Mesopotamia

In Prophecy






There has always been a great fascination with the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates. This region does not go unmentioned in prophetic literature. It is important for us to remember that God does speak of this region in his Holy Word and there are some frightening things that will transpire here in the near future. First it must be remembered that this region is a source of enormous spiritual significance. Many of today’s new age religions point to this area of the world, its writings and ancient monuments when pointing to proofs of their religious and spiritual heritage.  This area is extremely significant when looking at bible prophecy. It is here that some sort of enormous battle and spiritual war is to take place in the end-times. These things are for our admonishment and our encouragement. God has not forgotten about his people and he will not always withhold his judgment on those who trouble his elect ones. This is the region of ancient Babylon and it was the region of intense spiritual warfare in the ancient world and will be the focus of the same in the end times. Remember, the Angel Gabriel had to fight against powerful spiritual entities.

 

 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. (Dan 10:12-13)

 

Here we see, almost certainly not coincidentally, the most powerful nation on earth, America engaging in military operations in this very region today. The Angel[1] who came in answer to Daniel’s prayer had to be helped by Michael the archangel in order to get the answer to Daniel’s prayer to him. This is all taking place in what is now modern day Iraq and Iran. The spiritual Battle was so difficult for the un-named Angel[2] that it took the help of an archangel to get his task done. When this angel finished with the Persian Principality, he then had to fight against the Greek spiritual powers.

 

These are important concepts to understand what is going on in Iraq and America’s War in the region. All battles are spiritual battles and God has an Angelic host fighting principalities and powers and Satan has his Angels doing the same. These battles have real and eternal consequences on the inhabitants of the earth. The princes of Media and Persia are mentioned again in Daniel in the vision of the Ram and the He-goat, in Daniel Chapter 8. This is an important vision regarding Daniels time and the end times as well. Believers would do well to study it.

 

However, there appears to be more going on today with America’s War than just a power and oil grab in the Middle East. While that is certainly one of the main reasons we have decided to invade Iraq, there may be other reasons less clear to those who do not understand the spiritual significance of our times and the spiritual/religious history of the region. I may go out on a bit of a limb here and I hope this does not scare away some of my readers, but I wonder if perhaps, that maybe, just maybe there is something over there of great occult significance in Iraq that our leaders and the globalists want and want badly. Here is an article that may peak some of your interest out there Article on Saddam, Planet X and Ancient Artifacts [3]. While I know there is not too much hard evidence that this is the case, it does seem that so much of what is done today by our leaders is on some sort of occult timetable. Now I do not know if this is the case (some sort of occult spiritual significance to our war) it may very well not be, but one must wonder why we would thumb the nose at the entire world and invade Iraq in such a reckless adventure. The real reasons for this war as for most wars are rarely told to the population at large. There could be something there of such spiritual (occult) significance to them that they are willing to take such risks to obtain it.

 

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the horns of the golden altar which is before God, one saying to the sixth angel that had one trumpet, Loose the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, that had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, that they should kill the third part of men. And the number of the armies of the horsemen was twice ten thousand times ten thousand: I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates as of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone: and the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceedeth fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three plagues was the third part of men killed, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone, which proceeded out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails are like unto serpents, and have heads; and with them they hurt. And the rest of mankind, who were not killed with these plagues, repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and the idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and of wood; which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk: and they repented not of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. (Rev 9:13-21)

 

So in the End Times there are very important events going on in the region of the Euphrates. So significant that there are four Angels (almost certainly demons as they are bound.[4] )These angels have been prepared for a very specific day in history to unleash heretofore-unseen trouble on the planet. These angels bound at the river Euphrates will kill one third of all mankind with their plagues, that is about two billion people.  Look at the type of plagues and evil that this onslaught brings. All of us should be willing to shed many of our preconceived notions of what is coming to pass as this plague in particular shows that many horrifying supernatural and downright weird things are going to be happening. This appears to be some sort of demonic manifestation that is released on the earth and the devil is deceiving the kings of the earth to begin a military operation in this part of the world and eventually to go into Jerusalem when the conditions are right.

