Topical Discussions, October, 2023

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Topical Discussions, October, 2023

If there is one thing which I have observed in many of the people with whom I have disputed aspects of Scripture or history over the last 25 years, it is the frequent attitude by which they feel that they can dismiss anything which they do not already know as being insignificant, and in that manner if they do not know it, it is easy for them to despise it, and just as often, they do not even want to hear it. People have a sense of pride in their own education, they often feel they have been taught everything they need to know by some school or church which they had attended at some point in life, and they generally feel that anything which they had not been taught in those places, or which they have not seen on television, is absolutely unnecessary and could not possibly improve on what they think they know, or even on what they really do know. What many men do not understand is that every educational program is biased in favor of its own constructs and opinions, which are presented as “facts”, and if you dispute any of the material along the way, outside of some narrow but acceptable corridors, you are very likely going to fail the course. Generally, schools are not corrected by any student, or even by any professor, at least without years of controversy and chastisement.

This is especially true among people with advanced university degrees. Men who may have a doctor’s title in some specific field often pretend to be an expert in other fields, and others often imagine them to be intelligent and therefore, to be learned in other fields. I have met several such men, but I have also met the opposite cases, men who had such degrees but who were humble and did not play doctor in other fields. No man can be learned in every field, and even the greatest polymaths only have time in a human lifetime to master and practice in a couple of fields, perhaps two or even three. Often, if you tell men something they have not figured out with their own expertise, or which was not included in their education, they despise it and dismiss it as fallacy. Often, they cannot imagine that someone with a lesser degree, or with no degree, can ever show them anything new. We even have such men among Identity Christians, where a man who is a doctor of some other unrelated field, often titles the correspondence or even the papers which he writes on the Bible with the word “doctor” attached to his name, as if that title should be considered authoritative in a field for which he has no doctorate. That is quite pathetic, and calling oneself a “doctor” outside of one’s own field of study is sort of like wearing a clown suit to a funeral. There are several others who write books related to Christian Identity, who use the title “doctor” attached to their names, and while they have worldly degrees in theology, they are only mingling Christianity with the perspectives of their worldly educations. One of them is currently teaching English to gooks in South Korea, as he writes books about the exclusiveness of the Bible for Israel. So should a double-minded man ever even be trusted?

When have we ever seen a church change its doctrines when it stood corrected by a valid exposition from Scripture? What university would change its teachings immediately under precisely the same circumstances? The Reformation was only successful because Germany especially, had been oppressed for centuries by the Roman Church, and German princes were in favor of breaking free of its tyranny. But even with that, they continued to accept many other church heresies and never changed many of their other, unscriptural doctrines. And then there was the Thirty Years War as a result, because men who believe that certain doctrines give them power are never going to let them go, regardless of whether or not they are found in Scripture. So it is with Christian Identity, where there are the countless Identity Christians who have learned what they believe is truth from “Dr.” Wesley Swift, or Bertrand Comparet or Sheldon Emry or some other early Christian Identity luminary. But when fault is found with anything that any of those men had said, their followers would rather fight than sit down in a spirit of brotherhood and compare it to Scripture in a spirit of cooperation, to come to the fact of the matter. It is fine to learn from others. Without having learned from others, in a world that is a veritable cesspool of jewish deception, none of us may ever come to any truth. But it is not fine to think that one knows everything, and can no longer be taught after our teachers are gone. Instead, that attitude is divisive, because one may be found repeating the errors of others interminably while others besides them have moved on to a better understanding. For the past 15 years, as long as I have been doing this publicly, I have been astonished by this attitude.

In Christianity, the truth of a man’s words and his ability to express them should be the only authority he needs, and not some worldly title. Paul of Tarsus himself had prayed that his mouth be opened, and that he would have opportunity to speak the truth, in Ephesians chapter 6. Even men with doctorate degrees in theology or some field related to Biblical studies can be wrong, since they are just men. Perhaps they could be wrong because their teachers were wrong, or the source materials from which they had studied are wrong. As Christ Himself had said, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 23, “8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.” So true Christians should yield no space to a title, which is a worldly designation. True Christians should yield only to Scripture, and if a man’s words deviate from the Word of God, then that man should be disregarded. If the Pharisees had not been wrong, today we would not be Christians, and they also had degrees and titles, as Gamaliel was called a “doctor of the law” in Acts chapter 5 (5:34). But in spite of those words of Christ, quite often even many Identity Christians give too much credence to a man based on his worldly status, or some title or other aspect of his person, rather than testing his words against Scripture and judging him according to his words, as well as his actions. So if I get a message from a man and he calls himself “doctor”, I am very likely to just ignore it, and even dismiss it, because we should not accept men merely on the pretense of some worldly title, yet using that title, that is what a man seems to expect. If I get told by a man that “Wesley Swift said…” or “Bertrand Comparet said…” and I ask that man “But what does the Scripture say?” and he cannot answer, he should not be angry. Rather, if he is a Christian, he should certainly be willing to listen to what the Scripture says and discuss it.

