Covenant Made, Relationships Established


When YHWH led Yisrael and the Arabiy [Arabs] out of Mitsrayim, He made a beriyth [covenant] with the people. Portions of this covenant are scattered in various places. In the book of Shemoth [Exodus], chapter 19, we see aspects of this covenant and the acceptance of it by the people willing to follow YHWH.


Shemoth [Exodus] 19:3-6, “mosheh [moses] went up to the elohiym, and YHWH called to him from the mountain, saying, "so you will say to the beyth yaaqob [house of jacob] and tell to the sons of yisrael,  4 'you yourselves have seen what i did to mitsrayim [egypt], and how i bore you on the wings of eagles , and brought you to myself.  5 now then, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my beriyth [covenant], then you will be my own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine;  6 and you will be to me a kingdom of kohaniym [priests] and a goy qadosh [holy nation].' these are the words that you will speak to the sons of yisrael."


Shemoth 20:1-5, “then elohiym spoke all these words, saying,  2 "i am YHWH your elohey, who brought you out of the land of mitsrayim, out of the beyth [house] of slavery.  3 you will have no other elohiym before my face.  4 you will not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in the heavens above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.  5 you will not worship them or serve them; for i am YHWH your elohey,  a zealous el,”


Shemoth 24:7,8, “then he took the book of the beriyth [covenant] and read  in the hearing of the people; and they said, all that YHWH has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient. 8 so mosheh took the blood and sprinkled on the people, and said, look the blood of the beriyth, which YHWH has made with you in accordance with all these words."


HaDebariym [Deuteronomy] 4:1-24, “4  1 and now, yisrael, listen to the rules and to the judgments which i am teaching you to do, so that you may live and go in, and possess the land which YHWH the elohey of your fathers is giving to you.  2 you will not add to the word which i command you, nor take from it, to keep the commands of YHWH your elohey which i command you.  3 your eyes have seen that which YHWH has done in baal peor. for YHWH your elohey has destroyed them from among you, the men that followed baal peor.  4 and you who held fast to YHWH your elohey are alive today, all of you.  5 look, i have taught you rules and ordinances, as YHWH my elohey has commanded me, to do them, in the midst of the land where you are going in, to possess it,  6 and you will observe and do them, for it will be your wisdom and your understanding before the eyes of the peoples who hear all these rules. and they will say, this great goy [nation] is a people wise and understanding.  7 for who is a great goy [nation] whose elohiym is coming near to them, as YHWH your elohey is, in all our calling on him?  8 and who is a great goy [nation] whose rules and judgments are as righteous as all this thorah [teaching, law] which i set before you today?  9 only, be on guard for yourself and keep your being carefully, that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen; and that they not depart from your heart all the days of your life. and you will make them known to your sons, and to your sons' sons.  10 the day that you stood before YHWH your elohey in choreb, when YHWH said to me, gather the people to me, and i will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth; and that they may teach their sons.  11 and you drew near and stood below the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the heart of the heavens, darkness, cloud and thick gloom.  12 and YHWH spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you did not see a form, only a voice.  13 and he declared his beriyth to you which he has commanded you to do, the ten words; and he wrote them on two tablets of stone.  14 and YHWH commanded me at that time to teach you rules and judgements, for you to do them in the land which you will pass over to possess it.  15 therefore you will carefully watch over your beings, for you have not seen any likeness in the day YHWH spoke to you in choreb out of the midst of the fire,  16 that you not deal corruptly, and make for yourselves a graven image, a likeness of any figure, the form of a male or female,  17 the form of any animal in the earth; the form of any winged bird that flies in the heavens;  18 the form of any creeping thing on the ground; the form of any fish in the waters under the earth;  19 and that you not lift up your eyes towards the heavens and will see the sun, and the heavens, and you be drawn away and worship them, and serve them; which YHWH your elohey has allotted to all the peoples under all the heavens.  20 and YHWH has taken you, and has brought you forth out of the iron furnace, out of mitsrayim, to be a people to him, an inheritance, as it is this day.  21 and YHWH was angry with me because of your words, and swore i would not pass over the yarden, and that i might not go into the good land which YHWH your elohey is giving to you as an inheritance.  22 for i will not be in this land; i will not pass over the yarden [jordan]. but you will pass over, and will possess this good land.  23 be on guard for yourselves, that you not forget the beriyth of YHWH your elohey, which he has made with you, and make to yourselves a graven image, a likeness of anything which YHWH your elohey has forbidden you.  24 for YHWH your elohey is a consuming fire; he is a zealous el.” 


Whether you look at this from the perspective that YHWH was making a beriyth with a specific tribe alone, or whether you view this as a group of people, of mixed tribes, that have chosen to follow after YHWH, a covenant was made. Involved with this covenant were very specific teachings about not depicting YHWH by any kind of images, nor following after false elohiym and images for them. Under the terms of this covenant, YHWH said He was qanna - zealous, meaning, He is not going to share His people with anyone and I dont blame Him. In this relationship, YHWH designates Himself as their El, He is ruling over them. For any of you familiar with suzerainty treaties, YHWH is the suzerain – the more powerful entity and we are the weaker vessels. He is the law giver in this beriyth. Not only is YHWH the deity over us, much as people had patron deities, as well as cities, but YHWH is the ruler, as in melek/king, just as other nations had kings to rule over them. In many cases, the rulers, whether you use the word king, emperor, pharaoh, etc..., said of themselves to be a deity in the flesh or that they were the offspring of gods.


What YHWH was establishing with this group of Yashariym [upright ones] that made a covenant with Him, was a different governmental system than the nations had been experiencing. He was removing the application of a false god or gods, as well as the king/pharoah/emperor/president/prime minister acting in a similar capacity. YHWH was establishing a personal relationship, not just on a one to one basis, but over families, tribes, so long as the family/tribe abided by the beriyth. The beyth [house] of YHWH became the new tribe, that was greater than the connections of blood. In this system, YHWH set up shoftiym, most frequently translated as judges, to rule in matters. As we will see, this system of shoftiym, is not supposed to be inherited, but the shoftiym are established by YHWH.




Shoftiym is from the root shofet, which is defined as to judge, decide, govern. Most people use judge to render this word, but some scholars have pointed out that textually, the earliest form of this was not just as a judge that you brought your decisions to, but they were rulers, more like chiefs. If you look at the context, most of the shoftiym ended up leading military campaigns against enemies to liberate themselves. Deborah was not just a judge, but also a prophetess. Shemuel, the last shofet, was also a prophet. So, we need to get rid of this limited view of shofet as just judge, and broaden our understanding to include chief, especially in other issues concerning women, such as Deborah. If you realize that Deborah was a chief over all Yisrael, not just a wise woman, sitting by a tree, rendering legal decisions, you can better understand her call for battle and those that responded. This is food for another study, but the implications are clear that the patriarchal only society initiated by the priests and kings, was not in effect at this time.


The purpose of this study is not to go over all the judges that were listed, but to draw attention to the fact that judges appointed by YHWH were to deal with minor issues, rather than the institution of a king/melek.




In Shoftiym [Judges] 6, we see that the sons of Yisrael were doing evil in the sight of YHWH – AGAIN. Midyan had been oppressing the people to the point that many of Yisrael were holing themselves up in dens that they made for themselves and caves in the mountains. Every time  Yisrael would sow crops, Midyan and Amalek would come and destroy the produce. So the sons of Yisrael did what they always do, cried out to YHWH for help. So YHWH sends a prophet to point out the beriyth that was made and repeat the conditions of it, showing that they have broken it and not listened to the voice of YHWH. This prophet/messenger of YHWH comes to Gideon and tells him, “YHWH is with you, mighty warrior.” The messenger further tells him that YHWH is going to use him to deliver Yisrael out of the hands of Midyan. It is important to realize that in this time of Yisrael doing evil in the eyes of YHWH, part of this involved idolatry.


The original name of Gideon, mentioned in chapter 7:1, is that of Yerubaal. It is a common practice in names of many cultures, past and present, to have their patron deities name as part of their own. In scholarly circles, this deity name is referred to as a theophoric name or element. As you can see, the name of Yerubaal does not have the name of YHWH, but rather the Canaanite god Baal. Yerubaal  begins with Yod, Resh. The is no Hebrew root with just these two letters. Some scholars believe some of the names with this prefix is from the Hebrew root yireh – fear. Others speculate that it is a shortened form of Ayin, Yod, Resh which means city or foundation, such as in Yerushalem [Jerusalem]. There are quite a number of names, some people and some places with this prefix. I am inclined to lean toward city/founded. At any rate, this name is something of Baal. The addition of an explanation, towards the end of chapter 6 is bogus in my opinion, contend yarib, is not the proper writing, nor does it explain the numerous other names that have the same prefix, in which contend absolutely will not work. In addition, why would someone coming out of the worship of Baal to YHWH, use a name with Baal to identify himself? I believe it is another example of later writers trying to minimize pagan worship, especially of Baal and the use of Baal in names, in the major players of Yisrael, which will be touched on later.


Then YHWH directs Gideon to throw down the altar to Baal that belonged to his father and to cut down the Asherah [pillar] beside it, which was more likely an Asherah tree/pole, that seemed to go hand in hand with Baal worship. When the people wake up, they see the altar to Baal smashed and the Asherah cut down and find out that it is Gideon, saying that he must die for this. Gideon later goes on to defeat Midyan. Afterward, the men of Yisrael ask Gideon to rule over them.


Shoftiym [ Judges] 8:22, 23, “and the men of yisrael said to gideon, ‘rule over us, both you and your son, and your son's son, for you have delivered us from the hand of midyan [midian].’  23 and gideon said to them, ‘i will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you; YHWH will rule over you.’ “ This is a very important precedent. Many people believe that the book of HaDebariym [Deuteronomy] is one of five book written by the actual hand of Mosheh and that they are consecutive. It is in that book, that we see the restrictions for a king, as though a king were allowed. The time of the Shoftiym, obviously knows of no such book and is appalled by the idea of anyone ruling over the people except YHWH, especially in an inherited capacity. Later, after Gideon has died, Abimelek, an illegitimate son of Gideon, presents himself to the people of Shekem to rule them as king, saying that it is better for one man to rule them than all the sons of Gideon. The citizens of Shekem make him king/melek over them. He then kills off all the others sons of Gideon, except one who escaped. Yotham [a shortened version of Yahutham – YHWH completed] goes to the top of Mountain Geriziym and shouts to the people of Shekem the following parable.



