Messiah's Brook in Psalm 110

The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.
Psalm 110:5-7
Yeshua confirmed that the Lord or Adonai spoken of in Psalm 110 is the Messiah, himself. The meaning of much of the Psalm is clear: shattering kings, judging nations, etc. But what does the final verse mean?
He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.
What brook is meant and why does it cause him to lift up his head?

It could refer to Yeshua's death and resurrection. In Genesis 40, Joseph interprets the dreams of two men and tells them both that Pharaoh will lift up their heads, one to be restored to service in the royal court, the other to be executed. "He will drink from the brook" could allude to Yeshua willingly accepting the cup of his fate (Matthew 26:39) and "he will lift up his head" could allude to the same thing again or to his subsequent resurrection and restoration to his place in Heaven.

However, this would break with the previous prediction of violent judgment that clearly must refer to Yeshua's return to judge the nation and set up his throne in Jerusalem. I won't say that it must be wrong--prophecy often ignores time scales and literal orders of events--but I think there is a much more plausible interpretation.

Consider these prophetic passages that discuss the same topics as Psalm 110:
And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground...And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the LORD binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow. Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar, burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke; his lips are full of fury, and his tongue is like a devouring fire; his breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches up to the neck; to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction...Battling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. For a burning place has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.
Isaiah 30:23-33 
Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east)....Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep....Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. And he said to me, "This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the [Dead Sea]; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes."
Ezekiel 47:1-9 
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Amos 5:24
The gist of these prophecies is that when Messiah Son of David comes to set up his throne in Jerusalem, he will judge the nations with a thoroughness and violence not seen on earth since Noah. Rulers will be deposed, nations uprooted, and--most importantly--wickedness cleansed. The judgment of God is like a river that flows from the Temple, washing away the filth of oppression and sin, restoring life to the land as it goes. God's judgment even brings life to the Dead Sea, turning the saltiest body of water in the world into fresh water.

Psalm 110 describes Messiah's return in the end days as filling the nations with corpses, yet he pauses to drink from the brook along the way, and this drinking causes him to lift up his head. The brook referenced here isn't a metaphor of his own death. It is the overwhelming flood of God's wrath that brings relief to the land and to the righteous in Yeshua. He lifts up his head because he is refreshed and restored alongside his people whom he loves more than his own body.

The Weak and Worthless Elemental Principles of Pagan Rome

After a series of violent conflicts between Rome and the Jews in the late first and early second centuries, the gentile converts to the Jewish sect alternately known as the Way, the Nazarenes, and the Christians, pushed hard to distance themselves from the hated upstarts. Since most of the Empire couldn't tell the difference, it took a long while to make the break final. To put everyone's minds at ease, the gentile Christians decided to change all of their holidays so they could celebrate on the same days as the polytheistic Romans. Then they switched to a Sunday "sabbath" because only those dirty Jews kept God's seventh day Sabbath.

Eventually, the Christians began to look so much like the Jovians that they kind of forgot what the big fuss was about. Peter took over the robes, halo, and statue of of Jupiter. Mary ousted Juno. And Joseph, poor Joseph... Well, Joseph faded into the shadows as an eternally cuckolded almost-husband of Juno...I mean Hera...I mean Mary.

Roman Catholicism is little more than a Latinized Jewish makeover of Roman paganism. Sure, it has lots of ancient traditions and cool hats, but it's missing a lot of Bible. Even more importantly, it's missing the one and only very Jewish Messiah.

It's time to finish the job that the original Protestant reformers began.

Keep the Sabbath, God's Sabbath. Keep the feast days, God's feast days, not the replacements foisted on the illiterate, superstitious masses by the Abomination of Desolation in Rome. Keep the commandments and reject the weak and worthless elementary principles of Rome, because as wise Solomon once wrote, to fear God and to keep His commandments is the whole duty of man.

A Model of a Model of a Model

Exodus 25:1-40

And they shall make an ark... On one level the Ark of the Covenant is the symbol of the Father in the Tabernacle and the Temple, while the Menorah represents the Holy Spirit, and the Showbread Table represents the Son. (On another level, the entire Tabernacle is a model for every individual.) Likewise, the Heavenly Father is an example for earthly fathers, the Holy Spirit is an example for earthly mothers, and the Son is an example for earthly children, especially the firstborn son of his father. The details of all three articles are significant for every single person, as we occupy a spectrum of traits and roles, and we can never say that one person or one gender can never be allowed to fill the role of another. But the characteristics of the Heavenly Father as revealed in the Ark more precisely apply to fathers than to anyone else, and likewise the characteristics of the Heavenly Son as revealed in the Showbread Table apply to firstborn sons. The Menorah is specifically a pattern for women, but also for all types of deacons, servants, and helpers. The instructions contained in Exodus 25 are repeated in minute detail in Exodus 37, demonstrating the great weight which God assigns to these things.

