Zechariah 14 – Judah’s King Supreme & Timur the Lame

I’d rather he shot then beheaded and sliced up with a sword.  This is the last chapter of Zechariah so tomorrow we will go to the last book of the Old Testament…

Zechariah 14
Judah’s King Supreme

1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, St. Stephen Greek Orthodox monastery in the Kidron River Valley.

2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

“Azal” – the name of a place east of Jerusalem, marking the eastern end of the newly formed valley.  The location is unknown.

6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:

Ancient Rimmon

7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

“The LORD shall be king over all he earth” – Jesus Christ.

10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.

“Geba” – about six miles north-northeast of Jerusalem at the northern boundary of Judah.

“Rimmon” – also called En Rimmon, is about 35 miles south-southwest of Jerusalem, where the hill country of Judah slopes away into the Negev.

“King’s winepresses” – just south of the city.  Thus the whole city in included.

11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

GEBA
A town on the Northeast boundary of the territory of Benjamin, given to the Levites.
It stood on the northern frontier of the kingdom of Judah, Geba and Beersheba marking respectively the northern and southern limits.
In 2 Samuel 5:25 “Geba” should be altered to “Gibeon,” which stands in the corresponding passage.
In Judges 20:10, 33 1 Samuel 13:3, 16, the Hebrew reads “Geba,” the translation “Gibeah” being due to confusion of the two names.

12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.

13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.

14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.

15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.

16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

“Feast of tabernacles” – of the three great pilgrimage festivals perhaps tabernacles was selected as the one for representatives of the various Gentile nations because it was the last and greatest festival of the Hebrew calendar.

17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Foundation of ancient temple to Baal Berith in ancient Shechem.

19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.

21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and see the therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

Timur the Lame

With the collapse of the Mongol khanates in China and Persia, the peoples of Asia barely had time to breathe before they faced yet another conqueror.

Timur enjoys a rare moment of rest in the Persian city of Balkh.

The intelligent, ruthless, limping Timur the Lame (1336-1405), or Tamerlane as Europeans came to call him, was a Turkish Muslim nomad who took inspiration from Genghis Khan.

Seeing his opportunities in the power vacuum that followed the Mongol collapse, he led a growing band of nomad warriors to victory at Samarkand in 1370 and proclaimed himself the inheritor of the Chagatai khanate.

Establishing his capital there, he set out for a lifetime of further conquest, rarely stopping to rest until his death. His court, including some or all of his nine wives, traveled with him.

Timur’s armies moved through eastern Persia, the Near East, and the lands of the Golden Horde in Russia, where he occupied Moscow.

He then turned to India, crossed the Indus in 1398, and sacked Delhi in a brutal attack—-slaughtering, by some accounts, hundreds of thousands of its men, women and children.  He was preparing an invasion in 1405 when he died.

Samarkand

Like his hero Genghis, Timur had little desire to settle or administer his territories. He was interested in the treasure he could loot from wealthy conquered cities, much of which went to build his capital in Samarkand.

Here, Timur’s bloody victories eventually supported a renaissance of Islamic learning under his successors.

…the Book of Malachi.

Zechariah 13 – Israel Chastened & The Tatars after Joseph Stalin

I want to close this study on the Mongols with a very intelligent and ruthless fan of Genghis Khan…

Zechariah 13
Israel Chastened

1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

A 3,000-year-old defensive wall possibly built by King Solomon has been unearthed in Jerusalem, according to the Israeli archaeologist who led the excavation. The discovery appears to validate a Bible passage, she says.

The tenth-century B.C. wall is 230 feet (70 meters) long and about 6 meters (20 feet) tall. It stands along what was then the edge of Jerusalem—between the Temple Mount, still Jerusalem’s paramount landmark, and the ancient City of David, today a modern-day Arab neighborhood called Silwan.

2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.

3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.

4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

13:4-6 – because of the stern measures just mentioned, a false prophet will be reluctant to identify himself as such and will be evasive in his responses to interrogation.  To help conceal his true identity, he will not wear a “rough garment’, such as Elijah wore. 

Instead, to avoid the death penalty he’ll deny being a prophet and will claim to have been a farmer since his youth.  And if a suspicious person notices marks on his body and inquires about them he’ll claim he received them in a scuffle with friends (or perhaps as discipline from his parents during childhood).

Apparently the accuser suspects that the false prophet’s wounds were self-inflicted to arouse his prophetic ecstasy in idolatrous rites.

