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The Numbering System is Inspired

May 25, 2018

       For the most part, I don't really care if there was documented proof that the King James Bible was conveyed to us by a pack of circus clowns.   Keep in mind, I am glad for the clear and definitive history of our Bible.  I just don't want to get into the trap of believing it on historical grounds.  It is its own proof.  The numbering system is just such an example.  I am posting a complete chapter of what will hopefully become a book.  Most of this has been posted in snippets through out this blog, but for those new readers here it is.

 

       Is there an order to the numbering system of the King James Bible?  The short answer to that is yes, there is definitely an order.  The long answer is that I do not understand it in its entirety.  We don't think like God thinks and as a result we don't often recognize what we see.  Many years ago, when I first became interested in the Bible a man remarked to me that there were many verses marked 3:16 that seemed of uncommon importance.  John 3:16, I John 3:16 and Gal. 3:16 are typical examples.  I spent a little time looking up every 3:16 in the bible and I too noted that many of them were significant verses in their own right.  I also noted that some seemed to have no significance at all.     With a slightly raised eyebrow I dismissed the matter as an interesting anomaly that would eventually disappoint the curious.  The number 3:16 was more apt to contain a verse that was a landmark of doctrine than what mere random chance would seem to give it, but there was no pattern that made sense to me.  Since then I have witnessed many other anomalies.  I cannot explain them all, but neither can I dismiss them.
       I'll take a little time in this chapter to explain a few of the things that I have seen.  What I have seen will undoubtedly fascinate my readers.  I know because it fascinated me.  When I have shown to you those few things that I have seen you will begin to realize how much is left to explore.  I fear, and I welcome that exploration.  I fear it because many will wrestle with numbers and counting systems that are created out of the folly of their own hearts.  I welcome the attention because some will fear God and will only seek that which the Holy Ghost makes abundantly plain.
       Years ago, I began reading the bible in a format that honored the verse divisions of each individual book.  When I read Genesis, I would read 5 chapters a day for 10 days since Genesis has 50 chapters.  In Exodus I read 5 chapters a day for 8 straight days since there were 40 chapters in Exodus.  When I got to Leviticus I read 9 chapters a day for 3 straight days since there were 27 chapters in Leviticus.  For the book of Numbers I used a regimen of 6 chapters for six days to read all 36 chapters.  The problem I had was with books like Deuteronomy.  Deuteronomy has 34 chapters and will only divide by 17 and 2.  I was not minded to take 17 days to read 2 chapters a day and when I read 17 chapters in a single day my attention wandered.  I felt that I had merely read for the record books, not to get understanding.  I Samuel was another troubling book; it has 31 chapters.  The first few times I read through my bible that way I felt compelled to read all of I Samuel in one day.  It wasn't long before I seriously craved another way to divide the book.
       I began to wonder if their might be a natural order to the chapter divisions of I Samuel.  In looking for that natural order I looked at the book as a whole.  I Samuel has a second title: THE FIRST BOOK OF THE KINGS. It turns out that the word Kings is a key to understanding the book.  There are two kings in I Samuel.  I began to wonder if the book was evenly divided between the two.  Could it be that half of the book was for Saul and half of the book was for David?  The problem with that scenario is that there are an uneven number of chapters in the book.  If we allot the first 15 chapters to Saul and the last 15 chapters to David, that leaves chapter 16 in the middle.  Chapter 16 can't be evenly cut in half.  It has 23 verses.  Therefore, there is an exact middle verse which is neither in the front half or the back half.  Verse 12 which is exactly in the middle of the middle chapter reads, And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and of a good countenance, and goodly to look to.  And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.  
       Whether my readers consider it coincidence or not the first half of THE FIRST BOOK OF THE KINGS has only one king and that king is Saul.  The second half of the book introduces the anointing of David.  This is exact.  The exact middle verse is the pivot verse where Samuel is instructed to anoint David.  The book of I Samuel has an undisputed order to it.  We will look at this in more detail.  To be exact, it divides itself into 3 distinct groupings of 4 chapters each, and then there is a middle seven chapters, followed by three more distinct groupings of four chapters each.  
