!I Stand with Israel!
BY Pat N. DeHat
A closer look at what and whom you are supporting.
Revelation 2:9 KJV
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
– King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition
I copied and posted this write-up to bring forth the question, “Which Israel am I supposed to stand with? If any person tells you to “Stand with Israel”, do you know which Israel they are speaking of?
There is a great deal of misunderstanding today in the reading and interpretation of Scripture. This confusion has been caused by the faulty comparison of the terms and meanings for Israel, Judah, and Jew. Many theologians and sincere Christians are convinced that these terms, which refer to specific peoples, are interchangeable, and refer to a single group of people known today as Jews.
A study of the listings in any complete Bible concordance will provide convincing proof that the words Israel, Judah, and Jew are not synonymous terms in the Scriptures, but refer to completely different and distinct people.
In Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible, there are 287 references to the Jews; 802 references to Judah; and more than 2,500 references to Israel. Why all of the difference in these references if they are all the same and refer to the same people? In addition, in many of these references there are hundreds of statements about Israel and Judah. Why the use of the conjunction “and,” if the two names refer to the same people?
Surely it is obvious that all Christians need to be more aware and cognizant of the difference and distinction between Israel, Judah, and the remnant of Judah, known as the Jews. Each of these groups has a specific purpose and particular destiny in Cod’s ultimate plan. To apply to one group those prophesies and purposes assigned to another of the groups is to cause confusion and total misunderstanding. Israel and Judah are in the world today, and they should not be confused with the Jews of today, many of whom are not, and have never been of the lineage of Abraham.
Lauritz Larson has prepared an outstanding study with regard to the distinctions and differences of Israel, Judah and the Jews. many of the promises made by God to “all of Israel” have been outwardly and incorrectly claimed by the Zionist’s, with support and backing of fundamentalist Christian leaders and groups who may be blind to the truth, or mesmerized by ungodly financial support.
After the Assyrian captivity, Israel (all twelve tribes) never returned to Palestine. When Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem some 125 years later and took the captives to Babylon, only a small remnant (about 50,000) later returned to Jerusalem. Whatever happened to the millions who were removed from the land during the captivities and conquests? We today are being fed a Scriptural untruth by many of those to whom we look for “expert” advice. I hope this booklet will help you in seeing the truth.
Chuck Kuhler, Pastor, Virginia Christian Israelites
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ISRAEL, JUDAH and the JEW
By Lauritz Larson
All mere opinions expressed in the following text should be considered as tentative, since the author’s purpose is to bring out that which is indicated in the Scriptures concerning Israel, Judah, and the Jew. When we study the history of the descendants of Jacob as it appears in the Bible, we note that there developed among the tribes four distinct, main groups: Israel, or House of Israel; Judah, or House of Judah; the House of David; the Jewish, or “70 week,” nation. In Palestine the tribes were temporarily grouped as the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah.
When we read books or listen to sermons and broadcasts on Bible Prophecies, we soon discover that there are many differing interpretations and conflicting explanations. Even a superficial study of Bible prophecy makes it clear that such confusion is due largely to the fact that the names, Israel, Judah, and Jew, are being used synonymously or should we say, mis-used. Some prophecies apply only to Israel, some only to Judah, some only to the House of David, and still others only to the Jews. Only by understanding that these groups are distinct and that each prophecy must be applied to the group to which it belongs, can we hope to find our way our of existing confusion concerning Biblical Prophecies.
Abraham and Isaac were Hebrews, they were neither Israelites nor Jews. They were descendants of Noah through Shem and Heber, hence the name Hebrews (Genesis 10:21-25). Jacob, son of Isaac, was the first Israelite because God changed his name to Israel (Genesis 32:27-28). So all the sons of Jacob were Israelites and also Hebrews; they headed the twelve tribes of Israel, and their descendants are Israelites. Only a snail “residue” of the Kingdom of Judah was called “Jews,” after the Babylonian captivity, about 1200 years after the birth of Judah, the patriarch of the tribe of Judah (Jeremiah 24:8 and Jeremiah 52:28-30).
“When Israel went out of Egypt, the House of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His Dominion” (Psalm 114:1,2). Here we have an explicit statement that at the time of the Exodus, there existed two distinct tribal groups: Judah, the one tribe, His Sanctuary; and Israel, the eleven tribes, His Dominion, or Nation. But there is another important fact contained in the passage quoted above. We perceive that the name “Israel” is used to denote the eleven-tribe group at the time of the Exodus from Egypt; therefore we must look for some event prior to the Exodus in order to determine what caused the name Israel to be so applied. The explanation is found in Genesis 48, where we find that Jacob, shortly before his death, adopted Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, as his own (Genesis 48:5). Re then blessed them (Genesis 48:20) and gave them the birthright (1 Chronicles 5:1,2); and conferred upon them his name, Israel (Genesis 48:16). From that time on, all the tribes except Judah were grouped under the leadership of Ephraim and Manasseh, and were referred to as Israel, or as the House of Israel, His Dominion.