Shoftiym [Judges] 9:7-15,” 7 and they told yotham, and he went and stood on the top of mountain geriziym. and he lifted up his voice and cried, and said to them, listen to me, masters [baaliy, plural form of baal] of shekem, and elohiym will listen to you.  8 going, the trees went forth to anoint a melek [king] over them. and they said to the olive, reign over us.  9 and the olive said to them, should i cease from my fatness, by which they honor elohiym and man, and go to hold sway over the trees?  10 and the trees said to the fig, you come, reign over us.  11 and the fig said to them, should i cease from my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to hold sway over the trees?  12 and the trees said to the vine, you come, reign over us.  13 and the vine said to them, should i cease from my new wine, which rejoices elohiym and men, and go to hold sway over the trees?  14 and all the trees said to the bramble bush, you come, reign over us.  15 and the bramble bush said to the trees, if you truly anoint me melek [king] over you, come seek refuge in my shade. and if not, let fire come out of the bramble bush and burn up the cedars of the lebanon.”


Another indicator of a latter writer or later emendations  are repeated phrases,  “to this day,” and “In those days...” This phrase indicates that the writer is not current, but commenting on what had happened previously. A key to who the writers are, is that they are pro king, by the fact that they say that each man did what was right in his own eyes, as opposed to the wonderful taxation/slavery system of a king. Another indicator shows that they state, much after the fact, that the tribe of Dan was still seeking a place to live. This writer is at least from the time of the monarchy.


In Those Days.....

Shoftiym [Judges] 17:6, “and in those days there was no melek [king] in yisrael; each man did the right in his own eyes.

18:1, “in those days there was no melek [king] in yisrael. and in those days the tribe of the daniy [plural of dan] was seeking an inheritance for itself to inhabit. for to that day it had not fallen to them by inheritance among the tribes of yisrael. 

19:1, “and it happened in those days when there was no melek [king] in yisrael, there was a man, a lewiy [levite], living on the further side of the hills of efrayim [ephraim]. and he took a wife to himself, a concubine out of beyth lechem-yahudah [bethlehem judah]. 

21:25, “in those days there was no melek [king] in yisrael. each man did that which was right in his own eyes.


The next time we see the issue of a king, is when Yisrael demands one.




I Shemuel [Samuel]  8:1-22, “1 and it happened when shemuel was old, he made his sons shoftiym [judges] over yisrael.  2 and the name of his first born was yoel [joel], and the name of his second, abiyah [abiah], shoftiym [judges] in beer sheba.  3 and his sons did not walk in his ways, and turned aside after dishonest gain, and took a bribe, and perverted judgment.  4 and all the elders of yisrael gathered and came in to shemuel, to haramathah [the high place].  5 and they said to him, look, you have become old, and your sons have not walked in your ways. now appoint a melek [king] to us, to judge us, like all the goyim [nations].  6 and the thing was evil in the eyes of shemuel when they said, give to us a melek [king] to judge us. and shemuel prayed to YHWH.  7 and YHWH said to shemuel, listen to the voice of the people, to all that they say to you. for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from reigning over them.  8 according to all the works that they have done from the day i brought them up out of mitsrayim [egypt], even to this day, when they forsook me and served other elohiym, so they are also doing to you.  9 and now listen to their voice. only, protesting you will protest to them, and will declare to them the judgement of the melek [king] who will reign over them.  10 and shemuel spoke all the words of YHWH to the people who were asking a melek [king] from him.  11 and he said, this is the judgement of the melek [king] who will reign over you. he will take your sons and will appoint them for himself among his chariots, and among his horsemen. and they will run before his chariots.  12 and he will appoint for himself heads of thousands, and heads of fifties; and to plow his plowing, and to reap his reaping; and to make weapons for war for him, and weapons for his charioteer.  13 and he will take your daughters for perfumers, and for cooks, and for bakers.  14 and he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive yards, the best, and give them to his servants. 15 and he will tithe your seed and your vineyards, and will give them to his eunuchs and to his servants.  16 and he will take your male slaves and your slave girls, and the best of your young men, and your asses, and will use them for his own work.  17 he will tithe your flock, and you will be servants to him.  18 and you will cry out in that day because of your melek [king] whom you have chosen for yourselves. and YHWH will not answer you in that day.  19 and the people refused to listen to the voice of shemuel, and said, no, but a melek [king] will be over us.  20 and we will be, even we, like all the goyim [nations]. and our melek [king] will judge us and will go out before us and fight our battles.  21 and shemuel heard all the words of the people, and spoke them in the ears of YHWH.  22 and YHWH said to shemuel, listen to their voice, and you will cause a melek [king] to reign over them. and shemuel said to the men of yisrael, each of you go to his city.


I Shemuel [Samuel] 10:18,19, “18 and he said to the sons of yisrael, so says YHWH the elohey of yisrael, i caused yisrael to go up from mitsrayim [egypt] and delivered you from the hand of mitsriym, and from the hand of all the kingdoms who oppressed you.  19 but today you have rejected your elohey who himself is your deliverer from all your evils and your distresses; yet you say to him, but set a melek [king] over us. and now present yourselves before the face of YHWH, by your tribes and by your families.


I Shemuel [Samuel] 12   1 and shemuel said to all yisrael, look, i have heard your voice, to all that you said to me, and i made a melek [king] to reign over you.  2 and now, look, the melek [king] is walking before you, but i am old and gray. and, look, my sons, they are with you. and i have walked before your face from my youth until this day.  3 look, i am here. testify against me before YHWH and before his anointed: whose ox have i taken, and whose ass have i taken, and whom have i offended? whom have i crushed, and from whose hand have i taken a bribe that i might hide my eyes with it; and i will give back to you.  4 and they said, you have not oppressed us, and you have not crushed us, and you have not taken from the hand of any man.  5 and he said to them, YHWH is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand. and they said, he is witness.  6 and shemuel said to the people, it is YHWH who made mosheh and aharon, and who caused your fathers to go up from the land of mitsrayim [egypt].  7 and now stand, and i will plead with you before the face of YHWH regarding all the righteous acts of YHWH which he did with you and with your fathers.  8 when yaaqob [jacob] came into mitsrayim, and your fathers cried to YHWH, then YHWH sent mosheh and aharon; and they brought your fathers out from mitsrayim and made them dwell in this place.  9 and they forgot YHWH their elohey. and he sold them into the hand of sisera, commander of the army of chatsor [hazor], and into the hand of the feleshethiym [philistines], and into the hand of the melek [king] of moab; and they fought against them.  10 and they cried to YHWH and said, we have sinned, for we abandoned YHWH and served the baaliym and the ashtoroth, but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies and we will serve you.  11 and YHWH sent yerubaal [jerubbaal], and bedan, and yefthach [jephthah], and shemuel, and delivered you from the hand of your enemies from all around; and you lived securely.  12 and you saw that nachash the melek [king] of the sons of ammon came against you, and you said to me, no, for a melek [king] will reign over us even though YHWH your elohey was melek [king] over you.  13 and now, look the melek [king] whom you chose, whom you requested. and look YHWH gave a melek [king] over you.  14 if you will fear YHWH and serve him, and listen to his voice, and do not rebel against the mouth of YHWH, then you, both you and also the melek [king] who reigns over you, will follow YHWH your elohey.  15 but if you will not listen to the voice of YHWH, and you rebel against the mouth of YHWH, then the hand of YHWH will be against you and against your fathers.  16 also, now present yourselves and see this great thing that YHWH will do before your eyes.  17 is it not wheat harvest today? i will call to YHWH and he will give sounds and rain. and know and see that your evil is great, that which you have done in the eyes of YHWH, to ask a melek [king] for yourselves.  18 and shemuel called to YHWH. and YHWH gave sounds and rain in that day. and all the people greatly feared YHWH and shemuel.  19 and all the people said to shemuel, pray to YHWH your elohey for your servants, that we may not die, for we have added this evil to all our sins to ask a melek [king] for ourselves.  20 and shemuel said to the people, do not fear. you have done all this evil, only do not turn aside from following YHWH, and serve YHWH with all your heart.  21 and do not turn aside to go after worthless things which do not profit and do not deliver, for they are worthless.  22 for YHWH will not abandon his people, for the sake of his great name. for YHWH undertakes to make you a people for himself.  23 also i, far be it from me from sinning against YHWH, from ceasing to pray for you. but i will instruct you in the way of the good and the upright.  24 only fear YHWH and serve him in truth with all your heart, for see that he has done great things for you.  25 but if you still do evilly, both you and your melek [king] will be swept away.


In the previous passages we see that YHWH stated by asking for a melek the people were rejecting Him. He was their deliverer and yet they still wanted a melek. The people admit that they have sinned and abandoned YHWH. Then in 12:19, the people ask of Shemuel, “and all the people said to shemuel, pray to YHWH your elohey for your servants, that we may not die, for we have added this evil to all our sins to ask a melek [king] for ourselves.” This is clearly not the will of YHWH. Now lets take a look at the differing accounts of the choosing of the first king.



Differing Accounts of Choosing a Melek [King]


There are two accounts blended into one and an additional statement about the appointment of the first king – Shaul [Saul]. I Shemuel [Samuel] 9 and 10:16 that tell a story of some lost donkeys that Shaul sets out to find. After a very circuitous route and still not finding the donkeys, he decideds to consult a seer that happens to be Shemuel the prophet. In this account, YHWH tells him that Shaul is the one and Shemuel anoits him king and send him on his way. In the second portion of the blended version beginning in 10:17, you see Shemuel calling the people of Yisrael to Mitspach, confronts them with their sin and in verse19 tells them to present themselves for a drawing of lots of a sort. The king is chosen first by tribe, then by clans, then by family. The reason I mention by lots of a sort, is that lots has been done before in the Bible and in verse 21 it states that Shaul was chose, yet he is not even present. When they look for him, they find him hidden in the baggage. They describe him as being an impressive man without equal among Yisrael, a head taller than everyone else, that there was no one like him among all the people. In what capacity was Shaul impressive and without equal besides his height? It would be a good bet that he excelled in what people considered manly characteristics, especially in such a situation as needing to be delivered from the Felishthiym [Philistines] and the Beniy Ammon [Sons of Ammon - Ammonites] – strength, athletics and warfare. They did not want an old prophet to lead them in the ways of YHWH, they wanted a warrior to lead them in battle against their enemies that they brought on themselves. They compounded one sin with another.


Another possibility of the choosing of the king is in 12:13. Shemuel is giving them quite a tongue lashing and states, “and now, look the melek [king] whom you chose...” The rest of the verse

States the one that they requested and then another sentence that YHWH gave them a king. Why would Shemuel say that they chose the king, when he already says that they requested one in general? No verse states that the people came to Shemuel and demanded Shaul to be king. This one verse seems to have a mass of contradictions in it.


