BATTLING THE BEAST
© 2008 John H Mattox

"And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon. And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honor thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and spy it out, and to overthrow it? Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one-half of their beards and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. When they told it to David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said. Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return. And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob, and the Syrians of Zoba twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ishtob twelve thousand men. And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the hosts of the mighty men. And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ishtob, and Maacah were by themselves in the field. When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians: And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon."
II Samuel 10:1-10.
 
"And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city. And Joab sent messengers to David and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters. Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it: lest I take the city, and it be called after my name. And David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah and fought against it, and took it. And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight where of was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance. And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem."
I Samuel 12: 26-31.

 
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Battling The Beast (cont)

    In these passages of Scripture seem to be pictured prophetically the rise, reign and ruination of him whom the Scriptures call the Beast, the Man of Sin, the Antichrist, etc. This awesome being is represented by Hanun, son of Nahash, king of Ammon. The name Nahash, means serpent and Ammon means people. Thus Hanun was the seed of the serpent and king of the people. Compare these facts with the account of the rise of the Beast in Revelation 13. It seems obvious that this Beast is an incarnation of Satan, the dragon, the old serpent, or in other words, the seed of the serpent. It is further revealed in this chapter that the Beast is to be king of the people of the earth:

"And power was given him over all kindreds and tongues, and nations."
Rev. 13:7.

    The name Hanun itself, or Chanun, as it is properly spelled, means favored or graced. It might seem, at first, incredible that one who typifies the Beast could bear such a name, but there is actually nothing incongruous about the matter. For it is plain that the Beast himself will be the recipient of the grace of God to the extent that the permissive will of God will allow him to become a world-wide ruler. The Scriptures tell us that the powers that be are ordained of God; and since this is the case, the Beast will owe his rapid advancement and accumulation of power to the unmerited grace of God who will allow him to exalt himself that his downfall may be all the more glorifying to God. Notice also that the cause of contention between Hanun and David (type of the greater David, his son after the flesh) was Hanun's mistreatment of David's servants. Many passages of Scripture indicate that the last part of the seven-year reign of the Beast will be the time of Jacob's trouble. It is referred to as The Great Tribulation, and it appears that this tribulation will apply primarily to the Jews and those who have turned to Christ during that period. It is further worthy of note that Hanun's capital city was Rabbah, which is called by Joab, "the city of waters." Rabbah means the great (city) and appears to represent that great city spoken of in Rev. 17 and 18, which is called Babylon the great, and is said to sit upon many waters. See Revelation 17:1.
    In his battle against David, Hanun was assisted by those of the heights or high places. Syria in Hebrew is Aram, which means height or high place. Even so, the Beast will have all of the power of the dragon, prince of the power of the air, at his disposal. David's forces, on the other hand, were led by Joab, assisted by his brother Abishai. We have already seen that David is a type of Christ, and according to their names, so are Joab and Abishai. Joab means whose father is Jehovah. He was David's chief captain; and therefore pictures Christ in his role of military leader and conqueror at his second coming as described in Revelation 19:11-16. Abishai means gift of the father. He was one of David's mighty men and on several occasions he demonstrated his personal might. He pictures Christ as the gift of John 3:16 and as the one who is characterized by personal might and courage. The battle was authorized by and in the name of David as King. He, of course, pictures Christ in his Kingly authority. In these three men, then, we have a composite, threefold picture of Christ. He is seen as the one whose father is Jehovah, who is the father's gift to the world, and as the beloved one (the meaning of David). He is also pictured by these three men as a military leader of great personal might and invested with kingly authority.
 
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Battling The Beast (cont)

    The city of Rabbah, the great city of waters was subjugated by the military commander, Joab, and made to surrender to David, the King. David then became King of Ammon (the people). The people who had mistreated David's servants were then brought forth and subjected to the severest of punishments. They were cut with saws and axes of iron as though they were worthless or corrupt trees that must needs be cut down. Compare the words of John, the Baptist:

"And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire."
Matt. 3:10.

   Also, David put them under harrows of iron which were actually threshing sledges (chariots) so that they were dealt with as sheaves on the threshing floor. And as the chaff, or worthless product of the threshing floor, is cast into the fire, so the people were made to pass through the brick kiln, or place of burning. Again, compare the words of John, the Baptist,

"Whose fan (lit. winnowing fork) is in his hand and he will thoroughly purge (thoroughly cleanse) his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Matt. 3: 12.

In this connection see also Joel 3:9-14:

"Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles. Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down 0 LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great: Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision."

The Hebrew word translated decision is translated threshing sledge in other Scriptures and the context shows that this is the intended meaning here. The entire passage deals with the coming judgment of the nations under the symbolism of the winepress and the threshing-floor.

John H Mattox

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