Saul and Herod – sic transit gloria mundi

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.

An ancient Latin proverb – Sic transit gloria mundi – can be translated as follows: ‘So does worldly glory pass away.’ Two kings – Saul and Herod – were greatly lauded in their time, yet they were ultimately remembered for less than godly actions.


  • “Saul, a young and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome man than he among the sons of Israel. From his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people!” (1 Samuel 9:2)




Both kings were known for diplomatic doublespeak and backstabbing. These transgressions are as old as Adam’s sins, and it is a fact that kings and generals have engaged in these sordid deeds for thousands of years. In our day, presidents and diplomats do the same. What wisdom can be gained from the Bible on this matter?



When a king becomes an enemy


David son of Jesse was a humble youth, a shepherd by trade. Yet divine providence transformed him into Saul’s worship leader and armor bearer (1 Samuel 16). He was the teenaged Hebrew hero who cut off Goliath’s head (1 Samuel 17). Though King Saul initially loved David greatly (1 Samuel 16:21), his heart became fearful, suspicious and finally murderously angry toward the son of Jesse. Saul morphed into David’s mortal enemy (1 Samuel 18:8-16, 29). But outwardly, Saul concealed his deadly intentions toward David, praising and honoring him in public while planning his destruction (see 1 Samuel 18:11, 21-25; 19:29-11, 15). When Michal (David’s wife) felt that her own life was in danger due to her father’s threats,  she lied to King Saul, taking her father’s narrative and upending it. In front of her father Saul, she falsely accusing her husband David of wanting to put her to death.


Saul’s subsequent strategy was to have David arrested at the public New Moon celebration (1 Samuel 20:24-33). David’s presence at the feast was assumed, as it would been accepted governmental protocol (1 Samuel 20:5). King Saul was planning to turn this party occasion into a ‘mafioso hit’ against his ‘enemy.’ But thanks be to God, Davis had his own ‘inside sources’ in Saul’s court – none other than Jonathan, Saul’s son. Forewarned is forearmed:  Saul’s diplomatic doublespeak and backstabbing came to naught, and David escaped from the snare of the fowler (Psalm 124:7)



“We have come to worship Him”


Deceptive plots and betrayal were very much part of the Christmas story in Matthew 2:


  • Now after Yeshua was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him . . . Then Herod secretly called for the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him”  . . . Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of YHVH appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him” . . . Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent men and killed all the boys who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 


Matthew presents us with dramatic inside-information in his portrayal of the arrival of the magi. On one hand, the magi wanted “to come and worship Him.” On the other hand, Herod crafted his diplomatic doublespeak in exactly the same terms: “Report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.”


Herod the Great made use of diplomatic deception and HUMINT (human intelligence sources) to further his murderous designs – but the God of Jacob thwarted him at every step.


Isaiah’s words reveal the principle here: “Utzu etza v’tufar; dabru davar v’lo yakum, ki IMMANUEL [im anu El]!” – “Take counsel together, but it shall come to naught. Speak out the plot, but it shall not stand! For God is with us!” (Isaiah 8:10).


The American writer Isaac Goldberg once said, “Diplomacy is to do and say the nastiest things in the nicest way” (in ‘The Reflex,’ October 1927). Joseph Stalin put it succinctly: “A diplomat’s words must contradict his deeds – otherwise what sort of a diplomat is he? Words are one thing – deeds something entirely different. Fine words are a mask to cover shady deeds. A sincere diplomat is like dry water or wooden iron” (Joseph Stalin, ‘Elections in Petersburg,’ 1913).


  • It is commonplace for kings and presidents, secretaries of state and of defense, to declare as truth, the opposite of what is really happening. World leaders are old hands at turning truth on its head, at ‘calling white black’ – all in pursuit of their geopolitical goals. In the boxing ring of today’s Middle East, one should not be surprised to see such superpower manipulations and distortions in abundance



Collapsing the pillars


Prior to Barak Obama’s presidency, America’s traditional Middle Eastern security architecture was built on two main geographical pillars – the oil-rich Arab states in the Arabian Gulf (primarily Saudi Arabia), and the eastern Mediterranean allies of Egypt and Israel. During his first term in office, POTUS Obama took concrete steps to pull down the first of those two pillars.


