Sunday, August 25, 2019

Azazel; the Scapegoat Offering; Rebuke Not Debate; Competing and Measuring Up

For humans to grow spiritually we have to move past primal rituals, and  base feelings and emotions, to recognizing who we are in Yahweh. As we studied last week, the giants, the heirs of the Nephilim, worshipped Astarte/Ashtaroth, a fallen principality. But there is another story that may help us understand the hidden secrets of the fallen watchers. Israel was led into the worshipping of false deities many times over the years. This worshipping of idols and groves with demonic spirits is simply the way humans are misled into believing they are nothing more than dirt instead of the superhuman creation our Creator made us to be. The devil deceives people into believing that if one tries hard enough they will get a spiritual being to do something for them. But worshipping the devil is like playing slot machines. It becomes addicting to “try and win”, so the player must continue to up the ante to get a result. What starts out as reciting prayers to idols develops into actions that include rape and bloodshed. Human life is not honored as sacred, instead there becomes a competition to be “better” than everyone else. 

Humans are not considered an “evolved” species to fallen angels, demons, and other rebellious sons of God. When the adam lost his spiritual vision of the heavenlies, he also lost the companionship of Yahweh, as Yahweh used to walk and talk with the adam on the earth. The humans who worship the devil also believe that the rest of humanity are of a lower class. Yet quite the opposite is true. Those who have a personal relationship with Yahweh are more advanced and spiritually evolved than those who worship a created being. The goal of the fallen spiritual sons of God is for humans to kill one another. The womb, or as the Bible calls it, the matrix, is not sacred or holy. Humans are the only beings that produce life. Humans create life. As far as we know, the other spiritual sons of God are not life givers. What then is the goal of those who are rebellious against the Almighty, Eternal, Living God? What is the motivation of the spiritual sons and earthly sons of God who now worship the devil and the satan? To kill and destroy the Creator’s creation.  

We have seen that the problems for humanity regarding the giants was not eradicated during the flood. There is one fallen watcher who  is remembered through yearly ritual service.  An offering during Yom Kippur was observed by Israel for Azazel, one of the fallen angels before the flood. This is called the scapegoat offering. But more specifically it is the attributing of mankind’s sins to Azazel. 

Leviticus 16:8 H5414 ונתן shall cast H175 אהרן And Aaron H5921 על upon H8147 שׁני the two H8163 השׂעירם goats; H1486 גרלות lots H1486 גורל lot H259 אחד one H3068 ליהוה for the LORD, H1486 וגורל lot H259 אחד and the other H5799 לעזאזל׃ for the scapegoat

‛ăzâ'zêl az-aw-zale' From H5795 and H235; goat of departure; the scapegoat KJV Usage: scapegoat.

Brown-Driver-Briggs' Hebrew Definitions
1. entire removal, scapegoat 
a. refers to the goat used for sacrifice for the sins of the people 
b. meaning dubious
Origin: from H5795 and H235
TWOT: 1593
Parts of Speech: Noun Masculine

1) entire removal, scapegoat
1a) refers to the goat used for sacrifice for the sins of the people
1b) meaning dubious
Leviticus 16:7 (KJV) 
7  And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 

The Amplified translates this scapegoat offering as Azazel. 

Leviticus 16:8-10 (AMP) 
8  Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats—one lot for the Lord, the other lot for Azazel or removal. 
9  And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord's lot fell and offer him as a sin offering. 
10  But the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel or removal shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over him, that he may be let go into the wilderness for Azazel (for dismissal). 

Leviticus 16:26 (AMP) 
26  The man who led the sin-bearing goat out and let him go for Azazel or removal shall wash his clothes and bathe his body, and afterward he may come into the camp. 

The scapegoat offering was to be observed every year. Even Josephus mentions it. Hyperberetaeus is a month around September and October during Yom Kippur.

Josephus 3:10:2.  But on the seventh month, which the Macedonians call Hyperberetaeus, they make an addition to those already mentioned, and sacrifice a bull, a ram, and seven lambs, and a kid of the goats, for sins.

Josephus 3:10:3.  On the tenth day of the same lunar month, they fast till the evening; and this day they sacrifice a bull, and two rams, and seven lambs, and a kid of the goats, for sins. And, besides these, they bring two kids of the goats; the one of which is sent alive out of the limits of the camp into the wilderness for the scapegoat, and to be an expiation for the sins of the whole multitude; but the other is brought into a place of great cleanness, within the limits of the camp, and is there burnt, with its skin, without any sort of cleansing. With this goat was burnt a bull, not brought by the people, but by the high priest, at his own charges; which, when it was slain, he brought of the blood into the holy place, together with the blood of the kid of the goats, and sprinkled the ceiling with his finger seven times, as also its pavement, and again as often toward the most holy place, and about the golden altar: he also at last brings it into the open court, and sprinkles it about the great altar. Besides this, they set the extremities, and the kidneys, and the fat, with the lobe of the liver, upon the altar. The high priest likewise presents a ram to God as a burnt-offering.
The Works of Flavius Josephus.

We see that the sacrifice is to attribute the sins of the people onto one goat, and send it out of the camp, while the other goat is burnt before Yahweh. The scapegoat which is sent off into the wilderness carries the burdens of the sins of the Israelites and also the sins of all humans. Enoch tells us about Azazel and why the sins of humanity are attributed to him. 

Enoch 8:1 And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and taught them about metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of precious stones, and all coloring and dyes. 2 And there was great impiety; they turned away from God, and committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways.
Lumpkin, Joseph. Enoch, Jubilees, Jasher: Banned from the Bible (p. 21). Fifth Estate. Kindle Edition. 

Azazel was one of the high ranking watchers who led other watchers into sin and taught mankind about weapons and war. He also taught the beautifying of one’s self. This would be the point in history that started a ranking or scale to measure and compare all humans to one another. Instead humans were not to compare themselves to one another. This in itself is primal and not spiritual. Humans were to recognize their own personal value before Yahweh. This spiritual understanding gives value to all humans. All humans are valuable before the Lord their Creator. 

Teaching beautifying and weaponry turns people against one another. It simply takes our eyes off the spiritual and fixes them on the physical. Once we are focused on the physical we are ranking ourselves, comparing ourselves, and judging our outward appearances, among other created beings. How do we gain more, how do we look better, how do we become better than others? All we need is a genie in a bottle, to grant our wishes. But the Creator creates in uniqueness, not in cookie cutter mass production. A personal relationship with the Creator takes us back to the garden of eden in a sense, where the Lord communes with us. Even though the world is inhabited by evil humans, fallen beings, demonic beings, principalities, powers, and rulers, we are connected to the Eternal, Almighty, Most High, Living Father. Our age is short in comparison to eternity. Even as the antediluvian souls of men cried out to heaven, our postdiluvian souls do the same.  

Enoch 9:1 And then Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel looked down from heaven and saw much blood being shed on the earth, and all lawlessness being done on the earth. 2 And they said to each other: 'Let the cries from the destruction of earth ascend up to the gates of heaven. 3 And now to you, the holy ones of heaven, the souls of men make their petition, saying, "Bring our cause before the Most High."' 4 And they said to the Lord of the ages: 'Lord of lords, God of gods, King of kings, and God of the ages, the throne of your glory endures through all the generations of the ages, and your name holy and glorious and blessed to all the ages! 5 You have made all things, and you have power over all things: and all things are revealed and open in your sight, and you see all things, and nothing can hide itself from you. 6 Look at what Azazel has done, who hath taught all unrighteousness on earth and revealed the eternal secrets which were made and kept in heaven, which men were striving to learn: 7 And Semjaza, who taught spells, to whom you gave authority to rule over his associates. 8 And they have gone to the daughters of men on the earth, and have had sex with the women, and have defiled themselves, and revealed to them all kinds of sins.
Lumpkin, Joseph. Enoch, Jubilees, Jasher: Banned from the Bible (pp. 21-22). Fifth Estate. Kindle Edition. 

Azazel was one of many fallen watchers but it seems his sins were noted above many others. He taught unrighteousness. But he also revealed some  eternal secrets. What eternal secrets? There was something humans did not know, but were striving to learn, that he should not have shared. This tells us that the things he did against mankind were more destructive than simply impregnating earth women. Uriel will now tell Noah what will take place. Raphael is directed to bind Azazel.  