       The first four chapters are given to the rule of Eli.  Eli's rule is marked by the corruption of his sons.  There is no evidence of Eli being corrupt, but his sons had turned aside after filthy lucre and fornication (I Sam. 2:11-25.)  Eli lost his priesthood because he would not rule his sons.  Chapter four culminates with Eli's sons dying, Eli dying, his daughter in-law dying, and the ark of God being taken captive.  Israel is left in disarray. 
    The second four chapters are given to the rule of Samuel.  Under his tenure the ark is returned.  The Philistines begin to lose their death grip on Israel.  This is a time of peace and prosperity for Israel.  Still all is not well. Samuel's sons prove themselves corrupt and Israel lost patience with God.  They wanted a king.  In doing so they rejected the Lord as their king.  To understand this, we will take a moment here to look at the doctrine of kings and the right to rule in the word of God 
      Both 1st and 2nd Samuel can be divided by looking at them through the lenses of the crown.  Two different crowns are in play during both books.  We need to take a moment a review what the word of God says about the right to rule Israel.  To understand the right to rule we need to go back to Genesis 49, and we need to look at Jacob's deathbed prophecy.  Speaking of Judah, Jacob said, The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be, Gen. 49:10a.  Judah received a right to rule which stayed with his physical lineage.  It is a mark of Judah's right to rule that no other family than David's could claim that scepter.  That is established in I Samuel and in II Samuel.  The blessings of Judah came upon David and his lineage to stay.  However, we shall see that there is a crown and a blessing that David obtained and that his lineage ultimately lost.    
    Joseph also received a crown.  It was unto Joseph that Jacob bequeathed the blessing that he stole from Esau.  That blessing should have been Rueben's birthright, but Jacob gave it to Joseph.  Now the sons of Rueben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler: but the birthright was Joseph's, 5:1,2.  The Books of the Kings play out this division between Judah's right to rule and the blessing given to Joseph.  
       What distinguishes Joseph's blessing is that it is not solely on his physical progeny as in the case of Judah.  They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren, Gen. 49:26b.  I have underlined the phrase and on the crown because it illustrates the chief difference between Judah's right to bear the scepter and Joseph's crown.  Judah's right to rule rested on David and upon his direct lineage.  No matter how wicked the lineage of David became, the Lord kept the scepter with his offspring as long as there was a kingdom.   Joseph's blessing was upon the crown.  Throughout the Books of the Kings we can see the Lord lifted that crown from off of one head and place it on another regardless of the family or even the tribe.  The blessing to the northern kingdom was upon a crown and that crown was often on the head of a man absolutely unwitting and unworthy of that blessing.  The southern kingdom, or Judah had its blessing on the sons of David.  
       Even when David's gritty-great grandson Coniah managed to get himself cursed and declared ineligible to pass on the scepter, the Lord preserved David's right through Solomon's brother Nathan.  Speaking of Coniah who eventually managed to live so wickedly that the Lord shut off his lineage, Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah, Jer. 22:30.  Coniah managed to live so villainously that his seed was cut off.  To Satan and all those who hate the promises of God, this appeared a great victory.  In the curse to Coniah and his offspring it appeared that David's right to rule had been destroyed.  It appeared that the messiah could not come from the loins of David.  The Lord however had planned on this all along.  He had another plan and he had said so in prophecy.  The Lord had prophesied that he would keep Nathan's lineage separate from David's other children.  And the land shall mourn, every family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart, Zech. 12:12.  It was through Solomon's brother Nathan, also a son of Bathsheba that the Lord brought forth the virgin Mary and ultimately Jesus Christ.  The Lord bypassed Solomon's lineage.  
