And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature [a goodly man], five cubits high; and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear. 1Ch 11:23
Of all the relationships we may have with others, the friend is the most endearing and enduring. Even parents and grandparents and spouses long to be considered the best of friends by their children, grandchildren, and life mates. The attachment of friends is purely voluntary. There are no legal lies to bind them, no physical or material incentive to solidify their attachment to one another. Yet they will give anything to help or save their friend. And a friend lost in death is a very mournful loss.
But what if a friend privately turns against us, yet still professes to be our friend? Will we follow? How can we be saved from the deception? That is the question this final battle answers.
A family is driving across the state, enjoying the rural scenery and having a good time, when a little child in the back seat says, “Wow! Did you see that horse? It was huge!” Now “huge” is not an exact word, so everyone wants to know what was meant by “huge”. How do they find out? They ask the child if it was as tall as “that horse ahead of us?” “Taller!” he says with excitement. Hmmm. Need to look for something bigger. “How about that stand of field corn over there? It’s about seven feet high by now,” the dad says. “Oh, much taller than that!” the child exclaims. Now he has their attention. “How tall was the horse, Son?” Mom asks. The child is quiet for awhile, looking for something to compare to. Then, with obvious enthusiasm, his little finger begins jabbing the air at something near the road ahead of them, and he shrieks, “That tall! That tall! The horse was as tall as that!” Everyone follows his finger to a billboard a few hundred feet ahead. “Oooooh,” they say. Guessing that it wasn’t a real horse they ask the little boy, “Was it a horse on the billboard?” “Yes!” he says with a satisfied smile. He finally got through.
We do a lot of comparison during the day. Someone says the watermelon was really sweet this time. “Was it as sweet as the one last week?” we ask. A commercial tries to sell a concentrated laundry soap. “1/4 cup will do as much as 1 cup of your old powder,” the salesman croons. “Mommy! Try this chair,” a girl says while visiting a furniture store. “It’s much softer than our old one.” “These tires will last twice as long as those economy ones,” the serviceman explains. Comparing one thing to another to help understand it is very common, even in the Bible.
God tells us not to speak in an “unknown tongue” if there is no interpreter.
If one speaks in a language, let it be by two, or at the most three, and in succession. And let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him be silent In a church; and let him speak to himself and to God. 1Co 14:27-28
If He tells us not to speak in a way others cannot understand, then He wouldn’t do it Himself. When God uses figurative language in the Bible, we can expect He provides the means by which we can interpret what is being said. Sometimes that which is provided to help us understand will lead us into unexpected fields, ones we may never have thought of before. Such is the power and challenge of comparative study. It takes work, but is very rewarding.
In the Scriptures thousands of gems of truth lie hidden from the surface seeker. The mine of truth is never exhausted. The more you search the Scriptures with humble hearts, the greater will be your interest, and the more you will feel like exclaiming with Paul: “0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Maranatha, p 44
If the information is not close by, then we go to where it is. If it is not on the surface, easy to pick up and use, then we dig until we find it. The Interpreter is there! It’s okay to compare and search. In fact, many stories are designed for this very purpose. This may require some effort, but it is that very effort that strengthens our minds!
The noble powers of the mind may be so dwarfed by lack of exercise on themes worthy of their concentration as to lose their ability to grasp the deep meaning of the word of God. The mind will enlarge if it is employed in tracing out the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture, and spiritual things with spiritual. There is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than the study of the Scriptures. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible. If God’s word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose that is rarely seen in these times. CE 58
Like in this present study, we are trying to understand who or what this Egyptian giant represents, and why would we consider him our friend.. Because we are not told directly, we must go in search for an understanding. Several clues are given us. As we look at these clues we seek for similar things to compare to, or for an explanation from the original language.
THE LAST GIANT
The last giant is markedly different… for good reason. He represents Satan’s last-ditch effort to control the soul. Like the 4th giant, he is not named. Mystery also surrounds him. By using this fiend the Adversary pulls out all the stops, putting on his best façade, using his smoothest voice, and displaying his most convincing deceptions. Like clay which can contain traces of all the elements, in this giant we can see elements of all the giants, and more.
We have been looking at an image of huge proportions, recorded as a single figure in Daniel 2. In it God illustrated the diverse kingdoms that would rule the world. These kingdoms, however, did not just represent political powers. They also prefigured fearsome worldly influences to distract and deceive all of God’s people, as made plain through the imagery of giants. Ignorance is lethal. They are no idle threat.
- Fortune: Satan’s first effort to divert our allegiance to God is with the trappings of Babylon’s prosperity. Prosperity and fortune is anything real or imagined that lifts us above our fellow man. Subtly and not so subtly, he tries to charm us to abandon heavenly riches for base worldly ones.
- Fears, Faults & Failures: If the devil can’t allure us away from true worship he will try accusations, legal action, fears, imaginations, or some other way to limit our service, as Medo-Persian princes tried to do with Daniel.
- Facts: Through worldly (Greek) education and philosophy he tries to disarm those obedient to heaven’s principles. He will reason with us in the guise of an educator or spiritual leader, to subtly change our thoughts via the most convincing arguments of tradition, worldly philosophy, or science.
- Force: If Satan can’t lure us into sin, or limit our witness of God’s goodness, or “reason” with us through false sciences, then he purposes to force the faithful into submission. This force comes in many forms including: embarrassment or humiliation, dishonor, physical pain or torture, or death threats. We saw this played out in the treatment of Christ, when Rome was fairly new in power.
His most convincing lies, his most subtle distortions are used to convince us to deny our heavenly heritage and leave the Lord’s service. Yet in all these, God has His ways to deliver.
So what is left? What other way can Satan try to break our union with Christ? It is his most powerful temptation, one he didn’t even use on Christ in the wilderness. He saved it till the end. It is based on one of our most primitive needs: friendship. The whole plan of redemption is relationship based. We are created as social beings. “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” If you can’t trust your friends, whom can you trust? If you don’t have friends, why try? The study on the Egyptian addresses this, and how God will help.
The Bible presents this Egyptian as a giant, portrayed as Goliath and his “sons” were portrayed, in similar descriptive language, as though he represented similar dangers to God’s people. We must understand the purpose of this comparison. To do so, we need first to comprehend the significance of clay.
The whole image of Daniel 2 is a prophetic delineation of influences and powers that would affect God’s people till the end of time. To think of them just as sovereign kingdoms ruling the world from Daniel’s time to ours misses the intent of Scriptures. The Bible is not merely a book of history or politics or poetry. Its focus is not just “life on this earth”. It is a divinely ordained collection of writings organized especially to instruct and inspire God’s people throughout all ages, and lead them to their heavenly home, albeit through human failings, natural resources, political prowess, stories, parables, or a host of other means. He has power over all.
All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2Tim. 3:16 RSV
We have been studying the four giants David did not (or could not) fight. We learned each had something in common. They were all Philistine sons of Goliath. We also learned how they compare to the characteristics of the Daniel 2 kingdoms, being listed in the same order as the kingdoms they represent. The world powers in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream also shared a common factor. They were all represented by metals.
However, as Daniel’s description of the image draws to a close, something unique shows up in the feet. A new element is introduced but it is not a metal, nor does the prophet treat it as a metal. It is just common clay. What does the clay represent?
The Bible’s association with clay [or dust—in Hebrew dust can also be interpreted as clay, earth, mud] has often been with man—his mortality, his weakness and vulnerability, his utter inability to make of himself anything profitable without God’s direct involvement.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen 2:7
For He knows our form; He remembers that we are dust. Psa 103:14
All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all return to dust again. Ecc 3:20
Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor? Rom 9:21
Water dramatically affects clay but has little or no effect on gold, silver, brass, or iron. When water is mixed with it clay is moldable, easily formed into many useful vessels. But remove the moisture and clay becomes hard, brittle, easily broken. How quickly we forget this. If God forms us into a “vessel onto honor” and then places us in His service, we may be tempted to think the gifts and graces given to fit us for service may be original with ourselves. What complicates matters js that sometimes God’s gifts are permanent, even if we do not use them for His glory. It doesn’t lessen the fact, however, that the gifts are still God’s and we are only “earthen vessels”, easily broken.
- Lucifer was created as the most exalted angel, actually next to Christ in glory and power. He took the glory to himself and became Satan, the life-destroyer and deceiver. Though now out of favor with God he still retains much of his power. Even though he has been using it against God’s government, he will eventually destroy himself with it.
- Moses was honed for a special work, to deliver God’s people from the grip of Egypt. Part of that preparation was to have power over nature. Apparently some of that which God did through him became his own. From then on he could use that power for God’s glory or his own. Unfortunately he misused it once. When God commanded him to speak to a rock to have water come out, Moses, in a moment of passion, struck it instead, taking glory to himself. Water did come out, but the prophet was severely dealt with for misusing the gift.