The colleges may be fine for hard sciences, but everything else one may find there, especially in the fields of theology and most other liberal arts, is conformed to the devil, to maintaining the status of the princes of this world. To me, having a doctorate, especially in theology or divinity, only means that a man kissed the ass of the devil long enough to get himself a piece of paper, a license from that same devil. Then in like manner, as it is told in a popular story from over a hundred years ago, the wizard also gave the scarecrow a piece of paper, and the scarecrow suddenly believed that he had a brain. That story was actually a parody of the political climate of its time, so the meanings certainly are deeper and more meaningful than they appear. A man will remain indebted to the entity which gives him his brain, or whatever else he imagines his piece of paper to represent. Christians should not seek to imitate the devil. To me, following Wesley Swift or Bertrand Comparet and not being willing to discuss the Scripture is a form of idolatry, as it puts the understanding of men before the Word of God. For my part, I cringe when I read “but William Finck said…” in a public venue, and I would much rather see our friends take the references for many things which we have been able to explain, and not only share them, but study the Scriptures to find they are true, and answer “but Yahshua Christ said…” or “but Moses said…” The effort is a somewhat greater, but the end result is far more rewarding. That is also what Paul of Tarsus had sought of his readers.

The angels, which are messengers, and powers and authorities only have true power or authority if they are subject to Christ and His Word, and everything contrary to that is of the opposition, which we may see in the closing verses of 1 Peter chapter 3, where he attested that in the heavens, angels and powers and authorities are all subject to Christ. For that same reason, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, speaking of the ultimate return of Christ, that “24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” Knowing these things, Identity Christians should abandon worldly institutions and seek to learn from Him. Scratch the surface of any accredited college curriculum, no matter the institution, and without doubt one shall find a nest of His enemies, a den of vipers. If a man really sought to come to the truth in Christ, he would gladly abandon his worldly certifications and seek to please Christ. He may still be a doctor in his vocation, if he is a chemist or an engineer, but only Christ Himself is a doctor in His church, and concerning His divinity, He is the only doctor, as He Himself had said, “for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.”


What Time of Night is Day?

While there are many assertions concerning various aspects of this subject among Identity Christians, I really don't think that the “day” for ancient Israelites had begun precisely at sundown, as some claim, or at noon, which is also an old heresy that Clifton Emahiser was compelled to address long ago, because the ancients had a different view of “day” and “night” than we have. In modern times we have made neat calendars that slice every day up into convenient 24-hour chunks and place a number on each chunk corresponding to the hour, the date of a month and the day of a week, and everyone has a watch or a clock to know precisely what moment of the day it is at any given time. So an arbitrary time was chosen, which we call midnight, to designate a time when a new date began, but not necessarily a new day since the particular point in time is set in the middle of the night.

I believe, where it says in Genesis 1:19, for example, that “the evening and the morning were the fourth day”, by evening it could refer to the period leading up to total darkness rather than simply the time of the sunset, which is usually at least half an hour past sunset, or in some applications, over an hour. There are three measurements of dusk recognized by different segments of society, which are civil dusk, nautical dusk, and astronomical dusk, and they are measured by degrees, where they are said to end when the sun is below the horizon by either 6, 12, or 18 degrees respectively. Therefore civil dusk lasts for 24 minutes, nautical dusk for 48, and astronomical dusk for 72 minutes. The word for evening in that passage of Genesis chapter 1 and elsewhere is from the verb ערב or ereb, which primarily means to grow dark, and therefore it describes the entire duration of the period of dusk better than it does the precise time of sunset. So in Jerusalem in the summer time, where the sun sets near 7:45 PM for most of June, the end of the period of astronomical dusk would not come until nearly 9:00 PM. In London, England, which is more relevant to the creation of our modern clocks and calendars, the sun sets around 9:20 PM during the last two weeks of June and the first week of July, the time of the year with the longest amount of daylight in the northern hemisphere, and the shortest amount in the southern hemisphere. On May 17th of this year, in London the sun set at 8:48 PM and on August 1st it set at 8:49 PM. So from May 17th to August 1st, astronomical dusk would not end until at least 10:00 PM or a little later. Of course, people in towns with electric lights would think it was night, and dusk was over, some time sooner than that, so the time of civil dusk is reckoned to be shorter than if one were at sea, and could observe nautical dusk, or if one were examining the stars and they come into view much better with the passing of astronomical dusk. To the ancients, the stars were a lot more familiar and a lot more important in their daily life than they are to men today.