      If Jesus Christ had been the physical son of his stepfather Joseph, he would have been born under a curse.  Instead, the Lord preserved the lineage of Nathan in relative obscurity and brought forth a virgin from Nathan's family to give birth to the Messiah.  The lineage of Jesus Christ as given in traces the family of Mary.  Joseph is called the son of Heli and by Jewish law Heli is his father since he married Heli's daughter.  This is where we get the term father-in-law.  In the eyes of the law he became Joseph's father.  The scepter remained with the offspring of David even after Coniah managed to get himself cursed.  Judah's blessing has stayed with the lineage of David all along, but not so with Joseph's blessing. 
       Jacob's son Joseph's blessing and his crown is different.  It can get passed from person to person and from family to family.  The blessing is on the crown.  This is why when Jesus Christ shows up he can fulfill the prophecies on both Judah and Joseph.  He bears the scepter because he inherited it from David.  He also inherits the blessings of Joseph because God the Father gives him that crown, from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel, Gen. 49: 24b.
      With all of this in mind we can get back to the numbering system and the doctrine of the kingdom as I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings and II Kings play out.  When these books start out the Lord is the king.  It is God himself who ruled over Israel through his judges trained under God's law.  When Israel desired a king they were rejecting God's reign as their king. This is made clear when the Lord told Samuel, for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them, I Sam. 8:7b.  This pronouncement of course comes at the end of the first grouping of 4 chapters.  In the next 4 chapters the Lord places the crown and the blessings on Saul's head.
    The ascension of Saul is both glorious and troubling.  There are few chapters or stories in the bible more glorious than Saul's victory over the Nahash the Ammonite in I Samuel 11.  It is clear that the Lord was willing to let the blessings bestowed on Joseph's crown rest upon Saul's head.  What is troubling is that the Lord makes it clear in chapter 12 that Israel had sinned when they wanted a king.  This prepares us for the middle 7 chapters of the book of I Samuel.     
    The middle 7 chapters of I Samuel begins with Saul's folly, and the Lord revealing to Saul that he would have given him the everlasting kingdom that eventually he gives to David.  And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.  But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, I Samuel 13:13,14.   In these middle seven chapters David is anointed.  Slowly Saul begins to realize that David is his replacement.  We see David's glory grow and Saul's jealousy grow with it.  The last chapter of the middle seven (Chapter 19) has David finally flee for his life from Saul.  He fled to Samuel. The chapter ends with David fleeing but it also ends with Saul lying naked.  The kingdom is divided.  Saul still held onto the crown, but David has the scepter of the everlasting kingdom.  Eventually David would unite the crown of Joseph and the scepter of Judah in one hand.  Solomon along with Rehoboam would eventually rend them apart.
        The next four chapters deal with David fleeing from Saul and culminate with Jonathan acknowledging that the kingdom is David's.  It is in these four chapters that David and Jonathan make a covenant that will bind Benjamin to Judah for the rest of history.  So powerful was this bond that prior to his conversion it allowed the Apostle Paul, a Benjamite to be part of the ruling class.  It is in these four chapters that the priesthood is almost completely destroyed and the remnant of the priesthood escapes to David.  David begins to use the priest's powers and his prowess as a warrior to defend Israel.  By the time these four chapters end David has a cohesive fighting force, a functioning priesthood, and the assurance that he would be the king.         
       The next four chapters are distinct in themselves.  In these four chapters we see the Lord destroy all who oppose David. David cannot lose.  Whether it is Saul trying to trap David, or Nabal foolishly rejecting David's request, David prevails.
      The last four chapters are a completely different saga.  These four chapters are given to Saul's physical fall and to David obtaining great wealth and prestige.  Yes, there is an order to I Samuel.  I now read it in three days of 4 chapters each, one day of 7 chapters and three more days of 4 chapters.  Its numerical order is 4,4,4,7,4,4,4.
       II Samuel has a more predictable and discernable order to it.  There are four distinct sections of 6 chapters each.  Who could miss the obvious middle of the book?  The first 12 chapters show David winning the kingdom to himself.  He gathers all power to himself and then defiles himself in the grandeur of that power.  The second half of the book is devoted to him paying the price for his sin and eventually ordering the kingdom for his departure.  We'll look at it though in more detail.
