Chapter 33

(us – Christians)


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Commentary: Let us hypothesize for the moment that the terrible and disastrous effects of the Great Tribulation are not designed for nor focused upon the unsaved inhabitants of this world, but Christians (the Church Universal). One might ponder why God would, in these last days, heap even more pain and anguish upon unsaved people who are very soon to experience a burning lake of fire and eternal separation from Him anyway? What purpose will that accomplish, other than showing Father God, falsely I might add, to be vindictive and exceedingly punitive. On the other hand, perhaps the Great Tribulation of the last days is designed to act as the final purifying force for true believers, and in that sense, its effect upon non-believers merely “collateral damage.”

(Jer 25:29)  For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city [an assembly of people] which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth [the Great Tribulation], saith the LORD of hosts.

1.       (Mat 5:14)  Ye are the light of the world. A city [of born-again Christians] that is set on an hill cannot be hid. [for we have the Light of Jesus Christ within us]

2.       (1 Pet 4:17)  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God [the Church Universal]: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?


(Zec 13:7-9)  Awake, O sword, against my shepherd [Heb: pastor], and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die [who is the “subject” here?]; but the third [part] shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire [1], and will refine them [2] as silver [symbolic of redemption, i.e., Jesus Christ] is refined, and will try them [3] as gold [symbolic of pure Holiness, i.e., Father God] is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God [a melting together of minds, His and ours; an eternal union, a Holy marriage: Rom 12:2].

1.       (1 Cor 3:14,15)  If any man's work abide [Gk: remain] which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

2.       refine = Heb: to fuse (metal), i.e. refine:--cast, (re-) fine (-er), founder, goldsmith, melt, pure, purge away, try.

3.       try = Heb: to test (espec. metals); gen. and fig. to investigate:--examine, prove, tempt, try (trial).


(Judg 8:4,5)  And Gideon [Heb: feller (warrior) /// to fell a tree] [symbol of Jesus Christ] came to Jordan [Heb: descender: bring down, cast down] [symbol of the Holy Spirit], and passed over [eastward], he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint [Heb: thirsty, weary], yet pursuing them [pursuing the Midianites who had invaded the land] [“toiling in rowing” Mark 6:48; different circumstances, but same motivation and effect; example of the true Christian walk]. And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld, denied], kings of Midian [Heb: quarrel:--brawling, contentious, discord, strife]. [“Ishmaelites” Judg 8:24]

(Judg 8:6,7) And the princes [Heb: rulers] of Succoth said, Are the hands [Heb: fig. powers] of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand [Do you hold them now captive?], that we should give bread unto thine army? And Gideon said, Therefore when the LORD hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear [Heb: thresh] your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.

1.       Dictionary: thresh = 1. to separate the grain or seeds from (a cereal plant, etc.) by some mechanical means, as by beating with a flail or by the action of a thresher. 2. to discuss (a matter) exhaustively. 3. to beat as with a flail. 4. to thresh wheat, grain, etc. [a flail is two attached sticks]

(Judg 8:8,9)  And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him. And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace [with the victory], [then] I will break down this tower [Heb: a tower (from its size and height): castle, pulpit]. [What was the tower made of? It was a tower of stone, a tower of pride, towering pride]

(Judg 8:10-12)  Now Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld, denied] were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure [Heb: in refuge feeling security]. And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited [Heb: to shudder with terror; hence to fear: be afraid, quake] all the host.


(Judg 8:13-16)  And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun was up, And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and inquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men. And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna with whom ye did upbraid [Heb: defy] me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men that are weary? And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth.

1.       (Mat 13:22)  He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful [Gk: barren, without fruit].

2.       (Luke 8:14)  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection [Gk: maturity, ripeness].

3.       Commentary: “judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Pet 4:17). The inhabitants of Succoth are represented by the “silver,” and, with the “gold,” are among “the third part” (Zech 13:9) of all saved people. The hard stones of Penuel (a lofty tower) are professing Christians represented by the rejected “two parts.” Living stones and dead stones. Stones don’t learn. But who is the “gold”? The “gold” is hidden in this study but quite apparent. Who? …and then, Why?


(Judg 8:17)  And he beat down [Heb: cast down, pulled down, destroyed] the tower of Penuel, and slew [killed, slayed, slaughtered] the men of the city [“two parts therein shall be cut off and die” Zech 13:8].

1.       (Mat 13:20,21)  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended [Gk: to entrapped, i.e. tripped up (fig. stumble or enticed to sin, apostasy or displeasure)].

2.       (Luke 8:13)  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation [Gk: proving /// testing] fall away [Gk: to remove, i.e. instigate to revolt.; to desist, desert, etc.:--depart, draw (fall) away, refrain, withdraw self].    


(Dan 12:10-13)  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up [Mat 24:15], there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days [3 ½ years, i.e., the Great Tribulation]. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days [another 45 days]. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

1.       purified = Heb: to clarify (i.e. brighten), examine, select:--make bright, choice, chosen, cleanse (be clean), clearly, polished, (shew self) pure (-ify), purge (out).

2.       (Rev 19:7,8)  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen [Gk; white linen], clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

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