Now, some of you might ask, even if it was sin, would YHWH really choose and anoint a man to be king when He did not want them to have a king? The possibility exists that YHWH would give them what they asked for, even if it was sin for them to ask. There are examples of YHWH doing just that. One example in BeMidbar [Numbers] 11 shows how tired Yisrael is of manna. This was not the first, nor the last time that they complained about water, bread or meat. BeMidbar 11:13-20, “and to the people say, set apart yourselves for tomrrow, and you have eaten flesh for you have wept in the ears of YHWH, saying, who gives us flesh? for we good in mitsrayim [egypt] , and YHWH has given to you flesh, and you ate.  19 you will not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days.   20 to a month of days, till that it will come out from your nostrils, and it will be to you an abomination; because that  you have loathed YHWH, who,  in your midst, and weep before him, saying, why is this? we have come out of mitsrayim.”  31-35, “31 and a breath journeyed from YHWH, and cut off quails from the sea, and left by the camp, as a day's journey here, and as a day's journey there, around the camp, and about two cubits, on the face of the land.  32 and the people rose all that day, and all the night, and all the day after, and gathered the quails, he who had least had gathered ten homers, and they spread them out for themselves around the camp.  33 the flesh was yet between their teeth, it was not yet cut off, and the anger of YHWH burned among the people, and YHWH struck among the people, a very great striking.  34 and called the name of that place qibroth hathaawah, for there they buried the people who craved.  35 from qibroth hathaawah  the people journeyed to chatseroth, and they were in chatseroth.” 


Other examples are in the prophets where YHWH warns the people not to involve themselves with foreign alliances and they do it anyway, so YHWH tells them that they will come and attack and put them in captivity or that the allied nation will not be able to save them. It is a situation of the short term thinking of man, not realizing what it is they are really getting until it is too late.


Restrictions For The Melek [King]


So now Yisrael has a melek and one that fulfills the foretelling by Shemuel of how much a melek would take from them, tax them. Many textual scholars believe and can prove that the book of HaDebariym [Deuteronomy] was written later, at what time, they are not certain, but after the monarchy began. In the book of HaDebariym you see the restrictions for a melek.


HaDebariym [Deuteronomy] 17:14-20, “ ‘14 when you come into the land which YHWH your elohey is giving to you, and have possessed it, and settled in it; and you will say, let me set a melek [king] over me like all the goyim around me,  15 then you will certainly set a melek [king] over you. you may not give a foreigner the rule over you, one who is not your brother.  16 only, he will not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to turn back to mitsrayim [egypt] so as to multiply horses, since YHWH has said to you, you will not again return in this way any more.  17 and he will not multiply wives to himself, and his heart will not turn aside. and he will not greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.  18 and it will be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he will write for himself a copy of this thorah in a book, from before the kohaniym, the lewiym.  19 and it will be with him, and he will read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear YHWH your elohey, to keep all the words of this thorah and these rules, to do them;  20 so that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or to the left; so that he may prolong his days over his kingdom, he and his sons in the midst of yisrael.’ “


For those of you who read the books of Shemuel and Melekiym [Kings], you can probably guess which king’s excesses were being singled out by these restrictions. Perhaps if I list the excesses next to each restriction, it will be very obvious.


Excesses of Shlomoh [Solomon]


  • only, he will not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to turn back to mitsrayim [egypt] so as to multiply horses – I Melekiym [Kings] 3:1 shows that Shlomoh made an alliance with Pharaoh of Mitsrayim [Egypt] and married his daughter. 4:26 states that Shlomoh had 4000 stalls for chariot horses and 12,000 horses. 10:26 states that Shlomoh accumulated chariots and horses: 1400 chariots and 12,000 horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and with him in Yerushalyim. 10:29 states they imported chariots and horses from Mitsrayim [Egypt].

  • and he will not multiply wives to himself, and his heart will not turn aside – Chapter 11 states that Shlomoh loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter, listing a number of the foreign countries. If you love maps like I do, you will notice a pattern that these countries directly surround him. Perhaps his love was not so much of women as national security and foreign alliances. Verse 3 states he had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. Now even if those numbers were exaggerated and we drop a zero from each, you would still have 70 wives and 30 concubines, which is still a lot. I believe this qualifies as multiplying wives. The following verses speak of how they led him astray in their worship of false gods, which is the second part of the restriction to not multiply wives.

  • and he will not greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. 9:28 states that Shlomoh’s fleet sailed to Ofiyr [Ophir] and brought back 420 talents of gold [16 tons]. 10:14 states the weight of the gold that Shlomoh received yearly was 666 talents [ 25 tons], not including the revenues from merchants, traders and from all the kings of Arabiy and the governors of the land. 10:27 states that the melek made silver as common in Yerushalyim as stones.


Obviously, these excesses would be reason to make some laws and retroactively state that YHWH gave them, knowing they would have a melek. There is a restriction that is not covered by Shlomoh, as far as we know. “then you will certainly set a melek [king] over you. you may not give a foreigner the rule over you, one who is not your brother.” This was the first restriction in the paragraph. I doubt that they would count the mother of foreign birth and therefore the son, because Dawiyd had several foreign wives and sons by them and he himself was part Moab. Perhaps it is not applicable, but then the authors have a habit of taking away and adding to, as YHWH said, the lying pen of the scribes has handled His word falsely. There is an odd matter I have often wondered about. In II Shemuel 12:24, after the child conceived through adultery, between Dawiyd and Bath Sheba, dies at birth,  it says that Dawiyd comforted his wife and she conceived again. They named this child Shlomoh. YHWH loved this child and sent Nathan the prophet to them to say that he is to be named YediydYah [Jedidiah – loved by YHWH]. This is the only time you ever hear that name. If YHWH said that he was to be called YediydYah, why was he then always referred to as Shlomoh? Perhaps there are clues of a foreign ruler, perhaps that restriction has no bearing at all. I am not familiar with any other king of Yisrael or Yahudah [Judah] that had a foreigner to rule them as melek directly, until the Herods. If the reference is to the Herods, then it is very later scribal editing.


Continuing with the excess mentioned above, is the subject of Molech. I Melekiym [Kings] 11:4-9, “4 and it happened, at the time shlomoh was old, his wives turned away his heart after other elohiym, and his heart was not perfect with YHWH, like the heart of his father dawiyd.  5 and shlomoh went after ashthoreth, goddess of the tsidoniym [sidonians], and after milcom, the abomination of the ammoniym [sons of ammon];  6 and shlomoh did evil in the sight of YHWH, and did not go fully after YHWH like his father dawiyd.  7 then shlomoh built a high place for kemosh, the abomination of moab, in the hill that is before yerushalaim, and for molek [molech], the abomination of the sons of ammon;  8 and so he did for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed to their elohey.  9 and YHWH was angry with shlomoh, for his heart had bent away from YHWH, elohey of yisrael who had appeared to him twice,”


The main thing that needs to be addressed here is the fact that for Shlomoh to have married all those women and then built all these altars for them, he had already gone astray from YHWH. His wives did not lead him astray. He not only built these altars for them, Shlomoh was actually worshipping at them. This involved more than sacrifices and burning incense on altars. The worship of “Molek” involves burning your children in the fire. Please do not whitewash this subject in your minds. It is very important to realize exactly what is going on here. Shlomoh was taking his own flesh and blood and while they were alive, burning them to death. This will be explained further on.


This passage has some irregularities. First, Beniy Ammon [Sons of Ammon] and Ammoniym [Ammonites] are the same people. Verse 5 says that Milkom was the abomination of the Ammoniym. Verse 7 says that Molek was the abomination of the Sons of Ammon. Molek and Milkom are the same thing, just as Ammoniym and Sons of Ammon are the same, and I dont mean that Milkom and Molek are the same kind of deities. They are not deities. In the Hebrew, Milkom is written MLKM [mem, lamed, kaf, mem]. In the Hebrew Molek is written MLK [mem, lamed, kaf]. Milkom has an additional mem at the end of the word, that some scholars believe to be a rendering of malkam – their king. Forget the vowel points that change the vowels. they were not devised until the middle ages well after the exile with differing schools using different pronunciation based on their location – dialectal differences. After seeing some Ugaritic texts with the title MLK ‘LM, I am wondering if MLKM – Milkom is actually a contraction of MLK ‘LM melek olam, meaning eternal king.


Now that Milkom/Molek can be seen to be the same, let us look at the more important matter, that of melek [king] and molek [ king]. To better explain this, lets see this in the Hebrew. By the way, I dont use final letters in Hebrew. The Paleo Biblical Hebrew did not have them, so when I render the Biblical Hebrew in the modern Squared Aramaic font, I dont use the modern final letters. Remember, Hebrew is right to left. The first line is the Hebrew. The second line, still from right to left is each letter in the English. Shiyn is an sh and tsadde is ts. The third line is each word transliterated into English, but each word is under the Hebrew, still right to left.  The fourth line is in English.


and to the melek, abomination of sons of ammon


Next I want to show you Molek and Melek in the Hebrew. The words are identical, except for the vowel points, the dots that occur above and under the letters. These vowel points were part of a system devised by Masoretic scribes, as a way to render pronunciations, since the Hebrew is mostly consonants. The system was first begun by Qaraiym [Karaites] around 500 CE [AD to Christians], and expanded upon by the Masoretic scribes from 700 CE to 1100 CE. You can see that the vowel points were added at a very late date. The problem is that scribes did not always render exactly and due to time, foreign influences, territorial dialectal differences and different scribal schools, there is no exact rendering.



Bosheth – Shame


Molech has been traditionally rendered as the name of a foreign god, a name meaning king, but the name was intentionally mismarked or vowel pointed using the vowels of the Hebrew word BOSHETH, which means shame. This was not just done with melek, but was also done with some names that had Baal as part of their original names. The purpose of vowel pointing bosheth was to express their disgust and in some cases it also hid the original source of the disgust. Here are some examples where scribes replaced Baal with bosheth in names. II Shemuel 2:10 lists the name of Ishbosheth, son of Shaul. Yet, I Dibrey HaYamiym [Chronicles] 8:33, in listing the genealogy, cites Gibeon was father to Ner, father to Kish, father to Shaul, father to Eshbaal. There is no Iyshbosheth  listed for all the sons of Shaul. The other sons are Yahunathan [Jonathan] , Malkishua and Abinadab. I Dibrey HaYamiym [Chronicles] 9:39 repeats the same information, listing the 4 sons of Shaul and again, no Iyshbosheth. Another example is the son of Yahunathan [Jonathan], also a son of Shaul. He had a son listed in I Dibrey HaYamiym [Chronicles]  8:34 and 9:40 named Merib Baal. II Shemuel lists the name as Mefiybosheth. Mefiybosheth means from the mouth of shame. Meriyb Baal means advocate of Baal. In the previous account of Gideon/Yerubaal, we see one of his sons Abiymelek. He is mentioned again in the book off II Shemuel 11:21, but here Yerubaal’s name is Yerubosheth.