    In chapter 1 we start with a divided kingdom.  Saul has died.  He died in the last chapter of I Samuel but David knew nothing of it.  In II Samuel chapter 1 he is given an account of Saul's death by an Amalekite.  The Amalekite brings suitable tokens of Saul's death and David realized that Saul was dead.  Since this is a book on believing the King James Bible I'll note that there are preachers who find themselves flummoxed at the disparity of the two versions of Saul's death.  In I Samuel 31:4 we have the eye witness of the Holy Ghost.  In II Samuel 1:6-10 we have the recorded testimony of an Amalekite hoping to get a reward.  The two versions differ and so you the juror must decide which version is true.  It really shouldn't be hard to figure out whether the Holy Ghost or the Amalekite is telling the truth, but since I have watched preachers stumble at this point it seems like a good time to make a point.  It is impossible for the narrative of the King James Bible to be in error, it is the testimony of the Holy Ghost.  It is possible however for the inerrant word of God to record the testimony of a liar.  There are many occasions of just that very thing happening in scripture.  I'm sure if Jacob were to read this book he would blush at the point.
        Now the kingdom is divided in a sense that it is plain to see.  David bears the scepter of Judah and he rules in Hebron.  He has yet to receive Ephraim's or Joseph's crown.  David called the kingdom that Ishbosheth, Saul's son ruled, Israel.  He said this when he recognized Abner the captain of Ishbosheth's host, as the captain of Israel, (I Kings 2:5.)  At that point there are two kingdoms.  There is the kingdom of Israel ruled by Ishbosheth and there is the kingdom of Judah ruled by David.
    Chapters 2, 3 and 4 are marked by civil war, the murder of Ishbosheth, and the murder of Abner.  In Chapter 5 the kingdoms are united under David.  In Chapter 6 the ark is brought to its resting place, but another important thing transpires.  Michal the daughter of Saul despised David in her heart and she is struck barren.  Until this time the household of Saul and the household of David were intertwined by marriage.  They are still intertwined but there is no danger of David raising up seed through the daughter of Saul.  A tie had been cut that held David to the house of Saul.  So ends the first of the four divisions of II Samuel.
    The next three divisions are easy.  Chapters 7-12 deal with the confirmation of God's promises, the establishing of David's greatness and the revelation of his sin.  Chapters 13-18 deal with the price of his sin.  Chapters 19-24 deal with the reestablishment of his kingdom.  I Kings is even easier to divide, the first 11 chapters are for Solomon, and the last 11 chapters are for the aftermath of Solomon and the divided kingdom.  The first 11 chapters have a united kingdom, and the last 11 chapters have a divided kingdom.  The crowns are separated. 
    It would behoove my readers to remember that II Kings is also called FOURTH BOOK OF THE KINGS.  The emphasis is on the kings.  This appears remote in the first 5 chapters because the kings (more so the kings of Israel) are spiritually emasculated.  The Lord is working despite them.  The careful reader can follow the thread as the book divides into 5-chapter groups of 5 chapters each.
       I Chronicles also has a pattern.  It divides perfectly in a 9,11,9 pattern.  In I Chronicles the emphasis is not on the kings as it was in the four books of the Kings.  The emphasis is on God's place in the kingdom.  The middle verse in I Chronicles is I Chron. 15:15, And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD.  The first half of I Chronicles is the story of God raising up a people and a kingdom.  The second half is the story of those people ordering themselves to please the Lord.  II Chronicles divides itself perfectly in a pattern of 6 divisions of 6 chapters each.  It divides in relation to where God fits, not on the kings themselves.
