Matthew Chapter 4

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Christogenea on Talkshoe, May 6th  2011, Matthew Chapter 4, Program Notes

KJV Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. 2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. 4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth [land], and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

 

Revelation 12:7: “7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” If this did not happen before the creation of Adam, then how is it that this dragon is also “that old serpent”, which we see in verse 9?

 

Also, according to Jude 6 and 2 Peter 2:4, the “Satan” which accused Job, and the “Satan” which tempted Christ, could not have been that original author of the rebellion, the spirit-being cast out of heaven, since those angels who sinned and left their first estate are bound and awaiting judgement. Therefore, it only follows that these must be from among the number of the satanic entity which we may call the “seed of the serpent”, which are collectively Satan, or the Adversary, just as the children of Israel are collectively called the Anointed.

 

Jude 6: “and the messengers not having kept their first dominion but having forsaken their own habitation are kept under darkness in everlasting bindings for the judgment of the great day”.

 

2 Peter 2:4: “For if Yahweh did not spare the messengers who had done wrong but having cast them into Tartaros into a pit of darkness He had delivered them being kept for judgment.”

 

While we certainly cannot deny the existence of spirits and demons, people who “spiritualize” the Bible and look to “spiritual” explanations for its precepts are actually letting the devil off the hook, and giving him license to do practically whatever he wants in this world. Just as the Genesis 3 serpent was a real person on this earth, so is that Satan who accused Job. Thus John says in his first epistle “Beloved, do not have trust in every spirit, but scrutinize whether the spirits are from of Yahweh, because many false prophets have gone out into Society.” The Christian's biggest failure is to ignore this advice of the apostle, and not act on it. Yet by all of this we can see, that when we fall victim to the banker or the prosecutor, it is a test for us, but it is ultimately for the glory of God.

 

Just as the accuser of Job and the tempter of Christ were devils, so was Judas Iscariot, for Christ said, from John 6:70, ““Have I not chosen you twelve? Yet one from among you is a false accuser!” Or a “devil”.

 

IV 1 Then Yahshua had been led up into the desert by the Spirit to be tried by the False Accuser. 2 And fasting forty days and forty nights, afterwards He hungered. 3 And coming forth the Tempter [ὁ πειράζων] said to Him: “If You are a Son of Yahweh [εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ], speak in order that these stones would become wheat-loaves.” 4 And responding He said: “It is written, ‘Not by bread alone shall man live, but by every word going out through the mouth of Yahweh.’”

 

Deuteronomy 8:1 All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers. 2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

 

In the next verse, this being is called ὁ διάβολος, literally “he who casts by”, used of a person who makes generally false accusations. In Revelation chapter 12 we saw equated “the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” All those who oppose God do such things, and therefore the idea of a false accuser is associated with the Adversary, or Satan, that entire race of the serpent's offspring which is called at Revelation “the accuser of our brethren”, an example of which is that devil which made false accusations concerning Job.

 

5 Then the False Accuser takes Him into the holy city and stood Him upon the wing of the temple [ἵστημι means to cause or make to stand, therefore in hindsight I may better have translated this phrase “and had Him stand upon the wing of the temple”] 6 and says to Him: “If You are a Son of Yahweh, throw Yourself down, for it is written that ‘He commanded His messengers concerning You, and by their hands they shall bear You, lest at any time You may strike Your foot against a stone.’”

 

[A son, not THE son, of Yahweh. For this very same reason it is written, in the opening verses of the gospel of John, that “But as many who received Him, He gave to them the authority which the children of Yahweh are to attain, to those believing in His Name”. We do not know the power we would have, if we would only obey Yahweh our Father – all the things which Christ was able to do, He tells us that we too should be able to do.]

 

The quote is from Psalm 91:11-12. The next verse of the Psalm, 13, says “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.” The lion is only allegory for a strong man. At Luke chapter 10 verses 18 and 19 Yahshua said” I beheld the Adversary falling as lightning from heaven! 19 Behold! I have given to you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy, and no one shall by any means do you injustice. “ So we see this same idea conveyed in the Psalm, and this very διάβολος speaking to Christ is the subject of that same thing, he himself being a dragon and a scorpion.

