Have we ever personally stopped to prayerfully ponder the question of why we find this "spying out of the Promised Land" being performed or more specifically REPRESENTED in the scriptures as being performed ultimately by both 12 spies AND two spies? I use the word-"represented" for the reason that ultimately everything we consider in the Old Testament was designed to prophetically picture and illustrate what would eventually be manifested with a form or version of Israel which by the time of the first century would come to be known as SPIRITUAL Israel or true Christianity. (Col 2:17) (Ga 4:24-26) (He 8:5 9:24) Particularly if we happen to be among the anointed, it is in fact for this very reason that we SHOULD be very keen on understanding what was being conveyed in such scriptural symbolisms.
While the Bible makes it clear that ultimately it is only Jehovah's holy spirit that uncovers the "hidden treasures" or "sacred secrets" of his word (Pr 2:4) (Mt 13:10, 11) (Ac 16:14) and by extension Jehovah's choosing to allow it to actually do so in any individual case EVEN if things are explicitly explained to us, nonetheless here are a few questions I would pose to begin this discussion:
If we were to actually "render our sacred service with our power of reason" in this case as well as "carefully examine the scriptures as to whether these things are so," (Ro 12:1) (Ac 17:11) then just exactly what approach to this topic would seem to be the most logical? If we do not so much as even grasp the deeper symbolic meanings of things like the 12 tribes of Israel, the "Promised Land" and the "spying out" of it in the first place, then what chance would we have of coming to understand what was being "typified" or illustrated with the two separate portrayals or occasions for this "inspection" that we find in the "copy of the reality"? Yes the question here more specifically is what exactly was it that was being symbolized with two different VERSIONS of this "inspection," which in fact is mentioned explicitly on at least three occasions in the scriptures even if it itself as per usual is ultimately "typified" or represented in MANY ways throughout the Bible? (Nu 13:1, 2) (Jos 2:1) (Lu 19:44) (He 8:5) I will be getting into several examples of this throughout the course of this discussion. Already however we are considering a very powerful clue here in Luke 19:44 as to what exactly was being prophetically symbolized by this "spying out of the Promised Land" all along. But could we agree that the best place to start here would be to first establish the INDIVIDUAL symbolic meanings involved in this?
As I have endeavored to demonstrate with the scriptures many times before, another key thing here that would undoubtedly go a long way in helping us to wrap our minds around topics such as this is the following:
The more deeply we dig into the holy writings, the more we will come to recognize that there are ultimately rather few divine messages being directed towards the anointed ones. Undoubtedly one of the primary reasons it may not APPEAR that way is because these same messages are presented in MANY different ways. Each of these variations in the manner that things are being illustrated is intended or designed to focus our attention on specific facets of what is ultimately the very same phenomenon. By means of prayerful meditation on ALL of these variations, Jehovah's appointed teachers are increasingly and eventually empowered to gain a relatively solid grasp of the bigger picture, which in turn increasingly places them in a position to actually teach. So with these things in mind, starting with the 12 tribes of Israel, let's please begin with at least an abbreviated scriptural identification of the symbolisms involved here. While I have already gone into more depth on basically ALL of these symbolisms over the years, my intention on this occasion is to focus exclusively on the ones that pertain specifically to this topic.
Here is a list of at least a few key scriptures to consider and compare when it comes to the deeper symbolic meanings of the 12 tribes of Israel.
(Ge 29:32-35 30:1-26 48:13-22 49:1-27)
(De 27:11-13 33:6-29)
(2 Sa 2:8-10)
(Jer 31:9, 20)
(Zec 9:13 11:14-17)
(Mt 10:5, 6 24:15, 16)
(Re 7:4-8) Compare (Nu 1:4-14)
Among the most important things that will eventually become clear by means a careful and prayerful analysis of accounts like these is something that is actually confirmed yet again by simply observing not only the specific setting we are dealing with in this "spying out of the Promised Land," but also the specific tribes that Joshua and Caleb actually came from. By considering the symbolic meanings that were assigned to these tribes, some very key "sacred secrets" are revealed in connection with this figurative "inspection" that Jesus himself speaks of yet again during his earthly ministry. (Mt 13:10, 11) (Lu 19:44)
Yes among the things we once again find ourselves contemplating here is a symbolic representation of a DIVISION between what is symbolized by the number 2 and 10 respectively in connection with these 12 tribes. In this case the division was of course manifested in the form of Joshua and Caleb ending up as the only ones being approved by Jehovah among the 12 spies. Well that's easy enough you say; particularly upon considering the account there in Zechariah, it becomes clear that what is being symbolized here is the distinction between the shepherding and flock "folds" of Jehovah's people or nation. (Joh 10:16) The two tribe kingdom of Judea represents the shepherding fold and the ten tribes represent the flock.