I am certain that all of the precise measurements have important meanings, both spiritual and mundane (Ezekiel 43:10-11), but I will not pretend to know what all of those meanings are. The best that I can do is to prayerfully consider these instructions and the teaching I have received and ask God for understanding. What mistakes I make are purely my own. I do not claim this to be prophecy or infallible revelation from God. The same is true for the instructions concerning the Showbread Table and the Menorah.

Exodus 25:9

...after the pattern of the tabernacle... The stuff of the wilderness tabernacle was not made according to a design only written on paper or fashioned into a small scale model. It was patterned after the real Tabernacle in Heaven in which Yeshua serves as our divine High Priest. That Tabernacle is a shadow of something yet higher: God himself. It is also an image after which we are to pattern ourselves, both as individuals and as families.

Exodus 25:10

...shittim wood... According to Scofield, wood represents humanity, and John Gill wrote that acacia (translation of shittim) wood is decay resistant. According to Easton's Bible Dictionary, it is also a gnarled, thorny tree like a hawthorne from which it would be very difficult to obtain a significant amount or length of lumber. Our flesh is often twisted and gnarled, making it very difficult for us to work toward creative purposes. A father should, as far as possible, avoid the things that corrupt the flesh: drunkenness, licentiousness, excessive leisure, fear, et cetera. The raw material out of which he is made must be cultivated and trained in order to produce lengths of lumber sufficient to make anything of real substance and size.
(See Exodus 25:13 and 15:23.)

...two cubits and a half...a cubit and a half...a cubit and a half... I know that the dimensions of the Ark and the other articles of the Tabernacle are recorded for our benefit, but at present I can only make wild guesses as to what we are to learn from them. I offer this small bit of speculation only as one possibility and not as anything certain. The volume of the Ark, at least as measured by these external dimensions, is five and five-eighth cubic cubits. Five could represent life as creatures "that hath life" were first created on the fifth day or it could represent the five books of the Torah. Eight represents new beginnings or rebirth. The Ark was the heart of the Tabernacle. Within it were the stone tablets, while the staff, and a jar of manna were placed before it. When we have God's Law (the tablets) written in our hearts, when we have made him our supreme authority (the staff), and when we have put our faith completely in him (the manna), then we will have life both in this world (five cubits) and eventual resurrection into eternal life (five-eighths cubit).
(See 1 Kings 8:9 and Hebrews 9:4.)

Exodus 25:11

...overlay it with pure gold, within and without... Gold represents purity and righteousness. A father must exemplify righteousness in his family, not just in his actions ("without") but in his heart and mind ("within") as well.
(See Exodus 25:13 and 25:24.)

...a crown of gold round about. A father is to rule his house with righteousness, according to the laws of God, and not of man, or else this crown would be of wood instead of gold. However, this is not exactly the same word usually used for a royal crown, but it is the root of that word. Zer is used here, whereas nezer is the usual word for a royal crown.
(See Exodus 25:24 and 25:25.)

Exodus 25:35-36

…one beaten work of pure gold. The six side branches of the Menorah were assembled in sets of two, one on the left and one on the right. The pairs of branches were made out of a single piece of gold with a ring in the center connecting it to the stem. Each pair represents a pair of inextricably linked character traits, and each side balances the other. The fear of God is balanced against knowledge of God’s promises and love. Understanding of God’s creation is balanced against wisdom in its proper use. Strength is moderated by good council. These spirits only engender a right relationship with God if they are in proper union and order. If strength is not complemented by council, then they separately beget tyranny and manipulation. If worldly understanding is not united with wisdom, then they separately beget pride and foolishness. If fear is not united with knowledge, then they separately beget legalism and licentiousness.

Updated: 2/13/2018

Progressives vs Conservatism

I tweeted this yesterday (1/24/2018):

Someone reasonably asked why I thought that conservatives are any better than leftists. (I should have said "progressives", as it's a more accurate and descriptive term.)

