Day: May 1, 2024



By Eric Carlson in 05_2024_1, newsletter-post on May 1, 2024

I recently noticed a supernatural connection between the Kingdom of God and rivers. A river watered the Garden of Eden then divided into four rivers. Moshe was placed into a wicker basket and floated down the river. The first two plaques against Egypt involved the Nile River. Moshe struck the River turning it into blood making it undrinkable and all the fish in the River died. The river was struck again by Moshe and the plaques of frogs came up out of the river. River first appears in Genesis 2:10

Genesis 2:10. A river (Nahar; “river; stream; canal; current, natural water courses, canals, ocean currents, underground streams, and is connected to divine blessings. Also refers to trouble and difficulty and is prophetic reference to future rivers of living water. Nahar appears about 120 times in biblical Hebrew) went out of ‘Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided into four streams.

What is this mythical Garden of Eden that for millennium man has searched the world over to find? It will never be found on the earth as it is not a physical entity. The river that flows into Eden has no name. That river divides into four river heads which in Hebrew are named Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates. The Gematria gives some revelation to these scriptures and more. Gematria is the study of numbers and Hebrew letters, their meanings and how they apply to our lives. Within the original Hebrew language every letter, word and phrase equates to a number.

Dr. Duane Christensen and David Cook suggests that the river that flows out of Eden to water the garden is the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, these rivers names in the Gematria equate to the word of God! Adam was placed in the center of perfection, in God’s presence, and His word! He was commanded to Shamar, to guard, observe, protect, and obey it! He didn’t, the only dietary law they were given Adam and Eve broke which resulted in their being removed from the garden, from the presence of God! The river divides into four river heads which refers to the four categories of the aleph-bet as used in Gematria. The center of perfection, garden of Eden is the center of God’s word. This understanding and connection begins to be revealed in:

Isaiah 48:17-18. Thus says ADONAI, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Isra’el: “I am ADONAI, your God, who teaches you for your own good, who guides you on the path you should take. 18 If only you would heed my mitzvot! Then your peace (Shalom) would flow on like a river (Nahar), and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

We begin to see a prophetic connection in our relationship with Adonai and Rivers! As He commanded Adam in the Garden, He teaches us for our own good, He guides us on the path we should take and if choose to obey His commands and Mitzvahs, his word, our Shalom will flow on like a “Nahar”, like a river. Shalom as we know is a complex word meaning lack of conflict, to be complete, whole, like a brick wall missing no bricks and having no cracks or holes. Shalom conveys something complex, many pieces that are form a one whole thing, like a brick wall without cracks or missing bricks. The one new man from Ephesians 2:15 reveals that by making Jew and Gentile one, One New Man is Yeshua the result is Shalom!

Shalom is a statement of our wellbeing. Our own lives are complex, we have many relationships, many paths, many situations throughout our lives and when they are out of order, we lack shalom. To bring healing and restoration into our lives is to bring it back into Shalom. Healing broken relationships is placing them back into shalom. What allows our life to return to Shalom? Obedience and submission to Adonai and His word in Yeshua. Shalom in the verb usage is to bring wholeness and restoration into our life. When we are restored in Shalom it flows on from us like a river as Isaiah 48 stated! This is exactly what Yeshua said when He interrupted the “Nisukh ha-Mayim” (Water Libation) service during Sukkot.

John 7:37-38. Now on the last day of the festival, Hoshana Rabbah, Yeshua stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drinking! 38 Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers (potamos {pot-am-os’}: stream, a river, a torrent, floods) of living water will flow from his inmost being!”

Yeshua is making a direct connection to Isaiah 48:18. When we drink/partake of Yeshua, when we immerse ourselves in Him, when Yeshua is manifest within us (Messianic Anointing) through submission and obedience to Adonai our Shalom will flow on and out of us like a river. Yeshua is the Shar Shalom, the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:5) and He gave that Shalom to us:

John 14:27. “What I am leaving with you is shalom — I am giving you my shalom. I don’t give the way the world gives. Don’t let yourselves be upset or frightened.

