WND: Pine Trees at Ground Zero a Sign that God Will Destroy USA

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has a new enthusiasm – a book entitled Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn of the Jerusalem Center-Beth Israel Congregation in Wayne, N.J. Cahn has found examples of a couple of (Democratic) politicians using a Bible verse out of context, in a way that Farah believes (or purports to believe) is of wider spiritual significance:

“…I am persuaded God is trying to tell America something and Rabbi Cahn has found the key to unlocking the message.”

The misused text is Isaiah 9:10:

“The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.”

These words were first uttered by leaders in Israel and in response to a limited strike by Assyria on the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali – an attack the prophet makes clear is actually part of a limited judgment by God against apostasy. It wasn’t meant to destroy the nation, but to awaken it, according to most commentaries.

But, says Cahn, Israel didn’t take the cue. Instead, the response from the people in Isaiah 9:10 is one of defiance. The brick buildings were toppled, but they vowed to build bigger and better. The little sycamore trees may have been uprooted, but they vowed to plant bigger and better cedars in their place.

In the wake of 9/11, the verse was quoted by Tom Daschle, and three years later by Senator Jonathan Edwards:

“Like Daschle, Edwards thinks he’s invoking inspirational and comforting words from the Bible, but he’s actually inviting judgment on America,” says Cahn. “He’s repeating the vow that provoked God to bring calamity on ancient Israel.”

WND helpfully provides footage of both quotes, overlaid some with brooding Philip Glass music for extra sinister effect.

Of course, quote-mining the Bible in a way that does violence to authorial intent and context is a commonplace vice (indeed, Farah is himself a frequent offender), although it’s depressing to see such a howler from supposedly well-educated public figures. One could make a sensible point about the shallowness and self-serving nature of what passes for a good deal of public religion. However, Farah and Cahn tell us that it’s more than that, as they read occult significance into a couple of details around the redevelopment of Ground Zero:

There was actually a very famous sycamore tree felled in the attack on the World Trade Center. It was replaced by trees in the same genus as the cedar. There have been many plans made to rebuild the twin towers bigger and better and a large “hewn stone” was actually quarried out of the Adirondack Mountains in New York and brought to Ground Zero as a cornerstone.

The new trees at the site are pines are rather cedars, and it’s unclear how they “replace” the famous sycamore that stood near St Paul’s Chapel, but apparently we can dispense with literalism when it suits.

UPDATE: WND has now knocked out a second article on the subject. The article clarifies that the apocalyptic tree is a conifer planted in St Paul’s Churchyard as a “Tree of Hope” in 2003, and that the Hebrew word erez, usually translated as “cedar”, is also used to mean the pine tree. It’s still moronic, though: the Biblical verse refers to trees in the plural, yet Cahn can’t make his mind up whether the “Tree of Hope” in particular or the pine trees in the general vicinity are of eschatological significance.

Perhaps its also worth spelling out a more general point: Isaiah 9:10 and its adjacent verses are an interpretation of the destruction of the ancient northern kingdom of Israel. The author is not interested in a terrorist attack happening thousands of years later on a distant land mass he had no inkling even existed.

19 Responses

  1. [...] WND: Pine Trees at Ground Zero a Sign that God Will Destroy USA (barthsnotes.com) [...]

  2. [...] Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); [...]

  3. [...] Tags: God, Israel, Joseph Farah, Pine, Sammy Cahn, Tom Daschle, United States, WorldNetDaily 0 WND: Pine Trees at Ground Zero a Sign that God Will Destroy USA Posted on December 14, 2011 by Richard [...]

  4. [...] WND: Pine Trees at Ground Zero a Sign that God Will Destroy USA (barthsnotes.com) [...]

  5. [...] WND: Pine Trees at Ground Zero a Sign that God Will Destroy USA (barthsnotes.com) [...]

  6. [...] WND: Pine Trees at Ground Zero a Sign that God Will Destroy USA (barthsnotes.com) [...]

  7. [...] WND: Pine Trees at Ground Zero a Sign that God Will Destroy USA (barthsnotes.com) [...]

  8. [...] is being heavily promoted by both WND and Charisma magazine – I discussed the book here. Cahn has appeared on Bakker’s show, and Bakker is offering a set of CDs entitled [...]

  9. The replacement of a cedar (pine) for the uprooted
    sycamore partially represents one type of warning
    to America NOT its destructon, but perhaps further
    horrible events as unrepented Americans wallow in
    sin and separation from God.

  10. The ancient Assyrians did cut down multiple Sycamores and the Israelites (in defiance) re-
    placed them with cedars. The ironic sequence
    that replicated Isiah 9:10 is haunting. Fall from
    God,sacrifice infants,immoraity, pagan god worship all has a ring to it (USA and world). The tree senario
    is but one ironic and exact mimic of Isiah even in singular form. The messanic J. Cahn is an icon.

  11. [...] previously blogged, Cahn’s book The Harbinger is currently a best-seller in the USA; he focuses on the misuse of a Biblical verse by Jonathan Edwards in 2001 and Tom Daschle three years later: [...]

  12. Where can I buy the video about the Harbinger and ground zero? I heard about it but cannot find it on this site.

    Ellen

  13. You can find the book “The Harbinger” in books stores or online just google it. Amazon.com also has it.

  14. You wrote.The new trees at the site are pines are rather cedars, and it’s unclear how they “replace” the famous sycamore that stood near St Paul’s Chapel, but apparently we can dispense with literalism when it suits.
    The scripture speaks of the same thing Israel did. They replaced the sycamores with cedars.
    If your a student of the scriptures you would see the importance of this event.

    You wrote:It’s still moronic, though: the Biblical verse refers to trees in the plural, yet Cahn can’t make his mind up whether the “Tree of Hope” in particular or the pine trees in the general vicinity are of eschatological significance.

    Again you still have to be a student of the Haftorah to understand what happened. You also
    cannot understand it from the western Mindset.

    You wrote:The author is not interested in a terrorist attack happening thousands of years later on a distant land mass he had no inkling even existed.

    Again you speak in error. That is the very point of this. Those who do not learn from their mistakes (history) are doomed to repeat it. It is the same scenario down to the Bible found
    in the wreckage that was open to the scripture that we will build the tower. It was the
    defiance of Israel not to repent over her sin and ask the Lord to help them rebuild that
    was the problem and it is the same for America. She murders her unborn, flaunts sin
    at every turn in her lifestyles and filth that fly in the face of a Holy God and refuses
    to return to the guidelines of the Scriptures and repent. That is the point. God will simply
    back off His protection and let the enemy of our souls have full reign. You kick God out &
    you kick out all His Blessings in return for a demonic master and all his treachery.
    seems very simple to me..

  15. [...] the past year or so (thanks to puffs from Strang and Joseph Farah) achieved phenomenal success with his claim that a Biblical template can be applied to the events of 9/11, and that the Bible shows that [...]

  16. […] In 2011 Cahn drew attention to the fact that in the wake of 9/11 a couple of politicians (Tom Daschle and John Edwards) had quoted a text from the Bible (Isaiah 9:10) which they thought conveyed ancient Israel’s resolution in the face of adversity, but which in original context are actually defiant but futile boasts against God’s judgement. From this, Cahn has extrapolated an apocalyptic theory about how 9/11 was allowed by God to happen because of the USA’s wickedness, and about how Biblical accounts of ancient Israel can also be applied to the USA. […]

  17. Lord forgive us, heal our hearts, place it upon the hearts of Your people to humble ourselves and repent, Thank You for Your warning and Mercy. In Jesus name, Amen!

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