POINT 3 – His Sanctuary
Immediately after blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, Jacob called his twelve sons to him and blessed them. To Judah he said: “The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from beneath his feet (Genesis 49:10). This distinctive blessing constituted the tribe of Judah, His Sanctuary. Tn due time the royal House of David was set up and separated from the tribe of Judah (see: 2 Samuel 7). To this House of David the throne and the sceptre were given, but the house or tribe of Judah still remained as God’s Sanctuary, and the temple and religious services were established in the midst of the latter tribe. Later the Jewish Nation, formed from a small “residue” of the Kingdom of Judah who returned from the Babylonian captivity, formed the background and surroundings for the coming of the Messiah; and “Unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Romans 3:2). These oracles of God were, of course, the books of the Old Testament which were the only Scriptures until after the coming of Christ Jesus.
POINT 4 – God’s Battle Axe
Among other things, Israel was to be God’s battle axe and weapon of war (Jeremiah 51:20-23). In verses 24-26, it is stated that retribution should overtake Babylon and Chaldea for that which they had done to Israel and to the captives of Judah. Assyria ruled over Chaldea, and therefore was included in the threatened retribution. From history it is evident that the Israelites participated in the destruction of Nineveh; also as soldiers in the army of Cyrus, they helped in the capture of Babylon. Later known by various names (particularly Goths), given them by the Greek and Roman historians, they collided with, and broke Imperial Rome.
POINT 5 – Distinction Between Israel and Judah
The important thing to note here is that Israel, the eleven-tribe group, and Judah, the one-tribe group, have different tasks to perform. But nowhere in the Bible is there anything to indicate that either group has the right to assume the prerogative of the other, and the distinction between these two groups is maintained scrupulously throughout the Bible. They are always referred to separately as Israel and Judah, or as House of Israel and House of Judah; the distinction being shown clearly in any Bible passages. Other passages indicate that the term “all Israel” means the “eleven-tribe” group. The following are a few of many such passages:
1 Samuel 11:8
1 Samuel 15:4
1 Samuel 17:1-52
1 Samuel 18:16
2 Samuel 2:9,10
2 Samuel 5:1-5
2 Samuel 11:11
2 Samuel 18:14
2 Samuel 19:40-43
1 Kings 12:16-20
1 Kings 22:17
2 Chronicles 10:1-3
2 Chronicles 11:3
2 Chronicles 13:3-5
POINT 6 – Clay and Crockery
The 18th and 19th chapters of Jeremiah contain a remarkable comparison of the eleven-tribed Israel and the one-tribe Judah. Potter’s clay is used to symbolize Israel, while a burned bottle (crockery) is used to denote Judah. Israel, the tractable, plastic-like clay can be molded into the desired shape by the potter; Judah, the rigid, unyielding crockery which breaks but cannot bend. Qualities more dis-similar cannot well be imagined.
After observing that Jeremiah devotes two entire chapters to making clear this vital distinction between Israel and Judah, how can anyone fancy that the Jews, who are a very small fraction of the tribe of Judah, can possibly take the place of Israel, the eleven tribes?
POINT 7 – The House of David
When Samuel anointed David king he did not make him king either of Israel or Judah; rather it was the occasion when the authority hitherto vested in the Judges was transferred to the Royal House of David (1 Samuel 16:1-3,13). Later, David was accepted by the men of Judah as King of Judah. After reigning seven and one-half years in Hebron as King of Judah, he was chosen by the elders of Israel to be King of Israel, also; thus he became King of both Israel and Judah, separate nations under one ruler (2 Samuel 2:4 and 5:1-5).
By these acts, the Royal House of David was established and became heir to the promise made to Judah: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah” (Genesis 49:10). The establishment of the House of David is further attested to in 2 Samuel 7:11-16, and it is recorded in 1 Chronicles 21:18-25 that David bought and paid for the site on which the temple later stood That the House of David holds a title deed to the temple site is a tremendously important fact, the implications of which cannot be considered at this time. It is said that the reason the Mohammedans do not repair the Mosque of Omar is that they have a rule not to repair any structure located on land to which they hold no title.
POINT 8 – Independent Identity Maintained
The establishment of the Monarchy of Israel did not alter the tribal distinction. David was anointed King over Judah and over Israel at different times and places. No man was ever king in Israel by virtue of being king in Judah, and vice versa. Solomon was anointed king over Israel at Gehon, while Rehoboam went to Shechem for “all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king” (1 Kings 12:1).
