10 - More Thoughts on the Book of Jasher (The Upright)

August 2, 2017

 

I was puzzled that God did not appear to intervene much in the affairs of men until the Flood, 1656 years after Creation according to the Bible.  Per Jasher 2:4, after the birth of Enosh in the year 235 after Creation (he lived 905 years), men forgot the LORD and began to worship idols.  Per Jasher, God caused the river Gihon to overwhelm them, and He destroyed a third part of the earth.  Famine was great in those days because there was neither sowing nor reaping.  And the seed they sowed became thorns, thistles, and briers, so God was active, but man did not repent.

 

Circa year 1554 after Creation, Noah marries, and his wife thereafter bore Japheth and thereafter Shem per Jasher.  The birth of his third son Ham is not mentioned.  Ham begat Cush who begat Nimrod, the first world dictator, who built the Tower of Babel.  Curiously, per Jasher 6:34, Noah began to build the ark only 5 years before the Flood. 

 

In Jasher 6, many animals came to the ark just before the Deluge began.  A male and female from all living creatures came into the ark, plus seven couples per Jasher 6:9 (seven individuals per Genesis 7:2) of the clean animals and birds, but there were many wild animals outside the ark when God closed the door.  Then, 700,000 men and women came to the ark and demanded entry, and when it was denied, they approached to break into the ark.  God sent the beasts and animals surrounding the ark to attack them and drive them away, until the waters floated the ark.

 

After the Deluge, Terah, Abram’s father, was also the number one man for the world dictator – Nimrod.  At the birth of Terah’s son, Abram, all the wise men and conjurers of court went to celebrate at Terah’s house.  On leaving, Nimrod’s courtiers saw a large star (a comet more likely) moving in the heavens and devouring four other stars.  Their interpretation of this sign was that Abram would supplant all the kings of the earth, including Nimrod.  The king sent for Terah and demanded he bring in his son, so that Nimrod could kill him.  Terah asked for three days to consider the matter.  At the end of three days, Nimrod demanded Terah bring the newborn.  Terah did bring a newborn, but his handmaid’s rather than his son.  Nimrod murdered this infant.  Terah took his wife, her maid and Abram and concealed them in a cave for ten years bringing them provisions monthly.  After ten years in the cave, Abram was sent to live with the household of Noah and his son, Shem, where he remained for thirty-nine years.

 

In his fiftieth year, he returned to visit his father, Terah, who showed him his gods.  His gods were idols, twelve in number, one for every month of the year.  When Terah was out, Abram took a hatchet to eleven of his father’s gods and then put the hatchet in the hand of the largest and also the chief idol of the twelve.  When his father returned, Abram told him this idol had destroyed the others.  But his father went before Nimrod and demanded his son answer for destroying his gods.  Abram is brought before Nimrod.  Abram reprimands him for forgetting the LORD and worshiping idols.  The king’s magicians remember this is the child they warned the king about five decades earlier.  Since Abram blasphemed their gods, he is sentenced to burn in a furnace of fire where they made bricks.   Nimrod’s servants strip Abram of all but his lower garments, bind him, and throw him into the burning furnace along with his brother Haran.  Twelve of these servants of Nimrod died throwing Abram into the furnace, just as Nebuchadnezzar’s men perished throwing Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego into his furnace in Daniel 3:22.  Haran, one of Terah’s three sons and Abram’s brother, was also burned to ashes in the furnace, because his heart was not perfect with God.

 

Abram walks in the burning furnace for three days.  Nimrod’s servants tell the king, who orders his men to get Abram from the fire and bring him to Nimrod.  More of the king’s servants are burned to death.  Then, Nimrod asks Abram to come forth, and he does with the linen bonds burned away but the lower garments intact and no burns to his body.  Nimrod and his princes and subjects bow down to Abram, but Abram tells them to instead bow to the one true God, who delivered him from the fire.  He goes from Nimrod in peace and per Jasher 12:41, about 300 men join him.  I suspect they and/or their sons were the 318 trained warriors of Genesis 14:14, who defeated the four kings that defeated the cities of the plain and carried off Lot and all his goods in the same chapter, with Amraphel, King of Shinar, being Nimrod per the book of Jasher. 

 

Two years later, Nimrod is dozing on his throne when he has a dream.  In it, he was standing with his army in a valley before the king’s furnace.  A man who appeared to be Abram came forth from the furnace with a drawn sword and sprang at the king, who fled from him in fear.  The man threw an egg at the king’s head which became a river in which all his troops sank and died.  The king took flight again with three richly dressed men, as if they were kings, with him.  And while they ran, the river again became an egg, and from the egg came a young bird that flew at his head and plucked out his eye.

