1 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.
2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow; and it shall be unto me as ariel (altar hearth) [see Ezekiel 43:15]).
Ariel (Lion of El).
Latter days - all nations gathered to Jerusalem to battle
2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel.
3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.
4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.
5 Moreover the multitude of thy strangers [foes] shall be like small [fine] dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff [motz] that passeth away [in passing bloweth away]: yea [indeed], it shall be at an instant suddenly.
6 Thou shalt be visited of Yahweh of hosts with thunder [ ra'am], and with earthquake, and great noise [kol gadol], with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire [eish].
7 And the multitude of all the nations [kol HaGoyim] that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition [metzadah], and that distress [besiege] her, shall be as a dream [chalom] of a night vision.
8 It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth [hath a chalom], and, behold [hinei], he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul [ nefesh] is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth [hath a chalom], and, behold [hinei], he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, [hinei], he is faint, and his soul hath appetite [nefesh still thirsts]: so shall the multitude of all the nations [kol HaGoyim] be, that fight against mount Zion [that fight against Har Tziyon].
Souls get hungry!! (Not immortal)
Having proved, as I think, that the phrase "Gogue of the land of Magogue" [Ezek. 38:2] signifies Emperor of Germany, and that the particular emperor referred to will also be the "prince of Ros, Mosc, and Tobl" [Ezek. 38:2-3; 39:1] -- that is, that at some time hereafter, and that not far off, Nicolas, or a successor, will be both Emperor of Germany and Autocrat of All the Russias -- I proceed to remark that, although the Son of Man is his conqueror, he is to be antagonized by another power before he comes to fight his last battle, in which he loses both his life and crown.
According to Daniel, this enemy hails from the north and east of Judea, but he does not tell us his name. Ezekiel, however, supplies the deficiency: he informs us that Gogue's earthly adversary occupies the countries of Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish; and that, when the Autocrat (for Gogue is an autocrat, ruling by his own will) invades the Holy Land for the purpose of spoiling the Jews, the Lion-power of these countries assumes a threatening attitude, and dares him to execute his purpose.
"Art thou come to take a spoil? Hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey?" [Ezek. 38:13]
Thus it speaks to Gogue: as much as to say,
"Thou shalt not spoil Israel and subdue their country, if we can help it."
The prophet Daniel, however, shows that the only effect of these threatening tidings is to make him furious; for he says,
"Therefore shall he go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many."
But furious as Daniel represents him, Ezekiel testifies that he meets with one more potently furious than himself. But this is not the Lion-power of Tarshish, but the Lord God himself
"whose fury comes up into his face," [Ezek. 38:18]
when he beholds the extortioner and spoiler (Isaiah 16:4) ravening upon his prey.
The lion-and-merchant-power of Tarshish will not be permitted to usurp the glory of the Lion of the tribe of Judah. It is to the latter that Yahweh has assigned the work of delivering his people from the destroyer. The Lion-power of Tarshish, which will possess Edom and Moab, and Ammon, as well as Sheba and Dedan, will be indeed a covert to Yahweh's outcasts (Isaiah 16:4); and therefore will
"Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon escape out of his hand;" [Dan. 11:41]
but it is only Michael the great prince, who commands the artillery of heaven, that can "break in pieces the oppressor." [Psa. 72:4]
The men upon the face of the land shall shake at his presence; and the solid earth itself will be convulsed. He will turn their swords against themselves; and Judah shall fall upon them, and augment the slain (Zech. 14:14). Mutual slaughter and pestilence will be aggravated by terrors from above; for
"the Lord of hosts will visit them with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest" (Isaiah 29:5-8), and "an overflowing rain, and great hail stones, fire, and brimstone"
"Thus," saith he, "will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I (Jesus) am the Lord." [Ezek. 38:23]Elpis Israel 3.5.
9 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.
It is nonsense for men to talk of understanding the Bible if they do not understand the true doctrine of the kingdom....The leaders and people of Israel were mere alchemists in theology; they sought after the stone of Greek philosophy, and stumbled at the princely stone, and bruised themselves to death.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, June 1851
10 For Yahweh hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book [devarim of a sefer] that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this [now], I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot [am not able]; for it is sealed:
Sealed - Inaccessible knowledge
The books of the ancients were not like our books in form or material. They were rolls of papyrus, parchment, or other flexible substance, of various lengths. Zechariah's roll was twenty cubits long by ten broad; and was written "on this side" and "on that side," with the curse of consuming judgments (v. 1-4).
