Category Archives: JUST ASKING / CURIOUS QUESTIONS

Can you explain Exodus 8:9, “Glory over me…?”

CAN YOU EXPLAIN EXODUS 8:9, “GLORY OVER ME…?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

Yes, indeed!

To gain the context, we begin Exodus chapter 8 at verse 1 and continue to the end of the pericope (passage): “[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. [2] And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: [3] And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: [4] And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.

“[5] And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. [6] And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. [7] And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt. [8] Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD. [9] And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only? [10] And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God. [11] And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only.

“[12] And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. [13] And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. [14] And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. [15] But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.”

Moses converses with Pharaoh about the LORD’S second judgment on Egypt. This plague of frogs is most disgusting, one of the 10 punishments for Egypt because its king relentlessly holds Israel hostage (really, it is Satan working through Pharaoh). Also, God is using these pestilences to judge the Egyptians’ gods (see Exodus 12:12; Numbers 33:4). We draw our attention to the phrase in question, Exodus 8:9: “And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?” In other words, “Pharaoh, you have the honor of deciding what time you prefer I pray to the LORD to take away the frogs.” The King of Egypt, not the LORD or Moses, has been given the power or privilege to determine just how long he wants to suffer this type of judgment. Pharaoh’s answer is verse 10, “To morrow.” In his stubborn pride, the king makes a poor decision. He is willing to let the plague continue just a bit longer before he considers releasing Israel. To wit, “I would rather tolerate these unpleasant frogs one more night before I think about submitting to the God of Israel!” Willful Pharaoh has no one to blame but himself for his misery. The Egyptians have no one to blame but their defiant monarch for their suffering.

Also see:
» Why did God kill the Egyptians’ firstborn sons?
» What is “the botch of Egypt?”
» Did Pharaoh drown in the Red Sea?

What does “pernicious” mean?

WHAT DOES “PERNICIOUS” MEAN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The Authorized Version uses “pernicious” only one time, in 2 Peter 2:2: “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” What does this word mean? By learning it, how can we better grasp end-times prophecy?

Whatever its definition, “pernicious” is definitely situated in a bad context: “[1] But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. [2] And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. [3] And through covetousness shall they with feigned [faked, pretend!] words make merchandise of you [take advantage of you for purposes of gain]: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

Although we could study all 22 chapters of the Revelation, or all 12 chapters of Daniel, or all 14 chapters of Zechariah, to gain a great deal of insight into what lies ahead for our planet; a quicker method would be to study the Olivet Discourse, the Lord Jesus’ end-times sermon delivered just prior to His crucifixion. It is recorded in Matthew chapters 24–25, Mark chapter 13, and Luke chapter 21.

Of particular interest to us in this study is what the Lord said about deception during the recommencement of the prophetic program (after our mystery program has ended):

  • Matthew chapter 24: “[4] And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many…. [11] And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many…. [23] Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. [24] For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. [25] Behold, I have told you before.”
  • Mark 13: “[5] And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: [6] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many…. [21] And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: [22] For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. [23] But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.”
  • Luke 21:8: “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.”

This deception is also featured in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12, particularly verses 9-12. While Jesus Christ is away at His Father’s right hand in Heaven—the period between His First Coming and Second Coming (but excluding our 2,000-year-long Age of Grace!)—“many” imposters will arise. All these men will claim to be Messiah or Christ, allowing apostate or unbelieving Israel a multiplicity of opportunities to follow someone other than Jesus the genuine Christ (cf. John 5:43). This mounting deception allows one ultimate Antichrist (fake Messiah) to take over Israel’s government.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (1 John 2:18). “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist(2 John 1:7). “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:1-4).

Having run through cross-references, we return to 2 Peter 2:1-3 and better understand the passage: “[1] But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. [2] And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. [3] And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” Basically, all these false prophets have one message: someone other than Jesus is Christ! Not only will many preach this blasphemy, many will be misled because of it. Such deception will cement the Antichrist’s power in Israel and his influence over the nation. His satanic religion will ensnare the multitudes, influencing even the nations (Revelation 13:3,7,14). It is here in 2 Peter that we come across that interesting term “pernicious.”