On June 4, 2009 Obama gave a speech (titled ‘A New Beginning’) in the Main Reception Hall of Cairo University, hosted by the doyen of Islamic universities al-Azhar. Ten members of Jama’at al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin, (the Muslim Brotherhood or Society of Muslim Brothers – an Islamist underground organization dedicated to re-establishing the Islamic Caliphate world empire and shari’a law through jihadi revolution, who were also mortal enemies of Egypt’s then-President Mubarak) were specially invited to the gathering by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, at President Obama’s request.


  • Within two years of this speech, the White House had withdrawn its support for President Mubarak – a move which in turn injected steroids into the Arab Spring riots throughout the Islamic world. The State Department warmly congratulated and helped to usher in Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt – a group in league with the terror group Hamas. The first pillar of the traditional US security order which was struck was the country of Egypt.


In his Cairo speech, Obama apologized for past American mistakes, and promised to listen to and consult with Islamic leaders rather than issue edicts. “America does not presume to know what is best for everyone,” he stated. The POTUS suggested to no longer focus on disagreements and conflicts but to move toward cooperation on common goals, based on “mutual respect and interest.” He stated that it was his administration’s goal to engage in direct dialogue with Iran on issues other than nuclear ones, and said that America was now bringing a willingness “to move forward without preconditions” – without Iran suspending its nuclear program. Obama made no mention whatsoever of sanctions or military options against Iran, and publicly recognized Iran’s right to civilian nuclear capabilities. The POTUS spoke of the need for all nations of the Middle East to join the nonproliferation treaty – a very clear deal-breaker for Israel.


Obama’s second term focused on strengthening (‘re-aligning’) US relationships with the Islamic Republic of Iran while weakening partnerships with Saudi Arabia and Israel. A nuclear deal was signed – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – legalizing the jihadi nuclear weapons program. The second pillar of the traditional US security order which was struck concerned the weakening of Saudi Arabia and the strengthening of a fast-developing nuclear Iran.


The second stage of weakening the traditional US security order’s first pillar involves weakening Israel. This came about on Friday December 23, 2016, when the US State Department abstained on a Security Council vote, allowing the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334. This resolution described the heartland of Israel as “Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.” The resolution defined Israel’s settlement activity as constituting a “flagrant violation” of international law and that it has “no legal validity.” It declared that Israel is in violation of international law when it controls Solomon’s and David’s Jerusalem, or Abraham’s tomb in Hebron, and many other historic Jewish holy sites. It defined the Jewish return to portions of the Promised Land as illegal – the very areas where the Patriarchs shepherded their sheep as Palestinian land. It passed in a 14–0 vote: four members with United Nations Security Council veto power (China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom) voted for the resolution, while the United States abstained. This anti-Israel resolution passed as a result of US State Department collusion.



Grinding the foundations to powder


When Donald Trump became POTUS, he reversed Obama’s ‘realignment’ and restored America’s traditional security framework. Trump’s first foreign trip was to Saudi Arabia. He backed Egyptian President a-Sisi’s overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government, and moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem. He acknowledged Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the Jordan Valley, and large areas of the West Bank.  He unveiled the Abraham Accords – agreements normalizing relationships between Israel and the United Arab Republic/Bahrain under an American umbrella. This agreement sidelined the traditional Palestinian role as spoilers and deal-breakers, as well as marginalized their zealous Iranian sponsor.


But when POTUS Joe Biden stepped into the Oval Office, he immediately began to dismantle POTUS Trump’s policies, restoring the Obama faction’s goal (see the staff list appointed by Obama involved in pushing forward these items) of undoing the traditional US framework in the Middle East. Not surprisingly, the Biden administration put the Palestinians (Hamas and PLO/PA) back at the center of their Middle Eastern strategies. This is the context into which Iran stepped on October 7, 2023, having planned and then supervised the Hamas jihadi atrocities carried out on Israeli civilian kibbutzim next to Gaza.  These horrors froze any movement toward increasing cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, while shaking the Jewish state to its core.


