Christian Churches of God

No. Q018

 

 

 

Commentary on the Koran: Surah 18 “The Cave”

 

(Edition 2.0 20170823-20170923)

 

This text follows Surah 17 dealing with Jerusalem as the true place of worship. It deals with the churches over time also.

 

 

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA

 

E-mail: secretary@ccg.org

 

 

 

(Copyright © 2017 Wade Cox and Alan Brach)

 

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This paper is available from the World Wide Web page:
http://www.logon.org and http://www.ccg.org

 

 


 Commentary on the Koran: Surah 18 “The Cave”



Pickthall Translation: Biblical quotes from the RSV unless otherwise stated.

 

Introduction

This text was placed in sequence following Surah 17 for good reason. The Surah 17 mentions the journey of the Prophet to Jerusalem. It concerns the place of Jerusalem as the centre of worship of the Faith. The prophet Zechariah and the many texts of Scripture place Jerusalem as the centre of the Faith during the Millennium and afterwards as the centre of the rulership of the universe. This text of S18 shows the sequence of the Faith in history and its place until the return of the Messiah. These aspects are explained also in Revelation chapters 2 and 3.

 

“Al-Kahf” or “The Cave” was written after the idol worshipping taunters of Mecca were given a series of three questions by the Jewish doctors of Yathrib to test his prophethood. The third question regarding the Holy Spirit is answered at Surah 16:85ff. The first question regarding the Cave is a story of the youths who took refuge in the cave from persecution (verses 10-27) and were preserved as if asleep there for some time.

 

The text is identified by western writers (such as Gibbon) as being of the legend of the seven sleepers at Ephesus. This would identify the prophets as answering the story of the legend among the early church. However, later tradition of Hadithic writers asserted that is was associated with Arab tradition along with Dhu’l Qarneyn (The Two Horned One) verses 83-89 and possibly that of Moses and the Angel, verses 61-82. These texts were revealed to the Prophet to refute the questions the Jews at Yathrib (Madinah) posed through the idolaters to test the Prophet. 

 

The later tradition is probably to divorce the Prophet from the earlier Christian and Jewish faith, which was a later Hadithic ploy. The Koran makes no such effort.

 

Pickthall recounts the questions of the Rabbis of the Jews at Yathrib as being:

  1.  Ask him of some youths who were of old, what was their fate? For they have a strange story.
  2. Ask him of a much travelled man who reached the sunrise regions of the earth and the sunset regions. What was his history?
  3. Ask him of the Spirit. What is it?

 

The tormentors of the Prophet returned to Mecca and they put these questions to the Prophet. They had told the people there that it was to be a crucial test.

 

The Prophet improperly said that he would  surely answer them on the morrow as though God would do his bidding on the questions. He should have ended with “if God wills.”

 

As a result of the omission God withheld the answers for some days. When the answer was given it included the rebuke in verse 24 (cf. Pickthall).   

 

The Jews must have been satisfied by the answers as they made no further reference to the matter after the flight of the church to Yathrib (Al-Madinah) from Mecca. They taunted the Prophet daily about all sorts of other matters. Pickthall holds the view that the questions must all relate to Jewish lore rather than the Christian legend of the sleepers at Ephesus. The story of the two horned one actually does belong to Jewish lore (cf. also Pickthall). The text belongs to the Middle Group of Meccan surahs.

 

The first reference actually concerns the Seven Churches of God and the Angels of the Seven Churches, the first of which was the Ephesian church under the apostle John and those who knew the Messiah in his lifetime (see the paper Fate of the Twelve Apostles (No. 122B) and also Death of the Prophets and Saints (No. 122C)).    Hence the sleepers are called the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. Their collective treatment and the 309 years allotted to them are specific identifications of the persecution of the churches until the appointment of Constantine as emperor at York in 309 CE and the edict of Toleration in 313.

 

The eras of the Seven Churches are named for the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. These eras are named for the churches based in Anatolia in what is now Turkey. They represent the ages of the Churches of God over 2000 years until the return of the Messiah

 

They are each given the lampstand in turn and the first three eras of Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamos were concerned with the church from Asia and into Arabia and the Taurus Mountains and into Europe.

 

The first era was raised and trained by John at Ephesus and the Seventy ordained and spread by Christ across the world from Britain to India. This was known as the First love of the Faith.

 

Smyrna trained the bishops after the death of John under Polycarp. Rome was corrupted by the worshippers of Mithras and Attis as forms of Baal and the goddess Easter worship. The worship of Adonis corrupted the Greeks and Egypt was corrupted by the rituals of Osiris, Isis and Horus. It was from these Sun cults that Sunday worship and Christmas and Easter festivals arose  (see also Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)).

 

Pergamos became the warlike phase of the Faith when the churches in Arabia and the Paulicians to the west were forced to fight to survive against Byzantium and the idolatry at Mecca and the East generally.

 

These eras are explained in detail in the paper Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170). The distribution is explained in the paper General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122). The last four eras have elements alive at the return of the Messiah, when we will rule from Jerusalem.

 

Revelation 2:1-29 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: `The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2"`I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear evil men but have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and found them to be false; 3I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6Yet this you have, you hate the works of the Nicola'itans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.' 8"And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: `The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. 9"`I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death.' 

 

Pergamos started in the Middle East and led to the rise of what is now understood as Islam.

 

12"And to the angel of the church in Per'gamum write: `The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. 13"`I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; you hold fast my name and you did not deny my faith even in the days of An'tipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice immorality. 15So you also have some who hold the teaching of the Nicola'itans. 16Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it.' 

 

The above text refers to the era in which the Prophet existed and wrote. These comments apply to that era and their sins and shortcomings. The next era, Thyatira, existed through the massive persecutions of the Middle Ages that led up to the Reformation. Elements exist now but they are to be given no further burden.