While rolled up they were sometimes fastened by sticking the edges of certain turns of the roll together; or by tying the same, and appending a seal, or seals, to the ligature. Hence, to read such a scroll it would be necessary to unloose the seals, in their order when so much only of the scroll could be read as extended from the first to the second tying or sticking; then from the second to the third; afterwards, from the third to the fourth; then from the fourth to the fifth; after this, from the fifth to the sixth; and lastly from the sixth to the seventh: and when this was untied, the whole scroll, if there were no more stickings or tyings, could be fully extended, and read from beginning to end.
Now the written spaces, or intervals, from one fastening of the scroll to another, were called seals, or closures. To read them the closures must be loosed, otherwise the contents of the scroll would be forever concealed. They could no more be discerned, or seen, while in the sealed state, than our modern books could be read so long as locked by one, two, or more clasps. Seals, then, being closures, they become symbolical of secrecy.
This appears from Apoc. x. 4, where John is commanded to "seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not."
12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
13 Wherefore Yahweh said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
Now of the clerical or rabbinical wisdom, and philosophy of this Old Man, the "wise men and scribes" whom the Yahweh Spirit sent to Israel, speak in very contemptuous terms. Concerning the rabbinical and philosophical Jews of all times, to say nothing of the Gentiles who have plundered their tradition, they say,
"He taketh the wise in their own craftiness" (Job 5:13).
...Thus testified the Spirit of Christ in Isaiah, concerning the wise and prudent men of Israel (ch. 29:13), who professed to know God, but in their works denied Him. Their wisdom and understanding have shrivelled and perished from off the land, in which they took counsel against Yahweh and His Anointed, to burst their bands asunder, and to cast their cords away (Psalm 2). The stately cedars of Lebanon have been hewn down, and their fruitful fields are a forest; and all because
"they knew not the true God and Jesus the Anointed."
But, as the Spirit of Christ in the same prophet, and in the same place, also testifies, although Yahweh has poured out upon the staggering guides of Israel the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed their eyes, and covered the prophets and rulers, and seers; and the vision of all is become as the "words of a sealed book," which the learned confess they cannot explain; yet
"the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind see out of obscurity and out of darkness; the meek also increase their joy in Yahweh, and the poor among men rejoice in the Holy One of Israel."
How literally this began to be accomplished in the day when Yahweh cut asunder his staff, Beauty; for whom, as the Spirit of Christ in Zechariah predicted, Judah and Israel's rulers weighed out to the traitor Judas, thirty pieces of silver; and afterwards cast the blood money to the potter for the purchase of his field (ch. 11:10-13).
In that day, when "the poor of the flock were waiting upon Beauty," the deaf were made to hear, the blind to see, the meek to increase their joy, and the poor to rejoice in the broken staff Beauty, in the hand of the Holy One of Israel.
"The poor had the gospel preached to them."
When the deaf and the blind were cured, they rejoiced in what they heard. They embraced it as the wisdom of God, confirmed to them by Him with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and by the resurrection of Jesus, on the reunion of the fragments of the broken staff he had severed in his hand; "So," says the prophet,
"the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of Yahweh."
Phanerosis - The limitations of Fleshly wisdom
Lip-service. Are our heart and mind always fully with our lips in all our praise -- in all our singing of hymns and attending of meetings and breaking of bread and doing of daily readings? If our minds tend to wander, then it is only an offensive mechanical lip-service that we are offering to the Great Creator upon whom we depend for every breath.
It is so fatally easy to slip into this, especially in matters like meetings and hymn singing, that have the character of repetition and familiarity.
To the prophet Jeremiah, even in the midst of his Lamentations for the destruction of his people and desolation of the land, God's mercies were seen with marvel and awe, as
"new every morning" (Lam. 3:23).
We must perceive the mercy of the Creator with the same continual freshness and vividness and give all our heart and soul to His service, or we, too, shall fall into the rut of lip service. The only way to keep our minds from wandering to other interests is not to have any other interests -- to shun everything that does not properly fit into that pattern.
Bro Growcott - BYT 1.4.
14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from Yahweh, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?
17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
19 The meek also shall increase their joy in Yahweh, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
One not Three!
20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:
21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.
22 Therefore thus saith Yahweh, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. cp Gen. 37:34
23 But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the elohim of Israel.
24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.