Monday, October 23, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - October 23, 2017

Today's Reading:

1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13

Isaiah 17-19

Psalm 114

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

In Isaiah, there are many prophetic references. Today, I'd like to focus on one which is found in Isaiah 19:19:
"In that day shall there be an altar to Yahweh in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to Yahweh."
Isaiah 19:19 tell that Yahweh had an "altar" in the land of Egypt and a "pillar" at its borders, both of which were erected to honor and glorify Yahweh and serve as witnesses of the true God of Heaven. The amazing thing is that both the "altar" and "pillar" are stills standing, to this day. 

Before we can identify the altar and pillar, we first need to know something about the people who built them. The altar was built by Joseph (who was Imhotep in Egypt). And the pillar was set up by king Solomon, to mark the Crossing Point in the Red Sea and to honor Yahweh for His deliverance. 

Solomon is famous for possessing the wisdom of Yahweh. He is well-known as the "wisest" man on earth. But what isn't so well-known is that Joseph was also wise (as I will show in the subtitled section on Imhotep). God blessed both of these men with wisdom of an unparalleled and unprecedented magnitude. 

1 Kings 4:30-32 - "And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser... and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five." 

Genesis 41:39 - "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art." 


And it was through these two wisest of men that the two moments of Yahweh were erected - and stand to this day - as a witness of the one true God in the land of Egypt.


The word "altar" in Scripture, does not always refer to something on which to offer sacrificial animals. An "altar" can also be a memorial - a witness - of Yahweh, as it says in Joshua 22:26:
Joshua 22:26 - "Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice: But that it may be a witness between us, and you, and our generations after us... Therefore said we, that it shall be, when they should so say to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say again, Behold the pattern of the altar of Yahweh, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between us and you."  
In other words, in Scripture, an altar can be a monument of some type. Understanding this helps us to identify the "altar" which stands as a monument to Yahweh in the land of Egypt.


How can we prove that Yahweh's Throne is in the shape of a pyramid? Let's start at the beginning. Bible prophecy  tells us about a terrible dragon (Satan) who was cast out of Heaven – and a war with outer space.
Revelation 12:7-9  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
It was a war being fought over the right to rule. The Devil, who is the red dragon, wanted to take the Throne of God, and reign in God’s place.
Isaiah 14:12-14  "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the Mount of the Congregation, in the sides of the North: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."  
There are several clues in Scripture which indicate (when considered all together) that God's Throne is a pyramid shape:

1) His Throne is called the "Mount" of the Congregation (Isaiah 14:13) - a Mount is roughly a pyramid in shape. 

2) Yahweh's Throne is "high and lifted up" (Isaiah 6:1) - this also fits the description of a pyramid.

3) It is also described as being four, square (Revelation 21:16) ...  Now a cube can be foursquare...  but the only shape that is mountain shaped, high, and foursquare is a pyramid.

Added to that is this reference in Ezekiel, which specifically refers (in the original Hebrew) to God's Throne as a pyramid.
Ezekiel 28:14  "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire." 
The word "pyramid" literally means "fire in the midst". Thus, this reference to Lucifer (who was renamed Satan) being a covering cherub at the Throne of God plainly refers to Yahweh's Throne as a pyramid.

Having established that the pyramid is in the shape of Yahweh's Throne, it will make sense that the "altar", which Joseph erected in Egypt was the first pyramid. Did you know that Joseph built the first pyramid? He did... And it was designed and built as a monument to Yahweh, which stands in Egypt to this day... But before we identify it, we first need to prove that Egypt's Imhotep was the biblical Joseph.


The name, Imhotep, in ancient Egyptian is translated to mean "the voice (or mouth) of Im"; however, there is no record of a god in Egypt called "Im". But, we all know the God, "I AM":
  • "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." Exodus3:14
  • "Yahshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am." John 8:58
God told Moses to tell the pharaoh that "I AM" had sent him because "I AM" was the name by which the Egyptians had known Joseph's God. Could "Im" have been "I AM"? 

The Bible states the name that was given to Joseph by the pharaoh, Zaphenath-paneah. (This is a Hebrew rendering of what would have been an Egyptian name.) Zaphenath-paneah is translated to mean, "the God lives; the God speaks". The Egyptian word "hotep," is also translated to mean "voice" or "speaking". Thus the full name "Imhotep" was "The voice of I AM, which is identical in meaning to the name which pharaoh gave to Joseph ("the God lives; the God speaks"). 

For many years, Egyptologists had doubted that Imhotep had been a real person -- they found it rather difficult to believe the various accomplishments credited to him in the accounts written over a thousand years after he was supposed to have lived. 

Imhotep invented:
- the art of building with hewn stone
- embalming
- a means to store liquids without fermentation
- surgical tools 
- was a physician of such a magnitude that the Greeks were still using his writings on herbs and medical treatments centuries after his death.

At times Imhotep has been termed the Leonardo da Vinci of ancient Egypt, but in fact he was more than that. Da Vinci gained the reputation of a genius -- Imhotep was eventually elevated to the status of a god.

