Elisha and Floating Iron


In 2 Kings 6:1-7, there is an odd, seemingly random story where Elisha is able to make iron float on water. I’ve been reading for hours about this story. Virtually everyone says this was a miracle performed by Elisha. But, I could not find anyone that satisfactorily explained what the miracle was.

Why did Elisha perform this miracle?

What does this miracle have to do with Jesus?


Elisha and the sons of the prophets are the characters in this story.

Elisha means “God is salvation,” “God the savior,” or “salvation of my God.” Therefore, I believe Elisha is a type of Jesus in this story.

Revelation 19:10 says, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” So, a prophet is one who testifies of Jesus. The thrust of each Old Testament prophecy is Jesus. And, all the books of prophecy in the Old Testament are about Jesus. Jesus says this in John 5:39-40 and Luke 24.

The phrase “sons of the prophets” is found 12 times in the Bible. It occurs 11 times in the Old Testament, all in the books of 1 and 2 Kings. The phrase occurs one time in the New Testament in Acts 3:25. It is used to describe those that believe in the Lord and his covenant.

Therefore, the sons of the prophets are a picture of the believers.


The reasons the sons of the prophets came to Elisha was “the place were we dwell under you charge is too small for us.” Let’s look at some of these words to see what the inspiration of the Spirit is.

The Hebrew word for place is maqom. This is a generic word for place but is often used with other words to describe a holy or sacred place. Maqom comes from a root word meaning to rise, arise; to get up, stand up; to come to fruition; to endure; to belong to; to stay fixed.

The Hebrew word for dwell is yashab. It means to dwell; to marry; to sit, sit down, remain sitting; to be inhabited.

“Under your charge” is a phrase made of two Hebrew words that literally mean “your head.”

The Hebrew word for small is sarar, which literally means to wrap, envelop, tie/lock up; to be cramped, restricted, hampered, constricted.

We, the church, dwell with Christ and are married to him. He is our head and we are his body. We are to arise, to grow up, to come to fruition, “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13) But, as we are growing into Christ are dwelling place can become cramped.


So the sons of the prophets said, “Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” (2 Kings 6:2)

The Hebrew word for log literally means beam. The sons of the prophets are going to go the Jordan where each one of them is going to cut down a beam that can be used to make a larger dwelling place for them. When they got to the Jordan, they cut down trees to get their beams.

What are these trees that were cut down into beams to expand the dwelling place?

Psalm 1 says that the blessed man “is like a tree planted by streams of water.” Jeremiah 17:8 says virtually the same thing.

Trees are symbolic of people in the Bible. But, these trees by the Jordan that are going to be cut down for beams to make a larger dwelling place symbolize the sons of the prophets themselves.

These trees are symbolic of believers themselves. In order to make more room to be under Christ’s headship, each person has to be cut down. The flesh has to be crucified. We must pick up our own cross. We must die daily. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

As we humble ourselves, cutting ourselves down, we make a larger dwelling place for all of us to grow together “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”


Each person is cut down there own beam. They cut down their own tree to get their own beam with iron.

Iron symbolizes many things in the Bible. But, here I believe it symbolizes power, strength, and irresistibility. Because the iron is being used to cut down are our tree to make a beam for a larger dwelling place for Christ, I believe the iron – the Hebrew actually just says iron with no word for tool or axe – symbolizes the word of God, Jesus.

Psalm 1 says the blessed man that is like a tree planted by streams of water is blessed because “his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” The law of Jesus if love. So, we cut down our own tree to make a beam for a larger dwelling place for Christ by meditating on his sacrificial, self-giving.

Interestingly, Numbers 35:16 says that if you struck someone down with an iron object so that he died then you were a murderer. So, we are not to use the strength and power of the word to cut others down, only ourselves. We apply the word internally to our hearts so that the body of Christ can grow larger.


The iron that we cut down our tree with is borrowed. In other words, the word is not ours. It belongs to God, but he lends the word to us through the Spirit. The Old Testament says that if you borrow something without returning it then you need to make full restitution.

The name Jordan means descending. So,the borrowed iron is descending, which is a picture of Jesus, the word of God, going down to hell for us. But, if he was lost, how could we ever make restitution for the son of God.


So, Elisha throws a stick in the water and makes the iron float. I believe the stick is a picture of Christ, the branch that was cut off. He goes down to retrieve the word which we had lost in the muddy, murky waters of the Jordan. Jesus makes it float so that we don’t have to go to down to hell to make restitution ourselves. He reconciles us to God.

So, Elisha said to “Take it up.” The word take here can mean exalt or raise up. So, once the word of God has come back from his descent into hell, we exalt him.

All of this is done to enlarge the dwelling place of God with men.

I’m sure there are many that would say this is not a correct interpretation, but this is what the Spirit showed me as I asked what this miracle was about.

How Do We Keep From Being Sold Under Sin?


In Romans 7:14, Paul said, “I am of the flesh, sold under sin.”

Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all sin by desiring to be the god of our lives, knowing good and evil. This is how we sell ourselves into the slavery of sin.

Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” Whether we want to admit it or not, we all know that when we sin we earn death. We have built up a record of debt through our sin.

But, Colossians 2:13-14 says, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

Therefore, Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “Since therefore the children share in the flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

While Christ’s death on the cross instantly freed us from our fear of death that subjected us to lifelong slavery, the effect of Christ’s victory works itself out through a process in our lives.

So, how do we keep from being “sold under sin?”

2 Kings 4:1-7 is a story of a widow whose husband had died, leaving her with to children. Because she had no income, she had built up a debt with a creditor. to pay the debt, the creditor was going to take her two children as his slaves. Spiritually, the widow’s situation pictures the selling of ourselves under sin to the fear of death and lifelong slavery.

But, we find our answer to our problem of being sold to sin in Elijah’s instructions to the widow:

  1. Inventory what you have
  2. Go outside and borrow empty vessels
  3. Pour what you have into the empty vessels
  4. Surrender your increase to pay your debts
  5. Live on the rest

When the widow came to Elisha with her problem with the creditor, Elisha asked her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” (2 Kings 4:2) The first step Elisha gave the widow was to inventory what she had in her possession.

The widow responded, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” The Hebrew word for jar is asuk. It literally means a small jar, even a flask. The widow was confessing she didn’t have much, certainly not enough to pay here creditor.

In Matthew 14:17, when Jesus asked the disciples to give the 5,000 something to eat, the disciples responded in a similar manner, saying “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” The disciples were confessing they didn’t have much, certainly not enough to feed the 5,000.

In a second, nearly identical encounter in Matthew 15, the disciples asked Jesus, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” The disciples were asking Jesus a similar question to the one the widow asked Elisha. What are we going to do in a situation where the odds seem against us?

Jesus asked the disciples, “How many loaves do you have?” Just like Elisha did with the widow, Jesus told the disciples to take inventory of what they had.

