Counting from the month of Aviv in the spring, Shevat is the eleventh month and is mentioned by name in in Zechariah 1:7. The name, “Shevat,” has some interesting connotations. The root word means “to control” or “to rule” and is often translated in the Bible as “scepter.” It is rendered as “a rod” which is inferred to be a rod of correction or a rod of iron. Shevat is also the Hebrew word for “tribe,” which refers both to those who will rule and be ruled by a king.
While no one seems certain as to why this month is called Shevat, there are a few verses in Scripture that underscore the concept we discuss here. The first one is found in Amos 9:11-12:
“On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the Gentiles who are called by My name.”
This verse speaks of the time when the Kingdom is restored, when all the tribes will be under one tent. This has not occurred since the days of David and Solomon. Yet, it will occur again under the Kingship of Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of David from the tribe of Judah. It was to Judah that the scepter was given and when He comes, He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. The psalmist put it this way:
“Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Psalm 2:8-9)
We know this is speaking of the Messiah because Yeshua quotes these verses when He spoke to the congregation of Thyatira in Revelation 2:26-27 and it is further validated in Revelation 12:5 when John referred to the male child who would rule the nations with a “rod of iron.”
There is something interesting regarding the prophecy in Psalm 2: according to what Yeshua told the congregation of Thyatira, because He had been given the authority to rule the nations, those who “keep His works to the end” will also be given that authority. He then quoted Psalm 2, indicating that His people would, under His Kingship, also rule the nations with a “rod of iron.”
There will come a day when God’s Word is the law of the land for all people in all nations. Isaiah prophesied:
“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)
The promise of a great future to His people is made even though we must endure a time of turmoil. It doesn’t seem accidental that the month called Shevat occurs during winter, when everything is dead, bare, and gloomy. This is how His people will find the world to be compared to what the world they are promised in the future. Today we live as exiles, strangers among the nations; living among people who worship idols, things and self. Perhaps it was that kind of setting, in the dismal months of winter, that God made the promise to resurrect His people and to bring them back into a land flowing with milk and honey.
One day all of the tribes – all of God’s people will come together under the King of Israel’s tent. Not only will we gathered together as one, but will live under the guidance and loving care of the righteous King, the Messiah Yeshua. So, regardless of your circumstances – no matter how dismal, cold and barren it may appear to be – be encouraged. Winter will become Spring and, with it, death will transition to life; exile will give way to restoration!