 

And the sixth poured out his bowl upon the great river, the river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way might by made ready for the kings that come from the sunrising. And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, as it were frogs: for they are spirits of demons, working signs; which go forth unto the kings of the whole world, to gather them together unto the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walked naked, and they see his shame.) And they gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew Har-magedon. (Rev 16:12-16)

 

Once again the Euphrates is mentioned in connection with heavy and unusual spiritual activity. Here, we see God’s Holy Angel pouring a bowl of a plague on the river Euphrates making way for the kings of he East (Sunrising in the ASV). Yes, this is the infamous battle of Armageddon spoken of by so many, many people. The verse appears to state that these demon spirits gather the kings of the earth to Armageddon. They work signs and miracles as they come out of the mouth of the False Prophet, Dragon and the Beast. All of this intricately associated with the spiritual stronghold that is active, and will be activated in this region in the last days. The frog like creatures are demonic spirits that come out of the mouth are spiritual entities that work miracles. But if one looks at this verse carefully we can see that these spirits are not working miracles to the population of the earth at large but rather, to the kings of the earth. This is a very important distinction. Why? Because we can see that the kings see these miracles and begin to believe these evil spirits and though the scriptures does not specifically say, they almost certainly begin to make decisions based on what they see based on the deceptiveness of these evil spirits. Ultimately the aim of these spirits is a war against Jerusalem and the saints of God.

 

The Ram and the He Goat.

 

In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, [even unto] me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I [was] at Shushan [in] the palace, which [is] in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had [two] horns: and the [two] horns [were] high; but one [was] higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither [was there any] that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat [had] a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had [two] horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant [land]. And it waxed great, [even] to the host of heaven; and it cast down [some] of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified [himself] even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily [sacrifice] was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given [him] against the daily [sacrifice] by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain [saint] which spake, How long [shall be] the vision [concerning] the daily [sacrifice], and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. And it came to pass, when I, [even] I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between [the banks of] Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this [man] to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end [shall be] the vision. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end [shall be]. The ram which thou sawest having [two] horns [are] the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat [is] the king of Grecia: and the great horn that [is] between his eyes [is] the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify [himself] in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told [is] true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it [shall be] for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick [certain] days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood [it]. (Dan 8:1-27)

This important vision is not usually associated with the end times. It has most clearly and correctly been associated with the fate of the ancient Median-Persian Empire and the rise of Alexander the Great. This author fully supports this interpretation, however, I believe that there is almost certainly another more important fulfillment that will take place in the end times.  I believe the latter time of the kingdom is a revival of the Satanic spiritual kingdom which will be resurrected in the end times. And this king that comes onto the scene is the man of sin or better known as the Anti Christ. I believe that, while the Angel is speaking about the actual kings and the events that transpire, there is a spiritual power that is actually controlling these kings both in our past and will (in this particular region) in the very near future. These spiritual forces I believe are some of the most formidable in the kingdom of darkness, as the Kingdom of Persia was so powerful it hindered Gabriel for 21 days (Dan 10:12-13; 20). These angels are so powerful that God has them bound at the river Euphrates and they will slay over 2 billion people.  These matters are spiritually discerned so we must understand these things perhaps a little less in terms of timelines and worldly empires (though this is certainly important) but in terms of spiritual truth regarding God’s ultimate plan and warfare being conducted in the spiritual realm that brings these things about. We should remember that Saddam Hussein of Iraq sees himself as some sort of Modern Day Nebuchadnezzar. This is, in this authors opinion significant insofar as the ancient Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom was deeply involved in what today are considered the ‘black arts’ of occultism. Saddam has spent an enormous amount of money reconstructing the ancient city. Indeed some have gone so far as to report that he believes that he is the reincarnated Nebuchadnezzar. Consequently, we as end times saints need to pay much closer attention to what is going on in this region of the world (Iran, Iraq, the Kurds[5], Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Syria) because a massive and deadly spiritual assault on mankind is due to be released from this region in the very near future. This I believe is just one of the many ‘embedded’ (deep water) messages in the passages of scriptures I have quoted from.