Yeshua is our covenant shalom, by His blood He restores our broken, cracked, disheveled lives making us whole, giving us Shalom! Not a temporary shalom like the world, but a never ending shalom that brings us serenity, calmness in the midst of the storm, reconciling us back to Adonai’s Shalom:

Romans 5:1. So, since we have come to be considered righteous by God because of our trust, let us continue to have shalom with God through our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.

Our trust in Yeshua allows us to have continual shalom with Adonai! This same trust, this Shalom that Yeshua gave us allows rivers to flow upward and out of us as Rivers (potamos-nahar) of Mayim Chaim, living water as stated in John 7. Remember, Yeshua’s interruption is occurring on the eighth day of Sukkot! It is Sukkot that will be celebrated by all the Nations in Zechariah during the millennial reign and this symbolic healing service of “Nisukh ha-Mayim”, the drawing of the water becomes actual, rivers of living waters that flow out of the Temple Mount:

Ezekiel 47:2-5. Next he led me out through the north gate and took me around outside to the outer gate, by way of the east gate, where I saw water trickling from the south side. 3 With a line in his hand the man went out toward the east and measured a thousand cubits [one-third of a mile] and had me wade across the stream; the water came up to my ankles. 4 He measured another thousand and had me wade through the water, which reached my knees. He measured another thousand and had me wade through water up to my waist. 5 Finally he measured a thousand, and it was a river I couldn’t cross on foot, because the water was so deep one would have to swim across; it was a river that could not be waded through.

The living water, Mayim Chaim flowing out from the Temple brings Shalom, a river of Shalom that brings healing and restoration! This is what was being rehearsed on the last day of Sukkot at the Temple, a very special water healing service that is now within us through Yeshua! This understanding is profound, deep, and complex! There is a river for both for the city of Jerusalem and the Land:

Psalm 46:4. There is a river whose streams gladden the city of God, the holy habitation of ‘Elyon

A river of Joy that gladden Jerusalem (the Joy of the Lord is our strength) and a river of Shalom that brings blessings, wealth and riches of the nations upon Israel like a flood, like an overflowing stream.

Isaiah 66:12-13. For ADONAI says, “I will spread shalom over her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried in her arm and cuddled in her lap. 13 Like someone comforted by his mother, I will comfort you; in Yerushalayim you will be comforted.”

And a river of life that takes us into His presence as individuals:

Isaiah 33:21. But there in his splendor ADONAI will be with us, in a place of rivers and broad streams. But no boat with oars will go there, no majestic ship will pass by.

In Yeshua we can enter into the River, through Yeshua rivers of living water will flow from us. Here is the reality, over millennia, this understanding as eroded away from the body. One person will be healed so we ask the person praying what they did, it becomes a book, a DVD series and everyone says: Ah ha, this is how it’s done!” Yet it’s ineffective and doesn’t work. Then the next miracle comes along and another Ah ha moment and now the next book, the next DVD set and another round of Televangelist interviews and still, its ineffective.

Religion has relegated the Kingdom to various works and methods. Such as: “Its about humility, prayer and repentance” (true) but that should be our daily walk in Yeshua, a culture of prayer and fasting! Not a magic formula! Or it must be fivefold ministry, or it must be seeker sensitive, or it must be signs and wonders, on and on and one! Again, these principles are all scriptural, Ephesian’s outlines the fivefold ministries, Paul said he was all things to all people, and the word says signs and wonders will follow them that believe!

When the 120 in the upper room gathered in prayer and fasting, they weren’t praying methods, rituals, religion, or strategies into being! They were praying and fasting for the presence of Adonai! This is what the river connection is, its wading, diving into the river of living water! The kingdom of God is fluid, always flowing with currents and eddies. It ebbs and flows, the tides of change come in and go out! It’s incumbent upon us to move with these heavenly currents or be left behind. Sha’ul directly spoke to this:

Philippians 3:13-16. Brothers, I, for my part, do not think of myself as having yet gotten hold of it; but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind me and straining forward toward what lies ahead, 14 I keep pursuing the goal in order to win the prize offered by God’s upward calling in the Messiah Yeshua. 15 Therefore, as many of us as are mature, let us keep paying attention to this; and if you are differently minded about anything, God will also reveal this to you. 16 Only let our conduct fit the level we have already reached.