 

18"And to the angel of the church in Thyati'ra write: `The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19"`I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jez'ebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her immorality. 22Behold, I will throw her on a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her doings; 23and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.  24But to the rest of you in Thyati'ra, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay upon you any other burden;  25only hold fast what you have, until I come. 26He who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him power over the nations, 27and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received power from my Father; 28and I will give him the morning star. 29He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' 

 

The Morning Star is the rulership and education of the world under the Messiah. We will deal with this more when we deal with the Surah At Tariq, the Morning Star.

 

Revelation 3:1-22 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: `The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. "`I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead. 2Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. 3Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent. If you will not awake, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. 4Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' 7"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: `The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens. 8"`I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut; I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie -- behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and learn that I have loved you. 10Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. 11I am coming soon; hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 14"And to the angel of the church in La-odice'a write: `The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. 15"`I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" 

 

Sardis and Laodicea are the two eras of the Seven that are removed from the First Resurrection. Philadelphia is the last era before the Messiah that has the lampstand. In this era Judah and the elements of the church that refers to itself as Islam and the last four eras of the Churches of God will be called to repentance and prepared to serve under the Messiah. Those that do not will be killed by Messiah and the elect with the prophets and sent to the Second Resurrection.

 

No unrepentant person will survive and be allowed to enter the Millennium under Messiah.

 

*****

 

18.1. Praise be to Allah Who hath revealed the Scripture unto His slave, and hath not placed therein any crookedness, 

18.2. (But hath made it) straight, to give warning of stern punishment from Him, and to bring unto the believers who do good works the news that theirs will be a fair reward, 

18.3. Wherein they will abide for ever; 

 

Once again the Meccan idolaters are warned and the obedient elect are promised the reward of the First Resurrection. 

 

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

 

2Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.


Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

 

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:  27the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, 28and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known.


Mark 10:29-30 Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.

 

18.4. And to warn those who say: Allah hath chosen a son, 

18.5. (A thing) whereof they have no knowledge, nor (had) their fathers, Dreadful is the word that cometh out of their mouths. They speak naught but a lie. 

18.6. Yet it may be, if they believe not in this statement, that thou (Muhammad) wilt torment thy soul with grief over their footsteps.

 

The plan of salvation involves the elevation of the entire Host and mankind from the Resurrections to the Kingdom of God as sons of God. It is not simply the case of the selection of a single person to be the son of God in the Triune godhead, as the Trinitarians blasphemously assert. Nor is it, as even more blasphemously asserted under the late 20th century Churches of God, that the Christ was coequal and coeternal with the Father from before the beginning of Creation.

 

Mark 1:11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."


Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.


Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.

 

Job 38:7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?


Psalm 45:6-7 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; 7you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;

 

Psalm 33:9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. (NASB)

 

It is as Psalm 33:9 states: “For God spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” God spoke the word and Christ came to be in the womb of Mariam.

 

Proverbs 30:4-5 asks the question: “Who has ascended into heaven and who has come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?  What is His name and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!” 

The answer to the name of God is provided in the next verse.  

“Every word of Eloah proves true.  He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”

 

The comments are aimed at refuting the constant insistence by the Binitarians/Ditheists/Trinitarians asserting co-eternal co-existence to Christ, which is heresy. The text cannot be intended to contradict the law and the testimony otherwise Qasim cannot be a prophet of God (Isa. 8:20).

 

The text is to refute the Trinitarian and Binitarian/ Ditheist theology of the Sun cults.

 

18.7. Lo! We have placed all that is on the earth as an ornament thereof that We may try them: which of them is best in conduct. 

18.8. And lo! We shall make all that is thereon a barren mound. 

 

The earth and the creation is a test of the conduct of the human and spiritual creation.

 

John 12:25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.


1John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

 

Deuteronomy 8:2 And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. (ESV)

 

Judges 2:22 in order to test Israel by them, whether they will take care to walk in the way of the LORD as their fathers did, or not. (ESV)

 

Job 23:10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. (ESV)

 

Psalm 66:10 For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. (ESV)

 

All that is in the world is a trial and a distraction unto us yet all these will return unto dust. We need to overcome all these and wait for our reward.

 

18.9. Or deemest thou that the People of the Cave and the Inscription are a wonder among Our portents? 

18.10. When the young men fled for refuge to the Cave and said: Our Lord! Give us mercy from Thy presence, and shape for us right conduct in our plight. 

18.11. Then We sealed up their hearing in the Cave for a number of years. 

18.12. And afterward We raised them up that We might know which of the two parties would best calculate the time that they had tarried.

18.13. We narrate unto thee their story with truth. Lo! they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance. 

18.14. And We made firm their hearts when they stood forth and said: Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We cry unto no God beside Him, for then should we utter an enormity.

18.15. These, our people, have chosen (other) gods beside Him though they bring no clear warrant (vouchsafed) to them. And who doth greater wrong than he who inventeth a lie concerning Allah? 

18.16. And when ye withdraw from them and that which they worship except Allah, then seek refuge in the Cave; your Lord will spread for you of His mercy and will prepare for you a pillow in your plight.

18.17. And thou mightest have seen the sun when it rose move away from their cave to the right, and when it set go past them on the left, and they were in the cleft thereof. That was (one) of the portents of Allah. He whom Allah guideth, he indeed is led aright, and he whom He sendeth astray, for him thou wilt not find a guiding friend.