- When God needed tradesmen to make the sanctuary, there were no Israelites skilled in the necessary crafts, so He poured His Spirit on two individuals, Bezeleel and Aholiab, immediately qualifying them for the task at hand. Once the sanctuary was completed these Israelites retained their skills, even passing them on to their children and grandchildren. The descendants of these workmen inherited to a large degree the talents conferred on their forefathers. (Prophets and Kings, p 62) Solomon chose one of those descendents, Huram, of the line of Aholiab on his mother’s side, to head up the construction of the new temple. Huram, even though inheriting many of Aholiab’s skills, was himself unconverted. Read what effect his misuse had on the nation and Solomon himself.
Because of his unusual skill. Huram demanded large wages. Gradually the wrong principles that he cherished came to be accepted by his associates. As they labored with him day after day, they yielded to the inclination to compare his wages with their own, and they began to lose sight of the holy character of their work. The spirit of self-denial left them, and in its place came the spirit of covetousness. The result was a demand for higher wages, which was granted.
The baleful influences thus set in operation permeated all branches of the Lord’s service, and extended throughout the kingdom. The high wages demanded and received gave to many an opportunity to indulge in luxury and extravagance. The poor were oppressed by the rich; the spirit of self-sacrifice was well-nigh lost. In the far-reaching effects of these influences may be traced one of the principal causes of the terrible apostasy of him who once was numbered among the wisest of mortals. Prophets & Kings, p 64.
There are those, on the other hand, who remember their stewardship and consistently use their gifts for God’s honor.
The apostles and their associates were unlettered men, yet through the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, their speech, whether in their own or a foreign language, became pure, simple, and accurate, both in word and in accent. (Desire of Ages, p 821) …And they retained this gift ever afterwards. (Story of Redemption, p 246)
The time will come when God’s people must stand before Him “without a mediator”, a time after probation closes but before Christ returns to claim His own. His children will have been filled with God’s Spirit through the latter rain, passed through the furnace of affliction, called the time of Jacob’s trouble, and purified of all self-sufficiency. At that time they perfectly reflect their Saviour’s likeness and stand as His representatives in the earth, possibly displaying a power akin to that of Christ and Moses. Christ then removes His mediatorial robes and prepares to return for His people. During this time His faithful followers, purified of all sin, must stand alone (GC88 425). Their righteousness is called the righteousness of saints (Rev. 19:8). Though they ever credit their Saviour for it, it is identified as their own, not Christ’s righteousness.
What about this water that is mixed with the clay? Without water, dust would remain dust and clay would be hard and unyielding in the Potter’s hands. No vessels could be formed. No talents conferred. It all starts with the addition of that precious liquid. Inspiration refers to this as the water of life. It is also identified as God’s mercy, kindness, and compassion—all ours through the merits of Jesus Christ.
but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:14
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” Everyone who hears this must also say, “Come!” Come, whoever is thirsty; accept the water of life as a gift, whoever wants it. Rev. 22:17 GNB
Through the merits of Jesus Christ, they realize that nothing is reserved in the heart of God for them but the fountain of the water of life, — tender mercy. loving–kindness, infinite compassion. BEcho, March 26, 1894 par. 5
This water is powerful! When we fully submit to the Master Potter, and allow Him to mix as much of this precious water as is needed, He will do amazing things for and through us.
To everyone who offers himself to the Lord for service, withholding nothing, is given power for the attainment of measureless results. For these God will do great things. He will work upon the minds of men so that, even in this world, there shall be seen in their lives a fulfillment of the promise of the future state. Ministry of Healing, p 160
But sometimes God withdraws His gracious Spirit from man, leaving him strangely “alone” to test his resolve, his faith, his determination to honor God or himself.
- This happened to Hezekiah after he was healed of a terminal illness and visited by powerful rulers to inquire of his God.
Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. 2Ch 32:31
- This happened with Job when Satan accused God of placing a hedge about him (Job 1).
- This happened with Jesus when dying on the cross (Matthew 27:45-46)
Faith and hope trembled in the expiring agonies of Christ because God had removed the assurance He had heretofore given His beloved Son of His approbation and acceptance. 2T210
- This will happen at the close of probation for all people. When God’s spirit is withdrawn from the wicked, their true nature will be seen. When it is withdrawn from the righteous, they will remain righteous and holy still (Rev. 22:11), and able to stand before the Father without a Mediator (GC425).
We should know for ourselves what it means to stand firmly for God, ever learning that which Providence designs to teach us. But too often we think as others think, and do as they do. We are influenced by the habits of our associates. When we depend on finite help to support us, we do not really know our weakness, and when the storm comes, we are overthrown. But when thrust out where we must stand alone, our faith fastens upon the only sure support–the infinite God. Youth’s Instructor, January 29, 1903 par. 7
When water is withdrawn from clay the clay becomes hard and brittle, easily broken. That is the nature of clay. That is what makes clay different from the metals. Clay has never been a substance of strength. Throughout the whole experience of this earthy element, it is Another’s merits and Another’s handiwork that gives it purpose and life. And if during use the clay vessel falls out of the hand of the Master, it breaks (because that is what clay does) and again becomes useless, unless repaired by the compassionate Redeemer. At no point can the clay ever take pride in itself, no matter how great a vessel “unto honor” it may have been made.
The lesson of the clay (dust) is very important in Scripture. And it is no less significant in Daniel 2. Its purpose is more than adding the element of weakness to the iron (Dan. 2:41-42).
POSITIONING OF THE CLAY
As the image is developed in Daniel’s explanation to Nebuchadnezzar, metals are used in descending worth to represent weakening world powers. Daniel always respects this order, whether he is going from head to foot or in reverse order. But not so with the clay! He does not treat the clay as a world power, but more as an influence present among the nations. Let’s look at some verses in Daniel 2.
The first reference establishes the chronological order. In it clay is last, in fifth position. In this presentation the iron and clay are inferred to be “in the last days”. However, notice what the prophet does in his two recaps, when he reverses the sequence. He maintains the order of the metals, but places the clay in two different positions, once in fourth and then in third, as if its presence in the image was not confined to the feet alone.
Verses 32-33 This image’s head was of fine gold; his breast and his arms were of silver; his belly and his thighs were of bronze; his legs were of iron; his feet were part of iron and part of clay.
Verse 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were broken to pieces together. And they became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors.
Verse 45 Because you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it crushes the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what shall occur after this.
There is a fourth position for the clay— implied in the experience of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel said to the king of Babylon, ‘You are this head of gold.” Nebuchadnezzar was a man, just like us, with all the imperfections and weaknesses that come with humanity. But he saw himself as solid gold, as something greater than mere clay, one who didn’t need God—as we see in the image he made of himself (Daniel 3) and his statement, Is not this great Babylon that I have built? (Daniel 4:30). With his perspective, who could equal his power and wealth? God had to deal closer with the king a little later to show him his true “metal”, to help him understand that his position in the image did not negate his dependence on his Creator. Note Nebuchadnezzar’s conclusion after spending time “out in the field”. Do you recognize a potter/clay attitude here?
And all the people of the earth are counted as nothing; and He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the people of the earth. And none can strike His hand, or say to Him, What are You doing? At that time my reason returned to me. And the glory of my kingdom, my honor and brightness returned to me. And my advisers and my lords came for me, and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and exalt and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth and His ways judgment. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble. Dan 4:35-37
Apparently it was not God’s purpose to emphasize the human factor in the progression of the kingdoms, but rather the descending nature of the empires, the fact that a lesser kingdom would overthrow each world power because God was in control. This was accomplished by using metals. By the time we get to the feet, however, the image has run out of “body armor” and we see the clay element “exposed”.
If there is nothing to cover the feet, and the feet are made of clay, then could the whole image have been clay underneath all those metals? Could it be telling us that the whole image was mortal, completely dependent on God to make of it what He would?
We have noted earlier that the four sons of Goliath illustrate the metal kingdoms. Remember who or what the sons were? They were Philistines. Philistine in Hebrew means to roll, possibly referring to their migratory nature. The root word for rolling, however, adds one more dimension: to roll (in dust). [There’s that dust word again, only this time associated without water!] These people were not only migratory (Canaan was not their original homeland), they were also a very “earthy” people, worldly, Godless. Almost all the time the Philistines were harassing and plaguing the Israelites. We can expect, then, the kingdoms the Philistine giants represent would not be favorable to God’s people, unless Christ was present and in control.
To the proud and self-sufficient, we might think of the uncovered portions of the feet as seeing “the shame of thy nakedness” (Rev. 3:18). [This may be why God asked Moses to remove his sandals while in His presence. Moses was to have nothing “protecting” or “covering” his humanness, his dependency on God (Exo 3:5)].
The clay in the image starts out mixed with water.
And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter’s clay [moldable only when wet], and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay. Dan 2:41 [miry = wet enough for chariot wheels to get stuck in!].
Eventually, however, the clay in the image dries out.
