The Rock, Ark, and Ephod

It took me three hours to find the truth, and restore the Shrine at Shiloh which means “Place of Peace”. Gideon was called a Savior, or Messiah. He refused this title, and built an altar at Shiloh after encountering a Angel of the Lord on a threshing floor. The prophet Samuel ‘The Nazarite’ was born in Shiloh. Some suggest that Samuel and King Saul are the same person, and he was usurped by David, who was the first king – after God forbid it. David captured The Ark, The Ephod, and Goliath’s sword. Samuel is the boy who slay Goliath. Note the phrase ” To this day”. This proves the story of Gideon was written later, after David was king, and moved the national shrine to Jerusalem, where another angel appear on the threshing floor. This is a Spiritual and Religious Usurpation.

“So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”

I hereby restore the True Priesthood on The Rock that is Shiloh! The Angel of the Lord has led me here, thus, this is sacred land that belongs to The Lord – forever! I am the custodian of this contested land. I get the final word for I am a Nazarite Judge.

Jon ‘The Nazarite

The Father of Peace

The Founding Father of Shiloh

Tel Shiloh was the religious capital of Israel during the times of the Judges, and spans 4,000 years of continuous settlement starting from the 18th century BC (Middle Bronze II).  Shiloh was an assembly place for the people of Israel and a center of worship.    Its sacred area (Tabernacle – Mishkan) in Shiloh housed the Ark of Covenant, Table of Showbread, Altar of Incense and Golden Lamp stand.

Shiloh is sacred to the three religions – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – and pilgrims come to visit the ruins for the past 3,060 years. On the south-east side of Tel Shiloh are ruins of Mosques and Churches and a modern Synagogue.

Shiloh [N] [H] [S]

generally understood as denoting the Messiah, “the peaceful one,” as the word signifies ( Genesis 49:10 ). The Vulgate Version translates the word, “he who is to be sent,” in allusion to the Messiah; the Revised Version, margin, “till he come to Shiloh;” and the LXX., “until that which is his shall come to Shiloh.” It is most simple and natural to render the expression, as in the Authorized Version, “till Shiloh come,” interpreting it as a proper name (Compare Isaiah 9:6 ).

Shiloh (Hebrew: שלה – Šīlōh) was a city in ancient Israel, situated north of Bethel and south of Shechem in the hill-country of Ephraim (Judg. 21:19). During the period of judges, it was a major religious center and the permanent cite of the sacred Tabernacle, which the Israelites had carried through the wilderness.

The Bible describes Shiloh as an assembly place for the people of Israel from the time of Joshua. Sacrifices were brought there by the Israelites during the period of judges, and it was also the site of various religious celebrations and festivals. The prophet Samuel was reportedly raised there, and the Ark of the Covenant remained at Shiloh until it was captured by the Philistines in the battle of Aphek during the time of the high priest Eli.

Shiloh declined in importance after this, and especially after the establishment of the Temple of Jerusalem. However, it became briefly famous as the home of the prophet Ahijah of Shiloh, who commissioned Jeroboam I to become the king of Israel in opposition to the Davidic dynasty.

Some biblical scholars believe that the Shilonite priesthood was the origin of the Elohist source according to the documentary hypothesis of biblical criticism. In Samaritan tradition, Shiloh was an illegitimate rival shrine to the ancient Samaritan holy place of Mount Gerizim.

A modern Israeli settlement has been established adjacent to Tel Shiloh next to the Palestinian town Turmus Ayya. About 1200 people live in Shiloh proper, with about another 700 people living within its municipal boundaries. The future of modern Shiloh-whether it will become part of a future Palestinian state or be claimed as Israeli territory-is disputed.

Biblical Shiloh

Shiloh is located just south of Shechem and north of Bethel.

At Shiloh, the “whole congregation of Israel assembled…and set up the tabernacle of the congregation” (Joshua 18:1). According to Talmudic sources, the Tabernacle rested at Shiloh for 369 years (Zevachim 118b), although modern scholars believe the period to have been considerably shorter.

