(This article is a work in progress. It will be completed as time permits, but for Sabbath readers who want a start (given its long length), here goes . . . The final product will be edited, so again consider this a work in progress.)
People seem to search in vain for a unifying theme of history. But the golden thread of Providence has skillfully woven its strand into the fabric of salvific and secular history in something as simple as a name.
From a survey of popular internet sources I have compiled the following composite of the usages of the name Amber.
I. THE ANCIENT PROVENANCE OF AMBER
MEANING OF "AMBER"
Originally, Amber was an Arabic word for a semiprecious gem because of its yellow-brown, golden color. In Arabic it means "precious jewel" or "precious jewel of heaven". The latter sense of a heavenly origin is also alluded to in the Hindi, where the name, derived from Sanskrit, means "the sky", perhaps due to the golden tint of the sun or the moon under certain conditions. The male version Amber in Latin is Lamberto, meaning "wealthy in land, brilliant".
The ordinarily feminine name Amber is "[f]rom the English word amber that denotes either the gemstone, which is formed from fossil resin, or the orange-yellow colour. The word ultimately derives from Arabic عنبر ('anbar). It began to be used as a given name in the late 19th century, but it only became popular after the release of Kathleen Winsor's novel 'Forever Amber' (1944)."
"Amber" first entered the popular names chart in 1945.
"The Greek name for amber was ηλεκτρον (Electron) and was connected to the Sun God, one of whose titles was Elector or the Awakener. It is discussed by Theophrastus, possibly the first ever mention of the material, and in the 4th century BC. The modern term electron was coined in 1891 by the Irish physicist George Stoney, using the Greek word for amber (and which was then translated as electrum) because of its electrostatic properties . . ."
"Heating amber will soften it and eventually it will burn, which is why in Germanic languages the word for amber is a literal translation of burn-Stone . . ."
There is much more on the history of the word "Amber" in "Amber: Golden Gem of the Ages" by Patty C. Rice.
Such are some of the interesting facts associated with the name Amber.
BIBLICAL SURVEY OF "AMBER"
"Amber" appears to be the name of the female messiah in Ezekiel 1:4. Allusions to amber appear throughout Scripture and are related to the characteristics and warm honey shade of color associated with the resin gem.
THE MESSIAH IN JONAH. Remember the story of Jonah and the Whale?
The story appears so fantastical to modern readers; i.e., that a prophet is swallowed by a whale and vomited upon dry land. But reread Jonah in view of the following facts:
"Amber is the English name for a semi-precious gem formed from fossilized tree resin, and is also used to describe the gem's tawny golden color. It comes from the Arabic term anbar, which refers not only to the gem, but also to ambergris, a similarly colored and similarly precious substance produced in the intestines of whales and used as a perfume fixative."
Perhaps the story of Jonah and the Whale is a prophetic marker; i.e., a clue regarding something or someone bigger to come. I believe Jonah is a type of a messianic figure, the consummation upon whom our hope as Jews depends. I have written an article regarding this messiah's arrival and leadership:
"Lessons in Zionism from the Book of Jonah",
MANNA FROM HEAVEN. The children of Israel ate manna forty years during their wilderness wanderings until they reached the borders of the Promised Land (Exodus 16:35). There appears to be two accounts regarding manna, possibly suggesting two separate kinds of manna distinguishable by their color.
We read about the two mannas in Exodus 16:31 and Numbers 11:7. The color of the former is statedly white, while the latter, given two years later is the color of bdellium. Bdellium is an aromatic gum resin similar to myrrh and is yellowish to reddish brown in color.
The New Testament in John 6:31ff alludes to manna when He asserts that He Himself is the true Bread of Life. Jesus referred to His vicegerent; i.e., His successor of the Dual Messiahs, as the "hidden manna" (Revelation 2:17).
The correlation between the Dual Messiahs, like the colors of manna, is carried over into the conditions of the Promised Land, which is described as a land flowing with milk and honey (Numbers 14:8).
