The 40th chapter of Ezekiel has been a mystery to generations of Bible commentators. We have been working on the unearthing of a significant cluster in the chapter that is very closely related to the Ezekiel 37 cluster, almost as if suggesting that the 37th chapter cluster leads directly into the one in the 40th chapter. In fact, many of the longest codes in the Ezekiel 37 cluster also pass through the one in Ezekiel 40. |
Writing in Babylon during the 70-year captivity of the Jews, the prophet Ezekiel relates his vision of a mountain-top temple’s dimensions:
In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year after the fall of the city—on that very day the hand of the Lord was upon me and he took me there. (New International Version)
In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city. He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. The man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the house of Israel everything you see.”
I saw a wall completely surrounding the temple area. The length of the measuring rod in the man’s hand was six long cubits, each of which was a cubit and a handbreadth. He measured the wall; it was one measuring rod thick and one rod high.
The rest of the chapter continues with temple descriptions and measurements, detailed to such a degree that architects could—and have—used them as starting points for the design of an actual temple. This is the controversial third temple, which orthodox Jews insist must be built on the site of the temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., and which Christians believe the Bible predicts will play a key role in the final days of Earth.
The reason Muslims are so troubled about the idea of this temple is that it would either have to supplant or sit next to an Islamic holy site on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s old city. Muslims call the holy site al-Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, which houses Al Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock, the third holiest shrine in Islam. When Ariel Sharon simply visited the site in 2000, before he was elected prime minister, riots ensued that grew into the conflict that is still going on in Israel.
What initially drew Ed Sherman’s attention to Ezekiel 40 was an unusually high number of occurrences of a Hebrew word for war in the chapter. This is the word:
It showed up in the chapter 17 times with skips of 1 to 1,000, when probability says it should only show up 4.37 times. The odds against this happening by chance are less than 1 in 1 million. This is why we refer to these codes as the “war” cluster.
After some reflection, it seemed appropriate that a passage of scripture about a temple would have codes about war beneath its surface text, especially if the temple referred to is the Third Temple, which some citizens of Israel are committed to building on or near the Islam holy site. As another prophet, Zechariah, wrote (Zechariah 12:2):
I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness, declares the LORD. I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, “The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.” (New International Version)
Since the start of our search was shortly following President Bush’s State of the Union speech in early 2002, we looked for and found Axis of Evil. When we extended it, we were delighted to find a short but powerful ELS, the 12-letter For the Axis of Evil is Like the Other One, which could refer to the World War II Axis of Germany-Italy-Japan. Another Axis of Evil ELS in the cluster has a humorous message—Conquer the Axis of Evil in the Island, or an Elephant that I Raise Will Fly. Could this have been a warning to Democrats to get on with homeland security, or the G.O.P. would be given control of both houses of congress in the recent November elections?
All of the Axis of Evil members show up in this cluster. Iraq, which figured prominently in the Ezekiel 7 and 37 clusters, is also present here in a couple of compelling ELSs. The first is the 52-letter code mentioned above. Second is a 16-letter code with a skip of +162, Who are the Sheep? The Gift of Fire from Iraq’s Father.
Iran weighs in here with a 40-letter ELS—Indeed I Will Strike Among You. The Rest of Me is Getting Lost. Iran Has Wailed. His Flame Will Become a Father, and My God Will Whisper—which has a breathtakingly brief skip of –9, further making it a highly significant ELS. North Korea also makes an appearance with For N. Korea is Mine in a Manner Rushing in Me.
Based on what we have found so far, it would seem that Russia, despite her current role as an ally of the U.S. and therefore not a belligerent as far as Israel is concerned, is the main player in this war cluster. Some prophecy writers believe that the Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 39 is referring to Russia, an aggressor that God pulls into an attack on Israel from the north. According to this prophecy, He annihilates them with what could be a nuclear attack. Here’s an excerpt from the chapter:
I will bring you (Gog and Magog) from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, and they will know that I am the Lord. (New International Version)
The table below displays the longest codes in the cluster, with another table displaying shorter codes on the next page.