. Geabelein's commentary on this chapter on pages 301-302 borrows this revelation from David Wenham's observation that...
"The discourse may be broken down into two parts of four parables each (vv.3-33, 44-52). The first four are addressed to the crowds, the last four to the disciples...of the first four parables, the first stands apart from the other three, separated by discussion about the purpose of the parables (vv10-17) and the interpretation of the parable (vv.18-3). It has a formally different introduction (the other three begin "Jesus told them another parable, "The kingdom of heaven is like..."), separated from the fourth, which has a different beginning, by the explanation in vv.49-50 and the question and answer about the disciples; understanding of parables. The central section separating the two sets of parables (vv. 34-43 divides the chiasm and further explains the function of parables while expounding one of them." (see diagram in the image below this section for a more visual understanding)
Lockyer explains the Kingdom of Heaven in terms of this earthly life.
"The Kingdom of heaven...implies, not the glorified state of the future life, but that presently existing spiritual community of which Christ is the Head, and which is composed of those whose hearts and lives are subject to Him as sovereign...He surveyed the age and looked toward it's consummation and described the mixed conditions that would prevail until His return as King of Kings"
The fourth parable of the first set of four mentions four ingredients, three measures of meal and leaven.
“The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
— Matthew 13:33
Fine flour or "meal" is generally symbolic of righteousness and purity and leaven throughout Scripture is a symbol of hypocrisy, corruption, and pride both of which were added to "Garden" experience through man's choice. It led to humankind's natural physical toil and spiritual death. and could not be recovered until the coming of Christ the Messiah. Only twice in scripture was it permitted and required to add leaven to an offering of flour and that was the "Shavuot"/"Pentecost which represented both Jew and Gentile who would experience salvation yet live life in the flesh on the earth.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me
— Galatians 2:20
Could this offer us the pattern of these two sections of the Kingdom of Heaven that would consist of these very two?
Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles
— Acts 26:23
Thomas Newberry, English Bible scholar, connects this parable of the leaven with the fourth church in Revelation which is also noted for its corruption. Ths fourth church of Thyatira address is titled in the NKJV "Four good works of love, service, faith, and patience" for which they are attributed, but they are also accused of four destructive influences.
because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to
- and seduce My servants to
- commit sexual immorality
- and eat things sacrificed to idols
— Revelation 2:20
The Kingdom Parables and Their Chiastic Arrangement
The structure of these parables is in a literary form known as a chiasm, which Wenham describes above in this section. Chiasms, as will be discussed later, are literary structures that emphasize the main point in the center of the text rather than the beginning. The outer texts are parallel in theme and many times wording.
Kenneth E. Bailey, a Bible scholar, suggests that viewing the text like a sandwich can be helpful. The outer slices of bread envelop the meat of the sandwich. The image above is Kenneth Bailey's example of this structure as it is seen in these kingdom parables. The written notes are from David Wenham's insights added to it.
Notice when viewing one and eight they are similar in theme (landowner, householder), the same with two and seven (separation of tares and wheat, separation of fish), three and six concern two small things, a mustard seed and pearl, that develop into something greater and larger than their humble beginnings, one grows into something beneficial and useful the other something valuable. some other considerations concerning the landowner and householder; one man plants and the other man buys. A common word used in both is "great" the small seed grows into something much greater than it began. A great price is paid for a small pearl), then four and five (hidden leaven and hidden treasure). Observe as well that the central axis is in the middle and separates the fourth and fifth parable.
The first four centers around the landowner and agriculture and the second set of four centers around the transactions of a householder and business.
Herbert Lockyer also observes...
"Four of the parables spoken to the multitude exhibit, not only the aspect of the kingdom to the outside world - the number four, when used typically, is the number of the earth, it also shows the working of the mystery of iniquity..."
"The first four parables were given to the multitudes as they thronged the shore, where the Master's pulpit was a boat. The last four parables were spoken to the disciples in the house...In the four parables (the first set) now to be given, Jesus having spoken to men of sight now speaks (in the second set) to men of faith."
J. Vernon Mcgee, in his "Thru the Bible Commentary, writes concerning, what he calls the "mystery parables"
"in the Mystery Parables Discourse our Lord set before us kingdom-of-heaven conditions on earth during this interval (time between Christ's first and second comings) ...These Mystery Parables show the direction of the kingdom after it had been offered and rejected by Israel. They reveal what is going to take place between the time of Christ's rejection and the time when He returns to the earth as King. With these parables our Lord covers the entire period between His rejection by Israel and His return to the earth to establish His kingdom"
He also notes that the chapter opens with
On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore
— Matthew 13:1
and comments about our key concept of this study, that being change...
"Notice the symbolism here. "The same day went Jesus out of the house," which speaks of the house of Israel. "and sat by the sea side" - the sea represents the gentile nations (a symbolism used elsewhere in Scripture). Our Lord is leaving the nation of Israel and turning to the world. He is now speaking of what will take place in the world until He returns as King. This act denotes a tremendous change that has taken place in His method. Great multitudes were gathered together to hear Him, and He went into ta ship and began to talk to them as they stood on the shore."
Other Parables and Lessons
Luke presents what is known as the Parable of the wicked vinedressers,
Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.
“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’ But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.”
And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”
Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone’?
— Luke 20:9-17
We see that the fourth and final one sent is none other than the Messiah himself
Luke chapter 20 also records a conversation between Jesus and the Sadducees about the reality of the resurrection. The Sadducees present this scenario to Jesus . . .
Now there were seven brothers. And
- the first took a wife, and died without children. And
- the second took her as wife, and he died childless. Then
- the third took her, and in like manner
- the seven also; and they left no children and died.
Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.”
Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage.
— Luke 20:29-34
Notice that the brothers are a total of seven, but 3 are presented singularly, then in the fourth presentation, the rest are lumped together. The word died is also used four times. The reason is revealed in the phrase "The sons of this age" Jesus is trying to express to the Sadducees that they are so very limited in their logic and ability to see because they are only considering and observing the natural, and not spiritual things.
In terms of transformation, should it be any surprise that the New Testament begins with four Gospels, perhaps indicating the new creations that would be born from them?
"Christs purpose in giving us this teaching was not to write a famous book...Christ wanted not to create an infallible book, but to create true lives, and to trust them through the power of His Spirit to create other true lives till the world became altogether true"
— J. Edgar Park "The Wonder of His Gracious Words"
John the fourth Gospel begins very much like the creative account in Genesis
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light
— Genesis 1:1
In John's account notice the four descriptions of Jesus the Word sent to the earth to save, as well as the four things He, the Living Word that came to the earth and what He did.
- In the beginning was the Word,
- and the Word was with God,
- and the Word was God.
- He was in the beginning with God.
- All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
- In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
- And the light shines in the darkness,
- and the darkness did not comprehend it.
— John 1:1-5
John the fourth Gospel, also gives the idea of becoming a new creation through a born again event.
unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God
— John 3:3
Herbert Lockyer, in his commentary "All the Doctrines of the Bible" reveals the FOURmation-transFOURmation aspect of the message we are commanded to proclaim to all the earth in calling all men to come and be born again, as he writes in a portion titled "The Spirit TransFOURms Men into Christ's Image"...
"As we possess four gospels, presenting four different aspects of the one divine person, so the continuous ministry of the Spirit is to fill the world with men and women reproducing Christ"
Could the four rivers of Eden be an illustration of the four Gospels that go out to all the earth, revealing the source of all life, the Fountain of Living Waters, that are flowing from the very heart of God, crying out in the wilderness of this world His desire that all men would repent and be saved?
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance
— II Peter 3:9
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
The four Gospel accounts are centered around the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God and sent by Him to the earth for the express purpose of saving the souls of men. He is considered to have been born approximately 4 BC, 400 years since the people of God had heard a word from Him and were under world domination.
Matthew, the first Gospel opens with the genealogy of Jesus Christ the Messiah. In Matthews's genealogy, the developing theme builds the case for the rightful rule of the coming King (son of David) to reign in the hearts of men who would come to Him by faith (son of Abraham). This genealogy is arranged in a four name, four times pattern. There are two divisions that divide these four sets of four into three sections eventually culminating in the birth of Jesus. Just when you thought genealogies were boring...
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
— Matthew 1:1
This announcement connects Him with both Abraham and David. Frank E. Gaebelein in "The Expositors Bible Commentary observes that
"Jesus the Messiah came in fulfillment of the kingdom promises to David and of the Gentile-blessings promises to Abraham"
J. Vernon McGee makes a further note in his "Thru the Bible" Commentary, establishing that...
"The line of Abraham places Him in the nation, and the line of David puts Him on the throne...This is most important because it puts Jesus in a very unique position..He said the Shepherd of the sheep enters in by the door but the thief and the robber climb up some other way to get into the sheepfold (John 10:1-2) That fold is the nation of Israel. He didn't climb into the fold over a fence in the back, and He didn't come in through the alleyway. He came in through the gate. He was born in the line of David and in the line of Abraham...He is the fulfillment of everything that had been mentioned in the Old Testament"
...on with the genealogy...
(four names) Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. (notice Judah is the fourth listed in the genealogy and he is also the fourth son of Jacob)
(four names) Judah begot Perez and Zerah (twins counted as one - same generation) by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram.
(four names) Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon.
(four names) Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse
— Matthew 1:2-6
Notice the transition from the fourth set of four names with the announcement of "King David"... with only three names at this transition
(three names) and Jesse begot David the king.David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.
also observe that the four women in the genealogy occur in this set and transition
(four names) Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa.
(four names) Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah.
(four names) Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah.
(four names) Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon,and Amon begot Josiah
— Matthew 1:6-10
It is also observed that the transition, once again, at the fourth set of four names referencing the captivity in Babylon has only two names at this place.
(two names) Josiah begot Jeconiah (meaning Yah will establish) and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. (Notice "and his brothers" as it was with Judah) And after they were brought to Babylon,
(four names) Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud,
(four names) Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok,
(four names) Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar,
(four names) Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary,
— Matthew 1:11-16
..and Christ stands alone. Notice this third point of transition after four sets of fours. The fact that there are three sets of fours tells us that this development through natural means in the created earth was a spiritual work on God's part that only Christ could do.
...of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.
— Matthew 1:16
Notice the transitions also signal a count down with the first one with three names, the second one with two names and the final with one, the Christ, the Messiah, who has arrived.
The sets overlap names like links in a chain, and the count as such is for literary purposes, designed specifically to establish the message. On that note, there are 40 (4x10) total names from Abraham to Jesus not using the overlapping feature.
The text wraps up the genealogy with the use of the word "generations" four times.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
— Matthew 1:17
Jesus is born during a time when Israel was being ruled by its fourth Gentile world government, that being Rome. The three prior were Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece.
The time frame from Abraham to Jesus is divided by four markers.
- and Christ
There are four people omitted from Matthew's genealogy of Jesus Christ according to Bullinger. They were the final four successors to the throne before the Babylonian captivity.
- Ahaziah, or Jehoahaz, 2 Kings 8:29-10:27; 2 Chron 22:39.
- Joash, 2 Kings 11:2-12:20; 2 Chron 24:1-25.
- Amaziah (or Ahimaaz), 2 Kings 14:8-20; 2 Chron 25:7-27. And one between Josiah and Jeconiah, viz.—
- Jehoiakim, 2 Kings 23:36-24:6; 2 Chron 36:5-8. It was he who cut to pieces and burnt the roll which contained the words of Jehovah (Jer 36:23). The Talmud says that the reason why his name is not mentioned generally in the genealogies is because it was said concerning him (2 Chron 36:8)
There are fourteen generations between each in verse 17 of chapter one
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations
— Matthew 1:17
* for more on the number fourteen and the theme of Passover and redemption
It is also noticed that there are 400 years represented by four generations from Perez to Amminadab both from the line of Judah the fourth tribe of Israel, establishing Christ the Messiah as rightful Heir and King.
In making the announcement of His birth and earthly reveal, the angel that appears says four things about Him Luke 1:31-33 which are represented in the four Gospels and coincide with four Old Testament "Beholds" concerning the messiah that would come to the earth which He created.
- "Thou shalt bring forth a Son" = Behold the man ~ Zechariah 6:12 (Luke presents Jesus as the Son of Man)
- "and shalt call his name Jesus" = Behold my Servant. ~ Isaiah 42:1 (Mark presents Jesus as servant Savior)
- "Shall be called the Son of the Highest" = Behold your God ~ Isaiah 40:9 (John reveals Jesus as the Son of God)
- "He shall reign...and of His kingdom there shall be no end" = Behold your King ~ Zechariah 9:9 (Matthew presents Jesus as the King of kings)
Ray Stedman, Pastor, Bible expositor, and teacher sums this up with the four "Beholds" and Old Testament connection
Four different times -- and only four times -- in the Old Testament there was an exclamatory statement made concerning the Messiah, introduced always by the word behold. In one of the prophets we read, "Behold thy king, O Israel!" In another place we read, "Behold the man!" In a third place we read, "Behold my servant!" In still a fourth place we read, "Behold thy God!" These four statements are amplified and developed in the four Gospels -- Matthew, the Gospel of the King; Mark, the Gospel of the Servant; Luke, the Gospel of the Son of man; and John, the Gospel of God, the presentation of the Son of God. ~ http://www.raystedman.org/bible-overview/adventuring/matthew-behold-your-king
E.W. Bullinger, a respected theologian, and Bible scholar, also writes of four titles of the Messiah.
There are four titles of the Messiah who was prophesied to be born into the earth as a physical person that would govern the hearts of men who would submit there lives to Him.
His name will be called
- Wonderful Counselor,
- Mighty God
- Everlasting Father,
- Prince of Peace
— Isaiah 9:6
In reference to His name C.I. Scofield writes in his commentary for Isaiah chapter four that the name of Christ is used in a fourfold way, describing the coming Christ as "the Branch" and corresponds to the four Gospels and the four faces of Christ as a King, Servant, Man, and God
1. I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness
— Isaiah, Jeremiah 23:5 (Messiah of the seed of David according to the flesh revealed in His earthly glory as King of kings, and Lord of Lords) — Matthew presents Jesus as King
2. behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH
— Zechariah 3:8 (His obedience to death)
— Mark presents Jesus as a servant
3. “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH!
From His place He shall branch out,
And He shall build the temple of the Lord;
Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord.
He shall bear the glory,
And shall sit and rule on His throne
— Zechariah 6 (in the vision of the four chariots)
— Luke presents Jesus as a man
4. the Branch of the Lord
— Isaiah 4:2
— John presents Jesus as the Son of God.
God's witness in the earth to the lost souls of men, is also noted in Hebrews, to be exhibited in four ways
- and wonders,
- with various miracles
- and gifts of the Holy Spirit
— Hebrews 2:4
There were four prohibitions given to the first seventy who were sent out into the earth to preach the gospel. carry no purse, no scrip, no shoes, and salute no man by the way (Luke 10:4)
- carry no purse
- no scrip
- no shoes
- and salute no man by the way
— Luke 10:4
There is also a four-fold sphere of suffering for those who would follow Him.
- We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed;
- we are perplexed, but not in despair;
- persecuted, but not forsaken;
- struck down, but not destroyed
— II Corinthians 4:8-9
The lost son that was brought home was given four things;
- a robe,
- a ring,
- and a kiss
Under the Fig Tree
The Messiahship of Christ, our only hope, and source of transformation seem to be strongly coded with four as we have seen and will continue to see throughout this study. He is known by four Sonship titles.
- Son of God
- Son of Man
- Son of Abraham
- and Son of David
This makes sense considering that it is the Messiah who came as a man to the earth to transform the hearts of man. The son, in ancient Hebrew culture, was the one who was to build the family and house.
In John, the fourth Gospel, Jesus is gathering His disciples and calling some to follow Him, in totality, there will be twelve (4x3). The first two acknowledge that they indeed have discovered the Messiah.
One of the two who heard John (the Baptist) speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
— John 1:40-41
Nathanael is introduced to Jesus by Philip whom Jesus found the following day
The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
— John 1:43-45
Nathanael is skeptical but goes with Philip to see. The next scene is significant as it concerns four, the Messiah, the establishment of God's kingdom, and a hidden message of how He accomplishes this.
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you
— John 1:47-48
This is one of four places in scripture where this phrase "under the fig tree" is used. The three others are in the Old Testament and altogether preach the Gospel message. Its first occurrence is in 1st Kings in relationship to Solomon establishing God's kingdom and rule over His people.
Judah and Israel dwelt safely, each man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.
— i Kings 4:25
The second occurrence is found in Micah chapter four which is titled "The Lord's reign in Zion" and symbols freedom from their oppressors
everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree,
And no one shall make them afraid
— Micah 4:4
The third mention is in Zechariah and discusses the removal of iniquity.
I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts,
‘Everyone will invite his neighbor
Under his vine and under his fig tree
— Zechariah 3:9-10
How interesting that Philip "invites" Nathanael who is "sitting under his fig tree" to come and meet the foretold of Messiah. Michael Card in his book "The Parable of Joy" fills in the blanks of our modern understanding of this event.
The key to unlocking the mystery is Jesus' reference to the fig tree, which had symbolic significance in Israel as a sign of the nation. But Jesus' words have more than symbolic meaning. The fig tree was a common place for prayer, especially for young rabbinic students, which Nathanael may well have been. If he was specifically under a fig tree when Philip called him, chances are he was in prayer...The Jewish believer was taught that 'he who, when he prays, does not pray for the coming of the Messiah, has not prayed at all...Thus, if Nathanael had been at prayer, chances are he was praying for the Messiah. Perhaps this is why Jesus refers to him as a true Israelite; his faith was focused on waiting for the Coming. When Jesus tells Nathanael He saw him under the fig tree the implication is (and it is just an implication) that Nathanael put two and two together in his mind. Only one person could have known, could have heard his solitary prayer for the Messiah: the Messiah Himself! As the pieces fall together in his heart and mind Nathanael finds himself on his knees. The true Israelite declares Jesus is the King"
—The Parable of Joy by Michael Card
Commentary by Charles Soles on the StackExchange website concerning this topic further's this insight
The fig tree was significant. A sacred place of prayer,study and meditation. A place of peace and safety in the midst of cruel circumstances. A place of longing for the Messiah to show himself as King.
It is awesome that Christ revealed his heart toward Nathanael. He was man of no pretense, no false estimation of himself who had been sincerely seeking the Messiah. Jesus takes note of the fruit or evidence of our faith. In Matt.21 He cursed the fruitless fig tree. Fig tree's bear fruit before foliage. The clothing of the tree (the regalia of worship) was really the bi-product of a fruitful life.
"How do you know me?", Nathanael asked. Oh how he knows the sincerity of our hearts! And with that knowing reveals more of Himself to us. He promised Nathanael he would see greater things! He would from that moment on see Jesus in full revelation as the stairway to heaven, Gen 28. Jesus would from that moment be someone who stood in the Gap between heaven and earth fulfilling the longing of Nathanaels heart indeed.
In all four references to "under the fig tree" taken together, we can see God establishing a kingdom and delivering us from our oppressors by removing our iniquity and inviting us to come. That is the Gospel in its entirety as seen in these four places.
A more personal and specific application of this event is given by Barnes Bible Commentary that includes four things
Our Saviour also worshipped in such places. Compare John 18:2; Luke 6:12. In that place of retirement it is not improbable that Nathanael was engaged in private devotion.
I saw thee - It is clear, from the narrative, that Jesus did not mean to say that he was bodily present with Nathanael and saw him; but he knew his thoughts, his desires, his secret feelings and wishes. In this sense Nathanael understood him. We may learn:
- that Jesus sees what is done in secret, and is therefore divine.
- that he sees us when we little think of it.
- that he sees us especially in our private devotions, hears our prayers, and marks our meditations. And,
- that he judges of our character chiefly by our private devotions. Those are secret; the world sees them not; and in our closets we show what we are. How does it become us, therefore, that our secret prayers and meditations should be without "guile" and hypocrisy, and such as Jesus will approve!
Zacchaeus Returns Fourfold
The book of Luke records an incident of a transformed heart that occurs with one man's encounter with Christ.
His name was Zacchaeus and Luke tells us that he was a tax collector and rich because of it. In these times that meant that he had obtained his wealth by questionable means and most likely at the expense of his fellow neighbors.
The text also records that he was a short man who had heard that Jesus was going to be passing by and climbed a fig tree in order to see Jesus. Jesus notices him and declares that he intends to visit his house to which Zacchaeus joyfully accepts the invitation. What accompanied his joy must have been a conviction as well as he does a little house or could we say heart cleaning in the form of a confession and promise of restitution.
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
— Luke 19:8
The Old Testament Law required that if someone stole a sheep they were required to pay it back fourfold
“If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep
— Exodus 22:1
This is also exhibited when King David is confronted by Nathan the prophet concerning David's adultery with Bathsheba that resulted in him having Uriah, Bathsheba's husband killed in battle to cover up the pregnancy that resulted. Nathan confronts David with a hypothetical story that would mirror his own misdeeds.
Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
— II Samuel 12:1-4
David is appalled by this deplorable action when he requires not only the life of the rich man for this but he must restore fourfold for the lamb.
So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity
— II Samuel 12:5-6
Zacchaeus showed by his actions that he truly understood the gravity of his sins and how it affected those whom he had harmed and stolen his riches. He understood that these were the Lord's defenseless and helpless lambs that needed no further oppression especially from one of their own which is the prerequisite for any genuine repentance, or transforming change of heart.
A Practical Application Concerning TransFOURmation Through Prayer
A neat practical application in reference to the number four and the earth in Scripture is referenced in Marks version of the Healing of the paralytic man who was brought to Jesus by four men. It is the only miraculous event recorded that mentions the earth. When the scribes had reasoned within themselves that it was blasphemous for Jesus to forgive the man's sins, Jesus' replied with a question.
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? That you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins
— Mark 2:10
A bonus practical application we might glean from this event is that the four men represented the limitations of this material world that could not save this man from his condition. His paralytic condition gave an illustration of what sin can do to one's life.
"Palsy is a fit emblem of sin's paralyzing power and of the utter helplessness of the sinner to do anything for his own relief...If you have a burden regarding a friend who is palsied by sin and is helpless and hopeless in his or her condition, then that one must be "borne of four" - your consecrated life, your compassionate love, your prevailing intercession, and your undaunted faith"
— Herbert Lockyer "All the Miracles of the Bible"
The paralyzed man's four friends took him up to the roof illustrating the going over the head of the physical realm and limitations, a picture of prayer...
"the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand"
— Revelation 8:4
This idea of rooftop and prayer is confirmed in Acts chapter 10.
Peter went up on the housetop to pray
— Acts 10:9
continuing on with our narrative...
...and brought the man to Jesus.
Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
— Matthew 19:26
This concept of prayer inviting the heavenly realm of God's kingdom to affect the earth is fascinatingly tied to the transfiguration (Metamorphoo - one of the four uses) account in Mark chapter 9. Just after returning from the mount of transfiguration, a man approaches Jesus explaining that His disciples were unable to deliver his son from a demon. The disciples seem to be equally perplexed in that it was just before the transfiguration that Jesus gives them the authority to do this. Jesus replies to their confusion...
". . . Bring him to Me"
— Mark 9:19
Then proceeds to tell them how to do that...
“This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
— Mark 9:29
In both accounts, people were brought to Jesus by limited human beings through prayer. One dealt with deliverance the other with healing and forgiveness. Whatever the malady it is all incurable from a human perspective, but "With God all things are possible"
We too are excitingly invited to participate in the process of transformation through the process of intercession by bringing our loved ones to Him in prayer. Spurgeon comments in reference to the four friends and their role in participating in the work of God.
“And the Lord shewed me four carpenters.”
— Zechariah 1:20
"In the vision described in this chapter, the prophet saw four terrible horns. They were pushing this way and that way, dashing down the strongest and the mightiest; and the prophet asked, “What are these?” The answer was, “These are the horns which have scattered Israel.”...but on a sudden there appeared before him four carpenters. He asked, “What shall these do?” These are the men whom God hath found to break those horns in pieces. God will always find men for his work, and he will find them at the right time...the Lord finds enough men. He did not find three carpenters, but four; there were four horns, and there must be four workmen...Rest assured, you who tremble for the ark of God, that when the “horns” grow troublesome, the “carpenters” will be found"
— Charles Spurgeon
In Acts chapter twelve Peter is imprisoned and kept by four squads of soldiers. It was by the continuous prayer that an angel delivered him quite miraculously. Our understanding of four is showing us that our activity in the Spirit realm by prayer supersedes any hindering force in this natural physical realm.
The Beatitudes of Transformation
Luke also presents the Beatitudes of Jesus in the form of four blessings and four matching curses and is set forth in what is known as "The Sermon on the Plain" and portrays Jesus as "The Son of Man" as in one of us and the Beatitudes being his counsel to us.
Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples and said:
- Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God.
- Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled.
- Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.
- Blessed are you when (1) men hate you, And when (2) they exclude you, And (3) revile you, and (4) cast out your name as evil
For the Son of Man’s sake.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
- “But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation.
- Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger.
- Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.
- Woe to you men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.
— Luke 6
Notice the fourth blessing that is at the center of them all lists four forms of persecution
Interesting that Matthew's beatitudes are in the form of eight (4x2) blessings, four of which are included in Luke's version and is contained in what is known as "The Sermon on the Mount", portraying Jesus as the King of King's who issues the protocols of His kingdom on the earth.
— Matthew 5
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
- Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
In reference to the Gospel, Matthew is addressing a Jewish audience. Luke's Gospel is addressed to a Gentile audience can we see in these Beatitudes the blessings and happiness of those who follow Jesus the Christ to both Jew and Gentile.
the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles
— Acts 26:23
"Man need not perfect heaven, because it is already dedicated to the holiness of God. But the earth is man's province. We are bidden to perfect it and transform it's material nature into something spiritual. Indeed, we were created to make the earth heavenly"
~ Commentary on Psalm 115:16 Mesorah "The Book of Psalms" Shcottenstein edition Commentary on Psalm 115:16 Mesorah "The Book of Psalms" Shcottenstein edition
Four Months Then Comes the Harvest
To the native people of the Mexican mountains, where the Monarchs overwinter for four months, covering over four hectares out of 56,000 (4x14,000) hectares of a nature reserve, the Monarch is known as and named the "Harvest Butterfly" because the butterflies arrive, at the same time as the corn harvest.
In chapter four of the fourth gospel, John, Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman of questionable character and very "worldly" in conduct. In His discourse with her, He uses the created things, comprising of a well, and water to image spiritual truths that are relevant to her core life problem, namely, who and what she worships. Isn't it so true that our earthly troubles are all so very spiritual at the core and also center around who and what we worship? As she comes to discover who Jesus is she ends up transforming an entire community by the enthusiastic testimony of her encounter with the Messiah they had all been waiting for.
While the woman at the well runs off to make this grand announcement, Jesus has a little lesson for His disciples as well, comparing physical things like hunger and eating with spiritual truths about the satisfaction of doing God's will. It is the salvation of the souls of men that is first and foremost on His mind concerning His will. It is at this time that a sea of Samaritans all dressed in white, as they still do to this day, come to see for themselves and know the Messiah Jesus. It is at this moment that He tells His disciples . . .
Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
— John 4:35
In Middle Eastern agriculture, it was four months from seed time to harvest. He was saying that in the natural fields of the earth, it would be four months before the fields would be white, signaling the timing of their harvest, but He had just planted one seed that very day, in the heart of a lowly woman at a well, which immediately produced a harvest of the souls of men!
"His prophetic eye takes in all mankind, whose conversion, begun by Him, would be fully accomplished by His disciples"
— Meyer's New Testament
Is it any wonder that the first four disciples were fishermen who would give illustration to Christ's purpose on the earth that all men would be invited to follow Him...
“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
— Matthew 4:19
...leaving them with this revelation of His governance of both spiritual and created things...
...“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth... therefore...
— Matthew 28:18-19
...Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature"
— , Mark 16:15
Note that there was a total of twelve disciples which is 3x4. Three is the number of the substantial reality and solidity of the spiritual realm, therefore, the twelve represented how the Kingdom of God (spiritual dimension - 3) would be established, solidified, and realized in the earth (natural dimension - 4)
Our Father in heaven
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth (4) as it is in heaven (3)
— Luke 11:2
This theme continues into Acts chapter one when Christ appears to His disciples after His death and resurrection which occurred at the beginning of the fourth day. He continues to instruct them concerning the things of His Kingdom and how they, as followers of Christ, would affect the earth as witnesses of the Lord Jesus Himself and the realities of His Kingdom. His followers appear to be more concerned about the earthly kingdom when they ask;
“Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
— Acts 1:6
Jesus redirects them by giving them four progressive earthly spheres of influence that He will empower them to reach with the transFOURming love of the Gospel's invitation to an everlasting spiritual kingdom.
you shall be witnesses to Me in
- Jerusalem, and in all
- Judea and
- and to the end of the earth
— Acts 1:8
Keep in mind this statement was issued by Jesus just ten days before and in anticipation of the fourth required biblical feast of Shavuot which is known by four names (Shavuot, Feast of Weeks, Bikurim-Firstfruits, and Pentecost) that celebrated the wheat harvest and the giving of the Torah.
It was in fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy given by Joel, that is four chapters long, which took place at the time of Shavuot giving four manifestations that could be observed by whom the Gospel would be delivered.
“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh
- Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
- Your old men shall dream dreams,
- Your young men shall see visions.
- And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
— Joel 2:28-29
We can conclude here once again God's will is for His Kingdom to be the reigning force and influence over all that He has made.
Wheat originated in the Middle East which was known as the "Fertile Crescent" There are four wild species from which our domestic varieties originally come from. It is now cultivated all over the world. What an image for the Gospel and those who hear it.
According to Wikipedia
It is grown on more land area than any other food and world trade in wheat is greater than for all other crops combined"
Some wild varieties are tetraploid meaning they contain four sets of chromosomes
There are six classifications of wheat. Six being the number of mankind, we can see how this too relates to the salvation of the souls of men who come to Christ.
Shavuot was the fourth of seven Biblical observances in the Bible. Its central theme was the wheat harvest representing the souls of men who would be gathered, saved, and harvested through the preaching of the gospel in the end times
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come
— Matthew 24 (4x6/man):14 (4x2)
Mattew chapter twenty-four deals primarily with what is to come upon the earth and its inhabitants at the end of time. four chapters after the Above verse Christ gives His disciples the great commission that accompanies the Good news.
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen
— Matthew 28:18
In Acts chapter ten Peter has a vision of the gospel being presented to the gentiles represented by the four corners of a sheet containing four-footed animals. This is an image of the gospel that was to be preached to every man of the earth in every corner of creation. This was in response to a gentile man's fasting and prayer for four days.
The feeding of the 4000 is in relevance to this as well. There are two events where Jesus miraculously feeds people through his disciple's service. One is the 5000 (only miracle besides the resurrection presented in all four gospels) which represent the Jews to whom Jesus came to first. This explains the twelve baskets leftover and is speaking of the twelve tribes of Israel (Jews). The four thousand was representing the Gospel that would be preached to all the ends of the earth and marked with the seven (completion, satisfaction) baskets remaining in reference to both Jew and Gentile salvation completing God's plan.
Proverbs Chapter 30—Creation and the Gospel
The book of Proverbs chapter 30 emphasizes earthly created images to illustrate spiritual (3) as well as practical (4) living lessons.
It begins with four questions that ask "who" in reference to who created all things, in the fourth verse.
— Proverbs 30:4
- Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?
- Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
- Who has bound the waters in a garment?
- Who has established all the ends of the earth?
The first order of establishment of any life lesson is to know that He created all things, and all things give lessons and testimony of Him.
since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made
— Romans 1:20
He also is...
the great pattern-pilgrim, passing through this world
— Henry Ironside
There are four wicked generations discussed in verses 11-14, who do not put their trust in Him and follow His ways for this life.
— Proverbs 30:11-14
- There is a generation that curses its father And does not bless its mother.
- There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness.
- There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up.
- There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, And whose fangs are like knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, And the needy from among men.
Frank Gaebelein makes an excellent observation, in his "Expositor's Bible Commentary".
Four times the word generation is used, describing the classes of people frequently mentioned in the preceding chapters of proverbs. Then follow four things which are insatiable.
Four times "three and four" are used together in reference to the spiritual lessons that that can be gleaned from the things that He has made
The list begins with the leech
The leech has two daughters—
Give and Give!
— Proverbs 30:14
Spurgeon comments concerning this leeches insatiability as it refers to the natural man.
It is like the "flesh" in man. In the natural and spiritual spheres "the dose has to be increased.
The examples continue.
There are three things that are never satisfied,
Four never say, “Enough!
- The grave,
- The barren womb,
- The earth that is not satisfied with water—
- And the fire never says, “Enough!
— Proverbs 30:15,16
There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Yes, four which I do not understand
- The way of an eagle in the air,
- The way of a serpent on a rock,
- The way of a ship in the midst of the sea,
- And the way of a man with a virgin
— Proverbs 30:18-20
Notice the four uses of the word "way". (see the section on way path and doors) Gaebelein makes these observations that are in keeping with the number four's them. First, he notes that all four of these cannot be observed continuously. they are seen then disappear from sight. Secondly, they all have a means of propulsion or driving force. Thirdly, they all describe movement from one sphere or domain to the other. And the fourth is the mysteriousness of them all.
three things the earth is perturbed,
Yes, for four it cannot bear up
- For a servant when he reigns,
- A fool when he is filled with food,
- A hateful woman when she is married,
- And a maidservant who succeeds her mistress
— Proverbs 30:21-23
There are three things which are majestic in pace,
Yes, four which are stately in walk
- A lion, which is mighty among beasts And does not turn away from any;
- A greyhound
- A male goat also,
- And a king whose troops are with him
— Proverbs 30:29-31
The Four Wise Things
One final four in this chapter does not use the number three with it, but is introduced between the third and fourth "three things...and four" Henry Allen Ironside makes note that these four wise things "present a beautiful picture of the Gospel" I will attach his notes to the end of each wise thing in reference to this.
