14~More About “Search for the King”

Click here for dates these ancient writings were written

BACKGROUND FOR THIS EPISODE

(In Order of Appearance)

CARPENTERS WERE ALSO LUMBERJACKS:

Jeremiah 10:3 (KJV) – for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.   (RSV) – A tree from the forest is cut down, and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.

Isaiah 44:14-15 – The woodsman cuts down a cedar tree, or he gets a cypress tree or an oak tree. He lets them grow naturally in the forest…he may use part of the wood to make a [statue].

He grew up and learned his father’s trade. and no doubt there was a lot of hard work involved. There were no power tools in those days. If you wanted timber you had to cut down your own tree and saw it into planks, all by hand, and plane them by hand and so on, so it wouldn’t have been easy work.  (Citation: Engadine Congregational Church)

Consider the trade of carpentry in Jesus’ time. No chainsaws. One chopped down the trees with an ax. And the wood had to be fairly hard because it was used to make yokes, plows, and benches as well as boats and houses.  (Citation: “What the Storybooks Don’t Tell You About Jesus” by Ronald Graybill)

MANY APOSTLES KNEW JESUS GROWING UP:

These three Bible authors named a woman with Jesus’ mother in different words.

  • Matthew 27:56 –   The mother of the sons of Zebedee
  • Mark 15:40 –  Salome
  • John 19:25 – Jesus’ mother and his mother’s sister

Since Salome was Mary’s sister, James and John were Jesus’ first cousins.

BETHSAIDA:

  • John 1:44 – Philip, Andrew and Peter, were from Bethsaida
  • Luke 5:10, James and John were sons of Zebedee [and Salome] and were fishing partners with Peter at Bethsaida.
  • Matthew 4:18-22 – Peter and Andrew, brothers, were fishermen in Bethsaida. Jesus saw them, then walked a little farther and saw James & John with father Zebedee.

NAZARETH:

  • Jesus was raised in Nazareth.
  • Nazareth was 35 miles from Bethsaida. Surely the sisters did not stay away from each other all the time their children were growing up. Surely the sisters made that one-day trip as often as they could to see each other.
  • Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Philip were all born and raised in Bethsaida. Bethsaida wasn’t that large. They all knew each other and played together growing up.
GALILEE PROVINCE WAS MULTI-CULTURAL:

The province of GALILEE where Jesus and all his aides but one lived is called in Matthew 4:15 “Galilee of the NATIONS”.  Josephus said “These two Galilees [Upper & Lower], of so great largeness, and encompassed with so MANY NATIONS of foreigners….”  {Wars of the Jews, Book 3, 3:2a}  “As early as Old Testament times the population of this region was greatly MIXED; and it became more so after the downfall of the Ephraim kingdom. {Jewish Encyclopedia} During the Maccabean struggle the Jews of Galilee constituted such a small number that they could all be brought to Jerusalem” (I Maccabees. v. 23).

AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY:

AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY during the first-century classical Roman period was 20-30 YEARS, though, those who SURVIVED TO AGE 20, could expect to live another 20 years. (Frier, Bruce (2009). “Chapter 27: Demographics”. The Cambridge Ancient History XI: The High Empire, A.D. 70–192. Cambridge University Press. pp. 788–789)

THEIR LONG JOURNEY:

Bethsaida was in the northern province of Galilee.  John, the Hermit Priest (the Baptist) was at Bethany beyond the Jordan River in the southern-most province of Perea. HERE is a map of the cities they had to go through to get to Bethany Beyond Jordan.

