Volume 39, Issue 1 ________________________________Bible Prophecy Ministry

The Symbol of the Divided Hair
By: Darrell G. Young

In Ezekiel chapter five, God conveyed to the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel an object lesson concerning the long dramatic history of the nation of Israel.

Ezekiel 5:1-6 And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.

Poor old Ezekiel is instructed in these verses to shave his head. Ezekiel, trained to function in the Jewish priesthood, had the unfortunate distinction of being required by God to perform many unusual prophetic object lessons for the nation of Israel. The act of shaving his head surely must have seemed to be a rather odd and extreme request by God. Afterall, God had instructed the priests of Israel to refrain from shaving their heads, as the pagan priests did. ( Leviticus 21:5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh ), but Godís command for Ezekiel in this instance is meant for a divine message. Although Ezekiel received these strange directives from God, he nevertheless always obeyed the Lord. For this reason, God highly favored Ezekiel, and often addressed Ezekiel with the esteemed term, "son of man".

God instructs Ezekiel to take a set of balances and weigh the shaven hair into three equal divisions. Earlier, in chapter 4 God had instructed Ezekiel to take a brick, or tile and let it represent the city of Jerusalem. Ezekiel then play-acted out a simulated assault upon the city and its great walls. God also instructed Ezekiel to lie upon his left side for 390 days and upon his right side before the brick for another 40 days. This depiction carries with it a year-for-a-day judgment from God. ( vs.6 ) Israel had been forewarned of God that their disobedience would carry a seven-fold penalty. ( Lev. 26:18 ) Israel was about to be subjected to a 70 year sentence of captivity in Babylon for disregarding the observance of the Sabbath year. The days/year were reduced from 430 to 360 after the Babylonian Captivity ended, but there still remained the curse of the seven-fold penalty. Seven times 360 years calculates out to 2520 years (365 day-years), or 2485.47 years ( 360 day-years). Considering that Israel finished its servitude in Babylon in 536BC, we quickly can deduce that the pantomime of Ezekielís siege of sleep against the tile would end in May of the year 1948. ( 2485.47 minus 536 = 1949.47 minus 1 year = 1948.47 due to the fact that there isnít a year of zero between BC and AD )

The three divisions of shaven hair prophetically represent the whole house of Israel. Ezekiel is instructed to burn with fire the first one-third of the hair. He is then instructed to cut and slice the second third of hair, saving the final one-third of the divided hair to be raised up into the winds and tossed about freely to be scattered wherever the wind might blow it. God then decrees that he ( God ) would send a sword after the universally scattered division of hair. These pictograms graphically portray the Babylonian and Roman assaults upon Jerusalem. Finally, after having been subjected to the siege of fire twice, the last third of hair was indeed scattered to the four winds of the world, as evidenced by the Great Diaspora. Throughout the historic world-wide scattering, the Jewish people have indeed been pursued by a consuming sword! But, God does not end this pantomime pictograph with a bunch of burned and scattered hair. He tells Ezekiel to bind up a few of the clinging hairs into his pocket. While the hairs are subjected to a repeated burning, the symbolism of the tiny bound hairs gives a fore-glimpse of the supernatural divine providential plan of God to preserve a remnant of his Chosen nation of Israel.

God set Jerusalem in the midst of the nations of this world to become an object lesson, not only to Israel, but also as a sign to every other nation in the world as well. Just as God spared not his own son ( Jesus), he has not spared his chosen city. Because of the multitude of abominations committed by the priesthood of Israel in Jerusalem, and because of the perverting of Gods commandments and statutes by national Israel, God executed his righteous judgment against Israel. Ezekiel 5:8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, ( Israel ) and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.

Ezekiel 5:12-15 A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them. Moreover I will make thee a waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.

