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Sunday, July 15 2012

Israel In History and Prophecy: Roots and Branches

Studies in this complete series of Israel In History and Prophecy:
1. Roots and Branches 2. Jacob's Family 3. Moses 4. The Exodus 5. Passover
6. Law Of The LORD 7. The Sinai Journey 8. Joshua 9. The Judges 10. Samuel
11. Saul and David 12. The Civil War 13. Jerusalem 14. Zion 15. King David
16. Solomon 17. The Tabernacle 18. The Temple 19. Israel and Judah 20. The Lost Ten Tribes
21. Kingdom Of Judah 22. Back To Babylon 23. The Prophets 24. Babylon and Persia 25. The Return Of Judah
26. Jews 27. Judaism 28. Purim 29. Hanukkah 30. Hasmonean Judea
31. Roman Judea 32. Herod 33. The Messiah 34. The Zealots 35. Aelia Capitolina
36. Rome and Islam 37. Balfour Declaration 38. Israel Of Judah 39. The New Covenant 40. Alpha and Omega

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.

Abram Leaving Ur

"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.

17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 17:4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 17:6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee [see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates]. 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee." (Genesis 17:1-7 KJV)

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).

Abraham's Journey

"8:53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?

8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 8:55 Yet ye have not known him [see How Did The Messiah's Levite Priesthood Change?]; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

8:59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple [see Teaching In The Temple], going through the midst of them, and so passed by." (John 8:53-59 KJV)

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).

The Holy Scriptures

"1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

1:2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob [see Where Jacob Became Israel]; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;

1:3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar [see Who Were The First Jews?]; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 1:4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; 1:5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 1:6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; 1:7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; 1:8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; 1:9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; 1:10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; 1:11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:

1:12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; 1:13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; 1:14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; 1:15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations." (Matthew 1:1-17 KJV)

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.

Hagar and Ishmael

"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.

21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.

21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

21:13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed." (Genesis 21:9-13 KJV)

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.

25:2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 25:3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 25:4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

25:5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

25:6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country." (Genesis 25:1-6 KJV)

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.

Abraham and Isaac

"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.

22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah [see A History Of Jerusalem: Melchizedek's Salem]; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

22:3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 22:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 22:5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

22:6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 22:7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son.

And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

22:9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 22:10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

22:11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

22:15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." (Genesis 22:1-18 KJV)

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).

The Camp Of Abraham

"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].

11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised [see A Biography Of Abraham: Sarah]. 11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off [see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin and When Is The LORD's Day?], and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:9-16 KJV)

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].

11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob [see When Do Jews Become Christians?]: 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." (Romans 11:16-27 KJV)

Fact Finder: For a detailed Biblical history of Abraham, see the study series:

Studies in this series of A Biography Of Abraham:
1. The Genealogy Of Abram 2. From Ur To Canaan 3. The Battles Of Sodom 4. Hagar And Ishmael
5. Isaac 6. Sarah 7. Mamre in Hebron 8. Abrahamic Religions

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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.


Copyright © Wayne Blank