POINT 9 – Ancestry of Christ Jesus
According to 1 Samuel 16:12 and 1 Samuel 17:42, David was fair and ruddy, a description that fits a ruddy Scotchman but does not fit the present day Jew. We know that Ruth, David’s great-grandmother, possessed a wonderful quality of loyalty. Ruth evidently possessed certain superior qualities which, being infused into this family, produced marked biological differences between the House of David and the rest of the tribe of Judah. Since the ancestry of Christ was contained in the House of David, it is likely that his house was affected by other favorable biological factors. Jesus was a descendant of the House of David, not of the Jew, who did not come into existence until nearly 450 years after the establishment of the House of David.
DIVISION of the KINGDOM
POINT 10 – Israel’s Rebellion
The union of Israel and Judah under David and Solomon was a political union. At the time of the division, during the reign of Rehoboam, there was no difficulty between Israel and Judah, the quarrel was between Israel and the House of David over the vexing question of taxation: “So Israel rebelled against the House of David unto this day.. .there was none that followed the House of David but the tribe of Judah only” (1 Kings 12:17-20). For the complete story of this division, read 1 Kings, chapters 11 and 19, and 2 Chronicles 10 and 11.
POINT 11 – Benjamin Becomes a Light
The tribe of Benjamin, one of the eleven, was promised to the House of David as a light in Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:13,32,36). So we read in 1 Kings 12:21 that Benjamin was aligned with Judah after the division. We well may wonder about Benjamin being a “light for the House of David. What sort of Light was required in Jerusalem that Judah could not supply? What did Benjamin possess that Judah lacked? However absorbing these questions may be, they shall have to go un-answered for the present.
POINT 12 – The Two Kingdoms Independent
After the division, the ten tribes continued as the nation of Israel, the Lord’s Dominion, with Jeroboan as king. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin, part of Levi, and the children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah (1 Kings 12:17) became the Kingdom of Judah, with Rehoboan as their king. Some of the Israel people joined Rehoboam for religious reasons, but stayed with him for three years only (2 Chronicles 11:16-17). During the reign of Asa, king of Judah, many Israelites joined him for religious reasons, (2 Chronicles 15:9), but it does not follow that these Israelites moved into the Kingdom of Judah. Later on we shall see that the children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah and those who had joined Asa and Rehoboam for religious reasons did not become a part of the Jewish nation when that nation was established about 450 years later.
THE ASSYRIAN CAPTIVITY
POINT 13 – History of the Two Kingdoms
Following the division between Israel and Judah, the vicissitudes of fortune which befell these Hebrew Kingdoms were much the same, except that the Kingdom of Judah did not have the dynastic difficulties which plagued the Kingdom of Israel. The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah were at war with each other most of the time, but we shall not here consider their histories other than to tell of their break-up.
POINT 14 – Israel Goes Into Captivity
“Within three score and five years shall Ephraim (Israel) be broken that it be not a nation” (Isaiah 7:8). This happened literally during the 65 years between 741 and 676 B.C. when the Assyrian kings, Tiglath-pilneser, Shalmaneser, and Esar-haddon, carried away the ten tribes to Media (1 Chronicles 5:26). The final captivity by Esar-haddon is not recorded in the Bible.
POINT 15 – Men of Judah Taken Away
“In the fourteenth year of Hezekiah did Sennacherib, king of Assyria, come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them” (2 Kings 18:13). We have from Sennacherib’s own records the following. “As for Hezekiah, the Jew who did not submit to my yoke, forty-eight of his strong walled cities, as well as the small cities of their neighborhood…by escalade and bringing up siege engines, by attacking and storming on foot, by mines, tunnels and breaches, I took 200,150 people, great and small, male and female; horses, mules, asses, camels, cattle and sheep without number, I brought from them as spoil. Himself, like a caged bird, I shut up in his royal city of Jerusalem.”
POINT 16 – Only Inhabitants of Jerusalem Left
This event occurred early in the reign of Sennacherib, who came to the Assyrian throne in 705 B.C. It is evident that he carried away all the people of the Kingdom of Judah except those who were shut up within the walls of Jerusalem.
POINT 17 – Jehoiakim Killed
After the fall of Nineveh (612 B.C.), the Babylonians rapidly displaced the Assyrian power. When the victorious Babylonian king marched on Jerusalem, there was little that the then reigning king, Jehoiakim, could do but submit, which he did in 606 B.C. After three years, Jehoiakim rebelled, surrendered, and was killed; 3,025 of the people were then removed to Babylon (2 Kings 24:1-6; Jeremiah 22:18,19; Jeremiah 36:30; Jeremiah 52:28; Josephus, Book 10, Chapter 6). The prophet Ezekial was among these captives.
POINT 18 – Jehoiakin Deposed
Following the death of Jehoiakim, his son, Jehoiakin (also called Jeconiah or Coniah) was placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar. After a reign of three months and ten days, Jeconiab was deposed and exiled with the better element of his people (Josephus, Book 10, Chapter 7). “And he carried away all Jerusalem and all the princes and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths; none remained save the poorest sort of people of the land” (2 Kings 24:12-16; Jeremiah 24:8).