The mere fact that God would punish his chosen nation, and to effectively curse it in a seven-fold manner might suggest that God has not played favorites among the worldís peoples. To the contrary, the ancestral peoples of ancient Israel could easily argue that being chosen by God has been a burden, rather than a blessing. But, this is always the consequence of disobedience to an almighty God. God set before the nation of Israel the opportunity of blessing or curse based solely upon their faithfulness, and obedience to him. ( Deuteronomy 11:26-28; 30:1,19 ) The fact that Israel fell into unrighteousness and was righteously judged by Jehovah in this manner indicates that God is unchanging, and uncompromising with regard to his word and his law. The nation of Israel was forewarned by God before she ever set the first foot inside the promised land that these consequences would befall her, if she abandoned the Lord. And yet her many false prophets consoled her with comforting words that Jerusalem would never be lost nor destroyed, for God hath chosen it as the apple of his eye. The people of Israel fell into idolatry and even went so far as to establish pagan worship within the Temple itself. Ezekiel 5:11 Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.

These blatant acts of blasphemy finally culminated in the judgements on Israel and the city of Jerusalem. Therefore God decreed that Israel fall under the dominion of the Gentile nations. And so it has ever been since the fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar that Jerusalem has been under the dominion of Gentile rule. This is the reason that Jesus alluded to the "times of the Gentiles", and forecast its culmination only when he himself returned and established his kingdom, a kingdom which shall have no end. ( Daniel 2:44 ) And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Israel was promised a kingdom, and God will not go back on his word. But when we focus on the object lesson that God imparted to Ezekiel in the shaven hair scenario, we find that God has mandated another promise to Israel. Whereas a third part of Israel was destroyed by fire and pestilence, and still yet another third was consumed by famine while under siege, and history reveals very vividly a picture of the scattered hairs in the wind, there is still the pictograph of the fine hairs that make up the remnant. Ezekiel was informed by God that a remnant of Israel, depicted by the bound hairs in the skirt shall always be preserved by God to effectuate a pool for the returning remnant of Israel in the Last Days when his son shall return to establish his never ending kingdom.

Ezekiel 6:8 Yet will I ( God ) leave a "remnant", that ye ( Israel ) may have "some" that shall escape the sword ( persecution) among the nations, when ye ( Israel ) shall be scattered ( diaspora ) through the countries.

This verse expresses exactly the history of the wandering Jew. It was evidenced in the miraculous rebirth of Israel in the 20th century. Although without a homeland for two thousand years, and experiencing great anxiety in the lands of her visitation, God has providentially preserved a small remnant from the sword which has indeed pursued the scattered hairs of Israel, irregardless of where they has been scattered. The reason for the preservation of this remnant will some day be played out on the world stage. God, being the great Alpha and Omega, alone was able to view all of human history from beginning to end. Thus God conveyed to Ezekiel through this object lesson a parallel to the story of the Prodigal Son. The prodigal son left his Fathers estate, and went out to explore the ways of the world. Finally, at long last he came to the end of himself and returned to his Father. Likewise, Israel, shall also someday come to the end of her whorish ways and repent of her abominations before the Lord and finally recognize the great "I AM" after he restores them to their land, and also sends his son to rescue them from their worldly stress. This is the reason that Jesus Christ referred to this period of time in Luke 21:24. And they ( Israel ) shall fall by the edge of the "sword", and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled".

Acts 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery ( Church ), lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.

Only Jesus can bring an end to the time of the Gentiles, and he will only end that span of time after he has completed taking from among the Gentiles a people for his name. This terrible sword still yet follows the children of Israel, even though the "remnant hairs" which has witnessed the birth-pangs of the fulfillment of Ezekielís later vision regarding Israelís hair-restorative process in the valley of dry bones prophecy. This "sword" became intensely awakened after Israelís rejection of Jesus. Check Zechariah 13:6-9 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: "smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered": and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

So, in this scenario of Bible prophecy we find that God forecast the great world-wide scattering of the children of Israel as typecast in Ezekielís scattering in the wind of the final one-third of his shaved hair. Futhermore, the prophecy concludes that the great dispersion would take place "after the smiting of the Good Shepherd"! The smiting of the Shepherd resulted in the scattering of the sheep. Without a shepherd, it is only natural that sheep would become disoriented and lost. Thus it has been with historical Israel, being left without a shepherd, and wandering among the beasts of this world, the hairs of Israel have been subjected to the fire, and the ever present sword. Israel has been a storm of controversy among the nations where ever she has been scattered, and a fuel for a fire of hatred from the world. ( The recent remarks of Syrian President Bashar Assad welcoming the Pope to Damascus were fuel on the fire of anti-semitism ) He called upon the Christian world to join the Arab-Muslim world to eradicate the Christ killers. ( Jews )

Ezekiel 15:6-8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the "fire for fuel", so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them. And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord GOD.

