Bulls of Bashan and the Cross



Psalms 22:7-8

“All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.”

Psalms 22:12-13

“Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.”

Luke 23:35-36

“And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,

And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.”

I woke up early the other morning with the phrase “bulls of Bashan” in my head. Not sure why but I did already knew that it was referring to Psalms 22. I read some commentaries about it a few days ago and nothing jumped out at me. It was all info I already knew. Then, I’m reading Luke 23 about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. I came across verse 35 where it says the rulers ‘derided’ him. The word ‘derided’ is ‘ekmukterizo’. Below you can see where this Greek word comes from.


Original: ἐκμυκτερίζω

Transliteration: ekmukterizō

Phonetic: ek-mook-ter-id’-zo

Thayer Definition: to deride by turning up the nose, to sneer at, to scoff at

Origin: from G1537 and G3456


Original: μυκτηρίζω

Transliteration: muktērizō

Phonetic: mook-tay-rid’-zo

Thayer Definition: to turn up the nose or sneer at, to mock, deride

Origin: from a derivative of the base of G3455(meaning snout, as that whence lowing proceeds)


Original: μυκάομαι

Transliteration: mukaomai

Phonetic: moo-kah’-om-ahee

Thayer Definition: to low, bellow, properly of horned cattle, to roar, of a lion

Origin: “from a presumed derivative of muzo ( to “moo”)”

Interestingly enough it comes from ‘mukaomai’ – “to low, bellow, properly of horned cattle, to roar, of a lion”. We have two references to horned cattle (bulls) and lions when looking back at this prophetic Psalm that is talking about Jesus. The rulers derided Him like strong bulls of Bashan and were ravening and roaring lions. And when I looked at this Greek word ‘ekmukterizo’ in the Septuagint when translated from the Hebrew, it is the same word used in Psalm 22:7 as ‘scorn’. Interesting right.


Original: לעג

Transliteration: lâ‛ag

Phonetic: law-ag’

BDB Definition: to mock, deride, ridicule

So, how is this relevant for Christians today? Jesus said that we would suffer persecution because of Him and Paul adds that if we will live godly in Him, this is bound to happen. With that said….I would rather be one of the sheep surrounded by the bulls and lions, than be one of the roaring lions and bulls ‘mooing’ (deriding and mocking) one of the sheep!

Matthew 5:11

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

2 Timothy 3:11-12

Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

I’m far from a scholar but it goes to show you, that if you do enough digging, your bound to pull out a few nuggets. There is no doubt about it that Luke 23:35-36 was specifically talking about Psalm 22, verses 7-8 and 12-13.

The Seven Pointed Star

There is one country in particular that has a seven pointed star on their flag. Seven represents completeness or perfection in the Bible. What country has this star representing their nation? The nation of Jordan does. Why would Jordan have this star and what does it represent? You can see below that they have the colors from the four horses that represent the riders of the apocalypse on their flag.


The red triangle that faces the east represents the Hashemite Dynasty and the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire. The star represents the unity of the Arab people and the “seven points represent seven verses of the first surah in the Quran” or the seven hills that Amman, the capital was built upon.

Here is what the seven pointed star represents according to Wikipedia. “The Sigillum Dei (seal of God, or signum dei vivi, symbol of the living God, called by John Dee the Sigillum Dei Aemaeth) was a late Middle Ages magical diagram, composed of two circles, a pentagram, and three heptagons, and is labeled with the name of God and his angels. It was an amulet (amuletum) with the magical function that, according to one of the oldest sources (Liber iuratus), allowed the initiated magician to have power over all creatures except Archangels, but usually only reserved for those who can achieve the blessed vision of God and angels (beatific visionary).” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigillum_Dei)

sigillum dei 1 Sloane3188-john_dee

This symbol, “Sigillum Dei”, was associated in the middle ages with alchemy and witchcraft. It was known as the seal of God. Why would Jordan have this star on their flag?

The rapture …definetly not our blessed hope.

I have always had a serious problem with not only the “doctrine or belief” in a rapture (especially a pre or mid), but with the use of the Latin word itself. Especially when it is used by Christians in a sense of being ‘caught up’ to God before or at His Second Coming. I see it as most of the early Apostolic Church does…a bodily Resurrection of those who are alive at Jesus’ Second Coming. The modern day Church uses the word ‘rapture’ almost to the point that they are beating a dead horse. Let’s see why this term “rapture” is not our blessed hope.

Just for a second, let’s forget about escaping tribulation or your interpretation of what you think the timing of it is. The Latin word ‘rapture’ isn’t actually in the English Bible. The Bible was originally written in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). It was then translated into Latin for the Catholic Church. Now here is were the problem lies. Strong’s Concordance identifies ‘caught up’ from the Greek word ‘harpozo’ (ἁρπάζω). The original Greek doesn’t actually use ‘harpazo’ (ἁρπάζω), but instead Paul uses the word ‘harpagesometha’ (αρπαγησομεθα). Jerome translated  ‘harpagesometha’ (Second person future passive indicative) into the word ‘rapiemur’ (first-person plural future passive indicative) of rapiō, “we shall be snatched, we shall be grabbed, we shall be carried off”. It went from 2nd person to a 1st person plural?  But, but, but…isn’t rapture in Latin ‘rapturo’? No it isn’t. Most people will then say that all these words (in Latin) mean the same and it just refers to different tenses and phrasing of the words. Wrong again. Cell doesn’t mean sale doesn’t mean sail doesn’t mean sell now does it? Confused yet? Yeah, they want to make it seem like its not confusing and they are all the same words.