While the ancients also had named months and each day of the month was numbered, I doubt there was a word for "date" used in the same precise sense of our modern "date", or at least I have never seen one. So the precise minute that one day ended and another began was not a critical issue in the function of their daily society. Each night was counted in watches (Psalm 90:4, Matthew 14:25), typically four, rather than in hours, so the dividing line between one date and another date was not described or reckoned so precisely as it is today. Nobody had timepieces but sundials were common, but they only function during the daylight hours, and "day" began at dawn, once the sun rose, rather than on any particular and officially designated minute in the middle of the night. In Luke 4:42, speaking of Christ, we read: "And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place…" Travel in the wilderness at night would have been very difficult, especially with heavy clouds covering the sky, or even without the moon, depending on its location.

But in the opening verse of John chapter 20, Yahshua Christ had risen sometime before sunrise on the first day of the week, which is repeated in Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-9 and Luke 24:1-6. In the verse from John we read “1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.” It was the first day of the week, even though it was not yet daylight, and it was still dark. Then later that day, in verse 19, even though it was already evening, John still referred to it as “the first day of the week”, and not the second. There we read in John chapter 20: “19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” So if the day changed at evening, John may have said "on the second day of the week", or perhaps "in the evening after the first day of the week", but even though it was already evening to him it was still considered to be the first day. However the night before, it was already the first day before the dawn had come, and therefore John perceived it to have been a new day even before sunrise, and otherwise, it would still have been the Sabbath. Then Mary would not have been able to travel to the tomb.

Supporting our assertions is Acts chapter 23, which described an event which, as we learn in Acts chapter 20, had occurred not long after the feast of Pentecost. By our reckoning, Pentecost always follows after seven weeks from the Passover, which always begins on the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, so we can approximate it to about May 24th, as Passover is on April 3rd on our calendars. In 2023, on May 24th, the sunset in Jerusalem and evening began at 7:34 PM, and if we reckon evening as nautical evening, the middle of three choices, it is completed around 8:22 PM, whereafter it is night. So in Acts chapter 23, which describes events in Paul’s ministry that had occurred some time around the time of Pentecost and May 24th, Paul had to be taken to Caesareia and there was word that the Judaeans planned to kill him on the way. When the chief captain who arrested him had heard of that, there was concern for his safe passage, and in verse 23 we read that troops embarked on the journey with Paul in the “third hour of the night”, which would have begun around what we know as 10:22 PM. According to the record, both footsoldiers and cavalry had accompanied those conveying Paul in the initial part of the journey, and Luke wrote in verses 31 and 32 that “31 Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle.” Of course, the actual times certainly vary somewhat, but we can only reckon this from what we know currently of the times of sunset and sunrise at that time of year in Jerusalem, and any actual differences cannot be significant.

So according to Luke, 10:22 PM was the “night”, and then “on the morrow” was during the daylight period which followed. Yet, according to John, as we have seen, the “first day of the week” began before daylight actually broke, when it was still dark. Therefore the apostles reckoned a new day to begin sometime after the third hour of the night, and some time before sunrise. That is just how we reckon it today. So for these reasons, I see nothing inherently wrong with our modern use of what we know as “midnight” to reckon the start of a modern date, not necessarily a day, in order to standardize timekeeping. Midnight is even often close enough to sundown that it is as good a system as any, since sundown varies greatly between winter and summer, and across locations on the globe. Yes, I said globe, because the fact that, on the longest day of the year, which was June 21st this year, it is light for over an hour and a half longer in London than it is in Jerusalem in the summertime, helps serve to prove that the earth is a sphere. Then, in contrast, on December 31st of this year the daylight period is not even 8 hours in London, but it is over ten hours in Jerusalem, the full difference being about two-and-a-quarter hours. But it would be burdensome to change the minute upon which the date changes to correspond with the longer and shorter days throughout the year. What we know as midnight is a fair approximation of when a day should begin for our daily purposes.

When the children of Israel were first told to keep the Passover annually in the law, it was explained to them what they should do, that they should designate a lamb and kill it at evening, at the going down of the sun, which does begin the evening, but the evening period, which we call dusk, is longer than it takes for sunset. On April 3rd of this year, the sun set in Jerusalem at 6:59 PM. According to one recipe found on the internet, after the lamb is killed and dressed, which would certainly take at least an hour, and after the embers are hot, the lamb needs four to five hours to cook on a spit. So it is certain that the children of Israel were not actually eating the lamb until after midnight, the day of the Passover. The time involved in the preparation and eating is reflected in Deuteronomy chapter 16 where it says “7 And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents.” Not beginning until evening, it certainly would take all night to have such a feast.