This photograph shows the ruins from ancient Jerusalem. The foundation of a wall from these ruins dates back to ca 1800 B.C. Jerusalem has likely been occupied for over 4,000 years, and these ruins attest to the antiquity of Zion. David captured the city, which would have included these ruins, around 1000 B.C.

5 But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.

6 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.

7 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.

8 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.

9 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.

The Tatars after Joseph Stalin

In 1944, on the orders of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, the entire population of Tatars on the Crimean Peninsula was rounded up and sent to the deserts of Soviet Central Asia. Nearly 70 years after that wartime atrocity, the Tatar population is still working to reassert itself in its homeland.

In the extreme southern part of Ukraine the Crimean peninsula juts into the Black Sea. It is almost surrounded by water because the Perekop Isthmus that joins it to the mainland is only 5 miles (8 kilometers) wide. From the main peninsula the narrow Kerch’ peninsula stretches eastward.

Eighty-two-year-old Mullah Ziyatdin was just 12 when he and his family were rousted in the middle of the night, ordered to gather a few belongings and shoved into freight cars for a nightmarish three-week journey. The freight-car doors were opened every few days.

“When we’d get to a station, they would dump the bodies of people who had died along the way, he recalls.

The conditions were equally brutal when the train journey ended.

“When we got there, there wasn’t enough food. Many people died — of heat, cold, hunger, disease,” Ziyatdin recalls. “Of 20 families with us, only four survived.

Today, the mullah prays at a new two-story mosque in the farming village of Chistopolye, near the eastern end of Crimea.

Accused Of Collaboration

The Crimean Peninsula is an area about the size of Massachusetts, jutting into the Black Sea. It’s almost an island, only thinly connected to the mainland. 

Over the centuries, it’s been part of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and now Ukraine, but before that, it belonged to the Crimean Tatars, descendants of the golden horde of Genghis Khan.

Mullah Ziyatdin, 82, was 12 when his family was forced to board freight cars that took them to the deserts of Uzbekistan.

Stalin accused the Tatars of collaborating with the Nazis who occupied the Crimean Peninsula for nearly three years. This, despite the fact that tens of thousands of Tatar men served in the Soviet Army, fighting the Germans.

When Stalin’s secret-police troops rounded up Tatars in 1944, their population consisted of nearly 200,000 women, children and old people.

Najiye Batalova was 6 when her family was deported. She has worked most of her life as a journalist and historian of the event. In all, she says, about 46 percent of the exiles died from the harsh conditions. Many survivors suffered what amounted to slave labor in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan.

The Crimean Tatars weren’t the only people subject to mass deportations under Stalin’s rule. Other nationalities, including Chechens, Ingush and others from the Black Sea and North Caucasus region were also deported.

Return To Crimea

It wasn’t until after Stalin’s death in 1953 that the Soviet government withdrew the charge of treason against the Tatar people, freeing them from the labor camps.

Some nationalities, such as the Chechens, were allowed to return to their regions in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s that the Crimean Tatars were finally able to start coming home.

Batalova’s family settled in the Crimean port city of Kerch. Now 74, she leads the way through a Tatar settlement, a jumble of small lots and partly finished houses on the outskirts of the city.

Residents say the city gave them land on which to build houses, but in more than 20 years, has never provided basic services, such as roads or running water. Still, an estimated 250,000 Tatars have now returned to Crimea, and they’re organizing to claim what they see as their rights.

Kerch is a city on the Kerch Peninsula of eastern Crimea, an important industrial, transport and tourist centre of Ukraine. Kerch was founded 2600 years ago, is considered one of the most ancient cities in Ukraine.

At the World Congress of Crimean Tatars in the regional capital, Simferopol, hundreds of delegates gather to talk about a political agenda. It’s indicative of the Tatars’ new status that the session begins with the playing of the Ukrainian national anthem, followed by the Tatar anthem.

Asan Egizov, a 26-year-old political activist, says the Tatars’ loyalty is firmly with Ukraine, of which Crimea is now a part, but they want changes on the local level.

Egizov, a first-time delegate to the Congress, says the main problem is that the Ukrainian government considers the Tatars to be a national minority “but we are not a national minority. We are the indigenous people from here. We are the owners of the Crimean Peninsula.”

The idea is common among young Tatars like Egizov, who was a child when his parents returned. He wants nothing less than a full restoration of Tatar culture in Crimea, including use of Tatar as the language of official business.