Enoch 10:1 Then said the Most High, the Great and Holy One, “Uriel, go to the son of Lamech. 2 Say to him: 'Go to Noah and tell him in my name "Hide yourself!" and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a flood is about to come on the whole earth, and will destroy everything on it.’ 3 ‘And now instruct him as to what he must do to escape that his offspring may be preserved for all the generations of the world.’ 4 And again the Lord said to Raphael: 'Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness and split open the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him in. 5 And fill the hole by covering him with rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him live there forever, and cover his face that he may not see the light. 6 And on the day of the great judgment he shall be hurled into the fire. 7 And heal the earth which the angels have ruined, and proclaim the healing of the earth, for I will restore the earth and heal the plague, that not all of the children of men may perish through all the secret things that the Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. 8 The whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe ALL SIN.' 9 To Gabriel said the Lord: 'Proceed against the bastards and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication and destroy the children of fornication and the children of the Watchers. Cause them to go against one another that they may destroy each other in battle: Shorten their days. 10 No request that (the Watchers) their fathers make of you shall be granted them on their behalf; for they hope to live an eternal life, and that each one of them will live five hundred years.' 11 And the Lord said to Michael: 'Go, bind Semjaza and his team who have associated with women and have defiled themselves in all their uncleanness. 12 When their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them fast for seventy generations under the hills of the earth, until the day of the consummation of their judgment and until the eternal judgment is accomplished. 13 In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire and to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined forever.’ 14 Then Semjaza shall be burnt up with the condemned and they will be destroyed, having been bound together with them to the end of all generations. 15 Destroy all the spirits of lust and the children of the Watchers, because they have wronged mankind.
Lumpkin, Joseph. Enoch, Jubilees, Jasher: Banned from the Bible (pp. 22-23). Fifth Estate. Kindle Edition. 

They have wronged mankind. They, the fallen watchers, have wronged mankind. We wonder why our world is filled with evil and wrong doing. We wonder why life is hard, why we cannot make sense of life. It is because they, the fallen watchers, have wronged mankind. We humans are told we are the lowest intelligent lifeforms in the universe, dull, and uneducated, compared to the deities we are to worship. However untrue, this is because they, the fallen watchers, have wronged mankind. They corrupted mankind. When we start to grasp what we have been up against our whole lives, we could use our authority on this planet to make positive changes. 

Azazel is bound in the desert in a hole and covered with jagged rocks. On the day of the white throne judgment, after the millennial kingdom, he will be cast into the lake of fire. We also see a place for the host of Azazel at the time of the flood. What is a host? It is an army or an angelic army. This gives us a clue that Azazel was more than an individual, he had his own army. 

Enoch 54:1 And I looked and turned to another part of the earth, and saw there a deep valley with burning fire. 2 And they brought the kings and the powerful, and began to cast them into this deep valley. 3 And there my eyes saw how they made their instruments for them, iron chains of immeasurable weight. 4 And I asked the angel of peace who was with me, saying: 'For whom are these chains being prepared ?' 5 And he said to me: 'These are being prepared for the hosts of Azazel, so that they may take them and throw them into the bottom of the pit of hell, and they shall cover their jaws with rough stones as the Lord of spirits commanded. 6 And Michael, and Gabriel, and Raphael, and Phanuel shall take hold of them on that great day, and throw them into the burning furnace on that day, that the Lord of spirits may take vengeance on them for their unrighteousness in becoming servants to Satan and for leading astray those who live on the earth.' 7 And in those days punishment will come from the Lord of spirits, and he will open all the storehouses of waters above heavens, and of the fountains which are under the surface of the earth. 8 And all the waters shall be come together (flow into or be joined) with the waters of heaven (above the sky), that which is above heavens is the masculine, and the water which is beneath the earth is the feminine. 9 And they shall destroy all who live on the dry land and those who live under the ends of heaven. 10 And when they have acknowledged the unrighteousness which they have done on the earth, by these they shall perish.
Lumpkin, Joseph. Enoch, Jubilees, Jasher: Banned from the Bible (pp. 45-46). Fifth Estate. Kindle Edition. 

The fallen rebellious watchers became servants of the satan, the adversary. Is it possible that Azazel was the “salesman” to the other watchers, of this plan of taking earth women to procreate with? Yahweh did not want to destroy mankind but mankind had been corrupted. The covenant made with humans (the rainbow) did not mean mankind would not be corrupted again, but it did mean that humanity would not be wiped out. The fallen watchers wronged mankind and led astray those who lived on the earth by serving the satan. Considering the satan had deceived the watchers, we now see that they have freedom of will just like humans do.  Now, at the end of the age there will be a tribulation period. 

Enoch 55:1 And after that the Head of Days repented and said: 'I have destroyed all who dwell on the earth to no avail.' 2 And He swore by His great name: 'From now on I will not do this to all who dwell on the earth again, and I will set a sign in heaven: and this shall be a covenant of good faith between Me and them forever, so long as heaven is above the earth. And this is in accordance with My command. 3 When I have desired to take hold of them by the hand of the angels on the day of tribulation, anger, and pain because of this, I will cause My punishment and anger to abide on them, says God, the Lord of spirits. 4 You mighty kings who live on the earth, you shall have to watch My Elect One sit on the throne of glory and judge Azazel, and all his associates, and all his hosts in the name of the Lord of spirits.'
Lumpkin, Joseph. Enoch, Jubilees, Jasher: Banned from the Bible (p. 46). Fifth Estate. Kindle Edition. 

As Enoch 56 explains, the fallen angels will be taken off the earth at the end of the tribulation and cast into he abyss. Then, after the millennial kingdom we will see the Messiah, Jesus (who is King of kings and Lord of lords), judge Azazel and his associates and hosts. This brings up another point. Who are Azazel’s associates?  Azazel has hosts, armies, but who are  those associated with him? Those that follow after his ways, whether human or spiritual. 

This is why the Jews were to make a scapegoat offering, they were to attribute all the sins of the world to Azazel. It was a reminder of the antediluvian world and the deterioration of humanity. The Jews understood Azazel was the  scapegoat. They understood Azazel corrupted humanity. The Jews understood that Azazel had armies and associates. If we look at the definition of the Scapegoat we see that there was a time after Moses where the scapegoat was actually taken out of the camp to a mountain, and thrown off the cliff so that the goat would not come back into the camp. 

Lev 16:8-26; R.V., "the goat for Azazel" (q.v.), the name given to the goat which was taken away into the wilderness on the day of Atonement (Lev 16:20-22). The priest made atonement over the scapegoat, laying Israel's guilt upon it, and then sent it away, the goat bearing "upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited."
At a later period an evasion or modification of the law of Moses was introduced by the Jews. "The goat was conducted to a mountain named Tzuk, situated at a distance of ten Sabbath days' journey, or about six and a half English miles, from Jerusalem. At this place the Judean desert was supposed to commence; and the man in whose charge the goat was sent out, while setting him free, was instructed to push the unhappy beast down the slope of the mountain side, which was so steep as to insure the death of the goat, whose bones were broken by the fall. The reason of this barbarous custom was that on one occasion the scapegoat returned to Jerusalem after being set free, which was considered such an evil omen that its recurrence was prevented for the future by the death of the goat" (Twenty-one Years' Work in the Holy Land). This mountain is now called el-Muntar.
Illustrated Bible Dictionary: And Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature.

As we can see from the next definition, unless one does extra Biblical research the study of Azazel is a mystery.

((Lev 16:8, 10, 26), Revised Version only here; rendered "scape-goat" in the Authorized Version). This word has given rise to many different views. Some Jewish interpreters regard it as the name of a place some 12 miles east of Jerusalem, in the wilderness. Others take it to be the name of an evil spirit, or even of Satan. But when we remember that the two goats together form a type of Christ, on whom the Lord "laid the iniquity of us all," and examine into the root meaning of this word (viz., "separation"), the interpretation of those who regard the one goat as representing the atonement made, and the other, that "for Azazel," as representing the effect of the great work of atonement (viz., the complete removal of sin), is certainly to be preferred. The one goat which was "for Jehovah" was offered as a sin-offering, by which atonement was made. But the sins must also be visibly banished, and therefore they were symbolically laid by confession on the other goat, which was then "sent away for Azazel" into the wilderness. The form of this word indicates intensity, and therefore signifies the total separation of sin: it was wholly carried away. It was important that the result of the sacrifices offered by the high priest alone in the sanctuary should be embodied in a visible transaction, and hence the dismissal of the "scape-goat." It was of no consequence what became of it, as the whole import of the transaction lay in its being sent into the wilderness bearing away sin. As the goat "for Jehovah" was to witness to the demerit of sin and the need of the blood of atonement, so the goat "for Azazel" was to witness to the efficacy of the sacrifice and the result of the shedding of blood in the taking away of sin.
Illustrated Bible Dictionary: And Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature.