SOME WORDS JESUS ACTUALLY SAID (in order of appearance):
  • John 1:37-39 – When the two followers heard John say this, they started to follow Jesus. 38Jesus turned around and saw them following him. He said to them, “What are you looking for?” They asked him, “Where do you live, Rabbi? (This word means ‘Teacher.’)” 39Jesus said to them, “Come and see.” So, they went and saw where Jesus was staying. They spent the rest of that day with him. (It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.)
  • Matthew 13:55 – Isn’t it true that he is the son of Joseph, the woodworker, and that his mother’s name is Mary?
  • Matthew 2:1 – Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town in Judea, during the time of King Herod the Great.
  • John 20:29 – Jesus said to him, “You have believed, because you have seen me. The happy ones are those who have not seen me and yet who believe.”
  • Luke 23:3 – Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered him, “Yes, you are the one who says it.”
  • Matthew 5:4 – The people who are sad now will be happy because they will be comforted.
  • Revelation 4:1a – Later, I looked and there was an open door in heaven. The
  • Revelation 14:13 – ” ‘From now on, the people who die in the Lord are happy. Yes, the Spirit says that they will enjoy rest after they have worked so hard. Their good deeds follow them.’ ”
  • 2 Samuel 12:23b – I cannot bring him back to life. Some day I will go to him, but he will not come back to me.”
  • John 6:62; Revelation 4:1 – Suppose you were to see me going up to where I was before?…I looked and there was an open door in heaven. The voice which I had heard before was talking to me. It sounded loud, like a trumpet: “Come up here!
  • John 1:1-2,14; Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was deity.b 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him, everything was made…14The Word became human…1In the beginning, God created the universe.
  • Matthew 9:4; John 2:23 –  Jesus knew what they were thinking….25Jesus knew what all people were thinking. He didn’t need anyone to tell him about people; he always knew what was in mankind
  • Matthew 15:30; 18:8 (NKJV) – Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, MAIMED, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them.   
  • MAIM ~ Cambridge Dictionary:  To injure a person so severely that a part of that person’s body will no longer work correctly or is completely lacking.
  • Matthew 4:13-15 – After leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, beside Lake Galilee, in the Zebulun and Naphtali area. 14He did this to fulfill what God had said through the prophet Isaiah: 15“O land of Zebulun, O land of Naphtali, the way to the Mediterranean Sea across the Jordan River, O Galilee of the [many] nations.
  • Matthew 10:2-3   – These are the names of the twelve apostles: First there was Simon (called Peter); Andrew (Peter’s brother); James (the son of Zebedee); John (James’ brother); 3Philip; Bartholomew; Thomas; Matthew (the tax collector); James (the son of Alphaeus); Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Revolutionary;a and Judas Iscariot (He turned against Jesus.).
  • John 16:33 – I have said these things to you, so that you may have peace in me. You will have trouble in the world, but be strong; I have conquered the world.”
  • Matthew 28:20b – Remember, I will always be with you—even until the end of time!”
NEW TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
  • Matthew 4:12-15 – 12When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he went away to Galilee. 13After leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, beside Lake Galilee, in the Zebulun and Naphtali area. 14He did this to fulfill what God had said through the prophet Isaiah: 15“O land of Zebulun, O land of Naphtali, the way to the Mediterranean Sea across the Jordan River, O Galilee of the nations [mixed Gentile population, not just Jews]... (Isaiah 9:1-2)
  • John 1:44 – Philip was from Bethsaida, the same town where Andrew and Peter lived. 
  • The name, Philip, means horse lover.
  • John 1:40,42 – Andrew (Simon Peter’s brother) was one of the two men who heard John and followed Jesus…42Then Andrew led Peter to Jesus. When Jesus looked at Peter, Jesus said, “You are Simon, John’s son. You will be called Cephas.” (Translated into Greek, this name means ‘Peter.’h)
  • Bethsaida was a fishing village on the coast of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias.  Over the past four centuries, scholars have declared there never was a city of Bethsaida.  About two miles inland from the north shore of this sea, many of the ruins of Bethsaida have been excavated under the auspices of Haifa University and the University of Nebraska.  Many first-century coins were found there bearing the picture of King Herod.  Bethsaida was never distinguished in culture; just a humble Jewish town of fishermen.