“Pernicious” is based on a Latin word that means “destructive,” itself derived from a term for “ruin,” itself related to a word meaning “death.” In English, it is defined as: “destructive or harmful, especially in a subtle or gradual way.” In the Greek New Testament, it is “apoleia,” 8 times rendered “perdition” (John 17:12; Philippians 1:28; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 6:9; Hebrews 10:39; 2 Peter 3:7; Revelation 17:8,11); five times “destruction” (Matthew 7:13; Romans 9:22; Philippians 3:19; 2 Peter 2:1; 2 Peter 3:16); two times “waste” (Matthew 26:8; Mark 14:4); once “damnable” (2 Peter 2:1); once “damnation” (2 Peter 2:1); once “die” (Acts 25:16); and once “perish” (Acts 8:20).

In fact, as you might have just noticed, “apoleia” is found four times in the three verses with which we opened our study: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable [“apoleia”] heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction [“apoleia”]. And many shall follow their pernicious [“apoleia”] ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation [“apoleia”] slumbereth not.” This is quite strong language! God does not appear to be happy with these people, does He?

The “pernicious ways” of unbelievers during the end times can be seen in Matthew 7:13, Acts 8:20, 1 Timothy 6:9, and Hebrews 10:39; their result is in 2 Peter 3:7,16; their doom, meeting the Lord Jesus Christ face-to-face as He returns in flaming fire to take vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)!

Also see:
» “In your patience possess ye your souls?”
» Does doctrine really matter?
» How do we identify false teachers?
» How many Bible teachers should someone have?
» What does “Anathema Maranatha” mean in 1 Corinthians 1
6:22?

What is a “sheepcote?”

WHAT IS A “SHEEPCOTE?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

We find three references to a “sheepcote” in the King James Bible:

  • 1 Samuel 24:3: “And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.”
  • 2 Samuel 7:8: “Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:….”
  • 1 Chronicles 17:7: “Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:….”

Of course, upon initial glance, we can surmise a “sheepcote” must have something to do with sheep and shepherds. Yet, what about the “cote” portion of this compound word? A “cote” is simply a shelter, small shed, or pen for mammals or birds. When you see “cote,” think “cottage” (they are actually related through Old English). Therefore, a “sheepcote” is just a place where sheep are kept (“sheepcote” is British English, the 1611 Bible being from England, remember). In other contexts, the Hebrew word for 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles (“nave”) is rendered “habitation,” “dwelling.” As for the 1 Samuel reference, that Hebrew term (“gedera”) is elsewhere handled as “wall,” hedge,” “folds” (that is, “enclosure”).

Also see:
» What is the “shambles?”
» What is a “charger?”
» What is a “battlement?”

What is a “maul?”

WHAT IS A “MAUL?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

The word “maul” is found a solitary time in our Authorized Version: “A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow” (Proverbs 25:18). From the context, we deduce “maul” has to be a sort of weapon—and we would be correct in that inference. In fact, it is a hammer or mallet, or a heavy club. Our English word is derived from the Latin “malleus” (“hammer”). We are more familiar with the verb form of “maul,” however, conveying the sense of “to bruise or injure with a rough beating.” In the case of the Proverbs passage, the idea is metaphorical, but still communicates a literal truth. A gossip—someone who spreads misleading information about another person—crushes like a maul/club, cuts like a sword, and pierces like an arrow. The overall concept is character assassination, great internal or emotional trauma inflicted on the unfortunate soul. A maul shatters, a sword chops, and an arrow punctures—all graphic illustrations of the consequences of lies told about another person.

Also see:
» Can you explain, “Standing against the blood of thy neighbour?”
» What is a “battlement?”
» What does “brutish” mean?

What are “benefactors?”

WHAT ARE “BENEFACTORS?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

On the night of Christ’s last Passover, the following exchange was held between Him and His disciples. Luke chapter 22: “[21] But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. [22] And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! [23] And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. [24] And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. [25] And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. [26] But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. [27] For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. [28] Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. [29] And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; [30] That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

The Lord Jesus’ words in verse 25 describe despots, bullies, or tyrants—people striving to be on top so they may dominate or oppress others. The Gentiles were idolatrous and under Satan’s control (Acts 14:15-16; Acts 17:29-30; Ephesians 2:2,11,12; Ephesians 4:17-19). Consequently, they were competing with each other to obtain the highest offices of government; in doing so, they would be at the center of attention, having the most influence over people (“exercise lordship”). Even today, such narcissists oft occupy political offices all around the world—including (sadly) church leadership positions!! The Lord Jesus knew such an attitude did not belong in His Father’s kingdom, so He sharply rebuked His disciples for their rivalry in Luke chapter 22. This was a recurring problem among them!!! See Matthew 18:1-6, Matthew 20:20-28, Mark 9:33-37, and Mark 10:35-45.

