HOLLAND -- ZEBULUM #2
A MEANING BEHIND ZEBULUN
In a dictionary or concordance, you will find the word Zebulun to mean dwelling, habitation, enclosure. However the Hebrew text can be translated and understood on different levels. There is a spiritual meaning, but also an "outer" and "inner" historical one. Then again there is a more material translation and even a counterfeit-translation of the word itself possible, showing what will happen if the high spiritual meaning within the word is not lived up to.
As to these deeper meanings of the words, the Hebrew word in itself is a magnificent creation and living up to it is far beyond us. A thorough study of Hebrew is necessary to receive back a different mentality. We in the modern western world have lost the inner meaning of words, let alone being guided by them. Every word nowadays must be clearly informative without a double meaning so that it can be fed into a computer. Not so in Hebrew. In good books there are no wrong translations of Hebrew either, only different levels that may not make sense if intermixed, which has often been the cause of theological wars.
However in this coming age of symbols, we shall have to rediscover the different levels of meaning of Biblical words and sentences and re-learn how to combine. We are quickly losing the ability of "playing upon words," for which the English language is still fitted best, and even the pun is nowadays seen as a lower from of wit. Not so in the Bible, in one word an entire story can be told.
This book is a first attempt to show what may be hidden in the word Zebulun and what is told about him. However every word may be elaborated on and you, dear reader, may still find other levels of interpretation, but you will have to study Hebrew to achieve it.
Take the word Zebulun in the meaning of dwelling-culture. As Dr. van Selms shows us, it also means "the elevated," the one who has been lifted up. This reminds him of the Lowlands' story, that the future Batavian chief Brinio, when born, was elevated on a shield to be shown.
It reminds me of the ancient custom by the Dutch, when Hollands' princes were elevated shortly after birth and shown to the people. Strange isn't it, that this seemed to be an old particularly Dutch custom, reminding us of the name Zebulun!
This is as it were a more spiritual meaning than the word "dwelling." On the other hand, following again Dr. van Selms in this, the counterfeit translation of the word is also revealing: Beelzebul the only combined meaning in which the word Zebulun is used, which became the symbol for the lord of the flies and the devil. (Matthew 10:25; 12:24-28)
However, it means literally "Lord of Zebulun" and as such used as "the Lord of the house or dwelling," or the household idol Baal. According to Dr. van Selms the word Zebulun (in Ugarit) may mean "sickness," and as such it is used by Jesus when the possessed are healed by him. He is driving out Beelzebul, who has caused the sickness. (Matthew 12:24-29).
(INTERESTING TO NOTE, SOMETIMES SICKNESSES ARE CAUSED BY SATAN. NOW THAT BRINGS IN THE QUESTION. IT MAY BE JUST A SIMPLE DEMONIC INFLUENCE OF PEOPLE HAVING A MIND-SET THAT LEADS TO UN-HEALTHY PRACTICES IN THEIR PHYSICAL LIFE, WHICH THEN PRODUCE SICKNESS. OF COURSE THERE IS DEMON POSSESSION BUT THAT HAS TO BE CAREFUL NOT MISS-UNDERSTOOD WITH PHYSICAL ABNORMALITIES OF THE BRAIN AND IMBALANCE OF OUR CHEMICAL STRUCTURE - Keith Hunt)
If therefore we see a strange parallel between Zebulun and Dutch dwelling-culture, between Holland and Zebulun, we should not be too much given to laudations that this small nation are all of Israel. Who can judge? Individually and nationally is a question of who is entering as the Lord of the House, the one who causes sickness, polluted air, water and unclean thinking (new morals) in our homes, or the one who brings the true Light, whose feet walked upon the territory of Zebulun.
Revelation 7:8 speaks of a future when twelve thousand Zebulunites, who will be sealed on their forehead, because they did not bow their head to Baal, will escape the plagues. Is this to be taken in a merely symbolical sense or in a more literal one, too gruesome to think of? or are the "12,000" the leaders being gathered out of Zebulun first? Who is going into his inner dwelling to welcome the Light? By cleaning the house and by a new birth we will be elevated as princes of Israel. That is the high calling of "Hollands Binnenhuis," the Dutch interior.
"Of the continental peoples, the Dutch are most like the British. They are optimistic, share a liking for quiet off-beat humor, and are friendly and reserved as the mood takes them. Their lives revolve around their comfortable homes, for the Dutch believe houses are built to be made into homes. They will be quick to point out that they were the people who invented the idea at a time when the rest of the world seemed content with four walls, a roof, a handkerchief sized window for light and air. They could be right, for in the 17th century architects from all over Europe went to Holland to copy domestic architecture." (Collins - Tourist guide, London '68, page 8)
Indeed the Dutch have been famous for their interiors throughout the ages, claiming to have invented decoration. Famous Dutch paintings of the 16th-17th centuries show "Hollands Binnenhuis" and its unique atmosphere, of which the highly emancipated Dutch woman was the vital centre, as many a foreigner in those days has described. Rembrandt, Pieter de Hoogh, Vermeer painted rich Dutch family scenes and interiors with light streaming through stained glass windows coloring the white and black tiles, the decorated walls, carved oak, beautiful china, copper utensils and magnificent arrangements of flowers, step gabled houses with winding staircases (a Dutch invention) along clean Dutch canals. Dutch family dwellings were later imitated by other countries — Denmark, South Africa and the early settlers in America.
