This blog continues looking for lists of the main villains. These are the editors identified by Acts 15. This time we look at Jude, who appears to run the villain list 2 times. ALSO, the 13014 first month holidays begin next week. A review of those dates is at the bottom of this blog.
The link here is to the book of Jude in the BRB. Jude is a short epistle, with only 1 chapter. For over 20 years, my working memory-peg summary of Jude has been 'Beware, there are bad dudes among you.' I don't recall anyone in the church world ever offering any suggestion about who those dudes might be. Jude is thought to be giving an abstract story.
In study of the New Testament, we have been looking for lists that run our known grids. Normally we are looking for either narrative that is following lists of 25 letters, or else running lists of 12 letter pairs.
Additions often upset these runs, so this is our primary tool for spotting the work of editors. Once such a list is spotted, then there are a bunch of possible back stories, basically everywhere following a similarly long list. So we can both weed out additions, but also we get an interpretive frame for learning more about author's intent.
In Jude, we found something different. Jude grids against a list of 6. Like Acts 15, Jude's 'bad dudes' are not some abstract list, but the normal list of 6 villains.
Recall from earlier blogs, these Bad Dude editors are 1) Solomon, 2) Ahab/Jezebel, 3) Nebuchadnezzar, 4) Mordecai, 5) Ezra and 6) Ananias. So if Jude is using these as his inspiration, then he is trying to teach his readers that these 6 represent concrete examples of 6 patterns of Bad Dudes that we see in the world all around us, apparently for all of history.
Recall also that the last bad dude, Ananias, would have put his paws on Jude's writing, so what we read has passed through his hands. All the editors were limited by the rule of Babel. Scripture was considered law that could not be repealed. But, additions and slight changes were allowed. So we dive into Jude with the known risk of tampering.
Because Jude is so short, he is not saying much about each Bad Dude. Of course once we know his Bad Dude list, Jude does not need to say much. There is plenty of other text on each villain.
Jude's Introduction (vs. 1-4)
In Jude's introduction he warns his readers to contend for the belief that was once handed over to the holy. He explains this contending is hard because some men have obtained entrance, who were written about, who turned the grace of god into an abomination.
In most preaching on Jude this will be generally applied as a warning to people who are pressing in to communities of faith. This is an ongoing problem. Read the history of Albert Pike. His statue stands a few blocks north of the White House in Washington DC. He was a head Mason who in the late 1800s wrote about his intent to infiltrate Christian churches in the USA and make them fronts for the masonic lodge. His primary attack vector was through christian seminaries.
The Christianity we know of today simply isn't the same as known to the pioneers. This because Pike's plan was followed. A second wave followed after World War II, but I digress.
There is nothing particularly wrong with this application of Jude. Infiltration does go on. But Jude says this infiltration happened in the past. Our work of contending from his day forward is because of things done in his history. That historical event is NOT identified in any modern preaching on Jude.
What was handed over to the holy in times past? The inspired text. The inspired writers wrote as they were lead. They wrote down what was revealed to them by Joshua. We hold their writings and know of that special writing as scripture. We use it as the bedrock for understanding everything about Joshua.
We must contend for this text because Bad Dudes have entered into what was handed over. They entered into the community of faith when they made changes. Jude is explaining about the history of the text. That which was once given to us has been overrun.
This introduction to Jude is matching the stories of Matthew 13, the field has had tares sown within. Repair will not come before the end of the age.
This introduction to Jude is matching the stories of Acts 15. In that chapter the writers give clues for identifying the editors. They warn readers about how this will be a problem until David's fallen tent is restored, in what was to them the distant future.
Once he has setup his reason for writing, he then moves on to a list of points he wants to make about each Bad Dude.
Jude's Pass 1
To make his case, Jude then makes (at least) 2 passes down the editor list, calling out key ideas that can be used to understand what was going on with each editor. These become memory pegs that we can use to better understand that history. They become reasons to contend.
Vs. 5-6 calls out 1) Solomon by reference to Egypt and kings held in chains. Solomon's main wife was from Egypt. The construction of a temple through conscription is exactly how the sons of Jacob were constrained through slavery into making bricks and buildings in Pharaoh's Egypt. Egypt had returned in Solomon's day. Jude is warning on Solomon's edits and he is warning of this pattern where buildings are the key expression of faith.
Jude writes about how these kings, so likely Solomon's edits, are preserved until the day of judgment. He may be telling us something profound as to the timing of manuscript recovery. It may indicate that recovery cannot happen publicly until the world is at war. By referencing kings in plural he is likely also calling out the list of editors as heirs to Solomon's kingship.