Lets take a look at the other uses for melek/molek.

  • Wayyiqra [Leviticus] 18:21, “21 your seed you will not give to pass them through to melek/molek, nor will you pollute the name of your elohey; i am YHWH.” 

  • Wayyiqra 20:1-5, “and YHWH spoke to mosheh, saying,  2 and you will say to the sons of yisrael, any man of the sons of yisrael, and of the ger who are living in yisrael, who gives of his seed to melek/molek, dying will die. the people of the land will stone him with stones.  3 and i, i will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from the midst of his people, for he has given of his seed to melek/molek, so as to defile my miqdash [sanctuary], and to pollute my set apart name.  4 and if the people of the land truly hide their eyes from that man, as he gives his seed to melek/molek, so as not to put him to death,  5 then i will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all who go whoring after him, even going whoring after melek/molek from the midst of their people.”

  • During the reforms of the king YoshiYahu [Josiah] it states, II Melekiym [Kings] 23:10, “and he defiled thofeth [topheth] in the valley of the sons of hinnom, so that no man could cause his son and his daughter to pass through the fire of melek/molek.”  This verse is very interesting. If you look at it in the Greek Septuagint, you see that they have spelled Topheth as Tapheth. Is this another case of the vowel points for bosheth? We will see another passage in YeshaYahu [Isaiah] 30 that has a similar situation and discuss Topheth later.

  • YeshaYahu 57:9, “the righteous one perishes, and no man lays it on his heart; and men of mercy are gathered, with none discerning that  from the face of evil the righteous are gathered.  2 he will enter shalom; they will rest on their couches, walking in his uprightness.  3 but you, draw near here, sons of sorceress, seed of the adulterer and playing the whore.  4 on whom are you making sport? on whom do you make a wide mouth and draw out the tongue? are you not children of transgression, a lying seed,  5 being inflamed with baalim under every green tree, slaughtering the children in the torrent beds, under the clefts of the rocks?  6 in the torrent's smoothness is your portion; they, they are your lot; even to them you have poured a drink offering; you have offered a food offering. should i be consoled over these?  7 you have set your couch on a lofty and high mountain; yes, you went up there to sacrifice a sacrifice.  8 and you have set up your memorial behind the door and post. for you uncovered yourself from me and went up; you enlarged your couch; and you cut beriyth [covenant] with them; you loved their couch; at a hand you looked.  9 and you went to the melek/molek/king with oil and multiplied your perfume. and you sent your messengers far away, and lowered yourself to sheol.”  Though this passage does not specifically say that the children were burned, it does state they were slaughtered in the torrent valleys and under the clefts in the rocks. It is important to note that while they are sacrificing their children, their seed, YHWH is calling them children of sorcery and seed of adultery, children of transgression and lying seed.


The last passage for Melek/Molek is in YirmeYahu [Jeremiah] 32:30-35, “for the sons of yisrael and the sons of yahudah [judah] have only done evil in my eyes from their youth. for the sons of yisrael have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, declares YHWH.  31 for this city has been to me a cause of my anger and my wrath from the day that they built it even to this day, that i should remove it from my face;  32 because of all the evil of the sons of yisrael and of the sons of yahudah which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their rulers, their kohaniym [priests], and their nebiyiym [prophets], and the men of yahudah, and those living in yerushalaim [jerusalem].  33 and they have turned their back to me, and not the face; though i taught them, rising up early and teaching, yet they have not listened to receive instruction.  34 but they set their abominations in the beyth [house] on which my name has been called, to defile it.  35 and they built the high places of baal in the valley of ben hinnom,  to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to melek/molek, which i did not command them, nor did it come into my heart, that they should do this detestable thing, to cause yahudah to sin.”  


This passage is very important for a number of reasons. YHWH includes the kings in this list of those that are responsible for the evil, causing Him to be angry. There may be an association here that is linking this burning of their seed to Baal, in verse 35, “to cause theirs sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Melek/Molek.” The most important thing that needs to be addressed here is the statement by YHWH that this was not a command by YHWH, nor did it enter His heart. The reason that I stress this is because of a passage in YeshaYahu that advocates that it is of YHWH in a round about way, which will be dealt with further on.


You can see by the passages that the association of melek and this sacrificing is not about an idol. Archaeology has not produced an idol with inscriptions to a deity named Molek. Texts have not been found with lines about a god Molek. Molek is not a god. Molek is Melek – the KING.





In YeshaYahu [Isaiah] 30:33, we see a very interesting passage, “for thafethah is ordained from yesterday. also, it is prepared for the melek/king [the previous verses are about the king of ashshur – assyria]; he deepened; he widened its pyre; he makes great with fire and wood. the breath of YHWH burns in it like a torrent of brimstone.” This is the only time this word occurs. First, the use of MLK here is vowel pointed for Melek – king, not Molek, the supposed deity that requires burning children alive. Yet, if you look at the context, it is clearly about an altar for burning. The horrifying thing is that this author associates this as being a good thing and that the breath of YHWH provides the fire. They may be speaking of the melek, as being the king of Assyria being burned up by YHWH, but the author is making an association with thafethah – an altar/pyre for burning.


So now that we have exhausted the small number of verses involving the supposed deity Molek, we need to look into Thafeth/Topheth.


Thafeth/Tophet, in Medieval and Modern Hebrew means hell, hellish, because of the fires that were always burning there. Kleins Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language says that Thafeth is related to shafah – to put over a fire and shafath – to place or put over a fire.  There are only 3 passages that deal with Thafeth. The first is II Melekiym 23:10, which we quoted above with the reforms of king YoshiYahu defiling Thafeth so that no one could cause his son or daughter to pass through the fire to the melek/king.  The last are 2 passages in YirmeYahu [Jeremiah].


YirmeYahu [Jeremiah] 7:30-33, “for the sons of yahudah [judah] have done evil in my eyes, says YHWH. they have set their abominations in the beyth [house] on which is called my name, in order to defile it.  31 they have built the high places of the thafeth [thofeth] in the valley of ben hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which i did not command, nor did it come into my heart.  32 so, look, the days come, declares YHWH, when it will no more be called thofeth, or the valley of ben hinnom, but the valley of hahargah [the slaughter/murder]. for they will bury in thofeth from lack of a place.  33 and the bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the heavens, and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away.”


YiremYahu 19:1-15, “so says YHWH, go and buy an earthen jar of a potter, and gather from the elders of the people, and from the elders of the kohaniym [priests].  2 and go out to the valley of ben hinnom by the entry of potsherd gate. and there declare the words that i will speak to you.  3 and say, hear the word of YHWH, kings of yahudah, and those living in yerushalaim [jerusalem]. so says YHWH tsebaoth, the elohey of yisrael, look, i will bring evil on this place by which all who hear it will have tingling ears.  4 because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it to other elohiym [gods] whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of yahudah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents.  5 they have also built the high places of baal,  to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to baal, which i never commanded nor spoke, nor did it come into my heart.  6 so, look, the days come, says YHWH, that this place will be no more called thofeth, or the valley of ben hinnom, but valley of hahargah [the slaughter/murder].  7 and i will make the counsel of yahudah [judah] and yerushalaim [jerusalem] come to nothing in this place. and i will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their nafesh [being]. and i will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the heavens, and for the animals of the earth.  8 and i will make this city a waste and a hissing. everyone who passes by will be amazed and will hiss because of all its plagues.  9 and i will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters. and they will each one eat the flesh of his friend in the siege and distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life will distress them.  10 and you will break the jar before the eyes of the men who go with you,  11 and will say to them, so says YHWH tsebaoth, even so i will break this people and this city, as one breaks the vessel of the potter that cannot be restored again. and they will bury in thofeth, since no place is left to bury.  12 i will do this to this place, says YHWH, and to those living in it, and give this place to be as thofeth.  13 and the bathey [houses] of yerushalaim and the bathey [houses] of the kings of yahudah will be defiled as the place of thofeth, because of all the roofs of the bathey [houses] on which they have burned incense to all the armies of the heavens,  and have poured out drink offerings to other elohiym [gods].  14 then yirmeyahu [jeremiah] came from thofeth, where YHWH had sent him there to foretell. and he stood in the court of the beyth YHWH, and he said to all the people,  15 so says YHWH tsebaoth, the elohey of yisrael, look, i will bring to this city, and on all its towns, all the evil that i have spoken against it, because they have stiffened their necks in order not to hear my words.”


Again, we see the association with the worship of Baal and this burning offspring in the fire, yet this passage does not try to make any association with a made up deity called Molek.   


King’s Killing Sons


There were specific examples of offspring being sacrificed, besides the generalized accounts of kings building altars. 


  • I Melekiym [Kings] 16:34, in the days of Achab [Ahab], the king of Yisrael, “in his days hiel the man of bethel built yericho; he laid its foundation on his first-born abiyram, and he set up its doors on sheguyb his youngest, according to the word of YHWH that he spoke by the hand of yahusha [joshua] ben nun.”  While this technically does not fall under burning, it is what is being called by archaeologist as foundation sacrifices. An example is from Megiddo, where a body of a teenage girl was found in the foundation.

  • Another example is in II Melekiym [Kings] 3:26-27, “and when the king of moab saw that the battle was too strong for him, then he took with him seven hundred men who drew swords to break through to the king of edom. and they were not able.  27 and he took his son, the firstborn who would reign in his place and caused him to go up for a burnt offering on the wall. and there was great wrath against yisrael. and they left him and returned to the land.”

  • II Dibrey HaYamiym [Chronicles] 33:6, of Menashsheh [Manasseh] king of Yahudah [Judah], “and he made his sons to pass through the fire in the valley of ben hinnom, and did magic and divined, and used sorcery, and used mediums and conjurers; he multiplied the doing of the evil in the eyes of YHWH, to provoke him to anger.”


Now this may be a real stupid question, but if you were from Yisrael and Yahudah, fighting against the king of Moab and you see him sacrifice his live son in the fire to win a battle, would you just get angry and go home? Why on earth did they just leave? Could it be that by burning his son to death on the wall, the king of Moab raised the stake, stakes that the kings of Yisrael and Yahudah believed in and felt they could not win against and left? There are cases of battles where people had righteous anger over a situation and fought fiercely and won, but this was not one of them. They just left, leaving the king’s burning of his son to win. In the case of Menashsheh, it states he did not do this to just one son, but sons, plural.