HONEY. Honey is used extensively as a metaphor throughout Scripture, beginning from Genesis and to the closing Revelation. It's first use in Genesis 43:11 guides us regarding its overall meaning: "And their father Israel said unto them, If [it must be] so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds". Honey was gifted by the Father Israel to the Patriarch Joseph. Joseph is a type of the second of the Dual Messiahs.
THE PROMISED LAND. In Deuteronomy 32:8-14, we read:
 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
 For the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
 So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.
 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;
 Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.
AMBER AND HEALING
The Bible mentions a balm from the rocky region of Gilead. Balm was traded among the nations as a source of healing. This biblical balm is a salve distilled from a tree or fruit growing in Gilead, used for the healing of wounds. Balm is contracted from balsam, an oily or resinous substance that flows from a tree or plant when an incision is made through the bark. Amber also originated as a sappy resin before in time it fossilized into and developed the properties of the gem familiar to us.
With the exception of its association with the Patriarch Joseph, a complete survey of biblical passages on balm show that it applies only to women. This survey, together with numerous other strands of biblical evidence, seems to suggest that the spirit of Joseph would be reborn in a Latter Days woman, who would, like Joseph, be instrumental in saving the Jews during a time of trouble.
THE ARAB CONNECTION
Although himself a Hebrew, the life of the Patriarch Joseph is inextricably linked to the Arab race. Joseph is the real-life prototype of latter of the two Dual Messiahs, Moshiach ben David and Moshiach ben Joseph.
In Genesis 37:25 we read, "And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry [it] down to Egypt.
Judah proposed selling his brother into slavery rather than slaying him. Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites; i.e., the modern Arabs; and thus was taken into Egypt. It is ironic that from the first, Judah, the name from which we derive the word Jew; has been associated with merchandizing (Ezekiel 27:17). This is both a strength and a weakness.
THE WOUNDED HEALER
It is well known in popular religious tradition and song that the Balm of Gilead is messianic. Ordinarily, it is applied to Jesus Christ. However, in Dual Messiah theology, it has a second application. Insofar as the Moshiach ben Joseph appears to be a suffering woman, a suffering man treated as a woman, or a blended-sex individual, these mysterious passages of Scripture are now explicable:
"Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: [Is] not the LORD in Zion? [is] not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, [and] with strange vanities? The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. [Is there] no balm in Gilead; [is there] no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" (Jeremiah 8:19-22).
"And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself" (Luke 4:23).
Over the slow span of Oriental history in the Near East, the hand of Providence may be detected as guiding events in a circuitous manner so as to enlarge the tent of salvation to include not the Jews alone, but also the Arabs. "There is an Arab tradition that the tree yielding this balm was brought by the queen of Sheba as a present to Solomon, and that he planted it in his gardens at Jericho." -- Easton's Bible Dictionary
A BALM FOR THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS
Even here in the New World we find the notion of healing associated with "amber". "There are legends in Mexico that mention the use of amber . . . for stress reduction as a natural remedy." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amber). Mostly, however, our attention is drawn eastward, for it is from Jerusalem in these Last Days that the law will go forth (Micah 4:2). Do we not see ONE unified tree with dual roots spanning the Jordan River? Do we not here read about a two-state solution of the Middle East Conflict: "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations" (Revelation 22:2).
A DEADLY WOUND
As stated, "balm" is used as a healing agent ONLY in relation to women. The connection with this study is in part based upon the word associations found in Genesis 43:11, "And their father Israel said unto them, If [it must be] so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man [Joseph] a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds". Of course any line of biblical evidence, if credible, must be supported by other lines of confirming evidence.
"A little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds". Balm and honey in life; spices and myrrh in death; and, nuts and almonds in celebration of the return to life. Perhaps the association of these symbolic articles with life, death, and resurrection is better illustrated in the alternative word "balsam" discussed as follows:
"There is another Hebrew word, basam or bosem, from which our word 'balsam,' as well as the corresponding Greek balsamon, is derived. It is rendered 'spice' (Sgs 5:1,13; 6:2; margin of Revised Version, 'balsam'; Exd 35:28; 1Ki 10:10), and denotes fragrance in general. Basam also denotes the true balsam-plant, a native of South Arabia (Cant. l.c.)." -- Easton's Bible Dictionary.
