Yosemite National Park has been decimated by fire in the summer of 2013.

“The sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”
– Isaiah 9:10

More than 2,700 years ago, these prophetically significant words were uttered in ancient Israel – bringing upon the Northern Kingdom a curse of destruction.

And they are once again being uttered today in Israel by some who, apparently oblivious to the context of that verse, made famous in America by messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn in his bestselling book, “The Harbinger” and No. 1 bestselling faith movie, “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” cite it as an opportunity to raise money for the replacement of the Jewish state’s burned out forests.

Fires have been raging from north to south in Israel because of a heat wave, with several precious forested areas burned in Israel since April. The northern biblical cities of Megiddo, Mount Carmel and Tiberias, Haifa and Acre are among the victimized areas – including some of the very scenes of the destruction of 722 BC. The hot and dry conditions fueling these fires are not unusual, but the duration of this environment is surprising the Israeli Meteorological Service. The severity of the heat is also shocking experts – temperatures in April reached the highest levels recorded in 130 years.

The all but continuous infernos are causing chaos throughout the Jewish state – even the purity of the water in some communities has been jeopardized.

There is also a deep spiritual significance to the events, as many of the trees now aflame were planted by the Jewish people when they returned to their ancestral homeland. Rabbi Tuly Weisz, founder of the pro-Israel website Israel365.com, argued trees in the Holy Land represent nothing less than God’s prophecies being fulfilled. For that reason, the site is currently sponsoring a tree-planting campaign to replace the fallen trees, urging donors to fulfill “Ezekiel’s prophecy” as laid out in Ezekiel 36:35 – “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden.”

The film that is transforming hearts around the world. Discover “The Harbinger Man” and the works of Jonathan Cahn. Available now at the WND Superstore.

However, prophecy is a double-edged sword. The organization is also using another biblical verse to encourage donations – Isaiah 9:10. The latter half of this verse is quoted by the organiation as reading, “The sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” The implication is forests which were destroyed will be replaced, albeit with a different kind of tree.

IsraelTrees

Yet this misunderstood verse is not meant to be an optimistic statement of encouragement, nor a prophecy to be fulfilled by God. Rather, it was a demonstration of defiance of God by the leaders of ancient Israel.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn finds it remarkable – and ominous.

“Amazing that this verse should come now – and in Israel,” said Cahn. “Isaiah 9:10 is one of the most obscure verses in the Bible. Most Bible students had little idea it existed – or at least before ‘The Harbinger’ came out.”

Cahn said the significance of this relatively obscure verse being used in Israel cannot be overemphasized.

“It’s a verse concerning God’s judgment upon a nation,” he said. “It was the verse that Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle proclaimed from Capitol Hill, the day after 9/11. It was the verse that Sen. John Edwards, running for vice president, proclaimed on the anniversary of September 11 in 2004. And it’s the same verse that Barack Obama has proclaimed in one form or another throughout his presidency.”

In Cahn’s book and movie about America facing judgment in the aftermath of 9/11, U.S. leaders – from Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to Sen. John Edwards – were shown to have cited the verse from Isaiah, obviously not comprehending the context.

Likewise, that error was inexplicably repeated by American leaders in many forms after the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, Cahn revealed.

“What’s particularly striking is that the verse in its original context has to do with the trees of Israel being struck down and then replanted,” said Cahn. “Now we have a report concerning the same land, the land of Isaiah 9:10 and concerning the same native trees of Isaiah 9:10 – and a proclamation to do the exact same thing in the same place where Isaiah 9:10 was first fulfilled. Of course those making the proclamation have no more idea as to the meaning of their proclamation than did Tom Daschle, John Edwards or Barack Obama. That makes it all the more striking.”

Joseph Farah, producer of “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” had this to add: “The words of Isaiah 9:10 are not words man should be attempting to fulfill. Isaiah 9:10 was a message of warning from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to repent of sin and turn back to Him. It was a mistake when those words were uttered by the leadership of ancient Israel – words that led to its judgment and destruction.”

Rabbi Cahn warned the resurfacing of this verse is an important development to both Americans and Israelis. Indeed, the messianic rabbi argued it could be a sign.

“Since ‘The Harbinger’ came out, America has followed in the same biblical template of judgment as did ancient Israel in its last days before destruction,” Cahn intoned. “If anything we have only accelerated our departure from God and our defiance in the midst of that departure.

“So the fact that now a proclamation comes out of the land of Isaiah 9:10 saying, ‘Now is the time to fulfill the word of Isaiah 9:10. …’ is, in, itself most striking and potentially ominous. Could that in and of itself now be a sign to us?”

Interestingly, Cahn points out, a few verses later in Isaiah 9:18-19, there is an allusion to forest fires in Israel: “For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.”

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