Again, the Kingdom is like a river, always flowing, always moving. Sha’ul, Paul says he doesn’t look back to where he’s been, to what’s behind him, in fact he said he forgot what’s back there. Instead, he’s looking forward to where he is going, straining forward! He said let our conduct fit the level we are in! Yes, we are at different levels in the Kingdom, different levels of intimacy, maturity, and depth with Him! Adonai doesn’t want you to stay at your current level! You should not be at the same place or level you were a year ago or two years ago, drinking milk instead of receiving the meat of the word! He doesn’t want you staying at the foot of the stake, Yeshua isn’t there anyway! He wants you and I to seek the deeper, weightier aspects of the Kingdom, deep calls unto deep, drawing deeper into His presence.

Adonai wants you fluidly moving with him, following the currents of heaven. This can only be done by getting in the river, which is His presence, in covenant relationship with Him, in unity and Shalom with Him, to be whole, whole hearted with Him. Not perfect but trying your best. Walking, living in His presences is not legalism, not a tradition, not rituals, not a religion-based walk. So many distractions plaque the body today, denominationalism, orthodox, nonorthodox, oral traditions, legalism, suppersecessionism, replacement theology, dominionism, predestination, pietism, kenoticism, dispensationalism, Talmud, Kabbala, and on and on and on! One can be obedient to and follow every applicable command and mitzvah and NOT be in covenant Shalom with Adonai! It’s about Yeshua, just focus on Yeshua! Though He is specific in His word regarding how we approach him it’s centered more on a matter of intimacy and Shalom vice works.

Isaiah 29:13-14. Then Adonai said: “Because these people approach me with empty words, and the honor they bestow on me is mere lip-service; while in fact they have distanced their hearts from me, and their ‘fear of me’ is just a mitzvah of human origin 14 therefore, I will have to keep shocking these people with astounding and amazing things, until the ‘wisdom’ of their ‘wise ones’ vanishes, and the ‘discernment’ of their ‘discerning ones’ is hidden away.”

The people in Isaiah’s day had become hypocritical, worshipping the rituals vice Adonai. The act of worship itself often becomes an idol! Sha’ul, in Romans 10:21 quoted Isaiah 65 when he said: “All day long I held out my hands to a people who kept disobeying and contradicting.” This is why walking in His presence can be such a struggle. It’s easy to get off track, to get distracted onto religious rabbit trails vice staying focused upon Yeshua. Here’s the entire key to the rivers, to be flowing with Him is to be immersed in His presence! In His presence is everything you need! Every healing, every provision, every prophetic word, every command of God is there in His presence! When you are in His presence your heart beats as one with His! You become focused upon what He is focused on, you cry over what He cries about!

As I read the gospels, I don’t see Yeshua praying for money, for His bills to be paid, for a cold or flu He is suffering! Yeshua dwelled, lived, and ministered in Adonai’s presence! Every need was immediately met, Yeshua heard Fathers voice and only did what He heard, and only performed what He saw His father in heaven do. This is racial, it’s revolutionary! Everything one needs, love, healing, restoration, is found in Adonai’s presence. It removes the needs for any more books, teaching CD’s, or DVD’s. Everything you need to know is contained the 39 books of the Tanach and the 27 books of the Brit Chadesha-all 66 books. Here is where “Rivers” prophetically get interesting:

Isaiah 2:2-3. In the acharit-hayamim the mountain of ADONAI’s house will be established as the most important mountain. It will be regarded more highly than the other hills, and all the Goyim will stream (Nahar) there. 3 Many peoples will go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of ADONAI, to the house of the God of Ya’akov! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.

The Gentiles, the nations, many peoples will flow like streams and rivers to the mountain of God! This is what we are starting to experience! It’s the prophetic future coming to pass:

Revelation 22:1-3. Next the angel showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 Between the main street and the river was the Tree of Life producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month; and the leaves of the tree were for healing the nations – 3 no longer will there be any curses. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him;

The river is the center focus of the “New Jerusalem” and the “New Temple” that descends from heaven in the Millennial reign! The “Water of Life” coming from His presence provides healing, restoration, and life! Creation began with the Mayim and HaSha’Mayin, the upper waters and the lower waters, heaven and earth! What connects these water sources? The river of life which flows freely when heaven and earth become one once again! The Kingdom of God!