 

7 Yahshua said to him: “Again, it is written: ‘You shall not tempt Yahweh your God.’” [The quote is explicit, from Deuteronomy 6:16.] 8 Again the False Accuser takes Him to an exceedingly high mountain and shows to Him all the kingdoms of the Society and their splendor 9 and he said to Him: “I shall give to You all these, if falling You would worship me.”

 

The world belongs to our enemies. When Adam accepted Eve in her sin, he also accepted Cain. Just as Joseph was told by the angel to accept the pregnant Mary and therefore Christ became his lawful heir, so it was also with Adam and Cain. The apostle wrote at 1 John 5:19 that “We know that we are from of Yahweh and the whole Society lies in the power of the Evil One.” Paul wrote of the “god of this world” at 2 Corinthians 4:4, and he was talking about this same thing. Christ stated, at John 12:31: “Now judgment is of this Society; now the ruler of this Society shall be cast out! ” As soon as Christians accept and act upon the Words of Christ, the rulers of this society shall be cast out! Of course, Christ was speaking prophetically, for at John 14:30 He says “No longer shall I discuss many things with you, for the ruler of Society comes, and he does not have anything in Me!”, and at 16:11 “Then concerning judgment, because the ruler of this Society has been judged.”

 

10 Then Yahshua says to him: “Go away, adversary! For it is written: ‘Yahweh your God shall you worship, and you shall serve Him only’!” [The quote is from one of a couple of places in Deuteronomy. The adversary cannot be the “your” of that scripture, for it is meant to refer to the Israelite receiving the law, and therefore Christ Himself is the subject in this instance.] 11 Then the False Accuser leaves Him, and behold! Messengers came forth and served Him. [James 2:19: “You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe it, and they shudder!” The “messengers” could refer to angels, or to people of Israel who found Him where the accuser left Him.]

 

12 And having heard that Iohannes had been handed over [arrested] He withdrew into Galilaia. 13 And leaving Nazareth, having come He settled in Kapharnaoum by the sea in the regions of Zaboulon and Nephthalim,

 

Many take this word Kapharnaoum to mean “village of Nahum”, as in the prophet, but it also simply and literally means “village of comfort”. Whether it refers to Nahum or not is debatable.

 

The arrest of John the Baptist happened quite early in the ministry of Christ, and is mentioned also at Mark 1:14, Luke 3:20 and the Gospel of John at 3:24.

 

14 in order that that which had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet would be fulfilled, saying: “15 Land of Zaboulon, and land of Nephthalim, the way of the sea, opposite the Jordan, circuit of the nations, 16 the people sitting in darkness have seen a great light, and for those sitting in the region and shadow of death, a light has risen up for them.” 17 From that time Yahshua began to proclaim and to say “Repent! For the kingdom of the heavens has neared!”

 

From my paper: GALILEE OF THE GENTILES?

 

This prophecy concerning “Galilee of the Gentiles” is a quote of Isa. 9:1 (where the A.V. has “Galilee of the Nations”). Matt. 4:14 infers that Isaiah’s prophecy would be fulfilled when Yahshua left Nazareth (Matt. 4:13) for “Galilee of the Gentiles.” But was that alone the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy? And Matt. 4:16, which quotes Psalm 23:4? Certainly NOT! Rather it was only the commencement of the fulfillment of the prophecy, which would take quite some time to fulfill.

 

Matthew next describes the calling of the apostles by Yahshua (4:18 ff.), of which 11 were of the tribe of Benjamin. Discussion of the twelfth, Judas Ish Kerioth, is beyond the scope of our purpose here. Many of Benjamin and Levi settled in Galilee after the return from Babylon, which is evident from the Scriptures. Saul of Tarsus, called much later, was also of Benjamin (Rom. 11:1). When the ancient Kingdom of Israel was divided after Solomon’s death, Benjamin was left with the Tribe of Judah for this very purpose (1 Kings 11:9-13, 36). The apostles of this tribe were fulfilling their duties as the light-bearers to Israel.

 

But Galilee did not originally belong to Benjamin. When the land was divided originally, towns in the territory of Naphtali were said to be in “Galilee”, i.e. Josh. 20:7. Would Isaiah say that the region of Galilee in Palestine was of (belonging to) “gentiles”, or even non-Israel “nations”, knowing that the land belonged to Israel? Such is highly unlikely. Reading Isaiah 9:1, however, there is still much more to “Galilee of the Nations” than this.