POINT 19 – Zedekiah Last King of Judah
Zedekiah followed Jeconiah on the throne, but he too rebelled. During the siege that followed, 832 captives were exiled; and sometime after the fall of Jerusalem, 745 captives were deported (Jeremiah 52:29,30). The total number of captives exiled from Jerusalem was only 4600, as recorded by Jeremiah. Note that the 10,000 exiled with Jehoichin are not included in the list in Jeremiah 52.
POINT 20 – Residue of Judah Flee to Egypt
After the fall of Jerusalem and the exile of 4600 captives, there remained in that city a residue over which Gedeliah was placed as Governor Gedeliah was soon murdered, and the people, in fear of the Babylonians, disregarded the advice of Jeremiah and fled to Egypt, taking with them Jeremiah and the daughters of Zedekiah. Later Nebuchadnezzar conquered Egypt, made captives of the Jews there and sent them to Babylon (see: Jeremiah 39 to 45 inclusive. Note that chapters 44 and 45 are particularly important).
POINT 21 – Fugitives Taken to Babylon
“In 581 B.C., the few remaining Jews in Palestine allied themselves with the Moabites and made a last wild stand for independence. A final defeat followed by a final exile brought them to irretrievable ruin” (Passing Empires by Maspero). How many were exiled at this time and how many exiled from Egypt we do not know. Note here that there were two groups of Jews in Egypt at the time that Nebuchadnezzar conquered that country; those who dwelt in Egypt prior to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, and those who had fled to Egypt after the murder of Gedeliah. It was the descendants of these captives from Egypt and of the 4600 deported from Jerusalem, who returned from Babylon and established themselves as the Jewish Nation in Palestine, about 520 B.C.
POINT 22 – Jews Increase in Babylon
If the “residue” removed to Babylon numbered 15,000, as one writer estimates, they could have increased easily during their captivity, to the number indicated by Ezra (about 50,000). They were urged to marry and raise large families (Jeremiah 29:5,6); and they added further to their number by inter-marriage with the Babylonians. The Jews were severely criticized for this practice (Ezra 9:1,2; 10:10,13,14; Nehemiah 13:23,26). How much of an alien ad-mixture the Jews received from this source is not known, but it must have been considerable judging from the drastic action taken in the matter by Ezra and Neheniah.
POINT 23 – Jews Who Returned to Jerusalem
In Ezra 2:64,65, we are told that 42,460 of the congregation and 7,337 servants returned from Babylon; later arrivals brought the total to about 55,000. The servants were, of course, of alien or doubtful ancestry, otherwise they would have been numbered with the congregation. No doubt these servants were eventually absorbed and thus the Jews, in this manner alone, received an alien admixture of about one-seventh. The Jews inter-married with the Babylonians, Syrians and other races also, as previously pointed out, and such mixture with alien races seems to have been sufficient to change the physiognomy indicated in Isaiah 3:9.
POINT 24 – Effects of Inter-marriage
The mention of the fact that the Jews are of a mixed race is not intended as an aspersion on them. It should be noted that it is a biological virtue to keep the race pure. The Israelites were instructed, time and again, not to mix with other races. Both Jews and non-Jews were offenders in this.
POINT 25 – Historians and Public Misled
Today it is quite generally held that the ten tribes were “lost” by being absorbed by other races, The popular belief seems to be that Benjamin, part of Levi, the children of Israel who dwelt in the fenced cities of Judah, and those who joined Asa and Rehoboam for religious reasons, have long since amalgamated with the tribes of Judah, and that now -all Israel is represented in the present-day Jew. Perhaps this is the reason why the names Israel, Judah, and Jew are held to be synonymous, although no basis for such a belief is to be found in the Scriptures. Compilers of Encyclopedias and Dictionaries seem naively unaware of the fact- that these names denote distinct groups among the descendants of Jacob (Israel). Once the error is accepted that the terms Israel and Jew are synonymous, the flood-gates of error are wide open and there is nothing to hinder prophecies intended for Israel being applied to the Jews, even though the Holy Word says plainly “Israel.”
POINT 26 – Sennacherib’s Raid
Those who hold to this idea should remember that Sennacherib carried away all the people of the Kingdom of Judah except those who were shut up in the city of Jerusalem. Most of these captives were Judah-ites, but among them were Bejaminites, Levites, and elements of the other tribes. These captives were carried away one hundred years before the Babylonian captivity and were “lost” in the same manner as the ten tribes are supposed to -have been lost. It matters little whether these children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah were few or many in number; they simply could not have been any part of the ancestry of the Jewish nation which was established after the Babylonian captivity.
THE GOOD AND BAD FIGS
POINT 27 – The Two Baskets
In the 24th chapter of Jeremiah, we read about a final division in which the tribe of Judah was involved. Two baskets of figs, one bad, the other good, are used to symbolize two groups of Jews into which the Kingdom was divided at the time of the Babylonian captivity.