 

Thus this has to be a tale of a bygone era when this miracle would have taken place. These youths who worshiped the One True God sought shelter and refuge from their enemies who were hunting them down for their beliefs. They sought mercy from God and to be rightly guided during their trial. God sealed the entrance to the cave and raised them from their sleep after a number of years. This miracle is asserted to have come from the time when the church was under persecution by the authorities and probably from when the churches were under persecution from the beginning when the church at Ephesus was under the apostle John. However, it also looks forward into time to the Last Days and the end of the stages of the angels of the Seven Churches.

 

Ayat 13 states these young men believed in their Lord and they were increased in their guidance.

 

Ayat 14 confirms they worship the One True God. Their people worshipped other gods so these youths were seeking refuge in the cave away from their community.

 

Thus this text cannot refer to the Cave of Greek Philosophy.


God granted them mercy and provided for their protection. This also refers to the necessity of distancing oneself from the idolatry of one’s people and was a direct rebuke to the Meccan idolatrous taunters.

 

Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me,


Isaiah 44:6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.


Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.


Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.


John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.


James 1:5-6 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

 

Psalm 25:4-5 Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 5Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.


Isaiah 33:16 he will dwell on the heights; his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks; his bread will be given him; his water will be sure.

 

18.18. And thou wouldst have deemed them waking though they were asleep, and We caused them to turn over to the right and the left, and their dog stretching out his paws on the threshold. If thou hadst observed them closely thou hadst assuredly turned away from them in flight, and hadst been filled with awe of them.

 

God caused them to turn to the right and to the left with their best friend watching over them. This aspect refers to the tasks of the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 4:1-17 where the prophet was forced to lie on one side for a set period and then on the other for another period showing the punishment on Israel at 390 days and the punishment for Judah at 40 days (i.e. 30-70 CE also to the Fall of the Temple under the Romans).  Also the prophet was told to eat his cake of meal cooked in human dung which rendered the food and the nations unclean.  He begged to be allowed to use clean fuel as he had never transgressed the food laws. God relented and allowed him to use cow dung.

 

The Prophet, tying the periods in this aspect and then in using the 309 days, shows it was indeed punishment for the Church under persecution for their corruption of the Faith with the Sun Cults and with Binitarianism/Ditheism and Trinitarianism and Sunday worship and breach of The Food Laws (No. 015). The period is explained below.

 

It also concerns Jerusalem as the Centre of worship as we saw in the Surah 17 above regarding the Night Journey. The reply in this aspect also answers these hypocrites at Mecca and also silences the Jews at Yathrib and is why they remained silent.

 

18.19. And in like manner We awakened them that they might question one another. A speaker from among them said: How long have ye tarried? They said: We have tarried a day or some part of a day, (Others) said: Your Lord best knoweth what ye have tarried. Now send one of you with this your silver coin unto the city, and let him see what food is purest there and bring you a supply thereof. Let him be courteous and let no man know of you. 

18.20. For they, if they should come to know of you, will stone you or turn you back to their religion; then ye will never prosper. 

18.21. And in like manner We disclosed them (to the people of the city) that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that, as for the Hour, there is no doubt concerning it. When (the people of the city) disputed of their case among themselves, they said: Build over them a building; their Lord knoweth best concerning them. Those who won their point said: We verily shall build a place of worship over them. 

18.22. (Some) will say: They were three, their dog the fourth, and (some) say: Five, their dog the sixth, guessing at random; and (some) say: Seven, and their dog the eighth. Say (O Muhammad): My Lord is Best Aware of their number. None knoweth them save a few. So contend not concerning them except with an outward contending, and ask not any of them to pronounce concerning them. 

 

This text refers to the Mysteries of God as the duration of the Seven Churches under the Seven Angels and that is part of the Sign of Jonah. The duration is the Forty Jubilees to the end of the 2000 years of the churches and this is the only Sign given to the Faith (see the Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 013)).

 

The symbol here is given that they themselves had no idea of the duration of their sleep. The text develops this by stating that they questioned each other on how long they slept but some of them knew that only God had the answer. The number seven is the number related to the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. The answer does not positively identify the locale, although Gibbon thought it does. The Seven Eras of the Seven Churches are held to have commenced after the establishment at Ephesus, where John took Mariam and the members. Although, the duration is commenced from the time of the baptism of Christ and the selection of the apostles in 27 CE and extended for the 40 Jubilees to 2027.

 

Psalm 139:1-3 O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.

 

One of them went to the city to buy their supply of food without revealing their religion as they wanted to avoid trouble or persecution.  It refers to the fact of the persecution of the elect over the previous six centuries and how they were able to survive, and this again is a clear rebuke to the idolatrous Meccans.

 

Matthew 24:36 But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.


The text refers to those who survived and followed them and built a place of worship or monument over them. This refers to the return of the Messiah and the establishment of the churches from Jerusalem and the Reconstruction of the Temple of God at Jerusalem as stated in Zechariah and particularly 14:16-19. The Scriptures show clearly what is to happen at the end of the Seven eras of the Seven Churches from Ephesus with the return of the Messiah and the establishment of the Millennium from Jerusalem under Messiah.

 

The cave dwellers are said to have tarried in the cave for 309 years under persecution (S18:25 below). This refers to the period over the days of the church from 27 CE and even with the Messiah from the flight into Egypt in 6/5 BCE) and the persecution up until Diocletian (ca 303) onwards. That persecution was weakest in Britain and Gaul (2 years) but heaviest in the Eastern provinces (10 years) over the period of the church until the Edict of Toleration under Constantine.  He was declared Emperor at York, Britain in 309 CE and issued the Edict of Toleration (with Licinius) in Milan February 313). This is undoubtedly to what the Spirit refers and is given here through the Prophet and no doubt he drew on Revelation chapter 2 also.