Ruth in a nutshell.

I initially had this proof down to about fifteen words, but this morning I added a thousand more, so it is not quite as short as I had hoped. In any case, it is more concise and offers some new perspectives beyond those found in my October, 2015 presentation on the subject.

This contention that Ruth was a racial Moabite is refuted in many ways in Scripture. Here is a quick list of points which demonstrate that she must have been an Israelite.

1) The phrase “land of Moab” also referred to the portion of Moab taken by Israel. The children of Israel inhabited a large portion of the land of Moab for over 300 years by the time of Judges chapter 11, and that is stated explicitly in that chapter. That is found in the words of Jephthah, who defended Israel when the Moabites tried to take back the land, and he said in part “26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?” Although it was still called the “land of Moab” at that time, the actual Moabites lived only in the portion of ancient Moab which was south of the river Arnon, as it is also attested in that same chapter, especially in verse 18.

So the land of Moab which was inhabited by Israel was still referred to as the land of Moab at a time which could have been not more than a few decades before Naomi, the mother-in-law of Ruth, could have been born. Saul had reigned only two years in 1 Samuel chapter 13, and David was already a young man just a short time later, in 1 Samuel chapter 16. So David was born perhaps as many as twenty years before Saul was king. The Judges period, according to Paul of Tarsus in Acts chapter 13, was four hundred and fifty years. So David was born perhaps around 130 years after Jephthah had made that statement concerning Moab. Ruth was his great-grandmother, and Naomi was a generation older, so she was most likely born around three decades after Jephthah’s time, where the land of Moab inhabited by the children of Israel was still called the land of Moab.

2) The Israelites had often used geographic labels to describe one another. According to the genealogy, Boaz and Ruth are David’s great-grandparents. So Ruth would have lived in the later part of the Judges period, and not much longer than fifty or sixty years after the time of Jephthah. Throughout the Book of Judges, men were often identified by the name of the town, village or region from which they came, rather than by an Israelite tribal identification. So David was never called “David the Judahite”, but he is referred to as an Ephrathite, as his father was also called in 1 Samuel 17:12. The town of Ephrath was renamed Bethlehem, an account which is given in Genesis chapter 35 (35:16-19). So about a hundred years before the time of “that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name was Jesse”, as David’s father was called in 1 Samuel 17:12, Jephthah was identified only as a Gileadite, in Judges chapter 11. No mention was made of the tribe of Israel to which Jephthah had belonged, and Gilead was a land adjoining Moab on the east of the Jordan, in the so-called “land of Moab” that Israel had come to occupy.

3) When Naomi’s husband and sons had died, she sought to return to Judah and she was followed by the wives of her sons. But she must have had some hardship, since she then sought to discourage them from accompanying her. As we read in the opening verses of the Book of Ruth, there was a famine in Moab, and she thought it would be better to return to Judah, but facing hardship she had then begged her sons’ wives to return to their own families in Moab. She could not have been expected to support her sons’ wives, as she herself had no husband and both of her sons were also dead. So Naomi expressed to them her prayer that Yahweh would deal kindly with them, and they wept, but only one of them returned, and Ruth stayed. So by Naomi, having begged Yahweh to care for them, we cannot assume that she was an impious or uncaring woman begging Yahweh for something which was contrary to the law. Throughout the Book of Ruth, Naomi is represented as a pious and humble woman who followed Yahweh and His law.

4) There is a law in Deuteronomy chapter 23 which reads “3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever.”

There were laws of kinsman redemption in Israel, whereby the closest next-of-kin is obliged to redeem his brother under various circumstances. This is evident in places such as Numbers chapter 5 concerning trespass, and Numbers chapter 27 concerning inheritance. So in reference to kinsman redemption, there is another law in Deuteronomy chapter 25 which reads: “6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. 7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother. 8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; 9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. 10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.”

In Ruth chapter 4, when Boaz was given the opportunity of redeeming Ruth for the sons of Naomi, as well as a parcel of land that had belonged to her husband, there was another kinsman who was even closer in familial relationship to Naomi than was Boaz, so he had to be given the opportunity first. The other kinsman agreed to redeem the land, but he had declined to redeem Ruth, having given excuses. Therefore the obligation fell to Boaz, a pious man who is portrayed as having upheld the law, to redeem Ruth, and he did. So the law which is found in Deuteronomy chapter 25 was invoked in Ruth chapter 4, in verse 7, and the other kinsman had surrendered his shoe to Boaz before all the people, and it became a testimony. Doing this, he had to endure the reproach for which the law had called.