And not only in the past! The Dutch are even now renowned for their home making. They like large windows, open curtains at night, which surprises the tourist, showing lots of lamps and lights (advertising Philips light bulbs!) Going through Holland by train at night gives the traveller an impression of homeliness and life in the Dutch dwellings different from Belgium, France and Other European countries.
It is an established fact that the Dutch spend their spare time not so much in pubs, cafes and coffee houses but in their homes. Children do their home work at home, they hardly ever go to boarding schools. Businessmen, politicians take their files home with them to work on in the evening. Television is in almost every Dutch home, and here I have to strike a discordant note: Dutch family life nowadays and Dutch mentality are at present more influenced by television programs than those of any other nationality. This also means that the "Lord of the Home" may enter through the TV set. For better for worse. There is a lot of unclean thinking going on in Dutch homes nowadays and Holland is already "famous" for its rapid increase in new sex-relationships practised within the cosy intimacy of small family circles and home parties. Dutch dwelling-culture, also in an advanced state of degeneration, tends to making the homes divided against themselves. Enclosure, in what?! And yet, the enclosed, fenced in house, with a garden or "hof" is so typically Dutch and a mark of Zebulun.
(REMEMBER THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN IN 1984 - Keith Hunt)
The Dutch have to build "elevated houses." Their houses are all built on sand, clay and mud, as there is not rock underneath Holland's soil. So they have to be built on piles. The entire city of Amsterdam has been built on piles: an elevated city with a Dutch-ancient dwelling-culture, and of contrast, still below sea level.
As one of the examples of "Dwelling-culture,'' which is advancing and becoming an example for the rest of the world too, is the fact that almost every Dutch town or village has its preservation society for the conservation of their architectural beauty. Moreover there are many national Trusts and Societies, who are doing great work guarding entire towns and villages against demolition.
INTRODUCING THE BLESSINGS FOR ZEBULUN
The so-called Blessings in the Bible are given to the twelve tribes of Israel on several occasions. They are some sort of predictions or prophecies concerning the tribe and one would nowadays call them a character-analysis of talents, which, if lived up to its high calling, will bear fruit, and which according to Jacob, Moses and Deborah, who utter them will be blessed. However there seems to be the condition: to live according to the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob (Israel) (Gen. 49:13) and to the law commanded by Moses. (Deuteronomy 33: 4)
It seems to me that these blessings provide a strange parallel with peoples within; the "lost ten tribes," now among the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic nations, if they, although blind to their own identity, have, at least, tried to live up to Christian standards. However I believe we have seen, that the blessings given to a certain tribe (of which we see a parallel in our modern times) may become if reversed, a special curse, a self willed curse, if they do not live up to their high special calling. I shall give you examples in the next chapters, in which the curse may sometimes be more obvious than the blessing, as the good does not boast, while the evil makes a noise.
There are three "circles" of blessings around each tribe. When you throw a stone in the water it gives different ripples. Compare the name of the tribe with a stone (which in a double sense one may do), then the first strong ripple around it is Jacob's blessing to the son himself. The second ripple describes a wider circle: Moses giving his blessing to the tribe of Israel, while the third ripple around the stone seems to comprise a still wider circle: the children of the tribe. As regards Zebulun we are dealing here with the following blessings:
1) Jacob's blessing:
Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea. He shall be (for) an haven of ships and his border shall be unto Zidon. Genesis 49:13
2) Moses' blessing:
Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out. They shall call the people unto the mountain, there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness, for they shall such of the abundances of the seas and of the treasures hid in the sand.
Deuteronomy 33 :18-19
3) Deborah's blessing:
Zebulun wielding the writer's pen, a people that risked their lives unto death.
Judges 5 :14
These blessings are our central theme, completed with:
4) Isaiah's prophecy:
He lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun by way of the sea, but afterwards brought honor, (by way of the sea) The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. Isaiah 9:1,2
5) First Fulfillment:
(in the land of Zebulun) to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up. Matthew 4:13, 15-16
6) Revelation to John:
Hurt not the earth, neither the sea nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. Of the tribe of Zabulun were sealed twelve thousand. Revelation 7: 3, 8
Can you see a movement in time, as a stone making ripples in the water makes a wider and wider circle towards the end of times?
I see another comparison and I would like you to reflect upon it: The most important and, central point is the birth of a word, a name, in our case Zebulun. It is the Ego of each son of Israel. To me Jacob's blessing principally concerns the future status, the tribe to be, the father foresees their Higher being, how they will be blessed by their innate character.
The second blessing, four hundred years later, when Moses is standing before the Promised Land is to the tribe of 57,400 grown up "warriors," (apart from their households) a full grown tribe of Zebulun, and these blessings are characteristic of what the tribe will be doing, their achievements, their way of working by which the tribe may be identified by others in that future.
The third blessing is in the Promised Land and uttered by a woman, the prophetic judge Deborah. Her blessing is more in the nature of an "epitheton ornans," an honored title, being their prophetically given task to serve or spiritual part of fortune within the Kingdom of Israel.
In all these three instances the blessing to Zebulun is within the wider scopes of the blessings to all the twelve.
The prophet Isaiah however is speaking about the land of Zebulun, or that part of the earth on which it will become visible. In his days the tribe was already in exile as we shall see. It is the earthern vessel.
What I endeavour to show you now is that Zebulun and its ripples of blessings, has a strange parallel with Holland, its blessings, (and their possible reversals) i.e its characteristic being, its renown for what it is doing, its best talents, and its low land.
TO BE CONTINUED