In the last article, we looked at how the seven times prophecy of Daniel 4 has a general application to the fall of man. Yet there is a more definite and distinct seven times that is more specific than the general fall of man. The kingdom on the earth which was specifically ordained to fulfill God’s purposes on the earth was the kingdom of Israel, which consisted of twelve tribes who entered into the land of Canaan. However, when they demanded a king to be like the other nations, they rejected their heavenly king. In this request, there was a most grievous prophecy: “…make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” The Israelites desired a physical king that they could see, rather than the heavenly King, which was invisible to mortal sight. In response to this, God declared, “…they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” (1 Samuel 8:5-7)
It was this demand for a king that led to anointing Saul as king. Yet his course was grievous in the sight of the Lord, because he was disobedient to His voice, and set this example before the people. For this reason, David of the tribe of Judah was made king; but David lusted after Bathsheba, impregnated her in an adulterous affair, and killed her husband. Though David repented, the king’s son, Solomon, had inherited the same weakness for women. In his reign over Israel, he joined himself to many heathen women. “But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love…For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.” (1 Kings 11:1-2, 4)
This departure taught Israel to sin, and it was prophesied to Solomon that the kingdom would be divided into two: “Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.” (1 Kings 11:11) From Solomon’s son was taken ten tribes of twelve, leaving a remnant of two tribes, and were given to Solomon’s general, Jeroboam, of the tribe of Ephraim, son of Joseph.
They were divided into two kingdoms because of the sins of the tribes, because of the sins of Solomon, because of David, who was because they demanded a king. They were well on their way to becoming like the nations around them, to be judged (and condemned) like the nations which knew not the God of Israel. The northern kingdom under Jeroboam consisted of ten tribes, while the southern consisted of only two who were more righteous and were set apart as a remnant: Judah and Benjamin. Almost all the prophets, save three from Isaiah to Malachi, were raised up during this time period to call the tribes of God’s people to repentance, with special messages of truth for Israel and Judah; this is the context and true setting of the majority of the writings of the prophets. Despite the words of the prophets, they failed to humble themselves, and fulfill the Most High’s purposes on the earth.
Of the seven times of judgment, the warning was given: “And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” (Leviticus 26:17) This happened to Israel by the king of Assyria who took them captive and drove them out from their land, much like Nebuchadnezzar when he was driven out.
“In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes….And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes: because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed His covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded and would not hear them, nor do them.” (2 Kings 17:3–6, 18:11-12) When this happened, Assyria, which came from the north, who had scattered Israel, was the Northern kingdom (Zeph. 2:13). Then Babylon who succeeded Assyria was fro the North (Jer. 4:6-7). Then the Medes and the Persians were also raised up from the North (Jer. 51:48). The kingdoms of prophecy, which had, in a special manner, dominion over God’s people have almost consistently been referred to as from the North. In fact, Ezra the scribe referred to Xerxes, who had issued the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem “the king of Assyria”. “… the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.” (Ezra 6:22) This is a legacy that continues throughout Daniel 11 until the restitution of all things.
The ten tribes were driven from their land, and their king was taken into captivity. This was to continue seven times. In 1798, a prophecy ended (which you can read about in Daniel 7 and Revelation 13) that was for 3.5 times (42 months/1260 prophetic days). It ended at the very end of the seven times from 722BC, when the ten tribes went into captivity; approximately 2520 years from the time of their captivity leads us perfectly to the end of these time prophecies in 1798AD. The ten tribes were to constitute those who were coming into light of the obedience of the gospel, to “be reformed”, and light from God was shining more and more. In the Scriptures, the blessing is always given to the spiritual seed, in preference to the physical seed; moreover, the principle of the natural Israel comes first, then the spiritual: “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 15:46) To those who do the works, the promises are given (See John 8:39). It wasn’t the firstborn Esau that received the inheritance, but Jacob. Not Ishmael, but Isaac. Not Reuben, but Judah. Likewise, it wasn’t the unbelieving Jews, but the believing Gentiles who embraced the faith of the believing Jew who received the promise and were grafted in to Israel. For spiritual Israel, a promise of restoration would be given.
As Nebuchadnezzar was restored at the end of the seven times, so the spiritual Israel was to be in some manner restored. At this time in the late 1700’s, we see Protestant America arising, founded upon the principles of Protestantism which separated it from priestly intolerance and kingly oppression. We will speak more in detail about this in Daniel 11; but it is America in Bible prophecy that comes up as a lamb, after 1260 years of pagan and 1260 years of papal captivity. “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb…” (Revelation 13:10-11)
At the beginning of the seven times, we see a land removed. At the end, we see a land given “like unto a lamb”. We see Israel lose their freedom, sovereignty and independence; at the end, we see a nation founded upon Protestant principles of liberty of conscience and a declaration of independence arising, severing the iron heel of monarchy in Europe. At the beginning, we see a people who despise his prophets and hate his reproof. At the end, a people who want the Bible and the Bible only as their rule of faith and God as their judge. We see the rebellious request for a king (which led them into sin) being taken away; and afterwards, a people who desire God alone to be their king, and to live in a country without kings. Thus was the prophecy of Hosea to the ten tribes of Israel fulfilled: “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in Me is thine help. I will be thy King: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.” (Hosea 13:9-11)
While He “rooted them out of their land in anger”, God “cast them forth into another land, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 29:28)
The book of 2 Esdras 13, there contains a prophecy to Ezra about the ten tribes:
“And whereas thou sawest that he gathered another peaceable multitude unto him; Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind
dwelt, That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow places of the river. For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over. For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth (In Hebrew: Akh-air’ Eh’-rets, which being interpreted means “Another land”). Then dwelt they there until the latter time; and now when they shall begin to come, The Highest shall stay the springs of the stream again, that they may go through: therefore sawest thou the multitude with peace.” (2 Esdra 13:39-47) From this time, the Christian church was released from a violent and oppressive period, where they could declare the gospel and where the truths of the Bible could be opened up more fully to their understanding than in the dark ages. From 722BC to 1798AD, we may rightly identify spiritual Israel as those churches who from 1798 began to earnestly study the Word of God for light and proclaim the gospel of Christ; the land of freedom was to be the United States. This was the case for spiritual Israel who had gone through the bands of iron and brass of oppression during the times of the Gentiles, and being loosed them from being bound.
Bear in mind, this is not Judah, whose captivity was a distinct and separate experience. In fact, when Israel went astray because of apostasy, it was then that it was divided, and given the king Jeroboam of the tribe of Ephraim. Jeroboam as king over Israel had made an eighth month feast, and set aside the divinely appointed seventh month feast. Moreover, he set up his own sanctuary; his own priesthood. It was because of this corruption that many from the land of Israel left their native inhabitants to join themselves to Judah and to keep their feasts, even as Abraham left Ur of his family who had been engulfed in idolatry. Even Israel of this last day has it’s counterpart, and will join with Judah upon the revelation of the corruption in the various churches. Even now, many have joined themselves to Judah. Who is Judah identified as? Look at the next article to find out.
To see the next prophetic application (or to review the previous), click on the links below:
The Judgment of Seven Times I: The Prophecy of Nebuchadnezzar
The Judgement of Seven Times II: The Fall of Man
The Judgment of Seven Times III: The Northern Kingdom
The Judgment of Seven Times IV: The Southern Kingdom
The Judgment of Seven Times V: The Beasts of Prophecy