Atonement was achieved from the blood of bulls and goats. In this specific sacrifice offering, the scapegoat is a reminder of the sin of Azazel. Why did Yahweh want to remind people of the sin of Azazel? So that they would not mimic the sins and corruption of Azazel. So that people would not become associates of Azazel.

An interesting book is The Apocalypse of Abraham, believed to be a part of the Essenes studies. This uncovering is part of a dream Abraham had. The conversation is interesting as it gives us some insights and understanding of the knowledge of the first century believers. In Genesis 15, we read about a sacrifice Abraham makes and a dream he has when Yahweh establishes that he will have heirs and they will posses the land of Canaan. An unclean bird comes down to the sacrifices, but Abraham drives it away. This is where we pick up this story.  

The Apocalypse of Abraham 13. And it came to pass, when I saw the bird speak, I said to the angel, "What is this, my lord?" And he said, "This is ungodliness; this is Azazel." And he said to it, "Disgrace upon you, Azazel! For Abraham's lot is in heaven, but yours is upon the earth. Because you have chosen and loved this for the dwelling place of your uncleanness. therefore the Eternal Mighty Lord made you to be a dweller upon the earth, and through you every evil spirit of lies, and through you wrath and trials for the generations of ungodly men; for God, the Eternal Mighty One, has not permitted that the bodies of the righteous should be in your hand, in order that thereby the life of the righteous and the destruction of the unclean may be assured. Hear this my friend, and begone with shame from me. For it has not been given to you to play the tempter in regard to all the righteous. Depart from this man! You cannot lead him astray. He is an enemy to you, and to those who follow you and love what you desire. For, behold, the vesture which in heaven was formerly yours has been set aside for him, and the mortality which was his has been transferred to you."

Keep in mind that this is an apocalypse, “a revealing of something that was stolen and hidden by a kleptomaniac”. Abraham’s dream/vision is a revelation to him, the revealing of Yahweh and the revealing of Azazel. The angel just told Abraham by rebuking Azazel that Azazel’s heirs are on the earth while Abraham’s heirs are in heaven. Who are Azazel’s associates? Every evil spirit of lies and ungodly men, and they are doomed for destruction. Abraham is an enemy to Azazel. That makes those who are Abraham’s seed by faith, enemies to Azazel. Now Abraham will have eternal life while Azazel will lose his life like a mortal.

The Apocalypse of Abraham 14. And the angel said to me, "Know that from henceforth the Eternal One has chosen you. Be of good courage and use this authority so far as I bid you, against him who slanders the truth. Should I not be able to put him to shame who has scattered over the earth the secrets of heaven, and has rebelled against the Mighty One? Say to him, 'Become the burning coal of the furnace of the earth! Go, Azazel, into the inaccessible parts of the earth, for your heritage is to be over those who are with you, the ones brought forth with the stars and clouds, and with the men whose portion you are, even those who exist on account of your being. Justification shall be your enemy. Now depart from me by your perdition!’

Use this authority. If our father Abraham had authority, we have authority. Look at the rebuke Abraham is to speak forth. Then the angel tells Abraham not to converse with Azazel.

The Apocalypse of Abraham 15. And I uttered the words that the angel taught me. And then the angel said to me, "Answer him not! For God has given him power over those who answer him." And the angel spoke to me again saying, "However much he speak to you, answer him not, in order that he may have no free access to you, because the Eternal One has given him 'weight and will' in this respect." And I did that which was commanded me by the angel, and no matter how much he spoke to me, I answered him nothing whatsoever.

For our intents and purposes we rebuke demons, principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, but we do not converse with them. Rebuke, do not debate, do not answer. Can you see the difference between rebuking and conversing? Abraham’s revealing goes on, and it is quite interesting. As Abraham is before the Almighty, Eternal, Living God, he is learning that he will be the father of many heirs.

The Apocalypse of Abraham 28. And the Eternal Mighty One said to me, "Abraham! Abraham!" And I said, "Here am I!" And He said to me, "Consider from above the stars which are beneath you, and number them for me, and make known to me their number." And I said, "How can I? For I am but a man of the dust of the earth." And He said to me, "As the number of the stars and their power, so will I make your seed a nation and a people set apart for me as my own inheritance, as distinct from that of Azazel. And yet I include Azazel in my house.”

Abraham’s heirs will be distinct from Azazel’s followers and associates. Now Abraham’s heirs are not only genetically his heirs, but heirs by faith. Azazel is in the Father’s house? What does that mean? There will be people who are not genetic heirs of Abraham who came from the nations, and some of them came from Azazel. This tells us our heredity does not determine our eternity. If we came from a family line that was evil, we can leave evil and our family’s evil behind, for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

The Apocalypse of Abraham 29. And I said, "Eternal Mighty One! Let your servant speak before You, and let not your anger be kindled against your chosen one! For lo! before I came up hither, Azazel inveighed against me. How then, while he is not now before you, can you constitute yourself with him?”

Abraham says Azazel insulted him. Today everyone speaks against each other. Remember this was the corruption of Azazel, he gave humanity a way to compare themselves to one another and to judge one another.  Azazel said something to Abraham, but remember the angel told Abraham not to speak to him. Abraham asks the Father how the Father can establish himself with Azazel. If we understand that each and every being has the God given right to choose who we will serve and to choose our own eternal destiny of either eternal life or eternal death, we then understand that it is our own selves who control our own future. The Father gave this watcher, Azazel, people who love evil. If the Father forced us to love the Father we would resent Him. Abraham sees people on the right and people on the left and asks about them. 

The Apocalypse of Abraham 33. And I said, "Lord, Mighty and Eternal! Who are the people in this picture on this side and that?" And He said to me, "Those who are on the left side are all those, born before your day and afterwards, some destined for judgment and restoration, and others for vengeance and cutting off at the end of the age. But those on the right side of the picture, they are the people who have been set apart for me, and whom I have ordained to be born of your line and called my people, even some of those who derive from Azazel.

There are people who are from Abraham and people who are from Azazel. Some from Abraham will worship the Almighty and some will not. Some people from Azazel will worship the Almighty and some will not. Some from Abraham and some from Azazel will follow the Messiah and some from each side will not. Some from Abraham and some from Azazel will be righteous while some from each side will be unrighteous. Then at the end of the age, there will be people called Abraham’s heirs who are both from Abraham and from Azazel and they are the ones set apart for the Almighty Eternal Living God. Our lives are always about free will choice. 

This brings up an interesting point. People who are lovers of evil will always pretend that they are of a higher class than people who love the Almighty, Most High, Eternal, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus. Evil people will conspire against the righteous. Evil people will commit evil acts against the righteous. Evil people will hate the righteous. And no matter how many generations of righteous or unrighteous people are birthed, the children can choose a different way from their forefathers. Everyone will be judged. 

If one would read the entire Apocalypse of Abraham and then read Romans 4, 9, and 11, Paul’s words will make more sense. Romans 11:25 then is quite understandable. This book was among the Essenes, and as we have studied Jesus was an Essene. After Paul accepted Jesus as his Lord Paul went into the desert for fourteen years to learn from the Essenes. Now we understand that those who live by faith (Galatians 3) are the true sons of Abraham. The unrighteous who follow Azazel will follow him all the way to the lake of fire. 

What did Jude tell us about fallen angels? He told us that the Lord knows how to deliver the righteous out from among the unrighteous and the wicked will suffer on the day of judgment.  

Jude 1:5 (AMP) 
5  Now I want to remind you, though you were fully informed once for all, that though the Lord [at one time] delivered a people out of the land of Egypt, He subsequently destroyed those [of them] who did not believe [who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely upon Him]. 
6  And angels who did not keep (care for, guard, and hold to) their own first place of power but abandoned their proper dwelling place—these He has reserved in custody in eternal chains (bonds) under the thick gloom of utter darkness until the judgment and doom of the great day. 
7  [The wicked are sentenced to suffer] just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the adjacent towns—which likewise gave themselves over to impurity and indulged in unnatural vice and sensual perversity—are laid out [in plain sight] as an exhibit of perpetual punishment [to warn] of everlasting fire. 
8  Nevertheless in like manner, these dreamers also corrupt the body, scorn and reject authority and government, and revile and libel and scoff at [heavenly] glories (the glorious ones). 
9  But when [even] the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, judicially argued (disputed) about the body of Moses, he dared not [presume to] bring an abusive condemnation against him, but [simply] said, The Lord rebuke you! 