 

18.23. And say not of anything: Lo! I shall do that tomorrow,

18.24. Except if Allah will. And remember thy Lord when thou forgettest, and say: It may be that my Lord guideth me unto a nearer way of truth than this. 

18.25. And (it is said) they tarried in their Cave three hundred years and add nine. 

18.26. Say: Allah is Best Aware how long they tarried. His is the Invisible of the heavens and the earth. How clear of sight is He and keen of hearing! They have no protecting friend beside Him, and He maketh none to share in His government. 

 

Ayat 18.25 states that they had stayed in the cave for 309 years. The persecution of the church was fiercest over this 309 to 313 years. However it was also very serious over the 1260 years from 590 CE to 1850 CE. The flight from Mecca to Madinah and the subsequent battles under the Prophet were part of this sequence of persecution.  The last phase was in WWII under the Nazis over the 1260 days of the Holocaust.

 

James 4:14-15 You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead you should say, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live—and do this or that." (ISV)


2Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

 

The idolaters at Mecca have failed to stamp out their idolatrous symbols there and elsewhere and they will be punished for it soon. One cannot pretend that by failing to acknowledge the Scriptures one can avoid the wrath of God. That is like a child covering its eyes and pretending that God cannot see them.

 

Jeremiah 23:24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.


Psalm 139:7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?


Hebrews 4:13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

 

There is no protection from anyone else except our God.

 

Psalm 94:22 But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.


Psalm 103:19 The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

 

18.27. And recite that which hath been revealed unto thee of the Scripture of thy Lord. There is none who can change His words, and thou wilt find no refuge beside Him.

 

God is demanding they repent here.

 

Revelation 22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,


Deuteronomy 4:2 You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.


James 4:12 There is one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you that you judge your neighbor?

 

Psalm 119:160 The sum of thy word is truth; and every one of thy righteous ordinances endures for ever.

 

Psalm 91:2 I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

 

Surah 6.34 (Pickthall) Messengers indeed have been denied before thee, and they were patient under the denial and the persecution till Our succour reached them. There is none to alter the decisions of Allah. Already there hath reached thee (somewhat) of the tidings of the messengers (We sent before).

 

Surah 6.115 (Pickthall) Perfected is the Word of thy Lord in truth and justice. There is naught that can change His words. He is the Hearer, the Knower.

 

18.28. Restrain thyself along with those who cry unto their Lord at morn and evening, seeking His Countenance; and let not thine eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, who followeth his own lust and whose case hath been abandoned.

 

1John 2:16 or all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.


Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.


Matthew 16:26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

 

18.29. Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place! 

18.30. Lo! as for those who believe and do good works - Lo! We suffer not the reward of one whose work is goodly to be lost. 

18.31. As for such, theirs will be Gardens of Eden, wherein rivers flow beneath them; therein they will be given armlets of gold and will wear green robes of finest silk and gold embroidery, reclining upon throne therein. Blest the reward, and fair the resting-place! 

 

Once again the Resurrections of the Dead to the Gardens of Paradise are directly connected to these texts.

 

Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

 

Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

 

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.


Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.


Those who believe and do good works will be rewarded with a place in the First Garden of Paradise but those who disbelieve will be consigned to the Second Resurrection to undergo intensive corrective training to lead them to repentance, and if they choose not to repent will face the Second Death and be no more.

 

Revelation 20:4-6 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

 

Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

 

18.32. Coin for them a similitude: Two men, unto one of whom We had assigned two gardens of grapes, and We had surrounded both with date-palms and had put between them tillage. 

18.33. Each of the gardens gave its fruit and withheld naught thereof. And We caused a river to gush forth therein. 

18.34. And he had fruit. And he said unto his comrade, when he spake with him: I am more than thee in wealth, and stronger in respect of men. 

18.35. And he went into his garden, while he (thus) wronged himself. He said: I think not that all this will ever perish. 

18.36. I think not that the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back unto my Lord I surely shall find better than this as a resort. 

18.37. His comrade, when he (thus) spake with him, exclaimed: Disbelievest thou in Him Who created thee of dust, then of a drop (of seed), and then fashioned thee a man? 

18.38. But He is Allah, my Lord, and I ascribe unto my Lord no partner. 

18.39. If only, when thou enteredst thy garden, thou hadst said: That which Allah willeth (will come to pass)! There is no strength save in Allah! Though thou seest me as less than thee in wealth and children, 

18.40. Yet it may be that my Lord will give me better than thy garden, and will send on it a bolt from heaven, and some morning it will be a smooth hillside,

18.41. Or some morning the water thereof will be lost in the earth so that thou canst not make search for it. 

18.42. And his fruit was beset (with destruction). Then began he to wring his hands for all that he had spent upon it, when (now) it was all ruined on its trellises, and to say: Would that I had ascribed no partner to my Lord! 

18.43. And he had no troop of men to help him as against Allah, nor could he save himself.

18.44. In this case is protection only from Allah, the True, He is Best for reward, and best for consequence.

 

Here is a parable that tells us about the true church and the other religious system named in Revelation chapter 17. These are gardens but in this case they are established on earth but one is not able to partake of them and their benefit is destroyed by a bolt from heaven. Their only survival is repentance before the One True God.

 

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


The true church will prevail until Messiah comes. This church has a little strength and not much in terms of wealth and few members but keeps the Faith once delivered to the apostles and saints of the first century church. Its members keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

 

The false religious system has committed fornication with the kings of this earth.

 

Revelation 17:5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations.

 

This false religious church system is exceedingly wealthy and mightier in followers all over the world. This system will be destroyed during the end days. Its destruction is foretold in Revelation chapter 18.

 

Revelation 18:7-8 As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, 'I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.'  8For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.

 

Matthew 24:36 But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.


