bytdvd – House of David

bytdvd – House of David

bytdvd house of davidAncient Rock adds Evidence of King David’s Existence” is the headline in the Times of Israel.  It may not be big news, but it got my attention.  I was on the City of David Archaeological Expedition and know that doubt was cast on  the Biblical account because archaeological mention of bytdvd – “House of David” is rare.

Steven Fine, a professor of Jewish history and director of the Center for Israel Studies at Yeshiva University, said “It’s astonishing how little the Jewish press has noticed it.” This blog is my modest contribution to getting it noticed.

In my humble opinion, it’s material, at this juncture in history, that we are finding more evidence of King David.  I  believe we are entering a convergence of Science and Religion, in which the secular West will have ample opportunity to rethink our decision to erect a Science that denies God by excluding Him and to create a Global political landscape that is Antisemitic.

Will this little rock change this?  No.  But it might encourage a few people to take a fresh look at the historical evidence for bytdvd and it’s implications.  After all, even Science accepts what John Adams said about facts, that they are “Stubborn Things”.  The facts around that quote are blurry too.  A bit of literary archaeology reveals that Tobias Smollett translated the phrase from a book by Frenchman Alain-René Lesage.  And there are even earlier usages.  In this case, it’s not about who chiseled the term “bytdvd” into the stone, but that it was chiseled at all.

bytdvd house of david commonsWhat Virtue did I randomly choose, after writing the above, for my closing comments? Modesty.

I love “coincidences” and was pleased to have used the word modest to describe this blog and the modest lowercase rendering of the Hebrew for House of David in the title.

Digging deeper (Archaeological pun intended) the card states “Modesty is a sense of quiet confidence and self-respect, which allows us to enjoy our accomplishments without inflating our self-importance.”  For Jews, modesty is a hard-won-virtue.  They have suffered for Millennia for the audacity of having a religion that claims they are “chosen”.   At the same time, they know their history, that there was a bytdvd, and that their modern nation rests on a firm foundation of international law.

And while I’m not a Jew, and I know this ancient rock is not the Rock of Salvation, it is nice that although it once was lost, now it is found.

Would you settle for Compassion?

Would you settle for Compassion?

This linked article discussing the legality of Jewish claims in Judea and Samaria inspired today’s blog, filtered by Compassion (the random Virtues card I pulled as a focal point).  Jewish Religious law, i.e. the Torah, has its Genesis in Compassion, as indicated by this story.


Compassion, as indicated by this story

Exodus 2:2-5 “And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”

The mother sent this baby down the river to protect him from Pharaoh’s evil edict.  Pharaoh’s daughter then named this child  Moses, the same Moses who later freed the people Pharaoh was oppressing.  The same Moses who still later carried the tablets of Divine Law, written with the Finger of God, down from Mount Sinai. This law was given to educate and protect the entire Nation from the misery they had, and would again, experience.  It was a Compassionate law, designed to secure permanent peace and freedom.

And compassion was prophesied, towards the tribes who would unfortunately fail to live according to that Divine Law.  A prophesied period of 2,520 years of suffering was to follow, after which God would show His Divine Compassion in a very specific way.

Deuteronomy 30:1-5 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

Which brings us back to the question of Jewish Legal Claims.  Many would claim that compassion requires the Jews to refrain from assuming the rights they have been granted in modern times.  Many today withhold the compassion that led to these rulings in the first place, during a time when rabid antisemitism was destroying the entire ethnic grouping known as “Jews”.  Many deny that Jewish Society is more compassionate than those societies around it, which still, today, seek to destroy the Jews.  The same societies which oppress their own people’s mercilessly, in the name of intolerance, hate, and without any shred of compassion.

flame of Compassion

Light the right flame with your compassion!

Reports are currently out that the White House is considering sanctions against Israel for building settlements in these areas which they believe they have a legal right to.  Such sanctions are portrayed as somehow being compassionate towards Palestinians who also live in those areas.  Aside from whether a logical, rational analysis of the actual situation on the ground supports such a view, the Virtue of Compassion, like any other Virtue, must be used in conjunction with them all, including Truth and Justice.

Compassion is a virtuous reaction, but the action of compassion must be in alignment with reality.  It should help those who are actually hurt, in some way.  One doesn’t need to look far for opportunities to extend compassion in the Middle East.  There are many examples of people who, today, like the Jews historically, are hated and hunted.

Those impacted negatively, in some way, by Jewish settlements are not the ones I am referring to.



