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Sunday, July 15 2012
Israel In History and Prophecy: Roots and Branches
The Abrahamic Roots of "Israel"
Millions are familiar with the Biblical term "chosen people." For example:
"14:2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." (Deuteronomy 14:2 KJV).
As we will read plainly from the Holy Scriptures in this series of studies, "Israel" was a family of people, created by the LORD (see Who Is The LORD?), from the "nations" of the world, from whom the LORD Himself would thereafter be born as the human Messiah. "Chosen people" refers to the Sanctity of the Messiah alone i.e. "a peculiar people unto Himself." That Messianic line of human progenitors began with Abraham.
Abraham was born in what is today known as Iraq. Long before it became known as "Babylon," the Garden of Eden was there (see The Garden In Eden and The Church In The Garden) and it was the area in which righteous Noah (like Abraham, if Noah lived today he would be an Iraqi) and his family re-populated the Earth - ironically, after completing a crossing to the same place on Earth where they began their voyage (see The Voyage To The New World). It was there that the LORD commanded Abram, his original name, to go "unto a land that I will show thee," and "all families of the earth be blessed" from a "nation" (a word that means birth i.e. nativity) that would descend from him.
"12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country [see A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan], and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:1-3 KJV)
If Abram was to become the father of only one nation, there would have been no purpose in the LORD changing Abram's name to Abraham. "Abram" (pronounced in Hebrew awb-rawm) means high father, while "Abraham" (pronounced in Hebrew awb-raw-hawm) means father of a multitude i.e. a righteous elder was chosen to become the progenitor of many nations - one of which would produce the Messiah (see also A Biography Of Abraham: Abrahamic Religions and the Fact Finder question below).
"17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram [see Appearances Of The LORD God], and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 17:2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
It is important to realize that "the LORD God," was later born as Jesus of Nazareth. The LORD of the "Old Testament" was Jesus Christ i.e. "that Rock was Christ." Jesus Christ chose the Iraqi Abram to be His key ancestor, from which a single line of "chosen people" would produce the Messiah, The Chosen One.
"10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ [see Christ's Crossing Of The Sea; also The First Rock Star]." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV)
When the Messiah attempted to reveal the reality of Who He was to His fellow Jews, and how He chose Abraham as their "chosen people" ancestor, they tried to stone Him to death. As stated in the Scriptures, all of Israel were "the chosen people," however by that time only Judah remained (along with Benjamin and Levi; see Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite? and No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?) - and only then because Judah needed to be present for the Chosen One to be born; see A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah and A History Of Jerusalem: The Coming Of The Messiah).
"8:53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
The Messiah was the "seed," singular, Who would be the Deliverer of humanity.
"3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ [see Mountains Of The Messiah]." (Genesis 3:16 KJV)
Abraham was chosen as the key ancestor of the Messiah, not because he was an Israelite or a Jew (neither even existed yet in the time of Abraham), but because of this faith and obedience to the LORD - who was Jesus Christ. Mere human ancestry or gender are not the basis of salvation - faith and obedience to the LORD are all that count (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners and What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).
"3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus [see Faithful Doers Of The Word and What Does Word of God Mean To You?]. 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:26-29 KJV)
Notice how the genealogy of the Messiah is reckoned from righteous Abraham, not any nationality or religion (see A Biography Of Abraham: Abrahamic Religions).
"1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
The Branches Of Isaac, Jacob and Judah
Isaac was one of the many sons of Abraham - the one through whom the Messianic line, from Abraham to Jesus Christ, would begin. As explained, Abraham was born in what is today Iraq; Abraham was not an Israelite (the first Israelites were the children of Abraham's grandson Jacob, who the LORD renamed as "Israel"; see Where Jacob Became Israel) or a Jew (the first Jews were the children of one of Jacob's sons, Judah; see Who Were The First Jews?). As well, through his many other sons (as shown below), Abraham is today as much the father of many of the Arab nations as he is of Israel, and then Judah.
"21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian [see A Biography Of Abraham: Hagar And Ishmael], which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
Abraham's "seed" through Hagar went westward, toward Egypt. Abraham's seed through his wife Keturah (and other concubines) went to the east. Along with Isaac's inheritance in what became known as the land of Israel, they all fulfilled the prophecy that much of Abraham's seed would inhabit the entire Middle East (see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates), while the Messianic line would grow from Isaac.