Genesis 2:7 then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.


Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

 

Isaiah 46:9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,


Psalm 115:3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.

 

The church with the smaller number of followers inherits the First Garden of Paradise with eternal life and the other gets consigned to the Second Resurrection.

 

18.45. And coin for them the similitude of the life of the world as water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingleth with it and then becometh dry twigs that the winds scatter. Allah is able to do all things. 

 

1Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.

 

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.


John 4:14 But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

 

Ephesians 4:14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (ESV)

 

Job 42:2 I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (ESV)

 

The vegetation will not survive without water. We too will become like dry twigs without the water of the Holy Spirit and get blown away by the wind and by every wind of doctrine.


18.46. Wealth and children are an ornament of the life of the world. But the good deeds which endure are better in thy Lord's sight for reward, and better in respect of hope.

 

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

 

1Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

 

Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.

 

Isaiah 3:12 O My people! Their oppressors are children, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray And confuse the direction of your paths. (NASB)


Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!"


Daniel 12:13 But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.

 

Wealth and children are an adornment to our physical life but then again they may be the cause of our trials that may lead us to a dead end. Good deeds lead us to eternal life and hope of more enduring things to come.

 

18.47. And (bethink you of) the Day when we remove the hills and ye see the earth emerging, and We gather them together so as to leave not one of them behind. 

18.48. And they are set before thy Lord in ranks (and it is said unto them): Now verily have ye come unto Us as We created you at the first. But ye thought that We had set no tryst for you.

 

Psalm 104:30 When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

 

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.


2Peter 3:7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

 

All things proceed from God and go back to Him. All humanity will be resurrected and assembled before Him on judgement day.

 

18.49. And the Book is placed, and thou seest the guilty fearful of that which is therein, and they say: What kind of a Book is this that leaveth not a small thing nor a great thing but hath counted it! And they find all that they did confronting them, and thy Lord wrongeth no-one.

 

See also Revelation 20:11-15 above.

 

Job 34:10-11 "Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to do wrong. 11"For He pays a man according to his work, And makes him find it according to his way. (NASB)

 

18.50. And (remember) when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command. Will ye choose him and his seed for your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are an enemy unto you? Calamitous is the exchange for evil-doers. 

18.51. I made them not to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor their own creation; nor choose I misleaders for (My) helpers.

 

The angels were told to instruct and guide the human species. The loyal angelic Host agreed but  Satan and his followers were not willing to serve and went against the command of God.

 

1Peter 5:8 Be clear-minded and alert. Your opponent, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

 

Revelation 12:9 The huge dragon was hurled down. That ancient serpent, called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was hurled down to the earth, along with its angels.


Leviticus 17:7 They are no longer to slaughter their sacrifices to the goat demons, with whom they have committed prostitution. This will be a perpetual statute for you throughout your generations. (KJV)

 

1Corinthians 10:20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.


2Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;


Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'

 

Job 38:7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (ESV)

 

The evildoers were not there to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth nor their own creation, and God does not need them as His workers.

 

18.52. And (be mindful of) the Day when He will say: Call those partners of Mine whom ye pretended. Then they will cry unto them, but they will not hear their prayer, and We shall set a gulf of doom between them. 

18.53. And the guilty behold the Fire and know that they are about to fall therein, and they find no way of escape thence.

 

That is they will suffer the second death and they will be burnt in the Lake of Fire.

 

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before     me.

 

Deuteronomy 32:17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded.

 

Isaiah 57:13 When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you! The wind will carry them all off, a breath will take them away. But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land and shall inherit my holy mountain.


Psalm 37:9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

 

See also 1Corinthians 10:20 and Revelation 20:11-15 above.

 

18.54. And verily We have displayed for mankind in this Qur'an all manner of similitudes, but man is more than anything contentious. 

18.55. And naught hindereth mankind from believing when the guidance cometh unto them, and from asking forgiveness of their Lord unless (it be that they wish) that the judgment of the men of old should come upon them or (that) they should be confronted with the Doom. 

18.56. We send not the messengers save as bearers of good news and warners. Those who disbelieve contend with falsehood in order to refute the Truth thereby. And they take Our Revelations and that wherewith they are threatened as a jest. 

18.57. And who doth greater wrong than he who hath been reminded of the Revelations of his Lord, yet turneth away from them and forgetteth what his hands send forward (to the Judgment)? Lo! on their hearts We have placed coverings so that they understand not, and in their ears a deafness. And though thou call them to the guidance, in that case they can never be led aright. 

18.58. Thy Lord is the Forgiver, Full of Mercy. If He took them to task (now) for what they earn, He would hasten on the doom for them; but theirs is an appointed term from which they will find no escape. 

18.59. And (all) those townships! We destroyed them when they did wrong, and We appointed a fixed time for their destruction. 

 

The end times of the Wrath of God will come upon us firstly under the warnings from the Two Witnesses (including the Two Witnesses) (No. 135) and then under the Messiah and the Vials of the Wrath of God (No. 141B). All idolatry and failure to keep the Commandments of God and the Calendar of the Living God will see the nations destroyed until only those are left who are fit to enter the millennial system under Messiah and the 144000 and the Great Multitude of the First Resurrection (cf. also Revelation Chapter 7).

 

Romans 1:18-21 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.


Messengers are sent to proclaim the good news and to warn mankind. But mankind refuses to listen.

 

Psalm 81:11-12 But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. 12So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.


Jeremiah 7:24 But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.

 

2Peter 3:3-4 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.

 

Acts 28:26 Go to this people, and say, "You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.

 

Ezekiel 12:2 Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.


Romans 2:4-5 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  5But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.