In Egypt's long list of gods, very few were ever actually living among them, but Imhotep did. Manetho wrote that:
"during his [Djoser of the 3rd Dynasty] reign lived Imouthes [i.e., Imhotep], who, because of his medical skill has the reputation of Asclepius[the Greek god of medicine] among the Egyptians and who was the inventor of the art of building with hewn stone."
- Manetho (Manetho was an Egyptian priest 
from Sebennytus who lived during the Ptolemaic era in the early 3rd century BC.)

It was this statement that caused the specialists to doubt the existence of a real man named Imhotep. But in 1926, the question was settled once and for all -- Imhotep was a real man.

When excavations were carried out at the Step Pyramid at Sakkara, fragments of a statue of pharaoh Djoser were found. The base (shown below) was inscribed with the names of Djoser and of Imhotep.

Joseph's main position was that of a prime minister and Imhotep appears to be the first who could boast of such a broad range of authority in ancient Egypt. There are records of many, many viziers throughout Egyptian history- but the first evidence which connects Imhotep with Joseph is an amazing inscription found carved on a large rock on the island of Sihiel just below the First Cataract of the Nile. 

Stele of Famine
The inscription claims to be a copy of a document written by Djoser in the 18th year of his reign - this copy being written over 1,000 years after the events it claims to be relating.
It goes on to tell of a seven year famine preceded by seven years of plenty. The stone, called the Stele of Famine also praises Imhotep for saving Egypt from this seven-year long famine.

The Bible records the fact that Joseph even taught the pharaoh's "senators." While this wisdom was revered by the Egyptians and carried down through the ages by their sages who copied some of his writings (claiming it as their own), some of these same "wisdom sayings" were recorded by some of Joseph's descendants over 700 years later, and ultimately were preserved for us in the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Psalms. But Joseph's wisdom didn't originate with him -- it was divinely inspired, as was Solomon's wisdom.


Today, there is a "stepped pyramid" at Sakkara (also spelled Saqqara). This is the remains of a very impressive complex designs and built by Joseph (known in Egypt as Imhotep), under the order of pharaoh Djoser.

National Geographic, January 1995, describes a man called Imhotep who saved his country from a famine.  "Perhaps most confident was Imhotep, the architect who probably conceived of building Djoser's [pharaoh] tomb completely from stone. Known as a sculptor, a priest, and a healer (who invented embalming and surgical implements), Imhotep is considered the preeminent genius of the Old Kingdom.  He assembled one workforce to quarry limestone to ship the crude blocks by boat to Saqqara, and yet another to haul the stone to the site, where master carvers shaped each block and put it in place.
 The "steps" were constructed of stone, which were then filled in with mud brick. Then, the entire outer surface of the pyramid was finished off with a layer of polished limestone, giving it the familiar "pyramid" shape instead of its present "stepped" shape. 

Joseph was obviously very close to God and acted under Divine influence when he constructed this monument. In God's time it became evident as the monument it was- "an altar to Yahweh in the midst of the land of Egypt", marking the location of the grain storage pits in the land in which God provided a safe haven for Israel to grow and develop into a great nation. 

How did Joseph's pyramid serve as a monument? The seven-year famine reached farther than Egypt. We know this because Joseph's father and brothers lived far away, yet were also suffering from the famine. People from other nations (including the sons of Jacob) pilgrimaged to Egypt to buy food during the famine. 

At first, they bought the food from Joseph's granaries with gold and jewels - and Egypt became rich. When their gold and jewels ran out, and the famine still persisted - they traveled to Egypt and bought food by trading land for it - and Egypt grew exponentially. When they had no more land to trade, the people offered their own services as a labor force which worked for food - and Egypt experienced a building boom and became great. And all of this happened under the leadership of Joseph, who honored Yahweh. And the trades were conducted in Saqqara, under the shadow of the imposing pyramid - which stood in mute testimony as a monument to Yahweh.   


Having examined the "altar" monument in Egypt, we are ready to identify the pillar mentioned in Isaiah 19:19. Where was the "pillar at the border thereof"? 

King Solomon erected inscribed pillars on each side of the Red Sea crossing site, and built a shrine at the foot of Mt. Sinai in Arabia. This was done in the 10th century B.C. They were discovered in about 1978. 

The pillar on the Egyptian side of the crossing site had fallen into the water when it was discovered. Ron Wyatt showed this to the Israeli military and they erected it in concrete very near where it was found, which would be exactly "at the border" of the land of Egypt, just as it says in Isaiah 19:19.

The pillar (on the right) that was placed by Solomon to be a memorial of the Israelite crossing led by Moses. The pillar itself has had the etchings removed. 

Isaiah 19:19 states “In that day there will be an altar to Yahweh in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to Yahweh at its border.” 

This pillar, erected by king Solomon at the border of Egypt to mark the Crossing Point in the Red Sea is that monument to which Isaiah refers in this Scripture.

Explorer Ron Wyatt in 1984 wrote that there was a matching pillar was found on the other side of the Gulf in Saudi Arabia. On the Saudi pillar, were Hebrew inscriptions that included the words, “Mizraim” (Egypt), Pharaoh, Moses, death, water, Yahweh, Solomon and Edom.

The name of the place where the pillar is placed is called Nuweiba, or Nuwayba, which is short for Nuwayba al Muzayyinah which means “waters of Moses opening.”