 

One of Nimrod’s wise men tells him the dream means Abram will destroy Nimrod’s troops and Nimrod will flee with three kings, and the seed of Abraham will slay Nimrod in the latter years.  Genesis 14 details this, with Esau subsequently killing Nimrod in Jasher 27.  Esau then flees Nimrod’s troops and is likely exhausted from his long flight, when he asks Jacob for food and sells his birthright per Genesis 25:29-34.

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Most believe the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah which led to their destruction was sodomy, the word coming from the city of Sodom.  Genesis 19 is the tale of the two angels who stay at Lot’s home, which is surrounded by the men of the city of Sodom.  They demand that Lot bring them out so that they may have sexual relations with them.  The angels afflict the men with blindness, but even so, they are so filled with lust that they weary themselves trying to find Lot’s door.  If I were suddenly struck with blindness, I would have other concerns.

 

The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah went far beyond sodomy.  Per Ezekiel 16:49 “Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.  And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.”  But what exactly were the sins of Sodom?  Jasher elaborates on this. 

 

Four times a year, the people of Sodom went to a valley a half-a-days walk with their wives and children.  There, they would lay hold of their neighbor’s wives and virgin daughters and enjoy them without the husbands and fathers saying a word. 

 

When a stranger came to town with goods, they would assemble in large numbers and take the goods from him, taunting the owner as they did so.  When a poor man came to their city, they would give him silver and gold, but no one would sell or give him any food per Jasher 19.  And when he died from starvation, they would take the silver and gold back.  Once, when a poor man came to the city, they would not sell or give him any food, but he did not die on time.  They wondered why and had the man watched.  A daughter of Lot had taken pity on him and fed him secretly.  For this transgression, she was burned alive. 

 

Beds were erected in Sodom and Gomorrah by the cities’ judges.  If a man came to these places, they grabbed him and forced him to lie on one of the beds.  Three men would stand at his head and three at his feet.  They would measure their victim by the length of the bed.  If the man was too short, they would stretch him at both ends till he cried out, but they would not answer him.  This sounds like the medieval rack.  Jasher 19:5 And if he was longer than the bed they would draw together the two sides of the bed at each end, until the man had reached the gates of death. 

 

It appears the inhabitants of these cities were incredibly wicked and worthy of their fate per Genesis 19.

 

Finally, per Jasher 81:3 “And the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in the land of Egypt in hard labor was 210 years.”   This would seem to contradict the 430 years of Exodus 12:40.

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Thoughts beyond Jasher

On August 21 of 2017, America will experience its first total solar eclipse since 1979.  It will begin at  10:15 am (PST) and end at 2:49 pm (EST) per the July-Aug, 2017 Answers, a magazine of Answers In Genesis.  Apparently, the total eclipse will sweep across the entire continental United States in a narrow band from Oregon to South Carolina, though a partial solar eclipse will be seen over most of the country.  Per USA Today it is the first total eclipse visible only in the US since the country was founded in 1776.

 

The last total solar eclipse viewed in the continental US was on Feb. 26, 1979, viewed in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec.  The next total solar eclipse will be on Oct 14, 2023, and will be viewed from northern California to Florida.   

 

Per Genesis 1:14, the lights God created in heaven were for signs.  Hence, the Jews believed that lunar eclipses were a bad omen for Israel, solar eclipses for the Gentiles.  The last total eclipse of the sun occurred in 1979 when the U.S. had many financial problems and the Iranian hostage situation was also around that time.  It will be interesting to see if any extraordinary thing happens in the U.S. on this date or shortly thereafter, especially since this August, 2017 total eclipse will only be seen in one nation, the United States.

 

I believe the Anglo-Saxons are the lost Israeli tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh who initially founded America, but Americans believe the country is a Gentile nation.  Likely, those of Anglo-Saxon heritage are a minority of the present population of the United States.

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Perry Stone, Jr. makes a point on the return of the Jews to Israel in his most recent 2017 book, The Revelation Generation.  Per Isaiah 60:8 “Who are these who fly like a cloud, and like doves to their roosts?  9 Surely the coastlands will wait for Me; and the ships of Tarshish will come first, to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, to the name of the LORD your God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He has glorified you.”

 

This is a reference to the regathering of the Jews back to Israel.  The regathering has been going on since the 19th century, but has picked up steam in the last few decades.  Initially, the Jews returned on ships, but now they return mostly on planes as in the Isaiah verse 60:8 above.  When Isaiah prophesied circa 700 BC, who could imagine airplanes to bring the Jews home “like doves to their roosts”?  Answer: God, Who knows the end from the beginning!  Finally, I believe Tarshish refers to the British Isles, in particular, England.

 

                                                                                                                                                 -Gentry

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