If we keep the idea of rebuke but do not converse we understand this. Joshua assumed Moses was going to be taken like Enoch, but Moses knew he would not be taken like Enoch. This is why Moses wrote about his death. Some believe the exact section of Michael contending for Moses’ body to have been part of the Assumption of Moses, as it was quoted in the first and second century. However, the portions we have today do not give us this information. 

The Assumption of Moses 11…And Joshua answered him and said: 'Why do you comfort me, (my) lord Moses ? And how shall I be comforted in regard to the bitter word which you hast spoken which has gone forth from thy mouth, which is full of tears and lamentation, in that you depart from this people? (But now) what place shall receive you?  Or what shall be the sign that marks (your) sepulcher? Or who shall dare to move your body from there as that of a mere man from place to place?  For all men when they die have according to their age their sepulchers on earth; but your sepulcher is from the rising to the setting sun, and from the south to the confines of the north: all the world is your sepulcher…

Moses’ body was covered with rocks by people near Baal Peor. 

Jude does talk about the associates of Azazel, just as in the Assumption of Moses. Corrupted men say they are just. They destroy the poor, claiming justice. 

The Assumption of Moses 7 And when this is done the times shall be ended, in a moment the (second) course shall be (ended), the four hours shall come.  They shall be forced. . . . And, in the time of these, destructive and impious men shall rule, saying that they are just. And these shall stir up the poison of their minds, being treacherous men, self-pleasers, dissemblers in all their own affairs and lovers of banquets at every hour of the day. gluttons, gourmands....  Devourers of the goods of the (poor) saying that they do so on the ground of their justice, but in reality to destroy them, complainers, deceitful, concealing themselves lest they should be recognized, impious, filled with lawlessness and iniquity from sunrise to sunset: saying: 'We shall have feastings and luxury, eating and drinking, and we shall esteem ourselves as princes.' And though their hands and their minds touch unclean things, yet their mouth shall speak great things, and they shall say furthermore: 'Do not touch me lest you should pollute me in the place (where I stand') . . .

The destructive and impious people rule over the righteous. They believe themselves to be just. What has been, still is. These are the evil sons of Azazel, the fallen watcher who is buried in a hole under the earth with sharp rocks. These crazy people believe we pollute them. If they only understood eternity.

Jude 1:10 (AMP) 
10  But these men revile (scoff and sneer at) anything they do not happen to be acquainted with and do not understand; and whatever they do understand physically [that which they know by mere instinct], like irrational beasts—by these they corrupt themselves and are destroyed (perish). 
11  Woe to them! For they have run riotously in the way of Cain, and have abandoned themselves for the sake of gain [it offers them, following] the error of Balaam, and have perished in rebellion [like that] of Korah! 
12  These are hidden reefs (elements of danger) in your love feasts, where they boldly feast sumptuously [carousing together in your midst], without scruples providing for themselves [alone]. They are clouds without water, swept along by the winds; trees, without fruit at the late autumn gathering time—twice (doubly) dead, [lifeless and] plucked up by the roots; 
13  Wild waves of the sea, flinging up the foam of their own shame and disgrace; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of eternal darkness has been reserved forever. 

Jude tells us that Enoch prophesied that the Lord will come with his saints to execute judgment. 

Jude 1:14  It was of these people, moreover, that Enoch in the seventh [generation] from Adam prophesied when he said, Behold, the Lord comes with His myriads of holy ones (ten thousands of His saints) 
15  To execute judgment upon all and to convict all the impious (unholy ones) of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed [in such an] ungodly [way], and of all the severe (abusive, jarring) things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. 
16  These are inveterate murmurers (grumblers) who complain [of their lot in life], going after their own desires [controlled by their passions]; their talk is boastful and arrogant, [and they claim to] admire men's persons and pay people flattering compliments to gain advantage. 
17  But you must remember, beloved, the predictions which were made by the apostles (the special messengers) of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 
18  They told you beforehand, In the last days (in the end time) there will be scoffers [who seek to gratify their own unholy desires], following after their own ungodly passions. 
19  It is these who are [agitators] setting up distinctions and causing divisions—merely sensual [creatures, carnal, worldly-minded people], devoid of the [Holy] Spirit and destitute of any higher spiritual life. 

We can see the reasons for the scapegoat offering. The fallen angels corrupted mankind. They wronged mankind. The earth was sent into decay because of the sins of the other rebellious sons of God. The adam’s sin cost the planet sound rulership, now being ruled by the god of this world. In turning over that rulership, it allowed a place for the other spiritual sons of God to sin. With the other fallen spiritual sons of God influencing our planet, humanity is in a disadvantaged position until we understand what is happening around us. Before Jesus became our scapegoat, the blood of an animal was used to purify Israel. Now we have the scapegoat offering through our Lord and Savior who bore the sins of humanity. Next week we will pull together all the information we have learned regarding fallen watchers and giants.  

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Astarte, Ishtar; Spiritual Battles in Israel; False Deities, Lesser Gods; Ashteroth Karnaim

In our age we tend to overcomplicate a lot of things. One thing we should not overcomplicate is the worship of demonic gods. It is simply primal. The Bible tells us that the Almighty, Most High, Eternal, Living God is our Heavenly Father. He gave his only Son to rescue humankind, and as a sacrifice offering, the sinless blood of Jesus, the Anointed Messiah, redeems all humans and gives us eternal life if humans so choose Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus both engage in personal relationship with the children of the Most High God. Sometimes the Bible can seem confusing to the average reader because of words like Elohim. Elohim is plural, meaning “three or more” in Hebrew, and there are many beings who are called Elohim. The Heavenly Father is Elohim, Yahweh is Elohim, the devil is an elohim, the satan is an elohim, angels are elohim, and humans are elohim. If you notice I am differentiating elohim via capitalizations, because elohim is a title, not a name. God is a title like president or king. Yet, I am a child of the Most High God, Elohim, and I choose to represent the Creator as The Elohim; as compared to angels, the devil, the satan, and men. With that in mind, as we study Astarte/Ishtar/Ashtaroth, I will refer to this elohim as a false god, to differentiate lower classed beings from the Supreme Elohim. This is where we want to start to understand the nature of worship of the religions of the giants, as compared to the children of Jacob. Worshipping a lesser deity seems irrational. Worshipping a deity who is not eternal, who makes one perform ritual service, who cannot provide humans with eternal life, but instead assures humans eternal death, seems very illogical, unless of course one’s ancient ancestors are the ones being worshipped. Yet, why would one still want to worship a lesser god?  

This week in the news, Mahmoud Abbas made a funny statement. He claims the ancestry of Palestinians are the descendants of the Canaanites. What Mr. Abbas fails to recognize in his proclamation is that Israel was Semite land, divided via lot by Noah. The ancient texts tell us Canaan had no right to this land, and that they were to be wiped out as per the curse of Noah. They were almost entirely wiped out. Mr. Abbas should understand the Canaanites, the Philistines, and all those who had to be driven out of the land were squatters according to history. It should be noted that I’m not implying that they should be wiped out in our day and time, but I am noting that he’s making an uneducated claim.

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has wildly claimed that Palestinians are indigenous to the land of Israel and are the “Canaanites who were here 5,000 years ago”” 

Jubilees tells us this.

Jubilees10:28. And Ham and his sons went into the land which he was to occupy, which he acquired as his portion in the land of the south. 29. And Canaan saw the land of Lebanon to the river of Egypt that it was very good, and he went not into the land of his inheritance to the west (that is to) the sea, and he dwelt in the land of Lebanon, eastward and westward from the border of Jordan and from the border of the sea. 30. And Ham, his father, and Cush and Mizraim, his brothers, said unto him: "Thou hast settled in a land which is not thine, and which did not fall to us by lot: do not do so; for if thou dost do so, thou and thy sons will fall in the land and (be) accursed through sedition; for by sedition ye have settled, and by sedition will thy children fall, and thou shalt be rooted out for ever. 31. Dwell not in the dwelling of Shem; for to Shem and to his sons did it come by their lot. 32. Cursed art thou, and cursed shalt thou be beyond all the sons of Noah, by the curse by which we bound ourselves by an oath in the presence of the holy judge, and in the presence of Noah our father." 33. But he did not hearken unto them, and dwelt in the land of Lebanon from Hamath to the entering of Egypt, he and his sons until this day. 34. And for this reason that land is named Canaan.

