Judges through Poets- 8b Division between Judah and Israel, Prophecy

Judges 8 = First try at building a monarchy in Israel (tribe of Ephraim)
Judges 9 = Second try at monarchy (Abmilech in Ephraim)

Psalm 78 describes the rivalry between Judah and Ephraim:
67 Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which He loved.
And He built His sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which He has established forever.
70 He also chose David His servant,
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From following the ewes that had young He brought him,
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.

Evidences for the split of Israel and Judah
1 Sam 11:8 (during the reign of Saul)
When he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.

1 Sam 18:16
But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.

2 Sam 5:5
In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.

2 Sam 20:1-2
1 And there happened to be there a rebel,[a] whose name was Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. And he blew a trumpet, and said: “We have no share in David, Nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse; Every man to his tents, O Israel!”
2 So every man of Israel deserted David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king.


The roots of division between Judah and Israel were longstanding.
The split finds its climax in 1 Kings 11:26:
Then Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zereda, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king.

The split grows throughout Joshua and Judges and Samuel. It finds its fruition in the times of Solomon.

In Israelite history ‘the great calamity’ refers to the splitting of Israel.

In Isaiah 7:17 the judgement of God (in bringing the King of Assyria upon the people) is paralleled with God’s judgement in dividing Israel. Ephraim represents the northern tribes (Israel) as it is the first born of Israel (lead tribe of the north).

The seeds of the division are first found in Gen 48-49.

Joshua: allotment first given to Judah then to Ephraim even though Ephraim was the first born.

Judges: two individuals trying to become king from Ephraim even though the promise was given to Judah

David had the tribes united but it wasn’t a perfection unification.

Ezekiel prophesies the two kingdoms coming together under one King:
37:15-28

‘Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 16 “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17 Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. 18 “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’— 19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”’ 20 And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. 21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.’

Christ breaks down the animosity between Israel and Judah. In the church Christ brings all his people together by His work on the cross. He is the son of David who has brought in the eternal kingdom.

The Prophetic Institution
Prophecy began in Hebrew culture. The word prophets first appears in Gen 20:7 with reference to Abraham:

Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”

Jude 14 speaks about Enoch (lived earlier than Abraham) prophesying.
2 Peter 2:5 speaks about Noah prophesying.

Adam was a prophet, priest and a king. And God was the first prophet when he speaks in Gen 3:15.

Deuteronomy 18:9-22:
Not referring to the establishment of prophecy in Israel rather a distinction between true and false prophecy.

9 “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.
15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ 17 “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

We see here nine distortions of prophecy.
Februation = child sacrifice to please the gods. God is the source of revelation. He reveals Himself when necessary. Israel is not to be dependent on despicable means.

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