Miykah [Micah] 6:6-8, “6 with what will i come before YHWH, to bow myself before the loftiness of elohey? will i come before him with burnt offerings, with calves, sons of a year?  7 will YHWH be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of torrents of oil? will i give my first born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my being?  8 he has declared to you man, what is good. and what does YHWH require of you, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your elohey?” 


Yechezqel [Ezekiel] 20:21-31, “21 but the sons rebelled against me. they did not walk in my rules, and they did not observe my judgments, to do them, which if a man does them, he will live by them. they defiled my sabbathoth [shabbaths]. then i said i would pour out my fury on them, to fulfill my anger against them in the wilderness.  22 but i withdrew my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be defiled in the eyes of the goyim [nations], from whom i brought them out in their eyes.  23 and i lifted up my hand to them in the wilderness, to scatter them among the goyim and sow them among the lands,  24 because they had not done my judgments and had despised my rules and had defiled my sabbathoth. and their eyes were after the idols of their fathers.  25 therefore i also gave them rules that were not good, and judgments by which they could not live.  26 and i defiled them by their own gifts, by making all that open the womb to cross the fire, so that i might waste them, to the end that they might know that i am YHWH.  27 so speak to the beyth yisrael, son of man, and say to them, so says the lord YHWH, yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, by acting unfaithfully in an act of unfaithfulness against me.  28 when i had brought them into the land for which i lifted up my hand, to give it to them, then they saw every high hill and every leafy tree; and they offered their sacrifices there. and they have their provoking offering there. they also made their soothing aroma there and poured out their drink offerings there.  29 then i said to them, what is the high place to which you go there? and its name is called high place to this day.  30 for this reason, say to the beyth yisrael, so says adonay YHWH, are you being defiled in the way of your fathers? and do you go whoring after their abominations?  31 for when you lift up your gifts, when you pass your sons through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols, even to this day. and i will not be inquired of by you,  beyth yisrael. as i live, declares the lord YHWH, i will not be inquired of by you.”


There are a number of points in this passage from Yechezqel. This writing is set during and just after the time of the exile to Babel. This passing through the fire of children was still going on. While the people may have thought that what they were doing, they could do with YHWH, He obviously, from this passage and all the others, wants no part of this and will not even be inquired of by a people that commit this horrible act. 



Now lets take a wee leap across the Mediterranean Sea here, for a moment. Everything will become clear shortly.




Carthage [Modern Tunisia] was a city founded by Queen Elissar/Elissa [Elishat], in the early 8th century BCE, who fled Tyre [a Phoenician city], when her husband and uncle, the High Priest of Melqart [means king of the city]  was murdered by her brother Pygmalion, in the temple. Melqart is often called the Baal of Tyre. She flees with followers and treasure on ships, across the Mediterranean Sea, to North Africa and establishes Carthage. The patron deity of Carthage was Tanit, a Phoenician lunar goddess. Tanit is the same as the Ugaritic Anat, both of which are consumers of blood and flesh. From the 5th century BCE and on, Tanit is partnered with Baal Hammon. There is archaeological evidence and ancient written sources attesting to child sacrifice forming part of the worship of Tanit and Baal Hammon. Plutarch, Tertullian, Diodorus and Cleitarchus, as well as others, had all written about the child sacrifice by fire of the Carthaginians. One such quote is by the 3rd century BCE, Greek writer Cleitarchus/Kleitarchos,  “Out of reverence for Baal Hammon, the Phoenicians, and especially the Carthaginians, whenever they seek to obtain some great favor, vow one of their children, burning it as a sacrifice to the deity, if they are especially eager to gain success.” 






Though Topheth, in the Bible, is a place outside of Yerushalaim [Jerusalem] where children were burned, the name has been used for other such sites. In Carthage it was used for the area of the temple to Tanit/Anat and the necropolis. Lawrence E. Stager, Professor of Archaeology of Israel and Director of the Semitic Museum at Harvard University, directed excavations of the Carthage Tophet in the 1970’s. Stager and Samuel R. Wolff documented their data in an article titled, “Child Sacrifice At Carthage – Religious Rite or Population Control?” The site was first discovered in the 1920’s. The burials covered a 600 year time period. The archaeologists discovered 9 layers of sacrificial urns, estimated to be 20,000. These urns contained the charred remains of children and animals, mostly sheep [lamb] and goats. While some have tried to say that these children died of natural causes, Stager had them tested and they were healthy, up to the point of being burned. Also, the fact that animal bones, used for substitutions, are also there, there is no doubt that this was for sacrificial purposes. Many of the inscriptions on the urns and monuments describe vows made to the deities, mostly Tanit and/or Baal, by the people. One of the inscriptions for the substitute was, “vita pro vita, sanguis prosanguine, agnum pro vikario,” - meaning life for life, blood for blood, a lamb for a substitute.


Tophets have also been discovered in several sites in North Africa including Hadrumentum, modern day Sousse, Tunisia; 3 sites in Sardinia – Nora, Sulcis and Tharros; Sant’ Antioco [small island SE of Sardinia], Sicily, Motya, a small island west of Sicily; Pozo, Spain; Tyre and Achzic, south of Tyre and 9 miles north of Acco; Tell el-Fara in Atlit, SE of Gaza and Tell el-Ajjul in Gaza. What do all these places have in common – Phoenician settlements with the worship of Tanit/Anat and Baal Hammon. Modern archaeologists and scholars are now calling the mass burial sites of charred children and animal substitutes - tophets. Whether the original tophet was the act, the altar to burn on or the place that the charred remains were buried, no one knows for certain at this point.


The purpose for my including the information about Carthage and the tophet, was to corroborate the little we know from the Bible and shed more light on the situation of what these kings in Yisrael and Yahudah were doing.


Review of Melek/Molek


So lets review what we can glean from the passages of the Bible about Melek/Molek, Topheth and the burning of the children.


  1. All the passages involving “Molek” can actually be used to refer to a sacrifice of or to the melek/king.
  2. Archaeology has never produced an idol or inscription to “Molek”.
  3. Most passages about the burning of children do not say anything about “Molek.”
  4. Some of the passages associate this practice with the Ammoniym/Sons of Ammon, while it is clearly being practiced by other nations as well, so this burning of children  “Molek” is no set patron god of the Ammoniym.
  5. While some kings are recorded as committing this act, whether specifically or generally, other passages attribute it to people or men in general, so it is not specific to melekiym/kings alone.
  6. Some of the passages make an association of this practice with Baal, which is born out by the Phoenician practices archaeologically.
  7. Some of the passages make the associations with first born sons, sons,  and sons and daughters, with no set standard for gender or birth position, also confirmed by archaeology.
  8.  This idolatrous practice was not just adopted by Yisrael [as the northern kingdom], but by Yahudah [southern kingdom] as well. In fact, the major area known as “Topheth” is just outside of Yerushalaim [Jerusalem].



Since the precedents set biblically, shown historically in other writings and seen archaeologically in inscriptions is that these burnings are to cause a deity to answer prayers, whether personal needs or national crisis such as drought, flood, war, famine, etc., you can see the application of the melek/king initiating or calling for the sacrifices on a national level, just as all the other taxes imposed by the kings. Kings, in many cultures, throughout time, have been equated with a priestly position, not just a ruler of people, which is all the more reason to reject the position of a melek in a relationship with YHWH.


Many things of an undesirable nature are hidden in the text, mostly from those not familiar with Hebrew. When you read it in the Hebrew, it is like red flags are waving all over the place. Unfortunately, Christian translators are no different than Jewish scribes in handling the text. They do not wish for certain characters to be maligned, especially if it is an idol of theirs, someone reputed to be the apple/pupil of Gods eye. The following passage is so messed up, it is unbelievable. You can see the hand of some scribes, loyal to Dawiyd, trying to explain a horrible situation by patching other bits of unconnected text to them, to supposedly explain what is going on. If any of you reading this, believe Dawiyd to be a man of YHWH, upright in all his ways, stop reading now, because you will not like a single thing I have to point out. For those of you interested in truth, as horrible as it may be, please continue reading and realize that the point of this walk with YHWH is TRUTH, regardless of where it turns up.




II Shemuel [Samuel] 21:1-14, “and there was a famine in the days of dawiyd [david], three years, year after year. and dawiyd sought the face of YHWH. and YHWH said, it is for shaul [saul] and for his house of blood, because he killed the gibeoniym [gibeonites].  2 and the king called for the gibeoniym and said to them, as to the gibeoniym, they were not of the sons of yisrael, but of the remnant of the amoriy [amorites], and the sons of yisrael had sworn to them, and shaul sought to strike them in his zeal for the sons of yisrael and yahudah.  3 and dawiyd said to the gibeoniym, what will i do for you? and with what will i atone, and you bless the inheritance of YHWH?  4 and the gibeoniym said to him, we will have neither silver nor gold by shaul and by his house. also, we will have no man in yisrael put to death. and he said, what you say, i will do for you.  5 and they said to the king, the man who destroyed us and schemed against us that we be wasted from standing in all the border of yisrael was shaul.  6 let be given to us seven men of his sons to us. and we will expose them to YHWH in gibeah of shaul, the chosen of YHWH. and the king said, i will deliver them.  7 but the king spared mefibosheth ben [son of] yahunathan ben shaul because of the oath of YHWH that was between them, between dawiyd and yahunathan ben shaul.  8 and the king took the two sons of ritsfah [rizpah] the daughter of ayah, whom she bore to shaul, armoniy and mefibosheth. and he took the five sons of michal [some texts have merab, the older daughter of shaul] the daughter of shaul, whom she bore to adriyel ben barzillay the mecholathiy.  9 and he gave them into the hands of the gibeoniym. and they hanged [broke the legs] them on the mountain before YHWH. and the seven fell together. and they were executed in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.  10 and ritsfah the daughter of ayah took sackcloth and stretched it out for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water poured on them out of the heavens. and she did not allow a bird of the heavens to rest on them by day nor the beast of the field by night.  11 and that which ritsfah the daughter of ayah, shaul's concubine, had done was told to dawiyd.  12 and dawiyd went and took the bones of shaul, and the bones of his son yahunathan from the rulers of yabesh [jabesh] gilead, who had stolen them from the plaza of beth-shan, there where the feleshthiym [philistines] hanged them in the day the feleshthiym struck shaul in gilboa.  13 and he brought up the bones of shaul and the bones of his son yahunathan from there, and they gathered up the bones of those hanged.  14 and they buried the bones of shaul and of his son yahunathan in the land of benyamin, in tsela, in the burying place of his father qiysh [kish], and did all that the king had commanded. and afterward elohiym heard prayer for the land.”