At some point during its stay at Shiloh, the portable tent seems to have been enclosed within a compound or replaced with a standing structure with permanent doors (1 Samuel 3:15), a precursor to the Temple. Though other important places of worship and government existed during this period, Shiloh was a major religious center. “The people,” assembled here for feasts and sacrifices, and here the lots were cast under Joshua’s guidance for the various tribal areas (Joshua 18:10) and Levitical cities (Joshua 21).

made an ephod thereof] i.e. out of a large amount of precious metal—the gold of the earrings 26a, not of the ornaments in 26b. Gideon dedicated his spoil to Jehovah, cf. 2 Samuel 8:11, Micah 4:13, Moabite St. ll. 12 f., 17 f. (Mesha‘ dedicates his spoil from Israel to Kĕmôsh).

The ephod we find associated with terâphim in Jdg 17:5, Jdg 18:14 ff., Hosea 3:4, and in connexion with the Urim and Thummim or sacred lots, 1 Samuel 14:18 cf. 1 Samuel 14:41 LXX; it was carried, not ‘worn,’ by the priest, 1 Samuel 2:28; 1 Samuel 14:3; 1 Samuel 14:18 LXX (see RVm., but render carried), 1 Samuel 22:18 (omit linen with LXX. cod. B, and render carry), 1 Samuel 23:6, 1 Samuel 30:7; we gather, therefore, that it was used in consulting Jehovah to obtain an oracle. But what the ephod was itself is not so clear. It may have been a rich vestment or embroidered loin-cloth, such as we see in Egyptian paintings, which the priest put on when he consulted Jehovah; this may explain the amount of gold which Gideon devoted to its making. In the sanctuary at Nob the ephod stood or hung near the wall, but free from it; and here Gideon set or placed his ephod in the sanctuary at Ophrah. The root apparently means ‘to sheathe,’ and a derivative is used in Isaiah 30:22 for ‘the plating of thy molten images of gold’; hence many suppose that it must have been an image, but it is very doubtful whether the plating of the image could come to mean the image itself. Different in some way from the oracular ephod was the ephod of linen with which Samuel and David were girt when performing religious functions: a closely fitting garment is what the meaning of the root implies. A richer development of this was the ephod of the High-Priest described in Exodus 28:6-12 P, shaped like a kind of waistcoat, over which he wore the jewelled pouch or breastplate containing the Urim and Thummim; in its latest development the ephod thus maintained its association with the divine oracle. See esp. Sellin, Orient. Studien Theodor Nöldeke … gewidmet 1906, ii. 701 f. and Benzinger, Hebr. Arch.2, 347 f., 359; Driver, Exodus, p. 312.

Ophrah [N] [H] [S]

a fawn. 1 Chronicles 4:14 .

  • “Of the Abi-ezrites.” A city of Manasseh, 6 miles south-west of Shechem, the residence of Gideon ( Judges 6:11 ; Judges 8:27 Judges 8:32 ). After his great victory over the Midianites, he slew at this place the captive kings ( 8:18-21 ). He then assumed the function of high priest, and sought to make Ophrah what Shiloh should have been. This thing “became a snare” to Gideon and his house. After Gideon’s death his family resided here till they were put to death by Abimelech ( Judges 9:5 ). It is identified with Ferata.

    A city of Benjamin (Joshua 18:23), probably identical with Ephron (2 Chron 13:19) and Ephraim (John 11:54), the modern Palestinian city of Taybeh. The Israeli settlement of Ofra is close to the site as well. According to Epiphanius, it was situated 5 miles east of the city of Bethel.[1]

  • “Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites,” a city of Manasseh, 6 miles (10 km) southwest of Shechem, the residence of Gideon (Judges 6:11; 8:27,32). After his great victory over the Midianites, he slew at this place the captive kings (8:18-21). He then assumed the function of high priest and sought to make Ophrah what Shiloh should have been. This thing “became a snare” to Gideon and his house. After Gideon’s death, his family resided here until they were put to death by Gideon’s son Abimelech (Judges 9:5). It is identified with Ferata.

