Summary: The Bible has some difficult passages that have to be understood from an Eastern perspective, if not, a meaning can be lost through misinterpretation. For example, what was Paul’s thorn in the flesh?

Shalom, shalom; peace, peace in the name of Yeshua. This is Crystal Sharpe and welcome to the Ancient Scrolls program.

I do have a website called ancientscrollsonline.com. I post prophetic words, visions, dreams; ancientscrollsonline.com.

Thursday is Thanksgiving. According to the road kill Mainstream Media news, they are preparing us for the second COVID lockdown just in time for Thanksgiving. The propaganda news also reported that certain governors and mayors are either going to cancel Thanksgiving or just ban families from gathering for the holiday. The Washington Examiner reported that Fauci wants Christmas cancelled also. I am sure he will get what he wants. It can be quite constricting living under the beast system.
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/fauci-now-wants-to-cancel-christmas-as-well-as-thanksgiving

The Communists that we have voted into office have been quite successful in re-programming and re-conditioning the population here. My reasoning is that they have not yet had to send us to re-education camps, yet. If it had not been successful, many of us would be in the re-education camps.
Speaking of internment camps I should mention that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her partner in crime, Robert Reich, are wanting to create an archive or data base on people who supported Trump. Some reports are saying a gestapo or commission will be selected for the inquisition of people who supported Trump. The Sun reported the fine of $300.00 will be imposed on those who have supported Trump, which is better than the firing squad I suppose; but you know they can always change their mind at the last minute and do the latter.

https://nypost.com/2020/11/11/aoc-co-s-loathsome-plan-to-keep-lists-of-pro-trumpies/

I am just here to say that Communism is not working for me. I suppose I am a non-conformist. I cannot support despots who are against the Constitution of the United Sates and life.

So, we continue to pray and fast, and hope to hear clearly from the Lord during these perilous days.

Today I am still going to talk about idioms in the Eastern culture and specifically concerning the thorn in Paul’s flesh,

Shema Deuteronomy 6

Shema, O Israel, the LORD God, the LORD is One.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Psalm 24
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof; the world and those who dwell therein.

Numbers 10:35, Psalm 68:1
Arise, O Lord, and let Your enemies be scattered; and let those who hate You flee before you.

Father YHVH,
You are the King of the Universe, King over heaven and earth. We continue to pray for Your righteousness and justice to permeate the earth. We pray for the exposure of the unjust in the high places of this nation; those that hold public offices, those that loathe Your name in these positions of power.

I am going to continue to discuss idioms that will bring come clarity to some passages in the Word.

The title of the book that I have been using to bring some definition to these idioms is Eastern Customs and Idioms of the Bible: The Teachings of Orientalisms. The author is Bishop K.C Pillai.

Paul’s thorn in the flesh

2 Corinthians 12:7
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

Ancient Roots Translinear Bible: Instead of being lifted-up by the extraordinary revelations for myself, a relief was delivered to my flesh: A messenger of Satan flogging me that nothing is lifted up.

The author has written:

Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” also has an agricultural origin. In the East, a thorn in the flesh was common. The plowman walks across the land with bare feet, and occasionally he will get a thorn in his foot. Sometimes this thorn in the foot may be two inches deep. When this happens, they cannot remove the thorns at once because it is very painful to remove a thorn which is deel down in the flesh without a doctor, anesthetics, surgical instruments, etc. These conveniences are not available in remote places in the East. Lacking modern sterilization methods, it is far saver to leave the thorn in his foot than it is to pull it out. He must limp about for a couple of weeks until a thick layer skin is formed over and around it, and then he may take his knife and cut it out safely.

If a man gets a thorn, sometimes he will limp for an entire summer. Thorns can also get in the hands, because gloves are not worn. People complain more about thorns than any other injuries.

Paul’s thorn in the flesh was the attack which was made against his apostleship. They said he had not been with Jesus, and so they tried to belittle his work. These attacks and doubts annoyed him. “. . . messenger of Satan” means false teachers who attack him.

When used as a figure of speech, a thorn in the flesh always refers to irritating or bothersome people. Some wild guesses have been published about Paul’s thorn: bad eyesight, a speech impediment, etc. But as this saying is used in the East, it always refers to people; and in fact, is so used [this way] in the Bible itself. For example: Numbers 33:55

But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those [inhabitants] which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein you dwell.

Joshua 23:13

Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.

Judges 2:3

Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.

He finishes by saying: People are thorns in the flesh. We must be careful not to misinterpret idioms—we must understand them properly. They are thorns; it’s not a disease.

My commentary

There have been people who have offered their opinion that Paul was epileptic, meaning he had a demon that would throw him on the ground. I just cannot receive that, because he led a victorious life over the enemy. I am fully confident that Paul was not possessed of a demon. Some would insist that the viper that bit him at Malta afflicted him all his days. The Word does not say that, in fact, the islanders were astounded that he had not died from the bite and instead shook it off in the fire. Some insist he could not see and that his eyes were putrid, you know, repulsive and possessing a foul odor. But I would submit that if that were the case, he would not have requested Timothy to bring him the books and especially the parchments (2 Timothy 4:13). I am not saying he didn’t have issues with being near sighted or far sighted, but I cannot agree that his eyes were diseased since in Acts 9 mentions his eyes were healed.