      I know of no rule in the bible that deals with middle verses.  Not all middle verses are significant.  Yet, there are books where it is folly to ignore them.  I Samuel and I Chronicles are two books where the middle verses have a story to tell.  Think back to the middle verse of I Samuel.  As we saw earlier, I Sam. 16:12 divided the book both physically in that it was the middle verse of the middle chapter, and it divided the book doctrinally since it is the place where Samuel the Prophet was instructed to anoint David.  That fact becomes important to understand a perceived mystery in II Samuel.
      I tend to get phone calls from bible students and preachers from around the country when they find themselves vexed over a verse in the bible.  It is far easier in life to cast doubt and suspicion on bible verses than it is to defend them.  There are preachers around the country who take a special pride in throwing up aspersions and doubt every time they find a verse that does not fit their pat little theologies.  I often get phone calls or emails from people who have butted heads with just such people.            
      II Samuel 15:7 is just such a verse.  And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in  Hebron.  On the surface the verse doesn't make sense.  David ruled for a total of 40 years.  How could Absalom have been conspiring against David for 40 years?  The key to this verse starts with the key to every verse: just believe what it says.  What happened 40 years before Absalom began his revolt?  Samuel was instructed to anoint David exactly 40 years earlier.  The 40 year time line points exactly to I Samuel 16:12.  It points to the exact middle verse of I Samuel.  It points to the event that gives the four books of the Kings their theme and substance.  More can be learned by believing any given verse than can be learned from doubting it. 
    Following the number patterns in the King James Bible is like following a vein of gold.  There are times when it reaches the surface and becomes visible.  There are other times when it buries itself.  The astute student of the bible can dig a little when he sees the vein disappear but so far every vein I have followed goes too far beneath the surface for me to grasp.  I'll give another example from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.  Many commentators have illustrated the uncanny division in Isaiah that parallels the divisions in the King James Bible itself.   I think we can take it a little bit farther.
       Just to recap for my readers who may not be aware of how Isaiah divides; the book has 66 chapters just as the bible itself has 66 books.  Isaiah is written in two very different styles, so much so that many liberal commentators have speculated that two different authors wrote the book.  The division is between chapters 39 and 40.  The bible itself divides between the 39th and 40th books of the bible.  There are 39 books in the Old Testament and the New Testament starts in the 40th book, Matthew.  John the Baptist is introduced in the book of Matthew and he shows up prophetically in Isaiah 40:3, The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  The last book of the Bible introduces a new heaven and a new earth, the last chapter in Isaiah does the same.  It would appear that there is a vein of gold here.  I can assure my readers that the vein sticks out prominently in at least two other chapters of Isaiah but plunges far enough beneath the surface that it gets hard to follow.  Yet its appearance in the two other chapters is too profound to dismiss to chance.
       The 45th book of the bible is THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS.  This is the first book of the bible written specifically for gentiles.  Its corresponding chapter in Isaiah is chapter 45 which is the first chapter in the bible written to a gentile.  Thus saith the LORD to Cyrus, Isa. 45:1a.  I was intrigued enough by seeing the correlation that I pushed further.  There are places where I cannot for the life of me see any correlation between the chapter and the corresponding book, but at least one other chapter is too rich of a vein to ignore.  
        The book The Acts of the Apostles is the 44th book of the bible.  Isaiah 44 is designed by God to correspond with the book of Acts.  It is a vein of gold so rich that it cannot be ignored.  It takes very little digging to find it.  There are 28 chapters in Acts.  Isaiah 44 has 28 verses.  The first six verses of Isaiah 44 deal with the Lord promising to pour out his spirit upon Israel.  Isaiah 44:7 takes a dramatic turn.  And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show unto them.  The Lord pleads here for someone to explain to Israel what God has been doing since he founded Israel and what he plans to do.  In Act 7 Stephen does exactly that.  He sets in order what God has done with the ancient people.  He ends his life declaring the things that will be, he sees the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God, verse 56b.