When a theology of Dual Messiahs is applied to the Canticles, or Song of Songs (of Solomon), the devotion between the male and female messiahs is apparent as most closely resembling the emotional intensity found between spouses.
In Songs 5:1, 16 we find spouse and intimate friend used interchangeably: "I am come into my garden, my sister, [my] spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved. . . . His mouth [is] most sweet: yea, he [is] altogether lovely. This [is] my beloved, and this [is] my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."
In Songs 6:1, 2 we read, "Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee. My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies." This appears to be an account of the anointing of the first of the Dual Messiahs, Jesus Christ, for His burial. We are told that He goes to His death in order to feed and gather. His departure is followed by the successful outcome of His feeding and gathering, the rise to power of the heroine lover of the Song of Songs, the Shulamite.
The work of the Shulamite is illustrated in the meaning of her title, which means "the perfect" or "the peaceful". In verses 9-13 we read:
 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?
 I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.
 Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.
 Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.
The Shulamite achieves the perfect peace of Jerusalem through a "company of two armies".
THE DEADLY WOUND OF THE SUFFERING SERVANT
The notion of a suffering female savior needing a healing balm is consistently carried over into the Apocalypse, where we read, "And the beast which I saw was like to a leopardESS, . . . and one of his heads [was] as slain to death, and his wound of death had been healed: and the whole earth wondered after the beast" (Rev 13:2, 3, Darby's Translation, emphasis mine).
Jonah likewise suffered his own deadly head wound, perhaps as a providential foreshadow of the Good Antichrist in Revelation: "And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made [it] to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd" (Jonah 4:6).
Is the health of the agent the reason for the pattern of his or her reluctance to engage in God's will?
In our survey, the key word "honey" is usually associated with a reluctant or rebellious actor. (I have already discussed the prophet Jonah, in his relation to "amber" or "ambergris".) Now we turn to Samson and Jonathan.
SAMSON. Samson was miraculously raised up, from birth, for the purpose of begin liberating Israel from its enemy, the Philistines. The word "honey" has an unusual place in this narrative. It is found in the carcase of the lion slain by Samson (Judges 14:8).
Honey is the object of both a riddle and a bet. The repetition of 30 (Judges 14:11ff) reminds us of the price paid to Judas Iscariot (Matthew 26:15), who waged that he could force the hand of God to establish His earthly kingdom by orchestrating a crisis; i.e., the arrest of God's Son, Jesus Christ.
The fact that honey is the object of a riddle should lead us to inquire whether there is a prophetic significance involved. This is the riddle: "Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness" (Judges 14:14). Samson INTERPRETS HONEY AS STRENGTH; i.e., the royal strength of the lion. This may have a bearing upon our understanding of other passages, such as the messianic reference in Isaiah 53:11, 12, "He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death".
Recall that after the Fall of Adam, Satan acquired the royal title to the world. The Apostle John calls Satan the Prince of this world (John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11). The Apostle Peter likens Satan to a royal lion: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). It is reasonable to conclude from a simple comparison of these passages that the messiah whom Samson prefigured is entrusted with the task of defeating Satan, the enemy behind the enemies of Israel. While Satan was defeated by Jesus, this defeat was partial and will not be completed until the Good Antichrist binds and imprisons Satan (Revelation 20:1-3).
Like Samson drawing strength from the honey found in the carcass of the lion, the Good Antichrist is strengthened by Satan's defeat.
SAMSON'S DEADLY HEAD WOUND. Like Jonah and the Good Antichrist in Revelation 13, Samson symbolically receives his own deadly head wound. In Judges 16:15-19 we read, "[Delilah] said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart [is] not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength [lieth]. And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, [so] that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I [have been] a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any [other] man. . . . And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him."