The insightful American investigative reporter and Middle East specialist, Lee Smith, draws some sober cutting-edge conclusions:


  • Team Biden’s moves “are best understood in the context of a revolutionary program of domestic initiatives that aim to reconstitute American society on a new basis, and which in turn require the outright rejection of the country’s history and culture, its existing social arrangements, and constitutional order. The current regime has weaponized the security state . . . Its political and cultural manifesto is a program for remaking America, whether through social pressure, or censorship, or bureaucratic fiat, or threats of violence, or actual violence. Among other devices to transform America, the Biden administration has opened the border to at least 7 million illegal aliens (and counting), many from places in the Middle East where Hamas is revered . . . It’s not the traditional U.S.-led order in the Middle East that the revisionist faction, Obama’s faction, is most determined to dismantle but rather the existing order in the U.S. And it’s not Israel that it’s most keen to grind into dust, but America. For the party that Obama remade in his image to triumph at home, the Palestinians must win.”



Bankers, Nazis and Billionaires


During WWII, the cream of American, British and German industries, companies and banks were deeply involved in supporting and enabling the Nazi death machine. These sobering facts are unknown to the majority of today’s citizens in the West. The leaders in question and their followers have never come clean about being both accessories to murder and enablers of genocide against the Jewish people. Three books shed light on these demonically energized schemes:



  • Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican’s Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets (by Mark Aarons & John Loftus)




Similar genocidal strategies exist in our day, concealed in diplomatic doublespeak and aimed at backstabbing America’s allies in the Middle East – most importantly the Jewish people. Significant Western leaders are cooperating with and strengthening jihadi anti-Israel organizations while simultaneously declaring that they are aiding Israel in fighting against Islamist terror. Once again, history seems to be repeating itself.


Former Israeli National Security Council director General (Res.) Giora Eiland commented (in a Hebrew interview) on May 1, 2024 that “the day is coming when the connection between the White House and the Islamist organizations will become common knowledge.”



The Big Lie – proclaiming falsehoods as truth

The German term ‘große Lüge’ (the big lie) refers to a gross distortion or misrepresentation of the truth when used primarily as a political propaganda technique. Adolf Hitler used the term in his 1925 book ‘Mein Kampf’ (‘My struggle’) to describe how ordinary people could be induced to believe a colossal lie, based on the fact that they would find it hard to believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” The OSS (pre-cursor to the CIA) drew up a psychological profile of Hitler during WWII and discussed how he used ‘the big lie’ dynamic:  “His primary rules were . . .  people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”


In Mein Kampf, volume I, chapter ten, Hitler stated his principle – “that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.:


  • How is world media presenting the Hamas-Israel war? A careful examination reveals that the talking points used by CNN, NBC, ABC, SKY NEWS, BBC, etc., come straight from the Hamas propaganda playbook – the jihadi ‘big lie.’


Hamas has turned truth on its head as part of its manipulation of world media. This is a deliberate military strategy, one which is unfortunately being parroted by POTUS Biden, his State Department and his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The ‘große Lüge’ did not only work for Hitler and Goebbels; it is working for jihadi Hamas and those with whom it partners. Here are some examples:


  • On October 7, 2023, Hamas terrorists committed atrocities and genocidal murder on unarmed Israeli babies, children, teenagers, women and senior citizens. But within a week, world media began to claim that it is the Israeli Defense Forces which are the ones guilty of genocide. This brings to memory the black humor joke, where the arsonist accuses the fireman of starting fires.


  • Hamas screams out its anti-Semitic calls for slaughter of the Jews, both in demonstrations in Gaza and across the world. Within a few days, American universities (heavily funded by Hamas’ main bankroller Qatar) echo these murder-chants, while also accusing Jews and Evangelicals of Islamophobia. Anti-Jewish riots break out across America and across the world. But within a day or two, President Biden responds to these violent anti-Jewish riots by proclaiming that he is against anti-Semitism AND Islamophobia AND attacks on Muslims and Arabs – even though the riots, physical attacks and calls for slaughter are directed only against American Jews.