Now while this happens to be quite true, the problem with this line of reasoning (other than the fact that Joshua was actually from the tribe of EPHRAIM as opposed to Judah or Benjamin) is it has failed to take into account the SETTING we are currently considering here. You see just as was demonstrated for us also in the early part of the first century, a "spying out" or "inspection" on the part of Jehovah's prophets or even "two witnesses" is something that occurs when Jehovah is looking to RE-ESTABLISH Israel. (Lu 19:44) (Re 11:3, 7, 11, 12) As was demonstrated or us time and again, this process always BEGINS with the re-establishing of what is represented or symbolized by the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, namely the legal authority and power necessary to establish ANY nation or kingdom. You see if the nation ITSELF does not actually exist, then at least basically speaking neither does its citizenship. Just as was pointed out to us in Zechariah Chapter 11, if the SHEPHERD is in some manner removed from its sheep, then this flock immediately becomes a "flock meant for the KILLING" even BEFORE it actually ceases to exist. (Zec 11:4)
You see in at least some sense there is no such thing as Judea OR Israel (the shepherd OR its flock) in ANY such setting or context. Basically the whole purpose of Jehovah's prophets in these periods is to renew the kingdom covenant that QUALIFIES people as Israelites OR Judeans. Just as is pointed out for us in accounts like Matthew 23:38, what we are dealing with in this setting of a "spying out of the land" is merely an "inspection" on the part of Jehovah's prophets of an "abandoned HOUSE of Israel." The reason we find Jesus renewing yet another kingdom covenant there at Luke 22:28, 29 is because in these settings of an "inspection" this formal agreement or even MARRIAGE contract with Jehovah has once again been violated with spiritual adultery on the part of the theocratic shepherds it is always formed with. Until the moment this holy covenant is once again renewed and inaugurated, what these prophets are dealing with is precisely what was represented with the Canaanite "prostitute" by the name of Rahab there in ancient Jericho, namely a spiritually unclean FOREIGNER. (Jos 2:1) Once again a broken holy marriage covenant reduces what WERE Jews and Israelites into mere "sleeping virgins" or even spiritual "widows." (Mt 25:1, 2, 5) (La 1:1, 4)
In other words, not only is a somewhat different kind of division among Jehovah's nation being represented or signified in this case, but by bearing in mind both the setting and the tribal symbolisms being presented to us in this particular prophetic drama, we begin to be in a position to uncover the "hidden treasures" involved with it. (Pr 2:4) Nonetheless since Caleb actually WAS from the tribe of Judah, it should be clear to us that the distinction between the shepherding and flock facets of the holy nation is AMONG the symbolisms we are dealing with in this particular drama. When we bear in mind the specific setting being presented to us here in this case however, it should quickly become apparent that there are additional things to factor in.