All of the parties involved in the redemption of Ruth had observed the law, and they must have all known the law. They knew the law of Deuteronomy 25:6-10, and therefore they must have also known the law of Deuteronomy 23:3 which prohibited Moabites from entering the congregation. But one law of God cannot compel a man to intentionally transgress another law of God. So if Ruth were a Moabite by race, her marriage to Naomi’s son would not have been legitimate, and the kinsman who could not redeem her only needed to cite the law barring Moabites from the congregation so that he himself could have avoided disgrace. He could not have neglected the law to assist in its breaking, or he himself would have been just as guilty of the transgression. But instead, knowing the law, he submitted and suffered disgrace, and Boaz, also knowing the law, had willingly redeemed Ruth. We cannot imagine that these men who were abiding by the law, would at the same time willfully transgress the law.

5) Over four hundred years after David, Ezra continued to uphold the law which requires the exclusion of the Moabites. This is found in Ezra chapter 9, where not only Moabites, but many others are also excluded, and the men whom Ezra had found intermarrying with them were compelled to put away the wives which they had married and their children. Ezra identified such marriages as a transgression of the law, and grieved that such transgressions had been committed. We cannot justly imagine that Ruth was a racial Moabite, while Ezra was a pious man upholding the law and compelling his fellow Judahites to expel their own wives and children, whom they sired of the Moabites. It is absolutely certain that Ezra also knew the law, and not one word of criticism for his actions is found in any passage of Scripture.

[Jesus never said that Ezra was a sinner and should not have done such a horrible thing, because his own great-grandmother was a Moabite. If that was true and Ezra was alive in the time of Christ, he would have been opposed to God Himself, or it must be understood that Ruth truly was an Israelite.]

6) There is a challenge raised in Ruth 1:15-16 for which we shall cite Young's Literal Translation of the Bible: “15 And she saith, 'Lo, thy sister-in-law hath turned back unto her people, and unto her god, turn thou back after thy sister-in-law.' 16 And Ruth saith, 'Urge me not to leave thee – to turn back from after thee; for whither thou goest I go, and where thou lodgest I lodge; thy people is my people, and thy God my God.” Because they were of the same people and God, Naomi was able to bring Ruth to Judah in the first place. The Wycliffe Bible, with its odd Medieval spellings and grammar, is in agreement at Ruth 1:16: “And sche answeride, Be thou not aduersarye to me, that Y forsake thee, and go awei; whidur euer thou schalt go, Y schal go, and where thou schalt dwelle, and Y schal dwelle togidere; thi puple is my puple, and thi God is my God;” Wycliffe’s translation is a very literal and it is a good representation of the corresponding Latin Vulgate which he had used as his source text. While Young also translated verse 1:16 perfectly, he erred where, in both the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint, the word which he rendered as god in 1:15 is actually plural, gods.

Both Young and Wycliffe correctly translated verse 16 as having expressed statements in fact, that the people of Naomi were indeed the people of Ruth, and that the God of Naomi was also the God of Ruth. But the word for god or God in those verses may also mean judge, and it is often translated as judge in Scripture. In the opening verse of the Book of Ruth we read "and it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled". Although the word for judges is different in verse 1, forms of the words el or elohim are often judge or judges throughout the Old Testament, and that is the word in verse 15 here, where a slightly different form appears in verse 16, which we shall discuss. The ancient children of Israel in the Judges period had local judges ruling over them, as well as the judges who ruled over all Israel, is evident in Numbers chapter 31, Deuteronomy 1:15-16 and elsewhere.

From Deuteronomy chapter 1: "9 And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone: 10 The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude. 11 (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!) 12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? 13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. 14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. 15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. 17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment isr God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it. 18 And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do." So the captains appointed over the people were also their judges, and the judges were important to the people, governing their daily lives and protecting them from oppressors. For a widowed woman without a family, the judge would be very much more important than to a self-sufficient and able man.

An alternative possibility in relation to Ruth 1:15 only, is the fact that the Israelites of Moab had also been committing idolatry. It is certainly evident elsewhere in Scripture, and therefore that is also a possibility there. But we lean towards the reference in verse 15 as being to judges. An indication of the distinction between God and judges in the two verses, 15 and 16, is this: in verse 15, the word אלהיה or elohim is found in the text, which could refer to Yahweh as a plural of majesty, or to other gods or judges as a common plural noun. But in verse 16, on both occasions where the word God appears in the statement of Ruth, the form of the word is the singular form אלה or eloah, which is used quite often of Yahweh throughout Scripture, but not as often as the plural of majesty, elohim. So in these two verses there is a purposeful distinction in the two forms of the word.