  • Mark 1:16 – While Jesus was walking beside Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were fishermen. They were throwing their nets into the lake. 
  • John 3:23 – John was immersing people in the town of Aenon (which is not far from the town of Salim) because there was plenty of water there. People continued coming to be immersed. 
  • Decapolis was east of the Sea of Galilee and opposite the province of Galilee on the other side of the Jordan River.  The ten Greek cities (deca = ten) in this area were given their independence in 63 BC by Pompei and the Jews were forced to live in other parts of Palestine.
  • John 3:1,13 – There was a man named Nicodemus. He was a Jewish leader, one of the Pharisees… 13I am the only one who ever came down from heaven; no one else has ever gone up to heaven.
  • John 1:28 This happened in the town of Bethany (the one across the Jordan River). John was immersing people there.
  • Acts 2:38 – Then Peter answered them, “Change your hearts and each one of you must be immersed by the authority of Jesus the Messiah,h so that your sins may be forgiven. 
  • Luke 3:23 – Jesus was about 30 years old when he began to teach. People thought that Jesus was Joseph’s son. Joseph was Heli’s son. 
  • Hebrews 4:15 – Our High Priest [Jesus] can sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way as we are, but he never sinned! 
  • John 1:1,141n the beginning was the Word,a and the Word was with God, and the Word was deity…14The Word became human and lived among us for a while. We saw his glory, the kind of glory like that of the Father’s one and onlyc Son—full of gracious love and truth. 
  • Luke 3:3 – John went throughout the whole area around the Jordan River. He was proclaiming to the people: “Change your hearts and be immersed for the forgiveness of sins.”
  • John 1:28-29 – This happened in the town of Bethany (the one across the Jordan River in Perea). John was immersing people there.
  • Perea was a province east of the Jordan River opposite the provinces of Samaria and Judea in the mid and south part of Palestine.
  • John 1:35-38 – Again, on the next day, John stood there with two of his followers. 36He looked at Jesus walking by. John said, “Look, God’s Lamb!” 37When the two followers heard John say this, they started to follow Jesus. 38Jesus turned around and saw them following him. He said to them, “What are you looking for?” They asked him, “Where do you live, Rabbi? (This word means ‘Teacher.’)”
  • John 19:25 – Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary from the town of Magdala …
  • Matthew 27:56 – Some of them were: Mary (from the town of Magdala); Mary (the mother of James and Joseph); and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
  • Matthew 10:2 – These are the names of the twelve apostles: First there was Simon (called Peter); Andrew (Peter’s brother); James (the son of Zebedee); John (James’ brother)…
  • John 1:39-40Jesus said to them, “Come and see.” So, they went and saw where Jesus was staying. They spent the rest of that day with him. (It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.) 40Andrew (Simon Peter’s brother) was one of the two men who heard John and followed Jesus.
  • John 14:6,17 – Jesus said to him, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! The only way anyone can come to the Father is through me!…The people of the world cannot accept him, because they don’t see him or know him, but you know him because he stays with you—and he will be in you. 
  • Matthew 10:1 – Jesus called his twelve followers. He gave them the authority to throw out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness. 
  • John 12:20-22 – Some non-Jewish people had come up to Jerusalem to worship God at the festival. 21They came to Philip, who was from the town of Bethsaida in Galilee. They kept saying to him, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip came and spoke to Jesus.                                      
WORDS OF THE ANCIENT SEERS (OLD TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE):
  • Exodus 19:10-11 – Yahweh said to Moses, “Go to the people and purify them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothese 11and be ready by the third day. Why? Because, on the third day, I will come down upon Mount Sinai in full view of all the people.
  • Leviticus 16:30-32 – Because, on this day, the priests will make you ‘clean.’ All of your sins will be canceled in My presence. You will be ‘clean.’ 31This is a very important day of rest for all of you. And, you must fast. This law will always continue. 32“So, the anointedbb priest will perform the rituals for making things ready for Me. He is ordained to take his father’s place. That priest must put on the holy linen clothes