"25:1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
Abraham's test of sacrificing his Messianic-line son was a direct portrayal of God sacrificing His actual Messiah son. As we will get to, both Abraham and God did it with the awareness that the slain son would be resurrected.
"22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
It was in fact Abraham's awareness that the Savior would be born through the line of Isaac that he had the faith to carry out the sacrifice (not knowing that the LORD was only testing him) i.e. "in Isaac shall thy seed be called" and "accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead." Abraham was a believer in the Messiah, even as he was beginning the ancestral line of the Messiah, as commanded by the Chosen One who would be the Messiah.
"11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?]; from whence also he received him in a figure." (Hebrews 11:17 KJV)
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob Were Not Israelites or Jews
Abraham far-better understood the Gospel than most Christian professing people, or people of Judaism, do today. Although no "Israel," or "Judah," or "Jews" existed in the time of Abraham, he knew what their "chosen people" purpose was to be. Abraham knew that he was the root from which many branches would grow, but of which only one branch would bear a "firstfruit" that would enable the harvest of all of the branches, in their due season (see The Harvest Prophecies).
"11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God [see The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God].
Abraham also understood spiritual "grafting," whereby good or bad will be determined by the fruit that is produced, not merely by drawing nourishment from the tree like an unproductive parasite (see The Manner Of Fruit).
"11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches [see The Harvest Prophecies].
Fact Finder: For a detailed Biblical history of Abraham, see the study series:
This Day In History, July 15
1099: Middle East Muslims surrendered Jerusalem to the European armies of the First Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad). The "Christian" Crusaders then massacred thousands of Muslim men, women and children.
1207: King John of England expelled the Canterbury monks for their support of Stephen Langton.
1381: John Ball, a rebel leader in the Peasants' Revolt in England, was hanged, drawn and quartered.
1410: The Battle of Grunwald in Prussia; The king of Poland, Wladyslaw Jagiello, with an army of 39,000 Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians and supported by Tartars and troops from Romanian Wallachia, defeated a force of 27,000 Teutonic Knights under the order's grand master, Ulrich von Jungingen. Despite the decisiveness of the victory (half of the Teutonic knights were killed, the rest captured), the conditions of peace were mild. The Teutonic knights agreed to withdraw from part of Lithuania and guaranteed free trade on the Vistula. The Battle of Grunwald is held in high regard in Polish history. The battle is referred to as The Battle of Tannenberg by the Germans.
1662: Charles II granted a charter to establish the Royal Society in London.
1685: The Duke of Monmouth was executed on Tower Hill in England after his army was defeated at Sedgemore.
1792: Francis II (Hapsburg) became the Holy Roman emperor (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1799: During Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign, the Rosetta Stone was discovered in the Egyptian village of Rosetta (see also The Word Of God In The Tongues Of Man).
1815: Napoleon surrendered 4 weeks after Battle of Waterloo; he was then exiled as a prisoner to St. Helena.
1823: In Rome, the church known as St Paul's Outside the Walls was destroyed by a fire. Its original edifice was erected in 324 by the Roman emperor Constantine (See Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1869: Margarine was patented in France by Hippolyte Mege Mouries.
1870: Manitoba became a Province of the Canadian Federation.
1878: The first telephone exchange in the British Empire was opened in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The principles of the telephone were invented by Scottish-born Alexander Graham Bell at his home in nearby Brantford, Ontario (Daily Bible Study is written about 20 miles from the Bell Homestead which is now a museum).
1888: The volcanic eruption of Mount Bandai killed 500 people in Japan.
1918: During the First World War, the second Battle of the Marne began (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1944: During the Second World War, Greenwich Observatory was damaged by bombing.
1965: The Mariner IV spacecraft sent back the first close-up pictures of Mars.
1974: In Cyprus, Greek Junta-sponsored nationalists launched a coup that deposed President Makarios.
2000: Owen Maynard died at age 75. The Canadian aeronautical engineer was one of the 31 Canadian Arrow engineers who went to work for NASA on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Maynard was directly involved in the design of the lunar module that landed on the moon.