 

It is entirely possible that the false prophet will arise from this region of the world. This is the only place that a two horned beast is mentioned other than the book of Revelation ( See Rev 13:11 and Dan 8:3) in relation to biblical prophecy and the end-times. We as Christians will have to see.

 

Spirit of Antichrist Comes From Mesopotamia

 

 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up; and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. (Dan 3:1-6)

 

This section of scripture is clearly a preview to the coming mark of the Beast. This important piece of scripture is important insofar as the ruler of the Mesopotamian region of the time, Nebuchadnezzar, built an Image and compelling all the people in his kingdom to worship the image and the sound of certain music. The same type of thing will happen again when the antichrist takes his throne and the False Prophet forces all to worship an image. If we note the dimensions of this image we see shades of the Mark Of The Beast. It is 60 Cubits High and 6 Cubits deep and there were six instruments listed in the verse to be played during worship of the image. The Mark of the Beast will contain 600, 60 and 6 somewhere encoded within it, and may very well be contained in the dimensions of the image of the Beast. See this image.  Anyone who did not worship this image in ancient Babylon was to be thrown alive into a fiery furnace.  The same type of thing of course will happen in the end times with the Mark Of The Beast ( See Rev 13). These things are is important to understand because the spiritual ruler (demonic Power) of Persia was that powerful entity that had held back Daniel’s answer for three weeks. It seems clear that it is this spiritual stronghold that will return in the last days, to this region with four even more powerful Angels to do battle against mankind.

 

Mystery Woman In Mesopotamia

 

Then the angel who was speaking with me went out, and said to me, Now lift up your eyes and see what this is that goes forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, This is the ephah that goes forth. And he said, This is their form[6] in all the earth. And, behold, a lead cover was lifted up, and a woman was sitting in the middle of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness. And he threw her into the midst of the ephah; and he threw the lead stone over its opening. And I lifted up my eyes and looked. And, behold, two women came out. And the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of the stork. And they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens. And I said to the angel who was speaking with me, Where are they going with the ephah? And he said to me, To build a house for it in the land of Shinar; and it shall be made ready and placed there on its own place[7]. (Zec 5:5-11)

 

Another evidence of Mesopotamia’s spiritual significance will be the setting of the woman wickedness in the book of Zechariah. Here we see that a woman whose name is called wickedness is being carried away into the land of Shinar (Mesopotamia). Notice who is placed in this basket (ephah[8]), and has a very heavy lid placed over her, signifying some sort of prison or restriction placed on her, obviously so that she cannot get out. It is a woman called wickedness. She is bound until the appointed time that she arrives in Shinar. Shinar is actually an ancient name for Babylon, used during the times of Abraham and the patriarchs. It is the source of the first combined rebellion against God after the flood. This Shinar may not be a literal moving to Mesopotamia as many seem to believe but may actually refers to a spiritual foundation or stronghold of evil and wickedness that embodies those empires and nations that are hostile to God’s Remnant. The fact that she has her base or foundation in Shinar, the origin of todays mystery religions including and especially Freemasonry, is extremely important. So, the land of Mesopotamia we can see is very much associated with the end times and the mystery of iniquity.  What is interesting here is that the creatures that are carrying this abominable woman to the land of Shinar are described as women, who have the wings of storks, an unclean bird, this perhaps to emphasize the heavy weight of this woman, while in flight she is located between the heavens and the Earth. This puts her in the realm of the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2). But an interesting question must arise from this verse. If she is on her way to the land of Shinar, where is she flying from? The scripture does not say, and we probably should not guess without a firm scriptural basis to begin. Indeed, who the two women symbolize (who are carrying the ephah) is another mystery that is not clear. But it seems clear that these are spiritual entities that work together and probably symbolize some sort of spiritual stronghold, that is capable of moving from one part of the world to another. It should not go without mention that this woman is probably the same spiritual stronghold that later embodies Mystery Babylon (see Revelation Chapters 17&18) as, in the symbols in both Revelation and here in Zechariah are found a Woman and Shinar (Ancient Babylon) and the woman is associated with wickedness.  She will rest in Shinar, when her place is prepared. Women in prophetic literature often denote religion, either, false or true. Therefore it is entirely possible that the two women who bear up the ephah and it’s cargo are religious institutions or are closely associated with religion.