First of all, I have to say this, there is no way in hell that YHWH demanded people to be sacrificed to stop a drought, bring rain and benefit a harvest! I could write this in all caps, put it in bold or red text or even all three and could not begin to convey my furiousness at these scribes trying to cover over a pagan sacrifice and attribute it to YHWH. YHWH is adamantly against such things. Now that I have said that, lets break down this passage bit by bit and get to the truth of matters.


  1. A sacrifice of these men was done for the purpose bringing rain, to end the 3 year drought and ensure a good harvest, but it was not the doing of YHWH. More likely the Canaanite god Baal, the giver of rains and the vegetation deity.
  2. The timing represented in this chapter is severely compacted or condensed, causing the weird gaps and transitions, such as a 3 year drought, then rain and the harvest. You dont pray for rain WHEN you are harvesting. Any farmer knows that it will interfere with the harvesting and cause the grain to mold. You want rain before harvests to cause the grain to become plump and ripen properly, not be withered heads if the heads even develop at all. Also, the editor of this chapter brings up the situation of the bones of these executed men, then all the sudden cuts to a situation involving the bones of Shaul and Yahunathan his son, which Dawiyd had nothing to do with, it was all dealt with by the men of Yabesh Gilead, which is another point yet to come. Also involving timing, this chapters whole placement is totally out of place. Which will be dealt with in other points.
  3. In the book of Yahusha [Joshua], chapter 9, you see the people of Gibeon fearing that they will be killed by Yisrael and decide to make a treaty with them. Since YHWH told Yisrael not to make a treaty with any nations that were close, the Gibeoniym deceive Yisrael by dressing in dusty, old clothing, worn sandals, worn out sacks and wine skins, and their food supply was dry and moldy. They wanted to give the appearance that they had traveled quite a distance. Without consulting YHWH, Yahusha makes a beriyth [covenant/treaty] with them. Then afterward YHWH reveals the truth. Once a beriyth is made, it cannot be broken without penalty to the one that broke it. Yahusha knows this and makes them wood cutters and water carriers for the community as punishment for the deception. This is the group of people that is being referenced in this passage that supposedly Shaul decimated. Yet, no where does any verse, any prophet, nothing, refer to Shaul doing any such thing. If he had, it would have been noteworthy. In fact, archaeologically, the opposite is found. In excavations of Gibeon, archaeologists have found a large caches of jar handles with seals on them of names that happen to coincide with names listed for Shauls clans listed in the book of Dibrey HaYamiym [Chronicles]. Shauls clans intermarried with these people, not decimated them, breaking a beriyth.
  4. It is common practice when a power takes over another power, especially involving men, for all the males to be cut off from the deposed man, so that none of his heirs can later claim the throne. This is what is going on with Dawiyd, the wiping out of the males, not any of the females of Shaul. One of the points for the timing in this chapter is that in chapter 9, many chapters before 21, David is said to inquire if there was any left of the House of Shaul that he may show kindness to them. After inquiry, it is found that only Mefibosheth, son of Yahunathan [Jonathan] is left and David has him brought to stay there, a house arrest of sorts. So if in chapter 9 none are left, what is going on with this chapter 21, where 7 males are managed to be available for a rain sacrifice? Things are out of order.


  1. If you look at I Shemuel 24:20-22, you see Dawiyd going up from a cave that Shaul has entered and begins to yell down at him about why he is being pursued by Shaul. After some discourse between the two, Shaul supposedly makes the following statement, “20and now, look, i know that you will certainly reign, and the kingdom of yisrael will be established in your hand.  21 and now, swear to me by YHWH that you will not cut off my seed after me, nor will you destroy my name from the beyth of my father.  22 and dawiyd swore to shaul. and shaul went to his beyth, and dawiyd and his men went up into the stronghold.” So if any of this is true, Dawiyd broke his vow, that is not an allowed thing in the eyes of YHWH, by sacrificing them.
  2. Supposedly this sacrifice was directed because of a sin committed by Shaul. Yet in the book of HaDebariym [Deuteronomy] 24:16, it states that fathers will not be put to death for their childrens sin, nor children for their fathers, each is to die for his own sin. Now, we have a dilemma. If you believe that the first five books are written by Moses and everything in the Bible is the hand of God, with no mistakes, then Dawiyd was guilty of sacrificing these males of Shaul for the sin of Shaul. If on the other hand, you believe as many scholars and I do, that the book of Deuteronomy was written later and many of its points address previous kings reigns, then this command is probably dealing with the sins of Dawiyd, as another is, much like the excesses of Shlomoh, covered earlier.
  3. The other point from the book of HaDebariym is that of the hanging. These men were hung, probably on trees on the mountain. Mountains were common sources of sacrifices and altars. But it says that these men were hung with their legs broken, which is common in crucifixion in Mesopotamia, similar to what was done to Yahusha [Jesus]. According to HaDebariym 21:22,23, “and if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,  23 his body will not remain all night on the tree; but burying you will bury him the same day. for he that is hanged is a reproach to elohiym. and you will not defile your land which YHWH your elohey is giving to you as an inheritance.” So, once again, either Dawiyd broke this when those men were hung and left there with Ritsfa defending the bodies for a period of time, or this verse may have been added because of what Dawiyd was known to have done. Part of the timing issue of this chapter deals with the bodies of these men. When Dawiyd is told about what Ritsfa is doing in defending them, it is written, “and dawiyd went and took the bones of shaul, and the bones of his son yahunathan from the rulers of yabesh [jabesh] gilead, who had stolen them from the plaza of beth-shan, there where the feleshthiym [philistines] hanged them in the day the feleshthiym struck shaul in gilboa.  13 and he brought up the bones of shaul and the bones of his son yahunathan from there, and they gathered up the bones of those hanged.  14 and they buried the bones of shaul and of his son yahunathan in the land of benyamin, in tsela, in the burying place of his father qiysh [kish],” The editor of this pasasage is combining an account of the loyalty of the men of Yabesh Gilead, to that of Dawiyd, when the subject of the bodies comes up. The original account is in I Shemuel 31:8-13, “8 and it happened on the next day, the feleshthiym [philistines] came to strip the wounded. and they found shaul and his three sons fallen down on mount gilboa.  9 and they cut off his head, and stripped off his weapons, and sent into the land of the feleshthiym all around to proclaim the news in the beyth of their idols, and among the people.  10 and they put his weapons in the beyth of ashtaroth [astaroth is a combined name. asherah is one deity and anath also identified with astarte, both goddesses of war, is another. Many scholars believe that the few times that this word is used is either a scribal error or scribal handling of the subject], and they fastened his body on the wall of beth shan.  11 and when they heard about it, the ones living in yabesh gilead, that which the feleshthiym had done to shaul,  12 then all the mighty men rose up, and they went all the night; and they took the body of shaul, and the bodies of his sons, from the wall of beth shan. and they came to yabesh, and burned them there.  13 and they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in yabesh. and they fasted seven days.” The men of Yabesh Gilead are the first town that Shaul rescued when he became king. He was rescuing them from Nachash, king of the Ammoniy [Ammonites], who not only was going to take over the town, but pluck out the right eye of each man, ensuring that they could never fight again, since it removes depth perception. These men that were saved by Shaul, hated what the Feleshthiym had done to disgrace his body and went to rescue it, giving it a proper burial. They FIRST burned the bodies and THEN buried the remaining bone fragments and ash and buried them. So Dawiyd supposedly dug up these bone fragments and ash and took them and buried them elsewhere just when the subject comes up of a similar situation that he has brought about? No, an editor took the earlier version and tacked it on to this account to make Dawiyd appear more honorable, which as we will see, he is far from, if you havent determined that already.
  4. Dawiyd makes the accusation that, “it is for shaul [saul] and for his house of blood, because he killed the gibeoniym [gibeonites].” Shaul is not known anywhere in Scripture for being a man of blood, nor his house, yet Dawiyd is known for his slaughtering. Dawiyd was the leader of about 400 men, at the time  listed in I Shemuel 22. These men are listed as distressed, debtors and malcontents. This number grows later. In II Shemuel 5, Dawiyd takes his men and atacks the Jebusiy [Jebusite] city of Yerushalem [Jerusalem], the fortress of Tsiyon [Zion] and renames it the City of David. There is no listing of any provocation whatsoever, but it is a very strategic location, which is why it was probably attacked. In I Shemuel 27, while Dawiyd is a servant of the Feleshthiym king Achish, Dawiyd and his men went on numerous raiding parties. They raided the Geshuriy, Girziy and the Amalekiy, killing every man, woman and child, “He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, they might inform on us and say, this is what Dawiyd did. And such was the practice as long as he lived in Feleshthiym territory.” But, they kept all the livestock and possessions, all the while lying to the king and saying he was attacking the territory of Yisrael. Dawiyd was a man of blood. This does not even account for all the individual deaths, just mentioning some of the group ones. Now in II Shemuel 16:5-8, you see a very clear association with Dawiyd and this blood. “and king dawiyd came to bahurim. and, look, a man was coming out from there, of the family of the house of shaul; and his name was shimei ben gera. he came out, and he came cursing.  6 and he stoned dawiyd with stones and all the servants of king dawiyd, and all the people, and all the mighty men on his right and on his left.  7 and shimei said this in his cursing, go out. go out, o man of blood, o worthless man.  8 YHWH has turned back on you all the blood of the house of shaul, in whose place you have reigned. and YHWH will give the kingdom into the hand of your son absalom. and, look, you are taken in your mischief, for you are a man of blood.” It was not Shaul that was a house of blood, it was Dawiyd.


All of this was necessary to point out the truth of a matter, that Dawiyd sacrificed males to remove a drought and ensure a plentiful harvest. Whether or not the sacrificed men were of the line of Shaul, is not necessarily true. The editor could be blending the account of the sacrificed men with the account of Dawiyd killing the males of Shaul to prevent one from laying claim to the throne. Killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. What we need to realize here, in the application of melek/king, is that a king can say and do whatever he wants and use a deity to sanction it. Since melekiym often viewed themselves as a priest to their patron deity, they would view themselves as the mouthpiece of that deity and that the kings words are the deities words and therefore uncontested. I do not have the room in this study to list all the priestly connections that show what Dawiyd was setting up for himself, that is for another study, but I will mention a little known verse in II Shemuel 8:18 about the administration of Dawiyd that might catch the interest of some of you, in this matter, “and benayahu ben yahuyada was over both the kerethiy and the pelethiy; and the sons of dawiyd were priests [kohaniym].”


How can someone appoint their sons priest? If they have already set themselves up as a priest [kohen] – the kingship and priesthood in one faultless messiah. I am mocking here of course. I hold no man on a pedestal or make an idol of them, certainly not a king who established his house by blood [Dawiyd has slain his tens of thousands]. What is important to realize in this priestly aspect of the kings, is that the function of a priest is to mediate between a person/people and a deity/deities. When the people demanded a king, they were demanding not just a warrior to fight their battles for them, but a mediator between them and a deity, which is contrary to the system YHWH had set up and relationship that He desires of us.