This is why Abraham told his sons from Keturah and Hagar to move south and east, dividing his inheritance to them before his death. Jacob and his sons were living in Canaan until the famine, then they went into Egypt; but they were promised the land in Genesis 17. Therefore the descendants of Shem have a right to that very small portion of land. The battle they are in now is the same battle they were in five thousand years ago. But the battle is not simply about real estate, it is also about the worship of demon gods or the worship of the Almighty, Most High, Eternal, Living God. 

As we know from tracking languages, there can be many different spellings for one and the same thing. Some of this is due in part to the Hebrew not having vowels, and some is due in part to variations in languages. When we read several Bible versions we see the different ways one thing might be spelled or spoken of. This is our dilemma with Astarte, or Ashtoreth, or Ashtaroth, or Astartion, also called “groves”. This is the same goddess Ishtar. Astarte/Ashtoreth/etc was one of the “gods” of the Canaanites, Philistines, and other people groups in the region. As we have been studying the mixing of the heirs of the fallen angels with the Israelites, we recognize one of the problems Israel had was worshipping the Canaanite/Philistine gods. Let’s read what happened to Saul and what the Philistines did.

1 Samuel 31:10 (AMP) 
10  And they put Saul's armor in the house of the Ashtaroth [the idols representing the female deities Ashtoreth and Asherah], and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. 

1 Samuel 31:9 And they treated him scornfully, and stripped off his armour, and sent it to the land of the Philistines, proclaiming the good news all around to their idols, and to the people. 10 And they hung up his arms in the temple of Astarte, and fixed, up his body on the wall of Baithsam.

1 Samuel 31:9 And they turned him, and stripped off his armor, and sent it into the land of the Philistines, sending round glad tidings to their idols and to the people. 10 And they set up his armor at the temple of Ashtoreth, and they fastened his body on the wall of Beth Shan.

They took his armor to the temple of Astarte/Ashtoreth. This was a victory offering to their goddess. At this time Israel did not have a temple, a permanent place of worship. They had a tabernacle, a mobile tent of worship. Notice the different ways the same deity is mentioned. 

1 Sauel 31:9 G2532 And G607 they behead him, G1473   G2532 and G1553.1 they strip him G1473   G3588   G4632 of his weapons, G1473   G2532 and G649 they send G1519 into G1093 the land G246 of the Philistines G2945 round about, G2097 announcing good news G3588 to G1497 their idols, G1473   G2532 and G3588 to G2992 their people. G1473   
  10 G2532 And G394 they presented G3588   G4632 his weapons G1473   G1519 in G3588 the G* Astartion. G2532 And G3588   G4983 his body G1473   G2665.2 they fastened down G1722 on G3588 the G5038 wall G* in Beth-shan. 

1 Samuel 31:9 H3772 ויכרתו And they cut off H853 את   H7218 ראשׁו his head, H6584 ויפשׁיטו and stripped off H853 את   H3627 כליו his armor, H7971 וישׁלחו and sent H776 בארץ into the land H6430 פלשׁתים of the Philistines H5439 סביב round about, H1319 לבשׂר to publish H1004 בית the house H6091 עצביהם of their idols, H853 ואת   H5971 העם׃ the people. 
  10 H7760 וישׂמו And they put H853 את   H3627 כליו his armor H1004 בית in the house H6252 עשׁתרות of Ashtaroth: H853 ואת   H1472 גויתו his body H8628 תקעו and they fastened H2346 בחומת to the wall H1052 בית שׁן׃ of Beth-shan. 

H6252 עשׁתּרת עשׁתּרות 
‛ashtârôth ‛ashtârôth ash-taw-roth', ash-taw-roth' Plural of H6251; Ashtaroth, the name of a Sidonian deity, and of a place East of the Jordan
KJV Usage: Ashtaroth, Astaroth. See also H1045, H6253, H6255.

Brown-Driver-Briggs' Hebrew Definitions

עשׁתּרת עשׁתּרות
Ashtaroth or Astaroth = "star" n pr f deity 
1. false goddesses in the Canaanite religion, usually related to fertility cult n pr loc 
2. a city in Bashan east of the Jordan given to Manasseh 
a. same as 06255
Origin: pl. of H6251
TWOT: 1718b
Parts of Speech: 

N:N-F-T / N:N--L
Ashtaroth Ashtaroth or Astaroth = "star"
n pr f deity
1) false goddesses in the Canaanite religion, usually related to fertility cult
n pr loc
2) a city in Bashan east of the Jordan given to Manasseh
2a) same as H06255

If we remember our past study, Chedorlaomer put several cities under his authority and taxed them, but in the thirteenth year they revolted and went to war. Chedorlaomer and the four kings killed the giants, the Rephaim, in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim and the Emims. 

Genesus 14:5 H702 ובארבע   H6240 עשׂרה   H8141 שׁנה year H935 בא came H3540 כדרלעמר Chedorlaomer, H4428 והמלכים and the kings H834 אשׁר that H854 אתו with H5221 ויכו him, and smote H853 את   H7497 רפאים the Rephaims H6255 בעשׁתרת קרנים in Ashteroth Karnaim, H853 ואת   H2104 הזוזים and the Zuzims H1990 בהם in Ham, H853 ואת   H368 האימים and the Emims H7741 בשׁוה קריתים׃ in Shaveh Kiriathaim,

There was a city called Ashteroth Karnaim. They had a permanent structure to worship their fallen spiritual beings. This is another reason those who worship false deities want this land, because this was the place of the first temple of Astarte. 

Why did the giants worship false gods? What was their purpose in calling on demonic principalities and powers? Understanding their own ancestral heritage, we recognize that the giants were utilizing the devil’s authority on this earth to their advantage or so they believed. Enoch scolded the imprisoned Grigori, telling them to worship the true God otherwise their fate might end up being worse. There were worshippers of Yahweh among the Jebusites and the Gibeonites. But the majority of giants worshipped fallen angelic spirits. Gaining the advantage in battles, in fertility, and in wealth, the giants chose to forsake Yahweh in the same way their forefathers did. Instant gratification in this life versus eternal life after this life. Our goal is to make disciples as Shem and Abraham did. 

When we read some definitions of Astarte/Ashteroth we find the definitions are as varied as the spellings. 

Ashteroth Karnaim
Ashteroth of the two horns, the abode of the Rephaim (Gen 14:5). It may be identified with Ashtaroth preceding; called "Karnaim", i.e., the "two-horned" (the crescent moon). The Samaritan version renders the word by "Sunamein," the present es-Sunamein, 28 miles south of Damascus.
Illustrated Bible Dictionary: And Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature.

The moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male deity (Jdg 10:6; 1Sa 7:4; 1Sa 12:10). These names often occur in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either different statues or different modifications of the deities. This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jer 44:17; 1Ki 11:5, 33; 2Ki 23:13). There was a temple of this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (1Sa 31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte. Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (1Ki 11:33). Jezebel's 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1Ki 18:19). It was called the "queen of heaven" (Jer 44:25).
Assyrian Ishtar
Illustrated Bible Dictionary: And Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature.

Ashtoreth Ash'toreth (a star) the principal female divinity of the Phœnicians, called Ishtar by the Assyrians and Astarte by the Greeks and Romans. She was by some ancient writers identified with the moon. But on the other hand the Assyrian Ishtar was not the moon-goddess, but the planet Venus; and Astarte was by many identified with the goddess Venus (or Aphrodite), as well as with the plant of that name. It is certain that the worship of Astarte became identified with that of Venus, and that this worship was connected with the most impure rites is apparent from the close connection of this goddess with ASHERAH. 1 Kin 11:5, 33; 2 Kin 23:13
Smith's Bible Dictionary: Comprising Antiquities, Biography, Geography, Natural History, Archaeology and Literature.

Asherah Ash'erah (straight), the name of a Phœnician goddess, or rather of the idol itself (Authorized Version "grove"). Asherah is closely connected with ASHTORETH and her worship, Judg 3:7 comp. Judg 2:3; 6:25; 1 Kin 18:19 Ashtoreth being, perhaps, the proper name of the goddess, whilst Asherah is the name of her image or symbol, which was of wood. See Judg 6:25-30; 2 Kin 23:14
Smith's Bible Dictionary: Comprising Antiquities, Biography, Geography, Natural History, Archaeology and Literature.