 

Keep your eyes on this region of the world, and on Jerusalem for mysterious things to come as there will be great spiritual activity in this region of the world.

 

Enoch.

 

Yes, I will quote from Enoch because I believe it to be an important prophetic work. It is not on the same level as scripture even though Jude seemed to think that it important enough to quote from it in a prophetic sense. I know many will have problem with this passage, that's fine, skip this part and move on down the page. Many do not like the book of Enoch even though they will go out and PURCHASE books by so-called 'religious leaders' and so called 'prophets' today read them and pass them around. They will then hold works like Enoch in contempt because it is not in the Bible. Well, neither are the books in your local Christian Book store and they are not endorsed by scripture as the book of Enoch is.

 

And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have ungodly wrought, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jud 1:14-15)



 

Here are some verses that I think may be important from the book of Enoch. Remember, I am not putting this book on the same level as scripture but the prophetic utterances contained herein should not be ignored.

9Then shall princes[9] combine together, and conspire. The chiefs of the east, among the Parthians and Medes, shall remove kings, in whom a spirit of perturbation shall enter. They shall hurl them from their thrones, springing as lions from their dens, and like famished wolves into the midst of the flock.

10They shall go up, and tread upon the land of their elect. The land of their elect shall be before them. The threshing-floor, the path, and the city of my righteous people shall impede the progress of their horses. They shall rise up to destroy each other; their right hand shall be strengthened; nor shall a man acknowledge his friend or his brother;

11Nor the son his father and his mother; until the number of the dead bodies shall be completed, by their death and punishment. Neither shall this take place without cause.

12In those days shall the mouth of hell be opened, into which they shall be immerged; hell shall destroy and swallow up sinners from the face of the elect. (Enoch 54:9-12) (For a complete Copy of the Book of Enoch Click Here.)

There are enormous spiritual powers and darkness associated with this region of the world. I suspect that our adventure in Iraq is causing great Spiritual unrest and could be part of an over all spiritual strategy to align the nations in the world in such a way that is most conducive to the Demonic powers in the region. In particular I suspect that it may be possible that the Ten Kings of Revelation may be about to arise. Here in the passage the kings of Media and Parthia (Persia) are aligned again to wreck havoc on the region and a war is foretold. The war seems to parallel what is spoken of by Zechariah   (Zech 14:13). Indeed we can also see that the aim is Jerusalem, called the land of the Elect in Enoch and of course is Jerusalem in Zechariah (14:14). The passage in Zechariah seems to indicate the possibility of Nuclear Warfare (Zech 14:12).



The Vision Of Habakkuk.

Some prophecy students, including Mr. Stewart Best wonder if the prophecies of Habakkuk are about to be fulfilled. As I write, America has invaded Iraq and it may very well be that today's occult America, is the modern day (mystery) Chaldeans referred to in this passage. We will have to see. However the vision of Habakkuk is a very important one when assessing  the Chaldean/Mesopotamian/Babylonian spiritual stronghold.