Curiously, I understand the Masonic Lodges to use 5 different calendars. 2 of them count time from Solomon's temple. They consider him a founder to their religion. Here Jude is warning of Solomon and his works and patterns, of which there are many more.
Vs. 7 calls out 2) Ahab/Jezebel by reference to Sodom and Gomorrah. This may not make immediate sense. Let me explain. Naboth was of course killed by Jezebel's letter that triggered a show trial and Naboth's execution. Ahab took the vineyard.
That vineyard was the source of vinegar/fuser for manuscript production going back to Joshua son of Nun's day. It had been the refuge for prophets at the fall of Shechem. The prophets who survived Naboth, Elijah the best known, had to flee. Initially they fled to Damascus. Eventually, using money from Namaan, they built a new place near the Jordan.
Their departure from Naboth's vineyard for other territory appears to match the known back story to Sodom. The kings of Joshua had visited Abram and then departed for Sodom to rescue Lot. Elijah was visited in the cave in Ahab and Jezebel's day. They were rescuing everyone in the Sodom region that would listen because disaster was coming.
The way the prophets in Jezebel's time contended for what was passed to them is what Jude wants us to remember from that day. It was like leaving Sodom. They had heavenly help. They had to move to foreign lands for survival, but could eventually build again.
So Jude is indicating that the nation was overrun by the Assyrians for the same fundamental reasons as Sodom was destroyed. Ahab and Jezebel ruled over a people beyond redemption.
Another interesting point about Jezebel is the receivers of her letter to have Naboth killed. What sort of organization was she building upon to carry out her evil plan? Webs of evil, of which Sodom was a part, cannot be easily redeemed.
Vs. 9 calls out the next editor, 3) Nebuchadnezzar. Jude does this by calling out Michael, a king reference in Daniel chapters 10 and 12. We believe Gabriel to be a stage name for Moses, this to protect the life of those he visits. Gabriel makes appearances to Daniel and then early in the NT to Mary and Zechariah. In the NT Moses is still around and referenced by name later on. He dropped his stage name once use of his name does not risk death to those he has visited.
Michael is likely another stage name for one of the other of the 25 throne room kings. As Moses and Elijah are a pair in the NT, then they are likely the same pair as in Daniel's day, so Michael may be Elijah's stage name.
Jude's specific reference to the body of Moses is pairing Moses to Michael, and giving us the riddle to solve to identify Michael as Elijah.
The body of Moses would also be a reference to the body of Moses' literary work that was being rewritten in Nebuchadnezzar's day. We must contend through the problems of rewritten texts.
I once cleaned out a house where a former owner had left behind a bunch of Masonic paraphernalia. Curiously it was loaded with Hebrew writing. Nebuchadnezzar is the inventor, or at least directed the invention, of that alphabet.
Vs. 11 references Mordecai with a brief reference to Cain. Mordecai is in the middle of the first Jew vs. Gentile fight. That fight is the important backstory to the trial of Joshua and why Pilot so easily caves to the priests.
Cain is similarly in a battle with his brother Abel. Both fighting over the inheritance. The righteous side lost in both of these cases. Only over the longer term the outcome reverses which is why Jude wants his reader to contend.
We must contend through these fights too. We still suffer the effects of Mordecai and his actions.
Vs. 11 then turns to Ezra with a reference to Balaam. Ezra and Balaam are similar in that they are both hired by a king to bless the king and his interests and curse the king's enemies. They are both agents of evil kings.
Kings throughout history setup and run their own religions. Masonry the best know western expression of this. But because the editors have tampered our base documents we must contend for this within the text too. This is why it is so hard to break through the text and understand Joshua as he is.
Jude finishes the editors, again in vs. 11, with Ananias being liked to Korah. Korah was in the leadership circle with Moses, but then wanted to rule himself. Ananias was a prophet, and was sent to Paul early in his walk. But, like Korah, Ananias gave up his rightful place among the apostles, and instead went on to become high priest.
Leaving leadership works 2 different ways. Surviving prophets, like Elijah, must flee for their lives. But others leave because they want power. 3rd parties, at times, have trouble identifying which is going on. Church splits are usually along a single fault line, those who want power vs. those following Joshua.
Jude suggests Ananias had an end of life similar to Korah. This hints that Ananias was killed in the 70 AD invasion of Jerusalem.
We must contend with people who are in our communities, but then leave for worldly gain. We must contend with the problems of exercising power against following Joshua's prophetic leading.
Jude's Pass 2
Jude is not done. He now returns to the beginning of the list and runs it a second time. In doing this he is demonstrating a pattern, showing how the lists of 6 villains map to the normal lists of 12 things. The list of 6 is simply run again.