For one thing the words of Jesus found there in Luke 19:44 should help us to understand that at least a PORTION of the setting in this case is the ministry to "Christ's domestics" or otherwise the one directed exclusively towards what in these post-apostasy/pre-kingdom time frames qualify as spiritually "sleeping virgins" and "widows" in dire need of having the holy marriage covenant renewed with them. (Mt 25:1, 2, 5, 10) It would make perfect sense therefore that we find these prophets or "two spies" there in Jericho at some point establishing a formal agreement (covenant) with a person who while clearly represented as spiritually unclean nonetheless begins to demonstrate much "discretion" and humble repentance. (Jos 2:17-20) Rahab's subsequent marriage to a Judean prince in fact is a very strong confirmation that ultimately the renewal of the holy marriage covenant being addressed there in Matthew 25:10 and Revelation 21:2, 9 is indeed among the things being symbolized here. (Mt 1:5)
By the same token however, a ministry towards "Christ's domestics" or Jesus' own "brothers" ultimately amounts to an "inspection" or "spying out" of THEMSELVES. In other words in this particular setting of a holy covenant that has been violated with spiritual adultery, the "prostitute" Rahab is actually another way of representing these "two spies" THEMSELVES! (Jos 2:1) (Mt 24:45 25:40) Now since accounts like Matthew 22:14 make it perfectly clear that even the vast MAJORITY of the anointed ones in these prophetic time frames completely FAIL this "inspection" they experience, are we beginning to better appreciate exactly what was being illustrated with the majority of the "12 spies" ultimately finding themselves in an disapproved standing with Jehovah? (Nu 14:30) So if anything the question at this point would be why we find Joshua being represented as coming from the tribe of Ephraim? This particular tribe was consistently used throughout the scriptures to represent the FLOCK facet of Jehovah's people rather than the shepherding one. (Ge 48:19) (Zec 11:14-17)
Well the fact is there is more than one thing that is being conveyed to us here with Joshua's tribal lineage in this case. One of them begins to manifest itself when we examine scriptures like Ezekiel 37:16-19 and Matthew 23:38 and then compare them to ones like Joshua 2:17-19. Once again we want to bear in mind the setting here, and if we are doing so, we would likely notice that ALL THREE of these scriptural accounts are found in the setting of a spiritual cleansing and rebirth of the holy nation. This rebirth however has ALWAYS occurred in two distinct stages. This is the reason we continually consider terms like the "FIRST resurrection" or "harvest of the FIRSTfruits" in connection with it. (Re 20:6) (Ro 11:16) The "coming of the Christ" or "kingdom" always BEGINS with the shepherding staff or "stick" of divine shepherding authority and power required for ministering MERELY to the spirit anointed "virgins" and "widows," or otherwise the "stick of JUDAH." (Mt 10:5, 6) (Eze 37:16)
You see the reason the first foretold "son of man" or "prophet to the nations" entity (namely the "two witnesses" serving as prophets for the FIRST of the "seven births of the barren woman" that would occur specifically in Babylon on this occasion) found himself rather "stunned" upon embarking on his assigned ministry, was because he realized that the extremely low level of scriptural knowledge and understanding he was dealing with was that of his fellow anointed BROTHERS! (Eze 3:1, 15) (Jer 1:5) You see the first of what very much needs to soon become THREE anointings of Holy Spirit in these time frames is designed to accomplish exactly what is mentioned here also in Ezekiel 3:15. Anointed "virgins" have a very strong tendency to "EXILE" themselves in these time frames of national apostasy or a broken holy covenant since it is precisely this initial anointing that allows them to "catch sight" of the fact that something has gone horribly wrong with ALL of organized religion AND politics at this point. We might notice there in Mathew 24:15, 16 that Jesus associates these ones who now "flee" from a kind of "disgusting thing" with the Caleb entity or otherwise "JUDEANS." For the moment however all but one or two of them are merely POTENTIAL Jews since it is not ONLY a "fleeing" that is required of them here but more specifically a "fleeing to the MOUNTAINS." This by contrast is something more directly associated with the "STICK of Judah" or otherwise the legitimate theocratic AUTHORITY AND POWER behind it. But what exactly am I getting at here?
As I have pointed out before, likely the best way to actually grasp this is to thinking terms of how it was illustrated for us in the case of the newly anointed "virgin" or shepherd BOY David after "catching sight" of his need to "run away" or "exile" himself from what was now an apostate king by the name of Saul. David did not MERELY "get out from among and separate himself" from what was now an APOSTATE form of worship, but he also began to seek out precisely what was always REPRESENTED by mountains in the scriptures. This is Jehovah's MOUNTAIN-LIKE power and authority, which in these time periods of a broken holy covenant is manifested in merely one or "TWO WITNESSES." (Re 11:3) David "ran away" to the prophet SAMUEL and we can be certain it was no coincidence that David found Jehovah's prophet at "Ramah" (which literally means—the heights) and that both of them soon found themselves at "Naioth" which was not only located in the mountains but was known even as a CITY of the prophets. (1 Sa 19:18) But are we beginning to understand how these rather "discreet" actions of this "virgin" by the name of David soon positioned him to receive the "STICK of Judah"?