Conclusion) Here we have two choices. We must imagine that Naomi, Boaz, the unnamed kinsman, all the people of Bethlehem who witnessed the redemption of both the plot of land and of Ruth, and even Ezra the prophet were all hypocrites who despised the law while they acted to uphold the law. Or we must imagine that Ruth was a Moabite only by geography, but she must have been an Israelite by race. The truth is that Naomi was a pious woman, and Boaz was a righteous man who lived according to the law, and therefore we should expect them to have made just decisions. Ezra was a pious priest who also sought to uphold the law. The people who interpret these things to have been in violation of the law are only looking to justify sin.

The proof is in the life of David, an explicit type for Christ Himself and a man after God’s own heart. So to think that Ruth was a racial Moabite is also an accusation that Yahweh God Himself is a hypocrite, since we read in Deuteronomy 23:2 that “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.” For my part, I would not want to be found accusing Yahweh of hypocrisy. Ruth was an Israelite, so get over it.


Moses Did Not Marry a Negress, or an Edomite

While I have never written an article specifically on Zipporah, the wife of Moses, I did discuss her at length in my June, 2013 commentary on Acts chapter 7, so that will be the basis for this conversation.

Here we shall briefly discuss the true identity of the wife of Moses. The common perception in the mainstream churches is that Moses had married a negress, because in one verse in the Book of Numbers it says that his wife was an “Ethiopian”. But this view is based upon a childish ignorance of Scripture and history, simply because there is a land called Ethiopia today, over 3,500 years later, which is inhabited by negroes. The verse is found at Numbers 12:1: “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.” For that they were punished by Yahweh, so they must have been wrong. Like Ruth, this is just another case of identifying someone by geography rather than by their tribe. The word Ethiopian here is from כשית or cushith, (# 3571), a form of the word for Cush, which is Cushite.

Yet without getting into the history of Ethiopia in Africa, which is wholly unnecessary in this context, here we will state that it is clear through the lens of the New Testament, esteeming the words of Stephen in Acts chapter 7, that these early Christians, who were indeed Hebrews, understood that Moses' wife came from the regions east of the land of Canaan, where the “land of Madian”, which is the Old Testament land of Midian, was located. So in Acts 7:29 Stephen is recorded as having said: “Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.”

Genesis chapter 25 explains the origin of Midian: “1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. 5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.” Midian was therefore a son of Abraham.

Exodus chapter 2 tells us precisely to where Moses fled, and where he obtained his wife, less than 400 years after Abraham sent his son Midian off to “the east country”, where we read: “15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing [Moses' killing of the Egyptian], he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. 18 And when they came to Reuel their father [who is also called Jethro in various places], he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day? 19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. 20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread. 21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.”

It is clear from Acts chapter 7 and Numbers chapter 10, that Zipporah was a Midianite, from the land of Midian which was to the east of Palestine, as Abraham sent his sons to the east. We also see in Genesis chapter 37 that it was Midianites who had rescued Joseph from the pit and sold him into slavery, whereby he ended up in Egypt. By this account it may be evident that Midianites commonly traversed the land of Canaan. Further on in Numbers chapter 10, the name Reuel is spelled Raguel in the King James Version, as it is throughout the Septuagint, and we read: “29 And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.” Here in Numbers 10:29 Raguel, or Reuel as the name appears in Exodus 2:18, is perceived to be a pious man. In Numbers 3:1 Moses' father-in-law is called “the priest of Midian”, and the Midianites were children of Abraham through the concubine, Keturah. Since Moses is only five generations from Abraham, as it is recorded in 1 Chronicles chapter 5, it is likely that Raguel is only 4 generations removed from Abraham, since Isaac already at least 37 years of age (Genesis 24), and probably even older, when Midian was born to Keturah (Genesis 25). Isaac was 37 when Sarah had died, because she died at the age of 127 years and had Isaac at the age of 90.

It is very clear, throughout the entire Biblical narrative from Genesis through the books of Judges, Kings and Chronicles, that the land of Midian was to the east of Palestine, and not very far from it, because the children of Israel had recorded their interactions with Midianites in those very regions all throughout those Scriptures. We cannot simply assume, however, that the statement in Numbers 12:1, calling Zipporah an Ethiopian, is wrong. Nor can we assume that it necessarily contradicts all of these other Scriptures. Rather, we must be able to explain from a historical perspective just how she may have been considered an Ethiopian while all of those other Scriptures that explain that she was a Midianite are certainly also valid.