Asherah And pl. Asherim in Revised Version, instead of "grove" and "groves" of the Authorized Version. This was the name of a sensual Canaanitish goddess Astarte, the feminine of the Assyrian Ishtar. Its symbol was the stem of a tree deprived of its boughs, and rudely shaped into an image, and planted in the ground. Such religious symbols ("groves") are frequently alluded to in Scripture (Ex 34:13; Jdg 6:25; 2Ki 23:6; 1Ki 16:33). These images were also sometimes made of silver or of carved stone ((2Ki 21:7); "the graven image of Asherah," R.V.). (See GROVE.).
Illustrated Bible Dictionary: And Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature.

Let’s note here that there are still people worshipping Ashteroth. The horns upon the head of the deity represent the crescent moon. I will have a more recent picture posted at the end of this study that coincidentally looks like a description from a book written in the 1860’s. It will become clear that this is a spiritual battle. There isn’t anything new under the sun. Here is Moses’ declaration to the Israelites. 

Exodus 34:11-14 (AMP) 
11  Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I drive out before you the Amorite, Canaanite, Hittite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite. 
12  Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant or mutual agreement with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in the midst of you. 
13  But you shall destroy their altars, dash in pieces their pillars (obelisks, images), and cut down their Asherim [symbols of the goddess Asherah]; 
14  For you shall worship no other god; for the Lord, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous (impassioned) God, 

Not only were the Israelites to drive out the inhabitants, they were to destroy their altars, pillars, and Asherim. We know they did some of this, but not completely. When we see the word groves it is the same thing as Asherim/Astarte/Astharoth. What was the mission? Drive out the inhabitants and destroy the false gods. Why? Because Israel was a chosen people due to their forefathers who worshipped Yahweh. Let’s look at the definitions for groves. 

(1.) Heb. ʾasherah, properly a wooden image, or a pillar representing Ashtoreth, a sensual Canaanitish goddess, probably usually set up in a grove (2Ki 21:7; 2Ki 23:4). In the Revised Version the word "Asherah" (q.v.) is introduced as a proper noun, the name of the wooden symbol of a goddess, with the plurals Asherim (Ex 34:13) and Asheroth (Jdg 3:13).
The LXX. have rendered asherah in 2Ch 15:16 by "Astarte." The Vulgate has done this also in Jdg 3:7.
(2.) Heb. ʾeshel (Gen 21:33). In 1Sa 22:6 and 1Sa 31:13 the Authorized Version renders this word by "tree." In all these passages the Revised Version renders by "tamarisk tree." It has been identified with the Tamariscus orientalis, five species of which are found in Palestine.
(3.) The Heb. word ʾelon, uniformly rendered in the Authorized Version by "plain," properly signifies a grove or plantation. In the Revised Version it is rendered, pl., "oaks" (Gen 13:18; Gen 14:13; Gen 18:1; Gen 12:6; Deut 11:30; Jos 19:33). In the earliest times groves are mentioned in connection with religious worship. The heathen consecrated groves to particular gods, and for this reason they were forbidden to the Jews (Jer 17:3; Ezek 20:28).
Illustrated Bible Dictionary: And Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature.

1. A word used in the Authorized Version, with two exceptions, to translate the mysterious Hebrew term Asherah, which is not a grove, but probably an idol or image of some kind. [ASHERAH] It is also probable that there was a connection between this symbol or image, whatever it was, and the sacred symbolic tree, the representation of which occurs so frequently on Assyrian sculptures.
2. The two exceptions noticed above are Gene 21:33 and 1 Sam 22:6 (margin). In the religions of the ancient heathen world groves play a prominent part. In the old times altars only were erected to the gods. It was thought wrong to shut up the gods within walls, and hence trees were the first temples; and from the earliest times groves are mentioned in connection with religious worship. Gene 12:6, 7; Deut. 11:30 Authorized Version "plain." the groves were generally found connected with temples, and often had the right of affording an asylum.
Smith's Bible Dictionary: Comprising Antiquities, Biography, Geography, Natural History, Archaeology and Literature.

Moses tells them again, drive out the people and destroy their gods. 

Deuteronomy 7:1-10 (AMP) 
1  WHEN THE Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to possess and has plucked away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 
2  And when the Lord your God gives them over to you and you smite them, then you must utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them, or show mercy to them. 
3  You shall not make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give to his son nor shall you take his daughter for your son, 
4  For they will turn away your sons from following Me, that they may serve other gods; so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you and He will destroy you quickly. 
But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and hew down their Asherim [symbols of the goddess Asherah] and burn their graven images with fire. 
6  For you are a holy and set-apart people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a special people to Himself out of all the peoples on the face of the earth. 
7  The Lord did not set His love upon you and choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the fewest of all people. 
8  But because the Lord loves you and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 
9  Know, recognize, and understand therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, Who keeps covenant and steadfast love and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations, 
10  And repays those who hate Him to their face, by destroying them; He will not be slack to him who hates Him, but will requite him to his face. 

Yahweh wants to keep the oath he made with the fathers of the children of Jacob. Israel was to teach the rest of the inhabitable world about Yahweh like Shem, Abraham, and Jacob did. They were a small nation, smaller than the enemy nations. This is one reason the giants worshipped goddesses of fertility, to grow their nation. As we have studied in the Hebrew culture, fertility was at a peak on a full moon, then by the new moon women would know if they were pregnant. Livestock were also on this same cycle. Jacob understood this principal and prospered. 

Deuteronomy 12:3 (AMP) 
3  You shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire; you shall hew down the graven images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place. 

They were to burn the forest. 

Deuteronomy 12:3 And ye shall destroy their altars, and break in pieces their pillars, and ye shall cut down their groves, and ye shall burn with fire the graven images of their gods, and ye shall abolish their name out of that place.

Moses also tells them not to plant trees dedicated to Asherah. 

Deuteronomy 16:21 (AMP) 
21  You shall not plant for yourselves any kind of tree dedicated to [the goddess] Asherah beside the altar of the Lord your God which you shall make. 

It seems rather clear but after a while the people did not listen to Moses’ instructions. 

Judges 2:11-13 (AMP) 
11  And the people of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. 
12  And they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, Who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods of the peoples round about them and bowed down to them, and provoked the Lord to anger. 
13  And they forsook the Lord and served Baal [the god worshiped by the Canaanites] and the Ashtaroth [female deities such as Ashtoreth and Asherah].

We have to realize that the surrounding inhabitants were seeing results from worshipping false deities. This is one of the reasons Israel followed after the gods of the giants. Israel wanted a god-like gum-ball machine. They wanted to put in their penny and get something in return. But that is not how a relationship works. Yahweh is a personal God, walking and talking with Abraham as a friend. However, it is how a demonic entity will work at first. It is simply bait to get one hooked. And there is no personal relationship with a false deity. 

Judges 3:7 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God, and served Baalim and the groves.

This seems so primitive. It is primitive. They didn’t have a very full understanding of Yahweh. How could they? Even their forefathers, the fallen angels, the Nephilim who were watchers, didn’t know many of the secrets and mysteries of the Almighty Eternal Father. 

The news of supernatural favors would have been spread at the towns’ wells, or in the fields. As word spread regarding the statues or groves that the other people worshipped and the benefits received, others would have been interested in trying it out. After all Moses and Joshua were long dead, and they needed some better crops, water, or more plentiful herds. Enter Gideon. 

Judges 6:25-30 (AMP) 
25  That night the Lord said to Gideon, Take your father's bull, the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has and cut down the Asherah [symbol of the goddess Asherah] that is beside it; 
26  And build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this stronghold with stones laid in proper order. Then take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down. 
27  Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him, but because he was too afraid of his father's household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night. 
28  And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the Asherah was cut down that was beside it, and the second bull was offered on the altar which had been built. 
29  And they said to one another, Who has done this thing? And when they searched and asked, they were told, Gideon son of Joash has done this thing. 
30  Then the men of the city commanded Joash, Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has pulled down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it. 

Joash challenges the men of the city by saying if Baal is really a god let him fight for himself. He then called Gideon Jerubbaal, meaning “let Baal plead against him”. Now every time Gideon did something the men of the city knew that Baal was a fake god. Samuel had an easier time telling the people to put away the strange gods. 

1 Samuel/1Kings7:3 And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do with all your heart return to the Lord, take away the strange gods from the midst of you, and the groves, and prepare your hearts to serve the Lord, and serve him only; and he shall deliver you from the hand of the Philistines. 4 And the children of Israel took away Baalim and the groves of Astaroth, and served the Lord only.

We are starting to see a pattern emerging. Every time the people followed after false gods they would go into captivity. Now finally Samuel was able to  help straighten the people out. When David takes over kingship of Israel, he will allow the Lord to battle for them and ask the Lord what the army is supposed to do.  