Luke 17:20-21. The P’rushim asked Yeshua when the Kingdom of God would come. “The Kingdom of God,” he answered, “does not come with visible signs; 21 nor will people be able to say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘Over there!’ Because, you see, the Kingdom of God is among (Entos: inside you, within you, in the midst of) you.”

Yeshua gave us a profound understanding! You and I, with the kingdom in us, are the connectors between HaSha Mayim (heaven) and Mayim (earth). The river flows from within us through Yeshua! The Kingdom is in me, in you, it’s amongst us! This is why it’s so important to come together as a congregation! By myself the Kingdom within me, I’m a single drop of living water, but was we come together, the drops become streams, streams become rivers, rivers pour into oceans with limitless boundaries! Oh, what we can do together in unity, a Kingdom united, fluid, flowing in service and worship of Adonai! As an ocean of believers, we are a roaring, surging sea and nothing can stop us! The mighty pounding surf and raging sea tears down mountains, turns boulders into sand, creates grand canyons, and smooths the edges off sharp stones! When God pours out HIS glory the sea (us) will surge be like a Tsunami! Time to get in!


Rabbi Eric Carlson

Rabbi and Rebbetzin Corner May 2024

Rabbi and Rebbetzin Corner May 2024

By Eric Carlson in 05_2024_2, newsletter-post on May 1, 2024

Shalom Mishpocha,

May has arrived! Our gardens and flowers are growing, and the temperatures continue to warm! May is likely named after the Roman goddess Maia in Latin, who oversaw the growth of plants. May is a busy month as we prepare for summer and school is finishing up! May 5th is Cinco de Mayo “The Fifth of May” in Spanish. This day celebrates the victory of the Mexican army over the French army at The Battle of Puebla in 1862.

Sunday, May 12th is Mother’s Day, mark your calendar, don’t forget! Mothers are the most honored women in the Bible. Great emphasis is laid upon the influence of mothers. The word “mother” or “mothers” appears in the Bible almost 300 times. The word “mother-in-law” appears 11 times and is always in reference to Naomi, mother-in-law of Ruth. The bibles great emphasis on the importance and influence of mothers is revealed in:

Ezekiel 16:44. Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb against you, “Like mother, like daughter.”

Love of children is deeply engraved into the hearts of Biblical women. The term mother is given and regarded with the deepest reverence. Mothers carry the gift of life! The flame of life which is the lamp of the Lord according to Prov 20:27, the “Nemesha” (soul in Hebrew) is divinely placed within the baby inside the mother’s womb, the cradle of life. Thereby woman are the keepers of the light! So many lives have been influenced and saved through the prayers of Mothers and Grandmothers.

Scripture speaks highly of mothers who raise their children and influence their families in a righteous manner; in the oft-quoted Proverbs 31, the “wife of noble character” is honored by her husband and children for her virtues.

As the spiritual light keeper, mothers have been given the privilege of ushering in the holy Shabbat by lighting the candles on Erev Shabbat, Friday evening, ushering in the brightness, the illumination of the Word of God into the home filling it with Shalom, peace, and harmony. Also, the Shabbat Candles are traditionally lit by the women because it was a woman who removed the light from the world (Eve) and it was a woman who returned the light to the world Miriam (Mary) who gave birth to Yeshua. It’s because of this understanding that in a Jewish or biblical home, the wife and mother is called “akeret Habayit” in Hebrew which means the “mainstay” or “keeper” of the home. It’s the mother who, for the most part, determines the character and atmosphere of the entire home.

It’s this character and atmosphere that makes a Biblical household different from a non-Biblical home. A godly mother’s home is maintained, immersed, and kept according to Adonai’s commands, mitzvahs, and directives as outlined in the whole book! This establishes holiness and purity within the home making it an abode for Adonai’s Presence, a home of Godliness!

Monday, May 27th is Memorial Day, a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.