What made ancient authoritarians so hypocritical was they were styled “benefactors.” “Benefactors” is “euergetes,” taken from two Greek words: one is “eu” (“good”), the other is “ergon” (“work”). To wit, a “benefactor” is a “worker of good,” synonymous with “philanthropist.” It was a title of honor or flattery, a favorite name especially among the Greek kings of Egypt and Syria. Ironically, these so-called “benefactors”—that is, “doers of good” (HA!!)—were usually self-centered. “Benefactor” was actually a misnomer. Whatever “good” they did for their people, it was simply to advance their own political career and acquire more praises and loyalty from their subjects. Stated another way, it was a popularity contest… and the Lord spoke up because He absolutely refused to let His disciples behave so foolishly and sinfully.

Also see:
» Is it a truly good work if done for selfish reasons?
» Are the Christian life and ministry about bossing people around?
» What are some verses to help me stop focusing on myself?

Can you explain how Jesus “set his face” in Luke 9:51?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW JESUS “SET HIS FACE” IN LUKE 9:51?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Luke chapter 9 conveys these Divine words: “[51] And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, [52] And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. [53] And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.” The Lord Jesus has departed Galilee (northern Israel) bound for Jerusalem (southern Israel): He must therefore pass through Samaria (central Israel). He is looking toward Jerusalem out in the distance, having already made up His mind to establish it as His destination. The Samaritans are displeased with Him, thus refusing to lodge Him as He journeys southward (see our “Was Jesus Christ a dispensationalist during His earthly ministry?” study linked at the end of this article).

Just a short time prior in chapter 9, we read: “[20] He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. [21] And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; [22] Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day…. [30] And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: [31] Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease [departure, death] which he should accomplish at Jerusalem…. [43] And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, [44] Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. [45] But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.”

Verse 51 says Christ “stedfastly set his face.” That is, He is resolute or determined to go to Jerusalem, despite the impending danger of which He most assuredly is aware. Jerusalem is ultimately where He will be murdered—and He knows it. Yet, His earthly ministry has about six months left, so He must be about His Father’s business in teaching, preaching, and healing. In fact, Luke chapter 9 apparently overlaps with John chapter 7, the Lord going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This would be the autumn just prior to the spring (Feast of Passover) during which He will die. In Luke chapter 17, verse 11, we find Him on His final pilgrimage to Jerusalem (this is Passover).

Also see:
» Was Jesus Christ a dispensationalist during His earthly ministry?
» Why did Jesus offer Himself to Israel if He knew they would reject Him?
»  Did little boy Jesus know He was going to die?

What does “ruddy” mean?

WHAT DOES “RUDDY” MEAN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The King James Bible uses “ruddy” in four verses, which we now read before explaining any definitions:

  • 1 Samuel 16:12: “And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”
  • 1 Samuel 17:42: “And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.”
  • Song of Solomon 5:10: “My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.”
  • Lamentations 4:7: “Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:….”

Upon a cursory examination, we can gather “ruddy” concerns outward appearance. One clue is that it contributed to David’s good looks (see the two Samuel verses above). Another hint is in Lamentations, for “ruddy” is here linked to rubies. Of course, the very sound of the word removes any lingering doubts as to its meaning. “Ruddy” sounds like “red,” and, that is no coincidence, for “rud” is Old English for “red color.” Instead of a pale, white, or bluish complexion (as in a sickly or dying individual); a ruddy or rosy red face indicates health, or flowing red blood and sufficient oxygen supplied to skin cells. Of course, bright red is not desirable! As for David, the adjective may be descriptive of his hair color as opposed to skin color.

Also see:
» What is “the hoary head” in the Bible?
» Is it sinful for women to wear makeup?
» What is “shamefacedness?”

Can you explain “penury?”

CAN YOU EXPLAIN “PENURY?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

The term is used twice in the Authorized Version:

  • Proverbs 14:23: “In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.”
  • Luke 21:4: “For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”

By giving attendance to context clues, we gain a general sense of the definition of “penury.” In Proverbs, it is contrasted with “profit.” That is, one who works will obtain an income, but one who talks will suffer “penury.” (Can you guess what it is yet?) In the Luke passage, we have people with “abundance” distinguished from a woman of “penury.” (Surely, by now, you know its meaning!) This English word is derived from the Latin “penuria,” which is defined as “need, scarcity.” In other words, “penury” is extreme poverty.

