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Wednesday, September 24 2014
Nehemiah 11: Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings
"The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun"
The Israelite patriarchs (i.e. the progenitors of the tribes of Israel) were born from five mothers - four Syrian and one Egyptian (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria and The Adoption Of Ephraim and Manasseh). Judah was the fourth-born son of Jacob. The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) later renamed Jacob as "Israel" - hence the "Jacobites" became known as "Israelites" (see A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel).
"Jew" is an abbreviation of Judah (just like "Joe" is an abbreviation of Joseph). The first "Jews" were the children of Judah and his two Canaanite wives. Judah couldn't have married a Jew because none existed yet (apart from himself) and he couldn't have married an Israelite because the only Israelite female that then existed was Judah's sister Dinah (see The First Jews).
"Jew" began as a singular tribal identity for the descendants of the Israelite patriarch Judah i.e. Judah's descendants exclusively.
When the united kingdom of Israel divided into two separate and independent kingdoms, thereafter known as "Israel" and "Judah" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah), the term "Jew" developed a dual meaning. It still referred to the descendants of the Israelite patriarch Judah, but it also came to be used for the people of the three Israelite tribes that composed the Kingdom of Judah - Judah, Benjamin and Levi. "Jew" was then also used as a political identity, not only for the actual "Jews" (i.e. the descendants of Judah), but also for the Benjamites and the Levites. It's the reason that the apostle Paul, who was a Benjamite, also correctly called himself a Jew and a Benjamite centuries later.
"21:39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people." (Acts 21:39 KJV)
After people of the Kingdom of Judah restored their national presence in Jerusalem in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (see A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah), "Jew" began to take on a third meaning, along with the other two - a religious identity. In the centuries between their national return to Jerusalem and the coming of the Messiah, the religion known as "Judaism" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism) began (the Pharisees and Sadducees also originated during that later era), based on the volumes of traditions and added observances that Moses, and the "lost ten tribes" of Israel, never knew (see Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism).
All three of those identity definitions of the term "Jew" are still in use today - tribal, national and religious - singularly, or in various combinations.
"And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin ... And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin"
The national return of the "Jews" to Jerusalem was a return of the people of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. Their descendants are the political and religious Jews of today.
"11:1 And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities. 11:2 And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.
Fact Finder: When will the "lost ten tribes" be re-united with the tribes who are the Jews? When will the Israelites become one kingdom again?
This Day In History, September 24
768: Charlemagne (from the Latin meaning "Charles the Great") was crowned the first King of the Franks, a confederation of Germanic tribes on the Lower and Middle Rhine. Charlemagne was the first emperor in western Europe since the collapse of the original Roman Empire three centuries earlier. By the twelfth century, Charlemagne's kingdom grew into the end-time prophetic "Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
787: The Second Nicene Council began under Pope Adrian I. Closely allied with Roman emperor Charlemagne (see Emperors and Popes; listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy), Adrian condemned supporters of iconoclasm - the opposition to the use of religious statues and images because it violated the Commandment against idolatry.
622: Muhammad completed his "hijra" from Mecca to Medina (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1180: Alexius II Comnenus became Byzantine emperor at age 11 upon the death of his father Manual I Comnenus.
1332: Edward de Balliol was crowned king of Scotland at Scone after the death of 7 year old Queen Margaret. The famous Stone of Scone (pronounced "scoon") is used as the "Coronation Stone" for all new British monarchs, and was just recently returned to Scotland after 700 years in Britain.
1493: Christopher Columbus' second voyage to "America" was completed. All of the four voyages of Columbus were actually to the islands of the Caribbean Sea and southward to the coasts of Central and South America. See the map at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy.
1545: Cardinal Albrecht died at age 55. He was the object of Martin Luther's protests concerning the sale of indulgences.
1664: The Dutch settlement of Fort Orange surrendered to the British. Renamed to honor the Duke of York and Albany, it would become Albany, New York.
1683: Jews were expelled from all French territory in "New France" (i.e. French colonies in North America).
1706: During the Great Northern War (1700-1721), the Treaty of Altanstadt was signed by Swedish king Charles XII with Augustus II the Strong, king of Poland and elector of Saxony.
1830: During the Belgian Revolution, a revolutionary committee formed the Provisional Government of Belgium (formerly the southern provinces of the Netherlands).
1852: The first engine-powered flight of a dirigible was accomplished by French inventor Henri Giffard. He flew about 27 kilometers (16.7 miles) from Paris to Trappes in a craft powered by a steam engine.
1889: The Declaration of Utrecht was signed in the Netherlands. It became the doctrinal constitution of the so-called "Old Catholic Church." Among other things, they reject the pope's leadership and clerical celibacy - but still maintain most of the anti-Bible errors of the rest of the Christian-professing world, Catholic or Protestant.
1914: During the First World War (1914-1918), the German Army captured St. Mihiel in the Alsace-Lorraine area between France and Germany (listen to our Sermons The Ottoman Empire and The European World Wars).
1948: Mildred Gillars, accused of being Nazi wartime radio propagandist "Axis Sally," pleaded innocent in Washington, D.C., to charges of treason.
1950: Forest fires blacked out the sun over eastern Canada and New England. A "blue moon" was seen as far away as Europe.
1950: Operation Magic Carpet - all Jews from Yemen were transported to Israel.
1956: The first transatlantic telephone cable system began operation.
1957: U.S. President Eisenhower ordered federal troops of the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock, Arkansas to protect nine black students while they attended the newly-integrated high school.
1962: Riots erupted at the University of Mississippi when James Meredith was announced as the first black student at the university.
1976: Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery that occurred while she was supposedly a kidnap victim.
1990: The government of the Soviet Union approved a change from communism to a market economic system.
1996: Representatives of 71 nations signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty at the United Nations.