Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
This month’s article, “The Tribe of Benjamin,” deals with the history of the Israelite patriarch and his descendants. He and the tribe start out badly, but later find a type of physical redemption. It is an interesting story how Benjamin changed throughout Old Testament history. The article also deals with the importance of place within the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. 1 With God specific locations on earth are important, and there are reasons for God choosing those places. 2 The Temple of God was placed on Mount Moriah at a particular location chosen by God in the Promised Land. 3 This month’s article gives one reason why God chose to put the Temple, House of His Name, where He did.
As one of the twelve tribes of Israel, Benjamin supported David after Absalom’s rebellion and stayed with Judah after the division of Israel following King Solomon’s death. Jeremiah the prophet was a priest, a Levite, born in the territory set aside for Benjamin (Jeremiah 1:1). He was knowledgeable about Benjamin and specifically prophesies about that tribe apart from Judah and Levi. You can read about Benjamin’s descendants in Genesis 46:21; and 1 Chronicles 7:6–12, 8:1–9:1, 34–44.
Benjamin returned with Judah, the Levites, and portions of other tribes from Babylon after the exile period was completed:
“Now the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities were, the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims [temple servants]. And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh.”
1 Chronicles 9:2–3
Finally they are mentioned in Revelation 7:8 when 12,000 from Benjamin will receive a special seal:
“Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. … Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.”
Revelation 7:3–4, 8
Benjamin changed from a horrible evil example to becoming a good example of a changed life. Such things happen in the lives of individuals and groups of people, even nations. In our own time consider the nations of Germany and Japan before and then since World War II. People can and do change through time and circumstance. The patriarch Benjamin and each member of his tribe, his descendants, were involved in events greater than themselves. They did not realize that their life events were to be examples — good and bad — to future generations. Everything Benjamin and his tribe did was an example for us:
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
As a child of God and a believer in Christ’s resurrection, you are also involved in events much greater than yourself. Everything you do in your life as a Christian is an example for others, even for angelic beings (Luke 15:10; Ephesians 3:10; Hebrews 4:11; 1 Peter 1:10–12).
(1) God willing, I will speak in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. The location will be at Grace Chapel, 1418 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead, California. This location is just northwest of the Pomona 60 Freeway. I will lecture on “Elohim and the Son of God,” the presentation I gave in July 2007 at the One God Conference regarding the nature of God. 4
This is a topic about which we all have an opinion. This is because most of you reading these words (we who believe in Christ’s resurrection and as children of God) actually have a deep personal connection with God and Christ by virtue of our possessing the Holy Spirit as God’s gift to us. We need as much information as we can get about this important subject of who and what God is.
I hope those of you in the Southern California area can attend. While the material I will present will be new to many of you, you will be familiar with the Bible passages. Verses you have read but never understood before will become clear. Those of you familiar with Dr. Ernest Martin’s teachings on the nature of God will be comfortable with this information. Those of you who are trinitarian or believe that only one Elohim exists, feel free to come and challenge me with your questions. However, rest assured that Paul speaks to and for us when he says:
“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”
1 Corinthians 8:6
(2) In the Phoenix, Arizona area on August 12 I will lecture on “The Temples in Jerusalem and the Location of King David’s Tomb” from 6:15 until 8:30 p.m. at the City of Mesa Main Library, Saguaro Room, 64 E. First St., Mesa, Arizona.
(3) On August 14, 2008 in Scottsdale, Arizona I will again give my Temple/Tomb lecture, this time at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, Gold Room, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd. from 6:30 until 8:45 p.m.
Additional information on these events will be given in the ASK Commentaries located on the upper right hand corner of the ASK homepage. In the Commentary I will give additional details (particularly for the first event, once I know the details) and maps to each event. If you know anyone interested in these topics (friends, relatives, acquaintances, neighbors, Bible study members, business associates, creditors, etc.), who live in and around the Los Angeles or Phoenix areas, let them know about these public lectures.
Your faith in God leads you to help ASK continue to present the work of Dr. Ernest Martin and other biblical studies. If you did not trust God, you would not bother helping us to help others. Thank you for your prayers, your encouraging and enlightening comments that sustain our spirits, as well as your financial support. Thank you all so much. You inspire us in so many ways and we are extremely grateful to you all.
David W. Sielaff
See Nehemiah 1:9: “unto the place that I have chosen to set
my name.” Deuteronomy 12:5:
place which YHWH your God shall choose out of all your tribes
“And YHWH appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, ‘I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice.’ … ‘For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.’”
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