35:24 So they lifted Josiah out of his chariot and placed him in another chariot. Then they brought him back to Jerusalem, where he died. Josiah's death is such a curious thing (like everything else at 3:00 a.m.) in the realm of God's sovereign plan! If you remember from earlier readings in Kings, he was chosen and named before he was born for a special purpose. So one wonders why God allowed him to die so young in such a way?? We don't find out if God sent Josiah out against Neco or not, only that Neco was indeed "sent" by God. I wonder if there is a prophetic picture or if Josiah is a Christ-type. For instance:
Never since the time of the prophet Samuel had there been such a Passover (vs. 18).
After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple (vs. 20)
King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle (vs. 20)
Josiah would not turn away from him, but disguised himself (NLT says, "laid aside his royal robes") in order to make war with him (vs. 22)
But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him (vs. 23)
Later we see Neco demanding a tribute and deposing the king, so one might think that God put it on Josiah's heart to oppose him.
36:15-16 The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy. This is the essence of the heart of man. God has continually sent His messengers to His people, and they have continually rejected Him.
36:21 So the message of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The land finally enjoyed its Sabbath rest, lying desolate until the seventy years were fulfilled, just as the prophet had said. It's interesting that captivity and desolation are described as "Sabbath rest" here! But then again, at 3:00 a.m.--everything is interesting!
36:23 "The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Any of you who are the Lord's people may go there for this task. And may the Lord your God be with you!" Wow, this is an amazing prophetic picture! What's really weird is that tomorrow, this proclamation is repeated in Ezra.
Who is this "Cyrus?" These verses got me curious, so I looked at some cross references:
"It is I who says of Cyrus, `He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.' And he declares of Jerusalem, `She will be built,' And of the temple, `Your foundation will be laid.' " Isaiah 44:28
Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed, Whom I have taken by the right hand, To subdue nations before him And to loose the loins of kings; To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut... Isaiah 45:1
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel... Daniel 10:1
So apparently, Daniel was living during the days of Cyrus too! There sure are a lot of curious, mysterious folks in the Old Testament! Cyrus is right up there with Melchizedek and Solomon.
1:2 ...to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours... It is always important to figure out who is our audience before we delve into a book. Paul is writing to Gentile believers at Corinth—the "called out ones" or the chosen. Keep that in mind as you figure out what he is saying to them.
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