The disciples responded, “Seven, and a few small fish.” Just like the widow in 2 Kings 4, the disciples answered with how little they had.

In 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, Paul said, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay.”

The widow had a jar, a flask, oil. According to Paul, we are jars of clay that contain the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But, what is inside of us? The Holy Spirit, who is symbolized by oil in scripture. So, we see that the inventory that the widow had in her house – jar of oil – is a picture of the inventory that we have – the Holy Spirit inside of us.


After the widow took stock of what she had, Elisha said to her, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few.”

The widow had just one jar of oil in her house. In the same way, we have only what we know of the Holy Spirit and life with Christ. So, in order to keep ourselves from being sold under sin, we need to go outside of ourselves. We need to see and learn what others have from the Holy Spirit and Christ.

Therefore, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”

In Philippians 3:17, Paul said, “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.”

And, in 2 Timothy 3:14, Paul said, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you have learned it.”

We can think of a single jar or vessel as just one component of life found in heart. But, there are many components, many jars, many parts of life in our hearts, that we need the Spirit in to keep ourselves from being sold under sin. Therefore, Paul makes the point over and over that we have to go outside of ourselves and find others who more of these jars filled. That’s precisely why Paul says to imitate him as he imitates Christ.

The Hebrew word borrow also means ask. So, we need to ask those we trying to imitate for the parts of our hearts, the jars, that need to be filled.

But, notice carefully that we are to ask for empty vessels. We can’t find new parts of our hearts to be filled and fill them with someone else’s anointing of the Spirit, someone else’s oil.


Once we have borrowed empty vessels, or found the parts of our hearts that need filling, Elisha told the widow, “Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.”

We pour the oil from the one flask we have, the Spirit from one part of our heart into the empty parts, through prayer.

In Matthew 6:6, Jesus said, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Therefore, through the Spirit we pour out we have of Christ in our hearts. We pray what Christ prays, his word. As we pour out what the word of Christ that we have to the Father through the Spirit, he fills the empty parts of our hearts. And, as many empty parts of our hearts we set before the Father, he will fill them. God will reward us.

Ephesians 3:17-19 says, “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 5:18 says, “Be filled with the Spirit.”

Colossians 1:9 says, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”


When the widow had filled all the empty, borrowed vessels, the oil stopped flowing. She came and told Elisha. Elisha said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts.”

The Hebrew word for sell can also mean surrender. I believe that would be the better translation, or the inspired translation, here. For, if we can consider the oil as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, then we cannot sell the Holy Spirit. The Spirit cannot be bought, therefore he cannot be sold.

Acts 8:18-21 says, “Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ But Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part not lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.'”

Nor are we to sell what God has given us in a way that we are to benefit. This was the problem for Ananias and Sapphira. Therefore, in Acts 5:3-4, Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.”

Ananias and Sapphira tried to keep part of what they had been blessed with when they sold it. But, this was in direct contrast to the other disciples. Acts 4:32, 34-37 says, “Now the full number of those who believe were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common…There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement, a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” These disciples weren’t just selling what they had. No, they were surrendering what they had been blessed with for the benefit of others.”

This is true of spiritual blessings as well.

Jesus said in Matthew 10:8, “You received without paying; give without pay.”

Acts 3:6 says, “But Peter said, ‘I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.”

1 Corinthians 14:26 says, “When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.”


After her debts were paid, Elisha told the widow, “You and your sons can live on the rest.”

We are to surrender the Holy Spirit, the gift, that we have received. But, we still have parts of heart to be filled, the empty vessels that we borrowed from our neighbors. These empty vessels can be filled over and over again.

I’m not a Greek scholar, but my understanding is that Paul’s charge “be filled with the Spirit” in Ephesians 5:18 is more accurately translated “be being filled with the Spirit” or “keep on being filled with the Spirit.” The Spirit’s filling is on ongoing, continuous action. This is how we can surrender the Spirit that has been poured into us to pay our debts yet still be able to live on the rest.

Or, as Jesus said in John 7:37-38, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”

So, if we follow the five steps that Elisha laid out, then we will keep ourselves from being “sold under sin.”

Unless You Repent, You Will Perish


A failure to repent will cause you to perish.

At the end of 1 Kings, we read that Ahaziah went in all the ways of his father Ahab. 1 Kings 22:53 says, “He served Baal and worshiped him.”

So, when he was sick, Ahaziah inquired of Baal-zebub, god of Ekron, whether or not he would recover. In 1 Kings 2:3, Elijah was told to ask Ahaziah, “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?” Even though Ahaziah had served and worshiped Baal, his sickness was an opportunity to repent and turn to the Lord.

But, Ahaziah would not take that opportunity. Verse 4 says, “Now thus says the Lord, You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.” By serving and worshiping Baal, Ahaziah committed spiritual adultery with the god of Ekron, having gone up to a bed. Because Ahaziah would not come down, would not repent, he would die.

This brings to mind Jesus’ words in Luke 13:3, which he repeats in verse 5, “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will likewise perish.”

What is the connection between Ahaziah and Jesus’ statement in Luke 13:3, 5?

And, what does it mean to perish?


The name Ahaziah means Yahweh has grasped or upheld of the Lord. This is quite ironic since the first account of Ahaziah says he “fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick.” (2 Kings 1:2)

I believe the key word to connect this account to Jesus’ statement is lattice. The Hebrew word for lattice is sebakah. It is used just 16 times in the Old Testament. Every single time but one this word is used in reference to the latticework that was around the capital on top of the two pillars of bronze in the temple that Solomon built.

Therefore, Ahaziah’s falling through the lattice to sickness is connected to these two towers in the temple. These two pillars were made of bronze and 18 cubits tall.


In Luke 13, Jesus is told about some Galileans who suffered at the hand of Pilate when he mixed their blood with the blood of their sacrifices. In verse 2, Jesus said, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered this way?”

Jesus asked the question precisely because the sin of these Galileans wasn’t any worse than any other Galilean. But, Jesus still said, “Unless you repent, you will also likewise perish.” They wouldn’t perish because they didn’t repent.

Then, Jesus makes a curious statement in verses 4 and 5, “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” So, Jesus mention a tower, or a pillar, and the number 18, seemingly out of nowhere.

Why 18 people?

The first mention of eighteen is in Judges 3:14, which says, “And the people of ISrael served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.”

The next mention of eighteen is in Judges 10:8, which says, “For eighteen years they [the Philistines and the Ammonites] oppressed all the people of Israel.”

2 Chronicles 36:9 says, “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.”

All of these uses of 18 refer to oppression. Even the pillars in the temple that were 18 cubits were made of bronze, symbolizing the judgment or oppression of Satan.

So, Luke 13 uses the number 18 three separate times. The first is in reference to the people killed by the tower of Siloam.

The second is in Luke 13:11, which says, “And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not full straighten herself.” In other words, she was oppressed.