There are four things which are little on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise:
— Proverbs 30:24
The Ant—Eternal Preparation
The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer;
— Proverbs 30:25
"In material things, man readily shows the same wisdom as this tiny creature. He, too, provides against the coming days when ill health or old age will forbid his going forth to labor. But is it not amazing that men who display remarkable foresight in earthly matters will forget altogether to prepare for that unending eternity to which every moment brings them nearer?...Forgetful of the ages that follow this short life on earth, they allow golden opportunities to slip by, never to return. They rush carelessly on, ignoring the need of their souls and the fearful danger that lies just beyond death. “As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.. little ant preaches loudly, crying in the ears of any who will listen, “Flee from the wrath to come...It is unlike human beings who waste the days of childhood, youth, and middle age with insignificant matters, leaving themselves unprepared for eternity."
— Henry Ironside
Hyrax—Taking Refuge in Christ
The rock badgers are a feeble folk, Yet they make their homes in the crags;
— Proverbs 30:26
the rock speaks of Him; for He alone is the sinner’s refuge. The little unclean hyrax, weak and feeble, flees to the rocks and is safe. So, too, the helpless unclean sinner, awakened to a sense of his dire need and aroused by the signs of the storm that is soon to break over the heads of all who neglect God’s salvation, flees for refuge to the Lord Jesus Christ. He finds in Him a safe and blessed shelter where no foe can ever reach him and judgment can never come...It is in the clefts of the rock that the hyrax hides; it is in a Savior, pierced for our sins and bruised by the awful vengeance of the Holy One, that the believing soul finds a hiding place.
On Him almighty vengeance fell,
Which would have sunk a world to hell;
He bore it for a chosen race
And thus became their hiding-place.
Have you found a refuge in Him? If you are still living under the wrath of God, cease from all effort to save yourself (which can only result in bitter disappointment in the end). Flee to Jesus while He still extends the peace-giving invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”
— Henry Ironside
Christ is King—Locusts
The locusts have no king, Yet they all advance in ranks;
— Proverbs 30:27
To those who have found a refuge in Christ the locusts furnish an example of that subjection one to another and to our unseen head in Heaven...To the world and the world-church, the body of Christ must seem like a heterogeneous, miscellaneous company, with no leader and no bond of union. But the same Jesus who died for His people’s sins is now seated in highest glory; God has made Him the head of all who have been redeemed by His precious blood. The Holy Spirit, sent down from Heaven upon His ascension there as man, is now indwelling every believer; this binds all together in one great company, every one “members one of another...The locusts all work together and this declares their wisdom. So it should be with the body of Christ. Divisions and schisms are plainly declared to be sinful and works of the flesh
The spider (Ironside says gecko) skillfully grasps with its hands, And it is in kings’ palaces. ~ Proverbs 30:24-28
should speak to us of the power of faith. This is indeed the hand by which the believing sinner takes hold of the precious truth of God and enters into His blessings. Faith allows us to be at home in the King’s palace and ensures an eternal abode in the Father’s house.
— Henry Ironside
The Gecko—In My Father's House
The spider (Ironside says gecko) skillfully grasps with its hands, And it is in kings’ palaces.
— Proverbs 30:24-28
should speak to us of the power of faith. This is indeed the hand by which the believing sinner takes hold of the precious truth of God and enters into His blessings. Faith allows us to be at home in the King’s palace and ensures an eternal abode in the Father’s house
— Henry Ironside
Bullinger also notes a four-fold witness showing natures inability to find wisdom
- The fowl,
- The vulture's eye,
- The lion's whelps,
- and The fierce lion.
The Cross—The Heart of the Gospel
John the fourth Gospel's account of Christ's human and earthly death on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins is in keeping with the categorization of four. Death is exclusive to created physical things.
The second of the four laws of thermodynamics, one of the governing laws of the universe, is the "law of entropy" or "law of disorder" which states...
"nature tends from order to disorder in isolated systems"
The creation apart from the governance of its creator breaks down and dies. When Jesus died on the cross He became one of us and died an earthly death that He might grant us an opportunity to be resurrected to a life eternal, spiritually speaking, governed by God who now could reside in us because of it.
"Jesus has transformed death from a dreary cavern into a passage leading to glory."
— Charles Spurgeon
This portion of scripture is noted to be categorized into four parts some which will be included and further explained shortly
- The Crucifixion and the title on the cross (17–22).
- The four enemies and the four friends (23–27).
- The two words, ‘I thirst,’ ‘It is finished’ (28–30).
- The hostile and the friendly petitions (31–42).
— Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
In John chapter 19 verses 25 we are shown four friends present with Jesus at the crucifixion.
- His mother
- His mother's sister
- Mary the wife of Colpas
- and Mary Magdalene
Notably, they were all women, also there were four women in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
- and Uriah the Hittites wife
I am going to rabbit trail for just a bit, In reference to women, Eve the mother of all those living on the earth (Genesis 3:20) is mentioned four times in the Bible, there were four women on the ark that began a new generation of people, and Jacob's four wives who began the tribes of Israel. there were four women prophets in the Old Testament
- and Noadiah as well
And there were Phillips four virgin daughters who prophesied in the New Testament. (Acts 21:9)
Back to our subject of Christ's crucifixion...In verses 23 and 24, we are shown a squadron (four) soldiers who nailed Jesus to the cross and parted His four outer garments between them. This particular of the four garments are exclusive to John. Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges notes that
"The four pieces to be divided would be,
- the head-gear,
- the sandals,
- the girdle,
- and the tallith or square outer garment with fringes.
— Vincent Word Studies
The Fourth Word on the Cross
In verse 24 of John 19, there was also a tunic that was seamless and therefore could not be divided so they cast lots for it. John Dummelow makes this observation relevant to four...
"There remained the seamless inner garment. For this they cast lots, fulfilling Psalms 22:18, a Davidic psalm, from which the fourth 'Word' of seven, on the cross (My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me") was taken." (In Aramaic this amounted to four words; eli eli lama sabachtani)
Psalm 22 verses 1 and 18...
My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?...They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots
Jesus bore our sin and separation from God. He experienced fully the nakedness of humanity without God. that we might be united with Him once again.
The completion of this work is noted to have fulfilled four things according to Henry Mahan's commentary on John 19:17
"When Christ received the vinegar, he cried, ‘It is finished,’ bowed his head, and died. What was finished?
1. The whole will of God in regard to redemption (Hebrews 10:7).
2. The whole work his Father had given him to do (1 Timothy 1:15).
3. The Levitical law and all types and ceremonies (Hebrews 10:9-14).
4. The righteousness of God performed, perfected, and imputed to believers (Romans 3:19-24; Romans 10:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21)."
It is worth mention as well that Christ come to this created realm in created form 4000 years into its history.
My entire theology can be condensed into four words: 'Jesus died for me.'"
— C. H. Spurgeon
The fourth Gospel of John also records in its fifth chapter a fourfold witness of Jesus as Messiah as observed by C.I. Scofield in his section divisions. The first one being John the Baptist
You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth
— John 5:33
The second witness is His works
But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.
— John 5:36
The third witness is the Father
the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe
— John 5:37-38
The fourth witness is the Scriptures
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
— John 5:39
The Fourth Miracle
The fourth miracle in the book of John is that of the feeding of the five thousand which occurs in all four Gospels. In this narrative, Jesus reveals Himself to be the bread of life. Alexander McClaren makes this note in reference to the perplexity the disciples experienced at Jesus' suggestion that they should feed and provide for such a large crowd.
"He puts problems before us, too, to settle; takes us, as it were, into His confidence with interrogations that try us, whether we can rise above the level of the material and visible, or whether all our conceptions of possibilities are bounded by these... Learn that the audacity of a faith that expects great things, though there be nothing visible upon which to build, is wiser and more prudent than the creeping common-sense that adheres to facts which are shadows, and forgets that the chief fact is that we have an Almighty Helper and Friend at our sides....notice what a lovely glimpse we get there into the quick-rising sympathy of the Saviour with all forms of human necessity.
Maclaren takes two lessons from this event that is relative to this study...
I believe, a revelation of the law of the universe, of Christ as being through all the ages the Sustainer of the physical life of men...The reason why anything is, and the reason why all things change, is the energy there and then of the indwelling God who is in all His works, and who is the only Will and Power in the physical world....Our Christ is Creator, our Christ is Sustainer, our Christ moves the stars and feeds the sparrows. He was 'before all things, and in Him all things consist.' He opens His hand -- and there is the print of a nail in it -- and 'satisfies the desire of every living thing.'...And I see in it, second, a symbol of Christ as Himself the Bread of Life... the miracle is a sign...the one Food that gives life to will, affections, conscience, understanding, to the whole spirit of a man, is that great Sacrifice of the Incarnate Lord who gave upon the Cross His flesh, and on the Cross shed His blood, for the life of the world that was 'dead in trespasses and sins.' Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us, and we feed on the sacrifice. Let your conscience, your heart, your desires, your anticipations, your understanding, your will, your whole being feed on Him. He will be cleansing, He will be love, He will be fruition, He will be hope, He will be truth, He will be righteousness, He will be all. Feed upon Him by that faith which is the true eating of the true Bread, and your souls shall live.
Events That Occur In All Four Gospels
There are 12 (4x3) events that occur in all four Gospels and can be categorized into three sections of four. Three is the number of God's Spirit and the dimension of the Spirit. Four is the number of creation and the processes thereof. We will see how God enters the created realm and to establish His kingdom on the earth once again.
The first four events include these.
- the baptism of John
- the feeding of the 5000
- Peter's profession
- and Christ anointed by Mary.
All of which involve Christ's ministry and relationship with people. It also reveals the development of the purpose of His coming and that was to show us the way of baptism into Him (John baptizing Him) to be the Good Shepherd...to find and feed His lost sheep (feeding 5000), to be revealed as the Messiah and Savior (Peter's confession), and to be appointed to die for our sins (Mary's anointing)
The second group of four.
- the triumphal entry
- the last supper
- and the trials
These four follow a similar pattern of development, The establishment of His Kingship and Lordship (triumphal entry), feeding with His followers (the last supper), counting the cost of His Messiahship (Gethsemane), and the establishment of His sinless appointment to die (the trials)
The eight together all concern events that occur in Christ's last week with mankind. (double doors - see the section on doors and double doors)
The final group of four are His crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection, The Gospel in a nutshell.
All 12 taken together reveal the life of Christ and His development and establishment of the Kingdom of God in the earth, from Baptism to Resurrection.
Acts Chapter Four
The book of Acts begins with the "new creations" namely the church that was produced by the imparting of the Holy Spirit to those who would come to Christ and receive Him as the sufficient sacrificial payment for their sins and their only way to God the Father. Acts chapter 1 records that Jesus the Messiah
. . . presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them (new creations) during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God
— Acts 1:3
Scofield notes in chapter two discusses the Holy Spirit's role in this transformation process of forming a body of believers with four things He does.
The Spirit forms the church Matthew 16:18 by (1) baptizing all believers into the body of Christ 1 Corinthians 12:12 1 Corinthians 12:13 (2) imparts gifts for service to every member of that body 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 1 Corinthians 12:27 1 Corinthians 12:30 (3) guide the members in their service ; Luke 2:27 ; 4:1 ; Acts 16:6 Acts 16:7and (4) is Himself the power of that service ; Acts 1:8 ; 2:4 ; 1 Corinthians 2:4 .
By chapter four these early spreaders of the Gospel were encountering much resistance by religious rulers of the time after healing a lame man. It is noted in verses 21 and 22 that this was a miraculous work of God considering the man was over 40 (4x10) years old.
Modern science has discovered that after age 40 that the body begins to decline and DNA degenerates. The growth hormone that helps us grow, maintain, and heal and is produced by the pituitary gland, becomes greatly reduced. Our body's ability to heal begins to diminish.
The four in this equation tell us that it was physically naturally impossible for this man to have been healed and therefore, there was no question that God had done this.
Back to the resistance...Peter, John, and fellow believers pray a prayer concerning this opposition. Psalm chapter 2 is quoted and references four peoples that are against the Lord and His "Anointed"
Against the Lord and against His Christ
- ‘Why did the nations rage,
- And the people plot vain things?
- The kings of the earth took their stand,
- And the rulers were gathered together
— Acts 4:25-26 (Psalm 2)
The prayer continues to show how the ancient Psalm prophetically spoke of how all of the humankind was responsible for the death of Christ and names four to express the gamut of peoples.
- Herod and
- Pontius Pilate,
- with the Gentiles
- and the people of Israel,
were gathered together
Theudas and His 400 Men—The Egyptians 4000 men—40 Who Conspired
In Acts chapter five an event is recorded concerning Peter's spread of the Gospel when the apostles were on trial after being imprisoned for it. When the council discusses what they are to do with them, Gamaliel, a Pharisee in the bunch advises...
“Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing...now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”
— Acts 5:35-39
The 400 men on this occasion tell us, as Gamaliel already suspected, that the work of Theudas was a work of men and not from God. It was an earthly endeavor unlike Peter's and the Apostles.
Acts 21:38 records a similar incident when Paul is arrested and bound with chains. The captain in charge of him doesn't sincerely understand what is going on and thinks that Paul is another man who has caused trouble.
Are you not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a rebellion and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?”
— Acts 21:38
This same theme follows in chapter 23 of Acts when some Jews conspire to kill Paul.
Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy.
— Acts 23:13
It/s chiastic parallel is found in verse 21 and adds a few more details.
The Jews have agreed to ask that you bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more fully about him. But do not yield to them, for more than forty of them lie in wait for him, men who have bound themselves by an oath that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him
— Acts 23:20-21
Just like Theudas and his 400, the Egyptian and his 4000, these 40 Jews conspiracy was a work of men.
Acts chapter 7 records four, fours in terms of its multiples as signals of transition while Stephen is recounting to the top religious council of the time, the history of the Jews and the Messiah, who was foretold would come forth from them. He reminds them of
- the four hundred year bondage in Egypt in verse 6,
- how Moses was forty years old when he went in his human attempt to deliver them in verse 23,
- as well as the next forty years when God appears to him in a burning bush in verse 30, then there was
- the forty-year wilderness wandering, and this event is mentioned twice in verses 36 and 42
Acts chapter nine records the conversion and complete transformation of Paul, after an encounter with Christ Himself. A quote from a "Rapture Ready.com" article titled "Isaiah 17 Destruction of Damascus" sums this event up well in terms of transformation
"Paul was on the road to Damascus when Christ first appeared to Him, an event that transformed not only his life, but the course of human history"
He was once a persecutor of Christians and through this visitation, he became a preacher of the Gospel of salvation and wrote several of the New Testament books that were mainly letters to the newly formed Christian church.
This event took place in Damascus.
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.
— Acts 9:3
In Hebrew, the name Damascus has a gematria of 444 and is used 56 (4x14) times in the Bible total. In the Old Testament it is used 40 (4x10) times and in the New 16 (4x4) times.
When Paul stands before King Agrippa, later in Acts 26, giving his testimony to him, he reports four places and peoples that he was sent by Christ to preach the gospel to.
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in
- Damascus and in
- and throughout all the region of Judea,
- and then to the Gentiles,
that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
— Acts 21:19-20
We could pair up in theme Damascus and Gentiles as an outer frame with the center being Jerusalem and Judea. This might lead to the pattern of the Gospel itself, in that, the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles would begin in Damascus and end in Damascus as the prophet Isaiah foretold as a signal of an end.
“Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city,
And it will be a ruinous heap.
— Isaiah 17:1
Scofield notes in chapter nine observe that Paul visits Jerusalem four times after his conversion. This Gospel that has gone out to the whole world has its center and beginning in Jerusalem/Judea.
Another Four Relating to Damascus
In II Kings chapter 8 King Ben-Hadad (Hadad the name of Canaanite deity), an enemy of Israel, who had conquered a good portion of it, sent 40 (4x10) camel loads of goods as a gift to the prophet Elisha for some inside info about his future. He was ill and wanted to know if he was going to live.
Hazael, the messenger, and deliverer of the goods is informed by Elisha that the king will not live and he watches as Elisha weeps concerning four horrible things that Hazael will do when the king dies
And Hazael said, “Why is my lord weeping?”
He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel:
- Their strongholds you will set on fire,
- and their young men you will kill with the sword;
- and you will dash their children,
- and rip open their women with child.”
— II Kings 8:12
This marks a transitional period in Israel's history. According to "The Expositors Bible Commentary" by Frank E. Gaebelein.
"it closes the the wars with Ben-Hadad II and initiates the critical circumstances that will culminate in the crucial events of...a dynastic change in Damascus and in Samaria"
Spread of the Gospel to the Gentiles
Acts chapter ten records the experience of the inclusion of the Gentiles into the plan of salvation and the preaching of the Gospel beginning with a centurion by the name of Cornelius who...
feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always
— Acts 10:2
He is visited by an angel in a vision who explains that his alms and prayers have been noticed by God and that he should send for Peter. As soon as these men are dispatched the next day Peter went up to pray and had a vision as well.
...and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of
- four-footed animals of the earth,
- wild beasts,
- creeping things,
- and birds of the air
— Acts 10:11-12
He is told to eat and Peter refuses because they are all considered to be unclean varieties of animals and forbidden by Old Testament law to eat, to which he hears the reply
“What God has cleansed you must not call common.”
— Acts 10:15
Peter isn't exactly sure what this all means until he is visited by the centurion's servants who explain their mission of inviting him to come to the centurions' house and speak with Cornelius. Peter went with the servants and when Peter arrived, Cornelius dropped to his knees. Peter helped him up and said...
I myself am also a man.” ...“You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?”
So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour, I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God...
— Acts 10:26-31
Cornelius continues to explain how he was instructed to send for Peter. It is at this point that Peter understands completely the purpose of his own vision.
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation (four corners - earth - sheet) whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all
— Acts 10:34-36
The four days indicate that something dramatic is about to change and it does. Peter preaches to the gentiles and they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
— Acts 10:45
The vision was all-inclusive and universal in its list of four types in the sheet that represented every sphere of humankind.
This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
— Acts 10:16
This vision is capped off with the above statement. Three is the number of the Spirit, His power and of resurrection.
We can see the all-inclusive universal plan to save men of all kinds and resurrect their lives from the dead
He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other
— Matthew 24:31
Can you see the sheet bound by four corners from Peter's vision in this gathering together from the four winds of heaven?
This portion of scripture is wrapped up in the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Gentile believers, beginning with verse 44, which Scofield notes to be one of the pivotal points of Scripture.
Four Squadron of Soldiers
Acts chapter 12 records the imprisonment of Peter who was guarded by four squads of soldiers for the preaching of the Gospel. The church prayed for Peter constantly which resulted in...
behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands.
— Acts 12:7
Peter, of course, is freed by the Angel sent from God. The four squadrons (a squadron is four soldiers. therefore 16 soldiers) were guarding Peter. This tells us that (4x4) everything earthly, naturally. physically possible was done to keep him from escaping, including four things
Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers
— Acts 12:6
Peter proclaims and confirms the supernaturalness of his deliverance...
Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me
— Acts 12:11
Philips Four Daughters and Four Men Who Take a Vow
In Acts chapter 21 a transition takes place in verse 4. Paul is determined to go to Jerusalem for his fourth and what ends up being his final visit, after his missionary journeying in other places which Luke records just prior to this.
And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem
— Acts 21:4
Big changes are about to begin and are culminated in this verses' chiastic parallel found in verse 27
Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him
— Acts 21:27
In between these two verses, Paul continues on to Jerusalem, in spite of the warning, as described exactly in the middle of the text between these two verses
So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done And after those days we packed and went up to Jerusalem
— Acts 21:14-15
They stopped at Philip's house, in Caesarea, along the way.
Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied
— Acts 21:9
Let me first note that the use of the word virgin, in the description of Philip's daughters, is not for the purpose of informing us of their sexual status. This detail provided connects us with its chiastic parallel verse concerning four men, describing some of the trouble Paul got into in going to Jerusalem, concerning Jews who thought Paul was doing away with the Law of Moses altogether.
Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow.
— Acts 21:23
The four prophet daughters have set themselves apart in service to the Lord and are explained by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians
There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction
— I Corinthians 7:34-35
So we can see that Philips four daughters, like the four men, had dedicated themselves to the Lord for something. The cross over occurs with Jew and Gentile in these parallels. Caesarea, where Paul is, in verse 9, was where Peter first took the Gospel to the Gentiles. The four men who took a vow were Jews at Jerusalem. We see the new creations and the Son's of Abraham represented by four on each side.
It is after the second warning for Paul not to go to Jerusalem and he does anyway, that he will experience exactly what he said he was willing to do for the sake of His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
— Acts 21:13
This does appear to be a noble declaration but considering it is in the 13th verse is there an element of rebellion to this, perhaps? Especially considering he was expressly told not to go twice.
Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled
— Genesis 14:4
Are the fours here indicating that Paul is relying on natural desires rather than the Spirit?
The Spread of the Gospel - Paul's Four Prison Epistles
The spread of the Gospel that transFOURms lives continued with the ministry of Paul when he writes what is known as the four prison epistles,
- and Philemon.
According to "Got Questions.org in an article titled "What are the Prison Epistles" the author writes in reference to Pauls "earthly" position in light of his heavenly mission;
While the prison epistles reflect Paul’s earthly position as a prisoner of Rome, he makes it clear that his captivity was first and foremost to Christ Paul’s time in prison was for the purpose of the spreading of the gospel in the Gentile capital of Rome
Paul lists in, II Timothy, four things that Word of God is profitable for living a profitable and useful life on this planet.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
- for doctrine,
- for reproof,
- for correction,
- for instruction in righteousness
— II Timothy 3:16
Acts chapter 27 offers us an illustration of the futility of hoping for a salvation that is secure in this world. Paul is on his way to Rome by ship after making an appeal to Caesar before Agrippa and Festus concerning the alleged legal accusations brought against him by the religious Jews who were against him at the time.
The journey was by ship and it was loaded with other prisoners with the same destination. They had a change of ships along the way, possibly because of the contrary winds they encountered. At Myra in Lycia, they were placed in a seemingly more seaworthy Alexandrian ship. Alexandrian ships hauled grain for trade and business from Egypt to Rome. Named after the chief city Alexandria of Egypt which was built by Alexander the Great whose empire was divided into four when he died. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia online.
They (Alexandrian ships) are described as containing large receptacles for drinking-water for long voyages...Alexandrian Ships engaged in the grain-trade
We know then that this was a hearty ship by design. It was 140 (4x35) feet long and 36 (4x9) feet wide it had one mast with a square (four corners four sides) sail.
After being tossed around by a storm for fourteen days it was evident that this stately vessel in which they had placed their confidence was not doing well. This reminds me of the Passover on the fourteenth day that mirrored our Savior Jesus Lamb of God who died for us and offered salvation of which there was no hope for in this storm-tossed no help for salvation world. (see more on 14 and Passover in part three of this series)
They attempted to under-gird the ship in an attempt to hold it together and tossed the tackle overboard to no avail, imaging for us how we need to come to the end of ourselves and exhaust all our other earthly human resources, ideas, programs, and procedures before we truly trust in His salvation alone.
A.B. Simpson writes concerning this
"It is only when you are at the end of all earthly help and hope that you find God and learn real faith"
Luke records these words concerning the spirit of those in the ship at this time reflective of this very reality.
"all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned"
— Acts 27:20
Paul informs them that the ship will very well be destroyed but is confident that plans and purposes that God has for him will prevail and if they want to live they should follow his instructions. So it is with all that is created, it will one day pass away and our confidence ought not to be secured in this natural physical realm. As we watch the world rage in stormy furies that will inevitably end in the destruction we must follow closely the purposes, promises, and instructions of God to see us through to our spiritual destination.
The fourth attempt at saving themselves was to let down four anchors to prevent the ship from running aground on the rocks which eventually would give way too. What once seemed like a solid trustworthy vehicle was about to be dashed in pieces.
Would it surprise you at all that the Bible records that there were 276 people saved which is divisible by four?
Paul himself had four anchors that he clung to in fulfilling his earthly mission. All the other ship occupants were on a mission of self-preservation.
First, and foremost he knew whose he was and whom he served
there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve
— Acts 27:23
Secondly, his faith in Gods mission for him
you must be brought before Caesar
— Acts 27:24
Thirdly, he was anchored in the promise that accompanied that.
I believe God that it will be just as it was told me
— Acts 27:25
fourthly following closely God's instructions.
“Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”
— Acts 27:31
A final observation from this event...
Paul implored them all to take food
— Acts 27:33
Paul had everyone eat and was a bit of an act of faith in the sense that it was to gain the strength they would need to get to shore which reminds me of this verse spoken by Jesus instructing those who desired to follow Him and be saved.
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
— Mark 26:26
To receive, and remember what Christ has done and to feast on this reality is what will get us safely to the shore.
In Acts chapter 5 the imprisoned apostles were brought before the council to see what should be done about them preaching, healing, and delivering in the name of Jesus. Gamaliel a teacher of the law is concerned that they could be fighting God himself should they prevent them. He examples a man named Theudas who had four hundred followers and whose false worldly teaching came to nothing and failed. The four gives clue that there was nothing spiritual about it and would therefore fail. Similarly, in Acts Chapter 21 Paul is mistaken for an Egyptian who led four hundred assassins. Paul was not of the worldly political ways of resolving the conflict.
The Four Chaplains, also sometimes referred to as the "Immortal Chaplains" or the "Dorchester Chaplains" were four United States Army chaplains who gave their lives to save other civilian and military personnel as the troop ship USAT Dorchester sank on February 3, 1943, during World War II. They helped other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out. The chaplains joined arms, said prayers, and sang hymns as they went down with the ship.
Dalet—Door—The Way to a TransFOURmed Heart
The fourth letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet is a dalet and gives us a picture of the way of transFOURmation. It is imaged by a door that illustrates a path or a way.
Jesus, the creator of all, revealed Himself as "the door" in John (The fourth Gospel) chapter 10 in reference to Himself being the point of entrance, the one and only true way to a transFOURmed heart and eternal life.
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me,
- he will be saved,
- and will go in
- and out
- and find pasture.
— John 10:9
In John chapter 10 the word "door" is used four times, in the description of Himself as the Good Shepherd.
The Hebrew word for door is dalet and has an interesting and confirming word pictograph, consisting of the three letters that spell it. These three letters are dalet (door), lamed (shepherd staff), and tav (a cross - sign of a covenant) .
If we view the letters in order we can say that the door is the shepherd of the covenant, or if we view it chiastically like a sandwich with the meat in the middle we could say that the shepherd is the door of the covenant. If we look at the first and last letters dalet and tav (dat) together this spells the Hebrew word for religion, which could reveal to us that the shepherd is at the center of true religion.
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
— Hebrews 13:20-21
The door is the entrance into God's house/kingdom which is the Spiritual Eternal Kingdom. The entire Bible is based upon this reality and exhibited in seven parables in Matthew.
The seven parables of Matthew 13 are divided into four and three; and while the three are spoken inside the house (v 36) to the disciples, and reveal esoteric (or inner explanatory) truth, the four relate to exoteric (doctrine intended for the general public) truth, and concern the outward aspect of things in relation to the world, and hence were spoken outside the house (v 1).
May it be concluded that the number four in both creation and God's Word, is referencing the material created world and universe with all its laws principles and functions and speaks to us of God's creative and transFOURming wisdom and power.
The first use of the word door is found in Genesis chapter four and describes the sin that was crouching at Cain's door if he chose not to accept the requirements of the one and only true sacrifice.
Passover and the Door and the Number 28 (4x7)
Once again the Old Testament serves up a spectacular illustration of what Jesus means when He says
"I am the way (same as door in Hebrew concept) and the truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father Except through me"
— John 14:6-7
Recall from Exodus when the children of Israel were in bondage for 400 years and slaves of Pharoah. The four hundred years indicate that they were subject and bound to the things of the earth and their physical existence separate from God.
For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of (this) life - is not of the Father but is of the world
— I John 2:16
Servitude to Pharoah is a picture of being a slave to our sinful flesh.
"For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal (flesh) sold under sin"
— Romans 7:14
How will they and we be delivered? Through the door of a blood covenant sacrifice of a lamb, of THE Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world! (John 1:29)
On the night set apart for their deliverance from Pharaoh (Flesh), they were instructed to sacrifice a lamb (picture of innocent Christ) and pour its blood into the basin which was in the threshold (altar of the home) of the door. They were then instructed to strike the lintel (top) of the door frame and the two side posts with the hyssop dipped in the sacrificial victim's blood from the basin. If you connect the dots of the four places there was blood (basin, lintel, two side posts) it forms the shape of a cross.
Jesus' death on the cross was primarily to deal with the issue of our sin that separates us from God. Dealing with the issue of sin at the cross is a prerequisite to a restored relationship with Him or any benefit that comes with that including eternal life.
Back to the four men who brought their friend to Jesus and another lesson to be gleaned from it related to "the door"; It is noted in the story that the friends did not bring the man through the door. They took him up to the top of the house and dug through the roof which is the only way a thief or robber would have entered a house in those days. The door or threshold was considered sacred and subject to the God of that home.
"I am the door...He who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way is a thief and a robber"
— John 10:9, 10:1
How fascinating then that the man was brought to Jesus with the single interest of him being healed. But Jesus the door commends their faith and determination then mercifully deals with the man's sin first. In order to properly enter God's house and receive His benefits, the issue of our sin must be dealt with.
The text in Mark tells us that it was because too many people were crowded around the door and they couldn't get in. Maybe it seems inconvenient or unnecessary to us to come through the door and deal with the sin issue and all we can see is our immediate physical need. But Jesus shows in this story that His interest in us goes way deeper than our physical need. He is more importantly interested in our life eternal and therefore forgives the man, which results in his being restored both physically and spiritually.
The Passover is referenced 28 (4 -created realm x 7 - God's fulfillment) times in the New Testament. The phrase "I brought you out" from the Old Testament is used 28 times and the Hebrew word for cross "talah" is used 28 times in the Old, tying together this concept that God brought us out through the door of the crucifixion of "our Passover Lamb"/Christ fulfilling the sin debt of the flesh that we could not pay.
A bonus revelation is illustrated in the pictograph of the Hebrew word for cross "talah" which is used in the story of Esther concerning the "gallows" Haman/flesh prepared for Mordecai/Messiah but ended up dying on himself (Gesenius defines this word as a crucifixion device)
The first letter tav is actually imaged by a cross and is known as the sign of the covenant. Its Gematria value is 400. Its second letter lamed is a shepherd staff symbolizing authority and hey is a window illustrating revelation. What is revealed in the cases and uses of this word, as is used in the Old Testament, is to reveal the authority of the cross/covenant and power of resurrection.
concerning His Son, who was born according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord
— Romans 1:3-4
This is also shown in the incident and use of the word talah of the butler (wine-life) and baker (sinful flesh) in the story of Joseph when the butler is crucified and the butler is raised from prison and death to a new life.
Another word used 28 times which brings our count to four is the Hebrew word "pinnah" which is used in reference to the four corners of the altar of burnt offering, once again imaging and shadowing Jesus and God's sacrifice. This particular word for corners is also used and interpreted as the corner tower or a cornerstone. Summing this all up once again we can see that Christ our Passover is the cornerstone of salvation that brought us out through His crucifixion that satisfied our sin debt.
He shall bring the bull to the doorway of the tent of meeting before the Lord, and he shall lay his hand on the head of the bull and slay the bull before the Lord.
— Leviticus 4:4
The first sentence (seven words) of the Bible contains 28 letters. At the center of those 28 letters is what is considered the fourth word, in Hebrew, of the Bible. That word is et and consists of two letters aleph and tav The aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet and is imaged by an ox that is known for its strength and power. It can represent God Himself. The tav is the last letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet and is imaged by a cross and is known as the sign of the covenant. This word picture gives us an illustration right in the center of this creation passage of a Passover through God on a cross.
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning
— Isaiah 46:9-10
He told us from the beginning that it would begin with Him and it would end in a cross. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
additional fours in the Passover (four cups of wine, four questions, four expressions of redemption - the four "I wills") There are four special Shabbats preceding Passover
Altars and Doors
One of the very first alluded to altars occurs in Genesis 4. Where Abel offers the acceptable offering
Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering
— Genesis 4:4
The writer of Hebrews expounds
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks
— Hebrews 11:4
The cross was an altar on which Christ, the acceptable sacrifice, hung between heaven and earth in order to reunite the earthly man once again to his Spirit God.
If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life
— John 3:12-15
In temple structures, altars were at the door and the first order of business, before entering God's house. This ancient practice is still in use today in some middle eastern countries, of passing through the bloodline of a threshold in order to be accepted into a home.
In the 1980's movie "Not Without My Daughter" a woman married a man from Iran and when she went to be accepted by the family they were said to have sacrificed a bird and a bloodline was drawn across the threshold of the door over which she had to cross over to be accepted and invited in. This has been God's way since He made the garments of animal skin when Adam and Eve left the garden. No sacrifice...no salvation. We must come in through the door that God provided through His one and only Son, whose blood was on each post of that cross as it was at the first Passover.