Memorial Day is the start of summer for some, time to picnic for others, a three-day weekend for all (remember to pray for no traffic fatalities in the Commonwealth of Virginia) but most importantly it is a day to remember those who have fallen for freedom, those who have given their lives, who have spilled their blood upon the roots of the of the Patriot Tree to defend and preserve this Republic and liberate oppressed people around the world! The “Patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree” penned by Revolutionary War era poet Thomas Campbell pays tribute to the soldiers who fought in the American Revolutionary War with these words that serve as reminders for us today that we would not have the freedoms we hold dear were it not for the sacrifice of our country’s patriots.

What we remember—and honor—on Memorial Day is heroic sacrifice. We acknowledge those who nobly gave of themselves, even unto death, for a purpose they believed in was greater than themselves. Since the days following the end of the Civil War, Americans have gathered in late May to honor those who died in military service to their country. We remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” –President Ronald Reagan in an address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, (30 March 1961).

Then Tuesday, May 28th is Armed Forces Day, a day which honors those who serve in all branches of the United States military. Let us honor those on active duty!

Abba Father, Creator of heaven and earth, we give You all the praise, glory, and honor You are worthy of! We thank you for the blessing of the new month of May. We pray that you would experience Adonai’s joy, love, and shalom in abundance this month. May Adonai draw nearer to you as you draw nearer to Adonai in Yeshua’s name I pray!

Blessings and Shalom,

Rabbi and Rebbetzin Carlson



By Eric Carlson in 05_2024_3, newsletter-post on May 1, 2024

Jeremiah 22:13. “Woe to him who builds his palace unfairly (Lo Tzadak: Unrighteousness), its upper rooms by injustice (Lo Mishpat; injustice, no ordinances, no Torah, wrongfully) who makes his neighbor work for free and will not give him his wages;

Jeremiah is rebuking King Jehoiakim for failing rule with justice, to act justly on behalf of his subjects. Jehoiakim’s Father was King Josiah who served the Lord whole heatedly, restored covenant worship of God to Judah and upheld the rights of the people. Neco II, king of Egypt attacked Judah and killed King Josiah in 608 BC. Jehoiakim’s younger brother Jehoahaz became King of Judah but was removed after three months by Neco II who took him to Egypt where he died. Jehoiakim was a sympathizer with Egypt and ruled as a vassal of Egypt.

Contemporary historians (Jewish Encyclopedia) of this time period describe Jehoiakim as a godless tyrant who committed atrocious sins and crimes. He is reported to have had incestuous relations with his mother, daughter-in-law, and stepmother (which was common practice in Egypt). He was reported to have murdered men whose wives he would sexually violate then seize the murdered man’s property. It’s also recorded that he had tattooed most of his body.

Leviticus 19:28. Don’t cut gashes in your flesh when someone dies or tattoo (uchtovet ka’aka; uchtovet: imprint, engrave, inscription, mark. ka’aka: tattoo the flesh, mark the body through colored incisions) I am ADONAI.

I know tattooing has become wildly popular among younger people and Christians but so has homosexuality, same sex marriage, and a various host of others wickedness and sin. Jeremiah reveals that we cannot build our home, our household, our family upon unrighteousness and injustice (without Torah). Our legal system ironically is based upon justice. Justice is defined as the administration of law; especially the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity, the principle of just dealing or right action, conformity to the principle or ideal of righteousness.

I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again. Adonai never promised to be fair. The world isn’t fair, life isn’t fair, work isn’t fair, school isn’t fair, the government isn’t fair so the sooner we teach our children this kingdom principle the stronger they will become. God doesn’t promise to be fair, He promises to be just, to act and judge according to His own word, to deal justly, according to our righteousness!

Deuteronomy 16:20. Justice, only justice, you must pursue; so that you will live and inherit the land ADONAI your God is giving you.

This is where many believers error, where they become deceived by counterfeit grace. So many have been taught (for a long time now) that they can do whatever they desire, that they can fulfill the desires of their flesh because they are saved by grace thereby, they can act and do whatever they desire. That is a lie straight from the pits of hell. You’re not saved by grace; you’re saved by the blood of Yeshua’s sacrifice.

Luke 22:20. He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you.

It was Grace, an unmerited award, that Yeshua shed His blood for you and died while you were yet in sin. It was grace that Yeshua did this when you didn’t deserve it. Sha’ul said this is the message:

I Corinthians 1:18. For the message about the execution-stake is nonsense to those in the process of being destroyed, but to us in the process of being saved it is the power of God.