As we have explained at length, with many historical citations, in part 15 of our Genesis commentary, titled The Hamites, in the earliest Greek writings there are two lands called Ethiopia. One was to the far south of Egypt, and while it was mentioned by them, it was scarcely known to the most ancient Greeks. Another was the “Ethiopia of the east”, as Herodotus had called it, and it was east of Syria and the Euphrates river. One famous ancient character who came from there was Memnon, called “the Ethiopian” by the Greek epic poets, who was credited with having fought as an ally of the Trojans, and also with having been the legendary founder of Susa, which was later the capital city of the Persians, just east of Mesopotamia. Historical inspection would lead one to realize that this “Ethiopia of the east” must have been a part of that entity which modern academics call the Akkadian empire. The Ethiopia of the south was called Cush by the Hebrews, and in the early Scriptures the Hebrew name Cush first appears in Genesis chapter 2, relating to the four rivers which sprang from the original location of the Garden of Eden. There, in Genesis 2:13, the Gihon river is said to “compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.” Now while the identity of all four of those rivers is contested today, two others are identifiable: the Hiddekel which is believed to be the Tigris since it “goeth toward the east of Assyria”, and the Euphrates which the Hebrews called the Perath in Genesis chapter 2 and throughout Scripture. The fourth river is apparently a riverbed, now dried up, known as the Kuwait River which crossed Arabia and emptied in the same area as the other three rivers.

Therefore it is fully evident that the Hebrews had identified a land which they called Cush in the east, as the Greeks referred to an Ethiopia in the east, and it only makes sense that the origins of such a Cush must be that empire of Nimrod in Mesopotamia, since he was the son of Cush (Genesis 10:8). The empire of Nimrod was the early stage of the Akkadian empire, and its borders stretched to the land of Canaan. For that same reason, in Genesis chapter 14, the kings of Persia and Mesopotamia had an interest in Sodom and the cities of the plane which were located on the coasts of the Dead Sea. Therefore, the land of Midian at the time of Moses would also have been a part of that land of Cush, and Moses' wife Zipporah could be called a Cushite, or Ethiopian, by geography, as well as a Midianite, which was the name of her tribe. She was certainly not a negress, since she was also a descendant of Abraham.

Very recently, another man contended with me in social media, and he was insisting that the wife of Moses must have been an Edomite, since there was a Reuel who was a son of Esau, in Genesis chapter 36. However many of the names of the patriarchs or of notable sons of Jacob were also used in the lines of Cain and Esau, such as Enoch, Lamech and Korah. When I informed him that there was very likely a difference of a couple of generations between Reuel the son of Esau and Reuel, or Raguel as the same Hebrew word is sometimes spelled in the King James Version, and that in Numbers chapter 10 the same man who was the father-in-law of Moses was explicitly called a Midianite, he dismissed the answer with scoffing and blocked me. As we have shown, in the Book of Acts there the wife of Moses is also described as a Midianite. She is never described as a negress or as an Edomite anywhere in Scripture, but it seems that people who have an agenda would insist that Yahweh God is a hypocrite, who would allow His prophets to repeatedly transgress His laws, and never call them to account. But instead, they themselves are hypocrites, imagining that God would violate His law, a law which He Himself even came to die in order to uphold.


The Location of the Exodus

Some years ago, Clifton had addressed the heresies of a man named Ron Wyatt, and even many Identity Christians were enamored with the pretense of this man, who made many claims of quite fantastic discoveries, none of which are actually proven to be true. But Wyatt is not the only presumed Christian who misplaces the location of the Exodus. Here we shall attempt to provide proof of the proper location, at least within reason, where the event must have taken place.

The site which Wyatt and others have claimed for the Exodus crossing of the Red Sea, near the Gulf of Aqaba, and the identification of Mount Sinai with Jabal al Lawz in Saudi Arabia, is an unlikely and even impossible circumstance. It is highly probable, given the situation in Egypt, that the location of a structure known as the Prince's Wall is the reason why Israel could not leave Egypt by land and could not have reached the Gulf of Aqaba except by sea, and the original location of Israel in Egypt having been in the land of Goshen in the area of the Nile Delta, that the Exodus crossing of the Red Sea must have happened at the Gulf of Suez.

From their point of departure in Rameses, the narrative in Scripture does not leave much time for Israel to travel very far past the point of the crossing, as it is only a short time, perhaps only weeks, before the law is received at Sinai. Furthermore, while in Roman times the term "Arabia" was used of a wider area than it is today or in very ancient times, the term "Sinai" was never used as a general term for a wide area. The label Sinai was never extended beyond the peninsula between the gulfs of Suez and Aqaba. Moses was not stupid, and many of today's unlearned theories indirectly insist that the ancients were generally stupid, or at least, uninformed. The term “Arabia” does not even appear in Scripture until the time of Solomon, in 1 Kings chapter 10, and it referred to places east of Judah, but not to the south. Only later, and also in the time of the Roman empire, was the Sinai considered a part of Arabia, so Paul identified it in that manner in Galatians chapter 4.