In the third use, Jesus references this woman, saying, “And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” So, Jesus links the number 18 with the oppression of Satan that he comes to loose us from.

In each of the three events in Luke 13 – the blood of the Galileans mingled with the blood of their sacrifices, the tower of Siloam falling on people, the woman who had a disabling spirit – the oppression that people were under was down to them, not because their sins were worse than any other.

Yet, Jesus says, “Unless you repent, you will likewise perish.”


Because whenever we suffer under oppression of any form, we need to turn the Lord and not something else. And, odds are, if we do not turn to the Lord, we will turn to something else and perish.

This is exactly what Elijah was told to ask Ahaziah – is it because God is not in Israel that you inquire of Baal-zebub?


For most of us, our minds have been conditioned to read the word persih and think of death, complete destruction, eternal punishment in hell. But, I don’t think that is what Jesus means.


Because in the very same chapter of Luke, Jesus uses the same Greek word for perish in regard to himself. In Luke 13:33, Jesus said, “Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.” Jesus clearly isn’t using this word in the sense of complete or eternal destruction. He is certainly using in it in terms of oppression and likely using it in terms of his own death.

But, three times in the gospel of John Jesus uses this word perish in connection with eternal life. Jesus uses this word in contrast to eternal life. And, eternal life is used to speak of the quality of God’s life that we can have now when we believe in Jesus. Therefore, to perish is to not have God’s life now in this life.

In John 3:16, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

In John 6:27, Jesus said, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.”

In John 10:28, Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

But, even if some should perish, Jesus has been “appointed heir of all things” by God (Hebrews 1:2). In order for Jesus to inherit all things, and let’s remember he made all things, the whole universe, then nothing can be eternally, fully, completely destroyed. But, all things will be purified.

Therefore, 2 Peter 3:9-10 says, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that done on it will be exposed.” Peter goes on to say that “the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn.”

This burning of the heavens and the earth is the full and final purification of them. So, “according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

So, Jesus says if we do not repent then we will perish. As we suffer under oppression, we need to repent so we can experience eternal life right now. If we do not repent, then we will suffer God’s purifying and cleansing fire, which, even though it reconciles us to God, sounds very painful.

Selling All for the Word of God


Will you sell everything, your possessions and your self, for the word of God?

That’s the word of God, as in Jesus. Not the Bible.

This is the question that we are faced with in 1 Kings 21. The Spirit asks us if we sell all our possessions for the the word of God, Jesus.


1 Kings 21:1 says that Naboth was a Jezreelite, and he had a vineyard in Jezreel.

The name Naboth means fruits, words, prophecies, or a sprout.

Jezreel means God sows or he will be sown of God.

I believe we can see Naboth as a picture of Jesus. Jesus is the word of God. He only spoke the words of God.

Like Naboth, Jesus was a Jezreelite, one that was sown by God. In John 12:24, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”


The vineyard of Naboth was right next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. The palace is a picture of our heart, which is the kingdom that we rule.

Because Naboth’s vineyard was right next to Ahab’s palace, we see that Jesus, the word of God, is always near us.


In 1 Kings 21:2, Ahab says to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” Ahab wanted to exchange Naboth’s vineyard, land that was very valuable, for a vegetable garden, which was worth much less.

Also, vineyard’s were on hills or mountains. Therefore, they were watered by God. But, the Hebrew word for vegetable is used just three times in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 11:10 says, “For the land that you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it, like a garden of vegetables.” Vegetable gardens required lots of work from men to irrigate them.

If Naboth wouldn’t trade his vineyard for the vegetable garden, then Ahab offered to buy it for money. But, Ahab was willing to pay just its value in money. Ahab would give Naboth what it was worth.


Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.”

Ahab offered to buy Naboth’s vineyard, but he was only willing to give Naboth its value in money. But, that’s not how we are to buy truth, the word of God.

In Matthew 13:44, Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

Ahab was only willing to give up something of equal or lesser value for Naboth’s vineyard even though he had an entire palace right next to the vineyard. He certainly was not willing to sell all he had.

We can see ourselves in this. Jesus, the word of God, is very near our hearts, our palace, our kingdom. But, we often try to give up a few things that aren’t that valuable to us to get his access to his fruits, his vineyard, his word, his truth. Instead, we need to be willing to give up all for the treasures of wisdom that Christ has.

What Does It Mean that Elijah Ran for His Life from Jezebel?


“Then he was afraid, and he arose, and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.” – 1 Kings 19:3

Ahab had told Jezebel that Elijah had killed the 450 prophets of Baal. So, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah saying that she would make his life as the life of the 450 prophets of Baal. In other words, she would kill him.

It’s then that we get this strange sentence in 1 Kings 19:3.

Elijah is a type of Jesus. Do we see Jesus fleeing in fear from his enemies? Does Jesus run for his life? Or is something else going on here?


In yesterday’s post, Who Is the Troubler (Entangler) of Israel?, I wrote about the challenge presented by Elijah to the 450 prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. This challenge is symbolic of the crucifixion of Jesus.

So, in 1 Kings 19:2, Jezebel sent word to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.”

Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, which means “with Baal.” The name Jezebel has a number of possible meanings, one of which is “exalted by Baal.” Therefore, we can see that Jezebel is with and exalted by the god of this world.

Since we just saw Elijah foreshadow the crucifixion of Christ, Jezebel’s statement could be read as Satan’s vow to take Jesus’ life while he was in the grave. For, Jezebel said she kill Elijah by this time tomorrow.

Of course, Jezebel did not do this. And, Satan was not able to take Jesus’ life while he was in the grave. Peter preached in Acts 2:24, “God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.”

The grave could not hold Jesus. And, this is the context for the unusual sentence we read about Elijah in 1 Kings 19:3.


In 1 Kings 19:3, most translations say that Elijah “was afraid.” But, this is the Hebrew word ra’ah, which means to see, to understand, to reveal, to look at, to examine, to inspect. More than 75 percent of the time it is translated see, saw, seen, or look.

We’ve seen that Elijah picture Christ’s crucifixion in 1 Kings 18. And, in 1 Kings 19:2, Elijah pictured the grave’s, death’s, inability to hold him down.

So, the very next things that happened was Jesus was seen. In John 20:11-18, Jesus first is seen by Mary. Then, Jesus is seen by the other disciples. In John 20:27, Thomas was invited to inspect Jesus to make sure he indeed had nail holes in his hand and a hole pierced in his side.


In 1 Kings 19:3, the next things that happened was that Elijah arose.

Once Jesus was seen by the disciples for 40 days, he arose, not from the grace, but to his Father. Jesus ascended to his throne in heaven.

After he spoke his last words to the disciples, Acts 2:9 says, “And when he had said these things, as they were look on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.” The word lifted also means raises. Jesus arose out of their sight.


Having arisen, 1 Kings 19:3 says that Elijah, “ran for his life.” But, that’s not exactly what the Hebrew words say.