Ecclesiastes 8:11 Whenever a sentence for a crime is not carried out swiftly, the human mind becomes determined to commit evil. (ISV)

 

Ecclesiastes 3:17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.

 

18.60. And when Moses said unto his servant: I will not give up until I reach the point where the two rivers meet, though I march on for ages. 

18.61. And when they reached the point where the two met, they forgot their fish, and it took its way into the waters, being free. 

18.62. And when they had gone further, he said unto his servant: Bring us our breakfast. Verily we have found fatigue in this our journey. 

18.63. He said: Didst thou see, when we took refuge on the rock, and I forgot the fish - and none but Satan caused me to forget to mention it - it took its way into the waters by a marvel. 

18.64. He said: This is that which we have been seeking. So they retraced their steps again.

18.65. Then found they one of Our slaves, unto whom We had given mercy from Us, and had taught him knowledge from Our presence.

 

This text from verse 60 puzzles Arabic scholars.  They hold Aufi to be incorrect. Indeed it is contrary to Scripture and the Koran allocating the times to Egypt after the Exodus which is impossible. They consider the following situations likely regarding the texts:

 

Some consider that these things would have been demonstrated to Moses in the earlier period of his prophethood holding that such things are needed in the beginning of prophethood for the teaching and training of the Prophets.

 

Modern scholars consider that the story was cited to comfort the believers of Mecca. The conclusion is that the believers were being persecuted at Mecca before the Flight to Medina.  Thus the reference back to Moses somehow relates the persecution of the Israelites to the persecutions before the Hijrah in 622 CE and they assert that the leaders of the Qureysh were hindered in their persecution at Mecca as was Pharoah and his entourage in the persecution of the Israelites.   

 

The text in Surah Jonah or Yunis at 10:88 is often referred to this text also in the cry of Moses to God in the relation to the persecution.

 

If the text refers to the earlier training of Moses then it is more likely it was in Midian under Jethro.

 

They had brought along their physical sustenance  but the fish had disappeared into the sea by a marvel (allegedly by a tunnel into the sea). In this case it was most probably near Aquaba.

 

Moses was directed in training in higher knowledge and achieved that in Midian in the house of the priest of Midian a servant of the Almighty who had received mercy and had Godly wisdom revealed to him.

 

18.66. Moses said unto him: May I follow thee, to the end that thou mayst teach me right conduct of that which thou hast been taught ? 

18.67. He said: Lo! thou canst not bear with me.

18.68. How canst thou bear with that whereof thou canst not compass any knowledge ? 

18.69. He said: Allah willing, thou shalt find me patient and I shall not in aught gainsay thee. 

18.70. He said: Well, if thou go with me, ask me not concerning aught till I myself make mention of it unto thee.

 

Moses stayed with Jethro in Midian who gave his daughter to him in marriage. Moses stayed in Midian forty years so surely Moses would have learnt more from Jethro as we know that God had taught him from his presence as stated by ayat 18.65 above. It is also considered that Moses wrote the book of Job in Midian.

 

Exodus 2:15-21 When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well. 16Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock. 18When they came home to their father Reuel, he said, "How is it that you have come home so soon today?" 19They said, "An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and even drew water for us and watered the flock." 20He said to his daughters, "Then where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread." 21And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah.

 

We know from the biblical account that Jethro was Moses’ father in law but he is also referred to here as Reuel. The name Reuel means a “friend of God” whereas Jethro means his excellence referring to his position as priest of Midian.

 

Numbers 12:3 Now the man Moses was very      meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.

 

Jethro: priest of Midian

Moses’ father-in-law was called Hobab, who was the son of Reuel or Raguel (Num. 10:29). Although there is much confusion over these names, it seems that Hobab was also known as Jethro (meaning his excellence).

 

Numbers 10:29-32  And Moses said to Hobab the son of Reu'el the Mid'ianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, `I will give it to you'; come with us, and we will do you good; for the LORD has promised good to Israel." 30But he said to him, "I will not go; I will depart to my own land and to my kindred." 31And he said, "Do not leave us, I pray you, for you know how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and you will serve as eyes for us. 32And if you go with us, whatever good the LORD will do to us, the same will we do to you." (RSV)

 

Exodus 3:1a  Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Mid'ian; (RSV)

 

The name Hobab (SHD 2246) means cherished or loved fervently, perhaps by God, just as much as his own people, which would explain the inspired advice he later gave to Moses regarding judgments given to the Israelites. According to Josephus, Hobab had “Iothor [i.e. Jethro] for a surname”. Jethro’s descent is given as: son of Nawil, son of Rawail, son of Mour, son of Anka, son of Midian, son of Abraham.

 

Josephus (Ant. Jews, III, iii) claimed that Raguel (also Reuel, as in v. 29) was Moses’ father-in-law, however, Judges 4:11 (see below) clearly states that he was known as Hobab. Matthew Poole gives a reasonable explanation for this discrepancy in his comment on Exodus 2:18 below. Other commentators claim that Jethro was an honorary title, while Reuel was his personal name. Hence, as with the Keturah/Hagar question, there is some contradictory opinion over identity and this perhaps sums up the rather mysterious nature of the sons of Keturah and their descendants.

 

Reuel (SHD 7467, Re’uw’el) means Friend of God and is a title given to Abraham and was carried by Jethro as Priest of Midian. Raguel is simply another version of this title (see Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary). It was obviously carried by the Priest of Midian as it was carried by the father of Hobab and by Hobab/Jethro himself.

 

Chobab (SHD 2246) means cherished and is derived from 2245: hide as in the bosom; to cherish.

 

Yithrow (SHD 3503) means His excellence coming from Yithrah (SHD 3502, excellence). Thus we are looking at Hobab the name and Jethro the title. His Excellence, Hobab, the Friend of God is the rendering of the names of Jethro, Hobab, Reuel or Reguel.