Hate Vs. State

Hate Vs. State

Does religion teach us to love hate?Israel is under constant siege.  And I’m not referring to the over 1,000 rockets fired at it or the axe-wielding murderers in the neighborhood.  Amazingly, despite the day and night contrast clearly visible in the region, there is a rising global tide of so-called anti-Zionism – or anti-Israeli sentiment.  The drumbeat is growing so loud, and becoming so persistent, against the world’s only Jewish state, that it brings to mind the Anti-Semitism that led to pogroms in Russia and eventually the Holocaust.

In honor of the Jewish Sabbath, I decided to write on this topic today. The random Virtues card I came up with was Courage.  How apropos for this young nation which is establishing itself in the most volatile region on earth. Kudos to them for expressing this virtue.

I understand fully that the plight of the Palestinians is a major reason given for an Anti-Israeli stance.  Here’s an article that illustrates the not-so-subtle bias that Israel is responsible for the Statelessness of the Palestinians.  The article, however, sets out a clear premise that if more Palestinians were focused on building a state for themselves, vs. destroying Israel, they would long ago have achieved this goal.  The absence of a Palestinian State is clearly not Israel’s fault.  A better case could be made for the opposite, that Israel is more interested in a stable Palestinian State than the Palestinians themselves. So why is everyone against Israel?

Flag of Tel AvivNumerous prophecies call out that in the “last days” or the “end time” Israel will stand alone, with armies gathered against Jerusalem.  Have you considered that Modern day Israel might just be a fulfillment of these prophecies, including  Isaiah 11:11-12?  The one about the “Ensign to the Nations”? “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Do you have the courage to take a step back and consider the global situation today in the light of Biblical Prophecy?  Do you have the courage to cast away hate, and replace it with love?  A love for all peoples, and a desire for peace, along with a desire for truth and justice, will provide a path forward.  Focusing on Virtues will open our hearts to that which will lead us forward.


The Covenant Signs

The Covenant Signs

The Mosaic CovenantThe People of the Sign tells the seemingly tall tale of a wild and woolly journey crossing virtually every terrain known to man.  The protagonist (yours truly) is tossed across these landscapes by disorienting childhood experiences and navigates toward a new home in Christ using a compass on which True North is defined as the Sign of the Mosaic Covenant.  The resulting school-of-hard-knocks lessons leave our hero scanning the skies trying to connect the dots of the heavenly stars in an effort to escape a dead end.

The sequel, The Hardness of the Heart, drops the reader in waters more profound, with circular waves spreading out in a wider, but no-less relentless search for answers.  The rudder of the Sign of the Mosaic Covenant is replaced by a greater understanding of the Signs that Christ gave.  In the current, however, we find that these 2,000 year old answers are not current enough.

On the shore beckons a third volume, The Rod of Iron (please click and vote to help land its publication date) which provides a road map updated with additional Covenant Signs, designed to better orient us in the present day. Understanding where we are at in the divine unfolding of humanity’s destiny, in the clear light of these Covenant Signs, is the primary aim of this trilogy, especially the concluding volume.

We see the tide of radical and militant Islam, for example, challenging our understanding of the Christian Covenant, which is focused on Loving our neighbor, or to use a more ancient formulation of that principle, our brother.  I submit that lessons laid down at the time of Adam, wherein Cain slew Abel, and God asked him about it, are pertinent to this discussion.  The question for us is whether we are willing to be our brother’s keeper, or if we follow in the way of Cain?

To find out how we should behave, in order to be the former, we can fast forward from Cain to Noah.  Upon close examination we learn that the Covenant Signs are fractal patterns of importance to subsequent history.

Sign of the Noachian CovenantSome say the Noachian Covenant is unconditional. I say this is not entirely true. Yes, the promise encompassed in its Sign is unconditional – but God lays out conditions that go along with that unconditional promise. Look at Genesis 9, especially verses 4-6, and consider how they integrate with the promise in the Sign of the Rainbow.

9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.
6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
8 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
11 And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

My point may seem to advocate vigilante justice, and there may in fact have been a time and place for that.  But as we roll through history, accumulating the lessons of Moses and Christ, we find that we are required to set up systems of justice that incorporate the requirements of all the Covenants.   It is our responsibility to establish courts and the rule of law, and to implement national systems, to resist evil doers and administer the just punishment required by law, while our personal burden is to love and forgive.  Without both of these, neither is possible.

Are the Signs of the Covenants represented in the Zodiak?Such insights are, IMHO, critical for those who wish to understand how God has been developing His creation, over time, particularly the pinnacle of His creation – Man. The Covenant Signs are critical to find our route on the spiritual road map.  The Covenant Signs not only help us understand the direction we need to take, they show us the only path to our intended destination.

The Rod of Iron adds so much more to this discussion, and I hope you’ll take a moment to click on the link and vote for it.  In the meantime, if you’re interested in actively engaging in a dialogue on this and related topics, please join us in The People of the Sign facebook discussion group.