We might recall that soon thereafter David received a SECOND anointing that for the first time actually granted him genuine theocratic power and authority. (An actual STAFF/"STICK" or even "scepter") In other words, almost without exception qualifying as an anointed one in these time periods of national apostasy does not even grant one the authority and power to TEACH, let alone conduct oneself as some kind of kingly entity endeavoring to "lord it over" others as Jesus mentioned. (Lu 22:25) Just as was demonstrated for us in this very same setting also in the early part of the first century, authority and power to actually preach and teach was received STRICTLY from Jehovah's prophets, and rest assured it was no coincidence that Jesus himself was represented as granting this "stick of Judah" to a "FEW" "discreet" ones among his disciples after "ascending a MOUNTAIN." (Mr 3:13-15) (Mt 22:14)
However as we might recall, for the moment at least this "stick" or shepherding staff of authority and power that was granted these disciples was comprised of MERELY the "stick of Judah." (2 Sa 2:4) Just as the SECOND anointing David received granted him authority and power STRICTLY over Judea, for the moment these disciples of Jehovah's prophets were allowed to minister ONLY to their fellow "exiles" who seemed rather "lost" out in the "wilderness" or "lonely places." (Mt 3:1-4 10:5, 6) (Mr 1:45) But are we beginning to recognize how the third and FINAL anointing received by the ancient David that now placed him as king over ALL of Israel pointed prophetically and symbolically to the very same thing that was represented by Joshua here as opposed to Caleb? (2 Sa 5:3)
Yes one of the things being symbolically pictured here with this Ephraimite by the name of Joshua and more particularly the theocratic APPOINTING he received at this time is really just another way of "typifying" what we read about in accounts like Matthew 28:18-20. The moment the ministry to the anointed "virgins" is finalized with a renewed and inaugurated kingdom covenant and by extension the holy nation once again actually EXISTS, it IMMEDIATELY embarks on fulfilling the purpose for its birth or creation in the first place. It receives a SECONDARY "stick" or staff of shepherding authority that now empowers it with the ability to produce salvation not merely for "SONS of Israel," (yet another symbolic representation of its SHEPHERDING facet) (Eze 37:16) (Re 12:5) but also with a ministry now to "…ALL the nations…," salvation also for the sake of "…ALL the house of Israel…" (Eze 37:16) In this prophetic drama here of the spying out of the Promised Land, while the authority and power granted to Caleb is representing the "stick of Judah," that given to Joshua on the other hand is simply another way of symbolizing this "stick of EPHRAIM." The fact is however, these symbolisms are confirmed yet again also right here in this same account of ancient Jericho and the interactions these spies have with "Rahab the prostitute."