The word for ran is halak, which means to go, walk; to behave ; to vanish, die, pass away; to bring, take. The idea here is that Jesus went.

The Hebrew word translated for is most commonly translated to or towards. It has the idea of directional movement.

So, Jesus was going toward his life, his Father. In John 16:5, Jesus said, “But now I am going to him who sent me.” After he died and was resurrected, Jesus was going to his Father, who sent him, his life.


In Elijah, we see that Jesus was seen, he arose, and he went to his Father, his life. Then, 1 Kings 19:3 says Elijah “came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.”

What was Beersheba famous for?

A well.

The name Beersheba means the well of the oath or the well of seven. The angel of the Lord met Hagar at a well. Abraham’s servant met Isaac’s bride at a well. On and on, future wives at met wells. Jesus even met the woman from Sychar at a well.

In Genesis 24, Abraham’s unnamed servant, a picture of the Holy Spirit, went to find a bride for Isaac. So, here we see Elijah leaving his unnamed servant at the well of Beersheba, a picture of Jesus leaving the Holy Spirit for us so that we could be found as Christ’s bride.

On John 16:7, Jesus said, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”

So, in just a couple of sentences from 1 Kings 19, we see a wonderful witness to Jesus.

Who Is the Troubler (Entangler) of Israel?


“When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, ‘Is it you, you troubler of Israel?’ And he answered, ‘I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals.'” – 1 Kings 18:17-18

Ahab says Elijah is the troubler of Israel. But, Elijah says that Ahab is the troubler of Israel.

What does it mean to be a troubler?

And, who is the real troubler of Israel?

Elijah sought to definitively answer this question by his challenge to the prophets of Baal and Ahab.

Ultimately, Jesus sought to definitively answer this question on the cross.


The Hebrew word for troubler is akar, which means put into disorder, bring into disaster, throw into confusion. It can even mean to entangle.

The first use of this word is in Genesis 34:30, which says, “Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, ‘You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites.'”

Jacob’s daughter Dinah had been defiled by Shechem. When Jacob’s sons heard this, they were indignant and angry. Hamor, Shechem’s father, asked for Jacob and his sons to make marriages with them And, Shechem said he would do whatever the sons of Jacob would say.

So, the sons of Jacob answered deceitfully. They lied, saying that if every male among Hamor and Shechem were circumcised they would give their daughters to them for marriage. Three days after the men of Hamor and Shechem were circumcised, Simeon and Levi took their swords and killed all the men.

Therefore, the lies and murder of Simeon and Levi led their father Jacob to say that they had caused him trouble.

The next use of akar comes from the account of Achan. He did not keep himself from the things devoted to destruction and Israel lost their very next battle to Ai. When it was found that Achan had lied about the idols he had kept, he was stoned to death.

Once again, the troubler, akar, is linked with lies and murder.


Elijah means my God is Yahweh. Elijah is clearly a picture of Jesus. Prior to 1 Kings 18, Elijah has miraculously fed the widow of Zarephath and himself as raise the widow’s son from the dead, both of which foreshadow two of Jesus’ seven miracles in the gospel of John.

The name Ahab means something like father’s brother of brother of the father. We have already seen that Ahab, like the previous kings of Israel, did evil in the sight of the Lord. Below, we will see who his father really is.

Elijah said that Ahab had abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. In other words, Ahab was deceitful, a liar, because he followed the gods of this world.

In addition to challenging Ahab, Elijah called out his 450 prophets of Baal. Why 450 prophets of Baal? Perhaps it was symbolic of one prophet for every year that it took Israel to possess Canaan as their inheritance since they left Egypt. Acts 13:18-20 says, “And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as inheritance. All this took about 450 years.”


The battle between Elijah and Ahab and the 450 prophets of Baal is very similar to the confrontation between Jesus and the Jews in John 8. In 1 Kings 18:22, Elijah said, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men.” Like Elijah, Jesus was all alone in his confrontation with the Jews. And, by the end of the confrontation Jesus said in John 8:58, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus’ claim to be the I Am was the fulfillment of Elijah’s statement “I, even I only, am.”

But, if we look at the confrontation between Jesus and the Jews, then we see that it is the same confrontation as that between Elijah and Ahab and the 450 prophets of Baal – who is the troubler of Israel?

Jesus was trying to explain who the Father was and that with his word Jesus could make them free. But, even the Jews who had believed him (!!!) kept responding “we are offpsring of Abraham” and “Abraham is our father.” In essence, the Jews were saying, “We know who our father is and you are just troubling us with this business of being bound and enslaved to sin.”

So, Jesus took it up a notch. In John 8:39-41, he said, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. you are doing the works your father did.”

The Jews insisted their father was God, Yahweh.

In John 8:44, Jesus responded, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Jesus just identified even the Jews who had believed in him as the troublers of Israel. Just like Simeon and Levi, just like Achan, just like Ahab and the 450 prophets of Baal, these Jews were the troublers of Israel because they were like their father the devil – liars and murderers. In this confrontation, they were lying directly to Jesus about their enslavement to sin and later they would murder Jesus.


In 1 Kings 18:23, Elijah said, “Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves.” In the Bible, bulls are a symbol of strength. So, Elijah is letting the 450 prophets of Baals chose the bull, the strength, that is best for them.

But, this foreshadows Jesus just before his crucifixion. The Jews were demanding Jesus be crucified. But, per tradition, the Jews could have a prisoner released because of the feast of passover.

Mark 15:7 says, “And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas.”

So, Matthew 27:17 says, “So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom you want me to release for you, Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?'”

Then, Matthew 27:20-21 says, “Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’ And they said, ‘Barabbas.'”

The Jews had a choice between two bulls. One bull, Barabbas, was a murderer. The other bull, Jesus, was a man of peace, a man that Isaiah 53:9 says had done “no violence.” The Jews chose Barabbas, showing that their strength was found in murder, violence.


So, the 450 prophets of Baal prepared their bull for sacrifice first. 1 Kings 18:26 says, “And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, ‘O Baal, answer us!’ But there was no voice, no one answered.”

Pilate gave the Jews Jesus to be crucified. From morning until noon, the Jews taunted Jesus. Matthew 27:39-44 says, “And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel, let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusts in God, let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, “I am the Son of God.”‘ And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.”

The Jews wanted to Jesus to come down from the cross and prove that he was the king that would deliver them by overthrowing the Roman government with violence. They wanted their king to be a murderer, for that was where they believed strength lied.

But, Jesus said nothing in response. Nor did he die. The gods of this world, the Baals, could not kill him.


1 Kings 18:27 says, “And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, ‘Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”

Noon is the sixth hour. Luke 23:44 says, “It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land.” The lust for murder of the Jews was thwarted. Their god was unable to kill their sacrifice, Jesus. At noon he was still alive.