Salvation is a process, not a onetime prayer! That process is walking out our conformity and submission to God’s ordnances, rulings, mitzvah’s, teachings, and commands. Sha’ul said in:

Romans 1:5. Through him we received grace and were given the work of being an emissary on his behalf promoting trust-grounded obedience among all the Gentiles,

Jeremiah said Woe to those who would build their house, their family upon unrighteousness, without Torah, unjustly. Injustices cannot be covered up! Injustices must be dealt with! But injustice must be dealt with according to God’s righteousness. King David gives two profound examples of dealing with and not dealing with injustice.

David was one of the greatest kings of Israel. He was a great warrior, poet, psalmist, and worshipper. A man after God’s own heart, David’s first weapon was the harp! The story of David’s affair with Bath-Sheba is probably his most well-known story after the story of Goliath. (One ah man ruins a thousand atta boys). When confronted with his wickedness, with his sin he quickly took it before the Lord and repented but was still punished for his sin, the sword would never leave his house! Repenting is what made him different from his predecessor King Saul who failed to do so!

We then see Y’hoshua errored and made covenant with the Gibeonite’s who had deceived Israel in thinking that they had travelled a great distance seeking Asylum. Joshua didn’t consult God, he acted upon circumstantial evidence which isn’t always the truth.

Joshua 9:14-15. The men sampled some of their food but didn’t seek the advice of ADONAI, 15 so Y’hoshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them to spare their lives, and the leading officials of the community swore to them.

When Israel discovered they had been tricked, they agreed not to destroy the Gibeonite’s because they had made a covenant. Instead, the Gibeonite’s would be Israel slaves forever. Centuries later King Saul broke that convent causing an outbreak of famine in King David’s time:

II Samuel 21:1-6. In David’s time there was a famine that lasted three years, and David consulted ADONAI. ADONAI said, “It is because of Sha’ul and his bloodstained house, because he put to death the people of Giv’on.” 2 The king summoned the Giv’onim and said to them – these Giv’onim were not part of the people of Isra’el but from the remnant of the Emori; and the people of Isra’el had sworn to them; but Sha’ul, in his zeal for the people of Isra’el and Y’hudah, had sought to exterminate them – 3 David said to the Giv’onim, “What should I do for you? With what should I make atonement, so that you will be able to bless ADONAI’s heritage?” 4 The Giv’onim said to him, “Our dispute with Sha’ul can’t be resolved with silver or gold; and we don’t have the right to put anyone in Isra’el to death.” He said, “So, what do you say that I should do for you?” 5 They answered the king, “The man who ruined us, who schemed against us so that we would cease to exist anywhere in Isra’el’s territory – 6 have seven of his male descendants handed over to us, and we will put them to death by hanging before ADONAI in Giv’ah of Sha’ul, whom ADONAI chose.” The king said, “I will hand them over.”

This ended the curse. America has its own Gibeonites, The First Nations people or American Indians. Every treaty, every covenant agreement ever made with them has been broken. Every one! Over 35 tribes were forcibly removed from their ancestral tribal grounds or reservation lands after making peace with the American government and placed onto the Oklahoma territory. Have you noticed the last few years that Oklahoma is constantly in the news, from record sized tornados, to earthquakes, to record prairie fires to flooding-famine! Like the Gibeonites, we must resolve this broken covenant, or the south-central plains will become unlivable!

David gives another example of an injustice that was handled incorrectly causing significantly more problems for his kingdom than his affair with Bath-Sheba. It almost resulted in the loss of his kingdom and throne, forever! Amnon was David’s eldest son and first in line for the throne. Amnon incestuously fell in love with his sister Tamar with bad results:

II Samuel 13:2-15. Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he became ill, for she was a virgin, and Amnon thought it would be impossible to approach her. 3 But Amnon had a friend named Yonadav the son of Shim’ah David’s brother; and Yonadav was a very shrewd (chakam {khaw-kawm’}: wise, shrewd, crafty, cunning, wily) fellow. 4 He asked him, “Why, son of the king, are you growing thinner every day? Won’t you tell me?”Amnon answered him, “I’m in love with Tamar, my brother Avshalom’s sister.” 5 Yonadav said to him, “Lie down on your bed, and pretend you’re sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me food to eat, and have her prepare the food where I can watch. I’ll eat what she serves me.” 6 So Amnon lay down and pretended he was sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes here where I can watch, and I’ll eat what she serves me.” 7 David sent this instruction home to Tamar: “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare him some food.” 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes while he watched, and baked the cakes. 9 Then she took the pan and turned them out in front of him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Have everyone leave me”; and everyone left him. 10 Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the room, so that I can have you serve me. Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them into the room to Amnon her brother. 11 But when she brought them near, so that he could eat, he grabbed her and said to her, “Come to bed (shikh’viy: to lay with sexually, sexual connection) with me, my sister.” 12 “No, my brother,” she answered him, “don’t force me! Things like this aren’t done in Isra’el; don’t behave so disgracefully! 13 Where could I go with such shame? And as for you, you will be regarded as one of Isra’el’s vulgar brutes. Now therefore, please! Speak to the king, because he won’t keep me from you.” 14 However, he wouldn’t listen to her; and since he was stronger than she, he overpowered her and raped her. 15 But then he was filled with utter revulsion for her – his hatred of her was even greater than the love he had had for her before. Amnon said to her, “Get up, and get out of here!”

Amnon acted unjustly, wickedly, he was unrighteous before Adonai. As soon as he fulfilled his lustful desire his sin confronts him, his revulsion is a two-edged sword, both of himself and the sin he has committed! To act unrighteous before the Lord is to disobey Him. That’s what Amnon did, he directly disobeyed God:

Leviticus 18:9-11. You are not to have sexual relations with your sister, the daughter of your father or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere. Do not have sexual relations with them. 10 You are not to have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or with your daughter’s daughter. Do not have sexual relations with them, because their sexual disgrace will be your own. 11 You are not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife’s daughter, born to your father, because she is your sister; do not have sexual relations with her.

Remember, to act unjustly is to act without Torah. No term Stepsister used in scripture! No stepfamily recorded in Scripture, Tamar was his sister! When King David heard about this and “he was very angry”

II Samuel 13:21. When King David heard about all these things, he became very angry.

King David though angry, did not punish or even rebuke his son for defiling his sister, committing rape and incest. Instead, a cover up ensues:

II Samuel 13:19-20. Tamar put ashes on her head, tore her long-sleeved robe that she was wearing, laid her hand on her head and went off, crying aloud as she went. 20 Avshalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now, my sister, keep quiet; because he’s your brother. Don’t take the matter to heart.” But Tamar remained desolate (shamem {shaw-mame’}: desolate, in shame, ravaged, in horror, appalled) in her brother Avshalom’s house.

Absalom, Tamar’s brother, was furious at what Amnon had done and for his father’s lack of punishment, justice wasn’t served. Absalom festered and dwelled upon the injustice for two years. Day by day he grew angrier and angrier, waiting, plotting, seeking vengeance which is yet another sin. Sin begets sin which begets sin:

II Samuel 13:22-23. As for Avshalom, he refused to say a word to Amnon, either good or bad; for Avshalom hated Amnon for having raped his sister Tamar. 23 Two years later, when Avshalom had sheep-shearers in Ba’al-Hatzor, near Efrayim, Avshalom invited all the king’s sons.

Avshalom pressed King David who refused to go to this sheep shearing gathering but gave his blessing for his sons except for Amnon but:

II Samuel 13:27-29. But Avshalom kept pressing him, so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. 28 Avshalom ordered his servants, “Pay close attention: when Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine, and I say to you, ‘Kill Amnon,’ then strike him down. Don’t be afraid – I’m the one ordering you to do it – but take courage, and be bold.” 29 Avshalom’s servants did to Amnon as Avshalom had ordered. At this, all the king’s sons jumped up, mounted their mules and fled.