Rest assured it is no coincidence that the moment the holy marriage covenant is represented as being renewed with this rather "discreet" and cooperative entity, divine instructions are now received to begin filling a "HOUSE" with many ADDITIONAL ones who will now be spared the destruction coming to this "great city" with a kind of "harlot." (Re 17:18) (Jos 2:17-19) These are the "OTHER sheep" Jesus speaks of at John 10:16 who are not of the "little flock" or otherwise the much smaller shepherding fold of Jehovah's people. (Lu 12:32) When Jesus subsequently speaks of them "becoming ONE flock, ONE shepherd" in this same account, he is simply reiterating what we read right here also at Ezekiel 37:17. In fact we might notice that right here in this same chapter of Ezekiel we find ourselves also considering a symbolic representation of a kind of "harvest" or resurrection NOT of a "LITTLE flock," but rather an entity that could be much better described as a "…GREAT CROWD that no man was able to number…" (Re 7:9) This vision of the "dry bones in the valley plain" we read of here in Ezekiel 37 pictures a resurrection which in stark contrast to the "FIRST" one covered in account like Revelation 20:6, results in the raising up of a "very, very great military force." (Eze 37:10) Particularly upon considering the wording we find at Revelation 7:9, we might recall that the primary symbolism that was assigned to ancient Ephraim was the "full equivalent of NATIONS." (Ge 48:19) Compare (Ex 12:37, 38) (Zec 8:23)
Once again we want to bear in mind the specific SETTING we are dealing with here. A spiritual cleansing and rebirth of Jehovah's nation ("baptism" or even "baptism of holy spirit and fire") is a situation that is in FLUX or transition. (Mt 3:11) (Mal 3:2, 3) What for the MOMENT qualifies as a kind of leprous Syrian army chieftain by the name of "Naaman" or a Canaanite prostitute by the name of "Rahab" is in the process of experiencing another of its foretold "plunges into the Jordan River" or more specifically the spiritual cleansing and rebirth or even "circumcision of the heart" that is SYMBOLIZED by it. (2 Ki 5:1, 10, 14) (De 10:16) (Ro 2:28, 29) Rest assured it is no coincidence that we find a mass circumcision at "Gilgal" being pictured for us directly in connection with a massive crossing of the Jordan River when the Israelites entered the "Promised Land." (Jos 5:2, 9) Moreover since (as pointed out here in Romans 2:28, 29) this circumcision was clearly a prophetic/symbolic representation ultimately of a "circumcision of the HEART by SPIRIT" or otherwise precisely what would constitute one as a "Jew" (and more particularly or ultimately a SPIRITUAL Jew or Christian) RATHER than an unclean spiritual foreigner, are we beginning to understand why we are simultaneously considering BOTH a Judean AND an Ephraimite representation SIMULTANEOUSLY in this case?
You see in these settings of another foretold "coming of the Christ" or "birth of the nation," we are simultaneously dealing with both cursings AND blessings, or even more specifically the TRANSFERRING of these cursings FROM what is symbolized by SOME tribal divisions of Israel onto what in turn is represented by OTHER tribal divisions. This is so that by a subsequent sacrificial priestly death of what for the moment is pictured by the CURSED tribes, this cursing ITSELF can now be REMOVED from before Jehovah, thus allowing him to once again recognize ALL repentant ones as HIS people who are once again under HIS protection and care.
In other words just as the name Gilgal we find here in this setting of a mass baptism at the Jordan River and its corresponding circumcision literally means –a rolling away, by initially representing the spies sent to the "Promised Land" PRIOR to the crossing of the Jordan as TWELVE spies and then subsequently representing them as merely two AFTER this spiritual cleansing and rebirth, this is simply another way of representing the removal of the "reproach of Egypt" or spiritual uncleanness that was SIGNIFIED by this baptism and circumcision in the first place. (Jos 5:9) Compare (Re 11:8) Moreover, by representing the two APPROVED spies at least initially with both a Judean AND an Ephraimite tribal identity, we find ourselves considering exactly what it was that ultimately EXPERIENCED this cleansing and rebirth. As is ALWAYS the case, the final result of a foretold "birth of the barren woman" is a "coming" of a holy nation comprised of a genuine theocratic shepherd AND its flock. (Jer 15:9)
Yes the fact is what we are considering here in ALL the prophetic dramas we have just touched on INCLUDING the two different ways in which this "spying out of the land" was pictured for us (both with 12 spies and later with 2), are simply a few examples of symbolically representing what we find also in many ADDITIONAL prophetic/symbolic dramas or illustrations. The prophetic drama found in Deuteronomy Chapter 27 would be another great example of this, and rest assured it is no coincidence that it ALSO is found in this exact same setting of an "entering into the Promised Land" or more specifically the spiritual cleansing and rebirth that is SYMBOLIZED by this "crossing of the Jordan River" and its commensurate "circumcision." (De 27:2-13)
The moment we begin to actually understand this symbolic spiritual language that permeates the entire Bible is the very same moment we can begin to appreciate that these very same divine messages have been presented to Jehovah's appointed teachers as far back as with the accounts of ancient Noah or even the prophet Enoch. For example, after contemplating all the scriptural things we just considered here, do we really imagine we would not find some of the very same points or messages being conveyed to us in the prophetic drama of the global deluge of Noah's day?