Foreign Alliances


Along with the kingship, was the matter of foreign alliances. When you have politics, you have alliances. Shlomoh was notorious for all his foreign covenants. As mentioned earlier, many of Shlomoh’s marriages were the result of foreign entanglements, he like his father Dawiyd, married women from territories directly around him, in order to secure his borders. Generally, with an alliance, you have one party stronger than the other who dictates terms and also imposes taxes or tribute like a mafia shake down. Politics demand payment. This is also not what YHWH wanted in a people.


Shemoth [Exodus] 34:10-16, “then he said, look, i am going to make a beriyth. before all your people i will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the goyim; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of YHWH, for it is a fearful thing that i am going to perform with you.  11 be sure to observe what i am commanding you this day, look, i am going to drive out the amoriy before you, and the kenaaniy, the chiththiy, the ferizziy, the chiwwiy and the yebusiy.  12 watch yourself that you make no beriyth with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst.  13 but  you are to tear down their altars and smash their  pillars and cut down their asheriy  14 for you will not prostrate to another el, for YHWH, jealous for his name, el jealous is he;15 otherwise you might make a beriyth with the inhabitants of the land and they would play the whore with their elohey and sacrifice to their elohey, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice,  16 and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the whore with their elohey and cause your sons  to play the whore with their elohey. “


Shemoth [Exodus] 23:32,33, of the inhabitants of the land they were entering, “you will make no beriyth [covenant/treaty/alliance] with them or with their elohey.  33 they will not live in your land, because they will make you sin against me; for if you serve their elohey, it will surely be a snare to you. “


Repeatedly YHWH spoke through His messenger to open the eyes of the people to the fact that they had broken the beriyth with Him and were in fact, observing a beriyth with other people and thereby their deities.


YirmeYahu [Jeremiah] 11:1-8, “the word that came to yirmeyahu from YHWH, saying,  2 hear the words of this beriyth, and speak to the men of yahudah, and to those living in yerushalaim,  3 and say to them, so says YHWH, the elohay of yisrael, cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this beriyth,  4 which i commanded your fathers in the day i brought them out of the land of mitsrayim, from the iron furnace, saying, obey my voice and do them according to all that i command you, so that you will be my people, and i will be to you for elohiym;  5 in order to establish the oath which i swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. then i answered and said, amen, YHWH.  6 and YHWH said to me, declare all these words in the cities of yahudah, and in the streets of yerushalaim, saying, hear the words of this beriyth and do them.  7 for i solemnly warned your fathers in the day i brought them up out of the land of mitsrayim, to this day rising early and warning, saying, obey my voice.  8 yet they did not obey nor stretch out their ear, but each one walked in the stubbornness of their evil heart. and i will bring on them all the words of this beriyth which i commanded them to do, but they did not do.”


YHWH is supposed to be our shield, our strength, our protection in times of trouble. Part of what keeps us out of trouble in the first place is by keeping covenant with YHWH. In the time of the judges, if trouble arose, YHWH would muster what was necessary to deal with the situation. Numbers mean nothing to Him. In the battle against Midyan, Gideon was told that he had too many men, and directed means by which to weed them down to a smaller about. YHWH did not want them to trust in numbers, in military strength, they were to trust Him. This pattern is repeated over and over in the accounts of Yisrael and Yahudah. It is even applied in spiritual matters. If you look at the men chosen by Yahusha as students, they were not the learned men that considered themselves spiritual leaders, experts in Thorah. He chose fishermen, tax collectors, zealots.


Thehillah [Pslam] 20:7, “these trust in chariots, and these in horses, but we will make mention in the name YHWH our elohey.”


YirmeYahu [Jeremiah] 17:5-8, “so says YHWH, cursed is the man who trusts in man, and who makes flesh his arm, and who turns aside his heart from YHWH.  6 for he will be like a juniper in the desert, and will not see when good comes. but he will live in parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited.  7 blessed is the man who trusts in YHWH, and YHWH is his refuge.  8 for he will be like a tree planted by the waters. it sends out its roots by the stream, and it will not fear when the heat comes; but its foliage will be green; and it is not anxious in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit. “


Mitsrayim [Egypt] was one of the main countries that alliances were made with. While the people viewed them as strong, YHWH viewed them as weak.


YeshaYahu [Isaiah] 10:20, “and it will be in that day, the remnant of yisrael, and the escaped ones from the beyth yaaqob [house of jacob], will not any more lean on him who struck him. but they will truly lean on YHWH, the set apart one of yisrael


YeshaYahu 30:1-4, “woe to rebellious sons, declares YHWH, to make counsel, but not from me; and to weave a covering web, but not of my ruach, in order to add sin on sin;  2 who are walking to go down to mitsrayim [egypt], but have not asked at my mouth, to take refuge in the stronghold of pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of mitsrayim.  3 and the stronghold of pharaoh will become a shame to you; and relying on the shadow of mitsrayim will be a disgrace. “


YeshaYahu 31:1-3, “woe to those who go down to mitsrayim [egypt] for help, and lean on horses, and trust on chariotry, because it is great; and in horsemen because they are very strong. but they do not look to the holy one of yisrael, nor seek YHWH.  2 and he also is wise, and brings evil, and will not turn aside his words, but will rise against the beyth [house] of evildoers, and against the help of those who work iniquity.  3 and mitsrayim is a man, and not el. and their horses are flesh, and not ruach breath]. and YHWH stretches out his hand, and both he who helps will fall, and he who is helped will fall; and they will all cease together.“


If you think that an alliance could be made with a country, with no religious influence infecting them, think again. With Mitsrayim as our prime example, let us look at the seal of one king, held in high honor among the Yahudiym [Jews], who had an alliance with them. ChizqiYahu [Hezekiah] is not listed by scripture, as having an alliance with Mitsrayim, in the accounts of Melekiym [Kings] and Dibrey Hayamiym [Chronicles]. It takes the quoted words of an enemy to speak the truth. In II Melekiym [Kings]18, we see Sennacherib [king of Assyria] sending his field commander to Yerushalaim to speak to ChizqiYahu [Hezekiah], 18:19-21, “and the chief of the cupbearers said to them, now say to chizqiyahu, so says the great king, the king of ashshur, what is this hope in which you have trusted?  20 do you say that a mere word of the lips is counsel and strength for battle; now, on whom have you trusted that you have rebelled against me?  21 now, look, you have trusted for yourself on the staff of this broken reed, on mitsrayim [egypt], which if a man lean on it, it will go into his hand and pierce it. so is pharaoh the king of mitsrayim to all those who trust in him.”


Some bullae from seals of ChizqiYahu have been found. For further information on bullae, please see the archaeology section of the site. Below are graphics of the bullae. Please note that on the seals of this king of Yahudah, supposedly loyal to YHWH, are the symbols of Egypt’s deities. On the first is a winged solar beetle with ankh’s on each side. On the second bullae is a winged beetle holding the solar disk. For those of you who might not know, the ankh is the Egyptian key of life and the solar beetle represents Ra as the sun god rolling the sun across the sky each day. 







Yahusha [Jesus]


In the book of Yahuchanan [John] 6, we see that Yahusha believed the people wanted to come and make him king by force. Not wanting to be king, he withdrew to a mountain by himself. Yahusha repeatedly directed people to the kingdom of YHWH. He was not seeking kingship, to dominate the people, he was seeking to restore them to the rightful rule of YHWH. In Matthew 18:1, the students of Yahusha came to him and asked him who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. He called a little child over and told them that unless they changed and became like little children, they would not enter the kingdom of heaven. He said that whoever humbles himself, as the child, would be the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens. Later in chapter 23:8-12, Yahusha is rebuking the Scribes and Farushiym [Pharisees]. He tells them that they are not to be called Rabbi, [Which means my great one, from the root rab, meaning great. In Post Biblical Hebrew times, it was used as master.] for there is only one Master, meaning YHWH, and they are all to be brothers. Nor were they to be called Abba [Abiy] [father, spiritual father], because they were to have but one father, the Father in heaven. Neither were they to be called Manhig, for they had one leader/guide, the Mashiyach [Messiah]. Manhig Yisrael literally means someone who leads the children of Yisrael. It is a title given to an exceptional Rabbi, who is considered one of the spiritual leaders of his generation. Yahusha sums up by saying whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself, will be exalted.


In the book of Mark 10, we see two of the students of Yahusha jockeying for position. They ask Yahusha if one of them can sit on the right and the other on the left hand of his throne in heaven. Yahusha tells them that they have no idea what it is that they are asking and it is not for him to grant. The following passage is the response when the other 10 students hear of the request. Mark 10:41-45, “and when the ten heard, they began to murmur against yaaqob [james] and yahuchanan [john]. and yahusha called them and said to them, you know that they who are accounted the heads of the goyim [gentiles] are masters of them; and their great ones exercise power over them: but it will not be among you. but if any one among you wills to be great, let him be to you the servant; and whoever of you wills to be the first, he will be the servant for all man. for even the son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life the ransom for many.”


Again the stress is on a humble position, the servant of all. This kingdom is not about self-exaltation, it is about humility, service.


When Yahudah [Judah] went into exile and the First Temple was destroyed, with it went the monarchy and the priesthood. The priesthood floundered after the exile, it had become corrupt and high priests had been set up by herodian kings as puppets. In this time period arose a system of the sages, the men of the great assembly. As the rabbis gained the heart of the people, Rabbinic Judaism became more dominant. With the destruction of the Second Temple, Rabbinic Judaism was uncontested. This is the environment that is taking place during the time of Yahusha. The system of rabbis [great ones] still flourishes to this day.




In the New Testament, the book of Revelations, there is an interesting situation. The Church loves this book, yet much of what is written in it condemns its actions. For example, in Revelations 2:6 mentions to the church at Ephesus that they had this in their favor, they hate the practices of the Nicolatians, which the writer also hates. In 2:16, to the church at Pergamum, however, they are rebuked because they have those who hold to the teachings of the Nicolatians. So what are the teachings of the Nicolatians? No one knows for certain, but a clue may be in their name. Niko is Greek for dominion or victory over and laos is Greek for laity, people, the common person, not one of the leaders, one of the sheep. If their teachings have anything to do with their name, and I think they do, then you are seeing a religious system of dominion/rule over the laity. This system pretty much sums up the church. It is not a system of brothers, judges or elders, but of baaliym - masters.