Progressivism assumes several things that are diametrically opposed to Torah:
1) Humanity can be forced to change its fundamental nature through pressure applied by a wiser elite.
2) It denies what the Bible says about human nature and the sovereignty of God.
3) It relies on mass violence, theft, and the manipulation of people's basest instincts of greed to accomplish its ends.
4) It denies the right of people to continually reap the material benefit of their own labor and--possibly even more importantly--the costs of poor judgment and refusal to labor.

Whether by re-education, bullets, or eugenics, progressivism seeks to replace God. It repeats the lie of the serpent in the Garden that man can become his own god.

Conservatism has its flaws because it is usually unaware of what it is attempting to conserve. Some of the values our culture once held are clearly terrible and ought to be forgotten. We still have a long way to go. However, conservatism's primary goals aren't to remake human nature or to steal from one person or group to give to another. Its primary goals lie in maintaining an outwardly just society through the rule of law, in maintaining the foundations of a peaceful and orderly society: family, faith, respect for authority, etc.

I say "outwardly just" because conservatism does nothing in itself to address the inward state of anyone. It does, however, create an environment where more people will hear the Bible taught and see it lived than progressivism ever can.

Rank and file leftists frequently have some good intentions: equity of justice, mutual respect, etc., but the philosophy as a whole assumes the supremacy of man and the ultimate inconsequentiality of God. The nominally good motives of many leftists are necessarily applied in a manner that elevates man above God, and it reveals them to be either wicked at heart or hopelessly deluded.

Stand by the ways. Search and ask for the ancient paths." -Jeremiah 6:16

Progressivism is diseased in its very foundation and it only leads to death, while conservatism is only infected with residual corruption that isn't necessarily inherent in its nature. Some things really are worth conserving, and I'll take imperfect over degenerate every time.

All Your Base Are Belong to God

And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die… (Genesis 11:5)

Although the Torah is explicit that the firstborn males of God's people belong to him, it is implicit that the firstborn males of all other nations also belong to him. No matter one’s cultural inheritance, God’s intent for the firstborn is to act as his family's kinsman redeemer. In taking the firstborn, as opposed to the youngest or the strongest, God denied the Egyptians their kinsmen redeemers. In effect, he told the Egyptians that there was no recourse other than repentance and accepting him as their ultimate redeemer.

The Symbolism of Rings in Scripture

Throughout history rings have been used to symbolize affinity, devotion, and authority, as well as stores of value. Hebrews gave earrings, nose rings, and bracelets as signs of betrothal. Egyptians and Canaanites both wore earrings and nose rings to symbolize devotion to their deities. Lifelong slaves wore earrings as symbols of their master’s authority. Tribes wore rings of various kinds to advertise their belonging. Rulers wore signet rings, crowns, and torques as statements of wealth and authority.

In the Bible, a nezem (earring or nose ring) can be functional as a store of value, ornamental, or symbolic. Some examples of symbolic uses of rings:

  • Genesis 24:22 Eliezer gave Rebekah an earring and two bracelets as a sign of betrothal to Isaac.
  • Exodus 32:2-3 Aaron told the Israelite men to surrender the earrings of their wives and children for use in the golden calf. He did not ask for idols, amulets, necklaces, or other jewelry which would have contained a much greater amount of gold.
  • Judges 8:24-26 Gideon asked for the earrings of the slain Ishmaelites and used them to make an idol.
  • Ezekiel 16:11-12 God gave bracelets, a nose ring, earrings, and a crown to his bride.
  • Hosea 2:13 God used earrings in a double entendre to refer to the ornamentation of a harlot and the symbols of idolatry.
  • Job 42:11 According to the Septuagint, each of Job’s friends gave him an “unstamped” gold earring. Most translations only say “earring.” I suspect the ancient translators of the Septuagint meant to emphasize that these were not religious tokens. The need for such an emphasis would be significant in itself.
  • Proverbs 25:12 A wise authority figure is a carved earring in an obedient ear.

Moses Never Forgot He Was A Hebrew

This chiasm in Exodus 2:11 shows that Moses never forgot he was a Hebrew, and it was inevitable that he would eventually rebel against Pharaoh's rule.

...and for the search engines:

  • He went out to his people
    • Looked on their burdens
    • Witnessed their abuse
  • A Hebrew, one of his people