Given that Tatars only make up about 15 percent of a population that is overwhelmingly composed of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, that could take a long time.

But Egizov points out that the Tatars have a significantly higher birthrate than that of most other Ukrainians, and says that in another generation, they could have both demographic and political clout. 

…Timur the Lame.

Zechariah 12 – The Compassion of Jerusalem & The Tatars

Wow, seems like the Mongolian women were treated better than anywhere else in the world, especially in Iraq, Afghanistan and that area.  Probably even better than in the United States. 

Seems that they were treated equally, which I think is only fair, in most cases that is.  What I mean is that I don’t think women should be allowed to fight in wars or be police officers simply because no matter how mean they may be, they don’t have the hatred inside them to kill like men do. 

You didn’t create women to be like men, and vice versa.  Of course, I don’t know about other countries, but I know in the United States we have way to many women.  There are a lot of women that act like men.  But compared to them, there has to be at least twice as many men that look and act like women.  

That’s against You and should be outlawed.  Of course this is no surprise to You and You even warned us what would happen to people that disobey You:

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves.

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever.  Amen.

For this Cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

But filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness: full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Without understanding, covenant-breakers without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Rom 1:24-32).

Okay, back to where we were.  We’ve heard about Genghis Khan, the soldiers, the women, the homosexuals/lesbians but I would like to look back at the Tatars and see exactly what…

Zechariah 12
The Compassion of Jerusalem

1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

Jerusalem stone is a name applied to various types of pale limestone, dolomite and dolomitic limestone, common in and around Jerusalem that have been used in building since ancient times.

One of these limestones, meleke, has been used in many of the region’s most celebrated structures, including the Western Wall.

Jerusalem stone continues to be used in construction and incorporated in Jewish ceremonial art such as menorahs and seder plates. In 2000, there were 650 stone-cutting enterprises run by Palestinians in the West Bank, producing a varied range of pink, sand, golden, and off-white bricks and tiles.

12:1-14:21 – this second oracle in Part II of the book revolves around two scenes: the final siege of Jerusalem, and the Messiah’s return to defeat Israel’s enemies and establish His kingdom.

“The LORD, which stretcheth…layeth…formeth” – this description of the Lord’s creative power shows that He is able to perform what He predicts; it also strengthens the royal and sovereign authority of the massage.

2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.

“Astonishment…madness…blindness” – listed in Deut 28:28 among Israel’s curses for disobeying the stipulations of the covenant.  Now these curses are turned against Israel’s enemies.

5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.

6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.

8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.

Jerusalem – Israeli archaeologists say they have uncovered new sections of Jerusalem’s ancient walls, continuing a project started more than a century ago.

9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

“Hadadrimmon” – the name of either (1) a place near Megiddo, where the people mourned the death of King Josiah for the pain of Megiddo or (2) a Semitic storm god whose name means “Hadad the thunder er” in Babylonian.

12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;

“Nathan” – King David’s son.

13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;

Jerusalem – Israeli archaeologists say they have uncovered new sections of Jerusalem’s ancient walls, continuing a project started more than a century ago.

“Family Shimei” – Shimei was the son of Gershon, the son of Levi (Num 3:17-18, 21).  The repentance and mourning are led, then by the civil and religious leaders.

14 All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.

The Tatars

Vanquished, they ask no favor and vanquishing, they show no compassion.

Modern Tatars prayed in a temporary mosque in Ukraine.

In this passage from 1243, Richard Hakluty described the Tatars, the Turkic/Mongol nomads who threatened Europe from Russia.

Tatars were originally a collection of Turkic nomadic tribes conquered and partially assimilated by the Mongols in early 13th century. As the Golden Horde, they dominated western Russia for a time but then dissolved into separate khanates in the 14th century.

Unlike other Mongol peoples, they settled into stable, prosperous agricultural and trading societies.

Crimean Tatars were persecuted and displaced under Joseph Stalin, but began to return to their homelands in the 1980s.

Today, more than two million Tatars live in Siberia; in western Russian republics, including Tatarstan; and  in Turkey.

Mongolian Women

The wide-ranging domestic and military skills of Mongol women impressed outsiders. According to Giovanni DiPlano Carpini, an envoy from Pope Innocent IV:

Descendants of the Mongols, such as this young oman in traditional dress, form a rapidly growing youthful society in modern-day Mongolia.

“Girls and women ride and gallop as skillfully as men. We even saw them carrying quivers and bows, and the women can ride horses for as long as the men; they have shorter stirrups, handle horses very well, and mind all the property.