1 Kings 18:29 says, “And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.”

1 Kings 18:36-37 says, “And at the time of the offering of oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, ‘O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”

Elijah doused the bull that he offered with water. This is a symbol that Jesus offered himself as a bull who was strength was found in the life of the Father through his Spirit, as the Spirit is symbolized by water throughout scripture.

The time of the offering of oblation is the time of the offering of the second lamb that was offered on a daily basis in Israel. While we think of it as the evening sacrifice, the Hebrew wording actually means between noon and evening. This would be the ninth hour.

In the ninth hour, Luke 23:46 says, “Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!'” Jesus’ strength came from the Spirit of peace, yet even though he was a bull that was completely soaked in water, or more likely because of this, he was able to offer up his life and commit his spirit to the Lord.


Jesus is the truth. And, he never did any violence. He found his strength in doing the will of his Father and laying down his life for others.

The Jews, even the ones that believed Jesus, were of their father the devil. They were liars and murderers. They found their strength in violence and murder.

Yet, the irony is that today those who choose the way of Jesus, truth and peace, non-violence, are deemed to be troublers by those that long (perhaps secretly) for the time that their enemies will be vanquished by the Lord returning with a sword of violence.

This brings us to the background meaning of entangler or to entangle of akar, the Hebrew word for troubler.

In Matthew 22:15, the Pharisees sought to entangle Jesus in his words. They wanted to make Jesus like themselves, liars and murdered, sons of the devil. But, Jesus resisted that.

So too do we need to resist becoming entangled with the ways of the world, Satan’s kingdom. Those ways are lying and murdering. Every government is part of Satan’s kingdom and participates fully in those two works of Satan . It doesn’t take much to see that if you care to look and hear with spiritual eyes and ears.

Therefore, in 2 Timothy 2:3-4, Paul said, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”

If you are a believer, then Jesus has enlisted you in his army. His rejects lies and murders, the works of Satan. Jesus did no violence and so does his army. The world says that makes you a troubler. But, Jesus says it’s just the other way around. It’s the ones who lie and murder, the ones who do violence and make excuses for it, that are the troublers.

Lies and murder are “civilian pursuits” that good soldiers of Christ Jesus do not get entangled in. Troublers are in entangled in those things. And, troublers entangle others in them.

What Treasure is Your Heart Set On?


“In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house. He took away everything.” – 1 Kings 14:25-26

Rehoboam lost all the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of his own house. Understanding the symbolism of the numbers and names connected with the loss of the treasures will help us see Jesus in this brief passage of scripture.


The name Rehoboam means “enlarges the people” or “the people is enlarged.”

When Rehoboam was made king, Jeroboam and all Israel asked Rehoboam to ease the burdens of their service and the heavy yoke that was upon them. But, instead of listening to the advice of the elders, Rehoboam listened to the advice of the young men, which was to make their service even harder and the yoke even heavier upon them.

Therefore, we know that the implication of the meaning of the name Rehoboam is not a positive one. Rehoboam was not name “enlarges the people” or “the people is enlarged” because he gave them more freedom.

As we will see below, the meaning “enlarges the people” has to do with enlarging, or magnifying, the flesh. Rehoboam’s focus was on the flesh and the carnal mind.


Rehoboam lost the treasures in the fifth year of his reign.

The number often symbolizes grace. However, like many of the numbers used in the Bible, the number five is a positive symbol and a negative symbol, depending on the context. Rehoboam’s name, along with the story itself, tell us that the symbolism of the number five is used for its negative symbolism in this story.

What is the negative symbolism of the number five?

Man has five fingers on each hand, five toes on each foot, and five senses. Therefore, the number five, in its negative connotation, symbolizes the flesh. More than that, it symbolizes man being ruled by the flesh. This is why the Philistines were ruled by five lords, which symbolised the Philistines being ruled by their natural, earthly senses of their flesh.


The name Shishak means present of the bag.

The word bag is used 15 times in the scripture. Eleven times the word is used in relation to money. And, twice the word is used to carry the fruit of this world. Interestingly, the number 11 symbolizes judgment, and the number 13 symbolizes rebellion.

(As an aside, could this be why Jesus told his disciples not to take a bag or money in Matthew 10:10, Mark 6:8, and Luke 9:3 when he sent them out to heal, preach repentance, and proclaim the kingdom? They were to have spiritual treasures with them, not earthly treasures.)

In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

So, Shisak, the king of Egypt, a type of Satan, the god of this world, comes against Jerusalem, the city where God’s named dwelt, the place of worship for the people of God.

But, Shisak came against a king who was about enlarging the flesh and has his mind set on the flesh, carnal things, the treasures of this world, mammon. Therefore, Shishak was able to take the treasures of the house of the Lord (spiritual treasure) and the treasures of Rehoboam’s house (earthly treasure).


Because Rehoboam had his heart set on carnal things, earthly treasures, he lost both his spiritual treasure and his earthly treasure.

Shisak took from him all the shields of gold made by Solomon. A shield covers you. And, gold is symbolic of the divine nature. These shields were made by Solomon, who is a type of the resurrected Jesus. Therefore, because Rehoboam had his heart set on carnal things, earthly treasures, mammon, Shishak, the god of this world, was able to rob Rehoboam of the covering of the divine nature. This is how the their comes to steal from us.

So, Rehoboam made shields of bronze to replace the shields of gold. Bronze symbolizes judgment. Judgment brings condemnation and destruction. Therefore, instead of being covered by the divine nature, which brings forgiveness, Rehoboam covered himself in judgment, condemnation, and destruction.

In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

If you set your heart on earthly treasures, then that’s where your heart will be. I think the first thought is that the moth and rust destroy and the thieves steal our earthly treasures. But, I think the reality is that the moth and rust destroy and the thieves steal our hearts and their affections. Worse than losing the earthly treasures is losing our hearts. By laying up treasures on earth, we cover ourselves with shields of bronze, judging, condemning, and destroying ourselves.

Therefore, Jesus says we are to lay up treasures in heaven. Then our hearts will be set on the Spirit. Moth and rust can’t destroy and thieves can’t steal treasures. By laying up treasures in heaven, we cover ourselves with shields of gold, the divine nature, forgiveness.

What are these treasures we should lay up in heaven?

Simply, the answer is Jesus. Thoughts about Jesus. Knowledge of Jesus.

In Luke 2:19 and 51, Mary treasured up the things she heard about her son and his purpose.

In 2 Corinthians 4:5-7, Paul said, “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But, we have this treasure in jars of clay.” The treasure we have is the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus. This is what we must lay up for ourselves and set our hearts upon.

In Colossians 2:2-3, Paul struggled that our “hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The treasures we truly need are in Christ in heaven. Therefore, we need to lay up those treasures so that are hearts are set upon spiritual matters.


In 1 Kings 14:21, we are told that that the reign of Rehoboam lasted 17 years. Like the number five, the number 17 has a duel meaning.

