Ezekiel’s Seventy Years,
|The River of Chebar
Wycilffe’s commentary on this verse presents the following information: “The river Chebar (Ke-bar) or Nehar-Kebar (1:1, 3; 3:15, 23; 10:15, 20, 22; 43:3). Probably the naru Kabari, ‘the great river,’ ‘the grand canal,’ an artificial watercourse of the Euphrates. Beginning above Babylon, it flows southeast, passes through Nippur, site of ancient Jewish settlements (and of the wealthy banking house of Murashu and Sons, whose archives (464-405 B.C.) contain many Jewish names), and joins the Euphrates again below Ur. Its modern name is Shatt en Nil, ‘the river Nile.’ [See H. V. Hilprecht, Explorations in Bible Lands in the Nineteenth Century, p. 409ff.]”
However, the name River Chebar has a fascinating significance in relationship to the captivity of Israel discussed above. The Hebrew words have the following significance:
River is from Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary entry H5104, nahar, “a stream (including the sea; especially the Nile, Euphrates, etc.); figuratively prosperity,” from entry H5102, nahar, a primary root word meaning “to sparkle, be cheerful; hence (from the sheen of a running stream) to flow, i.e. to assemble.”
Chebar is from entry H3529, Yebar, “length; Kabar, a river of Mesopotamia,” from entry H3528, kebar, “properly extent of time, a great while; hence long ago; formerly, hitherto,” from entry H3527, kabar, a primary root meaning “properly to plait together, to augment (especially in number or quantity, to accumulate).”
Ezekiel is beside the flow of ancient accumulation [tradition-the “lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit,”] among the captives! When those who seize Yehuveh’s strength by cutting through the lies turn from the flow of ancient accumulated teachings, their captivity will be turned. Is it not time we pray for, search for and embrace the truths which have been taken from us by our own apostasy and the inheritance of lies from our families, churches and schools? Jeremiah 16:19.
We are not responsible for determining when the captivity is turned, but we are fully responsible for choosing whether we individually will participate in the release. Knowing we have inherited lies, it is certainly our individual responsibility to recognize them and turn from them as quickly as Yehuveh reveals them to us.
The Heavens were Opened
The heavens include many aspects of our experience, but one of the most important is a restored knowledge of the signs in the heavens, our knowledge of astronomy—the movements of the heavenly host—and astrology—Yehuveh’s messages relayed through these movements and configuration. While there is a perverted understanding of astrology which has promoted more of the “lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit,” there is with equal validity a true understanding of these things. When we turn from the flow of ancient traditions, these things, along with all others, will be restored to us.
We need to be taking time now to study the heavens and become reacquainted with their constellations and their movements. A simple astronomy text and star chart, a pen-light and a little time on clear nights will teach us much.
Originally Written: 7 June 2006
Latest Update: 20 November 2007
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