In Ezekiel chapter 40, Ezekiel has a vision of the temple and is describing the gates and entrances to the temple
Four tables were on this side and four tables on that side, by the side of the gateway, eight tables on which they slaughtered the sacrifices.
— Ezekiel 40:41
In chapter 43 he gives the descriptions of the altar which is laden with fours
from the base on the ground to the lower ledge, two cubits; the width of the ledge, one cubit; from the smaller ledge to the larger ledge, four cubits; and the width of the ledge, one cubit. The altar hearth is four cubits high, with four horns extending upward from the hearth. The altar hearth is twelve (4x3) cubits long, twelve (4X3) wide, square at its four corners; the ledge, fourteen cubits long and fourteen wide on its four sides, with a rim of half a cubit around it; its base, one cubit all around; and its steps face toward the east.
— Ezekiel 43:14-17
In chapter 45 the priest is instructed to...
The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, on the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and on the gateposts of the gate of the inner court.
— Ezekiel 45:19
The outer court which represents the world without and in Jesus' day was known as the court of the Gentiles is represented in fours and still concerning the sacrifice that was required.
Then he brought me out into the outer court and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and in fact, in every corner of the court there was another court. In the four corners of the court were enclosed courts, forty cubits long and thirty wide; all four corners were the same size. There was a row of building stones all around in them, all around the four of them; and cooking hearths were made under the rows of stones all around. And he said to me, “These are the kitchens where the ministers of the temple shall boil the sacrifices of the people
— Ezekiel 46:21-23
An event in Marie Antoinette's life, as it concerned a custom that transformed a foreign bride into the royal family of France, can offer us a spectacular illustration of a transFOURmation through a door.
Marriages during those times (the late 1700s) actually followed ancient tribal customs of uniting tribes, or in this case nations, through the marriage of the daughter of one country to the King of another.
This ancient custom is recorded in Genesis 34 with the terrible occasion of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob when she is raped by Shechem, son of Hamor, the Hivite prince of the country, that Jacob and his family had settled near. Shechem decided that he wanted Dinah for a wife and his father went to make a treaty with Jacob in order to do so. Hamor makes his appeal.
"Please give her to him as a wife. And make marriages with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters to yourselves. So you shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you. Dwell and trade in it, and acquire possessions for yourselves in it.”
— Genesis 34:8-10
As it is shown in the above verse that the marriage of daughters to a tribe or nation was a political alliance. Just a side note that rape was not part of the custom.
As it concerned Marie Antoinette, the Archduchess of Austria, at the age of fourteen, she was sent to France to be married to the crown prince, Louis Auguste. Their marriage would be essentially the marriage of the two nations.
The custom of this transaction called the Remise (A legal transfer of surrender by deed), involved an interesting ritual of her handover to the heir to the throne of France, that images so eloquently our cooperation with how...
He (God) has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son
— Colossians 1:13
Four days prior to the Remise the Archduchess would renounce any and all of her rights to her former empire.
The bride to be was, then accompanied by her attendants, as she left all possessions behind and was brought to an island situated in the middle of the Rhine river between Austria and France that was considered neutral territory, where the renunciation of her old life would be realized in action at the Remise.
A pavilion was erected that was constructed with a partition between two rooms, one side represented the Austrian side and the other represented the French side.
"The whole creation is nothing but the visible curtain behind which radiates the exalted working of God's thinking
— Abraham Kuyper
According to Jeanne-Louise-Henriette Campan in the service of Marie Antionette as a personal assistant, in her book "Memoirs of the Private Life of Marie Antoinette"...
"the superb pavilion... consisted of a vast salon, connected with two apartments, one of which was assigned to the lords and ladies of the Court of Vienna, and the other to the suite of the Dauphiness, composed of the Comtesse de Noailles, her lady of honour; the Duchesse de Cosse, her dame d'atours; four ladies of the palace; the Comte de Saulx-Tavannes, chevalier d'honneur; the Comte de Tesse, first equerry; the Bishop of Chartres, first almoner; the officers of the Bodyguard, and the equerries."
The Archduchess was, initially, brought into the Austrian side where she was stripped naked before the Austrian delegation which consisted of 12 governing officials and their ladies as witnesses, symbolizing the relinquishing of all things Austrian to become French, taking absolutely nothing with her from her old life and releasing claim or right to any of it
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
— Philippians 3:8
She then was walked to a door, which opened to the French side, completely naked where she was entirely transFOURmed to all things French, her hair included. She was also assigned an assistant to train her in all things concerning custom and etiquette in the coming days.
I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you... the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you
— John 14:16-17, 26
when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth...He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you
— John 16:13
More on the stripping process of transFOURmation, as it has to do with dying to self and leaving all behind in part 3 of this series.
After the formal signing of documents, she was now officially the Dauphine of France and the official wedding ceremony began with her stepping through the ornamental gates of what was known as her apartment before being led to the royal chapel.
Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city
— Revelation 22:14
She produced four children by the way.
A Note From Spurgeon
. . . back to our passage on Jesus the door
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me,
- he will be saved
- and will go in
- and out
- and find pasture.
— John 10:9
Charles Spurgeon in his devotional "Morning and Evening so eloquently observes, in relation to the topic of transFOURmation in this passage in terms of application;
Jesus, the great I AM, is the entrance into the true church, and the way of access to God himself. He gives to the man who comes to God by him four choice privileges.
1. He shall be saved. The fugitive manslayer passed the gate of the city of refuge, and was safe. Noah entered the door of the ark, and was secure. None can be lost who take Jesus as the door of faith to their souls. Entrance through Jesus into peace is the guarantee of entrance by the same door into heaven. Jesus is the only door, an open door, a wide door, a safe door; and blessed is he who rests all his hope of admission to glory upon the crucified Redeemer.
2. He shall go in. He shall be privileged to go in among the divine family, sharing the children’s bread, and participating in all their honours and enjoyments. He shall go in to the chambers of communion, to the banquets of love, to the treasures of the covenant, to the storehouses of the promises. He shall go in unto the King of kings in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the secret of the Lord shall be with him.
3. He shall go out. This blessing is much forgotten. We go out into the world to labour and suffer, but what a mercy to go in the name and power of Jesus! We are called to bear witness to the truth, to cheer the disconsolate, to warn the careless, to win souls, and to glorify God; and as the angel said to Gideon, “Go in this thy might,” even thus the Lord would have us proceed as his messengers in his name and strength.
4. He shall find pasture. He who knows Jesus shall never want. Going in and out shall be alike helpful to him: in fellowship with God he shall grow, and in watering others he shall be watered. Having made Jesus his all, he shall find all in Jesus. His soul shall be as a watered garden, and as a well of water whose waters fail not.
King Cyrus and Double Doors
Fitting with the theme of door, four, creation, and transFOURmation, and even restoration...There was a Persian king in the Bible named Cyrus, who was known as "the deliverer of the Jews" Although he is a pagan king God uses him to release the captives in Babylon, taken 70 years prior, and commanded that the temple structure should be restored in Jerusalem, and presents to us a type and shadow of Christ our door and deliverer. Ezra 4:1-6
Isaiah 45 gives us the degree that God gave to Cyrus that declared Himself as creator and transFOURmer. The very first verse opens with double "doors" (two fours equal eight) which is a symbol of new beginnings and open doors. (Noah - eight souls). Notice how many times the words earth, make, form, and establish are used in this portion of scripture that concerns the opening of these double doors, new beginnings, and restoration.
“Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
‘I will go before you
And make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.
For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.’
“Rain down, you heavens, from above,
And let the skies pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation,
And let righteousness spring up together.
I, the Lord, have created it.
“Woe to him who strives with his Maker!
Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth!
Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?
Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting?’
Or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth?’”
Thus says the Lord,
The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons;
And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.
I have made the earth,
And created man on it.
I—My hands—stretched out the heavens,
And all their host I have commanded.
I have raised him up in righteousness,
And I will direct all his ways;
He shall build My city
And let My exiles go free,
Not for price nor reward,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
...For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens,
Who is God,
Who formed the earth and made it,
Who has established it,
Who did not create it in vain,
Who formed it to be inhabited:
“I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I have not spoken in secret,
In a dark place of the earth;
I did not say to the seed of Jacob,
‘Seek Me in vain’;
I, the Lord, speak righteousness,
I declare things that are right....
...“Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other....
Psalm 24 (4x6) The Creator King Who Rules Over The Earth
This particular Psalm is self-explanatory in consideration or doors, development, and establishment, Four natural references are made; earth (they physical earth), the world (people who dwell in it), seas, and rivers. Gates and doors are referenced four times. It shows us that the point of entrance for the King of glory is through the loyal worship of those who seek Him, who have four things or qualities.
- clean hands
- a pure heart
- have not lifted up their soul to falsehood.
- and have not sworn deceitfully
The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.
For He has founded it upon the seas
And established it upon the rivers.
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
- He who has clean hands
- and a pure heart,
- Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
- And has not sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of those who seek Him
Who seek Your face—even Jacob. ]Selah.
Lift up your heads, O gates,
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates,
And lift them up ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory. Selah.
The Lord's prayer wonderfully exhibits this truth of His Kingship over both heaven and earth The fourth clause of the Lord's Prayer is the first that mentions the earth.
- Our Father, which art in heaven,
- Hallowed be thy Name.
- Thy Kingdom come.
- Thy will be done in earth, As it is in heaven.
Four classical Understandings of the Kingdom of God.
- eschatological (at the end of history),
- mystical (within the hearts of believers) ,
- political (in a certain empire),
- Institutional (Church)
— Kenneth E. Bailey
Psalm 119—The Way
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, containing 176 (4x44) verses, with sections that are arranged alphabetically into four couplets each. Andrew Bonar, minister of the Free Church of Scotland, notes that...
"It is a Psalm in which every verse speaks of God's revelation to man"
Jonathan Edwards seconds this motion when he writes that this Psalm is...
"A grand expression and emanation of the holiness of God's nature, and prescription of holiness to the creature..."
May I include the idea that this revelation predominantly concerns how God created man and all things to function properly and most happy when they are consistently congruent and in balance with God's instructions, testimonies, statutes, ordinances, precepts, commandments, judgments, and the Word by which He made all things by.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
— John 1:1-4
The Psalm points to Jesus, the one who created all things. He became a part of that creation and is instructing us to fall in line with how He created all things to function.
What makes Psalm 119 unique is the way that these requests are continually and explicitly grounded in the gift of the Torah and the psalmist's loyalty to it.
— Wikipedia on Psalm 119
God's covenant name YHVH, which has to do with His relationship, promise, and faithfulness to all that He has made, is used 24 (4x6) times and consists of four letters.
The Psalm has also been titled with four ways we can apply this understanding as well as appreciate His revelation to us.
"The ABC's of the praise, love, power, and use of the Word of God"
— Franz Delitzch 1871
Its fourth section of Psalm 119 is titled Daleth meaning "door" and its main theme is about choosing "the faithful way"
Shut the Door
II Kings chapter four records four times repeated the phrase "shut the door" The first concerns a prophet's wife who had died and was about to lose her sons to a creditor. Elisha the prophet asks her what she has in the house and she tells him that the only thing of value in the house is a little oil. He next instructs her...
he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones
— II Kings 4:3-4
she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out
— II Kings 4:5
Once all the vessels had been used the oil stopped and she was instructed to sell it in order to pay her debt and save her sons
The second event records the next two and concerns a childless Shunammite woman who offers the prophet, Elisha, a place to stay when he is in the area. He in turn prophecies that she will have a son the following year. She does indeed have the son but he ends up dying from some unknown condition.
she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out.
— II Kings 4:21
The Shunammite woman then seeks Elisha to help her and he returns with her to her house.
When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord.
— II Kings 4:32-33
These two events shadow salvation through the payment for sin and resurrection from the dead giving us another image of a transforming Gospel.
An Image of Resurrection for the Newly Created, TransFOURmed, Mind Renewed, Child of God
Another revelation and scriptural example of the number four as it relates to the physical realm, and illustrates the spiritual in the transFOURmation process, comes from John chapter 11 in the resurrection of Lazarus. This portion of Scripture records that Lazarus had been dead in the tomb for four days when Jesus raised him from the dead. We see in this demonstration of Lazarus's physical body being raised from death to life which imaged for all that Christ would do spiritually through His three-day death, burial and spiritual resurrection. (the number three representing the concreteness and dimension of spiritual realities).
And finally in Acts chapter one the expression "taken up" appears four times in reference to Christ's ascension. Criswell Study Bible notes make this observation in relation to the created realm.
"The ascension removed Christ from the realm of time and space in which He brought redemption to man"
The Four Lepers—Spreading the Gospel Old Testament Style
II Kings chapter 7 concerns a time when Samaria, (Northern Kingdom of Israel) was besieged by Syria and the chapter notes that there is a severe famine in the land as well.
In those days cities were walled and therefore this besiegement trapped everyone inside without food water or a means to get them. Life was so bad that they were eating their children. The King despaired and said . . .
“Surely this calamity is from the Lord; why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”
— II Kings 6:33
Elisha the prophet then prophecies that the next day salvation and provision would come, but the King's right-hand man expressed His doubt that even God could save them from such a ridiculous mess and when God's words come to pass this man does not take part in the provision because he dies. We will see in a bit how this is all related.
How the "Good News", and the miracle of provision, and its distribution happens, is through four men
Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die?
— II Kings 7:3
The leprous were shut out of the city on the basis of God's law.
He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp
— Leviticus 13:46
From a spiritual application standpoint, leprosy is a picture of sin...
leprosy generally begins with pain in certain areas of the body. Numbness follows. Soon the skin in such spots loses its original color. It gets to be thick, glossy, and scaly. ... As the sickness progresses, the thickened spots become dirty sores and ulcers due to poor blood supply. The skin, especially around the eyes and ears, begins to bunch, with deep furrows between the swellings, so that the face of the afflicted individual begins to resemble that of a lion. Fingers drop off or are absorbed; toes are affected similarly. His throat becomes hoarse, and you can now not only see, feel, and smell the leper, but you can hear his rasping voice. And if you stay with him for some time, you can even imagine a peculiar taste in your mouth, probably due to the odor.
— Alfred Edersheim
This puts, all who were infected by it, outside the camp.
Leprosy is a vivid and graphic physical picture of the spiritual defilement of sin. Sin is ugly, loathsome, incurable, and contaminating; it separates men from God and makes them outcasts
— John Barnett
Mankind became nothing but the chemistry of the natural dirt he was made from when he was exiled from the garden.
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return
— Genesis 3:19
Even in His (heavenly) servants He puts no trust...How much more those who dwell in houses (bodies) of clay, whose foundations are in the dust...
— Job 4:18-19 (Amplified)
These four as it concerns the lepers is telling us that there is no natural hope for their condition and so it is with us and sin. J. Vernon McGee writes
"The application for us is that before we came to Christ we were in a predicament equally as desperate. We were like lepers, sitting among the dead, having no hope and without God in the world"
The following commentary couldn't have given a better lesson to this portion of scripture as it concerns the spread of the Gospel to all of humanity.
Well may all this be applied to our Lord’s work for us and to the provision of the gospel. He alone worked out the great salvation and provided all, that sinners dying and lost (represented by the lepers) may come to eat and drink, without money and without price. It was a day of good tidings. Such is the still lasting day of salvation, the day of grace. The lepers who had their fill first and had tasted God’s great salvation, could not hold their peace. Through them the whole city hears of the provision made. And the people went out to see how wonderfully the prediction of Elisha had been accomplished. All enjoyed it. But the unbelieving lord perished, a warning that he that believeth not must die in his sins. The repetition at the close of this chapter of the words of the unbeliever recorded in the beginning of this story, is of solemn meaning. God is true to His Word, the Word which promises life to all who believe and which threatens eternal punishment to all who believe not. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
— Frank Gaebelein commentary
Four Name Changes
The New Testament writes of four whose names were changed. The first being Simon-Peter who was transformed from average fisherman to a preacher of the Gospel and martyr for Christ.
when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).
— John 1:42
John and James were called the "Son's of Thunder" by Jesus. Interesting that James is the first of the disciples to be martyred and John is the last. All three Peter, James, and John are known as Christ's inner circle of disciples.
Love is the method of transformation that God uses it should be noted that in 1 John the word “love” and its relatives occur over 40 times. This "Son of Thunder" was so transformed by Christ that he inherited a new nickname "The Apostle of Love" https://gotquestions.org/sons-of-thunder.html
The fourth person in the New Testament to have his name changed was Saul who became Paul.
...Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit
— Acts 13:9
Not much information is given in the Scriptures about how or why Saul's name is changed to Paul but an obvious observation may be made that Saul is a Hebrew name and Paul is a Gentile name. One of the greatest acts of transformation concerning the Gospel was the inclusion of the Gentiles into the promise of salvation through the Jewish Messiah. Paul became specifically a minister and preacher to the Gentiles, as Paul himself testifies.
He (The Lord) said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’”
— Acts 22:21
Old Testament Roots
The following will be several Old Testament developments involving the number four as it relates to the things of this earth, land, as well as the development of its people in terms of kingdoms and generations. Everything in the New has its roots in the Old as exhibited in four significant scriptural mounts.
Three New Testament mountains of God Mount of beatitudes, Mount of Transfiguration, the Mount of crucifixion look back to Mount Sinai
— JoAnn Davidson "Toward a Theology of Beauty"
I love the Old Testament because it lends to us so many vivid and tangible lessons that can give great illustrations and examples of these timeless truths.
whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope
— Romans 15:4
Four divisions of the Old Testament; Redemption, organization, poetry, and sermons
God consistently throughout scripture is in the business of creating "a people"
you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth
— Deuteronomy 7:6
Sometimes that meant starting over, as was with the family of Noah. Recall there were four men and four women on the ark by which all the successive generations would be created and consider as well that the sons of Noah are comprised in a fourfold description, once again, according to Bullinger
- and nations
And another bonus fact that the word rainbow that is connected with God's sign in the earth of His promise is mentioned four times with its fourth and final mention being found in Revelation chapter four.
God's great plan to destroy the old to produce a new is announced with four things God will destroy
And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both
and the creeping thing,
and the fowls of the air;
for it repenteth me that I have made them
— Genesis 6:7
There were four divine speeches centering around the flood of judgment
- Genesis 6:13-22 God's announcement to destroy the earth with a flood,
- Genesis 7:1-10 Get in the Ark,
- Genesis 8:15-19 get off the Ark,
- Genesis 9:1-17 Promise to never flood again and a blessed them
Noah prior to the flood was noted by four items about Noah that will be subject to change as we will look at later.
- a just man
- and perfect in his generations,
- and Noah walked with God
- And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth
— Genesis 6:9-10
When God announces his plan to flood the earth He makes a covenant with four that He will spare.
But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—
- your sons,
- your wife,
- and your sons’ wives with you.
— Genesis 6:18
The mention of forty days is referenced four times in the flood account.
And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.
— Genesis 50:3
"Forty days is a familiar time period for the reader of the Torah. Earlier in Genesis, rain fell for forty days in the Great Flood. Later Moses spends forty days atop Mount Sinai. It seems as if the lapse of forty days signifies something: transition, a passage to a new world.
When it rained forty days and forty nights, that was a bridge between one world and another. The old world was closing down, and a new one coming into being. When Moses spent forty days atop Mount Sinai, he too journeyed to a new world; He left the terrestrial sphere, and entered a transcendent one."
— Rabbi David Fohrman excerpt from "The Exodus You Almost Passed Over"
The author explains that to the Egyptians, this idea of transition from one world the next was the idea behind the forty-day embalming process.
Four and the Development of Canaan
The story of Noah continues with a disturbing incident that occurs after leaving the ark. This particular scene sets the stage for the development of the land that God would give to Abraham and his descendants and this development is characterized by the number four. Its themes run parallel to the initial creation and garden experience, which involves a reorganization after chaos. These parallels include a garden/vineyard, forbidden fruit/wine, a groundskeeper Adam/Noah, and a great and tragic sin.
The incident begins with Noah planting a vineyard.
And Noah "began" to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard
— Genesis 9:20 (quotations mine)
The Hebrew text reads (right to left) וַיָּחֶל נֹחַ אִישׁ הָֽאֲדָמָה וַיִּטַּע כָּֽרֶם which would say in a literal rendering "and he began (cleaved open and broke open), Noah, a man of the ground (ish/man adamah/ground), and he planted a vineyard.
This Hebrew word "hucal" translated "began" could be the introduction of something not so good about to occur. Its occurrences often, but not always, introduce something not so great. It is actually translated "profane" alternatively in many places. It can be defined as to pierce through, wound, or cleave open, to break or give access to, to profane or defile or use for common use. The first occurrence of this word is found in Genesis 4:26 right before the stage and conditions for the flood are set.
And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos (fourth son of Seth): then began (hucal) men to call upon the name of the Lord
— Genesis 4:26
In this first usage of the word hucal translated "began" it could imply that there is something not so good about to be introduced as in there was something profane or common about men's worship. If this is the case it would give us a greater understanding of the state and progression of the following generations that led up to the vile condition of humanity before the flood. Hucal find its second occurrence just prior to that very event.
And it came to pass, when men began (hucal) to multilpy on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them. That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years 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... 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 6:1
This incident concerning the planting of a vineyard, with Noah, is its third occurrence
Its fourth occurrence is after the vineyard incident, with the event of the tower of Babel and Nimrod, whose name is rooted in the Hebrew word for rebellion.
And Cush begat Nimrod: he began (hucal) to be a mighty one in the earth
— Genesis 10:8
There were four named cities of Nimrod.
- and Calneh
As we can see this word many times, signals something not good and perhaps something profane, that has begun or is about to occur and break open onto the scene.
It's Strong's number is 2490 if you wish to do a further topic search on this. Being Berean like is always encouraged!
Back to our topic...recall that in Genesis chapter 6 prior to the flood.
Noah was a righteous man (ish/man tsadiq/righteous) and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God
— Genesis 6:9
So we see in this account, that Noah went from being an ish tsadiq (man of righteousness) walking with God to an ish adamah (man of the ground) planting a vineyard possibly for common and not holy use. He is still considered a man of faith according to the New Testament but just as it was with King David and Solomon, something went awry at the end of their life. This testifies that salvation is by God's grace alone.
None is righteous, no, not one...all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
— Romans 3:10, 23
Prior to this event, it is announced as to four who got off the Ark and adds a special notation concerning Ham that will be significant to the developing scandal.
Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan
— Genesis 9:18
Ham being the father of Canaan will be the key considering that four verses later Ham the father of Canaan "saw his father's nakedness". Canaan was Ham's fourth and youngest son by the way and will be explained later.
Back to the vineyard...we are told that Noah was drunk and he was uncovered. Could this be the evidence of the common unholy use of the vineyard?
he (Noah) drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered (galah) within his (her) tent.
— Genesis 9:21
The phrase "his tent" is in female form in the Hebrew text and indicates that the incident may have occurred in her tent or its innermost private quarters, as in his wife's tent or a portion of the tent, as was the custom of the ancient nomads. The woman's tent was the place of uncovered type relations between husband and wife.
Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her
— Genesis 24:67
The "her tent" also occurs in this unfortunate incident...
And Israel (Jacob) journeyed, and spread his (her) tent beyond the tower of Edar. And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine
— Genesis 35:22
Jacob later has this to say to Reuben, during the distribution of blessings
Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst (hucal - same word as began) thou it: he went up to my couch ~ Genesis 49:3-4
There is much debate over this incident, concerning Ham, all involved but There are some clues that might lead to our understanding. Leviticus may be able to help us with this and may be similar to the incident with Israel and Reuben.
The nakedness (used 24 (4x6) times in ch.18) of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness.
— Leviticus 18:7,8
The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered (galah) his father’s nakedness (used 8 (4x2) in chapter 20)
— Leviticus 20:11
Genesis also says that Ham "saw" his father's nakedness. This is also referenced as a sexual indecency
And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered (galah) his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity
— Leviticus 20:17
It is not clear if the uncovering of Noah's nakedness is something that begins with Noah himself and his wife initially, or if Ham seeing his father's nakedness indicates how the uncovering happened. We do know that Noah passes out at some point that renders him unable to understand what has happened in the moment.
Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness, and he told his two brothers outside about it
— Genesis 9:22
There are two worthy observations, one being that when the father got drunk the vulnerable in his family became uncovered. The second is, Ham may very well have seized this opportunity to usurp his father's position by doing an unseemly deed as did Absalom with David when he slept with David's wives and concubines while trying to take over the kingdom. It was considered an act of possession to do such things which may be why Ham made the announcement about what he had just done to his brothers. This possibility has been speculated similarly in the case of Reuben and Jacob.
And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness
— Genesis 9:23
This could also make sense of, as to why Shem and Japheth really were determined about not "seeing", if it was their mother they went in to cover.
After all was said and done . . .
Noah awoke from his wine
— Genesis 9
Noah is unaware of what has happened until he awakens from his drunkenness. We are not told what the evidence was but it is strongly possible that Ham was the perpetrator of a more than likely sexual incident involving Noah's wife (seeing and uncovering his father's nakedness), who is most likely the fourth woman (Naamah daughter of Lamech) of four mentioned prior to the flood, and Canaan is the product of this union. We are also not told if this is Ham's mother or another wife of Noah.
This may also explain Noah's comment when...
he said, Cursed be Canaan
— Genesis 9:25
Cursed is the one who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s bed.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
— Deuteronomy 27:20
Noah didn't say cursed be Ham. Canaan wasn't cursed because Noah said so. Noah was drawing a logical conclusion as to what the consequences were for such an occasion.
The remainder of Noah's speech concerning Canaan also says this, in leaning closer to the possibility of Ham fathering Canaan via Noah's wife.
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brethren
— Genesis 9:25
Who are Canaan's brothers?
The sons of Ham were
- and Canaan
— Genesis 10
Yet Noah goes on to say in chapter 9: 25,26 and refers to Canaan's brothers as being Shem and Japheth.
“Blessed be the Lord,
The God of Shem,
And may Canaan be his servant.
May God enlarge Japheth,
And may he dwell in the tents of Shem;
And may Canaan be his servant.”
— Genesis 9:25-26
Ham is bypassed as a brother to him because he is the father and the only way he could be Shem and Japheth's brothers would be if they shared the same mother.
There are two other mentions in the scripture of Ham and Canaan having to do with genealogies which bring these mentions to four. Canaan means to humiliate. A fitting name for such a story as this, which serves to establish for us what is to take place in further Biblical developments.
Sexual immorality and idol worship become the key features of those descended from Canaan, Sodom, and Gomorrah as one example. The land that the Canaanites inhabit until it had reached its limit of sin, later becomes the territory which God promises Abraham. God explains that Abraham's descendants will live for a time in captivity, 400 years in Egypt specifically, but will return to conquer and dwell in this very land.
...in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites (descendants of Canaan - fourth mentioned in Genesis 10) is not yet complete
— Genesis 15:16
This next verse is in concert with this event as well and explains the core issue of rebellion with these people.
you shall not bow down to them (anything) nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children "to the third and fourth generations" (occurs four times in scripture) of those who hate Me
— Exodus 20:5
Immediately following with Genesis 10, it begins, for the fourth time in scripture, with "Now these are generations" showing the development of the earthly inhabitants from four people Noah and his three sons.
Why such a scandalous story? I think God never shies away from the fact that sin is just that "scandalous"
An endnote to this portion; Noah had 16 (4x4) grandsons that repopulate the earth. Listed in Chapter ten
- and Tiras.
- and Canaan
- and Aram
The Genealogy in chapter 10 also includes a curious account.
Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber (fourth generation from Shem), the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.
— Genesis 10:21
In reading this I began to wonder why Ham was not included in this portion about brothers and felt like the Lord said "think Jews and Gentiles" sure enough it is declared in Genesis 10:5 concerning Japheth...
By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations
And Shem is the father of the sons of Eber (the ones who crossed over from the other side — the Hebrews — Abraham's sons — The Jews)
Eber is the fourth generation from Shem by the way.
We can see that from these three come Jew (Shem), Gentile (Japeth), and the world (Ham)
even more fascinating is that it is also foretold in Noah's words to his sons as noted earlier...
God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant
— Genesis 9:37
What could this mean? Perhaps the clue lies in another prophecy given by Zechariah
Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you
— Zechariah 8:23
More and more Christians/Japeth/Gentiles are hungering and thirsting to know God better by understanding His truth and are digging deeper into the roots of our Christian faith that are contained and explained in the Old Testament/Tanakh that has been so faithfully preserved by His very own covenant ones the Jewish/Shem people. Christians/Japeth/Gentiles are desiring to dwell in the tents of Shem.
The Creation and TransFOURmation of a Chosen Nation
There are four patriarchs in Genesis that it took to create a nation of people through which our savior could come...
The book of Genesis chapters 12-50 center on the lives of four men Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. All patriarchs of the nation God would form from them through covenant through which He would bring His one and only Son into the world.
— Rainbow Study Bible Commentary
Within these accounts between Abraham and Joseph, the phrase "after these things", referencing time, occurs four times and the book ends with these formative events. Abraham is the topic of three of these instances and Joseph is the fourth.
the combined words mercy and truth or "chesed" and "emet" in Hebrew are used four times in the book of Genesis and 16 (4x4) times total in the Old Testament.
The earth is full of the goodness (chesed) of the Lord
— Psalm 33:5
Chesed specifically being demonstrated through the four foundation patriarchs
- and Joseph
Let us take a closer look at the development and process of creating and transFOURming this nation from whom He would come beginning with Abraham. E.W. Bullinger starts us out with this revelation
No sooner are mankind divided in Genesis 10, than Abraham is called out from them to walk with God (Gen 11, 12). But he soon finds it to be a world of strife and enmity, for Genesis 14 opens with the names of four kings, and "these made war" with five others which are named afterwards
— E.W. Bullinger
Before we move on to the great covenant aspect of God's development of His people and a land, I would like to look at an interesting event in Genesis chapter 14 involving four kings.
This event occurs after Abram and his family had left Ur of the Chaldees and settled in Haran God then speaks to Abram in what is known as the fourth dispensation of promise which concerns both land and the development of a people that extended from the call of Abraham to the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai.
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
- I will make you a great nation
- I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
- I will bless those who bless you,
- And I will curse him who curses you
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
— Genesis 12
Abraham in faith immediately packs up his stuff and heads toward Canaan as far as Shechem where the Lord appears to Him and promises.
“To your descendants I will give this land.”
— Genesis 12:7
He then in faith continues through the land and, pitches "her" tent between Bethel (House of God) and Ai (Heap of ruins). A bit of a rabbit trail here in this story. You may be wondering why I inserted "her" instead of his in reference to the tent. It is because the Hebrew text reads that way. It is the female version of the word because of the "hey" on the end of it. Her tent would have been the tent where relations took place. The significance to this is that God is trying to show us that Abraham acted in faith on what he had heard God say when He issued the promise for land and descendants.
Abraham's nephew Lot tags along on this journey as Abraham continues his journey through the land heading south.
A bit of a detour takes place when there is a famine in the land and Abraham takes everyone down to Egypt, to wait out the famine (Pretty sure this is where Hagar got picked up) but later returns the Bethel and Ai then picks up where he left off.
It is at this point that Lot and Abraham separate. Lot chooses to go east which is always symbolic of a type of exile. Adam and Eve went east after the garden, Cain went east after he killed his brother, the children of Israel went east in the Babylonian captivity. In other words, Lot makes a poor choice based on some greener grass on the other side.
it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord
— Genesis 13:10
Lot liked the city life and this usually didn't fare well in scripture either. Cain and Nimrod are just a couple of examples. Cities appear to be progressiveness in terms of human accomplishment and express a type of unity with others in remaining separate from God.
Back to our story...Abraham "the Hebrew" ( ivri, the one who crosses over from another place) as is noted in the actual account, is minding his own business kind of renting his land from some folks he covenanted with, (covenant lords) when he is paid a visit by an escapee from a pack of invaders headed up by four kings, led by Chedorlaomer, who is mentioned four times in scripture. Chedorlaomer had just pillaged Sodom and Gomorrah and took the people of these places and surrounding regions including his nephew Lot, Lot's family, and all of their possessions. Abraham poured out (can be in reference to the unsheathing of a sword too- think word of God) his trained and experienced disciples from his own household to rescue Lot. The four in this account reveals that these are merely kings of this world and how a physical worldly battle is no match for one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Abraham and his men, of course, defeat the enemies and get back everything of Sodom and Gomorrah people and possessions.
The lineage of Abraham is established in Genesis chapter 11 as shown in the screenshot above. Eber is the root of "ivri" which Abraham is later called. This is where the word "Hebrew" comes from. The ones who have crossed over or passed through from the other side. Make note that Eber is noted to have lived 430 years after he bore Peleg (the one born when the earth was divided. It was 430 years that the Hebrews were in Egypt and God when the sea was divided. Also, Eber is the fourth generation of the line of Shem Noah's son.
The four given in this genealogy is used four times (Hebrew expresses 34 as four and thirty) even though it concerns three men. God certainly is developing and establishing something. The three in these accounts concerns spiritual things. God will establish and transform...
Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts
— Zechariah 4:9
It is at this time that Melchizedek whose name means king of righteousness, a priest of the God Most High, appears on the scene with bread and wine. Bread and wine in New Testament language are about the victory through what Christ has done through His body and blood. Abraham pays a tenth from everything from the spoil to Melchizedek. And it is at this time that Melchizedek pronounces this blessing upon Abraham
“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
— Genesis 14:19
The king of Sodom wants to let Abraham have all the spoil for his great victory but Abraham refuses because he wants everyone to know that it is God who gave him the victory! And he knows that God owns it all when He says
“I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing...
— Genesis 14:22-23
Frank E. Gaebelein writes in his Expository Commentary
"Abraham's reward would not come from the kings of this world but from Yahweh, the Lord the possessor of heaven and earth"
Abraham's faith is so very commendable. What a stunning example. He already knew the protocol later written in Deuteronomy
“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’
— Deuteronomy 20:1-4
After these things, Abraham is visited by three visitors who are "passing through" one of whom is named Yehovah and is identified as such four times (chapter 18 verses 1, 17, 22, and 33). They are on their way to execute judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, from which four had escaped.
- his wife,
- An older daughter
- and a younger daughter
This scene is very much reminiscent of the Exodus event when the angel of death passed through the land to execute judgment. Lot's choice obviously is not turning out as he had fantasized.
Lot requested to be let off in Zoar a small town rather than in the mountains. The angel relented and spared that city.
Zoar survived the destruction of the other cities of the plain, and Moses was able to see it from the top of Mount Nebo four hundred years later (Deuteronomy 34:1-3, see Isaiah 15:5; Jeremiah 48:34).
There are four angels mentioned in scripture, two good (Gabriel and Michael) and two evil (Lucifer and Apollyon). Interesting that this celestial battle takes place on the earth's stage.
God's next discourse with Abraham, is the fourth and noted by Scofield to be pivotal in that this is where a great "change" takes place and involves the foretelling of the 400 years of slavery that Abraham's descendants will experience beginning with the fourth-generation from him.
Abraham, Stars, and Sand
God made a covenant 4000 years ago with Abraham. It was the first of four God had made with and in the establishment of Israel.
- and Davidic
The Abrahamic covenant concerned the creation of a people that would come from him and it was the fourth of eight covenant's in general that God made in total since creation.
- and Abrahamic
God promises infinite descendants to Abraham using stars and sand as an illustration.
I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore
— Genesis 22:17
Notice in the above verse God uses created things to help Abraham conceptualize the promise. Counting stars and sand is next to impossible. Secular science uses these two created things in terms of comparison when considering their seemingly infinite amounts just as the Bible does.
I was most recently listening to a preacher who was teaching that the sand in this passage is in reference to Abraham's physical descendants.
The religious rulers of New Testament accounts prided themselves that they, in fact, were the physical descendants of Abraham and even Jesus Himself acknowledges them to be such
“I know that you are Abraham’s descendants..."
— John 8:37
But Jesus, who comes into the created scene 4000 years into history, informs them that restoration of relationship with the creator of all was a spiritual transaction that could only be realized through a faith like Abraham's, of which Jesus reminds them they are to be an example by believing in Him.
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham"
— John 8:39
And what were the works of Abraham?
“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
— John 6:29
you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
— Galatians 3:26-29
In totality "Abraham's life was marked by four great crises which involved a surrender of something naturally most dear" as noted by C.I. Scofield He notes more specifically.
- He must leave his country and kindred
- His nephew Lot
- His own plan for Ishmael
- Isaac, his one, and only Son
Count the stars if you can
The stars represent the spiritual descendants that would be born from Abraham's faith in God through our faith in Christ.
just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
— Galatians 3:6-9
God is always in the business of creating and developing a new people for Himself as we see imaged through a physical family in the Old Testament and realized in the new through those who come to God by faith.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new
— II Corinthians 5:17
Would it surprise you if I told you that the numerical values for the sum of the letters comprising the Hebrew word for sand, used in God's promise to Abraham, which represents the physical children of Abraham, is divisible by four; the number representing material physical created things? And would you believe that the numerical value for the sum of the Hebrew letters in the word for stars, suggesting God's spiritual children, as used in the promise, is divisible by three, and is the number of that represents the spiritual dimension, realm, and realities? God's check and balance system are so precious and divine!
These covenant promises, such as is with Abraham, in the Old Testament, always began with the establishment of territory, In reference to the actual physical land, which is what four is about. Abraham (the father) purchased a piece of the land of promise for 400 shekels (the price of the field/wages of sin is death) of silver (symbol of redemption) from the Hittite king Ephron in Genesis 23...
I will (the father/Abraham) pay the price of the field (wages of sin/death)
— Genesis 23:13
...to bury his wife Sarah.
So the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field and the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, which were within all the surrounding borders, were deeded
— Genesis 23:17
"The field of Ephron" is used four times in scripture and all of them are in Genesis. Whenever the Bible speaks of a field which is a reference to "this world" as in the limitations of the created realm.
A Little Bit About Covenants
Royal Grant covenants customarily consisted of four main sections.
- a preamble, noting the parties involved
- the provisions of the grant
- restrictions or stipulations for the continuance of certain oaths taken at the time of enactment
- and some sort of covenantal sign.
Kirjath-Arba—City of Four—Hebron
The field of Ephron where this transaction for land takes place is at the heart of the modern-day, Hebron. Four foundational couples are thought to have been buried in this place which was the seminal deed to the land and the object of promise. It was later named Kirjath Arba meaning city of four, possibly because of its four separate quarters occupied by four confederate settlements of the area that was built on four hills. The buried couples were
- Abraham and Sarah,
- Isaac and Rebekah,
- Jacob and Leah,
- and Adam and Eve
Later it became the home of four giants.
- Anak and his sons
- and Talmai
Talmai is also mentioned in Numbers (the fourth book of the Bible) 13:22 which also states...
(Now Hebron (formerly Kirjath Arba) was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)
— Numbers 13:22
Frank E. Gaebelein in his commentary in his "Expositor's Bible Commentary" on this portion of scripture notes that this fact may have been noted in reference to...
"Their amazement at the size and fortification of the city that was so closely associated with the lives of their ancestors four centuries before this time" (Gen. 13:14-18, 14:13, 23:1, 25:9, 35:27-29, 50:13)
This is in relationship to Hebron/Kirijath Arba being the first place the spies of Israel explored for forty days when God was about to bring them in to conquer and obtain the land from its wicked inhabitants. Frank E. Gabelein also points out that their big mistake was in not recalling the cave of the patriarchs of promise and the God who made the promise but rather focused on the structures and inhabitants who frightened them which resulted in forty years of further wandering aimlessly in the desert. Four people grieved in response to the refusal of the people to enter and they were
- and Joshua.
This was also the site of the defeat of the four kings when Abraham rescued Lot and the place from where Jacob sent Joseph to seek His brothers.
It became a Levite city of which there were four in each territory, of the priesthood and city of refuge occupied by Kohath producing four families.
And of Kohath was the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izeharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites
— Numbers 3:27
The book of Joshua records that this territory was conquered and possessed by Caleb who was an ancestor to four.
- and Shema.
— I Chronicles 2:43
This place is also mentioned in the Bible in association with four, namely
- and David.
It was the place where David was anointed King and ruled from there for seven years.
Present Day Kirjath-Arba—Hebron
The name of this community is later changed to Hebron as it is still named to this day. It is presently located in Palestinian territory and according to wikepedia.com, it consists of four neighborhoods.
- Kirya, Ashmoret Yitzhak, Ramat Mamre (also known as Givat Harsina) and Givat Avot (Givat Ha'avot). It is also known for four notable residents, Sarah Avraham
- Ashmoret Yitzhak
- Ramat Mamre (also known as Givat Harsina)
- and Givat Avot (Givat Ha'avot).
It is also known for four notable residents.
- Sarah Avraham (kickboxer)
- Dov Lior
- Baruch Goldstein (Cave of the Patriarchs massacre)
- Elayakim HaEtzani (former lawyer and Knesset/legislature member)
"Hebron possesses four synagogues within the ghetto and four batte ha-midrash without"
— Jewish encylopedia
This territory is still in a dispute concerning Israeli settlements, according to the fourth Geneva Convention which is one of four treaties on rules of war that consists of four parts.
Newsworthy events concerning this area as noted by Wikipedia
"Between 1981 and 1986, four people from Kiryat Arba were shot and wounded in the Hebron marketplace"
On August 31, 2010, four residents, including a pregnant woman, were shot to death in their car by Hamas militants outside Kiryat Arba
Concluding the current status of this establishment...
"Kiryat Arba, still linked to Hebron after four thousand years, is a distinctive community whose modern history as a pioneering settlement provides a bridge to the biblical past."
It is also noted in the Rainbow Study Bible notes for Genesis that.
the first 11 chapters concern the land from Eden to Ur. (representing the physical) Chapters 12-50 are from Canaan to Egypt concerning predominantly the promise of the land God chose for His name to dwell (representing the spiritual).
The Hebrew phrase "The earth" (haaretz) has a numerical value of 296 which is divisible by four. Also, the very first sentence in the Bible introducing God's creative work is comprised of 28 Hebrew letters which are also divisible by four. and how interesting that these very letters formed words which the Bible says the world was created by
This is in keeping with four's categorization of Biblical themes of the physical realm, the earth, and territories.
...worship Him who made(1)
- and earth,
- the sea
- and springs of water
— Revelation 14:7
It is also noteworthy that God informed Abraham in his dream that his descendants would live in slavery for 400 years and four generations later they would be delivered a created nation.
May it also be observed that the fourth provision of the Abrahamic covenant includes a blessing to all the nations of the earth.
In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed
— Genesis 22:18
Abraham's life was characterized by God by obedience.
Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.
— Genesis 26:5
There are four major occasions in which this is displayed.
- The first being in Genesis 12 when God asks him to leave his family and country.
- The second is in Genesis 13 when Lot and Abraham separate, Abraham is told look and walk through the land he is promised
- and the third is after the defeat of the four kings Abraham loyally chooses to pay a tithe to the priest Melchizedek honoring and acknowledging the Possessor of heaven and earth rather than receive the wealth of the worldly king of Sodom which he was offered to him as a consolation prize for rescuing the people and possessions of Sodom.
- The fourth and final obedience was the most dramatic and noteworthy and that was Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his one and only son of promise, Isaac.
“Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” ~ Genesis 22:2
JoAnn Davidson notes in her book "Toward a Theology of Beauty" that this is also the fourth time that God's commands involved Abraham's family ties.
The word's "Father" and "Son" are used four times in verses seven and eight establishing this very significant relationship that will lay the foundation for our understanding and faith for what our Father in heaven through the death of His one and only Son sacrificed for us would truly mean.
concluding our section on Abraham, C.I. Scofield makes an observation that
"The Spiritual experience of Abraham was marked by four great crises, each of which involved a surrender of something "naturally" most dear. Country and kindred, Lot, and Ishmael"
Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of
— Genesis 22:2
Interesting that it is Psalm 22 that is the psalm of God sacrificing His One and Only Son.
Also in this Genesis chapter 22 Narrative, the word "son" is used four times in four verses 7-10
Isaac and the Four Wells
After Abraham dies, in Genesis chapter 25, there is a famine in the land. (Genesis 26) And Isaac Abraham's son went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, in Gerar. He was strictly instructed not to go to Egypt and needed to stay in the land if he wished to inherit the land God had promised to his father.
The text later makes mention of all the acquisitions of Isaac that provoked the Philistines to jealousy so they stopped up all the wells that his father Abraham's servants had dug by filling them with "dust". Abimelech sends Isaac away in fear that Isaac and his clan are getting too big. So Isaac moves to the Wadi where he digs new wells that were also found by Abraham and stopped up after his death.
Isaacs servants end up finding a "be'er mayim chayim" a fresh wellspring or fountain of living water to which the men of Gerar protest and claim it as theirs, and the well was named "contention". Naming in the Bible assumes ownership and dominion in Biblical language therefore although disputed for the well is Isaacs.
The second well is visited with similar events and is named "sitnah" and is the root word for satan which means adversary or accusation.
With the third well, there was no quarreling and it was named "Rehoboth" meaning wide open spaces. It symbolized God finally granting them space to increase the land.
An event occurs between the third well and the fourth and final well. Isaac went up to Beer Sheva, where God reiterates His promise to Isaac on account of Abraham. So Isaac
- built an altar,
- called on the name of YHVH (covenant Lord God),
- pitched his tent
- and his servants began digging a well.
Abimelech appears once again, to which Isaac is surprised and wondering what he wants after being told to get away from him. Abimelech explains.
We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you
— Genesis 26:28
It was an "if you can't beat them join them" proposition that inspired Abimelech to make a treaty with Isaac. Isaac agrees. The Hebrew text alludes to the idea that they became blood brothers.
Before I continue with the wells, it might be considered that if the modern Palestinians are the Old Testament Philistines, could this explain the conflict that Israel is having with these people? Is it possible that the covenant Isaac made with these people is God honored and still stands? This is a similarity to Ishmael (some modern Arab nations) that are blessed because they are the blessed seed of Abraham ("And I will make him a great people too" ). Could we consider that today's world conflicts are not political by any stretch of the imagination but are rooted in ancient covenantal bonds that the Sovereign God of all creation and covenant honors and upholds but, will utilize all to bring about His plan and purpose?
On with wells...The very day that the covenant is made and Abimelech had left, Isaac's servants come to declare excitedly to him about a well they had dug and had found water. Therefore Issac named it Beer Sheva. Well of the oath or seven.
Is this the same well that Abraham contested Abimelech earlier for and gave him seven sheep as payment and testimony for proof of ownership, and where they had covenanted as well? When viewed chiastically at the center of these parallel occurrences frames Abraham's first purchase of the land (the cave at Machpelah) and a wife that is found for Issac in establishing the continuance of the promise of both land and descendants.
This event paints for us a spiritually practical lesson that can be gleaned too and concerns the concepts of water (spiritual power and provision) and dust (flesh). Consider that Abraham a picture of the father dug the first wells that ended up getting filled with dust. Isaac the son comes along to continue the work and mission of the father and re-digs these wells.
Before the fall, Genesis records that finding water was effortless
a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
— Genesis 2:6
This illustrates for us that in an unhindered relationship with God the power of the Holy Spirit was present and without toil. Immediately following this description we are told that
the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being
— Genesis 2:7
By this, we understand that the flesh of man is nothing but dust and the only thing that gives him life is the breath of God in him. When sin and separation occurred all that was left was...
...dust you are,
And to dust you shall return
— Genesis 3:19
The dust of our flesh is a big part of our contention beginning with the first well. According to Paul in his letter to the Romans
...flesh, sold into bondage to sin...waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin.
— Romans 7:14
and the works of the flesh are these...
immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing,
— Galations 5
These wells image for us what is hindering us from accessing the living water. Recall the first well was described as being a "beer mayim chayim" a well of living water. Jesus the Chosen Son of promise like Isaac appears at an ancient well and tells the woman there whose dusty lifeless fleshly existence beckoned her to come . . .
whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
— John 4:14
Our second enemy represented by the second well event appears as our adversary accuser Satan to whom is only rightful access to us is through our flesh.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
— I Peter 5
Jesus undug this well for us too.
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
— I John 3:8
The third well is not contested and is a picture of Christ's complete conquering of the final enemy of death.
our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel
— II Timothy 1:10
This salvation has put is in a broad place (Rehoboth) of grace so eloquently expressed in this Psalm...
I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,
For You have considered my trouble;
You have known my soul in adversities,
And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a wide place
— Psalm 31:7-8
This leads to the fourth and final well that the servants of Issac dug and come to declare to their master. These illustrate for us the servants of Christ who share in the victory.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
— Ephesians 2:5-6
Taken all together. . .
Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song;
He also has become my salvation.’”
Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation.
— Isaiah 12
A Closer Look At Jacob
Moving along with the FOURmation of a nation; Jacob, Abraham's grandson, according to an epigenetic promise from God, produced twelve (a divisible by four number) sons by four women, which became tribes that eventually transFOURmed into a nation. Just a bonus note parallel, that there are also four women in Matthew's genealogy of Christ, along with forty men.
A little story break, relevant to Jacob and the number four before we continue; One year my husband and I volunteered at a local church that annually hosts a drive-thru nativity scene. It was a bit random in that we had never done it before although the event has been around for as long as I can remember. We were both assigned the roles of shepherds. Live animals were brought in for the event including a camel. I had no idea camels didn't mind Minnesota cold. And did I mention there was also a donkey with a cross on his back, or that he was the most unruly of all the animals present?
As we were watching our flocks by night. I noticed that our penned sheep were spotted and had four horns. I seriously had never seen such a thing. A friend mentioned that these kind sheep are called "Jacob" sheep and named as such from the events that took place in Genesis chapters 30 and 31.
This portion of scripture involves a deal that was made between Jacob and Laban whereby Jacob was to be paid his wages before through obtaining the speckled, spotted, streaked, and brown goats and sheep produced by Laban's flocks. Jacob successfully acquired quite a large flock in a miraculous way. Jacob was secretly planning to return to the promised land with his parting gifts.
Four types of the flock were removed from the mating pool to guarantee the physical impossibility of the reproduction of the speckled, spotted, striped, or brown, flocks which Laban agreed to give to Jacob. This was a sweet deal to Laban who thought Jacob would leave with nothing. God ends up blessing Jacob in spite of Laban's underhanded deal.
So the flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted...Thus the man became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks
— Genesis 30:39,43
Can we see God's creative transFOURming processes in both the sheep and His people? And just a bonus bit, the Jacob sheep fleece typically weighs four pounds at a length of about four inches.
Jacob Sheep Return to the Holy Land
"Times of Israel" published an article written by Melanie Lidman on June 21, 2016, titled "On Wings of El Al, Biblical Sheep to End 3000 Year Exile", about a Canadian couple, who raise Jacob sheep, and are sending 113 of them to Israel. In researching the number 113 in terms of Biblical Gematria I discovered that the Hebrew word communicating "and your goats" is included in the very story of Jacob leaving Laban with his rightful spotted and speckled flocks of sheep and goats in tow the value of this phrase is 113. (Genesis 31:38)
In the Gematria search, it is also discovered that the words/phrases equaling 113 before this are "to divide", "separate", "go out" and "take out". All of these describing exactly what happened with this incident with Jacob and Laban.
Jacob sheep resemble goats in body form and in the Ancient Near East the breeds of both sheep and goats were very similar and sometimes difficult to tell apart. I couldn't help but think of the portion of scripture that speaks of the end times
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats
— Matthew 25:32
The Canadian couple who raise the Jacob sheep began with four sheep, by the way.
Sheep and goats are known as ruminants, meaning they have a four compartment stomach as a part of their digestive system.
- the rumen
- and abomasum
The first two chambers separate the liquid and fibrous material. The fibrous material is then regurgitated back up for further breakdown and is swallowed again where it digests further by four things;
- and yeast
These were considered the "clean" animals that the Israelites could eat according to the law.
Surprisingly, Jacob sheep can have a rare genetic condition called Tay-Sachs Disease that can also occur in humans. It is predominantly found but not limited to, Ashkenazi Jews and some French Canadians and Cajuns. Tay-Sachs disease is an autosomal recessive condition, meaning the weakness in the genetic material is present in both mother and father.
This particular condition causes a degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spine that eventually leads to death by the age of four. Tay-Sachs chromosomal address is at g444r in Jacob sheep and is known as a Hexa gene. Its main responsibility is to produce an enzyme that regulates the gangliosides that build upon the nerve cells. It is thought that there is a change in the nucleotide at Exxon 11 where splicing occurs before the genetic information can be transcribed. Jacob sheep, who have remarkably similar DNA, with this condition, are currently being used for research and testing in order to help people with this condition.10
Jacob's Four Pillars
There are four pillars mentioned in the account of Jacob's life. Each of them is like landmarks memorializing the transitions in Jacobs's life from the time he left the promised land unto his return.
The first event occurs when Jacob is on his way to his mother's family of origin to find a wife and to flee from the wrath of his brother Esau, whom he had taken both birthright and blessing from. He laid down for the night, using a stone for a pillow.
Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you
— Genesis 28:12-15
When Jacob awoke and remembered the vision and the promise he...
Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it
— Genesis 28:18
The second occurrence is when Jacob sneaks off from Laban and Laban catches up with him to confront him. God has strictly instructed Laban not to harm Jacob in any way so he instead decides to make a treaty with Jacob, securing his future well-being and they make a covenant between them.
So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar.
— Genesis 31:45
The third event is a second appearance from the Lord when Jacob returned to Bethel, the place where God initially appeared to him when he left.
And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel. Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.” Then God went up from him in the place where He talked with him. So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it.
— Genesis 35:10-14
As Jacob was returned to his homeland His brother Esau, a man of the flesh, met Jacob with 400 men in his company, displaying his earthly military might.
The fourth and final pillar occurs when his wife Rachael dies on the way to Bethlehem while giving birth to Benjamin.
And Jacob set a pillar on her grave
— Genesis 35:20
Benjamin becomes the last son of Jacob establishing the twelve tribes of Israel that would go on to become a nation.
Scofield Note on Romans 11 as it Relates to Jacob
Summary: Israel, so named from the grandson (Jacob) of Abraham, was chosen for a fourfold mission:
- To witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10 Isaiah 43:12
- to illustrate to the nations the blessedness of serving the true God Deuteronomy 33:26-29; 1 Chronicles 17:20 1 Chronicles 17:21; Psalms 144:15.
- to receive, preserve, and transmit the Scripture Deuteronomy 4:5-8; Romans 3:1 Romans 3:2.
- to produce, as to His humanity, the Messiah Genesis 3:15 ; 12:3 ; 22:18 ; 28:10-14 ; 49:10 ;2 Samuel 7:12-16 ; Isaiah 7:14 ; 9:6 ; Matthew 1:1 ; Romans 1:3 . According to the prophets, Israel, regathered from all nations, restored to her own land and converted, is yet to have her greatest earthly exaltation and glory.
Jacob in Egypt
Jacob and his family end up in Egypt after his sons sold their brother Joseph the fourth and final patriarch of Genesis, to some Ishmaelite traders and famine struck the land. They heard there was food in Egypt and were reunited with their brother Joseph who had gone from being a sold slave to the ruler of Egypt. They end up staying there for some four hundred years. We see four exhibited with this fourth patriarch in that, after the descendants of Jacob develop and multiply in Egypt they are delivered through the birth canal of the red sea, by God's mighty outstretched arm. The twelve tribes created through Jacob had now formed into a nation of people ripe and ready for delivery.
There are four notable women who give birth to two sons the youngest always replacing the oldest, representing flesh (oldest) and spirit (youngest)
- Rebekah – Esau, and Jacob
- Rachel – Joseph and Benjamin
- Asenath – Manasseh and Ephraim
- Tamar – Zerah and Perez
the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual
— I Corinthians 15:46
While in Egypt, the sons of Jacob have developed into an entire nation. The due date for delivery has arrived after 400 years of development, (human gestation is 40 weeks) when God raises up Moses to lead the people through the birth canal of the red sea. God identifies Himself to Moses and His people as...
“I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
— Exodus 3:6
. . . which He does a total of four times. (Exodus 3;6,15,16, and 4:5)
The fourth plague of the Exodus account records a change, in that this one does not affect the children of Israel. God sets apart and distinguishes his people it also records the first of four compromises that Pharaoh makes which image the same compromise that human flesh proposes when we attempt to leave Egypt (worldly lives)
- “Go, sacrifice to your God in the land.” (Exodus 8:25)
- “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Intercede for me.” (Exodus 8:28)
- Go now, you who are men (but not the little ones as requested) (Exodus 10:8-11)
- “Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back. Let your little ones also go with you.” (Exodus 10:24)
1444 (4x361) BC (25 April): date given in the Hebrew Bible for The Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt
Fourth Plague and the Sun God Ra
This fourth plague is translated into English as flies but is more likely the deeply revered scarab beetle that was sacred to the sun god Ra. Recall that it was the sun that was made on the fourth day.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
— Exodus 20:4
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
— Romans 1:24-25
If we count the events that occur including the casting down of the rod. The fourth event to occur is recorded in Exodus chapter 8
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats through all the land of Egypt.’They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt. The magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth the gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was ]hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
— Exodus 8:16-19
The Egyptian scarab amulet above is inscribed with a praise to the goddess Maat who was believed to be the goddess who regulated the stars and seasons (fourth day events) and who brought order from the chaos at creation.
— wikipedia (parantheses mine)
We will examine this one with a bit of insight revealed in its structure.
The Chiastic Structure of Biblical Text
Before I continue the presentation of four in this next section, still concerning Exodus, I need to explain a little bit about how the Bible is structured in literary terms.
We, Westerners, have been taught to think in a very linear fashion and move in one direction from left to right we think ABC or 123 or we move from top to bottom in list-like fashion. We generally style writing to begin with the most important parts than detail them as we go and then draw a conclusion at the end. Outlines reveal this style quite clearly.
X Marks the Spot
There are several different types of literary structures in the Bible. One of them is known as Chiasm and its name comes from the Greek letter chi which is in the form of an X. It displays two lines that intersect and cross over each other in the middle. The concepts portrayed in the scriptures many times follow this same pattern. In this particular layout of a biblical text, the most important concept is placed in the middle of its section and is surrounded on each side by parallel supporting details. You could say X where the outside concepts meet marks the spot.
We could also think of the top half of the X and the bottom half of the X pointing towards the middle, heart, or most central point of the discussion. It's much like the bullseye of an intended target. The word Torah meaning God's instruction and direction is rooted in an archery term that has to do with hitting the bullseye. See another article Teacher for further reference to this.
Kenneth E. Bailey, the author of several books that examine the varied literary structures of the Bible, recommends thinking of this literary structure as a sandwich where the meat is in the middle. The central theme is surrounded by parallel texts on each side that detail the main point. They give both sides of the central theme's story.
The Daniel Example
How this plays out in Biblical literature is exampled in the above image of this section and is taken from the book of Daniel.
Another fascinating fact that concerns chiasm is that our vision is structured exactly the same way. It is known as optic chiasm. and displayed in the image above. It illustrates how our brain processes sighted information. What a wonder that the Bible is structured according to the same pattern as our vision is. This design enables us to have depth perception and enables us to focus properly. Without both sides of information, we lose depth and focus. This could be said to apply on a larger scale both Old and New Testaments. One without the other leaves us with an unbalanced and shallow understanding.
one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see
— John 9:25
Our hearing uses chiastic type processes as well and when we only hear from one ear we lose both volume and direction. The Word of God is more audible and directional when we are hearing the parallel from both sides in stereo that leads us to the center conclusion.
Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God
— Romans 10:17
No wonder Jesus spent so much time healing those who were blind and deaf.
The Third Plague—The Fourth Contest
The portion of Scripture we will look at illustrating this is considered the third plague but is actually the fourth contest brought forth through Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh if we include the casting down of the rod turning into a snake or an alligator. I'm guessing alligator based upon the Hebrew word used in this text.
The contest is participated in possibly by four human subjects Moses and Aaron on behalf of God and Jannes and Jambres in behalf of Pharoah as is recorded in the New Testament
Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also
— II Timothy 3:8-9
There is a change in the presentation of this contest in that it is not announced as the others were.
The Chiastic Parallels
A ) Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats through all the land of Egypt.’”
Central axis) They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt.
A) The magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast.
Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened (Pharaoh's heart was hardened four times), and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said ["as the Lord had said is used four times in the contest account (7:13, 7:22, 8:15, 8:19) in the creative account God spoke and it was].
— Exodus 8:16-19
The patterns are themed by the words in bold. The chiasm is shown with the combining of "land of Egypt" in the first "A" and "man and beast" in second "A". The middle verse or central axis contains both of these elements "land of Egypt, "man and beast" only in reverse order.
Also, note that "man and beast" in the middle is sandwiched by "dust of the earth"
Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being
— Genesis 2:7
I said to myself concerning the sons of men, “God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust
— Ecclesiastes 3:18-20
There is also a chiasm with Egypt at the center that helps us understand that Egypt, in fact, does represent this earthly dusty worldly life. The first occurrence of "Land of Egypt" in this portion of scripture is surrounded on both sides with a "dust of the earth" statement.
God forming what once was formless
Day One - Day and Night
Day Two - Sea and Sky
Day Three - Land and Vegetaion
God filling what once was void
Day Four - Sun, Moon, and Stars
Day Five - Birds and Fish
Day Six - Beast and Man
There is another parallelism (non-chiastic) that is found in the creation account. On the third day, the earth, dry land or dust appears. On the 6th-day man and beast were created from the dust of the earth and to live on it. The graph below demonstrates the parallelism of each day of creation. Recall that the earth was "formless" and "void". One line expresses forming, the other filling.
Dust of the Earth, Man and Beast, Land of Egypt—"This World
What does "dust of the earth", "land of Egypt" "man and beast" reveal? Mankind without the breath of God in him is nothing but a mere beast or, broken down even further, the dust of the earth. He is in subjection to the physical laws of this physical realm and totally dependent upon God for his deliverance. God is also laying the foundation for us to associate Egypt as a type of "this world" metaphor as it will be used throughout the entirety of scripture. Jesus said
you are of this world, I am not of this world
— John 8:23
Now judgment is upon this world
— John 12:31
...and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
— John 16:11
in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience
— Ephesians 2:2
We see all of these New Testament elements in the plagues of Egypt.
Each plague was set to challenge the gods that Egypt worshiped. This particular one was the god Set and he was considered the god of the earth or desert. There is a spiritual component and a challenge to this.
They made Him jealous with strange gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
They sacrificed to demons who were not God
— Deuteronomy 32:16-18
The contest that was playing out in the physical realm was technically a "behind the scenes" spiritual battle.
The "Bible Knowledge Commentary" by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck makes this possible suggestion as well.
"It also may have been directed against the Egyptian priesthood. The priests prided themselves in their purity with their frequent washings and shavings, and their wearing of linen robes. Here the Lord polluted the religionists with pesky insects"
We will see how both of these ideas will come together in a contest between Jesus and the religious rulers of that time when Jesus delivers a man from a demon by the finger of God.
The Finger of God
This portion of scripture in Exodus chapter 8 is capped off in verse 19 with the magicians who could not replicate the miracle as they had the others and declared to Pharaoh
"This is the finger of God.”
— Exodus 8:19
"God showed these pagan people that He controlled the creation and could do with it as He wished".
— Forerunner commentary
The exact phrase "the finger of God" is used four times in Scripture three in the Old Testament and one in the New, which forms a type of chiasm as well. The verse we are looking at is its very first occurrence and our first slice of bread.
The next two occurrences which will be the meat of this revelation, are both related to the giving of the tablets of testimony (ten commandments)
When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone,written by the finger of God
— Exodus 31:8
The Lord gave me the two tablets of stone written by the finger of God; and on them were all the words which the Lord had spoken with you at the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly
— Deuteronomy 9:10
The fourth and final occurrence, the second slice of bread, is found in Luke chapter 11 when "people" identified as Pharisees in Matthew, and further refined as scribes in Mark, accuse Jesus of casting out demons by Beelzebul. Jesus argues their ridiculous reasoning with some examples and He concludes with...
if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? So they will be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you
— Luke 11:19-20
The fact that they were Pharasitical scribes would mean that they were very familiar with the Scriptures as in possibly had them memorized. When Jesus uses this phrase "the finger of God" they knew that Jesus was pointing back to the first occasion of its use in Exodus when the Egyptian sorcerers had enough sense to recognize the work of God in their midst. Adam Clarke notes on this topic.
"they (Egyptian sorcerers) are convinced that no man could do these miracles which these holy men did, unless God were with him"
E. Woods, author of "The Finger of God" writes.
It follows that the final force of Jesus’ ‘finger of God’ statement would be that even the pagan Egyptian magicians had the good sense to finally recognize that this was the work of God in their midst, and not that of demons...(Acts 2.22)
Another chiastic parallel confirms this point that is found in Mark chapter nine.
A) Mar 9:11, Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first;
B) Mar 9:12a, He answered, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things;
central axis) Mar 9:12b, “And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt?”
B) Mar 9:13, But Elijah has come + they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written;
A) Mar 9:14-16, When He came to the disciples, the scribes were disputing with them.
— Revealed chiasm "A Little Perspective" by Christine Miller
We can see the two outer parallels represented by "A" include "scribes" and their responsibility to know "what is written" rather than argue as they were.
Jesus' accusation points a finger at the possibility that they themselves are false teachers and relying on some form of spiritual, witchcraft Godotherly magic to accomplish the same and not to glorify God but to bolster themselves. Timothy describes the many qualities of these false teachers and compares them to these very magicians.
...those holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power...their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.
— II Timothy 3:9
It is interesting that this same scene in the book of Matthew connects "the finger of God" used in Luke with the Holy Spirit. This is why they are scolded for speaking against the work of the Holy Spirit. They should have known.
“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come
— Matthew 12:31-32
Their reasonings were skewed by their own private political and religious self-promoting agendas. They were infuriated that the people were calling Him the "Son of David" and drawing attention away from their institution.
John's Gospel records another incident with a finger of Jesus, that may, once again, "point" to an accusation against these religious rulers, of not only false teaching and denial of His rightful Lordship but also, adultery. A woman is brought before Jesus who had been caught in the very act, and the scribes (experts in the law) and the Pharisees, are asking Jesus if they should stone her. Jesus understands that this simply an attempt to entrap Him but He has a greater lesson in mind for them.
Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience
— John 8:6
Have you ever wondered what He wrote that so convicted their hearts? Jeremiah the prophet holds the key.