Behold ye among the nations, and look, and wonder marvellously; for I am working a work in your days, which ye will not believe though it be told you. For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, that march through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling-places that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful; their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves. Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves; and their horsemen press proudly on: yea, their horsemen come from far; they fly as an eagle that hasteth to devour. They come all of them for violence; the set of their faces is forwards; and they gather captives as the sand. Yea, he scoffeth at kings, and princes are a derision unto him; he derideth every stronghold; for he heapeth up dust, and taketh it. Then shall he sweep by as a wind, and shall pass over, and be guilty, even he whose might is his god. Art not thou from everlasting, O Jehovah my God, my Holy One? we shall not die. O Jehovah, thou hast ordained him for judgment; and thou, O Rock, hast established him for correction. Thou that art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and that canst not look on perverseness, wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy peace when the wicked swalloweth up the man that is more righteous than he; and makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? He taketh up all of them with the angle, he catcheth them in his net, and gathereth them in his drag: therefore he rejoiceth and is glad. Therefore he sacrificeth unto his net, and burneth incense unto his drag; because by them his portion is fat, and his food plenteous. Shall he therefore empty his net, and spare not to slay the nations continually? (Hab 1:5-17)

 

This prophecy may very well be fulfilled in the very near future. If indeed the Chaldeans referred to here is modern day Mystery Babylon (America) then we can get a pretty good idea that America will be victorious in the coming Campaign. However, many modern day Prophets believe that America will lose (as in actually be defeated) in this current engagement. I will not conjecture here other than to say that God has made it clear to me that America’s Days as a Superpower are numbered. The LORD is fed up and will deal with America’s hypocrisy, perversions and evils. I bring this up to say that today, Mystery Babylon is a city (Rev 17:18), She reigns over the kings of the Earth (UN) and is the World's Commercial Center (Wall Street) and is a major Port City (NY Harbor) and is part of a nation that is a consumer nation (America). But there may be, after she is burned with fire, a spiritual transfer to another region of the World for the spiritual entity that controls the city. We will have to see.

 

Conclusion

 

Mesopotamia is mentioned quite a bit in prophecy. The subject should not be ignored. Its spiritual underpinnings are from the ancient past and the spiritual stronghold here is especially powerful. I hope this article peaked enough of your interest to go and see 'if these things are so' and open up your bibles and study them, like the Bereans. I admonish all who name the name of the LORD to familiarize themselves with the end time prophecies and at least for a few nights, turn off that TV! 

By,

Mark S. Watson

http://www.markswatson.com

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[1] The first of these messengers, could very well be Christ, and the second is probably Gabriel. Read the first 20 Versed of Chapter 10 Of Daniel, there appears to be two beings who appear to Daniel.

[2] Probably Gabriel

[3] I realize the ‘new-age’ slant to this article and I offer it for informational purposes only.

[4]Bound’ is not a state of God’s Holy angles but of a certain class of Fallen ones

[5] The Kurds appear to have been descended from the ancient Medes.

[6] H5869  ٍéï - ‛ayin  -  ah'-yin

Probably a primitive word; an eye (literally or figuratively); by analogy a fountain (as the eye of the landscape): - affliction, outward appearance, + before, + think best, colour, conceit, + be content, countenance, + displease, eye ([-brow], [-d], -sight), face, + favour, fountain, furrow [from the margin], X him, + humble, knowledge, look, (+ well), X me, open (-ly), + (not) please, presence, + regard, resemblance, sight, X thee, X them, + think, X us, well, X you (-rselves)

The fact that this word is often translated  ‘Eye’ and  that is goes forth throughout the whole earth is important because today we see the symbol of the all seeing eye everywhere, from corporate logo’s to super secret Government agencies to the Great Seal of the United States. This symbol is essentially Masonic in origin and is a sure sign of an institution that is controlled by the RELIGION of Masonry.

[7] It is interesting that the Hebrew word for place (Vs 11) is also rendered “BASE” in the KJV. 

Al Qaida whose name actually means ‘Base’ or ‘Foundation’ is intricately connected with the religion of Islam which is prevalent in this region. Coincidence? Perhaps.

[8] H374  àôن     àéôن  'e^ypha^h  'e^pha^h  ay-faw', ay-faw'   -   Of Egyptian derivation; an ephah or measure for grain; hence a measure in general: - ephah, (divers) measure (-s).

 

[9] Princes. Or, "angels" (Charles, p. 149; Knibb, p. 140).