  • Isaiah 1:16, 18, 26 Wash yourselves and make yourselves clean. Stop doing the evil things which I see you doing. Stop doing wrong!…“Come on, let’s debate these things.Your sins are red,but they can be as white as snow.Your sins are bright red, but they can be white like wool…26They did evil toward Me and turned away from Me, but I will forgive them of everything. 
  • Jeremiah 23:5-6 [PREDICTED 585 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – “Behold, the days are coming,”says Yahweh, “when I will raise up a righteous Branchi in David’s family.This Descendant will be a new king who will rule in a wise manner.And, he will do what is fair and right in the land.6…He will be known by this name: ‘Yahweh-Does-What-Is-Right-for-Us.’o
  • Zechariah 6:11-13 [PREDICTED 480 YEARS BEFORE JESUS – Take some silver and gold,o and shape it into a double crown.p Then put it on the head of Joshua [Hebrew for Jesus], the son of Jehozadak. (Joshua is the high priest.) 12Tell him that this is what Yahweh of the armies of heaven says: ‘Look, there is a man; his name is “The Branch.” He will branch out from where he is.q And, he will build the temple of the Always-Present One.r 13He is the One who will build the temple of Yahweh. He will receive royal honor. He will sit upon his thrones and he will rule. And, there will be a priest beside his throne. And, there will be harmony between the two.’t
  • Micah 5:2 – [PREDICTED 735 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – But you, O Bethlehem-Ephrathah,though you are the least important among the leading towns of Judah,fa Leader will come out of you, O Bethlehem!He will become the Ruler over Israel for Me.His comings forth have been from of oldfrom the days of eternity.
  • Jeremiah 31:15 [PREDICTED 580 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – This is what Yahweh says:“A sound is heard in the town of Ramah [ 10 miles from Bethlehem].There is crying and loud screaming.  Rachelt [Mother of Abraham’s grandsons] is weeping for her children [descendants]. And, she will not let anyone comfort her,because her children are dead!”v
  • Hosea 11:1 [WRITINGS 750 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – The Word of the Always-Present Onea came to Hosea, the son of Beeri. This occurred during the time that Uzziah,b Jotham,c Ahaz,d and Hezekiahe were kings of Judah
  • Isaiah 9:1,6 [PREDICTED 700 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] …God humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.c However, in the future, He will make the way of the sea glorious,d the land beyonde the Jordan River, Galilee of the nations.f [where Jesus grew up and lived]…6Why? Because a special Childq will be born to us. God will give usr a Son.He will be responsible for leading the people.He will be called:“Wonderful”;“Counselor;”“Powerful God”;Father of Eternity”;“Prince of Peace”.z The child will be self-existent, both father and son, and will be God materialized]
  • Daniel 9:24, 27 [PREDICTED 530 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] “ ‘God has ordered 490 yearsaa concerning your people and your holy city.bb These years are ordered for these reasons—to stop people from rebelling against God; to put an end to sin [at the cross];cc to take away evil;dd to bring in righteousness that continues forever; to make the vision and prophecy come true; and to anoint the Most Holy One tt27That anointed Prince will confirm the covenant with many peopleuu for 7 years.vv He will put a stop to the offerings and sacrifices after 3½ years.ww  [Jesus preached 3-1/2 years before being the final blood sacrifice].
  • Click here for details of Daniel’s astounding prediction in 530 BC of the exact century and exact year Jesus would begin preaching, then die.
  • Zechariah 9:10 [PREDICTED 480 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] …The new King will talk to the nations about peace.gg His kingdom will go from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.hh
  • Psalm 45:6 [PREDICTED 1000 YEARS BEFORE JESUS – O God, Your throne will last forever and ever.You rule your kingdom fairly.
  • Isaiah 9:6 [PREDICTED – A special Childq will be born to us. God will give usr a Son.s He will be responsible for leading the people.He will be  called:u  “Wonderful”;“Counselor;”“Powerful God”;Father of Eternity”;“Prince of Peace”.z The child will be self-existent, both father and son, and will be God materialized]
  • Isaiah 7:14 – Nevertheless, the Lord Himself will give youy a sign: Look, the virginz will become pregnant. She will give birth to a son, and she will name him ‘Immanuel.’aa [Hebrew for “God With Us“]