And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. Dan 2:42 [Brittleness is a characteristic of dryness.]
The mercies and merits of Christ will be withdrawn. And what is left will reveal the true character of the image.
Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were broken to pieces together. And they became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors [very dry]. And the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Dan 2:35
If the whole image of Daniel 2 were clay underneath, Daniel could have put the clay anywhere in his recap and been correct. But why did the clay become apparent only in the feet? What do feet symbolize?
If you want to see what a person is doing, look at the hands. If you want to see what a person is thinking, look at the eyes. If you want to see where a person is going, look at the feet. They are the first part of our body to enter new territory and the last part to leave. Feet direct the body, consequently they symbolize the directions we take in life, the choices we make.
But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. Psalm 73:2
Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Eph. 6:15
When Jesus wanted to show His disciples a serious character problem they had, the direction they were heading spiritually, He washed their feet. When Mary wanted to show her love for her Lord and prepare His body for burial, she anointed His feet, as well as His head. These choices we make affect our character. So seeing the clay in the feet could help us understand something about the true nature of the image, why all the kingdoms fell and why the whole image will eventually be replaced by a different system. This becomes clearer as we apply the Bible’s figurative use of clay.
When Jesus washed the dust from the disciples’ feet, He was, in effect, removing that which represented their weakness. They were trusting in themselves rather than in their Saviour who was in their midst.
“He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.” These words mean more than bodily cleanliness. Christ is still speaking of the higher cleansing as illustrated by the lower. He who came from the bath was clean, but the sandaled feet soon became dusty, and again needed to be washed. So Peter and his brethren had been washed in the great fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. Christ acknowledged them as His. But temptation had led them into evil, and they still needed His cleansing grace. When Jesus girded Himself with a towel to wash the dust from their feet, He desired by that very act to wash the alienation, jealousy, and pride from their hearts. This was of far more consequence than the washing of their dusty feet. With the spirit they then had, not one of them was prepared for communion with Christ. Until brought into a state of humility and love, they were not prepared to partake of the paschal supper, or to share in the memorial service which Christ was about to institute. Their hearts must be cleansed. Pride and self-seeking create dissension and hatred, but all this Jesus washed away in washing their feet. A change of feeling was brought about. Looking upon them, Jesus could say, “Ye are clean.” Now there was union of heart, love for one another. They had become humble and teachable. Except Judas, each was ready to concede to another the highest place. Now with subdued and grateful hearts they could receive Christ’s words. Desire of Ages, p 646
Since various metals covered every other part of the image, hiding the clay-like features, the weakness and dependency of man are not defining issues in the description of the four previous kingdoms, but when discussing the demise of the whole image, the clay-like features become prominent. So we look at the feet of the great image to see where it is going, to see if we want to go with it, or go somewhere else.
DANIEL AND REVELATION
We know that both books of Daniel and Revelation are to be studied together. Each sheds light on the other. What about this time of the feet spoken about in Daniel 2? It ends with Rome closely associating with clay in the last days, just before Christ sets up His kingdom. John picks up the Rome element, but doesn’t mention clay per se. He does talk about an “earthly” element, however, working in conjunction with the (iron) beast (Rev. 13:11-18). Could this be the “clay”?
John’s metaphor is more Egypt-like.
- The 2-horned beast speaks like a dragon (Rev. 13:11), which more specifically is cunning and deceptive (Rev. 12:9; see also Gen. 3:1 [subtle, cunning], Exodus 1:8-10 [wisely, shrewdly])
- the only way the faithful will be delivered in that day is by a mighty Leader bringing plagues upon this Egypt-like power (Rev. 15) until they are able to “go worship the Lord freely”.
- The delivered sing the song of Moses and the Lamb (Rev. 15:3).
Where do God’s people go after being delivered? To that heavenly place where there shall no more be the Canaanite in the land (Zech. 14:21).
Is Revelation 12 and 13 talking about a real Egypt? No. Egypt had her day, as did Babylon and others. But that which characterized Egypt could be seen in other nations or world powers. This is how we understand the “Elijah message”. It is not given by Elijah, but by those who are characterized by Elijah’s zeal and focus. John the Baptist gave the “Elijah message”, announcing Christ’s first coming, though he was not Elijah. And there will be those in the last days who also proclaim an “Elijah message” to announce Christ’s second coming, though they also will not be Elijah in the flesh. So is it possible a power in the final days of the iron kingdom’s rule could characterize Egypt though not being Egypt or Egyptian? Seems fair— especially when we read Rev.11:8 and Mrs. White’s comment on it.
And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Rev 11:8
According to the words of the prophet, then, a little before the year 1798 some power of Satanic origin and character would rise to make war upon the Bible. And in the land where the testimony of God’s two witnesses should thus be silenced, there would be manifest the atheism of the Pharaoh [Egypt], and the licentiousness of Sodom. This prophecy has received a most exact and striking fulfillment in the history of France. Great Controversy, 1888 edition, p 269
Anyone or anything that duplicates the characteristics of the original can be called by the name of the original. Thus John the Baptist was called Elijah, as will God’s faithful in the end of time. And so with France. She met the basic characteristics of Egypt and was called Egypt.
However, the reason for an interest in an Egypt-like power in the last days goes much deeper. The Egypt-like characteristics multiply.
EGYPT AS A REFUGE
In spite of the fact that Egypt was a heathen nation, she was used many times as a refuge, a place of safety.
- Abram (Gen. 12:10)
- Jacob’s family (Gen. 42:1-2)
- Hadad (lKings 11:17)
- Jeroboam (lKings 11:40)
- Urijah (Jer. 26:21)
- Joseph and Mary with Jesus (Matthew 2:13)
And many of those times God Himself opened the way! Mrs. White explained His purpose for sending Israel to Egypt.
The assurance, “Fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation,” was significant. The promise had been given to Abraham of a posterity numberless as the stars, but as yet the chosen people had increased but slowly. And the land of Canaan now offered no field for the development of such a nation as had been foretold. It was in the possession of powerful heathen tribes that were not to be dispossessed until “the fourth generation.” If the descendants of Israel were here to become a numerous people, they must either drive out the inhabitants of the land or disperse themselves among them. The former, according to the divine arrangement, they could not do; and should they mingle with the Canaanites, they would be in danger of being seduced into idolatry. Egypt, however, offered the conditions necessary to the fulfillment of the divine purpose. A section of country well-watered and fertile was open to them there, affording every advantage for their speedy increase. And the antipathy they must encounter in Egypt on account of their occupation–for every shepherd was “an abomination unto the Egyptians”–would enable them to remain a distinct and separate people and would thus serve to shut them out from participation in the idolatry of Egypt. Patriarchs and Prophets, p 232
And of all the places Joseph could have been directed to keep Mary and her baby safe, Egypt was again chosen by God.
In like manner Joseph received warning to flee into Egypt with Mary and the child. And the angel said, “Be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him.” Joseph obeyed without delay, setting out on the journey by night for greater security. DA 64
No other kingdom had this strong Scriptural association of being a refuge, a haven of safety.
EGYPT AND RELIGIOUS TOLERATION
A second characteristic of Egypt is her religious toleration.
Egypt was a religious kingdom, albeit pagan. She depended heavily upon her mystic advisors as how to operate the kingdom. The power these magicians and astrologers held with the pharaohs was evident during the drama of the Great Exodus. But, initially, she was tolerant to Joseph’s religion, for had not his God shown favor to the nation through the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream? And had not Joseph’s God given him exceptional skill in affairs of state?
It was the Israelite’s occupation the Egyptians couldn’t stand, for Joseph’s family were herdsmen and shepherds. This actually proved a blessing. It helped keep the two nations separate.
And Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s house, I will go up and show Pharaoh, and say to him, My brothers and my father’s house, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. And the men are shepherds, for they have been men of cattle. And they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have. And it shall be when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation? Then you shall say, Your servants have been men of cattle from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers, so that you may live in the land of Goshen, for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians. Gen 46:31-34
A highly religious government combined with religious toleration is another thing that sets Egypt apart from the “metal” kingdoms of Daniel 2. The other nations may have tolerated or even invited the presence of God’s people in their borders (as Babylon did), but these were worldly kingdoms whose leaders often thought of themselves as gods. When Rome converted to Catholicism and became a religious nation, toleration for God’s people was not a characteristic.
EGYPT AND DIPLOMACY
And the sons of Israel were fruitful, and increased very much, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty. And the land was filled with them. And there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are many and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it will be when there comes a war, they join also to our enemies, and fight against us, and get out of the land. Exodus 1:7-10
Diplomacy has been a common characteristic of leaders. What makes Egypt different in this respect is her purpose in using it. Today when conflict threatens the security of a nation, its leaders will parley back and forth with compromises to agree on mutually beneficial arrangements. We call this “cold war” tactics. If this doesn’t work, then the contest switches to military strength. The Egyptian leaders perceived the nation of Israel as “mightier” than themselves, and felt the security of Egypt was at risk. Until a true assessment of Israel’s military strength was made, diplomacy would be used to keep the foreign nation comfortable.