Genesis 7:11 says, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of heaven of were opened.”

This took place before the Hebrew calendar changed when Israel left Egypt in the exodus at the passover. Therefore, what was the second month in Genesis 7:11 is now the eighth month. This is the only month without a festival or feast in Israel. It is known as the bitter month.

Further, the flood, which was the judgment of man’s evil and wicked heart, which was completely given over to violence, began on the 17th day of the month.

Rehoboam’s reign lasted 17 years as a symbol of the judgment of his heart that was set on the earth, the flesh, the treasures of the earth, the present in the bag of the Shishak, the king of Egypt. So, he covered himself in shields of bronze, or judgment.

But, the number 17 has positive symbolism too.

Genesis 8:3-4 says, “At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.”

What day is the seventeenth of the seventh month?

Remember, Genesis 8 was before the Hebrew calendar changed after the exodus. If we do the conversion, then the seventh month becomes the first month, the month Nissan, the month of the passover. And, the seventeenth day becomes the day that Jesus was resurrected and rose from the grace.

That’s why the ark, a picture of Jesus, landed, overcoming the flood, on the seventeenth day of the month. Instead of judgment, the number 17 then symbolizes Christ’s victory over judgment, condemnation, destruction, over the enemy that comes in like a flood, and the ruler of this world.

In Daniel 7, the beasts that come to attack the kingdom of God have seven heads and ten horns. In Revelation 13:1, John saw a beast rising out of the sea “with ten horns and seven heads.”

10 + 7 = 17

Jesus overcomes, gets the victory of this beast. Jesus was judged on the cross, but it was the defeat of Satan. Judgment becomes victory.

The day of atonement occurs in the seventh month on the tenth day of the month.

10 + 7 = 17

The day of atonement is a day of affliction, judgment, that ultimately becomes a day of victory.

Psalm 83:6-11 lists 17 enemies that come against Israel:

  1. Edom
  2. Ishmaelites
  3. Moab
  4. Hagrites
  5. Gebal
  6. Ammon
  7. Amalek
  8. Philistia
  9. Tyre
  10. Asshur
  11. Midian
  12. Sisera
  13. Jabin
  14. Oreb
  15. Zeeb
  16. Zebah
  17. Zalmunna

These are even broken up into seven that were defeated – the last seven in the list – and ten that will be defeated – the first 10 in the list.

The end of the psalm, verses 17-18, says, “Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace, that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.”

The 17 enemies came to judge Israel, but it was turned into the victory of the Most High over all the earth.

Finally, look at Romans 8:35, 37-39.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall

  1. tribulation,
  2. or distress,
  3. or persecution,
  4. or famine,
  5. or nakedness,
  6. or danger,
  7. or sword?

No, all these things we are more than conquerors, through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither

  1. death nor
  2. life, nor
  3. angels nor
  4. ruler, nor
  5. things present nor
  6. things to come, nor
  7. powers, nor
  8. height nor
  9. depth, nor
  10. anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

7 + 10 = 17

Nothing of the seven or the ten can separate us from Christ. In all these things we are more than conquerors.

What is a more than a conqueror?

A possessor!!!

It’s one thing to conquer a land or a people, but it’s an entirely different thing to maintain the possession of the land or conquered people.

When set our hearts on the treasures above, we become more than conquerors, possessors of the shields of gold, the divine nature, forgiveness. Then we can partake in the victory of Christ.

A Greater than Solomon Is Here

1 KINGS 10-12

In Matthew 12:42, Jesus said, “The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”

In this passage of scripture, Jesus was referring to the queen of Sheba who came to Solomon because she had heard of his fame regarding the name of the Lord. She wanted to test the wisdom of Solomon with hard questions.

But, 1 Kings 10:3-4 says, “And Solomon answered all hear questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to hear. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her.” Solomon took the breath away from the queen of Sheba because of his wisdom. The queen saw Solomon’s wisdom, the house he had built, etc.

But, Jesus says a greater than Solomon is here in reference to himself. If Jesus is greater than Solomon, then what is the wisdom, the house that he built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings in reference to Jesus?


There are actually two words for the name sheba in Hebrew. The one used here for the queen of Sheba means man. So, in 1 Kings 10, we see the queen as representative of man and Solomon as representative of Jesus.

Man hears about Jesus and his fame. So, man comes to Jesus with all of his hard questions to test him. We certainly see this in the gospels, as pharisees, scribes, elders, and lawyers were always trying to trick Jesus with their questions. And, man still does this today with Jesus, trying to use our natural intelligence to stump Jesus.

But, just like Solomon, Jesus is able to answer all of questions. Hebrews 4:13 says that no creature, nothing created, and everything was created by Jesus, is hidden from the sight of Jesus. Everything is exposed before him. Jesus knows and can explain everything.


The queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon. But, Jesus said that one wiser than Solomon is here. Jesus was referring to himself.

Solomon was the wisest man to ever live, but he was still just a man. 1 Kings 4:29-30 says, “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sane on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.”

But, Jesus had even greater wisdom than Solomon. In 1 Corinthians 1:25, Paul said that “the foolishness of God is wiser than men.” Even God’s foolishness is wiser than Solomon. So, in 1 Corinthians 1:24, when Paul said that Christ is “the wisdom of God,” then we know that Jesus’ wisdom is far greater than Solomon’s. Not, only is Jesus the wisdom of God, but Jesus “became to us the wisdom from God,” according to 1 Corinthians 1:30.

In Colossians 2:2-3, Paul said that he struggled so that we would “reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Solomon may have been wise, but Jesus is greater because he was God’s mystery that contained all the treasures of wisdom, which only began to be revealed after his crucifixion.


Solomon built a temple for the Lord. But, Jesus is building an even greater house for God than Solomon built.

Hebrews 3:6 says, “Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house.”

And, 1 Peter 2:5 says, “You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house.” As God’s house, we are his temple. Therefore, 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” Jesus is building the greater house, the greater temple, that is the church.

But, what is one of the purposes of the church?

The greater house that Jesus is building is to make known the one greater than Solomon, Jesus, who has greater wisdom than Solomon.

Ephesians 3:8-11 says, “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So, we are the greater house that Jesus is building to make known the manifold wisdom of God, Jesus.


Bread was the food that was on the table in Solomon’s table. But, Jesus is the bread of life.

John 6:48-50 says, “I am the bread of life. your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Jesus’ body, his flesh, is the bread that was broken when he laid down his life for us on the cross. This is how we know love. But, in John 14:12, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these he will do, because I am going to the Father.” The great works that we do encompass loving as Jesus loved. Therefore, 1 John 4:10-11 says, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” So, by loving as Jesus loved, laying down our lives, we can do greater works and become the food on his table.

However, in Matthew 4:4, Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Christ spoke the words of God from his mouth. And, we are to preach Christ so that others can hear and come to faith. Further, Colossians 1:28 says, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” And, Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom.”