In this case it should be clear to us that the floodwaters THEMSELVES or more specifically the going INTO them and subsequently coming OUT of them is being used to symbolize this very same spiritual cleansing and rebirth or "baptism." The ark itself along with Noah and his immediate family is being used to picture the reconstructing or re-establishing of the shepherding facet of Jehovah's nation that is always ACCOMPLISHED by this "baptism of holy spirit and fire" or ministry of Jehovah's prophets towards some "sleeping" spiritual "virgins" and "widows." The animals that were subsequently gathered to the ark are simply another way of representing the "OTHER sheep" which are NOT OF this (shepherding) fold," which ALWAYS begin to be gathered together for salvation the moment Jehovah's nation once again comes back into existence. (Joh 10:16) Just as was demonstrated for us also in the early part of the first century, the moment the ministry to the "little flock that the father has approved of giving the kingdom" was completed, a PUBLIC ministry was initiated which would now be directed towards "…ALL the nations…" (Lu 12:32) (Mt 28:18-20) Compare (Mt 10:5, 6)
Yes in stark contrast to what we have always been led to believe, we very much need to begin thinking of "Armageddon" much more in terms of a divinely APPROVED public ministry. This is because if anything Jehovah is even more concerned with SPARING human life in the case of all repentant ones than he is with the taking of it in the case of the ones who REFUSE to repent. (2 Pe 3:9) But since here in the prophetic drama of ancient Noah we once again find ourselves dealing with this very same TRANSITIONAL setting in which what for the moment is a kind of unclean FOREIGN entity is in the process of once again becoming Jehovah's COVENANT people or "special property," could it possibly be the case that for the moment we can once again find symbolic representations of BOTH cursings and blessings or clean AND unclean things in some sense mixed together? And if what would initially qualify as more of a foreign or even Ephraimite entity (like Joshua) is actually in the process of BECOMING what is represented by the ancient Caleb and his tribe of Judah (much more of a SHEPHERDING entity), could we perhaps find even a kind of COMBINING of these two distinct symbolisms together here in the case of the global flood, much like we did with Joshua and Caleb?
Are the rather intriguing instructions for the gathering of the animals into the ark beginning to suddenly take on much more meaning for us? With the animals here we are of course ALREADY dealing with a very clear "flock" representation. For that reason, introducing the number 10 into the symbolisms here (more specifically the flock facet of God's people that the northern ten tribes of Israel were often used to represent) would have been redundant and unnecessary. However we nonetheless find ourselves dealing with what was often symbolized with the number 2 as well as the number 7 RIGHT AMONG this flock representation.
You see just as was being "typified" for us in symbolic dramas such as with the Syrian chieftain who found himself in dire need of SEVEN of these water baptisms (representing the "seven times" that this cleansing and rebirth would occur during the "appointed times of the nations") in order for what is SYMBOLIZED by the southern two tribes of Israel to repentantly accept or TAKE ON this spiritual uncleanness (and thus have it removed from the earth now by a priestly sacrifice or blood inauguration of a renewed holy covenant), we might notice we are once again simultaneously dealing with both clean AND unclean symbolisms here in the flood account. (Isa 53) (2 Ki 5:1, 10, 14) (Ge 7:2) (Da 4:23) (Lu 21:24) (Jer 15:9) (Re 11:3, 7, 11, 12 17:10) (He 9:16-18, 26-28) Rest assured this was no more a coincidence than the fact that we find holy covenants being formed in conjunction with this great water baptism being pictured here in Genesis. (Ge 6:18 9:11-17) At the same time however the prophets or figurative "spies" that are appointed by Jehovah to "inspect" their fellow anointed brothers and sisters in these periods can be represented as a JUDEAN entity (just as Caleb was) for the very reason that they actually HAVE been divinely appointed. What exactly do I mean by this?