 

It is thus beyond doubt that he was sheik and High Priest of Midian and hereditary religious leader of the tribe.

 

Another Reuel mentioned in the Bible is a son of Esau by Bashemath, daughter of Ishmael (Gen. 36:4ff.). See the paper Law and the Seventh Commandment (No. 260).

 

Burton in The Gold-Mines of Midian has this to say in his footnote on page 332:

    Jethro’s Moslem title is “Khatib el-Anbiya,” or Preacher to the Prophets, on account of the words of wisdom which he bestowed upon his son-in-law (Exod. ii. 18) … Some writers have made him the son of Mikhail, ibn Yashjar, ibn Madyan; but they are charged with ignorance by Ahmed ibn Abd el-Halim. El-Kesai states that his original name was Boyun; that he was comely of person, but spare and lean; very thoughtful, and of few words (Sale’s Koran, p. 117). Other commentators add that he was old and blind. In the “Berakhoth,” Jetro [sic.] and Rahab are Gentiles, or strangers, affiliated to Israel on account of their good deeds (p. 48, M. Schwab’s version. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1871).

 

E.H. Palmer in The Desert of the Exodus (Deighton, Bell & Co., Cambridge, UK, 1871) repeats the assertion that Jethro/Hobab was blind, and had been given a commission to preach the true Faith.

    

    Sho‘eib, as the Arabs call Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, is said to have been blind, notwithstanding which infirmity he was divinely commissioned to preach the true religion lately revealed unto Abraham, and to convert the people of his native city Midian. They rejected his doctrine and mocked the blind prophet, for which sin they were destroyed by fire from heaven, while Midian was laid waste by an earthquake, Jethro alone escaping alive. He fled to Palestine, and is said to be buried near Safed. (ftnt. p. 539; emphasis added)

 

It appears that Jethro/Hobab, The Friend of God (Raguel: Josephus) took the fact of the supremacy over the Egyptians in the Red Sea as proof positive of the power of the Angel of Yahovah acting for the One True God, with Israel as the people of God (Ex. 18:11). He was already a priest of Midian and it is obvious that he is observing the activities of the Being sent to Israel as proof of the birthright promises given to Isaac. That view was to continue down to the writing of the Qur’an and is reflected in the Qur’an. The Kuturah or Pure Arabs, as well as the sons of Ishmael, resent that birthright to this very day.

 

(See Exodus 18:1-12)

 

18.71. So they twain set out till, when they were in the ship, he made a hole therein. (Moses) said: Hast thou made a hole therein to drown the folk thereof? Thou verily hast done a dreadful thing. 

18.72. He said: Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not bear with me? 

18.73. (Moses) said: Be not wroth with me that I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my fault. 

18.74. So they twain journeyed on till, when they met a lad, he slew him. (Moses) said: What! Hast thou slain an innocent soul who hath slain no man? Verily thou hast done a horrid thing. 

18.75. He said: Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not bear with me? 

18.76. (Moses) said: If I ask thee after this concerning aught, keep not company with me. Thou hast received an excuse from me. 

18.77. So they twain journeyed on till, when they came unto the folk of a certain township, they asked its folk for food, but they refused to make them guests. And they found therein a wall upon the point of falling into ruin, and he repaired it. (Moses) said: If thou hadst wished, thou couldst have taken payment for it. 

18.78. He said: This is the parting between thee and me! I will announce unto thee the interpretation of that thou couldst not bear with patience. 

18.79. As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working on the river, and I wished to mar it, for there was a king behind them who is taking every ship by force. 

18.80. And as for the lad, his parents were believers and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.

18.81. And we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in purity and nearer to mercy. 

18.82. And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father had been righteous, and thy Lord intended that they should come to their full strength and should bring forth their treasure as a mercy from their Lord; and I did it not upon my own command. Such is the interpretation of that wherewith thou couldst not bear. 

 

Ayat 71 is explained by ayat 79. Ayat 74 is explained by ayat 80 to 81. Ayat 77 is explained by ayat 82. The moral of the texts is that the Almighty will always know better. Things may not be as we perceive them. The problem in Mecca was with idolatry and child sacrifice and slavery and sexual abuse and it is so to this day and they are about to face the Messiah for their breach of the Laws of the One True God.

 

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

 

Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

1Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."


Jeremiah 17:10 "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."


James 1:3-5 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. 5Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to everyone generously without a rebuke, and it will be given to him. (ISV)


James 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.


Habakkuk 2:3 For the revelation pertains to an appointed time—it speaks truthfully about the end. Though it delays, wait for it, because it will surely come about—it will not be late! (ISV)Top of Form

 

 

18.83. They will ask thee of Dhu'l-Qarneyn. Say: I shall recite unto you a remembrance of him.


This refers to the two horned one which Daniel notes is the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians.

 

Daniel 8:20 As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia.

 

18.84. Lo! We made him strong in the land and gave him unto every thing a road. 

18.86. Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu'l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness. 

18.87. He said: As for him who doeth wrong, we shall punish him, and then he will be brought back unto his Lord, Who will punish him with awful punishment! 

18.88. But as for him who believeth and doeth right, good will be his reward, and We shall speak unto him a mild command.

 

To the people at the western end of his empire he could either punish them or show them kindness.

 

Isaiah 13:11 And I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.

 

Isaiah 3:11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.

 

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people. 24You know that it is from the Lord that you will receive the inheritance as a reward. It is the Lord Messiah whom you are serving!


