This article is the synthesis of a few thoughts. It is speculative. Is this Passover to be a time of deliverance?
From two non- connected Jewish sources, I have been hearing that many Israelis were praying for rain in their winter rainy season after an 8 year drought. I have been asked by a Jew in Jerusalem to pray for rain. Then I heard someone give a talk on Zechariah 10 which mentions the time of the latter rain.
Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. (Zechariah 10:1)
Enquiry established that the time of the latter rain is about Passover. A native Hebrew speaker and a Biblical Hebrew teacher confirmed that the “ask” was an imperative. They must ask. They are commanded to ask. He said that the Hebrew implies it is a collective of people who are to 'ask.'
Therefore, for the prophecy to be fulfilled, at some point in time many in Israel are to ask, even plead, for rain, at the time of the latter rain, about Passover. At that time, Israel will face the fact that their leaders have lied to them and been useless, and there is to be a battle which will feature Judah.
For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd. Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts has visited his flock the house of Judah, and has made them as his goodly horse in the battle.(Zechariah 10:2-3)
In addition they are commanded to ask for rain at a time featuring the strength of Ephraim. Judah and Ephraim together describe the area of the heart of the so called “West Bank” about Jerusalem. Today this area is settled by mostly zealous Jews, careful of their heritage,
And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD.
I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again. I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. (Zechariah 10:7-10)
This verse says that Jews will be brought to the land of Gilead and Lebanon. Gilead is in modern Jordan. When is this to be? Interestingly with much fanfare and an exchange of over 1,000 prisoners for a Jewish man named Gilad, or Gilead, who was returned to Israel after over 5 years in captivity. See link for meaning of Gilad release)
There is a Psalm that many feel may be on the eve of being fulfilled, describing precisely the range of Israel's enemies,
For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tents of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have helped the children of Lot. Selah. (Psalm 83:2-8)
It seems this was not precisly fulfilled in history. History may repeat, in type, of course. The word translated 'Philistines' is modern Hebrew for Palestinians. The Palestinians are now, as on no previous occasion in history, in alliance with both Tyre and Syria (Assur). In addition they have support, as never before, from the Bedouin who live in Edom in tents. The Psalm indicates Ammon (modern Amman the capital of Jordan) and the Ishmaelites of Moab, which describes very well the Hashemite leadership of the kingdom of Jordan. If the Psalm has a modern application it is to be feared that Jordan will, once again foolishly side with the enemies of Israel. The Psalm then goes on,
Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth. Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. (Psa 83:9-15)
The account in Judges specifically mentions the river,
The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength. (Judges 5:21)
How is it that a river suddenly sweeps away chariots? It must have flooded suddenly. What if Israel is to ask for rain at the time of the latter rain to achieve a local flood? It will disable tanks more readily than chariots.
The waters of Jordan are featured when Oreb and Zeeb were defeated in the time of Gideon,
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.
And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites. And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim [in modern 'West Bank'], saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. (Jdg 7:20-24)
The taking of Bethbarah indicates that they took the chief ford (or crossing place of the Jordan) and by so doing came to control the Jordan valley. Gideon and his men then cross over the Jordan and pursue Zebah and Zalmunna past 3 places, of which the name of one still exists, the town of Jubeihah, six miles North West of Rabbath Amman (Modern Jordan).
The final defeat that the events in Psalm 83 are likened to a battle along the Kishon in the Jezreel valley to the Jordan valley, and then likened to a battle over the Jordan and into modern Jordan. In all these places, rain would have a dramatic effect.
Is it possible that people in Israel will this year ask, and plead for rain at the time of the latter rain?
Then, curiously, a debut music video makes news. In that video there is an expectation that an air raid siren begins on the night of Passover. See link www.israelnationalnews
. In that video there is a call to unity among Jews and that they pray for the time when they cry no more (the time of Messiah and the Temple).
It is curious that the one place in the Bible that links 'tears' to watering the landscape, or rain, is a judgement on Moab. And Moab is in Modern Jordan, in the area adjacent the battles referenced in Psalm 83.
Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah: I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh: for the shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is fallen. (Isaiah 16:9)
The context of the tears that are like rain is a prophecy of the events leading to Messiah's coming,
For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment..Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceases, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness. (Isaiah 16:2-5)
In any case there is an encouragement to us as we see these things,
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws nigh. (James 5:7-8)
The month Abib:
As we were about to upload, the leadership of Australia was challenged by the Foreign Minister, former PM, Rudd. On Wednesday 22 February 2012 after midnight Rudd resigned dramatically while in Washington in the US (articles.cnn.com.
His press conference followed a dinner at the Pentagon with Leon Panetta, US defence secretary. www.ft.com
Dropping international concerns, the next day Rudd returned and on Friday 24th February in Brisbane announced he would challenge the PM.
The reason given for resignation in Washington were personal, not national,
Mr Rudd said Ms Gillard had chosen not to defend him against attacks from Simon Crean, minister for arts, and “a number of other faceless men [who] have publicly attacked my integrity.”
The leadership vote on Monday defeated Rudd by late morning, then at about 4pm, as dramatically as Kevin Rudd, Mark Arbib resigned as Senator and assistant treasurer. A headline connected the events, “Labor's 'faceless man' Mark Arbib quits politics” (www.news.com.au/national/)
Mark Arbib was known to have been behind Rudd's sudden removal in 2010. Were the events about Mark Arbib?
Should we mark Abib? Because once again, in events this year, it points to something significant about the time of Passover! Arbib is a Lybian name, often belonging to Jewish Lybians. The Hebrew month Abib is often pronounced Arbib (now known as Nisan). Abib refers to the state of the Barley ear just as it's ripened. It gave its name to what became the first month of the Jewish year. On the first day of Abib the tabernacle was raised in the wilderness. It was the day of Abib on which the plague of hail came on Egypt,
And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear (Heb:abib, pronounced arbib) And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth. (Exodus 9:31-33)
By the 14th day of the month Abib the people would have been preparing to harvest the barley crop, instead it became the passover. The abib state of the barley must then occur about the time of the new moon, beginning the month, and it ripens with the full moon with Passover. This allows new grain to be offered at Passover.
So perhaps we should mark, or take note of, Abib this year. The beginning of Abib this year is precisely one new moon away from the stirring events at midnight on the 22nd in Washington, as that was a Jewish new moon, and the 24th begins the new Jewish month Adar. The first of Abib is 24th March 2012. Fourteen days later Passover begins. That time marks the end of the rainy season in Israel which begins in November and ends in April.
Curiously, arbib is connected also to miraculous rain (also hail and the thunder of God's mighty power). The plague of hail in Egypt, it seems, brought also copious rain poured onto the earth.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws nigh. (James 5:7-8)
You may be interested in background research which helped us see more clearly events, Christians and Israel. We have sent this to many politicians in the USA, Britain, Canada, Australia and Israel.
As an aside two of us (this website) wrote to all Members of Parliament in Australia about Israel (seehere it is large and will take a while to open), a very few replied. All of the few who replied, except Simon Crean, referred it to Kevin Rudd. Simon Crean sent a letter almost word for word the one we later recieved from Kevin Rudd's office. (see here) Three of us put Simon Crean's letter before Yahweh Elohim in prayer, facing Jerusalem, asking for what He thought of it and that He arise and deal with His enemies. Kevin Rudd has suddenly no power. Simon Crean seems to have sought the position of Foreign Minister as he was listed as a contender, but he did not recieve it. All this at a time when events are moving to a crisis point. Was our prayer answered? Curiously Mark Arbib was apparently pro-Israel, so perhaps we are to 'take note of' and, 'mark', Arbib.
Should Christians keep Easter? The following argues why Christians might keep the Jewish Passover if they chose 'unto the Lord', but why they should never keep Easter.
We live in a society which has values, which are very different to God's and they rub off on us (for more see the new value set .
Thoughts on the Torah portions for the Holy days Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot.
Just as Jewish families are each building their sukkah, many thousand families in the Asia-Pacific region will be similarly dwelling in temporary shelter, in some cases made of whatever they can find.