When we closely consider accounts like Acts 18:24-28 and Romans 2:28, 29 we learn that an actual APPOINTING of an anointed one to the position of a full fledged theocratic shepherd such as was the case with the Apostles of the first century is precisely what DEFINES a Jew. The moment this "son of man" or "prophet to the NATIONS" entity experiences the "appointing" mentioned in accounts like Matthew 24:45, (an appointing that comes directly and ONLY from Jehovah in this case), this means that JEWS once again actually exist on the earth. (Eze 2:1) (Jer 1:5) This is the case even if these are now the SPIRITUAL Jews that were "typified" prophetically with the fleshly ones. (He 8:5)
But again, what we are considering here are just a few of seemingly COUNTLESS examples of how these foretold "births of the barren woman" were symbolically and prophetically illustrated for us in the scriptures. (1 Sa 2:5) (Jer 15:9) (Isa 54:1-4 66:7, 8) The more our understanding of these things continues to grow, the more we in turn are enabled to spot or identify the manner in which these very same symbolisms are reflected in OTHER prophetic dramas or illustrations. Yet another example of this is found in the opening chapters of Leviticus where we once again find ourselves considering this very same setting of sacrificial offerings and how they are directly connected NOT ONLY to both spiritual cleanness AND uncleanness at the same time, but also simultaneously to both shepherding AND flock representations. In fact we find this very same thing reflected in the prophetic drama of the Exodus of Egypt when the atoning value of the "blood of the Lamb" being presented to Jehovah by means of "splashing it on the doorposts of the Hebrews" was simultaneously represented by the death of the firstborn EGYPTIANS. (Ex 12:29) How exactly was this?
Once again we see that this "cleansing by blood" is for the purpose of "ROLLING AWAY the REPROACH OF EGYPT" or otherwise removing the spiritual uncleanness and death that is ALWAYS associated with an adulterous violation of Jehovah's holy marriage covenant. (Jos 5:9) (Re 11:8) (Da 11:30-32) This act of spiritual adultery is the very thing that always transforms a "faithful town" into a great spiritual "harlot" or "prostitute." (Isa 1:21) (Eze 23:1-4) (Re 17:1) However we might recall that Jehovah carried things even a bit further with this "death of the firstborns of Egypt".
Yes we might recall that this "death of the firstborn EGYPTIANS" was extended simultaneously also to the "firstborn" ones among the "beasts" or FLOCK. (Ex 12:29) Yet again we seem to find ourselves considering a spiritual cleansing and rebirth of both a Judean AND an Ephraimite entity simultaneously. Moreover while the ancient Ephraim obviously was NOT a firstborn and by extension NOT a shepherding or even a kingly/priestly representation, (Manasseh was actually the firstborn son of Joseph), scriptures such as Jeremiah 31:9 make it perfectly clear that in at least some sense or setting, JEHOVAH nonetheless DOES recognize Ephraim or more specifically the flock facet of Israel this tribe represents as a "firstborn son." Well particularly with this notion in mind of a "death of the firstborn" or priestly sacrifice occurring also in the case of figurative Egyptian BEASTS, did we ever stop to consider that this priestly offering of blood atonement has ALWAYS been pictured even PREDOMINANTLY with a sacrifice involving "FLOCKS" or "HERDS"? (Sacrificial "LAMB" OR "LAMB of God that takes away the sin of the world"?) (Joh 1:29) Obviously we are right back to a more Ephraimite representation here. The only question really is WHY.
Well fully grasping things here once again involves bearing in mind that the setting we are dealing with when it comes to a spiritual cleansing and rebirth of Jehovah's nation is a TRANSITIONAL one. The entire reason for a "birth of the nation" or "coming of the kingdom" in the first place is because a BROKEN holy covenant ELIMINATES any genuine theocratic shepherding authority and power on the earth. If Jehovah's purpose is to once again ESTABLISH a shepherd on the earth, he must begin with someone HE HIMSELF must begin to nurture and feed with Holy Spirit and the true knowledge of his word. (Lu 12:37) (Mt 3:16) (Eze 16:2-14) Obviously anyone in NEED of shepherding and feeding is of course NOT a shepherd, or at least not until after they have RECEIVED this spiritual nurturing and care, which in these settings at least initially comes ONLY from Jehovah himself. But how exactly does this information help to explain yet another thing that was being signified with this Ephraimite lineage of the ancient Joshua?