 

Isaiah 9:1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.

 

How could Zebulun and Naphtali be afflicted by “... way of the sea beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the Nations”? That truly does not describe the sea of Galilee at all, and there is no discussion in the Old Testament describing any shipping traffic by Zebulun or Naphtali in that small sea. Even in the time of Christ, the sea of Galilee was plied by little more than small fishing craft. So what else may this statement mean?

 

The word “beyond” in Isaiah 9:1, the Hebrew ‘eber (Strong’s #5676), may also mean “opposite”, among other things. It is the word from which the names Eber and Hebrew are derived. In the A.V. the word is represented by a wide range of meanings, “from, over, passage, quarter, other side, this side, straight”, etc. according to Strong’s, and many of them quite proper in the contexts in which the word appears. The word is, for instance. “over” in the phrase “over against” at Exod. 25:37, which the Thomas Nelson King James Study Bible I have footnotes “in front of”, and is “this side” at Num. 22:1; 32:19 and 32. So use of the word at Isa. 9:1 does not necessitate that the “sea” or the “way of the sea” referred to there is east of the Jordan River, or is the sea of Galilee, which is actually the source of the river and not “beyond” it at all.

 

The word “Galilee” (Strong’s #1551) is derived from the Hebrew word geliylah (#1552) which means “a circuit or region.” In Hebrew the proper noun and the noun which it is derived from are spelled with the same characters, but with slightly different vowel points. In the Palaeo-Hebrew of Isaiah’s time, without vowels or modern Hebrew vowel points, and in all upper-case letters as was the custom, these two words are indistinguishable. It is evident that they could easily be confused.

 

The “sea of Galilee” was never called such in the Old Testament Kingdom period. The name “Galilee” appears only at Josh. 20:7; 21:32; 1 Kings 9:11; 2 Kings 15:29; 1 Chron. 6:76 and Isa. 9:1. “Galilee” was instead only the name of an undefined region in northern Israel, at least part of which lied in the land of Naphtali. The “sea of Galilee” is always called the “sea of Chinnereth” (or Chinneroth, Strong’s #3672), mentioned at Num. 34:11; Deut. 3:17; Josh. 11:2; 12:3; 13:27 and 19:35. Additionally, it is quite clear from Scripture that half of the coastline of the Sea of Galilee was adjoined by land belonging to the Tribe of Naphtali, with the balance adjoined by the lands of the Geshurites and Maachathites (Deut. 3:14; Joshua 13:7-13). Geshur was considered a part of the land of Aram, or Syria. The Aramaeans were Semites and related to the Israelites. The Maachathites were apparently also related to the Israelites through Abraham's brother Nahor (Gen. 22:24) though they remained a distinct kingdom (1 Chron. 19:6-7).

 

Genesis 49:13 states that Zebulun would dwell among ships bordering Sidon, “... at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for a haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.” Zebulun’s inherited land was neither near Sidon, nor was it near any sea , including the sea of Chinneroth (Josh. 19:10-16)! Yet it should surely be manifest by this point, that “Galilee of the Gentiles” need not indicate the “Sea of Galilee” at all. In fact, “Galilee of the Gentiles”, or even “Galilee of the Nations”, makes no sense at all.

 

However, if one is knowledgeable concerning Israel’s early migrations into Europe, then reading Isaiah 9:1 “... and afterward did more grievously afflict them by the way of the sea opposite Jordan, in the region of the Nations” makes perfectly good sense! And where did the light-bearers of Benjamin go after the Passion, upon leaving Palestine? To the people who walked in darkness – in Europe and Asia Minor.