The . . . women make everything: skin clothes, shoes, leggings, and everything made of leather. They drive carts and repair them, they load camels, and are quick and vigorous in all their tasks. They all wear trousers, and some of them shoot just like men.

Marco Polo noted: “The women attend to their trading concerns, buy and sell, and provide everything necessary for their husbands and their families.”

Women accompanied armies and sometimes fought in the rear guard. They could own property and were allowed to divorce their husbands.

Mongol men could have many wives, if they could afford them— one reason that so many descendants of the khans are spread through the world today— but the first wife retained seniority and, in the case of royal wives, often had significant authority. 

…Joseph Stalin did to them?

Zechariah 11 – The Rejection of the King & The Tomb of Genghis Khan

When the name Genghis Khan enters a conversation then of course you can only think of Mongolia, but I often hear about Tatars also.  So…

Zechariah 11
The Rejection of the King

1 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.

Lebanese Republic is located in the Middle East of the Asian Continent, with a population of 4,140,289, making it the 126th largest national population. Its capital and largest city is Beirut with a total population of 1,900,000.

The country encompasses 10,400 square kilometers making it the 170th largest country in total area. It shares boundaries with Syria, Israel and Mediterranean Sea.

11:1-3 – some interpret this brief poem as a taunt song related to the lament that will be sung over the destruction of the nations’ power and arrogance, represented by the cedar, the pine and the oak.

Their kings are represented by the shepherds and the lions.  Understood in this way, vv. 1-3 would provide the conclusion to the preceding section. 

Other interpreters, without denying the presence of figurative language, see the piece more literally as a description of the devastation of Syro-Palestine due to the rejection of the Messianic Good Shepherd.  Verses 1-3 would then furnish the introduction to the next section.

The geography of the text – Lebanon, Bashan and Jordan – would seem to favor this interpretation.  Part of the fulfillment would be the destruction and further subjugation of the area by the Romans, including the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and of Masada in 73.

Understood in this way, the passage is in sharp contrast with chapter 10 and its prediction of Israel’s full deliverance and restoration to the coven ant land.  Now the scene is one of desolation for the land, followed by the threat of judgment and disaster for both land and people.

2 Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.

“Bashan” – the Israelites took this region from the Amorite king, Og, at the time of the conquest of Canaan.  It was allotted to the half-tribe of Manasseh.

3 There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.

Biblical Bashan – Dolmens
Hundreds of dolmens have been found in the Golan Heights. Used for burial in the basalt areas where grave digging is difficult, dolmens were used for burial during both the Early Bronze I and Intermediate Bronze periods.

The dolmen was most likely intended as a burial chamber for the chief of a clan, or another member of the nomadic elite. A dolmen is constructed of two large vertical stone slabs capped by a horizontal stone, which can weigh up to 30 tons.

4 Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter;

11:4-14 – the reason for the judgment on Israel in vv. 1-3 is now given, namely, the people’s rejection of the Messianic Shepherd-King (as royal figure) is rejected.

5 Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not.

“Whose possessors” – the sheep (the Jews) are bought as slaves by outsiders.  Part of the fulfillment came in 70 A.D. and the following years.

6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbor’s hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.

7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.

8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.

9 Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.

10 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.

Nimrod’s Fortress
Nimrod began the work on the Tower of Babel. Known in Arabic as Subebe (from the Crusader name L’Asibebe), this English name for the castle mistakenly associates it with Nimrod, an ancient figure of great strength mentioned in Genesis 10:8-9.

This is one of the castles that was built by the Muslims, but it changed hands several times in the 12th century. The fortress was strengthened in the 13th century and most remains visible today are from that period. The mountain is over 400 m (1,300 ft) long, and in places its width reaches 150 m (490 ft).

The summit rises to an elevation of 800 m (2,600 ft) above sea level. The castle is also known as the Citadel of the Mosquitoes since swarms tend to rise up at times and cover the entire area.

11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.

12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

14 Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

15 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.

16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.

17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

The Tomb of Genghis Khan

In life he was a world-shaking conqueror, but in death he is a mystery.  Genghis Khan died in 1227, but this tomb has never been found.  Most researchers believe his body was returned to his Mongolian homeland.

Researcher Albert Yu-Min Lin surveys the Mongolian wilderness with a native Mongolian.

However, his retainers kept the location a secret, reputedly trampling traces of the burial under their houses’ hooves.  More recently, Russian occupiers kept the area off-limits.