The sad thing is, that after nearly 2000 years, it appears that the majority of Christians, throughout time, all over the world, prefer to be ruled, rather than fellowship with YHWH and submit to His authority. They read what they are told, they believe what they are told, they do what they are told, whether it is the Crusades or the Inquisition or imprisoning scientists, or standing up and saying a rote prayer or when to sit down, when to kneel. They are pretty much sheep. They follow every fad and fashion the church throws at them. They justify anything they are told. Most dont even know what is in the book they claim as the inspired and holy word of God. It is easier to believe what they are told by masters. It is lazier to follow them, instead of a relationship with the Creator.


This may be so foreign to many of you, we have been raised, indoctrinated, to accept such leadership, from religious to secular governments. Yet, Yahusha spoke about brothers, much as the system of elders, chiefs/judges, that one man not rule over others, but to be servants to all, to wash the feet of another. And not only has the church accepted this system, but now, there are groups breaking away from the church/christianity and seeing some truth, they are trying to follow YHWH and His thorah. Unfortunately, many have gotten on to the path of Rabbinic Judaism in the process, adopting the clothes, the speech, the practices and going further on this path, too many have denied the Mashiyach altogether.


A rabbi is trained at a yeshiva. When he has completed his training, he receives smiykah, the laying on of hands of rabbis, to pass on the blessing. It is like an ordination for pastors, priests and preachers. Only a rabbi can give smiykah. Now, we have numerous men, most of which were Christian pastors and such, who call themselves Messianic or some other designation of a Hebraic origin. They are calling themselves by the title of Rabbi [Great One]. They are setting themselves above the people and most of them are not even Jewish by birth or by conversion. They have never been trained at a yeshiva and have not had a rabbi give them smiykah, yet they have stolen the title, as if that gives them credibility. This infuriates Rabbinic Judaism, a created system.  I find it ironic that one group of baaliym [masters] is upset at the usurpation of practices by another group of baaliym, when the first group adopted so many practices of Babel when they were in captivity and adhere to them to this day. What false religious system is next to be adopted as a means of lording over others? Perhaps going on this road to the more ancient ways, some will get onto the Canaanite path and be real baaliym!


YirmeYahu 17:5, “so says YHWH, cursed is the man who trusts in man, and who makes flesh his arm, and who turns aside his heart from YHWH.”




Shepherds are sometimes used in the same capacity as shoftiym/judges. A shepherd [raah – to pasture, tend, graze, led, guide, rule.] As a shepherd leads and guides his flocks, a shepherd can lead and guide a group of people. YirmeYahu the prophet likened himself in this capacity, 17:16, “and i have not hurried away from shepherding after you, nor have i desired the woeful day. you surely know that the utterance of my lips was before your face.” In this sense, the presbyters of the New Testament, were shepherds. Though what came of the Presbyterians was not a group of shepherds, but the same one man leadership over others, that all other denominations have.


YirmeYahu [Jeremiah] 3:13-15, “only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have rebelled against YHWH your elohay and have scattered your ways to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed my voice, says YHWH.  14 return, backsliding sons, declares YHWH; for i am baal [master] over you. and i will take you, one from a city, and two from a family, and i will bring you to tsiyon [zion].  15 and i will give you shepherds according to my heart, who will shepherd you with knowledge and understanding.”


Not all the shepherds were upright. Always with man, there are those that seek to rule for profit with no concern for those they are lording it over. These are referred to as the wicked shepherds. They do not tend the sheep with pasture, water and healing, instead they feed on the very flock that should be shepherded.


YirmeYahu 23:1-4, “woe to shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, says YHWH.  2 because of this, so says YHWH the elohey of yisrael against the shepherds who shepherd my people, you have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and have not visited them. look, i will visit on you the evil of your doings, says YHWH.  3 and i will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where i have driven them there, and i will bring them again to their fold. and they will be fruitful and multiply.  4 and i will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them. and they will fear no more, nor be terrified; nor will they be missing anything, says YHWH.  ”


YirmeYahu 25:34-38, “howl, shepherds, and cry, and roll in ashes, leaders of the flock. for the days of your slaughter and of your scatterings are fulfilled, and you will fall like a desirable vessel.  35 and refuge has perished from the shepherds, and escape from the leaders of the flock.  36 the sound of the cry of the shepherds, and the howling from the leaders of the flock will be heard. For YHWH is spoiling their pasture.  37 and the peaceful pastures are devastated, because of the glow of the anger of YHWH.  38 like the young lion, he has left his den; for their land is a waste because of the glow of the oppressor, and because of his flowing anger.”


YeshaYahu [Isaiah] 56:10-12, “his watchmen are blind; they all do not know; they are all dumb dogs; they cannot bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber;  11 yes, dogs greedy of soul; they do not know satisfaction. and they are shepherds; they do not know to discern; they all look to their own way, each one for his own gain, from his own end, saying,  12 come, and let me bring wine, and let us gulp down fermented drink; and tomorrow will be as this day, great, exceedingly abundant.”


Yechezqel [Ezekiel] 34:1-16, “and the word of YHWH was to me, saying,  2 son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of yisrael. prophesy and say to them, to the shepherds, so says the adonay [lord] YHWH, woe to the shepherds of yisrael who are feeding themselves. should not the shepherds feed the flock?  3 you eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you sacrifice the fat ones, and you do not feed the flock.  4 you have not made the weak strong; and you have not healed the sick, and you have not bound up the broken. and the banished have not been brought back, and you have not sought the lost, but you rule them with force and with harshness.  5 and they were scattered for lack of a shepherd. and they became food to all the beasts of the field when they were scattered.  6 my sheep strayed through all the mountains and on every high hill. and my sheep were scattered on all the face of the earth, and none searched, and none sought for them.  7 for this reason, shepherds, hear the word of YHWH,  8 as i live, declares the adonay YHWH, surely because my sheep became a prey, and my sheep became food for all the beasts of the field, from not having a shepherd, and because my shepherds did not search for my sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed the flock,  9 so,  shepherds, hear the word of YHWH,  10 so says the adonay YHWH, look, i am against the shepherds, and i will require my sheep from their hand and cause them to cease from pasturing the sheep. and the shepherds will no longer feed themselves, for i will deliver my sheep from their mouth, and they will not be food to devour.  11 for so says the adonay YHWH, look, i myself will search for my sheep, and seek them out.  12 as a shepherd seeks his flock in the day that he is among his scattered sheep, so i will seek out my sheep and will deliver them from all the places where they were scattered in a day of cloud, and thick cloud.  13 and i will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the lands, and i will bring them to their land and feed them on the mountains of yisrael, by the ravines, and in all the dwelling places of the land.  14 i, even i, will feed them in a good pasture, and on the high mountains of yisrael their fold will be. they will lie there in a good fold, and they will feed in a fat pasture, all the mountains of yisrael.  15 i will feed my sheep, and i will make them lie down, declares the adonay YHWH.  16 i will seek the lost, and i will return the banished. and i will bind up the broken, and i will make the weak strong. but i will destroy the fat and the strong, i will feed them with judgment.”


Of course, we have the perfect example of a righteous shepherd in YHWH. The inspiration for Thehillah [Psalm] 23, “YHWH is my shepherd; i will not lack.  2 he makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me to waters of rest;  3 he restores my nafesh [being]; he guides me in paths of righteousness for the sake of his name.  4 when i walk through the valley of the shadow of death i will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  5 you prepare a table for me before ones vexing me; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.  6 surely, goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life; and i will dwell in the beyth YHWH for as long as my days.”




Shoftiym/Judges Returned As At the Beginning


YHWH speaks much in the book of Hoshea about Yisrael’s abandonment of Him, even addressing the fact that they chose a king over Him, that they had abandoned the system of judges. Hoshea 8:4, “they have set up kings, but not by me. they have made rulers, but i did not know. they made images for themselves with their silver and their gold, so that they may be cut off. “ Hoshea 13:9-12, “yisrael, you are destroyed, but your help is in me.  10 where is your melek/king now, that he may save you in all your cities? and where are your judges of whom you said, give to me a king and princes?  11 i gave to you a king in my anger, and took him away in my fury.  12 the iniquity of efrayim [ephraim] is bound up; his sin is hidden.”


YeshaYahu [Isaiah] 1:21-27, “ ‘21  oh how the faithful city has become a whore. she was full of justice; righteousness lodged in it. but now, murderers.  22 your silver has become dross; your wine is diluted with water.  23 your princes are rebellious and companions of thieves. everyone loves a bribe, and is pursuing rewards. they do not judge the orphan, nor does the cause of the widow come to them,  24 and says the adon, YHWH tsebaoth, the mighty one of yisrael, alas. i will be eased of my foes, and avenge myself of my enemies.  25 and i will return my hand on you, and refine your dross, as with lye, and turn aside all your alloy.  26 and i will return your shoftiym [judges] as at the first; and your counselors, as at the beginning; then you will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city.  27 tsiyon [zion] will be redeemed with justice, and her returning ones with righteousness. ‘ “


What are some of the teachings of YHWH that are repeated over and over; in the Tanak and the Testimonies of Yahusha? This is a summation of the role of a shofet/judge – YirmeYahu 22:3, “so says YHWH, do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one robbed from hand of the oppressor. and do not oppress the ger, the widow, or the orphan, and do not do violence nor shed innocent blood in this place. “ In MaththiYahu [Matthew] 22:37-40, an “expert” in the thorah asked Yahusha what was the greatest commandment and he replied, “you will love YHWH your elohey with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your strength, and with all your mind. this is the commandment, the great and the first. and the second is like to it, that you will love your neighbor as yourself. on these two commandments hang the thorah [law] and the nebiyiym [prophets].”


While I eagerly await a time of righteous judges ruling the assembly of those that follow YHWH, instead of a false deity; instead of a king, emperor, president, prime minister as a mediator; instead of a rabbi, priest, kalif [leader of Islam], pastor leading spiritual matters, I am more eager for a time of each person having such a relationship with YHWH that not even the judges are necessary. 


YirmeYahu [Jeremiah] 31:31-34, “look, the days come, says YHWH, that i will cut a restored beriyth [covenant] with the beyth yisrael and with the beyth yahudah,  32 not according to the beriyth that i cut with their fathers in the day i took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of mitsrayim [egypt], which beriyth of mine they broke, although i was a baal [master] to them, says YHWH.  33 but this will be the beriyth that i will cut with the beyth yisrael, after those days, declares YHWH, i will put my thorath [teachings/laws] in their inward parts, and i will write it on their hearts; and i will be to them for elohiym [god], and they will be my people.  34 and they will no longer each man teach his neighbor, and each man his brother, saying, know YHWH. for they will all know me, from the least of them even to the greatest of them, declares YHWH. for i will forgive their iniquity, and i will remember their sins no more.”

Kathryn QannaYahu