Delilah evidently withheld from the Philistines the secret of Samson's strength because after he was taken we read in verse 22, "Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven".
Like the Good Antichrist in Revelation 9:11, Samson was known as the destroyer because he protected Israel from its enemies (Judges 16:24). The similarities between the Good Antichrist and Samson are so striking as to be unavoidable. Like Samson's seven locks of hair, the Good Antichrist has seven heads. John the Revelator wrote, "I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads . . ." (Revelation 13:1).
The interpretation of the seven heads is given in Revelation 17:7ff as Rome and its Caesars. From a political point of view, like the regrowth of Samson's source of strength, his hair; the healing of the deadly wound is the resurrection of Rome and its Nero Caesar. See "Giving Power and Strength to the Good Antichrist (Revelation 17)",
THE SECRET NAME. When the Angel of the Lord announced to Manoah, the father of Samson, that he would have a son, Manoah asked for the angel's name. The angel replied, "Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it [is] secret?" (Judges 13:18). Afterward in verse 20 we are told, "For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on [it], and fell on their faces to the ground".
This account reminds us of the Hebrew Hashmal in Ezekiel 1:4, which in English is rendered "Amber" and appears to be the name of the female messiah.
Regarding Hashmal, Joshua Abelson on pages 27 and 28 of "Jewish Mysticism" writes:
"This insistence upon a high level of moral and religious fitness as the indispensable prelude to a knowledge of the Merkabah has its counterpart in the mysticism of all religions. The organic life, the self, conscious and unconscious, must be moulded and developed in certain ways ; there must be an education, moral, physical, emotional ; a psychological adjustment, by stages, of the mental states which go to the make-up of the full mystic consciousness. As Evelyn Underhill (Mysticism, p. 107) says : 'Mysticism shows itself not merely as an attitude of mind and heart, but as a form of organic life. ... It is a remaking of the whole character on high levels in the interests of the transcendental life.'
"That the Rabbis were fully alive to the importance of this self-discipline is seen by a remark of theirs in T.B. Haggigah, 13a, as follows : 'A certain youth was once explaining the Hashmal (Ezekiel, i. 27, translated 'amber' in the A.V.) when fire came forth and consumed him.' When the question is asked, Why was this ? the answer is : 'His time had not yet come' (lav mati zimneh). This cannot but mean that his youthful age had not given him the opportunities for the mature self-culture necessary to the mystic apprehension. The Hashmal, by the way, was interpreted by the Rabbis as : (a) a shortened form of the full phrase hayot esh me-malle-loth, i.e. 'living creatures of fire, speaking'; or (b) a shortened form of ittim hashoth ve-ittim me-malle-loth, i.e. 'they who at times were silent and at times speaking.' In the literature of the mediaeval Kabbalah, the Hashmal belongs to the 'Yetsiratic' world (i.e. the abode of the angels, presided over by Metatron who was changed into fire; and the spirits of men are there too). 1 According to a modern Bible commentator (the celebrated Russian Hebraist, M. L. Malbim, 1809-1879) the word signifies 'the Hayot [i.e. 'living creatures' of Ezekiel, i.] which are the abode [or camp] of the Shechinah [i.e. Divine Presence] where there is the 'still small voice.' It is they [i.e. the Hayot] who receive the Divine effluence from above and disseminate it to the Hayot who are the movers of the 'wheels' [of Ezekiel s Chariot]."
Notice that the Shekinah resides in the midst of Hashmal, who in turn is prepared by personality and life experiences for the indwelling. Abelson writes, "The organic life, the self, conscious and unconscious, must be moulded and developed in certain ways ; there must be an education, moral, physical, emotional ; a psychological adjustment, by stages, of the mental states which go to the make-up of the full mystic consciousness."
I propose that the "one who possesses the eye" (ayin, Ezekiel 1:4); i.e., unique perception (Job: "seeing I see"); is called to office by God rather than self-made. The characteristics of the One, which are noted throughout the Bible, are collectively so far out of the statistical range of possibility that we must conclude his life is the product of miracles.