  • A grandchild of Othniel Ben Kenaz, mentioned in 1 Chr 4:14.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEaston, Matthew George (1897). “article name needed“. Easton’s Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.

More fully, OPHRAH OF THE ABIEZRITES, the native place of Gideon (Judges 6:11) and the scene of his exploits against Baal, ver. (Judges 6:24) his residence after his accession to power ch. (Judges 9:5) and the place of his burial in the family sepulchre. ch. (Judges 8:32)

His concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech. 32And Gideon the son of Joash died at a ripe old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 33Then it came about, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the sons of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals, and made Baal-berith their god.…

Judges 8:28-30 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

27-29 Gideon returned to his home in Ophrah and had the gold made into a statue, which the Israelites soon started worshiping. They became unfaithful to God, and even Gideon and his family were trapped into worshiping the statue.[a]

The Midianites had been defeated so badly that they were no longer strong enough to attack Israel. And so Israel was at peace for the remaining forty years of Gideon’s life.

Gideon had many wives and seventy sons.

First, they attribute to Gideon rather than God their rescue from the Midianite armies. “You have saved us,” they say. “Saved” (NIV) or “delivered” (KJV) is the Hebrew verb yāsha`, “save, deliver, give victory, help, take vengeance, preserve.” The names Joshua and Jesus (Hebrew yeshû`â, meaning “salvation, deliverance”) are derived from this word.1 The Israelites saw Gideon as savior; Gideon saw the Lord as Savior, and to his credit, humbly points them to God.

Gideon Refuses the Kingship (8:22-23)

“The Israelites said to Gideon, ‘Rule over us — you, your son and your grandson — because you have saved us out of the hand of Midian.’ But Gideon told them, ‘I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you.’ ” (8:22-23)

The Israelites’ second error was to seek to make Gideon the first in a hereditary dynasty of kings. What an honor, to have your countrymen invite you to be their king! The word “rule” is the Hebrew verb māshal, “rule, have dominion, reign.”2 But Gideon rightly recognizes that this as a kind of sacrilege.

We’re used to the idea of a king over Israel, since a couple hundred years later Saul, David, and then Solomon ascend the throne. But to understand why Gideon demurs, we need to understand the nature of the Kingdom of God.

And he said, ‘I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.’ (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.)
They answered, ‘We’ll be glad to give them.’ So they spread out a garment, and each man threw a ring from his plunder onto it. The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels, not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks.” (8:24-26)

“Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.” (8:27)

Artist’s re-creation of the high priest’s ephod and breastplate.

“Ephod” is a transliteration of the Hebrew noun ΄ēpôd, and seems to refer to a sacred garment, though there is a lot of scholarly speculation. The word occurs 48 times in the Old Testament

The ephod is not only a source of spiritual unfaithfulness, it is also a trap. “Snare” is the Hebrew noun môqēsh, “trap.” The noun and verb both refer to setting a trap or noose to catch some prey, but more frequently in a metaphorical sense of entrapping people. The wicked entrap people (Jeremiah 5:26; Isaiah 29:21). So does idolatry, as in Gideon’s case (Exodus 23:32-33; Deuteronomy 7:16, 25; 12:30; Joshua 23:13; Judges 2:3; 1 Samuel 18:21; Psalm 106:36; cf. 2 Timothy 2:26). 13 Idolatry entraps people and lures them away from the worship of the true God.

Not only does Israel begin to worship Gideon’s ephod as an idol, it also ensnares Gideon and his family. Gideon’s father had been the caretaker of Baal’s altar in Ophrah (6:25). Now Gideon and his family become caretakers of a new object of worship. Rather than serving the invisible God, they focus their attentions on caring for the golden ephod which draws many pilgrim worshippers — with their money — into the town.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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