Avshalom only killed Amnon the rapist, not all the Kings sons as was initially reported to King David. The King wept and mourned the loss of Amnon. Meanwhile Avshalom, now a murderer fled to his grandfather in Geshur. He stayed there for three years. And incredibly, in all this time King David did nothing, five years have passed since Tamar’s rape. Instead, David pined for Avshalom:

II Samuel 13:39. But as King David became reconciled (nacham {naw-kham’}: console oneself, comforted, ease oneself) to the death of his son Amnon, he was increasingly filled with longing to see Avshalom.

What’s happening here? David became comfortable with this injustice, he accepted it, he became reconciled to the murder of his son and the rape of His daughter! Absalom became so disenchanted, so disgusted with his father’s inaction and refusal to render Justice that he began dispensing justice himself:

II Samuel 15:2-6. He would get up early and stand by the road leading to the city gate; and if someone had a case that was to come before the king for judgment, Avshalom would call to him and ask, “What city are you from?” and he would answer, “Your servant is from the such-and-such tribe in Isra’el.” 3 Avshalom would say to him, “Look, your cause is good and just; but the king hasn’t deputized anyone to hear your case.” 4 Then Avshalom would continue, “Now if I were made judge in the land, anyone with a suit or other cause could come to me, and I would see that he gets justice!” 5 Moreover, whenever any man came close to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. 6 This is how Avshalom behaved toward anyone in Isra’el who came to the king for judgment, and in this way Avshalom stole the hearts of the people of Isra’el.

What is Avshalom offering? Verse 4 says justice! When injustice prevails, injustice prevails! Avshalom hated and resented his father David, even refusing to come before the Kings throne to be reconciled to his father when ordered. This stewing hatred results in Avshalom rebelling against David, forcing his father from the throne and into exile. Then, in a great irony which is how generational curses work, Avshalom does to David’s wives and what Amnon did to Tamar and what David did to Bath Sheba via more poor advice:

II Samuel 16:20-22. Avshalom said to Achitofel, “Give your advice as to what we should do.” 21 Achitofel answered Avshalom, “Go in, and sleep with your father’s concubines, the ones he left to take care of the palace. All Isra’el will hear that your father utterly despises you, and this will strengthen the position of all those who are on your side.” 22 So they set up a tent for Avshalom on the roof of the palace; and Avshalom went in to sleep with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Isra’el.

Injustice turned into generational curses. David ultimately defeated Absalom, but at a great cost in human lives, 20,000 Israelites would perish. This horrid story reveals what happens when injustices are covered up rather than dealt with honestly. Had David dealt with the injustice in a righteous manner and punished Amnon for what he did to Tamar, Absalom might not have felt the need to take vengeance. He most likely he would not have lost respect for his father and raped his father’s concubines.

Injustice cannot and must not be ignored in your own life, the lives of those around us, and in our world. Stand up for those suffering injustice. If you’ve suffered injustice don’t sin in your anger. You must give up your right to be wronged.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. – Dr. M.L. King

Israel has been suffering injustice since the horrific attack on October 7th 2023. We must stand up for Israel, stand against hatred, racism, anti-Semitism! Isaiah 42 contains a messianic prophecy that is recorded in Matthew 12 regarding Yeshua and Justice:

Matthew 12:18-20. “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will announce justice to the Gentiles. 19 He will not fight or shout, no one will hear his voice in the streets; 20 he will not snap off a broken reed or snuff out a smoldering wick until he has brought justice through to victory.

It’s hard to imagine but many people don’t want justice, they don’t want to hear the truth. Life changed in Israel on October 7th, 2023. The unprecedented, unexpected, and overwhelming assault by at least 1,500 Hamas fighters, pouring into Israel by land, sea and even paragliders, raping, torturing, killing over 1,200 men, women, children, and infants. More than 250 people were taken hostage and moved to Hamas’ Gaza stronghold.

Much has happened in the six months since. The massacres at a music festival in the desert and kibbutz communities prompted Israel to declare war on Hamas, leading to air and ground attacks that have devastated Gaza and the lives of the more than two million people for whom it is home. Yet the world condemns Israel, a sovereign democratic government (The only one in the Middle East), for defending herself and her citizens! God is sovereign, justice for Israel will prevail! Israel is the apple of God’s eye! Am Yisrael Chai עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל חַי!

Blessings and Shalom,

Rabbi Eric S Carlson