2 Samuel/2Kings 5:22 And the Philistines came up yet again, and assembled in the valley of Giants. 23 And David enquired of the Lord: and the Lord said, Thou shalt not go up to meet them: turn from them, and thou shalt meet them near the place of weeping. 24 And it shall come to pass when thou hearest the sound of a clashing together from the grove of weeping, then thou shalt go down to them, for then the Lord shall go forth before thee to make havoc in the battle with the Philistines. 25 And David did as the Lord commanded him, and smote the Philistines from Gabaon as far as the land of Gazera.

There was a grove of weeping in the valley of the giants. What was the sound of clashing together from the grove? Whatever the sound was that Yahweh produced, it scared the Philistines and caused them to lose this battle. This tells us that the false deities didn’t make noise in the groves. Israel finally was in a place where they were relying on Yahweh. David was a warrior who subdued many giants so that Israel could have a time of peace to build the temple. David asked Yahweh what do do before going into battle. Solomon kept the peace by marrying many wives from surrounding kingdoms, thereby keeping other nations from attacking Israel. But now Solomon is going to do something stupid. 

1 Kings 11:4-5 (AMP) 
4  For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not perfect (complete and whole) with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. 
5  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abominable idol of the Ammonites! 

Solomon’s heart turned away from Yahweh. Now after his death the kingdom was split in two, a northern kingdom and a southern kingdom. Remember we are still following Astarte/Ashtaroth and the groves. From the time of Samuel through the time of David and up to the completion of the temple Israel was not worshipping false gods. 

3 Kings 11:29 And it came to pass at that time, that Jeroboam went forth from Jerusalem, and Achia the Selonite the prophet found him in the way, and caused him to turn aside out of the way: and Achia was clad with a new garment, and they two were alone in the field. 30 And Achia laid hold of his new garment that was upon him, and tore it into twelve pieces: 31 and he said to Jeroboam, Take to thyself ten pieces, for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give thee ten tribes. 32 Yet he shall have two tribes, for my servant David’s sake, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 33 Because he forsook me, and sacrificed to Astarte the abomination of the Sidonians, and to Chamos, and to the idols of Moab, and to their king the abomination of the children of Ammon, and he walked not in my ways, to do that which was right before me, as David his father did. 34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, (for I will certainly resist him all the days of his life,) for David my servant’s sake, whom I have chosen. 35 But I will take the kingdom out of the hand of his son, and give thee ten tribes. 36 But to his son I will give the two remaining tribes, that my servant David may have an establishment continually before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for myself to put my name there.

Jeroboam becomes king over the ten tribes (Israel) because of the sacrifices in Judah to Astarte. Judah will make this situation even worse because at this time they added idols, booths for male and female prostitutes, worshipping of the stars and constellations, and passing their children through the fires of Moloch, into the temple. Really from the time that Solomon finished the temple, to the time of his death was the only time that the temple was actually holy and clean. People today unrealistically exalt the temple as if it was a time that we should all aspire to, when in fact, for over three hundred years, the temple was defiled. 

In 1 Kings 14 or 3 Kings 14,  there is an entire added section that does not appear in the Septuagint. We read from verse 1 then to verse 22. This story about Jeroboam’s son may have been added after the writing of the Septuagint. 

3 Kings 14:1 And Roboam son of Solomon ruled over Juda. Roboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in the city Jerusalem, which the Lord chose to put his name there out of all the tribes of Israel: and his mother’s name was Naama the Ammonitess. 22 And Roboam did evil in the sight of the Lord; and he provoked him in all the things which their fathers did in their sins which they sinned. 23 And they built for themselves high places, and pillars, and planted groves on every high hill, and under every shady tree. 24 And there was a conspiracy in the land, and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord removed from before the children of Israel. 

The Amplified says it this way. 

1 Kings 14:23 (AMP) 
23  For they also built themselves [idolatrous] high places, pillars, and Asherim [idolatrous symbols of the goddess Asherah] on every high hill and under every green tree. 24  There were also sodomites (male cult prostitutes) in the land. They did all the abominations of the nations whom the Lord cast out before the Israelites. 

The word “conspiracy” is not quite accurate as the Greek word sundesmos means “a joint tie like a ligament, or to bind together”. Today we think of conspiracy as underhanded control from the shadows, but sundesmos is the actual connecting to or binding to something. What did they bind to? The evil worship practices of the other nations. This way the temple could be “shared” with other nations. This is not part of the fairytale story of Israel and the temple. The Holy Spirit resided alongside all the other idol worship and the booths for the male and female prostitutes until the time of Ezekiel. Now we see Israel having to fight and war with surrounding nations, while Judah has a series of bad kings and a few good kings. The nation went from overcoming giants and being freed from false gods, to bonding together with the gods of other nations. 

3 Kings 15:9 In the four and twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa begins to reign over Juda. 10 And he reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Ana, daughter of Abessalom. 11 And Asa did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, as David his father. 12 And he removed the sodomites out of the land, and abolished all the practices which his fathers had kept up. 13 And he removed Ana his mother from being queen, forasmuch as she gathered a meeting in her grove: and Asa cut down her retreats, and burnt them with fire in the brook of Kedron. 14 But he removed not the high places; nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect with the Lord all his days. 15 And he brought in the pillars of his father, he even brought in his gold and silver pillars into the house of the Lord, and his vessels. 

Asa removes the sodomites, but they are not gone for long. He kicks his mother out of office, but doesn’t get rid of the high places. After Asa, Joash tried to repair the temple so they collected a tax. He had the help of Jehoiada the high priest, but when Jehoiada dies Joash makes some bad decisions. 

2 Chronicles 24:6 (AMP) 
6  So the king called for Jehoiada the high priest and said to him, Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax authorized by Moses the servant of the Lord and of the assembly of Israel for the Tent of the Testimony? 
7  For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God and also had used for the Baals all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord. 
8  And at the king's command they made a chest and set it outside the gate of the house of the Lord. 

2 Chronicles 24:12  And the king and Jehoiada gave it to those who did the work of the temple service; and they hired masons and carpenters and also those who worked in iron and bronze to repair the house of the Lord. 
13  So the workmen labored, and the work of repairing went forward in their hands; and they set up the house of God according to its design and strengthened it. 
14  When they had finished it, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; from it were made utensils for the Lord's house, vessels for ministering and for offerings, and cups and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada. 

It seemed like Judah was on the right track, but after Jehoiada’s death things went wrong again. The princes of Judah came to Joash and they added back the Astartes and idols. 

2 Chronicles 24:17  Now after the death of Jehoiada [the priest, who had hidden Joash], the princes of Judah came and made obeisance to King Joash; then the king hearkened to them. 
18  They forsook the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for their sin (guilt). 
19  Yet [God] sent prophets to them to bring them again to the Lord; these testified against them, but they would not listen. 

Joash ordered Zechariah’s death. The people killed Zechariah the prophet, Jehoiada’s son, in the temple courts. Judah was then overcome by Syria because of what Joash did and then Joash was murdered.  

In Israel Ahab made an Asherah. Remember Jezebel and all the prophets of Baal? 

1 Kings 16:33 (AMP) 
33  And Ahab made an Asherah [idolatrous symbol of the goddess Asherah]. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel before him. 

3 Kings 16:33 And Achaab made a grove; and Achaab did yet more abominably, to provoke the Lord God of Israel, and to sin against his own life so that he should be destroyed: he did evil above all the kings of Israel that were before him.

What happens next is a great story that we all know about. Elijah has a miracle contest with 850 false prophets. A prophet is one who speaks from or for God, but these prophets were speaking from or for demonic spirits or fallen spiritual beings. 

1 Kings 18:19 (AMP) 
19  Therefore send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of [the goddess] Asherah, who eat at [Queen] Jezebel's table. 

3 Kings 18:19 And now send, gather to me all Israel to mount Carmel, and the prophets of shame four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, that eat at Jezabel’s table.

Israel was still making a mess of things.

2 Kings 13:6 (AMP) 
6  Yet they did not depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who made Israel sin; but the nation walked in them. And the Asherah [symbol of the goddess Asherah] remained in Samaria.

Israel as a nation has now fallen and the people were carried off to Assyria. 