So, we are the greater food on Jesus’ table when we love as he loved and proclaim him who is the wisdom of God.


Solomon arranged the seating of his officials in a way that showed his wisdom to the queen of Sheba. But, Jesus has an even greater seating of his servants.

In 1 Kings 10:5, the Hebrew word for officials is translated servants almost 90 percent of the time. And, the next most likely translation is slaves.

1 Peter 2:16 says, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” We are to be servants of Jesus. Also, Paul says in Romans 6:18, 19 that we have become slaves of righteousness and in Romans 6:22 that we have become slaves of God.

So, as servants and slaves of Jesus and God, where is our greater seating?

Ephesians 2:6 says that God “seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 3:1-2 says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.”

Remember, Christ is the wisdom of God. We are seated with wisdom, and we set our minds on Christ, the wisdom from above. Therefore, James 3:13, 17 says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom…But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

So, as the greater seating of his servants, we are in the wisdom from above, Jesus, to show our works in the meekness of wisdom.


This greater than is very similar to the previous one as it is still talking about the servants of Jesus. We saw above that we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. But, Ephesians 2:22, “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

So, it’s from this place that we walk in the Spirit. Colossians 4:5 says, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.”

Therefore, we are the greater attendance of his servants that walk wisdom toward outsiders.

We can continue to see that we are the greater clothing, bearing the righteousness of Christ, the greater cupbearers, sharing in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings exemplified  by his drinking from the cup in the garden, and the greater burnt offerings, offerings our bodies as a living sacrifice to show what is the good, perfect, and acceptable will of God.

As the queen of Sheba had her breath taken away, in other words her questions stopped, by Solomon’s wisdom that she saw in all these things, so to do men and women stop their questions when the Jesus, the wisdom of God, the greater than Solomon, is displayed in us who a greater than all the things that displayed Solomon’s wisdom.

A House for God’s Name for Him to Forgive Our Sins


The overwhelming theme I was struck with in today’s reading was a house for God’s name that he might forgive our sins.

From 1 Kings 8:1-9:9, the word house (related to God’s house) appears 26 times, the word name appears 16 times, and the word forgive appears five times.

For Solomon, the house of God, the temple, was all about providing a place for God’s name, his character, to dwell, so that God would forgive our sins. And, this is exactly what we see in Jesus. Jesus was a house who began building the house for God’s name, his nature of light, love, and life, so that the world would be forgiven of its sin.

Let’s look at Solomon and see how he pictures Jesus offering forgiveness to all from the cross.


1 Kings 8:22 says, “Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven.”

The parallel passage from 2 Chronicles 6:12-13 says, “Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the court, and he stood on it. Then he knelt on his knees in the presence of the assembly of Israel, and spread out has hands toward heaven.”

The altar was the place where Israel made its sacrifices. It was made of bronze, which symbolizes judgment. The number five symbolizes grace.

Therefore, we this is a picture of Jesus on the cross, the altar where he made his sacrifice and sin was judged, or condemned in his flesh (Romans 8:3). That the altar was five cubits by five cubits prophesies that it was “from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16) Solomon knelt as a picture of Christ humbling “himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8) And, Solomon’s hands outstretched picture Christ’s hands nailed to the cross with his arms outstretched.


In 1 Kings 8:15-16, Solomon prayed, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who with has hand has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to David my father, saying, ‘Since the day that I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name might be there. But I chose David to be over my people.”

Stephen said in Acts 7:48, “Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands.” And, in Acts 17:24, Paul said, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man.”

Therefore, it is very interesting that Solomon’s prayer recognizes that the Lord by his hand fulfilled the promise he made to David to build a house. Further, Solomon’s prayer recognizes that God chose no city, not even Jerusalem, for the house he was building for his name, his character. Rather, God chose David, which is to say God chose Jesus.

John 2:19, 21 says, “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…’ But he was speaking about the temple of his body.”

Jesus’ body was the temple, the house, that God had made for his name to dwell in. It was in his body that Jesus did the will of the Father.

Hebrews 10:5-7 says, “Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in your burnt and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, “Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.”‘”

Jesus and the Father were one. He was the house where the name of God dwelt among us. Therefore, John 1:14 says, “And the Word of God became flesh and dwelt [literally, tabernacled] among us.”


In Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8 (and 2 Chronicles 6), he prayed five times that the Father would hear or listen in heaven and forgive the Israelite and the foreigner (verses 30, 34, 36, 39, and 50).

Isn’t it amazing that five times (not necessarily five separate instances) the gospels record Jesus directly forgiving sins.

  • Matthew 9:2 – “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”
  • Mark 2:5 – “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
  • Luke 5:20 – “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
  • Luke 7:48 – “And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.'”
  • Luke 23:34 – “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Take note that Jesus’ last declaration of forgiveness was not a singular person, but for them, for everyone. Further, note that Jesus’ last declaration of forgiveness was a prayer, like Solomon, from the cross, the altar that was five cubits by five cubits. Jesus proclaimed forgiveness five times as a word of grace, the last grace coming from the cross where we all received from his fullness, grace upon grace.


We know love not simply because Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again three days later. No, we precisely know the love of God from the cross because Jesus, the son of God, the son of and, perfect and innocent, forgave us while we were murdering him.

1 John 4:9-11 says, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that god sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

To propitiate means to gain or regain the favor or goodwill of. Therefore, a propitiation is the action taken to gain or regain the favor or goodwill of. In other words, Jesus was the means of forgiveness for our sins. He was the means, not just because he died on the cross an innocent man, but because he was the house of God where the name of God dwelt that prayed for the Father to forgive us.

This is why John wrote in 1 John 2:1-2, “But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

What is Jesus advocating for with the Father?

Your forgiveness.

Romans 8:34-35 says, “Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from Christ?”

And, Hebrews 7:24-25 says, “But he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”


1 Kings 8:54 says, “Now as Solomon finished offering all this prayer and plea to the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had knelt with his hands outstretched to heaven.”

And, 1 Kings 8:57-61 says, “The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, his rules, which he commanded our fathers. Let these words of mine, with which I have pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires, that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God, there is no other. Let you hear therefore be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.

The closing words of Solomon’s prayer have the essence of the last words Jesus spoke to his disciples. In Acts 1:8, Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Then Jesus was lifted up. He arose just like Solomon.

The power of Spirit comes upon us so that we can pray in the name of Jesus, which is to say according to his character of light, love, and life. When the Spirit comes upon us, we are able to pray as Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This is how we know love and how we witness the love of Christ even to the ends of the earth. This is why we are being made into a temple, a house, for the Spirit.




The Details of Solomon’s Temple Reveal Jesus


The Bible has lots of little, seemingly insignificant, details – particularly dates, times, and measurements. These details are extremely important.

For example, 1 Kings 6:37-38 says, “In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, in the month of Ziv. And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its parts, and according to all its specifications. He was even years in building it.”