Regardless of Israelís circumstance in this present world, God has not forever abandoned Israel. He is merely allowing the remnant hairs to be refined, and readied for the mold, and the great task of leading this world to the blessings of the Lord Jesus Christ during the promised kingdom! Israelís restoration 53 years ago signals the impending victory over that eventuality.

Isaiah 48:9-12 For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another. Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

Ezekiel 15:6-8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the "fire for fuel", so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them. And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord GOD.

How interesting it is to review Ezekielís hair-shaving play and compare it to world history. We today can look back in retrospect and observe the historical occasions when the exact drama of judgment against the divisions of hair took place. It is most ironic to me to review the statistics of the Holocaust of World War II and discover that Nazi Germany under Hitler literally burned Jews in ovens and that the demonic Nazi plot resulted in the killing of about 6,000,000 Jews in Europe. The figure is staggering to my mind. But even more astounding to my mind is the fact that the world population of Jewry on that era was about 18,000,000. These seemingly cold mathematical estimations sometimes simply donít register in our minds with regards to the Satanic conspiratorial onslaught against the nation of Israel. But when I reflect on the blessing-curses covenant aspect of the relationship between God and Israel, and realize that God is refining Israel in the fire of affliction, I am all the more astonished when I read a verse like the following:

Zechariah 13:8-9 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

Ironically enough, the demoniac Hitler subjected one-third of world Jewry to the fires of the Holocaust, an exact display of the pictograph of Ezekiel, and his hair-shaving exhibition. And out of that Holocaust of fire Israel was miraculously and providentially planted back into their land. Ah yes, the bound hairs, or "remnant", that Ezekiel salvaged from the one-third that was scattered in the wind, and saved them within his skirt have finally been re-gathered. And they have been preserved for a Godly design!

Astounding as these historical facts might be, there are still yet some astounding parallels to Ezekielís hair raising story, prophecies which have future implications for Ezekielís fair haired gathered remnant. These prophecies concern the ultimate war which the great Red Dragon will wage against that preserved remnant, by dragging the whole world into the final Satanic assault on Israel. ( Revelation 12:7 )

In Revelation chapters 8 and 9 we find that this exact same ratio will still pervade the drama encircling Gods nation. One third of the sea and grass are burned, one third of the sea shall become blood, in turn affecting 1/3 of sea life, 1/3 of the moon and stars will be smitten and become darkened, and 1/3 of all mankind after the Rapture will be afflicted by demons that are released from the abyss.

Revelation 8:6-12 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

Revelation 9:14-18 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

In the very same proportion as the world has afflicted the tiny little scattered hairs of Israel, the same curse shall come back upon the Christ ( Shepherd ) rejecting world. As the world treats Israel, so shall the world receive accordingly in judgment. Perhaps this phenomenon is connected to the reality that one-third of the Angelic realm is involved in the great cosmic war involving the Dragon against God almighty.

Revelation 12:1-4 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

Just as the three Hebrew children survived the torrid fiery furnace of Babylonian affliction, so shall the remnant hairs of Israel escape out of the fire of the Tribulation that is to come, and without even a hair of their heads being singed. Even the smell of the worldly fire will not remain upon their national body. But more importantly, all of the world will finally come to acknowledge that God hath surely delivered the remnant hairs of Israel from the fiery pit of beastly affliction. For just as there was a fourth man walking in the midst of the fiery furnace with the Hebrew children, Jesus will soon ride into the midst of the coming fire ( Tribulation ) and rescue the faithful hairs of Israel!

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