After Jeromes translation, then the 1800’s came around and brought this “rapture” back in full circle. This is the bad fruit that we are dealing with now. I personally believe that around the 1800’s something sinister started happening., not only with Christians but with those who were related to esoteric or occult beliefs. We have the likes of John Darby, Wescott and Hort and CI Schofield bringing in abdominal doctrines and Bible translations. My personal belief is that some in the ‘Church’ around that time were influenced by other “worldly” spirits. And there is substantial proof for these claims.

According to Google Books Ngram Viewer you can see the percentage of books that used certain words. Notice around 1800, the word ‘rapture’ started being used more and more for some unknown reason. Why would all of these men start using this word, in particular, when it had never (and I mean ever) been used prior to 1500? Look at the chart below and you can see exactly what I’m talking about.

the word rapture in books


So let’s look into what other linguists are saying about this Latin word translated to rapture. Here are a few interesting excerpts on the use of the word ‘rapture’ and where it comes from.

rapture and raptor are not only phonologically similar, they’re also etymologically related: both deriving from Latin rapt-, the past participial stem of rapere “to seize, to snatch, to carry off”. Also from Latin rapere are subreptitious “snatching under”, rapacious “(greedily) snatching (with the intent to eat)”, and rape (originally “carrying off”, then “carrying off, esp. with the intent of sexually despoiling”, later coming to refer specifically to “forced sexual intercourse”). Raptor in classical Latin meant “robber, thief”, which is its meaning also in early English, later on in English it can also mean “rapist”. From the 18th century, it was applied to “birds of prey”, whence its later extension to refer to a particular “dromaeosaurid dinosaur”, the Velociraptor “swift seizer”. Rapture, on the other hand, is not found in classical Latin, though it does appear in mediaeval Latin. The earliest citation the OED provides is from an 8th-century British text, in the form raptura, referring to “poaching”. Its use in English, however, originally is confined to the sense (attested from the 16th century) of “extreme joy, intense delight”. Though it was also used in the 17th and 18th centuries to refer to the “carrying off” or “rape” of women. And not until the 18th century does rapture acquire its Millenarial sense (associated with ideas originally advanced by the Puritans Increase and Cotton Mather in Massachusetts). The word rapture in this Millenarial philosophy apparently picks up on the Latin word rapiemur (from rapere, see above) used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 to refer to the faithful being “carried up” into the air (to meet Christ) in the Latin Vulgate.” (http://staefcraeft.blogspot.com/2011/05/rapture-now-with-more-harpies.html)

“The earliest English descendent of Saint Jerome’s rapere is rape — but already in the 14th century it had a distinctly negative connotation, which the OED glosses as “The act of taking something by force; esp. the seizure of property by violent means; robbery, plundering”; and by the 15th century it also and mainly meant “the act or crime, committed by a man, of forcing a woman to have sexual intercourse with him against her will”. So “the Rape of the Saints” was never a plausible candidate.” (http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3151)

We can see that the word rapture is related to words like raptor, rapacious and rape. All having negative meanings that don’t really fit well for Jesus coming back for those who are alive for the resurrection. But some still want to use this term when referring to this ‘blessed hope’. After seeing what connotations it has and where this word comes from, its not hard to understand why it has been used the way it has in the last 200 years. For all these years, the Roman Catholic church has been using men like Lacunza, Irving, Darby and Schofield to deceive and can I say, rape the Church of its solid foundations. They have replaced a ‘rap(e)ture’ with The Resurrection. For 200 years they have ‘raped’ the hearts and minds of Christians into believing a lie. Into believing that they would escape the things that were to come. Even if this ‘rapture’ (pre or mid) were true, could you honestly say that the modern church in America is more pious and deserving than Christians in the past who have suffered persecution, to be taken away by force to escape the Great Tribulation? I think not.

So after all of this now what? The Resurrection is our blessed hope, not some mystical ‘rapture’ that quite honestly doesn’t sound very appealing to me after reading all of this. Jesus comes to those as a thief because they are in darkness. We aren’t children of the night…so He wont come as a thief to us. 1st Thessalonians 4, when read in context talks about the Resurrection, just like 1st Corinthians 15. They are in fact one coin with two sides. The question that the Thessalonians had was this, “will those who are dead in Christ receive the same benefits as those who are alive at His Second Coming/Resurrection”? There was no question to about a secret rapture…just the Resurrection. This ‘harpagesometha’ will need to be a quick catching away when Jesus returns because all flesh will be in jeopardy. He will literally snatch us from the fire so to speak.

I’ll leave you with this thought. Knowing what you know now about the etymology of this translation for the word rapture, should a Christian even use it when talking about escaping 7 years before (or three and a half in some circles) the return of Jesus or even at His second coming? Is this how you want to see your blessed hope? Or do you wait for the bodily resurrection of the saints and the return of Jesus, our true blessed hope?

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” – 1st Thessalonians 5:2-6

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