POINT 28 – The Good Figs
Jeconiah and the 10,000 exiled with him are the good figs, and there is good reason that Sennacherib’s captives (200,150) also belong to the good figs. The promise to this group called “good figs” was that they shall be returned to Palestine and after being returned they shall not again be plucked up (Jeremiah 24.6).
POINT 29 – The Bad Figs
Zedekiah, and his princes, the residue left in Jerusalem, together with those who dwelt in Egypt, were the bad figs. In 2 Kings 24:14, they are called the “poorest sort” of the people of the land. It is this group that formed the nucleus of the Jewish Nation (Jeremiah 24:8). Below we quote without comment the last two verses of Jeremiah 24:
“And I will deliver them to be removed into all the Kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence among them until they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto their fathers.”
POINT 30 – The Return to Jerusalem
The group symbolized as good figs did not return to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity. Had they returned, they would be there still, as they were promised that when they return, it would be permanent. Those who did return were the bad figs. The Babylonian captivity was not the dispersion spoken of in Jeremiah 24:9. The Jews were taken to Babylon, but they were not scattered; their dispersion dates from 70 A.D. The judgments pronounced upon the Jews in Jeremiah 24:9 and 10 are still in effect.
POINT 31 – Racial Ancestry of Jews
We have already considered the tribal composition of the Kingdom of Judah, and we can readily believe that this remained essentially the same to the time of the Babylonian captivity. It seems also, that the residue left in Jerusalem under Zedekiah was substantially the same as to tribal composition; and we learn from Ezra 1:5 that it was these same tribal elements that participated in the return to Jerusalem. We learn from Nehemiah 7:73 and 11:3,4 that some of the children of Israel were among those who first returned to Jerusalem, and that they were placed in cities by themselves but whatever the exact tribal composition may have been the “Residue” remained the same during the captivity, except for the alien elements absorbed in Babylon. The bad figs remained regardless of tribal origin.
POINT 32 – Jews Are A Remnant of Judah
There may be some question about the Jews being wholly of the tribe of Judah. Of the 48,607 who first returned from Babylon, one writer estimates that about 30,000 were of the tribe of Judah. This indicates that 60% were Judah, taking no account of the alien admixture In the days of Jesus Christ, the Benjaminites (Galileans) lived apart from, and were considered to be poor relations by the Jews; and it is evident that they fled from Jerusalem before the Romans captured it in 70 A.D. as was prophesied they would do (Jeremiah 6:1; Hosea 5:8; Luke 21:20,21). Whether or not the Israelites who participated in the return from Babylon also segregated themselves from the Jews, is not known; however, it seems that today the Jews are predominantly of Judah and alien elements, the latter most likely in the majority.
PALESTINE AND POPULATION
POINT 33 – Emigration from Palestine
After the Israelites under Joshua’s leadership entered Palestine, that country, which is roughly 160 miles long and 50 miles wide could not long continue to hold the rapidly increasing population. The 450 years from the time of David to the breaking-up of the Kingdoms of Israel, was also the formative period for Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. Much of Europe was a wilderness, and it was natural for the people of Palestine to emigrate to these vacant areas away from their war-torn world where several Empires contended for mastery.
POINT 34 – What Became of These Immigrants?
In the days of the Judges, the people of Dan and Asher were sea-faring folk (Judges 5:17). Dan is called a trader in Ezekial 27:19. It seems reasonable to believe that in this period, from the early days of Judges to the Babylonian and Assyrian captivities, the Israelites were leaving Palestine for Greece and other lands, individually, by family, and in larger groups. Here in the United States we are so close to the trekking of our immediate fore-fathers to vacant land, that it is easy for us to understand why the Israelites of old left their troubled and crowded land to make new hones on virgin soil nearby. This seems to be the only logical explanation of what became of the millions of Israelites who once occupied Palestine.
POINT 35 – Population at the Time of David
According to David’s census, the ten tribes had 1,100,000 men of military age, and Judah had 470,000. Benjamin and Levi were not included in this census (1 Chronicles 21:5,6). Assuming that one-eighth of the population were of military age, the people of Judah, Benjamin and the portion of Levi totaled about five million in the time of David.
POINT 36 – Increase Natural
During a period of about fifty years, from David’s enumeration of the tribes to the death of Solomon, there was prosperity and comparative peace in Palestine. Under such circumstances, there must have been considerable increase in population. However, since we are using these figures for comparison, and wishing to be conservative, we shall use the figures given in the census of David.
POINT 37 – Israelites in Greece
It is easily proven that much of Greece’s early population was of Hebrew extraction. Dan left his name in many places as a marker; the name “Danai” occurs in Homer’s Illiad and Odessey at least 147 times. The presence of Israelites in Greece was but a natural outgrowth of the existing conditions in that part of the world. To indicate that there is more than mere assertion to the claim that Israelites took an active part in the early life of Greece, we shall here incorporate an epistle from the Lacedemonian king to the High Priest in Jerusalem, also the High Priest ‘s reply.