 

Most so-called “scholars”, and especially the jews, would have us believe that the sea-faring Phoenicians of Tyre, Sidon and elsewhere were a people distinct from the Israelites, and were Canaanites at that. If that were so, then when the Phoenicians settled what are today Spain and Portugal, they should have called the place “Sidonia” or “Canaania” and not Iberia (Eber-land, i.e. “Hebrew-land”). An examination of Scripture, and especially the Septuagint, reveals that the people whom the Greeks called “Phoenicians” (and the word does not appear at all until it appears in Homer, who was probably a contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah) were certainly Israelites. Yet even the Septuagint in its translation sometimes confused Canaanites with the “Phoenicians”, which was somewhat true in 280 B.C. when the edition was translated. But it was not true of the period which Homer was writing about. For long after all of the Israelites who were deported by the Assyrians were gone, the Greeks continued to call the land “Phoenicia”, and the Canaanites who remained to inhabit it, along with whatever remnant of Israelites remained, they continued to call “Phoenicians.”

 

Joshua 11:8 in the A.V. states: “And Yahweh delivered them [the Canaanite army] into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon, and unto Misrephoth-maim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left none remaining.” At Joshua 13:6 we read: “All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephoth-maim and all the Sidonians, them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee.” The name “Sidon”, or “Zidon” at times, described both a city on the coast of Palestine, and the region around it. It also described the Canaanite descendants of Sidon (Gen. 10:15) who inhabited it.

 

Later we find that although the Israelites surely did inhabit this region, they failed to drive off all the Canaanite and other tribes: “Now these are the nations which Yahweh left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan ... Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from Baal-hermon unto the entering in of Hamath.” (Jdgs. 3:1-3). The region and city of Sidon became a part of the territory of the tribe of Asher, as described at Joshua 19:24-31, and we are informed also at Jdgs. 1:31 that Canaanites continued to dwell in the city. But Tyre, which quickly became the prominent “Phoenician” city, was also in the territory of Asher – or at least the mainland city was, since there is not yet mention of the island off the coast – and note that there is no mention anywhere of Canaanites remaining in Tyre.

 

The Septuagint (LXX) says at Joshua 19:28-29, of Asher’s inheritance: “And Elbon, and Raah, and Ememaon, and Canthan to great Sidon. And the borders shall turn back to Rama, and to the fountain of Masphassat, and the Tyrians ...”. But a little further on, describing Naphtali’s inheritance at 19:35: “And the walled cities of the Tyrians, Tyre, and Omathadaketh, and Kenereth ...”, quite different than the version found in the A.V. Although not within Naphtali’s territory, did Naphtali inherit Tyre, on the coast of the territory of Asher? Or did this refer to the island off the coast? Such can not be told with the data I have presently. Reading the accounts given at 1 Kings 9:11-13 and 2 Chron. 8:2, it is evident that Naphtali did not inhabit all of the territory in Galilee which they inherited, for Solomon had to repopulate many of those cities in his time.

 

That Asher inhabited the coasts of the Mediterranean, and not the “Canaanites”, can be discerned in the A.V. at Judges 5:17: “Asher continued on the seashore, and abode in his breaches”, where “breaches” is the Hebrew miphrats (#4464) and may be translated “havens” or “inlets”, the word meaning “a break (in the shore), i.e. a haven” (Strong’s). In the Egyptian records of the 18th dynasty, which predates the Israelite conquest of Canaan, Tyre is called “T’aru the haven”, and it is said of the island off the coast “water is carried to it in barks, it is richer in fish than in sands” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, p 817).

 

And so the Israelite presence in Tyre and Sidon, at about the same time that the so-called “Phoenicians” began their rise to supremacy over the seas, is absolutely undeniable. At 2 Sam. 24:2-7, for instance, King David sends Joab to number the tribes of Israel. Tyre and Sidon were among the places to which Joab journeyed. Elsewhere on the seacoast, Elijah visited the widow of Zarephath, and neither was that noble woman a Canaanite.

 

Amos 3:11, part of a prophecy against Israel, where the A.V. states “An adversary there shall be even round about the land ...” the LXX has “O Tyre, thy land shall be made desolate round about thee ...”. Micah 7:12, in another prophecy directed at Israel, reads in the LXX “And thy cities shall be leveled, and parted among the Assyrians; and thy strong cities shall be parted from Tyre to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.” And so the prophets also testify that the Israelites inhabited Tyre, yet these citations are wanting in the A.V.