O Lord, the hope of Israel,
All who forsake You shall be ashamed.
“Those who depart from Me
Shall be written in the earth,
Because they have forsaken the Lord,
The fountain of living waters
— Jeremiah 17:13
These were scribes and legal experts and if Jesus was writing their names in the earth, as well as asking such a pointed question, they very well knew what He was trying to say. He was essentially accusing them of committing adultery against God. It was just prior to this, in chapter seven, that Jesus declared...
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive
— John 7:37-39
This occurs immediately after the rulers reject Jesus' authority and try to prevent others from believing in Him as well.
Recall that "the finger of God was used twice concerning the writing of the commandments by God. In between the writing of the two events, was God's delivered children turning from Him to another god by erecting the golden calf. Idolatry is adultery as far as God is concerned.
Isn't it interesting, as well, that the man with whom she was committing adultery with wasn't brought with her, because that was in the law too, which gives, even more, depth to this lesson that they excluded themselves from the equation?
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
— Matthew 7:5
The Central Point—The Ten Commandments
We see the outer parallels of the finger of God had to do with the contest between God and the evil forces exhibited in the arena of Egypt and played out between the true servants of God and the false magicians.
The New Testament enactment in Luke chapter eleven exhibits a common issue that Jesus encounters regularly with the Pharisees and that is their challenge to His authority.
On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him, and they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?”
— Luke 20:1-3
The Ten Commandments are the two center verses that attribute works to "the finger of God" as was shown above in the four uses of this phrase. It explains why Jesus was granted this authority, because He perfectly fulfilled them, which made Him the only one authorized to deliver and save.
Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, I find no guilt in this man.”
— Luke 23:4
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
— Hebrews 4:15
Of course, we see Him delegate this to His followers but only under His Lordship. He was the first man who had not transgressed the law which qualified Him to have dominion in the earth as Adam was supposed to do. Adam should have cast out that devil in the garden and he would have had the authority to do so had he not sinned. After Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected He appeared to His disciples saying...
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
— Matthew 28:18
There were four specifically named earthly representatives, called to go up to the mount Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu.
he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.
— Exodus 24:1
According to C.I. Scofield in his commentary on Deuteronomy, the newly developed tribe of people under the Lordship of YHWH had four missions
- To be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry
- To illustrate the greater blessedness of serving the one true God
- To receive and preserve the divine revelation
- To produce the Messiah, Earths Savior, and Lord
The Messiah/Christ was the
- Son of God
- Son of Man
- Son of Abraham
- Son of David
It was He who "brought us out" a phrase used 28 (4x7) times in scripture. Seven is the number of fulfillment. Our Messiah Savior came to the earth (4) and fulfilled (7) our obligation to the one who created us that we may live in a relationship with Him once again.
In the New Testament, the Passover is mentioned 28 (4x7) times. It is the Passover Lamb that types and shadows for us God's one and only Son who would bring us out by the shedding of His own blood as the satisfactory payment for our sins. He brought us out by Jesus our Passover Lamb.
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood
— Acts 20:28
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
— I Corinthians 5:7
The fingers of God is used in a Psalm to express the marvel with which God created the physical universe
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth...
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
— Psalm 8:1,3,4
The Territory of the Mind
This new creation of people descending from nomadic ancestors (a picture of our wandering state before Christ) was assured a permanent promised land (a picture of eternal dwelling with God). Prior to their arrival, they received the instructions and requirements of God, which included the task of taking possession of the land. Could it be that the "renewing of our mind" in our foundation verse has to do with taking possession of the territory of our minds, as newly FOURmed creations in Christ, noting that there are four hemispheres of the brain (frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital), and bringing every sphere of it into submission to His Lordship?
bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
— II Corinthians 10:4
Wasn't that God's original intention for man that was expressed in the creation account, that man as a sort of vassal king, would communicate and authorize the heavenly spiritual kingdom in the natural realm of the earth?
Charles Spurgeon keenly observes the four "gracious operations, through the desert of our nature" that occurs in those who make a straight path through repentance (meaning a change of mind) for the King to stake His claim on the territory of our souls.
Every valley shall be filled
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough ways smooth;
— Luke 3:5
Considering that the brain is made up of grooves and mountainous looking white matter that has been conFOURmed to this world, isn't it a wonder that this is the language God uses and the visual He gives us in describing what He is going to do?
By what means does God make this transFOURmation? They are revealed in the Bible's four descriptions of who God is in scripture.
- God is light ~ John 1:5
- God is love ~ I John 4:8
- God is Spirit ~ John 4:24
- God is a consuming fire
— Hebrews 12:29
We can note that each attribute has transFOURming qualities and purposes. His nature transFOURms our nature as we submit ourselves to Him and this work He wants to do in us.
we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord
— II Corinthians 3:18
The brain also has four ventricles that support the flow of our cerebral spinal fluids which help the brain float that consist of two lateral ventricles, the third ventricle, and the fourth ventricle.
The brain is formed by the fourth week of preborn development
The four main criteria for identifying neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers of the brain:
- The chemical must be synthesized in the neuron or otherwise be present in it.
- When the neuron is active, the chemical must be released and produce a response in some target.
- The same response must be obtained when the chemical is experimentally placed on the target.
- A mechanism must exist for removing the chemical from its site of activation after its work is done. ~ wikipedia online encyclopedia
The Fourth Book of the Bible—Numbers
The fourth book of the Bible in Hebrew is called B'Midbar (Gematria — 248 or 4x62) which means "in the wilderness" with the understanding that it chronicles and accounts the FOURmative 40 (4x10) years from Egypt to the land of promise. The wilderness in scripture is a type and figure of life in this natural created realm and images for us our FOURmative years of our being transFOURmed from the time we accept Christ and His deliverance until our promised eternity with Him.
Christ, Himself was tested in the earthly wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights which is recorded in Luke chapter four which is 44 verses long. The children of Israel failed this test when they were in the wilderness without Moses for 40 days and 40 nights. Jesus passed the test on our behalf.
C.I. Scofield observes that God used four ways to develop and discipline his children in their wilderness journey to the promised land.
- the Red Sea,
- Marah (bitter waters),
- Elim (12 wells of water and 70 palms),
- and Sinai.
He also gives us the New Testament application to these four stations.
- the Red Sea relative to the cross,
- Marah turning our bitterness to a blessing,
- Elim God's power of rest and provision, and refreshment,
- and Sinai the experience and practice of holiness.
In chapter 16 of this book a rebellion concerning the priesthood arises and is introduced concerning these...
Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi
— Numbers 16:1
This generational intro of "son of" spans 400 years. Korah is the fourth generation from Levi. Is it possible the iniquity of violence that occurred at Shechem is now being visited upon this generation of his descendants? Consider that the vengeance exacted at Shechem for raping his sister Dinah was usurping the authority and instruction of his father Jacob much like is occurring in this instance.
After two challenges of authority and rebellion against God resulting in a bunch of folks being swallowed up and others plagued Frank E Gaebelein sums up this chapter with four "new" observations.
"at last, there will be no more offense. Surely now there is
- a new beginning for
- a new people
- a new generation
- a new day"
— The Expositor's Bible Commentary
This book establishes the positioning of the tribes around the tabernacle that is central to the layout. The tribe census counts for each tribe in both Numbers chapter one and Numbers 26 are all divisible by four except for the tribe of Gad in the first account and Reuben in the second which ended up being a 1/2 number when divided by four. Interesting that both Gad and Reuben settled on the other side of the Jordan. Also, Eight (4x2) names of the tribal leaders include the word El which means God and is the first revealed name of God in Genesis in reference to Him creating all things.
Numbers also establish positioning and purposes of the four-part priesthood
- Gerson — west
- Kohath — south
- Merari — north,
- Moses and Aaron — east
All were numbered and divisible by four, showing us the way to meet with and walk with the Holy God while we live on the earth who covenants to be with His people through the sacrificial system. It is also entirely noteworthy that this layout actually FOURms the shape of a cross with its four arms facing four directions.
In Numbers chapter 9:23. God's covenant name is recited four times in reference to His establishing how He will lead His people on the earth also revealing that the only way to live our physical existence in any truly purposeful way, is in obedience to the one who created it and us all by making Him and His indescribable gift and sacrifice of His one and only Son the central most important focus of our lives.
by the command of Jehovah they encamp, and by the command of Jehovah they journey; the charge of Jehovah they have kept, by the command of Jehovah in the hand of Moses
— Numbers 9:23 (Young's Literal Translation)
It is also relevant to understand that the Abrahamic covenant underlies the writing of Numbers which consisted of four main promises concerning the establishment of a
- and nations.
According to the "New IVP Bible Commentary" there are four types of writing within this book narrative that are the framework of the book
- and speeches
Fours in the Tabernacle and Wilderness
Four colors - Blue, White, Purple, and Scarlet, four bowls made like almond blossoms on the lampstand, four coverings to the tabernacle - woven linen, goats hair, ram's skins dyed red, and badger skins representing salvation by four methods - Faith in Christ the righteous - who carried our sins away - through His death on the cross - by becoming one of us. four materials of gold, silver, brass, and wood. Manna had a fourfold description - small, white, round, and sweet.
Cities of Refuge
The "cities of Refuge" is brought up four times in the book of Numbers, the fourth book of the Bible.
These were cities that were set aside for the man who slew another without intent that the land which God had given them would not be defiled by the shedding of innocent blood. The person could flee to one of these cities and live in safety within the boundaries, from the avenger of blood, until the High Priest died at which point he was allowed to live freely. This illustrates for us Christ our city of refuge in that even if sin is not our intent it is included in our package as humans. When He died for our sins He freed us and cleansed us of our guilt. Bonnie Gaunt, in her book "Jesus Christ the Number of His Name" makes this interesting observation concerning the dimensions of these cities
"They were to be a square within a square. The inner square was the city, and the outer square surrounding it was the suburb used for pasturing their cattle and for gardens, etc. Each side of the suburbs measured 4000 cubits, giving a perimeter of 16,000 cubits, while the city had sides of 2000 cubits, making a perimeter of 8,000 cubits.
In Joshua chapter 21 the realization of this occurs after the taking possession of the land where "four cities", in reference to the cities of refuge, occurs 8 (4x2) times.
400 years later Solomon built a temple that was based in four the most Holy Place being 20 (4x5) cubits square, and the Holy Place attached to it was 40 cubits in length and 20 cubits in width.
The Fourth Book of Psalms
Some further Bullinger revelations from "Numbers in Scripture" reveals that the book of Psalms at the heart of the Bible, affirms the number four and its connection with the created earth. The Book of Psalms is divided into five sections. The fourth one is from Psalm 90-106.
"In the fourth book of the Psalms (which corresponds with the fourth book of the Bible - Numbers) all its illustrations and metaphors are drawn from the earth."
This fourth section opens with "A prayer of Moses" — the man of the wilderness. Both Numbers and Psalms concern the wilderness experience which is figurative of our pilgrimage through the wilderness of life on the earth.
Bullinger also notes that this section of the Psalms reveals...
"God's counsels and purposes are celebrated with regard to the earth, and the nations of the earth from ruin to glory...sin has come into the world, and ruined, not merely man, but the earth itself...it's figures are from this wilderness-world; as mountains, hills, floods, grass, pestilence, trees...Happiness for the world will be found only when He. "Whose right it is", shall come again to reign and "judge the world in righteousness". In Christ, the coming King, not only Israel, but all the nations of the earth, will be blessed. This is the theme of the book."
Once again we see the themes of transformation, creation, destruction, and re-creation exhibited with the number four.
Bullinger categorized this book into three sections, which hints at the spiritual component to our experience as exhibited in terms of rest.;
- "Rest for the Earth Desired" (Psalm 91-94),
- "Rest for the Earth Anticipated" (Psalm 95-100),
- "Rest for the Earth Celebrated" (Psalm 101-105)
The structure of this Psalm can be viewed online for free from several sources by a simple search of Bullinger Companion Bible PDF, that further detail and confirm this revelation. He also makes the following revelation as to its relationship to the progressive revelation of both the Books of Moses and the sections of the Psalms.
The book has to do with the EARTH and the NATIONS, as the first book (1-41) had to do with MAN the second book (42-72) with ISRAEL and the third book (73- 89) with the SANCTUARY.
Further notes on Psalms four and creation
"the First book of the Psalms, the fourth psalm has to do with the earth.... The fourth Psalm of all the other books of Psalms tell of Dominion in the earth and they speak of the coming reign of earth's rightful King and Lord"
The Hebrew word aretz, translated "earth" in many cases and sometimes as the land, is used 44 times in this fourth book of Psalms. Recall that this Hebrew phrase "the land" has a gematria of 296 which is 4x74
The Four Cornered Garment
The fourth book of the Bible Numbers also records a command that concerns the four corners of a man's garment
The Lord also spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves; tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, so as to do them and not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the Lord your God.”
— Numbers 15:37-41
“You shall make yourself tassels (intertwined threads) on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself
These tassels known as tzitzit in Hebrew is mentioned four times in the scriptures and is made with four strands, the root of this word is the Hebrew meaning to produce a flower or blossom. An interesting idea that God's commands should not seem loathsome but a pleasantry that flowers, blossoms, and produces.
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
— I John 5:1-4
John D. Garr author of "The Hem of His Garment" explains the biblical history of this particular garment and alludes to the idea that it was this corner, fringe, or tassel that the woman with the issue of blood was reaching for,
He also alludes to the idea of how it was symbolic of the four corners of creation, and the four directions as we looked at earlier in this study. He then goes onto explain that it was to raise a man's consciousness to consider the Creator and Lord of the Universe and man's expected loyalty to all that the King of Creation would command.
He quotes Psalm 24 (studied earlier in this article) in reference to this and I would like to, therefore, look at a chiasm found in this Psalm that confirms Gods righteous requirement for loyalty through obedience in all spheres (four corners) of life that enables us to have a relationship with Him and a productive life. as well as testifies to the four corners of the world His worthiness. That is what makes this woman's touching of the tzitzit of Jesus so compelling is that she believed that Jesus had been sinlessly obedient and therefore she understood that He had the authority and power of heaven right there in her midst.
The Psalm opens with
The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,The world, and those who dwell in it For He has founded it upon the seas And established it upon the rivers.
— Psalm 24:1
A chiasm, recall is like a sandwich with two slices of bread (parallel themes) on the outside with meat (the main point) in the middle. With that being said let's see what this reveals in the next few verses of Psalm 24.
A) Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place?
central axis) He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
A) Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully He shall receive a blessing from the Lord.
— Psalm 24:2-5
We see that the central axis tells us that the only one qualified to commune with God and receive His blessing is the one with clean hands and a pure heart; one who perfectly "remembered" the commands of God and did them.
The woman who touched the hem or of Jesus garment was possibly a Gentile, representing the Gospel that would go forth into the whole world receiving God's blessing, not because of our own righteousness but reaching to the tzitzit (His righteousness) to deliver us from our "issue of blood"(sin).
This ties in with the four-cornered sheet that Peter saw come down from heaven in reference to the reception of the Gentiles. Was the sheet-like this four tassled garment that was intended to cover all who would come to His call and be saved from their sin.
The assembly of these four tassels as mentioned before consisted of four strands that passed through four holes and doubled over to appear as eight (4x2). A complex system of knots and windings of which there are four sections, are made with these strands and is to result in knots and wrappings that hang down four inches.
The blue hearkens back to the original giving of the Ten Commandments and the very throne of God expressing God's desire to rule and reign in the earth through the very hearts of men.
they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire (used 12 - 4x3 times) stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity...Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written
— Exodus 24:12
there in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim, there appeared something like a sapphire stone, having the appearance of the likeness of a throne
— Ezekiel 10:1
It is speculated that these stones were possibly made of sapphire. It's Hebrew root means to inscribe with letters and is also used as an accounting term. We know that Hebrew letters were also used as their numbering system so it all adds up.
Balaam's Four Oracles
The book of Numbers, the fourth book of the bible, records a transitional scene in Israel's history that occurred just prior to their entrance into the promised land.
At the end of forty years of wilderness wandering the king of Moab, was deeply disturbed by the children of Israel's military victories as well as their growing population. He decided to hire the famous occult diviner, Balaam, who lived 400 miles away, to curse Israel for him.
Balaam makes three attempts to curse them the first being
“Who can count the dust of Jacob,
Or number one-fourth of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous,
And let my end be like his!”
— Numbers 23:10
Some translate "one-fourth" as the fourth part. Both interpretations include the idea of the entire sphere of Israel divided into four groups that canvas the four directions of the earth North, South, East, and West.
Balaam ends up blessing them instead because what God has blessed cannot be cursed. He finally speaks a fourth Oracle that contains the foretelling of their coming Messiah King to the earth out of them.
“I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel..."
— Numbers 24:17
The "Liberty Bible Commentary of the Old and New Testament makes this note concerning this verse and how the number four explains something that will occur in the natural physical realm of great significance.
"Israel was to be exalted as a kingdom, It was not simply that Yahweh was their king, but that they were to have a human monarch"
— J. Barton Payne
He properly prophecies in his fourth oracle, that the Messiah King will visit the earth in a physical human form that will descend from them, specifically, and He will be heralded by a Star symbolizing the birth and brightness of a great king.
An interesting note as well that Balaam was considered a Magi who spoke of this Star that would be sought out by the Magi from the east when Christ came. The star speaks of heaven's witness of who He is.
In reference to the "star", it is a fourth-day creation.
The Fourth Tribe
Judah was the fourth son of Jacob and became the head of one of the twelve tribes that God used to develop into the nation of Israel. The first three sons of Jacob were disqualified from the status of firstborn rights and privileges. The tribe of Judah was positioned on the east side and entrance to the tabernacle. They were the first to bring the first days offerings upon the establishment and dedication of the wilderness tabernacle order of worship. They were also the first tribe to be dispatched for battle. and they were the first to receive their inheritance upon entering the land of promise. The Davidic kingdom arose from the tribe of Judah. It is the tribe from which the savior Lord Jesus would come.
Deuteronomy 28 Four Blessings and Four Curses
The book of Deuteronomy, "The Words" in Hebrew, records the final instructions given to the children of Israel just prior to entering the land of promise.
The 28th chapter lists four categories of blessing in verses three through six expressing the great consequence of a pleasant life in the land/earth to those who would be faithful to God and the covenant He made with them. Notice verse four contains four items concerning the development of fruit.
Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
Blessed shall be
- the fruit of thy body,
- and the fruit of thy ground,
- and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine,
- and the flocks of thy sheep.
Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
— Deuteronomy 28:3-6
Blessings are further detailed as the chapter moves along and is then followed by a matching set of four categories of curses that detail the consequence of setting foot outside the covenant agreement and committing adultery against God. Life in the land, on the earth, as described will become frightful and uncovered. Once again a repetition of four fruitful items is mentioned.
Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.
Cursed shall be
- the fruit of thy body, and
- the fruit of thy land,
- the increase of thy kine, and
- the flocks of thy sheep.
Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
— Deuteronomy 29:16-19
We see how God is issuing the instructions that will either develop and establish them, or destroy them.
The book of Joshua is the first of 12 (4x3) historical books. Joshua-Esther according to C.I Scofield in his Bible commentary...
"The story of the Historical Books is the story of the rise and fall of the Commonwealth of Israel, while prophets foretell the future restoration and glory of that under King Messiah...The book of Joshua specifically records the consummation of the redemption of Israel out of Egypt"
Joshua falls into four parts:
- The conquest, 1-12.
- The partition of the inheritance, 13-21.
- Incipient discord, 22.
- Joshua's last counsels and death, 23,24.
In appointing cities for the Levites, 48 (4x12) in all, in Joshua chapter 21 "four cities" in each territory is the common theme, except for Judah/Simeon with nine and Naphtali with three.
Crossing the Jordan
Crossing over the Jordan into the promised land is the major theme of this book. The east side of the Jordan represents our physical earthly life and the promised land on the "other side" of the Jordan represents our spiritual inheritance through Christ.
The book of Deuteronomy, one book before the book of Joshua, records the words and instructions given by God to the children of Israel just prior to their crossing over to the promised land. The Hebrew word "avar" meaning "to cross over" or "pass through" is used 44 times in this book and receives four mentions in the fourth chapter. This fourth chapter also mentions four things created on the fourth day, in reference to things that we ought not to worship.
take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see
- the sun,
- the moon,
- and the stars,
- all the host of heaven
— Deuteronomy 4:19
The Jordan river's upper four sources:
- Hasbani (Snir in Hebrew),
- The Dan,
- and The Banias
The lower four tributaries are The
- Yarmouk River,
- Zarqa (Jabbok in Hebrew) River,
- and Jabesh.
The names of these rivers are significant concerning the Jordan being filled with the things that we must cross over to get to the other side.
- Ayun means ruin
- Snir means a noisy clattering and clanking
- Dan means to judge and is rooted in a word meaning strive and contend
- Banais means son of mischief and hurt.
- Yarmuk means a high place could allude to pride
- Jabbok means empty and reaches the Jordan at Adam.
- Jalud meaning born, a
- and Jabesh means dryness and confusion.
There is no particular order to this list but I think each word captures an element of being born and beginning at a lowly state in Adam into a prideful empty dry existence, leading to a ruinous, noisy, contentious, mischief bearing life.
Joshua, in this case, is a picture of Jesus, the same name, by the way, leading the way through this, impossible without Him, river.
The Book of Judges
The book of Judges takes place with the generations following Joshua and is said to span a time of about 400 years. Four times, in this book, it is noted that...
In those days there was no king in Israel
— Judges 17:6, 18:1, 19;1 21:25
The first and last of these four, add this clause to the observation.
and everyone did what was right in his own eyes
— Judges 17:6, 21:25
We could view this as a chiasm. The two outer occurrences of the four "there was no king in Israel" includes the phrase "everyone did what was right in their own eyes". They bookend an incident involving the Danites. This particular tribe was unable to conquer the land that they were allotted and subsequently viciously attacked a harmless group of folks to the far north. These people were quiet and causing no harm and they were not in treaty with anyone that could help them. The two outer additional phrase inclusion informs the reader that this was not with God's approval and the four total "king" phrases express that they were leaning solely on tangible reasoning and not being Spirit-led.
The Danites had hired a fickle priest who was abducted by Micah, a man who lived in the territory of Ephraim. In the process, the Danites stole four idolatrous things that were used by Micah and his priest, as consultants indicating the worldliness of the people and the priesthood of this time.
- and teraphim,
- and a graven image,
- and a molten image
— Judges 18:14
A little background note, In chapter 17 we read that it is Micah's mother who makes the graven and molten images for him after he had stolen her money.
"Micah's mother makes and idol: and Micah expects the blessing of Jehovah because he has linked his idolatry to the ancient levitical order"
— C.I. Scofield
Isn't that revealing concern the current state of the worldly church of today? Micah reaped what he sowed while leaving by the dictates of the flesh nature and yet serving the Lord.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
— Galations 6:7-8
The second and middle event of our chiasm concerning "there was no king in Israel" clauses, is the gruesome account of a Levitical priest who had a concubine who "played the whore" and went home to her father's house for four months. After these four months, her husband "arose and went after her". He abode with his father-in-law for three days and on the "fourth day" he arose to leave but the father talks him into staying one more day. The following day the father-in-law does the same trying to convince him to stay and pleads with him until evening (the time of the day for pitching tents for the night) it is at this time he decides to leave for home. The servant that is with him tries to talk him into staying in a town called Jebus that was occupied by Jebusites but the priest refuses and insists on going to Gibeah (mentioned 24/4x6 times in Judges). Gibeah was an Israelite city that was four miles beyond Jebus. Both cities belonged to Benjamin.
A note concerning patterns before we move along; Benjamin is the tribe that Israel's first fleshly king Saul will come from and he establishes his capital in Gibeah.
When the priest, his concubine, and his servant get to Gibeah hoping to take shelter for the night, they go to the city square because no one would take them in for the night. Travelers of this time were entirely dependent upon the hospitality of strangers. An old man, an Ephraimite who was temporarily lodging in this community, came in from working in the field invites them in. He asks them "Where do you come from and where are you going"? "Where are you going" is used four times in the Old Testament (Gen 16:8/Hagar, Gen 32:17/Esau, Judges 19:17/Levitical priest, Zechariah 2:2/Zechariah in the measuring of the city). The priest replies that he is coming from Bethlehem meaning house of bread and returning to Ephraim meaning fruits.
Frank E. Gaebelein in his Expositors Bible Commentary notes
"This Ephraimite was residing in Gibeah on a temporary basis, somewhat as Lot had been living in Sodom (Gen 19:9) Like Lot, the old man did not share the morals of the towns people"
What happens next is deplorable. The townspeople, Benjamite men, come beating on the door and demanding that the old man send out the Levitical priest so that they can rape him. Once again this is reminiscent of the Sodom and Gomorrah account. Things had deteriorated in this tribe to that degree. Ancient laws of hospitality dictated a horrifying to the modern mind solution.
lo, my daughter, the virgin, and his concubine, let me bring them out, I pray you, and humble ye them, and do to them that which is good in your eyes, and to this man do not this foolish thing.'
— Judges 19:24
Recall that this was the same solution Lot came up with. Nothing is said of the virgin who was offered, but the concubine is tossed out to the wicked men and she is abused all night by them. She is discovered in the morning, dead and clinging to the threshold of the door. Recall four's association with "door".
The Levitical priest decides to cut up the woman's body into 12 (4x3) pieces and sent each tribe a piece with the intention of stirring up indignation causing the situation to be dealt with militarily. Again we see this repeated with Saul at Gibeah when he cuts up an ox and sends its parts throughout Israel to muster up an army against an enemy.
Initially, they confronted Benjamin's tribe by requiring them to give up the men who did this but they refused.
There were 400,000 men who drew a sword from the eleven tribes to go up against Benjamin and 40,000 of them died in the first two battles. The first two they asked the Lord if they should do this and God said "yes". So why weren't they successful the first two times but they were victorious on the third? After two failed attempts they decide to do something different.
Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the Lord, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord
— Judges 20:26
They had forgotten the sacrifice on the other two occasions and essentially were going into battle in their own human, natural, physical strength and that is why they were defeated. Recall when the children of Israel went up to defeat Ai and could not because of the sin that one had committed in the camp? Recall that they also placed their confidence in the size of their army and the smallness of the opposing tribe, and they were defeated. Recall also the "I brought you out" 28 (4x7) times in scripture clauses and remember Christ's command "Do this in remembrance of me" (remembrance in Greek New Testament used four times - Luke 22:19, I Cor.11:24-25 Heb 10:3)
beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out (this phrase used 28 - 4x7 times) of the land of Egypt , from the house of bondage
— Deuteronomy 6:12
Forgetting God and recalling where our true victory comes from, Jesus Christ alone is our only path to victory in this world.
Benjamin is defeated and 600 men escape. They dwelt in the Rock Rimmon (site of the former city of Ai) for four months. These men would be the remnant that would redevelop the tribe. The wives for this rebuilding would be 400 virgins from Jabesh Gilead, the one city that did not go up and help fight. Israel sent 12,000 (4x3000) men to destroy these inhabitants to obtain the brides for the subsequent development.
Jabesh Gilead, a town east of the Jordan, meaning the dry and rocky place is mentioned in four books of the Bible (Judges, I Samuel, II Samuel, and I Chronicles) Jabesh alone is used 24 (4x6) times and in combination with Gilead 12 (4x3) times.
We can see that the two outer occurrences of "there was no King in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes" clauses sandwich two cases of gross idolatry and the vile results thereof.
When trouble visited the children of Israel, most generally as a result of not following God's ways and worshiping false idols, they would cry out to the Lord and He would mercifully appoint a judge or leader, similar to the chief of a tribe, who would raise up a force to defeat their oppressors.
Judges chapter eleven records an event that revolves around a son of Gilead named Jephthah. His mother was a harlot and he was rejected by the other sons of Gilead who were from his legitimate wife. Jephthah moves away and becomes a strong warrior. When Israel, once again, begins to be oppressed by their enemies, the sons of Gilead run to Jephthah and ask him to lead up the army. Jephthah makes mention of the fact that they, earlier, had rejected him but accepted the challenge.
His first order of business was to confront the king of Ammon by messenger and recounting that the accusations and justifications for making war with Israel are unfounded. In this account, the Hebrew word "avar" meaning "to cross over" is used four times to describe the process by which they crossed over to the territory God had given them.
Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying,
- “Please let me (avar) pass through your land.” But the king of Edom would not heed. And in like manner they sent to the king of Moab, but he would not consent.
- So Israel remained in Kadesh.And they went along through the wilderness and by passed the land of Edom and the land of Moab, came to the east side of the land of Moab, and encamped on the other side (avar) of the Arnon. But they did not enter the border of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon; and Israel said to him,
- “Please let us pass through (avar) your land into our place.”
- But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through (avar) his territory.
So Sihon gathered all his people together, encamped in Jahaz, and fought against Israel
— Judges 11:17-20
The king of Ammon did not care, and this theme of crossing over is used four times once again in reference to Jephthah's advancement towards the Ammonites through Gilead.
Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah,
- and he passed through (avar) Gilead and Manasseh,
- and passed through (avar) Mizpah of Gilead;
- and from Mizpah of Gilead he advanced (avar) toward the people of Ammon. And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.”
- So Jephthah advanced (avar) toward the people of Ammon to fight against them, and the Lord delivered them into his hands.
And he defeated them from Aroer as far as Minnith—twenty cities—and to Abel Keramim, with a very great slaughter. Thus the people of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
— Judges 11:29-32
You might notice a little disturbing vow that Jephthah makes to God in order to secure his victory in offering as a burnt offering whatever comes out of his doors, upon his return home, to meet him. Ken Bailey, who was raised in the Middle East, explains that in an ancient Middle Eastern home the animals were brought into a section of the home for the night and let out in the morning. Jephthah, therefore, would be expecting an animal to be coming out of the doors of his home.
This explanation also applies to Christ's birth with the thought that Jesus most likely was born in a home and not what we would think of like a barn. The manger was generally located at the end of the living area of the home where the animals on a slightly lower level could eat. The verse that says that there was no room at the inn is not referring to a hotel but a guest room that most homes had to accommodate the very strict rules concerning hospitality. The verse is telling us why Jesus was placed in the manger of this family home. It was because the guest room was already being occupied.
Back to our story; upon Jephthah's return an animal does not come out of the doors of his home but instead, much to his regret, it is his daughter. His daughter encourages him to do as he has promised the Lord but asks that she may, first, go mourn her virginity with her friends for two months.
And it was so at the end of two months that she returned to her father, and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man.
And it became a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went four days each year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite
— Judges 11:39-40
There were twelve (4x3) total judges and eight (4x2) mentioned specifically as such, recorded in this book.
Frank E. Gaebelein writes in his "Expositors Bible Commentary"
"The purpose of the book of Judges is to show that Israel's spiritual condition determined its political and material situation. When the nation turned to God in obedience, God graciously sent deliverers to rescue the people from oppression. When they disregarded Joshua's warnings and worshiped the gods of Canaan, the nation came under tyrants and invaders"
This is so very consistent with our understanding of four and physical created things that are subject to change for good or for bad.
There is also a fourfold "forty-year" sin cycle in the book of judges that follows with
- doing evil in the sight of the Lord
- judgment in the form of enemy oppression
- They would repent and cry out to the Lord
- then God would send a deliverer.
In chapter nine of Judges, beginning with verse 7 there is an incident with Gideon's son Abimelech who took it upon himself to make himself a ruler. He killed 70 of his brothers in the process of establishing himself. One brother escaped whose name was Jotham. The men of Shechem declare Abimelech as king and when Jotham hears about this he tells them a parable about four trees in hopes that they will see the ridiculousness of their decision.
Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and cried out. And he said to them: “Listen to me, you men of Shechem, That God may listen to you! “The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them.
- And they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Should I cease giving my oil, With which they honor God and men, And go to sway over trees?’
- “Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us!’ But the fig tree said to them, ‘Should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit, And go to sway over trees?’
- Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us!’ But the vine said to them, ‘Should I cease my new wine, Which cheers both God and men, And go to sway over trees?’
- “Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us!’ And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in truth you anoint me as king over you, Then come and take shelter in my shade; But if not, let fire come out of the bramble And devour the cedars of Lebanon!’
— Judges 9:7-15
Trees in Scripture can represent leaders and kingdoms which are also consistent with what four are revealing. Here we see a parable that very much fits the culture we see today where "everyone does what is right in his own eyes" The leaders we choose are those we seem to think will best accommodate our idolatrous wishes.
Judges Chapter Four
Judges four and five records the account of Deborah, Israel's fourth and only female judge. She was also a wife, counselor, and warrior. Recall that during this time was when "Israel had no king and everyone did what was right in their own eyes" that was mentioned four times in the book altogether. Her announcement to the recording of her service is in verse four
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time
— Judges 4:4
It was at this time that Israel was in its fourth cycle of a four-step process of worshiping idols, suffering the consequence, crying out to the Lord, and the Lord rescuing by raising up a leader to help them.
God gives them the victory over their enemies and the scriptures record that after this they had rest for forty years.
In Judges chapter five a victory song is sung about the whole event depicting the cause, result, and rescue.
Four earthly manifestations of God's power is demonstrated in this song
- The earth trembled and
- The heavens poured,
- The clouds also poured water;
- The mountains gushed before the Lord
This Sinai, before the Lord God of Israel
— Judges 5: 4-5
Verse eight of this song says that the Israelites were utterly defenseless in terms of their human ability and if it had not been for the Lord on their side . . .