As we can discern from scriptures like Matthew 3:16 and Revelation 12:5, what INITIALLY qualifies as someone who REQUIRES this "holy spirit" needed to establish them as a shepherd or teacher that should now be "listened to," upon actually receiving it they experience the "birth of a SON," a MALE, who is to SHEPHERD the nations with an iron rod." (Re 12:5) By comparing these accounts to the one there in Psalms 2:7-9 that they are actually referencing, we find it is at this very MOMENT of a secondary anointing that these prophets experience a birth as an actual SON of Jehovah, RATHER than a kind of "disciple" or student. In other words, in the case of the anointed "virgins" that these prophets are assigned to minister to, THEY become actual "sons" of Jehovah the moment they begin to actually "listen" to an "appointed slave" and thus receive an assignment FROM THEM to minister as well. (Ha 1:12, 13) (Mt 24:45) In the case of the FIRSTBORN of these sons however, as we can see also here in Revelation 12:5, they will now as always soon be "caught away to God and to his throne." Compare (Re 11:3, 7, 11, 12)
Once again however, while these "two witnesses" or "appointed slaves" now qualify as genuine theocratic shepherds in relation to the ones they begin ministering to, for the moment at least they STILL qualify as much more of an "Ephraimite firstborn" or FLOCK entity from JEHOVAH'S standpoint. (Jer 31:9) This is because at this point in time there is still ANOTHER anointing AND corresponding appointing required at the hand of Jehovah that we just finished considering in the preceding paragraphs. Just as was demonstrated for us also in the early part of the first century "ALL authority" involved in this theocratic shepherding was not granted to this "firstborn son" until AFTER he was offered up as a sacrifice. (Mt 28:18-20) T
What this means is that from JEHOVAH'S standpoint, what experienced this blood sacrifice was much better described as a "LAMB" or much more an Ephraimite entity which of course was strictly a FLOCK representation. Just as is made clear for us in accounts like Hebrews 9:11-14, 24, the kings and priests that comprise the MESSIANIC kingdom NEVER truly become such until they actually ARRIVE in heaven. It is only then that they find themselves in a position of an actual priest AS OPPOSED to a kind of "lamb," and this is precisely why they must NOW present the VALUE of their sacrifice directly before Jehovah, or as worded there in Hebrews: "in heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us. (Re 5:10) In other words, just as was pointed out for us in accounts like Leviticus, when a "sin of the priest, the anointed one brings guiltiness upon the PEOPLE"…, (a "sin" that ones like the prophet Daniel identify as a "leaving of the holy covenant") (Da 11:30-32) and thus there is no longer SUCH THING as a holy nation or theocratic shepherd and BY EXTENSION a priest, the atoning sacrifice involved in re-establishing this nation must of course actually come at least INITIALLY from the "PEOPLE" AS OPPOSED to the priest. (Le 4:27-31) We once again find ourselves right back to this same Ephraimite entity. But we might notice in these same verses that what BEGINS as a sacrificial offering of merely the "people" rather than a shepherd soon comes to INCLUDE an offering made from an actual priest.
At this point in time, ALL the various facets of Israel once again exist both ON the earth and FOR the earth. This is not MERELY what was represented by the temple and Jerusalem and Judea, but even also the entire LAND of Israel that these figurative "spies" are ALWAYS assigned to "inspect" in these foretold settings of another "coming of the kingdom." And of course this figurative or spiritual land would ultimately come to include ALSO what was symbolically and prophetically "typified" with the ten tribal inheritances of ancient NORTHERN Israel. (He 8:5 9:24)
Are we beginning to have a much better grasp of what was being signified prophetically by both the 12 spies AND the 2 spies of ancient fleshly Israel?
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Matt 18:6; Eccl 7:9; 1 Pet 4:8 (If you're not sure what they say then please hover over them with your mouse or look them up in your own Bible before posting)
Matt 18:6; Eccl 7:9; 1 Pet 4:8 (If you're not sure what they say then please hover over them with your mouse or look them up in your own Bible before posting)
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