I will say this, Paul was greatly abused by men. 2 Corinthians 11:24

From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one (this would equal to 195 lashes. He specifies that the Jews had beaten him which explains they followed the law found in Deuteronomy 25:3, Forty blows he may give him and no more, lest he should exceed this and beat him with many blows above this, and your brother be humiliated in your sight). So Paul testified he received 39 lashes at five different times. Now according to the gospels Matthew and Mark, the Romans scourged Yeshua–not the Jews; and the Romans did not, of course, follow Jewish Law. Flogging was a legal preliminary to every Roman execution. There are experts who say the Romans used a flagrum on Yeshua. It consisted of strands of leather embedded with a number of pieces of metal or bone that would rip and tear at flesh and muscle. As the whip would grab flesh, it would be slung on those in the crowd. Yeshua was stripped of His clothing and his hands tied to an upright post or some other large object. A Roman or two would begin the lashing process on the back, the buttocks, and legs. The Romans did not follow the Jewish law of 39 stripes, actually 39 stripes would have been merciful, but these were gentiles, or pagans who followed their own laws. So, they beat Yeshua until there was barely anything left of His flesh. It is likely that His spine, His shoulder bones, His ribs, His lower bones at his waist and thighs were laid bare. The flagrum going that deep into flesh, I was wondering if quite possibly his organs, like his lungs and kidneys were exposed, also. His scourging was astonishingly cruel and barbaric. It is shocking that He was able to survive this and still go to the cross. Men did not always survive this part of the punishment).

Let’s go back to 2 Corinthians 11:24

From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one (195 lashes). Three times I was beaten with rods (Paul was a Roman citizen, and Roman citizens were exempted from degrading punishment, such as that of scourging. In Acts 16:23 because he addressed a spirit of divination in a young girl who annoyed him and Silas by saying they were servants of the Most High God, the masters of the girl brought them before the magistrates, and many stripes were laid on them and they were thrown into prison. Paul was not questioned by the magistrates in their defense in Philippi. They made no inquiries to their citizenship or what the confusion was concerning. The magistrates only heard the shouts of the crowd that these men, Paul and Silas, were Jews and that they troubled their city. So the magistrates immediately had their clothing stripped from them, they were beaten and thrown into prison. It does not say how many stripes they received but Paul was incensed by this. And in this incident is mentioned again in I Thessalonians 2:2). once I was stoned (Acts 14:19); three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep.

Paul suffered severe abuse by men, and I would say he may have had some infirmities related to these incidences. People never get tired of hating you.

Besides having to endure all these things, he was sometimes called into question concerning his apostleship.

2 Corinthians chapters 10-13 (10:2,7,8,10)

http://apostolicfaithweca.org/content/paul%E2%80%99s-defence-his-apostleship-and-ministry

https://www.biblestudy.org/apostlepaul/arrests-of-apostle-paul.html

I thought his thorn was people attacking him always. He was either stoned, or whipped, thrown into prison starving, and he was always having to correct error in the churches. The word never tells us that Paul was ever ill, or diseased; only that he was assaulted just about everywhere he would go.

Let’s look at this one: Coals of Fire

18. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written: Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Paul is, of course, quoting from Proverbs 25:21-22

Some people would have the understanding this passage would indicate by giving food and water to our enemies, we are piling up some sort of shame or remorse on them, maybe even some form of judgment.
We desire them to be convicted by kindness and change their behavior, although there are people who will not change no matter the demonstration of kindness toward them.

The only translation of Romans 12:20 that appears to be more accurate in giving us the true message of this verse is the Holy Bible in Modern English by Ferrar Fenton: “If your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give water to drink, and a fire besides for his needs; and the Lord will repay you.”

The meaning is changed from for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Read it again: and a fire besides for his needs; and the Lord will repay you.”

Another book that I have in my possession is Strange Scriptures that Perplex the Western Mind by Barbara M. Bowen. Having lived among the Middle Eastern people and Bedouins, she had understanding of some of these most difficult passages.

In the Bible lands almost everything is carried on the head—water jars, baskets of fruit, vegetables, fish or any other article. Those carrying the burden rarely touch it with the hands, and they walk through crowded streets and lanes with perfect ease.

In many homes the only fire they have is kept in a brazier which they use for simple cooking as well as for warmth. The fire must be kept burning, if it should go out a member of the family must go to a neighbor’s house to borrow fire. If a neighbor is a generous person, they will heap hot coals in the brazier, and also will send some wine and bread. The person would lift this heaping brazier of hot coals on the head while carrying the bread and wine, and ease down the road to their family.

The neighbor will have given them life with these elements: food, drink and hot coals, so that their family would be fed and kept warm.

I am going to end the program here
If it is God’s will I will be here next program. Remember to walk by faith and not by sight. Do two things this week: love and forgive. Ask God to cleanse you from all unrighteousness every day. Keep your spiritual garments clean from spots, wrinkles and blemishes. Love God and love your neighbor.
Rico Cortes will sing the Aaronic priestly blessing.