They chose new gods;
Then there was war in the gates;
Not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel
— Judges 5:8
Forty thousand without weapons is indicating that their victory would not be a natural one.
Awake is used four times in the song and expresses the prophetic office that Deborah held. Her name means bee and is derived from the Hebrew word for "Word" with the idea of bringing order to. She was the wife of Lapidoth meaning fiery torch. Her prophecy was the fiery word that scattered the chaos and brought order back into the camps of Israel. similar to what was seen at the beginning of all creation and depicted in the earlier verses of four and five ( a thought borrowed from "Grace in the Torah.com)
- awake, Deborah!
- awake, sing a song!
— Judges 5:12
The word fought is also used four times in this song depicting an earthly battle fought on a heavenly front.
“The kings came and fought,
Then the kings of Canaan fought...
— Judges 5:19
They fought from the heavens;
The stars (fourth day creation) from their courses fought against Sisera
— Judges 5:20
This tells us that there is a heavenly spiritual war being waged on the earth and through the created realm.
In verse fifteen of Deborah's song, Issachar, mentioned four times in Genesis, who began his tribe with four sons, and received the fourth allotment of land, along with sixteen (4x4) towns, is mentioned in terms of assisting in the victory.
The princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
Issachar was with Barak
— Judges 5:15
In the record of David's army at Hebron (formerly Kiriath Arba meaning a city of four), Issachar is also acknowledged for four things...
of the sons of Issachar who
- had understanding of the times (fourth day objects of measuring time created)
- to know what Israel ought to do
- their chiefs were two hundred
- and all their brethren were at their command
— I Chronicles 12:32
He is also thought to have been born on the fourth of Av according to Rabbinical literature.
The Book of Ruth
The book of Ruth is four chapters long and images the gentile bride of Christ. The narrative begins with four Israelites from the promised land who turn to their enemy neighbors Moab for relief during a famine in their homeland. These four were Naomi, Elimelech, and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion.
The storyline develops as Noami's husband and two sons died while in Moab. Her sons had married gentile brides from the region and one, namely Ruth, was faithful to travel back to Naomi's homeland of Israel with her. Upon their return, Ruth ends up meeting and marrying Boaz who redeems her husband's land and marrying her.
"and she gave birth to a son"
— Ruth 4:13
The above phrase is used four times in Scripture with the birth of Seth, Obed (Ruth and Boaz's son), Samuel, and Solomon
The story then concludes with a family four just like it began.
- and Obed (son of Boaz and Ruth - King David's grandfather)
King David was the fourth generation from Boaz.
God Calls Samuel four Times
The book follows the book of Ruth is the book of First Samuel. It is here where having judges rule transitions to having a king takes place.
Samuel, at the end of his life, acknowledges four Judges before there was a king in Israel, that the Lord sent to deliver His people. Samuel is the last of those Judges and then comes the Kingdom.
the Lord sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you dwelt in safety
— I Samuel 12:11
His call from the Lord is repeated four times and begins in verse four, and it is the fourth call that a transition or change takes place. God calls his name twice in that instance and Samuel responds to the Lord's voice.
- the Lord called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, lie down again.” So he went and lay down.
- The Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I did not call, my son, lie down again.”Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor had the word of the Lord yet been revealed to him.
- So the Lord called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli discerned that the Lord was calling the boy. And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
- Then the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”
— I Samuel 3:4-10
This transition at chapter four begins with a battle with the Philistines in which four thousand Israelite men are killed, the ark is captured, Eli the priest of the time who had been chief for forty years, and his sons, all die as was foretold, They went to battle in their own natural physical strength and power. The Spirit of God was not with them.
Four Slain Giants
Second Samuel records the history of King David and his military exploits.
The beginning of David's military career begins with him defeating the giant Goliath some 400 years after the defeat of Og by Israel, another giant.
The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) has the height of Goliath at four cubits. The only Hebrew text of I Sam 17:4 found among the Dead Sea Scrolls also reads “four,” and the Jewish historian Josephus describes Goliath as, “a man of vast bulk, for he was of four cubits and a span in tallness.2”.
It is noted in this account that four of Jesse's sons go down to the battle with the Philistines and Goliath. three to fight full time and one went back and forth from serving the King and tending the sheep.
The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone to follow Saul to the battle. The names of his three sons who went to the battle were
- Eliab the firstborn, next to him
- Abinadab, and the third
- David was the youngest.
And the three oldest followed Saul. But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem
— I Samuel 17:13-15
David the youngest and fourth of those who went down, ends up fighting the battle. David is the type and shadow of the Messiah King in this account. He images how He both serves "The King" Father God and tends the sheep yet ultimately defeats all of our formidable foes!
By the end of II Samuel David's life is wrapping up and there is another battle involving giants. It is recorded that there were a total of four of them possibly related to Goliath.
These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants
— II Samuel 22:22
An interesting description is given for one of them that appears to be unnamed.
And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant
— II Samuel 21:20
So this giant had 24 (4x6) fingers and toes...more to come on this story.
Another notable giant in scripture is recorded in Deuteronomy whose bed was four cubits wide
“For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.”
— Deuteronomy 3:11
One more giant.
Arba (four), the father of Anak
he was the father of Anak who was the father of that giant race called the Anakim. (See Josh. 15:13; Josh. 21:11). Josh. 14:15 adds:
“And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba (city of four); which Arba was a great man among the Anakims ….”
— "Answers in Genesis
David's name occurs 1076 (4x269) times in the Old Testament
Saul is the Fourth to Prophesy
In I Samuel chapter 19, Saul is in hot pursuit of David, in a jealous rage over David's military victories. He knows the kingdom has been torn from him, as Samuel had prophesied, and he is doing everything in his power to prevent it. He sent messengers three times to go and get David but his plan unravels when each group runs into some prophesying prophets then he begins prophesying himself.
Then Saul sent messengers to take David. And when they saw the group of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as leader over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. And when Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. Then Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also. Then he also went to Ramah, and came to the great well that is at Sechu. So he asked, and said, “Where are Samuel and David?”
And someone said, “Indeed they are at Naioth in Ramah.” So he went there to Naioth in Ramah. Then the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah
— I Samuel 17:20-23
Saul is fourth and final to arrive and he ends up prophesying too. God's plan will prevail despite any human natural effort. The Amplified translates this truth well.
There is no [human] wisdom or understanding or counsel [that can prevail] against the Lord.
— Proverbs 21:30
Saul was king of Israel for 40 years.
David's 400 Men
In I Samuel chapter 22, David is on the run from Saul and hiding out in the cave of Adullam, four types of people come to him there which amount to about 400 men.
David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his
- brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him.
- And every one that was in distress, and
- every one that was in debt, and
- every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him;
and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.
— I Samuel 22:1-2
This shows us the development and establishment of Davids' rule that included his family, along with a worldly bunch, the distressed, in debt, and discontent. Sounds like those to whom the Gospel was invitational to — all the "whosoever's".
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
— Romans 10:13
This particular event is the beginning of the fourth of four divisions and is the transition point of this book.
- The story of Samuel to the death of Eli, 1:1-4:22.
- From the taking of the ark to the demand for a king, 5:1-8:22.
- The reign of Saul to the call of David, 9:1-15:35.
- From the call of David to the death of Saul, 16:1-31:13.
— Scofield's notes
After the death of Saul. The kingdom of David is established.
J. Vernon McGee makes an interesting observation that concerns this development and our number four in his Thru the Bible commentary.
"David is going to be schooled and trained in the caves of the earth...He is forced to hide in the forests to escape the king's wrath"
It is noted that David makes four fowl references in describing his situation.
- "I am hunted like a partridge" (I Samuel 26:20)
- "I am like a pelican in the wilderness" (Psalm 102:6)
- "I am like an owl of the desert" (Psalm 102:6)
- "I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop (Psalm 102:6)
"400 men" is mentioned four times in I Samuel (I Samuel 22:2, 25:13, 30:10, 30:17)
The Davidic Covenant and the Messianic Kingdom
The fourfold Davidic covenant found in II Samuel chapter 7, foreshadows the establishment of God's Kingdom on the earth, David being a type of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords that the Messiah will be. It is also the fourth Covenant after the fall that God makes with man.
Psalm 89 in reference to this covenant recites four created things that are in God's possession.
- The heavens are Yours,
- the earth also is Yours
- The world
- and all it contains
You have founded them
— Psalm 89:11
Scofield notes, in reference to the Davidic covenant, that it establishes four things.
- a house
- a throne
- a kingdom
- and perpetuity.
Walter Kaiser suggests at least four great moments in biblical history that supply for progressive revelation.
- the promise given to Abraham in Genesis 12, 15, 17;
- the promise declared to David in 2 Samuel 7;
- the promise outlined in the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31,
- and the day when many of these promises found initial realization in the death and resurrection of Christ.
— Michael A. Grisanti Associate Professor of Old Testament
The phrase "I will be his Father" is stated four times in the Old Testament in reference to the development and establishment and of the Davidic Kingdom and Covenant.
Psalms 89:10-12. Thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. The (1) heavens are thine, the (2) earth also is thine: as for the (3) world and the (4) fullness thereof, thou hast founded them. The (1) north and the (2) south thou hast created them: (3) Tabor and (4) Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.
Oh, what a blessed spirit the spirit of true devotion is! There is such life in it that it seems to quicken all inanimate creation and make the rocks and mountains to sing, and the trees of the wood to clap their hands, and the waves of the sea to praise the great Creator. So the whole world is like a great organ, and man, guided by God’s Spirit, puts his fingers on the keys and wakes the whole to the thunder of adoration and praise. Oh to be taught of God to have a praiseful heart, for then all around us will be more likely also to praise Jehovah. ~ Charles Spurgeon
Psalm 89—Davidic Covenant
Psalm 89, which is divided into four parts, is connected with this covenant and lists four things God does to build and establish
- “I have made a covenant with My chosen;
- I have sworn to David My servant,
- I will establish your seed forever
- And build up your throne to all generations.”
— Psalm 89:3-4
The word covenant is used four times in this Psalm. God making a covenant with His Chosen is at the heart of this Psalm, the Gospel, and any hope whatsoever of transformation.
- I have made a covenant with My chosen...Psalm 89:3
- ...My covenant shall be confirmed to him Psalm 89:28
- My covenant I will not violate... Psalm 89:34
- ...You have spurned the covenant of Your servant
The phrase "I will not lie" is used four times
Later in this same Psalm God does four things that exhibit His rule and reign in the earth.
O Lord God of hosts,
Who is mighty like You, O Lord?
Your faithfulness also surrounds You
- You rule the swelling of the sea;
- When its waves rise, You still them.
- You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain;
- You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm
— Psalm 89:8-10
The fulfillment of Messiah/Kingship is displayed in the New Testament Christ
Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
— Matthew 8:23-27
Also, the New Testament Son of David is fulfilled in Christ the Messiah as He is referred to as such, twenty (4x5) times in it. The book of Matthew which portrays Christ as King uses the phrase "Kingdom of Heaven" 32 (4x8) times.
According to C.I. Scofield...
"the kingdom of heaven is Messianic, mediatorial, and Davidic and has for its object the establishment of the kingdom of God in the earth...the kingdom of heaven is the earthly sphere of the universal kingdom of God"
"...His Kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"
John Brown in "The Self Interpreting Bible" comments on this.
"The faithful in the church believe that God has established a spiritual "Kingdom of Heaven" through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and the benefits of the kingdom have been freely offered to all. That kingdom is represented in parables, which present it in different aspects: first, concerning the entrance to the kingdom; second, on the privileges and duties of the kingdom; third, showing the relation of the kingdom to the world; and fourth, those which refer to the future world of spirits."
The dynasty of David, a theocracy between God and His people, lasted 400 years and was foretold of in Ruth chapter four. David was from the line of Judah which was the fourth son of Jacob.
II Samuel falls into four parts as did I Samuel building up to the establishment of the Davidic Kingdom. (1) From the death of Saul to the anointing of David over Judah in Hebron, (2) from the anointing in Hebron to the establishment of David over Israel (3) From the conquest of Jerusalem to the rebellion of Absalom, (4) from Absalom to the purchase of the temple site. ~ Scofield notes.
The Four Transitional Parts of II Samuel in the Establishment of David's Kingdom
II Samuel falls into four parts as did I Samuel building up to the establishment of the Davidic Kingdom.
- From the death of Saul to the anointing of David over Judah in Hebron,
- from the anointing in Hebron to the establishment of David over Israel
- From the conquest of Jerusalem to the rebellion of Absalom,
- from Absalom to the purchase of the temple site.
— Scofield notes
Psalm 107, written by David, is a thanksgiving Psalm relative to our study. Beginning with a discussion of four lands where God's people are scattered.
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
And gathered out of the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south
— Psalm 107:2-3
Verse four expounds.
1. They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way
— Psalm 107:4
This illustrates the futility of this physical life on the earth with all its limitations. These wanderers are the first of four peoples and scenarios or calamities that man finds himself subject to in this Psalm ranging from natural circumstances such as hunger and thirst to one's own sinful choices.
2. Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
Bound in affliction and irons—
Because they rebelled against the words of God,
And despised the counsel of the Most High
— Psalm 107:10-11
3. Fools, because of their transgression,
And because of their iniquities, were afflicted
4. Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters,
— Psalm 107:23
Verses 17-22 are located in the fourth section of this Psalm. On all four occasions they cry out to the Lord and He delivers.
They cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He delivered them out of their distresses
— Psalm 107:6,13,19,29
This four-times mentioned statement accompanies their rescue from the Lord.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
— Psalm 107:8,15,21,31
The four examples give us metaphors for how God can deliver us in any sphere of calamity from the desert wilderness to the sea, that we may find ourselves in. When we cry out to Him He can deliver and save us.
Frank E. Gaebelein observes that in verses 33-42 the psalmist ascribes to the Lord the power to "change" things and notes that His authority is limitless and can reverse the condition of anything.
He turns rivers into a wilderness,
And the water springs into dry ground;
A fruitful land into barrenness,
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it.
He turns a wilderness into pools of water,
And dry land into water springs.
There He makes the hungry dwell,
That they may establish a city for a dwelling place,
And sow fields and plant vineyards,
That they may yield a fruitful harvest.
He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly;
And He does not let their cattle decrease.
When they are diminished and brought low
Through oppression, affliction, and sorrow,
He pours contempt on princes,
And causes them to wander in the wilderness where there is no way;
Yet He sets the poor on high, far from affliction,
And makes their families like a flock.
The righteous see it and rejoice,
And all iniquity stops its mouth.
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah record the return of the remnant of exiles from their 70-year Babylonian captivity. The decree to do so was signed by Artaxerxes in 444 BC. The people begin to rebuild and repair the temple. Upon their return, they stayed in Jerusalem for three days and on the fourth day, a transition takes place.
Now on the fourth day the silver and the gold and the articles were weighed in the house of our God by the hand of
- Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest, and with him was
- Eleazar the son of Phinehas; with them the Levites,
- Jozabad the son of Jeshua and
- Noadiah the son of Binnui,
with the number and weight of everything. All the weight was written down at that time.
The children of those who had been carried away captive, who had come from the captivity, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel:
- twelve bulls for all Israel
- ninety-six rams
- seventy-seven lambs
- and twelve male goats
as a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to the Lord.
And they delivered the king’s orders to the king’s satraps and the governors in the region beyond the River. So they gave support to the people and the house of God.
— Ezra 8:33-36
In the first event, as it concerned the weighing of the articles, we see four of the priesthood mentioned. The children of Israel offer four types of animal offerings. In this transition, we see the establishment of worship before beginning the rebuilding project.
In Chapter six Nehemiah was sent a message four times by his conspirators before they appeared to him in person.
Hezekiah and Sennacherib
Isaiah chapter 37 records the events just prior to the 70-year Babylonian captivity. King Hezekiah King of Judah (the Southern Kingdom) was witness to the Assyrian take over of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He was well known for his repentant reform of the Kingdom in light of this.
As the reformation began King Sennacherib of Assyria came to confront Hezekiah and frighten him as well as the people into surrender and submission by recounting his previous worldly self-reliant victories over all the other "gods" and nations.
He names four Kingdoms
Look! You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my fathers have destroyed,
- and Haran
- and Rezeph,
- and the people of Eden who were in Telassar?
— Isaiah 37:11-12
The four, in this case, reveals that this king was only relying on his own natural physical strength and ability that seemed to be successful when confronting other physical natural targets but he was no match for the God of the Hebrews who delivered the children of Israel from the threat and harm that Sennacherib had plotted and they didn't have to do a thing.
Hezekiah's prayer, when he spreads the situation out before the Lord, sums this up well
". . . Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, You alone.”
Herbert Lockyer in his devotional commentary titled "Psalms" observes that at this time of judgment and captivity...
"four kings of Judea reigned but a short time, and either died by the sword or in captivity
- Jehoahaz - reigned only three months, and died a captive in Egypt
- Jehoikim - reigned only eleven years, was delivered to the Chaldeans who put him to death and flung his body into a common sewer
- Jehoikin - reigned three months and ten days, and became a captive in Babylon. Latterly released he was never invested with power.
- Zedekiah - reigned only eleven years, when his eyes were put out, and loaded with chains, he was carried to Babylon"
This section begins with Scofield's notes about the book of Daniel
"Daniel is in four broad divisions:
- Introduction. The personal history of Daniel from the conquest of Jerusalem to the second year of Nebuchadnezzar, 1:1-21.
- The visions of Nebuchadnezzar and their results, 2:1-4:37.
- The personal history of Daniel under Belshazzar and Darius, 5:1-6:28.
- The visions of Daniel, 7:1-12:13."
There are four central men of God in these narratives that God will use in the Gentile kingdom of Babylon, to begin the preparations for their return to their homeland after seventy years of captivity:
- and Azariah
whose names are changed to
- and Abednego.
The decree to return was signed in 444 BC by Artaxerxes.
God gave these four young men four things.
- knowledge and
- understanding in every kind of literature
- and wisdom.
- Daniel also understood visions and dreams of every kind.
— Daniel 1:17
In Chapter two of Daniel, the king Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream that he wanted to be interpreted. He threatens to kill his own counselors because they can't tell him what the dream was, let alone its meaning. Daniel gets wind of the situation, understanding that he and the other three men of God, are also in danger and he, therefore, seeks God for the answer. God does indeed give him the interpretation. When Daniel appears before the king He asks the king about his four incompetent earthly sources of wisdom.
Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the (1)
- wise men
- the astrologers
- the magicians
- the soothsayers
shew unto the king;
— Daniel 2:27
Daniel insisted that the king understand that the wisdom and interpretation he was about to give did not come from a limited worldly source, as would the king's own four sources of counsel.
The vision the king had was that of a statue that consisted of four layers the top being gold
- the top being gold,
- the arms and chest of silver,
- the belly and thighs of brass,
- and the calves and feet of clay and iron
This foretold of a transition of kingdoms that were Gentile world powers.
- and Roman
Rome was the fourth empire and the one that would rule during the Messiah's first coming.
There is also an incident concerning Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Chapter three of Daniel. They were thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to bow to the golden image that the king had built. When they are thrown into the fire it is observed that.
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God
— Daniel 3:25
The word for Son in this passage is not the typical word for "son" which is "ben" but, it is instead the word bar meaning chosen Son. He is none other than the Messiah Himself with them.
In verse 27 of this account, four natural things are also observed by four worldly kings worldly counselors, concerning this supernatural event.
- and captains,
- and the king's counsellors,
being gathered together, saw these men,
- bodies the fire had no power,
- nor was an hair of their head singed,
- neither were their coats changed,
- nor the smell of fire had passed on them
— Daniel 4:27
Recalling that the fourth day was a day that the sun, the moon, and stars were created that were set for measuring times, Daniel chapter four names four things that God does in the earth beginning with 'signs"
How great are his signs!
and how mighty are his wonders!
his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and his dominion is from generation to generation.
— Daniel 4:3
Daniel four then continues with a great change that will occur with the king and he will become like a beast because he pridefully exalts himself rather than acknowledges God. He is transformed back to himself once he humbles himself and acknowledges this.
The Handwriting on the Wall
Daniel chapter five records the event from which this quote became so famous. King Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar's son decided to party hearty with sacred temple objects that were taken from Jerusalem when the Israelites had been taken captive possibly demonstrating for us another culture and time that would complacently take the things of God and use them for personal exaltation, lust, or gain. A four-word warning and prophecy was given in the writing on the wall
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
— Daniel 5:25
the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians
— Daniel 5:26-28
This could possibly relate to modern events such as the "Twin Towers" "Nine Eleven" event. Nine is the number of distinguishing between good and evil. Eleven is the number of lack and incompleteness. Could "Nine Eleven" be the writing on the wall that we have been weighed in the balances and found wanting, incomplete, and lacking in the things and ways of God and the days of separating between good and evil are coming on a much larger scale because we refuse to repent?
The phrase "did not repent" is used four times in Revelation chapter nine and sixteen in reference to this very observation.
The genealogy of Ishmael is the ninth one in Genesis and may possibly be a clue to an ancient foretelling of future events.
Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’
— Isaiah 46:9-10
In this warning, Daniel reminds Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar, who established the first of four world kingdoms that It was God who gave his father four things in his rule and reign in the earth.
O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father
- a kingdom
- and majesty,
- and honor
— Daniel 5:18
The second mention of this observation is found in the "Current Events" section that this phrase occurs four times in concert with God's sovereignty over all that He has made.
the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses"
— Daniel 5:21
This recitation is the fourth and final occurrence before the judgment that was written on the wall.
Daniel chapter 7 records a vision that Daniel has in which he saw "the four winds of heaven that strove upon the great sea" and "four great beasts came up from the sea..." The fourth beast was noted as a terrible one. they are later interpreted as
Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings whicharise out of the earth.
— Daniel 7:17
This fourth kingdom is noted to change the fourth-day creation purposes for signals of time and event (sun moon and stars). Four things are listed that this Anti-Christ kingdom will do. Time is also mentioned four times
- He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
- Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
- And shall intend to change times and law.
- Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time
— Daniel 7:25
This fourth kingdom is developed from one of four kingdoms that Greece was divided up into after Alexander the Great. which was the Roman empire and its leader will honor a no-god with four things.
But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor
- with gold
- and silver
- with precious stones
- and pleasant things
— Daniel 11:38
Sandwiched between the vision and interpretation of Daniel's vision is a description of the Messiah at the end of all things opening the books of judgment. Four features are described
“I watched till thrones were put in place,
And the Ancient of Days was seated;
- His garment was white as snow,
- And the hair of His head was like pure wool.
- His throne was a fiery flame,
- Its wheels a burning fire
— Daniel 7:9
Scofield notes a historic order of four, in chapter seven of Daniel
- The investiture of the Son of Man with the kingdom Daniel 7:13 Daniel 7:14; Revelation 5:6-10
- the "vexing" of Psalms 2:5, fully described in Matthew 24:21 Matthew 24:22 Re 6.-18.
- The return of the Son of Man in glory to deliver the "smiting" blow of Daniel 2:45; 7:9-11Revelation 19:11-21.
- The judgment of the nations and the setting up of the kingdom Daniel 7:10 Daniel 7:26 Daniel 7:27; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:1-6.
It may be of wonder why the Messiah being God would be stamped with the number four, consider that He came to the created earth and became one of us.
When Daniel sets himself to pray, in chapter 9, he makes a confession of four things, which looks like it could be a progression of where sin leads us in its spiral downward
- and committed iniquity
- we have done wickedly
- and rebelled
even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.
— Daniel 9:5
He then names the four people groups God tried to reach through His prophets.
Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name
- to our kings
- and our princes,
- to our fathers
- and all the people of the land.
— Daniel 9:6
Shame is then attributed to four who refused to hear and repent
O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—
- to the men of Judah
- to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel
- those near
- and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them
because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.
— Daniel 9:7
Elijah and the Four Water Pots
Elijah was a prophet during the time when King Ahab ruled the Northern Kingdom of Israel along with his evil wife Jezebel. The worship of Baal was trending at that time which included drunkenness, bestiality, mutilations, incest and also included child sacrifice.
God sent Elijah to Ahab requesting that he bring all the prophets of Baal and Asherah, to a contest to see whose God is real. The challenge included the same type of sacrifice for each party to see which God would come down and consume the sacrifice with fire.
450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah who are supported by Queen Jezebel
— I Kings 18
The prophets of Baal called on their god for a day and a half with crying, begging, dancing around and even cutting themselves trying to get their god's attention to no avail. Elijah then mocks them and asks if their god is busy, away, relieving himself, or sleeping.
Elijah then gathers his opponents to observe his sacrifice to his God. Elijah does something different with his sacrifice. He digs a trench around it and requested that it be filled with four pots of water.
“Fill four water pots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.”
Alice E. Luce confirms this when she writes, in her book "Pictures of Pentecost"
"The whole saturated with water...to make double sure to the assembled crowds that the fire had no earthly origin but miraculously fell from heaven"
The four water pots are telling us that to consume this sacrifice with fire would be physically and humanly impossible. He has them do this three times that comes with another related theme. Three is the number of spiritual things.
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts
— Zechariah 4:6
Ahab's 400 Prophets
One more event concerning King Ahab that is referenced in I Kings 22, Jehoshaphat who was the Southern King in Judah went to visit Ahab in the Northern Kingdom. During his visit, Ahab invites Jehoshaphat to join him in battling Ramoth Gilead that was in Syrian possession at the time. Jehoshaphat suggested that maybe they should consult the Lord about this.
Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to fight, or shall I refrain?”
— I Kings 22:6
The four hundred men are telling us that these are worldly prophets only concerned with earthly matters and are only capable of human reasoning in this situation. These are not divinely inspired prophets of God, and the rest of the story reveals that it was poor advice and not from God at all. The phrase "four hundred prophets" is used four times in scripture by the way.
Jehoshaphat knew this and requested a different prophet.
“Is there not still a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of Him?”
— I Kings 22:7
One prophet is sent for, reluctantly, by Ahab. He hates Micaiah because he always prophesies things the king doesn't want to hear. Ahab apparently has no concern for what is true as long as it seems pleasing to himself
Micaiah reveals the truth from the heavenly source of information and shows himself to be a true prophet when he declares what Ahab does not want to hear, revealing worldly deceived prophets who only will tell the king what they know he wants to hear for their own personal worldly comfort and profit.
The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you
— I Kings 22:23
It is a good lesson for us to not become worldly-minded and "this life" pleasure and comfort-oriented.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth
— Colossians 3:2
In the end, these motives will lead to deception as well as destruction.
take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth
— Luke 21:34-35
The book of Esther records a time in Israel's history (fourth century BC) when they had spent 70 years captive to the Babylonians and some of them were released to return and rebuild in Jerusalem. Obviously, some still remained in what had now become a kingdom ruled by the Medo-Persians.
An evil anti-Christ type figure arises in this story, who attempts to destroy the Jews. He is identified as the wicked Haman whose name is mentioned 52 (4x13) times. A pretty significant number of mentions in such a small book consisting of only ten short chapters.
Esther's name is mentioned 56 (4x14) times. Fascinating considering that 13, the multiple in Haman's mentions, is the number of rebellion, and 14, as with Esther's name, is associated with Passover and the concept of sacrifice and connected with deliverance. This sincerely expresses the events and topics of this story.
The Median king in this biblical account is mentioned 192 (4x4x4x3) times
It is four years after Esther is crowned queen that the Haman incident occurs.
Silver as studied previously, symbolized the price of redemption in the Bible.
The story began with a king and kingdom of people celebrating the beauty and majesty of this kingdom. The feast for the nobles lasted 180 (4x45) days, as recorded in chapter one of the book of Esther, signaling a change of events.
Next, a seven-day feast was held for the rest who were present in Shushan, in the court of the garden, which contains the first two mentions of silver in a detailed description of its decor.
There were white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; and the couches were of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of alabaster, turquoise, and white and black marble.
— Esther 1:6
In this particular story, it was with silver that their destruction was purchased.
If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand (4x2500) talents (about 100 pounds) of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries. So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. And the king said to Haman, “The silver and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you"
— Esther 3:9-11
Esther reveals this transaction to the king at a specified moment in time in order to reverse an obnoxious decree against them.
Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:
For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage
— Esther 7:3-4
Esther appeals to the king for help considering there is no other help or hope. The king cannot reverse his original decree but grants them the right to issue new decrees that will protect and ultimately save them. When we view this through the lens of Jesus our Messiah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, so it is with us. We have been sold into the slavery of sin with a price that cannot be paid in any human way, and it is to Him that we make our appeal for salvation.
They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceases for ever:) That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
— Psalm 49:6-9
The "Pur" used for casting lots was quadrangular prisms with four numbers on each side. The numbers were 1,2,5, and 6.
God's Name Hidden in Esther Four Times
The following will be borrowed from the elaborate numeric and literary studies of E.W. Bullinger which identify God's four-letter name (yod, hey, vav, hey) hidden in this book four times. He includes many intricacies of this revelation as it concerns our study. It is so detailed that I have chosen simply to copy his writing which is also available online copyright free. As you will notice Bullinger mentions five hidden names but the fifth occurrence is "I am that I am" uses different letters.
Companion Bible Appendix #60
60. THE NAME OF JEHOVAH IN THE BOOK OF ESTHER.
It has been observed by many that no Divine Name or Title is found in the book of Esther.
This is the more remarkable, since, in this short book of only 167 verses, the Median King is mentioned 192 times, his kingdom is referred to 26 times, and his name "Ahasuerus" is given 29 times.
Jehovah had declared (Deut. 31:16-18) , that if His People forsook Him, He would hide His face from them. Though the book reveals Him as overruling all, His Name is hidden. It is there for His People to see, not for His enemies to see or hear.
Satan was at work, using Haman to blot out the Nation, as once before he had used Pharaoh for the same purpose. Jehovah's counsel must stand. His promise of Messiah, the coming "Seed" of the woman (Gen. 3:15), must not fail. Therefore He must overrule all for the preservation of His People, and of the line by which that "Seed" was to come into the world.
His working was secret and hidden : hence, the name of "JEHOVAH" is hidden secretly four times in this book, and the name "EHYEH" (I am that I am) once. The Massorah has a rubric calling attention to the former fact; and (at least) three ancient manuscripts are known in which the Acrostic letters in all five cases are written Majuscular (or, larger than the others) so that they stand out boldly and prominently, showing the four consonant letters of the mane JeHoVaH. In Hebrew y, h,w, h, or, as written in Hebrew from right to left, h, w, h, y. In English, L, O, R, D. Also the five letters of the fifth Acrostic, "EHYH".THE FOUR ACROSTICS.
The following phenomena are noticed in examining the four Acrostics which form the name "Jehovah" :
1. In each case the four words forming the Acrostic are consecutive.
2. In each case (except the first) the form a sentence complete in itself.
3. There are no other such Acrostics in the whole book, except the fifth Acrostic at the end; though there is one other, forming another Divine Title, in Ps. 96:11.
4. In their construction there are not two alike, but each one is arranged in a manner quite different from the other three.
5. Each is uttered by a different speaker. The first by Memucan (1:20); the second by Esther (5:4); the third by Haman (5:13); the fourth by the inspired writer (7:7).
6. The first two Acrostics are a pair, having the name formed by the Initial letters of the four words.
7. The last two are a pair, having the name formed by the Final letters of the four words.
8. The first and third Acrostics are a pair, having the name spelt backward.
9. The second and fourth are a pair, having the name spelt forward. They thus form an alternation :
10. The first and third (in which the name is formed backward) are a pair, being spoken by Gentiles.
11. The second and fourth (in which the name is spelt forward) are a pair, being spoken by Israelites. They thus form an Alternation :--
C Spoken by a Gentile (Memucan).
D Spoken by an Israelite (Esther).
C Spoken by a Gentile (Haman).
D Spoken by and Israelite (the inspired writer).
12. The first and second form a pair, being connected with Queens and Banquets.
13. The third and fourth are a pair, being connected with Haman.
14. The first and fourth are a pair, being spoken concerning the Queen (Vashti) and Haman respectively.
15. The second and third are a pair, being spoken by the Queen (Esther) and Haman respectively. They thus form and Introversion :--
E Words concerning a Queen.
F Words spoken by a Queen.
E Words spoken by Haman.
F Words concerning Haman.
16. It is remarkable also that, in the two cases where the name is formed by the initial letters, the facts recorded are initial also, and are spoken of an even in which Jehovah's overruling was initiated; while in the two cases where the name is formed by the final letters, the events are final also, and lead rapidly up to the end toward which Jehovah was working.
Thus in the two cases where the name is spelt backward , Jehovah is seen overruling the counsels of Gentiles for the accomplishment of His own; and where the name is spelt forward , He is ruling directly in the interests of His own People unknown to themselves.THE FIRST ACROSTIC (1:26).
is formed by the initial letters, for the even was initial; and the name is spelt backward because Jehovah was turning back and overruling the counsels of man. The whole clause reads as follows; the words forming the Acrostic being put in italic type :--
"And when the king's decree which he shall make, shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honor, both to great and small." The four words we give, 1st, in the Hebrew type (with the Majuscular letters at the beginning of each word); 2nd, with the Transliteration; and 3rd, in English paraphrase, reproducing the sentence in the word LORD with the initial letters backward it and-all the-wives shall-give
"Due Respect Our LadiesTHE SECOND ACROSTIC (5:4).
shall give to their husbands, both to great and small."
is formed, as before, by the initial letters, for Jehovah is initiating His action; but the name is spelt forward because He is rulingand causing Esther to act; and take the first step, which was to lead up to so great an end.