But national security was not the only factor. God had blessed the Israelites in their temporary home. And in blessing them He blessed also the nation who harbored them. Egypt’s leaders recognized great gain in controlling this powerful and prolific people. They didn’t want them to “get out of the land.”
“Let us deal wisely with them,” they said. The leaders thought it prudent to approach the Israelites carefully, in a way that would not upset them. (They thought of the Israelites as a powerful people.) They must first make sure the Israelites’ ability to retaliate is diffused. Egypt’s intent was not just to provide national security, but also to control for national benefit. And she would do it, initially, through statesmanship.
Through diplomacy Egypt was able not only to keep a mightier nation from revolting, but also to position them for complete subjection.
EGYPT’S TURNCOAT NATURE
The picture is striking. We see at one point a small group of people, seventy in number, accepted with smiles and open arms. They were highly respected (though their occupation was not appreciated) and given the most fertile land the country had to offer. Then we see that same group of people, now numbering in the millions, treated and controlled as slaves, with absolutely no respect. And all smiles are gone. What happened?
The true nature of Egypt has come to full fruition. Her true character is seen… when the Spirit of God is removed.
We are not given the details on exactly how she subjected a nation greater in number and power than herself. But what is made clear is the fact that Egypt will dominate, she will control, no matter who or what. That is where she always goes.
In Revelation 12 we see Rome described as a “great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads” (verse 3). Here the iron kingdom has taken on the ecclesiastical nature Daniel foresaw (Daniel 7:23-25). And in the same chapter we begin to see evidence of the Egyptian influence. The earth helps the woman (God’s church). It becomes a “haven” country, a place where God’s people could flee to when food was scarce or oppression was heavy. Do you see a parallel here?
And the woman [God’s church] fled [sought for a refuge] into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, so that they might nourish [fatten up with food] her there a thousand, two hundred and sixty days. (verse14) And two wings of a great eagle were given to the woman, so that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the serpent’s [oppressing] face. Revelation 12:6
This REFUGE included many different places. One of them, we understand, was the New World of the Americas, discovered during this time—a very fertile country (as was Goshen, the place in Egypt given for the Israelites to occupy). John continues to describe this new land with the capacity to “swallow” water. Clay is the only element in Daniel 2 that can absorb water—up to four times the volume of clay.
And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. (verse 16)
John adds even more details about the time when the feet are part of iron and part of clay. Revelation 13:1-8 describes the iron portion, a religious power rising “out of the sea” blaspheming God, accepting the worship of man, making war with the saints, and getting its power from the dragon (Satan himself). Verses 11-17 describe the clay portion, a contrasting power rising “out of the earth”. It, too, has spiritual overtones, yet its power over the people seems to be more with mystic fascination and deception, for it speaks “as a dragon” [Greek for dragon: a fabulous kind of serpent (perhaps as supposed to fascinate)], “does great wonders”, and “deceives them that dwell on the earth”.
Remember, the intent of the Egyptian leaders was to “deal wisely’ with the people for the purpose of controlling them (Exodus 1:10). So we should see this friendly, refuge-type clay influence gaining some sort of civil power over the masses.
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save him that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Rev 13:16-17
This power will be used against God’s people.
And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. Rev 13:15
EGYPT + CLAY = MAN
We have been studying the same event in both apocalyptic books, using different metaphors. It is the similarity of both that makes this possible. Egypt reveals the true nature of clay. And clay reveals the true nature of Egypt.
Man was first made in God’s image, and man was made from clay. As man was to reveal the qualities of his Maker, so we should find clay doing the same. By combining all that we have studied in Daniel and Revelation, we get this image of man, when the spirit of God is in him:
Like clay to water, man has a natural affinity to the Spirit of God
He becomes a refuge to those hurting and in need
He nurtures others
Though himself spiritual, he is tolerant of the beliefs of others
He speaks wisely and carefully
But we also see that as man begins to separate himself from God’s spirit, a change occurs.
He uses his powers to deceive.
He desires to control others
He will eventually kill if he cannot control
When that happens, he falls and is broken, with no one to put him back together. He has rejected the only Spirit that could help him.
THE UNITED STATES
We have long taught that the United States was John’s beast that comes up out of the earth and provides a haven for the woman. We refer to the “land” or “wilderness” (a fertile land almost completely devoid of people where the persecuted could be nurtured safely), and the beast with lamblike horns (possibly identifying it as a “Christian” nation in its infancy—the horns were “lamblike”, not “ramlike”, those of a younger animal–and notice they were “lamb-like,” not lamb’s horns. The horns APPEARED to be like athose a lamb would have, but they really weren’t). John gives a lot of clues. Now we see that Daniel 2 adds to that interpretation significantly.
As we consider the US filling the Egypt-like role, we are led to consider also the purpose God had for leading His people to that heathen land. Heathen? It’s easy for us to see Egypt as a heathen nation, but what about the “Iamb-like” beast of Revelation? Didn’t that mean it was Christian? No. It really wasn’t a “lamb-like” beast. It just had lamb-like horns, meaning it used Christian principles to rule by [in Scripture horns = power]. It was really a beast that came up out of the earth. The Greek word used for “beast” here means “a dangerous animal: – (venomous, wild). This is not describing a “house pet” or domestic creature! The United States was not intended to be the Promised Land for God’s people, a place of retirement, but the place God intended for them to be nurtured and to grow in numbers prior to their “taking on” their inheritance. Let’s look again at God’s purpose for sending Israel into Egypt.
The assurance, “Fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation,” was significant. The promise had been given to Abraham of a posterity numberless as the stars, but as yet the chosen people had increased but slowly. And the land of Canaan now offered no field for the development of such a nation as had been foretold…. Egypt, however, offered the conditions necessary to the fulfillment of the divine purpose. A section of country well-watered and fertile was open to them there, affording every advantage for their speedy increase. Patriarchs and Prophets 232
Apparently numbers and size are sometimes important in God’s program. Could His intent for planting the remnant church on American soil be to feed and nurture her and help her grow in numbers for giving the last-day message to a dying world? Has the church used the freedoms and resources provided by the United States to launch and support a worldwide message? Where did our medical and educational programs start? Where did our worldwide radio and television ministries begin? Where is most of the world church’s monetary wealth? This country has definitely been a haven and growing field for God’s people.
But when the day comes that the church is big and strong enough, a power to be reckoned with in the world, she will lose her favor with “the pharaohs” and efforts will be made to “control” her. That is the nature of Egypt. It is then the beast with “lamb-like” horns will speak “as a dragon” and try to control a kingdom mightier than herself.
The “land of the free” will turn against God’s church, but not initially with force of arms (typical to the kingdom of iron), but rather with the voice of a “dragon” [a fabulous kind of serpent (perhaps as supposed to fascinate)]. We are shown the serpent in action in heaven, where a third of the angels were deceived (Rev. 12:4), and in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), where our first parents fell. The serpent uses truth riddled with lies and deceptions, and is very effective. In Revelation 13 he again is using miracles and mystic powers [through the beast with lamb-like horns] to convince the world of his “authority”. The pharaoh that “knew not Joseph” said, “Come, let us deal wisely with them…” (Exo 1:10) That type of “wisdom” was for the purpose of total control. That’s the nature of the wild and venomous beast, the beast that is not controlled by God’s spirit!
Consider this characteristic of Egypt of old. Is this the destiny of the United States when she repudiates God’s law?
Of all nations presented in Bible history, Egypt most boldly denied the existence of the living God and resisted His commands. No monarch ever ventured upon more open and highhanded rebellion against the authority of Heaven than did the king of Egypt. When the message was brought him by Moses, in the name of the Lord, Pharaoh proudly answered: “Who is Jehovah, that I should hearken unto His voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, and moreover I will not let Israel go.” Exodus 5:2, A.R. V. This is atheism, and the nation represented by Egypt would give voice to a similar denial of the claims of the living God and would manifest a like spirit of unbelief and defiance. Great Controversy 269
Daniel says the clay and iron will work together. Revelation says the beast with Iamb-like horns will work together with the beast that had a wound and was healed. And the first beast will deny the claims of God, make an image after its own likeness, give it life, and have it control the world. We have noticed that Daniel and John use different metaphors to describe the ecclesiastical and political powers— churchcraft (the first beast of Revelation 13, Rome) and statecraft (the second beast in that chapter, the US)— affecting God’s people in the last days.
The mingling of churchcraft and statecraft is represented by the iron and the clay. This union is weakening all the power of the churches. This investing the church with the power of the state will bring evil results. Manuscript 63, 1899
But these metaphors appear to be strongly related. Is there any place the Bible ties these two metaphors, clay and Egypt, together in discussing world prowess? Yes! In the last giant. The Egyptian giant.