       Keeping this in mind, let us consider the division of the book of Isaiah as it resembles the division in between the Old and the New Testament.  Let us also consider the remarkable placement of John the Baptist in Isa. 40:3 and in Matthew, the 40th book of the bible; the new heavens and new earth of the 66th book of the bible and 66th chapter of Isaiah and consider the 45th chapter of Isaiah and the 45th book of the bible.  When we consider these things, it becomes too difficult to dismiss as coincidence that which the Lord pleads for in Isaiah 44:7.  Isaiah 44:7 is literally fulfilled in Acts 7.  Yet for all of this, the chapter is not done astounding.  
        After the stoning of Stephen, the Lord rejected Israel as a nation.  That is not to say that he rejected Jews.  It means that the Jewish people as a national unit had lost their opportunity to be saved as a nation and to usher in the millennium.  Individual Jews still had then and still have now the ability to have a relationship with the Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  What changed was that after the stoning of Stephen the Lord began to actively seek out gentiles.  In doing so he went to war with the devils they worshiped.  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: I Cor. 10:20a.
        In Isaiah 44:8 the Lord ordains Israel to be witnesses that only he is God.  He then takes verses 9-20 to war against idols.  From Acts 8-20 the Apostles labor among the gentiles and war against the idols and devils.  In Isaiah 44:21-26 the Lord seeks to remind Israel of who he is.  In Acts 21-26 the Apostle Paul is back in the Holy Land for that same purpose.  In Isaiah 44:27 the Lord speaks to the water.  In Acts 27 the Apostle Paul is in the water.  In Acts 28 the Apostle Paul finally makes it to Rome.  In Isaiah 44:28 the Lord begins to speak of Cyrus the gentile.  Clearly the vein of gold has risen to the surface and can be seen with the naked eye.
       Still, we are not done finding a correlation between Old Testament books and the numbering system and order of the New Testament.  I began to look at THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET EZEKIEL.  Ezekiel and Isaiah are both alike in that their first 39 chapters are radically different than the rest of their respective books.  Whereas in Isaiah the chapters that followed chapter 39 were a direct correlation to the New Testament, Ezekiel had only 9 chapters left.  To be sure, they were distinctly different than the preceding chapters.  Ezekiel 40-48 gives us the millennial temple, the millennial land grant and gives the order of Israel's future worship and duties.  It is a picture of Israel after the New Testament.  I wondered if perhaps each of the 9 chapters following Ezekiel 39 could possibly appertain to three chapters in the New Testament.  I was disappointed when I looked.  I could see absolutely no correlation.  God does not play by my rules.  
       The day finally came when I counted the verses in the last 9 chapters of Ezekiel.  There are exactly 260 verses.  There are 260 chapters in the New Testament.  Both Isaiah and Ezekiel foreshadow the New Testament in their divisions.  Isaiah does so by foreshadowing the exact book structure of the New Testament, Ezekiel does so by foreshadowing the exact chapter structure.  The first two of the three Major Prophets had unmistakable chapter and verse divisions which divided them each into 39 chapters and then each took on their own identities in paralleling the New Testament.  
      Of course, I could not ignore THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET JEREMIAH.  This one stumped me for quite a while.  Jeremiah culminates in chapter 39.  Up until that chapter Nebuchadnezzar is the threat to the city and to what is left to the kingdom of Judah.  The prophet Jeremiah has spent the previous 38 chapters warning anyone who would listen that God had given the city to King Nebuchadnezzar.  I could clearly see that Jeremiah 39 signaled an end to the Kingdom of Judah.  It is the last chapter in which a king sits on the throne of David.  What I could not grasp was what the correlation was between the last 13 chapters of Jeremiah and any numbering system contained in the New Testament.  I was always pretty sure it was there but unless I strained and wrestled the scripture I could make nothing of it.  I counted verses, words, and letters.  I strained, I minced and I chopped.  I got nowhere.  I stayed in that condition for years.  I knew that it was not coincidence that Jeremiah had a dramatic change in chapter 39 just like Isaiah and Ezekiel; I just couldn't see how those last chapters correlated to anything.  