 

It is only well after the deportations of the Israelites that translators of the Scriptures for the Septuagint had in diverse places associated Phoenicians with “Canaanites”, yet the Israelites were long removed from the land. The inhabitants of the island city of Tyre, however, never were deported by the Assyrians or the Babylonians, although the mainland portion of Tyre was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezek. 26). After the beginning of the Persian period, the Tyrians were subject to Persia and had spread themselves back to the mainland. The island city was destroyed for good by Alexander the Great circa 330 B.C. Yet it is evident that many of the Israelites did remain in the area and maintained their identity for quite some time, as we have Anna the prophetess, of the Tribe of Asher, in Jerusalem during the birth of Christ (Luke 2:36).

 

Much more can be said, drawn not only from Scripture but from history and archaeology, to demonstrate that the Israelites were one and the same with the Phoenicians of history, who were the people who settled not only much of the North African coasts and Spain, but also the British Isles, the northern coasts of Europe, the coasts of Anatolia (Turkey today), and also made up much of the original “Greek” and “Roman” populations, all of these having their roots in both Israelite, other Semite, and the Japhethite tribes of Genesis 10. Yet hopefully enough has been said to illuminate the true meaning of the expression “Galilee of the Gentiles”, actually “the region of the Nations”, found at Isaiah 9:1 and Matt. 4:15.

 

Note: Two other places contain the phrase “Galilee of the Nations”, in English versions. Joel 3:4 in the LXX (the A.V. has here “all the coasts of Palestine”) and 1 Macc. 5:15 in both the LXX and the A.V. Apocryphae. However in the LXX Greek in both places the phrase reads Γαλιλαίας ἀλλοφύλων (Galilaias allophulôn) or literally “Galilee of the other tribes”, “the region of the other tribes”, the LXX translators long ago making the same error of “Galilee” for “galilee” which I hope to have illustrated above. Now, in context, these verses may also be better understood.

 

18 And walking by the sea of Galilaia He saw two men, Simon who is called Petros and Andreas his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And He says to them: “Come after Me, and I shall make you fishers of men.” 20 And immediately having left the nets they followed Him.

 

Matthew, writing long after the fact, does not relate the account where Simon began to be called Peter until Chapter 16. Andreas, or Andrew here, whom we see is the brother of Peter, is very often mentioned together with Phillip later in Scripture. All three men were from Bethsaida, a town with a Hebrew name meaning “house of fish”.

 

21 And proceeding from there He saw two other brothers, Iakobos the son of Zebedaios and Iohannes his brother, in the vessel with Zebedaios their father mending their nets, and He called them. 22 And immediately leaving the vessel and their father they followed Him.

 

This Jacob is the one killed by Herod as described at Acts chapter 12. John here is the beloved apostle, author of the Gospel, the three epistles bearing his name, and the recorder of the Revelation.

 

23 And He went around in all Galilaia teaching in their assembly halls and proclaiming the good message of the kingdom and healing every disease and every weakness among the people.

 

24 And the report of Him had gone out into all of Suria, and they brought to Him all those being ill with various diseases and those afflicted with trials and those possessed by demons and epileptics and paralytics, and He healed them. 25 And many crowds followed Him from Galilaia and Dekapolis and Jerusalem and Judaea and beyond the Jordan.

 

On demons, from my paper The Problem With Genesis 6:1-4:

 

The fragments of the Book of Enoch found among the Dead Sea Scrolls agree to a great extent with Charles’ Book of Enoch which was translated from an entirely different source: texts found in Ethiopia which had been maintained there for many centuries. While they shall not all be cited here, representative of the Enoch literature relating to Genesis 6 events is 4Q202 (or 4QEnb ar), 4QEnochb ar, Col. II, a text which corresponds to 1 Enoch 5:9-6:4 and 6:7-8:1, from TDSS: “1 [al]l the [d]ays [of their life ...] 2 It happened that wh[en in those days the sons of men increased,] 3 pretty and [attractive daughters were born to them. The Watchers, sons of the sky, saw them and lusted for them] 4 and sa[id to each other: « Let’s go and choose out women from among the daughters of men and sire for ourselves] 5 [sons ». However ...”. The reconstructions in this translation are corroborated from other scrolls, such as 4Q201 and 4Q204 et al. The offspring which resulted from these unions are later called bastards, for instance in 4Q204,“Exterminate all the spirits of the bastards and the sons of the Watchers”, which seems to have been speaking prophetically.

 

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