Only the One can see beyond the veil into the mysteries. Should another unprepared individual attempt this untimely undertaking, he or she would be consumed by madness and thus destroyed.
A NEW NAME
Should we be looking for someone, a Latter Days messiah having the birth name Amber? Perhaps not a birth name. According to Revelation 2:17, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a NEW NAME written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it]" (emphasis mine).
THE BIBLICAL THEME OF THE DEADLY HEAD WOUND
The theme of the deadly head wound is as old as the first messianic prophecy. In Genesis 3:15 we read, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel". The alternate New International Version reads, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman [you and the woman will be enemies], and between your offspring* and hers; he will crush* your head, and you will strike his heel."
As thus popularly rendered, Genesis 3:15 does not make theological sense. The traditional view is not consistent with the overall tenor of Scripture; if a serpent's head is crushed, it would not be capable of striking back at the heel. God had already cursed the serpent in the preceding verse. I propose that there are two other possible ways of reading this passage.
1). The acts of crushing and striking pertain to the Dual Messiahs at separate points in history. Whereas He suffered a crown of thorns upon His head, Jesus did not deal a crushing blow to the Serpent. According to Revelation 12:9 and 12, "[T]he great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. . . . Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." To the successor of Jesus Christ is committed the task of binding and imprisoning Satan: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season" (Revelation 20:1-3).
2). The acts of crushing and striking pertain to the selfsame messiah. The messiah would herein be identifies as "the woman", afflicted by a deadly wound to the head and a physical disability rendering her unable to walk. If in fact this is the true sense of the passage, the gender and at least two important identifying characteristics have been clearly before us all along. "Heel" in this respect would better be translated "hinder part" or "rear" (as of a troop), in keeping with the notion of "first and last" or "beginning and ending", as we find in the Apocalypse (Revelation 1:8, 11, 17; 2:19; 22:13).
That the woman in verse 15 is likely not Eve is clear from the fact that God does not begin to address Eve until verse 16.
Both of these interpretations are consistent with the overall tenor of Scripture.
Our next reluctant or rebellious actor is:
JONATHAN. In 1 Samuel 14:27 we read, "But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that [was] in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened."
In this passage, honey is used in relation to the eyes of a faint person when he begins to recover. He is enlightened.
The story continues: "Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed [be] the man that eateth [any] food this day. And the people were faint. Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey. How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?" (1 Samuel 14:28-30).
In a time of war crisis, Jonathan violated the law (the oath of his father, Saul) in the interests of a higher good. His father, Saul, appeared more concerned with upholding the strict article of dietary law than the welfare of the people to whom the law applied. King Saul "troubled the land". The willfulness of Jonathan, although well-intended, occasioned a popular revolt against Saul: "And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: [as] the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not" (1 Samuel 14:45).
Jesus encountered a similar philosophy of legalism when He was challenged by the Pharisees in Matthew 12:
 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
We learn two lessons from these encounters: 1) religion is intended to benefit rather than enslave humankind; and 2) a living Christ has the authority to modify religious law.
FURTHER REMARKS ON SYMBOLIC USAGE OF HONEY
Like manna, honey is compared to the Word of God (Psalm 119:103). Honey is the agency by which we may know the good (Isaiah 7:15). Honey is associated with an important book (Revelation 10:9, 10). At some point a book must be published that will constitute a major replay/reinterpretation of the Apocalypse. Only one person can accomplish this feat because the Apocalypse is none other than his or life story.
According to Revelation 10:7, this Latter Days book finishes the "mystery of God". The book is announced with the royal authority of a lion (verse 3) and is both sweet and bitter to the inhabitants of the earth.
II. THE MODERN PROVENANCE OF AMBER
While known throughout antiquity as a source of interest, allusions to amber are also replete in our modern age.