POINT 38 – Letter from the Lacedemonian King
“Areus, King of the Lacedemonians, to Oneus sendeth greetings. We have met with certain writings whereby we have discovered that both Jew and Lacedemonians are of one stock, and are derived from the kindred of Abraham. It is but just, therefore, that you who are brethren should send to us about any of your concern as you please. We will also do the same thing and esteem your concern as our own, and will look upon our concern as in common with yours.
POINT 39 – The High Priest’s Reply
When in former times an epistle was brought to Oneas who was our High Priest, from Areus, who was at that time your king, by Demoteles, concerning the kindred that was between us and you, a copy of which is hereby enjoined, we both joyfully received the epistle, and were well pleased with Areus and Demoteles, although we did not need a demonstration, because we were well satisfied about it from the sacred writings” (from Josephus, Book 12, chapter 6).
POINT 40 – Comparisons
We shall now summarize the figures given regarding the census of David and of the captivities, in order to show the relatively small number of the “residue” which was the nucleus of the Jewish Nation.
5,000,000 – Estimated population at time of David’s census (see Point 35).
200,150 – Captives carried away by Sennacherib (see Point 15).
4,699 – Exiled by Nebuchadnezzar (see Points 17,19)
15,000 – The above 4699 plus captives in Egypt (see Point 20).
55,000 – Number of “residue” returned to Palestine (see Points 21,22,23)
POINT 41 – Jews Are Not All of Judah
We have traced the origin of the Jewish Nation to a minor fraction of the tribe of Judah, some elements of the other Israel tribes, and a goodly portion of alien admixture. This residue, which developed into the Jewish nation, cannot rightly be said to be the tribe of Judah, any more than a fragment of a broken plate can be called the plate. True, the Jews came partly from Judah, but do not constitute the Tribe of Judah and cannot rightfully claim the prophecies for that tribe or for any other Israel tribe. It is evident that the writer of Acts thought of the Jews as distant from the tribe of Judah (Acts 26:7). This is clearer still in James, where we find that James addressed his epistle to the “twelve tribes scattered abroad” (James 1:1). The Jews were not scattered at the time James wrote this epistle, but the twelve tribes, including Judah, were scattered. Thus the Scriptures do not recognize the Jews as the whole tribe of Judah.
POINT 42 – Charter for “Jewish Nation”
The ninth chapter of Daniel contains the charter for the Jewish Nation: A nation destined to endure for seventy prophetic weeks; on a scale of a day for a year, or 490 years (Ezekial 4:5,6). This nation was chosen of God to supply the background and surroundings for the coming of Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27). When those purposes were accomplished, the Jews rejected Christ as their Savior when they cried, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him. His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:22-25). They rejected Christ as King, also by declaring, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15), thus violating their own law, according to which they should not acknowledge a king who was not of their own race (Deuteronomy 17). The legitimate mission of the Jewish Nation thus ended, and by their own actions they terminated their national charter even as Christ had previously told them: “The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you…” (Matthew 21:43). Note in this connection the marginal rendering of one line in Daniel 9:26, “The Jews they shall be no more His People.” The dispersion of the Jews began when the Romans captured Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The dispersions and judgments pronounced upon the “residue” (Jews) in Jerusalem, as found in Jeremiah 24:8-10, have continued down through the centuries, and the end is not yet.
POINT 43 – The Jews Were Never Lost
Most people consider the ten tribes of Israel to be “lost.” In like manner the tribes of Benjamin and Judah are lost, except for the Jews, a small fraction of the Kingdom of Judah. The Jews are not lost and have never been lost; the world has never been permitted to forget them. To write in detail of the Jews would be to write a history of the world; yet it may be well to point out here a few events in their history.
POINT 44 – Troubled Times for Jewish Nation
Immediately after their return from Babylon, the Jews had “troublous” times while building the temple and walls about Jerusalem. Their condition was tolerable while they remained under the rather mild rule of Medo-Persia; but after the fall of that Empire, the Jews were almost continually subject to persecution. Their condition became rather trying after the death of Alexander the Great, and was particularly bad after the battle of Ipsus (301 B.C.), when the Ptolemys became firmly established in Egypt, and when a few years later the Selucids became masters of Syria: These powers becoming respectively the “King of the South” and the “King of the North” mentioned in Daniel. These two nations were at war with each other most of the time, and Palestine, a strip of land bound on the west by the Mediterranean and on the east by the Jordan River and desert beyond, was a natural highway over which the contending forces of Egypt and Syria frequently moved. So Jerusalem became sort of a football between the contending armies, the Jews having to exist under ever changing ruler ship.