The Hebrew word in Proverbs, “mahsor,” was elsewhere rendered—“poverty” (Proverbs 11:24), “poor” (Proverbs 21:17), and “lack” (Proverbs 28:27), among other translations. As touching the Greek term in Luke, “hysterema,” it was translated—“which was/is lacking” (1 Corinthians 16:17; 2 Corinthians 11:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:10), “want” (2 Corinthians 8:14; 2 Corinthians 9:12), and “which is behind” (Colossians 1:24), among other renderings.

Also see:
» “Ye have the poor always with you?”
» Who are the “poor” in Galatians 2:10?
» Must I tithe 10 percent of my income?

What does “gainsaying” mean?

WHAT DOES “GAINSAYING” MEAN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

“Gainsaying,” in three forms, occurs five times in a King James Bible:

  • Luke 21:15: “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”
  • Acts 10:29: “Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?”
  • Romans 10:21: “But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.”
  • Titus 1:9: “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”
  • Jude 11: “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”

When attempting to guess the meaning of “gainsaying,” we likely think of “gain” as in addition. However, we are incorrect here. Instead, the word can be traced back to the Old English “gean–,” which simply means “against.” Hence, “gainsaying” can be thought of as “against saying.” To wit, someone is speaking words to contradict what was previously stated. A person is setting forth an argument to dispute an earlier declaration. Other synonyms for “gainsaying” are naysaying, opposing, and denying.

In Luke’s case (see above), during the end times, God the Holy Spirit will endow Israel’s believing remnant with such supernatural wisdom that its enemies will be unable to refute (see Matthew 10:19-20; 1 John 2:20,27). For instance, Acts 4:14: “And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.” (“Say against” here is the same Greek word, “antepo,” as translated “gainsay” in Luke.)

As per Peter’s experience in Acts chapter 10 (see above), after receiving a vision with instructions to visit Gentile Cornelius, Peter went without argument. In Romans 10:21 (see above), God is commenting on unbelieving Israel’s attitude during the Acts period, a repeat of Isaiah 65:2: no matter what the Lord says to them, whether through Peter’s preaching or Paul’s preaching, apostate Israel debates and refuses to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Concerning Titus (see above), the bishop or pastor (church leader) is to be so grounded in sound Bible doctrine to the point he can successfully answer those who oppose it—even persuading them to see their error.

Finally, in Jude (see above), during the end times, unbelieving Israel under the Antichrist’s influence will deny God’s truth to the Jews, hearkening back to the days when Korah challenged God’s leaders Moses and Aaron (Numbers chapter 16). “Gainsaying” here is “antilogia,” rendered “contradiction” in Hebrews 7:7 and Hebrews 12:3.

Also see:
» What does “untoward” mean?
» What does “froward” mean?
» What does it mean, “Shake the dust…?”
» How long should I keep witnessing to the same person?
» Should the lack of worldwide revival in our dispensation discourage us from witnessing?

What are “prognosticators?”

WHAT ARE “PROGNOSTICATORS?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

Only once does the Authorized Version use the term “prognosticators,” in an ancient prophecy in Isaiah: “Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee” (47:13). The audience is Babylon (verses 1,5). JEHOVAH God is pronouncing His judgment on that evil city and the kingdom it heads. Historically, the prophecy was partially fulfilled in 536 B.C., when Persian King Cyrus the Great led the Medes and Persians to conquer Babylon (see Daniel 5:30-31). Prophetically, it awaits culmination at Christ’s Second Coming when the Lord Jesus destroys the Antichrist’s regime (Revelation chapters 17–18). See Babylon’s doom also described in Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51.

Babylon is personified as a goddess, boasting about how she is invincible, “the lady of kingdoms… I shall be a lady for ever” (Isaiah 47:5,7). The LORD speaks to her in quite graphic language: “[8] Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: [9] But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments. [10] For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. [11] Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. [12] Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. [13] Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. [14] Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. [15] Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee.”

Babylon has her idolatry, her religious leaders, and her “wise men” (verses 12-13). One of these groups is “monthly prognosticators,” the subject of our inquiry. These are simply fortunetellers (“prognosticator” is from the Greek “pro” [“before”] and “gnosis” [“knowledge”]). Babylon’s arrogance, her “strength,” is in her pagan belief system. Essentially, the LORD thunders out, “Let us see if your spiritual leaders, your prophets, can help you foresee what devastation I will bring upon you!”

Also see:
» Can you explain prophetic “burdens?”
» Why does Daniel 5:25 say “Upharsin” but Daniel 5:28 say “Peres?”
» Were there really three wise men?