In 2008, University of California San Diego research Albert Yu-Min Lin restarted the search using a new, noninvasive approach. 

Employing data-mining algorithms to scan satellite maps of northeastern Mongolia, Lin and his team are looking for unusual geometric shapes and other clues in the landscape in hopes of finding the tomb – without disturbing the sacred Mongolian land.

….what or who are the Tatars and how were the Mongolian women treated?

Zechariah 10 –The Reemption of God’s People & The Mongol Army

Archaeologists believe they may have found Alexander the Great’s tomb.  It’s believed that he was going to be buried at Aegae, modern Vergina or in Siwa Oasis. 

The structure measures an impressive 500 metres long and three metres high, which archaeologists believe could contain a royal grave.

Yet, while transferring the body it was hijacked and was initially buried in Memphis.

In the late 4th or early 3rd century B.C. Alexander’s body was transferred from Memphis to Alexandria, where it was reburied.

What about…

Zechariah 10
The Redemption of God’s People

1 Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

“The LORD…give them showers…grass” – the Lord, not the Canaanite god, Baal, is the one who controls the weather and the rain, giving life and fertility to the land.  Therefore, God’s people are to pray to and trust in Him.

2 For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.

“Idols” – Hebrew teraphim, household gods.  They were used for divination during the period of the judges.  Included among false prophets, they were the occult counterpart to true prophets.

“There was no shepherd” – spiritual leadership is missing.

3 Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.

4 Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.

5 And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.

In ancient Egypt mummification was a means of preserving a body whose survival in a recognizable form was essential for an expected life after death.

The Removal of Internal Organs
The period spent on preparing the body for burial was usually seventy days. Forty days of these were devoted to drying out the dead body. As soon as possible after death, the corpse was handed over to the embalmers. Their task, and the first step in the ancient Egyptian mummification process, was to remove the brain and internal organs immediately, which otherwise would rot rapidly.

The brain was usually removed through the nostrils. The heart, however, as the seat of understanding, was regularly left in place. Although the removal of internal organs was essential for a successful mummification, the Egyptian embalmers considered their careful preservation of the body itself to be of equal importance.

To dehydrate the body efficiently, dissolve body fats, and make the skin lithe, dry soda crystals were used as a part of the ancient Egypt mummification process. The internal organs were also treated with soda – but separately from the body – and then placed in four canopic jars.

6 And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them.

“Judah…Joseph” – the people of the southern and northern kingdoms will be reunited.

7 And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD.

8 I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.

“Hiss” – lit. “whistle” or “signal,” a continuation of the shepherd metaphor.  Zechariah uses the shepherd image more than any other book does.

9 And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again.

10 I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.

“Egypt…Assyria” – probably representing all the counties where the Israelites are dispersed, these two evoke memories of slavery and exile.

11 And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart away.

12 And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD.

The Mongol Army

The Mongol army was feared from Europe to China, and with good reason. The finest horsemen in the world, they were smart, tricky, and brutal. From infancy, Mongol children were taught to ride, to hunt, and eventually to shoot backward while standing in their stirrups.

Using techniques learned from Chinese captives, the Mongols besiege a Chinese fortress.

Young men participated in a great hunt in the fall, where they were organized into military units and judged on their prowess. The best hunters became elite soldiers.

On the move, the cavalry formed immense columns, signaling from front to back with flags and fires. As nomads, they knew how to travel rapidly and lightly, but they were well armed and armored: each soldier had:

A double-arched compound bow, A shield, A lasso,  A dagger, and Some also carried swords, javelins, battle-axes, or maces.

Their beautifully balanced three-foot- long arrows were sometimes dipped in poison or salt to inflict extra pain. Quilted leather or mail formed their armor, and they carried hooks to snag the enemy’s mail and drag the wearer to the ground.

The Mongols of China, according to Marco Polo, also wore a mirror over their hearts to deflect evil.

Genghis Khan holds a quiver of arrows.

The Mongols’ scouts and spies told of weaknesses in the enemy’s armament and walled cities. (The Mongols made their arrows shorter than Chinese arrows, so they couldn’t be used with Chinese bows; this prevented the Chinese from reusing Mongol arrows from the battlefield.)

Accompanying the fast-moving army were the support forces: wagons with food and fodder, foreign technicians to repair siege machines, and women whose duties included slitting the throats of downed enemies.

…Genghis Khan, where did they bury him?