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Monday, November 28 2016

Eshcol's Grapes: 40 Years And A Generation Later

"The place was called the Brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence"

The LORD (see The LORD God Our Saviour) deeded the land of Israel to the Israelites before the Israelites even existed. The land promise was made to Abraham (see A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan), while the Israelites were the children of Abraham's grandson Jacob, who the LORD renamed as "Israel" (see A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel and The Origin Of Israelites And Jews).

The other people of the land were freely permitted to live on it, and to profit from it, for over 400 years, as tenants, until the actual owners, the Israelites, arrived. By that time, as a form of rent for the land, the other people built wells and towns, olive groves and vineyards. Even when the Israelites arrived, the other people could have remained, as Israelites (e.g. Rahab of Jericho; see Rahab Of Jericho), with the same blessings as Israelites - if they did not make war on the Israelites and if they stopped worshiping idols. Unfortunately, for them, they defied the ultimate owner of the entire Earth, the LORD. The Messianic purpose of the land of Israel is for the salvation of all people.

That is how the children of the Exodus generation were given to fulfill the promise that the LORD made to Abraham: "The LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not."

"6:10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 6:11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; 6:12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name." (Deuteronomy 6:10-13 KJV)


The Israelites nevertheless had their own problem, at first, with defying the LORD's promise to Abraham.

With their journey to Mount Sinai completed, the Israelites were ready to enter the land promised to them as the Messianic line of Abraham's descendants. That opportunity, directly from the south, through the Negev Desert (see The Negev Of Israel), came only 14 months after the Exodus - a gift that they refused. As it turned out, the Israelites did not enter until forty years and a generation later, from the east, across the Jordan River (see the Fact Finder question below).

How did that happen?

As the Israelite column stood on the frontier of the land of Canaan, the LORD commanded Moses to send scouts ahead to gather information.

The Grapes Of Canaan

"13:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 13:2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them." (Numbers 13:1-2 KJV)

13:17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: 13:18 And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; 13:19 And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; 13:20 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.

13:21 So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath. 13:22 And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 13:23 And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. 13:24 The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence. 13:25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.

The Israelites had already witnessed the great Power of the LORD, at the Exodus (see The First Passover), and at Mount Sinai (see Arrival At Mount Sinai). But they then lost faith in the LORD and refused to go in with the LORD fighting for them. It was, for them, a fatal rebellion.

"13:26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. 13:27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 13:28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 13:29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.

13:30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

13:31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." (Numbers 13:26-33 KJV)

Forty years later, with nearly all of the adults of the Exodus dead because they refused to enter the Promised Land, Moses addressed the children of the rebels just before they did what their parents refused to do. The children took the land, including the vineyards of Eschcol (see the Fact Finder question below).

"1:3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them" (Deuteronomy 1:3 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why is there a Book of Deuteronomy in the Holy Bible?
See Why A Book Of Deuteronomy In The Bible? and The Israelite Wanderland; see also Joshua's Commission and The Crossing Of The Jordan

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This Day In History, November 28

936: Shi Jingtang was proclaimed to be the first emperor of the Later Jin Dynasty by Emperor Taizong of Liao. It followed a revolt against Emperor Fei of Later Tang.

1095: At the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II appointed Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy and Count Raymond IV of Toulouse to lead the First Crusade (there were actually many "crusades" before that; see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1520:Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan passed through a strait on the southern tip of South America from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. It is today know as the Strait of Magellan.

1660: Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Sir Robert Moray founded the Royal Society (full name "The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge"). The Society today serves as a scientific advisor to the British government.

1698: Louis Frontenac, governor of New France (at first, only what is today eastern Canada), died at age 78. Ignoring orders from his superiors, Frontenac pushed French exploration in the New World, establishing forts throughout North America, from Atlantic to Pacific, and south to Louisiana - an expansion that eventually led to conflict with the British for control of the north of the North American continent (the Spanish held most of the south of North America and South America).

New France

1729: Natchez natives (that early white explorers called "Indians" because they thought North America was Asia; see also The First Chinese American War) massacred most of the 300 French settlers and soldiers at Fort Rosalie, Louisiana.

1821: Panama joined Colombia after declaring independence from Spain.

1868: A major eruption of Sicily's Mount Etna.

1899: During the Second Boer War in South Africa, the British under Lord Methuen battled a force of 9,000 Boers (boer is the Dutch word for farmer) in the Battle of Modder River.

1905: In Dublin, the Irish Sinn Fein was founded.

1912: Albania declared its independence after over 400 years of Ottoman (Turkish) rule (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1941: The U.S. aircraft carrier Enterprise left Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to deliver fighter planes to Wake Island, to the northwest of Hawaii. They were unaware that a Japanese attack force was approaching within striking distance from the north. In doing so, it barely missed being in the harbor during the Japanese attack which occurred only 9 days later. The attack on Pearl Harbor was just one of many Japanese near-simultaneous attacks on Australian, Dutch, British and U.S. targets all across the Pacific in December of 1941.

Many U.S. and Japanese aircraft carriers sunk in battle during the war. Japan lost over 20 aircraft carriers (including those that were involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor), while the U.S. lost over 12 (including the Hornet, Langley, Lexington, Princeton, Wasp and Yorktown).


1943: During the Second World War (1939-1945), Britain's Winston Churchill, Russia's Joseph Stalin and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt met at the Tehran Conference in Iran.

1950: 200,000 North Korean troops launched an attack on South Korea (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).

1962: Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands died at age 82.

1971: The Prime Minister of Jordan, Wasfi Tell, was shot by "Black September" terrorists outside the Hilton Hotel in Cairo.

1979: An Air Zealand DC-10 flying from Auckland to the South Pole hit Mount Erebus in Antarctica, killing all 257 people aboard.

1984: Over 250 years after his death, England's William Penn (Pennsylvania is named after him) was made an Honorary Citizen of the U.S. It is extremely unlikely that he would have accepted it if he were alive. Although Penn did much city building and political work in the colonies that England had created in the uninhabited wilderness, he did so in loyal patriotism to Britain and the King. Penn did not participate in or agree with the revolution - the reason that he returned to England where he lived the remainder of his life.

William Penn

1989: With communism crumbling all across Europe, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announced that it would surrender its monopoly on political power.

1991: South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia. Soviet Russia occupied Georgia in 1921, later becoming part of the Soviet Union as the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic until its own independence in 1991.



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