“Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—this time I will make them know My power and My might; and they shall know that My Name is Yahweh.” (Jeremiah 16: 21)
Yahweh is Israel’s Only Hope
Alexander the Great was arguably the greatest conqueror the world has ever known. His exploits are the stuff of legend.
When Alexander came to Israel, he stood at the top of Mount Scopus to scope out the city of Jerusalem. That’s how it got its name. Mount Scopus sits beside the Mount of Olives.
Jewish History says this about Alexander:
Alexander’s Encounter with the Jews
Alexander took over his father’s leadership position when he was yet a teenager. He would be dead by the time he was 29. In that short period he conquered the entire civilized world.
One of his campaigns brought him to the Land of Israel. He arrived during the reign of the great High Priest, the last of the Men of the Great Assembly, Simon the Just. Most historians say that he came in about the year 329 BCE. (He was dead by 323 BCE.)
The Jews were terrified of the now victorious Greeks, because they had backed Persia in the war. There were two choices. We will see this story repeated over and over again in the time of the Second Temple. One was to fight, which is what the Jews did later with the Romans. The second was to somehow come to an accommodation with the enemy.
Simon the Just chose the second course. The Jews were not about to defeat Alexander in battle; therefore, the correct way to deal with the matter was to come to an accommodation with him.
The Talmud describes the drama of that first encounter (Yoma 69a). Simon the Just came forth with other members of the priesthood, as well as the sages of the Sanhedrin, to greet Alexander at the gates of Jerusalem as he strode in on his famous white horse, which he rode all over the world in his conquests. According to the historians of the time, it was an enormously tall horse and Alexander was an enormously tall person. Plus, he always wore a plumed helmet. Combined, Alexander stood about 13 feet high on the horse. He was an awe-inspiring sight to behold.
When Alexander saw the Simon he dismounted and bowed to him. When he was questioned by his advisors, he told them that whenever he went into battle he dreamed of an angel leading him to victory. The face of the Jewish High Priest, he said, was the face of the angel he saw in his dreams. That was why he bowed down to him.
Simon wore a miter (a tall headdress) when he met Alexander. It was made of gold. Yahweh’s Name was emblazoned on it in Hebrew.
In about 600 B.C., hundreds of years before Alexander was born, the prophet Daniel wrote this about him:
“While I was observing, behold, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and rushed at him in his mighty wrath. I saw him come beside the ram, and he was enraged at him; and he struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to withstand him. So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his power. Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly. But as soon as he was mighty, the large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.” (Daniel 8: 5-8)
When Alexander died in 323 B.C., his kingdom was divided among his four generals. They are the four conspicuous horns in Daniel. Eventually, Antiochus Epiphanes ruled the Seleucid Empire or the Syrian Empire from 175 B.C. until his death in 164 B.C. It was one of the four kingdoms that were created following Alexander’s death. You can read about Antiochus’ exploits and his attempts to Hellenize Israel in the Books of the Maccabees.
Saying that Antiochus had a high opinion of himself is an understatement. Epiphanes means “God Manifest”. He wanted the Israeli people to abandon Yahweh completely and worship false gods. That was something religious Jews refused to accept even though many Jews flocked to Hellenism.
The Feast of Dedication or Hanukah celebrates the end of Antiochus rule and the cleansing of the Temple. The Messiah celebrated the Feast of Dedication. It’s discussed in John 10:
22 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Yeshua was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. 24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 Yeshua answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. 26 But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
In 63 B.C., the Romans conquered Israel and turned it into a province of the Roman Empire. Rome ruled Israel until 313 A.D. The Messiah came during Roman rule. This encounter presented in John 19 sheds light on the thinking of Jewish religious leaders at the time of His crucifixion:
1 Pilate then took Yeshua and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; 3and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face. 4 Pilate came out again and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” 5 Yeshua then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!” 6 So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.”
8 Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; 9 and he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Yeshua gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” 11 Yeshua answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12 As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”
13 Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Yeshua out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” 15 So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
The Jewish religious leaders didn’t actually believe that Caesar was their king, but they said it to force Pilate to do their bidding. They wanted him to order the Messiah’s crucifixion, and he did. As the Messiah said to Pilate, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” The Jewish religious leaders bear the brunt of the responsibility for the Messiah’s crucifixion, although not all of it.
Israel started to come unglued long before the Greeks and Romans. The Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. The Babylonians conquered the Southern Kingdom in 597 B.C. 1st and 2nd Kings and 1st and 2nd Chronicles explain what was happening and why.
Israel turned away from Yahweh again and again, so He removed His protective hedge. That’s what happens when Israel attempts to rely on anyone or anything except Him.
Eventually, Israel ceased to exist as a nation, but it was reborn in May 1948 just as Yahweh said:
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says Adonai Yahweh, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am Yahweh,” declares Yahweh Sabaoth, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. I am not doing this for your sake,” declares Yahweh Sabaoth, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!” (Ezekiel 36: 22-32)
This is how Yahweh explained it to Jeremiah:
Thus says Yahweh, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; Yahweh Sabaoth is His name: “If this fixed order departs from before Me,” declares Yahweh, “then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever.”
Thus says Yahweh, “If the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done,” declares Yahweh.
“Behold, days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when the city will be rebuilt for Yahweh from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. The measuring line will go out farther straight ahead to the hill Gareb; then it will turn to Goah. And the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be holy to Yahweh; it will not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.” (Jeremiah 31: 35-40)
All that remains is for Israel to call upon Yahweh. That hasn’t happened yet. Instead, Israel is scouring the world seeking support. The United States, Europe, Russia, and China can’t protect Israel. Only Yahweh can do that, and He will because He promised that He would.
The time has come for Israel to believe Yahweh and act on His word. That’s the meaning of faith. It’s time for Israel to demonstrate faith in Yahweh.
To see videos that explain the importance of God’s Name, click here.
“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17: 22-24)
See “His Name is Yahweh”.