Why are we given these details about the temple that Solomon built?

The details are important not because the Bible is to be taken word for word as exact, perfect, literal truth. Rather, the details are important because they reveal a beautiful prophetic witness to Jesus that he perfectly fulfilled.

Taking the details literally makes them mere historical facts. But, by the inspiration of the Spirit, the details become a revelation of Jesus.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint.”


The number four symbolizes several things in the Bible. First, the number four reveals a universal, or collective, picture of something. Therefore, we have four gospels, which correlate to the faces of the four living creatures, that provide the universal revelation of Christ.

Also, the number four symbolizes the world. There are the four corners of the earth, the four seasons, the four directions, and the four winds.

The square is considered a perfect shape because it has four sides of equal length.

Jesus’ ministry lasted three-and-a-half years, which means he was crucified in the fourth year year of his ministry.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem for the passover when he would be crucified, the Pharisees said to one another, “Look, the world has gone after him.” (John 12:19)

The following verses tell us that there were some Greeks that came to worship at the passover. These Greek came to some of the disciples and asked to see Jesus. In John 12:23-24, Jesus responded to the disciples, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains along, but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

When the world, represented by the Greeks, came to see Jesus, Jesus said the hour of his crucifixion had come. In John 3:16-17, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

The cross had four points or four corners. The altar of the tabernacle and the temple were pictures of the cross.

Exodus 27:1 says, “”You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits broad. The altar shall be square.”

The altar was square, the perfect shape. Its measurements were five cubits by five cubits. Five is the number of grace. John 1:16 says, “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” We received Christ’s fullness, grace upon grace, through the cross.

The square, with its four equal or perfect sides, is the perfect foundation. Speaking of the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:16 says, “The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width.”

The foundation of the city that we are all searching for, the New Jerusalem, is a square. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For no can lay a foundation other that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Paul says in Ephesians 2:19-22, “But you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” The apostles taught the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (the gospel according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15), which is the foundation of the dwelling place of God the Spirit is building with our bodies.

The foundation was laid in the fourth year. Christ’ death and crucifixion occurred in the fourth year of his ministry. He was crucified on a cross, on an altar, with four sides like a perfect square. The foundation was laid when Christ laid down his life. Jesus said in John 10:17-18, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

There are so many wonderful details hidden in the foundation that was laid in the fourth year.


Ziv is a Canaanite name for the second month of the year. It means sprouting of blossom month, most likely because of the abundance of blossoms on the olive trees.

In Hebrew, the second month is Iyar, which means radiance or light.

Of the 40 days Jesus spent teaching the disciples after the resurrection, the bulk of them would have been in the month of Ziv. It would have been in the second month, Ziv, that Jesus did most of his translating the law and the prophets for the disciples (see Luke 24), shining his light on the Old Testament scriptures to reveal its true witness about him.

Speaking of Jesus’ entrance into the world, John 1:9 says, “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”

In John 9:5, Jesus said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

But, it was in the month of Ziv, that Jesus ascended to be with the Father. He was no longer in the world. Therefore, he was no longer the light of the world.

In Matthew 5:14-15, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under the basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.”

We are lights in that we act as lamps, light bearers, that shine with the light of Jesus. In my reading, this is actually reflected in the names of the second month – Iyar and Ziv. Iyar is thought of as the source of the light while Ziv pictures the brilliance or radiating of the light.

Therefore, Paul says in Ephesians 5:18, “Now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light.” The Greek word for in also can be translated by. Therefore, perhaps Paul is saying “Now you are light by the Lord.”


Solomon began construction of the temple in the fourth year and complete it in the eleventh year. Therefore, it took seven years to build the temple. Seven is the number of completion, perfection, or rest. That Solomon’s temple was built in seven years relates it back to creation, which God completed in seven days.

The number 11 often symbolizes in judgment in the Bible. The tabernacle had 11 curtains of goat’s hair that were a tent over it. Of course, the goat symbolizes judgment as well.

1 Peter 4:17 says, “For it is time for judgment to being at the household of God.”

When the spiritual temple that we are being built into is complete, then judgment, whatever that is, will begin.


Bul is the Canaanite name for the eighth month of the Hebrew year. It means produce or outgrowth. The eighth month was near the end of the harvest.

In Hebrew, the eighth month is Cheshvan or Marcheshvan. From what I can find, Cheshvan simply means eighth and Marcheshvan means bitter eighth. According to a number of sources, this is the only month in the Hebrew calendar that does not have a feast or festival.

Bul, or Cheshvan, is the month after the feasts of trumpets, atonement, and tabernacles. All of these feasts occur in the month Tishri. Tishri is the month of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. Originally, Tishri was the first month and Cheshvan was the second month. But, this all changed during the Exodus. Exodus 12:1-2 says, “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, ‘This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.'” Instead of Tishri being the first month, now Abib, or Nissan was the first month.

Why is this important?

Well, before the change in the calendar, Bul, or Cheshvan, was the second month of the year. Bul was the month the flood started! Genesis 7:11 says, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst firth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.” And, according to Genesis 8:14, it was in the second month, one year later, that the earth finally dried out from the flood.

The flood was a judgment. But, in the eighth month of the eleventh year of Solomon’s reign, who is being judged?

In the Septuagint, 3 Kingdoms 6:5 (the corresponding verse to 1 Kings 6:38) says, “In the eleventh year in the month of Baal (this is the eighth month)…” So, is this month bitter and without a feast because it’s the month of Baal, a pagan deity? Could it be that Baal, Satan, or the man of lawlessness that is the one being judged when the temple is completed?

Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God?”

Could it be that the spiritual temple of our bodies is truly complete once this judgment happens?

In addition to produce or outgrowth, some believe that Bul means flood. That’s interesting since we saw that this was the month of the flood. But, when the flood was complete, in what is now the eighth month, eight people walked out of the ark to start creation again.

Eight is the number of new creation. It was on the eighth day from his selection as the lamb of God that Jesus was resurrected. So, it’s interesting that in the year of judgment and in the eighth month that was when the flood occurred we could see the judgment of the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction so that the spiritual temple of our bodies could be completed in the new creation.


According to 1 Kings 6:38, “the house was finished in all its parts, and according to all its specifications.”

But, when we look at the Hebrew words here, the verse could just as easily say, “the house was completed according to his words, and according to his judgments.”

In Revelation 19 and 20, Satan, the beast, and the false prophet were judged, thrown into the lake of fire.

Then, in Revelation 21, the New Jerusalem came down out of heaven from God. In verse 3, a loud voice said, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.” But, according to verse 22, John “saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.”

When the city had come down from God, Revelation 21:5-6 says, “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.'”

The dwelling place of God, the temple, was complete. Jesus’ judgments were done. His words were complete.

Knowing the details of Solomon’s temple by the Spirit and not the letter gives a deeper revelation of Jesus that stirs the heart.