  • In every clash between Hamas and Israel over the years, it has been patently obvious that Hamas grossly inflates the number of its casualties; denies that its jihadi fighters are killed, instead describing all casualties as innocent women and children. Hamas conceals the fact that Gazans are killed in significant numbers by misfired Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets in Gaza. In the past two weeks, casualty figures of Gazans were downgraded by thousands. Even though Hamas trumpets its desire to wage jihad and to die in that battle, it simultaneously curries world sympathy by appealing to its own inflated casualty statistics – even though it was the party that started this war on October 7. POTUS Biden and other world leaders blithely quote Hamas casualty figures as gospel truth, accusing Israel of genocide and of deliberately targeting Gazan civilians. Western media and politicians are doing their job so well as agents of Hamas, that many jihadis could actually ‘take the night off’ and retire to their six-star luxury hotels in Doha, Qatar.


  • Hamas slaughtered over 1,200 Israeli civilians and kidnapped approximately 250 others on October 7, 2023, subjecting them to rape, torture, starvation and sub-human imprisonment. But within a week, while refusing to release any hostages, the Hamas propaganda machine began to bang the drum to the world’s media, crying that it is actually the Gazans who are suffering from hunger. World media (including POTUS Biden) began to hammer this point incessantly, sidestepping the Israeli hostages still suffering torture, rape and starvation. World media and the POTUS continue to yell at Israel, insisting that they feed the starving Gazans. But there is no food shortage in Gaza, though Hamas does confiscate all humanitarian aid entering the area and then sells it at inflated prices to locals, most of who support Hamas’ terror activities and participate in them. Hamas’ behavior is typical in the Middle East, as a famous Arabic proverb reveals: “Darabani wa baka, wa sabaqani wa eshtaka(“First he hits me. Then he starts to cry. Finally he runs ahead of me to the judge and sues me”). 


  • Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, yet the world media continues to insinuate that the Gazans are innocents who have been unjustly attacked, and that Hamas is only responding to and resisting evil Israeli attacks.


  • World media, the US State Department, the UN and EU etc., declare that Gaza belongs to Palestinian Arabs and not to the Jewish people. This is a satanic counterfeit of Joshua 15:20-47, where YHVH promises Gaza as the tribal inheritance of Judah.



“Many times they have attacked me from my youth up,” let Israel say. “Many times they have attacked me from my youth up, yet they have not prevailed against me. The plowmen plowed upon my back; they lengthened their furrows. YHVH is righteous! He has cut up the ropes of the wicked. May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward! May they be like grass upon the housetops which withers before it grows up – with which the harvester does not fill his hand, or the binder of sheaves his arms. Nor do those who pass by say, “The blessing of YHVH be upon you; We bless you in the name of YHVH!” (Psalm 129).



Bullying King David


As the pace of events speed up in the world, they are also speeding up in the Middle East. A recent detailed article by Dr. Guy Millière, Professor at the University of Paris, titled ‘The Betrayal of Israel by the US Administration is Almost Complete,’ is worth the read. Fourteen separate examples of recent adversarial actions by the US administration are listed in this article.



Negotiating with Hitler


Western powers (led by the US State Department) are pushing strongly for negotiations between Israel and the jihadi terror group Hamas. At no time after 9/11 did the US negotiate with Osama bin Laden or with al Qa’eda. Instead of forcing Israel to negotiate with Hitler – or his spiritual descendants Hamas and Islamic Jihad – the US and other Western countries should be resolutely backing Israel’s efforts to remove these jihadi terror groups from the soil of Gaza, Judea and Samaria. These are the geographical regions which the Bible declares to be the Jewish people’s promised inheritance, and their inheritance alone.



Watch out! YHVH’s got a gun!


YHVH is the God of Joshua. Moses declares that “YHVH is a warrior! YHVH is His name!” (Exodus 15:3). And Yeshua is not only the Messiah; He is also the Righteous Warrior: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse – and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war!” (Revelation 19:11).