The four words are :
let-come the-king and-Haman this-day
"Let Our Royal Dinner
this day be graced by the king and Haman."
The name of Jehovah is read in the invitation, intimating that there would be a fourth at that banquet.THE THIRD ACROSTIC (5:13).
is the beginning of the end; for Haman had gone forth from that banquet "joyful and with a glad heart" (5:9) "that day." Yet it was to be his last. Hence the third Acrostic is formed with the final letters, for the end was approaching; and the name is spelt backward, for Jehovah was overruling Haman's gladness, and turning back Haman's counsel.
this availeth nothing to-me
The English may be freely rendered "Yet am I
is all this to me."THE FOURTH ACROSTIC (7:7).
is formed, like the third, by the final letters, for Haman's end had come. But it is spelt forward like the first, for Jehovah was ruling and bringing about the end He had determined. Haman saw there was cause for fear. A fourth is there -- Jehovah Himself! And when Esther pleads for her life (7:3), the king asks "Who is he and where is he?" which brings in Jehovah's own ineffable name -- the Acrostic of the five final letters spelling in Hebrew "I am" (see the fifth Acrostic below). Esther replies : "The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman." The king, filled with wrath, rises, and goes forth into the palace garden. Haman, filled with fear, rises, "to make request for his life to Esther the queen, for he saw
that evil was determined against him
by the king."
This was the climax, the end had come. Hence the name is spelt by the final letters :
that evil was-determined against-him
Translated, as before, the Acrostic appears in English thus : "For he saw that there was
against him by the king."THE FIFTH ACROSTIC (7:5).
in this book does not form the name "Jehovah," but the remarkable name E H Y H which means
It is noted in some manuscripts by Majuscular letters, which have Massoretic authority
The Acrostic is formed by the final letters, and the name is spelt backward.
The king asks "Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?" : i.e. to sell for destruction Queen Esther and her People. In saying this he unconsciously gives the name of Him who came down to deliver His People out of the hand of Pharaoh, and had then come down to deliver them again out of the hand of Haman, "the Jews' enemy", who, like Pharaoh, sought to destroy the whole nation (cp. Exodus 2:23-25 with 3:14, 15). The great enemy of the Messiah -- the living Word -- was seeking to destroy all hope of His promised coming (Gen. 3:15), and make void the repeated promise of Jehovah.
Ahasuerus only pointed to human agency, but his words point us to the Satanic agency which was behind it. The Acrostic is in the final letters of his question "Who is he, and where is he?" Only the great "I am that I am" could know that, and could answer that question. Esther and Mordecai knew the human instrument, but none could know who was directing him but the One Who sees the end from the beginning.
The words forming the Acrostic are
[who is] he this [man] and where [is] this [man]
"who durst presume in his heart to do so" : i.e. to conspire
against the life of the Queen and her People.
We may English it thus :
"WhereE dwelletH the-enemY that-daretH
presume in his heart to do this thing?"
Thus was the name of the great "I AM" of Exodus 3:14 presented to the eye, to reveal the fact that He who said of E H Y H "this is My Name for ever, and this is My Memorial unto all generations" (v. 15), was there to remember His People. Here was a "generation" in Persia who experienced the truth and the power of this Name, as a former "generation" had done in Egypt.
The same "I AM" had indeed come down to deliver them from Haman; as He had from Pharaoh, and from the great "enmity" (of Gen. 3:15) which instigated both to accomplish the Satanic design of exterminating the Nation of Israel.
In these five Acrostics we have something far beyond a mere coincidence; we have design. When we read the denunciation in Deut. 31:16-18, and see it carried out in Persia, we learn that though God was not among His people there, He was for them. Though He was not acting as Jehovah, "that dwelleth between the Cherubim," He was "the God of Heaven, ruling and over-ruling all in the Heaven above and in the Earth beneath" for the fulfillment of His purposes, and in the deliverance of His People. Hence, though His name, as well as His presence, is HIDDEN, yet, it is there, in the Word; and so wonderfully interwoven that no enemy will ever know how to put it out.
Four and Current Events
Just something to ponder, relative to current events, many a ministry has made much of the four blood moons, occurring back to back on Jewish holidays in 2014 and 2015, the third of the four of these moons being on Passover that just so happened to occur on 4-4-2015, and lasted four minutes and 44 seconds. Three of these previously rare tetrad events have been associated with significant events concerning Israel and God's people. Might this be the fourth?
One of the previous three tetrads that occurred on Jewish holidays consecutively was in 1493-4. Just prior to that in 1492 was the Spanish inquisition when Queen Isabella gave the Jews four months to convert to Catholicism or leave the country.
The rarity of this event is also marked by a solar eclipse that occurs in the middle of these four lunar eclipses (chiasm). a little bonus note on the "blood" moons, recalling from earlier in this article, is that the Hebrew word for blood "dam" consisting of the Hebrew letters dalet (4) and mem (40) giving us a gematria value of 44. The sun and moon were created on the fourth day to signal signs and seasons.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord
— Joel 2:31
Shortly prior to the fourth and final tetrad that occurred during the feast of tabernacles, it is significant to observe that the day of Rosh Hashana (September 14, 2015, or Tishrei 1, 5776 - 1444x4) on the Hebrew calendar), known as the day of Judgement when the shofar is blasted and it is thought that the books of reckoning are opened, that stabbings began to occur on the temple mount in Jerusalem.
Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand
— Joel 2
Earlier in chapter four earth events are described that will occur, with the final two with things that were created on the fourth day.
- The earth quakes before them,
- The heavens tremble;
- The sun and the moon grow dark,
- And (4) the stars diminish their brightness
— Joel 2:10
I don't get much into detailed specific speculations on future events concerning how all of this plays out in terms of forecast. But based on our observation of the number four, as has been exhaustively studied in both God's Word and in His creation, I think we may be able to safely say that God is about to change, establish, develop, or transFOURm something on a grand scale of relevance and significance. Obama was our 44th president and used the word "change" as his 2008 campaign slogan. A big change is coming and It is certainly time to pay attention.
"Obama also won all four states that begin with "New" (New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York), but he lost all five that begin with a direction (North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia)."
— Charles M Blow "New York Times"
Luke notes four great signs at the end of the age that we are told to pay attention to.
- “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
- And there will be great earthquakes in various places,
- and famines and pestilences;
- and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven"
— Luke 21:10-11
yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.
— John 16:2
In early January 2015, four French Jews were killed by four extremists. In November of last year, four Jewish Rabbis were killed during a similar type of attack.
Concerning Israel, four consultants sponsored by the U.S. were hired by the "One Voice Movement" who also were campaign consultants for President Obama, campaigned in Israel for political change that promotes the two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. Its international headquarters is based in New York with field offices for this organization that is based in four cities:
- Tel Aviv,
- Gaza city,
- and London
and representing four countries
- The United States
Their campaign slogan was "change"
March 17, 2015, Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected for a fourth four-year term as prime minister of Israel.
Please make note that these facts are not intended to rally political opinions of any kind. I present the fours in each event with this understanding presented in Daniel.
the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses (This phrase is used four times in the Bible the first three in Daniel 4 the final in chapter 5)
— Daniel 4:17
The fours only confirm that God is at work behind the scenes in all of His creation including time and event, and our job is to pay attention to what God would ask us to do in these times and places as ambassadors and children of His kingdom.
Some observations on a previous event from September 2011, four coordinated terrorist attacks using four airplanes were executed, killing 2996 (4x749) people. The fourth plane contained 44 people and there were four hi-jackers aboard. Could four therefore not only signal creative processes but destructive ones as well? And could we say that things have changed dramatically since these events?
Would it be any surprise that the newly built "One World Trade Center' built to replace the "Twin Towers" is the fourth largest in the world, contains 104 (4x26) stories and sits on a 16 (4x4) acre site? It is also 1776 (4x444) feet tall, 1776 also being the year of the founding of our nation.
Bonnie Gaunt, author of several books on biblical numerics made an interesting observation, based upon some calculations, that discredited her to some because she calculated a date for the possible return of the Messiah (never a good idea considering He told us we would not know the day nor the hour). However, I was a bit taken aback by the date she suggested 9-11-1999. We all know that Jesus the Messiah did not come back on this date, but the 9-11 part made me curious, knowing the significance of a very well known 9-11. What I discovered was that 9-11-1999 fell on Rosh Hashanah signaling a period of Judgement of the nations that Rabbi's have been anticipating this date for the past 400 years. Just two years after the Trade Center attacks occur and terrorism has been the issue of the times since. This date was also observed as the 6000th anniversary of Adam's creation. Bonnie was wrong about her interpretation of those numbers but she was not wrong about the numbers.
November 4th, 2015 Iranians rallied over the 36th (4x9) anniversary of taking over a U.S. embassy known as the Iranian hostage crisis in 1980 (4x495) were 52 (4x13) Americans were held hostage for 444 days.
Damascus, the capital of Syria, also, currently the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, has a gematria of 444. Isaiah the prophet had this to report about it...
“Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city,
And it will be a ruinous heap.
— Isaiah 17:1
In 2015 Syria was in its fourth year of a civil war. One news reporter from Yahoo news, used similar language, concerning this, in his report quoting a citizen of Damascus:
"We are trembling with fear, If the extremists get in there'll be fighting in the streets. Everything will be destroyed" ~ Marbel merchant Mohammed Ayman
The prophet Jeremiah, this time prophecies;
Damascus has grown feeble;
She turns to flee (as of February 2016 over 6,000,000 have have fled or been displaced),
And fear has seized her.
Anguish and sorrows have taken her like a woman in labor.
Why is the city of praise not deserted, the city of My joy?
Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets,
And all the men of war shall be cut off in that day,” says the Lord of hosts.
“I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus,
And it shall consume the palaces of Ben-Hadad
— Jeremiah 49:23-27
As of June 8th, 2016, 4.8 million Syrians are refugees that have fled from their country, and 6.5 million have been displaced within their own country.
The world as scoffed concerning the Christian take on these signs and wonders in the sky concerning the blood moons and chant
"Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
— II Peter 3:4
and yet they misunderstand that we do not claim the end is yet, as Jesus foretold that it would only be the "signal" of the coming sorrows that would precede His coming.
these things must come to pass but the end is not yet...All these are the beginning of sorrows.
— Matthew 24:6
Historically speaking, Jerusalem has been attacked 52 (4x13) times and recaptured 44 times
The Paris (Capital of France except for a four-year interruption during WWII 1940-1944) attacks that occurred on November 13, 2015, is said to have signaled a "change" in the strategies of terrorism, of which there were four suicide attacks at four locations, involving four gunmen and bombers. The one at the sports stadium resulted in four deaths. 130 lives were claimed total.
According to Answers.com...
WWII, was fought because of four immediate causes:
- Hitler invaded Poland bringing France and Great Britain into the war.
- Japan took over Manchuria bringing China into the war.
- Japan attacked the US Fleet at Pearl Harbor bringing the US into the war.
- Germany invaded the USSR bringing the Soviet Union into the war.
A War Unlike Any Other War In World History
According to Wikipedia, In 1944 Allied forces launched the first of four assaults on Monte Cassino that took four months and incurred 105,000 (4x26,250) casualties
Just a side note concerning these events, I think it quite interesting that Isis began by attacking the ancient symbols and archaeological sites of idolatry that date back to Biblical times. Paris is well known to be the cultural center of the western world's idols in terms of art, entertainment, fashion, sports and according to a "Business Insider" report by Pamela Engel it is "the capital of prostitution and vice".
The bombing of March 11, 2004, four trains in Madrid Spain were the target of terrorist bombings.
Isis burns four Shiite fighters alive August 31, 2015
Islamic State executes four people in central Libyan city on August 24, 2015
On Monday, August 24, 2015, the stock market, both U.S., and Europe, took a four day, four percent plunge, the largest in four years,
Pakistan hangs four suspected Taliban members over school massacre December 2, 2014
Four young Arab teens planned stabbing attack in Jerusalem on October 23, 2015
Four Syrian hospitals bombed since Russian airstrikes began October 2015
Four people arrested in Syria-related counter-terrorism raids in October 2015
Syria activists say 4 civilians killed in intense airstrikes October 2015
Moscow's presence in the middle east has grown to four operating bases
Four main trunk power lines running from Ukraine to Crimea blown up
Four Harvard buildings cleared after bomb threat November 16, 2015
Beirut Isis attack kills 44
Gunman in Jordan kills four November 9, 2015
Four female suicide bombers attacked the Chadian island of Koulfoua on Lake Chad December 5th, 2015
"In October, four suicide bombers detonated car bombs at a temporary Yemeni government headquarters and two Arab coalition outposts, killing more than a dozen people". ~ Reuters
There have been four mass shootings (an incident in which a lone gunman kills at least four people) in the U.S. alone this year (2015)
December 2, 2015, husband and wife terrorists killed 14 people in a shooting in California using four guns. Obama addressed the nation concerning this four days after the fact. His address was made from the Oval Office which is only done on occasions and concerns of great gravity. The Oval office is located in the West Wing of the White House and is used for four purposes; confers with heads of state, diplomats, his staff, and other dignitaries. There are interestingly four doors in this office.
I think the "handwriting is on the wall". See the section on Daniel for further details.
Much of the information in this section is borrowed from Mark Blitz of El Shaddai Ministries.
2017 was host to some significant fours indicating signs, changes, and culminations. August 21st presented a solar eclipse that stretched across the entire United States from east to west. The last time this occurred was in 1918 which was also the year that a worldwide flu pandemic occurred that killed 50 to 100 million people across the globe. This was also at the end of World War 1 which began in August of 1914 in which a total solar eclipse occurred over Europe and the Ottoman Empire. This included the place that Jonah was said to have preached the message of repentance in Nineveh. This Biblical event was also highlighted with an eclipse prior to his arrival. It was known as the Burr-Sagale eclipse of 763 B.C.
Seven years from now we are scheduled for another eclipse. This time it will run from north to south with a path that crosses over this one at the New Madrid fault line forming the shape of a cross.
A little phenomenon concerning eclipses. They are actually quite miraculous and exclusive to the earth. Size and distance are essential to create one. The sun is 400 times larger than the moon and the moon is 400 times closer to the earth which makes the moon fit perfectly into the circle of the sun from our viewpoint. Recall that the sun moon and stars were created on the fourth day for signs and seasons. Also, the last letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet has a gematria value of 400 it is symbolized by a cross.
This recent eclipse followed a path across the Atlantic landing on a developing hurricane named Harvey that slammed into Houston Texas as a category four just four days after the eclipse.
The eclipse also landed on the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul that is focused on repentance and is forty days before the highest holy day of the Jewish year which is Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur also centers on the theme of repentance. It is believed by observers in Judaism that if offenses between God or others are not amended that judgment will follow the up and coming year.
It is thought that the first of Elul was when Moses went up to Mount Sinai to make atonement for Israel after the "golden calf" event and when Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days and returned on Yom Kippur.
Mark Blitz makes some interesting observations concerning Hurricane Harvey and the eclipse and references a portion of scripture in Luke that connects the two events
And there shall be signs in the sun (eclipse), and in the moon (last two years tetrads on Jewish holidays), and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring (hurricanes)
— Luke 21:25
If you notice the chapter and verse numbers they mirror the dates on which each event occurred. The Eclipse was on the 21st and the hurricane landfall was four days later on the 25th.
A second Hurricane, Irma, made U.S. Landfall just a couple of weeks after Harvey and was another category four hurricane. It is the first time the U.S. has ever been hit by two category fours in one year. It became a category four on September 4th. It was this day also that the governor of Florida issued a state of emergency. Irma is also the fourth hurricane of the season and was 400 miles wide.
With Maria, the 2017 hurricane season has already featured four Category 4 or stronger storms; this has only happened four previous years.
Harvey's name means blazing iron and Irma's name means universal. Irma was worshiped by ancient Germanics as a goddess of war.
Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”
“I will declare the decree:
The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”
Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
— Psalm 2
Speaking of counsels and rulers...the International Day of Peace" is scheduled to be observed on September 21, 2017, which coincides with the Jewish Feast of Rosh Hashana also known as the blowing of Trumpets. Interestingly this year's day of peace has been titled "Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, and Dignity for All."
For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape
— I Thessalonians 5:3
However noble this may sound it is indeed a fulfillment of prophecy. Jeremiah uses a double "peace" in describing sudden destruction from the north as well as Ezekiel.
They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace
— Jeremiah 6:14
For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace
— Jeremiah 8:11
Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace—and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar— say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down
— Ezekiel 13:10-11
The symbol selected to represent this day is a dove with an olive branch.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
— Matthew 24:36-39
2016's motto for this event was "Building Blocks for Peace"
Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
— Genesis 11:1-4
What's Christopher Columbus Have To Do With It?
Concerning the discovery of our nation, from a historical perspective, Christopher Columbus landed on the shores of this landmass in 1492 [4x373 God's wisdom (373) and creative Word (4)] It was the first of four voyages, spanning 40 years.
In Columbus's own writing "The Book of Prophecies" he attributes four God-given skills that assisted him in this task:
- His ability to draft maps
The ability to draft maps was listed in four forms: placing correctly
- the cities
- and ports.
His additional studies included four other subjects:
"There is no questions that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because he comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures, a strong and clear testimony from the 44 books of the Old Testament, from the four Gospels, and from the 23 Epistles of the blessed Apostles, encouraging me continually to press forward; and without ceasing for a moment they now encourage me to make haste."
— Christopher Columbus
A note on the above verse that there are currently 39 books in the Old Testament. Keep in mind it was 1492 and the Bible available to him at that time may have been the 4th century Latin Vulgate which would have included some of the apocryphal books. Interesting that there were 44 though.
From the article "Bible in America" from Houston Bible University
Interestingly, the first printed biography of Columbus also has Biblical connections. In 1516 Agostino Giustiniani published in Genoa a Psalter with parallel texts in Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, and Chaldean (or Aramaic), with marginal notes in Latin. This Genoa Psalter was exquisitely printed with intricate woodcut borders and beautifully designed parallel columns of red and black print. In a note for Psalm 19:4, “and their words shall go to the ends of the earth,” Giustiniani’s Latin note comments that Christopher Columbus, a native son of Genoa, had explored more lands and seas than anyone else in the world and had discovered the “ends of the earth”, thus fulfilling the Scripture
It has also been considered by some, that Christopher Columbus may have also been seeking a safe haven for the Jewish people who were being persecuted in Europe and about to be expelled. In fact, it was the very day the decree was issued that the Jews were given four months to convert to Catholicism or be expelled, that Columbus set sail to the New World. For more facts please refer to this fascinating article. http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/20/opinion/garcia-columbus-jewish/
The Fourth Planet
Mars is the fourth terrestrial planet, approximately 4000 miles in diameter, and is known as "the red planet" presumably because of iron oxide which is essentially rust. Iron in the Bible is symbolic of rebellion and stubbornness as well as the decay that comes from it. It was named after the Roman god of war. Its Borealis basin covers 40 percent of the planet and was flown by Mariner four in 1965. Could this image for us first the flesh than the spirit. The four planets after Mars are gaseous.
the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual
— I Corinthians 15:46
May "His Kingdom come and His will be done on the earth as it is is in heaven"
Revelation Chapter One
The book of Revelation opens with "Things that are about to take place" signifying great changes and transitions throughout. There is a message to each of seven churches. C.I. Scofield observes a fourfold application to them
The messages to the seven churches have a fourfold application:
- Local, to the churches actually addressed;
- admonitory, to all churches in all time as tests by which they may discern their true spiritual state in the sight of God;
- personal, in the exhortations to him "that hath an ear," and in the promise "to him that overcometh";
- prophetic, as disclosing seven phases of the spiritual history of the church from, say, A.D. 96 to the end
The fourth seal in the book of Revelation chapter six contains four elements:
- and wild beast.
These four judgments concerning the earth are also listed in Ezekiel 14:21
And the fourth trumpet concerns the sun moon and stars
"Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars..."
— Revelation 8:12
According to Dr. Noah Hutchings, in his book "God the Master Mathematician" There are four angelic watchers over God's creation on the earth (Rev 4:6-11)
And in Revelation 9:14-15 four angels will destroy one-third of the men in the world.
We can clearly see that all of the creation is subject to God's judgment, which brings the further revelation that, just as seven reveals God's heavenly divine cycles, four displays the natural cycles of the earth that include the concepts of judgment. An example of this cycle is found in Exodus.
“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
— Exodus 34:6,7
Might we keep this in remembrance that, as we live our lives, what consequences may be visited our future generations? Sin is epigenetic in consequence. We might view this as unfair, or view it in God's mercy of revealing to us how things work. The latter will help us to be mindful of our choices.
Remind me of this with every decision
Generations will reap what I sow
I can pass on a curse or a blessing
To those I will never know
— Sara Groves "Generations"
The very first genealogy is given in Genesis chapter four, beginning with Cain's (servant of the ground) son Enoch and his four succeeding generations:
It was the beginning of the "begots"
The children of Lamech are then listed as four:
- and Naamah
Genesis chapter four begins, also, with the first bloodshed on the earth in the field.
A final example of this cycle of judgment identified by four occurs in the book of Amos Where God reveals to a sheepherder and fig farmer 8 (4x2) judgments that are about to occur on 8 nations.
Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment...
— Amos 1:3
Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment...
— Amos 1:6
Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,..
— Amos 1;9
Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Edom, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment
— Amos 1:9
Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of the people of Ammon, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment
— Amos 1:13
Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Moab, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment
— Amos 2:1
Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Judah, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment
— Amos 2:4
Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Israel, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment
— Amos 2:6
The book of Amos is also divided into four sections of judgments
1. Judgments on the cities surrounding Palestine, Amos 1:1 to Amos 2:3.
2. Judgements on Judah and Israel, Amos 2:4-16.
3. Jehovah's controversy with "the whole family" of Jacob, Amos 3:1 to Amos 9:10.
4. The future glory of the Davidic kingdom, Amos 9:11-15.
— C.I. Scofield
Revelation chapter seven speaks of four angels, to who was granted the right to harm the earth, at the four corners of the earth holding four winds, but they were restrained until the marking of the 144,000 who belonged to God then the scene shifts to the throne of God where all...
- and tongues
. . . are worshiping Him.
Bullinger makes note of the number four and judgment as it concerns the rainbow, with this writing.
The rainbow, which has special reference to the earth and its judgment, is mentioned four times,—twice in the Old Testament (Gen 9 and Eze 1:28) and twice in the New Testament (Rev 4:3, 10:1).
Seven Spirits of God in Revelation
There are four mentions of the Seven Spirits of God in the book of Revelation that are in the context of God's Kingdom rule in the earth and references the prophetic.
to show His servants—things which must shortly take place (prophetic)
— Revelation 1:1
The first one bookended with mentions of the earth.
...Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood (gematria of 44), and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,”who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
— Revelation 1:4-8
The second occurrence refers to the dead church and how it is functioning in the earth.
‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead
— Revelation 3:1
The third mention is located in chapter four of Revelation and surrounded not only by the numbers to support the themes but the themes themselves that go with the number four beginning with a door, the throne and concept of the kingdom as well as a signal to all that will "come after this" (the prophetic)
a door (Jesus the way) standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this (prophetic).”
Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow (four mentions in scripture symbol of promise in the earth) around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four (4x6) thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
— Revelation 4:1-5
The fourth and final mention of the "Seven Spirits of God" is referenced as being sent out into all the earth and the Lamb of God that was slain and the only one worthy to open the scrolls. No one on heaven or earth could open it only the one from heaven who was sent to the earth to redeem us by His own blood.
in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne
Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood (gematria of 44)
Out of every
- tribe and
- and people
- and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
— Revelation 5:6-10
Could this all be a picture of the seven churches filled with the Spirit of God? Could this be why the address is made to the seven churches that were to be governed by His Spirit and authorizing His Kingdom in the earth?
The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord
— Proverbs 20:27
Could the seven-branched Menorah in the Old Testament tabernacle be a foreshadow of the seven churches illuminated by the Holy Spirit (oil) in man that was exampled through Christ in anticipation of all who might follow Him in like fashion?
In Isaiah chapter eleven "The Spirit of the Lord" is listed in seven terms and the word "Spirit" is used four times in this account. Also, all in reference to the Kingdom of God enacted on the earth in four ways,
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem (Shemash - center stem of the menorah - Jesus) of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
- The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
- The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
- The Spirit of counsel and might,
- The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
His delight is in the fear of the Lord,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
- with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
- And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; (former rain - Hosea 6:3)
- He shall strike the earth (latter rain - Hosea 6:3) with the rod of His mouth,
- And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
— Isaiah 11:1-4
Revelation Chapter Four
Note that chapters one through three of Revelation are the letters to the seven churches. The pivotal "change" comes in chapter four. Revelation chapter four begins with a door (used four times in the book of Revelation) opened in heaven. Recall from earlier in this study that the fourth letter in the Hebrew aleph-bet is a "dalet" and is represented by a"door". Jesus is that door.
I am the door (used four times in John chapter 10)
— John 10:9
In reference to dominions and kingdoms, the word throne is used 12 (4x3) times and "crown" is used 24 times in the New Testament altogether. roundabout this throne are 24 Thrones with 24 elders the word twenty-four is used four times in this chapter. Also around this throne are four living creatures with four faces like that of God's created things
- Lion-wild animal
- ox - domestic animal
- and eagle
These four living creatures are mentioned 12 (4-kingdom of man x3 kingdom of God) times in the book of Revelation total. Four things are proceeding from this throne.
- lightnings and
- thunderings and
- voices: and there were
- seven lamps of fire burning before the throne
— Revelation 4:5
The chapter is summed up with this verse that depicts the entire purpose of created things.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created
— Revelation 4:11
Revelation Chapter 19 and the Four Hallelujahs
There are four Hallelujahs recorded in Revelation chapter 19 after Babylon the great harlot is defeated in the prior chapter. The first contains four attributes of the Messiah who accomplished this victory.
After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia (Hallelujah)!
- Salvation and
- glory and
- honor and
- power belong to the Lord our God!
— Revelation 19:1
The second Hallelujah is short and to the point.
“Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!”
— Revelation 19:3
The third Hallelujah
the twenty-four (4x6) elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!
— Revelation 19:4
and the fourth Hallelujah records the final transformation of the Bride of Christ. The first Hallelujah was the multitude of an angelic host. Frank Gaebelien observes that this multitude must be the "redeemed".
And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
— Revelation 19:6-8
Revelation 19 also records the fourth of seven beatitudes in the Book of Revelation. The first one is.
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near
— Revelation 1:3
‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
— Revelation 14:13
Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame
— Revelation 15:16
and the fourth.
‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’
— Revelation 19:9
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years
— Revelation 20:6
Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
— Revelation 22:7
Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
— Revelation 22:14
Gaebelein comments again relative to four and creation, noting that
"the wedding is the beginning of the earthly kingdom of God, the bride is the church in all her purity"
Once again we see the marriage of the supper of the lamb is the central and transitional point on the axis of these texts. It is the hinge on which all the others turn.
The Alpha and the Omega and the Fourth Word of the Bible
The first words spoken by Jesus in the "Revelation" of Jesus Christ relative to creation is
“I am the Alpha and the Omega the Beginning and the End."
— Revelation 1:8
This phrase is repeated four times and may also be found in the Old Testament in Isaiah 44:6. How this relates to creation can be found in the Hebrew version of the fourth Word recorded in Genesis which is "et". It is a word that is not translated into English. "et" consists of two Hebrew letters, an "aleph" and a "tav", the first and last letters of the Hebrew aleph-bet Just as Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet.
Concepts of "First and last", therefore, appear in the first and last chapters of the scriptures. The prophet Isaiah in the center of the Bible has yet another rendition.
I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning
— Isaiah 41:9,10
A little deeper look at the Hebrew letters and their pictograph meanings confirm these ideas.
Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet. It is represented by the image of an ox and considered a strong, faithful, reliable and sacrificial animal.
"Tav " is the last letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet. It is symbolized by a cross and understood to represent the sign of a covenant. God has revealed to us in the beginning, in the very first chapter and sentence of the Bible, how all things would begin with Christ.
In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
— John 1:1-3
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth
— Colossians 1:15-16
All things would culminate in Him when He became one of us, a created being. Jesus finished, fulfilled and completed all that was necessary for man to united again to God the Father for this express purpose.
that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ
— Ephesians 1:10
God's prophetic plan includes four created things:
- the church,
- and Israel.
There are four prophetic books occupied with Gentile world history:
- and Nahum
the number four themes the prophetic as in God's message and Word communicated in the earth established in Matthew four times with these introductions.
- So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying — Matthew 1:22
- for thus it is written by the prophet — Mathew 2:6
- that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying — Matthew 2:15
- Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying —Matthew 2:17
Isaiah Chapter Twenty—Four Judgement of the Earth
Isaiah chapter twenty-four (4x6) is titled "The Judgement on the Earth" in some Bibles, and is also known as the "Isaiah Apocalypse". The Hebrew word "eretz" most commonly translated "earth" is used 16 (4x4) times in this chapter.
The first verse opens with the four things God is going to do in and to the earth.
Behold, the Lord
- makes the earth empty and
- makes it waste,
- Distorts its surface And
- scatters abroad its inhabitants
— Isaiah 24:1
Verse two lists six comparisons of people affected by this. Six is the number of mankind and suggests the universality of the judgment.
The following three mentions of "eretz" (earth), from our first set of four, repeats these themes in verses three and four.
The next set of four begins in verse five with four reasons the earth becomes defiled.
The earth is also defiled under
- its inhabitants, Because they have
- transgressed the laws,
- Changed the ordinance,
- Broken the everlasting covenant
— Isaiah 24:5
And again the following three of the second set of four expands on the theme.
The third set of the four uses of the word "eretz" (earth) occurs in verses 13-18 of Isaiah twenty-four is less obvious and is in comparative form, but a set of four nonetheless beginning with its first use in the following set.
When it shall be thus in the midst of
- the land among
- the people, It shall be like
- the shaking of an olive tree, Like
- the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done
— Isaiah 24:13
The final three mentions (vs. 14-18) of "eretz" (earth) in set three, along with the first, speaks of four places and persons taken together.
- "In the midst of the earth",
- "The uttermost part of the earth",
- "The inhabitant of the earth",
- "The foundations of the earth"
The fourth and final set of the four uses of this word, in reference to the condition of the earth under judgment,
- The earth is utterly broken;
- the earth is torn asunder;
- the earth is shaken violently.
- The earth staggers to and fro like the drunkard,and it sways like a hut, and its transgression is heavy upon it, and it falls and does not rise again.
— Isaiah 24:19-20
Notice that the fourth mention of the earth caps off the statement with four things that Frank E. Gaebelein observes in "The Expositor's Bible Commentary"
"The whole earthly order is proved unstable...Instability in every realm"
When reading your English version you may notice "earth" being used more than the stated 16 times. This is because they translated "adamah" (ground, soil) also as "earth" I have only accounted for the Hebrew Word "eretz".
Bullinger makes note, in his observation of four, that there are four prophetic world powers at the end of the age.
In Daniel 7:2, 3 we read, "The FOUR winds of the heaven STROVE upon the great sea, and FOUR beasts came up from the sea DIVERSE one from another." Such is the history of man's power in the world—strife and division!
In relation to four's expression of world kingdoms, there are four kings listed in the Book of Daniel:
- and Cyrus.
Within this time period were four men in the kingdom who followed God.
- and Abednego.
There were also four men in the fiery furnace
- and Abednego,
- and the Son of God
Christ who came to the earth stands with us through the fiery furnace of this world that despises Him and ourselves because we follow Him.
Isaiah Chapters Twenty-One and Twenty-Two—Four Burdens
C.I. Scofield titles the section in Isaiah consisting of chapters 21 and 22
"The four burdens, anticipating Sennacherib's invasion (II Kings 18:13)"
He titles the first burden
"The burden of the desert"
With the first verse opening with...
The burden of the desert of the sea
— Isaiah 21:1
In Hebrew, the word "desert" used in the first verse is "midbar" which could be a wilderness of any kind. This we studied earlier in the fourth book of the Bible Numbers. This would make more sense in understanding the sea as wilderness or uninhabited place. Sea is also used metaphorically for a multitude of people.
Woe to the multitude of many people
Who make a noise like the roar of the seas,
And to the rushing of nations
That make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
— Isaiah 17:12
This can allude to the idea of a multitude of people coming from the wilderness.
The second burden named in this section is the burden of Dumah. Dumah's name means "silence" and they are a people descended from Ishmael. This name is mentioned four times total in scripture.
The burden against Dumah.
He calls to me out of Seir,
“Watchman, what of the night?
Watchman, what of the night?”
The watchman said,
“The morning comes, and also the night.
If you will inquire, inquire;
Return! Come back!”
— Isaiah 21:11-12
Night and morning are referenced four times in this section as was also studied at the beginning of this article.
Also, note the theme of repentance.
The third burden is upon Arabia. The definition of this word describes a nomadic mixed group. It is rooted in the word for "evening" that comes with the concept of mixing light and dark.
The fourth burden, found in chapter 22 is titled...
"The burden of the valley of vision"
In verses 12 and 13 there are four expressions of repentance
And in that day the Lord God of hosts
- weeping and for
- mourning, For
- and for girding with sackcloth.
— Isaiah 22:12
Also, it shows four things those who are living for this physical world alone resort to four things.