When Moses fled Egypt, 40 years before the Exodus, he spent 40 years in the "land of Cush" because portions of what later became known as Arabia were under the marginal control of the Akkadian empire founded by Nimrod, the son of Cush. Moses having spent that much time in Cush certainly knew where he was when he wrote "Sinai" over and over again, as it appears thirty-one times in his writings.

The structure known as the Prince's Wall is known from the Tale of Sinuhe, a semi-mythical Egyptian story which dates to the time of Abraham, and from other sources, such as the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (Library of History, 1.57). It was a fortified wall that controlled access into and out of Egypt from Asia, and it was built along the eastern side of the Nile Delta, running from Pelusium, by the Mediterranean Sea, to Heliopolis in the south. The length of the wall which Diodorus attests is consistent with its having run southward to Suez and then turning west to Heliopolis. The word shur means wall in Hebrew (# 7793), and the area east of the wall was considered the “wilderness of Shur” which is mentioned six times in Scripture. In some contexts it might appear that "Shur" was also the name of a town in the same area.

For these reasons which I have outlined above, we may see that Exodus 15:22 helps put together the location of the Exodus and the Red Sea Crossing as being across the Gulf of Suez and into the Sinai Peninsula. There we read: “22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.” With this it is evident, that when the children of Israel emerged from the crossing of the Red Sea, they immediately found themselves in the wilderness of Shur. It is mentioned several times in Scripture that Shur is “before Egypt”, from the perspective of Palestine, such as we read in 1 Samuel 27:8, in part: “8 … those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt”, and earlier, in 1 Samuel chapter 15: “7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.” Shur was the area immediately before Egypt, and would have been adjacent to the Prince’s Wall, for which reason the place was named after a word meaning wall. Where we read in Exodus 15:22 that the Israelites “found no water” there, that was also a complaint about the same exact area which is found in the Tale of Sinuhe, which was written five centuries earlier.

After the destruction of the first-born of Egypt on the night of the Passover, the Israelites left Egypt in a short time, traveling from Rameses, in the northeast portion of the Delta, to Succoth, east of the Delta close to the northern tip of Suez, which is evident in Exodus 12:37. Exodus 12:40 marks the 430 years from the call of Abraham to the giving of the law which Paul had mentioned in Galatians chapter 3.

Exodus 12:36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians. 37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. 38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual. 40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.

From Succoth the Israelites went to Etham and camped on the edge of the wilderness, as it is described in Exodus 13:20. If the Prince's Wall ran from Pelusium to Heliopolis, as Diodorus Siculus had attested, then that wilderness would have been on the southeast from Heliopolis, as the Israelites would never have gotten through the wall, and that is what necessitated the crossing by sea. This is only the second day of their travelling, and they could not have gotten more than 50 or 60 miles after two days. Even that is a generous estimate, for such a large group of men, women and children, which must have also included many elderly persons. It is about 68 miles as the crow flies from the ancient site of Heliopolis to the northern coast of the Gulf of Suez. This must be somewhere west-southwest of the Great Bitter Lake which is north of Suez, as it is described as being "between Migdol and the Sea", the Red Sea, in Exodus 14:2. there we read: “2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea. 3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.” They were entangled in the land, because they could not travel east by land, since the Prince’s Wall also had them blocked off.

So that day when the Egyptians decided to pursue the Israelites, they "overtook them encamping by the sea", in Exodus 14:9. This would have been only three days travel, at most, for the Israelites, and therefore they could not have been more than 90 miles from Rameses. Therefore the crossing must have happened near the northern portion of the Gulf of Suez, and they must have crossed into the Sinai Peninsula, which is the location of Sinai with the wilderness of Shur immediately on the left, and very close to the point where the Israelites must have emerged from the Sea.

This is not meant to be a precisely full commentary on the subject, but it is sufficiently accurate. The Scriptural record insists that the Exodus crossing of the Red Sea happened in the Gulf of Suez, no more than ninety miles from Rameses. Modern maps show that the distance from the ancient site of Rameses to the westernmost gulf of the Gulf of Suez was barely 90 miles, and to the topmost point it was only 70 miles. But since the wall ran as far south as Heliopolis, they could not have gotten to the tip of the Gulf of Suez, and needed to cross a little further to the south.

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