      At some point the Spirit of God finally nudged me to quit counting verses and to start looking at the doctrine.  After chapter Jeremiah 39 and before Jeremiah 45, there are 5 unique chapters that cover a miserable history of the Jewish people.  The Jews of these 5 chapters are wanderers wandering outside of the will of God.  They are working their way towards Egypt where they will eventually be destroyed.  They have departed from God's blessing by not surrendering to the Babylonians, or if they had surrendered they ran away.  They are like those miserable Jews spoken of by the Apostle Paul, for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost, I Thess. 2:16b.  After those 5 chapters the book of Jeremiah picks up again and gets back on course.
      The similarity between the Jews of Jeremiah 40-44 and the Jews who ultimately reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ is striking.  In order to be in the will of God during the siege and fall of Jerusalem during Jeremiah's day a Jew needed to recognize that the gentiles had the right to rule.  They had to recognize that a way of life had passed.  They had to let go of what they had in order to gain that which God offered.  In both instances many Jews of their day failed.  The Jews who refused to go to Babylon or to cooperate with Nebuchadnezzar were ultimately destroyed when they went to hide in the protection of Egypt, (Jer. 44:12.)  These are to be compared with the Jews of whom Jesus Christ spoke, And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city, Mark 6:11.  
    Jeremiah 40-44 is a picture of the dispersion and grief that ultimately came upon unbelieving Israel.  Once the book of Jeremiah leaves the saga of these wayward God rejecting Jews and gets back to the prophecies on individuals and nations there are 8 chapters left.  How many verses are there in these last 8 chapters once the book of Jeremiah resumes?  There are exactly 260 verses.  There are just as many verses in those last 8 chapters as there are chapters in the New Testament.   What is the picture here?  The picture in Ezekiel is a picture of the New Testament bringing in the millennial kingdom for Israel.  The picture in Jeremiah is a picture of the Jewish rejection of the New Testament and the gap of time that separates the nation of Israel from its acceptance of the New Testament.
       This brings us to one last point.  Why is the book of Hebrews placed in the canon of scripture as the last book of Paul's writings?  Isn't it a strict rule with Paul, the Jew first and also the Greek, Rom. 1:16, 2:9, 2:10.  If Paul really wrote Hebrews wouldn't it have been his habit to have put the book first?  After all, every new town he went into he preached to the Jews first, and then after they had rejected the gospel he would turn to the gentiles.  You might ask first, Why are you convinced that Paul wrote Hebrews?  We know because the King James Bible says that he did.  The very title to the book,   THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS, declares that Paul wrote the book.  I believe that as much as I believe John 3:16.  I believe that every chapter number, every verse marking, every title, and every subtitle comes from God.  I am not worried about the authorship of the book of Hebrews. The King James Bible gives it a title, The Epistle Of Paul The Apostle To The Hebrews.  For me the issue is settled, Paul wrote Hebrews.  My King James Bible says so.  How do we know that Mark wrote Mark?  There is no statement in the text that tells us that.  Liberals love to doubt the authorship of the gospels.  They are forever coming up with new theories as to the origin or authorship of each of the gospels.  By what scurvy reasoning is it wrong to doubt the authorship of the gospels, but it is OK to question the authorship of Hebrews?  We only have one source for the authorship of either; our King James Bible states the authorship in the title to each of those books.  Who told you that was put in by men?
       The answer to why the book of Hebrews is not first can be found in the Gospel of John in the councils of Caiaphas.  Caiaphas spoke of Jesus Christ when he said, If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation, John 11:48.  Despite all that Caiaphas tried to do to forestall the inevitable, the Romans did come and take away their nation.  This was done under Titus the Roman in 70 AD.  The Romans also took away their place.  It was not enough for the Romans to have taken over the land grant to Israel and to kick out all of the Jews.  They also expropriated the first spot in the Pauline Epistles. Hebrews is not the first book of the epistles, Romans is.  Yes, there is an order to the bible which we are only now beginning to understand.     
  

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