MORE EVIDENCES IN THIS EPISODE

FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS:
  • WARS OF THE JEWS, BK. 3, 3:2. –These two Galilees (N & S), of so great largeness, and encompassed with so many nations of foreigners, have been always able to make a strong resistance on all occasions of war; for the Galileans are inured to war from their infancy, and have been always very numerous; nor hath the country been ever destitute of men of courage, or wanted a numerous set of them…Moreover, the cities lie here very thick, and the very many villages there are here are every where so full of people, by the richness of their soil, that the very least of them contain above fifteen thousand inhabitants.
  • ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BK. 12, 1:1  – But when Ptolemy had taken a great many captives, both from the mountainous parts of Judea, and from the places about Jerusalem and Samaria; and the places near mount Gerizzim; he led them all into Egypt,  and settled them there. And as he knew that the people of Jerusalem were most faithful in the observation of oaths and covenants…and at Alexandria gave them equal privileges of citizens with the Macedonians themselves;2 and required of them to take their oaths, that they would keep their fidelity to the posterity of those who committed these places to their care. Nay there were not a few other Jews, who, of their own accord, went into Egypt
  • ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BK. 12, 2:1 – Philadelphus …set free those that were come from Jerusalem into Egypt, and were in slavery there; who were an hundred and twenty thousand. 
  • WARS OF THE JEWS, BK. 2, 4:1-3 – There was one Judas, the son of the arch-robber…got no small multitude together and broken open the place where the royal armour was laid up and armed….Simon…put a diadem upon his own head also….A certain shepherd ventured to set himself up for a king….became their leader in killing both the Romans…nor did any Jew escape him….At present they filled all Judea with a piratic war.
  • WARS OF THE JEWS, BOOK 2, 4:3; 7:1 – A certain shepherd ventured to set himself up for a king….put a diadem about his head….became their leader in killing both the Romans and those of the king’s [Herod’s] party….In the mean time, there was a man, who was by birth a Jew…who falsely pretended…that he was that [son of] Herod [the Great]….as if he were a king.
  • ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BOOK 20, 8:5 – Now as for the affairs of the Jews, they grew worse and worse continually, for the country was again filled with robbers and impostors, who deluded the multitude. 
WILLIAM STEUART MC BIRNIE
  • THE SEARCH FOR THE TWELVE APOSTLES, ANDREW – Eusebius said Andrew went to Scythia which is southern Russia around the Black Sea…A book written about AD 260 called The Acts of Andrew says he preached also in Byzantium and Macedonia, Greece.  A book in Patras and written in ancient Greek reported, “Andrew went to the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains [Georgia, Russia] and preached to the Scythians as far as the Caspian Sea.  He finally reached Byzantium [Istanbul, Turkey]…imprisoned and stoned and suffered much for Christ.  In Sinope he was under the threat of being eaten alive by cannibals.”  Then he went on to Patros in Macedonia Greece.  There, he angered the governor whose wife Andrew converted. The governor ordered Andrew to forsake his faith or be tortured. During torture, Andrew continually begged the governor to forsake idolatry. The governor told Andrew to recant so he wouldn’t lose his life, but Andrew told the governor to recant so he wouldn’t lose his soul.  The Lives and Deaths of the Holy Apostles quotes an ancient writer. “After patiently bearing scourging, Andrew was tied, not nailed, to a cross that his sufferings might be prolonged.  He exhorted the Christians and prayed…Andrew hung upon the cross two days and…besought the Lord that he might seal the truth with his blood.”  Traditionally, his last words were: “Accept me, O Christ Jesus, whom I saw, whom I love, and in whom I am. Accept my spirit in peace in your eternal realm.”
  • THE SEARCH FOR THE TWELVE APOSTLES, PHILIP – He traveled to Scythia (Russia) to preach. Some believe he also went to France (Gaul), whose people had imigrated to Turkey and settled in Gaulatia where he later lived.  According to Polycrtes in 194 AD, Philip finally settled in Hierapolis of Phrygia, part of today’s Turkey, where he died at age 86.  Tradition says he converted the wife of the Roman Proconsul, so her husband had him speared through the thighs and hung upside down to die.
DR. YONATAN ADLER:
  • ON THE ORIGINS OF TEVILAH (RITUAL IMMERSION) – The traditional rabbinic approach views immersion as a practice mandated by the Torah itself. One early rabbinic source (Sifra, Emor 4:7 [ed. Weiss, 96d]) exegetically derives this interpretation from the adjacent phrases found in Lev. 22:6–7: “Unless he has washed his body in water” (Lev. 22:6). Perhaps he should wash one limb at a time? Scripture teaches: “When the sun sets he shall be clean” (Lev. 22:7). Just as the setting of the sun occurs all at once, so too in water—all at once. [2]Whether or not this derashah served as the actual basis for ascribing immersion back to the Torah itself, the Tannaitic and Amoraitic rabbis were completely consistent in assuming that whenever the Torah commands its listeners to “wash” (“rachatz”) in order to remove impurity, nothing but full-body immersion is intended. Every place that the Torah speaks of washing of flesh and laundering of clothing [to purify] from the impurities—nothing other than immersion of the entire body in a mikveh [is meant]. And that which is said of a man with a discharge: “[…] without having rinsed his hands in water” (Lev. 15:11)—that is to say that he must immerse his entire body. And the same is true for all other impure people, that if one immersed his entire body aside from the tip of his small finger—he remains impure.