Romans 2:6 He "will give to each according to his works:"

 

Refer to: Septuagint (LXX) Psalm 61:13; Masoretic Text (MT) Psalm 62:12

 

18.89. Then he followed a road 

18.90. Till, when he reached the rising-place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had appointed no shelter therefrom. 

18.91. So (it was). And We knew all concerning him.


The people at the eastern end of the empire were primitive tribes who may have been nomadic tribes.

 

18.92. Then he followed a road 

18.93. Till, when he came between the two mountains, he found upon their hither side a folk that scarce could understand a saying. 

 

It may well be asserted that they spoke in their native language and did not know the main languages spoken in the empire. However, the failure to understand stems from the lack of the Holy Spirit. The texts of Gog and Magog come from Scripture. Gog is a prince of Scythia referred to in Ezekiel chapters 38-39. The same references refer to in the wars of the end at Revelation 20:8 where, after Satan is released from the pit, he gathers the hordes of Gog and Magog who are at the four corners of the earth at the end of the millennial system.

 

They will come down before the Millennium at the wars of the last days of this age and also destroy the Middle East over the next seven years. They have been contained except under the Mongols of the invasion of the Thirteenth century. They are coming down now and their hordes will increase.

 

The hordes of Gog and Magog will come down to Israel in the valley of Hamon Gog and they will be slaughtered in the coming battles and there they will be buried (cf. Ezek. 39:11).

 

Then we move to the concept of Dhu'l-Qarneyn.  Many Muslim scholars place this as Alexander the Great. Indeed the goat with one horn is the Greek leader that ran at the ram with two horns who was the King of the Medes and Persians. It was the Medes and the Persians that stopped the Scythian hordes from entering the Middle East and then Alexander extended the empire into the Indus River. But the Persians were already in the area for centuries. They protected the Arabs by securing their northern border. However, the coming wars will bring that to an end.

 

18.94. They said: O Dhu'l-Qarneyn! Lo! Gog and Magog are spoiling the land. So may we pay thee tribute on condition that thou set a barrier between us and them? 

18.95. He said: That wherein my Lord hath established me is better (than your tribute). Do but help me with strength (of men), I will set between you and them a bank.

18.96. Give me pieces of iron - till, when he had levelled up (the gap) between the cliffs, he said: Blow! - till, when he had made it a fire, he said: Bring me molten copper to pour thereon.

18.97. And (Gog and Magog) were not able to surmount, nor could they pierce (it). 

 

This text refers to the wars of the Last Days that are now upon us.

 

The Middle East had built a formidable barrier that their enemies Gog and Magog could not come over or pierce through. That is about to end.

 

18.98. He said: This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the promise of my Lord cometh to pass, He will lay it low, for the promise of my Lord is true. 

18.99. And on that day we shall let some of them surge against others, and the Trumpet will be blown. Then We shall gather them together in one gathering. 

 

The barrier would be demolished during the last days. One group is gathered together at the First Resurrection when Christ comes back and the second group at the Second Resurrection as stated in Revelation 20:11-15 above.

 

Lamentations 3:22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; (ESV)

 

Joshua 23:14 And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed. (ESV)

 

1Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (ESV)

 

Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

 

Matthew 24:31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


1Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

 

18.100. On that day we shall present hell to the disbelievers, plain to view,

18.101. Those whose eyes were hoodwinked from My reminder, and who could not bear to hear.

 

They corrupted the sayings of the Prophet and perverted the Koran. That will end.

 

Jeremiah 5:21 Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.

 

Ezekiel 12:2 Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.


Mark 4:12 so that "they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven."


These are the ones who are consigned to the Second Resurrection to face corrective training to lead them to repentance.

 

18.102. Do the disbelievers reckon that they can choose My bondmen as protecting friends beside Me? Lo! We have prepared hell as a welcome for the disbelievers.

 

The bonded slaves of Allah cannot provide protection for disbelievers. They themselves look to God for their protection.

 

Psalm 91:1-2 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

 

18.103. Say: Shall We inform you who will be the greatest losers by their works? 

18.104. Those whose effort goeth astray in the life of the world, and yet they reckon that they do good work. 

18.105. Those are they who disbelieve in the Revelations of their Lord and in the meeting with Him. Therefore their works are vain, and on the Day of Resurrection We assign no weight to them. 
18.106. That is their reward: hell, because they disbelieved, and made a jest of Our Revelations and Our messengers.

 

Jeremiah 50:6 My people have become lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them toward the mountains. They go from mountain to hill. They have forgotten their resting place. (ISV)

 

Proverbs 21:16 One who wanders from the way of good sense will rest in the assembly of the dead.


Hosea 7:13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against me.


Malachi 2:8 But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts,


Matthew 7:22-23 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (ESV)

 

Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.


Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

 

18.107. Lo! those who believe and do good works, theirs are the Gardens of Paradise for welcome, 

18.108. Wherein they will abide, with no desire to be removed from thence.

 

See Revelation 20:6 above.

 

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

 

Psalm 58:11 Mankind will say, "Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth."

 

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

 

18.109. Say: Though the sea became ink for the Words of my Lord, verily the sea would be used up before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even though We brought the like thereof to help.

 

See Psalm 119:160 above.

 

Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.


Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.


Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (ESV)

 

18.110. Say: I am only a mortal like you. My Lord inspireth in me that your God is only One God. And whoever hopeth for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work, and make none sharer of the worship due unto his Lord.

 

See 2Timothy 3:16 and Galatians 6:9 above.

 

2Peter 1:20-21 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

 

2Samuel 23:2 The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue.


Ezekiel 1:3 The word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the LORD was upon him there.


Acts 3:18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.

 

Revelation 15:4 Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (ESV)

 

The warnings issued to the Arabs and those who hide in the smokescreen of the Hadith are at an end.  This is the last sequence of warning.

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