POINT 45 – Antiochus the Worst Oppressor
The worst period for the Jews came during the rule of Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.). He took Jerusalem, slew 40,000 persons and plundered the temple. As a crowning insult to the Jews, Antiochus had a sow butchered in the “Holy of Holies” and its blood sprinkled on the sacred things in the temple. Antiochus sought to Helenize the Jews and was aided in that effort by some of the Jews themselves, but was stoutly opposed by the faithful. Evidently he planned a totalitarianism where all the people in this realm should adhere to a uniform religious practice dictated by him, with death the fate of the non-conformists.
POINT 46 – Jews Come Under Roman Rule
This brought on the Macabee wars, which in turn brought the Jews a short-lived independence; but the successors of the Macabees soon promoted wars of their own and the fighting continued. At this time the Roman Empire was rapidly extending its rule; Syria became a Roman Province in 64 B.C., while Palestine and Egypt came under Roman rule soon after.
POINT 47 – The End of the Jewish Nation
Seemingly the Jews did not profit by the experience of their ancestors; they rebelled in the face of hopeless odds, a mere handful of people, relatively, challenging Rome to battle when Rome was at the height of its power. The story of the siege and fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. contains some of the most horrible pages in the annals of mankind. But even this terrible drubbing did not suffice to quell the rebellious spirit of the Jews. Under the leadership of a supposed Messiah, one Simon Bar Cochebas, the Jews revolted once more in 132 to 135 A.D. The Romans, in exasperation, handed the Jews a worse drubbing than in 70 A.D. Vast numbers of the Jews were killed or sold into slavery, while those who escaped were denied access to Jerusalem, on pain of death, except by special permit.
POINT 48 – Racial Mixture of Jewry
Some of the scattered Jews made their way to Spain, where they became mixed with the Spaniards and Moors, and are today known as the Sepharidim Jews. They are less than a million in number and scattered throughout Asia Minor, eastern and central Europe and Russia. Later on they were driven out of Constantinople, and during the Crusades had to flee from central Europe, where they were cruelly persecuted. Most of these found refuge in eastern Poland and Russia, where they became known as the Ashkenazim Jews. As early as 800 A.D. these Ashkenazim Jews came into contact with a nation in Russia known as the Khazars; many of these Khazars, including the rulers, adopted the Judaic religion, and thus were called Jews. From 1243 A.D. on for about 350 years, Russia was ruled by Mongol hordes, and that the Jews took on more alien admixture on account of these contacts seems certain.
POINT 49 – Many Not of Israelites’ Ancestry
As we have noted, the Jews were a mixed race at the time of the return from Babylon. During the centuries which followed, down to their dispersion by the Romans, the Jews became further mixed with alien peoples who ruled over them. The large number of Jews scattered about the world as slaves, would be, of course, a source of racial blending. The Jews were always seeking proselytes, and these proselytes, being Jews in religion only, were eventually classed as Jews racially. Considering these factors, we can readily believe the Jewish race a thoroughly mixed one. Evidently it is a fact, as claimed by many, that a substantial portion of those who today call themselves Jews, are not descendants of Judah at all. Hence we can understand what is meant in Revelation 2:9, “of them which say they are Jews but are not…
POINT 50 – Prophecy Fulfilled by Jews
Since the fall of Jerusalem, the Jews have been a people without king or country, scattered among the nations as the prophets said they would be (Jeremiah 24:8-10; Ezekial 11:14-21; Daniel 9:24-27). These are the main prophecies in the Old Testament that deal with the Jews. See also Jeremiah 15:4; 25:17-18; 34:17; and chapters 13, 43, 44, 45.
POINT 51 – Covenant of Promise to Abraham
The following passages contain many of the unconditional promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: Genesis 12:7; 15:5,14-18; 17:2-16; 18:18; 22:16-18; 26:3,4, 24; 28:13,14; 35:11; 48:4,19; Exodus 6:8.
According to these promises, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob should possess much land; should become as numerous as the stars in the heavens; should become a nation and a “company of nations.” These prophecies have not been fulfilled by the Jews, who are few in number, about 17 million at this time; and it is claimed that a majority of those who say they are Jews are not of the seed of Abraham at all. In place of being a “company of nations,” the Jews have neither country, king nor government of their own. In the face of these facts, the claim that the Jews are God’s “chosen people” and heirs to these unconditional promises, seems ridiculous.
POINT 52 – Promise to Ephraim and Mamasseh
The unconditional promise made to Ephraim and Manasseh was that Ephraim should become a “multitude of nations;” Manasseh should become a “great people.” Ephraim and Manasseh were the sons of Joseph, and each became a progenitor of a separate tribe in Israel. By what sort of legerdemain can these promises which were made to Ephraim and Manasseh be applied to the Jews?
POINT 53 – God Cannot Break His Covenants
Has God changed His mind and abrogated His promise to the ten tribes? Has He excluded from these promises the descendants of Shelah and Zarah, the descendants of the 200,150 men carried away by Sennacherib (good figs) and the descendants of the millions who emigrated from Palestine: Emphatically NO! “By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord.” (Genesis 22:16-18; Hebrews 6:13; Luke 1:72-73. “I will never break my covenant with you” (Judges 2:1: Ezekial 16:60).