THE FINAL GIANT
Remember the difficulty we encountered in Daniel 2, to determine the placement of the clay? At one point it seems to come at the end and a little later Daniel places it in the midst of the metals (Daniel 2:35, 45). We have a similar difficulty in placing this last giant. Like with the first four behemoths, the Bible gives two accounts where we can read about the Egyptian giant. One is in 2 Samuel 23 and the other is in I Chronicles 11. The first reference is in Samuel’s account, where the Egyptian is placed after the encounter with Goliath’s four sons. But the last reference in the Chronicles places him before the fray with the Philistines! Hmmm.
And, as the clay was different than the metals, the giant is different than the sons of Goliath. They were Philistines. He was Egyptian! Does the Bible give a tie-in with Egypt and clay? You can be sure of it! God’s people were in Egypt for 400 years. They received the harboring, the nurturing, the religious tolerance. Then they saw what happened when its leader “knew not God”. The spirit of God was rejected and the spirit of dominion entered. For at least the latter part of those 400 years they were forced into manual labor.
And there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are many and mightier than we. Come, let us deal slyly with them, lest they multiply, and it will be when there comes a war, they join also to our enemies, and fight against us, and get out of the land. And they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built treasure cities for Pharaoh, Pithon and Raamses. Exo 1:8-11
In Exodus 5 we can zone in on exactly what they were doing to build these cities. They were making bricks— out of clay! At least to God’s people, there is a definite association of Egypt with clay. And it is not positive.
And the king of Egypt said to them, Moses and Aaron, Why do you keep the people from their work? Get to your burdens! And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and you make them rest from their burdens. And Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their officers the same day, saying, You shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. Exo 5:4-7
The most common building material of that country was sun-dried brick; the walls of the finest edifices were made of this, and then faced with stone; and the manufacture of brick employed great numbers of the bondmen. Cut straw being intermixed with the clay, to hold it together, large quantities of straw were required for the work; the king now directed that no more straw be furnished; the laborers must find it for themselves, while the same amount of brick should be exacted. PP 258
Let’s look more closely at this Egyptian and see what we can learn about the last day power Daniel calls clay and John refers to as Egypt.
And he slew an Egyptian,
a man of great stature [a goodly man],
five cubits high;
and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam;
and he went down to him with a staff,
and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand,
and slew him with his own spear.
And he slew an Egyptian…
This last giant was described as an Egyptian, not among the dreaded Philistines who were avowed enemies of Israel. Yet we find this giant also threatening God’s people. He is out of place. He was not a Canaanite, needing to defend his turf. Nor was he part of an invading army trying to extend their conquests. He apparently wasn’t even among a band of marauders seeking to advantage themselves by the wealth of the land or its people. He appeared to be alone. Yet still he portrayed a danger to God’s people. The mighty men of David’s army were not known to kill anyone who wasn’t an Israelite. There had to be a threat to the nation or to their leader to arouse them for combat. There must have been some reason the Egyptian was out of his element and intimidating God’s people, yet, by most people, accepted. What could it have been?
… A man of great stature [a goodly man]…
This enemy was described in very positive words: “great stature” (as referring to prominence, someone to respect), or “a goodly man”, as described in a parallel passage, 2Sam. 23:21 (meaning “handsome, comely, favored”). Why describe an enemy in such a positive way? What was it that made this giant so attractive? Was it the fact that he was an Egyptian? Not likely. It appears that the Israelites would have a difficult time thinking positively about one who reminded them of their Egyptian experience. Long years of slavery would not be easy to forget. We get the idea that this giant had something more going for him than just the fact that he was an Egyptian.
Moses also was an Egyptian. He was born in Egypt and educated there, and adopted by the royal family, destined to lead the nation. But Moses was also an Israelite. Could this giant have similar bonds? Perhaps he, too, would have a dual “citizenship”, fully “Egyptian” and fully “Christian”. This could explain how he was found “within the camp” yet as a threat to the nation.
There are only two characteristics that describe this Egyptian, his height and his spear. Yet (as in geometry) two points are enough to establish a direction (see also Deut. 19:15). Let’s see where they take us. Maybe we can see why he was described so positively.
Five cubits high
These three words immediately following the thought referring to “prominence”, “someone to respect”, and replaced by “a goodly man” in the parallel passage (2 Sam. 23:21), give us a major clue as to the nature of this enemy. [When the Bible gives a clue, we are expected to search it out!]
Was there anything else in Scripture to compare “five cubits high” with, something that might help us understand who or what this giant really represented? The first and most prominent reference was to the wall around the courtyard, also five cubits high and made of “fine, twined linen” (Exodus 27:18). As we are faced with this wall before entering the Sanctuary, we are impressed with three things: color, substance, and height.
- Color: WHITE. Often referring to purity, cleanliness (Isaiah 1:18)
- Substance: FINE, TWINED LINEN. The righteousness of the saints (Revelation 19:8)
- Height: 5 CUBITS. Vertical ascent deals with prominence, respect, man’s relation to God. A cubit was the measurement of part of a person’s body, from the tip of the elbow to the end of the fingers (about 18 inches). When this distance is multiplied by 5 it defines the height to which a person could reach on tiptoe (usually within an inch or so—try it! Every person’s “cubit” may be different, but the result is the same!). In effect 5 cubits is the extent (or potential) to which a person can reach in any direction.
Putting this together, we get the picture that the courtyard wall of five cubits (about 7 1/2 feet in our language) was a figure of the righteous character God would develop in His saint if s/he entered the school, the potential mankind can reach with God’s help. In another passage we are told who was to be clothed in this “righteousness
Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and Your saints shout for joy. Psa 132:9
A priest was a servant of God, devoted to lifelong ministry to the body of Christ, in the capacity of minister, teacher (Deut. 24:8), doctor, or musician (1Ch 9:33). Could it be that this Egyptian was associated, or appeared to be associated, with some kind of ministry, perhaps as an instructor in righteousness?
If so, this would not be the only time imposters have tried to upset the family of God in this way. Look at Zimri, a noble in Israel (Num. 25:14), or Judas, highly regarded by the disciples (DA 717), or Jezebel, a spiritual leader in Thyatira (Rev. 2:6, 20). All these were considered people of rank, prestige, and talent, and were given responsible positions in the kingdom, group, or church. And yet they were all enemies of Truth. (See also Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:29-30).
The Egyptian masquerading as a priest or teacher? We can only assume at this point, but at least it is a possibility. Priests are definitely someone we are to look up to— not by nature of their person but by nature of their position.
Five cubits is not really very tall for giants. Og, the king of Bashan, the first giant named in the Bible, slept in a bed that was 4 cubits wide and nine cubits long! Even if Og was only 8 cubits tall, that would make him a whopping 12 feet! Goliath was six cubits and a span (the spread of the fingers). It’s not likely the Egyptian’s physical height alone gave him his prominence. Let’s go to the second point.
And in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam
It was what the giant held in his hand that clarified his purpose. The hand has always been used as a figure of our works. We may have all kinds of things going on in our minds, but what we actually do is often that by which we are judged.
A man had two sons; and he came to the first and said, Son, go work in my vineyard today. He answered and said, I will not. But afterwards he repented and went. And he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir; and did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? Mat 21:28-31
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor plan, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave where you go. Ecc 9:10
And it causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or in their foreheads. Rev 13:16
When God chose Moses to deliver His people from Egyptian bondage, Moses believed he didn’t have the resources to finish what God would have him begin. God asked him, “What is that in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2). God used the very tools Moses was familiar with to approach Pharaoh.
What did the giant hold in his hand? A spear like a “weaver’s beam”. This is the third giant described as having such a weapon. Lahmi and Goliath were the other two. (Note: with this giant no spearhead is mentioned, suggesting the “killing” part is either unperceived or considered insignificant.) In each case the spear’s shaft was associated with that which is used to make cloth, from the beginning to the end. Again we are presented with the concept of garments! As we have noted earlier in this study (pg 15ff), garments is a reference to character building, or education in righteousness. Who is it that helps us develop character? Our parents, teachers, friends, spiritual leaders, the angel host. Are these ones we should be able to trust and look up to? Remember, though, this “weaver’s beam” was perceived as a weapon!
The Egyptian, then, appears to be representing someone of commanding appearance who establishes himself as a teacher of righteousness, although an enemy of Christ’s people. Why would we think of an enemy as our friend, wanting to help us, someone we would let our children be around? Remember the positive characteristics of Egypt?
- A place of safety and nurturing
- Religious tolerance
The Egyptian is described as “goodly”, “handsome”, “attractive.” Up to this point he is seen simply as a clay vessel. He must have been perceived at first as a helper, someone friendly and spiritual, someone in whose company we can feel safe and nurtured—possibly a teacher or counselor or minister. We can picture this huge, good-looking man coming to us smiling. His size and “weapon” were associated with life and righteousness, the coverings of priests and the redeemed. All seems so good.