Vs. 12 shifts back to Solomon. Jude says he led a wasteful, feasting life. He was blemished. He did not conduct himself in reverence. The wasteful side is in the building project. Jude's feasting reference is either calling holidays as feasts and moving them to the temple, OR, this is a reference to the animal sacrifices recorded in Solomon's day.
Blemished may be an effect of 1000 women. Lack of reverence implies he did not understand the wrath he would draw for what he did.
Vs. 12 then references Ahab/Jezebel by calling out a cloud without rain, driven by the wind. There was a serious famine caused by drought in that era. The mount Carmel story ends that drought.
Vs. 12 continues with Nebuchadnezzar by calling out a tree with withered blossoms, no fruit, and pulled up by the roots. All of this is referencing Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a tree cut down that remains a stump in the ground.
Vs. 13 moves to Mordecai by calling out a wave of the sea, showing shame by froth. This is likely a polite reference to the sexual immorality surrounding Mordecai.
Vs. 13 also references Ezra as a deceptive star for whom darkness is preserved forever.
This pass on the villains concludes with vs. 14-15. Here an army is described as converging and destroying because of works of wickedness and hard words which wicked sinners have spoken.
Again, a reference to the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem. Both because of the crucifixion and because of editing of NT text.
Stories Returning To The TT
Finding this grid in Jude forced several stories to return to the TT. Sodom, Balaam and Korah are all now back in the TT.
We have had trouble with some of these stories because as written in the Bible they cause kings of Joshua to themselves break the commandments. This is not an Acts 15 rule particularly, but is caught up under the term 'blood' in that chapter.
These textual problems may simply be localized editing by the villains. The villains are all known killers. They used killing to their own political ends. So writing in killing would be needed to get god's endorsement of their actions. Killing can thus be ascribed to any of the editors. So localized, verse or word level editing, can easily be attributed to any editor.
There may also be something about Joshua's kings, and what they are allowed to do when managing the affairs of earth, that we don't fully understand.
Did the kings who were sent to Sodom to rescue Lot also destroy Sodom? Or were they sent to rescue Lot because the destruction of Sodom was already on the way?
If the latter case, there must not have been enough righteous in the city for those kings to take action to save the city, but instead they decide to only save a remnant by getting them out of harms way.
These questions are very much still unsettled for us. So these stories are returning, but subject to further study as we work out what details are likely inspired.
Ryan has been reviewing the English used in the Sodom, Balaam, Korah and more generally Moses' stories. The Aramaic versions of the text are not exactly the words as used in Hebrew. Religiously loaded terms like 'offering' are sometimes common terms like 'gift.'
So as these stories are returning, they are also being checked to make sure the English is as conventional as possible given normal English translation of underlying Aramaic words.
The recovery of these stories also allowed the writing of Moses to finally grid in satisfying ways. Check out the early stories in the table of 400 if you want to learn more.
Getting Moses' stories set on the grid is making other stories easier to work out. We are making steady progress in this area.
This discovery in Jude of the villain list triggered a cascade of other discoveries. One of those is a better understanding of the holidays. They are defined mostly in Moses' day, but form the basis for prophetic runs later. I will return to this in future blogs.
What matters is we think the main holidays were inspired, but were adjusted by editors to support a priesthood instead of involving local teachers, prophets, and local gathering houses. This is what we think Joshua was doing in Capernaum.
There first holidays of the year are coming up fast. Here are the key dates for those who may wish to follow them.
Selection Day: 13014-01-10 (2023-01-18)
The date for picking the meat to be eaten at Passover. Also known as Pentecost. This is the natural end to the previous year's late holidays.
In modern practice we usually take this as the day to plan the meal and purchase the meat. If eating out, this is the day to make reservations so the chef knows you are coming to dinner.
This otherwise subtle date gets much attention early in Acts. Note the WEF's Davos meeting is 2023-01-16 through 2023-01-18. So we may see interesting headlines out of that meeting.
Passover: 13014-01-14 (2023-01-22)
This year this falls on Sunday. At the end of the day, ie Sunday night, is the time for the Passover meal. The day is not a day of rest so the meal can be prepared.
This is the day to cook the food from 4 days earlier. This is symbolic of leaving Egypt. For most reading this blog it would be symbolic of wanting to leave Egypt.
Opening: 13014-01-15 (2023-01-23)
Opening assembly. Not well defined in the text. If you had a normal local gathering house for Sabbath, this would be a day to gather.
This is the date of leaving Egypt.
Closing: 13014-01-21 (2023-01-29)
Closing assembly. Again, not well defined in the text. If you had a normal local gathering house for Sabbath, this would be another day to gather.
The week between the opening and closing dates is the week of unleavened bread.