POINT 54 – Early Jewish Claim to Palestine
If you still believe that the Jews are heirs to Palestine, ponder well the following passage of Scripture: “Son of man, thy brethren, the men of thy kindred (tribe of Judah) and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem (the Jews) have said, Get you far from the Lord; unto us is this land given in possession. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God: Although I have cast them (the house of Israel wholly) far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be unto you a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Say therefore, Thus saith the Lord God: I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel” (Ezekial 11:16-17).
POINT 55 – Jews Are “the Inhabitants of Jerusalem”
Ezekiel wrote the above after Jehoichin and the 10,000 captives (good figs) were removed from Jerusalem in the second Babylonian captivity; while the “bad figs,” who made this presumptuous claim, were still living in Jerusalem under Zedekiah. Read again Jeremiah 24, note also that Ezekiel refers to the Jews as “inhabitants of Jerusalem,” not as Judah. They were removed to Babylon during the siege and after the fall of Jerusalem, but they were not scattered at that time. They were later returned to Jerusalem and remained there as the Jewish Nation until 70 A.D.
POINT 56 – Day of Trouble for Jerusalem
The descendants of these people (the “bad figs”) together
with certain alien elements (mostly atheistic) “who call themselves Jews but are not,” are now gathering in Palestine as Jews. The fate of these people is clearly indicated in Zephaniah, first chapter: “Howl ye inhabitants of Maktesh” (a street in Jerusalem). Note that Zephaniah identifies them as “inhabitants,” the same term used by Ezekiel, and not as Judah. In verse 12 we read that the Lord “will search Jerusalem with candles and punish the men who are settled on their lees…” – they shall also build houses but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards but not drink the wine thereof.” The time of these events is the “Great Day of the Lord” (verse 14), evidently applying to the end of the age now approaching. Certainly if the Bible is true, these people who are now returning to Palestine as Jews will have to make way for the tribe of Judah and the house of Israel to whom the Lord said, “I will gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”
Prophetically there is no place for the Jews as a GROUP or NATION. Those who call themselves Jews “but are not” have no part in the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; other than the promises that apply to all NON-Israelites: “In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3; 28:14). We have here a double promise that they nay share in the physical blessings of God’s Kingdom after it is established on the earth; (Micah 4:2-14); and promise of personal salvation which is offered freely to every son of Adam, “out of every kindred and tongue and nation” (Revelation 5:9).
Apart from salvation in Jesus Christ, there is now no place for the Jews, but their individual places with their brethren of the tribe of Judah, wherever it may be. Indeed, if the Jews as a GROUP inject themselves into the now developing World Drama, they will find themselves as terribly mistaken as were their progenitors 1900 years ago.
THE VIRGINIA CHRISTIAN ISRAELITES AND THE CONGREGATIONS ISRAEL
The Congregations of Israel is a confederation of individuals, families, Bible-study groups, home and neighborhood churches, and local ministries all of which are autonomous and may or may not have any affiliation with other groups and organizations. The Congregations of Israel consider themselves to be the literal descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel through the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-Israel. We acknowledge the redemption of our people through the shed blood of our Savior and consider ourselves to be “Christian Israelites,” with “Christian” being a descriptive adjective of the term “Israelite.” We place special emphasis on the early history, development, and migrations of the twelve tribes of the House of Israel and the House of Judah, from whom descended the Caucasian peoples, the Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Scandinavian, Germanic, and related nations. We believe God’s moral, civil, and national law, as codified by Moses, should be the law of the land, if we wish to enjoy lasting peace, freedom, happiness, prosperity, and a close relationship with our Cod. The Congregations of Israel do not align with any political persuasion. We believe that our rights are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights, and allows us to voice our opinions on all matters which we consider are in violation of Cod’s laws and our right to freedom of worship and expression. We are bound under the eight covenants listed in the Bible: (1) the Edenic Covenant, made with Adam in the Garden of Eden; (2) the Adamic Covenant, made with Adam after the fall from grace; (3) the Noahic Covenant, made with Noah following the flood; (4) the Abrahamic Covenant, made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-Israel; (5) the Mosaic Covenant, which was declared at Mount Sinai and is the basis for common law; (6) the Palestinian Covenant, made with Israel as they were about to enter Palestine; (7) the Davidic Covenant, setting forth the promises of God to the House of David; (8) the New Covenant, as brought by our Saviour, Christ Jesus. These Covenants between God and His people provide a summary of the total teaching and purpose of the Bible. We, as Israelites, are the recipients of the blessings of these Covenants His very elect and chosen, His servant people the Covenant People of God as found in the Bible.
The author of this blog, POPs, does not agree nor disagree with the contents of this post. It is to be used for the sake of education and discussion.
Pat N. DeHat