Then something happens. The life-giving element of water disappears from the clay, leaving it hard and brittle. The smile has changed, and we find ourselves being manipulated, confined, enslaved. We remember Jonestown, South Africa, and Waco, Texas. We are trapped and who can deliver us?
As I beheld him [Satan], his chin was resting upon his left hand. He appeared to be in deep thought. A smile was upon his countenance, which made me tremble, it was so full of evil and satanic slyness. This smile is the one he wears just before he makes sure of his victim, and as he fastens the victim in his snare, this smile grows horrible. Early Writings 152
In Israel’s day only Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, saw through this façade and was able to confront the giant. Who is this deliverer?
The Egyptian giant was killed by one of David’s men, a man zealous for the kingdom of God. Perhaps he alone saw the Egyptian as a threat to the nation. Others either didn’t see, didn’t care, or felt impotent to make a difference. By what we pondered thus far, it appears that the giant presented himself, figuratively, as a teacher of righteousness (5 cubits high), someone having mystical powers (Egyptian) to direct and inspire the church (staff like a weaver’s beam). He came alone and seemed harmless (there was no spearhead described or noted). He appeared attractive. He was not perceived immediately as an enemy, but possibly as a teacher of God’s people. Such imposters have ever been a threat to God’s people down through the ages.
Ahab brought Jezebel, a heathen woman, into the kingdom of God. Her wicked influence was ever a galling yoke to the nation. But, though her dedication to evil was never abated, many of those around her believed she was an asset to the kingdom.
A very interesting Old Testament text sheds light on the possibility that Ahab’s wife may have assumed a teaching position in the kingdom of Israel, as a counterfeit instructor in righteousness, a false teacher. As we have studied earlier, true education addresses the whole potential of man, on this earth and for the earth to come. It affects the head to reflect the mind and thoughts of God, the hands to do works of righteousness and the feet to walk in the paths of obedience and faith. Christ was the True Teacher. His death on the cross was a complete sacrifice, atoning for every aspect of mankind, His own head pierced by a crown of thorns and His hands and feet impaled to the cross by Roman spikes. The evening before, when He was washing the feet of His disciples, Peter, catching a glimpse of the significance of the act asked his Master to wash not only his feet, but his hands and head as well (John 13:8-9). He wanted every part of his life to be clean. And after Christ’s resurrection, to assure His friends of His reality, Jesus showed them His hands and feet (His head was obvious) (Luke 24:39-40).
Somebody saw through Jezebel’s disguise and threw her out of her palace window. Note what the dogs left of her body to bury— the same five parts of man that represent his potential!
And they went to bury her, but they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 2Ki 9:35
Was this supposed to tell us something about the woman? Jezebel, though not an Egyptian, represented the same devotion to the powers of evil as did that Egyptian giant. Yet she is presented in Revelation as a teacher of righteousness, a prophetess even! The New Testament church in Thyatira didn’t seem to feel threatened by her presence either, though she was leading them astray.
But I have a few things against you because you allow that woman Jezebel to teach, she saying herself to be a prophetess, and to cause My servants to go astray, and to commit fornication, and to eat idol-sacrifices. Rev 2:20
The Egyptian giant and the clay represent a peculiar threat to God’s people in the end of time. Note Christ’s warning for those living in the last days.
For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders; so much so that, if it were possible, they would deceive even the elect. Mat 24:24
True education, however, empowers us against false education, it helps us to know God and do His bidding.
In His prayer to the Father, Christ gave to the world a lesson which should be graven on mind and soul. “This is life eternal,” He said, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. This is true education. It imparts power. The experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, transforms man into the image of God. It gives to man the mastery of himself, bringing every impulse and passion of the lower nature under the control of the higher powers of the mind. It makes its possessor a son of God and an heir of heaven. It brings him into communion with the mind of the Infinite, and opens to him the rich treasures of the universe. COL 114.
No wonder, then, before the end can come (Matthew 24:14), education must be restored to its rightful position in the Church!
Before we can carry the message of present truth in all its fullness to other countries we must first break every yoke. We must come into the line of true education, walking in the wisdom of God, and not in the wisdom of the world. God calls for messengers who will be true reformers. We must educate, educate, to prepare a people who will understand the message, and then give the message to the world. RH, February 6,1908
Just why this is so is explained.
True education is the preparation of the physical, mental, and moral powers for the performance of every duty; it is the training of body, mind, and soul for divine service. This is the education that will endure unto eternal life. COL 330
Because the Egyptian giant represents a false, deceptive education, the one who delivers us from the giant must have something to do with true education. Let’s see how the Bible describes Israel’s champion, Benaiah, the Son of Jehoiada.
BENAIAH THE SON OF JEHOIADA
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a mighty man of Kabzeel, had done many acts. He killed two lion-like men of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day. And he killed an Egyptian, a man of stature, five cubits high. And in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam. And he went down to him with a staff and wrenched the spear out of the Egyptians hand, and killed him with his own spear. 1 Ch 11:22-3
In this man we see one custom-designed by God to confront the Egyptian. This man was no second-class soldier.
And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites [life guardsmen] and the Pelethites [couriers or official messengers]; and David’s sons were chief rulers. 2Sa 8:18
We learn of Benaiah’s training and equipping as we study the information given about him. It describes those God prepares for the last-day battle against the beast with lamb-like horns.
Benaiah comes from two Hebrew words and means “Jah has built (or made)”. One of the words is using a special name of God and the other word is an action word, something God has done. The first name employed is a twist on Jehovah, the national name of God. There are only 45 verses in the whole Old Testament that use this special form of the name (Strong’s 3050), whereas there are 5521 verses that use the more prominent name of Jehovah (Strong’s 3068). That is less than 1 verse out of a 122. It was first coined in a song expressing Israel’s joy in being delivered from the Egvptians. Note the response Israel had in the song.
The LORD3050 is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
Contemplating the LORD’s graciousness, we want to enjoy His presence and exalt Him before the world. Preparing Him “an habitation” includes a body temple (John 2:21, 1Cor. 6:19), the closest and most intimate habitation possible. And the place we prepare will be our very best (most healthful, strong, and alert). This is the scope of medical missionary work!
The second part of Benaiah’s name is an action word, meaning “to build, make, repair, obtain children” (Strong’s 1129). It, too, is a special variation, but this time on the word “make”. During Creation Week, God (Elohim) “made” (Strong’s 6213) many things. But the very first thing God (Jehovah) “made” (Strong’s 1129) was a woman, a helpmeet and companion for Adam (Genesis 2:22) — His last act in the 6 days of Creation week.
And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, he made1129 woman, and brought her to the man.
In Proverbs 24:27 we are told when it is appropriate to “build (or make1129)”.
Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build1129 [make] thy house.
It is the last work.
In Genesis 2, after everything else had been set in place, God “made” a woman, with the potential of developing the seed of her husband into a new being. In Proverbs 24 after everything else has been set in place we are to “build” our house, obtain children, increase our family. This use of the word “build” takes us also to Isaiah 58:12, the divine purpose for medical missionary work.
And they that shall be of thee shall build1129 the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
[After quoting Isaiah 58:12-14] Thus genuine medical missionary work is bound up inseparably with the keeping of God’s commandments, of which the Sabbath is especially mentioned, since it is the great memorial of God’s creative work. Its observance is bound up with the work of restoring the moral image of God in man. This is the ministry which God’s people are to carry forward at this time. This ministry, rightly performed, will bring rich blessings to the church. 6T 265
The effect of this kind of building1129 is expansion. The church will grow when medical missionary work is performed as God intended it to be.
[Medical missionary work] is a part of the gospel message, and must receive recognition. It is the heaven-ordained means of finding entrance to the hearts of people. It is the duty of our church members in every place to follow the instruction of the Great Teacher. The gospel message is to be preached in every city; for this is in accordance with the example of Christ and His disciples. Medical missionaries are to seek patiently and earnestly to reach the higher classes. If this work is faithfully done, professional men will become trained evangelists. MS. 33, 1901
Combine medical missionary work with the proclamation of the third angel’s message. Make regular, organized efforts to lift the church members out of the dead level in which they have been for years. Send out into the churches workers who will live the principles of health reform. Let those be sent who can see the necessity of self-denial in appetite, or they will be a snare to the church. See if the breath of life will not then come into your churches. 6T 267 [emphasis mine]
So Benaiah’s name associates us with Egyptian deliverance, healthful living, and a final, expansive work of God. Prophetically, it projects us to the last days, God’s remnant people, the final proclamation of the Gospel, the Third Angel’s Message, and medical missionary work.
Benaiah’s father’s name, Jehoiada, adds even more depth.