AMERICA, COLUMBUS AND THE APOCALYPSE
Perhaps few are aware that Christopher Columbus led a secret mission to the New World in order to find a passage for invading armies to Holy Land, convert Jews, and provoke the Second Coming of Jesus. This New World came to be known as America.
According to Paul Boyer, Merle Curti Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, "[W]e have in his [Christopher Columbus] own autobiographical writings, toward the end of his life, and in his messages to Ferdinand and Isabella, proposing yet another great enterprise. This time it will be ... to restore the Holy Land as a fulfillment of prophecies in the Book of Isaiah and elsewhere of the end time events. ... He believed that gold from the New World could be used to finance this great crusade to the Middle East to regain Jerusalem.
"So in addition to everything else, Christopher Columbus is very much a prominent figure in the history of apocalyptic belief in Europe. ... I think Columbus very much did have a sense of millennial fulfillment, that from his voyages, from his discoveries, and ... what he saw as the capstone event of his career, which would be the final expedition to the Middle East, as a fulfillment of biblical prophecies that would lead to the millennium. "
Bernard McGinn concurs with Boyer. McGinn, professor of Historical Theology and the History of Christianity at the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, writes: "Christopher Columbus is often viewed as the hard headed navigator, a kind of modern man breaking with the past. But if we look at the history of Columbus and some of his writings, particularly his letters and in the Book of Prophecies that he put together, we can see that Columbus thought of himself very much in terms of the apocalyptic tradition. And he felt that his voyages of discovery were ushering in a millennial age, an age of a Last World Emperor, a Spanish Last World Emperor, who would recapture the holy apocalyptic city of Jerusalem and initiate a messianic period. And he had studied prophecies very, very carefully as he put together this Book of Prophecies, in order to sell his programme to Ferdinand and Isabella. And it's not that he was using this. He believed it. And he felt that they should believe it as well. . . .
"He was not an original apocalypticist. His Book of Prophecies is a compilation of a whole range of prophesies, texts from the Old and the New Testament, along with more current prophesies. What he's trying to do is to create a kind of handbook of prophesies that he can use in his attempts to get new funding from Ferdinand and Isabella. One of the prophesies that he fastens upon is a prophecy of a coming last emperor who will reconquer Jerusalem, who is very specifically a Spanish ruler. And we know that he ascribes this prophecy to Joachim of Fiore, but Joachim didn't write it. It . . . was actually a Spanish prophecy from the early 14th century. But Joachim's reputation as the medieval prophet was so large that of course many later prophesies and visions were ascribed to him in pseudonymous fashion."
Columbus errs in relying on Joachim of Fiore for a Spanish Last World Emperor. The biblical evidence points to a Macedonian-descent Jew(ess) having a Gentile paternity as a fulfillment of the prophecies.
. . .
AMBER AND AL ANBAR PROVINCE
I. ANBAR AWAKENING
In September 2006, Sheik Abdul Sattar Buzaigh al-Rishawi formed the Anbar Awakening to counter the influence of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, leading to the 2007 turnaround in the alliance of local tribesmen in the Al Anbar Province. Al Anbar is predominantly Sunni Muslim and had been sympathetic to Al Qaeda militants.
Reports from as early as March 2006 suggested that the Anbar capital Ramadi had largely fallen under resistance control. Because "'the social and political situation has deteriorated to a point that U.S. and Iraqi troops are no longer capable of militarily defeating the insurgency in al-Anbar'" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Anbar_Governorate), in late 2006 the United States changed strategies in Anbar to one of negotiation with local shieks. The strategy of localized self-determination brought about astonishing changes so that by summer of 2008 Al Anbar was almost completely pacified. Civilian governments had been established in all important cities and the insurgency had degenerated to the status of criminal gangs. While Al Qaeda in Iraq could continue to mount terrorist attacks against civilian targets, they and the insurgency in general were broken as a significant fighting force (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Anbar_Governorate).