4 Kings 17:7 For it came to pass that the children of Israel had transgressed against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharao king of Egypt, and they feared other gods, 8 and walked in the statutes of the nations which the Lord cast out before the face of the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel as many as did such things, 9 and in those of the children of Israel as many as secretly practised customs, not as they should have done, against the Lord their God: 10 and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city. And they made for themselves pillars and groves on every high hill, and under every shady tree. 11 And burned incense there on all high places, as the nations did whom the Lord removed from before them, and dealt with familiar spirits, and they carved images to provoke the Lord to anger. 12 And they served the idols, of which the Lord said to them, Ye shall not do this thing against the Lord. 
13 And the Lord testified against Israel and against Juda, even by the hand of all his prophets, and of every seer, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my ordinances, and all the law which I commanded your fathers, and all that I sent to them by the hand of my servants the prophets. 14 But they hearkened not, and made their neck harder than the neck of their fathers.15 And they kept not any of his testimonies which he charged them; and they walked after vanities, and became vain, and after the nations round about them, concerning which the Lord had charged them not to do accordingly. 16 They forsook the commandments of the Lord their God, and made themselves graven images, even two heifers, and they made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divinations and auspices, and sold themselves to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him.

The people practiced their worship of Asherah in secret, making pillars and groves on every high hill. The culture was that these false deities were not to be cooped up inside, but free outside. Yet now they have added to the false worship. They are now selling their children to do evil. 

2 Kings 17:16-17 (AMP) 
16  And they forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the [starry] hosts of the heavens and served Baal. 
17  They caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire and used divination and enchantments and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. 

Human trafficking is not a new idea. This is how low Israel had fallen. Judah was not far behind. We studied human trafficking and blood rituals in the past. 

Hezekiah came along as king of Judah and he cleaned up the false gods.

2 Kings 18:1-5 (AMP) 
1  IN THE third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 
2  He was twenty-five years old when he began his twenty-nine-year reign in Jerusalem. His mother was Abi daughter of Zechariah. 
3  Hezekiah did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his [forefather] had done. 
4  He removed the high places, broke the images, cut down the Asherim, and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until then the Israelites had burned incense to it; but he called it Nehushtan [a bronze trifle]. 
5  Hezekiah trusted in, leaned on, and was confident in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that neither after him nor before him was any one of all the kings of Judah like him. 

2 Chronicles 31:1 (AMP) 
1  NOW WHEN all this was finished, all Israel present there went out to the cities of Judah and broke in pieces the pillars or obelisks, cut down the Asherim, and threw down the high places [of idolatry] and the altars in all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the Israelites returned to their own cities, every man to his possession. 

But then Manasseh came along, and he brought back all the evil demonic worship. 

2 Kings 21:1-12 (AMP) 
1  MANASSEH WAS twelve years old when he began his fifty-five-year [wicked] reign in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah. 
2  He [Hezekiah's son] did evil in the sight of the Lord, after the [idolatrous] practices of the [heathen] nations whom the Lord cast out before the Israelites. 
3  For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as did Ahab king of Israel, and worshiped all the [starry] hosts of the heavens and served them! 
4  And he built [heathen] altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord said, In Jerusalem will I put My Name [and the pledge of My presence]. 
5  And he [good Hezekiah's son] built altars for all the hosts of the heavens in the two courts of the house of the Lord! 
6  And he made his son pass through the fire and burned him as an offering [to Molech]; he practiced soothsaying and augury, and dealt with mediums and wizards! He did much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. 
7  He made a graven image of [the goddess] Asherah and set it in the house, of which the Lord said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put My Name [and the pledge of My presence] forever; 
8  And I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander any more out of the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them. 
9  But they would not listen; and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations did whom the Lord destroyed before the Israelites! 
10  And the Lord said through His servants the prophets: 
11  Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations, and has done wickedly above all that the Amorites did who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols, 
12  Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears shall tingle! 

Manasseh did repent. Next Josiah cleans up Judah. 

2 Kings 23:4-15 (AMP) 
4  And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the keepers of the threshold to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal, for [the goddess] Asherah, and for all the hosts of the heavens; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel [where Israel's idolatry began]. 
5  He put away the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in Judah's cities and round about Jerusalem—also those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations [or twelve signs of the zodiac], and to all the hosts of the heavens. 
6  And Josiah brought the Asherah from the house of the Lord to outside Jerusalem to the brook Kidron and burned it there, and beat it to dust and cast its dust upon the graves of the common people [who had sacrificed to it]. 
7  And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes, which were by the house of the Lord, where the women wove [tent] hangings for the Asherah [shrines]. 
8  And [Josiah] brought all the [idolatrous] priests out of the city of Judah and defiled the high places, where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba [north to south], and broke down the high places both at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua the governor of the city and that which was on one's left at the city's gate. 
9  However, the priests of the high places were not allowed to sacrifice upon the Lord's altar in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brethren. 
10  And Josiah defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of Ben-hinnom [son of Hinnom], that no man might ever burn there his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech. 
11  And he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had devoted to the sun from the entrance of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the area, and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 
12  And the altars on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, [Josiah] pulled down and beat them in pieces, and he [ran and] cast their dust into the brook Kidron. 
13  And the king defiled the high places east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of Corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abominable [goddess] of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the abominable god of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abominable [god] of the Ammonites. 
14  He broke in pieces the pillars (images) and cut down the Asherim and replaced them with the bones of men [to defile the places forever]. 
15  Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, that altar with the high place Josiah tore down and broke in pieces its stones, beating them to dust, and burned the Asherah. 

Shortly after Josiah’s time Judah went back to worshipping idols and then went into captivity. 

Isaiah 27:9 (AMP) 
9  Only on this condition shall the iniquity of Jacob (Israel) be forgiven and purged, and this shall be the full fruit [God requires] for taking away his sin: that [Israel] should make all the stones of the [idol] altars like chalk stones crushed to pieces, so that the Asherim and the sun-images shall not remain standing or rise again. 

Isaiah is writing during the time of Hezekiah. What is the way for Israel to be forgiven? They are to crush the idols into dust. The worship of false idols is a fluid practice in that it evolves and changes. This is why we see the changing of the practices as the years go by. Jacob’s heirs have always been in a spiritual battle, but some people would have us think that there is no such thing as spiritual matters. We have already studied the giants who wanted to live in and around Mount Hermon, because this is where their forefathers, the Nephilim, the watchers, came to the earth. Let’s look at two sections from JL Porters book regarding his observances in the 1860’s. 

Bashan and its Giant Cities JL Porter
Pg 12
The capital and stronghold of the Rephaim in Bashan was Ashteroth-Karnaim; so called from the goddess there worshipped, —the mysterious "two-horned Astarte." 

We shall see, too, that among the massive ruins of these wonderful cities 
lie sculptured images of Astarte, with the crescent moon, which gave her the name Carnaim, upon her brow. 

Bashan and its Giant Cities JL Porter
Pg 38-39
For more than an hour we followed the course of a Roman road along the western declivity of the mountain range, passing several old villages on the right and left. At one of these villages, picturesquely situated in a secluded glen, we saw a long procession of Druse women near a clump of newly- made graves. They had a strange unearthly look. The silver horns, which they wear upright on their heads, were nearly two feet long, over these were thrown white veils, enveloping the whole person, and reaching to the ground, thus giving them a stature apparently far exceeding that of mortals. As they marched with stately steps round the tombs, they sung a wild chant that now echoed through the whole glen, and now sunk into the mournful cadence of a death-wail. I asked the meaning of this singular and striking scene, and was told that eleven of the bravest men in the village had fallen in the late war, these were their graves, and now the principal women of Shuhba had come to comfort and mourn with the wives of the slain; 

What JL Porter noted seems to still be in practice today. Remember the grove of weeping from 2 Samuel/2 Kings? Wearing white veils over horns is an interesting form of mourning. Why horns? Who do the horns symbolize? Why white? One cannot make the dead pure by outer appearances like white washed tombs. 

By worshipping false deities, and angels who rebelled and who are not eternal beings, Israel lost the land she was promised. But not forever. When Jesus the Messiah comes with his armies he will eradicate the evil spiritual beings as well as the evil humans, and the warring giants from the earth. The millennial kingdom will be established in Jerusalem, the City of David. There won’t be a rock of worship there either. While many people believe it is irrational to worship a created being rather than the Creator of all beings, there are some who are not concerned with eternity. They want gratification now. We might guess that once in hades their minds would be changed, but unfortunately it will be too late. The devil is not an eternal being, neither is the satan. Instead the Living, Eternal, Almighty, Most High, Heavenly Father, and the Anointed Lord and Messiah, Jesus, are eternal. As we look at the picture below we should consider that the spiritual battle of old is the same spiritual battle today.