Jehoiada, knowledge of the Lord, is also a contraction of two Hebrew words—”Jehovah” (Strong’s 3068) and “to know” (Strong’s 3045). This use of the name of God was first introduced in Genesis 2:4, during the second rendering of Creation Week, and is attached to Elohim430, the Creator Gods of Genesis 1. “Jehovah3068” adds the dimension of JUDGE (one who is able to discern what is needed) and FACILITATOR (one who is able to do or make what is needed). The Hebrew word for “to know” (properly, to ascertain by seeing) puts emphasis on knowledge that comes through the senses, through experience.
Both of their eyes were opened, and they knew3045 that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. Gen 3:7
And Adam knew3045 Eve his wife. And she conceived and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from Jehovah. Gen 4:1
Whatever Benaiah did or represents should also include this aspect of his father, for Benaiah is rarely mentioned without his father’s name attached. Benaiah’s father knew God by experience, the Great I AM, and apparently instilled this knowledge in his son, who became one of David’s and Solomon’s most highly respected warriors.
No line is to be drawn between the genuine medical missionary work and the gospel ministry. These two must blend. They are not to stand apart as separate lines of work. They are to be joined in an inseparable union, even as the hand is joined to the body. Those in our institutions are to give evidence that they understand their part in the genuine gospel medical missionary work. A solemn dignity is to characterize genuine medical missionaries. They are to be men who understand and know God and the power of His grace. CME 44
The great outpouring of the Spirit of God, which lightens the whole earth with His glory, will not come until we have an enlightened people, that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God. When we have entire, wholehearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God. Review and Herald, July 21, 1896
Where we are born and spend our formative years often has an affect on what we become. This was implied in Nathaniel’s comment about where Jesus grew up.
Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, We have found Him of whom Moses wrote in the Law and the Prophets, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathaniel said to him, Can there be any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him, Come and see. John 1:45-46
Apparently there is also something significant in Benaiah’s birthplace and hometown of Kabzeel. Kabzeel was a city of Judah, lying in the southernmost portion of the Promised Land, close to Egypt. Judah, represented by a lion, and characterized by his use of his hands, was placed in the lead position among the 12 tribes. As we learn in the study of the sanctuary, the south is associated positively with victory over internal forces, over powers of the carnal nature. Temperate living was the style — if these people lived what their name indicates. And Benaiah was considered a “valiant man” of Kabzeel, suggesting his positive response to these influences. As a Judahite, he also was very capable with his hands, and a leader.
The name Kabzeel is translated as “the congregation of God” or “whom God collects”. We get the idea that the city was a favorite gathering of those who honored and worshipped Jehovah— like the atmosphere attending a camp meeting. This could also have been an influence on the young lad.
PROXIMITY TO EGYPT
Benaiah appears to be well-groomed in the knowledge and ways of God. He came from a powerful tribe, grew up in a community and in a family devoted to God, and not far from Egypt. It’s likely being so close to that heathen kingdom and so devoted to the God of Heaven, a great sensitivity could have been nurtured against Egyptian influences. Benaiah may have been able to detect Egyptian falsehoods and deceptions much more readily than someone growing up far removed from the clay-kingdom’s borders.
Additional information is given about this warrior for God, that we might be well instructed in the one taking on the giant from Egypt.
Benaiah was a Judahite. His tribe was represented by a lion, the king of beasts. John the Revelator refers to our last-day Deliverer as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Benaiah describes those who most closely reflect Christ.
And I saw a book on the right of Him sitting on the throne, written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book and to loosen its seals? And no one in Heaven, nor on the earth, nor under the earth, was able to open the book or to look at it. And I wept very much, because no one was found worthy to open and to read the book, nor to look at it. And one of the elders said to me, Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals of it. And I looked, and lo, In the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, amidst the elders, a Lamb stood, as if it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him sitting on the throne. Rev 5:1-7
The lion theme continues. The record says Benaiah killed two lion-like men of Moab — “lions of God” the Hebrew says. This is not describing two hairy, wild, and crazy men who had lost their senses, becoming more animal than human. On the contrary, the emphasis in Hebrew indicates that the men were zealous and heroic, fighting for a divine cause, though, in this case, misguided. They, too, must have been leaders and defenders. But they were Moabites, incestuous sons of Lot resulting from an endearing relationship with Sodom. Likely their leadership was driven by sensuality and violence. However, they were not a match for Benaiah.
This suggests that the son of Jehoiada was devoted to the true God and earlier gained victory over the carnal nature, like the apostle Paul did.
I keep my body under control and make it my slave, so I won’t lose out after telling the good news to others. 1Co 9:27 CEV
To further impress us with Benaiah’s abilities, we read that he also killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day. Here we have natural difficulties to contend with. Nothing is more calculated to arouse an animal’s defensive nature than to be trapped in a confined area. Even less violent animals will fight for their life. Their natural fear of man is replaced by self-preservation. What further complicates the fray is the weather. If you have ever walked in snow you know that it takes much more energy than walking on dry ground. And ice makes it even worse. Also cold weather encourages us to bundle up more, restricting our freedom of movement. Benaiah, no doubt, had to face these natural difficulties when confronting this violent and strong animal. Yet even here, God’s man wins.
Benaiah, by the grace of God, not only gained control over his carnal nature, he also showed superiority over the God-less forces of nature. It reminds me of a statement Christ’s disciples made when He calmed the storm.
But the men marveled, saying, What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! Mat 8:27
The first Adam was given authority over all nature. He forfeited it by taking of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet:… the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, … and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. Psalm 8:6-8
Though formed from the dust, Adam was “the son of God.” He was placed, as God’s representative, over the lower orders of being. They cannot understand or acknowledge the sovereignty of God, yet they were made capable of loving and serving man. PP 44-45
Adam was appointed by God to be monarch of the world, under the supervision of the Creator. “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him.” BEcho, August 28, 1899
Christ, the second Adam (1Cor. 15:45), regained it.
And that dominion once consigned to Adam over the creation and forfeited by him (Gen. 1:26; 3:17) shall be given to Jesus. He shall be king over all the earth. GC88 359
Is this aspect of Benaiah, his power over the flesh as well as inclement forces of nature, suggesting God’s final representatives, the 144,000, may also be reinstated with the same authority Adam forfeited and Jesus reclaimed? This is highly suggested in the fact that they, those who got victory over the beast, his image, his mark, and even his number sing the song of Moses and the Lamb (Rev, 15:2-3). When Moses struck the rock the second time, he brought forth water. But God did not authorize him to do it! Moses misused a power entrusted to him of God, and was chastised by Jehovah for so doing.
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. Numbers 20:12
Apparently, the Benaiahs of the last days will not so misuse their entrusted powers, but do only as the Lamb did.
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. John 14:10
Putting This All Together
We learn that Benaiah was called of God for a particular mission. His name speaks of an end time deliverer from Egyptian bondage and points to a special work God will do just before He comes. As we look at Benaiah’s family and where he grew up we see that the LORD had well groomed him in spiritual life and warfare. He most likely grew up in a family who feared God and in a community that worshipped Him. And if names and abilities mean anything, Benaiah, must have included healthful living as part of his worship. We can also expect that discernment was a vital part of his education, for being so close to Egypt, he undoubtedly learned much about their gods and life, and was able to contrast that with the fuller and richer life the great I AM offers. Like with David, before facing the giant, Benaiah was prepared by lesser battles.
To have mastery over natural difficulties as well as unnatural ones (those devised by cunning minds and fearless warriors), Benaiah must have learned self-mastery in ways few knew in his day — an important training for medical missionaries and God’s final remnant.
The body is to be brought into subjection to the higher powers of the being. The passions are to be controlled by the will, which is itself to be under the control of God…. Intellectual power, physical stamina, and the length of life depend upon immutable laws. Through obedience to these laws, man may stand conqueror of himself, conqueror of his own inclinations, conqueror of principalities and powers of “the rulers of the darkness of this world,” and of “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). AG 256
Benaiah, we’re told, had only a shepherd’s staff with him when he fought the Egyptian. The KJV uses “staff’, but the Hebrew word should actually be translated as “rod” (Strongs 7626). He was either not planning on a battle at that time or depending solely on God’s help, understanding what the rod represented. In Psalm 23:4 (thy rod and thy staff they comfort me) the word for “rod” is the same word for what Benaiah carried with him to the battle. Shepherds used the rod for ruling, taking inventory, writing, walking, fighting, punishing, etc. In a prophecy of the coming Messiah it was the rod (scepter) that would not depart from Israel until He came. The rod7626 was an emblem of authority.
The sceptre7626 shall hot depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shioh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Gen 49:10
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre7626 shall rise out of Israel… Num 24:17
With the emblem of God’s authority in his hand, and obedient to its precepts, Benaiah approached the giant. This was the source of Benaiah’s power. The rod of God was also the source of Moses’ power in confronting the pharaoh of Egypt. Could it also symbolize that which the 144,000 use at the end of time to help deliver God’s people from the powers of clay and iron (the Sabbath, which represents the whole Law)? Hmmm.
