God often spoke to Jerusalem (the “heart” of Judaism) as his bride to be. “14“Return, unfaithful people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband. I’ll take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I’ll bring you to Zion.” ~ Jeremiah 3:14 and the Hebrew word used for his Covenant was also the same word used for “Marriage Certificate”. Consider how Proverbs 2 contrasted the wise and foolish below~ ”
16To deliver you from the strange woman,
From the adulteress who flatters with her words;
17That leaves the companion of her youth
And forgets the covenant of her God;
The Proverbs concerning “Wisdom personified” were fulfilled by Jesus, whom God made to be Wisdom to us! (1 Cor.1:30) Jesus, also identified himself as “Wisdom”in Luke 7:35 & Matt.11:19.However, the foolish woman/harlot/adultress was the one who rejected God himself, Israel.
A DAY OF VISITATION ~
Jesus gave everything that a person (and God) could give to Jerusalem…and they despised him all the more for it. When the Gentiles finally cam to Zion, seeking the Lord; Jesus knew that the hour for him to return to the Father had arrived! (John 12:20-27)
Jesus knew the prophecies of Moses, Jacob, Jeremiah and the many other prophets that declared Israel would reject their very own God, which would result in their complete destruction. (Link to O.T. Prophecies of Israel’s Desolation)
He articulated this warning to the Disciples in Matt.24, Mark 13 and Luke 19,21 after many last-minute warnings to the religious Jews. (Especially in Matt.21-23)
41When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43“For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” ~ Luke 19
Jesus referred to their immediately coming destruction (fulfilled in 70 A.D.) because they did not recognize their time (kairos/appointed time) of visitation. This phrase “time of visitation” would have had significant meaning to the religious Jews because the Hebrew word “Visit” was first used in regards to Sarah conceiving Isaac.
“1The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. 2And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. 3Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.”
When the Lord Jesus visited Jerusalem as the Lord promised; it was time for her to conceive! However, Jerusalem became divided and “2 women” eventually “give birth”…
BORN OF SARAH OR HAGAR?
In the Letter to the Galatians, Paul was denouncing judaizers within the young church because they were trying to convince them to resort back to Old Covenant works instead of living justified by faith. In Galatians 3 Paul starts an allegory to compare Abraham,” the Father of Faith” to God the Father and Jesus, the “Chosen Seed of the Promise” to Isaac.
Abraham (Father of many nations) is parabolic of God the Father: Gal.3:7 &26 “7Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.” and…“26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Isaac (Later called Israel/ Prince of God) is parabolic of God the Son: Gal.3 “16Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.”
Remember the “Time of Visitation”? Watch how Gal.4:4 draws on this idea “4But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law…” This is where Paul starts to compare Sarah “Princess, Mother of Nations” to Holy Spirit. Because Holy Spirit had finally given birth to the Promised Seed. The Faith had come and his name is Jesus! Gal.3“23And before the coming of the faith, under law we were being kept, shut up to the faith about to be revealed”
Gal.4:22-24a “22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. (The Promise of God is the Holy Spirit) 24This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants:”
The Old Covenant (slavery) was the way of the LAW or “the way of man doing”. The New Covenant (liberty) is the way of the Holy Spirit or “God has done.”
Then Paul launches into one of the trickiest profound passages in the Epistles ~
one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.”
This is where Jerusalem is divide into 2 Women. Lower Jerusalem was the LAW/Mt.Sinai/Hagar and Higher Jerusalem is The Gospel/Mt.Zion/Sarah or Holy Spirit! We see this contrast prophesied throughout the Old Testament. On the one hand, She is promised destruction and on the other hand she is promised liberation!
Because the original use of “Visit” in Hebrew was good to Sarah but after the LAW the same word is primarily used for punishment! The first 14 times it is used in the context of “Taking care of, guarding, overseeing” but in Exodus 20, immediately upon God giving the LAW it began to be used also within a negative context. “Punishment, visit iniquity, numbered”
Because God visiting mankind outside of the context of the LAW is only good! However, this fulfillment of the Promised Seed of Faith brought great blessing to all who believe! Blessing or destruction? It’s not either or…it’s both/and.“Choose you this day whom you will serve.”
Then Paul relates the young Christians (whose persecution was about to intensify) to Sarah/Isaac being persecuted by Hagar/Ishmael.
28And we, brethren, as Isaac, are children of promise, 29but as then he who was born according to the flesh did persecute him according to the spirit, so also now;30but what saith the Writing? ‘Cast forth the maid-servant and her son, for the son of the maid-servant may not be heir with the son of the free-woman” Gal.4
He commends them to “cast out the LAW!” Gal.2:21 ~ “For if righteousness comes through the Law, Christ died for nothing.”
This Woman Hagar still existed though. Old Covenant LAW lingered on because she was cast out in the wilderness. Interestingly that verse was merely Paul quoting Sarah’s instructions to Abraham way back in Gen.21:10 and God himself told Abraham too listen to her .
Hagar means “Sojourner” which is one who wanders in the wilderness.The LAW/Judaism was cast out into the wilderness but she still had a place prepared for her by God in which she was given more time…
It’s from this thought that I will pick up in Revelation 12 to attempt to show how Hagar/Jerusalem from below became identified with the Harlot and Sarah/Jerusalem from above became identified with the Bride!