- Slaying oxen
- and killing sheep
- Eating meat
- and drinking wine
“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
— Isaiah 22:13
The four burdens wrap up with the promise of the coming Messiah-King (Messiah also themed by four)
Then it shall be in that day,
That I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah;
- I will clothe him with your robe And strengthen him with your belt;
- I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem And to the house of Judah. The key of the house of David
- I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut, and no one shall open.
- I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, And he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house.
— Isaiah 22:2-23
The Four Servant—Messiah Songs of Isaiah
In reference to the Messiahship and servanthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The book of Isaiah foretells of His coming in the form of, what is known as the "Four Servant Songs" that depict the plan of mankind's redemption. The fourth of these (Isaiah 53) is popularly known as "The Gospel of Isaiah"
Will Pounds at Abidieincrhist.com observes fittingly with our understanding of four as it pertains to the purposes of God in transforming us through redemption and bringing His Kingdom to the earth.
It is a message of God's saving grace. God's eternal purpose is redemption, and He works out that eternal purpose in history...The task of the Servant is to establish "justice in the earth."
the first one sincerely following the themes of creation.
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth
He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”
Thus says God the Lord,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it,
Who gives breath to the people on it,
And spirit to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
— Isaiah 42:1-7
The second song is spoken as from the voice of the Messiah and follows the theme of the formation of the Messiah/Servant of the Lord in the womb and His salvation reaching to the ends of the earth. The song ends much like Genesis begins with the heavens and the earth that God created rejoicing over His works.
“Listen, O coastlands, to Me,
And take heed, you peoples from afar!
The Lord has called Me from the womb;
From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.
And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword;
In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me,
And made Me a polished shaft;
In His quiver He has hidden Me.”
“And He said to me,
‘You are My servant, O Israel,
In whom I will be glorified.’
Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain;
Yet surely my just reward is with the Lord,
And my work with my God.’”
“And now the Lord says,
Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him,
So that Israel is gathered to Him
(For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord,
And My God shall be My strength),
Indeed He says,
‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, (Jesus identifies Himself as the Light of the world most frequently in the fourth Gospel)
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
Thus says the Lord,
The Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One,
To Him whom man despises,
To Him whom the nation abhors,
To the Servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise,
Princes also shall worship,
Because of the Lord who is faithful,
The Holy One of Israel;
And He has chosen You.”
Thus says the Lord:
“In an acceptable time I have heard You,
And in the day of salvation I have helped You;
I will preserve You and give You
As a covenant to the people,
To restore the earth,
To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages;
That You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’
To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’
“They shall feed along the roads,
And their pastures shall be on all desolate heights.
They shall neither hunger nor thirst,
Neither heat nor sun shall strike them;
For He who has mercy on them will lead them,
Even by the springs of water He will guide them.
I will make each of My mountains a road,
And My highways shall be elevated.
Surely these shall come from afar;
Look! Those from the north and the west,
And these from the land of Sinim.”
Sing, O heavens!
Be joyful, O earth!
And break out in singing, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
And will have mercy on His afflicted.
— Isaiah 49:1-13
The third song begins with verse four of Isaiah 50 and speaks of the suffering that the Messiah/Servant of the Lord will endure as well as his vindication.
“The Lord God has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned.
The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not rebellious,
Nor did I turn away.
I gave My back to those who struck Me,
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
“For the Lord God will help Me;
Therefore I will not be disgraced;
Therefore I have set My face like a flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.
He is near who justifies Me;
Who will contend with Me?
Let us stand together.
Who is My adversary?
Let him come near Me.
Surely the Lord God will help Me;
Who is he who will condemn Me?
Indeed they will all grow old like a garment;
The moth will eat them up.
— Isaiah 50:4-9
The fourth and final song is understood to express the final victory of the Messiah or "Servant of the Lord" through His fourfold suffering on our behalf, as seen in verse five.
Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;
So shall He sprinkle many nations.
Kings shall shut their mouths at Him;
For what had not been told them they shall see,
And what they had not heard they shall consider.
Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him
(4) Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
- But He was wounded for our transgressions,
- He was bruised for our iniquities;
- The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
- And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
— Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12
Notice that the first and last of the Servant Songs begins with "behold my servant" Also notice that at verse four the description "changes" from the negative estimation of the Messiah in the eyes of man to the purpose for which the Messiah — Servant of the Lord had to suffer on our behalf.
Got questions.org makes this keen fourfold observation confirming Jesus, indeed, being the Messiah
In Acts 3:13 Peter calls Jesus the “servant” of God. That verse says, in part, “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus.” Peter’s description of Jesus as a “servant” is accurate for at least four reasons:
- Jesus always did the will of the Father (John 4:34; 6:38).
- Jesus never sought to please Himself but always to please the Father (John 5:30).
- Jesus finished the work that God had sent Him to do (John 17:4).
- Jesus came to glorify the Father (John 13:31; 17:4).
Notice all four confirmations are found in the fourth Gospel.
There are four formative actions of God toward the prophet Jeremiah found in Jeremiah chapter one, whom He called to deliver a transforming message to His people.
- I formed you in the womb
- I knew you; Before you were born
- I sanctified you;
- I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
— Jeremiah 1:5
In verse 18 of this same chapter, God gives Jeremiah three (spirit) forms of support in the image of a fortified city, pillar of iron, and a bronze wall, against four (natural and earthly) groups of people
- Against the kings of Judah,
- Against its princes,
- Against its priests,
- And against the people of the land
In Jeremiah chapter 15 containing a very similar theme and an unsavory message that records four forms of destruction for the unrepentant.
And it shall be, if they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you shall tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord:
- “Such as are for death, to death;
- And such as are for the sword, to the sword;
- And such as are for the famine, to the famine;
- And such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.”’
“And I will appoint over them four forms of destruction,” says the Lord:
- “the sword to slay,
- the dogs to drag,
- the birds of the heavens and
- the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.
— Jeremiah 15:2-3
Jeremiah 29:17 lists another four forms of destruction
thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will send on them
- the sword,
- the famine, and
- the pestilence, and
- will make them like rotten figs that cannot be eaten, they are so bad.
— Jeremiah 20:17
There are four major themes in Jeremiah 2-6 according to Frank E. Gaebelein in his "Expositors Bible Commentary"
- God's indignation against moral and social sin
- His love for His people and land
- The certainty of doom on the unrepentant nation
- Salvation for the Believing
In Jeremiah chapter 13, God tells Jeremiah to give His people an object lesson by hiding a "girdle" in the hole of a rock at the Euphrates river, used four times in this chapter, which is also the fourth river listed in the Genesis garden description. The Euphrates drainage basin presently 444,000 square kilometers.
It is along this river that the first ancient urban civilizations were developed about 4000 years ago including Ur of the Chaldees, where Abraham is from. When God tells Abraham to leave this place He promises Him all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates (Genesis 15)
Revelation chapter nine announces, from the four horns of the golden altar, the Euphrates along with four-time references and four angels.
And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God
Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an
- hour, and
- a day, and
- a month, and
- a year, for to slay the third part of men
— Revelation 9:14-15
This chapter in Revelation ends with four things that men refuse to repent of in spite of the judgment.
Neither repented they of their
- murders, nor of their
- sorceries, nor of their
- fornication, nor of their
— Revelation 9:21
Revelation also says that in the end times the Euphrates will dry up.
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared
— Revelation 16:12
How interesting that this is the fourth and final river listed in the beginning.
And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates
— Genesis 2:14
July 13, 2009, New York Times article, titled "Iraq Suffers as the Euphrates River Dwindles" confirms this possibility.
In chapter 25 and 36 of Jeremiah in the fourth year of the reign of King Jehoiakim, a phrase used four times, the announcement of the impending captivity of Judah is made. Judgment is upon them. and this marked a transition in that Jehoiakim became the first of the Kings of Israel to be a vassal and subservient to another kingdom. First beginning with Necho of Egypt then subsequently to Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. In terms of relatable cultural deviancies, Wikipedia shares this...
"Rabbinical literature describes Jehoiakim as a godless tyrant who committed atrocious sins and crimes. He is portrayed as living in incestuous relations with his mother, daughter-in-law, and stepmother, and was in the habit of murdering men, whose wives he then violated and whose property he seized. He also had tattooed his body"
King Jehoiakim was so resistant to the message of impending judgment, that he burned the scrolls that they were written on and therefore refused to repent.
Chapter 25 opens with a similar theme with another transition in the fourth year of the reign of King Zedekiah the very last King of Judah before the Kingdom was destroyed and the people carried away captive.
Twenty-Four Elders, Four Wheels, Four Living Creatures—Ezekiel
Ezekiel, much like Revelation, can be somewhat cryptic as it concerns all of the imagery and symbols which amazes me that even within this can we find these spectacular numeric symbolic consistency.
Ezekiel presents the four living creatures that announce the judgments in the earth. Each creature has four faces , lion, ox, eagle, and man.
— E.W. Bullinger
I will let John Gill, a famous theologian, explain the role of four in this section, as it relates to the 24 elders and the spread of the gospel, creation, and its ties to the book of Revelation. He pulls together in his commentary several themes already discussed in this article,
Now as I beheld the living creatures
— Ezekiel 1:15
While he had the vision of them, and when he was considering their form and likeness, and what should be the meaning of them: behold, one wheel upon the earth;
the Jews understand this of an angel, who stood upon the earth...but the more common interpretation of them is, that they design the visible world, and all things in it...the true interpretation of them, as of the living creatures, is to be fetched from the vision in the fourth chapter of Revelation and as the four living creatures here are the same with the four beasts there; so the wheels are the same with the four and twenty elders, the representatives of Gospel churches, as appears by both being in the same situation; as there is a throne, and next to that the four beasts, and next to them the four and twenty elders ; here also is a throne, and next to the throne the four living creatures or cherubim, and next the living creatures, and by the side of them the wheels, ; and this is further manifest by their being both under the same influence and motion; as the four beasts were the first agents and movers, and the four and twenty elders were directed by them, who went before them in their devotion, ; so the wheels moved as the living creatures did; when the living creatures went, they went; when they stood, the wheels stood; and when the creatures were lifted up, the wheels were also; and the wheels are a very proper emblem of churches under the Gospel dispensation; partly for their round form, a symbol of perfection; the churches of Christ being more perfect under the gospel dispensation than the church was under the legal one: and partly for their movableness from place to place; churches are not always in the same place; they have been removed from Judea into the Gentile world; and they have wheeled about there, sometimes in one place, and sometimes in another: as also for their changeable state and situation; being sometimes in prosperity, and sometimes in adversity: likewise for the work done by them; many things are done by the help and with the use of wheels; much work is done in and by the churches of Christ; here the Gospel is preached, ordinances administered, divine worship in all its parts performed, sinners are converted, and saints are edified and comforted; and as, when wheels are in motion, they make a great noise and rattling; so when there is any great work going on in the churches of Christ, it makes a great noise in the world; as at the first preaching and spread of the Gospel, both in Judea, and among the Gentiles; and at the time of the Reformation; and as there will be when antichrist shall be destroyed, and the Gospel shall be spread all the world over ; to which may be added, that these wheels, together with the cherubim or living creatures, make a chariot; and as the cherubim in the temple are called the chariot of the cherubim
...a chariot is a fit emblem of the churches of Christ, in which he rides about the world, and does his work; see; and though but one wheel is here mentioned, yet it appears that there were "four", as in; a wheel by every living creature; so though there is but one general assembly and church of the firstborn written in heaven, of which Christ is the head, and for which he gave himself; yet there are many particular congregated churches, which may be signified by the number "four"; partly with respect to the four parts of the world, where Christ has an interest, and which will more manifestly appear in the latter day; and partly with respect to the four living creatures, a wheel to every cherub, a church to every minister and pastor; for though sometimes there have been more pastors than one to a church, when large, yet never more than one church under the care of one pastor: moreover, this wheel or wheels were seen "upon the earth"; which is observed, to distinguish the church militant from the church triumphant in heaven; and to point out the place where the churches are; which though they consist of men that are not of the world, yet they are in the world: as also to denote the firmness of them; they are on the earth, not in the air or sea, where wheels cannot move and rolls; but upon "terra firma", and that to the churches, is Christ Jesus; and may also signify, that the mutability and movableness of churches are only while they are on earth, in, the present state of things: it follows, by the living creatures:
that is, the wheel or wheels were seen by the side of the living creatures; which is more fully expressed in; churches are placed by the ministers of the Gospel, to direct them in matters of faith and worship; to put them in motion; to stir them up to the exercise of grace, and the discharge of duty; to watch over them in the Lord; and to feed them with spiritual knowledge and understanding: with his four faces;
either the living creatures; and so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "having four faces": and the meaning is that the wheel or wheels were on, the four sides of the living creatures: or rather, as Jarchi, the wheels, four faces; for upon every wheel there were the same four faces as were in the living creatures, as, is clear from; there being a great likeness between Gospel churches and Gospel ministers: the "first" was the face of a "cherub" or "ox"; which may denote the patience of Gospel churches, and the members thereof, in bearing afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions, for the sake of Christ; their meditation on the word of God continually, the ox being a creature that chews the cud; and their constancy and laboriousness in the work of the Lord: the "second" was the face of a "man"; which may be expressive of their knowledge and understanding of divine and spiritual things; and of their tenderheartedness, sympathy, and compassion, one towards another, in distressed circumstances: the "third" was the face of a "lion"; signifying their boldness and intrepidity in, the cause of Christ, and the profession of his name: and the "fourth" was the face of an "eagle"; showing that they mount up on the wings of faith and love, as on eagles' wings; that they soar aloft, and dwell on high, and have their affections set on things in heaven, and not on earth. Cocceius interprets the wheel or wheels of the word of God, and the course of the ministry of it, under the influence of the Spirit; and so Starckius of late.
Ezekiel 27:12 four kinds of earthly wealth:
- and lead
C.I. Scofield makes this note concerning another of Ezekiel's visions in chapter eight concerning the infiltration of idolatry into the Holy temple.
"The combined purport of the four visions of profanation in chapter 8., is idolatry set up in the entire temple, even in the holy of holies Ezekiel 8:10 Ezekiel 8:11 women given over to phallic cults Ezekiel 8:14 and nature-worship Exodus 8:16 ."
In chapter nine Scofield continues his observation of four movements of the glory of God.
"It is noteworthy that to Ezekiel the priest was given the vision of the glory of the Lord
1. departing from the Cherubim to the threshold of the temple Ezekiel 9:3 ; 10:4 .
2. from the threshold Ezekiel 10:18 .
3. from temple and city to the mountain on the East of Jerusalem (Olivet, Ezekiel 11:23 ) and
4. returning to the millennial temple to abide. Ezekiel 43:2-5 ."
Chapter 28 of Ezekiel records God's judgment against the King of Tyre. He is accused four times of relying on his own wisdom (Ezekiel 28:4,5,7,11), and not God.
Joel chapter 2 discusses a coming destruction with four descriptions
- The earth shall quake before them;
- the heavens shall tremble:
- the sun and the moon shall be dark, and
- the stars shall withdraw their shining:
— Joel 2:10
Chapter two also names discusses the restoration from of destructive worms ...
So I will restore to you the years that the
- swarming locust has eaten,
- The crawling locust,
- The consuming locust,
- And the chewing locust,
— Joel 2:25
Joel Chapter 3 discusses a prophetic restoration with four descriptions.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that
- the mountains shall drop down new wine, and
- the hills shall flow with milk, and all
- the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and
- a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord , and shall water the valley of Shittim.
— Joel 3:18 KJV
The prophecy of Zechariah has special reference to the earth:—
— E.W. Bullinger
- In Chapter 1 we have the four horns or Gentile powers, and the four carpenters to fray them.
- In chapter 6 we have the four chariots with horses of four colors, signifying the spirits of the heavens acting for God in the midst of the four Gentile powers.
"And the angel answered and said to me, “These are four spirits of heaven, who go out from their station before the Lord of all the earth...Then the strong steeds went out, eager to go, that they might walk to and fro throughout the earth. And He said, “Go, walk to and fro throughout the earth"
— Zechariah 6:5
The phrase "to and fro" which is always used in reference to the earth is used four times in the book of Zechariah.
it is the sovereign Lord of all the earth Himself who deploys the angelic troops of heaven in the prosecution of His purposes for His glory and our good in the world.
— David Strain from First Presbyterian Church Jackson Mississippi.
Zechariah also mentions four fasts in chapter 8 that will be transformed into feasts.
Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
- ‘The fast of the fourth month,
- The fast of the fifth,
- The fast of the seventh,
- And the fast of the tenth,
Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts
For the house of Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace.’
— Zechariah 8:19
The discourse on this actually begins in chapter 7
Now in the fourth year of King Darius it came to pass that the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, on the fourth day of the ninth month, Chislev, when the people sent Sherezer with Regem-Melech and his men, to the house of God, to pray before the Lord, and to ask the priests who were in the house of the Lord of hosts, and the prophets, saying, “Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?”
— Zechariah 7:1-3
Frank E. Gaebelein quotes Perowne from "the Cambridge bible for schools and colleges" commentary in his Expositor's commentary.
After the lapse of nearly two years, Zechariah is again called to prophesy, the occasion of his doing so being the arrival at Jerusalem of a deputation, sent from Bethel to enquire whether they ought still to observe a national fast, which had been instituted in the time of the captivity, The answer of Almighty God by the prophet falls into four sections (marked by separate paragraphs in R. V.), each of which is introduced by the same formula, Zechariah 7:4; Zechariah 7:8; Zechariah 8:1; Zechariah 8:18. The return in the last of these sections (Zechariah 8:19) to the question out of which the whole arose, shews that the prophecy is really one. In the first section the people are reminded that their fasting and feasting had alike been observances terminating upon themselves and devoid of religious motive and spiritual aim, and consequently unacceptable to God; in accordance with the teaching of the earlier prophets, in the times of Jerusalem’s prosperity, Zechariah 7:4-7. In the next section the substance of this teaching, as insisting on moral reformation and not on outward observances, is given; and to the neglect of it are traced the rejection by God of His people, and the calamities that had come upon them in their captivity and dispersion, Zechariah 7:8-14. Passing now to a happier strain of hope and promise, the prophetic word tells of the bright days of holiness and prosperity in store for Jerusalem, in contrast with her earlier condition of distress and discord, and urges the people, on the strength of these promises, to holy obedience, Zechariah 8:1-17. The concluding section predicts that the question from Bethel shall be solved, by the transformation of the fasts of their captivity into joyful feasts, to which willing multitudes shall throng from all parts of the land; heathen nations joining also in their celebration, and counting it an honour and protection to be associated with a Jew, Zechariah 8:18-23.
The second of these four fasts is known as "the fast of the fourth month" or the fast of Tammuz which is observed on the 17th of Tammuz. It occurs 40 days after Shavuot, which would have been when Moses came down from the mount to see the children of Israel breaking their covenant with God by worshiping the golden calf at which point he breaks the tablets symbolizing what had been done. It also commemorates the destruction of the Jewish Temple and their exile into Babylonian captivity. Both the first and second temples were destroyed during this time period. It interestingly coincides with our fourth of July every 10 or 20 years
— info from Wikipedia "Seventeenth of Tammuz"
All Created Things and Events Are Under His Feet
Matthew 14:24-26, Mark 5:47-49, and John 6:47-49 record some fours that exhibit, from scripture, four's indication of the created realm as well as a signal that change is about to occur.
It concerns an event that happened just after Jesus' feeding of the five thousand which represented Christ's provision of salvation to the Jews. Jesus departed to a mountain, Mark records that
"He alone was on the land"
...after He instructed His disciples to head towards the other side of the sea of Galilee. Matthew writes that...
Now in the fourth watch of the night (time) Jesus went to them, walking on the sea
— Matthew 14:25
John records that this event occurred after
they had rowed about three or four miles (space as in distance)
— John 6:19
How interesting that four events occur consecutively during this time that all show Jesus power and authority over the created realm, as displayed and illustrated, by
- the wind and the waves,
- followed by a man loosed from a spiritual malady,
- followed by a woman with a physical issue of blood representing sin and sickness,
- followed by death.
These four events collectively show us that everything in this created realm is under His feet and subject to His authority, whether natural, spiritual, sin/sickness and or death. All are under His feet.
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.
— I Corinthians 15:24-25
Job and His Four Friends
In the course of one day, Job receives four messages, each bearing separate news that his livestock, servants, and ten children have all died due to marauding invaders or natural catastrophes
Another observation from the book of Job; was counseled by four men (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu) signaling to us that their perspectives, concerning Job's sufferings, were severely limited to a subjective earthly point of view. When God begins his confrontation His first question is this...
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
— Job 38:4
Then follows example after example of how complex all that He created really is, and beyond our human understanding, and lets us know that because of these limitations we are to trust Him no matter what.
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him
— Job 13:15
The account of the unraveling of Job records this
and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house
— Job 1:19
With our understanding of four, we can see that this great wind of destruction was affecting every sphere of Job's physical life and existence.
We also might see that God is establishing something in the earth that is redemptive. With Abraham, He established, through Abraham's faith in the possibility of God resurrecting his one and only promised son Isaac, the legal right for Himself to bring His one and only Son as a sacrifice for sin. Here in Job, we see Job's faith paving the way for an "innocent" man to bear the consequences of sin and iniquity as he submitted to the suffering that wasn't connected to his personal sin. This faith would ultimately be the fair price of redemption where Christ our Messiah is concerned.
“Oh, that my words were written!
Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!
That they were engraved on a rock
With an iron pen and lead, forever!
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
— Job 19:23-26
In the end, Job was redeemed by God and blessed to live to 140 (4x35) years
and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations
— Job 42:16
The entire Bible is set forth to reveal the concept of covenant. The life and death agreement between God and His man and the relational terms of that arrangement.
C.I. Scofield once again observes in his Bible commentary on the Genesis Covenants.
"Of the eight great covenants which condition human life, and the divine redemption, four, the...
- and Abrahamic
...are in this book (Genesis), and these are the fundamental covenants to which the other four,
- the Mosaic
- the Palestinian
- and New Covenant
...are related chiefly as adding detail or development"
There were four commissions to the Edenic Covenant
- Be fruitful, and
- multiply, and
- replenish the earth, and
- subdue it
— Genesis 1:28
Royal Grant covenants customarily consisted of four main sections:
- a preamble, noting the parties involved;
- the provisions in the grant;
- restrictions or stipulations for the continuance of certain oaths taken at the time of enactment and
- some sort of covenantal sign
Genealogies of the Ancient Near East served four functions
The Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank E. Gaebelein
Fourth Millennia B.C.
The Fourth Millennia B.C. is noted for the great changes that occurred within it including the, before mention, of urban development with its laws and governing systems. It was also known as the Bronze Age, which marked the development of bronze technology of alloying tin and copper. Writing systems were also developed at this time. Astronomy and math were also revelations of this time period and the invention of the potter's wheel.
Interesting that the copper age preceded the bronze age and was followed by the Iron age. Mixing is not a desirable thing in the Bible. Iron is symbolic of stubbornness and rebellion. The progressive time periods show how after mixing comes a hardness and a rebellion. Recall that the fourth and final Kingdom in the book of Daniel was a mixture of iron and clay. God's will for us, as bodies of clay, is that we are filled with His light and not our own willful stubbornness.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us
— II Corinthians 4:6-7
Summing up the potter's wheel and the rebellion that results from mixing.
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good
— Jeremiah 18:1-11
To which we might reply
But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
— Isaiah 64:8
A Final Note to the Wayward
Perhaps you are reading and realize you have drifted far from this process that He once began in you and wonder how to get back into His gracious plan and move forward once again.
God even makes provision should we become distracted and diverted from cooperating in this process. In II Chronicles chapter seven God gives four instructions for the restoration of His people should they go astray and suffer the consequences thereof. The transFOURming process of being restored is recorded as such;
If my people who are called by My Name will
- Humble themselves
- Seek My Face
- Turn from their wicked ways
I will hear from Heaven and Heal their land (territory of heart and mind)
He promises to the repentant, in Joel chapter 2, that He will restore us from the four metaphorical destructions that came upon His people.
So I will restore to you the years that the
- swarming locust has eaten,
- The crawling locust,
- The consuming locust,
- And the chewing locust
My great army which I sent among you
— Joel 2:25
This concludes the first of this series which laid the foundation for God's process, power, and ability to create and transFOURm not only the entire material universe but also a human mind and heart substantiated by the number four.
I would like to cap this revelation off with the consideration that the covenant name of God to His people is spelled with four letters (yod, hey, vav, hey). It's as if He has stamped His name on all that He has made which will end this part as it began with the following verse.
since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse
— Romans 1:20
"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen"
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Man's enemy is known in scripture by four names:
- Old Serpent
- and Dragon
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour
— I Peter 5:6-8
We just barely touched on the first phase of development with the caterpillar carefully and strategically placed on the underside of a leaf. Part Two will explain its deliverance from the captivity of its egg in terms of salvation, as well as examine the practical application of the second phase of its four part journey in reference to the living out of our Justification through such great a salvation. (Heb 2:3)
speak to the earth, and it will teach you...That the hand of the Lord has done this
— Job 12:8
may to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while,
- and settle you.
— I Peter 5:10
Nature—The Created Realm—Further Exhibits
The following sections will show other created creatures exhibit of the number four.
Killdeer—Bird of the Field—four
The Killdeer bird is known as a plover, which is a ground-nesting bird and called a bird of the field. It makes its nest in sandy gravel bare open fields far from water (wilderness). lays four eggs that take 28 days (4 weeks) to hatch. It is born ready to run and peck to eat. They mainly feed on ground invertebrates. Their art of protecting their eggs is to distract from the nest area by pretending to be injured and leading the offender away from the nest.
The Box Jelly Fish—Four
The Box Jellyfish, otherwise known as Cubozoa's is a cubed shaped creature that differs from other species of Jellyfish and is stamped with the number four.
They have 24 (4x6) eyes, of four different types (up, down, dark, and light), 16 (4x4) of which are pits of light-sensitive pigment. One pair (8 - 4x2) in each cluster has more intricate parts of which there are four (lens, retina, iris, and cornea) these are said to be pointing towards the sky no matter what and assists in its navigation through murky water. there are four brain clusters, and 60 (4x15) anal regions
This is a deadly Jelly Fish known as the Sea Wasp. Its nervous system is more developed than other Jelly Fish. It can get up to 4.4 pounds and can swim up to speeds of 4 knots
It also is predatory unlike other varieties of Jellyfish. It rests at night and eats during the day.
Summary of Concepts Connected With the Number Four
A section to sum up words that firm up the concept of four: transformation, transition, creation, cross, door, gospel, Messiah, earth, land, territory, universality, change, transfer, development, establishment, generation, judgment, flesh, physical, natural as opposed to spiritual.
Bonus Miscellaneous Material / Drawing Board
I will continue to add revelations exhibited in the scriptures, sciences, and the material universe as discovered, as it appears that the pattern of fours is infinite. Feel free to add your own revelations to the comments section concerning these dangling fours that I didn't quite know where to place. Not that they are incongruent with the associations of transformation, creation, and the physical world and universe as it concerns the number four, I just didn't want to add material that did not specifically fit with the sections already created.
there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen ~ John 21:25
The cow's stomach is divided in four digestive compartments: reticulum, rumen, omasum and abomasum
Jewish sages divide the Torah into four different categories, civil\legal moral/ethical ~ Messiah in the Torah by Dan and Brenda Cathcart.
There are four main methods of Torah study (Peshat - literal, Remez - allegorical, Derash - metaphorical, Sod - hidden meaning)
Jewish tradition in studying the letters themselves is in four methods; letter name, first appearance, shape, and numerical value.
Four requirements for Sabbath Jubilee
Four Greek words for love
Four men who took a vow in the book of Acts
Four kingdoms in Daniel
Constantine known as the man who changed the world Christian church, times, methods, and places ruled in the fourth century.
In classical music, common time is constructed of four beats.
Four components of tones
1. Timbre- the characteristic quality of a sound independent of pitch and hardness.
2. Intensity-it is the volume or loudness of the vibration of a tone.
3. Pitch-is the degree of high or depth of a tone or a sound.
4. Duration- it is the lenght of time , the tone continuous to remain and audible.
The four whose names were changed:—
- Abram (Gen 27:5) [in blessing]
- Sarai (Gen 27:15) [in blessing]
- Jacob (35:10, 37:28) [in blessing]
- Pashur (Jer 20:3) [in judgment]
The four bound with brass:—
- Samson (Judg 16:21) [not liberated]
- Jehoiachim (2 Chron 36:6) [not liberated]
- Zedekiah (2 Kings 25:7; Jer 52:11, 39:7) [not liberated]
- Manasseh (2 Chron 33:11) [liberated]
The fulness of material blessing in the earth is described in Isaiah 60:17:—
- For brass I will bring gold.
- For iron I will bring silver.
- For wood I will bring brass.
- For stones I will bring iron.
Mark chapter 12 Jesus gives the parable of the husbandmen where the fourth man sent to the vineyard is the Son of the husbandman.
Four types of sexual sin listed in the Old testament adultery, fornication, same sex, bestiality
Four types of people bless the Lord, Bless the Lord , O house of Israel! Bless the Lord , O house of Aaron! Bless the Lord , O house of Levi! You who fear the Lord , bless the Lord !
Psalms 135:19-20 NKJV
four color theorum.
Hebrew word anah Strongs 579 meaning to moan groan or sigh four times in four verses
PLO established in 1964 (4x491) revised in 1968. 1988 (4x497) Yassar Arafat changed his statements on the intent to annihilate Israel but instead live in peace with all. This was rejected on the grounds that the covenant had not changed in wording. on April 24 (4-24) In 1996 (4x499) PNC voted to amend this charter to exclude the language of eliminating Israel. 504 (4x126) in favor of .
"Fear thy God" used four times Leviticus 19:14,32, 25:36,43
Strong's Number H3610 matches the Hebrew כִּלְאַיִם (kil'ayim),
which occurs 4 times in 2 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV
Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: H3610 thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: H3610 neither shall a garment mingled H3610 of linen and woollen come upon thee.
Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: H3610 lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. ~ Blue Letter Bible
Strong's Number H2502 matches the Hebrew חָלַץ (chalats), (draw out, take away, equip)
which occurs 44 times in 44 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV
And Abimelech riseth, and all the people who [are] with him, by night, and they lay wait against Shechem--four detachments;
Judges 9:34 YLT98
There were 44 years between the oldest and youngest signers of the Declaration of Independence. A cross generational revolution
A silicon–oxygen tetrahedron is the SiO4 anionic group or a silicon atom with four surrounding oxygen atoms arranged to define the corners of a tetrahedron. This is a fundamental component of most silicates in the Earth's crust
Four Major Categories In All Living Things
- carbohydrates consisting of four things; sugars, starches, cellulose, and glycogen, lipids of which there are four major types; phospholids, steroids, terpenes and prostaglandins
- protein which exhibits four levels of structure; primary, secondary, tertiary, and quatemary
- nucleic acids in relationship to dna includes four different nucleotides; adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine, which is made up of four basic elements; hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen . and fourthly.
- fat of which there are four types; saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans
There are four laws of thermodynamics; Zeroth law (thermal equilibrium), First law (Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms), Second law ( entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time), Third law (As temperature approaches absolute zero, the entropy of a system approaches a constant minimum)
Four types of chemical reaction (Synthesis - two or more unite to form a single product, Decomposition - a reactant breaks down into two or more products, Substitution - free element replaces one of the elements of a compound free element is more reactive than the one it replaces, Metathesis - or double displacement - exchange of partners)
- Moorman, A; Webb, S; Brown, NA; Lamers, W; Anderson, RH (Jul 2003). "Development of the heart: (1) formation of the cardiac chambers and arterial trunks.". Heart (British Cardiac Society) 89 (7): 806–14. doi:10.1136/heart.89.7.806. PMC 1767747. PMID 12807866.
Brad Scott from Wildbranch Ministry's teaching on the number 4 ~ http://www.wildbranch.org/teachings/lessons/lesson88.html
Word studies ~ Biblehub.com and Blueletterbible.org
Various Butterfly facts and habits media sources ~ "Incredible Journey of the Butterflies" - Nova, "Four Wings and a Prayer" - Discovery, "The Incredible Story of the Monarch butterfly" - Documentary, "Metamorphosis" ~ Illustra Media
fact website sources ~ http://www.monarch-butterfly.com/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarch_butterfly, http://www.icr.org/article/design-features-for-monarch-butterfly-life-cycle/
Space, Time, Matter, Energy ~ http://www.fnal.gov/pub/science/particle-physics-101/science-matter-energy-space-time.html
Four dimensional space ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-dimensional_space
Creating matter from light ~ http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/182701-scientists-work-out-how-create-matter-from-light-finally-proving-einsteins-emc2
Heart development ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_development
Aunt Kathy Reb ( II Chronicles revelation)
Robin Hundley (Four math processes)
http://www.cliffsnotes.com/sciences/biology/biology/the-chemical-basis-of-life/organic-compounds and http://chsweb.lr.k12.nj.us/mstanley/outlines/organicap/aporgchem.html
www.uta.edu/modl/cultural-constructions/200705/html ~ Marie Antionette "Remembering Marie-Antoinette: The Martyr, the Whore, and the Icon" by Mylynka Killgore University of Texas Arlington
New World Encyclopedia.org Marie Antionette
Read more : http://www.ehow.com/list_6804147_four-main-parts-skeletal-system.html
Curtis; Rajaraman; MacPherson (2002). "Bread Wheat". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
© 2014 Tamarajo