Critics caution that the long-term success of the Anbar Awakening movement will depend on the a number of factors:
1. The suppression of sectarian rivalry.
"According to Ramzy Mardini, an Iraq expert at The Jamestown Foundation, 'the rise of the Awakening councils may risk reigniting the Jaysh al-Mahdi [an Iraqi paramilitary force created by the Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in June 2003]'. . . . Mardini suggests that if the movement's demands are not satisfied by Iraq's central government, the U.S. 'surge' strategy is at risk for failing, 'even to the point of reverting back to pre-surge status'."
2. Continued pacification of local sheiks by satisfying their demands upon the Coalition and Iraqi federal government.
3. Integrating Al Anbar Sunnis into the federal government, including the military. Sunnis have a baneful history of involvement in the abuses of Saddam Hussein's Sunni government; abuses inflicted upon the predominant Iraqi Shia population.
4. The continued suppression of incitement from extra-Iraqi sources, particularly Al Qaeda.
5. The development of a style of federal government that facilitates sectarian power-sharing and resolution of conflicts without resorting to violence. See "Reflections Toward the Future Form of an Iraqi Government",
6. Development of local economic and political infrastructure to meet the demands of local self-autonomy along democratic ideals.
NOTE REGARDING THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION
Al Anbar is the largest province in Iraq, covering much of the country's western territory bordering Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Al Anbar encompasses roughly 53,000 square miles, yet its population is roughly 1.2 million.
The Euphrates River flows diagonally from the north to the southeast, passing through six of the seven districts of Al Anbar Province. The province is most important for its agricultural production. There is a large number of orchards and reportedly 2.5 million palm trees. Non-fruit crops include wheat, potatoes, autumn, barley, maize and vegetables and fodder. Thusly, semi-arid Al Anbar is nor unlike eastern Washington State, from where heralds the author of this article.
Al Anbar may hold potential for settlement, given 1) its relatively low landmass-to-poulation ratio; and, 2) opportunities for economic viability. Additional advantages for relocating Palestinians to Al Anbar include 1) dilution of the Sunni Iraqi majority with Shia Palestinians, thus promoting local parity; and 2) relieving the geographic pressure against Jewish Israel posed by the typical model of a two-states solution in which Israelis and Palestinians live side by side. Of course, any mandate of this nature would create a new set of problems, particularly the impact on the native population of assimilating large influxes of non-natives.
II. THE PEACE OF AL ANBAR A SIGN
In the thinking of the ancients, words were more important than they are today. Embedded in a word, and especially in a name, was thought to be the power to bring forth the thing foreshadowed. Words had the power to bless and curse. The Word of God even had the power to create something from nothing.
This is why we read that the son who cursed his mother or father was guilty of pain of death (Exodus 21:17). This is also why we read in Isaiah 55:11-13 God saying, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off".
In the beginning, God said and it was so (Genesis 1). In the time of our Lord, God "spoke" into existence the Living Word, His Son, Jesus Christ. Insofar as the Bible is the Word of God, we are assured that whatever is foretold will surely come to pass.
The Word of God speaks inevitable peace to the Middle East. This peace is known as the Millennium. The outcome of peace is beyond question for those who rest their faith in the promises of God, but the steps to achieving peace have been a source of consternation. The Anbar Awakening is one regional example that peace is in fact achievable.
"Anbar" is Arabic for "Amber", the name of the female messiah in Ezekiel 1:4. It is not lost to this writer that "Anbar" is a prophetic namesake. According to Wikipedia, "Anbār (انبار) is a Persian word meaning "arsenal", originally from the Middle Persian Ambarag. Through the assimilation of Persian words into the Arabic language during the Islamic Conquest of Iran, the word came to mean "granaries" in Arabic."
If in fact we can discover clues pertaining to the future embedded within the ancient meaning of words, then perhaps we can also detect a way forward toward the end-goal of region-wide and universal peace. From the Anbar/Amber connection, we see positive and negative allusions. In a positive sense, we may deduce the role of electricity. At its most basic, electricity brings light, comfort in heating and cooling in desert extremes of Iraq; and, the potential for economic progress. As a source of metaphorical light, the Amber messiah of Ezekiel 1:4 holds the key to peace and prosperity in an age running short of heros and heroines.