When the nations of the world come up against the God of Jacob, there is a power encounter – a clash. The battle is joined, and it involves both spiritual and physical warfare. And that war usually revolves around the Jewish people and their land, though the nations are mostly blind to YHVH’s perspectives:


  • “Therefore all who devour you will be devoured, and all your adversaries, every one of them, will go into captivity. And those who plunder you will become plunder, and all who plunder you I will turn into plunder. For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds, declares YHVH, because they have called you an outcast, saying: ‘It is Zion; no one cares for her’” (Jeremiah 30:16-17)


In our modern secular world, many find it hard to grasp that the God of Joshua is watching over His Jewish nation. Military strategists compare their own country’s munitions and platforms to those of the enemy, but they rarely take into consideration YHVH’s active involvement in protecting the people of Israel. Here are four biblical principles that can enlighten our considerations:


  • God declares to Abraham: “Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand, which is on the seashore. And your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies!” (Genesis 22:17)


  • Moses declares to Israel: “Instead, you will chase your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword; five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand” (Leviticus 26:7)


  • Then it came about when the ark set out that Moses said, “Rise up, YHVH! And may Your enemies be scattered, and those who hate You flee from Your presence” (Numbers 10:35)


  • Moses prophesied over Jacob: “Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by YHVH, the Shield of your help, and He who is the Sword of your majesty! So your enemies will cringe before you, and you will trample on their high places” (Deuteronomy 33:29)


The Hebrew Scriptures teach us that God trains the Jewish people how to destroy our enemies, and then He accompanies us as we go out to battle against our foes:


  • King David declares: “Blessed be YHVH, my Rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle” (Psalm 144:1)


  • “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them. For YHVH your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you!” (Deuteronomy 20:1)


  • He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head. And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped Himself with zeal as a cloak – according to their deeds, so will He repay: wrath to His adversaries, retribution to His enemies . . . To the coastlands He will deal retribution. A Redeemer will come to Zion, declares YHVH  (Isaiah 59 :16-20)


This amazing spiritual and biblical dynamic is lost on most of modern superpowers’ brilliant military and diplomatic minds. Instead, the opposite is assumed to be true: it’s not that God gives His strategic orders to Israel, but that the White House gives orders to Israel. Based on recent news reports, the US State Department insists that the Jewish state needs an OK from the White House before it is allowed to join battle against its mortal enemies. The US State Department has declared time and again in recent days that the IDF needs American permission to finish off Hamas. The State Department, the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff tell Israel that all aspects of the Jewish state’s battle plans and maneuvers against its enemies need to be micro-managed by Washington, the ‘responsible adult’ in this dynamic. Like a high-school student facing a detention, Israel needs to humbly and obediently sign on the dotted line of the detention slip which has been handed to it.


  • America’s perspectives are heavily influenced by the upcoming US elections. The Democrats desperately need to win the Arab and Islamic vote in key states like Michigan. As a result, they are bending over backwards to make decisions which will not offend Islamist sensitivities at home or in the Middle East. The result is a US foreign policy crazily careening in ways that are harmful and destructive both to Israel’s short-term victory and long-term survival.



How should we then pray?


  • Pray for clarity of understanding and revelation to be given to the world about how superpowers are shaping Middle East events to the detriment of Israel and their own countries


  • Pray for the physical rescue of the approximately 129 Israeli hostages (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PFLP/PLO.  At this moment some hostages are being tortured, raped and starved (this based on testimonies of recently released hostages). Sadly, many of these hostages are dead; Hamas is holding on to the corpses of Israeli citizens in cold storage to be used by them as bargaining chips


  • Pray for Hamas’ cruel terror dictatorship in Gaza to be decisively shattered and for all chains broken off the Palestinians living there, and for Iran’s role in jihadi deception, dissimulation and anti-Semitism to be exposed and opposed by world leaders


  • Pray that Israel’s leadership be granted justice, clarity, moral courage, discernment and divine strategies in utterly destroying the jihadi threat in all of its aspects, and for minimal loss of life for Israel’s defense forces and for those Gazans who are truly innocent


  • Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth


Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey


Donations can be sent to:


BOX 121971 NASHVILLE TN 37212 – 1971 USA

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