Armed with “Bible truth”, Benaiah confronted the Egyptian, took the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and slew him with his own weapon. This detail is very significant when we consider its application to the last day work.
The word of God in His law is binding upon every intelligent mind. The truth for this time, the third angel’s message, is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, meaning with increasing power, as we approach the great final test. This test must come to the churches in connection with the true medical missionary work, a work that has the Great Physician to dictate and preside in all it comprehends. Under the great Head we are to present God’s word requiring obedience to the system of Bible truth, which is a system of authority and power, convicting and converting the conscience. The demand of the Word to obedience is a life-and-death question. 10MR 314
This is a very important point. The “rod” is not just the Bible and the Bible alone, but also implies OBEDIENCE to every word in it. “Here are they that keep…” (Rev. 14:12). It was Benaiah’s faithfulness to its precepts that gave him power over the Egyptian and disarmed him of his powerful spear.
THE BATTLE… IN TYPE
From the description of the giant, the position of the clay in the feet of Daniel 2’s image, and the implications in the names and descriptions associated with Benaiah, the victorious warrior, the battle appears to be prophetic of the last days. It will be a spiritual, mental, and physical battle, involving concepts of true education, medical missionary work, and the third angel’s message.
What is soon coming upon us? Seducing spirits are coming in. If God has ever spoken by me, you will before long hear of a wonderful science— a science of the devil. Its aim will be to make of no account God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Some will exalt this false science, and through them Satan will seek to make void the law of God. Great miracles will be performed in the sight of men in behalf of this wonderful science. Letter 48, 1907. (3SM 408)
In this final battle we see a confrontation between the champions of Good and Evil. What makes it particularly difficult for God’s people is that their opponents were once their friends, protecting them and favoring them with the choicest of blessings, helping them to gain in strength and numbers. At times educating their children, giving medical assistance, providing family and business counseling, and occasionally even sharing pulpits. “Surely they wouldn’t turn against us!”
Jesus longed for some support from His friends during His last hours, but none was given. Even Judas, who appeared as the most favored of the disciples (from the world’s perspective) betrayed Him with a kiss. And where were His beloved John and faithful Peter?
Our Saviour had to depend solely on His relationship with His heavenly Father, and Him alone. And so it will be with God’s remnant. Jesus fought alone. Benaiah fought alone. And so must we. Egypt is a turncoat and cannot be trusted! As God led us into Egypt to strengthen and grow, He will also deliver us from Egypt in the final hours.
The Egyptian giant represents a worldly system that appears in all respects to be a safe haven for God’s people in times of need. The giant looks goodly and attractive. Few recognize him as a threat, and in the beginning he most likely isn’t. He appears quasi-religious, offering protection, sustenance, healing, and inspiration. He has wormed his way into our hearts, homes, and pulpits. However, because of his enchantment with mystic powers, this friendly system turns deceptively dangerous. As he rejects the mercies and merits of God through His only begotten Son, this giant transforms from a goodly giant into a beastly power. Through him a false science is introduced as a weapon against God and Truth (the “weaver’s beam”). His weapon represents the finest trappings the world has for building character and extending (mortal) life, “proving” its validity with miracles and healings. Soul enslavement results to his unwary followers.
God has His appointed means to bring deliverance. He gives birth to a remnant people, and protects and strengthens them against the influences of Egypt. He then directs them into true education and health reform, and commissions them to become gospel medical missionary workers all over the world.
True conversion to the message of present truth embraces conversion to the principles of health reform. Letter 62, 1909
The remnant have been nurtured in the fear and love of God, skilled in spiritual warfare, and honed in dealing with natural and human challenges, especially those that are aimed against the final message. Their eyes have been anointed with the precious, holy eyesalve of Revelation 3:18, allowing them to see past the Egyptian’s facade.
The eyesalve is that wisdom and grace which enables us to discern between the evil and the good, and to detect sin under any guise. 4T 88.
And valiant for the truth, obedient to all God’s commands and armed with the authority of God, His word (law), they confront the giant. This is too much for the goodly giant. He has no weapon against the word of God. He is disarmed and is finally destroyed by his own weapon (the “wonderful science” he used to deceive the world). Here we see the purpose, power, and divine potential of true medical missionary work.
How slow men are to understand God’s preparation for the day of His power! God works today to reach hearts in the same way that He worked when Christ was upon this earth. In reading the word of God, we see that Christ brought medical missionary work into His ministry. Cannot our eyes be opened to discern Christ’s methods? Cannot we understand the commission He gave to His disciples and to us? MM 246
The medical missionary work is as the right arm of the third angel’s message which must be proclaimed to a fallen world… CH 331
When properly conducted, the health work is an entering wedge, making a way for other truths to reach the heart. When the third angel’s message is received in it’s fullness, health reform will be given it’s place in the councils of the conference, in the work of the church, in the home, at the table, and in all the household arrangements. Then the right arm will serve and protect the body. Manual for Canvassers, 45
As a result of his timely defense of the kingdom, many souls will be added to God’s family.
We must take advantage of the means that the Lord has placed in our hands for the carrying forward of medical missionary work. Through this work infidels will be converted. Through the wonderful restorations taking place in our sanitariums, souls will be led to look to Christ as the Great Healer of soul and body. Medical Ministry 327
In the confrontation between the false science promoted by the Egyptian giant (which leads away from God) and true education heralded by the Benaiahs of the last days (which leads to God), it will be shown that…
God is the foundation of everything. All true science is in harmony with His works; all true education leads to obedience to His government. Science opens new wonders to our view; she soars high, and explores new depths; but she brings nothing from her research that conflicts with divine revelation. Ignorance may seek to support false views of God by appeals to science, but the book of nature and the written word shed light upon each other. We are thus led to adore the Creator and to have an intelligent trust in His word. PP 115
And in the days of the kingdoms of iron and clay God will establish His kingdom on this earth, a kingdom of stone cut out of His holy mountain without [human] hands. And that kingdom will break in pieces the earthly manifestations of iron, brass, clay, silver, and gold. And then only righteousness and truth will reign supreme.
We live in the last days. There is a great work for God and us to do yet — in our hearts as well as in the world — a work that requires a thorough understanding of God’s revealed will and thought. The better we understand His Word, the more intelligently we can cooperate with His leading. Let us not be duped by educators or counselors who purport to teach Christian virtues and doctrines but in effect draw from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, appealing to our unsanctified senses and increasing our self-sufficiency. God’s program develops true gospel medical missionaries.
BREAKING THE GIANT CODE
These giants have been with us for a long, long time. Their effect on God’s people has always been the same—to separate them from their Creator/Redeemer and make of none affect His divine law. The renegade prophet Balaam got it right: disobedience destroys.
Balaam knew that the prosperity of Israel depended upon their obedience to God, and that there was no way to cause their overthrow but by seducing them into sin. He now decided to secure Balak’s favor by advising the Moabites of the course to be pursued to bring a curse upon Israel.
He immediately returned to the land of Moab and laid his plans before the king. The Moabites themselves were convinced that so long as Israel remained true to God, He would be their shield. The plan proposed by Balaam was to separate them from God by enticing them into idolatry. If they could be led to engage in the licentious worship of Baal and Ashtaroth, their omnipotent Protector would become their enemy, and they would soon fall a prey to the fierce, warlike nations around them. PP 451
Daniel tells us that the five components that make up the giant image in chapter 2 remain intact until God sets up His own kingdom. Revelation supports this, for there we see the spirit of the first kingdom, Babylon, alive and well, as well as the last kingdoms of iron and clay still determined to allure and force God’s people into disobedience.
Our only safety is to be true to the only true God and believe in His only begotten Son, yet we find ourselves impotent to overcome these mighty giants on our own. But as God helped King David fight their counterparts thousands of years ago, He will help us today.
Praise God! The giant code has been broken! Now we see the behemoths in their true nature, and exactly how each can be overthrown. But victory is not in knowledge alone. The triumphs yet ahead are gained only by trusting in God, believing His prophets, and being obedient to His word. Let’s go forth to conquer! His grace is sufficient.
Hopefully this study will inspire the serious student to mine the word of God and see for him/herself the gems of truth long covered over by the dust of worldliness, humanism, deceit, and error.
The Bible contains all the principles that men need to understand in order to be fitted either for this life or for the life to come. And these principles may be understood by all. No one with a spirit to appreciate its teaching can read a single passage from the Bible without gaining from it some helpful thought. But the most valuable teaching of the Bible is not to be gained by occasional or disconnected study. Its great system of truth is not so presented as to be discerned by the hasty or careless reader. Many of its treasures lie far beneath the surface, and can be obtained only by diligent research and continuous effort. The truths that go to make up the great whole must be searched out and gathered up, “here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:10. When thus searched out and brought together, they will be found to be perfectly fitted to one another. Education 123
 Revelation 15:3
 Daniel 2:38
 Exodus 4:2
 John 17:3