In a negative sense, we fear from the Anbar/Amber connection a time of crisis in which food is used as a weapon; i.e., in exchange for loyalties. Drought conditions preceded the ascendance of the Patriarch Joseph, the biblical figure after whom the Amber messiah (Moshiach ben Joseph) is modeled.
NOTE REGARDING AMBER AND THE ORIGIN OF ELECTRICITY
Electricity is the backbone of modern industrial society. It is essential to applications which include transport, heating, lighting, communications, and computation.
For the purpose of this article, we observe the following about electricity:
1. Electricity is a modern phenomenon. "Electricity would remain little more than an intellectual curiosity for millennia until 1600, when the English physician William Gilbert made a careful study of electricity and magnetism, distinguishing the lodestone effect from static electricity produced by rubbing amber. He coined the New Latin word electricus ('of amber' or 'like amber', from ήλεκτρον [elektron], the Greek word for 'amber') to refer to the property of attracting small objects after being rubbed. This association gave rise to the English words 'electric' and 'electricity', which made their first appearance in print in Thomas Browne's Pseudodoxia Epidemica of 1646."
2. Some of the greatest advances in the electrical sciences have occurred in America and been exploited there for its world-changing inventions and industrial development.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the prominent founders of the America Republic, conducted extensive research on electricity in the 18th century. "While it had been the early 19th century that had seen rapid progress in electrical science, the late 19th century would see the greatest progress in electrical engineering. Through such people as Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Ottó Bláthy, George Westinghouse, Ernst Werner von Siemens, Alexander Graham Bell and Lord Kelvin, electricity was turned from a scientific curiosity into an essential tool for modern life, becoming a driving force for the Second Industrial Revolution."
3. Additional points of interest.
a). "According to a controversial theory, the Parthians may have had knowledge of electroplating, based on the 1936 discovery of the Baghdad Battery, which resembles a galvanic cell, though it is uncertain whether the artifact was electrical in nature" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity#Production_and_uses). According to the Nero Redivivus legend ("revival of Nero"), the modern Parthians (Iranians) play a significant role in restoring to power Nero Caesar, the title of the Last Days messiah equating to the number 666. This messiah's backdoor journey to Jerusalem starts in Baghdad (Babylon), so the discovery of this artifact in Baghdad, if confirmed, would be an additional significant testament to the hand of God over history.
b). The unit of resistance known as the ohm was named in honour of Georg Ohm, and is symbolised by the Greek letter Ω, coincidentally the Omega symbol of the Last Days messiah. Christ is one in unity and purpose; first and last, Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13).
In our age of electricity, for the first time in history the physical world has been subjugated by humankind in fulfillment of the divine mandate in Genesis 1:26-28. This makes us hopeful that we stand on the brink of the long-sought New World Order.
TIMING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER
"Amber" is an ancient word pregnant with messianic clues about our own time. Ezekiel 1:4 suggests that is the proper name of a Latter Days female messiah. "Amber" as a name did not appear until the late nineteenth century, and especially after the release of Kathleen Winsor's wildly popular novel "Forever Amber" in 1944. Insofar as Amber equates with electricity, we should look for the advent of a messianic New World Order sometime after the discovery and development of electricity. For example, when the prophetic eye of Ezekiel sees "a wheel within a wheel", should this not refer to the engines of industrial empires; the motorized conveyances or war and peace; and modern novelties such as electric wheelchairs?
The Bible is historical rather than metaphysical. The perceptive historian and progressive theologian can equally detect the progression of God's revelation as the Plan of Salvation moves towards its consummation.
Jesus Christ, the first one of the Dual Messiahs, dispatched His disciples to find His successor, the second one of the Dual Messiahs (Matthew 10:1-6; 28:18-20), even if doing so involved going to the ends of the earth. Jesus knew that only when His double was found could Himself assume His place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The joining of the messiahs is known as the "Gathering of the Eagles" (Matthew 24:28).